Little Shop of Horrors, Director’s Cut

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They may offer you fortune and fame
Love and money and instant acclaim
But whatever they offer you,
Don’t feed the plants!

Little Shop of Horrors has been one of my favourite films for a long time but it was only recently seeing it onstage that gave me the kick in the pants I needed to finally watch the director’s cut with the original ending. I already knew about the ending and had seen clips but actually seeing it in the continuity of the film feels entirely different.

Because I’m discussing the ending there are, naturally, spoilers but my blog is never spoiler free really (except for new releases).

As much as I’m a sucker for happy endings (which I admit begrudgingly) the original ending for Little Shop of Horrors is just so much better. The workmanship alone is something to behold, recalling The War of the Worlds and other monster/alien fare from the 1950s with cities being demolished and citizens gobbled up. The army of Audrey II’s are menacing and the miniatures are perfectly constructed by Richard Conway.

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‘Finale Ultimo (Don’t Feed the Plants)’ is also a really great song, and a brilliant climax for the film – the entire sequence is just incredibly impressive in every way.

Technical achievements aside, it also makes more sense. There is a feeling of chaos building throughout the story as Seymour’s life spins out of his control, and the original ending, which is utter chaos and destruction, caps it off perfectly.

However, I also understand why test audiences reacted so badly. Aside from the fact that unhappy endings aren’t exactly par for the course in Hollywood, Audrey and Seymour are really likeable characters. We may laugh at them at times (“l’d put on…cheap and tasteless outfits, not nice ones like this.”) but we also feel a deep empathy for them (at least, I do). Audrey, especially, because Ellen Greene has a rare ability to be utterly camp while simultaneously imbuing the role with pathos.

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So seeing them consumed by a hungry plant that’s bent on world domination is a bit difficult to swallow (if you’ll pardon the pun). Seeing Orin and even Mr Mushnik being eaten makes us feel a certain vicious glee but Audrey and Seymour’s deaths are just truly tragic, if inevitable.

As it mentions here when you see this onstage there is not only a certain distance because of the lack of close-ups but the actors come out for the curtain call, and Audrey and Seymour are alive again (they also perform in ‘Finale Ultimo (Don’t Feed the Plants)’). But this doesn’t happen when we see a movie. They’re just…gone. It’s obvious, though, from what I’ve read that its fans (now) acknowledge that the original ending is superior and more fitting.

It would’ve been a terrible shame, a tragedy really, if the original ending, that so much love and work went into, was lost forever. I’m glad it’s not. And I’m glad I get to choose which ending I want, depending on how I feel. Do I want Seymour and Audrey to go ‘somewhere that’s green’ and live happily ever after? Or is the ‘somewhere that’s green’ they go to inside Audrey II?

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Star Trek update

My journey into the original series, and subsequent films, of Star Trek has come to an end (for now). I’m taking a break before I get into The Next Generation, and so on, but I did say that I’d do a second post once I watched the last three films.

This is neither as long, nor as picture heavy, as my first post – I got a bit burnt out on writing after all of that. I want to challenge myself with my writing, so that the quality improves, but some days it’s not a matter of writer’s block, so much as being completely empty. These are all tidied up from the letterboxd reviews I dashed off after viewing each film.

The Voyage Home dir. Leonard Nimoy, 1986

“Oh, him? He’s harmless. Back in the sixties, he was part of the free speech movement at Berkeley. I think he did a little too much LDS.”

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That awkward moment when you’re terrified of whales but are determined to watch all the original Star Trek movies…including the one about the whales. At least I knew that going in, though. Part of me was thinking ‘whales, why’d it have to be whales?’ this whole film but, well, the environmental message wouldn’t really be the same without them.

Terrifying sea dwelling mammals aside, this is a whole lot of fun. It’s very silly (I love silly movies) and charming. The whole ‘do you like Italian?’ exchange was one of my favourites – I had to pause the film to catch my breath. I also enjoyed Scotty talking into the computer’s mouse, Spock trying to swear and Uhura and Chekov asking all those people on the street where to find nuclear ‘wessels’. I just couldn’t pick a favourite funny moment.

