Showing 1 - 10 of 469 posts found matching keyword: movies
Wednesday 12 May 2021
I watched a new-to-me movie every other day in April, and that count might have been higher if I hadn't also re-watched several not-new-to-me movies. The Back to the Future series never gets old.
41. (1900.) Son of Kong (1933)
This is the original sequel to King Kong which is not nearly as popular or well known for the obvious reason that it's not nearly as good. Spoiler alert: Kong's son dies, too. Great apes should stay the hell away from humans.
42. (1901.) Mrs. O'Malley and Mr. Malone (1950)
This screwball comedy-slash-murder mystery is a pleasant enough waste of time, but I cannot imagine sitting through it twice.
43. (1902.) Voltaire (1933)
This is almost kind-of a fictional biography of the French author Voltaire's later years. I got a kick out of it, but I was already a Voltaire fan going in. Given how often Bill Shakespeare appears as a character in films, there should definitely be more Voltaire movies.
44. (1903.) Henry V (1944)
Unlike Voltaire, I happen to like the writing of Bill Shakespeare, especially when it's performed as well as it is here by Laurence Olivier and company. The speeches! The comedy! The color! The horrors of medieval warfare! I still like Branagh's (grimmer) version better, but this is still a great film.
45. (1904.) Here Comes the Navy (1934)
James Cagney plays James Cagney in a love triangle on a blimp. Sorry, a rigid airship. (The U.S.S. Macon, in fact, which was a real U.S. Navy ship until it fell out of the sky about half a year after the movie was released.) I enjoyed it, and not just because we get to see the inside workings of a doomed airship.
More to come.
Thursday 6 May 2021
Stuffed animals often become a comforting, reassuring presence for their owners, and 2020 was a terrible year. Put those two things together, and you might have predicted a stuffed animal boom in 2021. But did you realize what form they'd take?
If you said teddy bears or puppy dogs, you haven't been paying attention to pop culture lately.
That last one there is a tie-in with the unmemorable Emoji Movie, which reminds me that back in the day my brother had a stuffed, vinyl E.T. doll that I found particularly unattractive. I owe you an apology, 1982 E.T.
Sunday 2 May 2021
Somehow I didn't finish March movies in April, so let's correct that oversight. March movies watched part 3 of 3:
36. (1895.) The Show of Shows (1929)
No, really, they don't make them like this any more. This is what they call a revue, essentially a series of vaudeville-type skits and musical numbers with no structural narrative adapted from Broadway productions like the Ziegfeld Follies. This one promotes Warner Bros' sterling roster—including an early color appearance by a singing, dancing Myrna Loy!
37. (1896.) Blood on the Moon (1948)
This is a nice, taut Western story of how greed and corruption ruins lives. The highlight is the quickly souring relationship between Robert Preston and Robert Mitchum, both playing to their strengths.
38. (1897.) The Host (2013)
This movie wants to be Twilight so badly that it's sometimes painful to watch. (I didn't realize until after watching that it was based on a book by Stephenie Meyer, the author of Twilight. So I really don't know if the film's failures are the fault of the director or source material, though I suspect mostly the latter.) I watched it only because I like Saoirse Ronan, who turns in a typically game performance working with very thin material.
39. (1898.) The Killer That Stalked New York (1950)
Part police procedural, part medical drama, part film noir. The story concerns a jewel thief who unwittingly starts a smallpox pandemic in New York City. I enjoyed it very much.
40. (1899.) Inside Daisy Clover (1965)
I did not enjoy this much, but I knew I wouldn't because I don't like Natalie Wood, the titular, shallow Daisy Clover. The movie is ostensibly about how Hollywood squeezes its stars until they are pulped and discarded, but Wood's needlessly surly attitude made me feel she was, to a large degree, getting what she deserved. There's not a moment of joy in the entire film. (If you hate Hollywood so much, why did you make a Hollywood movie about it, Natalie?) The only redeeming value in the film is its deification of Myrna Loy. Damn straight, people.
More to come.
Thursday 22 April 2021
Movies watched in March, part 2 of 3:
29. (1888.) Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)
No, it's not as good as the original, but once I realized that was the point, I relaxed and really enjoyed what it gave me. The bit with the Disney Princesses™ more than made up for any dull moments.
31. (1890.) My Dream Is Yours (1949)
A singer who looks and sounds like Doris Day struggling to make it as a singer is not the most believable of plots in a musical movie starring Doris Day, but that's sort of beside the point. You didn't come for the drama; you knew she's destined to succeed when you bought your admission ticket.
