Predator

Predator. 20th Century Fox 1987.

Before watching the movie:

Survival sci-fi horror starring a ripped commando who shoots stuff. I’m not sure if the Predator franchise eventually blended with the Alien franchise just because they’re both survival sci-fi horror, but I think this is more action and less gore than Alien, at least that’s how it presents itself.

I like the angle of humans encountering a species more capable than themselves that is intentionally an intimate threat to them. Extraterrestrials are often threats in the form of invasions or mindless monsters, but the Predator is, I understand, a sapient being optimized biologically and technologically for hunting.

I suspect that there is less machine gun fire and more running and hiding than suggested by the poster.

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Rocky

Rocky. United Artists 1976.
Rocky. United Artists 1976.

Before watching the movie:

And now another installment of “how could you never have seen…?”

Yes, I’ve never seen any Rocky movie. Or maybe I’ve seen them all, thanks to spoofs, parodies, homages, reference clips, and a handful of “underdog solo athlete” genre movies that I have seen. But that just proves the cultural relevance of the film and why I should be seeing it. The story of Stallone’s million to one shot of getting this made was more interesting to me than a David and Goliath story about a boxer. There’s probably a documentary or biopic about that out there.

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Happy Gilmore

Happy Gilmore. Brillstein-Grey Entertainment 1996.
Happy Gilmore. Brillstein-Grey Entertainment 1996.

Before watching the movie:

The main thing I can think of to describe my impression of this movie is… normal. Adam Sandler in the 90s playing a hockey player turned golfer sounds pretty normal next to Adam Sandler as a failure of a demon or Adam Sandler as a rich manchild going through elementary school, or even, to go later, Adam Sandler as an Israeli superspy turned fabulous hairdresser. I think he might actually be a fairly normal human being in this movie. I know he’s more serious now, but he did complete oddball roles back when he was “you know, that weirdo from SNL”.

I seem to recall the reason he gets into golf is the idea of hockey players having good golf drives, which reminds me of Jamaican sprinters being good bobsledders. I wonder if there are many other movies built on sports having overlapping skillsets. When I was young, I got his powerful drive confused with the kid with the superhumanly tensioned arm from Rookie of the Year.

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