Monday, November 6, 2023

Friday Night Double Features Vol. 36

 by Adam Riske and Patrick Bromley

10 double features to tell your relatives about on Thanksgiving.

Double Feature 1:

Adam: #1: The NeverEnding Story (1984)
Patrick: #2: Dune (1984)
Patrick: Trailers/Shorts: The Last Starfighter, Dreamscape, The Dungeonmaster
Patrick: Theme: It Came from ‘84

Patrick: I used to write a column called “It Came from the ‘80s” that was all about the fantasy and sci-fi genre films made during the best decade for both. This double feature makes me want to bring that back.

Adam: That was a great column; you should bring it back. I didn’t grow up with most of the post-Star Wars fantasy and sci-fi genre boom (I started to pay attention toward the end around the time of Masters of the Universe and Willow), but I’ve really enjoyed catching up with the ones I’ve missed over the years. This sounds like a fun night. I want to ride Falkor.

Double Feature 2:

Patrick: #1: Jennifer 8 (1992)
Adam: #2: Passenger 57 (1992)
Adam: Trailers/Shorts: 1492: Conquest of Paradise, Article 99, Love Potion No. 9
Adam: Theme: 1992 Non-Sequel Movies with Numbers in the Title

Adam: I put off seeing Jennifer 8 for years (because it got a lukewarm reception upon release) but your recent enthusiasm over text makes me want to finally check it out. I thought it would be fun to go with a random theme this time. I couldn’t find another thriller exactly to pair Jennifer 8 with, but Passenger 57 is a perfect FNDF movie because you can pair it with just about anything.

Patrick: This is a great theme! You’re so much better at this than I am. I even love the trailers here. And you’re right – Passenger 57 goes well with anything, making this a real kick-ass night at the movies. I’m sure I’ve already oversold Jennifer 8 but I got excited watching a real movie.

Double Feature 3:
Adam: #1: McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
Patrick: #2: Popeye (1980)
Patrick: Trailers/Shorts: Short Cuts, The Long Goodbye, Saturday Night Live short film “Sissy’s Roles,” Nashville
Patrick: Theme: Altmania!

Patrick: Let’s devote a night to celebrate one of the best to ever do it. Robert Altman made a lot of bad movies (the ‘80s were rough for him), but his highs were so high and so frequent that his greatness is undeniable. McCabe & Mrs. Miller is one of his best, so I wanted to pair it with something that I also love but which shows a different side of the director. Are you a Popeye fan?

Adam: I’m woefully behind on Altman movies. I think I’ve only seen Gosford Park (which I like) and parts of Popeye (which I was too young for at the time and remember it not delivering what the kid version of me wanted). This would be a good evening for me to catch up and be a good student of film.

Double Feature 4:

Patrick: #1: The Doors (1991)
Adam: #2: Dying Young (1991)
Adam: Trailers/Shorts: Grand Canyon, Jungle Fever, White Fang
Adam: Theme: 1991 Between $30M-$35M Domestic Grosser Dramas

Adam: I’ll take any chance to see The Doors in a theater (never had the opportunity) and what better movie to pair a movie about a guy who died young than with a movie called Dying Young (a rare Schumacher I’ve never seen) where the guy (SPOILER) doesn’t die. Have you ever seen Grand Canyon? I tried once but it might be the most dated movie of 1991. It felt like Crash (2005).

Patrick: I saw Grand Canyon theatrically back in 1991 (divorce movie and my dad loved Lawrence Kasdan) and thought it was important mostly because Steve Martin was being dramatic. You’re absolutely right about it being the Crash of the early ‘90s. The last time I watched Dying Young I kind of enjoyed it in a 1970s melodrama kind of way, but it’s probably just a Hallmark movie with better stars and production value. I would totally watch this double.

Double Feature 5:
Adam: #1: Fantasia (1940)
Patrick: #2: Rock and Rule (1983)
Patrick: Trailers/Shorts: Heavy Metal, “One Froggy Evening” short, The Nightmare Before Christmas
Patrick: Theme: Animated Musicals

Patrick: I have to admit that I don’t love Fantasia. It tastes a little like medicine. Having said that, I’ve never seen it in a theater, which could be a completely different and much more immediate and immersive experience. This theme is not super creative because a lot of Disney cartoons are technically musicals, so I tried not to pair it with something obvious and instead went with a Canadian cult movie. Remember when I showed the trailer for this when we were doing our 1983 double features this summer?

Adam: I love Fantasia and am a total mark for music heavy animated films, so this sounds like a perfect evening for me. I need Rock and Rule in my life. I’ve only seen Fantasia in a theater once when I was a kid (during its 1990 re-release) but would like to again. I remember adults in the audience at the time had very little patience for it. Like they expected The Little Mermaid (1989) and got an arthouse movie. A bunch of Barrington Squares, amirite?!

