ReWard: “What Forgotten Flix Are You Thankful For?”

With Thanksgiving upon us and the holiday eating/shopping/binge-watching season looming on the not-so distant horizon, we’re getting set to host friends and family tomorrow at Ward Manor 2.0. Michi’s mom will be here, along with a pair of our dear friends whom we’ve known since first moving into the original stately Ward casa. Food is or will be everywhere, and of course we’ll be watching at least one of the games.

But, what if the games suck?

Hey, it happens. Though Thanksgiving as borne witness to no small number of thrilling or even ridiculous gridiron classics, the truth is that as often as not, the games televised on this Day of Thanks tend to be snoozers, doing little except to enable everyone’s tryptophan coma.

For that unfortunate eventuality, we have movies.

Regular followers of this space know I haves me some movies. A bunch of them, in fact. Old ones, new ones, good ones, bad ones, so bad they’re good ones, and so on. A few years ago, I participated in a guest blog over at Forgotten Flix, a site devoted to lost screen gems of yesteryear, in which we all “gave thanks” for a favorite movie that we thought should get more attention or love.

What did I write? Well, now we come to the reason for this here “ReWard” piece. As originally posted over at Forgotten Flix in November 2010:


Let’s see: it’s Thanksgiving afternoon. You’ve stuffed yourselves like Romans, and you’re struggling against the onset of your annual tryptophan coma. The football is a snoozefest, and the only other game scheduled for the day is between two teams whose only chance of going to the Super Bowl is if they get hired to sell hot dogs. What do you do? Of course, you wander over to the DVD shelf, push past all the romantic comedies and Baby Einsteins and maybe even the three Star Wars movies.

What? They made three more? Blasphemy, I say!

Anyway, you bend way down to the shelf near the floor, where “your” movies reside. Bruce Willis, Sly Stallone, Arnie, and maybe even Mel Gibson (before the meltdown) are represented, but who’s that? Burt Reynolds? Whoa. It looks like you’ve got a couple of his classics, but a single title stands out among all the others. It’s that one film of Burt’s which showcases the definitive battle between good and evil; that renders into sharp relief the intrinsic struggle between liberty and oppression, and offers hope that one man – along with a woman, another man and that man’s dog – can make a difference.

I refer, of course, to Smokey and the Bandit.

smokey

Okay, okay. At its core, this movie is little more than an excuse to film cars driving fast, jumping over things, and getting the crap beaten out of them. The plot is razor thin: Drive from Atlanta to Texarkana, obtain 400 cases of Coors beer – which at the time was not allowed to be sold east of the Mississippi River – and drive back in 28 hours, in order to secure an $80,000 payday. Along the way, Bo Darville (aka “the Bandit,” played by jackie-gleasonReynolds) and Cletus Snow (“the Snowman,” as portrayed by Jerry Reed) run afoul of Texas lawman Buford T. Justice, a hilarious parody of every backwater redneck hick sheriff in the history of backwater redneck hick sheriffs and played to utter, sublime perfection by the late, great Jackie Gleason. Justice sets off in manic pursuit of the Bandit and his shiny black T-top Trans Am, and hilarity ensues…particularly when the Bandit stops just long enough to pick up a runaway bride (Carrie, aka “Frog,” played by Sally Field) who happens to be fleeing the scene after leaving Justice’s son, Junior, at the altar.

Got all that?

In and around all this heavy angst and intense character introspection (or lack thereof) are a series of high-speed chases, jumps and crashes, and trash-talking on the finest communications tool ever developed in the civilized world, the Citizen’s Band Radio. Meanwhile, Snowman, driving the rig with all the beer, is just hoping to get back in time to collect the cash. As if that’s not hard enough, he has to stop long enough to fight a motorcycle gang and hopefully get a decent cheeseburger for his dog, Fred, while waiting for his buddy the Bandit to show up, run blocker for the truck, and maybe help him avoid getting arrested. Written and directed by ace Hollywood stuntman Hal Needham, Smokey and the Bandit was to be the first of several collaborations with Reynolds, though none of them match the sheer goofy fun of this, the first and still the best duel ever between a Smokey and a Bandit.

burt-bandit


You can read the entire selection of guest postings at Forgotten Flix by following these links:

What Forgotten Flix Are You Thankful For? (Segment I)
What Forgotten Flix Are You Thankful For? (Segment II)

All right then! In the spirit of what the Forgotten Flix gang set out to do, for what “forgotten flix” do you give thanks?

