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Showing posts from January, 2006

RECENTLY RATED MOVIES #13 (MIYAZAKI EDITION)

You might notice, after finishing the reading of this post, a trio of Hayao Miyazaki films beginning the listing of Recently Rated Movies; likewise, you will also find a pair of his films in the last posting of this regular feature (#12). I know it sometimes sounds as if I were some sort of publicist for Turner Classic (and it would be nice if I were, for I hear sometimes people get recompense for such activities), but clearly I am just some sort of unhinged movie nut who simply uses Turner as the default station on his cable box (if such things were possible, it would be so). As such, I have spent the last couple of weeks immersing myself in TCM's Miyazaki festival, a compilation of nine films either directed, written or produced by the Master Animator, and hosted by both Ben Mankiewicz and John Lasseter, of PIXAR and Toy Story fame.

The first time that I saw a Miyazaki film happened long before he became a known entity to me. This would be , known here in the colonies as My Neigh…

Recently Rated Movies #12: Drowning Open Water

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Those of you who know me well out there will be shocked by this news, but I disliked Open Water

It is widely known that I am a shark enthusiast. Not to the point where I want to make out with one of the fearsome but lovely creatures, but I do love them. Shark Week is much anticipated every season in my household ( I, and I only, am the target audience of Shark Week); if I am cruising with the remote and I happen upon some random show with a shark in it, no matter how horrid, even if it starred the Olsen Twins in all their troll-like pre-pubescent horror, I would stop and watch the damnable thing; and the only person that I know that has seen Jaws more than I have is my buddy Tony. If I see that Shark Attack, Shark Attack 2 or Shark Attack 3: Megalodon (where a 60-foot shark swallows an entire boat!) are showing on the Sci-Fi Channel, especially all in a row, then I am staying on that station for the duration, no matter how truly terrible all three films actually happen to be. The exe…

The Kollege of Musical Knowledge

I highly recommend that if you have a mother that can't sing, and she insists on singing to you constantly throughout your childhood, that you get rid of her immediately and trade her in for one that can vocalize to a sufficiently able degree.

My mother sang to us often as we were growing up, and, luckily for us, she could sing. It's not as if she walked around the house regaling us with song after song at all hours of the day. She certainly did not do such a thing. But she would pick her moments, and when the mood was right or the song had some sort of topical relevance to whatever mischief was going on at that particular moment, she would start in on some song from her childhood and sing a few bars (or sometimes more). I always found this pleasant, for frankly, she never sang enough.

One of the songs she would do a little of now and then was "Three Little Fishies (Itty Bitty Poo)", and was especially fond of saying the line "...and they twam and they twam all ov…

Paging Mr. Psychotronic... Paging Mr. Psychotronic...

A quick jaunt up the coast this past weekend to Santa Rosa for a Capricorn party has left me practically movie-less for the past week (with one awesome exception), but not without some unexpected gains to my film library. And by "film library," I mean my actual library about film, not DVDs or videotapes. I'm talking books, people!

An unplanned side trip into Treehorn Books, a used bookstore in Santa Rosa, left two dog-eared -- but in far better condition than my original edition -- copies of Michael Weldon's The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film in my happy little hands. Long out of print (to my knowledge), I cannot stress enough how important this 1983 book was in developing my love of outré cinema, and while I still have not seen every film mentioned in its interior, I have made a pretty good run at seeing most of the pictures contained within its covers. (One of these copies is getting shipped up to Anchorage immediately to my fellow movie nut Aaron, who will appre…

Recently Rated Movies #11: We Just Let You Think We're Part of the Human Race...

A pleasant surprise this weekend was taking a remote control stroll past the Orange County Public Access channel late Saturday evening and discovering that some dementedly wonderful person was running Teenagers from Outer Space, a zero-budgeted and profoundly terrible movie from 1959. 
I came into the film about five minutes in, so I had to wait until they showed it again later that evening to find out if it was some yuckster's regularly scheduled bad movie show, hopefully graced with cheesy host segments before and after. It turns out that the latter wish was not to be, but neither was I able to ascertain whether it was a regular show either, as it was not actually on the scrolling index for the channel that runs between every program. So, now I will just have to wait until next Saturday night to see if they roll another science fiction anti-classic.

Ray guns that disintegrate clothing and flesh but not bones (portrayed by cheap plastic skeletons), a cute ingenue with a cross betwe…

Cinema 4: Further into the Future!

Happy New Year, everybody!!! And a Happy Bastille Day to my brother Chris!! (I need not explain...)

I am beginning this new year by not going to the movies, a statement that many of you who have known me forever will find most shocking. I normally try to attend anywhere from three to four films on New Year's Day, with my all-time record in one day being an amazingly well planned-out five several years ago. But this year is different. The weather, my girlfriend's undue illness, and my desire to remain untouched by said illness are forcing a cancellation of my normal day of cinematic lounging. My planned third viewing of Peter Jackson's King Kong and also of Memoirs of a Geisha were cancelled by the rainy, rainy, rainy weather (Pooh would call it "blustery"), and a talked-about evening showing of Rumor Has It became exactly that: a rumor, due to the aforementioned illness.

But I did not pass the time at home in a completely idle fashion. I spent much of the afternoon…

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