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Category Archives: trailers

Building My Movie Posters Puzzle: Attack of the 50 Foot Woman


In late June of last year I took advantage of some free days to visit my Mother in Virginia for her birthday. It was a fun long weekend that included meals out, a screening of Finding Dory, and an unexpected shared activity when I ran across a puzzle in the book store that was just too good to pass up. It consists of thirty-nine posters from a wide variety of classic films stretching from the silent era of the 1920s into the 1970s. It was an engrossing project to undertake alongside my Mother and we naturally discussed several of the featured movies as we built it. What stunned me a little was that I had actually only seen twenty-six of the thirty-nine films honored. I have vowed to fill these gaps in my knowledge of film and take you along for the ride as I reconstruct the puzzle in question. I’ll re-watch the movies I’ve already seen along with experiencing the ones that are new to me and share my thoughts on each one.

This puzzle sure has a lot of genre and “B” pictures represented, doesn’t it? It’s sort of a mixed bag, including the aforementioned populist fare alongside Oscar bait pictures, classic comedians, and yes some truly great films. Aside from pointing out that there’s nothing here from after the 1970s, you can’t really complain that it isn’t trying to be genre inclusive. Today we’re looking at a movie that, in my personal experience, is actually more famous for its poster than for the film it was created to promote. During my twenties I seem to remember this poster cropping up on the walls of plenty of my female friends’ apartments. I’m not sure how many of them had actually seen the movie, but the poster in itself could certainly be interpreted as an expression of female strength. Being that it was written, directed, and produced by men in 1958, I don’t think it should be much surprise that Attack of the 50 Foot Woman doesn’t quite live up to its iconic advertisement’s implied promises.
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Movies of 1997 Bracket Game: The Fifth Element vs Men In Black


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And here we are jumping from a couple of successful little indie films to a pair of big budget special effects bonanzas! This is a matchup that I did consider pairing with an action group and putting in the top half of the bracket, but that would have meant two things: 1) I probably would have had to cut The Game or L.A. Confidential from the event and add a movie I’m much less enthusiastic about and 2) It probably would have meant putting Men In Black, the movie I considered the number two overall seed, into the same half of the bracket as the overall number one seed Titanic. Now you guys just went ahead and invalidated that reason right off the bat by kicking Jack and Rose to the curb, but I still maintain that having those two movies in the same half of the bracket would have made no sense. so here we have it: two sci-fi flicks with a lighter tone, and one will move forward to face the comedies aligned against them. Let’s take a look.

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Movies of 1997 Bracket Game: Austin Powers vs Grosse Pointe Blank


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Today we’ve got a matchup between two movies that take different tracks toward mining comedy out of characters whose jobs require that they put themselves in violent circumstances. While Mike Myers’ Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery is a wildly over the top Saturday Night Live-style spoof of 60s era fashions and entertainment, Grosse Pointe Blank is a rather dissimilar fish out of water tale that takes its cast and violence a little more seriously. Although the latter film is less obviously a take on a particular era, check out that banner behind Cusack’s noggin. His movie certainly isn’t averse to taking advantage of its audience’s nostalgia. It’s also reasonable to take a look at those two posters above and realize that none of the people there are what could be called movie stars anymore.

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Movies of 1997 Bracket Game: Jackie Brown vs The Game


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Today we have a matchup between films by two unique and widely admired directors who aren’t afraid of taking on violent or upsetting subject matter. Unfortunately, despite our admiration for both of these movies, neither one managed to fulfill expectations at the box office. The Game spent a week in the number one spot and raked in more than $100 million (if you include overseas receipts), but when compared to Fincher’s hit Se7en from just two years prior, this number had to feel disappointing to the film’s producers. The fact that the film’s production budget is not easily available also suggests that Fincher and company might have over-spent on it. Meanwhile, Jackie Brown‘s production budget was a pretty reasonable twelve million dollars, which would make its eventual domestic gross of close to forty million more than acceptable in most cases. But, like Fincher, Tarantino’s most recent full-length project Pulp Fiction had not established reasonable expectations for some people, not only because of its domestic take of more than $100 million, but because the director had become a star in his ow right. Both have continued to do the kind of work they’ve wanted to and have had some successes along the way, making these movies simply look like well-reviewed base hits in the long run. But which one do we want to stick around another round in our game?
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Movies of 1997 Bracket Game: As Good as It Gets vs Good Will Hunting


