Saturday Double Feature: Mary Shelly (2018) and…

Another Saturday means another Saturday Double Feature!

Okay, let’s start with a quick recap of the “rules”, shall we? The basic idea here is to take a movie that is out in theaters now, and pair it up with another movie from the 1980s or before. Sometimes the connection will be obvious, and sometimes it’ll be a little less so, but that’s part of the fun.

Last week of course, was dominated at the box office by Solo, the movie which tried to prove that all you have to do i slap the Star Wars name on a movie and you have an instant blockbuster. Of course, while it did wind up winning the weekend, according to the early estimates I’ve seen, it, as the studio would say is “underperfoming”.

Anyway, as often happens on a weekend like that, other, possibly more interesting movies tend to get lost in the shuffle. One of those which also opened last week was Mary Shelly which stars Elle Fanning as the author of the classic horror novel Frankenstein.

Part of what makes this movie look more interesting than others is that, at least from the impression given by the trailer, the movie takes a feminist perspective and fights back against the idea that it would have been impossible for a woman, especially a young woman, to have written such a effective tale of terror or that she should even be interested in such things.

Here, have a look at the trailer for yourself:

Immediately upon seeing that I was taken back to 1986 and Ken Russel’s movie which tackled a similar retelling of the creation of the Frankenstein story, Gothic.

Russel, it should be noted, was not particularly interested in telling the feminist version of this story. Instead, as is typical of his films, he went straight for the more lurid aspects of the night of the story’s creation and created a drug-fueled nightmare of a movie that posits visits from demons and succubi inspired the creation of the story.

I could tell you more, but I think I’ll let the trailer sell it:

So what do you think? What would you choose for a double feature with Mary Shelly? Leave your thoughts in the comments, along with ideas of any other upcoming movies you’d like to see “double featured”. Consider it, if you will, your chance to challenge me to come up with an interesting pair.

Until next time, Happy Viewing!

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Saturday Double Feature: Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) and…

Another Saturday means another Saturday Double Feature!

Okay, let’s start with a quick recap of the “rules”, shall we? The basic idea here is to take a movie that is out in theaters now, and pair it up with another movie from the 1980s or before. Sometimes the connection will be obvious, and sometimes it’ll be a little less so, but that’s part of the fun.

Okay, let’s be honest. I really don’t have to say a lot about this week’s feature film. It’s all pretty much there in the title. This is another of Disney’s attempts to cash in on the incredible loyalty of Star Wars fandom with yet another prequel to the original trilogy.

This time they’re taking a look back at the early days of Han Solo before he grew up to be Harrison Ford and became the lovable rogue we all came to know in the first film.

Will it work? Probably. There’s enough of a fanbase that the movie will certainly make a pile of money. And really, that’s all that matters, right?

Do I sound a bit cynical about the movie? Yeah, I guess so, and I apologize to anyone that’s sincerely looking forward to it. But at this point, I’d say that it’s really Disney that are the cynical ones. Not that I can really blame them. After all, that’s their purpose – put butts in seats and make money however they can.

And, who knows? There’s always the chance it’ll turn out to be a really good movie.

Let’s just go to the trailer, shall we?

For today’s second feature, we’re going way back in time to when weekly serials were a part of the regular movie-going experience. Pretty much from the start of film, there have been  science fiction movies and space-going heroes. One of the most famous films of the silent era is Melies’s A Trip To The Moon.

One of the most famous of those space-faring heroes was Flash Gordon. Originally created in a comic strip in 1934 by Alex Raymond, Gordon was originally a famous polo player (yes. I said “famous polo player” who met up with glamorous Dale Arden and possibly mad scientist Dr. Zarkov when Earth was threatened by a collision with the planet Mongo. Traveling to Mongo and defeating it’s evil warlord Ming, Gordon became a hero of two planets and went on to have many more adventures.

The adventures of Flash Gordon have been brought to screen numerous times, both in the movies and on television. Today, though, I thought we’d look at one of the earliest versions, the 1936 serial which starred Buster Crabbe as Flash, Jean Rogers as Dale, and Charles Middleton as Ming. I’ve embedded a playlist below which should give you all of the serial chapters, one after the other.

