Since the first day of our “shelter-in-place” quarantine fun, I’ve been doing a daily viewing of one of my favorite comedies on my projector at the house. Some people have been curious as to the ones I have done, so here’s the list. I’ll update it every day or two with the ones as they go. I’ll add each new entry to the top, so the oldest one from the start of it all will be down at the bottom. And yes, there are obvious ones that I have not done yet. I’m pacing myself for the long haul. Anyway, here’s the list. You can click the title for a trailer.
UPDATE: I’ve expanded the daily routine into a double feature. The first movie is a comedy, the second an action movie.
8/20: The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell Of Fear (1991) / Back To The Future (1985)
Today’s #Comedy19 viewing follows on for the week with The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell Of Fear.
And I’m going to go ahead and count my theatrical viewing I just got back from of Back To The Future as my action movie follow-up for today. Little bit of a stretch defining it as an action movie, but hey, why not?
8/19: The Naked Gun: From The Files Of Police Squad (1988) / Flash Gordon (1980)
Today’s selection is one of the greatest movies of all time, 1988’s The Naked Gun: From The Files Of Police Squad. After doing the 6 episode of Police Squad over the last two days, I now begin three days of doing the Naked Gun films. I’d been saving this heavy hitter for a while during all this down time (who’d have thunk it to last so long – it’s sad that I may actually be able to save Planes, Trains & Automobiles for a Thanksgiving Day viewing and probably have it part of all of this).
And for the action movie follow-up, I’m going to be doing a viewing of today’s arrival of the fancy 4K UHD super special edition of 1980’s Flash Gordon.
Pathetic Earthlings, who can save you now?
8/18: Police Squad: Part 2 (1982) / Die Hard With A Vengeance (1995)
Today’s viewing follows up on yesterday’s viewing of the first 3 episodes of 1982’s Police Squad. Tonight, I finish Police squad with the final 3 of 6 episodes. Then the next 3 days will be going through the Naked Gun films.
And for the action movie follow-up today, I’m doing Die Hard With A Vengeance. Since I do the first two movies each Christmas season, I figured I’d do this one now, since it’s a summer movie.
8/17: Police Squad: Part 1 (1982) / Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Alright, this week it’s time to pull out a heavy hitter I’ve been saving a while for the viewing series. That heavy hitter is the Police Squad / Naked Gun franchise. I’m gonna do something unusual this time and actually do the run of the hilarious and classic 1982 series Police Squad (In Color!) over the first two days. Since there were only 6 episodes made, I’m splitting it into two movie-length viewings, with 3 episodes each. Then I’ll be following them up with the three Naked Gun movies over the next 3 days.
As for the action movie follow-up, I’m doing a nice 4K viewing of Blade Runner 2049. I’d hit highlights from it when I did the 4K projector upgrade, but haven’t done the full movie since.
8/16: Summer Rental (1985) / Poseidon (2006)
For today’s viewing, we have another Carl Reiner movie, the 1985 John Candy comedy, Summer Rental.
And for the action movie follow-up, it’s the Poseidon Adventure remake from 2006, Poseidon.
8/15: Balls Of Fury (2007) / The Concorde… Airport ’79 (1979)
Going with a fun and completely silly entry for today’s selection in the viewing series: 2007’s Balls Of Fury.
And for the action movie follow-up, I’ll need all your deepest sympathies for making it through the final movie in the Airport series, 1979’s Concorde: Airport ’79. It’s a truly awful movie. While the first three got a bit more ridiculous with each entry, they were all enjoyable for what they are. This fourth and final one is to the Airport franchise as Jaws 4: The Revenge was to the Jaws franchise.
8/14: My Blue Heaven (1990) / Airport ’77 (1977)
Today’s selection is in honor of it being Steve Martin’s 75th birthday today. Given that I’ve actually done quite a few of his movies as part of the series already, I’m going with one I haven’t seen in a long time, 1990’s My Blue Heaven, also featuring the great Rick Moranis.
And for the action movie follow-up, the Airport series continues with Airport ’77 from, uh… 1977.
As if! Today’s viewing is the 1995 valley girl classic, Clueless.
And the action movie follow-up continues the ’70s disaster theme with the second film in the Airport series, 1974’s, uh… Airport 1975.
8/12: The Breakfast Club (1985) / Airport (1970)
Today’s selection is the 1985 John Hughes classic, The Breakfast Club.
And for the action movie follow-up, I’m continuing the ’70s disaster movie theme and beginning the downward slope of the Airport series with the 1970 original, Airport. And yes, I know calling the first film in the series an action movie is a MAJOR stretch of the concept of action.
For today’s selection, I’m going with the highly underrated 2011 animated comedy western, Rango. It’s a wonderfully strange movie. It probably didn’t do as well as it could have from its particularly odd blend of genre and demographic. Plus, it has a wonderfully fun Hans Zimmer western score.
And following on with the ’70s disaster viewings, my action movie follow-up is the not-as-great 1978 Irwin Allen disaster movie (his final), The Swarm. It does at least have a good Jerry Goldsmith trailer.
8/8: Back To School (1986) / Earthquake (1974)
The selection for today is the 1986 Rodney Dangerfield comedy, Back To School.
And the action movie follows up on the previous ’70s disaster movies. This time it’s 1974’s Earthquake.
8/6: Air America (1990) / The Towering Inferno (1975)
For tonight’s viewing, I’m going with the underappreciated Vietnam-adjacent 1990 comedy, Air America. It’s a dark, cynical, but goofy comedy that kinda goes along with my pick last night of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
For the action movie follow-up, it’s the next pick from the ’70s disaster movie genre: the 1975 Irwin Allen classic, The Towering Inferno.
8/5: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016) / The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
Today’s selection is the underappreciated 2016 Tina Fey movie, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. It’s a dark and edgy comedy with a great cast and first rate production. It probably ended up overlooked because it doesn’t fit squarely into a genre. It’s also the rare movie without an opening title shot, so no thumbs up clip for this one. Will link the trailer on the main post instead.
For the action movie, going to start a dive into a subgenre I’m a sucker for: ’70s disaster movies. Tonight, we have The Poseidon Adventure.
8/3: M*A*S*H (1970) / Under Seige (1992)
For today’s selection, I’m going with Robert Altman’s MAS*H. While I’m a big fan of the TV series (well, at least the first 7-8 seasons), I’m a bit so-so on the original movie. I’ve never been a fan of Robert Altman’s directorial style, and it doesn’t do this movie any favors, either. But enough of the material still works and the nice cast is having fun with it. The movie celebrated its 50th anniversary earlier this year.
And for the action movie follow-up, I’m going with 1992’s Under Seige, the highlight of which is Tommy Lee Jones.
8/2: Weird Science (1985) / Hard Target (1993)
Since today is the 35th anniversary of its release, today’s selection is the ridiculous 1985 John Hughes movie, Weird Science. While I actually prefer the USA Network TV series adaptation, the movie does have its moments. And it’s got Anthony Michael Hall, Bill Paxton and even Robert Downey Jr.
The action movie follow-up for tonight is going to be one done in memory of Wilford Brimley, and it’s one that most people don’t realize featured him in an awesome action role. That movie is the 1993 Jean-Claude Van Damme movie, Hard Target. It is the Hollywood debut of director John Woo. It also features a fun bad guy role from Lance Henrickson and a nice score by Graeme Revell. But yeah, it even features action scenes with Wilford Brimley (carrying a bow as he rides a horse away from an explosion, no less).
8/1: Sky High (2005) / Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997)
Given that its 15th anniversary from release was a couple days ago, today’s selection is 2005’s fun comic superhero comedy, Sky High. It’s a goofy and fun riff on the genre whose only failing was its timing. Released in 2005, it was a handful of years too early, with the MCU onslaught still a few years in the future. The cast is fantastic, filling in even the supporting roles with fun bits of casting. And Michael Giacchino turns in a fun score.
And for the action movie follow-up continues on from yesterday. That’s right, it’s the flawed and hit-or-miss 1997 sequel, Speed 2: Cruise Control. It’s not as bad as its reputation. Not a great film or anything, but it has its moments. The biggest flaw is that it’s missing Keanu Reeves and is forced to substitute him awkwardly for Jason Patrick, who to be fair at least tries. If nothing else, it gets a great music score from Mark Mancina, who takes his excellent work from the first film and gives it a fun Caribbean overhaul.
Today’s selection is 1998’s Mafia! (aka Jane Austen’s Mafia!). Directed by Jim Abrahams (the A in the ZAZ team of Zucker / Abrahams / Zucker, who also directed movies like the Hot Shots films) and using the same sensibilities to mock the mafia movie genre, it’s an underappreciated movie. It’s not quite as good as the best of the ZAZ filmography, but it’s got plenty of great stuff in it. And, as you might guess, my dislike of the mafia movie genre probably helps me like a movie that makes fun of it. 🙂
And for the action movie follow-up, I’m going with the 1994 classic, Speed.
