Movie A Day!: Gilmore Spectre Girl

Another week and another list of things I’ve watched. I wrapped up the Gilmore Girls this week and now begins trying to catch up on other things. I had the weird experience of having a news article quote me heavily this week and entered into the wild. All of it is anonymous, but it’s still weird to see deeply personal stuff aired in public like that. There will not be links at this time.


072 03/20 Gilmore Girls Season 7 (2007) 3.5/5   And here is where the journey ends. I’ve heard nothing but complaints about this season, and for the first half of it I can see why. Both Lorelai and Rory make all the wrong decisions and it is absolutely infuriating to watch. The interesting thing though is that these horrible decisions don’t actually conflict with the characters behaviour as set up previously, so it’s sort of brave for the creative team to make them so unlikable despite how unpopular it was. Second half of the season is much better, with things resolving relatively naturally for the end of the series. According to Wikipedia, this season had different show runners which might explain some of the confusion at the start. The wiki also says that the original show-runners wanted to have a season 8 to wrap up all the storylines. Which would of been interesting, but as it plays out, it wasn’t really necessary. As a whole, I really enjoyed revisiting the series and am glad I finished it after all these years. It mostly holds up. Some of the pop-culture stuff is dated of course, it was hard not to snicker/weep over the many references to future president Hillary Clinton seeded though out. I’m still a little in love with Lauren Graham. As far as this style of show goes, the writing helps to keep it more relevant than some of the other soapy dramas of the era. I think? I’m no expert on soapy dramas. 


073 03/22 His Marriage Wow (1925) 3/5   Harry Langdon takes the lead in this slapstick comedy, starring as the groom who ends up convinced that his wife is only after his insurance. This one wasn’t as wild as the genre is typically, but it’s charming as hell. Langdon is more quiet and naive like Stan Laurel (the commentary track confirmed my suspicion that Laurel was influenced by Landon) and it makes for an interesting juxtaposition to the wilder action to see him work small in a genre that is so broad.


074 03/24 Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life (2016) 3.5/5   Ten years after season seven ends and the girls are back. Presented as four 90 minute movies as opposed to a series of episodes, it was both a joy and a mixed bag. The shocking thing is the sheer number of the cast they were able to bring back. It’s great, but it makes the episodes very busy to fit everyone in which makes for nice moments that work against actual cohesive storytelling. There was also more than a few music montage type deals that I found flat out annoying and excessive as opposed to fun and charming. Episode three I found to be the strongest of the four, and episode four nearly falls apart before redeeming itself in the later half. They could probably continue with another series after this one, but I won’t lose sleep if they don’t.


075 03/24 China Girl (1975) 3.5/5   Annette Haven stars in this one as a biochemist who is kidnapped and tortured with extreme pleasure in a bid to get her to give up the recipe for a drug that allows mind control. An exceptionally well done hardcore feature that actually delivers dramatically (in a grindhouse sense) more than just the sex scenes. Haven does a great job at both aspects, and the big surprise is James Hong (you’ve seen him in movies and television) making a non-sex appearance as the crime boss. Overall it doesn’t fully work as a kung-fu sex drama since it’s not fully committed to the drama (probably due to budget limitations for action scenes), but it works enough to be legit and worthwhile. A perfect example of the period of porno chic when it looked like hardcore was going to go legit, the bluray from Vinegar Syndrome is fantastic.


076 03/25 Spectre (2015) 3/5   The latest Bond film hits all the marks that is expected which is kind of the problem. It’s hard to get swept up in the action when you’re thinking “There’s the car ad, ah, there’s the watch commercial.” It all feels a bit outdated instead of fun. Especially now that we literally have superhero movies in which unstoppable feats of action fit more than in a “real world” spy film. The great Christoph Waltz gets to be the villain and they give him nothing to do. It’s not the worst Bond film, just a serviceable one.

That’s it.

Movie A Day!: Devil Iggy Bungalows

No, I did not forget to post my blog on my typical Sunday night. The weekend simply got away from me, and I debated skipping a week since all I had watched this past week were three silent short films. Don’t get me wrong, they were fine short films, it’s not much of a post.

