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!

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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: The Post (2017) And…

Hey! It’s Saturday. That means it’s time to pair up another couple of films for a Saturday Double Feature.

Okay, as always, 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.

The Post, which stars Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks is one of those movies about a particular event or point in time which gains a new relevance because of events going on in the real world at the time of its release.

The movie depicts the internal struggle going on at the Washington Post over whether to publish the Pentagon Papers, an act which. during the time – at the height of the Vietnam War – was seen as at least potentially treasonous;

Today, with the advent of Wikileaks and the increasingly strained relationship between the press an the administration in Washington, well, the parallels are easy to point out.

So the obvious film to pair with The Post would be All The President’s Men, the story of Woodward and Bernstien’s struggle to uncover and publish the truth about the Watergate cover-up. However, I thought instead we’d take a look at another movie having to do with the rights and responsibilities of the press.

Today’s movie gives the theme a more personal bent. In this case it involves the question of what the responsibility of the press should be when they print a story that may be being use to frame an innocent man and what their response should be when he comes to them protesting his innocence.

The movie is 1981’s Absence of Malice and stars Paul Newman and Sally Field.

Here’s a trailer:

Okay, so that’s my pick for a double feature pairing with The Post. What do you think? Got a better or different idea of something to go along with it? If so, let me know in the comments below or over on the DurnMoose Facebook page.

Saturday Double Feature: Suicide Squad (2016) And…

ssp01Hey! It’s Saturday. That means it’s time to pair up another couple of films for a Saturday Double Feature.

I’m cheating a little bit this week, since today’s feature movie has already finished it’s theatrical run, but since it’s just come out on disk in the past few weeks, I’m declaring it recent enough to qualify.

One of last year’s most anticipated movies among genre fans, and also one of the biggest disappointments was Warner Brothers’ Suicide Squad. This was hopefully going to be the movie that, after the bleakness of both Man of Steel and Batman v Superman brought some light and fun to the DC comics movie universe. The cast looked good, the trailers gave some hope, and then…

And then the movie finally arrived.

Sigh…

No, it wasn’t as dark as its predecessors. As a matter of fact it had some pretty good moments. Instead it committed an even worse sin.

It was, overall, boring.

Yeah, I’m not sure how you take a premise like this and turn it into the kind of slog that we got (a problem that is not ameliorated in any way by the extended cut). Actually, I take that back, I do know how – you do what they did with this movie – instead of taking the Deadpool route and simply embracing the ridiculousness of the premise and going completely over the top with it, you try to fit it into the “real world” where it just doesn’t belong.

Anyway, here’s the trailer:

So in thinking about this movie and its premise – take a bunch of thieves, murderers, etc. and give them a chance to – perhaps not redeem themselves, but at least do some good and perhaps shorten their sentences, it occurred to me that there was one movie that would fit alongside Squad pretty well as part of a double bill – 1967’s World War II -set feature, The Dirty Dozen which starred Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, John Cassavetes, Telly Savalas, Robert Webber, and Donald Sutherland as a team of criminally misfit soldiers sent on a mission from which few, if any of them, were expected to return.

Take a look:

Okay, so that’s my pick for a double feature pairing with Suicide Squad. What do you think? Got a better or different idea of something to go along with it? If so, let me know in the comments below or over on the DurnMoose Facebook page.

Saturday Double Feature: Arrival (2016) And…

arr01Yep, I’ve decided it’s time for the return of what used to be a regular feature here on the blog, the Saturday Double Feature.

The idea here is simple: take a movie that’s currently in theaters and pair it with one from the past to crate an interesting double bill. In the previous iteration of this feature I limited myself to movies that were 1980s or before for the back half of the bill, but this time around, considering the fact that it’s 2016 and even movies from the 90s are “ancient history” to so many of my younger readers, I think I’m going to be a little looser with that restriction. After all, even a movie like today’s, which came out in 1996 is twenty years old now. And when you take into account the fact that today’s second feature wasn’t even that well known when it first came out, well…

Okay, so let’s start with the current flick, Arrival. I haven’t had a chance to get to the theater to see the new Amy Adams-starring sci-fi film, but from the trailers and from what I’ve heard from friends who have, it looks like a solid, intelligent s-f movie.

The starting concept is simple: one day, alien ships suddenly appear in the skies over Earth, and Adams’ character Louise Banks, a linguist, is brought in to attempt to translate what appears to be attempted communications from the ships.

Let’s take a look at the trailer, shall we?

 

So what did I choose to pair Arrival with? Well, how about another alien first-contact movie with a very similar name?

That’s right, I’m talking about 1996’s The Arrival starring none other than Charile Sheen. Directed by David Twohy, better known for writing and directing Pitch Black and Vin Diesel’s other Riddick flicks, The Arrival begins with the interception of a signal from outer space by Sheen’s astronomer character Zane Zaminsky. When he attempts to follow up on and find out more about the signal, he finds out that there may be more involved than he at first thought.

To be honest, The Arrival is one of those movies that actually feels like it’s better than it really deserves to be, but in my estimation, it really should be better known and more seen than it is. Even most of my cult movie friends seem to have no idea that this film even exists, which is truly a shame, and I highly recommend it. A quick check at Amazon shows the Blu-ray selling there for just over $7.00, an it’s definitely worth checking out at that price.

Go ahead, give the trailer a look:

By the way, The Arrival did manage to spawn a sequel, 1998’s even-less-seen Arrival II (yeah, for some reason in most promotional material and onscreen the “The” was dropped from the title for the follow-up). Here’s the trailer for that:

Okay, so that’s my pick for a double (or even triple) feature pairing with Arrival. What do you think? Got a better or different idea of something to go along with it? If so, let me know in the comments below or over on the DurnMoose Facebook page.