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October 16, 2012


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kathy a.

first hint for those seeking do-gooder status: do something useful.

this just made my day.


Planes, Trains and Automobiles. I know a lot of people love it, but I found it so painfully unfunny that I walked out after 30 minutes.

I was going to walk out of "Legends of the Fall," but fortunately, my then-wife, another couple and I had had too much to drink to be able to walk. So instead, we began openly mocking the third act's plot and dialogue, going so far as to suggest that the entire movie had been made to try to settle a wager as to whether Anthony Hopkins, then riding high after his success as Hannibal Lecter, could be made to look utterly foolish. The mostly-full auditorium laughed at and applauded us.


I'm more of a sci-fi type, and I tend to forget really bad movies. There's some I'd like to un-see, but were kinda interesting, like π.

I do have a funny story about watching Space Cowboys and groaning at the stupidity and just trying to enjoy the actually fairly good technique on a really bad, bad story. But the climax was, my spouse and I broke out in rolling laughter when the Russian satellite did an anime style transformation sequence as it deployed its nuclear missiles. The crowd just scowled and scowled at us and a guy hushed us! We couldn't stop laughing through the end of the film, with the tribute to Slim Pickens in Dr Strangelove and all... As we left the film we got more scowls until we hit the parking lots. The baby-boomers did not appreciate our enjoyment of the ending of the film, which almost (but not quite) made up for sitting through the dreck.

A similar thing happened when watching a matinee several weeks out of Saving Private Ryan. The heavy-handed direction just ruined the film for us, the score and lighting cues constantly telegraphing everything. Why exactly did they have up-lighting on a grave in Flander's field at the end? Sheesh! And the guy at that film who yelled at us for laughing then piloted his girlfriend out via a hand on her neck - all the way through the lobby, down the stairs and out onto the street. Icing on a frustrating cake. We stopped watching Tom Hanks movies after that.


To The Cook, His Wife, the Thief & Her Lover, I'd add Blue Velvet and The Comfort of Strangers . Eyes Wide Shut as well. I think I detect a pattern.

Eraserhead is a stand-alone. Went to its showing with a then-recent acquaintance who was about six months pregnant with her first child. The outing was my idea. I'm sure she never forgave me -- but how could I have known how traumatizing the thing would be? I think that was the movie that turned *spoilers* into Just Fine With Me thank you very much.


Well, I never could get that title quite right. Pretentious horrifying piece of cinema afaic. Helen or no. Cook, Thief, Wife, Her Lover. Ugh.


Lex, I wish I'd been in the house with you and crew that night :) That was a ridiculous movie.

Kathy, the elusive 'button' forced us to get out the credit card once again. Made my day too. :)

On to the "show" I guess.

Soup kitchen indeed. A new low, over which my many friends in the non-profit world are spitting bullets. A callow and callous purely stunt display. Surely risking having jumped the shark on underestimating the intelligence of anyone paying attention, in Ohio particularly.

Paula B

In Normandy, my husband and I went to a screening of archival footage of some of the D-Day landings, shown on a 360-degree screen with larger than life visuals and full-volume Dolby stereo. I was a basketcase by the end, but was not as bad off as a 6-month-old baby a woman brought with her, along with her daughter, about 8. The baby totally freaked, almost convulsing, trembling, choking for breath, its poor little face contorted, beet red and spastic, with eyes darting in every direction. The mother tried to calm him with a bottle, but he didn't want no fcking bottle. This infant had just lived through one of the worst hours of WW II, in thundering surround sound. Did she really think he wouldn't notice? How could anyone intentionally traumatize a baby like that?

Also in the adult-only column: we just watched the incredibly moving Japanese flick Departures, on Netflix. This is not for the faint of heart, but it's two hours you'll never forget, and for good reasons. The film won a number of awards a couple of years ago, and it's easy to see why -- gorgeous photography, fine acting and an unusual storyline that revolves around Japanese attitudes toward death and after-death traditions.

It's been a heavy couple of weeks.

Sir Charles


Oh my God, I totally suppressed "The Comfort of Strangers." To say that I hated that is such an understatement.

On the other hand, I really liked Blue Velvet -- but I saw it when I was 26. A buddy of mine says that it is unwatchable now.

Never saw Eraserhead, but I know enough to have laughed hysterically at your faux pas.

kathy a.

thanks, paula, for the tip on departures.

off to the debate... i'm watching on c-span: http://www.c-span.org/Debates/

low-tech cyclist

I had the misfortune of seeing the first two films on your list, SC. Fortunately, my memories of them have faded over time.

Two of the unfunniest comedies I've ever watched: The 'Burbs and Joe Versus the Volcano.

low-tech cyclist

Oh, and I walked out of Fatal Attraction in the first half-hour, because it was more than bad enough already. That's one advantage to going to movies on your own - it's easier to cut your losses.

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