Random Thread for August 2015

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RIP, Rowdy Roddy Piper

About Jackrabbit Slim

Location: Vegas, Baby! I’m much older than the other whippersnappers here, a baby boomer. I tend to be more snobbish about film, disdaining a lot of the multiplex fare for “cinema.” My favorite films: Woody Allen’s oeuvre (up until about 1990), The Godfather, The Graduate, A Hard Day’s Night, Pulp Fiction. Politics: Well, George McGovern was my political hero. I’m also a prickly atheist. Occupation: Poised to be an English teacher in Las Vegas. For many years I was an editor at Penthouse Magazine. My role on this blog seems to be writing lots of reviews and being the resident Oscar maven.

31 responses »

  1. So I was at the movies last night and saw a trailer about a young, black boxer that looked pretty gritty. But then, out of the shadows, came…Rocky Balboa. Yes, this film, called Creed, is about Apollo’s son. From the looks of it, Rocky will be his trainer. This character will no go away. Stallone is still in great shape, though.

  2. They should have called it ‘Nickelback’.
    Get it?
    Creed?……Nickleback? Get it?

  3. From Hitflix, here are the most profitable films of the last five years. Of course, all of them are horror films:

    10. The Last Exorcism ($70M gross vs. $1.8M production budget)
    9. Annabelle ($250M vs. $6.5M)
    8. Chernobyl Diaries ($38M vs. $1M)
    7. Insidious 2 ($162M vs. $5M)
    6. The Purge ($91M vs. $3M)
    5. Paranormal Activity 3 ($202M vs. $5M)
    4. Unfriended ($48M vs. $1M)
    3. Paranormal Activity 2 ($177M vs. $3M)
    2. Insidious ($100M vs. $1.5M)
    1. The Devil Inside ($101M box vs. $1M)

  4. No wonder there are so many of them. I don’t think I had heard of The Devil Inside, so looked it up. It opened the first week of January, won it’s first week, plummeted 76 percent its second week, and only had a 6 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with a CinemaScore of F. It just proves what I perceived when I worked at a movie theater–kids will see anything horror-related on Friday and Saturday nights. They don’t read reviews (Devil Inside was not screened for critics) but anything to do with demons, exorcism, or other horror tropes will draw them like flies to a carcass. They don’t care so much for the movie, they are just going to congregate or are on dates.

  5. Has anyone heard of and/or tried MoviePass? For $30/month you can see one movie in theaters every 24-hours during your subscription. I really wish I had known about this because this seems like a fun summer gift for my kids and their friends. Wouldn’t mind it for myself either, as long as there are 4 movies I want to see in a given month…

  6. That seems like a great thing for everyone. There are about ten theaters just in the immediate area here in Piscataway that honor those passes. Very cool.

  7. Yeah, it seems almost too good to be true. The card time-window thing may be the only minor hassle and that doesn’t even seem that bad.

  8. I’d heard of the program before but had no idea it was available around here, but the vast majority of local theaters accept it. I probably don’t see enough films theatrically at the moment to justify it, but it’s certainly something I’d get when the kids get older.

  9. I was watching something on TV the other day and someone said that Steven Spielberg was the greatest living American director. I had to stop and think about it, and I can’t object. Depending on your taste, it’s got to be him or Martin Scorsese. Both have had 40 year or so careers with lots of films and very few clunkers. From the late ’70s to the early ’90s Woody Allen could have been in the conversation, but his record for the last twenty years has been far too spotty.

    Anyone else with another suggestion? Has to be American, has to be living.

  10. Interesting. They’ve had a few misfires: The Ladykillers and Intolerable Cruelty come to mind, but they’ve been putting out mostly great films for thirty years. I wonder when they’re going to make another movie, though.

  11. They’ve got the Hollywood comedy Hail, Caesar! next year with Clooney, Johannson, Tatum, Hill, Fiennes and lots of other stars.

  12. I’m not sure how I’d rank the Coens vs. Scorsese – but I believe they’ve certainly made films that are on-par/exceed Spielberg’s best while they’ve never had a misfire that comes close to being as bad as Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Hook, The Terminal, etc.

  13. He doesn’t really the depth and consistency in his filmography to deserve mention with the Coens, Scorsese or Spielberg, but I’d throw in Richard Lester just for the hell of it.

  14. The more I think about it I choose Scorsese. I’ve seen all of his narrative films somehow, and the only one that fell really flat was New York, New York. Even some of his lesser successes, like Casino, Kundun, Bringing Out the Dead, and After Hourse are kind of thrilling. King of Comedy is really underrated, I think. And that’s not even considering his documentaries, like No Direction Home and The Last Waltz. He really has the magic touch.

  15. re: greatest American directors: she needs another couple of Lost In Translation-level hits (both critically and financially) but Sofia Coppola could potentially make that list in another 10-15 years.

  16. Steve Carell to replace Willis in the Allen film. That doesn’t sound possible that they could both play the same role. Carell had a teeny part in Melinda and Melinda before he hit it big with The Office.

  17. It’s probably not that inconceivable as Willis has done dramatic and lighter roles more than one expect over the course of his career and with some success (e.g. Moonrise Kingdom).

    But since Moonrise Kingdom has been in 5 sequels to earlier films of his (none of which had much impact) so maybe he just doesn’t have the will to put in the effort to be in an Allen film – would’ve been better off doing it in the 1990s I reckon.

  18. Wes Craven dead at 76. While his resume was all over the place quality-wise, he pretty much defined the horror genre in two different decades (A Nightmare on Elm Street in the 80’s, Scream in the 90’s).

    I remember enjoying his 2005 Rachel McAdams thriller, Red Eye, although I haven’t seen it since. It was nice to see him tackle a straight suspense picture, wish he’d done more of that.

  19. He also directed two of the seminal, more brutal horror films of the ’70s, Last House on the Left and The Hills Have Eyes. And–what’s this?–he directed Music of the Heart?

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