Monday, January 15, 2018

Auteur Watch - Jason Gosbee

Now, I know what you're thinking, but I'm a forgive and forget Atheist, and why should the sins of the father be visited so harshly upon the son?  And... oh, Gosbee!  Phew.  Thank God.  Never mind.  Well, this will be fun, because stunt men want to be directors too.  I mean, take Richard Rush's 1980 masterpiece, The Stunt Man.  Am I right?  They get to hang out with certain stars because they're the same height and what not.  And they get to go to a few of the parties after the film opens, and if you're smart and not get hurt, you'll get to be in a documentary and say you've been someone's stunt double for 20, 30 years.  Well, this Gosbee's a newbie, so there's still time to change careers.  If there's such a thing as a hot stunt double, surely this guy is it.  I mean, look at these credits!  Okay, maybe not the new RoboCop, but still!  Suicide Squad made money, right?  And Man of Steel did pretty well too, yes?  Or at least recouped the important parts of the budget?

Sunday, January 14, 2018

I Am Neeson

More happiness in the Kasdan household!  What on Earth is it about this Jumanji reboot that has it doing so well at the box office?  I almost want to find out for myself.  But whatever lessons Jake learned from his previous efforts such as Bad Teacher and Walk Hard, well... most of those were put aside in favor of this more audience-friendly PG-13 rated effort.  Of course... if the budget's large enough, PG-13 has been known to drift into R territory.  And, for audiences, maybe that's part of the fun.  Maybe they feel like they're getting away with something... oh my God.  He's trying to look like J. J. Abrams, isn't he?  Well, more power to him.  He can do that this weekend, but God help him if he starts a production company that's either a) not good, or b) has anything to do with mechanical contraptions attempting to do the things that humans do much more quickly and fluidly.  True, they haven't unionized yet, but they don't need to, frankly.  People need weekends and vacations, and time to spend that wonderful money they work for.  Speaking of which... I don't know exactly why Mark Wahlberg has to donate his salary to charity for his work on that Ridley Scott film called All the Money in the World.  Alas, it's not in the Top 10 this week, and I can't seem to find on Variety's website where exactly it fits in the Top 100, or the global Top 1000.  Wahlberg is apparently only donating the money he made off the Spacey-free reshoots of said pic, but frankly everyone's probably going to have to declare this a loss on their taxes.  I mean, God bless Ridley Scott and all that.  But I think the Variety reviewer is giving Scott and his latest pic faint praise when he compares this to other Marky Mark pics like Patriots Day, which Peter Debruge referred to as "a modestly budgeted movie " that "needs to attach a star like Wahlberg in order to get made."  First of all... any collaboration between ultra-manly movie star Mark Wahlberg, and ultra-manly movie director Peter Berg is nothing but a labor of love.  Sure, Wahlberg gets millions for it, but it's all about the love.  The love of movies in a strictly heterosexual way.  And second, this is a Ridley Scott picture we're talking about.  It's like a Martin Scorsese picture, post Gangs of New York.  Sure, Ridley's picture may have a modest budget, but the prestige is through the roof.  Scott's the star here, not Wahlberg.  Scorsese's pictures, post Gangs of New York, are not modestly budgeted.  Didn't Hugo cost, like, 170 million?  Well, we don't know... because the IMDb DOESN'T HAVE BUDGET INFORMATION ANYMORE!!!!!!  I have to go to Wikipedia like a shnook to find it!  WIKIPEDIA... which reminds me.  I need to donate to them, don't I?  I believe I said I would, and they did fix that bug they were talking about... nah, not now.
But, then again, this is a writer for Variety we're talking about, and I am just a shnook on the fringes of showbiz, so what do I know?  I'll tell you one thing I know.  Spielberg's The Post came in second this week.  It's been out four weeks and it's only made 23 million dollars domestic... I mean, what can we do about this guy?  Doesn't this guy need to have a hit at some point?  How have his last five or six pictures done?  Have they done well?  I mean, let's leave aside his monstrous hits for a second... and Jurassic World.  That did pretty well.  Any producer would be happy with that one.  But isn't that how the industry used to work?  Don't you have to have a hit again at some point?  I mean, I was browsing around the internets here not too long ago, and I came across this sad anecdote.  Submitted for your approval: the biography of one Rob Cohen.  Now, normally you'd read that and be hatin' on a guy who went to an Ivy League school, at least until you get to what happened to him in 1973.  It says, and I quote, "In 1973, Cohen became Fox's Vice President of TV Movies..."  No one knows what happened to him after that, but before it became your favorite news station, Fox was a movie studio, believe it or not.
Anyway, it's all wine and roses... until you get to the part about a movie called Stealth.  Apparently, he bet the farm on Stealth, and, well... it didn't work out well for him.  He ended up in something called "Hollywood jail."  Now, I've been reading about Hollywood on and off for a long time, and I'm pretty sure they're like any other municipality, with public utilities and roads and yes, some sort of law enforcement facilities.  But Hollywood jail?  Oh well, shows you what I know.  But apparently he got some cool tats out of the deal.  Maybe he'll try playing for the NBA.  If you want to do that these days, you gotta have tats on both arms, minimum.  Basically, you need to look like you've got an ink spider on your naked body these days, if you want to be at all cool.  You need to be ready to either a) go to jail, or b) join the circus with the tats you get.  Sorry... I'm using that construct way too much lately.  Anyway, here's some more hyperbole, and this is on the Stealth IMDb Trivia page.  I'll copy and paste this one: "The film made $76.9 million, against a budget of $135 million.The $58.1 million loss made it one of the biggest box office bombs of all time."  (Fun fact: I copied it from the web site, then pasted it into Notepad, before copying and pasting it into my blog entry!  