Wednesday, December 21, 2011

24 Hour Party People: A Good One #156

I love this story of Tony Wilson and Factory Records. I love how it starts out all muted and colorless like some people might think the music of Joy Division might sound, and then halfway through it becomes bright and garish like the music of the Happy Mondays, and I don't care if you don't. Get your own blog and give your own biased opinion. I watched it on DVD because the selection on Netflix still sucks. Here's a trailer:

The Tree Of Life: Terrible Movies #234

In theory, there should be absolutely no reason why I should dislike this gorgeously shot poem by Terrence Malick, well, except for all the reasons I'm going to list below. Spinning a spider's web thin plot about something that has to do with a family and DDT while forgoing substantial familial interaction for the images of a flock of starlings taking flight over a scenic downtown vista or a hand sensuously stroking the rough surface of a rock; it's all very lovely but ultimately has the depth of a three hour commercial for some pop starlet's perfume or the newest shade of latex interior paint. The cast acts their little hearts out plaintively, whispering a script that could very well have been jotted down on several cocktail napkins and sounding suspiciously similar to drugstore greeting card sentiments while opera plays on the soundtrack and artfully filmed scenes of shadowplay on stucco occurs. Who are these people, and why should I care? The Tree Of Life has a Kubrick-y NatGeo feel; like it's an overlong video travel brochure for people who want to visit volcanoes, doorways in the desert, San Francisco, or the surface of the Sun. There's tons of very earnest and important film-making; with stunt butterflies, dinosaurs, closeups of soap bubbles, Pottery Barn-esque set design and art direction, and lots and lots and lots of symbolic vaginas. Someone is definitely going to win a well deserved Academy Award for cinematography, so watch it with the sound down. I watched it on DVD from the Redbox because there still isn't crap to watch on Netflix. Here's a trailer:

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Godfather: A Good One #155

It was good.

The Thin Man: A Good One #154

I have a tradition of watching the only three Xmas movies in existence. They are the 1938 version of a A Xmas Carol, The Thin Man, and Die Hard. That's it, and I refuse to believe there any other ones. So I watched The Thin Man for the 9 millionth time because it's awesome, and I laughed like I always do, and I wrote out my letter to Santa wishing that he would make me as droll, sophisticated and drunk as William Powell.  I'm already extremely droll, I have many bottles of alcohol, so I just need to be sophisticated. I'll be checking my stocking. We'll see how that pans out. I watched The Thin Man on DVD and everyone should, but no one should risk their lives by trying to drink as many martinis as William Powell does. Here's a clip:

Wild Guitar: Terrible Movies #233

Two clumsy people meet nice in a cafe, then everyone says Spearfish for some reason in this 'rock' and 'roll' movie where a naive bumpkin makes it big in the music industry. Someone else does the Twist because that passed for entertainment in the mid-20th century, then someone else plays unconvincing music on an unconvincing guitar in front of unconvincing fans who unconvincingly rush the stage in unconvincing enthusiasm because it's in the script. There's also a movie poster promoting the film EEGAH, lots of brylcreem, moist cigars, a hint of payola, a bothersome pompadour, ice skating, and 90 minutes of a pitiful Ricky Nelson imitation. I watched Wild Guitar on Youtube. Here's a trailer:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hercules And The Tyrants Of Babylon: Terrible Movies #232⅛

Hercules throws a Volkswagen sized boulder at a guy on a horse. This knocks the guy off the horse, but the horse doesn't seem to mind that much. That's as far into the film I got before falling asleep. You can't make me watch the rest. Here's a trailer which conveniently has exactly the scene I was talking about. I slept while I assume it did that stuff that every Hercules movie ever does on Youtube.

The Yesterday Machine: Terrible Movies #232

The Yesterday Machine opens with a majorette twirling a baton in this Hitler-based time travel movie and you be hard-pressed to find a movie that wouldn't be made a tiny bit better by the inclusion of baton-twirling. Don't you think watching Maria Falconetti twirl a baton in The Passion Of Joan Of Arc would've lived that film up a bit? No? OK, then. Anyway, throughout The Yesterday Machine I kept begging for more baton-twirling because everything else in the movie was terrible. Every time I saw that nagging majorette and her 35 year old high school boyfriend with the receding hairline I thought to myself, "Hey girl, shut the hell up and twirl that baton because this script sucks", well, except when the boyfriend got shot by Civil War soldiers. That sort of put a damper on things, but I had hope that when her bullet-riddled body wasn't found it surely means her plucky baton-twirling self would reappear sometime. I don't want to give anything away, but she does, and it sucks. There's also scotch-drinking hospital staff, wooden acting, iffy lip-syncing, a guy on horseback who yells "Witchcraft!", a Nazi scientist who gives a very lengthy monologue on relativity, and very little baton-twirling. I watched it on Youtube and you probably shouldn't. Sorry, but there doesn't seem to be a trailer.

