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Saturday, March 5, 2016

#DLMChallenge: End of February/Beginning of March Update

Sorry, dudes, but I just now finally got over my Leap Day party hangover.  Wow, did we ever get wild!  I'm still finding empty wine cooler bottles in the backyard! The guest room toilet is never going to be the same, that's for sure!  And for those who've been asking, Jerry has been moved out of intensive care, and on Wednesday was able to swallow applesauce for the first time since "the accident" (as always, my prayers go out to Jerry and the family of possums that perished as a result of "the accident").  Anyway, everything is finally back to normal, so I thought I'd take a moment to update everyone on my DLM Challenge progress.  I'm still 20-something movies behind schedule, but I can make that up before the end of the year.  I'll get 366 movies in before you can say "Auld Lang Syne."  Trust me.

27. Fuck Buddies (short film): I learned about Fuck Buddies from the AVClub, and I kinda had to watch it; I mean, when you describe something as "icky, sad, and surprisingly terrifying," it's kind of like catnip for a fan of weirdo movies such as myself.  Fuck Buddies is all of those things: "icky" because it features A LOT of "sex-related" fluids flying/oozing around; "sad" because it's never not depressing to watch a relationship fall apart in front of you; and "terrifying" because 1) the male lead's penis turns into a horrifying, uncontrollable rape tentacle at one point and 2) an eyeless ghost boy "watches" everything go down.

I never had a fuck buddy myself, but if this is what it's like, I'm glad I went the committed-relationship-then-sex route.

28. Masters of the Universe: A He-Man movie without all that He-Man stuff.  You know what would be cool?  A Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings-style He-Man movie with all the cool stuff that made the He-Man toy line so legendary.  Unfortunately, Masters of the Universe was made in 1987, so we got this, a cheap, sci-fi garbage heap with a handful of recognizable characters and a teenaged Courtney Cox, but nothing that remotely resembles the cartoon or the adventures me and my best friend, Graham, created in his basement.  And yet, I didn't hate Masters of the Universe.  It probably helped that I barely paid attention to it, but it's not as bad as you've heard or you remember, it's just not a He-Man movie.  So, not terrible, but thumbs down because no Orko (Sorry, but Gwildor is in NO WAY an appropriate substitution).

29. Eddie Murphy Raw: Eddie Murphy's follow-up to his HBO special, Delirious.  I don't know.  It's dated for sure (a bit about Bill Cosby is funny-ish, because Murphy's impression is so good, but, you know, Bill Cosby...) and I can't relate to a lot of the material (i.e. an extended riff on the "fact" that all men cheat), but Eddie Murphy is a great stand-up?  Maybe?  Maybe I need to watch Delirious.  He certainly mentions it enough during Raw.

30. The Naked Kiss: Kelly, a former prostitute, moves to the tightly-knit suburban community of Grantville to make a better life for herself.  Even though she (somehow) becomes a nurse in the children's ward at the local hospital, the police chief, Griff, ain't buying Kelly's change of heart.  Griff becomes even more unhappy when Kelly begins a romantic relationship with his best friend and the most beloved man in town, J.J. Grant.  Kelly and Grant get engaged, Griff accepts that Kelly isn't a dirty whore anymore, and then something I didn't think was allowed to happen in movies made in the 60's happens.  Without getting too spoilery, someone is murdered, and the last 20 minutes of the movie is spent trying to sort all of that out.  The way it is sorted out makes absolutely no sense to me, so, please, someone I know, see this movie immediately, so we can talk about it.  And while you're at it, watch the first season of Fargo, because the same sort of thing happens at the end of that.  I tried to discuss The Naked Kiss with my friend Jonathan over burritos last weekend, but he expressed a desire to watch it, so I held off.  I need to talk about it though.  PLEASE!  SOMEBODY!  HELP!

Anyway, it's good.

31. The Witch: Right after that aforementioned Mexican dinner, Jonathan and I took in an opening night showing of The Witch.  I got to sit next to a 10-year-old girl.  Fun.

The Witch is about a Puritan family who is banished from their village in 17th century New England, and after moving in next door to an eerie forest, have their lives systematically dismantled by the forces of evil, personified by some forest-dwelling old hags and a shaggy goat named Black Phillip.  It's a creepily beautiful film that will probably appear on my year-end best of list.  It was also super disappointing.

The reviews of this thing promised a deeply disturbing experience, a film straight out of Satan's personal Blu-Ray library, so that's what I went in expecting, that's what I went in wanting.  It's been a long time since I've been, for lack of a better phrase, "fucked up" by a horror movie, and I thought The Witch would be the one to do it.  It wasn't.  I loved it though.  It is masterfully crafted and expertly acted, but it doesn't deliver enough of the dread and nightmares its herald promised.  That isn't the movie's fault though.

32. Hellraiser:Hellworld: For years I've maintained that Pet Sematary is the dumbest horror movie ever made.  Well, move over, Pet Sematary, there's a new dum-dum in town.  Hellraiser: Hellworld, the 8th film in the Hellraiser series, a franchise that descended into a sub-basement of brainlessness pretty early on, is not only full-on, unapologetically stupid, but it makes no sense whatsoever and kinda doesn't even really involve Pinhead or his Cenobite chums much at all.  It's about an angry dad, played by Lance Henriksen, who gets revenge on his dead son's friends for duh duh duh fart noise clown horn.  The only thought that kept running through my head during Hellworld's 95-minute runtime was, "Is that Henry Cavill?  That actor looks a whole lot like Henry Cavill, but, nah, it can't be.  But is it?  Maybe?  Is that Superman hanging from a rusty hook bleeding to death?  Nah.  But?"  Fun Fact: It was Henry Cavill.

33. Soaked In Bleach:  The other Kurt Cobain documentary from 2015.  This one is about how Kurt Cobain wasn't depressed and didn't kill himself with a shotgun.  It suggests that Courtney Love may have had a hand in her husband's untimely death, a theory that's been around forever and one that I first became aware of in Nick Broomfield's 1998 film Kurt & Courtney.  Like every good documentary about a conspiracy theory, I was convinced immediately.  Courtney Love belongs in jail.

34. Tangerine:  For awhile, I thought the only thing I would appreciate about this movie was the fact that it was shot on iPhones (Kinda like how the only interesting thing about Escape From Tomorrow was that it was filmed in secret at both the Disney World and Disneyland resorts.), but then Tangerine started to grow on me. What started as a "people walking around and yelling" movie turned into a funny/sad slice-o-life story about a community not often depicted on the silver screen. Tangerine features two amazing central performances and some great music. I guarantee a bunch of garbage iPhone-filmed movies will follow in its wake, so just check out the original.

35. Dope: I completely agreed with everyone's complaints about this year's Academy Awards. It was shameful. I heard a lot of people mention Creed (a movie I'd really like to see) and Straight Outta Compton (which I want to see, but I can wait), but I didn't hear anybody mention Dope. This movie is something special, a coming-of-age movie with a sense of vibrancy and fun, while also being a little bit dangerous. It reminded me of the movie Go, a film from 1999 that I absolutely loved. Dope feels like a Go for this generation. It's got a frenetic energy and a twisted sense of humor that cannot be denied. Plus, it's got the best soundtrack of the year probably. 

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