Sunday, January 16, 2011

Movies and books

Books and movies.

Some of you will remember that I often like to educate Princess in the ways of movies that I have loved or that I have though significant at the time even though a re-look sometimes makes me shake my head and think 'what the fuck was I thinking?'

A prime example of this is The Highlander (1984). When I first saw it, I thought it was fabulous. Now we need to consider the context - Harry Potter free and before good digital special effects, it was pre-Terminator 2 (1991) but post Terminator 1 (1984).

When I watched it again with Princess and Clokes (who had never seen it!) it was so scarring to the eyes of my daughter (by way of terrible special effects, bad fight scenes and all-round badness) that we had to turn it off half way through. I was embarrassed. How could I have gotten it so wrong?

That was earlier in the school holidays. Now, whenever I trot out another '80s movie Princess's first question is 'are the special effects.' My dignity is only assuaged by the fact she doesn't physically make the hand-quote movements.

Eighties movies that have impressed her thus far are:

St Elmo's Fire (largely because of Rob Lowe's face) and About Last Night (his torso.)

She quite liked Pretty in Pink despite the absence of any parts of Rob Lowe's anatomy, and watching it now I had a new-found appreciation for the character of the Duckman. I think back then he was too out there for me. I always liked the boring characters, the Andrew McCarthys, if you will.

We also had a Tom Cruise retrospect. Risky Business (she liked, she said he was hot. I was surprised, I never thought him attractive even back then. I'd forgotten how sexy the sex scenes are, oh well, she's fourteen now.) Top Gun, The Firm and we are trying to get Jerry Maguire. It's obviously a popular movie because it's never in the shop.

Other things we have watched:

Some 30 Rock.
Vampire Diaries - 1st season. Once the first season was nearing an end I'd become a bit meh about it but she loves it.
Notting Hill - she liked it
Sleepless in Seattle - not so keen on it, she said it was 'alright' but because we'd watched When Harry Met Sally first (which she loved for the humour) I think Sleepless was a bit soppy and sad.
My Best Friend's Wedding - she confirmed my memory that the best scenes were the Cameron Diaz karaoke as well as Rupert thingo's scenes. Julia Roberts's character was appalling and we both hated her. There's Something About Mary - she liked it. Who wouldn't?

Now to John Cusack. I have always loved Cusack and like others for me the love began with one movie - The Sure Thing. There was also Say Anything. I can't remember which one I saw first but they are both good, with TST better overall. What a wonderful movie. Wonderful.

We watched Stand By Me and she loved it. LOVED IT. Which is good because it is so awesome.

We watched Almost Famous which I enjoyed more this time than when I saw it previously.

And for some contemporary viewing, we watched Superbad and Thirteen. I was prepared for Superbad to be, well, super bad, but I loved it. What a glimpse into the male brain. But what fantastic characters they were, and the party scenes with sex and alcohol, there are some really fine messages there. It wasn't like American Pie at all (which is just fucking stupid.) Thirteen was about two 13-year-old girls. Confronting and frightening and not at all funny. Holly Hunter was good, the kids were good who played the girls, they were 13 and 14 when they filmed.

SO if it sounds like all I've been doing is lying around watching movies you'd be pretty right. I went back to work a couple of weeks ago but just 2 short days a week. We went to the pool once, we have't been away, I've been painting shelves today, not much writing going on really, I haven't got the space. Reading: at the moment I'm reading Russell Brand's Booky Wooky 2. It was on special at Borders and I just grabbed it. Unlike the rest of the world I haven't really known much about him. I knew of him but didn't realise what the fuss was about. Clokes and I saw Get Him to the Greek recently and talk about charisma. The Man Has Charisma. Is it the androgyny? The height? The chains and belts and leather? I don't know but you know what. The man can write. He is clearly quite brilliant and he could be a writer if he wanted to. I reckon.

I bought Peter Carey's My Life as a Fake and Theft: A Love Story. Also Camus's The Plague and The Fall. Also I'm mid-way through Rosalie Ham's Summer at Mount Hope (like it more than her first The Dressmaker) and have also gotten myself a copy of Winton's Dirt Music. Read it years ago but it was a borrowed copy. Time to re-read I think.

So that's about it.

Oh we are also still working through Lost. We are in the final season, about 8 eps to go? Princess has lost interest (heh) and I know it's gotten silly BUT I JUST WANT TO SEE HOW IT ENDS.

Ciao ciao.


magical_m said...

I love Duckie Dale. Always have, always will.

Oooh and if you're doing a John Cusack retrospect, make sure you watch Better Off Dead and One Crazy Summer. Two of my faves, despite them being a little odd. Also another chance to see Demi Moore pre-all that bloody surgery she claims she's never had.

Oh and agreed re Tom Cruise. Have never found him hot. In fact in The Outsiders I thought he was downright ugly. And that's another one I hope you're going to show Princess if you haven't already. Talk about a roll-call of 80s teen spunks... minus Tom of course.


Esz said...

If you like John Cusack I hope you've seen Hot Tub Time Machine. I thought the movie would be utterly woeful and painful to watch but it was surprisingly hilarious. Much in the way that Superbad is.

That Jonah guy does the voice for one of the characters in Megamind which we watched last night. Also surprisingly good - more depth of character in the film for something that is aimed at children. Those kinds of flicks often don't really go beyond mere fluff but this one was good.

I didn't know Russel Brand wrote books - he was quite funny in Get Him to the Greek. Must check it out I think!

Melba said...

Thanks magical, we will look up those other two Cusack movies, I've seen 'em but not for ages. And yes The Outsiders in on the list as well.

Esz, hi, yes I have seen HTTM it was funny and incredibly nostalgic.

Russell Brand doesn't write books as such he has two autobiographies out, not quite the same thing but maybe it is...

Lewd Bob said...

My Life as a Fake

The character of Chubb can be seen on the number 78 tram around 4 in the afternoon - surprisingly, he gets on at the very prestigious (yet downright awful) corner of Toorak Rd and Chapel St, South Yarra.

squib said...

The Plague is very, very average

My favourite 80s flicks are Labyrinth, Mosquito Coast, Princess Bride, and Empire Strikes Back

Worst 80s film I have re-watched recently with BigSquib: Playing Beatie Bow

Worst film of ALL time: Mamma Mia!

M said...

love the Duckman!
I am a huge nerd when it comes to John Cusack. Have you seen Grosse Point Blank? 90s Cusack with a kickback to the 80s. Very cool.