Just watched these 3 movies over the last couple weeks, so thought I'd share what I thought.
Smokey and the Bandit (1977) - Comedy/action. Two men drive from Atlanta to Texas and back at 90mph, smuggling beer and chatting with other drivers on CB radio, while an oafish cop chases them. It was the second-highest grossing movie from 1977 (after Star Wars) that made $300m at the box office with a budget of under $5m. It stars Burt Reynolds, Jackie Gleeson, and Jerry Ried, and was Sally Field's breakout movie. The theme song is incredibly catchy.
This movie felt like a love letter to the South and trucker culture. Hollywood has always tended to make fun of the South as full of rednecks, but this movie manages to be funny while also being respectful. The jokes never feel forced, the characters are likeable, and the whole tone of the movie is very lighthearted. The only letdown is the car chases and stunts. They're supposed to be racing across the country, yet you never feel the time pressure until the last 10 minutes. It's much more reminiscent of a "road movie" highlighting the areas they travel through and their character growth, instead of an action packed car chase.
Dazed and Confused (1993) - Slice of life/coming of age. Set in 1976 in a high school. School just let out for summer, and the movie is mostly set during the night after. Stars a lot of people I'd never heard of, aside from Matthew McConaughey.
There's no real plot, but instead the movie tries to instill a feeling of a 1970s high school. Not having been alive in the 1970s, I can't tell you how accurate it is. But it sure makes me wish I'd been in high school then!
Despite not having a plot, there's a real sense of character development, and it's as much a "coming of age" story as anything else. The characters (of which there are way too many to keep track of) drive, drink, smoke weed, make out, talk about life, fight, go bowling, play pool, and eventually all end up at the same party. The main focus of the first 30 minutes seems to be the hazing of the incoming freshman class, but it also touches on different social groups (ie nerds and jocks), although not in an exaggerated or cliche way.
I came in expecting something like American Pie, and this movie definitely isn't that. I'd say the closest comparisons would be Trainspotting, Clerks, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, or Ferris Beuller's Day Off. I don't think it's as good as any of those movies, but it's still decent. None of the characters or scenes felt really memorable, but it achieves what it's trying to do. If you lived in the 70s, you might take more out of it.
Infernal Affairs (2002) - Crime drama/thriller. A police officer goes undercover in the Triad, at the same time as a Triad member goes undercover in the police. Made in Hong Kong, spoken language in Cantonese. Stars Tony Leung and Andy Lau. The Departed was a remake of this.
IMO, Infernal Affairs is a fair bit better than The Departed... for the first half. There's an incredibly tense scene with a drug deal where the police are closing in, while the gangsters try to complete the deal, and the undercover agents on each side secretly communicate with their respective bosses. However, the most tense and exciting moments are in the beginning, while the extended denouement just drags on, as the interesting characters are killed off. That being said, it's still very much worth watching for anyone who likes crime thrillers, and especially for any fans of The Departed.