Movies At Random: The War Lover

Today’s random movie is The War Lover (HU DVD 10437) starring Steve McQueen. This black and white 1962 war film got kind of meh reviews, according to Wikipedia. Based on the trailer below, it’s…uh…”of its time,” shall we say. (Check out that font though.) This film was also at some point subjected to the bizarre process … Continue reading “Movies At Random: The War Lover”

Today’s random movie is The War Lover (HU DVD 10437) starring Steve McQueen. This black and white 1962 war film got kind of meh reviews, according to Wikipedia. Based on the trailer below, it’s…uh…”of its time,” shall we say. (Check out that font though.) This film was also at some point subjected to the bizarre process of colorizing old movies, though our version is black and white. But, hey, Steve McQueen playing a daredevil pilot so maybe it’s ok.

Here’s our summary:

Stationed in England during World War II, Buzz Rickson is the bravest air force pilot in his squadron. His maniacal quest for aerial thrills prompts his many daredevil heroics. His rebellious attitude, however, threatens to alienate him from everyone around him.

And here’s the absolutely amazing trailer:
Happy viewing!

Movies At Random: Taxi

Today’s random movie is Jafar Panahi’s Taxi (HU DVD 13144). This movie looks so good based on the trailer below. The plot summary on Wikipedia kind of gives too much away, but it’s really interesting to read about the production of this film. Panahi himself is a major part of this story, as it came … Continue reading “Movies At Random: Taxi”

Today’s random movie is Jafar Panahi’s Taxi (HU DVD 13144). This movie looks so good based on the trailer below. The plot summary on Wikipedia kind of gives too much away, but it’s really interesting to read about the production of this film. Panahi himself is a major part of this story, as it came about due to a travel ban preventing him from leaving Iran. Taxi won the Golden Bear at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival, but the award was accepted by his niece because the director was not permitted to travel.

Here’s our summary:

Jafar Panahi drives a yellow cab through the vibrant streets of Tehran, picking up a diverse group of passengers in a single day. Each man, woman, and child candidly expresses his or her own view of the world while being interviewed by the curious and gracious driver.

And here’s the trailer:

Happy viewing!

Movies At Random: Wild Tigers I Have Known

Wild Tigers I Have Known (HU DVD 3048) by Cam Archer is our random DVD of the day. It was produced by Gus Van Sant, according to the cover, and has what appears to be the hippest of soundtracks by bands I’ve never heard of. Intriguingly, according to Wikipedia a recut version was released after … Continue reading “Movies At Random: Wild Tigers I Have Known”

Wild Tigers I Have Known (HU DVD 3048) by Cam Archer is our random DVD of the day. It was produced by Gus Van Sant, according to the cover, and has what appears to be the hippest of soundtracks by bands I’ve never heard of.

Intriguingly, according to Wikipedia a recut version was released after the film’s premiere that rather changes the story. Points docked for this movie being shot in my least favorite place on the planet, Santa Cruz, California.

Here’s our summary:

A young boy with a crush on the cool boy at school, pretends to be a girl on the phone so he can meet and win the affections of his crush.

And here’s a trailer-ish clip:

Happy viewing!

Movies At Random: Jupiter’s Wife

Jupiter’s Wife (HU DVD 4016) is a documentary about Maggie Cogan, a homeless woman living in Central Park with her pack of dogs who attracted the curiosity of filmmaker Michel Negroponte. From googling around, it’s unclear if this film really deals with the seriousness of homeless and mental illness. Maggie is described as beguiling and … Continue reading “Movies At Random: Jupiter’s Wife”

Jupiter’s Wife (HU DVD 4016) is a documentary about Maggie Cogan, a homeless woman living in Central Park with her pack of dogs who attracted the curiosity of filmmaker Michel Negroponte. From googling around, it’s unclear if this film really deals with the seriousness of homeless and mental illness. Maggie is described as beguiling and witty, but some reviewers question whether this film was enabling and exploitative. After the film was released, she briefly had her own apartment, but it sounds as though she eventually returned to Central Park.

Jupiter’s Wife won a Special Jury Prize at Sundance among other awards. Here’s our summary:

This is the story of Maggie, a beguiling homeless woman living in New York City’s Central Park. In her forties, Maggie’s vibrant personality and unconventional persona attract attention since she has 6 dogs and carries a huge backpack full of her personal belongings. A captivating jumble of cryptic stories, Maggie’s conversations are laced with intriguing claims – including the claim that she is the daughter of actor Robert Ryan and that she is married to the Roman god Jupiter.

