Monday, March 7, 2011

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Jazz on a Summer's Day - 1959

This is a lovely "movie" - the kind of movie you can sit down and watch or have on in the background with friends over, or reading a book and sipping a glass of wine.

Basically, the director (also a famous photographer), Burt Stern filmed a whole series of performances at the Newport Jazz Festival. There's Louis Fitzgerald and Thelonious Monk to name a couple and many, many more famous jazz figures. Not only did he film the concert though, he caught audience reactions (the women are wearing the most beautiful, funky 1960s dresses), drunk teenagers, funny reports, sailing, scenery, the set up of the concert and Jazz on a Summer's Day was born. It's funky, fun and cruisy all at once and oozes class that only jazz can.

I highly recommend it.

You can rent the movie from Fatso, here:
Jazz on a Summer's Day

Fatso are NZ's very cool online DVD rental service - no late fees, no return times and they're sponsoring my blog so I am able to watch all the cult movies, very cool. Fatso have some copies of the book "101 Cult Movies to Watch Before you Die" for people who sign up this month using the promo code they've set up for this blog promo: FATSO101. Using this promo code, you'll also get a free 3 week trial. Awesome stuff.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Blues Brothers - 1980

My second Fatso package arrived: The Blues Brothers, Vanishing Point & Wings of Desire were in it. Very exciting.

As seems to be my Sunday tradition, after two days of house hunting (and I was looking for places where I could envisage the couch and the TV for good movie watching sessions) I snuggled down and watched The Blues Brothers this Sunday avo... where have I been hiding? I can't believe I have never seen The Blues Brothers, it rocks and is fricken awesome!

Starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd (who also co-wrote it - who knew?) and a whole host of cameos (Ray Charles, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Twiggy, Carrie Fischer...) this was 1980's blues rocking jive.

Basically, Jake Blues (Belushi) gets released from prison, Elwood Blues (Aykroyd) is there to meet him and off they go to reform their blues band to raise money for an orphanage that is about to get closed down. Of course, with some slapstick comedy they get into trouble wherever they go which means by the time the band performs the police, local nazi party and others are chasing closely behind them, each trying to get their revenge and capture of the brothers who won't be stopped til they've raised the money for the children (how sweet!). This leads to one of the best police/car chases everywhere - I wonder if they used toy cars or real cars... it'd be fun to crash lots of toy cars bam bam bam! What's funny is that Aykroyd is obviously a lot fitter than Belushi because his dance moves are a lot sharper... it's 4 years prior to Ghostbusters which I have already wanted to watch on the big screen. At some points you do want to get up and sing/jive along and I dare you to!

I haven't seen Blues Brothers 2000, but I'm now seriously considering it... what do you think?

Rent movies mentioned in this blog from Fatso here ---->
The Blues Brothers
Blues Brothers 2000
Wings of Desire
Vanishing Point

Remember, you can a free three week trial from Fatso if you use the promo-code FATSO101.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Superfly - 1972

The first time I heard of the genre blaxsploitation was when my brother entered the 48 hour short film competition and I was part of his crew... there was a list of possible genres you could be assigned and that was one of them. I don't know what I watched to get myself in tune with the genre, but I know I got a crash course in it. Think starting early 1970s, usually a hot black guy (maybe a detective) with amazing hair and exploiting popular black culture... Think Blackula or Shaft.

Or think SUPERFLY. Main character, Priest, lives in an amazing pad, is a cocaine dealer with a wicked lifestyle but wants to get out of the business... his trench coat and hair are pretty funky and he gets to touch a lot of booty (reow).

Like most cult movies, drugs feature heavily and there is enough blow to send the entire cast of Dumbo to the moon and back. Yup, more glorified drug use. If you deal cocaine, you too can have all the ladies, apartments, cars, friends and designer clothes you like (never mind the outcome being prison or death, you'll have the time of your life before you get there - or if you do it, make money and get out the game even better... then what you did is a o.k.) NOT!

