Monday, June 30, 2008

You Guys Wanna See a Dead Body?

Today's movie is:

1986's 'Stand By Me'

Starring: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell, Kiefer Sutherland and Richard Dreyfuss. Directed by Rob Reiner. Based on 'The Body' by Stephen King.

Genre: Comedy/Drama/Coming-of-age

Plot: Four kids go on a trek to see a nasty-ass corpse.

Boom baba, boom baba: Aww, who doesn't love Stand By Me? It's a really sweet movie, especially when you consider the source and the subject matter. Let's look at this "on paper" for a second:

There's a kid-Gordie-whose brother just died. Gordie is a smart, sensitive boy, but his parents liked his brother more and now they just ignore him. His best friend Chris is also a good kid. However, his family is trash and HIS brother is a thug who spends all his time with his greaser buddies. There's Teddy, who's kind of an oddball. He's half-blind, his father is apparently insane and he's abusive to his son-burned his ear off and everything. Then there's Vern. Vern is fat and stupid, which trumps all else.

They get it in their heads to go look at the decaying body of a dead child. They almost get flattened by a train, accosted by leaches, chased by a junkyard dog and stalked by the aforementioned greaser thugs. All of this is brought to you by the guy who came up with 'IT' and 'The Shining' and directed by someone who, until this movie, was best known as Meathead on 'All In The Family'.

...And it was very well-made and poignant as hell, made all the more so by the untimely death of River Phoenix a few years later. So yes, I'm a fan of Stand By Me. It's a great movie with a lot of memorable moments. However, in the interest of fairness, I should admit that I cannot watch this scene without gagging.

Where are they now?:

Wil Wheaton acts periodically and does voice-over work. He has a well-known (and pretty entertaining) Blog and is a fellow Farker. I have nothing bad to say about Wil, at least not since he hung up his Starfleet uniform. God, I hated Wesley.

River Phoenix died of drug-related heart failure in 1993.

Corey Feldman pretty much "screwed the pooch". After a lucrative career as a child and teen actor, he decided he liked drugs and Corey Haim and flushed it all down the crapper. He can still be seen in some D-grade films and various reality shows, including one based on his life with the Haim.

Jerry O'Connell grew up nicely. His acting career is decent enough , he's not fat anymore, he avoided the pitfalls that beset River and Corey and he's married to this. Good on you, Vern.

Kiefer Sutherland fights the turrists on 24 every week. He also fights Christmas trees in his downtime. Little bit of a drinker, that one.

You can purchase Stand By Me Here if you're so inclined.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Super Relax

I'd stab each and every one of you if it meant I could sleep THIS peacefully.

Have a nice weekend everybody.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I Gave Her My Heart, She Gave Me a Pen

Today's movie is:

1989's 'Say Anything'

Starring: John Cusack, Ione Skye, John Mahoney, Lili Taylor, Pamela Adlon and Loren Dean. Directed by Cameron Crowe

Genre: Comedy/Drama/Romance

Ploteroosky: Impossibly perfect boy falls in love with prissy smart girl. Peter Gabriel music ensues.

In yooooouur eyyyeees: Did I have a thing for Lloyd Dobler? Does Raggedy Ann have cotton titties? Come on, now. Cameron Crowe and John Cusack went out of their way to pretty much ruin an entire generation of girls with this movie. They gave us a guy who was smart, sweetly sarcastic, cute, good with kids, had an awesome girl for a BFF, didn't bitch when he had to be the designated driver and he knew how to romance a gal, even if she didn't deserve him in the least-who's gonna measure up to that in life? He also had excellent taste in music:

Peter who?

Here's a frightening notion to ponder-according to IMDB's trivia page on Say Anything, Kirk Cameron was nearly cast as Lloyd. Just let that sink in for a second.

As I have gotten older, I've been able to actually notice other things about the movie besides John/Lloyd, the main thing being Lili Taylor as Corey, Lloyd's non-annoyingly emo best friend who still pines for her ex, Joe. Corey eventually comes to her senses and tells Joe to piss off, but her tortured sad/angry girl song stylings prior to that ("Joe lies, Joe lies, Joe lies, when he cries") are GOLD.

Where are they now?:

John Cusack will never again live up to this, nor Better Odd Dead (and maybe Grosse Point Blank-that was awesome), but he's still making an effort. He's currently working on an anti-war film with...Wait for it...Hillary Duff.

Ione Skye is still around, though not as prolific as she once was. She recently had a brief role in David Fincher's 'Zodiac'.

