Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Sex, Lies and Videotape (1989)

Today's film is Sex, Lies, and Videotape, which sounds exciting until you realize none of the characters have personalities.

Ann, the main character, has no job and no hobbies.  She is cold and refuses to sleep with her own husband.  Her husband John (the dad on the O.C.)  is sleeping with her own sister behind her back.  Her husband's old friend, Graham, comes to town.  Graham has an unusual hobby.

So, Graham has this problem where he can't get it up in front of someone, so he videotapes interviews of a sexual nature with women.  Later, he jacks off while watching the interviews.  He keeps all of these videos next to the tv.  There is a lot of them.  Ann comes over to his house and notices them.

Ann points to the videotapes and asks, "What are these?"

Videotapes obviously.  Graham answers they're his personal project.

"What kind of personal project?"

This isn't 20 questions you dumb bitch.

"Who's Donna? It says Donna on the videotape."

It's probably my mom. She would have been 27 in 1989.

"Donna is a girl I knew in Florida," Graham answers.

Oh fuck it is my mom.

I do not like the idea of a man whacking it to an interview with my mom.

No stop it!

So, we have two people who refuse to have normal intercourse for two different reason.  So, we already know they're going to get together.  Meanwhile, her husband is still seeing his sister-in-law.  The sister-in-law, Cynthia, is a free-spirited sexual being, the opposite of her sister.  I don't respect her for sleeping with her sister's husband, but I took a picture of the screen because her makeup game is totally on point.

I wondered why Graham doesn't sleep with people and resorts to videotapes.  I have two theories.  One is that he has a personality disorder and cannot relate to people. He claims he is a pathological liar as well. Another is that he is a poor performer.  Remember that he dated an Elizabeth before he came to town.  Maybe he is really bad at sex and saves himself embarrassment by not going out with anyone.  It sounds like a lonely life.  Cynthia is the first one to interview with Graham.  It is very erotic as we would expect it.  Later, Ann also interviews with Graham, too.  Her husband finds out about it and gets really angry.

The film ends with the cheating husband getting his comeuppance.  He is fired due to constantly cancelling meetings (to cheat with his sister-in-law during office hours) and Ann leaves him for Graham.  The problem is I don't remember the ending at all.  The film takes place in Baton Rouge and everything about the film is quiet.  There's hardly any music, no liveliness, nothing.  The people and area of Baton Rouge are anything but quiet.  It's erotic, but doesn't hold enough interest to watch again.  I will give it a 5/10.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Breakfast Club (1985)

Today's film is The Breakfast Club.  It is a great film that can never be remade for this decade.  It's a very nostalgic film.  Five high school students are trapped in a school for Saturday detention.  They are all part of different cliques and at first ignore each other.  But, as the day progresses because they're there for eight hours, they actually start talking to each other and learn more about each other.  Also, the principal watching them is a jerk.

This film could never be remade for today.  First of all, out of the entire high school, there are only 5 people in detention.  In my school, there'd be about 40 people in there and you know it.  Allison wouldn't have been there without reason because she wouldn't have been allowed.  I was a troublemaker and was in detention all the time.

Since Andrew taped a guy's buttcheeks together in the locker room, that would "sexual assault" and he'd be in juvie.  Bryan brought a flare gun which went off in his locker.  Thanks to the Zero Tolerance Law, he'd be expelled from school for one year and probably be in jail as well as counseling for suicide once they found out his true reason for bringing it.  A child in a school near here got expelled for biting a pop-tart into the shape of a gun and playing with it.  A pop-tart.

This film shows what can happen when people let their guard down and get to know one another.  The students learn that they all have similar issues and face pressure from their parents and friends.  They learned that they can find friends in the most unexpected places.

Also, no one has time to talk to each other anymore because they're too busy playing on their phones. 
People today are too easily offended by everything and have no desire to learn about the world outside their social circle.  If it takes more effort than liking on facebook, then it's too much effort.  I don't have a smartphone yet, but a lot of people try and make you feel like you need one.  This movie is a piece of 80's heaven. I'm going to give it a 10/10.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)

Today's film is Crimes and Misdemeanors.  It is unique in that everyone is a bad person.  I didn't care for a single character in this film.

In this film, Woody Allen's character (Cliff) complains about everything and also cheats on his wife.  Well, that's every Allen film, so what's the difference?  There's another cheater going on too!  This lady, Dolores, is sleeping with a married doctor.  An ophthalmologist, more specifically.  She is under the false notion that he will leave his wife for her.  But, they never do.  She threatens to tell his wife what's going on.  So, Dr. panics and calls his thug brother who kills her!

Also, Cliff is a documentary filmmaker who is having trouble making a film.  Right now, he's making a documentary about Lester, and he's not too happy about it.  But a job is a job.  Rather have a job I don't like than be homeless.  Then, there's more complaining by everyone.  There's a lot of philosophical mumblings, we don't care because everyone is so awful.  I don't even care what happens to these characters.

