Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Great Moments In... Pranking Your Friends IRL

The video explains it all, so I won't make you sit twice through an explanation of why Dominic Monaghan pranks LotR cast mate (and fellow hobbit) Elijah Woods over the phone:

Monday, November 3, 2014

Delayed Goodbyes

I was going to put up a "goodbye" post this week, but first I had one of the best Halloween Nights of my life, and then a relative had to go to the hospital. It's quite serious, and I don't have time to attend to everything else and complete the entry.

I think a Great Moments In is scheduled for this week, or maybe a Bill Murray post. That will be all that goes up this week. Wish me well.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Happy Trail(er)s: Life of Crime

I post this less from excitement to see this film and more because Hollywood is finally releasing the occasional picture starring a woman, let alone (gasp!) two women. Sure, it's here because it's being backed by Aniston and Fisher, but this happens too f--king seldom.

One day, I'll use this post to explain to my hypothetical children, "that's why Daddy watches independent movies. Because some of them tell stories about women that are not comedies."

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

I've seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show on a TV two or three times, and in the theater three or four times. I was lucky enough to have a girlfriend and a roommate who were both well-versed in the live show, and shouted most of the audience lines while we watched a copy at home before doing the live version that same night.

The story is simple. Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon) have just attended a wedding. Overcome with love - and being enough of an a--hole to write on a church door - Brad proposes, and Janet accepts. Next, the couple is driving on a stormy night, and their car breaks down. The only sanctuary is a spooky castle... the home of Dr. Frank N. Furter (a very young Tim Curry!). The ominous inside of this large manor houses a dangerous and beguiling collection of unusual nutjobs. Will Brad and Janet keep their lives, or their innocence intact? Will they even hold on to their dignity?

(spoilers on that last point: no.)

(but maybe they think they did)

More than most any film before or since, Rocky Horror is perhaps the easiest and best example of a glorious failure. The same elements that make it a cinematic misfire are what endeared it to audiences so strongly that it's still popular - and still in theaters - 29 years after its release. Movie creators may dream that their work's success could inspire such a following, but no one imagines that their work could fail so well.

And fail it must. If the movie had been merely mediocre, it just wouldn't have generated so much interest. Instead, all of those weaknesses became strengths and the profound way that lines and scenes are dumb or fall flat actually engages the audience all the more... But I don't want to discuss much the things tRHPS gets wrong. Those are obvious: script, acting, execution, and sudden, ill-advised changes in tone are just the flaws at the top of the list.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

QftWo 10/27-11/2: Imposters #73 - Dracula Untold

Today's is a special edition of Imposters, as this one deserves nothing more than mockery. Please follow the link, press play on the video, and listen to the song as you scroll through the pictures.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Home-made Clock Tower BttF

Yes, somehow I went ages without ever doing a post about CineFix. Now, in one month, I've promoted their 8-bit versions of films, and I'm following up with their home-made version of the famous clock tower scene from Back to the Future.

I don't have much to say, save that this fan-made gem is inventive and commendable, and makes me happy just by reminding me of a cool scene from a good picture. I think if you look at the Cinefix team's own side-by-side version below, you'll be similarly impressed by what these folks did with it:

Friday, October 24, 2014

Happy Trail(er)s: Blackhat

Michael Mann is not the big draw for me here - or if so, it's in a different way. This picture will either tank with me or it'll be pretty good. I'm not dying to see this in a theater, but I am interested enough to follow the reviews. If it gets very positive feedback (or sounds deliciously insane), I'll round a up a few friends and check it out.

Oh, also, at the 1min 2sec mark, there's a guy that looks like Jeffrey Paymer got himself a clone about 30 years ago:

Seriously, that guy is "young 21st Century David Paymer." Try an image of Mr. Paymer with glasses ("glasses on, hair down"):

Thursday, October 23, 2014

QftWo 10/19-10/26: Imposters #72 - Fury

I'm just a little conflicted here, mostly because I don't approve of the confusion that may occur between this picture and De Palma's 1978 picture, The Fury. However, I really like the general composition of the first poster: Pitt looking off in one direction while the cannon and turret point the opposite way, the busy aspect of the lower half being balanced by a cloudy sky above...

I'm also fond of the contrast between the color of the title and the drabness of the rest of the picture. I'm even a fan of the tagline, though it's not all that informative.

For some reason, however, I like the second poster much more. It's vey evocative, with the sad/anguished expression on Mr. Pitt's face being balanced by the title, Fury. Sure, it's a big picture of the star - and it omits the tagline to just to promote Pitt and the release date - but he's not staring at the viewer, and this image isn't glamorous in the least.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

20 Free Music Documentaries

One year ago, David Anthony at AVC promoted a great pitchfork article, and I'm here now to bring it the attention of anyone who may have missed out last May. Long story short, Pitchfork did the world a favor and informed its readers that there were 20 fine music documentaries that were available to stream for free.

The wealth of artists presented here is nothing less than important: David Bowie as he transitioned from the Ziggy era to Diamond Dogs, the Rolling Stones getting wrecked on drugs, the Grunge movement being "embraced" by labels, major German bands of the 60's-70's, British Synthpop, a 1965 documentary on Leonard Cohen, Paul Anka, Fleetwood Mac, Patti Smith, Lou Reed, Sex Pistols...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Great Moments in... Stupid Threats

Sigh, it's from Can't Hardly Wait, so feel free to immediately mock me for watching this 90's teen romcom. As delivered by Peter Facinelli's character, Mike, it's just perfect. But, for me, the best part is the grammatical inaccuracy:

I tried to explain it once to some very intelligent friends, but they just didn't get it. I guess none of them are writers. See, the way Mike said the sentence doesn't mean "I'm going to kick the ass of everyone here," it means I'm going to bring everyone in the world into this room, and then kick their asses here." It's just so much funnier if you love writing.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Happy Trail(er)s: Inherent Vice

[Note: This installment is going up on today instead of Sunday, like past Happy Trail(er)s entries, because I hope this Sunday is when I'll post my review of The Twisted Death of a Lonely Madman. Just fyi. And we're moving on...]

A well-received book (Inherent Vice) written by a long-respected author (Thomas Pynchon), which is then brought to the screen by a director who values story and character and has an exceptional visual style to boot (Fincher): it is physically impossible for me to not want to see this film:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

QftWo 10/13-10/19: Imposters #71 - The Judge

I love that Robert Duvall is still taking roles, and that he's still headlining movies. I will say, though, that RDJr's look and posture kind of instantly makes me lose my interest in this picture. It doesn't matter that I generally like Robert a lot. The undone tie, the hands in his pockets, and the lack of an expression on either man is somewhat off-putting. I keep expecting it to be a more childish/snarky version of Shoot from the Hip, and we all know how that turned out:

The composition is actually nice - I appreciate how the leads are positioned in regards to one another, and the look of the courtroom scene around them. They might have achieved a stronger balance of light and dark if they'd framed this slightly higher - seriously, the bottom of the frame is Downey's crotch - and I think that the image would have been more pleasing for it. Then again, maybe it wouldn't have helped much, seeing as the brown is deeper than the white is...

But the bratty pose and that lame-ass tagline really sort of do me in. "Defend your honor." Really? That's kind of terrible as it is, but if Mr. Downey Jr is playing a lawyer who's defending Duvall's judge character then it's somehow even worse than just a bad combination of words. The only interesting thing about that tagline is that they put a closing period at the end of it, as if it were a sentence.