Showing 1 - 10 of 133 posts found matching keyword: coke

Have a Coke and a smile:

Thirsty for championships

I should have held up an original 1980 UGA Championship Coca-Cola bottle (with the Jack Davis art) for scale. This one was painted specifically to hang on the wall inside the house beside the tv, so use that to frame it in your imagination.

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51/2060. Five Minutes to Live (1961)
The sensationalist title is a very good indicator of the style of this low-budget thriller, but it's a poor description of the plot itself. What you need to know is that Johnny Cash plays a psychopathic killer during a bank robbery gone sideways. You will believe that he shot a man in Reno just to watch him die! While Cash has the starring role, the kid in the movie is played by none other than li'l Ronnie Howard! What a weird pairing.

52/2061. Siren of the Tropics (1927)
This silent movie starring Josephine Baker careens madly through genres: adventure, slapstick comedy, topless sexploitation, murder thriller, romantic melodrama, you name it. Obviously, it has its moments, but its mad mood swings really irritated me.

53/2062. Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
Another Marvel movie with insultingly stupid plotting. But you're supposed to watch these things for the character interactions, and I won't deny that it is a lot of fun when there are multiple Spider-Men on screen at the same time. But that's the only nice thing I'll say about it.

54/2063. On Golden Pond (1981)
I'm old enough that I can now relate to Fonda's existential dilemma, which could make this movie a real slog. Fortunately, I like Henry Fonda and Katherine Hepburn. It'll never be a favorite, but it was worth a watch.

Drink Coke! (On Golden Pond)
Drink fast, old man!

55/2064. Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story (2015)
The life story of a husband (storyboarder, art director) and wife (researcher) who worked behind the scenes on many a Hollywood movie. It's told largely through home movies and on-camera interviews, so it's essentially an autobiography with plenty of anecdotes and famous faces.

56/2065. 15 Things You Didn't Know About Bigfoot (#1 Will Blow Your Mind) (2019)
This movie was released at the wrong time and has had a hard time finding distribution, so you may encounter it with a different title. I watched it because it was set in Georgia, and my mind was indeed blown. It is without a doubt the best lampoon of VICE-style clickbait journalism, social media influencers, and Bigfoot hunters you'll ever see.

More to come.

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In hindsight, do I watch a lot of movies about death?

39/2048. Death on the Nile (2022)
There's a lot in this that sequel to The Orient Express that will feel not quite right to hardcore Christie fans, but I was more bothered by the CGI used to replicate 1930s Cairo than the anachronistic cultural mores or addition of Poirot's backstory. Don't get me wrong, I still liked it and would definitely keep watching Kenneth Branagh Poirot movies.

40/2049. The End (1978)
In this blackest of comedies, Burt Reynolds plays a man so afraid of pain that he is determined to kill himself before his terminal disease can. When this film works, it's usually because of Burt's natural charm, though it does squeeze some good comedy bits from very real human situations. (I found the third act slapstick to be too broad given the dark matter that preceded it. Your mileage — and tolerance of Dom DeLuise's over-the-top antics — may vary.)

Drink Coke! (The End)
Drink Coke and die!

41/2050. The Green Knight (2021)
The classic legend is about a knight on a quest to have his head chopped off, but this modern telling is more acid trip than road trip. Every line of dialog only makes the story more confusing. It might be more tolerable if it wasn't all filmed in a dark forest without lighting. Blech.

42/2051. The New Mutants (2020)
Whenever someone wonders what "studio interference" is, point them to this movie. The writer and director were very clearly using trying to make a horror film about adolescence and sexual awakening, but the studio wanted more traditional superhero fare. The actors seem completely confused (disinterested?) about what they're supposed to be doing, and the result *is* a nightmare, just not one that anyone would want to see.

43/2052. Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off (2022)
The old footage and glowing interviews about Hawk's early days are cool. Unfortunately, Hawk is unable or unwilling to examine his adult life outside of the world of skating, so in the end, he seems almost a victim rather than a champion, especially as the story ends wallowing on his inevitable physical decline. Was the intention of this documentary to make him a martyr?

44/2053. Closed for Storm (2020)
Another documentary, this time about the doomed New Orleans Jazzland theme park, from its conception to its destruction by Katrina to its abandonment by Six Flags to New Orleans' continued inability to do anything with it's remains. Honestly, it's the last part that I found most interesting because that was when the film veered from mere morbid nostalgia to something bordering on political activism against corrupt governance. Rage against the dying of the light, indeed. Of course I liked it.

More to come.

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When I'm not reading fan mail, I'm watching movies!

33/2042. Turning Red (2022)
The movie that did so well, they made its writer/director a vice president of the studio! I'm on record as a fan of coming-of-age movies, so of course I liked this one. Its a nice change of pace where the "villain" of a story is a well-intentioned (if overprotective) parent.

