Thursday, January 16, 2020

The Lighthouse is the greatest movie of all time

The Lighthouse. Why'd ye spill yer beans? What the fuck, man? Hark! Hark! This movie is batshit. Not for everybody. I'm sure some people loved it. People around me in the theater indeed loved it. I'm not sure what is wrong with these people but that movie was not enjoyable. I'm into weird shit, sure. Mandy, Midsommar, I've got a David Lynch related tattoo for fuck's sake. But this movie. Good god man. This is out there and tough to watch. Though I couldn't stand it, though, it was not without its extraordinary merits. Therefore, greatest movie of all time.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: A gripping story brilliantly filmed and led by a pair of powerhouse performances, The Lighthouse further establishes Robert Eggers as a filmmaker of exceptional talent.

Gist is that a pair of lighthouse keepers, wickies as they call themselves, played by Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, get stranded on the remote and fucking harsh island on which their lighthouse sits, drink the fuck out all their rum, turn to kerosene, and completely lose their fucking shit. Conditions are just fucking brutal. You can't fake that shit. These guys are in the shit. True human suffering. That's the subject matter. I can indeed relate.

Liquids are very much not life giving. Surrounded by salt water. Water strands them there and beats down on them. Drinking water is putrid, kills a gull. Booze, which is not good in this situation (maybe any). Then kerosene that they end up drinking when they run out of booze.

In black-and-white with a weird  1.19:1 aspect ratio that I guess was done partly to see the lighthouse and to make you feel boxed in. Robert Eggers, The Witch guy, wrote and directed. Based on a Edgar Allan Poe unfinished story and some real shit. Extremely talented filmmaker. Lot of style. Substance? Meh. I think the point is to make you as uncomfortable and disorientated as the characters. Mission accomplished, I guess.

Acting is great. Pattinson fucking crushes it. Total MVP. Have basically two people acting in this in. Him and Willem Defoe. Pattinson wins it. Dafoe is the sea captain from The Simpsons. Aye. But he is fucking great, too. Lots of fart jokes. Pretty funny until they aren't. Pretty much how the whole movie was. I can deal with this... Now I want to leave. Pretty much how I felt the whole time.

Shares DNA with The Shining, especially felt this at the beginning when they are doing mundane shit and towards the end when they are fucking in it, and "Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner," one of my favorite poems of all time (don't fucking kill birds, okay?).

Purgatory or Hell or something. This could be totally be watched on a loop with the last shot being the same as the first so he has to keep reliving this shit over and over again, ending with (spoiler) the gulls eating his entrails like Prometheus and shit. Won't get into my interpretation of the ending other than that and say that a lot of it is debatable. Also, thought I was going to get some Dafoe on Pattinson action, this was what I kept thinking people were referring to with the weird sex. Instead we got some dude on mermaid with a fish vagina fucking. Obviously super hot. Shan't be watching this flick ever again, but I appreciate it and admit that it is indeed a truly great flick.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Blade Runner 2049 is the greatest movie of all time

Blade Runner: 2049. You newer models are happy scraping the shit... because you've never seen a miracle. Fuck, man. One of my favorite movies of the decade. Sequel to a top 10 of mine from all time. Totally does that film justice and stands on its own. I fucking loved it. 

Basic gist is that K, a police officer/blade runner/replicant, discovers some crazy shit when putting down a rogue replicant working on a protein farm. Buried on the farm is Rachel, Sean Young's character in the original, who it is discovered had a child, which should be impossible for a replicant. Thinks would give the replicants hope or something. They would realize they have souls and rise up and smash their oppressors. Fuck to the ye... So, K finds a little bit of evidence, goes to a place where a false memory of his actually happened (whoa), thinks, “hey, I'm that kid.” Spoiler, he is not. But it leads him to the real chosen person... Harrison Ford. Rick 'fuckin' Deckard. Who unlike Hans Solo doesn't yuck it up.

A lot to unpack here. First, the cinematography is incredible. Won Roger Deakins--his previous work includes most Ethan and Joel Coen bros movies, Kundun, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Shawshank Redemption, and a bunch of other stunners--an Academy Award. You need two watches for this movie just to take it all in. It's sick. In addition to Ryan Gosling and Ford, the movie stars Ana de Armas, Dave Bautista, beauty Mackenzie Davis (lots of pretty ladies in this), Sylvia Hoeks who plays Luv, Carla Juri, and lovely Robin Wright. Was a little nervous going in about Leto but this flick has a tolerable amount of Jared Leto though he says a bunch of nonsense and does weird shit... as he does.