Labyrinth: A Good One #152

Spoiled rotten future Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly gives The Thin White Duke and some naughty Muppets a baby in this '80s family film. You know, something about that sentence doesn't sound right. I can't put my finger on it. Oh well, I said it and I'm moving on. Equal parts great art direction and dodgy acting, it would be much better without the humans. Go ahead and be mad if you want, but you know if someone cut all the crappy Bowie/Connelly parts out it would be All Muppets All The Time and it would be fantastic. What would make it even better is if they inserted the video to Ashes To Ashes every time Bowie did a musical number. It wouldn't make a lot of sense, but everyone's head would explode from all of the awesome. I watched Labyrinth on Netflix Instant Streaming. Here's a link to Ashes To Ashes because I don't want to get hassled by EMI:

Wild Women Of Wongo: Terrible Movies #231

People become startled by a parrot while carrying spears and wearing grass skirts in this indescribable film. The parrot gets A LOT of screentime. There's 6 pages of infantile script, a woman dressed as a crocodile who does a bit of interpretive dance, underwater alligator wrestling, and an epic battle where people gently tap pointy sticks together and by "epic" I really mean "lousy". Recommended if you like stuff that sucks. Here's a clip. WARNING! Do not watch if you're offended by frisky girl-on-alligator action.

The Vampire: Terrible Movies #230

A doctor accidentally takes bat medicine and becomes a monster in this boring vampire film where people talk on phones and enter rooms and not much else happens. It sort of reminded me of a cross between Dracula and Leave It To Beaver, except without the horror, Bela Lugosi, Beaver, or anything interesting. I watched it on Youtube.

There doesn't seem to be a trailer.

Amazing Mr. X: A Good One #151

I was convinced The Amazing Mr. X was going to be cruddy, and I was pleasantly surprised. It features great noir cinematography and lighting (Well, what there is of it. Couldn't anyone in the '40s turn on a light every once in a while?), I enjoyed the screenwriter's take on spiritualism and the long grift. I don't have much to complain about. I watched it on Youtube.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Santa Claus: Terrible Movies #229

A jolly old hypocrite with a white beard and a gaudy red and white outfit tries to lay down a bum rap on a guy with horns (and I'm not talking about Miles Davis) in this slightly offensive, creepy and disturbing film, and by "slightly", I really mean "thoroughly". Santa Claus commits a little breaking and entering, droplifts, enslaves children to make toys violating many child labor laws, gives a kid a machine gun and an atomic laboratory, and assaults someone with a cannon. Now don't get me wrong, The Guy With The Horns isn't exactly a role-model because he gives children access to rocks, moves a chimney and lights a fire under Santa's butt, but Santa had it coming. It's about time someone lit a fire under Santa's ass because he only works one day a year. Anyway, this movie is just awful. It consists of 90% voiceover narration, a newspaper-based continuity error, and hideous tone-deaf Xmas music. You'll also be frightened by a mechanical Santa, a mechanical eyeball on a stalk, a telescope with lips, several eerie puppets, a rag-doll can-can dream sequence, and wind-up giggling robot reindeer with dead yellow eyes. Yikes. I watched it on Youtube because there still isn't anything to watch on Netflix. Here it is:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Malibu Beach Vampies: Terrible Movies #228

This film might actually bump Birdemic out of the top spot as The Worst Movie I've Ever Seen. Bikini-clad girls jiggle and recite poetry on the beach, and they appear to be truth-serum daylight beach vampires for almost 5 minutes of a 75 minute film. There's 5 minutes of terrible credits and the soundtrack awkwardly plays over dialogue. You'll see bad vampire teeth, tap-dancing, hideous acting, and videotape timecode in the bottom left corner in several scenes. You'll hear pitchy acoustic guitar playing, many awful musical numbers, and overhear someone giving muffled direction during dialogue. Scenes seem to begin and end at random, and scenes are replayed because someone seems to like them. Large chunks of movie might be missing. It all seems first take, and flubs are left in. It's astonishing. I assume this is a completed film as there are end credits. Who knows? Don't tell me. I watched it on Youtube through a facepalm. I'm not posting a clip, and you can't make me. Highly recommended if you like ham-fisted political statements, Body Glove, dance studios subbing for television studios, money being clothes-pinned to sheets, being bored and confused, or stuff that sucks.

She-Freak: Terrible Movies #227

As a documentary, She-Freak does a fine job showing the raising of the big top and the tear-down of the show, but it does a lousy job as a movie. Here's the plot: Upwardly mobile gold-digging former waitress becomes a carny and gets her comeuppance. The film features interesting footage of a carnival in the late '60s; there's the Tilt-a-Whirl, the Scrambler, a little burlesque, and the Sideshow. Sadly, there's also a dragging plot, 13 pages of script, bad acting, jazz instead of dialogue, and looped carnival sounds. Then it ends after blatantly ripping off Tod Browning. It's both fascinating and dreadful. I watched it on Youtube. Here's a trailer:

A Charlie Brown Christmas: A Good One #150

Capitalist kids ruthlessly berate and ridicule a non-conformist treehugger and rightfully give him what-for in this maudlin Yuletide special, and man, it's depressing. Seriously, why can't Ol' Chuck get with the program? Buy stuff. Buy lots and lots of stuff because that's how people know you love them. And you should buy your many soulless holiday items from a huge soulless multi-national corporation because the selection at the local stores sucks because they're all going out of business. Don't you know there's a War On Xmas? Oh good grief! The poor beleaguered holiday only lasts from the middle of October through February 1st, and almost no one knows about it. If only the world's retailers could get behind it and give it a push, but sadly, there's hardly any marketing or advertisements for it at all. It's like it's not even there. But I digress. Anyway, the Peanuts Gang tries to get down and get funky to the jazzy piano stylings of Vince Guaraldi, and Chuck is being a huge drag, so they all bully him but he had it coming because he is trying to convince everyone that "less is more", but clearly More Is More. They prove More Is More when the kids start "cooperating" and turn the tiny Xmas twig into a blinged out tree, but I could be wrong. In conclusion, it's a classic holiday program blah-blah-blah, and they show it once a year so you should probably watch it, but It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown is superior for obvious reasons. I watched it on local television programming because I think there's some sort of law requiring it, and I promise never to do that again. Here's a clip:

Oops, someone replaced my clip with a commercial for Zingers Snack Cakes. Buy Zingers.

The Guy With Secret Kung Fu: Terrible Movies #226

I'm not sure it's what you would call a "secret" considering everyone in the movie knows kung fu. Plus, there seems to be two guys. Maybe that's the secret. I'm not sure. Regardless, The Guy With Secret Kung Fu has a plot I suppose because people keep talking about stuff, but heck if I know what it is. Someone kicks a boat apart, someone else gets a howling wolf sound effect whenever he appears on screen, and there's tons of kung fu adventures with swords and fans and darts and flaming wheelbarrows. If someone put a gun to my head and demanded I tell them what this movie is about, my guess would be fishing. I could be wrong though. I watched it on The selection on Netflix still sucks hardcore. Here's a trailer:

The Atomic Brain: Terrible Movies #225

An old woman hires housekeepers so she can store her brain in their youthful bodies in this thing someone might call a film. Consisting largely of voiceover narration, jarringly inappropriate sound effects and musical accompaniment featuring Magical Harp, Forlorn Oboe, and Comedic Xylophone in scenes shot on the stairs because that's where most of the action takes place, The Atomic Brain (AKA Monstrosity) is amateurish in every way and one of the worst movies I've ever seen. There's haphazard editing, dodgy accents, terrible special effects and awful acting. Even though it's only 64 minutes long, I thought it would never end. I watched it on Youtube. Here's a trailer:

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Ghostbusters: A Good One #149

I don't have a lot to complain about from the film Ghostbusters other than the special effects haven't aged particularly well, the screenplay has a couple of problems, and the theme song still sucks. It's funny, and I enjoyed it. I watched it on DVD because I couldn't find a damn thing on Netflix. Here's a trailer, but it's not as though you're unfamiliar with it:

Frankenstein's Bloody Terror: Terrible Movies #224

Frankenstein's Bloody Terror features elaborate sets, cobweb strewn crypts, foggy streets, bloody chemises, gloomy catacombs, dressing gowns, cardigans, suits of armor, cleavage, pentagrams, cravats, candelabras, a hairdo that looks as though it was created at Dairy Queen, a caged werewolf fight, vampires running through the forest and absolutely no Frankenstein. I have little idea what was happening because I nodded off during some key moments early in the film, but I don't think it matters much. I watched it on Youtube, and I think I'd watch it again. Here it is:

Speed Racer: A Good One #148

In an effort to expand the cultural horizons of the marketing department, I allowed them to watch the first episode of the classic '60s cartoon Speed Racer. It didn't go well. I'm frankly surprised by this as it contains rudimentary animation, high speed chases, fiery explosions, car crashes, motorcycle gangs, neckerchiefs, a bangin' (and totally implausible) vehicle, and an awesome theme song; I assumed they would enjoy it because I like all that stuff and people should like things I like because I'm great. Fail. They're no longer with the company, and by "no longer with the company" I mean that as a company we decided to go another way and they've all been crushed by a safe. I'm sorry they chose to have this happen to them, as that means a mountain of paperwork for me and waste of a perfectly good safe. I'm now taking applications in many departments of Deathrage Industries. I watched it on DVD, and it was pretty frickin' sweet.

They Came From Beyond Space: Terrible Movies #223

Strange meteorites from the moon land in formation in a field in Cornwall which then glow and take over the minds of the investigating scientists forcing them to rob banks because that seems like the right thing to do while swinging '60s jazz plays in this sci-fi film based on the book "The Gods Hate Kansas". Featuring jalopies, rear projection, suspect science, awkward fight scenes, a cow, a plague, an unlikely rocket-ship, and silver anti-alien-thought-control colanders as headgear. I watched it on Youtube. Here it is:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Scream Bloody Murder: Terrible Movies #222

A young boy suffers a tragic arm removal in a slow-motion and completely avoidable tractor accident which then results in many more "accidental" deaths years later in this badly focused horror film. Features scenery chewing, amateurish acting, a nonsensical script, and a moment where the one-armed ax murderer cowardly climbs a vertical rock-strewn cliff wearing cowboy boots in a failed attempt to flee the voices in his head. It's unpleasant and tedious. I watched it on Youtube because the selection on Netflix bites. Here it is, but you won't like it: