Friday, February 21, 2020

20th Century Fox is Dead. Long Live 20th Century Fox!


Not Fox News though. That can rot in hell.


After Disney’s successful acquisition of the film and TV arms of the Fox empire, the mouse decided to drop ‘Fox’ from the name altogether, branding the new company 20th Century Studios. This week’s new release The Call of the Wild is the first film to be branded as such. On one hand, it makes sense that Disney would prefer to drop the Fox brand, especially considering some of the baggage that comes with it. But on the other, life will NEVER be the same without the triumphant fanfare accompanying a 20th Century Fox logo before a new release.

But alas, life moves on and for now at least, there is at least some semblance of the studio that brought us classics like The Sound of Music, Star Wars, and Airheads. In honor of the beloved departed, let’s take a look back at some swell Fox films.


Die Hard

Ah, Die Hard. The perennial favorite film of Jake Peralta as well as many other real people. John McTiernan’s Die Hard helped shape the late 80s and 90s action movies probably more than any other, so much so that it created it’s own spin-off genre: Die Hard on a ____. While every December that rolls around brings another argument of whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas film (it totally is), these quibbles completely miss the point that it is a near perfect film that can be watched any damn day of the year. It’s secondsequel is not too shabby either.


Speed

Speaking of Die Hard ...

I love Speed. I’ve made this clear before and it’s entirely possible this entire post is just an excuse to bring it up again. I get chills watching this scene (any scene really) or even the excellent trailer. From Jan de Bont’s superb first-time direction to Keanu and Sandra’s great chemistry to the awesome score by Mark Mancina, I will always watch Speed when I stumble across it on TV. And then, probably get pissed at the commercial breaks and start it over on Blu-ray.


Office Space

My first memory of watching Office Space was a Friday night on HBO when I was as sick as a dog. At that point, I was probably just out of high school without any real sense of the workforce save for my regular shifts at Subway. But as I’ve gotten older and my career has aligned more with Peter’s, I find more and more to love in Mike Judge’s film. Even seeing a revival screening about 10 years ago with a rowdy crowd quoting lines cannot dampen the hilarious, yet depressing, slice of life shown here.


While it remains to be seen exactly what the new 20th Century Studios will look like, we can remain hopeful that it will be great again. RIP in peace.


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