Thursday, March 31, 2011
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
Dir - Frank Oz
One of the 80s comedies I somehow managed to not see over the past twentysomething years. Fun give and take between Caine and Martin with some very funny scenes. I was kind of lukewarm on the film as a whole until the last act and then I realized I enjoyed it more than I thought. Glenne Headly is wonderful as the mark, and quite pretty to boot. Now I need to watch the source material, Bedtime Story (1964).
The Pit (1981)
Dir - Lew Lehman
A very disturbed child with a talking teddy bear, a love for spying on naked older women and a secret large hole in the ground with savage "tra-la-logs" makes for a fun, and a bit crazy, horror flick. Takes a while to get started but the last act is nuts and fairly violent.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Scream of the Banshee (2011)
Dir - Steven C. Miller
Some people out there really rag on me for wanting to watch all of those SyFy Original Movies. I can understand why you might not be into these cheesy, bad acted, all around ridiculous flicks, but I have fun with them. Every once in a while one of the films is actually pretty good and this is one of them. Some of the acting is bad, but not all, the family plot line doesn't go anywhere and is a tad stupid. There is some CGI and it is bad. The good news is that the majority of the FX are practical and look pretty damn good. Some of the language was edited for SyFy and on IMDb it lists this as being rated R. There are a couple scenes that could have nudity so I wonder what all is left out.
Fun Fact: The writer, Anthony C. Ferrante, has a background in FX, was one of the zombies in last week's Horror Movie Night selection The Video Dead and was a production assistant on the infamous Clownhouse.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Road Trip: Beer Pong (2009)
Dir - Steve Rash
I really enjoyed the first Road Trip film by Todd Phillips. It had a great cast and some really funny moments, but this direct-to-DVD sequel does not measure up. It does have a couple funny moments, some cool trick beer pong shots and some very hot girls. It's not enough though. The whole story is kinda lame, most of the jokes fail and the stoner friend's fried speech patterns sound like nails on a chalkboard. Can't believe Danny Pudi is in this, he's much better on Community. DJ Qualls takes over the Tom Green role of the inappropriate tour guide storyteller, and the same slutty mom is in the group with her daughter this time. Not a very good sex comedy, but much better than some. I say just watch the first film again instead of spending 90 minutes on this.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Dir - Stanley Donen
Picked this up on Blu from a sale at a closing Border's Books. Very funny and at times a little suspenseful. Hepburn is just darling and you can't go wrong with a cast boasting both Walter Matthau and George Kennedy! The Criterion Blu-Ray transfer of this Technicolor film is gorgeous to boot.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Tales from the Hood (1995)
Dir - Rusty Cundieff
Overall this isn't too bad. Love the Funeral Director character. The frist three tales build up and get better but any fun/build is ruined by the last story. The moral message is so thick that it becomes laughably ridiculous.
Friday, March 25, 2011
The Night Porter aka Il portiere di notte (1974)
Dir - Liliana Cavani
I didn't figure this movie would be a light film for the night but it's a lot more dark and depressing than I figured. Hard to wrap this up as I feel it will stick with me for a while. It's very good and there are some exciting, sexual moments but they are wrapped in crushing guilt, a horrible atrocity against mankind and the twisted affair it creates. A dark, dark film.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
The Video Dead (1987)
Dir - Robert Scott
Horror Movie Night
I'm always happy when I get around to watching an older zombie movie. It makes me happy. I've been meaning to see this for quite sometime and now, thanks to HMN, I have. This flick won't be jumping into my top ten living dead movies anytime soon but it has a few redeeming qualities and a couple of good gore gags. But bad, bad acting.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Wassup Rockers (2005)
Dir - Larry Clark
I can completely understand why people don't like Larry Clark. The man is kind of an acquired taste. This film isn't much different than his others in the way that I find myself almost bored for the first half and then something happens that makes me realized I'm entirely engrossed in these characters' strange lives. By the end of the film I feel like I want to hang out with these kids and miss the days many years, and pounds, ago when I would ride my skateboard and attempt to be half as cool. There are a few surprises along the way but a fairly accessible Clark film for people to check out without as much "dirty stuff" as Kids or the notorious Ken Park. There is also a kick-ass soundtrack that I'm downloading as I write this!
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
The Stunt Man (1980)
Dir - Richard Rush
A mind bending exercise in reality and imagination with some great (duh) stunt work. Railsback is great but O'Toole rocks the role of the large ego director. A fun ride all around.
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
Dir - Justin Lin
I had only seen the first two and never really cared to see this but I decided to go ahead for two reasons. 1 - I want to watch the newer (fourth) film and feel I needed to see this first for some reason. 2 - I saw this has Zachery Ty Bryan (Home Improvement) in it. Sold! Some of the car chases/races are pretty cool but the story is so damn boring and the lead, Lucas Black, is the worst. Even Bow Wow was a better actor than him. My least favorite of the series, so far, for sure. Guess we'll see what part four and the upcoming part five bring.
