Let’s Get Ready to Rumble

Let’s Get Ready to Rumble: Introduction

Posted by on Dec 30, 2011 in Let's Get Ready to Rumble | 0 comments

Let’s Get Ready to Rumble: Introduction

“I loved the movies as a kid. I used to go to a helluva lot. … I have great memories from Saturday morning pictures. I’d be into whatever was showing. If it was a pirate movie, I would be a pirate, and if it was a Western I would be a cowboy; or I’d come out as D’Artagnan and fence all the way home. It was a great fantasy land for me, the movies.” – Richard Starkey, aka Ringo Starr If you just read the title of this chapter and instinctively turned the page, well, first of all you’re...

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Indiana Jones series (1981, 1984, & 1989)

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Indiana Jones series (1981, 1984, & 1989)

Disclaimer: Each film includes one utterance of “shit,” extensive violence, some mild gore, scares, and sexuality. For the purpose of this joke, let’s assume there are two types of people in this world: history geeks (historians) and movie nerds (cineastes). How do you tell them apart, you may ask? That’s easy. Just ask them who stopped the Nazis. The geeks will likely say the Russians, citing a turning point in World War II, while the nerds will say Indiana Jones, referring to a turning point...

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

Disclaimer: Some mild violence, scary villains, and rum. What began as a shameful two-hour advertisement for Disney’s theme park ride ended up being a hugely successful blockbuster and an excellent swashbuckler, driven almost entirely by Johnny Depp’s hilarious performance. The film initially follows the governor’s daughter Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), who for many years held onto a pirate medallion. But when that medallion eventually touches the water, an infamous ghost ship called The...

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Shane (1953)

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Shane (1953)

Disclaimer: Fight scenes that make Rocky look like a sissy. Shane has come to be widely considered one of the greatest Westerns ever made and remains in an elite group of the greatest American films as well. On the surface, Shane seems no more special than most Westerns from the 50s, but what sets this one apart from the others with nearly identical plotlines is the inclusion of a child named Joey. He’s an innocent observer of brutality throughout the film (peeping through holes in walls or...

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The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

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The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

Disclaimer: Plenty of treason, treachery, and tights to go around. Many well-seasoned actors have donned a green hat and poured themselves into tights to portray Robin Hood – including Kevin Costner, John Cleese, Cary Elwes, Douglas Fairbanks, Russell Crowe, and Sean Connery, but Errol Flynn’s portrayal in this Technicolor classic is the one against which all others came to be measured. The story, as we all should know by now, places King Richard at battle in the Crusades. While away, his...

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The Mummy (1999) & The Mummy Returns (2001)

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The Mummy (1999) & The Mummy Returns (2001)

Disclaimer: Some tame sexuality and scary moments. There was very little that I remember actually looking forward to in an elementary school day. Maybe gym. Probably art. Definitely recess. But like dinosaurs and the planets, most young boys (myself included) always looked forward to studying ancient Egypt (and most girls I knew enjoyed it, too). As such, rambunctious youngsters will love these films from the very first shot, where we are swept through an Egyptian city recreated with computer...

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Jason and the Argonauts (1963)

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Jason and the Argonauts (1963)

Disclaimer: Some fairly freaky claymation monsters and violence. You’ve likely heard of Jim Henson, Walt Disney, Hayao Miyazaki, John Lasseter, George Lucas, and Willis O’Brien, who are universally considered giants in their respective realms of film animation. One name blatantly absent from the list that you probably haven’t heard of is Ray Harryhausen, whose work on The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Mighty Joe Young, Clash of the Titans, and, most memorably, Jason and the Argonauts, set an...

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Kung Fu Panda (2008)

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Kung Fu Panda (2008)

Disclaimer: Violence and obesity, obviously, plus a family film death that won’t scar kids or orphan the main character. What a concept! Previous to Kung Fu Panda, the collective credits of co-directors Mark Osborne and John Stevenson included little more than some animating for Madagascar and Shrek, and directing episodes of Spongebob Squarepants and a Weird Al video. Similarly, the four writers behind Panda’s story and screenplay had such highlights as episodes of King of the Hill and the...

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Kung Fu Hustle (2004)

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Kung Fu Hustle (2004)

Disclaimer: Lots and lots of cartoonish violence. The poster for Kung Fu Hustle says everything you need to know. A man, who from the title we can guess to be a martial artist, holds a lollipop in one hand and a hatchet in the other, against a background of huge explosions. Stephen Chow’s best film thus far has tons of iconic fighting and action, a strong sense of childlike innocence, and an excellent sense of humor. If you’re not familiar with Chow, he’s Hong Kong’s answer to Mel Gibson or...

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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) & Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959)

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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) & Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959)

Disclaimer: Square-jawed men and passive women at odds against nature. Just like his devoted readers, the world of cinema has had a great fascination with the inventive French fantasy/adventure novelist Jules Verne. His novels projected our minds to the future, where flying machines and underwater contraptions were a reality. He took us to mystical lands, though they often weren’t far from our own. While our minds had to provide the images for a few decades, the cinema trailed just behind with...

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The Time Machine (1960)

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The Time Machine (1960)

Disclaimer: Some violence and cannibalism between Aryans and Morlocks. H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine resembles a literary mixture of Jules Verne (with every element of the epic science fiction film) and George Orwell, adding up to a dystopian future. George Pal’s filmic adaptation, ultimately, will be remembered as a classic sci-fi movie (much better than the horrid 2002 remake) for its excellent effects and lavish sets, but, like the novel, it presents a wider, socio-political scope about the...

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Let’s Get Ready to Rumble: Other Recommended Titles

Posted by on Dec 23, 2011 in Let's Get Ready to Rumble | 0 comments

Let’s Get Ready to Rumble: Other Recommended Titles

Raising Arizona (1987): The Coen Brothers’ hysterically funny second feature follows the unstable marriage of a convenience store thief (Nicolas Cage) and police officer (Holly Hunter) that turns cartoonishly violent with the theft of a quintuplet, escape of two inmates, and introduction of a bounty hunter with nifty pyrotechnics. Rocky I, II, III, and IV (1975-1985): Kids will find much of the first two films boring, but the third and fourth installments have enough fighting to keep them on...

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Let’s Get Ready to Rumble: For Adults Only

Posted by on Dec 22, 2011 in Let's Get Ready to Rumble | 0 comments

Let’s Get Ready to Rumble: For Adults Only

Leon: The Professional (1994): Remember when you had a crush on a teacher? Well this takes that feeling to the extreme as a young Natalie Portman hoping for revenge falls for an introverted hit man (Jean Reno) in this cult classic from Luc Besson.

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