Sunday, October 31, 2010
Here I sit on Halloween Eve and I want to get into the spirit as much as possible. I’m waiting for my director’s cut of The Exorcist to come from Netflix today. I’ll let you all know how that goes. I’m thinking it’s not a good idea to re-watch it after all these years. I’m asking for it!
Last weekend I finally watched a movie I’ve wanted to see for years, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The only reason I had never seen this movie was because I wanted to go to one of those midnight showings where people throw toast and stuff. Since it didn’t look like it would ever happen, I checked to see if it was available on Netflix instant play.
This is the typical cult classic story. It originally didn’t do well in theaters, but then found this campy home with the midnight crowd who would come to the screenings dressed up and ready to jump on stage and perform the songs.
I have to say that I was quite shocked with the overt sexuality in the film. I was under the impression, since it was 1975, that there was more innuendo. This was not the case. Man, Tim Curry strutted his stuff, seduced Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick and everyone else in his vicinity, including me! What an over the top, bawdy, sexy, hysterical performance backed up with a damm good singing voice!
I’m smitten with this movie and I can see why it has endured. It’s just so out there and fun and unapologetic. It was also refreshing to see how actors and actresses used to look compared to now; Tim Curry with his crooked teeth and Susan Sarandon…wow, how nice to see an authentic Hollywood rack like that. The back of her bra was riding up so high I’m thinking, “Gee, this chick needs a professional bra fitting!” Watching her real breasts makes you wonder how fake boobs ever became so popular. More is not always better.
It was interesting to see the ultra-perfect Glee casts compared to these originals cast members who are far hotter despite or because of their flaws. Sarandon’s singing really left something to be desired, but you just love her spunk. Bostwick brings the straight-laced guy across so believably that it’s that much more shocking to see him romping around unabashedly later with Curry.
Just a couple of days after watching this, I was channel surfing and caught it again on some high numbered digital channel. It was right at the beginning and I sat and happily watched the whole thing again! So I’m a new fan. I still want to find one of those midnight showings though.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Hello my ghouls! I saved the best for last. Nothing scares Colleenie Ghoulie more than the Trilogy of Terror’s Zuni Fetish doll. When I was just a little ghoulie, this was a made for TV movie of the week. I remember it like it was last week. My big sister and I climbed into my Mom’s bed so we could watch it together. It was 1975 and I was eight years old. Horror films were big in my house, but I was a wimp. Everything scared me. I just didn’t have the stomach for it. I kept trying though. This particular film was actually three vignettes all starring Karen Black. The first two sucked, I was in the clear, this was not going to scare me. Then the third and final story came on. When I saw the little doll encapsulating all my fears in this tiny, knife wielding demon…I frickin’ lost it! I was literally frozen in fear. The commercial came on and my mom and sister told me I needed to leave. This was going to involve putting my feet on the floor. NO WAY! I remember muttering, “ I can’t I can’t.” My mom told my sister to escort me back to the living room. My sister, who was thirteen at the time, was like, “Are you kidding me?” The living room was literally about ten feet away. If you opened my parents’ bedroom door, you could see my dad sitting on the living room sofa watching some sporting event. But yes, big sister had to take me out of that room and deposit me safely with dad. So I never saw the whole thing the first time around. Why would I be stupid enough to watch this again? Well, I had quite a vivid imagination. The Zuni Fetish doll in my mind was ripping off heads and eating brains. I had to watch it again to see that it wasn’t as bad as I could imagine. Really, it’s actually funny. I can get some good laughs at Ms. Black swinging that doll around and especially all the dumb decisions she makes. Couldn’t you swing the suitcase out the window? All in all though, I still don’t like this doll and I didn’t enjoy watching these YouTube clips. They have a life size version of this doll in a collectible shop in San Francisco. Everyone in my family is under oath that it would not be funny to ever buy me a Zuni Fetish doll. It would be grounds for me to completely disown them. That wraps up my month of what scares Colleenie Ghoulie. I hope you’ve enjoyed my cornucopia of horror. Happy Halloween!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
I’m in week two of the movie potluck over at Anomalous Material. This week my flick came from Anna of the blog Life of a Cinephile and Bibliophile. She recommended the 1957 Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis classic, The Sweet Smell of Success. This is one of those movies that I’d always heard about but never seen.
