The Set of 400: #22 – My Favorite Halloween Yoda

Today! Because it’s okay, mom, we’ll check it out –

E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (1982)

Directed by Steven Spielberg (x11)

Starring Henry Thomas (x2), Dee Wallace, Drew Barrymore (x2), Peter Coyote, Robert MacNaughton, C. Thomas Howell, Erika Eleniak (x2), K.C. Martel, Sean Frye

I enjoy box office records, much like some sports purists live and die with baseball statistics. A small group of us have participated in this box office pool for well over a decade, which added a new fun wrinkle to things, but I’ve followed these numbers for a long, long time. The Scranton Times used to run a weekend Top Ten gross section, which was the only way for me to track this until I subscribed to Entertainment Weekly around 1993. And it would be another five or six years until I got full exposure to this data on the internet, in the form of Box Office Mojo, which I would guess is my fourth or fifth most frequently visited website to this day (alongside the Recent Deaths section of Wikipedia, IMDB, Instagram, and maybe Yahoo Sports, in that order). And for all the formative years of my box office interest, E.T. was the top film. From 1983 to 1997, it was the highest grossing movie ever, unadjusted, and is still in the top twenty, as of this writing. Adjusted, it’s the fourth biggest moneymaker ever, only behind Gone With the Wind (a movie so popular it was one of the top five grossing movies of the years 1939, 1940, 1941, 1947, 1954, 1961, 1967, and 1971), Star Wars, and The Sound of Music.

Atlanta was aflame again with the GWTW premiere in ’39!

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The Set of 400: #23 – My Favorite Indoor Fireworks Display

Today! Because I think you have the job, but why don’t I make sure of something –

Boogie Nights (1997)

Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (x5)

Starring Mark Wahlberg (x2), Burt Reynolds (x2), Julianne Moore (x4), John C. Reilly (x7), Don Cheadle (x4), Heather Graham (x4), Philip Seymour Hoffman (x8), William H. Macy (x3), Ricky Jay (x2), Melora Walters (x3), Nina Hartley, Nicole Ari Parker, Thomas Jane (x4), Alfred Molina (x4), Luis Guzman (x5), Philip Baker Hall (x7), Robert Ridgely (x6), Joanna Gleason (x2), Jack Wallace, Michael Jace (x2), Jack Riley (x5), Robert Downey Sr.

My favorite movie from one of my favorite years, Boogie Nights kicked off my multi-decade love affair with Paul Thomas Anderson films, nearly all of which landed on this list. Sarah, who is not exactly a PTA fan, has proclaimed that his most recent film (as of this writing) Phantom Thread is the “only real movie I’ve ever seen.” Dissect that statement as you will! But it all began with what I would categorize as his most accessible, mainstream film, even if it is a period epic set in the porn industry.

The unceasing greatness of Rollergirl cannot be overstated

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The Set of 400: #24 – My Favorite Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

Today! Because I believe in America –

The Godfather (1972)

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola (x3)

Starring Marlon Brando (x2), Al Pacino (x5), James Caan (x4), Robert Duvall (x3), Diane Keaton (x5), Talia Shire (x5), John Cazale (x3), Richard Castellano, Abe Vigoda (x3), Sterling Hayden (x2), John Marley, Richard Conte, Al Lettieri, Gianni Russo (x2), Al Martino, Morgana King (x2), Lenny Montana, John Martino, Alex Rocco (x2), Julie Gregg, Simonetta Stefanelli, Franco Citti

As mentioned at some length back in #82, The Godfather was my dad’s favorite movie. While I often saw it growing up bookended by the past and future sequences from II, the original movie would run intact and in order, and so didn’t require any mental gymnastics to track. And no, this is not a kid’s movie any way you look at it, but that didn’t stop me from seeing this film from as far back as I can remember. I don’t have the slightest guess the first time I watched The Godfather, which seems weird in retrospect.

What did child Joe make of Sonny’s excessive demise?

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The Set of 400: #25 – My Favorite Walking Carpet

Today! Because I was going into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!

