Sharknado!

DVD cover image for Shardnado

2013 was a watershed moment for disaster films. While many folks were updating their anti-Zombie kits some of us were shopping for chain saws in case the absolute worst-case came to be – a Sharknado. This terrifying premise is exactly what it sounds like – a huge Oz-level tornado sucks up sharks (and only sharks) from the sea and throws them at large municipalities and at a few people specifically. The movies aren’t comedies per se, but play it straight with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

In the opening installment, the main character, Fin, appropriately, is on a mission to save his estranged wife and daughter during the height of this cloudburst of cartilaginous killers using the best tool at hand – a chain saw. By the end, Fin has saved his family and sawed a swath through Los Angeles’ aquatic infestation.

But wait! There’s more! Five more monsoons of man-eaters!

DVD cover image of Shardnado 2

Sharknado 2: The Second One takes us to New York where Fin’s now-safe wife April (Tara Reed) is promoting her new book about surviving a deluge of toothy torpedoes. Little do our heroes know that weather systems WILL follow you across the country when thwarted to taunt you a second time.

 

 

DVD cover image of Sharknado 3

Continue reading “Sharknado!”

A trio of British comedies

Some decades back, our local PBS station would run several British shows on Friday nights. For many Americans this was their first exposure to classic UK fare and, for me, solidified my love of British humour. (See what I did there?) Here are a few of the shows that grabbed our attention and found their place in America’s heart.

Image of DVD cover for Fawlty Towers complete collection

Fawlty Towers – Basil Fawlty is having a bad day. Every day at Fawlty Towers is a bad day for Basil, especially if his “little piranha fish” wife Sybil has anything to do with it. Easily frustrated, Basil’s constantly trying to ‘raise the tone’ of their hotel, set on the so-called ‘English Riviera’ in South-West England.

The brainchild of main character John Cleese, who plays Basil, the show was inspired by a hotelier that ran a hotel where the members of Monty Python were staying at in Torquay, Devon, whom Cleese described as “the rudest man I’ve ever come across in my life”. The man’s antics included tossing Eric Idle’s briefcase out a window “in case it contained a bomb” and viewed his guests as a “colossal inconvenience” according to Michael Palin. Continue reading “A trio of British comedies”

Ninth Annual Seattle Asian American Film Festival

The ninth annual Seattle Asian American Film Festival (SAAFF) takes place from March 4 to March 14 and showcases feature-length and short format films by and about Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across North America, with an emphasis on filmmakers from the Pacific Northwest.

Check out the festival’s 123 films here, many of which are PNW-centered. Snag tickets and passes at http://bit.ly/saaff2021. Continue reading “Ninth Annual Seattle Asian American Film Festival”

Mardi Gras on my mind

Do you know what it means, to miss New Orleans? As another Mardi Gras rolls around – it’s tomorrow, in case you’ve forgotten – this question is especially poignant for NOLA expats, as well as anyone who holds the Crescent City dear to their heart. Tonight, I’ll be making jambalaya and gumbo, and baking up some King Cake for dessert, while filling the house with music such as New Orleans Party, the Jazz Fest, and some great music by The Meters, Allen Toussaint, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Dr. John, The Wild Tchapatoulas, and Galactic.

Continue reading “Mardi Gras on my mind”

David Bowie’s Movie Music

Today, January 8, 2021, would’ve been David Bowie’s 74th birthday. It’s been five years since we lost our patron saint of glam. Five years, what a surprise. He still turns up everywhere, that sound and vision shapeshifter, especially on movie soundtracks. When I’m watching a movie, and a Bowie song comes on, I feel like I’ve run into a long-lost friend, even if it’s performed by somebody else or it’s more Bowie-adjacent than pure Bowie.

Director Wes Anderson excels at selecting impeccable music for his films, as demonstrated by The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. About 10 minutes in, a character teases us with just a bit of “Ziggy Stardust,” playing an acoustic guitar, and singing in Portuguese, and we know we’re in for a treat. That’s Seu Jorge, who beautifully reinterprets several Bowie songs, giving us the pleasure of hearing two different versions of “Life on Mars?” during the film—Seu’s and Bowie’s. Continue reading “David Bowie’s Movie Music”