Search Results for: obsessive

MOVIE REVIEW | ***B&D SUNDAY FLASHBACK*** Play Misty for Me (1971)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “”

Play_Misty_For_Me_Universal_1971__Lobby_Card_5

“Al, you ever find yourself being completely smothered by somebody?”

Well, even the greats have to start somewhere.  As a director, Clint Eastwood has a career that might be even more impressive than his achievements as an actor.  He’s made some absolute belters, like The Outlaw Josey Wales, Bird and Unforgiven.  In recent years he’s still had strong (and award winning) outings like Million Dollar Baby and Grand Torino.  And of course, for anyone who’s pumped out almost thirty movies, there’s gonna be the odd clunker.  Things like J Edgar and Flags of Our Fathers spring to mind.  But before all that, Eastwood made his directorial debut with Play Misty for Me.

The story is pretty stock standard relationship thriller stuff.  Eastwood plays Dave, a night time DJ in a small town playing sappy jazz and the odd love song dedication.  Often, to the same woman calling in with a request for him to, “Play Misty for me” (hey, that’s the name of the movie.  I see what Clint did there).  Soon, she’s tracked him down to his favourite bar and it turns out she’s played by Jassica Walter…  AKA it’s only bloody Lucille Bluth from Arrested bloody Development!!!  Lucille Bluth (the only name I will ever associate with Walter) takes him home for what Daveassumes is a bit of the old casual rumpy pumpy.  But I guess he’s never seen a romantic thriller before, because it turns out she’s a little clingy, in a stabby kind of way. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Run Silent Run Deep (1958)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “I’m not saying that Run Silent Run Deep is the best submarine picture out there, but I am saying that it’s the one that made me realise what a unique and great part of cinema history the submarine picture is.”

Silent 1.jpg
“Mr. Cartwright, with all due respect to your rank, may I say I think you’re an ass?”

I used to make fun of my dad for once walking into a video shop and asking where the “submarine pictures” were.  The idea of him thinking they were their own genre seemed so goofy to me.  But the more I watch, the more I realise the “submarine picture” isn’t far from being its own genre.  Separate from war movies, and even from navy specific war movies, they have their own filmic language, they have their own devices, rules and even clichés.  And I started to really notice this while watching Run Silent Run Deep.

We’re balls’ deep in WWII, and an area known as the Bungo Straights has seen many a US ship and sub sunk by the enemy Japanese.  At home in Pearl Harbour, Lt. Jim Bledsoe (Burt Lancaster) is on the verge of getting command of his own boat. Until an old seadog, Commander BJ ‘Rich’ Richardson (Clark Gable) decides he’d like a sub to command.  Now he’s in charge, Bledsoe is his number two, and they’re shipping out with a disgruntled crew, heading towards the Bungo Straights. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Reds (1981)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “Snippets of real life people sharing their real life memories made me care more about the characters and the story more than anything between Beatty and Keaton.”

Reds 1
“Jack dreams that he can hustle the American working man, who’s one dream is that he could be rich enough not to work, into a revolution led by his party.”

In 1979, Warren Beatty was personally nominated for two Oscars for his work on Heaven Can Wait.  That’s nothing short of amazing.  What’s even more amazing, is that he backed up and did it again just a couple of years later.  But while Heaven Can Wait was well made fluff, the following year’s movie to get Beatty all of that Oscar attention was nothing less than an epic.  A passion project he’d been trying to get off the ground for almost 20 years.  The three hour biopic, Reds.


It’s 1915, and radical journalist John Reed (Beatty) is giving a lecture based on his radical ideas.  A lecture attended by rich and married socialite, Louise Bryant (Diane Keaton).  Blown away by his ideas and realising how wasteful her life has been, Louise throws it all away to be with Reed.  Once together, Louise starts to discover her own love of writing.  Together, they get deeper and deeper in politics and activism.  They also become close with playwright Eugene O’Neill (Jack Nicholson).   Close enough for Louise to have an affair with Jack.  But John convinces her that their love is too strong to be harmed by the odd infidelity, which is handy, because he’s been rooting around too. (more…)

MUSIC REVIEW | Metallica – Death Magnetic (2008)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: Death Magnetic isn’t bad. It’s even better than good. But I think it ushered in the stage of Metallica’s career where new music just doesn’t really matter all that much.”

