Hey folks, Harry here... Well, I hosted my last event at the Original Drafthouse last night and this morning. And there were a lot of familiar faces and not-so familiar faces. But one thing seemed universal... they loved STARDUST. At one point after the film was over, Kraken (Quint's platonic lover) came back from the lobby with this goofy dazed grin on his face. He thumbed in the direction of the lobby and said, "Um, Every girl in lobby looks like they just had meaningful sex and amazing orgasms." In a summer filled with sequelitis... STARDUST and RATATOUILLE are really the creative stand-outs. That said, STARDUST is the real surprise. People just aren't really aware of it, but throughout the film there was applause, not of just visual effects moments, but applause to the greatness of dialogue, sequences and for just getting caught up into the film. And before the film, Matthew Vaughn personally apologized for leaving X-MEN 3 in the hands of Brett Ratner... but I have to say... STARDUST is the sweetest most amazing love letter to those that dream about the worlds out there waiting to be discovered. Here's The Legman with our first look at Half-Ass-A-Thon... if you were there, send in your impressions!
Hey Harry and gang, I'm still rubbing the slieep outta my eyes, but it's worth it. Last night's Half-Ass-a-Thon was awesome, a great way to say goodbye to the original Alamo. I'm gonna miss it. The Ritz will be cool, though. Anyway, here's a few quick thoughts on last night's line-up. 1.) WONDER BAR -- This film is so cool to see on so many different levels. On the one hand, it's horrifying to see such blatant racisim, but man what a show! Al Jolson was amazing. He has this ability to be a stern tough guy one second, then the consumate showman the next, and a wacky blackfaced fellow the next. They don't make them like that anymore (for good or ill). What I love about this movie is the pre-Code attitude, wild and crazy, with older married ladies hooking up with younger men (and quite pervertedly, too -- "You remind me of my mother", indeed!) while their husbands are busy scoring their own dates (something you'd never see in the 50's), gay men dancing, a protagonist not trying to talk a man out of suicide but instead using it to hide a murder! Seriously. But what I'll really remember about this movie is the fucked up musical number at the end. I'll never forget Busby Berkeley's/Al Jolson's vision of a Black Heaven where possum pies grow on trees and where the way to get there is on a mule. FUCKED UP. But really amazing, too. 2.) STARDUST -- I was blown away by this movie. I'd read the novel years ago and thought the movie might be a cute little number and was looking forward to it. I was wrong. It's not cute, or little. That's not to say it's truly epic. It's streamlined -- focused on two central characters, and their destinies and the magical kingdom are tied up together. It's more A Princess Bride than LOTR, but it's less comedic and more thrilling. Perfectly directed. The murdering brothers? -- classic. Robert de Niro in pink frilly women's undergarments? -- classic. I've had a crush on Claire Danes for years and it's good to see her get a role like this instead of some vapid blonde starlet. SPOILER AHEAD One thing that didn't work for me in this movie is the ending. The protagonist Trisdan is simply not an effective hero. All he does is show up! Oh, and he lets some animals out of their cages. That's it. He doesn't kill the evil witch, doesn't defeat her, hell he doesn't even untie the star, the witch does. SPOILER OVER But that aside it was truly a magical movie, one that deserves to be a blockbuster, and I can't wait to see it again with my wife. It was fast and fun, a fairytale for adults that kids can enjoy too. If this does well I guess Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere will be next. 3.) TOPKAPI -- Very cool caper flick. I'm officially in love with the gypsy woman, can't remember her name. This would have been a slow and predictable story if we hadn't been so firmly rooted in the characters, esp. Mr. Simpson, the perfect sympathetic weasel. 4.) IMPULSE -- In a word, Shatner-ific. The thing I love about Shatner is his willingness to commit to a role (except when he's doing his smarmy I'm-William-Shatner bit, which I love too), and here he commits totally. Try to imagine George Clooney in this role. COULDN'T BE DONE. Only Shatner could pull this off (though whether or not he did is debatable, but watching him try was a great experience). And every time he stuck that pinky in the corner of his mouth, the audience went wild. I think he should do that at least once in every performance. 5.) SEVEN BLOWS OF THE DRAGON -- Okay, I admit I was fading a bit by this point. The stuffed jalapenos I ordered during Impulse helped to see me through, but not enough. It was like four in the morning. Anyway, this is the epic Shaw Brothers movie fans have been dreaming about, and I'm afraid I was probably dreaming about it during the movie, so don't ask me for a plot. But from what I saw of it, it was fun, and it's definitely something I'm going to seek out on DVD or video. Anyway, lots of fun! THANKS TIM! THANKS HARRY! If you use this, call me The Legman.