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The Jerk (1979)
7/10
This Movie has a "Special Purpose"
26 June 2019
Navin Johnson (Steve Martin) is not a jerk, he's just incredibly naïve. How naïve? He was raised by a black family and only in adulthood did he learn that he wasn't biologically part of the family. "You mean I'm going to stay this color forever?!"

Hilarious.

This Steve Martin film is like the father of Dumb and Dumber. Steve Martin was an early Jim Carrey. He blends physical humor-with his skinny wiry frame-with timely quips. Some of the jokes do run long, some of them are insanely dumb, but then there are some quality lines in there as well.
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2/10
You Can't Hate San Francisco
25 June 2019
To be perfectly honest, I only watched the movie because of the title. Being from San Francisco myself I was more than a little intrigued. After watching it, It seems like the title was the only good thing about this movie-if you can consider the title good.

Obviously, the movie takes place in San Francisco. I don't want to attempt to say what it was about because I'm sure I'll be wrong. Rather, I'll say what I think it was about.

The two main characters were Jimmie Fails playing Jimmie Fails and Jonathan Majors playing Montgomery Allen. I recognized Jonathan Majors from a movie earlier this year titled Captive State. They were two odd friends. I say odd because I couldn't understand them. I didn't understand their actions, their emotions, their motivations, nothing. Jimmie was grim, deadpanned guy obsessed with an old Victorian home that he used to live in on Golden Gate. Even though it was occupied he would go there and touch up the paint and other chores. Montgomery (Mont) was an artist that just tagged along with Jimmie. Mont drew and he was perpetually working on a play. A play he'd eventually finish and make him an even weirder guy.

The two of them thought they had it made when the Victorian house was vacated. Now they could squat there and claim it as there own. That, or come up with the $4 million it would cost to buy it.

That's as much as I gathered from the movie as far as a plot. There were other side stories that gave more insight to these two main characters but the side stories also made the two main characters more enigmatic. The movie started slow and ended slower. I was patient with it because I can be patient with a movie and allow it to develop. What developed was nothing worth waiting for. Heck, one couple, maybe smarter than myself, left midway through. That exiting couple was a third of the audience.

Without being overly critical I'm just going to call it too artsy for me. This was one of those movies where just about everything had to be inferred and interpreted. Even the main conflict-if there was one-was nebulous. I don't need to be spoon fed but I don't feel like staring at abstract art either.

To me it was all too strange. Their friendship was strange, their daily routine was strange, it was strange how Mont just stared at the four regular locals as they hung out, it was strange to show some random old white guy plopping down at the bus stop fully nude, and Jimmie's obsession with his old house was strange. I mean, I have fondness for the place I grew up but that's where it stops. We live in a place, sometimes we lose that place or we just move on, then that place is just a memory. Maybe, if we had fond enough memories and the ability, we try to purchase that old home. That's as far as that fondness should ever go.

The only bright spots of the movie were the appearances of known actors. Mike Epps' brief spot was funny. Tichina Arnold and Danny Glover only provided a familiar face because they certainly didn't provide any credibility. To their defense, it was nothing they could do. This movie may have wowed some but I'd have to ask why.

I'll end with a quote from the movie that only summed up how odd it all was. There was a scene where Jimmie is riding the bus and these two women were discussing their disdain with San Francisco. They weren't conservatives at all by the looks of them, they just didn't like the city for whatever reason they mentioned. Upon hearing that, Jimmie Fails says, "You can't hate San Francisco."

One woman responds, "I can hate whatever the (expletive) I want to hate."

Jimmie asks, "Do you love it? Because you can only hate it if you love it."

What!?! That's it, I'm done.
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6/10
I Can't Shake Shatner Parodies
24 June 2019
The William Shatner Star Trek was before my time and I never got into The Next Generation. I grew up seeing more parodies of Captain Kirk than actual Captain Kirk. Unfortunately, those same parodies reared their ugly heads while watching Star Trek: TMP. I couldn't even take him seriously. With every line I just saw Jim Carrey or insert-comedian-here who's done a Captain Kirk impression.