7/30: Sgt. Bilko (1996) / Pacific Rim (2013)
Today’s selection follows up on yesterday’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels viewing, in that it also stars Steve Martin and co-stars (the late) Glenne Headly. That movie is the underappreciated 1996 movie, Sgt. Bilko. Featuring a solid supporting cast of everyone from Dan Aykroyd to Phil Hartman to Chris Rock, it’s plenty of goofball fun.
And for the action movie follow-up, I went with the original Pacific Rim from 2013. It’s a lot of fun. Sadly, the sequel fell flat, but at least this original is quite entertaining.
7/29: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988) / Speed Racer (2008)
Today’s selection is the 1988 classic, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. It stars Steve Martin & Michael Caine. You needn’t know any more than that.
Oklahoma! Oklahoma! Oklahoma! Oklahoma! Oklahoma!
The action movie selection is the highly underappreciated Speed Racer from 2008. I know it’s an unpopular opinion, but it’s my favorite Wachowski movie. I watch this movie at least once a year. It’s probably the most colorful movie ever made, and it is so well crafted and has such ridiculous energy and style.
7/28: Bulletproof (1996)
Doing the combo action/comedy for a single viewing tonight.
7/27: Empire Records (1995) / Tango & Cash (1989)
It isn’t Rex Manning day, but I’m doing Empire Records tonight for my selection anyway. Every time I watch this one, which is semi-frequently, I miss Tower Records.
I wonder if I’ll be held responsible for this.
And for the action movie follow-up, I went with the silly and kinda stupid Tango & Cash, which I have a bit of a soft spot for despite it’s limitations. If nothing else, it has a fun Harold Faltermeyer Score.
7/26: The Secret Of My Success (1987) / Strange Days (1995)
Today’s selection is the 1987 Michael J. Fox classic, The Secret Of My Success. They don’t get much more ’80s than this one. 😉
And for the action movie follow-up, I’m bringing out a heavy hitter. Well, it is one for me, anyway, as it’s one of my all-time favorites: 1995’s Strange Days. Written and produced by James Cameron and directed by his ex-wife, the hugely talented Kathryn Bigelow. It’s extremely stylistic and is also a highly intense movie in some scenes. It is not for the easily offended. And the primary plot is sadly still highly volatile in this environment of police and racial rioting…
7/25: A Fish Called Wanda (1988) / The Delta Force (1986)
Tonight’s viewing is the 1988 classic A Fish Called Wanda. A fantastic cast is the highlight of this crime caper comedy, including what is probably my favorite Kevin Kline performance.
And for the action movie follow-up, I’m going with the 1986 vintage Cannon classic, The Delta Force. The highlight of this one is Alan Silvestri’s great music score. And of course, Lee Marvin. 🙂
7/24: Short Circuit 2 (1988) / Demolition Man (1993)
Tonight’s viewing for follows-up on last night’s selection. We have the 1988 sequel, Short Circuit 2. It’s the rare sequel that kinda works a bit better than the first, and it even pulls it off without the main cast of the original, basing it around a supporting character (and one that would definitely not fly in a modern movie for politically correct reasons). Both films are silly and fun in a charming way. But the NYC setting and a more varied plot helps the sequel be a bit more entertaining.
And for the action movie follow-up, I’m going with what I consider a heavy hitter. 1993’s Demolition Man is a movie I have a big soft spot for. The cast is fun, the production is solid and it has plenty of fun with its material, never taking itself seriously. And hey, it follows up with yesterday’s action movie selection (Drop Zone) by also starring Wesley Snipes.
7/23: Short Circuit (1986) / Drop Zone (1994)
Tonight’s entry is the silly 1986 classic, Short Circuit. Number 5 is alive! No disassemble!
And the action movie follow-up is a follow-up on yesterday’s action movie selection, Terminal Velocity. It’s another 1994 movie focused around skydiving. For tonight, it’s Drop Zone. It’s a fun action movie featuring a great action score from Hans Zimmer. And guess what? Both Short Circuit and Drop Zone were directed by talented director John Badham.
7/22: Happy Gilmore (1996) / Terminal Velocity (1994)
The entry for tonight is one of the couple good Adam Sandler comedies: 1996’s Happy Gilmore.
And for the action movie follow-up, I’m making it a Christopher McDonaald double feature and doing the underappreciated 1994 action thriller Terminal Velocity.
7/20: The Great Outdoors (1988) / First Strike (1996)
Some John Candy & Dan Aykroyd fun for tonight’s viewing of 1988’s The Great Outdoors, written and produced by John Hughes.
And for the action movie follow-up, it’ll be Jackie Chan’s 1996 movie, First Strike.
7/19: Isle Of Dogs (2018) / Dante’s Peak (1997)
As was revealed yesterday, Wes Anderson week in my series concludes today with his most recent film, 2018’s Isle Of Dogs. Well, most recent until The French Dispatch is released later this year. It’s his second stop-motion movie, after the masterpiece of Fantastic Mr. Fox. So is Isle Of Dogs as good as Fantastic Mr. Fox? VERY nearly, yes. It’s another absolutely fantastic, inventive, quirky, charming, funny and unique movie.
And as was also revealed in yesterday’s post, my follow-up action movie is the other 1997 volcanic movie, Dante’s Peak. It’s the better of the two films and is kinda forgotten to time. It’s not a fantastic film, but is certainly entertaining enough, is well made and features a great cast.
7/18: Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) / Volcano (1997)
Wes Anderson week continues in my viewing series with 2009’s Fantastic Mr. Fox. It’s a contender for being my favorite Wes Anderson movie. It’s the moment where it became obvious that Anderson’s quirky sensibilities were a perfect match for stop animation. I’m finishing this Wes Anderson week with his two stop animation movies, which yes, gives away what tomorrow’s selection will be.
And since I’m doing Anderson’s 2 stop animation movies for the weekend selections, I’m gonna do a pair of action movies for the follow-up selections. This weekend I’m doing the pair of volcanic action films from 1997. Tonight’s entry is the cleverly titled Volcano. And yes, that means you can also figure out what tomorrow night’s action movie selection will be.
Things continue with the ongoing Wes Anderson week. Today, we have 1998’s Rushmore. It’s Anderson’s second movie, and would certainly be considered his breakthrough opportunity. While the Wilson brothers were in his first film, Bottle Rocket, and would appear in future films, it’s Rushmore that would be the touchstone to the formation of the true core of actors. It’s the first to feature Bill Murray, who has been in every one of his movies since, and also Jason Schwartzman, who has been in most of his movies since. And yeah, the Wilson brothers.
Now that the Lethal Weapon series has wrapped up, my action movie follow-up for tonight is Hard Rain, also from 1998. I’ve always had a soft spot for this one and think it’s underrated. It’s a great production (which must have been ridiculously challenging) with a great cast and is one of only a couple movies that cast Randy Quaid as a bad guy, which he’s actually fantastic at (see also The Ice Harvest). It also features a fantastic music score from Christopher Young.
7/16: The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004) / Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)
Wes Anderson week continues for my viewing series with 2004’s The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. While Bill Murray is a fixture in Wes Anderson’s filmography, this one sure has him featured most prominently.
And my action movie follow-up finished the Lethal Weapon viewing series with 1998’s Lethal Weapon 4.
7/15: Bottle Rocket (1996) / Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)
Today, for my viewing, Wes Anderson week continues with where it all started, 1996’s Bottle Rocket. It’s his first movie. It’s not as polished or elaborate as his future films would be, but many of the same quirky tendencies were certainly there from the start.
And for the action movie follow-up, the Lethal Weapon viewings continue with the third in the series.
7/14: The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) / Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
Wes Anderson week continues for my viewing series today with 2014’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. It’s yet another of Wes Anderson’s great and quirky comedies with some of the most lavish and esoteric production design you’ll ever see (this time even playing with aspect ratios). Not completely sure where I would rank this one in Anderson’s filmography. Perhaps after this theme week finishes, I’ll try and put together a personal ranked list.
For the action movie follow-up, the Lethal Weapon series continues with 1989’s Lethal Weapon 2.
7/13: Moonrise Kingdome (2012) / Lethal Weapon (1997)
Today begins a new theme week for my viewing series. For this week, I will be doing movies directed by Wes Anderson. To begin the week, I am doing a contender for my favorite of his films, 2012’s Moonrise Kingdom. Anderson is definitely an acquired taste, as the person who is probably the most quirky, esoteric and oddly stylistic director out there. I’m a big fan, but I’m sure there are those out there whose fur is rubbed the wrong way by his odd sensibilities and style.
For my action movie follow-up, I’m also beginning a recurrent series for the week. Well, it will be for 4 days, anyway, because I’m going to do the Lethal Weapon film series. Tonight, it begins with the 1987 original. Writer/director Shane Black was having a fun year in 1987, having written Lethal Weapon and co-starred in Predator that same year. 🙂
7/12: Monty Python & The Holy Grail (1974) / Run Lola Run (1998)
For today’s viewing, I’m bringing out a couple more heavy hitters with two of my all-time favorites. For the comedy selection, we have the 1974’s classic, Monty Python & The Holy Grail. I imagine I don’t have to say much about that one. BTW, make sure to check out the trailer for this one in the comments if you haven’t seen the amusing trailer before.
For the action movie follow-up, I’m doing the 1998’s Run Lola Run. It’s the German version of Sliding Doors on cocaine. I’m the rare American who not only saw it theatrically, but even saw it twice in the theater (at the old Foxfield Theater in St. Charles, during the few years they owned it after buying it from Cineplex, using it as an art house theater before closing it within a few years). Anyway, this movie is an almost hour and a half of pure energy. I’ve seen it many times, and it’s always just as fun.
7/11: Major League (1989) / RoboCop (1987)
Tonight’s viewing is the 1989 classic, Major League.
And for the follow-up action movie, I’m doing the 1987 classic, RoboCop.
Today’s viewing starts off with another 80s comedy with Tom Hanks, 1987’s Dragnet. I wouldn’t call it a great movie, but it has its moments. I’m going with this one to make it a double feature with my action movie follow-up.
And that action movie follow-up is the brand new WWII naval action movie, Greyhound, starring and written by Tom Hanks. Sadly, the movie ended up not getting a proper theatrical release and has had to debut on Apple TV. At least I’ll be checking it out in nice 4K HDR. I’ll post my opinion of the movie later tonight after the viewing.
7/7: EuroTrip (2004) / Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (1982)
The viewing for today is 2004’s over-the-top EuroTrip. Not one for the easily offended, or at all offendable.
The action movie follow-up is one that I think qualifies as an action movie… Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan. Wanna check out a 4K copy of it. It’s easily one of my favorite movies. Seen it many times, and can pretty much quote along with it.
7/6: Mousehunt (1997) / In The Line Of Fire (1993)
For today’s viewing, my selection is 1997’s MouseHunt. It’s a wacky, cute, wild, inventive comedy. It also features a wonderful, delightful Alan Silvestri music score.
And for my action movie follow-up, I’m doing one in honor of Ennio Morricone. It stars Clint Eastwood, and it’s not likely one you’re thinking about when I put their names together. I’m talking about 1993’s In The Line Of Fire.
7/5: All Of Me (1984) / Predators (2010) / The Predator (2018)
The series continues with the final of the 4 consecutive Carl Reiner films starring Steve Martin: 1994’s All Of Me.
And for the action movie follow-up, I finally do the other half of the Predator films in 4K, with the double feature of 2010’s Predators and 2018’s The Predator.
7/4: The Man With Two Brains (1983) / Independence Day (1996)
The viewing continues tonight with the third of Carl Reiner’s four consecutive movies with Steve Martin, 1983’s The Man With Two Brains. It’s a wildly silly movie, to be sure.
And of course the action movie selection for tonight is 1996’s Independence Day, which I watch every year on the 4th.
7/3: Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (1982) / Trinity & Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie (1995)
In honor of Carl Reiner, I’m continuing my viewings with the second of his 4 consecutive films with Steve Martin, 1982’s Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid. I haven’t watched this one in decades. It’s an odd duck. It’s an homage/parody of old detective noir movies of the 40s. It incorporates many vintage clips from a good number of those actual movies from that era and intercuts them with scenes of Martin and a handful of other actors (including Carl Reiner). It’s a fun experiment of a film. It’s also the final film for golden era composer Miklos Rosza and costume designer Edith Head.
And for my action movie selection, I’m going with something unique… 1995’s Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie. It’s an excellent documentary on the atomic bomb with tons of declassified test film footage. It’s in honor of it being the observed holiday for July 4th, being pretty much non-stop nuclear explosions from start to finish. Figured that would be a decent substitute for lack of fireworks fun this year. I might follow it up with a couple of the sequels.
7/2: Clue (1985) / Jurassic Park (1993)
My viewing today is going to be different. I’m back in a theater for the first time since March 11. Classic Cinemas is the only chain operational, and they’re doing old movies on most of their screens. As an amusing coincidence, that last movie I saw in a theater in March was The Hunt For Red October, at this very Elk Grove theater (not one I’m at very often).
So, today I am doing things in the wrong order due to how showings lined up. First is the action movie, which is Jurassic Park, and is about to start in a couple minutes. Then I’ll be in a different screen for the comedy viewing, which will be Clue.
7/1: The Jerk (1979) / Predator (1987) / Predator 2 (1990)
Tonight’s entry is in honor of Carl Reiner. It’s the 1979 Steve Martin classic, The Jerk. It’s the first of 4 consecutive films that Reiner directed starring (and at least partially written by) Steve Martin. I may do some or all of the other three at some point in this viewing series. But for tonight, it’s The Jerk. And hey, I totally forgot that the stageplay of last night’s viewing choice, Deathtrap, was visible in the opening shot of The Jerk. 🙂
For the action movie follow-up, I’m doing something a little bit different. Today and tomorrow will work together as a double double feature. I’m doing the full run of the Predator franchise 4-movie 4K UHD disc set. Tonight, it will be 1987’s Predator and 1990’s underrated Predator 2. Tomorrow, it will be Predators and The Predator.
6/30: Deathtrap (1982) / Broken Arrow (1996)
Tonight’s entry is selected in memory of composer Johnny Mandel, who passed away yesterday. I’ll do one in honor of Carl Reiner for tomorrow’s selection. Tonight’s selection of 1982’s Deathtrap, directed by Sidney Lumet, is an all-time personal favorite movie. The magnificent Michael Caine is in absolute top form, Christopher Reeve also turns in a career highlight performance, and Diane Cannon is… well… at her peak level of being Diane Cannon. The thriller comedy script is playfully wonderful. And it features endlessly brilliant dialogue. This movie is stuffed full of quotable dialogue. I’ve seen this movie dozens and dozens and dozens of times over the years. And I’m enjoying watching it just as much yet again.
For the action movie follow-up tonight, it’s John Woo’s 1996 movie, Broken Arrow. Personally, I think it’s underrated. Christian Slater re-teams with his Pump Up The Volume co-star, Samantha Mathis, as the protagonists. And John Travolta is having fun chewing the scenery as the bad guy (which led to his REALLY over the top fun in Woo’s next movie, Face/Off). It’s a nicely shot action movie, and Hans Zimmer’s stylish music score is wonderful. And hey, the climax of the movie takes place on a train, so it ties in nicely with the train movies I’ve been doing for the last handful of days. 🙂
6/29: 1941 (1979) / Disaster On The Coastliner (1979)
For reasons that’ll be clear in a bit, I’m picking a movie from the ’70s for my viewing choice tonight. Since I haven’t done Steven Spielberg’s wild, over-the-top 1941 from 1979 yet, that is my selection. It features a huge and fun cast, incredibly intricate model work, grand scale and is ridiculously silly. It’s also VERY loosely based on a real-life footnote of WWII history. More than anything, though, it features a magnificent and extremely fun music score from John Williams. And hey, it also continues my recent streak of movies with John Candy.
The reason I picked a comedy from the ’70s is that my action movie is also going to be from the ’70s. The reason for that is that I’m sticking with the “runaway train” theme of the last couple action movie selections. And me being the sucker for ’70s disaster movies I am, I’m going with an obscure selection this time: Disaster On The Coastliner, also from 1979, which also features a large and notable cast (a requirement of any ’70s disaster flick).
6/28: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) / Unstoppable (2010)
In honor of today’s Reunited Apart episode, I’m pulling out one of the all-time comedy heavy hitters, 1986’s John Hughes classic, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Easily contender for the best non-ZAZ comedy film of all time. Geez, for a budget projector, this new one makes 1080p blu-ray discs look surprisingly good. The opening fourth wall scenes of Ferris are looking fantastic so far.
As the action movie today, I’m following up on Friday’s viewing of Runaway Train with Tony Scott’s impressive 2010 movie, Unstoppable (sadly, the last film he directed).
6/27: Tag (2018)
I’m doing a combined action-comedy movie for my viewing tonight. It’s a movie that I liked a lot, but didn’t do as well as I expected. It’s 2018’s silly Tag, which is actually based on a true story. It’s completely over the top and features a wonderful cast and some of the funniest action scenes in quite a few years, IMO. It’s not one for the easily offended, though.
6/26: Career Opportunities (1991) / Runaway Train (1985)
Today’s viewing is the enjoyable 1991 John Hughes written & produced (but not directed) movie, Career Opportunities. It certainly may not be perfect (and the ending needs work), but I’ve always quite enjoyed it. Frank Whaley & Jennifer Connelly are great in it, with a fun bit of supporting role casting of Barry Corbin and William Forsythe. Dermot Mulroney and his brother Kieran are so-so as the idiot villains. And hey, this continues my streak from the last couple days of John Candy movies with a cameo scene in this one.
