Archive for the ‘Flicks’ category

Elizabeth Taylor Died

March 23, 2011

Do yourself a favor and watch Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Marilyn Monroe gets a lot of credit, but I think Liz Taylor is quite possibly the sexiest woman in our planet’s history in that movie. It’s basically about her being horny for an hour and a half and trying to get Paul Newman to bone her (hint: he won’t do it because he likes booze and penis too much).

RIP Liz.

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If “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” Was Pretentious

March 14, 2011

Action Movie Daughters Always Get Hot

November 9, 2010

Every movie genre follows certain clichés and formulas, but one of my favorites is the action movie daughter (wow that makes me sound creepy). But I think you know what I mean. Our lead character is a macho cop/mercenary/soldier/sheriff/spy who happens to have an adorable daughter who proves to be convenient hostage-bait around the 75-minute mark. But moving beyond that cliché, I noticed that many of the girls who played these daughters went on to illustrious careers as actresses and Maxim magazine centerfolds. Some of these examples are from the most beloved action films of the ’80s and ’90s, while others are a bit more obscure.

Let’s see what became of our heroes’ female offspring…

Commando – Jenny, the daughter of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character…

…was played by Alyssa Milano. Who turned into this…

Under Siege 2 – Sarah, the daughter of Steven Seagal’s character…

Was played by Katherine Heigl:

Airspeed – Nicole, the daughter of Joe Mantegna’s character…

Was played by Elisha Cuthbert, who turned into this…

The Last Boy Scout – Darian, the daughter of Bruce Willis’s character…

(more…)

‘Appy Birfday, Angela Lansbury!

October 16, 2010

Angela Lansbury turns 85 today, and I gotta say I’m a fan. This lady used to play some bad bitches back in the day. Just look at her scowl:

Luckily for us, she ventured from mean-girl roles to kind-grandmother roles, occasionally stretching to play a talking teapot. She was in Bedknobs and Broomsticks, which is my favorite Disney movie that has Nazis in it. And of course, she quickly became the female version of Matlock on Murder She Wrote.

Plus she dressed up like this once:

Thank you, Angela. That’s weird and adorable in all the right ways.

Movie Night Meal: Cat’s Eye

October 15, 2010

Stephen King movies are generally hit-or-miss. And it seems that the more personal input King has in the movies, the worse they are (just compare Stanley Kubrick’s version of The Shining with the TV miniseries version that King wrote the script for). Cat’s Eye (1985, directed by Lewis Teague) has a screenplay by Stephen King and is actually three short films in one. The chapters are connected by a cat that wanders from story to story, as well as Drew Barrymore playing a different character in each section. Since the main focus is a cat, we made a bunch of smelly ol’ seafood.

Menu:

Albacore-Stuffed Tomatoes
Salmon Cakes*
Tuna Noodle Casserole
Crispy-Skinned Salmon Filets
Goldfish Crackers
Swedish Fish (for dessert)
*recipe below

The first short film, “Quitter’s Inc.” stars James Woods as a man trying to quit smoking. The self-help guru he hires uses an interesting form of persuasion: threatening to electrocute Woods’s wife and rape his retarded daughter (Barrymore) if he is caught having another cigarette. The second story, “The Ledge” is about a gambler who bets his wife’s lover (Robert Hays) that he can’t walk around the ledge of a skyscraper. Yeah, that’s about it. The third section, “The General,” is the most memorable for all of us who saw this movie as children on daytime TV; about a troll living inside the walls of a little girl’s bedroom. At night, the troll breaks through the wall to suck the breath from the girl (Barrymore) while she sleeps.

Some thoughts:

-Drew Barrymore was in her awkward Cindy Brady stage at this point in her career. The question is, how adorably coked-up was she during filming?

-If we’re ranking the stories, “The General” is the best, then “Quitter’s Inc.” with “The Ledge” way back in last place. After the first “whoa whoa whoa I’m about to fall!” scare, that’s all the story really is, over and over. But at least the pilot from Airplane! got a gig out of it.

-“The Ledge” also really shoehorns in a Barrymore appearance. She’s a hallucination that the cat sees in a TV screen. A hallucinating cat? Who was more fucked up during this thing, the cat or Drew?

-I think Barrymore was trying to win an Oscar by playing the retarded daughter in “Quitters Inc.” Unfortunately she was a little too Other Sister and not enough Rain Man.

-I liked how “The General” was a take on the old wives tale that cats suck the breath of babies while they are sleeping. Housewives in the ’50s needed an excuse for why their babies were dying of SIDS. I’m sure the fact that they were swigging martinis and sucking down Virginia Slims during the pregnancies had nothing to do with it.

-Some cameos from Stephen King characters, like Cujo and Christine.

-’80s movies had a lot of cunty mothers, and “The General” is no different. Candy Clark plays Barrymore’s mom who wants to murder the girl’s new pet cat. She sucks hardcore.

-I made it through this entire review without any pussy puns. Who’s proud of me?

(more…)

Hand-Drawn Movie Posters: F*ck Photoshop

September 22, 2010

Artist Drew Struzan has a new book out (and a new interview that you can view here), about his extensive work as the go-to artist for the ’80s and ’90s biggest movie franchises. Along with the late Richard Amsel, Struzan created signature hand-painted posters for some of the most beloved movies (and movie advertisements) ever.

He drew the Star Wars prequels, a few of the Indiana Jones (the original was done by Amsel), the Back to the Future trilogy, the Harry Potter films, Adventures in Babysitting, and Big Trouble in Little China. Two of my favorites are The Goonies and Hook.

Struzan was also recruited to do the DVD covers for The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile.

In a world where movie posters are done by any asshole with Photoshop (paste two big heads above the title… no creativity, no hint at what the movie is about), it’s important to appreciate people like Drew Struzan (and the directors and studios that actually still hire him).

He did some awesome work on less-than-stellar movies, like The Flintstones and Cutthroat Island.

A lot of the posters follow a similar format (big main character surrounded by smaller drawings of the supporting characters or setpieces). But at least they have some artistry and some personality. They jump out at you and hold your attention, unlike movie posters of today.

Ahem.

Homeboy even drew the character cards for the 1996 edition of my favorite board game Clue. Check out his website for examples of his work, and even a bunch of portraits he drew that didn’t end up being used as the poster (like this one for Radioland Murders). The drawing on the left was the one Drew Struzan drew. The one on the right is what the studio used instead. I’m pretty sure this was the beginning of end of creativity in Hollywood.

Record. Pause. Record. Pause…

September 14, 2010

A quick appreciation of stop-motion animation.