We took a powder on Day 2, but our bloggers rallied for a fine finish! So let’s see the final tally of movies that changed bloggers from skeptics to believers, as we present
If you missed any of our wonderful entries the first time around, click on the bloggers’ names below to read the Day 3 entries, or click here to read entries from Day 1.
Cinematic Scribblings overcame her fear of musicals to enjoy the frothy French entry The Young Girls of Rochefort.
Old Hollywood Films came to realize that not all filmed Shakespeare is static, as she indulged in the film-noir trappings of Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet.
I Found It at the Movies overcame her initial apprehension at the violence of Sam Peckinpah’s imagery and savored the solid story and acting of The Wild Bunch.
And last but not least, Dell on Movies started out indulging his daughter’s movie tastes and ended up enjoying the quirky treasures of Rob Reiner’s Flipped.
And that’s our blogathon! Many thanks to the gifted bloggers who contributed their time and talent to the ‘thon, and of course to you readers who who kept up with the ‘thon. Here’s wishing you the best and asking you to keep an open mind about all that cinema has to offer!
The month of March is upon us, and with that our lion-to-lamb film blogathon. For the next three days, we take a look at bloggers’ memories of movies that originally got them wound up with apprehension, only to fill them with relief from moviemakers who actually knew what they were doing.
If you are one of the blogging participants, please leave the name and URL of your blog entry in the “Comments” section below, and I will appropriately link to it. Readers, simply click on the links below to read the blogathon entries — and bookmark this site, as we will provide blogathon updates at the end of each day. Enjoy!
The following is my entry in my In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb Blogathon, being hosted at this blog from Feb. 28-Mar. 1, 2016. Click on the above banner, and read bloggers’ accounts of how they attended certain movies with great trepidation, only to be pleasantly surprised by them!
R.I.P., Blockbuster Video.
I never thought I’d write those words. But I have to admit, if you hit that place on the right night, with someone on the floor who really knew his or her movies, it was like getting directed to a rare album selection at Tower Records that you never even knew existed.
One Saturday night, my wife and I were in Blockbuster, wanting to find a fresh comedy but at a complete loss for what to watch. We got all the way to the checkout lane with a half-baked selection, and the cashier could actually see the despair in our eyes. She asked what the problem was. When we told her, she asked, “Have you ever heard of The Ref?”
When we heard the title, my wife and I declared that we weren’t interested in any feel-good football movie. The cashier laughed and told us that the title was simply deceiving. She gave us the movie’s box to look at. Denis Leary? Kevin Spacey? Whoever heard of these guys?
The cashier smiled and assured us that, if we were in the mood for a dark comedy, we should take her word for it and rent the movie. Blessed be that cashier — we can only hope that cashier has gone on to bigger and better things in the movie world.
The movie introduces us to an on-the-rocks couple, Lloyd and Caroline Chasseur (Spacey and Judy Davis), whose bickering is so tumultuous that even their marriage counselor (B.D. Wong) can barely keep it contained. On their way home, it is the Chasseurs’ bad luck to run into Gus (Leary). Gus has tried to pull off what he thought was a simple burglary, but he barely escaped the toothsome clutches of a guard dog, and his alcoholic partner has driven off without him.
Gus holds the Chasseurs at gunpoint, tells them to drive to their home, and holds them hostage there while he tries to figure out how to bail himself out. Meanwhile, the homefront gets even more complicated when the Chasseurs’ spoiled son Jesse arrives home from boarding school.
Oh, and this all occurs on Christmas Eve, which ushers in an enjoyable subplot involving the Chasseurs’ self-absorbed family (led by the sublime Christine Baranski) and some smile-inducing nods to It’s a Wonderful Life and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (wait for it).
So many modern dark comedies are tiresome, not because they have a nasty edge to them, but because they pretend to be hostile while taking a “just kidding” approach because they fear alienating their audience. The Ref serves up its bile straight and black and is at its most delightful when it shatters audience expectations.
Gus thinks all it will take to get out of this mess is a gun and an attitude, but he ends up being the titular referee to this volcanic couple that he can’t shake. And Gus has even more to deal with when Jesse finds more of a father figure in Gus than he does in his own father.
The Ref is simply a delightful surprise all around, right down to the credits. The script is by Richard LaGravenese, who pulled off a similar black-humored miracle with his screenplay for The Fisher King. But the movie’s biggest surprise is that it was produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer! How did the masterminds behind Top Gun and Flashdance catch their breath long enough to do a dark, thoughtful character study?
Of course, if you’ve seen the sterling work of cast members Leary, Spacey, Davis, and Baranski in the past two decades, I don’t have to sell you on their work here. The Ref is like a warm-up for their greatest work to come — a very heated warm-up.
The month of March is just around the corner. So it seems appropriate for our blog to usher in the
Think of a movie that you went into or prepared to see — in any format (theater, DVD, cable, rental) — with the gravest of misgivings, only to discover that it was either not that bad or more delightful that you could have imagined. So you began with gruff expectations, only to have your heart melt by movie’s end.
We ask you to share that experience via blog. Maybe start out by explaining why you were unsure about the movie. Was your Significant Other dragging you to see what you thought was a “chick flick”? Had the movie received universally bad reviews, and you went to see it only because nothing else was available? Then give a decent summary of the plot, actors, etc., and why you ended up liking the movie.
Here are the rules:
Please leave me a message in the “Comments” section below that includes the name and URL of your blog, and the name of the movie you choose to write about.
Below are banners to advertise the blogathon. Once you have completed Step # 1, please grab a banner, display it on your blog, and link it back to this blog.
The blogathon will take place from Sun. Feb. 28, through Tues., Mar. 1, 2016. Once you have posted your blogathon entry on one of those dates, please post its URL in the “Comments” section so that I can link our blog back to it.
Have fun with your blog entry, and let’s make this blogathon roar! Here’s the line-up so far: