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About CJFusco

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  1. CJFusco

    Who is your favorite Beatle?

    The only thing I'll disagree with here is that Band on the Run is my all-time favorite Beatles solo album.
  2. CJFusco

    Episode #88: A HARD DAY'S NIGHT

    It was absolutely that theater! I live in Connecticut, and I deeply wish that we had a theater like that: where you can buy a beer, see a classic/cult movie in a packed house of enthusiastic moviegoers. Sometimes I wish I could teleport to CineFamily in L.A. for one of their many cool events. But that theater in Portland was awesome; the Portland locals are lucky to have it.
  3. CJFusco

    Who is your favorite Beatle?

    I can't believe I'm writing this, considering who we're talking about, but Paul McCartney is a criminally underrated songwriter. Yes, pretty much everyone agrees that he's great, but he often gets short shrift to Lennon when it comes to Beatles songs and short shrift to Harrison when it comes to solo work. If you look at the list of songs that Macca was primarily responsible for -- in the Lennon-McCartney "partnership," in Wings, and on his own -- the list is astounding. Sure, some of his late 70s and 1980s stuff is a little sentimental and cheesy, but that doesn't diminish the greatness he'd already achieved. On top of that, he was often the member of the group that kept everything on the right track; in terms of business acumen and the nuts and bolts of the Beatles operating as an organization, McCartney was clearly the one in charge.
  4. CJFusco

    Episode #88: A HARD DAY'S NIGHT

    A slam dunk "yes" on this one. So important, so influential, and it holds up remarkably well. Two summers ago, I was traveling cross-country and stumbled upon a small, local "cool" theater (similar to CineFamily) in Portland, OR, showing A Hard Day's Night. On a whim, we decided to buy tickets. We were pleased to see that it was sold out to one of the most diverse audiences I've ever seen. Young, old, hip, square, arty, serious, and a variety of different cultures and ethnicities were present and enjoyed the film immensely; it's the kind of movie that an art-house crowd and a mainstream audience can watch together and derive equal amounts of enjoyment (although they might appreciate different aspects of the movie).
  5. CJFusco

    Episode 84: RE-ANIMATOR

    Hi all -- I'm new to the forum, but have been listening to the show for a long time. For some reason, I feel compelled to actually chime in on this one. When I was a teen, discovering horror-comedy was a big part of my "artistic awakening," if you will: the awareness that there was a creative world out there beyond "Independence Day" or whatever else the major studios were churning out. Probably not coincidentally, I discovered "Re-Animator" about the same time that I discovered MST3K and books by Vonnegut and Douglas Adams. A lot of us are probably in the same boat. When I first watched "Evil Dead" and "Evil Dead 2," it was like the scales had been lifted from my eyes; I wanted to experience everything new and different that was part of this exciting world, and "Re-Animator," along with "Dead Alive" and "Return of the Living Dead" and John Carpenter's stuff and the 80s slasher stuff felt so important because it was dealing with content that, due partially to a fairly Catholic upbringing, would have been considered somewhat taboo, in a playful but not dismissive way. But here's the thing: although "Re-Animator" is fun, it doesn't feel, at the root, nerve-ending level, like it was transformative for me and my friends in the same way that the first two "Evil Dead " movies were (or, for that matter, "Halloween," or "The Shining"). It's an Also-Ran. Don't get me wrong: it's great fun. It just doesn't seem, when it comes down to it, like a Canon-worthy film. I won't get all Film Theory on you here, but as a minor example of what I mean, I believe strongly that every choice made by the filmmaker(s) must be made to fulfill a specific purpose. In keeping this in mind, I want to direct your attention to the opening credits sequence: a song that is essentially the theme to "Psycho" plays over a credits sequence that is essentially the opening credits to "Vertigo," declaring proudly that the source material is originally from H.P. Lovecraft... but none of this ever pays off. It doesn't serve any purpose. I mean, sure: it's cool that the filmmakers found an interesting way to tip their caps toward Hitchcock's masterpieces... but it serves no purpose in creating meaning or developing theme in the film. It's just cool nod -- an "easter egg," almost -- to the filmmakers' inspirations. I mean, that's fine, but if a film is going to be considered for The Canon, shouldn't its artistic choices add up to something more than empty allusion?