The movie starts with an unidentifiable amorphous entity attacking and destroying three Klingon ships. Starfleet command ascertains that this powerful and enormous alien object is on a course set for Earth. The U.S.S. Enterprise is the only Starfleet vessel close enough to intercept this alien force hence Capt. Kirk hops aboard the Enterprise to play hero.

The run time of the movie is 132 minutes. I mention that only because there was a lot of dead space. They spent too much time on glamour shots. It seemed like 30 minutes of run time between close in shots on the U.S.S. Enterprise and the alien orb. It was like this was some new technology in film and they couldn't wait to show it off.

Without giving away the ending I think it was probably the best part of the movie. In fact, I'd say the ending gave the movie some validity. As it was going it seemed like it was going to be a dull affair with a lot of space jargon. The ending gave the movie a pulse, however weak, but a pulse still.
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6/10
Fast Horse, Slow Movie
24 June 2019
A young boy and a black stallion get washed onto the shore of a remote island after a shipwreck. The horse is an untameable beast but the boy is all alone and some company is better than none.

I hate to say it but this movie was very slow and boring. If it wasn't for some early dialogue I would've thought this was a silent film. Roughly 45 minutes or so into the movie and there were only a few words that were spoken. For a third of the movie or more it was just the boy, Alec (Kelly Reno), and the horse-later nicknamed The Black.

It sort of picked up from the middle of the movie on but not nearly enough for me to consider it a thoroughly enjoyable movie.
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Toy Story 4 (2019)
9/10
24 MORE YEARS
24 June 2019
The Toy Story franchise's ability to make one quality movie after another is really special. This is the fourth over a span of 24 years and they have not lost a step.

So, we know with every new Toy Story there's a new toy or toys-usually multiple toys because there are the good and the bad. We also know that Woody is going to be heavily mixed up in whatever is going on. Part four is no different.

It picks up where part three left off with Andy bequeathing his toys to little Bonnie. Bonnie plays with the toys like nobody's business then there is a shift. She goes to kindergarten. There she makes a toy out of a spork and little "Forky" (Tony Hale), as he's called, takes the gang on a new unplanned adventure.

Toy Story 4 had everything I wanted to see: a good story, creative action from the toys, and laughs. Thanks to Key and Peele playing Ducky and Bunny I got laughs that I don't think I've ever gotten from a Toy Story before.

The laughs were really an added bonus. The story was wonderful and of all the toys, Bo Peep (Annie Potts) stole the show. She showed toys in a new role and it was great.

Toy Story could go another 24 years and I think it would continue to be stellar. So, instead of the presidential chant of "FOUR MORE YEARS!" let's start the chant of "TWENTY-FOUR MORE YEARS!"
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8/10
More American Graffiti is More Laughs
23 June 2019
Most of the American Graffiti gang are back and they are older. Gone are the "pure and innocent" times of the 50's. This movie takes place in the radical counter-culture age of the 60's. There's a war, kids are growing their hair long, and women want to work.

I thought More American Graffiti was funnier than its predecessor. Between Terry (Charles Martin Smith) trying to weasel his way out of the Vietnam War, Debbie Dunham (Candy Clark) trying to get her beau to marry her, and the marital problems of Steve and Laurie Bolander (Ron Howard and Cindy Wiliams), there were plenty of laughs. I thought this was an excellent follow up.
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Rocky II (1979)
7/10
Rematch
23 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Apollo Creed was seriously dissatisfied with the results of the first fight with Rocky Balboa though he won. He won on a split decision and being the champ that wasn't good enough. He wanted Rocky one more time to punish him, and hush the doubters, and establish himself as the clear champion. As they say: pride cometh before the fall.

