Monday, December 1, 2014

Fourth Annual Mustache Marathon: Week 4

It’s now December, which means that the fourth annual Mustache Marathon has recently come to a close.  Not quite, though.  There’s still one final post that has to be written for the few movies that I saw in the last week or so of the marathon.  There were three movies added to the marathon.  They were three movies that had mustaches to varying degrees.  But they all had mustaches and that’s what matters.

The reason that the Mustache Marathon exists in the first place is for the mustaches.  The month of November for me is devoted to the movies I have to watch and the movies that involve mustaches.  Why?  Many other people are growing out their facial hair to raise awareness for prostate cancer.  I don’t want to grow out my facial hair.  Instead, I choose movies in which characters grow out their facial hair.  Specifically, the facial hair above the upper lip.  I pick movies based on mustaches.

In the final week of the fourth annual Mustache Marathon, I watched three more movies based on the mustaches that I knew would be coming from them.  The three movies were three of the most interesting movies in the entire marathon, and the final one was one of the most unique yet derivative creative projects that I have ever witnessed.  What were the movies?  Read on to find out.

I have loved Tremors since I was a small child.  The movie came out the same year that I came out of my mother, and it was one of my first introductions to horror.  It was a good introduction, being as much comedy as horror.  It softened the blow for me to become accustomed to one of my now favourite genres of movies.  Actually, two of my favourites.  Horror and comedy may in fact be my two favourite genres.

Anyway, I love the movie.  The chemistry between Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward is pretty great, and the concept is quite good.  Giant earthworm-like monsters terrorize a small western-like town.  The set pieces are fun.  The stakes are high.  And the danger is realistic with the unrealistic premise.  Everything about the movie works for me.  It could be nostalgia sneaking in.  I think it’s just a fantastic movie.

I forgot just how mustache influenced Tremors is.  I chose the movie for Michael Gross’s mustache, not thinking about the other people in the movie.  There’s one other notable mustache in the movie.  An actor named Tony Genaro was also rocking some facial hair throughout the movie as well.  These two mustaches were enough to make the movie worth putting in the marathon.  The movie itself is enough to be a classic forever.

Hamlet and Hutch
This one isn’t much of a classic.  I found it on Netflix when I was searching for a Burt Reynolds movie to include.  You know, because Burt Reynolds is a legend when it comes to movie mustaches.  The choices weren’t great.  Two of the three had him sporting a beard.  This one didn’t.  So I turned it on.  And, boy, did I not enjoy this movie.

What I thought was going to be a family dramedy ended up being a straight drama about Alzheimer’s.  Burt Reynolds and his mustache played a former Broadway star who is growing old and losing his mind.  He is sent to live with his family, where his Broadway mindset doesn’t fit with his new country setting.  As the movie goes on, we are shown the problems with the disease and what needs to be done to keep the people suffering from it safe.  It has great intentions but fails to be entertaining while doing it.  Burt Reynolds does try in the movie though, and I give him credit for it.

Live Action Toy Story
First, let me explain why I would choose a Toy Story movie at all.  The movie isn’t necessarily seen as a movie featuring mustaches.  But there’s Mr. Potato Head.  He has a mustache, and it is very prominent on his face throughout the series.  It’s enough to make me consider the movies as potentials for the Mustache Marathon.

This movie isn’t one of the three movies, however.  Instead, it is a remake of the first film where all of the animation is replaced with live action work.  Mostly it involves actual toy versions of the characters from Toy Story, moved with wires and strings.  Many times you can see the wires and strings.  Actually, there are very few times in which you don’t.  The humans and animals are replaced with real humans and animals in this version, as well.

Live Action Toy Story is similar to the remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark that I’ve heard of.  The camerawork is made to resemble that of the original movie as much as possible.  The dialogue and plot are still the same as they were before.  The only real noticeable differences are in the physical realization of the characters.  In this case, real toys instead of animated ones.  The whole idea is rather interesting, although the execution is weak at best.