32. (1891.) Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993)
I didn't like Annie Hall, and I like Annie Hall II: The Annie-ing even less. Yeah, it's a mystery movie, but Woody Allen's super-annoying screen persona had me cheering for the killer.
33. (1892.) Witness to Murder (1954)
It's like Rear Window with Barbara Stanwyck as Jimmy Stewart. Because the witness is a woman, no one believes her and the killer manages to have her committed to an asylum. It's good.
35. (1894.) Bugsy Malone (1976)
1976 saw the release of Network, Taxi Driver, Rocky, Carrie, All the President's Men, The Omen, A Star Is Born, and a movie musical scored by Paul Williams in which kids (including Scott Baio and Jodie Foster!) played 1920s gangsters shooting cream pie guns and driving bicycle carts. How did I not know this existed? It's bonkers in the best possible way.
Dance numbers make me thirsty.
More to come.
Monday 12 April 2021
Movies watched in March, part 1 of 3:
23. (1882.) Romance on the High Seas (1948)
This was Doris Day's first movie, and she's as cute as a freckled button. I've never been a huge fan of her 60s sex comedies opposite Rock Hudson (what with their badly outdated sexual politics), but her natural charisma is obvious here. It's no wonder she went on to become such a star.
24. (1883.) Avengers: Endgame (2019)
I said I wasn't going to watch this after how angry I was at how much Avengers: Infinity War sucked, but it finally came on broadcast television, and I didn't have anything better to do. It's not as bad as A:IW, but that's not the same as being good. In fact, I'm sure I'd hate it if A:IW hadn't set the bar so damn low that it couldn't even be tripped over. And there was Coke.
The story of how Bruce Banner and the Hulk merged would make a better movie than what this actually gave us.
25. (1884.) Calamity Jane (1953)
Another Doris Day movie (because Doris Day was the TCM "Star of the Month"), this one featuring an entirely fictional version of Calamity Jane in what is transparently a rip-off of the far superior Annie Get Your Gun. I fell asleep halfway through.
26. (1885.) I'll See You in My Dreams (1951)
Hey, look! It's Doris Day! Here she's the wife (and ambition and conscience and just plain better half) of Danny Thomas' bland songwriter Gus Kahn. I guess it's Kahn's biography (at least the Hollywood version of it), but it would have been a better movie if Day had been given the lead part.
27. (1886.) The Foreigner (2017)
Old Man Jackie Chan proves that he's probably a better actor than he gets credit for in this political action/thriller opposite Pierce Brosnan. I liked it.
28. (1887.) The Wild, Wild Planet (1966)
In the future, Mutants come to Earth to steal humans for a mad scientist's genetic experiments. Perhaps just because of what sci-fi was in the era, this feels a little like an amateur filmmaker's attempt at an original Star Trek movie, and some of the concepts are interesting. Just about everything else is bad, maybe bad enough to come around to the other side if you were in just the right mood. I wasn't.
More to come.
Saturday 3 April 2021
Feels like forever since I listed a batch of new-to-me movies. Let's get cracking!
18. (1877.) The Woman in Green (1945)
Sherlock Holmes updated into contemporary post-war 1940s works well enough, although he solved this black and white puzzle without ever actually mentioning the color of any of the women's dresses. Misdirection? Lazy writing? I'm not sure.
19. (1878.) The Chronicle Mysteries: The Deep End (2019)
The premise of this series features a podcaster who is really good at solving cold cases. But this case isn't cold, nor does it make a lot of sense. Still, it's about as good as the series gets.
20. (1879.) Green for Danger (1946)
Ah-ha! This time the "green" in the title of this British murder mystery is a very relevant clue, although the film is also in black and white. The highlight is the Scotland Yard detective who thinks very highly of himself but pegs the wrong murderer. Enjoyable.
21. (1880.) The Chronicle Mysteries: Helped to Death (2021)
Another not-cold case, this time our heroine investigates a murder that happened right under her nose, which is exactly the sorts of situations that start happening frequently to heroines in series like these. The villain is obvious almost from the start, so there's a lot of waiting for a motivation that never makes much sense.
22. (1881.) Du Barry Was a Lady (1943)
Woof. This musical was apparently based on a risque play, and Hollywood was forced to cut all the good bits. Too bad. Maybe it's time for a remake.
