Friday, December 31, 2010

Under Siege (1992)

Erika Eleniak jumps out of a cake, topless. Seagal might be a chef, and it's Die Hard on a boat—but mainly what I remember is: Erika Eleniak jumps out of a cake, topless.

OK, so she doesn't jump out topless, but she does take her top off.
On the latter point the Internet is crystal clear.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

You Can Count on Me (2000)

I was one of two human beings in the world who did not like this movie. Mainly I was bored. I think it starts with these two kids finding out that their parents died in a car crash, and then, decades later, Mark Ruffalo comes to hang out with Laura Linney and bonds with her kids—but their relationship is strained, these siblings, and there are laughs and there are tears and ultimately they realize how important they are to each other. Probably he's an alcoholic. Yawn.

An emotionally devastating uncle–nephew bonding scene from the not-at-all-boring family fishing masterpiece You Can Count on Me.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Marathon Man (1976)

Dustin Hoffman may actually be a runner in this movie. Sidney Poitier or somebody is a Nazi who thinks Dustin Hoffman is somebody he isn't, so he tortures him dentally to get an answer to a question Dustin Hoffman doesn't remember. Then Dustin Hoffman basically takes revenge in what I think might be the cavernous basement of a zoo, and Sidney Poitier—wait, does he kill somebody with a sword that comes out of his sleeve? I think everything works out OK in the end.

Did I actually get Poitier and Olivier confused? Yes, yes I did.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)

Lex Luthor goes to the Superman museum and steals one of Superman's hairs, which is being used to hold up a boulder. Luthor's plan is to launch a nuclear missile into the sun with Superman's hair in it, and this will result (Lex knows, being a genius) in the spontaneous generation of a new supervillain with all of Superman's DNA but a new costume. For some reason, the new bad guy loses his power immediately if he's in shadow, so Superman puts him in an elevator on the moon. I think some blind girl falls out a window (but I might be remembering some comic book where a weird Superman clone is blown to tiny bits, to white ash, and this rain of super-dandruff gives the blind girl back her sight). There's some kind of "ban the nukes" message to this, and it's very possible that the Superman clone is somehow supposed to be a metaphor for the arms race. Best part of the movie is Superman's hair holding up a boulder. In the end, Luthor is torn apart by boars. I'm just messing with you.

Hold on a second, this looks awesome!

Monday, December 27, 2010

My Own Private Idaho (1991)

Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix are prostitutes. There's some Henry IV business going on, which probably means that Keanu's a wayward rich kid—I think I can see him wearing a suit holding a tumbler of something and ignoring his old friends—and I remember that Julian Schnabel does a Falstaff-lying-about-getting-robbed bit. (I'm sure it's not Julian Schnabel, but I can't stop picturing Julian Schnabel in his goddamned bathrobe.) I think River is narcoleptic and at one point wakes up in a really fancy house. They probably do lots of drugs and everything is homoerotic.

Everything Is Homoerotic by Jonathan Safran Foer

Sunday, December 26, 2010

21 Grams (2003)

Oh, man, I think Naomi Watts's husband got run over by Benicio Del Toro in a car, or Benicio Del Toro's friend got run over by Sean Penn in a car, or somebody ran somebody over and then starts sleeping with that person's widow or sister or friend, and somebody else is out for revenge, and in the end nobody's happy. I seem to recall somebody getting shot in a motel room and Naomi Watts screaming. I also remember somebody trying to clean blood off the bumper of a big car. Two-word summary: "Oh, no." (21 grams of what, though, do you think? Somebody's probably a drug addict. Oh, no.)

Everything sucks.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)

Santa Claus is recruited to be Santa Claus. Then I think maybe Dudley Moore steals his sleigh. Presumably Santa gets the sleigh back and Dudley Moore learns a lesson, but it might be that Dudley Moore is trampled by reindeer. All copies of this movie in all media have been lost forever, so we'll never know.

Yep. Dudley Moore.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Citizen Kane (1941)

Citizen Kane builds a newspaper empire and alienates people. Eventually he lives in a big castle. Everybody knows about "Rosebud" and the very, very end of the movie; what I'm less clear on is the rest of it. Isn't it sort of a mockumentary? Does he stand up for some kind of principles but in the end allow them to become compromised? I should know this movie better, and I remember thinking I should be enjoying it better, too. Greatest movie ever made or something—oh, well. I think I remember him yelling at a woman or being told off by a woman—probably both. Citizen Kane, you know so much, but the one thing you never learned was how to love.

