Showing posts with label interaction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label interaction. Show all posts

Saturday, March 27, 2021

80's Watch Party Watch: The Secret of My Success (1987)




Watched:  03/26/2021
Format: Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade: so, so 1980's
Director:  Herbert Ross

I have no affinity for The Secret of My Success (1987).  I saw it upon its theatrical release in 1987, where I was carded as a 12 year old entering a PG-13 movie.  My friend's dad had to come into the box office and tell them it was fine.  So, thanks, Mr. P.

I also remember both the seduction of "Brantley" and the immediate revelation he'd been seduced by a distant sorta relative.  And the use of Yello's "Oh Yeah".*

And, of course, Helen Slater, who I didn't realize was Helen Slater until college or so.  And - the ruse which is the core of the film, which I thought I understood but missed something.  But I am here to tell you here in 2021 AD, I do not understand what Brantley was doing.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Friday Jamie Birthday Party Selection: Secret of My Success

 


Forewarning:  this one costs a few bucks to watch, so we'll understand if you bow out

Jamie puts up with A LOT, so if this is what she wants to do for her movie selection, we're fine with that.

This was the movie I assumed was gonna by filthy when I showed up at the movie theater to see a PG-13 movie and they *carded me*.  It's kinda not dirty, is crazy 1980's in many ways, and - most importantly - co-stars Helen Slater in business attire.

The no-nonsense shoulder pads that say "I can do a merger or take out Jim McMahon"


  • Day:  Friday 03/26 - Today
  • Time:  8:30 Central

Link here for Michael J. Fox


Saturday, March 20, 2021

80's Watch - Watch Party: Footloose (1964)




Watched:  03/20/2021
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Herbert Ross

Gee, why don't the young people want to stay in small towns?  How did we get to this divide between rural America and urban America?

I mean, Footloose (1984) is a story that seems ridiculous, about a town where "dancing" was made illegal (something that seems so slippery and un-First Amendment-y that it's breathtaking) and one not-even-rebellious teen who's mere existence as an "outsider" is so problematic adults are out to literally destroy him, that all of this seems absurd.  Except that this stuff was very real and happened.  Baylor University in Waco, 90 minutes up the road from my house, didn't allow dancing until the late 90's. 

So, yeah, small towns where no one was going to do much but stop to fill up with gas actually would and did have goofy rules.  This was Satanic Panic time that would culminate in the PMRC and Dee Snider of all people taking down a bunch of crusty representatives looking into literally regulating the music industry.  It was also the time of MTV, and I can just see a movie studio exec looking for a story that will appeal to a wide audience - but bring in those kids who like the MTV, and be very music-video-friendly.  

Friday, March 19, 2021

Friday Watch Party: Footloose (1984)




Day:  03/19/2021
Time:  8:30 Central


Next week is Jamie's birthday, and thus I'm picking a flick she requested a bit back.  

Let's explore the urban/ rural divide as a kid from "the city" winds up in Bumfuck, BFE and is confronted by future OAN viewers.

We're gonna remember that even a crusty old minister can't keep us from gettin' down.  So get ready to DANCE.  Everything else is bullshit!


Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Watch Party Watch: Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home (1986)




Watched:  03/15/2021
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Leonard Nimoy

Until Lower Decks and a few one-off episodes, one of the few attempts at light comedy/action in the Trek franchise, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home  (1987) caps off the trilogy that started in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, bringing our crew finally back to Earth after giving us the thrill of seeing them wandering the streets of 1986 San Franciso as a slightly disheveled away team.

I am 85% sure I've written this one up before, so I won't do it again.  It's the one with the whales.  


Friday, March 12, 2021

Friday Watch Party: Staying Alive

...lllaaaaaadies!



Here's a thing I never remember - Staying Alive was directed by Sylvester Stallone.  

I saw this movie in part or in whole in 4th grade, and my memory was "this is kinda goofy and weird".  

It's now 35-ish years later.  What will I think?

The sequel to Saturday Night Fever (which is a very, very good movie, by the way) that no one asked for - this one says "yes, but what if that kid in that movie had decided to pursue... BROADWAY?"  Which was absolutely nowhere on the map or in the meaning of the original, but here we are.

Apparently the second most famous name in this movie is Finola Hughes, so that's... something.

