Thursday, August 22, 2019

The Apartment is the greatest movie of all time

The Apartment. When you're in love with a married man, you shouldn't wear mascara... That's how it crumbles... you know, cookie-wise. Jesus. I adored this movie. Jack Lemmon is seriously phenomenal in everything I've ever seen him in. Also, Billy Wilder is three-for-three in the movies I've blogged about, also loved Some Like It Hot and Sunset Boulevard, and half a dozen others I've seen at some point in life are also dope. Don't see this ever listed among the greatest movies of all time but it should be. Hands down the best and most rewatchable romantic comedy, IMO.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: Director Billy Wilder's customary cynicism is leavened here by tender humor, romance, and genuine pathos.

Directed by Wilder, he and one I. A. L. Diamond co-wrote the screenplay. Nominated for 10 Academy Awards, winning five including Best Picture, Best Director, and Beast Screenplay. Gist of the movie is that insurance agent Bud Baxter (Lemmon) allows his higher ups to use his Upper West Side apartment to take their mistresses for affairs with the promise of moving up the corporate ladder. When Bud's prick of a boss, Sheldrake played by Fred MacMurray (whom I recognize from Double Indemnity and as the dad in My Three Sons) brings elevator operator Fran Kubelik, played by the lovely Shirley MacLaine, a woman that Bud is secretly in love with, shit gets real.

This movie is way darker of a romantic comedy than we are used to today featuring attempted suicide and married men promising to leave their wives, we know how that is, right ladies? Behind the concept was even darker shit as Diamond incorporated a life experience of one of his friends who came home after breaking up with his girlfriend and finding her dead, having committed suicide in his bed into Wilder's original comedy about adultery. Yeesh. Also included elements of another true story where Hollywood agent Jennings Lang was shot by producer Walter Wanger for having an affair with his wife, actress Joan Bennett, having used the apartment of one his low-level employees to conduct the affair.

A few bullet points... Shirley MacLaine is adorably cute. Pixie hair, quick wit, cosmopolitan. She is a cool chick. Easy to see how Bud genuinely falls for her. You feel protective of her as Sheldrake does what he does to her. It's really heartbreaking when she almost kills herself which everyone assumes was Bud's fault as his neighbors think he is just constantly bringing chicks home. The physician down the hall, one Dr. Dreyfuss played wonderfully by Jack Kruschen who was nominated for Best Supporting, who saves Fran's life, along with the landlady, give Bud hell for breaking the girl's heart when in reality it was Sheldrake (though it did look bad for him since he was drunk and brought back this other woman). Then, after she spends a couple of days at his apartment, her brother in-law, she is living with him and her sister, shows up and kicks his ass. Good stuff. Also, Lemmon easily wins the movie. Dude is funny and genuinely good. Kevin Spacey dedicated his Best Actor Oscar for American Beauty (maybe the movie from the last 20 years to age the worst that was once considered good) to Lemmon.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Plain Clothes is the greatest movie of all time

Plain Clothes. You're supposed to be helping your brother Matt, not getting nippy with some cheerleaders! Really loved this flick in my youth. Still has it's moments though I wasn't in love with it like I was as a kid. One of those putting an adult in high school movies where in this case the adult is obviously in his mid 30s. How can you go wrong with that?

Basic gist is that a youngish cop, Nick Dunbar played by 32 year old Arliss Howard, goes undercover as a high school student, choosing the name Nick Springsteen, to prove his brother's innocence of murdering one of his teachers. During this time he goes from loser to most popular kid in school with both the captain of the cheerleading team, played by one Alexandra Powers (more on her later), and a teacher, played by James Camron's wife Suzy Amis, throwing themselves at him sexually after he reads the E.E. Cummings poem "she being Brand," a car poem really about "doinking". So, yeah, Amis's teacher character is totes DTF this dude she thinks is a student. This is obviously problematic but in the 1980s was funny, apparently.

Decent amount of semi well known actors in the movie. People like Peter Dobson whom I only recognize from The Frighteners, Diane Ladd who was the fake Mrs. Mulwray in Chinatown plays the school secretary, Larry Pine who is a total that guy actor I've seen all over the place in the last couple of weeks, Robert Stack of Unsolved Mysteries fame plays the principal, Abe Vigoda plays a teacher (I feel like they had him for a day, he didn't learn any lines, and they just let him say whatever weird shit popped into his head) whom I mostly think of now in the context of that website that lets you know if he is dead or not, and George Wendt who was Nom in Cheers.

