Saturday, October 29, 2011

edTunes - Time Warp

In my opinion, the first half hour or so of The Rocky Horror Picture Show is pretty brilliant and then the rest of the film is a gosh-awful mess of a waste of time. I do love this song though. I made sure this was a staple at every high school dance my senior year...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Week In Movies - Last Week: Caught Up!

Bridesmaids (2011) As you are probably already aware, this is a top notch comedy with a stellar comedic cast. Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, and Melissa McCarthy all found perfect roles to jump start their film careers. The film does have a story and some heart, it also has well developed characters. There's some stretches where the film isn't that funny and pays more attention to the storyline, but there are many scenes that are comic masterpieces that make the film as a whole an instant classic.

Serial Mom (1993) John Waters' take on true-crime dramas has got to be way up there on my list of all-time favorite movies. It had been a while since I'd seen it, but was thrilled to find it in the bargain bin at Wal-Mart recently on a 4 film Dark Comedy Set. (The other three flicks in the pack are worthless.) Kathleen Turner plays a Maryland suburban housewife who just happens to get a thrill out of killing. She goes on quite a killing spree, knocking off anyone who upsets her or members of her family. There's some gross-out humor and grizzly deaths but the gore and violence is kept to a minimum. The movie's sense of humor is "dead on" perfect. I easily find this to be one of John Waters' best movies. One of the fun things about watching a movie filmed around where you grew up is the sense of familiarity in all the settings. In fact, one of the scenes takes place in a shopping center parking lot across the street from the theatre I saw the film for a second time.

Jack and the Beanstalk (2010) What starts out as a clever twist on the classic fairy tale soon drags on and on and reminds me of why we don't watch direct-to-dvd flicks all that often. There's a handful of stars to be had in this family film, including the great Chevy Chase - whose name is on publicity material but only pops up in one scene in the film. Gilbert Gotfried has a big part as a goose turned into a human. It's fun to see him in a lead role for once. There's also Christopher Lloyd as the teacher at a school for nursery rhyme & fairy tale characters. On the black board behind Lloyd you can see the plans for the Flux Capacitor. Good times!?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Trailer Tuesday - Night of the Creeps (1986)

Whenever this announcer was used in a trailer, you knew 95% of the cast was going to end up dead...

Monday, October 24, 2011

My Week In Movies - October Week 2

Still playing catchup...

Gidget Goes Hawaiian (1961) I'm a big fan of the Gidget franchise and this is probably my favorite entry. James Darren returns as Moondoggie but the cast rest of the characters are recast. The ultra-adorable Deborah Walley takes over the title role, and comedy legend Carl Reiner steps in as her father. The second film is a more polished affair than the first, with some fairly elaborate musical set pieces. My favorite thing about this film is when a vicious rumor about Gidget starts to spread through her circle of friends. Somebody starts making up lies that Gidget is sleeping around with several guys. Even though the word "sex" is used a few times earlier in the film, they never come right out and say "Gidget is sleeping around." Instead they skirt around the issue by using phrases like, "had an unfortunate incident" or "spent time with boys that way." Pretty funny how innocently they would handle a situation like that 50 some years ago.

Murderball (2005) Here's another film I saw on the "50 Docs To See Before You Die" program and decided to check it out. It's about full contact Rugby at the Paralympic Games. These athletes strap themselves into souped-up wheelchairs and beat the hell out of each other on the court. It's a pretty intense sport and the film makes it all more intense by making the players human and showing them all beyond the game. It's an in-depth, unflinching look at the life of a paraplegic on and off the playing field.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Week In Movies - October Week 1

I'm way backed up on updating this feature. It's been a busy couple of weeks here at WWoB headquarters.

Munster, Go Home! (1966) I wouldn't consider myself a giant Munsters fan, I enjoy the show well enough but never a rabid fan of the series. I am however a serious lover of all movies derived from TV shows, especially when they star the original cast. It was a little more common back in the 60's for TV casts to make the leap to the big screen. This full color feature film reunited the cast (minus Marilyn) and debuted in cinemas just a month after the black and white series went off the air. The story takes Herman Munster and his family to England where Herman is heir to a family fortune and mansion. I don't think a frame of this movie was actually filmed in jolly ol' England, but it's still a lot of fun.

Abbott and Costello Meet The Invisible Man (1951) A pretty solid entry for the boys as they play detectives who help a boxer clear his name of murder. To hide from the cops, the accused man takes a potion that turns him invisible. There's some connection to the original story of The Invisible Man, but this flick is mostly an excuse for Lou to scream and yell at spooky invisible things happening all around him. It's good stuff, I tell you!

Village of the Giants (1965) Here's how this terrible movie goes: Dancing, mud wrestling, giant ducks, more dancing, giant duck BBQ, yet more dancing, giants, giants dancing, tension-free battle with giants, and midgets. Horrible, horrible teenage sci-fi flick from the Beach Party era.

Doug's First Movie (1999) I "dug" this movie when it first came out but watching it now with my kids it plays pretty much like the Saturday Morning cartoon that it is. The animation is television grade but the story does pan out comfortably into 70 minutes. Doug and his buddy discover a monster living in a nearby lake and in the process of trying to protect him they uncover a plot to pollute the town's water supply. OK, never mind...this flick is pretty good. The kids like it, and that's what's important.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

My Week In Movies - In a Train or In a Bed

Cedar Rapids (2011) I wasn't expecting much from this office place comedy but I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, I'm naming this the best new movie I saw this month. The film follows the antics at a regional insurance convention. Sounds fun, don't it?! The cast is great with Ed Helms as a guy who is uncomfortable leaving his hometown to go to the convention in the big city. You just can't seem to go wrong with John C. Reilly as a crazy loud mouth associate who actually has quite a loyal heart. I was most surprised with Anne Heche, who I usually find to be somewhat of a talentless hack who's been riding off Ellen DeGeneres's gay coattails for the entire duration of her career. Heche is funny, sweet and sincere in this role as another convention attend who has more than one side to her personality. The other lead character is played by Isiah Whitlock Jr. who I'm not familiar with but was apparently in the HBO series The Wire. He's very funny in this picture too. Together, the ensemble make great friends and the film's story of friendship is a refreshing overtone to this cute, funny movie.

