LETHAL WEAPON (1987)

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Lethal Weapon Ii (1989) Mel Gibson, Danny Glover Die Polizisten Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson,l) und Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) zielen nicht immer in dieselbe Richtung ... Regie: Richard Donner ,

Christopher

My only real connection to this series is when I rented Lethal Weapon 3 for a birthday sleep over in middle school. I remembered the duo of Danny Glover and Mel Gibson being much funnier and cooler than what was in this first film.

Glover and Gibson seem to look the same age in this film but it’s suggested Gibson is a young reckless suicidal wildcard on the force. He lost his wife and he’s been a wreck ever since. I really feel like most of the movie is pretty forgettable. However the climax of this film is not one I will soon forget.

The film comes to its climax at the end of the movie when everyone follows the main villain to Glover’s home. He’s going to kill his whole family and Gibson and Glover were the first on the scene. And what’s that? They stop him immediately!! Good job! But then Gibson decides he needs to fight the villain in a bare knuckle fight to….um, what? While they fight the rest of the police force are standing around watching. Even if this guy beats Gibson he’s still going to jail. WHY ARE WE WATCHING THESE PEOPLE FIGHT??? What’s at risk?

I’m already confusing this movie with 48 Hours in my head so I don’t think it was a favorite.

Elizabeth (spoilers!)

I wanted to see two bad-ass buddy cops take down bad guys while making charming quips here and there. We watched Lethal Weapon and instead I saw a psychopath be a bad cop and a girl almost get raped.

Mel Gibson is a problem. I grew up loving him; even though he tended to be in movies too adult for me he always seemed so charming, nice, and oh so cute. I inherited my love for Mel Gibson from my mom and then cemented it myself when he played the father of my own love, Heath Ledger, in The Patriot. He wasn’t the young heartthrob in that movie, but he played the I-Just-Want-What’s-Best-For-You Dad to one, which was close enough. When I got a little older I was finally able to watch Braveheart. When I saw that I felt like I truly “got” what everyone loved about him. The performance . . . the ass . . . everything was just so great. Things started to crack a little about a year after The Patriot came out and I read that Heath Ledger had been so excited to work with Mel Gibson and then had been so disappointed by actually working with him. After reading that, I figured maybe Gibson wasn’t exactly as I had imagined – at the very least he sounded like such an intense actor to work with that he often was just mean. But I mean, that happens, right? Actors are intense, we don’t all personally know actors, etc. Then the recordings of his drunken, hateful rants came out in 2010 and I felt duped. It seemed to prove that he wasn’t an intense actor at all, just an enraged, racist, sexist, mean asshole.

So now when I watch a movie like Lethal Weapon where Mel Gibson plays Martin Riggs, a completely unhinged wildcard cop needing a stable partner, it’s hard to feel impressed by much of Gibson’s acting. His rage is quivering and unfiltered and supported by his mediocre performance whenever he’s not a psychopath. And he’s supposed to be a cop? It was so stressful watching someone who is clearly supposed to be a good guy act like a bad guy. The best part about him was his dog that I think was only in one scene. The only time I felt an emotion for him other than disgust was when we wept over his inability to kill himself after crying over his dead wife. Extremely sad, but inevitably a completely unearned emotion.

