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Archive for the ‘Movie Crack’ Category

Someday, when the aliens invade and begins systematically changing people into their minions, Clue will be my litmus test to determine who’s human….and who is not!

That’s right, I said it: If you don’t like Clue, there’s something wrong with you and yes, you probably are a pod person.

I can’t tell you how many times I have watched Clue. Probably 300 times and some change. It never gets old! Never! The brilliance of this movie lies in the dialogue.

Wadsworth: A double negative!

Colonel Mustard: Double negative? You mean you have photographs?

Wadsworth: That sounds like a confession to me. In fact the double negative has led to proof positive. I’m afraid you gave yourself away.

Colonel Mustard: Are you trying to make me look stupid in front of the other guests?

Wadsworth: You don’t need any help from me, sir.

Colonel Mustard: That’s right!

Clue is obviously based on the really popular board game of the same name. Unlike, however, most adaptations of pop-culture staples, Clue really has some substance. From the new back story given to the game and why the party-goers are there, to the running gags and throwaway jokes (when each visitor enters the house for the first time, for example, each stops to check their shoes for dog poop after Wadsworth initially steps in some).

Of course, the two things I love most about this movie?   Tim Curry and Madeleine Kahn.

Tim Curry is his normal good acting self, but I love, love, flippin’ love Madeleine Kahn in this movie.   When I say, “Flames…flames…on the side of my face!” and people don’t get it, it makes me kind of sad.   Her portrayal of Miss White as the Black Widow character who murders all her husband is so neurotically genius that I don’t know where to start.

Clue is like one big, long running gag that’s timed almost perfectly.   Most other films would be ruined by having three (!) endings, but not Clue.   I read somewhere that originally the studio distributed cuts of the film with different endings to different theaters, meaning that you didn’t know what ending you were getting in your theater.    Luckily for us here in the present, we have nifty DVDs.   The Clue DVD allows you to select “play one ending at random” or all three at the end together.   The third and final ending in the series of endings is by far my favorite.

I get all disappointed nowadays when someone wants to bust out the board game because it’s not nearly as fun as the movie.   I still have never met anyone who viewed the board game as greater, but if you exist out there, person who likes the board game but not the movie, you’re probably a pod person anyways.

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Guys, I have to make a terrible confession. Have you wondered all these years why Nicolas Cage has a film career? It’s me, people, it’s all me. I’m the sole moviegoer keeping Cage in business. It’s sad to admit, but my name is Caitlin and I’m addicted to bad Nicolas Cage action flicks. (Right now, Fletch over at Blog Cabins is probably booking a plane ticket to come beat me senseless.)

John Travolta plays Sean Archer, a determined, hardworking FBI agent determined to bring down the vicious criminal that killed his son, a certain Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage). After finally bringing him down, the FBI discovers that there’s still one last dastardly plot Castor has dreamed up that he’s already set in motion and there’s only one ridiculously outlandish way to save the day. Sean Archer must have his face switched with Castor Troy. Insult to injury, I should think, but of course! Sean Archer is a total Boy Scout, so he has to do the right thing — at the further expense of everything he holds dear and true. What a hero, right?

There’s really no other way to describe this movie than absurdly over the top. Castor’s brother is named Pollux (haha, get it?); Nicolas Cage starts out the movie by planting some sort of crazy bomb in a convention center dressed as a priest of all things and carrying gold plated guns; the prison in this movie is something you have to see to believe. It’s a quasi-futuristic place with robotic, magnetic boots that control the prison population that’s located on an oil rig looking place in the middle of the ocean. So…yeah. It looks like a fun place to spend an eternity and a half, right? Kinda bleak, kinda depressing, kinda isolated. It’s party city up there.

Meanwhile, while Sean’s taken Castor’s place in prison to get information out of the neurotic, nerdy Pollux, the real Castor wakes up without a face, which would probably really ruin anyone’s day. Pissing off the psycho nutjob and taking his face? Not a good idea. So Castor goes…a little nutso and takes Sean Archer’s face, leading to a nice little switcheroo that screws everyone up. Well, not until after he gets a new face lasered on and kills everyone remotely involved with the face-transplanting.

