Have Posts Sent To Your Inbox!
Enter your email address:

Monday, December 31, 2007

Home Alone (1990)

What a brilliant movie! They must have made gobs of money. It's so fun, and positive, and it's even got some cartoony violence, which is much better than the real stuff when considering a family-friendly film.

My favorite time Kevin wins against the bad guys is when Daniel Stern has the spider on his face. You can just tell by his expression that this is the most horrifying event of his recent life, and then he gives the most outrageous scream! You have to hear the sound he makes and see the images leading up to it! It's fantastic -- hilarious.

The Shovel Slayer is awesome. The bells (which add so much throughout the film) play every time you see him at first, and they just convey that the old man really is a murderer. He's gonna get you! But then he talks with Kevin at church, Kevin gives him some advice, and the old man reconciles with his estranged son at the end. Awesome! Waytago Kevin!

I like the machine in the basement that heats up, glows, and ultimately says, "Helll-llloo, Keee-viiiin!" That was a really great moment. And there are so many! Kevin sledding down the stairs -- discovering Buzz's secret stash in his trunk, then getting his life savings later, and planning how to booby trap the whole house! It's all outstanding.

This movie seems nearly timeless. Society has changed a little bit, what with cell phones and new airline regulations, but on the whole most of the ideas in the film are lasting. What a great movie. Might be worth a watch if you're...home alone!

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Abusing The Indiana Jones Name

I don't have many specifics to go on, but I think the general idea is correct.

The other day I was watching TV, channel surfing, when I came across a young Indiana Jones movie/show/miniseries. The actor playing the pre-doctor Jones was even younger than River Phoenix in "Last Crusade." So young, in fact, that I wondered if it even meant anything to watch him.

It's neat to see how greatness arises. And it was neat to see young Indy with an old writer, who I can only compare to an elderly reclusive modern celebrity/genius. But the elements of the show didn't measure up to Spielberg.

The Indiana Jones movies create an amazing character who lives in an amazing world and goes on amazing adventures. That all comes from an amazing director and actor. Take the skill away, but leave the name, and it's like you're diluting the greatness of a legend.

I'm not saying the show/miniseries/whatever wasn't good. In fact I only saw about 5 minutes. But from what I could tell, it didn't have the magic of the movies. And I guess that's what appeals to me the most about Indiana Jones.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Christmas Shoes (2002) (TV)

I watched this movie the other day. It's full of emotion and positive values, but there's also a great deal of tragedy. It's based on the song by the same name.

A woman is dying of a heart disease. She almost got a transplant, but that other heart turned out to have a disease of its own. There was a blurb on the bottom of the screen saying how this film was timeless. I wondered if she might still die today. Perhaps she could instead get a Jarvik artificial heart? Actually, no, Wikipedia says they're only temporary. But maybe in the future...

The woman's son crosses paths with a lawyer played by Rob Lowe, and the kid really wants to buy his mother some Christmas shoes to wear in Heaven. That was the main plot for me, although Lowe had a portion of the film dedicated to his marriage falling apart and slowly coming back together.

The part of the film that remains clearest in memory is how the mother was dying and there was no hope for a cure. That caused people to go in various directions. Her husband was distraught. Her son was single-minded about the shoes. The neighbors sang carols.

Honestly, I usually hate movies that preach failure. I like to watching inspiring, positive stories. But "The Christmas Shoes" was an exception, because it showed positive people coping with a negative event.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Santa Claus (1985)

What an amazing film! It's got everything. The origins of Santa, centuries of gift-giving, a corporate tycoon, magic, candy that makes you float, a homeless kid makes friends with a wealthy girl, and the kids get to stay at Santa's workshop!

The cast is brilliant. Dudley Moore plays an elf, John Lithgow is the Scrooge of toys, and David Huddleston plays Santa! I watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade this year, and at the end there was the most phenomenal Santa Claus I've ever seen. He looked exactly like the real thing. It was like a mall Santa is a blurry, out-of-focus TV Santa from the 70's, and this guy in the parade was Santa in HD, 2007. Brilliant. He even had the gestures down and everything. And the sheer joy radiating from his face was incredible. "Santa Claus" the movie reminded me of him. The movie Santa was believable as well.

Dudley Moore faces of against another elf to be Santa's assistant. So many modern children necessitate a more efficient toy-making process. Moore's opponent uses Old World values of care, attention to detail, and fine craftsmanship. Moore puts his helpers to work on a colorful machine that when complete, operates as an automated toy assembly line. It cranks out heaps of toys, and Moore wins the assistant's job. However, on Christmas day, many children discover their toys are faulty, and Santa's reputation takes a turn for the worse. Disgraced, Moore takes off for earth, where he meets up with Lithgow, and strikes a deal to bring one special gift to all the children of the world the next Christmas. Hoping to prove to Santa that he really can do a good job, Moore uses magic to create a lollipop that makes eaters float. Moore even created his own rocket sled of sorts for speedy deliveries. The gifts are all free, but Lithgow has plans to charge gobs of money for the next one, a more powerful (and deadly) candy cane, available everywhere on March 25, or as he likes to call it, "Christmas Two!!!"

Meanwhile, Santa befriends a homeless kid and helps turn his life around. It's a really great movie, packed with action. It's like a Bond film. It keeps you interested, even as you feel years going by. They're years of joy!

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Simpsons Movie

Long, awesome, extraordinary. They must have made tons of money from it, especially with all the guest appearances by Homer and the 7 Eleven Kwiki Mart transformations.

Homer endangers all of Springfield, and havoc ensues on a massive scale.

My favorite part was how the animation gave a more realistic feel to the film. When you watch early episodes of the show, you have to imagine what it would be like to go somewhere the field of view isn't looking. As the seasons progressed, the animation panned around more, and larger sections of Springfield were revealed. Now, the movie is like Futurama, in that it uses computer graphics to create expansive settings that you can wander around while watching. It's pretty great.

And one thing many people enjoyed was the appearance of Spider Pig, natures newest hero.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Gotcha! (1985)

Awesome movie! Starring Anthony Edwards (Goose in "Top Gun") and Linda Fiorentino (Dr. Laurel Weaver and Agent L (Elle) in the first "Men In Black").

Linda looks so different in "Gotcha!" that I didn't recognize her. Anthony Edwards looks so young too.

Edwards is a college student. He's a pro at the '80's version of "Assassins," a college spy game where students try to "kill" their fellow student targets using a specified (fake) weapon. Some people nowadays use marshmallows. In the movie they used black paintball pistols, with red paint for authentic "deaths." The first few minutes of the film depict Edwards' prowess at the game. He racks up a decent score.

Then the movie strays from action and sets up future events. It's nice, but if you're impatient for some adrenaline-pumping, you might get bored. What happens is Edwards and a buddy go to Paris. The friend gives him advice on picking up women. Then the guy ditches Edwards so he can hook up with a lady who thinks he's a terrorist. Yes, that's right. His gimmick in a foreign land is to pretend he's a terrorist. He says Swedish chicks dig that sort of thing. This, combined with the use of realistic weaponry at school proves that this movie was made when the world was different.

Anyway, Edwards is on his own, and tries to use some of his friend's advice to pick up an attractive woman at a restaurant. Crash and burn. But then she comes over to him and introduces herself. Their relationship snowballs until they become a couple. Then she drags him into her spy game. Finally, some action!

They go to Berlin, then to East Berlin, complete with machine guns and barbed wire. Things get really interesting from there. The action picks up, and follows Edwards all the way back to America! He tries to tell his parents, but they think he's on drugs! KGB's are everywhere trying to kill him! CIA is against him!! Who did his girlfriend work for?! Wait, didn't he just see her? Here??!! In AMERICA???!!!

Yes, it's a really awesome film. It build up to a pretty great pace in the end, and it's still got points with some light '80's humor. "We love it!"

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Flood (2007) (UK)

This movie is 4 hours with commercials. I enjoyed it a little, as it satisfied my expectations of a typical disaster movie. London is engulfed by a major flood, and havoc ensues. Great special effects, lame plot devices.

They kept showing failure and death. "I'll save you! Oops, never mind. Let's help! Oops, we killed them instead." The end was like a rip-off of the Poseidon Adventure remake and Armageddon. The smartest guy of them all, the one who predicted everything (like Dennis Quaid in "The Day After Tomorrow") sacrificed himself so his son could hook up with his ex. And they didn't even give the guy a good reason for dying. He took a scuba tank into a room that was filled with water. The room sealed, as expected. And then he just ran out of air. But he was working for the highest levels of London government. You'd think he could have gotten an extra tank! They even opened the room probably less than an hour after he died, and pulled him out. Lame for being cliché, and lame for being lame.

But if you're in the mood for failure, death, and clichés, you might give "Flood" a go. It's floodtastic.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

I loved this film. I didn't get to see all of it today, but the parts I caught were great. There was a car chase where Bond was driving what looked to be a then-futuristic sports car. It seemed tame by today's standards, but still amazing, what with the gadgets and all.

Bond got two submarines to nuke each other, and fought a metal-mouthed giant. I actually was rooting for the giant during a few scenes. He's likable, because he just seems to embody how anyone would behave in his situation. Plus he's virtually unstoppable. He's in a car, and he flies of a cliff, and his car crashes headlong into a house. The other occupants of the vehicle are very likely dead, but he just gets out and dusts himself off. Later, while fighting Bond, he finds himself in a shark tank. You look at his face and catch a glimmer of joy as he begins battle with the predator. And wins!

At the end, Bond won the affections of a beautiful KGB agent. A pleasant resolution for all.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

For Your Eyes Only (1981)

This film is amazing, just like all Bond films. The plot keeps you interested, even as it twists and turns and takes you far from where you just were. For example, Bond is dealing with a young ice skater who is infatuated with him. Then she points out a skier she's got a crush on. Then Bond fights the skier. Then the action takes Bond elsewhere, and pretty soon you've almost completely forgotten about the ice skater.

