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Friday Film Fest: Dennis Quaid

The Child siblings (Kristy McNichol and Dennis Quaid) try to pull one over on Conrad (Mark Hamill) while in Georgia

The Child siblings (Kristy McNichol and Dennis Quaid) try to pull one over on Conrad (Mark Hamill) while in Georgia

The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia- 1981

Back in the 1970's, there was a lot going on film wise, and near the end of the decade, there were a lot of movies that were based on popular songs.

Unfortunately, this movie doesn't follow the song.

Travis Child (Dennis Quaid) is a one hit wonder (so far) as he and his sister Amanda (Kristy McNichol) travel from roadhouse to roadhouse promoting his singing. She acts as his manager and manages to get him out of trouble whenever she can.

As a singer, Travis can pretty much bed whoever he wants and after a night of sexual pleasure, there's a knock at his door motel door and he has to get out of town fast. The loud pounding also wakes up Amanda and since she knows what's going on, she quickly packs the two up just as Travis manages to escape.

Since Amanda is only sixteen, she's driving (and also drunk) when they pull into a restaurant for lunch. Travis is recognized by Mavis (Cindy Partlow) and she and her friend by the poster promoting his upcoming show. He tells both of them that after the show, the three of them can have a party at the motel.

A jealous Amanda hints to the fact that he has a sexually transmitted disease and the girls leave him alone.

Later that night, Travis begins his set, she meets with Mr. Hawkins (J. Don Ferguson) a record producer from Nashville. She's excited that he came down to Georgia to see Travis perform live and after he meets with Travis, a bar fight starts and Travis hops on a bus to Gwinnett and tells Amanda to meet him there.

After pulling over on the side of the road to let her dog Boogie (Lulu McNichol) take a walk, State Trooper Conrad (Mark Hamill) pulls up behind her and tries to get her to talk. The hardheaded Amanda doesn't tell him too much and she agrees to follow him into Gwinnett to pick up Travis.

When they get into town, Conrad sees someone he knows, Seth (Don Stroud) and is informed that he has to take a drunk to the tank (Travis).

The next day Travis is found guilty and has to come up with $314 or spend forty days in jail. Amanda tells the judge that they have $14, so now with $300 hovering over them, Amanda goes to Andy (Arlen Dean Snyder) who owns a roadhouse on the outskirts of town.

She spins her tale of how they're on their way to Nashville and that he needs to solidify his act, but he already knows the real reason why she's there. He tells her that he needs to do some personal business and will let Travis bartend for him.

Amanda agrees to the deal and he meets Melody (Sunny Johnson) who's in an abusive relationship with Seth.

Melody and Travis begin a relationship and he tells Amanda that he wants to stick around town for awhile, but she won't hear of it and tells him that they need to get to Nashville while the iron's hot.

When he doesn't budge, she hires some local musicians and gets him onstage one night and after a brief performance, he tells her that he's not going. She rushes off the stage only to return later where she performs.

With Travis not back at the motel the next morning, she maintains her oath of going to Nashville, even if she has to take a bus to get there.

Not only do Quaid and McNichol do their own singing, Quaid also wrote a few of the songs in the movie.


Mike Brody is scared of the CGI shark that's ready to break through the glass of the underwater restaurant

Mike Brody is scared of the CGI shark that's ready to break through the glass of the underwater restaurant

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Jaws 3- 1983 (aka Jaws 3-D)

At the end of the 1970's and the beginning of the 1980's, sequels were just starting to take off, and if there was a third entry into a burgeoning franchise, it usually included 3-D in the title, to make it more attractive to film goers.

And it paid off.

In the third installment to the Jaws franchise, the action doesn't take place out in the ocean, but at Sea World, where a great white shark and baby have entered the manmade lagoon, after water skier Kelly Ann Bukowski (Lea Thompson) causes the pyramid to fall during rehearsal.

At about the same time, Dr. Kathryn "Kay" Morgan (Bess Armstrong) is finishing up with dolphins Cindy and Sandy, but they don't want to leave the confines of their staging area. Her assistant Liz (Liz Morris) tells her that they've been acting strange and Kay just blows it off as her boyfriend Mike Brody (Dennis Quaid) comes by to remind her of dinner.

Mike gets a call about a problem at the gate leading to the ocean and he goes over to inspect it. He tells his crew that he's not going to pay them overtime and Shelby Overman (Harry Grant) later dives in to fix the gate.

After greeting Mike's younger brother Sean (John Putch) they head to dinner where their waitress Charlene (Dolores Starling) gets after Mike about Shelby. He lets her know that he doesn't know what's going on but will find out.

Kelly is challenging people to a game of stand-off and Sean challenges her. After winning, she goes back to the table with him for more drinking.

As the night comes to a close, Kelly and Sean go to the lagoon and she tries to entice him into the water, where two coral poachers have met their fate with the shark.

