#30- Clerks

Quick Recap: Dante Hicks works at a convenience store, which seems awful enough. The story starts with him being called in to work after closing the store the night before. Thus begins the day from hell. His buddy Randal, who works next door at the video place, frequents the shop throughout the day to keep company and sometimes make things worse. There are also a wide variety of customers to add to the hellscape that is the Quick Stop. I mean, the movie is called ‘Clerks’. It’s about Clerks. I don’t know what you were expecting.

Kevin Smith is ok in my book because he understands the greatness of Degrassi.

Kevin Smith is ok in my book because he understands the greatness of Degrassi.

Fun (?) Fact: Knowing how this movie was produced made me appreciate it a little more. For example, the movie is filmed in the same convenience store Smith worked at, and he was still working there throughout the movie’s production. That’s rather impressive.

My thoughts: I’ve always seen this movie as more of a ‘guys movie’ rather than actual good cinema. Maybe it’s because almost every guy I have dated has attempted to get me to understand how profound this movie was. In fact, the first time I watched ‘Clerks’ was with a boy I had a major crush on in high school. Admittedly, I paid less attention to the movie and more to my feelings towards said boy. Moving on. At its surface, this is very much a guys movie, just as most romantic comedies are marketed to women. There is plenty of sexual humor and Star Wars philosophical discussion to tide almost everyone over. And that sort of thing just doesn’t appeal to me. I’m not a prude by any means, but I just didn’t find the discussions all that funny or enlightening. Especially the last scene which I won’t spoil here, but I just found gross. Unless Kevin Smith wasn’t trying to be funny and this was something he has dealt with and in that case, hats off to you, sir.

So one would think I just hated this movie based on the previous paragraph, but that’s not true. I felt a little guilty realizing all that I had missed the first time I watched it. But like I said, I was 18 and with a boy I liked and I had absolutely no experience in life as of yet. But now I’m older and although my minimum wage jobs weren’t as dire, I worked with people who had these experiences. People who were wonderful to talk to and smart, but they were either in a rut or had just enough to get by and enjoy life. I have no idea if that was the ‘point’ of the movie and I have no desire to look it up, but when presented with obstacles, everyone either falls into the ‘Dante’ camp or ‘Randal’ camp. I absolutely loved the fight between the characters at the end of the movie as Randal calls Dante out for all his melodrama. As he says, ‘I wasn’t even supposed to be here today!’, Randal has to remind him how much he brought on himself either through bad choices (cheating on his girlfriend) or being too uptight about things. Throughout the movie I saw Dante’s viewpoint of hell but after Randal talks to him, I realized that we create our own version of hell. Randal seems to be in just as much a dire situation as Dante, but he is aware of that and is happy enough with the situation. Maybe happy isn’t the best word to use, but he has made peace. After all, he’s just a video store clerk and and Dante is a convenience store clerk. Monkeys could be trained to do their job. So, you either stress over it or survive the shift and go out and be happy. That’s a pretty good lesson for a ‘guy movie’.



Final Review:  3/5. I’m glad I rewatched this when I was older but it doesn’t endear itself enough to me to watch it again.Then again, this is a favorite movie of my husband so I might not have a choice.

Up next: Splendor in the Grass

#29- The Rocky Horror Picture Show


Quick recap: HA! I’m not even going to try. So, in its place I present to you kittens doing the Time Warp:


Fun (?) Fact:  Naturally, there was a ton of material to choose from but my favorite was that apparently Princess Diana was a huge fan of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Tim Curry mentioned the story on NPR, saying that when he met the Princess and Prince Charles, she said that the movie, ‘quite completed my education.’

My Thoughts: This is a movie I have always wanted to love, yet have never really had the time to sit and be drawn in. I remember watching RHPS when I was in high school. It was late at night, and on a cable channel with commercials and the good stuff cut out. I was ‘meh’ about the movie at the time. Fast forward to college and my university was showing the movie for Halloween. I considered going but then backed out because I’m not a fan of crowd participation. All this is to say that RHPS is best viewed when the viewer is ready to enjoy it. For someone who is unsure about the whole thing, it’s best to just let it go and try another time. I think that most people could enjoy this film  but they have to have an open mind. So, I thought it might be best to create a tip sheet to help those who are RHPSvirgins.

What to Expect When You are Expecting a Sweet Transvestite from Transylvania:

1. The movie isn’t going to make a lick of sense. Don’t even try. It’s supposed to be an homage to early science fiction films but with singing and cross dressing. It’s best to just let your mind go.

2. This isn’t your typical musical. And yet it is completely your typical musical. I’ve been burned by musicals lately (I’m looking at you, High Society), and although this has singing and dancing, it doesn’t take itself seriously. At least, I don’t think it does. Refer back to number 1.

3. Tim Curry is perfection. If you are in your 20s or early 30s, you most likely only know Tim Curry from the Stephen King miniseries, It. And you probably have an understandable fear of clowns. I get it, believe me, I do. But don’t let your childhood fears keep you from appreciating the genius of Tim Curry. He IS this movie. Without him, RHPS wouldn’t be a blip on a radar.

4. Most of the songs are catchy. I especially love ‘Dammit, Janet’ because of reasons.

5. It’s kind of hot? Now, up to last night I’d have to say that seeing a man in fishnet stockings, a corset, and leather did nothing for me. But then I watched as Tim Curry clicked his heels coming down the elevator and then he sang and I.LOVED IT. There is just something about that outfit mixed with the deep british voice that I just went for. It’s ok to dig it, too. One of the movie’s themes ( I think, refer to #1) is about exploring sexuality. Everything is so out there and different that you might find yourself surprised by what turns you on.


