Thursday, January 12, 2012


1) I really don't want to turn this space into a series of musings over songs heard on my cable company's "Seventies Gold" music service, but once again I had it on in the background this morning while I was doing other things (by "other things" I mean reading the Wikipedia entry on Mamie Van Doren), and this came on in the background.

And the thing is, it took me awhile to realize what it was.  It sounded like just another sensitive singer/songwriter from an era loaded with 'em, and as such, it didn't really seem, you know, bad.  Then at some point I realized, "Oh my God, it's David Soul," and I remembered I was supposed to treat this song with the sneering condescension I regularly bring to clips of Lynda Carter variety specials and whatnot, but honestly, it really isn't bad.

Also, honestly?  David Soul's a pretty good actor.

2) So I'm wandering around a department store today and I keep running into the same little kid, who is being chased everywhere by his mom, who keeps calling him by name: "Xander!  Come back here!"  "Xander!  Put that down!"  "Xander!  This isn't a playground!"

Though I realize there are any number of reasons why she might have named her kid Xander, I prefer to conclude that she's a big fan of Buffy The Vampire Slayer.  Because it makes me happy.

3) Janie's dozing in the other room, the TV tuned to back-to-back showings of Young Guns and Young Guns 2.  Periodically I feel the need to try watching these things, to see if time has been kind to them, as programmer Westerns from the fifties starring the pretty boy likes of Rock Hudson and Robert Wagner have aged better than might have seemed possible at the time.

Of course, those fifties movies had the advantage of the occasional Douglas Sirk or Nick Ray directing, whereas the Young Guns movies were helmed by the auteurs of Gone Fishin' and Freejack.  And even though Emilio Estevez's stock has risen in recent years by simply not being as awful as Martin Sheen's other kid, he's still absolutely terrible in this movie, as are his fellow "guns"--Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Christian Slater.  Also, dropping in better actors (Alan Ruck, Jenny Wright) or authentic cinematic icons (Terence Stamp, Jack Palance) does its stars no favors.

And seriously, Young Guns 2--you really want to throw a cameo from James Coburn into your crappy Billy The Kid movie?  Because anything that makes a viewer think how they could be watching Sam Peckinpah's magnificent Pat Garret & Billy The Kid instead of this piece of shit would seem to be a thing to avoid.  But what do I know?  It's not like I directed Freejack.

4) To be fair, it's not that basic cable perennial Freejack is a bad movie (though it is) so much as the single laziest, most unnecessary thing ever projected on a screen.  Literally every single aspect of this thing had been done before, and better.  As bad as movies are now, I sometimes forget just how bad things were in the late eighties and early nineties.  (Newsies--enough said.)  Next time I'm sitting through the trailer for the latest Resident Evil sequel, I'll try to remember there was once a time when Hollywood thought we all wanted more Emilio Estevez or singin' and dancin' Christian Bale, and be, for lack of a better word, grateful.

5) Cats and dog.  Are they adorable?  Of course!