Saturday, March 29, 2014

Short Reviews - March 2014

Seven Psychopaths - What, no Snow White?  Wotta ripoff!

"Mr. Selfridge" - As with anything that Jeremy Piven's involved in these days, I just gotta know one thing... is the character cool?  I mean, I've been burned before.  Don Ready wasn't too cool.  Pritchard, well... he's no Dean Wormer.

Elizabethtown - Here I am, trying to play Candy Crunch, minding my own business, when I make the mistake of looking to the right at the various ads.  One of them says "Paula did nothing wrong!"  That's right, they're referring to Paula Deen.  Well, let's see: she chose the wrong diet, she said the wrong things... other than that, I guess they're right.  She may deserve one apology from Cameron Crowe, but that's about it.

Bee Season - I guess I wasn't in the mood for it for some reason.  I mean, what next?  The world "Rock Paper Scissors" championships in movie form?

Wordplay - A step down the slope...

Dom Hemingway - An ad on the Village Voice website declares "Jude Law as only Sienna Miller's seen him before!"  Something like that.

The Railway Man - I hate to be cynical, but doesn't this sound a bit like The Bridge on the River Kwai?

The River Wild - ...why did I think of that title all of a sudden?  I must be a racist.

Killer Workout - I prefer the title on the box... AEROBICIDE!!!  Too confusing?  Apparently.  That's why you need the two titles.

You, Me and Dupree - They were showing this at the gym!  At least, I seriously doubt it was One Night at McCool's, the only other film with Michael Douglas and Matt Dillon to date.

Booze & Bullets - I'm seriously hesitant to even acknowledge a "movie" that can't even be found on the IMDb, just like I never say "Tom Sizemore" into the mirror five times.  Nevertheless, what can I say?  I kinda liked it!  Way more entertaining than Clerks 1.  I hope we get to see this Floyd guy you hear so much about.

Ride Along - Shame on MTV, Ice Cube?  Seriously?  Really?  The one channel along with E! that so doesn't know the meaning of the word?  Besides, you should know already that the entertainment community has a thing about giving awards to the dead guy or gal.  Just ask Harry Shearer in regards to the 2008 Grammys!  I mean, George Carlin... who's that?

Fargo (2014) - Oh jeez, I dunno....... well, they've managed to make a template of the 1996 movie, but I hope the next few episodes don't get a whole lot darker than the first one!!!

Heaven is for Real - Oh Greg Kinnear.... this is the kind of thing you would've made fun of on "Best of the Worst".... isn't it?

Toast with the Gods - The gods must be crazy

The Goonies 2 - Apparently, it's official now.  Well, good luck getting serious actor Josh Brolin involved!  He'll probably need a 7 figure salary or something.

Disorganized Crime - Have William Russ and Steve Zahn ever done a movie together?  And if not, why not?

Meet the Parents - Everybody's a comedian.  Always with the comedy headlines.  As for me, I'm just surprised she didn't file for bankruptcy sooner!  I guess it's never a good time to do it.

Watching the Detectives - Even though he's now going to play young Fletch, I've always thought of Jason Sudeikis as the new Dan Aykroyd.  Then I find out today that he and Olivia Wilde are having a baby!  He's found his Donna Dixon!

The Amateurs - I think there are a few too many celebrities in this.  Well, the film was originally titled 'The Moguls.'  I guess 'The All-Celebrity Cast' would've been too vague in the wrong way.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Paranoia, Paranoia, Everybody's Comin' to Get Me................ (1 film remains... after this one)

