Sunday, August 03, 2014

Big Stupid Tommy's Mindlessly Stupid Project

In the mornings, I watch movies or TV on DVD as I get ready for work.  It's just a habit I've gotten into.  I've found that, for some reason, watching the news or Sportscenter tends to slow me down.  I'll stop what I'm doing to watch a highlight, or catch a weather report.  If it's a movie or a TV show I've seen, I'll just follow along aurally as I go about the business of finding just the right pair of boxer shorts to go along with the black pants, socks, white t-shirt and green, blue or white dress shirt that I wear every day of my life.

Or so it seems.

Please excuse the free floating hostility.  Your old pal Tommy's working like a botard again.

Anyway.  I watch movies or TV.  Usually it's old favorites.  I go in series.  The Star Wars flicks.  The Star Trek flicks.  Harry Potter.  Or by director.  Kevin Smith.  Mel Brooks.  Wes Anderson.  Or, I'll go with a TV show.  Amazon had a good deal on the whole Seinfeld series earlier this year.  I watched those.  Seinfeld was trouble, because there were episodes, especially in seasons 8 and 9, that I hadn't seen since that show's original run, and in one case, never.  Those sometimes slowed me down, made me late.

Should I mention that it's all DVD, in the mornings?  I can't stream Netflix to the bedroom TV (old house, old TV, not worth the effort, when I can watch Netflix in the living room, or on the computer, or on the Kindle or on my phone so much more easily).  So, I just pop a DVD in the player.  I press stop when I need to.

Occasionally, the picking of the next watch became an issue.  I'd stand there at my DVD/BluRay shelf, staring at the 450 or so movies and the 75 or so seasons of TV shows I've accumulated in the 14 years or so I've had a DVD or BluRay player, and just be completely unable to make a quick choice.

Which was stupid, I decided.  I wasn't picking something to sit and watch.  I was picking familiar stuff for background noise.  So, I just decided to go in order.

I'm not too anal about much.  But, I do keep my movies in alphabetical order.  Just easier, that way.

As such?  Easy to pick an order.

I've been on this particular project for a couple months now.  Most flicks, it takes about 3 days to watch.  Usually, it'll run for a half hour in the mornings, and maybe another 15 minutes at night.  Some movies have ended up not taking as long.  There have been a couple flicks that I'd forgotten their charms, and ended up moving them from the bedroom TV to the big TV to give them their proper attention.

Most of what I've watched?  Pretty familiar stuff.  But, there were a couple movies I put into the DVD player, remotely curious as to what exactly made me pick that particular movie up.  So far, both movies made me remember what I liked about them.  This will be a long post, because I want to say a couple words about each movie.  A couple flicks might even warrant longer posts.  

Anyway....what I've seen so far?

8 Heads in a Duffel Bag   (1997, D: Schulman)

Not a great flick, by any stretch of the imagination. I could never find a way to argue such. Still, it's not a bad flick, for a ham handed dark comedy, where Joe Pesci doesn't lapse into parody so much as he wallows in it.  I like it for individual performances.  Pesci, David Spade and Andy Comeau both make me smile.  I think I saw Comeau in a cell phone commercial not long ago....

13th Warrior    (1999, D: McTiernan)

I love this movie.  I have always loved this movie, from the day that I saw it one late summer afternoon on a day off from work.  This is a movie best seen on a cloudy winter day.  I watched it on a summer morning in June.  Yeah.  Hammy.  But I love ham.

28 Days Later   (2002, D: Boyle)

I hadn't watched this one in five or six years, if not longer.  It's not a bad movie, but outside of Brendan Gleeson (making Tommy's Movie Shelf Appearance #1) and Christopher Eccleston, there's not a lot in this movie that I really enjoyed.  The next time I do a cull of what I own, this one probably won't make the cut.

30 Days of Night   (2007, D: Slade)

Another I hadn't watched in a while. Except for the fact that it wasn't wrapped in cellophane, there isn't much that makes me think I'd watched this since I saw it in the theater. That said?  I liked this movie. Plus, I've had some time to get past my "Ugh, this guy again?" thing with Josh Hartnett.

the 40-year-old Virgin   (2005, D: Apatow)

I've gone sour on Apatow's stuff.  In fact, I'd really felt like I'd watch this, and end up taking to trade at McKay's or just donating to Goodwill.  Still, there's a heart to this one.  Somehow, outside of an odd scene or two (waxing scene...), there wasn't much that sounded particularly flat to my ear.  I ended up especially liking the stuff with Steve Carell and Kat Dennings, and Steve Carell having to bail Romany Falco's character out of a tight spot with his girlfriend was still good.  Not an A-movie, but still my favorite of Apatow's stuff....

61*    (2001, D: Crystal)

I hadn't watched this one in a little while.  I can remember calling this one a favorite baseball movie way back in the early days of my Blogamathing.  I still liked it well enough, but I don't put it in my top 5, nowadays.  Pepper's good, and Anthony Michael Hall and Bruce McGill are fun as Whitey Ford and Ralph Houk.  Somehow, I couldn't quite cotton to Thomas Jane drawling his way around this flick. 

300    (2006, D: Snyder)

As much as I want to sneer about Zach Snyder, I own four of his flicks.  He knows how to translate and create a visual for the big screen.  I ended up putting this one on the big TV, with the sound on mute, and listening to Metallica's S&M album.

