The Winter in July Blogathon is Snow Joke

winter51

THINGs to come… (stay tuned)

Hmmm. Guess which film I picked? Go on, guess?

-GW

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Odyssey of the Oddity Concludes Somewhat Abruptly

I can actually recall the first time I heard Space Oddity on the radio. It was sometime after its 1969 release and if memory serves me correctly, it almost made me miss my school bus. Between the haunting acoustic guitar work and the otherworldly sounds emanating from the clock radio in my room, I was transported into that tin can floating in the void. Instant David Bowie fan from that point on and what and education that was.

Suffragette City made me look up that word (the first one, silly!) and in doing so before the age of the internet, got me checking out the dictionary and then a few encyclopedias as that rabbit hole opened up as I discovered other issues related to that word. Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, women’s rights (which I don’t think were listed in much detail as far as 70’s educational tomes were concerned) and other mind-expanding bits and pieces were in the process of being uncovered. One teacher I had noted my research and gave me a few newsletters to peruse from her college days. Of course, at that age (I was about ten or eleven at that point), most of that reading material was way above my brain grade but I absorbed them anyway. Continue reading

Tripping The Blight Fantastic: Four, Right In The Cinematic Trash Heap

F4 MPI’d actually started this post around two months back, but put it aside to work on other things. It was going to be a really lengthy point-by-point peek at why the film deserved to flop out, but I decided to not be so negative until I maybe saw the final product. It’s a good thing I waited because after seeing the film, everything I thought about writing happened and the movie was even worse than my cynical ass expected. But I don’t blame director Josh Trank (Chronicle) all that much because it very well seems the studio had more to do with the film being such a train wreck.

In my opinion, Fox needs to sell back or hand those rights over to a studio that can actually do something constructive with the characters. Too many hands went into what looks like rushed re-shooting and sloppy editing so what should have been another reliable summer blockbuster for fans has turned into a must-see exercise for film students as to what NOT to do. Or a note to creative types with vision to stay far away from licensed properties and a studio system that demands souls and final cut in exchange for some sort of loyalty. While the film is far from unwatchable, it’s not worth the cost of a ticket at all and more suited to cable or network TV. Then again, on a channel with commercials, trying to make sense of the film will be a total nightmare unless scenes are added back in to help things out. Continue reading

Book Review: Film Noir 101: The 101 Best Film Noir Posters from the 1940s-1950s

Film Noir 101 Fantagraphics
 

Thanks to a colorist probably following instructions to the letter about the use of the color red, Both Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall wear lipstick on the poster to The Big Sleep. The poster for White Heat almost looks like the one for the aforementioned film. Edward G. Robinson’s face is Hulk green in the poster for Scarlet Street. Richard Widmark doesn’t even appear on the poster to Kiss of Death, but in the one for Night and the City he looks as if he’s doing a “jazz hands, down!” pose. You miss these details when poking around online for some classic film posters, but in Fantagraphic’s beautiful Film Noir 101: The 101 Best Film Noir Posters from the 1940s-1950s, all you see is some amazing poster art for arguably some of the best film noirs of the era. Film Historian Mark Fertig has compiled quite a healthy list of films and their respective one-sheets here and the big 10.75″ x 14.25″ hardcover book will thrill film fans while possibly promoting a bit of discussion about some of the choices among others. Continue reading

Superman: The Movie (1978) Sharp Dressed Men Make An Impression! Writers, Here’s How To Introduce Your Hero (#7 Of A Bunch)

(thanks, Jason Makiaris!) 

This one’s priceless and still a kick in the pants because it’s classic 1970’s New York gone comic book (thanks to the great Richard Donner), but even more hilarious for one key reason. I recall seeing the film back in 1978 and some kid sitting in front of me asking his dad who the black guy was noting how awesome Superman’s costume was. I don’t think there was EVER a pimp in a Superman comic when this film was released (and I’m not sure if one has ever been in an issue even as a background character). I do remember the father muttering something like “Er… um, I’ll tell you later – just watch the movie!” and me trying not to crack up laughing for the next hour plus. To this day I often wonder HOW that guy explained what a pimp was and what he did to his kid. THAT conversation must have been a doozy. The full scene is here – enjoy!

?able Humor: Get Me Re(re)write!

(thanks, frankpilarski!) 

So, today I was bad, bad, bad. Well, just bad, but I think I tend to over-magnify stuff for excess emphasis. Anyway, I needed to go over some older posts and start the process of re-writing or re-rewriting them so some can be used as parts of a few upcoming blogathons I’m participating in. Some of the older posts are a wee bit on the short side and need a bit of expanding, so that’s what’s going on. Or WAS supposed to be going on.

Anyway, I was going over a few posts and then got distracted with a movie I’d wanted to see, so that was that for productivity for most of the afternoon. Yeah, it happens. NO, it wasn’t Star Crash, I was sidetracked by (Oh, hell nope!). That’s just to show my desire to stop time for long enough to do all the crap I need to do and feel HAPPY at the end of each day. Eh, I’ll figure this all out eventually. I still want a damn time machine, though.

As I update the older posts, I guess I’ll tweet them out (which means they’ll pop up on facebook as well). Keep an eye peeled…

Random Film of the Week: STARCRASH (The Adventures of Stella Star)

 

Italian cinema has brought forth plenty of classic films and directors of assorted skill levels from Fellini to Leone, Argento, Bava and more, but Luigi Cozzi (or Lewis Coates, his “Americanized” name) deserves a special place in the hearts of a certain group of cinema fans. Known for doing relatively quick and cheap knock-offs of popular sci-fi and fantasy films, there’s a certain bizarre charm to his “major” genre works that demands repeat viewings. That and hell, if you ever have a toothache and want to forget all about the pain, you can count on a few of Cozzi’s films to make you do just that. Then again, you may just injure some other body part when you roll off a couch or chair laughing. STARCRASH is one such film and for some, the movie they saw in theaters when Star Wars seating was unavailable during that film’s long run (I recall it playing for about a year in some spots) or 1978 reissue. I was one of those people and I don’t think I’ve ever recovered from the experience… but I have gained a bit more appreciation for this offbeat mess over the decades. Continue reading