RECENTLY WATCHED MOVIES

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Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood

Well I recently say down and watched "Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood" a spoof film from 1996 whose title is a nod to some of the films it tries to make fun of such as "Menace II Society", "South Central", "Juice", and "Boyz in the Hood".

Unfortunately I haven't watched any of the movies this film is trying to make fun of. As such I think I'm probably missing a lot of the necessary context to full enjoy this film. On the plus side a few of the jokes are still funny in my opinion even without that.

To make matters worse a lot of the jokes are rather crass and juvenile and revolve around things like drugs, sex, excrement, and turning commonly held negative stereotypes about black people up to eleven. And the last one was so prominent that when Roger Ebert discussed the movie he opined about how this film would be viewed as highly racist if white people were behind it.

The film also includes some political jokes as well as 4th wall humor with the main character telling a child actor that they are endangered species because rappers are taking all of the good acting jobs.

As for political jokes we have a scene where cops play a game about beating up minorities during a police stop at jail and have a black officer go on a rant about how he hates black people so much that he hates black pepper, black pants, and even his service pistol because it's black as well.

And the film includes a few subtle jokes like one of the major side characters living on Drive By Boulevard.

I suppose in the end I'm not entirely sure if I should like or dislike this film. I don't think I'd be willing to sit down and watch it again anytime soon, but I also don't dislike the film enough to tell people to avoid it either.

Though, I suppose this would be a film people would like if they enjoyed "Scary Movie" since two of the three writers in this film also helped write "Scary Movie".
I re-watched Labyrinth and NeverEnding Story yesterday for the first time in a long time, and I almost forgot how corny they are. I still enjoyed them despite that. They were two of my favorite movies when I was really young, so it might be nostalgic bias, but I don't really care.
Dudesoft
always a dudesoft, never a soft dude.
6309
Recently did a triple movie marathon. Dr Strange 2, Fantastic Beasts: This Time It's Dumbledore, and Sonic 2.

Dr Strange: The Multiverse of Madness
Unspoiler: Sam Raimi is back from a seeming retirement to direct the latest MCU film. And boy, did they let him go wild. This film is so Sam Raimi you'll forget you're watching a MCU movie.
Spoilered:
The villain was a total left turn I did not expect. However, I thought about it afterwards, and overall it really made a lot of sense. The character's arc led to this. I'm eager to see the further fall out of this series change.
There's so much to gush about in this spoiler tag, but I don't want to go too in-depth. No point. Everything from the character line up, to the end battle was a complete joyride.

I hope we see more from Raimi. He's the perfect director for Dr Strange.

Fantastic Beasts: And Then There Was Dumbledores, is not a great movie. But that's par for the course on Fantastic Beasts. Yet, it was a fun little ride. I hope they conclude the Fantastic Beasts story, just for my sense of closure. Regardless, this rag tag team of hamfisted characters joins forces yet again to trot the globe of the Wizarding World.
This time they're literally on a nonsense quest to "confuse" the Grindelwald guy. (Who looks suspiciously does not look like Johnny Depp, with no explanation included)
The plot of this movie is so bad, and random, with no rhyme of reason behind it; they decided to just label it as plot and pretend they did a good job? eh.


Sanic 2
Fun movie, better than the first, but trundling down further down the road of "mascot in our world". It's a real shame they made it a Hollywood film, instead of just a cartoon. Mario is coming in December or so, and while the voice cast all but confirms it's just going to try to be The LEGO Movie in the Mushroom Kingdom; I think having it set in a cartoon world, will allow them the freedom to explore the cartoon/unrealistic aspects of video games.
Sonic having human characters means that every so often we have to force the plot, kicking and screaming, back to focus on them for a while. It's just tedious, bogs down the story, and slows down the emersion into Sonic stuff! I have hopes for the future, and most of them are tethered to taking the Blue Blur off of Earth. Get our boi to Mobius! Let's see some cartoon fun!
All that said, these movies are a real joy to watch.
I forgot about this thread but also I saw Everything Everywhere All at Once and I can't recommend it enough. Even if it has all the hype in the world and that might put you off... I'm saying that the hype was real and if you can see it in a theater I definitely recommend seeing it in a theater.
kentona
Your mom is a hero
20844
The Bad Guys
Kind of a corny predictable kids movie plot and characters BUT WOW IS THE ANIMATION FANTASTIC! Just absolutely stellar cinematography. Fluid and expressive animations. Killer choreography.

