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Reading Diary by Chuck Palahniuk inbetween stuff I'm doing for work. Its pretty good so far.
Eerie, suspenseful, believable. The multiple sub-plots make this several great movies in one. The script is on-target and refreshing, with much attention to "hip lingo" and character development. A pop culture masterpiece!
There are things to appreciate in a Russ Meyer movie. In fact, his movies usually have many things to appreciate, and they generally come in pairs. That's the main reason I enjoy his movies. The rest of the movie is gravy, and you either enjoy it or you don't. I'm not really a fan, but I can understand that Meyer is doing something around all those women's breasts. There are even things to appreciate about "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls". It's a pop culture milestone, and it's very possible to enjoy it in a historical context. Dolly Read gives a decent enough performance as Kelly McNamara, lead singer of The Carrie Nations, and she has very nice breasts. The music is very much of the time, and if you appreciate groovy, hippie music as much as I do, there's no reason not to enjoy it. Cynthia Meyers as doomed guitarist Casey Anderson actually gives a very sensitive portrayal, and she has very nice breasts. Especially in the scenes with her lesbian lover's breasts. John Lazar as the Phil Spectorish Z-Man looks so much like Chris Kattan, it's fun to imagine what Kattan would do as the insane, transsexual, beheading producer. Marcia McBroom is a lot of fun as drummer Petronella Danforth. And she has very nice breasts. The screenplay by Roger Ebert is smart. That is, when it's not really dumb. After one character quotes "Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow . . . ," he's told he sounds like Z-Man. "Z-Man," he says, "sounds like Will Shakespeare." That's smart. Most of the time it's dumb, though. It's a fun movie. A watchable movie even, though I don't see the point in revisiting it. But, to be honest, it's not a particularly good movie, and if I rate it a little higher than I should, well, it's because of the breasts. I bet that's good enough for Russ Meyer.
Comments pending.
More lines from real life:

Nancy and I were really good friends for a few years before we started dating (the whole story is REALLY complicated). Prior to that, but after the point in time when I started thinking that dating might be a good idea, she was engaged for a while to another guy. We even went shopping together for wedding rings for her (think: Four weddings and a funeral - the wedding dress shopping scene. Except that I look nothing at all like Hugh Grant, but anyway, you get the picture...).

After a while, that relationship unraveled and it became clear to Nancy that it wasn't going to work out. Things came to a head when the fiance came over from England for a visit. Culminating in this:

then:
N: I just don't think this is going to work out.
F: What do you mean?
N: I can't wear this any more
ex-F: Do you have the box it came in?

Why did he ask that? He was an accountant, and he figured he couldn't get his money back without the box. Which ought to tell you about Nancy's motivation in the scene...
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Nothing this low key happens in Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. The plot gets so complicated that the only way to resolve it is with a quadruple murder, a surprise transvestite, and a triple wedding. Inspired by yum-yum's bound to be substatially better review, I watched BVD. I had always stayed away from Russ Meyer films because:

a) he and I have differing opinions on the esthetic value of really enormous breasts, and
b) showing lots of really enormous breasts seems to be the fundamental reason for his movies to exist

Leading to:

c) conclusion: no point in me watching a Russ Meyer flick

But like I said, yum-yum gave me a kick, and I'm glad he did. BVD is definitely worth a watch. No point in going into it too much, but here are some points:




A lot of the music is excellent - the Strawberry Alarm Clock does a couple of songs, including Incense and Peppermints. Several of the songs by the 'band' in the movie are REALLY good - especially the two faster ones. The woman that does the singing, Lynn Carey, has an unbelievable voice.Speaking of the 'band', their lip-syncing is so inept that they make Ashlee Simpson and Lindsay Lohan seem almost nearly verging on bordering on legitimately talented. Although really, it seems like they primarily have, as Joe Bob Briggs used to say, two enormous talents each.The script by Ebert is pretty good - at least the dialog. The plot is a mess. Lots of great lines though.The sets make the Austin Powers movies look like they were filmed in my grandparents' house.So, all in all, I'm quite glad I finally saw this. I wouldn't go out of my way to see it again, but it was pretty worthwhile.




EDIT - Two hours later: Oh, and by the way, here is the best HST memorial that I've read so far - check it out if you're interested (Boob and El Grego!).
Good night, And Good luck


Well directed, tense, psychological thriller which stars Robert Wagner playing against good boy type. Kinda creepy. I enjoyed it.
I've seen some wierd movies in my days, but this one takes the cake. This movie is about sex, drugs, and rock & roll. And the process is repeated like a million times over in this. With a couple of beheadings at the end.



Did I mention this is very wierd.
Russ Meyer directs, Roger Ebert writes, sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll.

Unbelievable that these two ever got together, but it happened. This film should be seen at least once. The story is more of a complete satire on Hollywood life, around the time of Charlie Manson's murderous rampage.

Russ likes them big, real big, and this movie has big ones.

I highly recommend Russ' earlier films, Mudhoney and Faster, Pussycat, Kill! Kill!
The Living Daylights... 7.3/10
Timothy Dalton premieres as the new James Bond, and was a promising candidate for a good run of movies. The movie, however, suffers from a vanilla plot, mediocre bad guys and a Bond Woman who came off as more a Bond Girl. The transition was helped along a bit by some old standbys like Q and M, but not enough to rescue it from some crummy directing.

Black Snake Moan... 7.0/10
This movie sold itself on a provocative premise but the story has little to do with that. The message is that everyone is profoundly screwed up and it takes a herculean effort to collectively climb out of all those private hellholes. Ricci and Jackson are good but it just wasn't very entertaining.

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.... 7.1/10
You could say that this is a snapshot of late 60's lifestyle, but its so Hollywoodized and filled with multilayered dopiness that anyone seeking a capsule summary of the era's drug culture would be sadly misinformed. It is, however, a great source of Playboy-grade T&A, sex before AIDS, pre-funk hippie jargon and fairly typical 60's music, all encased in a road movie. Literally a road movie, as the map is a screen overlay as the tale begins.

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance.... 7.2/10
The weakest of the 'trilogy', this tale of bad moves and bad decisions that lead to a series of unrelentingly nasty acts of violence just ran me out of caring about what happened to anyone. There is some good acting and that is its best quality.

Spirited Away.... 9.3/10
Easily the best of this group, Hayao Miyazaki's animated storytelling is so much better than just about anything that comes out of Hollywood. They should be taking notes. Seriously. This may be his best ever, as the tale about a pre-teen girl's bizarre separation from her parents and her servitude in the strangest bathhouse you'll ever see. While she looks for a way to be reunited with them, her life is filled with exotic characters of a certain depth. Tossing out provocative imagery like candy at a parade, there's something wrong with you if you don't like this.
One of Russ Meyers best Movies and a stylish funny Cult Hit with Great Score and a amusing Story
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