Sunday, 31 August 2014
FINAL MOVIE OF THE SUMMER
1982, Directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Peter Coyote, Drew Barrymore – PG
Since CPS classes begin on Tuesday, 2 September, we’ll finish the summer movie series with the summer movie. No many from this film went on to anything greater–Drew Barrymore, of course, and Peter Coyote who did lots of television and especially narration. C. Thomas Howell was later in The Outsiders and Red Dawn (and I don’t mean that disastrous remake). Someone you might recognize in a bit part as a kid, Erika Eleniak, went on to do Baywatch, but I’m not sure that counts as anything greater. Finally, the director of E.T. did a couple of other things, but you probably don’t know them.
Sunday, 24 August 2014
The Iron Giant
1999, voices of Harry Connick, Jr., Jennifer Aniston, and Vin Diesel
A couple of the older boys said that The Iron Giant was “the best movie of the summer.” These are the same boys who exercised last week to Pee-wee Herman’s aerobic routine, though, so I’m not sure we can take them seriously.
After terrifying some of the kids with Jumanji last week, this will be a little less stressful. Based on a 1968 book by Ted Hughes entitled The Iron Man (often titled The Iron Giant in the US), it’s the only animated film we’ll see this summer. Pete Townsend recorded an opera based on the book, The Iron Man: The Musical. It is directed by Brad Bird, who also directed The Incredibles and Ratatouillie.
Sunday, 17 August 2014
1995, Robin Williams, David Alan Grier and a very young Kirsten Dunst – PG
This is the companion to the film Zathura, which we watched last summer and to which there was a good response. It’s something like Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, with constant running and screaming from laughably bad mechanical spiders and blurry CGI monkeys.
Sunday, 10 August 2014
(film cancelled due to rain)
Sunday, 3 August 2014
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
2005 – PG
Because I can’t subject you to the terrible attempt by Disney to make a film from A Wrinkle in Time.
Sunday, 27 July 2014
(no film scheduled)
Sunday, 20 July 2014
I promised a very bizarre television show before the movie to the 30 who came to our film (including lots of new people), so we watched an episode of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. The theme song is performed by Ellen Shaw (you might know her as Cyndi Lauper). The King of Cartoons is played by William Marshall–who was “Dracula’s soul brother,” Blacula (see the trailer here).
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
1989, Rick Moranis; Directed by Joe Johnston (Captain America, Jumanji) – PG
Sunday, 13 July 2014
Thank you to Marcy, who brought a special Movie Night cake. The episode of Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch didn’t do nearly as much to add to the richness of the evening.
1985, Joe Dante – PG
Explorers was directed by Joe Dante who also did the Gremlins movies, Inner Space, and Small Soldiers. This was the very first film role for Ethan Hawke. River Phoenix, though he had done television before this, had never been in a feature length film before Explorers. The older kids will appreciate this more, as there’s more story and suspense than action. I know we’ve seen some strange movies in the backyard, but this one might just be the strangest one we will watch.
Sunday, 6 July 2014
This was a fun movie attended by about 25. We began with a Hanna-Barbera episode of “Roman Holidays,” about the Holiday family’s attempts to keep their landlord, Evictus, from throwing them out of their rented palace. One of the Spy Kids stars, the older sister, is played by Alexa Vega who is now all grown up and one of Robert Rodriguez’s favorite gun-carrying, bikini-clad action heroines. She recently had a role in his Machete Kills, about a more violent Uncle Machete from Spy Kids. This is Alexa on the film poster.
2001, A Robert Rodriguez film starring most of the crew from Desperado, including Antonio Banderas, Danny Trejo and Cheech Marin (who doesn’t smoke anything), plus a couple of kids, Teri Hatcher, Alan Cumming, and Tony Shalhoub.
Sunday, 29 June 2014
About 30 came to see this odd film. We began with a Jetsons cartoon, rife with sexist jokes about women’s makeup, bad driving and such. Both the Jetsons and, especially, the Flintstones were modeled on The Honeymooners, so I guess it doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium
2007, Dustin Hoffman and Natalie Portman – G
Sunday, 22 June 2014
Twenty-four people (including one who counts his longevity in days) had a perfectly fine time–especially since there was cake, ice cream, cupcakes and 5 gallons of lemonade. Before the film, we watched an episode of The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan, a Hanna-Barbera cartoon based on the Charlie Chan character from the 1920s and 30s. Charlie Chan is voiced by Keye Luke, who was the grandpa in Gremlins (directed by Joe Dante, who also directed Explorers, which is one of the films we’ll watch this summer). Robert Ito was the voice of Henry Chan and was also in Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, which is a contender for the best film to be made in the 80s. The Chan Clan’s dog–which looks like a cat–speaks in an unintelligible language known only to Don Messick who is also Scooby-Doo, Bamm-Bamm, Astro and Papa Smurf. Finally, Anne Chan, who is the Hanna-Barbera version of a feminist, was voiced by a very young Jodie Foster.
Flight of the Navigator
1986, Walt Disney Pictures – PG
This week we will show a Disney film from the 80’s, Flight of the Navigator. It features the voice of Paul Reubens (Pee-wee Herman) as an alien spaceship and Sarah Jessica Parker, fresh out of her 3-2-1 Contact days. If you don’t remember 3-2-1 Contact–or if you didn’t spend your childhood in front of a television–Sarah Jessica Parker played Annie in the “Little Orphan Annie” segments. (See here for an example.)
Sunday, 15 June 2014
Around 30 people came to see Nanny McPhee and it didn’t rain–despite what the robot voice of NOAA weather radio had to say. We watched two Hong Kong Phooey episodes before the movie. (Hong Kong Phooey is voiced by Scatman Crothers, the psychic chef Dick Hallorann in The Shining.)
2005, Colin Firth and Emma Thompson
This is a film based upon the 1960s Nurse Matilda books by Christianna Brand. Emma Thompson is Nanny McPhee and wrote the screenplays (there was a sequel released in 2010 and another in the works). This is a great film and, it seems, not one that many have seen.