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Jaws IV wasn’t called Jaws IV. It was called Jaws: The Revenge. The thinking behind this seemed to be that the studio wanted to hide the fact that Jaws: The Revenge was the fourth film in a franchise that never needed a second film. At the time, this was a bold departure from tradition. Sequels were very clearly labeled numerically – although for reasons I will never understand those numbers were almost always Roman numerals. I guess Weekend at Bernie’s II is somehow classier than Weekend at Bernie’s 2. Lack of Roman numerals was a clear indication that the sequel in question was not a worthy successor to the original except in the case of Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. The Boogaloo – electric or otherwise – more than makes up for the lack of Roman digits.
But back to Jaws 4 – or Jaws: the Revenge if you prefer. J:TR was the final film in the Jaws saga. It didn’t just kill the Jaws franchise, it blew it all to hell like a shark full of compressed air. Most franchises are never too dead to be revived with a remake or a reboot. But almost thirty years after Jaws: The Revenge, no one has touched the shark franchise (despite what was predicted in Back to the Future Part II).
In focusing on the Networks, Chinatowns and Raging Bulls of the 70s, it’s easy to overlook another great aspect of 70’s filmmaking: the horror genre. The decade is frequently cited as one of the best in cinematic history. That doesn’t just apply to prestigious dramas like The Godfather. The seventies were also one of the best decades for horror. The films listed here are proof of that.
April is 70’s month here at Le Blog. Our first seventies-themed bracket game is down to the final four now. Which two movies will slug it out in the finals? That’s up to you guys.
Welcome to the second round of our bracket game celebrating the absolute best the movies had to offer during the 1970s! As someone who was in elementary school at the end of the decade, I have had to catch up on most of these films on home video, but even the move to the small screen cannot blunt the impact of such strong storytelling. During this round, I will be focusing on one great scene from each film and will share my thoughts about what those scenes mean, why they are great, or how they were executed. Then you get to whittle down our field a little by voting on your favorite!
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During the month of April we here at Le Blog are celebrating the Me Decade! The 1970s were an amazing time for the art of filmmaking. Audiences everywhere turned out in huge numbers to see a wide variety of movies. For example, films as diverse as Superman, Animal House, and Coming Home held down the top spot at the box office during 1978. Just take a look at our bracket below and consider how many great films did not get included. Auteurs such as Coppola, Scorsese, Lucas, Altman, Spielberg and others broke through in the 70s, delivering films that were both artistically lauded and financially successful. But what has turned out to be our absolute favorite movie of what may be the finest decade in film history? That is what we hope to find out here…within the context of the Le Blog community. So join us and vote each and every day as we dispose of masterful art with the click of a mouse!
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Lea Thompson is best known for playing Michael J. Fox’s mom in the Back to the Future trilogy. For most of the 80’s, she seemed like an actress poised for stardom. But when the decade ended, Thompson’s movie career dried up. From there, she transitioned into television. First as the star of her own sitcom and then in frequent made-for-TV-movies. Despite having worked steadily for more than three decades, Thompson never achieved A-list status.
What the hell happened?
Yesterday, Jeff the Wild Man posted a thoughtful article asking the timely question “Why Must Blockbusters Be Dumb?” Jeff made several good points about the ways in which the summer blockbuster has come to dominate Hollywood’s release schedule year-round. I actually have quite a bit to say on the subject, so I decided to post an article as my response rather than limit my thoughts to the comments section.
In Part 7, we experienced Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom. The year was 2008. Mindy was pregnant with Kara. And Josie was being mean to her grandparents. I was just trying to hold it all together. In retrospect, there were a lot more bumps in the road than I realized at the time.
Those who know me know of my love for Jaws. As a kid, without even having seen the movie, I was caught in the grip of the cultural phenomenon. We played the Jaws game. (Those of a certain age will remember it.)
When I finally got around to watching the original Jaws (after having already viewed the sequel out of order) my fascination with the story of the great white shark deepened. But that fascination was fully realized in 2008 when I finally got a chance to ride Jaws: the Ride at Universal Studios Orlando.
Recently, I did a write-up on Jaws rip-offs to coincide with the release of Shark Night 3-d. I really only scratched the surface of the genre. But from the list, two things are obvious. There are a lot of “shark attack” movies and most of them are crap. One movie I didn’t cover in the list was a 2010 Australian import called “The Reef”. And much like “Open Water”, “The Reef” is the rare shark flick that is worth seeing.
With Jaws 5, erm, I mean Shark Night 3-D opening this weekend, it’s time to look back at the history of movies that ripped off Jaws.
I was trying to think of something I could do for Father’s Day weekend on Le Blog. I don’t generally get too personal here unless I’m talking about something important like Star Wars or Disney World. Finally, I decided to write about the movies I remember seeing with my dad.
It may surprise some of you to know, I was never a gifted athlete. Which was just as well, because I had no interest in sports as a kid. My dad coached my brother and me in pee wee baseball for one year before he finally agreed to let me give up. I played soccer for less than half a season. I did stick with basketball for a while, but I think I shot the ball once in I don’t know how many years.
What I liked to do was to go to the movies. We didn’t go to the movies very often, but I think that made it special when we did. Now, my dad doesn’t like movies. Especially the kind I liked as a kid. He fell asleep during Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back. For Jedi, he decided just to drop us off at the theater. I guess he wasn’t in the mood for a nap that day.