Movie Night Meal: Cat’s Eye

Posted October 15, 2010 by colin
Categories: Flicks, Grub

Tags: , , ,

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?

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Today’s Pop Stars Are Robots

Posted September 30, 2010 by colin
Categories: People You've Heard Of, Tunes

Tags: , , , , , ,

When I saw Katy Perry perform “California Gurls” (seriously, do we need stupid misspellings like that in song titles?) on Saturday Night Live, I remember thinking A) that’s weird, I didn’t know my ears could commit suicide and B) this song sounds a lot like Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the USA.”

Then I stumbled upon this little video, which plays “California Gurls” at the same time as Ke$ha’s (again with the stupid misspellings) “Tik Tok” and Miley’s “Permanent December.”

Turns out they are exactly the same song. I understand that pop songs follow a specific format and formula, so I don’t fault them for that. But even each Auto-Tuned voice sounds exactly the same. If Christina Aguilera puts out a generic pop song, at least it has her distinct voice on it. Katy Perry already stole her face from Zooey Deschanel. The least she could do is have an original voice.

Happy Pumpkin Delight Season!

Posted September 23, 2010 by colin
Categories: Grub

Let the search to find these elusive, delicious, earwax-resembling cookies in a California grocery store begin.

Hand-Drawn Movie Posters: F*ck Photoshop

Posted September 22, 2010 by colin
Categories: Flicks, Random, Words

Tags: , , , , ,

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…

Posted September 14, 2010 by colin
Categories: Flicks, Random

A quick appreciation of stop-motion animation.

Movie Night Meal: Troll 2

Posted August 31, 2010 by colin
Categories: Flicks, Grub

What more can be said about Troll 2? It’s already known as the worst movie of all time. There’s an entire documentary dedicated to how bad it is. But we did our best to find new ways to make fun of it at our most recent movie night. Following in the footsteps of Willow and Leprechaun, this is another movie heavily featuring midgets. And since Troll 2 is such a mishmash of garbage, we paired it with a menu of “clean out your fridge” potluck dishes. And lots and lots of booze, of course.

Troll 2 (1990, directed by Claudio Fragasso) is not actually a sequel to Troll. But the distributer realized it was shit, so they thought pretending it was a sequel might drum up some more box office. The plot is about the Waits family who go spend the summer in the small town that happens to be overrun by trolls goblins. (The town is called “Nilbog.” Shoutout to all my dyslexics! Woop woop!).

Our assorted and random menu items included:

Cheesy Breadsticks (because the movie is cheesy, amirite?)
Black Bean and Corn Salad (because the movie is corny! High five!)
French Fries (because the movie is bad for your health! Zing!)
Peanut Butter Cream Pie (because the movie is nutty!! ROTFLMAOJO)
Chips and Salsa (because this movie is… Mexican?)

Yes, the movie was bad. Yes, the acting was awful. Yes, the goblin costumes were hilariously cheap. I haven’t seen Best Worst Movie yet, and I didn’t see Troll 2 in a theater filled with its Rocky Horror-style fanbase, so I have no clue if the things we made fun of are the easy targets that have been said before. But let’s be honest, this entire movie is an easy target.

I’ll start with the actors. And as much as I blame them for being awful, apparently the director demanded they recite their lines word-for-word from the script. And by the way, the director didn’t speak English. The kid who played young Joshua grew up to direct the documentary Best Worst Movie, but none of them really went on to a long film career by any means. Even in 1990, the cast was less a who’s-who and more of a who-the-fuck?

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Song of the Day: Perky Boobs and Primates Edition

Posted August 23, 2010 by colin
Categories: Flicks, Tunes

Walt Disney’s well-stacked muse, Annettee Funicello teamed up with the not-yet-psychedelic Beach Boys for  “The Monkey’s Uncle,” a song/movie they all probably wish never happened.

I, however, am forever grateful.