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80s Movie Tattoo #2 March 14, 2008

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So I posted my “Dream a Little Dream” tattoo at the end of last year, thought it was time for an update:

Yep, thats right, its another 80s movie related tattoo - this time it’s the TEENWOLF logo. I’ve added the three stars as an embellishment to the original logo (which is on MJ Fox’s t-shirt on the original poster). This one is on the inside of my right arm near the wrist. Anyone think of any other obscure 80s movie logos I can get tattooed elsewhere?

Review: Senior Skip Day March 12, 2008

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Senior Skip Day is another of Hollywoods attempt at a modern day teen movie trying to capture the spirit of those made in the 80s - it plays like an amalgamation of all the 80s teen movies you’ve seen before, but just not as good. It steals mainly from Ferris Buellers Day Off with the protagonist talking to the camera, and the principal trying to catch the “hero” in the act of throwing a party. The plot is simple - Adam Harris is a typical high-school loser who has a crush on the hottest girl in school (where have we seen THAT before), he’s such a loser in fact that he lets slip to the principal the location of the students “skip day” party. Derided by his peers, his only option is to throw the party himself at his parents house without his mom ever finding out!! Does he succeed? — Its a teen movie!! Of course he does!!— In the process he manages to win the girl, the respect of his peers and manages to get rid of the high schools strict principal.

Starring a teen cast who you’ve never heard of, Tara Reid (!!) as Adam’s sister, Larry Miller as the principal, and Lea Thompson as the mom (who out-acts everyone in the brief time she’s on screen), Senior Skip Day is actually better than alot of the dross Hollywood puts out as “teen” movies. Lets hope, unlike most of the good modern teen movies, its gets greater exposure and doesn’t fall into straight-to-dvd hell (which no doubt it will).

Review: The Willies February 17, 2008

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Yet another movie from the vaults get snuck out into the market, with a VHS-to-DVD transfer. The Willies plays as “Creepshow-lite” and feels much like a pre-cursor to the 90s Nickelodeon series “Are You Afraid of the Dark”, with Sean Astin and his two cousins camping in the back yard and trying to out-gross each other with scary stories. The pre-credits sequence features three short urban legends: woman eats fried rat at a chicken joint, old man scared to death on a horror ride, and a woman microwaving her dog!!

Sean Astin then says he has the ultimate story, to which his friend asks the immortal line: “Are you going to tell us about the story about time you and your friends found a pirate ship in a cave?”

After the credits the first tale begins proper. Its the age-old tale of kid at school gets bullied, by both students and teachers, then gets revenge on the bullies - only this time he’s helped out by a benevalent school janitor, who just happens to also be a monster-in-disguise. His only task is to lure the bullies to the school bathroom, where the demon janitor takes care of the rest… The monster make-up is great for such a low-budget movie, and there is an excellent sequence of the janitor putting its human “skin” back on. Clu Gulager plays the school principal and James Karen plays the janitor in its human form, lending a modicum of gravitas to the proceedings. As for the child actors - like their characters they should never been seen or heard from again.

The second tale is one of insect-mad Gordy Belcher, who loves to torment a local farmer and create dioramas of dead flies. Played by 80s stalwart Michael Bower, Gordy is an instantly dislikable kid who deserves everything he gets. He torments the farmer, laughs at a car accident, disrespects his mother and loves to kill flies with nail varnish remover then pluck their wings off and thats in the first 10 minutes of this tale! At one point he feeds another school mate fly cookies! Gordy’s comeuppance comes in the form of nightmares about being dead in his freezer covered in bus, and waking up in a bed full of maggots… But that is just the beginning - the old farmer gives Gordy a jar of special manure, into whch Gordy puts some of his flies. During the night giant flies turn up and rip off his arms in the ultimate revenge :)

The movie ends with Sean Astin’s dad popping into the tent for one last scare - its James Karen from the first tale, who proceeds to rip off his face and reveal his inner monster. THE END!!

As I said earlier, the DVD looks like a VHS transfer and like all good 80s movies it looks the better for it - who wants to see the classics in digitally remastered versions, when we all grew up watching films on scratchy VHS tapes. The only extra on the DVD is a really bad trailer that does nothing to sell them movie whatsoever.

At the drive-in, a Teen Movie double-bill January 14, 2008

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OK so last night I sat down and watched a double-bil of teen movies: Slackers, and Sorority Boys.

