Comedians: Patton Oswalt (with his star wars bit), Sarah Silverman (scripted as always), Blaine Capatch (then wastes half his running time on lame stephen hawking jokes), David Cross (dog jokes?), Jasper Redd, Eugene Mirman (keeps the props and charts to a minimum), Maria Bamford (voices), Brian Posehn.

“Comedy”: Dana Gould (extended blowjob joke not as good as louis ck), Zach G (had nothing to say), Steve Agee (the gay neighbor who is not posehn in sarah silverman’s show), Jon Benjamin (as usual with prepped material that overstays its welcome), Andy Kindler, Morgan Murphy, “Seth” G.

Movie is shot on batman-bad-guy angle and edited in a way that does not pretend it was a seamless show, which is kinda refreshing for being more truthful than usual, but kinda sad because we get the full-length intros of each comic but abbreviated actual comedy.

SEPT 2006:

Funniest zombie movie ever. Funnier than “Return of the Living Dead” and “John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars”… combined! Even Katy liked it.

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Katy might have liked it the first time, but she’s had quite enough of it now, and played computer games through most of the movie when I was showing it off to Dana this week. Well, no, obviously she still LIKES it, otherwise she would’ve either left the room or suggested something else. Dana did not immediately declare it the funniest zombie movie ever, so the screening was a partial failure. I got to watch “Heart of the World” beforehand, so I was obviously the happiest person in the room.

Steve says it doesn’t hold up anymore, and Katy was dismayed to find that Woody is a shrill & neurotic whiner and Diane Keaton isn’t much better… and on top of that, they don’t even stay together at the end of the movie! What is up with that? That’s not romantic. How then can it be #4 on the AFI’s list of all-time greatest comedies and the #125 top all-time film on the IMDB?

I’ve always loved this movie, but last time I saw “Play It Again Sam” (with the same three lead actors as this movie) I enjoyed it more than I enjoyed “Annie Hall” last night, so maybe that one’s due for another viewing. Or maybe I should stop rewatching comedies I used to like, so I can remember them as being funnier/better than they really are.

I mistook Shelley Duvall for Sissy Spacek, but they’re the same age so now I don’t feel as bad about that. Marshall McLuhan’s cameo was funny even before I knew who he was, and even now I only know who he is from reading some articles about “Videodrome”. Jeff Goldblum, who cameos at a party scene having forgotten his mantra, previously appeared in two Robert Altman films and “Death Wish”. Almost-co-star Tony Roberts is only recognizable from other Woody Allen movies. I didn’t recognize Paul Simon as a Hollywood hot-shot who flirts with Annie.

Wow, never noticed this before. Annie Hall was co-written by Marshall Brickman, who also co-wrote Manhattan, Sleeper, and Manhattan Murder Mystery, which are all my favorite Woody Allen movies. Coincidence? Can’t be. DP Gordon Willis shot eight Woody Allen movies including this one between Godfathers 2 and 3. He also shot the movie I am lately obsessed with, Pennies From Heaven.

Roddy “Mollymauk” McDowall of “Planet of the Apes” and “Fright Night” is a freaky kid who digs (stalks) new student “The Real” Tuesday Weld. They become friends but not in the way that Roddy would like. He says he will do anything for her, and he does: teaches her how to get enough cashmere sweaters to join the “sweater club”, takes her to a foreign beach for spring break (where she meets hunky fellow student Bob), helps her marry Bob and arranges her honeymoon (actually he fails that last one out of jealousy), then when she tired of Bob and craves movie-star fame, Roddy kills Bob with a tractor during graduation in the opening/closing scene and sits in jail while Tuesday gets famous.

Meanwhile, the movie is somewhat of a satire on everything from education to fame to family life to other movies. Real wacky and light at times, but unexpectedly dark and serious at others, particularly when Tuesday’s drunken mother commits suicide. Similarly, Roddy’s moving in with Bob and Bob’s yogurt-enjoying mother is an obvious comedy setup, but then he turns the mom into a hopeless moaning drunk while he drives Bob crazy and destroys his marriage.

Interesting movie overall… wouldn’t call it “uneven” in a bad way, more “successfully scattershot”. Katy and I kinda liked it.

Martin West (Assault on Precinct 13) plays Bob and Ruth Gordon (Maude!) is his mom.

