Tarzan Syndrome

Tarzan Syndrome

The Tarzan Syndrome is when any newcomer arrives in a location or culture and has an overblown effect on the locals and their cultural interactions.

Origins – He [Chris Rock] decries the business’s preference for what he calls “Tarzan movies,” films in which a naive, poor black character is “discovered” by whites and finally wins over mainstream society with a combination of their help and his own street smarts. “People do what works and no black actor has ever worked better than Eddie Murphy,” Rock says. “So a movie like ‘Trading Places’ is great, when you do it on the highest level, with Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd and John Landis at their peak. But if you do a cheap version of it, you really have something that’s not so cool. New York Daily News

Tarzan Syndrome

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The Martian (2015) and Some Other Movies

The Martian (2015)

Today I did something that I rarely do. I paid to see a new movie. I usually like to wait a year or 30 before I watch a movie. I like to make sure that all of the reviews are in before I spend any money. But something drew me to see The Martian (2015). I thing it’s because Chris Matthews dropped a major spoiler on Hardball when he interviewed the stories author Andy Weir.

So on a Saturday afternoon I found myself sitting in the theater wearing my high-fashion 3D glasses. Yes I made the mistake on picking a 3D movie when I was interfacing with the machine that has replaced the human ticket seller. Did you know they now have assigned seats? But that’s another issue.

Back to The Martian (2015). I am going to say right off the bat that this was a very fine movie. The CGI was amazing and didn’t really need the 3D effect to carry the movie. Jessica Chastain was amazing but that …

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Sweet Liberty (1986) Video Historic Place

Sweet Liberty (1986)

I was visiting Cowpens National Park near Gaffney, South Carolina. You know, the place with the giant peach made famous on Netflix’s “House of Cards.” The movie Sweet Liberty (1986) is about a professor (Alan Alda) that sold his very famous and serious history book about the Revolutionary War battlefield of Cowpens to Hollywood. He is the technical adviser and the director (Saul Rubinek) is not interested in anything he has to say. The movie is pretty funny as the film crew and actors (Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Caine, Bob Hoskins, and Lynne Thigpen from The Warriors (1979) and “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?”, react with the town folks that include Lillian Gish playing the mother of Alan Alda’s character.

Sweet Liberty (1986) on IMDB

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10 Greatest Military Trial Movies of All Time

Paths of Glory (1957) Poster

10 Greatest Military Trial Movies of All Time

Two great genres together: The military/war movie and the courtroom drama. See a list of the 10 Greatest Military Trial Movies of all time. A few of the movies on the list cross the prison/POW line but they are all basically military men on trial. Once the list was identified the movies were ranked in order of the story they tell, the acting, and the overall realism of the plot.


14 In the Name of the Father (1993) could rightly be put in the crossbar motel/prison genre but it is, in fact, a trial to free two innocent men from a prisoner during the IRA/English war. Daniel Day-Lewis leads a great cast in the intense drama.

In the Name of the Father (1993) 13 Rules of Engagement (2000) while headlines by two great stars; Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson doesn’t really give it the ump it needs. Jackson yells most of his lines. Surprise. The initial plot is good with the …

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Gunsmoke and Star Trek are the Same Show

Star Trek

Since it is the holidays I am spending more time at home than at work. Given the many important things I have to do at home, I found myself watching an episode of Gunsmoke (1955-1975). The show reminded me of something I have thought  about for a while: Gunsmoke and Star Trek are the Same Show. Star Trek ran from 1966-1969 so there is some overlap. Since we live in such a wondrous time I consulted the Google to see if anyone else believed as I do that Gunsmoke and Star Trek are the Same Show. The first reference that popped  up was from the Toledo Blade from December 16, 1971 where this idea was put forth in an interview with Leonard Nimoy who portrayed the emotionless, pointy eared Vulcan Mr. Spock.   Since this article was published almost 43 years ago to the date I am not claiming the invention of this idea, only its’ most recent manifestation.

I have been interested in the structural analysis of myth since I was …

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Christmas Special – Coming December 21st

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)

I have been working on a Christmas Special and it’s almost ready. It has nothing to do with Rudolph and nobody gets killed. However, it is a very special movie. To get you in the right frame of mind I have found a couple of articles related to our most famous red-nosed reindeer.

The Christmas Special will be available for download on December 21st around 8pm EST. I don’t think you will want to miss this.

To get everyone in the mood to listen to the Christmas Special I took some time to think about an iconic image from film/tv history. Naturally I landed on Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer although where I come from Yukon Cornelius and the Bumble are the big stars. I found a couple of links about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer that I thought were very interesting. They certainly helped me get in the mood for the holidays. It’s hard to believe that Rudolph is 50 years old. My how time flies when you’re having fun.

The …

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Why at the Drive-In

Drive-in speakers

In case you’re wondering why Classic Movie Reviews with Snark loves the Drive-In I can let you in on that. Drvie-In’s were a place where you saw interesting movies, but not necessarily the best movies. On a long summer night you could take in a double or triple feature and they might not all be the best movies. However they are interesting and have a story to tell. So that is why Classic Movie Reviews with Snark loves the Drive-In.

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