John Mahoney played Sideshow Bob's dad on an episode of the Simpsons last year. Love him.

Lili Taylor recently completed a couple of film roles and has/had a show on Lifetime, 'State of Mind'.

Pamela Adlon is the voice of Bobby Hill on 'KIng of the Hill', which is apparently still on the air. I had no idea.

Loren Dean is still acting. His role in SA was so small that it really doesn't merit his being here, I just wanted to take this opportunity to say that he was great in 'Mumford' which was a fantastic movie.

Snag a copy Here.

Monday, June 23, 2008

RIP. Damn.

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Comedian-actor George Carlin, known for his raunchy, but insightful humor, died Sunday in Los Angeles, his publicist said. He was 71.

Jeff Abraham says Carlin went into St. John's Health Center on Sunday afternoon, complaining of chest pain. Carlin died at 5:55 p.m. PDT, the Associated Press reported.

Carlin, who had a history of heart trouble, performed as recently as last weekend at the Orleans Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas.

Carlin was best known for his routine "Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television," which appeared 1972's "Class Clown" album.

When Carlin uttered all seven at a show in Milwaukee in 1972, he was arrested for disturbing the peace, the AP reported. The comedy sketch prompted a landmark indecency case after WBAI-FM radio aired it in 1973.

The case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court where the justices ruled on a 5-to-4 vote that the sketch was "indecent but not obscene," giving the FCC broad leeway to determine what constituted indecency on the airwaves.

"So my name is a footnote in American legal history, which I'm perversely kind of proud of," Carlin said. "In the context of that era, it was daring."


I'm listening to this in the other window and I'm going to post it here. The subject matter is a bit touchy and I'd probably never post it under normal circumstances, but fuck it, it's my favorite and these aren't normal circumstances.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Darwin Laughs While I Suck My Thumb

I like to think I'm a reasonably intellegent person, but occasionally I have brain fart so epic that it wipes out every smart thing I've ever done.

Last night, I saw a mouse so I went to get a trap for it. I baited the trap with peanut butter and stuck it in the store room, to which the mouse had run. I check the trap today and the little bastard had licked the trap clean without setting it off.

So. I start over and set the trap again, this time baiting it with cheese instead. Before I continue, I'd just like to say that the trap is weirdly made. It's got a piece of fake cheese on it and you're supposed to put the bait on that part of it. The fake cheese sticks up at an odd angle and in my mind, I thought it would be more effective if it was more parallel to the bottom of the trap. I also thought that if a mouse could slurp peanut butter off of it without triggering it, I could just kinda push the fake cheese down a little...

Yeah. Right on my thumbnail. The pain is just now beginning to subside, but my embarrassment will stay with me for quite some time and that's not even the end of it. After I finished making a fool of myself, I took the trap back out to the store room. I put it down and the trap went off and FLUNG the cheese to lord-knows-where. I looked for a few minutes, but ended up just putting another piece on it.

You may mock me in the comments below at your leisure. Thank you and good night.

If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say About Anybody, Come Sit by Me

Today's movie:

1989's 'Steel Magnolias'

Starring: Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakis, Julia Roberts, Tom Skerritt, Sam Shepard and Dylan McDermott.

Genre: Comedy/Drama/Chick Flick

Plot: Southern women be gettin' their hair did. Oh, and dying.

Ahh sugar, sugar: I've often joked that, to me, Steel Magnolias is the scariest movie ever made. I'm only half-kidding. Usually when I do these type of movie things, I do them assuming that everyone has seen the movie-I'm not reviewing them here, I'm just shooting the shit, basically. But today, for this one, I'll make an exception and explain part of the plot, and yes, it's a big ol' spoiler if you haven't seen it.

Julia Roberts' character, Shelby, is a diabetic. Shelby is told that while she is able to have children, it would probably be best if she didn't. So what does she do? She gets pregnant, it ends up taking its toll on her body, she goes into a coma and then croaks. My daughter has type 1 diabetes, and, well, it makes it kinda hard to watch now.

That being said, Shelby's diabetes is the dramatic anchor of the movie and aside from that BIG HUGE SCARY plot point, the movie is a comedy. If I could find a way to edit out all the diabetes stuff, I'd watch it all the time, because it's a very funny movie. I have ovaries, I'm from the south and it's got Dolly Parton in it-I'm biologically designed to like this movie, even though I don't care for the chick films. It's got a shitload of quotable lines and the cast-especially Shirley MacLaine-is awesome, save for Daryl Hannah.