I can't even remember what that's a reference to; just that it somehow fits here for our next Stooge flick, Flagpole Jitters, a reworking of 1949's Hokus Pokus.  Personally, when it comes to the Stooges hanging off a flagpole, I prefer those ones where Curly or Shemp plays their own father and... phooey!  Are you telling me I actually have to look that up now?
(several minutes later...) FOUND IT!!! 3 Dumb Clucks which begat Up in Daisy's Penthouse.  Both involve one of the Stooges playing their own fathers, both ending with a flagpole, and both NOT NEEDING TO POINT THAT OUT IN THE TITLE!!!!  Just sayin'... But Larry gets an alpha moment here, and a high point here.  It's bad enough when they're making breakfast for themselves or someone else, but somehow they cross a line here making breakfast for someone actually depending on them!  Sure, she's faking being injured and all, but still... Ooh!  That looks like new footage!  And here's some more!  Notice how the Stooges are by themselves in the scene, and they look older and puffier...
There's also a lot of dubbing of new lines.  Take here, for instance, where they enter the lobby to put up some posters.  Now I hate to keep bringing current events into these things, but why does this part remind me of Chris Christie?  Actually, Christie could learn a thing or two from Moe!
Alas, this isn't a good one.  I mean, Hokus Pokus was no great shakes, so why remake it?  I guess even the Stooges like a challenge once in a while.  But there's even an art to the remake.  Fer instance, they don't do Moe's "I am now in Sing Sing" scene justice!  It's snipped just a little too much.  And I'm sure this David Bond's a nice fella and all, but clearly the role of Svengarlic was clearly meant for Philip van Zandt.  Strike two.  Also, there's no way that this works.  Major plot device.  Strike Three.  You're out.  Still, there's no reason one of these Facebook pages devoted to bodybuilding can use that section in an Instagram, saying "Even Moe and Larry were bodybuilders.  WHAT'S YOUR EXCUSE?!!!"


There is one, of sorts.  Whereas Hokus Pokus has a Curb Your Enthusiasm-type sense of closure, SPOILER ALERT... this one doesn't.  I'll leave it at that.  Once again, the Stooges catch the hastily introduced bad guys and get a big fat reward.  God bless the criminals and the large bounties upon their heads!  But as they go to celebrate and set up a charitable foundation for their proverbial Mary, Shemp runs afoul of a board hanging from the ceiling.  Angered, Shemp pulls the board down from the ceiling.  The trio gets hit by a load-bearing beam.  Moe angrily curses the Gods.  The Gods send down a shower of wood-based debris.  There's a lesson here somewhere, and I think it's... Dance!  Dance!!!

Wikipedia entry for Flagpole Jitters... they literally have EVERYTHING!!!!!

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

Hey Bluto, can't you hear all the noise? It's for you!!!

Sorry, an Electric Light Orchestra reference.  Yes, boy Bluto is back in Customers Wanted, and a more generic title you may not find.  And in that spirit, the plot of this Popeye short's pretty simple too.  Someone pines for the days of penny arcade moviolas for one viewer at a time.  The viewer this time?  Wimpy, of course.  Popeye and Bluto expend a lot of energy trying to woo this one non-cash customer with old clips from previous Popeye cartoons.  And in a way, it's a precursor to CNN: Bluto shows a heavily edited clip of his exploits, after which Popeye gets a turn.  Bluto needs every advantage he can get; Popeye's got a higher power on his side.  God?  Congress?  Paramount Pictures?  Who can say?  Clearly his power is used rather narrowly in the endless pursuit of humiliating Bluto.  Of course, Wimpy proves himself to be the ultimate showman at the end when tensions between Popeye and Bluto become too great, and they start beating each other up, destroying both penny arcades in the process.  Wimpy starts raking in the dough, billing this fight as the "Battle of the Century."  Charge a low enough price and you'll get more customers.  That's just economics!
Oh right... I should probably actually watch this one again rather than remember it from memory... You know, Wimpy brings to mind Walt Disney during this time when he was still solidifying his empire, squeezing out the smaller players like the Fleischers.  Borrowing all the money he can, and making sure he collected any and all that came his way, and holding on to it real tight.  This was before he helped the government root out any whiff of Communism, at least in the Disney company's ranks.  But let's try to focus on the positive, like Bluto's new voice... no, I guess that's negative too.  There's one moment here when Popeye so swells with pride, his body is overcome with a variant of rigor mortis.  Fortunately, Bluto, the nice guy that he is, snaps Popeye out of it.  Later on, Bluto is so overcome with laughter having tricked Popeye again, he stands on another one of those "Test Your Strength" games that are kind of an unspoken staple of these here Popeye cartoons.  After Bluto flies up, hits the bell with his head, then comes back down to Earth, Bluto IMMEDIATELY gets into a Fist Tornado with Popeye.  LOL.  Now, c'mon... even the most anti-bully among you's gotta like that a little, if only a little?

