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Five more November movies:

183. (1412.) Snow Devils (1967)
Italian-made Spaghetti Westerns are a respected genre thanks mostly to the genius of Sergio Leone. Spaghetti Science Fiction has no such genius. This film features alien yetis who try to induce global warming with lame miniatures and worn out stock footage. Not good.

184. (1413.) A Raisin in the Sun (1961)
I admit it: I did not finish this movie. I bailed at intermission. I actively (and strongly) dislike Tennessee Williams plays, and while it's great that Lorraine Hansberry found equal-opportunity success duplicating Williams' soul-crushing slices of poor white American life for African Americans, I don't have to watch it.

185. (1414.) Excalibur (1981)
There's something hypnotic about this fairy tale grounded in blood and sex. It's not exactly a good film — it's really quite boring — but you have to admire how all the actors seem to throw themselves into it despite the obvious discomfort of filming it

186. (1415.) Funland (1987)
Squiggy (of Lavern & Shirley) plays an amusement park Ronald McDonald gone mad. The movie is a dark comedy with a razor sharp wit, but it is very badly served by a soundtrack stolen directly from a daytime soap opera, and loses its way at the end. It was also filmed in Six Flags Over Georgia, which means that there is Coca-Cola everywhere!

Drink Coke! (Funland)

187. (1416.) Assault on Precinct 13 (2005)
Most remakes of John Carpenter movies lose sight of Carpenter's gift for character in their rush to the glossy glamour provided by their bigger budget. Same here. It's a fine action movie, but I prefer the grit and heart of the original.

More to come.

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More movies!

178. (1407.) The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967)
Ugh. Roman Polanski's "horror" film is technically a comedy, although there is very little to laugh at and the ending isn't exactly happy. I would not watch it again.

179. (1408.) The Slumber Party Massacre (1981)
For years, I've been on the lookout for a movie with a particular line of dialogue. That line wasn't in this movie, but I think this was the movie that the line would have been in if it was in anything. To clarify, I'm now of the opinion that the line was fabricated, but there is a scene in this with a power drill, a girl of loose morals, and a camera angle that perfectly replicate what I would have expected to see while the line was delivered. (And no, I won't repeat the line here. Trust me, it wouldn't make any more sense without a whole lot more explaining, and none of us wants that.) As for the movie, it's a perfectly satisfying slasher flick, if you're into that sort of thing.

(If that sounds familiar, I accidentally ran that last month as my review of Sleepaway Camp. Rather than review Sleepaway Camp here, I'm correcting my mistake and have updated the original post with the right review.)

180. (1409.) Raging Bull (1980)
Ok, I've seen enough of Martin Scorsese. I can definitively say now that I don't like his movies. Yes, they are well made, but the subject matter just doesn't speak to me.

181. (1410.) X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
What exactly were Apocalypse's powers? What role do his horsemen serve? Why do I keep watching X-Men movies? The one good thing: Storm drinks Coca-Cola!

Drink Coke! (X-Men Apocalypse)

182. (1411.) Theodora Goes Wild (1936)
A typical screwball comedy of its era. A mousy author has her secret identity exposed to the world by an asshole artist, so she does what she can to ruin him... because she has fallen in love with him. It's better than I just made it sound.

More to come.

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I've been sick for most of the past two weeks, ever since former friend Ken infected me with his blech at the the Georgia Tech/UGA game. (No, seriously, Ken. You will get your comeuppance for this.)

When I was sick back in March 2017, I had a delightful piece of art from friend Cam to post while I recovered. Luckily for me (and you), she's been back to work.

Merry Cokemas 2018

Keep up the good work, Cam. I eagerly look forward to seeing what you'll have for me to post when I'm sick in 2019!

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What else is there to say about a game that UGA won, 66-27?

UMass 27, UGA 66

For one thing, it looked like the team was enjoying themselves. It sure felt like *everybody* got a touchdown.

And UMass scored on a 1 second drive to end the third quarter. That was impressive.

And in honor of Veterans Day, the band played songs for all branches of the armed forces at halftime (pictured above).

And Nick Chubb and Sony Michel were in the house. Each received a standing ovation when introduced.

And, boy, did I enjoy my Coca-Cola and pretzel. Delicious!