You need two or more watches because there are things that change depending on your mood or what sticks out to you on that watching. For example, like the original Blade Runner, it is unclear whether Deckard is a replicant or not. It doesn't matter, this film says. Still human. Not the most original message, you know, but still one that we need to be reminded of in 2019, don't ya know. By the by, the first watch I was sure that he was a replicant. Thought they even said as much. The second, yeah, not so sure and what I heard was much more ambiguous. 

Then there is Joi, played by the lovely Ana de Armas (Knives Out) who comes up just short of winning the movie. Joi is the holographic girlfriend of K, whom she has dubbed "Joe", designed and sold by the Wallace Corporation, the bad guy in the film. On one hand, she is something like we think of TV wives from the 1950s. She brings him food, lights his cigarettes, makes him drinks, and listens to his retelling of the day while not sharing any of hers. On the other, there is definitely some connection and meaning there, though she may be programmed to make it seem like there is.  She seemed special. So did Joe, for a while, when he thought he was Deckard and Rachel's love child. So did their relationship. But she was wrong about him, he was not in fact the kid of replicants, and he was probably wrong about her and their relationship as well. She is the only "person" who doesn't think he is a piece of shit in one way or another. First viewing I thought that relationship could be meaningful. She seems as real as the replicants, at least. Feel it when she dies and says she loves him. Second time, she is just there to be what he wants. Programmed as such. After she dies, Joe/K walks by a Joi advertisement saying "Everything you want to see. Everything you want to hear." He realizes as much... Or maybe not. Suspect I might feel differently the next time I watch it. Next time it may seem that he is sad for the loss. Even though he has the opportunity to try again with another Joi, she won't be the same. Deep shit. That's what is so great about this movie.

Winning the movie, in my opinion was Ryan Gosling. Lot of depth with this character and his performance is moving. Joe, like Joi, is programmed a certain way. Can't really overcome that, or can he? Once he figures out that he is not Deckard's child, he still makes the decision to help Deckard find her. His experience gives him the tools to make that decision based on his emotions, rather than programming. It is quite powerful. I have a coworker who didn't want to watch the film because he didn't want to see Gosling "crying in the rain." He had also never seen the original. I told him there was an iconic scene in that film known as "crying in the rain," but he wasn't phased, saying Gosling does that in every movie. No, there is no Gosling crying in the rain. But the part and the film was more powerful than such a cliche. Great shit. 

Holiday Inn is the greatest movie of all time

Holiday Inn. It's Christmas so I'm writing about the movie with the greatest Christmas song of all time. Love a musical. Loved this movie. Most of it, anyway. Then  we get to Lincoln's Birthday (which they celebrate in February, pretty sure they are confusing it with Washington's Birthday). Then it is holy shit. The Bing Crosby character, Jim, is trying to hide the Marjorie Reynolds character, Linda, from the Fred Astaire character, Ted, because he fucking sucks. But Ted is looking for Linda as a mystery woman he danced with on New Years and wants to steal her away. Jim's idea, to conceal Linda's identity, is for him and her to dress in blackface and do a minstrel show number of the song "Abraham". It is fucked up. AMC and other channels even cut the scene out entirely. Apparently former British Prime Minister Theresa May said Holiday Inn was her favorite Christmas film, causing controversy due to, you know, racism. I mean, other than that, it is a great film. But that shit is pretty much impossible to ignore or give a pass since it isn't like this was from the days of D.W. Griffith or something.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: With the combined might of Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, and Irving Berlin working in its favor, Holiday Inn is a seasonal classic -- not least because it introduced "White Christmas" to the world.

Gist of the flick is that Astaire can dance and Crosby can sing. They both pursue the same ladies, Linda and Lila, played by Virginia Dale, who can do both, basically mesmerizing them with their insane crooning or dancing, depending on the guy. First it is Lila whom they go after. When she breaks Crosby's heart, he goes and opens a hotel that has large, extravagant holiday shows. This with the help of his new love interest, Linda. After the Astaire/Dale pairing falls apart, Astaire weasels his way into the Holiday Inn where he ends up dancing with and instantly falling in love with the Reynolds character. Crosby tries to hide her identity for a while but Astaire eventually finds her and more or less demands that they immediately go to Hollywood to work in the pictures and get married.

