Finally Watching [Nostalgia Movies]

Health insurance rip off lying FDA big bankers buying
Fake computer crashes dining
Cloning while they're multiplying
Fashion shoots with Beck and Hanson
Courtney Love, and Marilyn Manson
You're all fakes
Run to your mansions
Come around
We'll kick your ass in

Postby Merciel » Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:15 pm

I think that was the only part of the rampage that actually made me laugh.
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Postby Bad craziness » Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:20 am

finally saw American Graffiti for the first time tonight

fucking brilliant

giving me a lot to think about
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Postby Merciel » Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:30 pm

The Great Muppet Caper (1981)

I was very sad that Kermit was not in a mood to enjoy this movie. We'll have to show it to him again later. He loves his Sesame Street and Muppet clips on youtube so much that he will surely have his mind blown whenever he is actually able to watch movies.

It was fun seeing Diana Rigg and Charles Grodin let loose playing great big cartoon characters in a kids' movie, and a bunch of other actors pop up in hammy little bit parts. They were all clearly having a lot of fun in a way that makes you feel good just to watch them having such a good time.

The high fashion clothes were also pretty fun (although the jewelry wasn't even good rhinestone stuff, so that was a bit of a bummer). The cameos were fun, the jokes were frequently absurdist enough to get actual lols, and all in all this was fun all around. The plot is sort of endearingly misshapen and lumpy, but the plot is never the point with these things. The point is what you can do with the plot, which in the case of the Great Muppet Caper is a ton of weird and wacky stuff.

Being in puppetry in the '70s must have been a hell of a ride. The Muppets are making it big, Sesame Street is making it big, Hollywood's interested in all these increasingly fancy and expensive special effects, and there's no glimmer yet that CGI is going to destroy your career field in a generation's time.

They did some really impressive things. I still can't figure out how the bicycles worked. Clearly the bikes are part of the puppet effect (as SVC noted), but how do they get the bikes to actually move without falling over? They had these bikes going for at least half a mile in an outdoor scene that wouldn't have allowed them to use any major support equipment, and there are like 10 Muppets of different sizes and configurations in the convoy, and they're all on bikes with pedals moving the wheels and it's just, how did they do that?

9/10
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Postby Seamus » Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:49 pm

Merciel wrote:The Lion King (1994)

We did two movies tonight!

I was thinking this movie was the first one in the good Disney sequence to have any major dud songs ("Be Prepared" is the main one I'm thinking of here, but across the board the big musical numbers aren't as good as in previous films), and it turns out this is the first one Alan Menken wasn't around to work on, so that makes sense. The music's not bad by any means, it's just not as good as in the ones Menken did.

I'm amused that they reunited James Earl Jones and Madge Sinclair to reprise their roles from Coming to America.

This is supposed to be the first big Disney animated picture based on an original story rather than an adaptation of a pre-existing work, but I don't know how true that actually is. I mean, it's just Bambi with some different animals (also Jafar is a lion now, and then the hyenas... well, the hyenas at least are new).

Anyway it's pretty good, although it feels a lot flatter as an adult than it did when I was a kid. Simba's emotional arc isn't exactly the most sophisticated rendition of the hero's journey I've ever seen, and I'm not real clear on why Scar's rulership caused the pridelands to get all gray and desolate, or why reinstalling Simba as king made the grass come back. I suppose it's just supposed to be the Arthurian rightful-king-makes-kingdom-flourish thing, but it's not tremendously logical and all the other movies did a much better job of tying negative world consequences to things that the villains actually did, so, you know. NOT IMPRESSED HERE, LION KING.

I like how much of the sweeping grandeur in this thing is straight-up just stealing nature documentary shots.

I am also gratified that there is an entire verse of "Hakuna Matata" dedicated to warthog farts.

9/10


WHAT THE.... Be Prepared rules
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Postby Merciel » Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:01 pm

The visuals are pretty good. The song is not great.
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Postby Merciel » Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:29 am

The Princess Bride (1987)

I refuse to let Ted Cruz ruin this movie for me.