Star Wars (1977)

Directed by George Lucas (x2)

Starring Mark Hamill (x4), Harrison Ford (x8), Carrie Fisher (x8), Alec Guinness (x4), Peter Cushing (x2), Peter Mayhew (x3), Anthony Daniels (x4), Kenny Baker (x5), James Earl Jones (x7), David Prowse (x3), Denis Lawson (x2), Garrick Hagon (x2), William Hootkins, Shane Rimmer (x2), Phil Brown, Shelagh Fraser

There is literally nothing I can write about Star Wars from a film perspective that hasn’t been written before. As I’ve stated a bunch of times, this is almost certainly the movie I’ve seen the most times in my life – I can’t even fathom a guess how many. 200 times? More? We had this recorded from television when I was a kid, and watched it so incessantly that I still remember the odd pre- and post-commercial bits that were included in that pirating. They interviewed random early ’80s celebrities about the film – or probably their favorite characters, as those are the quotes I remember. Magic Johnson saying “I dug R2” and Bruce Boxleitner’s “Han Solo had a wit -” and then we cut the commercial. I wonder if these are on YouTube anywhere.

We also definitely recorded the Mark Hamill bookending segments, later included on the DVDs

Also, to this day, I can’t hear the 20th Century Fox fanfare without expecting the Star Wars theme to follow it. So far as my brain is concerned, these are the only movies Fox put out in the last fifty years. And really, now that they are under the Disney fold, can they just throw the Fox music back in front of the new Jedi flicks? Just for my cerebral chemistry’s sake? Continue reading

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The Set of 400: #26 – My Favorite False Teeth

Today! Because this is the one. This is the one I’ll be remembered for –

Ed Wood (1994)

Directed by Tim Burton (x5)

Starring Johnny Depp (x2), Martin Landau (x2), Patricia Arquette, Sarah Jessica Parker (x2), Bill Murray (x10), Jeffrey Jones (x5), Mike Starr (x2), George “The Animal” Steele, Vincent D’Onofrio (x5), Lisa Marie (x2), G.D. Spradlin (x2), Max Casella (x2), Brent Hinkley (x2), Juliet Landau, Melora Walters (x2), Bobby Slayton (x2), Rance Howard (x4), Louis Lombardi (x3), Ned Bellamy

The wife might disagree, but I don’t love all bad movies. Here’s how I figure it – if a movie has exceptionally terrible reviews – your Glitters and Battlefield Earths and Freddy Got Fingereds – I want to see that movie, just to try and understand how it could go so spectacularly wrong. The bigger the movie the better, too, such as, say, the 2015 Fantastic Four. I went and saw that in a mostly empty theater by myself, because I had to see how a potential tentpole/franchise flick could be so purportedly awful. Low budget awful, for the most part, doesn’t interest me. Anyone can make a horrible film given no resources. And mid-range bad also doesn’t hold a ton of appeal – 35%-55% Rotten Tomatoes – who cares? That just sounds boring.

Might be just bad enough to see, but I’d say not

But there are exceptions to this. Tommy Wiseau’s borderline genius disaster of a film The Room is the modern gold standard, clearly standing on the shoulders of the true champion trash auteur, Edward D. Wood, Jr. Plan 9 From Outer Space is so cheap and terrible as to be a thoroughly lovable film. Who doesn’t enjoy Plan 9, for all its cinematic faults? And that brings us to the truly best result of its existence – Tim Burton’s masterpiece biopic. If Wood had only made Glen or Glenda and Jail Bait and Bride of the Monster, his name might still get kicked around in nerdy film circles, but it’s Plan 9 that elevated him to worldwide acclaim – way, way after the fact. And it’s only because it became so embraced as the worst movie of all time that we got this goofy, sentimental movie about movies – my second favorite film in the mini-genre I love so much (next Monday crowns my top movie from this group – stay tuned!).

Wood dying before our time, here is the happy couple with the next best dude

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The Set of 400: #27 – My Favorite Lana Turner Cameo

Today! Because this is the City of the Angels, and you haven’t got any wings –

L.A. Confidential (1997)

Directed by Curtis Hanson (x2)

Starring Guy Pearce (x3), Russell Crowe, James Cromwell (x3), Kevin Spacey (x3), Kim Basinger, Danny DeVito (x7), David Strathairn (x5), Ron Rifkin (x2), Matt McCoy, Graham Beckel, Amber Smith, Simon Baker, Paul Guilfoyle (x2), Darrell Sandeen, John Mahon

Man, they really did not know how to market this movie. Like, look at that poster! Besides just being a terrible composition of pictures, this – like most ads for the film – focuses on Kim Basinger, despite her being at best the fifth or sixth lead in the film. I went with this poster because most chose to spotlight Kevin Spacey – himself not remotely the star of the film, plus his subsequent reveal as a huge monster. I almost chose this poster instead:

Meh

But it doesn’t show anyone at all, and instead leans heavy on reviews and names – again getting Spacey first. Maybe due to its twisty, complicated plot, L.A. Confidential wasn’t a huge hit in its day, but the acclaim was deafening, so it would get its due at the Oscars at least, right?

