Watched, Read, Reviewed: November 2019

Happy New Year, everyone!

I never did my November Roundup post. So just to complete my 2019 posts, here’s what I watched & read in November 2019. I’ll try to post my December Roundup within the next few days. I’ll then do my 2019 Top Ten Lists next week before taking a blog break for 2020.

NOVEMBER 2019 MOVIES

MOVIES REVIEWED (ranked best to worst):

Judy – 7.5/10
Hustlers – 7.5/10
Joker – 7.5/10
The Farewell – 7.5/10
Frozen 2 – 7/10
I Am Mother – 7/10
Terminator: Dark Fate – 6.5/10
Last Christmas – 6.5/10

MOVIES WATCHED (ranked best to worst):

Miss Hokusai – I really enjoyed this anime film about Katsushika Ōi, artist & daughter of critically acclaimed artist Katsushika Hokusai (famous for The Great Wave off Kanagawa). The film has lovely animation and strong characters. I’ll try to review it at some point as it’s probably my favorite non-Ghibli anime that I’ve watched recently. – 7.5/10

Frozen 27/10

3 Idiots – I didn’t manage to watch all my 2019 Blind Spot movies but did watch 12 movies for my IMDb project. This is one of them so I’ll do a short post with all 12 sometime. I enjoyed this but don’t think it’s Top 250 material, although the second half is much better than the first. – 7/10

Last Christmas – 6.5/10

Support The Girls – 6/10

Locke – This was surprisingly boring. I remember being annoyed at missing out on this one in the cinema as it got really good reviews. It’s Tom Hardy in a car talking on the phone the whole time. It may have been better if he didn’t have some weird ass accent through the whole thing (maybe that’s how he really talks? Ha! Dunno). Anyway, it wasn’t terrible but it certainly wasn’t great and the character was a bit hateful, which sucks when he’s the only damn character in the movie. But I give them credit for managing to make a whole movie about a guy driving in his car… – 6/10

Brittany Runs A Marathon – 5/10

Re-Watched:

Planes, Trains & Automobiles – Thanksgiving classic! Finally watched this with the kid as I have to make sure she sees some of the American traditions, etc. Think she liked it but it’s still a slightly more grownup comedy. The ending still makes me feel a little weepy. Loved John Candy (and of course John Hughes). 😦 – 7.5/10

Legally Blonde – I’m obviously revisiting films with the kid as she gets older. She liked this one (and a new one is coming out this year??). I’ll always be a fan of Reese Witherspoon & she’s adorable as shit in Legally Blonde. Jennifer Coolidge is also as funny as always. The movie is silly but it’s fun and has a decent message. – 6.5/10

BOOKS, TV, MUSIC, MISCELLANEOUS

BOOKS READ

I read The Institute by Stephen King & half of Full Throttle by Joe Hill. Full Throttle is a short story collection, including two stories he wrote with his father (one being In The Tall Grass, which I reviewed HERE). I love both King & son Hill’s short story collections so I slightly preferred Hill’s collection to The Institute. But I of course very much enjoyed both and will read everything either of them write. I was unfortunately quite disappointed with the recent King book The Outsider so was very happy to get a better novel this time (even if the story is extremely familiar Stephen King territory). I may try to review these in full at some point (or at least Full Throttle as I like to discuss each story). – 3.5/5 (for both)

TV SHOWS WATCHED

None, as usual lately. However, I did manage to finally watch some stuff in December and am halfway through Watchmen. Not sure how I feel about that one yet.

MUSIC POSTS

I did a music post in November for the first time in years! Here are My Top Ten Red Hot Chili Peppers Songs.

BLOG PLANS FOR DECEMBER

My plan was to catch up on reviewing December movie releases & preparing my Year End Top Ten lists. But I haven’t yet & it’s now 2020. Oops. At least I caught up on reviewing most 2019 movies.

December Movies I Wanted To See:

I did see a couple. Links are below.

Jumanji: The Next Level – Saw it. Kind of loved it.

Black Christmas – Now kind of wish I hadn’t missed this as reviews are SO bad but they seem to be from people not liking the politics of this version? So I’d like to judge it for myself.

Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker – Saw it. Wanted to love it more.

Cats – HA! Think I dodged a bullet missing out on this one.

Spies In Disguise – Forgot about this one. Think I can live without it.

Little Women – I’m weirdly not bothered about this one now that it’s out. There have been so many adaptations already. I’m also not on the Greta Gerwig bandwagon with everyone else. Plus, Emma Watson is in this. Can’t stand her.

