Archive for the 'Film' Category

Drag me up the ramp to hell

I really wanted to see Drag Me To Hell this past weekend. But on Friday my wife mentioned how much trouble our dog Lucy was having getting up the back steps. I took her to the vet and we got her started on medicine for her Lyme disease and two pain pill prescriptions, one for her arthritis and the other a general pain medication. The vet wants to take X-rays to see if bone cancer is involved, but the vet also said the X-rays would be academic. At Lucy’s age, she’s nearly 12, we wouldn’t want to do anything that would lessen the quality of her life when it isn’t likely to prolong her lifespan. So I spent the weekend going to the lumber store and then came home and built her a ramp. Lucy didn’t like it. So I went back to Lowes and bought outdoor carpetting to make it non-skid and added rails to the side to make it more secure. She still won’t use it although when she went up when I lead her it was much easier for her than going up the three steps.

It’s not the angle of the ramp. The ramp has a much gentler slope than the commercial dog ramps for older dogs. In any event, she has a deluxe ramp waiting for her when she does decide to use it. By the time I finished building it and then getting my yard and garden work done, I was too tired to go see the movie. I’ll have to wait until next weekend.

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You couldn’t drag me away from Drag Me to Hell

Sam Raimi returns to horror:

Mr. Raimi’s new movie, which stars Alison Lohman and Justin Long, is a grown-up horror flick, if there is such a thing.

I’m really looking forward to it despite the cheap shot at the horror genre from the dead tree critic. My favorite horror movies aren’t slasher flicks, but has supernatural elements played straight.

Bueller’s Day

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off re-imagined as a horror movie.

My favorite Barbara Stanwyck movies

Barbara Stanwyck 1930

Here’s my favorite Barbara Stanwyck (July 16, 1907 – January 20, 1990) movies for no particular reason:

7. Titantic (1953).
Earlier scene:

Richard Sturges: [after Richard and Julia have been quarreling over who will have custody of their son] My dear Julia, I’ve been around enough bridge tables to recognize someone who’s holding a high trump – play it now if you will.
Julia Sturges: We’ll discuss it later.
Richard Sturges: Now!
Julia Sturges: All right, Richard. One question first?
Richard Sturges: If it’s about Norman, you know the answer. No court in the world, no power in the heavens can force me to give up my son.
Julia Sturges: He is not your son.

Later as the ship is in its death throes and he’s been very noble:

Julia Sturges: Oh Richard, where did we miss out on each other? I beg your pardon, Sir. I put you down as a useless man, someone to lead a cotillion.
Richard Sturges: After all, it was my major talent.
Julia Sturges: I’m sorry, sorry about everything.
Richard Sturges: We have no time to catalog our regrets. All we can do is pretend 20 years didn’t happen. It’s June again. You were walking under some Elm trees in a white muslin dress, the loveliest creature I ever laid eyes on. That summer, when I asked you to marry me, I pledged my eternal devotion. I would take it as a very great favor Julia, if you would accept a restatement of that pledge.

Stanwyck makes you believe in both scenes.

6. Double Indemnity.

Phyllis: We’re both rotten.
Walter Neff: Only you’re a little more rotten.

5. Sorry, Wrong Number. Classic tale and she cranks out the tension.

4. Forbidden. The original hot librarian.

3. Baby Face.

Lily Powers: Yeah, I’m a tramp, and who’s to blame? My father. A swell start you gave me. Ever since I was fourteen, what’s it been? Nothing but men! Dirty rotten men! And you’re lower than any of them. I’ll hate you as long as I live!

2. Lady of Burlesque.

Biff (a comic at the burlesque hall where Dixie is the star): What’s the matter with comics?
Dixie: I went into show business when I was seven years old. Two days later the first comic I ever met stole my piggy bank in a railroad station in Portland. When I was 11 the comics were looking at my ankles. When I was 14 they were…just looking. When I was 20 I’d been stuck with enough lunch checks to pay for a three-story house. Naw, they’re shiftless, dame-chasing, ambitionless…

More importantly, Dixie uses her brain to solve a murder that occurred backstage at the old opera house in between dances on stage.

1. Night Nurse. Murder. Gangsters. Bad women with good hearts. What more do you need?

Barbara Stanwyck and Joan Blondell with a very lucky skeleton.

Barbara Stanwyck and Joan Blondell with a very lucky skeleton.

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The Cyber Horror Awards

The Cyber Horror Awards are coming.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the movie

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a book highlighted earlier by protected static, isn’t even out yet and it’s sparked a bidding war for the movie rights. That’s spurred some wags to think of other movies that would be improved by zombies. If I sound bitter it’s because I long ago proclaimed all movies would be improved by vampires and I hate to see another undead species, a particularly foul smelling and nonthinking one at that, get all the attention.

Driving home from Twilight with my daughter

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I took my 10-year-old daughter to see Twilight this evening at Berkeley Plaza, where matinees are $4, popcorn $1, soda $1, and candy $2. We enjoyed it, although my daughter and I cracked wise with each other throughout so that’s probably was a major reason why we enjoyed it. She’s a big Harry Potter fan and so there were numerous Cedric Diggory (the main actor played the Cedric role in the HP movies) jokes throughout (“Stay away from him, he’s a Hufflepuff!” “Too bad he survives this only to die at the hands of Voldemort” etc.)

On the drive home in my beat up truck, I asked her what she thought of the movie. She thought it was awesome, but she said it would have been so much cooler if the Twilight vampires did not “sparkle” when exposed to sunlight, but instead showed their true age or showed they had bat-like faces. I told her that would have been cooler. She said if she could have changed one thing about the movie it would have been that followed by all the “soap opera” elements.

“No offense,” I said. “But the movie was aimed at tweeners and teenagers so that’s why they had that in there.”

“I can see that,” she said. “But I would have liked it to be much scarier instead.”

She hasn’t read the book series and I asked her if she would now that she’s seen the movie. She said she didn’t think so.

Voiceover Guy, RIP

In a world without the man famous for his movie trailer voiceovers, going to the movies won’t be the same experience.

LOS ANGELES — Don LaFontaine, the man who popularized the catch phrase “In a world where…” and lent his voice to thousands of movie trailers, has died. He was 68. LaFontaine died Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center from complications in the treatment of an ongoing illness, said Vanessa Gilbert, his agent.

LaFontaine made more than 5,000 trailers in his 33-year career while working for the top studios and television networks.

In a rare on-screen appearance in 2006, he parodied himself on a series of national television commercials for a car insurance company where he played himself telling a customer, “In a world where both of our cars were totally under water…”

Ghost Town

Looks kind of fun.

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Enjoying Summer

Firefly’s Summer Glau is among the rising stars featured in Vanity Fair:

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