What a slimy bunch of creeps to spend an hour and thirty-six minutes with! This is one of those old-time films that remind you that people have always done horrible things to each other. Next time someone talks about the degeneration of our current society, point them toward this little gem.
Burt Lancaster plays JJ Hunsecker, a Broadway columnist who’s power to make or break people with a mention in his widely read column has clearly gone to his head. Tony Curtis as Sidney Falco, is a Hunsecker wannabe. He’s a crappy PR agent working out of his dingy one room apartment. He wants the type of status Hunsecker has and he’s willing to do the dirty work to get there.
These two slimeballs manipulate and threaten people left and right. They have dirty
secrets on everyone in town and they’ll use them to get their way. Falco is always begging Hunsecker to drop his clients' names into his column. Hunsecker just may throw Falco a bone if he will help to break up upcoming jazz musician’s relationship with his beloved baby sister. We see glimpses of possible character redemption in Hunsecker’s love for his sister and in Falco’s resistance to ruin the innocent musician.
My age was showing as I watched this film and recognized the young jazz musician, Martin Milner, as the guy from the 70’s TV show, Adam 12. I also spotted Darrin’s boss from TV’s Betwitched, and a handful of other old-time actors.
This was a very fast talking film and I’d love to see the size of this script compared to similar films of the same length. Tony Curtis attacks the role as Sidney Falco. He talks fast, paces, fidgets, chats up the ladies and shows a vulnerability underneath his big shot façade. I haven’t seen many Tony Curtis films and I enjoyed watching this vibrant performance. He’s a couple of years away from some of his more famous roles and it’s clear he was a star on the rise.
On the other side, Burt Lancaster had already turned in some of his most memorable performances and had nothing to prove. His give and take with Curtis is powerful and they share the screen well.
Overall, I’m glad I saw this film. I’m not sure I would have stuck with it if it wasn’t a recommendation. It did become quite melodramatic at times and the main characters were so unlikeable, it would have been quite easy to turn this off. However, I found myself thinking about these characters hours after the film was over. That in itself is the makings of a good film.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Well my little ghoulies, our time together is quickly coming to an end. I hope I’ve been serving up a nice cauldron of scares for you to enjoy. This week I want to give a nod to arguably the scariest movie of all time…The Exorcist.
I’ve spent weeks trying to find a good clip of Linda Blair doing that head spin. I have to be honest though, after re-watching the scene a dozen times on YouTube, I simply can’t do that to you guys. I found one scene where the mom is downstairs and starts to slowly walk up and I clicked the mouse to logoff before she got to the top. I couldn’t take it!
Honestly, I watched this movie a ridiculous amount of times in an effort to desensitize myself from it. Growing up, we had HBO and Showtime and I tried to watch it every time it came on. I did a pretty good job toughening myself to it except for when she spins her head completely around. It’s interesting why this bothered me so much.
Basically, this was the least effective special effect in an otherwise flawless horror film. Linda Blair clearly looked like a fake doll as the head slowly turned around. Yes, we’re back to the doll thing. I was completely freaked out by this because in some Hollywood prop department THERE-WAS-A-DOLL-THAT-LOOKED-LIKE-THAT!
Imagine how I felt when about a decade later - I was innocently watching some special effects documentary on a lazy Sunday afternoon- and the host was walking by different props on the lot...AND THERE SHE WAS SITTING ON THE FLOOR IN A CORNER! I always knew she was there waiting for me.
So I will not do that to you my sweet ghouls. You are more than welcome to YouTube that head spin yourself.
Have you missed a ghoulie Friday? Catch up now!
Colleenie Ghoulie #1
Colleenie Ghoulie #2
Colleenie Ghoulie #3
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
I have seen ever single episode of both of these shows and I loved these two dearly. June Cleaver was the perfect mom and housewife that none of us could ever live up to. But just when you think she was little Miss Prim & Proper, she did this hilarious cameo in the 1980 movie, Airplane.
