December 26, 1991

Hook

I'm pretty sure I saw this the day after Xmas in Attleboro, MA. Probably the most appropriate application of Spielberg's obession with absent fathers, broken homes, and the magic of childhood.

December 6, 1991

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

A pretty clever Cold War allegory, from Nicholas Meyer, the director of Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan. I love watching starships pummeling the hell out of each other, what a treat.
Kim Cattrall has one of those faces which looks just right as a Vulcan- not everyone can put on those ears and make it work. I also appreciated the little touches which featured the real life of the crew- they sleep in bunkbeds, they have closets for their clothes, there's a kitchen to prepare food. The TV show featured a dining room with a sliding panel where you retrieved your food, like a 23rd century automat.
This was the opening night at the old giant theater on Cambridge Street in Boston, near MGH. Huge crowd!

October 1, 1991

Sex Drugs Rock & Roll

This blog is pretty comprehensive.
When they started printing the names of the movies, the showtimes, etc, on the ticket stubs, I started keeping all my stubs.
I literally kept them in a matchbox at first.
This must have been around 1987-88, and I bet I have only misplaced or forgotten a tiny fraction of all the stubs? Collecting and not losing these little slips of paper dovetails perfectly with my compulsive nature.
When I migrated the box full of stubs (and later a scrapbook full of stubs) onto the Internet, I was able to catch almost all of the movies I saw in the theater since the late 1980s. And of the fraction of movies that I may have missed, I left them out because I can't remember if I saw the movie in the theater or on VHS.
Then there is Sex Drugs Rock & Roll.
I know for sure I saw this movie at the Church St Harvard Square movie theater, I have a very distinct memory of it- but I somehow created and maintained this blog for a decade before I unearthed this memory:
Eric Bogosian is a guest on the Marc Maron WTF podcast this week (December 2015) and somehow seeing his photo with Maron popped three factoids into my front brain:
  1. Oh! I saw that one-man show/movie Sex Drugs Rock & Roll at the Church St Harvard Square theater when I was a freshman in college!
  2. And then I bought the book/script, probably at the Harvard Coop!
  3. And I never put this movie into my blog either!
I remember a couple of the characters/monologues from the one-man show pretty well. Some of the references went over my head, and since I don't do drugs I mostly appreciated the sex and rock & roll parts. NOTE: I don't know what date I saw this movie. According to IMDb it was released September 6, 1991, so I dated this post October 1.

Ricochet

Denzel Washington is Nick Styles, a LAPD cop-turned assistant district attorney. Back in his uniformed LAPD days, he captured master criminal Earl Talbot Blake (John Lithgow) in a dramatic televised arrest. Seven years later, Blake escapes from prison, hot for revenge. Blake's plan involves, if memory serves, abducting Styles, drugging him, and videotaping a sexual encounter between Styles and a hooker, in the bottom of a drained swimming pool, then releasing it to the media.
NOTE: I don't remember the movie this well. I looked up all the details of this movie on the internet. All I remember for sure is the revenge via videotaped sex in the bottom of the drained swimming pool.
This was the first in John Lithgow's Evil Antagonist Trilogy (Ricochet, Raising Cain, and Cliffhanger). Directed by Australian hack Russell Mulcahy (Highlander 1 and 2), who also directed videos for Elton John, Billy Joel, Duran Duran, The Tubes, The Human League, The Buggles, Queen, AC/DC, Bonnie Tyler, and Culture Club.

July 4, 1991

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Still as thrilling as it was in 1991, although the pacing drags in the middle third of the movie. A wonderful example of taking cutting edge CGI technology and creating a character around it. This could have been a dramatically clunky conceit used to show off some neat special effects, but the whole "polymimetic liquid metal" idea works very well. Robert Patrick is great as the Corvette to Arnold's Mack Truck. Kristanna Loken's TX "Terminatrix" in the third movie is pretty un-inventive by comparison

Great Movies I Have Not Seen

I want this diary to not only chronicle the movies I have seen, but also to describe the movies I have not seen. I have featured lists of the highest grossing movies I haven't seen, and the Oscar-nominated Best Pictures I have not seen. Here's another metric: the IMDb Top 250 Movies I Have Not Seen. The Internet Movie Database maintains a list of the 250 best movies as rated by their users. I reviewed the 250 movies (as ranked on 1/26/2007) and here are my findings: IMDb Top 250
  • Total Films: 250
  • I have seen: 194 (theater + home)
  • Not seen: 56 (23%)
Of those 56 movies:
  • English language: 29
  • Foreign language: 27
The Top Ten English language movies I pledge to see:
  • Five Movies from Charlie Chaplin & Buster Keaton:
    • The Gold Rush
    • The General
    • City Lights
    • Modern Times
    • The Great Dictator
  • Two B&W Hitchcock Movies:
    • Rebecca
    • Strangers on a Train
  • Three Early Kubrick Movies:
    • The Killing
    • Paths of Glory
    • Spartacus
    The Top Foreign Language movies I pledge to see:
    • Metropolis
    • M
    • Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (aka Amélie)
    • Der Untergang (aka Downfall)
  • July 1, 1991

    Hot Shots!

