So, I’m kind of new to the whole movie-blogging show, but apparently there’s already a community out there that sets up fun blogging challenges from time to time. I caught wind of this one from my pal RTM over at FlixChatter, and really liked the idea of it. Here’s the deal:
“The idea here is that we all get to imagine ourselves as bona fide Theater owners. As such we set up our schedule for a week’s worth of Double Features Monday-Saturday, with a Triple Feature on Sunday. The criteria is completely up to you to pair the movies be it actors, directors, a common theme, original/remake, you name it. Start your post beginning what you’d show on Monday, a sentence or two of why or how they’re related and so on for the rest of your fictitious week.”
Now, mostly I’m not sure I could actually sit still for two movies back-to-back, but it still sounds like a fun idea. As such, I present to you Banana Oil’s Double-feature week. I tried to stick with movies and ideas that exemplify the kinds of movies you’re likely to read about here, and come up with some fun pairings as well. Ready? Here we go!
MONDAY: Children’s Fantasy
The Dark Crystal — Labyrinth
As a child of the Eighties, I have a soft spot in my heart for some of the “great” fantasy movies from that decade. These two are often paired, so I’m not being terribly original, but they still go together well. Both are the product of Jim Henson’s imaginative direction, so they’re fantastic to look at, with masterful puppetry and impressive detail. The Dark Crystal is a little darker than Labyrinth, but they are both something more than just kid’s movies.
TUESDAY: Original vs. Remake
3:10 to Yuma — 1957 and 2007
You knew I’d be sneaking a Crowe film in here somewhere, didn’t you? I thought this would be an interesting pairing because these are both very good movies. The differences between the two are mostly subtle, but I would argue that the 2007 update is better across the board; it’s just a little bit more of everything. Shinier, grittier, more engaging, the acting is slicker … Crowe and Bale outdo Ford and Heflin, but not by much.
WEDNESDAY: Shakespeare (and Kenneth Branagh)
Much Ado About Nothing — Othello
I didn’t really intend for this category to feature Kenneth Branagh … it’s just that if there’s been Shakespeare done well in the last twenty years or so, he probably had a hand in it. While he directed and starred in Much Ado, he did actually hand the camera over to someone else for Othello, and merely dazzles as the play’s villian, Iago. This category’s a mix: one comedy, one tragedy, so you can get the full range and scope of what Master Shakespeare (and Mr. Branagh) was (is) capable.
Noises Off — Waiting for Guffman
Both of these films boast an outstanding ensemble cast and poke knowing fun at actors and the theatre. Noises Off stars Michael Caine, Carol Burnett, Denholm Elliott, John Ritter, and Christopher Reeve, just to name a few; Waiting for Guffman features the Christopher Guest regulars:Fred Willard, Catherine O’Hara, Parker Posey, Eugene Levy, and so on. I know that Christopher Guest’s style of film-making can be something of an acquired taste, but you don’t have to be a theatre person, per se, to find these two movies hilarious. Noises Off, particularly, is one of the funniest movies you will ever see.
Singin’ in the Rain — Top Hat
If you’ve been here before, you know that Singin’ in the Rain is my favorite movie of all time. As such, it was obviously going to be included in this double-feature, but I struggled with what could possibly go along with it. Then, I started thinking about how people often compare Gene Kelly to Fred Astaire, or think that there was some kind of rivalry between them. By watching two of their movies back-to-back, I think you’ll find that they’re really apples and oranges; Kelly is athletic and flashy, and Astaire is much more smooth, elegant, and laid-back. They’re undeniably some of the greatest film dancers ever, but you can’t really choose the one who reigned supreme. So, enjoy both!
The Philadelphia Story — Runaway Bride
One’s a true classic, the other’s a modern rom-com. Both feature a disrupted wedding, a reporter, and a headstrong ingenue. The similarities probably end there, but they’re still both really fun. The Philadelphia Story was another (like Singin’ in the Rain) that seemed hard to pair with anything. I’m not suggesting they’re on the same level as Hepburn and Grant (or Stewart!) but the combination of Roberts and Gere is solid, and I prefer Runaway Bride to Pretty Woman, so there you have it.
Clueless — 10 Things I Hate About You — Easy A
I am so stoked about this triple-feature that I am actually sad it’s not really playing anywhere. These three films are examples of classic literature that has been adapted and re-imagined in a high school setting. They’re all done really well, too. Your crash course in literature for the day: Clueless is based upon Jane Austen’s Emma, 10 Things is Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, and Easy A is loosely based on Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. Of the three, Easy A is the least like its illustrious ancester, but it’s still such a fabulous take on the teen movie, and Emma Stone is so hilarious, that it’s a really great addition to the line up. I absolutely love the way Clueless and 10 Things manage to update their subject so effortlessly, and there are excellent performances all around. Definitely a fun way to end a full week of movies.
Well, dear readers? What days shall I put you down for? Step right up for your popcorn with real butter, reserved seating, adult beverages, and great movies! (It’s my imaginary theatre, so I’ll run it how I want to.)