Calvin & Hobbes, religious epics & time travel: movies I’ve watched (#SFWApro)

I assumed WHEN JEWS WERE FUNNY (2013) was a documentary about Jewish comedians, but instead it’s a Talking Heads film with an interviewer asking various comics and comedy writers what makes Jews so funny, whether they are, in fact, all that funny, and whether they were funnier back in the days of Henny Youngman. This had its moments, but the heads weren’t offering enough interesting talk for me. “So he turns and yells at me ‘Tunic, let’s get going.’”

DEAR MR. WATTERSON (2013) is much a better, looking back at the Calvin and Hobbes strip, its fans and its notoriously publicity-shy creator. Like Back in Time this has generic quality when discussing the strip’s impact on readers and other cartoonists (which is not to say it doesn’t deserve the admiration, it certainly does) but gets more interesting when discussing Watterson’s Sunday pages as a throw-back to an earlier generation of strips, the creator’s point-blank refusal to allow any merchandising, and other creators’ mixed reactions. Several interviewees are pleasantly surprised that the no-merchandising decision doesn’t appear to affect the strip’s continued success (“I thought it would end up like Krazy Kat or Pogo, a strip you mention with reverence but nobody reads.”). And as with so many other fields, there’s an agreement the changing media landscape means it’s unlikely we’ll see hit of that magnitude again (I’m inclined to agree hopscotching to different websites isn’t as easy as when the strips were all gathered together in one place, at a decent size). All rights to image with current holder. “If he licensed Hobbes dolls, it would settle once and for all whether Hobbes is real or a stuffed toy—there he is, a stuffed toy.”
HAIL, CAESAR! (2016) is the Coen Brothers film starring Josh Brolin as a fictionalized version of fixer Eddie Mannix, alongside George Clooney as the nitwit star of the eponymous religious epic, kidnapped and converted by Communist screenwriters (“Doug wrote All the Way to Uruguay but did he see a penny of the profits?”). This is such a movie-lover’s movie I was surprised TYG liked it too, but she did; cast includes Channing Tatum as a Commie homosexual (the ultimate enemy of American decency!), Tilda Swinton as twin gossip columnists, Frances McDormand as a film editor, Scarlett Johansson as a star with an inconvenient pregnancy and Ralph Fiennes as a director. “That’s exactly what happened to me when I went to Reno with Danny Kaye and he asked me to shave his back!”
THE VISITORS 2—THE CORRIDORS OF TIME (1998) has Jean Reno discover that Christian Clavier’s squire trading places with his descendant has disrupted the time stream catastrophically, forcing everyone to jump back and forth through the ages to get things sorted out. This is more frantic than the first film for much lower returns. “Virgin boy, be vigorous with your beloved on your wedding night.”


Filed under Movies, Now and Then We Time Travel

3 responses to “Calvin & Hobbes, religious epics & time travel: movies I’ve watched (#SFWApro)

  1. Pingback: My final time travel movie post? (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  2. Pingback: Neo-noir drama, Person of Interest and other films and TV watched (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  3. Pingback: Blackhawk, Black Hollywood and Corrupt Hollywood: books read (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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