Films shown at Baltimore City Jury duty

This is great. They show films in the waiting rooms during Baltimore City jury duty. Some of the ones I remember are Hitch, Sabrina (Harrison Ford version), and It’s Complicated. They’re on the list already. Great job by the Twitter posters.

The Hindenburg disaster 5/6/37

The Hindenburg Zeppelin explosion took place 85 years ago yesterday. In The Naked Gun 2 1/2 (1991), there is a scene in a bar with pictures of disasters on the wall including the Titanic, the Hindenburg and Michael Dukakis. Younger readers may not recall that Dukakis was crushed in the 1988 US Presidential election.

Leslie Nielsen was the star of the Naked Gun movies and was fond of using a fart machine. Read about him to find out what he put on his gravestone.

The Great Moment (1944)

Preston Sturges directed and wrote seven great comedies that were released from 1940-1944. Then there’s The Great Moment which was filmed in 1942 but not released until 1944. I just saw it for the first time on an excellent Kino Lorber disc which has fine extras. The video is in excellent shape, too.

It is known that Paramount recut the film. However, I don’t think it would have been up to the standard of the other seven even if Sturges had complete control. He filmed what we see which is a bewildering mix of comedy and drama. He used his regular comedy supporting actors to try to make something more dramatic. It’s clear from the trailer that the studio wanted a comedy.

The Great Moment is worth seeing…after you’ve seen the other seven films. They’re all on Blu-ray except for The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek which is not in print in any form now. It was on DVD. That’s my favorite Sturges film and I hope some studio releases it soon.

Tower (2016)

Tower is a documentary film about one of the first mass shootings. It took place on August 1,1966 on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. A gunman killed 16 people including two before he shot people from the tower. I know his name but am not giving it. It is only mentioned twice in the film.

Tower was inspired by this article, “96 Minutes” on the shooting. It is an outstanding film based on the memories of people who were there – victims who survived, media members, and the people who killed the sniper. Most of the film has their words spoken by young actors (to recreate the ages they were when it happened) and the visuals are primarily animations using rotoscoping.

The film does a great job conveying the individual stories. I remember the incident but didn’t remember anything about the people other than the shooter. Back then, these events were so rare they were big news and we all know the names of the killers.

Kino Lorber has made a fine Blu-disc with a lot of extras including interviews and the ceremony when a memorial was placed on the campus.