Showing 1 - 10 of 355 posts found matching keyword: movies

I haven't blogged about movies in weeks! Time to correct that oversight.

166. (1395.) Stamboul Quest (1934)
Myrna Loy plays a German spy in World War I. The movie is more romance with espionage trappings than thriller, but I enjoyed it anyway. I enjoy almost anything with Myrna Loy in it.

167. (1396.) Into the Blue (2005)
Jessica Alba in a bikini diving for cocaine. You had me at Jessica Alba in a bikini. (Don't expect any more from this. You won't get it.)

168. (1397.) Twenty Plus Two (1961)
The Fugitive's David Janssen takes his turn as a hunter in this noir-ish murder mystery about a long-lost heiress and the men who raped her. It's got atmosphere. I liked it.

169. (1398.) The Presidio (1988)
I remember advertisements for this movie from back in the day. Mark Harmon! Sean Connery! Meg Ryan! Apparently, I didn't miss out on much.

170. (1399.) Robot & Frank (2012)
Frank is a former cat burglar and bad parent now going senile. Robot is a mechanical assistant designed to help manage Frank's condition. Together, they commit one last robbery before they both lose their minds. For a comedy, it's actually quite sad. And it's probably my favorite (and arguably the objective best) of this bunch of movies.

171. (1400.) Four Jills in a Jeep (1944)
You'd think that four comediennes in a Jeep (plus Phil Silvers!) would be a good time. You'd be wrong. It turns out that everything sucks in a war. To be fair, the film is more variety show than narrative, so if that's your bag, you'll probably enjoy it more than I did.

More to come.

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Finishing up new-to-me movies watched in September:

163. (1392.) The Man Who Cheated Himself (1950)
Film noir about a cop who makes the really bad decision to cover up a murder committed by his lover. And he might have gotten away with it, too, if not for his damn kid brother. Pretty good, in no small part because of the many atmospheric shots of San Francisco.

164. (1393.) Bright Leaf (1950)
Tobacco farmer Gary Cooper loses sight of his own moorings when he becomes blinded by revenge. No one treats Lauren Bacall like that and gets away with it! Also pretty good.

165. (1394.) Sausage Party (2016)
Imagine a few stoners sitting around the dinner table pondering the source and purpose of their meal and you'd get this, a weird mash-up of food puns, cliched stereotypes, and humanist philosophical treatise. Not the worst waste of an hour and a half, but also not worth going out of your way for.

More to come.

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What with football season starting, I managed to see only 7 new movies in September. (I also watched several movies I had already seen, such as both terrific volumes of Kill BillVol 1 used to get all my love, but I appreciate Vol 2 more as time goes by. However, we're not tracking movies I've watched 2 or more times here.)

159. (1388.) The Lobster (2015)
I enjoyed this movie about a normal man threatened with being put out to pasture (literally) if he can't make his life meaningful (read: get married and have children). I love this sort of absurdity so long as the "reality" presented is internally logical, especially when it's being satirical. (See: Brazil or The Adventures of Baron Munchhausen or most films by Terry Gilliam.) Your mileage may vary. Wildly.

160. (1389.) Django Unchained (2012)
Like I mentioned above, I rewatched the Kill Bills to remind me why I used to love Tarantino movies. Since Inglorious Basterds, I've soured on his style of niche payback films. Kill Bill sparkles, but while Django has its moments — the proto-KKK meeting is a highlight — it feels predictable and plodding. I liked Django fine, but I'd much rather watch Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs again instead.

161. (1390.) Equals (2015)
Speaking of plodding, I'd describe this film as Equilibrium without the cool action... or hope for the future. I kept hoping the story would go somewhere. It doesn't. I should have rewatched Equilibrium instead.

162. (1391.) Violet & Daisy (2011)
Speaking of Tarantino, this movie wants to be Pulp Fiction so badly, it might as well be called Derivative Film. The biggest problem isn't the written-on-its-face inspiration but the lack of character depth. Oddly, characters refusing to talk about themselves is not a problem Tarantino movies usually have.

More to come.

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I must be earning a reputation. I now have friends sending me pics of poo whenever they're spotted in the wild.

A 4-foot pile of shit should come with a doctor's warning

Thank you, Brian. If anything ever deserved to be on clearance at Wal-Mart, it's a toy based on everyone's favorite Caddyshack scene.

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Time to finish up August movies:

150. (1379.) The Inbetweeners Movie (2011)
Movie continuing the adventures of the British television show that is every bit as irreverent and uncomfortable and funny as the source material.

151. (1380.) Out of Time (2003)
More Denzel Washington in a mediocre noir-ish suspense film.

152. (1381.) The Mad Miss Manton (1938)
A fun, light screwball comedy / romance / mystery film that's at least as entertaining as anything on network television these days.

153. (1382.) Be Cool (2005)
The derivative sequel to Get Shorty isn't nearly as good as its predecessor. The highlight is Cedric the Entertainer's rant about race relations, but the rest is probably best avoided.

154. (1383.) Moonlight (2016)
White guilt stole La La Land's best picture Oscar! Ok, I admit that this film isn't bad. It's just that while I can relate to La La Land's story of heterosexual, rich young white creative people in love, I have a much harder time relating to Moonlight's story of homosexual, poor younger black oppressed people struggling to get by. Your mileage may vary.

155. (1384.) Gringo (2018)
Naive but enjoyable thriller about an honest man pushed to his breaking point faking an international kidnapping.

156. (1385.) The Mechanic (1972)
This is the Charles Bronson original, not the Jason Statham remake. Personally, I preferred the latter as it has a better defined narrative structure.

157. (1386.) The Eagle Has Landed (1976)
Fictional tale of a German plot to assassinate Churchill in the waning days of World War II. Michael Caine is the best part by far.

