Category Archives: Movies
In which Liz tells Frank about klassic kinema.
The other day, as I looked through my media collection, I was reminded of how many kinda stupid things I kinda totally love. Like, the 2002 Jennifer Lopez movie Enough, where Billy Campbell beats the shit out of Jennifer Lopez until she says ENOUGH! It’s through-and-through Lifetime crap, but I have seen it at least a half dozen times, the guilt tearing at me inside.
There’s so much other stuff I haven’t seen, Frank! And good stuff, too! The Internet won’t stop yelling about True Detective, but I’m rewatching a movie that contains lines of dialogue like “You have a divine animal right to protect your life and the life of your offspring.” STOP ME, FRANK. HELP ME SAY ENOUGH WITH ENOUGH.
I bring up stupid things I love apologetically to provide a contrast to stupid things I love unapologetically. Like, for example, the TNT original film series The Librarian: [Let's Go Looking For Insert Precious Relic Here], which (it was recently announced) will soon become fodder for an upcoming TV show! Holy shit, Frank! Is it fucking CHRISTMAS? Read the rest of this entry
Look who’s back! That’s right, our dear friend John Ross is back to continue his anthropological survey of what teenage girls seem to be into these days. His dedication to science is a blessing to us all.
Scott Spencer, the author of the novel Endless Love, really, really regrets selling the movie rights to his book. In this devastating op-ed in The Paris Review, he equates viewing Franco Zeffirelli’s 1981 movie adaptation to being stabbed in the heart, and predicts that the 2014 remake will be a “Valentine’s Day massacre.”
My reaction to the new remake was somewhat similar in that it also involved stabbing. That is, during the film, I wanted to stab myself in the eyes and ears, and when it was over, I wanted to go to a crowded place and see how many people I could stab before the police shot me. That might maybe cancel out the experience of watching the new Endless Love remake.
Spencer himself describes the book as an “unhinged novel about the glorious destructive violence of erotic obsession,” and from what I’ve read of it, that sounds about right. Read the rest of this entry
If I ever have kids, I’m not too worried about them being exposed to graphic media. I mean, I’m going to keep them away from the really violent stuff as long as humanly possible, and yeah, maybe I’ll try to keep a lid on the swears.
But when it comes to comedy, I’m pretty confident that if my kids hear a dirty joke, they won’t be terribly scarred for life — because they just won’t get them. How do I know this? Well, growing up, one of my all time favorite movies was the Mel Brooks Star Wars parody Spaceballs.
Here is how much my brother and I watched Spaceballs growing up — the VHS cassette case BROKE, and my mother (whose excellent qualities include a MacGuyver-ish ability to fix stuff) had to transplant the physical tape into a new case. Here is how many of the really dirty references we got: Pretty much zero. Here is how many times I’ve seen Spaceballs as an adult: Maybe one, and years ago. (You might have seen it as well — but I’m certain not recently. We’re both in the same boat here.)
However, the film is available on Netflix, and I’m a sucker for anything set in space. So, Frank, let’s revisit this classic! Read the rest of this entry
John and Jesse took us to some dark places, and I think today, on CCH Pounder’s birthday, we should try to remember the real meaning of the season. Or at least, try to remember stuff that happened in It’s A Wonderful Life. Because what a weird movie this is!
Of course, I have, like, Christmas to celebrate, so let’s not get too bogged down in details. You know what happens in It’s A Wonderful Life, Frank! We all do! But there are some key details that might have slipped under the radar for you over the years… Read the rest of this entry
Normally, I guard the honor of telling of you stuff as sacred. But after John Ross recommended a most bloodthirsty selection of “Christmas” movies yesterday, I figured we could all use an antidote. So here’s our good friend Jesse Vigil — with a different approach!
I grew up Catholic and was educated by Catholics for 13 years, so naturally I am really good at swearing and having not the best relationship with faith. I am also a little Grinchy about Christmas, especially when it comes to starting the “season” prior to December 1st.
You might know me as a person who does not always have great taste in film. I do, for example, believe Michael Bay is an important artist whose dadaist celebration of the meaninglessness of “plot” has yet to be properly recognized. But I have a dark secret, Frank. Because I have seen over two dozen cable Christmas movies.
And no, we’re not talking about the classics. No White Christmas. No It’s a Wonderful Life. Not even Die Hard or Batman Returns. I’m talking about the factory-churned slew of contemporary Christmas movies that rose to prominence on Lifetime and then spread like cancer to ABC Family and even a thing I didn’t know existed: The Hallmark Channel.
I have relatives, Frank, and they watch a lot of these movies. I also stay up late, Frank, so I’ve seen more of them than my wife, whom the Sandman loves more than me. Last holiday I started live-tweeting the most outrageous discoveries I made about this whole genre of films and was asked by our mutual friend Liz to share my discoveries with you. So here are the Five Things You Need To Know About Cable Christmas Movies: Read the rest of this entry
As you know, our good friend John Ross usually tells me about properties related to or derived from female-skewing young adult literature. Today, he’s taken a… different path. But it should be an interesting time!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…for most people. But for many, the holidays have the potential to be the most depressing time of year, a time of “unrealistic expectations and excessive self-reflection.” To make matters worse, everything pretty much shuts down — you can’t go to work, you can’t go out, everyone’s gone home to be with family or loved ones — leaving you with not much to do but sit there and dwell on how single you are, how little you’ve accomplished this year, how it’s dark at 4pm, or whatever.
This is also true of the characters in many of our most beloved Christmas movies. Scrooge in A Christmas Carol is subjugated to intense self-reflection, forced by ghosts to relive the most shameful moments in his life and even visit his own grave. In It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey reviews all the missed opportunities in his life that eventually drive him to commit suicide. In the end, however, they always wake up reborn on Christmas and proceed to go bug nuts insane, running down the street, hugging everyone, throwing money around and shouting elatedly.
But this catharsis is only possible after a dark night of forced purgation by an inescapable, seemingly omnipotent entity. Only after they’ve reflected on their sins and faced death can they truly appreciate life.
Wait a minute… That sounds familiar… Read the rest of this entry