Personal favorite random guy who wins the movie for me is Seymour Cassel whom I think of mostly as Esteban ("Esteban was eaten!") from The Life Aquatic. He plays Nick's partner who also acts like his dad when he goes back to school. He more or less uses this to embarrass the shit out of him whenever he comes to the school. Does things like embrace him on his first day, saying "let's not let the same thing that happened at the last school happen here... I love you, son" and telling Nick's little cheerleader crush that he was grounded before driving off like a wildman. 

Also of note is this Alexandra Powers chick. She is the high school girl that everyone treats like a goddess, the cheerleader one, but has what looks like a dead animal on her head. She was in a decent amount of things after this and was even the lead in an NBC miniseries Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan movie, Tonya and Nancy. I, Tonya it was not though Powers did indeed look a lot more like Tonya that the gorgeous Margot Robbie. She apparently married one of Scientology's biggest recruiters at which point she joined the cult. Hasn't been in any movies or anything since then. Eventually joined the Sea Org so that's she'll be doing for the next three billion years unless, you know, she walks away.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is the greatest movie of all time

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Let me go! I'm not fit to be a senator! I'm not fit to live! Expel me, not him! Willet Dam is a fraud! It's a crime against the people who sent me here - and I committed it! Ah, wouldn't it be great if real life were a Frank Capra movie and guilt got the better of the corrupted in power? Don't expect Mitch McConnell or Trump to give a movie like this any mind. No political party is ever mentioned... But we fucking know. No way Trump has seen it and McConnell sees Paine as a punk and Smith is a chump. Hell, he probably took the stuff about the dam they were using to get rich on stuff as inspiration for his whole funneling government grant money to his wife scheme. Lot of "I'm doing this on principle" bullshit from Claude Rains's character, Senator Joseph Harrison "Joe" Paine (who wears glasses that constantly flash when the light hits to the point of distraction which I can't remember happening in any other movie I've ever watched), that is more the style of a few other fucking pricks. Every senator claims to be Smith. Fucking Rand Paul or Ted Cruz, for example. Most of them are Paine. Definitely that fuck Paul (and most Republicans).

Anyway, great movie, though unrealistic. Fifth 1939 film from my Greatest Years in Cinema Project. Nominated for 11 Academy Awards though it was Gone with the Wind that cleaned up that year. Considered one of the greatest films of all time, ranked No. 26 on AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies: 10th Anniversary Edition.

With movies that are light(ish) and humble, I'm beginning to see how someone could be a Capra fan. The idealistic grandmothers among us, for example, that are shocked by whats going on in Washington today. I too feel this way though Capra is 50/50 so far for me, I strongly disliked Arsenic and Old Lace. Jimmy Stewart is perfect though in his bumpkin sort of way. As is the lovely Jean Arthur. If Stewart weren't so over the top, I'd say she won the movie. One could argue that she did but women like her didn't get to carry many political movies in 1939. The two of them are really super though and really what endeared me to the film.

Originally supposed to be a sequel in the Mr. Deeds Goes to Town universe but Gary Cooper was unavailable. Instead we get Mr. Smith going to Washington in this light political drama about a seemingly naive politician appointed to the United States Senate by a group of corrupt politicians/business leaders who want to game the system in what amounts to a get rich quick scheme. I've been told this is a plot hole but see my bit about McConnell above. Though I do concede that everything gets pretty murky when it comes to what these guys are doing/trying to get away with. It sort of like another Stewart movie from that year in Destry Rides Again where the corrupt politicians/business leaders appoint someone they think is an idiot to "represent the people" but whom they really want to just walk all over. That was actually my favorite Stewart movie of that year but this was the one that made him a star, apparently. Only other actor of note is Thomas Mitchell as "Diz" Moore. Mitchell actually wins the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor that year for the role of Doc Josiah Boone in Stagecoach, which is coming up on my list for 1939. That was a big year for Mitchell. Played significant roles in five movies, all considered classics--the other three were Gone with the Wind (he played Scarlet's father), Only Angels Have Wings, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Was the second actor to win the so called Triple Crown of Acting, winning an Emmy, an Oscar, and a Tony just a month after Helen Hayes became the first in 1953.