Anyway, I just got my first shot of COVID vaccine, and we're still here a year into March 2020, so to celebrate that we're stayin' alive, we're doing Staying Alive.

Day:  03/12/2021
Time:  8:30 central

Friday, March 5, 2021

Friday Watch Party: Deathsport (1978)


I think after last week, we all need a palette cleanser.  

I have no idea what this is other than an unofficial sequel to Deathrace 2000.  But it reportedly in no way connects to that movie, nor seems to be a spiritual heir.  I have no idea what this is.  But I bet there's a minimum of sex on lightbulb shards.

But, we'll see.  Could be nothing but.

Recommended by genre-movie nut Nate C from up in the Pacific Northwest, we're going for it!

Day:  Friday March 5
Time:  8:30 Central



Saturday, February 27, 2021

Neo-Noir Erotic Thriller Madonna Watch Party Watch: Body of Evidence (1993)




When I was 17 years old, and a curious kid, and back when movies had all sorts of content in them - I saw all sorts of stuff on the big screen.  In general, I think it was actually a good thing.  I learned about the adult world, how sex looked under professional lighting, and that my ex-girlfriend was right about that nice lady in the Crying Game the second she showed up in the film.

And since the video for Lucky Star, I'd also thought that nice lady rolling around on the floor seemed like a pretty good idea.  By early 1993, the videos for Vogue and Express Yourself had done nothing to dissuade me of this opinion, let alone when my pal, Phil, taped the HBO concert special of Blonde Ambition for me. 

In 1992, Rob, Scott and I had gone to see a sold-out showing of Basic Instinct on opening night (I thought it was "meh" - and I have 10,000 words on what this did to the notion of noir for a decade), and at the time we did not anticipate that Hollywood would see gold in them thar hills and spend the early 90's trying to recapture the magic in a series of erotic thrillers.  

Simultaneously, Madonna had found she quite enjoyed freaking out America's moms via the Like A Prayer controversy (which seems both inappropriate and stupid rewatching the video now), and decided she would now say the word "sex" a lot, very much upsetting Tipper Gore.  She liked it so much, she made a picture book about how much she liked the word, and in a field trip to the Houston Public Library downtown, we got one of the people who was already 18 to get it for us to all look at at the reference desk.  And, man, were the librarians cheesed.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Watch Party Friday: Body of Evidence (1993)



WARNING:  Jamie tells me I should say up front - there will be bewbs.  And butts.  And sexy times.  So, watch at your own risk, I guess.   

I saw this in the theater opening weekend in 1993.  It came out on the heels of the blockbuster Basic Instinct and around the time Madonna decided she was going to shock America's parents by saying the word "sex" a lot.  So much, in fact, she put the word on the cover of her goofy book.*

Day:  02/26/2021
Time:  8:30 Central
Format:  Amazon Watch Party

Link here for magic time

Anyway, the movie stars one person I was thrilled to see naked (Madonna) and one person I was less excited about seeing in the altogether (Willem Defoe).  And a pre-stardom Julianne Moore, Joe Mantegna (not naked), Anne Archer (always a good thing, but not naked), and Jurgen Prochnow (who seems like he'd be game for being naked, but I don't remember).

If memory serves, it's a warmed over Basic Instinct, only Madonna seems like she's trying so hard it kind of kills the mood.


*which you could not check out of the Houston Public Library, but could request to see.  And BOY were those librarians pissed when we found an 18-year-old in our group who DID ask to see it.  And, man, was that book boring AF.


Saturday, February 13, 2021

Forget to Mention It Watch: Return of the Swamp Thing (1989)




Watched:  01/28/2021
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  Second?
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Does it matter?

We did this one as a watch party, and I often forget to write up watch party movies.  But, yeah, this movie isn't very good.

I...  I don't really think it bears much discussion.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Friday Watch Party: Split Second (1991)


Well, this looks like something I cannot believe I didn't see in 1991 when I was the exact audience for the movie.  But there you are.

It's the edgy future of 2008!  Rutger Hauer!  Kim Cattrall in a sassy brunette bob!  a monster!   A ridiculous gun!  Let's get 90's mid-budget actiony! 