Metallica 1
This binge on Metallica’s discography has been fun, but it hasn’t really delivered any surprises. I knew their early years were raw and a little undisciplined. I knew Metallica was filled with ground breakers that are still played constantly today. I knew the double shit bombs of Load and Reload would be a slog. And St Anger proved why it’s the one Metallica album I’ve listened to more than any other.


But here, with their most recent studio effort, I have no idea what to expect from Death Magnetic. I listened to it once, when it came out eight years ago. And that’s it. But that’s not a condemnation, like I didn’t like it was even underwhelmed by it. I think I liked it. I just never got around to it again. So now, as the band continues their longest hiatus ever between albums, it’s time revisit Death Magnetic. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Being Evel (2015)

Evel 1
“I won’t ask for your respect, I demand it.”

I’d say almost every documentary is made for one of two reasons.  People are compelled to put in the time and effort to make a documentary because they want to celebrate something they love, or expose something they find terrible.  I have no preference, and each has their merits.  But sometimes, film makers making a documentary about something they love can go beyond celebration and become sycophancy.  And it’s those moments that hold Being Evel back.


A scammer and small time crook from Butte Montana, Robbie Knievel spent his young adult years scamming local businesses and committing petty robberies.  But when he started a family, he knew it was time straighten up.  After a stint as a highly successful insurance salesman, he eventually started selling Honda motorcycles.  When sales were slow, he decided to put on a small stunt show and jump one of the bikes to show how great they were.  A few years of rinky dink stunt shows finally turned into national stardom when he gained the notice of TV show, Wide World of Sports. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | The Final Member (2012)

TheFinalMemberPoster

“You’ve got a stars and stripes on there.”

Documentaries about weirdos, outliers and obsessives can be pretty great.  Something like The King of Kong, with 21st century grown-ass men competing to beat the record on the decades old Donkey Kong.  Or Project Grizzly, following the attempts of an everyday guy to build a grizzly bear proof suit, before putting it to the test against an actual grizzly bear in the wild.  But the key to this style of documentary is to never treat your subject like a weirdo, an outlier or an obsessive.  The key to this style of documentary is to dive in head first with the subject, and eagerly go where they’re story takes you.  Which is exactly what you get with The Last Member.


Three or four decades ago, a high school principal was given a petrified bull’s penis a gag gift from a colleague.  Well, that one gag turned to an obsession, and almost 40 years later, that once school principal is now the owner and curator of a museum that exhibits nothing but dongers, and donger related paraphernalia.  Now, that probably sounds pretty weird to you.  But what if I was to tell you this wang obsessed gent is from Iceland?  For some reason, after that reveal, everything seemed to make a whole lot more sense to me. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Atari: Game Over (2015)

Atari

“The fastest growing company in American history.”

When I was a kid, video games were for kids.  The first home video game boom happened a little before my time, but I’m old enough that my childhood included an Atari 2600 and followed the evolution through various Segas (I was never a Nintendo guy) and Playstations, with an X-Box or two as an adult.  I played the games, I loved the games and I thought I understood the impact of the games.  But I have nothin’ on the band of nerds, geeks, weirdos and obsessives who make up Atari: Game Over.


In the very late 70s, but mainly in the early 80s, the Atari 2600 console was pretty much solely responsible for the popularisation of home video games.  More primitive versions had existed before it, but it was the approach to game design of Atari and its programmers that made home video games a phenomenon.  And while the superior graphics and technology of Sega and Nintendo would seem like the reason for Atari’s collapse, an urban legend has existed for the last 30 years that blames one game, Atari’s adaptation of Steven Spielberg’s family blockbuster, E.T: The Extra Terrestrial. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Particle Fever (2013)

Particle

“The things that are the least important for our survival, are the very things that make us human.”

Obsessives make great documentary subjects.  Middle aged men obsessing over the Donkey Kong high score sounds too silly for a movie script.  But when you see it happening in real life in The King of Kong, it’s hilarious, sad, uplifting and supremely entertaining.  Spelling bees, crosswords, Star Trek, Dungeons and Dragons…  All of these things, and the people who love them, have all made for great documentaries.


