Tuesday, February 10, 2015

HANGING BY A THREAD (1979)

There is absolutely no artistic reason that this film should be 190 minutes long.  The entire story is: a group of dorks who call themselves the Uptown Club decide to go to the top of a mountain for a picnic.  On the way up, the cable car is struck by lightning and disabled.  For the rest of the movie these nerds cry and bitch and have flashbacks...mostly melodramatic stuff concerning other members of the Uptown Club...while one single helicopter tries over and over and over to save them.  Booorrring!  It's all painfully slow with no pay off.

For some reason when I went into this film I was thinking the incident would take place on a Gondola lift in a urban area.  Car perilously hanging as crowds of people ooooohhhh and awwwwww.  But no, HANGING BY A THREAD is about a basic as it can be.  The lightning strikes during the daytime and then suddenly it's nighttime.  That means all of the "in danger" scenes take place with a black background.  How exciting.  Also the helicopter pilot is nonstop bitching about the wind, but every time we see a flag it's hanging limp.  Same goes with people standing outside...their hair isn't even moving!  The filmmakers tried to pad the running time (I guess so it can be a two-night event) with a story about gangster hit men trying to kill one of the passengers, but it's beyond lame.

I had positive hopes for HBAT, but in the end I was bored bored bored. Low budget, stiff acting, lifeless script, pathetic photography, TV show-level sets, many many shots of people making facial expressions ad nauseam, unlikeable characters, super weak ending.  Unless you're a glutton for punishment or a hardcore fan of some of these actors, I say skip it with a vengeance.  I wish I had.

Monday, February 9, 2015

XANADU (1980)

No, that's not frog puss in your sweet tea, this movie is completely wacky...and that's what makes it so much fun!  Then again I do have a weakness for bizarro musicals.

The story, like it even matters, is about this artist who rips up his crappy drawings and then throws them out the window in a humanitarian effort to spare the world from seeing his middle school level crap. The pieces flutter around Los Angeles until they land in front of a wall-size mural on the side of a building. The women painted on the mural come alive and start dancing and exploding and roller skating! I'm not lying! So later on the artist dude is walking in the park when rollerskating Olivia Newton-John bumps into him, kissing him and then explodes away in a flash of light.  The artist guy gets super horny so he steals a motorcycle and drives off a pier! Other stuff happens and before you know it they're opening up a rollerskating disco that's opening night seems like some kind of ultra-bizarre, highly-synchronized cult ritual.

Recommend for the open-minded only.  Grumpy oldz need to stay away. Would make an interesting triple-feature with THE APPLE and THE PIRATE MOVIE.