Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Blake Edwards died last night. I get the whole Breakfast at Tiffany's and Pink Panther thing. Loved Peter Gunn. I'll watch Victor Victoria, or even Micki & Maude on the right kind of day. But I think Blake hit a high note with Experiment in Terror. It's a shadow-binge late noir thriller about a bank teller in San Francisco that is taken hostage in her own home by a wheezing strangler who tries to coerce her into robbing her employer. Big emphasis on sound design and the Mancini soundtrack was perfect. Who knew asthma could be so creepy?
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Not only it is a plethora of true Boston accents (oh, I love that "ehr" sound!), three deckers, snow-filled streets, smoking salesmen and women in curlers, there's so much more than just those tidbits to recommend this. Imagine trying to sell Bibles door to door now (or anything, for that matter.)
Albert Maysles is the reason I went to college.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
The critics and fellow bloggers are all trying to top each other with clever summaries: "How do you get to Burlesque? Via Chicago past Xanadu on the way to Cabaret."
Cher is back, bitches. She reportedly even hired her own editors to make sure she looked swell after several years away from the big screen. When I read that tidbit I thought: wow, such a Babs Streisand move. It isn't hard to believe though- the 2 divas are contemporaries and Babs' hubby James Brolin (Cher's Malibu neighbors) even appears in the film's 11th hour.
All the roles are well cast- even the non speaking ones.
Cher summed up the film herself on her Twitter: "It's not Shakespeare! It's predictable but it's beautiful and FUN!"
True dat, Cher.
Cher will be soon hosting TCM ala Alec Baldwin/Robert Osbourne in a series of special events. She loves TCM and appreciates those well-worn functional B-film plots (like the one in Burlesque) that would have starred Alice Faye or Betty Grable back in Hollywood's golden age.
During the film, I was thinking to myself that the teens and 20-somethings who haven't seen anything on TCM or poked their heads beyond the last decade's horror film remakes & reality shows will find Burlesque to be a rare entertainment. THE BEST MOVIE EVER...they'll post on facebook. Bless their lil' hearts.
The real gritty drama of this film was behind the scenes when Screen Gems head Clint Culpepper greenlit his lover Steve Antin's screenplay and gave him the director role. That is how these things work, folks. Look how many times Sony has sucked Nora Ephron's balls in the last decade due to her alliances with studio Vice Presidents.
Anyway, Culpepper micromanaged as much as he could on his lover's film - which led to borderline fisticuffs on the set, we hear. No worries if they may be now broken up, Steve Antin is a survivor...and has kicked around Hollywood as an actor (The Last American Virgin; The Goonies; The Accused) and writer (Chasing Papi) for decades. He is well connected- his other ex-lover David Geffen helped convince Cher to take the role in Burlesque. Geffen dated Cher too.
Did I mention that insufferable Culpepper of Screen Gems also control freaked all over Cher's Graumann's Chinese Theatre cement ceremony? (I was there!) He was a first-rate boorish exec trying to boss Cher around at first - but she held her ground and her spotlight. I'm sure Cher understands that her legend is cemented and studio heads are quickly deposed and forgotten.
Cher was very cool - and gave fans more than an obligatory wave. She actually walked over and down the line of fans who showed up for her - thanking and posing her way deeper into our hearts.
The film Burlesque could make a great drinking game...
Take a shot everytime Cher licks her puffy upper lip.
Take a shot everytime a character talks about what THEY want ( I , I, me, me). That's very LA.
In her film debut, X-Tina is a likable ingénue with great lungs and no backstory, and her on-screen love interest (Cam Gigandet) is perfect for the role of a Hollywood metrosexual hottie who has to fuck a girl to prove he's straight. Did I mention he is a bartender/song writer? Yup, dude has his dreams too. How very LA-- and director Antin gets that. In this town, everybody has hidden talents or thinks they do.
Burlesque also delivers Stanley Tucci in his 2nd "gay Eve Arden" role. He is good and brings some heart and laughs to the film.
It ain't SHOWGIRLS camp - it takes heterosexual men to deliver those unintentional cult comedies (see also: Valley of the Dolls).
Burlesque just wants to entertain for 100 minutes, feature divas singing, flaunt pretty boy ass - and thankfully has no message to deliver other than stay true to your dreams and keep your friends & enemies close and your plastic surgeon closer.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Ingrid Pitt, star of Countess Dracula, Wicker Man ( the awesome original) and many other thing died last night at the age of 73. Concentration camp survivor, actress and totally hot babe, it's sad to know she's gone.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
In no particular order: Serpico, War and Peace, Three Days of the Condor, Dune, La Strada, Conan the Barbarian, Army of Darkness, Barbarella, Blue Velvet, and my personal favorite, Nights of Cabiria. Those are just a few of the cinematic landmarks that Dino left behind.
