Friday, October 22, 2010

Hardware Wars, Redux

It... It's like a train wreck. I couldn't stop staring at it. It's hideous, yet beautiful. When I was in High School some friends of mine and I made a movie or two on 8mm video, it didn't even have audio (we were rockin' it old school) and our budget consisted of whatever materials we could scrounge from our houses. What I'm about to introduce you to is videos with production value that is not much better than that, but there's a twist. Each video is a scene from Star Wars: A New Hope and they have been strung together in order to re-create the entire movie. I was reminded of a spoof of Episode IV called Hardware Wars when I was watching it. If I can find that on Youtube I'll link it also and you can decide for yourself.

I know what you're thinking "That sounds awful!". I can only give you partial credit for that response. It is awful, but magnificent at the same time. Dare I say, Awesomely Awesome. I'll tease you no more, the title is Star Wars Uncut and the link is below. If, in the future I can post those old 8mm movies I made with some friends then I will. Currently negotiations have stalled but we are working with a editor from the History Channel (no kidding, really!) to get them transferred to digital.

Star Wars Uncut

trailer for Star Wars

Hardware Wars Pt 1

Hardware Wars Pt 2

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"I Heard You Paint Houses"

Looks like a new mobster movie is coming out from Martin Scorsese. Marty is bringing out the big guns (De Niro, Pesci) this time for a film adaptation of the true crime book "I Heard You Paint Houses" by Charles Brandt. It'll be called The Irishman after the subject of the book, Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran. It's a first hand account of the Union thuggery of Sheeran under the management of Jimmy Hoffa. "I heard you paint houses" is how Hoffa introduced himself to Sheeran. It alludes to the splatter of blood on the wall after a hitman kills his target. Sheeran was a killer, Hoffa needed a killer, it was a match made in somewhere other than Heaven. It goes on to describe the downfall of Hoffa and how Sheeran had a part in the murder and disappearance of him. It reads like one of those "of course, well that makes sense" types of solutions of history's mysteries. Of course, as good as it reads, as believable as it sounds, one never knows. I liked the book a lot but you won't catch me trotting it out as Gospel when someone suggests a theory of the final whereabouts of Jimmy Hoffa.
Will it be as good as Goodfellas and Casino? They were both based on true stories too. Truth be told, I liked Goodfellas better, in part because although they changed the name of the story from Wiseguy to Goodfellas, they kept the real names of the characters. On that topic, they maintained the title of Casino but changed the names of the characters and locations in that movie. Wonder why? I think it has the potential of completing a "trilogy" of sorts if this maintains the endless soundtrack style of Goodfellas and Casino. Did anyone see the 1992 movie Hoffa with Jack Nicholson and Danny DeVito? DeVito was supposed to be a combination of several characters, including Frank Sheeran. Not a bad movie but not as good as I expected either. Still, I look forward to this movie and I will be happy to pass my brilliant musings about it on to you once it gets to my trusty dollar cinema. Oh, this one is supposed to have Al Pacino in it too. A+ in advance if he uses his Godfather voice and not his carnival barker voice he used in The Devil's Advocate.

link to article about The Irishman

trailer for Goodfellas

trailer for Casino

trailer for Hoffa

trailer for The Godfather

trailer for The Devil's Advocate

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Top Gun 2: Electric Boogaloo

Can it be true? Will there really be a sequel to Top Gun? Well, all I know so far is that it'll probably be about a cocky young female pilot... er, Naval Aviator instead of a cocky young male Naval Aviator. Sadly it also seems that our old pal Maverick will not be played by Tom "glib" Cruise. On that note I kind of doubt that "Iceman" will return since Val Kilmer's, well, not in flying shape just now.

And what about the commander that was Marty McFly's principal in Back to The Future, will he make it back? I'll have to do some more research. I don't want to rely on fan sites and Hollywood gossip rags so I figure I'll just speculate wildly and if any of it actually happens then I'll claim to be a genius. I suppose since Dr. Green died in that eject scene in Top Gun then he'll probably not be back in Top Gun 2, whatever the name of it will be. Oh, wait! Maybe it can be a zombie movie and he can come back. Or, better still he can come back in some sort of Obi Wan "ghost" capacity.