The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother (1975)
Dir - Gene Wilder
This title sounded familiar when I saw it on the guide for TCM but I didn't realize Gene Wilder wrote, directed and starred in this. Funny with some truly great scenes and I love Marty Feldman. He has some great/crazy eyes.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Little Monsters (1989)
Dir - Richard Greenberg
For some reason I felt like watching this after having not seen it in MANY years, and that may not have been the best decision. I can't say I did or didn't like it but I have no real feelings for it either way. On the up side it has Daniel Stern. On the downside a lot of the monters' make-up is horrible. On the up side - it has Daniel Stern. On the downside Howie Mandel is pretty creepy/inappropriate around these 6th graders. Something about him flicking his tongue about while hovering over a sleeping 11/12 year old girl is quite odd. But hey, it has Daniel Stern!
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Caddyshack II (1988)
Dir - Allan Arkush
Thought I'd seen this before, but if I had I blocked it out of my memory completely. But I guess that wouldn't be too hard to do. Except for a few chuckle worthy scenes this is completely ridiculous in a bad way. Even the gopher was cheesy and lame.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Psychos in Love (1987)
Dir - Gorman Bechard
Very fun and self-aware horror comedy that was filmed especially for the home video market. Things get quite silly and a little long at times but it always brings back the laughs. There are also numerous, identical, tirades about how much the main characters hate grapes. Never knew someone had such strong feelings about fruit. Great fun!
Video Violence... When Renting Is Not Enough (1987)
Dir - Gary Cohen
Horror Movie Night
This shot-on-video horror flick was my choice for the Horror Movie Night bye week and it was a good one! Very low production values, as you can imagine, but a lot of fun with much better acting than expected. The synth score and bloody FX are fun and you can tell real horror fans made this. Love that it's centered around a video store. It made me nostalgic and miss those mom-and-pop days.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Hot T-Shirts (1980)
Dir - Chuck Vincent
I've seen this VHS cover many times in my years but nothing could prepare me for how "blah" this movie is. I knew it had something to do with a wet t-shirt contest but that's ALL it's about. Gets very boring. I know, I know. A movie about wet t-shirt contests, with tons of nude/semi-nude girls, is boring. I don't think there's really any comedy in the film because not a damn thing is funny. I hear Vincent's previous film Summer Camp is better and I'll give it a try, but I may have to have some alcohol first.
Friday the 13th, Part IV: The Final Chapter (1984)
Dir - Joseph Zito
As we all know this was not really the "final chapter". Why these guys ever thought they could kill off this franchise so early is beyond me. This is probably my favorite of the films but we'll have to wait and see what I think after re-watching the rest of them. I do love Part VI quite a bit too.
This entry has a pretty good body count, the most nudity (according to IMDb), crazy Corey Feldman and one hell of a dance from Mr. Crispin Hellion Glover! I love young Tommy Jarvis' masks, and puppets, that he makes alone in his room. He's based a lot on make-up man Tom Savini, but the fact that he could achieve the professional level he does without any training. Don't think I could ever get tired of watching this entry in the F13th franchise, now I just need a remastered Blu-Ray please.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Immigrants (L.A. Dolce Vita) (2008)
Dir - Gabor Csupo
I heard of this a while back because it has a character voiced by Hank Azaria and is made by a former Simpsons head animator. Most, however, will know Csupo as the creator of Rugrats and a few other Nickelodeon shows. If you didn't already know that it would be hard not to figure that out by the animation style. I was never really a fan of Rugrats since I didn't have cable when I was younger (and I think I was past the age of its prime demographic anyway) but I thought this was great. It feels a little disjointed as a feature story, more like a few episodes strung together. After doing a little digging online I see that it was supposed to be a series on Spike. I really wish this would have gone to series because I really liked the style, writing and characters. I'm sure there could be some great things to come from it. Maybe someday in the future something else will happen with Vlad and Joska.
Winter's Bone (2010)
Dir - Debra Granik
It took me a while to get to this one, but I'm glad I finally watched it. A great film with wonderful performances and beautiful cinematography but I think it's going to sit with me for a day or two before I form a real opinion. It's not at all what I was expecting, much smaller and quieter, but the tale it tells is definitely special.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Dir - Ivan Reitman
Somehow I have managed to not see this over the last 30 years, but thanks to Netflix Instant I can now cross it off my list. The only scene I had seen was, of course, the one involving mud wrestling. Must have been something a fried had when I was younger and we fast forwarded to. Those were the days. This has a great cast and is pretty damn funny. Not to mention it has P.J. Soles and I just think she's the cutest!
Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
Dir - Steve Miner
It's been quite a while since I've seen this one. So long in fact that I forgot the majority of story, and especially Manfredini's bitchin' disco take on the F13th score in the opening/closing credits! Some of the deaths here are pretty cool and you have to give respect to the entry in the franchise in which Jason gets his infamous mask. The movie is pretty cheesy and I don't really have as much fun with these characters as with some from the other installments. I tried to count how many "coming-right-at-you" 3-D scenes there were and I lost count. I can tell you for sure that there are no less than twenty-five such scenes! My favorite has to be the near minute spent on a shot of the ground's view of a yo-yo. I can only imagine the theater full of giggling horror fans grasping at the air. Of course, I see kids and adults alike doing the same thing today at 3-D films. Some things never change.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
The Great Dictator (1940)
Dir - Charles Chaplin
What a great film! Chaplin should really be commended for not only making something so ballsy for the time but being able to mix comedy, drama and a strong message so well. Some scenes (notably the pudding scene and Hynkel with the globe) had me laughing, while others I found somewhat frightening and sad. It's said Chaplin didn't know to what extent the Nazis would go and he wouldn't have taken certain things so lightly, but it's hard to forget that now while watching. Still a triumph of a movie.
Trouble Man (1972)
Dir - Ivan Dixon
Every blaxploitation film that Lars programs for WW is always a winner. I'm so glad I saw this and will have to buy it ASAP. The actors are all great, but what elevates it is Marvin Gaye's awesome score! There is also a great small part played by Gordon "Molesting Dudley" Jump. Surprised to only see him in one scene.
Watch this movie!
Mardi Gras Massacre (1978)
Dir - Jack Weis
Horror Movie Night
This was my pick. I had never seen it and thought it'd be a good one for Ash Wednesday since it was a Video Nasty and all. It's not that great, but does have a few merits.
Look for my full review next week on Gordon and the Whale.
American Nightmare (1983)
Dir - Don McBrearty
Shame on me. I watched this about a week ago and somehow forgot to add it in here.
The film is about a wealthy guy going into the seedy side of the city where his sister has gone missing. He deals with pimps, strippers, prostitutes and a bunch of unsavory characters. It seems that a large chunk of the running time is spent in various strip bars showing girls gyrating on stage nude. This serves no purpose to the plot except to show a little more skin. Aside from the gratuitous strippers the flick isn't too bad and has some interesting turns.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Dir - Peter Hyams
Any movie that starts off with someone blasting confederate soldiers away with automatic weapons has to be good, right? Also... Worst. Futuristic Cars. EVER. It does have a villain with the world's craziest mullet though.
Mega Python vs Gatoroid (2011)
Dir - Mary Lambert
SyFy Original Movie
About what I expected but still fun. I don't think any of these films can top the awesomeness of Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus, but I'm glad they keep trying. The Debbie Gibson and Tiffany showdown is great and love all of the little inside jokes with lines from their songs. RIP Micky Dolenz :)
Crazy that this was directed by Pet Sematary's Mary Lambert.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Snakes (1974) aka Fangs
Dir - Art Names
So this is a Weird Wednesday favorite at the Drafthouse in Austin and it is only fitting they show it for the 10th anniversary of the program. This is very special with a bunch of hot snake action. It's a blend of snakesploitation, hicksploitation and, as my buddy dubbed it, Sousasploitation! I have never heard so much love for the march man John Philip Sousa as I did in this film. Bonus points for having the actress who played Large Marge in Pee Wee's Big Adventure in this as an odd lesbian general store owner in love with the 4th grade teacher.
The Curse (1987)
Dir - David Keith
Horror Movie Night
Semi-faithful Lovecraft adaptation with Wil Wheaton, one of the Dukes of Hazzard and maggot filled apples. Really liked how a character just disappears and how everyone treats a ~8 foot in diameter glowing meteorite like it's no big deal. Guess that's what Tennesseans did in the 80s.
My full thoughts will be on Gordon and the Whale next Wednesday!
The King's Speech (2010)
Dir - Tom Hooper
Sad I waited until after the Oscars to see this, but glad I saw it in the theater. Really great film. I see why it won Best Picture. Very award-like. Wonderful story, score, acting and cinematography. This film is even more special knowing how much the story meant to the writer, 73 year-old David Seidler. How he wrote to the Queen Mother asking permission and waited until her death, per her request, before going ahead with any production. I found it inspiring but I can see why those who have suffered from a stutter, or other speech impediment, get a lot more out of the film.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
Dir - Robert Aldrich
Intense thriller with some stellar performances by leading ladies Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. It's equal parts creepy and sad, but there are still a few moments of levity - like Buono's priceless facial expressions during his first meeting with Davis. So glad they chose, allegedly on Davis' insistence, to ditch color in favor of black and white. Color would have totally changed the mood for the worse.
Also, I really think the song Baby Jane is famous for ("I'm Sending a Letter to Daddy") sounds a lot like "I'm Getting Nuttin' for Christmas".