The plot barely matters as this is just a vehicle for Crosby to sing and Astaire to dance and those two do the shit out of those things. But if you pay attention to the plot, the movie is pretty fucked. You've got your overt racism. Then there is what a son of a bitch Astaire's character is. His modus operandi is basically wait for Crosby to get serious about a girl and then do everything he can to steal her, even as Crosby shows him insane kindness for someone who does this twice in the same movie. Dude needs his ass kicked and Crosby needs to learn to be a fucking man. Eventually, Crosby grows some balls and tells his "friend" to go fuck himself. He then gets with Lila or Linda or whoever and Astaire gets with the other one. Happy ending all around.

Of note, the song "White Christmas" came out of this movie. After Irving Berlin wrote it in some California hotel, he went back to the office and told his secretary that he "just wrote the best song I've ever written." Adding that "heck, I just wrote the best song that anybody's ever written!" Not a modest one, this Berlin. And, at least in pure numbers, he was right. The Bing Crosby version is the all-time best-selling single with sales in excess of 50 million copies. Was extremely popular with the soldiers away at war during WWII. Combined with other versions of the song, we are talking in the 100 million range. Crunched some numbers and did some half-assed internet research to put this in perceptive. A single goes "Gold" when it sells 500,000 units. "Platinum" when it sells 1,000,000. A single goes "Diamond" when it sells 10,000,000. Only like 20 something songs have ever done this. This is the only song that reached over 25,000,000. No one else have even come close. Not even half way to 25 mill. That is insane. For this alone, going to say that Irving Berlin won the movie. For creating the Christmas song to end all Christmas song.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Elvira: Mistress of the Dark is the greatest movie of all time

Elvira: Mistress of the Dark. How's your head? I haven't had any complaints yet... If they ever ask about me, tell them I was more than just a great set of boobs. I was also an incredible pair of legs. Not going to win any awards but it was a lot of fun. A lot of talking around Elvira's breasts, which are stunning. Witty one-liners a plenty with some semblance of a plot. That'll do. Greatest movie of all time.

Gist is that Elvira inherits her aunt's dilapidated mansion in an uptight New England town. The treasure, however, is her book of "recipes" which consist of spells. You see, her aunt was a witch and her surviving uncle, who wanted the book for himself, a necromancer of some persuasion, tries to steal the book and kill Elvira. That is the gist but the flick is mostly humor that comes out of Elvira being an outrageously groovy chick in the repressed town that was probably a lot like the one in Footloose. Also, dudes are basically constantly trying to rape her.

In addition to the lovely Cassandra Peterson (still gorgeous as a senior citizen) as Elvira, more on her later, there are actually some actors I recognize. Some include Edie McClurg (she was a high school student in Carrie and was the one who called Ferris Bueller a "righteous dude" in Ferris Bueller's Day Off) plays one Chastity Pariah, the guy who played Kenickie in Grease (his name was Jeff Conaway), Frank Collison who I think of as the "she r-u-n-n o-f-t" guy in Oh, Brother Where Art Thou and the guy obsessed with hotdogs in The Happening, William Morgan Sheppard who is such a that guy, Kurt Fuller who always plays someone who is super punchable, and Dick Miller, he was the guy that knew what gremlins were in Gremlins, is in a movie that Elvira watches at some point.

I am sort of in love with Elvira/Peterson here. Doing half-assed internet research I saw that an unknown Brad Pitt auditioned for one of the teenage boy roles. Peterson thought he was way too hot and felt that Elvira would not be interested in Bob if Pitt was one of the teenagers trying to get her. On her casting notes of his audition, she wrote next to his name, "Yum Yum!" She is a different breed, this one. Into horror, has a cool-ass dog, gorgeous, funny, lovely assets, you get the idea. A lot like my female companion, now that I think about it. Two things cemented it for me though. The first was her dance at the end, which is just indescribable. Then, whilst reading her Wikipedia page, I saw that she is a vegetarian who appeared in a humorous Halloween-themed ad for PETA. Right on, girl. Also saw that she was scalded on over 35% of her body in a kitchen accident when she was little. She said that her Elvira costume "showed only the good bits" but there isn't much you don't see in the movie. Anyway, totally wins the movie and life.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Chopping Mall is the worst movie of all time

Chopping Mall. Let's send these fuckers a Rambo-gram. It is bad. Also, it is very bad. Not a single chop was made in this film. Was pretty sure they came up with the name of the movie, which is amazing, and then built a film around it. That, however, was not the case. Laser Mall or Fire-Extinguisher Throwing Robots Mall doesn't have the same ring to it. But yeah, worst movie of all time.