So what do you think? What would you choose for a double feature with Solo? Leave your thoughts in the comments, along with ideas of any other upcoming movies you’d like to see “double featured”. Consider it, if you will, your chance to challenge me to come up with an interesting pair.

Until next time, Happy Viewing!

Saturday Double Feature: Deadpool 2 (2018) and…

Another Saturday means another Saturday Double Feature!

Okay, let’s start with a quick recap of the “rules”, shall we? The basic idea here is to take a movie that is out in theaters now, and pair it up with another movie from the 1980s or before. Sometimes the connection will be obvious, and sometimes it’ll be a little less so, but that’s part of the fun.

One of the surprise hits of the faux-MCU (meaning those films based on Marvel comics characters, but produced by Fox or Sony as opposed to Marvel themselves) was 2016’s Deadpool, an over-the-top interpretation by Ryan Reynolds of the “merc with a mouth” who has been a popular character in the comics for years, but wasn’t really considered a candidate for movie stardom.

The success of the original Deadpool showed at least two things, however, first, that any character, when written properly, can be a hit with audiences, and that these movies don’t have to fit into the standard PG-13 mold that seems to trap so many standard “superhero” movies.

So, thanks to the success of the first film, this weekend‘s big opener is Deadpool 2, which looks like it may be an even bigger hit than it’s predecessor. If nothing else, it has a lot more name recognition now, plus it has been the subject of a huge (and highly creative) marketing campaign.

Let’s take a look at part of that campaign, shall we? (Fair warning, the trailer is NSFW.)

You may have noticed that I put the word “superhero” in quotes above, because Deadpool, being a mercenary, doesn’t really qualify as a “hero”. At best he’s more of an anti-hero. So it  seemed fitting, when looking for something to pair it with, to look at other oddball anti-hero movies based on comic books.

The Crow was based on a comic series created by James O’Barr. The series ran through various comics put out by various companies during the late 1980s and early 90s. In 1994 it was turned into a movie starring Brandon Lee, the son of movie legend Bruce Lee.

The Crow is the story of Eric Draven who, at the beginning of the film is found murdered and his fiancee has been beaten and raped. One year later his grave is visited by a mysterious giel and then by a crow. That night, Eric rises from the grave and begins to seek revenge on those who killed him and attacked his fiancee. He paints his face to look like a harlequin mask and is aided in his quest by the crow who has seemingly brought him back to life.

The movie is unfortunately infamous for an on-set accident involving a prop gun that misfired and fatally wounded Lee who, though he was rushed to the hospital, died that evening. The film was finished after some script re-writes by using stunt men in place of Lee and through digital effects.

The end result is a moody and atmospheric film which serves as a fitting memorial to its star and an intriguing and stylish movie in its own right.

(And yes, I know I kind of cheated with this one, since the “rules” say the movie should be from the 80s or before, but the fit was so good I couldn’t pass it up. Plus, since I;m the one that makes the rules, I’m the one that gets to break them, too, right?)

So what do you think? What would you choose for a double feature with Deadpool 2? Leave your thoughts in the comments, along with ideas of any other upcoming movies you’d like to see “double featured”. Consider it, if you will, your chance to challenge me to come up with an interesting pair.

Until next time, Happy Viewing!

Saturday Double Feature: Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and…

Another Saturday means another Saturday Double Feature!

Okay, let’s start with a quick recap of the “rules”, shall we? The basic idea here is to take a movie that is out in theaters now, and pair it up with another movie from the 1980s or before. Sometimes the connection will be obvious, and sometimes it’ll be a little less so, but that’s part of the fun.

I suppose there’s no avoiding this weekend’s big release, and if I’m being honest I have to admit that I’m rather looking forward to seeing Avengers: Infinity War. Marvel has been doing a lot of things right lately with their movies, and I have high hopes that the trend will continue with this one.

Of course, it does run the risk of being an impossibly bloated movie with its ambitions of bringing together pretty much every hero who has ever appeared in a Marvel movie,but nonetheless, if it’s approached with the same thoughtfulness, style, and sense of humor that have characterized the studio’s film of late, it may very well pay off its premise and its promise.

I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of promos and trailers already unless you’ve just been completely abstaining from media for the past few weeks, but let’s go ahead and take a look at the trailer anyway.

