Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Johnny Cakes on The Sopranos



One of the best scenes of the series The Sopranos is this one, between Tony and AJ after AJ gets caught trying to knife Junior in the rest home. Standing outside next to the Escalade, they yell at each other. I tried and tried to find an image of it and couldn't. AJ is crying, Tony is yelling at him to stop and screaming at him for being a moron (thinking he could kill someone) and then stops and tells him THIS ISN'T IN YOUR NATURE. . . . YOU'RE NOT LIKE ME. . . and touches his cheek, AJ leans into his hand and lets him. . . . .


I am a sappy pile of bawl-ey tears.

A Nightmare on Elm Street




Oh boy. Lovely film. I love all the randomness of this first one: the damned SHEEP running around in Tina's opening nightmare? Freddy's 10 foot long arms?!?!? Seriously! That is definitely something they could have continued with! Like, the first time dude showed up in my dream his arms were 20 feet long, but after that they were just normal. . . Something I never realized before was how Freddy seemed to be lurking around the kids and then had to back off once they either stirred in their sleep (started waking up) or all of a sudden showed signs of strength against him.

Tina in the body bag following Nancy around was a nice touch. The whole classroom sequence is one of my favorites, ever, in a horror film. Nancy starts dozing off, Tina miraculously appears in the hallway in her bloody body bag, and the kid who is reading out of Julius Cesaer starts mumbling all creepy about blah, blah, blah. . . BECAUSE I HAVE BAAAAD DREAMS. . . . yuck. That always scared the shit out of me as a kid. Then the glorious CREEPY HALL MONITOR scene (hey NANCY! No running in the hallways!) What could be better?

The mom really depends on her booze bottle a lot. I wonder how much of the underlying theme of this film relies on Krueger coming after THAT MOTHER for burning him, getting to her by killing her kid and friends. Not the cop dad, who seems to at least partially be in on the situation, but THE MOTHER. Just like Sopranos. It's always the mother's fault. How fitting that the end scene is the chick getting yanked back into the house THROUGH THAT TINY WINDOW?!?!?!

Holy crap. Wes Craven is hilarious.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Theory on Twin Peaks, season 1

Jonathan Rosenbaum says about Lynch:

". . . .he is perceived and celebrated in some quarters not as an integral part of this country's ideological mainstream but as a serious artist subverting the American soil from within. . . "

"It could be argued, morever, that Lynch's increasing visibility and popularity is largely a function of the fresh contexts in which his work has appeared. Compared to ERASERHEAD, BLUE VELVET is like a TV soap opera, and compared to BLUE VELVET, TWIN PEAKS seems formally unadventurous and fairly tame in terms of subject matter; but compared with other TV serials, TWIN PEAKS looked like a bolt from the blue. . . ."

**maybe. But cinema and television are completely different as mass media. You cannot make ERASERHEAD television, not back at that time, anyway. No one would have watched it or gotten it except for Lynch fans.
(I think all this was taken from the collection FULL OF SECRETS edited by David Lavery, who also edited a collection together on The Sopranos called THIS THING OF OURS. This guy is seriously my intellectual media-idol)


"In my opinion, the first problem---the important problem in our world--is the problem of dissemination, and it's the conception of this dissemination that may lead to catastrophe. The way it's used now, the influence of the masses leads to nothing but the scattering of material. For example, think of a liter of wine: it's certainly sufficient when shared by three or four people. But if we want this same liter of wine to be shared by one thousand people, we have to put water in it, and then it's useless. We have to wonder whether something like this doesn't happen in the process of dissemination."
---Jean Renoir.

Renoir made political films. Poetic realism, French cinema after the first world war. Was of course an artist but always dealt with societal issues, rich/poor, government, etc. This is not what Lynch does, but Lynch is still an artist making comments on society. Whereas Renoir had weightier issues on his agenda, American directors (generally, and even more today) tackle issues using a bubble gum approach by showing us ridiculous situations we think are important but are really just trivial. No one is say, starving to death usually, even in a very serious film. No one is sitting in a back alley somewhere without water to drink or without clothing to keep them warm. American audiences are not usually accustomed to seeing children or babies die. These things happen the world over, but in cinema, as in life, we close our eyes to them.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pitfall Screen Grab on cross stitch


This took more than a month. . . .I'm so happy it's done. Next is Ms Pac Man!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Notes/Discussion on Twin Peaks, Season 1


the event as a spectacle; uniting the community (WATCHING TWIN PEAKS was this way, back in the day, like Dallas, The Sopranos, Lost, etc.)