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In this top portion of our 1997 movies bracket game we’re focusing mostly on those films of the year which garnered a lot of critical and awards season attention. In some cases this also means that we’re reliving those moments when people we didn’t really know at the time took that next step and became actual movie stars. It’s a never ending process in the entertainment industry: the “next big thing.” Sometimes it’s a dream that actually pans out with an honest to God A-list career and sometimes we look back and realize that was their one big project. Sometimes it’s something in between.
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Building my Movie Posters Puzzle: Pillow Talk


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In late June I took advantage of some free days to visit my Mother in Virginia for her birthday. It was a fun long weekend that included meals out, a screening of Finding Dory, and an unexpected shared activity when I ran across a puzzle in the book store that was just too good to pass up. It consists of thirty-nine posters from a wide variety of classic films stretching from the silent era of the 1920s into the 1970s. It was an engrossing project to undertake alongside my Mother and we naturally discussed several of the featured movies as we built it. What stunned me a little was that I had actually only seen twenty-six of the thirty-nine films honored. I have vowed to fill these gaps in my knowledge of film and take you along for the ride as I reconstruct the puzzle in question. I’ll re-watch the movies I’ve already seen along with experiencing the ones that are new to me and share my thoughts on each one.

Despite its frothy reputation, there’s a reason that Pillow Talk, starring Rock Hudson and Doris Day, was both hugely successful at the box office and the recipient of some awards season love. That reason was rather accurately identified by the Academy when they awarded the film with 1959’s Oscar for Original Screenplay. The admittedly antiquated storyline and plot devices are clever nonetheless, and the dialogue is straight out smart and funny. For example, in response to Hudson’s character thinking her new beau’s intentions are not necessarily honorable, Day retorts “Not all men finish every sentence with a proposition.”
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Building my Movie Posters Puzzle: For Whom the Bell Tolls


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In late June I took advantage of some free days to visit my Mother in Virginia for her birthday. It was a fun long weekend that included meals out, a screening of Finding Dory, and an unexpected shared activity when I ran across a puzzle in the book store that was just too good to pass up. It consists of thirty-nine posters from a wide variety of classic films stretching from the silent era of the 1920s into the 1970s. It was an engrossing project to undertake alongside my Mother and we naturally discussed several of the featured movies as we built it. What stunned me a little was that I had actually only seen twenty-six of the thirty-nine films honored. I have vowed to fill these gaps in my knowledge of film and take you along for the ride as I reconstruct the puzzle in question. I’ll re-watch the movies I’ve already seen along with experiencing the ones that are new to me and share my thoughts on each one.

This is one of the movies I have looked forward to seeing since setting this task for myself. For Whom the Bell Tolls is a toweringly famous novel, but the film version has faded from the public mind over the intervening decades. Come with me as I discuss my viewing of this forgotten curiosity.
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Movies of 1986 Bracket Game!: The Fly vs Aliens


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In the first half of our action/sci-fi portion of this bracket we dealt with dangerous, and even deadly  situations, but today’s competitors contain some true horror elements that shocked and frightened audiences on a much deeper level. Both films were not just hits at the box office, but generally admired by critics and cinephiles, taking home a little bit of Oscar gold when awards season rolled around. The Fly won a statuette for its amazing and horrifying makeup effects, while Aliens grabbed two wins for its sound and special effects. Both films have also aged reasonably well due in part to those award-winning special effects and the genuinely emotional reactions they produce when you sit through them.

