Showing posts from November, 2005

Recently Rated Movies #9: Birthday Drums but a Non-Drumstick Thanksgiving in Santa Rosa

"This is exactly the sort of music that could get me pregnant!" - J-Men Forever (1979)

Every time that I travel somewhere, whether a new city or a town which I have visited numerous times (such as Santa Rosa), and no matter what I am doing and how much I am enjoying it, my eye is always automatically drawn towards every movie theatre that I pass. We could be passing through the schlumpiest village, with no intentions on ever stopping in the accursed hole, and if I see even the most bedraggled movie-house, invariably trapped in between some antique store and some Mom and Pop Hardware Stop, my heart will immediately yearn to stop for a look-see at the joint and, if time permits, a movie. But my love for the movies doesn't merely end at viewing a film. 

I enjoy collecting visits to movie theatres nearly as much as I enjoy going to museums and zoos and the other touristy things that I tend to do on vacations. Especially older theatres from the early or middle part of the 20th …

Recently Rated Movies #8: Lucking Out at Good Night, and Good Luck

This Monday past, as we approached the doors of the Century 25 in Orange, intent to make our way through said doors to finally check out Good Night, and Good Luck, Jen and I were stopped by a clipboard-bearing fellow of relatively youngish bearing. Having become accustomed to such people in Alaska standing outside theatres bearing queries as to our general standing on the pet political issue of the moment (such as aerial wolf shaving), I was more than prepared to hear the lad out. As I prepared my soapbox for a good stepping up, I was stunningly surprised when he asked us a most mind-boggling question: "Would you like to attend a test screening of a new motion picture tomorrow night?"

Ye cats! I had totally forgotten that I was now living in Southern California, and that such things, I had been told, were a regular part of life down here. Nearly everyone I know that has spent even a minute portion of time in this area seems to have a story involving an invitation to a test sc…

Recently Rated Movies #7: Lemmy Caution & Mad Science Apery

"All things are normal in this whore of cities..."- Alphaville (1965)

I am gleefully stuck this weekend in Godard's Alphaville. I have not seen this film since I was eighteen and the owners of my favorite video store loaned me their personal copy of it. It has not changed: it is still one of the strangest films that I have ever beheld, and I'm sure it would tax the patience of even the hardiest of viewers. Myself, I think it is marvelous fun, and I have dug into its treasures three times over the course of the last two days. A caveat: I say that I am having fun, but of course, to me, Eraserhead is a casual walk in the park.

The film seems to take itself seriously, yet is obviously a parody of both spy and science-fiction films, especially those of the dystopian future genre. It is clearly a case of Godard having a good deal of fun at the audience's expense, especially if the decidedly mixed history of reviews for the film are any indication. I was having fun with t…

A Magnificent Display of Effusion...

There was a morning a couple weeks back, after I had woken up before 4:00 a.m. to take care of an emergency that was rather liquid in fashion (and to also feed my cry-baby of a cat, who always picks the most inopportune times to whine about something, i.e. usually the middle of the night... the jerk), when the TCM announcer informed me that the Marx Brothers' classic Animal Crackers was about to come on the air. Settling back in bed, I sighed a deep sigh of comfort and happiness, assuming that I would be swept back into Dreamland with the antics of my favorite comedy team glowing across the bare white walls of the bedroom.

This would have been a great plan if I had fallen asleep before the movie had actually started, because once it did, any thought of drifting mellowly back into slumber went away swiftly. It wasn't even the Marx Brothers that did the deed: it was the film's opening six minutes, from the opening credits and music, Robert Greig addressing the bellhops, Marga…

Dis-Rik of Columbia? (Pt. 2)

[Continued from Pt. 1, which you can read here.]

I am now faced with this dilemma: Having just decided to finally take a stab at the Super Cheap DVD Offer, what could I possibly find to order from a company that seems to only specialize in doling out mainstream entertainment choices?

I'm not saying that my tastes are in any way special. I am no different than anyone else in this aspect: I like what I like, and that is all. I enjoy films of all varieties, no matter where my brow happens to be set, high or low. (Yes, even if my tastes can get a little arty at times, I am always leveled out by the fact that I am a fan of monster movies. You can make a case that they are a metaphor for this-or-that, blah-blah-blah, etcetera, etcetera, and some of the better ones might be exactly that, but deep down at the core of things, they are merely monster movies. Even if ninety percent of them are complete garbage, I still love them. I watch them like frustrated housewives used to read Barbara Car…

Dis-Rik of Columbia? (Pt. 1)

From the slight rolling of Jen's eyes, I could easily tell that she not only thought that I was standing on the brink of yet another mire filled with financial quicksand, but also that merely the slightest push would find me waist-deep in the money pit before I had even half-considered the situation. The reason for her concern? The cause of the gyration of the ocular orbs? I had received an offer from Columbia House in the mail just minutes before, upon which I was informed of these words: "Own Any 6 DVD's for 49 Cents Each!"

There aren't many phrases in this world that can make my head spin a 360 quicker than "Own Any 6 DVD's for 49 Cents Each!" The Super Cheap DVD Offer is the adult version of those comic book ads from my childhood where you could buy not just 200 army men for ONLY $1.99, but also an entire FULLY ARMED BATTALION! They would show you a picture on the back cover of the comic (not all the time, but quite often enough) of a trunk with …

Succumbing to Netflix-iation

Once I moved here, and once the dread of actually finding a new video store to attend and battle over other customers for the lone copy of this or that piece of crap overtook me, I took it upon myself to finally became a customer of Netflix. I had been wanting to do this for awhile, and the fact that there was a relatively close Netflix center nearby in Santa Ana, which cut down considerably on the turnaround and transport time (as opposed to postal delivery to and from Alaska, which isn't bad, but nothing like living down the road a short piece from something) was definitely a boon to the positive resolution of such a decision.

Now, I have had nothing but a positive experience thus far with Netflix. No, the problem that I ran into had nothing to do with Netflix directly. The fault lies with myself, and with my rather lax attitude toward my queue on their website. I tend to do things like this in rather large batches, so I will click on a samurai movie, and a thousand recommendatio…

Recently Rated Movies #6 (Halloween Weekend Edition, Day 3)

So, it turned out that those three movies that I watched before work Halloween morning were the only movies that I got to watch for all of Halloween. As much as I would have liked to have stayed home and enjoyed the Turner Classic Movies Halloween Marathon (with occasional forays over to Bravo, AMC, and Sci-Fi for their commercial-laden but still fun marathons), I haven't built up enough personal leave at the new gig yet to warrant taking extra days off before our upcoming vacation early next year. Thus, to work I did go, though I did wear my awesome King Kong tie to show my true colors, and I was quoting Peter Lorre from Mad Love for much of the day.

After work, though I had bought much candy in anticipation of numerous costumed neighborhood brats knocking on our door, we went straight over to Disneyland to ride all of the rides which have skeletons on them, which, not coincidentally, are our favorite rides anytime that we go to the park. Some snacking, some Halloween costume watc…