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

Saturday, November 26, 2022

PodCast 222: "Home Alone 1 & 2" (1990, 1992) - Holidays 2022 w/ SimonUK and Ryan


 

Watched:  11/05 and 11/12/2022
Format:  Disney+
Viewing: Second/ First
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Christopher Columbus




Simon and Ryan ponder two of the biggest money makers of the 1990's, a pair of movies that caught the world by surprise and took cartoon violence, family strife, abandonment, and hanging with old people and found their Christmas box office miracle. As the movies are now staples of the Holiday, we take a look to see what's under the tree. Will we get a sweet present or hit in the face with a @#$%ing bowling ball?

Sunday, November 20, 2022

PODCAST 221: "Batman: Mask of the Phantasm" (1993) - in memoriam, Kevin Conroy - w/ Stuart and Ryan



Watched:  11/18/2022
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing: Unknown
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Kevin Altieri, Boyd Kirkland, Frank Paur



Stuart and Ryan get together to discuss the 1993 animated film that featured the voice talent of Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman to multiple generations. We talk about the performances, art, and craft of the 1990's animated Batman material, and the tremendous impact of the cartoon and Conroy.


SoundCloud 


YouTube


Music:
Main Title - Shirley Walker, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm 


DC Movies Playlist

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Off-Season Watch: Edward Scissorhands (1990)




Watched:  10/24/2022
Format:  Disney+
Viewing:  Third
Director:  Tim Burton

My recollection of Edward Scissorhands (1990) was that it was... fine.  It was never my favorite film by Tim Burton or otherwise.  I'm certain I saw it on the heels of the success of Batman and with reflective goodwill earned by that movie (in my mind at the time).  

It was probably also my actual introduction to the Tim Burton aesthetic and ethos.  I didn't get around to Beetlejuice til after 1995 when Jamie showed it to me (I have no real recollection of how I missed it the first time around).  But at roughly 15 years old, I believe my brother and I saw Edward Scissorhands during holiday break when we more or less would go to the movies almost every other day.  And by this point the trailers and whatnot would have pinged off me and been appealing.

In college, one of my roommates opined that "it would be nice if Tim Burton could tell a story", and at the time I was like "what are you talking about?" because we were watching Batman Returns and that is clearly art.*  But upon reflection - I usually only watch a Tim Burton film once, if at all.  I'm probably batting only a .650 with his overall output and I only really rewatch Batman films and NBXM.

And this movie, which is a Christmas movie (I mentioned before it started and was rebuffed), is one I watched once in the theater, once at someone's house when it was on, and never watched again after high school.  I recalled thinking "well, it didn't really *do* anything" or however one reacts in high school to movies with a deeply muddled third act and hinging on a romance that is never established.  

Monday, October 3, 2022

PodCast 213: "Jekyll And Hyde" (1990) - a Halloween PodCast w/ SimonUK and Ryan




Watched:  08/16/2022
Format:  Amazon
Viewing: First
Decade:  1990
Director:  David Wickes




SimonUK and Ryan make a change for the spooky and ponder a transformation to covering classic story adaptations with top tier talent. We dive into Robert Louis Stevenson's tale, told as a period piece and changed about a bit to include Michael Caine and Cheryl Ladd. Join us as we talk a 1990 adaptation!


SoundCloud 


YouTube


Music:
Jekyll & Hyde - Jim Burgett 


Halloween 2022


Horror and Halloween

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Watch Party Watch: Man's Best Friend (1993)




Watched:  07/22/2022
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  Second
Director:  John Lafia

I saw this movie in the theater and was mostly curious about it because I had absolutely no memory of what happened in the film.  I was 18 and it was during my college winter break so I was home, so I'm pretty sure I was sober, but...  man.  Aside from one very iffy CGI shot, I had nothing.

The basic gist of the film is that the world's most negligent reporter decides to break and enter at a science-place where it turns out Lance Henriksen is doing gene-splicing to create "the ultimate guard dog".  Why?  No idea.  We're never told.  But Ally Sheedy accidentally earns some life-debt from "Max" the ultra-dog whom she spirits away (hint: never take an animal from a lab) and brings to her home.  

