Saturday, November 27, 2010

I Heart Glen and The Sunshine Gang and So Should You!

This isn't technically a Song of the Day entry. Instead I'm putting this entry up as a way of letting people know about an unsigned band I am in love with. I'm trying to do as much as I can for this band. I was planning on putting something up about them weeks ago. Whatever. The point is NOW I'm telling you about this who always leave a big smile on my face, which is a rare feat from a band these days...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"Evil Dead 2" - Vestron Video of the Week: November 24, 2010


After all the numerous special edition VHS and DVD and Blu-Ray versions of not only Evil Dead 2, but the other two films in the series, it some times gets forgotten that all we had for the longest time were no-frills editions of all three films on VHS. Thank God the internet loves to document everything.
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Jessica Harper "Phantom of the Paradise" - The First Time...: November 24, 2010

Phantom of the Paradise - Jessica Harper "Old Souls"
Uploaded by tygerbug. - See the latest featured music videos.

I'm sure some of you are sensing a trend here. I love music in film. I grew up watching a lot of musicals, both the obvious ones and the not so obvious ones. Music in film has a profound effect on me. Movies may be my first love, but movies made me a music geek. I can freely admit that. So a lot of my favorite movies have a lot to do with music, feature great music, etc. "Phantom of the Paradise", like "Streets of Fire", left a big impression on me as a kid. Both films have a universe and style that they can call all their own, with these bizarre fusions of sound, imagery, genre pastiche, etc. They also both have a lovely singer at the center of the story.

Jessica Harper's turn as Phoenix is both heart-warming and heart-breaking. Watching her go from the gorgeous young hopeful, whose talent and charm Wimslow falls in love with, to the way-too-young-to-be so-used-up chanteuse surrounded by death at film's end is astonishing. Harper deserved to be a star bigger than the cult surrounding her because of this film and the better-knwon "Suspiria".

The Last Starfighter - Unsequelized: November 24, 2010


In my last Unsequelized write-up (the premiere one actually) I made a crack about a buddy of mine actually having a shot of getting his sequel to The Last Starfighter off the ground, now that Disney was willing to spend hundreds of millions on a sequel to Tron, an even more costly flop than TLS. While that may have been an obvious inside-joke and dig at my friend's obsessive desire to sequelize a movie he may love, but others don't expound as much energy on, it is the essence of the argument I'm trying to make with Unsequelized. Every one of us has a film that they love to death that never had a chance at a sequel, outside of the legendary ones we created inside our own heads.
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Monday, November 22, 2010

Three Years Too Late: Did You Like Rush Hour 1 and 2? Then You'll Probably Enjoy Rush Hour 3

Thank God for the public library. I am always extolling the virtues of my library card, not the least of which is that I can get free books, movies, CDs, etc., in instances where I really don't care to spend the $2.00-$30.00 those items would usually set me back. Such was certainly the case with Rush Hour 3, a film that I would probaby have seen in the theaters in summer of 2007, but just didn't make time for in the midst of all the other shit I was trying to catch up /spend money on at that time. When I made a trip to the library this Saturday and saw Rush Hour 3 sitting out on an end-cap FEATURED section, I had to pick it up. For I Heart Sequels it seemed like a must.
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Friday, November 19, 2010

"Gleaming the Cube" - Vestron Video of the Week: November 19, 2010 (Class of 1989 Special Edition)


Anybody's who been paying attention (anybody? anybody?) will notice the reference I made to a Vestron Video review I was gonna post back in the Song of the Day entry for The Dickies' "Stukas Over Disneyland". Again, if anybody saw that and said "he's clearly gonna review Gleaming the Cube", well, then you deserve a cookie. But you never e-mailed me, hence I will not be the one providing you with said cookie. Take your ass down to 7-11 and get yourself one of those 99 cent two packs of Grandma's Homestyle. It's okay because I said it's okay. But I digress.
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1989: A Lifechanging Year in Cinema For I Heart Sequels

Every so often there will be a year's worth of movies that leave an indelible mark on Cinema. From the last twenty years, think 1994, 1999, 2007. These are the years where even the lesser movies feel exhilirating and the event and prestige movies walk down the aisle hand in hand. My first experience with a year like that came in 1989, at the age of 10. Just take a look at these two posters and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.