1988: I was eleven, and all sorts of wonderful horror movies would play on TV… Deadly Friend, Chopping Mall, House, Prom Night, TerrorVision… and one of my favorites was Night of the Creeps. At the time I didn’t know it was a retro/parody/tribute sort of thing… didn’t realize the comedy in horror films (Freddy’s puns aside) was sometimes intentional, and didn’t catch the references to Night of the Living Dead, the tribute to cop-on-the-edge stories, or the smooth sci-fi/horror/comedy blend (which I enjoyed in such klassics as “Killer Klowns From Outer Space”) because I was too busy being actually scared by “Night of the Creeps”. The jokester kid who figures out how to stop the brain-slugs (fire/heat), then gets infected himself and crawls away to the boiler room to do himself in? One of the most terrifying things I’d ever seen on TV.

Unbelievably, when I rewatched it today, the movie was still good. Not as scary as it used to be, but clever and high quality. There wasn’t a better killer-alien-slug movie made before or since.

Things I’d forgotten: the b/w 50’s flashback intro and the whole detective character, but not much else. Either it’s very memorable or I watched it more times than I probably should’ve in the 80’s.


Lead characters are named Romero, Hooper, Cronenberg, Carpenter, Cameron (James? for Aliens?), Landis and Raimi – cute. He casts John Carpenter alum Tom Atkins as the troubled detective, and Joe Dante fave Dick Miller as the police armorer (even giving him Joe Dante/Roger Corman stock character name Walter). I did not notice George Clooney, rumored to have a bit part as a janitor.

Funny, Fred Dekker also wrote “House”. I’ve always thought the poster for “Creeps” (zombie hand opening a door) evoked the “ding dong, you’re dead” poster for “House”. And of course, Dekker wrote/directed another TV fave of my youth, “Monster Squad”, before killing his career with “Robocop 3”.

This is unique: referencing your NEXT film rather than your previous one

Fake though it looks, it used to scare me:

Your stars, Rusty Griswold from “European Vacation” and an extra from “Porky’s”:

Below: David Paymer as “young scientist”. This film was released the same month Paymer blew minds as “Larry, scientist” in George Lucas’s acclaimed “Star Wars” trilogy follow-up “Howard the Duck”

Dick Miller doesn’t want no trouble:

In my 23 years of watching Joe Dante movies (and 3 years of actually knowing who Joe Dante is, heh) I don’t think I’ve seen a better one. Maybe it’s just a dreamy first impression thing, and I’d be saying the same if I’d just watched “The ‘burbs” for the first time. We’ll see. Anyway, great movie.

Set in 1962 during the Cuban missile crisis at the height of cold war fever, John Goodman is a monster-movie peddler (based on William Castle of “The Tingler” fame) who’s literally coming up with new ways to shock people. I thought he’d be the movie’s lead, but not really, it’s this kid who just moved into a Florida town with a father (who we never see except in photos) who’s part of the Naval blockade of Cuba and a mom and a little brother and, if he can manage it, a girlfriend at school (a budding leftist). Kid’s new friend is trying to date a girl with a dangerous ex-boyfriend who ends up getting a job running the special effects during the MANT screening and seeing the two of them together. Oh, and the nervous theater manager has a bomb shelter in the basement. Hilarity ensues.

Movie is exciting and funny and intelligent while remaining entirely wholesome (rated PG). It’s all about the love of horror films without ever trying to be a horror film… and about growing up with the movies, the way they can reflect and affect people’s moods.

The great Kevin McCarthy as a general fighting the MANT:

Left: our kid. Right: Dick Miller, whose cohort was played by John Sayles.

Reportedly William Castle and Alfred Hitchcock shared mutual respect… no, really.

MANT escapes from the screen, takes a hostage:

Apocalyptic ending:

“I just got enganged.”
“Are you pregnant?”
“Not yet, but we’re getting married anyway”

Awesomely insane comedy following a girl (Zazie, who apparently had a cameo the following year in A Woman is a Woman) through Paris for a weekend vacation in the care of her uncle Gabriel (Philippe Noiret of Agnes Varda’s debut feature and La Grande bouffe).


