Good weekend to everybody. This week brought the disappointing news of the postponement of the opening of the Mahoning Drive-In. With that in mind, I welcomed the chance to create a double feature one evening worthy of the drive-in: TAMMY AND THE T-REX (1994) and CUTTING CLASS (1989). It came courtesy of a free promotional period for the Showtime cable channels. TAMMY is one of those bizarre B-movies whose entertainment value depends entirely on the mind-set of the viewer. If cheap effects and an unhinged script is your thing, you might like TAMMY. I had fun with the film, laughing all the way through it. It does have early starring roles for Paul Walker and Denise Richard. CUTTING CLASS was an entertaining watch, but I would certainly not put it in my list of favorite slashers. It seems to be playing with the genre tropes and gets pretty over-the-top, especially in the conclusion. Jill Schoelen is very likeable, and it is interesting to see Brad Pitt in this kind of flick.I also finished the first Battles Without Honor And Humanity series with the films POLICE TACTICS and FINAL EPISODE. POLICE TACTICS may have the most satisfying narrative of the series as fate, in the form of the police and other yakuza rivals, closes in on the Hiroshima yakuza. This is the film when the phrase battles without honor and humanity has the most meaning. It was interesting to observe how funerals become a recurring narrative device in the series. FINAL EPISODE is a fitting winding down of the of the yakuza saga as the survivors of a quarter century of gang wars make way for the next generation to continue the fight. With the series now finished, I am astonished by the fact all five movies were made within two years. The other watch for the week was a documentary I have had the intention to see for a long time: DREAM DECEIVERS from 1992. In less than an hour a tale filled with sadness, ridiculousness, self-deception, and hypocrisy unfolds as a band goes on trial for supposed subliminal messages that lead two young men to attempt suicide. One man dies and the other survives with a horribly mangled face. As a Judas Priest fan, it was great to hear the songs again and see the band in its prime. (Beyond the Realms of Death gets better with time.)It would be great if all the troubles of life could be blamed on evil music, but it will never be that simple.
Was Tammy the new "Gore Cut" or the PG-13 version? Not that the gore makes the movie better, but the contrast between the comedy and the cheap gore effects makes it even more bonkers.
Sucks about the Mahoning Drive In delay. I'm sure Flintstones would have played better than it ever has.
Battle Without Honor, they kinda have less red tape to deal with, for the benefit of the watchers like usThere's also a 224 minutes version of the first 4 movies that i still have to watch. Don't know why the 5th is not in there. It's in my boxset, but i don't know if it's available separately
It was the gore cut of Tammy and the T-Rex that was shown, thankfully. I would not have found it is as much fun without those scenes, Mikko. Still, this is likely the kind of film that gets less effective the more familiar you get with it. It is a shame about the Mahoning, yet, knowing the people there, it will open when the Covid-19 situation settles down here in Pennsylvania.I can understand why Final Episode was not included in the compressed edit, Kunider. It is different in tone and subject from the rest of the series.
We should meet up at the Mahoning when it reopens!
Certainly, Rob. I go there as often as I can, frequently heading home in the summer as the sun is rising. Lots of good memories. I sent an e-mail to the Mahoning crew asking about when they were opening and was informed that they were aiming for the end of May. I guess the current situation will determine that.
I watched a film that made me feel so bad I had to donate to a charity before it was over. Bloodsucking Freaks was not for me. You like it? Cool. Not my jam. But at least the National Women's Law Center got some money out the deal.Other news. Chopping Mall and Joe Bob are both top shelf stuff so the night wasn't a total wash.
Morbid curiosity got the better of me and I just watched Holmes & Watson. There's exactly one joke that almost made me laugh (a drunk Watson sending a "u up?" telegram), but then the scene just kept going and going and completely ran the joke to the ground. Should've stayed away.Other stuff this week included Lorenzo's Oil (that Nick Nolte accent!), Bloodshot (stupid but entertaining), a revisit of Warlock (as fun as I remembered), and a couple of Bonds (always a good time).
Nolte's accent and love for tomatoes crazily dominates multiple scenes of Lorenzo's Oil. It was my first watch. I assume you are watching due to Blank Check's George Miller miniseries.
That's exactly why I watched it. First time for me too, although I had very vague memories of seeing one scene of Lorenzo's failihg health and being freaked out by it as a kid.Next up: the Babes! Never seen them before either.
Which Bond movies did you watch Mikko? I'll be the judge whether they're worthy of the "good time" moniker. :-P
This week, I watched On Her Majesty's Secret Service and Live and Let Die. But for me, pretty much all Bonds are a good time.
