Showing 1 - 10 of 165 posts found matching keyword: coke
Saturday 2 March 2024
6/2317. Time Bomb Y2K (2023)
This documentary has no commentary or interviews, just clips of footage taken from original sources as the world marched toward a potential disaster on January 1, 2000. The clip selection (perhaps out of necessity) tends towards typically overblown media sensationalism, and the end result is like leaving a cup of history out in the sun and reviewing it later after the sane parts had evaporated out. A history reduction! Its fever pitch doesn't quite match my memories of the era, but that would admittedly make for less entertaining television.
7/2318. This Place Rules (2022)
Another documentary of a different sort as journalist Andrew Callaghan records himself traveling around the country attending Trump rallies in the weeks leading to January 6, 2021. Unlike Jordan Klepper's similar pieces for The Daily Show, Callaghan's point of view isn't as obvious, sometimes seeming more empathetic and sometimes entirely apathetic. At times, this feels a bit like an art piece, and as with all things in Trump World, it's hard to ascertain how much is truth and how much is performative. If nothing else, it's an interesting artifact of its era.
8/2319. Thriller 40 (2023)
There are plenty of interviews in this documentary celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of Michael Jackson's Thriller album. There's a lot of talk about how Thriller and the artistic genius behind it changed the world of music and entertainment for the better but very little discussion about the controversial legacy of Jackson himself. Maybe that's the way it should be; it just felt a little hollow looking backwards at what I (and all the interviewees) know to be in Jackson's future.
9/2320. The Liquidator (1965)
This spy action/comedy, with a theme performed by my favorite James Bond theme-songstress, Shirley Bassey, features Rod Taylor as a British secret agent with a license to kill... who hires other people to kill for him, which is a smaller part of the plot than you'd expect. In fact, the story is a bit of a meandering hot mess as it struggles to exploit a niche that other James Bond rip-offs hadn't yet. Honestly, I don't know that I would have made it all the way through if it wasn't for the prominent role of given to Jill St. John, my favorite Bond Girl.
Which is not to say that the movie is entirely stupid. It's hard to read in the image above, but "Refreshes you best" was indeed Coke's international slogan in 1959. Here is also cleverly serves here as a visual double entendre for the sexual proclivities of our hero, who works in a diner called the Bird Cage where he stalks attractive (and willing) young women -- a fact that is entirely relevant to the third act twist. Oh, well. They can't all be Diamonds Are Forever.
10/2321. The Tale of Zatoichi (1962)
The Internet tells me that the blind ronin Zatoichi was an incredibly popular action hero in Japan. I don't see why (no pun intended), but the film, the first of many for the character, isn't exactly bad as it is a little slow and dull. But maybe it was better than whatever else Japanese audiences were being offered in 1962. Maybe it took some time for Dr. No to cross the Pacific. (The fifth Bond film, Japanese-set You Only Live Twice, wouldn't arrive in theaters until 1967. By then, there had already been 14 Zatoichi films!)
More to come.
Sunday 28 January 2024
137/2303. Asteroid City (2023)
It feels almost like all other Wes Anderson films were setting the stage for this, the most Wes Anderson film yet. I probably don't need to tell you that this was my favorite movie of 2023. Like Birdman, the meta-commentary on plays, acting, art, and entertainment is more text than subtext, yet it still manages to be evasive enough for multiple interpretations. "You can't wake up if you don't fall asleep."
138/2304. Altered States (1980)
Because I don't enjoy body horror or drug movies, I have been avoiding this movie since I first became aware of its existence (thanks to a Mad magazine parody), and I was right to. It's a hot mess. Screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky's words are here, but the director and actors sidestep Chayefsky's cynicism for an irritatingly earnest.... horror romance? Not very not good.
Coca-Cola is the mildest mind-altering drug in this picture.
139/2305. Albert Brooks: Defending My Life (2023)
Rob Reiner's documentary interview with Albert Brooks is pretty entertaining because Albert Brooks is very entertaining. It could have been three times as long and been just as good.
140/2306. Best Defense (1984)
Speaking of not very good.... Looking back on Eddie Murphy's lifetime body of work, very few of his movies are really any good. He has admitted he did this one just for the money, and it shows. Dudley Moore isn't any better in this very mediocre spy "comedy."
141/2307. The Cheaters (1945)
This very slim plot involving scammers bilking a girl out of her inheritance at Christmas barely sustains the 90 minute runtime. It did not hold my full attention, but it also didn't drive me away. Make of that what you will.
142/2308. An Actor's Revenge (1963)
This experimental Japanese movie is staged to look shallow, like a stage play, which is directly relevant to the story, but the story itself is something like a dull cross-dressing version of Hamlet. I like my movies a little weird, but the slow pace put me to sleep. I did not want to wake up for more.
