January Movies to Watch For

Are we dead? Did the Mayan spaceship blow us up on the winter solstice? No? Then sit your big butts back down on those couches and start watching movies like God and Greyhound intended! Here are some films on Fox Movie Channel, Sundance and TCM for the month of January that you might be interested in. Remember, these movies may be edited, time compressed, in the wrong aspect ratio, have commercial interruptions, or contain subliminal messages compelling you to toss articulated bodies off cliffs as part of a series of elaborate insurance scams. You know how it goes. All times Eastern.   FOX MOVIE CHANNEL Night Train to Paris (1964) January 1, 4:50 AM (early morning) Leslie Nielsen as a retired secret agent on one last mission in Paris. This gets horrible reviews, so beware!   TRIPLE FEATURE ON JANUARY 2ND: Leave Her to Heaven (1945) at 6:00 AM Daisy Kenyon (1947) at 8:00 AM Laura (1947) at 10:00 AM Fox Movie Channel rarely has more than two films in a row worth watching, but this is a terrific line up that you might want to marathon on the 2nd. If you’re not still hung over from the 31st, that is.   The Driver (1978) January 10, 1:15 PM Director Walter Hill’s cult fave about an obsessed cop (Bruce Dern) after a getaway driver (Ryan O’Neal).   Heaven With a Barbed Wire Fence (1939) January 10, 4:50 AM (early morning the 11th) A New Yorker’s adventure on the way to … Continue reading

Have a Happy Holiday Weekend!

Hope your holiday is Divine!

The White Shadow (1924)

…it seems Hitch had created one of his earliest secret monsters: Someone who appears normal enough to other characters and the audience, but who is later revealed to be quite dangerous. Continue reading

TCM Remembers 2012

This year’s TCM Remembers, thankfully posted by TCM this year (which means you don’t have to rely on my iffy video editing skills to watch it on YouTube, and that benefits us all). Thanks to eagle eyed SBBN man about town Kingo Gondo for letting me know the video was up! It is a lovely tribute, but I am going to be honest: It’s unfortunate that they had so many people shown for a single brief second while indulging in lengthy gaps for all the filler and atmosphere. But hey, go check it out yourself and see what you think. Update 1/14/2013: It appears TCM has made the video private on YouTube. It can still be found here on Vimeo.

The Late Movies Blogathon: 10 Laps to Go (1936)

One gets the impression that the production was tickled to have Marie in the film, in part because of those scenes that seem to be added in to expand her part. She also gets some lovely close-ups, and even though she’s a little puffy and pale, older of course — time stops for none of us — she looks good… Continue reading

Elsewhere Today: Writin’ For Spectrum Culture

I have three reviews up on Spectrum Culture today, which should explain why things have been a little quiet around here: Revisit: Death To Smoochy (2002): “…Underneath the obvious joke, Death to Smoochy is practically Shakespearean in its tragedy. Children’s entertainment is used as an analogue for the entire entertainment biz, not merely the crooked world of kid’s shows. The focus is less on the business itself than on its effect on individuals, like former child star Buggy Ding Dong (Vincent Schiavelli), now a drug-addled, urine-covered hit man. Spinner Dunn (Michael Rispoli) had been a boxer, a man once well paid to punch another man for the entertainment of others, now a goofball left with the mind of a young child. Everyone in the biz has been broken by it in some essential way, their dreams discarded as a world of fame, money and groupies overwhelmed them, then discarded them.” *** Addicted To Fame (2012): “Director David Giancola warned Anna Nicole Smith and her partner Howard K. Stern that if she did not complete Illegal Aliens, he would replace her by having her alien character morph into a banana, then he would release the behind-the-scenes footage of her antics and she would be put on, as Giancola said, “the acting blacklist.” The acting blacklist, mind you, as though there is a large leather-bound tome kept hidden in a dungeon somewhere just south of Burbank, guarded by wizened old character actors in retirement, names of misbehaving personalities carefully recorded in the … Continue reading

December Movies to Watch For

Here are a few films on Sundance, Fox Movies and TCM for the month of December that you might be interested in. Remember, films may be edited, time compressed, in the wrong aspect ratio, or have hard-coded Klingon subtitles. You know how it goes.   FOX MOVIE CHANNEL A Royal Scandal (1945) December 3, 7:40 AM (and again the 7th) Tallulah Bankhead as Catherine the Great and Charles Coburn as her wily chancellor. Tallu looks marvelous, Coburn is amazing and the supporting cast (Vincent Price, Anne Baxter) are terrific. Give this one a go.   The Black Swan (1942) December 10, 6:00 AM (again on the 20th) Tyrone Power as a pirate, swashbuckling and making the ladies swoon. With George Sanders and Laird Cregar.   Too Good To Be True (1988) December 12, 9:30 AM This is a made-for-TV remake of Leave Her to Heaven starring Loni Anderson and Patrick Duffy (and a very young Neil Patrick Harris). Now, I’m not averse to TV movies, but this was absolutely rotten. I saw it in high school and really, really wish I hadn’t. Anderson is in a bikini much of the time, flirting with one of the Baldwin brothers (Daniel), the hunky hired hand. Duffy is her novelist husband, and Harris is the boy, no longer the brother but the son of Duffy’s character. Duffy just kind of stands there until the script says “Yell about something,” which he does. And the change to the plot they made to make it … Continue reading

