Showing posts with label classic movie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label classic movie. Show all posts


Hump Day Movie: Back to the Future (1985)

I recently purchased the original trilogy on Blu Ray, because I didn't own a copy. This seemed to be a huge oversight, given how much I love Michael J. Fox.  I hadn't seen this movie since VHS days, so there's a lot I had forgotten.

Things I didn't remember:
Crispin Glover and Huey Lewis are in this movie
Marty's mom is very, VERY forward.  Ew.
This was made in 1985. That's 28 years ago for those who hate math.

Also, there's a ton of jokes that didn't age well. They went completely over my kids' heads because they didn't get the cultural references. This makes me sad.

The kids didn't really enjoy this one, although they did like the 3rd installment. Go figure.


Hump Day Classic Movie: His Girl Friday

It's pouring rain outside today and the weather experts say it will be raining all week. Time to break out the classics!

His Girl Friday is one of the quintessential romantic screwball comedies. It's famous for its frenetic, witty banter, and rightly so. I've probably watched this movie twenty times, and I catch something new every viewing. You'll need to crank up the volume to hear some of the dialogue.

Something I really love about this movie is how modern it is, even with the telephones and typewriters. It was made in 1940, adapted from a play, but the characters are so edgy. The two main characters are ex-spouses and in the newspaper business.  Hildy is going to be remarried, and Walter, confronted with the permanent loss of a wife he still cares for, sabotages her plans by using her love of the news business against her.

The dialogue is hilarious:

Hildy: "Walter, you're wonderful in a loathesome kind of way"

Walter: "There's been a lamp burning in the window for ya, honey... here."
Hildy: "Oh, I jumped out that window a long time ago. "

They remade this movie with Burt Reynolds, Kathleen Turner, and Christopher Reeve as Switching Channels in 1988, and it was nowhere near as good.

If you're a Prime member, His Girl Friday is free to watch via streaming.


Hump Day Classic Movie: The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms

I am currently raiding my mom's epic stash of monster movies for Halloween movie marathons. Here is one that we watched this week. One that I had, surprisingly, never seen.

While absolutely silly, The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms is an important one in the history of special effects and science fiction. It is an adaptation of a Ray Bradbury work (the first film made from his work according to the back blurb) AND it has a Ray Harryhausen monster.

The picture at left is a little blurry, so here's what all of those words say:

"The sea's master-beast of the ages—raging up from the bottom of time!"

"They couldn't believe their eyes! They couldn't escape the terror! AND NEITHER WILL YOU!"

"You'll see it tear a city apart!"

Amazon has it in a double movie set, along with THEM! The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms


Hump Day Movie: Stand by Me (1986)

While I normally love happy movies, I occasionally like revisiting movies that MOVED me. A movie that stuck with me, even if only parts, will sometimes demand a rewatching. Stand by Me is one of those films.

I never understood quite why this film bothered me until I found out it was based on a Stephen King story. Stephen King freaks me the hell out. Even his works that aren't supposed to. He makes me squirm in an uncomfortable way with his ability to delve deep into human behavior. *creepy*

On the film history angle, the sheer number of future stars contained in this film is astounding. And not just "stars" but TALENTS. Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell. I dare you to watch this film and not have some kind of visceral reaction to it. Good or bad.


Hump Day Movie: Man From Snowy River (1982)

[Photo: ©1982 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation]

 This is one movie from the 1980s that I think those of us born in  the late 1970s and early 80s got heartily sick of. It was on TV every time you turned around for decades. But I haven't seen it in a long time, and since it's a Disney movie, thought it might work for something to watch with the boys.

The good news: the makeup screams 1980s, but other than that, it's still very watchable.

My favorite part of The Man from Snowy River, besides the lovely scenery, is Kirk Douglas. I just loved him in anything he ever did. Especially when they gave him a quirky role (or two) in a movie that let him have a bit of fun.

This is a WESTERN. It's set in Australia, but has every genre convention found in just about every western movie ever made. Coming of age, overcoming adversity, falling in love with the boss's name it, it's here. The Man From Snowy River is worth revisiting. If only to get that famous film score stuck in your head for weeks.


Hump Day Movie: Short Circuit (1986)

Yes, I've been on an 80s kick lately. I can't help it. So many movies are being redone from the 80s, they are making me nostalgic. Plus, who couldn't use a good dose of Steve Guttenberg. Whatever happened to him, anyway?

We watched Short Circuit so many times when I was younger. In fact, I sometimes catch myself saying "No disassemble Number 5!" when I want to keep the boys from taking something apart. Of course, since they haven't seen this yet (soon to be remedied!), they have no idea what I'm talking about.

This is really a sweet movie, even if does have the hit-you-over-the-head 80s staple of humanizing the 'alien' in it. (If you wonder where Wall-E gets many of his mannerisms, look no further) And it spawned a not-quite-as-good sequel, too. I'm betting that once you watch this one, you'll want to break out Cocoon and Three Men and a Baby, too. Steve G is just so darn cute.


