CABLE MOVIES for SUMMER 2005 by Brian Roper

Posted: August 7, 2005 in Best of file 23

I haven’t bought one DVD in a month; the summer utility bills are killing me!

Got to scrimp and save until Sept. 13 when SCTV Volume Four comes out. And November 22 KING KONG finally debuts on DVD! They’re pulling out all the stops with two or three different versions with different extras. A friend of mine who couldn’t wait bought a Chinese copy with the funniest mis-spellings(“Fay Wary”) you ever saw.

Until then my budget allows only for new movies on cable. Hey, they’re paid for, right? Consult your listings for:
– a fantastic documentary about surfing. Beautiful home movies by Greg Noll help take you back to a much simpler time. Unspoiled beaches back when the water was BLUE. Look for this.

SONNY BOY– Where did THIS come from? Brad Dourif, Paul Smith and David Carradine in drag as his wife. I bet whoever did this was a big CHAINSAW/ PINK FLAMINGOS buff, ‘cuz this movie has a lot of elements of both, and a great MIDNIGHT COWBOY-ish soundtrack that stuck in my head for a week.

SHAOLIN SOCCER– I hate most martial arts films, but this one is worth checking out. It’s the first movie by the same guy whose KUNG FU HUSTLE comes out on disc this very week. Predictable plot, but great fun to watch anyways.

ALIEN VS PREDATOR– I hate CGI, I hate sequels; so why did I enjoy this? Because it’s a monster movie that’s why, and when was the last time you watched a good one? It’s “Q” level silly, like someone gave Larry Cohen a real budget, but the fight scenes are cool and would have been a special effects nightmare to stage without CGI. And there’s no Arnold. No Arnold at all.

HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE– Think an even more ethnic Cheech and Chong, and you get the general drift of this “made to be a cult film” Two roomies smoke pot and go in search of a White Castle drive-through and uh…get slightly sidetracked. File23 favorite Fred Willard has a bit part at the beginning, but I can’t think of any other names to drop here. (the blond guy from Doogie Howser, a sitcom I avoided like AIDS, shows up ) My favorite part involves them wrecking their car and getting picked up by The Best Wrecker Guy I’ve Ever Seen In Any Movie, Period. But based upon my personal experiences with White Castle products, I’d call them a good reason to Just Say No.

Look for EDGEPLAY, a cool documentary about the Runaways (Joan Jett’s 1st band) Most of them still look great; this is compelling stuff, check it out! CHERRY BOMB!!!!

Couldn’t help but notice they’ve been running HOLLYWOOD SHUFFLE lately. If you haven’t seen this yet, look for it. Robert Townsend made this in the mid-80’s by maxing out his credit cards. It’s genesis came from Townsends’ frustration as a black actor and his inablility to get respectable parts other than gang members or pimps. Unlike most 80’s low-budget films this has a respectable shelf-life and holds up to the test of time well.

It features a good portion of the Wayans clan, Jimmie Walker, Paul Mooney and many others who collectively haven’t done anything this good since. It’s a good-natured film with a positive albeit slightly bitter message and the only “black” film I’ve seen in recent memory that didn’t resort to toilet humor to get laughs. (Is going to the bathroom THAT damn funny?) I couldn’t help but laugh at the Raymond Scott music during the Amadeus parody. The multi-racial cast (who are all good comedians) rap during the end credits.

I loved HENRY PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER, but most movies about real killers are unwatchable crap. So you can only imagine my surprise when I discovered GACY recently. It features Mark Holton (Francis in PEE WEES BIG ADVENTURE) in the title role and unlike BUNDY or DAHMER I was able to watch this all the way through. A definite cut above the rest.

August ’05


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