Showing 1 - 10 of 169 posts found matching keyword: coke

47/2358. So Proudly We Hail! (1943)
The main narrative of this melodramatic romance is very dull (despite the male half being George Reeves), but the background situation of a group of American nurses trapped in Bataan as the Japanese war machine begins to roll through in the Philippines at the start of World War II is quite riveting. It's all utterly horrible, and from what I've read, reality was worse.

Side note: since this is Superman Month, it's probably worth noting that there is a recurring bit in this in which one of the American soldiers is repeatedly referred to as Superman. (Fun fact: it is NOT the character played by George Reeves.) The events are set in 1941, and Superman would have been only 3 at the time. (He was barely 5 when the film was released!) This was a Paramount picture, and Paramount was also responsible for the brilliant Max Fleisher Superman cartoon shorts that debuted in 1940. So the name-dropping here counts as brand synergy product placement! You! Ess! Ay!

48/2359. Crimes of Fashion: Killer Clutch (2024)
Sadly, Hallmark mysteries don't always hit the mark. All the characters in this whodunit act like idiots so that the romance between the protagonist, a fashion psychologist, and the French policeman can get more screentime. The conclusion is particularly ridiculous. What's the haute couture world's equivalent of "two thumbs down"?

49/2360. Mean Girls 2 (2011)
Speaking of two thumbs down: this made-for-TV cash-grab sequel is inferior in all ways to its predecessor, especially the script, cinematography, and editing. But also the casting, costumes, acting, direction, stunts, and setting. (It's Atlanta! Standing in for Ohio?) Even the title, which should have been "Meaner Girls." (In this case, they nonchalantly commit crimes.) About the only thing the movie got right was the product placement.

Drink Coke! (Mean Girls)
Mean Girls drink Diet Coke

Drink Coke! (Mean Girls 2)
Meaner Girls drink Coke Zero

50/2361. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)
Darker and less satisfying than previous instalments in this franchise, I would probably be hating on this movie if not for the scene-stealing Cosmo, a talking dog obsessed with being "good." Seriously, cut out the rest and just fast forward to the Cosmo scenes... or go watch this YouTube video.

More to come.

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Three things:

Thing One: Coca-Cola's summer promotion involves decorating their cans and bottles with pictures of Marvel Comics super heroes. I bought a 24 pack expecting an assortment of heroes, but no, all 24 cans were the same picture of Electra. Very disappointing. I've now drunk more cans of Coca-Cola with Electra's picture on them than I have bought comic books with Electra pictured in them. Meanwhile, my aunt bought me a 20-oz bottle of Coke Classic because she saw a picture on it of some guy in tights on it and thought I would like it even though she had no idea who it was or which characters I liked. It was Wolverine. To be fair to my aunt, even though I haven't bought a single Wolverine comic in decades, I have definitely bought more Wolverine comics in my lifetime than I have bought Elektra comics.

Thing Two: When I composed this post in my head while walking the dogs, I knew there were three things. However, I don't currently remember what thing two is. Give me a minute. I'll come back to this one.

Thing Three: I wore a kilt for the first time yesterday. I'd been saying for years that I was going to shop for one at the annual Georgia Renaissance Fair, but haven't, in part because it seems a little like cultural appropriation to me, even though Mom can trace her (and therefore mine) very WASPy ancestry well back to Scottish Clan Napier in the 18th century. I ended up buying one online, a modern cotton twill utility kilt instead of the traditional wool tartan because the whole point of wearing one was to stay cooler in the long Georgia summer. To my surprise, I liked it. I liked it a lot, especially while walking the dogs. I might buy another.

Thing Two Again: Hmm. I recently broke a part on our washing machine, but I don't think that was it. And my car was in the shop again, but that's not it either. Shit. What was I going to say here?

You know what? Never mind. It couldn't have been that important. So just two things, then.

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The recent press release announcing that Subway has signed a new 10-year agreement with PepsiCo reads

"Under the new agreement, Subway restaurants will offer a consumer-driven assortment of beverages from the diverse PepsiCo beverages portfolio... ."