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

Auteur Watch - James Bond III

Def by Temptation!  Need more be said?  ...see, it was the 1990s.  There was a Bush in the White House, and rioting in America's streets... okay, mostly on the coasts.  You young people have no idea what it was like... oh, right.  The point is, not all who toil under Spike Lee are lost.  But Def was Bond III's big break.  After it came out, he had dinner with Spike one night.  They went into the alley and... an epic sword fight broke out.  "There can be only one," Spike told James.  Fortunately for Bond, Samuel L. Jackson saved his sorry ass that day, but on one condition: never call him again.  And never call he did.  But Bond III's got the last laugh now!  He's got a project in the works called Transit.  He's not directing it, so he doesn't get the lead role.  Ain't show biz a bitch?

Noah Almighty

What happened to you, Christians?  You used to be cool... well, not really.  But you used to have power.  Hanging people for practicing witchcraft... now that's power!  Now all you got is calling for Bill Maher to be flogged in the town square?  I guess you wouldn't be taken seriously for calling / branding him a warlock these days.  The devil's magic is far too profligate these days: television, the internet, crystal meth.  Why, Todd Tiahrt's head explodes anew each day; the world truly has no soul anymore.  It may have had in Noah's day, but... damn, I'm good.  And so, with the days of Catholics putting a dent in the box office of films like The Last Temptation of Christ far behind it, Noah is #1 at the box office despite all the complaining.  But, let's face facts: as good as Temptation is ... I don't know, I haven't seen the whole thing... it wasn't in IMAX, and it wasn't terribly epic in scope.  I mean, what do we get?  One shot of a bunch of coins flying up into the air.  Give us something to work with, Scorsese!  For the love of Jeebus!  No, the fact is, Christians want to be the filmmakers now, too!  Take those awful talking vegetables, for example!  Bob the Tomato... It's TOM the Tomato, for God's sake!  The first rule of cartoon characters: alliteration!  Bugs Bunny!  Daffy Duck!  Porky Pig!  BB, DD, PP.
Speaking of cartoon characters, Arnold Schwarzenegger gets into Training Day mode with David Ayer's latest variation on his usual theme.  This time it's Sabotage, about... well, I'll let the IMDb plot synopsis speak for itself: "Members of an elite DEA task force find themselves being taken down one by one after they rob a drug cartel safe house."  That's right, folks... even drug cartels have a certain sense of justice.  I learned that from Clear and Present Danger.  You can't just go firing American missiles at illegal drug factories!  It's bad for business!  It hurts certain banks' profit margins!
Anyway, on the bright side, Christians, God's Not Dead holds steady at #5.  Take that, Atheist professors in your ivory towers!  Not all is forgiven and forgotten!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Moribund the Burgermeister

