I finally saw Rumble Fish. I had never seen it, but always figured I would someday. Being a huge fan of Francis Ford Coppola, I felt it was time to get this one off the list. First off, let me say that visually it is amazing. Nearly every freakin’ scene in the film looks like a photograph. It is by far his most artsy film. I thought the clock motif was a bit overdone, but for the most part, I got into the offbeat hipness of it. The dialogue is a bit weird at times, but I am told that it is nearly word for word from the novel by S. E. Hinton.

There is a wealth of (then) young talent as Chris Penn, Nicolas Cage, Laurence Fishburne, Dennis Hopper and Diane Lane played secondary roles to Matt Dillon and Mickey Rourke. The performances were pretty darn good all around although Diane Lane in particular stands out as always.

As a story, it is a bit of a downer for my tastes, but as a study in visual filmmaking, it is worth repeated viewings.
RATING 6 out of 10

My effort to take in a lot of the early works of Nicolas Cage brought me back to Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Sure, I had seen it before – who hasn’t? The film is an American institution. What surprised me was the amazing number of the cast that became stars. Of course, everyone remembers Sean Penn, Phoebe Cates(I know for a fact that the guys remember her), and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Most remember Judge Reinhold. But what about Eric Stoltz, Forest Whitaker, and Anthony Edwards – all unknowns when they did Fast Times!

The real amazing thing about this film is the story itself – what seemed at the time to be just a fun story was amazingly complex and hard-hitting drama. I mean look at the issues it deals with – teenage promiscuity, loyalty, drugs, abortion, and on and on… Cameron Crowe put together one heck of a story.

RATING 8 out of 10