Gist of the movie is a shopping mall installs a trio of robots to police the mall at night, killing anyone that isn't an employee that is there over night. But them shits malfunction and then just kill anyone in the mall. Alright to kill anyone breaks in in this universe. Killing employees of the mall that are there to bone in a furniture store, that shit is fucked up and wrong though. Instead of smoking cigarettes and drinking, though, post-coital activities for these kids includes shooting at robots trying to kill them and dying. The robots malfunction after the building gets struck by the infamous blue lightning, ever present in the 1980s, which gets featured a lot in electrocution scenes in this flick.

Directed by one Jim Wynorski, a guy out of the Roger Corman school of film making, has over 150 titles to his name. Kelli Maroney, who plays the part of Alison, and Tony O'Dell, as Ferdy, are the survivors who are notably the only pair of "teens" that don't get it on. O'Dell is one of the Cobra Kai punks in The Karate Kid and is also in the YouTube spinoff Cobra Kai. You may recognize Maroney from Fast Times at Ridgemont High or as one of the leads in dope 80s horror flick Night of the Comet which I'm going to have to rewatch. Director Wynorski claims to have cast her because he wanted to date her. That is one way to do it, I guess. Get a Dick Miller cameo. He was the guy that knew what gremlins were in the movie Gremlins. There are a couple attractive ladies in the film who have a little bit of gratuitous nudity but the only one I recognized was Barbara Crampton who is horror royalty in my book. She was the lead chick in Re-Animator and Castle Freak and more recently was in You're Next. She is great and very beautiful but was pretty annoying in this flick. She completely gets herself killed in a grossly unnecessary way. Her and the other girls are on their way out of the mall via the air duct but she keeps saying shit like, "my boyfriend needs me, I have to go help him!" She tries and immediately gets herself killed although the dudes have the situation sort of in hand at that point.

There is this raging asshole who is boning the mall owner's daughter who I thought was funny as a character. This was the guy with the mullet played by one John Terlesky. Oh he is over-the-top unlikable and offensive. You don't mind when he gets killed after going out to get the lady he just boned smokes out of an old fashioned cigarette machine. He has a super solid one-liner to the robots when they ask for his badge which is what I think set them off to rampage. When he shows them his badge he tells it "Klaatu barada nikto" which was the phrase used to stop Gort, the robot in the 1951 film The Day the Earth Stood Still, from destroying the world. It was also the line that Bruce Campbell flubs when he picks up the Book of the Dead in Army of Darkness which I am sure is also a reference to the Cold War-era film. This guy's girl's death is pretty solid, too. She gets shot with a laser and her head explodes. Always solid.

With a brief 77 minute run time, I still felt they could have tightened this movie up. Not a great sign. Also, nothing with the killer robots really makes sense. Deploying killer robots to work security at the mall, what could happen, am I right? Pity, that this movie isn't more watchable with a cast that includes Crampton and Maroney. Maroney, I guess, wins the movie though there really aren't what you would call winners here. She also has the worst camel toe I have ever seen in khakis of all things. It is fucking crazy. Googling that I see there was a How Did This Get Made? where this phenomenon in the movie was discussed. Will need to give that a whirl.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Knives Out is the greatest movie of all time

Knives Out. This is a twisted web, and we are not finished untangling it, not yet. A donut hole inside a donut hole. Love a Agatha Christie style whodunit. Gosford Park. Fucking great. Manhattan Murder Mystery. Get the fuck out. Murder Mystery. That was supposed to be trash. Loved it. The Ghost Writer. Ate that shit up. Shit, I'd put The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which also stars Daniel Craig, in that boat as well. Movie was tits. This one, better than those even. Greatest movie of all-time you say? I do.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: Knives Out sharpens old murder-mystery tropes with a keenly assembled suspense outing that makes brilliant use of writer-director Rian Johnson's stellar ensemble.

Gist of the movie is that famous and massively wealthy mystery writer Harlan Thrombey (played wonderfully by Christopher Plummer) is found dead of an apparent suicide at his massive estate the day following his 85th birthday party. But there are issues and someone has anonymously hired famous private detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) to investigate. Everyone of Thrombey's horrible and dysfunctional descendants are suspects after they all get cut out of the will. Then there is his beautiful and seemingly kind nurse, Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas), whom the family finds suspect. Thats about all you need to know. Don't want to spoil the surprise.

Directed by one Rian Johnson, he also did Brick (which I saw way back when and don't remember caring for, little dark for my taste), Looper, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi (meh). He is married to Karina Longworth, the host of this podcast that I fucking love called You Must Remember This, you have to check that shit out if you are into old movie stars and Hollywood history, which is pretty cool. The movie stars de Armas (Blade Runner 2049) who is just perfect, Craig, Evans, Plummer, Toni Collette, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, Michael Shannon, and Lakeith Stanfield. In case you don't know, that cast is fucking sick.