Curtis Mayfield did the soundtrack - he's the guy who did "Move on Up" (every time I hear that song I can't help but think of Bend it Like Beckham)  so you know as well as enjoying the movie you're gonna be grooving in your seat.

Thumbs up!

Rent movies mentioned in this blog from Fatso here:
Bend it Like Beckham

Fatso are currently working on sourcing Superfly, but I know you'll like Shaft... And remember, you can check out Fatso's awesomeness through a three week free trial by using the Cult Movie promo code: FATSO101

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Heathers - 1988

Before Elephant... the high school revenge movie of the 80s was Heathers.

Were you bullied at high school and wanted to get revenge on the popular girls who made your life a living nightmare? Heathers will let you live out all of these dreams without any real life repercussions..

"Emo" wasn't invented in the late 80s, but if it had this film definitely would have been labelled it. It's got Winona Ryder in her really intense phase, and released the same year as Beetlejuice (I love that movie!) but two years pre-Edward Scissorhands & Mermaids. She, and the other ladies, wear some high fashion 80s clothing with magnificent shoulder pads and an array of coloured stockings (love that they came back into fashion). There's also Shannen Doherty with boofy, frizzy auburn hair - 90210 came 2 years later - and Christen Slater (he was very dreamy at the time and for a while to come for many girls - did Bed of Roses in 95). So for the cast alone it's worth a watch!

Basically, there's three popular Heathers (Doherty & 2 others) and Veronia (Ryder) who's trying to be part of the trio but hating it because the Heathers are so nasty to and bully everyone they don't deem "elite" enough. Illustrating how nasty they are is one of my favourite phrases from one of the Heather's when someone disagrees with her: "Well f#*k me gently with a chainsaw". Eventually, Veronica hooks with up with J.D., an edgy guy (Slater) and with his encouragement they reck havoc on the meanies. It's a black comedy, and the carnage is extreme and bloody. Lots of trippy scenes and apparently they filled another end sequence that was a lot darker, but if I tell you it'll ruin the ending.

Basically it's funny with an endlessly quotable script and cool stars from the era that can lead to a nostalgia session of movies on an afternoon in.

What's your damage?

Fatso are currently trying to source Heather so you can watch it too, but you can rent other movies mentioned in this blog here:
Edward Scissorhands
Beverly Hills 90210
Bed of Roses

 Remember if you use the promo code FATSO101, Fatso will give you a free three week trial when you sign up with them.  Excellent stuff.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The City of Lost Children (La Cite Des Enfants Perdus) - 1995

On Saturday my first lot of Fatso DVDs arrived. There is nothing quite liket snail mail arriving (as long as it's not a bill) and getting to open a package, tearing it open to see what surprises lie inside. Usually you need to send things to get mail but Fatso are quite happy to have a one way mail relationship (although I do need to send the DVDs back at some point, but there are no late fee things so it's awesome!).

The three movies to arrive were:
The City of Lost Children
Easy Rider and
Jazz On A Summer's Day

(Click the links to rent them with Fatso!)

After a couple of wineries on Saturday with some girlfriends, Sunday was definitely a movie watching day and I settled down to watch The City of Lost Children.

This is a futuristic French movie by Jeunet & Caro. Caro was a comic book artistic and you definitely get that creative out there burst with this and any of their films.

Basically, there's a mad scientist who can't dream and this makes him grow old so he steals children so he can zap their dreams and through them dream... it's crazy, surreal and highly imaginative. I know some people aren't too keen on subtitles, but the images and storytelling through images is so rich that you could watch the story unwind without having to read the subtitles.

Of note: Jean-Paul Gaultier did the costumes and they're pretty fab. So are the child actors in the movie - they are amazing, they have impeccable timing and ranges of emotion. You do have to wonder, though, whether they will be scarred for life from the weird props and scenes they were acting in... like the first scene with all the Santas! And if they're not scarred, will they connect the weird recurring nightmares/dreams they have with the film they acted in forever ago? Where are they now?

