To Be or Not to Be (1983) – It’s a wonder I hadn’t heard of this movie in the Mel Brooks canon. It’s thoughtful and relatively deep, and for 1983, the treatment of the gay character is surprisingly sensitive and respectful. Then again, an introspective, heavy Mel Brooks film is exactly the sort of thing his fans might want to forget about.
Operation Petticoat (1959) – Okay, so first I fell behind on my movie watching, then I fell behind on writing these up. This will have to be fast.
It’s hilarious because women have boobs. Except for the one who is a mechanic, naturally, all the women are hopelessly inept. The one who is a mechanic ends up with the man who looks like an old shoe.
Airport (1970) – Costumes by Edith Head. I think I’d rather just see a movie about Edith Head.
Miller’s Crossing (1990) – The Cohen Brothers can do no wrong, even if it’s a little dry and I have trouble actually paying attention. It’s still the Cohen Brothers.
Johnny Got His Gun (1971) – Do you want a movie about a man who has had all of his limbs cut or blown off, along with his face, and for much of the movie you get to hear his inner monologue about what it’s like not to have limbs or a face? Well, have I got the movie for you. Do you want Donald Sutherland as one of history’s great White Jesuses? Same movie! Do you want completely unsubtle war stories where one war is used as some kind of metaphor for another war? Well, isn’t this your lucky day.
A Taxing Woman (マルサの女, 1987) – Great. There’s yet another director whose works I’ll have to watch in their entirety. This was like any cop drama, except it’s more of a comedy, and instead of cops, it’s a tax auditor. Also, 1987 was there.
Tammy and the Bachelor (1957) – The best part of this movie is the song you’ve probably already heard. The best part of writing this post was discovering that a movie called Tammy and the T-Rex exists. Now all of our lives have been enriched.
Team America: World Police (2004) – Well. Although Trey Parker and Matt Stone have historically proven themselves a safe enough bet for producers, I still have to once again admire the people who greenlighted this project. There now exists a movie made with marionettes (and two live cats). Well done, universe, thanks for making this possible.
Heavy Metal (1981) – Well, that sure happened. I have to admire the nerve of many filmmakers who are willing to take risks. Whether it works or not, someone was bold enough to make this movie, and it will forever be a movie that exists.
The Wind Rises (風立ちぬ, 2013) – It’s hard to tell if it’s as a Westerner or just as a moviegoer that I rarely see movies about World War 2 from the other side. Although, in that respect, it’s hard to say this is a movie about the war and not just a movie about a man and his airplanes, featuring the military. Then again, every character is Japanese, German, or Italian, and not one of them is really shown as anything like a traditional villain–a rare thing in Western movies set in the ’30s and ’40s.
More time is spent showing the devastation of an earthquake than on the horrors of war. Passing reference is made to the various countries the planes will bomb, and the planes, it is said, “didn’t come back.” In one scene, Jiro expresses some fleeting consternation that he’s being paid well to design war machines while the rest of Japan starves, but he seems to get over that and gets back to designing planes.
But this isn’t a movie about the war. It’s a movie about a man and his airplanes, and also the military is there, and some people die.