Thursday, July 28, 2005

"Son Of A Bitch, I'm Sick Of Those Dolphins."

I read this article on today about The Life Aquatic and I couldn't get over how negative it was. Then I checked out the movie's page on IMDB. The discussion boards were a veritable battleground. Harsh critics against the defenders of the faith. So much hostility. Personally I love the movie, but I had to see it more than once. I've probably seen it five times now and I find it gets better every time I see it. It just has so much going for it: Bill Murray, Anjelica Huston, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Wes Anderson's brilliantly subtle style, Mark Mothersbaugh's music, Seu Jorge doing Bowie songs in Portugese, and cool stop motion animation. For me it's right up there with The Royal Tenenbaums, people need to stop crapping on Wes Anderson.

But speaking of Bill Murray, I watched Caddyshack again the other day. Picked up a VHS copy for $3 last week from the good folks at Digital World, the best pawn shop in Fredericton. I buy so much stuff there I get a 20% discount. They call me "Obscure Movie Guy."

Finally for all the Kung Fu movie fans out there I would recommend watching Fists of Bruce Lee if you get the chance. While it does not have the real Bruce Lee it does have Bruce Li, who was in other good flicks like Blind Fist of Bruce. Fists has some kick ass seventies music, including Paul McCartney's "Live and Let Die." Other highlights include: Lo Lieh with a killer metal hand, Ping-Ao Wei the effeminate gangster, and a crazy honkey with nunchucks.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Is It Wrong To Like The Police Academy Movies?

I must have been eight or nine years old when I saw my first Police Academy movie. In the years since I have seen all of the movies numerous times (except for Mission To Moscow, once was enough). Now, I'm not trying to praise or defend the series in any way. If you're going to watch a Police Academy movie, you know exactly what your in for. These movies can get pretty lowbrow and just plain dumb at times. And yet, I always get a laugh out of them. I love how the '80s had this entire genre of academy/school movies. Though out of the bulk of those movies the Police Academy series had to be the most successful and dear to me. They had so many great '80s comedic actors: Bob Goldthwait, Tim Kazurinsky, G.W. Bailey, Michael Winslow, etc. Heck, Steve Guttenberg was the A-List guy for most of the series, that guy was everywhere in the '80s. I particulary love the first four movies. In my opinion, once Bob Goldthwait left the series the movies started to tank. Until recently I found it kinda hard to find copies of these movies. But now, thanks to the endless supply of DVDs out there, you can pick up most of the movies for around $7 a pop. Truth be told though, I'll still hang on to my VHS copies of the first two movies. Those two big plastic clamshell cases are displayed with pride on a shelf somewhere right now.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Subtitles & Matte Paintings

I kinda went el-cheapo when I got my Kurosawa DVDs and only now am I regretting it. I watched Seven Samurai the other day. The film print was fine but the subtitles nearly drove me mad. Periodic spelling mistakes, cryptic translations and a crippling lag between the spoken dialog and its appropriate subtitle. If the Criterion DVDs weren't $50 a pop I would have picked them up. But instead I picked up cheap copies off Ebay. In fairness though, Seven Samurai's subtitles weren't nearly as bad as those on the Lord of the Wu Tang DVD I got at Wal-Mart for $4.

I watched The Thing again recently. Picked up the newest DVD version which had an interesting documentary about the flick. Some amazing stuff about the Albert Whitlock matte paintings used in the movie. One of the things I hate about the new digital era of film making is that great stuff like Whitlock's work gets lost. I hate CGI for the most part. Film techniques peaked for me with Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Monday, July 04, 2005

"NPH Wouldn't Do That."

Something got me thinking about C.H.U.D. today. I don't know what brought it to my attention, but before I knew it I was on IMDB defending the director's cut of the movie. C.H.U.D. has been one of my all time favorite movies for a few years now. One of my guiltiest secrets is that I own at least six copies of it. I won't bother explaining why I have six copies of the movie because its really not that interesting. Needless to say, I really like the movie.

I watched Harold & Kumar again. For a stoner-buddy-comedy its damn funny and smart. It has all the right gags, hilarious guest stars (a few choice Canadians actors among them), and excellent replay value. The movie is all over the place and yet it follows and incredibly simple linear path. Plus, NPH tripping balls.

I've been trying to cut down my movie collection lately. I had earmarked a stack of old VHS tapes, when I noticed I hadn't even watched a few of them. So, last night after work I toss in Mannequin. I was sure I was going to be praying for death within fifteen minutes. But when the movie kicked in and I recognized all the choice '80s actors I was hooked. Besides Andrew McCarthy, there was G.W. Bailey, James Spader, and Estelle Getty. It was so '80s it hurt. I honestly put the tape back in the keep pile after I watched it. I love 80's movies.