This way, I lose all the messy formatting that can typically come from copying and pasting web text.)  Now... first of all, I didn't realize that these trivia sections could be so hyperbolic.  Just the facts, please.  I mean, don't talk to me about the biggest box office bombs.  I know my bombs.  Last Action Hero... okay, maybe not a huge bomb, but when it opened in the shadow of the first Jurassic Park, it maybe underperformed a bit.  How about The Adventures of Pluto Nash?  Huge bomb!  100 million budget, opened in ninth place, something like that.  And again, Wikipedia's got the numbers!  So, Rob, do the math on this one.  100 million budget, 7.1 million box office.  Who's biggest now, b'atch?  Or, take Heaven's Gate, for a more classical example.  Again, Wikipedia for the numbers.  Budget: 44 million.  Box Office: 3.5.... million, that is.  And this was 1980, when a dollar was actually worth something.  Sure, Bezos is worth 105 billion now... but how much of that is stock?  And does he do that douche-y thing where he makes only one dollar a year as the CEO of Amazon?  Well, DOES he?
Now I'm curious about what they say about Ishtar.  Wikipedia says: budget: $51 million, box office $14 million.  Apparently, it was #1 the week it opened.  Different time.  Oh, the things Dustin got away with back then.  But you know what?  Ishtar was fun to make.  Warren was going out with Isabelle Adjani, life was sweet, and it certainly helped them out on their next projects: an Oscar for Dustin for Rain Man, and Warren ended up making Dick Tracy soon after, with Ishtar's lighting cameraman Vittorio Storaro, no less!  I think what I'm trying to say to Rob is: whatever lessons you were supposed to learn from your experiences on the movie Stealth, well... you didn't learn them.  Just take any royalty checks you get from any and all future installments of Fast and the Furious and BE HAPPY.  The people who actually buy tickets to your movies seem to be!
But now it's time to take some time and bemoan my station in life.  Oh why oh why can't I be blogging for Huffington Post about the opening bit for this weekend's "Saturday Night Live"?  If I were, I'd get to type something like "Bill Murray Appeared as Steve Bannon, And I Was Happy.  Click Link to Read."  But I will admit that some of the old anger bubbled up a bit!  But only briefly, and then I sat back to just soak it all in.  I will say this, however: whoever gets credit for starting the whole Rosie O'Donnell as Steve Bannon movement must not have been happy!  And if they were, well... THEY DON'T DESERVE TO BE!  That's my big complaint about the movie Julie & Julia, because Julie was watching that SNL bit where Dan Aykroyd does an impression of Julia Child... AND SHE WAS LAUGHING!!!!  No.  You don't get to laugh at that.  Contrast that with that scene from Billy Crystal's Mr. Saturday Night that I believe I've referenced at least once already.  Again, well on my way to becoming a dottering old fool.  But we see Buddy Young's brother and wife watching TV.  They're watching Sid Caesar, and they're laughing.  I mean, that's Sid Caesar for you.  He was the man back then!  He was on TV and he was actually funny... not like Milton Berle, who was just on TV because he knew it was important.  No, Sid was and still is a comic genius, and Buddy Young's brother and wife are watching and laughing... and then we pan over to Buddy Young himself (Billy Crystal) NOT laughing.  A lot.  Quite the opposite.  If there's a more honest scene about showbiz rivalries, I don't want to know about it... actually, I do, because I'm still pretty sure that one doesn't exist.
...man, something's going on with me!  I must feel like typing again!  No, I know what it is.  Well, we're going through some changes here in the household, and I'm finally out of my mother's basement and I've got a desktop computer in my room now!  With internet access!  However... and this is a big however... the modem is in the other room, a bedroom, and it's apparently on 24 hours a day.  Now one of these is going to get tired at some point: either a) the modem, or b) the resident who has to look at those blinking lights all night.  One of them is going to file a complaint soon, and I hope it's not the modem.  Fortunately, it seems to be well ventilated.  When you're addicted to the internet, you need it as uncut as possible.
Anyway, back to the movies.  I actually did want to say something about Liam Neeson.  I don't get to watch all his stuff... frankly, there's too much of it.  But he did drop a bombshell recently on Colbert: he's going to be in "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs"!  In a bowler hat, no less!  The IMDb ain't got it yet, tee hee hee... Of course, through the first Darkman he was already tangentially connected to the Coens, and they were probably thinking about a project for him.  They always say that about certain actors, that they had a project in mind for them.  Not Marlon Brando, though.  Too temperamental, to put it kindly.  Hence their corner of the sandbox, with its rigidly defined borders.  Did anyone else notice this?  Take a look at the poster for Liam's latest and greatest, The Commuter.  Now look at the poster for the first Taken movie.  Similar much?  I'm telling you, for those two posters alone he ought to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  But I will say this about this new movie called The Commuter, which I believe reunites Liam with director Jaume Collet-Serra on a little movie called Unknown... hmm!  Now look at the poster for that!  Third one's a spanking, if memory serves.  But I will still try to say this about that Commuter movie, and it's about the part where the train's going around a corner and almost comes off the track.  CGI much?  Bear in mind, National Imagemakers, I live near where that train recently plummeted to Earth in Olympia, Washington.  I can still see the bridge graffiti in my mind even now... what did it say?  Lab rat, maybe?  Memory's not serving now.  Better get to bed.  But before I do, there's a gentle rapping at my door.  Probably the cat.
The only other debuts this week are Paddington 2 and something called Proud Mary, which is about Taraji P. Henson doing a project in between seasons of "Empire."  I mean... she's still on that show, right?  Keep on boinin', grrlfriend!  Stay ahead of that big wheel.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Auteur Watch - Berry Gordy

