Wednesday, August 28, 2013

"The World's End" (2013)

Simon Pegg claims that "Nostalgia is the Enemy" in his new comedy "The World's End". And indeed he is onto something as aging lad Gary King a man child layabout leads the remnants of his now middle aged high school posse on a last tour of twelve pubs in the grotty suburb of their misspent youth only to find benevolent but bossy aliens underfoot. The evils of nostalgia and "past worship" might've come off a little stronger if writer & star Simon Pegg along with director Edgar Wright didn't serve up a comical homage to Jack Finney's "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" right down to the nominal climax Ah but I quibble this film is the closest thing to a gem this summer, ant film that can take portly pasty and very middle aged Nick Frost and turn him into a veritable Sammo Hung, is aces high in my books. I think Simon Pegg is sort of weedy English Genius with just enough geek cred to prosper in Hollywood, I think it helps that he has come along as Tinseltown has lurched into self parody and gigantism...his ideas all seem to properly scaled and sane by comparison to the outlandish expectations of his alleged competition. Unlike Seth Rogen or Jonah Hill (both of whom I do like), I don't expect Pegg to fly off a cliff anytime soon pursuing a billion dollar box office pay off. The Greats didn't worry about their next project or their projected returns, they stayed focused on Being Funny Now...That seems to be Pegg's Agenda pure and simple. More power to him sez I.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

On the Other Hand or "The Day the Clown Decried" (Part II)

On the Other Hand ("The Day The Clown Decried" Part II) I honestly wonder if Jerry Lewis isn't trying to use reverse psychology on us? He knows "The Day the Clown Cried" is appallingly controversial, he allegedly lacks the rights to release it and supposedly doesn't wanna release it...but suddenly we are getting rivulets of info about the long uncompleted project. He himself asserts here (in so many words) that it is at once unwatchable and yet still an unreleased masterpiece. If I didn't know better I'd think he was trying to create a groundswell out in the aud to complete and release the film. Then again, given the fact that Jerry Lewis' ego long ago outstripped that dried husk once known as his dignity, it probably simply gratifies Le Roi d' Crazy to enroll himself into that elite Hollywood Fraternity of Auteurs with Great Unfinished Film Masterpieces. Its a very heavy duty room there, Orson Welles, Joseph von Sternberg, Sergei Eisenstein, Bruce Lee, Jean-Luc Godard and even Alfred Hitchcock...shit now that I mention it, who wouldn't want in on that action?? Labels: Jerry Lewis - J

Monday, August 19, 2013

Garen Daly is Doing The Lord's Own Work...

the local film impresario is trying to Crowdsource to life, a feature documentary on the sadly departed Orson Welles Cinema in Harvard Square. This is a project well worth the money and long past due as well, I can recall with the simplest nostalgia literally dozens of motion pictures that I saw in that invaluable theater, "Altered States", "Dark Star", "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls", "1984", "Ran", "Liquid Sky", "Hail Mary", "ReAnimator" and on and on. This is on top of DOZENS of good and awful science fiction movies screened at the Annual 24 "It Came from the Orson Welles" marathon every February. My own obsession with the late Sifu, Orson Welles was kindled therein, I met Welles' biographer Barbara Leaming there after a screening of "The Chimes at Midnight", the whole cinema was a film schooling unto itself. On the the day the Orson Welles Cinema burned, the local film scene took a body blow from which it has yet to recover even today nigh a quarter century later. But let us not live in the past, let us learn from it, and if Garen Daly's documentary comes off, then just maybe we'll have a starting point for a real film renaissance here in Boston. Maybe I'm naive' but I think that would be a great thing to strive for...

Monday, August 12, 2013

"The Day the Clown Decried"

A seven minute "making of" clip of Jerry Lewis infamous unfinished & unreleased Magnum Opus, "The Day the Clown Cried" has turned up on Youtube. From what I can see, "The Day the Clown Cried" is what you get when you devote a full decade of your life to dancing in attendance upon Dame Demerol. I've always had a very ambivalent attitude to Jerry Lewis, he can be staggeringly funny, I freely admit it, but then he blows it by trying too hard for too long to top himself. The man's ambition is nigh perfectly balanced by his thin skin and egomania...All of which is sadly encapsulated by the above clip. Rumor was that back in the day, Jerry used to intimate to his nearest and dearest that "The Day the Clown Cried" was his secret incomplete masterpiece nowadays "Le Roi D'Crazy" confesses the whole thing was a disaster that'll never be released. So I guess...even Jerry Lewis can learn...Now if he'd only apologize to Betsy Sherman I could alibi for him with a light and tripping heart.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Late Word Comes to Us

of the sudden death at the age of seventy of the former publisher of Editorial Humor/The Boston Comic News, R. Dean Wallace. Dean gave me and my co-writer Jon Haber our first steady columnist gig and largely stood aside and allowed us to jabber on and on about anything under the sun...sans renumeration of course. What HE got was a column with a pronounced affinity for the Masterworks of Steve Reeves, the scientific mischances of Percival Lowell, The Fall and Rise of Elmer McCurdy or the subtle genius of Earl K. Long. What WE got was a priceless opportunity to perfect our craft, all the writing I have to date was the consequence of lessons I learned for better or worse under Dean Wallace's aegis. Dean was a visionary, only a visionary could have stubbornly hung on in the face of a market less and less friendly to small periodicals for nine long years. He was also supremely eccentric, difficult to negotiate with and prone to flights of fancy as the Victorians would say. But quite literally, he presided over the last Great Newspaper Adventure in the Boston Metropolitan Area, he was never a breaker of proverbs and he will give the Devil His Due. Peace to his Ashes...He will be missed.