Movie a Day! : 136-143 – A Letter Home

Right, no blog last week due to losing Dad. It’s sad, I might write a post about it all. I might not. I do have to keep the movie blog going though so here’s the first part of the month end post since I had too many titles to have only one post for the week. I’ll do the final recap for June later.

136 06-09 Breaking Bad Season 4 (2011) 4/5

Oddly enough, this continues to be great.

137 06-14 Jungle Blue (1978) 2.5/5
This one is by the director of the dreadful “Marilyn and the Senator.” It was also dreadful, but in the delightfully, gonzo way that is endlessly entertaining in its awfulness. It’s mostly a Tarzan spoof, but it’s edited so terribly it’s baffling-ly plotted. A strange mix of hardcore, crime plotting and wildlife footage that really has to be seen to be believed in that everyone of the above aspects seems to be thrown in all willy nilly. “We’ve shown too much hardcore, lets cut to the crime, now cut to animal footage, now back to crime. We forgot the hardcore, cut back to the orgy!” Yup, this one is a great, awful movie for sure!

138 06-15 Deadly Weapons (1974) 2/5
This one stars Chesty Morgan (not her real name), a Danish import notable only for her massive, freakish, 73” tits. Aside from the tits, she would be described as a “Handsome” woman. Anyway, basic plot here is a mobster gets whacked so his wife heads out to avenge his death by smothering his rivals with her massive boobage. It’s pretty terrible, Chesty is no actress and all her dialog is dubbed. It’s a holdout to the roughie days (directed by roughie legend Doris Wishman), so it doesn’t work as a softcore porn but is so odd it’s watchable and kind of fun. Porn legend Harry Reams is in it, and him and his amazing, almost fake in it’s awesomeness, mustache are about the best thing going performance wise. All the other guys in it are really gross and look like they have some kind of skin disease. In fact, nearly everyone in this is gross and unpleasant. Especially Chesty’s tits that just flop out and blurgh.

139 06-20 Breaking Bad Season 5 (2013) 4.5/5
So this is the final season and it’s about as perfect of a final season as you could hope for.

Series wise, it’s nice to have a show get massive raves and actually pay-off when you finally sit down to watch it. I didn’t think I’d power through the whole series in little over a month, you can blame mum for that since she was going out of her mind watching it. Anyway, everything you want in a show is here. Great performances, a plot that is consistently surprising without cheating, even with the cruel cliffhanger endings of most episodes. Humour that is derived naturally from the situations, not at the expense of plot or characters. It’s absolutely deserving of all the hype it gets. Like “The Wire”, I was ready to re-watch it immediately, but am holding off for now. (Though The Wire might get pulled from storage sooner than later…) Series get’s a 5/5 from me.

140 06-20 Vice Season 2 (2014) 4/5
This is an HBO news show based on the magazine of the same name, and every episode has me wondering “Why the fuck is the normal news not reporting this stuff?” I don’t always agree with their political views, and the completely disagree with their some of their corporate decisions/policies. None the less, the stories presented on this show, and their Youtube channel, are constantly interesting and thought provoking. Recommended, almost mandatory viewing in our current media stage where hollow entertainment rules.

141 06-21 The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) 4/5
This one was Orson Welles’ follow up to his groundbreaking film “Citizen Kane.” Of course, “groundbreaking” means “complete flop on initial release”, so RKO took this one away from Welles and cut a bunch out. So like all of Welles directorial efforts post “Citizen Kane” you can’t help but wonder “What could of this film been?” What is here is very good. This is basically a generational melodrama about the effect of the industrial age (personified by the automobile) on a proud family. Perfect performances and direction that feels modern even today, it’s a masterful. surprisingly dark 84 minutes of movie that’s well worth watching. What would the original, 148 min cut that Welles prepared be like? We’ll likely never know, RKO destroyed the footage. That’s why film preservation is important. Please click the link to SAVE THE ALAMO from rotting away in MGM’s vault.

142 06-21 Andy (1969) 3/5
This is a short film directed by Wakefield Poole of an Andy Warhol art show. Shot handheld on I think 8mm film, it’s pretty great with Poole doing some pretty fancy “in camera” editing. Poole presented the film to Warhol as a birthday gift. Later he would screen it prior to showings of his feature film debut, the first mainstream hardcore gay porn “Boys in the Sand”. We’ll get to that one later.