Also of note: This was Friend Mike's second UGA game. He has now attended more UGA games than Alabama games. That's a good thing.

Now bring on Georgia Tech.

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Movies watched in July, part three:

133. (1362.) Executive Suite (1954)
Thanks largely to a fantastic cast, I found this to be a very entertaining board room drama. Also: Coke!

Drink Coke! (Executive Suite)
I can see what's going through your mind, Bill Holden, and it looks like Coca-Cola.

134. (1363.) The Colossus of Rhodes (1961)
The Colossus of Rhodes is my favorite ancient wonder. This movie, however, is more boring than counting sand.

135. (1364.) The Little Hours (2017)
It takes time for this "comedy" based on The Decameron to get to the funny, but I eventually chuckled in spite of myself. Or maybe I was just desperate for entertainment following The Colossus of Rhodes.

136. (1365.) Fast and Loose (1939)
This husband/wife mystery/comedy wants so badly to be The Thin Man. It's not. All it did was remind me that I could have been watching The Thin Man instead.

138. (1367.) Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018)
Mom was eager to see this documentary of Fred Rogers, and I was glad I went with her. It's so, so good. I recommend it to anyone interested in Mr. Rogers or the history of television or, for that matter, historical American pop culture.

By the way, remember the letter I wrote to the editor of The Red and Black in 2003 that I posted last week? Here's the Mack Williams cartoon that ran above the editorials in that day's paper:

Last Trolly out of town

More to come.

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Movies watched in July, part two:

125. (1354.) Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
Should I have seen this before now? Yes. But boy, howdy, am I glad I didn't. At least Robert Vaughn got a paycheck.

126. (1355.) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016)
I was told that this sequel was better than its predecessor. Maybe it is, but it's hard to tell when the bar is so low. Maybe I'm getting too old for this shit.

127. (1356.) C.C. & Company (1970)
A run of bad movies continues with this biker exploitation film notable only for its inclusion of "Broadway" Joe Namath. Namath plays the "best" of a band of idiot bikers fighting over Ann Margaret. (They make a good couple. Neither can act.) The movie starts with an extended sequence of Namath stealing promoting name brand products in a grocery store. I only mention that because this:

Drink Coke! (CC & Company)
Coke supports your right to ride! (But keep it clean.)

128. (1357.) Incredibles 2 (2018)
I didn't find this quite as satisfying as the original, but I still really, really enjoyed it. I will be watching it again.

129. (1358.) Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974)
There aren't a whole lot of Eastwood films I haven't seen, and now there's one less. It's hard to sum up this road / bromance / heist / revenge / adventure / suspense / dramedy film in one sentence. Instead, I'll just show you the good stuff:

Drink Coke! (Thunderbolt and Lightfoot)
The Daisy Wagon is proud to serve Coca-Cola to children.

130. (1359.) Countdown (1967)
Robert Altman directed this very un-Robert Altman-like fictional depiction of the first man on the moon. There's too much talent in front of and behind the camera to make a film this boring.

131. (1360.) Captain America: Civil War (2016)
I had avoided this for years because I didn't like the first two. It was as bad as I expected. I admit that the fight between the heroes at the airport was great fun. It's a shame the fun was sandwiched between a contrived premise and a moronic ending.

More to come.

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I'm sorry that there has been no post in the past few days. Coca-Cola announced that President Trump's indiscriminate aluminum tariffs are raising the price of soft drinks. As a result, I've been in mourning.

Forget P.O.W. bashing, pussy grabbing, and an inability to tell the truth about anything. When you fuck with Coca-Cola, you're fucking with America.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm out to stock up on apple pie and baseball before things get worse.

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I had a friend over to the house for an afternoon of gaming yesterday, and I very graciously offered him a Coca-Cola. He poured an entire 12-ounce can into a glass with ice... and then he only drank half of it! He poured half a Coke down my sink! Oh, the humanity!

If that's the game he wants to play, so be it. You'll never sink my battleship now, asshole.

Southern Hospitality only extends so far.

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At last! The final batch of movies watched in March:

59. (1288.) The Magnetic Monster (1953)
Mid-century cautionary tale about the unknown dangers of splitting the atom. It starts like a documentary, though it mostly plays like stale drive-in cliche. Not entirely terrible, but hardly a classic.

