Monday, October 14, 2019

Television Watch: Fleabag - Season 1



Of late, if someone is going to mention a television show to you, it often comes with a wild look in their eye I recall occurring most elsewhere when my glance would occasionally meet that of the Hare Krishnas who used to roam The Drag in the 1990's. 

One does not "enjoy" a show anymore, they area devotee.  They advocate for it.  They seek converts.

So, lately, has it been with Fleabag, the short-seasoned show from England that, as was discussed at my house over the weekend, on paper, does not at all sound like my cup of tea.  Self-immolating, possibly alcoholic and definitely caustic young woman behaves badly, who runs up against the people she loves, and who love her, with poor results.  And does it whilst literally winking at the camera.

I mean, sure, fine, but is there at least a robot she drinks with?  Then we might have something.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

PODCAST: High-School Halloween Watch: "Carrie" (1976) and "Jennifer's Body" (2009)




Watched:  Carrie 08/11 - Jennifer's Body 08/12
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  unknown, many/ First
Decade:  1970's/ 2000's

Maxwell and Ryan double dip on Halloween films and High School films for a frighteningly festive film review! We take a look at two films where two very different high school girls both manifest powers! What do these films examine? What's tucked in there between the, uh... murders and more murders? Maxwell takes the reins and Ryan tries to keep up as we ponder a horror classic and a new cult favorite!



Music:
The Haunting Main Theme - Henry Searle
Carrie's Theme - Pino Donaggio, Carrie OST
Through the Trees - Wilding as Low Shoulder, Jennifer's Body OST

Playlist - Halloween 2019


Playlist - High School Movies





Sunday, October 6, 2019

Halloween Read: Carmilla (1872) - Audiobook


Finished:  10/03/2019
Author:  Joseph Sheridan LeFanu
Reader:  Tracey Childes
Format:  Audiobook
Decade:  1870's
Recording:  2009

Growing up, I'd read that the book that had pre-dated Dracula and which likely inspired Stoker was Varney the Vampire (or: The Feast of Blood), a mid-19th Century penny dreadful that I've still not got around to reading.  I think I'd heard of Carmilla 1872) by J.S. LeFanu in passing, but it wasn't until I was reading up on the Hammer horror film The Vampire Lovers (based loosely on the book) that I did the Googling necessary to spark real interest in Carmilla -at least enough to get me to intend to read the book. 

As I am no longer working from home and once again enjoy a commute, I went ahead and got the audiobook of Carmilla for what will be one of my Halloween reads.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Bette Noir Watch: The Letter (1940)



Watched:  10/01/2019
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1940's

I am well aware of the hurricane force that is Bette Davis, but for whatever reason, I don't wind up taking enough advantage of her expansive filmography.  Sometimes I feel genuine guilt in regards to this deficiency, and - as this Davis-induced-remorse had occurred once again recently - I decided to remedy the issue by force-marching Jamie through a 90 minute movie that, frankly, I knew nothing about.

A prestige picture of sorts from pre-war Warner Bros., The Letter (1940) makes not just for an interesting time capsule, but a fascinating melodrama and noir, punctuated by Davis' terrific performance.  With a script based upon a 1927 play (and previously made into a movie during the silent era), the material of the film is well honed, a tight, taught narrative with a number of fascinating characters and smart dialog.

Friday, October 4, 2019

PODCAST: "Fright Night" (1985) and "Vamp" (1986) - Halloween 2019 at The Signal Watch


Watched:  09/01/2019, 09/02/2019
Format:  Amazon Streaming/ DVD
Viewing: First
Decade:  1980's

Ryan and SimonUK bite into two vampire movies with two very different takes, both landing in the go-go Mid-80's! One is a cult classic for horror fans, about horror fans! The other, a less known film starring artist Grace Jones as an exotic nosferatu. We take a look at what works and what sucks as these films return from the dead to give us a thrill and a chill!





Music:
Fright Night - J. Geils Band, Fright Night OST
Vamp Theme/ Seduction Surrender Longing Fix - Grace Jones, Vamp OST


Halloween 2019



Halloween 2018



Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Thriller Watch: A Kiss Before Dying (1956)




Watched:  09/30/2019
Format:  TCM on DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1950's

I tell you kids, sometimes mid-century cinematic gender roles are a real killer.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Noir Watch: Nocturne (1946)


Watched:  09/30/2019
Format:  Noir Alley on TCM on DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1940's

Look.  They can't all be winners.  And, frankly, whatever draw George Raft had at one point as a huge movie star, I just... do not get.

The pieces are there for a solid noir film, but every scene feels like it's the second take after maybe three run-throughs.  Raft is wooden in the best of circumstances, but he sort of sets the tone for everyone else, bringing down the energy around near everyone but Queenie Smith, whom Raft seems to just sit back and enjoy during their shared scenes.

The movie follows the investigation of the suicide of a well-known song composer who also happens to go through women like they're on a conveyor belt coming to his door, not bothering to learn their names and calling them all "Dolores" (which never gets resolution or meaning in the film).  Raft plays the milk-drinking cop who becomes obsessed with the idea the guy was plugged.  Lynn Bari plays the dame who maybe did it.  Who, for reasons that are not at all clear, Raft decides he's fallen for.

The titular "Nocturne" is a song written by the composer, left unfinished when he died.

That's it.  That's the movie.  Raft running around questioning people, fighting improbably with his own bosses, and having his mom do all the real detective work.

Sure, the movie looks good - RKO knew who to put behind the camera (Harry J. Wild was no slouch in my book), and there's a good idea in there somewhere about a good cop who doesn't think a suicide is just that and wants to investigate it for murder.  But at the end of the day, we don't know much about the victim, we know less about the cop's dogged motivation, and the movie tips its hand as to what's happening at the 30 minute mark.  Honestly - that's just strange.

I really, really did not like this movie, so I think I will stop writing about it now.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

PODCAST - Halloween Watch: "An American Werewolf in London" (1981)/ "Ginger Snaps" (2000) w/ SimonUK and Ryan



Watched:  08/16/2019
Format:  BluRay/ DVD
Viewing:  unknown/ First
Decade:  1980's/ 2000's

It's Halloween 2019! SimonUK and Ryan kick off the spooky season with a pair of scare-tacular films about coming to grips with change. And, of course, discovering you're now kinda undead and become a blood-thirsty kill-machine when the moon is particular round. We talk new-classic An American Werewolf in London (1981) and horror-icon-contender Ginger Snaps (2000).




Music:
The Haunting Main Theme - Henry Searle
An American Werewolf in London Suite - Elmer Bernstein, An American Werewolf in London OST
Bad Moon Rising - CCR, man, Green River


Halloween 2019 Playlist



Last Year's Halloween episodes:

Thursday, September 26, 2019

TV Re-Watch: Mad Men - Season 1


In my head, I walked around knowing full well that Mad Men was the best television I had ever, or would likely ever, see.  And the minute the show ended, I pledged to rewatch the whole show from beginning to end, but other things catch up with you, new shows come on, and at some point you start to say to yourself: you know, you may well put the show on and start to get that uneasy feeling as you realize that this thing you loved?  It doesn't hold up.  You weren't wrong at the time, but we've all moved on.  But, sure, rewatch out of nostalgia.

Having just completed a rewatch of Mad Men Season 1, I am reporting that Mad Men is better than I remembered.