Then we have Danny Glover as Roger Murtaugh. Murtaugh is a good, level-headed cop with a good track record. He’s a perfect dad. He’s a perfect husband. He has a cute cat named BURBANK. He’s good looking, charming, and nice – for real. So of course he’s going to get paired up with Riggs and Riggs is going to fuck everything up. I was constantly waiting for Murtaugh’s perfect family to be in danger until it finally happened. His teenager daughter, Rianne, is kidnapped and the note left behind for Murtaugh says “Your daughter looks pretty naked,” with an unseen-by-us Polaroid. This was a minor detail in a major plot point but it completely distracted me. What was in that picture? Just a naked Rianne, which would be horrible enough? Or was she being raped, which is more in-line with the viciousness of the bad guys Riggs and Murtaugh are dealing with? I stressed out over that for probably a solid 5 minutes that I should have been watching the movie. Part of me was scared for the Rianne character and part of me was scared for what I may yet see. The next time we see Rianne, she’s being held by her captives but is fully-clothed. She really doesn’t look like she’s in bad shape at all. So I thought, despite that Polaroid, it’s not going to get any worse. Then Riggs and Murtaugh later break in to where Rianne is being held. When they find her, she’s in silk underwear and is a little bruised up. After beating Murtaugh, one of the bad guys remarks how attractive Rianne is as her hands are bound above her head. He either flicks one of her camisole straps down her shoulder OR my mind was racing so much with anxiety that I imagined it. I truly don’t know. That’s essentially as bad as it got – we never saw Rianne get assaulted or raped. But the prospect of it was right there – this teenage girl getting kidnapped and then raped in front of her bound father was so fucking stressful for me I literally couldn’t pay attention to other parts of the movie. When it didn’t happen, it was a relief. But I felt tricked – Lethal Weapon couldn’t make a tense, suspenseful movie without threatening to rape a kid?

I haven’t even touched on the weirdest and worst part. Gary Busey is in this, too, presumably before he was a walking joke. He’s a henchman named Joshua who, because he’s so crazy and unstoppable, eventually becomes the main bad guy. Toward the end of the movie Riggs and Murtaugh have chased him to Murtaugh’s house for a final showdown. What you think will happen is that one of them will kill Joshua right away, fight and then kill Joshua, or fight and then arrest Joshua. What instead happens is Murtaugh “lets” Riggs “have him.” Riggs and Joshua start fighting in the rain and as more and more cops show up, Murtaugh keeps them away from the fight, telling them that he (Murtaugh) will somehow “take the blame” for whatever is happening and is about to happen. Apparently this message gets through to every cop there, including those in a helicopter, because they all stand around patiently and wait for the fight to end. What the fuck? Why would we want to see Riggs and Murtaugh act like the bad guys they’ve been fighting for hours instead of like the good cops we’ve been convinced that they are? What is Murtaugh even offering to take the blame for? And why the fuck are there so many Lethal Weapon sequels starring Danny Glover and Mel Gibson if Murtaugh did take blame for whatever happened?

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NO WAY OUT (1987)

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Elizabeth (spoilers!)

Where do I even start with No Way Out? Going into it all I knew about it was that my mom recommended it and it had Kevin Costner running around in a Navy uniform. That’s pretty much it. And when the movie started, it seemed pretty straightforward.

It follows Tom Farrell (Costner) as he begins a relationship with Susan Atwell (Sean Young), a woman whose sole occupation seems to be to keep Secretary of Defense David Brice entertained at whatever cost necessary. Farrell begins working for Brice in the Pentagon, at first unaware that Brice was the man keeping Susan, at the suggestion of Scott Pritchard (Will Patton), an old friend of Farrell’s and Brice’s right hand man. So at this point I assumed the main conflict was going to be hiding Farrell and Susan’s relationship from Brice. Farrell finds out that Brice is the one keeping Susan but Susan insists that she loves Farrell and will leave Brice. I believed her, but still thought the main conflict was going to be a love triangle. Then, after Farrell and Susan spend a weekend out of town together, Brice unexpectedly shows up and Susan kicks Farrell out. Then Brice straight up murders Susan.

I guess technically the murder is an accident, as Susan accidentally falls off a balcony in her house. Eh, except she wouldn’t have fallen if Brice wasn’t practically beating her up. Brice freaks out and runs to Pritchard and tells him everything. They decide to pin it on someone else two ways: first, claim someone else (besides Brice or Farrell) was Susan’s secret lover, and second, claim that said secret lover is Yuri. Who is Yuri? I was confused by that myself. Yuri is a code name for an unseen person working at the Pentagon that everyone seems to suspect is a KGB sleeper agent. At first I thought Yuri was a real person, like Yuri was a real guy that everyone knew but thought might be KGB. But it turns out that there’s no proof that Yuri even exists, so it seems easy for Brice and Pritchard to pin it on him.

