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Another Nice Mess (1972)
Another Nice Mess is a mostly pretty funny take on Nixon and Agnew as Laurel & Hardy
After years of knowing this was on YouTube, I finally watched this on the eve of Inauguration Day. Rich Little and Herb Voland play President Richard Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew as Laurel & Hardy, respectively. Little also plays the president as himself as he's watching and commenting on the action. There are also vintage L & H clips which sometimes have them doing stuff that affect the characters in the film. Oh, also here Adolf Hitler is alive and the uncle of the lovely secretary serving under those two. I should note that Bruce Kirby plays Adolf and that Steve Martin-in his film debut-appears as a hippie. Also appearing was Bob Einstein as one of the secret service men who are always dressed as plants to disguise themselves. Einstein is the writer/director of this with Tom Smothers being one of the producers. I'll just say while much of this is funny because of how ridiculous much of the action is presented, it does run out of steam by the end. Still, anyone curious enough about this should check it out on YT...
Hidden Figures (2016)
Hidden Figures is a fine story of the African-American women who were valuable to the NASA space program of the early '60s
This movie tells a story of NASA's space program of the early '60s that hadn't been told before: that of several black women-with three showcased here-doing some behind-the-scenes math calculations or figuring out the new IBM operations of their computers as the country is readying the flight of the first American man in space, John Glenn. Taraji P. Henson especially shines as Katherine G. Johnson, who was so advanced in her chosen profession that she graduated from college early and eventually was the one who figured the right distance for Glenn's mission to succeed. Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae are fine in their roles as well. Nothing more to say except, I highly recommend Hidden Figures. This review is dedicated in memory of the late John Glenn.
Rogue One (2016)
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a worthy Star Wars prequel
I read one good review of this movie and found out many online like it, so I let my movie theatre-working friend recommended me to watch it. He, himself, had seen it several times by the time I just watched it with him and he seemed to enjoy it once again as we were viewing this on the IMAX 3-D screen. It's basically a prequel to the original Star Wars-the one now called Episode IV: A New Hope-concerning characters not seen before which we find out at the end why. There are some familiar characters that do appear like the villain Darth Vader (once again voiced by James Earl Jones) and R2D2 and C3PO. There's also an appearance of Princess Leia as she originally appeared in that original Star Wars pic. I guess computer imagery really can make the impossible possible! Anyway, that's my recommendation to see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. P.S. As I'm writing this, it's now the second day of Carrie Fisher's death. All I'll say now is-Rest in Peace, Princess Leia. P.P.S. I just found out her mother Debbie Reynolds has also passed not long after.
Sing is the most enjoyable of the musical computer-animated movies we've seen this year!
This is the third computer-animated movie in a row that features actual singing by the characters after Trolls and Moana. The title basically means just about every character is singing something because it's about a singing contest being produced because the producer wants something that brings the people to his theatre, not like those previous shows that didn't do much for his career. Seems like all genres of music from various decades is represented here. My movie theatre-working friend was especially enamored with the gorilla singing a song associated with his favorite singer, Elton John. This movie does show the struggles of putting on a show and possible disasters that happen when risks are taken. I really don't want to reveal any more so I'll just say that me and my friend highly recommend Sing.
Take the 'A' Train (1951)
Take the 'A' Train was a nice musical short for the Delta Rhythm Boys
Just watched this music video of this song written by Lee Gaines and Billy Strayhorn on a Facebook page. It has the Delta Rhythm Boys singing the song on a set meant to resemble a train station (or maybe it actually was shot at one, who knows?). There are some pretty women accompanying them to a club where we then see some female dancers doing their stuff to much of the song. I don't think much else is going on during the three-minute number but since there needs to be ten lines for this to be submitted on IMDb, I have to think of something else to say. Well, how about the fact that this was seemingly made in 1951 seems to put it past the time when there were what were known as panorams-jukeboxes that showed promotional films of hit songs at bus and train stations during the '40s. Maybe there were still some in existence during this time, I don't know. Anyway, I liked this Take the 'A' Train musical short.
The Polar Express (2004)
I finally got to see The Polar Express. My recommendation, go see it!
When my movie theatre-working friend offered to let me see this movie for a special IMAX 3-D showing today, I took it! The motion capture images of director Robert Zemeckis are pretty fascinating to watch and it kept me from completely falling asleep most of the time I was watching it. It's told in flashback of a boy who is in danger of no longer believing in Christmas and certainly not in Santa Claus. Tom Hanks voices a lot of the characters in the story, most notably as the train conductor. I wasn't sure I would completely like this but by the end, I was close to loving it! There's also an appearance of a Famous Musician but I don't want to spoil the fun so on that note, I highly recommend The Polar Express.
Hacksaw Ridge (2016)
Hacksaw Ridge was a compelling take on the heroism of one Desmond Doss
Watched this with my movie theatre-working friend yesterday, the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Desmond Doss was a conscience objector during World War II meaning he refused to carry a gun while in the Army. He eventually managed to save many of his fellow comrades during the battle of Okinawa by moving them to safety using the rope tricks he learned during basic training. If you're familiar with director Mel Gibson's graphic take on The Passion of the Christ, those battle scenes shouldn't surprise here nor how long it is being depicted. Still, there's also a nice romance between Desmond and Dorothy (Andrew Garfield and Teresa Palmer) in the beginning parts. Overall, me and my friend highly recommend Hacksaw Ridge.
Moana was another entertaining Disney computer-animated feature
Just watched this with my movie theatre-working friend who hadn't previously seen it, either. It's the tale of a determined young woman who's trying to resurrect her island with the help of a jewel and a god-like man named Maui. There's also a bunch of songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda provided to give credence to the characterizations. Possibly the Frozen success of Disney's previously computer-animated feature was a factor here. Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) is the voice of Maui and he's funny and quite good with his one song. The title heroine is quite plucky and charismatic. It's possible I might have been partly confused by some of the narrative but still, this was quite entertaining in the usual Disney way. So on that note, me and my friend recommend Moana.
Inner Workings (2016)
Inner Workings is another fine computer-animated Disney short
This Disney computer-animated short was shown just before the studio's feature of Moana. It concerns the brain of this man who works at the Boring, Boring, and Glum computer building. His brain keeps thinking of ways the man he inhabits is going to die if he does some risky things like surfing, eating something that's not considered healthy, or trying some sunglasses in front of a fine girl at the beach. But his heart has other ideas...This was quite funny especially concerning that brain and his thoughts. It's perhaps one of the more creative from the studio though if I thought hard enough, I could probably think of something that might have preceded it in format. Still, I highly recommend Inner Workings.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was a fine adventure by J.K. Rowling
Just watched this pre-Harry Potter-set movie by J.K. Rowling with my movie theatre-working friend. We both enjoyed the story and characters and plenty of special effects that abound throughout. It takes place during the '20s in New York City. One of the characters is a "No-Maj", an American term for "Muggle". Some scenes do feel a little padded but I managed to not be bored most of the time. Actually, this was quite funny and a little exciting most of the time. Oh, and there's a surprise revealed in the closing credits of who played a certain character that appeared near the end. I really don't want to spoil anything so on that note, me and my friend highly recommend Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.