Tag 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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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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Video Killed The Radio Star: Dan Black – Symphonies

Here’s a great video that pays homage to countless movie title sequences from the dawn of cinema (well, not quite, but close) right up to date. It references both specific films and genre stereotypes and is really rather splendid for film buffs and general pop-culture geeks.

The video uses the song’s lyrics as titles of the imaginary films presented in the impressively authentic styles of their inspirations. To give you an idea of what I mean, here is a selection of screenshots (click on the image for a larger version):

The song itself, called Symphonies, is okay too. Not outstanding but inoffensive and it starts to grow on you a bit after a few listens.

It’s performed by Dan Black. I have to admit, that’s a new name to me but he is a British artist who, Wikipedia reliably informs me, has been around for a couple of years and used to be in a band called The Servant.

Here is a slightly different version of the video, for a remixed version of the song featuring US rapper Kid Cudi.

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The Monday Movie: The Sword In The Stone

When I was wee, you never saw any of Disney’s classic animated films on TV.

There were only three TV channels in the UK until I was 13. And the home video boom didn’t really take off until I was in my mid-teens.

This meant that when I was a kid, there were only two way to see a film – go to the cinema when it first came out, or wait three or four years for it to premier on one of those three channels – usually at Christmas.

However, Disney’s feature-length cartoons NEVER aired on TV. Back then, they were re-released into cinemas every decade or so, so I guess the Disney bosses did not want to devalue them by making them available on TV.

The best we got was on bank holidays and at Christmas and Easter, when there was always a special edition of Disney Time on BBC1 in the afternoon, presented by whatever celebrities were trendy at the time – including, in one memorable case, Doctor Who star Tom Baker in character as The Doctor.

Disney Time included brief clips from a selection of Disney’s animated classics, padded out with clips from some of their lesser animated and live-action efforts.

All of which is by way of a preamble to explain why the following scene still means a lot to me, even though The Sword In The Stone isn’t really considered one of Disney’s greats.

This clip – the wizards’ duel between Merlin and Madam Mim – ALWAYS seemed to appear in every single one of these bank holiday Disney Time shows and so helps evoke some happy childhood memories for me.

Although, in saying that the memories were happy, at the time it was exceptionally frustrating to only ever see clips and never the full film!

What brought it back to mind now was last week’s A Word From Our Sponsors, in which I featured a classic Lego advert that seemed to be inspired by the scene.


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