This is what remembering Citizen Kane feels like.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Harry and the Hendersons (1987)

John Lithgow and his family find a bigfoot in the woods! It's possible they think he's dead because I think they strap him to their car. Then they have to hide him in their basement, and he breaks the stairs. Does Lithgow slap the bigfoot at one point? The family definitely makes the bigfoot sad, and then they feel bad because it's like they're not ready for the bigfoot. I think it's a pretty safe bet that they name the bigfoot Harry, and I have a real bad feeling that they name him that because it sounds like hairy. (This movie should be called Esau and the Hendersons. Anybody with me??) Because there's got to be a bad guy in this movie, I'm assuming that either a scientist or a hunter is on their tails. At the moment I'm picturing Eugene Levy in either Splash or Gooby—either one will do. I think Harry's head goes through the roof of a station wagon, although that might just have been from the one-sheet.

This movie looks GOOD.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Heat (1995)

Robert De Niro and Al Pacino have coffee together. Tensions run high. Val Kilmer shoots somebody's face off with a machine gun. Maybe somebody's daughter is in peril. A bank is robbed. Helicopters? This movie is as long as a typical multi-season television drama. When I saw it in the theaters there were six intermissions and I wrote an opera in my head.*

Like My Dinner with AndrĂ© but both more violent and more boring.

* This is actually the first movie I ever thought of walking out of in the middle, I was so bored.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

Communist Cate Blanchett tries to get Indiana Jones to find something for her in a six-year-old boy's misconception of the warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, but he escapes and hides in a refrigerator while a nuclear bomb goes off. Then he and his greaser son drive a motorcycle through Yale University and fight ants until an alien makes a >: face and Cate Blanchett's head explodes (from too much knowledge!—take that, commie!), at which point the kingdom of the crystal skull blasts off into outer space and Indiana Jones puts his hand on his greaser son's shoulder and says, "Let's go home," or something.

Oh, right: the "Jones girl" is Marion Ravenwood. OK.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Ruthless People (1986)

Judge Reinhold and maybe Shelly Long kidnap Bette Midler and put her in their basement, and her husband Danny DeVito doesn't care. I want to say that Bette Midler runs into a wall with a bag over her head, but I think I'm just remembering that when the Fargo trailer came out, I thought, "This is some dumb Ruthless People rip-off!" (Stupid Coen brothers.) I think there's a scene with Judge Reinhold in a phone booth negotiating a ransom, and I want to say there's, like, a tank—but that can't be right. Danny DeVito might get pushed off a dock. One can only assume that kidnappers and hostage become good friends. Another good title for this movie might have been Stockholm Shenanigans.

DeVito's got a Costanza 'do!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mad Max gets trapped in a sort of Temple of Doomy slave-labor situation (with strong gladiator themes: "Two men enter, one man leave!") run by Tina Turner and by Master Blaster, who I believe is/are a little person sitting on a giant's shoulders (sort of halfway between Kuato and Station). There's a big truck chase in the desert, and the giant maybe ends up literally and figuratively throwing off his little-person overlord: an inspiring story! I'm pretty sure this movie is bad.

Drinkin' up the shasta. My voice sounds sweet 'cause it has ta.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Golden Child (1986)

Eddie Murphy has to get this reincarnated–Dalai Lama kind of a shaved-headed kid to some kind of a holy place in order to save the world. I think the kid has magical powers and at one point is kept in a cage. Is someone trying to make him drink blood? I have some vague memory of cereal, but maybe that's because there was a Golden Child breakfast cereal. (Surely there wasn't a Golden Child breakfast cereal.) I'm thinking this movie takes place in San Francisco and Tibet and that there might be a sex scene that's either steamy or dumb, or both—either that or I wanted there to be one and there wasn't.

Yes! Yes! Fuck you, too!

Uncle Buck (1989)

John Candy comes to visit somebody (probably Tom Hanks) at his country house and ruins his vacation. Something goes wrong while people are fishing, and I think a bear does something funny/terrifying. Eventually the family either realizes how wonderful Uncle Buck is or manages to tell him off in a toothless fashion. I'm pretty sure I remember being bored by this movie, or at least disappointed by the way it measured up to the poster.*

Hahaha! To the top of my Netflix queue with you, Uncle Buck!