Double Feature 6:

Patrick: #1: The Rocker (2008)
Adam: #2: Super (2010)
Adam: Trailers/Shorts: Dan in Real Life, License to Wed, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
Adam: Theme: Out of Office

Adam: I (like a lot of people) have never been able to let go of the show The Office. I love it and still watch blocks of episodes on a semi-regular basis. Even though I don’t love many of the films starring its cast, I could watch almost any of them at any time. I’ve never seen The Rocker so I’m looking forward to that and Super is fantastic. Hottest Take: Dan in Real Life is better than Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. Episode 900 of the podcast should be Dan in Real Life.

Patrick: We can do Dan in Real Life sooner! Unless you want to save it for the 900 show milestone. I kind of like that movie for Fall viewing. The Rocker is not great but Emma Stone plays bass so yes, it is great.

Double Feature 7:
Adam: #1: Adaptation (2002)
Patrick: #2: Barton Fink (1991)
Patrick: Trailers/Shorts: Misery, Stranger Than Fiction, Tales from the Crypt episode “Korman’s Kalamity”
Patrick: Theme: On Writing

Patrick: Any excuse to program some Tales! While this double is probably heavy on the indie quirk, I do think these movies would play really well together. Are you a Barton Fink guy? It’s one that I like but haven’t seen as much as their others so I’m hoping this double feature cements it as a favorite.

Adam: I’ve never seen it surprisingly. I have a lot of late '80s/early '90s blindspots when it comes to movies made for adults. I think that might be my next movie project for 2024!

Double Feature 8:

Patrick: #1: The Green Mile (1999)
Adam: #2: Magnolia (1999)
Adam: Trailers/Shorts: The Sixth Sense, The Insider, Being John Malkovich
Adam: Theme: Chicago Film Critics Association 1999 Best Supporting Actor Nominees

Adam: This evening is in direct opposition of people who complain about runtime. I want to punish them by rewarding myself with two great movies. I feel emotionally exhausted just by Magnolia so seeing it paired with the equally sad The Green Mile is going to be a trip. P.S. It’s crazy that something as strong as The Green Mile is my least favorite Frank Darabont movie. He’s that good. It’s like when I look at Quentin Tarantino’s filmography and see Kill Bill is my fourth favorite of his movies.

Patrick: I really, really miss Frank Darabont. He’s more your guy than mine but movies got worse when he quit making them. I also miss 1999. Look at that lineup! I knew how good we had it at the time but, like, I didn’t know how good we had it.

Double Feature 9:
Adam: #1: The Meteor Man (1993)
Patrick: #2: Blade (1998)
Patrick: Trailers/Shorts: Steel, Spawn, Hancock
Patrick: Theme: Black Superheroes

Patrick: I’ve never seen The Meteor Man, but I like the idea of pairing a comedic superhero movie with one as badass as the original Blade. I’m having a hard time getting at all excited about a new Blade movie even though I like Mahershela Ali, because in my mind right now the best he can do is “almost as good” as Wesley Snipes. I know that’s unfair and I need to adopt a wait and see attitude. This double is also an opportunity to celebrate superhero movies starring People of Color, as it’s still a genre dominated by whiteness.

Adam: I love this theme. I might be most excited about the trailers for this one. I liked Blade the first time I saw it in 1998 but never since even though I love Wesley Snipes in the part. The Meteor Man I remember being okay, but I’d like to give it another chance. P.S. I rewatched Steel recently…not too bad. Kind of like an early version of Samaritan. I’ll take broke ass superhero movies any day of the week.

Double Feature 10:

Patrick: #1: Highway (2002)
Adam: #2: Beautiful Girls (1996)
Adam: Trailers/Shorts: Con Air, High Fidelity, Gone in 60 Seconds, Disturbing Behavior
Adam: Theme: Written by Scott Rosenberg

Adam: I’ve never heard of Highway before. Is it good? The Jake Gyllenhaal of it all intrigues me. I decided to go with a Scott Rosenberg tribute (does he need one? I dunno). I’m excited to see the Gone in 60 Seconds trailer again. I have that burned into my brain. I bet Beautiful Girls has aged poorly. It needed to end with Timothy Hutton’s character featured on an episode of To Catch a Predator.

Patrick: I need to revisit Highway but it’s probably not “good” even though it’s VERY 2002. I love JG and I love Selma Blair, but I do not love Jared Leto, so there’s that. Scott Rosenberg is someone for whom I feel like I have little respect but then I look at that trailer block and feel like I’ve misjudged him? I don’t know. Erika and I rewatched Beautiful Girls a few years back and I still like so much about it, but it was definitely written by a young man with issues and potential crimes he needed to work out.

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