Tom Bosley, as Howard Cunnigham, was always the perfect balance of loving, yet strict father. He was there with advice and support when needed. He apparently had some kind of falling out with the eldest Cunnigham, Chuck (I never saw that kid again after the first season) he still managed to always come through from Ritchie and Joanie.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
Talking to Girls About Duran Duran
By Rob Sheffield
This happens so many times. An author writes a memoir about a cataclysmic event in their life. After the story has been told, however, they have little more to say. This was the case with the follow ups to Julie and Julia, Angela’s Ashes, Marley and Me, and Eat, Pray Love. Once you’ve told the big story, nothing else will live up by comparison.
Fortunately, this is not the case with Rob Sheffield’s new book of essays, Talking to Girls About Duran Duran. Sheffield’s first outing, Love Is A Mix Tape, chronicles his young married life and the untimely death of his wife. Sheffield is a writer for Rolling Stone and his life has a constant soundtrack. His first book was funny and beautiful and I really could feel his love and anguish, but he always kept his sense of humor and while you felt for him, you never pitied him.
His new book goes back in time to give us a glimpse into the songs and people that shaped him. Drawing on music from the 80’s, Sheffield is fearless in admitting songs he loved and the role they played in his upbringing.
Like most of us, when we remember a certain time in our life, we usually remember what song we loved too. So it’s not like Sheffield is necessarily dissecting these songs, but more so using them as vehicles to chronicle key points in his life.
What I love most about Sheffield is how unpretentious he is. This guy works for Rolling Stone and I’m sure he has met a string of great musicians; he could easy parlay this into having a cool, underground, hipster taste for bands we’ve never heard of. He could pretend he never listened to Whitney Houston, but he embraces his love for pop music and all the embarrassment that may come with it. Since I’m also a child of the 80’s, I was familiar with most of the songs covered in the book. Interestingly, though, I have never seen the video for “Shiny Shiny” that Sheffield claims was aired constantly on MTV. I don’t know how that’s possible, but the wonders of the internet cleared that up for me.
I was also never a fan of Duran Duran. It’s interesting that he chose this band of the 80’s because it’s quite true that DD will find a way to get you sooner or later. At the time, I hated them and I thought they were all weird looking pretty boys. It was their release of “Ordinary World” and “Come Undone” in 1993 that made me finally admit that I liked their songs. I then went back and enjoyed all the 80’s hits that I shunned at the time.
As I read about Sheffield’s sisters, lack of girlfriends and early jobs, I could reflect on my own 80’s experiences. The true beauty of this book is you will love hearing about Sheffield’s life and family, but it will also, hopefully, take you down the soundtrack of your life.
In honor of pointing out an 80’s band I never heard of (a task I did not think was possible), I’m posting Haysi Fantayzee”s video “Shiny Shiny” for all to enjoy.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
I’m currently doing a Potluck Movie Pick with the gang over at Anomalous Material. Red set up a great idea where we all nominate movies from the Netflix instant catalog and then everyone is assigned a movie they have not seen.
Chris at Casta La Vista picked my movie for me, The Brothers Bloom. I remember seeing the trailer for this movie awhile back. It has three actors I love: Mark Ruffalo, Adrian Brody and Rachel Weisz. How could it not be great? However, it did seem to have a stylized kind of look to it and I thought it could go either way. I figured I would wait to see if it had good buzz. Well, it basically came and went.
In trying to find the negative aspects of this film, I will say that maybe people found it too slow paced and the settings a bit confusing. Certain settings and the characters’ clothing, made it appear that this film was set in the past. However, they had backpacks, cell phones and karaoke. It’s chance you take when you do something so stylized. A narrator and comic-book like graphics can be a real turn off to an audience. I, though, loved the look and feel of this movie and none of these aspects bothered me. Unfortunately, I guess there wasn’t wide enough appeal at the box office.