I find myself falling into a youtube hole prior to going to bed instead of watching movies. I’m replacing cinema junk food with wrestling top 10 lists, of all things. Actually, thinking about it, I watched two Iggy Pop concerts on the youtubes that I should really add to this… give me a minute to fix my list.


067 03/12 The Dare-Devil (1923) 3.5/5   Ben Turpin takes the lead in this Mack Sennett short about a clumsy cowboy who gets pulled into the movie business. Packed full of physical gags that are even more impressive when you find out in the commentary that he was in his 50’s when he filmed this. A comedian that really could do it all in front of the camera, this one was a lot of fun.


068 03/13 Black Oxfords (1924) 3/5   Forgotten comedian Sid Smith stars in this one as a guy who escapes prison and enters a steeplechase to win some money to save the family farm. Yeah, slapstick wasn’t much on plot. This one is pretty standard fare for the genre, but it’s great standard fare. There’s a prison baseball scene preceding the break out that is absolutely wonderful, a fake cow gag that flat out doesn’t work but the steeplechase in the end mostly redeems it. Most notable with this one is the quick pace and gags that will actually be refined and improved with the Loony Tunes cartoons while completely fading away from live action with the invention of sound.


069 03/14 Iggy Pop: Kiss My Blood (1991) 4.5/5   This one finds Iggy performing in support of Brick By Brick, one of his finest albums. It’s one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen, period. Dangerous, out of control, nailing every song. Twenty years after the Stooges and he still takes no prisoners. Not safe for work, he keeps yanking his pants off, but it’s still a mandatory viewing you can watch here.


070 03/19 Iggy Pop Live at the Ritz (1986) 3.5/5   This one finds Iggy performing material on the Blah Blah Blah tour. This is the album that was produced by Bowie and was considered a comeback of sorts for Iggy, but I found the album over-produced with too much of an 80’s pop sheen. The material live though is fantastic and a revelation. Well worth a watch to gain a new perspective. Watch it here.


071 03/19 Galloping Bungalows (1924) 3/5   This one see poor Sid Smith in a support role to the superior Billy Bevan, the star of the previously reviewed Gymnasium JimThis one is about a widow looking for suitors that have a distinguished mustache. I promise you, dear readers, I am not making up these plots. First half of this deals with a prefab house gag on a beach that largely falls flat. Second half is an amazing fire engine chase that makes it all worthwhile.

I guess that wasn’t too bad of a list. Seriously though, those Iggy Pop concerts are both bonkers. I don’t know how he does it. I don’t know how he STILL does it. Pure Rock n’ Roll, the real deal. The greatest thing in the world. We’re losing all of our originals. Chuck Berry died yesterday. I grew up on his music. I’m listening to it right now, vivid, alive, that sound he had. It holds up. It’s eternal. Sure, he had personal problems (to put it lightly) and was by all accounts a raging asshole. Don’t let it distract you from the genius. You could make the sweeping claim of “Chuck invented music as we know it” and it wouldn’t be crazy. All pop music today come from either The Rolling Stones or The Beatles, neither would of existed without Chuck Berry. No one can replace his influence. Only Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis are left. Listen to the old guard this week.

Movie A Day 2017! 20-27: Clever Lemmy

After a year of no exercise, I did one part of my old regime yesterday and now I can hardly walk. Isn’t this stuff supposed to make you feel better? Why is it always misery to work out? I wish I had the bug that sees people looking forward to getting up at 6am to go for a run. I have always found exercise a chore. Even gym class in school was something to endure so you could do something fun like watch a movie or listen to music. I’m going to try to stick with it. I have to improve. Based on the news week we just had the future is going to see us needing to shit in holes and figuring out how to turn furniture into weapons. I’m not ready.

Here’s what I watched last week.


020 01/22 A Clever Dummy (1917) 3/5   Ben Turpin stars in this one as a janitor trying to impress a lady so he pretends to be an experimental mechanical man made for the vaudeville circuit. This one was pretty good, most notable for allowing Turpin to shine in the lead. Turpin portrays a robot brilliantly in this one (more accurately he’s a clockwork man) and it ends with a great chase. Worth checking out since most people are probably like me and mostly know Turpin as an extra in other people’s films, if they know of him at all.


