The Deep Movie Review

Reposting an older review.


This is a fairly light flick. Light on story and complexity that is. It’s really a treasure hunting film with a couple of land and sea monsters thrown in to add to the thrill. There are some rather violent scenes that seem harsh and a bit out of place in an otherwise fun adventure film but they don’t detract from the overall exciting feel of the movie. The roles in this aren’t too complex and there’s a lot for Robert Shaw to fall back on from his previous role in Jaws. He plays a treasure-diving veteran that gets involved in a dive with a young couple that ends up concerning some local drug thugs. There’s a bit of the old sea captain feel of Quint’s character in Jaws in Shaw’s portrayal of Romer Treece and it shouldn’t be surprising seeing as this film was based on a novel written by Peter Benchley who penned the novel Jaws is adapted from. He gets to boss around the young apprentice, spout old sailor wisdom about lost ships and there’s even a close encounter with some hungry sharks. Shaw stars alongside a young Nick Nolte and perhaps the main reason most men went to see this film, the beautiful Jacqueline Bisset. It’s not a perfect film but it’s entertaining and that’s all you can really ask of it. It’s a good summer flick to get you out of the heat and into a nice air conditioned room.


Double Feature: From Russia With Love and The Sting Movie Reviews

Reposting some old reviews.



In case anyone reading these posts couldn’t tell, Robert Shaw is my favorite actor. I first remember seeing him in Jaws and I was captivated. Since then I have made it one of my missions in life to view his complete works and this marathon is a way for me to get a good chunk of them in. From Russia With Love definitely makes my top ten film list because it not only has the world’s coolest secret agent, it also has the world’s coolest secret agent’s best opponent. I could give a debrief of why Sean Connery is the best James Bond but I won’t because this isn’t a Sean Connery marathon (although that might be a good follow up blog), it’s a Robert Shaw marathon. In this film he plays Donald Grant, SPECTRE’s hired hitman that ensures that Bond’s part in the scheme is played out, and then that he is eliminated. What makes Shaw’s performance so memorable is that he doesn’t have any lines for the first hour and a half of the movie so he relies on body language and facial expressions to communicate his thoughts and emotions. I really do think Shaw’s best talent was in his facial expressions. He doesn’t need to exaggerate anything because he can communicate anger with a narrowing of his eyes and tightening of his lips. He can show that he’s serious with a low, menacing tone of voice. He gets to do all that in this film and he does it well, and for most of the movie he isn’t really interacting with the other characters directly, so he does a good job without having to respond to someone else’s act.



Today’s film is The Sting. I’m a fan of Paul Newman and I think he and Robert Redford are wonderful together, and they play well off each other in this film. Shaw is also wonderful playing yet another villain. He seemed to have more roles as the bad guy than the hero but it was probably because he was so good at playing them. The big difference I see in this role is that the villain isn’t cool and collected all the time. His character Doyle Lonnegan is prideful and when he’s cheated he shows his anger. When he’s angry he acts almost childlike, complaining that he’s been tricked by a better cheat or that he’s lost his money in an almost whiney tone of voice. The only distinction between him and a child throwing a tantrum is that his resolution is to kill those that have tricked him. Shaw pulls off this performance flawlessly and even though the film won best picture, Robert Shaw was looked over yet again. That didn’t seem to discourage him from putting his best work forward in all of his roles

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three Movie Review

Reposting some old reviews.


The first installment of our Robert Shaw marathon. After my last post my dad suggested we have one and since we watch Jaws on the 4th of July every year, I thought a marathon would be a nice lead in. I will be giving a brief review of each in the upcoming days.


This is a great concept film. A gang of men take a train car hostage and demand one million dollars from the city of New York. It’s simple but well executed and wonderfully cast. Walter Matthau is perfect as the cynical and biting Lt. Garber and Hector Elizondo does a great job playing the hotheaded and leering Mr. Grey. Even the supporting cast was given careful consideration, with Jerry Stiller as the smart-mouthed Rico Patrone and Lee Wallace as the sniveling, political driven Mayor of New York. However, it is Robert Shaw who yet again steals the film in his role as Mr. Blue (side note: I believe this may have been where Quentin Tarantino got the idea to name his characters after numbers in Reservoir Dogs). His character is cunning and ruthless and he plays it brilliantly. I think this is one of his less well-known roles but he does it justice.

TCM Mad About Musicals Online Course

In June I signed up for an online course offered by TCM and Ball State University that focused on Movie Musicals. It ran for a month and TCM had special Musicals programming twice a week all during the month of June. Thought I’d share a bit about my experience.

I really overbooked myself in June. I had my #30DaysofFavorites project I was working on, I was employed full-time, and then I went ahead and signed up for this course. Naturally I decided to wait until the very last week of the month to even look at the class workload. I tried recording some of the musicals being shown on TCM but didn’t end up watching any of them. Thankfully this turned out not to be a problem as they were not required viewing to complete the course.

There were daily lecture notes, video commentaries, and a weekly half hour podcast going over all the material covered. I crammed three weeks worth of these into about two days, then followed through with the last week as it went along. I ended up completing all of the assignments, acing all of the quizzes, which you could take more than once, though I only had to do that on one, and finished the course right on time. It might have helped that one of my favorite classes I took for my Cinema minor was a course dedicated to Movie Musicals, and much of the material covered in that class was mirrored in the TCM one. I think that’s why I was originally so excited about the course. It reminded me of my college days, and I got to soak up a ton of movie history. You also got a “badge” to share on social each week you completed all the work. As I hadn’t kept up with the class in real time, I got all of the badges at the end of the month and didn’t share them on social, so I’m sharing them here now.