Hump Day Movie: The Black Hole (1979)

When I was younger, The Black Hole scared me. A lot. After watching it as an adult, I think the reason is the super creepy music. It's pretty freaky.  I hadn't seen Psycho yet, so it wasn't the fault Anthony Perkins.

The Black Hole has one of the most boring opening sequences ever. Minute after minute of nothing but space images followed by several minutes of opening credits with primitive computer graphics.  Then we get lots of radio chatter. It isn't until 5 minutes in that we see our first actor on screen. With a really cheesy robot.

But I have to say, once the movie gets going, it is either action-packed or full fledged creepy. Mostly creepy. Even though it came out two years *after* the first Star Wars film, the effects are often not up to snuff. There's some that work fine, others that are as bad as anything done in the 1950s.

As sanitized as Disney is these days, it's hard to imagine they used to put out movies with a bit of an edge. This is one of them. There is peril! And the occasional bad word!


Hump Day Movie: Mr. Frost (1990)

It's hard to believe that this movie is NOT available on DVD. I personally find it one of Goldblum's creepier movies. And it highlights both his appeal and his incredible skills with dialogue. Parts of it are available (potentially infringing) on Youtube. You can find used copies on VHS, if you happen to still have a VCR laying around.

Here's a brief synopsis from wiki:
A police detective named Felix Detweiler visits the palatial French estate of Mister Frost, whose first name is never given, to investigate a report of a dead body. Frost, with very little prompting, cheerfully admits that he has many bodies buried in his yard.Frost is arrested and ultimately placed in an asylum, not having spoken a word for two years. During this time the police are unable to establish his identity. The detective leaves his job and becomes obsessed with Frost and the 24 corpses dug up from his garden. Frost's long silence is broken when he encounters Sarah Day, a doctor at the asylum. Frost refuses to speak with anyone but her, then tells Dr. Day that he is, in fact, Satan. He reveals that he plans to goad her into murdering him.

This came out about a year before Silence of the Lambs, but it is similar in style.  It's a dialogue-driven film, filled with philosophical discussions between doctor and patient. It has a very early 90s/late 80s aesthetic, though, so be warned.

You can watch the trailer here. It's really awful, though, so it's no wonder the public's reception of this movie was tepid.


Hump Day Classic Movie: The Black Cauldron (1985)

Before Disney princess marketing took over absolutely everything, Disney sometimes put out darker pictures. But nothing, I think, quite as dark as the Black Cauldron. Even with a Disney spin, this movie earned a PG rating from the MPAA. The first PG rating for Disney's animated division. And audiences were not quite as willing to embrace that darker vision.

Very loosely based on the Chronicles of Prydain series by Lloyd Alexander, the movie bombed at the box office. I personally think it's one of the better movies from the mid-80s that Disney put out. It's not a musical, although there are elements of music throughout. It's a little rough around the edges, but I like the dark tone of the film. The creepiness. For fans of animation, this is a must-see film.

You can see a clip on youtube here:


Hump Day Classic Movie: Green Card (1990)

I just finished reading Yours to Keep by Shannon Stacey. The plot involved a pretend engagement, and some of the kooky things that happened reminded me so much of the movie Green card starring Andie MacDowell and Gerard Depardieu (in particular, the Photoshopping element that paralleled the fake photos in the movie.)

Green Card is a sweet romantic comedy that I personally haven't watched in a very long time. Hard to believe the movie is over 20 years old now.


Hump Day Classic Movie: Legend (1985)

[Photo:© Universal Studios]

Ah for the good ole days. When Tom Cruise still couldn't act, but I didn't dislike him quite so much. The 1980s were fantasy movie heaven. Between the barbarian movies (Conan, Beastmaster etc.) and the magic/fantasy movies (Dragonslayer, Labyrinth), the decade overdid the genre so heavily that it nearly disappeared from the theaters until Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings made fantasy OK again.

Legend isn't the greatest movie. In fact, it can be quite, quite bad. (It does have Tom Cruise in it, right?) But the highlight for me is the wicked way they use Tim Curry's presence. OMG does his voice fit so well with his role as the Prince of Darkness. There's none of his campy, tongue-in-cheek style here. Just menace.


Hump Day Movie: Monster Squad (1987)

This isn't one of my favorite movies. But it is, sadly, one of my husband's favorites. Mainly because of a single scene where the Wolfman gets kicked in the nards.

Anyone who grew up watching the old Universal monsters will probably enjoy the use of them here. They are very old school monsters. And although there is a bit of objectionable language, this isn't a very scary movie. It's made for middle school or young teens. And has a very 1980s vibe that those of us born in the 1970s can't help but love.

The Monster Squad is finally available on blu ray and DVD.


Hump Day "Classic" Movie: The Hard Way (1991)

Ok, once again, I am cheating on the definition of classic. But 1991 *was* 20 years ago! (Yes, I did the math just to make many of you feel old.)

I was in junior high school when The Hard Way came out. It was one of the first times I saw James Woods act, and it made an impression. He was slick, full of attitude, and could talk faster than almost anyone I'd every seen.

This is one of those movies that defies genre labels. It's part crime movie, part action flick, part buddy comedy. It isn't going to make you think, but it will probably entertain you for an hour or two.