There’s a reason Nic Cage excels at playing neurotic and/or insane, psychotic characters. I personally speculate that Mr. Cage might be a little cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, if you catch my drift, but I could be wrong. So when you throw old NIcolas a curveball — say, playing a straightlaced, normal guy that’s out of his league — he doesn’t know what else to do with it than ridiculously, shamefully overplay it. Here? He doesn’t disappoint.

The scene where Archer wakes up with Castor’s face is nearly priceless. You’d better not be drinking anything while watching it or whatever liquid you’re imbibing is going straight up your nose. Cage has a completely unbelievable freak-out attack that’s beyond description, complete with stupid facial mugging, some of the most forced, fake crying I’ve ever heard, and ridiculous cries of “Eff you, eff you!” thrown at his superiors as he breaks a mirror. It’s like angst overload, Nicolas Cage style which basically means Cage plays it like a thirteen year old girl would play it. Academy Award winner right there, folks.

Cage quite simply can’t play it straight to save his life. When you’re making John Travolta, king of the unintentionally comic overacting, look downright Oscar-worthy, it’s pretty bad. Travolta does play a rather despicable bad guy. I love watching Travolta play bad dudes because he hams it up just enough instead of taking the Cage route, which is kind of like watching a monkey on speed chase a banana for hours on end.

The rest of the film is devoted to the two taking bizarre, strange means to get their respective faces back, culminating in a final battle of good versus evil with the trademark John Woo hallmarks splashed in.

So…after having gone through all the bad, why do I like this movie so darn much?

To tell you the truth, I’m really not quite sure. Perhaps it’s the scene where Nicolas Cage dances around as a priest and sings with a kid’s choir after planting a bomb that will destroy Los Angeles; perhaps it’s just the general feeling of “it’s so bad it becomes awesome” that pervades the movie; perhaps it’s the random Joe Bob Briggs cameo (Aww, Joe Bob! I miss Monstervision on TNT!).

Even if it wasn’t intended to be what it is, Face/Off’s a cheesy action flick that for some odd reason, never gets old. It stays awesomely bad and is just as funny the first time as the last time you see it.

After years of having seen it, even Nicolas Cage’s vamping doesn’t get old — and that’s saying something.

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I was a child of the late ’80’s and ’90’s, so my first memories of movies were VHS tapes. With so many viewings and rewindings, you could wear those suckers out. Sure, you had to try really hard, but my family managed to do it several times. I think between myself and my two sisters, we broke two or three copies a piece of Die Hard, Dirty Dancing, Jurassic Park and this movie, The Cutting Edge. We watched the hell out of this movie. In fact, you can still sneak up behind my mother and whisper, “Toepick”, and it elicits a giggle.

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Doug Dorsey is a talented college hockey player who gets injured while playing at the Olympics, thus ending the bright promise of a professional career. Kate Moseley is a spoiled rotten figure skater who has everything she’s ever wanted — except an Olympic gold medal. Doug desperately wants to play hockey again and Kate wants nothing more than that coveted gold medal. A kooky coach brings the two together, forcing them to get along in order to achieve what they both want. And, oh yeah, they fall in love along the way. Aww!

I was surprised, I guess, to learn how much this movie’s taken hold among many people I know, including those in the hockey blogosphere; you can probably catch a drive-by quoting of The Cutting Edge at Interchangeable Parts or A View From The Cheap Seats, both hockey blogs run by bloggers who adore this movie (Schnookie & Pookie over at Interchangeable Parts wold declare it to be one of the finest movies ever made, no doubt. In fact, I believe they have a D.B. Sweeney autographed VHS copy of this movie, as well.)

Doug’s easygoing, loose ways don’t sit well with demanding, bossy Kate. The quips and digs at each other fly quickly, particularly from Kate. Doug and Kate also seem to have the misfortune of crap family members, as evidenced by Kate’s father and Doug’s…whatever he is. (Cousin? Uncle? Brother? Some dude who is related to Doug and owns a bar that he constantly is trying to get Doug to work in, giving Doug lots of angst about the fact that he’s a hockey player, not a damn bartender, for God’s sake.)

