Showing posts with label 2000's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2000's. Show all posts

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Watch Party Watch: Princess of Mars (2009)




Watched:  07/01/2022
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2000s
Director:  Don't care

In it's way, Edgar Rice Burrough's novel A Princess of Mars is maybe the most important book of the 20th Century that you've never read.  Published in 1912 as a serialized adventure, it laid the groundwork for 20th and 21st Century science fiction and fantasy of a certain swashbuckling flavor.  You do not get to Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, Dune or Star Wars without the book.

It's had two adaptations that I know of - this one by SyFy Channel's unholy love child, The Asylum, and then the billion dollar dud from Disney, which I quite like as it's own thing.  

This movie had two things going for it:  
1)  A book beloved by 12 year olds that should have been a slam dunk to adapt, even for The Asylum
2)  Traci Lords

I am here to report that Traci Lords is a force even (especially?) when she's standing in the middle of a smoking crater of where a film was supposed to be.  All told, if you came to see Traci Lords, there's not really enough, but is there ever enough Traci Lords?

The movie was... bad.  Absolutely handicapped not just by a slim budget but by what they chose to excise from the book, what they added in, and then 79 minutes of the 90 minute run time all telling and zero showing.  Which is a really fucking dumb way to use your money when it comes to retelling A Princess of Mars.  

Not actually a set pic.  This is just Traci Lords on a Thursday.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Return to "Smallville"



It's a fascinating thing to return to a show 20 years later.  For the kids, Smallville debuted when I was about 26 and would have watched pretty much anything that was comic-book related, but was aggressively obsessed with all things Superman - an obsession which started roughly five or six years prior and continues to this day in a toned-down sort of way.  It will sound weird to new comics readers now, but arriving at Superman around the age of 20 or 21 was late for a comics nerd as I'd been reading comics for a decade with no particular interest in The Man of Steel.  But, a confluence of comics that spoke to me where I lived featuring Superman* began trickling out in the mid to late 90's, and that, paired with the WB's Superman: The Animated Series, turned the tide.

At the time of show's debut, I wasn't much of a TV watcher - as in, I didn't make time for television, but I did watch a lot of films.  That said - I'd followed X-Files til right about at this point (when I gave up on the program), but had not been a person to obsess over a particular show, otherwise.  Well, maybe Seinfeld, Simpsons and some Babylon 5.  And lest we forget, Chef!.  No Buffy, Angel or whatever else for me.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

PodCast 201: "Daredevil" (2003) - A Marvel Madness Episode w/ Danny Horn & Ryan




Watched:  06/09/2022
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  Second
Director:  Mark Steven Johnson




Danny and Ryan break a Signal Watch record, talking about a movie for longer than the run-time of that movie. Because when it comes to 2003's superhero offering, we need to take this to court and then give it the beatdown. We're jumping off skyscrapers of logic and throwing billy clubs of criticism as we echo-locate what it's all about.


SoundCloud 


YouTube


Music:
Daredevil Theme - Graeme Revell
Guardian Devil - Graeme Revell


Marvel Madness Playlist

Sunday, May 8, 2022

PodCast 198: "Ghost Rider" (2007) - A Marvel Madness PodCast with Danny Horn (and Ryan)



Watched:  04/29/2022
Format:  Amazon
Viewing: Second
Decade: 2000's
Director:  Mark Steven Johnson




We make a costly pact for minimal gain - watching 2007's edge-lordiest superhero as he monkeys his way through not hiring a lawyer and all the fall-out. Join us for discussions of acting choices, when the plot in no way adds up, Nic Cage and very, very small feet in this just-before-Marvel-got-good installment.


SoundCloud 


YouTube


Music:
Ghost Rider - Christopher Young, Album 
Ghost Riders In The Sky - Spiderbait


Marvel Madness PodCasts

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Watch Party Watch: Catwoman (2004)




Watched:  04/15/2022
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  first complete, end-to-end viewing
Decade:  2000's
Director:  some asshole who goes by "Pitof"

If I were teaching a class on superhero film, I would make Catwoman (2004) the half-way point of the class.  Chronologically, the movie arrives after Fox successfully put out two X-Men movies and Sony has delivered some Spider-Mans.  Warner Bros has shut down its Bat-franchise and will sometimes think about making a superhero movie, but everything you read in the press that WB is considering is still stuck in the idea that superheroes are campy and should be comedic, or is a reimagining where they'll use the name but everything else will be so changed, it will bear no resemblance to the comics.  

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.