Whereas Apollo was singularly motivated you couldn't say the same thing about Rocky. He made a promise to Adrian that he would no longer fight and he planned on keeping that promise.

This Rocky lacked the appeal of the first. In this movie we saw Rocky kinda mulling about the first two-thirds of the movie. At first, he wasn't going to fight. Then he was taunted into fighting. Then, he wasn't really committed because of Adrian-it was all very soap opera. It was dramatic when it didn't have to be and it was outright annoying. There's little worse than seeing a person do something he's not committed to. Some may have viewed that as the conflict part of the movie that needed resolution, I saw it as the part of the script that needed rewriting.

I will say this: Mick (Burgess Meredith) stole every scene he was in. He was fantastic.

Let me also say this because it needs to be said: Rocky is a horrible boxer. He quite literally was using his face to block every punch. Did he think Apollo would break his hand on his jaw? This is two movies worth of data too so it is an established fact Rocky doesn't like his own face. But no brains no headaches.

As annoyed as I was with the listless Rocky and the face-blocking Rocky I still found myself pleased with the outcome. I still wanted him to win and still liked the dramatic finish.
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7/10
Napalm Can't Smell that Good
23 June 2019
War movies such as this put me in an emotional quandary which makes it hard for me to judge them. On the one hand there is so much death, destruction, and madness which is so troubling, disturbing, and gut-wrenching. I hate it. There is very little positive that can be seen in it. It's destructive for the "liberated" and the "liberators."

And on the other hand there is so much death, destruction, and madness which is real. If you're going to show a war movie then be real about it. As much as I hate to see the disturbing acts and results of war, I'd ate it more if they covered it up. To sugarcoat and euphemize war is a greater wrong.

Apocalypse Now was ugly. There was nothing glamorous, pretty, or clean about it. It was so dirty and raw it left a stain on your conscience. But even in all the filth and grime of this war film I couldn't help but marvel at the young Martin Sheen and how I only saw Charlie Sheen and then just as suddenly I'd see Emilio Esteves.
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Toy Story 3 (2010)
8/10
Staying Fresh
22 June 2019
Woody and friends have another adventure. Andy is all grown up and he has left his trusty toys to collect dust. But, before he goes off to college he has to do something with his cache of toys. Through the wonders of script writing the toys end up in a daycare and what was supposed to be toy nirvana becomes a toy nightmare.

I gotta hand it to Pixar, 15 years after they made their debut they release another strong film. We get to see new toys, new drama, and probably the most tense and harrowing situation of all three Toy Stories. Somehow Pixar kept it all fresh, exciting, and funny. Can't wait for part four.
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The Warriors (1979)
8/10
Warriors Come Out to Playyay
22 June 2019
This movie was such a pop culture centerpiece that it was quoted in rap songs. Most prominently, who can forget O.D.B. from the Wu-Tang Clan singing:

Crews be actin like they gangs, anyway Be like, "Warriors! Come out and playiyay!"

This movie was an acknowledgement of the streets of New York in the 70's. Not a praise, not a ridicule, just an acknowledgement. Gangs were everywhere.

All the major gangs of New York were invited to the Bronx to have a big pow-wow. They were to all send nine unarmed delegates. The meeting was being hosted by Cyrus (Roger Hill) of the Riffs, the biggest baddest gang in New York. The topic: unity. Cyrus was shot and killed in that congregation but not before gracing us with the line: "Can you dig iiiiiiit!!" The Warriors were blamed and so sent them on the run back to Coney Island. All they had to do was get through every gang in New York. No sweat.

