The idea of the world coming to an end — especially an end caused by human arrogance, stupidity and insecurity — is so ridiculous that you can’t really get the full impact in a drama. No, to really feel the tragedy and loss of the apocalypse, what you need is a comedy.
Not every classic movie is a black-and-white blockbuster from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Sometimes, a movie that’s not even two decades old — and that pretty much died at the box office — can become a classic, too. That’s the case with “Office Space,” a 1999 comedy written and directed by Mike Judge. Though it barely earned back its $10 million budget during its (short) theatrical run, in the years since it’s been a sensation on home video and cable, and what’s more, it’s become the de facto movie about what it’s like to work in an office in this, our modern world.
“Idiocracy” is that rarest of things, a very smart movie about some very dumb people. Even the premise is brilliant in its simplicity: A regular guy — nice, but a little dim — is put in suspended animation for 500 years. When he wakes up in the far future, he’s the smartest man in the world — because the world has gotten that much stupider. And meaner. And crazier.
“The Princess Bride” was an unlikely movie to arrive in 1987. Hell, it was an unlikely movie to arrive in any year. The other big films of that year, in case you’ve forgotten, were “Robocop,” “Full Metal Jacket,” “Wall St.,” “Lethal Weapon,” “Beverly Hills Cop II,” “Fatal Attraction,” The Untouchables” and “The Lost Boys.” Cynical, violent, movies for a cynical violent time.
The 1996 movie “Bottle Rocket” was Wes Anderson’s first movie, but it’s safe to say that “Rushmore,” released two years later, was Wes Anderson’s first Wes Anderson movie. Focusing on the exploits of bold visionary (and lousy student) Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman in a career-launching performance), “Rushmore” showcases all the elements Anderson would become known for: meticulous set design and decoration, pitch-perfect musical choices (the best since Scorsese, really), a certain theatrical mood that knocks on (but never breaks) the fourth wall, a distinct sense of sadness lurking just below the comedic surface and, most memorably, Bill Murray.
Modern movies starring the likes of Julia Roberts and Ryan Reynolds have given the very concept of romantic comedy a bad name, but in the right hands, romance plus comedy can be more than amusing or heartwarming. It can be a masterpiece — which brings us to 1960’s “The Apartment.”
The cult classic Rocky Horror Picture Show is unlike any movie reviewed by Out of Theaters to date. That’s because the film, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is always IN theaters somewhere. If you decide that now is the time for you to finally watch the movie then do make your best attempt to see it with an audience, or at the very least a large group of enthusiastic friends. It’s simply not designed to be watched alone on your couch.
Strap on your power-laced Nikes, gulp down your Pepsi Perfect, and hop on your hoverboard because today is the day that Marty McFly walks among us. Well, technically there are two Marty McFlys: the old one who wears two neckties and the one from 1985 who’s just here to stop his kids from becoming assholes or something — and maybe place a few bets when he gets back. Today is Oct. 21, 2015, a pop-culture holiday 26 years in the making. “Back to the Future” Day is officially here.
Today’s podcast combines two things that are completely outdated: A black-and-white movie and newspapers. His Girl Friday (1940) follows unscrupulous newspaper editor Walter Burns’ (Cary Grant) quest to win back his ex-wife and former star reporter Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell) from her dull but pleasant fiance Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy, who played Randolph “not Mortimer” Duke in Trading Places and Coming to America).
From USA Today’s Dad Rock Show, Jim Lenahan visits via Skype to talk about The Blues Brothers. It’s been 35 years since the theatrical release of the action comedy about two men with a mission from God. Speaking of that mission: Jake and Elwood Blues’ quest to put the band back together in order to raise enough cash to prevent their former church-run orphanage from closing was apparently religious a theme enough for the Vatican’s official newspaper to declare it a “Catholic classic.”