Hitting this time of year means one thing: Family Time. Every year we take a look through the holiday lens with a little bit of tongue-in-cheek, picks outside of just the traditional holiday movies while acknowledging the difficulty for some. We’ll layer on the joys of simplicity, maybe slowing down and enjoying some time with people you like, whether that be in real life or cinematic pals. Get ready for a good healthy dose of cinematic families, gooey sweetness and flicks that just make you feel good about life.
The year is 2002. Two movies brought in audiences for a variety of reasons including their accessibility, humor and downright fun time. However, it’s our belief, falling right in line with a little bit different take on the holidays, is the familial aspect of both My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Barbershop. MBFGW captures the big, never ending family tree while Barbershop nails the community around a spot held dear to everyone’s hearts. When time allows to grab a double-feature this time of year you might think about what it is you want or need and sometimes it’s a family, friends and community to pick us back up or shake your head in disbelief.
Asking the great question of the 80s and 90s kids: What was your go-to movie/video store growing up and what was that Friday Night Feeling to you?
Us: A & A Video and IGA. Miles away from Blockbusters Hollywood Video or even Family Video. Yep. You used to rent movies in grocery stores kids. Nothing like Disorderlies + Banquet Frozen Dinner to create lifetime memories.
This week it’s a dash of nostalgia bumped up against the new world order of streaming bringing the goods. We’ll throw on the smock, give you the side eye when you try to rent ANOTHER Shannon Tweed movie while we venture out into the here and bow’s platform-loving, awards-chomping streaming picks. We’ll double-up old VHS picks with the newest, shiniest flicks out or coming soon. This week it’s Video Store Vibes all around.
Our first track on this week’s trip back to the Video Store is a quintessential high-concept 80s comedy which seems incomprehensible to think Tom Hanks, yes, THAT Tom Hanks would star in. Or does it? Looking outside of Finch’s doomsday scenario and CGI flare there is a high-concept 80s thread of man, dog and robot, tying nicely back to the 80s rack full of man, mermaid, bikinis and bikinis.
We haven’t had a chance to check out @appletv Finch just yet but our focus this week is on the nostalgia of yesterday’s release rack and an examination of how much has changed, yet very little has changed too. We’ll be glad to report back next week on the next ride we take with our dear dad Tom Hanks in Finch.
A western pick from @netflix and an 80s western make the cut tonight. So how are these two in the same ballpark? 1. Genre 2. Cast. When the choices were few and far between on the shelves, sometimes it came down to just a “Oooh, look, they got ALL those people in a movie? I’ll take it.” The Harder They Fall absolutely gets the right people together with Regina King - we will fight anyone who doesn’t like her but have yet to meet anyone - Idris Elba and Lakeith Stanfield. See how this works? In a western? Yep. Sign us up.
Pulling even more on the thread of how the line between old and new is stronger than you might think, the great thing about the here and now is the accessibility to new, minority voices that a couple of decades ago might not have found a way to any type of screen. The double dip brings in A Cop Movie, yet again from @netflix and Director Alonso Ruizpalacios in a blurred line look at two actors becoming police officers as reality becomes larger than life. The connections abound back to El Mariachi when one looks back at reality being larger than life itself as Robert Rodriguez bootstrapped the indie into the stratosphere and became an indie darling, as well as a much coveted rental VHS as the lore about its production became bigger and bigger.
It's all about the decade which birthed a man-duck created by Mr. Star Wars, a big swing and a miss unless truest of camp was the intention, some kids who like to hang out at the dump and many more retro picks as we travel back in time to . . . (Insert your own echo voice) the 80ssssssss. It will get weird. We promise.
Going deeeeep back into the 80s for this Family Time mix. When parties become a thing again, I think a killer way to break the ice is to open with references to these to campy classics most of the family can sit through: Masters of the Universe and Return of the Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Here's how to win over the partygoers and your family: Hey everyone, want to watch a movie with Dolph Lundgren, Frank Langella AND Courtney Cox? After overwhelming consensus, you can recommend Masters of the Universe. Option 2, hey everyone, listen up!! I found this really interesting and odd food movie where they attack people and oh, there's a guy name George Clooney in it!!! Night won!!!
Yes. It has been a really, really long time since I've been to a party and probably forgot how they work. In the meantime, try them out on your family as you head into the 80s treasure chest for your next movie crew night.
Alright, gather round movie crews for the tale of two of the oddest 80s picks about kids in garbage cans and a duck who has a relationship with the mom from Back to the Future. 😂😂😂 Seriously, these were thing that happened in the 80s, kids.
Garbage Pail Kids and Howard the Duck round out our mix of nostalgia and weirdness for the week. Probably don't want to check the old Tomato-meter on these two cult classics but for wild ride of what was going on in the late 80s, take these two for a spin. In honor of our bonkers flicks this week, we'll spin the wheel for a hodgepodge of snacks, grub and goodness as we head into the weekend. Movie Crews assemble!!!
Time for It to Get Weird
We’re back doing the thing after a week off. Trying out some new things and getting back to the roots of the traditions, odd nights and memories we create along the way.
No better way than taking a trip down the scarred path of awkwardness and watching the movies with juuussst a little too much raunch or not over-the-top action. It’s gonna get weird this week.
The ultimate question of movie watching comes from treating it like swimming: Are you going to take it easy or just jump off the deep end? In a world before cell phones, disappearing messages and probably more than a fair share of NC-17 worth of images, there’s still corners of the cinematic world where the first litany of cuss words, bare skin or buckets of gore resonate.
