I love a fair amount of crap of movies and/or TV shows (and MAYBE more) that were once considered great to legendary but have in their later days turned to…..well….crap. So, in this series I aim to pick through the turds of cinema and TV that I still can’t help but love and see if there’s any pieces of “gold in dem hills” (such as acting, writing, under rated characters, good action, good writing, music or quotes and more) or if all that’s left is a giant crater of crap. So join me, my fellow cynics as I delve deep into such decaying crumbling cinematic fossils and tumbling TV shows as: Dexter, Halloween, Supernatural (post season 5), The X Files, Friday the 13th, Roger Moore Bond films and much more. Join me on this adventure, as we both become Indiana Jones of The Junkyard. I hope you come along and don’t mind the smell. Prosit!
Somewhere in time, is a magical movie. I don’t even mean that with any remote trace of irony, or cynicism at all. I really was enchanted by the first, and subsequent viewings of this incredible film and I will now tell you why. The film, has a seeming hypnotic, tranquil and heartwarming quality to it.
It tells the story of, Richard Collier, a young and famous screenwriter, who, meets a mysterious elderly woman, at a party and immediately falls for her. Now, this may be a heavy pill to swallow, but, that’s the kind of thing one must do to properly enjoy this movie.
That isn’t a complaint about the movie either, it’s a REALLY great and original movie. However, it’s vital that you believe, in how much Christopher Reeve falls for this woman. That way, when he goes back in time, you know why he falls for her to truly become enchanted by the film.
Yes, he does go back in time to meet her; although that isn’t a spoiler, but, anything I say about the plot beyond that will be. What you do need to know, is that this is one of the most intimate and whimsical looks at love between two people and it completely sells it.
Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour have exceptional chemistry, that pops on the screen and Christopher Plumber plays a great third wheel, with questionable alligences and morals.
All in all, this is FAR more then just a lovey dovey date night movie, especially given the novelist who wrote the book the film is based on. I am referring to Richard Matheson, the brilliant writer responsible for the best episodes of The Twilight Zone and much more.
So, with all of that pedigree and exceptional filmmaking and given it’s free right now on Netflix (you cheap bastards you), why the hell not enjoy a 1980’s time travel classic? I hope you enjoy and share the love.
Movies and TV shows have seemingly always been an evolutionary creative medium but lately it seems it’s becoming more of a symbiotic one. Is this a good thing? I think that it is and that shows like Fargo and Hannibal prove that this is a very good idea for creating interesting and original ideas based off of original source material. So, what series do I feel could be the next Hannibal or Fargo or Buffy in terms of being the next big movie to TV adaptations? Read on and find out.
Harold and Kumar: The Animated Series:
Harold and Kumar would be an awesomely, immature animated series and Adult Swim or HBO would be the perfect venue for it. I think it could be like South Park or It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia but with the odd Pendleton Ward style of Adventure Time.
Let’s face it, between Neil Patrick Harris seeing a unicorn while taking magic mushrooms and more, Harold and Kumar left the realm of plausibility a long time ago. Plus, given that Harold and Kumar movies feel few and far between in terms release dates, it would keep my Harold and Kumar munchies in check (weed puns yay).
All in all, it would be the best thing to happen to Harold and Kumar AND Adult’s Swim since they started airing Rick and Morty (since god knows next to that there’s barely anything else worth watching on Adult’s Swim). Plus, it could also usher in an awesome trippy cartoon universe of whacky heroes like Tenacious D, Cheech and Chong, Bill and Ted and many more with massive crossover potential.
Dirty Harry: the TV series
Due to the success of The Americans, this would be a great choice for another period piece action drama. It can also be fairly open ended in terms of its longevity starting as a gritty 1970’s style period piece cop show and going all the way through the 1980’s (and maybe even beyond).
Each season could have a main overarching scumbag that taunts Harry and makes him question himself morally and ethically. Think of the show as a 1970’s era Justified, set in San Francisco with Harry, like Raylan being a cowboy gunslinger in a bureaucratic world.
Similar to The Americans, the Dirty Harry TV show could handle real world historic issues going on in the fictional universe. These events could maybe include; Harry investigating the murder or Harvey Milk or something dealing with the Watergate scandal going on in the background during some episodes. It’d also be super engrossing if they were able to use music from the 1970’s and 1980’s as perfectly as The Americans has.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang: The Series
If it can somehow ignore the very ending, which kind of makes it sequel or continuation proof I think that if any movie could be an awesome TV show it would be Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. It’s a simple, low budget but exceptionally written, directed and acted semi hidden gem of recent comedies. I think that much like the film that writing and casting the perfect duo would be key for this film. The two actors need to charismatically play humorous disdain for each other while playing polar opposites.