Incorrect

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The Set of 400: #28 – My Favorite Counterfeit $20s

Today! Because you didn’t know I was lying to you when you lied to me down by the river. So as far as you knew, you lied to me first –

Midnight Run (1988)

Directed by Martin Brest

Starring Robert De Niro (x7), Charles Grodin (x3), Dennis Farina (x3), Joe Pantoliano (x5), Yaphet Kotto, John Ashton (x2), Jack Kehoe (x3), Philip Baker Hall (x6), Lois Smith (x2), Tracey Walter (x2), Richard Foronjy, Wendy Phillips, Tom McCleister, Danielle DuClos

On some level, I didn’t know this movie had any awareness at all until that Rick and Morty episode where they drop Jerry off at the interplanetary day care for Jerrys, and they all watch Midnight Run with the DVD commentary (which I’ve never done, but sounds amazing). Like, you never hear anyone mention this movie, it wasn’t a particularly big hit in its day, sure it had a few minor award nominations (Best Comedy/Musical and Actor at the Globes, Top Ten film from the National Board of Review), but that’s about it. I secretly believed that maybe this was a minor wonder of a film that me and a handful of people watching daytime syndicated channels in the early ’90s knew about at all.

I also vaguely remember a story where John Ashton (tremendous here as rival bounty hunter Marvin Dorfler) got cast in…something because the filmmakers were big Midnight Run fans, but for the life of me I can’t remember the movie, or find this story on the internet. Gone Baby Gone, maybe? He’s got a ton of credits, but not much that I’ve seen, and would’ve likely brushed up against this tidbit. Anyone hear this story?

Dorfler!

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The Set of 400: #29 – My Favorite TiVo Contract Clause

Today! Because the one man who made a difference five times before is about to make a difference again. Only this time, it’s different –

Tropic Thunder (2008)

Directed by Ben Stiller

Starring Ben Stiller (x2), Robert Downey Jr. (x10), Jack Black (x7), Jay Baruchel (x2), Brandon T. Jackson, Tom Cruise (x5), Nick Nolte (x4), Steve Coogan (x2), Matthew McConaughey (x2), Danny McBride, Bill Hader (x3), Brandon Soo Hoo, Reggie Lee, Maria Menounos, Christine Taylor, Tyra Banks, Tobey Maguire (x5), Yvette Nicole Brown, Jennifer Love Hewitt (x2), Jon Voight (x3), Lance Bass

Hang on a minute – a movie about movies and it was in the epic summer of 2008? There was no way Tropic Thunder wasn’t making this list, right? Maybe it seems a touch high to you? Are people still talking about this film a dozen years on? I think it’s safe to say that even though this movie isn’t all that old, it already feels like something that wouldn’t be made today. I mean, it’s got the universal comedic concept of egomaniac actors and how completely out of touch with reality they can be, but it also has legitimate black face throughout the movie, even if RDJ got nominated for an Oscar in the role. Could this get made right now, given the changes in the world over the past decade? I’d say maybe, but only a 50/50 chance.

Because the movie really does work hard to handle this issue as being actor ridiculousness, and not even remotely a cool thing to do. Brandon T. Jackson’s rapper-actor Alpa Chino is there half the time to keep Downey’s Kirk Lazarus in check, even as he effectively steals the movie. And while this character seems to popularly be the movie’s lasting cultural impact, it is stuffed with tremendous comedic turns – from Matthew McConaughey’s loopy agent Rick Peck to Danny McBride’s special effects expert Cody to Steve Coogan’s Brit director Damien Cockburn. Stiller’s work as over-the-top action hero Tugg Speedman is spot-on, but a touch thankless, as the nominal lead more or less swallowed in the plot, by being the de facto damsel in distress. Jack Black’s Jeff Portnoy gets largely overlooked, which I think is really unfair, as his typically hyper-invested work as this wacky, drug-addled Z-grade comedian delivers a bunch of great moments. And none of this is to ignore the literally amazing work of Tom Cruise, unrecognizably transformed into the vulgar uber-producer Les Grossman – by far the funniest role Cruise has ever played.

