OK, sure, it is a pretty cheap joke to start off our second installment of the Weekend Read, but I”m going with it anyway as our first item is an Esquire piece that takes a deep dive into 1984’s twin breakdancing flicks – Breakin’ and Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. Although the two films – from producers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus’s Canon Films – are considered cheesy relics by most people today, Nathan Rabin makes a good case for the first film as an exploitation film with a bit more depth than one might suspect from a pile of dance movie tropes, while he calls the quick-y sequel “Cannon’s conception of an old MGM musical.” And hey, it’s illustrated with clips from some of the films’ numerous dance sequences.
It’s Called Goodfellas, Not Goodladies!: While the purpose of these weekly roundups is to draw your attention to some great writing on film around the web, sometimes we’re going to draw your attention to something that gets it so spectacularly wrong you have to see it for yourself. This week’s “honoree” is the New York Posts’ Kyle Smith who attempts to argue that poor little women just don’t get all the man stuff that makes up Martin Scorsese’s gangster epic Goodfellas. It is an arguement that ignores that the film’s editor Thema Schoonmaker won an Academy Award for her work on the movie, but I am sure that was just a fluke, right? More ancedotally, I saw the movie at a screening the week before it opened with my college newspaper entertainment section co-editor Beth and the hour-long drive back to campus was filled with a discussion about the movie that also proves Smith’s theory as absolute idiocy.
Scientists Versus Dinosaurs – Sure, Neil deGrasse Tyson can be a bit of a stick in the mud when it comes to how science is portrayed in films, but paleontologists are much more easy going about the scientific inaccuracies in the Jurassic Park franchise. The Washington Post sat down with two dinosaur experts from the Smithsonian after a screening of this weekend’s Jurassic World to talk about the films and how they have helped to revitalize the public’s interest in dinosaurs, even with the representations of the ancient thunder lizards have not always lined up with scientific theory. Best take away – As predators, T. Rexes probably did not loudly stomp up to their prey and announce their presence with a ear-shattering roar before moving to attack. But movies, right?
Twenty-Five Years In LA – Anyone who has been reading film news on the internet for as long as I have, that is for practically forever, is probably familiar with the writing of Drew McWeeny, or as he was known back in the early days of the trailblazing Aint It Cool News, Moriairty. At Aint It Cool, McWeeny shone a spotlight on the creative process in Hollywood from writing about early drafts of screenplays and the development of fan anticipated projects to the oft-times negative impact that test screenings can have on the film audiences finally get to see. And he write from a rather unique viewpoint, that of a writer working to get a screenwriting careere off the ground. This month marks McWeeny’s 25th year in the belly of the Hollywood beast, his time now spent between writing for HitFix and working on various projects. But he is taking a bit of time to pen a five-part series on that quarter century, covering the time from being a niave 20-year old young man heading west with stars in his eyes to where he has come to today. So far, he has only three of the promised five pieces up and you can read them here, here and here and they are full of some great stories and behind-the-scenes tales. The balance of the series should be up soon. I am sure this isn’t going to turn into a repeat of his infamously never finished “Best of the 90s” series at Ain’t It Cool from back in the day, right? Right? (I kid, Drew.)