With those three movies as a part of the marathon lineup, the fourth annual Mustache Marathon comes to a close.  November 2014 has seen me once again visit some of the actors that I have come to know and love over the four years since this began.  It also broadened my horizons a little bit.  And it let me revisit old classics that I hadn’t seen in a while.  It was a fun month and one that I will cherish for a while.

What’s coming up next?  Nothing for the month of December.  I’m going to take some time off from marathoning, catch up on some other stuff, see some Christmas movies… All that fun stuff for the holiday season.  I’ll come back soon with something for you guys.  Maybe another marathon.  Maybe some more Power Rangers reviews.  Something.  Whatever it is, I hope to see you there.  Thanks for sticking with me for the month.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Fourth Annual Mustache Marathon: Week 3

I’ve been touting for the past three weeks that I am doing a Mustache Marathon.  That’s because between the bad movies that I am known for watching, I’ve been watching movies that have memorable mustaches in them.  It is an annual thing that I do in November.  While everyone else is growing out their facial hair to the point of looking like a dirty pedophile, I am watching movies where people have their already manscaped facial hair on display.  These people tend not to look like the people you see raising awareness for prostate cancer.  These people usually have good mustaches.  They make the mustaches good.

The Mustache Marathon is currently in its fourth year.  I started it back in 2011 as a way to take part in the mustache thing in November while still being able to rid myself of dirty looking facial hair.  It used to include nine movies, one for each letter in the word “mustaches.”  I’m not sure why I did that.  It’s just what I did at the time.  The third year changed that.  I watched fourteen movies that got placed into the marathon.  How I got that high, I don’t know.  Maybe because I didn’t have to watch as many bad movies as I do now.  This month is on its way to having about eleven movies included in the Mustache Marathon.

The first two weeks of the fourth annual Mustache Marathon had three movies a piece, covering a few genres.  There was a Western, some comedies, a little bit of action in there, and a Wes Anderson movie.  Yes, Wes Anderson is his own genre.  There’s nothing out there like his movies, aside from his movies.  This week, it’s more of the same.  Romantic comedy and comedy.  I might change it up next week with the final few movies.  Who knows?

I should probably get to this week’s two additions to the 2014 edition of the Mustache Marathon.  I think you guys will like one choice and wonder why the hell I chose the other.  If there’s anyone actually reading this.  Someday, someone will.  I’m sure of that.  And when you do, you’ll likely think what I typed.

Did You Hear About the Morgans?
Let me explain.  I was trying to find something that hasn’t been included in a previous marathon that I have done.  I wanted something with Sam Elliott since you need to include him in anything movie related about mustaches.  I was hoping for something legal.  So I went to Netflix Canada, I looked up Sam Elliott, and this was one of the few movies that showed up.  That’s why it is in here.  And the mustache didn’t disappoint.  The rest of the movie did.

I don’t understand what this movie was trying to be.  I get that there are romantic comedy elements in there.  The two stars are Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant.  You don’t get much more romantic comedy than those two.  The problem comes from the subject matter.  They almost get killed and end up in witness protection.  The killer goes after them.  This whole murder aspect is played seriously, which seems odd.  And the relationship problems weren’t quirky and funny relationship problems, though the people behind the movie tried to make them seem that way.  They were serious problems that weren’t funny.  I don’t know how the movie ended up being serious when it is supposed to be a comedy but it didn’t work.

Duck Soup
This movie did work.  In the land of Fredonia, a bunch of wacky characters play pranks on one another while on the verge of war.  When the war breaks out, they continue to be wacky with the danger all around them.  It’s a laugh out loud riot as the Marx Brothers do the things that the Marx Brothers do.

There’s not much to actually say about the movie itself.  It’s a lot of visual gags that don’t translate well to text.  There are also a lot of quick little verbal quips that you need to experience by actually watching the movie rather than have me writing about it.  But what made the movie part of the Mustache Marathon was Groucho’s trademark grease mustache that was also used on Harpo and Chico as they pretended to be Groucho’s character in the movie.  There are a lot of grease mustaches running around at the same time in a scene that culminates in a great mirror gag.

