Pick of the week: “Diggstown“ — Michael Ritchie’s later films were a pretty spotty bunch, but one bright spot is his immensely entertaining 1992 film starring James Woods, a shady boxing promoter who bets the town patriarch (Bruce Dern) his over-the-hill boxer can beat 10 of Dern’s best fighters — in 24 hours. It feels like a great B-movie from the ’40s, snappy and punchy and full of surprises.
“City of Lost Children” — Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who would later go on to make “Amelie,” charmed and unnerved with this visual extravaganza about a plucky girl and a strongman who team up to stop a scientist from stealing children’s dreams.
“The Big Chill” — The Baby Boomer generation’s ur-text is this 1982 Lawrence Kasdan drama about a group of friends who get together after a friend’s suicide to drink wine, listen to Motown and wonder where their ideals went.
“Fido” — My full review is here. George A. Romero himself would have approved of this clever Canadian satire, in which zombies are considered second-class servants and even pets in a ’50s-style America, until they rise up in sort of a workers’ rebellion, but with brain-eating.
“For Your Eyes Only” — A few James Bond movies popped back up on Netflix Instant recently, among them easily the most underrated of the Roger Moore films. The franchise took a back-to-basics approach after “Moonraker,” and the result is a fun, lean spy movie with some incredible stunts that still hold up today.