genuine movie-critic moments, episode 2

Last October, my husband and I wanted to have a movie-night party at our house and show a horror movie, preferably a funny one and not too gory. I immediately suggested Night of the Living Dorks, a movie I saw at Fantastic Fest in 2005 and found very funny. You can read my review here. The Beau was a bit reluctant, but it didn’t matter, because we found out that the movie wasn’t available on DVD, at least not in this country. (It’s a German film — the original title was Die Nacht der lebenden Loser, which I think sounds better.) We ended up showing an episode from the Masters of Horror series instead, Joe Dante’s political satire/horror film Homecoming, which everyone enjoyed. I later included Homecoming on my list of funniest horror movies, especially if you don’t vote Republican.
I found out a few weeks ago that Night of the Living Dorks is finally getting a U.S. DVD release on Feb. 20, and looked forward to renting the movie to watch again, perhaps gently encouraging the still-skeptical Beau to watch it with me. As you might have guessed, I am a total sucker for any combination of comedy and horror, although this movie has very little horror and a lot of broad and silly comedy. The DVD is being released by Anchor Bay, which always seems to do a good job with DVD transfers and extras.
And then last night someone (hi, Scott) sent me a link to a picture of the DVD case for the U.S. release of Night of the Living Dorks. Check out the quote on the front (and the back) of the box — it’s from my review. And unlike the last time I found myself quoted, it’s not truncated to change the meaning.
I’m pleased and amused, and hopefully I won’t let this go to my head and become a quote whore. I’d hate to make eFilmCritic’s annual list — but let’s face it, I just don’t have that kind of personality. Meanwhile, the little kid inside my head is still jumping up and down and squealing, “I’m on a DVD box, I’m on a DVD box!” I suppose the real movie-critic moment will occur when I’m totally jaded about this sort of thing.

Indie news at Cinematical

You might have noticed that Cinematical, the film site to which I contribute news/reviews/features, has changed slightly in the past few weeks. AOL’s Moviefone blog has merged with the site. We also have a new editor in chief, longtime contributor Ryan Stewart, who’s helping us develop more recurring columns and interesting features.
One aspect of the Cinematical changes that I feel hasn’t had enough publicity and attention yet is the new subsite called Cinematical Indie. If you don’t want to read about the latest Harry Potter trailer or Lindsay Lohan’s rehab adventures, you ought to bookmark Cinematical Indie or its RSS feed. “Indie” in this case is a very broad term, meaning non-mainstream, and even includes news about classic older films.
Some indie-film news articles and reviews appear both on Cinematical and on Cinematical Indie — for example, Sundance coverage that attracts a broad range of interest. Most of my Vintage Image of the Day posts appear on both sites. However, there are some articles that appear only on Cinematical Indie, which is one reason why I recommend visiting the site regularly and often.
For example, right after Cinematical Indie launched, I posted “The Allure of Collecting 16mm Prints,” which is basically a heads-up about a short doc that Austin filmmaker Nick Robinson posted to YouTube. Because Cinematical Indie was new, hardly anyone read the entry. Normally I wouldn’t care, but I want to tell as many people as possible about Nick’s film (which is embedded into the article linked above) and encourage you all to see it. Go now. It’s only about 10 minutes long and it’s a fun glimpse into the world of collecting movies on 16mm film.
I’m hoping Cinematical Indie finds a devoted group of readers — there’s a lot of stuff on there worth your time. Jeffrey Anderson has a great weekly column called “400 Screens, 400 Blows” about movies in limited release. Cinematical Indie’s manager, Kim Voynar, is encouraging us all to write more about indie films, and frequently posts good reviews and interviews. I’m working with the editors on ideas for good features and columns myself. I want Cinematical Indie to flourish, so I’m asking all of you to pay a visit, maybe leave some comments, and come back soon. And then tell your film-geek friends. Otherwise, if the site attracts little interest, I may end up having to write more about celebrity gossip, and none of us would like that.

spending time with Ann and Molly

Ann Richards died in September. And Molly Ivins died just yesterday. However, that doesn’t mean we won’t ever get to see these great Texas women again. Both have appeared in documentaries that aren’t difficult to locate and watch.
If you’re in Austin, you’re in luck, because Texas Barbecue: A Love Story will be shown on KLRU’s series SXSW Presents this Tuesday, February 6 at 9 pm. The documentary about Texas barbecue and its biggest fans is narrated by Richards. And afterwards, you can hear a panel of learned film and barbecue experts — including me — discussing the film. If you don’t live in Austin, get the newly released DVD of Texas Barbecue: A Love Story to hear the former governor of Texas (as well as an aspiring gubernatorial candidate — Kinky Friedman also shows up briefly).
Richards is also listed as appearing in the documentary The Unforeseen, which premiered at Sundance this year, but has yet to screen in Austin. And on a much lighter note, there’s that fabulous episode of King of the Hill in which Hank moons Richards in one of those glass elevators at the Hyatt.
If you’re feeling too lazy to leave your computer screen, you can always watch the Ann Richards ad for Alamo Drafthouse on YouTube.
Molly Ivins has appeared in several documentaries, including Bush’s Brain and The Big Buy: Tom DeLay’s Stolen Congress. But the one I’d recommend renting, if you’re not offended by sex toys, is Dildo Diaries. I saw this movie a couple of years ago at Alamo Drafthouse Downtown with a sold-out and very lively crowd. Everyone enjoyed booing and hissing when Warren Chisum appeared onscreen; it was as good as an old-fashioned melodrama. Ivins shares some delightful stories about the sex-toy and sodomy laws in Texas.

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