Friday, July 27, 2012

Grown Up Silliness: BASEketball

OK, there is no real difference in the silliness factor of these two movies--though the bad guys differ--evil corporate type versus evil ping-pong crime boss.  This is Well, basketball is certainly played at the Summer Olympics, but baseball is not....BASEketball isn't played anywhere....I don't think?? I don't know, someone has to be hard core Parker/Stone fans somewhere to play...??  I hear that softball will be an event at the 2016 games in someone should get busy and make a silly comedy about how some crime syndicate give a crap about the game is some really avaricious manner.

Peanut's Choice: Balls Of Fury

As funny as it seems, "ping-pong" or Table Tennis is a serious sport at the Summer Games, which is, in fact, mentioned in this very less than serious film on the subject.  Along similar lines, now so is Taekwondo.

Theme Recipe: The Abbey Cocktail

I didn't have Internet access on Friday the 13th and I always like to post a cocktail or two for the occasion, because around here, it's time to celebrate, not fear!  So here's the cocktail of choice for the latest 13th.  Some just call it "an orange martini," and I suppose that by today's standards it is.  The concoction itself is an old one and actually predated the invention of the Martini.  Call it what you like--it's great for hot weather!


1 1/2 oz. good dry gin
Juice 1/2 orange--fresh squeezed
1 dash orange bitters (or you favorite bitters)
1 cocktail shaker filled part way with ice
Martini glasses (chill them if you can)
Maraschino cherry for garnish (now, optional)

Easy:  combine all ingredients in the shaker and shake until very cold.  Strain into cocktail glass and garnish with cherry, or not.  Enjoy!


What happens when an Olympic hopeful on a high school swimming team with a perfectly decent girlfriend of whom he is very fond meets the new girl in school??  Turns out, she's a psycho!!  Stars Jesse Bradford (Flags Of Our Fathers), Erika Christensen (Flightplan) and Shirly Appleby ("Rosewell"). And swimming is one of the most important sports at the Summer Games, with the US expected to do well (at least....). 

Match Point (2005)

From silly to serious, from ancient slavery as comedic mockery to modern crime with uncomfortable freedoms; the one thing that this has in common with Colossuss  and "Amazon women" is sports that are actually played at the summer Olympics, in this case tennis.  Set in London appropriately enough the story revolves around a tennis pro with some serious upwardly mobile intentions within a rather vulgar monied English family...only problem is that somewhat mysterious American woman (Scarlett Johansson) gets in the way in a very inconvenient way.  As for the tennis part of it, those of us who are serious tennis nuts, get to have another Wimbledon just two weeks after the last one!  Both films also feature rowing.  And speaking of rowing...

MATCH POINT: Movie Trailer. Watch more top selected videos about: Emily Mortimer, Matthew Goode

Colossus And The Amazon Queen

Going seriously kitsch here to get in some ancient, or first, Olympic action.  This is one of those 60's Italian mock-up that have the majority of the cast speaking in Italian with an English dub-over and a few English stars for the top billing for good measure, in this case Rod Taylor (!), speaking English on the set.  This is about a silly as they come, but good swords & sandals fun--lots of mock violence!!  Some of it, in fact, almost slapstickish.  It does feature at least two sports that are still summer Olympic events:  archery & wrestling and one that never was jousting (wait, did they even have jousting in the ancient world?? Don't think so...).

Morse: Decieved By Flight

Like golf, cricket is not an Olympic sport, and it seems, since they both were in the past, Cricket in 1900 and Golf in 1904 (golf will come back officially in 2016 in Rio), that it would have made great since to bring both of them back in these 2012 games held in Britain, since they are huge sport there, and are played worldwide.  There are not longer any official promotion sports at the Olympics (again, they should be brought back!!), but an attempt to run a parallel cricket event to the Olympic games, which is allowed, did not pan out this year, presumably because of security concerns.  In any case, this is a cricket murder mystery with a serious amount of crime infiltrating the much to the point where Inspector Lewis has to go undercover as a replacement bowler...

Poirot: Murder On The Links

Today is obviously the opening of the Summer Olympic games in London, starting officially with the opening ceremony this evening (broadcast on delay on NBC @ 7:30 PM--coordinated by Trainspotting director Danny Boyle)--so it's Sport Related stuff played in the summer:  mysteries, thrillers, etc.  "Murder On The Links (also known as "A Wager On Murder" is a golf mystery.  Now golf, for reasons that I don't personally understand, is not a sport at the Summer Olympics; I an only imagine what a huge splash it would have made at these games considering that the best links in the world are in Great Britain.  However, it most certainly is a summer sport!  For a list of all the medal sports, click here over to the official Olympics site.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959)

There is just no way I'm going to leave Edward D. Wood Jr. out of a celebration of 1950's science fiction.  Plan 9 is considered to be is best work, although I have a fondness for Bride Of The Monster myself.  This features the very last filmed footage of horror icon Bela Lugosi, filmed by Wood, along with a host of other misfits from Wood's circle and the greater Hollywood area....produced by a church no less.

Release Date:   22 July 1959

Runtime:  94 minutes

Director:  Ed Wood

Writer:  Ed Wood

Stars:  Gregory Walcott, Tor Johnson, John "Bunnie" Breckinridge, Carl Anthony, Paul Marco, Criswell, Vampira....and (unintentionally) Bela Lugosi.

Music:  there is music, but no one quite knows where the hell it came from.

Aspect Ratio:  old fashioned 1.33:1, with intended ratio at 1.85:1

Sound:  RCA Recording mono

Tagline:  As the screen's greatest shock star Bela Lugosi is back to haunt the Earth in a terrifying revelation of things to come!  (geez, that is sooo Ed Wood!)

This whole movie is practically trivia, if I tackled it right now, I'd be here til midnight!!  Instead here is compilation of seriously hilarious lines from the film.

Tarantula (1955)

Yet another Jack Arnold directed ditties, this time with a mad scientist thrown in for good measure.

Release Date:  15 Dec. 1955

Runtime:  80 minutes

Directed by Jack Arnold

Screenplay by:  Robert M. Fresco and Martin Berkeley

Music by:  Herman Stein (again, uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:  1.85:1 35 mm

Sound:  Western Electric Recording mono

Tagline:  Monster Spider...crawling terror 100 feet high!

The actual spider actor was manipulated with little air jets to move about just so on the miniature set that built for it.

Acromagalia does, or rather can, cause facial distortions that are considered severe, but not cause have been reported as severe as the cases shown in the film.

Professor Demer predicts that by the year 2000 (and keep in mind, he presents this as dire) the world's population would be more than 3 and 1/2 billion people--in fact, the population 12 years ago now, was closer to 6.7 billion!

Clint Eastwood has a bit part in this film as part of the jet squadron that is bombing the huge spider.