Sunday, March 6, 2022

PodCast 187: "Fantastic Four" (2005) - FF Part 1 - a Kryptonian Thought Beast Episode w/ Danny Horn and Ryan




Watched:  02/27/2022
Format:  Disney+
Viewing:  Third?  Fourth?
Decade:  2000's
Director:  Tim Story




Guest contributor Danny Horn joins us as we miscalculate and wind up victims of a mutation leading to a 2-part episode! To be completely transparent, in this installment, we stretch our film reviewing, but wind up with some rock solid observations you'll find hot, hot, hot. First up we talk the 2005 attempt by Fox to turn Stan and Jack's creation into a film, by making a movie about people who do nothing particularly heroic and keep making Jessica Alba disrobe for no reason.






Music:
Fantastic Four Main Theme (2005) - John Ottman


Marvel Madness - Movies and More..!

Thursday, January 20, 2022

00's Watch: Best in Show (2000)




Watched:  01/18/2022
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  Unknown
Director:  Christopher Guest


As much as I like all of Christopher Guest's work, this is my favorite.  Maybe.  That'll change next time I watch another of his films.  But Best in Show (2000) has... Jennifer Coolidge.  I mean, that's a big advantage on everything.  But I think this is also the first Jane Lynch role.  And, of course, the movie inadvertently changed the course of actual dog show broadcasts forever by inserting Fred Willard as one of the commentators of the fictional Mayflower dog show (The National Dog Show, upon which the movie is based, began including Seinfeld's John O'Hurley shortly after.  And he's great!).   

Look, you can IMDB the names in the movie, and they're all great.  But I do think that the third act is almost entirely the day of the show is a great idea and manages to play through what we've seen of the characters to this point and manages to remain hilarious (Posey's meltdown in the hotel and then the pet store is a highlight for me) while also wrapping up the narrative.  

The characters are so specific but instantly understandable.  And short Posey and Michael Hitchcock's characters, the movie isn't ever really dragging anyone - but even those characters are so... ridiculous, you want to watch them, anyway.  Everyone's kind of goofy and absurd and even if a bit prickly, you get it.  Everyone is adding something specific and really bringing their A-game (even Will Sasso with maybe 2 minutes of screentime, has a deeply memorable bit).  

I can't be objective about the movie.  I've seen it maybe 15 or 20 times, even if it's been a while.  Not everything has aged gracefully, but I think it holds up. 

Monday, December 27, 2021

Forgot to Mention it Watch: Crazy For Christmas (2005)




Watched:  12/17/2021
Format:  Amazon
Viewing:  Second
Decade:  2000's
Director:  Eleanore Lindo

For me, this film is ground zero for what has become what I oversimplify and refer to as my Hallmark Christmas Movie fascination.  I'm not sure I even watched Crazy for Christmas (2005) on Hallmark the first time.  It could have been Lifetime or some other network.  But I think I watched it Christmas 2005 when it first aired.  I know I watched it in Phoenix, and by 2006, I was in Austin.

What I mostly remember was that it starred Howard Hesseman of WKRP in Cincinnati fame, which was how I wound up checking it out.  "Oh, yeah, that person" quickly became what brought me back to these movies as I checked in on the Tiffani Amber Theissens and others who were happy to pick up a check and turn in a performance in a movie that would get eyeballs and not embarrass anyone became a thing. 

This movie co-stars Hesseman, but really hinges on Andrea Roth, who has an imbd page as long as your arm, as a single mom struggling to finish school and raise a kid.  She works as a limo driver to pay the bills.  On Christmas Eve, a local eccentric millionaire requests her, specifically, to drive him around for the day.  She has a kid and doesn't want to do it, but the money is too good.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Oh My God, I'm Old Watch: School of Rock (2003)




Watched:  11/16/2021
Format:  Netflix
Viewing:  3rd?
Decade:  2000's
Director:  Richard Linklater

I still think of this as a new movie, but it came out almost 20 years ago now.  So, that's how time works, kids.  All those adorable moppets are now adults in their 30's.  

School of Rock (2003) is a sweet movie about someone who would absolutely land in an extraordinary amount of legal trouble and have trouble ever finding work again if the events of the film occurred in real life, not to mention taking Joan Cusack down with him.  

I won't summarize, you've all seen the movie or get the basic gist.  

Upon a re-view, I guess I decided that the movie is weirdly and profoundly lazy about its set-up and execution - something that bugged me the first time I saw this and now just feels confusing from a movie from a major studio.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

PODCAST: "Dawn of the Dead" (1978) & (2004) - Halloween 2021 - Horror Sequels w/ SimonUK and Ryan


 
Watched:  08/25 & 08/31/2021
Format:  YouTube and Amazon
Viewing:  at least second for both
Decade:  1970's and 2000's
Director:  George Romero and Zack Snyder



SimonUK and Ryan celebrate Halloween by taking a bite out of the sequel to the zombie movie that started it all, and which some consider the most delicious of the genre. We also discuss the 21st Century reanimation of the same idea. Join us for a Halloween horror discussion fit to wake the dead.