What the fuck is a "consumer-driven assortment of beverages"?

I don't eat at Subway when I can avoid it (which is most of the time), so I am not in any position to confirm or deny that regular Subway customers often lament their inability to wash down their fish-free tuna sandwiches with such name brands as MTN DEW®, Starry®, and Gatorade®. I mean, sure, maybe. Americans once chose a reality television star to be president, so I guess anything is possible.

As I said, I don't eat there, so it's no skln off my back that Subway has chosen to offer their guests an inferior liquid product to accompany their inferior solid products. If that's what they want, more power to them. I just have doubts that this change was "driven" by "consumers," unless the drivers and consumers in question are Subway and PepsiCo accountants.

Sales data indicates that Pepsi continues to fail its own Pepsi Challenge against Coke (which annually outsells Pepsi 4-to-3 by volume). But PepsiCo is the richer company in large part because it backs up its weaker soda sales with Yum! Brands restaurants and Frito-Lay, which have been the exclusive snack product line of Subway for at least 17 years running... and thanks to a recent agreement promoted in the same press release, will continue to be until at least 2030.

So if there was any such thing as truth in advertising, the press release should probably have read

"If you want our delightful potato chips, you have to take our lousy soda, too."

Whatever. You do you, Subway. Meanwhile, I'll be eating someplace that serves Coca-Cola.

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16/2327. The Racing Scene (1969)
James Garner narrates a documentary about a year in the life of his racing company. It's a lot like Grand Prix with the most dramatic moments edited out.

17/2328. Cornbread, Earl and Me (1975)
It would be easy to handwave away this innocent-black-kid-gets-shot-by-police story as an overly melodramatic mid-70s exploitation film if the same shit wasn't still making headlines.

Drink Coke! (Cornbread, Earl, and Me)
Drinking pop is a key plot element that the Coke product placement team wisely stays away from.

18/2329. True Justice: Family Ties (2024)
It seems that Hallmark is leaning more into the procedural style mystery movie, which I suppose is fine for variety. Unfortunately, the plot construction follows the "last, least likely suspect" approach, so the murderer's motive is... weak. Oh well. As I've said before, I don't watch these things for realism.

19/2330. The Fake (1953)
An American insurance agent stumbles into a British art forgery scheme with just enough fisticuffs, romance, and plot twists thrown in so that all the boxes can be checked off. I enjoyed it in spite of its limitations, but all the cliche elements do tend to encourage eye-rolling.

20/2331. Adaptation (2002)
Brilliantly written meta-movie satire by Charlie Kaufman who uses himself as the fulcrum to demonstrate that Hollywood films are all a waste of time. It's no wonder the material attracted such an accomplished cast. (Kudos also to director Spike Jonze for getting himself out of the way so it seems all Charlie's film.) Even when it is completely predictable — seriously, the second half couldn't be telegraphed harder — it never goes quite where I expect. Loved it.

21/2332. The Girl Who Had Everything (1953)
What else do you give the girl who has everything but William Powell to play her father? Sadly, Powell is criminally underused because the studio is clearly more interested in the dumb, doomed romance built around Elizabeth Taylor. If I were in charge there would have been less Taylor, more Powell. (I suspect Powell thought so, too. This is the last movie he ever made at MGM.)

More to come.

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6/2317. Time Bomb Y2K (2023)
This documentary has no commentary or interviews, just clips of footage taken from original sources as the world marched toward a potential disaster on January 1, 2000. The clip selection (perhaps out of necessity) tends towards typically overblown media sensationalism, and the end result is like leaving a cup of history out in the sun and reviewing it later after the sane parts had evaporated out. A history reduction! Its fever pitch doesn't quite match my memories of the era, but that would admittedly make for less entertaining television.

