Category Archives: Movies

Now you know

I can see a couple of my more fashion high-minded friends doing this to someone before those friends have had their coffee. 

“Snowpiercer” is the worst movie I’ve ever watched

Tilda Swinton’s considerable acting chops are on display in this movie as perhaps the most annoying bureaucrat ever, but it’s all for naught.

As you can tell from the scene above from the movie “Snowpiercer,” they apparently have cows (and chickens) on the eponymous train to provide a meat locker in a very long perpetual motion vehicle which is the last refuge of humanity after a climate catastrophe. They also have an elaborate aquarium to provide fish and a train car or two made into greenhouses to grow crops. 

The wealthy passengers in the front of the train (think First Class on a plane) want for nothing. While the scum in the back of the train are treated just as poorly as any coach passenger on United Airlines could expect to be treated. Even worse. (But not by much.)

In fact, the back passengers are made to stay in their place in the grime where they are fed nothing but gelatinous protein bars we learn, to the lead character’s horror in one scene, are made from insects.

At first I thought, “OK, the only reason the wealthy passengers are keeping the poor passengers alive is for food.” But the insect scene dispenses with that theory. 

After watching a movie full of nonsense these things stand out in my mind:

  1. Anyone who’s spent any time around a livestock operation knows that cows consume tons of food. Cows are also big. Where are they kept in this train? Where are they slaughtered? 
  2. The genius who dreamed up this fantastical train apparently is not genius enough to know that all the things you can do on the train you could do more easily and more efficiently in a stationary building or buildings.
  3. The movie’s lead actor, Chris Evans, should fire the agent who did not see through this awful script. Evans manages to wring some sympathy and heroism from his part, but the entire thing falls to pieces almost immediately.
  4. People all over the world eat insects without any harm coming to them. In fact, some scientists argue that cultivating insect protein on a commercial scale may be a great way to solve food crises around the globe.  That and, you know, stopping wars.
  5. Insects have to eat. What they are fed is never made clear in this film.
  6. Poor Ed Harris, who plays the chief villain. I always thought of him as a distinguished actor. Then again, he did appear in “David Cassidy: Man Undercover” and “CHiPs” so his career has basically returned to where it once was, apparently.
  7. The movie has a 7.0 out of 10 rating on IMDB, proving that site is not always on target with its rating system.
  8. If a movie is in the bargain bin at the store where you shop, it is likely there for reasons you should not ignore.
Even the star power of Chris Evans can’t save this one.

The first movie that ever scared the crap out of me

Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock’s classic “The Birds” was released on this date in 1963 — for children of the era starting many love affairs with horror movies.

I was three years old and it scared the bejeezus out of me. I recall never looking at flocks of birds the same way for a very long time.

It’s held up remarkably well over the years, gaining a 7.7 rating on IMDB and a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Of course, those are the scores of movie lovers who can still appreciate what a work of art it was for the genre at that time.

If you are used to blood and gore in scary movies, it might not do much for you. General horror audiences are a bit more demanding today than a movie in which the blood is mostly measured in droplets.

For me, watching it again is worth it if for nothing else to see how Alfred Hitchcock dressed Tippi Hedren. What a dish she was.

Note also the hints of a nascent environmentalist movement, largely unheard of at the time, in the dialogue. 

Crazy that we have not progressed as far was one might expect on that issue and, in fact, are now going backwards thanks to the current resident of the White House.

Trailer below.

“I loved you in your documentary, Chris”

“I have a room covered in plastic. For Megyn Kelly.”

The stuff of nightmares

Just when you thought this scene from “The Shining” couldn’t get any weirder.

The ignorant bully Biff, “Back To The Future” and Donald Trump

The writers behind "Back To The Future" reveal that the character of bully and all-around ignoramus Biff Tannen was modeled after Donald Trump.
The writers behind “Back To The Future” revealed that the character of bully and all-around ignoramus Biff Tannen was modeled after Donald Trump.

