Saturday, December 10, 2005

Now Showing

Apart from the Battlestar Galactica festival I've been having, there are a couple of other things I've watched in the last little while:

Tanner '88. I mentioned this a little while ago; It's the Robert Altman / Garry Trudeau project that aired on Showtime back in the political season of 1988. I'm glad I watched it once and have it to refer back to, but I wasn't mega-thrilled by it. It was a good idea -- Cinéma vérité on video, using real-life politicians and pundits. (An idea done to death by now, but still fresh when Altman did it almost 20 years ago.) But Jeez Louieez, talk about your knee-jerk lefties... The "poisoning the earth" stuff seems so 80s, and picking Ralph Nader for Attorney General -- Yikes. Still, 9/11 Comission Vice Chair Lee Hamilton, whom I respect quite a bit, was to be the Tanner Administration Defense Secretary, so I guess every cloud... At one point, Tanner referred to "Daniel Boorstin's book," meaning his early-60s study "The Image" which was quite a prescient work. I'm going to try to do a round-up of Boorstin links later. They did a follow-up last year, Tanner on Tanner, which I am going to add to my Netflix queue.

I have an old tape of Gerald McBoing Boing that I watched again this week. GMcBB is a Dr. Seuss story about a boy named Gerald McCloy who talks in sound effects. Long-awaited DVD compilation coming out in January. If hipster retro is your thing, this is for you.

A couple of months ago was in a town a couple of counties over and passed an old video store that was having a going-out-of-business sale. I went in and saw they were selling VHS tapes for like $2.50 each. This store had been in business since back in the day, and still had a lot of its original stock. So, I scooped up a bunch of VHS of movies that are unlikely to be on DVD any time soon -- Mostly early-70s/late-80s teen sex farces and low-budget horror or sci-fi flicks.

The other day I turned to this stack and picked Future-Kill, which came out sometime in the early 1980s, and mixed up aspects of The Warriors and Revenge of the Nerds. In some not-too-distant future, a bunch of frat boys get dared to go down to an unpolicable urban area taken over not by ethnic gangs or blue-collar thugs, but by punk rock anti-nuke protesters, one of whom went a little beserk and ended up with retractable claws à la Logan or Freddy K. Events unfold accordingly. Btw, I only found one review of any length, and it's well worth reading. Excerpt: Despite the fact that this has been called "the worst movie with the best cover art" (true story: A friend of mine in high school had a poster of this cover up in his bedroom -- never saw the movie, never intended to), it's really not an extremely lousy movie.

Next? A change of pace. René Clair's À Nous la Liberté. Why? It was on the NYT Best 1000 Movies list, and it starts with "A."


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