And while the inconsequential nature of their obsessions has been a big part of what makes these movies so entertaining, what happens when obsessives try to answer a big question?  Obsessives who actually have the intelligence and resources to answer a big question, like, what is the basis of all life?  What happens is, you get Particle Fever. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***REMAKE WEEK*** The Getaway (1994)

 Original Cinema Quad Poster - Movie Film Posters

“Don’t think too badly about your wife, Doc. After all, you were locked up in prison. She is a stunningly, healthy young woman.”

I don’t have a problem with the concept of remakes.  Sure, very few improve on their originals.  But when you get something as fun and cool as Ocean’s Eleven, or bat shit bananas as Scarface, or just balls out badass like Dawn of the Dead, remakes seem like a no brainer.


Good remakes use technological advances, or cultural changes to tell a story better than the first time around. Or at the very least, tell it differently.  The problem, and the reason why remakes are seen as generally bad, is that the vast majority don’t tell a story better or differently, they just tell it again.  It’s that kind of pointless remake that I got with The Getaway. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Turner and Hooch (1989)

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“No barking, now growling, you will not lift your leg to anything in this house. This is not your room. No slobbering, no chewing, you will wear a flea collar. This is not your room. No begging for food, no sniffing of crotches, and you will not drink from my toilet.”

When I wrote about Stakeout, I wrote about it being a certain kind of movie that was huge in the 80s but doesn’t really exist today. It’s an adult movie in that its story has nothing kids would really be interested in, but it never goes too far with sex or violence. And it keeps a focus on fun and silly. When I was watching Turner and Hooch with my 64 year old dad, he sang that movie’s praises for basically the same reasons. I don’t know if that solidifies my theory about these 80s silly movies for adults, or if it means I have lame, old man sensibilities.  Either way, 25 years after everyone else saw it, I watched Turner and Hooch and it was awesome.


Scott Turner (Tom Hanks) is a cop in a small, Californian beach town. He’s a fastidious, bordering on obsessive, cop who meticulously organises every aspect of his life.  In his last week before moving to the big city of Sacramento to tackle real crime, he’s training his replacement David (Reginald ValJohnson, AKA Carl Winslow from Family Matters), teaching him the ins and outs of policing in a small town where everyone knows everyone. Including Amos (John McIntyre), a salty old kook who lives in a decrepit, old boat and constantly bugs the police with complaints and suspicions. (more…)

MUSIC REVIEW | The Melvins – Houdini (1993)

Melvins-houdini

The Mevlins have been kicking around for a long time. Long enough that pre-fame Kurt Cobain was a roadie for the band back in the 80s. In all of that time, The Melvins haven’t changed all that much from what I can tell. And that’s great, because there’s only one Melvins. And no other ban can do what The Melvins do. I’ve seen them live and was blown away. I’ve casually listened to a lot of their albums and had a period of obsessively listening to their 2006 album (A) Senile Animal. But I wanted to go back a little, so I chose Houdini.


The thick sludge of that signature Melvins sound is immediately present. Hooch and Night Goat writhe around, beneath Buzzo’s smothering guitar and Lorax’s distorted, bottom dwelling bass. While Dale’s drumming drags them all through the darkness. It’s that patented Melvins approach and it never disappoints. (more…)

***2013 RECAP*** MOVIE REVIEW | Iron Man 3

iron-man-3-official-hd

A soldier going through serious P.T.S.D…  Now that’s an interesting jumping off point for a super hero blockbuster that will probably make more money from kids buying action figures than it will from tickets sold at the box office.  It’s also something that makes Iron Man 3 stand out a little from the overly saturated super hero crowd.   Director and co-writer Shane Black had a tough job on his hands…  Take over an established, crazy successful franchise and try to keep his one, single character entertaining and interesting after we’ve all seen the awesome team up fun of The Avengers.


The movie opens in the early 90s with Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark and Jon Favreau as his bodyguard Happy.  This is Tony Stark back in his cool days, pounding booze and bangin’ broads, like any rich playboy should.   He also rudely dismisses a scientist played by Guy Pearce.  But that’s OK, I’m sure his revolutionary theories will amount to nothing and his anger and jealousy towards Stark won’t manifest as a crazy revenge plot.  Oh snap, I was wrong.  That’s exactly what happens.