In the first half of the movie we are hammered with how idealist Smith is as he goes to DC and sees a bunch of DC shit. We watch as he gets inspired by the Lincoln Memorial, learns that he has Daniel Webster's old seat, calls the city "Worshington", and yucks it up for journalists. But this last bit gets him into trouble as papers take advantage of his good nature to make him look like an idiot. He then goes on a punching journalists tour, delivering hay makers to no less than four people in a deranged montage. He then goes and revisits all the same DC places, only this time he is sad.

But dude has a plan. For kids! Get them Boy Scouts some land. But Paine and the PA Governor, Smith's state, and some big business guy have a whole conspiracy against Smith. Fuck this guy, basically all of his buddies say after he doesn't play ball with their bullshit money making scheme that didn't really make a whole lot of sense to me. Like, if they were going to buy the land for the kids, they also would have bought it for the dam and they would have still made money, if I understand it right. So, in-ee-way, Smith, about to get kicked out of the Senate goes on a long ass filibuster session where he pleads his case. No one cares and the political machine, which controls the papers, fucks with public opinion. But the kids and Jean Arthur, his very knowledgeable aid, and who ever the fuck this Biz guy is have his back.  They go to the papers and print their own Boy Rangers paper that tells the truth though political goons take them from the kids. This shit is out of fucking control. These punch one kid in the face and later run him off the road, probably killing all the kids in the car. 

But it is a happy ending with Smith's speech and such winning Paine over to the point where he confesses. This is after Paine fucking wins by pushing Smith over the edge, bringing in all of the hate mail people in PA have sent to Washington since his whole rambling talk started. IRL, the political machine chews you up and spits you out. Those with power and the most corrupt always win. Look at Al Franken vs. Trump. Paine just freaks out and that is the end of the movie. Seemingly he has been doing this shit for years. He can't just tune out Smith's hoarse ramblings for a few hours without losing his mind? I'd bet he'd be there eating a doughnut when Smith passed out, stepping over him on his way to spin it to the press. Couldn't make that shit today. No fucking way anyone buys any of that shit.

Also, this movie is featured in one of my favorite The Simpsons episodes. In it Mel Gibson is making a remake of the flick. Somehow Homer gets in Gibson's ear as a sort of everyman and what the average man wants. Not a bunch of preachy talking, that is for fucking sure, and Gibson turns it into an action movie where he kills members of the press and the corrupt senators, stalking them on the floor of the Senate. Hilarious. 

Friday, August 9, 2019

Rear Window is the greatest movie of all time

Rear Window. We've become a race of Peeping Toms. What people ought to do is get outside their house and look in for a change. Alfred Hitchcock. Jimmy Stewart. Grace Kelly. Doesn't get much better than that threesome. Among the legendary director's best. Got to see it on the big screen for the third time. This time at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater in Bloomington, IN. I love this film in an old historic theater. Also identify more with the character than my last watch as I spent that decade as a sports photographer and what have you.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: Hitchcock exerted full potential of suspense in this masterpiece.

For those who are unfamiliar, the gist is that a guy with a broken leg, too much time on his hands, and excellent photography equipment gets his nightly entertainment by spying on his neighbors in maybe the most interesting courtyard in all of New York. Eventually, the behavior he sees from one of the tenants causes to suspect him of murdering his wife. Against the advise of a policeman and with the help of his beautiful girlfriendish person whom he treats like shit (played by the lovely Grace Kelly) and his nurse Stella, he investigates, almost getting everyone killed in the process. Luckily he is a photographer with million watt flash bulbs that roughly have the effect of a punch to the face.

Some bullet points. Hate that the murdering fuck killed someone's dog. Someone can kill a person on screen and can be redeemed. But a dog killer can go fuck himself. Also, love the set of this movie. Was not a real courtyard. Was built on the backlot and filmed at Paramount Studios. Used to like the idea of looking out and seeing your neighbors do cool and sometimes shady shit but now that I am older see Stewart's character as sort of a sick fuck. This guy definitely has something going on. No wonder he can't commit to Grace fucking Kelly. One more thing, I dug how she ordered food from that fancy restaurant and they brought it to them in that crazy food case. This is at the beginningish of the movie. Shit was noticeably cool.