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Meet Doug’s whositwhatsit family member. It never speaks well of your family tree when you’re related to someone who looks like a cross-breed of Ed Belfour and Mickey Rooney.

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Meet Kate’s way-overbearing daddy played by Terry O’Quinn (yeah, that dude from LOST!) whose biggest talent seems to be the fact that he’s an enormous jackass. Look at that pencil mustache. It says it all, right there.

After moving past the genetic roadblock that is their respective family members, and Kate finally comes to terms with the fact that she’s pissed everyone else off so badly, Doug’s her only shot — they have to pull off a move in competition that’s crazy and wacky and will set the entire figure skating world on fire. This means Doug and Kate have to find a way to reapply their energies to figure skating rather than developing crazy, Spy vs. Spy ways of slowly, painfully killing each other.

Through it all, Kate and Doug have their ups and downs, their total missteps, adventures in tequila and crazy Russian coaches (you had me at hello, Furry Hatted Coach Who Speaks Crazily) and they pull it all off and fall in love.

I think I could watch this movie every day for a long time and never get sick of it. I can’t actually tell you how many times I’ve really seen this movie, because it’s probably a sad number of times. It usually gets a rash of multiple repeated viewings in my family around Olympics time — Summer or Winter — and I seriously, positively cannot think of anything that binds people of like minds together more quickly than a simple spoken “toepick”.

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Movie Crack: Zombie

For those of you who remember my previous movie blog, you know that I’ve used the term “movie crack” before. It still applies, so if you don’t like me carrying it over, well, I would say, “That’s too bad for you, friend”.

Movie crack is any kind of movie that I can sit and watch 27,000 times in my life. Movie crack can be bad, movie crack can be good. Movie crack can be really, really bad, like that DVD copy of Broken Arrow I own that I’ve hung on to for years and years.

I told you it could be bad!

So movie crack gets its own snazzy little category here on 1,416 and Counting. Think of it as a fascinating view into my film-addled brain, or perhaps a bizarre commentary on (mostly bad) movies. Maybe you could just point at me and laugh as you say, “Seriously? She likes that movie? Oh god, forget this! I’m going to Cinematical where they know what they’re talking about!” (And to that, I’d like to say in advance: I never promised greatness, only the misinformed opinion of one simpleton here.)

Anyways, I digress. I’ve probably watched Zombie at least once a year since I was seventeen and it never, ever gets old. I don’t think the plot requires much explanation from the title, but basically some zombies get loose on a tropical island where some crazy research is going down, and the people visiting the island for one reason or another have to deal with a combination of dead Spanish conquistador zombies and native inhabitant zombies.

Now, theoretically, you could go anywhere to get that kind of zombie movie. Aha! Oh, no, reader of mine, Zombie has two things that make it fantastically, amazingly crackalicious.

#1: ZOMBIE VERSUS SHARK

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Yeah, it’s an epic battle of undead man versus shark. Every time I see it, I can’t help but giggle. The ridiculousness of a zombie living underwater and attacking a shark never gets old. I could be having the worst day of my life and look at this picture (or watch the scene over again) and be instantly cheered up.

#2: THAT KILLER EYE SCENE

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Okay, is that stressing you out a little? Is it making you cringe? A freaking zombie grabs this poor woman from about two feet away and drags her ever so slowly towards this enormous splinter of wood. Fulci cuts from the side view seen above to a close up of the splinter to a close of up of this poor woman’s face repeatedly. The entire sequence is probably not over 45 seconds, but it feels like hours. Considering I have a monstrous phobia of anything bad happening to people’s eyes, this scene makes me cringe every time. From the photo above, I’m guessing you can draw the correct conclusion as to what happens to this poor woman, and the scream she lets out is decidedly unhuman, which is even creepier.

For its time, the special effects were decent and it’s a freaking zombie movie, so take it as what you will. For some reason, though, the above two reasons separate it from the herd of other zombie flicks out there. It keeps me coming back year after year, which is why I’m understandably upset that my very nice copy has somehow developed a rather large crack in it, rendering it unplayable.

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