Stephen (Ruffalo) and Bloom (Brody) play the Bloom Brothers. Orphaned at a young age, the two brothers bounce from foster home to foster home. Ruffalo, as the older brother, hates this life and resents the other children and the carefree lives they flaunt so innocently. Brody, on the other hand, wants nothing more than to fit in and live a normal life. The constant for Stephen (Ruffalo) is his love for his younger brother. He wants nothing more than to give him what he wants. At a young age, he begins to concoct “cons” and finds he’s quite good at cheating people out of their money. Bloom (Brody) comes alive in cons because it allows him to pretend he has a completely different life. This lifestyle works for Bloom (Brody) for awhile, but it’s still not the true, honest, quiet life he craves. He desperately wants out of the con-man life, but Stephen, who loves it all, keeps pulling him back in. In typical con-movie fashion, he convinces Bloom to do one last job, to heist the very rich and very lonely Penelope ( Rachel Weisz).
Weisz is simply adorable! She lights up the screen and is creatively crazy with intelligence. Audiences rarely get female characters in these types of films that aren’t insipid and unbelievably idiotic. Penelope may be the Bloom Brothers “mark,” but she’s no dummy. In addition, Rinko Kikuchi as Boom Boom, is very cool, powerful and in control of her fate at all times.
The driving force of the story, though, is the relationship between the brothers. Mark Ruffalo once again turns in a fabulously believable performance. As I’ve said before, he makes it look so effortless that I think people take his talent for granted. Brody plays off of him effectively and you can feel his angst in loving his brother, yet desiring a normal, criminal-free lifestyle. It’s hard not to be touched by their deep affection for each other. Stephen strives for nothing more than to make his baby brother happy.
By the end of the film, I felt more attached to the characters than I realized. I had a fun time hanging out with The Brothers Bloom and I hope more people will check this film out. Thanks Chris!
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Well, I'm not sure if this guy made a new video for us against the the Phillies, but this still gets the juices going. Colleenie is usually watching sitcoms or DVDs, but she totally supports her Giants. Pop open a beer (or two) and settle in for some great weekend baseball!
Friday, October 15, 2010
Why do you keep coming back? Will you never learn? Well today’s installment goes a little local. I grew up in San Francisco, California and for all of my formative years; I had a Saturday night date with a Mr. Bob Wilkins. My family gathered around to watch Creature Features. Each week we might be treated to a Godzilla flick, or maybe Vincent Price as Dr. Phibes! Some weeks I was fine, other times I was terrified. Mostly, they were fun and not too scary. The opening credits, however, I usually kept my eyes closed! I found one version and this is the correct theme song I remember. Early seasons though had some creepier clips, like the original Phantom of the Opera…that guy always freaked me out!
Thursday, October 14, 2010
What a grab bag of 100% professionals. 30 Rock took quite a risk this week with a live performance. Lots of shows in television history have done this as a publicity stunt, but this casts proves they are a cut above. They really took it to the next level by finding a unique solution to their signature flashbacks and even making their own “commercials.”
I really hope they get a lot of attention because they pulled off a great job. I laughed my butt off and enjoyed all the little surprises they planned.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Okay, here’s how it started. Monday I dropped my son off for school and had a few minutes to kill before getting to the office. I popped into CVS Pharmacy and was perusing the magazine section. Wait, who’s that on Ebony? El DeBarge, are you kidding me? I couldn’t believe that he’s 49 and has a new CD coming out. So I went to iTunes as soon as I got home and the single, Second Chance is available. I’m already completely hooked on this song. Listen to this song! Folks, this is R&B. My goodness, his voice is flawless and if you remember him from the 80’s and you’re wondering if he can still hit those high notes, wait till 3:07 and you will be saying, oh yeah! I can’t wait for the whole CD. El is back.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Everyone is on the Twilight bandwagon these days. Well, this old gal loves her ol’ school Anne Rice vampires. I’m not talking about the movie with Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, that was a bit disappointing. I’m talking about the mid 80’s when the book became very popular and all possibilities were in the future. This Sting song was inspired by the novel. I recommend the original version off The Dream of Blue Turtles album. My dream casting for the flick was always Sting as Lestat and Daniel Day Lewis as Louis. That would’ve been very hot indeed. Maybe you’re young and you don’t realize how hot these two were back in the day. Here you go…
Monday, October 11, 2010
The devastating suicides of gay teens in the news recently, has prompted the It Gets Better Project.