I have a nostalgic sweet spot for this movie. It just reminds me of my youth. No, not the gang activity, just the movie. The Warriors were such underdogs you couldn't help but root for them. And the true antagonist, Luther (David Patrick Kelly), was such a weasel you had to hate him. To me, he is in bad guy lore for most hated. It's easy to play a bad guy but only a select few ever evoke that visceral loathing. Kelly was able to do that and man!, did he enhance the movie.
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Phantasm (1979)
4/10
What Did I Just Watch?
22 June 2019
Phantasm n.:

1. Something apparently seen but having no physical reality; a phantom

2. An illusory mental image

(American Heritage Dictionary)

My copy is quite old but I figured I'd use this post as an educational opportunity. It may give some insight to the meaning of the movie. Then again, it may not.

The movie takes place In this sparsely populated town where it seems only this boy, his brother, and his brother's friend exist. The young boy Mike (A. Michael Baldwin) saw something strange at the cemetery and the cemetery becomes a rendezvous point from then on. It's used for sex and sleuthing mostly and yes that's weird.

This clearly low-budget movie failed to move the meter for me. Somehow, they took a very nebulous and obscure premise and made it into a movie with sequels. Besides the movie seeming rushed there were no explanations for anything. Maybe the entire movie was a phantasm?
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4/10
Tribalism and Sexism Rule the Day
22 June 2019
I've seen some poor excuses for fighting but I think this is probably the worst.

The main character, Mr. Ho, marries a beautiful Japanese woman. Their honeymoon isn't even over before he's assailed with some tribalism from her as she touts how superior Japanese fighting is to Chinese fighting. Not to be outdone, he sees her tribalism and raises her one sexism as he claims the superiority of Chinese fighting and the fact Chinese women are more ladylike when they fight. Her brutish style of fighting along with her loose fitting ghee made her both masculine and immodest at the same time.

If the movie wasn't tribal enough it got even more jingoistic when a Japanese group of fighters stomped their way into China to defend the honor of Japan. It was really childish. Mr. Ho had written a letter to his wife that was insulting to Japanese fighting all in order to get under her skin. Her teacher read the letter, was thoroughly offended, and took a delegation to China to settle the debate. It was ever so juvenile.

The childlike adults commenced to fighting with some of the most ineffective fighting I've ever seen. Kung fu movies have always had more than a little superfluous movements to favor style over effectiveness but this movie took that to the next level. I'd say 90% of the kicks, punches, swipes, lunges, swings, and clutches were strictly for show. And how many times can you fight your enemy with your back turned to him?

I know that what I'm complaining about is the very nature of the kung fu movie but this one happened to be so much worse than others.
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8/10
Mr. Tibbs Delivers Again
21 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This is the third installment of the series of movies starring Sidney Poitier as Virgil Tibbs and I think it's even better than part two (They Call Me Mister Tibbs!). Lt. Tibbs is still in San Francisco and he still has the same rotten son. Yeah, I called that little boy rotten. He wasn't smoking and beating up his sister but he hadn't quite changed his attitude either.

The movie starts with a well coordinated break in of a furniture store. The thieves make off with some drugs and though they left the manager alive he was found dead by the police. It wasn't long before Virgil was pulled into the plot and clued in on what the theft was all about.

I appreciated this storyline a lot better than TCMMT!. The movie is part vigilantism part brilliant police work. I liked that the cast was very diverse, and they were working together for a noble goal. Initially, it looked like it may be about some common thieves or even some 70's radical organization out to wreak havoc. When it was revealed that the multicultural group was only interested in stopping the flow of heroin to their communities I instantly perked up. I was genuinely surprised and I was genuinely thrilled about such a goal.

From there it was a deadly cat and mouse game with the vigilantes, the police, and the organization. It was a different type of vigilante movie. The small group of fed up men and woman weren't out killing drug dealers and trying to work their way to the top, they only wanted to expose the drug operation so that the police could take over. They weren't sure who on the police force was trustworthy but they took their chances with Virgil Tibbs and he didn't disappoint.

