A prophet and a showman: movies viewed

A PROPHET (2009) is a French-Italiam film in which an Arab (Tahar Rahim) stuck in prison for six years becomes the gofer for a Corsican kingpin who values his skills (his first task is to kill another prisoner) but still treats him like shit. Slowly, though, the protagonist begins to learn the system and, as he gets more responsibility, build a network of his own, leading to an inevitable confrontation. This is a good, absorbing crime drama, though not quite what I was in the mood for when I watched it. “I like porn set in castles better.”

MATINEE (1993) is a film I absolutely love, and firmly believed I had on DVD, so when I realized I didn’t, I ordered it. John Goodman plays producer Laurence Woolsey (based on William Castle, a hack movie maker but a genius at promotion), who’s premiering his new movie Mant! (“Half man — half ant — all terror! Filmed in Atomovision!) in Key West in 1962  in hopes of attracting a national distributor. Everyone in town is freaking out over the Russians having missiles in Cuba that could blow them to kingdom come, but Woolsey figures that’s just the thing to get his movie more attention. Meanwhile local teens including military brat Gene Loomis, nervous buddy Omri Katz, an anti-war Lisa Jakub (“You’ll puke up your internal organs!”), and sexually experienced Sherry Harris all work out their own dramas. The adult cast includes Cathy Moriarty as Woolsey’s star actor, Robert Picardo as a theater owner, Jesse White as a distributor and Kevin McCarthy as Mant‘s “General Ankrum” (referring to veteran SF movie actor Morris Ankrum, a joke I made myself in Atoms for Peace). “I feel I should warn you that the story of Mant! is based on scientific fact.”

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2 responses to “A prophet and a showman: movies viewed

  1. Zosimus the Heathen

    I loved ‘Matinee’ when I saw it myself (on TV late one night) – I found its premise quite original, and the movie itself hilarious. Lots of great lines and scenes, such as the fight over the last box of Shredded Wheat in the grocery store (and the store clerk’s line: “[…]one of you will have to go to the Atomic Destruction with no damn Shredded Wheat!”), and the snippets that were shown of (the terrible-looking) “The Shook-up Shopping Cart”. Lots of hilarious lines and scenes from the “movie within a movie”, “Mant”, as well, such as the dentist’s attempts to cheer up the unfortunate mant by telling him at least he didn’t have any cavities, and the army’s attempts to get the full-grown ant monster down from the building it was climbing (“We’ve got sugar!”). I should really try tracking a copy of this down myself!

  2. The one I got is barebones — no special features of note — but a friend told me the Blu-Ray is loaded with them, if that makes a difference.

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