She lies to her live-in boyfriend about where she got the dog, and - as a reporter - if she airs any of what she's got on tape, she is absolutely going to jail.  That's B&E and larceny.  

Well, this is ostensibly a horror movie, so it turns out the dog isn't just murderous, he can climb walls or trees, swallow cats like a python and piss acid?  I remembered none of this.  But I did remember there's one shot where they do the Predator CGI shtick where he's kind of clear and then you can see him.

I'm not a *huge* fan of complaining about movies having tone problems*, but this movie has them.  It genuinely feels like a 90's kid's film at times, complete with the neigbor kid who acts like he's 45 and 13 at the same time and wears the neon colors you saw kids wearing in movies and TV in the 90's, but not in real life.  

There's kids telling fart stories that are irrelevant to anything, but then bearing witness to cat murder and simply running away lest they be implicated in the cat murder, which is probably the only honest thing in this movie.

What is impossible to determine from the film's various murders and wacky cops is whether this movie is kidding or not, or a comedy or not.  It's not funny, but you can tell someone decided this movie should be "fun", so we murder a mailman, etc..  And you have to wonder if Ally Sheedy's insane negligence and obliviousness were supposed to be funny.  Oh, also, there's the implication of dog-on-dog non-consensual sex.  Which... seems played for laughs?  Well, the mid-90's were a weird time.  

In an era of "content" and rapidly forgotten films, it's easy to forget that stuff like this was hitting cinemas on a regular basis.  We had studios like New Line - who released this movie - who were like "sci-fi killer dog?  And no one suspects?  So... like one of those trash 450 page horror novels you get at the airport?  GREEN LIGHT."  I mean, this is a $6 million movie.  There are about four sets, and the rest is spent on talent, which is kind of sweet, actually.  And they made a profit of some sort if Wikipedia is to be believed.

But, make no mistake - this movie is absolutely terrible.  



*it usually tells me more about a viewer's expectations of the way they think a movie is supposed to be versus what the movie is

Sunday, June 26, 2022

PodCast 202: "Hudson Hawk" (1991) - a 90's Reconsideration PodCast w/ MRSHL and Ryan



Watched:  06/25/2022
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing: First
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Michael Lehmann




Marshall and Ryan look into one of the worst reviewed, most notorious movies of the 1990's! We're looking at what they did, what critics and the public were sort of expecting at the time, where it went wrong and where it surprised us. Join us as we steal a bit of time and ponder an artifact that might turn movie lead into gold!


SoundCloud 


YouTube


Music:
Swinging on a Star - Bruce Willis 
Side by Side - Bruce Willis & Danny Aiello




Sunday, April 24, 2022

Watch Party Watch: American Cyborg - Steel Warrior (1993)




Watched:  04/22/2022
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  Second
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Boaz Davidson

A movie that actively resists how movies are supposed to work, American Cyborg: Steel Warrior (1993) eschews character, story, pacing, and more to tell the plot outline of a cute blonde carrying a jar-of-baby to a port to give it to Frenchmen whilst being stalked by a robotic gym coach.  Luckily, she's saved by Unfrozen Caveman Hero Joe Lara.  

The movie has exactly two modes:  (1) uninspired fighting - 90% (2) awkward romantic moments - 10%.

It's a movie that is only 90 minutes, but somehow feels 4 hours long, because it has no story and thinks it should make up for that with the exact same fight sequence happening over and over and occurring in 10 minute spurts.  It's insane.

Anyway, I hate it and want to eject it from my brain as soon as possible.  So this write-up is over.




Tuesday, April 12, 2022

90's Watch: The Freshman (1990)




Watched:  04/12/2022
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Andrew Bergman

I'm kind of fascinated by the writer/ directors who did a few things but aren't workhorses with thirty directing credits or a hundred writing credits.  Because Andrew Bergman is one of these guys.  He doesn't have any movies in his IMDB that's a big mark against him, but it's just not clear why their last big credit was in, like, 1997.  

