The Stranger

The Stranger. International Pictures 1946.

Before watching the movie:

As much as personalized algorithmic suggestions tend to point me toward things I want to watch, they tend to get trained more narrowly than my tastes actually are, and they’re limited by what’s been made available based on what the userbase as a whole wants to see. So sometimes it’s a refreshing change of pace to just go to the library and see what jumps off the shelf.

Perhaps a learning AI trained on the entire back catalog of my blog and having the entire history of Hollywood movies to choose from might suggest a 40s Orson Welles thriller about searching out an escaped Nazi officer, but it doesn’t seem likely.

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Field of Dreams

Field of Dreams. Gordon Company 1989.

Before watching the movie:

I’m not sure how this is an inspiring movie about following your dreams and not an inspiring movie about how listening to the voices in your head can work out sometimes, but when I try to anticipate what this movie will be, I think of The Astronaut Farmer with baseball instead of spaceflight. But anyway, family man tears his family apart doing crazy things and then there’s a happy ending. Apparently this time James Earl Jones is involved.

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Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Filmauro 2004.

Before watching the movie:

This is such a bizarre movie on the face of it. It ostensibly takes its influences from pulp adventure and German Expressionism, but it comes off like it’s part of a franchise that doesn’t exist (which may be part of the artistic intent of imitating pulp serials), and the audacious scope has a hint of Anime plotting to me (as well as the man being called “Sky Captain” sounding like a translation beating out the subtlety of it).

The origins remind me of how Lucas created Star Wars because he wanted to do a Buck Rodgers movie, only this looks more successful at that idea in some ways. This seems like more of an update of the pulp feel than Star Wars achieved. (Perhaps it’s because I’ve always lived in a world where it existed, but that franchise has always seemed more like its own thing of its own time than something that could screen next to Buck Rodgers, but I’ve already digressed too much.)

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Invisible Invaders

Invisible Invaders. Premium Pictures 1959.

Before watching the movie:

Here is a sci-fi B-movie. B-movies can be fun. Very few B-movies are legendary enough to be well-known. This is not one of them.

Apparently John Agar is a big name of B-movies, but I don’t recognize him. Mainly because I’m not steeped in B-movies. But they are fun.

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We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story

We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story. Amblin Entertainment 1993.

Before watching the movie:

Despite definitely remembering a trailer, I couldn’t say anything more about what this movie is that isn’t on the poster. Cartoon dinosaurs in the modern day. There are a lot of names I recognize in the credits, but I don’t know what to expect other than John Goodman is definitely the lead dinosaur and Jay Leno’s character is probably a minor chomic relief player.

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Heathers

Heathers. Cinemarque Entertainment 1989.

Before watching the movie:

There are three kinds of movies that become modern classics. The ones that are constantly referenced to the point that very little remains a surprise on the first watch, the ones that have one specific scene that is synonymous with the movie, and the ones that are classics even though nobody seems to talk about them at all, apparently assuming that there’s nothing left to say. The last group is the hardest to discuss preconceptions of, since I have nothing to base them on.

I know this is about bloody revenge on a clique of popular girls who are bullies, and that’s it. Some blurbs have more words, but little more content. I didn’t even know it starred Winona Ryder and Christian Slater until I sourced the poster.

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