Tag Archives: Robot Chicken

Party Monster: Fabulous

Now how did I happen to come upon this movie? I’m pretty sure at some point my dad rented this movie and I sat down to check it out for a few minutes. The opening scene rolled and I saw Seth Green in some strange garb. Wondering what he could possibly be doing in this movie, I of course sat down and watched the rest. I was pleasantly surprised. I found Party Monster, the club story of Michael Alig and James St. James to be a standout movie to me with its content and acting. Knowing very little about the club scene in NYC of the

A little taste of some club kids.

1980’s and 90’s (other than that there was one), this movie was a breath of fresh air and done in such an interesting way, for me, that I have to rave (sorry for the pun) about it for a post. Bear with me.

Party Monster is the documentary turned feature film that was first referred to as Disco Bloodbath by James St. James, the author of his own memoirs. After the film Party Monster was released, he changed his book to a title of the same name. The book features James’ club life as a Club Kid of the 80’s and 90’s, and his friendship with Michael Alig, the self proclaimed “King of the Club Kids”. It all ends in ruin though,

Culkin’s fearless role.

for Michael, while James has kept up a stunning career involved with some art collections and blogging (gotta dream the dream right? Be up there with James St. James someday…).

The film starts out with a recreated interview with Seth Green playing James St. James. From the start, we are given this surreal interview (parts of Party Monster are based on the shockumentary) in which the film interacts with James’ retelling. With a heavy drug influence and surreal dance scene, we begin to realize this is more of a fabulous retelling mixed with a truthful undertone.

I have to say how impressed I was with Macaulay Culkin’s performance in this film. I think it was right of one critic to call it “fearless”. Coming from a well known and loved kid actor and maturing into what we see in front of us on camera, it is a strange change. He

That’s pretty camp-esque.

has become even more aloof (he doesn’t discuss his personal life regardless) and what just seems more drawn from the world than usual. His drug charges, relations to Michael Jackson in his youth, and a shaky parent/child relationship attributed to the actor we see today. And I’d say I was blown away by his performance. He presents a character in a fast paced world of clubbing, drugs, and sex. He has no filter, no inhibitions. He takes what he wants. And he does it all with a vague, drug addled look on his face that screams with pain behind the eyes. It was haunting at the same time that it was surreal and campy. Impressive.

Too ironic that this actor has played 2 characters named Angel…

I think the same and to a lesser degree goes for Seth Green. Although his life wasn’t as “complicated” as Culkin’s was, Seth Green was a child actor as well (Stephen King’ It, for example in 1990). He has become wildly successful in my book with Robot Chicken among other works, and I found this role to be a change of pace. Playing a flamboyant and glamorous club kid like he did (which pales in comparison to pictures, unfortunately), I was still fond of the semi-bravado he brought to the film. He still gets a nod for a job well done from me.

This movie and the documentary are a cult classic. And not the typical cult classic I’d watch that centers around a failed

Did I fail to mention Marilyn Manson had a transsexual role in this film? Oops…

action/horror movie. This movie is a representation for a different walk of life. For wanting to live bigger than yourself with dreams of being who you are, and showing that on the outside with how you dress and act (minus the drugs, I’d hope). The fans of Rocky Horror Picture show, the club kids of today, the LGBT community should feel empowered by such a successful and powerful role model.  A couple of individuals who brought NYC to its knees in the 1980’s and 90’s, now that’s impressive. Every decade has its Kings, and these Club Kids were it.

Green and the realest of St. Jameses.

So overall I was impressed with the film’s content and delivery. Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato have brought to light a film about the fabulous and the downfall. My eyes have been opened to another side of life, and I found it quite interesting. For those who want to broaden the mind and see what it’s like for 90 minutes to live glam like a skrod, check this film out. 7.7 out of 10.

 

Advertisements

The Lost Boys: Classic.

I’m a huge fan of the Coreys and vampire movies. So why wouldn’t I watch The Lost Boys for kicks? This amazingly 80’s film explores every young boys fantasy of being the next Van Helsing, and lookin’ classy with quaffed hair. The featheryness makes me laugh to no end, and there’s even a classic saxophone player with spandex and a mullet. What could be better about the original Lost Boys?

In reference to Peter Pan’s own Lost Boys, this movie highlights a few adorable 80’s

Some 80’s flair.

hearthrobs entering into their later teen years (or around those parts). Throw in a bit of fantasy horror and you got yourself a cult classic. But you wouldn’t expect anything less from Batman Forever and Batman & Robin creator, Joel Schumacher. I’ve seen The Lost Boys: The Tribe, and let me tell you, Joel Schumacher was needed on the set of that one. It didn’t have a tenth of the flair this one did.

Catch me in Speed 2!

Michael (Jason Patric, star of failed sequel, Speed 2: Cruise Control, but still a very hunky 80’s dude) is moving with his single mother Lucy (Dianne Wiest) and younger brother Sam (Corey Haim, classic.) to a fictional town in California based on Santa Cruz, where it was filmed. Moving in with their farty and cantankerous old fool of a grandpa (Barnard Hughes), they find the night life of the boardwalk to be too enticing. There are some other characters who find the boardwalk just as… delicious.

David (Kiefer Sutherland) is the leader of a gang of vampires who patrol the boardwalk, looking for recruits and meals alike. Drawing in Michael with the use of a female counterpart named Star (Jami Gertz), Michael is tricked into drinking vampire blood and participating in their 80’s hoodlum outings. Sam recruits the help of the Frog Brothers (Corey Feldman and Jamison

Classy Edward Hermann.