One night can change your life, right? At the edge of adulthood, whether the plot of the movie or not, some flicks and the first watch resonate for no other reason than this: How many times are they going to cuss? Yep. The symphony of f-bombs and beyond, litany of SOBs and shocking amount of jokes about the most sacred person around: MOM. Yes, the R-Rated comedy experience is one to savor and only comes around once-in-a-lifetime.
OFF THE DEEP END
Silent Night Deadly Night
A Lars Van Trier Flick because why the hell not?
THE CLASSIC PICKS
Friday the 13th
Nightmare On Elm Street
Coming to America
Ghosbusters Afterlife is everything we should be against, right? On paper it would seem to milk the brand in a nostalgic way, goes the way of out and out world enhancing to create a young cast to carry the torch for another ten, fifteen years. However, we are ABSOLUTELY here for it. Despite online reactions - sometimes those are just a vast void of negativity - the trailer looks fun, fresh and exciting. Also, having Jason Reitman helming this sequel/reboot makes perfect sense and is the one who would hold the proverbial keys to success. Reitman has had more hits than misses and grew up with Ghosbusters close to home. As the dates have shifted, our excitement hasn't waned and ultimately this one feels like it was made for many moments - theaters reopening, holiday movie time as families come together - all a result of what appears to be a nod back to the Ghostbusters before and those to come.
Although it would be easy to just write Edgar Wright and be done with it all, we have to be a little deeper and more nuanced than that when talking about Last Night In Soho. IMDB summarizes the movie best in the following way, "In acclaimed director Edgar Wright's psychological thriller, Eloise, an aspiring fashion designer, is mysteriously able to enter the 1960s where she encounters a dazzling wannabe singer, Sandie. But the glamour is not all it appears to be and the dreams of the past start to crack and splinter into something car darker." The cast and set design look top-notch and it's a guarantee the soundtrack will be excellent. Now that we think about it, yeah, Edgar Wright.
One of our most anticipated movies this fall is a masterclass of trailer construction (check it out if you haven't), highlighting what is likely another awards-season home run from Neon (Parasite). Julia Ducournau took home the Palm d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival with this story following Agathe Rousselle's character on a journey from a childhood crash which we then get the reference to Titane as a titanium plate has been placed in her head. From there, let's say there's an affection and connection to cars developed, leading to what has been called a one-of-a kind body horror movie. Yep. Not a next-in-line flick and that's something to celebrate for cinema fans everywhere.
Looking at the calendar flipping into September soon + more behind-the-scenes footage and fight choreography, we see, starting to buzz about Shang Chi. Full disclosure: Superhero fatigue is real over here. I think it's safe to admit this on the Internet, right? 🤣🤣🤣 Our point is that without some freshness, new voices and approaches we just aren't too psyched. However, the next two Marvel installments seem to take new characters, diverse casts, good directors and bring them together. It will be interesting to see how thr brand moves into another phase and how long the machine will keep churning. In September, Shang Chi looks as if the groundwork is being set for something a bit new and fresh.
September's slate runs the gamut for everyone. Young adult fare with Dear Evan Hamsen, horror maestro James Wan bringing Malignant to us and yet another seeming swan song from Clint Eastwood and Cry Macho. There's something to find in each three of these movies to intrigue us but also feel as if they are the same movie. Huh? Hear us out: Is there anything new to offer to the respective genres is all we are asking from these three? For us, there's enough pedigree from Wan to take the trip, Eastwood is a genre unto himself and has roped us in before and adaptations are always intriguing to see how it lands. Like September itself, sometimes it's more of the anticipation we look forward than the actual thing itself.
The reality of summer fading into fall is on the books this week with the flicks to help transition out of the best time of the year. Loss of innocence, moving on, looking back and seeing the full view of the summer that was.
The Kings of Summer
Stand By Me
In the Heights
As roads lead to what's being called the pinnacle of comic book movies why in the world would I suggest looking back fifteen years when we're talking how great August 2021 might be? It's easy: James Gunn isn't the guy who brought you Guardians of the Galaxy but the Slither guy. Okay, he can be everything all at once but go back further than just GOTG and the writing on the wall was there from the beginning. Judging from the buzz on The Suicide Squad any thoughts back in 2006 of "Hmm, I wonder what that guy will do next," they were warranted. Look back and then promptly join many of usbin doing the same thing, raising our tickets in the air and howling along with the most sideways family around, The Suicide Squad. Our Recycle Bin night can be a lot of different things: A reboot or revisiting a Director's work leading up to a big, new release. This time around, a trip to the bin is the latter looking at some of the fun Shawn Levy has brought to moviegoers with the Night at the Museum movies, as well as the fun romp of rock 'em, sock 'em goodness of Real Steel.
Free Guy finally lands in theaters and I could not be more excited. I love me some auteurs and A24 films but looking at this month, taking the some of the last rides on the cinematic roller coasters feels just right and no better spot to start than a Shawn Levy double-feature.
If you haven't been looking, this year has been great for horror and looks to keep the momentum later this month. One of our signature nights is the tradition of the First R-Rated Movie. In August, three good options present themselves.
Working backwards from least-known to the scariest damn part of your childhood, first up is a spooky tale with Rebecca Hall, The Night House. Next up, the interesting concept of horror-home invasion, blind anti-hero (that's a really, really deep sub-genre) comes back around with Don't Breathe 2. Finally, your mind will tell you absolutely not to go check out the last pick and you know that your significant other is gonna say the damn name 5 times in the mirror on the ride home. Just when you got over seeing Candyman and all the sleepovers giving it a shot in the mirror, the tale comes back with what looks to be a fresh take on the legend.