One of the films that I watched for my Throwback Thirty was the Michael Caine and Steve Martin comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. It wasn’t the worst film that I watched last year but it didn’t really make an impact. So, the news that it was being remade with Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson didn’t necessarily leave me feeling super excited. I’m all for getting more female leads in comedy films but why does it have to be like this? Dirty Rotten Scoundrels was itself a remake. So, The Hustle is a remake of a remake. I know it’s a bit of a cliche to say that Hollywood is out of ideas but, is Hollywood out of ideas or something? And, as much as I don’t want to sound like those awful men on the internet, I just didn’t really see what the gender switch was really going to add to the story.
This is last TBT post of November. A fact that can only mean one thing: we’re only 4 posts away from the end of this whole series. In just four weeks time I never have to watch a film from 1988 ever again if I don’t want to. Somehow I’ve managed to avoid watching any of the “decent” films that I had intended to watch. I kind of feel like I need to at least watch Cinema Paradiso as it was the Oscar winner from that year. But, then again, when there are still so many shitty films out there it’s impossible to imagine sitting down to watch something good. I know that I’m watching both Scrooged and Die Hard in December so it just begs the question, what are the other two going to be? But, let’s not think about that now. Not when we have a film all about female empowerment. It’s all feeling very progressive but is it as predictable as I think it’s going to be?
Maybe it’s growing up in the UK or maybe it’s the fact that my father was a massive fan of Blackadder but I love Rowan Atkinson. I think he’s genuinely one of the funniest people who has ever lived. When it comes to physical comedy and facial expression, I can’t think of any other actor who comes close to Atkinson. He can make any situation funny by simply gurning in the right way. So, despite how silly the Johnny English films have beem, I am always kind of happy to watch on. It even meant that I was looking forward to the latest one. Even though it has been a good 7 years since the second film came out and 15 since the first one. Did I think it was necessary to bring it out? Nah. Was I going to watch it? Of course. These films have always set out to be as silly as possible. And, in these dark political times, it’s probably a good time for Johnny English to come back out of retirement to show it’s fine to take the piss out of ourselves.
Continuing with my apparent comedy horror theme for this month, I’m reviewing another sequel to a cult classic. This time it’s the film that followed up 1978’s Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. The first film is a ridiculous and terrible horror parody of those 1950s B movies about huge monsters rampaging through a quiet American town. It flipped it on its head and, though a lot of the jokes don’t land or are incredibly desperate, there is a lot of fun to be had. It’s so fucking random and weird that it’s impossible not to enjoy it on some level. From the moment you hear the title song at the start of the film you know you’re in for a ride. Then it’s a roller coaster of bad acting and poor people being paid to roll around with actual tomatoes. It’s perfect. The ultimate “so bad it’s good film”. As for the sequel, it’s something that I’ve only seen bits of many years ago. Sticking in my mind only because it stars a young George Clooney. So, in the spirit of last, I decided it was worth rewatching the orignal and follow it up with the sequel. Of course, I was slightly worried that the whole process would put me off eating tomato soup or pizza for the next few weeks but I’m willing to sacrifice these types of things for this blog I guess.
Once again, the film Gods were against me and I didn’t get the chance to watch new releases. So I took the opportunity to watch this Netflix film that’s been on my radar since it came on the site. It’s something I wasn’t exactly sure about but I was interested in its cast. I’m a huge fan of Kristen Bell in general and I have fond memories of Kelsey Grammer from Frasier. Of course, his appearance as Beast in the third X-Men film took some time to get over but I still think he’s a good actor. Plus, his appearances in 30 Rock were more than enough to take my mind of it. “Frajer!!!!” But, as I say every time I review a Netflix original, I have no faith in their ability to make original and exciting films. They tend to make middle- of-the-road stuff that won’t offend anyone but that you won’t be in a rush to rewatch them. We’re still at a point where the only truly great film is Okja . Unless we’re talking about documentaries. Then there’s bloody loads of them. I don’t see how they can make such amazing television but so many boring films. Still, I’m ever hopeful so I watched this film desperate for something different.