For the action movie follow-up, I’m going with 1985’s Runaway Train. It’s the very rare Cannon Films movie that is actually great.
6/25: Splash (1984) / 7500 (2019)
Since I did Volunteers yesterday with Tom Hanks and John Candy, today’s selection is 1984’s Splash, the other movie to feature the two.
And for the action movie follow-up, I’m doing a 4K viewing of last year’s 7500, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I haven’t actually seen this one, so it’ll be a first viewing.
6/24: Volunteers (1985) / Upgrade (2018)
Tonight’s choice is the 1985 Tom Hanks adventure comedy, Volunteers. It’s a bit of an oddball movie, tonally speaking, but one I have a soft spot for. It has a nice James Horner music score (which has yet to see a proper score release – word has it the master tapes are long lost). The movie was directed by Nicholas Meyer (Star Trek 2, 4 & 6, as well as Time After Time, etc) and not only stars future power couple Tom Hanks & Rita Wilson in their first movie together (a couple years before they married, but after they first worked together on Bosom Buddies), but also features the always-fun John Candy.
And for tonight’s action movie follow-up is 2018’s sci-fi action movie, Upgrade. Directed by Leigh Whannell (the original Saw, the recent Invisible Man, etc), who has proven to be very good at making the most of a modest budget, it was one of 2018’s pleasant surprise films.
6/23: Kentucky Fried Movie (1977) / The Rocketeer (1991)
Today’s viewing is the original Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker movie (written by them, but directed by John LAndis), 19777’s Kentucky Fried Movie. Yeah, much of it is tasteless, some of which work, but it has some classic stuff in it, too. Easy to see where Airplane and the rest of their stuff would come from. This one is very definitely not one for the easily, or not-so-easily, offended.
And for the action movie follow-up, I’m doing 1991’s wonderful The Rocketeer.
6/22: A League Of Their Own (1992) / Tank Girl (1995)
Tonight’s viewing is going to be a Lori Petty double feature, for a couple reasons. First, it seemed like a good follow-up to watching Lori Petty in Point Break last night. And second, it’s a good reason to check out the new 4K HDR release of A League Of Their Own. It’s only available in the pricey 6-movie Columbia Pictures 4K set that just came out last week, but thankfully a quality rip of that has already floated (along with the other movies in the set). One thing is for sure, I with Hans Zimmer’s excellent score for this movie would get a proper release. A decent amount was on the soundtrack with a bunch of the songs, but I’d love for the full score to get a release.
To round out the Lori Petty double feature, tonight’s action movie follow-up is as different from the movie that precedes it as possible. And that would be Lori Petty’s defining role: Tank Girl. It’s a goofball, stylized, sci-fi action movie, with plenty of comedy overtones (its blend of genres probably helped it fail). I’ve always had a soft spot for the movie.
6/21: National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1995) / Point Break (1991)
For tonight’s viewing, I figured I’d do a Clark Griswold movie in honor of Father’s Day. Since I’ve already done the first Vacation movie, I went with European Vacation for tonight.
And for the action movie follow-up, it’ll be Point Break. And no, not the remake. It’ll be the 1991 Kathryn Bigelow original.
6/20: The entire Pink Panther franchise
Alright, I’m attempting something kinda insane today as part of my viewing series. Rather than do one comedy movie for the day, I’m doing an entire franchise marathon. And I’m gonna attempt ’em all, which if my calculations are correct should end somewhere between 3:00 to 4:00 AM in over 18 hours. That’s right, I’m attempting a marathon of the entire Pink Panther franchise. Yes, that even includes Inspector Clouseau, Trail of…, Son of…, as well as the Steve Martin films. I’ll be messing with some cleaning and organizing stuff as I watch them all on the projector. Worst case scenario, I’ll leave the Steve Martin films for another time. Here’s the viewing list:
The Pink Panther (1963)
A Shot in the Dark (1964)
Inspector Clouseau (1968)
The Return of the Pink Panther (1975)
The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976)
Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978)
Trail of the Pink Panther (1982)
Curse of the Pink Panther (1983)
Son of the Pink Panther (1993)
The Pink Panther (2006)
The Pink Panther 2 (2009)
6/19: 8 Heads In A Duffel Bag (1997) / Snake In The Eagle’s Shadow (1978)
Tonight’s viewing entry is the fun and underappreciated and very silly 8 Heads In A Duffle Bag from 1997. It’s a bit too over-the-top (particularly Dyan Cannon being… well… Dyan Cannon), but it’s a fun, dark comedy.
For the action movie follow-up, I’ll be doing Jackie Chan’s vintage, classic Snake In The Eagle’s Shadow from 1978. While Chan had appeared in numerous films earlier throughout the 70s, this one is the first to star him in what he would become known for: combining comedy and action. I’ve only seen bits and pieces of it before, so this’ll be the first full viewing of this one for me.
Pulling out a heavy hitter for tonight’s viewing. 1988’s Heathers is one of my all-time favorites. It’s one of the darkest comedies ever made. And while many have attempted to achieve its bizarre combination of tones and style, disastrously so in the recent, abysmal series attempt, nobody has ever pulled it off even nearly as well. It is also very much a product of its era and will probably always remain a truly unique movie. One thing is for certain, it ain’t for those even slightly able to be offended. Doing the viewing of Arrow’s nice, new restoration, which annoyingly has yet to see a release in the USA (thank you internet for a quality rip of their UK release).
And following up on yesterday’s viewing of Braveheart as the action movie selection, tonight I’m doing the underappreciated Payback from 1999. I’ll be viewing the much superior director’s cut. This is another one for those not easily offended. It’s a dark and gritty revenge movie, and it’s the directorial debut of writer Brian Helgeland (who would follow it up by writing and directing A Knight’s Tale as his next project – which is an impressively HUGE tonal shift to make).
6/17: Stripes (1981) / Braveheart (1995)
For tonight’s comedy, we have the 1981 classic, Stripes.
And for the action movie follow-up, I’ll be doing a viewing of the brand new UHD steelbook release for 1995’s Braveheart.
6/16: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1992) / 1917 (2019)
My viewings resumed yesterday after my return from my brief Orlando trip. The comedy movie selection was 1992’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
And for the action follow-up, it was the UHD disc for last year’s masterpiece, 1917.
6/11: Warm Bodies (2013)
The viewing for tonight is a combo of comedy & action, so I’m just doing the one movie for tonight. It’s a delightful RomZomCom. And the viewing series will take a hiatus after tonight until probably next Tuesday, as I leave for Orlando in the morning tomorrow. The series only continues while I’m sheltering-in-place at the house.
6/10: Uncle Buck (1989) / Dunkirk (2018)
Tonight’s entry is the John Hughes & John Candy classic, 1989’s Uncle Buck. I miss John Candy.
The action movie follow-up for tonight is Christopher Nolan’s 2018 masterpiece, Dunkirk.
6/9: The Cannonball Run (1981) / Into The Storm (2014)
For tonight’s entry we have the 1981 classic, The Cannonball Run. It’s silly, sure, but fun.
And for the action movie follow-up, I’m doing one to follow up on having done Twister yesterday. 2014’s Into The Storm might not be a great movie, but it’s decent enough for what it is.
6/8: Adventures In Babysitting (1987) / Twister (1996)
For tonight’s viewing selection, we start with 1987’s fun Chicago film, Adventures In Babysitting.
Then the action movie follow-up is my annual viewing of 1996’s Twister.
Nobody gets out of here without singing the blues.
6/7: Grosse Pointe Blank (1997) / Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Since I revealed yesterday what today’s viewings would be, these should come as no surprise. Following up on the other 1997 high school reunion movie from yesterday, Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion, we have 1997’s Grosse Pointe Blank. It’s a hilarious dark comedy with a fun lead role from John Cusack and what is one of my favorite Dan Aykroyd performances. Add in fun performances from the likes of Joan Cusack, Alan Arkin and Minnie Driver, and you have a fun movie.
And, as stated yesterday, I’m following up The Terminator from yesterday with 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day for my action movie follow-up.
6/6: Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion (1997) / The Terminator (1984)
This weekend’s selections are going to be something of a double feature. The two movies on each day don’t have anything to do with each other, but each one today ties into the one for tomorrow.
The comedy selection for today is one of my personal all-time favorite comedies, 1997’s Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion. It is a stylistic, goofy and very fun comedy with a great cast, led by Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino in a couple of career highlight best performances. Its tie-in for tomorrow will be the other high school reunion comedy from 1997, Grosse Pointe Blank.
