Posts Tagged ‘Movies’

“But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci!”

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Robin Williams dead of an apparent suicide at age 63.

Williams, along with Richard Pryor, was one of the true authentic comic geniuses of my lifetime. As a stand-up comic, his mind was so quick and his work was so manically innovative that his basic appeal actually survived transition to the straitjacket confines of a prime-time sitcom. He was a solid dramatic supporting actor, but it’s a shame that (unlike Pryor) he never found a movie that served the true essence of his comic genius.

(Subject line hat tip.)

Finally, Your Own Screenplay for Manos: The Hands of Fate!

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Q: Have you ever wanted to own the screenplay to Manos: The Hands of Fate?

A: No, it’s one of the worst movies of all–

Q: Of course you have! Now, for the low price of $8, that script can be yours!

A: $8 seems a little steep for–

Q: Put on your own staged plays of Manos! Invite the neighbors!

A: They’d stone me.

Q: But that’s not all! For $20, you can get the scripts for Plan 9 From Outer Space and Santa Claus Conquers the Martians!

A: Yuck! It’s like a trifecta of suck! I’d rather–

Q: Of course you want them all! So get your money in to the Kickstarter campaign today!

(Hat tip: SF Signal.)

Related: “How Plan 9 From Outer Space earned, and lost, the title of worst movie of all time”.

A Random Collection of Post-Dinner Links

Monday, May 26th, 2014

After dinner Saturday night, we finally watched the typeface geek movie Helvetica.

Chances are pretty good that if Helvetica is the type of movie you enjoy seeing, you’ve already seen it. But if not, and you’re interested in fonts, it is indeed worth watching.

A few random topics that came up during conversation at dinner and during the movie:

  • A primer on bad logo design in comic form. “Nazi Jim’s Panzerotti” cracks me up every time… (NSFW language.)
  • Crazy LARP-er high on acid attacks car with a sword. Quick thoughts: 1. Sadly, the article doesn’t specify just what type of sword was used. 2. The linked interview is pretty much a checklist of everything a defense attorney would tell you not to say when you’ve been arrested for a potential felony. 3. Silly high elf! You can’t possibly joust with Morgoth, since he’s still safely imprisoned beyond the Door of Night…
  • Once Patrick McGoohan (of The Prisoner fame) directed a movie called Catch My Soul, described as a hippie rock opera version of Othello starring Richie Havens in the title roll. It already sounded like an epic train wreck, but between completion and release, the producer got religion and added 18 minutes worth of religious material before release. It was not well received, and a version called Santa Fe Satan was also re-released to zero acclaim. For a while it was thought to be a lost film, but recently a copy showed up (under the Santa Fe Satan title) and evidently screened at a North Carolina film festival in April.
  • Want an example of something even I find thermonuclear-grade cute? Pet rats hugging tiny teddy bears. I’m even willing to extract the word “adorable” from its lead-lined vault for these…

  • Not quite in the same league, but still weapons-grade cute:

    (I saw it on Gail Carriger’s Facebook feed; not sure of the original source.)

  • How To Kill Godzilla

    Friday, May 16th, 2014

    Via Ace of Spades, comes War is Boring’s primer on how to kill Godzilla.

    The basic plan is:

  • Blind it with multiple gunships unloading white phosphorous into its eyes.
  • Hit it with a Massive Ordnance Penetrator, a “30,000-pound, precision-guided bunker-buster…filled with a deadly RDX explosive mix and designed to slice through solid rock.”
  • That would probably work in real life (where the square/cube law pretty much precludes 10-story monsters, much less ones breathing atomic fire). But in the world of the just released Godzilla movie (which, alas, I have not seen yet), given that our fire-breathing friend is reported to have survived Castle Bravo, America’s first dry-fuel thermonuclear bomb test on Bikini Atoll, well, color me skeptical that 30,000 pound JDAMs would do the trick…

    2015 To Be Filled With Blockbuster Franchise Sequels

    Monday, May 5th, 2014

    There’s lots of news about staggeringly successful, critically acclaimed movie franchise having new installments out in 2015.