It hits close to home as he built the studio in North Carolina that facilitated my initiation into film production. Ciao, Dino.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Watch Jimmy learn how to diffuse a bomb -AND- the embarrasment of a sticky wet dream.
Watch Suzy learn how to dispose of an evil warlord -AND- a sanitary napkin.
The Guys from JackASS 3-D
Juliette Lewis as Ladytard
Special Appearance by UK singing star Susan Boyle as Madame President
Rated R for ...well, ya, you guessed it.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Girrrrl. you aint seen the half of it !
Yes, Kim Richards - that adorable tyke from Witch Mountain films and TV's Nanny & The Professor and sultry teen of Hello, Larry & Tuff Turf is having her big comeback on the most vile of the Real Housewives shows on Bravo. These ostentatious, neurotic, selfish, petty, desperate broads make the Orange County cows look like Carmelite nuns. Oh! it's so delicious.
And in the category of the "walking wounded" (I love how they call everybody a "housewife" even if they are divorced or single) is our Kimmy Richards. At age 46, she would rather stay at home with her brood of teens who don't really need her anymore and look at the old scrapbooks than go shopping with the other bitches or her bossy younger sister Kyle (who tells all of America that she promised their dying mom that she would "look after" her sister Kim.) Kyle didnt have half the career that Kim had - though she was in 1978's Halloween as little Lyndsey who ran for the hills at the end. Kim is stand-offish and pouty in social settings and claims she's shy...Kyle tells the audience that her sister is just judgmental.
The Richards sisters (aunts of Paris & Nicky Hilton) offer good drama to the show with their arguments and old emotional wounds exposed for the world to see.
KYLE: "...and after all I did for you!"
KIM: "After all YOU did for ME?!!!"
A reviewer at Defamer/Gawker summed KIM up this way:
Oh dear. This woman is a little loco nuts, isn't she? There was this amazing, tour-de-force opening scene with her where she first said: "My mom gave me some really great advice. Don't make your kids your whole life." Who says that to a person, let alone THEIR OWN CHILD? "Don't make my mistake, daughter. I shouldn't have spent so much time loving you." Not that parents SHOULD make their children their entire lives, no of course not, but why say it? If you have to say it, you have a problem.
Then, just after that awful bit, amazingly in the same scene, Kim did this incredible reenactment of going out with her niece Paris Hilton that was just the saddest, most glorious thing I've seen since the last sad-but-glorious thing on one of these shows. "It's funny, I went out with Paris and the photographers were like 'Kim! Kim!' And Paris was like 'Huh?' And I was like 'I was here first!' and Paris was like 'Wha?' And the photographers were like 'Kim is an icon!' and Paris was like 'I'm an icon!' and I was I like 'But I was an icon first!' and the photographers were like 'Kim! Kim!'."
OK, I'm not really doing it justice. But it was so devastating. And did you notice how she clearly realized midway through her bizarre, spastic reenactment that it was a stupid, empty, braggy story and yet she couldn't stop? There was this cold bit of lightning in her eyes as she realized that she wasn't telling a very good story and you knew she wanted to just stop talking, but she couldn't. And then she laughed awkwardly as if it was no big deal that she, a grown woman with children, had just spent three minutes explaining how the paparazzi think that she is as relevant as Paris Hilton, her sister's daughter. Good work, lady. Some other good work is that Kim is looking for a new mansion to lease, rather than, I guess, buying a smaller more reasonable home. She's pretty post-divorce broke, yet wants to live in a mansion and have another kid, at 46. Good thinking!
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Tom talked about his legacy here:
Monday, October 11, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
Klaus Kinski was obviously close to the end of his life when this absurd late-eighties horror hack job was put together. Directed by David Schmoeller--of Puppetmaster fame--it's the story of Dr. Karl Gunther, a former Nazi Officer hiding in urban America that still can't resist the urge to stalk and torture.
Gunther owns an apartment building that's wired and booby trapped to the hilt. He spies on his young female tenants by cavorting the air ducts, gazing at them through the vents, sometimes releasing rats into their rooms by remote control. He has headquartered himself in the attic with his Nazi propaganda films, torture device collection and a small, pasty Boo Radley-type boy trapped in a cage (?). As each tenant catches on to his wiles Gunther offs them with one of his toys.
