Friday, May 20, 2011

My Week In Movies - Beyond Vegas

In addition to the Las Vegas movies, I also saw:

The Swinger (1966) After watching Viva Las Vegas earlier in the week, I got on a bit of an Ann-Margret kick and ended up finding this little gem on Netflix Instant. What a great film! Ann-Margret plays a writer desperate to get her work published. When she submits her work to a Playboy-esque magazine they tell her it's too tame and not in touch with what people want to read. So Ann-Margret reinvents herself as a phony hedonistic sex kitten and then things really start to take off in her career. The plot actually fades away halfway through the movie but there's so much wacky hi jinks, funky 60's psychedelic camera work and editing plus great singing that it doesn't matter. This movie came out at a time right before the ratings system when films were pushing the envelope with how much mature content they could sneak into a film. Imagine a very soft PG rated comedy about porn and sex...that's what you've got here. (Check out Don Knott's The Love God for a G rated movie about porn.) There's a fantastic opening credits montage that's more entertaining than all of the last 25 years of Hollywood's output. A very fun film that's not out on DVD, but you can find it on Netflix Instant.

Spider-Man 3 (2007) Over the course of the last three Friday nights my boys and I watched the entire Spider-Man trilogy. Overall, it's a very solid trio of films. #3 is a little long, as there are lots of loose ends to tie up from the whole sage. There's a few too many bad guys. Spidey battles Sandman, Venom and New Goblin all in one film. But it's all fun and the most impressive thing about all three films is the sense of humor that is maintained throughout. There are scenes of pure comic joy in all these films that I find refreshing for a superhero franchise. Of course after watching this, Saturday morning my kids dug out all their Spider-Man 3 Happy Meal toys from Burger King and played with them all day.

Blondie Goes To College (1942) On to the 10th Blondie film and the last of the series which is available currently on DVD. Dagwood enrolls in college and drags an unenthusiastic Blondie along with him. Wacky shenanigans arise when Dagwood tries to keep his marriage status a secret so they can better fit into the college scene. It's a nifty look at campus life back in the 40's. This instalment also has a surprisingly emotional ending which stands out from some of the other Blondie films I've seen recently. The five Blondie movies that I've watched over the last few weeks are all on a cheapo DVD release Blondie Vol. 2. Netflix is currently missing their copy of Blondie Vol. 1 and it seems that the remaining 18 films in the series are only out on old VHS releases. I'll have to do a little video detective work in order to enjoy anymore entries in this silly cinema series. (I'm up for the challenge!)

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