Advertisements

It’s holiday movie watching time!

Here we are, 9 days and a wake-up away from Christmas! As I’ve hung up my weapons and armor and declared myself a Veteran of the Christmas Wars, that means my nights are free to catch up on traditional holiday movie viewing.

A few years ago, I wrote a couple of guest blogs for my friends over at Forgotten Flix, offering up candidates for Christmas-themed movies which might not be some people’s first choice for “standard holiday fare.” Why? Because most holiday movies suck, that’s why.

If you start tonight, you can watch one a day leading up to Christmas Day and my #1 all-time no-arguments now and forever favorite Christmas film. A few contenders for placement on the list have come along since I first wrote this piece, but the top couple? Yeah, I don’t see those going anywhere anytime soon.

Click on the provided links to read my reasons for including each of these cinematic jewels to your holiday viewing rotation. Do it.

“Ten Christmas Flix for People Who Don’t Like Christmas Flix, Part 1”
16th: Invasion U.S.A. (1985)
17th: Bad Santa (2003)
18th: Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
19th: Gremlins (1984)
20th: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

“Ten Christmas Flix for People Who Don’t Like Christmas Flix, Part 2”
21st: Home Alone (1990)
22nd: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
23rd: Lethal Weapon (1987)
24th: The Ref (1994)
25th: Die Hard (1988)

If you’ve got candidates for possible inclusion on such a list, feel free to offer them up in the comments, and maybe we’ll see about revisions for next year.

Just forget about trying to unseat #1, though.

ho-ho-ho

Enjoy!

Talkin’ 80s SF movies over at Forgotten Flix!

Whaaaaaaaat?

A while back, I wrote a blog piece for my friends over at Forgotten Flix which was to be part of a series of retrospectives on different sorts of movies from the 1980s. I was asked to yammer a bit about some of my favorite science fiction movies from that decade, and yammer I did. The 80s were a fun time for all sorts of movies, and SF was no exception, leading me to offer up thoughts on ten flicks from summers fondly remembered. The result? A little something I like to call:

Three Decades Ago, In a Movie Theater Down the Street: Ten Favorite Science Fiction Films of the 1980s

Here’s the list, though you’ll have to visit my pals at Forgotten Flix to get the full scoop (listed here in order of release):

The Empire Strikes Back
Outland
Escape From New York
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Blade Runner
Tron
2010
Back to the Future
Aliens
Robocop

Regular readers of this space know I don’t do “Top 10” or “Best of” lists. These are simply ten favorites. I could’ve run a list as long as my…well…it could’ve been a long list, and that’s without including crazy cheese like Galaxy of Terror. So cries of “What about _____?!?” or “But you forgot _____!!!” will be met with scorn and snark. Consider yourselves warned.

Thanks to Joel, Jason, and the entire Forgotten Flix gang for once again inviting me into their sandbox to play for a bit.

ReWard: “For your holiday viewing pleasure.”

With Christmas but a week away, I’m reminded that I’m already behind on my holiday movie re-watching. Curse you, novel deadline! That said, I’ve got some vacation time coming and so I hope to make good on annual film traditions. With that in mind, I bring you an entry from my archives, which itself points to an even older set of blog posts I wrote for my good friends over at Forgotten Flix. How’s that for recycling?

(Um, I mean…”ReWarding.” Yeah, that’s it.)

If you follow the schedule outlined below, you’re already starting late, but I have full faith in your ability to make up for lost time. Alternatively, feel free to offer up your own suggestions.

So, let’s get on with it. From a post originally written on December 16th, 2011: “For your holiday viewing pleasure.”


It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Ah, Christmas. Food, family, friends, gifts and all that great stuff.

(“You forgot football!”)

Yes, and football. What else? Movies! Holiday movies!

Wait. Holiday movies suck. Well, most of ’em, anyway.