The best scenes occur after each killing when Gunther ritualistically plays Russian roulette in his kitchen as a sort of haphazard penance. If the pistol doesn't blow his brains out he smirks in that diabolical Kinski way. Fate will let him continue; that is until one tenant played by Talia Balsam (of Mad Men fame) engages him in a fast-paced air duct chase that will blow your mind.
Tough to find a trailer for this one but there is a very fun short film made by Schmoeller regarding his experience working with the ever "difficult" Kinski. It's named after the motto incessantly repeated by the shooting crew throughout production:
"Please Kill Mr. Kinski"
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
I had a recent conversation with a successful professional, who had never heard of Montgomery Clift - I was nonplusssed, owing to her apparent high degree of intellect but I also realized that exposure was exposure, so I strongly recommended A Place In The Sun and From Here To Eternity
The most interesting thing about his relationship with Elizabeth Taylor, (they were best friends) was that she saved his life: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montgomery_Clift#Car_accident
I also told her about one of my favorite Clash songs, The Right Profile chronicling his tragic post-crash addiction and depression.
Say, where did I see this guy?
In Red River?
Or a place in the sun?
Maybe the Misfits?
Or From Here to Eternity?
Everybody say, "Is he all right?"
And everybody say, "What's he like?"
Everybody say, "He sure look funny."
That's...Montgomery Clift, honey!
New York, New York, New York, 42nd Street
Hustlers rustle and pimps pimp the beat
Monty Clift is recognized at dawn
He ain't got no shoes and his clothes are torn
I see a car smashed at night
Cut the applause and dim the light
Monty's face is broken on a wheel
Is he alive? Can he still feel?
Nembutol numbs it all
But I prefer alcohol
He said go out and get me my old movie stills
Go out and get me another roll of pills
There I go again shaking, but I ain't got the chills
ARRRGHHHGORRA BUH BHUH DO ARRRRGGGGHHHHNNNN!!!!
Thursday, September 30, 2010
So Tony died yesterday at the age of 85. Most people remember him from movies like Some Like it Hot, The Defiant Ones, and Spartacus. I was always a fan of one of his lesser known roles as Albert DeSalvo, the title character in the 1968 thriller The Boston Strangler. It was a stark film based on the real-life serial killer. It used that very 1960's split screen panel effect to show different character perspectives at the same time, mostly his victims vs. the detectives that were hunting him. There has always been speculation that DeSalvo wasn't the real killer. Regardless, Tony played it super straight and reserved and it still holds up in comparison to today's rock video style slasher pics.
We'll miss you, Tony. He died in Vegas (duh, of course he did).
Monday, September 20, 2010
Billie Mae Richards dies at 88; Canadian actress best known as voice of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
more on her Rudolph trilogy here
Richards, who had suffered strokes, died Friday Sep 10th at her home in Burlington, Canada, west of Toronto, said Rick Goldschmidt, who documented the history of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and its producers.
Like most of the cast, Richards was a veteran of Canadian radio when the producers traveled north to assemble the voices for the program based on the 1949 song "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."
Radio dramas were still going strong in Canada in the early 1960s, providing producers with a stable of voice actors, Richards told Filmfax magazine in 2005.
Her trademark — being able to speak like a young boy — was well-established when she took the part of Rudolph, the misfit reindeer who saves Christmas in the stop-motion animation production. She was credited as "Billy Richards," which further obscured her gender.
"Kids won't believe it when my grandchildren tell them that their grandmother is really Rudolph," Richard said in the Filmfax interview, but she said she could prove it by summoning the voice on the spot.
Producers Arthur Rankin and Jules Bass also went to Canada because they could record the voices for the special more cheaply, according to Goldschmidt.
Narrator Burl Ives, who voiced Sam the Snowman, was the show's only celebrity. He also was the only actor to receive long-term residuals, a point that rankled Richards and other Canadians in the production as "Rudolph" became a classic that is still shown during the holidays.
She earned residuals for three years, a business deal she regarded as a "sore subject," Richards said in 2000 in Toronto's National Post.
Yet Rudolph remained her favorite part, Richards once said, and she reprised the role in two sequels, "Rudolph's Shiny New Year" (1976) and "Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July" (1979).
Whatever Rudolph did, "he's doing it for a reason," she said in the Filmfax interview. "That's why it's been so popular. That and Burl Ives, for heaven's sake."
Born in 1921 in Toronto, Richards was the daughter of a silverware salesman who had aspired to a stage career.
She was taking dance lessons at age 2, and by 5 she was dancing and singing in stage revues.
During World War II, Richards joined the Canadian Navy and entertained troops in Canada and Europe.
