Friday, April 20, 2012

Best of the Dallas Films

As a newfound resident of Texas, and an unflappable film buff, I've decided to amalgamate the two and list my 5 favorite Dallas movies, whether located there, or shot there. This should be interesting. As the green witch in the "Woody Woodpecker" cartoons used to say upon take off on her brooms...."....and away we go!!"

5. "The Killer Shrews" 1959 black and white uber-b movie, this is a trash classic indeed. It stars a very young Roscoe P. Coltrane, James Best, as the hero, and the title is self explanatory. Very drab, despite the black and white, thanks to the dirty fields the bulk of the film takes place in. It's supposed to be an island locale, but "I ain't buyin' it."

4. "Talk Radio" I wrote a full piece on this on my blog as it is one of my favorite movies of all time. Eric Bogosian, playwright at the time, now character actor plays an asshole shock jock in the lead with a late night talk show called "Night Talk". Beautifully shot, Dallas looks glorious at night. Oliver does night skies and neon very well, and a shadowy radio booth never seemed so diabolical or oddly enough, pretty.

3. "Frailty" Shot in California, nevertheless Texas is well represented by it's Lone Star cast, Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, and Powers Boothe. Paxton directs a movie with a swirling timeline and twists galore that paints it's evil in uncertain corners. The movie is scary, odd, suspenseful and you won't really know where it is going until it finally takes you there. Highly recommended.

2. "Silent Rage" This laughable Chuck Norris flick is a combination of horror, martial arts, poorly executed romance, poorly executed cautionary tale, and lastly poorly executed Stephen Furst humor. Nonetheless, like a bad accident, you can't take your eyes off of it. It bridges the gap between Indie Chuck Norris and "Missing in Action" Cannon Norris. Quite a pedigree, indeed. Film history...

1. "The Rookie" Another Texan in a Texas movie, this is quietly one of the best performances of Dennis Quaid's quietly remarkable career. He plays real life late bloomer and big leaguer Jim Morris, who inexplicably develops a blazing fastball and makes the majors at an incredibly unexpected age. Nicely done, it doesn't suffer from the rah-rahs, it's quietly uplifting without being sappy. Too bad the same can't be said of it's trailer.

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