Most of the tears shed in this film were tears of laughter, but I did get a bit choked up at the end (Spock with Sarek, the crew seeing the new Enterprise).

Anyway, silly, funny and fun and exactly what I needed when I watched it (except for the whales).

Edited from letterboxd review, which can be read here.

The Final Frontier dir. William Shatner, 1989

“I thought you said men like us don’t have families.”
“I was wrong.”

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I’ll say one thing for this film: it sure left me speechless!

Plenty of people have written about what a mess it is so I won’t go into it too much. There are a couple of nice moments between Spock & Kirk and Spock, Kirk and Bones, some properly funny bits and there are elements I liked but that does not a good movie make.

There are some truly absurd choices made in this movie – Uhura’s fan dance springs to mind as one of them.

I have definitely seen far far worse films, films that were harder to get through, but this was still just…odd. And gave me a lot of secondhand embarrassment.

Going in having read some terrible reviews, I lowered my expectations so much that I will admit I had fun in some parts. But I think my overwhelming impression of the film is that it’s baffling, rather than anything else.

Edited from letterboxd review, which can be read here.

The Undiscovered Country dir. Nicholas Meyer, 1991

“Captain’s Log, stardate 9529.1. This is the final cruise of the Starship Enterprise under my command. This ship and her history will shortly become the care of another crew. To them and their posterity will we commit our future. They will continue the voyages we have begun, and journey to all the undiscovered countries, boldly going where no man… where no one has gone before.”

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This was a bit of a heavy one for me. Don’t recommend watching it when you’re feeling seedy after a long night of dancing.

It’s a movie about ageing and feeling obsolete, which I feel doesn’t often get explored in these types of films (not that it never does, but I feel like it’s not common); in a youth obsessed culture that’s not surprising.

I want to say something about ending with a quote from Peter Pan/a reference to Neverland. Is it suggesting Kirk refuses to accept what Spock had posited earlier: Is it possible that we two, you and I, have grown so old and so inflexible that we have outlived our usefulness? A one last adventure thing? You’re only as old as you feel?

It’s possible that it was just a throwaway reference but I’m not sure.

I am still unable to sort out my thoughts and feelings about this one (I think I liked it but I’ll have to watch it again in a different mood) but I want to keep this post brief compared to the last one.

Edited from letterboxd review, which can be read here.

To boldly go…

Where millions of others have gone before, actually.

This is a long and picture heavy post.

Screencap of Mr Spock played by Leonard Nimoy from Star Trek The Original Series. He has black hair cut in short bangs, pointed ears and one eyebrow raised. He is wearing a light blue shirt, the same colour of the walls behind him, and is holding a black cat.

As I mentioned in my February roundup, I’ve finally delved into the world of Star Trek, starting with The Original Series. Having finished that recently, I decided to jump right into the following movies.

When I started the show I was not at all prepared for how deeply attached I would become to these characters. I just don’t usually feel so invested in characters from older TV shows for some reason but I’m so in love with them. Especially Spock.

Sometimes I get frustrated with myself for not writing about movies more ‘intellectually’ or critically, but I respond to movies on an emotional, instinctual level above all else. I’ve voiced this concern to friends, before, who have assured me that there is more than enough room for a more emotional perspective on cinema and I honestly think that’s what I’m best at. What I’m saying is, be prepared for a lot of emotional rambling here and some sloppiness in my writing where I omit actor’s names and the like. I’m going to write about the first three movies together, and then there will be another post for the next three when I’ve watched those.

The Motion Picture dir. Robert Wise, 1979

“This… simple feeling is beyond V’ger’s comprehension.”

A screencap of Dr McCoy played by DeForest Kelley and Admiral Kirk played by William Shatner from The Motion Picture. McCoy has short brown hair and a beard, he is wearing a cream shirt with a v-neck, a gold medallion pendant and is standing with his arms by his side. Kirk is seen from the side a slightly behind. His dark blonde hair is short and he is wearing a blue-ish shirt with Starfleet insignia. His right arm is extended toward McCoy.