No trailer this time, so here’s the DVD cover:

Happy viewing!

Movies At Random: The Magic Christian

Today’s random DVD is The Magic Christian (HU DVD 7940) starring Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr. This black comedy is completely littered with celebrity cameos (see Wikipedia), and looks fully ridiculous. But supposedly it’s terribly madcap! So I suppose that’s fine. Also, I mean, Peter Sellers in anything, really. How can you resist? Here’s our summary: … Continue reading “Movies At Random: The Magic Christian”

Today’s random DVD is The Magic Christian (HU DVD 7940) starring Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr. This black comedy is completely littered with celebrity cameos (see Wikipedia), and looks fully ridiculous. But supposedly it’s terribly madcap! So I suppose that’s fine. Also, I mean, Peter Sellers in anything, really. How can you resist?

Here’s our summary:

Sir Guy Grand, the richest man in the world, happens upon a young orphan in the park and, on a whim, decides to adopt him. Together they set off on a series of madcap escapades.

And the original trailer:

Happy viewing!

Movies At Random: New Jack City

Today’s random DVD is Mario Van Peebles’ New Jack City (HU DVD 1097). A 1991 action gangster film, Wikipedia makes it sound like there’s some disagreement about just how anti-gangster this film is, and Time Out London called it “a superior example of what used to be called blaxploitation.” The IMDB trivia page on this … Continue reading “Movies At Random: New Jack City”

Today’s random DVD is Mario Van Peebles’ New Jack City (HU DVD 1097). A 1991 action gangster film, Wikipedia makes it sound like there’s some disagreement about just how anti-gangster this film is, and Time Out London called it “a superior example of what used to be called blaxploitation.” The IMDB trivia page on this one is pretty epic too, my favorite example being:

On Inside the Actors Studio (1994), Chris Rock claimed that for several years following his acclaimed performance as a crack addict, drug dealers would approach him and put crack and cocaine in his pocket; joking that “they thought it was a documentary.” He stated that, although he knew people who used crack at the time, he never did and, in his 1997 memoir “Rock This” had only smoked marijuana twice. (from imdb)

Here’s our summary:

Gangster film about a young, rich, smart drug baron who thinks he’s untouchable, and the tough, street-smart cops determined to bring him down.

And here’s the trailer, with some epic trailer-voice:

Happy viewing!

Five Films Featuring…Shaving Cream

Ok, so if you know me at all, you already know what the punchline is going to be. But shaving serves all kinds of purposes in movies. There’s something about the obscuring/revealing in shaving that directors really love. And it’s omnipresent…like, this doesn’t even count all the bathroom cabinets that open to reveal shaving cream, … Continue reading “Five Films Featuring…Shaving Cream”

Ok, so if you know me at all, you already know what the punchline is going to be. But shaving serves all kinds of purposes in movies. There’s something about the obscuring/revealing in shaving that directors really love. And it’s omnipresent…like, this doesn’t even count all the bathroom cabinets that open to reveal shaving cream, and there are plenty of camp pranks missing. From comedic, to terrifying, to bordering on sensual, here are five films featuring shaving cream.

1. The Great Dictator (HU DVD 3796)

Chaplin rhymic shaving.

2. Sweeney Todd (HU DVD 13869)

What kind of monster wouldn’t put Sweeney Todd on this list? The movie version with Johnny Depp (HU DVD 4111) is…um…kind of lame. But I strongly recommend the filmed stage production.

3. Hard Day’s Night (HU DVD 5740)

Beatles shenanigans.

4. Skyfall (HU DVD 5001)

I’d say this scene is some kind of…demonstration of vulnerability…something…
Sorry, I’m way too distracted by Daniel Craig to philosophize.

5. Jurassic Park (HU DVD 4901)

My favorite can of shaving cream in film is, of course, the super-spy can of Barbasol in Jurassic park. It gets to do so much work! Hiding stuff, comic spraying noises, etc. Also, this ridiculous dick move:

For a bonus 6th pick, I’m going to add Shrek (HU DVD 13517) but I can’t remember which of the films this shot came from. It’s stuck with me thought, because it’s paired with a scene of Shrek shaving, and this is supposed to be…funny? Because only ogre women have facial hair? I’m sure all those waxing, tweezing, shaving, lasering, electrocuting, and chemical depilatory products for women are marketed exclusively to ogres.

