Sunday, October 23, 2016

Shaun Berk's 10 Movie Recommendations- 571st Edition and the Madness: Clowns- Week 3

Welcome to the 571st Edition of my series and week three of the Madness.  Next weekend we have our performances for THE BAD SEED.  It runs in Alexandria, Indiana at the Commons Theater with performances happening October 28th and 29th at 7:30 and October 30th at 3:30.  You can reserve tickets at 765-639-3282 so come out for a good holiday show.  People in the Madness can get points if you can make a special trip to Indiana and probably more for posing in a photo with me.  Come on out next week and I will get on with my recommendations for the week.

The Hero of Color City (2014):  I start this week out with children's animation.  This takes place in a world where crayons come to life when everyone else is asleep and even have their own world of Color City.  A group of diverse crayons must band together to to stop an evil monster from ruining their world of joy and color.  I don't think I really need to say much else on this one.  Christina Ricci, Elizabeth Daily, Jess Harnell, Frank Gladstone, Wayne Brady, David Kaye, Rosie Perez, Craig Ferguson, Owen Wilson, Sean Astin, Jessica Caption, and many others provide their voices for this animated movie.  I found this to be a pretty harmless movie for kids and might be one of the more enjoyable ones for adults to watch with the kids.  This is available on Instant Netflix.

Capturing the Friedmans (2003):  This is my documentary for the week.  Andrew Jarecki directed this film that documents a seemingly normal upper-middle-class family whose father Arnold Friedman was found with child pornography and along with a couple of the sons were accused of sexual abuse.  This documentary explores whether or not the charges made on their were true.  This is a very intriguing documentary which does not really take any sides and shows how things kinds of things can tear apart a family.

Class of 1984 (1982):  Mark Lester directed this film based on a story by Tom Holland which is apparently based on a true story, continue reading.  Perry King stars as new inner-city high school teacher Andrew Norris.  He discovers pretty quickly that the school is not safe at all and is lead in many ways by a gang leader named Stegman, played by Timothy Van Patten.  He soon decides to stand up to the gang leader.  Roddy McDowell co-stars as disillusioned teacher Terry Corrigan.  Michael J. Fox, Merrie Lynn Ross, Lisa Langlois, Al Waxman, Erin Noble, and many others co-star in this film.  This is by no means for everyone but is a very intriguing and action packed film.  It also has a really good soundtrack like Alice Cooper's song I AM THE FUTURE.  This is billed as that it is based on true events but it was more just a propaganda warning towards social commentary.  It has an extremely violent climax in the end and apparently had to do a lot of editing to avoid an X rating.  This is available on the website and is really worth a look if you don't mind a lot of violence.

Haunted Spooks (1920):  This is my silent comedy short which stars silent comedy legend Harold Lloyd.  Lloyd is billed as "The Boy" who meets an attorney and is looking for someone to stand in as the groom for his client billed as "The Girl", played by Mildred Davis, for the sake of her inheritance which is a house.  Her scheming uncle, played by Wallace Howe, does what he can to make this not happen and tries to scare them off by making it look like a haunted house.  This had some pretty funny moments in it.  Lloyd is often referred to as "The Third Genius" which is referring to other silent comedy legends Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton who are both featured in my next feature.  I have heard that Lloyd was more popular at the time when it came to the box office.

Limelight (1952):  Charles Chaplin wrote, directed and starred as well as many other things in this much later work by the comedy legend.  Chaplin stars as Calvero who was at one time a successful comedian and clown who is now past his prime and a drunk.  He saves the life of a dancer named Terry, played by Claire Bloom, who was about to commit suicide.  They form a relationship where they each look to help each other become confident again.  Sydney Chaplin, son of Charles, co-stars as a young composer named Neville who is befriended by Terry.  There is also a very historic moment where Chaplin and his friend and fellow silent comedic legend Buster Keaton have a comedic scene together.  Nigel Bruce, Norman Lloyd, and Marjorie Bennett co-star in this film.  This is Chaplin's final film in America and a very underrated from Chaplin that I even think holds its own as a love story.  Chaplin is obviously most known for his iconic role as the Tramp in much of his silent films and maybe his character in this film is the older version of the Tramp.

C.C. and Company (1970):  This is part four of a four part Sid Haig series.  Fooball great Joe Namath stars as biker C.C. Ryder who is a motorcycle mechanic and joins the fictitious biker gang "The Heads".  He forms a liking of a journalist named Ann, played by Ann-Margret, and is at odds with the gang leader Moon, played by William Smith, who along with the rest of the gang kidnap her making C.C. come to the rescue.  Sid Haig, Bruce Glover, Jennifer Billingsley, and many others co-star in this film.  This is more of a guilty pleasure than anything and an enjoyable biker movie if you are into that type of movie.  This is available on Amazon Prime for streaming.