Can't do it, Firefox... still too slow.  Anyway, back on topic.  Every once in a while, a personality comes along, and you know it.  Maybe not Stephen King-level or Tyler Perry-level fame, but up there.  I mean, everyone knows Berry Gordy's The Last Dragon.  No one can tell you exactly why it's called that... maybe it's a Milton Berle type deal.  If only it were the last dragon.  Sadly, on the radio station at work, we'll be forced to hear "Lightning and Thunder" by Imagine Dragons for what could be the rest of our lives!  Along with obscure 80s hits that dream of being '70s hits that get played to death.  Too bad real dragons can't be summoned into existence to eat the members of Imagine Dragons and all the catchy records they produce.  Well, just that "Lightning and Thunder" one, for starters.  First of all, it's the wrong order.  Technically, yes, first there's lightning, with thunder usually following soon after.  But lyrically, everyone generally sings about thunder and lightning.  I believe even Jethro Tull says "Thunder and lightning, couldn't be bolder" in one of their big hits that they don't like anymore.  I mean, hey!  Even Warren Zevon tried to get Larry Sanders to not request "Werewolves of London."  A fool's dream, to be sure.
...did I get off track again?  Oops.  Well, that's the kind of thing that didn't happen to our next auteur, Berry Gordy, that's for sure.  Somehow he's managed to escape the Purge of Powerful Men of 2017... note to self: idea for next installment of that douche-y Purge series.  Well, it's not too late.  He's only 89 years old and must be guilty of some hanky panky.  Powerful men typically are, especially those even tangentially connected to the music industry.  And even though the IMDb has dropped their very useful feature of displaying the budget of some films, there's always celebritynetworth.com to keep a close eye on the individual people involved.  And Berry's apparently north of $300 million!  God bless those Jackson 5 royalties.  But, as with The Last Dragon, Berry's as human as the next man, wanting to conquer new worlds.  After all, feature films give you a better opportunity to tell longer stories.  A song is typically 3 to 4 minutes tops.  And yes, yes, we know... concept albums are 45 minutes; 22.5 per one side of an album, or up to 80 minutes if you burn a CD right.
And a blog post ain't too shabby, either!  Shucks, with a guy like Gordy, you could devote a couple pages to all his songs at least!  One success story after another.  Some guys are just lucky that way.  Some are born to sweet delight, others to endless night.  I'm thinkin' Gordy's a sweet delight-kinda guy... wow.  They don't have that one?  That's, like... the best passage in that movie.  Rick Ducommun and Rick Overton in the bowling alley with Bill Murray?  Sorry, still taking too long to get to my point.  But I did mention Stephen King earlier, and he and Berry Gordy do indeed have this one thing in common, I just realized.  And this is where the IMDb once again comes in handy.  No wonder its CEO is a billionaire.  Anyway, you go to Stephen King's IMDb online résumé under "Director" and you will find one entry.  I've provided the link for you.  Now go to Berry Gordy's IMDb online résumé under "Director" and what do you find?  That's right!  Well, as of this writing (1/14/'18), just the one entry!  Nothing in development on the horizon, no hint of a second stab at it... just the one.  In Berry's case, a thinly veiled autobiography called Mahogany... the blackest wood there is.  Oops... my bad.  Now I'm going to lose my corporate sponsors, if I had any.  Does that ever happen?  Do corporate sponsors ever invest in something just so they can then pull out of it and publicly say they made a huge mistake?  Must be the lack of sleep typing or something.  I just assumed that "Mahogany" was a code name for... for an  African American secret agent!  You know, like Shaft!  Alas, no, the title's not so easily explainable, it just sounds enigmatic.  What we got here is the basic rags to riches Horatio Alger-type story, but through the lens of the fashion industry... okay, this will be the thing I learned today.  Maybe I forgot it when I first heard of Horatio Alger in public school.  That's the author's name!  And he was born in 1832... and apparently Horatio was still a very popular name back then.  Seems a bit archaic now, stuck very snugly in the works of Shakespeare. 
But the point I'm taking much longer than usual to get to is that Berry Gordy conquered his corner of the music industry and was looking around for another hobby to try.  Why not film directing?  That seems like fun.  Long story short: it wasn't.  He was more comfortable producing Diana Ross, not directing her.  Hold on a sec... note to self: Taraji P. Henson in The Diana Ross Story.  Okay, I'm back.  And if it's true, that Tony Richardson was involved with this turkey but dropped out, well... oh, he was fired?  Two Oscars?  Director of The Loved One and The Loneliness of the Long Distance RunnerTHAT guy got fired?  How'd that work out for you long term, Berry?  Just curious.  Boy, Hollywood can be cruel.  Gotta especially be careful these days.  Well, I guess they keep a close eye on the kids of the rich and powerful, anyway.  The Hollywood child molesters apparently know who's who: for example, who just came in off the bus, and the cast of "Girls," for example.  But I did want to ... because I am in the process of becoming an old man, and this is the only story I know about a director getting replaced on a movie.  It's a movie I'm embarrassed to say we actually tried to watch as a family on VHS once upon a time, and it's called Venom.  It's basically like Jaws, except it's a poisonous snake, and not a shark, and it takes place inside one house, and not at the beach.  Apparently, Tobe Hooper was the original director.  You know, the original Poltergeist, the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  What a lemon.  So they replaced him with Piers Haggard.  No, not the Secret Agent.  He's a director!  Of films!  And British TV.  Sure, his résumé lacks the polish and clarity of, say, Michael Winner, or a J. Lee Thompson, but still.  So he takes over the direction.  And he gets to watch Susan George undress... one of the perks of directing, I suppose.  Apparently, that scene took, like, six weeks to get right.  But you gotta like some of the crew working on Venom.  You got Martin Bregman before he got into the Al Pacino business on an almost exclusive basis.  You got music by Michael Kamen!  He was trapped for a while in that circle near Monty Python and the Beatles for a while.  And for you fans of cinematographers, there's Gilbert Taylor.  His IMDb Top 4 doesn't quite tell the whole story.  Sure, the first installment of Star Wars ain't too shabby... and we probably have to skip Repulsion because of Roman Polanski.  But what about Dr. Strangelove and A Hard Day's Night?  Are these chopped liver all of a sudden?  The D.P. who was fired, along with original director Tobe Hooper, was Anthony Richmond.  His IMDb Top 4 tells the story of a British D.P. who's clearly in hell.  If he's a drinker, I'll bet there's a lot of it just before the next installment of Diary of a Wimpy Kid starts principal.  And yet, somehow, his work on Let It Be isn't Top Four-worthy.  I guess because there was so much of it, not just the rooftop concert it all culminates in.  Paul never did get that big, unbroken crane shot he wanted, did he?  That's why it's left out.  Anyway, somehow the story of all these people getting together to make this piece of sh... oe leather movie about a black mamba loose in a house.  Well, there was a lot of cocaine in Hollywood back then, and apparently the head honchos over at Paramount and Thorn EMI got way too much of it when this property came across their desks.  Maybe someday the making of Mahogany will be as interesting.  For now, neither film seems to be on TCM's roster.

Insidious: The First Box Office

...of 2018, that is!  And I could theoretically keep it short this week.  Man, did I have a day today.  Not my typical day; had to do that last big push before you move someone out of a house, you know?  Guess my back doesn't hurt too bad; ought to be able to do the day job tomorrow.
But back to the reason I should keep this blog post short.  There was only one debut this week!  The latest installment of a Blair-Witch type franchise deal called Insidious.  According to its IMDb "Connections" page, this is the fourth installment.  But like most sequels these days, they're ashamed of the dreadful Roman numeral that used to accompany sequels once upon a time back in the day, a mere stone's throw ago.  Instead it's called, full disclosure... Insidious: The Last Key.  Of course, with a performance like it had this weekend (edging out the latest Star Wars, no less!) it probably won't be the last installment of this franchise.  They could probably squeeze out a prequel or two.  Guess they're too proud to go Netflix or Amazon Prime with it... I know, I know, it's just called "Prime" now, with that little smirk.  Maybe they should call it "Smug, 90 Billion Dollar Smirk Prime."  They could team up with DreamWorks Animation and call it The DreamWorks Amazon Prime Smug Smirk Happy Hour, and premier it on HBO!  You know, just to stick it to the doubters out there.  Reclaim the dominion that TV once held not so long ago.
...where was I?  Oh, right.  One last thought about the Insidious franchise.  The star of this franchise apparently is no less than Lin Shaye... that's right, a close relation to big shot and former head of New Line Cinema Bob Shaye.  I think she's just relieved that 2001 Maniacs is no longer in her IMDb Top 4.  Man, that was getting old.  It's good, but not THAT good!
No, the big story this week is the rise, then fall, then rise again of that Jumanji reboot.  Whatever you'd call it.  It's making so much bank that they're thinking of doing author Chris Van Allsburg's The Z was Zapped... Might have a hard time padding the alphabet out to feature length, though.  Maybe they could get the brains behind Paris, Je T'Aime to whip something together, get 26 international directors together.  You know, get Catherine Breillat to change it to "The R was raped."  Or maybe make it a Disney attraction where you go into a room with ten screens in a circle around your head, and you watch a movie.  You know, cinema in the round.  And then, when the camera pans down, everyone gets sea sick and throws up.  Lucky they have one of those floors made of wire mesh, right?  Tee hee hee.  But back to Jake Kasdan, director of said Jumanji.  He still gets to thumb his nose at brother Jon at the Thanksgiving table in the Kasdan household.  But Jake won't get to sing "Are you Bombing, Are you Bombing, Brother Jon?  Brother Jon?" much longer, because... why, look!  Brother Jon is getting into the Star Wars business!  Lock, stock and two smoking Tie Fighter barrels!  Time for another Star Wars prequel, my friends!  Now, sure, Jake could be cruel and look at that credits list and say "An assist from dad, eh?  AGAIN?"  Oh, but he wouldn't stoop to that.  Father Lawrence has to break them up yet again and say "I'm proud of both of you... just don't make me watch your movies, please."

