Showing 1 - 10 of 544 posts found matching keyword: movies

8/2174. Dr. Gillespie's New Assistant (1942)
I adore these pre-television medical dramas. This is exactly the formula that hospital procedurals are still using 80 years later (plus or minus a little male chauvinism).

9/2175. Black Legion (1937)
Humphry Bogart plays an honest working man who is naturally disappointed that the American Dream is passing him by. He does not handle this well, and his runaway emotions lead him to be taken advantage of by would-be populist thugs up to no good. It's a good cautionary tail, and I'm so happy that this sort of thing can't happen anymore.

10/2176. DC League of Super-Pets (2022)
This is a DC Comics comic-book movie for people who aren't familiar with DC Comics. Sure, it's for young children, but you'd think the people in charge could have read at least one DC Comic book featuring the Legion of Super-Pets. I did not care for it.

11/2177. Smart Blonde (1937)
This is the first in a series of mysteries featuring whip smart female newshound Torchy Blane (played by Glenda Farrell). I've always loved the movie trope of the fast-talking 30s girl reporter (see Barbara Stanwyck in Meet John Doe or Jennifer Jason Leigh in The Hudsucker Proxy), so of course I think this is very good.

12/2178. Fly Away Baby (1937)
Torchy's second movie hits the will-they-or-won't-they-get-married button pretty hard (and has a weak ending), but it also establishes that the chemistry and formulas in the first movie were no fluke.

13/2179. The Adventurous Blonde (1937)
Torchy Blane's third movie (of 9) is better than the previous installment, even if the murderer was obvious from the beginning. I'd love to see the next 6, and one day I will.

More to come.

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I have to admit that the Academy Awards is a better experience when you've actually seen and enjoyed the nominated movies. Everything Everywhere All at Once is a great film and a lot of fun, and I'm glad that the Academy rewarded it as heavily as it did: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Film Editing, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor. Whew! That's quite a haul. That's as many awards as La La Land earned. That is, so long as you don't make a terrible mistake and take away one of La La Land's awards and give it to Moonlight. (Never forget!) I'm impressed.

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4/2170. Don't Bother to Knock (1952)
I'd previously thought Marilyn Monroe's only quality acting came in her last movie, The Misfits, but she's actually pretty good here early in her career playing a very confused young woman. That implies she had talent all along but the roles she was given or the people who asked her to play them weren't doing her any favors. Hmm. Something to chew on.

Drink Coke! (Don't Bother to Knock)
Coca-Cola! It's good for what ails you... mentally.

5/2171. St. Ives (1976)
Despite it's TV movie feel (with a cast full of character actors), I very much enjoyed Charles Bronson as a private eye. And speaking of actresses who aren't given the right roles, poor Jaqueline Bissett's character is not as deep as it needed to be, and it's quite clearly the muddled script's fault.

Drink Coke! (St. Ives)
Coca-Cola! It's good for what ails you... physically.

6/2172. The Casino Murder Case (1935)
I was distracted from the main mystery in this whodunnit by pretentious detective Philo Vance's "romance" with the female lead. Is it sincere or a put-on? All I can say is that not every question got answered.

7/2173. Lured (1947)
Lucille Ball joins the police to track down a serial killer... but then falls for the chief suspect. I enjoyed it in large part because it kept surprising me, especially in the final act. (The killer's identity is obvious, but how he would get trapped wasn't. Fun!)

More to come.

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I was already having a bad day — Dad continues to be A) confused about what medicine to take when, and B) very resistant to any means to address that problem — and then I saw that the new Powers That Be at the recently merged mega-corporation Warner Bros Discovery have decided to axe TCM Underground, effective immediately.

Dear whoever made that decision: Fuck off.

If you weren't aware, Underground was TCM's wee-hours-of-Saturday-morning block of programming that presented... shall we say "niche" movies. The kind that were generally made by or for unconventional audiences. You know, the kind of movies film nerds traded on VHS tapes and college art professors showed to their impressionable students to stimulate creativity. (Rest in Peace, Bill Marriott!)