Well we all know that "Mav" wanted to be an instructor for Top Gun so how will the movie makers handle that? Will they try to resolve the inconsistency with some back story or will they just gloss over and hope you forget about it like so many loose ends from the Star Wars prequels. I got it I got it! Tim Robbins can reprise his role as "Merlin" and HE can be the new Top Gun instructor and the cocky new female pilot can be his mom, Susan Sarandon. Well, no. Come to think of it, that may not work after all.

Now. for your enjoyment. The return of the Ten Dollar Popcorn Players doing their rendition of the 1st classroom scene of Top Gun. Red Robot is "Viper" and Speakerface is the new "Maverick".

Wait, I'm tearing up. It's just so beautiful... Anyway, at least any beach vollyball scenes won't be nearly as disturbing as the 1986 version.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Blarney and Bullets!

A few friends find unlimited joy in making fun of my taste in television shows. Particularly when I try to get them to watch Top Gear on BBC America. Now I know very little about cars. Sure, I can maintain a few things but when it comes to actual car knowledge my philosophy is:

I break it. Mechanic fixes it. Together we're a team.

But it is a car show with actual automotive knowledge distribution. But that doesn't matter because I can't afford any of the cars portrayed on the show anyway. Yet. BWA-HAHAHAHAHA! *cough* sorry. Actually, even the American made cars on the show are models they don't sell in America so there's no value there either. The show is great because of the dry and (often) self-effacing humor of the hosts. Any other description would not do it justice, you just have to see it for yourself.

While I was searching the channels one night to find an episode of Top Gear, I noticed a movie that I once had interest in seeing but not enough to pay for it. Miller's Crossing(1990) was coming on another station so I hit 'record' and noticed it was getting late so I recorded the episode of Top Gear also and went to bed.

When I finally found time to watch Miller's Crossing I found out it was a Cohen Brother's film. Despite that fact it had no young married couples trying to kidnap a baby, no 1930's chain gangers re-enacting the Odyssey, and even though it was a gangster movie, it had no hit-men being shoved in wood-chippers. This one is about an Irish mobster in the early 1930s that gets involved in a made for TV plot line. Ooh, that was kind of a harsh way to start this. Allow me to start over.

Tom (Gabriel Byrne) is the main character in this version of the prohibition mobster movie. But the strange part is, there is no "big score" or "big take down" or "escape" theme to the story. It's also not the "Biography of Tom the Mobster". So what is it? Well, for starters Tom is an advisor to a New York crime boss, not the typical drug dealer, stick-up man, assassin, or wheel man of your typical gangster movie. So he's already made it pretty far in his chosen profession. But he's got problems. He's in way over his head with bad gambling debt and he can't stop making those bad bets. His boss Leo (Albert Finney) doesn't seem to care what Tom thinks even though he's his advisor and truly seems to like Tom. He's in a love/hate relationship with Verna (Marcia Gay Hardin) that is indifferent to him as he is to her. I know, that sounds like it doesn't make sense, but if you see the movie you know what I mean. Overall he's an aggressively unappealing character. Add this room-clearing personality to a plot that has no main direction and you've got a made for TV movie. Albeit with really good directors.

Why Doesn't Tom Care?

I know I've been kind of vague about what the plot is, well that's because it's not very memorable. Tom is trying to stop a gang war between his boss and another boss. That seems like you could make a pretty good story from that right? Well, yes but then you'd probably have the main character actually apply some effort to his task. That didn't happen here. I thought, maybe if I compared this to another mobster movie, a classic, then I'd learn a little about why this one didn't appeal to me. So I watched The Public Enemy with James Cagney from 1931. This one didn't have a "big score" plot either but it was a "story of my life" movie and apparently a very popular one since it was played 24 hours a day to packed movie theaters for a while after it was released.

If this post wasn't so long already I'd break down some other mobster movies and compare them to this one so I'll be happy to leave that conversation to the comments section.

So if you want a mobster movie about a slacker wiseguy that really doesn't care about his life, job, or the people he associates with then I highly recommend Miller's Crossing to you. Otherwise go rent The Godfather, The Godfather part II, Goodfella's, Casino, or even The Public Enemy if you haven't seen it before. Just don't lose sleep over missing Miller's Crossing, and by the way don't ever watch The Godfather Part III. PeeeYoooo! What a stinker that was!

