Friday, August 30, 2013

Top 5... Montages from 1980's Movies

Today's Top 5 is a little different.  You don't see it much anymore but back in the 80's pop music was a huge part of movies.  Sometimes you would here entire songs being played while the movie's plotlines would be advanced.  As I give you examples, you'll hopefully see what I'm talking about.

5.) "Hungry Eyes" - Dirty Dancing

First of all I love this song.  Excellent emotional chord changes during the verse parts of the song.  Combine that with Eric Carmen's emotive voice and you just feel Patrick Swayze's dance instructor bonding with Jennifer Grey's high school student character.  This would probably be considered very inappropriate in today's times but this was a 1980's movie about a summer in the 1950's (or was it 1960's?).  In any event, is Jennifer Grey wearing just a regular bra in the first part of this scene? I could NEVER be a dance instructor...I'd be fired for unnecessary touching after my first lesson if my students wore these skimpy outfits. Anyway, enjoy because this is the LAST time I'll ever mention Dirty Dancing on this website again.

4.) "I'm Into Something Good" - Naked Gun

This is actually a parody of movie montages in a way.  Or at least its a parody of the montages that showed two people falling in love.  I love this movie and this is probably the first song from the 1960's that I ever heard.  Love the squirting of the condiments all over the place and how can you not enjoy a slow motion clothesline of another couple when running along the beach. Please forgive the morbid "Leslie Nielsen Memoriam" thing at the start of the video.

3.) "Win In The End" - Teen Wolf

Another classic movie.  Here, they actually play the entire song.  This is some of the worst basketball editting you'll ever see but the music is inspiring.  Random side note...the pudgy white basketball player in this montage is the guy who yells "Its Enrico Pollatzo!!!" in the aforementioned "Naked Gun" baseball game scene.

5.) "The Best" - Karate Kid

The last two are a tough call. I'd going with "The Best" at number 2 only because I've seen number one many more times and it hits me more emotionally (Plus its a slightly more awesomely bad song).  Anyway, what's the easiest way to cut through the BS of the early rounds of a karate tournament?  Let's make a song about what people in a tournament try to be...THE BEST!  I love when the music kicks in (at the 0:22 mark) and the Elizabeth Shue in the background shrieks "you're the BEST!!!".  I'm getting pumped up typing this.  Some pretty good karate scenes here, it looks like they trained hard.

1.) "No Easy Way Out" Rocky IV

The first Rocky movie I ever saw was Rocky IV.  Not only did it teach me about roman numerals and that Russians are evil, the entire movie is a montage.  From the beginning of the movie with "Eye Of The Tiger", to "Hearts On Fire", to the wacky instrumental montage where Rocky yells DRAGOOOOO on the top of a mountain, this is basically an MTV movie.  Still, the montage to end all montages is "No Easy Way Out" by the importal Robert Tepper.  Because of this montage, I never needed to see the prior three movies.  While Rocky is zooming along in his fancy car you get to piece together three movies together out of a four minute sequence.  I could gather that Rocky really got his faced bashed up pretty good at the end of Rocky I, Adrian looked really meek and mild in the first two movies, Apollo was a jerk to Rocky but then they slow motion hugged it out on the beach somewhere, and that Rocky's trainer looked like the Penguin from the old Batman TV show but he died of a heart attack along the way.  Also, he fought Mr. T and got a better haircut as time went along.

Now THAT's how you do a montage.  Plus this song is just great to drive to.

Happy Labor Day weekend everybody...

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The History of Movies From A-Z: "Cabin Fever"

This is a semi-regular piece where I review my DVD collection in alphabetical order. This will take me approximately 38 years to get through.  Today, I skip ahead a bit and review the schlocky horror classic "Cabin Fever"

* Where I bought this movie: Picked this one up in my Bayside Queens days circa 2003. I picked this one up at the local Best Buy.

* Why Own It?: 
 I had heard cool things about this movie in that it wasn't a run of the mill horror movie.  They were right.  Written and directed by Eli Roth when he was on his way to become the greatest horror director and writer for about 8 months, there was a lot of hype in the movie magazines I would read about it.  Plus, there was nudity and people's skin falling off....and gosh darn it, if you know me well, those are two things I love in movies.

This gives you a pretty good idea as to what to expect in this movie.

* Had I seen this movie before?: Twice (the last being in 2006)...but the movie moves pretty fast so its rewatchable.  I had sort of forgotten a lot of how the movie ended so I was sort of on the edge of my seat again.  Plus, the special effects are pretty gruesome. 

* Time collecting dust: 10 years.

* What I thought of the movie: A very good but not great horror movie.  I'd still recommend it.  There are super random scenes in the movie and it probably mixes sex and horror like no other movie had before and probably not much since.  You'll know what I'm talking about when you see it.  

Do NOT sit next to this kid.

*  And the cast:   Hmmm..well the biggest name in the movie that's held up is the older brother in that goofy show "Boy Meets World".  Rider Strong is his name I believe.  What kind of name is that?  Is that his real name?  Anyway, the next biggest familar face is Eli Roth himself who has a long cameo.  Then you pretty much have a mix of somewhat familar faces in movies around the 1999-2004 era but nobody who has done anything of substance since.  The two girls in this movie are smoking hot though.

A rare happy moment in this movie. She's hot and he has hairy nipples.

Favorite Scenes:  1.)  Shaving the legs...OUCH 2.) The ending credits scene with everyone dancing around is awesome. 3.) The "I MADE IT...I F'CKING MADE IT scene"...not so fast. 4.) I don't want to ruin the surprise but the next time a guy is with his girlfriend in bed, you might want to make sure she didn't drink some water that could cause her skin to dissolve.  I'll leave it at that.

Recommended?:   Yes.  Its not a long movie so check it out if its on cable or you find it somewhere.

Girls with guns.

Cut the BS about the movie, I just want to know if there is any nudity:  Yes, and its pretty good.  Let's just say there's a brunette and a blond.  The brunette has no issues about being nude (it happens two or three times).  The blond does not get nude but she looks extra pretty in a black bikini...Ugh, am I really almost 36 years old? I sound scary.

Previous Movie: The Abyss
     Next Movie: ???

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Garbage Pail Kid Of The Week - Handy Randy

This Garbage Pail Kid caught my eye...Handy Randy.  First of all, the name Randy is a keeper.  Plus its an adjective for being horny made famous by Austin Powers.  I like that for some reason.  And of course "Handy" can mean many things in today's society.  So does Handy Randy convey an image of a sexually crazed person wanting to give handjobs?  No, but its one of the more strangely drawn ones.  Let's take a look...

It looks like Randy is missing all of his teeth because HE IS JAMMING HIS FINGERS INTO HOLES CARVED INTO HIS CHIN AND BRAIN.  Not too mention the scary tongue sticking out to the side ala Miley Cyrus.  I know my mind can go to random places but this has to be the mind of a super dark person.  Still, I can respect how they matched the artwork to the name.  Boy do I miss Garbage Pail Kids...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Top 5...Songs By George Michael

George Michael OWNED the latter part of the 1980's.  I guess he owned the middle part as well with Wham but he exploded into super stardom with the release of the Faith album in 1987.  That, and with the help of MTV, propelled him to the top of the music world.  Though he never quite matched his peak with the release of his next album (I forget its name but its the one with "Freedom 90'" on it.).  Anyway, I thought I'd pay tribute to the man with one of the coolest look of the 1980's...Mr. George Michael.

5.) Careless Whisper

Youthful George hanging onto a rope for some strange reason

Yes, its almost been overplayed over the years (but not as much as Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go) but when that saxophone riff kicks in in the beginning, its hard to turn it off. A song about having an affair that leads to the end of a relationship, I just liked the saxophone part and the weird synthesized background vocals (dah dahhh dah dahhhhh).  Throw in a little flamenco guitar, a brooding George Michael in the video, and you have a timeless song.  And like George Michael in this song, I too have no rhythm...though I don't have guilty feet.  Look for the longer extended version if you can find it for more saxophone.

4.) Monkey

George's fedora and suspenders look

Off the Faith album, this is probably the most "dance club" song on the album.  An excellent song to blast on the radio while you're driving to Boston (which I used to do a LOT), this song has almost held up over the years.  I was way off as to what this song was about when I first heard it.  My 9 year self thought he was singing about an annoying gorilla, but its apparent he's singing about his girlfriend's ex-boyfriend.  I do agree with George in that everyone has to ask their partner that question when in a new relationship..."do you love the monkey or do you love me?".  Well put George...well put.

3.) Everything She Wants

Bitter George

This brings us back to the Wham days again.  I just love the lyrics in this song.  As a kid, I thought that poor George Michael was trying to pull off a bank robbery (hence the "get the money, got to get the money" lines). Instead its HE that the money is being taken from.  An all time great bitter song full of excellent 1980's sounds as well as George's glorious falsetto high voice.  Another great hook for a chorus too with just gibberish sounds.  A line I love to use on my married friends as they begin to have children, "if my best isn't good enough, then how can it be good enough for two!!!". Sing it George!!!

2.) Freedom 90'

Oh those models...

