Showing 11 - 20 of 137 posts found matching keyword: coke

The Olympics are here again, which of course means that I'm watching fewer movies and more sports — just in time for the end of football season!

9/2018. Black Samson (1974)
The protagonist of this blaxploitation film has a pet lion that... doesn't ever do anything. Is it only here because the biblical Samson killed a lion? ("What is stronger than a lion? Black Samson!") More interestingly, although the film very much indulges in themes of black solidarity, the "white man" isn't really the bad guy here; that honor goes to one crazy, wannabe mafia boss who even the white men don't like. (Is Johnny Nappa a Philistine? Which of the girls dancing in Samson's topless bar is Delilah?) Hardly great cinema, but not entirely worthless, either.

10/2019. The Story of Three Loves (1953)
This anthology film lives up to its title, telling three different stories about lost loves is the good kind of weird. The middle chapter would appear to have inspired the movie Big (with Ricky Nelson in what would be Hanks' role), and the third chapter showcases Kirk Douglas' typical commitment to his roles, in this case as an obsessed trapeze artist.

11/2020. How to Build a Girl (2019)
Beanie Feldstein pretends to be young and English in the early 90s British music scene. As I've admitted before, I'm a sucker for coming-of-age films. This one hits all the usual beats, and of course I enjoyed it.

Drink Coke! (How to Build a Girl)
She orders a Coke in a bar, then never touches it. It just sits on that table. What is this, an SEC football press conference?

12/2021. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
Holy crap, the bus fight on this thing is amazing. They really should have found a way to make that the finale. I'd heard a lot of complaints about that CGI-driven finale, and I think they are all well deserved. The real problem isn't the CGI but the fact that the CGI characters introduced late in the third act have no character development before their action sequence. You've gotta give the audience a reason to care about your ridiculous animated dragons, Marvel, otherwise we're just checking our watches as we wait for the inevitable end-credit cameos.

13/2022. Putney Swope (1969)
The narrative is ostensibly about a no-nonsense outsider taking over a Madison Avenue advertising firm, but that's mostly just an excuse to satire consumerism, capitalism, socialism, racism, sexism, and, frankly, every -ism in all the best, most absurdist ways. Near the end of the film, there's a very self-indulgent several minutes of topless fight attendants which wouldn't be out of place in Kentucky Fried Movie but here comes across as appropriately damning of American society. As the man at the breakfast table eating Ethereal Cereal would say, "No shit!"

More to come.

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Last week, I rewatched Heavy Metal for the first time in years. It's both better and worse than I remembered, and I remembered it pretty accurately. It's probably the perfect movie for 14-year-old boys and no one else.

Some other movies I saw recently for the first time:

5/2014. Epic Movie (2007)
The only thing epic about this movie is how astonishingly bad it is. Everyone in the cast is better than this, but the direction and especially the editing kills every attempt at a joke. The best thing to see here is the Coca-Cola product placement!

Drink Coke! (Epic Movie)
Sorry this isn't a better picture, but I'm not looking at this film any longer than I have to.

6/2015. I Used to Go Here (2020)
Does anyone else remember going to pre-pandemic film festivals? This felt like one of those. Community's Gillian Jacobs is a writer who learns that her first published novel is a bomb while on her book tour trip back to her old college. It's s coming-of-middle-age dramedy. I enjoyed it.

7/2016. The Wrecking Crew (2008)
This is a documentary about the studio recording artists who made the sounds of the 1960s. It's like the real-life story of Tom Everett Scott's character from That Thing You Do!, and it's good!

8/2017. Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard (2021)
The sequel to The Hitman's Bodyguard suffers from the typical sequel problem of "more of the same." It's okay, but there's no real reason not to just watch the original again.

More to come.

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Walter Watched Movies, 2022 edition!

1/2010. Cruella (2021)
Yeah, it looks good, and yeah, it's got a good soundtrack, but this became the first Emma Stone movie I could not make it all the way through. It's not her fault, exactly. She does manage to marginally soften an inherently vile character, but Cruella's character arc is about embracing the evil within. After the end-of-third-act twist making bad people even worse, I decided I just didn't want to spend any more time with any of the awful, awful characters that apparently populated 1970s London. Burn it all to the ground.

2/2011. The Line King: The Al Hirschfeld Story (1996)
Technically, this documentary of the famous Broadway caricaturist was not really new to me. I had forgotten that I originally saw it in college as one of the films the late lamented Bill Marriott showed aspiring artists in his drawing classes. Hirschfield was a master artist who lived an interesting life, and I heartily recommend this to any art (or Broadway) fans out there.

3/2012. The Great Dictator (1940)
I started watching this in 2021, but couldn't get into it. I forced myself to finish it here, and I can understand its historic (and political) significance, but I wouldn't want to watch it again. What can I say? I just don't enjoy watching Chaplin mugging for the camera as the Tramp or as Hitler.

4/2013. Josie and the Pussycats (2001)
Unlike The Line King, I thought I had seen this, but apparently I had it confused with its contemporary, Spice World. My mistake. There's no way I would have forgotten some of this content if I had seen it before. ("I still don't understand why you're here." "Because I was in the comic book.") Spice World is a parody of the music business, but Josie is satire, an unflinching social-commentary satire masquerading as fluff. It's maybe even more relevant to life in 2021 than it was to 2001.

