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December 2009
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Portnoy [userpic]
"Oh, so this would be the SOLID STONE ROOM you wanted me to burn down?"

I'm having a bit of a movie weekend, apparently.

Friday ML managed to score tickets to the live show of Cinematic Titanic at the Somerville Theatre. For those of you who don't know what this is, CT is one of two groups that has risen from the ashes of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 and are doing movie riffs. CT is closest to the original MST3K -- it's Joel Hodgson, Mary Jo Pehl, J. Elvis Weinstein, Trace Beaulieu, and Frank Conniff taking bad movies and doing the standard jokes while they are shown in silhouette. That's on the DVDs, of course, of which they've now created six. For the live show they're standing around the movie screen, going through their scripts for the night's feature.

The feature that night was Blood of the Vampires, a film from 1970 set in Mexico in the 1920s, clearly filmed in the Philippines with local actors, bad dubbing, poor lighting, and a figurine of the Virgin Mary accompanied by a giant chicken. For its purposes, of course, it was perfect.

(BTW, the other MST3K players -- Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy -- are now doing RiffTrax, a venture where you can download an MP3 commentary track to play along with the DVD for more well-known films, such as Star Wars Episode I or Battlefield Earth. Also very funny.)

My day yesterday was mostly taken up with an Oscar marathon. A couple of years ago we managed to get into the Best Picture showcase at the Framingham premium cinema, but were unsuccessful the last couple of years. So, yesterday some friends had a marathon of nominated films from last year's awards, so we could see what we had missed.

On offer were Atonement (gorgeous to look at and listen to, but apparently linear storytelling is for pussies), No Country for Old Men (really great characters and acting, but the open plot threads made me wonder if there was a sequel coming), Charlie Wilson's War (which I thoroughly enjoyed), Elizabeth: The Golden Age (actually followed it better than the first one), and Lars and the Real Girl (which was both not at all what I expected and a marvelous little film).

And of course, tonight is the Oscar ceremony. So, by Monday I'm going to be pretty much movie-d out.


On offer were Atonement (gorgeous to look at and listen to, but apparently linear storytelling is for pussies)...

I feel bad for people who see this movie without having read the book first. Ian McEwan's novel is absolutely riveting. Check out his entire oeuvre if you get the chance (I am particularly fond of Saturday.

and closing parenthetical pairs)