Laura=event, even before her death. This unfolds during the pilot episode, showing how everyone was connected to Laura.
theoretically speaking, the event of Laura's death mirrors TELEVISION as a medium, its ability to connect everyone as well.

genre: detective story vs. soap opera vs. lynch cinema (art). which elements are more? make a list or chart.
is Twin Peaks cinematic (like the Sopranos)?
writing. how the genre in the first season compares to what happens in second?

narratives in detective stories vs. narratives in soap operas. usually detectives are not so clean. Coop is special, flawed, but we don't find this out until the second season. Coop is almost unhuman: robotic hand gestures, philosophical/divorced from emotion (at first) from Laura's death/omnipotent in knowledge and instinct. . .

What of the NEATNESS of the first season? Ends on a bit of a half-cadence, true, but wrapped up nicely too!
(decline). This happens in mafia narratives. You never see anything through to the end that isn't heading into the guttter.

America: small town vs. city: Albert Rosenfeld factors in here largely, Maddie too?
secrets: who has them, how many people know about them

GIRLS in America. Is this really going on? (sex, drugs, abuse?) with homecoming queens?
innocence vs. evil in both Leland and Laura.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Twin Peaks episode 7


airdate: May 23, 1990
director: Mark Frost
writer: Mark Frost

Summary: Jacoby is beaten by a mysterious assailant; Deputy Andy Brennan shoots Jacques who survives; Leo torches the sawmill with Shelley and Catherine inside; Nadine Hurley tries to kill herself; Lucy tells Andy she's pregnant; Hank shoots Leo; Ben goes to try out the new girl (Audrey); Cooper is shot by a mysterious gunman.

****four star rating: Let's Rock!

Notes: How fitting that among all his other various talents, Coop can also COUNT CARDS! The close up on Coop's eyes ROCKS when Jacques unfeelingly describes Leo "doing a number" on Laura as if it were funny. ROCK ON! Jacques drives an El Camino? Of course he does. Harry walking up to Jacques with such a pissed off look is PRICELESS!!! Truman is the hottest thing in this show. Some of the shots here maek me want to cry with amazement. Even the look on James' face is good after hearing scathing remarks about himself while listening to Laura's tape. And normally I just want to punch James (and Donna) in the face. Nadine's suicide attempt is really elaborate! Norma seems physically (visually) disgusted by Hank; so am I. Leland is starting to lose it.

Best Lynch moment: Leo hiding behind the door with an axe.

Best Line: "BE QUIET! I'm thinking. . . ." Catherine to Shelley while the mill is on fire.

coffee, pie, or doughnut references: 1

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I stand amazed and corrected.



Never before would I have thought that I'd enjoy THIS more than Indy, but it's true. And I'm going to be honest here (anonymous comments be damned) because SAFETY in blogging never got anyone anywhere, and I'd rather be interesting and maybe a bit rude than safe and boring.

I didn't think I'd like it, and the beginning was really sappy and annoying. Matt was rolling his eyes the whole time and yelled at one point, THIS IS SUCH CRAP, WHO REALLY LIVES THIS WAY?!?!? I agreed. It's kind of disturbing (all the materialism) in the given economical situation that people out there put more focus onto shoes and bags when there are starving children and wars going on. . . .but hey, their choice, I guess. I was starting to get annoyed at how the kids (Lilly and Brady) were just shoved into the background and only occasionally acknowledged, but that got better as the film went on. After the wedding aftermath and Miranda and Steve's issues came around it seemed much more realistic and interesting. Not that I was yearning for bad things to happen to the girls (I loved how the series ended, with everything pretty much on a good note) but as a writer, I consider often how despite my tendencies toward optimism and making everything all right, people do not want to read page after page of fabulous with little to no conflict. That's how this started out for me.