It's funny, because the skater was wrapped up in her own little world. Bond goes far out, near-death, and comes back a little later. "Where have you been?"

We get to vicariously experience an adventuresome life through the eyes of Bond. A life that isn't tied to anything, and that is sure to be interesting day in and day out. "For Your Eyes Only" plays by the incredible rules of Bond, and is highly entertaining.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

I saw a latter portion of this today, and I wish I could have seen it all. It looks like a great Bond film. So great, in fact, that I could see parts that had been used in "Austin Powers." There was a Dr. Evil, a Mr. Bigglesworth, and a deadly hotel meal at the end. It was fun.

I enjoyed it (what I saw of it, anyway) because it doesn't seem to be as often aired as other Bond films. I don't know why that is, because it seems great. For some reason though, I don't usually see it on. Oh well.

The bad guy was going to use a satellite to destroy Washington D.C., but Bond and his lovely costar were able to prevent the disaster. It was action packed, and yet enjoyable in a light sort of way because of Bond's casual attitude about it all. Sean Connery did a great job, as always.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Working Girl (1988)

Today I watched the "Working Girl: Backstory," and about 40 minutes of the film. I've seen parts before, but never the whole thing. However, I saw enough in the Backstory to know how it turns out.

There is a pretty powerful cast here: Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver, Melanie Griffith, Alec Baldwin, Joan Cusack, and Kevin Spacey (in a small role). It was neat seeing how they all looked in 1988. Joan Cusack looked especially different.

I wondered if Melanie's character would have succeeded had things not happened just so. I sometimes find myself rooting for a character in a show or movie to such an extent that if it seems they succeed through pure chance, I'll try to justify how they might have won some other way, just in case.

In "Working Girl," Melanie wants to get ahead. You can tell because she went to night school for five years, and the theme of the movie keeps coming back to highlight her desire to shine.

One day her boss sets her up with sleazy Spacey. She thinks she's applying for a new job, but Spacey only sees her as a one night stand (it would seem). Melanie gets back at her boss, but then needs reassignment, and is placed as the secretary to Weaver. So right there, if her old boss hadn't set her up, she'd never have gotten put in the position to get ahead.

Under Weaver, Melanie comes up with a brilliant idea. Weaver tells her it's a no-go, but secretly plans to use it. Weaver breaks her leg skiing. Again, chance intervenes and Melanie finds out about Weaver's plans while she's still in the hospital.

I hope that she would have found some way to get ahead had those opportunities not been placed in her path. I agree, the film does teach us to seize opportunities as best we can, but sometimes we've also got to make our own when they don't spontaneously occur.

In spite of the chance factor, I think the film is great. And the ending is positive, which I love. It's great to see someone defy the odds and prove her detractors wrong.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Cinderella Man

I watched some of this today. I enjoyed it. I've seen most of it before.

Part of it seems like Rocky. They show a boxer "past his prime," then give him a chance to fight a top tier competitor, and he gives the fight of his life. Then things turn around, and he's got to face an even wilder opponent.

Russell Crowe, Renée Zellweger, and Paul Giamatti are great. Craig Bierko is great too. He's really good at playing a crazed character. I liked him as the bad guy in "The Long Kiss Goodnight" and as Tom Ryan (spoof of Tom Cruise) in "Scary Movie 4."

When you first see him in "Cinderella Man," he just looks absolutely furious. Furious in the ring, at his opponent. He's not out to win. He's out to hurt the other guy. And since Crowe has already been endearing, you hope he can win against Bierko. That makes the movie that much better, because it builds the stakes.

I also enjoyed getting a glimpse of the past and seeing how things could get Depression Era bad. Hopefully we'll never hit that point again!

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Superman Lives, Starring Nicolas Cage

This is a movie that never got made. But can you imagine if it did? It would have been incredible. And different!

Cage doesn't really fit my idea of Superman. Some people (or many) felt he didn't fit the general idea of Ghost Rider, either. But that movie turned out O.K. However, Superman (I believe) is a much bigger star than GR.

I can imagine they would have changed his hair and outfit, and taught him how to move like Superman. So he probably would have done a good job.

I wonder if they had ever made the film, what plot they would have used. I wonder if the special effects would have been good? I'll bet by the day's standards, the film would have been amazing.

Or would it simply have been a 1996 equivalent of "Superman Returns?"

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Breaking In (1989)

Starring Burt Reynolds and Casey Siemaszko as a veteran safecracker and his new student. It looks like the movie is going to be an '80s money-centric adventure film, where Reynolds and CS pull off some amazing heist, find a couple of nice ladies, and retire to a beach somewhere.

Instead, CS gets caught, takes the blame for all the jobs Burt's ever done, becomes a celebrity in jail, and has Burt use his stolen money to pay fellow prisoners to protect him.

It was only after watching the film and being disappointed by the ending (where CS is still in jail) that I guessed they were going for a dual meaning with the title. "Breaking In" probably not only refers to stealing, but also to CS becoming friends with Reynolds, who at one point said he didn't need anyone.

If the movie was going for a "I have no friends / I'll be your friend" dynamic, it could've fooled me. I just thought the vet was going to teach the new guy enough so they'd both get rich and could retire. But there was no resolution in that regard, so I felt the film was a disappointment.

However, if you can tolerate limbo endings, you might enjoy the movie. I liked the prospect of instant riches. Sure, they were going about it in an immoral way, but there's an adventure element with safecracking that seemed somewhat appealing. And what I really wanted to see was them be able to enjoy the money with no one getting hurt. So my expecting that made the film exciting for me. I kept thinking, "Soon they'll hit the jackpot!"

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Explorers

This is a pretty neat film. A young Ethan Hawke teams with a young River Phoenix and another kid and they all build a spaceship. Using alien technology communicated through dreams, they engineer an energy orb that can protect the ship and take it anywhere. It's so efficient it can run on an old battery from the 1980's.

They travel around the earth, then go into space, and meet aliens! It's wild. And young Hawke meets a girl.

It's family friendly, and great if you love sci-fi. Nine thumbs up!

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

This was on AMC today, and I got sucked in. It's so good! I think Gene Hackman did a fantastic job portraying a guy using his intelligence, common sense, and reason to solve puzzle after puzzle and guide as many people as he can to safety.

It was very interesting to watch him try to convince the main group to go with him. I thought of him as Lex Luthor in "Superman," when he was the greatest criminal genius on earth. He seemed as intelligent in "Poseidon." And yet not a lot of people would listen to him. He wasn't a professional ship man, so most people took the word of the loud guy that did have a job on the ship. Hackman would yell his smart points, and the guy would yell back that he was wrong. Then Hackman moved up toward the bottom of the inverted ship, and all of a sudden the masses and the ship guy had to deal with a flood and chaos. They didn't make it.

That's always an intense dynamic, when someone smart wants to lead the way to safety and salvation, and the rest of the people don't want to believe. It happened in "The Day After Tomorrow," when Jake Gyllenhaal told the people in his building not to try to survive outside and travel. He'd just gotten advice from the most knowledgeable person on earth regarding the disaster everyone was experiencing, and few people would listen. Too bad.

I don't think the seventies version of "The Poseidon Adventure" is bad at all. In fact, I think it's fantastic! It seems almost timeless. I enjoyed it.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Three Amigos

What a great film. It's so terrific, there are two ways to interpret it!

First, it could be viewed as a parody film, goofing with the idea of a Western. But because it was so successful, it could also be viewed as a film to be parodied!

I really enjoy this movie, and I think it has timeless appeal. For all we know, there's a village out there with the same problems as in the film, and similar shenanigans might be ready to occur!

I like the actors in the film, especially the main 3: Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, and Martin Short. I like the song they sing where they hold that one note way longer than normal! And that funny move they do where they turn their heads and appear to cough.

I used to think it would be funny if the names were Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Short Steve. But I guess to be fair to Chevy, that could not be.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Back To The Future

I've always loved this film, and there are so many interesting things to think about.

One thing I was shocked to learn was that Eric Stoltz was cast as Marty, and a bunch of scenes were shot with him. He thought the movie was a tragedy, because Marty at the end remembers an alternate life that no one else can sympathize with. Stoltz's views didn't agree with Spielberg's. Enter Michael J. Fox.

Originally, the script called for a nuclear detonation as the Time Machine's power source. That would have been so cool! Can you imagine Marty driving through a test range into a nuclear blast?

There's a theory dealing with the part at the end of the movie where Marty sees Doc get shot, then goes back in time, then returns and sees it happen again. Some people think that the Marty that returns watches the other Marty leave, taking the full case of Plutonium with him. When this other Marty gets to 1955, he fuels up and returns to 1985, without doing any of the stuff we saw in the movie. The 1985 he returns to is the original, where his mother's a drunk, his father's still lame, and Doc is dead.

But at least our Marty set things right!

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Last Action Hero

So of course, I've got to mention "Last Action Hero," as this blog is named after a prop that seemed to become a character in the film.

Recently on an episode of "Married With Children," which I don't seek out to watch but occasionally pay attention when I notice it's on, there was a random character who mentioned LAH. He said something to the effect of, "So please, don't give up on 'Last Action Hero' yet. It still hasn't been released in Albania, or Zimbabwe!"

I remember hearing that same idea when it came out, that it wasn't doing so well. I myself didn't really like it, because I thought it diminished the weight and reputation of Arnold Schwarzenegger and all his action roles. But since then, I believe the film's become a cult classic.

