Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year's Movie Meme

I just LOOOVE doing these survey things. I really do. And Kate let me know about this awesome new one from The Girl with the White Parasol. In fact, Kate completed the survey in her usual hysterical brilliance. Check it out!

So, yeah. HERE I GO!

1. What is your all-time favorite Grace Kelly costume?

Her swimsuit dress thing from To Catch a Thief. Pure Wowzie Kazam.

2. What classic film would you nominate for a remake?

Oh, you know, I think most '60s TV is always ready for a movie remake. I think the modern film industry has shown itself capable of properly remaking classic television. If you look at movies like Wild Wild West or The Saint, clearly the modern movie industry actually cares about honoring the classic while also approaching it with fresh perspective. I think it's great.*

*My reaction! :-)

3. Name your favorite femme fatale.
This woman. Perfection. I personally feel that The Lady From Shanghai contains Rita Hayworth's greatest performance.

4. Name the best movie with the word "heaven" in its title.

Leave Her To Heaven. Gene Tierney is so utterly brilliant, she manages to make me forget about the ughness of Cornel Wilde.   

5. Describe the worst performance by a child actor that you’ve ever seen.
Oh, there are a lot. I typically hate child performances. There are only a few of whom I approve (I especially hate singing children [I really am a grinch]). Of course, right now my mind is blanking. I really dislike most of the Von Trapp children.

6. Who gets your vote for most tragic movie monster?

Not to be too cliched, but -- Frankenstein (the doctor and his monster) hurts.  I'm not sure if my experiences with the book are coloring my feelings about this (IT'S SO SAD). But, yeah. Also, the Pod People. Especially, that last person. Unwilling monsters. IT'S NOT FAIR.

7. What is the one Western that you would recommend to anybody?

Oh, you mean EVERY WESTERN?! I can't recommend ONE western to every person. I have to perfectly tailor choices for specific people. It's an art and I work incredibly hard at it. I refuse to be put into this one-size-fits-all, generalized box.


Why are you trying to make me do this?! WHY?!

Okay, I should probably calm down, BUT I CAN'T.

I'll throw out a couple of genre choices, but this is only the beginning of brilliance.

Fans of rollicking (I love that word) action films should go for The Magnificent Six + Horst the Worst (I don't consider him to be "magnificent"). You have a seriously perfect cast: McQueen, Brynner, Coburn, Wallach, Bronson, Vaughan, (and that other guy that I will never for the life of me remember his name; I usually refer to him as "the crazy guy who thinks they're looking for gold"). AND THAT SCORE.

Fans of straight-up brilliant drama/acting absolutely need to see The Searchers. You will find yourself LITERALLY blown away. Oh yes. (Also: Red River)

Fans of comedy: Cat Ballou. Everything is perfect. Also, Support Your Local Sheriff.

Fans of "romance" (it's such an awkward sounding genre) should check out The Angel and the Badman. It's one of my favorites and it's wonderfully acted, but really, THE reason to see it is Gail Russell. She's other-worldly.

Okay, I suppose I should stop. But, really, I have so many more. SO MANY.

8. Who is your ideal movie-viewing partner?

Hmmm. Usually myself. I'm such a dork. I yell at the TV. I made odd noises. I have the ability to become embarrassed for characters who are acting stupidly. I usually then cover my face with my hands and say "awkward! awkward! awkward!" over and over until it's over. Yeah. It gets bad.

However, I am also able to watch movies with my sister, Shannon. She understands.

Also: my best fleshie, Allie. She's been watching movies with me for longer than I can ever remember. We spend our time ridiculing characters we hate, loving/hating movie outfits (usually hats), commenting on beautiful eyes, and the such. She's basically just as strange as me.

The Accented Men Appreciation Society (it's a club of five friends and I). We're cool. We spend our time watching movies with accents and talking about said accents. It's not creepy. It's cool.

My Non-Fleshies: Kate, Casey, Sarah, and Nicola. Movie chats are my favorite things in the world. Craziness ALWAYS occurs. I never thought I could find myself laughing hysterically until I could not breathe -- while typing/reading words from across the country. I MUSTACHE MY NFS!

9. Has a film ever made you want to change your life? If so, what was the film?

No. Not really. Film is a huge part of my life, but I don't think any film has ever made me want to change my life. Except maybe the fact that I've always had a secret desire to learn judo -- JUST SO THAT I COULD BE HONOR BLACKMAN.

10. Think of one performer that you truly love. Now think of one scene/movie/performance of theirs that is too uncomfortable for you to watch.

I truly love Sir Bob Hope. TRULY. However, I find it difficult to watch most of his post-mid-50s work. He never loses his brilliant ability to deliver a line, but he did lose that edge he had, especially from his start in the late-30s through WWII. That was his "golden period." Nothing was wrong. Everything was hilarious. Bob Hope was a very topical comedian. During that time, he was on top and ahead of everything. Later, he seemed to drag behind (it pains me to say that). He was still awesome, of course, though. I think Road to Hong Kong is particularly awful. I watched it once, when I must have been about eight. I will never watch it again. It hurt too much.