Elsewhere This Week: Anniversaries, Giveaways and Gunfights

Lots of stuff to point you to this week! First up is my article at Spectrum Culture on 3:10 to Yuma (1957 & 2007) for their Re-Make/Re-Model feature. The 1957 film is an absolute classic — I’d love to say “undisputed,” but nothing in the world of cinema is undisputed. It’s philosophical chaos! Madness reigns! Ahem. The two leads in each film give masterful performances, though for my money, Glenn Ford is the stand out. The remake, while flawed, is worthwhile. Let me put it this way: There are worse ways to make film than by getting a grew together and saying, “Okay, we’ll use John Ford location shots, Surtees camera angles and fill it with Peckinpah violence. Huh? Whaddya think?” I’m pretty excited about this article, so please, check it out! *** Films From Beyond the Time Barrier is celebrating its second anniversary! Brian has a terrific celebratory post featuring a Diabolic Dual Personality Double Feature about everyone’s favorite dual-personality sociopath, Jekyll and Hyde. Go on over and wish Brian a happy second! Meanwhile, at Thrilling Days of Yesteryear, Ivan is asking readers to help decide which serial he’s going to do next for Serial Saturdays! See, he is a normal human being, which is why in the time it’s taken me to finish Phantom Creeps, he’s done three serials, maybe four, plus wallpapered the hallway and dug up a few old stumps in the back yard. Braggart. But he’s also giving away VCI’s new box set release Dick … Continue reading

The Phantom Creeps #11: “I Wish I Hadn’t Let That Guy Get Away.”

After two months of accidental hiatus, we’re back on track to finishing the greatest artistic achievement known to mankind: The Phantom Creeps (1939). Our story thus far: Dr. Crazypants Evildude Zorka (Bela Lugosi) has harnessed the awesome power of a meteorite harvested from the depths of the 1936 film The Invisible Ray, and plans on using elements from the meteorite to conquer the world. With this element he invents six-legged fuzzy fake spiders that blow up under certain complicated and silly conditions, the enormous and sexually attractive robot known as The Iron Man, and a device that turns him invisible — that is, into The Phantom, who then Creeps around doing things. The Feds are after him, mostly G-Man Bob (Robert West) and his unkillable but confused sidekick Jim Daly, played by SBBN hero Regis Toomey. SBBN calls him Toomster, Reeg and various other pet names, because SBBN loves Regis Toomey, and also makes it a policy to be very, very nice to immortals who are prone to sulking and naps. Edwin Stanley plays Dr. Mallory, a scientist who is supposed to be helping the Feds but pretty much does the exact opposite. Plucky girl reporter Jean Drew (Dorothy Arnold) tags along with the Feds, while spies — incredibly stupid spies — try to get the meteor for themselves. The spy leader Jarvis (Edward Van Sloan, looking as much like “Gov” from Blazing Saddles as possible without actually being Mel Brooks) is mostly ineffective, but he’s supposed to be clever … Continue reading

Happy Carb Hangover Day!

At this moment, the clock has just ticked off 7:15 AM, and it is my understanding most of you are already awake, shopping for whatnots along with approximately 19 million others also shopping for the same whatnots at low, low prices. Frankly, this baffles me, because one of the best things about the internet is a little thing I like to call online shopping, and after a long day of gorging on carbs and poultry, I can’t imagine getting up early feels like the right thing to do. Meanwhile, El Brendel is still trying to get Thanksgiving dinner started.   Monty Hawes of All Good Things was kind enough to interview me for his Be My Guest feature this month, and the interview has just gone live. Read it here! You’ll learn who I got all my worst social habits from, the first 3D movie I ever (partially) saw, and I also reveal some especially embarrassing things which you can lord over me for years to come. Big thanks to Monty for asking me to join in! I spend most of my time here on SBBN apologizing for not being here on SBBN, which is what I’m doing now. The last couple of months have been chaos: Vacation -> Unemployment -> Deadlines -> Virus -> Broken Computer -> More Deadlines -> Another Virus. While the deadlines will continue as there are quite a few awesome year-end features going on at Spectrum Culture, I hope the rest has resolved enough that … Continue reading