Monday, January 01, 2018

Short Reviews - January 2018

"A 2nd Chance" - With Frank Starkenberg as Frank

Acqua In Bocca - Con Frank Piazza come Frank

"The Adventures of Lano & Woodley" - With Frank Woodley as Frank (13 episodes)

"The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok" "Sundown Valley" - With Frank Christi as Frank

Africa Shakes - With Frank Fenter as Frank

Aiden - With Frank Otis as Frank

AIDS: The Coming Danger - With Frank Garbo as Frank

Albany Street - With Frank Brescia as Frank

"Alice" "Mel Spins his Wheels" - With Frank Schuller as Frank

"All My Children" "Episode #1.12" - With Frank Moran as Frank

The Amateur... or, Revenge of the Quadricorn - With Frank Divanna as Frank

Amberes - With Frank Merkx as Frank

American Grandmaster: The Life and Death of Mr. Parker - With Frank Trejo as Frank

Amor ou Ódio - With Frank Moreira as Frank

Angels Hard as They Come - With Frank Charolla as Frank

Anna - With Frank Jicha as Frank

The Appointment - With Frank Rogers as Frank

"Armchair Theatre" "Always Something Hot" - With Frank Thornton as Frank

"Arty Farty" - With Frank Stead as Frank (2 episodes)

At Ellen's Age - Mitt Frank de Witt als Frank

Baby Let Your Hair Hang Down - With Frank Sobrio as Frank

Backed Up - With Frank Rosenberg as Frank

"The Bakery" - With Frank Buxton as Frank

"Baretta" "The Mansion" - With Frank Christi as Frank

Battle - With Frank Williams as Frank

"Baywatch" "Forbidden Paradise: Part 1" - With Frank Moran as Frank

"Baywatch: Forbidden Paradise" - With Frank Moran as Frank

Beautiful Joe - With Frank C. Turner as Frank

The Better Half - With Frank Velasco as Frank

"Beyond the Bermuda Triangle" - With Frank Schuller as Frank

Black & White - With Frank Adonis as Frank

Blue Streak - With Frank Medrano as Frank

Boogievision - With Frank Millen as Frank

"(The) Boys From the Bush" "Mateship" - With Frank Bren as Frank

Break - With Frank Krueger as Freddy Frank

"The Bride of Frank" - With Frank Meyer as Frank... also with Charley Wolinsky as Young Frank

"Bunch of Five" "Blue Heaven" - With Frank Skinner as Frank

Bungalow - Mitt Frank Breitenreiter als Frank

Caitlyn Plays Herself - With Frank V. Ross as Frank

The Cake Maker - With Frank Scantori as Frank

Cass - With Frank Bruno as Frank

Chained for Life - With Frank Mosley as Frank

Changing Face of Harlem - With Frank Anderson as Frank

Chicago After Midnight - With Frank Mills as Frank

"CHiPs" - With Frank Farmer as Frank (2 episodes)

Closing Numbers - With Frank Mills as Frank

Closing Time - With Frank Kasy as Frank

Corn Chip Feet - With Frank Halbiger as Frank

"Cracked" - With Frank Gallagher as Frank (6 episodes)

"Crime Strike" "Pool Party Pandemonium" - With Frank Krueger as Frank

"Crossing the Mob" - With Frank Sivero as Frank

The Crossroads of Fate - With Frank Lambert as Frank

Cruce - With Frank Mendez as Frank

"Customer Diss-Service" - With Frank Noon as Frank (17 episodes)

Danny Boy - With Frank Schiellerup as Frank

Daredevils of the Clouds - With Frank Melton as Frank

Dead End - With Frank Maier as Frank

Dead Man's Hand - With Frank Dudley as Frank

Deal - With Frank Sheppard as Frank

The Definition of Insanity - With Frank Krias as Frank... also featuring Robert Nassau as Frank Matter.  Co-written and co-directed by Frank Matter.  Sorry... just felt the need to point all that other stuff out for some reason.

Diaries - With Frank Juchniewicz as Frank

Die Wolken - Mitt Frank Arend als Frank

"The Diner" - With Frank Gachelin as Frank

Distant Light - With Frank Wong as Frank

Do Laugh - With Frank Gangarossa as Frank

Donovan Slacks - With Frank Tucker as Frank

"Dragnet" "Housewife Hustler" - With Frank Fowler as Frank

Ella - With Frank Califano as Frank

"Emergency!" "An Ounce of Prevention" - With Frank Farmer as Frank

En kveld på Bodils - Wik Frank Dåbu as Frank and a Moose ... Yumpin' Yiminy!

Events - With Frank Cavestani as Frank

"Every Second Counts" - With Frank Cassini as Frank

Evil Deeds 2 - With Frank Merlino as Frank

"Familie" - Avec Frank Coosemans son Frank (5 episodes)

Fearing Aid - With Frank Vohs as Frank

Fire Island Fever - With Frank Schmitt as Frank (non-sexual role) .................. ............