Given what I said above, it is not surprising that I spent half of this film crying. Only forty minutes in I’d already cried at least four times. (When Kirk meets Scotty, when he sees the Enterprise, when he meets the bridge crew, when he meets Bones again.) But I didn’t get properly emotional until Spock and Jim are reunited.

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The film has some interesting things to say but the scene that will stick with me the most is Kirk grasping Spock’s hand, and Spock saying “This…simple feeling is beyond V’ger’s comprehension.” I actually had to pause the film because I was crying so hard. It’s such a beautiful moment between them and the end of Spock’s journey, started on Vulcan.

The parallels between V’Ger’s journey and Spock’s were fairly obvious, but I loved what the film said through them. It’s about the search for meaning and identity – the search for knowledge in general – that nearly all of us can relate to in some way, or another. Spock comes to realise he must embrace all of who he is, pesky emotions included, for a fulfilled life when he sees the emptiness of V’Ger, an actual machine devoid of feeling. One can experience emotion but still value logic. That struggle with emotion was particularly relevant and personal to me.

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One of the most obvious themes to me seemed to be love. It’s clear that Ilia and Decker were romantically involved at some point prior to the film and, while the end – with Decker merging with the Ilia probe – could be seen as purely about evolution or creating new life, the way they look at each other shows that it’s done out of love, too. There is also the relationship between Kirk and Spock – ‘this simple feeling’ that Spock speaks of could be many things but whether it’s friendship or brotherhood, it all boils down to love.

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Before I finish, let’s take a moment to appreciate the design of this film. The scene with Spock inside V’Ger is utterly beautiful. One shot reminded me of the dream sequence in Vertigo (pictured above) but a more obvious, and likely, comparison is to 2001: A Space Odyssey (pictured below).

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Even when the Enterprise entered warp speed for the first time my eyes popped out of my head. And the lighting in that final V’Ger scene was beautiful.

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Robert Wise clearly spent a lot of time showing off the special effects and design; I can’t be mad about that because they are so pretty.

It’s a fairly contemplative film and, as such, could be seen as slow but it honestly didn’t even feel like 2+ hours to me. bluedionysus on letterboxd called the pacing ‘graceful’ and I couldn’t have described it better myself. If you’re expecting a fun space romp like so much of TOS was, it would probably be disappointing, but a friend had prepared me so I knew what I was in for. The show wasn’t without seriousness but there’s more adventure than there is here. Some of the ideas that are in the film are definitely present in TOS and it obviously draws a lot from ‘The Changeling’, which has a similar premise, but it’s a huge tonal shift from the series.

I know there’s more to this film than what I’ve said but I can’t focus on everything from one viewing alone so I may read a bit about it and watch it again before I attempt any further writing.

Edited from letterboxd review, which you can read here.

The Wrath of Khan dir. Nicholas Meyer 1982

“Of my friend, I can only say this: of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most…human.”

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I may not have cried as many times as in TMP but I think the intensity of my crying at Spock sacrificing himself made up for it. The look on Kirk’s face was completely heartbreaking and then, later, his voice breaking just before he choked out ‘human’ in the eulogy. My heart!

This is a really solid, fun sci-fi flick and I can definitely see why it was better received by audiences than TMP (I think I liked TMP a bit better, or maybe just differently). It’s interesting that the conflict is conducted largely at a distance. I don’t think Kirk and Khan came face to face or, if they did, I missed it while I was checking twitter (a habit I’m trying to break). That just stuck out to me.

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There’s a lot of interesting elements (themes and ideas – ageing, for one, comes to mind) to unpack but I spent most of my energy writing about The Motion Picture and I’m still feeling very emotional about the end of this film, so I need a little distance before I think about those. It’s not as though no one else has ever written about it, though.

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Edited from letterboxd review, which you can read here.

The Search for Spock dir. Leonard Nimoy 1984

“If I hadn’t tried, the cost would have been my soul.”