Music:
L'alba dei morti viventi - Goblin, Dawn of the Dead/ Zombi Soundtrack
What the World Needs Now (Is Love, Sweet Love) - Burt Bacharach


Halloween 2021 Playlist!

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Queen of Halloween Watch: Elvira's Haunted Hills (2001)




Watched:  10/10/2021
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  Second?  third?
Decade:  00's
Director:  Sam Irvin

This movie is a curiosity on so many levels, the mere fact of its existence tends to overwhelm the actual content of the film.  

Elvira was a pop culture phenomenon back in the 1980's, but it's probably fair to say that the 1990's weren't as good to her.  After the commercial failure (but, I think I can say, comedic success) of Elvira: Mistress of the Dark in 1987, big media interest in Elvira waned.  Back then, that was it.  You basically got your shot, and the idea of revivals wasn't huge at the time.  The roaring return of Elvira as a talk-show staple, baking show staple and general presence and gadfly in the universe is mostly due, I think, to people who liked Elvira and had access to the internet.

But in 2001, we were just barely getting past GeoCities and convincing our parents that getting a computer was actually something they needed to do.  I had dial-up.  It was a different time.

The 1993 attempt at an Elvira sitcom had fizzled (and, frankly, I DO NOT GET HOW.  The pilot is as good or better than 90% of what was on TV at the time, and came loaded with Elvira), so the Hail Mary of the moment was Cassandra Peterson and John Paragon writing a movie, self-funding it, and then grabbing a bunch of people and heading to Romania to film.  

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Waters Watch: Cecil B. Demented (2000)




Watched:  09/13/2021
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2000's
Director:  John Waters

2000 was a year for us at our house.  So, I'm not surprised that we missed the release of Cecil B. Demented (2000).  

You could easily release this film today and it would mean as much or more as it would have in 2000, when at least you were coming off an era of people *pretending* to care about indie cinema, if not outlaw cinema.  But here in 2021, the movie - if you ignore the casual violence and how you'd need to reframe it a bit now - is perhaps more relevant than ever as the studios have been purchased by mega corporations and warped the face of the film industry.  

Monday, June 28, 2021

Watch Party Watch: From Justin to Kelly (2003)




Watched:  06/25/2021
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  First full and complete watch of the movie
Decade:  the worst of the 00's
Director:  Robert Iscove

what to say...?

Well, here is what I had to say about the movie before we watched it, having had once caught a good part of it on cable.  Maybe all of it.  I can't remember.

Back around 2002, a show debuted on American television that would introduce the nation to its first not-pleasant gameshow personality, Simon Cowell. That show was American Idol, a program which has left a string of forgettable personalities and the occasional dead body.
 
The two finalists of the first season got recording deals, and a movie. Why a movie? When you're plucking nobodies from nowheresville who were the third best singer in their high school choir and live in their parents' basement? I have no idea. But the end result will also have you saying: what the @#$% is this @#$%ing movie?

That @#$%ing movie is From Justin to Kelly (2003), a singularly terrible film-like-thing that manages to be bad in a way that is hard to describe/ quantify/ explain. It sets its bar as low as any fradulent cash-in, and yet, somehow, manages to dig below that bar and far into the Earth's mantle.

It's a musical! It's a horny college spring break film! It's shot entirely through filters! It's not even trying to hide the fact these people can't act. It has a script seemingly drafted by a man who is probably estranged from his adult children, but who still likes to hang out in places young women frequent so he can comment upon them to young males, like he's one of them, making the young men very uncomfortable.

Because no one ever leaves showbiz, Justin is now "Lil Sweet" in Diet Dr. Pepper Commercials, and somehow Kelly Clarkson simply continues to insist on being an incredibly successful fixture for people with tastes best described as "very basic".

All of this is true.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Catch-Up Neo-Noir Watch: Layer Cake (2004)




Watched:  05/28/2021
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2000's
Director:  Matthew Vaughn

For a moment there, Britain was exporting some hip crime movies that Americans decided were a pretty good idea.  For a number of reasons, I missed Layer Cake (2004) when it hit the States in the summer of 2005.  And just never saw it afterwards.  Which is crazy.  We're Daniel Craig fans in this house.

It's a plot-heavy, occasionally cheeky gangster movie that served as an accidentally good pairing with The Brothers Rico, which I'd watched the night before.  Both films are about guys who are doing well enough in legitimate business that they want to leave the life behind them - but in Layer Cake, we aren't there yet.  We're just considering retiring after years packaging and selling cocaine in London when our nameless lead, played by Daniel Craig (and - it's clear this is the movie that inspired someone to give him Bond), gets pulled in as an errand boy by his boss, to find a missing girl and to broker a deal with a wild-card hoodlum who has a million hits of ecstacy he's stumbled into and is looking to sell.  