Another reason I didn't like it was how some of the humor was dark. I just took it at face value, saw the dark, but not the humor. I thought New York was just like it was depicted in the film, a place where you could get killed by shoe-hungry teens, and nobody would care. Thankfully that's not the case. And nowadays, I can tolerate (and sometimes enjoy) snippets of black humor. So the film has grown on me, just as I imagine it has on many others.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Friday, December 7, 2007

A Heroes Movie

Is unnecessary. Heroes is already better than a movie. Even the lesser episodes have still seemed as good as made-for-TV films. And the best episodes are like million-dollar blockbusters. Simply amazing.

If you string all the episodes together from seasons 1 and 2, you've got a huge feature film. Or two. Or 10. I think "Heroes" is made in such a way that you can't make a movie out of it. It's almost like a film version is a step down.

I think this is because the show is so good, and has its timing down to a science. It needs more hours than a movie can contain to show you all the interweaving plots. It needs to allow the story to unfold at a certain rate, urgent, but at the same time relaxed.

I think a film would strike that relaxed part in order to prevent a 3 hour film that would drive audiences away. The urgency would then be heightened, and there'd be more action than plot.

Part of what makes "Heroes" so great is the ideas behind the actions. The mystery, the intrigue, and the situational and character backgrounds are all major factors in the show's excellence. I don't see how a film version could compete with that. And thankfully, at this point, there's no need for one to.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Batman Begins

This is an awesome film. It's well-made, the music is great, and it revived the "Batman" franchise. Not that I care in a business sense. But for a while the movies were kind of lame.

It's like each new "Batman" film got softer and softer, until someone came along and made a new one exceedingly sharp.

It's got good lessons, great ideas, and realistic technology. Even the storyline is believable to a decent extent. And the actors are all superb.

Hopefully the new one will be more of the same.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Epic Movie

I must say I was disappointed by this film. It's not that it was bad, it's just I expected a lot more. I thought it would adhere to the high quality of movies like Scary Movie 3 and 4. Sure, those two had some lowbrow humor, but there was a lot of stuff that was pretty witty.

Most of "Epic Movie" was lowbrow. Though there were a lot of parodies, some just didn't fit. It's like they thought cramming as many movie references into a film was a guarantee for success.

I also didn't like how the girl with the memory from "Heroes," the waitress Hiro loved, played a nitwit. I'm sure she must have been referencing something I hadn't picked up in "The Da Vinci Code," like maybe how the female lead repeated things (I never noticed that she did), but it just made her (and the film, by proxy) seem lame.

There were also some parts that seemed designed to be funny in a gross way, but just came off as purely disgusting.

However, if you liked "Date Movie," you might enjoy "Epic Movie."

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


This is a pretty neat film. It's packed with action, suspense, and the implications of altering history really make you think.

One thing that stuck with me was the ending. Our hero started out alone as a timecop, no wife, no son. Then he goes back in time, saves his wife, and returns to the present. The present is now altered, and for the first time he meets the son he never new. But here's the tricky part -- the son recognizes him.

Apparently, according to "Timecop," if you go back in time and change things, you return to the changed present. So the wife and son are used to one version of him, but now they're stuck with a completely different version.

If one incident in the past that is fixed causes a new version of Van Damme (the fixer) to take over, who's to say another disaster won't happen? Van Damme saved his wife and son one night, but what if the next night new bad guys got her? Then a new wifeless Van Damme would have to come back and fix that, after which point he'd take over for the original Van Damme that made it to the end of the movie.

This could go on and on. What if suddenly an eye patch-wearing Van Damme shows up?

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Monday, December 3, 2007

AMC "Future of Classic"

There's a post on Random Waves of Insight about the mystery behind AMC's slogan. In AMC: What Does "Future Of Classic" Mean?, all the possible avenues of "Future of Classic" and its true meaning are explored.

I for one do find it mildly confusing. If something is already classic, why bother bringing the future into it? It's not like a finely aged wine needs more aging!

Maybe AMC is trying to say, "We are the Future of Classic, and in the Future, all things Classic will have been judged so on our terms alone. For we are redefining Classic with our lineup. Therefore, whatever we broadcast is good, and should be watched." So in the future, someone will ask, "What's a good classic movie?" And someone will respond, "Let's check the 2007 lineup from AMC. They redefined the word classic that year, as it pertains to films."

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Hulk

This was on the other day, and I felt that enough time had passed since society dismissed it as unworthy. Watching it again, I noticed how the font for some captions looked similar to the font used in the show "Heroes." That was neat. It's like the film was a precursor of sorts.

I enjoyed seeing things in a fresh, uncontaminated way. The last time I had watched "Hulk," there was a lot of talk that it wasn't that great. This time around it wasn't bad at all. I enjoyed the Hulk character more than the human version, though.

The guy playing him didn't seem super tough when angry. He seemed more tough when passive aggressive, when cool and laid back. But then he'd snarl, and his youthful look would combine with that to present the appearance of an angry child. It was weird.

I enjoyed the military's quest to hunt him down, and his incredible abilities when transformed. I didn't like the pain of it all, and how he felt his condition was ripping his life apart. I know it was, but it seemed like he was a little over-the-top with the lamentations, despite the fact that they didn't seem to be given much screen time.

Overall, I'd say the film could be better, but in the end it isn't that bad.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Stargate (with Kurt Russell)

I used to watch the "Stargate" show, and I had just recently been thinking about a behind-the-scenes moment I had watched where Kurt Russell stopped by the set of the show and exchanged remarks with Richard Dean Anderson. Both played the same character (Col. Jonathan 'Jack' O'Neil) via two different mediums.

To my surprise, the film was on today, and I was able to watch a good portion. Man, it really brings to you the awe and wonder of making contact with another planet, another people, and powerful, ancient technology.

I was amused by how easily Dr. Daniel Jackson powered through the tasks to decode and decipher all the information the government had gathered so far. They kept having to ramp up his clearance. It's like he was playing through a video game he had just beaten for the eleventh time, and the game had forgotten how good he was. "What? Ok, you graduate to Level 2. What? You're that good? Ok, you get new armor. What??! Ok, secret mission!"

I also enjoyed how the film has a slightly different take on things, and how it tells the same story the show does, but in a more cinematic way (of course!).

It's almost like the show came out, and then the movie, which was done very well on one highly focused area. The show has covered so much, so it was neat to see how things all began.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Pete and Pete: The Reunion?

Over at Misinterpreted.org, I was reading a post on The Genius of Pete and Pete, when it occurred to me that maybe they could do a "Pete and Pete" movie reunion!

Wouldn't that be neat? All the adults would be a little older, and Pete and his brother would finally be grown up. All the kids in town would be! And if they truly were able to reprise their old roles, things would be insanely wacky.

Maybe they could even reveal some essential mysteries, like who the Ice Cream Man really is, and whatever happened to Endless Mike? Did he just go on and on? Or did he stop at some point...

I'd watch it!

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

American Dreamz

This was a goofy film spoofing George W. Bush (represented by the always likable Dennis Quaid), American Idol, and terrorists. The shallow feeling of Pop Idol shows, hosts, and contestants was made fun of to a great extent. One thing I enjoyed was how the President seemed to become enlightened through the film. He begins to realize how he's been misled, and that he needs to study things on his own and make up his mind one way or another, as an individual. It was fun to see hope in that regard.

There were a lot of recognizable people in this film, most notably: Hugh Grant, Dennis Quaid, Mandy Moore, Willem Dafoe, and Chris Klein. Dafoe was great as the President's Chief of Staff. Nearly unrecognizable.

Part of the plot involved a reluctant terrorist who makes it onto the show, only to be manipulated by his sinister brethren into a plan of violence. Luckily, things work out ok (to some degree). The film made fun of terrorists, but not in an offensive way. It was light and humorous. A nice break from other emotions inspired by bad guys.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Cry Baby

This is an early movie in Johnny Depp's career, but it's no less wacky than his usual films. He plays a greaser called Cry Baby who wins over a non-greaser girl. And it's a musical.

The movie is good if you enjoy off-the-wall humor. It basically sends up the greaser vs. socialite genre, and spoofs the character types throughout. But the plot is solid, the scenes are memorable, and the action is real. It's a hoot.

Even while being crazy, "Cry Baby" is quite a different film from the others Depp's been in. It's almost like a cross between "Edward Scissorhands" and "Grease." IMDb even shows that it's a spoof of "Grease" and "Jailhouse Rock," with references to "Hairspray." Definitely worth a watch.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Charlie Brown's Christmas

A couple of the "Charlie Brown Christmas" programs were on tonight. They've always felt more like movies to me, so I figured it wouldn't be too inappropriate to write about them. What a great Holiday Special.

It seems like Charlie Brown has always been a childhood friend who managed to visit each holiday with as much sincerity as anybody in the real world. I recently watched a PBS documentary on Charles M. Schulz, and it mentioned how he was set on having real children voice the characters on the specials, as opposed to older actors pretending to be children.

Even before I learned of his intentions, his decision impacted me. The Charlie Brown cartoons always made an impression with the specific animation, music, and voices used. And morality and quality were ever-present.

Tonight I saw a commercial for some dance show. It's another one of those contests for who can get voted the best dancer, I think. It was shouting out and blaring music in an attempt to convey the idea that "THIS IS IT!" and "IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS!", like it's the #1 show on television. At that moment, it struck me that a lot of shows are like that. Then Charlie Brown came back on, with it's low-key classy music. A step above.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

This is one of my favorite movies. I enjoy the music and sci-fi details, and the cast is terrific. I also like the idea of a hero adept in everything. And it's like he was created from nowhere, and they just picked up in the middle of a story that had never been told before. Awesome!

At first I wasn't too keen on the film, because I didn't like the gross vibe I got from the villains. But when you pay more attention, there are fine details that add humor and make them tolerable, and even likable.

