Showing 1 - 10 of 372 posts found matching keyword: movies

February movies, part 3 of 3:

35. (1474.) Warcraft (2016)
Yee-ouch, does this movie need a script doctor. They clearly threw a tractor-trailer of money at it, and the effects on the screen are top notch. Only the story and any attempt at characterization are lacking. What a shame that a studio with this much money to spend on a fantasy movie didn't have anything interesting to say.

36. (1475.) Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Who is the protagonist in this thing? Rage! Violence! Cars! If this is all the world has to offer, let it burn. (Great cinematography, though. The world might be completely, unenjoyably hostile, but at least it's beautiful.)

37. (1476.) Rachel, Rachel (1968)
This is Paul Newman's directorial debut. I found the horrible characters in Mad Max more engaging than Rachel, the mouse of a rural, stunted 30-something finally growing up in this very narrow character study. Once again, this isn't poorly made. It just wasn't the movie for me.

38. (1477.) The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018)
This movie is not so well made. It meanders badly in parts as it turns Lisbeth Salander into a super hero and reduces her sometimes-partner Mikael Blomkvist into a mere damsel in distress. The climax feels unearned. Watch Mad Max and Rachel if those are your sorts of films, but I'd advise against this.

39. (1478.) Boyz N the Hood (1991)
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the movie! Friday covered this territory better. (Yes, I know which came first. But it's like trying to read the Emerson after every other Transcendentalist has stomped that ground to death. The original just feels... dull.)

More to come.

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Movies from February (that aren't Aurora Teagarden mysteries), part 1:

21. (1460.) Young Mister Lincoln (1939)
Henry Fonda as Abraham Lincoln has its moments (most of them being Fonda's plainspoken impersonation). Unfortunately, the courtroom drama in the second half isn't very engaging.

26. (1465.) CBGB (2013)
This is also a biopic, focused on the rise of the famous club in New York City that launched the American punk scene, especially Blondie and the Ramones. I'm a fan of the music and the actors involved, so of course I liked it.

28. (1467.) Sherlock Gnomes (2018)
A worthy sequel to the underrated Gnomeo and Juliet. I solved the mystery plot easily, which means I'm probably ready to graduate to tween fare. (It's an animated kids movie featuring talking lawn gnomes, not a sequel to Gone Girl, Walter.)

29. (1468.) Young Winston (1972)
Sort of the opposite of Young Lincoln, Winston Churchill as a young man in his own words really doesn't get moving until the second half, which may also be an apt description of the man's actual career.

31. (1470.) The Accountant (2016)
I found star Ben Affleck's portrayal of autism as a super power to be the only thing that didn't work in this otherwise enjoyable action thriller. (To be clear: the concept isn't so terrible. Affleck's acting is.) The supporting cast is particularly good.

34. (1473.) Young Tom Edison (1940)
If you didn't know that the real Tom Edison died in 1931, you might think he wrote and directed this ridiculously glowing biopic of his younger days himself. What fools we all are to not recognize what a great human being Tom Edison was! That was sarcasm. I didn't care for this.

More to come.

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Let's get these out of the way: 8 of the Aurora Teagarden mysteries staring the irrepressible Candace Cameron-Bure as the nosy librarian slash amateur detective you love to hate!

22. (1461.) Real Murders: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery (2015)
23. (1462.) Three Bedrooms, One Corpse: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery (2016)
24. (1463.) The Julius House: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery (2016)
25. (1464.) Dead Over Heels: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery (2017)
27. (1466.) A Bundle of Trouble: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery (2017)
30. (1469.) Last Scene Alive: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery (2018)
32. (1471.) Reap What You Sew: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery (2018)
33. (1472.) Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: The Disappearing Game (2018)

Should I be counting made-for-Hallmark channel movies in my new-to-me watched movie list? Even though they are part of a series of sorts, they are self-contained stories designed to be watched in one sitting that aren't aired on a regular basis. So I think, yes, they have to count.

Which is fine. Other than the fact that they're on television, these really aren't any different in function than any number of RKO mystery movies of the 30s. They're disposable, "cozy" murder mysteries that are embarrassingly easy to solve. In other words, while they might not be must-see-cinema, they are a completely passable way to pass the time. That's entertainment!

More to come.

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Hot take: I maintain that the Marvel Universe movies would be better if David Hasselhoff was still Nick Fury.

I'm guessing the W stands for Weiner

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The 25 actors and directors nominated in their categories at tonight's Academy Awards will receive a gift bag worth a reported $100,000. That sounds like a lot, but it's really a load of crap.