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Thursday, November 18, 2010

"Big Trouble in Little China" - Unsequelized: November 18, 2010


I'd say it's pretty clear by my Blogger handle that I'm a big fan of "Big Trouble in Little China". At least it should be clear to any film nerd reading this online. See, when I was growing up I had no real knowledge of others who loved some of the weirder movies that held a special place in my heart. As much shit as I give the interweb, one thing it did turn me onto was the notion that there were other likeminded souls out there and that I wasn't crazy for loving this bizarre little flop about, well, what "Big Trouble in Little China" is all about.
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Diane Lane "Streets of Fire" - The First Time...: November 17, 2010

I saw Streets of Fire when I was around 7 years old. By that time, I had already seen countless other films, but few had exhilarated me like the opening 10 minutes of this film. And while much of that is due to the badass action, the music of Jim Steinman AND Ry Cooder, and the way Lee Ving screams his bloody head off, one thing really got my heart pumping and that was the appearance of Ellen Aim, aka Diane Lane. She was, for all intents and purposes, my first cinematic crush. Even to this day, I don't go ga-ga over many actresses, but Diane Lane, particularly as Ellen Aim, always holds a place in my heart. That place may have been solidified by her appearances in numerous other films, but Ellen Aim was the one that I keep coming back to. Like Tom Cody, I would kick much ass for Ellen. Except I would do it in defense of this film.

***The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face will be a weekly series where I discuss my cinematic crushes, via the roles that introduced me to them. Just to be equal opportunity about it I will discuss my man-crushes.

Zemeckis to Pull a Van Sant on The Wizard of Oz

Everybody else seems to be talking about the spectaculary bad idea Robert Zemeckis has had to shoot an all new Wziard of Oz using the shooting script from the Judy Garland classic. Fuck that noise. Let's all hope Raimi kicks our asses with Oz, The Great and Powerful!

We need more Oz movies like this awesome 80s sequel.

Toy Story 3 Best of the Series? Not Really. But It's Still Pretty Good.

To be quite honest, it's not even my favorite animated move of 2010. That title still goes to How To Train Your Dragon, with Despicable Me (fuck you, you probably haven't seen it) coming in second and Toy Story 3 coming in right behind that. But neither of those are sequels and I didn't buy either one just last night, so right now we're talking about Toy Story 3.
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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I Heart Sequels Has High Hopes for The Mechanic remake!


Great trailer, great poster, great cast, mediocre director.

I just recently wacthed The Mechanic for the 50th time. My girlfriend loves action movies and some one got her the DVD for her birthday. Watching it I noticed for the first time that this thing is primed for a remake the way things have been panning out of late. Little did I know this was in the works.

The wild card is director Simon West. I love Con Air, but that's not his fault. Every other movies he's made since can be safely classified as some of the worst garbage floating around the multiplexes over the last decade-plus. Let's hope this cast saves his ass.

Cars 2: The Rebooting

Like so many other film nerds, I have to admit that Cars is one of the worst things they've ever done, though A Bug's Life clearly takes the title for worst overall. But Cars is still is pretty fun flick, Larry the Cable Guy and all, and I can see why kids love the shit out if it. With that in mind it's interesting to see where they are headed with this sequel. Again, I maintain some times the best thing to do with the sequel is move as far away from the original film as possible and Pixar clearly seems to be going that way with Cars 2. Git 'er done!

I Heart Sequels Make Killer Mixtape

I recently heard from this guy after about almost 5 years of total silence. Last I talked to him he was a 12 year-old kid. Now he's writing me because he's working on a paper for some college prep thing. The idea for the paper essentially came from a mix CD I made to get him into all facets of punk, etc. Any way, check out this tracklist. Damn I good.

1. Dead Kennedys - Police Truck
2. Buzzcocks - What Do I Get?
3. Descendents - Suburban Home
4. Misfits - Devilock
5. Fugazi - Waiting Room
6. New Bomb Trucks - I Want My Baby...Dead
7. Poison Idea - The Badge
8. Stiff Little Fingers - Barbed Wire Love
9. Black Flag - Rise Above
10. Dwarves - I Wanna Kill Your Boyfriend
11. Scared of Chaka - All My Friends Are Ghosts
12. Sick of it All - Potential for a Fall
13. Fitz of Depression - My Good Name
14. Henry Fiat's Open Sore - I Never Touched Her
15. Screaming Weasel - She's Giving Me the Creeps
16. New Model Army - Frightened
17. Thee Michelle Gunn Elephant - Vibe On!
18. The Vandals - My Girlfriend's Dead
19. Verbal Abuse - Free Money
20. Sex Pistols - Pretty Vacant
21. Social Distortion - 1945
22. Discharge - Does This System Work?
23. GBH - City Baby Attacked By Rats
24. Bad Religion - Kyoto Now!
25. Husker Du - New Day Rising
26. Jawbreaker - Fireman
27. Nomeansno - In Her Eyes
28. Rhythm Collision - Hippie Now
29. Lemonheads - Hate Your Friends
30. Turbonegro - Denim Demon
31. Alkaline Trio - Good Bye Forever
32. Spazz - Short Songs