I'd be more disappointed than I am if I hadn't already enjoyed TCM Underground for nearly 2 decades. Everything has a natural lifespan. (As they say, "Nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky.") Underground's 18 year-run was a very, very long time in the entertainment industry, which only thinks in terms of how much money it can make today. It deserves praise for its longevity more than mourning for its passing.

There were great things before Underground, and there will be great things after. It's the same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea. All we are is dust in the wind.

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I've been very, very busy so far this year, so movie watching is off to a slow start. As of this moment, I've seen only eight. But at least they've been pretty good. Quality over quantity in 2023!

1/2167. See How They Run (2022)
I'd read critics deride this Agatha Christie-obsessed murder mystery film as being derivative of the style of Wes Anderson, but I considered that a plus. Add some great comedic performances by the always reliable Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan, and I have to say I really loved it. An auspicious start for 2023 movies.

2/2168. All Through the Night (1942)
This movie should certainly be better known than it is. Bogart is delightful as a mobster who accidentally stumbles into a murder mystery and Nazi Fifth Columnists. The supporting cast of famous comedic actors includes Phil Silvers, Jackie Gleason, William Demarest, Edward Brophy and Frank McHugh all doing their thing. Very enjoyable.

3/2169. Last Night in Soho (2021)
Edgar Wright always integrates music into his films in interesting ways. In this case, Downtown — never one of my favorites — got irritatingly stuck in my head for days after. Otherwise, there's not a lot I can say about the plot without giving key elements away, and it's those weird, genre-blending elements that work best about this.

Drink Coke! (Last Night in Soho)
Product placement works best when it is used to define character exposition. Well done!

More to come.

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Let's finally tie-off 2022 movies.

150/2159. A Nous la Liberte (1931)
Another French film comedy. This one I liked immensely, in large part because the friendship demonstrated between the two leads who worked together to escape from prison. Funny and heartening is a good combination.

151/2160. The Automat (2021)
I've been fascinated by Automat restaurants since I first learned of their existence in the 90s, by which time they were all but completely gone from the world. Automated cafeteria food delivery still sounds like heaven to me (especially since this documentary fills in the hows and whys behind my imagination), yet somehow McDonald's touchscreen cashiers don't quite replicate the dream.

152/2161. Thoroughbreds (2017)
This is the equivalent of Heathers for modern teenaged audiences, and I liked it about as much. Which, for the record, means I'll probably never watch it again. I'm uncomfortable enough with people as it is that I don't want to spend any more time than I have to with fictional sociopaths.

154/2163. Barely Legal (2003)
You'll often hear film critics deride voiceover narration, and this film is a perfect example of the worst faults of the device: flowery bullshit compensating for a weak script and missing scenes. The only bits actually worth watching feature SNL alumni, presumably all improvising their funny lines.

155/2164. Idiot's Delight (1939)
Reportedly contains Clark Gable's only song-and-dance performance — "Putting on the Ritz," just like Frankenstein! — and's he fine. The real problem is that the entirely unnecessary (and too long) prologue in the first act steals most of the romantic tension from the rest of the film. A good example that less is often more in stoytelling.

156/2165. The Thief Who Came to Dinner (1973)
The script gives poor Jacqueline Bisset nothing to do other than be arm candy for too-pretty cat burglar Ryan O'Neal, who is also criminally underwritten. (He steals because... his job is boring? His wife left him? Because the plot demands it?) Frankly, the highlight of the film is the setting: early 1970s Houston. It has more character than the people.

More to come.

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Reading a bunch of critic's best-movies-of-2022 lists made me curious, so I went back and counted. I watched 16 movies released in 2022 in 2022.