Here’s a trailer for Miss Hokusai. I recommend it if you’re an anime fan.

Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987) Guest Review

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This review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes from Eric of The IPC. Again! Thanks for watching these Hughes films although the majority aren’t your type of thing, Eric. Let’s see if he likes Planes, Trains & Automobiles more than The Breakfast Club. 🙂

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PLANES, TRAINS and AUTOMOBILES (1987)

When I signed up to go about this piece I remembered having seen this before and laughed my ass off and “Gobble Gobble” and “Those AREN”T PILLOWS!!!!” and “Her first baby came out sideways HYYYYYYORK!!” (how do you spell someone disgustingly hocking tobacco) and all around pleasant memories. Then I sat down here to write about it and couldn’t come up with Jack Shit four or five times because I usually write about horror movies and boobs and not about classic comedies that everyone loves and then I was eyeballing my email to Table Nine Disco Parrot and it dawned on me. My Subject line read “P, T & A”… “P, T & A”….. dwell on what those initials stand for in the mind of a guy who watches movies like I do. FILTH….

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Then I took a second to think about whether or not I should take that angle on such a wholesome, pure and chaste movie and then I remembered that scene depicted above and later, this exchange:

Del: You play with your balls a lot.
Neal: I do NOT play with my balls.
Del: Larry Bird doesn’t do as much ball-handling in one night as you do in an hour!
Neal: Are you trying to start a fight?
Del: No. I’m simply stating a fact. That’s all. You fidget with your nuts a lot.
Neal: You know what’d make me happy?
Del: Another couple of balls, and an extra set of fingers?

If no one’s ever seen this and glances at that picture of John Candy mounting Steve Martin, seeing both men with serene and passionate warmth on their faces, I am going to contend that most people will think the two are engaging in a loving and lengthy “Husband Style” intercourse session. I mean, just LOOK how content they look. AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH. “I love you, Poo-Pie,” coos Candy, kissing Martin’s ear. “Let’s consecrate this union….” utters Martin. “The time is now…. NOW is the time….”

FILTH!!!

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Or how about this scene??? Martin comes home from the gym while his lover, Candy, is out cleaning their estate’s Olympic sized swimming pool. He slips into the bathroom to wash the sweat out of his stinking armpits and notices something strange on the floor. It’s his lover’s lover’s underwear!!! Candy has been having a man on the side!!! He’s enraged!!! He’s pissed!!! How can this be??? Theirs was Love Eternal!!!! He envisions the two men exhausting themselves for hours on end while he slaves away at the office. In disgust, he throws the soiled underpants into the toilet and heads to the kitchen for the butcher knife….

FILTH AND SMUT!!!!!

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Trust me – you DO NOT want to know what’s going on under the blanket those two are sharing!!! Well – you might… depending on your taste and… um… er…. interests.

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Martin: Has it been long enough?? Can you go again??
Candy: *shrugs* Should be….. maybe another ten minutes….

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BUSTED!!! Public Exposure!!!!!!

FILTH FILTH FILTH FILTH FILTH FILTH FILTH FILTH FILTH FILTH FILTH FILTH FILTH FILTH FILTH FILTH FILTH FILTH FILTH FILTH FILTH FILTH FILTH FILTH FILTH FILTH FILTH FILTH

Wait…. what the fuck have I done here???

SHAME SHAME SHAME SHAME SHAME SHAME SHAME SHAME SHAME SHAME SHAME SHAME SHAME SHAME SHAME

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Screw everything I just wrote. This movie is really fucking hilarious and one of my all time favorite comedies!!

Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987) Guest Review

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This second review of Planes, Trains & Automobiles for the John Hughes Blogathon (you can read the first from Laura at FilmNerdBlog HERE) comes from filmscorehunter of The Cinematic Frontier. Thanks for joining in on this blogathon, filmscorehunter! Let’s find out his opinion on Planes, Trains & Automobiles. 🙂

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Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987)

John Hughes will always be remembered for the films he wrote, produced, and/or directed in the 1980s. Of the eight films he directed, only four were actually good. The first three are 1984’s Sixteen Candles, 1985’s The Breakfast Club, and 1986’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The last good film Hughes directed was 1987’s Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. This film differed from the other three; the main characters here were adults whereas the protagonists in the other three films were teenagers. Seeing this film again after so many years, I’m glad to say that it has held up remarkably well. Out of these four films, this one is my favorite John Hughes film.

