Monday, April 12, 2021

Calling Philo Vance, 1940

First viewing.

                                                         Damn titles in quotes again! 

My first foray into the Philo Vance murder mystery series. This is based on The Kennel Murder Case from 1930 that I could never get through even with William Powell as the lead. This version is updated for a setting on the verge of World War II. It’s not too bad a story as these things go. But I mostly liked the magical view-changing keyhole.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Jezebel, 1938

Second viewing

                                   Damn quotes around movie titles, drives me crazy.

This is one of my favorite movies. It came out a year before Gone With the Wind and has a lot of the same themes but not quite the same splendor. Bette Davis was famously pining for the part of Scarlett O’Hara (along with many others) and you can really imagine what she would have been like in that role.

Also, I’ve finally been watching Schitt’s Creek, which is hilarious. While looking up Jezebel I read that in the movie For Your Consideration, Catherine O’Hara is watching Jezebel. I have not seen For Your Consideration.  Also, O’HARA. Weird.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Harvey, 1950

First viewing

I was well aware of the history of this movie, just never got around to seeing it. It’s a delight of a palate cleanser of a movie even with the mental hospital/insane asylum tropes. A great message of “it’s better to be nice than sane”. When Elwood says he used to be smart, and recommends pleasant instead, I felt it. I only learned that recently. Not that you can’t be both, but that’s extremely difficult because dumb people are very annoying to smart people.

Should be required viewing as a lesson in how to care about other people. How to treat anyone from any walk of life with kindness and respect. How to treat anyone whether you have money or not and whether they have money or not.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Danger Diabolik, 1968

First viewing unriffed. Signal Watch party. Everyone else liked it.

I can see why people like this movie, it’s got gadgets and wild scenes and gorgeous cars and sexy ladies. James Bond stuff. But the lead characters are absolute knobs. One reviewer called it a charisma-free zone. I can suspend a lot of disbelief if I think a character is cool or funny or human and not plastic mannequins. Having just found out this was based on a comic book it makes much more sense now. 

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Rodan, 1956

First viewing with subtitles instead of dubbing.

This is the first kaiju movie filmed in color and it looks beautiful with the turquoise cars and the bloody injuries. But it loses quite a bit of charm being subtitled instead of dubbed. I was looking forward to hearing Paul Frees doing multiple characters and George Takei in one of his earliest jobs, dubbing Japanese actors in English. Not to say this version didn’t have a goofy moments.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Devotion, 1946

First viewing

Maybe movies are how “quotes for emphasis got started.

A movie with Ida Lupino, Olivia de Havilland, Paul Heinreid and Sydney Greenstreet (who doesn’t show up for an hour and twenty minutes)?? Yes please!!

Oh it’s about the Brontë family? Eh, I’ll watch it anyway. It’s no Barretts of Wimple Street but it’s good I guess.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Lady Frankenstein, 1971

First viewing, Swift Watch party

This may be an example of another poster made before the film to help get financing.

This movie is pretty out there. Italian, late Joseph Cotten paying the bills, nudity more easily explained by budget constraints than titillation. Tania (pronounced Tonya) Frankenstein arrives home after going to medical school and becoming a surgeon, which seems unlikely. 

Let’s make love by the juice globe.

Daddy Frankenstein is continuing the long tradition of patch-working dead people then trying to bring them back to life then getting killed by them. You have to admire filmmakers who see how many Frankenstein movies there are by 1971 and say, why not make one with lots of naked bewbs and butts and creepy sex. And two monsters. And let’s throw 56-year-old Mickey Hargitay in there and dub him so he sounds like a game-show host. A fun watch overall.


