By: Henry J. Fromage –
Oberst got me on a schlock jaunt with a Sunday Cronenburg double-tap, and the love spread out from there.
David Cronenburg’s debut feels very, very much like a debut, and very, very much like a David Cronenburg film. A synthetic, parasitic organ invades people and turns them into sex-crazed automatons- yep, sex, disgusting gore effects, and a template lifted straight from Night of the Living Dead… the only thing that doesn’t make this gold is the clearly inexperienced production team, and an apparent complete disinterest in plot. Still, a must for Cronenburg completists.
I watched the previous and this one with our very own Oberst and Bill A., and while I disagree at the extent of their scorn for this one, I will admit that the aptly named Stephen Lack delivers some of the worst line readings I have ever heard, and the plot moves slower than a nursing home lunch line. A Cronenburg movie about literal mind-blowing telepaths can only be so boring, though, and when he does get to the good, head ‘splode, computer ‘splode, telephone booth ‘splode stuff, it ‘splodes real nice. Criterion Collection my ass, though.
124. The Room
Before you ask, yes, I’m pretty sure it’s been 10 years since I saw this last. I’m not a big rewatcher unless I’m pinned down, or introducing something great to somebody who hasn’t seen it- in this case, my Neil Breen-loving wife. As I hoped and expected, this tale of a saintly unidentifiably Eastern European New Orleans boy betrayed by his cheating fiancee and best friend was an ecstatic experience for her. Truly, Mark is all of our best friend. Oh, hi Denny!
125. A League of Their Own
I felt justified in including this because, first, I certainly haven’t seen this start to finish in the last decade, and, second, I may have never seen this start to finish all at once (thanks, 90s TV viewing habits!). There’s plenty of 90s-brand schmaltz, but also a story that plays to every crowd- you can’t help but root for these barrier-smashing broads, perhaps never so much as when you see the actual heroes of history this film was based on swatting a baseball in their mid-70s harder than I can now. It plays on TV this much for a reason.
126. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
On one hand, it’s easy to categorize this film as one more perfectly entertaining, perfectly manufactured perfect product of the Marvel machine. On the other hand, it’s hard to overstate how deeply fucked up this movie is on many an occasion- how clearly a product of James Gunn’s mind it is. In some ways it’s like a return to the PG-13 films of yesteryear that would almost certainly be R today (nothing like Nazi face-melting to scar a young lad for life). I both appreciate it, and like most of Gunn’s oeuvre, am somewhat indescribably put off by it. Oh yeah, and there’s a preeessshhusss baby Groot and all kinds of bizarre family dynamics and plenty of big booms and all that other Marvel stuff. It just overlays some truly weird shit, man.