EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|BIG WEDNESDAY (director/writer: John Milius; screenwriter: Dennis Aaberg; cinematographer: Bruce Surtees; editors: Robert L. Wolfe/Tim O'Meara; music: Basil Poledouris; cast: Jan-Michael Vincent (Matt), William Katt (Jack), Gary Busey (Leroy), Patti D'Arbanville (Sally), Lee Purcell (Peggy Gordon), Sam Melville (Bear), Robert Englund (Fly), Dennis Aaberg (Slick), Gerry Lopez (Himself, legendary surfer); Runtime: 120; MPAA Rating: PG; producer: Buzz Feitshans; Warner Bros.; 1978)|
|"Remains noteworthy as a
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Barbarian"/"Red Dawn") unevenly directs this slight but ambitious 'coming
of age' surfing
film, that crashed at the box office. The screenplay
cowritten by Milius and Dennis Aaberg has three pals
from Malibu, California--irresponsible
legendary surf-maestro Matt (Jan Michael Vincent),
friendly and sensitive straight-arrow Jack (William
Katt), and nutso loud-mouth and hothead Leroy (Gary
Busey) surf in 1962 and come together again in 1974 to
surf again after the Vietnam War. The messy film seems
confused of what to make of these surfing ventures and
the changes in its lead characters, as it tries to say
what The Deer Hunter (1978) said about how the war was
affecting everyone in the country.
The film is divided into
four acts, starting with the South
Swell of the
summer of '62 and ending with the Great
Swell of spring '74. It remains noteworthy as a
cult film with great surfing footage and as a pic that
offers a sincere personal vision in a lyrical way. It
shows its surfers as a dying romantic breed in an era
that closes without any more chance for its
participants to be innocent dreamers (everything is
now just different). But its use of surfing as a
metaphor for life seemed a bit overblown.
REVIEWED ON 7/14/2011 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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