Day: 02/12/2021
Time:  8:30 Central
Where:  Amazon Prime Watch Party

Link here to watch


Sunday, February 7, 2021

Watch Party Regret Watch: Mannequin 2 - On the Move (1991)




Watched:  02/05/2021
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing: First
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Stewart Raffill

This movie wasn't very good.  Jenifer agrees.

These days, if a movie does well, studios understand that if they're going to make a sequel to a popular-ish film, the *best* thing to do is to try to go bigger and better.  Give the audience a reason to get them to come back.  However, Mannequin 2: On the Move (1991) is very much of the era where the reason for a sequel to exist was so that as many pilot fish left over from the first film can gorge themselves on the good will of the first movie and not care at all if the sequel will be worth the film it's printed on.

Pretty much nobody is back from the first movie - and I don't just mean Andrew McCarthy and Kim Cattrall.  The actual producers, up and down, aren't the same.  The director is new.  You have the same store as the location, and you have Meshach Taylor back as "Hollywood".  That's it.  So no one cares, no one is trying, and the end product may be less than ideal.

Anyway, there MUST have been a script, because there are costumes and whatnot, so someone knew what they'd need for shooting.  But it sure doesn't feel like there's a script - it feels like people dicking around in front of the camera.  Except for Kristi Swanson, who is actually at least trying here (despite a bizarre wig that seems inspired by a Rick James groupie's hair).  And, yeah, Meshach Taylor, but he was kind of dicking around in the first movie, too.

But there's only small bits in the 90 minute run time that actually reach the level of "funny bit" or "joke that might make one crack a smile".  The rest is weird mugging no one asked for and maybe one of the lest charismatic leads I can remember in anything that wasn't one of those movies with people fighting in a sci-fi wasteland.  And the weird thing is:  normally that guy is fine.  He's been in lots of stuff - stuff you've seen.  But here - he's working with nothing, and I guess that was a problem.

I don't regret making other people watch the movie.  At least we all suffered together.


Friday, February 5, 2021

Friday Night Amazon Party: Mannequin 2 - On the Move

 


You. Will. Know. Pain.

Day:    02/05/2021
Time:  8:30 PM Central
Source:  Amazon Watch Party


I've never seen this.  It's a 13% critics score on RT.  Metacritic doesn't even register it.

It's the second in a series of movies that asks "hey, would you @#$% a store mannequin?" and tells the tale of yet another fellow who absolutely would.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Friday Watch Party: Return of the Swamp Thing (1989)




Day:  Friday - 01/29/2021
Time:  8:30 Central
Where:  Amazon Prime

 
I've only seen this once. Back in high school, I think my sophomore year.

My mom was having some sort of gathering of her friends in our living room, so my dad and I got banished to the upstairs TV room (affectionately known as "Slippy Village"). My dad and I are a real braintrust when it comes to picking movies, and so it came to be that we settled on Return of the Swamp Thing. I recall we had to keep turning it down because of lots and lots and lots of machinegun fire, and we did not wish to upset my mom and her pals.

I also vaguely remember having to also explain to The Admiral, "no, Heather Locklear is a real actor.  No, seriously.".  

Anyway, let's all enjoy a talking salad and his friend.


 

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Angry Animal Watch: Day of the Animals (1977)




Watched:  01/22/2020
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1970's
Director:  William Girdler

I think the *weirdest* thing about this movie is that it genuinely feels like famed filmmaker James Nguyen of Birdemic fame may have taken inspiration from Day of the Animals (1977) for his 2010 opus.   The second weirdest thing is seeing Leslie Nielsen in what was likely one of his last dramatic roles before drifting into his particular brand of comedy (of which I am a tremendous fan).  

This movie is not a sequel to, but is a spiritual partner to, 1976's Grizzly by the same director and both films feature Richard Jaeckel (a classic "oh, THAT guy" actor).   Both are about humans in the woods with animals out of control, I guess.  But the scale here is much larger/ more hilarious.

Our plot:  a bunch of people have signed up for a "survivor's" trek through the wilderness, but are all dressed like they're headed for the supermarket.  Over the course of a few days they'll rough it in the mountains of California, but reports are coming in that animals are acting funny.  We're introduced to our parade of stereotypes/ tropes, all of whom explain who they are as they come down the exposition line at the beginning.