I thought they all looked wonderful and only one outfit really annoyed me (Miranda's knee high boots in the park toward the end) but you could tell they are showing signs of aging, which is actually really refreshing. It's nice when you see famous actors/actresses take on roles where they can look physically vulnerable (or haggard after a horrible event) and do it with gusto. It gave Carrie a lot more substance and not just all shoes and neuroses.

I was kind of bored with Samantha's story, the valentine's sushi? Meh.

Otherwise very enjoyable. The bit with the shoe being the PROPOSAL TOOL. . . . how fitting. The minute she hung up the phone with Louise from St. Louis everyone in the room (3 people) said almost in the same way, OH MY GOD, MY FUCKING SHOES!!!! (ala Kelly/ Liam Sullivan). (These shoes are mine, betch.)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Oh Boy. . .


We tried watching SATC tonight. I would have given it a bit more but Matt was FREAKING at every new scene. We got to the trying on of things from Carrie's closet and he tore it out of the playstation and turned on Terminator 2. I was fully willing to watch with an open mind and find the good in it, and I still plan to SO NO ONE START CALLING ME A HATER AGAIN. From what I saw, Carrie looked cute, I loved the scenes with Big, and Miranda looked super good. The other two. . . meh.
Then we tried watching LICENSE TO DRIVE but couldn't finish it because the DVR kicked on and started taping SNL when it came on, which was actually really, really, funny, and the best option, all things considered. I think the MacGruber segments were my favorite. Oh, and Marky Mark showing up for a cameo.

Friday, October 17, 2008

It's Official: Spielberg's Number is Up




Indy: I really, really wanted to like it. I wanted to LOVE it! I gave it a good chance. I don't really want to complain, and a few anonymouses out there might comment that I'm a HATER and give me a huge, negative complex for a while. . . .

but I don't think the film was good. I enjoyed the fact that they got Marion back, and Cate Blanchett is a great actress, but there was really (to use a Peter Greg here) NOTHIN' DOIN' for me, the whole damned time. I looked up from my cross stitching about three times: Cate Blanchett flying off the car onto the crate revealing the ark of the covenant; the man-eating ants, and the alien counsel at the end. Everything else was very mediocre.

My thought is that the entire film was made as so the guard could be changed and Shia Le Bo-ku could take over and be the new Indy. Which I absolutely do not accept. The interaction between Indy and MUTT was very forced. Marion has gotten way too old. If she would have just yelled JONES a few times I might have felt different. Meh. I feel very. . . unfulfilled.

TEMPLE OF DOOM. . . .still my fave.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Also


I would just like to explain that the 31 horror movies in October extravaganza has been put on an indefinite hiatus as netflix seems to have LOST the film that was slotted for October 8. . . .

Nightmare on Elm Street is on deck.
NO RUNNING IN THE HALLWAYS!!!!

This is funny: I just did an image search for that creep that SAYS that to Nancy in Nightmare on Elm Street and what comes up is a heading of a blog I DID back in the day of my scariest moments in film, complete with a creepy picture of Norman Bates in front of the Bates House.

it's here for anyone who is interested.
READ IT HERE


apparently HALL MONITOR was what was needed. enjoy the photo.
and I am already getting creeped out.

Twin Peaks episode 6


airdate: May 17, 1990
director: Caleb Deschanel
writer: Harley Peyton

Summary: Lucy gets the result of her pregnancy test; Leo shoots Waldo; Cooper, Truman, and Ed Hurley go to One-Eyed Jack's; Maddie sets up Jacoby; Audrey goes undercover at One-Eyed Jack's; someone spies on Dr. Jacoby.

**two star rating: My Log Does Not Judge

notes: Perhaps if Audrey would have just *postponed* her little naked-in-bed stunt she would have been better received by Cooper. Shelley's (Madchen's) acting is actually all right when telling Bobby about shooting Leo. Unicorn=ancient symbol of purity, how ironic for the "freshly scented" perfume counter One-Eyed Jack's recruits. Cooper has a lot of good ideas and seems to me like a sophisticated and giddy nerd. Quite attractive, though. I feel really bad for Jacoby, innocent in all this. Poor hippy.