Monday, May 24, 2021

PODCAST: "The Descent" (2005) - a Signal Watch Canon PodCast with SimonUK and Ryan



Watched:  05/18/2021
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2000's
Director:  Neil Marshall



Simon and Ryan delve deep and explore the dark passageways of one of Simon's favourite films. You never know what lurks around all the corners and what we'll take a bite out of next as we ponder the first big success by director Neil Marshall.




Music:
Into the Cavern - David Julyan, The Descent OST
Alone - David Julyan, The Descent OST


Signal Watch Canon:

Monday, April 26, 2021

Art House Watch: In the Mood for Love (2000)




Watched:  04/25/2021
Format:  Criterion Channel
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2000's
Director:  Wong Kar-wai

Still processing this movie.  Stunning.

Clearly Hong Kong based and created melodramas are a bit out of my wheelhouse, but there's much here to admire, from the cinematography to the restrained, lovely performances of Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung.  

I've been meaning to take in some Wong Kar-Wai movies for... about 25 years.  Well worth the wait.  I admit what triggered me to take a look was that Tony Leung will be in Shang-Chi, and I remembered "oh, yeah...  some Wong Kar-Wait stuff is on the Criterion Channel right now..."

Anyway, will definitely watch again.  Lovely, and I wish I'd seen it on the big screen.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Doc Watch: Dangerous Days - Making Blade Runner (2007)




Watched:  04/21/2021
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2000's

For, really, the hardcore Blade Runner fan, Dangerous Days (2007) tries to put the documentary treatment to much of the same ground as Paul Sammon's book, Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner.*  It's definitely its own thing, and they cover different but overlapping territories.  There's participation from darn near everyone - and who knows who they left on the cutting room floor.

But, yeah, from coffee shop conversations about "you should adapt this novel" to "huh, looks like we made a cultural juggernaut", and everything inbetween, it's an expansive view of not just the vision and why's and wherefore's of this very special film, but a look at the machinery of movie-making that's only got one layer of gloss.  25 years after the fact, people are more generous with each other, even if you do wind up with conflicting versions of events here and there.  

Worth it for the behind-the-scenes looks as much as the interviews, but... just know as I did not when I started the doc - it's 3.5 hours.  Break it up into a 2 or more viewings.  It has handy chapter sections, so feel free to turn it off and come back.  




Coincidentally, this is the first book I ever purchased through Amazon.  

Friday, March 26, 2021

Comic Watch: X2 - X-Men United (2003)




Watched:  03/25/2021
Format:  Disney+
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  2000's
Director:  Bryan Singer

Until Logan came out a few years back, I'd argue X2: X-Men United (2003) was the *best* X-Men movie, which may be a sign of how quickly I felt the franchise devolved, but it does wonders to build on the original, expand the world, mine the premise for narrative gold, and set us up for both continuing X-Men films and potential Wolverine spin-offs.  

Jamie was asking me if the movie was based on stuff from the comics, and while I could definitively say it was, I also don't know exactly when and who wrote them.  I didn't get to Uncanny X-Men until around issue 170, with the kind of third incarnation of the X-Men, but - and here's my argument to the Big 2 why you just go ahead and keep on your Chris Claremonts as long as you can - all of the stuff from those stories 50-100 issues prior still had impact in what I was reading years after the fact.  The writer knew and remembered the important stuff, and it was woven into the character's lives and informed how they behaved and thought about things. *

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Comics Watch: X-Men (2000)




Watched:  03/20/2021
Format:  Disney+
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  2000's
Director:  (ahem) Bryan Singer

Arguably *the* game changer for the entire comic book movie and TV genre - from goofy b-movies with occasional hits to the world we're in today with Justice Leagues, WandaVisions and  whatnot everywhere you look, X-Men (2000) arrived on the scene to an excited fanbase who saw a trailer that kinda/ sorta looked like an X-Men comics and seemed to treat the concept of X-Men with some faint degree of dignity.  

Now, many will argue that Blade was the kickstarter, and they're right!  But the thing about Blade was that it operated way more like a horror movie/ action adventure and less like a superhero flick - and there were maybe a couple thousand people walking around in 1998 who knew anything about Blade.  To this day, I have no idea if Blade has any real relation to the comics (and don't care.  Blade kicks ass.).  

From the late 1970's to the late 1990's, X-Men was a powerhouse franchise all its own, even within the Marvel line of comics.  It was more or less like the Game of Thrones of comics - even if you didn't read it, you knew about it, and the gravity well of the comic was massive.  In the mid-90's, I guess it was outperforming literally every other thing Marvel comics put out, so they rebooted their entire universe for about - I dunno - 6 months? minus X-Men.  Because X-Men was too big, baby!