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if you want a doo doo rhyme then come see me
I didn't know they were remaking The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3. I saw it on the marquee of the local theatre when I was home last weekend. If you don't know, the original was done in 1974 and starred Walter Matthau. The new movie has Denzel Washington in that role along with John Travolta, James Gandolfini, John Turturro, and Luis Guzman. Tony Scott is the director, who in the early 90s did a couple of my favorite action/crime movies, namely The Last Boyscout and True Romance. So this is promising, however, Scott hasn't made a watchable movie since '98's Enemy Of The State. So it'll probably suck.

Be sure to see the original, you won't be disappointed.

The other day I updated my master movie list with a bunch of new additions. I took those new additions and added some thoughts about some of them and have listed them below. If you feel like discussing any of them, fire away.

I Heart Huckabees
Usually I complain when the pacing of a movie is too slow. Here is a case where it is too fast.

Ironically titled Todd Solondz movie about the pain of loneliness in modern culture and the ugly ways it can manifest itself. Some of the subject matter is disturbing yet handled in a way that is shockingly poignant at times.

State and Main

Typically bad Julia Stiles chick flick. She's so cute though and I'm a sucker.

Terms Of Endearment
I honestly don't know what the big deal is about this movie. It's one of those movies where people die dramatically and fall in love unexepctedly and everyone learns something about themselves.

Jazz Singer, The
I've never understood the appeal of Neil Diamond.

Five People You Meet In Heaven, The
Getaway, The

Steve McQueen driving cars really fast. Foxy Ali McGraw. Motherfuckin' Sam Peckinpah at the helm.

Gold Rush, The
Great Train Robbery, The
King Of Comedy, The

Scorcese flick with De Niro and Jerry Lewis. Yes, Jerry Lewis... and he's awesome and so is this movie.

Manchurian Candidate, The
All Quiet On The Western Front
I watched a 1979 TV version with Richard Thomas and Ernest Borgnine by accident as well as the Academy Award Best Picture winner from 1930. The latter is the grandaddy of all war movies made since then. It's a stunning achievement of early cinema.

House Of Sand And Fog
Don't believe the hype. It's watchable, but it ain't all that.

Glen Or Glenda
Harrison's Flowers
I Shot Andy Warhol
Igby Goes Down
On the one hand this movie had some very clever dialogue, but I have a hard time relating to movies about rich, privileged white kids who are morose malcontents and hate their lives.

Pirates of the Carribean 3: At World's End
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Robert Downy Jr and Val Kilmer star. Hilarious and clever. See this.

Kramer vs. Kramer
It Could Happen To You
Funny and touching indie movie worth seeing.

Leaving Las Vegas
Ok I'm not a huge fan of Nicolas Cage or Julian Sands but I liked this movie. It's dark and bleak, but well done. If street hookers looked like Elisabeth Shue, there'd be a bunch of broke men in this world.

Tries too hard to be hip and edgy. It's one of those movies where Kevin Spacey just way over does it and chews up every scene he's in.

Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay
I love the Harold and Kumar movies. Funny stuff. More Neil Patrick Harris madness in this one, too.

Just My Luck
Linda, Linda, Linda

Fun Japanese import about a group of high school girls who form a punk band to cover Blue Hearts songs for a talent show.

My Left Foot
Daniel Day Lewis gives an awesome performance of Christy Brown, the artist with cerebral palsy who painted and wrote with his foot. Too bad the movie is otherwise boring as shit.

Mysterious Skin
Engrossing and sometimes disturbing film about two teenager boys and the courses of their lives after an abusive incident early in their childhood.

No Country For Old Men
The Coen brothers are best when they do crime drama. Javier Bardem's Oscar winning performance is one of the great screen villains of all time.

Legends Of The Fall
Fast Food Nation
The Nutty Professor

This movie's good but I don't see what made it deserving of a Best Picture Oscar.

Ken Park
I don't like Harmony Korine. I think he's the cinematic equivalent of a freakshow carney, offering shock value as entertainment with little if any artistry or craftsmanship.

English Patient, The
Vantage Point
She's The Man
Diary Of The Dead
Sliding Doors
Kung Fu Panda

A great cast featuring Jack Black, David Cross, Jackie Chan, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, and Seth Rogan. Funny and cute with lots of adult subtext for the grownups.

Everything Is Illuminated
Funny, quirky gem waiting to be discovered by more people.

1976 masterpiece with Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Robert Duvall, and the incomparable Ned Beatty.

Max Payne
Mickey Blue Eyes

I felt dirty because I kept thinking Dakota Fanning looked kinda hot as a punked-up street urchin in a mini skirt.

Lady Eve, The
House Of Flying Daggers
One of the most gorgeous martial arts movies you'll ever see

Baby Mama
Mmmmmmm Tina Fey. Amy Poehler cracks me up in just about anyhting she ever does.

Duck Soup
Squid And The Whale, The

Step Brothers
With Will Farrell and me it's hit or miss, but John C. Reilly is always a hoot. How does he get away with making stuff like this and Talladega Nights but get great supporting roles in movies like Magnolia and Chicago as well?