I really wanted to see a sequel made, and I heard they did write the script, but they turned it into "Big Trouble in Little China." That was cool too.

I also heard there are similarities between "Banzai" and "Back to the Future." Christopher Lloyd has a role in both, and John Lithgow, the villain in "Banzai," was considered for the part of Doc! There's also the whole duality with the cars, both requiring a specific technological component in order to breach the laws of physics.

I find "Banzai" fun and inspiring. If only there were more heroes in the world like Buckaroo Banzai!

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Guarding Tess

Nicolas Cage as Secret Service to former First Lady Shirley MacLaine. She likes getting her way, and tries to break Secret Service rules left and right. Cage keeps her in line, and she likes him because of it. I guess none of the other guys had a will of their own.

This movie seems like it would appeal to someone who enjoys things like "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous." It gives a fictional behind-the-scenes glance at the workings of a Presidential household. It's neat to see how someone that far up lives.

To be honest, I've never seen the ending, but judging by the overall tone of the film, I'd guess it's a happy one.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Princess Bride

This movie has got to be a favorite of girls everywhere, and even so, it's not unappealing to guys. There's humor, action, adventure, and some ingeniously-crafted characters.

This movie was based on the 1973 novel by William Goldman. He presented his work as an abridgment of an earlier fairytale by "S. Morgenstern", but Morgenstern and the earlier edition are both fictitious. I thought that was pretty funny.

I've never read the novel, but if it's anything like the movie, it must be brilliant. Most movies that are adapted from novels tend to lose something, so if anything, I'll bet the book is even cleverer than the film.

There are so many details in the movie, and I think the more detailed a film is, the better. Plus it's positive, uplifting, and inspiring. I love films that give viewers hope. "The Princess Bride" is simply great.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Tomorrow Never Dies

Bond takes on a media mogul who seems quite a bit lamer than you'd expect. It's like the villain's constantly on the verge of having a fit from being upset that he's not taken seriously. This is most evident after Bond botches one of the villain's plans in front of the world. The guy complains that failures like that shouldn't happen -- "Not to me!"

I think it was really a trick of direction, since first we're shown the villain's face, and he coolly, calmly says, "Not to me." Then we see him from behind, where he turns his head to his female assistant and shouts, "Not to me!" It's like he was bullied as a youngster, and never got over the need to rise above his perceived inadequacies.

I enjoyed the play between Bond and the agent from the East as they tried to thwart the war-hungry plans of Captain Television. This was a good film.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


I haven't seen this whole film, but from what I can tell it's great. It kept me guessing all the way, and maintained the mystery that is sometimes lost with old movies.

During one scene, James Stewart is tailing a blonde woman in his car. He follows her pretty closely. I was surprised that she never caught on, or mentioned how she was aware he had been following her. Maybe it came up at the end.

The blonde woman is either being possessed by the spirit of her dead look-alike grandmother, or has a split personality (or maybe there's another option or two presented later). She finds herself walking down a hall toward a dark area, but that takes place all in her mind. In reality, she's taking actions and going places, and sometimes making attempts at dying. That's strange, since while apparently channeling the mystery personality she had remarked how she didn't enjoy dying.

What struck me was how the "grandmother" version of her didn't look at the bright side of things. "Oh, I lived and died and this huge tree hardly noticed." Why not, "I'm back! Yes! In my granddaughter's body I can live the life I was meant to live!" But even without the ambition, she was still mega-mysterious.

I enjoyed Stewart's role in this, too. He's a great actor. It's nice not having to worry about picking up on affectations that seem unnatural.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Scary Movie 4 Extended

I just watched the version of Scary Movie 4 with a bunch of deleted scenes added in. It was great. There was so much I didn't see the first time around!

I really enjoy how Scary Movies can keep coming out, and they all live up to the standards of a decent film. Not like a B-movie. All the spoofs are done so well, it's unclear whether they will ever stop making them.

I wasn't sure if Scary Movie 5 was due out anytime soon, but sure enough, it's set for release around 2008. After Scary Movie 3 came out, I was hoping they'd do a fourth. I checked the web, and saw rumors that they were hastily working on a script. It's neat they can keep cranking out quality humor. I can't wait to see Scary Movie 5.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Recently I was able to watch this Bond film, and I noticed a few things. I enjoyed how 007 was able to make his way through the jungle with shooters on his heels, all the while triumphing over the various forms of wildlife that wanted to take advantage of his presence. He was in super multitask mode, and yet seemed supremely nonchalant.

At one point, Bond was getting better acquainted with a beautiful woman. The music reminded me a lot of "Somewhere In Time." For that film, the music seemed perfect for classy scenes of romance. But it somehow felt wrong in "Octopussy," as it was used predominantly during sex scenes. Not that they were explicit. They just seemed slightly more crude than what took place in "Somewhere In Time."

And there also seemed to be a few parallels with "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade." There were foreign soldiers and men of Arabic persuasion who came up against our hero in both films. And Jones even dressed like Bond at the beginning of "Temple of Doom." Was this all done on purpose? Maybe. Does it lessen the quality of the films involved? I'd say no. Cheers all around!

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Never Say Never Again

This movie was on today, and I was able to watch parts of it again. What stuck out for me was how arcade games were being played by adults in tuxedos and elegant gowns. It seemed like, at the time, arcade games were a luxury only the rich could afford. Or maybe they were a new novelty, and their appeal hadn't yet worn off for adults.

At one point, Bond sat down with a villain and played a game that would deliver an increasing electric shock through the hands of the losing opponent. Without that, the game looked somewhat interesting.

I found it amusing how children of today might see a game like that and wish to play. Whereas at the time, Bond was just taking up whatever challenges arose. An expert in everything, he was even adept at a newfangled video game. Still, it's neat to think of how much more experienced the average "youth of the future" is with technology and video games.


If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

How The West Was Won

This was on TV the other day. I didn't see all of it, but if I could have watched the whole thing start to finish, I would have. I'd never seen it before, and it looks like a fantastic film. It has multiple storylines encompassing various people as they make their way through life in the Old West.

There's a guy who joins the military to fight in the Civil War. There's a gambler who seeks the heart of an energetic blonde, who herself battles to participate in the California gold rush. There's a wealthy rancher who also wishes to make a life with the blonde. And there's some fighting with Native Americans.

I don't watch too many westerns, but this seems to be well-made to the point where it's enjoyable to practically anyone. Plus, it's got Jimmy Stewart.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


I never really noticed this film, but the other day I got around to watching it. It's a hoot. Although I couldn't help wondering if it was just a rip-off of "Beverly Hills Cop."

Here's what I mean. Eddie Murphy did "Beverly Hills" in 1984. Murphy had been on SNL. So had Chevy Chase, who did "Fletch" in 1985. Both movies revolve around the investigation of illegal activities, and humor. The two soundtracks even sound similar. And since "Fletch" came after "Cop," it must have been a copy, right?

Well, maybe not. Hollywood goes with what works. I'd say it was just another experiment in what seemed like a new 80's genre that had emerged with "Cop."

"Fletch" is a cult classic, and is definitely enjoyable. It's also unique in enough ways as to separate itself from "Cop." And get this. Another film in each of the two franchises is in the works!

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Ruthless People

One of my favorite movies is, "Ruthless People," starring Danny DeVito, Bette Midler, Judge Reinhold, Helen Slater, and Bill Pullman. I've always loved Helen Slater. Did you know she recently starred in a couple episodes of "Smallville?" It was great seeing the original SuperGirl portray Kal El's birth mother.

Anyway, in "Ruthless People," Reinhold and Slater kidnap Midler, the wife of DeVito. The kidnappers and Midler form a bond, which is strengthened by Midler's will to persevere (and lose weight). She was in a failing relationship with the wealthy DeVito, and decides to get in on the hustle and take him for all he's worth. Bill Pullman has a small role as a common crook (and dummy), and is hilarious when put into the context of his other roles.

This movie is an upbeat 80's film that emphasizes the corruption in society and the value of true friendship. I really liked it.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Days of Thunder

A coworker of mine once remarked that "Days of Thunder" is essentially "'Top Gun' on wheels." How true, how true. But I like "Top Gun," and I also enjoy "Days of Thunder."

In "Top Guy," Tom Cruise confronts a competitor, has an accident, loses his confidence, and then regains it to save the day. In "Days of Thunder," he does the exact same thing. The only difference is that the action takes place on a race track, and not in the air.

Another similarity is the "secret weapon" part, where Cruise explains or demonstrates a methodology that will come into play during the movie's climax. In "Top Gun," Cruise uses the "old" trick of, "I'll hit the breaks, he'll fly right by," early on, and then uses it in battle near the end. In "Days of Thunder," Cruise demonstrates with sugar packets how a driver can draft an opponent and then slingshot past to win the race. At Daytona, he does just that.

Cary Elwes in "Days of Thunder" portrayed Cruise's rival. Then in "Hot Shots," a spoof of "Top Gun," Elwes starred as the joke version of Val Kilmer, who played Cruise's rival in "Top Gun." Spoof or non-spoof, it's Elwes vs. Cruise!

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Flash Gordon

When I first saw this movie, I had no major knowledge of the exploits of the character, "Flash Gordon." I had heard that the film was great, but had never gotten around to watching it. When I finally did, I found that although some of the acting didn't seem as realistic as it could have, the music, scenery and plot made up for it. That's pretty much how I would feel about the TV show, if the set and props didn't look slightly more lame than I'd like.

The movie was cool. I liked the idea of a heroic human being confronted with vastly superior technology and foreign societies of malevolent intent, and yet still maintaining confidence and triumph in the face of adversity. The fact that I never expected him to stand a chance made it all the more impressive when he made sport of his captors. And his romantic exploits were entertaining as well.