...didn't I use that headline already?  Anyway, the context is slightly different.  Two tyrants in the late 1930s, keeping all the choice meat for themselves, while everyone else has to go on an all-grain diet.  Totally different.
Anyway, time to review an actual bonafide film that someone this century might have actually seen as well.  And even though The Book Thief was dissed at the Oscars, WWII Germany proves to be a worthy topic to visit again and again.  Think of this as a prequel to The Reader, perhaps.  And Spoiler Alert: it's narrated by a rather cheerful Death!  Kinda reminds me of Lester Burnham in American Beauty, except I don't think Lester spoiled life's great surprise by explicitly saying that someday we are all going to die.  Still, it's comforting hearing it from a human being than from some invisible omniscient force.  Of course, we've been hearing a lot from all corners lately about the finiteness of life.  If Stephen Colbert, for example, really wanted to make a stink about it, he could point out that he at one point pointed that out, I believe during one of his "The WØRD" segments.  A more savvy Colbert archivist will have to pinpoint the exact date for me.
Personally, I prefer my grim reapers a little more insidious than the one here narrating The Book Thief.  Maybe thrown in something about the demise of the world's only freshwater dolphin, but that's just me.  But I can see why he would be infatuated with Liesel.  Meet America's Next Great Jennifer Lawrence, actor and young Thespian Sophie Nélisse.  Our omnipotent narrator gives us the long and short of it, telling us that Liesel Meminger lives a long, full life of 90 years, and apparently she eventually makes her way to New York City and gets a great rent-control apartment overlooking Central Park!  I mean, Germany's great and all, but it's far from the center of the known universe.
But for the time being, we focus on her formative years.  Now I hate to superhero-ify everything, but we do see her origin story where she steals her first book: a For Dummies-esque manual about gravedigging left behind at her brother's rather no-frills funeral.  And even though she reluctantly throws a book into a raging fire, she hangs around after the fire's died down and everyone's gone home to... yup, you guessed it, steal a book.  An older woman sees this just before getting driven home.  As it happens, Liesel's stepmother's doing this very same woman's laundry, and she introduces Liesel to her and her husband's vast collection of books.  That's right, not all Germans at that time were going along with the program.  Book burning's more for the rubes, a passing fancy for the cameras.  There's also a bully who could've been phoned in from an Adam Sandler movie set in WWII Germany, but there's also a Jew named Max.  He's apparently given papers during Kristallnacht, but he doesn't quite make it out of Germany.  He ends up back at Liesel's step-parents' house, either to serve as a metaphor for Anne Frank or as a love interest for Liesel.
Needless to say, a serious movie like this can't be under two hours long.  Two hours and ten minutes is not bad, but it still felt a bit long.  One of my viewing companions is a fan of Geoffrey Rush, but felt that he was wrong for the part of a German.  I suppose I felt that as well, but he brought what silliness to the role that he could.  He probably wasn't as wasted here as he probably was in The Banger Girls, but that's just me.  As much as I hate to agree with The A.V. Club, they apparently gave The Book Thief a B-... but apparently you'll have trouble getting to it.  I'm shocked at the World Socialist Web Site!  They actually seemed to like it!  I guess there was no room to complain about American Imperialism or something.
Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say is... ENOUGH WITH THE HOLOCAUST MOVIES!!!!

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

The Perfect Title? (2 films remain)

Well, might as well steal from the best if you're going to steal.  Besides!  It's been about 25 years since Laurel and Hardy's Brats hit the silver screen.  That's, like, a whole new generation or something!  Also, it's the perfect ruse for a Stooge remake: the adult Stooges have to tell their "young" Stooges in the crib a bedtime story.  Naturally, the "young" Stooges bicker about what the story should be about.  "Young" Moe says "I WANT MURDERS AND KILLINGS!" and then promptly gives "young" Larry and "young" Moe the double fist to the forehead.  Ah, they grow up so fast.
And so, 1956's Creeps is a remake of 1949's The Ghost Talks, with a young Billy West as the voice of the spirit.  And of course, they've retained my favourite part from The Ghost Talks where Shemp runs afoul of a rather large toad... does that make me a bad person?  I thought so.  Well, their invisible wire crew worked overtime on that one; gotta give 'em some props!
Naturally, the "young" Stooges, along with the rest of us, felt cheated by that story, especially since they left out the part of the story that ties it to the larger history of Peeping Tom and Lady Godiva.  The "young" Stooges want a better story.  Fed up with these brats, the adult Stooges do what any parent in the '50s would've done: they hit their kids on the head with a hammer.  You lazy brats today ain't never had it rough, I tells ya... but at least you've got good taste in entertainment!

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

The Thin Blue Line between Chaos and Spinach

I really must recuse myself from reviewing Cops is Always Right as it is one of my favourites.  More specifically, this part right here.  Some of my close acquaintances can vouch for this, as it's driving them crazy.  Also, it shows that, believe it or not, there are still some things in this world too heavy for non-spinach Popeye.  And for you Larry David aficionados out there, the way they build upon the fire hydrant gag seems a little Curb-ish, no?  If I may be so bold.  I'll just leave it at that.  And Popeye seems to hate housecleaning.  Why, he'd rather lock himself in jail to avoid it. (...Popeye respects the law, but has to lock himself in jail?  He's almost as bad as Howard Roark!)  A classic.  Anytime I put in that DVD I have to watch it.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

Auteur Watch - Roger M. Bobb

As part of the conglomeration that is Tyler Perry, Bobb can't do bad all by himself!  You can also visit his website.


