Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom - Let There Be Light

I sooooo want to see this!

The tiny F15T8 light in the kitchen went out a few days ago. Took the spent rod (waited all day to type that) to Lowe's to make a match. I head to the clearly marked Lighting section thinking this is such a slam dunk. Uhhmmm...where are the bulbs? There were a handful of garden variety lamp bulbs, but no florescent bulbs to be seen. Out of the corner of my eye I keep noticing a Lowe's employee trying to help two older gentlemen with their lighting needs. As the three of them cruise by me, the Lowe's Guy says, "Looking for a light bulb? Follow us." I got in the back of the line as we trekked to the other side of the store. It turns out, most of the replacement lights at Lowe's are in the Outdoor aisle. Ahhh.....

Sunday, January 29, 2012

True Stories @ Alex's

My favorite part of the movie is the Karaoke portion with Wild Wild Life. I can't get that song out of my head today. A very young John Goodman steals the scene as expected.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

African Queen - IMA

The African Queen was playing at the IMA last night. Confession - I've never actually watched the darn thing all the way though. The close-call hanging, eventual ramming of boats, and swimming off into the sunset while singing were scenes I had never seen before, or even knew existed. Now I get why people like this movie; the two of them never give up!

This movie makes 2 interesting points:

1. You don't get to pick the people you are attracted to; Rose and Charlies would not have hooked up via eharmony.com.
2. What you've got nothing to lose - go for it!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sanshiro Sugata

Sanshiro Sugata was the Indy Film Buffs Movie of the Month @ Gary's on Sunday. This was Akira Kurosawa's directorial debut. This was also pre-Tishiro Mifune - Susumu Fajita was the star. The movie starts out with several jujitsu fighters deciding to prank Sensei Yano, the new Shudokan Judo trainer as he makes his way to the Kodokan school in Yokohama. Of course Yano ends up tossing each of them into the adjoining canal...except for Sanshiro - he decides to carry Yano all the way to the school in the now abandoned rickshaw. Sanshiro ceremoniously leaves his pair of geta (wooden Japanese sandals) on the road. We see the first of many trade marks of Akira films. We are privy to following what happens to the pair of geta as time passes. They end up in a creek and we see them float and bob, as each one goes its separate way. Lovely... Lower levels of Sumo wrestlers wear a version of geta and are eager to get out of them as the clanky sound they make belays the wearers status. I wonder if that was true for these fighters? Made me also think of the Peter Sellers character in The Party who looses a shoe when he first arrives at the house.

Catching the atention of the Ryoi Shinto School, Higaki, the well dressed jujitsu master, who's shoulder tapping umbrella handle enters the scene first, wants to fight Sanshiro - to the death. Sanshiro kind of reminded me of being a gunslinger in the wild west - everyone wants to try to out shoot you. Higaki was clearly the best dressed/best groomed fellow in sight. I liked the scene where he's impeccably dressed as an English gentleman, lounging on the floor, head propped on what appears to be a head rest to protect his hair (takamakura), smoking, while he talks to Sayo, Hansuke's daughter. He wasn't the only guy to wear English clothes, but he was the only one to cut quite the dandy figure. Higaki finally gets to fight Sanshiro to the death in a midnight fight on a grassy, wind swept field.

I felt like Susumu's Sanshiro character worked in the beginning; he seemed quite naive and young, but wasn't really able to carry the role after becoming a Judo master.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Little Shop of Horrors and Day of the Triffids

I attended the Indy Film Buffs Cult Movie Night @ Gary's last night. The first movie was the original Little Shop of Horrors. Cool cartoon drawing of Skid Row in the opening credits. Very, very campy cute. Seymour is a doomed milquetoast florist assistant, until he brings his amateur horticultural project to work - a flesh eating Venus fly-trap-like plant in a coffee can. Fav characters - Seymour's health remedy mother Winifrid (she makes soup out of Castor oil and Epsom salts) - Dick Miller as Burson Fouch (he buys flowers to eat for lunch) and Jack Nicholson as the Masochistic dentist patient Wilbur Force (he does not want Novocaine).

