Saturday Double Feature: Chef (2014) and…

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’m not sure exactly why, but one of my favorite movie sub-genres is what I guess you would call “food” movies, of more specifically perhaps, restaurant movies. Maybe the reason is that they tend to feature people either discovering or trying to perpetuate their true passions in the face of either indifference or outright opposition. For example, one of the movies out in limited release right now is Chef which boasts a surprisingly all-star cast including Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sofia Vergara, Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt and John Leguizamo (the movie was also wrritten and directed by Favreau, which may go a long way to explaining its star power):

Of course, this is not the kind of movie you want to watch if you’re on a diet.

Anyway, besides my l0ve for the genre, I also I decided to feature this one for today’s double feature because it gives me a chance to spotlight another all-time favorite of mine, Juzo Itami‘s 1985 feature Tampopo. It may not be quite so full of star power – though it does boast Ken Watanabe and Tsutomu Yamazaki, among its cast – but it does have one thing going for it that the newer film doesn’t. It is filmdom’s first “ramen western”:

I do feel I should warn you that the the film itself is not quite as straightforward as that trailer suggests, as it takes some very interesting turns and actually brings together some very disparate scenarios. For instance, here is another (unfortunately unsubtitled, though it really doesn’t need them) scene where a number of young ladies are being taught the “proper” way to eat a plate of spaghetti:

Actually, since I’m planning to try to catch Chef sometime this afternoon, and I have Tampopo here on disc, perhaps I’ll have to go ahead and run this as my own personal double feature today.

So how about you? Do you have your own favorite restaurant or “foodie” movie? Obviously, there are a lot of others I could have picked, so I’m curious to see what other pairings you might come up with for this one. Plus, since as I noted above, this is one of my favorite sub-genres, I’m curious to see what suggestions you might have of films that fit it that I might have missed, so please leave your thoughts in the comments, along with ideas of any other upcoming or current movies you’d like to see “double featured” here. 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: A Million Ways To Die In The West (2014) and…

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.

So what’s out this week? Well, the big box office draw is obviously Seth MacFarlane‘s A Million Ways To Die in the West:

And of course, if you’re anything like me, from the moment the first trailer for the movie hit, there was one very obvious double feature pairing, and yep, that’s the one I’m going with today. The year was 1974, and Mel Brooks unleashed his classic western parody Blazing Saddles on unsuspecting audiences across the nation:

So what do you think? Could A Million Ways… be this generation’s Blazing Saddles? Does it need to be? Or can you think of a better pairing for the new flick? 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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Throwing A Wet Blanket On A Blazing Saddle – It’s The Pilot For The Unsold Black Bart TV Series (1975)

10Why? Really, just… why?

Why try to spin a TV show out of a hit comedy film like Blazing Saddles when you can’t use any of the elements that made to film so original and funny?

And why am I sharing it with you now?

I’ll admit, most of the time I would file this kind of thing under the heading of either “Yeah, this exists” and go ahead and maybe post a link to it on the Durnmoose Movie Facebook page (see the kind of fun you’re missing if you haven’t gone there and “liked” the page? Why don’t you take a minute to do that now? Trust me, Black Bart and I will still be here when you get back. Unfortunately.) or I’d not  even bother doing that and just let it go with a shrug and put it in my own personal “Okay, I watched that so you don’t have to” file. (Yeah, honestly, there’s a lot of this kind of thing that I sort through and throw away without ever even bothering to mention having watched it. See what a nice guy I am?)

black-bartBut no, I think this time I’m actually going to post the whole dang thing.

Why?

Because I know that there are going to be some of you out there who are going to find this wildly entertaining.

Because I know somewhere out there there’s going to be that person who thinks that Lou Gossett and Steve Landesberg are adequate replacements for Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder.

Because I know that some of you are actually going to be shocked by the fact that a major network sitcom could actually use the “N-word” (GASP! How dare they!) back in 1975. (Of course, there may actually be some validity to that shock when we can’t even use the word on television today even in a discussion of using it.)

But you want to know the real reason I’m posting it and encouraging you to go ahead and watch it?

Because sometimes, as “they” say, misery simply loves company.

Well, at least the laugh track was amused.

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