The Freshman (1990) arrived at a very peculiar time in my life.  That summer I had been in DC for my uncle's wedding, and we had some downtime as it wasn't a touristy sort of week in town.  And, frankly, although my brother and I were 15 and 17, we got shunted to the side as not-adults.  My uncle, being my uncle, had some videotapes he owned, and that included Godfather, Godfather II and Das Boot (just to prove Bob knows how to party).  And, Jason and I watched all three.

Anyway, 1989-1990 was more or less the year that I became a nascent film-jerk, because that Spring we'd also rented Lawrence of Arabia and a host of others for the first time.  But The Godfather movies hit me like a ton of bricks.  And then I got home, and a few weeks later, The Freshman hit theaters.  

To this day, this is one of my favorite comedies.  Everyone in it is perfectly cast and nails their business.  Brando is fucking magical.  Broderick is the best he'll be til Election.  And it rewards rewatches to really pick up on some of the dialog and what people are doing and saying.  Man, we lost Bruno Kirby decades too early.  And, man, Penelope Ann Miller is so, so good.

But, yeah, I absolutely love this goofy movie.  It's incredibly warm-hearted for a movie made in a period where that often translated to schmaltz or dumb-assery (this same producer made Chances Are).  And I still think it's psychotic that this movie didn't do better, but maybe the Godfather crowd didn't want to see Brando send up one of his most famous characters, and maybe the younger crowd wasn't interested.  

And how DOES a komodo dragon fit into a mob comedy, anyway?  Or Bert Parks?  

Anyway, I think history has mostly been kind to the film.  Hasn't it?  I don't know.  But it was a great little push to let me know "movies can be fun" - not just the movie I was watching, but how it played with the most sacred of cows.  It's still shocking to me that all the pieces came together as they did.


Saturday, April 9, 2022

90's Watch: Nobody's Fool (1994)




Watched:  04/05/2022
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  Third
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Robert Benton

It's been decades since I've seen Nobody's Fool (1994), but it's a movie I saw in the theater twice and a few times after.  I recalled feeling weirdly and profoundly moved by the film and was unsure how it would sit as I'm closer to the main character's age than the grandson's age at this point.

On first blush, the movie could be read as some smalltown schmaltz, but reviews of the time were overwhelmingly positive and reflect a lot of how I felt about the film at the time.  It takes place within the kind of small town romanticized by politicians in ads, of Main Streets and "working people", but it's also frank that small towns are kind of hard, that it's not always the pathway to the achievement of the American Dream and when you know everyone in your town, it can get weird.*  

To that end, it's a reminder of a kind of film you don't see as often these days as it's a quiet, thoughtful ensemble film where actors seem to be enjoying the work, a few name Hollywood types playing supporting roles just to be there, in the mix with up-and-comers and character veterans.  Of course, anchored by one of the best of the post 1950 American cinema, Paul Newman, still handsome and better than ever when it comes to what he does, which is say a thousand words with a glance or even in stillness.

Friday, March 25, 2022

PodCast 190: "Showgirls" (1995) - A Day-Drinking Surprise Birthday Movie Exchange w/ Jamie and Ryan




Watched:  03/19/2022
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  Second
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Paul Verhoeven




NSFW!!! This year for their birthdays, Jamie and Ryan are exchanging movies, but each will surprise the other with their selection. For Jamie's birthday, Ryan rolled out the martinis and 1995's most notorious camp-tastic hit in glorious NC-17 style. It's a wild world of the American Dream if your dream is to DANCE. Mine isn't, so this mostly seemed like it was trying very hard to make a point, but forgot what that point was multiple times along the way.


SoundCloud 


YouTube


Music:
Vision Thing - Sisters of Mercy
Goddess - David A. Steward, Showgirls OST


Ryan's Random Cinema

Saturday, March 12, 2022

St. Patrick's Day Watch: Leprechaun (1993)




Watched:  03/11/2022
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  Second
Director:  Who knows and who cares

I watched Leprechaun the first time at a party during what I think was Christmas break 1993.  I don't really remember much about it except for that the Leprechaun was a vicious dick and it featured Jennifer Aniston before I knew who she was.  

It follows the same pattern as a lot of horror from that era, and this era.  People are in a country house of some kind, and a dangerous force attacks.  The house actually looks quite a bit like the house from Critters or five dozen other movies of the era.  In this case, an Irish immigrant has returned home from a funeral and brought with him a bag of gold he stole from a leprechaun (Warwick Davis).  Now in the Western United States, he rightfully assumes he's safe from a magical being an ocean away.  

