Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Life During Wartime: Review of the most recent Todd Solondz film

“Forgive and forget” is the mantra repeated throughout Todd Solondz’s Life During Wartime. It is, for all intents and purposes, a sequel to his 1998 ironic comedy Happiness, although it’s been completely recast. The new film picks up a decade or so after the first film. The characters have, in rather limited ways, grown and matured.

Monday, August 30, 2010

25 Years Ago This Month (September 1985)

It seems there was hardly anything worth mentioning in September '85. Personally, I remember it was the month of Hurricane Gloria hitting the Atlantic coast - my first hurricane experience. I remember we had to put tape on the sliding glass door to keep it from shattering if it should have been hit by flying debris. I recall lots of tree branches coming down and I remember going out on the front lawn when the eye of the storm passed over.

Movies of note that opened this month include Martin Scorsese's After Hours, a weird wild trip through the NYC underworld during a single night, and Agnes of God, a mostly forgotten film now that earned Meg Tilly an Oscar nomination.

In historical news:
- An earthquake of magnitude 8.1 struck Mexico City killing some 10 - 12 thousand people.
- Robert Ballard located the wreckage of the Titanic off the coast of Newfoundland.
- Pete Rose broke Ty Cobb's hit record.
- The first of five deaths occurred from Tylenol laced with cyanide.

There weren't even any really notable celebrity deaths or births. Well, the Yankees' Joba Chamberlain turns 25 this month.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

25 Years Ago This Month (August 1985)

*Clicking the label "1985" below will take you to a list of all posts related to movies of that year including other "25 Years Ago This Month" entries.

August 1985 was the month of teen comedies with the release of the John Hughes comedy Weird Science in which geeks Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith create Kelly LeBroc from a doll. I used to watch it a lot as a kid, but it's a lesser Hughes film.

Next up was Real Genius, still one of my favorites, starring Val Kilmer and Gabriel Jarrett as two super geniuses at a super genius school unwittingly designing a new powerful laser to be used as a military assassination weapon.

Fittingly, time has not been kind to My Science Project starring Dennis Hopper as a hippie high school science teacher whose students bring him a glowing orb they found which can transport them to different times and places. Yeah, you didn't miss much.

Another classic from my childhood released this month was Better Off Dead with John Cusack as a recently dumped, suicidal teen who screws up each suicide attempt. Sounds hilarious, doesn't it? It really is though. And it's totally bizarre with the two Asian characters who learned their English from watching Howard Cosell on "Wide World of Sports" and the paperboy who chases Cusack around for the "Two dollars!" he's owed.

Less classic was Teen Wolf. Despite starring the hot-at-the-moment, fresh off the release of Back to the Future, Michael J. Fox, this film only took $33 million. It was enough to be #1 for August releases but only 26th for the year.