July 2013 - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies

Birthday Recuperation

Birthday 2013AndrewCommentaryBannerShortHello all, no DVD review or news roundup today because it's the rare occasion for a non-health related reason to take it easy.  On this day, roughly 29 years and one hour ago, my parents helped usher me into this world, unknowing of the eventual movie buffdom that awaited them.  I still have to go slow because of my kidney calcification issues and surgery is a week away, but I am going to eat waffles and watch the greatest comedy ever - Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.  It was also the source of the best birthday present ever - a hand-decorated VHS copy of the movie and a then-complete collection of all the B&T action figures.

So if you want to feel truly bodacious today, know that the prophets have already arrived and pointed a way toward a most excellent future.

I'll be back tomorrow with Uwe Boll's take on the '08 economic crisis!

Filed under: Daily News No Comments

Music for a departure, RIP Eileen Brennan

7-30-2013AndrewCommentaryBannerShortWe lost another excellent performer this week as Eileen Brennan passed away today due to bladder cancer.  While I was not as familiar with her career and films like Dennis Farina, I got great joy in watching her perform.  She did a run of detective programs opposite the superb Peter Falk in the '70s, I loved her no-nonsense performance in Private Benjamin, and will be remembered well thanks to her hilarious work as Mrs. Peacock in Clue.


Black Rock (2013)

A long nightAndrew LIKE BannerThere are two conflicts central to Black Rock.  One gets developed incredibly well, resulting in one of the most powerful female images I have seen in film since Ridley burst out to fight the Alien Queen.  The other is troublesome, using a fear of soldiers that is too simplistic in both concept and execution, wavering between turning the film into an unknowable nightmare and more human threat that can be dealt with.  Both sides of the film, despite how I feel about the two, are worthy of discussion.

Some films come out that are more fun to talk about or analyze than they are to watch.  For example, Sucker Punch, a film so misunderstood that the people miss the purpose explicitly stated in the title, is a decent watch but something I love to talk to other viewers about.  Black Rock fits snugly into this category.  I don't imagine that I'll ever watch it again, but the characters are very well realized, the scenery at times used to great effect, and I will remember it for conversation in years to come.

The film opens with Lou (Lake Bell) and Sarah (Kate Bosworth) traveling to the island that they used to spend time at when they were little.  At their departure point they meet up with Abby (Katie Aselton), who has some unresolved issues with Lou, and after both Abby and Lou are about to leave Sarah reveals that she has cancer to get them both to stay.  She doesn't, and while this scene initially left a bad taste in my mouth, it showed a willingness on screenwriter Mark Duplass' part to give a "go for broke" mentality to female characters that is usually missing.


Pop culture torture coming this fall

7-29-2013 newsAndrewCommentaryBannerShortAs a prelude to today's only piece of interesting news - I hate Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer.  Very few directors have earned that level of malice, not the incompetence of Uwe Boll or Tom Six's Human Centipede series (though if the third is as bad as the second, that may change).  Their films are comedies laced with hate where the punchline is, "If you like it, we'll hurt it."  Simple violence isn't enough, they basically make a list of things that are popular over a two year span then throw debris at it.  Disaster Movie is one of the few films I completely broke while watching.  I was bored and angry until the rip on Alvin and the Chipmunks.  Then I laughed until I nearly cried because of how awful it was, giggling maniacally until the scene was finally over, amazed that anyone would find a pregnant woman being torn apart by chipmunks funny.


For the week of 7/30/2013 on Can’t Stop the Movies!

http://www.cantstopthemovies.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Call-me-weak.jpgThis week sees the release of the years later G.I. Joe sequel no one clamored for, but was better than expected, Retaliation.  The remaining DVDs are a collection of mostly straight to the shelf titles with names like Filly Brown, Demented, and Assault on Wall Street.  Given the grab bag available there won't be any reviews set in stone for this week, so tune in Tuesday through Thursday to see if there are any surprise gems.

Andrew and Kyle are wrapping up their look at Oliver Stone's movies this Friday with another podcast to tie up the latter half of his career.  Their response on this latter half to films like Alexander, Savages, and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps hasn't been as positive but there's still plenty to discuss.

The sequel to The Smurfs and the Denzel Washington / Mark Wahlberg vehicle 2 Guns both arrive this weekend.  The first Smurfs film, aside from a wonderfully gonzo performance of Gargamel by Hank Azaria, was a dull wash and 2 Guns does not look very promising as well.  Reviews coming this Saturday.

Sunday continues the In Appreciation series with Ryan picking up after Andrew's tribute to the great Viola Davis.