Finishing off the movies from September 2012:

223. Big Jake (1971)
John Wayne in a role that exemplifies why we love John Wayne. I loved the family dynamic of John Wayne, the last of the Old West heroes, telling his grown, estranged children what to do. I hated the fact that they rather violently killed a dog. Killing a beloved sidekick character? Joss Whedon must love this movie.

224. The Reluctant Astronaut (1967)
I have never much cared for Don Knotts. He plays just one character and I don't find that persona very entertaining. However, watching this film (with a straight-faced Leslie Nielson), I was struck that his schtick isn't much different from Kevin James' comic persona these days. Think about it: Don Knotts as Paul Blart: Mall Cop? I wonder how Kevin James would have gotten along in Mayberry.

225. What's Your Number (2011)
Romantic comedies like this are so formulaic, I don't really know why I watch them. Seriously, someone in an awkward romantic situation meets someone of the opposite gender in a very contrived situation. The fall in love while working to resolve the awkward situation. Then the protagonist does something stupid, driving a wedge in the budding relationship. Fortunately, some friends or situation points out the foolishness of the situation, and all live happily ever after. I guess that I, like most moviegoers, feel comfortable seeing new variations on familiar themes, and just keep consuming these movies like visual comfort food. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

226. Diner (1982)
Sometimes I can tell when I really liked a movie only when it sticks with me as time passes. I've thought a lot about Diner since I saw it, which is a pretty good indicator that I liked it. It reminded me of a less-serious Beautiful Girls, which I've always liked.

227. Doom (2005)
Stupid, pop-culture action movie. I watched it to prep me for Karl Urban's performance in...

228. Dredd (2012)
I covered this here. As I said, I liked it. Much smarter than Doom. Hard to believe that's Dr. McCoy scowling under that helmet.

229. Without a Paddle (2004)
How do movies like this get made? The situationally "comedic" plot is as thin as the direction. It's just a time waster. If the romantic comedy is the comfort food of movies, this is the fast food of movies.

230. Comanche Territory (1950)
Commanche Territory is the sort of film that gave Doc Brown the wrong idea about the American West in Back to the Future III. I watched the movie because the early meeting between the two male leads looked like it had the sort of sparkle that would make for a good time. The movie soon disappointed by devolving into a stock Western with dubious historical facts, weak action, and an unlikely romance. Oh well. They can't all be Fistful of Dollars.

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To be continued...


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