Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Hot Club

Foot Joy, Mike Module and I were talking about movies. Mike Module said that if he doesn’t like a film he just shuts it off. I told him Victoria prefers to do that, but I always want to watch a movie to the end because it might have some redeeming quality. I mentioned Ms. 45 where the woman gets raped twice in one day and then goes off on a killing spree of the scum of NY. After Ms. 45 kills the 2nd rapist, the landlady's poodle sniffs around the fridge holding the dismembered dead guy. So Ms. 45 asks the landlady to let her walk the dog. The next scene shows Ms. 45 walking in the middle of a NYC street trying to kick the dog under the wheels of passing vehicles. Foot Joy said, "I don't even want to know where you find these movies!"

We were talking about women and Hooks made a triangle with his fingers and told Wise and me, "This little thing has cost me a lot of money." Wise added, "Morris used to say it can move mountains."

Spider Woman and her three girlfriends all went to Prime steakhouse to celebrate one of the women's birthday. None of them had steak. Swordfish and salmon but no steak.

PhotoGenic said that when she turned 21, she celebrated with 21 shots in Newport. She said she flashed everyone on a busy Friday night on Thames Street. I said that mine was spent with my fraternity brothers and after drinking beer all night the supplies ran out and I had a small glass of Bali Hai. I worshipped at the porcelain altar that night.

Wise resurrected the discussion of how many dates with the same person before sex. I told him that the current Esquire (Feb '07) had a sex survey which said that on average guys expect sex after going out 3 times while gals figure it should be 5 dates.

Sean's dad, who trained racehorses, taught him that you could tell the speed of a horse by the dimpling in its rear flanks. The musculature will tell you if it's a fast horse.

I liked the song playing and went to the HC jukebox to get more details. It was by Gorillaz and was called "Kids with Guns".]

Wise was talking about Marvin Barnes and said that Marvin once had 5 Rolls Royces, one for every day of the workweek. Marvin also had a couch with telephones every 2 feet so he wouldn't have to get up. Bob Wolff was Marvin's agent and was paid $35,000 a year while keeping Marvin on a budget. Marvin listened to his 'posse' who told him they could take care of his money better than Wolff. So Marvin got rid of Wolff and his posse made off with his money.


This is one of my favorite black comedies. How much blacker can you get than trying to do in your elderly mom? That's what George Segal is intent on doing because his mom (Ruth Gordon) continually messes up any new relationship Segal has with a woman.

The movie is based on a book by Robert Klane (who wrote the screenplay for Weekend at Bernie's and also wrote a very funny book called The Horse Is Dead). Klane did the screenplay and Carl Reiner directed. Son Rob Reiner has a wonderful cameo as a Vietnam era hippie whom lawyer Segal tries to defend. Trish Van Devere (who was married to George C. Scott) is a love interest and Rob Liebman is hilarious as Segal's brother. The bit in Central Park is as over the top as it gets and yet Liebman is able to pull it off.

Ex-SNLer Garret Morris has a small role as a gang member. And there are cameos by Vincent Gardenia, Paul Sorvino, and Barnard Hughes. It's Rated R and is 84 minutes long.

This is not for every taste but Gordon is wonderful as a mom who continually searches for her late husband (Where's poppa?) not realizing he has passed on. Her scenes with Segal are some of the best.

There is even an alternate ending which is as outrageous as most of the movie. If you've never seen it, give it a look. There is something to offend everyone. And it's very funny.

IMDb gave it a 6.6 out of 10. And while one of the commentators didn't especially like it, The Time-Out Film Guide called it "An irresistible black comedy, it's probably Reiner's best film, not least because it shows such affection for all its crazies."


This is the best horror movie that Brian DePalma has ever directed. Victoria likes Dressed to Kill, but this is a better movie from start to finish. DePalma has the benefit of a Lawrence D. Cohen screenplay based on Stephen King's book. Cohen's screenplay was nominated for a Edgar Allan Poe Award (1977).

Sissy Spacek is mesmerizing as Carrie. Despite the fact that she and the rest of the cast are too old to be playing high schoolers, Spacek conveys the naivete of an impressionable youth. She makes us feel her pain, as her classmates show no class in reducing her to a scared, tortured soul, shrinking into a fetal position after their taunting.

Also excellent is Piper Laurie as Carrie's mom Margaret White. Laurie captures the wigged out wackiness of a bible toting, scripture quoting ex-sinner who bedevils her own daughter. Both Spacek and Laurie were nominated for Oscars for their performances.Among the high school hellions are John Travolta, PJ Soles, Amy Irving and bitch goddess Nancy Allen. Ms. Allen then married DePalma and appeared in his Dressed to Kill and Blow-Out. Allen has appeared nude in each of her DePalma movies.

The movie carries you inexorably to its fitting climax, as the abused victim becomes the avenging angel.

DePalma isn’t as much of a showoff in Carrie as in some of his other movies. He has always had the reputation of stealing from other directors, especially Hitchcock. Except for one dizzying dance scene that goes on way too long, DePalma is under much better control. The movie benefits by it.


This year I actually watched the Oscars and enjoyed them immensely. Yes they went on too long (until 12:15) but with an 8:30 start (for the left coast people), it's to be expected. If they want to shorten it they will have to drop some of the award presentations.

Ellen DeGeneres did a great job in her first shot as Oscar host. I especially liked her 'fan' photo with Clint Eastwood, her Oscar carryall to free the hands for speech notes, and her vacuuming the carpet (Whose papers are these? Oh they're the band's.). There was a nice comic song tribute by Jack Black, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly. And Leonardo DiCaprio's baiting of Al Gore (Have you anything else you want to announce?) was perfect with Gore's response drowned out by the band after running overtime.

The night was made for me when Martin Scorsese finally won an Oscar on his 6th try. Already the apologists are suggesting that Scorsese got it for his other movies and that The Departed isn't as good a work as those for which he was denied. I don't agree. Vehemently. The Departed is a great movie and stands with Scorsese's all time best.

Scorsese and his Raging Bull were beaten out in 1981 by Robert Redford and his Ordinary People. In 1991, Scorsese and Goodfellas lost to Kevin Costner and Dances with Wolves. I'm not sure what picture beat out Taxi Driver. Scorsese was long overdue.


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