As Cool As A Fruitstand

…and maybe as strange. A movie blog.

Archive for the ‘80s’ Category

Paris, Texas

Posted by Hedwig on August 3, 2009

The boyfriend and I are currently at my parents’ place for a few days. He has a thesis to finish, and this was the only way we could have a sort-of holiday together. On Saturday evening, after some delicious home-made sushi, I sent him upstairs to finally get some work done, while I sat down in front of my parents’ large HD flat screen, and put in the DVD of Paris, Texas I had rented.
nastassja_kinski
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The Road Warrior (aka. Mad Max 2)

Posted by Hedwig on May 5, 2009

wezfaceoffSome-no, let’s make that many- movies need an ideal setting to thrive in. While Casablanca is nice on the big screen, it’s even better while snuggling on the couch with a lover. I recently saw Singin’ in the Rain in a cinema, on a slightly rainy Sunday morning which had cleared up by the time the movie ended, and that was pretty much perfect. And I can’t imagine a better setting for a first watching of The Road Warrior than a slightly grungy place in Amsterdam, where smoking (including pot) is not just allowed but even encouraged, with a rambling but fascinating introduction by a true movie enthusiast, director Martin Koolhoven.

It was pretty much awesome.

Even more awesome? His introduction of the “surprise movie” that prompted the inclusion of Mad Max 2 in this movie night, the theme being “sequels better than the original….by George Miller”. It was this one, which I’ve been very curious about since reading this. Alas, I could not stay (had to get home, and had work the next day), but I’m planning on watching it with a few of the b/f pothead housemates sometime soon.

As for The Road Warrior, I don’t really have much to say about it, beyond that the costumes are hilarious, the direction is over-the-top but perfectly suited to the theme, and that I wish today’s mindless action movie (eg. Wolverine) had as much panache. Oh, and go read this.

(I know, not quite back to insightful, in-depth reviews and analyses. Getting there though. Give me time.)

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Commando

Posted by Hedwig on September 25, 2008

Relationships: they’re all about give and take. My darling boyfriend watched Casablanca and quite a few others with me… the least I could do is watch Commando with him.

And you know what? I actually thought it was pretty cool. Strike that. I thought it was legen – wait for it! – dary. (yes, HIMYM started up again, and it’s still brilliant).

I mean: it’s got Arnie, all oiled up and bulgy. It’s got Allyssa Milano as his young daughter, who he feeds deer with (I’m not kidding). It has possibly the highest body count outside of a war movie. And it’s pretty awesome. It starts with a few scenes which end with a gruesome killing, and it only gets better from there on.

There’s not really much more to say, is there? I could go into the whole homo-erotic subtext, of course, but that’s been done before. Suffice to say that it’s lean, mean, and thoroughly entertaining, with Schwarzenegger delivering his lines in a dry tone of voice that suggests he doesn’t even understand the pun he’s making. It’s the epitome of bad 80’s action movies, and in its genre, it’s pretty much perfect.

(just a note, unlike Stella in HIMYM, I’m not faking, and the b/f’s devotion to Commando is, luckily, not as extreme as Ted’s to Star Wars. Which is, incidentally, a great movie, wookies and all.)

(oh, and totally off topic, I acquired today a biography of Paul Verhoeven autographed by the man himself, including a rather lengthy dedication encouraging me about the strange combination between physics and film. A combination he knows all too well, having studied physics (and maths) himself. I wrote a more-or-less professional piece about his book presentation for filmtotaal, but here I can revel in my inner geek and just go: squee!)

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Watching movies with my dad

Posted by Hedwig on June 24, 2008

As you might know, I’m currently on something of a break in the south of France with my father. And well, the thing with my dad is: he likes movies, but he never feels like watching them. He’s rarely sorry when he does, but he often just doesn’t have the motivation. Especially not if their over an hour and a half. So for this trip, I assembled some movies that a) had a clear, pitchable element and b) weren’t too long. So far? 2 down. 5 to go.

First up: The Hunger (Tony Scott, 1983)

The pitchable element: a lesbian sex scene featuring one of his favorite actresses, Catherine Deneuve.

The length: 93 minutes

The verdict: What a strange film this is! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 70s, 80s, Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Blood Simple/Raising Arizona

Posted by Hedwig on January 6, 2008

In anticipation of the official release of No Country For Old Men, I decided to have my own, semi-chronological, Coen bros. retrospective. To my great surprise, no less than 5 people came to join me on the first night, featuring the Coens’ debut, Blood Simple, and their follow-up comedy Raising Arizona. I’d seen the former once, about, I’d say, six or seven years ago. I’d seen various fragment of the second one, but I don’t think I ever had from start to finish. To entice people to come, I wrote the following blurbs:

Blood Simple

It takes most directors a few films to find their footing. Not the Coens: Blood Simple emerged fully formed from their combined brains. It’s a neat little neo-noir about a woman (Frances McDormand, who later married one of the brothers and frequently collaborates with them), her lover, her husband, and the PI the husband hires. The story is full of noire tropes: not just adultery but blackmail, murder, and lots of things that just don’t go as planned. The title is even derived from a Dashiel Hamett novel. I will be watching the Director’s Cut, which is one of the few director’s cuts that’s shorter than the theatrically released film. Ever since this great debut, the Coens have had final cut.

Raizing Arizona

Blood Simple has some funny moments, sure, but it’s essentially a pretty grim undertaking. Raizing Arizona, on the other hand, is a raucous comedy (albeit with some grim undertones). It’s about Hi, a former criminal, and his loving wife Ed, a former policewoman. They desperately want to have a baby, but can’t. Then they hear a rich man in the state just had quintuplets, and figure that with this bounty, he won’t miss one. They kidnap one of the babies, and since they’re not exactly the brightest bulbs in the tanning bed, hijinks ensue. Add scary biker & bounty hunter Leonard Smalls to the mix, and you have a very crazy, but also very funny film on your hands, full of typical Coen touches.

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Posted in 80s, Coen bros., Old, Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , | 7 Comments »