Thirty percent of that total is a coupon for plastic surgery. About half are coupons for food, vacations, and self-help sessions. Most of the rest are beauty products or drugs (chocolate, cannabis-infused edibles, and absinthe). There's also a book, a bracelet, a bow tie, and a plunger. But it's not just any plunger! It's the Mister Poop Fully Functional Plunger!

But wait, that's not all! According to their press release:

"The Oscar® nominees receiving gift bags will each get a Mister Poop Toilet Plunger, and a T-Shirt emblazoned, "Crappy Products that Really Work'."

That beats their first draft: "I was nominated for an Oscar® and all I got was this lousy t-shirt promoting a shitty plunger."

The release goes on to warn us announce that the manufacturers, who paid a minimum of $4,000 just to have their products included in the gift bags, are "in talks" with retailers about shelving their products. (They do know that there is already a poo-shaped plunger on the market, don't they?)

Mister Poop Plungers and Toilet Brushes, coming soon to a 7-Eleven near you.

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The rest of everything I watched in January. (It was a good month.)

15. (1454.) Eighth Grade (2018)
I like Bo Burnham's comedy and I like coming-of-age films, so of course I enjoyed his directorial debut. It can be very, very hard to watch, but that is so much the point. Totally recommended.

16. (1455.) Holiday (1938)
Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy were certainly movie magic, but the same could also be said of Hepburn's pairings with Cary Grant. Here the two fight against a world of conformity with predictable but delightful results. I loved it.

17. (1456.) Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
What a streak I was on! The formula of the romantic comedy is set in stone because it works no matter the setting as this movie proves once again. The ending is never in doubt, and knowing that in advance can let you just enjoy the ride. Lots of fun.

18. (1457.) Torch Song Trilogy (1988)
The strength of Harvey Fierstein's three act play about a drag queen's very star-crossed love life is Fierstein himself. A good antidote to the soul-rotting commercialism lampooned (but not disowned) in Crazy Rich Asians.

19. (1458.) The Favourite (2018)
I have only two complaints about this period dramedy: terrible musical choices and a worse ending that strikes an extra sour note just before you leave the movie. Otherwise, Emma Stone in a corset: yes, please.

20. (1459.) Rappin' (1985)
Exploitation films can be hard to define, so in the future I think I'll just point people to this, the bastard child of West Side Story meets Breakin'. I promise if you watch this, it will leave an impression. Here's the trailer:

Yes, that was Ice-T. You're welcome.

More to come.

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2019 moves, part 2 of... many.

7. (1446.) Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)
8. (1447.) Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015)
10. (1449.) Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018)
I lump these three together because even though I watched them barely a month ago, I don't think I could tell you which was which. The very definition of popcorn movies, they rely on their fast pace to keep the audience from realizing how little sense they make. I'm pretty sure they all take place inside Ethan Hunt's head while he lies in a coma, but they keep Tom Cruise too busy to make another Magnolia, so I'm willing to cut them a little slack.

9. (1448.) Daddy's Home Two (2017)
Friend Keith challenged me to find fault with John Lithgow's performance in this broad comedy. I couldn't. He's sterling as always. Everyone was pretty funny, including Mel Gibson, playing the character we all believe him to be in real life.

11. (1450.) The Aztec Mummy Against the Humanoid Robot (1958)
Two-thirds of this Mexican B-movie is a recap of the previous two movies in this trilogy about greedy assholes stealing gold from a cursed Aztec tomb guardian. The last third involves building a robot from a corpse to kill a zombie. It has its moments.

12. (1451.) Wizards (1977)
Ralph Bakshi movies are always more meandering acid trips than functional narratives. This one spends most of its time invoking Nazi propaganda as the ultimate evil, then twists at the end to make the good guys look just as bad as everyone else. At least I think that's what happened.

13. (1452.) Old Acquaintance (1943)
Bette Davis and Miriam Hopkins are childhood friends who grow to become rivals in work and love. Davis plays the angel against Hopkins' bitch. The animosity between the two is palpable. Pretty good.

14. (1453.) Ghostbusters (2016)
Sure, it's not as good as the movie that inspired it, but rare indeed is the remake that outdoes its inspiration. The movie could have benefited from a director less indulgent of his star's ad libs. (It's most telling that Chris Hemsworth steals every scene he's in.) Still, not bad, assuming you can get past the rampant product placement.

Drink Coke! (Ghostbusters)

More to come

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If you're new here, you should know that I obsessively track the movies I watch for the first time. I started in 2012. That was 7 years ago now. And I'm still doing it because no one has asked me to stop.

Still here? Fine. Let's get started on 2019 movies then.

1. (1440.) The Great Lie (1941)
The man that Bette Davis loves knocks up Mary Astor and then dies. So naturally, as women do in this situation, Davis buys the baby from Astor and raises it as her own. But — dun, dun dun! — the man hasn't really died. It's pretty good actually. Astor won an Oscar for playing a bigger bitch than Davis. Now that's acting!

