I’m glad I didn’t see Harriet the Spy as a kid, because I can’t imagine myself ever liking it. Harriet the Spy is based on an (I guess popular) children’s book. It’s also the first film from “Nickelodeon Movies.” In fact, it was released with the unaired pilot of Hey Arnold. Which is sadly the main highlight of the movie. At first Harriet the Spy just seemed like an average kids detective movie. Harriet is a self proclaimed spy who writes all her thoughts in her journal. Which I probably would have just called okay. Then something happens halfway through the movies second act. Things take an unexpected turn when Harriet’s journal ends up in the wrong hands. All of her personal thoughts about everyone (including her best friends) comes out for all to hear. Everyone in her class turns on her and, for lack of a better word, torment her. So Harriet decides to get revenge on everyone in her class. For something that she started in the first place! The best word to describe Harriet the Spy is meanspirted. Man, it was unpleasant to watch. Not the best start to “Nickelodeon Movies.”
Fantastic Mr. Fox is an odd sort of film. It’s has a more realistic look to it’s stop motion animation. Fantastic Mr. Fox is also based on a less than well known Roald Dahl book, and it’s directed by the ever symmetrical Wes Anderson. Fun fact, this was the first Wes Anderson movie that I saw. It may be animated, but it still feels like all of his other work. As I’ve stated before, Fantastic Mr. Fox is odd. Probably the oddest thing is about the movie is the fact that the characters use the word cuss in place of any swear word. Fantastic Mr. Fox is about a fox who decides to give into his animal instincts. Which leads to family problems and endangerment of the animals. The whole movie feels like a book brought to life. They literally spell out the titles of each chapter in the book. So I would say the it’s an odd movie that’s worth watching.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Movies like Jonah Hex should not exist. In case you’re unaware, Jonah Hex is a DC comics character. One that that nobody’s ever heard of. Which makes the fact that they made a movie based on the character seem even more perplexing. Seriously, we live in a world where Jonah Hex gets a movie before Wonder Woman or The Flash?! As a movie, Jonah Hex was completely forgettable (I actually tried to stay awake while watching it). As a western, there are plenty of other more interesting action filled westerns (I’d rather watch Wild Wild West). And as a superhero movie, it’s very lazily thrown together. Luckily “The CW” revived the character in a better small screen capacity.
Twins was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first performance in a comedy. Before then, Arnie was known exclusively for action. Twins is also the first movie in a sort of trilogy of Schwarzenegger comedies directed by Ivan Reitman. It ended up being the last one that I saw, and I didn’t own it on vhs. However, Twins has a very interesting story that could have been very different if it wasn’t a comedy. There’s an experiment to create the perfect man (Schwarzenegger), but they end up with a less than perfect twin (DeVito). The funniest thing about the movie is that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito are supposed to be twins. Arnie is definitely a natural when it comes to comedy. So, Twins is a brotherly love filled recommendation.
Paper Towns is not as deep as The Fault in our Stars, but it is enjoyable. Paper Towns is the second movie based on a book (that I also didn’t read) by John Green. It has an interesting story, but there really is no comparison. Paper Towns focuses on a teen who’s been in love with a mysterious girl for a long time. By mysterious, I mean she loved mysterious. In fact, she loved mysteries so much that she became one. Most of the movie is dedicated to the teen and his group of friends as they try to track her down. So it’s one of those “it’s not the destination, it’s how you get there” type of stories. Which would be okay if the ending wasn’t such a let down. I still liked Paper Towns. In fact, I think it’s one of the more accurate depictions of teenagers in recent memory. Though I wasn’t sure if the movie was a comedy or not. So I tried to contain a few laughs. If you watch Paper Towns as it’s own separate movie, then I’m sure you’ll like it.
I’ve never been to a concert before. Until then, Michael Jackson’s This is it is the closest thing to me going to a concert. More about that later. I grew up knowing very little about Michael Jackson. I, like most people my age, knew more about the controversies surrounding him. Somehow I just never listened to his music growing up. It wasn’t until after Michael Jackson passed away, that I decided to educate myself. My mom decided to introduce me and my brother to all of his greatest hits. Needless to say, I fell in love with all of his songs. “Billie Jean”, “Beat it”, “Bad”, “Thriller”, “Black or White”, “Smooth Criminal”, “Man in the Mirror”, etc. Every song turned me into an instant fan. Which made his loss all the more devastating. I remember the day very clearly, but I also remember the concert that was planned. Which leads back to my original statement. Michael Jackson’s This is it is probably the most unique movie I’ve seen in theaters. It was made because the people responsible for the concert didn’t want Michael’s hard work to go to waste. I’m sure if MJ were alive today, he would be proud of the final result. Seeing it in theaters was a good idea, because it was a fun time. I couldn’t resist singing and dancing. R.I.P. Michael Jackson.
Rosemary’s Baby is one of the most disturbing movies I’ve ever seen. Second only to The Exorcist. Which means it accomplished its goal. Being a christian, I was thoroughly disturbed by the films focus on devil worshipers. There’s another more personal reason why I find it disturbing, but I’d rather not say what it is. Rosemary’s Baby is about a woman named Rosemary who (unbenounced to her) gets chosen to be the mother of the anti-christ. Most of the movie is focused on the brutal birth cycle. As well as the conspiracy that revolves around the people responsible. It’s well acted, it was the first horror movie to win an Oscar for acting, and it’s been considered to be one of the best horror movies of all time. Like many other movies I’ve seen before, Rosemary’s Baby is not a movie I want to see again. Trust me, once is enough.
Sixteen Candles is another one of my favorite John Hughes. The simple premise is, a girl’s family f***ing forgets her birthday. Which is a big deal, because it’s her 16th birthday. She’s not that popular, the guy of her dreams doesn’t notice her, and her sister gets more attention than she does. What makes the movie so great is the way John Hughes tells the story. It’s funny, but also relatable. Molly Ringwald proves why she’s the face for teenages in the 80’s, in a performance that would go on to define her career. Anthony Michael Hall also defines his career by playing the archetypal nerd for the first time. The biggest laughs however, come from the stereotypical character Long Duk Dong (gong noise). The takeaway from Sixteen Candles is that “wishes can come true.” It is your birthday after all, and Sixteen Candles is the perfect present.
Barb Wire is not a character that I’m familiar with. Barb Wire sort of superhero originating from the lesser known “Dark Horse” comics. The movie itself is, for some reason, like a remake of Casablanca (See previous post). Only with more boobs and less brains. Barb Wire is about a busty bounty hunter who owns a bar in the post civil war year 2017. Pamela Anderson plays the titular heroine. She looks good, but she can’t act to save her life. Sure a character like Barb Wire can work in a comic, but she can’t be taken seriously in a movie. This was back in the 90’s, when studios were willing to adapt any obscure character they could find in a comic. Barb Wire is just a mess that shouldn’t have been made in the first place. Pamela Anderson’s “Playboy” appearance is the only thing that made the movie watchable. But whatever you do, don’t call her babe!
Casablanca, the most iconic romance of all time. Also, one of the most classic movies of all time. I first saw Casablanca as part of a marathon that I did of classic movies including Citizen Kane, Gone with the Wind, and of course Casablanca. It’s such an iconic story that even if you haven’t seen it, chances are, you’ve seen some version of it. Rick owns a bar in Casablanca during the war. His old flame Ilsa happens to walk into his bar now married. Which leads to her and her husband attempting to flee the country. I, like everyone else, wish that Rick and Ilsa could’ve ending up together, but they’ll always have Paris. It’s a very quotable movie, with many lines that have entered cinematic history. Casablanca is a movie that will stand the test of time. “Play it again, Sam.”