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Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Crushing

– Nani, when are they going to start crushing?

– Very soon, Emma, very soon.

Maheen was able to confirm this information with the utmost certainty to her three and a half year old granddaughter because for the second time in twice that many days the Nani (known for No Naps) had watched this particular movie.

The Karate Kid.

The 2010 version with Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith that takes place in China and culminates in a massive kung fu tournament at the end.

I happened upon the film several months ago when it was playing on one of the two dozen premium cable channels we subscribe to, and ever since that day, every time I notice that it appears on the program guide, I like to watch it.

Regardless of what part is on at the time.

Such were the situations when Nani was over.

She would patiently explain to Emma what was transpiring during each scene while I grinned from ear to ear on my recliner at the two of them.

At last the tournament began and The Bug got to see some crushing.

-Mommy, when can I take karate lessons?

-When you’re older, Emma, when you’re older.

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Everyone knows how much I love music. A close second on that list is my love for movies. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that whenever some rock band graces the silver (or flat) screen with even twenty seconds of their onstage act, the collision of these two elements from my pop culture radar is almost too much for the trivia nerd inside me to handle.

So I decided to write a post about it.

Here are the ground rules:  1. Bands must be fictitious entities. Real groups don’t count. 2. Bands must perform at least one time during the movie. There is no minimum amount of time needed to qualify. 3. The name of the group needs to be mentioned or seen (on a sign or on a bass drum) in order for it to be legal under the Law of Picetti.

Now that we’re clear on the parameters, here are some Celluloid Rock Stars — at least the ones that I could remember. Enjoy the show! And the post!

Adult Education from She’s Out of Your League.  Pittsburgh’s own Hall & Oates tribute band.  Just don’t call them a cover band.

Steel Dragon from Rock Star. Mega huge heavy metal band that Mark Wahlberg’s character joins as lead singer after fronting…

…Blood Pollution from Rock Star. Steel Dragon tribute band, who coincidentally also hail from Pittsburgh.

Uptown Girl from Step Brothers. The strictly eighties Billy Joel cover group who don’t take kindly to requests from outside their era of specialty.

Prestige Worldwide from Step Brothers. Will Ferrell’s and John C Reilly’s character’s singer and drummer duo that debuted at the effing Catalina Wine Mixer.  And don’t forget about their Boats n Hoes video either.

Spinal Tap from This Is Spinal Tap. With song titles like Big Bottom and Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight, Spinal Tap is the gold standard of fictitious rock bands. I could do an entire blog about the sheer awesomeness of this super group.

Stillwater from Almost Famous. More than a haven for groupies band aides, Stillwater is an amalgam of at least a half-dozen groups from the seventies. Hold me closer Tiny Dancer.

Alice Bowie from Up in Smoke. Who could ever forget the sight and sound of Cheech Marin singing the classic song Earache My Eye while dressed in a pink tutu? Not an impressionable version of me during the mid-eighties, that’s for sure!

Marvin Berry & The Starlighters from Back to the Future. Marty McFly introduced Johnny B Goode to an unsuspecting teenage populace at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance.

Otis Day and the Nights from Animal House. The moment Boone uttered “Otis, my man!” to an obviously perplexed lead singer onstage at the bar, we knew that they were a long way from Delta House on the Faber College campus.  Bonus points for recognizing legendary blues guitarist Robert Cray playing bass in the band.

Sex Bob-omb from Scott Pilgrim vs the World. The band at the epicenter of the greatest video game, kung fu, music movie hybrids of the last few years.

The Jerk Offs from Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. The all-gay band with a straight bass player and a drum machine, The Jerk Offs seem to be perpetually searching for a new name — although they may have settled on one (Fistful of Assholes) late in the film.

Blues Hammer from Ghost World. You can literally see Steve Buscemi’s blood begin to boil when this group is announced as real delta bluesmen.

Aldous Snow and Infant Sorrow from Get Him to the Greek. Usually, a little of Russell Brand goes a long way with me but this film is the exception. Every song is practically a comedic gem, especially The Clap and Furry Walls.

The Blues Brothers from The Blues Brothers. I played the soundtrack album so many times that the song She Caught the Katy sounds funny to me when the song in the movie doesn’t skip like my worn-out record does. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’ve seen this movie at least one hundred times.

Randy Watson and Sexual Chocolate from Coming to America. I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.

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Now that I’ve exhausted my list, I cordially invite you post any other ones in the comment section below.

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A Recommendation

My friend Matt Berry and I have a long history of shared movie experiences dating all the way back to our junior high school days in the early eighties.  One of our moms would drive us to the theater — either to Tanforan, Millbrae, or Serramonte — for a double feature and we would eat popcorn, drink sodas, and watch movies until they had to kick us out of the auditorium.  We took in such cinematic gems as Creepshow, Take This Job and Shove It, Saturday the 14th, Evilspeak, and Ghost Story to name but a few.

Over the years our tastes evolved to the point where Matt was suggesting I check out films like Once Were Warriors, Rabbit-Proof Fence, Big Fan, and Trainspotting to name another few.  It was during our most recent visit that he was raving about Let Me In. He spoke about it in such glowing terms, the first chance Fehmeen allowed me to do so, I ordered it on On Demand.

