This Is a Blog: My Beloved Movies: Whhhhhat is a Yoot?

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

My Beloved Movies: Whhhhhat is a Yoot?

Mean Girls

Sometimes a movie doesn’t hit you until the very end. Not until the younger plastics show up did I truly appreciate what the movie was doing. These girls aren’t particularly mean or awful, they’re just growing up. Tina Fey is a genius.


I absolutely ruined this movie for myself. The special edition let you watch the movie in chronological order if you navigate the menu in the right order. It took me days, but I finally did it. And oof. It’s an hour straight of Leonard sitting alone in black and white. Once you see it in order, it does not hold up. But that’s its brilliance. It’s backwards because it’s the only way to tell this story.

Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol

This is a placeholder for the whole series. I loved the original when it first came out, and I’ve seen it dozens of times. The latest one, Fallout, is one of the best movie theatre experiences I’ve ever had. But Brad Bird’s soft reboot of the franchise is by far the best. There is nothing like an aging Tom Cruise absolutely destroying his body for our entertainment. It’s like he’s telling the audience he’s too old for this shit, but no one else can do it, so he’s going to keep doing it. What other movie star would have the balls to end the most thrilling action sequence in modern cinema with an embarrassing face plant? I so badly want to hate Tom Cruise, but I just can’t do it.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

I think the saddest thing of the 21st Century has been the erosion of the American myth. Our system is so corrupt that even a story like this starts to seem like part of the problem, as though blind idealism is what’s preventing us from getting anything done. But this Capra classic is still by pure happy place. People like Jefferson Smith do exist. We just have to set them up to succeed.

Mrs. Doubtfire

This is possibly the movie my wife and I quote to each other the most. It’s absurd and it’s creepy, and it actually calls out how abjectly fucked up it is. Look up some of the deleted scenes on YouTube. The original cut was really dark. But I’m glad this is what it is. It’s a light-hearted, goofy as fuck movie that takes divorce very seriously. It’s more like a thick soup.

Murder by Death

Not sure any of you had this, but at your high school, were the cool kids movie buffs? A bunch of cool kids made me feel like I had no film knowledge because I hadn’t seen this, and thank god for peer pressure. It’s Clue before Clue. A spooky house murder mystery comedy with an insane cast. Alec Guinness as a blind butler contending with a deaf cook. Peter Sellers, David Niven, Maggie Smith, James Cromwell, Peter Falk, Eileen Brennan, and more play parodies of the best literary detectives, locked in a battle of wits with a rich eccentric, played by Truman Capote. Sellers plays a Charlie Chan character, in a truly offensive portrayal, but Capote spends the whole movie annoyed the world’s smartest detective doesn’t use articles or prepositions. For reasons passing understanding, I keep quoting Sellers’s faux wisdom, “Your chatter is like television on honeymoon. Unnecessary.”

My Cousin Vinny

I fucking love this movie. It’s smart. It’s acerbic. A New Yorker having to navigate Alabama, and it’s as sympathetic and insulting of New York as it is the South. It runs at a mile a minute, and it’s pretty accurate to courtroom procedure. Marisa Tomei deserved her Oscar. So fucking good.

My Fellow Americans

This movie is so fucking stupid. Really, I should be ashamed for liking it so much. It’s just so charming, though. Every time Holland comes up, I always remember, “Please, remind the Vice President, these people are from the Netherlands, not the nether regions.”

Necessary Roughness

Last time I saw this movie about an over-the-hill former high school football star, who is the constant butt of old jokes for trying to play college ball, I realized he was 34. And at the time I was 34. It was unsettling. It’s hard to make a good football movie, but this one gets everything right. Anyone who has ever watched football with me has probably wondered why I scream at the TV, “You gotta rip their fucking heads off and piss down their necks.” You can thank Robert Loggia and this movie. Can we take all three time outs now? (you guys, that was Jason Bateman)


Another from my taped from TV VHS collection. Boy, did I burn through this one. Kenny Ortega is such an amazing choreographer. No one else could have made this movie. The songs, the dancing (just ignore Christian Bale trying to sing or dance) are spectacular. I saw the stage play in Toronto and, you guys, it was so bad. How? In the last 20 years, why has Disney decided we’re all idiots? They explain every little detail. And the children of William Randolph Hearst and Gordon Bennett help them work the printing press. What? So the moral now is poor kids can’t get anything done without rich kids to help them? Okay okay, put that out of your minds. Just think of sweeping shots of mobs of these kids dancing their hearts out. Carry the Banner!

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