Trailer for Millers Crossing

Trailer for The Public Enemy

Trailer for The Godfather

Trailer for The Godfather Part II

Trailer for Goodfellas

Trailer for Casino

Top Gear TV show

I refuse to link to anything involving The Godfather Part III

Friday, July 16, 2010

Based On a Novel By...

Thanks to the two-week free trial of Netflix I have been able to see a plethora of movies that snuck past me. Even my patience worked against me as their stay in the dollar cinema eluded me due to a busy schedule and possible apathy toward them. The two movies in question were based on novels, which can be a mixed blessing. One was by all accounts a children's book from a popular series and the other could be argued either as a "young adult" book or simply light reading. If I'm not mistaken there are some fans out there of each of these series that will argue quite strenuously that they were NOT children's books, maybe because they might feel embarrassed about reading them. As I've noted before, I have no problem with people knowing that I watch kids movies and read novels that my have been targeted at kids or young adults.

The first was about a young man who felt he was an outcast all his life and didn't really know why. That is, until he found out he had magical powers and then a whole world opened up to him that, until then he thought was just a make-believe world of historical fantasy. At first he was an outcast even in the magical world until he proved himself with amazing acts of heroism with the help of his new friends!

The other book, which was aimed at a broader audience, dealt with a more dark subject matter. The story included young love that we knew, at first, must be denied. Deep heart-ache was the mainstay of some of the characters that weren't quite human. We learned that one of the main characters must choose between the love of two who are of very different races. All the while, outside forces threaten their very way of life.

Both of these novels were destined to become movies since Hollywood's decision to just give up and let other people do the thinking when it comes to new ideas. Besides, each was part of a series of successful books so the studios knew they had a veritable cash machine on their hands as long as the first movie did mildly well. By now I'm sure you've guessed the movie about the "outcast boy" is Percy Jackson, The Lightening Thief and the darker movie with the love triangle is Dragons of Autumn Twilight.

The Lightening Thief bugged me because it was a book I read with my children and although it wasn't great writing, it was entertaining and the story flowed pretty well. The movie kind of felt like the production of someone who had an enormous budget and was determined to use every penny of it, even if it made the movie look plastic and garish. The good story and the knowledge that the director was Chris Columbus probably encouraged me to set my sights unreasonably high for this one. I mean, Columbus directed the first two Harry Potter movies so it shouldn't have been a stretch to think this would be a keeper... right? Hey! Now that I think about it, Harry Potter was also about a boy who... um, nevermind.

The film version of Dragons of Autumn Twilight was actually little known even to those who read the novels. Apparently with good reason. Since I read the books as a young teenager I was very interested in how it was adapted into a movie. Kiefer Southerland even lent his name to the voice acting credits! Did you catch that? "Voice" acting credits. It was made into an animated film, one in which Hanna Barbara would have been ashamed to produce, good thing they didn't. It was a mix of over-the-top voice acting and clumsy computer animation mixed with traditional ink animation. The early, animated Lord of the Rings movie (remember that one?) was awe-inspiring compared to this. If you've read the books then don't waste your time on it. Unless you have some morbid curiosity about it then knock yourself out. I mean it. Knock yourself out instead of watching this because it's that bad.

As I think about it, there was another movie about a love story involving strange semi-human races. I'm pretty sure it also involved the word "Twilight" in some way but the name escapes me.

trailer for The Lightening Thief

trailer for Dragons of Autumn Twilight

trailer for The Lord of The Rings (1978)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

But First, a Note About The New Layout

I thought I'd give the stagelight-looking layout a whirl, just to see how it would look behind the increasingly popular and significant musings of the important subject that is... my opinion of (mostly) dollar movies. Turns out I don't like it as much as I did the plane-Jane generic blog look. The problem is I CAN'T SEEM TO RESTORE IT TO IT'S ORIGINAL LOOK!


Yes, I'm aware I missed my June deadline of another post. As an apology, July will include TWO updates to Ten Dollar Popcorn.

Including this one.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Harvey the Rabbit's Day Off

In 1986 I was working at a summer camp and a couple of the other staff members came in from "town" after seeing a movie on their night off. I didn't immediately know what they saw but one was still so excited about the movie he said to the other "Say Ferris!" Or that's what I thought he said. Turns out he said "Save Ferris" but that didn't make any sense either. It should be clear to you now that the movie they went to see was The Karate Kid II.