Not too hard to predict, was it?  The non-stop ad bombardment, that cute teenage girl from The Descendants... why wouldn't it be a hit?  The next installment of The Hunger Games was #1 this weekend and posted numbers that were good, but the studio wished were higher.  In sloppy second place is the latest Muppets movie, making more than $10 million.  See, if Divergent were a real blockbuster, the Muppets' latest movie would make less than 10.  And the last debut this week, well... God may not be dead, but he's apparently box office poison, as God's Not Dead comes in at #5 with 8.6 million.  Meanwhile... what happened to Son of God?  I guess it died, but hung in there for three weeks.  Maybe it's overdue for a resurrection.
In depressing news, Need for Speed drops from third place to sixth.  America does need speed; the whole world knows that, but apparently we're still picky about it.  Maybe they should've called the movie Fast and Furious 6.5 or something.  Too depressing.  This is why I tend to focus on the debuts.  Meanwhile, The Grand Budapest Hotel rises from eighth place to seventh, yet somehow made less money than last week.  That's Wes Anderson for you!  Always beating the odds.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The BIG JULES WHITE (3 films remain)

Our next Stooge short is an awful one called Husbands Beware.  It features stock footage from the classic Brideless Groom.  Might as well remake the best, right?  Kinda reminds me of when Jackie Gleason went back on TV in the '70s and did Honeymooners-esque sketches.  The wives he used in those bits remind me of the wives here.
On the other hand, the Stooges finally get the on-screen wives they deserve!  As Moe helpfully explains, he and Larry marry Shemp's overweight sisters at the beginning of the pic.  Kinda reminds me of the setup of Twice Two, but never mind.  After the ink's dry on the marriage licenses, the two girls punch their husbands in the head, then command them to get dinner ready.  "We don't know how to cook!" exclaims an exasperated Larry.  "It's time you learned!" says his bride.  Eventually, Shemp helps out in the kitchen out of solidarity.  In a way, this film preps us for the Shemp-less films to come. :(
Anyway, it's too late to put this delicately, but needles to say the Stooges served the wrong people their disastrous cooking.  The brides of Moe and Larry throw them out of the apartment into the hall, as well as Shemp, and each of the Stooges has a concussion-inducing date with the wall opposite the apartment.  But how to link this seemingly unrelated story to Brideless Groom?  Screenwriters take note: watch true masters at work.  Shemp declares that he'll never get married.  Moe swears revenge, and Larry looks at his watch and says "Hey Shemp!  We gotta give a music lesson!"  Connection complete.  You can barely see the jagged scar.
If nothing else, they have my favourite moment from Brideless Groom: the big final note by Dee Green.  And of course, poor Christine McIntyre has to fawn over Shemp extra hard in this one.  Now that's acting!  But don't worry, folks.  The Stooges are professionals and they've decided to add slightly new footage to the proceedings.  They add a rather cruel twist to the plot of Brideless Groom, but remain gentlemen during the chaos that ensues when all the women that Shemp proposed to find out about the economic incentive involved.  Anyway, I've got to enjoy these before I get into the Joe Besser years.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

I-Ski Love-Ski Skating-Ski

I hate to fault the animation of A Date to Skate, but... there it is, plain as day.  It raises an interesting philosophical dilemma, though: what do the people do who lay down these cels and shoot them when they see a mistake like that?  Is it too late to go back and fix it?  Or can they call the whole thing to a halt... in this case, I guess it's obviously the former.
Still, this isn't one of my favourite Popeye shorts, but it's growing on me, I guess.  Especially that Third Act.  I confess; I'm an action junkie, and I expect Popeye to deliver the goods every once in a while.  Reminds me of the time Olive went skiing, and things got a bit out of hand for her.  Olive's response at the end of this one, however, just might surprise you.
If I were better, I'd know what that music was that they used in Learn Polikeness that they reused here.  What is it?!!  Must've been pretty darn special.  Also, I think Jack Mercer did the voice of the roller skating shoe ... guy.  Clerk?  Hander-outer?  No wonder I can't find a job!  Geeze Loueeze.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

Auteur Watch - Carroll Parrott Blue

Well, they had a brush with greatness with On Golden Pond!  That's something, right?

Speeding Bad

Ouch!  After ALL that TV bombardment with ads and God knows where else... to the triumphant debut of post-Breaking Bad Aaron Paul, America says "Meh."  They'd rather take the kids to the Peabody and Sherman movie, and to a lesser extent, the 300 sequel.  We've no need for your modern contrivances like the new Tesla featured in Need for Speed... it is a Tesla, isn't it?  Well, it should of been.  And on top of it, Need for Speed let in a bunch of other debuts this week, clearly not crushing the competition like some.  There's The Single Moms Club... geez!  How many of these clubs are there?  I'm getting beat over the head!  Then there's The Grand Budapest Hotel and, like all of Wes Anderson's movies, it's a bit remote and laden with inappropriate sex jokes.  And yet, Kevin Smith gets all of the credit for inappropriate sex jokes.  Finally, it's that Veronica Mars movie.  Sorry, Kristen Bell, better stick with the day job.  I presume you have one.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Shempnet (4 films remain)

I've only heard rumours of this one: a Stooge film where Larry does a parody of that sledgehammer logo for... whatever.  Dragnet?  Anyway, Blunder Boys is the last Stooge film to feature all-new footage, and... I LOVE IT!!!  It's got everything.  Moe gets a chance to act, Larry hams it up where he can, and Shemp brings it as usual.  But don't worry; for those of you sadists out there in the audience who like to watch dreams get crushed, that happens here.
The plot?  I suppose I should mention it.  With the threat of television ever-advancing, and the Stooges not yet dominating it with their body of work, it's time for a TV show parody, so why not Dragnet?  A show ripe for satire if there ever was one.  We'll leave the classic 1987 movie version aside for now, probably forever.  It's the classic three-act structure: 1) we see the Stooges at war, either Korea or WWII, 2) we see the Stooges at detective school, and 3) we see the Stooges on their first big case.  SPOILER ALERT: Needles to say, the punishment for not solving a crime is a bit steep, but maybe it's just the motivation that cops these days should have!
Even the Stooges aim for the stars.  At the start, we hear a police siren.  Moe says "That's a police car.  Half the time it's our home and our office."  Take that, James Ellroy!  Also, the fetching "Alma Matter" tells the Stooges, "When placing handcuffs on a criminal, it must be done quickly!"  See?  These Stooge shorts are occasionally edja-ma-cational!  Go figure.  Another spoiler: Now, I've been watching these Stooge shorts for years, but this is the first time I've heard Moe refer to an 81-C.  But ever the professionals, Shemp and Larry act like they've been doing this maneuver for years.  Basically, it involves Moe sticking both sets of eye-poking fingers out, and the other two have to run into them as hard as they can.  Well, not too hard, these days; Moe's getting on in years.  I thought for sure that Moe would say afterwards "Anyone see?" but no dice.  Oh well.  Otherwise, this one's a classic.  Comedy names?  Check.  Comedy wallets?  Check.  Ooh!  I think I forgot to mention this earlier.  This is the second time I've noticed this happening: the opening "Three Blind Mice" theme's a little bit funky at 0:18.  Anyway, aren't some things better when they're not perfect?

