This weekend had no new films in the theater near me to check out as Countdown isn’t my cup of tea and Black and Blue wasn’t on my radar. I’m still waiting to see if The Lighthouse or Parasite will show up in my area and am hopeful but I know if they do it’ll come just as some other big films hit too.
I did get to take in several things over the course of the week that delighted, however. I’ve seen Anna and the Apocalypse three times so far but got to show it to my eldest daughter for the first time last night. I adore this movie with how well the songs are done, the blending of it all, the humor, the zombies, the Christmas season. I love being able to say there’s a fantastic Christmas zombie musical movie to push upon people.
I haven’t seen Very Bad Things since I bought the DVD back in 1999 or so but I pulled that out of the pile as I wanted to revisit a few actors from days of yore. The film has a number of favorites, including the criminally underused Jeanne Tripplehorn, but we get a lot of fun from everyone such as Christian Slater, Daniel Stern, and a whole crap is he freaking young Jon Favreau. The film is one that’s definitely, as they say, mean and cruel and it has plenty of moments that make you cringe from today’s perspective. It was a dark one at the time which was a contrast from what populated a lot of late 90s comedies where they didn’t dig into anything darker. I remember this one because the stripper role was played by Kobe Tai, one of the big names in porn at thetime.
Coming out that same year, Pleasantville was a project that really delighted as we started to see what could be done with color manipulation in film in a new way. This is a simple breezy thing you can do easily from your phone these days but at the time and on a big screen it was revelatory. and in the early days of DVD with this being a New Line project under Warner Bros., the big booster of the format, we got a gorgeous edition. I really enjoyed revisiting this even though there are plenty of complaints about how blunt it is. With it based out of a 50s black and white “sitcom” of sorts, blunt is what it needed to be and it holds up well for the most part now. Such a great cast and a rare Don Knotts sighting.
And out in 1999, I haven’t seen Drop Dead Gorgeous and again it’s the kind of film where you go “holy crap they were so young.” The beauty pageant film from Michael Patrick Jann is definitely a dark comedy as it explores some really disturbing ways it unfolds. But it delivers with a great cast such as the adults in Ellen Barkin, Allison Janney, and Kirstie Alley. And having these women with up and comers like Kirsten Dunst, Denise Richards, Brittney Murphy, Amy Adams and more is just a delight. It’s a sharp film with a lot of things it wants to say and it delivers brutally and with some excellent lines. It’s grown into quite the cult film over the years and you’ll see some of them, quite famous now, say they get more questions about this film than any other project all these years later.