Movie Night & My Weekend Movies

I'm going to begin posting about the films I'm watching. This has been a good week, the holidays giving me plenty of time to take in some extra entertainment. A lot of what I watch comes to me via Turner Classic Movies (TCM), or on DVD. I have a very hard time appreciating movies filled with commercial breaks, but will occasionally watch American Movie Classics (AMC), or other commercially cancered channels (TBS, USA, etc.) if it's something I really like, really want to see, or (as in most cases) my wife has started watching something there. By the way, some of these pieces may seem vague, but I'm not a 'spoiler' kind of guy. Anyone who wants to know more about the movies can Google, IMDb, and Wiki to your heart's content. I'm just putting my $0.02 in and trying to help match viewers to films they might enjoy.

My Weekend Movies
Friday Night - Movie Night

"Teacher's Pet" (1958) - Clark Gable, Doris Day, Gig Young, Mamie Van Doren - I dig Doris Day. I've seen her many times, but only actually watched two of her movies. She was a pleasant surprise on both occasions. Clark Gable was great but seemed a bit too harsh for just a moment in two scenes, but one of those scenes involved drinking, so, perhaps he was playing drunk at that point. Gig Young... I don't know where I've seen him before but he's fun to watch as well. He played this role perfectly and I thoroughly enjoyed his hangover. Mamie Van Doren was virtually a cameo as a lounge singer dating Clark Gable. However, if it wasn't for the number she performed at the club there wouldn't have been any foundation for that pleasant surprise I mentioned from Doris Day that appears just a bit later in the film. I didn't waste a second of my time watching this.

"Sonny Boy" - Answers the question - What if you crossed Raising Arizona with Deliverance then took Rocky from the Horror Picture Show and dropped him into the middle of it? If you see this, you will recognize a lot of people in it and be able to name only David Carradine off the top of your head, and you'll wish you couldn't. He's good at what he's doing, but you'll wonder why he's doing it. There's something to this film that kept drawing me in, even when it got so bad I considered giving up on it. If you have NOTHING better to do and this movie is on, it's worth watching for the experience, but I can neither confirm or deny that I sincerely recommend this movie. I have to admit that I never bothered to pause this when I had to leave the room a few times. I'm certain it made no difference. Seemed like a very long hour-and-a-half.

"Spider Baby" - Lon Chaney, Jr., Sid Haig - A creepy and slightly disturbing tale. The opening titles of this film had me thinking it would be a comedy, but imagine if The Addams Family wasn't meant to be humorous. That's what we've got here. Lon Chaney, Jr. wasn't really top-notch, but his performance is key to setting the tone. His dialog with other characters, while not a narration, describes the strange tale for the audience. The least believable characters in this flick are the ones meant to represent we normals of the viewing audience. While not overburdened with gore, this film remains troubling. By the end of the movie you may realize that much of what you've just seen could happen in that creepy old house at the edge of your town. Enjoy!

Sunday Afternoon

"Two-Minute Warning" (1976) - Charlton Heston, Beau Bridges, David Janssen, Jack Klugman, and many more. Movies in the mid-70s were chock full of Plymouth Furys. Every cop car is a Fury, many other cars are too. My brother had one for a few years so it's become something of a cliche game for us. Aside from the cars, this movie has little to offer modern audiences other than a little slice-of-life from the days before wireless phones, internet, and Homeland Security. It uses the standard disaster movie formula. There's a threat, a cast of stars are living out their characters life-dramas knowing little or nothing of the danger right under their noses, then there's the hero who knows what's going on but has to keep the situation under control despite the bumbling of other officials and the stumbling of the innocent bystanders. Most modern crime TV shows today are better than this movie in almost all respects, but I always take an interest in seeing how things have changed from one era to the next. As a placeholder in the history of cinema I'll have to say it's worth a viewing.

Movie Snippet

I also caught a few minutes of "Road House", where Swayze clues the bouncers in on the new way of doing things and their first night under his watch. I almost watched the rest of it but I had to go grocery shopping. Why do I want to watch it? I don't know. I'll have to give it a look some day to try and figure out what makes people like this flick. BTW, I grew up watching Kevin Tighe on 'Adam 12' re-runs. I hate when he plays bad guys, but he's done it so well that I may never be able to accept him in a role as a decent man ever again.

More to come...

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