Movies, TSPDT

#981 Ruggles of Red Gap (1935)


This is part of my TSPDT series where I review all movies from the 2018 list.

Another comedy off TSPDT, coming in at #981 it’s Ruggles of Red Gap. This one has more of a story than Hellzapoppin’ did. It’s about a servant that gets sold to another household and since he’s such a cool guy everyone starts to like him.

To be totally blunt, there’s not too much to say about this one. It was alright and I could sort of see how it would stand out  in 1935 because the characters are unique with their own style. However, for being a comedy, the jokes didn’t land much with me. Reviewing comedies is so difficult because it’s hard to fault a movie so old for not being able to make me laugh. As a comedy, you could say that, for the most part, it just failed. I say for the most part because there was one lone joke that actually did make me laugh. The bartender asks a drunk sleeping man, “What did Lincoln say at Gettysburg?” The man wakes up and answers, “I don’t know, I wasn’t there.” I’ll admit I laughed pretty hard at that for some reason. Maybe it just caught me off guard. For the one laugh I’ll give it a few points, but for the fact that that was the only thing to stick in my mind for the whole movie I’ll have to remove some.

This just wasn’t very memorable, especially compared to some other movies on the list so far. It seems like it would’ve been an average movie for the time, so I’m unsure why it made it onto the TSPDT list. If you’re a die hard trying to finish the list, go for it, otherwise I think this one might be a safe skip. Welcome to the first of several mediocre, uninspiring movies for me to review. Stick with me, we’ll get through it together.

Verdict: 7/10 Ruggles’ face sums up my experience watching the movie…

Movies, TSPDT

#982 Hellzapoppin’ (1941)

This is part of my TSPDT series where I review all movies from the 2018 list.

Hellzapoppin‘, the craziest entry so far on TSPDT coming in at a sweet #982. This is a random comedy from the 40s about some guys trying to make a movie. It has a catchy theme song which you can watch below if you want it stuck in your head like it is mine, an absolutely amazing dance scene, and is the oldest movie I’ve seen of this brand of comedy.

Before I begin, really please do watch the opening song of this movie because then you can have it running through your brain while you read this and get a feel for what this movie’s about. You could also just watch the entire movie if you want since it’s available for free.

I don’t know if you watched it all or not, but I’ll pretend like you didn’t. This is an extremely weird and random comedy. The jokes are like someone picked them by throwing darts blindfolded. Some of them are very dated, while others can still be funny today if that’s your type of comedy. This turned out to not be my particular brand of comedy, but I can’t really knock it. I can see how people would’ve liked this almost 80 years ago, especially in the middle of WWII where I’m sure they would’ve appreciated being able to relax for 90 minutes. I mentioned that this was the oldest movie I’ve seen of this random joke style of comedy. It heavily reminds me of movies like Airplane! and Scary Movie that are completely random and slip in some pop culture jokes that won’t make sense in 20 years. It’s interesting to see that terrible movies like Disaster Movie and Date Movie aren’t just a product of today but have been around for decades. Guess there really aren’t any new ideas in Hollywood these days.

I can’t say if this next scene is a new idea or not, but it definitely wow’d the pants off of me. So much so that I’m going to let you watch it for yourself.

At one point the guy throws the girl over his shoulder and catches her before she goes flying! It’s crazy stuff that really keeps your eyes glued to the screen. I’d even go so far as to say that the dancing itself is so timeless that in another 80 years it’d still wow whoever watched it.

Altogether as a film I can maybe understand how it can end up on the TSPDT list for the dance scene and for what I’m guessing is it’s influence on comedy movies to this day. It’s definitely not a boring watch, so would I recommend it? Sure, why not. It’s not awful.

Verdict: 7/10


June 2018

Ah June, a hot summer month that’s perfect for movie watchin’. I cranked out 26 movies which is back to normal. With all these movies though, this turned out to be the worst rated month of all of 2018. The average rating was a weak 6.4/10 and as you’ll find out in a minute, there were no shortage of worsts. But before that, let’s talk about the few bests.

Best of the Best

To Each, Her Own – 7.8

To Each, Her Own could almost be the biggest surprise winner for the fact that this was a Netflix recommendation. If you’ve read my past monthly summaries you’ll know just how terrible of a track record Netflix has with me. This movie is about a woman in a same sex relationship who starts to have feelings for a man. It’s an interesting flip on the usual story where it’s a straight woman falling for another woman. Not only was it a neat twist, but there were some genuinely funny moments. I liked the characters and was interested to see where the story would go. I can honestly say I didn’t see the ending coming. It’s a little weird, but the journey to get there wasn’t bad.

A Quiet Place – 8

If you’ve been a part of the world this past year you’ve probably heard about A Quiet Place. A movie set in a world where if you make a single noise you’ll be murdered by monster aliens. There was so much talk about this movie and for good reason. It’s a well made, original movie that you don’t see too often these days. I liked the creativity required to pull off a movie with very little dialogue and the relationships between the characters which felt genuine and real. This one is definitely worth a watch.

Zodiac – 8

And my favorite movie of June is Zodiac which is a 3rd watch for me. Long time readers might have read my last post discussing this movie. I’ll summarize it and say that this movie has held a strong 8 rating across all viewings. The quality of the story, acting and effects are never brought into question. This is an incredibly well done movie. The only thing that loses its magic on multiple viewings is the ending. The first time you watch it, the ending is so suspenseful, but once you know the outcome you can relax a little and it doesn’t pack the same punch. Obviously, I can’t fault a movie just because I know how it ends. Ending aside, the thing that this movie does for me the most is renew my interest in the Zodiac killer. Every time I watch it I have to go look into any new revelations on the case and research a little more into the facts. This is a movie that always sticks with me when its finished and why it was my best of June.