60. (1289.) Death Wish (2018)
Also not a classic. I've seen all the Bronson Death Wish movies multiple times, and none of them are quite as dumb as the movie Bruce Willis finds himself in. I'm not entirely sure whether this interpretation of Kersey was a bumbling idiot because the writer/director/studio wanted to downplay the danger of a self-appointed vigilante a gun or whether they just think most people are that foolish. *shrug*

61. (1290.) Johnny Handsome (1989)
A mad scientist gives a disfigured criminal a new face, but he can't fix his broken heart! No, seriously. Lance Henriksen, Ellen Barken, and Morgan Freeman play comic book villains, but this hokum comes across surprisingly earnest thanks entirely to Mickey Rourke. Not bad for a crime movie of its era.
(Footnote: early in the film, Henriksen is driving through the streets of New Orleans and a Coca-Cola storefront sign is visible out his rear window. As the sign clearly wasn't placed for the shot, I don't think it qualifies as product placement, so no screenshot appears here. But it is clearly a Coca-Cola sign so I'm still talking about it.)

62. (1291.) The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band (1968)
Kurt Russell is the only actor I've seen in multiple movies so far this year. Here in 1968, he plays a pre-teen member of the title band (headed by Walter Brennan and Buddy Ebsen). Forty-seven years later, in 2015's Bone Tomahawk, he played an aging Old West sheriff. I'm glad he's still acting. In both roles he was great. This entire movie was pretty enjoyable, in fact, with good songs and a tight (if slight) story. There's a reason the Disney brand has been so strong for so long.

63. (1292.) Walkabout (1971)
Two children become lost in the Australian Outback and are saved by a young aborigine. Was anyone truly saved? Is the film being cynical, honest, or allegorical? It's like the Apocalypse, Now! of coming-of-age movies. The only thing I'm sure it's saying is that everyone goes through their own life alone. Honestly, I watch a lot of movies and rarely come across anything as weird and haunting as this. I'll remember Walkabout for a long time.

More to come.

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More March movies:

54. (1283.) Weekend at Bernie's (1989)
Man, it must be fun to play a corpse. Bernie seems to be having a ball in this surprisingly-lighthearted-considering-the-subject-matter farce. I enjoyed it in part because of the always delightful Catherine Mary Stewart and in part because everyone in this film seems to be enjoying a Coke!

Drink Coke! (Weekend at Bernies)
Bernie is the one person in the movie who doesn't drink Coke!

55. (1284.) Charlie Varrick (1973)
I read afterwards that Walter Matthau didn't like this crime thriller, calling it too confusing. I have to agree. I thought I was paying attention, but I still didn't understand what was going on at the climax until after reading about the movie on IMDB. (I don't think it was entirely my fault, either. It's hard to puzzle out deeper character motivations when every other man onscreen is thinking only about money and sex and every women onscreen is there just to be paid for sex. Charlie Varrick doesn't live in a very deep world.)

56. (1285.) The Chase (1966)
This is another of those "narrowly misses being a great movie" movies. As always, it's not entirely clear why this fails, though I think it's mostly because there is nothing to hold onto in the first two acts. The audience needs a protagonist that, if not a genuine surrogate, is at least worth rooting for. If that character is missing or unclear, there can be no investment and the action slides by indifferently, like water in a muddy creek. In other words, having a cast of great actors isn't a substitute for having a cast of great characters.

57. (1286.) Bone Tomahawk (2015)
Aaaah! What is this? A western? A horror film? A character study? The weird genre mix takes some getting used to. (I assure you, whatever you think you're watching, you are NOT ready for act three.) Pretty good if you've got a strong stomach.

58. (1287.) Doctor Faustus (1967)
This, on the other hand, is not good. I mean, it's faithful to the famous 400-year-old play. But Richard Burton's Faustus seems more obsessed with Elizabeth Taylor than power or whatever he sold his soul to his devil for. Let's call this a curiosity strictly for theater people or Burton/Taylor enthusiasts and leave it at that.

And lest you think we've finally finished with March movies, no, we haven't. I watched 25 in all, meaning we sill five to go. More to come.

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To be continued...

 

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