I swear, every time I see her in a movie, I think of that Paula Poundstone bit about how if people want to see Daryl Hannah on film that badly, they should stick a picture of her in the corner of the screen, 'cuz she's got no business acting. She's WAY out of her element here and she takes me right out of the movie each time I see it. Until the end when I start bawling, because I can't NOT watch the thing all the way through because I'm apparently a masochist.

In sum: Funny movie. Diabetes is bad. Daryl Hannah may be worse.

"Is Dylan McDermott nice in person?": Since this isn't your typical 80s movie in that it didn't feature any flash-in-the-pan types, I'm gonna spare myself the work on the 'where are they now' section. They were acting before Steel Magnolias, they're still acting now.

Grab it Here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

So it's Sorta Social, Demented and Sad, But Social.

Today's movie is:

1985's 'The Breakfast Club'

Starring: Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy and Paul Gleason. Directed by John Hughes.

Genre: Comedy/Drama

Plot: Five cliches spend all day becoming bestest buddies during Saturday in-school-suspension.

Memories: I liked this movie a lot. When I was TEN. I used to spend the night at my cousins' house about once a month back then, and we'd watch this every time. Then we got older and realized that people generally don't fit into neat little pre-packaged stereotypes and we moved on to better films. At least I did. I should call and ask what they think of TBC these days. I've made myself all curious now.

I snark, but I honestly don't think it stands up. It's got a few good lines and I like Paul Gleason in this (which may be why I can't relate to the young people in the movie), but once I grew up a bit and actually WENT to high school, I found I couldn't identify with this movie at all. I was neither an outcast or a popular little teen queen in school, I was just one of the regular kids, just plugging along. I was a bit weird, but I hid it well and I got along with most of my classmates, who, come to think of it, didn't fit any of John Hughes' stereotypes either.

Which is fine. I'm talking about John Hughes here, not high art. It just kinda sucks when you find out that life isn't as easy as you've been led to believe as a child. Yeah, easy. If my peers in high school were as cut and dried as 80s teen movie tropes, I would have been able to rule over their weak-minded asses with an iron fist.

Where are they now?: I really don't care. But...

Emilio Estevez seems to have decided directing is where it's at.

Anthony Michael Hall is in the upcoming Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight'. Ya Rly.

Judd Nelson managed to not die, which is pretty impressive. If you turn the tv over to Cinemax late at night you can still sometimes catch him practicing his craft.

Molly Ringwald had a baby last year and may or may not be on a tv show premiering this summer or this fall. Maybe.

Ally Sheedy is still acting.

Paul Gleason assumed room temperature in 2006. RIP.

You can snag it Here.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Let Her Go, You Bitch!

Today's movie is:

1986's 'Aliens'

Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, Carrie Henn, Paul Reiser and Bill Paxton. Directed by James Cameron.

Genre: Science Fiction/Horror

Plot: Most awesome woman ever is unceremoniously awakened from an awesome space nap by that twatty guy from Mad About You. Takes yet another space nap. When she wakes up from THAT nap, she's forced to protect a bunch of space marines, a rare non-annoying film kid and Bishop, the universe's most awesome android (with apologies to Lt. Commander Data) from ugly-ass space boogermonsters.

What I remember: I really don't have any 80s-related memories attached to this. It's just that it's my favorite science fiction film of all time and it was made during the decade in question, so in it goes.

I like pretty much everything about this movie, but if I were forced to choose my 3 favorite things about Aliens, I'd go with Bill Paxton's "GAME OVER!" freak out; the big climactic battle with the alien and Ripley when she's in that exo suit thingamadoo; and This right here. Goddamn, I love Lance Henriksen.

Where are they now?: Welp...

Sigourney Weaver is still being all Sigourney Weaver-ish, although if you ask me, I don't think 'Baby Mama' is an appropriate use of her talents.

Michael Biehn and Lance Henriksen seem to have been relegated to the B-movie shelves, which makes me kinda sad. Not too sad though, because between the 2 of them, they've got like 15 movies in post-production. Also, Michael Biehn is a sexy, sexy man.

Paul Reiser seems to be sticking to the writer/producer thing these days.

Bill Paxton has come a relatively long way since appearing as a huge turd in 'Weird Science'. Now he's mainly a metaphorical turd on 'Big Love'. Good show, BTW.

Carrie Henn, who played little Newt, quit acting after her role in Aliens, and is now a school teacher. This is what she looks like now.

You can snag a copy Here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

This is Heavy...

Today's movie is:

1985's 'Back to the Future'

Starring: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover and Thomas F. Wilson. Directed by Robert Zemeckis.

