Archive for the ‘Patrick Stewart’ Category

MOVIE: Dune (1984)

March 22, 2010

You know that YouTube video that features the five year-old girl describing the movie Star Wars?  This one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBM854BTGL0 (“The shiny guy ALWAYS worries. . .”). Brace yourselves, because that’s probably how I’m going to sound trying to explain the plot of this movie.

I’ve never read Dune (Frank Herbert, 1965) and, to be honest, until recently, I’d had very little interest in seeing the movie.  BUT, the recent discussions about it in the comments here and here got me thinking maybe I was missing out on something, if not brilliant, at least infinitely quotable.   Having never read the book, though, clearly put me at a distinct disadvantage.  And the filmmakers seemed to know it would, too, as this movie at times seemed to feature more voice-over exposition than actual action.   Try as they might, though, I still got to the end credits somewhat befuddled.

The good news is, I was so thoroughly charmed by the copious, gooey amounts of cheese that it hardly mattered I had no idea what was going on.  Oh my god, this movie is the ultimate 80’s film, isn’t it?  Starring everyone from Jurgen Prochnow (the grizzled captain from Das Boot) to Sting, and featuring music by Toto?  TOTO?!  You can’t not love it.  You just can’t.  I defy you.  And the costumes!  The special effects!  The worms!  That blobby guy in the portable jar!  When I wasn’t tipping my head muttering, “Huh?” I was laughing my sweet can off.  If ever there were a movie the term “awesome” was born to describe, this would be that movie.

I will now attempt to explain the plot, more for your amusement than anything else.

Okay, so, like, there are these four planets that are currently embroiled in a big conspiracy thing: the home of the emperor of the galaxy, the home of the House of Atreides (the good guys), the home of the House of Harkonnen (the bad guys — you can tell because they have lots of acne), and finally, the planet Arrakis, also known as “Dune” (or, by Virginia Madsen, as “Dewwwwn”).  Dune is the planet that houses the world’s most valued substance, this stuff called the “spice melange.”  Not only does the spice seem to have some kind of psychotropic effect (we’re told in one voice-over that it “expands consciousness”), but it’s also the stuff required to “fold space,” the fastest way to travel through the universe.   Instead of flying from one point to the next, the spice lets you bend space in half so the two points are suddenly right on top of each other.  This is a cool theory, and one nicely demonstrated by ex-Boyfriend Sam Neill using a sheet of paper in the movie Event Horizon, should you be interested.  (“F*ck layman’s terms, DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?”)

Apparently, the Emperor has decided that the key to his staying in charge is to take out the House of Atreides, which he’s decided has way too many charismatic potential leaders (the Duke of Atreides, for one, and his son Paul (MacLachlin) in particular).  His plan is to put Atreides in charge of the spice, to lure them to Arrakis, and then to have the Harkonnen attack when they least suspect it.  The Harkonnen will then take control of the spice, and the Emperor will get to stay in charge.

BUT, what he has failed to take into consideration is the fact that the people of Arrakis (the Fremen) have this centuries old myth about a “savior” who will come to their planet one day and rescue them from their lifetime of servitude.  Or whatever.  And anybody who has ever seen any movie EVER knows that if there’s a savior myth involved, somebody’s plan is going to go all foo-fah.  Paul is the savior, naturally (because he’s the cutest), and frankly, if you’ve seen Avatar, you know how this will play out.  He’ll team up with the locals, learn how to ride their giant animals (in this case, enormous deadly sand worms that come up to eat you if you make any vibrations — like the ones in Tremors), become their hero, and save the day.

Throw in some kissing, some funky blue eyes, a lot of crazy fight scenes, and a whole bunch of cheesy sci-fi speak (Kwisatz Haderach!  Thufir Hawat! Muad’Dib! Sardaukar! The “weirding way”!), and what you have is a hell of a movie.

The problem with the story is that it’s about a thousand times more complicated than this.  And at least 999 times more complicated than it needed to be.  I would imagine, however, that fans of the novel probably reacted to this film with horror, ballistically going off on all the myraid subplots that got left out (for example, I would guess the romance element of this story — Paul falling in love with one of the Fremen — got more play in the book than it did in the film, and I bet his little sister, who seemed to be important but had little to do here, did as well).  That said, had I been in charge, I would’ve cut the story down even more than it likely already was, because even with the incessant voice-overs, I don’t think I quite got everything.

