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Showing posts from December, 2016

The Addams Family (1991)

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You may hear constantly about how my generation only had a few channels to watch.  Well, the generation before mine had even less, and at least whenever money was coming in we occasionally had cable.  But, even when we didn't, there was at least one or two independent stations in the market that played re-runs of I Love Lucy, The Andy Griffith Show, Gilligan's Island and on and on. 

Point is, although these shows had come and gone before we were born, they were still part of our weekday afternoons when we couldn't go out to play.  We saw them often enough that, although there was a 20 to 30-year gap, they were still part of our culture and our memories once we began to get older.  The Addams Family was one of those shows.

Although The Munsters took a lot of inspiration from the Universal Horror films, The Addams Family was always my favorite of the two horror-themed comedy shows.  I didn't know at the time that it was taken from a comic strip.  I just knew them as a s…

The Cape Canaveral Monsters (1960)

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Phil Tucker is nowhere near as well-known as Ed Wood, Jr., but he is similarly known for giving us a classic of bad filmmaking: Robot Monster.  Put a diving helmet on a guy in an ape suit and... instant movie!  To be fair, a number of 1950s monster films consisted of a few brief filmed shots, following a well-worn plot and relying mainly on narration and stock footage.

The fact that almost any cheap thing could get kids to spend their allowance on a Saturday meant that more of these cheap films received distribution than would today.  After all, quality usually didn't matter, since most of the audience was more interested in exploring each other rather than watching the film.  That said, it is a testimony to the awfulness of Robot Monster that it is still well-known today.

Tucker himself spent most of the time between that movie and The Cape Canaveral Monsters (his last) doing that decade's version of legal soft-core porn: two movies with Lenny Bruce featuring gangsters runni…

Vanilla Sky (2001)

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Rarely does a Hollywood remake of a foreign film get any praise from the director that made the original.  While Vanilla Sky did not get overwhelming critical praise when it opened, Alejandro AmenĂ¡bar, director of Abre los ojos, said that this film was a complement to his original.  Two different, but they work together.

Though it still did decently at the box office, what it did largely was confuse and infuriate a fair share of its audience.  Tom Cruise was already losing people with his continual decent into Scientology.  His involvement in the frustrating final movie from Stanley Kubrick, Eyes Wide Shut, and the overexposure of his failing relationship with Nicole Kidman were doing more than a little to wear out the welcome of what was, at the time, the highest paid actor in Hollywood.

Against this background, and against a string of mediocre films, did this come out.  And, once again, it was a remake of a foreign film directed by Cameron Crowe, who was more known for romantic com…