Friday, August 17, 2007


Joe Valdez has a good thing going at This Distracted Globe. If the spiffy digs don't catch your eye, pay attention to his current examinations of remakes, which looks at the classic and modern versions of such films as The Fog, The Thing, The Truth About Charlie and Rollerball. Joe has a refined, consistent reviewing style, approaching each subject objectively and giving you insight into the production, as well as his opinions and those of other critics. Joe also keeps handy, updated lists of the best and worst movies in addition to a fun gallery of sweet one-sheets old and new. I'm raising a preemptive glass to Joe for his upcoming Paul Verhoeven retrospective, Black Book can't get here soon enough.

'THAT WAS ...... GOOD': 'I've been to a couple of test screenings and gone up to the director afterwards to tell him what I thought of the movie. I met John Lee Hancock when The Alamo was being tested, and Gregory Nava back when he was testing Why Do Fools Fall In Love. They were both too friendly for me to say, "Yeah, so, that sucked." I try to find something positive to say.'

My brother can't wait for Nicolas Cage to make another movie. He loves bad movies. If I enjoy a film that's supposedly bad - like Showgirls - it's not because I'm sitting there loving how awful it is, but because in my warped mind, I think there's actually cool stuff in it.'

FISTFUL O' DVDS: 'They must have audio commentary. Greatest of all time is probably Paul Thomas Anderson talking about Boogie Nights. John Carpenter & Kurt Russell are far less informative but just as entertaining on the ones they do.'

I rarely watch two completely unrelated movies. This week will be a double feature, Searching For Debra Winger and Double Dare, documentaries about women in the film industry. In a couple of weeks, I'm doing the best movies shot in Texas, including The Getaway, The Last Picture Show, Urban Cowboy, Fandango , and Bottle Rocket. When Black Book comes out on DVD, I'll do a Paul Verhoeven retrospective, starting with Turkish Delight.'

SNAIL MAIL: '2-3 movies a week, courtesy of either Netflix or Greencine. I rarely go to a theater anymore. It has to be a movie I can't wait to come in the mail, like The Dark Knight, or the next film from Michael Mann.'

MONEY TO BURN: 'I paid money to see Species II in a theater. Is that embarrassing?'

A tie between "Gosh!" from Napoleon Dynamite, and "Sometimes there's just not enough rocks" from Forrest Gump.'

I never leave my seat until the show is over. I've only walked out on a movie once. Dumb and Dumber.'

TRIP DOWN MURDERER'S ROW: '1984. Splash, Romancing The Stone, This Is Spinal Tap, Sixteen Candles, Once Upon A Time In America, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Gremlins, Ghostbusters, The Karate Kid, Red Dawn, Purple Rain, Buckaroo Banzai, Amadeus, The Terminator, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Beverly Hills Cop all came out the same year. For an 11 year old, it doesn't get any better than that.'

SCARE-IT: 'Alien. The ventilator shaft sequence. You know, where Tom Skeritt crawls through the duct work of the Nostromo, and Veronica Cartwright starts to spaz out when the motion tracker shows something moving closer to him. I saw that in a theater for Halloween recently and people in the audience still screamed.'

Contact DVD Panache if you are interested in being featured on Friday Screen Test.

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