Thursday, August 16, 2007

Getting old on the shelf

These movies I've seen, not my jokes! Ha ha ha ha.

(Can you tell I just want to knock these mini-recaps out?)

Yes, another round-up of movies not quite worthy of their own post, for whatever reason. Here's where I could offer a couple of reasons, but that would suggest I care. Alas ...

Sly and the Family Drone: "Get Carter"

Remember my post on the original "Get Carter," a decent movie featuring a surprisingly hard-assed Michael Caine? Now we get hardbody Sylvester Stallone in a movie that's pretty soft.

Stallone is a Vegas enforcer who goes back to his hometown of Seattle after his brother dies. He wants to find out whodunit, and that leads him to a cast of unsavory characters played by Mickey Rourke, Alan Cumming, Rhona Mitra and ... wait for it ... Michael Caine! I can't believe it. He's usually so picky about his roles.

Also in the picture are Stallone's enforcer pal John C. McGinley, his sister-in-law Miranda Richardson and niece Rachael Leigh Cook, looking a lot worse than when she was supposed to be a geek in "She's All That." (Never saw the movie, just the trailer. Swear.) Stallone stalks around, roughing up people to get answers. But, lo, he's also tender enough to have a heart-to-heart with his niece. Awww.

Not that I was down with the movie to that point, but Sly's hamhanded attempt at touchy-feely, juxtaposed with his "grrr, I'm mean" schtick, pretty much finished me off. If you can stand the British accents, stick with the original, which was back when Caine still had something resembling a soul.

Ooohh, a space vegetable man ... scary!: "The Thing from Another World"

I had seen this movie listed as one of the great early horror/sci-fi movies but never buckled down to watch it. What it offers in brevity -- not even 90 minutes -- it takes away in being just a tad dated. Go figure, considering it's 56 years old.

The story is simple: scientists and military types at an Arctic outpost come across something buried in the ice. They bring it back to the base but -- dammit! -- it melts, with the thawed creature wreaking havoc. I hate it when that happens.

Ironically, the most familiar name in this cast is the guy decked out in alien garb, James "Gunsmoke" Arness. We never get a great look at the creature, which is just a big dude in a jumpsuit. Rather, the themes here are science and the conflict between those who would kill an alien and those who want to study it. Deep, perhaps, but I'll stick with watching Kurt Russell and Wilford Brimley slog through the snow in the remake.

Pall in the family: "Little Miss Sunshine"

Won't spend too much time here since I sang this movie's praises when it came out. Caught it again on HBO, and it was just as funny the second time around.

The plot is simple: Dysfunctional family treks from New Mexico to California so the little girl can be in a beauty pageant. But when you've got a group of misfits like this, well ... you know ... hijinks ensue.

My favorite parts: grandpa Alan Arkin advising his grandson on sex and drugs, the two scenes involving dirty magazines and -- you guessed it -- the penultimate scene with the little girl doing her thing at the pageant. Still think that was genius.

Caroline in the Spin City: "Back to the Future"

Not sure how it happened, but My Eternal Radiance and I just came to watch this not long ago after stumbling across it on HBO. Well, she fell asleep, but I rode it out. Wasn't hard. Good movie.

As we all know, Michael J. Fox is Marty McFly, son of doofus parents and friend of eccentric scientist. When Marty accidentally goes back in time some 30 years, he meets his parents and then has to fix the history he messed up before he can go ... back ... to the future! (Dum-dum-DUM!!!)

Like I said, you know it, you love it. Really, I was almost surprised at how easy this was to watch given what everyone involved has been through since 1985. We never see Fox anymore because of his illness. Crispin Glover -- also excellent in "River's Edge" -- went off the edge and has only sort of come back. Lea Thompson went from supercutie -- nude scene in "All the Right Moves!" -- to annoying in that sitcom to ... well, I don't know. Then there's Christopher Lloyd, now pushing 70 but still playing Doc Brown in those DirecTV commercials. Way to branch out there, doc.


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