Personally I think they should have been saying "Save Ali" since for whatever reason Elizabeth Shue's character (Ali) didn't make it into KK2. I don't know why she wasn't in the movie, contract reasons, I guess. Being the box office mega super star that she is, they probably couldn't afford her. Anyway, I chose not to see the film so I can't really tell you much about it except that it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song by the guy that used to sing for Chicago. Not the "Does anybody really know what time it is?" guy, but the one who sang "Stay the Night".

Another movie that came out that summer was Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Hm, they probably should have seen that one. Much more interesting in my opinion. For those of you who haven't seen it, Ferris Bueller's Day Off is about a high school senior from an upscale neighborhood in Chicago. Because, well, it's a John Hughes film and they all revolve around upscale neighborhoods in Chicago. Ferris (Matthew Broderick) is months away from graduating and wants one more day off of school to goof off with his friends Cameron (Alan Ruck) and Sloane (Mia Sara) so he fakes being sick and his parents leave him at home but he doesn't stay there long. All during their adventure they are being chased by the school principal who is on to their little scheme and wants to catch them for truancy and for being meddling kids. So in the course of a school day they are able to trick the school into letting Sloane out, visit the Stock Exchange, the Sears Tower, see a Cubs game, dine in a high-end restaurant, visit an art museum, participate in a parade, hang out in a swimming pool and get back before his parents get home. That's an amazing accomplishment considering a school day is around 7 hours! Good thing they had a snazzy little sports car to zip around town in.

Except, they weren't in the Ferrari very much. Come to think of it, they weren't in much of a hurry all day. How then... could they have done all that in such a short period of time!?

One theory I stumbled across gives FBDO the Harvey the Rabbit treatment. It goes something like this: (hat tip to My edits below are in parentheses.

The Theory:

Cameron creates Ferris in his mind. Ferris is the total opposite of Cameron: he's fun, spontaneous and has a loving family and foxy girlfriend. At the beginning of the film, the imaginary Ferris convinces a bed-ridden Cameron to "borrow" his dad's Ferrari 250 GT California and cruise all over Chicago. Given Cameron's crushing social incompetence, it's likely that Sloane is fictional too and represents a girl that he has a crush on.

This theory explains the more fantastic elements of the film. For example, the whole city of Chicago rallies around the "sick" Ferris. This represents Cameron's miserable home life and how he yearns for friends and family who give a (darn). Or, perhaps Bueller is a guy Cameron knows but isn't friends with, and his fantasy is based on what he imagines life to be like for the "popular" kids at school--everything is easy and the world revolves around them.

Or maybe it's a secret metaphor for how Cameron wants to grow up to be Inspector Gadget.

"Gotta get home before my parents do!"

When Cameron accidentally trashes his father's Ferrari at the film's climax, he realizes that he needs to stick up to his father and take responsibility for his own life. At this point he "disposes" of Ferris and Sloane. Both of his fictional friends receive happy endings: Sloane is left pondering marrying Ferris, whereas Ferris safely returns home, where he can break the fourth wall for eternity.

Why does it make the film better?

It transforms Ferris Bueller into a Brat Pack version of Fight Club. Remember when Ferris keeps pestering Cameron to pick him up? Let's watch that scene again...

That kid is (messed) up. He needs a friend. A friend who is everything he is not, a friend who can liberate him from all of his self-imposed limitations. Somewhere, there's probably a rejected script for a sequel where "Bueller" convinces Cameron to climb up a clock tower with a rifle.

Here's the link:

Given this option it catapults FBDO into the realm of other freaky deaky (how much of that film really happened?) movies like Harvey the Rabbit, Donnie Darko, and Fight Club. Since it was a Summer movie and Summer is on it's way, my suggestion would be to watch it again. This time, go ahead and jump down the rabbit hole and into the twisted mind of Cameron Fry!

trailer for Karate Kid II

trailer for Ferris Bueller's Day Off

trailer for Inspector Gadget

clip from Harvey the Rabbit

trailer for Donnie Darko

trailer for Fight Club

Thursday, April 8, 2010

They Shoot Crawdads, Don't They?

