October 28th, 2007

Don't Hassle the Hoff

The Sun Comes Up And I Still Don't Want To Come Home

I'm currently of the opinion that the section of 1990s movies - I'd have to say up to around 1997 or thereabouts, when I started seeing real actual films that didn't just star former members of Saturday Night Live or In Living Color - were simply and utterly dreadful. 1990-1997. Now, obviously there are going to be exceptions; I mean, I'm a huge fan of Oliver Stone's output in that period, and Tombstone is a favorite, and you can't really go wrong with most of Schwarzenegger and Stallone's bigger budget work. But those films, those Oscar-worthy fare, it just seems to me that most of it is completely overrated compared to film from the 70s and early 80s, and even film thereafter. Granted, there was a slim number of outstanding, remarkable achievements (your Schindler's List, The Shawshank Redemption, Pulp Fiction); but what am I supposed to do with the likes of Dances With Wolves, Ghost, The Prince of Tides, The Crying Game, A Few Good Men, Scent of a Woman, Howards End, The Piano, and Forrest fucking Gump? This is supposed to be the cream of the first half of the decade? Half of them I haven't seen (because, really, when everyone talks about the woman-looking character having a penis in The Crying Game, what's the point of sitting through the damned thing?), and the other half arouse absolutely zero desire.

And yet, people - especially at the time - make this HUGE deal about these movies, but is the deal so huge because that's ALL they had available to them? And they just, like, had to make a huge deal about SOMETHING, so movies like The English Patient and Jerry Maguire get more credit than they deserve? Will the next decade's Steven A. Taylor wonder in his LiveJournal why these douches of today were sucking the cocks of movies like Babel and Brokeback Mountain and Seabiscuit?

Wait. Don't answer that last one.

I'm just thinking aloud in print because I've been up all night watching werewolf movies and I'm trying to make it another five or so hours before I crash for 12-16. Anyway, yesterday (I think) I watched the movie Interview With A Vampire - again, an early 90s movie everyone went GAGA over - and I came away most underwhelmed. First, because between that and Bram Stoker's Dracula, I managed to find the artsiest, fartsiest vampire movies ever made that between them had negative scares (yes, the movies were afraid of ME, that's how bad it was). But mostly because these movies I'm deriding, they took themselves WAAAAAY too seriously with their self-importance and whatnot. Like the directors set out with a mindframe of making a Classic Film that would be appreciated for generations to come. Like The Godfather, like Apocalypse Now, like the first Friday The 13th.

Only, who's talking about Interview With A Vampire today? When do you ever see The Piano on TNT? And who would even think of Scent of a Woman except for the screw job the Academy gave to Denzel when he lost for his role in Malcom X to ... Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman?

You know what movies from the 90s made a lasting impact? Goodfellas (1990), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Schindler's List (1993), Pulp Fiction (1994), The Shawshank Redemption (1994), and that's about it. And really, The Silence of the Lambs has been diluted by all the sequels and prequels, and nobody in their right mind watches Schindler's List unless they want to be super depressed or they feel the need to remember a really horrific time in the world's existence. That's, like, three movies in 7 years that'll ever be remembered and watched more than the obligatory time by film buffs like myself who are compelled to see every so-called good thing at least once in their lives. If you're NOT an obsessive nutcase like myself and you're born after the year 1985, you're most likely never going to see the bulk of the movies that came out between 1990 and 1997 and really, you won't be missing much.

Thank You.
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Where Are The Wolves?

I actually started writing today because I wanted to talk about the All Nite Werewolf Movie Marathon I attended at Pioneer Theater in the Lower East Side. From 9pm yesterday until 7 or 8am this morning, I sat and I watched. Six films.