More to come.
Monday 22 March 2021
After I created my page showcasing delicious Coca-Cola movie product placement screenshots, I should updated it with notable Coke occurrences in other movies I've seen but haven't previously reviewed. Films like
John Hughes' classic The Breakfast Club
Stephen Spielberg's classic E.T.
Joel Schumacher's classic Falling Down
Mel Brooks' not-quite-classic Silent Movie
And no self-respecting list of movie Coca-Cola product placement should omit
The Gods Must Be Crazy
I was convinced that a Coke bottle played a small role in Andy Warhol's Trash, but on review, that was a Miller Genuine Draft bottle. I first watched Trash in the late Bill Marriott's drawing class in college — he would show us uneducated students an "arthouse" movie about once a week. I loved watching movies in class, even if I didn't like most of them. I didn't like Trash then, and I don't like it now. Now that I'm sure it wasn't a Coke bottle, I hope to never watch it again.
By the way, since we're on the subject of movies I don't want to watch again, there's a Coca-Cola commercial cut into Natural Born Killers that I remember making Coca-Cola executives squeamish back in the day when the public outcry against that movie was at it's height. If I ever do watch it again, I'll be sure to take a pic. But don't expect it.
Sunday 14 March 2021
13. (1872.) Bachelor in Paradise (1961)
I've never been a big fan of Bob Hope's 1940s girl-crazy movie persona, but I thought this 1960s sex-comedy let the air out of that balloon rather enjoyably. It helped that his next-door neighbor was hottie Paula Prentis.
14. (1873.) Crossword Mysteries: Terminal Descent (2021)
A new Hallmark mystery movie! Not a very good one, though. None of the "Crossword Mysteries" have been. But I'll take anything I can get in these desperate pandemic times.
15. (1874.) The Last of Sheila (1973)
See, *this* is how a whodunit should be made! With story credits to Anthony Perkins and Stephen Sondheim (!?!), this film features a small pool of motivated characters, each a familiar Hollywood stereotype. It has some pretty good twists, and I'm happy to say that yes, I did solve it long before the end. (Hint: Director Herbert Ross and editor Edward Warschilka deserve credit for both laying out the scenario fairly and including no wasted scenes.)
16. (1875.) Piranha (1978)
A truly stupid monster horror film desperate to cash in on that Jaws money, down to the holiday beach party that cannot be canceled despite the oncoming school of bloodthirsty piranha — pronounced piran-ya. It's great shlock, especially if you like 1970s Incredible Hulk guest stars like Bradford Dillman and Heather Menzies.
"We're going to have a beach party (and drink Coke) even if it kills us!"
17. (1876.) The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)
From the beginning, I wanted to hate it and its mundane "young love troubles" plot, but the sets are too great and the singing is too great and the ending is too great. It's just great. (I'd heard it was the inspiration for La La Land, and now that I've seen it, the connection is obvious.) I loved it.
More to come.
Friday 12 March 2021
First sign of spring! (har, har)
Yes, those are the singing pansies from Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland. Mom wanted some colorful flowers in the yard. I added the Cheshire Cat for fun.
Saturday 6 March 2021
Last night, Turner Classic Movies ran Robocop proving that it's a classic movie. Move over Citizen Kane.
In the year 2006, I ran my first post on Robocop, lamenting that the movie was then 17 years old. That was 15 years ago. I have to say that Robocop is aging better than I am. All of its themes about the runaway corruption of Capitalism, a government failing to protect its citizens, and the militarization of the police force are all still relevant today. Maybe more so.
And, of course, we still drink Coke.
Dead or alive, you're drinking a Coke!
Sooner or later, someone in Hollywood will remake this movie (again) with a female lead. And there will be a public outcry, because some things — like misogyny — are simply timeless.
P.S. Turner Classic Movies followed Robocop with an airing of Robocop 2, which is not as timeless. (I distinctly remember being very disappointed when I saw it on first release in the theater.) The first movie is a satire of modern society; the second, a parody of the first. You can tell it's an inferior model as soon as you see that the soda company product placement has been changed from Coca-Cola... to Pepsi. Ick.
P.P.S. I thought to myself, wouldn't it be fun to see all the Coca-Cola product placement screenshots I've taken in one place? Yes. Yes, it would be fun. So I made this page. Fun! (I even uploaded shots from both Clueless and Murder by Death I took only last week.)