Happy viewing!

Movies At Random: Masked Rider The First

Masked Rider The First (HU DVD 11528) has got to be one of the more intriguing things I’ve pulled off the shelf in a while. Like a lot of live action movies based on anime, the plot sounds completely bizarre when you read it. According to Wikipedia, the movie is based on a popular manga that … Continue reading “Movies At Random: Masked Rider The First”

Masked Rider The First (HU DVD 11528) has got to be one of the more intriguing things I’ve pulled off the shelf in a while. Like a lot of live action movies based on anime, the plot sounds completely bizarre when you read it. According to Wikipedia, the movie is based on a popular manga that also became a TV show.

I mean, based on the trailer, it looks like bug themed Power Rangers?? I don’t know. Just weird.

Here’s our summary:

Transformed into a locust-human hybrid by a nefarious organization known only as Shocker, a once-normal man makes it his mission to bring down the group that destroyed his life once and for all.

And here’s the trailer:
Happy viewing!

Five Films Featuring…Characters Hanging Upside Down

This week, we’re taking a look at five different scenes in which characters hang upside down. I’m sure there’s some bigger philosophical point to be made about inversion as in Alice in Wonderland, about the ways in which hanging upside down represents helplessness–to the ideal of beauty? to a torturer? to love?–for the characters, or … Continue reading “Five Films Featuring…Characters Hanging Upside Down”

This week, we’re taking a look at five different scenes in which characters hang upside down. I’m sure there’s some bigger philosophical point to be made about inversion as in Alice in Wonderland, about the ways in which hanging upside down represents helplessness–to the ideal of beauty? to a torturer? to love?–for the characters, or possibly even the inherent physical comedy of characters in this ridiculous position. But out of sheer laziness, I will be pursuing none of those arguments in this blog post.

1. Jungle Book (HU DVD 6643)

This scene with Kaa has Mowgli hanging all kinds of ways, and it is so artfully animated that I remember it frame for frame. Insanely well executed animation to produce this very humorous example.

2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (HU DVD 6047)

It happens so fast in the movies that you might miss it, but one of the ways James bullies Severus is with the jinx Levicorpus:

3. Spiderman (HU DVD 7121)

The kiss. You know the one.

4. American Gigolo (HU DVD 4640)

Apparently this movie established Giorgio Armani in Hollywood, but I see no Armani in this scene. I’ve watched it several times. For research.

5. Django Unchained (HU DVD 6208)

This scene is so horrible I can’t even watch it.

Happy viewing!

Movies At Random: The Iceman Interviews

Pulling this random DVD off the shelf turned into a Wikipedia rabbit hole for me. Today’s highlight is The Iceman Interviews (HU DVD 11721). If you don’t know who Richard Kuklinski is, you can read up on him on Wikipedia. Here’s HBO’s summary: An abused young man. A hair-trigger temper. A trail of dead bodies. […] Renowned … Continue reading “Movies At Random: The Iceman Interviews”

Pulling this random DVD off the shelf turned into a Wikipedia rabbit hole for me. Today’s highlight is The Iceman Interviews (HU DVD 11721). If you don’t know who Richard Kuklinski is, you can read up on him on Wikipedia.

Here’s HBO’s summary:

An abused young man. A hair-trigger temper. A trail of dead bodies. […] Renowned forensic psychologist Dr. Park Dietz gets up close, personal and even confrontational with psyche of one of the most dangerous men alive. Bringing together the earlier THE ICEMAN TAPES: CONVERSATIONS WITH A KILLER and THE ICEMAN: SECRETS OF A MAFIA HITMAN with the newly released Dietz interview, this new special edition, THE ICEMAN INTERVIEWS is the ultimate compendium of the mind of a murderer. Includes Richard “The Iceman” Kuklinski’s riveting on-camera confession, exclusively for HBO, of the murder of police officer Peter Calabro. Making news in February 2003, Kuklinski accepted a plea bargain for a concurrent 30-year term to his 60-year prison sentence and implicated Sammy “The Bull” Gravano in the crime. THE ICEMAN INTERVIEWS – this new special edition is guaranteed to run chills up and down your spine all over again.

With minimal creativity you can find these interviews online, but for anyone who’d like to stay on the right side of the law, we have the DVD in media services. Here’s the ultra-chilling cover:

Not happy viewing. But still interesting, and important to understand.