Worst of the Worst

Annabelle – 5

I thought I heard that this was actually one of those good horror movies that exist out there and I wanted to give it a watch one Friday night. Little did I know, this was just your run of the mill jump scare ridden horror movie. Let me just say that loud noises are not scary. They may be surprising, but that is not horror. This movie had so many jump scares in it that by the end I just started laughing. I could tell whenever it was going to happen and it ruined the entire movie. I was more scared near the beginning when the doll did nothing because I was in suspense waiting to see if it would move. If you’ve never seen a scary doll horror movie maybe this would be new and exciting, but if you have then this is not worth your time.

Bicentennial Man – 5

I watched this movie directly after reading the short story and like usual that was a huge mistake. This movie in no way lives up to the short story. The story was more inside Andrew’s head and it explores what it means to be human. The movie, on the other hand, took most of that out in favor of having a romance plot. I don’t see why that was necessary and I actually found it creepy how a robot falls in love with a human. Not just a single human, but generations of humans from the same family. It’s like, “Hi, I’m Andrew. I was in love with your mother, now I’m going to be in love with you.” The story just didn’t do it for me, and I hate to say it but I’m not the biggest fan of Robin Williams because I can never get lost in the characters he plays. Another thing that bothered me was how they tried to tie in the original material by having a scene explaining the 3 laws of robotics, but it literally never comes in to play for the rest of the movie. I felt like they wasted the opportunity to tie that in more especially since it was so integral to the short story. Now, I can’t say for sure whether any of these things were in the novel because I haven’t read it, but overall I preferred how the idea of a robot trying to become human was handled in the short story more. I will say one good thing about this movie before I move on though. The old age makeups were absolutely stunning. I couldn’t find a single flaw with any of them. They are literally the best I’ve ever seen and I’m just blown away by it. If only they could’ve put that much effort into the rest of the movie.

Ghostland – 4.8

If Annabelle drove me crazy for its overuse of jump scares, Ghostland drove me crazy for its incessant screaming. Everyone in this movie would not stop screaming. It’s not scary or helpful in any way to the plot, it’s just loud and annoying. This almost maybe could’ve been an interesting movie because there was this sort of plot twist in the middle that I didn’t think of. It took the movie in a slightly different direction and gave it a bit of depth. But then the women kept screaming and screaming and screaming. Screaming is the only thing I took away from this movie. If you love mediocre makeup effects and have partial hearing loss then this could be right up your alley.

The Collector – 4.7

Down down we go. Another awful horror movie to add to my worst of the worst. I got this one as a recommendation saying that it was actually good and that it turned the torture porn genre on its head. I love me a good genre bending movie, but this wasn’t it. It was a tiny bit interesting having a main character who isn’t totally inept, but everyone else in the house was so it really cancelled it out. There was one moment where the main guy saves a woman and then she acts like an idiot, starts screaming and gets herself killed moments later. This is your below average torture porn gore fest movie where people do stupid things and are killed by a supernatural psychopath.

Mothlight – 1

I’m not going to beat a dead moth, you can read just what I thought of this “movie” in my previous TSPDT post. Giving this a 1 might be the reason why this was the lowest rated month of the year, but honestly it deserves it.

Biggest Surprise

Contagion – 8

Thankfully things are back to normal this month and I have a biggest surprise to give out. This is the same one I almost gave out last month by accident. Contagion is about a spreading disease, how it affects people and how the CDC works to stop it. This is the biggest surprise for me because I’ve seen it once before and remember not liking it. I watched it because it found its way into my random queue. This is exactly my kind of movie. I found it so interesting how a disease spreads and how they come up with vaccines. They also weren’t afraid to pull any punches. People contracted the disease who, in a regular summer blockbuster, would survive because they’re a main character, but in this movie they don’t. A lot of different plot threads were weaved together so well that it never felt like too much was going on. I particularly loved the ending which I won’t spoil. I highly recommend this movie and it might have just made its way into my rewatch rotation.

Biggest Disappointment

Tomb Raider – 6.64

And finally the movie I was waiting to talk about for the entire month. This was the movie so disappointing that I almost put it on last month’s summary. I’m a female and I absolutely stand behind movies with strong female leads so right off the bat I was interested in this. To top it off, I heard that it was actually a good video game adaptation and I thought I was in for a good movie. Clearly that isn’t what I got. While it had its moments, overall I found myself wishing it was over. It was boring and the story was super crazy predictable. Stop pulling the “my parent disappeared x years ago on an island and I just want to find out what happened to them” while pretending like the parent is actually dead. I don’t even feel bad about ruining anything because it was so damn obvious. I would’ve been more surprised if he was actually dead. I didn’t even like this as a mindless popcorn movie. There was nothing new or exciting about it at all. The only thing that gave this movie any legs was that they called the character Lara Croft. If you replaced her with generic action movie man, this wouldn’t have gotten much buzz. I appreciate trying to introduce stronger female leads, but please put them in better movies. Let’s take Wonder Woman and build on that, not go 1 step forward and take 2 steps back.

This month had a lot of worsts in it and very few bests so the quality wasn’t there, but the quantity sure was. I think I’m back in my movie watching groove which feels good so I don’t even mind how much garbage I had to sit through. I knocked out quite a few TSPDT movies which I have queued up to review and will be posting in a few days so stayed tuned. I want to finish with a shout out to my favorite non-movie thing I watched in June which is The Staircase on Netflix. I watched the first 8 episodes in 2 days with no regrets. I absolutely love crime docuseries and this one was even better because it had a lot of courtroom footage. If you liked Making a Murderer or Paradise Lost, absolutely check this out. Stay tuned for my next post, hopefully in a few days.