Archives for posts with tag: movie reviews

There’s no guarantee a 1978 film about a 1958 musician will hold up decades after its release, but “The Buddy Holly Story” remains an easy watch. Of course, the biopic is assisted by generous helpings of Holly’s music. The film, which traces his career arc from small-town Texas beginnings to tragic death, echoes the timeless simplicity of Holly’s music, possessing an unscripted feel and casual irreverence. Gary Busey’s performance is riveting. Not that it’s perfect. There’s also a bit of a small, TV-movie feel and the narrative is burdened by cliché friction within The Crickets as Holly’s star takes off.

To watch Clint Eastwood’s compromised gait in “Cry Macho” (2021) is to witness a man walk with one foot in the grave. But as the film’s theme song (which will undoubtedly be played at the Academy Awards) says, it’s never too late to find a new home. New homes, second chances – redemption – are the ideas that drive this film as director/star Eastwood heads to Mexico and back on a mission to deliver a son to his father (a Texas rancher played by Dwight Yoakum). Midway through, we can see the ending we desire, but will Clint let us have it?

Many of Paul Newman’s characters excel at knowing how to play the angles. In “Slap Shot” (1977), he takes his hustle to the hockey rink as an aging player/coach whose career and team are skating on thin ice. He comes up with a plan to use “aggressive” play to boost the squad in the standings and at the box office. In real life at the time, professional hockey was being criticized for some teams’ use of physical thuggery. Newman’s team is so cartoonishly violent (the Hanson brothers are sports movie legends) it’s played for laughs while also mocking social norms.