It's also nice to see that Dante's still got his touch. I think his most recent film, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, is one of his very best. Not just Dante's most explicit tribute to Chuck Jones, it's a film that confirms Dante as the quintessential anti-celebrity. Plus, the very idea of a major corporation turning consumers into monkeys to build their products, then turning them back into humans to purchase said products has a lot to say about the marketing strategies of today's uberbrands.
In short, Dante is the man.
― Anthony (Anthony F), Thursday, 16 September 2004 00:35 (fifteen years ago) link
The 'BurbsExplorersGremlinsGremlins 2The HowlingMatineePiranhaSmall Soldiers
― Girolamo Savonarola, Friday, 17 September 2004 01:52 (fifteen years ago) link
― Eric H. (Eric H.), Friday, 17 September 2004 05:01 (fifteen years ago) link
― Girolamo Savonarola, Friday, 17 September 2004 15:43 (fifteen years ago) link
― Anthony (Anthony F), Saturday, 18 September 2004 02:29 (fifteen years ago) link
Chicago movie reviewer Johnathan Rosenbaum has the best writing on Dante. There's an essay in his book "Movie Wars", the name of which escapes me, comparing/contrasting "Small Soldiers" and "Saving Private Ryan" (which came out within two weeks of each other, and Spielberg sat on as a producer of SS) which actually made me want to run out and see Small Soldiers. Check it out!
― wilye, Wednesday, 6 October 2004 17:20 (fifteen years ago) link
― Girolamo Savonarola, Thursday, 7 October 2004 07:23 (fifteen years ago) link
so has anyone seen The Movie Orgy? Introduced by Joe at NY MoMA on Friday eve.
― incredibly middlebrow (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 13 October 2011 16:45 (eight years ago) link
I loved Explorers when I was a kid but just realized yesterday when Joe Dante tweeted an old pic from the shoot that it starred River Phoenix AND Ethan Hawke:
― Immediate Follower (NA), Wednesday, 13 November 2013 20:44 (six years ago) link
I watched Explorers for the first time several months ago on Netflix. Thought it was moderately enjoyable up until they reach the spaceship. Seriously, the shit with the alien doing all the radio/tv voices is like nails on chalkboard and it goes on F O R E V E R. It's agonizing.
― circa1916, Wednesday, 13 November 2013 21:07 (six years ago) link
Ha well I haven't seen it in like 20 years.
― Immediate Follower (NA), Wednesday, 13 November 2013 21:08 (six years ago) link
I watched "Gremlins" with my 10-year old daughter tonight. It's always been a favorite, but man, what an astoundingly subversive Christmas movie that has not only Santa being attacked by gremlins, a gremlin in a Christmas tree attacking mom, but obviously also Phoebe Cate's monologue, which really serves no purpose other than to be totally dark and perverse. I was looking online for opinions of age-appropriateness, and seriously, one of the biggest complaints parents have is that Cates speech, which ends with her saying there's no such thing as Santa (or whatever).
But get this. My daughter was a little freaked out by the movie, on the cusp between enjoying it and being scared. That was to be expected. But no joke, right after the gremlins multiply and begin to cause havoc, the power to the house (and the whole block) suddenly goes out and the basement goes pitch-black! She freaked the fuck out and refused to leave my side for the next 20 minutes (the power came on a few minutes later). William Castle would be proud.
― Josh in Chicago, Monday, 24 November 2014 04:40 (five years ago) link
on his new one, and cinephilia
There are more movies available to see than have ever been available in my lifetime – movies that haven’t been seen in seventy years have been taken out of the vaults and dusted off – but nobody outside of a very small group of film buffs knows what the hell these movies are, or who the actors are. That’s why I started Trailers From Hell.... But film literacy in general is becoming a smaller and smaller field. Even when you meet with an executive, you have to be very guarded about what references you make, because if you refer to something that they haven’t heard of you’re not making your point and they’re getting confused. It’s just what happens. We’re evolving into a different society – movies are a twentieth century art form and the twentieth century is over. Now what we have are tent pole blockbusters and small independent films that may or may not – probably not – get a theatrical release before streaming directly into your home or computer. The problem is that my generation got into this because we love the act of going to the movies and seeing movies with an audience. It’s funny, before Small Soldiers I never shot a movie in ’scope because I knew everybody would see them on TV and it would be panned and scanned. Now that I can make them in ’scope because the TVs are the right shape, they’re not running in theatres!
― the increasing costive borborygmi (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 16 June 2015 17:30 (four years ago) link
Dante's appearance on Gilbert Gottfried's podcast from last month has a lot of good stuff in it, while somehow still feeling way too short even at 1.5 hours (they never discuss my beloved Eerie, Indiana, or indeed anything he did after Matinee). Some great tidbits I knew nothing about include his work on the never-shot half-pardoy/half-sequel Jaws 3, People 0 and his talking Dino De Laurentiis out of his planned sequel to Orca (the premise needs to be heard to be believed).
― rhymes with "blondie blast" (cryptosicko), Thursday, 24 March 2016 04:28 (three years ago) link
The Second Civil War looks pretty interesting, from the 7 minute clip that's on youtube
― Milton Parker, Monday, 28 March 2016 19:37 (three years ago) link
NYC retro in August includes rep picks from Dante, plus The Movie Orgy
― helpless before THRILLARY (Dr Morbius), Friday, 22 July 2016 19:17 (three years ago) link
no mention of the forthcoming Matinee BD on Arrow? now I can finally get rid of my uninspiring Pathe DVD. the Blu is encoded for R2 but looks packed to the gills with great stuff; I preordered it along with the remaster of The Human Condition since they're coming out around the same time:
I also managed to get a copy of The Second Civil War (my actual favorite Dante movie ever) for like $8 shipped and it really holds up well. I wonder why HBO doesn't at least make it available to stream on Go or wherever; there's a lot of stuff in year that plays way better in 2016 than it did when I first saw it around 2001ish.
― thos beads (jamescobo), Sunday, 31 July 2016 02:38 (three years ago) link
saw Matinee today... JD introduced it and admitted the teenage lead (who's kind of a drip) is basically him. It's lovingly mounted and Goodman is delightful to watch tearing into that producer/huckster role (Cathy Moriarty's deadpan delivery is v funny too), but most of what i found really funny was in Mant! itself. (also the Disneyesque 'shopping cart' movie)
― The Hon. J. Piedmont Mumblethunder (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 7 August 2016 01:34 (three years ago) link
I seem to recall seeing that in a theater when it was released and having the Mant appear in the aisles of our theater at an appropriate point in the screening.
― The Rest Is A Cellarful of Noise (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 7 August 2016 01:43 (three years ago) link
oh and the secret screening paired with Gremlins last night was Hellzapoppin'!
― The Hon. J. Piedmont Mumblethunder (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 7 August 2016 17:39 (three years ago) link
Second Civil War is a comedy for these times
― Milton Parker, Friday, 25 November 2016 08:32 (three years ago) link
i can confirm that innerspace remains a v entertaining movie and that visual effects oscar was v much deserved
― martin short's interiors (bizarro gazzara), Sunday, 13 May 2018 18:49 (one year ago) link
It's been a few years since I've seen it but yeah, it rocks. Very few things are not improved by the presence of Kevin McCarthy, Robert Picardo or Dick Miller, and this movie has 'em all!
― incel elgort (cryptosicko), Sunday, 13 May 2018 18:53 (one year ago) link
^tot forgot it was by JD; due for a rewatch, esp w/ small roles for Kathleen Freeman, Dick Miller et al
― a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 23 July 2018 15:17 (one year ago) link