At this point, Farrell doesn’t even know Susan is dead. So when Brice and Pritchard call him in to lead a secret investigation that they say will lead them to this “Yuri” person, it’s the first time Farrell learns that Susan is dead, much less that she was murdered. This scene, when they hand Farrell the file that tells him the victim is Susan, is pretty amazing. Farrell is obviously horrified at what he learns, but tries to hide it so no one knows that he was Susan’s lover. Brice and Pritchard are terrified that Farrell won’t buy it, and further that no one will buy it. There’s an amazing moment when Farrell asks to use the bathroom – we know it’s so he can have some freak out time in private. As soon as he’s in the bathroom, Brice turns to Pritchard and freaks out because he thinks Farrell doesn’t buy the story, and that’s why he’s acting weird; meanwhile Farrell is basically curled up in a ball on the bathroom floor, losing his mind. So much of this movie is about guys stressing out over the same thing but for different reasons.

Once Farrell gets it together, he starts leading the investigation down wrong paths to buy him time. He knows that if it’s discovered that Farrell was Susan’s secret lover, they’ll pin the murder on him. So on the one hand, we have Farrell fake-leading this investigation, trying to derail it so he isn’t caught. Then on the other hand, Farrell is trying to figure out what actually happened to Susan, as he suspects that Brice had something to do with it. At one point, there’s a piece of evidence that seems to be unusable: an undeveloped Polaroid. Farrell knows that the Polaroid is one that Susan took of him, so he’s relieved when he finds out they can’t get anything from it. Until his friend Sam, also helping in the investigation, puts the photo on a big screen and runs a program to slowly develop it. So now Farrell is basically leading two investigations, one real and one fake, while trying to beat the clock on this picture developing.

At this point, I was sort of frustrated and confused as to why Farrell didn’t go to anyone for help. Earlier in the movie we see him working with the CIA and he makes a personal contact there. Farrell didn’t kill Susan, so why doesn’t he go higher than Brice and try to save himself? We find out why later, but at this point I thought Farrell must have just thought he was fucked as soon as he was handed the file with Susan’s name and said nothing.

Eventually, Farrell figures out how to correctly pin Susan’s murder on Brice by tracing a jewelry box of Susan’s back to Brice. Once Farrell presents this evidence to Brice and Pritchard, Brice almost immediately shifts the blame on Pritchard. Though Pritchard is gay didn’t kill Susan, Brice starts going off on how Pritchard is essentially in love with him and killed Susan out of jealousy. Pritchard has a total meltdown once he realizes Brice is truly going to betray him like that, so he kills himself right there in front of Brice and Farrell. Brice keeps going along with the Yuri thing, saying that they uncovered Pritchard to be Yuri and Susan’s killer, causing the suicide.

I really liked the ending at this point. Farrell is a good, moral character who has been trying to get himself not blamed for the death of the woman he loved. So he’s not going to deny that Pritchard is Yuri, because that theory is saving his ass. But he will have to live the rest of his life knowing the truth: the woman he loves is dead, the man who killed her remains in power, and an innocent (okay he did kill someone in the movie, so not totally innocent) man’s reputation and life was destroyed. Once Pritchard was dead I felt like I finally had a chance to breathe, that it was sad that Susan was dead but a relief that Farrell really did get out of it. I was starting to worry that there was a big twist at the end, which was Farrell getting caught and imprisoned for Susan’s murder, which would then prove the title of the movie to be correct.

Well, that didn’t happen. We see Farrell speaking with his landlord, whom we’ve only met once, but I assumed was sort of a father or uncle figure to Farrell. Then the landlord starts speaking Russian. I thought that was a little weird. And then Farrell starts speaking Russian. And then the landlord remarks that Farrell has been undercover for so long that he’s lost some of his Russian accent. And then the landlord tells him that Farrell must go back home to Russia because his cover has been compromised. Because Yuri is real and Farrell is Yuri.

WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT

Yes, that’s right, Kevin Costner is a KGB sleeper agent. When the movie ended, my mouth was totally open. I was shocked. I was expecting a crazy ending in some way, or a twist of some kind, but I had no fucking idea it would end this way. So, in a lot of ways, I did not like this ending. I felt like it came out of nowhere and negated a lot of what we had seen. We grow to love and root for Farrell, only to find out that he’s a foreign enemy (fucking Russian in 1987 even!). So, we shouldn’t have cared about Farrell?

After thinking about it (a lot), I came away with one main question. Why did Farrell care about who killed Susan? Was it because A.) Farrell believed that Brice and Pritchard truly thought Yuri was Susan’s lover and that if they found out Farrell was actually her lover they would know that Farrell = Yuri? Or was it because B.) Farrell knew Brice and Pritchard were full of shit but also knew that he couldn’t let the murder lead back to him and blow his cover?

I also felt sad when No Way Out ended, and not just because Kevin Costner turned out to be evil. But also . . . did he even love Susan? The Russian landlord guy implies that Farrell/Yuri was assigned to get involved with Susan to learn who she was sleeping with. So we know Farrell was deceiving Susan the whole time. But as far as we could tell, Susan truly loved Farrell. And Farrell seemed to truly love Susan! But did she die thinking that a man truly loved her whom she loved back when in reality he was a scary KGB agent only using her for information? Was Farrell going to kill Susan himself once he didn’t need her anymore?

AHHHHHHHHHH!!!! No Way Out answers a lot of questions but leaves a lot of questions unanswered. And I guess they really don’t need to be answered. We don’t need to know if Farrell loved Susan or was just using her. But it would be nice if we knew that some semblance of what we though we knew about Farrell turned out to be true. But maybe it just wasn’t true.

Although I have mixed feelings about the ending, I can’t say enough about the pacing and suspense that’s kept up throughout No Way Out. So often when I’m watching something in which the main character is completely screwed, I don’t even want to watch it anymore. But No Way Out never lets you feel that way; it takes you juuuuust to the point of wanting to give up because there’s no way Farrell can win, only to give you a little victory and keep you wanting to see more. The movie wasn’t entirely deflated by the ending.

So all in all, I would pretty much recommend No Way Out to anyone. Mostly because I would be curious of what they thought of the ending. But the suspense is just too good to not recommend it.

Christopher

It wasn’t until we started watching this that I remember that I had seen it before. It’s a reminder that I watched way too many movies with very sexual scenes with my parents when I was younger. But what I remembered the most was the fact that a lot of this film was filmed in the Pentagon.
My dad used to work there and I feel like my parents rented this film before or after we took a tour there when he first started working there. So it was pretty nice seeing something I have good memories of as a kid.
I think the film does a great job of keeping the tension throughout. I mean it really seems like every scene could lead toward disaster. I have loved Kevin Costner since I was a kid, Field of Dreams used to be a movie I watched at least every year. However, I was surprised that Gene Hackman was in this film. That definitely makes me think I watched this when I had no idea who he was.
I would recommend this movie for sure. I think it’s interesting and I like the Navy connection.

OVER THE TOP (1987)

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Elizabeth

Over the Top is the tragic story of a young boy, kidnapped by his biological father that he’s never met. His father forces him into confrontations with older boys and allows him to be kidnapped by a second group of thugs. His mother is dying of cancer and eventually does die of cancer, but the boy never sees his mom again before he dies because of the aforementioned kidnapping. After his mother’s death, his Stockholm Syndrome takes over and his subsequently abused by his maternal grandfather and escapes him to go back to the father that kidnapped him.

HAHA! Yeah! That is what this movie is about! Except it’s supposed to be about a father and son reconnecting through the fine art of arm wrestling. Uhhhh?

But yeah, Sylvester Stallone plays Lincoln Hawk (or Hawks, it sort of changes sometimes), a truck driver/arm wrestler. He misses his son Mike (David Mendenhall)’s graduation from military school, but comes to pick him up for a road trip. Mike has never met Lincoln. He doesn’t even know what Lincoln looks like. No one, not Lincoln or Mike’s school, will let Mike contact his mother or grandfather to find out what’s going on. Mike asks for Lincoln’s identification, and his principle (or whatever it is in military school) scolds him for it. Mike has seemingly no choice but to go with this giant man he’s never met on a trip in his 18-wheeler.