35/2044. The Go-Go's (2020)
The Go-Go's heyday was just slightly ahead of my time, and I didn't know much about the individual members. It's pretty clear that a lot of their very worst behavior to one another and former members and managers got whitewashed out of this documentary, but that's probably the price you pay to get them to speak on the record in a project like this (which is really a promotion for a reunion show).

36/2045. When We Were Kings (1996)
Another documentary, this time an Oscar winner about the Ali/Foreman Rumble in the Jungle. It is an interesting time capsule of news footage, but I never got the impression that we get in the heads of the actual boxers so it feels glossy and distant, like a Life Magazine cover story.

37/2046. Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)
I don't quite understand why this romcom was the sensation that it was. The pacing is uneven, the protagonist is painfully over-awkward, and the obviously contrived confusion about the two love interests drags on far too long. Maybe it's an English thing.

Drink Coke! (Bridget Jones's Diary)
There is no wrong day for a Coke!

More to come.

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At last count, I'd seen 39 new-to-me movies so far in 2022. At the current pace, I'll finish the year with 145 movies seen. That's... not the worst number. But it is about the dumbest thing I could be worrying about these days, so let's just move on.

29/2038. The French Dispatch (2021)
I've heard this called "the most Wes Anderson of all Wes Anderson films," and I think that's a fine description. It is an anthology, and the short run time allotted to each story combined with the usually unusual Anderson mannerisms means most characters are little more than refuse cans of half-baked quirks. In the end, it feels slick and thin, like the glossy pages of a magazine. But I also think that is kind of its whole point. That said, I really do enjoy me some Wes Anderson films, and I have already watched this one three times.

Drink Coke! (The French Dispatch)
Enjoy a highly abstract re-imagining of a whatever they call Coca-Cola in 1968 Ennui-sur-Blase, France.

30/2039. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
I'd never seen this before — don't judge me! — and I decided it was past time to correct that oversight. For the most part, it is (literally) boilerplate slasher-genre thriller with a unique and clever twist on the slasher himself. The ending doesn't really work for me, but I can certainly understand why it's an enduring classic.

31/2040. X-Rated: The Greatest Adult Movies of All Time (2015)
This purports to be a documentary of "great" x-rated movies but is sadly little more than a promotional brochure for the modern skin-flick industry. I won't say that it has *no* intellectual value, but anyone who tells you they watched this for the articles would be lying to you. (Except me of course; I'm a paragon of prudishness!)

32/2041. Nobody (2021)
Imagine a slightly-more-grounded-in-reality John Wick and you've got this. I really enjoyed it, especially because of how lean it is. The film knows exactly what it is and cuts everything else down to the bone, requiring heavy lifting from the actors and stuntmen to sell the fantasy. And they do. Heartily recommended to action fans.

34/2043. Cut, Color, Murder (2022)
Hallmark's latest detective franchise movie series is mostly just silly. The killer is exactly the person that the police would have identified in the first 15 minutes if they hadn't been too busy falling over themselves to get the local hair salon owner to do their work for them. This one really feels like Hallmark is running out of new ways to re-combine their romance-murder mystery Mad Libs.

More to come.

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Don't worry. Be happy.
advertisement from The Red And Black, November 23, 1945

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Has it really been three weeks since I last mentioned movies? Let's fix that!

25/2034. Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Haunted by Murder (2022)
Oh, no, is the murderer a... g-g-ghost? No, Shaggy. No it is not. Mom solved this one in the first thirty minutes by simply identifying the least likely suspect. I'm thinking maybe this series is running out of steam.

26/2035. Viva Knievel! (1977)
Have I really not reviewed this movie yet? I feel like I have. And if I haven't, shame on me. It's everything you could want in a Dukes of Hazzard episode plus Gene Kelly in his single worst on-screen performance ever. (When you are being out-acted by a motorcycle stuntman, it's time to hang it up.) The perfect example of a movie so bad it comes out the other side.

27/2036. Free Guy (2021)
I liked it. The script and the director (and Ryan Reynolds) were aware enough of the hows and whys video games are made to maintain their strong satirical point amid the excesses and oversimplifications necessary in crafting a "blockbuster" comedy-actioner for mass market audiences. Kudos.

Drink Coke! (Free Guy)
Gaming goes better with Coke!

28/2037. Mortal Kombat (2021)
This, on the other hand. I mean, it doesn't have an exemplary plot or action sequences, there's no significant characterization, the actors are made of wood, and the dialogue couldn't be worse. On the up side, it was helpful to be reminded why I don't play the Mortal Kombat games anymore.

More to come.

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I was recently chastised for not understanding who that Super Bowl Chevy Silverado commercial tied into the season finale of The Sopranos. "Haven't you seen one of the five greatest television dramas of all time?" No, I guess not. I don't watch dramatic television. I watch movies. Speaking of which....

20/2029. Valley of the Dolls (1967)
Some movies are badly misjudged on release. Critics in 1967 disliked this movie... and they were right. On the upside, I now understand that Beyond the Valley of the Dolls is a very specific parody of this movie. I'll definitely rewatch the parody again before I would willingly rewatch this.