I love The Princess Bride unabashedly. We watched it all the time when we were kids. My dad would come and watch it with us too, because he also loved this movie. (To be fair, some of the other movies in our heavy recurring rotation were, like, the 1986 My Little Pony movie*, so I can only imagine the level of relief my dad must have felt when we didn't want to watch that again.)

(* -- we will not be doing the My Little Pony movie for the project. I am amused that the Wikipedia entry includes this tidbit, however: "With a US$674,724 gross on its wide debut [resulting in a $10M loss!], it remains one of the weakest on record among major features." I'm morbidly curious just how bad this thing would be to me now, but definitely not curious enough to actually find out.)

Anyway, back to The Princess Bride: it's great. It's charming and witty and has a heart full of genuine love for its genre, and all the performances are fantastic, and I am very impressed at how well Cary Elwes and Mandy Patinkin learned to fence for this, and also this is the only movie in which I actually like Christopher Guest. The special effects are all practical effects so they hold up remarkably well. And Andre the Giant was game enough to do all this shit while recovering from major back surgery, so I don't know how you could refuse to give him some bonus credit for that.

The gender politics are a little Problematic but not quite as much as they might seem on first glance.

In the book version of The Princess Bride (which I hated and found very disillusioning as a kid and don't recommend to anyone, because the book is as mean as the movie is nice, and William Goldman comes off as a huge dick for having written it), it's repeatedly emphasized that Princess Buttercup is a vapid idiot with nothing at all going for her beyond her looks, and Westley is kind of a dingus for loving her, and they're actually only capable of true love because Buttercup's such a simpleton that she loves with the unalloyed purity (and stupidity) of a dog's devotion.

I don't know whether that was meant to be a meta commentary on the role of princesses in traditional fairy tales. It might have been; Goldman is, after all, the guy who adapted The Stepford Wives and presumably has some thoughts on valuing women exclusively for their looks. And I read this book a long-ass time ago when my awareness of these things was not particularly developed, even for a 12- or 13-year-old kid. But I do definitely remember the book's "narrator" making that point frequently, and whether it was satire or not, it got pretty fucking annoying.

The movie doesn't really get into that, at least not overtly. But it also doesn't give Buttercup anything else to do. So she ends up being kind of an extra-passive early-model Disney princess, which is pretty lame but not really the movie's fault. It can only do so much to minimize what's in the source material, particularly given that Goldman wrote the screen adaptation himself.

Everything else in the movie is grand. Inigo Montoya's takedown of Rugen is one of the most satisfying screen vengeances ever, and it loses only a little for being overplayed.

I'm glad that I get to have happy childhood memories of this movie. It is a good one to have happy childhood memories about.

10/10
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Postby Spoilt Victorian Child » Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:47 am

I was kind of expecting it to be intolerable but yeah it was totally fine. All of Wallace Shawn's lines are dead now but the rest of the film is pretty much intact. I don't have any fond memories of watching it as a kid or anything.

Here's an excerpt from Cary Elwes's Wikipedia page. Every person's name you see here is a link to a Wikipedia page for that person:

Ivan Simon Cary Elwes was born on 26 October 1962 in Westminster, London, the youngest of three sons of portrait painter Dominic Elwes[6] and interior designer and socialite Tessa Kennedy. He is the brother of artist Damian Elwes[7] and film producer Cassian Elwes. His stepfather, Elliott Kastner, was an American film producer.[6] His paternal grandfather was painter Simon Elwes,[7] whose own father was the diplomat and tenor Gervase Elwes (1866–1921).[8] His other great-grandfathers include the diplomat Rennell Rodd, 1st Baron Rennell and industrialist Ivan Rikard Ivanović. Elwes has Croatian Jewish, English, Irish, Serbian, and Scottish ancestry.[9] His Croatian and Serbian roots come from his maternal grandmother, Daška McLean, whose second husband, Billy McLean, was an operative for Special Operations Executive during World War II.[10][11]

