#281- Deliverance

Quick recap: 4 men go on a canoe trip and end up being hunted by hillbillies.

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Fun (?) fact: According to IMDb, more than 30 people drowned in the Chattooga River after the movie came out because they were trying to recreate different scenes.

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My thoughts: Bonus fun fact- I still have the ‘Dueling Banjos’ melody in my head. It’s better than my usual mashup of the Ducktales theme song/Mentos commercial, but I’d still like to move on from it, all the same. So. Deliverance. This movie is in the category of Movies People Unnecessarily Warn Me About, like The Exorcist. Yes, there were disturbing scenes, but it was no more or less disturbing than other movie I have watched on this list

Before I spew my actual thoughts about the film, I have a confession to make. Saturday Night Live’s Celebrity Jeopardy is one of my favorite things ( like most people, I assume), but I never really understood the Burt Reynolds impersonation until this movie. I haven’t seen many films that he is in but after watching Deliverance, I realize that I don’t need to in order to understand who he is. And, tangentially, what was up with that vest Reynolds wore? What was it made of? It seems like the kind of clothing that would chafe you until you were driven insane, but this is Burt Reynolds we are talking about, so maybe he was in his element.

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You could stand to show a little more chest hair, Mr. Reynolds

So. Deliverance. It didn’t do much for me, although I can appreciate turning so common, like a river, into something so sinister. I guess I’m meh about the whole thing because I was expecting more disturbing scenes than I got. Literally the only thing I knew about this movie was the rape scene, and although it was rough, it didn’t bother me like the one in Man Bites Dog did. Maybe because it’s a man, more people are shocked? On the other hand, this movie did not make me want to go jump into a canoe anytime soon. I’m not really a fan of being in the water anyway, but watching Deliverance made me all the more weary to go camping or some other similar adventure.

Final review: 2/5. I think my ambivalence comes from my dislike of most of the characters. Burt Reynolds was never supposed to be likeable, but I didn’t really care what happened to any of them.

Up next: Horrorfest marches on

 

 

 

 

 

#271- Planet of the Apes

Quick recap: An astronaut lands on a mysterious planet where Man is the inferior race, ruled over by Apes.

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Fun (?) fact: Actors were required to keep their ape-masks on at all times during filming because makeup took so long. As a result, lunch was mostly liquified and fed through straws. Yum!

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My thoughts: My gift to you, dear readers, is that I promise not to mention a certain ape who was cruelly taken from our lives just a few months ago in Cincinnati. EVEN though evidence suggests he was most likely an ape from the future, here to warn us about Man’s destructive path. #ripHarambe

Moving on, Planet of the Apes is probably the best B-movie that’s not supposed to be a B-movie. The main plot about apes ruling over Man is so ridiculous yet it works. There is SO much to laugh at: the overacting by Charlton Heston, the crazy rubber masks that creeped me out, and I still left the theater that night knowing that I had watched something truly profound.

As much as I hated Charlton Heston in this film, and BOY did I hate Charlton Heston, he was still the absolute best choice for the role. It’s his anger and impulsiveness that only remind the apes that they have made the right decision in reducing Man to a wild species, yet he was supposedly the ‘hero’ in all of this. It’s what makes this movie so much more than just a Science Fiction story- the idea that who we hail as ‘hero’ may actually be the opposite. I never really liked him to begin with, although that may also be because I knew about the big reveal beforehand. It could also be because I was really creeped out by his and Nova’s relationship. I mean, yes, she was a human, but in this future, she was basically a wild animal. And he wanted to restart society with her? I guess someone has to be the one to bite the bullet but on the other hand, ew.

Please hold me, you damn dirty apes.

           Please hold me, you damn dirty apes. ( If you get this reference, I love you, whoever you are)

Final review: 5/5. I know the sequels are just plain ridiculous but now I want to see them

Up next: Vinyl

#270- Raiders of the Lost Ark

Quick recap: Han Solo is in a race to find the fabled Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis do.

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Fun (?) fact: During filming, nearly all of the cast and crew contracted food poisoning at some point, except Steven Spielberg who only ate cans of Spaghetti-Os.

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My thoughts: As seems to be the case with really popular movies lately, this was my first time watching Raiders of the Lost Ark. I don’t really have a reason for not watching sooner, except that Adventure movies aren’t really my thing. This movie didn’t change that for me, but I can at least appreciate what it did to the genre.

I’m certainly not on the Spielberg Hate Wagon ( great band name, FYI), but his director trademarks can be tiresome. Thankfully, Raiders of the Lost Ark kept sappiness and deep seated daddy issues at bay. I am glad, however, that he stuck with his old pal John Williams to create a wonderfully memorable soundtrack. It’s not my favorite of their collaboration, but it was perfect for the movie and really amped up all the action scenes.

The action scenes themselves were the main ‘wow’ factor and I loved the homage to older adventure films where it seemed someone was in danger every few minutes. It’s delightfully ridiculous at times, but also amazing to see how perfectly executed everything is. And Harrison Ford was perfect for the role, of course. No one can play know-it-all ass like he can. Dare I say that I prefer him as Indiana Jones over Han Solo? I feel like I should soak myself in holy water for even thinking something so blasphemous.

My only complaint with the movie is a very minor, personal one, as most complaints tend to be. Being the geek I am, I was most on the edge of my seat during any conversation about the Ark of the Covenant. There’s so much history here! Archeology has interested me for a long time so I’m probably the only person out there who could’ve gone with more talking and less action.

Final review: 5/5 because of course!

Up next: Planet of the Apes

 

#269- The Princess Bride

Quick recap: A classic fairy tale kings, queens, knights, pirates and Billy Crystal.

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Fun (?) fact: Cary Elwes, who played Westley, later continuing his stunning actor career by playing the villain in Twister. Yes, there was a villain. No, it wasn’t the tornado. OR WAS IT?

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Jonas! Why didn’t you just listen to Bill Paxton? WHYYYYY??

My thoughts: Before I start the review, let me make a couple of points: 1 being that I didn’t watch The Princess Bride until I was an adult and 2 yes I do have a sense of humor and anyways, my mom thinks I’m hilarious so isn’t that all that really matters in the end?

As you probably already guessed, I didn’t really care for this movie. It’s not to say I didn’t like it or that I thought it wasn’t very good. I mostly just don’t get the cult following it has. The local Alamo Drafthouse does Princess Bride quote-alongs often, at almost the same frequency as Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which is just downright silly to me. I was entertained but not to the point that I would watch this 20 times in a row and then squeal with delight every time someone made a reference to the movie.

I truly feel like I’m being unfair to this movie, having only seen it as a jaded, cold-hearted adult. My six year old loved it, so to me, The Princess Bride did its job. He cracks up every time he hears the ‘My name is Inigo Montoya’ quote and it’s not hard for me to imagine him one day growing up and watching a midnight screening at a local movie theater to bring back all those good childhood memories. As for me? I thought it was a sweet movie and creative, and yes, even funny sometimes, but ultimately, a little out of my age range. Sorry.

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Final review: 3/5

Up next: Happiness