Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Always Watch Movies Alone

We sent J to the video store to pick up a movie or two. She came back with The Painted Veil starring Naomi Watts and Edward Norton and For Your Consideration starring Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levi, Harry Shearer and the rest of the Christopher Guest repertory.

For Your Consideration is the latest in a series of unrelated mockumentary style movies, including Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show and A Mighty Wind.

I think I had suggested we wait for the teenager to come home from her "job" and then send her to the video store. The last time she went we ended up with The Exorcist and John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness. Satan was the butt of all jokes for the remainder of the weekend. Which is probably why I tripped and fell on the pavement scraping my knees and elbows.

In the other room, for some reason Clam Bake was playing on the computer but no one was watching. One definition of mental illness is wishing Elvis had stuck to music instead of acting in B-Movies, while at the same time wishing Elvis had stuck to acting in B-Movies instead of making music. Just so you know, an Elvis movie playing on a computer is not a high point in Computer Science.

There was only one baked Clam in that movie: Shelley Fabares. She had two #1 hits in the early 60's. I'll bet you can't name them. I can't. The Clam Bake plot was lifted right out of Shakespeare. A rich dude wonders if chicks will like him if he's just an ordinary guy. So he trades identities with another dude, played by Bill Bixby. The sad thing about Bill Bixby, aside from dying from Cancer long before his time, was the fact that right up until his death he believed that Elvis Presley was alive. Clam Bake also has an unintelligle sub-plot involving Shriners and weird pajamas. The moral of the story is: artists who suck in one genre have a reasonably good chance of successfully sucking in another genre.

What would have been really cool is if they made the Exorcist a musical, starring Elvis Presley as a singing Priest. Singing, dancing, singing, exorcising. Speedboats...By merging the plots of Clam Bake and the Exorcist you could have made one decent movie. I'm still waiting to be discovered as a writer/producer.

Painted Veil went into the player first and after about ten minutes it was replaced with For Your Consideration due to heckling. The Painted Veil was still playing its opening credits 10 minutes in. It was moving slower than a Calgary Stampede Chuckwagon race horse death investigation. Later when reading the IMDB screech about Painted Veil one could not but notice that the credits had twenty different child actors cited as "Singing Orphan". If things get so bad in a movie that you have to pull out the singing orphans you mights as well get Elvis baking clams.

For Your Consideration was funny, but not as funny as the three previous movies in the series. Best in Show was one of the funniest movies I've seen in a long time. Not everyone likes this type of humor because it is subtle and understated. Fairly black and sarcastic. By black humour I mean humour that makes fun of the tragedy of life, and not cheap shot humor about Bidets.

For Your Consideration also lifted a thing or two from Shakespeare. The idea of making a movie about people making a movie is self-mockery at its best. Shakespeare frequently mocked actors and writers by having plays within the play. Rumor is that Eugene Levi and Christopher Guest don't want to make another Mockumentary. Perhaps the schtick has run its course. Even if they stop now they'll have four very funny movies. Please recommend this post

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