April movies!

65. (1294.) Gidget Goes Hawaiian (1961)
The second Gidget movie is much more comedic than its predecessor, and I admit that I prefer Sandra Dee over Deborah Walley. However, Hawaiian Gidget is not without its charm. The third act comedy of errors is especially entertaining.

66. (1295.) A Face in the Crowd (1957)
This is more or less a remake of All the King's Men, trading politics for television. Andy Griffith is particularly good, though Walter Matthau has all the best lines. Worth seeing for the lampooning of television product placement if nothing else.

67. (1296.) Stalag 17 (1953)
Damn, this is a good movie. I'm rather disappointed I hadn't seen it earlier. Highly recommended. (I think Billy Wilder is often judged purely on the strength of Some Like it Hot, but I think it might be my least favorite of his films. It seems every one I see is better than the last.)

68. (1297.) Paper Moon (1973)
Also highly recommended. You know, it's a rare thing to see a "modern" movie pull off a Depression era period piece so convincingly, both in style and content. This could just as easily have been made by Preston Sturges in the 1930s. Fantastic.

69. (1298.) Breakheart Pass (1975)
I felt this story was damaged considerably by the surprise twist reveal at the start of the third act that turned what had been an entertaining mystery into a rather boring spy thriller. Oh, well. They can't all be great.

70. (1299.) Spotlight (2015)
Back on the horse! Another amazing film, completely worthy of a Best Picture Oscar. Micheal Keaton is especially delightful. He impresses me more and more. Does anyone remember the debate about whether he was a good enough actor to play a Batman? Damn. In hindsight, he might be the best actor to ever play a Batman. (Take that, Affleck!)

More to come.

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You've probably heard by now that the Great Nazi Newnan Rally of 2018 this past Saturday was more fizzle than sizzle. I get the impression that the news media is disappointed that no one burned down our historic 1904 courthouse.

Estimates are that somewhere between 24 and 50 Nazis showed up, opposed by "hundreds" of counter-protesters, and 700 police. Police outnumbered everyone else 2-1. I don't know what the Nazis were rallying for, but what they got was a police state. I'm sure they felt comfortable. Newnanites pride themselves on being gracious hosts.

The only people arrested were counter-protesters who had the gall to cover their faces with bandanas. That may seem a little extreme, but how else were the police to know that they weren't secretly insurgents out to incite a riot? Or maybe they were crisis actors. Damn those crisis actors!

For the record, I didn't attend the rally. My Mom wouldn't let me. Instead we spent the day at home watching movies. Anne Frank wouldn't have needed a diary if she'd had RedBox.

The next time the Nazis think about coming to town, I'll be glad to recommend a film they could watch instead. Maybe Thor: Ragnarok. It's a pretty good way to pass an afternoon.

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When she doesn't get her way, she pouts. It's real cute.

I just couldn't stop writing punchlines

You don't know how hard it was not to make a Pudding Pop joke here

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I think my mother might be trying to gaslight me.

She tells me that I eat too much white bread. Every day when I wake up and go to the refrigerator for milk, she warns me "you're almost out of bread." When I look, she's right. There are only a few pieces left.

How can that be? When last I went shopping, I bought a loaf of Sunbeam Giant, enough bread to choke a horse. I've had the occasional peanut butter and honey sandwich for dinner — most of you would call it a "midnight snack" — but that's only a couple of slices in the past week.

Where's my bread going? Am I sleep eating? Does bread evaporate overnight? Or, as I suspect, is my mother throwing the slices away one at a time in a devious plan to get me to eat multigrain?

I'm on to you, Mom. You'll not trick me. White bread for life!

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At last! The final batch of movies watched in March:

59. (1288.) The Magnetic Monster (1953)
Mid-century cautionary tale about the unknown dangers of splitting the atom. It starts like a documentary, though it mostly plays like stale drive-in cliche. Not entirely terrible, but hardly a classic.

60. (1289.) Death Wish (2018)
Also not a classic. I've seen all the Bronson Death Wish movies multiple times, and none of them are quite as dumb as the movie Bruce Willis finds himself in. I'm not entirely sure whether this interpretation of Kersey was a bumbling idiot because the writer/director/studio wanted to downplay the danger of a self-appointed vigilante a gun or whether they just think most people are that foolish. *shrug*

61. (1290.) Johnny Handsome (1989)
A mad scientist gives a disfigured criminal a new face, but he can't fix his broken heart! No, seriously. Lance Henriksen, Ellen Barken, and Morgan Freeman play comic book villains, but this hokum comes across surprisingly earnest thanks entirely to Mickey Rourke. Not bad for a crime movie of its era.
(Footnote: early in the film, Henriksen is driving through the streets of New Orleans and a Coca-Cola storefront sign is visible out his rear window. As the sign clearly wasn't placed for the shot, I don't think it qualifies as product placement, so no screenshot appears here. But it is clearly a Coca-Cola sign so I'm still talking about it.)

62. (1291.) The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band (1968)
Kurt Russell is the only actor I've seen in multiple movies so far this year. Here in 1968, he plays a pre-teen member of the title band (headed by Walter Brennan and Buddy Ebsen). Forty-seven years later, in 2015's Bone Tomahawk, he played an aging Old West sheriff. I'm glad he's still acting. In both roles he was great. This entire movie was pretty enjoyable, in fact, with good songs and a tight (if slight) story. There's a reason the Disney brand has been so strong for so long.

63. (1292.) Walkabout (1971)
Two children become lost in the Australian Outback and are saved by a young aborigine. Was anyone truly saved? Is the film being cynical, honest, or allegorical? It's like the Apocalypse, Now! of coming-of-age movies. The only thing I'm sure it's saying is that everyone goes through their own life alone. Honestly, I watch a lot of movies and rarely come across anything as weird and haunting as this. I'll remember Walkabout for a long time.

More to come.

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Here comes the judge!

I don't live in Forsyth County, but I like this guy's style, if not his spelling.

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To be continued...

 

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