7/2318. This Place Rules (2022)
Another documentary of a different sort as journalist Andrew Callaghan records himself traveling around the country attending Trump rallies in the weeks leading to January 6, 2021. Unlike Jordan Klepper's similar pieces for The Daily Show, Callaghan's point of view isn't as obvious, sometimes seeming more empathetic and sometimes entirely apathetic. At times, this feels a bit like an art piece, and as with all things in Trump World, it's hard to ascertain how much is truth and how much is performative. If nothing else, it's an interesting artifact of its era.

8/2319. Thriller 40 (2023)
There are plenty of interviews in this documentary celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of Michael Jackson's Thriller album. There's a lot of talk about how Thriller and the artistic genius behind it changed the world of music and entertainment for the better but very little discussion about the controversial legacy of Jackson himself. Maybe that's the way it should be; it just felt a little hollow looking backwards at what I (and all the interviewees) know to be in Jackson's future.

9/2320. The Liquidator (1965)
This spy action/comedy, with a theme performed by my favorite James Bond theme-songstress, Shirley Bassey, features Rod Taylor as a British secret agent with a license to kill... who hires other people to kill for him, which is a smaller part of the plot than you'd expect. In fact, the story is a bit of a meandering hot mess as it struggles to exploit a niche that other James Bond rip-offs hadn't yet. Honestly, I don't know that I would have made it all the way through if it wasn't for the prominent role of given to Jill St. John, my favorite Bond Girl.

Drink Coke! (The Liquidator)

Which is not to say that the movie is entirely stupid. It's hard to read in the image above, but "Refreshes you best" was indeed Coke's international slogan in 1959. Here is also cleverly serves here as a visual double entendre for the sexual proclivities of our hero, who works in a diner called the Bird Cage where he stalks attractive (and willing) young women -- a fact that is entirely relevant to the third act twist. Oh, well. They can't all be Diamonds Are Forever.

10/2321. The Tale of Zatoichi (1962)
The Internet tells me that the blind ronin Zatoichi was an incredibly popular action hero in Japan. I don't see why (no pun intended), but the film, the first of many for the character, isn't exactly bad as it is a little slow and dull. But maybe it was better than whatever else Japanese audiences were being offered in 1962. Maybe it took some time for Dr. No to cross the Pacific. (The fifth Bond film, Japanese-set You Only Live Twice, wouldn't arrive in theaters until 1967. By then, there had already been 14 Zatoichi films!)

More to come.

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137/2303. Asteroid City (2023)
It feels almost like all other Wes Anderson films were setting the stage for this, the most Wes Anderson film yet. I probably don't need to tell you that this was my favorite movie of 2023. Like Birdman, the meta-commentary on plays, acting, art, and entertainment is more text than subtext, yet it still manages to be evasive enough for multiple interpretations. "You can't wake up if you don't fall asleep."

138/2304. Altered States (1980)
Because I don't enjoy body horror or drug movies, I have been avoiding this movie since I first became aware of its existence (thanks to a Mad magazine parody), and I was right to. It's a hot mess. Screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky's words are here, but the director and actors sidestep Chayefsky's cynicism for an irritatingly earnest.... horror romance? Not very not good.

Drink Coke! (Altered States)
Coca-Cola is the mildest mind-altering drug in this picture.

139/2305. Albert Brooks: Defending My Life (2023)
Rob Reiner's documentary interview with Albert Brooks is pretty entertaining because Albert Brooks is very entertaining. It could have been three times as long and been just as good.

140/2306. Best Defense (1984)
Speaking of not very good.... Looking back on Eddie Murphy's lifetime body of work, very few of his movies are really any good. He has admitted he did this one just for the money, and it shows. Dudley Moore isn't any better in this very mediocre spy "comedy."

141/2307. The Cheaters (1945)
This very slim plot involving scammers bilking a girl out of her inheritance at Christmas barely sustains the 90 minute runtime. It did not hold my full attention, but it also didn't drive me away. Make of that what you will.