Day of the Triffids was movie #2 - Gary likes to use some logic when combing movies. A freak meteor shower blinds anyone who views them. Bill, a merchant navy officer who had eye surgery and a hot couple of marine bioligist are among they folks who weren't watching the shower. Oh...and that ain't all - the meteors have caused some plants to mutate (the triffid part of the flick) into these mobile, people killing veggies. Bill is quite prejudice against the folks who are blinded and blows off anyone asking for help. He picks up a school girl from a train wreck who can see and hilarity ensues. The marine biologist couple who are stationed in a coastal light house battle hubbies' drinking problems and the triffids. I never caught the part where everyone knew to call them "triffids".

Did not know until today that:
It is this version of the film to which the song "Science Fiction Double Feature", from The Rocky Horror Show, refers, in the line: "And I really got hot when I saw Janette Scott fight a triffid that spits poison and kills..." She was hot.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sherlock Holmes - 2009

In preparation for the Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, I recently watched the 2009 Sherlock Holmes.

Holmes can't come to terms with Watson's soon to be betrothal, and needs an interesting case to get him out of the house. Along comes this mysterious Blackwood character with his seemingly magic, manipulative ways, and the game is afoot. Holmes and Watson continue to an off/on spat about who is guilty of what in this Bromance. The best spat scene takes place in the court yard of a jail house after they are both arrested. Both are oblivious of a courtyard full of fellow inmates while they bicker back and forth like the classic long married couple.

Guy Ritchie can make an entertaining film. Like any Ritchie film, this one is chockablock full of fisticuffs and explosions. The CGI to show the massive construction of the London Bridge was very well done; it was no doubt quite the unsafe construction site as depicted.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Rare Exports

Yesterday, I may well have watched one the best movies I'm going to see this year. I've been trying to see Rare Exports for over a year now. When it came out, it was showing in Bloomington, but not Indy. I kicked myself for not making the trip to see it. It was only available on DVD from Netflix, but there was such a demand, I was on a wait list. It had such a tug on me....now I know why...

Set a few days before Christmas, two boys who live in a town located below the Korvatunturi mountains in Finland, spy on a mountain top archeological dig and see some interesting developments. Suspicious things start to happen in the town soon after - mass amounts of reindeer are slaughtered, radiators disappear, and naked feral old men run through woods with weapons. One of the boys Pietari has figured out what's going on; he's just got to get someone to listen to him. BTW, I could not take my eyes off of Pietari's well made leather boots or off of Juuso's ancient Sami tribal looking earring.

This is hands down the most original movie I've seen in sometime. It far exceeded any expectations I had --- The beautiful scenery (I love bleak, snow covered scenes in movies), well developed, memorable characters, and a very original story will make this an annual winter movie selection. I squealed and gasped through the entire movie! Add it to your Netflix queue NOW!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Filmed in Technocolor - Leave Her to Heaven

Joined the Indy Film Buffs gang last night at IMA for Leave Her to Heaven. This film is part of the 2012 Winter Nights Film Series.
Gene Tierney was just unbelievably beautiful. The picture above does not do her justice. The technicolor process gave her such lustrous, other worldly red hair and lips. Several scenes where clearly shot on location, and again, the technicolor process produced the most lovely sky and cloud back grounds. The scenes in New Mexico of the her on horse back riding along the curving trail had a bit of a cartoon look to them. Her character was as evil as she was beautiful. After watching this film, I think a better title might have been - Leave Her to the Dogs.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Terror @ Gary's House

My first Indy Films Buffs movie for 2012 was The Terror. Gary was the host with the most as always. This "movie" stars Boris Karloff as the Baron and a really young Jack Nicholson as Andre, a French soldier. Never mind the fact that he never speaks French. Nicholson is really young and quite svelte. So young, in fact, he doesn't have that Nicholson drawl we know and love. Not much of a plot, but the acting pretty much hits the mark. For me, the gem in all of this was Dick Miller who played Stefan, the man servant. He was constantly reminded of his position by everyone else in the movie. His odd body movements and facial expressions kept my eyes on him in every scene. He reminded me of a Marty Feldman Lite. His crowbar idea became a huge hit; everyone had to have one.