mass media

Waiting for Guffman (100 Films in 2011)

by Jamie Sanford on August 30, 2011

57. Waiting for Guffman (available to stream via Netflix and Amazon)

Here is the trailer for Waiting for Guffman.

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Waiting for Guffman is a Christopher Guest film, and if you know you are a fan of movies like A Mighty Wind and Best in Show, you will love this movie too.

Waiting for Guffman tells the story of a group of “performers” from the town of Blaine, Missouri.  The musical is based on the long history of the town, and will be presented to celebrate the town’s anniversary.  The cast includes Guest film regulars Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, Parker Posey and Fred Willard, all as members of the cast.  Guest himself plays Corky, the writer and director of the show. During rehearsals, we find out that Corky has written to production companies in New York, and that a representative from one of those companies will attend the show, presumably to review its potential as a Broadway show.

This scene is so funny and awkward.

The rest of the movie is the big buildup to the opening night of the show (also closing night), and the anticipation of everyone heading off to New York to pursue the Broadway dream. This movie is great, the actors are so brilliant at improvisation and so it makes for awkward hilarity.  I can definitely recommend a viewing of Waiting for Guffman.

Waiting for Guffman is available on DVD from Amazon for $16.95.

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Charlie’s Angels (100 Films in 2011)

by Jamie Sanford on August 27, 2011

56. Charlie’s Angels (available for streaming via Netflix and Amazon)

Here’s the trailer for Charlie’s Angels.

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Charlie’s Angels was one in a slew of TV shows turned into movies happening in the late 90s and onward.  However, it was actually enjoyable, so it was better than many of its contemporaries.  Starring Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu, Charlie’s “angels” are a crimefighting team working for a private investigation firm backed by an anonymous millionaire named Charlie.

So, the premise is obviously based in a realistic scenario.

This is a fun, girl-power type of movie – but for both genders because the girls also happen to be hot.

Lots of action and good performances by the supporting cast including Bill Murray, Sam Rockwell, Crispin Glover and a personal favorite of mine, Tim Curry.  Charlie’s Angels is a remake that surpassed my original experience with the TV show.

Charlie’s Angels is available on DVD from Amazon for $6.73.

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Inside Deep Throat (100 Films in 2011)

by Jamie Sanford on August 11, 2011

48. Inside Deep Throat (Available to stream on Netflix, not available digitally from Amazon)

Here is the trailer for Inside Deep Throat.

[youtube s2cNTQMAtCM]

Spoiler alert! Let it also be noted that this documentary is rated NC-17 because it shows scenes from the adult movie that is the subject of the film, Deep Throat.

Inside Deep Throat is the story of the phenomenal success of the adult film Deep Throat, released in 1972.  Deep Throat was the first pornographic film to become a big mainstream sensation and is billed as the most profitable film of all time, largely in part to the underground life that the movie enjoyed.  I didn’t really know that there was such an uproar and so much legal drama surrounding the movie.  In addition to the government looking to prosecute those involved with the film, moralists were also skewering those who made it and those who wanted to see it.

Harry Reems was one of the stars of Deep Throat and was persecuted in every sense of the word for it.

Inside Deep Throat reaches nearly everyone involved in the original production and the drama that ensued.  In addition, there are interviews with Larry Flynt, Hugh Hefner, and Erica Jong.  It’s really well done and is definitely not a documentary about the making of a porno, it’s much much more than that.

I can definitely recommend watching this movie, but probably not if you would not watch the actual Deep Throat, because they show some scenes from the movie, and well, it’s a porno.  It is a small part of the movie though, the focus is really about the moral and legal outcry that accompanied its’ release and success.

Inside Deep Throat is available on DVD from Amazon for $9.79.

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Little Women (100 Films in 2011)

by Jamie Sanford on August 4, 2011

46. Little Women (Not available to stream on Netflix – available to buy and rent digitally on Amazon Instant Video)

Here is the trailer for Little Women.

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Spoiler alert!  Little Women is the 1994 film version of the book by Louisa May Alcott – a number of other films had been created over time.  The story revolves around the 4 March sisters – Meg (Trini Alvarado), Jo (Winona Ryder), Beth (Claire Danes) and Amy (Kirsten Dunst plays the young Amy, Samantha Mathis takes over when Amy grows up).  Meg is the pretty one, Jo is the tomboy, Beth is the quiet one, and Amy is a romantic who is very interested in being rich (as the family is not). Their early struggles are tied into being poor while their father is off fighting in the Civil War.  Their mother, played by Susan Sarandon, is an early feminist, raising her daughters to be strong and independent, and not to be what is “expected,” but what will make them happy.

The titular Little Women and their mother.

As the story progresses, they meet the mysterious boy next door, Theodore “Laurie” Laurence, the grandson of the rich Mr. Laurence who owns the house next door.  Laurie is played by a young Christian Bale, who is very cute in this movie.

Laurie first falls in love with Jo, and later falls for and marries Amy.

The family splits apart a bit as time goes on, and eventually end up together again, back at the starting place.  The film is very true to the book, which I had read when I was younger, and I’ve seen this movie at least 10 times.  As with many movies, I’m not sure when I first saw it, but I always end up watching it when I catch it on TV.

I really love this movie and highly recommend it. I think the messages, told especially through the character of Jo, are strong messages for girls to not take on traditional roles just because they are the tradition. I can see myself wanting to share the story of Little Women with any future daughter I might have.  Of course, I expect to make her read the book first.

Little Women is available on DVD from Amazon for $7.49.

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Zack and Miri Make a Porno (100 Films in 2011)

by Jamie Sanford on June 28, 2011

27. Zack and Miri Make a Porno (Not available to view on Netflix Instant Watch)

This is another Kevin Smith film! Use this link to get to the posts for the View Askewniverse movies.

Here’s the trailer for Zack and Miri Make a Porno.

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I saw this movie in the theatre, the night it opened.  It was supposed to be a big giant opening, but having opened on a Halloween that fell on Friday, it sort of tanked, despite being a movie that I think should have done really well at the box office. I loved it when I saw it the first time and still love to randomly watch it on TV.

So, Zack and Miri are friends who live together, have known each other since they were kids, but have not pursued a romantic relationship.  They attend their high school reunion at a point where they are having trouble paying their bills, and soon after, decide that filming a distributing their own adult film is the way to get out of debt.  Hilarity and sweetness ensues.

The movie stars Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks, who are both great, and the rest of the cast includes Craig Robinson, Katie Morgan, Jason Mewes, Traci Lords, Ricky Mabe and Jeff Anderson.

Note, this is a movie about making a porno. It’s rated R and is not appropriate for kids and probably not for your grandmother.

As I mentioned, I love this movie. If you are into Judd Apatow films or other Kevin Smith films, you will enjoy this movie. I highly recommend buying the DVD.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno is available on DVD from Amazon for $7.56.

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