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Legacy Podcast Rating Review

Heavy Metal Parking Lot (1986)

“I’ve never seen such a thing in all my life”

Officially my third time watching this in 2021, but I actually watched it about 5 other times in April to prep for a podcast discussing it.

I think the only thing I’d consider changing about this is that Dave and Dawn (aged 20 and 13, respectively, yet seen kissing) appear so early. It sets up viewers to be judgmental and scandalized, as opposed to celebratory, of this group of joyful, excited, inebriated, deranged people.

(A fun fact about that segment is that the filmmakers and crowd egged them on for a kiss, which was edited out, presumably to increase shock value.)

Everything else though? *chef’s kiss*

I love Zebraman, and “Hell Yeah” girl, and the group from Reston, and the people there to honor their dead friend Timmy, and the parking attendant, and the guy drinking from a beaker who does air guitar, and everyone else.

To quote John Blyth Barrymore in LasagnaCat’s legendary 7/27/78 review…

“Do I find perfection in many things? Some things, I would say. Some things are perfect. and this is one of them.”

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Legacy Review

Stagecoach (1939)

The mythic settings, the outlaw showdown, John Wayne (dat intro zoom!), the cowboys-and-Indians shootout, the saloons, the individualism and post-Civil War politics: This is a quintessential classic western film, one of the greats.

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Legacy Review

The Princess and the Frog

Gobsmackingly gorgeous from start to finish, even more than I remembered. The setting and characters are all charming, and I love the celebration of working class values. (Tiana’s parents are the best in all of Disney animation, in my opinion.) The characters are almost all well-designed, but especially the lanky villain, his shadows, and all the murky-but-also-neon voo-doo stuff… it’s eye-popping.

I also find that the movie keeps me at a little bit of a distance, at least compared to e.g. Tangled, which I also watched this weekend. I think it might just be too busy — scenes whizz by, and every musical number tries to be a show-stopper (except the tender “Ma Belle Evangeline,” maybe my favorite song here). All that much-ness comes at the expense of some needed character development, especially for Naveen, who I found still pretty unsympathetic by the end of the movie. (Why would Tiana go for him? Frog propinquity?)

I think the movie suffers from having Tiana be a frog for 2/3rds of the story. I missed the lovely, vibrant animation of human Tiana where her frog form feels more generic and difficult to connect to. On the other hand, I decided this viewing that Amphibian Naveen is more interesting than his blandly handsome human form.

But the film is still warm and charming and lovely, and when it’s this goddamned beautiful it’s hard to be too bothered with the rest. Bring back hand-drawn Disney animation!

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Legacy Review

The Graduate (1967)

This was my first time watching since reading Pictures at a Revolution, which I highly recommend.

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Legacy Review

Tangled (2010)

I always love revisiting this one.

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Legacy Review

Back to the Beach (1987)

It was a promising idea to “reboot” the beach party films with Annette and Frankie in mid-life crisis, and a new set of younger surfers ready to take the helm. Swap in 80s kitsch for the old 60s kitsch. They just forgot to make it good.

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Legacy Review

Bikini Beach (1964)

There’s a zesty silliness to the 3rd Beach Party film that makes it a lot more fun than the 2nd (Muscle Beach Party), and certainly frothier than the 1st (Beach Party), even if I miss the latter’s sweaty tactility of its beach and party scenes.

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Legacy Review

Beach Blanket Bingo (1965)

I can see why this fourth (fifth if you count the Pajama Party spinoff) is considered the best of the series, though I still tip my hat to the original Beach Party.

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Legacy Review

Muscle Beach Party (1964)

Like the first Beach Party, this movie is fun when it’s about partying and surfing, less so when it leans on its story, which grows very thin by the end of the film.

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Legacy Review

Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

Take a sip every time Bruce Willis calls Justin Long “kid,” take 2 sips every time Bruce Willis is befuddled by technology or computer babble, take a shot every time an unprecedented hacker has an intuitive, professionally designed user interface, as if penetrating government networks had the user experience of Microsoft Office.