What do Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman have in common?

That’s easy. Cast either Hackman or Freeman in a movie and you automatically make it lots better.

Last night I got caught up in the 1969 space drama Marooned. It’s not necessarily a horrible film, but it hasn’t aged well and it plods along at a groggy snail’s pace. Things do perk up however, when Hackman’s character, the slightly unhinged astronaut Buzz Lloyd is on screen.

And this morning I spent a few more minutes than I really should have watching Morgan Freeman valiantly attempting to save Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

I’m very fond of Hackman and Freeman and would probably watch a movie of the two men trapped in an elevator and simply talking for two hours.

My brain is a bit dusty this morning, but some of the other movies that I can think of Freeman and Hackman made a little more tolerable with their presence include, for Hackman; Heist (2001), Enemy of the State (1999), Absolute Power (1997), The Quick and the Dead (1995), No Way Out (1987) –which was a pale remake of Ray Milland’s The Big Clock (1948) and Night Moves (1975)

Some of the films that Morgan Freeman’s presence helped boost up a notch or two include Dreamcatcher (2003), Deep Impact (1998), Chain Reaction (1996), Outbreak (1995) and Brubaker (1980).

And then of course there’s a long list of great movies that these two gents made only greater, but that’s a topic for another day.

Shoot! Now I really want to watch The Big Clock. Maybe I’ll write tot he folks at TCM and see if it’s in their vaults. I’ve never seen it available on home video


Father's Day Loot!

This year my wife and daughter knocked it out of the park with regards to Father’s Day. In addition to a couple of fun cards, I got three zingy presents.

First up was Paul Simon’s new album, Surprise. I’ve listened to it a few times and think it’s cool as can be. Simon can still turn a phrase and paint a visual picture after all these years, and the addition of Brian Eno to the album is certainly sauce for the goose.

Next was a World Poker Tour game for the PS2. We only live twenty minutes from an Indian Casino, but poker is a lot more relaxing when you’re not gambling with next month’s rent money.

And lastly, but certainly not leastly, is Bad Twin, a swell tie-in to the Lost television series. Besides watching soggy reruns or renting the DVDs from the video store, it’s something to hold die-hard fans over until we get some new episodes. I’m only a few chapters in and so far so good. It’s starting out as a pretty snappy detective yarn. I have no idea where it’s headed, but there have already been a handful of references to the series.