Funny Girl (100 Films in 2011)

by Jamie Sanford on December 18, 2011

94. Funny Girl (available for streaming via Netflix and Amazon)

Here is the trailer for Funny Girl.

[youtube w5H3Z-lTtCs]

Funny Girl is the 1968 film based on the Broadway musical.  Starring Barbra Streisand and Omar Sharif, we are told the story of Fanny Brice, or at least the fictionalized version of her, seeing as Fanny was a real person with the same basic story as the Fanny Brice in this story.

We meet Fanny when she is struggling to find her way onto the New York stage.  She auditions for anything that will come along, and ends up getting a break on roller skates that turns her luck around.  She meets a man named Nick Arnstein who helps her get a high-paying gig (while being totally handsome and charming).  Months later, she is starring in a big Ziegfeld show and Nick Arnstein shows up to celebrate with her.  They hit it off and then he vanishes off into the night to do some “business.”  Months later they meet up again, and after trying to play it cool, Fanny lets her love be known, and Nick reciprocates.

The rest of the film takes us through ups and downs in Fanny and Nick’s life, leading to an ultimate decision of whether or not they are meant to be together or not.  My husband didn’t know that this movie was mostly a love story, and expected more of a “struggle for the career she always wanted” from Fanny.  However, it is more of a love story than anything else.  It is a great, classic musical, and I definitely recommend a viewing.

Funny Girl is available on DVD from Amazon for $10.49.

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Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop (100 Films in 2011)

by Jamie Sanford on November 28, 2011

89. Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop (Available to stream on Netflix, available to rent digitally from Amazon)

Here is the trailer for Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop.

[youtube dRdpC1jtZE0]

Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop is a documentary that gives a behind-the-scenes look at the aftermath of Conan’s shortened Tonight Show run and following nationwide tour.  As someone who has never been a huge Conan person (although I was completely Team Coco while he was getting screwed by NBC), this was an interesting look at the man tied to all of the drama.

So, the beginning of the film gives us a short recap of the drama with NBC that led to Conan O’Brien walking away with $45 million, which we know now turned into a deal for him to do a show on TBS.  Soon after the end of his Tonight Show run, the tour was conceived and rehearsals began.  We are exposed to Andy Richter, Conan’s new backup singers/dancers, and his long-suffering (but hopefully well-paid) assistant, Sona.

So, Conan is really funny, but at times, incredibly exasperating.  He sells out most of the tour within minutes, and the audiences clearly love him.  He seems to be too annoyed about meeting fans and doing meet-and-greets.  Cut to Conan saying how he will never say no to someone but while he is saying it, it seems that he is relaying that he HATES it.  It sort of ruined the movie for me.  I’m sure the intent was not to make people think that Conan is a big d-bag, but it sort of made the rest of the movie hard to watch. I’m sure hardcore Conan fans will be all over this though.

Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop is available on DVD from Amazon for $16.99.

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The Captains (100 Films in 2011)

by Jamie Sanford on November 25, 2011

87. The Captains (Available to stream via Netflix and Amazon)

Here is the trailer for The Captains.

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The Captains is an ego trip for William Shatner disguised as a documentary film. Seriously, there are moments in The Captains so self-indulgent that it gets completely out of hand.  However, as someone who watched the entirety of Star Trek: The Next Generation in 2011, I am definitely interested in the idea of the film, talking to all of the actors who have played Star Trek captains over the years.

The captains were played by Avery Brooks, William Shatner, Kate Mulgrew, BAMF Sir Patrick Stewart, Scott Bakula and most recently, Chris Pine played a young Captain Kirk in the recent rebooted film series.

So, Shatner goes around the world, meeting with the captains and talking about their lives and careers as well as the impact of playing a Star Trek captain.  Interestingly, all of the actors have theatre backgrounds, which I always enjoy.  All of the television captains also talked about the hours put in playing a captain on Star Trek, apparently a job that will eat up 18 hours of your days.

If you are into Star Trek at all, a look at some of the old footage mixed with Shatner’s visit to a Star Trek convention will totally be for you. I like William Shatner even though he is a little crazy – perhaps because of it.  The Captains was a really good idea, and a strong platform for Shatner’s brand of crazy.

BAMF Patrick Stewart at his countryside home in England that is very reminiscent of the Picard home on TNG. (Can you tell that I have a lot of love for Sir Patrick?)

The Captains is available on DVD from Amazon for $12.99.

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Nothing But Trouble (100 Films in 2011)

by Jamie Sanford on October 10, 2011

75. Nothing But Trouble (available for streaming on Netflix and Amazon Instant Video)

Here is the trailer for Nothing But Trouble.

[youtube o0Q1vQkJqC8]

Nothing But Trouble is a movie I had completely forgotten about, but was reminded of by my wonderful friend Tiffany.  I watched this movie on a sketchy VHS a lot of times, because I didn’t remember the beginning so much.  Anyway, the story centers around Chevy Chase, a financial publisher (important distinction) and Demi Moore, a lawyer who has been screwed over by her client/boyfriend.  They intend to crash an event in Atlantic City, end up taking some of Chevy Chase’s Brazilian clients with them on their road trip.

A little detour for a picnic results in a high-speed chase, a pat-down by John Candy, and a trip to a little town called Valkenvania. They have a showdown with a creepy judge played by Dan Akroyd, who is scary and a bit gross in this movie.

They get detained for the night, and the rest of the movie is dealing with a giant crazy mansion, bizarre characters, and an appearance by Digital Underground, which at the time featured a young Tupac Shakur.  This movie nearly defines the word random.

Nothing But Trouble is available on DVD from Amazon for $5.98.

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