Scream (or any of the 3 sequels) with Babe

– is a horror spoof. It’s gory and pretty scary and kind of funny. The lead characters all love scary movies and start getting killed by a guy in a mask. They discuss the rules of scary movies, break them, and die. It’s a surprisingly intelligent concept done very well. Not a movie for the kids or the squeamish.

Babe – After the horror of Scream it’s time for a sweet comedy break with Babe. This adorable kids’ movie about an orphaned pig who becomes a sheep herder is just sweet. The animals all have distinctive characters and the human cast is perfect. Ferdinand the duck’s "Christmas is carnage" speech is one of the funniest speeches in the history of film. The connection? Uh… one-word titles.

Tangled with The Bad Seed

– is the Disney cartoon version of Rapunzel. She has magic hair, a great singing voice, a chameleon sidekick and swings a mean frying pan. The "prince" is a thief and a liar with a stolen military horse. This is a wonderful, funny retelling of the story. Too bad it’s the last traditionally animated fairy tale from the folks at Disney… After the songs and sweetness of Tangled a nice switch is…

The Bad Seed – Another movie about a blonde girl with a doting mother. See! There’s the connection! But in this case the mother is sweet and nice and the child only appears to be. Rhoda Penmark is the perfect 1950s little girl: always perfectly groomed and dressed, polite, and sweet. On the surface. She’s really mean, cunning, selfish, and murderous. What she wants, she gets. There is so much melodrama and over-acting in this movie that it seems cartoonish to modern audiences. It’s still a good ride with a big surprise at the end.

The House Bunny with Love!Valor!Compassion!

The House Bunny
– is a hysterical movie about a girl who gets kicked out of the Playboy Mansion for being too old (27!). She winds up on a college campus where she becomes the house mother for a sorority full of misfits. Ana Faris plays the stereotypical dumb blonde with great skill, humor, and heart. She turns the losers into hot girls and ultimately saves the day. For a vapid stereotype she turns out pretty smart in the end. This is one of those movies I can watch twice in a row but sometimes I’ll follow it up with….

Love!Valor!Compassion! – a drama about eight friends who spend the three summer holidays together at a lake house. Of course, since they’re gay, there’s lots of drama and a healthy dose of bitchiness. Based on the play of the same name, this film stars the original Braodway actors with one exception. Jason Alexander took the role of Buzz from Nathan Lane and, as the only straight guy in the cast, he is fantastic! He plays the gay stereotype so well that even I can’t compete. He’s also the funniest character and the most genuine. I saw this play on stage and the movie is a wonderful adaptation. Secrets, lies, insecurities, infidelities, laughs, sobs, and nudity: this movie has it all. The connection is the well-played stereotype characters who turn out to be surprisingly deep.

Want to have your own "Bi-Polar Movie Night"? Just pick a couple movies that seem to have nothing in common. It’s amazing how many films just perfectly compliment each other even though you’d never think it possible.

That’s it for this month. Thanks for reading.

~ Victor

Acworth, NH news, logo by Gretchen Abendschein

August 2012  

Victor Brandt ~ Click to enlarge

Bi-Polar Movie Night

Pride & Prejudice with Shoot ‘Em Up

Pride and Prejudice
(2005) – is a great remake starring the luminous Kiera Knightley and the gorgeous Matthew Macfadyen. It’s pretty faithful to the book but some cuts were necessary. The supporting actors are all amazing and perfectly cast. The sets, scenery, and costumes all help to tell this oft-told tale. It’s beautiful and romantic so sometimes I just need to change things up by next watching…

Shoot ‘Em Up – The title pretty much sums up the plot. Clive Owen sees a pregnant woman being chased by some bad guys so he gets involved. There’s a gun battle, the woman dies, and he ends up with the baby. The rest of the plot is about arms-dealing and stem cells or something. No matter because the gunfights (and there are A LOT of them) are amazing and completely unrealistic. Paul Giamatti plays the super creepy bad guy and Monica Bellucci a lactating hooker. On the whole it’s just a lot of violent fun. The connection between these two films you wonder? Super hot leading men.

Every so often I’m in the mood for a double feature with  a  twist.  I named it "Bi-polar Movie Night"  because  it’s fun watching two totally unrelated movies back-to-back. Sometimes there’s a connection but usually not. Here are a few fun combinations:

Rhoda Penmark in The Bad Seed