More to come.
Tuesday 16 January 2024
130/2296. Mystic Pizza (1988)
If I had seen this when it came out, I know I would have hated it. And not just because I would have been 12 and I would have hated everything that wasn't Transformers and comic books but because each of the girls are clearly making choices that sabotage their own lives. But with the perspective that Middle Age provides, I really enjoyed it.
This product placement becomes a little more blatant when you discover this wasn't filmed at the actual restaurant.
131/2297. The Bachelor Party (1957)
TCM broadcast a night of Paddy Chayefsky-written films, including this one, which is NOT the sophomoric Tom Hanks comedy but a typically satirical Chayefsky look at the institution of marriage and how we usually fail it. I liked it.
132/2298. Middle of the Night (1959)
Another Chayefsky work, this time a look at the unconventional courtship of a May/December romance hindered by self-deception and social expectations. I did not care for the rom-com ending; they're doomed!
134/2300. I Wouldn't Be in Your Shoes (1948)
Run by TCM as an off-the-beaten path Christmas movie (it's set around the holiday), this is a crime drama in which a disagreeable dancer is framed for murder and it's up to his wife and the police detective who loves her to find the clues. It's a fun puzzle, but the ending... oh, boy. I'm glad everybody brought a gun to the housewarming.
135/2301. She Done Him Wrong (1933)
When I wrote my capsule for I'm No Angel a few weeks ago, I was actually thinking of this, the other Mae West/Cary Grant movie. I'm No Angel is the much better of the two, but they both showcase why May West is an enduring star.
136/2302. 42 (2013)
A biopic of Jackie Robinson's first year in baseball, which, as is usually the case in these sorts of movies and the primary reason I don't usually like them, bends history to fit its narrative. However, Robinson was a unique individual deserving of his place in history, and the movie is well-crafted and charming. So I'll just say nice things about it.
More to come.
Wednesday 6 December 2023
I've really fallen off the movie watching pace this year. It looks like I'll only see maybe 140 new-to-me films in 2023, my lowest total since 2016. Let that be a lesson: When you work too hard, there's not enough time to sit on your ass and watch movies. Time to reinvestigate my priorities.
112/2278. Man Hunt (1941)
Walter Pigeon is hunted across England by Nazis because he thought about assassinating Hitler. It gets pretty brutal; the Nazis do not play fair. And to think: This movie was made in America in 1941! (Director Fritz Lang had escaped Nazi Germany, so he had some first-hand experience and an axe to grind, and grind it he did.) The call to action at the end is a bit much, but thumbs up otherwise.
113/2279. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (2023)
I've played in my share of Dungeons and Dragons campaigns, and I can attest that this movie gets it all right: wisecracking, well-intentioned but marginally competent (and greedy) heroes make for a crackling good time. It made me want to get together with friends and start a new campaign.
114/2280. The Flash (2023)
I covered the key aspects of this piece of trash back in September. To reiterate: it's bad; don't watch it. (On my first attempt, I made it to the 8 minute mark before I couldn't take it anymore and had to bail. A friend convinced me to try again, starting at 1 hour, when Michael Keaton arrives. I did as he said, and I was left with bile in my mouth as I watched Keaton parody himself for a big paycheck. Poor guy. Maybe Birdman was more autobiographical than I would have previously believed. The real sin here: never remind your audience they could be watching other, better movies.)
115/2281. Summer of '42 (1971)
What I didn't like about this enjoyably bittersweet coming-of-age story was the dialogue between the three friends. I was that age once, and I'm sure my friends and A) had a much better grasp of sex B) didn't sound like egghead playwrights. Very distracting in what was otherwise a very naturalistic setting.
"In '42, we were thirsty... for love."
116/2282. A Zest for Death: A Hannah Swensen Mystery (2023)
I'm glad that Hallmark has resumed their Hannah "The Baker" Swensen mystery series. I enjoy them in large part because I enjoy using their established formulas to resolve which of the newly introduced characters has to be the murderer, no matter how improbable the story would want you to think it is. In other words: dumb puzzle movie make Walter feel smart. Hooray!
More to come.
Wednesday 8 November 2023
102/2268. Hide in Plain Sight (1980)
James Caan directs James Caan in a movie that could do with a little less verisimilitude. It's based on the true story of a man whose wife goes into witness protection hiding with their son. In a movie full of cops, gangsters, and lawyers, we spend a little too much time with Jimmy being frustrated with his day job and new dog.
The color on this is bad because it was taken from the trailer on YouTube. I assure you, in the actual movie, the Coke is red.
