Category Archives: Movies

Saturday Morning Movie 4/18/2020

Had a lot of laughs with this one. The kids seem to really enjoy a costume-heavy production.

Did Disney pull a “A New Hope” and add a subtitle to this after the sequels came out? I don’t remember the “The Curse of the Black Pearl” bit from when we saw it in the movies.

Saturday morning movies are great because it’s a dedicated coffee/family time alongside a solid movie with the whole rest of the day to do whatever.

Saturday Morning Movie

What If is a rom-com that none of us had seen.
It was decent.
We liked the people in it (Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Adam Driver, Mackenzie Davis) so the some of the more random plot/character/vfx choices were easier to swallow.

Since this wasn’t the lesson-in-film of the last few weeks, it was a much more casual viewing experience. The kids like it well enough. Probably because it was under three hours.

Saturday Cinema

It was a hard sell getting the kids to watch this one, not because of the content but because of the length. It’s almost 3 1/2 hours long. There was an intermission.

We did it, though, and it was fun.

This morning’s quarantine movie

It was a bigger hit with the kids than we expected. While it may be an all-time great American Film, it is definitely in the 70’s cinema style and we weren’t sure how it would play with the Zoomers.

The only real gripe the kids had was that it was too long. They’re not wrong.

We’re going to try to tackle Part 2 tomorrow.

Matt Damon on the Ringer Podcast

I’m in the bag for Matt Damon and this is a fun interview. It was set up to talk about Rounders (a movie I enjoy very much) but he also spends time talking about his contemporaries and how they came up in the 90’s

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

It’s been about 200 years since I was current on Spider-Man’s happenings but I love the look of this trailer.

I don’t know if this is supposed to be in 3-D or not. There is a lot of RGB channel shifting, but it isn’t there all the time so I’m not sure.

Even with that nit-pick, I love-love the imagery and it’s got the fun dialogue that the Marvel hero movies have done so well.

I want to see this in a theater.

Aretha Franklin – “Something He Can Feel”

I’ve been on a tremendous Aretha Franklin kick lately. Her work in the late 60’s through the early 70’s is my favorite in her catalog. Here’s a good one to start your Monday.

Curtis Mayfield-penned hit from the 1976 movie soundtrack “Sparkle” (starring a pre-Miami Vice Philip Michael Thomas and Irene Cara). Aretha doesn’t sing it in the movie, but she does on the soundtrack. It’s a killer slow-burn.

I only ever knew about the En Vogue version from 1992, with the video drawn right from the film. It’s also great:

I feel obligated to share the Sparkletrailer here. It’s narrated by Casey Kasem, for one, and it is evidence that movie trailers have always given away the whole plot.

And then they re-made the movie in 2012 with Jordan Sparks and Whitney Houston?!? Crazy.

Baby Driver (2017)

I went to the movies by myself over the holiday and saw Baby Driver, the new bank heist/car chase movie from Edgar Wright. I loved it and, without any spoilers, these are some the reasons why:

  • The Music – Have Mercy! The soundtrack for this movie is so great. There is a Spotify playlist of the songs that I’ve been listening to non-stop. The way it is used in the movie is smart, too. I stuck around through the credits and saw that Kid Koala made all of Baby’s tape remixes. He’s an excellent DJ you should check out if you haven’t heard of him.
  • The Driving – I’m a big fan of the Ken Block-style Gymkhana stunt driving videos and the car chases in Baby Driver are directly influenced by them. All of that crazy drifting and hand brake skidding is fun to watch.
  • The Edgar Wright Stuff – Edgar Wright makes cool-looking movies that have lots of little treats for attentive viewers. His Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy is stuffed with signature scenes and moments that tie the whole thing together. It’s clever film making and I was ready to see what would be in Baby Driver. I noticed:
    1. the lyrics to the opening song show up as graffiti and on pasted-flyers in the background as Baby is walking to work
    2. the gunshots in the numerous firefights all seemed to be on the beat of the song that was playing at the time (this made a neat effect)
    3. the music in the film is just a little bit louder than you normally hear soundtracks in other movies (which I think is a nod to Baby’s tinnitus)

I’m recommending this movie to everyone who will listen. It’s a near-perfect summer movie.

Star Wars 7, Likes and Dislikes

(this post is about the new Star Wars movie and there will be spoilers, not that you haven’t already seen it…)


I’m a Star Wars kid. I was born in 1972 and had a childhood steeped in all of it. Nowadays, any sense of awe or wonder I had toward Star Wars was eaten completely away by the first two prequels. So much so that I didn’t even bother with the third. I thought that I had maybe outgrown the whole idea of getting geeked on Star Wars movies. I was really surprised to hear all of the good reviews of Star Wars 7 so I went with the family to see it on Christmas Eve. I already knew the big surprise in the movie, the death of Han Solo, but I had successfully avoided learning anything else about what was happening. I wanted to see it and talk about it before I heard about anything else.

I’ve cooked up this list of things I liked and didn’t like so my curmudgeonly attitude can be documented for posterity.

-Rey is an awesome protagonist. Smart, fast, brave, all of that crap you want in your hero.
-Finn was great sidekick material, but not structured like a classic Robin. He’s full grown with his own ideas, but he didn’t want to lead the way.
-The Millenium Falcon. It was one of very few throwback moments that worked for me. Probably because it didn’t have any dialogue.
-Kylo Ren. His modulated voice was creeeepy and the way he went into not-terribly-Jedi tantrums helped build out the character.

-All of the goddamn Fanservice. Every time someone over 45 started talking I was pulled right out of whatever cool/new Star Wars they were trying to build. It was really frustrating.
-R2D2 and C-3PO, see above. Nothing more than some fanboy slathering.
-Poe the new hotshot pilot. Super-boring.
-Maz Kenada, every time they said her name I could only think of the Sergio Mendes hit song. I thought the character was fine, but the name was terrible.
-The new, new, new Death Star. This was particularly dumb. Planet-sized guns again?
-The hologram chessboard. This was overkill on the throwbacks after the lightsaber training ball thing.
-The CGI monsters that ate everyone. They looked like something from a Men In Black movie, which is to say they were well-rendered but looked out of place in Star Wars.

For the record, my wife and kids thought it was great. They gave me plenty of the “cranky old man” treatment afterward. I deserved it.