Cut to the present day and Tony Stark is obsessively tinkering in his work shop building new and improved Iron Man suits.  We learn pretty quickly this is all a coping mechanism as he tries to distract himself from the horrible things he saw in New York in the Avengers climax, and the dark thoughts about what might be next.  He’s eventually snapped out of his funk by the prospect of throwing down with new global terrorist on the block, the Mandarin, played by an awesome Ben Kinglsey who chews the scenery gloriously every second he’s on screen.  Don Cheadle is in his own Iron Man suit, rebranded as the Iron Patriot after a red, white and blue paint job and shows up just enough to add to the movie in fun ways without ever overstaying his welcome.

Through a series of events, Tony Stark spends a lot of this movie out of the Iron Man suit.  That’s not a bad thing.  If he’s not in the suit, it means we’re not constantly being hammered with crazy fight scenes and mass destruction.  By resisting wall to wall action, it makes the few set pieces hit that much harder when they do occur,  like the squadron of Iron Men that appear in the movie’s big climax.  Even though I’d seen it in the trailers, the site of a couple of dozen Iron Men all flying to Tony Stark’s side for the last big battle still gave me a bit of a charge.

Shane Black’s screenplay brings plenty of great Shane Blackness to this world and helps give this character a new and interesting perspective.  He knows how to write dry sarcasm better than anyone and Downey knows exactly how it should be delivered.  I wouldn’t say this is the best Iron Man movie, but it’s more fresh and entertaining than anything you’d expect this deep into a franchise.  And it’s definitely better than Iron Man 2.

Iron Man 3
Directed By – Shane Black
Written By – Shane Black, Drew Pearce

 

 

MOVIE REVIEW | ***TREK WEEK*** Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)

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So it all comes down to this.  After 6 movies with the cast of the original series, 4 with the Next Generation cast and the big JJ Abram’s reboot 7 years away, this version of the series limps to a pretty lame ending.  While there’s a nice send off for Picard, the death of a major character and some real attempts at closure, Star Trek: Nemesis is just too much of what’s come before, trotted out one last time, delivering diminishing returns.

The movie opens with a wedding between Riker (Jonthan Frakes) and one of the female characters who all look, act and sound the same.  Of course, with such a happy beginning, you know things will quickly go south.  When they do, it’s due to a conflict with the Romulans.  Over the course of these movies, ‘Romulans’ is a word I’ve heard a bit, but I think this might the first time they’re kind of central to the story.  Long standing enemies, they want to make a truce with the Federation, but when the Enterprise gets there, there’s a double cross and we meet Shonzon, a clone of Patrick Stewart’s Capt. Picard, played by a very young Tom Hardy in one of his first major roles.  Even young and fresh faced, Hardy makes a menacing and effective bad guy.

He’s hooked up with another group of baddies called the Remans.  Picard and his mates find a robot, identical to their own resident android, Data (Brent Spiner).  Again, his robotness and desire to become more human results in more of the same crap we’ve seen from Data before, and it doesn’t get any more entertaining the more times we see it.

For me, a sign of a boring movie is how quick I resort to reading its Trivia section on IMDB.  For Star Trek: Nemesis, I reckon that took all of about 10 minutes.  It also proved more interesting than the movie itself.  This entry in particular explains a lot about the finished product…

“The film’s cast… have levelled fierce criticism at director Stuart Baird over his direction of the film, claiming the director hated the Star Trek universe and knew nothing about it.  Baird…  Expresses his frustration in the DVD commentary at having to tell a story in an established universe with pre-existing design and character relationships, hated having to utilize recycled sets and props and has trouble remembering the names of the main cast.”

When you’re dealing with a beloved, cult franchise who’s fans are possibly the most dedicated and obsessive of any fan sub culture out there, maybe get a director who knows the characters and at least a little about the world he’s working with

The second piece of Star Trek: Nemesis trivia that I found way more interesting than the movie ?…

“Jonathan Frakes refused to shave his back for the love scene, turned rape with Troi. The hair on his back was digitally removed by an effects house.”