Week One Badge


Week Two Badge


Week Three Badge


Week Four Badge

I do wish I had planned it out better, and had taken the time to complete each assignment the week it was actually assigned. That might have saved me some stress that last week of June. Still, I thought it was a great experience, and I hope TCM offers similar opportunities in the future.

At the end of the course, if you took it for a grade, you got this cool certificate that means nothing except that you’re an expert movie geek:

Mad About Musicals

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Guest Post: Silverado

Reposting older pieces from my other blog.


Recently I convinced my friend Johanna to watch one of my favorite movies, Silverado. Somewhere along the way one of us suggested she write a review for my blog. So, here it is …

I was kind of stressed out about writing a film review that could end up on Duck’s blog. I mean, she was a film minor at SC for crying out loud! Duck is the kind of person that has Die Hard movie marathons, thinks Sean Connery is sexy (gross—I still think he looks like Joe Camel) and refuses to go in the ocean because she was traumatized by that one movie with the mechanical shark. In spite of all that (or maybe because of that), she’s the most interesting person I know 🙂 If it weren’t for her my movie knowledge would be limited to films like Sixteen Candles, Ever After and Pretty Woman. Duck’s effort to broaden my movie taste began by introducing me to my first western film: Silverado. A quick side note—why are singing cowboys called country singers but movies about cowboys called western movies? Here goes my review of my first western film (not to be confused with a country movie).

My conclusion was this: men are crazy and the women who followed them back in the day were even crazier. As someone who enjoys talking to strangers and wandering new cities on my own, I sure wouldn’t have been cut out for life in the West. Even small talk always ended with gun shots, newfound enemies and a whole lot of broken glass. I’ve never seen a movie where so many guns are fired. This movie makes Compton look like a walk in the park! It is survival of the fittest at its best.

I enjoyed Silverado because it’s kind of like a Disney story in some ways. The good guys really are good guys, a few parents die along the way and eventually the bad guys get what they deserve. I enjoyed Paden’s character and his philosophy on life. In the beginning of the film he’s beat up by a group of guys he trusted; he is on the verge of death when Emmett comes along as the good Samaritan and saves him. Paden says, “I always figure you might as well approach life like everybody’s your friend or nobody is; don’t make much a difference.” Isn’t that kind of how life works? Even when you get screwed over by the people you trust, someone or something comes along that helps restore your faith in people. I know, that’s cheesy but hey this is my review.

My favorite character, was Kevin Costner’s character, Jake. He’s a perfect combination of the A-team’s Face and Murdock. His explanation for getting himself into messy situations is, “All I did was kiss a girl.” He’s jittery, funny, and not to mention, he’s a good looking cowboy. It’s no wonder he was always getting in trouble for kissing the ladies. I thought the feminist in me was going to be annoyed at the portrayal of women, but I actually liked the female characters. Although the women in the film did not have major roles, they were strong, sassy, hard working and independent.

I thought it was pretty cool that they had a black cowboy too. Malachi is like Mr. T minus the bling and usage of the word “foo.” He’s another character that has every reason to hate people, yet he’s willing to stick his neck out for people he’s barely met. The irony about these men is that although they’re good people at heart, they go around saying things like, “Stand up real slow and you might just live through this night.” Or they’ll shoot someone for stealing their hat. Like I said, men are crazy and I would have made one wimpy cowboy. Still, after riding The Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland and watching this movie, I’d take being a cowboy over a pirate any day.

The Best Scene Ever!

Reposting some older pieces from my other blog.


It is no secret to anyone that knows me that Jaws is my favorite film and I rarely let an opportunity to watch even the smallest scene pass me by. So it should come as no surprise that when I happened upon it on satellite the other day (and in HD no less) I, of course, stopped to watch. My timing, it was revealed, was quite perfect. The first shot I saw was the shark falling back into the ocean, followed by Brody telling Quint, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” The next scene is perhaps the most noted, Quint’s monologue about the U.S.S. Indianapolis. I believe this is the best scene in the movie and it is all due to Robert Shaw’s performance.

Shaw starts off the speech with an explanation to Brody about what the mission of the Indianapolis was then quickly goes into a description of the horrors he faced following the sinking of the ship. Now, this entire scene is a credit to Shaw’s brilliant acting abilities. All you need as proof of his talent are the looks on his two fellow actors at the end of the scene. Those expressions are real and they are reactions to Shaw’s performance. They look simply dumbfounded. I have seen this movie countless times and I have been astonished every time I watch this scene at how expressive Shaw’s eyes are. He goes back and forth in the story between several emotions. At one point he is angry and the next second scared, then insane. All of these he shows through not only the pitch in his voice and the movement of his body but also in the changing shade and look in his eyes. When he delivers the line, “They didn’t even list us overdue for a week,” his voice is angry and his eyes dark. When he says, “The thing about a shark … he’s got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll’s eyes. When he comes at ya he doesn’t seem to be livin’ until those black eyes roll over white and then … oh then you hear that terrible high-pitched screamin’. The ocean turns red and despite all that poundin’ and hollerin’, they all come in and … they rip you to pieces,” he seems to be staring off into space and gets a glazed look in his eyes and cracks a smile, showing that Quint is clearly traumatized from this incident and has lost some hold on sanity. Finally when he speaks of being picked up by the PBY his eyes widen and his face loses some color. Clearly he was afraid he was going to die just before he was saved. He confirms this by claiming he’ll never put on a lifejacket again. He would rather drown than wait to be ripped apart by something more terrible.

It is a crime that Robert Shaw never won an Oscar, let alone that he wasn’t even nominated for this role. Shaw was a truly amazing performer.