Showing posts with label 1990's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1990's. Show all posts

Monday, November 23, 2020

90's Watch: Dogfight (1991)




Watched:  11/22/2020
Format:  TCM on DVR
Viewing:  3rd or 4th
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Nancy Savoca

I rented this one in high school, but I have no idea why.  I'm pretty sure the first time I watched it, I watched it by myself.  But I know I watched it the next day before I had to return it, with someone.  Probably my brother or a friend.  And maybe I watched it once in college, but the movie doesn't get discussed much and I'm not sure what sort of footprint it had or has.

TCM has been on a tear promoting women in film - behind the lens, mostly.  I'm afraid I've done a very bad job of keeping up with their terrific efforts.  Dogfight (1991) was shown as part of an evening's programming some time ago, and I hadn't had a chance to watch it, but finally did.  I'm surprised how much of the movie I remembered (there are movies I'll watch, and look at the blog in the same year and have to piece together what it was as I have almost no memory of the film already), but also what an impact the movie had on me at the time as a young dude.  

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Fake Doc Watch: Waiting for Guffman (1996)




Watched:  11/14/2020
Format:  DVD
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Christopher Guest

For a run of about five movies, Christopher Guest managed to borrow the "mockumentary" format pioneered with Spinal Tap (in which he famously costars), and managed to create some Gen-X favorites.  The run began with Waiting for Guffman (1996), a "doc" following the production of a pageant/ play intended to celebrate the sesquicentennial of a small, Missouri town, Blaine, the participants of which believe will be seen by an agent of a Broadway producer - elevating their joy at just participating in a local stage show to the chance for something beyond their wildest dreams.

Guest's ensemble would continue on with him through all five films, into his HBO show Family Tree, and into the attempt to recapture the magic with Mascots in 2016.  This film includes talent that was breaking at the time, established talent, and helped to establish some of the cast.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Halloween Watch: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994)




Watched:  10/31/2020
Format:  Amazon Prime
Viewing:  2nd?  3rd?  4th?  It's been decades
Decade: 1990's
Director:  Kenneth Branagh

We already watched the classic Universal Frankenstein and the Hammer Frankenstein for the podcast, but I always watch Frankenstein and Bride as my final movie or so of Halloween.  So, I swapped in this version, which I hadn't seen in forever.  And I know I hadn't seen it in forever, because Jamie had never seen it.  

My memory was "that sure felt like it thought it was much better than it was".  It was directed by already-respected Shakespearean actor/director Kenneth Branagh, borrowed indie cred by casting Helena Bonham Carter (who was the indie-fan's sex symbol of the time), borrowed established cred with Robert DeNiro as the Monster, Tom Hulce of Amadeus fame, Ian Holm, John Cleese and others.  The sets are lavish, the score: sweeping.  

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

PODCAST: "Fantasia" (1940) and "Fantasia 2000" (1999) - a Disney History PodCast w/ NathanC and Ryan

 


Watched:  Fantasia 09/08 and Fantasia 2000 09/10/20
Format:  Disney +
Viewing:  Unknown/ Fourth
Decade:  1940's and 1990's
Director:  multiple on each


More places to listen 

When does animation become become more than popular entertainment? What are the boundaries of art that separate Beethoven and cartoon alligators? What is high-brow entertainment and funny business for the whole family? Walt Disney had a vision to elevate the form of animation and create an entirely new experience. Today, we know the result as "Fantasia", which returned in 1999 with a sequel of sorts in "Fantasia 2000". NathanC and Ryan return to talk all about a pair of Disney classics! 

Toccata and Fugue in D Minor - J.S. Bach
Ave Maria - Franz Schubert

Nathan's Fantasia buddies:


Ryan's Fantasia (and assorted Disney) pals:




Disney History Playlist:



Monday, August 31, 2020

PODCAST: "Showdown in Little Tokyo" (1991) - A SimonUK Cinema Series Episode (w/ Ryan)


Watched:  08/22/2020
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First, as it turns out
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Mark L. Lester

More ways to listen!


SimonUK and Ryan explore the 1991 film that brought Dolph Lundgren to the mean streets of LA's Little Tokyo as the ultimate Japanese man. It's action, mayhem, adventure and lots of nudity as Lundgren teams with the son of Bruce to take down the Yakuza before they something something protection racket/ sell pills in beer bottles. It's hard to say, but Tia Carrere is wrapped up in this mess, so you do have that going for you.