This movie is so in my fucking wheelhouse. No way I wasn't going to like it. But I genuinely loved it. I wait for years for these types of movies and lose my fucking mind when they come out. This was fucking great and I loved the experience of it (even though it was a packed house and the guy setting behind me smelled horrible). I'm definitely going to see it second time, no fucking doubt.

Something super clever I noticed was how no one listens to "the help." There are three times this hilariously comes to light. In one, every time the family mentions Marta's family, they say that they come from a different country, never getting it right. By the time they make the third reference to it, you are definitely LOLing. The second time, the housekeeper, the one we see deadish with the spider on her face in the trailer, is trying to explain the whole murder plot to another character, which would totally have ended things way sooner, but the person doesn't even try to follow along. This was subtle and low-key the funniest one. Then there is when she straight up, point blank says who the killer is and no one really gets it. A bit about the woman that plays this character Fran. Her name is Edi Patterson. Before a couple of months ago I had never seen her in my life. Now, I can't get enough of her. She is legit hilarious and is kind of having a moment between her work on this and in the television show The Righteous Gemstones, which I cannot recommend enough.

MVP goes to Chris Evans. That guy is really something. In a movie with all that talent, I think he probably won the movie. His performance is complex and layered. No Captain America, that is for sure, this guy is a douche-bag. It's obvious that Evans loved it and it shows. Plummer and de Armas are solid honorable mentions, though there isn't anyone who isn't just amazing (have heard some shit about Craig's ridiculous accent but I think it works and I loved hearing yuck it up about how the case was like a donut, no a donut hole, no a hole within the donut hole, and so forth).

Friday, November 29, 2019

Death Proof is the greatest movie of all time

Death Proof. The woods are lovely, dark, and deep. And I have promises to keep. Miles to go before I sleep... I'm the horniest motherfucker on the road! 2007. Part of the Greatest Years in Cinema Project I'm working on. One of my least favorite films by Quinton Tarantino. That being said. Still a huge fucking fan. Both of the movie and Tarantino. I mean, dude makes movies that I fucking love. When this came out, people who said Tarantino has lost his edge I thought were insane. Not instant classic like Inglourious Basterds. But still a goddamned solid picture.

Rotten Consensus: Death Proof may feel somewhat minor in the context of Tarantino's larger filmography, but on its own merits, it packs just enough of a wallop to deliver sufficiently high-octane grindhouse goods.

With Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror, which was also solid and probably a movie I'm going to rewatch soonish, was part of the "Grindhouse" double feature. This confused the few people in the theater where I originally saw the pair. Supposed to recreate the experience he loved as a child of going to exploitation double features. Tarantino's portion follows Stuntman Mike played by Kurt Russell who gets off by killing young women by crashing into them with his stuntman, death proofed car. But first he likes to fuck with them.

The movie is split into two halves. The first set, whom he meets at a bar in Austin, Texas, he hits head-on, crushing one, ejecting another from the car, ripping off one's leg, and running over the other one's face. This is after he has killed a woman played by Rose McGowan whom he is "giving a ride home" by pinballing her around in the non-death proofed side of the vehicle. It is probably the most terrifying moment in any of Tarantino's movies when McGowan's character, after ignoring many red flags and is in the stuntman's car, when he asks which way she is going and she says "right" and Stuntman Mike explains that they are going "left" and if she had been going left too, it would have been a while before she had gotten scared. The girls in this section consist of pretty lady Vanessa Ferlito whom I've never seen in anything else before or since, Jordan Ladd who is the daughter of Charlie's Angels star Cheryl Ladd, and Sydney Tamiia Poitier who is the daughter of Academy Award winner Sidney Poitier. This was sort of the second movie, the first being Jackie Brown, where Tarantino started using the children of stars he admired but the first that he really started to go all in on it (he has since done this again with Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood). This portion of the movie also features Michael Parks who became sort of a Tarantino and Kevin Smith favorite late in life (he played the villain in both Red State and Tusk), Eli Roth who plays a frat boy type, and Tarantino playing the bartender.