142/2308. An Actor's Revenge (1963)
This experimental Japanese movie is staged to look shallow, like a stage play, which is directly relevant to the story, but the story itself is something like a dull cross-dressing version of Hamlet. I like my movies a little weird, but the slow pace put me to sleep. I did not want to wake up for more.

More to come.

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130/2296. Mystic Pizza (1988)
If I had seen this when it came out, I know I would have hated it. And not just because I would have been 12 and I would have hated everything that wasn't Transformers and comic books but because each of the girls are clearly making choices that sabotage their own lives. But with the perspective that Middle Age provides, I really enjoyed it.

Drink Coke! (Mystic Pizza)
This product placement becomes a little more blatant when you discover this wasn't filmed at the actual restaurant.

131/2297. The Bachelor Party (1957)
TCM broadcast a night of Paddy Chayefsky-written films, including this one, which is NOT the sophomoric Tom Hanks comedy but a typically satirical Chayefsky look at the institution of marriage and how we usually fail it. I liked it.

132/2298. Middle of the Night (1959)
Another Chayefsky work, this time a look at the unconventional courtship of a May/December romance hindered by self-deception and social expectations. I did not care for the rom-com ending; they're doomed!

134/2300. I Wouldn't Be in Your Shoes (1948)
Run by TCM as an off-the-beaten path Christmas movie (it's set around the holiday), this is a crime drama in which a disagreeable dancer is framed for murder and it's up to his wife and the police detective who loves her to find the clues. It's a fun puzzle, but the ending... oh, boy. I'm glad everybody brought a gun to the housewarming.

135/2301. She Done Him Wrong (1933)
When I wrote my capsule for I'm No Angel a few weeks ago, I was actually thinking of this, the other Mae West/Cary Grant movie. I'm No Angel is the much better of the two, but they both showcase why May West is an enduring star.

136/2302. 42 (2013)
A biopic of Jackie Robinson's first year in baseball, which, as is usually the case in these sorts of movies and the primary reason I don't usually like them, bends history to fit its narrative. However, Robinson was a unique individual deserving of his place in history, and the movie is well-crafted and charming. So I'll just say nice things about it.

More to come.

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I've really fallen off the movie watching pace this year. It looks like I'll only see maybe 140 new-to-me films in 2023, my lowest total since 2016. Let that be a lesson: When you work too hard, there's not enough time to sit on your ass and watch movies. Time to reinvestigate my priorities.

112/2278. Man Hunt (1941)
Walter Pigeon is hunted across England by Nazis because he thought about assassinating Hitler. It gets pretty brutal; the Nazis do not play fair. And to think: This movie was made in America in 1941! (Director Fritz Lang had escaped Nazi Germany, so he had some first-hand experience and an axe to grind, and grind it he did.) The call to action at the end is a bit much, but thumbs up otherwise.

113/2279. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (2023)
I've played in my share of Dungeons and Dragons campaigns, and I can attest that this movie gets it all right: wisecracking, well-intentioned but marginally competent (and greedy) heroes make for a crackling good time. It made me want to get together with friends and start a new campaign.

114/2280. The Flash (2023)
I covered the key aspects of this piece of trash back in September. To reiterate: it's bad; don't watch it. (On my first attempt, I made it to the 8 minute mark before I couldn't take it anymore and had to bail. A friend convinced me to try again, starting at 1 hour, when Michael Keaton arrives. I did as he said, and I was left with bile in my mouth as I watched Keaton parody himself for a big paycheck. Poor guy. Maybe Birdman was more autobiographical than I would have previously believed. The real sin here: never remind your audience they could be watching other, better movies.)

115/2281. Summer of '42 (1971)
What I didn't like about this enjoyably bittersweet coming-of-age story was the dialogue between the three friends. I was that age once, and I'm sure my friends and A) had a much better grasp of sex B) didn't sound like egghead playwrights. Very distracting in what was otherwise a very naturalistic setting.

Drink Coke! (Summer of '42)
"In '42, we were thirsty... for love."

