* Are you a "theater jumper?" I don't approve of such practices (you scofflaw!), but if you happen to, The Dark of the Matinee's Mad Hatter has got your back, along with some guidelines on how to do it all proper like.
* A Life in Equinox's mythical Univarn returned with the second episode of his Film Enigma game show podcast. He needs to ask me for pointers on how to make it just that much better (I have an asshole, ergo an opinion), but I really love the idea. It's tough, is a compact 30ish minutes, has a fantastic final segment, and is full of laughs.
* First Nick started up his new Demented DoorVlog series (see what he did there?), which included shout-outs to yours truly, and now Jason of Invasion of the B Movies has put up a new vid as a part of his 5-year anniversary. Great stuff on both of these.
* Fitz of Nevermind Popular Film turns 21 (you're only 21?!?!) and lists some of the best gambling movies to date.
* Film Forager's Alex sees Commando (for the first time, it would seem?) and loves it. Awesome.
Movies watched for the first time (non-theatrically) since last week:
* Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
I don't want to, but I couldn't NOT like this even if I wanted to. Paul Newman is like my cinematic link to the classics - a truly modern actor working in films made pre-1970. Unlike so many actors I see in movies of yore, Newman is never doing that annoying stage acting/overacting thing. So even if Piper Laurie is melodramming it up in The Hustler, Newman is there to keep the film grounded and real. Thank god for Paul Newman.
On top of him, you add Redford, and you've got a charmfest the likes of which I hadn't seen before not counting the Ocean's series. In fact, this might be heresy, and the ages probably aren't right anymore, but if they had made a remake with Clooney as Butch and Pitt as Sundance (Pitt being Redford's heir and all), could anyone have really complained?
There wasn't quite enough here for me to *love* Butch and Sundance, but I liked it plenty. The banter between the two leads is phenomenal, the use of sepia is only bettered by the outstanding transitions between it and color, the New York montage was classy and fun, the settings and cinematography (by Conrad Hall) are amazing.
I don't know - perhaps a few more viewings of this and I will indeed love it.
Fletch's Film Rating:
"You're the best...around!"
"It's in the hole!"
* Mad Max
Awhile back, Simon of The Simon & Jo Film Show discussed his first time watching Mad Max. Suffice it so say that he was not impressed.
It was with that critique fresh in my mind that I sat down to watch The Movie That Made Mel Gibson. Simon decried the film as cheesy, even playing a clip from the film to illustrate his point. Unfortunately (or fortunately for me?), the clip he chose was, without doubt, the cheesiest part of the film, after Max quits the force and goes on vacation with his sweetie. There he gets all sensitive and truly awful, overly sentimental instrumental music (from the 50s?) plays loudly over the soundtrack. (In fact, the music was far and away the worst thing about Mad Max in general.)
However, that scene aside, Max was fairly strong, though I was still expecting from the film something that I don't think I'll be getting until I see The Road Warrior - Mad Max is not the tale of some post-apocalyptic drifter fighting for the oppressed and downtrodden (Waterworld). Nay, it's a revenge flick , 90 minutes in the making, as we get to know Toecutter and his gang more than anyone else in the film - not that there's anything wrong with that.
Basically, it's a film for car nuts. If you dig chase scenes mixed with Australian accents and guys with funny names like Rockatansky who dress up in leather daddy outfits, this is the flick for you. And I guess I'm one of those people, too, as I kind of dug it. Not a masterpiece by any means, but an engaging action flick.
Note: my Expectation rating probably would have been an "It's in the Hole!" prior to hearing Simon's review...
Fletch's Film Rating:
"You seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you."
Music I'm currently obsessed with:
Book I'm currently reading:
Just finished A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole at lunch. A good read, but not the comedy classic I was expecting. Ignatius J. Reilly is indeed a pop culture icon, and after having read the book, I can see him more and more all over the place, from sources as varied as Hunter Thompson and Stewie Griffin. Burma Jones cracked me up the most of anyone, though ("Whoa!"), and I'm dying for a film version, if only so that I might cast Flavor Flav in his role.
The story picked up in time for a nice climax - I wasn't quite sure where Toole was going to take it, but thankfully, it didn't get out of hand like Chuck's Choke or anything like that. My main criticism is that the book is a bit repetitive; it may be the point that Ignatius never grows up, but that doesn't exactly make for the best reading. You're given scenario after scenario that essentially play out the same way, until you feel as though you've been beaten over the head with the point.
Good, not great, read. Next up: perhaps Battle Royale.