The over-the-top overt product placement in this film about subliminal influencing is very, very much the point of this spear. It's become well publicized that the producers received no extra funding from placing the corporate intellectual products in the film, but that sort of misses the point that brands like Target, Revlon, and, yes, Coca-Cola *still* benefited from putting their logos before the eyes of movie audiences, even as a punchline. The beast knows that the only bad press is no press.

Drink Coke! (Josie and the Pussycats)
You know you want to drink a Coca-Cola right now.

More to come.

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I'm running out of time to finish reviewing movies I've seen in 2021 before the end of the year, so I better hurry it up.

142. (2001.) Tennessee Johnson (1942)
You know Andrew Johnson, right? The first president to be impeached? The president who pardoned Jefferson Davis and opposed giving citizenship to freed slaves? Well, this movie says sure he had a nasty temper, but he did all those other things to make America better! It... hasn't aged well.

143. (2002.) She Freak (1967)
This B-movie remake of Freaks is not particularly good or entertaining, but it does have the rarest of things: Coke and Pepsi logos on screen at the same time!

Drink Coke! (She Freak)

144. (2003.) Paddington 2 (2017)
Watching this delightful film I found myself wondering if it wasn't actually better than the original. I still don't know, so I guess I'll just have to watch them both again to find out.

145. (2004.) A Clüsterfünke Christmas (2021)
This parody of Hallmark Christmas films soon reveals the true fact that it is impossible to parody a genre film without actually succumbing to the trappings of the genre. I still found a lot to laugh at (and with).

More to come.

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Movies are escapism! Let's get away!

137. (1996.) Skidoo (1968)
If you're familiar with Dragnet 1967, you know how it was often a square's hostile misinterpretation of hippie drug culture. This movie, made about the same time, tries to do better, like it was made by a well-intentioned but out-of-touch grandfather. It's worth a peek for being Groucho Marx's last movie (and you get to see Ralph Kramden on acid!), but the best part far and away are the mock commercials in the opening scene.

138. (1997.) Pillow to Post (1945)
A very light screwball romantic comedy. So light, in fact, that I already barely remember it.

139. (1998.) That Way with Women (1947)
Also a light comedy, though this time the protagonist — Maltese Falcon heavy Sydney Greenstreet as a competent and considerate automobile magnate — isn't directly involved in the romance he's helping to set up. Fun.

140. (1999.) The Loveless (1981)
First film for both Kathryn Bigelow and Willem Defoe, and it's all atmosphere. Think The Wild One without any narrative and the point is that the "outsider" bikers are the sane/moral ones and "civilization" is a lie. I liked it.

Drink Coke! (The Loveless)
Too cool for school? Drink Coke!

141. (2000.) Lust in the Dust (1984)
This parody Western is Tab Hunter's version of a Jon Waters' film. It has its moments, mostly courtesy Divine, whose bonkers performance is exactly what the material deserves.

More to come.

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I don't have anything new to say today, so let's review some recently watched movies instead.

133. (1992.) Elvis Meets Nixon (1997)
Friend Otto called to tell me he had seen this and judged it "must watch." He wasn't wrong. It's the story of Elvis's infamous December 1970 meeting with President Nixon, and it is bonkers. The details are fudged, usually for comedic effect, but the fundamentals are accurate. Otto was right; I very much enjoyed it.

Drink Coke! (Elvis Meets Nixon)
Elvis famously preferred a different brand of soda, but this movie corrects that flaw.

134. (1993.) The Strawberry Blonde (1941)
It's always interesting to compare how creators change a movie between versions. The lead, played here by James Cagney, is brighter than his future version will be just seven years later (see One Sunday Afternoon), but he's also angrier (because Cagney). This one also has less music, a larger cast, and a faster pace, but the only way it is really superior to its eventual remake is the presence of George Reeves as a heavy.

135. (1994.) Three Outlaw Samurai (1964)
This Japanese samurai movie is not perfect (some comedy is too broad and some story beats come too quickly), but it is better than the average movie, and the ending is dynamite. I enjoyed it.

136. (1995.) Tequila Sunrise (1988)
In hindsight, not a lot really happens in this cops-and-robbers romance/drama, but I didn't notice at the time because the cast is so damn talented. Kurt Russell, Mel Gibson, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Raul Julia all kill it. And though the film is named for a different drink, it's a particular soda that manages to make it into a late-film montage at the start of the third act:

Drink Coke! (Tequila Sunrise)
No movie about cocaine smuggling is complete without Coke!

More to come.

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I opened the refrigerator to reach for a Coke, and I thought, "I have some movie reviews to post." So here we go.

129. (1988.) State Fair (1945)
Like you might expect from a fair, there's not a lot of substance here, but it is a fun way to waste a few hours. I enjoyed it, but I doubt I'll remember anything about it next month. (Heck, I don't remember much about it now.)

Drink Coke! (State Fair)
I'll always remember the Coca-Cola.