One of Elwes' ancestors is John Elwes, who is alleged in some sources to have been the inspiration for Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol (1843).[12] Elwes himself played five roles in the 2009 film adaptation of the novel.[12] Through his maternal grandfather, Elwes is also related to Sir Alexander William "Blackie" Kennedy, one of the first photographers to document the archaeological site of Petra following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.[13]

Elwes was brought up as a Roman Catholic and was an altar boy at Westminster Cathedral, although he did not attend denominational schools as most of the men on his father's side of the family had, including his father.[14] His paternal relatives include such clerics as Dudley Charles Cary-Elwes (1868–1932), the Roman Catholic Bishop of Northampton, Abbott Columba Cary-Elwes (Ampleforth Abbey, Saint Louis Abbey), and Father Luke Cary-Elwes (Fort Augustus Abbey).

He's almost as connected as Lena Dunham.
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Postby Spoilt Victorian Child » Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:48 am

Sorry, correction: Father Luke Cary-Elwes does not have his own Wikipedia page.
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Postby aububs » Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:41 am

Spoilt Victorian Child wrote:All of Wallace Shawn's lines are dead now but the rest of the film is pretty much intact.


can you explain what you mean here? his lines are...dead now?
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Postby chairkicker » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:16 am

dead in their effect via pop culture saturation the same way so much of the holy grail is dead now
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Postby Rainbow Battle Kid » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:31 am

Merciel wrote:The Lion King (1994)

This is supposed to be the first big Disney animated picture based on an original story rather than an adaptation of a pre-existing work, but I don't know how true that actually is.


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Postby number none » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:57 am

the Lion King is supposed to be inspired by Hamlet, although the similarities are fairly superficial

and Tezuka was supposedly heavily influenced by Bambi when he created Kimba so i guess it's the circle of life or something
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Postby aububs » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:09 am

chairkicker wrote:dead in their effect via pop culture saturation the same way so much of the holy grail is dead now


oh ok
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Postby DestructoBot » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:06 am

Merciel wrote:The Princess Bride (1987)The movie doesn't really get into that, at least not overtly. But it also doesn't give Buttercup anything else to do. So she ends up being kind of an extra-passive early-model Disney princess, which is pretty lame but not really the movie's fault. It can only do so much to minimize what's in the source material, particularly given that Goldman wrote the screen adaptation himself.


i feel like robin wright added a sort of annoyed boredom to a lot of her post-wesley scenes
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Postby Spoilt Victorian Child » Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:19 am

Catching up, the main thing I got out of Little Shop of Horrors is that Ashman probably had better things to do than write for Disney. Dentists and tract homes are pretty easy targets but he did a really good job with them. And other than "Gaston" I can't think of any Disney songs that particularly benefit from his lyrics.

I assume the shorter ending doesn't have the "Somewhere That's Green" joke so it must be worse.

The Wikipedia page for The Lion King would have me believe that Disney expected Pocahontas to be the bigger movie and distributed its resources accordingly. I have a hard time squaring that with the cast of The Lion King, which by my count includes eight actual celebrities. On the other hand, Pocahontas got Menken. But Elton John was probably more expensive.

I would rate the songs as above Aladdin's but below the other two's. "I Just Can't Wait to Be King" is really irritating but I think with different lyrics and a different singer it would probably be fine. I once made a post about how when I was 9 I fell asleep to The Lion King soundtrack on a long train ride and dreamt in a really fulfilling and memorable way about having a girlfriend. I spent a while just now trying to find it but I couldn't, but I did find this so I feel okay:

Spoilt Victorian Child wrote:I used to have a ball that looked like Rigel. Sort of like this:

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It made me feel just amazing.

