Archive for May 19th, 2008

Someday, when the aliens invade and begins systematically changing people into their minions, Clue will be my litmus test to determine who’s human….and who is not!

That’s right, I said it: If you don’t like Clue, there’s something wrong with you and yes, you probably are a pod person.

I can’t tell you how many times I have watched Clue. Probably 300 times and some change. It never gets old! Never! The brilliance of this movie lies in the dialogue.

Wadsworth: A double negative!

Colonel Mustard: Double negative? You mean you have photographs?

Wadsworth: That sounds like a confession to me. In fact the double negative has led to proof positive. I’m afraid you gave yourself away.

Colonel Mustard: Are you trying to make me look stupid in front of the other guests?

Wadsworth: You don’t need any help from me, sir.

Colonel Mustard: That’s right!

Clue is obviously based on the really popular board game of the same name. Unlike, however, most adaptations of pop-culture staples, Clue really has some substance. From the new back story given to the game and why the party-goers are there, to the running gags and throwaway jokes (when each visitor enters the house for the first time, for example, each stops to check their shoes for dog poop after Wadsworth initially steps in some).

Of course, the two things I love most about this movie?   Tim Curry and Madeleine Kahn.

Tim Curry is his normal good acting self, but I love, love, flippin’ love Madeleine Kahn in this movie.   When I say, “Flames…flames…on the side of my face!” and people don’t get it, it makes me kind of sad.   Her portrayal of Miss White as the Black Widow character who murders all her husband is so neurotically genius that I don’t know where to start.

Clue is like one big, long running gag that’s timed almost perfectly.   Most other films would be ruined by having three (!) endings, but not Clue.   I read somewhere that originally the studio distributed cuts of the film with different endings to different theaters, meaning that you didn’t know what ending you were getting in your theater.    Luckily for us here in the present, we have nifty DVDs.   The Clue DVD allows you to select “play one ending at random” or all three at the end together.   The third and final ending in the series of endings is by far my favorite.

I get all disappointed nowadays when someone wants to bust out the board game because it’s not nearly as fun as the movie.   I still have never met anyone who viewed the board game as greater, but if you exist out there, person who likes the board game but not the movie, you’re probably a pod person anyways.

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#1441: Rio Bravo

Oh, John Wayne. How I love your movies.

I think it’s kind of unfair for me to review John Wayne movies; after all, I have a set stable of John Wayne movies that I remember watching growing up that remain favorites for me, like The Sands of Iwo Jima, The Sons of Katie Elder and The Quiet Man. That doesn’t mean I like every John Wayne movie, because The Green Berets holds a special place of loathing in my heart, where I could probably write a lengthy piece on why I dislike it when Hollywood actors do “political project” movies.

That being said…Rio Bravo is pretty darn good. Wayne is the town sheriff who manages to arrest a murderer. Said murderer’s brother is the local powerhouse rancher, who will stop at nothing to bust his brother out of jail, including surrounding the town and attempting to force John Wayne to give up the brother. Wayne has only the town misfits to help him; a drunk, a cripple, a strange woman and a young kid to keep the rancher’s men out of town.

I really liked Rio Bravo, but it wouldn’t be rocketing up my favorites list any time soon. I appreciate it and like it, but there’s other Wayne movies I hold nearer and dearer to my heart. John Wayne doesn’t really need to be discussed, because Wayne played…well, John Wayne in almost every film he was in. Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson do stand-up jobs as the drunk and the kid, respectively and turn in admirable performances. More than anything, Rio Bravo’s a nice little Western with some eccentricities that make it stand out a bit more. There’s only two close-ups in the entire film and the first four to five minutes have absolutely no dialogue whatsoever.   For me, Rio Bravo is a good movie, but it’s missing something to me that I can’t quite put my finger on.   That, and the fact that Angie Dickinson is supposed to be 50-ish John Wayne’s love interest ooks me out more than a little.

That being said, I can never figure out why this movie is Quentin Tarantino’s favorite movie of all time. I dig it, but if we’re going for classic John Wayne, I’d much prefer The Sands of Iwo Jima, although I think Rio Bravo is probably one of the best westerns Wayne ever did.

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