So many ripoffs of this movie it is insane. These are the ones I thought of in like one minute off the top of my head Disturbia (RW on house arrest), Fright Night (RW with vampires), Manhattan Murder Mystery (RW with Woody Allen and in a hallway), Men at Work (RW with the Estevez/Sheen bros), and The 'Burbs (RW on stay-cation plus Tom Hanks). Plus there was a really terrible remake from 1998 staring Christopher Reeve after his horse riding accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. Bummer.

Stewart is pretty solid but yucks it up like he always does. Gotta give Kelly MVP status on this one. She so pretty and compelling in the part that she steals the show. Plus the actress that plays Stella, Thelma Ritter, is incredible. She really does a good job of jumping back and forth between being incredulous and extremely involved in the spying and what have you. 

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Chinatown is the greatest movie ever made

Chinatown. Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown. She's my sister AND my daughter! Fuu-uuuck this movie. I mean, solid hard-boiled detective movie. That little freak Roman Polanski did alright. His first movie after Charles Manson's crew killed his preggo wife, Sharon Tate. Couldn't really imagine a darker ending to a movie. Obvious that Polanski, who is a fucked up little man, will get into a bit, I'm sure, was going through some shit when making this, the movie with the most off topic title of all time.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: As bruised and cynical as the decade that produced it, this noir classic benefits from Robert Towne's brilliant screenplay, director Roman Polanski's steady hand, and wonderful performances from Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway.

Gist of the movie. Classic neo-noir mystery where Jack Nicholson's character, J. J. "Jake" Gittes, is paid by one Evelyn Mulwray to spy on her husband, Hollis, whom she believes is cheating on her. Hollis, it turns out, is the chief engineer for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and is publicly feuding with his former business partner and father in-law, Noah Cross, for Hollis's assertion that the creating a new reservoir would be unsafe. Gittes then photographs Hollis with a young woman who it is assumed he is having an affair with. After the pictures turn up on the front page of the paper, Hollis Mulwray ends up dead by apparent suicide. But all this turns out to be bullshit when the real Mrs. Mulwray, played by Faye Dunaway, shows up and Gittes starts investigating the whole thing as a murder.

Second Robert Evans/Paramount Pictures movie directed by Polanski. Written by Robert Towne, he based the screenplay on the California Water Wars which is some real interesting shit. Stars include Nicholson and Dunaway. Also John Hillerman who was Higgins in Magnum P.I., James Hong who was the standard Asian guy in movies for a while (you may remember him as Lo Pan from Big Trouble in Little China or the "so cold" guy in Blade Runner), Polanski as the guy who cuts Gittes's nose, and Burt Young who was Paulie in the Rocky movies.

Some bullet points... Burt Young's character is a wife beating asshole that really didn't age well coming from a director like Polanski who bragged about cheating on his beautiful, preggers wife before she was murdered by the Manson Family, said no woman was his intellectual equal, and had sex with multiple children which ultimately forced him to flee the country. In this we see Young getting pictures from Gittes of his wife boning some other guy. At the end, Gittes goes to Young's and the wife answers the door with black eyes. It is treated like a joke. Can just imagine Polanski being like, "ah, she'll have black eyes and be cooking dinner, it'll be funny!" But, yeah, that chick is a really shitty place with no way out. Instead of this guy she was at least physically into, maybe emotionally or whatever, now she just gets beat at home, forced to cook this prick's dinner and what not. Not hard to imagine why she went outside the marriage with him treating her as such. 

Nice little Seabiscuit Easter egg at the beginning of the movie. Gittes is reading the LA Times and on the cover of the newspaper it talks about the famed horse written about by Kenyon alum Laura Hillenbrand. 

