Film at 11

Hey, gang.

Happy Saturday!

As I mentioned in a previous thread, we’re getting closer by the post.

I know we’ve done some film & TV plus music stuff in the past, and I’m thinking we could do something similar, yet different, today.

So years ago, I used to be a member of a book club. You know, you buy books at a discounted rate. You get your main book selection every month plus all the supporting literature, the shorter stuff. (You know, pocket books and the like.)

When the monthly newsletter would get delivered, you’d get a list of whatever books, movies (and believe it or not, even records and cassettes) that were available in that cycle.

And the club provided brief information on all the selections. I knew a guy who worked there, and he explained to me the phenomenon of “tombstones.” (We’re talking the physical appearance of written text on a tombstone, nothing maudlin!)

The way he described them, tombstones (again, think of the brief writings you see when you’ve visited a cemetery) were very short synopses of all of the club’s offerings. And the trick was that the overview of each could only be a max of 75 words. (Trust me;
that’s not a lot.)

So, let’s keep it interesting, and jump around to different genres. Yeah, let’s not silo any of this stuff. We’ll make up our own eclectic list, sort of a lollapalooza.

As above, we have done a few of these over the past couple years, but let’s make today’s just movies. It’s always fun to see which ones you’ve already checked out plus those that look like they could be in your wheelhouse.

Now, let’s give this a go. (And you can certainly check me on all of these to make sure I don’t exceed our magic number of 75 words.) ?

  1. A PERFECT WORLD (1993) – A career criminal named Butch Haynes (Kevin Costner) breaks out of Texas prison and takes a hostage, a 10-year old fatherless boy (TJ Louther). As the unlikely duo races across the Texas Panhandle, an unexpected father/son relationship is eventually established. (40 words)
  2. BABY DRIVER (2017) – Miles, better known as “Baby” (Ansel Elgort), a music-obsessed, getaway-driver orphan, living outside Atlanta, selects the perfect getaway song for every bank job he helps pull. That is until he meets Deborah (Lily James), a pretty waitress whose dreams of leaving town may lead Baby away from the only home he’s ever known.  (53 words)
  3. BILLY ELLIOTT (2000) – Much to the chagrin of his coal miner father Jackie (Gary Lewis) and his big brother Tony (Jamie Draven) 11-year-old Billy Elliot decides he wants to be a ballet dancer. Set in Northern England in the mid-1980s, the film chronicle’s Billy’s unlikely journey to the Royal Ballet School in London. Under the tutelage of one-time ballerina Mrs. Wilkinson (Julie Walters), Billy begins his journey to beat the odds and look beyond his troubled hometown. (74 words)
  4. BREATHLESS (1983) – Charming drifter Jesse Lujack (Richard Geer) steals a car in Las Vegas and heads down to L.A. Hoping to reunite with a mysterious French girl named Monica (Valerie Kaprisky), the erratic Jesse goes on a mini-crime spree. And when he accidentally shoots a police officer, all bets are off. (49 words)
  5. CAN’T HARDLY WAIT (1998) – On the eve of high school graduation, what starts out as a small gathering mushrooms into a full-blown rager, attracting members of every click and social group. Guests include love struck Preston (Ethan Embrey), rapper wannabe Kenny (Seth Green), pretty, though, unlucky in love Amanda (Jennifer Love-Hewitt) and nerdy dreamer William (Charlie Korsmo), all of whom have worries over what the future holds. (63 words)
  6. HERO (1992) – When he saves multiple people in a plane crash, lowlife petty thief Bernie Laplante (Dustin Hoffman) has finally done something decent. Shortly after his selfless act of bravery, though, Laplante hastily leaves the crash site and disappears. Meanwhile, one of the rescued passengers, Chicago reporter Gale Gayley (Geena Davis), is determined to find out the hero’s true identity. Soon, a media circus ensues when another man (Andy Garcia) steps forward to take the credit . (75 words)
  7. JACKNIFE (1989) – Joseph “Megs” Megessey (Robert Deniro) and Dave Flanagan (Ed Harris) are old war buddies, now both working as long-haul truck drivers. Both men are dealing with demons, especially Dave, a former standout football star and local folk hero, whose drinking and pill popping has gotten out of control. Megs, although wild, has been able to stay clean. But things get complicated when Megs takes an interest in Dave’s school teacher sister, Martha (Kathy Baker.) (74 words)
  8. SNEAKERS (1992) – A diverse team of computer hackers, led by fifty-something Martin Bishop (Robert Redford), is approached by two National Security Agency (NSA) agents who ask them to steal a top secret decoder. The catch? Martin has been on the run from the law for more than 20 years. (47 words)
  9. THE JERICHO MILE (1979) – Convicted murderer Larry Murphy (Peter Strauss) is a lifer. Blessed with God-given speed, Murphy runs around the Folsom prison exercise yard to keep his sanity. Word of his running prowess quickly travels up the chain to the warden, and soon there is interest from beyond Folsom’s walls. College track coach Jerry Beloit (Ed Lauter) recognizes the supreme talent and works to turn Murphy into an Olympic-caliber miler. (68 words)
  10. THE ROOKIE (2002) – High school chemistry teacher/baseball coach Jimmy Morris (Dennis Quaid) was once a highly touted pitching prospect. But injuries and age prevented Morris from following his dream to pitch in the Majors. When the MLB expands to include two new teams, though, Morris is encouraged by his players to attend a tryout. Suddenly finding strength in his pitching arm that he thought was long gone, Morris is suddenly capable of throwing a 98 mph fastball. (74 words)
  11. WATERLAND (1992) – Pittsburgh, PA-based high school history teacher Tom Crick (Jeremy Irons) is haunted by memories of his childhood in rural England during World War II. The events from some thirty years earlier lead to a breakdown, and he begins to question his marriage to his childhood sweetheart (Sinead Cusack), with things being further complicated by his mentally challenged older brother (Pete Postlethwaite) (61 words)

OK, gang.

Now that you’re all experts on tombstone writing, please consider sending me one of your own.

C’mon. Give it a shot!

See you tomorrow.


@Copyright 2023 by John L. Fischer

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