Music:

Showdown in Little Tokyo - David Michael Frank


SimonUK Cinema Series Playlist!


Sunday, August 23, 2020

PODCAST: "The Straight Story" (1999) - featuring an interview with screenwriter John Roach! Disney History w/ NathanC and Ryan!


Watched:  08/08/2020
Format:  Disney+
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1990's
Director:  David Lynch

For more ways to listen


NathanC returns for more Disney History - and this time he brings an interview with screenwriter John Roach! We're discussing the only G-Rated entry in the filmography of David Lynch, bringing his brilliance to a completely different kind of story. And - we have an interview with one of the key storytellers! Get some insight into this remarkable film courtesy a screenwriter who was there from start to finish! It's a very different (and special!) episode of The Signal Watch.





Music:  
Laurens Walking - Angelo Badalamenti, The Straight Story OST
Country Theme - Angelo Badalamenti, The Straight Story OST


Playlist - Disney History w/ NathanC:



Sunday, August 16, 2020

Cyborg Watch: Running Delilah (1993)



Watched:  08/16/2020
Format:  DVD
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Richard Franklin

So, I was scanning the sale items on the Kino Lorber page and was like "Kim Cattrall in a spy movie?" so I read the description and was like "Kim Cattrall as a CYBORG in a spy movie?"  And promptly hit "buy".*

I think this was intended to be a pilot for a very 1990's TV show, probably in syndication.  What's weird about it is that all the pieces are there for what could have been a serviceable stand-alone movie.  In 1993, stars Kim Cattrall and Billy Zane weren't huge stars, but I knew who they were.  The director, Richard Franklin, had handled a couple of mid to low-cost films I'd similarly seen - FX/2 and Cloak and Dagger.   This came out in the wake of La Femme Nikita and multiple RoboCop films.  Instead, it's a reminder of what telefilm and a lot of television looked at during a certain window, and that sci-fi was not always well-served by this sort of production.

Cattrall plays Delilah, an undercover agent for a US law-enforcement agency (I never caught who), , collecting evidence against a Greek arms dealer (who seems to really want to see her eat Greek food for some reason).  Her handler, who is "running" her, is played by Billy Zane.  And the two spend about 7x more time talking about the fact they aren't going to bonetown than they do the case at hand.

Delilah is found out and the baddies take a flying attempt at killing her with lots of bullets.  Zane retrieves the almost-dead agent, and because he loves her (but phrases it as wanting to go to bonetown, because 90's), does as you do and brings her to a French cybernetics guy who happens to work in his building.  There's a bit where she, of course, believes she's a monster.  Remarkably, she gets over it really fast when she finds out she's now the Bionic Woman and can do all kinds of things within budget.  This is one chipper cyborg!

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Kaiju Watch: Godzilla v King Ghidorah (1991)


Watched:  08/06/2020
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  third
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Kazuki Ōmori

I know I always say this, but this movie is straight nonsense.

In particular, the flavor of nonsense in this movie is an alarming disregard for logic tied to time travel.  Also, cuts and colors of suit.

Friday, July 24, 2020

PODCAST: 112 "True Lies" (1994) - an ArnieFest Installment w/ SimonUK and Ryan


Watched:  07/09/2020
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  No idea
Decade:  1990's
Director:  James Cameron

More ways to listen


ArnieFest continues with a mid-90's film that dares to ask "what if James Bond were married? And Austrian? And American? And Tom Arnold was there?" It's the action comedy sensation that everyone in film school had to write a paper about and feel bad for enjoying. SimonUK and Ryan go on a less-than-secret mission to revisit this Arnie favorite.





Music:

Main Theme - Brad Fiedel, True Lies OST
Nuclear Kiss - Shirley Walker, True Lies OST


Playlist:


Friday, July 3, 2020

Kaiju Watch: Godzila and Mothra - The Battle for Earth (1992)



Watched:  07/01/2020
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  First (somehow)
Decade:  1990's
Director: Takao Okawara

Do you like pointless Indiana Jones rip-offs?  Confusing plot twists that come out of nowhere?  Psychics?  and our friends, the Twins/ Fairies/ Cosmos?  Sad Japanese people talking about how we're all boned anyway, because we're destroying our own environment?  Disappearing mullets? Plot threads that begin, are very important, and left unresolved?  Most of all - do you like MOTHRA?

