I just got back from STAR WARS: The Force Awakens (don’t worry, no spoilers here) and despite a little nausea—to minimize my coughing I sucked on a shit-ton of menthol—I feel pretty good. So I’ll do a post on last week’s movies while that holds up.
WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE (2015) is a Ghibli anime in which a lonely young girl visits relatives in the country, then befriends another equally lonely girl living at the supposedly haunted old mansion nearby. A girl who’s oddly secretive about letting anyone know they’re friends … This turns out to be a ghost story, not time travel, but it’s close enough to the border I’m glad I checked it out. Dull for my taste, though, a standard teen-bonding tale with a minimal supernatural element. “She gave away the girl when it was obvious she couldn’t care for her—that was about 10 years ago.”
As I mentioned previously, I spent a listless afternoon flipping through a film reference book, then hunting interesting-sounding entries down on YouTube. HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION (1967) stars Robert Wagner as a young social climber determined to prove to dream girl Jill St. John and her wealthy father Peter Lawford that he’s made himself every bit their equal. While St. John is delighted to see him again, however, Wagner finds himself passing her up for the imagined chance to one-up Lawford, whether by outplaying him at sports or by exposing his possible crooked dealings. Too bad Wagner never really grasps how out of his league he is … With Walter Pidgeon as an affable interrogator (“He died of a heart attack—with your imagination you’d probably think it was a air bubble injected into his veins.”) and Michael Ansara as a flunky (all rights to poster belong with current holder). “To the victor go the spoils—so what do you want?”
HOW TO STEAL AN AIRPLANE (1971) has Ben Duel as one half of the repo team trying to reclaim a million-dollar airplane from Central American playboy Sal Mineo—something of a challenge as Mineo’s father is the country’s dictator (“Our paperwork is legal … at any court in the United States.”). This starts well but the slow, heavy pace undercuts things to the point I lost interest. “The first thing they teach a CIA agent is 900 ways to prove he’s not a CIA agent.”