Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Short Takes Vol 4


Mon 10/2

The Rutles 2: Can't Buy Me Lunch: Follow up to Eric Idle's late 70's mockumentary about a Beatles-like rock group. This 2002 release (I belive it was direct to video) satrizes more recent Beatlemania retrospectives, such as the Beatles Anthology of the mid-1990's, through its use of a host of celeberty talking heads, including Tom Hanks, Bonnie Raitt, and Conan O'Brian. While it was nice to hear the old songs again, this roughly hour long offering has little or nothing to add to our knowledge of the Rutles (who have an impressive Wiki entry by the way). See the orignial.

Teus 10/3

Brick: Film Noir in a High School, and done better then you might expect. Excellent use made of Genra conventions such as naritive structer and dialogue. Mostley plays it straight, but there are a few knowing nodes for afficianados. Stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the rather fetching Nora Zehetner.

Sun 10/8

The Corporation: Film about all the bad things corporations do, from the Canadians who brought you Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media. The film covers a wide birth of stories and subject matters from the Kathy Lee Gifford sweet shop scandel of the 1990's, to the WTO, to IBM working with the Nazi's in the 30's & 40's, to Fox News, and the many sins of the Monsanto Corporation. Hope is non-the-less presented in the success of water rights activists in Bolivia, human rights reform by The GAP, and the laudable efforts of Interface Carpet.

Mon 10/9

The House of Usher: Roger Corman directed film very losely based on Poe's 'The Fall of the House of Usher'. Philip Winthrop (Mark Damon) wants to marry Madeline Usher (Myrna Fahey, a poor man's Liz Taylor), despite her brother Rodericks (Vincent Price) repeated instince that their family is both cursed and evil and no good could come from the continuence of its line. Well Philip just won't belive him, so to prove his point Roderick locks his sister in a coffin in the family crypt, only to have her go mad and gain super-human strength. With only four principle cast members (including Harry Ellerbe as butler Bristol), and all the action taking place on the Usher estate. this movie was cheap to make.

Teus 10/10

The Sentinel: Michael Douglas is a Secret Service agent who is having an affair with first lady Kim Basinger, and is implicated in an assisantion plot against President David Rasche (Sledge Hammer diplomacy?). Kiefer Sutherland is the un-Jack Bauer and Eva Longoria an unusally hot secret service agent. This film is so absent of anything new, inventive, or even relatively excitting, as to constitute a complet waste of time, not to mention cast.

Theater of Blood: In this 1973 film, Vincent Price plays a persumed-dead theater actor who returns to murder his former critices in creative ways inspired by Shakespear's plays. Some scenes employ a wonderfull counterpoint of having Price's grizzley deads done to happy or inspiring sounding music. In short, this film is kinda awsome. Also staring "The Avengers" Diana Rigg.

Sat 10/14

Our Mr. Sun: One of a series of Emmy winning, Frank Capra produced childrens educational films, that mixes live action with Disney-Industrial style animation. In his autobiography Mr. Capra stated that the grade school children who would visit his house on fieldtrips in the 1950's and 60's, were generally more impressed with his involvment in this production then with any of his multipal Academy Awards. Hosted in part by Eddie Albert, Our Mr. Sun is rather heavy on the Christian relgious overtones for a film about science.

The Baxter: A 'Baxter' is the kind of guy that always comes up second place, the fella at the end of a movie that the girl leaves so that she can be with her true love. Elliot Wilbur Sherman (the movies writer/director/star Michael Showalter) is a Baxter, he has been one many times before. So when is beautiful fiance (Elizabeth Banks) comes into renewed contact with her high school sweet heart (Justin Theroux), Elliot deides to do everything in his power to keep history from repeating itself, until a former temp at his office (Michell Williams going for a young Shirly McLain) reenters his life. Peter Dinklage does a nice variation on the typical gay wedding planner character.

Sun 10/15

The Strange Case of the Cosmic Rays: Another of Capra's science films for children, this one featuring puppets of historic mystery writers. Possible anti-Russian overtones.

The Bob Cummings Show (DVD sampler): One of two popular sitcomes staring the likable former leading man Robert Cummings. In this series Bob plays a succesfull fashion photogorapher and singel guy, who takes in his sister-in-law and nephew after the death of his brother. One of the things that sets this show apart form other sitcomes, is that the character of Bob is portayed as an Air Force reservist, and some episodes focuse on his time spent in that capacity. Also staring The Brady Bunch's Alice, Ann B. Davis, as Bob's secretary.


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