December 31, 1999
December 12, 1999
December 11, 1999
November 26, 1999
November 19, 1999
November 13, 1999
October 23, 1999
October 9, 1999
October 8, 1999
|Jolie's hair looks great like this!|
September 11, 1999
Malcolm: Hey... you are not a freak. Don't you believe anybody that tells you that. It's bull**** (a split second of silence between 'bull' and 'and') and you don't have to grow up believing that. You hear me?I guess it would have been even more odd to change 'bullshit' to something else, and preserve Cole's response?
Cole: You said the "s" word.
Malcolm: Yeah... sorry.
Then there are movies where the swearing is an integral part of the dialog, and a major part of the humor. Watching the film Midnight Run on television is painful. What's the point of watching a scene like this on TV? Just imagine all the changes they made to this dialog- I can't remember them all:
De Niro: I never took a payoff in my life and I'm not gonna start with someone like you.The following substitution is clever, but I would prefer the "split second of silence" technique instead:
Grodin: Why not?
De Niro: Because you're a f*cking criminal and you deserve to go where you're going and I'm gonna take you there and if hear any more sh*t outta you: I'm gonna f*cking bust your head and I'll put you back in that f*cking hole [train lavatory] and I'm gonna stick your head in the f*cking toilet bowl and I'm gonna make it stay there.
Jimmy (Dennis Farina): You and that other dummy better start getting more personally involved in your work, or I'm gonna stab you through the heart with a broken pencil. Do you understand me?
July 30, 1999
Psycho (1960) • Two moments of note: The split second after the shower curtain is pulled back, but before Mother pounces on Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), we get an almost subliminal glimpse into the face of madness. Director Alfred Hitchcock must have spent all day lighting this shot, to obscure Mother's face just enough so we only see a glint of insanity off the eyes, and that's enough. On freeze frame, there's nothing else to see. The second moment comes at the climax of the film, when Lila (Vera Miles) has wandered into the basement and discovered Mother, but she doesn't know Norman (Anthony Perkins) is on his way. The one-two punch of discovering both secrets of Mother and son electrifies the whole audience.
Alien (1979) is full of scares, shocks, and gross-outs, but the scariest sequence has to be when Captain Dallas (Tom Skerritt) goes into the ductwork to find the "chestburster" alien, which escaped the dining area, after escaping from Kane (John Hurt). What the audience and the crew doesn't know is, the chestburster had a growth spurt since he skittered across the breakfast table.
|I love Harry Dean Stanton's costume...|
and I have a reproduction of his cap!
The Shining (1980) is good because it's too long, it has plenty of creepy, shocking, and scary moments, but the scene which still scares me is the Twins In The Hallway scene: Little Danny Torrance (Danny Lloyd) is pedaling around the Overlook Hotel on his Big Wheel, turning corner after corner. Director Stanley Kubrick is brilliant- not only do all these twists and turns disorient the viewer, but it serves to preserve the surprise on repeat viewings. Even a veteran viewer like me doesn't remember which corner will reveal the ghost twins. Then it gets worse. Kubrick cuts in brief glimpses of the twins' untimely demise, but you never know which split-second they'll appear, so you have to watch the whole scene through your fingers, just like poor Danny does in the film. No special effects, no latex, just one line of dialogue "Come play with us Danny..." and a few gallons of fake blood.
Speaking of blood, one of my very first memories of going to the movies was seeing the theatrical teaser trailer for The Shining. The trailer consists of the Elevator Flood Of Blood Scene. Since the film was released in May 1980, I must have been 7 or 8 when I saw it. I remember seeing the trailer, and asking my older brother next to me if the guests were going to drown in all that blood. My brother said (God bless him) that the hotel was closed and no one was there. I remember thinking "gee, what about the janitor? isn't anyone at the hotel?" The Internet Movie Database Trivia Page for The Shining points out that the MPAA normally wouldn't allow such a graphic scene in a trailer approved for All Audiences (like me at 8 years old!) but somehow Kubrick convinced them the blood was actually rusty water(??). I just wanted the MPAA to know, 23 years later, that that trailer scarred me for life.
Poltergeist (1982) had a profound impact on me because I saw it at Halloween time, a few years before I should have. The part which scared me the most (I think I was behind the sofa the whole time) is when the nerdy scientist goes for a midnight snack. The face-melting scene looks really phony now, but it worked very well 20 years ago...
The Thing (1982) • This was a fertile year for scary movies. This film is soaked in paranoia and simmering fear, interspersed with true shocks and creeps. When Dr. Copper (Richard Dysart) is attempting CPR and the man's chest opens like a bear trap, then chops off the Doctor's arms, that's a sign that the patient isn't going to make it. My favorite scare has to be the scene with the severed head which grows spider legs (insert shiver here!)