Three Amigos
Dead Man On Campus

Tom Hanks sure made a lot of bad movies early in his career.

Meet Joe Black
Pineapple Express
I'll admit it, I'm on the Seth Rogan bandwagon. I watch just about everything he does

Sense And Sensibility
Emma Thompson wrote the screen play and starred in this film directed by Ang Lee. I'm a sucker for Victorian-era films.

Vanishing Point
The star of this movie is a white Dodge Challenger. I love these 70s car chase movies. This is one of the better ones. Go Kowalksi, go!

Lion In Winter, The
Katharine Hepburn, Peter O'Toole, and Anthony Hopkins star in this fantastic film from 1968 about King Henry II.

Touching film about a transgendered man who discovers one week before his sex change operation that he has a 16 year old son.

Richard Linklater's stunning low-budget film about directionless Gen Xers in Austin, Texas. It's a series of vignettes tied loosely together by the proximity of the characters. Most films which do this, especially to the ponit of artistically denying any sort of plot, I find annoying and uncompelling, but this one works.

Mutiny On The Bounty
Charles Laughton is perfect as a snooty Captain Bligh. Clark Gable was horribly miscast IMHO, but whatchagonnado? The sea-faring scenes when the crew is climbing around in the rigging and setting the sails is some awesome cinema.

Toxic Avenger 4: Citizen Toxie
Recommended by my pal stormodacentury. I'm not sure I had ever seen a Toxic Avenger film. If I have, it was a long, long time ago. This movie was great. Low-budget blood'n gore gags, ample frontal nudity, offensive in every way imaginable and funny as hell. I'll be making it a point to watch the entire Toxic Avenger movies in the near future.

Fly, The
Slaughterhouse Five

Mr. Woodcock
Not bad, not great. More Amy Poehler wonderfulness.

Play It Again Sam
Woody Allen wrote and starred in this film but didn't direct. A lot of fun and very funny. There's a scene where Woody is meeting his blind date that is probably the funniest thing I've ever seen him do.

North Country
Lords Of Dogtown
Hmmm, Heath Ledger and Mitch Hedberg were both in this. Johnny Knoxville better look out. Tells the story of the first generation of skateboarders in southern California and the rise of skate culture

Lost In La Mancha
Documentary about Terry Gilliam's botched attempt to make a movie based on Don Quixote, his life-long dream.

Personally I find these old epics a little rigid and melodramatic, but that's not to say they aren't entertaining. Kirk Douglas stars... his chin co-stars. I'm coming to the realization that I don't much care for Tony Curtis. Charles Laughton has a pretty awesome role in this as a hedonistic senator.

Dead Man
Jim Jarmusch does a western. After liking Ghost Dog and now this movie, I guess Jarmusch ain't so bad. Johnny Depp stars and features a great ensemble cast with a haunting score by Neil Young.

Operation Petticoat
Recommended to me by gonadsandstrife. The title didn't ring any bells, but eventually the storyline did. It made me remember the short-lived TV series in the late 70s of the same name, that was based on this movie. Stars Cary Grant and Tony Curtis and is a light-hearted farce set in WWII.

Notting Hill
As if liking Victorian-era Merchant Ivory shit wasn't enough, I'm also a little embarassed to admit that I typically enjoy Hugh Grant romantic comedies.

Not Without My Daughter
Manhattan Murder Mystery
Play It Again Sam is how Woody paid homage to Casablanca. This one pays homage to the noir classic Double Indemnity.

Manufacturing Consent
Crimes And Misdemeanors
Woody Allen at his best.

Death Of A Salesman
Stooge, The
Mr. Death
National Lampoon's Vacation
National Lampoon's European Vacation
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2, Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure
Zack and Miri Make A Porno

Seth Rogan starring in a Kevin Smith movie is a match made in heaven.

Naked Lunch
Animal Farm
American Werewolf In London, An
Tropic Thunder

I love Robert Downey Jr, and his role in this is one of the greatest things he's ever done. Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Nick Nolte, Tom Cruise... awesome awesome all the way around. One of the funniest movies to come out of mainstream Hollywood in the past few years.


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i would like to see the original.
But, I saw the remake the other day and found it pretty enjoyable. I am not a huge Travolta fan but he did pretty well in his role and Denzel Washington was very good, as well. Worth checking out. Especially to make fun of if you loved the original.


I doubt I'll make it to the theatre to see it, but I will eventually I'm sure. I was probably a little harsh in saying it will suck. Actually I'm sure it'll be fairly entertaining as a summer blockbuster action film should be. I just doubt it has that gritty feel to it like the original and all those other 70s NYC crime movies.

I do recommend seeing the original. That's one good thing about the remake. Pelham was one of those movies that kind of fell through the cracks and the remake will hopefully draw some new viewers to the original.

Travolta is alright I guess. I've always been kinda meh about Denzel Washington. He's a capable actor I suppose, but I've never thought he had a great amount of range. Then again, most leading men don't (or won't). That's what makes them universally appealing and good leading men I suppose.


