Monday, June 29, 2009

THE TALK OF THE TOWN (1942)

Cary Grant (in one of my least favorite roles) is a factory worker who's framed for a fire that killed a person. He's innocent, but the jury is out for blood so he escapes and conveniently just happens to hide in the attic of a house Jean Arthur is preparing to rent to one of the greatest legal minds in America. I'm sure you can figure out the rest.

TTOTT is an alright film (mostly in part to Jean Arthur's delightful performance), but the combination of serious drama and romantic comedy falls flat on both fronts.  The beginning of the film leans more towards the comedy with some moments even stepping into screwball territory (Arthur trying to hide Grant in the house) and those bits are very enjoyable, but then the drama takes over and everything slows way down. That's too bad because this film has the makings of a great comedy...Stevens and Arthur would make up for it just a year later with the wonderful THE MORE THE MERRIER.

As far as THE TALK OF THE TOWN goes though, it's good for a rent but that's about it. Overall it's pretty forgettable.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS (1977)

Note to self: if I'm ever trapped in a house covered by millions of tarantulas and I hear a strange sound coming from an overhead air vent DO NOT stand directly beneath the vent and open it.

Local veterinarian William Shatner is dumbfounded when he discovers that his sleepy desert town IS under attack by a tidal wave of icky spiders. The invasion starts out slow enough, but instead of doing anything productive, ol' Shat prefers to flirt with every attractive female in town and drink a little cold beer. The reality of the eight-legged onslaught comes soon enough, but instead of simply driving away, everybody resorts to running around screaming a lot.

As far as killer animals movies go, KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS is a fun trip.  It almost comes off like a 1970's TV movie.  Slow but steady pace, zero nudity, mild action towards the end, ridiculous looking fake spiders along with thousands of nasty-looking real spiders, crew member hand onscreen (right before the truck wreck), a musical sound at 43:12 that sounds like the opening to "Centerfold" by the J. Geils Band, a woman shooting a spider off of her hand, the phrase "...wham bam thank you ma'am.

KOTS has plenty of spider action, but none of it is particularity gross.  Which is nice for a pussy like me.  I like killer insect stories, but I fucking hate it when they start crawling all over food and stuff like that.  Yack!!!