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Entries in zoology (73)

Monday
Jun202016

Swing, Tarzan, Swing! Ch.6: Two Horny Simpletons Walk Into the Jungle...

As we approach the release of The Legend of Tarzan (2016) we're ogling past screen incarnations of the ape man...

While there's plentiful competition for "Worst" Tarzan movie in the first 90 years of ape-man cinema, there's no competition whatsoever in the annals of Official Tarzan movies for "Least Tarzany" of all Tarzan Movies. That dubious honor belongs to the infamous 1981 Bo Derek film. Despite sharing a name with the original Weismuller film, Tarzan is, for the first time in history, a 100% bonafide Supporting Character. That's reflected in the credits where Miles O'Keeffe is third-billed and has not a single line of dialogue and in the poster, in which he doesn't appear at all! 

For younger readers explanation is definitely necessary this time. Some stars maintain name recognition after their heyday even if younger generations aren't exactly sure why they're so famous. Other names provoke blank stares. Bo Derek, still very much alive at 59, was once very famous but is surely the latter kind of star. Who?

[More, but mostly NSFW, after the jump...]

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jun192016

Review: Finding Dory

This review was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad

One of the best things about breakout supporting characters is that the fandom surrounding them comes honestly. Scene-stealers aren't handed their movies, but earn them. So it went with Dory, Ellen DeGeneres's forgetful blue tang who swam circles around every other character in Finding Nemo (2003), figuratively speaking, though she did sometimes swim in actual circles since she couldn't remember where she was going.

Thirteen years later, though Finding Dory takes place just after Finding Nemo ends, we're swimming in circles again with Dory, via a suspiciously similar movie. Let us count the ways...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jun192016

Finding Treasure (with Pixar's Dory)

It will surprise you less than Dory, that she's the new queen of the box office. Finding Dory, the sequel to Pixar's most beloved non-Toy based title with mainstream audiences (not with us though - we're WALL•E / Incredibles people round these parts), broke records when it swam into theaters Thursday night. The bankability of a little Hart (Kevin) and a Big Johnson (Dwayne "The Rock") made an impact in second position, as well, though it's worth noting that pairing them didn't remotely result in twice their usual opening weekend grosses (these are fairly typical for either of them. Maybe their fanbases are too similar?) Between those two movies requiring nearly 8,000 screens between them it was a rough weekend for other movies with most big and small releases losing a ton of movie houses (yes even Love and Friendship and The Lobster which both had strong momentum until they lost theaters. *sniffle*). There's a lot of summer left but there's only one last tidal wave of box office as we move towards the July 4th holiday and Independence Day, The BFG, and Tarzan soon battle for dominance.

TOP WIDE
arrows indicate gaining or losing screens
๐Ÿ”บ01 Finding Dory $136.1 NEW Review
๐Ÿ”บ02 Central Intelligence $34.5 NEW
๐Ÿ”บ03 The Conjuring 2 $15.5 (cum. $71.7) 
โ–ซ๏ธ04 Now You See Me 2 $9.6 (cum. $41.3) 
๐Ÿ”บ05 Warcraft $6.5 (cum. $37.7) Six Questions

Jude Law & Colin Firth in GENIUSTOP  LIMITED
Under 1000 screens. Excluding previously wide. 
๐Ÿ”ป01 Love & Friendship $797K (cum. $10.9) ReviewPodcast
๐Ÿ”ป02 The Lobster $647K (cum. $6.3)  ReviewishPodcast
๐Ÿ”บ03
 Maggie's Plan $471K (cum. $1.8)  Review

๐Ÿ”บ04 Genius $306K (cum. $442K) Review 
๐Ÿ”บ05
Weiner $144K (cum. $1) Review 

 

WHAT DID YOU SEE THIS WEEKEND? 
I caught Neon Demon (ooh boy. that's going to be tough to write about) and rewatched Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966) - our 50th anniversary celebration of that classic begins tomorrow!

Saturday
Jun112016

Swing, Tarzan, Swing! Ch.5: Mike Henry gets his 007 on in the "Valley of Gold"

As we approach the release of The Legend of Tarzan (2016) we're ogling past screen incarnations of the Lord of the Apes...

Tarzan aficianados will cry foul that I've skipped ahead to 1966 in this retrospective but the awesomely named actor Jock Mahoney wouldn't mind. He only made two Tarzan films in the mid sixties... and barely finished those. He got deathly ill on the second, lost 40 lbs during the picture, and couldn't get out of the jungle fast enough. The first of those pictures lost money, too.

