Author Topic: September 2011 MDC: Guilty Pleasures Write Ups  (Read 6154 times)

Jared

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September 2011 MDC: Guilty Pleasures Write Ups
« on: September 03, 2011, 11:15:52 PM »
Figured Id start this topic up since I watched my dictation this morning.

1SO chose to give me Streets of Fire



Reading the plot description prior to watching, it sounded like quite a bit of fun, but the PG rating was pretty off-putting considering the subject material. As 1SO indicated to me in our PMing though, this would probably be a soft R today. He was right: swearing, violence, very breif nudity.

The movie starts with Diane Lane playing a rock star giving a hell of a concert (the music is all pretty good throughout in my opinion). Interrupring the concert and kidnapping her William Dafoe, who plays Raven, the leader a biker gang that appears to be fresh of the set of Cruising.

The kidnapping necessitates the return of ex boyfriend Tom Cody, played by Michael Pare. It's Pare's performance in this movie that really captured me in this thing. The guy looks kind of like Peter Sarsgaard, and talks kind of like Vin Diesel. Combined with a button-down shirt with cutoff sleeves and suspendors*, he is really the ultimate "guilty pleasure" kind of leading man.

Teaming up with McCoy and Billy Fish (played by Amy Madigan and Rick Moranis), Cody goes on his rescue mission. The planning behind some of the missions are quite inspired. Cody shoots members of the gang who dont know he's there off their bikes (which explode) while sending the girl on the team into the hideout to hold up the whole crew.

The movie works best when Pare and Dafoe are on screen. I had a good time with this thing. While the situations of plenty of action scenes tend to get a bit ridiculous, they are always a whole lot of fun. The music scenes make several scenes a pretty damn entertaining party. It didnt push as many guilty pleasure buttons for me as for 1SO, but it hit quite a few of them. Thank you for the dictation (the nature of this month had me worried! hope the movie I assigned goes ok)

3/5

*just when you think youve seen about the funniest manner of holding up one's pants that an action movie might provide, William Dafoe breaks out a set of leather overalls, worn with no undershirt

1SO

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Re: September 2011 MDC: Guilty Pleasures Write Ups
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2011, 12:23:00 AM »

The theme had me worried as well, but it sounds like you had a pretty good time with it. Interesting that you liked Michael Pare since I thought he was a bit of a blank compared to the eclectic cast surrounding him. Even the groupie seems to have more personality. But he coveys the working stiff mentality really well and he's damn awesome with a slap. I actually looked for those leather overalls for a Halloween costume, but what works about it is the way it contrasts with Dafoe's pale skin. Since I dictated this, "Tonight is What it Means to be Young" has gone back into my iTunes playlist. Really happy with your verdict. (Thanks for hardly mentioning Moranis.)

oldkid

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Re: September 2011 MDC: Guilty Pleasures Write Ups
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2011, 02:40:26 AM »
I haven't seen Streets of Fire since it was in the theatre.  Dafoe, Moranis... I didn't remember them at all.   Frankly, all I really remembered were some of the cool 80's songs because I owned the vinyl soundtrack.  Songs by Dan Hartman and Jim Steinman-- the composer of Meatloaf's two albums and Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of the Heart.  Awesome stuff.  It takes me back.   
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

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Re: September 2011 MDC: Guilty Pleasures Write Ups
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2011, 03:13:32 AM »
Romy and Michele's High School Reunion

Man, Guilty Pleasures. We should do this theme more often. Such gambles. So revealing of the dictator's personality. R&M has been suggested to me be a lot of people since it came out. I never had any interest in the misadventures of two bubble-headed blondes. It all looked so silly, and it is. It gloriously is.

Romy and Michele is sloppily made to the point where it seems to exist in an alternate universe. A place where club music is quiet enough to talk and people in general seem to have selective hearing even when they're standing right next to you. Also, what is that accent that Mira Sorvino's doing? She mixed California surfer with stupid, drunk hillbilly. There's a really long dream sequence that parks itself right into the middle, but doesn't quite let you know it's a dream because it goes on for so long. It even tacks on a bonus dream '70 Years Later.' I've never seen a film more influenced by SNL skits that went to the big screen.