Last year, in a guest blog column I wrote for Forgotten Flix, I provided a list of ten “atypical” holiday films, which I called “Ten Christmas Flix for People Who Don’t Like Christmas Flix.” Now that the holidays are upon us and we are TEN DAYS AWAY, I’ve decided to dust off the links to that 2-part column in order to provide you with some possible alternative holiday viewing. That’s right, kids! Each day between today up to and including December 25th, you can take in one of the Christmas-ish titles from this list:

(Click on the links to read my reasons for including each of these cinematic jewels to your holiday viewing rotation. Do it.)

“Ten Christmas Flix for People Who Don’t Like Christmas Flix, Part 1”
16th: Invasion U.S.A. (1985)
17th: Bad Santa (2003)
18th: Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
19th: Gremlins (1984)
20th: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

“Ten Christmas Flix for People Who Don’t Like Christmas Flix, Part 2”
21st: Home Alone (1990)
22nd: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
23rd: Lethal Weapon (1987)
24th: The Ref (1994)
25th: Die Hard (1988)

Enjoy!

Tweet along with Forgotten Flix: FLASH GORDON

So, whatcha doin’ on Sunday, the 19th?

If you’re hanging around the house on Sunday afternoon looking for something geeky to do, then one suggestion I can offer is to join Joel Robertson, Jason Grooms and Maggie Kruger from the Forgotten Flix website and podcast, and partake of their first-ever “Forgotten Flix Tweet-a-Long.”

What do you need? A Twitter account, access to a copy of the 1980 cult-classic, Flash Gordon, and the desire to hang with fellow geek-flick aficionados and lay down some good ol’ movie-luvin’ snark. Here, read all about it:

Forgotten Flix: The First Ever Forgotten Flix Tweet-a-Long!

All of the gory details are there at the link, but the instructions are pretty simple: Queue up your DVD, Blu-ray, streaming, VHS, Laser Disc or whatever you have copy of Flash Gordon, and Just Push Play at precisely 4pm Eastern time. Keep up with the action (and add to it) on Twitter by tracking and employing the Twitter “#TFFPFlash.” To paraphrase Hard Harry from Pump Up the Volume, “Tweet Hard!” Tweet often; tweet funny.

For me, the best part of this is that Joel hasn’t yet seen the movie (Sidebar: Dude. What the hell?). Perhaps other Flash Virgins will also join the fray. I’m not yet sure if I’m going to be available to participate, but I kinda wanna.

Tweet Hard, yo.

For your holiday viewing pleasure.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Ah, Christmas. Food, family, friends, gifts and all that great stuff.

(“You forgot football!”)

Yes, and football. What else? Movies! Holiday movies!

Wait. Holiday movies suck. Well, most of ’em, anyway.

Last year, in a guest blog column I wrote for Forgotten Flix, I provided a list of ten “atypical” holiday films, which I called “Ten Christmas Flix for People Who Don’t Like Christmas Flix.” Now that the holidays are upon us and we are TEN DAYS AWAY, I’ve decided to dust off the links to that 2-part column in order to provide you with some possible alternative holiday viewing. That’s right, kids! Each day between today up to and including December 25th, you can take in one of the Christmas-ish titles from this list:

(Click on the links to read my reasons for including each of these cinematic jewels to your holiday viewing rotation. Do it.)

“Ten Christmas Flix for People Who Don’t Like Christmas Flix, Part 1”
16th: Invasion U.S.A. (1985)
17th: Bad Santa (2003)
18th: Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
19th: Gremlins (1984)
20th: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

“Ten Christmas Flix for People Who Don’t Like Christmas Flix, Part 2”
21st: Home Alone (1990)
22nd: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
23rd: Lethal Weapon (1987)
24th: The Ref (1994)
25th: Die Hard (1988)

Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving!

From David Cardillo over on LiveJournal:

Hehehehe. 😀

Last year around this time, I contributed a guest blog post to Forgotten Flix, a movies retrospective and fan appreciation site hosted by fellow Floridian Joel Robertson and his merry band of adventurers. The topic of the blog was “What Forgotten Flix Are You Thankful For?” Joel invited several peeps–including one of my favorite folks, John Champion from DVD Geeks–to write about a particular favorite movie which might be suitable for post-meal screening. My addition to that list was…well…unorthodox. 10-4, good buddy!