It also needs a witty writer, who understands the shallow nature of Hollywood, while writing exceptional action, comedy and profanity. As far as casting goes Aaron Eckhart could be a great straight man as “Gay” Perry Van Shirke, given that he’s usually great as straight arrow hero type.
Collin Farrell, would be a perfect Harry Lockhart, given his Robert Downey Jresque bad boy image and massively sarcastic characters he usually plays. All in all, it would be a great show for a network like FX or HBO who are great at doing cop shows and dark comedies or Showtime, because I think Showtime is great at making hit shows inexpensively.
Also, while I shamefully haven’t seen much of it, I feel that the dynamic duo of Downey and Kilmer seem to have a similar black comedy banter that Logue and Raymond-James excelled at in Terriers. I think that a buddy cop comedy bringing back that sense of humor and comradery would be great and something I feel TV is sorely missing.
A Nightmare on Elm Street:
Let me start by saying that A Nightmare on Elm Street is one film series I’m a major geek for, so I’ll admit I do have a slight bias here. However, A Nightmare on Elm Street still remains one of the best examples of not JUST horror, but urban fantasy as well.
Also, given that the recent remake REALLY botched up the mythos of the Elm Street franchise by ignoring the creative dynamite that the writers had with Freddy Krueger. Instead the reboot chose to just make a generic cookie cutter remake of the original. a show would really help to remedy this massive mistake.
How couldn’t they make an evil child killer with near omnipotent powers terrifying? Also, the mythos of The Dream Warriors and Dream Master could be great building blocks for not only making a horror series but a fantasy action one at the same time.
A Network like HBO or FX that’s not afraid of making ballsy shows but letting their writers have more control would be an IDEAL network for something like this show. A perfect pilot or first two episodes should be a True Detective style dark origin story for Freddy Krueger. I also would love for the show to develop the parent characters and grownups more than they were in the original movies.
It would also be remarkable if they threw the audience off by changing the orders of the kill count from that of the original or introduce new characters. Also, given the incredibly haunting and psychedelic visionary style of True Detective and Hannibal TV would be the perfect medium to make a vaster, more epic and terrifying dream world or build upon the fantasy mythology of “The Dream Warriors” (kids from Elm Street who learn how to use their nightmares to get super powers to beat down Freddy).
All in all, I feel that TV is the perfect medium for some of these movies to have their stories expanded upon. I find modern television to be largely a creative treasure trove for writers and their original ideas, and while I don’t think cinema is dead I do think that TV could help reinvigorate some of these stories. I hope you’ve enjoyed and feel free to comment and as always share the love.
What can I say about John Carpenter? He’s a captivating master of suspense, innovative musician and brilliant film maker with ideas FAR ahead of his time. In a word he was a marvel.
What made him so great though? Why do I feel that he is one of the greatest and most original, important and revolutionary film makers of all time? Read on dear reader and let me enlighten you.
Ah the 1970’s what a great time for cinema from edgy character pieces like Taxi Driver, Five Easy Pieces and more to grind house pictures like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Dawn of the Dead and others it was clear that cinema and it’s audience was changing and in 1978 a young film maker from New York would make a film that would slice through the conventions of Hollywood, pop culture and the world would never be the same.
That film was Halloween a movie that wasn’t the first slasher movie but it sure as hell popularized it. John Carpenter came from a generation of film makers nicknamed “The Movie Brats”. They were a bunch of film makers in the 1970’s who worked outside of the studio system members of “The Movie Brats” included directors like Martin Scorsese, Tobe Hooper, Dennis Hopper, Francis Ford Copola and MANY others. This worked to Halloween’s advantage because the 1970’s was a decade that really seemed to want to make a name for it’s self with it’s ballsier film releases and no truer is that prevalent then in Halloween Carpenter’s masterpiece about a young man who killed his sister on Halloween in 1963, fifteen years later he’s back and god help whoever is in his way.
Halloween as I have previously stated is a masterpiece and is essential viewing for anyone at all interested in film making. From it’s captivating performances by Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode a girl tormented by Michael Meyers, Donald Plesance as Dr. Samuel Loomis Michael Meyers’ therapist and the largely under rated Nick Castle as Michael Meyers/The Shape it’s self.
I feel that Halloween is a masterpiece because of it’s ability to sustain an audience’s attention with it’s brilliant simplicity. If I pitched the movie to you saying “hey do you want to watch a movie about a crazy guy who stalks and kills off babysitters”? You’d probably think that it’s the most generic kind of horror schlock ever even in the 1970’s and “you go to hell for suggesting that Gaines”. But I feel that’s the great thing about Halloween that within that level of simplicity it is a story that has been done to death but I think that Carpenter turns something simple into exceptional because you never get to know who Michael Meyers/The Shape is you don’t even know if they’re human.