It's an enjoyable enough movie on its own - not fantastic or anything - but worth a watch to appreciate the animation.
King Kong vs Godzilla (1963)
Well I was watching the American version of this film actually managed to fall asleep around the 30 minute mark. Admittedly I didn't get that much sleep the night before because of a migraine, but the amount of time wasted in the first thirty minutes on establishing a pointless UN reporter just utterly murdered the pacing.

Jeez, they wasted the first three minutes of the film on an event that didn't even tie into the rest of the movie.

Reigo: King of the Sea Monsters
A sincere low budget Kaiju movie that is held back by it's PS1 to PS2 era CGI effects. And the final bit where the Yamato gets destroyed is done in a way that is meant to be artsy, but just comes across as confusing in my opinion.

The movie also doesn't do itself any favors when it comes to Reigo's design since it's clearly based on Godzilla. Admittedly that probably shouldn't come as much as a surprise since the person that designed Reigo also designed a version of Godzilla that was based on Godzilla being descended from a species of mosasaur.
Well, I finished off the planned Bargain Bin Saturday episodes for June by taking a look at:

Monster from a Prehistoric Planet
This kaiju film is about some scientist stealing a baby kaiju while looking for rare and unusual specimens in the South Sea for a theme park. As you can expect mommy and daddy kaiju really don't take there son/daughter being kidnapped very well and invade Japan in search of him and proceed to tear the place up and lay waste to airplanes and tanks with energy beams.

Eventually the scientists do the smart thing and return the baby and the family of giant monsters fly off into the sunset to return to their small island home in the South Sea.

The movie also includes a few bits that have only gotten worse with age with our female lead declaring at the end of the movie that she's going to give up her career to become a stay at home mom that washes diapers.

Destroy All Planets
This is the 4th film in the Gamera franchise. Unfortunately the film is also a mixed bag since it features a lot of stock footage. The American version that I have includes even more stock footage in order to pad the run time out to 90 minutes so the film can fill out a two hour TV slot. After all, you also have to factor in commercials.

Suffice to say about a third of the film is reused stock footage from the previous movies which makes this one a bit of a slog to get through at times. After all, who wants to watch old footage in a new movie. To make matters worse some of the recycled footage is in black and white while the bulk of the film is in color.
pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
29202
The Northman

After hearing good things about this movie, I had planned on watching it, but it wasn't going to be for a while. Two days ago, though, I was gifted a chance to watch the movie by a Youtube movie reviewer named Alachia Queen, so, yesterday, I went ahead and watched it.

It's rare these days that a movie has my full attention. I get distracted and often find myself doing something else for a little bit while the movie plays in the background. So, the fact that I was completely invested in this movie is totally to its advantage. I noticed the issues that the storytelling had, but wasn't taken out of the movie by them except at one point towards the end. For once, I sat down and watched a new movie and didn't feel the need to analyze it. The first fifteen minutes of the movie didn't leave me hopeful, but once it got going, I forget everything outside the film.

The movie has a compelling protagonist, that at the beginning, you find yourself rooting for, and then you're thrust 20 years into his future and you find that you have no idea who he is as an adult. And the film isn't going to tell you for quite some time. So, this movie definitely drops the ball on character development, although, when the movie finally does start to show us who he is, it manages to mostly make up for it.

The following paragraphs have major spoilers. No, seriously, don't read unless you don't mind the movie being completely spoiled:

It's supposed to be a retelling of the story that Hamlet is based on, but it ends up being substantially Hamlet. People who know Amleth's story from the Gesta Danorum will see it. It clearly establishes the character of Amleth as being the same character from the Gesta Danorum, but the movie chooses to forego the arc of that story and gives us the primary story beats of Hamlet instead. In fact, I had to see for myself, so I read it on sacred-texts.com and it follows none of the story beats of the Gesta Danorum (this isn't unusual. I read any ancient folklore that catches my attention). The suggestion is laughable. The Northman is definitely just Hamlet.

Now, Hamlet is a revenge tale, and The Northman is distinctly hardcore viking in the most modern sense of what you would expect. There is only one major difference between Hamlet and this movie, and that is that the love interest doesn't kill herself, but instead goes on to have his kids, who become king and queen. This sets up a somewhat happy ending and I feel like it sort of robs the story of what it's trying to do. It neuters the revenge plot. But by the time we get to this point where Amleth is in this position where he has a lover pregnant with his children, and he's being convinced to leave his revenge and hate behind him, this is where I started yelling at the movie. You see, by this time, Amleth has killed his uncle's older son pretty viciously and then spent two days under torture taunting him. Now, the story has suggested that Amleth is actual bad guy...which, it's a revenge tale. As bad as the antagonist might be, the whole point of a revenge story is that the protagonist is no better, but it doesn't matter anymore! Whether or not Amleth is a bad guy in this, he's killed his uncle's son! Brutally! He can't leave! He can't just not finish what he's started, and it feels insulting to my intelligence when the narrative tries to trick me into thinking he's just going to leave his uncle in peace now that he's murdered his uncle's son in his sleep!