I have a friend who dressed up as Frank N.Furter and it is WONDERFUL but I figured it might be a little weird to steal his picture and put it here. So enjoy a Simpsons picture!

Final Review: 4/5. Is the plot good? NO. Did I enjoy all of the musical numbers? NO. Am I going to watch it again and throw buttered toast at my tv screen? YES.

Up next: Clerks



Quick recap: Rocky Balboa is a boxer who has essentially wasted his life fighting the wrong people. But then the champion of the boxing world, Apollo Creed, challenges him to a match for the title. So Rocky eats raw eggs, runs up stairs and punches meat to train. He also manages to fall in love with a shy pet shop employee to prove that at heart, he’s a lover not a fighter. Or something like that.

I doubt PETA very much liked this scene. Do they care about carcases though?

I doubt PETA very much liked this scene. Do they care about carcases though?

Fun (?) Fact: The poster of Rocky displayed at the boxing ring with the wrong color shorts was an actual mistake. Not having time or money to fix the mistake, Sylvester Stallone added dialogue where he points out the inaccuracy.

My thoughts: After watching this movie and trying to decide how to review it, I came to the conclusion that I’m in a sort of pop culture dilemma. Although this was my first time seeing the movie, I already knew many of the scenes and even the outcome. I basically sat through the whole thing just so I could cross it off of my list and say that I did it. That’s not to say it wasn’t an enjoyable film but it left me a bit underwhelmed overall. I almost feel a sense of guilt for not getting into the spirit of the movie and rooting for Rocky. And to top it off, in doing this project, I know that I’m going to run into more iconic movies that I mostly know the story but have never seen in their entirety.

The most fair thing I can do is try to see Rocky as a moviegoer would in 1976. It was a time before anyone really knew Stallone so his acting ability seemed impressive. And just like nowadays, people back then ate up those feel good sports stories.

at least I wasn't subjected to this.

at least I wasn’t subjected to this.

Rocky’s story, if you look past the cheesiness, is endearing. Stallone lays it on a little thick as to how sweet Rocky is underneath all that violence, but the point is made nonetheless. I was most surprised by Adrian’s character because I always pictured her as some italian bombshell, not this shy girl in glasses. I really enjoyed her transformation and how loyal she stayed throughout everything. I did not, however, enjoy the billion times Rocky said, ‘Yo,Adrian!’. It felt a too heavy on the Italian stereotype. Then again, James Gandolfini just passed away and I could watch Tony Soprano for hours without getting bored or annoyed.

Final Review: 2/5. I can see why it is an iconic movie, but it’s just not for me.

Up Next: I’ll be watching a movie about a sweet transvestite from Transylvania



#27- The Long Goodbye

Quick recap: Elliot Gould plays Philip Marlowe, a has been private eye. Late one night, his friend Terry Lennox visits him and asks Marlowe to drive him to Tijuana because of trouble with his wife. Marlowe does and unwittingly becomes involved in a murder mystery when he finds out Lennox’s wife has been killed and Lennox himself has confessed to the murder and committed suicide. Marlowe refuses to believe what happened and sets out to ascertain the truth.

Fun (?) fact: The only songs in this movie are ‘Hooray for Hollywood’ and ‘ The Long Goodbye’ , which is played throughout the film in many different ways. It was fun to try and catch all the reincarnations throughout the movie.

This was also Morris' first acting role!

This was also Morris’ first acting role!

My thoughts: I can’t say I was looking forward to a detective story, especially one from the ’70s, which are ripe with them apparently. But then I started watching and the first 20 minutes consisted of Philip Marlowe trying to find food that his cat wanted. I was in love from then on.

The mystery wasn’t very compelling, although I did appreciate the twist ending. What really sucked me in was Elliot Gould’s portrayal. From what I can gather ,the character of Philip Marlowe is set in 1953, yet operates in 1973. He is witty and a smart aleck and smokes a ton even though he is in health conscious California. And he’s not a very good detective. Most of the clues Marlowe gathers come by accident or as a result of some trouble he has gotten himself into. I also liked that this wasn’t a typical ‘solve the case, get your business back in order’ kind of plot, but it was a personal reason Marlowe had to solve the mystery.

As has been noted before, I especially love movies that portray their time period and this was no exception. For every 70s cliche you can think of, this has it. And that includes the  naked girls with bleach blonde hair that live across from Marlowe and spend their free time getting high and doing yoga.

The best part of the film is the end which I will not spoil here, but I will say that it is the turning point from a decent movie to an all time classic. What Marlowe does is so uncharacteristic of him that I did not see it coming at all but it somehow fit perfectly with everything else.

Elliot Gould is amazing and played the character flawlessly. The wisecracking geniuses that we see today should all be grateful for this movie. In Marlowe I saw hints of Gregory House and especially Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop.

also one of the best shows of all time.

also one of the best shows of all time.

Final review: 5/5. I was at a 4 until the ending and now I would watch this movie a million times and not get tired of it!


Where/how I watched it: FINALLY found a movie from Netflix Instant. By the way, I’m going to stop adding this category unless I watched a movie in a special way.

Up Next: Rocky!