Best Lynch Moment: Leland watching (unobserved) Maddie sneak out of the house.

Best line: I DON'T LIKE BIRDS. --Coop, declining to feed Waldo.

New Characters: Waldo the Myna Bird, Mysterious Asian Man

Coffee, pie, or doughnut references: 2

Monday, October 13, 2008

Twin Peaks episode 5


airdate: May 10, 1990
director: Leslie Linka Glatter
writer: Mark Frost

Summary: Cooper and Truman visit the Log Lady and investigate Jacques' cabin (and find Waldo); Audrey gets a job at Horne's Department Store; Maddie agrees to help James and Donna; Ben and Josie plot to burn the sawmill; Hank beats up Leo; Shelley shoots Leo; Cooper finds Audrey in his bed.

***three star rating: Stab it and Steer

Notes: Coop gets a little giddy and boyish when getting excited over Fleshworld? LET'S SEE WHO'S WRITING TO RONNETTE! Margaret is the first one to challenge Coop by slapping his hand away from the cookies. What's up with Leo telling Shelley he misses her (out of the blue)? Nice shot of the four dudes lining up one at a time to look at Jacques' cabin.

Best Lynch Moment: The Log Lady

Best Line: "---not much meat on her, though." Hank Jennings, ABOUT SHELLEY JOHNSON.

New Characters: The Icelandic Investment Group

coffee, pie, or doughnut references: 4

Seriously



One of my all time favorites. I saw this when it originally came out on video; my mother of course forbade me from seeing it in the theaters as I was only in about fourth grade. . . come to think of it, she also freaked out when she found me watching the music video to the theme song "fright night" when it was on MTV. . .

Jerry Dandrige. PRINCE HUMPERDINK. Now that I can consider myself more of a middle aged filmgoer, Chris Sarandon was ***kind of *** hot. I get that he's really supposed to be all suave and lecherous and everything getting all these hot skanks to slink on into his fangs. . . but he's a little bit gruesome at the same time, and not just because he's a vampire. Did that little touch of physical affection between him and the roommate Billy at the end kind of confirm the fact that he's gay? and has therefore been fooling us all along? The mother actually says something about this to Charlie Brewster when they discuss the new neighbor, doesn't she?

The scariest part of this for me was always the part where Dandrige calls Charlie from next door, Charlie picks up but says nothing. Dandrige says, "I know you're there Charlie, I can SEE you. . . " then a super fast zoom out Charlie's window into Dandrige's to show that he is indeed, STANDING THERE STARING RIGHT AT HIM. Christ.
Another enjoyable part is Dandrige's beaming smiley reaction after waiting outside the door to hear Charlie screaming at the discovery that Amy has been bitten. Gross.

"Cut it out Evil, NOT FUNNY!"


Plus, that whole scene with the Vampire-Evil WEARING THE RED RAGGEDY ANNE WIG as Charlie's Mother is fricking hilarious. Really, really great stuff. Mmm-MMM! His dinner is in ithe oven!

Super Sweet film that I HIGHLY Recommend for any fan of 80s (comedy) horror.

Nice Marcy Darcy as Amy, too.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Twin Peaks episode 4


airdate: May 3, 1990
director: Tim Hunter
writer: Robert Engels

Summary: Sarah Palmer gives the detectives a description of Bob; the one-armed man (Philip Gerard) is found; Hank Jennings is paroled; Cooper investigates a veterinarian and learns about Waldo the myna bird; James meets Madeline; Leo kills Bernard; Ben Horne hired Leo to burn down the sawmill; the detectives search Jacques Renault's apartment; Donna and James search for the other half of the necklace.

*** three star rating: Stab it and steer!

Notes: What is up with Sarah's taking offense at Leland's telling Truman about the necklace vision? The theme from "Invitation to Love" is quite like Twin Peaks music. Affair between Lucy and Andy is revealed. "Oh my, yes!" Dr. Jacoby answers when asked if Laura had sexual problems. I rather enjoy Truman's hip little pacific northwest outfits. What is with that snowman in the sheriff's office? Coop and Truman stepping up to shoot the targets after having an emotional and deep conversation is AWESOME. Most of my favorite shots are these; Coop and Truman being all lawman hot and powerful.

