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Posts Tagged ‘Matthew Broderick’

The Lion King (1994)

Monday, June 24th, 2024

June 24, 1994

There’s this term they got now, “Disney adult.” I’d rather jump in a pool of lava than be called that. I feel that it goes without saying that animation is an artform, that Disney is a historically great animation studio, and that adults can appreciate their films if they want to, so turning it into an identity group is not necessary. I’m not a person who would strut around in a Winnie the Pooh letterman’s jacket like I think I’m Ryan Gosling in DRIVE, I’m just an ordinary respecter of excellence in animation.

Most of my favorites are ones from before I was born, like PINOCCHIO, but I also respect the now-vaunted “renaissance” period of the ‘90s and enjoyed most of them in theaters. I was in my teens or twenties then, so I was never indoctrinated by the clamshell VHS tapes, and maybe my tastes are just weird. I used to rate BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and ALADDIN at the top but to me their greatness has faded a little with time, so I’m afraid I have THE RESCUERS DOWN UNDER, POCAHONTAS and TARZAN at the top. I know millennials love MULAN and I wish I did too, it seems like the subject matter I’d like best, I just think the animation and story are mediocre by their standards.

And, even worse, I never liked THE LION KING (as I confessed when I reviewed its widely derided, $1.664 billion box office grossing 2019 remake). I’ve watched the original several times over its decades of existence, always thinking this is gonna be the time it works for me. Never does. (read the rest of this shit…)


Tuesday, May 30th, 2023

June 3, 1983

A mere three weeks after John Badham’s BLUE THUNDER, he came out with another movie that is in awe of, but also a cautionary tale about, then-newfangled technology that (as one would assume) seems very crude from the perspective of 40 years later. This one is WARGAMES, and the technology is computers – both home computers used by high school hacker prodigy David Lightman (Matthew Broderick in his second film, after MAX DUGAN RETURNS) and a more fantastical experimental A.I. (though that’s not the term they use) created by eccentric genius Dr. Stephen Falken (John Wood, later in LADYHAWKE with Broderick).

David is well known to the vice principal due to his “attitude problem.” He gets kicked out of class for an actually very high quality smart ass response to the teacher, who writes “ASEXUAL” on the board and asks who came up with the idea of reproducing without sex. He hears the class laughing at something David whispers, and asks him to repeat it.

“Your wife,” David says. (read the rest of this shit…)

Godzilla (1998)

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

“We got approached with GODZILLA, and Dean was really in favor. I said, ‘Are you crazy? Have you seen a Godzilla film? How does the monster look? They put a guy in there.'” –Roland Emmerich

May 20, 1998

Man, LOST IN SPACE was a terrible summer blockbuster, but I was kind of excited to take a look at it because I had skipped it at the time and there was 20 years of curiosity build-up. And there’s another one coming later in the summer that I despised at the time, but it ended up being influential and kickstarting an in-my-opinion-bad-but-oddly-fascinating filmography, so I’m looking forward to finding out how I’ll feel about it now.

GODZILLA has neither of those factors going for it. I thought it sucked then and it has not grown better or more interesting. Director Roland Emmerich (WHITE HOUSE DOWN) has gone on to make fairly successful (but widely mocked) FX movies, often in the disaster genre. The only significance to this one is that it deflated his premature ascension to blockbuster-A-list after the still-befuddling-to-me smash success of INDEPENDENCE DAY in 1996. TriStar Pictures managed to build up fevered anticipation with a series of teasers that kept the design of the monster a secret. I remember one used the scene where the fisherman runs down the dock as Godzilla’s spikes tear through it. The tagline “SIZE DOES MATTER” simultaneously promised thrilling spectacle and giggled “ha ha, you get it, because of penises.”

I was skeptical on account of my belief in the auteur theory. I was one of the rare wet blankets who hated ID4 (which stands for “Independence Day takes place partly on July 4th”) and as much as I wanted to see a cool modern Godzilla movie I didn’t think this guy had the skills to do it. On May 20th most of the world ended up agreeing with me. (read the rest of this shit…)