Major Payne

Major Payne. Wife n’ Kids Productions 1995.

Before watching the movie:

One more that I never heard of until I saw it floating around my sources. Damon Wayans terrorizes some JROTC kids as their drill instructor, so it sounds like fun. As the instructor is the protagonist, it sounds like a bit of the inverse of movies like Sgt. Bilko and Stripes.

I’m sure there will be one or two kids with an interesting quirk, but I don’t have high expectations for a memorable bunch, just a generic group of misfit boys trying to get the ex-Marine off their backs.

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Your Tax Dollars At The Movies

Despite election cycles, the world is all politics, all the time, and it is only the privileged few who can avoid that, perhaps especially during an administration mainly built on not constantly drumming up controversy. So there’s always time to consider American government through the movies.

1776: Begin at the beginning, and sit down, John. Gridlock is eternal.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: The little guy with a heart who’s chronically too rare in the machinery of government.

The Manchurian Candidate: Back when it was easier to imagine a foreign government brainwashing and grooming future American leaders than just tuning the minds of the electorate through online advertisements and fake accounts.

All the President’s Men: Somehow Watergate is when cynicism about government corruption became standard, though it’s always been with us.

Wag the Dog: When there seems little else to do about the state of affairs, why not laugh about it?

50 First Dates

50 First Dates. Happy Madison 2004.

Before watching the movie:

As much as I lean into popular criticism of Adam Sandler, I have to admit I’ve been a little interested in this movie since it came out. It has to be pretty sweet if it’s a romantic comedy about a guy so dedicated to his relationship with a woman that he keeps getting her to fall in love with him every day. There’s usually at least a kernel of a good story in an Adam Sandler Comedy, at least the ones that don’t get immediately forgotten.

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Dropping the Ball

This year more than any other year, I’ve been finding myself with less time or energy than I need to do a full review. I’m getting busier and older, but even so, I’ve still made at least some kind of post once a week, more Yesterdays and back catalog collections than ever before. Some of them were work I felt I did some good or at least fun writing with, but mostly, I consider them filler.

In that spirit, I’m dropping the ball one more time this year by counting down my ten favorite actual reviews of the past year.

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10: Failure To Launch: one of the better romantic comedies

9: Funny Money: theatrical chaos

8: The Creation of the Humanoids: great concept, a little flat

7: Mr. Deeds: not your average Adam Sandler vehicle

6: Camp Nowhere: the best way to learn responsibility is to have nobody to answer to

5: Mad Money: it’s not stealing if it’s trash, right?

4: Earth Girls are Easy: I misjudged this movie so badly

3: Electric Dreams: quirky SF romcom review with a side of pretty good if ill fitting social commentary

2: The First Wives Club: don’t get mad, get it back

1: Julie and Julia: hmm, I wonder what I connected with here

I hope in the new year to have less filler but also more branching out with opportunities to make social commentary though movies. Maybe only ten people read this blog regularly, but I made a commitment to myself if nobody else, and I have no intention of just fizzling on this project.

Yesterday’s Movies needs to get away

There’s a lot of tension around here right now and we could all use a break.

Road to Bali: Ah, a couple of comedy buddies in a beautiful place, colonializing it up on very fake sets. Hm. That didn’t help.

Captain Ron: Are we sure this guy really knows what he’s doing? Maybe let’s book a cruise next time.

The Poseidon Adventure: Oh… nevermind then. Maybe a virtual vacation would be less of a nightmare.

Total Recall: …

What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?

What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?
The Mirisch Company 1966.

Before watching the movie:

The two keywords that got me interested are “Blake Edwards” and “James Coburn”. There are quite a lot of WWII farces around by now, and I’m certainly no stranger to them, but a Blake Edwards farce sounds highly promising, and I’ve enjoyed James Coburn in comedies from the time as well.

From what I’ve seen, I’m not sure the title has much to do with how the story is told, unless all of the summaries I’ve read completely ignore a framing device. The unreliable narrator aspect shown on this poster is a good starting point for what I’d want to do with a story with a title like that, but I don’t expect to see it in the movie.

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