The next morning, owner Calvin Bouchard (Louis Gossett Jr.) demands that Mike report to work and while his back is turned, Charlene comes up behind him and throws Shelby's bags at him. He tells her that he must be out on a drinking binge since all of his personal information is in the office.

Mike is concerned and he and Kay go into their little submarine and check out the lagoon. They're chased by the shark and report back to Bouchard.

Bouchard tells them to get the shark because nothing is going to interfere with opening day of the Sea Kingdom, his pet project.

The shark has perked the interest of photographer/adventurer Philip FitzRoyce (Simon MacCorkindale) who suggests capturing the shark on television. Kay agrees and tells Bouchard that they would get a lot more publicity if they had a great white shark as an attraction.

After capturing the shark, Bouchard quickly publicizes the shark and after it dies, Shelby's body is found and Kay confirms that there's another shark in the lagoon. She tells them that they had captured the baby and the mother is still out there somewhere.

Kay and Mike run to Bouchard and while they're telling him, the shark swims to the underwater restaurant and starts to bang itself against the glass. Panic ensues and the diners run out.

Kelly has once again enticed Sean into the water during a break from her show, but now that Mike and Kay know what's going on, Mike runs throughout the park trying to get people out of the water, especially the water show.

While performing, the skiers notice the shark behind them and begin to panic.

Bored, the shark turns its attention elsewhere and winds up where Kelly and Sean are riding bumper boats, causing chaos. But, the shark has also caused damage to the underwater tunnels and people are trapped.

Even though the guests are terrorized by the cardboard shark, I've always liked this movie and thought it was a lot of fun.

I think the reason why I like it is it doesn't spend a lot of time hunting down the shark. The story is able to go to the water show, the restaurant, the tunnels, etc., so the action always keeps going.

Of course, when they do hunt the shark it can get to be boring, but then again, I also like the fourth installment to a degree.


Can Suzanne Vale (Meryl Streep) find love, happiness and sobriety in Hollywood after an overdose with the help of Jack Faulkner?

Can Suzanne Vale (Meryl Streep) find love, happiness and sobriety in Hollywood after an overdose with the help of Jack Faulkner?

Postcards From the Edge- 1990

When it comes to movies about the film industry, this is by far one of the best ever produced and having been on movie sets over the last few years, I can find the subtle humor in a lot of the behind-the-scenes shenanigans.

Suzanne Vale (Meryl Streep) is a drug addicted actress living in the shadow of her famous mother Doris Mann (Shirley MacLaine). She's given one last warning while on the set of her current movie by director Lowell Kolchek (Gene Hackman) and following the wrap of this movie, she's about to do a low budget feature.

Filming, however, has to be postponed following an overdose and the only thing she knows is that a man dropped her off at the emergency room. He didn't leave a name or contact information which has her stumped.

While in rehab, she manages to get sober and while at her agent Marty's (Gary Morton) office, she finds out that the producers of the movie are insisting that she be tested randomly for drugs and as a deterrent, Doris suggests that she move back into her house.

On the first day of filming, Suzanne meets with the producers, and subjected to a drug test.

Following the day's shoot, as she's leaving her trailer, she runs into Jack Faulkner, and he starts asking her about the upcoming class reunion and she plays along not knowing what he's talking about. It finally dawns on her that he was the one who took her to the hospital.

As filming progresses, she's stopped by various people regarding her performance and overhears that she's been gaining weight (due to her new addiction of Coke and junk food).

Jack comes over and takes her back to his place and he tells her that he's always been in love with her from the first time he saw her on screen and he'll do anything for her. She falls for his line and later on set, her co-star, Bobby (Michael Ontkean) tells her that she should talk to Evelyn Ames (Annette Benning) since he knows that she and Jack have been having a thing.

When she meets Evelyn, she learns that Jack is a lothario and prior to seeing her, she finds out that he and Evelyn were together earlier in the day.

After filming, Suzanne heads over to Jack's and confronts him with the information she's found out and breaks off all ties with him, while shooting her prop gun at him.

While Suzanne tries to get her life on track, she has to confront Lowell once again when she has to meet him for a looping session. Before leaving the house, she takes a couple of pills from the medicine cabinet and after a run in with Doris, takes them, but spits them out.

At the session, Lowell tells her that she gave a great performance in his movie and it's a shame that she wasn't there to witness it. He tells her that he hopes they can work together again, providing that she can stay sober.

She and Doris argue about their lives and the difference in the substances they abuse to get through the day, while Doris tells her that she should give up acting and become a singer, because that's where her true talent is.

Following an accident, Suzanne is talking to Dr. Frankenthal (Richard Dreyfuss) and she finds out that he was the doctor on call that pumped her stomach following her overdose. She thanks him for the flowers he sent and he asks her out on a date, but she doesn't know if she's ready for a relationship.

He understands and Doris gets her wish of Suzanne using her singing talent as she embarks on a new movie.




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