Second part of the flick, spoilers, Stuntman Mike tries something similar, trying to run a group of women off the road, one of whom, stuntwoman Zoë Bell, Uma's Kill Bill stuntwoman, playing herself, has strapped herself to the hood of a car in some dangerous as fuck thrill seeking shit. Unfortunately for Stuntman Mike, the women he has decided to fuck with include a legendary stuntwoman (Bell), a fictional stunt driver played by one Tracie Thoms whom I don't know, and pissed off hair and makeup person played by Rosario Dawson who wears shit-kicking boots and throws a hell of a punch. After Bell is finally thrown from the front of the car, Stuntman Mike tells them that "that was fun" but he doesn't get to enjoy the moment as Thoms breaks out a gun, wounding him with a shot to the arm, and then the ladies go on the offensive, eventually running him off the road, pulling him from the car and beating him to death. This was Tarantino's chick/car movie, obviously.

Couple of things that stuck out. Tarantino and the feet thing. There are multiple scenes featuring woman's feet, per usual. Feel this is the first one where it is like a real joke, notably when Dawson's character is sleeping with an eye mask on in her friend's car with her feet out the window and Stuntman Mike comes up to her and is a huge disgusting creep. Sort of Tarantino being like, "you think I am creep with the feet stuff? Here is some real creepy shit." There is a lap dance scene where one of the girls that dies in the car crash. This is pretty unnecessary and just sort of weird. You definitely don't like it when you see what this asshole does to her sort of thing. Finally, has one of funniest scenes from any of Tarantino's movies. The girls in the second part are trying to test drive this classic car they are into owned by some hillbilly (whom I remember as the lazy eyed dude in a couple Adam Sandler movies). As collateral on the car, they leave this actress/model dressed as a cheerleader played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead (she is extremely attractive) they are hanging out with. They imply that she will suck the guy's dick, unbeknownst to her. The guy asks Dawson's character how he knows her. "She is an actress," she says. "From porno movies?" he asks. "Yes, from porno movies," Dawson says. Funny shit but it gets scary as they take off and he walks up to the girl with a disturbing grin on his face. "Gulp," the cheerleader says. 

Hard to say who won the movie, really, but I'd probably go with Russell. He plays a pretty convincing maniac, and without this role, I don't think we get The Hateful Eight and possibly not Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood (it is rumored that the Russell and his longtime stuntman were maybe the inspiration for the movie [or maybe Burt Reynolds and his stunt guy]). A case could also be made for Bell who went from stunt person to legitimate actress after this flick. Also, the minute or so that Parks is in the movie is an incredible heat check. That guy always made the most out of his 30 seconds or whatever of screen time. 

The Shining is the greatest movie of all time

The Shining. Wendy. Darling. Light of my life. I'm not going to hurt you. You didn't let me finish my sentence. I said I'm not gonna hurt ya. I'm just going to bash your brains in! I'm going to bash 'em right the fuck in. Stanley fucking Kubrick. Maybe a top five most watched movie for me. First saw it when I was way too young. Like it a little less than I did the last time I watched it... But I finally read the book a few years back and see this film differently now. In the novel we get this super complex character in Jack with whole character arch. We also get a character that Stephen King was personally connected to with the same demons as he had. In the movie we get a raging fucking asshole who basically is just Jack Nicholson who becomes a full on maniac. Nicholson on coke, presumably. No real development nor any personal attachment. Still the greatest movie of all time though.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: Though it deviates from Stephen King's novel, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is a chilling, often baroque journey into madness -- exemplified by an unforgettable turn from Jack Nicholson.

Should know all this shit and the people in this by now, but in case, here goes. Gist of the movie is a dude gets a job as the winter caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, taking his son and wife with him to this isolated location. Once they get snowed in, the ghosts come out (they want the boy who has a psychic gift him that the hotel's head chef calls "shine"), fuck with his head, convince him to kill them. He loses his fucking mind. Shit gets cray.

Directed by Stanley Kubrick, legendary director. Jack Nicholson, yeah, that guy, plays Jack Torrance. There are a few shots where it seems like a Kubric film. But more than that it feels like a Jack Nicholson movie. Nicholson definitely wins the movie, by the way. Total fucking psycho. Goes from being a prick to everyone to being a complete psycho. Also staring in the flick are Shelley Duvall plays Wendy Torrance, Danny Lloyd as Danny (his sweater game is on fucking point) and does a hell of a job for a very young child actor who thought he was in a family drama, and Scatman Crothers (mostly remember him from this, Twilight Zone: The Movie, and as the coach of the Harlem Globetrotters on various TV shows) plays Dick Hallorann, the psychic chef. Few other people in the movie but no one you are likely to recognize. Most notable are Philip Stone as Delbert Grady, Joe Turkel as Lloyd, and hottie Lia Beldam as the young woman in the tub in room 237 who makes out with Jack.