Being a bit of an oddball myself, I have always liked off-kilter actor Christopher Lloyd, made famous  by his roles in the “Back To The Future” film franchise (Dr. Emmett Brown) “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (Taber) and Taxi {Reverend Jim Ignatowski), among others.

So I read with interest this actually well-done interview with Lloyd in the Guardian in which Lloyd says this about the news that bullying ignoramus Biff (played by Thomas F. Wilsonin the “Back to the Future” franchise was actually modeled on Donald Trump.

When we meet it is still a few weeks before the US election and Lloyd has recently re-watched Back to the Future 2. Last year, BTTF’s writer, Bob Gale, confirmed that he and the director, Robert Zemeckis had, as fans long suspected, based the depiction of the wealthy and – in that particular film – politically powerful bully, Biff Tannen, on one Donald J Trump.

“I was stunned by how accurate [that storyline] was. I mean, it’s just incredible,” says Lloyd, those crinkled eyes widening in astonishment at the memory. “[Zemeckis and Gale] must have been so prescient to see it. They were certainly more prescient than me.”

So how does it feel to see Biff running for the White House for real?

“Ach!” cries Lloyd, reeling back in his seat as if in physical pain. “He’s a BEAST. He needs to be put in a cage.”

If ever a time was ripe for the return of a fictional character, that time is now and that character is Biff. However, Thomas Wilson, the actor behind the bully, has never seemed to enjoy his association with the film – certainly not as much as Lloyd, who, after some initial wariness (“I had a bit of an attitude”), now happily rocks up to Comic Con events and chats to fans for hours. There haven’t been many days since 1985, when the first film was released, in which Lloyd hasn’t been asked about his career-defining role, “and I never get tired of that. Never. People tell me they decided to become scientists, or doctors, or get involved with computers [because of his character, Doc]. I remember kids seeing it when it came out and they became parents and took their kids, and it’s still going on, the same cycle. It’s just – it’s just …” he struggles for a moment to put his feelings into words. “It’s just amazing to see how it’s had such a positive impact. I never would have guessed.”

That last part shows that, despite revealing in interviews over the years that Lloyd knows as well as anyone else that America’s fascination with fame can often be the not healthiest part of the entertainment industry, Lloyd never uses that as an excuse to be rude to members of the public who want to talk to him about his career and the characters he has played. He is not into making people feel small.

It’s a wonderful article overall. You can read the entire interview here.

(Why it is that British entertainment journalism is so much better than American fluff? I mean, it’s all fluff in the end. But at least this is well-written fluff.)

And do watch the clips below of Biff. Now that you know he is modeled on Trump — which I just learned from this interview from Nov. 21, even if that fact was revealed previously — it all makes perfect sense.


The Greasy Strangler teaser trailer


My more cerebral film fan friends will be horrified with me (as usual), but here is my initial reaction to this teaser trailer for “The Greasy Strangler”:

  • Gross out special effects? Check.
  • Dark humor? Check.
  • Pee, poop and fart jokes? Check.
  • Totally tasteless? Check.

In short, my kind of horror flick.

There’s another Ghostbusters trailer out

Despite the shitstorm of criticism raining down upon its all-female cast — much of that being just the worst sort of woman-hating imaginable in 2016 — I think the new Ghostbusters movie looks fun. And this trailer makes it look even more so.

Screw misogyny, boys. It’s so 1980’s.

Clinically depressed Yoda

Poor Yoda. Even with a new movie coming out he’s in a bit of a slump.

Quote from the very funny Sarah Cooper.

Yoda Clinically Depressed jefferly
Down in the dumps Yoda.

Liam Neeson pitches comedy to Ricky Gervais

“In fact, that’s probably why Steven Spielberg cast me as Oskar Schindler in Schindler’s List,’ offers Liam Neeson to Ricky Gervais.

“I said, ‘Steven, I make lists, all the time.'”

“And he said, “That’s EXACTLY what I am looking for.'”

Liam Neeson Ricky Gervais
Liam Neeson pitches his comedy skills to Ricky Gervais and Co.