Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Recent Viewings, 11/26/2008

A/K/A Tommy Chong
From the description:
a/k/a Tommy Chong chronicles the entrapment and incarceration of comedy icon Tommy Chong of the legendary comedy duo, Cheech and Chong. Josh Gilbert takes on the event in his documentary, and offers a sometimes frightening, often hilarious account of Operation Pipe Dreams, a nationwide drug paraphernalia sting spearheaded by a federal prosecutor named Mary Beth Buchanan, appointed by George Bush three short days after the attacks of 9/11. After fully armed SWAT teams raided the comedian's home and his business, Chong Glass, Chong was sentenced to 9 months in federal prison for "conspiracy to manufacture and distribute drug paraphernalia through his family business, specializing in handmade glass water pipes, or "bongs".

And that says it all; everything you find out in the movie. Except for: the 9/11 plane that went down in Pennsylvania went down in Buchanan's county, and so her appointment was partially for show, as usual. The wiki article has a lot of other wonderful shenanigans of hers. I am so not gonna miss these ass-clowns.

There, now you don't have to spend any time watching that rather tepid documentary.

This is a "classic" Japanese horror film that landed on Bravo's "Scariest Movie Moments". It was one of the few I hadn't seen (that I hadn't already decided NOT to see, such as The Hills Have Eyes), so the library found a copy for me.

This movie belongs to the sub-genre of horror that does not frighten me in the least: cuttin' folks up. I think you have to have some root fear that is exploitable (something you can empathize with) for something to be frightening to you. I've never had surgery or been stabbed, so I really don't have any frame of reference to viscerally fear being hacked to pieces. I know intellectually that it would be unpleasant, but I don't fear it. Now, you talk demonic possession, I'm your fraidy cat. I still can't bring myself to watch The Exorcism of Emily Rose.

I suspect Audition is the movie that started the modern trend of torture porn, as it came out in 1999, and Saw came out in 2004. True, The Last House on the Left from 1972 predates them all - even The Texas Chain Saw Massacre from 1974. But those older hack 'n' slashers had a different tone. The best way I can think to put it is the earlier flicks had more of an Ed Gein vibe and modern torture porn has more of a Lorena Bobbitt skank to it.

So, if you dig that sorta thing, you should hunt this one down. If you don't, again, I've saved you nearly two hours of your life.

MPC1 is a fan of musicals. She gets that from her mom. Save for a couple specific versions of a couple specific shows, most musicals - especially the Rogers and Hammerstein kind - are excruciating to me.

However, I've always been a film buff and geeked out on the various technologies. When I saw that the Todd-AO version of the flick was included in the set, I steeled myself and sat down to watch.

I couldn't get through the whole thing, even though one of the great MILFs of all time - Momma Partridge, aka Shirley Jones - is the female lead.

I could be imagining things, but I thought I could see a difference in the visual; it seemed more fluid. I still have yet to determine if the Todd-AO version was playing at 30fps, but this review seems to say it was.

I liked the effect, and it's too bad that Todd-AO didn't catch on as a format. All of our movies would look that much better.

And, finally, one of the two shows I watch anymore, "Pushing Daisies", has been canceled. Here's a lament or two. (The other one I watch is "Chuck".)

Catch "Daisies" while you can. Or, wait for the DVDs, which I'm sure will be loaded with fun stuff.

Have YOU seen anything good, lately?


Sya said...

I love listening to musicals, but I'm not such a big fan of watching them. I don't think I've ever gotten through the film version of Oklahoma either.

Recently, I was looking up examples of the Takarazuka Revue on YouTube (so totally and awesomely weird, yet makes my inner feminist voice squee) since I saw a reference to it somewhere--and somehow, I ended up getting addicted to an Austrian musical called Elisabeth. It's the first time I've seen a personification as a main character.

yahmdallah said...

I'll look them up.

Btw, this whole "Twightlight" Mormon vampire phenom the young ladies are into ... is it like the biggest Mary Sue, ever, or what?

Sya said...

I think for the fangirls, it's less the case of the Mary Sues and more about the vampire being the ultimate bad boy.

Anonymous said...

The only musical I have ever enjoyed is the Blues Brothers.

yahmdallah said...

Anon, you should hunt out Milos Forman's "Hair". If you can get past the 60s hippiedom, it has some scenes that will stay with you forever.