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The Weekly Movies Discussion Post For January 19th, 2020

3 min read
What have you been watching?

Sometimes even a little snow will make you change your plans and the idea of going out into a winter storm means no movies out. But that means a chance to check out a few things at home. This past week had me revisiting some older films and one of them with the kids for the first time.

While the 1978 Superman film isn’t one of my all-time favorite films, it came out in that period where we had so many big projects that set the tone for years to come. I wanted to revisit this, however, after finishing off Crisis on Infinite Earths since we had Brandon Routh setting this film series in its own timeline. It was weird seeing it because you couldn’t swear it was Routh at times in this film which is just how uncanny that casting was. I still find this to be a really good film and interesting adaptation of the character and his stories, especially since we don’t even get Reeves for the first thirty minutes of the film.

A lot of the behind the scenes stuff stuck with me more than anything else, but with it being the first time the kids saw the film it was interesting for them to realize how much had been re-adapted into the Supergirl TV series and elsewhere.

The 1984 film Starman is one that definitely clicked for me at the time even if it felt anything like a John Carpenter film. It’s one that to me goes unmentioned among all his other projects but was the most accessible to a wider audience. The focus on an alien played by Jeff Bridges coming to Earth and assuming the form of a dead man thanks to his DNA is interesting as we see how discovering how humanity operates. He connects with the man’s wife as played by Karen Allen and the two are basically on a road trip with the government chasing them down. It’s an odd couple discovery movie that has a lot of heart, some great visuals in a few scenes, and works a quiet approach that I still don’t associate with Carpenter’s films. I loved the book adaptation of it as well and the TV series a few years later had its charms as well. I still wish this would either get a reboot or a sequel of some sort to explore more of it.

That got me in the mindset for a more traditional romantic comedy which lead me to the 1994 film Only You. This one was always a good bit of fun even with some of its terrible moments of interaction, and a lot of that charm comes from the leads with Robert Downey Jr. and Marisa Tomei. It’s one reason that the Spider-Man: Homecoming film delighted on another level as I loved having the two of them working with each other even briefly. It’s a fairly traditional romcom when you get down to it with mistaken identities and quickly falling in love while overseas but it’s a nicely laid out piece. Bonnie Hunt stars as Tomei’s friend and at the time I had really liked her in a few movies and the TV series she had as well during the 90s. There’s nothing really radical or strong here but it functions and succeeds on the strength of its charming cast.

 

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