158. (1387.) What We Do in the Shadows (2014)
Mockumentary about a bunch of vampires in New Zealand ad libbed by the Flight of the Conchords cast. If you like that sort of thing.

More to come.

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Burt Reynolds died yesterday at the age of 82. In addition to being a football player for FSU, he starred in one of the best football movies, The Longest Yard. That alone is enough to earn a mention of his passing in this Batman/Football Month.

But wait, there's more!

According to 66batman.com, Reynolds admitted in his 2015 autobiography that he was up for the lead role of television's Batman that eventually made a star of Adam West. Can you imagine? I can.

Banditman

And, of course, the Batmobile would have been a Pontiac. Yeah, I'd've watched that.

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I watched 21 movies in August and have so far only mentioned 3 of them. Time to speed up.

139. (1368.) The Letter (1940)
Did Bette Davis kill her lover by accident or was it premeditated? I felt it was damaged by the "crime doesn't pay" Hollywood ending.

140. (1369.) The Day of the Triffids (1963)
Referenced in the theme to Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Day of the Triffids is a very enjoyable British apocalyptic sci-fi tale.

141. (1370.) Wife vs. Secretary (1936)
When the wife is Myrna Loy, how could she lose? (Side note: this film follows the exact same format you would expect in modern rom-coms.)

142. (1371.) Pat and Mike (1952)
The highlight of this film is seeing prim Katharine Hepburn beat up young gangster Charles Bronson late in the run time. Lots of fun.

143. (1372.) Hitman: Agent 47 (2015)
A thin plot and lack of characterization (and a completely ridiculous villain) damn this action film. I should have spent the time playing the video games it is based on instead.

144. (1373.) The Naughty Flirt (1930)
Not much of a plot here — an airheaded debutante pursues a young lawyer — though I only had eyes for Myrna Loy in the role of the scheming villainness. (Have I mentioned lately that I'm sweet on Myrna Loy?)

147. (1376.) Big Top Pee-Wee (1988)
For years, I've avoided this film because I was told that it wasn't as good as Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. I've been a fool. While it is true that Big Adventure is superior, this isn't without its joys.

149. (1378.) The Howards of Virginia (1940)
Cary Grant makes a very unconvincing American revolutionary in this uninspired melodrama.

More to come.

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A little different start to August movies, as I'll go ahead and lump these three directed by Antoine Fuqua together.

145. (1374.) The Equalizer (2014)
146. (1375.) The Equalizer 2 (2018)
148. (1377.) Training Day (2001)

I watched Denzel Washington's Equalizer because Dad wanted to see the sequel. It was good, both suspenseful and violent. Unfortunately, the sequel was not its equal. Instead of going to the theater to see the new one, watch television reruns of the original instead.

Afterwards, I sought out Training Day because it was the first collaboration between Fuqua and Washington. I had heard so many good things about it over the years, and it won Denzel a Best Actor Oscar. The word of mouth was justified, and Ethan Hawke was also great. I'd watch it again.

More to come.

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I skipped two movies in my July wrap-ups. It's not so much that they deserve extra attention, they just needed to be kept together.

132. (1361.) Mamma Mia! (2008)
137. (1366.) Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018)

Mom wanted to see the sequel in theaters, so I watched the original in preparation. I like musicals, and I like ABBA. (It's got a beat and you can dance to it.) Unfortunately, both of these films had flaws that I can't easily forgive.

Mamma Mia! is clearly a corny, nostalgic stage musical adapted for the screen. Its characters exist just to bridge the gaps between songs. Therefore, I can't get too mad at Pierce Brosnan for his ill-advised decision to take a singing role or Amanda Seyfried's bridezilla for the way she selfishly tramples on everyone else's life then runs away. I was more dissatisfied that "Waterloo" is included in the end credits as a mere afterthought.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, however, is first and foremost a movie musical. It bends over backwards to put on a show with fancy dance staging and camera tricks. It almost works, too. The "Dancing Queen" number is a showstopper. I mean that literally. I should have walked out of the theater right then, before Meryl Streep's (bittersweet) and Cher's (unearned) cameos crashed the party and killed the mood as the movie limped to the finish line.

Also, how is it that Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again takes place in 1979 yet fails to include any footage of ABBA in their heyday? Does ABBA not exist in the Mamma Mia! universe? Opportunity missed!

I hope all these problems are addressed when the inevitable third entry in the trilogy (Mamma Mia! Does It Show Again?) hits theaters in 2028.

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Movies watched in July, part three:

133. (1362.) Executive Suite (1954)
Thanks largely to a fantastic cast, I found this to be a very entertaining board room drama. Also: Coke!

Drink Coke! (Executive Suite)
I can see what's going through your mind, Bill Holden, and it looks like Coca-Cola.

134. (1363.) The Colossus of Rhodes (1961)
The Colossus of Rhodes is my favorite ancient wonder. This movie, however, is more boring than counting sand.

135. (1364.) The Little Hours (2017)
It takes time for this "comedy" based on The Decameron to get to the funny, but I eventually chuckled in spite of myself. Or maybe I was just desperate for entertainment following The Colossus of Rhodes.

136. (1365.) Fast and Loose (1939)
This husband/wife mystery/comedy wants so badly to be The Thin Man. It's not. All it did was remind me that I could have been watching The Thin Man instead.

138. (1367.) Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018)
Mom was eager to see this documentary of Fred Rogers, and I was glad I went with her. It's so, so good. I recommend it to anyone interested in Mr. Rogers or the history of television or, for that matter, historical American pop culture.

By the way, remember the letter I wrote to the editor of The Red and Black in 2003 that I posted last week? Here's the Mack Williams cartoon that ran above the editorials in that day's paper:

Last Trolly out of town

More to come.

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To be continued...

 

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