Fish Bait: The Movie - With Frank Murphy as Frank

Flaugstad - Wik Frank Dåbu as Frank and a Moose ... Yumpin' Yiminy!

Flowers for the Man in the Moon - Mitt Frank Mettchen als Frank

For Those We Love - With Frank Campeau as Frank

"Fortune Teller" - With Frank Erdman as Frank

Fourhand - With Frank Lévy as Frank

Frank - With Frank Handman as Frank

Frank's Dream - With Frank Stead as Frank

Frank's Nightmare - With Frank Moore as Frank

"Frank's Song" - With Frank Pinocchio as Frank

A Friend in Need - With Frank Borzage as Frank

Full of Regret - With Frank Drank as Frank ... this just might be my new favourite!

The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini - With Frank Alesia as Frank

Ghostbite - Avec Frank Bosson son Frank

Give Frank a Break - With Frank Woodley as Frank... and with just Frank in the cast, hmm!  Must be quite a break!

Gloria - With Frank Budelman as Frank

Go With Le Flo - With Frank Kallinowski as Frank

Going Nowhere - With Frank Thomas as Frank

Guns of the Trees - With Frank Kuenstler as Frank

Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench - With Frank Garvin as Male Prostitute Frank

Had Enough - With Frank Drank as Frank

Haneda hatsu 7 ji 50 pun - With Frank Nagai as Frank

Hard Drive - With Frank Ornowski as Frank

Hard Luck Bill - With Frank Tempest as Frank

Harley - With Frank Kuntz as Frank... also with Frank Kuntz Sr. as Hungarian Truck Driver.  Also, careful how you pronounce the name.

"Heartbeat" - With Frank Lauder as Frank (2 episodes)

Heat Lightning - With Frank McHugh as Frank

Hello Au Revoir - With Frank Fazio as Frank... also with Lampros Kalfuntzos as Frank.  Also with Jean-Pierre Yerma as Frank!!  ALSO with Nick Dispensa as Frank the A.D. !!!!!!  And to a lesser extent, with Daniel Keen as Frankie.  Also with Frankie Mileto as Frankie!!!  Also with Frankie Storm!  This is the greatest film ever.  I can probably retire now.

High Lonesome - With Frank Cordell as Frank

High Times Potluck - With Frank Adonis as Frank

Higher and Higher - With Frank Sinatra as Frank

"Highway Patrol" "Trojan Horse" - With Frank Marlowe as Frank

Hollywood Varieties - With Frank Rio as Frank

Home Sweet Home - With Frank Randle as Frank

How to Get a Date - With Frank Carrijo as Frank

"How to Not" "How to Not: Give Up" - With Frank D'Arrigo as Frank.  Also with Frank D'Arrigo Jr. as Frank Jr.

I Love You, I Love You Not - With Frank Millen as Frank

I Think Bad Thoughts - With Frank Drank as Frank

I.Q. - With Frank Whaley as Frank

Inside Fighter - With Frank lo Porto as Frank

The Interval - With Frank Williams as Frank

Italian Stallion - With Frank Micelli as Frank

Ivan Shade, Undead P. I. - With Frank Nicosia as Frank

Jews N the Hood - With Frank Goldstein as Frank... also with Ben Goldstein as Frank.  Wonder if they're related.  Hmmm.....................

Jogger's Road - With Frank Tedesco as Frank

Jugular Wine: A Vampire Odyssey - With Frank Miller as Frank

"Julie Lescaut" "Contre la Montre" - Avec Frank Geney son Frank

Junkie Heaven - With Frank Fileti as Frank

Keep 'Em Slugging - With Frank Albertson as Frank

Kiriko No Tango - With Frank Nagai as Frank

The Kitchen - With Frank Pettitt as Frank

"Klasgeheimen" "Episode #2.7" - Mitt Frank Molnar als Frank

"Klovn" - Med Frank Hvam som Frank (60 episodes)

Klown - Med Frank Hvam som Frank

L. A. Streetfighters - With Frank Marmolejo as Frank

L'Ariamara - With Frank Gigante as Frank

"La Femme Nikita" "Not Was" - With Frank Bishun as Frank

The Labyrinth & The Long Road - With Frank Genniro as Frank

"Lano & Woodley: Goodbye" - With Frank Woodley as Frank

"Lano & Woodley: The Island" - With Frank Woodley as Frank

Last Day - With Frank Nickel as Frank

The Last Stop Café - With Frank Sharp as Frank

Leave It to Beaver - With Frank Bank as Frank

The Legacy - With Frank Whitaker as Frank

Lethal Weapon Cowboy - With ... yup, you guessed it... Frank Stallone as Frank

The Lights of Benjela - With Frank Joseph as Frank... also with Arnaldo Santos as Parceiro de Frank

"Likely Stories, Vol. 2" - With Frank Sivero as Frank

Lions' Den - With Frank Mosley as Frank... incidentally, for those of you who are keeping score of such things, as well you should... this is another one of those films with a small cast, and everyone plays a character that has the same first name.  100%.  Who knows?  Maybe it's a documentary actually!

