Tag Archives: cinema classics

Two Great Worlds

I went to see a movie last week called In A World. You might not have heard of it – I’m not sure it made a huge splash at the box office. But it was awesome; one of those totally feel good movies that stays with you after you leave the theatre and makes you want to go see it again right away. Here’s the trailer:

The gist of the story is that Lake Bell (who also wrote and directed the movie – what up Lake Bell!) plays an endearing slacker and aspiring voiceover artist. She’s grown up in the shadow of her old man who’s one of the top voiceover dudes in the world, and who has always told her that the voiceover industry is for the men only and that she should stick to being an accent coach. No fun, Buzzkill Dad! Go back to Russia! Buzzkill Dad kicks our girl out of the house so that his much-younger ladyfriend can move in, so Lake goes to stay with her sister and sister’s husband, the always awesome Rob Corddry (seriously, did you guys see him in Hot Tub Time Machine? If not, please stop reading this and go watch it immediately). Lake’s big break comes when a huge movie studio that’s releasing an epic trilogy – sorry, quadrilogy – called the Amazon Games (a sly takeoff on the Hunger Games, starring Cameron Diaz) decides to resurrect the iconic “In A World…” movie trailer opener, and they hold a competition to see who will be their voiceover dude…or lady! That’s right, Lake Bell is in the running – and her main competition for the job comes in the form of a slickster douchebag named Gustav Warner, and…her own father! Yup – in a fit of jealousy Buzzkill Dad has thrown his name into the ring. Buzzkill Dad, why you gotta be like that?!

So how does it all end? Well, you’re just gonna have to watch it to find out! The movie also features an excellent supporting cast, a very cute romantic subplot, and a great soundtrack, including one of my favourite songs of all time, which was also used to absolute perfection in the movie Real Genius. Obviously nothing can top the Tears for Fears + Real Genius combo, but this comes pretty close. But don’t take my world for it – check it out yo’self!

And because we can all benefit from the occasional hit of ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’…enjoy!

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Team Steff vs Team Hardy

steff v hardy

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I am a pretty huge fan of ’80s movies in general, and John Hughes flicks in particular. 1986’s ‘Pretty in Pink’ is one of my all-time favourites — I previously wrote about it here and here.

So you can imagine my excitement when my good pal Laird Sapir told me that she was planning a post about a face-off between teen movie uber-villains Hardy Jenns (‘Some Kind of Wonderful’) and Steff McKee (‘Pretty in Pink’) and asked me to argue on Steff’s behalf.

You can read my treatise on Steff’s sleazy awesomeness, and Laird’s excellent rebuttal in favour of Hardy, here: Blazers & Bad Attitudes. Be sure to vote for your favourite rich preppie douchebag!


Pretty In Pink, Isn’t She?

Pretty in Pink

Aw, you guys. Seeing Pretty in Pink on the big screen was just as good as I had hoped it would be. Even though I’ve watched it a million times on DVD (not to mention every time it’s on TV), there’s just something about being there in the theatre getting the full moviegoing experience that makes it really special.

This time around, I kept thinking about the fact that Robert Downey Jr. auditioned for the role of Duckie Dale and came very close to winning the part. If RDJ had been cast, I think it would have been an entirely different movie. I mean, Jon Cryer did an excellent job and imbued the character with a certain exasperating-yet-endearing charm, but there were no sparks between him and Molly Ringwald. If you watch the movie picturing RDJ in the role, you can definitely imagine Andie ending up with Duckie instead of Blane.

This works for me. You?

Anyway, here are my thoughts on seeing the movie again in the theatre, 25 years after the first time…

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You Always Said We’d Meet Again…Someday…

pretty in pink

Today is a beautiful day. It’s sunny out and (relatively) warm, it’s Friday, and I am in a great mood. But more important than all of those things put together is the fact that tonight, I am going to see…oh, only one of the best movies of all time on the big screen.

Whether or not you are a fan of John Hughes, you have to admit that his films were a huge part of 80s pop culture, helping to cement the careers of a handful of young actors (Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Andrew McCarthy, Eric Stoltz, Ally Sheedy, to name a few), and were seminal in the establishment of the teen movie as a genre. Which, as far as I’m concerned, was one of the most important developments of the 20th century. Sure, there were a few other “big” things that happened (women achieving the right to vote, desegregation, man walking on the moon, the invention of the internet by Al Gore, etc) but I’d say that the creation of the modern teen movie ranks pretty high up there.

Although The Breakfast Club is probably considered his masterpiece, Pretty in Pink is my favorite John Hughes movie (with Some Kind of Wonderful coming in a close second). Pretty in Pink has everything — great music, unbelievably awesome 80s fashion, a classic love triangle, new-wave hairdos…all set amidst the backdrop of the ’80s high school class divide (rich kids vs. poor kids, preps vs. outcasts) — obviously a recurring theme in Hughes’ work. Throw in a young James Spader in a crumpled linen suit in what is surely the most amazing portrayal of a rich sleazebag ever to hit the big screen, and what’s not to love?

steff

I mean, look at this guy.

james as steff

The disdainful smirk, the unbuttoned shirt, the feathered hair… goddamit, everything about this look is complete & utter perfection.

