Friday, April 13, 2012

Olive Street Cinema, no. 4 | Of Martians, Pool Boys, Co-eds, & Femme Fatales

John Carter (2012) - I am fully aware that this movie did not receive rave reviews, that this movie, in fact, received reviews far from rave.  However, I'm with Willem Dafoe, voice of Tars Tarka, who, when asked about the bad critiques in an interview, responded with a lusty growl, "Puritans!".  Yes, this is a big budget movie with big CGI landscapes and monsters, but I totally and utterly enjoyed myself.  And I was so surprised!  Because of the bad reviews, sure, but also because I the trailer made this seem like a very different movie, one I normally would categorically be bored to tears with.  But what a joy this was to watch!  What good looking characters!  What an intriguing opening scene--a Western!  A solid sci fi movie, and one that got me excited about reading the books, of which my grandmother owns a few first editions.  Oh yes, you read that right.
Poolboy: Drowning Out the Fury (2011) - Oh, man.  We are B Movie fans--we love camp and exploitation flicks.  And we love us some Kevin Sorbo and Danny Trejo.  But this was a hot hot mess.  So unfunny and unfortunate.  From here on out, I'm sticking to Hercules and Machete.
Boys & Girls (2000) - Among the oft watched high school/college romcoms of my teendom, I returned to Boys & Girls one evening when I had the house to myself.  Rewatching movies in which Freddie Prinze Jr. plays the romantic lead nowadays sort of makes me cringe a bit--he was so earnest and awkward with that aura of barely-contained nerdery!  But, in Boys & Girls, Freddie Prinze Jr. actually does play a nerd.  Somebody finally cast him correctly.  But he is not the reason to watch this movie, nor is Jason Biggs ("Hunter" is supposed to teach the audience about the importance of being oneself in the search for love, but his jokes are just poorly written and most of his scenes are uncomfortable).  No, one should watch this for Claire Forlani.  What a sexpot!  And, fun fact, Claire Forlani's wardrobe in this movie (though this is not illustrated in the movie poster) was one of my very first major fashion inspirations.  So slinky and slouchy and easy, but still crisp and sexy.  I loved it!  Also, there's a fantastic for-no-reason dancing scene in this movie.  I collect those.  Those are, perhaps, why I watch movies.

Kitten With a Whip (1964) - This movie was incomprehensible to Wolfman and me.  I can't tell you how many times we shouted at the screen for the protagonist to "Hit her in the head!" and be done with it.  Such a passive character, and one who only really gets out of his hostage predicament by accident and chance.  I suppose one should watch this as a time capsul, and one should simply soak in and appreciate the sexiness of Ann Margret.  But, Ann Margaret is a sort of terrible actress, and with none of the charisma of some of the other sexkitten leading ladies of her day.   

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