Well.

Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth (1992) is here to deliver the goods.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

PODCAST: "Total Recall" (1990) - Arnie-Fest continues with SimonUK and Ryan!


Watched:  06/18/2020
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Paul Verhoeven

More ways to listen - choose a podcast format


We get our respective asses to Mars and talk Arnie's big-budget sci-fi opus, "Total Recall". Is this the real life? Is it just fantasy? Simon and Ryan dig into this 1990 fan favorite full of rad ideas, great sets and design, a terrific cast and a pace that's hard to beat. From the director of "RoboCop" and Sharon Stone's star turn! Open your minds and join us!
 


Music: 
Total Recall Main Theme - Jerry Goldsmith



Playlists

Arnie-Fest



SimonUK Cinema Series

Monday, June 22, 2020

Jackie Watch: Supercop (1992)



Watched:  06/21/2020
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Stanley Tong

Back during my early years of college, one of the student associations would bring in Hong Kong cinema to Hogg Auditorium on the University of Texas campus.  JAL and a few others of us would wander down there,  and the place would be half-full with bats flying around during the show.  Sometimes we'd be less sober than other times, but we were getting great stuff that didn't play even the arthouse theaters, and seeing it on the big screen.

But the thing JAL first used to get me to show up was describing how Jackie Chan films worked, so - we went and watched Police Story 3: Supercop

Friday, June 19, 2020

Noir Watch: Backtrack (1990) and Murder by Contract (1958) w/ JAL & Ryan


Watched:  06/11/2020 (Backtrack) & 06/16/2020 (Contract)
Format:  Amazon Streaming and TCM Noir Alley
Viewing:  First / Second
Decade:  1990's/ 1950's
Director:  Dennis Hopper/ Irving Lerner

More ways to listen - choose an app


We're back with more noir - neo and otherwise! It's two movies about weirdo hitmen filmed 30 years apart. One is from the go-go 90's and has a lot of surprises, and the other is a cult classic of noir, about a man who just wants enough money to get that house he's had his eye on. Both have casts worth discussing and off-kilter approaches to their form. Join JAL and Ryan as we make our way through two features that don't get that many mentions.





Music:
The Executioner Theme - Perry Botkin, Murder By Contract score


Noir Playlist:

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Let's Do This Watch: The Dallas Connection (1994)




Watched:  05/30/2020
Format:  Full Moon on Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Christian Drew Sidaris

In the wake of Hard Ticket to Hawaii, and with a 7-day trial of "Full Moon" available, I clicked around to see what else might be available from the Malibu Bay film collection.  I stumbled upon The Dallas Connection (1994), another Bullets, Bombs and Babes movie from the studio.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Kaiju Watch: Rebirth of Mothra/ Mothra Returns (1996)



Watched:  05/20/2020
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Okihiro Yoneda

So, this movie was insane. 

Rebirth of Mothra/ Mothra Returns (1996) arrived with those kind of groovy Godzilla films where they were re-doing the earlier movies in a 90's context, and decided to expand the franchise with some Mothra solo flix.  It just happened to be directed by a second unit director who maybe wasn't quite ready for his own picture?

The first half has this weird vibe like an American kids movies of the late 80's - squabbling parents, a bratty younger sister maybe?  But then enter the Twins/ The Faeries from prior Mothra appearances.  And they HAVE NAMES.  (Mona and Lora.  Who figured?)  They also have a gothed out sister who went evil who rides around on a tiny dragon. 

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Kaiju Watch: Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994)



Watched:  04/26/2020
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Kensho Yamashita

Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994) is maybe not the best entry in the series, but it does have a NASA official reviewing footage of the inside of a space craft that has some damage from an exterior source before exploding and says "it must have been a huge monster".  Look, science is just different in a world with Mothras and whatnot.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Yes, This Is The First Time I Saw This: Tremors (1990)


Watched:  04/21/2020
Format:  Netflix
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1990
Director: Ron Underwood

No, I'd never seen Tremors (1990), and it's just one of those gaps that happened for no reason.  I always assumed it was exactly what it turned out to be, which is something I am not against and often enjoy if you catch me in the right mood.  And, hey, yes, it was exactly that movie.  And that's okay!