His end credits dance sequence is incredible

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The Set of 400: #30 – My Favorite Brain Depositary (After 5:00 Slip Brains Through Slot in Door)

Today! Because my grandfather’s work was doo doo!

Young Frankenstein (1974)

Directed by Mel Brooks (x7)

Starring Gene Wilder (x6), Marty Feldman (x3), Peter Boyle (x3), Teri Garr (x3), Cloris Leachman (x5), Madeline Kahn (x8), Kenneth Mars (x2), Gene Hackman (x4), Richard Haydn, Liam Dunn (x2), Oscar Beregi Jr., Danny Goldman

No one can be dead certain about what movie they’ve seen the most times in their life. How could they be? Unless you’ve undertaken some quest to make a film your most watched – like the stories of people watching Pirates of the Caribbean on Netflix every day for a year, or my wife with the first X-Files movie – how could you possibly know? And while I believe I’ve thrown out contenders for this title in this list so far – and am still fairly confident I haven’t seen anything more than the original Star Wars – quite possibly second or third is this, Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder’s crowning achievement. I can’t even say for sure why or how this happened – sure, my parents really liked this movie, that helped to get it on the television a lot growing up, but why did we want to watch this black and white horror film parody, when we couldn’t possibly understand the references, and the jokes were likely over our heads as well?

Well, being a Mel Brooks movie, there is a bunch of kid-appealing stuff in this send-up of the old Universal Frankstein pictures, most directly the often overlooked third movie, Son of Frankenstein. Lots of funny accents, lots of throwaway sight gags and sound cues (The cat getting hit by the dart!), some pretty zany characters who are funny no matter what they say (pretty much everyone in this movie, but especially Marty Feldman’s Igor and Kenneth Mars’ one-armed Inspector Kemp), plus the generally cool design. Even if there’s a fair amount of shtupping going on – even in the edited TV version, apparently! – and some old timey references (“Pardon me, boy – is this the Transylvania station?”), we still liked it well enough. Like Blazing Saddles, this strikes me as something that was kind of forced on us until we grew to enjoy it.

Everything Mars does in this movie is amazing

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The Set of 400: #31 – My Favorite Dog Painting (Modern)

Today! Because as far back as I can remember I always wanted to be a gangster –

Goodfellas (1990)

Directed by Martin Scorsese (x5)

Starring Ray Liotta (x3), Robert De Niro (x6), Joe Pesci (x3), Lorraine Bracco (x3), Paul Sorvino (x3), Frank Vincent, Mike Starr, Tony Darrow (x2), Frank Sivero, Chuck Low, Gina Mastrogiacomo, Catherine Scorsese, Samuel L. Jackson (x12), Suzanne Shepherd, Debi Mazar (x2), Michael Imperioli, Kevin Corrigan (x3), Tony Sirico (x2), Illeana Douglas (x2), Paul Herman, Tony Lip, Vincent Pastore, Tobin Bell (x2), Vito Antuofermo, Frank Albanese, Johnny Williams, Elaine Kagan, Beau Starr, Welker White, Henny Youngman (x2), Jerry Vale, Isiah Whitlock Jr. (x2)

In the annals of great Oscar crimes, people are quick to jump on 1998, as I guess they feel Shakespeare in Love too frothy and inconsequential to beat the likes of Elizabeth, Life is Beautiful, and Terrence Malick’s epic comeback to prominence, The Thin Red Line. I’m sure I’ve brought up Saving Private Ryan before, so I won’t get back into that again. But I think there’s a case that can be made for Shakespeare in Love – maybe not in that deep a year, but in some year. However, the great Oscar robbery of the ’90s and of all times isn’t that – hell, I could come up with a bunch of years more egregious than ’98. No, the worst hit job ever done was Dances With Wolves somehow beating Goodfellas for Best Picture/Director in 1990.