11. On the flip side, think of one really good scene/performance/movie from a performer that you truly loathe.  

This kills me, but, Randolph Scott was BRILLIANT in My Favorite Wife (probably because he was playing an insufferably annoying character). Everything about his character was hilarious. 

12. And finally, since it will be New Year's soon, do you have any movie or blogging-related resolutions for 2012?

Yeah. Watch more movies. Also: continue to keep track of them (I'm so proud of myself and the fact that I kept track of basically every movie this year). 

Well, that was fun! Thanks ever so Girl With the White Parasol! I quite enjoyed it! :-D


Friday, December 16, 2011

Marooned (1969): You know you're just a LITTLE too invested in a movie when you find yourself screaming "DIE GENE HACKMAN, DIE!"

So, yeah. {Spoilers ahead, of course.}

WHOA. I JUST LOOKED AT THE POSTER AND IT SAYS JOHN STURGES DIRECTED. I didn't even realize that. (Although, I did notice that Capra Jr. produced, which is strangely odd.)

Anyway, I just finished watching this film with Emmy and it made me experience a range of emotions.

Mostly hatred and anger towards Gene Hackman.

(That's right, Gene Hackman. Don't take your "rest pill." Breathe up as much oxygen as you like. It's not like there's a shortage. It's not like Richard Crenna is gonna sacrifice his life for you. It's not like James Franciscus is gonna end up permanently brain-dead because of you. It's not like David Janssen is risking his life to save you. IT'S NOT LIKE THE BRAVE {but unfortunately short-armed} RUSSIAN COSMONAUT IS GOING TO CHANGE HIS ENTIRE ORBIT IN AN ATTEMPT TO RESCUE YOU. Oh, um, sorry. That paragraph got a bit away from me.)

But, also, of course I was awed at the presence of Gregory Peck wearing these sunglasses:

And, of course, the movie had stinkin' Mr. David Janssen in it (because, as you know, I will literally watch anything for my beloved David). I didn't even know WHAT to do with my emotions when he pulled out his classic Dr. Richard Kimble is pretending to be shy and so he's sticking his hands in his front pockets move. (All that was missing was the twitchy, little smirk.)

Anyway, it was actually a surprisingly interesting, engrossing film (surprisingly, because it has had the MST3K treatment -- which I definitely need to watch). Apparently, people complain about its slowness. I thought it was quite effective. It slowly built up and built up, UNTIL I WAS IN FULL-BLOWN HYSTERIA.

I was screaming at my computer screen (I'm sorry, Oscar!). I was heaping death threats in Gene Hackman's direction. I was practically hysterical worrying about David's fate. I ALMOST SHED TEARS OVER THIS MOMENT:

IT HURTS! IT HURTS! Richard Crenna! WHY?! WHY?! Why did you sacrifice your life to save Hackman?! I understand the whole saving James Franciscus thing because, along with being basically Hackman's babysitter (he constantly has to repeat, "No, you are not dying," in a monotone voice like he's talking to a two year-old), he is rather pretty (also, I must mention that mere seconds after Richard's death, I was already planning for a marriage between Lee and David -- but still.):

{Emmy requested lots of James screen-caps, so this is solely for her. ;-D}

Anyway. This movie was very strange and harrible and awesome. And, um, I literally never knew what was going on. I mean, one moment, Gregory and David are exchanging thumbs up and managing to look so cool and serious...

...and the next moment a crazed, oxygen-deprived (JUST GUESS WHO HE GAVE HIS OXYGEN TO) James Franciscus is attempting to throw Gene Hackman into the arms of a randomly-appearing Russian cosmonaut. Unfortunately, the kindly Russian just barely misses him and Gene goes peacefully floating by.

I can't even respond to that.

And then, David showed up. And he saved Gene. And he saved James (with the help of the kindly, Russian cosmonaut). And he radioed back to Houston. And everyone threw their papers in the air. And went to a nearby bar to celebrate. And it was over. (Seriously, I hope there was nothing IMPORTANT on those papers. Like, you know [as Emmy pointed out to me], the instructions on how to LAND THE ROCKET THAT HAD NEVER BEEN EVEN TEST-FLOWN BEFORE)

Whoohoo! Let's party like it's 1969!

Not gonna lie, I still have no idea what happened. And, I'm pretty sure that Richard Crenna didn't need to die. And I'm pretty sure that Gene Hackman was a Soviet agent -- and needed to die. And I'm pretty sure that James Franciscus was kinda pretty. And I'm pretty sure Gregory Peck should have worn those sunglasses throughout the entire movie. And I'm pretty sure that David Janssen was perfect, even when he kept using weird similes and analogies and he kept not smiling his twitchy, little smirk. And I'm pretty sure I should never be allowed to watch or review movies ever again, BECAUSE MAROONED BROKE ME.

Good night.


Thanks for watching it with me, Emmy! These are for you! ;-D

David and the deli delivery-boy.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Actually, a bunch of people were better off when George Bailey was never born...

Today, during the annual gingerbread making and decorating and watching waaay too many Christmas movies day, I realized that It's A Wonderful Life isn't QUITE the happy ending Mr. Capra might want you to think it is.

