That Gum You Like is Going to Come Back in Style

Twin Peaks - Midget Gum

While the midget (later learned to be Mike’s arm) prattled on about polymer oral treats, twas the girl who looked almost exactly like Laura Palmer who told Agent Cooper in the Red Room who killed Laura Palmer…but as all Twin Peakers know…that was 25 years later. After the series finale, were we to believe Agent Cooper (and/or his doppelgänger?) would be trapped in the Black Lodge all that time until the gum he liked was going to come back in style?

Apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought it would be the cat’s pajamas if David Lynch and Mark Frost would indeed take us back to Twin Peaks 25 years later to see how Coop and Annie and all our friends were doing. Well…it’s been 23 years since we first visited Twin Peaks, which means they have 2 years to get their act together – and naturally rumors abound with Lynch allegedly thinking about returning to TV (hell, isn’t playing Gus the bartender on The Cleveland Show enough for him?) and Frost reminding people how he and David always imagined Twin Peaks as a continuing story. Meanwhile copy-cat shows continue with The Killing still killing on AMC, Bates Motel scaring up viewers on A&E and Netflix attempting to get people hooked on Hemlock Grove.

Thankfully, a new viral campaign to Bring Twin Peaks Back to TV has started over there on the Facebook and apart from the standard fan art, nostalgia, pining and petition signing, they’ve come up with a mondo clever Agent Cooper MISSING Poster Campaign where fans all over the world have been plastering posters every place they can and posting the photographs online.

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A Review of David Lynch’s “Inland Empire”

David Lynch’s latest cinematic mind bender, INLAND EMPIRE, was finally released on DVD this Tuesday, August 14th after a brief, enigmatic, and very limited run in theaters, where Lynch personally distributed the film in true independent fashion much to the frustration of many of his fans who never got the chance to see the film theatrically.  The film is sure to please his cult of fans, and for the first time ever, he has released a DVD full of 2nd disk extras including vignettes of him cooking, talking about ideas and film and music, clips of his passionate hands-on style of directing on INLAND EMPIRE, and discarded scenes from the film.

Dreams of a Dying Empire, 14 August 2007
8/10
Author: David H. Schleicher from New Jersey, USA

Taking the murderous jealous husband theme of “Lost Highway” and melding it into the dreams of a tortured actress theme of “Mulholland Drive,” David Lynch fluidly immerses his recurring dark fantasies into a story revolving around a Polish-Gypsy legend and a cursed movie production and delivers his most experimental film since “Eraserhead” with his epic three-hour “Inland Empire.” Continue reading

A Review of David Wain’s “The Ten”

Go Fly a Kite!, 6 August 2007
7/10

Author: David H. Schleicher from New Jersey, USA

If you grew up watching MTV’s “The State” and made a cult classic out of “Wet Hot American Summer,” then you’ll laugh yourself silly during the latest from the same comic troupe. Others probably won’t get the humor. “The Ten” is one of those rare vignette comedies, intertwining ten insanely unique and monumentally stupid sketches about the Ten Commandments.

There’s plenty of the same absurdity, like when two men compete to see who can buy the most CAT-scan machines or a librarian (a fetching Gretchen Mol) loses her virginity to Jesus Christ, and random humor that made their past efforts so uproarious. What other comedy would be so daring to make such obscure jokes of Diane Wiest and Timothy Dalton? However, “The Ten” is far more scatological than some of the group’s earlier work and makes “Wet Hot American Summer” seem sweet and wholesome in comparison. They also go ridiculously overboard with gay-themed humor. This troupe likes to play homosexuals in the same way that Monty Python enjoyed dressing in drag as a subversive subtext to their comic styling.

While the sketches are hit and miss, it will keep you entertained as the group plumbs the depths of low-brow humor in high-brow ways. Director David Wain spoofs everything from literary chick-flicks to gritty cop and courtroom thrillers as well as emo-indie melodramas, Woody Allen, and redemption-in-prison-weepers. There’s even a quote from Shakespeare in the oddest of places. My personal favorite aspect of the film was how dead-seriously Wain directed the segment where Winona Ryder (still adorable and still with all her acting chops) has an illicit affair with a ventriloquist’s dummy. The range Ryder displays to make the joke work, as well as the way in which Wain uses the camera and frames the scenes is downright astounding.

Even when the humor is faltering, they will have you laughing at how disturbing some of it gets, especially during the emotional prison sketch. Also hilarious is their desperation to create a stupid catch phrase. Take your pick of “go fly a kite,” “juicing my pecs,” or the destined to be classic “…as a goof.” Sure, it falls apart during the last three bits, but it caps off with some hilarious original songs recalling the morals of the stories over the closing credits. Be sure to stay to the very end. I’m still laughing. I wonder if anybody else will.

Originally Published on the Internet Movie Database

http://imdb.com/title/tt0811106/usercomments-24

The Unlucky Seven: The Worst Films of All Time

In response to last week’s list of the Best Films of All Time, I have decided to name the Worst Films of All Time.

Talking about the films you hate is sometimes even more subjective than talking about the films you love.  I know that sometimes I carry a personal vendetta against certain directors or stars who have made me endure something horrible in the past.  Also, there’s a difference between a bad film, and a BAD FILM.  Everyone knows that an Ed Wood production, a video-game film adaptation from Uwe Boll, or the latest film staring Paul Walker is going to be laughably horrendous.  It also seems that every month there’s another horror movie, comic-book adaptation, or romantic comedy that is shrieking and unwatchable.  There are also those films that are so festering and bilious (Showgirls) or downright silly (Santa Claus Conquers the Martians) that they actually become entertaining.  The truly BAD FILMS are the ones where a considerable amount of talent, effort, or money went into the production and most of the people involved had the intention of making something worthwhile.  Well, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Here, I, David H. Schleicher, present my

Unlucky Seven: The Worst Films of All Time: Continue reading

27 Years 27 Movies: The Greatest Films of All Time

AFI (the American Film Institute) recently updated their list of the 100 greatest movies of all time.