"OHMSS": good time! :-) "LALL": OH, HELL NO!!!! :-O
Hot take: Pitch Perfect 2 is better than the original. It doesn't feature a tepid romance in which the boy just about bullies the disinterested female protagonist into dating him, the Riff-Off is better, and there's no puke. (Seriously, I'm surprised PB didn't point out the problematic tone of the romance in that movie.)
Hello everybody! Hope everyone is hanging in there and watching lots of movie! So I did an unintentional Chris Hemsworth action double feature with Blackhat and Extraction. Extraction is a pretty straight forward action movie, but it does have some pretty awesome set pieces. Hemsworth did a good job and I’d like to see him do more action flicks. Blackhat shocked me with how good it was. It was such a bomb and I thought it had a pretty bad reputation, but I thought it was really well made and a really engaging action/thriller. Mann still had his touch in that one. Also, I checked out Get over it, from 2001, mostly because of the Patrick mentioning it on the podcast and I came across it on HBO. I thought it was fun but man, does it really feel like a movie that’s totally at war with itself. It feels like two different movies bumping into each other. I’m pretty sure Patrick mentioned how Miramax wanted more kind of silly, gross out comedy and forced it in, which is unfortunate. It doesn’t all totally work, but the cast is a lot of fun and it’s got a sweetness to it.
Blackhat is so rad! I hope it eventually gets re-evaluated as an actual great movie like Miami Vice has. I even don't mind Hemsworth's accent. He's clearly doing a Michael Mann impression and to my untrained ear he actually pulls it off. Glad you liked it!
Started a Tarantino binge-watch this week. For a while there, I called Reservoir Dogs my favorite, but now I’m not so sure. When the movie works, it really works. But in 2020 it feels dated in a lot of ways. Or maybe it’s me that’s getting older. Similarly, Pulp Fiction felt different this time around -- less fun and pop culture-y than usual, and more sad and brutal. I always felt the violence and whatnot was done with a wink and nod, but instead it's like I can see things more like Jules, trying real, real hard to be the shepherd. Four Rooms remains an oddity. It’s marketed as comedy, but it’s really more of a horror movie, isn’t it? The good news is I really, really enjoyed Jackie Brown last night. The whole movie just works so well. The plot ties together neatly by the end, and in between we get a lot of “actor’s showcase” scenes. This is an all-timer. Tonight I’m killing Bill. (Both parts!) I have a bootleg where the black and white bit is in color, but it doesn’t change the movie all that much.
I have a Nic Cage twofer on tap for tonight: "Vampire's Kiss" (young fresh-faced Cage) and "Bangkok Dangerous" (bitter middle-age Cage). Until then here's some distraction viewing.Masahiro Shinoda's PALE FLOWER (1964) appears to be playing the "just-out-of-jail yakuza going back to his ruinous habits" card. But then Muraki (Ryô Ikebe) meets half-his-age gorgeous Saeko (Mariko Kaga) at an off-the-beaten-path gambling joint, and a kinship develops. The least you know going into "Pale Flower" the better, but the ending is a culmination of a series of character-development moments that add up to a hell of an unforgettable post-WWII film noir (with Japanese B&W scope as a bonus).THE NUDE BOMB (1980) reminds me of big studio movies that came out in 1977 ("Sorcerer," "Damnation Alley") and had their lunch eaten by game-changing "Star Wars." A dumb spy spoof with little traces of the wit and smart gags from the "Get Smart" TV show it's based on, "The Nude Bomb" also came out the same year "Airplane!" bitch-slapped it at the box office. Still, it's better than the live-action "Inspector Gadget" movies (if you pretend Don Adams is Gadget w/o his coat) and the Kino Lorber Blu-ray is jam-packed with fun extras (a rarity for most Kino BD product).Sergio Corbucci's THE SPECIALISTS (1969) takes place in lush green mountain terrains (betraying it's Eurowestern roots as an Italian/French/German co-production) that are a nice change from the genre's brown Earth-tone color palette. The 4K transfer is stunning, and even though the premise is generic (lone rider comes to avenge his brother's death at the hands of the town that lynched him for stealing their savings) the execution is anything but. This is Corbucci deftly handling a cast of mostly unknowns (including leading man Johnny Hallyday, who looks like Domhnall Gleeson) and unsavory material (raping a villain for his/her bad deeds, nudity galore) with minimal-but-welcomed character development (Hud pulling off what the Sheriff couldn't). The shoot-outs are infrequent, but when they come are intense and edited so you can feel every bullet. If you've seen Tarantino's "OUAT... In Hollywood" then you know "The Specialists" comes with Rick Dalton's seal of approval. :-D Pamela B. Green's documentary BE NATURAL: THE UNTOLD STOTY OF ALICE GUY-BLACHE (2018) would seriously benefit from an extended running time. It can barely catch its own breath about its filmmaker's search of documentation and material about it's subject matter's American-born heirs, which feels like it could be its own separate documentary. The doc makes a persuasive argument for Alice Guy-Blaché being a pioneer of filmmaking during its nascent period (especially when it was competing against established studio giants in Fort Lee, NJ, aka Hollywood 1.0). Don't know if she's an auteur (the few surviving films of Alice I saw on a TCM retrospective were fine but nothing earth-shattering), but at least we've arrived to a point in which her work can be screened instead of buried by decades of neglect by her French colleagues. Worth seeing.Had a couple of DVD Box sets of LAW & ORDER: UK (2009-2011, 26 episodes total) that I revisited because, frankly, I've rewatched the American original so many times I can often recite the lines before the characters say them. The UK version recycled stories from the US version, so it's fun to watch the Brits borrow and steal from the "L&O" lore to fashion their own retelling of the same plots. "Doctor Who" fans might get a kick from seeing Freema Agyeman playing an assistant prosecutor.
