Showing 1 - 10 of 387 posts found matching: movies

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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Speaking of old acquaintances that should be forgotten... these movies watched in 2018:

193. (1422.) Mythica: A Quest for Heroes (2014)
194. (1423.) Mythica: The Darkspore (2015)
195. (1424.) Mythica: The Necromancer (2015)
196. (1425.) Mythica: The Iron Crown (2016)
199. (1428.) Mythica: The Godslayer (2016)

Like I said last time, I made Dad watch King Lear. He was so dissatisfied, I volunteered to let him choose the next films we watched. He chose these. I should have known better.

It would be fair to compare this whole series of five connected films to the Star Wars saga. The first couple are by far the best, and the rest become so increasingly disappointing that you begin to hope that all the main characters die just to make it all end.

To sum up, the story involves a small band of heroes seeking to stop a necromancer from using an ancient, evil artifact to take over the world and ascend to godhood. (Does that sound familiar?) I admit that it is a pretty tired adventure trope, but if the characters in my books are half as dumb as those in these movies, I apologize for ever writing the damn things.

Dad is no longer allowed to pick the movies.

More to come.

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Here at the year's end, I took a look back at the five days that got the most hits over the past year.

5. June 18: Superman underwear
In which I make fun of briefs of steel.

4. December 4: Portable poo
Another in my series of not-award winning posts about the shit emoji (which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2018, by the way).

3. August 1: Marriage is for the birds
Hawkman reveals the truth about what women think about marriage.

2. April 12: Jimmy Walker, dynamite golfer
An archive of how helpful Google was following Patrick Reed's win at the 2018 Masters.

1. September 17: Just another list of movies watched in August
Uh, a list of movie reviews. (Seriously, I don't have any idea what part of that list attracted the attention. My review of Moonlight, perhaps? No idea.)

And while we're on the subject, I should mention that the 5 most triggered keywords are:

5. movies
Everyone needs my opinion.

4. action comics
I have 155 "superman" posts, but only one "action comics". Go figure.

3. spandex
A perennial favorite!

2. georgia
It's always on my mind, too.

1. poodle strip
What can I say? My readers have good taste.

Anyway, we now wipe our hands of 2018 and look forward to 2019, the year of the future!

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We're almost done with 2018, so let's finish up November movies and get a head start on December.

188. (1417.) The Score (2001)
This heist movie starred Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, and Marlon Brando. Brando is by far the weakest of the bunch. Very good.

189. (1418.) Mission: Impossible III (2006)
Not as good. In fact, it's so stupid, it's almost insulting, but that's what I've learned to expect from director J.J. Abrams. I think he thought that if the action moved fast enough, no one would notice the giant plot holes he was plunging through. Not even light can move that fast.

190. (1419.) Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 (2011)
Ouch. I read and enjoyed the novel this movie is based on, but the movie made me reconsider why. It manages to be simultaneously too loyal to the literal text of the book and too determined to simplify the theories behind it. There are no characters here, only fast-talking allegories. Worse, this is only the first act of the story. It has no ending; it just stops. There are two sequels in this lecture trilogy, but I can't imagine ever being bored enough to watch them.

191. (1420.) King Lear (1971)
Dad asked what I wanted to watch, and I chose this, an experimental theatrical take on the Shakespearean tragedy. Not my best choice. Dad called it the worst movie he'd ever seen, but he hasn't watched Atlas Shrugged.

(For the record, I still consider the worst movie I've ever seen to be Armageddon. I know, I know. [Don't @ me.] But I really do hate it. I can't believe I paid to see *that*.)

192. (1421.) December 7th (1943)
As you might guess from the title, this is a docudrama about the 1941 Japanese ambush of Pearl Harbor. It is not kind to Japanese Americans. Totally worth a watch if for no other reason than as a historical document of a still shell-shocked America trying to put their world back together. If you lived through 9-11, you can relate.

More to come.

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Five more November movies:

183. (1412.) Snow Devils (1967)
Italian-made Spaghetti Westerns are a respected genre thanks mostly to the genius of Sergio Leone. Spaghetti Science Fiction has no such genius. This film features alien yetis who try to induce global warming with lame miniatures and worn out stock footage. Not good.

