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Friday Film Fest: Kevin Costner

Cathy and Phil Pitkin (Rebecca De Mornay and Kevin Costner) say their last goodbye

Cathy and Phil Pitkin (Rebecca De Mornay and Kevin Costner) say their last goodbye

Testament- 1983

During the 1980's there was one thing hanging over everyone. The threat of nuclear war and many movies were made that followed such a disaster.

In Hamlin, California, life is everyday normal for the Wetherly family.

Carol (Jane Alexander) wakes up grumpy the day before the blast because she's under stress and pressure. She's directing youngest son Scottie's (Lucas Haas) elementary school play, while Tom (William Devane) keeps pushing middle child Brad (Rossie Harris) to feel pride in accomplishing something every day. That means getting up early and bike riding for miles before work and school.

Oldest child, Mary Liz (Roxanna Zal) is your typical teenage girl, yet she's musically gifted and practices the piano all the time. She's even playing piano at the play and taking private lessons.

That night, with a lot on her mind and insomnia, she wakes up Tom from his sleep because she needs to talk. It's the little things that are eating away at her soul and after she gets a little bit off her chest, the two make love for the last time.

On the day of the blast, the kids are rehearsing the play and later at home, Brad is trying to get a clear picture on the television with hardly any luck as Carol checks the phone messages.

When he finally does get a clear picture, there's a news alert and its being reported that the United States is being attacked on the East coast. Suddenly, a siren wails and there's a flash of light as the family huddles in the middle of the living room.

Not knowing what's happening, the neighbors come out of their houses and gather in the street. Cathy Pitkin (Rebecca De Mornay) is grateful that her husband Phil (Kevin Costner) just came home from work. They assure her that Tom should be home soon from his commute from San Francisco.

Later that night, everyone gathers at the Abhart residence, where Henry and Rosemary (Leon Aames and Lurene Tuttle) try to organize the town.

The next day, everyone gathers at the church with the hope of new information, but little is supplied. Everyone has questions for Dr. Jenson (Martin Rudy) but he can't give them any answers, especially to Cathy since she's currently breastfeeding and the baby isn't taking her milk.

While it's been nearly twenty-four hours following the blast, lines begin to form at the gas station owned by Mike (Mako) and he lets Carol fill up the car for free. Lines have also begun to form at the grocery store where all of the food is being rationed.

On the last night with Tom, Carol asked him where her journal was and even though there wasn't anything written in it, she begins to write what's been happening to the family following the blast.

As she chronicles her thoughts with narration, she comes home one day to find Phil walking home in the rain carrying a dresser drawer. He doesn't come out and tell Carol right away, but the baby has died, and he and Cathy are thinking of leaving.

Eventually they do leave, and they ask Carol if she wants to come, but she tells them that this is her home, and she feels safer.

The Wetherly's take in Larry (Mico Olmos) adding more pressure to their survival and following the death of Mike, Brad brings home his son Hiroshi (Gerry Murillo).

As their new family begins to change, Carol has to make a tough decision as to whether they should live or die.

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Frank Farmer takes a bullet for Rachel Marron (Whitney Houston)

Frank Farmer takes a bullet for Rachel Marron (Whitney Houston)

The Bodyguard- 1992

It was about two weeks before Christmas in 1993 and I had to do some shopping after work, so I stopped into K-Mart for a video as a present. I didn't know that, that night I'd be up until one in the morning watching a movie.

After hearing "I Will Always Love You" five hundred times an hour, I really hadn't planned on watching The Bodyguard but it was on sale, so I thought I'd buy a copy.

It was a mistake.

Not only did it draw me in, but I was very tired the next day at work.

Frank Farmer is hired by pop singer turned actress Rachel Marron (Whitney Houston) following attempts on her life made by a stalker. She tries to defy Farmer's improvements for her security as does her team.

They feel that his improvements restrict them, but he has their best interests since it's his job to protect them and her son Fletcher (DeVaughn Nixon) forms a bond with Farmer.

Since Farmer is one of the top bodyguards around, he takes his job very seriously since he still carries around guilt of not being with President Reagan on the day he was shot. After resigning from the secret service, he became an independent bodyguard and has protected people from all walks of life. This is also his first time entering the entertainment world which he's not too fond of.

Rachel defies him once again to perform at a local club which again puts her life in danger.

When the dust settles a bit, the two go out on a date and eventually start a short-lived affair. Farmer is mad at himself for allowing this to happen and ends the affair much to Rachel's dismay.

After another attempt on her life, he takes them to his father's cabin for a few days before the announcement of the nominees for the Academy Awards since she has a shot at the Best Actress award.

Farmer knows that a hit had been placed on Rachel and he has a feeling that she'll be targeted at the ceremony. His hunch is correct as he learns who is after her and he saves her by taking the potential assassin's bullet.

However, when it was time for the real Academy Awards, people were outraged that "I Will Always Love You" wasn't nominated in the Best Song category.

The song, written by Dolly Parton, couldn't qualify for an award since it was not specifically written for the movie. Parton had written it years earlier and the song, although very faint, can be heard in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore as an uncredited song when Alice and Ben are talking in a bar scene.

Therefore, it had been used in a previous movie eighteen years before it became a huge hit for Parton.

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