Friday, September 30, 2005

"Know How I Knew You Were Gay? You Like Coldplay."

I just saw The 40 Year Old Virgin and man, that shit was hilarious. Speaking as a professional geek, I have to say that they hit all the marks. Steve Carell is so good in this movie, he even topped his performance as Brick Tamland in Anchorman. One of my favorite scenes comes as Carell's character begins to sell off his massive action figure collection and he starts saying goodbye to Aquaman. It's rather emotional. Poor Aquaman.

I didn't have any other reason to post, other than to extol the comedic excellence of Mr. Steve Carell. But since I'm here, I'll vent a little. So, I'm watching Much Music the other day. I don't normally watch Much anymore because all they play is crap and all their VJ's are flamingly gay. It actually sickens me how low Much has sunk in the last few years. They're almost as bad as MTV now. But it so happened that they were talking about Tim Burton's new movie The Corpse Bride. I was intrigued since I am a huge fan of stop-motion animation. But then Mr. Homosexuality himself, Devon Soltendieck, comes one and whines about the CGI in the movie. HELLO DOUCHEBAG IT'S FUCKING STOP-MOTION ANIMATION FOR CHRIST'S SAKE! Needless to say, it angered me to no end. So, I just had to bitch about it and write douchebag in really big letters. Sorry for the rage.

Monday, September 26, 2005

In Space No One Can Hear Leif Garrett

I was in the mood for some sci-fi flicks recently. I had been watching so many westerns lately that I felt a brief change of pace might help whet my cinematic appetite. So, with a quick trip to the video store (and I'll spare you my rant against video stores), I rented the latest incarnation of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. I had already seen this movie once, but I wanted to check out what they did with the DVD. I must say it was pretty snazzy. Some throw away deleted scenes, some "making of" specials and the usual fare. But, the disc did have a cool random function (ie: the improbability drive) thats takes you to seemingly hidden bits and random parts of the movie and the extras. I was quite pleased with the treatment this flick got on DVD.

Following that newer foray into sci-fi flicks, I went back to one of my favorite decades for movies: the 1980's. So, I watched the original TV miniseries V. For years I have seen bits and pieces of the series, but I had never seen the TV movies that started it all. I rather enjoyed the original movie. It had elements of Arthur C. Clarke's "Childhood's End" as well as being an obvious retelling of Nazi occupation. Plus, Robert Englund kicked ass and he wasn't even Freddy Kreuger, simply amazing. There were lots of other notable 80s and TV actors in the movie, like Jason Bernard, Evan C. Kim, and the Dad from Boy Meets World. I've got the next part of the V series, The Final Battle, and I'll be watching it as soon as I have about 5 hours that I can spare.

Finally, on a sad note, I saw a Lee Van Cleef movie I didn't overly enjoy. God's Gun, a spaghetti western from the mid 70s which featured Van Cleef (in two roles), Jack Palance and Richard Boone (of Have Gun - Will Travel fame). Now, I'm quite familiar with poor dubbing, but this mvoie had notably poor dubbing. Worst of all, the American actors (like our man Lee Van Cleef) were dubbed into English by other people. I find it very distracting to see Van Cleef in action and hear him speaking with someone else's voice. Even the voice they used for Jack Palance was way off. God's Gun was really slow and had lots of potential that was simply wasted. Too much time was spent on young Leif Garrett's character Johnny, who goes mute for seemingly no reason. Personally, I was shocked that I didn't absolutely love a movie that had not one but two Lee Van Cleef's in it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

"Back Off, Man. I'm A Scientist."

Quammy's Top 5 Things, in no particular order, that make the first Ghostbusters movie great:

1. Rick Moranis. His character is friggin' hilarious. There is a great sequence in the movie where Moranis' character Louis is having a party. Since he's an accountant, all of his party guests are also clients of his. So whenever someone arrives, he goes into a spiel about the guest's income and tax needs. The majority of the party sequence is one long continuous shot as he walks around his apartment. Apparently, the bulk of his dialogue in this scene is also improvised, which rocks considering he name checks Nova Scotia, oh yeah.

2. Smoking. It's 1984, so everybody is smoking. To me it sucks that nobody smokes in movies anymore. Why are people so uptight about this? Thankfully, this movie is over 20 years old, so all our heroes smoke. We probably would have thought less of them if they hadn't.

3. The Music. Thank you Ray Parker Jr. I'd like to know how many hundreds of times I've heard the theme song to this movie. I can only imagine. I also love the Mick Smiley track "Magic," which plays after that jerk Walter Peck lets the containment unit blow up and all the ghosts start flying around New York City. Thanks to the 99 cent bin at Backstreet Records in Fredericton a few years ago, I will never have to be without a copy of the soundtrack on vinyl.

4. Ecto-1. The Ghostbusters' trusty transport. This vehicle alone is likely the reason I love old cars. Especially cars with tail fins. Someday I shall own an old Caddy convertible from the 60s with tail fins and big headlights, or maybe an amphibious car.