Silence Of The Lambs (1991) • Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) has discovered Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine), but she's all alone with him, and no backup in sight. Bill escapes into his basement, and Clarice must go after him; his latest victim, Catherine Martin (Brooke Smith), is down there somewhere, and Clarice cannot wait for help to arrive. The basement is a true labyrinth, with no sense of order or geography to the place. What's worse is, Bill could be anywhere. Clarice makes an attempt to search some of the rooms, and finds Catherine down in the well, but then the lights go out. Bill has a night vision scope to hunt Clarice in the dark, but he makes the classic movie blunder: he waits until he is standing directly behind her to cock his gun. Clarice (who is so jumpy she'd shoot anything at this point) spins around and unloads all six shots at point blank range.
The most delightfully scary moment in Signs (2002) is when the whole family is barricading themselves in the basement. The aliens are about to break in, and just in the nick of time, Merrill (Joaquin Phoenix) discovers a shovel to bar the door (or was it a hammer? a pick? It doesn't matter). Merrill grabs the tool and accidentally breaks their only lightbulb. Yes, it's another "Monsters-In-The-Basement-With-The-Lights-Out" Moment, and it works. I was also creeped out by the moment when Merrill finally sees an alien on the Brazilian TV broadcast. The crowd I saw it with was mostly laughing at Joaquin Phoenix's silly/nervous yelling at the TV, but the moment was perfectly rendered. If I had to imagine what a accidental videotaping of an alien on Earth would look like, that would be it.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: The Sixth Sense, The Village, The Blair Witch Project
July 25, 1999
July 18, 1999
July 5, 1999
July 3, 1999
June 27, 1999
June 15, 1999
June 4, 1999
May 19, 1999
Episode IWhat the heck does all of that mean? In Episodes 4-6, the bad guys were big and strong, and they were chasing the good guys, who were small and weak. The bad guys looked like walking skeletons with skull masks, and were led by the seven-foot-tall black samurai. As an 8-year-old in 1980, it wasn't hard to figure out the basics.
THE PHANTOM MENACE
Turmoil has engulfed the
Galactic Republic. The taxation
of trade routes to outlying star
systems is in dispute.
Hoping to resolve the matter
with a blockade of deadly
battleships, the greedy Trade
Federation has stopped all
shipping to the small planet
While the Congress of the
Republic endlessly debates
this alarming chain of events,
the Supreme Chancellor has
secretly dispatched two Jedi
Knights, the guardians of
peace and justice in the
galaxy, to settle the conflict...
In 1999, you had to have minored in Inter-Galactic Diplomacy to determine who's on whose side.
Then Jar Jar Binks arrived. Then Young Anakin spoke. If you had told me in 1983, that Lucas would make three Star Wars prequels, and they'd all stink, I would have never believed it. On May 19 1999, I bought tickets for two screenings in a row. When I walked out of the first screening, I immediately got in line for the next show. Like I said above, I had assumed my whole life that, when the magic day finally arrived, that I would love Episode 1 so much that I would want to see it again instantly. I stood there in that queue, wishing I hadn't spent the money on the second screening. How f***ing sad is that? (May 19 (twice) and May 21 (once); Hoyt's Cinemas Falmouth)
May 14, 1999
May 7, 1999
May 1, 1999
April 28, 1999
April 20, 1999
April 16, 1999
April 9, 1999
March 13, 1999
February 28, 1999
February 27, 1999
January 30, 1999
January 24, 1999
January 2, 1999
January 1, 1999
- Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, Lucinda Williams
- A Higher Place, Tom Petty - I will never forget a Liz Phair concert at Avalon: "A Higher Place" was the last song played on the PA system, after the lights were dimmed, but before Liz emerged onstage.
- Fastball's hit single was "Out of My Head", but I always liked "Fire Escape" better.
- "Tripping Billies" may be my favorite Dave Matthews song.
- "Eileen's Song" Burlap to Cashmere was a total one-hit wonder. I have the album "Eileen's Song" is on. I listened to it once all the way through, and I remember thinking that none of the other songs sounded like this.
- "Holding Back the Years" I always liked this Simply Red song, but I never managed to get it onto a mix until now. It doesn't really blend with the rest of the playlist? Maybe because the MP3 doesn't sound that great. Perhaps I'll rip this song from my LP instead and see if that makes a difference?
- "Stolen Car" Beth Orton
- "Ray of Light" Madonna
- "Alcohol" This was my Barenaked Ladies phase!
- I recently scored 100% on ROCK BAND 2 while singing "My Own Worst Enemy" by Lit.
- "I'm Not Running Anymore" John Mellencamp
- "Sunflower" Paul Weller
- "Circus" Eric Clapton
- "Sally Ann" I found this song on 10,000 Maniacs' CD single for "Candy Everybody Wants".
- "Last Night of the World" Bruce Cockburn