Screen Junkies » los angeles http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Mon, 29 Sep 2014 20:39:43 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 The Film Cult Presents: Death Becomes Her http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/the-film-cult-presents-death-becomes-her/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/the-film-cult-presents-death-becomes-her/#comments Fri, 21 Mar 2014 17:03:48 +0000 Philip Harris http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=260424 “Now a warning!?” Obviously Meryl Streep is a genius. Within my lifetime I think she may break Katharine Hepburn’s record for most best actress Oscars. The Great Kate has four,...

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“Now a warning!?”

Obviously Meryl Streep is a genius. Within my lifetime I think she may break Katharine Hepburn’s record for most best actress Oscars. The Great Kate has four, her first in 1934 and her last in 1982. Poor Meryl only has three, her first in 1979 and her most recent in 2011 for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher. If only Meryl had been nominated for her consummate portrayal of Madeline Ashton in Death Becomes Her. If only the Academy had realized her true artistic acuity. Then again, they didn’t nominate her for her work in She Devil, so I guess it makes sense they’d overlook Death Becomes Her.

Death Becomes Her is not a great movie. It may not even be a good movie. Still, it’s pretty freakin’ awesome. With only a 43% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it remains one of those strange, one-off films by cinema greats that becomes a cult to its most ardent fans. With material so wacky and a plot line that sort of dissipates half way through, it’s the star power of Meryl, Goldie Hawn, and Bruce Willis, along with some amazing, if not a tad dated, special effects that make this movie a gem.

The premise is simple: a love triangle complicated by a pink potion that reinstates a person’s optimum beauty and renders the drinker immortal. Streep, Hawn, and Willis are the love triangle, and their chemistry throughout the movie is not only believable but hilarious. For some reason you believe Streep and Hawn are former best friends. I can see them right now having lunch in Santa Monica, gossiping while their salads go untouched. And Willis is just attractive enough as a the dorky Dr. Menville to make him worth fighting over. When the elixir of life is thrown into the mix, all hell (and bone density) breaks loose.

This film is most famous for its special effects and one liners. When the tensions of the love triangle reach their crescendo, physical fights break out in absurdly delectable ways. And yet, there they are, happening right before your very eyes. They shoot each other through the stomach (“And I can see right through you!”) They push each other down the stairs (“You’re in the shit house now pal!”) And they bash each other in the bean with shovels (“Will you please put your head on straight so I can talk to you?”) The scene where Streep’s body adjusts back to its former glory is still believable some twenty-odd years later.

Let’s talk about cameos. I’m not sure you could call Isabella Rossellini’s role a cameo, as she’s pretty fundamental to the story. But, I just can’t believe they got her to do it. She’s the forever young Lisle Von Rhuman, living in a Gothic palace somewhere above Sunset Boulevard. She’s wears necklaces as blouses, and yes, that’s Fabio as her body guard. Her acting is so deliciously over the top that every time she appears, you just hope for more. When she reappears in the third act, stepping out of a pool completely nude, you almost cheer. Other notable cameos are Sydney Pollack as the uncredited doctor, who examines Streep’s living dead body, and the late great Alaina Reed-Hall who turns in a great performance as Hawn’s long-suffering psychologist.

Turning in another uncredited performance is Los Angeles itself. Without ever really saying it, the only way any of this seems plausible is the fact that it’s all going down in LA. Only in LA is Greta Garbo still hiding out after drinking Rossellini’s potion. Only in LA are we willing to give up everything to live forever in perfect beauty, always remembered as the stars we once were. LA is the gilded lint trap for the rest of the country, catching all the once-beautifuls and the gorgeous dreamers in its palm fronds. Here, no one notices if your skin needs a touch-up because it’s starting to crack and reveal the dead gray beneath. Everyone is too busy hustling their own dream to notice the dead bodies in the back of the church or the car being pushed over Mulholland Drive. No one will notice you shot your best friend through the stomach, for as Streep confidently declares after Willis is worried about people hearing the gunshot, “Neighbors? In twelve years in Los Angeles, have you ever seen a neighbor?”

Like I said, Death Becomes Her is not a great movie, but it’s indelible kook is irresistible. It still plays on the premium channels all the time, and everyone I know can quote it for hours (“Make some room from for my friend for Christ’s sake. But, keep your ass handy.”) And, did I mention it won an oscar for best special effects? It did, and rightly so. While maybe not a critically acclaimed classic, it’s a comedy cult classic that I, and millions of others (mostly gay men, sure) are proud to call a favorite.

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Hooray For Hollywood: Los Angeles Jailbird Collects $30,000 In Unemployment While In Prison http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/hooray-for-hollywood-los-angeles-jailbird-collects-30000-in-unemployment-while-in-prison/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/hooray-for-hollywood-los-angeles-jailbird-collects-30000-in-unemployment-while-in-prison/#comments Mon, 05 Mar 2012 23:03:29 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=246752 We're gonna have to admit soon that crime pays pretty damn well.

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It’s funny because it exposes fundamental flaws in our civil services!

An inmate in L.A. County jail, Anthony “Chopper” Garcia, is in slightly more trouble now that he’s been found to have fraudulently collect more than $30,000′s worth of unemployment benefits while serving a sentence for murder.

Normally, this infraction would be considered a rounding error of the original crime of murder, but we’re only two weeks removed from the Oscars, and news is still pretty slow, so let’s discuss this further.

While incarcerated, Garcia had his father and two (!) girlfriends cash the checks, then deposit them in his inmate account. This set of the circumstances begs the question of “Why the shit do inmates need cash accounts?” But we’re not Mother Jones or The New Republic, so we’ll let the fat cats in Washington sort that out while we berate teenagers on XBox live.

Now is as good a time as any to add that Anthony Garcia has a tattoo on his chest which depicts the crime he committed, and that tattoo was used as evidence against him. That’s awesome. Shortsighted, but awesome.

The media has a way of perpetuating the notion that all news stories in and around Hollywood have to do with the glamorous entertainment industry. We at Screen Junkies would like to give our readers the entire story, and that means offering some Los Angeles-based news that might not make it into ‘USWeekly’ or Entertainment Tonight.

Read more Hooray for Hollywood!

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7 Cities The Porn Industry Could Move To If It Leaves Los Angeles http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/7-cities-the-porn-industry-could-move-to-if-it-leaves-los-angeles/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/7-cities-the-porn-industry-could-move-to-if-it-leaves-los-angeles/#comments Thu, 23 Feb 2012 17:00:49 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=245836 If this were to happen, I would think the Valley turns into a ghost town in about thirteen days.

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The Los Angeles city council has passed a law, to be enacted on March 5th, that all adult film actors must wear a condom while performing scenes within the LA city limits. The ruling came out of concerns for the health and safety of the actors involved, as well as a desire to not promote unsafe sex to the masses.

As the deadline nears, production companies are considering emigrating from Los Angeles to locales that don’t have such restrictions in place. Though it’s unlikely that the industry will emigrate en masse, there are many cities that would be both viable and desirable for porn film production. Many aren’t intuitive, but behind each location listed are some unique aspects that many may find to be more desirable than Los Angeles (which includes the valley districts of Chatsworth, Canoga Park, and many others).

El Paso

El Paso seems like an odd choice for to house the porn industry, but it serves a niche purpose. A study done in 2004 found the Texas border town to be the sweatiest city in the United States. With an average summer temperature of 93 degrees and relative humidity of 70%, El Paso is a sauna all right. El Paso City Council has been trying to repudiate the claim, as would most cities, but why not turn a problem into an opportunity, as everyone (I think) loves good, sweaty sex.

Think about the marketing. “_________ (film name) offers the kind of sweaty lovemaking that only El Paso can provided. Sure, other films offer sweaty sex, but shooting in El Paso means that we couldn’t get any sweatier if we tried.”

This goes hand-in-hand with an idea I had for Bikram pornography, but I really don’t feel comfortable talking about that until the patent office gets back to me.

Portland

Portlandia has become a cult hit as it observes, reports, and ridicules the idiosyncrasies of this one-of-a-kind town, so why not demonstrate to what end those quirks exist? We’re over schoolgirls, exercise instructors, and cheerleaders. Give us baristas, underemployed DJs, and bicycle messengers. I’m getting worked up just thinking about it!

I would like to see fetish films about fair-trade sex and environmentally responsible gangbangs. In fact, I’m going to demand it. I hear the quality of life is amazing in Portland, so I’m sure that the talent would be thrilled to move there.

Also, Voodoo Donuts is amazing.

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Hooray For Hollywood: Throwing A Football On An L.A. County Beach Could Cost You $1,000 http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/hooray-for-hollywood-throwing-a-football-on-an-l-a-county-beach-could-cost-you-1000/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/hooray-for-hollywood-throwing-a-football-on-an-l-a-county-beach-could-cost-you-1000/#comments Thu, 09 Feb 2012 17:06:52 +0000 Jame Gumb http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=244955 Hopefully this will keep the trash off the beach.

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I’ve always wondered why there’s no NFL franchise in Los Angeles, and up until now, I was content to blame immigrants or the “Gay Mafia.” But as it turns out, I was wrong (perdón, fellas). Now I think it was the L.A. Board of Supervisors all along.

Read more Hooray for Hollywood!

The board has raised the fine for throwing a football or Frisbee on a public beach to $1,000. I’m not sure if I’m more shocked by the price of the fine, or by the fact that throwing a football at the beach is already illegal.

According to the L.A. Times, the updated rules now prohibit “‘any person to cast, toss, throw, kick or roll’ any object other than a beach ball or volleyball” during the Summer beach season. I assume this will not apply to rolling a joint, provided you have the proper paperwork.

Between this and the L.A. City Council’s decision to mandate condoms in porn, Los Angeles is beginning to feel like Nazi Germany, except, of course, for the lack of antisemitism, the lack of militarism, and the staggering array of different races, languages and cultures. But otherwise, it’s just like it! (Source)

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Los Angeles Porn Actors Now Legally Required To Wrap Their Junk http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/los-angeles-porn-actors-now-legally-required-to-wrap-their-junk/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/los-angeles-porn-actors-now-legally-required-to-wrap-their-junk/#comments Wed, 18 Jan 2012 18:15:14 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=242803 If you came here looking for police porn, I have some bad news.

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Porn producers have fluffed up over the issue before, but the Los Angeles city council is playing hard ball, and has passed an ordnance that will deny permits to producers who do not use condoms in their films.

Luckily, the porn I like is made in a basement in Romania.

Earlier this year, producers threatened to leave town if authorities tried to slip in an ordinance that would require their actors to wear condoms while pounding one another. But the industry is now adopting a wait-and-see approach, hoping authorites won’t be able to get it up, so to speak.

“It’s going to be interesting to see how in fact they do try to enforce it and who’s going to fund it, and all of the time and effort they’re going to spend,” said Steven Hirsch, co-founder and co-chairman of Los Angeles-based Vivid, one of the largest makers of erotic movies.

“Ultimately I think what they will find is people will just stop shooting in the city of Los Angeles,” added Hirsch. “That’s a given.”

The ball is in porn’s hands now. Will they pack up their bags and board a Greyhound out of town in pursuit of their dreams?

Furthermore, penis. (Washington Post)

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