Naturally, with Mr. Tibbs there's always a twist in there. Even though I was preparing myself for that twist he fooled me again. Although I'm almost 50 years late with this trilogy, it is now one of my favorites.
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8/10
Don't Bring Home Foreign Plants
20 June 2019
Some alien spores find their way to planet Earth-San Francisco to be exact. Upon arrival they take the form of a new or foreign flower, possibly a grex (a hybrid of orchids based solely on their parentage). These "flowers" were nothing less than the invading hosts that would take the form of any nearby person and actually become him/her minus things like emotions.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a remake of the 1956 movie Body Snatchers. I think the 1978 version is better. Matthew (Donald Sutherland), Elizabeth (Brooke Adams), Jack (Jeff Goldblum), and Nancy (Veronica Cartwright) all find themselves in a near hopeless situation. They are fully aware that people's bodies are being taken over, yet they are powerless to stop it.

The fear, the stress, the anxiety of such a situation is unimaginable. Honestly, I think I'd just give up. I know that the fight or flight inclination in me would kick in to preserve my life but what if everyone I know and love is now this emotionless being? What world would I be fighting to remain in? The only way I see survival as possible from a psychological standpoint would be like a The Walking Dead type scenario where I have a few loved ones and we find a community to join. Other than that, my desire to keep on fighting to live would probably wane each day until I gave in.

And let's not forget that the transformation takes place if you sleep near one of these alien flowers. So, there's yet another defense mechanism I'd have to learn: sweep my sleeping area for alien flowers so that I can rest.

It's all so dire.
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9/10
Clever, Cohesive, and Funny
20 June 2019
The year is 1855. The place is England. A man going by the name of Edward Pierce (Sean Connery) has his eyes on a near impossible heist. He wants to steal the Crimean gold that goes by railway from one part of England to another. Besides the fact it's guarded at the time of transit, the safe requires four separate keys that are in three separate locations. Oh yeah, and no one has ever robbed a moving locomotive before. I suppose he could Butch-Cassidy-and-the-Sundance-Kid it and force the train to stop, then blow open the safe. But this is England and no such brutish tactics will be used. This will take stealth, guile, and intelligence. In other words, it was a sophisticated operation.

This was a superb heist movie. It was clever, it was cohesive, and it was funny. I liked the pairing of Connery and Donald Sutherland. Heist movies always have to be clever and cutting edge because the mark is always super-secure and nearly impossible to breach. What sets one heist movie apart from the other is the story within and the characters. This story was straight forward and simple. There were no red herrings, no sappy side stories, and no deux ex-machinas. And the characters were very enjoyable.

This Michael Crichton film was simply excellent.
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Airport '77 (1977)
6/10
Airplane Rescue Fatigue Setting In
19 June 2019
You've had an airplane get a hole blown through it by a suicidal bomber trying to collect on insurance. You've had an airplane get a hole gashed into it by a small plane. What can we do as an encore? Let's sink the plane in the middle of the ocean.

Airport '77 had a tough time trying to keep up with its predecessors. They stayed true to a few things: 1.) The star/pilot was a big name-in this case it was Jack Lemmon.

2.) There was a large commercial jet in peril.

3.) There was a love interest between the pilot/hero/main character and someone aboard said plane

4.) George Kennedy made an appearance.

As to number three: let me be sure never to fly on a plane in which the pilot is romantically involved with someone on the crew.

As to number four: George Kennedy had a significantly reduced role. Maybe that's why this one wasn't as good?

No, that's not why. There was bound to be airplane rescue fatigue. I'd say that and the fact that Jack Lemmon just wasn't believable in the hero role. I couldn't help but see the pitiful Felix Unger from The Odd Couple, even if he did have a mustache.
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7/10
Disaster Movie Blueprint
19 June 2019
The Towering Inferno is a disaster movie. No, the movie wasn't a disaster, it was a disaster movie like Titanic, Poseidon, Airport, etc. It seems that the 70's laid the groundwork for future big budget disaster movies. The Airports and The Towering Inferno set the bar for the 90's and 2000's disaster movies that would becoming bigger and bigger. The Towering Inferno even had the big budget cast: Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Robert Vaughn, William Holden, Faye Dunaway, and even a pre-white Bronco O.J. Simpson.