You see, in the wake of the phenomenal success of Dr. No (1962), From Russia With Love (1963) and Goldfinger (1964), James Bond was the new #1 adventure hero and Tarzan was old news. The Tarzan franchise took note and tried to combine the two with Tarzan and the Valley of Gold (1966), introducing the closest thing they could find to Sean Connery's swarthy dimpled masculinity: Mike Henry.

Mike Henry was a professional football player with the Los Angeles Rams but he left sports for the actor's life and donned the Tarzan's loincloth.

...Or, should we say his suit.

In addition to introducing Tarzan as a jet-setting perpetually-endangered looker in a suit, this new 007 style adventure also begins with a kitschy mod score over colorful credits, an opening action sequence that's somewhat disconnected from the movie that follows, and an intelligent international criminal with a taste for booby-trapped gifts. So, you know, we're definitely in Bond territory...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
May292016

Swing, Tarzan, Swing! Ch.3: Lex Barker... and Queen Dorothy Dandridge?

As we approach the release of The Legend of Tarzan (2016) we're ogling past screen incarnations of the Lord of the Apes...

After Buster Crabbe filled a loincloth beautifully and Johnny Weissmuller & Maureen O'Sullivan gave us the deservedly definitive Golden Age Tarzan and Jane, the franchise had to recast or close shop. O'Sullivan left first and by the late 40s Weissmuller was feeling too old for the role and also called it quits. The producer Sol Lesser wasn't about to let the profitable franchise go, though, and led a search for a replacement. The winner was Lex Barker, a then little known blue blood actor from New York who had been disowned by his family for choosing an acting career (!) and he took up the loincloth in 1949 for Tarzan's Magic Fountain.

I opted to watch Barker's third go at the character in Tarzan's Peril (sometimes called Tarzan and the Jungle Queen) because it was the first Tarzan film to actually shoot some scenes in Africa (Kenya to be exact) and six actors down the call list was the curio factor of a young Dorothy Dandridge as "Melmedi, Queen of The Ashuba".

Dorothy & Lex after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
May212016

Swing, Tarzan, Swing! Ch.2: Maureen O'Sullivan & Johnny Weismuller

one of many erotic moments in Tarzan the Ape Man (1932)New Miniseries! As we approach the release of The Legend of Tarzan (2016) we'll be ogling past screen incarnations of the Lord of the Apes each weekend like we're going to an old timey matinee.

We began by staring hard at Buster Crabbe's loincloth so as to avoid the acting and plotting. For chapter 2 we're moving to the main event: Johnny Weissmuller. He's the actor most often associated with the the Lord of the Apes since he played it 12 times and because he played it so well. There's a genuine guileness and in the moment feeling to his work that lets the ape man read more simple and pure than stupid, despite all the broken English. A few seasons ago on a weakly attended episode of 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot' we marvelled at how erotic the pre-code Tarzan the Ape Man (1932) was . Rather than rehash that film (though it is definitely worth your time), we jump ahead to its sequel Tarzan and His Mate (1934) which some argue is the best of the dozens of Tarzan films made during the studio era. Not I, as I think it's a notch below the 1932 original but in truth that's splitting hairs. The two films cling to each other as tightly as Jane holds on to her swinging man. More than most Tarzan films it's a direct sequel, constantly referencing events, locales, and characters from the original film.

When we left the jungle couple in 1932, Tarzan was already getting (ahem) good with his tongue. When audiences returned to see the next adventure in the Spring of 1934, Hollywood's "Pre-Code" era was ending. The code began to be rigidly enforced that year which meant there was one last burst of racy sexy times in the cinema that year for films that had already been shot. [More...]

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Sunday
May082016

Swing, Tarzan, Swing! Ch.1: Buster Crabbe's Loincloth

New Miniseries! As we approach the release of The Legend of Tarzan (2016) we'll be ogling past screen incarnations of the Lord of the Apes each weekend like we're going to an old timey matinee.


We begin with Buster Crabbe as Tarzan the Fearless (1933) who looks much better in this movie than implied on the poster which imagines him from maxi-challenge workroom outtakes from RuPaul's Drag Race. Blend, man, blend!

This next image is more flattering I promise...

Click to read more ...