Pumping Iron

yesterdocs

Pumping Iron.  White Mountain Films 1977.
Pumping Iron. White Mountain Films 1977.

Before watching the movie:

Way back in the beginning of this blog, when I was still feeling out what it was and what it covered, I reviewed one documentary. And in the years since, I have had one lonely post in the Documentary category (and one in Mockumentary, which I made a subcategory, but that’s another story).  I like documentaries. I’m just never in the mood to watch them, and I swiftly came to the idea that this blog should only cover scripted films. Maybe I’m better equipped to discuss scripted cinema, maybe it comes more easily. But lately documentaries have become a bigger part of my life, and I’ve been piling up docs in my to be watched list. I decided it was time to do something about it. So this month, not only am I reviewing four documentaries on this blog, I’m also trying to watch a total of at least 20 in the entire month, which I’m keeping track of on Tumblr.

I should probably discuss a little bit about this particular movie, even though I’ve gone on about the theme of the month for one whole Schwarzenegger. I get the sense it probably would have been forgotten if it hadn’t been the screen debut of a model about to become an actor known for being buff and not saying much. I don’t think I knew before now that it also profiles Lou Ferrigno, who also transitioned into acting in roles on his physique. It sounds like Arnold is more of the bad boy superstar of the movie, while Ferrigno has a more, perhaps sympathetic portrayal. They might be positioned as rivals in the narrative, or they might just be competitors in the same circuit, but the former seems more likely unless I’m missing an option for how the narrative may be constructed.

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Saturday Night Fever

Saturday Night Fever. Parmount Pictures 1977.
Saturday Night Fever. Paramount Pictures 1977.

Before watching the movie:

This is a movie it’s difficult to cut through the public consciousness to find out what it’s actually about. Ask anyone what Saturday Night Fever is, and they’ll talk about Disco and dancing, lights and leisure suits, and John Travolta, and they don’t say anything about why those got to fill two hours of screentime.

Apparently, this is about a guy who thinks that dancing is the only thing that’s going to lift him out of his dead-end life. Was that so hard? Okay, it’s not as much fun as nostalgia, colors, and music. But it puts everything into perspective.

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The World’s Greatest Lover

The World’s Greatest Lover. 20th Century Fox 1977.

Before watching the movie:

I’m not sure if this movie would be more effective for me if I was more familiar with Rudolph Valentino, but actually the fact that I know he existed and had such a reputation is probably more than I could say for a lot of my generation.

I’d like to say more, but there really doesn’t seem to be more to this than a Valentino parody. And Gene Wilder being Gene Wilder when he’s not being Valentino.

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Annie Hall

Annie Hall. Rollins-Joffe Productions 1977.

Before watching the movie:

The more I learned about this movie, the less I expected to like it. Since it’s got work of art status and it’s about a romance, it sounds dull to me.

Then I learned that Woody Allen basically wrote the part for Diane Keaton and they had been a couple, which was a red flag since nepotism tends to make films worse (I read a book about awful films with potential, and one of the most recurring themes is that someone was dating someone else).

Finally, this movie is the B-plot salvaged from an awful mystery in the edit. How often does “fixing it in post” work out? Well, four Academy Awards say I’m wrong.

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Capricorn One

Capricorn One. ITC Entertainment 1977.

Before Watching the Movie:

Once again, I know very little about this film. I hadn’t heard of it before it was suggested to me by the computer. Unlike most other movies I found this way, I wasn’t just looking for blog fodder. I had this queued for rental last year, when I ran out of money and had to shelve my rental service until now.

I don’t know why it caught my attention among other space movies. Probably it was the poster image which is reproduced here. I read the blurb and ordered it. Simple.

A Mars mission, a hoax conspiracy, it all sounds interesting to me, but doesn’t allow much to write about beforehand.

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