I think the "Queen" song really added to the film, and seems to provide a great amount of support to the show. It's like an anthem to a living god, and that's a concept that is highly appealing. In a world of confusion, the idea of someone out there who is thoroughly dependable, pure-hearted, and will always save the day is quite a comfort.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

What an amazing movie. It's easy to take things for granted, but Spielberg is able to brilliantly communicate the weight, wonder, and impact of something as incredible as meeting otherworldly beings.

One of the most memorable scenes, for me, is when the people out in the desert are shown and heard chanting. It's like the aliens made such an impact on them in such a short amount of time that they created a whole new religion. To hear those people chanting the tune of the ship was like experiencing an attempt to interact with a higher level of reality. It was incredible.

I wonder if "Close Encounters" made an impact on civilization as a whole? Are people more open to extraterrestrial life because of it? Or did it come about only after people began to believe in the possibility that we are not alone?

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Money Talks

I never saw this film in theaters. When it came out on HBO and other movie channels, I avoided it. I didn't think it was for me. Recently, I watched it on cable. It was hilarious. I couldn't believe how far removed my concept of it had been from reality.

Chris Tucker is very similar in "Money Talks" as he is in "The Fifth Element," and I thought he was good in "Element." So, naturally, I enjoyed seeing him in a different role. I think the reason I didn't think "Money Talks" was going to be good was because of the advertising.

I vaguely recall being told via movie ads that Chris Tucker would be playing the fast and loose guy, while Charlie Sheen would be an uptight conservative rich snob. Those descriptions were accurate, but only to an extremely limited extent.

For some reason, I find that if I take an advertisement at face value, I'll often end up hating the idea of a movie that is later revealed to be much better than how it was depicted in a commercial.

I think it's because movie ads have reached the point where they try to sell people on the best stereotypical category a unique, individual film can fit into. If one kind of film worked before, they say, "Hey, this is just like that!" even and especially when it's not.

It's weird. Sometimes I feel deceived, especially when I finally get around to watching a movie and see that the ads were all wrong. And, especially when I enjoy a film that a faulty ad had convinced me wasn't worth watching.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Not Another Teen Movie

This movie is hilarious, if you don't mind potty humor every once in a while. It's got references to most of the major teen flicks of the past 20 years. Maybe even more. And the cast is fantastic. Randy Quaid is brilliant. The coach, the wise janitor -- just classic.

The main reason I bring this movie up is that it stars Eric Christian Olsen. I first saw him in this, and then saw that he was in the "Dumb and Dumber" prequel. I saw "Jim Carrey" in an interview saying how he thought everybody involved in the prequel were just like a bunch of scavengers, each with a sponge to soak up the gravy the original movie had left behind. And I really enjoyed the original, so I've actually never seen the prequel.

Anyway, a few days ago I watched an old episode of Smallville, in which an old man becomes young again. Lo and behold, his youthful self was played by Eric Christian Olsen. I had seen the episode before, but this was another one of those, "Hey, it's you! I never realized before..." moments. Fun stuff.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Killer Clowns From Outer Space

Hilarious 80's horror featuring deadly space clowns. One of the most memorable scenes involves a clown perusing a room filled with giant cotton candy. Aww, funny. Then he takes out a huge silly straw and sticks it into one of the pieces of cotton candy. Ooh, yummy. Then he slurps what might be red sugar water. Ooh, wish they'd make that!

The twist? It was blood! Every cotton candy wad was really a cocooned human!! AAAHHHH!!!!

The movie was a little freaky and funny at the same time. Mostly funny. And the music is a hoot. It's pretty much exactly what you'd expect from a movie called, "Killer Clowns From Outer Space."

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Friday, November 9, 2007


Pretty freakin' awesome film. Parts of it are gross, but that just heightens the triumph of the good guys in the end, when they dominate all the gross beings.

The film is based on a novel that was written 20 years prior.

The music is my favorite part. The setting is breathtaking, and the fact that it all takes place in the year 10,191 is amazing. It seems possible that things could become as depicted in the film, given the benefit of 8,000 years' worth of advancement. Although some things seemed like they were a little primitive for such a date.

I really enjoyed the concept of "There's a plan to everything" and the heroic actions of the main character. He achieved all he set out to do.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Gate

I saw this movie on TV a few years back, when there was no "info" available to narrow down the title to a movie that had already started. It was good for a scary movie, but I only saw part of it, and only once.

For years I wondered about it, and what it was called. For some reason, I connected one part of the film with a part at the end of "Scrooged," starring "Bill Murray," when the ghost of Christmas future reveals gremlins living in his ribcage. I think that's because "The Gate" features miniature demons that looked similar. For all I know, they may have looked identical!

"The Gate" is about kids and a gate to Hell or some similar place in their backyard. It's definitely worth a watch, because it's fairly unique for a horror film. It's not the best movie in the world, but for me it was one of those things I wondered about for a long time. When I finally saw it on TV again, it was great. Mystery solved!

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Back To The Future II

Future Biff travels from 2015 to 1955, giving young Biff knowledge of the next half-century's sports wins. Future Biff returns to Hell-2015. Assumes the life of a very rich man.

Meanwhile, back in 1955, Young Biff gets rich. Hell-1985 is born.

Doc and Marty leave former-2015 and return to Hell-1985.

Doc and Marty leave Hell-1985 and return to normal-1955.

They fix things.

Return to normal-1985.

What of Old Man Biff? He left 1955 for 2015 a little before Doc and Marty arrived.

Time travel seems like a computer program. It's like there's an If-Then statement in between Biff's leaving 1955 and arriving at 2015.

If {Old Man Biff's efforts in 1955 paid off}
Then {Old Man Biff returns to Hell-2015, and is widely acknowledged as the richest man on earth}
Else If {Doc and Marty undo the damage in 1955 }
Then {Old Man Biff returns to his old, boring 2015 where kids fly around on hover boards }

I'll bet as soon as he got back to 2015, he wondered what in the world went wrong. He may have even made another trip...

But in the movie, they showed him returning to normal-2015. So does that mean that the 2015 Doc and Marty visited had already taken into account the trip they were about to make to fix things in 1955??


If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Robin Hood: Men In Tights

I saw this movie before I saw "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves." I thought it was funny then. Recently I watched the "Prince" version. A few days ago, "Tights" was on, and I hadn't seen it in a while. There's so much more to a parody film when you are familiar with the work it is lampooning. It was great fun watching "Tights" with a new frame of reference.

Most of the jokes, though, didn't necessarily center just on the other "Robin Hood." But they were all great. This was the film that introduced me to Dave Chappelle. I didn't realize it had been him until a few years ago when "Chappelle Show" was being aired on Comedy Central. When I recognized him, I realized I hadn't seen him in anything in between "Tights" and "Chappelle Show." I wonder why? He's a pretty funny guy.

Like the story of Robin Hood, I think "Men In Tights" will remain timeless. Not too many jokes are limited to within one era, and the film is really well-made. Good job!

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Independence Day - ID4

I was just thinking about something that I never would have guessed at before. In ID4, Randy Quaid plays a drunken pilot who has claimed to have been abducted and experimented upon by aliens. Up until today, I had assumed that even while most people doubted him, he really had been abducted, because of his righteous moment at the end of the movie. I figured the moment would have been weaker if he hadn't really been abducted.

But today it occurred to me that that just might be the case. One of his "buddies" who made fun of him and his wild allegations was seen on the news in the movie as describing how Quaid had been abducted by aliens and abused, sexually.

Up to now, I never thought much of that short clip, but recently I wondered, could Quaid's "buddies" have been the "aliens?" Did they kidnap him, mess him up, and then laugh when he kept saying aliens did it? And then did the one guy go on the news and take the opportunity to pin his own transgressions on extraterrestrials?

It was a deeper and sadder thought than I would have previously connected with Quaid's sidekick, because he's such a comic genius. I wonder if they threw in that vague possibility thinking no one would probably think much of it...?

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Sunday, November 4, 2007


I've always loved this film. Tom Hanks plays a 13-year-old kid who finds a Zoltar machine at a carnival, wishes to be Big, and the next morning wakes up in an adult body. Then he gets a job, and his youthful style gets him a huge promotion. At that point, he gets paid to be a kid, and just has the time of his life. He invites his young buddy along, has a fling with a coworker, and then decides to be a kid again.

What I like most about the film is Hanks' sense of wonder and enjoyment of the things a kid would find interesting. He looks like he's having so much fun, it's like reliving your childhood vicariously through him. And what kid wouldn't enjoy getting paid to think up cool new toys?

When I first saw the movie, I had originally thought that when Hanks' female costar picked up his wish card at the end (the one he got for wishing to be a kid again) that she would actually turn into a kid, and he would stay an adult. What a twist! But it wasn't meant to be.

Wow, I just realized something. Hanks' character had started out wanting to be an adult, but his ensuing adventure made us all want to be kids again!

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Are You Afraid Of The Dark: The Tale of the Silver Sight

Ok, this isn't your normal movie, but since it was a 3-part episode of the "Are You Afraid of the Dark" series, I'll count it as such. I believe when it first came out, it was marketed and aired as if it were a movie. And boy did it live up to the hype!

One of the guys from the original cast of AYAOTD came back and helped save the world from an evil demon, who took the form of a kid at a carnival. I think my favorite part about the demon was his attitude. He was shorter than everybody else, but acted like he was all-powerful, and fooled them time and again.

I enjoyed this movie because it was basically a cumulation of 4 years of scary storytelling. I had enjoyed the series previously, and then when it went away, I was disappointed. The movie was a great sort of reunion, and I liked having the chance to see some old characters one last time.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Once Bitten, Starring Jim Carrey

Made in 1985, "Once Bitten" centers around an aging vampire woman who needs to drink the blood of a virgin to regain her youth. The vampire is played by Lauren Hutton, and the youth is Jim Carrey.