Best Lynch moment: Ben Horne taking LITTLE ELVIS for a bath? Gross.

Best line: "File it under 'F' for 'Forget it.'"--Cooper to Gordon Kohl

New Characters: Gordon Kohl, Hank Jennings

coffee, pie, or doughnut references: 1

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Actual Terror in the Aisles




1. The Silence of the Lambs

I saw this when it was on its first run in the year 1991 at the Miller Hill Mall Theater in Duluth. My cousin Heidi was 19, I was 14, and she took me. She had a look about her that was very much like Julia Roberts at the time, complete with a perfect spiral perm. My hair was mousy and hacked. That she was even hanging out with me made it the best day of my life, but going to what was rumored to be the scariest film ever made. . . it was the coolest.

I remember getting to the theater late, right as the girls (Clarice and Ardelia) were doing their jogging and already being wonderfully nervous. Imagine my delight and surprise when it DID turn out to be the scariest film I'd ever seen. . . between Benjamin Raspael, multiple Miggs, the skin suits, THE TWO COPS IN LECTOR'S PRIVATE CELL. . . holy Christ I didn't know what hit me. I was literally trembling in my seat for pretty much the entire thing. Something that happened then and each subsequent time I saw this was that severely uncomfortable feeling of claustrophobia when she's shut in that basement at the end when you know he's lurking around but she can't see anything. . . .it's just something that has always seemed so TOO realistic for me.

I do enjoy seeing the FBI sheet cake being cut at the end during Clarice's graduation. Incorporating food is a sure fire way to win me over every time.



2. Se7en

Cut to five years later, same mall, for the next film rumored to be the scariest thing ever made. This time I actually had to keep looking around me to make sure some damned JOHN DOE wasn't sitting right next to me with his gritty dark gray David Fincher creepiness. I walked out of there CERTAIN that Fincher was the most genius man alive and that HOT DAMN would he please make more and more films like this. Everyone else in the group (St. Scholastica nurses, mostly) hated it. I loved it. Still do.

Frustrating Literature

1. Robinson Crusoe. It took me all summer a month into fall to get through it. There were two parts that interested me: the growing of his crops and then the coming of "the others" to the island. The rest of the book was really difficult to care about. I put it right up there with "Walden." Boo.

2. The Balloon Hoax by Edgar Allen Poe. A short story at least but couldn't bring myself to care about it. . . .

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Twin Peaks episode 3



airdate: April 26, 1990
director: Tina Rathbone
writer: Harley Peyton

Summary: Cooper tells Sheriff Truman about his dream; Truman punches Albert; Madeleine Ferguson arrives; Norma Jennings talks to Hank's parole officer; the town attends Laura's funeral; Cooper meets the Bookhouse Boys; Truman interrogates Bernard Renault; Jacques Renault warns Leo about Truman's interest in their activities; Josie and Truman make love; Leland Palmer breaks down several times.

**** four star rating: Let's Rock!

Notes: Coop is very flirtatious with Audrey--nice touch asking her about women and One-Eyed Jack's. Wonderful scene replacing Laura's hand on her chest after Albert knocks it down. Coop is now more sympathetic and connected to Laura after having the dream about her. Bobby reaches up toward the large crucifix at first to imitate Christ on the cross but then to choke him instead? Jacoby helping Johnny Horne is very touching. Shelley seems to be quite the hit with the old codgers at the diner. Closes with the red stop light. The afterlife?

Best Lynch moment: Leland pitching onto the coffin

New Characters: Madeleine Ferguson, Joey Paulson, Bernard Renault

Coffee, pie, or doughnut references: 4

Terror in the Aisles




Always one of my favorites.