I’ve posted a couple of my favorites. Thanks Tim Gunn for making me cry at work!
I was fortunate enough to grow up in San Francisco. The diversity has made me a better human being. I can’t imagine my life without my friends who are supportive, wonderful, fantastic people; their sexual orientations really aren’t on my list things I consider. I surround myself with good people, period. Young gay teens need to know that there will come a time when people will care more about your character, actions, and heart, and if they don’t choose their friends that way, you probably wouldn’t want to hang out with them.
There’s always a seat on my couch for you. Talk to someone. People care.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Like most people, I don’t know a lot about the creation of Facebook. Maybe I should because I live so close to the Silicon Valley but really, who keeps up with this stuff? I came into this film knowing what most of us know. Facebook was started as a site for college kids to connect with each other and later was opened to the general public. Like most stories about a company that went on the generate billions of dollars, it’s not quite that simple.
At its core is Mark Zuckerberg. He says he created Facebook, yet a lot of people, including his best friend, sued him for shared rights and creation. The most interesting thing about this film, is I feel, the filmmakers were trying to be very fair to Zuckerberg. Yet he comes off as such a huge asshole, it’s hard to sympathize on any level.
Don’t get me wrong. I realize for any film to be watchable, especially when it’s basically about deposition meetings, you’re going to be forced to take some liberties. However, you would think some of those creative touches would be to make Zuckerberg appear to have some redeeming qualities.
To judge this strictly as a film, it’s quite watchable for being mostly a lot of talk and no action. The standout performance definitely goes to Andrew Garfield. His real life character (Eduardo Saverin) is really the only one who changes through the course of the story. We watch as he goes from wide-eyed optimist to learning the world is a cruel place. He truly is the fully fleshed out character of the film. A lot of attention has gone to Jesse Eisenberg because he’s playing the lead, but other than his scorching opening scene, he really doesn’t have much to do. We watch Zuckerberg lurk around and throw off smart-ass remarks, but he basically lacks so much personality that it doesn’t seem like it would be a big acting challenge.
Justin Timberlake, on the other hand, shines as the swarmy Sean Parker. I’ve never been a fan of Timberlake’s music (sorry, that’s NOT R&B), yet his collaborations with Andy Samberg on SNL, show me that he’s a got a great sense of humor and is quite likable when he’s not singing. He turns in a solid performance and some of the best scenes are those between his character and Zuckerberg. It’s clear that Parker is a hero to Zuckerberg. This is the type of person he wishes he could be. Charismatic and comfortable with the ladies, Patrick swaps book smarts for street smarts and Zuckerberg is enamored with a figure that can naturally command so much power. With this relationship, we see that it is not traditional intelligence that impresses Zuckerberg. He’s surrounded by that at Harvard. Instead, it’s that special enigmatic power that he wants to find a way to tap into. If he can’t possess it himself, he can at least glob on to it through Parker.
Director David Fincher sure is developing an eclectic resume of films. To have hard core action like Fight Club, and then move on to this film where action charged scenes involve computer programmers writing code really super fast, is quite a challenge. He delivers a highly watchable film that could have easily been trickle-slow.
There was a lot of hype to this film and while it was quite enjoyable, you honestly could wait for this on DVD. It was interesting to watch a movie whose main premise is who is telling the truth. Yet at the same time, we the audience also need to question how much of the movie is truthful. Can Mark Zuckerberg be as truly detestable and emotionless as he was portrayed? Was Eduardo Severin that naïve and sweet? This movie is supposed to be loosely based on the book The Accidental Billionaires. However, writer Aaron Sorkin has said that he really has deviated from that original work.
