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Who was the original of the John Goodman character, Woolsley?
Other commentators have likened producer Woolsley to Roger Corman and Ed Wood perhaps in connection with intent to shock and low-rent operation, but the John Goodman character is really based on William Castle, producer of The Tingler. Castle invented the scheme of wiring some theater sets with electric buzzers to provide a tingle at appropriate moments.
I think Matinee succeeds wonderfully in attaining two objectives: recreating the atmosphere of the Cuban missile crisis and satirizing the shocker drive-in movies of the period. I laughed so hard it hurt. Cathy Moriarty deserves high praise for her supporting role as second in command and as special "nurse" for ministering to patrons overcome by fright.
Mulholland Dr. (2001)
Lynch and Badalamenti - a great collaboration
Although I greatly enjoyed Mulholland Drive it left me wishing for something more linear such as Wild at Heart. I was reminded of Twin Peaks in that Mulholland Drive offered a series of episodes that were only loosely strung together. Discontinuities and apparent contradictions abounded, but each episode was gripping, completely engaging, and artistically surreal in the manner we expect from David Lynch. It makes little difference that most of the actors were previously unknown to me except for Ann Miller whom I have idolized for years and Angelo Badalamenti who has always made a significant contribution to David Lynch's films in his more important role as composer. About half of the effect of each scene is due to the music. The "plot" is hardly worth discussing since it is almost irrelevant to a film by David Lynch. Lynch's predilection for cadavers and body parts is evident again, and if he enjoys it, I have no objection. Other elements shared with Twin Peaks are a weazened old man (or dwarf) alone in a room and a nightmare that comes true. It would have been nice to have more of the comic and grotesque elements that made Twin Peaks so enjoyable.
Best in Show (2000)
Another gem from Christopher Guest
Best in Show was one of those rare theater experiences that not only kept me laughing from beginning to end (not very hard to do), but almost all of the audience as well. Christopher Guest's record of success is matched only by Ernst Lubitsch, Preston Sturges, and Mel Brooks. Highlights for me were the Swans' visit to the dog psychiatrist, Gerry Fleck's two left feet, and Buck Laughlin's major-league, big-time asshole commentary.