This is basically a documentary with many, many clips of sweet horror films hosted by Donald Pleasance.
Some that I still haven't seen yet but really want to after seeing this again:

1. Wait Until Dark
2. Nighthawks
3. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
4. Dressed to Kill
5. Marathon Man
6. Midnight Express

Martin Landeau in LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT? Why haven't I seen this yet?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Twin Peaks episode 2



airdate: April 19, 1990
director: David Lynch
writers: David Lynch and Mark Frost

Summary: Ben and Jerry go to One-Eyed Jack's; Leo orders Mike and Bobby to come up with the rest of the drug money; Cooper introduces his rock throwing technique; Albert Rosenfeld arrives; Nadine invents silent drape runners; Cooper has a dream of BOB, Mike, and the little man from another place.

**** four star rating: Let's Rock!

Notes: Ben's eager look at the brie sandwich is funny; does the sandwich remind him of those chicks down by the river because of the crotchy cheese smell or what? Jerry looks down at the sandwich when discussing Laura's death; was he screwing her too? Reference to "freshly scented" new girl at One-Eyed Jack's. Nice mention of church by Dr. Hayward when leaving his daughter alone with James. Blackie is very slinky. The new girl in this episode is VERY Lula Fortune. Interesting night shots of the falls. Who is that in the woods with Leo? When Coop throws the rocks, they hit the stumps for James and Josie, both with whom Laura has had sex. Mrs. Hayward notices Audrey at the diner--interesting connection. Lucy is reading a large book on Tibet--awesome. LOVE Coop's smile when Laura kisses him in the dream. Cute jammies.

Best Lynch Moment: Intro to the red room in the Black Lodge.

Best Line: "LEO NEEDS A NEW PAIR OF SHOES!" while shining flashlight down at shoes.

New Characters: Jerry Horne, Blackie O'Reilly, Albert Rosenfeld, Little Man from Another Place

Coffe, pie, or doughnut references: 6

Once in a Lifetime Whodunnit Weekend


April Fools Day

This is probably one of my favorite horror movies, ever. There are such random and weird happenings going on in this that sometimes I wonder why people didn't give it more credit for being such a sweet ass 80s film. When we were in about fifth grade, we would see this video cover at the movie store and wonder what in God's name the chick with the noose hair was playing at when she was racing around killing people. . . unfortunately it was just cover art and not an ACTUAL character with that hair. Pity.

1. Nikki is totally my favorite character in this, ever, and this is a little awkward since she very closely resembles one of Matt's high school girlfriends (Kelly). I love her fashion. Jean jacket with doily embroidery? Ruffly peasant shirt and jeans with lots of dangly necklaces and earrings? White sweat pants (rolled) with grey hoodie CUTTER and similarly cut hot pink T-shirt underneath? Oversize flashdance-style cut off the shoulder t-shirt with leggings. I love it.

2. I have a feeling that when I first watched this, back in fifth grade, KIT would have been my favorite as her hair was LONG and BLOND. (I will call this this Betty Childs syndrome of me thinking someone fitting these requirements = number one. this went on until approximately 1996).

3. "Please God Let it be Ding-Dongs." I'm glad this line has survived the years and is a part of my normal banter on a regular basis.

4. The scene between Nikki and Hal at the well is by far my favorite. Who in the hell would say, "Aw, CRAP," when a bucket falls into the well? Hardly any movies use CRAP in dialogue at all. It has a great, blunt impact; I think we need to bring it back.

5. Antics with the faux-corpse heads at the end are great, throwing it at various people, having it perform fellatio, having it knock back pulls on the dom and the way Chaz makes it follow the mob that showers Muffy with champagne so IT TOO gets showered.

6. The ending with Nan? Is this meant to suggest she enjoys the last laugh because she holds a grudge about the abortion tape? Hmmm. Or maybe SHE has a crazy twin, too.

ALSO: Actor who plays SKIP (Muffy's twin brother) is none other than GRIFFIN O'NEAL (Merry Christmas, Griffin), brother of Tatum. I wonder which particular drugs he was using at this time in his life? Or if Ryan would beat the shit out of him after shooting each day?

I especially like the way this whole "elimination" of victims seems a little personal. Skip, causes Buck's accident on the ferry and does drugs to escape the guilt, he gets axed first. Arch is an obnoxious prankster, he gets hung by his leg above a snake. Nan apparently has had an abortion; she gets taken and thrown in the well with the two guys' heads, etc., etc. We learn just enough about each character to know what's coming up next.
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