Thursday, March 26, 2009

Roundball and the Cinema

Hello, Lone Reader! Today’s post in three parts:

I. Basketball
Tomorrow is the KU vs. Michigan State basketball game. I’m having some peeps over. It should be a tough game, but I think we can swing it. I do have my big foam finger from 1988, which will be making an appearance at the party. Hopefully I can convince someone to wear the red and blue wig as well. Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!

II. Crap movies
Perhaps because of the suckola weather, I’ve been watching movies like crazy lately. (For those not in MN, yesterday it snowed and it’s been grey and damp for days.) I decided to begin Crap Movie Fest ’09 with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, featuring Beatles songs sung by the Bee Gees, Peter Frampton and, believe it or not, George Burns, Steve Martin, Alice Cooper, Aerosmith and so many more. Wow, that’s a bad movie. It appears to have stolen a plot from Scooby Doo, with the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton playing apparently mute rubes who are chased by the Bad Guys. OMG. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen “She’s Leaving Home” sung by actors dressed as evil cyborgs. The highlight of the film was the finale, with a bizarre assemblage of celebrities (all of whom lacked the common sense to pass on this train wreck) singing Sgt. Pepper. Where else can you see Bowser from Sha Na Na, Leif Garrett, Carol Channing, Gwen Verdon and Seals & Croft all singing along to the worst soundtrack ever committed to celluloid?

Next up in the bad movie category was Xanadu. Brief disclosure – I LOVE XANADU. I’ve seen it several times. The acting is truly remarkable. It’s almost like it’s early computer animation – the wooden expressions, the not-quite life-like delivery of lines. With one of the lamest plots ever (a muse comes to Earth and falls in love) Olivia Newton John, the forgettable (and forgotten) Michael Beck and, sadly Gene Kelly struggle to keep the film afloat. Poor, poor Gene Kelly…you must’ve really needed cash to be the performing monkey in this charade. There’s a painful music video-type sequence with Gene Kelly popping out of dressing rooms in various outrageous get ups. It puts one simultaneously in the mind of the Banana Splits and the pathetic old hooker on the corner, pretending that no one can really see the folds around her lips under the smear of magenta gloss.

III. Better movies
I recently watched Religulous, Rachel Getting Married and Milk. Religulous feels like it’s from the makers of Borat, perhaps because it was. There’s a very fine line between pointing out hypocrisy and contradiction and really making fun of a person’s beliefs. There were certainly funny moments, and thought-provoking factoids, but there was a lot of mean-spiritedness, homogenizing all religious people as lemmings, or worse, bigoted cowards.

Rachel Getting Married and Milk were both harsh, but solid. Excellent performances in both, surprising for me since I don’t much care for Anne Hathaway’s pop-eyed ingénue thing.

This has turned into a novella, Lone Reader, and I must go. Life, not blog, calls me. Stay warm, watch good movies and go Jayhawks!



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