Sometimes they bond, sometimes they don’t. I thought Mike was pretty annoying, but it didn’t matter because I felt so bad for him. At one point he tries to escape Lincoln by jumping out of the truck and running across the highway. Lincoln runs after him, tearing Mike’s sleeve off in the process, and practically drags him back to the truck. Is no one seeing this concerned at all? This kid is obviously trying to escape a kidnapper! And no one will help him, because his life sucks.

Apparently Lincoln and Mike’s mother are still married, but haven’t seen each other in 10 years. And Lincoln has consistently written Mike letters, but the mother hid them from Mike for reasons we never know about because . . . the mother just up and dies in the middle of the movie. And Mike misses it because he’s been kidnapped by this stranger. He just never sees his mom again. This causes a weird custody battle between Lincoln and Mike’s grandfather, even though he clearly should go with the grandfather, since he practically raised him and he only just met Lincoln. It’s also implied that Lincoln is homeless, living just out of his truck? Doesn’t seem like a great environment to raise a kid.

Eventually some other stupid stuff happens, like Mike getting kidnapped by some guys after Lincoln and Lincoln crashing his truck through the gates of Mike’s house trying to get to him. It all leads up to the world arm wrestling championships, which we get to sit through for at least the last 30 minutes or so. Lincoln wins the championship, which gives him a new 18 wheeler (weird prize choice) and $100,000. And when the movie ends, he and Mike, who is obviously so beyond traumatized he can’t even function normally anymore, drive off into the sunset together.

What??? Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?????? This movie is really sad because it’s all about this poor child (who sort of looks like a lesbian?) getting abused and neglected in various ways. It’s great. I love this movie because it is so insane and makes no sense. Poor kid.

Christopher

This movie is not at all what I thought it was going to be about! There is not a lot of arm wrestling in it, and most of the movie is about a father trying to connect with his son, whom he kind of kidnaps? This movie should be boring but it’s far too weird not to enjoy most of it. This is easily one of the craziest movies we have seen for this blog and I kind of feel like instead of explaining everything, cause there is a ton, you should really see this.

If you’re looking for an action movie, this is not it.

I also watched, by myself recently;

Dredd – This was a pretty fun movie to watch but I have no interest in thinking about it again. But I’m also not a big action movie person so I would be curious to know what other people think of this.

Snow Buddies – I don’t know what it is but these buddies have captured my heart. And this time they take it to Alaska. These movies are always very complicated, and never make sense. Always a good watch. I hope to see Air Buddies next.

Book of Kells – This movie is very beautiful but the story is kind of boring. That doesn’t really matter though because it’s less than 90 mins so it’s a very quick watch and worth it if you like animation.

WWJDII: The Woodcarver – I saw this a few weeks ago with my friend Ben and it was pretty insane. The best scene is when a 15 year old kid accidentally stabs John Ratzenberger in the leg and they never go to the hospital! A Jesus movie for the whole family. Oh, and the big message about this movie is, “if your parents get divorced, don’t worry, just pray about it and they will get back together.” A great lesson for kids!

BROADCAST NEWS (1987)

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Elizabeth

Broadcast News was another movie that I saw at summer camp and loved. Even though it was about adults doing broadcast journalism (something I never had an interest in), I thought it was really relatable. And seeing it again, I still think that’s true but I also realized how sad it kind of is.

But what I think makes it great is that the characters are pretty multi-dimensional; no one is ever just awful or amazing, especially Holly Hunter. And Holly Hunter is just great anyway. I really related to her character the first time I saw it, which would have been the summer after 9th grade. I still feel like I’m similar to her now, but without the massive sadness and anxiety her character carries, although that was definitely present for me in high school.

I also really love the scene where Aaron (Albert Brooks) reads the news for the first time live on air. It’s sort of painful to watch, because you want him to succeed, but it’s still pretty funny while being very tragic.

