Saturday, June 15, 2019
format: Noir Alley on TCM
Eddie Muller intro'd this movie by discussing how this film was marketed and considered "a woman's picture", and from what I've gathered about Women's Pictures of the mid-20th Century, I can see why that label got dropped on it. But had he not mentioned this in the opening, I'd have seen this as soft-boiled noir and maybe mentioned women's films in passing. Bear in mind, one of my favorite movies if Mildred Pierce, which one can see as equal parts Women's Picture and Film Noir, so that's not taking a particular stance, it just changes the formula a bit.
Friday, June 14, 2019
Format: TCM on DVR
I've been meaning to watch this movie for decades. Literally. I've even owned a copy of it for a few years, but - let's be honest - unless you're one of the Silent Film buffs, it takes a bit of extra energy and focus to get through a 2-hour silent movie.*
I first stumbled across Louise Brooks just as I exited film school (I believe the doc Looking for Lulu was airing on cable), and back then, finding her work was incredibly difficult. I rented a few films in which she appears as a minor or background character, but the GW Pabst stuff eluded me. The DVD copies you were supposed to be able to get were expensive and of notoriously bad quality. But, the past few years, various groups have been restoring and making available some of that height-of-her-career/ powers material.
No matter how many parts of well-known movies you try to Frankenstein into one movie, you are not going to get that Voltron/ sum-is-greater-than-the-parts effect you're looking for. SimonUK and I look at this 2008 entry from Scottish filmmaker Neil Marshall as he runs our hero through a gauntlet of oddly familiar scenes and a hero who always has the same expression.
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Two Tribes - Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Pleasuredome
Good Thing - Fine Young Cannibals, The Raw and the Cooked
SimonUK Cinema Series Playlist
Thursday, June 13, 2019
So, about halfway through the day yesterday the internet decided it was "Superman Day". I have no idea what for or why. Something to do with DC cashing in on the release of Man of Steel a few years back. Why this isn't a Saturday so stores can promote Superman and bring in kids and stuff, I can't imagine.
Get your act together, all of comics.
Whatever the reason, we'd feel remiss if we didn't raise a glass to our favorite fictional undocumented alien, the man of tomorrow, the ace of action, Big Blue himself: Superman.
Every once in a while over the years I've attempted to explain the appeal of Superman, but that's never gone over particularly well. Explaining why you like a fictional character feels like weird and dorky gushing, especially when discussing one who has seen hundreds of writers, dozens of interpretations, and who has been on the outs in popularity for more than thirty years.
Still, I'm a fan. I don't think this is a secret.
Maybe in this era of cultural division and splintering, featuring a low, dull tension that seems to be hang over us at all times, where we aren't sure what to believe in the news or from our elected leaders (or from other people who'd sure like to be a leader)... We know we're getting fleeced and we know there's plenty to come right back swinging if you push back... Maybe standing in relief against that backdrop, a guy who tells the truth, stands up for those who can't stand up for themselves, who can shrug off bullets and shackles of the injust but powerful as he moves through the world righting wrongs and helping the helpless... Maybe in this world a Superman who can pull open his shirt and appears in a blaze of primary colored action makes a lot more sense.
Monday, June 10, 2019
|oh, no. I couldn't possibly. No, thank you.|
The Hollywood Reporter posted an article today explaining why X-Men: Dark Phoenix underperformed at the box office. It's an article that explains how the execs at Fox were wrong about what went wrong with X-Men: Apocalypse and how they mis-course corrected with Dark Phoenix.*
I'll argue, the article is no more correct about what went wrong (re: why people didn't show up) than the condescending treatment it gives the execs trying to sort things out in the days after the poor performance of Apocalypse.
Sunday, June 9, 2019
I really didn't know what to expect when DC announced their second show in their DC Universe app exclusive line-up would be Doom Patrol. From the pictures shared, the comics would be roughly based on the late 1980's/ early-90's-era Grant Morrison-penned (with art by Richard Case, Doug Braithwaite, Scott Hanna, John Nyberg, Carlos Garzon) comics. But with a slightly different line-up, what with Rita Farr there front and center.
My initial exposure to Doom Patrol as a team was via issue #1 of this series - Morrison had come on in the mid-30's - written by Paul Kupperberg. Frankly, I'd been completely enamored with the first couple of issues (long since disappeared from my collection, even before The Purge). It was so weird and dark and uncomfortable - starting at a point where people were assembling, talking about a team that had preceded them had died. Badly. Somehow it felt more adult and frank than the way X-Men never seemed to quite exit high school.
|absolute garbage, tbh|
We take it for granted that some things are great, but when you really look at it... are they all that great? We took a look at things people say they like, but which, on second thought, just aren't all that.
- Sunny Days in Spring
- Crisp Days in Fall
- Sleeping in a comfy bed
- Warm Pancakes
- A baby laughing
- The wag of a puppy's tail
- The Beatles
- Beach trips
- Spaghetti Westerns
- Amy Adams
- Friendly conversation over cocktails
- Friendly conversation with Amy Adams over cocktails
- That movie you like
- Looking at the internet
- memories of hugs from your grandma
- Running water and indoor plumbing
We make the same money whether you're clicking on this to stare at it in disbelief, to just be mad at this list or even more money if you share this dumb @#$%ing list. So, please share it far and wide and keep rage clicking, dum-dums!
Saturday, June 8, 2019
Format: Amazon Prime (also on YouTube)
Viewing: First but certainly not the last
So, a couple of weeks back JAL DM'd me and deeply recommended a small film from an overseas production company, and as a patron of independent and international cinema, I leaped at the opportunity to use a free Friday evening to finally watch RoboVampire (1988).
Friday, June 7, 2019
Format: Noir Alley on TCM on DVR
I know it seems like I heap praise on every single noir that comes along, but I'm usually trying to find some good in the film or a reason it was included in Eddie Muller's Noir Alley line-up.
Muller himself warned us up front that Dead Reckoning (1947) wasn't going to shake the Earth, and in practice - the movie has a wide variety of components that, if I were to tell you "it stars so-and-so, it has this and that plot element, it has a unique location" you'd be nodding and getting noir-jazzed for the movie. But, in execution... the movie just feels like a lesser picture almost immediately, and it just never manages to catch fire.
Viewing: Third? Fourth?
Jamie slogs through a movie she does not care for and about which Ryan is ambivalent. It's the second outing for Earth's Mightiest Heroes as we come face to face with an AI that's kind of a self-replicating Mean Girl. Join us as we puzzle through Avengers: Age of Ultron, the one you haven't seen in a while and that you only sorta remember.
The "Avengers Chronological Countdown" Playlist