The Mighty Ducks

The Mighty Ducks. Walt Disney Pictures 1992.

Before watching the movie:

I’m not exactly sure how I missed the Mighty Ducks phenomenon of the 90s. I knew it was a thing, but not only was I not interested (it’s a sports movie, and there aren’t any real ducks), it was never foisted upon me. I do recall noticing it (or one of the sequels) on a muted TV across the room once in the orthodontist’s office, but that’s it.

The spinoffs this movie had were ridiculous though. Two sequels is one thing, an in-name-only animated adaptation about superpowered hockey-playing cartoon ducks is another, and creating an actual NHL hockey team off the success of a movie is bizarre.

I didn’t intend to do two Disney movies concerning ducks in a row, it just happened. They’re so far apart in time and subject that I didn’t realize until I was set on this movie.

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Shaolin Soccer

Shaolin Soccer. Star Overseas 2001.

Before watching the movie:

I know there must be a whole range of movies about applying martial arts to unusual activities, but I can’t come up with any others off the top of my head. Jackie Chan has probably made five of them. Maybe the training sequence in The Karate Kid counts?

This is maybe one of the highest-profile ones. I dimly remember being aware of its release, but it at best ranked “vaguely interesting”, which wasn’t nearly enough draw to get me to try to see it.

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Blue Streak

Blue Streak. Wintergreen Productions 1999.
Blue Streak. Wintergreen Productions 1999.

Before watching the movie:

This came up in automatic recommendations, and I know very little about it. Apparently, it concerns a jewel thief trying to recover his stash, which had a police station built over it while he was in jail. I’m expecting something of a heist, but there are indications he spends a while posing as a police officer to get inside, which implies a deeper level of infiltration than I usually think of for a heist.

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The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

The Poseidon Adventure. Kent Productions 1972.
The Poseidon Adventure. Kent Productions 1972.

Before watching the movie:

I definitely selected this movie because it takes place on New Year’s and not because escaping an upside-down sinking ship with a high fatality rate seemed like an appropriate metaphor for anything.

So, this should be a pretty grounded disaster/survival movie. Trying to navigate rooms on their ceilings, filling with water, should be an interesting challenge to see passengers try to overcome. Continue reading

Big Trouble in Little China

Big Trouble in Little China. 20th Century Fox 1986.
Big Trouble in Little China. 20th Century Fox 1986.

Before watching the movie:

I’ve had this on my radar for a long time, but I never noticed the bad guy is a wizard until I read the description quite recently, even though now that I look there is clearly a wizard looming in the background on that poster.

A martial arts movie starring Kurt Russell isn’t terribly attractive to me, but bringing magic into the mix grabs my attention. I don’t have high hopes for it being respectful of Asian cultures, but I don’t think it will be a factor that ruins my enjoyment.

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Johnny English

Johnny English. Working Title Films 2003.
Johnny English. Working Title Films 2003.

Before watching the movie:

I’ve been looking for this for years. It’s easy to find the sequel, it’s much harder to come across this one. I’m not sure why that is.

The marketing looks like it’s positioning this as “Mr. Bean is James Bond”, but I’m hoping Atkinson will be doing something closer to Blackadder. Some of that hope may be fueled by the idea that if it’s the case, it might find a place as a missing link in my silly theory that Atkinson’s Doctor in The Curse of Fatal Death is a continuation of the Blackadder line, which tends through history to get smarter (though usually of lower station).

Minor announcements:

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Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.  Warner Bros. 1991.
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Warner Bros. 1991.

Before watching the movie:

Kevin Costner is on the poster, but I’m not going to talk about him right now. I’m sure I’ll have plenty to say after the fact.

I’m not sure if I heard the news late at night or in the morning. Last Thursday, and on into the weekend, the internet was filled with euologies for Alan Rickman. It was too late to cover last week.

But more than ever before, I had a sense that people weren’t mourning an actor, they were mourning his roles. Nobody was eulogizing Alan Rickman, they were eulogizing Severus Snape, Hans Gruber, Metatron, and Alex Dane/Dr. Lazarus. And I simply felt that nobody had a sense of what Rickman was really like, since nobody would accuse him of actually being like an abusive professor, terrorist, aut al. I sure didn’t know what he was like, but I try to believe the best about people, and that’s been borne out by some statements from people who knew him personally.

And so, here I am reviewing one of his more popular movies, where he plays another villain. Well, I can’t review him narrating a viral video for charity. This was a movie that came up a lot in a way that didn’t seem to focus too much on the character, and of the two that came up that I hadn’t seen, this one seemed a better choice. It’s also the version most directly spoofed by Robin Hood: Men In Tights.

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