Saturday, January 9, 2010

Finally I will be caught up with everything I've watched up to this point in time. Obviously not counting Youth in Revolt, which I'm going to see in a couple hours. After this post I hope to to say up to date so I can write more about each film, if I feel so inclined, and include pictures and screenshots when available. On with the films!

Blood Diner - 1987 - Dir: Jackie Kong
Location: The Comfort of My House

Ishtar meet Sheetar.

Down in Austin my brother-in-film-geekness, Brian (view his blog here), hosts a weekly Horror Movie Night and has a ton of great flicks on the schedule for this year. My hope is to try keep up with all of his choices as he does. I WILL watch them all, I just hope I can on the same night. The first of 2010 is a lovely late 80s flick called Blood Diner. From my years of roaming the aisles of video stores I remember this box art, but never got around to actually watching it. I was shocked to realize, within the first ten or so minutes, that this is the bastard 80s cousin of H.G. Lewis' classic Blood Feast. While Lewis' film is very cheesy it tried to be serious, this was thrown right out the window here. I thought cheese was going to drip right off my TV screen. These brothers, and followers of Sheetar, own a vegetarian restaurant that is a hit for the "seasonings." If the customers only knew what they were really eating. One of the regular patrons, a 300+ pound vegetarian, loves their food and exclaims, "that's the best freakin' veggie burger I've had in a son-of-a-bitch long time." If that isn't enough to make you want to watch this gem your inner gorehound will be satisfied. The horror is there a plenty with deep fried heads, severed tongues and limbs, a naked aerobics massacre and an insane climax. There is even an awesome, long, disclaimer at the beginning about the violence. I don't really think it's that insane, but still good 80s gold.

I wish I could tell you where to pick this up but there is no DVD release. Maybe it'll get some cable airtime or you could track down a VHS copy at a second hand store or garage sale. Of course, there are always other means...

Casual Sex? - 1988 - Dir: Genevieve Robert
Location: The Comfort of My House

A while back I was watching Jaws 3 and enjoyed the brief screen time of the young Lea Thompson. There was a time when she was just so cute. I never really found her knockout gorgeous, but she's so freaking cute. Take Back to the Future, her as the young Loraine in the 50s makes me want to put her in my pocket. On her IMDb page I saw Casual Sex? and realized I had never seen it. I love her, Victoria Jackson and Andrew Dice Clay so how could I go wrong? To my surprise I was also treated with Jerry Levine, the van surfing buddy Stiles from Teen Wolf. The film is not as funny and 80s raunchy like I expected, but it does have a few funny moments. Don't think I'll ever watch it again, but I enjoyed Clay playing his normal self, even watered down a little. The DVD is discontinued but still available to rent certain places and on Amazon On-Demand.

Up in the Air - 2009 - Dir: Jason Reitman
Location: Regal Galaxy 10

This made the number three spot on my Best Films of 2009 list. I'm just going to copy what I wrote there a couple days ago.

When you leave a theater and a film stays with you long after you've gotten home, that's a good sign. George Clooney plays Ryan Bingham, a guy who is hired by companies to come to their office and fire/lay off people so they don't have to do it. As a result he spends most of his year in and out of airports and in hotels around the country. But that's the way he likes it. Ryan is a guy who doesn't like to be tied down to anyone or anything and loves the freedom and lack of stress that it includes. Along the way he meets a very similar girl, played by the amazing Vera Farmiga, and has to train a new girl who is threatening to do away with the in-person approach for a telecommuting version. If this film had come out at any other time it might not be as wonderful as it is, but considering the current economic climate it speaks to everyone. The constant fear of the axe swinging down in most any company is commonplace. Parts of this film will depress the hell out of you, make you laugh and even inspire you. It is both uplifting and devastating, but that is the charm.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention my thoughts on Clooney. There is something about him that makes me not want to like him. Maybe it's because so many people label him as the "sexiest man," or because they rush to anything he's in because he's pretty. But each time I put my guard up he knocks it right back down. He's just so damn smooth. Even with his pseudo mullet as Booker on Roseanne he had that same charm. His deliver is just so cool and natural that he may not be acting at all in any movie. Maybe that's just him.

Frog Dreaming (aka The Quest, The Go-Kids) - 1986 - Dir: Brian Trenchard-Smith
Location: The Comfort of My House

A friend was talking about his viewing of this on Twitter not too long ago and I knew I had to procure myself a copy. This is a kid's movie, of sorts, set in Australia where the lone American boy causes all the trouble. Henry Thomas (E.T.) plays Cody who nows lives with his father's friend after the death of his parents. He is a very independent kid who likes to conduct a lot of experiments and gadgets, like his bicycle with add-ons for riding on railroad tracks. Along with his little girlfriend they explore a remote area of wilderness with a deep pond and find the dead body of an old man. Soon Cody learns of the infamous Aboriginal legend of Donkegin (not sure if I'm spelling that right), a creature in the water who can kill a man just by looking in its direction. From here on out his goal is to prove or disprove this myth and maybe land a National Geographic cover. For a kid's flick there is a bit of weird kind of racist tones the way the young characters speak of "the blacks." Even for the 80s. What I have read about this film being compared to films like The Goonies or Explorers are understandable. This really evokes that childhood desire to constantly explore new and strange locations and search for the unbelievable. Cody even devises a very old school diving mask out of hoses and a large fish bowl. As an adult I did enjoy the adventure, but would have probably fallen completely in love with it twenty years ago. This is another you will have to track down as it's not available on DVD.

All caught up! Here is my tally thus far:

New Films: 17
Revisits: 1
Total: 18


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