Okay, so as we have been all month I wanted to stick to the theme of pairing the new film with one from 1968. Not one of the easiest tasks of the month, since there wasn’t exactly a proliferation of superhero movies during the era.

There was, however, one hero who made his debut that year, and to make it even better, since Marvel is now owned by Disney, they were also the studio behind this film.

If there’s one thing that Marvel movies have shown us, it’s that heroes come in all shapes, sizes, and forms. After all, this is the studio that had a movie where the breakout stars were a perverse space-faring racoon and an animate tree. So I don’t think it’s that much of a stretch to call a Volkswagen Beetle, especially one as talented and charming as Herbie, a hero.

That’s right, the movie I’ve picked for our double feature today is The Love Bug.

Dean Jones plays Jim Douglas, a down-on-his-luck race car driver who is now competing in demolition derbies. He goes looking for a new car and runs into a white Beetle that is being abused by its owner. He defends the car and the next day wakes up to find it sitting outside his home.with the owner charging him with grand theft. He is finally persuaded to buy the car which soon proves to have a mind of its own.

Herbie, as the car is christened, soon proves his mettle on the race track, while at the same time proving that he is also a master of the heart as he works at bringing Jim and his girlfriend Carole together.

The movie went on to spawn a number of sequels and even a short lived TV show..

Here’s your trailer:

So what do you think? What would you choose for a double feature with Hurricane Heist? Leave your thoughts in the comments, along with ideas of any other upcoming movies you’d like to see “double featured”. Consider it, if you will, your chance to challenge me to come up with an interesting pair.

Until next time, Happy Viewing!

Saturday Double Feature: Godard Mon Amour (2018) and…

Another Saturday means another Saturday Double Feature!

Okay, let’s start with a quick recap of the “rules”, shall we? The basic idea here is to take a movie that is out in theaters now, and pair it up with another movie from the 1980s or before. Sometimes the connection will be obvious, and sometimes it’ll be a little less so, but that’s part of the fun.

Usually for this feature I like to look at the bigger movies that come out in a particular week, either the blockbusters or the ones that are getting a lot of buzz. This week, however, I thought I’d feature one of the smaller movies that should be getting more attention than it is. Especially since, unfortunately, this week’s major release line-up just doesn’t look to be that promising.

Godard Mon Amour was a festival darling in 2017, but it’s just getting a wider release this weekend. It is the story of film critic turned director Jean-Luc Godard at a pivotal point in his life.His marriage to his first wife Anna Karina had just ended and he was beginning a new relationship with a student activist, Anne Wiazemsky, who would become his new muse and lover. The film is a comedic look at their relationship and at a man trying to figure out where he wants to go with his art.

So in looking for a double feature for Godard Mon Amour I wanted to stick with out 1968 theme for this month, and actually, Godard had two films released in that year. The first was A Film Like Any Other, but the second, far more interesting film was Sympathy for the Devil, in which Godard filmed the making of the Rolling Stones song and then contrasted and interspersed the studio footage with shots depicting the cultural climate of the time

Among the scenes featured in the film are shots of the Black Panthers both reading from tracts and committing various acts of violence, a scene which takes place in a Nazi bookstore, an appearance by the aforementioned Anne Wiazemsky as Eve Democracy, and other short bits that provide a commentary and contrast to what is happening with the Stones themselves, including the dissolution of Brian Jones.

Here’s a peek:

So what do you think? What would you choose for a double feature with Godard Mon Amour? Leave your thoughts in the comments, along with ideas of any other upcoming movies you’d like to see “double featured”. Consider it, if you will, your chance to challenge me to come up with an interesting pair.

Until next time, Happy Viewing!

Saturday Double Feature: Rampage (2018) and…

Another Saturday means another Saturday Double Feature!

Okay, let’s start with a quick recap of the “rules”, shall we? The basic idea here is to take a movie that is out in theaters now, and pair it up with another movie from the 1980s or before. Sometimes the connection will be obvious, and sometimes it’ll be a little less so, but that’s part of the fun.

Okay, I’m going to admit it up front. I’ve loved The Rock since ever since he was “just” a wrestler for the WWE. Early on he showed incredible mic skills and charisma that marked him as a future star, and that has been borne out throughout his acting career.