Newlander) in order to classically fend off and kill a whole den of the bloodsuckers of the night.

This movie is just too classic to even consider talking smack about. It’s a cult classic, it’s renowned for its classic scenes and 80’s cast of the who’s who of actors. It has both the Coreys. What more do you want? All you need is Corey Haim and the Feldog, don’t you?

Can I talk a little more about the Coreys? I think this clip from Robot Chicken can sum up my adoration for the Lost Boys.

You see what I mean? Nothing could be better. Lost Boys Style.

A bit bug-eyed, eh?

This movie sticks to the classic ideas about vampires and all that jazz. Stakes, garlic (not really though), sunlight (but it only bothers them if they’re being transformed), batlike appearance at times, sucking blood, invite into the house, etc. But it’s more about the 80’s. There is a man, Tim Cappello, who plays the saxophone in this movie so provocatively and strangley that it stands out. You know why?

 

 

 

That’s why. Sexy Sax Man Sergio Flores. The best. Tim Cappello in this movie inspired this prank video. Far reaching, right?

What more is there to talk about? The acting is fine, and the cast, well, it’s phenomenal. Dianne Wiest of my favorite Hallmark Channel original, The Tenth Kingdom? She was a frightening Queen Witch in that shizz. The Coreys, enough said (Goonies, Stand By Me, etc. etc.) Jami Gertz from Still Standing the TV show? Keifer Sutherland, the badass of 24 making

Bill the Biker.

Lost Boys Style!

one of his first films other than Stand By Me? That’s a wonderful little beginning right there. Alex Winter, the infamous Bill of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Bogus Journey? He’s even in with The Red Hot Chili Peppers (i.e. directed a music video!). And classic Edward Hermann providing the voice of documentaries and TV specials for years. Standout cast right there.

So just watch this. You know you want to. Anytime you feel down, this movie will pick you right up, just like any good 80’s movie does. No question, 10 out of 10. Gotta love the Feldman’s deep and froggy voice in this one. Superb.

 

 


The Shawshank Redemption: I Finally Saw It

As most gigantic film buffs know, this movie is top dog when it comes to classic films everyone has to see. And how long did it take me to see since I’ve been really into movies? 10 years. I know you may be thinking I might as well shut down my review website, but hold your horses Seabiscuit. It wasn’t like I wasn’t going to see it and shrug it off as some dumb flick not worth my time. (Although… a bit lengthy.) This movie is across the board considered one of the best of all time, and it came out a mere 17 years ago. And there’s quite a few movies that would rival that from more than 50 or 60 years. But no, this movie, paid with a dollar to Stephen King with a single dollar bill, is now considered a masterpiece.

This movie in particular holds quite a bit of significance to me, but more to my father. So yeah, it’s pretty special. My father grew up in Mansfield, site of the Ohio State Reformatory, located just outside of downtown Mansfield. Coming from a low budget movie filmed in one location (Mansfield), I would call the achievement of this film phenomenal. And turning the old reformatory into Shawshank State Penitentary in Maine, and thus turning Mansfield into a hotspot location for film buffs: fantastic. The streets of Mansfield, some family friends staring down the camera, yeah, this film has some history with me.

Okay, basic plot. Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is convicted of killing his wife all the way back in 1947. His wife was cheating on him with a golfer (naturally Tiger Woods) and she got what was coming to her. And it’s never really clear whether or not Andy committed the crime. Anyways, Dufresne is sent to Shawshank State Penitentiary in Maine, home of the writer of this short story, Stephen King. While there, Andy keeps his head down, stands up for others, and makes friends with Red (Morgan Freeman) the narrator of this fine film. Despite his status as convicted or not (all Shawshank inmates are innocent!), Andy Dufresne must stick by his beliefs and not get Shawshanked. Overused pun? Or am I the first? Let me know.

Of course, as expected with a great movie, there’s some great acting in it as well. It is Morgan Freeman. Known simply to most as “The Voice of God”, it was roles like The Shawshank Redemption that gave him the opportunity to narrate beyond a prison story. Tim Robbins, as I’ve figured from this movie, got into highly acclaimed, Oscar worthy roles because of this movie. Although Morgan Freeman won for best actor, it doesn’t demean Tim Robbins any that he was in a movie that was up for 7 academy awards.

Who else, you may ask, deserves a nod from this acclaimed film? I would tip my hat to William Sadler as Heywood, the bumbling idiot and all around good guy, just trying to get through prison life. The only life most of them know, and that comes across in this movie with James Whitmore’s performance as Brooks Hatlen, a role that would later be ironically poked fun at by a Robot Chicken sketch. (Get busy livin’, or get Kraken.) Come to think of it, there’s always the occaisional homage or spoof that comes up about this film, and now I can enjoy them more thoroughly.

So I give the biggest nod to Frank Darabont and his screenplay from the words of Stephen King, utilizing his Dollars to Direct program of all his short stories. I do wonder though if he’s kicking himself about missing out on this cash cow. But all-in-all, I’m sure this was a wonderful film to be a part of, and I know I’ll be watching it again in the future. 9.7 out of 10.

I also wanted to throw on this little clip from Seth Green’s Robot Chicken for a little quirky spoof that got me interested in The Shawshank Redemption. Enjoy!