When last I listed some movies watched, I only listed six. I've got such a backlog, I don't know why I stopped so short. (Perhaps because six is how many it takes to get an eggroll. Har, har.) Therefore, today you get eight!
117. (1556.) Ransom! (1956)
As you can tell by the exclamation point, this is the original, not the Mel Gibson remake. It's much better than that one, in part because you never even meet the kidnappers. You really don't know what's going to become of the kid. Suspenseful with an extra helping of "serious" actor Leslie Nielsen.
118. (1557.) Woman in the Moon (1929)
There's a short list of directors I'll watch anything by, and Fritz Lang is on that list, even though his greatest movies are silents. This one is a third spy film, a third science fiction, and a third nutso. It would be better if it moved faster, but it's worth it for Lang's unique vision.
119. (1558.) Money Monster (2016)
George Clooney plays a television stock market pundit with no redeeming values. However, because he's George Clooney, you really want him to win out when he becomes the victim of a kidnapping. The movie has several obvious flaws but manages to overcome them with dramatic momentum earned by its lead actors.
120. (1559.) War of the Worlds (1953)
No, really, I'd never seen this classic. Sure, I'd heard the radio production many times, but I wasn't aware that the movie version had a genuine miracle save the Earth. It's a bit heavy handed. Special effects are great, though.
121. (1560.) Mystery 101: Playing Dead (2019)
This is the second in a series about a mystery-writing teacher who solves mysteries. I like Jill Wagner and the general concept, but this has a really messy and unsatisfying ending.
122. (1561.) Beat Street (1984)
Rappin', Breakin', and this would make an ideal box set for lovers of 80s rap exploitation movies. That guy has to exist somewhere. Hrm. Maybe he's me.
123. (1562.) Cold Turkey (1971)
Comedy by Dick Van Dyke and Bob Newhart, songs by Randy Newman! A seriously great movie about religion, exploitation, and human nature at the crossroads of Middle America.
124. (1563.) Desk Set (1957)
Stop me if this sounds familiar: Katherine Hepburn is a know-it-all and Spencer Tracy is a curmudgeon. I know, I know, but the formula works. There are no bad Katherine Hepburn + Spencer Tracy movies.
More to come.
The difference between humans and other animals is that we're capable of asking the question "why?". We're just not very good at answering it.
Very much has been made recently of Stephen Ross' fundraiser for Donald Trump. Ross is the billionaire owner of several lifestyle brands catering to the young and, shall we say, Trump-resistant set. Little has been made of the fact that Ross is also the principal owner of the Miami Dolphins. Dolphins' fans know all too well that Ross doesn't actually care about the consumers of the products he's selling.
A brief reminder: in September 2016, when some guy named Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel during the national anthem, the world came unglued. Players on other teams soon followed. Some owners (and many fans) made villains of Kaepernick, but others supported his activism, including Ross.
"I think these guys are really making a conversation of something that's a very important topic in this country, and I'm 100 percent supportive of them."
Unfortunately 2016 was an election year, and The Great Divider used the protests as evidence that American needed to be Made Great Again. After you-know-who was sworn into office in early 2017, Ross shifted with the political wind.
"I think it's incumbent upon the players today, because of how the public is looking at it, to stand and salute the flag."
Translation: they shouldn't protest because people don't like protests and it makes it harder for him to sell tickets to his terrible football games. Ross went so far as planning to fine and suspend players who offended his sensibilities until the players association forced him to back off. Way to be 100% supportive, bud.
Anyway, to those of you who claim to be shocked to discover that a billionaire businessman's only concern is how he can exploit you to make more money, welcome to the America Dream.
New school year.
Same old shit.
I saw 23 films in July, but I still haven't finished reporting for June. So let's take care of that now.
111. (1550.) Legally Blonde (2001)
I've never been a big Reese Witherspoon fan, but I do understand now why so many people like this film. It's dumb and fluffy, but sometimes that's all you want in a comedy.
112. (1551.) Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2003)
Uh-oh. Dumber and less inspired than the first. Not a good mix. Easy to see why there hasn't been a third.
113. (1552.) Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
To be perfectly clear, this isn't a bad movie. It's well made and the actors appear to be trying very hard, often too hard. But, and this is a big but, it feels soulless, like a ghost wearing the skin of someone you loved in order to lure you into its clutches.
114. (1553.) On Dangerous Ground (1951)
The worst part of this crime noir is the ending with its totally unearned "happy" outcome for the disillusioned hero and the embittered object of his desire. I can't recommend it.
115. (1554.) Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader (2012)
By the time this was made, I don't think the audience it was meant to serve existed anymore. Who needs softcore porn in the Internet era? It's a weird sort of nostalgia indeed.
116. (1555.) The Monster Squad (1987)
The Goonies remade with the Universal Monsters. It has it's moments, but they are few and far between. For the record, I feel the same way about The Goonies.
More to come.
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