December 28, 2013

Never Been Kissed (1999)

Never Been Kissed is a sweetly, intelligent throwback that never fails to work my tear ducts overtime. Drew Barrymore is adorable as the undercover reporter reliving her high school past; Molly Shannon, David Arquette, Gary Marshall, Octavia Spencer, John C. Reilly, Leelee Sobeiski, and Michael Vartan support admirably. The script recycles plot points from Carrie in a comedic way but they are integrated originally and the film is so effervescently made you can only be charmed.

December 4, 2013

The Happiness Of The Katakuris (2002)

The Happiness Of The Katakuris begins as claymation and ends as a wonderfully imaginative zombie musical. The musical works because the central characters are developed and the story (of a family trying to market their bed and breakfast) is not an afterthought to the zombies. Director Takashi Miike (of Audition and The Ichi Killer) has created an entrancing mashup of The Sound Of Music and Night Of The Living Dead; its surreality is beyond mere description and deserves a look.

December 1, 2013

A 1956 Music Video by Gower Champion!?

While perusing the public domain site, I happened upon Once Upon A Honeymoon a fifteen minute music video directed by Gower Champion. À la Michael Jackson's Thriller, this video is a complete story about recently married (m)ad man Ward Ellis who works too much so has never had a honeymoon; Virginia Gibson is a standout as his lovely wife and the premier vocalist of the video's song, A Castle in the Sky. A few solid character actors (Chick Chandler, Alan Mowbray and a small yet pivotal turn from Leo G. Carroll) round out the cast in this lost (and now found) infomercial from the 1950s.

Haunts of the Very Rich (1972)

Haunts of the Very Rich is one of the myriad Aaron Spelling productions aired as an ABC Movie Of The Week during the 1970s. This story of disparate people that find themselves questioning their lives and choices in a garden of Eden (actually Vizcaya in Miami, Florida) is interesting both for its uniformly good cast (Lloyd Bridges, Cloris Leachman, Edward Asner, Anne Francis, Tony Bill, Donna Mills, Moses Gunn, Robert Reed) and its denouement which may or may not be what it may or may not purport to tell. I've watched it a few times (on YouTube) and still can't figure out what's going on so that must count for something.