143 06-22 Neil Young – A Letter Home (2014) 4/5
This is a companion DVD to the deluxe edition of the album of the same name. I’m including it since it’s a proper film in it’s own right. The album was recorded in a 1940’s arcade recording booth direct to disc. This film has the video of each performance as it was recorded, as well as some extra bits with Young and Jack White between songs. So aside from presenting the music in a lossless format, it’s a cool document on the making of a record that gimmicks aside ended up being really good in it’s own right.

That’s it for now, the rest of June in a recap to follow.

The End

 

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Movie a Day! 130-135: URGH!

So the past week was worse than the week before. I came down with a flu though, so I got in some movies that would not of been watched otherwise. Hooray for the flu! You know it’s a bad week when you’re happy to have the flu. Anyway, not a terrible start to June movie watching wise.

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130 06-01 Grand Theft Auto (1977) 3/5
No, I’m not counting video games as movies. This was Ron Howard’s directorial debut. It’s actually pretty good. On par with “Eat My Dust” at any rate. In this one, a girl steals her dad’s limo and takes off with Ron Howard to get married. So it’s a fantasy picture since no women would steal a car to run off with some gawky ginger like Ron Howard. It’s another massive chase film with lots of car crashes and spotty humour bits. Still, it works well enough, though not as entertaining as the video games, those are awesome. Don’t be fooled by the poster either, I don’t think Howard ever gets behind the wheel of the car. It’s all the girl driving, GIRL POWER!

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131 06-01 Urgh! A Music War (1981) 4/5
I blind bought this one having never heard of it, and it ends up being pretty much the greatest concert film ever! It’s a perfect snapshot of music in 1980. The Police are the big headliners, which is great since it’s from the period when they were awesome and not annoying. The rest of the show though is ridiculous in the best possible way. The Cramps, Dead Kennedys, The Go-Gos, Devo, Gary Numan, the awesome just keeps on coming! My only complaint is that it’s not 20 hours long and that Warner’s shit out a barebones, crummy DVD via their stupid “archives” program. Someone needs to do a proper release of this gem.

*I discovered while looking up the poster art that there is a 6 hour version of this film, featuring 3 songs per artist instead of the one song per artist in the film. It’s held up due to licensing issues. WE NEED THIS RELEASED! URGH!

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132 06-03 Jack the Giant Slayer (2013) 2.5/5
Finally sat down to this one since Bryan Singer’s next X-Men movie is finally out. It’s just dull. I don’t know if it’s trying too hard to be a “Lord of the Rings” type of thing or what, but it just doesn’t work. Ewan McGregor and Ian McShane are in fine form, but the rest of the cast, especially the lead “Jack” are the pits. So it’s hard to give two shits about anything when you don’t really care if the lead is going to get killed. There is also a fuck ton of giants, and they seem mostly to be there for snot and fart jokes. Which would be passable if the film itself didn’t look cheap and rushed. So screw this one. Another big budget, CGI jerk-off of a film with no proper story to engage you.

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133 06-03 Breaking Bad Season 3 4/5
Yup, this one is still good.

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134 06-04 Marilyn and the Senator (1975) 1.5/5
This one is the first misstep as far as releases from Vinegar Syndrome go. Presentation wise, it’s a complete win. The film looks great, there is a commentary with lead actor William Margold and a trailer. A top notch release. The problem is the film. The basic plot is a woman is desperate to get pregnant by a Senator. Ends up she’s a CIA agent, and the Senator is all for it. His wife finds out, and proceeds to over-fuck him so he can’t perform. Which isn’t the stupidest plot ever for a porn film, but not much of one for a TWO HOUR MOVIE! The director had big thoughts with this being a satire of Government in light of a porn crackdown, but it just doesn’t work. A big part of that problem is porn legend Bill Margold. He’s just unpleasant and a sap in this and just one of those actors I’ve never liked. The humour dies on the floor and everything just tests your patience to no end.

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135 06-04 Lust for Freedom (1987) 3/5
This one is a women’s prison movie from the 80’s, and it’s exactly what you think it is. Obnoxious, loud, goofy, big hair and a metal soundtrack. So it’s the PERFECT women’s prison movie from the 80’s. If you don’t believe me, check out the trailer. Vinegar Syndrome did a great job with this disc, and it was a great palate cleanser after the previous slog that was “Marilyn and the Senator.”

That’s it for now. Currently binging on Breaking Bad Season 4 and not much else, so there might again be a wait between posts longer than a week. Unless I get sick again and have to miss work. Let’s hope for that!

The End

Movie a Day : 118-122 – “What if it was your sister?”

