buy Flomax no prescription Synthroid without prescription buy buspar buy Singulair online buy Prednisone online Amitriptyline lasix without prescription buy buspar online buy super Levitra online Prednisone without prescription buy trazodone without prescription Zithromax No Prescription Propecia Amoxicillin

Flick Clique: April 24-30

Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2008). A young couple in a small Northern California town deals with inexplicable bird attacks — no, it’s not Hitchcock’s The Birds but James Nguyen’s micro-budgeted Birdemic: Shock and Terror. In many ways, this film is the polar opposite of The Birds. Where the earlier film was genuinely suspenseful, well-paced and eerie, Birdemic lops along with a “romantic” plot involving the cardboard lead characters, a seemingly brain-damaged business shark and a model who goes from strip mall photo shoot to Victoria’s Secret catalog cover within a single day. Nguyen appears to have edited the film himself — with awkward pauses, sound droupouts and other gaffes left intact. He also devotes lots of screen time to irrelevant things like a swanky Asian restaurant, a pumpkin festival, and a guy singing “hanging out, hanging out” to the two robotically gyrating leads. When the birds finally show up, they’re hovering (and hilarious) computer clip art images. Bad Movie Gold, in other words, but there is something charming about how the film reflects this one man’s vision, right down to its ham-handed ecological message. In an age when every Hollywood product seems to be groupthunk and market tested to death, that’s something to chew on. For the non-masochistic among us, this four minute highlight reel of Birdemic action scenes might do the trick:

My Dinner with Andre (1981). I remember first hearing about Louis Malle’s divisive film, basically a long filmed conversation between theatre director Andre Gregory and playwright Wallace Shawn, when Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert discussed it on PBS’s Sneak Previews. I also checked it out back then, but I don’t recall much of it except when the two excitedly discuss the subject of electric blankets (a memory that always comes back whenever Christopher rhapsodizes over his own electric blanket, natch). We finally got to revisit the film when Criterion reissued it on DVD. Hmm, this is actually a pretty dull movie. I can respect it for taking chances and addressing topics that are rarely explored on film (the fact that people tend to busy themselves on unimportant matters to avoid facing the crushing blow of their own mortality, for one). The film opens with nebbishy, struggling Shawn dreading meeting Gregory, who is of more comfortable means, at a fancy restaurant. Sure enough, once we get acquainted with Gregory he proves to be something of a pompous ass. His droning on about nature retreats and such dominates the film’s first half; it never fully recovers by the time the slightly more satisfying second half (with the likable Shawn participating more, thankfully) comes. Sadly, I think this film’s most lasting legacy is in providing source material for one of Waiting for Guffman‘s funniest gags. I wouldn’t want to own this film, but I sure do covet those My Dinner with Andre action figures!
poster_ponyoPonyo (2008). Another beatiful Hayao Miyazaki film that we experienced the way it was intended, in its original Japanese. Ponyo centers on a young boy in a picturesque seaside village who finds a mysterious, goldfish-like creature that he dubs Ponyo. Ponyo is actually the offspring of a wizard and a sea goddess who escaped her dad’s undersea lab, however, and befriending a boy has given her a troublesome yearning to become a human being. Such a visual feast, and I loved the parallels between this and The Little Mermaid. The story is more essentially Japanese than other Miyazaki efforts, not quite as accessible but endearing all the same. Of course, the awe-inspiring hand drawn animation is the real reason to catch this — especially wow-able scenes in which the town is flooded with an array of sea creatures. It was also interesting to watch some scenes with the American soundtrack along with the subtitles that accompanied the original Japanese script. Certain details were changed for Disney’s version, such as renaming the adult woman figure “Mom” from the original “Lisa.”
Small Town Boy (1937). Another Joyce Compton flick that just got a welcome DVD release! This was a routine, low budget ’30s “hick does good” comedy with screendom’s eternal bumpkin, Stuart Erwin, as a guy whose world turns upside down when he finds a thousand dollar bill. Compton is a treat as Erwin’s girlfriend, however, and there are several cute/funny scenes. I have a full review of this posted at Joyce Compton News & Notes.
The Wolfman (2010). Benicio Del Toro as the eternally hapless guy who has to deal with a hairy problem every time there’s a full moon. This was just okay. It seemed awfully overproduced to me, from Danny Elfman’s da-da-DUMMMM score to the swampy color palette to the hammy back-and-forth between Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins as his malevolent father. The trials of being a snarling werewolf boil down to basic unresolved Daddy issues, apparently. The creature effects, a combination of CGI and Oscar-winning makeup sorcery, are pretty well done and there is one effective scene of the creature wreaking havoc on 19th Century London’s cobblestone streets. Otherwise, it’s a ho-hum deal.

2 Thoughts on “Flick Clique: April 24-30

  1. Please tell me you watched Birdemic with the Rifftrax commentary. HILARIOUS!

  2. I simply must see that. It’s not on Netflix, drat.

Post Navigation