Projectionists, fantastic beasts, lost girls and brothers: movies and TV (#SFWApro

Chuck McCann is THE PROJECTIONIST (1971) at Rodney Dangerfield’s revival house, who constantly fantasizes about himself as film superhero Captain Flash, as a Bogartesque PI or romancing Ina Balin (the movie uses scenes from old movies to build its fantasies). This indie didn’t work for me at all, because McCann’s fantasies seemed less like daydreams than a bunch of movie clips randomly strung together — Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid might be a good double-bill. “Did you notice my fingernails were immaculate?”

The film I actually picked to double-bill with it though was the excellent SHERLOCK JUNIOR (1924), a silent starring Buster Keaton as another daydreaming projectionist After his romantic rival frames Keaton as a thief, Keaton fantasizes about being the legendary detective in the film he’s screening, leading to both metafictional jokes (one attempt to sit down gets thwarted as the scene keeps changing) and to Keaton’s distinctive brand of slapstick. Extremely funny.“The master mind had solved everything, except the location of the pearls and the name of the thief.”

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM (2016) is set in 1920s in the Harry Potter universe as a collector of magical animals arrives in New York to release a Thunderbird into the wild (I should note Rowling’s use of Native American myth has been heavily criticized). This entangles him with a muggle baker, an anti-witch crusader, an obscurial (a creature born of repressed magic power) and scheming auror Colin Farrell. This is pleasant enough but relies too much on cool visuals and pretty animal pictures and not enough on plot — the subplot involving publisher Jon Voight and his politically ambitious son goes absolutely nowhere. And as one evil mage points out, why are they so scared of the muggles (or as Yank wizards call them in the film n0n-majjs) when all the power is on the wizarding side? “We need an insect, any kind of insect—and a tea pot!”

The third season of LOST GIRL was only so-so, as I didn’t find Bo’s quest to pass a fae ritual terribly compelling and that’s one of the major arcs of the season. The second arc, involving Lauren going to work for a scientist with a sinister agenda, worked better, and threw in some twists I didn’t expect. And despite the season’s flaws, the last episode of the season made for a good, action-packed cliffhanger. “It’s like my birthday combined with the St. Valentine’s Day massacre!”

The second season of THE ADVENTURES OF PETE AND PETE was where I started watching the stories of the Wrigley Brothers. IIRC “The Call” was the one that kicked it off for me: a phone in one booth has been ringing non-stop for years, but who’s on the other hand? In other stories, little Pete meets the man who inspects his underwear, Ellen drives a math teacher insane, Big Pete struggles to have a talk with his dad and the International Adult Conspiracy plots to destroy Artie, the Strongest Man in the World. Delightfully loonie — it’s a real crime the third season isn’t out on DVD. “Don Ho will not emerge from the valley of darkness.”

My friend Ross has been sending me videotapes of TEEN TITANS GO! for several years and I finally finished them. While I personally preferred the more serious Teen Titans series that preceded it, this nutty take on the team did have some wonderfully goofy moments (what happens when Batman and Trigon both show up for Thanksgiving?). And I quite like this ‘toon’s surly, snarky Raven. “If we don’t celebrate birthdays, the universe has no way to know how old we are.”

1 Comment

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One response to “Projectionists, fantastic beasts, lost girls and brothers: movies and TV (#SFWApro

  1. Pingback: A stalker, forgers and another projectionist: movies viewed (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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