Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Last night's movies

They Live (1988) -- somebody needs to put Rowdy Roddy Piper in more movies. It's criminal that a no-talent prima donna like Hulk Hogan has his own reality show and Piper is ... wherever Piper is. Bite me, Mr. Nanny, and stay the hell off my TV. Anyway, I'd never seen this one before and I liked it a lot. The fight in the alley is awesome. You rarely see guys beat the crap out of each other like that in movies. As my husband pointed out while we were watching, it's a pretty subversive movie to unleash on Reagan's America. It would make a fun double feature with Equilibrium.

Frankenstein Created Woman (1967) -- Hammer horror weirdness! Peter Cushing manages to scientifically verify something about the soul, and how it exists after death and apparently can be transferred into holding areas and other bodies. And sometimes you can put two souls in the same body. So sometimes the guy soul sharing a girl body with the girl's soul can take over and seduce and murder people he wants revenge on. Oh, weird English horror movies! I love how you just end when enough major characters are dead!

Elf (2003) -- if you hate Chrstmas movies where it's very important for families to love each other and resurrect the True Spirit of Christmas, this isn't the movie for you. It's a very uncynical children's movie, and I did like it but it's extremely sweet, like maple syrup and M&Ms on spaghetti. I'll say this though: it's probably the first post-9/11 children's film to demonize the NYPD (in this case, the Central Park Rangers mounted patrol). And I mean literally demonize, as they were presented much like the Ringwraiths from LotR. Bizarre!

Catching up the dream journal

A quick check of our movie calendar shows that I left out two selections from earlier in the month:

The Boston Strangler (1968) -- I wasn't familiar with this movie, so I didn't really know what to expect from a true crime story starring Tony Curtis as the Boston Strangler. You know what? It's worth watching. Good performances and interesting direction, including a lot of split-screen stuff that was used to good effect. This sure as hell isn't Pillow Talk. When it was released the studio apparently promoted it like an exploitation film, but it doesn't really play like one today.

The Brother from Another Planet (1984) -- our TiVo picked up this early John Sayles film from the time just after he got to stop writing scripts for Jaws ripoffs like Pirahna and Alligator and was allowed to start making his interesting character pieces. Sure, the lead character (Joe Morton) is a mute, 3-toed alien, but most of the film just follows him around New York City as he meets different people and they have very one-sided conversations with him. It's also fun for pointing at actors in small parts and saying, "Hey, it's Fisher Stevens! Hey, it's David Straithairn! Hey, it's the grandma from Family Matters!" Gather up your friends who enjoy offbeat indies and make them watch this.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Dream Journal Update

I've gotten behind on logging our nightly movies. We've watched:

Carnival of Souls (1962) -- again, with Mike Nelson commentary. I really dug this movie. How can you go wrong with an emotionally disconnected athiest church organist who is compelled to visit a long-abandoned Mormon amusement park?

Double Indemnity (1944) -- I read the novel years ago and I'm pretty sure the ending is different, but I can't remember exactly what happens. It's always weird to see Fred MacMurray as a killer with a tendency to refer to women as "baby". He's equally evil in The Apartment, but in a different way.

Autofocus (2002) -- well, that couldn't have been any more depressing. Greg Kinnear is really good in this, and it's too bad people don't give him more credit for his acting ability. I know, I remember him as the Talk Soup Guy too. When I was a kid, my parents mentioned to me several times that one of my mom's college roommates (from the Dallas area, where he did dinner theater) went out with Bob Crane a few times. There's no way they have any clue about what he was into or they probably wouldn't think that was something to brag about, especially to a little kid. Yikes.

Blacula (1972) -- this was better than I thought it would be, with an unsurprisingly awesome soundtrack. Now we have to rent Scream, Blacula, Scream with Pam Grier, the Queen of All Women.

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) -- dude, I nearly choked to death laughing at the rumble scene. How did I never hear about that? Completely unexpected. And the rest of the movie was funny too.

We also spent an evening watching my new DVD set of Carmen Electra's Aerobic Striptease. Stop laughing; it's good, not-boring exercise! And in case you're wondering, she doesn't get naked in the videos. I've always wanted to be healthier and a better dancer, so this is probably my only chance to realize that dream in one shot. I realize that at best, I'll probably end up with all the natural dancing mojo of Napoleon Dynamite.

It seems like we watched other movies too, but I'll be danged if I can remember what right now. It was a really weird week. We did finish watching all the episodes of Lost from last year, so we're geared up for the season premier September 21st.

This video makes me happy

This is a video of a guy skateboarding in a bowl (like an empty indoor swimming pool) full of blue balloons. Wheeee!

Link originally seen on Pop Culture Junk Mail.