All posts filed under: Farkakte Film Flashback

'Ant-Man' stars ants, and Paul Rudd.

Farkakte Film Flashback: Buggy ‘Ant-Man’ Edition

I saw “Ant-Man” over the weekend, and given the fact that advance buzz (so to speak) was iffy, I was pleasantly surprised: It was the funniest Marvel movie yet, and it fully embraces its ludicrous premise (something about being able to make people shrink by “changing the distance between atoms,” a concept that only sounds even mildly reasonable because it’s uttered by Michael Douglas). But one of my favorite parts of the movie is its cast of supporting characters — no, not Michael Peña, although he is awesome. I’m talking about the ants, whom Ant-Man controls by harnessing the something in their whatsis … actually I don’t think they ever really explain how it works, but who cares? Unlike most movie bugs they’re a huge help to our hero, and one of them — SPOILER ALERT! — even gets a name (Antony) and a heroic demise. It also made me think of certain other, previous bug movies, some of which are definitely lesser than “Ant-Man,” but which all hold a space in the pantheon of creepy …

Farkakte Film Flashback: “Are You Ready for the Summer?” Edition

Given that as I write this, the forecast for the week is a steady snow starting on Tuesday and tapering off sometime in 2013, I have decided to spend the remainder of the winter in Aruba. Unfortunately, like James Taylor with Carolina, I can only afford to go there in my mind, where the airfares are cheap and I look much less globular and pasty while sunbathing. But imagining I’m warm and that my lawn doesn’t resemble the surface of the moon only goes so far. I find it’s also helpful to tune into some movies that put me in a more summery mood and remind me that in just a few short months I’ll be back at the beach, where I will be chewed to death by a giant shark. But even if Jaws (1975) has many of the elements that epitomize the summer movie, including sand, surf, skinny-dipping and Robert Shaw being bitten in half, it’s missing one important component of all great summer flicks: Bobcat Goldthwait in a Godzilla costume. Also Annette …

Farkakte Film Flashback: Off-Kilter Christmas Movie Edition

When I was a kid, every year around this time I would watch Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. I did this despite the fact that critics regularly put this 1964 movie on their list of the worst films of all time, probably because of its inane plot, juvenile dialogue, bargain-basement costumes and the fact that it appears to have been filmed entirely in a single room that may or may not have been made of cardboard. I think I may have watched it because as a child, it’s comforting to know that Santa, in addition to bringing you toys every year, is also capable of warding off an alien invasion if necessary. Also, New York’s Channel 9 scheduled it on a Saturday afternoon every December — your choice was either that or reruns of “Hee-Haw” on Channel 11, and Roy Clark certainly never conquered any aliens, with the possible exception of Minnie Pearl. (Incidentally, I’ve embedded the entire Santa Claus Conquers the Martians below via Hulu, in case you ever have a spare 80 minutes …

Farkakte Film Flashback: “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” Edition

Thanksgiving is upon us once again, and you know what that means: Dinner, and awkward interaction with little-seen family members. And then dessert. Because let’s face it — without food we might as well just call each other and have awkward silences over the phone. And the cinema is no different. So, in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, I thought I’d revisit some films where the dinner table is practically its own separate character, because somehow these movies wouldn’t be the same if the characters went bowling or water skiing instead of sitting down to break bread (although in a few cases those are options I would like to have seen). Notorious (1946): There are so many little rules you should follow if you want to throw a truly special dinner party. For instance, you may want to consider cloth napkins folded like a swan. Also, if your wife is a spy, make sure the man she really loves doesn’t come to rescue her from certain poisoning when you’re having all your high-ranking Nazi friends …

Farkakte Film Flashback: It’s Not Personal, It’s Just Business Edition

Michael Moore’s latest, Capitalism: A Love Story, opens around the country today, and if the early reviews are any indication, it’s yet another cleverly executed and scathing reminder of how we’re all … wait, let me check my notes … ah, yes — majorly screwed. Taken as a whole, the Moore oeuvre seems dedicated to the concept that before we die we’ll all be laid off, betrayed by our government, shot, burdened by lousy, expensive heath care, and cheated out of our tax dollars and retirement funds, possibly all at once. Moore’s latest is of course aimed at the business titans of Wall Street who let us have it twice, first by ruining our economy, then by wheeling and dealing the government into ponying up billions in public money so they could get started on ruining it again. I’m sure Capitalism is well executed but no doubt depressing, at least for those of us not on the receiving end of the aforementioned billions. I prefer my cinematic big business to be the fictional kind, where …

Farkakte Film Flashback: Strange Magic

There is a new Harry Potter movie out this week, which millions of fans are extremely excited about, even though they’ve all read the books and know exactly what’s going to happen. Also, they don’t seem to mind that it’s based on the one that was mostly flashbacks, meaning there’s less Harry than in the other movies – although we do get to see young Dumbledore, who, rumor has it, looks exactly like Chris Pine. I’ve read all the books, and one thing I enjoyed about them was the way J.K. Rowling wove the world of magic so cleverly in with our own. Somehow, the wizardry practiced and taught at Hogwarts seems to make logical sense – it propels the story while at the same time serving as a sharp satire of academia, and as an added plus it steers unsuspecting young readers toward godless occult practices. Wait, wasn’t that the idea? Regardless, in the Harry Potter films, such a rich and layered portrayal of the existence of magic is unusual for cinema – mainly …

Farkakte Film Flashback: When Good Dinosaurs Go Bad

I’m not a fan of the Ice Age movies. OK, I like the little squirrelly guy who continually risks severe bodily injury in search of a nut, because I can relate to that. But it seems to me the minute Ray Romano and Denis Leary open their animated mouths to earn their paychecks for a day and a half’s work, the air drains out of the entire enterprise. This week marks the opening of the third film in the Ice Age series, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, which — in a signal of the level of desperation among the marketing specialists herded into a room to come up with these movies — adds the aforementioned dinosaurs to the mix, despite their extinction 25 million years before the Ice Age movies take place. Now, I don’t expect cartoons to be realistic, necessarily; I know most prehistoric sloths didn’t talk like John Leguizamo either. But this seems particularly bald-faced: Why not add in a contingent of robots and space aliens while you’re at it? (That sound …