1941   (1979, D: Spielberg)

I can't call this one a great movie, but I admire its scope and ambition.  Still, I think it's worth noting that I wouldn't have paid much more than the $1.95 I did for it.  It's got ham.  I think we've established that I like a nice hammy comedy, every now and then.   This movie features Dub Taylor appearance #1.

2012    (2009, D: Emmerich)

I like movies with Destructo.  Show me a National Landmark being destroyed, and people running from it in your trailer?  I'll be there on opening day.  (At this writing, Into the Storm is opening later in the week, and I'll be there with bells on).  As Destructo Movies go?  Lots of it.  Still, it's a badly paced mess.  It's almost like Emmerich wants to channel Altman in his flicks, but doesn't quite understand the need for chemistry or even good words to put into their mouths.  There's much cringeworthy here.  Still, I'll pop it into the DVD player once a year.  Another one maybe to put on headphones and watch.

Adventures in Babysitting    (1987, D: Columbus)

Another cheap purchase, picked up after a conversation with Shyam about Vincent D'Onofrio.  Prior to that conversation, I was unaware (or I'd forgotten) that he plays the mechanic in this flick.  I'd forgotten much about this movie.  Major plot points, I remembered, but the one-armed mechanic?  Or Penelope Ann Miller's adventures in the bus station?  Completely forgot. Nice nostalgic rush when the "don't fuck with the babysitter" line pops in there.  My folks had a conniption when they heard that line while 11-year-old me and 7-year-old sister watched and laughed.....

Adventures of Baron Munchausen   (1988, D: Gilliam)

Until I saw Brothers Grimm, I always said Terry Gilliam would never have to apologize for anything he did.  This one isn't a great movie, but I love its fairy tale energy, the huge colors, the seeming scenery-chewing competition that erupts.  Oddly?  I like Sarah Polley's ability to ground the larger-than-life characters.

A.I.: Artificial Intelligence    (2001, D: Spielberg)

Didn't really know how well I'd like this one.  I've always considered it a meandering mess.  Still, there are plenty of creepy visuals.  This movie contains Brendan Gleeson Movie Shelf Appearance #2)

Alien    (1979, D: Scott)

Damn, but this a beautifully put together movie.  Scary as hell, still.  I'm a bit claustrophobic, and this is one of the movies that makes me need to go out and take a walk in an open area after I watch.  I ended up putting this one on the big TV.  Because it deserves it.  I hadn't sat to watch in a couple years, which is a pity.  Every time I watch, it vaults back up into my personal top 20.  (Also a pity?  I owned Aliens, at some point, and I couldn't say where it is.  I don't know if I lent it to Dad during his convalescence a couple years back, or I've lent it to someone else.  I need to rectify this situation.  It is also great, but for completely different reasons).

the Alamo   (2004, D: Hancock)

Another movie I would not own except for the fact I found it at a closing Hollywood Video for two dollars. And if I judged on the basis of performances from Dennis Quaid, Patrick Wilson and Jason Patric, I would probably have overpaid by nearly $1.91.  Still, there's something I like about Billy Bob Thornton's Davy Crockett.  Billy Bob seems best in roles where he's ill-at-ease with public perception.  And the cheesy fiddle scene?  Yeah.  I like ham.

Apocalypto   (2006, D: Gibson)

Had to put this one on the big TV.  It's not an aurally friendly movie, if you're trying to get ready for work.  I like this flick.  Gibson's a raving, racist lunatic with a persecution complex.  That man against the world vibe works in his favor in this flick.

the Aristocrats    (2005, D: Provenza)

I hadn't watched this in years.  Maybe since I first bought it.  Made me want to try standup again.

Army of Darkness   (1992, D: Raimi)

Heh heh heh.  This one is still so much fun.  Boom Stick.

Arsenic and Old Lace    (1944, D: Capra)

Cary Grant has maybe the best double take in all of cinematic history.  

The Avengers    (2012, D: Whedon)

You know, the logistics of making this movie are still amazing to me.  Good on Marvel for getting this one done, and done well.  I still get a Fan Boy grin whenever the heroes are in a circle for the first time.


I'm going to end this particular post here.  The baseball game I'm watching is going off, and my butt's tired.  Currently, I am watching Bridge on the River Kwai.  Between Avengers and that one, there's maybe 15 more movies to write a quick capsule'll come....


Blogger InsomniacSeeker said...

Arsenic and Old Lace is one of my favorites. I have a friend who makes home made wine with fruit she grows. She has tried numerous times to sneak an elderberry wine by me. I'm not having any of that.

1:02 AM  
Blogger Gladorn said...

When it was just me and my "bachelor pad," I had an OK selection of video tapes but nothing I owned really wowed my dates. (Mostly Sci-fi.) I thought I was a bad ass when I splurged on a DVD player... Of course, this was in the 90's.

It took me nearly a decade to get a really nice DVD collection! I'm not going to lie, the wife and I cleaned up each time a Blockbuster closed down. Now we have this huge collection... and we don't watch any of it.

My wife watches "The Replacements" over and over. I can't stand it anymore. Life has gotten so busy with work and family that I rarely get to watch any un-interrupted TV any more. (The exception is Nick Jr. We have a kid, so...)

I remember that one of my holy grail of movies was "THX 1138." I never even saw a copy of it in the 80's or 90's to buy. They released a special edition a few years ago, and I snapped it up because I remembered how much I wanted to see it. It flits around the house, always on the "I keep meaning to watch this when I have time" list.

11:43 PM  

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