* Apparently I have this movie confused with The Great Outdoors.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend (1985)

Two scientists in the jungle find a baby brontosaurus. They have to climb up a cliff and negotiate with Tintin-quality "savages" who might even put them in a big pot of water, although it's also possible that I'm thinking of one of those Romancing the Stone movies. Presumably the dinosaur is eventually reunited with its mother, and the bad guy (a scientist who wants to dissect the dinosaur? a poacher?) has a change of heart or falls in mud.

Um... awesome?!

Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986)

Eddie Murphy instant-messages Whoopi Goldberg on a computer. People are trying to kill him and then they also try to kill Whoopi Goldberg. As far as I can remember, this entire movie takes place in her office and is about five minutes long. I'm not sure I ever actually saw this movie: I may have just read the Mad magazine parody.

Still from the major motion picture Jumpin' Jack Flash, apparently.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985)

Aliens that look like Freddy Krueger kill everybody with laser guns. Ewoks have to travel with children to get somewhere to do something. Actually that part might be from An Ewok Adventure. This movie is terrifying.

Children's entertainment.

Batman & Robin (1997)

[I don't know the difference between this movie and Batman Forever, although I know one had Clooney and one had Kilmer. I'm talking about the one with Schwarzenegger, Jim Carrey, and Uma Thurman. Or am I still combining them?]

Mr. Freeze teams up with Poison Ivy to kill Batman. Meanwhile, Batman's niece, Batgirl, comes to stay at Wayne Manor. Robin gets mad and leaves, but later he comes back, and then Batgirl gets mad and leaves, and later she comes back. Both of them come back, presumably to save the day, and (one can only guess) in the nick of time. I seem to remember Mr. Freeze having a thermostat and Poison Ivy having a lot of tiny little Audrey IIs like in "Mean Green Mother from Outer Space." I assume the plants eat Ivy. The main thing I remember about watching this movie is being truly, deeply, genuinely stunned by how bad it was (or by how bad Batman Forever was*)—like, floored.

What killed the dinosaurs? THE ICE AGE!

* To be honest, I'm not convinced they were two different movies. [Cf.] I'm picturing Clooney and Kilmer both playing Batman, both on screen, simultaneously, speaking and acting in unison, like some weird improv game. That's a movie I'd watch.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)

These kids have a nanny who's magic and sends them into a cartoon world kind of like that place behind Mr. Rogers's walls with all the puppets. Then Nazis attack and the nanny defeats them with magic but does not, as far as I can recall, stop the Holocaust.

The definitive World War II film.

Sesame Street: the Movie (1983?)

Big Bird and company get locked in a museum. Then Oscar the Grouch crashes through a wall and everybody ice skates hand-in-hand in a big line while singing "Feliz Navidad." Actually, I'm almost 100% sure that this is like three different movies. Remembering this stuff makes me feel like I am on powerful psychoactive drugs. Like I actually almost feel dizzy.

This picture is intolerable.

Tron (1982)

A guy gets sucked into a computer and is immediately entered into a competition that is part joust, part motorcycle race, and part Snake. And I'm pretty sure that's the entire movie—the whole thing can't be much longer than 15 minutes.

I'd say it's about time somebody remade this bad boy!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Project X (1987)

Matthew Broderick works as a scientist, or for scientists, or as some kind of outside reviewer checking up on scientists, and he begins to think that there's something morally problematic about what's going on with the monkeys in the scientists' monkey-torture pen. One of the monkeys smokes cigarettes (which I suppose at the time was just unambiguously adorable), so when that monkey saves the world from a major radiation disaster at the expense of his own life, it's his asking for cigarettes through a special glass window that makes everybody cry. Give him his cigarettes! He's dying, and all he wants is a cigarette! The real tragedy is that Matthew Broderick can't give the monkey a cigarette.

The end of Project X is indistinguishable from the end of The Wrath of Khan.

Were they training them to be astronauts or something?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

My Girl (1991)

A girl lives alone in a house with Dan Aykroyd after her mother dies, or skips town. She is friends with Macauley Culkin and kisses him and then he gets stung by bees and dies. Probably this teaches her something important about life because otherwise, what the fuck?*

"I will teach you something important about mortality."

* The Internet reminds me that Dan Aykroyd's character is an undertaker. Ohhhhh.

The Rescuers (1977)

[NOTE: This movie must have been rereleased at some point in the mid-1980s because I saw it in theaters.]

A girl is held captive in a well by crazed Australians who are using her to turn a mill, or holding her for ransom, or getting her skin ready to be turned into a coat. For some reason some mice come to rescue her. It is possible that the mice are Australians; one of them I think wears a hat. This movie is terrifying.

There's something about this scene that I like.