This movie only got 1 star, but I think it's priceless. The comedy alone is great, and the music really adds. Karen Kopins is fantastic as Carrey's main love interest. Did you know she was Miss Connecticut 1977? She's married with children now.

I saw Once Bitten on T.V. recently, and when I noticed it only had 1 star, I got to wondering. What if this movie came out, and people in 1985 berated everyone connected with it. The director, writers, and producers all quietly retreated from what critics called "a dismal failure." (Mind you, I imagined all this. I don't know if any of it's true) One man with the strength and vision to endure, John Connor, I mean Jim Carrey, lived on, and became a star.

Meanwhile, in the future, "Once Bitten" is rediscovered and celebrated as both an interesting and humorous movie in and of itself, and a neat throwback to the early stages of Jim Carrey's movie career. So the critics were wrong after all. The movie is good!

The moral of the story? Don't listen to your critics, and don't take harsh words too seriously. You never know. Twenty years later, people might just say exactly the opposite!

How much did JC get paid for his role in "Once Bitten?" $1,212,601!!

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Is Your Life A Movie?

I used to wonder if it was possible that each person was starring in a movie or T.V. show without knowing it. This was before I saw, "The Truman Show." I had read science fiction stories, and I remember one in which "animals" at the zoo were really aliens being treated to a tour of earth. They thought humans were the animals, and regarded the bars on their cage as protective implements.

I wondered if someone was watching each of us...not God...not Santa...maybe aliens? Or some higher intelligence? Could all human activity just be a haphazard attempt at entertainment?

"South Park" did an episode called "Cancelled" in which earth was a T.V. show. I guess others have had the same idea...

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

In The Future, We'll All Be Movie Stars

I once read somewhere that there's a director out there willing to make a movie starring anybody who pays him $100,000. Think about it, a movie in which you're the star! Wouldn't that be great? But my guess is a director who is open to projects like that probably isn't the greatest director in the world. So while you'd be the star, your movie might not itself be one.

But then I realized that everything Spielberg and other greats do can at some level be distilled. Pretty soon, computers are going to be smart enough to spontaneously generate movies of fantastic quality day-in and day-out.

Spielberg can take any normal person and make a movie in which the scenes starring that person are brilliant. This I believe. So an artificial Spielberg program could also do that.

Someday, they just might come out with a program you can download that takes a home movie you created of no less than 5 minutes in length, and generates a 4-star film around it. The program would artificially render the same backgrounds you used in your clip, and more, and use CGI actors to fill in the rest of the story. But the movie is made in such a way that your 5 minutes of screen time is breathtakingly amazing. And if you wanted more than just a sensational cameo, you'd upload a couple of hours' worth of footage of yourself, and you'd be edited in such a way as to again be brilliant.

Coming to internets everywhere in 2009!

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Sonic The Hedgehog: The Movie

I think a movie based on Sonic would be cool. They already came out with one for the Mario Brothers, and Street Fighter, so why not?

With today's special effects, and a good director, I think a movie mixed with CGI and live action would be great. It could tell the basic story of Sonic. How he came to move so quickly, the origin of the rings, and Dr. Robotnik's evil plan to take over!

If it did well, a sequel could reveal all the other characters.

But if it was done in a certain lower-quality style, it would probably glance over all the material in the Sonic universe at once, giving each character and item enough screen time to be recognized, but not enough to really be developed.

Maybe someday the world will be ready for a Sonic movie. Maybe...tomorrow!

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

I recently watched the "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" movie, and noticed something I'd never seen before. It was written by Joss Whedon, the creator of the TV series! That blew my mind, because before I had just assumed that the series was a more serious (and totally separate) take on the romantic comedy. Now I know they are connected through Whedon. Cool.

I actually like the movie better than the show. I like the actors better, the style, the lighter tone, and the music. I also thought the movie was pretty funny at some parts. Plus there are a lot of actors that I recognize from other projects. I especially think it's neat that Ben Affleck made a brief appearance as a basketball player.

Ok, let me just rattle off the names of the higher profile actors in the film: Kristy Swanson, Donald Sutherland, Paul Reubens, Rutger Hauer, Luke Perry, Hilary Swank, Stephen Root, and Ben Affleck. All these guys are great. Just fantastic. Stephen Root especially. When I first watch this film, I didn't quite "get" him, but now that I've seen him in other stuff, it's great to come back to an earlier role and reanalyze it.

I wonder what a sequel with all the original actors would have been like?

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


One of my favorite movies is Steven Spielberg's "Hook," starring Robin Williams as Peter Pan, Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook, and Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell. It's just so well made, and thrilling. The wonder of it all is the best part. Spielberg knows how to present things in a way that maximizes your sense of amazement. And the music is great!

One of the things I wonder about concerning the film is how Hook originally showed up to kidnap Peter Pan's kids. People can fly only when they've been dusted with magic by Tinkerbell, who herself can fly. So whoever came to get Peter's kids, whether it was Hook or a henchman, may have been flying. And if that was the case, Hook must have had a hidden supply of magic dust. So why didn't he use it in his battle for revenge? He could have flown and faced Peter Pan in the air. My guess is that flying wasn't how the children were snatched. Maybe Hook has secret spy henchman dispersed throughout the "normal" world, who do his bidding from time to time.

But my main theory for how Hook left and then returned to Neverland entails the use of a magic portal. I'll bet in some cave somewhere, Hook's got access to a doorway to the "other side." He imagines Peter Pan's house, says a few words, and BAM! Instantly he is connected to the window of the kids' room. They never flew to get to Neverland. They were carried over a spacial gateway, which didn't feel odd at all. And that's why at the end when they fly, they are so amazed, because they're doing so for the first time.

I wonder if there'll ever be a live-action sequel?

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Acting In A Spielberg Movie Will Mess You Up

Unless you're prepared for it.

Many are aware of "The Spielberg Effect." A young, inexperienced actor works with a director so brilliant that the film created is a masterpiece, earning the actor and director rave reviews, and skewing the actor's expectations for future projects and directors. Then Spielberg moves on, putting more brilliance up on screens everywhere, while the actor fends for himself working with normal, mortal directors. Nothing quite fits. It's like being a basketball hero, and then getting married to an alcoholic, becoming a salesman, and living the rest of your life in mediocrity. You find yourself wishing you had never "peaked," if only to rewrite your definition of "Hell" from "life as it is now" to "life as it might otherwise be."

The Spielberg Effect helps young actors peak before they're experienced enough to understand it. Without a proper context and framework to interpret the event as being extremely rare, they think, "That was easy!", and adjust their behavior accordingly. That shift can and often does prevent a repeat of such brilliant success, and eventually the actors end up with shattered hopes of similar glory (with the exception of Harrison Ford).

If you're a young actor who just signed to do a Spielberg film, and you'd like to be adequately prepared for the coming changes that could otherwise destroy you're mind, just call 555-1234 and order my brand new system, for only $99, 99, 99, 95!

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Friday, October 26, 2007

First Owen Wilson Interview After His "Suicide Attempt": Midnight Tonight

This article reveals that Owen Wilson has finally agreed to be interviewed. The interviewer will be Wes Anderson, a fellow filmmaker, and friend. The interview will be available tonight at midnight as part of MySpace.com’s Artist on Artist series.

Wilson, who has starred in such movies as "You, Me and Dupree," "Cars," "Wedding Crashers," "Meet the Fockers," "Starsky & Hutch," "Shanghai Knights," "Behind Enemy Lines," "The Royal Tenenbaums," and "Zoolander," reportedly tried to kill himself last month. With such success and fame, a lot of people wondered why. Could it be that the success came so easily as to feel hollow and pointless? Who knows. Maybe the interview will shed a clue.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

What a brilliant movie. Steven Spielberg is a genius. He crafts each moment so well, and the music figures in at just the right moments. Absolutely superb.

This movie introduced me to Reese's Pieces. I love them! Did you know, originally, they called up M&M's, and asked if they wanted to pay to be in the movie? M&M's said to take a hike! They thought the movie was beneath them. Wrong! Reese's hit it big with E.T. To this day, I still enjoy Reese's Pieces more than I do M&M's. There's brainwashing for you!

Steven Spielberg's movies are so well-crafted, they make you sit and wonder if there's an equally well-crafted design to life, the universe, and everything. I sometimes wish life could be as magnificent (24/7) as it is depicted by masters like him. I know it can be...somehow...

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Will CGI Actors Take Over Some Day?

With cartoons, you can do anything, but it's not realistic. With live-action, you can be realistic, with limitations on what you can do. Someday, CGI will be so advanced that you'll be able to do anything realistically. Even replace live actors with CGI replicas that look exactly the same.

So far, you can still tell when CGI is used. On a recent "Heroes" episode, Claire jumped off the "Hollywood" sign in California. You could tell the version of her falling was CGI, since it didn't look quite right and seemed a little too smooth. But technology keeps advancing, and pretty soon, we won't be able to tell the difference between a real person on TV and a CGI stand-in.

When we reach that point, what if reporters are replaced with AI CGI representatives? That's a very big change. I wonder when it will happen...?

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Night Of The Comet

One of my favorite movies is "Night of the Comet." It's pure 80's, fun, with cool characters, a great soundtrack, and zombies!

A comet that apparently killed the dinosaurs with radiation or some other effect returns to earth and wipes out most of its population. Two valley girls are left to fend for themselves. They meet up with Hector Gomez, a truck driver, and find out that a think tank full of geniuses also survived. Problem is, the think tank is slowly turning into zombies, and they want to take the blood of "pure" survivors for a so-called "serum" that they think will cure them. The valley girls and Hector have to fight to survive in a post-Apocalyptic freak show.