You may be more familiar with their work Amelie or A Very Long Engagement, both of which continue that surreal storytelling style you see in Lost Children.You'll enjoy it, it's delightful in a scary kinda way.

Rent Jeunet & Caro films here:
A Very Long Engagement
The City of Lost Children

Remember if you use the promo code FATSO101, Fatso will give you a free three week trial when you sign up with them.  Excellent stuff.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Brick - 2005

Last night, after the excitement of finding out about Fatso, I came home to unwind and watch a movie. That movie was Brick starring the most amazing Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

I actually saw Brick at the movies at the NZFF at the Embassy in Wellington. It was the year my friend Anna came back from the States, we were both house sitting and got 10+ tickets to movies (although this is by no means a lot of movies for a film fest, as I know dedicated movie watchers who take annual leave each year the film festival is on to go to the festival) and Brick was one of the movies. I think we may have also seen Mysterious Skin and had a double Gordon-Levitt dose.

Brick is an awesome movie, the dialogue is quick and HARDBOIL. It's set in a high school, there's a mystery but it's shot and put together in a very sharp, witty way that expects you to be smart as a viewer. Compared to The Room, this was a refreshing change.

I like Joseph Gordon-Levitt a lot. He was cool in 3rd Rock From The Sun, loved him in Brick and Mysterious Skin, could watch (500) Days of Summer over and over and I thoroughly enjoyed Inception the one time I watched it at the movies. I like that the movies are often a little edgy and that he can play more than one character. His character in Brick is pretty cool, you really do expect him to smoke a lot of cigarettes, drink a lot of coffee and simmer behind a police desk but underneath it all he's a teenage guy trying to find out what's happened to the girl he loved.

Oh, and if you can't follow the dialogue (kinda reminiscent of the dialogue in A Clockwork Orange), don't worry the movie's well shot enough that the pictures tell a story too.

4 movies down, 97 to go

Tonight I start queueing movies to watch in my Fatso basket. Very exciting. I love snail mail and it'll be great to open up the packages and see what movie surprises are waiting inside! Thanks Fatso!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Exciting news, today I met with Fatso and they have agreed to sponsor my blog!

Fatso are fantastic, they are New Zealand's largest online DVD rental service. Straightforward and easy to use, you simply select the movies you want to rent from the online library at From the tip of the North Island, to Bluff and beyond to Stewart Island and the Chathams, Fatso delivers your chosen DVDs in a jiffy direct to your door.

Fatso we don't believe in late fees or return times (yeeha!) - so you can watch your DVDs when ever you feel like it. Then when you're good and ready, you simply return them to us in the free post envelope provided. Then the whole process is repeated as we send you the next DVD on your list! I like it!

If you sign up to Fatso using the special promo code they've set up for this blog, "FATSO101" they'll give you a 3 week trial and there will be a monthly prize draw (I know the prizes but they'll be arriving mid-Feb and I like to dangle carrots...)

Basically, it's very exciting and very cool and huge thumbs up to Fatso!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Room - 2003

Hi Nikki

Oh hi everyone!

I watched The Room today... WOAH... not much could have prepared me for that!

The Room is written, directed, produced and acted by Tommy Wiseau (interesting guy!) and first showed in NZ at the International Film Festival last year (although I volunteered at the festival, I didn't go to see it on the big screen) but it was made in 2003 and in most reviews I've read it's dubbed "the worst movie ever made" and hence you want to see it and when you do you love to hate it. It's got such a big cult following here it shows every month on the big screen now in Welly and Auckland but I don't know if I can bring myself to go along... you see I watched it on the laptop today and that was funny and sedate but apparently, if you go along, it's as interactive as a screening of Rocky Horror and you're extremely likely to get plastic spoons thrown at the back of your head (my bro has a whole basket of plastic spoons in his room just for Room screenings!). Footballs also get thrown around and there's lines to shout out too...


