A Fistful of Dollars (1964) – It’s been so long since I had seen this that all I remembered was, “Clint Eastwood gets the snot kicked out of him at one point.” It’s hard to remember that, as someone it in one of the extra features on the DVD, the modern action hero — all the swagger, the machismo, the vague moral grounding — all stem from The Man With No Name. Between this and Django (1966), the “spaghetti western” took the all-American Western genre away from morality plays of white hat vs. black hat and into the same stylized heights of image that film noir had taken the crime story.
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014) – I thought the first Night at the Museum was a cleverly done movie based on a stupid idea; I found the second one simply annoying. The third one was… I dunno, innocuous? It seemed short and thin, another excuse to wring just a bit more cash out of the franchise, but at least it didn’t irritate me as much as the second one. And the part where Larry (Ben Stiller) informs Pharaoh Merenkahre (Ben Kingsley) that all the Hebrew slaves he once owned really weren’t as happy as he thought they were… Priceless.
Catch Me If You Can (2002) – Yeah, everyone’s seen it but me, so you don’t really need me to tell you about it, do you? Sure, it’s got some of the Steven Spielberg mawkishness about it, but on the other hand, despite being an extended heist movie, it pulls off something that very few “criminal-as-hero” moves do: It doesn’t make the law enforcement officer into a bad guy. Plus, it’s fun to watch it and say, “Jeez, if i had been around fifty years ago, I could have ruled the planet!”