116/2282. A Zest for Death: A Hannah Swensen Mystery (2023)
I'm glad that Hallmark has resumed their Hannah "The Baker" Swensen mystery series. I enjoy them in large part because I enjoy using their established formulas to resolve which of the newly introduced characters has to be the murderer, no matter how improbable the story would want you to think it is. In other words: dumb puzzle movie make Walter feel smart. Hooray!

More to come.

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102/2268. Hide in Plain Sight (1980)
James Caan directs James Caan in a movie that could do with a little less verisimilitude. It's based on the true story of a man whose wife goes into witness protection hiding with their son. In a movie full of cops, gangsters, and lawyers, we spend a little too much time with Jimmy being frustrated with his day job and new dog.

Drink Coke! (Hide in Plain Sight)
The color on this is bad because it was taken from the trailer on YouTube. I assure you, in the actual movie, the Coke is red.

103/2269. Killer McCoy (1947)
Working title: Mickey Rooney, professional boxer! He fights men! He picks up women! He spends a lot of time in cars! The film has a fun script could work... with someone else in the starring role. I just cannot believe that tiny Rooney could beat a man to death in a boxing ring.

104/2270. Daddy's Gone A-Hunting (1969)
The most striking thing about this thriller (which has an aborted pregnancy at its center) is that it was scored by John Williams. Ok, fine, the abortion angle is pretty striking, too, especially when the stalker starts insisting that his ex-girlfriend kill her new baby as penance. Actually not a bad thriller.

105/2271. The Password Is Courage (1962)
Dirk Bogarde as charming war hero! I'd caught the opening act of this movie some time ago, and it was a delight to finish it off. I'd swear this was the basis for Hogan's Heroes.

106/2272. Damn the Defiant! (1962)
Dirk Bogarde as ruthless child torturer! In this case, the show is stolen by Alec Guinness as the captain of the HMS Defiant... and the boy's father. I was actually bored by the action scenes, but the melodrama was pretty engrossing.

More to come.

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95/2261. Teen Witch (1989)
This is a coming-of-age fantasy power movie in the vein of Zapped! but for girls... and much tamer... and made by incompetents. Its misguided confidence is surprisingly charming. Watch for the teen lust hunk unironically shaking up the Coke before he gives it to our heroine!

Drink Coke! (Teen Witch)

96/2262. The Murder Man (1935)
Holy cow, Spencer Tracy is always good, even when he's playing a detective reporter who is also.... Aw, but that'd be giving it away!

98/2264. Sergeant Rutledge (1960)
John Ford's take on racism in the American West... and in America in general, I guess. Frankly, the third act feels a bit like a cop out, but I have to accept that Ford was working in an era that demanded happy endings for Hollywood tales about the limits of American exceptionalism. I should probably be satisfied that such a movie (with a such dark subtext) even exists in the period.

99/2265. Blondie (1938)
The first in a series of movies that adapted the long comic strip into a live action situation comedy. This was apparently very popular in its day, but Dagwood is too incompetent to be sympathetic — or coupled with a hottie like Blondie!

100/2266. Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)
John Ford directs Henry Fonda struggling with frontier life during American Revolution. What it lacks in realism (which is a great deal), it makes up for in cliches! Which doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it. Cliches get repeated for a reason.

101/2267. Cheyenne Autumn (1964)
Another John Ford picture that tries, in its way, to correct the public record on the tragedies of Manifest Destiny in the American West. (Ford was no innocent bystander in this. He sure presented the French-allied Indians in Drums Along the Mohawk to be particularly bloodthirsty rapists and murderers worthy of exterminating.) Sadly, the worst part of this isn't all the unnecessarily dead Cheyenne but the extended "comedy" sequence with Jimmy Stewart playing Wyatt Earp just before intermission. While this may be another of Ford's concessions to contemporary audiences, it's so tonally incongruent with what comes before and after that it robs the rest of the movie of any dignity, making the whole experience feel more exploitative than sympathetic. Yuck.

More to come.

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To be continued...

 

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