It was late and all of the kids were in bed so I decided to watch a movie. I remembered that I recently found both Raising Arizona and Pretty In Pink at Half Price Books so I considered the pros and cons of both. The opening sequence of Raising Arizona is worth the price of the movie all by itself. But, I've always identified with Ducky from Pretty in Pink. The self deprecating high school 'also-ran' was probably a sympathetic character to quite a few self deprecating high school 'also-rans' like myself. One difference however was, Ducky caught the eye of the hot brunette at the end of his high school career. It was another seven years before I found the right hot brunette. But I digress.

Well that settled it. Time was a-wastin' so I knew it could only be Road House 2, Take it Outside... I'd waited long enough and I didn't want you to suffer any longer without my deep thoughts on this glittering jewel of colossal pulchritude.


Our story begins in the Black Pelican bar somewhere in Louisiana. As the camera pans into the bar (or Road House I suppose) we see the two women from the front cover of the DVD. They apparently just got off of the shoot as ZZ Top video girls and decided to wind down at the Black Pelican. OK, let's go inside and see how these two help this movie get going!

Inside the music is blaring via bar band X, which probably has a real name if indeed they are a real band but if it was mentioned I didn't catch it. Just imagine any bar's cover band that just started writing it's own music and this is pretty much them. Except this one had a midget dancing on the front of the stage for a reason which escapes me. I think Kid Rock had a gimmick like this for a while but I'm not sure why the practice would be desirable enough to copycat. Meh, if the guy is having fun being a stage device then more power to him.

The Black Pelican Bar/Roadhouse is owned by "Nate" a tough but kindly old guy who gets a cryptic phone call late one night telling him to meet (somewhere) regarding the bar. That is, you're supposed to infer that because it's not really clear. Let's see, late night mysterious phone call, disputed property, out of the way location. Nope. Can't see the harm in that!
The meeting goes something like this: (Nate is represented by the blue robot, Wild Bill is the yellow)

Let's hear it for the Ten Dollar Popcorn Players!

To be fair, the actual scene in the movie was slightly less wooden. By the way, that last sound you heard was a gunshot. Production value tends to suffer with our shoestring budget.

Enter "Shane Tanner", an undercover DEA agent with all the right moves. It says so right on the DVD case. We are told to believe he is the son of "Dalton" from the first Road House, which plugs up that little plot hole nicely. Other plot holes created by the movie itself are plugged up near the end of the film, but I don't want to give too much away. Shane encounters Wild Bill, vaguely corrupt cops, his own angry boss back in New York (sure, why not), and the Australian drug kingpin that keeps making baseball references for some reason.

One interesting sequence revolves around a hospital that looks like it's straight out of a horror movie. You know, green tile walls, dimly lit, no intercom chatter, and NO ONE in the halls. Maybe they went in together with a horror movie also being shot and they shared the spooky hospital. "A" for resourcefulness, that being the case.

Here are some highlights and/or low lights of the film. I'll let you decide which is which.
  • Everyone knows karate!
  • 1 hour 13 minutes before the first car explosion
  • Sadly obligatory girl fight
  • "Hobart" dish sanitizer disappointingly unused in kitchen fight scene
  • The cover girls are never seen again after the first scene (bait and switch?)
  • Sadly obligatory ironic death scene

In the "cheesy action movie" category it rates a C. The fact that the film is Roadhousian in nature bumps it up to a C+. The bewildering fact that Uncle Nate is still alive after all that happens to him in the movie brings it back down to a C.


trailer for Raising Arizona

trailer for Pretty In Pink

trailer for Road House 2

trailer for Road House

thanks to for it's contribution to this review!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Alien Boy Meets Native Girl

It has huge, sweeping, beautiful CGI created landscapes and action sequences. It has a scrappy hero plucked from the natives to defend his adopted home against the tyranny of a high-tech enemy that's only out for more power. It has an attractive heroine willing to risk her life to help her people survive this new and frightening menace as love blooms between her and our hero. Yes! I'm referring to Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow! What did you think I was talking about?