He's not, but he traps the leprechaun in a box for a decade until Jennifer Aniston and her dad show up to rent the house.  The movie also features a "hunky guy" house painter for Aniston to latch onto, his kid brother and the guy who stole Pee-Wee Herman's bike playing a moron.  

A bit about the thing with Mark Holton's moron...  

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Neo-Noir Watch: Fargo (1996)




Watched:  02/28/2022
Format:  TCM
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Joel Coen

God damn, this movie.  

Like many, I loved (LOVED) Fargo when we saw it in the theater back in 1996, and I watched it several times in the years immediately following, but it's been a long stretch since I last watched it beginning to end.  I was watching the final 20 minutes or so of Blood Simple on TCM, and Jamie suggested we record Fargo and watch it in a day or so, and as Jamie is wise, I was on board.    

And, really, the two movies aren't a bad pairing.  

Blood Simple - the Coens' first - is a horror-like noir with trappings of unfaithful wives, murder of lovers, which might have been in drawing rooms in the 1940's and is transplanted to suburban Texas (the greater Austin area) where it all takes on a sheen of low-fi, red neckiness.  But it also is Texas mean - something we'd see repeated in their adaptation of No Country For Old Men.  

Famously, Fargo (1996) takes place between Fargo, North Dakota and Minneapolis, Minnesota, with stops in Brainerd, Minnesota - and all in the whiteout dead of winter.  The film exists in empty spaces, from the wide open plains of Brainerd to parking lots with a single car to lake fronts in winter.  Minneapolis, with people huddled inside, has its own sense of emptiness.  Even the spacious home of the Lundegaards has a kind of desolation.  

Saturday, February 12, 2022

PODCAST 183: "The Last Boy Scout" (1991) - w/ MBell, MRSHL and Ryan



Watched: 02/05/2022
Format:  Amazon
Viewing:  Second
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Tony Scott




A trio of dudes who were the exact target audience for this movie in 1991 revisit a surprisingly divisive 90's action staple. Join us as we go long on on a movie with all the right elements, but which hits everyone a little different. No one's moving goal posts, but it's time to move the chains and execute as we talk for probably as long as this movie runs.






Music:
Last Boy Scout - Michael Kaman
Friday Night's a Great Night for Football - Bill Medley


Signal Watch Canon

Thursday, January 20, 2022

90's Re-Watch: Living in Oblivion (1995)




Watched:  01/19/2022
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  Unknown
Director:  Tom DiCillo

In August of 1995, I entered into Film I, joining the "production" track within my university's film school.  That Fall would see a lot of changes, and I mostly remember a lot of exhaustion, a lot of learning-on-the-fly and getting to handle actual film cameras for the first time.  As well as editing, cutting and screening work I did mostly in collaboration with others.  

Living in Oblivion (1995) was released during the middle of the 90's indie boom, and maybe was just a little too indie to break huge, but it does seem like a movie that a lot of people saw back then or since.  A film about filmmaking, but not in that way that Hollywood likes to reward with Oscars, Living in Oblivion hit all of us in that Film 1 class where we lived, realizing our dumb little misadventures behind the camera were just how this business was going to work.  

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

90's Re-Watch: Muriel's Wedding (1994)




Watched:  01/09/2022
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  Unknown
Director:  PJ Hogan

Back in the long, long ago Muriel's Wedding (1994) was a movie I watched over and over.  I'm not really sure why.  It's a good movie, it's funny, it's a bit moving here and there.  It seems like an odd thing for a 20 year old dude to decide he's going to watch over and over, but here we are.

But I also don't think I'd seen it again in two decades.  It's been a really long time and I don't recall owning it since VHS.  

An Australian made movie, it did bring Toni Collette and Rachel Griffiths to the attention of American audiences when it arrived here (I think it was showing in Austin in Spring of 1995 and I watched it probably at The Dobie).  It was, in general, an interesting era for Australian and New Zealand film as it seemed like Campion was doing her thing, Peter Jackson was freaking everyone out, Pricilla, Queen of the Desert won hearts and minds, and Baz Luhrman's Strictly Ballroom was big for indie film fans.  