Well, crazy thing, the ozone is bad something something, higher elevations, and the animals have become homicidal.  I mean, MORE homicidal.*  They particularly have it in for us slow-moving humans.   

Anyway - the movie is a bit of a mess, but has two major thrusts - 1) the escalating attacks on the walking person buffet, and 2) the interpersonal conflict that needs to arise in any of these films.  In our case, it's the increasingly irritable ad man played by Nielsen who winds up shirtless and baying at the moon before the film is over.

There's an indication that things have gone awry in the sleepy mountain town where our adventure begins, but the budget wasn't there to show too much of that, so all we get is the aftermath and the indication that SOMETHING happened.  But, yeah, there's a storyline for the Sheriff that just abruptly ends.  We sort of get a story about a little girl who is maybe the only survivor of... something?  And a deeply unsatisfying story about a pair of quarreling lovers that, against all common sense, leave the group after being attacked by a goddamn wolf.  And, man, why anyone would follow Leslie Nielsen's character in this movie is impossible to understand.  

And, yes, for reasons unexplained, the entire multi-day crew of people has no radio to call down in need of help.  Which seems like an oversight.

But the women's hair and make-up remains on point despite a half-a-week of running from cougars.

Anyway - what the movie does have are frequent animal attacks, and from a wide array of animals.  If you're like me and enjoy movies about people losing to the Wild Kingdom, and only a few escaping to look traumatized afterwards: I have a great movie for you.





*Animals tend to eat other animals and people if you give them a chance, really.  

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Friday Amazon Watch Party: Day of the Animals


Day:  01/22/2021
Time:  8:30 Central
Amazon Prime Streaming


I have never seen this.  It looks insane.  It is free to watch with Amazon Prime.  

And it is one of my favorite themes in movies:  animals turning on humans, to eat them, hopefully

JOIN US AS THE POODLES TURN ON MANKIND

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Pirate Watch: Against All Flags (1952)




Watched:  01/15/2021
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1950's
Director:   George Sherman

I have previously discussed this movie, including just last year.  

I believe that right up properly expresses my appreciation and major points I'd make about the movie.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Watch Party Friday: Against All Flags




Day:  Friday 01/15/2021
Time:  8:30 Central
Where:  Amazon Prime Streaming


Yar.  I'm making an executive decision, and watching pirates in glorious technicolor, we will be.  

Errol Flynn!  Anthony Quinn!  Maureen O'Hara becoming the living embodiment of "get you a girl who can do both"!

No swash shall go unbuckled!  No Roger shall go un-Jolly'd!  We're taking to the piratey seas!



Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Watch Party Watch: Evil Brain from Outer Space




Watched:  01/11/2021
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1960's 

So...  this movie starts off weird as hell, which I salute, then goes to goofy fun and TONS of action.  All of which I salute.  

Apparently this is the third in a series of Japanese kids movies about a fellow name of "Starman" who hails from "The Emerald Planet" and is here to save humanity from interplanetary threats via kicking ass and taking names.  He doesn't have a secret identity, even though he changes from his work-a-day coat and tie into a pretty terrific super ensemble that has a kicky antenna and "not a cape" attached to his arms for added flair.

The effects are better than you figure, the stunts out of this world, and while the movie makes little sense, at least it moves fast and is cool as hell.

Count me as a convert to this whole Starman scene.

Oh, and, yes, there's an evil brain.  from outer space.

 



Thursday, January 7, 2021

Friday Night Watch: The Running Man




Day:  Friday 01/08
Time:  8:30 PM
Where: Amazon Prime Streaming


So, back in the 1980's we were getting a lot of dystopian stories that were intended to be cautionary tales/ satires - and apparently nobody was paying attention and these movies were mostly derided by critics and not thought of as much more than crazy action movies.

Arguably, however, between the explosions and Arnie-grunting, movies like The Running Man were actually kind of trying to say something.  Anyway, when stuff like Survivor started hitting the air, my reaction was "well, this isn't good".

34 years from this film and twenty years on from "watch assholes win money", several seasons of Wipeout, American Ninja Warrior, COPS and Live PD later, it's not hard to imagine "Running Man" being the next big leap on Fox.  

So, let's give it a spin!