Genre: Sci-fi/comedy

What is it?: A teenage boy gets roped into traveling back in time when his loony scientist friend takes a bullet in a mall parking lot. He meets the teenage version of his parents and hijinks? You better believe hijinks ensue.

Back in tiiiime: I remember going to see this movie in the theater on my ninth birthday. I got to choose what we saw since it was my birthday and I chose this because I had a little (huge) crush on Michael J. Fox. I think after the movie, I got to go buy a bunch of crap at Skaggs Alpha Beta, which actually was a pretty decent store, at least to a nine year old.

As for the movie itself, this was my first introduction to the madness that is Crispin Glover, who, in the space of one single Letterman appearance, informed my long-held love for weird people and/or things; Biff still stands as one of my most hated film assholes of all time; and over the past couple decades, I've pretty much perfected my Doc Brown/ Christopher Lloyd impression.

Overall, I think it's a good movie, and pretty clever for it's day, but I've seen it about 11,000,000,000,000 times since then, so the thrill is gone. I do own it though, in case I change my mind and get the urge to watch it. Stranger things have happened.

Where are they now?: The main peeps are still kicking around.

Michael J. Fox occasionally acts, in addition to raising awareness of Parkinson's Disease and Stem Cell Research.

Lea Thompson has mastered the art of the TV movie (nothin' wrong with that).

Tom Wilson still acts, performs stand-up and does voice-over work for cartoons (which everyone in my house knows about after I blurted out-loudly-during a Spongebob episode, "Dude! That fish-guy is totally Biff from Back to the Future!" Similar incidents happen with great frequency in my house. My family loves me anyway.)

Christopher Lloyd is still working, though it's impossible for him to reach the heights of Reverend Jim ever again, not even if he lives to be a thousand.

Crispin Glover is still creeping people out, and recently played the role of Montag the Magnificent in a remake of The Wizard of Gore. Bijou Phillips is apparently in it as well, so I'll be taking a pass.

You can grab it Here, or you can come to my house, we can watch my copy and I'll wow you with my Doc impression. I'm serious, it's uncanny.

Monday, June 09, 2008

No More Yanky My Wanky

I'm starting a new thing here and in the interest of saving time, I'm going to keep the explanation brief.

Harper started summer vacation a little over week ago and it's made me sentimental. When I was a kid, if I wasn't outside during the summer, I was inside watching movies. Being that I grew up in the 80s, well, you can gather what kind of movies I watched. So I've decided to do something similar to the month-long Boogerman-athon I did back in October, only this will be spread out over 3 months and
it will be with 80s movies instead of horror movies. And I won't be posting every day, just every couple of days. See, it's totally exactly the same, only different.

First up, in case the blatantly obvious post title didn't give it away:

1984's '16 Candles'

Starring: Molly Ringwald, Justin Henry, Michael Schoeffling, Haviland Morris, Gedde Wantanabe, Anthony Michael Hall and Paul Dooley. Directed by John Hughes

Plot: Spoiled proto-emo girl pouts because her family has more important things to deal with than her birthday.

Genre: Comedy

What I remember about it: You may have sensed some hostility in my plot summary there. I loved the movie, seen it many, many times. But the one thing I came away with after every viewing, was the fact that Samantha Baker was one of the most unsympathetic characters in teen movie history. I can empathize to a point with the whole forgetting the birthday thing, but they lost any shot at pity by making Samantha so unlikable.

Seriously-she does nothing during the entire movie but mope and whine and it grated on my nerves to no end. And we're supposed to want Jake Ryan to leave his teen queen girlfriend, Caroline, who seemed like a genuinely nice person (and also loads of fun if her behavior at the post-dance party was any indication) for HER? What, are you kidding me?

I think one of the main reasons I didn't like Samantha, aside from her being a spoiled brat, was her whole "If you don't know, I'm not going to tell you" passive/aggressive schtick. They forgot your birthday? FUCKING TELL THEM. You'll make out like a bandit later, trust.

On the other hand, as annoying as she was, I still watched the damn thing repeatedly because of the stereotyped awesomeness that was Long Duk Dong, and I still quote his lines on a daily basis, some 24 years (!) later.

Where are they now?: Believe it or not, all the lead actors are still acting, save for one. According to IMDB, Michael Schoeffling (Jake) has a successful business selling hand-crafted furniture in Pennsylvania, where he lives with his family.

In case you haven't seen it, or don't own it, or don't get cable where they show it at least once a month, you can buy a copy of 16 Candles Here.