As I said before, me and this movie go way back. Used to watch it yearly, it felt like it was always on TV, but it has been more like every five years for the last 15 years or so. Still, every time I notice something new. Tis' how it is with Kubrick movies I guess. In this viewing, picked up on a bit of comedy I'd never noticed before. It comes when Jack is in the ballroom and Grady bumps into him and spills some custardy, thick, yellow beverage all over Jack's hands and jacket. Grady convinces Jack to go to the restroom with him to wash off. "It tends to stain," Grady says. It is then that Jack pats Grady on the back and leaves a hand print. Pretty sure he did this on purpose.

Also picked up something Jack says early in the movie. He tells Wendy that he "felt like he had been there before." Of course at the end we see him in the July 4th Ball photo from 1921. Hard to say if we are to take this literally or not. Hard to say what the fuck Kubric was ever thinking. Shit, I mean, he once called The Shining his most optimistic movie because it showed some sort of afterlife. Alright, buddy.

Think part of my affinity for this flick when I was young came from my mother being the spitting image of Shelley Duvall in this movie. It was crazy, though they have since adopted vastly different looks. Also, she was a a super fun mom, always playing with her little guy, just like my ma when I was a wee one. Aw. I love my mom. Wendy is a super sympathetic character as well. Husband is a major asshole but she is stuck there with him, eventually realizing that he is insane. I mean, the day before everything goes to shit, she just thinks her husband is an asshole, which is sort of crazy to think about. The next day she is beating him down the stairs with a baseball bat and then dragging him to the dry goods storage room, hoping to lock him in before he wakes up. Something else I noticed this time around, Wendy did all of Jack's work. She was the true caretaker, ironically, keeping the place that is trying to kill her and her boy from burning to the ground. She is the only one that gets anything done, the true hero of the movie.

So that, is The Shining, I guess. Something else I get now that I am older is Jack's freaking out after being interrupted while writing. That is exactly how I feel at work like 75% of the day. I bring this up as my female companion tells me that the trash is full and that I need to deal with it. Bebe. Darling. Light of my life...

Saturday, October 26, 2019

The Blair Witch Project is the greatest movie of all time

The Blair Witch Project.  "I just want to apologize to Mike's mom, Josh's mom, and my mom. And I'm sorry to everyone. I was very naive. I am so so sorry for everything that has happened. Because in spite of what Mike says now, it is my fault." Anyone who doesn't like this movie got bamboozled when it came out. Another horror movie from my Greatest Years in Cinema Project. This one form 1999. The first time I saw this movie, before my junior year of high school,  was at the drive-in. I was at the concession though and missed the first few minutes. I missed the bit about Rustin Parr, the hermit who kidnapped and murdered a bunch of kids in the 1940s on the orders of the witch, stealing two at a time and making one stand facing the corner while he killed the other one. Sooooo, at the end when Mike is in the corner it didn't carry the impact intended as I thought he was taking a piss or something. I thought the movie was fucking dumb as shit because of this. When it came out on video I rewatched, forgetting all about that, just remembering I hated it and it was stupid. Oh, I thought, that shit is scary AF, actually. Greatest found footage movie of all time.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: Full of creepy campfire scares, mock-doc The Blair Witch Project keeps audiences in the dark about its titular villain -- thus proving that imagination can be as scary as anything onscreen.

Gist is that three film student who disappeared after filming a documentary in the woods of Maryland about the Blair Witch legend have their footage show up and shows a bunch of creepy shit. This is that footage.

More or less just three people in this with a few extras. The three we care about are Heather played by Heather Donahue, Josh played by Joshua Leonard, and Mike played by Michael C. Williams. Josh pops up every once in a while but Heather and Mike not so much, which is unfortunate since they were pretty solid, in my opinion, and since they didn't make shit and couldn't really capitalize on the success of the movie. A lot of why they could was because of the viral marketing campaign that said these were real kids that died. People ate that shit up, this was the early days of the internet and people believed everything. They still do I guess. Bursting that bubble though was when Donahue showed up in the Steak 'n Shake commercials. But some people still believed. Probably Trump supporters now. Donahue was also in maybe the worst movie I've ever seen, Boys and Girls. My girlfriend at the time made me go see this piece of trash. When middle school girls were walking out of it and shit, I thought about breaking up with her for making me stay. I never forgave her for this experience.

