Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Favorite Film Discovieries of 2013 - Guy Hutchinson ""

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Favorite Film Discovieries of 2013 - Guy Hutchinson

Guy Hutchinson has worked as a radio talk show host and personality on WHWH and WMGQ radio in NJ and is currently the co-host of  'Drunk On Disney.' 'Adventure Club,' 'Flux Capaci-cast' and 'Camel Clutch Cinema' podcasts. Over the years he has interviewed Mick Foley, Bernie Kopell, Andy Richter, Bebe Neuwirth, Joe Camp, Robbie Rist and many other entertainment figures.

A blogger since 2004, Guy blogs on bunchojunk.com and is the sole correspondent for the Ken PD Snydecast Experience. You can find links to all of his work on guyhutchinson.com.

2013 was the second year that I kept a film diary. Its a simple list of films I saw with dates and a sentence or two about how I felt afterwards. It's interesting to look back on them. Some films I barely remember, others left lasting memories.
I only saw a couple films that I didn't like this year. I saw a David Mamet film from 1988 called Things Change that felt surprisingly plodding and dull. I also watched the film The Day of the Locust which is often called a masterpiece, but I found the film's ending far too grim to feel positive about it.

Three other films: the Ronald Reagan drama Night Unto Night, the 1980s actioner Romancing the Stone and the quirky Sammy Davis Jr. romp Salt and Pepper also failed to leave a lasting positive impression.

Here are the films that did leave a lasting impression:


Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Harvey (1950)
The Great Santini (1979)
Mystic Pizza (1988)

I'm grouping these four together for two reasons:
1. They are all so well reviewed that there is little I can add about them.
2. Because I'm embarrassed it took until 2013 for me to see them.
Every year I make it a point to check some classics off my list and these were the ones for 2013. All four were fantastic.



Honky Tonk Freeway (1981)
My favorite new (to me) film was this 1981 ensemble comedy. A star studded cast including Jessica Tandy, Howard Hesseman, Daniel Stern, Terri Garr and William Devane fill out this story of a small Florida town's absurd attempts to lure tourists from the highway. The film brought back fond memories of childhood car trips and made me laugh a whole lot. After seeing it for the first time I invited friends and family over for a second viewing. I even made a trip to Mount Dora Florida to see some of the filming locations.
Of note, this was one of the expensive flops in film history. 

The Legend of Bigfoot (1976)
This was a bizarre (yet captivating) documentary that was essentially a work of fiction put out by a con man. Strange footage and weird narration make for the sort of 'car wreck cinema' that sometimes is just right for a rainy afternoon or midnight screening.


I Will Fight No More Forever (1975)
Wonderful performances from Sam Elliott and James Whitmore light up this dramatic western. A made-for-television  picture, it's full of beautiful scenery and meaty dialog sequences.

The Green Slime (1968)
A fun and exciting Japanese science fiction flick, The Green Slime is the name of an alien race. The Green Slime are one-eyed, they have tentacles and they have the ability to shoot bolts of lightning. Check your brain at the door, but this is a good time.

Single White Female (1992)
A wonderfully creepy performance by Jennifer Jason Leigh kept me guessing throughout. This film was a hit in 1992 and made enough of a dent in pop culture that I worried the film might feel too familiar, but it felt fresh and interesting. 

Disneyland Dream (1956)
Although it's really just a 30 minute home movie, Disneyland Dream was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
It's a fun look at suburban leisure in 1956 and can charm even the most cynical viewer with it's silly narration and corny camera tricks. It also provides a look at Disneyland just a year after it's opening day.

The Double McGuffin (1979)
Joe Camp, director of the Benji films, directs this tightly wound thriller that is full of twists and turns. Great performances by Ernest Borgnine, George Kennedy and a cast of talented youngsters and a masterful job by Camp who keeps the tone pitch perfect throughout.


With Byrd at the South Pole (1930)
A wonderful time capsule, this follows Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd in his 1st quest to the South Pole. The film is full of drama and intrigue and wonderful cinematography.


Hollywood Air Force (1986)
Also released as Weekend Warriors, this silly film features fun performaces by Vic Tayback and the wonderful Tom Villard. Villard died in 1994 at the age of 40. He appeared in a few dozen TV shows and movies and almost always stole every scene. He had marvelous timing, a fun voice and was a master of  comedic reactions.


Kansas City Bomber (1972)
Raquel Welch is breathtaking as roller derby champ K.C. Carr. Norman Alden provides a heartbreaking performance as a fellow skater.
It's well paced and really exciting. Helena Kallianiotes is perfectly cast as K.C.'s main competition. Kallianiotes was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance.


The Legend of Lobo (1962)
A Disney film that pairs wonderful nature footage with the laid back narration of Rex Allen to produce a satisfying and gripping tale. The film is told from the point of view of the wolf, but never gets overly "cute."


Amazing Grace (1974)
A mediocre plot is buoyed by a delightful performance Moms Mabley. Mabley was a veteran of the Chitlin' circuit of African-American vaudeville and is an absolute delight to watch.


No comments: