Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My Ghod!

Ray Dennis Steckler is DEAD!
Nobody tells me anything!!!

Ah but Ray was a wonder in his own way, he was the last of the independent producer-directors who sold exclusively to the drive in market also the first to become a do-it-yourself backyard film-maker...The man straddled some genres lemme tellya. I've often included "Ratfink a Boo Boo" on my list of the ten greatest films not out of a sense of whimsy but because I genuinely admire his attempt to stave off boredom by turning a cheap rip off of Psycho into a Batman and Robin parody.
Then there is his bizarre resemblance to former Bowery Boy Huntz Hall or his equally strange acting alter ego "Cash Flagg".
His enthusiasm, his lack of ego his wide ranging filmography (horror films, rock and rock extravaganzas soft core porn) mark him as ahead of his time.
Rest in Peace Ray there is no one out there quite like you.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Cancellation of Eliza (part II)

Dollhouse starring Boston's own Eliza Dushku has been unceremoniously cancelled after one and a half seasons!
The poor kid must be getting a complex, she will soon be rivaling the great Alison La Placa for an uninterrupted string of one and two season wonders.
In the case of "Dollhouse" producer Joss Whedon's core concept (brain wiped human robots assuming different roles each week at the behest of a sinister corporation) made it wee bit difficult to form an attachment with the protagonist even if she is the one and only Eliza Dushku. "The Prisoner" had the same problem as Patrick McGoohan's Number Six was all about denying his back story from his captors and by extension the viewers.
Well all I can say is, TV-land is a wasteland in extremis without Eliza D. raising holy hell on a weekly basis....helluva shame really.

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Last Three Movies:

The Informant! (2009) Directed by Steven Soderbergh...Won-der-ful film in every way, great performance from Matt Damon in serious "Heavenly Creatures" mode wherein it takes a good hour for the aud to realize the protagonist is completely bonkers. It is a funny movie in every way so we will see if any Oscar Buzz is generated off of Damon's portrait of a genial upwardly mobile nut job.
Zombieland (2009) Directed by Ruben Fleischer Best zombie flick I've seen since "Shaun of the Dead". A winning performance from Woody Harrelson but star turns also from co-stars Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone & Abigail Breslin. The ending doesn't make a whole lotta sense, but then it is a zombie flick and you have to expect a wheezy third act when the genre itself is heavily pre-populated with cliches.
As for the infamous cameo...Yer gonna have to go to some other blog to get it spoiled and hashed over, but rest assured it is preemo.
Amelia (2009) Directed by Mira Nair. Amelia Earhart (Hilary Swank channeling Hepburn) wants to fly, and to do it she'll endorse every product in the yellow pages and marry an oily publicity agent all to stay free above the clouds in a smartly painted biplane. Critics have lambasted this film for it's aimless plot and bio-pic cliches. However the writers consciously chose to depict Ms. Earhart as a free spirit of the air and lets face it, yer classic free spirits have little depth to them. And so it is with Amelia, rest assured despite the six inches of suds on the floor the whole thing is acted with a great deal of grit and panache, Ms. Swank almost accomplishes the James Deanian miracle of redeeming mediocre material... Almost but not quite.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Adorable scene in Menotomy this morning

When I go out to the car most mornings squads of middle schoolers are inevitably trudging by me on their way to the Junior High down the hill. This morning a flock of girls were prancing down the street clearly in no discernible hurry to get to school. Since we are all terrible provincials in this part of town kids tend to walk down the middle of the street sans demure since cars are infrequent things round' hyar. I generally let any kids in transit pass me by before pulling out as it just seems safer that way.
Well just as these girls had reached the stop sign down the block in front of me, a huuu-uge SUV roared around the corner and pulled up smartly right next to them on the curb, the driver's side window powered down, and an elegantly clad arm issued forth with expensive bracelets round the wrist clutching a brown sandwich bag in it's manicured hand.
Immediately the smallest of this aforementioned girlish gaggle detached herself from the group and deftly snatched away said back with a high pitched "Thanks MOM!" trilled on the breeze.
And with that the SUV roared away in a cloud of dust, the girls resumed their stately progress down the avenue without a care in the world.
All I could imagine was that moms was late for an early meeting at Ropes and Gray and took off out of the garage like the Batmobile howling "Amber forgot her luu-unch!!!!"

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Twilight of the Gods....

It is my sad duty to note the death of Brother Blue at the age of eighty-eight.
The very heavens do shake.
He was in palmier days, the wise counselor of my mis-spent youth.
A longtime fixture in Harvard Square, a man given to dancing atop the snow piles from the great blizzard of 1978, a storyteller, a friend to drifters, derelicts and children.
Now gone.
I will never again walk thru Harvard Square without wishing most ardently that he was still out on the damn triangle island in front of Wordsworth, rappin' on Othello (or as he called the moor "Big O")....It seems like I spent all four years of high school out there listening to him.
And when it came time for him to make his one and only feature film appearance, it was a foregone conclusion that he'd play Merlin in George Romero's modern Arthurian romance Knightriders (1981).
Typecasting to be sure, but what a natural!
The last time I saw him was maybe three years ago in front of the ART, it was clear time was at last digging it's claws into him, but he was still the friendliest most enthusiastic, most approachable of men.
He had many friends and no enemies, what more can be said of a superlative storyteller?

Rest in Peace Blue, put in a good word for us on the sidewalks of the hereafter, we are gonna need it.