Movies We Love

Speed Racer is the young, hotshot kid that’s going to shake up the world of racing. With the help of his loving family and hot girlfriend (?), he’ll be able to stop the stock scheme of some villain and change the face of race car driving forever. Will Speed find the will to defeat some evil corporate schmuck? Since this is intended to be a kid’s movie, yes, you bet he will! Why We Love It: Dick Tracy + Sin City + The Matrix + The Wizard of Oz + Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory + Wall Street (yes, that Wall Street) + whatever visually eye-titillating movie you can think of = Speed Racer. This film is totally “cool beans,” and that, while featuring flavors of those movies listed, is its own colorfully bombastic beast.

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A young scrappy pilot, conveniently, accomplishes what a non-freakazoid Howard Hughes (played by the Terry O’Quinn) and a few lackeys at the C.I.A. couldn’t do: create a flying man! That pilot, Cliff, becomes that gold helmeted flying phenom. This comic book adaptation is full of Nazis, a vain and villainous actor, and an ugly as hell goon. What more could you ask for?

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“I don’t believe in magic, a lot of superstitious hocus pocus. I’m going after a find of incredible historical significance and you’re talking about the Boogieman! Besides, you know what a cautious fellow I am.” Anybody who has watched any amount of the History Channel knows that Hitler was obsessed with the occult. What this movie presupposes is that he probably lost the war because he diverted too many of his resources towards the doomed goal of acquiring the Ark of the Covenant, which in case you didn’t know, is the chest that contains the original stone tablets on which the ten commandments were written. According to religious hocus-pocus, any army that marches while carrying the Ark would be unstoppable on the battlefield, as they would have the endorsement of the good Lord Himself. So what does the U.S. government do when faced with the task of racing the Third Reich to unstoppable power and endless influence? They hire an archeology professor from Marshall College, one of the most rough and tumble adventurers in the world, to go out and find it first. They get Indiana Jones. The only problem with the plan is that the key to finding the Ark is in the possession of one of his ex-girlfriends, and she’s kind of a crazy drunk.

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“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” On a desert planet on the far edges of the galaxy, a young farm-boy named Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) dreams of leaving his meager existence behind to join the Rebellion against the evil Galactic Empire.  When his uncle, a humble moisture farmer, purchases two unassuming droids that carry coveted secret Imperial data for a titanic space station, Luke finds himself thrust into the war much sooner than expected. Together with the reclusive Jedi, Obi-wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness), an elderly warrior who used to be one of many guardians of peace in the galaxy, Luke sets out on a quest to deliver the plans to the Rebellion, learning more about the father he never knew, his inherent ability to control the Force, the mystical energy that gives all Jedi their supernatural abilities, and encountering a motley crew of characters along the way including the displaced Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher),  self-serving smuggler Han Solo (Harrison Ford), his 7-foot tall furry co-pilot Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), and master of the Dark Side of the Force, Darth Vader (David Prowse/James Earl Jones).

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Movies We Love

Throw Momma from the Train (1987) The night was humid. Synopsis Larry is a neurotic writer who hates his ex-wife for stealing his book and the fortune and fame that subsequently followed. Owen is a simpleton momma’s boy who takes Larry’s creative writing class and who hates his momma for being old and curmudgeonly. For separate reasons, neither one of them is able to write a good story: Larry, bitter and distracted, has writer’s block and Owen, simple and naive, just has no concept on how to write well. To help out his student’s pathetic attempt at a murder mystery, Larry offers a simple piece of advice – eliminate the motive – that Owen unfortunately interprets to mean if he murders Larry’s ex-wife, Larry will return the favor by murdering his momma.

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Adapted from the Henry James classic of the same name, Wayne’s World traces a young provincial girl’s journey toward self-realization and womanhood.

Not!

(It was necessary that a “Not” “joke” be worked into this at some point, so let’s just be thankful that we’ve gotten it out of the way this early.) Wayne’s World is, of course, the film adaptation of the seminal, 90s, Saturday Night Live sketch about two slacker BFFs, Wayne Campbell (Mike Myers) and Garth Algar (Dana Carvey). The duo host a wildly popular, Aurora, Illinois-based public-access show, broadcast from Wayne’s parents’ basement. The film elaborates on this premise by giving Wayne a robo-babe love interest, Cassandra (Tia Carrere), and introducing Benjamin (Rob Lowe), a smooth-talking television executive who plans to exploit “Wayne’s World’s” popularity and drive a wedge between Wayne and Cassandra.

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Movies We Love

Monkeys? You think a monkey knows he’s sittin’ on top of a rocket that might explode? These astronaut boys they know that, see? Well, I’ll tell you something, it takes a special kind of man to volunteer for a suicide mission, especially one that’s on TV. Ol’ Gus, he did all right. Ol’ Gus is Gus Grissom, the second US man to be shot into space, though his ride becomes tarnished when he loses his capsule, the hatch blowing before it can be pulled from the water.

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Movies We Love

Now you’re looking for the secret. But you won’t find it because, of course, you’re not really looking. You don’t want to work it out. You want to be fooled. In the late 19th century, the magician Alfred Borden, “The Professor,” is on trial for the murder of rival magician, Robert Angier, “The Great Danton.” What the prosecution is trying to prove and what the consensus seems to say is that Borden, furious that Angier had stolen Borden’s “The Transported Man” trick, drowned Angier in a Chinese water torture cell on the evening of his final performance.

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Fox ordered Ridley Scott to extract about 40 minutes of footage from his original cut of the film, making the theatrical cut borderline incomprehensible, puny, meaningless, and a box-office bomb. With the additional footage added back in for The Director’s Cut the film transforms into something grand, gorgeous, and significant.

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With Neil at Sundance, I decide to take my own personal trip by remembering a Sundance film from a few years back that deserves more recognition.

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mwl-fargo

This week we feature the best movie the Coen Brothers have made and one of the greatest of all time.

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mwl-whenharrymetsally

I’m not ashamed to say that I love a good romantic comedy. Unfortunately, for every good one, there are about a hundred terrible ones. For this week’s Movies We Love, we take some time to appreciate one of the very best: When Harry Met Sally.

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mwl-groundhogday

Fall in love with Groundhog Day all over again and again and again and again and again.

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movieswelove-lebowski

For this week’s Movies We Love, we set our iTunes to Creedence’s Greatest Hits, poured ourselves a White Russian, and got set to explore the world of Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski. Come on in, but only if you’re housebroken.

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movieswelove-gremlins

For this week’s edition of Movies We Love, it’s 1984, and we just happened to feed our new little pet some chicken after midnight. What’s the worst that could happen?

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movieswelove-shortcircuit

For the inaugural edition of Movies We Love, we dug way back to 1986 and picked up Short Circuit, a film about a lovable military robot who is struck by lightning and begins to believe he is alive.

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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