Christopher

I had never heard of this movie before and when I mentioned that when I came across it at the library Elizabeth made me sound insane. SO based off of her reaction I really had to watch it! I definitely liked it more than I thought I was going to. But I’m a big William Hurt/Holly Hunter fan and it was a nice surprise to have a somewhat cameo by Jack Nicholson.

This movie is very interesting and clever and Holly Hunter is super cute and funny in it. [Editor’s note: Chris kept saying “Helen Hunt” instead of “Holly Hunter” throughout his post, further evidence of his Helen Hunt crush] What I liked the most was how realistic the ending was. Not everything is going to work out the way you want it to and not everyone stays in one city/state for their whole life (something I can’t imagine not doing).

THE UNTOUCHABLES (1987) – WITH SPECIAL GUEST MOM POST!!

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Elizabeth’s mom was in town this past week and watched a couple of movies with us. Here’s what she had to say:

Sandy (aka Elizabeth’s mom)

I’ve always liked this movie!  Kevin Costner and Andy Garcia look so darn young!  Sean Connery was in his Last Crusader-prime.  Patricia Clarkson was as beautiful as ever (I used to bake cakes for her Mom in New Orleans!).  There are several iconic lines and scenes (Kevin Costner & Andy Garcia in the train station for one) and I enjoyed sharing them with Elizabeth and Chris.  I had forgotten how violent some of the scenes are.  I had to look away when Robert De Niro picked up a bat and walked around the dinner table….that’s never a good sign.  My only complaint was that the soundtrack didn’t seem to go with the movie and was WAY too loud.  Or maybe I’m getting older.

Christopher

I think this was my third time watching this movie and I think I enjoyed it the most upon this viewing. For some reason this is a movie I knew so many people loved but I never really got it. What I remember the most about the first time I watched this was that there wasn’t enough Robert De Niro. I remember him only being in one scene but now I see that he’s in it a little bit more.

Although I did enjoy the movie more this time what really sticks out to me as not good about this movie is the soundtrack. It’s funny cause I love Ennio Morricone from all the great western movies but the music in this film is just kind of awful. IT’S SO FUCKING CHEESY! The scene where they are all riding together and the music swells up telling us “these are the best days of their lives” makes you kind of feel like the movie’s almost over.

I wonder if Brian De Palma wanted the music to be so obvious.

Elizabeth

So, The Untouchables is just one of those movies that I had never seen before and, after seeing it, I’m really not sure how I managed to not see it before. It’s really good; the story is good, the direction is good, the acting is good, and everyone looks good (especially Kevin Costner . . . damn). The music was surprisingly not very good, considering it was done by Ennio Morricone, but I guess he gets a pass because of all the other amazing stuff he’s done.

I guess the two scenes that stick out the most to me would be, first off, when Eliot (Kevin Costner) and Stone (Andy Garcia) go to Malone (Sean Connery)’s house, only to find him shot up and dying. They see the trail of blood where Malone dragged himself across the house, and Eliot assumes the dying Malone needs comfort. Malone reaches his hand toward a chain he always keeps with him that has a saint on it and Eliot puts it in his hand, assuming he wants to die holding it. Up to this point, Malone has been a pretty take-no-shit, use-violence-when-necessary, get-the-bad-guy-at-whatever-cost kind of guy. So, it’s not a surprise when Malone tosses the chain aside and keeps reaching, and Eliot realizes he’s reaching for a paper. He gives the paper to Malone, when Malone tells Eliot that it’s the train schedule that will lead them to Al Capone’s bookkeeper, the last piece of the puzzle that will allow them to arrest Capone, whom they were after and was responsible for the death of their other partner, Wallace (Charles Martin Smith) and is about to be responsible for Malone’s death. Malone dies, and Eliot and Stone are pissed and upset. I knew Sean Connery died in The Untouchables but I didn’t know he died in quite such a bloody way, but considering his character up to that point, it was a pretty badass and funny (at least when he tossed the chain aside) way for him to go.