103/2269. Killer McCoy (1947)
Working title: Mickey Rooney, professional boxer! He fights men! He picks up women! He spends a lot of time in cars! The film has a fun script could work... with someone else in the starring role. I just cannot believe that tiny Rooney could beat a man to death in a boxing ring.
104/2270. Daddy's Gone A-Hunting (1969)
The most striking thing about this thriller (which has an aborted pregnancy at its center) is that it was scored by John Williams. Ok, fine, the abortion angle is pretty striking, too, especially when the stalker starts insisting that his ex-girlfriend kill her new baby as penance. Actually not a bad thriller.
105/2271. The Password Is Courage (1962)
Dirk Bogarde as charming war hero! I'd caught the opening act of this movie some time ago, and it was a delight to finish it off. I'd swear this was the basis for Hogan's Heroes.
106/2272. Damn the Defiant! (1962)
Dirk Bogarde as ruthless child torturer! In this case, the show is stolen by Alec Guinness as the captain of the HMS Defiant... and the boy's father. I was actually bored by the action scenes, but the melodrama was pretty engrossing.
More to come.
Sunday 22 October 2023
95/2261. Teen Witch (1989)
This is a coming-of-age fantasy power movie in the vein of Zapped! but for girls... and much tamer... and made by incompetents. Its misguided confidence is surprisingly charming. Watch for the teen lust hunk unironically shaking up the Coke before he gives it to our heroine!
96/2262. The Murder Man (1935)
Holy cow, Spencer Tracy is always good, even when he's playing a detective reporter who is also.... Aw, but that'd be giving it away!
98/2264. Sergeant Rutledge (1960)
John Ford's take on racism in the American West... and in America in general, I guess. Frankly, the third act feels a bit like a cop out, but I have to accept that Ford was working in an era that demanded happy endings for Hollywood tales about the limits of American exceptionalism. I should probably be satisfied that such a movie (with a such dark subtext) even exists in the period.
99/2265. Blondie (1938)
The first in a series of movies that adapted the long comic strip into a live action situation comedy. This was apparently very popular in its day, but Dagwood is too incompetent to be sympathetic — or coupled with a hottie like Blondie!
100/2266. Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)
John Ford directs Henry Fonda struggling with frontier life during American Revolution. What it lacks in realism (which is a great deal), it makes up for in cliches! Which doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it. Cliches get repeated for a reason.
101/2267. Cheyenne Autumn (1964)
Another John Ford picture that tries, in its way, to correct the public record on the tragedies of Manifest Destiny in the American West. (Ford was no innocent bystander in this. He sure presented the French-allied Indians in Drums Along the Mohawk to be particularly bloodthirsty rapists and murderers worthy of exterminating.) Sadly, the worst part of this isn't all the unnecessarily dead Cheyenne but the extended "comedy" sequence with Jimmy Stewart playing Wyatt Earp just before intermission. While this may be another of Ford's concessions to contemporary audiences, it's so tonally incongruent with what comes before and after that it robs the rest of the movie of any dignity, making the whole experience feel more exploitative than sympathetic. Yuck.
More to come.
Tuesday 12 September 2023
Watching football this week, I saw a commercial promoting the an upcoming Aquaman movie trailer. That's literally a commercial for a commercial.
Meanwhile, McDonald's has taken to airing commercials featuring movie clips that feature McDonald's product placement, in other words a commercial featuring other commercials.
As loathe as I am to give any attention to a Coca-Cola competitor, the highlight of the televised NFL opening weekend was easily this Frito-Lay ad (title: "Unretirement") featuring a handful of washed-up NFL has-beens... plus Dan Marino.
Nothing sells potato chips like a little memento mori.
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Tuesday 29 August 2023
72/2238. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023)
Complaint 1: This movie was made explicitly for fans of Indiana Jones, with all the excessive fan service and nostalgic callbacks that entails. (No surprise to see Kathleen Kennedy's name in the credits.) Complaint 2: It's too long by an hour. Other than that, it was fine, the third best Indiana Jones movie. Far better than Crystal Skull, which I just rewatched last week to find that it is even worse than I remember.
73/2239. El cochecito (1960)
The theme of this satirical Spanish movie is that the elderly and invalids are just as fucked up and deserving of respect as everyone else. It's almost cute, until you get to the shocking ending.
A man steals a wheelchair... and a Coke!
74/2240. The Crippled Masters (1979)
TCM ran this and El cochecito back to back on a theme night. In this martial arts cripple exploitation film, the theme is also that the physically handicapped can be just as deadly as normally abled martial artists. Other than the gimmick of a pair of martial artists without the use of their arms or legs, it's really pretty dull.
