Sunday, March 27, 2022

Happy Birthday, Sterling Hayden

Yesterday marked the 106th birthday of reluctant movie star Sterling Hayden.

I don't think it's a huge surprise that I'll pick any of a number of female stars from the mid-20th Century as a perfectly good reason to watch a film, but the number of male stars who push a movie to the top of my watch pile is smaller.  Up at the top of that list is, and always will be, Sterling Hayden.

Hayden didn't seem to think much of acting, I guess, but it was how he made his living when he wasn't running off on a boat.  He has an insane war record that includes lying about who he really was (he wasn't famous yet) and winging up in the OSS where he was basically a Howling Commando.

In films, Hayden always plays someone reflecting his presence, but it's cops, thieves, cowboys, pirates and eventually General Jack D. Ripper in Dr. Strangelove.  He's better than he probably ever gave himself credit for, and while not every film he was in was a homerun, he was never the issue.

Anyway, if you haven't ever see a Sterling Hayden film (and you have, he's the policeman in The Godfather who Michael takes care of in the restaurant.  Spoilers, I guess.), I'm happy to suggest a few.

Friday, March 25, 2022

PodCast 190: "Showgirls" (1995) - A Day-Drinking Surprise Birthday Movie Exchange w/ Jamie and Ryan

Watched:  03/19/2022
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  Second
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Paul Verhoeven

NSFW!!! This year for their birthdays, Jamie and Ryan are exchanging movies, but each will surprise the other with their selection. For Jamie's birthday, Ryan rolled out the martinis and 1995's most notorious camp-tastic hit in glorious NC-17 style. It's a wild world of the American Dream if your dream is to DANCE. Mine isn't, so this mostly seemed like it was trying very hard to make a point, but forgot what that point was multiple times along the way.



Vision Thing - Sisters of Mercy
Goddess - David A. Steward, Showgirls OST

Ryan's Random Cinema

Quarantine Watch Cont'd: Love Is Blind Season 2

about 3.5 of these people are sociopaths

I don't really watch "reality TV" anymore.  There's plenty wrong with it, and I don't think I need to get into the myriad reasons I think it's a large contributing factor as to why we're at this end-stage as a species.  I don't think Chrisley Knows Best or Season 52 of "Shirtless Morons Hooking-Up With The Prettiest Girls From The Slow Learners Class" has set our monoculture on the path to earning a place among the space-faring races.  Call me crazy.

I mean, I did watch some back around 2002-2006, but I don't know how to tell you people:  it's all the same.  Including home make-over shows.  Or people just off the road pretending to look for Bigfoot.  

But back when we were actually still scared of coronavirus enough to Lysol our produce, I remember laying on the couch sideways and letting hour after hour of Love Is Blind Season 1 slide by.  My memory of the show is minimal.  Someone named "Jessica"* was a real piece of work, and the very pretty girl married a guy who couldn't believe his luck**.  That's about it.  That's my memory of 11 hours of TV.  In fact, I suspect Nick and Vanessa Lachey hosted the series, but Jamie and I spent five minutes debating if they had been and couldn't remember.***

At the time, we had no idea what was happening in the world and whether or not we would be dead within weeks.  This was Weekend 1 of COVID showing up, and suddenly we were all stuck home with streaming services, and Netflix had this and Tiger King.   I couldn't deal with Tiger King, so we never finished it.  Or at least I didn't.  I don't know what Jamie did.

Season 2 has rolled out, and I declared "let's see what these horny morons are up to."  So we put it on.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Madeleine Albright Merges With The Infinite

Madeleine Albright, a woman of legendary accomplishment, has passed.

Albright was the first female Secretary of State, and had the intelligence, personality and skill one would expect of a trailblazer at such high levels.  Her deftness in diplomacy was what you want out of a Secretary of State, and we saw her charm and conversational skills up front in an era where talk shows welcomed Secretaries of State and the population (a) could name who that person was before they took the stage, and (b) could watch them speak without shouting slurs at someone from a party to which they did not belong.  

But as a refugee first from Nazis and then the Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia, as someone who went for it in an era where expectations were she stay home and live a quiet, domestic life, Albright's pivot to law and public policy after becoming a wife and mother was notable, before she began her climb.  

Her tenure was perhaps one of few bright spots of the second half of the Clinton administration, though not unmarred by the challenges of the role and the expected disagreements in a political context, both from the right and left.  No one plays at that level and escapes unscathed.  

It was an amazing life and career, and I hope folks appreciate and understand what paths she created in the US and what she did for the nation as ambassador and Secretary of State.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Parker Watch: Parker (2013)

Watched: 03/18/2022
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  Second
Decade:  2010's
Director:  Taylor Hackford

By now, I assume y'all know I'm a bit of a completionist, and I'm slowly buying the BluRays of all the movies based upon the Parker novels by Richard Stark.  Most famous of these movies include Point Blank with Lee Marvin and Payback starring Mel Gibson (which I don't own because Gibson, but probably will buy used to take him out of the money chain).  

If you're newer to the blog, when I traveled a lot for work, I read all 24 Parker novels and the Grofeld offshoots.  The movies never match the books - writer Richard Stark (real name: Donald Westlake) was not willing to let them use the name "Parker" as he was aware that the movies would differ too much from the books, and movie people tend to miss the point of Parker.  Which is 100% true.  So the movies are all oddball mutations of Parker as a character and the plots of the novels  - which, if done straight, would be fascinating stuff and probably spur a 1000 think pieces about following a character who is in no way a hero.  He is not a badguy, but he is a bad guy.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

PodCast 189: "The Evil Dead" (1981) - a Horror Canon episode w/ JAL and Ryan

Watched:  03/13/2022
Format:  HBOMax+
Viewing: Unknown
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Sam Raimi

JAL returns to the PodCast to talk about a movie series that helped cement a friendship! Join us as we ponder the crazy early vision of a master of movie making, getting good results out of annoying everyone around you, and what you can do on a shoestring budget that can still provide genuine scares and have a bloody good time.



Introduction - Joseph LoDuca, The Evil Dead OST
Dawn of the Evil Dead - Joseph LoDuca, The Evil Dead OST

Horror Podcasts!

It's my Brother's Birthday!

Everyone wish my brother, the amazing Steanso, a terrific birthday.  

I started blogging way, way back in 2003, and back then, he was but a simple attorney who played a lot of GTA and the bass in a band.  Now, he's a respectable attorney, a family man, and drives a crossover SUV to keep the kiddies safe.  But he does still play the bass!

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Pixar Watch: Turning Red (2022)

Watched:  03/15/2022
Format:  Disney+
Viewing:  First
Director:  Domee Shi

I'm going to try to secure Michero to come in and talk about Turning Red (2022), so no lengthy write-up.  

Uh...  so.  How to do this if there will be a podcast?  

I liked it!  You should watch it.  Definitely a great one for the kids hitting late elementary school and up.  It's gonna feel familiar.  For the younger ones, a foretaste of what's coming.

I have a few theories about why it took place in 2002, but will try to verify.  

Sunday, March 13, 2022

William Hurt Merges With The Infinite


William Hurt, one of my favorite actors, has passed.  

I don't have much to say on it.  I'm surprised and saddened.  We all knew he could turn in the best performances even when he signed up for some genre stuff that didn't deserve what he'd bring to the characters he'd inhabit.  And given a chance to get into something good - ex: The Big Chill or Smoke- he was astounding.