Drew’s Movie Reviews Turns 3! Anniversary Week 3 Conclusion: My Fave Five New Movies I Watched in Year 3

Hey there, dear readers!

Welcome to my blog’s third birthday! That’s right, 36 months ago to the day I posted my first posts.  And in that time it has blossomed into the cute little place you see today.  In what has become customary here, I reviewed two trilogies throughout the week.  This year, I looked at two series that I haven’t seen before: The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. If you missed any of my reviews for them, here are the links:

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

One of the biggest changes I made this blogging year was changing my scoring system.  From the start up through December 2015, I used a number rating from 0.5 to 5. Beginning with my review of Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens, I transitioned into a more loose rating of BAD, OK, GOOD, GREAT.  This wasn’t exactly a huge change but it allowed me to feel less confined in my scorings. A more vague approach allowed me to make my reviews more in line with how I would speak about the film to you as if we were face-to-face, which is more the goal of this blog.  You guys seemed to handle the change pretty well and were very supportive of it.

Many great bloggers nominated me for awards this year but I dropped the ball on them.  I like doing write-ups for award nominations, it is a great way to interact with my fellow bloggers, but I never got around to many this year.  Much of my time and focus went into my reviews, features, playing Splatoon (seriously, I’m addicted to that game), or many of the other things I do outside of blogging.  So I would just like to take this time and thank those of you who gave me an award that I never responded to.  I didn’t forget about you (well I did but I also didn’t) and I appreciate the nominations.  Thank you.

Every blogiversary, I like to look back at all the movies I have watched in the last twelve months and give the top ones I have watched that were new to me, whether I watched them on home video or in the theater. Last year, my list was comprised of entirely movies seen in theaters but this year it is mixed, which is exciting. So here are my fave five films I watched during my third year of blogging.

Rocky Balboa movie poster5) Rocky Balboa

Late in 2015, I went through the Rocky series for the first time.  Out of all six, Rocky Balboa was my favorite.  Rocky V was a very disappointing end to the series, so I’m really glad that a sixth Rocky was released because it gave the character an ending he deservedThe entire series is composed of feel-good moments but Rocky Balboa was the most emotional of them all.  Most of the time is spent outside the boxing ring, and with a Rocky coming to terms with his old age, it offers one of the best character studies of the series.  I know many people consider Rocky the best of the series but I think that honor belongs to Rocky Balboa.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King movie poster4) The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

After the slow start in The Fellowship of the Ring and large set-up in The Two Towers, The Return of the King brings all of the plot threads together.  The run time is absurdly long but it packs a lot in.  The action is top-notch and all the characters get satisfying endings to their stories.  The use of practical effects most of the time and using CGI only when necessary adds so much to the film that got lost in the Hobbit series, something that plagues many films today.  I know I got around to watch this series late, but it was definitely worth the wait.

Zootopia movie poster3) Zootopia

Every Disney movie tries to have some sort of lesson.  Zootopia has the standard “don’t give up on your dreams” that is common in many Disney movies.  But on top of that, it tries to handle the sensitive topic of racism and stereotypes.  Although the topic is brought up often, it doesn’t feel heavy handed.  It comes across strongly but never overwhelming.  What really solidified this as a favorite for me was the buddy cop aspect.  Nick Wilde (Jasaon Bateman) and Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) try to solve a mystery of savage residents in Zootopia.  Like the best buddy cop movies, they are very different and become reluctant partners.  Disney has had a resurgence lately and Zootopia is keeping that train going strong.

Some Like it Hot movie poster2) Some Like It Hot

I’ve seen Some Like It Hot on several “best of” comedy movie lists.  Comedy is one of my favorite genres so the “Try it, you’ll like it” blogathon hosted by Movies Silently and Sister celluloid gave me the perfect chance to check it out.  Whenever I look at “definitive” or “best of” lists like that, I always read them with some hesitation because I have been let down before.  However, Some Like It Hot every bit deserves to be on those lists.  Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon are absolutely hilarious together.  Every scene is side splitting.  If you have never seen this, you owe it to yourself to check it out. You won’t be disappointed. As they say, they don’t make them like this anymore.

Deadpool movie poster1) Deadpool

It was tough to decide which movie got the top spot on this list but Deadpool inched out over Some Like It Hot.  Deadpool had been in development hell for years and audiences were not sure if it was even going to happen.  After a disappointing appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Fox had to nail the character of Deadpool this time or completely lose the support of fans.  Luckily, they completely nailed him.  Ryan Reynolds was perfect in his first outing as Wade Wilson and is even better the second time.  It is easy to tell he and the entire cast was having a great time.  As a huge fan of the character myself, I could not ask for a better movie version of the character.

