The Fortune

The Fortune.
Columbia Pictures 1975.

Before watching the movie:

This is a lot of big names for a movie I’ve never heard of. Though I’m probably not familiar with most of Beatty and Channing’s work, I am surprised that it hasn’t come up as a Jack Nicholson movie.

I’m surprised just how often the Mann Act comes up in movie plots. While it does have exceptionally broad language thanks to 1910s euphemisms (“immoral purposes”), the number of times I’ve seen movies from before the 80s invoke it about men who take their girlfriends on a trip and run afoul of the law is starting to make me think that Hollywood writers were as ticked off about it as the Hays Code and anti-communist blacklisting.

The comedy arising from a pair of con artists trying badly to con a mark reminds me a bit of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, but there’s no bet or competition, from what I can tell. They’re not sabotaging each other, they’re just honestly bad at this.

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Anger Management

Anger Management. 
Columbia Pictures 2003.

Before watching the movie:

This is another movie I’ve been pretty sure would show up here eventually since almost the beginning. Back when Adam Sandler made movies people wanted to watch, I guess.

It’s been quite clear that this is about a guy and his therapist living together and driving each other crazy, but it wasn’t as apparent until I saw what I’m looking at now that the patient isn’t actually all that explosive, except around his eccentric therapist.

The “client and patient shackled together and nearly kill each other” concept is similar to Analyze This and What About Bob?, the former to the point (at least on the surface) that if this movie and Analyze This weren’t five years apart I’d call them duelling movies.

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The Shining

The Shining. Hawk Films 1980.
The Shining. Hawk Films 1980.

Before watching the movie:

Well, we’re out of a stealth theme month. First person to send their guess as to what December’s theme was to me via Astral Projection wins a genuine No-Prize.

Here’s another selection from the “how did you miss that one?” files. As I think I’ve discussed previously, I avoided horror movies for years because I didn’t like being scared, and then when I started catching up on them in my 20s, I found myself at best unaffected, and at worst cringing at the cheese. This one seems to be mostly psychological horror, so it should be better than the classic slashers I saw previously.

Thanks to pop cultural osmosis, I know more about the movie than I’d prefer to be going in with, but that’s usually the case when The Simpsons parodies a movie wholesale.

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Mars Attacks!

Mars Attacks!. Warner Bros. Pictures 1996.

Before watching the movie:

I’ve always expected this film to be modern camp. A film with modern sensibilities and humor that’s unashamed to be cut from the same cloth as old-fashioned B-movies. That’s the story sold by the advertising anyway, which isn’t always the most trustworthy.

This is definitely offbeat, but it doesn’t seem like Tim Burton’s style of offbeat. For one thing, it appears to have a distinct lack of Johnny Depp. This must have been one of his last films before he started making the same movie every time.

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