Monthly Archives: May 2012

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Street Fighter”

Dear Frank,

Aren’t there movies that we, as a society, have agreed to pretend didn’t happen? I had thought so. I had believed that we were a civilized people, that we would accept our mistakes as a race and move past them as best we can. But for some reason I don’t ever want to understand, HBO decided to prove me wrong.

But here’s what’s interesting: Once I started watching? I really couldn’t stop. There is something captivating about how thoroughly Street Fighter says “Fuck You” to the audience and to good taste. So amazing, was the level of terrible splayed out before me.

I suppose I should own some of the blame for watching Street Fighter this weekend. But really, I’m pretty sure it’s HBO’s fault, for making the movie available on HBO Go. (Otherwise a fine service that I appreciate coming free with my cable subscription.) Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”

Dear Frank,

It’s been a really long time since I saw Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, which is to the best of my recollection the best-known musical of the classic cinema era to not star anyone the 21st century gives a crap about. (Yeah, that might be a little harsh towards Jane Powell and Howard Keel except — who?)

So prior to rewatching it for you, Frank, here are the two things I remembered about Seven Brides:

1) Cinema nerds passionate about aspect ratios would often cite the pan-and-scan cropping of this film as one of the greatest travesties of all time.

2) The first Catwoman is in it!

Also, in the back of my head, there’s a sneaky little voice, murmuring “this one might not be so swell for the ladies.” Oh, sneaky little voice. You’re right about so many things. Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Harriet the Spy”

Dear Frank,

I was surprised when you told me that you’d never read Harriet the Spy, because it’s one of those children’s books that seems so ubiquitous. Maybe that’s a girl thing? I mean, I’ve never read a Hardy Boys novel. Maybe we’re both missing out. (Maybe you more than me, though.)

The titular Harriet M. Welsch, eleven years old, lives with her parents in New York City’s Upper East Side but is largely being raised by her nanny Ole Golly, who encourages her to write and read and think for herself. Harriet’s main passion is for “spying,” which amounts to wandering around her neighborhood and taking notes on the comings and goings of an assortment of relative strangers. She writes down all of her thoughts — harsh and honest and very much what you might expect from an insightful 11-year-old — in a notebook. And that, of course, gets her in trouble.

Well, eventually. First, book-quoting Ole Golly leaves Harriet to get married, shaking up Harriet’s life considerably. And Harriet gets cast as an onion in the school pageant. Harriet pals around with her best friends Scout (the numbers-minded son of an alcoholic writer) and Janey (an aspiring scientist determined to blow up the planet with chemistry). Harriet makes her rounds, scribbling down details from the lives she observes, there are some temper tantrums… This book? PLOT HEAVY.

The big plot twist is when one day, during a game of tag, the other kids in Harriet’s class manage to steal her notebook, reading the secrets within, including Harriet’s blunt thoughts about their personal appearance, behavior, parents and hygiene. Read the rest of this entry

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