Category Archives: Movies

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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Back To The Back To The Future – Soundtrack Mash-Up

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Back To The Future is one of the Choob’s top three all-time favourite films. It’s easily the movie I have watched more often than any other.

Now, here’s a thought. On July 3 this year, Back To The Future celebrates the 25th anniversary of its release.

Quarter of a century! Mull that over for a minute.

We are now only five years away from (what seemed at the time) the far-flung 2015 future that Marty McFly and Doc Brown visited in 1989’s Back To The Future Part II (the boffins better get a move on with the flying cars and hoverboards).

Even more scary, it means that the journey back in time from today to the film’s release in 1985 would only be five years shorter a trip than Marty’s original jaunt back to 1955. For those of us who grew up in the 1980s, the 1950s – and the people who grew up in them (i.e. our parents) – seemed like ancient history… so what does that make us look like to kids of the noughties?

On that depressing note, here, to cheer you up, is an excellent musical mash-up (scratch-up?) of the original film’s exceptionally excellent soundtrack, courtesy of Eclectic Method:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Interview With ENCOM’s Executive Consultant Alan Bradley

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Video game website IGN has pulled off an impressive exclusive – an interview with computer programming pioneer Alan Bradley, who has recently returned to work with software and video games giant ENCOM.

He talks candidly about his return to the firm that launched his career and about his colleague and friend Kevin Flynn, who disappeared without a trace in 1989.

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