Plus, hey, it's got LL Cool J in it. Playing a cop. Hmmm....


Hump Day Classic Movie: The Princess Bride (1987)

Yes, the most quotable movie of all time is turning 24 this year.

Ok, most quotable might be an overstatement, but The Princess Bride does have some fabulously campy quotes. And in Romancelandia, this movie is considered required viewing. Right up there with Romancing the Stone.

What makes this movie so special to me is that it is one of only a handful of films where I can honestly say I liked the movie better than the book. And since William Goldman wrote both the book and the screenplay, it's not like I'm dissing one artist over another.

If nothing else, it's worth watching to see a cute, young Cary Elwes, a young Mandy Patinkin (with a Prince Valiant mullet no less,) and Robin Wright at the very beginning of her film career. It's available on DVD *and* blu-ray.


Hump Day Classic Movie: Three Musketeers (1993)

With all of the bad news about Charlie Sheen and his asshattery, I thought I'd pick something that dates to before he was universally known as a scumbag. Plus, this has the added bonus of Oliver Platt, Chris O'Donnell, Kiefer Sutherland, Gabrielle Anwar, Tim Curry, and Rebecca De Mornay.

In typical Disney fashion, this movie is anything but faithful to the story it is based on. They kept the basic plot and characters, but there's quite a bit of latitude taken with everything else (Most of the actors don't even bother with an accent). That is, however, one of the reasons I adore this version of the Three Musketeers. The over-the-top humor. It's fun AND funny. Our family still yells "D'Artagnan!" at odd moments in the exact tone used by Paul McGann.

Haven't seen it? You can watch the trailer here.


Hump Day Classic Movie: Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Ah, 1980s cheese at its finest. Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Victor Wong, James Hong and really bad special effects. I mean, really, REALLY bad.

This is one of those movies that is meant to be a ridiculous B movie. It's a spoof. A box office flop, Big Trouble in Little China has turned into a cult classic of sorts. The dialogue is OMG awful and the acting is not much better. But if you're in the mood for some B movie deliciousness, try this one.

With a blurb like this one: "An All-American trucker gets dragged into a centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown," how can you resist?

There is some offensive, dated, racially insensitive stuff here (Asian stereotypes etc), so if that often bothers you, you should probably avoid.


Hump Day Movie: The Cutting Edge (1992)

February makes me think of Valentine's Day. And Valentine's Day makes me think of date movies. And date movies make me think of the very few movies that are both romantic and don't give my husband a case of the dry heaves. There are really only two movies, and The Cutting Edge is one of them. Even though it is about figure skating.

Usually, I stick with classic movies on Wednesdays (although, cripes, this movie turns 20 next year) but what the heck. This is one of those romantic comedy/drama movies that taps into a ton of stereotypes but somehow works anyway. Critics didn't love it. They didn't hate it. And I think the film found much of its audience when it went to video.

There are a few scenes that make me cringe with their cheesiness...especially the workout scenes. But the peppy banter, the underlying sweetness of the film, and DB Sweeney make this film a favorite of mine. Hubs just likes the humor. "Finger painting?" And I think he has a thing for Moira Kelly's expressive doe eyes.

For the other movie my hubs admits he likes, check back for next week's hump day movie.


Hump Day Classic Movie:The Day of the Triffids (1962)

Yes, I know it's Thursday. Wednesday just got away from me.

Today's belated Hump Day movie is The Day if the Triffids. That's right, glory in the artistic brilliance of murderous trees (alien plants...whatever).

Based on a sci-fi novel of the same name, this was one of those movies featured at the drive-in. And scared the bejeezus out of my mom when she was about 10 or 11. Apparently, she and her brothers had to walk past a wooded area on their way home from the movie. And their overactive imaginations got the better of them.

From a modern horror perspective, this is prime so-bad-it's-funny material. Enjoy! You can watch the trailer on Youtube here.

Oh! And I found a 2009 British version starring Dougray Scott! Yea for more evil plant things!


Hump Day Classic Movie: Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

In today's world of CGI, this movie might seem unimpressive. But considering it was made in the 1980s, what the filmakers managed to to accomplish in Who Framed Roger Rabbit is pretty amazing. Blending live action with cartoons had been done before, but never quite this well.

Apart from the technological achievements, I think this movie is also pretty clever. Playing up the film noir and giving a wink to the history of cartoons, the plot, characters, and concept are original and often very adult.

This is one of my favorite movies from the 1980s. If you haven't yet seen it, you should give it a try.


Hump Day Classic Movie: The Worst Movie Ever Made aka The Conqueror (1956)

I count this as the worst movie ever made. And I do mean ever. John Wayne as Genghis Khan is OMG awful. The script is laughingly bad. I can't make it more than a few minutes into The Conqueror without wincing. Even worse, this was filmed near the Nevada Test Site and many of the crew developed and died from cancer later in life.

This is so staggeringly bad that I think everyone should see it once. And probably only once. And should get some kind of merit badge proving they've watched it and survived.

Gifts for the Baker