It feels like this scene where Amleth is leaving with his love interest, Olga, is trying to set up the rest of the movie as if he's actually the good guy. He's not going for revenge anymore! He's going to make sure his children aren't hunted by his uncle! Then he gets back to his uncle's farm...and...yeah, this is totally still about revenge. And it passes off the killing of his mother and uncle's younger son as self-defense, but he didn't even hesitate. This is totally about revenge. And like Hamlet, this ends with the death of both protagonist and antagonist, but the movie's already firmly established that death in combat is the only death worth dying, and Amleth has a family that is going to carry on his line. It gives you a happy ending where he's being taken to Valhalla while his wife goes on to bear his children and after how the final act went down, it feels...it follows logically. It's not like the ending is out of place, but the happiness isn't really earned in that you don't feel like Amleth really deserves this ending. You could forgive him for killing his uncle's older son, however vicious it may have been, but after watching him kill his mother and half-brother/cousin, I just couldn't root for this guy anymore.


Complaints aside, I totally enjoyed the movie. There was just that one thing that took me out of the movie and got me screaming at the computer monitor. Then what happens after...it ignores that scene but it pretty much follows the way the story was going and although it feels forced, it's still a neat movie to watch. The ending the movie gave us was a little disappointing, but it wasn't a bad ending. The movie has issues. I didn't notice (mostly) until I had finished watching and had a chance to think about it. I recommend it. Others wouldn't and it's valid. This movie definitely isn't everyone's cup of tea.
The Gray Man - This movie was everything I expected. 10/10 for me, amazing action movie, good story. Great cast, Chris Evans played an amazing villain.
Frogge
I wanna marry ALL the boys!! And Donna is a meanc
18354
Checkmate marketing bot - no real person would like The Gray Man.
pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
29202
Frogge
Checkmate marketing bot - no real person would like The Gray Man.


What if he likes Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs?
kentona
Your mom is a hero
20844
author=pianotm
Frogge
Checkmate marketing bot - no real person would like The Gray Man.
What if he likes Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs?


or the entirety of the Land Before Time catalogue?
kentona
Your mom is a hero
20844
Anyway, watched Lightyear with the family last night. It was a decent enough movie, but nothing too gripping. Kind of felt like it was going through the motions. I had some major gripes about the MISSION though!

spolars:

Why the heck did they land the entire orbital ship on the unknown planet? Why isn't it a scout ship, or a robotic probe? Why was there no one or AI or something monitoring the status of the ship during their away mission?

Why would you design an interstellar colonization ship with only ONE hyperspace crystal??

Where was Earth during this 62 year mission? Why did they not try to communicate their predicament with Star Command and get a resolution that way - either resupply, reinforcements, or at least guidance on how to diagnose and fix the engines?

Who did Future Buzz encounter in the first place, and why was he able to commandeer their advanced warship singlehandedly?
I watched "Finch" (2021) last week.
It's a pleasure to watch and something to think about. Everyone will find something for their mind and heart.
Frogge
I wanna marry ALL the boys!! And Donna is a meanc
18354
author=pianotm
Frogge
Checkmate marketing bot - no real person would like The Gray Man.
What if he likes Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs?

an actual good movie (masterpiece, even)

author=kentona
or the entirety of the Land Before Time catalogue?

hey, I didn't say I liked them, just that I watched all of them
pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
29202
author=Frogge
an actual good movie (masterpiece, even)


I mean, I think Ice Age: The Meltdown is the better movie in the series, but cool. It has the best Scrat gags (they'll never be surpassed.).
But I was simply asking that if he likes Ice Age 3, is he still a bot?
author=pianotm
author=Frogge
an actual good movie (masterpiece, even)
I mean, I think Ice Age: The Meltdown is the better movie in the series, but cool. It has the best Scrat gags (they'll never be surpassed.).
But I was simply asking that if he likes Ice Age 3, is he still a bot?


I guess until I watch Dentist 2, I'm still a bot.
Well, I've done a lot of Bargain Bin Saturday episodes over the last few days so I've actually watched a few movies I can post about.