I remember there was this "documentary" that came out the summer of 1999 that aired on the SciFi Channel in 1999 called Curse of the Blair Witch that detailed the legend and was maybe as cool as the movie. In it we learn that the witch, one Elly Kedward, was this woman blamed for these child disappearances in the late 1700s. The towns folk ultimately sentenced her to death by exposure and banished her to the woods. Her body was never found. Then we get the guy from the 1940s, Rustin Parr. That shit was hot. Honestly, that whole legend shit and the marketing around it was the best part about it. I mean, total bullshit but cool. That is the MVP of the movie for me.

20 years later for my third viewing, shit holds up. Lot better than that Blair Witch trash from a few years back. Real disappointed by that turd. Loved two of the director's, one Adam Wingard, other movies. You're Next and The Guest but have pretty much hated everything since that. You're Next though is one of my favorite horror movies of the last decade. Up there with Get Out and shit. Then there was the sequel to BWP called Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 which I like a lot but was extremely poorly received. It stared Jeffrey Donovan from Burn Notice and Shut Eye both shows I was somewhat into and Kim Director whom I found extremely attractive. Will have to rewatch that one as well to see if it holds up. Will get back to you on if it does.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane is the worst movie of all time

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane. How old do you have to be before people start treating you like a person? What the fuck, man? That is a difficult question in the universe of this film. One of the horror movies from my Greatest Year in Hollywood Project. This being one of two from 1976--the first was CarrieBasic gist of this is that 13 is too young to take care of yourself... and probably to fuck. Weird shit. Did not like. Was too uncomfortable in too many ways. Seeing an old dude trying to sexually molest a child who maybe lives alone, torture killing her pet in front of her, strong arming her child boyfriend. All of that was not easy to set through. Then there was sex scene that nearly made me throw up. Never really prepared for that. But then that child whom I just suddenly watch go to the bone zone killing some pretty awful people... That I was for the most part okay with.

Okay. Gist of this movie is that Jodie Foster is the child of a professor or something. She claims he is around but he is most obviously to everyone not. She mostly tries to keep to herself but I think the school superintendent, played by Alexis Smith who was quite the looker and B-List starlet (she was like Ronald Reagan level famous) in the 1940s and 50s, and her rapey ass son, played by Martin Sheen, keep coming around, fucking with her shit. Being an independent tween or whatever of the world, can't have people come to her house and make her do shit. So she starts killing folks. Oh, and she gets a boyfriend which is dumb and filler mostly. You've never seen him or anyone else in the movie. It was also directed by a guy you've never heard of, one Nicolas Gessner, who did a handful of low-budgets and made-for-TVs before and after this and is still alive but hasn't had anything else to his credits since 1997.

So the movie opens on Halloween with Sheen's character showing up at Foster's house a few minutes before his kids come ringing the doorbell for candy. That is not how this works, man. And is obviously is putting it out there that he is DTF. Foster isn't having any of this shit. She is stern in a way that suggests old dudes are always pulling this shit. Days later, his mom starts snooping around, basically playing a truancy officer or something. She dies at the house from being an idiot, more or less, and Foster hides as much evidence as possible, but really isn't hiding shit. After a few days, Sheen comes back over while Foster is entertaining this magician boyfriend kid she met that day, don't ask, and gets all passive aggressive about his mom. He and Foster fucking know but they play the game until Sheen has had enough and tortures her hamster to death with a cigarette. Okay, movie, you fucking lost me. That was it. But I watched on, like an idiot.

Foster wins the movie, but at what cost? I mean she is indeed a kid that is going places. This is around the same time as Taxi Driver, also a 1976 watch, but more fucked up. You've been warned. The shit that I couldn't deal with in addition to the hamster torture had to do with her sex scene. I mean, is it too much to ask not to have animal deaths or fucked up kid shit in a movie? Those are my two things. I pretty much dig everything else. But this movie has both. Too much. So the shit I am talking about comes near the end when Foster's BF stays over. It is not super obvious they are going to fuck but then you realize that is where they are going. By the time you realize this, unable to completely mentally prepare that this is about to happen with a very young child actress, she is suddenly naked. Fuck, man, I didn't want to see that shit. I seriously almost spilled the groceries... But then I read in the trivia section on IMDB that it wasn't Jodie Foster that we saw nude but her at least of legal aged sister. Apparently, the producers of the film adamantly wanted this nude scene for god only knows what reason, and Foster refused and walked off set. Now, she doesn't talk a lot of shit about the movies she likes or dislikes that she was a part of, but she has hinted, somewhere but I don't know where, that this is a movie she is not extremely fond of, I think for obvious child labor/nudity reason.  

In any case, yeah, never watching that shit again. Do not recommend. The end is pretty satisfying though. But I won't give that shit away.