Now it’s time for our “HOT & NOW’ segment where we pick some of our favorite films now available on DVD, On Demand, or streaming online.
My Hot and Now pick is "Taps," which came out 30 years ago and is now available on Blu-Ray. "Taps" is notable in retrospect because it introduced us to a young Sean Penn and a young Tom Cruise. They co-star alongside Timothy Hutton -- who won a supporting-actor Oscar for "Ordinary People" earlier that year -- as a group of cadets who rise up when they hear their elite military academy is being shut down.
"Taps" also stars George C. Scott, with echoes of his "Patton" role, as the general who runs the place and is disgusted that it's being turned into condominiums. But it's the students who end up barricading themselves inside and taking over in full combat mode -- all the way down to the youngest kids -- with a dedication and fervor reminiscent of "Lord of the Flies." "Taps" is an intense movie -- sometimes implausible -- but full of idealism and volatility, insanity and dignity.
Well, my pick for Hot & Now this week is GUY AND MADELINE ON A PARK BENCH, an energetic, disarming low-budget musical. Jazz trumpet player Jason Palmer plays Guy, who breaks up with Madeline at the beginning of the movie. First-time director Damien Chazelle fills the movie with all sorts of unexpected touches, not the least of which is that the film -- which is shot handheld in grainy black-and-white features a lush score performed by a 90 piece orchestra.