I Heart Sequels Hearts BTTF II and The Biff Tannen Museum

Like almost any red-blooded little boy of the 80s I loved the Back to the Future movies, even the ridiculous third film in the series. But there is a special spot in my heart reserved for Back to the Future II. It's just a twacked-out movie, going back and forth, really exploring the possibilites and repercussions of the Delorean, both good and bad. The best part of the movie has to be the alternative universe of Hill Valley 1985, where Biff Tannen is lord and master to all.
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Monday, November 15, 2010

I Heart Sequels: The Ladies of Batman Forever

Last night I was surprised to find myself watching an uncut and commercial-free version of Batman Forever on KCET. Now, initially I was surprised to find this flick playing on KCET in such a fashion. If it had been a small part of some larger documentary about Batman, comics, etc., it would have been apropos. But I digress. After that initial shock, I was much more surprised by the fact that I was actually watching the movie. I've never been a fan of this particular film (shocking to all those fanboys out there, right?), so you could maybe chalk it up to the fact that I couldn't sleep and it was one of the few things on at that hour. Hey, I don't have cable.
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Friday, November 12, 2010

More Love for Dino De Laurentiis From I Heart Sequels

I'm still astounded by the lack of respect I'm seeing from people online and in the press regarding the passing of Dino. So, I've put together my own little list of some of my favorite sequels Dino had a hand in.

1. Army of Darkness - Any horror fan, movie geek, etc., who is worth his/her salt has to be a fan of all of Raimi's Evil Dead films. Whether they want to admit it now, there was a time when every one of us couldn't get enough of these flicks and for many it started here. 'Nuff said.
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Thursday, November 11, 2010

RIP: Dino De Laurentiis - November 11, 2010

Funny how things pan out when you're a film geek. Just last night I was showing my girlfriend "Visions of Light", the must-see documentary about cinematography. In the latter half of the film they start talking about the work done on "Blue Velvet". I thought to myself how funny it is that Dino De Laurentiis never gets recognition for putting this movie out; only for Kong, Conan, Barbarella, eg enjoyable schlock. Then this morning I wake up and find out Dino, at the age of 91, has finally passed on into the great big director's chair in the sky.

I just recently wrote a required reading bit about the book by Ray Morton about the makings of all the King Kong movies. Dino's story is probably one of the most interesting in there. I have a soft spot not just for his '76 Kong, but for his much-maligned '86 sequel. Likewise, he had a hand in making the Conan movies, Flash Gordon, tons of movies that were staples of my childhood. But he also was one of the first major producers to bring the Italian avant-garde to the US and the rest of the world. He made big splashy comic adaptations like Barbarella and Danger: Diabolik before that would become the norm. He produced over 500 movies in his lifetime, all the way up until the day he died.

I have a pass to Universal Studios and the tour always drive you past the production bungalows. Every time we whizzed past them I had a smile on my face seeing Dino and his daughter still had assigned parking spaces and offices right in the front.

Like Corman, Dino is a hero of mine. To many this seems tantamount to sacrilege. but anybody who loves movies this much and loves making movies this much needs to be any film geek's hero. Oh yeah, fuck the Medveds! You know what I'm talking about.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sophomore Slump: "Mallrats"

With the exception of Weezer's "Pinkerton", I can't think of a more beloved candidate for a sophomore slump than Mallrats, Kevin Smith's flop follow-up to his low-budget debut "Clerks". But while River's album was taken to task by critics for its overwhelming melodrama and heart-on-its-sleeve aesthetic, Smith's film failed to connect with critics because, honestly, he was given almost $6 million and delivered a film that was even more amateurish than his $30,000 debut. But that didn't stop a small handful of fans (myself included) from falling in love with this movie. Hell ,it still holds the record for a film of Smtih's that I've seen the most times in the theater. (That would be 3 times)
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Spiritual Sequel: "Cropsey"

I am a West Coast kid. My childhood may have been erratic, bouncing from one place to the next, winding up running around all over the country. But in the end I was born in East LA and that is where I live to this day. So I was totally unfamiliar with a lot of the urban legends that had grown in the East Coast. From my perspective Cropsey was a character in a little-known slasher movie called "The Burning" and had zero basis in reality. But while I was digging deeper into horror films and how they got made I ran into the notion that the Cropsey character started out as an urban legend, a spook that kids in East Coast camps used in tales told around the fire to scare the hell out of one another. Until recently, that was as far as I thought the history of the character went.
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Friday, November 5, 2010