Remember the film Hannah and her Sisters?  Those characters all sucked too.  Even Allen must have thought so.  He stated that he felt he was "too nice" to them, and wrote Crimes and Misdemeanors as a result.  Well it worked because these characters suck ten times worse than Hannah and her sisters and their boyfriends.  I will give this film a 5/10.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Atlantic City (1980)

Today's film is Atlantic City, which features Susan Sarandon as Sally, a character that I feel bad for.  Sally just tries so hard and nothing goes right for her.  She works in an oyster bar inside a casino hotel while training to be a card dealer.

Everything is going great for Sally until! her loser husband shows up out of nowhere with stolen drugs.  And guess what?  He knocked up her little sister as well.  Wow, what a stand up guy.  Her husband even gets the neighbors involved in his drug deals.  The neighbor who gets involved is Lou, played by Burt Lancaster.  He believes that he is some big time gangster from long ago, but he is all talk.  He also peeps at Sally when she squirts lemons all over herself (to remove fish smell), but you know no one is making her do that in front of a window.

Word gets around that Sally's husband is a drug dealer, so she is fired from dealer school, something that she truly enjoyed.  Now, she is stuck working at the oyster bar and is really upset.  We learn that she was similarly fired from Las Vegas as well because of him.  She left to escape him and his drug dealing ways and yet he still follows her.  He's using her.  Her sister is naive and ditzy, but not really a bad person.  She doesn't wear seatbelts because she doesn't believe in gravity.  After all, it is just a theory.

Her husband gets killed by the mob and we're not really upset about it.  Lou handles all the burial and funeral arrangements for Sally, because he is nice.  Later, he kills two mobsters and finally feels like the real gangster he claims to be.  He admits this to Sally.  Sally takes some of the money from the hit and escapes, presumably to France because she talks about it earlier (and is trying to learn French), while Lou goes back to his old lady friend back in Atlantic City.

I enjoyed this film because the characters were realistic, and even though it is a drama, it is not too dramatic.  I will give this film a 7/10.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Full Metal Jacket (1987)

Today's film is Full Metal Jacket.  Turns out its more than just my heart that sent me to the hospital, so I've had a ton of tests and I'm on lots of painkillers.  yaaayyy.  I am so high. So excuse my writing.

I really liked the first half of it, the half where the recruits are training to be Marines.  I have heard a lot of stories from friends who went through it, but I've never actually seen anything like it.  I thought the actors playing Joker and Gomer Pyle did a really great job.  Pyle tried so hard, but he is so dumb.  He can't tell his left from his right.  You can tell from when they march he messes up (left right left right) and that Joker has to teach him very carefully how to lace boots.

Even though Pyle tries hard, he ends up messing up every day.  So he finally destroys his main tormentor (the drill instructor) and then kills himself.  But thats not the end of the movie.  It jumps into the future where the war is.  So we see Joker and his friend as a reporter and photographer doing news stuff for the military.

The war is mostly boredom peppered with moments of terror.  We see mostly men throughout the film and the only women we have seen are all prostitutes.  So far.  Joker wears a peace sign button on his vest while his helmet says "Born to Kill".  He is questioned about this, and being the writer-type dude he is, says it has to do with the whole "duality of man" thing.  I'm out of it so the only thing I can think of is pink camo.  Like this sweet ass rug.  It's camo because we like to hunt and be outdoors.  And  its pink because we like girly cute things and twirling around.  Duality of man thing

Joker and his friend, Rafterman join a group as they near an abandoned area.  However, there is a lone sniper there who manages to kill a few people.  They decide to go in there and find the sniper for revenge.  And find out that the sniper is actually a young woman.  It is up to Joker to kill her, but it is obvious that he has never killed anyone before.  But, he does it and the war continues on like normal.  Just another day in the war.  I will give this film an 8/10.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Halloween II (1981)

Is this some sort of joke? I've been trick-or-treated to death.

You don't know what death is.

Today's film is Halloween II.  This is ironic, because I watched this a few days ago.  While at work, I was rushed to the hospital (I have a crappy heart).  The movie takes place in a hospital and I'm in a hospital. Wow.

So, I've seen the first Halloween several times as a child thanks to my mom, but never the second one.  My mom explained that Michael Myers was chasing Laurie because she's his sister, but I never understood how she knew that.  Watching the first one again, it is apparent this is never mentioned.

The film starts off immediately after the first film, where Laurie has knocked out Michael and tells the children to run for help.  Dr. Loomis comes and shoots him 6 times, which doesn't stop him.  Why is Michael Myers unkillable?  Laurie is taken to the hospital to tend to her injuries.

Michael goes to the hospital to hunt down Laurie, first killing all the nurses he sees.  The movie is particularly scary because we perceive hospitals as safe places.  Meanwhile, Dr. Loomis and the police are scouring the town for him.  They think they might have killed him when an officer runs over a masked teenager.  The officer shouldn't have been driving so fast on a residential street in the first place.  They learn that the masked man couldn't have been Michael.  The officer who hits the teen is played by the same actor who plays Michael Myers.