021 01/22 Doug Stanhope: Beer Hall Putsch (2013) 4/5   Stanhope isn’t for everyone, but he is for me. Dark, cynical stand up on here that resonates with some truth when it’s not being silly. If you’re a fan you’ll love it. If not, there are better starting points. (Before Turning The Gun On Himself from 2012 would get my vote.)


01/22 Dr. Mario (1990) NES 2.5/5   Once Tetris became all the rage everyone and their dog started putting out puzzle games to capitalize. This was one of Nintendo’s entries. Dr. Mario chucks pills into a jar of viruses and you have to match up the colours to make them disappear. I suck at it so I’m rating it low. It’s actually a fun and novel challenge, I’m being a miserable prick about it.


022 01/22 Hearts and Flowers (1919) 3/5   Another comedy with Fred Sterling chasing after Louise Fazenda after thinking she’s going to get an inheritance. What sets this one apart is a sequence where Sterling’s jilted girl dresses as a man and goes for Louise herself. A fun play on gender that was a bit surprising.


023 01/23 Gilmore Girls Season 3 (2003) 4/5   Another season of my girls! This one finds Rory stressed with graduation, figuring out college and boy trouble out her ass. Dean and Jess come to a head in a fantastic brawl that sadly did not result in both of their deaths. Lorelai bounced back from Max by dating a coffee shop entrepreneur who might be the limpest dick yet to cross her boyfriend-path. The highlight of the season again goes to Lane and her pursuit of rock stardom and a non-Korean boyfriend under her oppressive mothers regime. This season also hosted one of the finest episodes of the series; They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They? Which sees Lorelai rope Rory into a endurance dance contest in an attempt to dethrone Kirk as champion. It’s brilliant and like the episode of Dean and Jess’s fight really shows how great the writing on this could be by incorporating 3 plots lines into one show and making them all work. It’s tight stuff and makes it worth watching.


024 01/24 Down on the Farm (1920) 3/5   Ambitious slapstick with the usual formula of a guy pursuing a girl in the hopes of a payoff. Mack Sennett seemed to really love that one. The real joy in this film though is in the farm dog that does some genuinely clever tricks like fill a bucket of feed and then take it to some pigs, and later saves a toddler from falling in a river. If it wasn’t for that dog I would have rated it lower. I really hope they didn’t beat that dog to teach it those tricks.

025 01/26 Don’t Weaken! (1920) 3/5   A newly rich barkeep hosts a boxing match to give a fresh dance teacher the once over. Pretty typical slapstick for the era, this one give Fred Sterling a chance to do some great physical work but aside from that there’s not much elevating this one from the norm.


026 01/28 Marc Maron: Thinky Pain (2013) 4/5   Maron’s podcast is so good that it’s easy to forget how great a stand up comedian he is. This one was great. All of his stand up is great. Deep neurosis on display, I really have to watch his TV series.


027 01/29 Lemmy (2010) 4/5   Documentary on the metal legend does a good job of showing the man behind the myth. I found it kinda sad. Off the road Lemmy comes off as mostly lonely, knocking around LA with not much purpose. Put a bass guitar in his hand and he’s one of the Gods. Worth checking out if you have any interest.

I’m never going to finish the Mack Sennett silent film set I’m going through. It’s taking me a minimum 2 nights to watch a 20 minute film. I watch them when I go to bed. It could be the most exciting film ever, but the pleasant soundtracks on these films put me to sleep. It’s really screwing up my viewings! So expect more next time.

Movie A Day 2017! 16-19: Kung Fu Gaming

It’s been quite the 48 hours as of this posting. Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States and started signing bills guaranteed to make the lives of poor people poorer. The next day an entire gender of people with a good side serving of the other gender of people marched against Trump in protest in what might be the largest protest march in history. I wasn’t able to attend my local one. Another missed opportunity I am hoping to rectify in the future. It’s a good thing I don’t really believe in karma. If karma is real, I’m screwed.

Here’s the movie watching I’ve been doing.