Director John Huston is solid and creepy as shit as Cross. I may like him as much as an actor as I like him as a director. Currently reading his autobiography, An Open Book. Him and Brad Pitt are my current man crushes. Though his part in this is truly fucked and disturbing. Doesn't get any better than when Nicholson and him have their little talk when we first see the Cross character. There Cross and Gittes talk thus:
Cross: You've got a nasty reputation, Mr. Gits. I like that.
Gittes: Thanks.
Cross: If you were a bank president, that would be one thing. But in your business it's admirable and it's good advertising.
Gittes: It doesn't hurt.
Cross: It's, um, why you attracted a client like my daughter.
Gittes: Probably.
Cross: But I'm surprised you're still working for her - unless she's suddenly come up with another husband.
Gittes: No. She happens to think the last one was murdered.
Cross: Umm, how'd she get that idea?
Gittes: I think I gave it to her.
Cross: Gittes. You're dealing with a disturbed woman who's just lost her husband. I don't want her taken advantage of. Sit down.
Gittes: What for?
Cross: You may think you know what you're dealing with, but believe me, you don't
That is some player shit from Huston. Have to think he got some enjoyment out of saying all of this to Nicholson who was, at the time, dating his daughter, the lovely Angelica Huston. It's probably my favorite scene in the movie. Plus he is onto something there as Gittes, in my opinion, is sort of a shitty detective. Throughout the movie there are like five times where Gittes more or less proclaims he has figured it all out and was wrong as fuck. Dude thinks he knows everything. He doesn't know shit. Also, full of shit. Says some shit about him drawing the line at extortion. Bullshit. He bones a client for fuck's sake. And the weird I think racist joke he tells that is not funny and I'm not sure I really get, is fucking stupid and ill timed. But there is no universe where Nicholson's portrayal of the character doesn't win this movie.

Was inspired to watch this flick again after 20 years after watching Once Upon a Time In... Hollywood. Tried watching it imagining the Rick Dalton character in the Gittes role as I assume in that universe, Dalton is staring in Polanski flicks instead of Nicholson. Maybe with him instead, so like one of the other detectives or something. But I could totes see DiCaprio as Dalton as Gittes. Lot going on there mentally but I see it.

So, now, that ending, spoiler, is fucking dark. Fuck that shit. Female watching companion did not like. Dunaway gets shot in the eye by the cops when trying to flee her rapist father who is trying to take back his daughter/granddaughter. Once the car stops and the girl is screaming and Huston shields her eyes in about as creepy of a way as possible, it looks as though the girl is going to live with her rich daddy-granddaddy. This disgusting, gross murdering perv. I'm sure that is going to be fucking great. Must have blocked that shit. Left a horrible taste in my mouth. Had to start a Pixar movie as a pick me up.

Monday, August 5, 2019

The Arsenal Stadium Mystery is the worst sports movie of all time

The Arsenal Stadium Mystery. Fourth movie I've watched for the Greatest Years in Cinema Project from 1939. First of the obligatory movies about sports from those great Hollywood years. This one, decidedly B, is not good. This is before they made sports movies worth a shit. The first one that is palatable is Pride of the Yankees in 1942 about Lou Gehrig starring Gary Cooper. This is like the crappy, lighter, British precursor that stars the real players from the club. Need I say more? For this reason, I was not expecting any sports movie from this year to be any good. So I figured I'd go with this movie over a couple of others because it had this whole murder mystery aspect to it. Fuck it. Why not.

An Arsenal Football Club movie, it is second English soccer talkie. Still figuring this whole thing out, I guess. Have to REALLY appreciate Arsenal to be a fan of the movie at this point. Like a historian or something. It basically follows the lead up to this big... game? Match? I'm sort of a fan of the Premier League going back to 2015 (mostly for pub trivia purposes) and was a fucking sportswriter and had to look that shit up every time I cover the damn thing that has been the sport of the future for my entire life, probably going back to win this movie was made. Again, huge fan. ANYway, the big MATCH is between Arsenal and this fictitious amateur team called the Trojans. Arsenal has absolutely nothing to gain from this and may indeed be playing against murderers as the best player on the Trojans suddenly dies during the MATCH. It's a brutal sport, after all. They stop the match and this Sherlock Holmes esque dude, more on him later, comes in to investigate. Suspension mostly falls on a couple of his sons of bitches teammates (one of which brings a fucking female ventriloquist dummy [which I assume is a crude sex toy] that is creepy as shit but brings the team luck or something), his Swedish GF, and side bitch (these relationships were all a bit hard to follow so I may be mistaken).