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Movies of 1986 Bracket Game!: Highlander vs Star Trek IV


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In today’s bracket game showdown, we have two movies that are parts of larger genre series. After Star Trek hung out on television for three seasons before being cancelled and then gathering a huge and devoted following mostly via reruns, it became a feature films series starting in December of 1979. It has since spawned eleven additional films and multiple spinoff television series. While there is some disagreement among fans, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is generally warmly regarded and considered one of the best Star Trek movies. Unlike with Star Trek, the Highlander series has no such confusion about which of the movies in the franchise is the best. The original film is widely regarded as the only one worth sitting through, with the second film Highlander II: The Quickening generally despised by fans. So much so, in fact, that when I was in college, “The Quickening” was a standard joke tag that we would add to any sequel we regarded as pointless or terrible in its very conception. For example- “Caddyshack 2: The Quickening,” “Rocky V: The Quickening,” “Godfather: Part III: The Quickening,” and later “Blues Brothers 2000: The Quickening.” It was the gift that kept on giving.

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Movies of 1986 Bracket Game!: Blue Velvet vs Big Trouble in Little China


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Just take a look at these two pictures I found for our contest today. For a pair of films that are as individually idiosyncratic as Blue Velvet and Big Trouble in Little China, these shots sure seem to have a lot in common. Is it because both movies, in their own ways, are critical of the places men and women are given in film and in society as a whole? Is it because they’re actually part of the problem? Or maybe it’s just that there are no truly new ideas under the sun. Don’t worry, I’m not going to inflict a sociology term paper on you, but if it’s a topic of interest, please fell free to continue discussing it in the comments section…after you place your vote of course.
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Movies of 1986 Bracket Game!: Little Shop of Horrors vs Something Wild


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As I looked over a list of all of the movies released in 1986 while designing this newest bracket game, it struck me that there were several really unique and wonderful movies that came out that year which didn’t necessarily fit into any traditional genre. So since I was bound and determined to include a few of these movies I just went ahead and gave them their own section of the bracket. 1986 wouldn’t have been complete without them. Today’s matchup is between two movies in which a new and exciting presence enters a nerdy man’s dreary life to offer a little excitement before proving, quite predictably, to come with some built-in trouble.
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Movies of 1986 Bracket Game!: Back to School vs Ferris Bueller’s Day Off


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In a fit of nostalgia for our crappy teen years, we here at LeBlog have decided to run another of our popular bracket games, this time focusing on the best big screen entertainment 1986 had to offer. Oh yeah, and whether we like it or not, that was a full thirty years ago. Since 1986 is the year I got my driver’s license, it’s also the year I started seeing a lot of frivolous movies my parents had no interest in. We’re featuring two such movies today in a continuation of the comedy portion of our bracket. One movie focuses on the hi-jinx of a too-cool-for-school teenager as he and his friends go to great lengths to distance themselves from public education, while the other follows the hi-jinx of a rich old businessman who divorces his cheating wife and enrolls in college with his son, becoming the most popular student on campus at Grand Lakes University. Either way, hi-jinx will ensue.
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Movies of 1986 Bracket Game!: Platoon vs Hannah and Her Sisters


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As a part of our welcome to the new year, we here at Lebeau’s LeBlog are going to spend the next couple of weeks looking back thirty years and discussing the best that 1986 had to offer. We hope you readers will help us select your favorite movie from the year that gave us “that’s What Friends are For” and “Hands Across America.” You will notice that two of the biggest box office hits of the year, Top Gun and “Crocodile” Dundee, are missing from our bracket. Lebeau and I consulted on this and agreed that we both liked the included films better than either of those hits. If you disagree, please leave a comment and let us know why. Maybe you’ll win us over by serenading us with “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,”…but I doubt it. Either way, take a look at the bracket we’ve created and help us vote the best movies into the next round!
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