Like many, if not all disaster movies, this had explosions, cave-ins, heroic rescue efforts, and tragic deaths. It also had the important relationships so that viewers had a reason to be at the edge of their seats. Who cares about some random people about to die right? We need to know that there is an unbreakable bond between two people so that when she is in danger we feel the hero's worry, angst, and pain. I'm being sarcastic if it's not apparent.

Personally, I think the love interest angle is overrated. I'm a human being and I have a soul. If people are in danger and they're not wicked and unbearable I want to see them saved. There doesn't need to be a bold promise, a damsel in distress, or a lover in limbo for there to be drama in the disaster. It's a disaster. Shouldn't that be enough?

Nevertheless, the love interest in peril was, and is, a part of the script. Part of me says don't blame the 70's disaster movies for that, they were making movies for their era. They had no idea that their formula would be duplicated over and over again with little variation so that we'd see another 40+ years of stale disaster movies. And the other part of me says, "It's all your fault. You started this nauseating trend." But let me not beat up on the 70's too much here. The Towering Inferno was a good movie. I won't hold future movies against it.
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Chinatown (1974)
7/10
Delightful
18 June 2019
J.J. Gittes (Jack Nicholson), a private detective, gets fooled into outing the alleged affair of Hollis Mulwray (Darrell Zwerling), the head of the L.A. water department. Gittes, wanting to know why he was tricked so, decides to look further into the set up. This brings him into contact with Mrs. Mulwray (Faye Dunaway) and what a quagmire she was. The more Gittes sleuths the more he finds and the plot only got more and more layered.

I liked this mystery drama. There was quality acting and a quality story. With mysteries you want drama, intrigue, and cohesion. This had all of that plus a bombshell or two. With all mysteries you expect the unexpected but sometimes even then you get caught off-guard and it's delightful. Chinatown, while not great, was delightful.
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8/10
Choking NYC Transit
17 June 2019
This was an incredible big score movie taking place in NYC on the subway. I thought Money Train with Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes was the only such movie.

Four hijackers... er um subway jackers... take control of the Pelham 123 train. They have hostages and they want a million dollars ransom to let them go. The ringleader is a cold-blooded Englishman that drives a hard bargain. Think Hans Gruber from Die Hard.

The movie was fast-paced and full of surly New Yorkers. You had to love it--guys and gals who had little time for some gang holding a subway car full of riders hostage. Some of their attitudes were very welcoming because it was BS-free and others--their penchant for being no-nonsense only made things worse. We got to see the good and the bad of New York hostility and angst.

This was a well written movie and well cast with the exception of Walter Matthau and Jerry Stiller. I would say that Matthau and Stiller being cast as lieutenants on the Transit Authority Police Force seemed out of place. As serious as the movie was and as the criminals were Matthau didn't really pull of the serious, keen cop role. Not that he was silly in the role it's just he wasn't that believable.

In spite of the Matthau and Stiller casting this movie was still great. It wasn't quite gritty, cold, and mean yet not silly and satirical either. It's the end of the school year and time for final grades. This is a B+.
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Airport 1975 (1974)
7/10
Let's Save Another One
17 June 2019
If the near disaster in Airport (1970) wasn't harrowing enough then Airport (1975) should've done it.

Columbia flight 409 was redirected to Salt Lake City on its way to L.A. No worry, it's a small delay but nothing abnormal. At the same time a little twin prop plane was redirected to the same airport except on its way the pilot had a heart attack and collided with the big 747. Now the large jet is without a pilot and has a large hole in the cockpit.