01/15 The Last of Us (2013) 3.5/5   Fuck it, I’M REVIEWING EVERYTHING! Video games included! I won’t count it towards my total though. This one is a PS4 exclusive, and details the story of Joel, a single dad who is navigating his way through a zombie-like apocalypse. The story is centred around the relationship he has with Ellie, a teenager who may hold a key to a cure. It’s a horror game so there’s a lot of sneaking around taking out enemies both human and “Clicker” (the name they give the fast running zombies, like in THE WALKING DEAD, they never call them “Zombies”). It’s a lot of fun (and a pain in the ass), sneaking about killing things and people; ever pushing forward though broken cities and reclaimed earth. It’s a beautiful destruction to wander about in, and the story is a good one too which helps to hold your interest. The only real problem with the game is the “survivor” aspect. You kill some stuff then you spend twice as much time completely searching the area you cleared out scavenging for parts. It felt like 90% of the game was wandering around looking for things (see picture above of my actual game play) so you can craft items you will need for the next batch of things you have to kill. It ruins the momentum of the story. It’s a real problem with games like this that try to be “Cinematic” (UNCHARTED has the same problem, and is from the same studio). They just don’t work in the end. All sense of urgency goes away when you have to crawl around looking for bits of cloth or whatever. That said, it’s still fun to have a go at. Others think it’s one of the greatest games ever. I think it’s pretty good.


016  01/16 The Young Dragons (1974) 2.5/5   This one is notable for being John Woo’s feature directing debut and for having fight choreography by none other than Jackie Chan! Some of Woo’s trademarks are already on show; the cool pans, zooms and slow motion; the antagonist as hero. The action is all kung fu despite the plot being about gun smuggling betrayals and what not. That’s the only real problem with the picture, all the ingredients are there to make a great movie and it just never adds up to much. The fights are merely serviceable despite being performed and shot well and the rest of it isn’t very interesting. The only thing really going for it is it’s John Woo’s first feature film. I’m glad I’ve seen it but I doubt I’ll watch it again.


017 01/18 43rd People’s Choice Awards (2017) 1/5   I got roped into watching this one. The last group of human beings that should be allowed to vote for artists to be rewarded for their craft is “The People”. Case in point: Fifth Harmony was voted “Group of the year.” A quartet (?) of girls that are basically the Spice Girls but wiped of all identity and personality into blank girl slates, perfect for the empty Kardashian generation. It’s proven again and again, “The People” are too stupid to vote.


018 01/21 The Shaolin Plot (1977) 4/5   An evil prince is scouring the land collecting kung fu manuals by hook or by crook. Well, mostly with devastating kung fu with his miserable band of baddies. This move was awesome. Completely off the charts old school style kung fu, ridiculous blood and gore, a true epic to be discovered.


01/21 Super Mario Land (1989) Game Boy
01/21 Allyway (1989) Game Boy
01/21 Golf (1989) Game Boy
I’ve been slowly going through all the Mario games. The ones I have access to anyway. These ones were first timers for me since I never owned a Game Boy. Ends up Super Mario Land is one of the best Mario games I’ve played! The levels are interesting, there’s weird shooting levels to break up the platforming, I loved it! I prefer it to the North American Super Mario 2. Great stuff.


Alleyway is basically the Atari 2600 game Super Breakout, but on the Game Boy. Why is it on my Mario list? Mario jumps into the space ship thing at the start, so it’s a Mario appearance. The game is simple: you control a paddle like in “Pong” and have to bounce a ball against a wall, breaking all the bricks. Why they needed to give this premise a Sci-Fi theme, I have no idea. It’s always had one though. Check out the Atari box cover.


Anyway, it’s actually a great game and I was surprised at how playable it is with a D-Pad compared to the paddle. A paddle is better, but it works.


Golf also featured Mario so it counted to. One of the worst golf games I’ve ever played, it can go fuck itself.


019 01/21 Her Torpedoed Love (1917) 2.5/5   Ford Sterling vehicle where he plays a scheming butler out to get an inheritance. Pretty typical slapstick vehicle that isn’t very interesting until the chase at the end. (To readers unfamiliar with slapstick, there’s always a chase at the end…)

Video games, kung fu movies and slapstick. Not the worst way to distract from this traumatizing week. I’m playing with formatting, trying to make this thing look a little better with my limited skills as a writer so please feel free to let me know what is and isn’t working. Wont you?