Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Kung Fury

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

Sunday I saw Kung Fury, the crowd-funded parody of every cheesy 80s cop show, science fiction movie, and fighting video game, rolled into one absurdist package.

It has everything you could ever ask for in a short film featuring a kung fu cop traveling back in time to stop Hitler, including dinosaurs, Tron-era grid computer graphics, obviously fake video compositing, and a soundtrack that sounds like it was composed by Giorgio Moroder after a 72-hour Jolt Cola binge.

Rael Bob says check it out…

Felicia Day to Be the Next Mad on MST3K

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

I was worried that the MST3K Kickstarter might not make it to the full 12 episode total.

Not anymore.

Felicia Day is going to play Kinga Forrester, the next evil mad scientist overlord on the new MST3K.

My first thought on reading that was an extremely inappropriate Krieger quote from Archer.

My second was that they’re going to blow past that $5.5 million barrier.

Dunno how they’re going to top this short of announcing they’ve signed up George R. R. Martin and Neil Gaiman as staff writers….

Lantern: For Your Archived Movie Magazine Needs

Monday, November 9th, 2015

Here’s Lantern, a very cool historical research tool that searches “1.3 million pages of digitized books and magazines from the histories of film, broadcasting, and recorded sound.”

How extensive is it? I did a search for Tod Browning and turned up a whopping 2346 pages that reference him.

If you’re doing any research on the early history of film, it’s a real treasure trove.

Island Lost Souls

Big Legal Tussle Over…Manos: The Hands of Fate???

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

It’s one thing for there to be a legal battle over the rights for a good movie, but it’s quite another when the battle is over Manos: The Hands of Fate, one of the worst films of all time. (Note: That article is up on, so it might be blocked at your place of work.)

In 2011, a collector of film prints uncovered the original negative of Manos and embarked on an inexplicable project to restore the film with all the white-glove attention archivists give to Hollywood classics. His efforts would incur the wrath of a mysterious man with a fake New Zealand accent named Rupert, as well as Joe Warren, Hal Warren’s embittered son, who intends to preserve the Manos legacy at all costs.

Hal Warren’s son comes off as more than a bit of a jerk. “I’m the director’s son! I’m entitled to a cut even if the work is out of copyright!”

Fortunately for “fans” of the films, the restored Blu-Ray of Manos: The Hands of Fate is finally coming out October 13. More information on the restoration can be found here.

Quick Hits From a Movie Viewing Party

Monday, September 7th, 2015

Quick impressions from a movie viewing party yesterday:

Guardians of the Galaxy: Yep! Not my favorite Marvel, but in the top 10.

The Lego Movie: A whole lot better than you had any right to expect it to be.

Coherence: Eh. Ends better than it begins, but shallow California Yuppies sort of spoil the quantum mechanical creepiness.

Also, congratulations to whoever cut the trailer for The Frame: You’ve managed to craft a trailer so stylistically annoying that I never want to see the movie just to spite you…

Library Addition: Kirk Hammett’s Too Much Horror Business

Monday, August 17th, 2015

Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett is one of the world’s premiere collectors of horror movie posters and memorabilia (toys, games, masks, etc.). After reading about the Hammett collection in Heritage Auction’s Intelligent Collector magazine, I’d been interested in the book documenting it, so I picked one up from the Cold Tonnage 40% off sale.

Hammett, Kirk. Too Much Horror Business. Abrams, 2012. First edition oversized hardback, a Fine- copy with wear at points, sans dust jacket, as issued. (Note: The wear on the front cover lettering is faux-wear, as you can tell from the same faux-wear on the title and half-title page.) Hammett has a truly amazing poster collection, possibly on par with that of Robert V. Borst (documented in Graven Images), whose range of collection included more science fiction and fantasy than Hammett. Bought for £12 marked down from £20.



Here’s a video on the book and Hammett’s collection:

“You look like Freddy Kruger face-f*cked a topographical map of Utah”

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

And now I pretty much have to see Deadpool

Deadpool: The movie that touches you in totally inappropriate ways…”

Of Top 25 Films on IMDB, Most Involve Crime

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

Glancing through the top 25 films in the the IMDB Top 250 list, it occurred to me that most involved crime as the central subject, and a few more peripherally:

  1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) (Yes: Central characters are mostly convicted felons in prison.)

  2. The Godfather (1972) (Yes, obviously.)
  3. The Godfather: Part II (1974) (Yes, ditto.)
  4. The Dark Knight (2008) (Yes. What is it Batman dedicated his life to fighting?)
  5. Pulp Fiction (1994) (Yes. Criminals and their associates drive all the action.)
  6. Schindler’s List (1993) (No. Genocide is sort of a separate topic from crime…)
  7. 12 Angry Men (1957) (Yes. Inside jury deliberations in a murder case.)
  8. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) (Yes. Three criminals drive the plot. Then again, crime tends to be a central feature in almost all Westerns…)
  9. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) (No. Lots of killing, but not crime-related per se.)
  10. Fight Club (1999) (Marginal. Protagonist runs a ring of illegal fight clubs, then an international revolutionary organization.))
  11. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (No. See above.)
  12. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980) (No. Despite the presence of a smuggler as a central character.)
  13. Forrest Gump (1994) (No.)
  14. Inception (2010) (Yes. Central plot involves a criminal gang carrying off a sort of reverse heist.)
  15. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) (Marginal. Protagonist is a criminal who gets himself transferred to the loony bin because he thinks it will be easier than doing time in the joint.)
  16. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) (No. See above.)
  17. Goodfellas (1990) (Yes. Obviously.)
  18. The Matrix (1999) (No. Though the protagonist starts out as a hacker in trouble with the authorities.)
  19. Star Wars (1977) (No. Though again, an illegal smuggler is a central figure.)
  20. Seven Samurai (1954) (Marginal. The entire plot is driven by a village’s desire to protect themselves from criminal marauders.)
  21. City of God (2002) (Yes. Features the rise of a ruthless crime lord as one of the central plots.)
  22. Se7en (1995) (Yes. Tracking a serial killer.)
  23. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) (Yes. Tracking a serial killer with the assistance of another.)
  24. The Usual Suspects (1995) (Yes. All about a gang of criminals and the machinations of a crime lord.)
  25. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) (Marginal, given Potter’s opportunistic theft.)

That’s 15 of the top 25 films which involve crime as either a primary or secondary feature.

Surely crime dramas offer plenty of conflict, but so do war movies, but none of them (save the SF/F entries, and Schindler’s List) make the list, nor do any sports films. (Perpetual favorite Casablanca, which would qualify as a war film, comes in at 30, while Saving Private Ryan comes in at 31.)

Anyone care to speculate on why crime dominates the top of the list?

Shoegazer Sunday: The Mary Onettes “Ruins”

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

For your Sunday dose of Shoegaze, here’s Sweden’s The Mary Onettes with “Ruins.”

An Oral History of Airplane!

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

If you haven’t seen it already this Onion A/V Club oral history of the movie Airplane! is very much worth your time. Tidbits include:

  • Zucker and company wanted to do the film in black and white featuring a propeller plane, Paramount had to convince them to go modern.
  • David Letterman tested for the role of Ted Striker.
  • Teaching Barbara Billingsley to speak Jive.
  • The kid in the cockpit had no idea what Peter Graves’ was talking about when they were filming.
  • The secrets of Leslie Nielson’s handheld fart machine.
  • It’s a long piece, but well worth it…