This film ramps up the blood and gore scenes, because the former director inserted gory scenes without the new director, Rick Rosenthal's, permission.  The former director, John Carpenter, wanted it to be more like the other money-making slashers that were so popular at the time.  So this makes the film less suspenseful, and more predictable.  People will do stupid things, and Michael will kill them.  Also, the sheriff doesn't get wind of the murders until he is told by someone else, despite having a radio in his car, and the story already being on the news.

Almost everyone gets killed in the hospital, except Laurie who runs quite well despite a broken ankle.  Also, the paramedic who has a crush on her survives despite being knocked out a few times.  The cops never even consider looking for her or protecting her until the last minute, where they miraculously arrive just in time to save her.

How do we know Laurie is Michael's sister?  A nurse appears out of nowhere, and tells Dr. Loomis about a hidden file that states Laurie is Michael's sister, and she was adopted by another family.  Out of nowhere.  She was supposedly sent by the governor to fetch Dr. Loomis.  Why didn't the governor send a freaking SWAT team to destroy Michael is beyond me.  Also, why was Dr. Loomis, the man who took care of Michael for 15 years, not allowed access to his files?  So many questions.  Also, Michael has a lot more screen time in this film, which actually makes his less scary.  His lack of screen time works in the previous film because of what I like to call the "Jaws Effect".  In Jaws, there is evidence of the shark (the fin, the music, the bodies), but the shark doesn't show in its full glory wreaking shit until the end.  Same way with Michael Myers.  In this film, he leaves the Doyle house and goes merrily on his way to the hospital, killing people who stand in his way.  There's too much of to be a shadowy scary figure.  I'm giving this film a 5/10.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Paris, Texas (1984)

Today's film is Paris, Texas.  A man is found wandering the desert with no memory.  Luckily, he has some contact info on him, and the doctor who finds him contacts his brother.  We learn that his brother, Walt, and sister-in-law, Anne, live in LA and he flies down to meet him.  I recognized his brother immediately as Al from Quantum Leap.  I've never seen him in anything else.

The man, Travis, has been lost for 4 years! I wondered what had happened to him.  Also, his son was left behind at his brother's house.  Now, his son is almost 8 and regards his aunt/uncle as his parents.  Travis gradually remembers everything, but still, why did he leave?

This is what I thought about while watching this.  The doctor asks him if he was in a crash.  He's also terrified of flying in a plane, to the point of having a panic attack and getting kicked off.  Was he in a plane crash? Was that responsible for his memory loss?  No, they're just trying to throw us off.

As Travis and his son get closer, he convinces him to go together and fetch his mother.  This is where we get thrown off a bit.  I mean, he just met his father, and now they're going to leave the state?  The brother wants to keep him, but knows he cannot because he's not the biological father.  Anne tells Travis that the mother has been wiring money at a specific bank, so he starts off there.  Behold! They find her the first day they try!  What are the odds of that??  They follow her to a peep show and Travis visits her a couple times.

One night, Travis tells her a story.  Remember that she can't see him through the mirror.  He tells her about an older man who loved a young woman and they had a child together.  He had to go to work even though he missed her because he had to support them.  He got so jealous of her that he tied a cowbell to her ankle so he could hear her leave.  What an asshole.  She's your wife, not a slave, asshole.  Eventually he left and went to the desert.  So, now we know how he ended up there.  He wasn't in a plane crash.  Nothing bad happened to him.  He's not suffering from PTSD.  He forgot because he wandered into the desert, because he was an asshole.  We also find out it was the wife who abandoned her child on his uncle's doorstep and ran off to work at a peep show.

Travis tells her where to find her child.  She goes to meet him while Travis leaves forever.  So, after wandering the desert accomplishing nothing, he snatches his child from a loving home where the parents own a stable business, and hands him over to his hooker wife, all while abandoning the child just as he's beginning to trust his father.  A++ parenting all around.  I'm giving this talky talky tripe a 5/10.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year 2015!

Happy New Year! It's 2015!  Everyone is going to get hoverboards this year and I am excited.  Some things that were predicted in Back to the Future II that came true:

  • video on your tv (Skype and Facetime)
  • a baseball team in Miami (Florida Marlins)
  • wireless video games
  • 3D movies and way too many sequels
  • handheld tablets
  • widescreen flat tvs
Some things aren't going to come true, like the Cubs winning the World Series or men wearing double ties.  But there is still plenty of time for someone to design a real (working, not the hoax ones) hoverboard.  It's going to be awesome.

Last year I made a resolution to watch 40 foreign films.  I just haven't written about all of them yet.  I think I got up to 25.  I'll finish writing the rest of the reviews this year.  I spent a lot of my time studying languages this year so I didn't write as much.  I just found out that a horror film based on our local legend of Robert the Doll is coming out this year, and I am excited.  However, it's being made by a British company so I hope they don't fuck it up.  Anyway, I know that's random but I just found out.  There is so many weird things that happen here you could make a thousand movies about it.  I'm going to try and write about all new movies, and not focus on rewatching films.  This month I'm going to focus on films from the 1980s, because I wasn't allowed to watch them when I was little.

I hope everyone had a good New Year's Eve celebration.