After the war, she studied at the Lorne Greene Academy of Radio Arts in Toronto and went to work at the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
For 25 years, Richards performed in radio dramas and had her greatest success playing a boy called the Kid on "Jake and the Kid," which aired in the 1950s.
She went on to act in more than 25 film and television projects, including Care Bears movies and animated TV shows.
As it became clear that she would be remembered for giving voice to Rudolph, "she really embraced it," Goldschmidt said.
As Richards said on National Public Radio in 2004: "What better legacy can you leave than a show that everybody loves?"
Richards had four children and 12 grandchildren as of 2005.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Will Hay in Windbag the Sailor
Arthur Askey in Back Room Boy
Will Hay in Convict 99
Arthur Askey in Bees in Paradise
Arthur Askey in Ghost Train
I'd prattle on about their history and careers, but resources for that will hopefully be evident through the links provided. Instead just enjoy the comedy, IMHO underappreciated in their own country. We tend to rhapsodize about the Marx Brothers and W.C Fields, but Hay and Askey (along with Formby and others)were providing top notch comedy for the era that just never made it over here. Well, now, over here is the world.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
The United Nations Command for Law Enforcement By Tonner Dolls In Custom Outfits.
Looking for an Illya Kuriyakin pic- found it.Just go, it's too exquisitely obsessive to bother interpreting. Herculean effort/Intent in juxtaposition.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Despite their highly publicized "embarassment" over the fraudulent taboo travelogue, RKO knew that movie goers would never fully shake their jungle fever. They created KING KONG and its sequel SON OF KONG which spawned MIGHTY JOE YOUNG and all the remakes with blonde starlets getting fingered by the big guy.
Audiences will always pay to see untamed lust and unnamed desire. Whether it's in the form of Germany's answer to Bardot as LIANE the JUNGLE GODDESS (1959)
or BO Derek getting her boob sucked by a chimp in 1980's TARZAN the Ape Man.
For myself and many other pre-adolescent gay boys watching TV reruns, the idea of being carried away by Tongo the Ape Man on Gilligan's Island was an ideal scenario. That lucky bitch, Ginger!
American television director David McDearmon (1914 - 1979) (left) talks to actor Bob Denver (1935 - 2005) (right) on the set of the episode 'Our Vines have Tender Apes' (broadcast January 30, 1967) of the CBS sitcom 'Gilligan's Island' as guest star Denny Miller (as Tongo the ape man) and regular cast member Tina Louise stand in the background, Studio City, California, November 16, 1966. (Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)
And speaking of SON OF KONG, Have you seen SON OF GILLIGAN ??!! It's uncanny !
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Oh, honey, I'll be there with my Ja-pan fan to cool me down!
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
1986 Dir: Tom DeSimone With: Wendy O’Williams, Past Ast, Sybil Danning.
Tom De Simone who had previously directed such films as «L.A. Tool and Die»... yes the gay porn film... pulls out all the stops in this campy, over the top parody of women behind bars films.
When naive Jenny is incarcerated because of her involvement in a shoot out, she becomes the latest victim of the an all girls reform school/prison run by evil Pat Ast ( of the Andy Warhol fame) and Sybil Danning, who is usually an inmate in these type of movies.
No cliché is left untouched and the addition of Wendy O’Williams from the Plasmatics as one of the girls (she looks closer to 100 than under 18.... how long can you be in reform school anyway?). There’s the good counsellor, the mentally unstable innocent and tons of young girls in naked shower scenes. Where most of these films see inmates getting a drab jumpsuit and a toothbrush with a razor hidden it, this flick introduces the idea that Frederick’s of Hollywood should be outfitting our teenage prisoner system offenders. I have to say, I agree totally.
The dialog is tasteless and ridiculous. «Keep you hands above the sheets, we only clean them once a week!» and «Someone get me a towel» after the evil warden stomps a kitten to death (No, seriously, she does). The theme song by O’Williams, «So young, so bad... so what» is priceless and at the end good old Wendy gets to drive a flaming bus into a tower.
All and all a slammer classic! I have to admit my glowing opinion of the his film might be coloured by the fact I saw it in Revere (ask Miss lethal about Revere) with a gang of about 20 loud lesbians who scared the crap out of the other 10 people who came to see this cinematic masterpiece. We all dragged raced in the parking lot after.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
.....not that I'm into that sort of thing actually. Vitameatavegamin this ain't. Vita, yes. Meata, yes. But vegamin, no. Quite the seductive babe, one might say. This was long before she got that only occasionally appearing weird Charles Gibson brow, and way, way before getting all moved by the chickdudeish Wayne Newton and befuddled by Burton and Taylor on Here's Lucy or The Lucy Show.
Marvin looks pissed off just having to be there.