"Little Mosque on the Prairie" "Rules R Rules" - With Frank Deluca as Frank

Lowball - With Frank Toscano as Frank

Lucky Dip - With Frank Boyce as Frank

"M54 Epidemic" - With Frank Hernandez as Frank

Ma!  He's Making Eyes at Me - With Frank Mitchell as Frank

Maca - With Frank Emeka as Frank

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Auteur Watch - Linda Goode Bryant

Oh, thank God!  Another short one.  These days I prefer the non-prolific auteurs.  You give me that 20 year Malick-style hiatus any day.  Doesn't seem to hurt the work, right?
Anyway, of the three directorial efforts of said Linda Goode Bryant, only one has gotten any critical attention, and that's the one called Flag Wars.  See if you can guess what it's about... that's right!  It's about gay white professionals encroaching on the real estate of a black working-class neighborhood.  Sorry, if you thought it was about "Dukes of Hazzard" star John Schneider's crusade for protecting the American flag, well... close second.  Anyway, in the one interview that the link still works for, the reviewer points out that Linda's cinema verité style doesn't invoke the worst parts of Michael Moore's documentary style.  HOWEVER... and this is a big however... I mean, look at it!  It's in all caps, for Gawd'z zake!... she DOES use some of Michael Moore's style of documentary filmmaking, in that she goes home again to her proverbial Flint, Michigan, and apparently it's also Ground Zero of this housing conflict.  Not enough nuance for the one lone reviewer overall, but then again is there ever enough?

And Speaking of All the Money...

Welp, the only debut this week is All the Money in the World.  Debuting in seventh place, it seems that people are tiring of profiles of the super rich.  Was "The Simple Life" so long ago?  At least, if Kevin Spacey were still in it, people would get a chance to go out and yell at the movie screen for two hours!  Might be therapeutic.  But ultra-powerful film director Ridley Scott had to do the right thing, and redo the whole movie with Christopher Plummer instead.  Bit of a trade off.  But Plummer's done impressions before: Mike Wallace, F. Lee Bailey... doing an impression of Kevin Spacey doing an impression of J. Paul Getty's not much of a stretch.
But alas, a remake of Citizen Kane was not popular this weekend, despite the ad blitz on various media outlets.  I tell you, Marky Mark must be kicking himself for being a part of a big, stinky bomb like that.  Why didn't he just do that sequel to Contraband that his manager TOLD him to do in the first place?  No, the big winner was once again the latest installment of Star Wars, followed damn close this weekend by the Jumanji sequel/reboot, followed by Pitch Perfect 3, followed by a P. T. Barnum bio-pic, followed by a re-envisioning of Ferdinand the Bull... is there nothing original?  Does everything, and I mean everything have to be remade?  In 12-bit color in Real3D for 4K Ultra-HD Blu-Ray resolution?  We'll spare the 100GB vs. 47GB discussion for the message boards, but I mean really... are there no new ideas under the sun?  We just saw the first episode of "Stranger Things" tonight.  Kind of an "X-Files" meets "Super 8" just barely in the 1980s.  Oh, and with a little "Freaks and Geeks" thrown in for good measure.  I guess we're not moving on to Episode 2: The Wedgie-ing of the Kid Who Looks Like a Young Patton Oswalt.  We're still trying to binge watch Season 4 of "Silicon Valley," for Gawd'z zake!  It's due back at the library on the 9th!
So everything under the sun worth watching... and by watching, I mean flipping past on the Netflix list... is going to get remade.  But you know one thing that might not get remade?  Jailhouse Rock.  One of my roommates pointed that out for me; gave me permission to post it on Facebook.  Thought I'd just save it for you, my faithful readers, instead.  Sorry about being so late today, incidentally.  I was finally able to transfer power over to another computer!  Yay for me.  You know what else won't get remade?  Clambake... wow!  Guess I don't know Elvis as well as I thought I did.  Those two didn't make his IMDb Top 4.  Of course, with a guy like Elvis, really, his IMDb Top 4 should say "Known for... well, for being Elvis, for Gawd'z zake!  F... Frickin' ELVIS, man!"  Sorry, it's hard for me to keep it clean when I'm blogging about the king.  Some Like it Hot probably can't be remade, either.  All of the Norma Jean Desmond catalogue is probably safe; apparently they got it right the first time.  How about Jean Harlow in Bombshell or Libeled Lady?  How does that work anyway?  Do Hollywood screenwriters have a bunch of these type of scripts in their library just waiting for the right kind of potent sex symbol to come along and play the part?  Or do they kind of write them on the fly just after these people quickly rise to the top?  Thinly-veiled autobiographical versions of themselves?
...aww, did my roommate take... I mean, borrow my headphones?  Oh well, I didn't need them that much, I guess.  I think I still have one or two pairs of earbuds left... but as you might know, I do hate those.  I blame them for my body's overproduction of earwax, and general ear malaise in general.  Nothing to sue over, mind you, but I'd rather have a slight pain in the edges of my ears than the much worse things that earbuds seem to cause.  Guess I didn't know how to end that last paragraph.  Welp, I'm going to celebrate the new year by going to bed early.  Gotta get ready for the paying job on Tuesday.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Auteur Watch - Sunu Gonera