George's last monster hit, the song itself was great, the video just made it better.  Look at all the models in it.  I wasn't sure if they were big at the time but you had Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, among others.  Just a great club song, this was a staple on my mix tapes at any parties I would attempt to throw in college.  However, if you listen to lyrics, its George basically telling the story of his history and coming out and announcing he's gay at the end.  I love the subtleness of this and shows just how great of a sing writer he was.  One of these days, I will learn that opening riff on the piano.

1.) Father Figure

Iconic George

Perhaps the coolest and most perfectly put together song of the late 1980's.  From the beginning organ sound, to the figure snaps, to that glorious hi-hat.  Plus the way George sings the song...he's sounding extra sultry.  The video for it blew this song up though I always thought the model in it looked very mannish (foreshadowing perhaps?).  George has his shades and 5 O'clock shadow look down to perfection.  I also love this song because its the only song that has the phrase "Hungerford" on it.  Well, it sounds like it when he sings the lines "do you ever hungerrrr...hunger for me".  It sort of sounds like "Hungerford".

Honorable Mentions
Freedom (Wham's version)
Edge Of Heaven
Too Funky

Bottom 3
Last Christmas
Wake Me Up (Before You Go Go)
I Want Your Sex - Part 1 (Part 2 is actually pretty cool though if you can find it)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Top 5....Diff'rent Strokes Characters

This will be a new feature to the blog.  I will think of a random pop culture TV show, movie, band, or item and make a Top 5 about it.  I've gotten away from the randomness of the website so this is a better way to do it.  I begin with the Top 5 characters from the classic TV show "Diff'rent Strokes".

I sort of forgot that there is an apostrophe in the word "different" in the title.  My spell check is going to go berserk. Anyway, this show was about a lonely white rich man with an older daughter adopting two poor black kids from Harlem.  Did I mention that this concept would be sort of questionable in today's more PC times?  Either way, its a beloved show and there are have been some memorable moments and characters along the way.  Let's take a look at my Top 5 characters.

5.) Dudley

Dudley was Arnold's right hand man.  In fact, I think he was his only friend other than Willis (who didn't have any friends except for Janet Jackson and a young Andrew Dice Clay).  Anyway, Dudley was at the forefront of two episodes that I remember the most yet had absolutely no idea what was going on during the episode.  The first was when Arnold and Dudley smoke a cigarette for the first time and the second was the episode where a random bicycle owner attempts to plow Arnold and Dudley with alcohol and watch dirty cartoons with their shirts off.  Again, I was pretty lost watching these episodes.

4.) Arnold

Arnold was the central character in practically episode and I think he probably grated on my parents after awhile because he did get pretty annoying after awhile.  Then again, he coined the most popular phrase of the 1980's, "Wha-chu talkin' about (fill in the blank)".  As he got older he picked up another younger brother Sam (who I couldn't stand and is regarded as one of the worst characters in TV history) and stopped being the sole focal point.  Anyway, I did like him and he never not seemed to find a way to get into trouble.

3.) Kimberly

Kimberly was hot.  I didn't know it at the time but I could tell she was pretty.  Little did I know that the actress who played her, Dana Plato, was struggling big time with drugs.  Still, she got the job done and was in one of the more weird two part episodes when she and Arnold get kidnapped by a crazy guy.  Thankfully she was not hurt.  As the seasons went on, her character appeared less and less (damn you Sam and drugs I guess...but I blame Sam) but it was always a treat to see her pop in and say hello.

2.) Mr. Drummond

God Damn, I loved this guy.  He did the coolest thing in the opening credits when he opened and closed his hands around his eyes.  I have no idea what he did to get all that money to live that lifestyle he did but also adopt two kids.  He always had a nice demeanor, wore nice suits, and sometimes he'd wear track suits. Plus he was suave enough to bed Dixie Carter's character to get married again...unfortunately that led to Sam being added to the family (Damn you Sam!!!).  Also played by an actor with a super cool name...Conrad Bain.

1.) Pearl

Yes, the Drummonds had enough money to have a full time servant at their beck and call.  First was Mrs. Garrett, who went on to Facts Of Live...then Anabel, the old lady maid...and lastly there was Pearl.  Pearl made me laugh a lot.  I don't think I'd like her much now as she does too much to get a laugh but back then, I didn't need much. She was the main player behind the scenes, always making sure the kids were looked after while Mr. Drummond was away.  Of course she was probably privately seething in rage that she pretty much had to cook every meal and clean every part of the house for this ultra upper class guy.  Still, she got the most laughs from me...and laughter is important to a 7 year old.

Honorable Mentions:

Bottom 3
Sam's Mom
The "Child Molester" character.