Ok. We'll start with this. The soccer is bad. I assumed this is what happened when you put old timey actors in sports roles but the Arsenal team was indeed made up of mostly real Arsenal players. Lionel Messi these guys are not. Move at different speed than players in the game today. Nor do they have the ball handling skills.

Something random of note I will point out. One of the chicks whose role was unintelligible but was most definitely a  suspect in the murder is being questioned all friendly like by the police and to be funny, I guess, she goes and puts Epsom salts in the sugar bowl. Hilarious and weird. What the hell is going on here? I have no idea. Ruins the tea which is equivalent to killing everyone in the room, apparently.

Fast forward to the end of the movie and it is pretty interesting and sort of insane. Wasn't really a fan until those last couple of minutes. When they find out who the murderer is, which they do through an elaborate setup that turns his hands black (don't ask), there is a really effective scene where the guy knows he's fucked and looks at all the tunnel exits. Like five or six cops stand in each one, looking at him with disgust. He then plays hero ball, taking it from coast-to-coast and scoring the winning goal to beat a historically great team the English Premier League. Everyone has had enough of this shit and the cops come out and arrest the guy. They call the detective on the phone asking how he knew who the killer was or whatever. He says, "it's elementary my dear Watson," puts on a Sherlock Holmes coat and hat, and grabs a giant magnifying glass and dances his way with these ladies on a stage off screen. Surprise Sherlock, I guess, but they'd been alluding to him being like Sherlock the whole time. It is weird as shit though and comes so far out of left field that is sort of funny.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) is the greatest movie of all time

Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Classic. Wouldn't watch it as a child. Was fucking scared out of my mind from the little bits I had seen flipping through the channels or from the five second clip from the second movie in the series in The 'Burbs. Didn't see it until like junior year of high school at which point I thought it was a comedy in the way that The Evil Dead is sort of comedy albeit way more brutal. Also dark. The second flick in the series just goes completely camp, by the by. This is totes director Tobe Hooper's masterpiece. Completely changed the direction of horror and invented the concept of the final girl with original final girl Marilyn Burns. Greatest movie of all time. Probably legitimately.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: Thanks to a smart script and documentary-style camerawork, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre achieves start-to-finish suspense, making it a classic in low-budget exploitation cinema.

Group of five college aged kids, a brother, Franklin, and sister, Sally, and their friends, the other ones, are going to stay at their dead grandfather's place when they are attacked by a family of cannibals. The group's most memorable member, Leatherface, wears the flayed faces of people he kills like a grotesque Halloween mask and kills with both a sledgehammer and a chainsaw. After easily killing the other four, Leatherface chases Sally who puts up an impressive fight before she eventually gets captured and is forced to sit through an insane dinner where her friends are the entree that culminates in her attempted murder. When the group of cannibals--consisting of Leatherface, The Hitchhiker that we meet early in the film whom the college kids give a lift to before he attacks them, and The Cook who doesn't like killing but sure loves cooking and eating long pig--decide to let grandpa, who is 120 years old, perform the kill, Sally manages to wriggle free and get to the high where she makes her escape.

Directed by the ever misrepresented Hooper, who wins the movie for producing such an influential masterpiece of horror, this marks the early apex of the director who never earned the respect of Hollywood. He would later direct The Funhouse and Lifeforce which I have since grown to appreciate. All of these movies are out there. Surprising amount of humor in this one about a family of murdering cannibals that include one among them wearing human faces and what not. Not completely sure if this is intentional or not. The humor.

But here is some stuff I compiled that supports this being a comedy. At the beginning, just after an insane and terrifying voice over, Franklin, the character in the wheelchair, starts out the movie pissing in his pee can and then rolls down a hill, falling out of his chair screaming. It is close to Mac and Me bad. Then there is the Hitchhiker with the scar or birthmark on his face who they pick up. He jokes about working in a slaughterhouse and shows them pictures and stuff. Hilarious, right? He then starts talking about how the new, more humane method of killing livestock eliminates "good jobs" for people. This guy would freak out if he saw all the automation or walked into a Kroger with the whole self-checkout shit. This is all before he takes Franklin's pocketknife and starts cutting himself. Everyone freaks and Franklin takes the knife back. The Hitchhiker then pulls out a straight razor while everyone is screaming and slices Franklin's arm. All hell breaks loose and they boot him out of the car. It all goes south so fast that it ends up being like WTF funny. Then, once they stop and stumble upon the house where Leatherface and the rest of the killers reside but before anyone has died, Franklin spazzes out, saying stuff like "come on Franklin, it'll be a great time," and repeatedly blows raspberries and makes fart noises for an uncomfortable amount of time.