You can read about it and the other Turkey Day Flick Picks over at the Forgotten Flix website:

What Forgotten Flix Are You Thankful For? (Segment I)
What Forgotten Flix Are You Thankful For? (Segment II)

So, if the games end up sucking later today, at least now you have some options.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Guest blogging at Forgotten Flix, part 2!

Due to travel and other stuff yesterday, I wasn’t able to post about Part 2 of the guest blog I wrote for Joel Robertson over at Forgotten Flix, “Ten Christmas Flix for People Who Don’t Like Christmas Flix.”

Part 1 was posted on Monday, and thanks to Joel staying on the ball even while I was off traveling in La-La-Land, you can now read Part 2, which provides picks #5 down to #1, just by clickin’ it right here.

What’s the top pick? Well, I don’t think it comes as any surprise, given that I’ve made no secret of my favorite Christmas movie:

Thanks very much to Joel for letting me play in his house for a bit. The first official episode of the Forgotten Flix podcast just went live yesterday, too, so for movie geeks looking to get a little compare/contrast action regarding the original Tron and its just-released sequel, Tron: Legacy, are encouraged to wander over to the Forgotten Flix HQ and check out the show for themselves!

Guest blogging at Forgotten Flix, part 1!

The three or four of you who read this blog with any regularity may recall that back before Thanksgiving, I solicited input for a special guest blog I would be writing for my fellow nerd in 80s Moviedom, Joel Robertson over at Forgotten Flix. Well, here we are: Christmas week, and with that comes the start of my oh-so brief stint as a guest blogger over at Forgotten Flix HQ. The topic? “Ten Christmas Flix for People Who Don’t Like Christmas Flix.”

Part 1, counting down from Pick #10 to #6, has been posted, and you can read it by clicking on this linky-type thing right here. Part 2 will be posted tomorrow. As I say over there, this isn’t intended to be the ultimate or “Best of” list for such movies, so recommendations for other titles are encouraged. Feel free to comment here, but I’d also appreciate it if you dropped a line over at Joel’s place, as well.

See you tomorrow, with Part 2!

More Forgotten Flix fun.

As this week is Thanksgiving, many folks in the blogosphere are writing themed posts, offering thanks to persons or things that they hold dear. Many of these will be thoughtful, engaging treatises designed to affect you on an emotional level, resonating with you long after you have finished reading them.

Then, there’s the crap I write.

As part of the lighter side of the holidays, Joel Robertson has started a series of guest blogs over at his site, Forgotten Flix, his recently-enacted shrine to often overlooked movies from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. The theme for these entries? Just what you think: Movies for which we should be thankful; films we can go to in a clutch when the food’s gone (or we’re stuffed to the point of bursting) and the football sucks.

Joel invited me to participate in his little thought experiment, so cruise on over to ForgottenFlix to see what I and other volunteers had to offer on the subject. Today’s entry is the first of three which will appear on the site this week, each featuring selections from four or five different friends of Joel’s. By accident or design, my friend John Champion from DVD Geeks was also tapped to provide a movie suggestion, and the two of us ended up writing about movies which are–after a fashion–related. Heh.

Speaking of Forgotten Flix, here’s an update on the “10 Christmas Movies For People Who Don’t Like Christmas Movies” list I’m compiling for them. So, far the real “keeper” candidates are:

  • Die Hard
  • The Ref
  • Gremlins
  • Lethal Weapon
  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Contenders for remaining slots include:

  • Invasion U.S.A.
  • Enemy of the State
  • The Hudsucker Proxy
  • On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
  • Batman Returns
  • Home Alone
  • Silent Night, Deadly Night
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Eyes Wide Shut
  • Tales from the Crypt (movie)
  • When Harry Met Sally
  • Ghostbusters II
  • Scrooged
  • American Psycho
  • Die Hard 2
  • Santa Claws
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol

Looking at that list, I’m happy to see that I have some delightfully twisted friends.

Want to propose possible candidates? I’m still taking suggestions. Just remember: It has to have been released during the 70s, 80s, or 90s. You know what I’m lookin’ for….