Yep, that’s the kind of movie you’re dealing with if you decide to watch Star Trek: Nemesis.

Star Trek: Nemesis
Directed By – Stuart Baird
Written By – John Logan

MOVIE REVIEW | Iron Man 3 (2013)

iron-man-3-official-hd

A soldier going through serious P.T.S.D…  Now that’s an interesting jumping off point for a super hero blockbuster that will probably make more money from kids buying action figures than it will from tickets sold at the box office.  It’s also something that makes Iron Man 3 stand out a little from the overly saturated super hero crowd.   Director and co-writer Shane Black had a tough job on his hands…  Take over an established, crazy successful franchise and try to keep his one, single character entertaining and interesting after we’ve all seen the awesome team up fun of The Avengers.

The movie opens in the early 90s with Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark and Jon Favreau as his bodyguard Happy.  This is Tony Stark back in his cool days, pounding booze and bangin’ broads, like any rich playboy should.   He also rudely dismisses a scientist played by Guy Pearce.  But that’s OK, I’m sure his revolutionary theories will amount to nothing and his anger and jealousy towards Stark won’t manifest as a crazy revenge plot.  Oh snap, I was wrong.  That’s exactly what happens.

Cut to the present day and Tony Stark is obsessively tinkering in his work shop building new and improved Iron Man suits.  We learn pretty quickly this is all a coping mechanism as he tries to distract himself from the horrible things he saw in New York in the Avengers climax, and the dark thoughts about what might be next.  He’s eventually snapped out of his funk by the prospect of throwing down with new global terrorist on the block, the Mandarin, played by an awesome Ben Kinglsey who chews the scenery gloriously every second he’s on screen.  Don Cheadle is in his own Iron Man suit, rebranded as the Iron Patriot after a red, white and blue paint job and shows up just enough to add to the movie in fun ways without ever overstaying his welcome.

Through a series of events, Tony Stark spends a lot of this movie out of the Iron Man suit.  That’s not a bad thing.  If he’s not in the suit, it means we’re not constantly being hammered with crazy fight scenes and mass destruction.  By resisting wall to wall action, it makes the few set pieces hit that much harder when they do occur,  like the squadron of Iron Men that appear in the movie’s big climax.  Even though I’d seen it in the trailers, the site of a couple of dozen Iron Men all flying to Tony Stark’s side for the last big battle still gave me a bit of a charge.

Shane Black’s screenplay brings plenty of great Shane Blackness to this world and helps give this character a new and interesting perspective.  He knows how to write dry sarcasm better than anyone and Downey knows exactly how it should be delivered.  I wouldn’t say this is the best Iron Man movie, but it’s more fresh and entertaining than anything you’d expect this deep into a franchise.  And it’s definitely better than Iron Man 2.

Iron Man 3
Directed By – Shane Black
Written By – Shane Black, Drew Pearce

 

 

MOVIE REVIEW | Room 237 (2012)

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If you’ve ever seen Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, you probably thought you’d seen a pretty good (but kind of overrated) horror movie about a dude going nuts, a son who can read minds and a wife who tries to keep this crazy family together.  If you’ve never seen Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, you probably just know it for the iconic sight of Jack Nicholson cutting his way through a door with an axe before delivering his demonic take on “Here’s Johnny”.  Whatever you think this movie is about, all I have to say is, you’re wrong dummy, stop being so dumb you big dumbo.  Because Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is obviously about the genocide of the native American Indians, faking the moon landing and Nazis.  So many Nazis.


For Room 237, director Rodney Ascher assembles a group of obsessives who have their own interesting takes on what The Shining really means.  It’s an impressive effort from Ascher, because it couldn’t have been easy finding time for them to record their thoughts on the movie in between long, sustained bouts of picking peanuts out of their own crap.  To reiterate, these guys are pretty nuts.

Through voiceover, five nut bags are given the chance to tell their story and give their interpretations of The Shining.  We never see them, only hear their voices.  Maybe their respective mental institutions allowed tape recorders but not video cameras.  As they draw their dangerously long bows in making connections between their wack job theories and The Shining, Room 237 meticulously shows the portions of the film they’re referring to.  Even with zoom ins, slow motion replays and sometimes even frame by frame presentations of their “proof”, every one of those theories comes across as more unlikely than the last.