Monday, April 5, 2021

The Fad Diet Circus, 1973

Many viewings, Rifftraxed

I spent the day very depressed over my body fat and the decision that I would need to give up carbs, which I’m craving because I’m depressed. So I thought I would watch this short again because I couldn’t remember what it was about exactly but it has “fad diet circus” in the title. Turns out it’s about giving up carbs, more specifically, following the Atkins Diet. I had no idea Atkins started in the 1960s. In this film people were followed after given the Atkins diet but not told that’s what it was, or a balanced low-calorie diet. The second group lost more weight and kept it off longer while several Atkins people dropped out because they felt shitty. This info is presented to Dr. Atkins himself. He deflects blame. The end.

One of the least trustworthy people I’ve ever seen.

So eat carbs, just not an entire cake every day, which is what I really want.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Vibes, 1988

First viewing

I starting watching this fully expecting it to be godawful. I’ve only ever liked Jeff Goldblum in The Fly, and even though Cyndi Lauper is a fine singer and performer, that doesn’t often translate to actor. But I really liked it. Cyndi was good and Jeff was low-key for Jeff. They play two psychics in bad relationships with other people hired by Peter Falk to find treasure in Ecuador. Huh, you say. Apparently was described by someone at the time it came out as  “Romancing the Ghostbusters in the Temple of Doom”.  It’s all that. But it’s not painfully ridiculous. 

This movie completely proves that I never pre-judge a film. 

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Top Secret! 1984

First viewing

A film I never saw because it was by the same guys who did Airplane! and I heard it wasn’t as funny. And no, it’s not, what is. And a lot of the jokes don’t work. And a lot of the gags are predictable. But I laughed out loud A LOT. Abrahams and Zuckers made their careers on the shotgun approach to jokes, with fewer hitting each subsequent movie. If you didn’t laugh at one joke wait ten seconds.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Piranha, 1978

First viewing, Signal-Watch party

This movie is not terrible like some movies, and definitely not the worst Jaws ripoff. It has some good actors in it. You may know Heather Menzies as one of the children in The Sound Of Music, I know her as Jessica from the Logan’s Run tv show.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Phantom From Space, 1953

First viewing

I didn’t watch this movie for a long time because I confused the title for a different movie and thought I’d already seen it.

This is an enjoyable little sci-fi/monster movie with very affordable “invisible man” style effects and a bit of pathos. The monster is not here to hurt anyone, his ship has crashed and he is trying to survive. Spoiler: he doesn’t.

This scene does not occur in the film. Seriously, how did movies get away with this false advertising?

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Godzilla, King of the Monsters 1956

Many viewings

This is the best Godzilla. Never get tired of this one, and somehow never remember that Raymond Burr’s character”s name is Steve Martin.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

They Came From Beyond Space, 1967

First viewing, Swift Watch party

Never heard of this delightful British “sci-fi” film about aliens possessing earth people to save their race from extinction, and I loved it. They reused sets from a Dalek movie the year before, and it looked like it. The goofy parts of this movie were endearing without being embarrassing. A good watch. The Signal-Watch was present and also has words

Monday, March 29, 2021

Fatty and Mabel’s Simple Life, 1915

First viewing

First time I’ve seen a whole Fatty Arbuckle short, and one of those silent movies best watched in a dark room after the house has gone to bed. 

I can see why he and Mabel Normand were so popular, they have a lot of personality. Clowns were also very popular at one time. This kind of thing isn’t even funny to me if Curly Howard does it.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

For Your Convenience, 1939

First viewing

One of those odd little shorts shown in theaters when you’d get a cartoon, a short or newsreel, a B-picture and a feature for the price of a ticket. This is 1939 when color films were just starting to really get traction.

This one purportedly shows examples of life conveniences. The first one is a makeup artist covering up a black eye. That’s...convenient? The next one shows how a parachute is packed. Super convenient. 


The one after that, my favorite, shows a home coffee bean roaster and coffee making apparatus I would love to have. Totally not convenient in any way. 

The next one shows a young woman with body dysmorphic disorder using an exercise machine. Very convenient for people who like to watch young women in swimsuits work out then have bubble baths.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

The People That Time Forgot, 1977

First viewing. Mom picked it out while I was scrolling through Prime. She says, Patrick Wayne looked better when he was older. I asked her who he was. She tells me he’s John Wayne’s son, I did not know this. Spend time with your parents, they have knowledge. She also recognized Doug McClure.

