Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Matt’s Week in Dork! (3/11-3/17)

    Not many movies this week.  I ended up watching a lot of TV shows, though.  And got me some reading done.  But oddly, I was once again fairly social.  I’ve become quite the social butterfly in recent months, which isn’t exactly a state I’m familiar or entirely comfortable with, but which I’m enjoying in my way. 

Fly Me:  What do those sexy stews get up to when they’re abroad?  Kung-Fu, dancing, kidnapping, thumb wrestling, partying, and so much sex.  Hong Kong is the place to go.  And Tokyo makes a nice follow-up.  But as anyone making a film in Southeast Asia knows, it’s not a party until Vic Diaz shows up (53 minutes in, if you’re keeping score).  And am I crazy or is that love theme from a Super Mario level?

Cover Girl Models:  Corman’s crew returns to Asia and you know Vic Diaz is gonna be there to meet ‘em (7 minutes in for those playing at home).  A wet t-shirt starts things off, but then it’s Hong Kong and some dreary backgrounds for what would be some pretty uninspired modeling shots (Look at that picnic table!  Ooo, and look at that broken down wharf!  Hong Kong is so exotic!).  We learn that modeling is mostly about spinning around.  Not as crazy as Fly Me, but still soaked in low budget sleaze and bristling with young breasts.

Ghidorah The Three Headed Monster:  Not quite as much fun as I remember it, this movie is goofy as all get-out, but takes FOREVER to go anywhere.  Ghidorah is probably my favorite monster from the massive cast of beasts out of Toho, but he’s cooler elsewhere.  Still, lots of great awkward dubbing.  And the monster congress is something to see.  OK, but there are better movies of the sort.

Charlie’s Angels: Season One:  Sometimes, things you love as a kid don’t hold the same magic as an adult.  But once in a while, you come across something that still captures that certain something.  Charlie’s Angels is just such a thing for me.  As soon as the girls walked on screen and I heard John Forsythe’s voice, I had a big smile on my face, and felt better about my day.  With lovable goofball Bosley backing them up, Jill, Sabrina, and Kelly get into all kinds of trouble, wear AMAZING outfits I don’t think you’d get away with on TV today (maybe on FOX), and solve crime or something.  I’ve always thought of Kelly as my favorite Angle what with her classic beauty and...well, what's about it.  But now, more mature Matt has a deeper appreciation of Sabrina, with her smarts or something.  Heck, I even enjoyed Farrah Fawcett in this show, and she normally aggravates the heck out of me (See: Logan’s Run).  Add to the sexy ladies a veritable cornucopia of That Guy actors and future stars (clean shaven Selleck!!!) and you’ve got a formula for fun.  And like so many shows of the 70s and early 80s, it doesn’t matter how dark things get, or what awful subjects the episode is about, they always end on a freeze-frame laugh.  Fantastic. 

The Three Musketeers:  The newest in the interminable list of films loosely based of the Alexander Dumas serialized novel, this explosion filled silliness is too clumsy and too boring to be fun.  Every line of ultra-cliché dialog is served with a knowing wink and nudge, like someone telling a lame joke who doesn’t understand that his audience gets it, and simply doesn’t find it funny.  The Three Musketeers goes on my list with Robin Hood and King Arthur of subjects that NEVER need to be made into films again…EVER and for all time.  But, that said, I was willing to give another campy Milla vehicle a go.  And there are a few good moments, a few cool images, a couple OK action bits.  But that occasional OK spice doesn’t make up for the rest of the meal you’ve got to muscle past. 

    On the TV front, not only did I finish the first season of Charlie’s Angels, and got a start on season 2, but I watched a bit more of From the Earth to the Moon, Tomorrow People, and started Boardwalk Empire, which I think I’m really gonna like.  Steve Buscemi immediately grabbed me.  He has such a beautifully grotesque face that can somehow express a dozen emotions and thoughts at the same time.  I simultaneously love and hate, fear and pity him.  And while I keep thinking how much he needs a bullet in the head, I can’t help but want him to come out ahead of the game.

    Also this week, after catching Adam Baldwin on From the Earth to the Moon, I got a major hankering to watch Firefly again, which I’d been bouncing around in the back of my head for the better part of the last six months.  I recruited Ben to watch the first episode, and we ended up finishing the first disk that day, and coming back the next to watch disk 2.  Dang, but I love that show.  Oh, sure, River makes me want to scream, she’s so ridiculously Joss Whedon she boarders on self parody (watch Dollhouse to see what happens when he crosses that border…or just don’t watch it.  That’s better advice.  Don’t watch it).  But generally, the humanocentric (no aliens here) story of societal outcasts and outlaws scratching out a living on their own terms, far away from the comfort and conformity of civilization echoes a romantic element of Americanism that still calls to many of us.  In the same way I watch The African Queen or Tales of the Gold Monkey and think to myself ‘that’s the life for me,’ I can absolutely see myself out in the Black doing whatever I can to keep flying. 

       And while waiting for the arrival of an old friend from out of town, I burned through another bit of mad genius from master of melancholy and surreality, Jason.  See my review.

    I am sad to have missed Lisa’s send-off for Davy Jones.  I’ve been feeling a deep sense of Monkeeslessness in the last couple years, made that much more profound by Lisa and Brad’s talk of watching the show and Head, and going to see them live last year.  One of these days, I’ll let the wave of crazy wash over me and do some kind of groovy marathon. 


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