DAY THREE : DECEMBER 21st 2010
This time of the year for me means constant consuming of movie content all day every day. Now those of you who know me might wonder how this differs from my daily life in any way. Regardless I use the holiday lull to catch up on what I may have missed or re watching my favorite classics, mostly on Blu-Ray this year which is a great joy for me. It’s like re living the first viewing of all my favorites and classics alike. I hope everyone is enjoying the Holiday season and able to get into some good movies on your break.
- THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW Season 3 Episode 3 “would you do me a favor?” (original air date July 6 1994) – To start the day off today an episode of one of my favorite comedy shows of all time. With Garry Shandling, Jeffrey Tambor and Rip Torn as host, sidekick and producer of a late night talk show that always seems to be in chaos behind the scenes. Danny DeVito staring as himself in this episode as a hard to book guest. As always the comedy is far above par of almost all the American comedy shows. If you haven’t seen the series before, you should take a watch. You will be surprised how much you find yourself laughing, super funny.
- LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS Blu-Ray (2002) director Peter Jackson – It never fails to get my stomach tingling during the opening scene with Ian McKllen’s Gandalf vs. ancient spirit demon The Balrog. In my opinion it is one of the top 3 beginnings in film history. Not to mention, Gollum, Treebeard, the Ents battle at Isengard, and the massive battle at Helms Deep. What a super terrific great film, I enjoy it every time I see it. The Blu-Ray presentation is clean and crisp really showing off the amazing work WETA Digital and Peter Jackson did on the effects and production in general. A timeless classic rarely seen in these days. I just hope the 2 Hobbit films turns out as well, with Jackson behind the camera it should be an obvious lock.
- MAGNUM, P.I. Season 1 Episode 1 “don’t eat the snow in Hawaii” (original air date Dec. 11 1980) – I never really got into watching this show until late in the first season as a kid, but when I did I watched it religiously. Realizing today that the super cool theme song we all equate with the show only came into being for the 12th episode for the run of the show. I had to watch the opening I remember on you-tube to get my fix, which I included below. The first hour an a half introduction to the Mush-stash, Ferrari and Hawaiian shirts is a standard mystery introducing all the characters in good fashion. The plot is as follows, Magnum’s old Navy buddy is dead and the Navy says he was a cocaine smuggler. Magnum sets out to prove his buddy was framed. All is goes smooth when you’ve got that smile, stash and Ferrari to work with. Love me some vintage Tom Selleck, MASSIVE STASH POWER.
- WEIRD SCIENCE (1985) director John Hughes – Late afternoon turning into evening brings my personal favorite John Hughes film. A stellar well directed cast, Anthony Michael Hall as Gary Wallace, Ilan Mitchell-Smith as Wyatt Donnelly, Kelly LeBrock as Lisa, Bill Paxton as Chet Donnelly, even a young Robert Downey Jr. (“I’m Shitting in My Pants!!!”, possibly the best Downey Jr. line ever? Shit, it’s got to at least be in the top 3), make the crazy comedy concept work even when the premise seems absurd and ridiculous. You laugh and laugh and laugh. If you haven’t seen this one you either have been living in a cave for 40 years and are scared of moving pictures in your living room, hate to laugh or hate to hear other people laugh; if you don’t suffer from any of these conditions you should watch it and laugh a bit as well. You will enjoy it, I promise. My favorite scene below pushes home the genius of Anthony Michael Hall’s performance and makes be bust out every time.
- SIXTEEN CANDLES (1984) director John Hughes – Looks like the Hughes trend continues into the early evening feature spot. Molly Ringwald, Michael Schoeffling and Anthony Michael Hall star in another classic. At one point or another I think everyone must have seen this flick. As always the jokes are great, we get a very nicely shot shower seen, Hall is great as the geek as always, Ringwald is believable as the neglected middle child with a teenage crush and Schoeffing plays the pretty boy jock with a heart to a tee, 80’s comedy at it’s best.
- LOVE ACTUALLY (2003) director Richard Curtis – The mid evening bring us to the obvious “girlfriend choice” of the day (not the only one but the obvious one). The writer/director has a long list of writing credits including a large portion of the original Black-Adder series, Four Wedding And A Funeral, Notting Hill, Mr. Bean, Bridget Jones’s Diary, 41 writing credits to date. This being his first directorial effort, it comes off with the same wit and charm as the projects he’s written, putting together a very enjoyable yet strait forwardly shot film. A very watchable English romantic comedy with a great ensemble cast, better than passable; Let’s say it’s a dry, fresh and witty take on the holiday movie. Sure, that’ll do, that’ll do nicely.
- BATMAN RETURNS Blu-Ray (1992) director Tim Burton – “I don’t know about you miss kitty, but I feel a whole lot yummier”. The late evening takes us here into a season appropriate comic book movie. Looking better than even in High Def. The only big screen Batman to take place during the X-mas season, and one of director Burton’s top 3 best pictures to date. Keaton comes back with a competent and more believable Bruce Wayne this time around, with a darker take on the character. DeVito delivers a strong performance even through layers and layers of make up and wardrobe to bring us a unforgettable version of The Penguin. The real show stealer in this piece, hands down, is Michelle Pfeiffer’s as Catwoman. One thing is for sure, who ever takes on the role of one of Batman’s most famous reacquiring female characters next has something to prove; The last version in 2004 with Halle Berry was beyond a disaster, Warners basically pissing and shitting on the fans that supported the comic and character for so many years. Even after 19 years Batman Returns completely holds up, superb art direction and good management of different storylines not getting too convoluted and slowing the pace down serves the genre very well. A great director at the height of his craft (too bad it went down hill from this point on with Burton’s films, choosing marketability over originality and good storytelling.) This to me is the last truly great Tim Burton film…
TILL TOMORROW. STAY TUNED.