Shinoda making a yakuza film with a noirish quality? That sounds interesting. He always made beautiful looking films. Of the great Japanese filmmakers of the 1950s and 1960s, Shinoda seems to get overlooked the most.I watched Be Natural on TCM as well, J.M. You reaction to it was similar to mine. I found the material that directly involved Alice Guy-Blanche engaging. The "backstory" about finding that material got to be distracting as the doc went on.
I recently watched the Nude Bomb as well thanks to Kino. It's Yikes-level terrible, and goes against the spirit of the show by adding a bunch of weird dirty uncle jokes. Still I had a couple laughs, and Don Adams is always entertaining.
ACL, Shinoda is new to me so don't know if "Pale Flower" is an exception or typical of his body of work. Gotta watch more, because this '64 noir sure left me hungry for more Shinoda. :-)Matt, the extras don't salvage "The Nude Bomb" as much as make you appreciate its awkward existence within the context of the time. If it wasn't dirt-cheap during a Kino sale I would have skipped it, but a boatload of extras really enhance its kitsch value. And Don Adams (or at least his voice) is a national treasure despite not being able to listen to the man talk without thinking he's a human cartoon character.
Been watching a lot of crap movies lately; nothing really worth mentioning except: "Porno" which was really, really fun. I can't stand Horror Comedy usually and this wasn't "funny" by any means (to me) but I loved it. One of my favorite films of the year so far. Watched it twice. "Home" on Apple TV is a great show and something I wouldn't have even thought to watch. It's much more than just a showcase on "neat" homes which surprised me. "McMillions" was boring but it's fine."The Beastie Boys Story" directed by Spike Jonze was good and well done minus the "stand-up comedy" aspect of how it is presented. That really hurt the doc IMO. I'm not really a BB fan and there's not much substance in there if you know Hip Hop History but it was alright. "Defending Jacob" (Apple TV) shows promise after the 3 episodes that aired. It's really nice to see Chris Evans act again outside of being Captain America. He's really good. The show is typical, drab TV Courtroom Drama shit and I'm fine with that. Sometimes you just need some dumbass "Law and Order" shit to kill time. Joe Bob's Last Drive In season 2 double feature was good in two ways: It made adult me realize that teenage me liked "Bloodsucking Freaks" because it was "edgy" and now I think it's ridiculous and have no interest in it. And "Chopping Mall" is still amazing and so is B-Cramps. Suzee Slater was in "Savage Streets" (1984) along with Linda Blair and Brinke Stevens and Linnea Quigley btw, and that film "kicks dick like John Wick" - Patrick Bromley. If you haven't seen it I believe it's on Tubi for free.
Oh yeah, "Extraction" was great. Action set pieces kicked ass. Chris Hemsworth is so massive they need a new aspect ratio for him.
Cap and Thor are really struggling to find their showbiz footing in this post-"Endgame" media landscape. :-P
Watched 1BR, which I thought was surprising good. It was a mix of Scientology with The Invitation. Also, watched Extraction, a decent forgettable movie. Almost, like all Netflix films so forgettable. A couple great action scenes but the plot was thin as paper and I didn't care about anyone. The last scene was a desperate attempt at keeping a sequel alive.
I completely forgot I watched that as well. I think I liked it?
Allison Janney is so underappreciated. Just watched "Bad Education".
Watching Eraser (first time). Really fun. Arnold just threw an office chair at a guy and incredibly did not say, "Take a seat."