Dancin’, The Tubes contribution to the Xanadu soundtrack is either a parody of or the pinnacle expression of male sexual aggression and female-as-property mentality inherent in popular music. Though we may be disgusted by the deranged sentiments of the lyrics of Dancin’ we can at least applaud the frankness of the brutality. The song is unreserved and unapologetic in its overt adolescent male demands and its masturbatory uses of a partner it praises implicates the entire American music industry in the collective psychic rape of the feminine in our culture.
How an 80s hunk delivered eternally relevant pop magic
by Andy Brooks
Though not exactly a household name as a Film Actor, Michael Paré ought to be recognized as a Golden Boy of movie soundtracks. During a two-year span in the early 80s, the stupendously hunky, often glistening, and always-enigmatic Paré appeared as the tough guy lead in a pair of moody rock n’ roll fantasies. And though the films in question — 1983’s murky “Eddie and the Cruisers” and 1984’s Runyonesque “Streets of Fire” — were definitive box office duds, they did go on to produce two sturdy little numbers that continue to receive play in doctor’s offices, bus stations, and supermarkets the world over.
‘Heavyweights’ is an underrated classic that deserves more praise than it received. People may write it off because it stars Ben Stiller, and I don’t blame them. I saw ‘Meet The Fockers’, so I get it. Well, get over that, because this is his best movie to date! It’s about a bunch of kids at fat camp and he’s their battle against the new evil infomercial making camp owner. Intrigued? I thought so!
Repackaging Conventional Values for Unconventional Families in Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right
By Tony Mueller
The Kids Are Alright was produced and marketed with a specific audience in mind. Like past indie dramedies Juno, Away We Go, and 500 Days of Summer, this Sundance favorite is targeted directly at urban, liberal, intelligent filmgoers. It hits its target. The film succeeds in large measure, as those other films do, because The Kids Are Alright successfully combines a creative script, engaging characters, and a stellar cast to tell a slightly offbeat story that explores the unique facets of contemporary relationships.
The film stars Julianne Moore and Annette Bening as a lesbian couple whose teenage kids have grown old enough to satisfy their own curiosity about the sperm donor father they’ve never met. The older sister agrees to contact their father (Mark Ruffalo) at the insistence of her sensitive younger brother, but without permission of their moms. As the family members welcome him into their lives, each character is changed, for better and worse, by the new relationship. The new man in their lives emerges as a charming, somewhat self-centered, hipster whose laissez-faire attitude masks a deeper restlessness and loneliness. His arrival provides the catalyst to shake up the quiet, rather insulated life of a family who are more conventional than they appear.
If we’re all going crazy we should at least have a little fun along the way…
Top 5 Japanese Existential Horror Movies of the 1960s
By Juan Mateo
Contemporary Japanese cinema has fallen flat with its cardboard surrealism, assembly line horror and banal historical romances. Of course there are always exceptions and for the most part Japan can be proud it has a few talented and seriously disturbed quacks in its film industry. But there certainly was a time when the films produced in Japan were dripping with that brain sauce that oozes out of the ear of the truly mad. These were not mere movies but rich tasty desserts of poison lovingly baked in the ovens of hell. This was the Japan of the 1960s.
1. Matango (1963)
Matango is one of my all time favorite films. The film is based on a short story by the sadly neglected turn of the century horror writer William Hope Hodgson and directed by Ishiro Honda, who directed the first Godzilla movie as well as the insanely good Godzilla Versus Mothra, which introduced the Shobijin, the tiny twins that sing to Mothra. Matango is literally Gilligan’s Island on mushrooms; a group of castaways find themselves on an island where all they can find to eat is a resilient mushroom that has taken over the island. What follows is a fun descent into madness and terror.
The Conservative Schadenfreude of 70s Sci-Fi Dystopias
Hold it right there hippy...
Aside from some of these great films being vehicles for bible thumping, NRA pimping Charlton Heston, the amazing sci-fi films of the 70s were largely a conservative Hollywood’s reaction to the peace and love culture explosion of the 60s; a paranoid response to the experimentation, exploration and radical questioning of traditional American values by the Vietnam war generation. Sci-fi authors and filmmakers seemed to be ‘working for the man’ and sought to paint a future gone mad should the new values of this young generation become idealized and realized.
Any nerd that grew up during the 70s and 80s knows the name of Ralph Bakshi, the only American animator of his generation with any balls. His Wizards is a testament to Bakshi’s prowess as a warlock so fearsome that even the powerful Satan cowers before him and allows Bakshi carte blanche access to the mysteries of his conjuring magics.
Bakshi doodle for Wizards
The real nerds also know, and rage with that knowledge, that Peter Jackson won an Oscar by blatantly ripping off Bakshi. Jackson’s Lord of the Rings was a flat out uncredited re-make of Bakshi’s 1978 Lord of the Rings, which was much more atmospheric and ten times more affecting and authentic but lacking the lazy Hollywood sentimentality. Bakshi’s Lord of the Rings was about the warring archetypes, Jackson’s rings was about crappy acting and fast food CGI. Visit ihopepeterjacksoncontractshemorrhoidsonhisface.com for more details.
One to Rule them All
I remember turning Night Flight on one night when I was a kid and seeing this!
I’m still trying to find a full version of this
To this day it is still one of the most bizarre movies that I have ever seen!