Showing 21 - 30 of 141 posts found matching keyword: coke

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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We interrupt this football and Batman month to review the following movies brought to you by the letter "S":

105. (1964.) The Salzburg Connection (1972)
The big question for most if this slightly-better-than-pedestrian spy thriller is whether or not the protagonist is actually a spy. It's not a complete waste of time if you like the genre (and I guess I do), but it's not exactly destination viewing, either. Honestly, almost everything about it feels like a missed opportunity to do something better.

106. (1965.) I Found Stella Parish (1935)
A melodrama about a woman running away from her past and the reporter who feigns a romantic interest to get her story. I watched it in the wee hours of the morning on TCM, and I really can't explain why I enjoyed it (sleep deprivation?), but I did.

109. (1968.) The Suicide Squad (2021)
I do not like the DC Comics character Harley Quinn, and after finally seeing her on screen in this movie, I can say that I like her even less now. (Based on the advice of my friends, I have deliberately not watched any of the movies Harley has been in before this one. Based on her role here, let me say that I have good friends.) If Harley wasn't in this film, it would be an instant classic, but her incredibly violent, absolutely unnecessary subplot left such a bad taste in my mouth that I couldn't enjoy the movie's final act. Ugh.

Drink Coke! (The Suicide Squad)
Some things cannot be washed down with a Coke.

111. (1970.) Seven Keys to Baldpate (1947)
It's a murder mystery comedy of errors! I didn't know it while I was watching, but the play this movie is based on has apparently been filmed 6 other times! This is the only comedic interpretation, and I enjoyed it. (Did I enjoy it enough that I want to watch it 6 more times? Only time will tell.)

More to come.

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None of my teams are playing football just yet, so still some time for movies!

98. (1957.) Fat Albert (2004)
Hey, hey, hey! I enjoyed this in large part because I went in expecting it to be really terrible, and it was only slightly terrible. Keenan Thompson's affability and commitment to the bit shines even through the fat suit.

Drink Coke! (Fat Albert)
Maybe a nostalgic movie about a fat guy isn't the ideal place for sugar water product placement.

99. (1958.) Orchestra Wives (1942)
In this dour musical romance, Ann Rutherford loves that boogie woogie bugle boy so much that she runs away from home and marries him on a whim. Little did she know that all the titular Orchestra Wives are bitches. Drama ensues.

Drink Coke! (Orchestra Wives)
Hard to tell in this pic, but that's Officer Bill Gannon there playing soda jerk.

103. (1962.) The Devil's Disciple (1959)
Kirk Douglas goes waaaaay over the top as the titular Devil's Disciple, a Revolutionary War anti-hero who just seems to hate everyone... except the one person the script requires him to like. I guess he's just a contrarian. Burt Lancaster's best scene is a fist fight in a church in the middle of a war, but Laurence Olivier steals the show as murderous gentleman British General Burgoyne. It's a real mixed bag.

104. (1963.) The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)
This movie is so badly cast that the film is sunk before the first frame, which is a real shame as the story comes straight out of the best of 1930s Capra and director Brian De Palma sure seems like he knows what he wanted to be doing with it. Bonfire, indeed.

More to come.

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A pipe burst under the kitchen sink last night. Waiting for the kitchen cabinet to dry out, I'll pass the time typing some movie reviews.

93. (1952.) The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973)
Every list of 70s great crime films includes Eddie Coyle, and I now understand why. It's ugly, but that ugliness feels realistic, almost like a documentary. Definitely among the best performances of Robert Mitchum's career.

94. (1953.) Remember My Name (1978)
The protagonist is so mysterious, I had to watch the first half of this movie twice to see if I wasn't missing something. I wasn't. It's intentional. The protagonist might be a very bad person, and the film protects her (and the audience) by sharing details very, very slowly. I'm still not sure I liked it, but it is something different.

95. (1954.) Grand Prix (1966)
Is "race procedural" a genre? If so, this qualifies. We follow several racers and their lovers through a season of a sport so thrilling and yet so dangerous, participating is practically suicide. On second thought, maybe this is a drug movie; that is definitely a genre.

Drink Coke! (Grand Prix)
Quick, before you die, Drink Coke!

By the way, Coca-Cola appears to have been a sponsor of the real life car racing that is the background in this stylish film, so Grand Prix is filled to the brim with Coca-Cola advertising. I actually had a hard time deciding which screenshot to show. So if you do decide to watch this 3 hour epic, I recommend having a couple of Cokes within easy reach. Watching death on wheels really builds up a thirst!

Here are a few more screencaps featuring some non-traditional Coke logos and the movie's human stars (none of whom actually drink a Coke at any point):

Drink Coke! (Grand Prix)

Drink Coke! (Grand Prix)

Drink Coke! (Grand Prix)

96. (1955.) Bandido! (1956)
More Mitchum, this time as an American arms dealer during the Mexican Revolution who falls for a rival's wife. It's not nearly as good as it could have been, in part because the sudden romance angle felt so unnatural to Mitchum's amoral rogue. Oh, well. They can't all be hits.

97. (1956.) San Francisco (1936)
I can't tell you how many times this has come on TCM and I've said to myself, "I should watch that." You see, I knew it was supposed to have impressive earthquake special effects, and I can now attest that it does. The rest of the plot, however, is worthless. But at least I have finally watched it and from now on can ignore it with a clear conscience.

More to come.

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I skipped ahead a bit last time and presented movies watched out of order to get to the Olympics documentaries. So let's step back and start catching up with movies watched in July before the sports came to town.