This was a terrific movie as far as sequels go. They brought the same big production and the same intensity. At times it seemed Nancy (Karen Black) was a little too fragile but I can understand. I would have preferred a little less "honey" in reference to her. She was called honey more than she was called her name. This is not me being a feminist (I'm a male to begin with), just me being professional. On a job such as flight control or directing flight control, even if you are a spouse, you should use the person's name.

Professionalism aside this was a good movie.
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Airport (1970)
8/10
Clear for Takeoff
17 June 2019
Airport as a production could have just as easily been made in the 90's with a little tweak in the dialogue, the clothes, and the special effects. The set and props were excellent. I'm sure at least some of the movie had to be filmed at an airport with real airplanes. There was nothing cheap about this movie. You got a true feeling of just about every aspect of an airport in a snowstorm with some unstable characters in the mix.

The movie takes place in less than a 12-hour period. A snow storm has hit Chicago and made takeoff and landing a near impossibility. Things get especially complicated when runway 29 is shutdown due to a plane stuck in the snow. To add more drama, runway 29 is desperately needed for an emergency landing.

I thought the movie was amazing. There were so many moving parts and everything seemed so authentic: from the airport general manager, to the flight controllers, to the maintenance crews. to the customer service, to the pilots, and even a stowaway. The airport and airline jargon was very convincing as well as the performances.

Though the weather and the danger involving a flight was central focus there were some diverse and convoluted relationships going on just to make things more complicated.

Even though the movie had a 90's theme and production value it still had an early 60's feel. The script and the dialogue wasn't quite as natural as it is today or even 30 years ago. It has a stage quality to it and a uniformity. With very little exception it's like the men spoke alike and the women all spoke alike. That certainly didn't detract from the quality and execution of the script. If Airport was a flight then it had a smooth takeoff and landing.
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Dark Phoenix (2019)
7/10
Stream of Consciousness
16 June 2019
I have so much I want to type about this movie because I have so much love for Marvel, and X-Men in particular, that I'm just going to let it flow.

WARNING: no spoilers but long post ahead.

Since the reboot of the X-Men in 2011 they'd largely done different storylines with each movie. First Class was an origin story, Days of Future Past focused on Mystique and the anti-mutant sentiment, and Apocalypse was about the supervillain Apocalypse. All of these movies were a first. Dark Phoenix is basically a retelling of X-Men 3: The Last Stand.

I feel I'm in the minority in my appreciation of The Last Stand. I prefer that they left it alone without trying to redo it. I think I may be alone in that opinion, hence they redid it to-presumably--improve upon it. I love The Last Stand. I love the original cast, I love the epic battle, and I love how they ended it. This retelling was no improvement in my eyes.

Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) again is inhabited by the Dark Phoenix and she is a danger to everyone. Can she control it or must she be killed? That was the dilemma in The Last Stand and it was the dilemma again.

The movie was fair. There were some things I liked and some things I didn't. There was a repeat of the theme: "I only did it to protect (insert name here)." Many movies, Marvel movies included, have had the well-intentioned leader do something he/she thought was for the best only to see it blow up in their faces later. It was far too elementary for me especially compared to First Class and Days of Future Past. I thought those two movies had a more advanced and intricate plot.

There was also a line in the movie that rubbed me raw.

Until this movie, one of the worse lines in all of Marvel happened in X-Men 2. There was a scene in which Storm was battling Toad. She was about to strike him with lightning when she asked, "Do you know what happens to a toad when it's struck by lightning?"

To which she answered herself, "The same thing that happens to everybody else." Then she hits him with a few thousand volts.

I thought that was one of the worse lines uttered on screen until the line I heard today.

Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) (aka Mystique) is ranting at Professor X (James McAvoy) and she says, "The women are doing all the work around here, it should be called X-Women instead of X-Men." The quote may not be precise but it is pretty darn close.

The record needle scratched the record at that point. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Marvel has been doing its level best to cater towards women but this was just over the top. I thought the female heroes pose in Endgame was bad, this was horrendous. This was pandering at its worse.