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I enjoyed this slightly less than the first two but it was still great. It’s a film about friendship and how far we’d go for the ones we love. What we’d risk. That sort of thing always appeals to me.

My favourite aspect, aside from Kirk et al risking everything for Spock, was Bones with Spock’s katra – sometimes Bones’s attitude toward Spock frustrates me but beneath it all, it’s obvious he cares deeply for him. Even before he said this to the unconscious Spock, it’s there:

“I’m gonna tell you something that I…never thought I’d ever hear myself say. But it seems I’ve… missed you. And I don’t know if I could stand to lose you again.”

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It was also just fun to see DeForest Kelley acting like Spock but still being Bones at the same time. I can’t remember the exact quote but in the bar he says someone is ‘illogical’ and calls them an ‘idiot’ in the same sentence. That bar was very cool in general (the scene made me think of A New Hope, when Ben and Luke are looking for transport).

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“My father says that you have been my friend. You came back for me.”

The main reason it was slightly less interesting than the first two is because I enjoy it best when Spock and Kirk are together (and Bones, too, of course), even though it’s still a story motivated by those relationships. They seem to be the heart of the series, for me. (And, I know, many others).

It was nice to see Sarek again and to see Vulcan, too. That shot of the ceremony area just before the fal-tor-pan was really beautiful.

I could easily sit through this again (and undoubtedly will) – I just found it a little harder to write about!

Oh, and just in case you were wondering: I cried.

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Edited from my letterboxd review, which you can read here.

I just love these characters and I could spend all the time in the world with them. I am a little apprehensive about watching IV, though, as I’m rather terrified of whales.

Top 5 Halloween | For Scaredy Cats

I love Halloween (even though it’s not much of a ‘thing’ over here in Australia, but getting bigger I think) and I love the idea of scary movies at Halloween time. But the fact of the matter is I’m a big scaredy cat! I can watch scary movies but I can rarely watch them alone and/or at night and I can count on taking a lot longer to get to sleep for a week or so after I’ve watched a film that’s scared me…so I’ve made a list of (practically) scare-free films to watch at Halloween if you’re a scaredy cat like I am. Well, I’ve made a list of some of my favourites, anyway. You all don’t have to like/watch them. Also, ‘scary’ is pretty subjective when it comes to films but, trust me, I scare easily. Now, onto the list…

1. Clue directed by Jonathan Lynn, 1985

Not only is Cluedo my favourite boardgame (I was always Miss Scarlett) but Tim Curry is one of my favourite actors! Add the fact that I adore murder mysteries and clever, fast-paced comedy and this is pretty much a perfect movie for me. With a fantastically talented cast (Tim Curry, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean and the fabulous Madeline Kahn, et al) and a witty script I think this film is quite underrated, overall (though making more movie-loving friends online I’ve found a lot more fans.) Plus, the setting of a spooky old house on a stormy night makes it pretty much perfect for the Halloween season! (Even if it is Spring in the southern hemisphere…) If you have it on DVD you can watch it with one of three endings at random or, if you’re particularly daring, all three endings one after the other! I have lost count of how many times I’ve watched this film…sometimes I want to press play again as soon as I’ve finished watching it.

2. The Addams Family directed by Barry Sonenfeld, 1991

I am fairly certain that I saw this film at the cinema when it was released – despite being a little girl who loved Barbie and pink and all those sorts of things, I think I have always had an affinity with ‘spooky’ things, as well. I love how this film takes the essence of The Addams Family, twists it, prods it, even makes fun of it a little (with love) to make it into something a little different but, in my opinion, retaining the soul of the original show. I also enjoy how it emphasises the sexual relationship between Gomez and Morticia and just how much they love each other. And I like that there was a little more tension within the family than there was in the show (I mean, aside from being a little ‘weird’ The Addams family was still a very functional mostly traditional family unit, not unusual for the time the show was created and aired, of course) but that it’s still a very strong, loving family. Plus, this is one of those films I can watch over and over and not get sick of. And Wednesday Addams is always a good costume to fall back on for Halloween.