Anyway I forget the rest of this post.
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Postby Spoilt Victorian Child » Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:23 am

5:30 huh, that's really great.
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Postby Merciel » Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:29 am

Dirty Dancing (1987)

This is one of the most half-assed "period" movies ever put together. It is positively delightful how much they're not even really trying to channel 1963. The token black couple is totally integrated, nobody blinks an eye. There isn't a single female character under the age of 40 in this movie who doesn't have hair straight out of 1987, and with each subsequent scene their costumes get less and less interested in even pretending to be '60s stuff, until by the climactic dance scene Penny's just rocking a straight-up off-the-shoulder red and black belted number that could have come straight out of a Bon Jovi video.

Even the music is half-assed. SVC pointed out that they didn't really need a period music consultant for this film (although they claim to have had one); you really could just listen to any oldies station for an hour and pull out the same choices.

I love it. I love everything about this movie. I love Swayze's hilariously overdone greaser accent and I love the '80s-ness of his motorcycle jacket and I love the way Jennifer Grey cracks up at him during their mambo recitals and again during the final dance number. I love that the villain has a worn-out copy of the fucking Fountainhead in his pocket and he wants it back because it's got notes in the margins.

loololololololooooolll best dumbshit villain intro ever

The class consciousness and politics in Dirty Dancing are really pretty great. We've got people acting on prejudices constantly, the poor characters scrabbling to get by and being bitter about the rich kids' obliviousness, the rich kids thinking they did everything on merit. Poor girls get used and discarded, rich ones get played for fools, neither of them is immune to rampant sexism (incl. by all the guys trying to help them) and exploitation. I don't think I've seen another major picture recently that hit so much stuff so adeptly within the confines of being a semi-lightweight rom-com that people mostly went to see because Patrick Swayze looks good sweaty.

Which he does. Male dance leads evolved considerably from Astaire to Swayze, but there's still an amazing magnetism across the decades. It's channeled into a completely different form, but it's just as much fun to watch.

I wish we still had dance pictures. I guess I could see Magic Mike (which I haven't) but I suspect it's not going to scratch quite the same itch.

10/10
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Postby Merciel » Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:36 am

I also love all the little touches like Baby keeping her extremely plain and basic white bra on under the mambo dress because she's uncomfortable wearing that dress directly until the absolute last second, and how stiff she is during that whole performance, and how their big climactic number is basically the same dance with a couple of extra frills, because of course Baby isn't going to have time to learn a whole new routine in a couple of weeks mostly spent banging Patrick Swayze.

I realize that was mostly a limitation for the actors on a brutal shooting schedule, but it worked out serendipitously to be exactly right for their characters, just like the arm tickle.
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Postby Spoilt Victorian Child » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:32 am

It is really great watching Patrick Swayze dance. Apparently his mom was a choreographer and dance instructor and that makes a lot of sense. As long as Patrick Swayze is dancing this movie is amazing.

Outside of that I think it does a lot of things well, and for the first half-hour or so I thought it was pretty deftly written. By the end though it is kind of a mess, it keeps piling on new elements and killing its momentum. I am really straining to avoid anything that could be construed as a dance metaphor. But take for example the "Nobody puts Baby in the corner" bit. Ideally we would get this somewhere near the low point in Baby's arc and everyone would be crying. But as written it's just the last of her many victories -- she's just reconciled with her sister, cracked the pickpocketing case, and reconciled with her father, and for that matter she's already had a pretty nice resolution with Swayze, and as an added bonus Robbie accidentally reveals himself as the one who got Penny pregnant. We want to see her dance again because that's just where this story is going, but it should feel like an injustice that she's not onstage, and it does not. And the reason it doesn't is that we've just watched her eat four big cupcakes. Simplify, man.

Jennifer Grey's performance is fantastic though, I didn't know she could do that. It is too bad they couldn't find a reason for Jerry Orbach to dance.

