HOT ROD (2007)

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Christopher

I really dislike Andy Samberg so I was not really excited to watch this movie. But Elizabeth kept on insisting that it was funny. I suppose Samberg is sometimes funny but the main reason I dislike him is the fact that he was dating and is now about marry Joanna Newsom, easily my favorite living songwriter. So I know my thoughts on him are very skewed but he just kind of bugs me.

In the end, however, Elizabeth was right and I did find this movie to be pretty funny. Especially Samberg’s character’s relationship with his step-dad. This movie is on Netflix and it’s worth watching . Although, I’m sure I was the last person to see that that has any interest.

Elizabeth

I don’t know what Chris is going to say about him, but he hates Andy Samberg and I’m pretty sure it’s almost 100% because Andy Samberg is engaged to Joanna Newsom. So whatever he says about Andy Samberg . . . just know where it’s coming from. ANYWAY . . . HOT ROD IS AMAZING. It’s one of my absolute favorite comedies, because it’s weird and sweet and both realistic and unrealistic and just funny. I don’t really know how else to describe it except amazing.

Hot Rod is full of moments that don’t make sense, or shouldn’t really be there, or go on too long. Doing this is sort of a specific kind of humor (my mom wouldn’t find any of that funny, for example), but Hot Rod is consistent with its style and just goes for it, so it works. It’s also unexpectedly subtle in certain ways, like the relationship between Rod (Andy Samberg), Rod’s mother, Marie (Sissy Spacek), and Rod’s stepfather, Frank (Ian McShane). Their relationships really play with the classic movie/TV trope of a son trying to earn a cold father’s respect with a passive mother. But Hot Rod takes this to the extreme when the plot of the movie turns into Rod trying to raise money for a life-saving heart transplant for Frank just so Frank can be well enough for Rod to kick his ass and earn his respect. They break out into extremely long, sometimes violent fights, all while Marie either looks on passively or just brushes it off. It’s pretty great.

There are too many great moments in Hot Rod to name and I wouldn’t want to spoil anything anyway. Just know that this is a movie that really must be seen.

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THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD (1958)

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Elizabeth

So, we’ve recently made it our goal to get through all the movies on The National Film Registry. This is a nearly impossible goal considering there’s 600 movies on the list, but it’ll be fun to try. Looking at the list led us to The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. Though we can’t find any official explanations as to why certain movies get picked for the registry, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad must have been chosen because of the stop-motion animation. Though it’s mostly a live-action movie, all of the creatures that Sinbad (Kerwin Mathews) and his crew meet are animated clay figures. Of course, the effects don’t look great now, but considering this move came out 55 years ago, they’re still pretty impressive. There’s one scene in particular of a sword fight between Sinbad and a skeleton that doesn’t look real per se, but the coordination between Mathews and the animation is pretty cool.

Christopher

The animation in this movie is pretty remarkable. Yes, the story is below subpar but in the end this movie is far better than most action movies with CGI today. Elizabeth and I watched this because we have started to consciously watch movies on the National Film Registry and this is one that was easily accessible. I really think that I’ve seen this before, as a kid, but I’m glad Elizabeth and I decided to watch it.

Like I said, nothing special in the plot; it’s really all about the animation.