The best part of the movie is the humor. It pokes fun at itself from a variety of angles, but is so good you never ever have the moment of, "Another zombie move? Why bother." It's an entirely unique take on a genre that's been done to death, and it's packed with fun. It almost makes you wish you could live in a zombie world! The best part? It's finally out on DVD!!

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Monday, October 22, 2007

People Who Talk During The Movie

One of my pet peeves is people who deem it necessary to say something in the middle of a movie that we're all watching for the first time. If we've seen it a few times, and there's nothing new on the screen, then sure, talking is fine. But the first time you watch a movie should be sacred.

The directors, produces, writers, and actors didn't intend for you to hear your friend's comments during the course of the film. If they did, the remarks would be included in the movie and audible to all. Instead, they planned the film as deeply as they could, putting great attention on the details of each moment, to produce to desired effect.

A movie is a piece of art. It is designed to be taken in and enjoyed as is, without any extraneous contributions. A lot of careful planning went into each moment that goes on film, and talking puts all of that effort to waste. It ruins the moment.

Talking during a movie that someone hasn't seen before is disrespectful. It's like taking them to the museum to see a painting, and then shooting the art with a paintball gun. "Neat art, huh?"

Someone with respect for someone else's observational skills and right to enjoy a film would not talk during a movie. Someone with respect for the work that was put in to create just the right effect to make the viewer feel a certain way should not speak during the climax of the film. Alas, many do, and many don't seem to understand any of this. "It's just a stupid movie." "Yeah, if you talk it is!"

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Bourne Redundancy

I remember seeing Matt Damon on "The Daily" show back when "The Bourne Ultimatum" was first coming out. I believe he referred to a possible title for a proposed fourth installment in the Bourne franchise as, "The Bourne Redundancy." I remember back when only "The Bourne Identity" and "The Bourne Supremacy" existed. I had heard him remark that he would only do a third, and his colleagues agreed, if the script were good enough. Apparently that happened, as "Ultimatum" grossed over $400 million worldwide at the box office, a little less than half of the total $900 million from the entire trilogy. I never thought there would be a fourth, and neither, apparently, did Damon.

However, this article revives the possibility of a fourth installment actually getting made. It may have more to do with money and less with personal desire to do the film this time around, however. Damon said, "Personally, the character means a lot to me because the character has done so much for my career. You know, it put me in the position where I have a lot more choices of kind of movies I want to make. If Paul Greengrass, maybe years down the road, was interested in doing another one, then I would do it, too. I don’t think either of us completely put the character to bed yet."

That makes sense to me, given that the series so far has ended on a high note, and also when you take into consideration movies like Die Hard 4.0, which breathe new life into an old successful franchise. I just hope Damon continues to demand a quality script!

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Pee-wee's Big Adventure

Sure, Paul Reubens got into the news for public misconduct and indecent behavior. Sure, some people think he's gross. But some of the movies he's been in, like, "Buffy The Vampire Slayer," have been great. "Pee-wee's Big Adventure" is also one of those movies.

I'd have to say the number one reason the movie is so great is the music. Danny Elfman composed it, and the National Philharmonic Orchestra performed it. Elfman is brilliant. His musical genius is just fantastic.

The number two reason why the movie rocks is the exciting plot under Tim Burton's direction. There's never a dull moment. And all the cool toys and places you get to see add loads of weight to the film's "fun factor." The characters are great, too, and everybody loves a happy ending.

For a child, the movie is amazing. For an adult, it's not too shabby, either. It makes you remember how fun it can be to see the world with the wonder of a child. After all these years, it's no wonder "Pee-wee's Playhouse: The Movie" is currently in production.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Die Hard (Number One)

This could be one of the greatest films ever made, in my opinion. Ok, sure, the use of "terrorist" robbers and violence abound isn't necessarily cerebral in its appeal, but you must admit that for an actioner, "Die Hard" is superb.

The nonchalant humor of John McClane in the face of violent opposition is brilliant. Hans Gruber is a villain you can identify with even as you identify with John McClane. The blonde henchman who comes back at the end, the elevator explosion, the opening of the vault -- all priceless!

And the best part: Sgt. Al Powell at the end conquering his reluctancy to draw his pistol, in order to save his new best friend, John McClane. The music at that scene is breathtaking.

But hey, I guess when you come right down to it, "Die Hard" is simply an action film. That's right. But it's also simply one of the best.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Beetle Juice

Way at the bottom of the "Beetle Juice" page at IMDB, in the user comments, someone intelligently and eloquently wrote that Beetle Juice is the kind of movie that we don't get to see anymore -- "pure art packaged to simultaneously look and play like accessible mainstream motion pictures."

What genius! I agree wholeheartedly with the comment's author, as the more I watch "Beetle Juice," the more I see.

My childhood viewings of the film were able to just scratch the surface of the layers of information poured into this movie. And at every layer, even the most superficial, it's supremely enjoyable. Whoever commented on it at IMDB made me realize this when he/she wrote that the movie "is superficially a haunted-house comedy, superficially a movie that would appeal to children, superficially a supernatural fantasy. But what it really is, like David Byrne's 'True Stories,' is a modern art piece set to film."

I love that! Some movies are exactly what they seem to be, and you can absorb everything in one viewing. Others are so complex that you have to go back and rewind, and can't fully enjoy them until you've sat through at least 3 or 4 viewings. But "Beetle Juice" is one of those rare films where every time you watch it, you enjoy it for unique and different reasons. It's like ten movies in one. Packed with entertainment. Highly recommended.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Reaper (TV) vs. Ghost Rider (Movie)

The new CW show, "Reaper" has a few interesting places where it agrees and disagrees with the "my soul is in the Devil's pocket" storyline. I've enjoyed both, so an exploration will be fun.

In "Ghost Rider," the guy sells his soul to save his ailing father, who is soon killed anyway.

In "Reaper," the guy's parents had already sold his soul before he was even born.

In "Ghost Rider," the guy has powers that are effectively static and cumulative, meaning that they don't change or go away, and he can learn how to use them better and better every time he does the Devil's work.

In "Reaper," the guy's powers vary week to week, depending on what villain he's fighting. Every episode there's a new ability that he (so far) seems to have very little control over. It seems like he loses his old powers while gaining new ones, but that is unclear.

My hope is that "Reaper" will end up revealing the guy can have every power imaginable, like Peter Petrelli, and only pulls out whichever one is necessary at the time.

In "Ghost Rider," the guy uses his powers to send Demons back to Hell.

In "Reaper," the guy uses Devil Technology to send Demons back to Hell, and his powers seem to be an afterthought or random nuisance (so far).

In "Ghost Rider," the guy decides to keep his "curse" and use it to fight the Devil. But then again, the guy is basically the Devil's personal assistant, not just some Schmoe who lost his soul.

In "Reaper," the guy can't use his powers against Satan (just yet), or risk getting killed by his "employer."

In "Ghost Rider," the Devil endows the guy with the ability to survive pretty much any normal injury, and leaves the guy to his own devices for the most part.

In "Reaper," the guy is flesh and blood, physically vulnerable, and while the Devil doesn't torture him like he would a soul in Hell, he does take a few simple steps toward ruining the guy's life.

All in all, "Reaper" is definitely a unique take on the "I work for Lucifer now" idea, and has enough play in the storyline to keep it going for a long, long time. An eternity, even. In Hell!

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Last Castle

A few years ago, when "The Last Castle" first came out, I thought it would be boring. But the other night I watched it, and I enjoyed it.

Robert Redford plays a 3-Star General who is sent to a U.S. military prison. His pride had gotten 8 soldiers killed, and all he wants to do is serve out his sentence. But the corrupt warden's methodology grates on the General, until he finds he can no longer tolerate the crap.

Redford rallies the rest of the inmates, all soldiers in their own right, and gives them something worth fighting for. In the end, the inmates take control of the prison.

I had thought the film would be more like, "An old man with old values goes to regular prison, and chaos ensues." Instead it was like, "A patriotic man of honor inspires his peers and rights the wrongs he finds inside a military prison."

It was great. It makes it clear how power can be abused, and why human rights are an absolute necessity. I'd recommend it.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Monday, October 15, 2007

New Movie Headsets

Would you rather watch a film with friends and family, on a single screen, where you can talk and look at one another? Or would you rather sit back, relax, and watch it on a giant screen a few inches in front of your face, using a pair of glasses that provide you with a completely privatized viewing presentation?

Glasses like those are expensive, but I'd love to try a pair. I've heard that even though the "real" screens are tiny, they seem huge when so close up. And a built-in headset would be awesome. You could watch TV in bed without sitting up!

Don't fall asleep with them on, though, or else you'll "dream" you're in the movie! Hmm...that might not be a bad idea after all...

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Future Movies Gone Interactive

On Star Trek, there's a room called a HoloDeck in which people can interact with a virtual world as if it were completely real. I'm thinking films of the future will gradually approach such a state.

Pretty soon, we're probably going to be able to zoom in on HD TV as far as we want. Some day, I bet we'll even get to pan around and examine the action from any angle.

Of course, direction nowadays plans things out so the most interesting angle is the one you are forced to watch things from. But maybe when pan-around technology comes to fruition, directors will build a lot of interesting stuff into the "hidden" parts their movies.

I know some directors already do that, but you can pick up on their secret tidbits even from the basic viewing angle. I'm talking about stuff that you'd never even see unless you moved the camera angle a few degrees. Then "watching" a film will be like playing a video game, where your main goal is to observe and immerse yourself in another world.

Won't that be cool...