  • Star Wars Episode VII will come out December 18, 2015.
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron comes out May 1, 2015.
  • Sharknado 3
  • What, you’re saying the words “staggeringly successful,” “critically acclaimed” and “franchise” don’t apply to Sharknado?

    All I have to say about that is: I had a great deal more fun watching Sharknado than I did Attack of the Clones.

    In other Sharknado-related news, The Asylum is crowd-funding a scene in Sharknado 2: The Second One. Personally, I think $50,000 for a single scene is more than a bit high. Give The Asylum’s previous track record, with that much money I would expect them to make an entire film…

    William Friedkin’s Sorcerer Finally Out on Blu Ray

    Saturday, April 26th, 2014

    In the 1970s, director William Friedkin made three great movies, one after the other. The first, The French Connection won the Academy Award for best picture. The second, The Exorcist, was not only one of the greatest horror films of all time, but one of the highest grossing films ever.

    However, his third film, Sorcerer, a remake of the French film The Wages of Fear, sank like a stone at the box office, despite having one of tensest action sequences ever filmed:

    It also doesn’t help that the film was later butchered for the international market.

    The film has long been champion by many (including Roger Ebert) as a lost classic. But the film was never released on Blu-Ray.

    Until now:

    The Blu-Ray version is the full film, restored and remastered with Friedkin’s oversight, and is reportedly “stunning”.

    I’ll definitely pick this up, because even on VHS (kids, ask your parents what a VHS was), it was an extremely well-made and gripping film (and one I prefer to the original Wages of Fear).

    Warning: Don’t pick up the DVD released the same day as the Blu-Ray, which is reportedly a “botched” full-screen transfer, as the restored version of the DVD isn’t available yet.

    Trailer for Cold in July

    Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

    Here’s the official trailer for Cold in July, the film based on the Joe R. Lansdale novel starring Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard and Don Johnston.

    I hear Joe himself is pleased with it, and his daughter Kasey has a song on the soundtrack.

    Pretty promising.

    Dinsey Finally Doing Incredibles 2

    Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

    Well, we only had to wait a decade, but Disney has finally announced that Brad Bird is starting to write the script for the sequel to The Incredibles. You know, it was only the best film Pixar ever did. No need to rush or anything.

    Now let’s hope they don’t screw it up…

    Library Additions: Five Reference Works

    Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

    I also pick up science fiction-related reference works, especially when I see them cheap.

  • (Ballard, J. G.) Baxter, John. The Inner Man: the life of J. G. Ballard. Weidenfield & Nicolson, 2011. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Critical biography.
  • (Gilliam, Terry) McCabe, Bob. Terry Gilliam, The Brothers Grimm, and other cautionary tales of Hollywood. First edition hardback, a Fine- copy with what appears to be “delamination” of otherwise shiny area at base of the spine, in decorated boards, sans dust jacket, as issued. Book on the making of the Terry Gilliam film The Brothers Grimm.
  • Lovecraft, H.P. (S.T. Joshi and David E. Schultz, editors. O Fortunate Floridian: H.P. Lovecraft’s Letters to R. H. Barlow. University of Tampa Press, 2007. First edition hardback (stated), a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket, new and unread.

    Barlow was an interesting fellow in his own right. He was studying ancient Mexican writings at Mexico City College (at the same time William S. Burroughs was there) when he committed suicide in January of 1951.

    Now I have the perfect thing to lay the envelope from Lovecraft to Barlow into.

  • (Moskowitz, Sam) The Sam Moskowitz Collection of Science Fiction b/w Comic Books and Comic Art. Southbys, 1999. First edition oversized trade paperback original, Fine. Auction catalog for the Sam Moskowitz’s science fiction collection held June 29, 1999 (plus a collection of rare comics sold the next day).
  • Stephenson, Neal. In the Beginning was the Command Line. Avon Books, 1999. First edition trade paperback original, a Fine copy. Long essay on the history of computing the Internet, and cyber culture.
  • This Is Spinal Tap Turns 30

    Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

    Thirty years ago today, from the place eardrums go to die, the Greatest Mockumentary Ever Told premiered:

    Here’s Siskel & Ebert’s original review:

    And this is pretty much obligatory: