Friday, January 1, 2021

Christmas Noir Watch: Cover-Up (1949)




Watched:  12/23/2020
Format:  Noir Alley on TCM
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1940's
Director:  Alfred E. Green

An insurance detective comes to a small town to look into the apparent suicide of a wealthy man with a considerable settlement coming to the benficiaries.  Arriving in town, he finds everyone hated the guy, it sure looks like murder, and everyone - including the foxy young lady he met on the bus on the way in, are in on a cover-up.  Thus, the name of the movie.

Stars William Bendix and Dennis O'Keefe.

The ending is weird and super chipper.  

NEW YEAR WATCH PARTY - "Johnny Mnemonic" - because it takes place in 2021

 


Day:  01/01/2021
Time:  8:30 Central - Texas time, yo


So, I last saw this in the theater opening day, 11:30 AM show.  And it was very bad.  So bad, I had forgotten it co-stars Dina Meyer's terrific jawline.

she has great hair, too

Anyway - let's see what the citizens of the early 90's thought this year would look like!  

I've watched the first five minutes, and... uh, maybe they weren't so far off, is what I'm saying.

Only, far less Dina Meyer than we could have hoped for.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Watch Party Watch: Guest in the House (1944)




Watched:  12/29/2020
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1940's
Director:  this one is confusing, but it's listed as follows on IMDB -  John BrahmJohn Cromwell...(uncredited) Andr√© De Toth...(uncredited) Lewis Milestone...(uncredited)

A dopey young doctor has fallen for his patient - a mental patient with a phobia of birds and a love of stirring shit (Anne Baxter).  Reasonably, he takes her to meet his idiotic family (minus one key player).  Unreasonably, he just f'ing leaves her with his idiotic family who just met her.  She gaslights the living shit out of everyone, including an 8 year old girl.

This movie features:
  • 3 great 1940's hairstyles on lovely women
  • 1 coocoo bananas psycho
  • Multiple dum-dums who clearly never met a Mean Girl
  • 1 Margaret Hamilton reminding you why it was hard for her to find work after Wizard of Oz seared her into your mind as a broom-riding funster
  • 1 wife who is wildly tolerant of 1 husband who is clearly banging his model no matter what the script tries to tell us
  • 1 man who has all the appeal of a soaked Ralph Bellamy that is, because filmed during wartime, the only man around sold to us as a real dream boat
  • 1 bird pining for the fjords
It is not a BAD movie, but it is also not hard to imagine how this movie could be better.  Also - how this sort of movie became a Lifetime movie, which would be called "Psycho Sister-In-Law".

However, this movie ALSO was released under the name "Satan in Skirts", which...  *chef's kiss*.



80's Watch: Romancing the Stone (1984)




Watched: 12/30/2020
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Apparently, Robert Zemeckis

As a kid, I have two memories of this movie - 1) I think my parents thought itw as going to be risque, because the first time we watched Romacing the Stone (1984) it was with some family friends who had to tell them it was okay for 9 year old me, and 2) when I watched it again later - running on HBO or whatever, it just made me wish I'd rather be watching an Indiana Jones movie.  

I was, of course, not tuned in at all to what the movie was doing.  I had so clearly missed the point watching this as a kid, that five minutes into it this time (and I don't know if I'd seen this movie since I was 20), I turned to Jamie and said "I don't think I ever realized before that Kathleen Turner is supposed to be a nebbish.  I thought the idea was that she was a fancy lady from New York out of her element."  

So, yeah - TOTALLY missed the point as a kid.  

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Dawn Wells Merges With The Infinite

 



In an era of very few channels and endless repeats of syndicated shows 20 years old, Wells' portrayal of Mary Ann loomed so large in the minds of multiple generations that any  reference to "Mary Ann" was immediately understood (and continues so today with people born before a certain year).  

Godspeed, Ms. Wells.  


Tuesday, December 29, 2020

PODCAST: "Wonder Woman 1984" - a Kryptonian Thought Beast Episode w/ Stuart, Jamie and Ryan

spoiler: the movie was not released in October

Watched:  12/25/2020
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  First
Decade: 2020's
Director:  Patty Jenkins


Our elite team of nerds comes together to discuss the hottest ticket on HBOmax and at the cinema. Is she a wonder? Has the world been waiting for her? We try to step inside the characters as we ponder what the film did and why, and, does it work? If you WISH someone could get to the bottom of this film - look no further! We're in our satin tights fighting for the right answers! 
Themyscira - Hans Zimmer, Wonder Woman 1984 Soundtrack

Pixar Watch: Soul (2020)




Watched:  12/26/2020
Format:  Disney+
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2020's
Director:  Pete DocterKemp Powers

I believe we're going to try to do a podcast on this one, so everyone sit tight.  

But, yes, very good.  Recommended.


Monday, December 28, 2020

Watching the Detectives: The Nice Guys (2016)




Watched:  12/28/2020
Format: Amazon Streaming
Viewing: First
Decade:  2010's
Director:  Shane Black

This was exactly the movie I needed this evening.  

I dunno what to say about it.  Somehow Shane Black made a movie that managed to utterly surprise in every scene, was absolutely wrong, and absolutely hilarious.  Had a killer soundtrack, featured Keith David and gave Kim Basinger stuff to do.  

I am not sure liking this movie this much makes me a good person, but there we are.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

That Was a Movie Watch: Salome's Last Dance (1988)




Watched:  12/26/2020
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Ken Russell

So...  I'm always on the hunt for something new to watch with folks during Friday Night Watch Parties.  For some reason unknown to me, Salome's Last Dance (1988) popped up as a suggestion from Amazon, and after reading the description - roughly: Oscar Wilde attends a production of his banned play performed in a brothel - I was like "huh, no idea.  Let's look."  

I got maybe 45 seconds in and saw "Directed by Ken Russell", and know more about Russell's reputation than his actual work, which is always at least *interesting* if you've seen Altered States, Lair of the White Worm or even Tommy.  So - I gave it a whirl.

Holiday Watch Party Watch: We're No Angels (1955)




Watched: 12/22/2020
Format: Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1950's
Director:  Michael Curtiz

In general I think of Michael Curtiz as one of the most versatile and best directors of the Studio Era of Hollywood.  This is not the movie I'd use as Exhibit A for that argument.  

I don't really get it.  This movie is well liked and features a cast of solid, well-known actors (I *do* include Aldo Ray in that statement.  I like Nightfall).  But it has a very, very strange pacing - like, a snail's pace - is not immediately or obviously terribly *funny*.  And, yeah, it's a comedy.  It's listed by AFI as one of the 500 funniest movies ever made, so...  what the hell do I know?  

But, yeah, it's about three Devil's Island prisoners (Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray and Peter Ustinov) who hide out in a shop/ home owned by Joan Bennett and Leo G. Carroll - and, along the way - wind up helping out the shop and solving all of their problems.  

I do feel less crazy as I was not the only one watching the movie and I don't think any of us were fans of the thing.  

I dunno, maybe none of us were in the mood or something - but I think something about the stageyness of the production - that they seemed to pace it as a play they hadn't quite figured out the timing for - just really impacted the watchability.

All that said - it did have one of the darkest/ most leaning on gallows humor endings to a movie I can think of from this period, and maybe that has a great deal to do with how it's been received.  No idea.