Batman v Superman:  Dawn of Justice (2016):  I now bring this very talked about and subjective superhero film which was directed by Zack Snyder.  The general public are concerned about Superman's powers and what he can do as well as Batman pursuing the streets of Gotham City.  Henry Cavill reprises his role of Superman while Ben Affleck makes his debut as Bruce Wayne/Batman. They have disagreements that pit them against each other until they realize they have a common enemy in Lex Luthor, played by Jesse Eisenberg, who is just going on the rise.  Gal Gadot is introduced to this film as Diana Prince who we all know better as Wonder Woman.  There are cameos which were really more like character previews of Aquaman, played by GAME OF THRONES alum Jason Momoa, the Flash, played by Ezra Miller, and Cyborg, played by Ray Fisher.  Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jermy Irons, Holly Hunter, Ripley Sobo, Jena Malone, Joe Morton, and many others.  This movie was not without flaws but I see it as a pretty good start to the Justice League franchise.  I remember when Affleck was announced to be the new Batman, everyone just went nuts and really proved many wrong as even much of my most cynical comic book friends really liked Affleck as Batman even if they did not like the movie.  Gal Gadot was also very well cast as Wonder Woman and I see good things coming from her in the future.  Lex Luthor was portrayed much differently and younger, I'm open to seeing what Eisenberg brings to the role in the future.  It is a pretty dark film which had a lot of mixed opinions by the fans.  I'll just leave it at that and look forward to some more in the future.

The Ladies Man (1961):  This is part four of a five part Jerry Lewis series in which he directed and co-wrote.  He also stars as Herbert whose girl has just left him. When looking for a job, he finally finds a job a a large house and finds it is inhibited by a lot of women.  He is treated mostly as a servant but Fay, played by Pat Stanley helps him with his fear of women.  Helen Traubel, Kathleen Freeman, George Raft, Harry James, Buddy Lester, and many others co-star in this comedy.  This is said to be the best work of Jerry Lewis and shows he is more than just a comedian and clown.

I Vitelloni (1953):  This is my Italian film for the week which was directed and co-written by Federico Fellini. Franco Fabrizi stars as Fausto who seduces Sandra Rubini, played by Leonora Ruffo, who is the sister of his friend Moraldo, played by Franco Interlenghi.  When this happens, after some pressure Franco agrees to marry her but that does not stop him from his womanizing ways.  Like much of Fellini, it is rather non-linear though this might be more linear than some of his other works.  It is of interest to people who like the foreign cinema and has been cited as inspiration from Martin Scorsese.  This is a biographical film for Fellini and is worth a look.

The Cabin in the Woods (2012):  Drew Goddard directed and co-wrote this film with Joss Whedon.  Obviously, this is about a cabin in the woods.  Five teenage friends decide to go to this cabin and are played by Kristen Connelly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, and Jesse Williams.  They start to witness strange occurrences in the cabin and soon learn there is a lot more to the bacin than meets the eye.  Richard Jenkins, Brian White, Amy Acker, Tim DeZarn, Tom Lenk, and many others co-star in this horror comedy.  This takes a rather familiar plot and puts an interesting twist to it.  I did not really find it scary but I don't think that was intended as it is more of a horror comedy than horror.

Well, that is it for this week but continue to read for the Madness.  Tell me what you like and dislike and stay tuned for next week which includes Rosanna Arquette, Anthony Michael Hall, Jerry Lewis, Spencer Tracy, Alexa Vega, Vincent Price, and many others.



Amy is not a wild card but found I have couple of her movies to feature.

Batman v Superman:  Dawn of Justice (2016, 151 minutes, 666):  Amy plays Lois Lane in this recent superhero film, plenty to make this count but no Joker for bonus points and don't recall any clowns.

The Muppets (2011, 103 minutes, 6666):  One of my favorites, Amy plays the part of Gary's fiance Mary who helps the Muppets get back together.  This counts as a creature feature


This documentary filmmaker is a wild card this year and found a couple works of his to feature.

Capturing the Friedmans (2003, 107 minutes, 666):  This documentary is directed by Andrew.  Bonus points for someone dressing as a clown.

The Jinx:  The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (2015, 279 minutes, 666):  This is a mini-series of 6 episodes of essentially about an hour.  Also directed by Andrew, never had heard of this guy until watching this.  Very interesting and available on HBO On-Demand.


