Airport 1975 (1974)

With its all star cast of Charlton Heston, George Kennedy, Karen Black’s crazy eyes and the plane’s altimeter, Airport 1975 is easily five years better than 1970’s Airport!

Wisely tripling the fatalities (from one to three), ramping up the drama among the passengers (Will Linda Blair’s Janice survive the trip to get her kidney transplant? Will Myrna Loy’s Mrs. Devaney create an even worse crisis following the mid air collision that kills the crew by drinking the airplane’s in flight adult beverage selection completely dry? Will the singing nun further traumatize the already shellshocked stewardesses by doing an acoustic version of “Seasons in the Sun?”), casting Erik Estrada (CHiPS‘s Ponch) as a cringe-inducing horny Latin stereotype and being a half hour shorter than Airport‘s transatlantic length 137 minutes, Airport 1975 is perfectly crafted to improbably make the overheated and silly original feel like a classic of nuance and sophistication. Continue reading “Airport 1975 (1974)”

Airport (1970)

Airport is a disaster movie where I kept waiting for the disaster to happen. Was it going to be Burt Lancaster’s airport manager Bakersfeld stroking out from fighting with his boss and his shrewish wife? Was it going to be George Kennedy’s airport maintenance chief Joe Patroni having a heart attack due to shoveling too much snow? Or would Dean Martin’s smarmy playboy pilot have a fainting spell right there in the middle of the airplane once his stewardess mistress (Jacqueline Bissett) announces she’s pregnant? Continue reading “Airport (1970)”

It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown! (1974)

One character will doubt the one she loves most. Another will continue living the personal hell that comes with a lack of belief in anything positive. Unrequited love, shoe shopping, stolen Easter eggs, designer bird houses and species identity confusion will also play a part in what shapes up to be the busiest holiday of not only any Peanuts special specifically, but of all other specials as well! Continue reading “It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown! (1974)”

Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown (1975)

Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown was the feel bad holiday hit of 1975. It endures to this day, not as some fondly recalled seasonal special, but precisely because of it uncompromising examination of loneliness and disappointment through the lens of the one day of the year set aside to amplify all the insecurities so many people have. And also because us popular cool kids can never get enough of that blockhead Charlie Brown bringing a frigging briefcase to school for all the valentines he thinks he’s going to get! Continue reading “Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown (1975)”

A Special Valentine with the Family Circus (1978)

It’s the question every parent dreads. You can read books, discuss with friends and try to be as comfortable as possible when it finally comes. But the reality is that no matter how much thought you’ve given it and how prepared you think you are , when you are finally hit with the question, invariably even the best parent is a bit flummoxed when she hears “mommy, what’s Valentines Day?” Continue reading “A Special Valentine with the Family Circus (1978)”

A Family Circus Christmas (1979)

It is well known that the holidays can cause or exacerbate feelings of sadness, loneliness or depression in certain people. And it isn’t just confined to the unfortunates watching A Family Circus Christmas either. The holiday blues also has the Family Circus itself awaiting Christmas on a knife’s edge, perched precariously between the illusion of the tranquil domestic bliss depicted in the creaky, unfunny decades old comic strip and the building pressure of the repressed mental illness much of the family exhibits during this, one of its three animated forays into the holiday special genre. Continue reading “A Family Circus Christmas (1979)”