Friday, January 25, 2013

Snowbound in Hell: Big Stan K. and the Subversion of Expectations

The Shining (1980; Stanley Kubrick; screenplay by Stanley Kubrick and Diane Johnson, based on the novel by Stephen King)

How will watching The Shining make you more individualistic? Make you a better person?
Not if you look at it as author Stephen King intended, as just another snoozeville haunted house story; a decently-written, more populist rehash of ground better covered by Shirley Jackson, Robert Bloch and Richard Matheson.

When this film was released in 1980, despite its being unbearably tense when first seen in a theater,
I was one of those knuckleheads who was “disappointed.”
A maladjusted and obdurate teenage creep, I was burning through Stephen King’s books, practically worshiping the man at the time (now, I simply respect him), and Stanley Kubrick’s changes annoyed me.
Boy, was I stupid!

Ignorant of film history at the time, I failed to see Big Stan’s grand adventure to rearrange the genre to suit his needs!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

“There’s ALWAYS a gremlin on the wing of the plane!”

It is the dilemma the innovator must face when starting out, whether that person is a musician, painter, sculptor or (Heaven forbid) a writer:
The chorus of disapproval from the paternalistic and patronizing Pod People that call themselves your parents, coach or guidance counselor is a tsunami: “What you’re doing is crazy. Sit back, relax and do what we tell you, what we have willfully accepted. You’re better off. Why waste your money applying to a good school? An actor? Do you want to starve? What are you, afraid to get your hands dirty?” And so on.
But to you that route is death.

Meanwhile, there are things you desperately need to say, but no one wants to listen.
In fact, they actively try and shut you up: “What are you doing?!? It’s so weird! Stop it!”

But because it is your “family,” you want their love and respect, and it’s tearing you up inside.

And that’s the same dilemma William Shatner faces in the 1964 episode of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone, “A Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.”
This episode is head and shoulders above the usual simplistic moral that ends the average episode of TZ for the two parallel truths it presents metaphorically:
A) There’s ALWAYS a gremlin on the wing of the plane; and
B) The rest of the passengers do not want to hear about it.

But unlike most of us, Shatner fought against the pressures squeezing him…
Let’s see if we can learn from his example!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Like a Combination of Narcolepsy, Dengue Fever and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: The Films of December 2012

The year’s over, long live the New Year! (for roughly 365 days that is—even less now, actually…)
2013 is here, but does a year with “13” in it indicate good luck ahead, or bad?

The movies and shows watched in the twelfth month were, because I am very stressed out lately, mainly entertainment.
Also, lots of films were watched either because my “holds” at the library finally came through (Library Roulette: you never know what’s next!), or else on the recommendation of one of the many sites I routinely visit and read.

Let’s take a look!

Sunday, January 6, 2013


First off, this is in no way a condemnation of porn (or smut or erotica or “adult entertainment”) in general, or liking porn, or enjoying watching adult humans engaging in consensual sexual fun & games, or using any sort of media like that to satisfy yourself sexually, etcetera etcetera etcetera

But man, are porn gif sites disturbing VISIONS OF HELL or what?

Friday, January 4, 2013

LIE #72: Starting the New Year with Django and the CIA!

Happy New Year! Hopefully the “thirteen” in 2013 is for good luck!

Sorry I am not posting as much as I would like—holidays and the snark hunt of looking for jobs can do that to a man.
And now it looks like I’m coming down with the flu! Blegh!

But as the Holiday Nightmares were winding down I did managed to catch a couple of the “biggies” out there in the hardtops:
Django Unchained and Zero Dark Thirty
Sort-of miniature reviews below…