5. Reginald VelJohnson. You may remember him as Carl Winslow from Family Matters, but to me he will always be Sgt. Al Powell, one of LAPD's finest, in Die Hard. Sure, he may have only been in Ghostbusters for like two and a half seconds, but this appearance marked one of first times Reginald would play a cop on film. A typecasting which would follow him for the bulk of his career. Seeing his brief cameo in this movie always brings a smile to my face. Watch for him as he announces that the Mayor of NYC will see the imprisoned Ghostbusters. Don't blink or you will miss him.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Good, The Bad And The Poorly Dubbed

Seeing as I still haven't found a new job, I've been watching a lot of movies lately. Though in all fairness, I probably would have watched as many (if not more) movies were I still employed. But I needed an opening paragraph, so here we are.

The Good: Silverado. After searching several malls, two provinces and numerous pawn shops I finally acquired a copy of Silverado. I have to hand it to my Father, after much persistence he located a store in the Bridgewater Mall that carried the Silverado gift box set. I mean, of all places, Bridgewater. If you are from the maritimes (especially the South Shore), and you probably aren't, you would know that Bridgewater is the last place you are likely to find anything outside of a stabbing or a sexually transmitted disease.

All Bridgewater bashing aside, I must say that Silverado was worth the quest. It was a really entertaining new-style western. Despite being from the eighties and being entirely without the presence of Clint Eastwood it was still quite enjoyable. The notable cast includes Kevin Kline, Danny Glover, Kevin Costner (who I did not hate in this movie), Brian fuckin' Dennehy, and John Cleese. Yes, John Cleese in a western. Silverado had all the great elements of a classic western with some good revisionist touches as well. It even had a guy getting shot and then falling from a rooftop, what classic western doesn't have that?

The Bad: Point Blank. I wanted to like this movie, I really did. It was based on the same novel that spawned one of my favorite newer movies Payback. But, I was just seriously bored while watching this movie. I know it's super old and probably employs various art house cinema techniques that I'll never understand, but any movie with Lee Marvin and (introducing) John Vernon should have kicked my ass. I'll go ahead and ruin it for those who haven't seen it by saying that this is one of those movies where the main character may-or-may-not-be dead the whole time. Boo-urns. Plus, whenever I see John Vernon I just want him to be yelling "Delta House!!!"

The Poorly Dubbed: The Kid With The Golden Arm. Another Shaw Brothers classic like Five Deadly Venoms and Five Fingers of Death. While not quite as good as those other kung fu flicks mentioned, Golden Arm was not without its charm. My copy was (of course) a super cheap DVD reissue, so the picture quality was very poor, but still watchable. The Shaw Brothers movies are always a cut above your average kung fu flick so Golden Arm is no exception. Plus, what other movie has an alcoholic secret government agent fighting guys with names like Silver Spear, Iron Robe and Bronze Helmet? Seriously, I'm asking.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

"Everybody Has The Right To Be A Sucker Once."

Tequila is the devil's nectar. I was having a great time drinking with some friends on Friday night before it was all brought to a horrible end, courtesy of two shots of Prairie Fire, a hellish mix of tequilia and tabasco sauce. Even now I cringe at the thought of its firey taste. Perhaps, before consuming said shots, I should have stopped for a moment and inquired, "what are these?" But they were both gone before I realised what I had done. I knew as soon as I had finished them that they had finished me. Luckily, I made it a few feet outside of the pub before spilling my guts behind an old boathouse. Only today am I getting over the hangover. I don't drink that often, so when I do I always end up paying for it the next day.

In my weakened state, I could do little more than watch TV and movies all day long. So I got around to watching Two Mules For Sister Sara at some point during the evening. While this movie is not part of the Spaghetti cannon of movies, it does come close. It has an excellent score courtesy of Ennio Morricone. It was shot entirely in Mexico (amazing scenery) and directed by Don Siegel. Clint Eastwood's character definitley smacks of the "man with no name," but a lot of westerns from the late '60s and early '70s seemed to draw from Leone's trilogy. While this movie was not as good as the Leone westerns it still has a certain charm.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Happy Birthday To Me

It's my birthday today, I'm turning/I turned 24. I've been a little depressed as of late, seeing as I've moved from my rathole apartment in Fredericton to my parent's house in Chester. But there is far too much booze to drink and far too many movies to watch to keep me down. One of the bonuses though of being at home, is that I can have some quality time with my father watching movies. The old man loves westerns, which is just further proof that I'm turning into him as I get older.

My sister, who recently returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan, bought me a copy of the new Ghostbusters boxset for my birthday. I can recall being quite obsessed with Ghostbusters when I was a kid, but how many young boys circa 1985 weren't? The boxset looks pretty sweet. It has both movies, some deleted scenes, and two episodes of the oldschool cartoon. I urge you to seek it out if you are a fan.

And finally, I should like to share with you a recent dream I had. I rarely remember my dreams, but when I do I'm always amazed/confused/amused. So, in my dream, I'm standing at Grauman's Chinese Theatre (a place I have never been). I walk past some of the famous handprints and look up to see John Wayne standing there. I walk up to the duke, shake his hand and tell him that I'm a big fan of Rio Bravo. He thanks me, smiles, and I walk away. Then, in my dream, I stop and ask myself, "wait a second, isn't John Wayne dead?" Maybe I've been watching too many westerns lately.