Good double bill with: The Unmentionables

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

Mrs. Popeye-fire

Now, this'll probably get me banned from many influential, politically correct circles, but what can I say?  Goonland is a classic.  Frankly, it's been kind of a dry spell with these Popeye shorts lately!
Now, as the Wikipedia freely (until the next pledge drive and/or political kerfuffle) and ultimately reports, Goonland is the first appearance of Poopdeck Pappy.  Well, the Simpsons knows this too, but sometimes you just gotta fill your cartoon universe with new characters.  The same ol' Popeye and spinach, well... gets kinda boring.  Plus, your voice actors might perish prematurely, so you'll have to fill the void they've left!  When was the last time we saw Bluto, incidentally?
And so, the "fresh" character of Popeye's dad provides a unique plot opportunity: Popeye has discovered where his pappy is, and sails off to save him.  Pappy is being held captive on Goon Island by the much-maligned Goons.  Even to this day.  Just cuz they're different.  Just cuz they're stronger than most men, have a more powerful sense of smell, and probably don't think as much as they should.
Popeye spies the Goon Island's active volcano.  "Pappy must be there; I can see his pipe!" concludes Popeye.  Lol.  Is that the best moment of the cartoon?  For some, perhaps, but there's others as well.  And so, Popeye eventually lands his dinghy ashore, and ventures forth to find his pappy.
Soon finding himself outnumbered, it's time for a disguise.  Popeye adds some fake Goon hair to his own body, and transforms his physique and face... only in a cartoon... to become the island's smallest Goon.  He shakes up the Goon's world as he strolls by.  A free thinking Goon!  So small and dynamic!  What a sight to behold... at least, for a few seconds, and then it's back to the regular loop of animation cels.
I'm reminded of Mrs. Doubtfire, particularly for the big finale where Robin keeps changing into and back out of his costume at the restaurant.  Popeye does that here with his Goon outfit in order to speak to his pappy, locked up in Goon jail for 40 years.  A lot of seniority!  However, Poopdeck Pappy's not exactly thrilled to see Popeye.  "I don't like relatives!" he barks.  Poopdeck Pappy breaks Popeye's fragile heart, and he forgets to put his Goon costume back on.  And then... Popeye gets caught by the Goons.  He fights them off for a little, but after the Goon Tornado breaks out, Popeye is under their control.
Pappy hears Popeye's cry for help and has a change of heart.  Finally, a reason to break out of jail!  Popeye's spinach can rolls over to Pappy... and it seems to have developed a tongue!  Anyway, Pappy eats his first spinach in 40 years and is instantly bourne anew, and easily breaks out of jail as though it were constructed of tissue paper.
I hate to spoil the finale, but the breaking of the fourth wall helps Popeye and Poopdeck Pappy defeat the Goons.  A more apt metaphor of American Imperialism you will not find.  Still, I admire the showmanship on display here.  A highlight of Volume 2, Disc 1 that I'll always be tempted to watch as I browse all the "episodes."  Accept no substitutes, especially the colorized version that looks just awful, as do all the colorized versions of Fleischer cartoons.  They'd be perfect bandwidth for the web, of course, but why take a step back?

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

Auteur Watch - Edward Bland

And now, for the profile of America's Next Big Auteur, the exciting Edward Bland.  Alas, it's almost the one year anniversary of his passing.  He only directed one film, the documentary the mortals call The Cry of Jazz.  I wonder if he included a lengthy tribute to himself in it.
Anyway, after directing that, he decided enough was enough, so back to the day job, orchestrating for such films as A Soldier's Story.  Yes, even the bold like Norman Jewison need a little help to get their stuff to the screen once in a while.

Rise of a Franchise

Yeesh.  Well, it's been eight years, and the sequel to 300 made it to theaters before the sequel to Sin City.  Go figure.  I don't know where Hollywood did their advertising for this besides TV.  Must've been in Maxim magazine and Soldier of Fortune, junk like that.  Maybe the Nickelodeon channel?  It must be a step up if Zack Snyder's not directing it.  Of course, Zack's getting better, especially if he's doing the new Superman movie.
And speaking of long-delayed franchises, the Jay Ward catalog returns to theaters with Mr. Peabody & Sherman.  I'm shocked!  Colbert didn't talk about it last night!  I guess if it was #1, he would've.  The last debut this week is the re-debut of 12 Years a Slave at #9.  But it's already out on DVD!  Go figure.  Meanwhile, Frozen is almost over the $400 million mark.  How does it do it?  And Son of God is slightly less popular than The Lego Movie.  Go figure.  They should do the Lego version of Son of God for the Blu-Ray.  Just sayin'.