Let Me In tells the story of a bullied twelve-year-old Owen and his relationship with his new neighbor, a twelve-year-old vampire named Abby. I could tell you more but that is basically all that is necessary to know.  There is more than enough in that first sentence for you to connect at least a couple of dots.

For fans of the horror film genre, Let Me In is indubitably a must-see movie.  It is incredibly suspenseful and genuinely frightening at times.  It also carries an R-rating so the viewer gets his/her money’s worth in the spilled blood department.

Folks who enjoy high quality filmmaking will appreciate this movie as well.  There were at least a half-dozen camera shots that I had never seen before that were completely cool and surprising that their presence in the finished product only added to its overall wow factor.

Hands down, this is the best vampire movie ever made, imho.  And I’ve seen quite a few of them in my day.  Listen to me now just as I listened to my buddy (Hairy) Matt Berry when he told me to check out Let Me In. It’ll be the best $5.99 you’ll tack on your cable bill this month.

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And the Oscar Goes to …

Considering I’ve seen seven of the ten films up for the Best Picture Oscar tonight, one of the following two things must be true:  Either the Academy is selecting movies that are more in the mainstream — it wasn’t all that long ago that I hadn’t even heard of half the films that were nominated, much less seen them — or that I have way way way way way too much time on my hands to see all these movies.

While I am absolutely certain that Natalie Portman and Colin Firth are stone-cold locks to win Best Actress and Best Actor statuettes, the category I’m most looking to seeing who wins is for Best Documentary.  The award typically goes to a predictably worthy endeavor about suffering but this year I hope the Oscar gets awarded to the film about art.

Even though I have no idea what other documentaries are running against it, Exit Through the Gift Shop is my hands down choice to win the golden paperweight this year.  Granted, I just saw it for the first time not even twenty-four hours ago, it’s not like I’m a newbie to the street art scene.  You can ask any of my former students (from around 2003-2008) about the OBEY sticker on the front wall near the ceiling of my classroom for verification if you don’t believe me.

Anyway, I can’t definitively tell if the movie is a hoax or not.  While I’m about 90% certain that it is an epic put-on, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit to learn that Mr Brainwash is a legitimate artist.  Click here to figure out who the heck that is and what the movie is all about.

But the main reason I’m pulling for it to win is to see if Banksy shows up to accept the Oscar.  Who will he be wearing and which party will he be attending?

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Stop the Presses & Hold the Phone

If you ever considered attending a meeting of the Thursday Afternoon Movie Club, tomorrow would be the day to do it.  Here are several compelling reasons why you should:

Seeing a movie in the theater on a weekday afternoon is an awful lot like playing hooky on real life for a couple hours.  The crowds are minimal at best, save for the hordes of blue haired senior citizens clamoring to catch that new Justin Beiber flick.

You will have the opportunity to meet my new movie partner slash caregiver Juliano.  A nicer guy you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere.

We will be seeing the new Liam Neeson thriller Unknown in Redwood City at 11:40.  If you are looking for a little escapist fun for a couple hours while playing hooky, then please join us.

But the biggest and bestest reason to attend the show on the morrow is to hang out with the lovely and affable Fehmeen.  This courageous lady is willing to step out of her romantic comedy comfort zone for the good of the TAM Club and I hope that you will be able to, too.

Cya 2moro @ 11:40 in RWC.

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I have probably seen the movie I Love You, Man at least twenty to twenty-five times since its release in 2009.  I saw it in the theater twice (one of those times was with an entire busload of blue hairs from a local senior center who took all the handicapped seating), four times on the DVD that we own, and the rest whenever I am flipping through the on-screen cable guide and it is playing on one of our fifty premium channels in our Comcast Xfinity package.

Besides being laugh out loud frickin hilarious, there is just something charming about the film and the way the characters speak to and relate to each other that gets me every time.

This past Sunday, after witnessing the hapless 49ers get handed their helmets and leading my equally inept fantasy team to its eleventh loss of the season, I decided to forgo the afternoon slate of NFL games in favor of watching my latest movie rental from Netflix:  Chocolat.

About a half an hour into it, Fehmeen and Emma returned home from their morning rounds.  She openly mocked me and told me that it looked boring as she went to the room to put Emma down for her nap.

Upon returning to the living room, I was able to convince her that she would really like the film (based on what little I had seen so far).  Five minutes after restarting it, she was absolutely hooked.

It would have been perfect if Fehmeen and I had shared a summer salad and a bottle of wine while watching it, but to quote Sydney Fife, it was “just delightful” the way it was.

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On Like Donkey Kong

Tomorrow is the first December meeting of the Thursday Afternoon Movie Club.

Harry Potter 7, The Next Three Days, and Faster were all considered but I decided to break out of my action/adventure/R rated comedy rut and watch something a little different this week.

I hope to see some of you at the 12:30 showing of Burlesque in RWC tomorrow.

I can’t wait to tell my caregiver Juan what he gets to see tomorrow.

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