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The Week in Pop Culture History

April 25, 2010

Happy birthday, personal north star, Faux Frank Serpico

  • While the rest of us watch HBO’s emmy baiting Doctor Death – Jack Kevorkian BioPic its star Al Pacino will be blowing out 70 birthday candles! Happy Birthday, my little FRIEND!!!
  • In sad, Serpico related news, the amazing film editor Dede Allen died this past week. Her distinct editing aesthetic – seen in such films as Bonnie and Clyde, Lumet’s Dog Day Afternoon, Beatty’s Red and Hanson’s Wonder Boys – and influence can be observed in editors such as the criminally underrated and Oscarless Richard Francis-Bruce (Air Force One, Se7en, Mad Max Movies, Harry Potter I, The Rock). Allen’s impact on the look of film, particularly in that golden year of 1967, utilized a European aesthetic on decidedly American films; elevating our films from their cheesy, technicolor tiki tacky origins. When a film or TV show looks cool (and is a stateside product) thank Ms. Allen! Oh yeah, for the cheap seats, she EDITED SERPICO.
  • Twenty years ago this week Pretty Woman topped the box office and fortunately I didn’t actual get mobbed in the theater trying to see it. While on a “popcorn run” I gave my friends the slip and instead went to see the number five on the same list – The Hunt for Red October. A La Mommie approved film. I would later see Pretty Woman, pronouncing the re-imagined Fame ’90 “SHEER BRILLIANCE” and Richard Gere – “dreamy!”.
  • Twenty five years ago, STICK – the Empire Strikes Back of Reynolds’ crime trilogy (Sharky’s Machine, Stick and Heat ’86) – topped the box office. This uneven adaptation of the Elmore Leonard book of the same name has some great direction (by Reynolds) but ultimately it cannot compensate for the poor script and disappointing performances. Say what you will about the persona of Reynolds, but his directorship – particularly in crime thriller genre – is nuanced and skillful. Shame this project fell apart!
  • And of course thirty years ago, the real Empire Strikes Back had us all engaged in more spoilage than potato salad. One of the best “Oh Snap” moments in film history. *sad trombone*
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12 Comments leave one →
  1. April 25, 2010 11:50 am

    What a great post, so many threads you tie together into a neat but girthy package. Plus I love it whenever you bring up Serpico because it gives me the chance to say that I work for David Burnham, the guy who broke the Serpico story in the NY Times.

  2. April 25, 2010 11:53 am

  3. April 25, 2010 11:58 am

    It must be nice to be blasted in the face and wake up looking like Pacino, who still looks better than most dudes who haven’t been shot in the face.

  4. April 25, 2010 11:59 am

    Aw let’s not pick on poor Mickey Rourke.

  5. April 25, 2010 12:00 pm

    He wishes – on his best day – he looked as cute as ’73 era scrufacino.

  6. April 25, 2010 12:04 pm

    “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful!”

  7. April 25, 2010 4:12 pm

    My hair was begining to look like that! (points up!) Saddly, I cannot rock a black woolen cap like Al.

    I love Al. No matter how much scenery he eats up.

  8. April 25, 2010 4:24 pm

    And he’s certainly chewed it all!

    Omg, I can not stop laughing at his Dr. K get up. A closely cropped Don King wig and some Swifty Lazar glasses. Amazing.

    And since he’s Pacino, he’ll totally shut it down.

  9. evmaroon permalink
    April 25, 2010 8:18 pm

    I have to say, that shooting scene/climax of Bonnie and Clyde (them, the car, a long road) was so flawless that a version of it has been repeated time and again. Every time I see Tommy guns I think of B&C:
    Goodfellas
    Public Enemies
    The Untouchables
    Dick Tracy
    many, many others
    Ms. Allen will be sorely missed.

  10. April 26, 2010 12:02 am

    I loved Pretty Woman. I used to dress up when my mom would take me shopping and I’d buy a bunch of shit and walk around with a bunch of shopping bags acting like I was Julia Roberts after she bought all those clothes on Rodeo Drive.

    I also liked riding down Rodeo Drive, or simply walking down Rodeo Drive pretending I belonged there. Many times when I rode down Rodeo Drive I insisted on sitting in the back seat like I had a driver.

  11. araymondjohnson permalink
    April 26, 2010 8:09 am

    well-played, snarky. well-played. I hope this series of This Week in Pop Culture continues, I look forward to weaving up my own thread of history.

  12. April 27, 2010 11:39 am

    Love the Reynolds Crime Trilogy, love your calling them hat. So sadly obscure now, but so much fun when they came out. As an actor (and director) he is underrated.

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