It fits neatly in with a lot of movies from the era, while also being generally better acted and produced with, frankly, amazing practical effects.  Good stuff and an entry-level horror I might show a kid.

I have nothing to add to anything about this movie except that I am joining my voice to the chorus that believes this is the prequel to Dune.  Fan theories!  Totally a legit way to watch movies!

KAIJU WATCH: Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah - Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001) AND Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla II



Watched:  04/19/2020/ 04/20/2020
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  First/ Firstish
Decade:  2000's/ 1990's
Director: Shusuke Kaneko/ Takao Okawara


I am unsure what I'd heard about Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001) as a particular entry in the G-franchise, but it *seems* to be pretty popular.  Godzilla v MechaGodzilla II (1993) may be marginally popular with kaiju fans.  Arguably, GMAOA is aimed at an older crowd, and harkens back to the existential threat of Godzilla as first presented in 1954.  GvMGII seems aimed at a younger crowd, but still works pretty well.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Twitter Watch: The Shadow (1994)


Watched:  04/10/2020
Format:  Amazon Streaming and tweet-along
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1990's
Director: Russell MulCahy


I dunno.  I still like this movie.  It's a mess, but it wasn't what I was expecting when I saw it the first time, and while I would, one day, love a ahrd-edged anti-hero version of The Shadow to make it to TV or the big screen, this very-90's take on the character is okay for what it is, in my book.  But I am well aware, when I went to go see stuff like this back in the day, the bar was so low, you had to dig for it. 

When I first started getting *into* comics I found out you could get, for free, something called the Bud Plant catalog, which offered up stuff you weren't going to find on the Piggly Wiggly spinner rack, and they had sections dedicated to the pulp characters like The Shadow and The Spirit.  The art I saw for The Shadow made The Punisher look tame by comparison (the work was Mike Kaluta's Shadow). 

I didn't know, at the time, how far back The Shadow went - originally appearing as the voice of a nameless narrator on a crime fiction radio program in the 1920's, and eventually becoming a character in his own right, making the move to short stories and novellas, comics, movie serials, and more.  There's zero question that he's part of the inspiration for Batman.  And Orson Welles cut his teeth on a Shadow radio show

But I'm not sure 1994 movie audiences who were there for action-figure-spawning movies were ready for the complicated world of The Shadow.  So, things got really, really streamlined and the movie feels like a set-up so they can get on to sequels where more things happen.  Which is usually a mistake.  And while the movie did fine, it didn't do Batman numbers, and that was the end of that for everybody. 

The movie certainly feels the way too many comics projects wound up in the aftermath of Batman in 1989.  The look of the film seems to borrow a lot from Burton and Co., and they even try to replicate some Danny Elfman.  Fortunately, I think Baldwin finds his own path to Lamont Cranston (if he's not actually Kent Allard, but let's not quibble), and it's hard to complain about the cast beyond teh fairly broad performances of the kinda all-star cast of John Lone, Jonathan Winters, Peter Boyle, Tim Curry, Penelope Ann Miller and more. 

And, it's kind of fun.  Baldwin's take on Cranston isn't exactly camp, but more of a battle of wits where he can't help but be a smart ass.  Which, you know, he *is* a guy who laughs while in life or death situations.  Not that I think there's deep character stuff going on here, but it's not a flawed performance.  But it does give for some questions as to what everyone involved thought this movie was as it was being produced.  It's kinda brutal in some parts even as they will have incredibly jokey parts in the next shot.

Anyway - We watched it and tweeted it!  You should have been there.


Thursday, April 9, 2020

Trek Watch: Star Trek - Generations (1994) & First Contact (1996)



Watched:  04/06 and 04/07/2020
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  Third?  Second?
Decade: 1990's
Director: David Carson/ Jonathan Frakes

I still remember walking out of Star Trek: Generations (1994) and roughly saying "what the @#$% was that?"

A cheap looking movie with a singularly ridiculous end for one of my childhood fictional heroes, and a ludicrous A plot that went nowhere, meshed with a B plot that only Data got to experience.  It genuinely just felt like a very expensive episode or three of the series that spawned it - but not even a particularly brilliant episode or arc.