"In space, no one can hear you Joaquin."
It's a brand new year. The Best/Worst List is up. The new Star Wars has come and gone and, surprisingly, did not suck. The frigid doldrums of January are upon us, leaving us once again theatrically marooned. Case in point: Ride Along 2, Michael Bay's Benghazi movie.
So where does that leave our dear old (and nearly departed) Cashiers De Cinema blog? For starters, catching up on a lot of TV. I just finished a week-long Jessica Jones binge (not bad...if only she didn't have those superpowers) and just started Making A Murderer (if only Avery's lawyers DID have superpowers). After that, I plan to play some SERIOUS TV catch-up. You see, I've never seen a single, solitary episode of The Sopranos.
I know, I know...it's shameful. Cue the bell-ringing, Cersei's long nude poop-covered walk in Game of Thrones. What can I say? I was very busy from 1999 to 2007, this little thing called Attempting to Kickstart/Sustain a Hollywood Screenwriting Career. I had what medical doctors call Celluloid Tunnel Vision. Other than The Wire and Deadwood, the burgeoning television renaissance was, for the most part, not in my purview. There were whisperings of this Tony Soprano character at pitch meetings, of course. Murmurings over complimentary bottles of Fiji Water about some place called The Bada Bing! Club (nowhere to be found on the Sunset Strip). "I'll get to it later," I thought. I didn't realize that "later" would be nearly a decade later. Word on the street is Tony joins a Journey cover band at the end, gets his own Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor ("Whack-y Road"). Is this true?
Young Joaquin with early prototype BB-8
But enough about the boob tube. This is still a godammed film blog, yes?!!
Sure, I think so. I mean, yeah...probably. If you've checked in anywhere in the last six months, you'll know I'm somewhat conflicted as to its purpose, the advisability of its continued existence. I did away with the monthly themes back in the fall. It was good five-year run with that, but, hey, enough is enough. From here on out, the themes/director spotlights will be extended over longer, indeterminate periods of time. I'll get around to it when I get around to it, basically. If you happen to be on Twitter, I'll probably drop updates there when new movies or themes are posted. Not that I'm advising anyone to loiter too long on Twitter. Talk about your untraversable wormholes. Oof.
So what's the first theme of the new year, this latest iteration of the Cashiers blog?
I'm calling it "Space Camp"...as in campy movies that take place in outer space, though not all of them may end up being campy and some only tangential to space travel. Over the next several months, there will be shameless Star Wars rip-offs from the late '70s and early '80s, perhaps a few space operas that George Lucas himself ripped off. There will be intergalactic lady warriors played by women who protested the Vietnam War and hulking cosmic brutes portrayed by Dolph Lundgren (who I'm guessing did not). There will be high camp and low camp, possibly the young Joaquin Phoenix NASA recruitment film Space Camp. Lest you think it all fun and games and freeze-dried ice cream, be aware that I might jam a few serious space explorations in there too. More embarrassing than the fact I've never seen The Sopranos, I'm also a cinephile who's never seen the original Solaris.
So, before the bite-size reviews come (slowly) pouring in, how about a video from the original Starman himself, the late, great space oddity David Bowie (R.I.P.)? Shit. I forgot to mention the Jennifer Jason Leigh career tribute I'm working on too. Well, that's another story, another blog post, another YouTube supercut or, more than likely, a series of random Tweets. In the meantime, take your protein pills and put your helmet on. Blast off...