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American Graffiti

American Graffiti (1973)
Director: George Lucas

This is a fabulous movie. I wasn't sure going in that I would get much out of it besides someone else's lifetime and memories, but I was mistaken. I dug the characters, their dreams and plight, ambitions, or lack of. This was a nice mix of cruising around to Wolfman Jack and great music, and goofy scenarios that mostly take place at night for a real cozy feeling of what it must have been like to meet new people, flirt, act deranged, and just be a kid at heart, going after what you want in the early 1960's.

I had forgotten Richard Dreyfuss was in this. His role is indicative of what would follow in his career. He's a bit of a sophisticated fella. He has a faint cockiness to him that lets his comedy come through proper. I've always liked that about him. He's a real dude.

There are a lot of attractive women/girls in this picture, and one scene, in particular, this chick cruising, talking about college out her window on the passenger's side - she just has the most fantastic smile. Lucas really cast this movie right.

You know how some movies take you through adventures with different people and seem to have all of the ingredients lined up for a classic but somehow you could care less? Well, I was afraid this movie would be just that. It wasn't. I really had a good time with this film, and it hit the spot big time. It has that "it" factor, and time has not robbed it of that that one iota.

The music had an interesting characteristic, too - aside from being good and agreeable music - there was this floating effect that you can hear. For example, as Dreyfuss's character is looking out the back seat window, and then back to the front seat again, and then to the side out the window - the music follows his auditory pov. It swims in and out of clarity and swells and recedes volume, accordingly. On my surround sound I almost lost my mind. Strangely enough, I can't blame it on my setup. Apparently this film was intentionally mixed this way. It's a design of the foley, and my blu ray version was a simple 2.0 stereo mix so..wild stuff!

Anyway, the ending was great! Really was. The quick account of what happened to our characters is sprawled on the screen in a bittersweet manner, and, at first, I thought this may have been a bad editorial choice, but quickly I shifted my thinking. This was a perfect way to gain access into our hearts and make us care even more for these people. This is a timeless film from a very specific time in 1963. I really love it, and will never, ever watch that sequel! I want to keep it clean.