One Day In September (1999) There was a show on Current TV (yes, that's a real thing) that was counting down the 50 Documentaries You Should See Before You Die. I made it through all 5 hours of the show and had pleasantly seen a good number of the films featured on the show. There was also a list of films that I wasn't familiar with that looked really good. This was one of them. The Oscar winner for Best Documentary of it's year, this edge of your seat doc takes a look at the hostage situation that played out over the course of less than 24 hours at the 1970 Munich, Germany Olympic Games. I thought the film itself was a little disjointed and hard to follow at points, but the true life story itself could not be more gripping. The style of the film shifts from journalistic to cinematic at strange times and looses some of it's momentum in the process. But this is an excellent documentation of the horrible incident that occurred on that day and it's as action packed and intense as any cop drama you'll ever find.

Barely Legal (2011) With Netflix Streaming, I'll click on random movies and give them 5 minutes of my time to see if they can win me over. Usually, these modern day sex comedies are all horrible - shot on video and filling large portions of their run time with gratuitous shots of semi-pretty girls in various stages of undress. Barely Legal won me over in the first couple of minutes with a script that indicated there was someone with a sense of humor sitting behind the keyboard. Three female friends who all share a birthday decide they are all going to loose their virginity on their upcoming 18th birthday. While this is kind of a tired plot, it's the first time I've seen it done with the girls as the heroes of the movie. They throw a party and spend the next 90 minutes running into all sorts of problems that stand between them and the sheets. It's technically a bad movie. The production values are very low, the acting is not very good at times and the whole movie takes place inside one house. But there is some clever dialogue, a couple of really good visual gags and a good sense of humor that keeps things rolling along smoothly. If you're interested in seeing a Wii controller inadvertently used as a marital aide, then this is the film for you. This is the closest I've seen somebody nail the vibe of an old school 80's T&A flick in quite some time.

The Train Robbers (1973) There's a few names from classic Hollywood that will bring me to a picture without knowing much else about the movie. Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant and John Wayne to name a few. So, when I saw that John Wayne co stared with my current classic movie crush Ann-Margret, I was on board. Even though Wayne didn't really make comedies, he's such a fun presence on the screen. I especially love his movies from the 1970's where they have a touch of classic Hollywood mixed with modern cinema. The Train Robbers is great and has an old fashioned feel to it, even for 1973. Wayne and his buddies escort Ann-Margret to the hiding place of stolen gold which her dead husband was responsible for. She plans to turn the gold in to clear her hubby's name and The Duke and Co. split the reward money. Along the way, there is some good old fashioned shoot-outs, chummy cowboy banter and the star attraction: the beautiful Mrs. Ann-Margret.

Carnal Knowledge (1971) So then the following night, I followed up The Train Robbers with another Ann-Margret picture, Carnal Knowledge. This is a tale of two buddies played by Jack Nicholson and Art Garfunkel. The film follows them through four different stages of their lives. Starting in college and ending after each of the guys is divorced, the segments of the film represent the different stages of love throughout one's life. Candice Bergen plays a love interest in their college years. I've always loved her in Murphy Brown and other movies I've seen her in young or old. She's great here. Later on in life, Nicholson meets up with Ann-Margret who at first is supposed to be older than him but quickly she looks as lovely as ever. There's a bit of nudity on the part of Mrs. Margret here which I wasn't expecting...but I can't say I'm complaining either. The film is slow at times. It actually reminds me of some of Woody Allen's more serious pictures as far as style and pacing. It feels very influenced by Annie Hall and Manhattan, except that Carnal Knowledge was made many years before those two.

Vanishing of the Bees (2009) My wife seemed disappointed in me that I invested an evening watching a documentary about honey bees. Little does she know the effects of the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder. A few years ago, beekeepers started discovering empty beehives with no trace of dead bees to be found. Not much is known about the disorder but there are many theories most of them leading to the way mankind has treated this planet. Cinematically, there's not much to BEE had in this documentary, but the information here will have you BUZZING with anger and alarm.

September Movie Count: 24
Best New Movie: Cedar Rapids
Best Rewatch: The Muppet Movie
Worst Movie: Paul
2011 Movie Count: 155

Monday, October 03, 2011

Coolest Mini Golf Hole Ever!!!

Don't ya hate when you plop down your hard earned bucks to play a round of mini golf and then the course is totally uncreative? I mean, if you don't have at least a windmill and a loop-de-loop hole, I think people are entitled to their money back! Lilliputt Mini Golf in Grand Lake, CO. would not hear a complaint from me. Feast your eyes on this super elaborate hole which is worth the price of admission alone:

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Photo: Ke$ha at Walt Disney World

Ke$ha at Disney World
( GENE DUNCAN, THE WALT DISNEY CO. / April 21, 2011 )
Pop singer Kesha Sebert, known professionally as Ke$ha, poses with the White Rabbit from "Alice in Wonderland" at Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista.
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