Friday, February 21, 2014
Netflix This Movie! Vol. 65
Somewhere (2010, dir. Sofia Coppola) Somewhere is a really good, under-seen movie featuring strong performances by a never-better Stephen Dorff and the freakishly talented Elle Fanning. It covers one of director Sofia Coppola's favorite subjects -- celebrity -- and is original in the sense that it gives the viewer a first person perspective of celebs' day-to-day chores (press tours, sitting in makeup tests, etc.). Coppola understands that even people of celebrity status have feelings that are sometimes marginalized because of their good fortune. This is a movie filled with small, special moments. Not for everyone, but if it works for you, it will probably REALLY work for you.
Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990, dir. John Harrison)This anthology horror film was an R-rated exclamation point on the Tales from the Darkside syndicated television series that ran for most of the '80s and predated Tales from the Crypt by about six years. This movie version serves as an extended episode of that TV show and features three different stories with a wrap-around segment starring Deborah Harry (of the band Blondie). The first story features Christian Slater and a pre-fame Steve Buscemi messing around with an Egyptian Mummy. The second segment comes from Stephen King and George Romero and stars William Hickey as a man so terrorized by a cat that he hires someone to kill it for him. The last segment is the most talked about for just how crazy outside the box it is, and stars James Remar, Rae Dawn Chong, and a gargoyle. This movie isn't necessarily "good" in the strict sense of the word, but it's fun and most of the film is intentionally a throwback to '50s camp. Tom Savini once said that Tales from the Darkside: The Movie was the real Creepshow 3, and that sounds about right to me.
Airplane! (1980, dir. Zucker/Abrams/Zucker) My God, this film is like a comfortable old pair of slippers. This past weekend, some of us were commenting, after the F This Movie Fest screening of Pee Wee's Big Adventure, about the sheer number of jokes in the movie. I find modern comedies to be woefully short on jokes. I like a show with jokes, boss. Airplane! might just have one of the highest "running time to joke" ratios in film history. I know I have told this story before, but when I first saw this Airplane!, it almost killed me. One particular scene struck me as so funny, I literally could not stop laughing. I was on the theater floor, pounding the floor and gasping. Now there's a blurb for the poster: "This film came close to murdering me." "And don't call me Shirley."
Passion (2013, dir. Brian De Palma) I had mixed feeling on this one back when I reviewed it last year, and I probably still do (I'm not sure because I haven't revisited it yet). But it's worth seeing for its moments of brilliance and because it's Brian Fucking De Palma. There is no more to say.