That’s what I feel is terrifying it’s like a ghost or demon in human form representing the evil of mankind or the unknown just at the edge of our pleasant seemingly little suburban heaven. He turns the ordinary and mundane into the mundane and knows EXACTLY how to shoot that and edit that to build the perfect amount of suspense like a concerto of carnage and murder and thrills. Speaking of concertos (SEGWAY AHOY!) another thing that makes this film exceptional is like the film it’s self the score to it especially it’s theme song is simple but terrifyingly powerful I mean you can’t tell me that while it MAY not give you the chills you can associate it with a creepy movie just from the first few chords.
IT’S JUST A PIANO but it’s SO captivating, terrifying and seemingly suffocating with emotion and simplicity simultaneously. However I feel that that’s enough for now. Tune in later this week for part two of this editorial series with aliens, Satan and Kurt Russell oh my!
The Big Lebowski is in a word a masterpiece. It is one of those films that can perfectly be enjoyed on the same level weather inebriated or sober and features brilliant writing, acting, music and direction. So why was it never even NOMINATED for any Oscar?
That question has always been incredibly perplexing to me that such a brilliant film such as The Big Lebowski never one an Oscar. Could The Academy be so shallow that they wouldn’t nominate a stoner film for ANYTHING? Even if it is one of the best movies of all time? I dunno maybe I’m just tired and cranky but it’s so amazing damn it!
ANYWAYS what’s the movie about? The film stars Jeff Bridges as a lazy under achieving stoner living and bowling in the early 1990’s caught up in a kidnapping case. One of the MANY things I LOVE about The Big Lebowski is it’s a seemingly genreless tribute to so many different genres; it’s a comedy, it’s a western, it’s film noir, it’s a stoner movie, it’s a meditative existential think piece, it’s SO many f***ing AMAZING things!
It also pulls off all of those genres and subgenres PERFECTLY. So why no Oscar? I think like most Coen Brothers movies it’s an important film not just to analyze but rematch in it’s entirety. I feel that The Big Lebowski is an experience and an adventure and to pick it apart piece by piece and scene by scene (as I’ve herd The Academy is known to do) is impossible one must simply “buy the ticket and take the ride” and simply enjoy the adventure.
What an adventure it is as well with so many eternally relevant and exceptionally written quotes that I know by heart and will never forget. That also goes for the movie too I’ll never forget what an incredible experience I have whenever I watch it without it ever getting old. Isn’t that the best thing that you can say about a film or any piece of media?
The Americans is an amazing show with the most morally reprehensible characters next to Game of Thrones. The show is set in the early 1980’s and centers on a family where the parents are actually KGB sleeper agents living next door to a devout American FBI agent investigating Russians in America. The show is incredibly tense with nail biting suspense and multidimensional all be it morally terrible people across the board.
The titular Americans are Elizabeth and Phillip Jennings just your ordinary everyday pleasant neighbors….who as mentioned are secretly bad ass KGB agents working to bring down the American way while slowly but surely getting sucked into it. The show is ASTONISHING as it really shows realistically what people would do for their country and patriotism in the face of betraying their morals for The Americans AND The Russians.
The show also is incredibly tense feeling in my mind as if Hitchcock himself made a perfectly crafted 1980’s spy movie and the cinematography is beautiful and is a perfect throwback to that of an awesome 70’s/80’s movie. Finally the show has an AWESOME 80’s soundtrack which I cannot recommend high enough and that goes for the show too. So if you want top notch Hitchcockian spy action and dubious duplicitous characters there are few shows I can recommend higher.
Blood simple is an INCREDIBLE movie while it may not be my favorite Coen Brothers film (that honor would belong to either The Big Lebowski or No Country For Old Men) it is however a paramount staple of cinema which goes to show how masterful the Coens are at their craft. This like most of the best Coen brother films has fascinating multidimensional characters, innovative cinematography, brilliant plot twists, shady vicious villains and more. Blood Simple was released in American theaters January 18th 1985 and is the Coen Brothers’ first film. The thing that I love the most about Blood Simple is there are no clear cut heroes or villains all of the characters have their own sins and vices which is refreshing in this cinematic world of clear cut heroes and villains. It’s hard to discuss this movie without giving anything away because there’s a plethora of amazing twist that come as fast as bullets. However I will discuss what I loved, the writing was impecible, the characters as I’ve mentioned are multidimensional, flawed and fascinating characters. Barry Sonnenfeld’s exceptional cinematography of Texas and inovative and just plain cool camera angles is one (especially one where the camera goes over a drunk passed out guy’s head in a bar) and exceptional acting all round (especially from Frances McDormand and M. Emmet Walsh). So while again this isn’t my favorite Coen Brothers movie it is definitely a film that I couldn’t recommend enough. Enjoy.
1. Stanley Kuberick
13. Richard Linklater
14. Paul Thomas Anderson
15. James Gunn