Ha! I bet you all thought I bailed on this blog since it didn’t get posted at the start of the week. I fooled you! It’s been crazy busy both here in the bunker and at work, I just didn’t have the time to get this together.

Why does spring yard work have to be so hard? I planted a vegetable garden that features more than just the usual potato. I have high hopes for corn and blueberries this year. I know that blueberries are not a vegetable. I have no idea if I’m watering them enough or too much, and I’m pretty sure some flowers in the front bed are dead. I’m watering them anyway just in case. This is stressful stuff. As a result, I didn’t get many movies in and I’m late with the blog. At least you get it this week, and on a Friday so you can waste time at work!

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118 05-17 Pretty Peaches 2 (1987) 3/5
This is the first of what is presumed to be many releases of the films of Alex De Renzy by Vinegar Syndrome. Who’s that? Why, he’s one of the legendary porn producers of the golden age who worked right up into the 90’s when the industry flipped from being film based to video product. Anyway, this is the first half of a double feature. Basic plot is a porn take on “Candide”, where Peaches goes out on an exploration to discover sex. It’s got some fun performances by legends Ron Jeremy and Jamie Gillis, not to mention 80’s star Tracey Adams as Peaches domineering mom, but it’s also so sex heavy that it’s practically a loop carrier as opposed to a proper narrative film (not a complaint). Which is ultimately the point of these films, especially in the pre-gonzo video age. Still a fun movie, and pretty good looking seeing as it was shot on film instead of video.

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119 05-18 Bamboo Gods & Iron Men (1974) 2/5
So after watching that awesomely dumb Gary Busey film last week, I sat down to the movie I actually bought the set for. Of course it wasn’t very good. It’s an odd mash-up of martial arts and blaxploitation, so you can understand my disappointment when it ended up not being the greatest movie ever made. Basic plot is, an American boxer visiting the Hong Kong (the Philippines, since Vic Diaz is in it) on his honeymoon gets mixed up with a cartel when he buys a Buddha that has some ancient formula in it. Anyway, it’s dumb with bad fight scenes, corny gags and “Black” Cal Jefferson is no “Blackbelt Jones” Jim Kelly.

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120 05-18 Breaking Bad Season 1 (2008) 4/5
Not sure if you guys and gals have heard of this one. It’s a TV show that ran on some channel about a high school science teacher who gets diagnosed with cancer and starts cooking meth. It’s pretty good.

(By “pretty good” I mean it’s fucking great. Been watching it with mum, and mum’s going out of her god damned mind. I might have to cut her off. Lots has been written about the show, so nuff said.)

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121 05-19 Trackdown (1976) 2/5
So Robert Mitchum had a son who was born with the same iconic sleepy eyes, so of course he had be an actor in the movies. This is one of those movies! I’m guessing being a more redneck Mitchum wasn’t in demand, since this is a pretty low budget sleaze fest. Jim Mitchum plays a redneck from Montana who treks out to Los Angeles to look for his runaway sister. She of course got mixed up with a prostitution ring. So Mitchum has to team up with Eric Estrada from “CHIPS” to try to save her. It’s all a bit of a mess, and plays like a redneck version of “Dirty Harry” or “Death Wish”. Mitchum is a terrible actor, especially when compared to his old man, but Estrada is pretty good. Still, not worth watching.

Love this poster I found, obviously to cash in on both Eric Estrada after he broke big with “CHIPS” and Cathy Lee Crosby who was hosting “That’s Incredible” at the time and completely cuts out Mitchum.

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122 05-21 Scorchy (1976) 1.5/5
This one is the last film in that 4 movie set that included “Trackdown”, “Bamboo Gods & Iron Men” and that dumb Busey “Bulletproof”. This one features Connie Stevens as an undercover agent trying to crack down on drug dealers in Seattle who are smuggling dope in a larger Buddha than the one featured in Bamboo Gods. So “smuggling drugs in Buddhas” is apparently a sub-genre I never knew existed. Anyway, it’s a piece of shit that plays like a crappy TV Movie. Who is Connie Stevens anyway? She’s the type of actress that everyone seems to know by name, but for what? Her IMDB page doesn’t feature any amazing movies. Or am I just being miserable since the best movie in this stupid set was the Gary Busey one?

Not a total loss for a weeks worth of viewing. The best was Breaking Bad, by far. Now that the hooks are in, we’re on season 2 and that’s taking up a lot of the movie watching time. So there might not be a movie blog next week. I’ll see if I get 5 or more titles. I might post something else. I’ll see how it goes.

The End