Nothing to see here

There will be no review this week due to unforeseen circumstances.

You should go see Black Panther or A Wrinkle In Time if you haven’t yet.


Nacho Libre

Nacho Libre. Paramount Pictures 2006.

Before watching the movie:

I’m fairly confident this was the first time I’d heard of Jack Black. I’d heard a lot about Shallow Hal, but since Malcolm in the Middle was such a big presence in my life at the time, my brain kept putting Bryan Cranston in the title role. So with Nacho Libre, Jack Black entered my consciousness as someone new, yet someone I apparently should have already known about.  So I was completely lost later when Tenacious D got a movie and was apparently a well-established band already. And this time it was real, unlike my early confusion about Galaxy Quest.

Anyway, here’s a cult movie about a white guy rising to the top in a Mexican cultural institution from the age where taboo topics were permissible, but insensitivity was in fashion. So I’m hoping this will be fun, but it’s got some hurdles to clear.

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Children of the Corn

Children of the Corn. Planet Productions 1984.

Before watching the movie:

I’m not sure if this is so much popular as memetic anymore. It’s still a go-to reference for “creepy and dangerous children”, but I think it’s more referencing other references than familiarity with the film anymore. At least, I haven’t heard of anyone actually watching it recently.

This spawned a ridiculous number of sequels. Yes, it’s a horror movie, but it’s a horror movie about a cult. Seems fairly self-contained.

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Lara Croft: Tomb Raider


Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Mutual Films Company 2001.

Before watching the movie:

The video game was very popular, possibly even for reasons beyond the audacious character model, so of course Tomb Raider got a movie fairly quickly. I’m not sure why the title of the successful franchise with five years of brand recognition was prefaced with the character’s name for the movie, but I assume if I look it up, I’ll see something about “Lara Croft” being the name known more by the mainstream audience, again because of the character model.

I was surprised to see Daniel Craig’s name in the credits for this 2001 movie, and then I looked up when Casino Royale came out (2006) and shriveled to a skeleton and turned to dust like the villain in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. I also found that my impression that Angelina Jolie hasn’t done much lately is very much not true.

It’s also surprising to me that the rebooted Tomb Raider series got a reboot movie before the Uncharted franchise, which I suspect the Tomb Raider reboot owes some of its success to, was able to get its movie out of development hell.

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Who Done It?

Who Done It? Universal Pictures 1943.

Before watching the movie:

What can one expect from an Abbott and Costello movie? Bumbling into trouble, one-liners, slapstick. I can’t point to anything about this movie that I think is going to be truly remarkable. It’s a vehicle picture coming out of the Hollywood machine of the Golden Age contract films model.

I have nothing to point to that I’m very interested in, beyond seeing Abbott and Costello get into trouble and be silly for a bit. They’re what sell the movie, which is the whole point.

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How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Paramount Pictures 2003.

Before watching the movie:

I thought this came out later. I seem to remember a poster for this movie being up like it was new when I was in college. Maybe I was mistaken about why it was up, or maybe a movie with a similar poster was out at the time. It’s not a very original poster design.

Anyway, there are few better ways to manufacture conflict in a romantic comedy than to have the romantic leads have opposing goals they’re hiding from each other, and this is one of the most basic forms of that. He’s made a bet that he can make her love him in 10 days, she’s trying out a relationship destruct plan for an article she intends to write. And there’s a lot of quirkiness along the way I guess.

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Slums of Beverly Hills

Slums of Beverly Hills. Wildwood Enterprises 1998.

Before watching the movie:

This is clearly some kind of culture clash movie, but I’m not sure what kind. My best guess is that the family is trying to continue living in Beverly Hills even as the money is gone. It’s mainly about quirky family dysfunction. Maybe there’s an element of “this is what rich people think rock bottom is”.