Plus, there is the scene where couple Kirk and Pam keep ignoring insane warning signs that they are in danger whilst dicking around out in front of the murder house where both of them will die. This includes finding human remains. Kirk finds a tooth, obviously human with a filling in it and shit, and like touches her with it to gross her out and is like "I got something for you" which is fucking insane. A minute later he goes inside and dies within 10 seconds as Leatherface busts out and smacks him in the head with sledgehammer. That shit ain't funny.

Then we get the stuff with Sally, played by actress Marilyn Burns, towards the end. First she is chased by Leatherface who is a first-time stoned Gunner Hanson. That is the reason for all the Keystone Cops swerving and shit. She eventually gets to this gas station that doesn't sell gas that they stopped at earlier. The old guy inside, whom we only get referred to as "The Cook", ends up being in on the killing and eating folks and attacks Sally, screaming hysterically, with a fucking broom and a burlap sack. Once they have Sally in the home, the group brings out grandpa to kill her with a hammer like he used to use on animals (not cool with that shit) but he is so old he can barely hold it. This allows her to break loose and hit the highway where we get the iconic Leatherface raging and twirling like a dervish.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Piranha 3DD is the worst movie of all time

Piranha 3DD. Jesus. This ins bad in a charmless, fuck-man-I-just-watched-this way. Piranha 3D was fine for what it was. Just a dumb B-movie that was fun and over-the-top but was taken seriously. I enjoyed it. 3DD feels like a cash grab that no one took seriously. Genuinely one of the worst, least enjoyable movies I've ever seen. Did definitely learn to spell piranha though. Piranha. Look at that shit.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: It strains to up the gore and self-awareness of it predecessor, and -- despite some game celebrity cameos -- the result is a dispiriting echo of 2010's horror-comedy.

And away we go... Gist of the movie is that an ancient school of man-eating piranhas hyper-evolve in weird ways for no apparent reason and go from the lake in the first one to a new waterpark in the second. There is a whole subplot about the ownership of the waterpark with characters played by Danielle Panabaker who is apparently in Grey's Anatomy and The Flash among other things I've never watched and David Koechner who will always be Champ from Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy to me. The Koechner character turns the place into an all nude place, more or less, though they still allow in children and shit like that. Others in the movie that I recognize are
crazy hot Katrina Bowden who was the intern chick on 30 Rock and was stellar in the flick Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, Gary Busey with whom I share a birthday, the Clu Gulager who every time he shows up I remind everyone that he is awesome (his son, John Gulager who also did the movie Feast, is the director) has an extended cameo at the start of the movie (when reality goes out the window), David Hasselhoff who is leathery as fuck who is maybe the only thing I sort of like about the movie, Christopher Lloyd of Back to the Future, Doc Brown fame, Ving Rhames who was known for his role as Marsellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction but now is just the Arby's guy, and Paul Scheer from Hell Baby and all the podcasts that I listen to.

Sigh. Where to begin. I'm not what you would call a stickler for movie logic but holy shit. I mean, I was fine with the piranhas living isolated in a cave below a lake for millions of years, feeding off of each other. That is insane. Did I complain. No. But for this movie that features piranhas that that inhabit and grow inside a woman's vagina after she inhaled fertilized piranha eggs (yeah, I have no idea) which bites a guy's dick off, of course, and are able to walk on land by the end of the movie, I have issues.

I was surprised when Rhames and Sheer show up, reprising their roles from the original. This was unnecessary and sad. Rhames completely phones it in. Sheer is pro though and seems like he at least wants to be there. In the first one, he falls off a boat into a piranha infested lake but other shit is going on and we don't see what happens to him though it is assumed he is dead. But then here he is, none worse for wear. Rhames, however, now has metal legs, which come in handy when pulling people out of shallow water. But, yeah, by the time they show up, at the waterpark for some sort of therapy session, I am way checked out. There are some unanswered questions here. Like how are these two hanging out in this universe? Sure, Rhames may have lived there since he was a cop there before his disability. But Sheer was a sleazy PA for a Girls Gone Wild type outfit. Why would he stick around? Also, why would they try to break their fear of water at an adult themed waterpark? Seems like an appropriate place for this to happen, I guess. Baby steps into the kiddie pool filled with naked women.