Zazie quickly escapes her uncle. She teams up with an icky-seeming man who I’m not sure is trying to kidnap her or not, and the uncle (who is incidentally a cross-dressing dancer) teams with his cab-driver friend Charles. There are car accidents and cops and the uncle is kidnapped by tourists… all plot description attempts are useless. I also wasn’t paying total attention because it was on TV and I couldn’t pause when making dinner. Should be fun to watch again sometime.

Came out a year after The 400 Blows, half a year after Breathless, and there’s already a “new wave” joke in it.

Wasn’t letterboxed. I got screenshots from elsewhere.


Time out review:

Malle’s third feature plunges us straight back into the world of New Wave jiggery-pokery, with jump-cuts, lavish in-jokes, and a whirlwind narrative (taken from Raymond Queneau’s delightful novel) centred around a precocious brat (Demongeot) lewd enough to give a few tips to the Jodie Foster of Taxi Driver. It has survived the years much better than other indulgent frolics, mainly because Malle really does seem motivated by gleeful malice and anarchy – he’s not just toying with a fashionable mood. This spirit captured even underground guru Jonas Mekas, who commented on the original US release, ‘The fact that the film is a failure means nothing. Didn’t God create a failure too?’


Jonathan Rosenbaum:

Arguably Louis Malle’s best work. Based on Raymond Queneau’s farcical novel about a little girl (Catherine Demongeot) left in Paris for a weekend with her decadent uncle (Philippe Noiret), this wild spree goes overboard reproducing Mack Sennett-style slapstick, parodying various films of the 1950s, and playing with editing and color effects (Henri Decae’s cinematography is especially impressive), though gradually it becomes a rather disturbing nightmare about fascism. Forget the preposterous claim by a few critics that the movie’s editing influenced Alain Resnais, but there’s no doubt that Malle affected Richard Lester–and was clearly influenced himself by William Klein, whom he credited on the film as a visual consultant. A rather sharp, albeit soulless, film, packed with ideas and glitter and certainly worth a look.


“Every faction in Africa calls themselves by these noble names – Liberation this, Patriotic that, Democratic Republic of something-or-other… I guess they can’t own up to what they usually are: a federation of worse oppressors than the last bunch of oppressors. Often, the most barbaric atrocities occur when both combatants proclaim themselves freedom-fighters.”

Funny, a riot of a movie, and the most I’ve enjoyed watching Nic Cage since “The Rock” (though I hear he was awesome in Wicker Man remake).

Nic has no morals and neither does the film. Rather than preaching all Hotel Rwanda and Last King Of Scotland on us, the movie takes Nic’s side, making its violence funny and nihilistic, just an unfortunate side effect of business as usual. The downfall comes as expected… Nic loses his uncle (blown to bits), then his brother (shot down trying to destroy some weapons) and his wife (leaves him, takes the kid) and finally gets arrested for illegal arms dealing. But the movie subverts expectation one last time by having a powerful general (based on Ollie North) set Nic free, because the U.S. armed forces need people like him to do things that they can’t be caught doing themselves.

Funny I was thinking how it’s an all-male movie with a token part for the wife when she comes out with this dialogue: “I feel like all I’ve done my whole life is be pretty. I mean, all I’ve done is be born! I’m a failed actress, a failed artist… I’m not much good as a mother. Come to think of it, I’m not even that pretty anymore.”

Pretty stylin’ movie, nice CG-assisted intro following a bullet from factory to a shocking war-zone head-shot. The movie is amoral to make its point, but it doesn’t expect its viewers to be.

Romantic comedy about baseball starring cute Drew Barrymore (of Curious George, hopefully not of the Grey Gardens feature remake) and not-so-cute Jimmy Fallon (of Doogal). I failed to recognize Ione Skye (of Girls In Prison), JoBeth Williams (of Poltergeist), Andrew “Future Man” Wilson and Stephen King.

So we’ve got a writer I like (Nick Hornby) being adapted by the screenwriters of “Robots” and “Mr. Saturday Night”, run through thirteen different producers and directed by the Farrelly brothers… whole thing comes out as a passably watchable baseball-themed romantic comedy that didn’t hurt at all. Fallon is a cute guy whom career-minded Drew kinda likes, but then he reveals his utter obsession with the red sox and their relationship threatens to unravel, culminating with his attempting to sell his season tickets and her running across the field mid-game to stop him, because if he cares enough to do that for her, then she cares enough not to let him. Cuteness. Katy likes it.