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13. (1872.) Bachelor in Paradise (1961)
I've never been a big fan of Bob Hope's 1940s girl-crazy movie persona, but I thought this 1960s sex-comedy let the air out of that balloon rather enjoyably. It helped that his next-door neighbor was hottie Paula Prentis.

14. (1873.) Crossword Mysteries: Terminal Descent (2021)
A new Hallmark mystery movie! Not a very good one, though. None of the "Crossword Mysteries" have been. But I'll take anything I can get in these desperate pandemic times.

15. (1874.) The Last of Sheila (1973)
See, *this* is how a whodunit should be made! With story credits to Anthony Perkins and Stephen Sondheim (!?!), this film features a small pool of motivated characters, each a familiar Hollywood stereotype. It has some pretty good twists, and I'm happy to say that yes, I did solve it long before the end. (Hint: Director Herbert Ross and editor Edward Warschilka deserve credit for both laying out the scenario fairly and including no wasted scenes.)

16. (1875.) Piranha (1978)
A truly stupid monster horror film desperate to cash in on that Jaws money, down to the holiday beach party that cannot be canceled despite the oncoming school of bloodthirsty piranha — pronounced piran-ya. It's great shlock, especially if you like 1970s Incredible Hulk guest stars like Bradford Dillman and Heather Menzies.

Drink Coke! (Piranha)
"We're going to have a beach party (and drink Coke) even if it kills us!"

17. (1876.) The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)
From the beginning, I wanted to hate it and its mundane "young love troubles" plot, but the sets are too great and the singing is too great and the ending is too great. It's just great. (I'd heard it was the inspiration for La La Land, and now that I've seen it, the connection is obvious.) I loved it.

More to come.

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To be continued...

 

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