Scooby-Doo

Scooby-Doo. Mosaic Media Group 2002.

Before watching the movie:

As someone who was not a fan of Scooby-Doo in the early 2000s, my main impression of this was that, if there was a right way to make a live action Scooby-Doo movie, this wasn’t it. The characters looked overly stylized, and the CGI dog was neither cartoon nor real, just a CGI mess.

I’ve since enjoyed some of the Mystery Incorporated reconstructive take on the franchise, and I have enough familiarity with it to know this probably at least isn’t the worst version.

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McHale’s Navy

McHale's Navy. Universal Pictures 1997.
McHale’s Navy. Universal Pictures 1997.

Before watching the movie: This looks way too similar to Down Periscope. Though that’s probably just because of the closeness of subject matter. And tropes of 90s poster design. Some months ago, when I learned of the existence of this movie and queued it, I knew I wouldn’t be able to appraise it well without a better appreciation of the TV show, so I recorded and watched a handful of episodes. I’m sure the rest of the boat was distinctly characterized if one paid attention over the course of the series, but really only four characters stood out to me. So I’m already not too bothered with the fact that they clearly seem to have changed that lineup to move with the times. However, that would just leave a shell of legacy over a story that would otherwise be its own thing. Continue reading

Coneheads

Coneheads. Paramount Pictures 1993.
Coneheads. Paramount Pictures 1993.

Before watching the movie:

Have I seen this before?  There’s something special in my memory about Coneheads, but I can’t quite place it. I’m fairly sure that I had a friend in Kindergarten or first grade who talked about it fondly, but the only concrete recollection I have is that there were a few clips of it in a Paramount promotional montage on a couple of tapes I liked to watch a lot. And more recently, I’ve seen some of the original sketches. Since my memories are so hazy, and there are a few alternative options, I’m going to conclude for now that I haven’t seen it before, and if I did, it was so long ago that nothing really stuck and my view will still be fresh. However, in the interest of transparency, I’m making this decision public.

While not as widely talked about as other Saturday Night Live spinoffs, this seems to have a pretty positive reputation. The concept certainly offers room for a full-fledged plot and lends itself to a higher budget. In fact, it may be so much more of a movie concept than a sketch concept that it becomes hard to remember it got its start on SNL, like Blues Brothers.

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Wild Wild West

Wild Wild West. Warner Bros. Et al. 1999.

Before watching the movie:

I promised a Leslie Nielsen film this week, but the library didn’t come through for me yet, so here’s this. I’ll see Spy Hard when I can get it.

I’ve been told this is not a good film. Moreover, that it only did as well as it did at the box office because of underage teens sneaking into the South Park movie. It has Will Smith, action, humor, and steam-powered mechs in the Old West, so it can’t be so very disappointing as all that.

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Mission: Impossible

Mission Impossible. Paramount Pictures 1996.

Before watching the movie:

Add this to the list of “how did I let this wait 14 years?” This movie is action, suspense, and big-name stars. It draws upon a hit TV show with an iconic theme. It is the Hollywood spy movie.

I have to admit I’ve never seen an episode of the series, so I can’t appraise it on that level.

Also, back then, nobody ever thought Tom Cruise would go publicly insane.

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Popeye

Popeye. Paramount/Disney 1980.

Before watching the movie:

Popeye, cartoon legend. Robin Williams, cartoonish legend. Still, while nobody does “animated” like Williams, he’d hardly be my first choice for the salty, mumbling strong man of the sea, especially at the peak of his cocaine-addled supersonic phase.

On the one hand, this was around the time he was doing Mork and Mindy, so arguably the funniest part of his career. On the other, Mork is very different from the Popeye I know. I don’t doubt he can do the character, I’m interested in seeing how he keeps it up in a film I think I’ve heard described as “surprisingly bleak.”

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The Fugitive

The Fugitive. Warner Bros. 1993.

Before Watching the Movie:

A movie based on a television series based on a landmark murder trial. To add to the complexity, this film inspired a prequel, and probably had more to do with the remake series than the first tv show did.

In this movie, Harrison Ford runs. Also he proves his own innocence, because nobody else can, apparently. But anything can sound dull if condensed to its base points. I expect an enjoyable thriller.

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