Saturday, July 16, 2022

Weekend Open Thread


  1. I feel like Lightyear's story is very convoluted for a kid movie

    And i like Taika Waititi as much as the next guy, but i would love to see (or hear) him in another role than the village idiot

  2. Good weekend to everyone.This week I had a little more energy to devote to movies. I got to more than usual.

    A HARD DAY’S NIGHT (1964, dir. Richard Lester) – An airing on Turner Classic Movies this week pushed me to finally watch this rock’n’roll film classic. It is not difficult to see the influence of A Hard Day’s Night on subsequent rock movies and the music video. There is a sense of spontaneity to everything. Beyond the music, the relentless reality of being a Beatle comes through as well. Being chased by a crowd of people everywhere you go feels scary. The grind of the road is very prominent. My favorite scenes are Ringo wandering the streets of London and the band fooling around in a field while Can't Buy Me Love plays.

    BIKINI BEACH (1964, dir. William Asher) – The beach party movies produced by American International Pictures are true oddities. That is especially so when one thinks about them being made for teenagers. Among other things, Bikini Beach contains: Frankie Avalon in a ridiculous double role, a chimpanzee who surfs and drives, drag racing, some cheesy musical numbers, a brawl, a car chase, a silly biker gang, and comedian Don Rickles doing slapstick. Goofy is an apt description for all of this, but I find it hard to hate these films. Bikini Beach, coming early in the series, has an energy that can carry you through the ridiculousness.

    GAMES (1967, dir. Curtis Harrington) – This watch was a tribute to James Caan. It’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt. Caan and Katherine Ross (The Graduate) are a wealthy couple in New York City who love their pranks. When one turns deadly, their situation deteriorates rapidly. This is my third Harrington film in a month, and I can definitely spot some hallmarks of his style. The love of melodrama especially stands out, and he had a special way of getting memorable performances from veteran actresses in his films. This time around it is the French actress Simone Signoret who shines. While not the most original thriller, Games does entertain.

    There was a night of shark-themed films on Turner Classic Movies that did not include Jaws in any way. I watched a couple things. KILLER SHARK, from 1950, stars Roddy McDowall as a young man adapting to his father’s fishing lifestyle. Beyond the presence of McDowall and Budd Boetticher directing, there is not much to remember this for. SHARK’S TREASURE is a 1975 treasure hunt adventure. Like Jaws, there was a lot of shooting on water for Shark Hunt, and the film is better for it. This is not even close to Jaws in quality, though. The footage of sharks being speared is not fun to watch. In any case, Yaphet Kotto improves any film he is in. The testosterone on display frequently becomes humorous. Shark's Treasure has those Sunday afternoon movie vibes.

    I found a Saturday night horror movie show called Creature Features, which is produced in the San Francisco Bay area, on Youtube. I have a fondness for these kind of shows, and this is one of the better ones I have seen. The host character is an aging rock star with a couple of sidekicks. There generally are guests for each show, and a good variety of films have been shown. I re-watched a couple of Italian films- Contamination (1980) and Lisa And The Devil (1973) - as a test. I will get to more episodes.

    1. Long Live the King! If anyone has access to the Turner Classic Movies channel, you can watch a full day of Elvis' films on August 1 for the Summer Under The Stars programming.

    2. I would love a big Beach movies box set. Beach Party is fantastic

    3. I am surprised one has not come out yet.

  3. The Natural (amazon rental. 1984)

    So growing up a non-sports nerd theres countless gaps in my sports movie knowledge. This has been a biggie for a while. However now as a dad with a kid in little league, ive really grown to understand and "get" baseball on a whole new level. So we watched this one for family movie night. Its amazing. Duh. It juggles countless subjects tied to baseball (father/son, love of the game, crooked times in bball history, chasing stardom, etc) and is just so well crafted. The score doesnt need mentioning other than its tear-enducing (as is so much of the movie). And this flick is one of many many examples of the undeniable charm of Redford. HIGHLY recommended for that small handfull of y'all, like me, that never gave this one a try. Its a home run.

    Peace .n. "God I love baseball" - Roy Hobbs


  4. A CHILD IS WAITING (1963)
    I watched a bunch of films about children with special needs for an assignment this week and I’m happy to say I found John Cassavete’s A CHILD IS WAITING (1963) the best (at least my favorite). Most of the other films focus on what the child with special needs brings, emotionally, to the other main characters, but A Child Is Waiting had more of an all-around view of the situation, going into what the broad society thought of people with special needs, family backgrounds and emotions, and different belief systems and methods of teaching. It’s a big drama from a big director (of which there are few on this subject), so I was tickled that it didn’t disappoint.

    I get the feeling that I’m supposed to frown more or be shocked by Burt Lancaster’s character’s “strict” way of teaching the kids, but either because times have changed or due to myself having a sister with severe special needs, I didn’t think he was demanding at all. I read others have found the messages didactic but honestly, as a family member, I find myself thinking like Lancaster’s character and feeling like Judy Garland’s all at the same time pretty often, so I found it real, not didactic.

  5. I haven't seen one movie this week, all because my flatmate had Covid (no cinema), we watched Jojo's Bizarre Adventure (and how Bizarre it is), and I'm going down a rabbit hole named Sekiro. :D At least, I have a friend come over today to rewatch some of my favorite movies of Junesploitation, and I do have tickets for the new Thor (it will reach up to 104 °F on Wednesday here, so a little trip to a hopefully cooler cinema is nice.

  6. I've seen THOR LOVE AND THUNDER twice at the theater now. Each time, it was a joyous experience, with a lot of big laughs, big thrills, and even a 90s-era round of applause at the end of the movie. Then I get home and make the mistake of looking at Twitter, where there's nothing but hate and the entire world is telling me I'm wrong for experiencing a moment of happiness from a movie. I just... I can't...

    Similarly, I got my second booster earlier this week, and it really knocked me out. In the daze, I rewatched MORBIUS. Yes, the movie is a mess, but seeing it through the lens of cutting-edge medicine making you loopy as its fighting a deadly disease? I fear MORBIUS might be the zeitgeist.

    I also rewatched THE BATMAN. There's so much to like in this movie, yet it's so freakin' long. I wonder if HBO will reedit it and resell it as a miniseries at some point.

    THE PRINCESS on Hulu is not what you'd call a brainy film, but it was fun. Had a little bit of the ol' Cannon Films feel to it.

    RED (2010) is a real oddity, but worth it to see Helen Mirren play action hero, as well as John Malkovich going fully unhinged.

    THE WORLD'S END (2013) "Let's Boo-Boo!"

    FREDDY VS. JASON (2003) Warning: Side effects of Hypnocil may include getting Freddy'd.

  7. “Ask them to puree the salmon”. OMG. It was only on a recent watch (after seeing it hundreds of times before), that I realized Robin Williams says that in Mrs. Doubtfire. “Ask them to puree the salmon”.