Now I’m a sucker for the teen movie - I think I can demonstrate that if I admit to buying American Pie: Beta House (aka American Pie 6!!!) - but I also love a good story and out of the 2 only Slackers really delivers. Don’t get me wrong, Sorority Boys is a laff-riot! What’s not to like about 3 guys cross-dressing in a sorority and complaining about ingrown hairs, having a huge butt and not being pretty. But Slackers has an excellent cast - Devon Sawa and Jason Schwartzman to name two.

SLACKERS 
So you have 3 guys in college who lie, cheat and steal their way through life. Then they get caught by a fellow student… But the student (Jason Schwartzman) doesn’t turn them in, instead he blackmails them into setting him up with the girl of his dreams. But then one of the guys (Devon Sawa) falls for the mark and their plans all unravel. Now that sounds pretty bog-standard teen fare, but Slackers rises above the norm. With freaky hair-dolls, penis-puppets, and Jason Schwartzman peeing in the shower it might now be to everyones taste; but if you liked American Pie, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, or didn’t totally dislike Not Another Teen Movie, I’d sugesst you check it out.

Movie obsession gone too far? December 5, 2007

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Heres one of my many tattoos:

I absolutely love the movie “Dream a Little Dream”, I’ve seen it 134 times at the last count… And I still obsess over Meredith Salenger :)

When did this come out on DVD?? Childhood classic - THE WILLIES!!

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THANK GOD FOR BARGAIN BINS

I was trawling the DVD bargain bin in a local outlet store when i found this:

When did this 80s classic hit DVD? No matter, I managed to pick it up for a measly £1.99!!

Flight of the Conchords - Genius!

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Well I’ve just finished watching the complete first series of Flight of the Conchords and I haven’t laughed so much in ages! Its hard to believe that HBO would back a show about two loser musicians from New Zealand but i’m glad they did, if they hadn’t we would have never heard such great songs as “Its Business Time”… That song has banged about my head constantly since I heard it, and what a great euphemism for sex - “business time”. Here’s hoping it gets a second series, I want to see what happens to the guys now that there incompetant manager Murray has a career managing the “Crazy Dogs” (surely they’re only a one-hit wonder)

Kea-nu it could be this good? March 29, 2007

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The Replacements
“Pain heals, Chicks dig scars… Glory lasts for ever…”

Keanu Reeves stars in this little seen, dvd-friendly sports movie directed by Howard Deutch. Released in between Keanu’s first two Matrix outings, the film tells the story of a substitute squad hired to replace a striking Washington football team. Keanu’s character is a “never-was” quarter-back who blew a big game and has never played since, who’s called up to be the backbone of the new team. Keanu hasn’t displayed as much charisma and charm in a role as he does in this since Bill & Ted, and it makes his performance in The Matrix look even more wooden (if thats possible).

Keanu is supported by a veritable feast of “I know the face, but not the name” actors starring as his football teammates - Jon Favereau, Orlando Jones, Faizon Love, and the UK’s very own Rhys Ifans. Brooke Langton, from the tv version of THE NET, plays Keanu’s love interest and substitute cheerleader, her character gives the movie more emotional depth than others in the genre… The biggest star of this movie is undoubtbly Gene Hackman, who plays the coach hired to train the team. Hackman successfully recreates the great sports-coach attitude he displayed in the classic basketball movie BEST SHOT (aka HOOSIERS) and its this Hackman I prefer to see on screen - he has been in some great movies in his career, but it will always be the more affable characters I like to see him play (see Best Shot, Enemy of the State, Target).

The Replacements is another strong entry in the sports movie genre, succesfully adding a more “screwball” element to the proceedings - the pucking huddle, the jailhouse “I will survive” karaoke, and the car-tossing/shootout play-off. The film holds it own in a sea of US football movies by virtue of its great characters, screwball comedy and excellent use of the soundtrack. And Howard Deutch hasn’t made this good a movie since The Great Outdoors back in 1988..!

Whilst The Replacements is pure escapism - it is also rather GOOD…
**** 4/5

If you enjoyed The Replacements i’d also recommend:

Neccesary Roughness
Varsity Blues
The Longest Yard
Wildcats

Self-publicity gone awry… March 28, 2007

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I’ve decided to branch out and set up my own design business, so heres a shameless plug for the website:

www.pbwcreative.com

What I watched last week (w/e 24.03.07) March 26, 2007

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