88. (1947.) The Heiress (1949)
Yeah... no. I didn't care for this. It's got an 8.2/10 rating on imdb, but that's really because it has a truly great ending. The rest is a very slow-moving train wreck of a painfully one-sided love story. So you have my permission: watch a few minutes to figure out where it's going (that won't take long, I promise), then start fast forwarding to the final scene.

89. (1948.) Catlow (1971)
Ok, so while I don't like The Heiress, at least I respect it. This, not so much. I mean, they put Yul Brynner, Richard Crenna, and Leonard Nimoy in a Louis L'Amour Western, and none of the parts come together at all. Brynner hams it up in every scene, which isn't even his fault, as they've given him no character to play. I don't know if it's Brynner's worst picture, but it's certainly the worst I've seen.

90. (1949.) The Front Runner (2018)
Did Gary Hart sleep with Donna Rice? This film says yes without ever actually saying "yes," which really muddies the water of its central conceit. It's hard to lambast the invasive mainstream media for ruining politicians by reporting they cheat on their wives... when those politicians really are cheating on their wives. Otherwise, it's a well acted, good looking movie. I enjoyed it.

Drink Coke! (The Front Runner)
Yes, there were more conspicuous Coke products in this movie, but the important thing is that clock!

91. (1950.) Murder on a Honeymoon (1935)
I also enjoyed this third entry in the Hildegarde Withers mystery series contains a few silly clues and a genuine twist I really didn't see coming, but that didn't change who I suspected of being the murderer or why. And I was right, though I think that has a bit more to do with my ability to recognize the patterns in the format than any skill as a detective.

92. (1951.) The Post (2017)
As a rule, I don't watch Steven Spielberg movies, but I'm a sucker for pop history, I caught this at the beginning, and, frankly, I forgot he directed it. Ol' Steven is up to all his usual emotion-jerking tricks in this one, but it's got a cracking story chock full'o righteous newspaper reporters undermining evil politicians. It's a story that would have been right at home in a '30s RKO B-movie.

Drink Coke! (The Post)
Is all the political intrigue making you thirsty? Reach for the Pause that Refreshes!

More to come.

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I'm still all-in on the Olympics, so I've little time right now for movies. However, the week before the games began, TCM ran a whole day of Olympics documentary. In training for the games, I caught three:

100. (1959.) The Games of the V Olympiad Stockholm, 1912 (2017)
This "documentary" is essentially three hours of remastered newsreel footage of preparation for the 1912 games, the games in progress, and the immediate aftermath of the games, all without any sort of commentary. While incredibly clear, the shots of the games themselves show disappointingly little of the actual competitions. All you're left with is hours of people swimming, running, boating, riding, and shooting through the frames on their way to standing on podiums. It's an interesting historical document but barely entertainment.

101. (1960.) First: The Official Film of the London 2012 Olympic Games (2012)
A century later, the potential of cinema is realized as the games are filmed as pure propaganda... for the games. Come see the Greatest Show on Earth, the ultimate triumph of the human spirit over physical and mental limitations! I very much enjoyed the London games themselves, but I found their official film to be as generally empty and unsatisfying as the average corporate sponsor's commercial tie-in product.

102. (1961.) Tokyo Olympiad (1964)
Somewhere in between the two extremes of documenting history and re-writing it is this, a true work of art. The games are messy and confusing, just like the very human athletes who participate in them. And despite — maybe even *because* of — all their shortcomings, they're also amazingly beautiful. If you watch just one documentary about an Olympic games, make it this one.

Drink Coke! (Tokyo Olympics)

(Forget what I said earlier about unsatisfying corporate sponsors. Coca-Cola has been sponsoring the games since 1928. As they'll be quick to tell you, winners always have and always will drink Coke!)

A fourth documentary is still on my DVR, so there may very well be more to come.

Update 08/14: finally got to that fourth movie, so I might as well put it here:

107. (1966.) XIVth Olympiad: The Glory of Sport (1948)
This "documentary" is essentially two hours of color newsreel footage of the 1948 games, the first after the 8-year hiatus imposed by World War II. It's far more watchable than the 1912 documentary I mentioned above, but its value is still almost entirely as a visual almanac of what the games were like before they transitioned from a purely amateur endeavor to the slick, corporate-produced games we have today.

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I'm watching a movie right now that is kind of boring. So let me kill some time by typing up brief reports of some other films I've seen.

78. (1937.) The Stepfather (1987)
Is this a thriller? A slasher? The Stepfather tries to be both, which I suppose is a fitting metaphor for its titular antagonist. I don't think I'll watch it again.

79. (1938.) Sparkle (1976)
This musical drama is made of all the same stuff as Dreamgirls, just not quite as well. I suspect that has more to do with the era when it was made than anything else. As a nostalgic blaxploitation musical, it is more interesting as a historical artifact of its contemporary industry than actual entertainment.

80. (1939.) The Blue Gardenia (1953)
Did the protagonist kill her would-be rapist? Even she doesn't know for sure (and neither does the reporter who is starting to fall for her). I liked the suspense (if not always the acting), although the best part of this is seeing George Reeve in a supporting role as a dashing police detective. Bonus: the would-be rapist is Raymond Burr.

Drink Coke! (The Blue Gardinia)
"I could just murder for a Coca-Cola right now."

81. (1940.) The Princess and the Frog (2009)
Somehow, I'd never seen this — Walt Disney Animation Studios' attempt to recreate the style of their 1950s heyday. I have no memory of its development or release. I must not have been aware it existed. Anyway, I have now seen it, and I quite liked it.

82. (1941.) Lunatics: A Love Story (1991)
This, I did not like. The story is embarrassingly simple, so I suppose the audience is supposed to be wowed by the characters or the visuals or something else that isn't there. I won't say it's unwatchable, but I will recommend that you not waste your time on it.

More to come.

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To be continued...

 

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