2. (1441.) Splitz (1982)
An all-girl rock band joins a sorority to win a context against a greedy land developer with the help of a mobster and serial rapist. I tell you, they'll make anything into a movie.

3. (1442.) Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)
I had really wanted to see this, but was disappointed from the start. I couldn't get past the obvious use of computer retouching and animation. Frankly, I feel that if anyone is going to use that much CGI in their stop-motion animation, they might as well skip the clay and use only the computers.

4. (1443.) State Park (1988)
Three girls and a punk rock band go on vacation to the state park where they hope to win money to fund their dreams. Their competition is a greedy land developer. Eighties movies are the best.

5. (1444.) Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
Truly the best Spider-Man movie ever made. I'm not likely to see many movies I enjoyed more than this in 2019. The bar is high.

6. (1445.) If You Don't Stop It... You'll Go Blind!!! (1975)
This is the film equivalent of the comics in a Playboy magazine. Mildly amusing.

More to come.

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Finally! These are the last of the movies I watched in 2018.

204. (1433.) Monkey Business (1952)
I'd seen clips from this movie so many times, I thought I had seen the whole thing. In fact, I'd somehow confused this with Bringing Up Baby, but that definitely doesn't have Marilyn Monroe in it.

205. (1434.) Hooper (1978)
There's not much narrative in this action film about stuntmen starring Burt Reynolds as World's Greatest Stuntman™. It's all good fun so long as no one blows out his back. (By the way, I'm certain that the finale of this movie is the basis for the first stage of the 2002 Stuntman video game level "A Whoopin' and a Hollerin'." I'm just sayin'.)

206. (1435.) The Boss (2016)
As a film fan and armchair critic, I should complain that the things Melissa McCarthy says and does in this film aren't funny, but they are. Enjoy.

207. (1436.) The Angry Birds Movie (2016)
Honestly, The Boss is a more entertaining movie. (Why? I'm not sure. Maybe because this is supposed to be a kid's movie? It's well enough made, and the comedic actors involved are top notch, but I found it lacking punch.)

208. (1437.) Blue Velvet (1986)
Finally. I avoided this for years because I've never seen a David Lynch film I liked. I still haven't, but it wasn't as uncomfortable as I feared. It's weird and unsettling, but it does have its moments.

209. (1438.) Sorceress (1982)
This movie — about a pair of frequently topless barbarian twins played by Playboy models — has nothing to do with its title. But I watched it anyway. Because tits.

210. (1439.) Screwballs (1983)
Apparently, Canadian tax breaks for filmmakers in the early 80s led to a spate of teen sex comedies. Think Porky's with a thinner plot. I enjoyed it. Because tits. Apparently, that's the kind of film fan and armchair critic I am. I also like Coke.

Drink Coke! (Screwballs)

More to come in 2019.

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Movies, movies, movies!

197. (1426.) Doctor Strange (2016)
Doc Strange's origin story has a pretty simple plot (and a very flawed hero). It also has Benedict Cumberbatch, who almost succeeds in making his character likable. Almost.

198. (1427.) Hearts and Minds (1974)
This anti-Vietnam War documentary is about as anti-war as any movie ever. There was so much film footage of moments I'd only seen in stills, I felt like I was watching a history textbook come to life. For the record, I'm convinced. Let's get out of Vietnam.

200. (1429.) Trolls (2016)
I wanted to watch something special for my 200th movie in 2018. Instead, I watched Trolls. I shouldn't complain. I was a kid once. I can be marketed to. I saw The Care Bears Movie in a theater. (What can I say? I've always been a sucker for Grumpy Bear.)

201. (1430.) Ma and Pa Kettle (1949)
This is actually the second in the Ma and Pa Kettle series of movies about The Beverly Hillbillies the misadventures of some country folk adapting to life in the modern world. It's enjoyable, and it's easy to see why they went on to make The Beverly Hillbillies six more. (Almost completely unrelated trivia: There is an auto mechanic near my house that calls itself Maw and Paw Kettyle. They do good work.)

202. (1431.) Love Actually (2003)
I heard so much about this movie over the holiday season that I finally watched it on TBS. Even though Martin Freeman was in the opening credits, none of his scenes appear in the edited-for-television version, so I re-watched Mom's DVD (because she owns every Christmas movie). His scenes were, amusingly, the most honest and by far the best. In other words, don't watch this movie on TV.

203. (1432.) Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
I turned the channel to TCM to wash down all that Love. Here Barbara Stanwyck is a lifestyle columnist (a 1940's Martha Stewart) caught in her own web of lies when her boss insists she host a Christmas get-together with a war hero. Good stuff.

More to come.

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To be continued...