184. (1413.) A Raisin in the Sun (1961)
I admit it: I did not finish this movie. I bailed at intermission. I actively (and strongly) dislike Tennessee Williams plays, and while it's great that Lorraine Hansberry found equal-opportunity success duplicating Williams' soul-crushing slices of poor white American life for African Americans, I don't have to watch it.

185. (1414.) Excalibur (1981)
There's something hypnotic about this fairy tale grounded in blood and sex. It's not exactly a good film — it's really quite boring — but you have to admire how all the actors seem to throw themselves into it despite the obvious discomfort of filming it

186. (1415.) Funland (1987)
Squiggy (of Lavern & Shirley) plays an amusement park Ronald McDonald gone mad. The movie is a dark comedy with a razor sharp wit, but it is very badly served by a soundtrack stolen directly from a daytime soap opera, and loses its way at the end. It was also filmed in Six Flags Over Georgia, which means that there is Coca-Cola everywhere!

Drink Coke! (Funland)

187. (1416.) Assault on Precinct 13 (2005)
Most remakes of John Carpenter movies lose sight of Carpenter's gift for character in their rush to the glossy glamour provided by their bigger budget. Same here. It's a fine action movie, but I prefer the grit and heart of the original.

More to come.

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More movies!

178. (1407.) The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967)
Ugh. Roman Polanski's "horror" film is technically a comedy, although there is very little to laugh at and the ending isn't exactly happy. I would not watch it again.

179. (1408.) The Slumber Party Massacre (1981)
For years, I've been on the lookout for a movie with a particular line of dialogue. That line wasn't in this movie, but I think this was the movie that the line would have been in if it was in anything. To clarify, I'm now of the opinion that the line was fabricated, but there is a scene in this with a power drill, a girl of loose morals, and a camera angle that perfectly replicate what I would have expected to see while the line was delivered. (And no, I won't repeat the line here. Trust me, it wouldn't make any more sense without a whole lot more explaining, and none of us wants that.) As for the movie, it's a perfectly satisfying slasher flick, if you're into that sort of thing.

(If that sounds familiar, I accidentally ran that last month as my review of Sleepaway Camp. Rather than review Sleepaway Camp here, I'm correcting my mistake and have updated the original post with the right review.)

180. (1409.) Raging Bull (1980)
Ok, I've seen enough of Martin Scorsese. I can definitively say now that I don't like his movies. Yes, they are well made, but the subject matter just doesn't speak to me.

181. (1410.) X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
What exactly were Apocalypse's powers? What role do his horsemen serve? Why do I keep watching X-Men movies? The one good thing: Storm drinks Coca-Cola!

Drink Coke! (X-Men Apocalypse)

182. (1411.) Theodora Goes Wild (1936)
A typical screwball comedy of its era. A mousy author has her secret identity exposed to the world by an asshole artist, so she does what she can to ruin him... because she has fallen in love with him. It's better than I just made it sound.

More to come.

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More movies watched in October:

172. (1401.) Sleepaway Camp (1983)
I think this slasher horror is the movie that inspired Earnest Goes to Camp. I'm not going to pretend to understand the ending, but it's effectively damn creepy. Good job.

173. (1402.) The Legend of Tarzan (2016)
Is it possible to make a Tarzan film anymore that isn't just completely ridiculous? Although, I guess when you get right down to it, a British lord raised by gorillas who swings on vines and talks to elephants and tigers isn't all that plausible in the first place. I retract my complaint. It's a fine way to pass the time in a hospital.

174. (1403.) The Stepford Wives (1975)
This, the original film, is much better than the tepid 2000s Nicole Kidman remake. It's both an effective thriller and a satire with sharp teeth. Much enjoyed.

175. (1404.) Pauline at the Beach (1983)
French film with lots of talking about relationships (with both genders at fault) and no satisfying resolution. The last lines are literally paraphrased: you interpret it your way, and I'll interpret it my way. That's... not helpful. I guess we're all just screwed.

176. (1405.) Follow Me Quietly (1949)
An obsessive cop stalks a serial killer in this bland police procedural. (I've already forgotten most of what happens.)

177. (1406.) Baby Peggy, the Elephant in the Room (2012)
TCM ran this documentary biography about the last living silent film star, Baby Peggy, on her 100th birthday. I was unfamiliar with her work, but apparently that's not so unusual as bad business decisions and greed doomed her career while she was still a toddler. Hollywood: screwing people over for over a century!

More to come.

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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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To be continued...

 

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