Spirited Away

Spirited Away
(Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi). Studio Ghibli 2001.

Before watching the movie:

I don’t know anything about this movie except that it seems to pretty consistently be considered the best Studio Ghibli movie. And I recall the title refers to something about the character being stuck in a place of spirits. I’ve seen most of Kiki’s Delivery Service, but that’s all of Ghibli I’ve seen despite having several friends and former roommates who have extensive collections.

I rarely go into movies as cold as this. Usually I have descriptions from boxes or streaming platforms, but with this one, I just decided “we’re going to watch this movie everyone loves”.

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Support Your Local Gunfighter

Support Your Local Gunfighter. Cherokee-Brigade 1971.

Before watching the movie:

I don’t think I’ve paid much attention to anything with James Garner. He was in Move Over, Darling!, but I don’t really remember who was in it, just what happened, which movies of that time seem to be particularly susceptible to.

So, James Garner comes into town and gets mistaken for a notorious outlaw, and things get even more mixed up. So kind of like The Shakiest Gun in the West, but less neurotic.

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If it’s Tuesday, This Must be Belgium

If it's Tuesday, This Must be Belgium. Wolper Pictures 1969.
If it’s Tuesday, This Must be Belgium. Wolper Pictures 1969.

Before watching the movie:

This has one of those memorable titles that come up much more often than anything about the contents of the movie.  I think I heard some time after coming across the title that this was about a European vacation tour, but not much more. I got the idea that it was a family vacation, and imagined National Lampoon’s Griswold family driving through the continent, when it’s actually a tour group. (Though National Lampoon did do European Vacation, so maybe I just conflated them. I’ve only seen Family Vacation and Christmas Vacation though.)

Anyway, the confusion implied by the title has more to do with the speed of the tour than a series of unfortunate events or interpersonal conflict, though I expect both to follow from it.

The description focuses on Suzanne Pleshette’s character falling for the tour guide, but I’m hoping the actual story is more ensemble-driven with those two having a small plurality, because the situation seems to lend itself to madcap antics in all directions.

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