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ROXANNE – Bruce Smeaton

July 6, 2017 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Roxanne is one of the best romantic comedies of the 1980s. Directed by Fred Schepisi and written by Steve Martin, the film is an adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s classic 1897 play Cyrano de Bergerac, updated to the present day and relocated to a small ski town in Canada. Martin plays Charlie D. Bales, the town’s fire chief, a witty, charming, intelligent, athletic man whose defining feature is his outrageously large nose. Despite his excellent personality, Charlie is unlucky in love, but things seem to be looking up when his friend Dixie (Shelley Duvall) rents one of her cabins to Roxanne Kowalski (Daryl Hannah), a beautiful astronomer who is working in the area over the summer. Charlie and Roxanne quickly connect, but Charlie is disappointed when Roxanne insinuates she only likes him as a friend, and is instead interested in one of Charlie’s firemen, the impossibly handsome but irredeemably stupid Chris (Rick Rossovich). To make matters worse, Chris is hopelessly inept when it comes to women – and he enlists Charlie to help him overcome his fears… Read more…

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ICEMAN – Bruce Smeaton

October 2, 2014 1 comment

icemanTHROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Iceman was a thought-provoking scifi-drama directed by Fred Schepisi, and starring Timothy Hutton as Dr. Stanley Shephard, an anthropology scientist who is called to a remote research station in the farthest reaches of the Arctic when the body of a prehistoric Neanderthal man is discovered frozen in the ice. Astonishingly, the man is resuscitated, and before long Charlie (John Lone) – now alive and awake after 40,000 years – finds himself at the center of a moral tug-of-war, with one group of scientists wanting to dissect and exploit him, while Shepherd and his more empathetic colleagues defend Charlie’s right to life. The film, which also stars Lindsay Crouse, David Strathairn and Danny Glover among others, is almost forgotten today, obscure apart from its occasional screenings on cable TV, but has always been a favorite of mine. John Lone’s sensitive central performance as Charlie – who communicates through rudimentary grunts and gestures – is remarkable in its complexity, while the ethical implications of the story are fascinating. Read more…