Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Comic Book Creator #2

There are a number of reasons why you should buy the Joe Kubert Tribute issue of Comic Book Creator magazine:

1)It's features tons of Joe Kubert art

2)It's the newest magazine from Jon B. Cooke, the guy who brought you Comic Book Artist

3)It features a small piece about Joe as a teacher from little ol' me!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Movie Monday: Sextette

I'm bringing back Movie Mondays for a one-off post because I watched a movie and....I see no need to suffer alone.

As you can guess, the movie is 1978's Sextette. For those of you not familiar, the film stars and was based on a play written by Mae West. Yes, that Mae West. And yes, I said 1978.
Mae West "plays" (more on those quotes in a minute) glamorous movie legend and headline-maker Marlo Manners, and the first ten or so minutes of the film is devoted to the after-effects of Marlo getting married--for the sixth time. The press is uniformly dying to cover it, and as they run after the wedding limo, we're treated to a song telling us just how awesome Marlo Manners is. The film also features opening narration by Regis Philbin, playing himself.

While it appears that Marlo--like the woman playing her--is very, very old, her new husband is young hunk Sir Michael Barrington, played by a pre-007 Timothy Dalton:
Some of you might be wondering: "Wait a minute: Mae West - Timothy Dalton = something like fifty years." And you'd be right. In this movie, no one comments on the fact that Marlo Manners is clearly an octogenarian, and yet her new husband is in his mid-20s. 

There is a plot, such as it is, which involves the U.S. Government hiring Marlo to seduce a truculent Soviet delegate (Tony Curtis), who also is head over heels in lust for her, and then the covering up of a tape Marlo made that is supposedly scandalous, blah blah blah. Also appearing in the film is The Who's Keith Moon (as a flaming queen dress designer), Ringo Starr (a movie director and former husband to Marlo), Dom DeLuise as her manager, George Raft as himself, George Hamilton as another former husband, a President Jimmy Carter lookalike, and Alice Cooper as a singing doorman.

The scenes with Mae West are not only disturbing, but even though the everyone in the movie pretends that Marlo is not pushing ninety, every scene can't help but underline it: she barely moves, other than waving her arms a bit; more often West is laying or sitting down. Also, most of her dialogue seems to have been dubbed in later, and she never seems to be looking at her co-stars. It gives one the feeling that a low-rent FX team dropped a stop-motion Mae West into pre-shot footage and couldn't quite line the eye lines up right.

There are a lot of reviews of this film online--of course there are, because its so goddamn weird that it seems designed to be a cult film. Many of the reviews some version of the line "Must be seen to be believed" and while that's true, its really not a movie that you should make any effort to see.

Not only is it just jaw-droppingly sad and creepy to see this aged former movie star repeat her old lines ("When I'm good, I'm very good, when I'm bad, I'm better", etc.) decades after they had lost whatever edge they had, but Sextette is painfully unfunny and dull. The movie seems beamed in from another planet, made by aliens who saw some movies forty years ago and figured earthling entertainment had not changed in that time. It's only about 90 minutes long, but at around the thirty minute mark I started looking for other things to do.

The film's "best" moment is probably Mae West and Timothy Dalton singing a duet of "Love Will Keep Us Together", click here to see more Sextette than you will ever need in your life. How Dalton kept a straight face during this is beyond us mere mortals to contemplate.

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