Thursday, 16 June 2016

Thursday Movie Picks: Store/Supermarket/Mall Movies

There were a few others I really wanted to pick but I think I have been hanging onto a couple of these for ages waiting for the right theme to use them. Don't forget to check out what Wandering Through the Shelves picked, the blog that started Thursday Movie Picks.

Empire Records

 The Prince Charles Cinema in London have hosted a Rex Manning Day a few times and every time I want to go but I've got no one to go with me. No one loves this film as much as me. Its such a crazy group of, dare I say it, misfits and their worn out manager. The actual store is amazing and I wish I could live in it. But as music is not really my thing, I would replace it all with movies. It also represents a time when the indie stores were being bought out by the chain stores but then of course now all the chain stores are shutting down and losing out to the internet. A bit like You've Got Mail. Anyway for those yet to see this 90s gem, the film takes places over one day where staff try to make back the money that one lost to buy the store before its taken over my the big bad Music Town company.
The Shop Around the Corner

Speaking of You've Got Mail, TSATC was actually the precursor to the modern adaptation of the play. Starring James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan as the co-workers who don't get along in the shop where they work but are actually slowly falling in love through letter correspondence. It a great film and I actually wrote a comparison post some months ago. That has all I can say about this amazing film.
Be Kind Rewind

I didn't think of Michel Gondry's film straight away but it suits this theme perfectly. Be Kind Rewind, a VHS rental store, a dying breed. Again what is strange that even back in 2008, Movie Rental stores were shutting down, ones with DVDs. The film was behind the times slightly but that's not what it was really about. It's more about what Mos Def and Jack Black do when the latter stupidly erases the tapes by being magnetized. They recreate the films using craft and imagination. Their versions are pretty brilliant actually but there was something sad about this film too. Gondry gets in to include his make-shift craft animation that appears in The Science of Sleep (loved) and Mood Indigo (hated). The end film with everyone watching is amazing and probably my favourite bit.


  1. I haven't seen any of these movies but they all sound amazing!

  2. wendell ottley16 June 2016 at 04:53

    Nice call with Be Kind Rewind. That's such a bittersweet film. One of Jack Black's best performances. By best, I mean, least annoying. I've only seen Empire Records in bits and pieces. Need to give it a proper viewing. Haven't seen the other, at all.

  3. Birgit Bedesky16 June 2016 at 19:35

    I picked In the Good Old Summertime which is a remake of The Shop Around The Corner which...gulp....I have not yet seen! Jimmy Stewart is my favourite actor and I must see this film this year finally! I haven't seen the other 2 but the first one sounds like fun. I can only take Jack Black in small doses

  4. I LOVE Empire Records so so much! I totally forgot about it this week. The other two I haven't seen but have certainly heard of. Great picks!

  5. I haven't seen Be Kind Rewind mostly because of my indifference to Jack Black but the other two are great picks! How funny to watch Empire Records now and be filled with nostalgia for something of such recent vintage but as you said even big chain music stores have gone the way of the Dodo. Such an eclectic cast all doing good work, even Zellweger who by and large I'm allergic to, though I enjoyed Anthony LaPaglia most.

    I LOVE The Shop Around the Corner, I don't know how it never occurred to me. Probably since I've used it previously. The Judy Garland remake is sweet though I hated You've Got Mail but this is without question the best version of the story. Jimmy Stewart and Maggie Sullavan are irresistible but it's the other people who surround them in the shop that makes this so special. Frank Morgan just rips your heart out as the shop owner, this is my favorite performance of his and I'll never understand how it escaped awards attention.

    Some weeks I struggle for picks but these three came to me as soon as I read the theme. One goofy fun, one fun with underlying social commentary and one dark drama.

    Who’s Minding the Store? (1963)-Dog walker Norman (Jerry Lewis) loves the beautiful Barbara (Jill St. John) but Barbara’s from money, a fact Norman is unaware of. Her family owns a highly successful department store and her mother, Mrs. Tuttle (Agnes Moorehead) is determined to break them up. Norman goes to work in the store and tries to prove himself while Mrs. Tuttle’s minion, Mr. Quimby (Ray Walston) gives him ever more humiliating tasks. Typical Lewis comedy is a bit sweeter than usual and has a great cast.

    The Devil and Miss Jones (1941)-Annoyed to hear workers at one of his stores are trying to form a union the world's richest man John P. Merrick (Charles Coburn) decides to check it out for himself. Going incognito he gets a job there on the hunt for what he sees as troublemakers but discovers instead that the employee’s grips are legitimate when he befriends Miss Mary Jones (Jean Arthur), another worker at the store. In time Merrick ends up carrying the flag for the workers to be treated decently…and maybe has found a love of his own. Played for laughs but with an underlying serious social tone.

    Employees Entrance (1933)-Harsh pre-code tells the story of a soulless bastard (Warren William) and what he does as he ruthlessly oversees the running of a large department store during the depression. He thinks nothing of trading work for sexual favors, throwing people out of work who displease him, demeaning his employees sometimes to the point of suicide. A candid if unpleasant portrait of a contemptible man all the more vivid because of being produced just before the Hays Office would have made its production unthinkable.

  6. All I'm writing today is "I haven't seen any of these" and "I should really watch Empire Records"