Showing 1 - 10 of 54 posts found matching keyword: coke
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.
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!
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.
Since I obviously don't have much else to say right now, let's just keep going with movie reviews, shall we?
50. (1279.) Straight Outta Compton (2015)
Nostalgia is insidious! I distinctly recall that I was no fan of "gangsta" rap back in the day, but watching this movie I caught myself thinking how much better NWA was than the hip hop I've heard recently. That realization made me ask myself whether I like the older music just because it's more familiar? By the same regard, did I enjoy this movie, or did I just enjoy revisiting my past? Dammit! Fuck you, nostalgia.
51. (1280.) Power Rangers (2017)
Another nostalgia trip, if you liked Power Rangers on TV, I don't see why you wouldn't like it here. Unless you hate Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I admit this product placement feels a little too forced.
52. (1281.) Macon County Line (1974)
A different sort of nostalgia for the Korean War generation, this unnecessary bit of youth-in-revolt thriller cinema was written by The Beverly Hillbillies' Jethro, filmed with southern California standing in for Georgia, and probably shouldn't be watched by anyone. I share this piece of product placement as a public service announcement:
That Coke is the only good thing to happen to him in the whole movie.
53. (1282.) Return to Macon County (1975)
Macon County made its producers a lot of money, so the next year they came back with this, a sequel in name only. This one stars before-they-were-famous actors Nick Nolte and Don Johnson as drag race wannabes. (I was more excited to recognize the gun-happy waitress as Robin Mattson, the sister-in-law of the titular "Ricky" in one of the best episodes of The Incredible Hulk.) Don't let all that star power excite you, this is just as boring as its predecessor, though this was at least filmed in Georgia, which might explain why Coca-Cola doubled down on the product placement.
Smile, boys. You're having a Coke!
That's still not the end of March movies!. More to come.
Hey, look! March movies, part 2:
44. (1273.) Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957)
I really enjoy Robert Mitchum movies, which is a good thing here as he's one of only two principal actors in the cast. Pretty good.
45. (1274.) The Marriage-Go-Round (1961)
This is as risque as sex comedies got in the early 60s. I sure like the idea of Julie Newmar throwing herself sexually at an intelligent man, but the one-note concept wears thin long before the movie finally gives out.
46. (1275.) Hercules (2014)
Everyone knows that Hercules was more myth than man. What this movie presupposes is... maybe he wasn't? Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson doesn't look very Greek to me in this big, dumb action film. I admit that I watched it mostly on fast forward.
47. (1276.) Five Star Final (1931)
Edward G. Robinson plays a tabloid newspaper editor who hounds an accused murderess, driving her and her new husband to suicide and ruining the life of their daughter. Very cynical. I loved it.
48. (1277.) The Blue Lagoon (1980)
Yes, the story is crap, a transparent excuse to justify prurient admiration of the beautiful bodies of a young girl and boy, but at least the cinematography is generally well crafted. Pornography can be art. This movie isn't ("Hey, look! Those turtles are fucking, just like us!"), I'm just pointing out that it's possible.
49. (1278.) Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)
Director Robert Aldrich saw that his Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? made a lot of money so he decided to make it again, this time adding a dash of Gaslight. Not a success.
However, the intended re-pairing of enemies Bette Davis and Joan Crawford (who was recast after the drama got to be too much) did result in one very intentional bit of Coca-Cola product placement, so the story goes. Because Crawford had married into an executive position at Pepsi, Davis had Coca-Cola machines on set. In addition, she had a Coke truck drive across a shot to obscure a scene intended for Crawford.
Drink up, bitch!
More to come.
The 2018 Winter Olympic Games may have come and gone, but they didn't stop the movie watching. Here's batch 2 for February.
26. (1255.) The Foot Fist Way (2006)
The movie that made Danny McBride a star! Actually, I think that may have been Pineapple Express, but this was earlier. It's exactly the sense of humor you've come to expect from McBride, so if you generally think his movies/TV shows are funny, here's some more. (Personally, I waffle. I think McBride's persona is entertaining in ensemble casts, but I can only take so much of his signature self-absorbed abrasiveness in one sitting.)
27. (1256.) Inside Out (2015)
Mom loved this movie, but I was only lukewarm. Too much touchy-feely for Walter, I suspect. The only time I was really captivated was when we got a look inside other people's heads at their control crews. To clarify: good movie well made, just not to my tastes.
28. (1257.) Congratulations, It's a Boy! (1971)
Bill Bixby plays the antithesis of his usual, responsible adult as a spoiled playboy discovering a grown son he didn't know he had. (Mom named the boy after Bixby's character, but told the son that dad was dead. That's some great parenting.) There is a subplot involving Bixby's overbearing parents' mistakenly thinking that their son and their grandson are in a homosexual relationship, but that's too little too late to save an otherwise dull affair.
29. (1258.) Rapture-Palooza (2013)
I don't usually like end-of-the-world movies, but this slapstick comedy wasn't so bad, perhaps because darling Anna Kendrick was there cushion the blow that everyone's living in Hell on Earth.
