My Week #47: The Hard Ride; Saturday the 14th

NOTE: I'm late! For the second entry in a row! Not only have I been transitioning to a new apartment, I've been transitioning to the iPad. It used to take no thought at all to sit at my (still-beautiful) iMac and type up film musings, but the convenience of iPad makes doing so seem tedious. Excuses. This entire entry, however, has been created using the Blogsy app for iPad. How's it look? Hopefully no different.

The Hard Ride (Burt Topper, 1971)
The best pure biker pic I've seen this side of "Easy Rider", "The Hard Ride" draws from Dennis Hopper's great American ode as many of its ilk also did, but emerges superior with a killer soundtrack, relentlessly awe-inspiring cinematography, an instantly engaging storyline with classically universal and poignantly social themes, just the right amount of exploitation... and a sharp yet free-wheeling sense for what it means to live by the bike. Leave it to American International!

Saturday the 14th (Howard R. Cohen, 1981)
It is a fine line horror parodies walk, and in this earlier example success is achieved through the apparent attempt to create a believable horror film that is simply delivered through smart filters of ham and cheese. The tongue-in-cheek nature of it all is what really sells the humor, generating constant belly laughs for the horror buff. To select a highlight in such a consistent romp could be difficult, yet Severn Darden manages to steal the show with his nonchalant yet passionate Van Helsing.
Further first-time viewings:
The Martian Chronicles: The Settlers (Michael Anderson, 1980)
After blurb-reviewing the first chapter of this controversial television miniseries, what more can I really say about "The Martian Chronicles"? Though of course it is not nearly as good or provoking as its source, it manages to remain interesting throughout, if not exactly dazzling. Thanks to Ray Bradbury, the concepts are fascinating and help the (occasionally "Twilight Zone"-esque) hoakiness of this adaptation float by with ease.
The Martian Chronicles: The Martians (Michael Anderson, 1980)
'Nuff said, really. Though I do enjoy how proud Rock Hudson is of himself at the very end, as if thinking, "Oh yeah, I'm so clever... you didn't see that coming at all!"
Kevin Smith: Too Fat for 40 (Joey Figueroa & Zak Knutson, 2010)
Smith is making it difficult to find him an inspiration anymore. I suppose it's interesting to hear him speak, but he seems to have his head up his ass without realizing it. Or if he realizes it, he relishes it. It's hard to say. I still love the guy's work, for the most part, and do draw inspiration from it... but I don't want to hear him whine about Bruce Willis and describe pooping while high for two hours. Leave that to Jay and Silent Bob. Or just Jay, I guess.
Kevin Smith: Burn in Hell (Joey Figueroa & Zak Knutson, 2012)
Arguably more interesting, subject-wise, than "Too Fat for 40", yet littered beyond repair with unnecessary crude language. Hey, I have no problem with cursing... but ending every sentence with "and shit" and describing every verb or noun with "fuckin'" is simply obscene.
Total: 6
Rewatches (8): Resident Evil: Afterlife (W.S. Anderson); Drive (Refn, 2011); Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (Verbinski, 2006); Hall Pass x2 (Farrelly & Farrelly, 2011); Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (Stone, 2010); Immortals (Singh, 2011); Bender's Big Score (Carey-Hill, 2007)
- I was recently on the market for a new television. A 55" stripped-down model seemed the ticket, yet most everything in that category still exceeded my price ceiling by several hundred dollars. Then, luck struck when a model superior in every way to what I was looking for - 59", plasma, 3D, wifi - crossed my path for the price of just $900. I wasn't able to quit saying "holy shit" all day. Anyway, what I'm getting at is... I didn't think it'd be less than, say, five or more years before it became a practical reality to view the dimensionally revelatory "Resident Evil: Afterlife" in glorious 3D again. Yet here I am, able to watch it as it is meant to be seen any time I please. I can't but weep with sheer awestruck joy when it is upon my screen. Amazing.
- Armie Hammer in a deleted scene from "Hall Pass"? What? Outside that, though, the deleted scenes appear to have most certainly been deleted for good reason.
- Boy the tie Shia wears at the beginning of "Money Never Sleeps" is nice.
Episodic Television: Parks & Rec (Bus Tour; Win, Lose or Draw)
Episodic Television Rewatches: Parks & Rec (Campaign Ad - Win, Lose or Draw); Futurama (Note: as opposed to listing individual episodes, I'll simply state I've been watching entirely too much of this show to be considered healthy)
- I could write for pages about my feelings on this latest season of "Parks & Rec", so I'll save everyone some time and keep it simple and vague. Basically, the plot was so intricately developed (as is everything on the show) that I could have honestly justified satisfaction with whatever outcome. There were loads of positives to any possible scenario. I can hardly imagine a more perfect season finale, however, as this one both took me on a ride worthy of capping off a great season of build-up and delivered everything I could have wanted for its lovable characters (Leslie inspires me with her blind love and lack of fear) with promises - not cliffhangers - for what is to come in season 5. Man, I adore this show.

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