From infancy, we are taught to believe that it is the story of each of us. We all positively impact other people's lives in ways we can never even imagine.

That is what we are taught.

Lies, all lies.

I mean, sure, there were a few people who were negatively affected by George never being born: his children, Mr. Gower, Harry -- and the guys Harry saved in WWII.

But what about all those others?

Well, first of all, Mr. Potter was doing much better without the existence of George (but he's the bad guy, so this isn't allowed to fully count).

And Nick. Look at Nick. With George alive, he was a minimum wage employee at a beat-up, old bar. With George never being born, Nick was a business-owner. He OWNED the bar. It was Nick's Place. He had power and control over his life.
 Look how happy he is throwing people out of the bar -- WITH HIS NAME ON IT!

And then there's Mary. There is absolutely no way in heck that Mary ended up being a depressed, spinster librarian just because George was never born. She would have just ended up marrying Sam Wainwright and, you know, being rich and happy and traveling the world and being rich.

The whole "Mary had no life without George" plot-line is absolutely ridiculous. My Mum always tries to convince me that it's about them being "soul-mates" or some such nonsense.


 Mary without George? YEAH RIGHT. 

Reality of Mary without George:
(Off relaxing on the beach somewhere on an expensive vacation)

Some people were left absolutely unaffected. Bert the cop really couldn't care less if George was born or not. And in some ways, life was better without George (Pottersville was clearly a more hopping town for a trigger-happy cop like Bert).

And well, Martini was just out of the picture. CLEARLY, he was the only one actually smart enough to get out of bloody Bedford Falls/Pottersville/whatever.

Well, not the ONLY one. Annie wasn't around when George wasn't born. The logical assumption is that she used all the money she was saving over the years (that she ended up wasting -- ON GEORGE BAILEY) to leave that cursed place forever and have an actual happy life.

Also, this is unrelated, but I've always been incredibly confused as to why George not existing meant that Ernie's wife and child left him? Huh?

And, also, George never being born means that Uncle Billy lives in an insane asylum. WHAT?! Clearly, this guy should not be allowed to run around free and loose. So, in fact, when George is alive he is allowing a dangerously insane man to not only roam free -- but to also hold a position of high responsibility relating to money. WHAT?!


And these are just a few of the reasons why George Bailey never being born actually worked out well for a lot of people. I know this is probably a shock to your system (if you too were taught from infancy that this film is hopeful and uplifting), but it's the truth.

Revised lesson from the film: each person's life affects other people's lives. However, unless you are directly responsible for stopping old guys from poisoning young children or saving future Medal of Honor winners from an early death, you may just be the person standing in the way of other people being happy and financially secure...AND OWNING THEIR OWN BUSINESS.

 "Nothing special, just doing a little bird-watching on the Amazon...WITH EXPENSIVE GOLD-PLATED BINOCULARS! I'm so happy I married that nice Sam Wainwright and got out of that scary Bedford Falls/Pottersville/whatever place!"

-Millie (I'm not a grinch.)

Everytime, man. Everytime.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Suffice to say, I hope Bradford Dillman never Googles his own name.

It's that time of the year again -- almost (I was bored today, okay). Irish Leprechaun and I will once again be hosting THE Bradford Dillman blogathon. Last year, we had several awesome contributions (I particularly LOVED Kate's artwork) and also a few moments of severe fangirling.

We're expecting double this year.

You have NO excuse.

You may have not known who he was last year -- BUT YOU SURE AS HECK KNOW HIM NOW.

Anyway, out of my delirium this afternoon (I'm not feeling quite well), I've created an official trailer for the blogathon. {This is what prompted the title of this post.}

Enjoy its definitely overwhelming perfection and quality!

Oh, and by the way, the title of the blogathon comes from a 2006 Vogue article on Bradford's wife, Suzy Parker. In it, they described Bradford, saying, "He was a jazzier kind of noir." It instantly became my favorite description of him ever and CLEARLY was the only plausible choice for this year's blogathon title.

That is all.


Happy Birthday 90th Deanna Durbin!

Happy one-week-late (blasted finals!) Birthday to the absolutely perfect Deanna Durbin. I always have such difficulty writing out why I adore her, but she's just such an actual part of my life -- and has been for much longer than I can even remember.

She's just wonderful.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Winner of the John Huston Giveaway is....

I am incredibly sorry about not announcing this on Thursday. It's Finals Week. (Which means that I'm freeeeeee on Friday -- and I'm celebrating by going to see Frog and Toad: The Musical at the Seattle Children's Theater. Oh yes.)


The winner is Johanna!

Thanks to everyone who entered! I really enjoyed reading about your favorite Huston films.

And later today (or tomorrow; it depends whether I decide to study for my Bio final or not! ;-D), expect a belated birthday post for the goddess, Deanna Durbin. ALSO, expect a review for my absolute favorite 2011 release (hint: IT'S PERFECT) -- well, absolute favorite at least until Tintin is out (Spielberg better not ruin my childhood).

Thanks again everyone! :-D



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