Required Reading: "King Kong: The History of a Movie Icon" by Ray Morton


Any fan of Kong and its offspring have to read this book!
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Required Reading: "The Greatest Sci-fi Movies Never Made" by David Hughes


This is required reading for us not only because it details why a lot of flicks didn't get made, but also how a lot of sequels wound up being what they are.
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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sooner or Later I Was Gonna Have to Do my First "Tron:Legacy" Post

My fellow web-slingers over at Badass Cinema have a new article discussing more of the marketing and merchandising avalanche Disney has cooked up for the (WAY, WAY, WAY) past-due sequel to the financial flop everybody seems to love now. God, I love geek revisionist history.
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So Big Momma 3 is happening?

Meh, whatever. As long as it keeps Martin Lawrence in the spotlight long enough that we can finally get the long-awaited final part of this amazing trilogy...

Does Thanksgiving Really Need to Get Here So Quickly?

On my drive to work today I saw a billboard for the new Dwayne "I Don't Care What Vince McMahon Allows He'll Always Be The Rock To Me" Johnson actioner Faster. The tagline for the flick is "Slow Justice is No Justice". All right that I can hang with. It's ridiculous in a way that seems in line with the flick's overall aesthetic. But then, down at the bottom, in lieu of a release date it just says "This Years Thanksgiving Comes Faster". Stew on that for a minute. Okay. What marketing genius came up with that one? What does Thanksgiving have to do with a movie where The Rock runs around shooting people in the head? Do we really need Thanksgiving to get here any faster than the last Thursday of November? And why is it I can't help but think of that guy fucking the turkey in Eli Roth's Grindhouse trailer?

Just an FYI: This Ain't I Heart PREQUELS!

In case you're wondering (if there are any of you out there) I will not be taking the time to discuss prequels, 9 times out of ten, good or bad. That is why you won't see X-Men Origins: Wolverine listed as worst anything on that 2009 year in review. It's also why you won't see me coming to the defense of the Star Wars prequels. That said, if you want to see the finest castigation of those flicks to be found on the interweb, please head on over to Red Letter Media and bask in the glory of Plinkett's reviews. He also does a bang-up job ripping into the Star Trek Next Gen movies.

The Howling Reborn Poster!

Hate to be a reprint of a reprint, but I read CHUD first in the mornings. Any way, CHUD got a couple posters from the AFM, via Shock Til You Drop, etc., and one of them is for a new Howling flick. I love the messy twists and turns taken in all the half-assed, in-name-only sequels to The Howling. Much like the myriad of ridiculous sequels to the Amityville Horror, Silent Night, Deadly Night and Children of the Corn, The Howling sequels are the gifts that keep on giving. Plus you never know quite what to expect from entry to entry. This oughta be worth a look for sure. Check 'em out at the link below.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Better Late Than Never: 2009 in Review!

I had planned on getting my shit together and getting this blog up and running at the beginning of 2010. But fate intervened and decided that I had more death in the family (and then some) to deal with. But I had started work on some of this quite a while ago, so I thought I would get some of these things out there, no matter whether the expiration date on them had passed or not. Dig it...
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The Halloween B-Team - 10 Horror Sequels I Heart

In honor of the umpteenth Simpsons Halloween Special to air post-Halloween, I've put together my own, better-late-than-never list for Halloween. Enjoy!

1. Psycho II – Obviously I love sequels and this is one of the best. The ending still floors me and if you love the original, but haven’t seen this, you’re missing out. Funny and freaky, with a great performance (again) from Anthony Perkins.
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I Heart Sequels: Alien3 (Part 1)

Part 1: A Little History and My Opening Arguments

As my first entry in what I hope is going to be a daily series of essays on the defense of the indefensible (particularly since it took me so long to come up with this genius idea in the first place, hahaha), I spent a lot of time wringing my hands over what would be the flagship entry in this voluminous undertaking. Truly there's a lot to be said about sequels and how they relate to the history and state of filmmaking as we know it today. Many audience members see sequels as an eventuality; a cycle of diminishing returns indicative of faceless, money-grubbing studio-types who are out of touch with what moviegoers want. The rest of the moviegoing audience is on the other end of the spectrum; they'll eat up whatever they're fed.
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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A teaser for things to come...

Just a little warm-up for the inaugural entry in what I plan on making into an ongoing series...