Not to be outdone, I present to you my list of the greatest films of all time.  You will notice their number one pick is absent from my list…however, there are some shared views.  During my first 27 years on this earth, I’ve watched a lot of films and loved many…but only a few make this list…

Please keep in mind, while I am very serious about many of the selections (the TOP TEN especially), many of the lower level selections are meant to be an amusing hodge-podge of sentimental favorites and off-the-wall films that you might not typically expect to find on such lists.

Without further adieu…David H. Schleicher presents his

27 Years 27 Movies: The Greatest Films of All Time: Continue reading

It Ain’t Over ’til the Last Soprano Sings

The fat lady has sung. 

Sunday, June 10th marks the final episode of one of the most celebrated shows in history, HBO’s The Sopranos.

The Sopranos

Hard to believe, it’s been close to a decade and 6 1/2 seasons since The Sopranos debuted and made HBO a perennial Emmy contender and the prime spot for appointment television.  Having been in college when it began, I didn’t settle in as a regular viewer until Season Three.  By this point, the show was already getting backlash from critics and viewers, but this is the season where I fell in love with the show.  I eventually caught the first two seasons on reruns, and they were truly some of the most expertly crafted, wonderfully scripted, and thoughtfully acted 24 hours of television ever produced.   As the show has progressed, it’s had its fair share of stale and boring episodes, but it’s always been reliable for a few good surprises (I still get emotional over Adriana’s demise) and tour-de-force acting (especially from Edie Falco as Tony’s long suffering wife, Carmella Soprano). Continue reading

TWIN PEAKS (Retrospective and Drinking Game)

When I was in kindgergarten, my mother let me stay up late on Friday nights and watch Dallas with her.  When I was ten, the entire family was glued to the TV screen on Wednesday nights wondering, “Who Killed Laura Palmer?” 

April 10, 2007 marked the long delayed DVD release of the second (and final) season of Twin Peaks, the ground-breaking television series that aired on ABC from 1990-1991.  For my money, it was the greatest television series ever produced.

Combining classic soap opera elements with a centralized murder mystery, deadpan humor, dark mysticism, a labyrinthine mythology, and a style all its own, Twin Peaks was the co-creation of revolutionary film auteur David Lynch (The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive) and TV veteran Mark Frost (Hill Street Blues). Continue reading

A Review of the “Grindhouse” Double-Feature

 

 DON’T!!!!! (But I Did), 8 April 2007
7/10
Author:
David H. Schleicher from New Jersey, USA

Like the classic double-features it pays homage to, “Grindhouse” features one half far superior to the other. The two-for-the-price-of-one deal is a mixed bag of schlocky, exploitative crap that pays off early for movie buffs.

“Planet Terror”–8/10. Like his “Sin City,” Robert Rodriguez’s zombie fest is pulpy, unapologetic over-the-top fun. He perfectly captures the spirit of the grindhouse films of old. His film is funny, violent, ridiculous, and pointless in all the right places and continually delivers the money shots of oozing flesh wounds, exploding bodies, severed limbs, decapitations, and chicks with machine guns (and one, Rose McGowan, with a machine gun leg that is every bit as spectacular as you imagined). The cast is all in on the joke and spectacularly game at every point (Marley Shelton as the lesbian anesthesiologist and Jeff Fahey as J.T. “the barbecue man” standing out). Operating at a crisp clip with no-nonsense or any attempt to parade as art, “Planet Terror” offers plenty bang for your buck and could easily stand alone. It’s the perfect example of giddy “insider-fetish” film-making where the director entertains the audience by first pleasing himself.

The “fake trailers” shown before and after “Planet Terror” are laugh-out-loud hilarious and operate brilliantly as both spoofs and homages. My personal favorite was Edgar Wright’s trailer for the searing psychological thriller “DON’T!” which in a sad bit of irony, could’ve been the tag-line for what comes next.

“Death Proof”–5/10. Quentin Tarantino’s rambling tale of an ex-stuntman stalking annoying and shallow women with his “death proof” car operates like a retarded Frankstein monster of a film made up of all the worst parts of Tarantino’s past efforts. A great performance from Kurt Russell and some fun car chase scenes aside, the rest is chock full of bad acting, worse writing and self-satisfied direction. This is the type of film where arbitrary dialogue is spouted by overly hipster actors playing non-characters we can’t wait to see die. Tarantino directs it smugly as he parades women in their undies and hot pants around and shows us some cool cars getting banged up, but it has no sense of fun to it. It’s the perfect example of banal “insider-fetish” film-making that bores its audience because the director first and foremost pleases himself.

Bottom line: Where as the “Kill Bill” films should’ve been edited down to one flick, this movie, joined at that skull like deformed twins, should’ve been severed. Oddly then the film-makers would’ve been left with a horrifying scenario. No one would want to see Tarantino’s half.

Originally Published on the Internet Movie Database

http://imdb.com/title/tt0462322/usercomments-163

The 24 Drinking Game

ATTENTION READERS:  Check out the discussion at The Schleicher Spin on 24’s Series Finale.

NOTE: This was originally done for the 6th season back in 2007, but these general rules can be applied to any season.

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The best show on network television is back for another season.

Here’s a refresher on The “24” Drinking Game:

Drink every time:

  • They display the ticking clock
  • A character is talking on a cell phone
  • Someone gets shot
  • Something explodes
  • Characters appear in the split screen format Continue reading