New Thing #357: Citizen Kane

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From the very beginning of this blog I’ve had “Watch Citizen Kane” on the list but it’s taken me nearly the entire year to actually do it.

It’s really quite an astonishing movie when you take the year it was filmed into consideration. It was way ahead of its time. It also may be some of the best movie lighting I’ve ever seen on film.

Even the makeup was outstanding, I never would have realized that they made Orson Welles younger for his earlier scenes in the film if it weren’t for IMDB.

I’m glad I’ve finally seen this film. Now I’m just going to have to decide where it stands on my own personal list of greatest films ever made. Deep Blue Sea is a pretty tough act to beat after all.

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New Thing #243: Watch Piranha 3D

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Piranha 3D, you had me at Richard Dreyfus.

That being said, this movie was tailor made for me. I really wanted to see it when it was in the theatre but never managed to. When I saw it used, on Bluray no less, for $6 today I knew I had to pick it up.

I love schlocky horror, and schlocky horror films involving things that eat you in the water are my favourite. I have a not-so-secret affinity for Deep Blue Sea and I’ll never tire of seeing those jaws float towards me at the end of the third Jaws. This is probably due to the fact that my parents exposed me to both Jaws and the original Piranha at a pretty young age. It’s also why I love sharks, yet am terrified to be in the water alone.

But this movie one ups every bad, H20 ridden movie I’ve ever seen. At times it borders on soft-core pornography while hitting “Snakes on a Plane” level ludicrousness at just about every other moment. 

Oh, and it has Elizabeth Shue in it. Need I say more?

I can not wait to see the sequel, which is of course titled: Piranha 3DD.

 

New Thing #235: Watch Paranormal Activity

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Back in the day, The Blair Witch Project scared the shit out of me. I know it shouldn’t have, but I have a certain thing about being alone in the woods at night. And that thing is that it scares the shit out of me.

Paranormal Activity seemed on the same trajectory with it’s marketing push of found footage and weird crap taking place. And it pretty much delivered on that promise.

It was sufficiently creepy and well paced enough that I was mostly on edge for the whole movie. Was it the scariest thing I’ve ever watched? No (see aforementioned Blair Witch Project), but it was a good little horror movie and I’m glad I saw it.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have a few lights to turn on.

 

New Thing #230: Tangled

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Forgive me for watching a relatively recent movie as my new thing today, my daughter was home sick from school and I’ve been keeping her company. Seemed like the perfect time to thow in Tangled, which unlike my daughter, I have not already seen a half dozen times.

I also have to say that it’s really well done. It’s telling of the times when the villain is a passive agressive mother figure instead of, say, a dragon.

It’s a really interesting take on Rapunzel and I feel really good about Audrey being exposed to a pretty strong female lead. Sure she ends up with (spoiler) the boy in the end but you can tell she’s doing it for the right reasons. Plus, this movie is on par with Pixar in some scenes for sure beauty adn imagination. 

And for the first time in a very long time I actually found some of the songs in a Disney film sticking with me after watching it. 

I would also like to point out the movie poster attached to this post. We saw this around town leading up to the films release and I’d marvel at it every time we passed by. I love its simplicity and ability to telegraph the story in a single glance.

New Thing #191: The Blues Brothers

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I may be disowned by a few circles of my friends for admitting this, but until tonight I’ve never seen The Blues Brothers.

I grew up admiring the artwork on my dad’s vinyl records and would always come across those two sunglassed suited guys while I continued my search for The Beatles Revolver album. Man I loved that Revolver artwork.

I also grew up thinking that The Blues Brothers was my father’s favourite film, and to tell you the truth I might be right on that one. I’m sure he’ll point it out if I’m wrong.

What I never knew growing up though, was what to expect from this film. 

Maybe it was my age or the type of movies I was drawn to as a kid, but The Blue Brothers never made sense in my head. I’m almost glad that I got to see this movie now, when I can appreciate the music and the performances of everyone involved rather than miss half the fun because I didn’t know what was going on.

What a great movie. 

As a side note, I need to watch something starring John Candy post haste. His fleeting time onscreen during this movie just wasn’t enough. I really miss that guy.

New Thing #119: Gone With The Wind

I honestly never thought I’d be writing about how much I enjoyed Gone With The Wind.

It’s everything I hate in a movie: a period piece, poofy dresses, stereotypical depictions of races and, of course, technicolor.

But damn if this isn’t a magnificent piece of film making.

The cinematography, location shots, hordes of extras, and compelling characters had me rapt.

And I know I’m late to the party on this one but Clark Gable is one charming MF’r.

PS. I realize that I introduce the movie in the video as being 75 years since it’s release. What I meant to say is that it’s 75 years since the book was published.

New Thing #115: St. Elmo’s Fire

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As I was sitting eating a totally excellent sushi dinner with some co-workers tonight “Man In Motion” came on the radio and I realized, as I do whenever I hear that song, that I’ve never actually seen St. Elmo’s Fire.

Three things are abundantly clear having finally sat down to watch it tonight:

1. They really got their money’s worth out of that song
2. If I were a 16 year old girl in 1985 I would have this poster hung on my wall, in my locker and possibly on the ceiling over my bed
3. I am not a 16 year old girl in 1985 and this movie has not aged well at all

Bonus 4th observation: I still hate Andie MacDowell.

 

New Thing #98: Watch Friday The 13th

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I’m a child of the 80s and a bit of a horror freak, but I’ve never seen a single Friday The 13th movie. So tonight I set out to watch the prototypical slasher flim: the original Friday The 13th.

And I have to say I’m VERY confused right now. 

I figure the moratorium on spoilers is over for this one so I have to ask, how the hell did they make sequels off of this movie?

As far as slasher flicks go, making the killer the mother of a kid killed at the camp she decides to terrorize years later is actually pretty clever. But ending the movie with a festering eleven year old boy jumping out of the lake makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. 

What’s worse is that the fall colours in the end scene suggest a bunch of movie executives, coked out beyond belief, watched the rough cut and demanded a sequel be made before they left the room. 

It’s all very bizarre and makes me want to watch Jason X more than ever before.

New Thing #86: Wizard of Oz Synced to Dark Side of the Moon

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I’ve never been much of a Pink Floyd fanatic but I’ve always been curious to see what all the fuss was about with syncing Dark Side of the Moon up with The Wizard of Oz. And I’m still not sure what all the fuss is about.

It definitely seems that illicit drugs are required to fool yourself into thinking the album works as an alternative soundtrack to the film. Apart from a few well timed lyrics I just found myself wanting to hear the Lollipop Guild do their bit themselves. Those guys really crack me up.

Now if you really want to see something amazing, try playing the Zorba The Greek theme over top of any cartoon ever produced. Works every time.

New Thing #80: Howard The Duck

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The year was 1986 and for the at least 6 months the poster for Howard the Duck had been stuck to my wall. I couldn’t wait. Something in that one sheet had set my imagination ablaze. I mean look at it: an egg with a giant protruding duckbill, a cigar hanging loosely from it with titles set almost exactly like Indiana Jones. How could any 11 year old boy not be thrilled at what was coming August 1st?

To say that I was looking forward to that Friday was possibly the understatement of my childhood. And then it all went horribly, horribly wrong. I did something so terrible that I can’t even remember exactly what it was. The outcome however was my parents leaving me at home with my grandfather while they saw the movie without me. I was crushed. For the next three hours I cried, I kicked, threw my room apart and ultimately wore myself down to sleep. 

Tonight, nearly 25 years later I finally got to see Howard the Duck. 

What a fucking turd.

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