Showing posts with label First viewing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label First viewing. Show all posts

Friday, July 3, 2020

Screwball Watch: My Man Godfrey (1936)


Watched:  06/28/2020
Format:  TCM on DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1930's
Director:  Gregory La Cava

This movie got a scad of Oscar nominations and was very big upon its release.  It's a comedy about class, wealth, those who have money and those who don't in a contemporary picture released in the thick of the Great Depression.

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, July 2, 2020

Comedy Watch: Eurovision Song Contest - The Story of Fire Saga (2020)




Watched:  06/27/2020
Format:  Netflix Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade: 2020's
Director: David Dobkin


I am not going to write this up and/ or oversell it.  But it was better than I thought it would be, and I got to see Pierce Brosnan play an Icelandic fisherman.  And now I know who Rachel McAdams is after Jamie explaining to me who she is once a year for twenty tears.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Doc Watch: Becoming (2020)


Watched:  06/26/2020
Format:  Netflix
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2020's
Director:  Nadia Hallgren

I'm aware Michelle Obama is a polarizing figure, what with encouraging kids to eat healthy and being an interesting, intelligent counterpart to her husband.  But, hoo boy, in a period of American journalism which seems distant and we can hope is on the ash-heap, the press sure tried to find ways to make her a villain. 

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Tweetalong Watch: (Spawn of) Slithis (1978)


Watched:  06/26/2020
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1970's
Director:  Stephen Traxler

Literally nothing happens for 97% of the movie.  I hated everyone in it but the woman named "Jeff".  Well, I also liked the monster. 

But it is a movie named not after a monster, but after radioactive mud.  Which.  Come on, guys.

Doc Watch: Thelonius Monk - Straight, No Chaser (1988)



Watched:  06/27/2020
Format:  TCM
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Charlotte Zwerin

I am not a jazz aficionado - that's NathanC's gig.  I honestly haven't put on a Thelonius Monk album in a while - maybe years.  I did go through my jazz phase twenty years ago, so, yeah, I still have those albums. 

TCM has been doing a series called "Jazz in the Movies", which I haven't watched much of, but decided to record a couple of films one night, and had heard that Thelonius Monk: Straight, No Chaser (1988) was an exemplary doc.  This reputation was earned, and I am sure jazz fans all know it.

For folks like myself who are only vaguely aware of Monk, it's a fascinating crash course to get you past simply enjoying the music and understand the man who made it.  Shocker of all shockers - a pre-eminent jazz artist has a complicated life and personal issues.  Unlike Miles Davis, the wounds aren't as self-inflicted, but they do weigh on him. 

Culled from footage shot on a late career tour and post-death interviews with colleagues, the doc paints a portrait of a complicated man who was *loved* by the people who knew him and couldn't help but stand in awe of his genius.  And, yeah, I don't use the word genius a lot - but the names tied to Be-Bop sure seem like they deserve it.

It wasn't hurt at all by the intro and outro conversations on TCM by Eddie Muller (who knew he knew jazz?) and his majesty Wynton Marsalis (and, yes, I've see Marsalis play live once and it was worth every penny). 

The doc gives the music room to breathe, and reminded me how and why I went through that jazz era.  And what I'll be listening to after Jamie turns in tonight. 

Noir Watch: Underworld USA (1961)



Watched:  06/26/2020
Format:  Noir Alley on DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1960's
Director:  Samuel Fuller

One of the things I enjoy about watching noir and older films is figuring out how great some directors really were.  I still haven't watched enough Samuel Fuller, but I have yet to see a Fuller movie that didn't hit me over the head like a 2x4, and Underworld U.S.A. (1961) is no exception.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Tweet-a-Long Watch - "Basket Case" (1982)



Watched:  06/19/2020
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Frank Henenlotter

We've been taking suggestions from the peanut gallery for Friday night Tweet-a-Long, and Lauren brought this one.

Horror isn't really my thing, but sometimes the movies hit me just right, and that was the case with Basket Case (1982).  A no-budget film that relies on a strong concept, some non-Henson-inspired puppetry and a go at stop-motion that would do Gumby proud, it's just simply way better than it seems like it should be. They go with less-is-more approach to our friend in the basket, and make sure a heaping helping of the horror is the descent our lead is on, acting out of love and Stockholm Syndrome.

Essentially the story follows a young man who hits NYC with *something* in a wicker basket - his conjoined twin from whom he was separated at a young age, with the intention the twin would die.  Both have lived, and now seek revenge on the doctors who performed the surgery.

Along the way, the more normal brother begins to get an idea of what it would be to fall in love - which is at odds with his brother for any number of reasons I'll leave it to you to find out.

Anyway - good pick, Lauren!

Monday, June 22, 2020

Doc Watch: Making the Apes - The Artists Who Changed Film (2020)



Watched:  06/21/2020
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2020's
Director:  William Conlin

There's not much to spoil here - it's a fact based documentary on the people behind the iconic make-up for the run of the original 5 Planet of the Apes films, the TV show and more.  It does a good job of contextualizing the state of the art in the mid-60's and how they got there, starting in the Lon Chaney era. 

