Saturday, June 30, 2012

(30) Stars of Summer - Day 30: Jamie Lee Curtis

Holy shit you guys it's finally over.

Thanks again to everyone who took part in the very first (only?) (30) Stars of Summer. It's not easy to watch a new movie every day, so the commitment everyone has shown -- whether it was just one or two days or every day -- is very much appreciated. It's been great reading the reactions to a lot of these movies as people watch them for the first time, and I know I've got several more movies I now want to check out based on what someone wrote.

You guys are the best. Now let's watch a movie starring this gorgeous hermaphrodite and call it a day.

Day 1: Jimmy Stewart
Day 2: Catherine Deneuve
Day 3: Christopher Lee
Day 4: Bette Davis
Day 5: Nicolas Cage
Day 6: Diane Keaton 
Day 7: Orson Welles 
Day 8: Catherine Keener 
Day 9: Kurt Russell
Day 10: Pam Grier
Day 11: Clint Eastwood
Day 12: Susan Sarandon 
Day 13: Cary Grant 
Day 14: Barbara Stanwyck 
Day 15: Keith David 
Day 16: Frances McDormand 
Day 17: Gary Oldman 
Day 18: Marilyn Monroe 
Day 19: Dick Miller 
Day 20: Jennifer Jason Leigh 
Day 21: Laurence Fishburne 
Day 22: Whoopi Goldberg
Day 23: Kevin Bacon
Day 24: Christina Ricci 
Day 25: Jack Nicholson 
Day 26: Melanie Griffith
Day 27: Jackie Chan
Day 28: Barbara Steele 
Day 29: Jack Lemmon



    Best "Halloween" movie ever...

    -kidding- :-P

    VIRUS (1999)

    An expensive flop ($75 million in last century's dollars) based on a little-known Dark Horse comic book, "Virus" is a barely-decent 'B' genre movie with 'A+' production values (i.e. "The Relic 2.0"). A hi-tech mash-up of "Alien/Terminator/Ghostship" ideas set in an abandoned Russian ship boarded by Curtis (a poor man's Sigourney Weaver substitute), Billy Baldwin, Donald Sutherland and a bunch of red shirts, "Virus" at least tries to play the 'who will bite it next, and how' game with a modicum attempt at entertaining. And its pretty gory too, which sadly counts as a plus. Inevitably though everything that happens you either see coming a mile away or comes across as silly instead of shocking. I saw it when it came out in theaters in '99 and 13 years later its disheartening to realize "Prometheus" feels closer to "Virus" than both movies do to the sci-fi masterpieces that inspired it.

    That was a good month of movie watching Patrick, let's do it again next year. :-)

  2. Perfect (1985)

    One of the most infamous movies of the 1980s, the film stars John Travolta and Jamie Lee Curtis about a Rolling Stone journalist (played by Travolta) who writes a story about health clubs and falls in love with the instructor (played by Curtis) he is interviewing.

    Everything in it is downright laughable from the workout scenes to the various staff at which the two main characters work for, "Perfect" to say the least, is definitely not perfect.

  3. Halloween: H20 (1998)

    Underwhelming sequel should be a home run: Laurie Strode (again played by Curtis) finally confronts her homicidal brother 20 years after the events of the original Halloween. The movie seems like it can't quite decide if it wants to be a serious story about Laurie's trauma and redemption, or a jokey satire of the whole slasher genre (honestly, how many "bump n' phony scare" moments can you have in a single movie). Curtis is okay in the role, but only really comes to life when she finally gets FED UP and goes after Michael instead of being chased by him. Actually the movie follows the same pattern as Aliens: strong female character, who was traumatized in a previous film, has to confront her demons both literally and figuratively before achieveing a cathertic ending - which is promptly blown to hell in the next movie. And lest we forget, this is the same film that unleashed Josh Hartnett upon the world.

    1. So no "Halloween: H2O" = no "Pearl Harbor"?
      (jumps on time machine to stop "H2O" from ever getting made)

  4. Terror Train

    Stop me if you've heard this one before: a group of kids play a cruel prank on someone, then a few years later they find themselves getting picked off one by one by a masked killer. Sound exactly like Prom Night? It is. But on a train. And with David Copperfield, for some reason. Curtis is fine, but there's nothing to set this apart from dozens of other Halloween clones. A disappointment.

    Bad final movie aside, this whole (30) Stars of Summer thing has been a lot of fun. It's been a challenge just making the time for a movie every single day, but it's been worth it and I've really enjoyed everyone's comments. Thanks, Patrick & other assorted F-Heads!

  5. Road Games (1981)

    From that brief but wonderful era when the great Stacy Keach could headline a movie, this is a cat-and-mouse thriller between a truck driver and a serial killer. Lot of build-up but little payoff, not a very good film.

    Jamie Lee has not yet developed as a performer at this point, and unfortunately her role could have been played by any young actress.

    I've found this month to be a real joy; it shouldn't be thought of as a chore but as expanding your horizons. It's cool to be in a select group that has seen a certain movie.

  6. Damn, I'm not usually a big JLC guy, but she looks ka-yoot in that picture.

    So, after bailing on Halloween:H20 because of an audio sync-issue on Netflix, I went with Trading Places - safe choice, I know, but I'd never seen it. Definitely a solid, very-80's comedy, with some good performances from Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy (Jamie-Lee is alright and has a couple, ahem, memorable scenes) and some genuine laugh-out-loud moments. Worth a watch if you've never seen it.

    1. ^^^ Agree, if Patrick was going to pull the reliable 'hermaphrodite' chestnut about Jamie Lee he should have made sure the drapes matched the carpet; Curtis looks hot in that pic. :-O

  7. Road Games (1981)

    I liked this a lot better than Fritz. Thought it was a pretty excellent Ozploitation thriller that owed a lot to Rear Window; loved the photography and the music, too. The third act does drag a lot, and Fritz is absolutely correct in saying that Jamie Lee Curtis's role is pretty generic. She seems to be reprising her role from The Fog as a young woman who hooks up with a much older man just because he has a mustache. And because it's required by the plot. At any rate, it was a solid little B-movie that I'm happy to have seen. There weren't too many of those through this 30 day experiment.

    Glad to have seen 30 new movies, even if most of them weren't anything I'll revisit or even remember. Thanks again to everyone -- especially you diehards who were here with me every day (or close to it).

  8. Sorry I didn't get to finish (30) Stars of Summer due to the fact I have no electric due to an "act of god". It was very enjoyable through the good (Annie Hall, Touch of Evil), the surprisingly satisfying (Horror Express, Foster Friday), and the awful (Bunny O'Hare, Checkered Flag or Crash). And I can say that I saw a Vincent Gallo film, which should count as a badge of courage.

    1. You're a braver man than I. I saw about half of The Brown Bunny & never felt any drive to return to it. Haven't tried Buffalo '66.

    2. Did you at least get to see the right half?

  9. I made it through 27 of the 30 stars of summer, about 20 more than I thought I'd do. Couldn't muster enough enthusiasm to do Jimmy Stewart, Marilyn Monroe and Melanie Griffith (and I half-assed it with Keith David by doing a "Law & Order" episode) but this experience made me realize how awesome Amazon Instant Video and my DVR's search feature are. :-)

  10. I just wanted to thank Patrick et al for coming up with this idea. Yes, there have been some days where it was more of a chore, but there are several great movies I would likely never have seen otherwise - in particular Smile (1975), Jane Eyre (1943), Crime of Passion (1957), and She Done Him Wrong (1933).

    On the other hand, I will never be able to un-watch No Vacancy.

  11. The Fog (1980): Minor John Carpenter, and kind of a ridiculous (boring) ghost story. Still, a decent performance by JLC, which almost (ALMOST) made me forget about her penis. DONE!