Friday, December 31, 2010

Sometimes a good one sneaks in #2: The Universe Of Keith Haring

A fairly standard biographical documentary of activist and artist Keith Haring. I think if one of your children walks in the room, watches a few moments of the film, and suddenly says, "Who is this guy? I think he's my favorite.", critical analysis of the film is pointless. The film has done its job. Features plenty of shots of the artist at work and snippets of classic hip-hop thrown in for good measure. On Netflix Instant Streaming.

I watch terrible movies so you don't have to #7: Valhalla Rising

Some Viking dudes wrestle, glare at one another, and wield swords. Not much else happens. Imagine a very beautiful and nearly wordless coffee-table book of misty and fjordy photgraphs sitting on your coffee-table. Why did you buy it? Was it a gift? Who gave it to you? Which one of your friends thinks you are a Viking enthusiast? No one knows. Just as static and arcane, this film just sits around all Nordic-like, and you wonder how it got there. On Netflix Instant Streaming.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

I watch terrible movies so you don't have to #6: Double Take

A documentary exploring the tenuous connection between political events of the Cold War, coffee commercials, and the films of Alfred Hitchcock. Repetitive and inscrutable. Throughout this film I wanted to watch something else, I don't know, maybe a psychological thriller or a Cold War espionage film, preferably by an English director who's a master of suspense. Couldn't really think of one. Avoid, but if you can't stop yourself, it's on Netflix Instant Streaming.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sometimes a good one sneaks in #1: Looking For Mr. Goodbar

Neurotics complain, hump, snort coke, and do the Hustle to a soundtrack featuring Boz Scaggs and Donna Summer in the hedonistic and seedy 1970's. Not much else happens. Beautifully shot and acted, but it's slow getting where it wants to go. Based on a true story. Diane Keaton won the Best Actress Oscar for Annie Hall the same year this was released. On Netflix Instant Streaming, but only until 1/1/2011, so catch it while you can.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I watch terrible movies so you don't have to #5: Attack Of The 50 Foot Woman

A semi-comedic Atomic Age sci-fi flick where scores of over-dressed onlookers stare agog at whatever nuclear menace threatens to crush them. Plot over-view: An heiress gets manhandled by a 15-foot rubber hand with carpeted knuckles after an alcoholic drive through the desert in a humongous convertible. If you couldn't guess from the title of the movie; science + aliens + radioactivity = hugeness in heiresses. Side-effects include nearly useless floppy boneless fingers and a sometimes semi-transparent head. Discontinue use if you experience dialogue that includes the following: "You pulled a boner tonight", "She's Loose!!!", and "What happened? Was it a gigantic woman?". Terrible, yet good for a laugh and mercifully brief. On Netflix Instant Streaming.

I watch terrible movies so you don't have to #4: Dunwich Horror

A dude with a distracting mustache bewitches people with his eyelids. Suddenly, the Necronomicon makes an appearance, and everything gets all Lovecrafty. Half-naked hippies adorned with face-paint cavort in close-up before a fish-eye lens. Then, as if by magic, there are more false eyelashes and corduroy jackets than you can shake a stick at. All in all, an interesting early 70's artifact. Some other highlights include occulty gibberish, a dog that is not Lassie lip-syncing Lassie, a not-important-to-the-plot cattle stampede, a very brief angry mob-scene, the same stock lightning footage that was in the film Blood Bath, a writhing Sandra Dee, and last but definitely not least, a few groovy freaked-out technicolor Cthulu rampages. While I'm not going to go as far as recommending it, I wouldn't exactly stop you from watching it. On Netflix Instant Streaming.

I watch terrible movies so you don't have to #3: Blood Bath

An average Jack Hill horror film from the 60's saved by some very nice black and white cinematography. Seems months longer than a 62-minute runtime. A group of beatniks sit around blah-blah-blahing tediously about art. Murders happen. If wide-brimmed hats, bad death portraits and cheesy incisors frighten you, don't watch. I'd spoil the abrupt ending for you, but I'm mystified by what occurred. Your guess is as good as mine. Avoid, but if you can't stop yourself, it's on Netflix Instant Streaming.

I watch terrible movies so you don't have to #2: Giant From The Unknown

A low-budget 50's horror film where people stand around in ties and talk, or sometimes they smoke, or maybe drive cars to break up the monotony, or show offensive racial stereotypes in bad wigs. Occasionally they spout lines of dialogue like, "I couldn't see anything, it was darker than the inside of your pocket." One of the few women in the cast serves up coffee and disappointment, then accidentally loses her compact, allowing the male lead to make the scientific and archaeological find of both his and the woman's father's careers and finally causing something to happen and forwarding the plot briefly. Half-hearted mumbo-jumbo about a curse and some pseudo-scientific nonsense is uttered, but it doesn't matter. The "monster" appears at the 36-minute mark amidst the stock footage of lightning that looks suspiciously like the opening credits of "Gilligan's Island". If you find Sir Walter Raleigh after a bout of mud-wrestling frightening, I wouldn't watch. Don't worry, this is not a spoiler. The movie is spoiled already, and I had nothing to do with it. Featuring numerous bad film cliches, complete misunderstanding of fossils and suspended animation, slow-motion female fainting, and sincere usage of the word "jeepers". Avoid, but if you can't stop yourself, it's available on Netflix Instant Streaming.

I watch terrible movies so you don't have to #1: Human Centipede

Everyone should take this introductory movie review on my blog as a terrible omen of things to come. As a holiday bonding experience, my family and I sat beside the roaring metaphoric fire of the television screen and our new AppleTV doohicky and watched The Human Centipede. Maybe I'm jaded. Maybe I've seen too many awful movies. Maybe I'm just plain crazy. As a modern horror film, I found it to be fairly meh. I am not going to comment on the scatological elements of this "film"; merely its competence as far as filmmaking ability, quality of screenwriting, and the talent of the various actors. There was none. Kudos to the filmmakers for doing so much with so little. Referencing the "less is more" philosophy of Jacques Tourneur without the aptitude, there is very little blood shown for a modern "torture porn" horror film but plenty of shots of people on their hands and knees, inexplicable interior to exterior shots without any reference to the passage of time or how anyone got there, ineffective police and/or detective work, no characterization until 10 minutes before the end of the film, and close-ups of actors grimacing menacingly for extended periods of time in an effort to drag 4 pages of screenplay into 92 minutes of screen time. Extremely unpleasant, nauseating and nonsensical. Avoid, but if you can't control yourself, it's available on Netfix Instant Streaming.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

First Blog and a Half

Here's the problem with's important to have something to say. Right this very minute, that's the one thing I don't have. But I hope to in the future. I'd like to talk about the stuff I like, the stuff I don't, show interesting photos of the places I go, maybe a feature snapshot or two of the meals I'm eating. Possibly bitch and complain a little. Say outrageous and absurd things. Do exactly the thing I sometimes do on Facebook, only without the 240 some-odd character restrictions. I also hope to do something that other bloggers don't do, but I don't know what that is quite yet. I'm hoping that I find an original voice within me and that people think that I have something worthwhile to say, that someone says, "Hey, thanks for telling me about that thing I didn't know about, that cool place to go, that delicious dish you told me to try, that terrible movie you told me to watch that I now love, or that new rock combo I never heard before but now can't live without". We'll see.

First Blog!

I got nothin'.