Nevertheless, any film where characters say things like, “Remember the tooth!  The tooth!  The toooooth!” is going to be one I really enjoy.

Now, nerds.  Should I read the book?  Let me rephrase.  MUST I read the book?  Hie thee to the comments to make thine case.

[Netflix it | Buy it]

Genre:  Science Fiction
Cast:  EVERYBODY ALIVE IN 1984! Especially:  Kyle MacLachlan, Max von Sydow, Jose Ferrer, Jurgen Prochnow, Sting, Patrick Stewart, Linda Hunt, Brad Dourif, Sean Young, Virginia Madsen, Dean Stockwell, and director David Lynch himself!

The Trip List — Movie Quote Hall of Fame

February 10, 2010

Regular readers of this blog are probably familiar by now with commenter Trip and “quote wars,” a game he and I and the rest of you wackos often derail comment threads into (so not a stickler here for making sure comments stay on topic — topic schmopic, I say on that).

A few weeks back, a couple of us asked Trip for a list of his favorite movie lines, in part to better prep us for future wars (hey, that was my motive, at least), and at long, long last, the Trip List appears in print!  (Along with a graphic drawn by ME PERSONALLY, featuring a favorite line from the movie Airplane.  And yes, I won’t quit my day job and go into art, no worries, ya jerks.)

Here’s Trip’s intro:

Well, I’m really only brushing the surface here, and I’d probably face-palm at the mention of a few others I *should have* included here, nevertheless here’s a first list of quotes I like, which were more instantly memorable to me, and which I’ve used fairly regularly over the years on friends and co-workers alike…

And my follow-up intro is that if he missed any of your favorites, you know what to do, y’all.  Hit it!  (And oh, I know you will.  I know I will.  I know we all will.  We cool like that.)

Enjoy (and thanks for all the hard work, Trip!)!

THE TRIP LIST v.1.0 (edited to add the occasional self-serving link to a Boyfriend write-up or movie review where relevant, which was clearly not nearly as often as it should’ve been — I haven’t featured Bill Murray yet?  What the what?)

