Batch #4: Clueless Terminators Dancing Dirtily
Would watch that crossover.
Knocked out some serious classics in this one, folks! Plus you get a bonus double-feature at the end, so this is actually a 6 movie batch instead of 5. Enjoy!
Movie #16: Contact (1997) | PG
Hey look it's Jodie Foster being a badass brilliant scientist making first contact with aliens while a ton of mostly useless men get in her way GO AWAY MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY YOU ADD NOTHING TO THIS MOVIE
Yeah, I really didn’t buy him as a brainy guy, and that’s essential to his character and to feeling like he and Jodie Foster’s characters are equals or at least seem like a compelling couple, so those parts did not work for me at all. This is not the Matthew McConaughey from Interstellar, where he does a much better job. Go back to Interstellar where you belong, Matt.
Movie #17: Clueless (1995) | PG-13
[Facebook voted for this one in a landslide over Jaws, so I watched it first]
Awwwwww that was so cuuuute.
Definitely a precursor to Mean Girls, and not as good or as quotable as Mean Girls, but still fun and hitting a lot of the same vibes.
I didn’t know Paul Rudd was in this movie, and it is still unsettling how similar he looks now and how much of his cuteness he has retained. He’s definitely got a secret portrait in the attic, is all I’ve gotta say on that.
I have to confess that this was another movie I watched while cooking and not entirely focused, and that’s likely why I spent the majority of the movie unclear on the biological relationship between Cher and Paul Rudd? Like, I didn’t know if they were half-siblings or not biologically related and just the result of a previously blended and unblended family, and so in the scenes where they start getting along, I wasn’t sure if I was rooting for platonic sibling bonding or romantic bonding, which is an uncomfortable limbo as a viewer, and one I’d only ever experienced before with Korean drama. [SPOILER(?) -- THEY’RE NOT RELATED, YOU CAN ROOT FOR THEM TO BE IN LOVE, PHEW.]
Movie #18: Jaws (1975) | PG
...so Donald Trump watched this and decided the Mayor had the right idea? "Yeah there's a killer shark, but we can't shut down, think about the ECONOMYYYYY"
There’s also a lot of class conflict going on, and a lot of distrust of scientists and elites, and we’ve definitely not seen that anywhere recently….
(Don’t you just love old movie rating standards? This was PG. Seriously. You could maul children and grind people to a pulp onscreen. You could get away with anything in the 70s.)
Movie #19: Dirty Dancing (1987) | PG-13
[Facebook voted for this by a HAIR over Terminator. I know, it was cruel of me to force people to choose. Too bad.]
Moral of the story: Rich boys are the f***ing worst. Also, what I always associated most with Patrick Swayze was his early death and the way everyone reacted to it, and I feel like seeing this finally gives me context for that cultural moment, because yeah, seeing someone who gave such energetic and dynamic and, frankly, virile performances shot down like that - it cuts, man. It does.
Movies #20 & #21: The Terminator (1984) | R
& Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) | R
Thank you to Nathan Weinberg for recommending I watch this as a double-header, because honestly Terminator 1 is a very basic storyline that even with the extremely minimal knowledge I had of this franchise (Arnold & maybe time travel somewhere?), I was able to predict every step of the way. But Terminator 2 is a much more complex story with better characterization, ambition, and structure. Would probably not recommend Terminator 1 on its own, but it works as a prologue for T2. And the special effects really levelled up.
Side note: It was cool to see Joe Morton in T2 when he was so young and cute -- now he plays wise old pastors who could be your grandpa.
Other side note: I had only ever seen Edward Furlong as a wannabe nazi skinhead in American History X, so seeing him as little floppy-haired, good-hearted John Connor was an adjustment.
That’s it for this week! Let me know what you thought, and see you next time.