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An absolute gem of a movie!
I first saw this movie at a screen room with Brian Skeet, Ian Benson, Craig Chester, Brooke Shields and fellow guest Illeana Douglas. I expected it to be entertaining. Even I was agog at how much and how hard I laughed throughout the entire film. (Afterwards Brian and Ian jokingly asked me to attend all future screenings.)
This movie is an absolute gem. It has a little bit of everything without having too much of anything. To me, this is Parker Posey's ultimate role. She shines through the character of Margaret, perhaps because they're not so dissimilar. I found it impossible to take my eyes away from her whenever she was on camera. Craig Chester was given a fairly good role and infused it with enough self-mocking humor to make this a standout performance. Brooke Shields? Although not on screen nearly enough, her character of Lily was so out of her usual screen roles and yet she carries it off with such eclat that one almost wishes for a sequel. The Lackidasicals of Lily?
Elizabeth McGovern was perfect casting as Margaret's sister and she plays off of both Brooke and Parker seamlessly. Even Corbin Bernsen, an actor I don't follow, was lovable in his jerkiness and distinctly memorable.
I just re-watched this film on video, where it runs a pert 86 minutes. At the screening, it was at least a half-hour longer. Interestingly, all the things I remembered from the film the first time were there the second viewing. Which means that evidently the editors and the director took out the extraneous and make this movie a perfect length.
Oh. Have I mentioned that I liked "The Misadventures of Margaret"?
No Holds Barred (1989)
What a waste of film!
I worked on this atrocity ten years ago. Luckily for me, no one knows it because I didn't make the final cut. And when I saw the movie in the theaters, I was glad! My agents were driven nuts by the (apparently first-time) filmmakers, rewriting the script daily and changing their arrangements with the agencies just as often. They later told me that, once back in California (we shot in Atlanta), these "professionals" had 4 1/2 hours worth of footage! Even edited down to 90 minutes, it's at least twice as long as it needs to be. I found Hulk Hogan surprisingly charming, but otherwise -- what a waste of film!
The best horror film there is, in my book.
That might sound a little strange, since I'm in total agreement with Leonard Maltin. He called it "short on logic but long on style". The first time I saw this film (at a drive-in!),I felt that Mr. Argento had perfected the capture of a nightmare on film. I didn't even mind the plot inconsistencies. Suspiria is haunting and so brilliantly eerie, I can't watch the videotape alone with the lights off! (Yes, the European cut is the only one to see.) Goblin's soundtrack, by the way, is their masterpiece. Hats off to Dario Argento! I've since learned that 'nightmare on film' is his forte -- but the first is still the best, in my humble opinion.
La sindrome di Stendhal (1996)
Flawed? Yes, but still full of those delicious Argento touches.
Dario Argento's films frequently makes the viewer feel as though someone slipped a potent drug into their soft drink. In "The Stendahl Syndrome", he succeeds once again in creating a very frightening portrait of torment and fear without worrying too much about getting his plot points right. I was lucky enough to attend the U.S. premiere at the Charlie Chaplin theater here in LA. In fact, I was elected to be Mr. Argento's "date" -- which thrilled me no end, as I'm such an admirer of his work. Alas, Lucio Fulci died suddenly and Mr. Argento had to remain in Italy and finish the film which Mr. Fulci had left in mid-production. (I believe Mr. Argento was producing.) Nonetheless, experiencing "The Stehdahl Syndrome" was a joy on the big screen. What a pity that America's cinema has become so money oriented that a wonderful import like this one had to be released only on video!
Two Days at a Time (1995)
The most bizarre spoof of the film and television media I've ever seen!
When this film starts, what seems to be a cleverly (and decidedly X-rated) redubbing of the pilot episode of "One Day At A Time" quickly morphs into character assassinations of the actors portraying the Romano family and their friends. Then, as if that weren't enough, assorted characters from film clips are interspersed and vocally redubbed as well. Piper Laurie, Priscilla Pointer, Eric Roberts, Lee Grant and Sharon Tate (among others) effortlessly interface with Mackenzie Phillips via the telephone. This film should be prescribed -- like morphine!
Valley of the Dolls (1994)
A fascinating soap opera loosely based on Jacqueline Susann's novel and updated for the 1990's.
This syndicated soap (which tried to push the current boundaries for nudity on television, especially when it comes to males) was test-marketed for 13 weeks in selected cities, including Boston and Atlanta. The combining of the original plotline with 90's sensibilities, along with warping a few relationships (Helen Lawson, who in the movie and novel was a huge Broadway star for whom Jennifer North appeared as a showgirl is now Jennifer's mother and a movie star!) New World basically cancelled the project before it was aired, but those original 13 weeks were adult soap opera at it's most interesting. Of special note is that I believe this soap was the first portrayal of a functioning and healthy gay relationship between two men. Ahead of it's time, I hope this show doesn't disappear into oblivion.