That's all the guilt. Now here comes the pleasure. What works, what whips everything together are the characters of Romy and Michele and the committed performances of Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino. These ladies are not the bubble blonds I was expecting, but outcasts, loners. Individuals who didn't conform in High School and paid the price. They're underdogs with something to prove. I liked them. I was cheering for them. I didn't want to see them argue, and I loved how they stood up for each other. The film doesn't work in a lot of little ways, but except for the climactic dance they nailed every big moment beautifully. I didn't even laugh all that much, but I really enjoyed the time I spent with Romy and with Michele. Thanks for the dictation, Martin.
RATING: * * *

MartinTeller

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Re: September 2011 MDC: Guilty Pleasures Write Ups
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2011, 04:05:40 AM »
Wow, I thought for sure that would flop.  Glad it didn't, of course Kudrow and Sorvino play off each other so nicely.  They really are great characters.  I'm glad they never tried to run it into the ground (Harold and Kumar) with sequels. 
« Last Edit: September 07, 2011, 09:53:47 PM by MartinTeller »

Mike Shutt

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Re: September 2011 MDC: Guilty Pleasures Write Ups
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2011, 08:03:06 PM »
BASEketball

I am a Zucker fan. I am a Parker/Stone fan. How could this not be a funny movie? Well, to tell you the truth, it is. It is a really funny movie. I was laughing consistently throughout the runtime. The nonstop gags and Parker and Stone's weird sensibilities just fit together very well. Granted, quite a lot of the jokes do fall flat, but there are SO many jokes that if 3 fail and 1 is hilarious, you are still laughing constantly. Parker and Stone are not the greatest of actors, and they know that, which adds a little interesting and fun flair as an audience member and makes them extremely likable. I really do not know what more to say about a film like BASEketball? If you liked Hot Shots! and Orgazmo, then this is the movie for you. If you didn't, this film is a colossal waste of time. This has certainly been added to my guilty pleasures list.

Grade: B+

P.S. SPOILER!: I am not sure how necessary the make out scene between Parker and Stone was, and it really took me off guard. Still funny though. That was just something that needed commenting.
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MartinTeller

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Re: September 2011 MDC: Guilty Pleasures Write Ups
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2011, 11:22:56 PM »
Say Uncle - A gay man with a love for children gets accused of pedophilia.  There's a couple of problems here.  One is that if Peter Paige (writer/director/star) is trying to make a point, he's doing a piss-poor job of it.  The message is rather unclear.  At one point he seems to be saying that parents shouldn't be so uptight about letting men play with their kids, and later seems to be emphasizing that it's gay men in particular who are demonized, and then he compounds the issue by making the protagonist unbearably stupid and naive (adding hints of mental disturbance didn't help one bit).  He tries to mitigate it by saying "I know I made some mistakes" at the end, but that only ends up confusing the message more.  I did appreciate that there was some complexity to it, but it was just too muddled.  Also, the second act involves a lot of repeating the same points over and over again and feels sluggish.  I think the largest problem is the Kathy Najimy character.  Paige paints her (this is an extremely clever pun if you've seen the movie) with a very broad brush: she has knee-jerk reactions, blows things way out of proportion, tells lies to whip up hysteria, has mechanical sex with her husband, isn't a very good parent.  This is a character who belongs in a much more satirical comedy, something like Citizen Ruth.  She doesn't match the quieter (and not terribly funny) humor of the rest of the film.  However, it's not all bad.  Despite a low-budget production (right here in Portland) it feels pretty professional, and the performances are good, even when the characters aren't very well written.  The film is somewhat pleasant to watch, despite the subject matter.  And I really did enjoy the complexity and that it wasn't as broad as it could have been, if only the Najimy character had been toned down.  Overall, though, it's a near miss.  Rating: Fair


Thanks for the dictation, Bondo.  Although I had some problems with it, I did enjoy watching it.  Consider it a "high" Fair.

Bondo

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Re: September 2011 MDC: Guilty Pleasures Write Ups
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2011, 11:29:14 PM »
I'll take it. I've only seen it the one time close to when it came out. It has its rough spots but as a fairly simple little film taking on a combination of gay and sexual predator hysteria that ultimately amounts to a statement on society's view of men as a whole and the judgement that they can't be trusted with children (and one wonders why men are vastly outnumbered in ECE and Elementary education) it is a fulfilling experience.

Antares

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Re: September 2011 MDC: Guilty Pleasures Write Ups
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2011, 11:38:44 PM »
Teaming up with McCoy and Billy Fish (played by Amy Madigan and Rick Moranis),

This film has been one of my guilty pleasures also, probably because I love Diane Lane. But didn't you think that Moranis was terrible and woefully miscast in this? I kept waiting for him to ask someone if they were the Gatekeeper.

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Re: September 2011 MDC: Guilty Pleasures Write Ups
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2011, 06:11:19 AM »
Romy and Michele's High School Reunion

...I didn't even laugh all that much, but I really enjoyed the time I spent with Romy and with Michele...

This is what I came away with too.  Very likable characters...!
"And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs" - Exodus 8:2 KJV
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