Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Movie Mondays

A recap of this weeks screenings.  Proof in writing that I watch too many films.  Let's get started!

Gas-s-s-s (1970): A Roger Corman black comedy set in a stark and beautiful post-apocalyptic desert.  Only those under 25 survived a plague of gas accidentally released by ‘the man’.  I loved this, though I’m partial to bad exploitation films.  There were more ponchos than you could shake a stick at and lots of silly dialog/characters.

spaghetti western car lot cowboys

The American Snitch (1983):  Ok… I’m at a loss to describe this film… maybe Smokey and the Bandit meets Designing Women?  Is it bad?  Yes.  Does it have redeeming parts that will make you giggle?  Yes!  This is truly a forgotten flick; take it on its own terms and give it a try.   Captain Crackers says: “Hold on!!....Whatever your name is!”

American Snitch
Jesus and Elvis singing a song and cooking breakfast together

Dead End Drive In (1986):  Ozploitation at its best!  Lots of counterculture shots, great stunts, interesting premise.  For me this was a pleasant surprise… the Netflix description made this sound like a horror flick- it’s not at all!  The world has taken a turn for the worst (not quit apocalyptic, but pretty crappy) and there is a surplus of unemployed hoods.  What is the government to do with them?  Also, check out Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!   It’s a documentary on the great genre of Ozploitation, or Australian exploitation films. 

Dead End Drive In
She met some girls in the bathroom who did her hair... to clarify, she was pleased

Hollywood Boulevard (1976): A satire on the then hugely popular B movie genre.  An ambitious actress wants to get her foot in the door of Hollywood, and is subjected to a bevy of awful job experiences.  Netflix also led me to believe this was a horror film… not even close, it’s pure satire.  Interesting fact: this was made by several Roger Corman film students who used shots from his movies for almost all the scenes that weren’t dialog.

Hollywood Boulevard

Once Upon a Time (2011): A network TV drama about fairytale characters.  They are all cursed and living in Maine.  This was surprisingly watchable.  I like the premise and it is filmed nicely.  I read a review somewhere that fans of Lost might like it, and that’s hitting it on the head.  It has the same structure as Lost, where each character’s story is revealed in flashbacks and all the stories are intertwined. 

William Shatner’s Gonzo Ballet (2009): Documentary on the project that turned William Shatner’s musical album into a ballet.  Shatner is charming and disarming as usual.  The music was not too bad and the ballet was... well, ballet!

The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1981): Period drama about a woman sort of shunned for her association with a French Lieutenant and a respectable gentleman who has just become engaged.  This is a story within a story as well.  Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons star.  I thought this was pretty good, maybe a little draggy in parts.  I liked the supporting cast.

Big Doll House (1971): Exploitation film set in a Philippines woman’s prison.  This is a cult film and has some very memorable and famous lines, such as “Get it up or I’ll cut it off.”  Stars Sid Haig and Pam Greer.  It’s got an improbable plot and some silly dialog, but for its genre it’s top notch.

Full Tilt Boogie (1997): Documentary on the making of From Dusk Til Dawn.  This was more like behind the scenes outtakes than it was a look at the process of making the film.  Everyone on the set seemed to have a good time and it was interesting to watch.  There were some funny moments and characters.

Popatopolis (2009): Documentary about Jim Wynorski, the prolific B movie director.  I enjoyed this movie a lot.  It had a good mix of the history of Wynorski’s film and of B movies in general, behind the scenes of him making a film, and interviews with people that know him (The best being his elderly and adorable mother and Roger Corman).  If you like B movies, give it a watch.

Mst3K The Movie (1996)

Mst3k Night of the Blood Beast (1996)

Mst3k warrior of the lost world (1993)

MST3K secret agent super dragon (1993)

I’m just going to review all the MST3K’s together.  They were all fantastic!  And in truth I’ve seen these all before. I love, love MST3K.  They make me happy.  If I had to be stuck in space indefinitely, I’d want to be on the satellite of love…with Joel (sorry Mike).

Solarbabies (1986) Post-apocalyptic 80s kids flick that involves a magic orb, an evil scientist, an owl, and lots of roller skates.  Sigh… this movie was bad… in every way that a movie can be bad.  But it has one flaw that I cannot forgive- it takes itself serious.  Poor thing.  As a kid I probably would have loved it though.
Just a guy and his pet owl

Clueless (1995): Comedy about privileged Cher, the ‘clueless’ high schooler whose world begins to change when she elevates an unpopular girl’s social standing.  Am I the only who loved this movie when it came out?  I rushed out to get myself some thigh high socks and a skort.  This is adapted pretty heavily from one of my fav books Emma and directed by Amy Heckerling (who directed Fast Times at Ridgemont High).

She’s all That (1999): Romantic (not really) comedy (if you say so) about a popular guy who makes a bet to turn a social outcast into prom queen.  Why oh why did I press play?  I watched this in high school and thought it was pretty good and that Freddie Prinze Jr. was cute.. boy was I dumb.  If you like seeing a bunch of people in their mid to late 20s pretending to be 16 and to really care about who becomes prom queen…this is the movie for you.  Also, it reeked of corporate think tank.

Audie Murphy Great American Hero (1996): Documentary about Audie Murphy.  This was an interesting film about this forgotten hero of WWII.  He did some crazy heroic things on the battlefield and was at the time (and maybe still) the most decorated soldier.  He ended up starring in several Hollywood films.  His life was also tragic.

Lewis and Clark the Journey (1997):  Lewis and Clark get the Ken Burns treatment.  I want Ken Burns to make a film about me!  He’s got it down to a science.  This was an interesting film that explores the subtleties of the personalities at play in this expedition. 

Friday the 13th (1980): Cult horror film about some camp counselors trying to get a ‘cursed’ summer camp up and running again.  If you haven’t seen Friday the 13th… give it a watch.  It’s got a medium amount of gore and not too many jumpy moments. 

Friday the 13th part 2 (1981): This sequel to Friday the 13th has a little more gore and skin.  Another bad day for camp counselors!

Royal Deceit (1994): Remake of Hamlet.  I liked this film.  The pace is slow but I think a lot of the scenes have the feeling of a theater performance, which fit nicely.  Also beautifully filmed and acted.

Metropolis Restored (1927): Classic silent film about a dystopian future where society is divided between those who work below ground maintaining machines and those who live above ground and enjoy the results of that labor.  I enjoyed this beast of a 2 hour and 45 minute film!  After suffering through several turkeys this week, I needed the cleansing that only a masterpiece could give.  I love the Art Deco design elements and the story was very good.  This movie was way ahead of its time.

the machine-man

This concludes this week's screenings. I hope some of these films seemed interesting enough for you to check out. I usually watch movies on Netflix instant streaming, and you can find most of the films there.

Thank you for reading!  



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