The other memorable scene for me is the shootout in the train station. For being a shootout, it’s really incredibly elegant. It’s also appropriately tense, with Eliot eying a woman struggling to get her baby carriage up the stairs while keeping an eye on the doors as he waits for the bookkeeper. While the woman and her baby don’t end up ruining anything, I thought that this scene had a potential for going in our Kids Ruin Everything movie bank, but I guess they didn’t (this time) . I was also really struck by how awesome/crazy Andy Garcia was; he stops the baby carriage at the foot of the stairs while armed and aimed at one of the Capone guards. He shoots the guard in the head without missing a beat, and I know I’m not a gun person, but the way he was able to hold his arm up in the position he was in without flinching seemed pretty impressive.

When ensemble pieces are good, they are so good, and The Untouchables really is just so good.

PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES (1987)

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Christopher

This is a film my parents rented for my sister and I when we were younger and left us with the babysitter. I believe I enjoyed it but never really thought of it beyond a nice comedy. As an adult I’ve watched this movie multiple times and it is pure genius. IT’S SO GOOD!! And I have to say John Candy is a genius. I think what’s so nice about this movie is how clean and simple the jokes are but it’s so funny. It’s also insanely tragic in multiple ways but what are you guys reading this blog right now for? GO WATCH THIS MOVIE RIGHT NOW!! It’s on Netflix for goodness sake!!!

Elizabeth

Even though Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a comedy, and a good one, anytime it comes up or comes to mind I always think first of how sad it is. Because, really, Del Griffith (John Candy) is a sad character. And it’s kindly John Candy, so you don’t want to see him being a sad character. It’s just rough at times. But I guess everyone can sort of identify with parts of his character, which probably makes it sadder.

Since Chris and I recently took a long trip together, I was kind of struck by how similar Chris can be to Del and how similar I can be to Neal Page (Steve Martin). Chris is a very mellow, take-things-as-they-come, happy-go-lucky traveler. I’m a very nervous, easily-irritable traveler. Neither of us are really that much similar to either character, but it’s just funny to see.

I also love seeing and hearing Steve Martin say “fuck.” It just never gets old to me.

DIRTY DANCING (1987)

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Christopher

I kind of had no idea what this movie was about. I kept on expecting tons of fights to break out but I think I was confusing this with Road House. I was also not sure how I would view Patrick Swayze. The movie I generally think of him in is To Wong Fu. So I feel like I enjoyed Dirty Dancing but Swayze will always be Vida to me. What made this movie great was an appearance by Kelly Bishop, famously known for her role in Gilmore Girls. This was the first time I had ever seen her in anything else and she definitely looks pretty good in it.

Elizabeth

At this point I’m not entirely sure how many times I’ve seen Dirty Dancing but it just really never gets old. Obviously, some of it is pretty corny, especially when Johnny (Patrick Swayze) says stuff along the lines of “I’m from the streets! I ain’t nothin’!” But, really, it’s okay that it’s cheesy because it’s just enjoyable anyway. And the dancing is great.

One thing I love about Dirty Dancing is just how dirty the dancing is. It’s dirty now in 2013, was dirty when the movie came out in 1987, and would have been really dirty at the time the movie was supposed to take place, in 1963. The first time Baby (Jennifer Grey) enters the clubhouse with the staff of the resort her family is staying at sweatily grinding against each other, it cuts to Baby’s face, staring with her mouth open. And even now, it’s sort of hard not to have a similar reaction watching the movie. Despite the title, up until that scene, the movie is pretty innocent: women wear early 60’s style dresses, men wear jackets, families have lunch together. The scene of teenagers dry humping on a dancefloor kind of comes as a shock. But it’s not just the dirty dancing that’s great, it’s the dancing in general. I really do love a good montage (but when they’re bad . . . they’re so bad), and Dirty Dancing nails the dancing montages. It’s great. And, of course, the music is so fabulous. Most of the 80s stuff is forgettable (especially “She’s Like The Wind” sung by Patrick Swayze . . .), but then “Hungry Eyes” is also in there, so it’s still pretty good.