I have managed to feature silent comedy legends Harold Lloyd, Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton though only the short film of Lloyd is silent, the other is a much later work from Chaplin and a historical comedy duet scene between himself and Keaton.

Haunted Spooks (1920, 25 minutes, 666):  This was not an actual haunted house but played off like one and they did do a good job of it so I think I should get a the minimum points.

Limelight (1952, 137 minutes, 666 1/2):  Chaplin plays a clown and has clown makeup so should count for some sort of bonus points.  Has his historical teaming with Buster, too bad Harold died before this one, maybe they could have had a trio.


Bobcat is a wild card this year on account of our clown them and him as Shakes the Clown.

Windy City Heat (2003, 120 minutes, 666):  This is a documentary directed by Bobcat and playing a prank on actor Perry Caravello making him think he is a star of some big blockbuster.  It has some pretty funny moments.


Brian is a wild card this year.  He is most known for the CLERKS films.

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001, 104 minutes, 666 1/2):  Brian has a cameo in this comedy where Jay and Silent Bob set out for Hollywood but get sidetracked.  I laughed a lot and I realized this has a lot of similarities to BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD DO AMERICA.


Fellini is a wild card this year due to some of his work where he uses carnival scenes a lot.

I Vitelloni (1953, 104 minutes, 66 1/2):  My Fellini loophole of the week so this counts.


Jeff is not a wild card but found a couple of his categories so thought I'd make a category for him.

Iron Man (2008, 126 minutes, 6666):  One of my favorites from the Marvel Universe.  Jeff plays Obadiah who betrays Tony Stark which kind of sets the way for Iron Man.  I believe this should count due to the action climax, especially the end of the action sequence.

Seventh Son (2014, 102 minutes, 66):  Jeff plays an aging monster hunter in this one.  There are witches that will make this count.  I'm usually a big fan of Bridges but had a hard time with him on this one.


Jerry is a wild card due to his unreleased film THE DAY THE CLOWN CRIED.

The Ladies Man (1961, 95 minutes, 666):  Another loophole from wild card Jerry.


Jessica was a wild card in last year's Madness so I made a category out of her.

Altitude (2010, 90 minutes, 66):  Most friends go on a road trip in a horror story but these friends decided to go on a plane trip with new pilot played by Jessica upon her insistence. In the trip they hit some supernatural turbulence which they must figure out what is causing it.


John is wild card this year, most notably for his part in SPAWN and other clown roles he has played.

Lies and Alibis (2006, 90 minutes, 66):  John Leguizamo makes this comedy count this year.

Sisters (2015, 118 minutes, 66 1/2):  I never foresaw being able to use this but John is a wild card this year so I get to include this in a horror movie contest.  Something else that occurred to me while watching this is that John Cena has been taking raunchy comedies like this one in order to get him out of his image he has with the WWE.  Funny moments, felt it got to be a bit much at times.


Joss is not a wild card but has multiple works so I thought I'd make a category for him.

The Avengers (2012, 143 minutes, 6666):  Possibly my favorite superhero movie.  Joss directed this film which has plenty of elements that should make this count like the Hulk and that action climax near the end.

The Cabin in the Woods (2012, 95 minutes, 666):  This has some bonus elements with a clown near the end.  Joss was a co-writer.


Chiller Thriller Theatre 2:  Electric Bugaboo (2016):  This is a live play done in Farmland, Indiana which was locally written into three one act Halloween themed comedies.  These were some pretty funny one acts and still have Friday and Saturday to check this show out which includes a show and dinner.


Sean is not a wild card but has a couple animated movies he has voice roles.

The Hero of Color City (2014, 77 minutes, 66 1/2):  Sean provides the voice for the character Horatio.  This has some live crayons, a dragon, and a monster they are concerned about so I think I should get basic points.

Justice League:  Throne of Atlantis (2015, 72 minutes, 666):  Sean provides the voice for Shazam of the Justice League.  This is an origin story for Aquaman and sequel to JUSTICE LEAGUE:  WAR.  Batman should make this count and Superman is more arrogant than usual so some will like that and some will not like it.


Sid is a wild card this week for obvious reasons in a clown theme.

C.C. and Company (1970, 94 minutes, 66):  Sid has a part in this biker movie that stars Joe Namath as the protagonist, it's too bad he never really got to be an action star.


This is not the latest Spider Man.  This is a writer and director who has done a lot in the way of horror.

Class of 1984 (1982, 98 minutes, 666):  Tom wrote this rather bizarre action film dealing with high school bullies.

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