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Don't Watch Movies And Drive

I've seen some vehicles now equipped with video units for the driver and front-seat passenger. That's insane! There's only one scenario in which watching a movie while driving would be OK. That's when you're in a stop 'n go crawl, stuck in a traffic jam, and bored to tears. At that point, with little else to focus on besides when to inch forward and when to break, a movie seems like it might be OK. But there are no other times when driving that diverting your attention from the road to anything, let alone cinematic entertainment, is a good idea.

You can use movies to keep the kids in the rear seats entertained, but that screen is above and behind the driver's area. What were auto engineers thinking when they came up with the idea of a movie/TV screen that drivers too can enjoy? Maybe they had a special brainstorming session: "Ok boys, today let's forget about safety and logic, and come up with something fun!" That's definitely what that option seems like -- fun, but incredibly unsafe.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Terminator's John Connor Never Existed -- In One Universe

I read a theory a long time ago on Wikipedia that described how things really went down the first time a Terminator was sent back through time to kill Sarah Connor. Things were a little different from the movie.

In the original timeline, SkyNet went active, and decimated humanity. Kyle Reese led the resistance, and was able to smash SkyNet's defense grid using a virus. Part of the virus included some decoy intelligence used to help keep SkyNet busy thinking about things that never were. The lies that SkyNet learned included info on a legendary figure named John Connor, who was the true leader of the resistance. SkyNet then sent back the first Terminator to 1984, to kill Sarah Connor, the "mother" of the fictional John Connor. Kyle Reese didn't go back through time to save her. In that future, SkyNet won.

Meanwhile, back in 1984B, a Terminator chases Sarah Connor, who manages to barely survive. She finds the cyborg's CPU, and with the help of a scientist, she decodes the data and learns about John Connor, her supposed son. She and the scientist fall in love, and have a child, which they name John. John grows up, SkyNet comes online, and John teams up with Kyle Reese and others to save humanity. SkyNet can see that John Connor is a real threat, and sends a Terminator back in time to 1984 to kill his mother. John Connor then sends Kyle Reese back to save Sarah Connor.

Meanwhile, back in 1984C, a Terminator chases down Sarah Connor, who is protected and ultimately saved by Kyle Reese. During the ordeal, Reese fathers Sarah's son, who she goes on to name John Connor. John grows up, SkyNet comes online, and John and the Resistance save Humanity.

So learning this, it becomes apparent that SkyNet effectively defeated itself when it sent the first Terminator back to kill an unborn child that would never exist. In doing that, it alerted the past to the threats of the future, and prepared its enemy against itself.

Maybe somewhere out there, there's a guy named John Connor who at this moment is preparing for Judgment Day...

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Buy A Movie Through Your TV

Who would have thought 20 years ago that just a few months after a new movie is released, you can pay to see it from the comfort of your own home? No more trips to the video rental store. No more waiting in line to see a new movie in a crowded theatre where the young people next to you repeat every other line in the film. If you can just hold out long enough, you'll be able to watch the relatively new cinematic masterpieces right in your living room. But at what cost?

Between $4 and $6 per film, on top of your cable plan. So that's about the price of a single ticket. If you've got a family or some friends with you, that's a good way to save some coinage. And no more price-gouging at the Lobby. You can make your own popcorn, break out the candy bin, and have at it.

Sounds great, right? Some say yes. Others argue that you need a home theatre system to get the real benefit and enjoyment. And if you've got a 12-inch television, might as well give in and comply with all the movie ads shouting for you to see a movie while it's still in a theatre. And why not? Twenty-foot screens are better anyway. But not better than IMAX. So wait until the movie comes to IMAX. That's what I do, and I save a TON. Even more than what I saved on my car insurance.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tango of the Spy: TV's Chuck and "True Lies"

On a recent episode of TV's "Chuck," the reluctant spy for which the show is named was instructed that he would be fine at the latest operation, which took place in a high-society ballroom, if he knew how to tango. That reminded me of "True Lies," in which Arnold Schwarzenegger took to tangoing with the various ladies in his life.

Chuck, like Arnold, ended up doing the tango with an attractive woman at an event. And Chuck, like Arnold, was quick to learn that she was really the enemy.

What really impressed me about the parallel was that in "True Lies," Arnold bends to look at a piece of art in an effort to hide his face from security guards that are on the lookout for a party-crasher. It is at that moment when he meets the woman he ends up tangoing with, the woman who is playing a major role in the work of the bad guys. In "Chuck," our hero was also looking at a piece of art when he met the woman he would soon tango with, and quickly get captured by.

I wonder if the writers were watching "True Lies" when they wrote that part of the episode? I'll give them more credit than that. A lot of spy films and shows probably involve looking at a piece of art, meeting a woman, doing the tango, and then learning she's the enemy!

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Ghostbusters 3

The last time I heard about this highly-anticipated sequel, the Angry Nintendo Nerd said it would be CGI, with Bill Murray voicing his character in an adventure that saw the Ghostbusters descend into Hell.


I remember watching one of the animated series, which would later be cancelled for being too violent, and seeing a woman, maybe a teacher, part her hair in the back of her head and reveal a big yellow eyeball the size of her skull. Freaked me out! And there was some cauldron and potion involved. I was younger then, about 37 (jk), and I remember feeling the weight of what I was seeing. It was so bizarre, and the Ghostbusters were so familiar and endearing, that that episode and others like it made an impact on me.

I liked the old cartoons where Dr. Venkman was voiced by the guy who voiced Garfield in the cartoon. He always did sound like Bill Murray, so it was no surprise when Bill voiced Garfield in the Garfield movie after the voice actor, Lorenzo Music, died of cancer in 2001.

I think a third Ghostbusters movie could be amazing. And if they get back most or all of the actors from the first two, it probably will be! It would have to be fantastic to attract everybody back. Like Indiana Jones 4, wait for a good script...

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Monday, October 8, 2007

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut

I enjoy "South Park," the show, and so when the movie was on Comedy Central's "Secret Stash" the other night, I tuned in. I realized I had never seen the "South Park" movie before. I'd caught clips here and there, and I remember hearing people quote parts of it and sing some of the songs. I couldn't believe I never saw it before. I've already seen "Team America," so it was neat to see an earlier cinematic work by Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

I enjoyed the way they intertwined the potential impact of their film into the movie itself. The main four kids, along with every other kid in the neighborhood, went to see a new movie by their Canadian TV heroes, “Terrence and Philip.” The movie is filled with profanities, causing the kids to swear and get in so much trouble that war is declared on Terrence and Philip’s home country of Canada.

The Terrence and Philip movie represented “South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut.” Both movies were full of profanity. The kids in South Park represented kids in real life, learning from a movie (Terrence and Philip and South Park, respectively) to swear. Trey and Matt foresaw parents complaining about the newly-acquired curse words in the vocabularies of their children, and worked it into the film. It was hilarious. But since it’s been around for 8 years now, you probably already knew that!

I also really enjoyed the songs, and the graphics. They went a lot further with aspects like that than they usually do (or did) in the show, and it was neat to see those other avenues explored. I thought the song, "Little Boy You're Going To Hell," was very funny, because children are considered by most people (unless they're a "bad seed") to be innocent until adulthood. So condemning a child is ridiculous, and therefore hilarious. Plus, Kenny made it to Heaven in the end, so everything turned out OK.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Indiana Jones 4

There's been a lot of speculation over the years as to what the plot might encompass for the fourth Indiana Jones film. Here's my theory:

IJ4 is set in 1955. At some point during the movie, we'll see a Delorean in the background. Then old man Biff gets out and goes off to take care of some business. Meanwhile, Dr. Jones would investigate the strange vehicle, and end up getting into the Time Machine.

Indiana Jones then travels to 2015 (where old man Biff came from), and gets the rejuvenation treatment that Doc had. Young again, Dr. Jones would be ready for another adventure.

In 2015, Dr. Jones meets the Doc, and Doc convinces him to go back to wherever it is he came from, never realizing Biff had originally taken the Delorean (until later, that is). Dr. Jones gets back into the time machine and goes back to 1955, but a glitch sends him to a different time altogether.

Then he'd wind up travelling to A Long Time Ago, and meet a previous human civilization that has since either destroyed itself or left the planet. He'll talk to some of the people there, and they in their vast wisdom will recognize him as bearing a strong resemblance to Han Solo. He will then be directed against his will to a wormhole or Stargate, which will transport him to A Galaxy Far, Far Away. At that point, he will be overwhelmed by the technology and craziness of it all.

Then the REAL Han Solo will show up, and they'll fight to the death, leaving it open as to who won and assumed (or resumed?) the identity of Luke's pal. There can be only one -- Han Solo. Since this is an Indiana Jones movie, Indy will probably end up winning, but then decide not to kill his lookalike, and instead spare him and ask for help to get back to his planet and time. Han will oblige, and direct Dr. Jones to a transit station, where he will return to earth.

Then Indiana Jones will sneak past the pre-humans, and find the Time Machine in some sort of workplace, being experimented upon. He quietly gets in and programs the computer for the 1930s. He arrives on the exact day during which the final scenes of "The Last Crusade" took place.

Hiding the Delorean, he sneaks to the temple containing the Holy Grail, and waits in a secret passage that he remembers seeing the last time he was there. Then, when the temple is collapsing and the grail is resting precariously on part of the shifting rock floor, he uses his whip to retrieve it.

Quickly returning to the Time Machine, Indy goes back to 1955, brings the machine back to where old man Biff left it, and uses the Holy Grail to keep himself and his friends (and hopefully father, unless it is too late) all young and immortal. If his father had died previously, he would have made another stop in between the 30's and 1955, and saved him with the cup of Christ.

Then at the end, old man Biff gets in and returns to 2015, and then Marty and Doc show up to steal back the Almanac.

I'd like to see that!

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.