My Favorite Film Experiences Of 2018

I haven’t done a lot of blogging this year, but, don’t worry, I’ve still been watching a ton of movies! I’ve even been keeping track of everything I’ve watched or read in a pair of Composition Note Books that I’ve (not so) cleverly dubbed Pop Notes. Thanks to them, I’m pretty confident looking back at the year and piecing together thoughts on some of my fave film-watching experiences (minus horror, which will get a list or two of their own). This one’s pretty long, so hit that jump and get into it!

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R.I.P. Dom DeLuise and Bea Arthur

It’s been a rough few days for comedy. Last week, Bea Arthur passed away and now I find out that Dom DeLuise died today.

I am a huge, closeted Golden Girls fan, so it hit me kind of hard when I heard she passed away last week. I was randomly flipping through channels a few months back and landed on what turned out to be the Golden Girls series finale. Dammitall if that wasn’t some touching television. I remember watching GG when I was a kid with my parents and liking it back then, which speaks volumes to the performances of the four leads. I was 2 when the show started and 9 when it went off the air and I was pretty bummed out when it ended. A 9 year old missed a group of senior citizens on TV. An impressive feat to say the least (though I also liked watching Matlock and Murder She Wrote reruns on USA, so maybe I have a predilection for the elderly).

Plus, did you see her on Pam Anderson’s Comedy Central Roast a few years back? She MURDERED it. I had no idea how funny she was.

And of course, as Kickin’ It Old School readers will remember, I am a HUGE fan of Cannonball Run 1 and 2, so today’s news that Dom DeLuise died hit me in the gut. His Victor/Captain Chaos was a huge part of what made those movies super enjoyable. He was just such a lovable dude, you couldn’t help but want to hang out with him.

He’s also, of course, in some of the funniest and coolest movies of all time. Blazing Saddles, Smokey and the Bandit II, The Muppet Movie, History of the World Part 1, An American Tail, Spaceballs and on and on. Looking at his IMDb page is like a list of movies I will be adding to my Netflix Queue (The Skateboard Kid and Loose Cannons among others).

Rest in peace Bea and Dom, our loss is comedy heaven’s gain.


2:41:05 am

Cannonball Run II (1984)

Starring Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLuise, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Jamie Farr, Marilu Henner, Telly Savalas, Shirley MacLaine, Jackie Chan, Tim Conway, Sid Caesar, Tony Danza, Richard Kiel, Don Knotts, Ricardo Montalban, Jim Nabors, Charles Nelson Reilly, Frank Sinatra, Joe Theismann and even Cheech Marin

Directed by Hal Needham

Written by Hal Needham, Albert S. Ruddy & Harvey Miller

Hey, remember how much I like Cannonball Run? Welllll, I can’t necessarily throw my hat in the ring completely for its sequel. First of all, everyone feels a lot older, even though this movie was only shot 3 years after the original. The element of fun and wackiness is still there, but it definitely seems watered down. But there are still great moments like the interactions between Jackie Chand and Richard Kiel (Jaws, to most folks). Also, you get to see Jaws fight Sid Caesar and Kojak’s Telly Savalas.

The basic plot is that Jaime Farr, who plays a shiek, has a dad (Roberto Mantalban) who’s disapointed that he lost the race from the first movie, so he encourages his son to hold a new race this year that he can win. All the usual faces show up to win the million bucks that’s up for grabs, but at some point Jaime Farr gets captured by some gangsters and the Cannonballers have to roll in and save the day, which brings about another great fight scene between a bunch of great actors and some stunt men. I think I could watch a 90 year old Dean Martin punch a dude and I wouldn’t get sick of it. That guy’s awesome.

Did I mention that Frank Sinatra’s in this bad boy? I read that he filmed all his scenes by himself and they used stand ins for some of the shots, but I like seeing him around too. Have you ever seen the original Ocean’s 11? You really should, those Rat Pack fellas sure knew how to have a good time. I also highly recommend listening to the Rat Pack Live at the Sands CD. You get a great idea of how well these guys really got along. But more on the Rat Pack at another date and time.

I can’t wholeheartedly recommend this flick. It’s definitely not as good as the original, but it does still have a lot of fun elements that make it worth tossing up on your queue or renting sometime. Oh yeah, one more thing. I did a little math (which I hate doing) and came up with something a little weird. In the movie, the two main love interests for Burt and Dom and Merilu Henner and Shirley MacLaine who play dancers dressed as nuns. Well, like I said I did some math and Merilu would have been around 32 when she shot this movie, which isn’t a big deal, but Shirley was 50. And you know what? She didn’t look half bad. Just something to think about. Or not, whatever.


5:54:00 pm

Seriously, if you’ve never seen Cannonball Run, you should.

Burt Reynolds, Jackie Chan, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Terry Bradshaw, Dom DeLuise, Farrah Fawcett, Roger Moore, Adrienne Barbeau and JAMIE FARR (a fellow Toledoian) each get a laugh and also kick some ass in a fight with a biker gang lead by none other than Peter Fonda (yeah, Easy Rider himself). Oh yeah, there’s also an illegal cross-country car race that the above contestants participate in.

Look, if you trust me for any reason (whether you actually know me or have come to enjoy my goofy reviews on here), then just go rent this movie. You won’t regret it. And if you do? Well, I have nothing to say to you (unless you’re Em and I made you watch it in college and you hated it, we’re even for you making me watch Moulin Rouge).