Yeah, there were only two movies in the third week of the fourth annual Mustache Marathon.  What can I say?  I had a busy week.  But the next update will be the last one for the marathon.  It’ll be covering the rest of November.  Surely, I can get more than two movies into that time.  Next week you’ll get more movies from me.  And you’ll get Burt Reynolds, the final regular that needs to be included in the marathon.  Until next time, have fun with your mustaches.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Fourth Annual Mustache Marathon: Week 2

Welcome to the second week of the fourth annual Mustache Marathon.  This annual marathon that I do in November is focused on what is in the title: mustaches.  The idea is that I spend November watching a bunch of movies in which actors don mustaches of some sort while portraying their characters.  The style of mustache does not matter.  All that matters is that they have the mustache.  I am celebrating facial hair for the month, so having facial hair is a must.  Except for that time I watched Road House because Sam Elliott was in it.  There was no mustache on him in that movie.

Yes, I spend November watching movies that almost always predominately feature mustaches.  If you looked at the post that I put up last week, I saw three mustache movies.  Two of them featured people who usually appear in the annual marathon.  Hulk Hogan was in the movie Thunder in Paradise, and Tom Selleck was in the movie Quigley Down Under.  This week I added one more of the usual people into the mix with Charlie Chaplin.  I also brought in a couple of newer movies to add some more recent mustaches into the playlist.  Three movies were included in the Mustache Marathon this week and I am now going to write a bit about each of them.

Modern Times
I have included Charlie Chaplin in each iteration of the Mustache Marathon.  Prior to holding these annual marathons devoted to upper lip follicle decoration, I had seen none of his movies.  But any discussion of mustaches in relation to film needs to include Chaplin.  His mustache is a staple in film facial hair.  You cannot think of one without the other.

Modern Times could very well be my favourite of the four Chaplin films that I have seen so far.  It has everything from a great story to great set pieces to great sets and great laughs.  It was all that I could have hoped to get out of a movie and more.  Every second of the movie was captivating and leading to more comedy and story.  I know that many people look at The Great Dictator as the masterpiece of Chaplin, but I would say that Modern Times also deserves that distinction.  The movie is perfect in every way.

The Grand Budapest Hotel
This is the most mustachioed film of 2014.  Nearly everyone in the movie has a mustache.  Just look at the poster.  There are mustaches everywhere in that poster.  Ralph Fiennes, mustache.  Jude Law, mustache.  Bill Murray, mustache.  There are mustaches all over this movie and it was a movie that I needed to include in the fourth annual Mustache Marathon.

As for the movie itself, I enjoyed it a lot.  The quirky nature of Wes Anderson worked well in the R-rated universe set up in the movie.  The jokes landed, the acting was great, and it was an interesting ensemble film all around.  I would love to revisit this movie soon and enjoy it all over again.

22 Jump Street
You’re sitting there wondering why I included this movie in the Mustache Marathon.  I know you are.  The two leads don’t sport mustaches.  Neither does Ice Cube.  How about all of their college friends?  Nope.  Professors?  Nope.  But then you realize it.  You know why this movie is in this marathon.  Nick Offerman.  That’s right, Ron Swanson is in this movie sporting his now trademark mustache.  And it is glorious.

I thought the movie was alright.  That’s about on par with the first one.  There were some great, funny moments, but overall the movie didn’t really stick with me.  I enjoyed it.  I mean that.  Yet I don’t think I’ll be rewatching it or thinking of too many parts of it in the future.  Something cool.

So that concludes the second week of the fourth annual Mustache Marathon.  It was a week full of comedy.  Two of them are movies that I enjoyed immensely and would love to watch again.  The other was an entertaining bunch of laughs that ultimately felt meaningless.  They all had mustaches, though, and that’s all that matters.  This is a month about mustaches.  The mustaches were good.

Come back next week and I’ll write about two or three more mustache related movies.  I have a couple of regulars who still have to show up at some point.  What movie featuring Burt Reynolds will I watch this year? How about Sam Elliott?  Will I toss in another Marx Brothers film to get some more Groucho?  These are things that you’ll find out about in the coming couple weeks.  November is halfway over.  So is the mustache marathon.  But there are still two weeks of mustache movies.  I’ll make them count.