Movies Blog

Almost Midnight: Camp, Cult SciFi Classics

Michael York, Farrah Fawcett and Jenny Agutter in Logan's Run

Our 10th Anniversary Film Series celebrates five Science Fiction gems. These films have a fan following and those elusive qualities that have moved them into cult status – suitable for a midnight film showing. Well, in our case, almost midnight. 

What is it about these films that draw us back to them again and again? Is it the built in self-effacing humor of these movies – that they seem to be in on the joke? Is it the absurdity of the plot lines, or the over-the-top sets and costumes? Is it the broad, scene-stealing acting? Could it be that underneath their flash there is also substance? We think the answer is yes, all of the above – but join us and our host, film screenwriter and film professor, Darren Foster as he takes us where no man has ever gone before – at least not with a straight face anyway.

KICKOFF FALL WITH SOME FOOTBALL MOVIES

Anyone who attended Bronco games during the late '70s remembers the Orange Crush defense and Craig Morton, who always threw the ball at the last moment possible and then collapsed on the field to avoid getting tackled. I sat wedged between my burly father and a truly huge, hairy, chain-smoking guy and his brother, who we privately called the Bear and the Bear's brother.

In later years, I had access to a "box" seat, courtesy of a generous in-law. This offered such great people-watching that I hardly paid attention to the game at all, which was just as well most of the time. I'm still not sure how the women in the box hiked all the way up there in their stiletto heels and cat-print jumpsuits, but it was a lot of fun, with snacks, drinks and shelter readily available.

Coming Soon to a Theater Near You...Classic Books

Anna Karenina

Our superhero summer looks to be almost over as I recently noticed how many classic novels are scheduled to be released as movies in the coming months.

Most of these have already received cinematic treatment, but I guess Hollywood has decided that it's time to give them another go round with fresh faces and some new interpretations.

"WAIT! YOU'VE GOT THE WRONG GUY!"

There are times when you wish you were somebody else - giving a speech, shopping for a swimsuit or receiving a dental deep cleaning are just a few of them. Reinventing yourself is rarely an option in real life, but it does happen in the movies.

Whether somebody got switched at birth, faked their own death or is wrongly accused of a crime, there is a mistaken identity film for everyone.

Here are some of my favorites:

The Big Lebowski (1998)

Superhero Summer!

Summer is a time for playing outside, relaxing, and watching the latest summer blockbuster at your local cinema.

A bonus for this year: 3 superhero movies! The Avengers was amazing, and while I haven’t gotten a chance to see the new Spiderman yet, it sounds like it’s pretty good as well. Last but not least? The new Batman movie, of course! Even though Bane (the villian) looks more like Jaws from The Spy Who Loved Me (or maybe Hayden Christiansen’s Darth Vader wearing headgear?), I’ll still give it a whirl.

Desert Flower

Desert Flower - The life of Waris Dirie

What an award winning performance by, Liya Kebede, as she portrays the life of Waris Dirie. Waris Dirie is a famous model who became outspoken about the practice of Female Genital Mutilation.

The story of Ms. Waris is both thought provoking and inspirational, as she tenaciously beats the odds against her through a cultural practice of the life she was born into. Desert Flower portrays a 13 year old Somali who left her home to avoid an arranged marriage to an older man. The journey through the deserts of Somalia leads her to London where she struggles through various trials eventually leading to her discovery by British fashion photographer Terence Donovan and becoming one of the world’s most famous fashion models.

ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS

Louis Malle had his feature filmmaking debut at age twenty-four with this spellbinding thriller that takes place one night in Paris. Beautiful Florence (Jeanne Moreau) and her lover Julien (Maurice Ronet) murder her wealthy husband, which leads to mistaken identity and more murder.

As Julien attempts to retrieve an incriminating piece of evidence from the crime, he becomes trapped in an elevator while Florence wanders the rainy, neon-lit night, thinking she's been abandoned. Meanwhile, an impulsive teenage couple has stolen Julien's car and gone on a joyride, which results in tragedy -- and more complications for Julien.

Joss Whedon is a GENIUS

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season one

With the Avengers tearing it up at the box office I am prompted to pay homage to the genius behind the action blockbuster of the summer.

Joss Whedon has long been a cult favorite, from his creation of a certain cheerleader who moonlights as a vampire slayer, to his amazing futuristic weird western, he has always flown a bit below the radar. Now with the Avengers kickin' butt and takin' names at the box office perhaps this under-appreciated auteur will finally make the A-list!

Long time fans of Whedon have always appreciated his witty and oddball brand of humor. Smart, fast paced, filled with in-jokes that are said with a certain wry flair are some of his trademarks.

All Doris, All Day: A Film Tribute

An early studio portrait of Doris Day.

Doris Day, the reluctant movie star, stopped making films in 1968, and yet she remains one of the most popular film actresses in the world. Not bad for little Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff of Cincinnati.

Hers is a life worthy of a Hollywood movie. Doris longed for a simple life of marriage and kids, but a mother with aspirations toward dancing and singing pushed Doris into performing. By the time she was 17, she was singing on a local radio station and was discovered by bandleader Barney Rapp, who changed her last name to Day.

Terry Pratchett, not just for reading!

The Color of Magic

For years I have tried and failed to make it all the way through a Terry Pratchett novel, but his movies, now that's another story...

I don't know why, I try and try yet Pratchett's novels are just beyond me. I love witty books, I love quirky British novels, I like footnotes and random asides in fiction but I just cannot read Terry Pratchett, but his movies, now those I can get behind.

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