Monday, May 30, 2011

Species (1995)

My memory of this movie has been corrupted by my memory of Mimic (which I think has to do with giant subway cockroaches that turn into Mira Sorvino?). In Species a beautiful blonde woman is actually an alien—or bioengineered, or a bioengineered alien—and she keeps having sex with men and then killing them in unusual ways. I think she's being tracked by Anthony Hopkins or something, and she may be trying to reproduce. Does something come out of her mouth like in Alien? Is there any nudity?* These are important questions.

Not Anthony Hopkins.

* Google says—and I am paraphrasing, here—"Oh, yes."

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Freejack (1992)

Somebody—I want to say possibly Sylvester Stallone?*—gets blasted into the future, where he's pursued by Mick Jagger (that part I'm pretty sure of) because everybody has to be registered somehow and this guy isn't because he's from the past. Either that or they're actually used to time-travelers in the future, and they want to detain our hero, but he gets away? Yeah, you know what: I think they bring him from the past so they can use his organs or something. Maybe not. At any rate, I'm pretty sure Mick Jagger ends up coming around and helping the guy out. I remember zero scenes from this movie, except Mick Jagger in his batmobile talking on speakerphone and wearing maybe a helmet like the Kodan wear in The Last Starfighter. I watched this movie in a hotel.

OK, not so much with the Kodan thing.

* Stallone, Estevez—same difference.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Phenomenon (1996)

John Travolta sees a flash of light in the sky and then starts being able to move shit with his mind. At first everybody thinks he was visited by aliens that gave him superpowers, but then it turns out he just has an enormous brain tumor, and he dies (seriously).* [NOTE: I remember that a good friend insisted, years ago, that this movie is really, really good; on what authority can I possibly say he's wrong?]

In which a man suddenly gains the power to open books.

* SPOILER ALERT: This is also how Green Lantern (2011) ends.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The 400 Blows (1959)

A kid steals a typewriter and walks around Paris in black and white. I think he lives in a small apartment with his mom and her boyfriend (or some kind of "nontraditional" family arrangement that isn't entirely comfortable for him) and he plays hooky and gets in trouble in school. Or maybe he gets in trouble for the typewriter thing? Anyway, they send him to, like, a juvenile-delinquent camp, and he gets interviewed. This movie is about alienation and/or the filmmaker's childhood—and probably Algeria, too, somehow (knowing France).

Fighting off gremlins like Corey Feldman.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Quadrophenia (1979)

A guy who in my head is a cross between Bud Cort in Harold and Maude and what's-his-name in A Clockwork Orange (Malcolm Gladwell?—no) sings maybe "You Really Got Me" by the Kinks in a bathtub while some other guy in another, adjacent bathtub(?) sings Elvis or something, and they get mad at each other. And this defines a divide between the rockers, who wear leather jackets and ride motorcycles, and the Mods, who look more like modern-day post-punk types and ride...I want to say razor scooters, but that's clearly wrong. Vespas? Anyway, the Mods sing, "We are the Mods, we are the Mods, we are the we are the we are the Mods," and there's a big riot or brawl between the Mods and the rockers, and I feel like our anti-hero maybe has sex with some cute girl in an alley. Whatever. As far as I can recall, the Who don't enter into it.

Yes, alley sex! Once again, what I feared was incriminating
invention is nothing but innocent, blameless memory.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Beautiful Mind (2001)

Russell Crowe is a total genius whose mathematical insights border on the superhuman! He sees patterns other people can't! He—

Hold on, scratch that. He's bonkers.

Don't be crazy, Russell Crowe! Those symbols don't mean anything!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Dick Tracy (1990)

Dick Tracy (Warren Beatty) has to take down a foam-rubber-faced Big Boy (Al Pacino) with the help of spunky ragamuffin Gavroche (Charlie Korsmo). Big Boy slams a piano lid down on somebody's fingers, a mysterious blank-faced person turns out to be sexy singer Breathless Mahoney or Mulroney (Madonna), and Dick Tracy asks whether the enemy of his enemy is his friend but ultimately comes down on the side of the enemy of his enemy's being his enemy. I think Breathless dies in a very Éponine kind of way—a little fall of rain can hardly hurt that creepy blank face now.*

[NOTES: I remember that Al Pacino's character is "Big Boy" because I remember Mumbles (Dustin Hoffman) saying, "Bbddt, bibididit, Big Boy did it" (when Dick Tracy slows down the tape); I remember that Madonna's character is "Breathless" because of the album I'm Breathless;† and I don't know whether the thing that Big Boy slams down is actually called "a piano lid."]

This picture actually sort of makes me feel sick.

* And everyone who said I couldn't make two not-really-justifiable Les Miz references in one Dick Tracy post can EAT IT.
† Sample lyric: "I'm going bananas, and I feel like my poor little mind is being devoured by piranhas."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Movies I've Seen Only Parts Of: The Last Action Hero (1993)

In this Purple Rose of Cairo remake Charlie Kaufmanesque masterwork,* Arnold Schwarzenegger plays an Arnold Schwarzeneggy action hero, and some fucking kid goes into a wardrobe or something and finds himself in Arnold's fictional action-movie universe—after which I think he and Arnold and the main bad guy jump back to the real universe, where Arnold sees a cardboard life-size stand-up of himself in a video store and has feelings about it.

I remember watching much of this movie on TV, late one night in high school, alone—and keeping on watching it, waiting for it to turn a corner and get better—then ultimately giving up and feeling, painfully and acutely, that I had wasted part of my life. I'm not joking about this even a little: I went to bed feeling bad. What we have here is a memory of existential despair.

One-word review, then: "Nausea."

"If I were you, I'd run the rest of Gremlins 2 right now!"

* No.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Exorcist (1973)

I know a little girl gets possessed, and of course I know she (1) spins her head around and (2) throws up. She also pees in front of a piano and—I'm afraid to say this in case it's wrong and reveals something about my psychology, but—doesn't she use a crucifix as a dildo?* The exorcist says, "The power of Christ compels you!" but I only know that because people reference it. I'm not sure how they get a whole movie out of this.

She sleeps above her covers. Four feet above her covers.
[q.v. April Fool's Day post]

* In sort of a violation of my usual Movies I Don't Remember code of ethics, I actually checked this before posting—and for that I apologize to all of you.