I’d also like to add that I love The Addams Family Values equally, (no small thanks to Joan Cusack…) and you can count that as 2.5 on this list, if you like.

3. Hocus Pocus directed by Kenny Ortega, 1993

OK, this one is a bit obvious but, honestly, how could I leave it out? It is utterly brilliant for Bette Midler’s performance alone (then again, when is the Divine Miss M not amazing?) but it’s really just a fun film. It doesn’t push any boundaries or anything (it is Disney, after all) but you can tell a lot of fun was had, no one takes themselves too seriously, the costumes are great and we get to see Bette Midler sing I Put a Spell on You. And there’s a talking cat! (Voiced/played by a pre-NCIS Sean Murray). Oh, and is there some kind of rule that stipulates any stories involving three women must have a blonde, brunette and a redhead?

4. Beetlejuice directed by Tim Burton, 1988

Ah, Beetlejuice. What can I say about this film? As much as I love Keaton’s Batman for Burton, I think I have to say that his Beetlejuice could possibly surpass that performance for me. He’s just so vile. And Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis are so sweet as the newlydeads! Then there is Burton’s incomparable visual style that was still so fresh and slightly left-of-field at this point (sure, he took a lot of queues and inspiration from other sources, not least being German expressionist cinema but as it’s only his second feature it’s fair to say this style was still very different at the time.) I mean, Delia Deetz’s transformation of the house is astonishing! Plus, the scenes in the ‘waiting room’ are pretty great (Miss Argentina!) And who hasn’t quoted Lydia Deetz at some point (‘my whole life is a darkroom…one big dark room’ etc) or wanted to dress like her?

5. Death Becomes Her directed by Robert Zemeckis, 1992

I grew up watching this movie, having always loved Goldie Hawn, and it’s another film that I can still appreciate. Hawn and Streep are fabulous as nemeses turned ‘frenemies’ fighting over the pathetic, shallow Bruce Willis and eventually having to put up with each other for eternity. There is a lot to be said about this film, I think, but for now I’ll just say that the dark humour and supernatural elements make it a perfect non-scary Halloween flick for me.  Plus it also features stormy nights and strange, if not entirely scary, mansions. And Isabella Rossellini being a weird babe.

I have to say, though, I do greatly dislike the (internalised?) misogyny and girl-on-girl hate which is really the driving force of this film (as it is the driving force of many films but maybe that’s something for another time.)

An honourable mention must go to Mad Monster Party which I have written about here but I left it out in favour of Death Becomes Her.

What are your favourite not particularly scary but Halloween appropriate films?

(Note: I’ve decided, for brevity’s sake, not to summarise films in my top 5 posts – if you are unfamiliar with any of the films please just click through to the IMDB pages I’ve linked.)

Actor Obsession: James Spader

[Note: this post will most likely not be articulate in any way and possibly full of fangirling, at which I excel. Also, some of the links will contain spoilers so proceed with caution if you really hate spoilers.]

Starcrossed, 1985

Every now and then I get the urge to seek out every single film that a particular actor has been in, in the space of a short time. The latest obsession of that kind, for me, is James Spader. Strangely enough, it started when a friend reblogged a gif-set of Robert Downey Jr looking wide-eyed and beautiful, as usual, on Tumblr. It was uncredited and my curious nature won out and I decided I had to know what film it was from. After at least a thousand notes of ‘OMG He looks so young!!!11!1’ I decided to systematically go through each film credit listed on IMDB (I eventually found it – it was One Night Stand). Then I thought I may as well watch a few of his earlier films I hadn’t seen yet…and this is where we get to Spader. When I, er, procured Tuff Turf I remembered I’d once wanted to go through Spader’s filmography, too. You know how there are actors or directors one may proclaim to love then realise you’ve only seen a very small number of their films? Well, I guess Spader was one of those for me. And so I have been obsessively seeking out any film that he has been in, no matter how bizarre or plain awful it may be (or how little screen time he gets). 