SCATWOT opens with a woman reporter who (for a 1940's-esque movie) doesn't talk nearly fast enough. I was hoping for more of the "fast talking career-girl" from the Hudsucker Proxy which was a great Tim Robbins movie from before he became all preachy and moved in with his Mom. Who I believe was "Janet" from the Rocky Horror Picture Show which is a plucky little flick that's only been in the theaters continuously for thirty-five years now. That Richard O'Brian was apparently on to something there. By the way, he (Richard O'Brian a.k.a. Riff Raff) has a pretty good gig now as the Dad in the cartoon Phineas and Ferb on the Disney Channel. Yes really.

Back to the movie at hand. Gwyneth Paltrow is "Polly Perkins", the reporter (who really should talk faster) who is in New York when it gets invaded by giant robots. Now I have to stop here because the robots reminded me of something. Upon further review, I recognised them from a Superman cartoon from the 1940's, the episode was called The Mechanical Monsters. The reason for the robots was almost alike but the robots (at least some of them) were exact copies. It didn't bother me because I believe that instead of ripping off the Superman cartoon, they were giving a nod to it's pre-war (WWII) ingenuity and was simply holding true to the science fiction themes of the time. Enter "Sky Captain" (Jude Law) in what looks like a P-40 Warhawk, but please correct me if I've misidentified the plane. But this is no ordinary P-40! It's all tricked out like a James Bond car, thanks to Sky Captain's buddy "Dex" Played by Giovanni Ribisi. I didn't know who he was either, but apparently he's the stereotype "evil corporate guy" in a recent movie about blue aliens.

Sky Captain and Polly get together after some plot development on their history with each other that introduces a side story that is interesting but as tired as a '80s sitcom. Will they get together or won't they? Do they love each other or hate each other? Blah, blah, blah. You get the idea. Their adventure to discover the mystery of the invading robots leads them to enough trouble to require the assistance of "Capt. Frankie Cook", and her squadron of flying aces on her airborne aircraft carrier. Frankie is played by Angelina Jolie and her lips. Actually I can't remember if they met Frankie before or after they found their way to Shangri La. Which, by the way looks a lot like Rivendell from the Lord of the Rings movie series. I mean A LOT! it's like they used the same software to make the two settings.

Personally I think this movie might have had some of it's trouble reaching an audience because the hero is a nimble little British guy instead of a swashbuckling American, or a Brit. The problem is that he's too much "Wesley" from the Princess Bride and not enough "Ash" from Army of Darkness. Who, by the way was played by Bruce Campbell which had a bit part in The Hudsucker Proxy. See how this works?

The goal for Sky Captain and Polly is to find out the deal with the giant robots and why the world's scientists are either disappearing or being killed off. Lots of action and great '40s film noir look. I really like that kind of stuff. Sadly I was also one of the few that really liked this movie. Clearly it didn't do to well in the theaters, which is a bummer. Oh well.

This one gets a well deserved "A" rating from me.

Good for Netflix, or a store rental. I'd probably buy it if I saw it in Half Price Books.

trailer for Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

Superman and The Mechanical Monsters

trailer for The Hudsucker Proxy

trailer for Rocky Horror Picture Show

Phineas and Ferb (0:19)

trailer for The Lord of the Rings, the Fellowship of the Ring

trailer for The Princess Bride

trailer for Army of Darkness

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

One Meeeeeleeon Dollars!

Simply because I can no longer pass up (or fail to pass off) an easy review of a movie that holds little interest for me. I now turn this over to our now relatively famous guest blogger and his review of James Cameron a.k.a Dr. Evil and his mind control machine, uh... movie.

Before you watch, I can't stress enough that because of some language and imagery they are not safe for work, children, or pets. But are stinkin' funny.

Part One

Part Two

Once again, each of these videos is about 8 to 10 minutes long but are worth it. As a teaser, did anyone else notice his reference to Vger? Maybe he's reading this blog too. Hmmm.

