You’ve Got Mail

You've Got Mail. Warner Bros. 1998.
You’ve Got Mail. Warner Bros. 1998.

Before watching the movie: The late 90s, a time when the internet was just beginning to be a thing normal people used, when it was beginning to be treated like the post office or telephone and nobody had a business interest in controlling access to it.

PSA aside, a time when the internet was new but probably safe enough, not something fearful. A time when Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan could be Hollywood’s most bankably romantic couple yet again by somehow meeting online without knowing each other’s real identity, and this is a good thing. Yay technology. Continue reading

Small Soldiers

Small Soldiers. Dreamworks 1998.
Small Soldiers. Dreamworks Pictures 1998.

Before watching the movie:

So. Toys come to life. War toys are violent. This sounds familiar. But it has a cult following, it’s been praised for its writing, it has some familiar names I like, and I’m in the mood for a violent comedy right now.

The marketing is entirely focused on the living toys, so I actually have no idea what the overall aesthetic of the movie is. I really want it to be stop-motion style toys in a live-action environment, but I expect I will be disappointed. For one thing, I want them to be in 12 frames per second, but that would clash with the live action as stupidly as the ED-209 did in RoboCop.

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The Wedding Singer

The Wedding Singer. New Line Cinema 1998.
The Wedding Singer. New Line Cinema 1998.

Before watching the movie:

So, romantic comedy? Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore? Doesn’t sound like anything special. On the surface, I don’t understand why this is something of a cult favorite. I find the tagline (various turns on “he’ll party like it’s 1985”) more annoying than anything. I’m not clear on if the story is actually set in the 80s or if it’s just the aesthetic Sandler’s character and band go for. It doesn’t seem to have any reason to be set in the 80s (again, from the outside looking in).

This has the potential to be a less annoying Adam Sandler character than I usually think of. A romantic lead who performs at weddings doesn’t sound like a character that would lend himself to being particularly weird or manchildish. Drew Barrymore is always welcome on my screen.

I think I won this in a random draw at work on a big retail day last year. I considered reselling it since I wasn’t very interested in it, but then I realized I could blog about it, and here we are.

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Armageddon

Armageddon. Touchstone Pictures 1998.
Armageddon. Touchstone Pictures 1998.

Before watching the movie:

As I recall, Armageddon and Deep Impact both came out at about the same time and both concerned averting an asteroid collision with Earth. Likely neither one of them takes precedence over the other, but in my mind, this one is the original and Deep Impact is the imitator.

I only just now learned this film is directed by Michael Bay. I knew he had Hollywood films before Transformers, but I didn’t think it was anything I’d heard of. It only reaffirms my expectations though, since I was already expecting great spectacle without much depth. However, I worry it might drag somewhat, since it’s an hour longer than most movies of the caliber I’m expecting. Unless there are flighty songs or weighty angst, movies don’t tend to have more than 90-100 minutes of content.

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The Mask of Zorro

The Mask of Zorro. Tristar/Amblin 1998.

Before watching the movie:

Although this film reintroduced audiences to Zorro in the 90s, I know it’s not exactly an origin story, but in fact a legacy torch-passing. I’m not familiar enough with the story of Zorro to know why they couldn’t make the original Zorro the man they wanted him to be, but maybe it’s just more about the story they wanted to tell.

I’m not sure, but I think this is the movie that made Antonio Banderas a star, though a quick Wikipedia lookup says no. It does seem to be his break into very mainstream films, though.

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BASEketball

Baseketball. Zucker Brothers 1998.

Before watching the movie:

I remember clearly that this movie came out when I was in grade school. I think my friends liked it, but I can’t remember any specific people who definitely saw it. That’s a good thing, because it seems to definitely be a more (im)mature comedy than I realized at the time. The kind of thing that kids shouldn’t see, and adults shouldn’t want to see.

However, after a couple downer weeks, I’m looking for something light, and South Park creators + Zucker brothers sounds like it would fit the bill.

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The Godson

The Godson. Shoreline Entertainment 1998.

Before watching the movie:

I suppose I should see The Godfather to properly appreciate a parody of it, but Rodney Dangerfield and Dom DeLuise are too well-cast to pass this up. Also it’s the most appropriate thing I’ve found this week.

Dom DeLuise also did a Godfather-parody character in Robin Hood: Men In Tights. The film looks good, but I can’t overlook the fact that it’s got two and a half big names and yet I’ve never heard of it, so I’m not getting my hopes up too much.

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