I have a lot of books. Too many books if you ask some people. I have so many books that they’re piled up on the floor in every available space. I have bookshelves in every room and boxes overflowing with reading material. I’m obsessed with books. In terms of volume, I own more books than anything else. Although, I’m quickly catching up to that total with my collection of items featuring Jeff Goldblum’s face. Of course, there is a big difference but I’m slowly amassing a great selection of things with Jeff Goldlum on. Mostly it’s of that classic Jurassic Park scene where he’s unnecessarily sexy because it’s an iconic moment. I have mugs, pillows, t-shirts, and Funko Pop Vinyls all using that scene as inspiration. But, when it comes to Goldblum, I’m not fussy. He’s a fantastic actor and an incredibly interesting human being. I adore everything about him. And, it just so happens, that he’s the star of today’s TBT post. A film that I’d heard about but never seen until yesterday. I’ve been feeling a bit unenthusiastic about this feature lately but the prospect of watching this really invigorated me. I was actually looking forward to it for a change. And it wasn’t just about the prospect of seeing more of sexy Goldblum.
When I first heard about it, I Feel Pretty was being marketed as some sort of feminist propaganda. I saw it mentioned on Facebook as being a must-see because of how super empowering it would be for all women. Then I saw the trailer and I got really angry. The film that was supposedly meant to provide a message about body positivity was actually just a run of jokes about Amy Schumer being fatter than a model. It really didn’t seem very empowering to me. This anger also made me really interested to see it but I knew I would hate it so much that I didn’t want to see it at the cinema. That would be giving it too much credit. But, inevitably, my fascination got the better of me so I finally watched it. Preparing for the worst. Continue reading
John Hughes wrote a shitload of films. A hell of a lot more than I’ve ever really appreciated. Looking at his filmography has shown me just how much of an influence he had over my childhood and teenage years without me ever realising. Obviously, films like The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles are classic 80s teen films that everyone knows about. Then there’s kid friendly things like Home Alone and Uncle Buck both of which I’ve loved for years. But, as it turns out, there’s absolutely loads of films I’ve always enjoyed that were written by him too. After all, what kid really pays any attention to who writes a film? I mean if I had £1 for every time my sister and I watched the 1994 film Dennis the Menace I’d had a fuckload of pound coins right now. It was only thanks to Wikipedia today that I realised it was written by non other than John Hughes. Miracle on 34th Street is one of my top 10 Christmas films without me ever realising that it was another Hughes film. So, all set with the knowledge that John Hughes is probably single-handedly responsible for my cinematic awakening, I set out to watch another of his films that I’d never seen before. Would it be another classic or another Mr Mom?
I’m starting to get to the point with my TBT film jar where the fun films are getting fewer and the more serious ones are piling up. It will mean that I will finally get to see some of the classics of the 80s that I’ve always put off but it also means I’ll have to be in the right frame of mind when I watch them. Today I don’t think I could have handled anything other than this light-hearted crime caper. It’s been my day off and I’ve been super lazy all day. So lazy, in fact, that I fell asleep during my initial viewing of this film and missed a good chunk of the story. Once I’d been revitalised by my nap I went back and finished it properly. I don’t think my inability to stay awake was caused by the film itself. More the fact that my bastard body clock refuses to let me sleep in when I’m not working. The problem with working 7am shifts during the week means I’ve not had a proper lie in for years. I miss my uni days when I could genuinely sleep in all morning and not give a shit. Also, back in those days, because I had so little contact time, I could watch at least 3 films in one day.
At work today, a friend and I were trying to come up with our fantasy dinner party guest list. You know, where you pick 5 people living or dead to attend your perfect party. Looking for inspiration I did the only thing someone in this day and age can: I Googled it. I was shocked to find one person picking Tom Hanks for her top 5. Tom Hanks? Out of all of the people of the past or present they’d pick Tom Hanks. But, I guess, he’s Hollywood’s Mr Nice Guy. He’s for sure one of the most charming actors around. And I don’t think I can imagine a more charming pairing than Tom Hanks and Sally Field. Sally Field is so fucking adorable that together I guess you’re just gonna be constantly smacked around the face with charm. It’s like that Black Books episode about the travel writer. One of the quotes suggesting the reader was “swept away on a wave of charm”. And, knowing very little about Punchline, that’s exactly how I felt going in to today’s TBT film. I couldn’t imagine this film being so bad that I ended up not still loving the two leads.