And the action film for tonight is 1984’s The Terminator. Don’t think I have to say anything about this one. And I bet you can guess what its counterpart movie for tomorrow night will be…
6/5: Real Genius (1985) / MacGruber (2010)
Tonight’s viewing is a classic, 1985’s Real Genius. Along with Top Secret (which will be a featured viewing soon) and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, it’s contender for my favorite Val Kilmer performance.
And for the action movie follow-up, I’m going with Val Kilmer in a wonderfully fun bad guy performance in 2010’s MacGruber. And yeah, that one could have been chosen for either the comedy or action movie.
6/4: Idiocracy (2006) / King Kong (2005)
It was only a matter of time before I got to watching this highly-relevant documentary as part of my viewing series: Idiocracy, brought to you by Carl’s Jr.
Then the action movie for tonight is the flawed but underappreciated King Kong from 2005. Checking out the 4K HDR disc, which should be quite nice.
6/3: Gung Ho (1986) / Jupiter Ascending (2015)
For tonight’s viewing, I’m doing director Ron Howard’s 1986 culture-clash comedy, Gung Ho. It’s a dated movie, but fun.
For the action follow-up, checking out another 4K HDR disc with the underappreciated 2015 sci-fi action movie from The Wachowskis, Jupiter Ascending. It’s a fairly silly fairy tale styled movie. It also features a spectacular music score from Michael Giacchino.
6/2: Action Point (2018) / The Fifth Element (1997)
The series continues tonight with 2018’s Action Point. I’m not usually one for Johnny Knoxville’s typical Jackass style buffoonery. This is the one exception. Not for the easily offended (surprise, surprise…).
The action movie follow-up for tonight is The Fifth Element. Checking out the 4K HDR disc for it.
6/1: Airplane II: The Sequel (1980) / Fury (2014)
The comedy for tonight is 1980’s Airplane II: The Sequel. It didn’t involve the Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker team, but it definitely has some great stuff. It has not-great stuff, too, but enough of it works. And it has an absolutely classic performance from William Shatner.
The action movie for the evening is 2014’s highly underappreciated WWII action-drama, Fury.
5/31: Toy Story 4 (2019) / Deepwater Horizon (2016)
The week of 4K HDR releases for my viewing series concludes tonight with Toy Story 4. Needless to say, a recent Pixar release in full 4K and HDR looks extremely impressive. The movie is something of a miracle. After creating what I would argue to be the most consistently good trilogy in movie history, I was very hesitant when they announced the fourth film. The fact that they nailed it is all the more impressive, proving that Toy Story is still the unwavering cornerstone franchise for Pixar.
For my action movie follow-up, I went with 2016’s Deepwater Horizon. If you haven’t seen it, it’s actually a well made movie with some impressive production and a pretty good cast. Wahlberg works well enough in the lead. He’s boosted by some excellent supporting performances from the likes of Kurt Russell. The 4K HDR disc looks great and the Dolby Atmos sound on it can rip the paint off the neighbor’s house.
5/30: The Nice Guys (2016)
Doing another combined comedy/action selection for 4K HDR week here in my viewing series. Tonight’s viewing is 2016’s The Nice Guys. It’s not quite as good as writer/director Shane Black’s previous masterpiece, 2005’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (a personal favorite of mine), but it’s still lots of fun. It’s definitely not one for the easily offended.
5/29: Booksmart (2019) / The Man From UNCLE (2015)
4K week continues in my viewing series with 2019’s Booksmart. It’s one of the surprise great comedies from the year. It’s the directing debut of actress Olivia Wilde. The cast is fantastic and the material is goofy and lots of fun. It’s definitely not one for those easily (or not so easily) offended.
Following that for the 4K action movie is the criminally underappreciated The Man From UNCLE from 2015. It’s one of my favorite movies of the last handful of years. It has a wonderful cast, has fun the with material and it oozes period style.
5/28: The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018)
The random 4K week in my series continues tonight with the 2018 movie, The Spy Who Dumped Me. I might count it as both the comedy and action movie for tonight, depending if I end up with enough time to do an action movie follow-up. This movie works equally well as either comedy or action. It’s a lot of fun, but not for those easily offended.
5/27: Ralph Breaks The Internet (2018) / Baby Driver (2017)
Tonight’s comedy is Ralph Breaks The Internet. As has been the cast the rest of the week, tonight’s entries are ones in full 4K HDR allowing me to check ’em out on the new projector. This movie is a heck of a lot of fun. And yeah, it looked great on the projector.
The follow-up action choice was a personal favorite, Edgar Wright’s 2017 masterpiece, Baby Driver. This one looked fantastic on the projector in beautiful 4K HDR.
5/26: A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (2019) / Birds Of Prey: And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn (2020)
The week of random selections for this week continues, with the only requirement being that each selection is one I have in 4K so I can continue to put the new 4K projector through its paces. Tonight’s entries are both very recent movies. For the comedy selection, we have 2019’s A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon. As somebody who has been a Shaun The Sheep (and Aardman Animation) fan from the beginning, it’s no surprise that I quite enjoy this one.
Following that up for my action movie selection is this year’s Birds of Prey: And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn, via the groovy Best Buy exclusive steelbook UHD release. Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn was the ONLY good thing to come out of the atrocious Suicide Squad movie, and its put on full bonkers display in this movie. This movie may not have done too well (criminally, it didn’t do as well as Suicide Squad, despite being infinitely better). It’s a fun, daffy, insane romp of an action movie for those who aren’t easily offended.
5/25: Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016) / Starship Troopers (1997)
New week, so former theme weeks are over. For this week, I’m going to be doing random movie selections with the only requirement being that they have to be ones in 4K, so I can spend the week checking out more fun stuff on the new 4K projector. For the comedy selection, I have selected 2016’s Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates. It’s a fun movie, if you’re not easily offended (it pushes its R rating). The cast is loads of fun.
After that, the action movie selection will be 1997’s classic Starship Troopers. It’s one of those movies most people either love or hate. Count me as one of those who love it. Seen it many times and it’s always just as fun as always.
5/24: The Love Bug (1968) / Drive Angry (2011)
So, when I began this week, I had a plan for what my viewings would be for the whole week, including today. My plan for today got truncated. I had planned to close out this Early Disney Live-Action Comedy Week by doing a marathon of the 5 Herbie movies. I have scaled it back to just doing the first film of the franchise, 1968’s The Love Bug. Along with 3 of the 4 sequels (and the short-lived early-80s series), it’s probably Dean Jones’ biggest claim to fame. He was, of course, in a number of the other Disney movies of the era (including 2 I’ve featured this week – Snowball Express and The Shaggy D.A. I’ll just have to save a full Herbie marathon for some other day.
As for the follow-up action movie to go with it, I’m closing out Nic Cage Action Movie week with an appropriate one to go with The Love Bug – 2011’s Drive Angry. It seemed like a good driving themed choice to go with The Love Bug for the day. It’s also unique in my series for being a movie I haven’t actually seen before, so I’ll be watching it for the first time tonight.
UPDATE: Drive Angry sucked.
5/23: Freaky Friday (1976) / Next (2007)
So, for today’s Early Disney Live-Action Comedy Week selection, I am doing the original 1976’s Jodie Foster classic, Freaky Friday.
And my action movie follow-up from this week’s Nic Cage Action Movie Week list is 2007’s sci-fi action film, Next. It’s a halfway decent Phillip K. Dick adaptation. It also has Peter Falk’s second-to-last role.
5/22: The Shaggy D.A. (1976) / Gone In 60 Seconds (2000)
Early Disney Live-Action Comedy Week continues with 1976’s The Shaggy D.A. It’s another of the Dean Jones classics of the genre/era. Featuring a good cast of Jones, Suzanne Pleshette, Tim Conway, Dick Van Patten, Jo Anne Worley and others, it’s a charming enough movie.
And my follow-up viewing from this week’s Nic Cage Action Movie Week is the 2000 remake of Gone In 60 Seconds. Not the greatest action movie ever made, but it’s fun enough. The varied and talented cast is the highlight.
5/21: The Cat From Outer Space (1978) / Kick-Ass (2010)
For tonight’s Early Disney Live-Action Comedy Week entry, I am going with what is my favorite of the era/genre/studio. That movie is 1978’s The Cat From Outer Space. There are a number of these early live-action comedies from Disney that I have a nostalgic connection to, but none of them more so than this movie (followed by Snowball Express). And, to be honest, despite its silly premise, it holds up tonally and comedically better than its peers. A big part of that is the absolutely delightful cast. From the always-fun Ken Berry to Sandy Duncan to Roddy McDowall, it is all very charmingly done. But most interesting is the fact that both of MASH 4077’s colonels have lead roles in the film as well (and it was produced right in the middle of MASH’s series run). Harry Morgan is the antagonistic, by-the-number military general (a less-crazy variation on his early General Steel character from MASH), and McLean Stevenson is a goofball gambling addict best-buddy to Ken Berry’s character. All of the cast works wonderfully in this movie, and things like a playful music score from the great Lalo Schifrin hold it all together.