30. (1259.) The Ultimate Warrior (1975)
This is not about the WWF superstar wrestler but Yul Brynner's rather boring attempt to save Max von Sydow's post-apocalyptic commune. Yawn. (It could have used some Anna Kendrick.)
31. (1260.) Meet Wally Sparks (1997)
Golly, I remember this movie getting a lot of bad press on initial release. I can understand why, although if you're attending a Rodney Dangerfield comedy, you shouldn't be expecting Citizen Kane. It's not worse than any Chris Farley or Adam Sandler movie of the same era. Plus, in part because the movie spends most of its time lampooning the Southern manners of the citizens of the Great State of Georgia, it's got Coke!
None of these kids is Wally Sparks.
More to come.
At the request of friend Randy, who wanted an easier way to find reviews for particular movies, I have updated my movie list (found here or via the link at the bottom of every page) to include links to reviews when they exist. You're welcome, Randy!
Now, on to new-to-Walter movie reviews for February!
21. (1250.) The Shiek (1921)
This is the movie that made Rudolph Valentino a star. A century later, it's hard to see why. The story is that old cliche: arab (Valentino) kidnaps strong-willed woman, she tries to escape and is kidnapped by an even worse arab, and she realizes that she loves her original kidnapper because he was slightly less rapey. *shrug* Make America Great Again, I guess.
22. (1251.) Gleaming the Cube (1989)
Skating! Drugs! Vietnam guilt! Rampant product placement! Christian Slater! It's the eighties in a movie. (And I still don't know what "gleaming the cube" means.)
Did I mention the product placement? It's hard to tell how much of the products and advertisements seen in the film were paid, but Pizza Hit, the (original) L.A. Rams, and Coca-Cola are the big winners here.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. They might as well have been skating inside a bottling plant.
23. (1252.) Goosebumps (2015)
Hey, this children's horror movie isn't bad. Even in this "I've got kids now" stage of his career, Jack Black is still funny.
24. (1253.) Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015)
Just fantastic! (Of course. Aardman Animations always brings the quality.) Highly recommended.
25. (1254.) An Inconvenient Truth (2006)
I've never been a big Al Gore fan, but it's a painful reminder to see what science had to say about climate change a decade ago and know that we're still not doing much about it. Ugh. We're all going to die.
More to come.
More movies (with pictures!).
11. (1240.) Border Radio (1987)
This film — which very much reminds me of the style (if not the comedy) of Clerks — is not good in any traditional way. Its improvising actors are the rankest amateurs, and its message can probably best be summed up as "life is the drama we create for ourselves." However, it does manage an alluring mix of raw emotion and appealing cinematography that was very refreshing.
Speaking of refreshing, while I can't believe that Coca-Cola paid for this to be included, here it is anyway:
12. (1241.) Trouble Along the Way (1953)
John Wayne plays a football coach determined to turn around the popularity of a small New England parochial school, so he decides to pay the football team to attract better recruits. Wayne's plan works until the dean finds out what he's done and fires him — for admitting players who didn't meet the academic requirements. How cutely naive the 1950s were.
13. (1242.) Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)
The only good Adam Sandler films lately are the ones that keep him off camera.
14. (1243.) He's Just Not That Into You (2009)
BRADLEY COOPER, HOW DARE YOU BREAK JENNIFER CONNELLY'S HEART?!
15. (1244.) Jurassic World (2015)
This movie requires a whole lot of stupid to get where it's going, but that's true of any big budget disaster film. To its credit, the movie seems to know this, and in the end, the hero of the film is the Tyrannosaurus Rex, not the people too dumb to contain it.
Amusingly, most of the product placement in this film is intended to be over-the-top as you would find in any big theme park. However, while the script openly derides Verizon Wireless and "Pepsi-saurus," we are treated to our smart and hunky protagonist enjoying a completely unironic sip of liquid refreshment in his down time between practicing zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance.
More to come.
You thought I wouldn't get through my list of 2017 movies before 2018, didn't you? Well, this is it! December, part 2 of 2:
163. (1222.) It's a Wonderful World (1939)
This screwball comedy staring Jimmy Stewart should not be confused with It's a Wonderful Life. There's little exceptional about this, which is not to say it's bad. It's just not a classic.
164. (1223.) Ace in the Hole (1951)
Man, Kirk Douglas made some great movies. The premise of this movie, that a journalist would endanger the life of an innocent man to get a bigger story, is so 2017. Too late does he realize what this has done to his soul. Very good.
165. (1224.) The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
The movie that inspired You've Got Mail with Jimmy Stewart in Tom Hanks' role. I like Tom Hanks as much as the next American, but Stewart does it best.
166. (1225.) Man-Proof (1938)
Myrna Loy isn't so much "man-proof" as she is "man obsessed." I guess that would have made a worse title. I do adore Loy, but I can't say even her presence does much to redeem this rather sappy melodrama.