On another note I just watched a movie that was also a huge spectacle of a film but in this case almost no one cared about it. I know I have you on the edge of your seat but you'll just have to wait for our next installment.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Fall of The Cheeseburger

Christmas vacation always provides at least one day in which the kiddos and I can see a movie. Thankfully, the trusty dollar cinema finally changed it's movie lineup and provided us with Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. On a side note, I finally solved the mystery of fluctuation in ticket prices. It seems Tuesdays are the "dollar" days and every other time is the $1.50 price. Our wise neighbor clearly knew this and it's why we often gather the kids together to see a movie at this time when they're all home from school for a while. Also, our trusty dollar cinema has provided more incentive to entice our patronage.
Did you catch it? The "Large" popcorn is only $6.00! Not the typical $10.! And that's not all, it comes with a re-fill! Wait, there's more, there's a little kiosk with flavors like 'ranch', 'cheddar', 'white cheddar', and 'caramel' that you can add to the popcorn if you like living on the edge. I was able to convince #1 Son that mixing 'ranch' and 'caramel' was probably a bad idea. I hope he doesn't resent me for it.

Imagine my surprise when upon entering the theater, the movie had already started. This is something I was unused to. We all know that if a movie starts at 2pm then it actually starts at 2:20pm because of the obligatory 20 minutes of previews and *shudder* commericals! Oh well, live and learn. I now know that my trusty dollar cinema not only has $6. popcorn but it starts it's movies when it says it will. Vehnkman, your opinion?

This was another movie from which I expected little. I knew it was probably going to be better than Space Chimps but I was willing to cut it some slack. Since I don't know how it starts I'll just start my own wandering ramble about the film. Flint Lockwood is our hero, he's an inventor that lives on an island who's only source of food is sardines and Flint is sick of that so he decides to invent a machine that turns water into any kind of food you choose. His father is growing quite tired of Flint's inventions and is ready for him to hang it up and come work with him in the family bait shop. By the way, they did a great job depicting the bait shop. It looks like almost every one I've ever been in. Even the one in Galveston Texas where a friend of mine and I were kicked out of for playing around on their two-wheel hand cart back in 1980-something. Good times...

Well the Mayor of the island decides to cash in on it's sardine image and pump up the tourist trade but Flint just happened to pick that time to test his new food making machine but it goes crazy and end up flying up into a cloud. About this time a weather reporter, Sam Sparks, from the national weather network runs into Flint and the machine gets going, but good! I don't know if it was just me but this was the point wherein I was reminded of a Steven Spielberg technique that I call the "people looking" take. There's probably an actual cinematic name for it but I don't know what it is. The CWACOM version can be seen in the trailer starting at 1:06. Steve uses it a lot as can be seen in this trailer for Jurassic Park, at about :53 seconds in. And in the Lost World Trailer at :41 and :50. Spielberg loves him some people, staring... with their mouths open.

Things on the island couldn't be better after that. People are loving all the food and it seems too good to be true! And since it seems too good to be true then we know where it's heading. Sam starts to see the trouble, several people do actually but the snowball effect has already started. The movie culminates in a scene reminiscent of the discovery of what Vger is in Star Trek the Motion Picture and kind of like the Dr. Who series in the '80s about the "Sever Teen" You'll understand if you've seen either one of those movie/shows.

It is really a very entertaining movie and I think I liked it as much as the kids. It's one of those movies that other adults annoy you with how many jokes are "really written for the grown-ups" when they feel embarrassed about seeing a kids movie. I, on the other hand have no problems with watching kids movies and I'll be the first to tell you about it. As a matter of fact, I just did.

Mr. T was great as the police officer. I've always liked him. Especially his Snickers commercials.


Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs trailer

Space Chimps trailer

Jurassic Park trailer

The Lost World trailer

Star Trek the Motion Picture trailer

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Stop the Presses!

Reviews for Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs and Where The Wild Things Are are in the pipeline and will be posted here soon. However this can't wait. A present from my brother-in-law had just arrived and in it was none other than a DVD of Road House 2! Granted I never knew this movie even existed but now that I know and actually have a copy then there's no stopping me. Some of you may know my feelings toward Road House and all movies Roadhousian in nature. If you don't then feel free to look back to September (and earlier) posts to get the full story. And yes, you read it right. None other than Jake Busey (brother of Gary Busey) is co-starring in this cinematic event. What could go wrong? In the mean time, bask in the glory of a picture of the DVD taken by my phone until such time as I am able to view it and meet you back here to revel in the untamed cheese of it all!

Here's the Awesomely Awesome trailer for Road House 2
**UPDATE 3:44pm** It has come to my attention that Jake Busey is indeed not the brother of Gary Busey but his son. Go figure.