Sarah Douglas from Superman plays a normal woman and I almost didn’t recognize her. This film is based on Edgar Rice Burroughs and is set in 1919. An expedition flies over a mountain and into a world of breasty cavewomen, samurai-looking evil guy, and puppet dinosaurs. If that sounds good to you, you will like this movie.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Steel Magnolias, 1989

 First viewing. Thought I’d like a Dolly Parton movie, easy to watch with mom. I’ll never forgive her for going to bed halfway through.

Awful movie full of great actresses. 

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Woman On The Run, 1950

Many viewings, including the Castro Theater showing during a Noir City

I picked this one to watch with my mom because of the San Francisco locations and the great story. Did not know that Ann Sheridan wrote most of her snappy dialogue. Love her even more now. Robert Keith was Brian Keith’s father, he was married to Peg Entwistle who famously jumped off the Hollywood sign and killed herself.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Late Night, 2019

First viewing

My dad went out of town for a much needed break from caregiving, and I stepped in to stay with my mom and pretty much eat ice cream til we ran out, make grilled cheese sandwiches, never tell her to take her pills, and watch movies that she goes to bed halfway through. It’s not easy picking a movie to watch with your 83-year-old mother who gets embarrassed when there’s swearing. So I picked Late Night, the Mindy Kaling Emma Thompson film because it seemed nice and it also has John Lithgow who is always great. There was swearing but at least no sex. Mom asked me if it was a regular movie or a made for TV movie. Made for paid TV movie? Made for streaming? Straight to streaming?

I enjoyed it. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

The Late Edwina Black, 1949

 First viewing, at mom and dad’s house on the Big (TV) Screen

Fun watching movies on the Giant TV when I visit my parents. They have a giant tv because my dad is 84 and doesn’t see very well. The chair I sit in when we’re all in the living room does not have the ideal view.

This is one of those low-key, British, stage adaptation mystery-with-a-twist that I find quite often very satisfying. Geraldine Fitzgerald is always a delight. BUT THIS CHAIR.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Ocean’s 8, 2018

 First viewing, on the plane back to Arizona.

I’ve wanted to see this movie since it came out. I knew I would love it and I did. It’s not a perfect movie and was plenty ridiculous at times but I loved it. I love all the people in it except maybe Sandra Bullock, never really liked her much at all. And I hate heist movies, with rare exception.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Fungicide, 2002

First viewing

I watched this movie with riffing by Rifftrax, it is not watchable otherwise. A “scientist” (the filmmaker in his actual parents’ basement) creates a chemical that turns an ingredient for terrible soup into man-sized and hand-sized monsters.

This movie just doesn’t give a shit. 

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Smoked Hams, 1934

 First viewing

You may not know this about me but I’m a rabid Three Stooges fan. It took me ten years to tape every Curly episode off of tv, now of course I have the box set. I only had about half of the Shemp episodes because they were later and not as good. So when this early solo Shemp short popped up I was all in.

It was interesting to see him teamed with a female, doing stooge-style things. I'd never heard of Daphne Pollard but she was big in comedy shorts at the time.

The old "use a straight razor that your wife just used to open a can of beans and swipe your face like you're peeling potatoes" gag.

Howard and Pollard have a stage act. It involves the Civil War ( which was the same amount of years past as WWII is today) a cannon and also a running joke about getting a message that General Summer has lost various body parts and that they will keep fighting if it takes all Summer.

They get a producer to hire their act. Also in the same show are two "bakers", who sculpt clay faces and make cracks about their mother-in-laws. Its weird.

At the end Howard and Pollard set off a cannon and it blows up the box where the producer is sitting. That's the smoke part.

Calling Philo Vance, 1940

First viewing.                                                          Damn titles in quotes again!  My first foray into the Philo Vance mu...