  • “I came here to kick ass and chew bubble gum…and I’m all out of bubble gum.” – George Nada (Roddy Piper), They Live
  • “We are the music makers…and we are the dreamers of dreams.” – Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder), Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
  • “Your father was captain of a starship for twelve minutes. He saved eight hundred lives, including your mother’s. And yours. I dare you to do better.” – Capt. Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood), Star Trek (2009)
  • “All right you primitive screwheads, listen up! You see this? This… is my boomstick!” – Ash (Bruce Campbell), Army of Darkness
  • “Gimme some sugar, baby.” – Ash (Bruce Campbell), Army of Darkness
  • “Bitch…you don’t have a future.” – Beatrix Kiddo (Uma Thurman), Kill Bill Pt. 2
  • “Tell me of your homeworld, Usul.” – Chani (Sean Young), Dune
  • “You need to be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how!” – Rhett Butler (Clark Gable), Gone with the Wind
  • “No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die!” – Auric Goldfinger (Gert Fröbe), Goldfinger
  • “Until at last, I threw down my enemy and smote his ruin upon the mountainside.” – Gandalf (Ian McKellen), Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • “Dang! You got shocks, pegs…lucky!” – Napoleon (Jon Heder), Napoleon Dynamite
  • “Usul, we have wormsign the likes of which even God has never seen.” – Stilgar (Everett McGill), Dune
  • “My name is a killing word.” – Paul Atreides (Kyle McLaughlin), Dune
  • “Brandy! Throw more brandy!” – Prince Hapnick (Jack Lemmon), The Great Race
  • “I crap bigger than you.” Curly (Jack Palance), City Slickers
  • “I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.” – Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), Aliens
  • “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.” – Clemenza (Richard Castellano), The Godfather
  • “I like them French fried potaters.” – Karl (Billy Bob Thornton), Sling Blade
  • “Let’s show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown!” – Dr. Pete Venkman (Bill Murray), Ghostbusters
  • “Game over, man, game over!” Private Hudson (Bill Paxton), Aliens
  • “Well that’s great, that’s just fuckin’ great, man. Now what the fuck are we supposed to do? We’re in some real pretty shit now man…” Pvt. Hudson (Bill Paxton), Aliens
  • “Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here, this is the War Room!” – President Merkin Muffley (Peter Sellers), Dr. Strangelove
  • “It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark, and we’re wearing sunglasses.” – Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd), The Blues Brothers
  • “If you’d have fought one whit below your abilities, I’d have given you a good scar to remind you.”  – Gurney Halleck (Patrick Stewart), Dune
  • “Only I didn’t say ‘Fudge.’ I said THE word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the ‘F-dash-dash-dash’ word!” – Ralphie narrating as adult (Jean Shepherd), A Christmas Story
  • “Only one thing in the world could’ve dragged me away from the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window.” – Ralphie narrating as adult (Jean Shepherd), A Christmas Story
  • “Well, I’m a mushroom-cloud-layin’ motherfucker, motherfucker! Every time my fingers touch brain, I’m Superfly T.N.T., I’m the Guns of the Navarone!” – Jules (Samuel L. Jackson), Pulp Fiction
  • “Well, that’s a huge noggin. That’s a virtual planetoid!” – Stuart Mackenzie (Mike Myers), So I Married an Axe Murderer
  • “I’m not kidding, that boy’s head is like Sputnik; spherical but quite pointy at parts! Now that was offside, wasn’t it? He’ll be crying himself to sleep tonight, on his huge pillow.”  – Stuart Mackenzie (Mike Myers), So I Married an Axe Murderer
  • “The fact that you’ve got ‘replica’ written down the side of your guns…and the fact that I’ve got ‘Desert Eagle .50’ written down the side of mine…should precipitate your balls into shrinking, along with your presence. Now…fuck off!” – Bullet Tooth Tony (Vinnie Jones), Snatch
  • “Well, he should have armed himself if he’s going to decorate his saloon with my friend.” – William Munny (Clint Eastwood), Unforgiven
  • “I’d like to think that the last thing that went through his head, other than that bullet, was to wonder how the hell Andy Dufresne ever got the best of him.” – Red narrating (Morgan Freeman), The Shawshank Redemption
  • “Ha ha! You didn’t count on my loyal army of prostitutes, did you?” – Mitch (Norm MacDonald), Dirty Work
  • “You will learn a system of self-defense that I learned after two seasons of fighting in the octagon.” – Rex (Diedrich Bader), Napoleon Dynamite
  • “I ain’t got time to bleed!” – Blain (Jesse Ventura), Predator
  • “The light that burns twice as bright burns for half as long – and you have burned so very, very brightly, Roy.” – Tyrell (Joe Turkel), Blade Runner
  • “Ray, when someone asks you if you’re a god, you say ‘YES!'” – Winston (Ernie Hudson), Ghostbusters
  • “Why worry? Each one of us is carrying an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on his back.” – Dr. Pete Venkman (Bill Murray), Ghostbusters
  • “Generally you don’t see that kind of behavior in a major appliance.” – Dr. Pete Venkman (Bill Murray), Ghostbusters
  • “I hate Illinois Nazis.” – Jake Blues (John Belushi), The Blues Brothers
  • “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Oswald was a fag.” – McManus (Stephen Baldwin), The Usual Suspects
  • “I like how you burritoed me in the sofa cushions.” – Alex Goran (Vera Farmiga), Up In the Air
  • “Mikey, why don’t you tell that nice girl you love her? I love you with all-a my heart, if I don’t see-a you again soon, I’m-a gonna die!”  – Clemenza (Richard Castellano), The Godfather
  • “Training is NOTHING. Will is EVERYTHING,” – Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson), Batman Begins

That’s SIR Patrick Stewart to you, pal.

January 2, 2010

You know how I know 2010’s going to be a good year?  Because things like this keep making their way into my inbox this week.  And it’s not just that they are good things that happened and therefore the year is starting off good.   It’s that they are good things that happened that made the people who read them think, “Hey, you know who’d love to hear about this?  MEG.”  And then they’re sending them to me.  To make my day better.   To make MY day better.  Get out of town.  That’s a gift.  You’re all gifts.  I don’t deserve you, but I will keep trying to.