This boring goddamn thing

You can say that maybe the Academy didn’t want to go with the violent gangster film – even though they’d handed Best Picture to both the Godfathers by this point – but then the option became the pastoral white savior Native American movie? You’re telling me they didn’t realize how rough they’d snubbed Martin Scorsese all those years and couldn’t recognize his (ever so slightly) waning greatness, and figure maybe it was time to reward him when a truly, truly great film came along, instead of waiting for the next convenient time, which wouldn’t arrive for over a decade and a half? Plus, what, they had to give Kevin Costner an Oscar?? The 1990 Academy Awards make no sense whatsoever, so stuff your Saving Private Ryan griping. That 45 great minutes wrapped around two hours of next to nothing isn’t in the same ballpark.

Remember how Captain Miller’s last words basically show how meaningless his life was and he only existed to teach Ryan a lesson? Remember that? Remember how you think the old guy at the beginning is Miller (because of the whole eye-jump though time) but it’s not Miller, because of how lazy the device was? Ugh, Saving Private Ryan, I swear to God

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The Set of 400: #32 – My Favorite Dog Painting (Classical)

Today! Because if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce, they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does –

Animal Crackers (1930)

Directed by Victor Heerman

Starring Groucho Marx (x7), Chico Marx (x7), Harpo Marx (x7), Zeppo Marx (x4), Margaret Dumont (x4), Lillian Roth, Louis Sorin, Hal Thompson, Margaret Irving, Robert Greig (x2), Edward Metcalfe

As mentioned previously, my roundabout path to discovering the Marx Brothers began with Go West, a lesser flick that nonetheless managed to find a place on this list. But I believe Animal Crackers is probably the gateway Marx effort for most people, after a certain age. It has the most famous songs from all their films – the later You Bet Your Life theme “Hooray For Captain Spaulding” as well as “Hello, I Must Be Going” – and is the role Groucho would forever be identified with, even if there aren’t a ton of shades between any of the brothers’ characters in their movies. It was the last of their stage efforts to be translated to the screen, while also working out a few of the technical kinks of their first film, The Cocoanuts, from the year before.

Animal Crackers had various rights issues for a number of years – due to the song copyrights reverting to the authors after a period of time, mistakenly not renewed by the studio – and so it remained out of circulation for decades, until the massive Marx revival of the 1970’s. Thus, I’d guess, if you’re a fan and over 60, you may not have seen this one for a while – but come on, you’ve had plenty of time to catch up to its greatness. Continue reading

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The Set of 400: #33 – My Favorite Lightning Umbrella

Today! Because rather than try to fix this problem, it’ll just be easier if everyone remains in space –

WALL·E (2008)

Directed by Andrew Stanton

Starring Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin (x2), Fred Willard (x2), John Ratzenberger (x8), Kathy Najimy (x3), Sigourney Weaver (x6), Donald Fullilove (x4), Laraine Newman (x3)

The glorious summer of 2008 returns with the greatest animated film of all time. That’s right, the top dog in the entire game. You might be sputtering and muttering about all the wonders of Dumbo right now, but stuff it! You might want to rage about how Spirited Away is criminally underseen and deserves more recognition, but save that snobby tripe for someone else! You might want to go on about how Inside Out is clearly Pixar’s masterpiece, and…you might have a point. It wasn’t eligible for this list. But as far as the vast history of animated cinema up to the end of 2013 is concerned, it’s WALL·E at the mountaintop.

Sure, it doesn’t hurt that it is my favorite animated film – #33 is as high as the genre managed – but this wasn’t one that needed to grow on me. I’ve been saying almost since the first time I saw it that WALL·E was the best I’d ever seen, and that hasn’t really changed since (again, except for maybe Inside Out, and maybe the Into the Spider-Verse movie). But anyone who tells you that the golden age of animation was the old world Disney classics (e.g. Bambi, Cinderella, Song of the South) or the ’90s revival (Aladdin, Lion King, er, Hercules) is too stuck in the past to argue with. The Pixar run from 2003 to 2010, which included Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, WALL·E, Up, Ratatouille, and Toy Story 3 (and Cars) is the golden age of cartoon films.

But (just to emphasize) not because of Cars

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The Set of 400: #34 – My Favorite Origami Paris

Today! Because you’re waiting for a train, a train that’ll take you far away –

Inception (2010)

Directed by Christopher Nolan (x3)

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio (x6), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (x3), Ellen Page, Tom Hardy (x2), Marion Cotillard (x3), Michael Caine (x6), Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy (x2), Tom Berenger, Pete Postlethwaite (x2), Lukas Haas (x3), Dileep Rao

The two greatest summer moviegoing spectacles of the last twenty years both came from the same director, within two years of each other. And this was the second – a head-trippy, effects masterpiece tackling concepts of love, loyalty, aging, and family, and high powered explosives, crashing trains, and weightless fisticuffs. Inception is so spectacularly high concept that it doesn’t seem like much would’ve needed to happen to derail this film into nonsense and self-parody, but in the capable hands of Christopher Nolan – the greatest popcorn movie director this side of Spielberg – it delivers marvelously.