    Washout: I just got kicked out of the unit. My flight status has been withdrawn. I'm through, Dead Meat!
    Dead Meat: What happened?
    Washout: It's my eyes. I've got walleye-vision.
    Dead Meat: Isn't there something that can be done?
    Washout: Well, there's a delicate corneal inversion procedure... a multi-opti-pupil-optomy. But, in order to keep from damaging the eye sockets, they've got to go in through the rectum. Ain't no man going to take that route with me!

    June 16, 1991

    Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

    Even the scene-chewing hilarity of Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham cannot redeem Kevin Costner as Robin Hood.
    Sheriff of Nottingham: [to a wench] You! My room. 10:30 tonight. [to another wench] You. 10:45...[looks her over] ...and bring a friend.

    June 1, 1991

    Soapdish

    Celeste Talbert: I realize I'm not a young woman; however, could you PLEASE point out to our new costume designer that I don't feel quite right in a turban. What I feel like is GLORIA FUCKING SWANSON! What am I, seventy, David, am I seventy? Why don't you just put me in a walker? Buy a goddamn walker and put me in it!

    May 25, 1991

    Hudson Hawk

    Bruce Willis is Hudson Hawk, a self-styled Rat Pack-esque cat burglar just released from ten years in prison. He's forced out of retirement by wacky megalomaniacs The Mayflowers (Sandra Bernhard and Richard E. Grant, right) to steal DaVinci artifacts so they can assemble an actual working alchemy machine. Danny Aiello is Hudson's buddy from the old days, and Andie MacDowell is an Vatican nun- or is she a secret Catholic agent?
    Hollywood superstar hubris at its shallowest, Hudson Hawk has Bruce Willis's fingerprints all over it: fresh off two Die Hard movies, and two Look Who's Talking movies (all four smash hits), Willis co-wrote the story and the "theme song" for this showcase of the goofy-cool, wisecracking "Bruce Willis" character: Tougher than David Addison, funnier than John McClane. And of course, he gets to sing! I saw this twice in two days (May 24 and 25) because I was nineteen and bored.

    Also On Memorial Day, Through The Years

    I have been to the movies on Memorial Day Monday 13 times in 24 years, but it's not a great track record. 

    April 26, 1991

    Oscar, starring Sylvester Stallone

    Harmless Mob comedy, directed by John Landis, based on a stage play.

    March 1, 1991

    The Hard Way

    John Moss: You're not gonna learn what it means to be a cop by eating hot dogs and picking your teeth and asking stupid questions. We live this job. It's something we are, not something we do! Every time a cop walks up to a car and has to give a speeding ticket, he know he may have to kill someone or be killed himself. That's not something you step into by strapping on a rubber gun and riding around all day. You get to go back to your million dollar beach house, and your bimbos, and your blow jobs, and you get seventeen takes to get it right. We get one take. It lasts our whole lives. We mess it up (snaps) and we're dead.
    Nick Lang: [picking up a tape recorder] Fuck was that great! Can you just say that one more time for me, please?

    February 1, 1991

    Scenes From A Mall

    I was just starting to get into Woody Allen, and I made the mistake of seeing this movie. The only worse thing than watching Woody act is watching him do someone else's lines...

    January 1, 1991

    The Godfather Part III

    I was aware, of course, of what The Godfather was, but in January 1991, I had not seen either part 1 or part 2 yet. I was only eighteen or nineteen at the time, and I only saw it because all my friends were going. I haven't seen it all the way through since, but I think The Godfather Part 3 is better if you don't know how good parts 1 and 2 were.
    (Liberty Tree Mall, Danvers MA)

    Eve Of Destruction

    Eve VIII (Dutch actress Renée Soutendijk) is a sexy rogue fembot with a nuclear bomb onboard. Colonel Jim McQuade (Gregory Hines) teams up with the robot's creator (also Soutendijk) to disarm her aloof sexiness before Eve VIII (Evil, get it?) destroys the world.