Summertime Non-Movies

Beautiful Frenzy (2004), a 50-min doc on The Ex, which I put on while writing, hoping it’d be more full songs and concert footage than subtitled interviews in Dutch, but no such luck.

Jesus Lizard Sho(r)t (1996), ten minutes of not-great promo video followed by twenty-five of the good concert footage I’d desired from The Ex movie.

A little-known fact: Pixar reissued four of their recent films to theaters last month. Katy and I rewatched Up, which I’m ready to declare a masterpiece, and Wall-E (at which we were the only two people). I’d been looking forward to seeing that one again, and surely it’s wonderful, but its story and characters suffer in comparison to Up.

Movies watched on Rifftrax lately:

Island of Dr. Moreau: Crazypants, bonkers (“pants-crapping insane”) version of Island of Lost Souls. I was surprised that Brando dies so early, followed by Kilmer than Fairuza Balk. Our hero-by-default David Thewlis gets away.

Batman & Robin: It struck me just how expensive this movie looks. There’s a bit of CG fakery but it’s mostly money on the screen. Not that this excuses Schwartzenegger’s dialogue or Silverstone’s acting.

Jaws: Haven’t seen it since I was a kid, and maybe it’s the Rifftrax talking here, but I don’t think I like this movie one bit. Well, maybe ONE bit – the scene where Dreyfuss pretends to be tough by crushing his plastic cup.

Daredevil: fully deserving of the riff-treatment, a real stinking pile of unintentional humor. Things I can’t believe: that Colin Farrell played the villain, that this movie got a spin-off, and that the director was allowed to make another superhero movie (Ghost Rider).

Battlefield Earth: Barry Pepper can’t be to blame for this. Even though the movie is obviously horrible, he throws enough physical energy into his lead performance to somewhat transcend the muck. I haven’t seen Travolta in anything since, and hope I never do.

More Rifftrax: Terminator 3, Terminator 4, Jurassic Park (with Weird Al), X-Men and Transformers.

Rented Steve Coogan: Live ‘n Lewd (1994), which wasn’t the least bit funny.

Steve Coogan: The Man Who Thinks He’s It (1998) had the same characters, so I skipped a lot, but stopped for the Alan Partridge segment and all the bits with Simon Pegg.

Pegg with Julia Davies:

Rewatching The Wire with Katy. In the middle of season three now, where we’ve been stuck for a couple months.

Also checked out a good video essay by E. Lavik on the show’s style: strict chronological order without flashbacks, unobtrusive camerawork, no non-diegetic music or narration, with documentary-influenced camera moves (the camera shouldn’t know things that we don’t, like moving to the next speaker before they begin speaking). He spends time on subtle camera technique (lines, frames within frames, mirror shots and 180-degree rule: the usual stuff of visual analysis) and puts together a compelling argument that the show’s style is more interesting than it’s given credit for.

Also rewatched The Thick of It first season over a couple of days, to remember the characters before I see the next one.

And we finished Arrested Development season 2. I can hardly believe how good it is. I’m gonna have to watch the series over and over like Jeremy does.

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