Texas Terror

I really don't get the choice of name for this movie since only one person dies to my knowledge. An older man whose recently withdrawn a lot of money from his bank account to get his ranch up and running again since his granddaughter is planning on returning soon to take over the business.

Oddly enough he isn't even killed for his money but for holding up a bunch of robbers that hit up the bank shortly after he left and was shot from behind by one of them that got the drop on him since he was holding up one of the robbers in a small cabin just outside of town.

Of course, the sheriff John Higgins (John Wayne) is hot on the trail of the robbers and thinks he's the one that shot and killed the old man who happened to also be a good friend of his. Afterwards he turns in his badge and becomes a desert rat, but is convinced to return to the rest of the society after the granddaughter shows up and is almost killed upon entering the territory by that same group of robbers from before.

Eventually the granddaughter learns that John Wayne supposedly killed her grandpa and banishes him from her property only for John Wayne to come back later to apprehend the real killer. He then heads off to live in the middle of nowhere but the granddaughter tracks him down with the help of some native Americans who eventually take off after she spends over an hour in John Wayne's home since their hungry and don't have time for female shenanigans.

All and all the movie is pretty standard B-movie from it's time period. And tends to move at a fast pace since the movie is around 50 minutes long. The worst thing about the movie is probably the granddaughter played by Lucille Brown whose introduction is so painful it utterly ruins her character. She literally introduces herself and tells us things about herself that we should already know.

The Lawless Frontier

Another B tier western starring John Wayne as John Tobin a man whose after a ruthless outlaw for murdering his parents. Of course this outlaw has decided to attack a home just outside of a nearby town since he wants to make the daughter of an old miner his latest conquest. And even talks about her being another romance in the romantic tales of Pandro Zanti while saying her father's death will be just another tragedy he wrote during his life of crime.

Honestly the weirdest thing about Zanti is that he's supposedly half White and half Native American, but speaks with a Mexican accent. I suppose this could be a 5D criminal chess move or a weird way of recognizing that Earl Dwire took on the role of being a Native American or Mexican criminal in a lot of movies.

At any rate the movie suffers from terrible editing with there being a scene where Ruby, Sheila Terry, is being chased by members of Zanti's gang only for the movie to then cut to a scene where she's having a conversation with John Tobin about what's been going on.

And the opening scene where John finds his parent's dead bodies is never really referenced to during the rest of the movie. They could have easily left it out and just had John mention it in passing.

And there's a weird scene where John Tobin rides a piece of wood down a drainage ditch in the middle of the desert.

And Zanti dies in a rather anti-climatic way by drinking water out of a poisoned water hole.

And the movie features a really stupid sheriff that thinks John is working with the gang because he managed to recover some stolen loot after shooting one of the gang members. Because only someone working with criminals would manage to retrieve stolen loot so easily I guess.

At any rate the movie ends with Zanti's gang being captured and John Tobin becoming the new sheriff and hooking up with Ruby.

Randy Rides Alone

I'll give this movie credit it starts out with a pretty good opening with Randy Bowers (John Wayne) walking into a saloon called the Half Way House to find a bunch of corpses strewn all about the place while a self-playing piano plays a happy little tune in the background. Apparently Randy had been hired by the owner of the saloon to investigate and help capture some criminals that had been threatening to take the saloon from him, but it looks like he acted on their threats a little too late.

At any rate Randy is arrested by the local sheriff for the murders and refuses to listen to anything Randy says. Even though he has proof he was hired by the owner of the saloon and was supposed to meet him there to get more details on his assignment. Thankfully the saloon owner's daughter Sally (Alberta Vaughn) managed to successful hide from the murders by making use of a priest hole. And after seeing evidence that Randy was hired by her father helps him escape from jail. He then joins the real criminals after discovering their secret base behind a waterfall on accident.

Shortly afterwards Sally is brought to the base by the criminals whose leader is still after the $30,000 his gang failed to find during their murder spree at the saloon. Apparently they failed to find the hidden safe just in front of the bar, but Sally shares the information with Randy who hides some of the gang's dynamite inside of the safe after he takes the money out and hides it in some saddlebags. That way even if the gang leader does get away after Randy divulges the location of the safe. He'll get blown to pieces when he tries to force his way into the safe by the dynamite going off. Which is how the movie ends.

Unfortunately the movie manages to feel a bit long even though it's only 53 minutes long since there is a lot of time spent on people riding to location y from location x. And there's a whole 23 seconds spent on panning and holding on a shot of the piano in the Half Way House. In other words, the film feels long because there is a lot of time spent on shots that weren't needed. I think you could chop a good 10 minutes out of this film and probably not lose anything important.

