Saturday, April 2, 2022

PODCAST 191: "Hired To Kill" (1990) - Movies of Doom w/ SimonUK and Ryan

Watched:  03/14/2022
Format:  Amazon Prime
Viewing: First    
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Nico Mastorakis

SimonUK and Ryan head into enemy territory with Movies of Doom, our first voyage into "wow, this looks terrible. Let's watch this immediately" cinema. This one has A Very 90's Actor, 7 actresses you'll never see again, and 3 legends of Hollywood cashing in for a vacation in Southern Europe. It's the Dirty Dozen meets every 80's action movie, meets astounding sexism!



I'm Too Sexy - Right Said Fred

Movies of Doom!

Verhoeven Watch: Benedetta (2021)

Watched:  04/01/2021
Format:  Hulu
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2020's
Director:  Paul Verhoeven

In the wake of Showgirls, I was curious about what Verhoeven is up to these days.  I knew he'd more or less self-exiled to Europe.  For a director I like, I really hadn't seen his post-90's stuff, so when Justin alerted me Verhoeven had put something out last year, I gave it a whirl.

This is, as we used to say, a Stefon movie.

It's a hell of a thing to watch right on the heels of Showgirls, as this is a movie about nuns, faith, politics and religion, plagues, religious fervor, power dynamics, relativism in truth and morality, and - because it's Paul Verhoeven - eroticism and sexy nuns.  It's also loosely based on real events, changed enough it's not historical fiction in most ways, but... yeah.  Some of this is documented.  

80's Watch: Jewel of the Nile (1985)

As Jamie asked:  What is the physics of what's happening here?

Watched:  04/02/2022
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  third?
Director:  Lewis Teague


This movie is so bad it has a body count.  No, really.  The last thing in the credits is a "in memory of" and four names scroll by, including the name of Diane Thomas who created Romancing the Stone, of which this is a sequel.

Even as a kid, when I saw The Jewel of the Nile (1985) in the theater, I thought this movie was "not good".  I couldn't have told you why then.  Jamie informs me, when I said "this feels like a cash grab" that it was made incredibly quickly on the heels of Romancing the Stone, and that Kathleen Turner initially refused to do it because the script was so bad.  Y'all, Kathleen Turner is not wrong.  

A weirdly meandering film that just keeps happening, there's essentially a start and an end with no middle during which a bunch of stuff just sort of happens and when our leads are together, they seem like they absolutely *should* part ways as all they can do is argue, it makes the entire third-act rekindling of the romance of the movie make no sense.  But there are multiple scenes in the movie that make no sense but happen just so there's something happening on screen - maybe the greatest example of which is "the chief's son wants to fight Jack so he can court Joan" but the Chief's son is in a hut?  And they just showed up?  And why didn't they just say they were married or betrothed?  Like.  uggghhhhh.

Friday, April 1, 2022

Friday Watch Party: Flash Gordon (savior of the universe!)

FRIDAY.  Join us as we watch himbo Sam Jones as Flash Gordon in the 1980's edition of a very 1930's idea.  

It's interstellar chaos when the Moons of Mongo rain down natural disaster on Earth, but luckily we've got a football player, a lady and the guy from Fiddler on the Roof to challenge Max Von Sydow in what is a weird space twist on "The Yellow Menace".  But Brian Blessed shows up in metal wings and a cool hat.

Also, young Timothy Dalton making knees shake.

This movie is famously bananas, and we think you'll like it.  Sets that make no sense, music by Queen.  A princess that's supposed to be kind of a bad guy, but you're like... okay, I'll join your side.  Flying blind on a rocket cycle.  There's just no end to the joys of this movie.

Day:  Friday, April 1
Time:  8:30 Central
Service:  Amazon Watch Party
Cost:  $4

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Doc Watch: Summer of Soul (2021)

Watched:  03/30/2022
Format:  Disney+
Viewing:  First
Director:  Questlove

I started watching Summer of Soul (2021) last year on Hulu, but got in trouble with Jamie for starting it without her.  But somehow we never circled back and watched it.  

Well, I guess it won an Academy Award, so that's a feather in Questlove's cap.  And well deserved.  But it also means there's no real reason for me to further discuss or sell you on this movie.  Or even explain it.  

It's a really beautiful, amazing thing.  Watch it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Doc Watch: You Don't Nomi (2019)

Watched:  03/29/2022
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Director:  Jeffrey McHale

After watching and podcasting Showgirls, I believe Justin (and then Paul) suggested I watch the documentary You Don't Nomi (2019) a sort of retrospective investigating how we can view the 1995 film, seen as a catastrophe at the time of release but which has been reconsidered as a camp classic in the intervening years.  The doc features multiple reviewers, entertainers and others engaging with the film.  No small amount of the original film is seen as the movie leverages the idea of fair-use in investigating and transforming the source material - and so too does it liberally borrow from other films by Paul Verhoeven.  

In many ways, it's like a bit of film school packed into a tidy 1:38 or whatever it was.  Opinions are applied as fact, schools of thought as dogma.  But almost no one speaking is in total agreement.  We look at what else Verhoeven has done, we look for things he returns to, what his films say on certain topics (women!  violence!  seeeeeeeexxxx!) and try to draw conclusions.  And with Verhoeven, the answer is often that, no, he's not making a mistake or doing something goofy, he meant something specific and it wasn't there to make you feel better or confirm your biases.  All of which, were I to watch Showgirls sober, would definitely make me re-evaluate the film.  

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Chill Out Watch: Napolean Dynamite (2004)

Watched:  03/25/2022
Format:  Amazon Prime
Viewing:  Unknown
Director:  Jared Hess

I am torn between writing a lengthy thing about this movie and writing nothing about this movie, and I don't think the world is better for me writing a longer thing.  We all know this movie is 1000x better than we thought it would be.  

So, I will just say that Tina Majorino is the not-at-all-secret weapon of this movie, and it's amazing.  

Also, I have that the local AC and plumbing company is doing Napolean Dynamite skits for its commercials.  They aren't good.

Happy Birthday, Sterling Hayden

Yesterday marked the 106th birthday of reluctant movie star Sterling Hayden.

I don't think it's a huge surprise that I'll pick any of a number of female stars from the mid-20th Century as a perfectly good reason to watch a film, but the number of male stars who push a movie to the top of my watch pile is smaller.  Up at the top of that list is, and always will be, Sterling Hayden.

Hayden didn't seem to think much of acting, I guess, but it was how he made his living when he wasn't running off on a boat.  He has an insane war record that includes lying about who he really was (he wasn't famous yet) and winging up in the OSS where he was basically a Howling Commando.

In films, Hayden always plays someone reflecting his presence, but it's cops, thieves, cowboys, pirates and eventually General Jack D. Ripper in Dr. Strangelove.  He's better than he probably ever gave himself credit for, and while not every film he was in was a homerun, he was never the issue.

Anyway, if you haven't ever see a Sterling Hayden film (and you have, he's the policeman in The Godfather who Michael takes care of in the restaurant.  Spoilers, I guess.), I'm happy to suggest a few.