So, considering this is the Saturday before Halloween - meaning, the last free night for most of us 9-5 working stiffs out there to get our groove thang on in the name of the Creepy Crawlies - I decided to get dressed up in a manner befitting a normal Halloween holiday. You know, I didn't want to show up in a t-shirt and pants and looking like an IDIOT! So, I wore:

My green Chilly Willy pajama bottoms
My big fuzzy gray wool socks
My brown sandals
My orange & white checkered collared shirt
My black and white 3 Stooges Tie
My green llama wool poncho
My light green knit cap
My $.99 oven mitt
My complimentary pair of 3-D glasses I got from this year's issue of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition
and My Geico draw-string backpack bag I got for free at this year's Bite of Seattle (which, at the end of the night, subsequently broke on me, thank you very much Geico)

Yeah, I was looking good and freakish on the LOOOONG ride from Astoria down to the Lower East Side. Which means - since I live in the blandest of the bland Astoria - that I was the ONLY good and freakish one riding the LOOOONG ride down. And, when I got to the theater, I was the ONLY one looking good and freakish in the theater (except for the guy who had regular clothes on and a werewolf mask on top of his head). Nice.

Where's the fucking Halloween Spirit, people??? I mean, I was surrounded by the film buff nerds I anticipated being surrounded by, but apparently they weren't the kind of risk-taking nerds who'd have the balls to wear Chilly Willy pajama bottoms with their Spongebob Squarepants Boxers on the OUTSIDE like I did!

And none of the movies we saw were in 3-D. And I didn't have a good explanation for my costume, so I started making things up (I'm an investment banker; I'm a wombat gynaecologist; I'm a corporate efficiency expert; I'm Superman's retarded cousin).

But, the films were pretty good. Actually, they were HILARIOUS even though none of them tried to be. 'The Howling' was this cheesy 70s or 80s movie about this rest-home in the mountains that's run by werewolves; 'The Company of Wolves' - directed by the same guy who did The Crying Game and Interview With A Vampire - was this bullshit early 80s movie starring Angela Lansbury that was a take-off of Little Red Riding Hood and totally sucked balls but still had its unintentionally funny moments. 'The Curse of the Werewolf' was actually a decent early 70s film set in Spain about this kid who was born out of wedlock on December 25th (which, apparently, makes you an abomination AND ergo a werewolf). 'Wolf' - starring Jack Nicholson and James Spader and Michelle Pfeiffer - blew so much ass it was incredible, but it was still funny watching Jack degrade himself in such a manner for the almighty buck. 'Teen Wolf' - starring Michael J. Fox - absolutely HAS to be ranked up there in all-time best teenage sports movies featuring werewolves. Plus, it has the fat foe in Pee Wee's Big Adventure (the rich kid who steals his bike). Finally, we watched 'Werewolf Vs. The Vampire Woman (a.k.a. Vampiros Lesbos)' and it's pretty much how it sounds: Grade A Cinema.

What have I learned about werewolves, you ask? Well, they may be the most frightening of all the horror genre monsters (because they're faster than mummies, fiercer than zombies, with fewer vulnerabilities than vampires), but I've yet to see a werewolf movie that was actually SCARY. I mean, come on! They can make a disfigured fuck with one eye scary, but they can't do the same for werewolves? Also, apparently you don't even need to be bitten by a werewolf to become one, as long as you're a bastard on Christmas. And, did you know that the love of a good woman will prevent a werewolf from turning into the beast during a full moon? Oh, oh, and they sweat a lot! I mean, every damn movie had the thing sweating buckets. And they regenerate like starfish and the silver bullet thing totally works, and they kick the asses of lesbian vampires and every movie about werewolves has an intricate scene where the man transforms into the animal. Doesn't matter how cartoonish the special effects, they will go all OUT in their 5-minute transformation while the victim stands there screaming politely in one spot.

Best part of the evening: at midnight, after the second movie of six, all of us went outside, found the moon high in the sky (because, as chance would have it, this weekend we're in a full moon period), and all howled at the top of our lungs for a minute or two. Fucking awesome, I bet we really freaked out some squares.

Hail Satan.
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