At first, I thought I was watching a soft core porn - there are a lot of sex scenes with soft filters an abudance of candles bad R&B and rose petals, and then I just got confused. I mean, in what other movie does your mother tell you casually she's got breast cancer, and then it's never mentioned again but you see her lots and eat cake together and talk about affairs instead... Basically, it's a badly acted drama with most of the lines DUBBED over (because the actual script was even worse?!?!) with weirdly developed characters and one room featuring a lot. How he spent $6 million developing and marketing the film, I do not know but it may come back in cult followings and midnight screenings?  I would love to know if some of the cast have come to any NZ screenings - I know when I went to see Troll 2 it was cool to have one of the cast there and it was cool when there was a call to the guy who's actually a dentist... I can imagine if you were there with lots of people you would laugh so much you might not get a chance to throw your spoons.

I won't illuminate much more of the plot except to say that I find it interesting when you boyfriend has longer hair than you (unless it's an Anita Blake novel, then it's just sexy but the guy is a vampire so hey...)

Watch it with a big group of friends and brace yourself.

3 down, 98 to go.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Mini Movie Marathon - Numero Uno, 19 Feb 2011

I brought in the New Year in the most fabulous fashion - on a beach in the Coromandel, surrounded by awesome people I love, fireworks going off in the distance and against the light someone blowing big bubbles. It was wicked! I also got four days off work to enjoy with my family and some friends and ate and drank some yummo things.
Along with eating I also watched a few movies; Lolita (Jeremy Irons version - so creepy!), The Fantastic Mr Fox (just as funny as at the movies) and Kavita finally got around to watching Avatar and fell in love with the blue people and the flowers.
I also started to plan my first mini movie marathon. You should note the word "mini" in here because with work and my "old age" I cannot fathom doing a proper 24 hour movie marathon without a recovery day (or maybe I am afraid of falling asleep as the host of my own marathon?? - how embarrassing!), so it'll be a mini one of 4-5 movies from the list.
I have attended a few 24 hour movie marathons - the last two Incredibly Strange movie marathons at the Hollywood theatre (go Ant Timpson!) and the preparation for these marathons is incredible. You have to find a nice bean bag, blanket, pillow, get your food, drinks and gavascon organised and pace your fresh air breaks and make sure you take deodarant so you're not one of the extremely smelly people that tend to emerge 24 hours later. So whilst you have an unbeatable experience and see some amazing movies there can be some exhausting downsides that are avoided with a mini-marathon.
Our lounge is not vast so there will be beanbags if lots of people come (I hope so!) and lots of snacks and V provided and a heavy dose of cult movies. If it's a success I am sure more will follow throughout the year.
Unfortunately, not everyone I love lives in Auckland so I've suggested that anyone who can't come over on the night do their own "virtual marathon" - whether you watch 1 or all 5 of the movies from the comfort of your own home, with or without others. So I'll publish the movies in advance of the marathon so if you're not in Auckland you can find them, watch along too and have fun comments with us afterwards.
Mini marathon date: Saturday 19th February 2011 7pm @ Nikki's.
(Be there or be square!)
Movies to be announced by 21 January (that should give you heaps of time to source them!)
Tips for hosting a marathon:
  • Make sure you have all the DVDs in advance of the marathon
  • Have a good sized viewing screen if there's more than 2 of you (am lucky enough to have a 40" tele)
  • Get people to bring beanbags if you don't have enough couch space (or if you're feeling really generous seek them out and borrow them yourself)
  • Provide snacks (I'll be making lots of home baked goodness - am thinking marshmallow slice, caramel popcorn, some spicey Indian snacks and other small things that can go in mouths easily without too much rustling - maybe I should make everyone party bags??)
  • Provide liquid
  • Put on one of those automatic air-freshners - I love big gatherings of people, but all sitting for ages in one space can be funky
  • Have fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This week am planning on watching The Room, and am going to try and make it to the Auckland screening next week @ the Academy (Friday 14th @ 10.30pm)... apparently I should be saving up my plastic spoons?