I realize denigrating Nolan as a “popcorn” director is hugely unfair, but even Spielberg eventually got the retroactive credit he deserved for his crowd pleasing efforts (once he made dour war pictures and the like, because apparently that’s the path one needs to take for respect). No doubt in the next 8 to 10 years Nolan will make the somber, awards-sweeping masterpiece that’ll have to be mentioned alongside his Batman movies and Memento and Inception – hell, it was almost Dunkirk – but for now we can content ourselves with the knowledge that we’re living through one of the greatest stretches of cinematic bombast from a hugely talented auteur in history. And as great as his other films are, will he ever manage to creatively top Inception? Continue reading

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The Set of 400: #35 – My Favorite Rio Bravo Confusion

Today! Because what’s the point of living in L.A. if you’re not in the movie business?

Get Shorty (1995)

Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld (x2)

Starring John Travolta (x2), Rene Russo (x2), Gene Hackman (x3), Danny DeVito (x6), Delroy Lindo, James Gandolfini (x3), Dennis Farina (x2), Bette Midler, Jon Gries (x3), David Paymer (x4), Renee Props, Martin Ferrero (x3), Miguel Sandoval (x3), Jacob Vargas, Linda Hart, Bobby Slayton, Harvey Keitel (x4), Penny Marshall, Alex Rocco

Ah, movies about movies! Plus, Elmore Leonard! Plus, everyone’s favorite Travolta – the mid-’90s, gigantic star variant! Get out of here with your Vinnie Barbarino! Plus, mobsters! This is a movie I have a huge blindspot on – I’ve had this on the high end of my favorite movies lists for years, and I honestly don’t know if anyone watches or thinks about it anymore.

Figure, the post Pulp Fiction Travolta oeuvre included a bunch of hits, but seriously, when was the last time you watched Phenomenon? Or Michael? Or Broken Arrow? Thankfully he made Battlefield Earth and put an end to this stretch of illogical success, or we might be getting huge Travolta vehicles to this day!

Instead, we now get things like this

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The Set of 400: #36 – My Favorite Million Dollar Wound

Today! Because we was always taking long walks, and we was always looking for a guy named Charlie –

Forrest Gump (1994)

Directed by Robert Zemeckis (x5)

Starring Tom Hanks (x7), Robin Wright (x3), Sally Field (x3), Gary Sinese, Mykelti Williamson, Haley Joel Osment (x2), Sam Anderson, Siobhan Fallon (x3), Afemo Omilami, Michael Jace, Richard D’Alessandro, Dick Cavett (x2), Michael Conner Humphreys, Hanna Hall

To be a fan of Forrest Gump in 1994 was decidedly uncool. This was a year of pretty bad ass, cutting edge cinema – what with Speed and Pulp Fiction and The Shawshank Redemption and True Lies and that baddest ass shouting match in cinema history, #317 Blue Chips. ’94 had it all for bros and dudes alike. And then you had Forrest Gump. Everyone’s mom loved Forrest Gump. The soundtrack was straight out of 1969. It had a boatload of dopey quotes and silly cameos by Elvis and John Lennon. It boiled down all of American history and southern racism into little bite sized comedic nuggets, and then hurled AIDS into the mix just to find an ending. Dammit, Forrest Gump!

This is the same movie where he tells LBJ he got shot in the buttocks!

However, as the years went by, and the general schmaltziness of this movie dissipated once it no longer had to be directly compared to the other films of ’94, Gump sort of rose above its initial impressions. I mean, it was a massive hit in its day, and it won Best Picture against all odds, fairness, and logic, so it’s not like it needed to find an audience or acceptance or anything, but for the slightly snobby guy element, obsessed with the vanguard of exciting new cinema in the early ’90s, Gump was a sugary throwback epic, even for all its fancy special effects. I enjoyed it well enough the first time around, but ’94 was just too much cinematically for a full embrace of this movie. Continue reading

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