The film begins with Neal Page, a marketing executive who’s on a business trip to New York City. Once his work is done, he tries to catch a flight back home to Chicago so that he can be with his wife and kids for Thanksgiving. His attempts to catch a cab to LaGuardia Airport are inadvertently thwarted by Del Griffith, a traveling salesman who later ends up on the same flight as Neal. Their flight gets diverted to Wichita due to a blizzard in Chicago, and the duo end up teaming together in their efforts to reach Chicago. Their odyssey eventually involves a train, a bus, and a rental car as they encounter one bizarre situation after another. Neal and Del quarrel for most of their journey, which ultimately yields some surprises as Thanksgiving approaches.

Steve Martin and John Candy shine as Neal and Del. Martin clearly wasn’t afraid to embrace the not-so-sympathetic Neal. The metaphorical journey taken by Neal allows him to see what kind of man he’s become and even allows for some personal growth. Candy brings warmth and a degree of clumsiness to the lovable Del. Candy’s performance manages to subtly hint at the sadness and loneliness of Del while maintaining his optimism. The biggest scene stealer among the supporting cast is Edie McClurg, who plays a rental car agent in the scene that got the film its R-rating (guess how many times the ‘f’ word was said). Her character never loses her cool, and in a way she’s triumphant at the end of her scene.

Hughes had been inspired by a real disaster of a trip he had gone on before (which actually lasted longer than the trip depicted in the film). Hughes had directed films filled with teen angst up until this point; Planes, Trains, and Automobiles marked a refreshing change of pace for Hughes. This film was the first of his directorial efforts to focus mainly on adult protagonists (family has always been an underlying theme in his films). The somewhat juvenile humor of his previous films is also present here, but not in a manner that takes away from the serious issues that are explored. While it would be nice to see the fabled three-hour version of this film someday, we’ll just have to settle for watching the version that was released (which is definitely worth watching, I must say). You simply cannot go wrong with this film.

John Hughes Movie Art: Planes, Trains & Automobiles

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By artist Daniel Norris. See all his work here: Behance

**I’m keeping it “all things John Hughes” during this blogathon but I just had to mention this funny little exchange on Twitter last night:

The IPC, Screenkicker, Kloipy Speaks, and I had 15 minutes of fame & got our Twitter thread posted on this website HERE for a film called I Am A Ghost. Basically, Mr IPC Eric was tweeting about the film while watching it & got told off by the film’s writer & director H.P. Mendoza for not paying full attention to the movie (@hpmendoza & @iamaghostfilm). Funny stuff! We all had a good laugh about it & I’m sure Eric will do a full review of the film soon. 🙂

Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987) Guest Review

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This guest review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes from Laura of Film Nerd Blog. Thanks for being a part of this, Lisa! Let’s see what she thinks of Planes, Trains & Automobiles. 🙂

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I’m going to put my cards straight on the table and say it’s really hard not to like Planes, Trains and Automobiles. This classic 80s comedy from the legendary writer-director John Hughes takes us on a journey (do you see what I did, there?), with two very different men, as they do everything they can to get home for Thanksgiving. ​

The two men in question are Neal (Steve Martin), an uptight marketing man, and Del (John Candy) a travelling salesmen, and when their flight fails to reach its destination thanks to bad weather, they must do whatever they can to get home.

Del really isn’t Neal’s kind of person. He’s chatty and jolly and doesn’t really have any concept of personal space or ‘boundaries’ which drives Neal totally crazy. He’s already wound pretty tight and just about everything Del says and does grates on him like nails down a chalkboard. Poor old kind-hearted Del consequently finds himself on the wrong end of Neal’s temper more than once and while we can see that he’s often wounded by Neal’s mean streak, he puts on a smile and continues to be himself.

“You wanna hurt me? Go right ahead if it makes you feel any better. I’m an easy target. Yeah, you’re right, I talk too much. I also listen too much. I could be a cold-hearted cynic like you… but I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings. Well, you think what you want about me; I’m not changing. I like… I like me. My wife likes me. My customers like me. ‘Cause I’m the real article. What you see is what you get.”

Del, in response to Neal’s harsh words

Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a deeply likeable comedy that also manages to successfully include moments of real, emotionally moving drama. It has Hughes’ stamp all over it with the mis-matched protagonists who, on the surface, have nothing in common, but ultimately find some common ground (remember The Breakfast Club?). And as is the case with each Hughes film I’ve seen, there are a number of iconic and memorable speeches, for example the ‘I like me’ speech, the ‘give me a f’ing automobile’ speech and the ‘you know everything is not an anecdote’ speech. The dialogue just zings.

The casting of Steve Martin and John Candy was a stroke of pure genius, and each plays his part to perfection. If only there’d been a sequel where they couldn’t get home for Christmas…