And with that, I close out year three and move into year four!  From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank all of you for reading this blog.  I know people say this all the time but it does not make it any less true: I wouldn’t be here without any of you (heh, I rhymed). Your constant likes and comments tell me all the time spent writing reviews, finding quotes, gathering trailers and collaborating with many of you is all worth while.  Thank you everyone for all your support!

I’m excited to see what the next twelve months have in store and hope you will stick around to help me see it, too. 🙂

Until next time. Cheers!

Some Like It Hot Review – “Try It, You’ll Like It!” Blogathon

Fritzi from Movies Silently is up to her tricks again! This time, she has paired up with Janet from Sister Celluloid to host the “Try it, you’ll like it” Blogathon. Each film in the blogathon fulfills two requirements: 1) they were made in or before 1965, and 2) they must work as an addictive introduction to newcomers to old, classic films.  There is an impressive range of films in the blogathon.  Check out all the entries for yourself here. Now, for my entry, I chose a film that I always see regarded as one of the best comedies of all time: Some Like It Hot.  As a huge fan of comedies, I thought this was the perfect time to finally check out this classic for myself.


Some Like It Hot movie postersis-tryityoulllikeit-blogathon-5Synopsis
After Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon), two struggling musicians from Chicago, witness a gang hit, they go on the run disguised as members of an all-girl jazz ensemble.

Review
Whenever I start a movie that is constantly on “Best Of” lists, I’m always leery. I’m leery because on multiple occasions, I haven’t enjoyed a movie that is on these types of lists. I have a similar feeling watching films that I am so far removed from; sometimes I just can’t get into them. Some Like It Hot falls into both of these categories. It is regularly on best of comedies lists and it was made over 55 years ago. Comedy is one of my favorite movie genres so I have been eager to watch it for some time but I did still go in with some reservations. I am very pleased to say these reservations were unnecessary.

Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon are one of the funniest comedy pairs I have ever seen. Curtis does fantastic transitioning between his female alter ego, Josephine, and other alter ego, Junior, millionaire heir to the Shell oil company. It’s actually quite impressive how well he can play essentially three roles. Shining equally as bright is Lemmon, who only has one alter ego, Daphne, but he has to deal with being courted by real millionaire Osgood Fielding III. As great as they are individually, their scenes together are even better. They had this natural chemistry that isn’t seen very often between two actors. The small things they add, like Jerry focusing so much on Sugar (Marilyn Monroe), the jazz ensemble’s singer, that he doesn’t realize he is playing the wrong side of his bass for a second, make the movie even more enjoyable.

Although Curtis and Lemmon were an absolute delight, they were able to excel because of the amazing script, written by director Billy Wilder and IAL Diamond. I haven’t laughed so hard at a movie in a very long time. The set up of having two guys dress in drag and hide among an all-women jazz ensemble can easily fall into the pitfall of relying on crude jokes and uncomfortable situations, which I enjoy but I know turns others away. Some Like It Hot never goes for the low hanging fruit. Instead, it artfully crafts unique and inventive situations for the characters to find themselves in. Each laugh is genuinely earned.

So far I haven’t even mentioned Marilyn Monroe. As big a star as she was, this is the first film I have watched of hers, so I can’t compare her performance here with her other movies. However, I can say she is good here. Although she doesn’t have the comedic presence of Curtis or Lemmon, she manages to hold her own. Joe E. Brown as Osgood was an absolute surprise to me. He didn’t have a ton of screen time but when he was on screen, he made the most of it. Brown’s comedic timing was perfect and outside of the two leads, he is my favorite actor in the film.

Some Like It Hot has found its way into my favorite comedies. Every scene is filled to the brim with laughs. It’s too bad this is the only film Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon made together (that I know of anyway) because they are one of comedy’s greatest movie duos.

Rating
5/5

Favorite Scene

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Billy Wilder – Director / Writer
IAL Diamond – Writer
Adolph Deutsch – Composer

Tony Curtis – Joey
Jack Lemmon – Jerry
Marilyn Monroe – Sugar
George Raft – Spats Colombo
Pat O’Brian – Det. Mulligan
Joe E. Brown – Osgood Fielding III
Nehemiah Persoff – Little Bonaparte
Joan Shawlee – Sweet Sue
Billy Gray – Sig Poliakoff
George E. Stone – Toothpick Charlie