None of that is to say however, that Room 237 isn’t fascinating.  Watching a few seconds of The Shining broken down and analysed in the most intricate detail, to show you all the (possible) references to the Holocaust is amazingly compelling.  Somehow, something as simple as showing that a chair that’s visible in the background of one shot is missing when the camera cuts back to the same shot seconds later, is really interesting when backed up by the ramblings of a mad man.

And while I love a playful romp about genocide and the Holocaust as much as the next guy, these theories are pretty tame next to the assertion that The Shining is actually Kubrick’s admission that he helped fake the moon landing.  The best proof of which is that in one shot of The Shining, we see a key ring that says “ROOM No 273”.  If you rearrange those letters and ignore a couple, it says “moon”.  Wow, I just got goose bumps typing that.

Whether you love The Shining, think it’s just an OK horror and that everyone should just settle down, or have never even seen it, Room 237 is really entertaining.  The crazier the wing birds and their theories get, the more entertaining it is to listen to them clutching at straws to their barely there connections.  I can’t wait for Ascher’s follow up, when some wackadoos pull apart City Slickers 2: The Search for Curley’s Gold, to prove how it’s all a prescient allegory for the Global Financial Crisis and 9/11.

Directed By – Rodney Ascher
Written By – Rodney Ascher

MOVIE REVIEW | Play Misty for Me (1971)

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Well, even the greats have to start somewhere.  As a director, Clint Eastwood has a career that might be even more impressive than his achievements as an actor.  He’s made some absolute belters, like The Outlaw Josey Wales, Bird and Unforgiven.  In recent years he’s still had strong (and award winning) outings like Million Dollar Baby and Grand Torino.  And of course, for anyone who’s pumped out almost thirty movies, there’s gonna be the odd clunker.  Things like J Edgar and Flags of Our Fathers spring to mind.  But before all that, Eastwood made his directorial debut with Play Misty for Me.


The story is pretty stock standard relationship thriller stuff.  Eastwood plays a night time DJ in a small town playing sappy jazz and the odd love song dedication.  Often, to the same woman calling in with a request for him to, “Play Misty for me” (hey, that’s the name of the movie.  I see what Clint did there).  Soon, she’s tracked him down to his favourite bar and it turns out she’s played by Jassica Walter…  AKA it’s only bloody Lucille Bluth from Arrested bloody Development!!!  Lucille Bluth (the only name I will ever associate with Walter) takes him home for what Eastwood assumes is a bit of the old casual rumpy pumpy.  But I guess he’s never seen a romantic thriller before, because it turns out she’s a little clingy, in a stabby kind of way.

While all this is going on, he’s also having a red hot crack at an ex who gave him the flick years ago for being too much of a player.  But he’s changed, now he’s ready to settle down.  He has no interest in one night stands with slappers anymore…  Except that one last one night stand with slapper Lucille Bluth, which has now turned into her showing up unannounced at his house and following him to the pub.  Her bat shit insanity steadily increases in all the ways you’d predict until the predictable climax ends predictably just the way you predicted.

As a director, you can see Eastwood’s inexperience all over Play Misty for Me.  The opening credits are in this weird font and fluro green colour that in no way matches the tone of the rest of the movie.  It is like he had access to this cool toy and couldn’t help himself from over using it, even though it looks like it comes from a 50s B-grade schlocky horror.  The camera work is all over the shop, with unnecessary and shaky zooms, pans and other pointless movement that look like someone using a camera for the first time, unable to resist trying absolutely every trick at their disposal at all times.  And this movie has some of the worst over dubbing you’ve ever seen or heard.  It sounds like the vast majority of dialogue was recorded long after filming, with no regard to whether or not the two matched up.

I wouldn’t say Play Misty for Me is a bad movie.  Maybe if I’d seen it before so many other Eastwood crackers, I might even think it was a better than good movie.  But now, having seen what came after, it’s hard to be impressed by his directorial debut.  But seriously, a young Lucille Bluth as an obsessive, stalker horn bag?  Of course you want to see that.