Sunday, July 25, 2004


Some movie recommendations Post 1

No big news to report today.  My boss from Chicago is coming down on Monday and Tuesday and will observe me on Tuesday on an appointment.  Hopefully all goes well and I don't make an idiot of myself.  I have to go into the office for a couple of hours today (Sunday) to write up a few schedules and to get all my paperwork together for next week which will be fairly busy. 

JV at my office has been telling me that I need to start making lists of movies for everyone to watch since I see pretty much everything and know many obscure ones.  The problem with making a list like that is that I don't even know where to begin.  I think that on a fairly regular basis I will simply pick 5 or 6 movies that I found entertaining or enlightening and comment very briefly upon them as suggestions.  I'm not going to attempt to rank them or prioritize them because every movie is tapping into something different and it is impossible to compare apples to apples as the saying goes.  This is the main reason that despite my knowledge of movies I do not have any knowledge of awards.  I do not follow awards shows mainly because I think they are a sham.  An award for best movie is ridiculous because the category does not define the goal.  The best movie at what?  The best movie to make you think about life and death?  The best movie to make you laugh?  The best movie to make you vomit?  The best movie to put you to sleep?  It is utterly ridiculous.  I studied economics, so I do have sympathy for comparing things that are generally considered incomparable.  Economists often run into this argument from people outside of the field.  The difference between economics and awards shows is that in economics we attempt to account for the differences and to equalize them to engage in an objective measurement.  To the best of my knowledge, most awards shows engage in no leveling procedures to determine what the "best" is.  I have gone far astray of where I intended to be going damnit.  I was going to start listing some movies.  I think I will start with a few comedies.

Swimming with the Sharks (drama/comedy/satire)   This is a brilliant film that looks at the entry level job of P.A. in Hollywood.  Kevin Spacey gives the bests performance I've ever seen him give.  Incidentally, if you like Kevin Spacey, I must recommend---

The Big Kahuna (comedy/drama/philosophical ramblings)  This was a three person play with one set and worked out to be a great film featuring performances by Kevin Spacey, who also produced the film, and Danny DeVito.  DeVito and Spacey work well with each other and DeVito engages in perhaps the most sedate role of his career.  The dialogue is constantly entertaining (The world is full of clocks and mirrors.  It's a damn conspiracy) and there are several important messages to be taken from the film about evangelism, God, how we relate to other people, and a particularly important speech on character.

Noises Off (Comedy)  The comedy in this movie is all about timing.  A group of actors are doing a play and so must race around behind the scenes and deal with their personal problems without missing their next cue to get on stage.  I didn't think much of Christopher Reeves until I saw him in this film. 

Jane White is Sick and Twisted (Comedy)--This is a parody of pretty much every television you can think of.  If you are a pop culture whore, like me, then you should find much of this movie hilarious.  It features Will Wheaton in a roll that makes it clear to me that despite his leading man looks he can deliver on zanier comic possibilities. 

Cannibal Women from the avocado Jungle of Death (B-movie/comedy)--How can you go wrong with lines like these: 

1.  Frat Rat: This is gonna be a toga party and a beer bust, and for special girls like you, we are going to be having a wet T-shirt contest. Bunny: But all my T-shirts are dry.

2. Bunny: I have a lot of fantasies about being tied up and spanked. I suppose it isn't very liberated, is it? What kind of fantasies do feminists have?

I think that speaks for itself, although for those of you interested, it also stars Shannon Tweed, Bill Maher, and Adrienne Barbeau.

Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (B-movie/comedy/horror)--I really don't know what to say about this movie other than that it is a classic.  Here is a quote from it:
Jack Chandler: I'd stumbled into the middle of an evil, insidious cult of chainsaw worshipping maniacs. I had to wonder if we'd let our religious freedom go too far in this country, or maybe our immigration laws were just too lax.

If you do check out this movie, make sure and get it on DVD if you have the choice.  The DVD includes a making of featurette and a special introduction by Mr. Fred Olen Ray himself.

Bikini Summer 2 (B-movie/comedy)--I have to recommend this movie for the simple fact that it features Avalon Anders, although I have to ask why she didn't get more screen time and why she hasn't had any more prominent roles.  Her other ventures into film included Wish Me Luck, Sorority House Party (she was extremely underutilized in this film as well), The Great Bikini Off-Road Adventure, and several even smaller rolls.  None of them compare to her performance in Bikini Summer 2 though, but part of that may be because she gets to be both a D.A. and a Dominatrix in the film.  We don't see nearly as much of her legal skills as we do her dominatrix skills, but I don't have a fetish for lawyers so that is fine with me.  Maybe if they do Bikini Summer 4 they can bring her back as a judge...A hot judge/dominatrix could make for a very interesting story.

My Boyfriends Back (comedy)--It is a classic story really.  Boy likes girl.  Girl doesn't know boy is alive.  Boy dies for girl.  Boy comes back from the dead to take girl to prom.  How can you not love that?  It actually has many statements to make about prejudice.  Here is an exchange:
Johnny: It's because I'm dead, isn't it. That's why you won't go out with me. Missy: Don't insult me. Johnny: You're afraid of what people might say, aren't you. Behind your back, everybody whispering, 'there goes Missy and the dead kid'!

Believe it or not, this movie also has a performance by Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who I can't say enough good things about.

Happiness (Dark Comedy)--This movie is deeply disturbing and downright hilarious at points.  Philip Seymour Hoffman plays an obscene phone caller in this one.  I'm not really sure how to describe what it is about as there are many different story lines, but the title of the movie should give you some clues as to the subject matter.  Here are a few lines from the film:

1. Andy: You think I don't appreciate art? You think I don't understand fashion? You think I'm not hip? You think I'm pathetic? A nerd? A lard-ass fat-so? You think I'm shit? Well, you're wrong, 'cause i'm champagne, and you're shit. Until the day you die, you, not me, will always be shit.

2. Helen Jordan: I'm not laughing at you, I'm laughing with you. Joy Jordan: But I'm not laughing.

3. Joe: What do you think would happen if I got him a professional... you know... Bill: A professional? Joe: Hooker. You know, the kind that can teach things... first-timers, you know... break him in. Bill: But Joe, he's 11. Joe: You're right, you're right. It's too late.

Bubba HoTep (comedy/horror)--This stars Bruce Campbell as Elvis and Ossie Davis as a man who thinks he is JFK and that the CIA dyed him Black and put him in a retirement home to hide him.  These two cultural icons have to fight an ancient mummy that is sucking out the souls of the residents at the local Texas retirement home.

Okay, that should be enough movies to get everyone started.  Get out there and support the making of both decent films and low budget films that have campy lines and bikini clad women.  I think it is every American's duty on some level. 

I really do intend at some point to post on current events and political topics, but I think things like books and movies are important too.  Anyway, that is all for now, I need to try and get some sleep before I go into the office.


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