Stagecoach: A fairly effective western that is well-shot and usually considered to be one of John Ford's best.
It's generally considered to be the film that elevated the Western from B-movie to critical respectability.
Having read a couple of books discussing the Western genre over the weekend, it turns out this perception isn't quite correct. 1939 was
a watershed year for Westerns that were at last A-pictures, but STAGECOACH was one of many, and it wasn't the first one to be released, either. These other films included JESSE JAMES, DODGE CITY, DESTRY RIDES AGAIN, UNION PACIFIC, and FRONTIER MARSHAL (the titles come from Thomas Schatz' Hollywood Genres
, but a quick wikipedia search seems to confirm his claim).
STAGECOACH is just singled out because it features John Wayne in his breakthrough role and is director John Ford's first sound Western.
247. Back to the Future [A]
248. Back to the Future Part II [A-]
249. Back to the Future Part III [B+]
250. Ghostbusters [A]
Back to the Future Trilogy: A friend just bought the new Blu-Ray release, so a few of us spent the majority of Friday night watching the entire trilogy back-to-back-to-back. Overall, it's just as great as always, although the HD transfers reveal more flaws in the first film's old age make-up than I've ever seen before, as well as making some of the less effective scenes with more than one Michael J. Fox character stand out more apparently. Still, it's a fun trilogy. Doc's pronouncement that "the future is what you make it" in the end has always been a little much for me (though the time-travelling train is always fun), but it's a small point of dissatisfaction.
Ghostbusters: Speaking of effects that don't hold up in higher resolutions, those stop-motion dogs in GHOSTBUSTERS sure look awful in 70mm (blown up from the original 35mm). Still, there are so many great lines and moments that it's hard not to love every minute of it ("Listen! Do you smell something?").
I also saw THEM! and THE SEARCHERS this weekend, but comments on those will have to wait. It's late.