Then, as was the case on previous days this week, my Nic Cage action movie pick to follow puts together two movies that I’m sure nobody has ever done as a double feature before. In this case, it is The Cat From Outer Space paired with 2010’s dark comedy superhero satire, Kick-Ass. For those that couldn’t guess, Kick-Ass isn’t for the easily offended. Nic Cage is a particular highlight for the first Kick-Ass (along with the biggest highlight of the movie, Chloe Grace Moretz).
5/20: Gus (1976) / Con Air (1997)
So, what do we have in store tonight for the Early Disney Live-Action Comedy Week entry? Why, none-other-than 1976’s Gus. Yeah, the one about the Yugoslavian mule who kicks field goals in the NFL. It’s like a proto-Air Bud. But come on, it stars Ed Asner, Don Knotts, Tim Conway, Dick Van Patten, Bob Crane, Tom Bosley and even Richard Kiel (most famous as “Jaws” in the Bond franchise). I hadn’t seen the movie in decades. Let’s just say that this one is weak. Despite a talented cast, only Bob Crane, as a goofy sports announcer named Pepper (one wonders if it had any influence on the name of Jason Bateman’s Pepper Brooks character in Dodgeball), manages to eeek the only laughs out of the material in this supposed comedy. I’m not sure which is worse, the ridiculous slide whistle sound every time Gus kicks the ball or the bad rear-projection and compositing.
And tonight’s action movie double feature follow-up, coming from the current Nic Cage Action Movie Week, is 1997’s Con Air. After yesterday’s viewing of The Rock, which is at best a so-so movie, the wonderful, fun Con Air is a huge improvement. Also, Steve Buscemi is a national treasure.
5/19: Snowball Express (1972) / The Rock (1996)
Tonight’s entry in Early Disney Live-Action Movie Week from my #Comedy19 series is one that has extra sentimental value. It’s 1972’s Snowball Express, starring the late, great Dean Jones (and Harry Morgan). It’s got that extra sentimental thing going for it because as a kid we had a VHS recording of this one that, like many other kids with certain movies, had been completely worn down from many viewings. Wouldn’t wanna venture a guess as to how many times I saw this on tape as a kid. This might also be the first entry in this whole #Comedy19 series that I’ve had to do in SD, since this movie has only ever had a 4:3 DVD release from quite a while back and never had an HD release online or otherwise. Who knows, maybe someday it will (given all of its scenic Colorado outdoor scenes, it could benefit from a new HD transfer).
And to follow it up as the action movie entry for the double feature, from this week’s featured Nic Cage Action Movie Week, we have 1996’s The Rock. Not one of my favorite action movies (it took more than one viewing to actually not dislike it), but it has its moments. And, like yesterday, I guarantee I’m the first person to ever do a double feature of Snowball Express and The Rock. 🙂
5/18: The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes (1969) / Face/Off (1997)
So, how’s this for a theme for this week’s viewing series? I’m going to be doing vintage live action Disney comedies for the week. To kick things off, I’m going with the 1969 Kurt Russell classic, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes. Like, far out, man.
I’m also going to do a theme for the action movie follow-ups this week. Those are all going to be Nicolas Cage action movies. And we kick off the week with the ultimate classic, 1997’s Face/Off – one of the greatest action movies ever made.
I defy you to find anybody else who has ever done these two movies together as a double feature before.
5/17: Defending Your Life (1991) / Titan AE (2000)
I will be starting a new theme week tomorrow. So, tonight is the last random selection before I begin that week tomorrow. What have we for this random selection? Well, it’s the delightfully funny Albert Brooks movie, Defending Your Life. It’s one that’s always been a favorite of mine. It also features my favorite Rip Torn performance.
And for the bonus action movie to go with it, as is now my standard practice, we have the criminally underappreciated Don Bluth animated sci-fi action film, Titan AE.
5/16: Fierce Creatures (1997) / Swordfish (2001)
Tonight entries are Fierce Creatures for the comedy and Swordfish for the action movie. Fierce Creatures is the quasi-sequel to A Fish Called Wanda, in that it shares the same primary cast (John Cleese, Kevin Kline, Jamie Lee Curtis and Michael Palin), but has absolutely nothing else to do with it. Not quite as good as Wanda, but still very underrated. It plays around with a great central concept and has plenty of fun with it. It also features a delightful music score from the great Jerry Goldsmith.
Swordfish is an underrated action movie. Sure, the whole hacker thing is kinda lame in the movie, as it typically is, but the style, cast and production helps make up for things. It’s also a rare example of a movie that goes out of its way to tell the audience that bad guys in action movie never do what it really takes, and it actually follows its own advice. It also has a delightfully stylistic music score with an unexpected combining of the great Christopher Young’s lavish orchestral action music with Paul Oakenfold.
5/15: Pushing Tin (1999) / Deep Rising (1998)
Tonight, I’m going with the underappreciated Pushing Tin. Centered around the world of air traffic controllers, it features a fantastic cast portraying a set of esoteric characters. It’s not fully a comedy, but it comes close enough to qualify.
For tonight’s action movie, it is one for which I have a big soft spot. Deep Rising is an action/horror movie that has a fun production and a truly wonderful cast. It’s one of those movies that knows exactly what it is and embraces it fully. Plus, it has a freakin’ fantastic Jerry Goldsmith action music score.
5/14: L.A. Story (1991) / Soldier (1998)
We continue today with my favorite Steve Martin movie, 1991’s L.A. Story. This is another one written by Martin and is probably the closest to his oddball and surrealistic sense of humor.
And, as is now the tradition, I’m following it up with an action movie to round it out as a double feature. Soldier is a very straight-forward action movie, and it’s great for (at least I think so – I’m definitely in a minority on this one).
5/13: Home Fries (1998) / Sky Captain & The World Of Tomorrow (2004)
The series continues today with a wonderful, dark comedy written by Vince Gilligan (The X-Files, Breaking Bad) and directed by Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest), 1998’s Home Fries. It was a poorly marketed movie, playing itself off as simply a romantic comedy, which it certainly is, but it’s also a dark and deeply devious comedy. The cast is spot-on (with a wonderfully manipulative performance from the great Catherine O’Hara).
And then, continuing the new tradition of doing a double feature of following up the comedy movie with an action movie, I am also doing a viewing of 2004’s Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow. This movie is so completely stylized and conceptual that it either works for you or it doesn’t. I don’t fault anybody for not liking it, but I love it. It’s the kind of stylistically incongruous experiment that I wish were done more often.
5/12: Joe Versus The Volcano (1990) / The Peacemaker (1997)
Today marks a change in my viewing series. After yesterday’s viewing of The Chase, I decided that going forward, I would do a double feature each day. The first would be a comedy, as I have been doing so far. The second would be an action movie. Also, for this week, since I was discussing my list of top underrated movies list with somebody today, I’ve cleaned up the formatting and re-published it on my site. I’m picking movies off that list for both the comedy and action movie entries for this week.
For my comedy pick, I’m going with a heavy hitter (for me, anyway). 1990’s Joe Versus The Volcano is very definitely one of my all-time favorite movies. It’s a unique movie that doesn’t fit into any genre or stereotype quite right, which is probably why it failed at the box office. It has a loyal cult following, of which I am very definitely a member. I’ve seen the movie many, many times. It’s part comedy, part fairy tail, part adventure, part character drama. It has an amazing cast (including Meg Ryan doing 3 different roles), a fun and inventive production and is beautifully made.
For my action movie today, I will be following it up with 1997’s The Peacemaker. It’s been a personal favorite action movie of mine since seeing it in 1997. Director Mimi Leder lends a steady hand to a fast-paced, post-Cold War political terrorism action thriller.
5/11: The Chase (1994)
Mel Brooks week is now over and we go into a no-theme general selection week. For today, we have one of the all-time great action comedies. It’s a highly underrated gem with a great cast, first rate production and a great sense of humor.
5/10: History Of The World: Part I (1981)
Mel Brooks week concludes with today’s viewing. It’s my second favorite Mel Brooks movie (after Spaceballs) and is one I’ve seen many, many times. Seemed like a good idea to end Mel Brooks week and piggyback onto the “Part I” joke.
Only a Miracle can save us!
5/9: Blazing Saddles (1974)
What can be said of Blazing Saddles that hasn’t been said before? It’s probably my third favorite Mel Brooks movie (after Spaceballs and History Of The World). It’s an irreverent and very intentionally politically incorrect classic.
5/8: To Be Or Not To Be (1983)
Mel Brooks week continues with Brooks taking on the World War II romantic musical.
5/7: High Anxiety (1977)
Continuing Mel Brooks week. This one is a fun Hitchcock-styled comedy thriller.
5/6: Silent Movie (1976)
Mel Brooks week continues with the this 1976 classic. It’s certainly one of his more conceptually ambition efforts. It definitely has a few bits that probably wouldn’t fly today.