Robbie, God, what a mess. First of all just axe this character entirely, he's almost completely redundant with Kellerman, but if you're going to keep him you have to cast him better than that. And I know he's a med student because Orbach's a doctor and all but please just think for a second and make him pre-med, you can still do the thing with the letter of recommendation but now it actually makes sense that he's waiting tables over the summer and hooking up with 16-year-olds, plus you've made him a guy who tells everyone what his major is.
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Postby aububs » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:14 am

Merciel wrote:I guess I could see Magic Mike (which I haven't) but I suspect it's not going to scratch quite the same itch.


it won't scratch the same itch but it's great, you should watch it
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Postby deadwolfbones » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:00 am

Magic Mike 2 might be even better. The intro dance scene is endless lols.
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Postby aububs » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:04 am

agreed.

MM2 is just great times from beginning to end
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Postby Bartatua » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:14 am

Land before time was about my favorite movie as a child because i was really into dinosaurs and pain
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Postby Viola Swamp » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:21 am

Rainbow Battle Kid wrote:
Merciel wrote:The Lion King (1994)

This is supposed to be the first big Disney animated picture based on an original story rather than an adaptation of a pre-existing work, but I don't know how true that actually is.


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Matthew Broderick has said that when he was hired as the voice of adult Simba in The Lion King, he presumed the project was related to Kimba the White Lion.[19][20][21][22] "I thought he meant Kimba, who was a white lion in a cartoon when I was a little kid," said Broderick. "So I kept telling everybody I was going to play Kimba. I didn't really know anything about it, but I didn't really care."[23]
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Postby Milk » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:42 am

i couldn't even enjoy Dirty Dancing ironically. The fact that it is completely even less than half-assed about the time period was just so maddening to me the only time i saw it maybe ten years ago, i couldn't shut up about it. It's like there is ZERO fucking reason why this should be set in that time period and by the time they danced to time of my life (which of course could have never been written in any era but the 80's) i basically lost it. If the movie was any decent at all even in the genre you could look over it, there was no redeeming quality to it for me unfortunately. It's a ball of cheese wrapped in shit.

I suppose it's pointless to have such strong feelings (hot take) about what is by everyone's admittance a really corny piece of 80's pop culture that can in fact only be enjoyed with a healthy amount of irony but there is no doubt we would not remember it if it wasn't for a generation of little girls that grew up on it (i think all gfs i ever had except current one, who was either too old or too punk already when it came out, had a real fondness for it) Of course the same could be said of so many 80's action movies that have been undeservedly canonized by men my age (Predator is not a good movie as much as i would like to pretend it is).
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Postby Merciel » Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:46 pm

There's actually one very good reason to set it in 1963 rather than 1987, which is that Penny can't have easy access to condoms or the pill, and her abortion has to be super shady and illegal. That's what drives the whole movie, and none of that stuff works in 1987.

Plus I guess the writer was pulling from her own childhood and that was the appropriate time period for her, but I think the bigger thing is that the main plot drivers don't work in the '80s.
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Postby pana » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:29 pm

are you going to watch:

- Risky Business
- License to Drive
- No Retreat, No Surrender
- BMX Bandits
?
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Postby Merciel » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:58 pm

We could do Risky Business but none of the others qualify for the parameters of this project unless SVC has seen them.
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Postby BlackSugar » Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:02 pm

aside from being a great dancer, patrick swayze was also an UNBELIEVABLE rollerskater. his first movie role was in 'skatetown usa' and he plays ace johnson, and let me tell you something, you don't get to play the role of "ace johnson" in a movie called "skatetown usa" if you are not a superlative skater. and he really is! he had speed, could do tricks, was fearless, and had panache. that guy could do everything, except live to an old age :-(
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Postby Spoilt Victorian Child » Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:14 pm

Merciel wrote:There's actually one very good reason to set it in 1963 rather than 1987, which is that Penny can't have easy access to condoms or the pill, and her abortion has to be super shady and illegal. That's what drives the whole movie, and none of that stuff works in 1987.

Plus I guess the writer was pulling from her own childhood and that was the appropriate time period for her, but I think the bigger thing is that the main plot drivers don't work in the '80s.

Also places like Kellerman's had long since ceased to be like Kellerman's by the '80s, as alluded to in the movie and covered in this recent thread: http://forums.hipinion.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=111513
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