Friday, December 24, 2021

PodCast 176: "Santa With Muscles" (1996) - Daydrinking the Movies Christmas 2021 w/ Jamie, Dug, K and Ryan




Watched: 12/23/2021
Format:  BluRay
Viewing: Second
Decade:  1990's
Director:  John Murlowski




Well. We rounded up Jamie's brother and sister-in-law, got into the booze cabinet and watched a truly, truly horrible movie. And with tape rolling, we thereby talked about The Meaning of Christmas, magic crystals, soft-racism in unrelated movies and a wide, wide host of topics.

Have a cocktail or three and catch-up. We're talking a garbage movie.




Music:
Santa Claus is Coming to Town - Michael Buble 

hypnogram interprets "Santa With Muscles"



Christmas 2021 Playlist

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

PODCAST: "Die Hard" (1988) & "Die Hard 2" (1990) - Christmas 2021 w/ SimonUK and Ryan




Watched:  11/22 and 11/24
Format:  Amazon
Viewing: Unknown
Decade:  1980's and 1990's
Director:  Jon McTiernan and Renny Harlin




Yippee ki-yay, y'all! It ain't Christmas til Nakatomi tower is smoldering, paper and glass are everywhere, several Europeans and a coke head are dead, Al has eaten a Twinkie and one Bonnie Bedelia has recognized her husband's handiwork. Yup, it's the one I've personally been refusing to do for years, paired with the (sigh) sequel.




Music:
Ode to Joy - Michael Kamen, Die Hard OST 
Let it Snow - Vaughn Moore, Die Hard OST 


Christmas 2021

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

PODCAST 171: "Jingle All The Way" (1996) - Christmas 2021 w/ Stuart and Ryan


Watched:  11/03/2021
Format:  YouTube
Viewing: Second?  Third?
Decade:  1990's
Director:   Brian Levant




Stuart and Ryan are in a mad-cap race to find the perfect gift for you, our listeners - and that would be a terrific podcast, just like all the other kids want this year. Will we deliver as trip each other, threaten media outlets, terrorize children and generally fail to deliver as podcast hosts and law-abiding citizens? We take a look at a movie that was panned upon its release, but that younger generations have decided is GREAT (they are wrong). But you gotta love Arnie. And Sinbad, too.




Music:
Jingle Bells - Brian Stezer Orchestra 
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Johnny Mathis


Christmas 2021

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Doc Watch: The Celluloid Closet (1995)




Watched:  11/07/2021
Format:  TCM 
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1990's
Directors:  Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman

This doc came out while I was in film school, and I remember it being suggested viewing, but I don't recall an actual theatrical release locally, and then I just never got to it.

As a cultural touchstone, this film feels like it needs a review by The Kids(tm).  It captures a moment in time, just before Gen-X would start driving the cultural conversation and the ending, cast as hope, now seems quaint in some ways and like a ship was missed in others.  But if nothing else, the film shows the realities of what things came before the mid-90's and - extrapolating to the modern era - how much has and hasn't changed in what is a relatively brief period.  

Sunday, November 7, 2021

90's Re-Watch: Cool World (1992)




Watched:  11/07/2021
Format:  HBOmax, I think.  
Viewing:  3rd?
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Ralph Bakshi

In 1992, I made my brother go with me to see Cool World.  It was my chance to jump on the Ralph Bakshi train, it combined animation and live action, and it had Gabriel Byrne and Kim Basinger.  Mostly I remember thinking "this movie is not great" partway through, and being aware that for being the horniest thing I'd seen in movies in a very horny era at the movies, it never seemed to be willing to take anything as far as it could have. Or should have,

Here, 30 years later, I don't think I've changed my mind, and I'm willing to be more honest about it.  I defended the movie a lot because it *tried* something new and different, and served it up to a mainstream audience.  My suspicion is that Paramount ended up defanging the film.  As there often is decades later, there are conflicting versions of events, but I tend to believe the Fritz the Cat guy was not shying away from a Hard-R and the studio flack decided to try and get teens into the movie.