This movie was originally released in theaters, that part is crazy enough, in 3D, which is just insane. Might be the crappiest 3D movie in terms of everything. It's worse than Jaws 3D by a landslide. Mostly, this is just crappy looking fish and girls with giant 3D boobs running around. No one wins with a movie like this.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

North by Northwest is the great movie of all time

North by Northwest. Fantastic. Depending on the day, fave Alfred Hitchcock movie. Watch it every year. Cary Grant in this movie is the fucking coolest. 99% Fresh on Rotten Tomato, some fucking dipshit didn't like this movie. Again, what more do you fucking expect. If you haven't seen this flick, it is fucking awesome. It is what would happen if some hilarious guy was mistaken for James Bond and keeps idioting his way out of almost getting killed.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: Gripping, suspenseful, and visually iconic, this late-period Hitchcock classic laid the groundwork for countless action thrillers to follow.

Gist of this movie is that Cary Grant as Roger Thornhill is out to lunch at a fancy restaurant. A waiter goes around with a phone calling for George Kaplan. Thornhill calls the guy over to order or something. Some goons are the lookout for the guy who answers the calls for Kaplan. Seeing this exchange, they decide that fucking guy is Kaplan and make his life hell for the next two and a half hours of run time. Trying to kill him and what not by filling up with booze and putting him behind the wheel and trying to buzz him with an aeroplane. You know, normal stuff.

In addition to Grant, cast includes Martin Landau who actually won an Academy Award for Best Supporting for 1994's Ed Wood plays the right hand man to Phillip Vandamm whose the guy trying to have Kaplan killed (basically his henchman), James Mason who starred in all kinds of shit (A Star Is Born [the 1954 encarnation], 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Lolita, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, so forth) plays Phillip Vandamm, and Eva Marie Saint as love interest and bad ass spy Eve Kendall. Les Tremayne of Creature of Destruction which I did a video on couple of years ago makes an appearance as the auctioneer. Bernard Herrmann notably does the musical score. This one of his most recognizable.

If nothing else, it is definitely the funnest Hitchcock movie. First, Grant's character is hilarious, sort of a dumb guy but means well. He also has a habit of thanking people when they insult him. No universe where he doesn't win the movie. Love the scene where after he gets pegged as Kaplan and they take him to Mason's home and force all the booze down his throat and he wakes up whilst they are trying to drive him off a cliff. He manages to steady the car and then drive until finally getting pulled over for being all over the road. When he tells everyone what happened, everyone, including his mother, laughs at him hysterically. He is also asked how much he drank and responds with drunken hand gestures. You would think this would be a sobering experience for the guy but he drinks his fucking ass off for the entirety of the movie. At one point he orders a Gibson on a train. I was going to make one of these, read what it was (gin, dry vermouth, and a pickled onion), and started to dry heave. Then there is a the scene when the bad guys have him cornered in an auction house. To get out of the situation, he acts like an asshole. When the bidding for a painting is in the thousands, he starts putting in bids dollar and goes down when Les Tremayne rebukes him.  A woman then calls him a "genuine idiot." "Thank you," he says. Again, he is rebuked. Bidding is started at $800. "Eight," Thornhill says. He is thanked for getting into the spirit of things. "Eleven," he says later. "Thirteen," and when he is about to win, "thirteen dollars." Everyone laughs. He then says that is more than the painting is worth. Then he jumps up to $2000. "Excuse me?" "$2100... $2500." They ignore him and he keeps upping the bid. Finally they go to kick him out and the cops show up. At this point he punches a guy in the face. He is an all out wild man by this point. THe cops then let him go even though he is an international fugitive, long story. He finds out the chick he was into, Eva Marie Saint, whom I adore in pretty much everything, is the real Kaplan and her cover was blown, he takes off to go save her then we go have a brawl in a fictional Frank Lloyd Wright on top of Mount Rushmore. It is insane and fantastical and amazing. Best movie of all time, indeed.