Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I Hit The 50 Movie Mark (and beyond)

Roller Boogie (1979) (49/50 movies)

 I should have saved this one for the VERY last movie, but I was so excited to find it on Netflix Instant (yes, that's a plug, please sponsor our blog) and then to share it with Tina that I just couldn't wait. So here we go, another blogger said that this movie was actually one of the unofficial trilogy of roller disco movies from around this time with Skatetown, U.S.A. (starring a young Patrick Swayze!-I am kicking myself for missing this at the Brattle Theater) and of course, the classic, Xanadu. Made on the relative cheap in eight weeks to try to cash in on the roller disco "craze" which lasted for all of five minutes, the producers were hoping to have another Saturday Night Fever on their hands, unfortunately they missed the mark. (Seriously the < a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079822/trivia">IMDB Trivia Page
for this movie is a real gem.) It doesn't have the intense campy classicism of Xanadu BUT it does have a plot that dance movies in general have aped before and after: trying to save their local roller disco spot from local gangsters who want to build a mall, and a couple of twists lie therein, and god bless, of course they have a car vs. people on rollerblades chase scene in there, and a beginning with a synchronized roller skating routine down the boardwalk. I mean it is generally ridiculous, the two leads, well Linda Blair seems narcotized and Jim Bray seems, well, he seems like he got hit in the head with a board a lot, but if there was ever a movie of it's time and frozen in amber , it's this one. Jim Bray, of course, this is his only acting turn since, and I actually predicted this before I checked on it, he was a roller skating champion at the time (275 trophies) and they definitely didn't need him for his acting ability.
Rick James pretty much sums up the filmmaking philosophy of the time:

The Change-Up (2011) (50/50 movies)
Well, I hit my 50 movies mark in rather ignominious fashion with this unfunny body swap movie, which opens with Jason Bateman as a harried dad who gets a faceful of poop from one of his babies. It looks like chocolate pudding and things don't go up from there. He switched his body with Ryan Reynolds, his playboy friend living a freewheeling lifestyle in a role Ryan Reynolds has never stopped playing. Listen, the body switch comedy reached it's apex with the Judge Reinhold-Fred Savage comedy, Vice Versa. And yeah, lessons are learned and people discover they love their lives and the people in it yadda yadda yadda. There is nothing new here, it's just wrapped up in what the movie thinks is super edgy humor that really isn't.

So obviously I am going to keep writing about movies, so maybe for the rest of the year I'll add a "plus one" or something, not that anyone is keeping track or truly cares, but you know, it's the kind of stuff I think about.

Heckler (2007) (+ 1 movies)

I am as surprised as anyone about this, but I have to admit that Jamie Kennedy's documentary, Heckler, really made me think, and I can't decide whether he has a point or not or just that performers are going to be naturally more annoyed by criticism of any endeavor. Let me back up, this starts out as a straight forward look at heckling as it pertains to stand up comedy, the idiots at a comedy show who feel the need to yell out or yell at the people on the stage. But then it broadens out to criticism in general, and I have to admit that it made me think, I am not sure whether or not their points are actually right, but it did make me think. It did make me of think of one thing, and I know people involved in a creative endeavor would understand this: I think I understand that knee-jerk reaction to having put in time on a movie for awhile, maybe even a year or two of your life and then having it cut down by shmoes like me who have an internet connection. And it does raise some interesting questions to because even the most terrible movie (see above) people put time and effort into it. Kevin Smith was in a movie with Jennifer Garner, I am forgetting the name of it, but I mean it was a movie that never made an real impact, be he wrote about the day-to-day about making that movie, one where he just acted, not directed, and even the amount of work that went into something like that is pretty amazing. On the same tack a universally reviled movie like Jaws: The Revenge, I happened upon a making-of documentary of that, and even the amount of work that went into it, and even the smallish details is pretty extraordinary, even when the final product is...shall we say, not so great. I guess the moral is I can keep talking about movies and what not (see above, I obviously haven't stopped) but maybe sometimes it's just generally worth it to remember that human beings actually put there time and energy into these endeavors whether they came out well or not, or even, whether we (or I) actually liked it or not.  I know, when I turned this thing on I never thought that it would be so thought provoking but it really was.


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