Sagebrush Trail

John Brant (John Wayne) is convicted for a crime he didn't commit so he escapes from prison and makes his way out West to find the real criminal. Shortly after arriving in the wild West though he finds himself being chased by the law but manages to escape by using a reed to breathe underwater while swimming to the other side of a pond while members of the law try to shoot him. Shortly after coming up he's invited to join a local gang where he eventually learns that his new buddy in the gang is the actual killer, but he decides to try and help him go straight since he likes him too much now to turn him in.

Suffice to say his new friend gets jealous of him moving in on "his" girl and arranges for the rest of the gang to kill him, but when he learns that John was found guilty of the murder he committed he decides to save him.

This leads to a massive shootout involving John, his backstabbing best friend, the rest of the gang, and the LAW. In the end John's new "friend" dies but tells the police that he was the one actually behind the murder in the city and that John is innocent. The police apparently accept this death bed confession and John is allowed to walk into the sunset with his new girlfriend played by
Nancy Shubert.

All and all I'd say the main reason to watch this one is for some of the stunt work since some of the plot elements feel rather weak. Probably one of the best stunts is watching John Wayne cover himself up in the middle of a trail with a bunch of brush and then climbing onto the back of carriage carrying valuable cargo in order to steal it. That way he can hide the loot from the gang and allow the law to reclaim it later.

Neath the Arizona Skies

In this one Chris Morrell (John Wayne) is the guardian of Nina (Shirley Jean Rickert) a half White half Native American girl whose mother's land is worth a considerable amount of money because of the oil on her land. Unfortunately she can't legally do anything with the money nor Chris invest the money on her behalf until her legal guardianship is settled. Why this needs to be settled is beyond me since her actual father abandoned Nina's mother before her birth and has never laid eyes on her. And as far as I can tell they were never married either, but at any rate Chris sets out with Nina in order to get paper work turning her legal guardianship signed over to him, but members of the local gang have caught wind of just how valuable Nina's land is and sets out to claim her guardianship so they can enrich themselves.

Along the way Chris is framed for robbing a bank when the actual criminal switches clothes with him since he found him passed out on a river bank after he had collapsed from injuries sustained during a fight with the gang. A fight that had him send Nina away on their only horse to a friend's home. A friend that had been killed recently and his land is now owned by a criminal who tells Nina she's to help his cook until he says otherwise.

Thankfully Chris is saved by the robber's sister when she runs across him as well. So Chris manages to get a new set of clothes and gets his hat back from the actual bank robber who is eventually left for dead by his partner when he reveals where he hid the money.

All and all this leads to a massive shootout at the other criminal's base where it turn's out Nina's father is working at. He takes a shine to Nina but is gunned down by the criminals so the movie doesn't have to end with a legal fight over Nina's guardianship and whose ultimately getting the $50,000 she's owed.

If I had to pick my biggest gripe with this movie it's that it really didn't need multiple criminal groups since the whole betrayal plot line could have been confined to the gang itself with members taking each other out over how much of a cut they are getting. And the movie takes too long in my opinion to get to all of the intrigue amongst the criminals anyway.

And arguably the life and career of Shirley Jean Rickert is more interesting than the movie itself with her being a member of Our Gang/Little Rascals that would go on to become a part of American burlesque as an exotic dancer under the name Gilda and her Crowning Glory. She also spent time as a truck driver for the Air Force after she retired from stripping for money. Though her time as an exotic dancer did lead to some interesting personal quotes.

"People are so amazed to hear I went from movies into burlesque. Well, I'll tell you, I prefer burlesque because it's not so immoral as the movie business."

"Detroit was one of the towns where I would appear on a kiddie TV show on Saturday morning as Shirley Jean of the Our Gang/Little Rascals, and disrobe on stage at night for the little kiddies' parents."

West of the Divide

Ted Hayden (John Wayne) infiltrates a criminal gang by pretending to be a wanted man in order to save a local rancher. This gang is also led by the man that murdered his father and left him for dead.

And at this point I really don't feel like trying to write a plot synopsis. I think I would have enjoyed his one a bit more if I hadn't watched so many other films by Lone Star Productions. This is because the film feels very stock at this point since John Wayne seems to join a criminal gang in a lot of these movies in order to take them down from the inside.

At any rate the movie does feature a few notable stunts. Albeit the best one is probably when John Wanye's character jumps off of a horse in order to go through a window while pursuing his father's killer.
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