Oh, and by the way, the good thing I’m talking about this morning?  Ex-Boyfriend of the Week Patrick Stewart:  KNIGHTED.  Uh huh.  You read that right.  Queen Mum was all, “Guess what, Captain Picard, that time you went all Warp Nine on that Romulan’s ass?  That was brilliant.  You’re in like Flynn, Sir.  Keep up the good work.  And pass me some of that Earl Grey, hot.  I’ve got a head full of quandary and a mighty, mighty, mighty thirst.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/02/arts/television/02arts-KNIGHTHOODFO_BRF.html

MOVIE: Lifeforce (1985)

June 23, 2008

I had an extremely long plot synopsis for this Tobe Hooper sci-fi film (the latest selection for Final Girl’s Film Club) all written out for you guys, but the more I got into it, the more I started to realize that A) it was getting WAY too long for a movie of this nature and B) there was a better way to go about this whole procedure.

So, instead, what I’m going to give you is a very SHORT plot synopsis, followed by a list of life lessons this movie is attempting to teach us. That way, you can read the list of lessons, put a checkmark next to the ones you already know, and decide from what’s left whether or not you need to see this film in order to obtain the knowledge you lack.

Short plot synopsis: This movie is about a bunch of aliens that look like humans and were chilling out in Halley’s Comet when they were “rescued” by some dumb astronauts who didn’t know any better and then let loose in England. Once on Earth, they begin French kissing everybody they encounter (with lightning bolts!) in order to suck their life forces out of them and sustain their own beings. Any human who has macked with an alien turns into a mummy who must then mack with someone else in order to restore themselves back to normal. And once they are back to normal, they must mack with someone ELSE every two hours or else they turn back into a mummy again. Commence worldwide epidemic of orgy.

More important than the plot, however, are the lessons this film teaches us about the nature of sci-fi movies, the nature of humans, the nature of this planet we call home, and the nature of Patrick Stewart’s hair (or lack thereof). Here’s the list — if you already know all these things, you can safely skip this film. If you don’t, however, I’d suggest renting it ASAP and avoiding anybody who wants to French kiss you until you’ve mastered the following ropes. It’s for your own good.

1. All astronauts should be required to watch Tobe Hooper’s OTHER movie, Poltergeist, because if the astronauts in THIS movie had done that, they would’ve known better than to go towards the light in the alien space ship, which is they got themselves into this mess. If you ever see a bright light, I would strongly suggest NOT going towards it unless A) you are trapped in a cave or B) you are accompanied by Zelda Rubenstein.

2. Naked women ain’t nuthin’ but trouble. Boy and howdy!

3. The target demographic for bad sci-fi movies is the 14 year old male. Hence the fact I lost count of the gratuitous boobie shots somewhere around number 87,456.

4. French kissing strangers is never a good idea. Especially if the strangers shoot lightning bolts out of their throats and/or say things like, “It’ll be much less terrifying if you just come to me.”

5. If you are a woman who needs to escape from a secured building, try taking all your clothes off. Because as soon as you are naked, all the male security guards will be so stunned by your luscious boobies they’ll let you waltz right out the front door, even as they mutter things like, “A naked girl is not going to get out of this complex!”

6. Patrick Stewart has been bald since he was 13 years old.

7. If you’ve noticed that, since the aliens arrived, people who at first glance seem to be dead tend to rise up later and kill others, leave the corpse behind when you board your escape helicopter.

8. Never trust the Prime Minister of England. Jesus, I thought EVERYBODY knew that guy was an alien by now!

9. Don’t assume that just because everybody around you has turned into a soul-sucking mummy, the military has noticed something strange is going on. The military is usually the last to know. Unless it’s all their fault to begin with, in which case, they will just PRETEND to be the last to know and then act all surprised when you finally tell them.

10. DO NOT HAVE SEX WITH ALIENS. Regardless of the lusciousness of their boobies.

And, last but not least: 11. If you are going to stab an alien through the back with a 3-foot sword, do not embrace her from the front while you ram the sword through her. Because that’s a really good way to also ram it through yourself. And then you’re pretty much stuck with her for the rest of your life.

Though, fortunately for all of us, that will not be much longer.

Did I mention I loved this movie? Because I totally did. Tobe Hooper can do no wrong in my book. The man’s a genius.

[Netflix me (available for Instant Viewing, which means I watched it using my spiffy new Roku Player!) | Buy me]

Genre: Sci-fi/horror
Cast: Boobies, boobies, boobies, Patrick Stewart, boobies, boobies.