75/2241. Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Something New (2023)
If you're not up to date on your behind-the-scenes of the ongoing Hallmark Channel vs Great American Media catfight, you might be surprised that the title character in these was recast and the timeline rolled backwards to her college years. (My biggest complaint is actually the recasting of Aurora's friends, but this series has always been about the supporting cast for me. I don't like Aurora herself.) But the script is still written by Teena Booth who is a consistent workhorse at delivering a very satisfying formula of mild-mannered murder mystery.
76/2242. The Goodbye Girl (1977)
Romantic comedies in the movies came of age as screwball comedies of the 1930s which transitioned to the sex comedies of the 50s. Here in the 70s, we can see the genre becoming what we now recognize as a modern example with a healthy dose of New Hollywood's unique interpretation of "realism." It's pretty good, in no small part because it knows exactly what it is and what it wants to be doing.
77/2243. The Second Time Around (1961)
Perhaps this is best described as an adventure picture, Debbie Reynolds Goes West. But it leans heavy on broad comedy and romance (choosing between Andy Griffith at his most cornpone and Steve Forrest at his most oily). I think I'll call it an interesting artifact of its time and leave it at that.
More to come.
Friday 18 August 2023
66/2232. Something's Gonna Live (2009)
This documentary follows Robert Boyle and his friends reminiscing about the highs and lows of their Hollywood careers. There's a lot of grumpy-old-men complaining about how things have changed since their heydays in the 1950s through 70s (such as working for Hitchcock), but there's also a lot of open admission that the "good" old days weren't always so good (especially for minorities and the disenfranchised). A good documentary for cinephiles.
67/2233. The Dancing Detective: A Deadly Tango (2023)
Not so many years ago, Lacey Chabert was Hallmark's crossword-puzzle writing mystery solver. Now she's an undercover American agent on Interpol assignment in the ballroom of a corporate murderer. The crossword-writer was more believable. It's all very contrived, but I'll take what I can get after The Pandemic reduced the flow of new made-for-tv mystery movies to a trickle.
68/2234. Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023)
Much has been said in reviews about the third act's bad CGI and extended Skittles product placement, but the real problem with this sequel is Shazam himself. Zachary Levi plays the Big Red Cheese like a complete moron. What can I say other than he's not MY Captain Marvel.
69/2235. Deep Valley (1947)
This movie made so little impression on me that I just had to look it up on IMDB to remind myself what it was: poor little Ida Lupino is a socially deprived mountain girl who falls for an escaped criminal good-for-nothing. Spoiler alert: It doesn't work out.
70/2236. Inside Moves (1980)
For a movie that begins with a very graphic suicide attempt, this movie about a cast of characters struggling through physical disabilities that put them on the margins of society is surprisingly uplifting. Directed by Richard Donner, there's even a running sight gag of a Superman: The Movie pinball machine inside the local hangout at the center of the film. It's all very good.
A cripple walks into a bar... and orders a Coke!
71/2237. Thief (1981)
James Caan really inhabits the role of an ex-con who gets squeezed by some very stupid, stupid men. Like most Michael Mann films, I didn't love it, but I respect it.
More to come.
Saturday 5 August 2023
58/2224. Flaxy Martin (1949)
The title character is not the protagonist but the femme fatale, the reason the protagonist runs afoul of the law in this compilation of crime noir cliches. I watch enough of these that I must like crime noir cliches.
61/2227. I, Tonya (2017)
It's weird, getting old and seeing movies made of historical events that you remember living through. This very comedic interpretation of the scandalous events of 1994 leans heavily in Tonya Harding's favor, but even when she's on her best behavior, the movie is populated entirely by some of the worst people behaving badly, so it's hard to feel too charitable.
62/2228. 1917 (2019)
Friend James told me this was a great film, and I didn't take him seriously enough. It really is amazingly well crafted and, yes, beautiful in its depictions of the horrors of the Great War. Honestly, it's a masterpiece.
63/2229. Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt) (2020)
On the other end of the movie making spectrum is this much, much smaller fantasy coming of age film with a budget so small you'd lose it in the laundry. Sucker that I am for coming-of-age films, I still enjoyed it very much. (It's kind of nice to be reminded that as fraught as teenage hormones and relationships are, they aren't a literal war.)
64/2230. Storm Warning (1950)
Ronald Reagan is a crusading prosecutor driven to rid his town of the Ku Klux Klan! The film hints at an underlying connection between the racist Klan and the manipulative forces of industry, but that's subtle enough not to get in the way of the crime thriller. Pretty darn good.
65/2231. Don Juan (1926)
Credited as being the first movie with synchronized sound, it doesn't really capitalize on the innovation. It's mostly just another swashbuckling adventure film of its era with sword sound effects reliably clanging on cue.
More to come.