48 hrs. (1982): it's interesting to see a buddy cop movie from more than 2 decades ago. maybe back then it was pretty new stuff but the formula has been played out so many times it now it seems like one cliche after another. there was zero notion of political correctness back in those days, and the movie is wall-to-wall misogyny and racist remarks, but that's part of the charm. it's hard to read eddie murphy's starmaking capability from this his first foray as a professional movie actor (i personally like trading places (1983) a lot more) and we all now know nick nolte wasn't acting with his grumpy alcoholic shtick. an easy drinking game can be devised from the number of times he takes a swig from his flask. annette o'toole (one of my favorite actresses) is totally lost here as the nagging girlfriend and i don't think we ever quite figure out what her job is (waitress? but in a fancy dress?). funniest part: trying to figure out if "kehoe" is some 80's curse word when in fact it was just the last name of a character.
john miller sent me a photo of his new baby onto my cellphone. i was confused at first when i got the photo message, and i thought maybe it was some sort of advertisement. expecting to see porn, instead i found an image of a baby, and it took me a few seconds to connect the dots. i called him up later to congratulate him.
brick (2005): i saw this movie for the first time more than a week ago. it's a film worthy of a repeat viewing because the dialogue is so dense with gumshoe talk, but the plot itself is somewhat of a downer - although if they played it for laughs, the movie wouldn't nearly be as interesting or effective.
children of men (2006): saw this one back in december and since then have seen it a few more times already. i liked it the first time i watched it but all my repeat viewings have just been to focus on the technical virtuosity of the extended tracking shots. it's nice to see it with so many people who haven't seen it before and the general consensus seems to be it's a good movie, but once again, it's a tough film to watch and the message is very deep and resonating.
around this time the winners of the "man of action" contest were determined. people got small prizes anyway just for participating in the contest, but the bigger grand prize were given out to the actual winners. the first contest was to match a list of a dozen movies to whether it was a steven seagal or a jean-claude van damme film. even though i knew a thing or two about the two action stars (for example, seagal has never been in a scifi movie before), i didn't win that contest, which turned out to be a 3 way tie. the second contest was to match those same dozen films with a list of corresponding tagline. that one i did win (10 out of 12): my prize was a set of zingz magnets, which i am very afraid of because i have so much electronics in my house.
on deadly ground (1994): after 2 downers (although children of men does finish with an uplifting ending), the people's choice movie went to steven seagal's on deadly ground over the live-action jean-claude van damme's street fighter. as much as i love kylie minogue as cammy, i figured we could get a better laugh out of a seagal film. if you're trying to figure out which movie this is, it's the one with the eskimos. otherwise, much is the same: the same singular-expression seagal breaking bones and kicking balls. unlike fire down below, this one has surprisingly limited amount of action, which is one of the main reasons why anyone would watch a seagal movie (besides making fun of the actor of course). however, perhaps to make up for the lack of ass-kicking, there's a bizarre vision quest dream sequence involving having to choose between a hot full frontal nudity eskimo girl dancing on a bed of animal furs versus an old eskimo woman working a musical instrument. this film also has a serious environmental message but it gets muddled in the complex sequence of events towards the end when seagal is trying to blow up an oil rig station. the ending contains a slideshow speech (reminiscent of inconvenient truth but more than a decade ahead of its time) about how corporations are destroying the environment.
kiss kiss, bang bang (2005): one of my favorite movies of 2006, fast-paced, funny, witty dialogue, and compelling characters. i could watch this film 100 times and never be sick of it.
by this time everyone decided to leave except elias and amanda (the hosts), mike (all the way from montpelier, vermont), dan, and myself. of the guests, i was the only one who'd been there the whole day, moving from one couch to the floor back to another couch. we all hunkered down for the last movie.
miller's crossing (1990): i've seen this one before but i never really took to it so didn't remember much of it. the dialogue is more of that gumshoe talk and you really have to pay attention otherwise you'll get lost.
we actually ran a bit behind schedule, which is rare (usually we finish ahead), ending the last movie around 12:40am. dan asked if i wanted a ride back to my place which saved me the 30 minutes worth of late night walking i would've had to do if i walked home.