Category Archives: Films

The Monday Movie – Blue Velvet

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Hollywood hellraiser Dennis Hopper died on Saturday, aged 74, after a battle with prostate cancer.

I remember the first time I saw Hopper in a film. It was 1986 or 87, I was a teenager and I rented Blue Velvet from the local video library. It was also the first David Lynch film I had ever seen and it blew me away, not least because of Hopper’s powerhouse performance in a deeply disturbing role.

He plays Frank Booth, a perverse, sadistic, drug-addicted sociopath who has kidnapped the husband and child of lounge singer Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rosselini) to force her to become his slave and take part in his bizarre psycho-sexual fantasies.

Clean cut college student Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) stumbles into Frank’s dark world, which lurks beneath the seemingly respectable surface of his home town of Lumberton, when he finds a severed ear in a field.

The film marked both a slight shift towards the mainstream for Lynch – which continued a few years later with his TV masterpiece Twin Peaks, which further explored and developed many of the themes from Blue Velvet – and a career rebirth for Hopper, whose own struggles with drugs and violent temper had all-but ostracised him from the mainstream film industry at the time.

Hopper famously read the script for Blue Velvet and told Lynch he had to cast him as Frank Booth because “I AM Frank Booth”.

Here are a couple of his finest moments from Blue Velvet, starting off with the film’s signature scene, which features some memorable lip-synching from co-star Dean Stockwell:

And here is a memorable (for all the wrong reasons) screen kiss:

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Iron Baby…

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Kermit’s 11 Trailer

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The Monday Movie – They Live

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“I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass…”

A short but sweet scene this week, from John Carpenter‘s 1988 cult classic sci-fi black comedy They Live.

It stars former professional wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper as a drifter who discovers a mysterious pair of sunglasses which reveal a race of aliens that has infiltrated society and are manipulating humans through the use of a secret signal hidden within TV broadcasts which conceals both the aliens’ true form and the subliminal mind-control messages in signs, billboards and other media.

Here’s the film’s most famous line:

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The Monday Movie – Best In Show

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Christopher Guest is perhaps still best known for playing intellectually challenged rock star Nigel Tufnel in Rob Reiner’s 1984 spoof documentary This Is Spinal Tap (a film I have previously spotlighted in the Choob’s Monday Movie feature).

Since then, Guest has explored the genre further by co-writing, directing and starring in his own semi-improvised “mockumentary” films Waiting For Guffman, Best In Show, A Mighty Wind and For Your Consideration.

Best In Show remains his finest effort to date. The film follows several eccentric oddballs as they prepare their pampered pooches for a prestigious dog show.

Here’s one of the film’s best moments, featuring the film’s co-writer Eugene Levy (best known as the dad from the American Pie movies) and Catherine O’Hara (who you may recognise as Macaulay Culkin’s mum in the Home Alone series).

Some of the film’s funniest moments come from the ill-informed and hilariously inappropriate commentary from announcer Buck Laughlin, played by Fred Willard. Here’s two examples:

Here is Guest himself, as Harlan Pepper, a man with a penchant for nuts:

And finally, Jennifer Coolidge (aka Stifler’s mom in American Pie) as the gold-digging Sherri Ann Cabot:

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Retro Video Game Characters Invade New York

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Classic video game characters such as Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, Pac-Man and Frogger invade the Big Apple in this amazing little short film.

It’s called Pixels and was written and directed by Patrick Jean from visual effects company One More Production.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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