Six were documentary/biopics. Four were mysteries. Three were cartoon/superheroes. One was Downton Abbey. And these two were on most of the aforementioned "best" lists:

153/2162. Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)
Friend Ken was a big fan of this nearly indescribable sci-fi action film, and he has been encouraging me to see it since it was still in limited release. The last movie Ken promoted this much was Into the Spider-Verse, and I'm happy to report that both lived up to Ken's hype. This is bonkers in all the right ways. I'm sure it's destined to become a beloved cult film in the Buckaroo Bonsai tradition.

157/2166. The Banshees of Inisherin (2022)
After a great deal of thought, I think I've decided this might be my favorite film released in 2022 that I watched in 2022. Re-teaming the actors and writer/director of the fantastic In Bruges in a character piece, it's much, much smaller in scope than Everything Everywhere but every bit as enthralling in its own much, much more focused way. (I cannot believe that the Colin Farrell in this and the Colin Farrell in The Batman [or Miami Vice or Daredevil] are the same actor. Give this man all the Oscars!)

More of both of these sorts of films in 2023, please!

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145/2154. Freebie and the Bean (1974)
The influence of Bullitt is obvious in this buddy-cop anti-cop comedy. It's almost funny, but the episodic scenarios suffer from uneven tone — though they often successfully recognize their own absurdity, the gags either go too far or not far enough, rarely hitting the bullseye of what makes each scene actually funny. (And the ending? Don't get me started.) There's a good movie in here somewhere; it just needed different people in creative control.

146/2155. The Mummy (1932)
This is the Karloff classic, and I found it boring, though that probably has a lot to do with how much it borrowed from the financially successful Dracula made by Universal the year before. Karloff and his makeup are, of course, the highlight. (Actually literally.)

147/2156. Le Million (1931)
The title is a reference to a lottery ticket that has gone missing in this classic French cinema's idea of an early screwball comedy as told largely in (subtitled) song. I have problems with the central love interests, but I'm a prudish American and probably shouldn't be making value judgments on French culture.

148/2157. White Cargo (1942)
I've thought about this film several times since I watched it in part because of some clever dialogue but mostly because of Hedy Lamarr's skimpily-clad, gold-digging "native" Tondelayo and her "mammy-palaver." She's the kind of girl who sticks with you, which is very much the point of the film.

149/2158. Ashes and Diamonds (1958)
I watched this Polish film when TCM ran it to honor Martin Scorsese's birthday. Apparently, it's one of his favorites, and it's easy to see the influence in his work, especially Mean Streets. I didn't love it myself, but I'm not a huge fan of most of Scorsese's films, either.

More to come.

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140/2149. Cop Land (1997)
Sylvester Stallone is very good in this modern crime drama where the cops are the robbers. Of course it helps that the rest of the cast includes DeNiro, Keitel, Liotta, and about a half dozen other fantastic talents.

Drink Coke! (Copland)
Commit crime and drink Coke!

142/2151. Foxy Brown (1974)
Pam Grier is on a mission to avenge the death of her government agent boyfriend, who was killed by a narcotics gang... after being tipped off by her own brother. There's some unintentional silliness in here, but the entire film is worth the climax.

Drink Coke! (Foxy Brown)
Sell out your sister's boyfriend and drink Coke!

143/2152. Alligator (1980)
Foxy Brown's Pam Grier plays the title character In Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown, where her love interest is played by Robert Forster. I mention that because by coincidence, Forster is the lead actor in this mediocre killer monster movie. And no one even drinks Coke in it! (The closest it gets is the one kid nearly eaten while wearing an "I'm a Pepper" t-shirt.)

144/2153. Matinee (1993)
I really enjoyed this heartfelt love letter to the creature features of the late 50s and 60s set during the Cuban Missile Crisis. I mean, I love movies about the movie business, I love atomic monster sci-fi films, and I love coming-of-age stories, so it's sort of tailor made for my specific interests. But I think everyone will appreciate John Goodman's conman with a heart of gold.

Drink Coke! (Matinee)
Watch movies and drink Coke!

More to come.

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If you know why, you know why.

Don't worry. He'll be up and around in no time.

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To be continued...