If you want to see what all the hype is about, definitely see this in theaters. You won’t be disappointed. However, if you don’t have to be on the cutting edge of the next great thing, you can rent the DVD in a few months.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Welcome back little demons! So, you want to see what I’m going to serve up this week? I know some of you mentioned clowns, don’t worry, this is a clown free zone! This week I’m highlighting the 1973 film, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. This film really used the less is more theory. You only got quick glimpses of the little creatures and the creepiest thing was the whispering. The little door always freaked me out. I did watch this flick on DVD a couple of years ago and it really wasn’t scary at all. Everyone I know who saw this when they were little, though, always remembers it very well. The funny thing is, when I watched it recently, I thought I could check it off my list as movies that no longer scare me. Then, I find out it’s being remade by Guillermo del Toro. That’s not fair. Take a peak at how creepy this trailer is. It looks like there’s sleepless nights in my immediate future.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Somebody’s Watching Me – Rockwell
Oh noooooo! Colleenie Ghoulie has invaded Song of the Week. What can I do? I have no control this month! So now expect a scary song every Tuesday for the month of October. First up, Rockwell’s, Somebody’s Watching Me. This is a fun song from the 80’s, but honestly, the video always creeped me out a bit. The chorus sounds so great because The King of Pop lent a hand.
Monday, October 4, 2010
I must start off by giving full credit to Karen at For What It’s Worth, for turning me on to this book. I know I’m not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but look at this cover! Come on, I’m a 42 year old woman. I should not come any where near this book!
Karen’s review, though, piqued my interest. I was definitely in the mood for something different and this fit the bill.
When cheerleader Alona Dare is hit by a bus, she quickly realizes that she is dead, but still hanging around on earth. She also finds out that one of her classmates is the only one that can see and hear her. The problem is he’s the creepy goth boy, Will Killian!
The difference with this YA novel is that it wasn’t pandering. There is just enough teen lingo and references to make it believable, but not over the top. I quickly began to caring for the lead characters and the challenges that faced them. There is an underlying humor to it and that’s difficult to pull off in the teen genre. With all the serious YA novels out there with vampires and such, it’s nice to get a solid action packed story that leaned toward a lighter side.
Troubled his whole life hearing “voices.” Will spends all his energy ignoring the dead that haunt him. This gift tortures his late father and Will wants no part of it. Alona, on the other hand, cannot accept the fact she will no longer be heard. As a popular girl that everyone followed and looked up to, it’s hard to adjust to being a ghost.
Slowly, we see interesting traits emerge in both Will and Alona. Maybe they are not simply a ghost and someone who can hear the dead. They make a good team and by the climax, I cared for these characters so much, I couldn’t wait to get off work, curl up on the sofa and finish the last 100 pages.
The end sets this book up for a series and I think I’d go another round with Will and Alona. I suggest making one of those paper bag book covers so that no one makes fun of you. Then, give this one a read.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Welcome little fiends! Yes it is October, a super special month on the couch. Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. As some of you may know I’m the daughter of a huge horror film fan. My dear Mom never met a monster, vampire, zombie or demon she didn’t like. I was raised on Vincent Price, Boris Karloff and Peter Cushing.
Now that I’m an adult, I’m pretty thick skinned when it comes to horror films. Frankly, most of them are not scary these days. We’ve swapped gross for scary and I’m challenged to find a film that can produce the nightmares I had as a child.
So join me this month as I dive into the archives of classic things that scared the crap out of me! I’ll be here every Friday to share another scary clip and I hope you’ll tell me some of the things that scared you. I’m feeling particularly creepy this month so expect me to highlight some other chills throughout the month. I will reserve Fridays though for my special gems.
First up, a clip of a movie I never saw. It was 1978, years before Anthony Hopkins would creep me out in Silence of the Lambs. I literally was unable to sleep until they finally stopped airing the trailer for this flick. Okay, I’ll just spill the beans right now. Number one fear, DOLLS. I did not own many dolls as a child. I mostly stuck to stuffed animals. One of the few dolls I owned, a Drowsy Doll, later went on the have a cameo in the 1971 horror film, The Brotherhood of Satan. What was her role? Oh, she killed the parents of the little girl who owned her! Dolls should not share the earth with us. There’s only one thing more dangerous than dolls, ventriloquist puppets. The trailer for Magic made such an impact on me that I can recite the whole thing to this day! I even remember it was directed by Joseph E. Levine. I don’t even know who that is!
Is there a movie you were ever too scared to see and did you ever face your fear and watch it?