130. (1989.) The Fuller Brush Girl (1950)
I learned afterwards that the title of this film is a reference to a previous Red Skelton movie, The Fuller Brush Man. But the plot doesn't really have anything to do with Fuller brushes other than as a mechanism to get Lucille Ball involved in the center of a murder mystery. Don't let that description confuse you; this is really a mistaken-identity screwball comedy, the kind that Ball and her costar, Eddie Albert, do so well.

131. (1990.) Her Husband's Affairs (1947)
Another Lucille Ball movie, this time with her as the competent spouse. (Husband Franchot Tone is frankly insufferable and completely undeserving of Lucy's love.) It's pretty clear that the formula of silly comedy movies like this and The Fuller Brush Girl are the template for what would eventually make I Love Lucy such a success on the small screen.

132. (1991.) Black Widow (2021)
In the mood for a nonsense action movie that says the word "Avengers" a lot without showing any? This is the film for you. I was kept entertained mostly by David Harbour, who steals every scene he's in.

Drink Coke! (Black Widow)
Dismantling Soviet-era sleeper cells in the 21st century sure works up a thirst!

More to come.

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I rewatched The Andromeda Strain on TCM last week. Like most Crichton plots, it's mostly atmosphere. After the initial discovery of the killer virus from outer space, the rest of the film's drama all stems from a bit of misdirection about one character's previously-existing (undeclared) medical condition. As usual, the scariest thing about space is us.

Anyway. The purpose of telling you that is to show this:

Drink Coke! (Andromeda Strain)
This is hardly the only Coca-Cola placement in the movie; it's just my favorite.

Hey, Coke, I know you think there's no such thing as bad Hollywood product placement, but maybe associating your product with am insidious plague that poisons the blood isn't really in your best interest.

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I watched only 8 new-to-me movies in October — partly because I spent time watching several movies I had seen before, movies like Unforgiven, The Bad News Bears, and Metropolis. I'm still 17 short from 150 on the year with only 2 months remaining. Will I get there? Oh, the drama!

125. (1984.) The Rocket Man (1954)
Plot: A boy with an unusual voice is given a magic gun by a spaceman who wants him to do good; hijinks ensue. Is this what ran in Saturday morning matinees before everyone had television? (Fact: I watched the whole thing just because the female lead was Spring Byington, and my Mom likes Spring Byington.)

126. (1985.) The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019)
This movie was widely panned for its lack of focus, but I think I enjoyed it more than the original. Damning with faint praise?

127. (1986.) Penn & Teller Get Killed (1989)
This dark, dark comedy is not a great movie but is still totally worth a watch for Penn & Teller fans, but it blew my mind when I discovered that the director of this movie also directed Bonnie and Clyde. How does that happen?

Drink Coke! (Penn & Teller Get Killed)
With Penn & Teller, you half expect one of them to drink the drain cleaner. Drain Cleaner: the original uncola!

128. (1987.) Frozen II (2019)
Two-thirds of this movie is better than the original, but illogical third acts are what this franchise is all about, I guess. (This was watched on Disney+, by the way. I finally went ahead and just reset Dad's password. Sometimes a manchild has got to do what a manchild has got do to.)

More to come.

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You might think that having a convalescent parent in the house would make for more time watching movies, but you'd be wrong. You know how some critics always complain that even Disney movies have scenes that can be too scary for small kids? Well, they're right; and the soundtracks of those scenes can scare sleeping old people, too. Stay away from that apple, Snow White!

119. (1978.) The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018)
Watched because it was filmed in scenic Newnan, Georgia. The house used as the main location is right in the path of the tornado that came through earlier this year, but it received minor damage compared to many of its neighbors. The nearby high school has been condemned and will have to be razed and rebuilt. Wait, isn't this supposed to be a movie review? It was fine. I enjoyed it. I also enjoyed that section of town before it all blew away.

120. (1979.) Blow Out (1981)
This movie is not about a tornado. The title refers to a literal blown tire that is blamed for the death of a politician, but a sound engineer's recording reveals a preceding gunshot. The political intrigue plays backseat to the paranoia of the people involved as the whole thing is Brian De Palma's take on a Hitchcockian suspense thriller. (Unfortunately for the audience, De Palma never learned Hitchcock's Rule of the Ticking Bomb.) If you ever wondered how Travolta got from Saturday Night Fever to Look Who's Talking, the answer is here. The movie is worth watching for its opening scene, but once Travolta enters the picture, I recommend you turn it off.

Drink Coke! (Blow Out)
If all this suspense is making you thirsty, reach for a Coke!

121. (1980.) In Bruges (2008)
Crime noir done right with a great cast and a perfect ending. Just amazing all around. I loved it.

122. (1981.) The Scarlet Coat (1955)
A fictionalized true tale of the American Continental Army's discovery of the treachery of Benedict Arnold. It's an entertaining if slightly stiff adventure yarn best suited for Saturday afternoon matinees.

123. (1982.) By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1953)
Doris Day plays a tomboy who wants to marry, and Gordon MacRae plays the boy who doesn't want to settle down just yet. Miscommunication and hijinks ensue. While the boys are watching The Scarlet Coat, the girls can sit through this.

More to come

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To be continued...

 

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