5/5: Robin Hood: Men In Tights (1993)
Mel Brooks week continues with this underappreciated entry. The always great Cary Elwes is joined by a fun cast for a silly spoof of the Robin Hood story, specifically going after the recent (at the time) Kevin Costner telling of the story, Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves. I’m going to bounce around the Mel Brooks filmography this week in no particular ranking or order.
5/4: Spaceballs (1987)
I’ve had a couple more theme weeks planned for this viewing series. The fact that May The Fourth landed on a Monday this year, I took it as a sign that this was the week for me to do my planned Mel Brooks theme week, kicking things off with the 1987 classic, Spaceballs.
Evil will always triumph, because good is dumb.
5/3: Dumb & Dumber (1994)
I went with an obvious classic for my screening today. What can I say about this one that isn’t overly obvious?
5/2: The ‘Burbs (1989)
Today’s entry is a personal favorite, 1989’s The ‘Burbs. I’m a big fan of director Joe Dante, and this is one of his best, for sure. The cast is absolutely wonderful, the script is fun, the comedy is spot-on and it features an absolutely masterpiece music score from the amazing Jerry Goldsmith. Watching it via the recent excellent collector’s edition release from Shout! Factory.
5/1: The Couch Trip (1988)
For tonight’s screening, I’m doing a first. I have actually not seen this one before. Kino Lorber, who releases tons of classic catalog movie titles on disc (and does a nice job at it), frequently does big sales on hundreds of their discs at cheap prices. And if you order more than $50, they do free shipping. So, I’ll often do an order of 10+ discs to get the order just up over $50 during these sales. One of the movies I got in the order that just arrived at my house today is 1988’s The Couch Trip. It stars Dan Aykroyd, Charles Grodin and Walter Matthau, and it’s directed by Michael Ritchie (who directed the Fletch movies). That’s pretty much all I know about the movie. So, I’m not even sure how much I’ll like this one.
4/30: The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (2005)
For tonight’s screening, we have another personal favorite heavy hitter. For the record, the book it is based on is my all-time favorite book, which is based on the greatest radio play ever made. Is this movie perfect? No, it’s not. But it’s a darn good try at a really difficult adaptation, and most of it is great. And for the bits that don’t work, at least they were trying something (for instance, casting Mos Def as Ford Prefect – he doesn’t work in the role, but it was an interesting attempt at thinking out of the box). The rest of the cast is absolutely fantastic and well chosen for their roles.
4/29: That Thing You Do (1996)
Tonight I bring out another personal favorite heavy hitter for my #Comedy19 viewing. This is an absolutely wonderful and fun movie written & directed by (and co-starring) Tom Hanks. The cast is magnificent, the period production is top notch, the directing is solid and the script is lots of fun. It’s a highly underrated movie which I saw at least a few times during its original run back in 1996, and many times on video in the years since.
4/28: Bowfinger (1999)
Today’s entry is an underappreciated gem. Written by (and starring) Steve Martin and a re-teaming with his Dirty Rotten Scoundrels director, the great Frank Oz. It also features an amusingly unhinged Eddie Murphy performance – possibly even two.
4/27: Adventureland (2009)
Today’s entry begins a new week, and there’s no theme for the week, so I’ve gone with 2009’s Adventureland. It’s a fun little period comedy with a cast that makes it work.
4/26: Get Over It (2001)
Tonight’s entry closes out Teen Comedy Week. As with other entries, I’m selecting another one that’s mostly forgotten about and overlooked. The cast is pretty good, with the always-great Ben Foster doing a rare non-dramatic role. It’s a modern retelling loosely based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream (centered around a high school production of said play). Yeah, it’s kinda predictable, but it has fun with it along the way, and the cast makes it work.
Today, for Teen Comedy Week, we get a double feature of movies directed by Will Gluck. First up is 2010’s fantastic Easy A. It’s a modern riff on The Scarlet Letter in a high school context. It even takes a couple minutes to tell you about The Scarlet Letter. It’s a sharp and funny take on it with a fantastic cast (most of the best Emma Stone GIFs come from this movie). Second up is 2009’s hilarious and fun Fired Up. It’s a silly and goofball “cheer camp” comedy, also with a fantastic cast (with the two leads hilariously older in real life than high schoolers, ages 31 and 29 while filming). Oh, and certain types of people will be offended by parts of these two movies, so be warned.
4/24: The New Guy (2002)
OK, so tonight’s viewing for Teen Comedy Week isn’t going to be for everybody. In fact, it’s not objectively what most people would call a good film, but for whatever reason, I’ve always had a soft spot for it. Part of that is probably due to just how daffy DJ Qualls is. He’s always a somewhat odd performer, but this is at his peak oddity. And it has some fun supporting cast members. Yeah, it’s derivative and typically plays to the lowest form of the joke, but what the heck, I’m trying to pick out a few of the more obscure entries from time to time on this list… 🙂
4/23: Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (2008)
Tonight’s entry continues Teen Comedy Week. This is another overlooked and underappreciated gem. It’s an indie character comedy with a fantastic cast (Ari Graynor is wonderful) and a very eclectic sense of humor. As charming and goofball as it is, this one’s not for the easily offended. Oh, and it features a wonderfully simple and silly music score from Mark Mothersbaugh.
4/22: I Love You, Beth Cooper (2009)
I’m trying to avoid the most obvious entries for Teen Comedy Week (so no Fast Times At Ridgemont High, etc) and am rather attempting to go with either overlooked or underappreciated movies. I’m also not including John Hughes movies, cause if this whole shelter-in-place thing goes on long enough, Hughes will probably get his own week. As such, this is a movie that has a lot of John Hughes in its DNA. It’s fun and moderately goofy and decently charming, with a core catalyst that works pretty well. Not a great movie, but fun.
4/21: Josie And The Pussycats (2001)
For tonight’s entry continuing Teen Comedy Week, we go slightly off the typical style of the genre with a criminally overlooked satire. It’s written & directed by the team of Harry Elfont & Deborah Kaplan, who did yesterday’s entry, Can’t Hardly Wait. The movie tanked on release, mainly because Universal marketed it directly at the teen sheeple demographic that the movie pokes fun at. It’s a perfect satire of the pop music industry as it was coming off its industry peak of the late ’90s. Parker Posey is a perfectly over-the-top villain and Tara Reid gets the role she was born for. And the product placement satire is SO well done.
4/20: Can’t Hardly Wait (1998)
Chevy Chase week has ended and thus begins a new week. This week begins Teen Comedy Week. To kick it off, we have 1998’s fun Can’t Hardly Wait. It’s from writer/director team Deborah Kaplan & Harry Elfont (who will also be writer/director of tomorrow’s entry). The movie is a simple comedy with sharp dialog, fun characters and a fantastic cast. Seth Green is the true highlight.
4/19: Seems Like Old Times (1980)
We close out Chevy Chase week with a more obscure entry from his early filmography. It’s a silly and fairly charming movie full of dinner parties and lots of dogs…
4/18: Fletch (1985) / Fletch Lives (1989)
Chevy Chase week continues today with a double feature of Chase’s greatest role of Irwin M. Fletcher. We begin with 1985’s Fletch, followed by 1989’s underappreciated sequel, Fletch Lives.
4/17: Foul Play (1978)
Chevy Chase week continues tonight with 1978’s silly and fun Foul Play.
Beware of the dwarf.
4/16: Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)
For tonight’s continuation of Chevy Chase week, I’m going with a movie using him in a supporting role. It must be some kinda Hot Tub Time Machine.
Great white buffalo
4/15: Three Amigos (1986)
For tonight’s entry in the series, Chevy Chase week continues as we get the hilarious fun of the infamous El Guapo being run out of town by… The Three Amigos!
4/14: Funny Farm (1988)
Chevy Chase week continues in Redbud for my entry tonight with 1988’s charming and fun Funny Farm. Don’t judge it by the linked trailer, which is decidedly lame.
4/13: Spies Like Us (1985)
Today’s viewing in the series kicks off what is going to be Chevy Chase week. It’s 1985’s hilarious and fun Spies Like Us. Seen this one countless times and it’s always just as fun every time. And it features a wonderful Elmer Bernstein music score.
4/12: Mallrats (1995)
After a viewing of It’s The Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown, I decided to go with the 1995 Kevin Smith classic. Its very loosely tied to today’s Easter theme as the movie takes place around Easter time. Well, at least an Easter Bunny gets beat up at the mall. Definitely not one for those easily offended, of course.
4/11: National Lampoon’s Senior Trip (1995)
Tonight’s entry continues on with another National Lampoon movie. This one is the underrated Senior Trip from 1995. Sure, it’s kinda crass and isn’t one for those easily offended. But it’s got some great stuff and a great cast. Matt Frewer is always great. Tommy Chong has some fun. The Kids In The Hall’s Kevin McDonald is also in top form. And we get a very early career lead performance from Jeremy Renner. Oh, and for any fellow Deep Space Nine (and Dead Zone) fans, it also has a fun early role for Nicole De Boer.
