Friday, October 02, 2009

October revivals: first half

Hey all. Mike here with what to catch for the first half of October. I think I got a real nice mix of stuff here. Not necessarily every film is a "good" film mind you, but each is entertaining in their own way. Go through the list, and you'll see what I mean. Here we go:

TOY STORY and TOY STORY 2 in 3-D- Various locations in NYC, look them up on your own- Opens Fri Oct 2- Technically not revivals, but a re-release. Supposedly its for two weeks only. But that's what they said about the Hannah Montana concert film and the two re-releases of Nightmare Before Christmas, so we'll see. Originally, only Toy Story was supposed to be released now, with Toy Story 2 released in February. But since they'll be re-releasing Beauty and The Beast then, and Disney really wants to pitch the upcoming Toy Story 3 to us, these two films are out now.

Toy Story and Toy Story 2, from Pixar. The film that changed the game in terms of animation and what constitutes a big box office draw, and one of the few sequels considered better than the original. Not by everyone mind you. Toy Story is on the second AFI Top 100 list and the other is not. Both are beloved and both are back, for one admission, and in 3-D only. So get ready for that 3 dollar plus surcharge for those glasses. Hopefully, you haven't thrown out your glasses from stuff like Up, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, Ice Age 3 and whatever else was in 3-D, pay to see something else, and sneak into this. Note, its been set up that the times for the first Toy Story film is seen first, so if you intend to see the second one first, good luck with that. And if you intend to put that much effort into that, you're a bit of a moron.

SOME LIKE IT HOT- Mon Oct 5- Thurs Oct 8 at 7 and 9:30- Film Forum- A new 35mm print. You all know this one. Lemmon and Curtis in dresses blah blah blah, Marilyn Monroe blah blah blah, Billy Wilder classic in a career full of classics blah blah blah, AFI Top 100 blah blah blah, on the short list of comedy classics blah blah blah. If you know it, you probably love it, so let's just catch it already.

RiffTrax makes fun of PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE- Thurs Oct 9 at 7:30- AMC Empire 25, Regal Union Square Stadium 14 and Regal Westbury Stadium 12- The legendarily GOD AWFUL Ed Wood Jr film (is there any other kind?) gets a rare screening. Here it's made fun of by RiffTrax. The members of the group are Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett. Yes, former members of Mystery Science Theater 3000, riffing on a colorized version of this laughably terrible film. Complete with bad dialogue, worse acting, a spaceship on a string, tombstones in a graveyard that moves, and other disasters. With a short that gets rifted on before Bela Lugoisi's last picture begins. One night only and it sounds like fun.

ON THE WATERFRONT- Fri Oct 9 and Sat Oct 10 at 7:40 (with different intros on each night) and 9:50- Film Forum- The start of the Elia Kazan retrospective. You all know this one too. Brando classic, blah blah blah, I coulda been a contender blah blah blah, Best Picture winner classic, blah blah blah, AFI Top 100 film, blah blah blah. You'll decide if you want to see it or not. But two introductions of note going on here. On Friday the 9th at 7:40, Roberta Hodges, Waterfront's Script Supervisor will introduce the screening. On Saturday the 10th at 7:40, Benn Schulberg, the son of the film's screenwriter Budd Schulberg, will introduce this particular screening. I don't have to catch either one, I'd go just to see the film. But I wouldn't say no either.

DEAD-ALIVE- Mon Oct 12 at 4:30 or Fri Oct 16 at 9- Walter Reade at Lincoln Center- Part of a series of horror films playing at Lincoln Center, though this is one of the few I will bring up. Peter Jackson's first film, where a man falls in love with a woman. But then, the man's mother gets bitten and is slowly turning into a zombie. The man tries to be the dutiful son, but sure enough, zombie mom wreaks havoc. We're talking zombie dogs, zombie monkeys, zombie babies, zombie priests. I think I even saw a zombie lawn mower, unless I was just confused. Did I mention this was a comedy? An insane, bizarre, ultra gory comedy, but a comedy nevertheless. If you want to see the twisted mind of the man behind the Lord of the Rings films, here's a perfect opportunity.

But one question remains. Is this a good film that's over the top funny, or a crapfest that's almost on the level of Plan 9 (but not quite!), that's so over the top, that you can't help but to at least smirk? And the answer is, I can't help you. You have to decide for yourself.

PINK FLOYD: THE WALL- Tues Oct 13 at 8- The Walter Reade at Lincoln Center- You can't get much more bizarre than this collaboration of Alan Parker's visual style and Roger Waters' music. Among the last of the midnight movies to make any kind of impact, being shown at a reasonable time. Waters hated this film so much, he bad mouthed it every chance he had. I don't think Parker can say Roger's name without some form of bile buildup. Amazing visual sequences, not just in the famous We Don't Need No Education scene. The film is barely coherent from the start, and makes less sense as it goes along. But good music and visuals go a long way with me. According to the filmlinc website, they plan on cranking up the volume for the We Don't Need No Education scene, and there will be an after-party, specializing in progressive rock from the DJs of Viva Radio.

BABY DOLL- Wed Oct 14 at 7:45 and 10- Film Forum- Part of the Kazan retro. A one day/night only screening. A screenplay from Tennesse Williams, and directed by Kazan. Carroll Baker plays the title role, as a 19 year old child bride, who refuses to give in to husband Karl Malden's "demands". She ends caught in the middle, as her virginity becomes a prize, between Malden, and an angry Mexican business rival (Eli Wallach in his film debut) who tries to take revenge, by taking Baby Doll. Funnier then you might expect, but as well acted, written and directed as you might think from all the names I mentioned here.

Controversial back in the mid 50s for the subject matter (in the 1950s? Gee, you THINK?!?!?!). Condemned by the Legion of Decency, this arm of the Catholic Church tried to organize a nationwide boycott. Cardinal Spellman in St. Patrick's Cathedral condemned the film during mass, telling Catholics to not see Baby Doll "under pain of sin". A surprising indirect ally was Time Magazine, who called the film the dirtiest American picture ever legally screened. The boycott didn't completely work. The backlash eventually killed the Catholics out of giving films the Production Code seal of approval; a step that would eventually lead to the ratings system and board we have today. But it did kill any chance Baby Doll ever had to be profitable. The boycott succeeded to the point that over 50 years later, this film is still criminally under seen. You might have heard of this film, but you have to be an ardent buff to anything about this film. For the record, a bit on the tame side, and far from pornographic. I tried to catch it last December, but it was sold out. Let's try again.

A very eclectic group, with something for almost everyone. Let me know. Later all.

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