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Doogan’s Queue for November 25, 2014

November 25, 2014 - 11:08 am   |   by
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Happy Turkey Week my fellow Americans. For those of you in other parts of the world who have no idea and question my sanity; this Thursday a whole bunch of us will be sitting down with our gathered family members to eat a turkey, mashed potatoes and good ol’ American can-shaped jellied cranberry to celebrate ... something. I try and stay out of the politics of holidays when food is involved. In my world, it’s all about family. And the Dallas Cowboy and Detroit Lions football games. Did I mention we watch football games too. No? We do that as well. I don’t know why.

Anyway, in honor of this occasion, here’s a list of good Thanksgiving movies. In no particular order – thus, alphabetized.  [Read on here…]

10. Tadpole – a goofy kid comes home from school and macks on his Mom’s friend. That’s what I took away at least.

9. Scent of a Woman – A favorite film of mine regardless of the holiday weekend this film takes place in.

8. Planes, Trains and Automobiles – Another favorite film of mine. Candy and Martin are gold in this.

7. Pieces of April – Better than I thought. I realized I liked Katie Holmes with this film.

6. The Last Waltz – This one counts. Watch it to see why. Scorsese does no wrong.

5. House of Yes – Weird. Wild. All the way well done.

4. Home for the Holidays – Cute holiday film.

3. Hannah and Her Sisters – I know Woody is bad mojo right now, but he’s a great filmmaker and this is a great film.

2. Alice’s Restaurant – Great song. Okay movie.

1. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving – I know it’s not a movie, but it’s my favorite holiday program for this time of year. Sentimental and full of joy.

Okay, hope you check out some of those films if you’re unfamiliar. All worth your time.

Les Blank: Always for Pleasure (Blu-ray Disc)It’s a pretty light week – I guess distributors are expecting more travel and family than rushing to the stores on Tuesday. But by Friday – EVERYONE will be in a store. Uhg, I hate Black Friday, and I’ve never worked retail. 

Let’s take a look at this week’s spotlight releases:

The Expendables 3 – Sly and the gang up the ante with a huge helping of superstar talent added to the mix. The loss of Bruce is unnoticeable with the addition of Han Solo himself. Buy the Blu-ray for the film but stay for the special features – one of the better behind-the-scenes for a modern film seen in years.

The Giver – I’m too old for the YA craze, but this is another one of those. I looked at the summary on Wikipedia and it sounds batshit in terms of backstory and sequels. We’ll see if they make more, but good lord, it’s a wacky story.

A Merry Friggin’ Christmas – One of Robin Williams’ last films – man that sucks.

The Expendables 3 (Blu-ray Disc)The November Man – Pierce Brosnan stars as a CIA spook who has killed more people that cancer and heart attacks combined. This film follows Pierce as his hurtles through backstabbings, friends who are now enemies who are now friends, and femme fatales galore. Sounds cool.

Stretch – This is one wacky flick. I can see why Universal had no idea what to do with it. It’s slightly schizoid and has a bit of trouble setting itself up. But it’s neat to watch. I don’t see this being anyone’s favorite film of all-time though. Directed and written by Joe Carnahan and starring Patrick Wilson, Chris Pine, Brooklyn Decker, Ed Helms, Jessica Alba and James Badge Dale. A cast like that deserves your time.

What If (The F Word) – A romantic comedy starring Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan and Adam Driver. Hmmmm. I dunno. I’ll check it out, but with one eyebrow raised.

Les Blank: Always for Pleasure (Criterion) – Fourteen incredible documentaries are gathered here - all fully remastered and joined by a plethora of special features celebrating one of cinema’s unsung documentary heroes. Can’t go wrong with that.

 

Blu-Ray Reissues:

Nymphomaniac: Extended Director’s Cut Volumes 1 and 2 – I think the films were long enough. But if you felt something was missing... here you go.

L' Avventura (Blu-ray Disc)Shockwaves – The film that gave is Nazi undead. Check out what Adam had to say here.

Wizard of Oz 3D – A classic film gets all 3D’ed. I haven’t seen this, but I have to think it looks awesome. I’ll have to look for someone with a 3D set-up.

L’Avventura (Criterion) – A Blu-ray upgrade of the classic Michelangelo Antonioni film.

The Long Goodbye – Just in time for PT Anderson’s Inherent Vice comes a film the book and the film owe a slight debt to. I actually love this film – it’s a great adaptation of the Chandler novel, a wonderful version of Philip Marlowe and a super fun Altman film. An all-around great neo-noir with some great characters, fantastic acting from the likes of Elliott Gould, Sterling Hayden and Henry Gibson. A great, great film.

 

TV Release of NoteMystery Science Theater 3000 XXXI: Turkey Day Collection

That’s it for this week. We start the last month of the year next week and, bit time sure does fly.

Pass the stuffing and keep spinnin’ those discs.

– Todd Doogan

 

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