White Palace, 1990, with Susan Sarandon

So far I have gone through: 

  • Tuff Turf 1985
  • Less Than Zero 1987
  • Starcrossed 1985 
  • Sex, Lies and Videotape 1989
  • White Palace 1990
  • Bad Influence 1990
  • Crash 1996
  • Pretty in Pink 1986 (re-watch)
  • Secretary 2002 (re-watch)
  • True Colors 1991 (re-watch)
  • Mannequin 1987 (re-watch)
  • Critical Care 1997
  • Wolf 1994
  • Baby Boom 1987
  • The Watcher 2000
  • Supernova 2000
To go: whatever is left here that I can get a hold of!

The Watcher, 2000

Yet, no matter how terrible the film may be (I’m looking at you Supernova, for one) Spader manages to be brilliant (or am I just blinded by his astoundingly beautiful face?!) and plays creeps and/or jerks (Mannequin, Pretty in Pink), yuppies (Bad Influence) or individuals with somewhat unusual sexual proclivities* (Sex, Lies and Videotape, Secretary, Crash…) with the same dedication and…Spader-ness. (Yes. You know what I mean. Lots of actors have mannerisms that come through in most of their roles and tend to have a style. I love Spader’s hand gestures and…face). Even when the movie is so bad you wonder how anyone could take it seriously, I feel like Spader’s acting is spot on…then again there is always the change that I am so immersed in his films, right now, that my perception is slightly warped and he is terrible sometimes. But I’ll just stick with my first assessment. 

Supernova 2000

I haven’t read up much on his career except for his film credits (this is usually the most effort I go to with anyone) and not at all on his personal life (because I rarely care about actor’s private lives) and I’ve only read a few articles on some of the films that I’ve watched so far. But I’ve put a lot of effort and enthusiasm into seeking out and watching his films. And then swooning because, seriously, that face. And, you know, great acting and all that.

If I were to write everything I thought about each of the films I’ve watched so far, I think it would need to be a series of posts (I will probably write feature posts on some of the films in the future…the very distant future because I even procrastinate with things I LIKE doing) so, instead, a few words about a few of them (as this post is getting rather a bit too long already):

Tuff Turf directed by Fritz Kiersch, 1985

I thought I’d got to a point in my life where I just didn’t care for stories about rich (in this case, ex-rich) white boys getting themselves in trouble. I guess I was wrong because this delightfully trashy film with Spader as Morgan, a ‘troubled teenager’ who has moved from Connecticut to LA with his parents, completely got me. It didn’t hurt that RDJ played his BFF and that Kim Richards, playing his love-interest (she hates him at first, of course) had the longest hair I’ve seen in a non-fantasy film possibly ever. It gets ridiculous fairly quickly – that club scene that turns into Kim Richards dancing at not only Spader but everyone in the club, for one – but I can handle ridiculous if the cast members just go with it. In fact, Spader is in a fair few ridiculous films where the cast (often equally fantastic acting talents) just embraces it (Wolf with Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Plummer is one that comes immediately to mind). I may do a feature post on this movie one day, once I get a nice copy to screencap!

Starcrossed 1985, with Belinda Bauer

Starcrossed directed by Jeffrey Bloom, 1985

This TV movie from 1985 is about an alien (Belinda Bauer) who runs away from her planet (I think because she has been enslaved? Or everyone has?) and literally runs into mechanic Joey, played by Spader, as she is running away from two very slow walking men from her planet who followed her to take her back. The film also involves an exploding car, floating billiard balls, run-ins with the FBI and the single most ’80s spacecraft I’ve seen to date. When you add that to James Spader being legitimately adorable for the entire film, how could I not love this? And, to be fair, I’ve seen far worse TV movies in my time.

White Palace, 1990, with Susan Sarandon

White Palace directed by Luis Mandoki, 1990

This film revolves around Max (Spader) a business executive in his late 20s (27, to be precise) who still hasn’t recovered from the death of his wife when he meets Nora (Sarandon), and the two begin a relationship. Not only is there an age difference (Nora is 41 or 43) but a class one, as well, as Nora is and always has been working class. I’ll admit right off the bat that this is not the kind of film I’d usually watch and I wasn’t expecting a whole lot out of it, so I was pleasantly surprised when I not only enjoyed but completely fell in love with this film. Spader and Sarandon are both superb and the chemistry between them is palpable. There is a lot of tension in their relationship from the outset and a lot of obstacles (both internal and, when others find out, external) and there are a lot of things you’d expect in this sort of story but I found it a little bit sexy, touching and, at times, poignant. But it was when Sarandon tickles Spader (the two meet twice in one night, the second time at a bar) and I nearly exploded from how adorable it was that I knew I was going to love this film. (You can see what I mean at around 2.37 here.)

Bad Influence, 1990

Bad Influence directed by Curtis Hanson, 1990

The plot of this film is a well-worn one (the uptight  – ‘wimpy’ – business executive meets a mysterious stranger who shows him how to have fun but he doesn’t realise the guy is a ‘dangerous sociopath’ until it’s too late) and the film is laughable  but I opted to write about it over a couple of others (like Sex, Lies and Videotape which I felt I couldn’t properly write about in a few sentences) for purely shallow reasons: look at Spader in those glasses! Seriously. And because I was slightly surprised when I looked at the director’s (Curtis Hanson) IMDB page and noticed I’d watched two other films of his: LA Confidential and Wonder BoysAnd the film co-stars Rob Lowe as the titular ‘bad influence’, who is just plain odd in this movie. I can’t quite articulate it but there’s something about his delivery of the role that was just a little strange (I mean, his character is strange but it’s something else I can’t quite put my finger on). As I suggested, this film is just plain bad: the plot is silly, the dialogue ridiculous and the ending even more so but the old ‘it’s so bad it’s good’ really fit how I felt about this film.

True Colors, 1991, with John Cusack

But I haven’t enjoyed every single film that I’ve watched (though I’ve enjoyed looking at Spader in practically all of them). True Colors, despite also starring John Cusack, did nothing for me (political dramas generally don’t), Critical Care had a message I could get on board with but it was heavy handed and obvious, Baby Boom is the kind of film I’d usually avoid watching (I hate plots that involve people inheriting children, especially women who never wanted children of their own) and Supernova was just a mess (but, woah, Spader is hot in this film). Oh, and I haven’t made it all the way through The New Kids, yet, because Spader’s character, Dutra, and his entire gang were so vile that I didn’t want to go to bed angry (I started watching it before bed).

Secretary, 2002, with Maggie Gyllenhaal {source}

If I were to compile a top 5 (for the top 5 Thursday I forgot all about) it might look something like this: Tuff Turf; Secretary; Sex, Lies and Videotape; Starcrossed and White Palace. Maybe.

You may have noticed that I’ve opted to not write about some of the bigger or better known films he’s been in but I think I’d like to dedicate whole posts to a few of them, including Pretty in Pink, especially, because I find the more I watch that film the less I seem to like any of the characters. But that’s a thought to be explored another day.

It’s obvious that Spader gets a lot of love for playing assholes, and I love him in those roles (Mannequin, Pretty in Pink, and so on) because he does it so well but I love that he can play nice guys (not Nice Guys™) and other, more complex, characters equally well. Because he’s a great actor (such insight I have!). And a babe. (Just to reiterate that point).

Pretty in Pink, 1986, with Molly Ringwald {source}

I know that I know quite a few other fans because I’ve written this at the urging of quite a few of my twitter followers so I’d love if we could all just talk about how much we love Spader in the comments (I’m also keen on critical discussion on any of the films I’ve watched though there are a couple that I’m still digesting and processing so I may not have any coherent thoughts on them at present).

I don’t know if the obsession/phase will fizzle out before I get through every film I can find, or not…I can only wait and see. But, either way, I know I’ve found a new favourite actor to add to my list.

* I spent so long trying to word that properly. I use unusual in terms of what is generally seen in cinema, I suppose.