Saturday the 14th

Before watching the movie:

Mel Brooks, early Zuckers, and the Scream movies. Those are the successful genre parodies I can think of right now. This one, I think mainly lasts because it’s an accessory to the Friday the 13th legacy (or a remora on it).

Reviews I’ve seen are mixed and polar. The biggest name now isn’t the lead. I’m thinking maybe this will be a decent cult movie, but almost definitely no classic.

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The Mighty

The Mighty. Scholastic Productions 1998.

Before watching the movie:

All of the summaries I can see point to the story being about the two boys who form a friendship of outsiders, but Sharon Stone, the sick boy’s mother, seems to be featured even more prominently than it seems like she would just because she’s the biggest name in the cast. I get the sense that she’s the viewpoint character.

The story being around a boy with Morquio Syndrome and his parent puts me in mind of Lorenzo’s Oil, which is all about the parents trying to keep their son alive. It’s also a movie I was shown in high school, and another reason this makes me think of that is because my friend Kellie recently rediscovered it as a movie she was shown in grade school. This post was suggested by Kellie and has input from her. She has agreed that I may limit mentions of how hot she is for Gillian Anderson to two (this one might not count).

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Captain Ron

Captain Ron. Touchstone Pictures 1992.

Before watching the movie:

Full disclosure: I went and found this movie because it was mentioned on an episode My Brother, My Brother, and Me. I don’t recall what question led one of the brothers to bring up “when Martin Short inherited a boat and knew nothing about sailing in Captain Ron, he went out and found Kurt Russell”, but all I needed to hear to be interested was “Martin Short inherited a boat knowing nothing about sailing”.

I wasn’t entirely prepared for the personality clash set up here, but it’s not terribly surprising. Martin is a straight-laced man dumbfounded by Ron’s party animal ways. That’s a pretty standard setup, and those are types they slot into well.

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Man of La Mancha

Man Of La Mancha. United Artists 1972.

Before watching the movie:

I think this is the way most people have experienced Don Quixote.  I’ve read some of the book, but despite the new translation I was using, the stilted nature of it still sometimes overpowered the comedy, which itself sometimes felt a little too much like “mental illness is funny!” It’s at the same time amazing how modern it feels at over 400 years old and yet how basic the storytelling can be at times, because it’s had 400 years to become part of the way we always tell stories.

But the grandeur of the way Man of La Mancha interprets the book is enticing and accessible. Everyone has heard at least a few bars of “The Impossible Dream”. It’s a classic showtune ballad. The romance is probably more feel-good in this take as well.

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Arthur

Arthur. Orion Pictures 1981.

Before watching the movie:

This is the movie anyone thinks of when they hear Dudley Moore’s name. Arthur is the playboyest of playboys, and has to choose between love and money.

This is one of those famous movies that everyone cites without discussing, so I don’t know very much about it, except there was a remake with Russell Brand nobody asked for a few years ago.

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Balto

Balto. Amblin Entertainment 1995.

Before watching the movie:

When I was very young, I had a book about Balto, the heroic sled dog that saved the diptheria inoculation run from Anchorage to Nome that the Iditarod race commemorates.  I don’t really recall why Balto was particularly celebrated as the hero of the relay, and it looks like this movie will not be very concerned with that.

The summary seems to indicate that the main conflict comes from how the other characters treat Balto because he is a wolfdog, but that’s not a detail I recall from the history.  Apparently, the real Balto was a purebred husky, so I guess the movie’s main concern was a clumsy message about race.

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