4/10: National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1 (1993)
Today’s viewing is a fun and underappreciated movie. It’s not a fantastic movie, but it’s still quite good and full of enough fun stuff to work well. It’s a pretty good Lethal Weapon parody with a generally fun cast. Can’t go too wrong with Shatner as the bad guy. And it might set a record for the highest number of cameos.
4/9: The Whole Nine Yards (2000) / The Whole Ten Yards (2004)
Tonight’s viewing is a double feature of the very fun 2000 movie, The Whole Nine Yards, and for the heck of it also the so-so 2004 sequel, The Whole Ten Yards. The trailers aren’t just lame, they’re ridiculously spoiler-filled, so I’m not linking to them. Instead, I’ll just link to a brief scene from the first film that I fully agree with.
4/8: Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)
Bringing out another heavy hitter for my screening tonight. This is another favorite of mine. Garrr, Steve. Garrr.
4/7: Scott Pilgrim vs The World (2010)
For tonight’s viewing, I’m bringing out a heavy hitter. Well, it is for me, anyway. It’s one of my all-time favorite movies. I’ve seen this movie many times in the decade since it came out. Heck, I saw it at least a half dozen times in the theaters when it was first out. I had been a big fan of Edgar Wright from his couple previous films at the time, but this (and his movies since) cemented him up at the top of my favorite director list. Everything about this movie is great, but it should definitely be used to teach editing in film school.
4/6: Dick (1999)
Tonight’s viewing is another of my personal favorite unappreciated comedies, 1999’s Dick. It’s certainly one of the greatest examples of comically rewriting history. The cast is amazing (Dan Hedaya’s Nixon is probably my favorite portrayal) and the story is silly and inventive enough to totally work.
4/5: National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)
Went with a classic for tonight’s viewing. Wally World, here we come.
4/4: Quick Change (1990)
Tonight’s entry is a personal favorite and is criminally overlooked. It’s one of my favorite Bill Murray movies, and is the only example of one he co-produced and co-directed. If you’ve never seen it, do yourself a favor and check it out.
4/3: Noises Off (1992)
Tonight’s entry is another one that I’ve got a soft spot for. It’s a movie adaptation of a stage play about the making of a stage play. It features an amazing cast consisting of Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve, Carol Burnett, John Ritter, Marilu Henner, Denholm Elliot, Julie Haggerty and so on. There’s no decent trailer for this one to be found online, so I’m just linking to a random scene that YouTube features as their preview clip.
4/2: Top Secret! (1984)
Tonight’s entry is the absolute classic of the 1984 ZAZ movie, Top Secret! It’s the historically underappreciated movie that is right up there with Airplane and The Naked Gun as their best work.
4/1: Soapdish (1991)
Today’s entry is a sharp and darkly comedic satire on daytime soap operas with a fun cast and a hilarious final act. It also features a great and fun music score from Alan Silvestri.
3/31: Caddyshack (1980)
Continuing on with another Bill Murray movie for tonight’s entry. And remember, a flute with no holes is not a flute; a donut with no hole is a Danish.
3/30: The Man Who Knew Too Little (1997)
Tonight’s viewing is this sadly overlooked Bill Murray comedy. It’s a silly movie that capitalizes on Bill Murray’s style very well. And it features an absolutely wonderful music score from Christopher Young.
3/29: BASEketball (1998)
For today’s entry, we go with a David Zucker directed movie. Sure, it’s more crude than their usual stuff (stay away if you’re easily offended), but still quite the fun riff on the whole sports movie genre. Definitely has plenty of hilarious material..
3/28: Radioland Murders (1994)
I have a big soft spot for this one, and I know I like it more than most everybody else does, which is fine. It’s a very fast-moving comedy set during the 1939 launch of a new Chicago radio station, WBN (clearly modeled around WGN). The style is overly-slapstick, but holds to the tone of its 1930s style. The very large ensemble cast is centered around the main characters played by the great Mary Stuart Masterson and goofball Brian Benben (of HBO’s Dream On in one of his only lead film roles). The supporting cast is big, including no-less-than Ned Beatty, Brion James, Stephen Tobolowsky, Michael McKean, Corbin Bernsen, Harvey Korman, Christopher Lloyd, Jeffrey Tambor, Bobcat Goldthwait, Peter MacNicol, Michael Lerner, Billy Barty and even Rosemary Clooney and freakin’ George Burns (in his final role).
3/27: Ruthless People (1986)
Today’s entry is the rare Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker directed movie that not only isn’t a parody, but wasn’t written by them, either. It’s got lots of fun stuff, the highlight of which is a hilarious supporting performance from Bill Pullman.
3/26: Roxanne (1987)
Today’s entry is one of Steve Martin’s fun scripts of the era and features a fantastic lead performance from him as well. It’s just unfortunate that director Fred Shepisi was still a couple years from starting his 5-picture run of working with composer Jerry Goldsmith, cause one of the few lesser aspects to Roxanne is composer Bruce Smeaton’s so-so score (which features some cheesy saxophone usage that was sadly too common for its era).
3/25: Rat Race (2001)
Today’s entry is a semi-forgotten and semi-overlooked entry from the Zucker filmography, 2001’s Rat Race. While his brother David stuck with directing comedies, Jerry branched out into a couple dramatic films during the ’90s (Ghost, First Knight). Rat Race was his return to comedy directing, and it also ended up being the final feature film he would direct (up to this point, nearly 20 year later, anyway). The movie is an obvious take on “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”. Some of it works, some of it doesn’t. It’s certainly a mixed bag, but I have a soft spot for it. Some of the varied cast is great, and some of the material works very well. My favorite is all the running gags with John Cleese and all his rich friends finding ways to do extravagant betting on the most ridiculous things. There’s plenty of other fun stuff to be found in the movie. And John Powell comes through with an absolutely delightful and wildly fun music score. And since the trailer for this movie is absolutely awful, I linked to the basic setup scene from the film instead.
3/24: Kingpin (1996)
This is my favorite Farrelly brothers movie. Yeah, Dumb & Dumber isn’t too far behind, but Kingpin will probably always be my favorite of their movies.
3/23: Better Off Dead (1985) / One Crazy Summer (1986)
Seeing as we actually got a few inches of snow overnight, I figured this would make a good selection for tonight’s entry. And since I got an early start tonight, this became a double feature of these two hilarious John Cusack movies by writer/director Savage Steve Holland. I want my two dollars!
3/22: Meatballs (1979)
Tonight’s entry up on the projector is Bill Murray during his peak Bill Murrayness era. Every time somebody says something doesn’t matter, I always have to fight the urge to reference this scene, because nobody every gets the reference.
3/21: Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie (1996)
Since I’m a huge MST3K nerd, I had to include the 1996 big-screen outing of Mike and the bots…
3/20: Blast From The Past (1999)
Time to make me some hot Dr. Pepper and fire up today’s viewing on the projector. This is a highly overlooked and criminally underappreciated movie. It might also be the most thematically appropriate movie for the current situation that I put on as part of this running series.
3/19: Pleasantville (1998)
Today’s entry is a comedy that crosses the line into a number of other genres. It’s one I love and have seen many times (surely more than most anyone else), and is a big favorite of mine. If you haven’t seen this one, and most haven’t, I highly recommend it. It also features what I consider to be Randy Newman’s finest music score.
3/18: Murder By Death (1976)
A very silly murder mystery satire with a pretty wild and varied a-list cast. One for which I’ve always had a soft spot.
3/17: Hot Shots! (1991) / Hot Shots!: Part Deux (1993)
Tonight’s entry is a double feature from the Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker filmography: 1991’s Hot Shots and it’s also-wonderful sequel.
3/16: Big Trouble (2002)
For tonight’s selection, we have this hugely overlooked and insanely goofy and fun ensemble comedy. It was originally scheduled to be released the week after 9/11, and it features a climax at a major airport involving a plane with a nuke on board (albeit in an absolutely ridiculous over-the-top way). It got shelved and eventually released like 6 months later, with the studio pretty much just tossing it out there with absolutely zero promotion. I was one of the very few people who saw it theatrically, not to mention the even-smaller fraction who loved it. It’s easily my favorite movie directed by Barry Sonnenfeld (Get Shorty, the two Addams Family films and the original 3 Men In Black movies). It’s a thoroughly goofy and fairly slapstick comedy, but the wonderful cast and the amusing tone of the Dave Barry source material works very well – for me, anyway. If you’re easily content offended, some of the humor will not be to your liking (it loves playing up its low-brow, despicable characters), but if not, this might be a fun under-the-radar comedy movie discovery for you.
3/15: Airplane! (1980)
We kick off this series of viewing with what is probably my all-time favorite comedy.