Pelham was revered by my dad.

Glad you liked Operation Petticoat; funny that in the TV show, Jamie Lee Curtis played Dina Merrill's character. Network is fucking amazing 7 is just as relevant today as it was 33 years ago. A remake might actually be welcome is they stayed true to form. That was also Holden's last role. I saw Leaving Las Vegas on a date; it killed the date.

I agree with you about Network. I don't think anyone would touch it though unless it was done right. It's not the kind of movie that could be made into a "blockbuster" anyway.

Yeah I can see Leaving Las Vegas being a date killer. There's not a lot in it that is positive, hopeful, or romantic.

I downloaded Woody Allen's What's Up, Tiger Lily? about 2 months ago; haven;t seen it in like 15 years. Still haven't made time for it.

I haven't seen that one yet. I'm steadily working through the Woody Allen oeuvre.

You probably need to read the Terms of Endearment novel...it's a phenomenal book from when Larry McMurtry was still worth a shit (aka, pre-Lonesome Dove).

House of Sand and Fog--also a much better novel

Happiness disturbs me.

I thought Iron Man was the only good think about Tropic Thunder, except maybe the brief bit from always underrated Koogan.

But, considering you also praised Kevin Smith in this post, and I think he has the writing talent of my dick and the directorial skills of my dick if it were drunk and retarded, I could assume our taste in comedy is very different.

Then again, you praised Woody...even if it is pre-zenith Woody.

Oh I like it when Tom Cruise takes roles like Grossman in Tropic Thunder or the "Respect the cock!" guy in Magnolia. It makes me feel like he's a little less of a douche when he does. I'm a sucker for films which lampoon the industry, anyway. The faux trailers and the dialogue directly and indirectly about the business of film making. Ben Stiller as the bowl-cut blonde retard. So yeah, I don't think RDJ was the only good thing about the movie, but it was certainly the best.

Happiness is a disturbing movie. But not in a Harmony Korine sort of disturbing. It's disturbing because it gets under your skin and challenges you.

I think Kevin Smith is very uneven as a writer and marginal as a director, and probably the luckiest sonofabitch in film. That said, I still enjoy his movies immensely and routinely laugh heartily through most of his pictures.

I like Tom Cruise in Magnolia because I thought he fucking nailed it. He played the role pretty straight, despite how outrageous it was...but I thought the Thunder roll was just kind of silly. It had that "jumping on the couch with Oprah to prove I'm not stuck up" feel to it.

I think what you said (without saying it directly) with your last paragraph is "at some point in my life--and maybe still--I have smoked copious amounts of pot." Cause that seems to be the difference between my friends who love Smith and those who are so-so on him.

If you like the Richard Curtis rom coms like Notting Hill, then I would recommend you add The Boat that Rocked to your viewing list. The setting (pirate radio station ship in the 1960s) and historical context is really interesting, and there's some smashing music. The plot is sort of half and half pirate radio/silly rom com sex farce. If I have any criticism of it, the sex farce stuff was a bit 'English comedy by numbers' I thought, and I would have liked to have been shown more about why the BBC wouldn't play pop music, why they wouldn't tolerate it from these pirate stations, and how that changed society. But it was still a lot of fun, I'd happily watch it again, and I heart Bill Nighy and Philip Seymour Hoffman more than ever.

God I love Phillip Seymour Hoffman. I really wasn't "aware" of Bill Nighy until just recently when I saw him in a couple of films that I really liked: Love Actually (another Hugh Grant affiliated romantic comedy) and the afore-mentioned Mysterious Skin above. I'll definitely check out The Boat That Rocked. Thanks for that fantastic recommendation.

Heh - Love Actually is another Richard Curtis film. I can also recommend one of his earliest films, The Tall Guy with Jeff Goldblum, Emma Thompson and Rowan Atkinson. (Emma Thompson doesn't immediately come to mind when you think of sex scenes, but there is a very funny one in this film where she and Jeff Goldblum absolutely destroy the bedroom the first time they sleep together.)

And - keep an eye out for a telemovie called The Girl in the Cafe. Also by Richard Curtis, and also starring Bill Nighy. It's a funny old thing. I enjoyed it simply for Bill Nighy.

I couldn't count how many times I've watched Vanishing Point. I loved that movie as a teen, and that '71 Challenger was my dream car (never got one [though I did have a '69 Firebird at least])

I'm embarrassed to admit that I'd never heard of the movie until I saw Tarantino's Death Proof. My favorite of these types of movies has always been Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry. I first saw it is a wee lad in a drive-in with my parents sometime in the mid 70s.

DIrty Mary Crazy Larry was another one (though I didn't watch it as many times as VP). I've been waiting for that to float by because I haven't seen it in a _long_ time, but I remember that those two were named as my favs even though high school.

There were also a whole pile of Motorcycle movies from the era that were fun. Bad ... but fun


It is so hard to believe that you bothered telling everyone about your awful taste in movies. you clearly are self interested to the point of chewing your own cloaca. May your childish opinion be with you when you get reincarnated as a minor, and nonced properly.

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