Unfortunately, even though I like Dwayne Johnson both as a wrestler and an actor, some of the choices he has made when it comes to films has been… well, let’s say… questionable, shall we? Still, even when the movie itself is bad, Johnson is still usually entertaining.

I really don’t have much hope for Johnson’s latest, Rampage being a particularly good movie.Based on a particularly mindless (though admittedly fun) video game, it’s obvious that this is really just an excuse to give the Rock a paycheck and highlight a lot of CGI. And, who knows, it could turn out to be a fun little waste of an afternoon.

After all, they turned the game Battleship into a movie, and we all remember what a spectacular triumph of film making that was, right?

Ummm… right?

Let’s just go to the trailer, shall we?

Okay, so let’s stick with this month’s 1968 theme to look for something to pair Rampage with, shall we?

Well of course, if you’re looking for giant critters in the late 60s, you’re obviously gonna look no further than the king of them all, Godzilla. And fortunately, it just so happens that in 1968 the big G teamed up with a whole mess of other gigantic beasties for Destroy All Monsters.

It seems that an alien race has raided monster island and released a bunch of the inhabitants to go on a mind-controlled umm… rampage… against mankind. Among the monsters are, of course, Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, Gorsaurus, and Manda. However, the humans manage to release the kaiju from the aliens control, but that just causes them to retaliate by bringing in the truly big gun, King Ghidorah. We eventually wind up with a huge battle royal between the creatures and the aliens’ secret weapon which they call the Fire Dragon.

Will mankind survive? And even if we do, what will be left of civilization?

So what do you think? What would you choose for a double feature with Rampage? Leave your thoughts in the comments, along with ideas of any other upcoming movies you’d like to see “double featured”. Consider it, if you will, your chance to challenge me to come up with an interesting pair.

Until next time, Happy Viewing!

Saturday Double Feature: Blockers (2018) and…

Another Saturday means another Saturday Double Feature!

Okay, let’s start with a quick recap of the “rules”, shall we? The basic idea here is to take a movie that is out in theaters now, and pair it up with another movie from the 1980s or before. Sometimes the connection will be obvious, and sometimes it’ll be a little less so, but that’s part of the fun.

Oh, my… wow.

There are truly times when I despair about the state of comedy in America.

No, let me restate that. Actually, there is a lot of good comedy out there. Unfortunately, however, very little of it seems to be showing up in theaters.

Instead we wind up getting “comedies” like this weekend’s big opener, Blockers.

The premise? Let’s take it straight from IMDB, shall we? “Three parents try to stop their daughters from having sex on Prom night.”

Yep. That’s it. And just in case you need more convincing that this is a lowest-common-denominator-only movie which is basically out simply to offend and go for the cheap shot, have a look at the trailer.

Not that comedies with incredibly bad premises are anything new. They’ve been around almost as long as movies have been. But, in keeping with this month’s theme, I figured I’ pick one from 1968.

Now, I have to admit that I’ve never seen The Wicked Dreams of Paula Schultz, and unfortunately I was unable to even find a trailer for it, but just looking at the plot summary from Wikipedia, I have to imagine that it fits the criteria pretty well. Go ahead and read it for yourself:

Paula Schultz (Elke Sommer) has been preparing to compete in the Olympic Games, but instead pole-vaults over the Berlin Wall to freedom in West Germany.

A black-market operator, Bill Mason (Bob Crane), hides her in the home of an old Army buddy, Herb Sweeney (Joey Forman), who now works for the CIA. Bill is willing to hand her over for a price, to either side, so a disappointed Paula returns to East Germany with propaganda minister Klaus instead. At this point, Bill comes to his senses, realizes he loves her, then disguises himself as a female athlete to get Paula back.

Yeah, that definitely sounds like a winner. Probably less intentionally offensive than Blockers, but still likely wrong from the very start.

So what do you think? What would you choose for a double feature with Blockers? Leave your thoughts in the comments, along with ideas of any other upcoming movies you’d like to see “double featured”. Consider it, if you will, your chance to challenge me to come up with an interesting pair.

Until next time, Happy Viewing!