This is still one of my favorite things ever
The Uncle Tom’s Cabin part of The King and I (1956) might be a tiny bit racist but it’s also one of the most beautifully strange things I’ve ever seen as well. It’s so amazing and over the top that everything that comes after it is kind of a letdown. The movie knows it’s not going to be able to top it, and it doesn’t try!
If most newspapers are written at a grade school level then Internet clickbait articles are that kid in the back of the class who keeps making random noises until someone pays attention to him.
"LOOK AT THE FUNNY CATS OMG LIIIIIIIISTS!"
Ben is a weird freaking movie. A sort of semi-sequel to the killer rat movie Willard of the previous year, it’s actually two films in one. The first film features the sewer vermin, headed by the title rat, sneaking around, looking for food, killing people, and breeding like…rabbits? Yeah, let’s go with that. The second film is a syrupy drama about an irritatingly dorky child named Danny and his love affair with the title rat, complete with an Oscar nominated (!) hit theme song by a young Michael Jackson.
The two halves never really seem to gel, almost like the script started out as one thing and then rewrites turned it into something else.
It might have worked a little better if Danny wasn’t so annoyingly precocious. He reminded me a lot of Martin Prince from The Simpsons. He has a giant marionette theater in a shed in his backyard, complete with a light up sign and puppet workbench where he makes his own puppets! He can also play classical music on the harmonica and compose award nominated pop songs on the piano. I think all of these traits are supposed to endear the audience to the kid, but I really just wanted to punch him.
There’s a scene where Danny performs a song using a Ben puppet he made, with Ben as the audience, that really has to be seen to be believed. Oh, and this madness was produced by Bing Crosby! No, I really don’t know why either…
Ben isn’t a good movie by any stretch but it’s just strange enough to be worth a watch. It’s sad that this and Willard never got proper DVD releases, despite the Crispin Glover Willard remake seeing release in 2001. All of the bootlegs you can find on the Internet are VHS rips of varying quality. Boo-urns.
I have long contemplated getting a tattoo of this exact frame. I don’t do a lot of eulogizing but this scene is so massive for me: the truck heading down the highway, Sally unable to stop laughing because she is free: she thought she was going to die, but she’s free, she has escaped, the night was long and incomprehensibly awful but now it’s light outside
thank you Marilyn Burns for giving voice to that feeling
Legend. Beyond brilliant.
Actually I kind of took it as “She might be physically free but now she’s mentally insane, so nobody really wins.”
Someone I used to work with posted this on Facebook.
I can’t figure out if it’s a parody, but either way it’s awful. Fuck this garbage.
This doesn’t even make any sense. It wasn’t that Excalibur was wedged too deep to be removed, it was that it could only be pulled out by the divinely appointed king or the the true heir of Uther Pendragon.
Of course it depends on what legends you’re referencing, in some tellings there’s no sword in the stone at all and Arthur is given the sword by the Lady of the Lake.
This dude fails at everything.
It’s nice that depression awareness and suicide prevention is trending now because of Robin Williams death…would have been nice like a few years ago when my friend Ricky killed himself with pills but okay. Let’s all jump on the bandwagon and make buzzworthy lists about the top 10 ways it’s cool to not kill yourself and then forget about it a few weeks later after the bandwagon has run its course.
Fuck, I might need to get off the Internet for awhile.
Wow, I haven’t done this for awhile! Three days off and a movie a day. Good times! I’m currently working my way through the massive list of features released by home video pioneers Magnetic Video. These are the first three films ever released on VHS/Betamax in the US!
Hello, Dolly! (1969)
20th Century Fox put just about penny the had into this musical in an effort to try and pull themselves out of the red they were in at the time. As a result the film is massive, both in scale and in run time (over two and a half hours!). It’s one of the few films I’ve seen where every single penny is up on screen, resulting in jaw dropping sets and a veritable army of extras. All of this serves to dwarf both the film’s story, which is actually very slight, and the actors, most of which aren’t very good (Why did they cast 28 year old Barbara Streisand as a 40 year old woman?) Still, the songs are catchy enough and occasionally the film just gets so insane that you can’t help but like it. Plus we get to hear Walter Matthau sing, which is a sentence I never thought I’d write.
Fantastic Voyage (1966)
Big budget science fiction film (the most expensive made at the time) about a group of scientists that get shrunked and travel into the body of a double agent in a neat submarine in order to remove a clot in his brain.
It might have a slim story but this is made like a tightly wound clock and the visuals it presents are still awesome and kind of trippy. Even just the idea of taking a basic “crew travels to another world” story and setting it inside the human body is so cool that it would be worth a watch even if it did suck (which it doesn’t.) Plus you get Raquel Welch in a wet suit. Be still my heart.
Von Ryan’s Express (1965)
Frank Sinatra stars as the title character, a US Air Force colonel who gets shot down in Fascist Italy and put in a POW camp, which is full of both American and British soldiers. Eventually they all manage to escape by commandeering a Nazi train, but where are they going to go?
Fantastic film is sort of a mix between The Great Escape and Bridge on the River Kwai, but is easily the equal of both. A bit slow to start but once things get rolling, they really don’t let up!
This is the kind of war adventure film that really doesn’t get made anymore, which is kind of a shame. Dammit Hollywood, shooting Nazis is fun! And watching Frank Sinatra shoot Nazis is even more fun.