168. (1227.) Dudes (1987)
A cult classic starring Jon Cryer as a New Yorker having a fever dream trip through the modern Old West. This eclectic movie has a lot of quirkiness going for it — especially Daredelvis — but despite its charm can't overcome the fundamental problem of its violent heart.
This movie included an overt bit of Coca-Cola product placement. After seeing this and the Coke bottles in Ace in the Hole, I decided from now on, whenever I see a Coke on screen, I'm going to include a screen grab in my review. So have a Coke and a Dude:
169. (1228.) Broadway Melody of 1936 (1936)
Jack Benny! Eleanor Powell! Buddy Ebsen! There's a lot to like about this tap-dancing musical. It has some product placement itself, as Ebsen wears a Mickey Mouse sweater for his first dance number (with his sister)! Utterly charming.
170. (1229.) Joysticks (1983)
Teen sex comedies of the 1980s have a special place in my heart (and my groin). This one concerns a video arcade that runs afoul of Jo Don Baker with all the bizarre misadventures you'd expect. Not a bad choice to end the year.
Whew! 170 movies in 2017. Can I top that? Tune in next year and see!
The Miami Dolphins came to Atlanta for their first visit to
Georgia Dome 2.0 Mercedes Benz Stadium, and I went to see them with my friends, Falcons fans Keith and Ken (and their lovely wives).
In the first half, the Dolphins played like the Dolphins, stumbling into a 0-17 hole. Jay Cutler was the worst he's been all season, playing without inspiration or conviction, placing balls where they would do the least good for the receivers. Just horrible.
However, in the second half, the Falcons played like the Falcons, committing penalties, throwing interceptions, failing to tackle, and just refusing to finish a game. The Falcons scored 0 second half points. The Dolphins scored 20.
Final score, 20-17, Dolphins! Whoo-hoo! Thank you, Falcons!
I would be remiss if I didn't mention my first impression of the new stadium. All I've heard is how wonderful it is. Don't believe the hype.
- The much ballyhooed 360° HD halo screen is worthless for half of the stadium. Those on the ground floor have to stare at the ceiling to see anything. Those in the rafters (like me) can't see half the screen because the near edge obscures the top half of the far side screen. (Given that they can't even make the roof open — not that you'd be able to tell from most of the seats — I assume that it would have been too hard to pitch the screens into a cone so that they would be visible to all?)
- Stadium concourses are given over almost exclusively to concessions with queue lines cutting into walkways, making it impossible to get around without running through crowds standing in line for beer and $2 hot dogs.
- And if you want a $2 hot dog, get one early. Lines don't move quickly. I didn't go myself, but watching and listening to those around me, the minimum wait time appeared to be 15 minutes. (And if you want a Coke, your only option is to stand in line for a fill-it-yourself fountain cup which entitles you to stand in line by the "free refills" drink fountains. That's two lines for the price of one!)
- Speaking of 15 minutes, that was the wait time for restroom breaks — to the men's room!
In short, I didn't see that this stadium was an improvement in any way over the Georgia Dome save the welcome presence of natural light, and I got the impression that I must not be alone. From the very beginning of the game, there were huge blocks of empty seats visible all over the stadium. (I'd guess it was half full.) Given the stadium's evident disdain for people who actually want to watch a game of football, I can't blame those ticket holders for wanting to spend their time doing something other than watch football there.
But enough about that. I went to the building not to pass judgement on it, but to watch a football game with friends. In the end, I think a good time was had by all.*
*At least, all of us cheering for the Dolphins.
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In 2003, my grandfather gifted me a backlit 1975 Ingress-Plastene Coca-Cola clock (Model G017) that he had been storing in his garage. The light still worked, but the timekeeping didn't. I took it apart and tinkered with it a bit, but for reasons I couldn't recall, I never got around to finishing the repair and the clock was put, in pieces, into storage in my garage. Like grandfather, like grandson.
In April, looking for something to do between programming jobs, I finally decided to finish my decade-old clock restoration project. Having forgotten why it wasn't working, I started over at the beginning. I spent $20 on assorted parts to replace the missing winding mechanism before I re-discovered that the original motorized movement was worn out. Then I remembered why I didn't fix it 10 years ago: the company that made the electric motor stopped making clock parts in the 90s.
Unwilling to give up a second time, I took to the Internet. Replacement Lux series 2350 movements are available periodically on eBay for prices as low as $25. In fact, the whole clock is common enough enough that I could buy a replacement between $50 and $250, depending on condition. But I didn't really want a replacement; I wanted the clock that my grandfather once owned to tick once again. Besides, I couldn't really trust 40-year-old parts to keep working any longer than they had in my clock.
So I went ahead and spent $40 on a new electric movement — Made in the USA™ — with a set of hands that mimicked what I had. (The original had a sweeping second hand and the replacement steps, but beggers cannot be choosers.) It took a bit of tinkering with a drill and a vice to make the new, shallower movement fit with the original florescent lamp interior, but it worked out well enough in the end.
After nearly 15 years, I finally have a working grandfather clock. Now my mud room looks like a little league snack bar, and that's just the way I like it.
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