21/2030. American Pop (1981)
This story of four generations of Americans is the first Ralph Bakshi movie I've seen that made me think he may have been capable of creating genuine art. Sadly, the narrative falls apart a bit in the third act but is still worth a watch.

Drink Coke! (American Pop)
Life is a series of downers that ends... in a hall with some Coca-Cola paintings.

22/2031. In the Heights (2021)
It took three tries for me to watch this movie all the way through, and I have to say that ultimately it was worth it. Great songs, charismatic actors, incredible cinematography: I've since watched it a second time. (How was this directed by the same man who helmed the Jem and the Holograms movie?)

Drink Coke! (In the Heights)
Doomed romances go better with Coke!

23/2032. The Cheyenne Social Club (1970)
Despite the recurring themes of sex and death, this is really just a light comedy serving as an excuse to have aging stars and personal friends Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda pal around in the violent Old West. It's no classic, but not every movie has to be.

24/2033. Lovely to Look At (1952)
Think An American in Paris but with a lopsided love triangles. The good songs are all in the first act. After that, they're almost all ballads (the one exception being Red Skelton's cover of "Go Tell Aunt Rhody") which really hurts the pace. Definitely watch In the Heights instead.

More to come.

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The Olympics are here again, which of course means that I'm watching fewer movies and more sports — just in time for the end of football season!

9/2018. Black Samson (1974)
The protagonist of this blaxploitation film has a pet lion that... doesn't ever do anything. Is it only here because the biblical Samson killed a lion? ("What is stronger than a lion? Black Samson!") More interestingly, although the film very much indulges in themes of black solidarity, the "white man" isn't really the bad guy here; that honor goes to one crazy, wannabe mafia boss who even the white men don't like. (Is Johnny Nappa a Philistine? Which of the girls dancing in Samson's topless bar is Delilah?) Hardly great cinema, but not entirely worthless, either.

10/2019. The Story of Three Loves (1953)
This anthology film lives up to its title, telling three different stories about lost loves is the good kind of weird. The middle chapter would appear to have inspired the movie Big (with Ricky Nelson in what would be Hanks' role), and the third chapter showcases Kirk Douglas' typical commitment to his roles, in this case as an obsessed trapeze artist.

11/2020. How to Build a Girl (2019)
Beanie Feldstein pretends to be young and English in the early 90s British music scene. As I've admitted before, I'm a sucker for coming-of-age films. This one hits all the usual beats, and of course I enjoyed it.

Drink Coke! (How to Build a Girl)
She orders a Coke in a bar, then never touches it. It just sits on that table. What is this, an SEC football press conference?

12/2021. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
Holy crap, the bus fight on this thing is amazing. They really should have found a way to make that the finale. I'd heard a lot of complaints about that CGI-driven finale, and I think they are all well deserved. The real problem isn't the CGI but the fact that the CGI characters introduced late in the third act have no character development before their action sequence. You've gotta give the audience a reason to care about your ridiculous animated dragons, Marvel, otherwise we're just checking our watches as we wait for the inevitable end-credit cameos.

13/2022. Putney Swope (1969)
The narrative is ostensibly about a no-nonsense outsider taking over a Madison Avenue advertising firm, but that's mostly just an excuse to satire consumerism, capitalism, socialism, racism, sexism, and, frankly, every -ism in all the best, most absurdist ways. Near the end of the film, there's a very self-indulgent several minutes of topless fight attendants which wouldn't be out of place in Kentucky Fried Movie but here comes across as appropriately damning of American society. As the man at the breakfast table eating Ethereal Cereal would say, "No shit!"

More to come.

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Last week, I rewatched Heavy Metal for the first time in years. It's both better and worse than I remembered, and I remembered it pretty accurately. It's probably the perfect movie for 14-year-old boys and no one else.

Some other movies I saw recently for the first time:

5/2014. Epic Movie (2007)
The only thing epic about this movie is how astonishingly bad it is. Everyone in the cast is better than this, but the direction and especially the editing kills every attempt at a joke. The best thing to see here is the Coca-Cola product placement!

Drink Coke! (Epic Movie)
Sorry this isn't a better picture, but I'm not looking at this film any longer than I have to.

6/2015. I Used to Go Here (2020)
Does anyone else remember going to pre-pandemic film festivals? This felt like one of those. Community's Gillian Jacobs is a writer who learns that her first published novel is a bomb while on her book tour trip back to her old college. It's s coming-of-middle-age dramedy. I enjoyed it.

7/2016. The Wrecking Crew (2008)
This is a documentary about the studio recording artists who made the sounds of the 1960s. It's like the real-life story of Tom Everett Scott's character from That Thing You Do!, and it's good!

8/2017. Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard (2021)
The sequel to The Hitman's Bodyguard suffers from the typical sequel problem of "more of the same." It's okay, but there's no real reason not to just watch the original again.

More to come.

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To be continued...