X-Men has been a favorite comic of mine since childhood. I thought that line was assailing the hallowed name of a legendary comic and a legendary group of superheroes. Furthermore, that statement had no basis!

The X-Men have always been a team of both men and women and no one has ever kept gender score. They use their abilities in the situations they are best suited and no one seeks the praise or condemnation of another. To make the statement she made was the most sexist thing that's ever occurred to the X-Men... maybe even the most sexist thing to occur in all of Marvel.

The X-Men are a team of mutants founded by and nurtured by the benevolent Professor X and not once has he been sexist in his approach so where did that come from? I felt like that line was supposed to garner a round of applause from the audience or something. For me it only garnered a sigh and a rolling of the eyes.

Putting that line aside I did say I liked some things. There were some good fight scenes and the Dark Phoenix was badass. She will never replace the Famke Janssen Jean Grey to me and that's OK. This was a remake I didn't need but was destined to watch out of fealty. I hope this is not the last we see of the X-Men.
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7/10
Rabbit Ghetto Life
15 June 2019
I read the book Watership Down over 30 years ago. It was assigned reading for my 6th grade class. That was the only assigned reading I can remember being ahead of the class on-it was that good. I think we watched the movie in class as well but I don't remember well so watching it again here in 2019 I'm really straining my brain cells to remember it all.

A clairvoyant rabbit by the name of Fiver (Richard Briers) convinces a group of his fellow rabbits to leave their warren due to an impending danger of an unknown nature. The group, led by Bigwig (Michael Graham Cox), has to make a long journey to reach the place of Fiver's vision. They encounter all sorts of problems and the problems never ceased.

It's funny that a book/movie about rabbits could be so intense. This may be an animation but don't think Disney, Illumination or anything cutsy like that. This was like a rabbit form of ghetto life: they had to deal with predators, environment, and even their own kind. It was some serious survival of the fittest.

Apparently, this movie was redone in 1999 and 2018. I think I'll skip the '99 version but the 2018 version with CGI animation should bring a new, fresher, more realistic flavor to it all.
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4/10
Fruit Fight
15 June 2019
This was the first movie I'd ever seen where the director wasn't listed last in the opening credits. It was just more wackiness from there.

This movie was silly, wacky, and dumb. It was also bad. I guess if we were to do a budget to goodness ratio it wasn't that bad.

AotKT was very much a spoof of sorts poking fun at the idea of making a scary movie out of seemingly innocuous things. The title itself is a giveaway that the movie is not serious. The idea of tomatoes being able to actively kill people is totally absurd. There were plenty of Airplane-esque scenes and lines. I chuckled once or twice but the humor in this movie just wasn't doing it for me. And fortunately, it didn't change my opinion about tomatoes.
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5/10
Good Until the End
15 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I thought the movie was solid up until the end. Besides the zombies I saw a lot of parallels between this and The Walking Dead. It's clear that The Walking Dead borrowed some ideas from this movie: the slow moving undead, the settling in a fortified location, and the dealing with malicious human beings.

The movie was moving along a particular arc until the very end when Peter decided to be suicidal. Well, until he wasn't. The whole mall is getting overrun by zombies, they've found their hidden upstairs location so it is clearly time to get in the helicopter and leave. Instead, he tells the woman to go ahead because he's done. Peter has decided he's not going to run anymore he is done with life. She goes up to the chopper, fires it up, and waits. Peter goes into a room, grabs a little gun, points it at his head, and waits. Once zombies breach the little room Peter was in he has second thoughts and decides he wants to live.

That was the point I thought the movie just derailed; not completely but somewhat. Either he's going to commit suicide or he's not. Because, by waiting until the horde of zombies was on him his fate should have been sealed. At that point he should have either killed himself or been zombie food. Alas, he narrowly escapes, gets into the chopper, and they go wherever they go. I did not like that ending. They should've either gone earlier or she should have gone and left him to die.
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