There’s one scene in the movie in which Blane (Andrew McCarthy) takes Andie (Molly Ringwald) to a party, and they stumble upon Steff (James Spader) and his rich bitch girlfriend Benny hooking up in one of the upstairs bedrooms, and oh my god Steff and Benny behave like such awesomely horrible rich douchebags to her that it makes me want to punch myself in the face from pure joy.

Steff + Benny

I need these two in my life so they can sit around all day making disparaging remarks about my outfits. Somebody please make this happen.

Anyway, I can feel this quickly devolving into a rant about why Steff is the best character in the movie so I’ll stop here for now, but there are many other amazing parts of this movie that we need to discuss (Duckie’s fashion stylings! Harry Dean Stanton! Annie Potts as Andie’s record store boss!) I’ll be posting this weekend about my thoughts on seeing Pretty in Pink again on the big screen, 25 years after I first saw it in theatres (I was 10). Will it live up to expectations? Will it be as good as it was all those years ago?*

*Spoiler alert: of course it will. Obviously I own the DVD and watch it every few months.

Most importantly, we will examine the music that appears throughout the movie and determine whether Hughes hit the mark with the songs he chose for the soundtrack.

I’m taking a walk down memory lane tonight, my friends. If all goes according to plan, at around 10:30 pm I will be sitting in a dark movie theatre sobbing with happiness as this song plays during the movie’s epic final prom scene:

“We’ve always had time on our sides
Now it’s fading fast
Every second, every moment
We’ve got to, we’ve gotta make it last…”


Song of the Day: Sweet Disposition

sweet disposition

I heard this song, by Australian band The Temper Trap, recently on an episode of Greek (which is tragically now off the air, but I managed to record some episodes on my DVR and have been catching up on them this past week). Sweet Disposition plays during a scene in which one of the frat houses throws an epic End of the World party, during which Casey realizes that she’s still in love with her ex-boyfriend, lovable slacker Cappie. She breaks up with her current boyfriend Max and declares her love for Cappie, but he tells her it won’t work out between them. Luckily we know that he secretly still loves her too, because he sits on a rooftop looking melancholy while this song plays in the background. You will no doubt be reassured to know that Cappie and Casey do eventually end up together. I haven’t seen the rest of the seasons (damn you DVR for not taping anything past this episode!!) but I watch a lot of TV and I know how these things work. In teen-oriented dramas, the star-crossed main couple ALWAYS ends up together. It’s like a law or something (the only exception I can think of being Joey choosing Pacey instead of Dawson, but by then we were all rooting for Pacey anyway, amiright? Joshua Jackson, I LU, call me!)

ANYWAY. Sweet Disposition was used perfectly in this context since it’s exactly the type of song employed to great effect in television/movies (teen or otherwise) to express romantic longing, particularly the moment when a character comes to a realization about their feelings for someone. I am a complete sucker for these moments. If you’re reading this right now and thinking to yourself “God, Spencer is SUCH a girl,” you are absolutely correct. Hearing this song got me thinking about the best date I had in high school. It was with a boy I had a super huge crush on, and we watched Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure together. If that doesn’t sound particularly romantic to you, what can I say — I really love that movie. Not only is it a classic, it is now forever linked in my mind with that wonderful/horrible/excruciating feeling you get when you like someone and you aren’t sure if they like you…..but then YES! it turns out that they totally like you too and it is AWESOME. Sigh…

So that’s why Sweet Disposition is my song of the day — because it reminded me of lying on a couch with my high school crush watching one of the best movies of all time & wondering if he was going to kiss me (he did — YAY!) The ability to transport you back to an exact moment in time like that, now that’s the power of a great pop song.


LTEV Photo Shoot: Star Wars

As a companion piece to our Spotlight on Style: Star Wars feature, Donkeysuit and I attempt to re-create an image from the movie.

THE INSPIRATION:

holochess

Holochess on the Millennium Falcon


THE RE-CREATION:

holochess, LTRV-style

Spencer as C3P0, Donkeysuit as Chewie

holochess pieces




Spotlight on Style: Star Wars

star wars style

Look, guys, I know what you’re thinking. What does Star Wars have to do with music, right? Um, hello, it only has the BEST MOVIE SCORE of all time (John Williams I ♥ u 4ever). To this day, whenever I hear the 20th Century Fox intro at the beginning of a movie I get chills, because it’s so closely linked in my mind to the opening bars of the Star Wars theme.

Sigh.

Best. Movies. Ever.

There was just so much to love about the first three (Episodes IV, V, and VI, that is). Intergalactic warfare. Rakish smugglers. Droids!! Ewoks, bounty hunters, a city in the clouds. The dark side of the force. Darth vader. Yoda. A love triangle (at least, until the incestuous aspect of it was revealed. Ew). Good vs. evil. Jedi masters, fighter pilots, the Death Star….

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