Really, what I liked is that - as much as it's about the make-up and creation of - it gives personality and stories to the people who were there and made a vision a reality.  We sometimes forget there are minds and lives behind the people who aren't the writers, directors and actors - but those unseen wizards who rise at 2:30 AM to be at work by 4:30 AM to get the actor on the set by morning, looking like a gorilla?  Those are people who fell in love with monster make-up to such a degree, that's how they love and what they've chosen to do. 

And, of course, for the people involved, Planet of the Apes - which won an honorary Academy Award for make-up before it became a staple of the Oscars - was a major turning point in the lives of a lot of people in the Hollywood make-up industry.  It was sort of the digital T-Rex of its day. 

It's currently streaming on Amazon, and if you're any kind of POTA fan, I recommend giving Making the Apes: The Artists Who Changed Film a go. 

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:

Monday, June 15, 2020

Wacky Watch: What's Up, Doc (1972)




Watched:  06/13/2020
Format:  TCM on DVR
Viewing: First
Decade:  1970's
Director:  Peter Bogdanovich

I'd had this cooling on the DVR for a long time, but Jamie wanted to watch a comedy and I'd had this vouched for by a few people, including our own NathanC.  What's Up, Doc? (1972) was a movie I'd seen name-dropped for decades, but didn't think much about it.  Lately, the past couple years or so, though, both some of y'all and a few comments I picked up by osmosis led me to become curious about the movie.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Tweetalong Watch: Frankenstein's Daughter (1958)



Watched:  06/12/2020
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1950's
Director:  Richard E. Cunha

Oh.  Oh my.

Well.  So.  I dunno, you guys.

I mean, "Oliver" Frankenstein just doesn't sound right. And I don't know why he was turning the pretty young lady he was living with into a monster in the evening with a potion he kept passing off as fruit punch.  I was never clear what was going on with the girl's uncle and what he was science-ing upon.  But we do run over a kind of catty young lady and she gets turned into a shambling monster.

Anyway.  There's a backyard cookout with a band and a very long musical interlude.



Friday, June 12, 2020

Noir Watch: The Woman in the Window (1944)



Watched:  06/10/2020
Format:  TCM on DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1940's
Director:  Fritz Lang

This film has a tremendous premise, a terrific cast, and is absolutely knee-capped by the Hayes Code in the final minutes.  I wouldn't say it's not worth watching, but if you're squinting at the movie and aware of the rules of the road for a movie made in 1944, and wondering "holy heck, how is *this* going to resolve?" - you may be on to something.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Noir Watch: Cornered (1945)



Watched:  06/04/2020
Format:  Noir Alley on TCM on BluRay
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1940's
Director:  Edward Dmytryk

There's a lot to like in Cornered (1945), categorized here as Film Noir, but it's early in the movement and won't fit some people's ideas of the category.  Still, a man driven half-mad by obsession ignores common sense in pursuit of his goals, his weaknesses clobber him repeatedly and near fatally, and there are possibly scheming women, even as he sets about solving a mystery.  He's not a professional detective, but former Canadian RAF pilot Gerard (a not Canadian-polite Dick Powell) is recovering at the end of the war and learns that the French girl he met and married while hiding out in a village after being downed, was rounded up and killed by a Nazi collaborator.

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.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Forgot to Mention It Watch: Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982)



Watched:  05/something/2020
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Carl Reiner

I watched this weeks ago and a stray comment from Jenifer reminded me I for to post about it, but I did watch it. 

Now I'm too tired to write about it. 

Monday, May 25, 2020

Endurance Watch: Screwballs (1983)



Watched:  05/24/2020
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's
Director:  I don't care

Back in the day, Hollywood settled upon a few formulaic items which generated endless, cheaply produced and ultimately very profitable movies.  Some took place in college, some in high school.  All were wildly horny, Rated-R and intended for a high school audience.  One such formula developed that deeply owed a debt to Animal House wherein a group of misfit dudes got up to increasingly randy, episodic shenanigans in pursuit of good times and bad sex.  The movies were an excuse to put boobs on screen, have young talent who couldn't act do Tex Avery character impersonations, lean into misogynistic and often racist stereotypes and somehow never quite be either as funny or sexy as you were figuring on.

Noir Watch: The Crimson Kimono (1959)



Watched:  05/24/2020
Format:  Noir Alley on TCM on DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1950's
Director:  Samuel Fuller

One of the deep dives I'm likely to do in the next couple of years is dive into the filmography of director Samuel Fuller.  I've never seen a Fuller film I didn't like *a lot*.  Pickup on South Street, Shock Corridor, The Naked Kiss...  all solid films.  A while back The Crimson Kimono (1959) played the Austin Noir City film festival, but I wasn't able to stay for the movie, and now I'm very mad at myself for not sticking around for the movie (I think Paul saw it). 

Comedy Watch: The Lovebirds (2020)



Watched:  05/24/2020
Format:  Netflix
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2020's
Director:  Michael Showalter

I wasn't sure what to expect.  I don't love rom-coms, and there's a weird sub-genre of "couple gets caught up in a crime and run around downtown" sub-genre that I've never had an interest in exploring. 

This one, however, worked for me.  I generally like Kumail Nanjiani - and that continues on here - and I really liked Issa Rae.  She's pretty great. 

Anyhoo, not going to overthink this one, but it was the right movie for us this weekend.

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.