Face/Off

Before watching the movie:

Face/Off. Paramount Pictures 1997.

My strongest memory of this movie being in the world was the giant poster on the side of a building at King’s Island for years. I don’t think it had anything to do with anything at the park, it was just a 50-foot poster nobody bothered to take down across the three to five years my visits were spread across. (Update: apparently they named their head to head roller coaster Face/Off, until Paramount sold the park and the new owner debranded it. I didn’t ride many of the coasters there.)

I later learned the movie is about a good guy and a bad guy trading faces for… reasons, don’t think too much about it. I’m not sure which actor starts as which character, because of course both play both. I’ve heard that Cage as the terrorist gets eccentrically creepy in the way he’s famous for now.

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Swordfish

Swordfish.  Silver Pictures 2001.
Swordfish. Silver Pictures 2001.

Before watching the movie:

This hinges around a digital heist, but the summaries focus on the persuasion required to get the hacker to hack. Even Hollywood hacking can’t sustain a whole film (even The Net is mostly real-world action), so I expect very little of the excitement actually comes from a guy sitting at a laptop typing until the money is stolen.

I have the impression of the mastermind of the heist as a figure not directly involved in the plot aside from hiring people, coercing people, and hiring people to coerce, but there’s one more headliner than I would expect in that notion, so maybe he’s in the middle of it all, giving orders. I know far too little of use for comment beforehand.

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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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Pulp Fiction

Pulp Fiction. Miramax et al, 1994.

Before watching the movie:

This is one of the films that college students flip out over, and any “true film buff” needs to have in their top ten. We’ll see about that.

Tarantino is perhaps held in too high of regard, but this is early days, and a good example of his talent. I’m prepared for the non-Euclidean timeline, which is usually considered good, unorthodox storytelling.

Because of the way it’s formatted, the large cast shouldn’t be as indicative of an over-reaching, complicated plot. Or it may be more indicative than most. Or both at the same time.

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Look Who’s Talking

Look Who's Talking. Tristar Pictures 1989.

Before watching the movie:

I never had much interest in this movie, but it caught my attention. It does have some big names in it, but lots of duds do too. I always thought it wasn’t very good mostly on the basis of the fact that it has two incredibly derivative sequels, but I guess that’s a compliment really. The only unfavorable opinion I’ve seen of it is a contemporary MAD parody, but it’s in some way their job to criticize everything.

Looking more closely at it, the film does look like it has the potential to be more focused on being sweet and silly, rather than an obnoxious talking baby gets up to mischief farce like I always imagined it being.

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