I dunno... Maybe a little jealous, but you gotta be happy for the guy.  Just sounds a little bit like he's been tooting his own IMDb horn a tad.  Don't the "trade marks" sound a bit too positive?  A bit of sadness in there, tho(ugh); rugby's loss, I guess.  AND the banking community!
Alas, after working his way up through "running" past TV commercials... wonder if Ridley Scott still does them... then on to his big American silver screen debut with 2007's Pride... hmm!  What does that poster remind me of... that's it!  That was my first thought, with gay porn a close second... DISTANT!  I mean distant.  But even the best of those who succumb to the allure of Hollywood get disappointed after a while.  Take Omarosa, for instance!  What would Optimus Prime do after getting kicked out of the White House?  To be fair, he's a big guy-type robot, and there are a lot of antiques in that old house.  A bit like a bull in a china shop.
But as positive as Sunu is about life, clearly there's no positive spin to be had about going from the silver screen to directing an episode of "Madam Secretary."  Could always be worse!  Sure, CBS doesn't have the zazz and or sex appeal of, say, an original series on Netflix or Amazon Prime, but still pretty good!  He's not tired of getting it done quickly already, is he?  That's the one drawback about network TV these days... long hours, quick setups.  Oh, you gotta be a sprinter, and probably willing to get four hours of sleep on a mattress behind the set.  A good few feet behind the standing plywood, in case you roll over in your sleep a lot.  Saves you on hotel bills!

First Christmas Under the Orange Moon

Welp, if nothing else, there's happiness amongst the Kasdans this weekend: Lawrence, because his baby of many fathers Star Wars did well at the box office again, and son Jake, because the Jumanji sequel came in a close second.  Just saw the original Jumanji on sale at Walmart!  Couldn't bring myself to buying it, though.  Sorry, Robin... I guess I was just more of a fan of your talk show appearances to push the movies you were in.
But dayamn, man!  We got FIVE debuts this week!  That's like... half of the top ten!  We got Pitch Perfect 3... these days no one wants to risk a fourth installment of anything, but really, the "Pitch Perfect" idea will probably live on and re-manifest itself somehow, sometime in the future.  Meanwhile, Hugh Jackman's non-Wolverine-related latest looks like it's on its way to bombing... and hard.  But hey!  It's got that La La Land magic attached to it!  You don't usually see that, a film that says "From the Academy Award winning lyricists of..."  Move over, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber... La La Land lives on!
There's also Matt Damon's latest, as well as Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor's latest called Downsizing.  One of my more jaded friends pointed out that it's basically a knock-off of... The Incredible Shrinking Man?  One of those.  Of course, that one was an homage to Edgar Allan Poe, as well as a searing commentary on the Blacklist... probably.  I'm confident that Downsizing is more of a searing commentary on Capitalism of these, the late 2017s, the post-Amazon world where Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos are jockeying for first place; meanwhile the rest of us have to go to extreme measures just to make ends meet.  Apparently, too depressing a premise this weekend.  Also, they're trying to sweep up Damon in this next new wave of powerful men getting toppled because of charges of sexual harassment.  My favorite new one is that Miss America pageant guy... not Trump, but a different guy.  He sent out a bunch of nasty emails, but they can't throw him out on harassment charges... at least, not against any of the women.  He doesn't go that way.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Auteur Watch - Alain Gomis

Personally, I can't tell which of Alain's eight directorial credits is the best one, but most of them are in his IMDb Top 4.  I guess it might be too much to ask to have a feature where the actual person themselves picks out their own top 4.  They usually prefer the latest and greatest anyway, as with Guillermo del Toro and his The Weight of Water... I mean The Shape of Water.  But I did notice this right away, being an extremely visual person... check out the poster for Moonlight, and then check out the poster for Félicité.  Variations on a theme, I'm just sayin'... Then there's the poster for Brotherly Love... I remembered that reference from MY VERY OWN BLOG!  My God... it's like some kind of resource I can use now.  Anyway, back to Alain.  Welp, he's got the auteurs' prolificity; a new film every two years or so.  Can it be maintained, however?  And will he resist those tempting offers from Luc Besson to direct Taken 4?  More to come.

More Star-sploitation... War-sploitation?

Now that Disney owns just about everything... is a Lone Ranger sequel asking too much?... they're celebrating Christmas early over at the Magic Kingdom.  Yes, the new Star Wars movie is #1, big surprise, thereby ensuring Looper 2, should director Rian Johnson decide to tell that story.  Me myself, I'll probably just see it on Blu-Ray at home at some point.  So far, no spoiler alerts at work.  Meanwhile, Wonder, The Disaster Artist and Lady Bird seem to be the only films that might actually get an Oscar next year... ooh!  I know what I wanted to blog about!  So I'm at the gas station a couple days ago; Star Wars was already out, but the little news blurb wasn't updated yet!  They have a feature where they tell you what the #1 book and the #1 movie is.  Naturally, since I'm not the Book Hooligan, I couldn't tell you what the #1 book was... but they said the #1 movie was STILL COCO!  B.S. it is!
And speaking of B.S., Disney leased Ferdinand (the Bull) to 20th Century Fox so the Ice Age people could turn it into a CGI comedy for the modern era.  Yes, the Oscar-winning Disney short has finally gotten the Pixar feature length treatment it deserves... and it came in a distand 2nd place after Star Wars.  Apparently it's the best place to be.  "Hey, we did what we could!  We're up against Star Wars, you know!"  It's like the other acts that appeared on Ed Sullivan the night that the Beatles were on.  A few historians might care who they were... but that's about it.  Oh, and the real hardcore Beatles fans, of course.  Gotta rub it in someone's face!