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The Paul Lynde Halloween Special (1976), Sidney Smith. June 19, 4pm. View count: One.
Bye Bye Birdie (1963), George Sidney. June 19, 8pm. View count: One.
Tears of the Black Tiger (2000), Wisit Sasanatieng. July 2, 10pm. View count: One.
The Quick and the Dead (1995), Sam Raimi. July 10, 9:30pm. View count: One.
Tromeo and Juliet (1996), Lloyd Kaufman. July 17, 10pm. View count: Six?
Babylon 5: The Gathering (1993), Richard Compton. July 19, 7pm. View count: One.
Babylon 5: In the Beginning" (1998), Michael Vejar. July 21, 8pm. View count: One.
Inception (2010), Christopher Nolan. July 22, 8:10pm. View count: One.
Babylon 5: Thirdspace (1998), Jesús Salvador Treviño. July 25, 2pm. View count: One.


Paul Lynde Special is really, really special, arguably in the 'developmentally disabled' sense. It's horrifying. I love Paul Lynde and sometimes have a high threshhold for horribleness, so I sort of liked all of it, but the people I was with were writhing a little.
It has terrible musical numbers, terrible costumes, terrible guest stars (Margaret Hamilton! Florence Henderson!), and... Kiss. Kiss the band showed up and did some numbers for this thing. It's sort of like when Alice Cooper was on the Muppet Show, except if instead of Jim Henson, my mom was in charge.
There is also a horrible quiz in the DVD menu wherein one can answer inane questions about Paul Lynde's life (which usually one hasn't any way of knowing). If the wrong answer is picked, a clip of Paul Lynde saying "Terrible" is played. I grew to sort of love that clip.

Bye Bye Birdie JP wanted to show me because he'd been in a production of same in high school, and I had no knowledge of it. Turns out it's a little stupid, but it does have Paul Lynde as a suburban dad, which was the standout performance by far. The exaggerated 50s stylee was amusing as well, I suppose.

Tears of the Black Tiger is a cute Thai 50s cowboy pastiche. I'll write more of this later, because I've forgotten the details and have to look them up.

The Quick and the Dead I was surprised by, a bit -- somehow I hadn't seen this, despite loving Raimi of this era. The chief conceit here seems to be that Raimi constructed a western that was 90% showdowns, which allowed him to do his thing extensively. Leonardo Dicaprio was excellently cast as a cocky teenager; he'll never do that well again, I fear. Lance Henriksen was cool but underused as a fancy trick shooter, and Gene Hackman was a fun if not great villain.

Tromeo and Juliet we showed to a couple of friends, with mixed results. I still maintain it's important to view it, although, really there should exist somewhere a "good stuff" cut of the movie which is mmmaybe 1/3 the original length. It is one of those things wherein one's expectations are significantly lowered, only for a legitimately good thing to sneak through now and again. There are also some really appalling puns.

Babylon 5 movies are sort of variable in quality. The first one, the pilot for the show, is fairly bad. Nearly everything that turned out to be important in the actual show (which we enjoyed immensely) is either totally absent or in an embryonic state in the pilot. Even the acting isn't so hot.
The second one, In the Beginning, is nearly all a rehash of events we already know about. It is unexciting. Thirdspace is a little better, but it seems rather like an extended episode (and one that exists with no seeming influence on the continuity), and therefore isn't all that successful either.

Inception is a decent action movie. It's fun, and has some amusing parts, but I didn't find it irresistible. I do hate Leonardo Dicaprio nearly always, and in this he seems to be an artificially aged teenager who still does not really act very well. Too much explaining (and then contravening the explanations when it is convenient) is in evidence, as is a vaguely unsatisfying main character arc (JP thought of a nicer twist than what actually showed up).
Still, it had some charming components, mostly from 3rd Rock From the Sun guy, who had a good showing in a good part.
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Karla Z

February 2012

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