Tom Stockman is a St. Louis native who’s been obsessed with movies as long as he can recall. Tom is Creative Editor at We Are Movie Geeks (www.wearemoviegeeks.com), St. Louis’ premiere movie news and review site and also writes about movies for The St. Louis Globe Democrat nostalgia newspaper. Tom is the host and programmer of Super-8 Movie Madness the first Tuesday of every month at The Way Out Club which is, we’re pretty sure, this country’s only monthly festival of movies screened in condensed form in the super-8 sound film format, a long dead medium Tom is desperately trying to bring back to life. Tom hosts the Reel Late Midnight Movie series at the Tivoli where he asks movie trivia and hands out cool movie swag. In 2011 Tom was the Event Director of Vincentennial, the Vincent Price 100th Birthday Celebration, a Cinema St. Louis event featuring film fests, publications, lectures, stage productions, and exhibits all honoring the great horror actor and St. Louis native. For his efforts as the driving force behind Vincentennial, Tom was awarded the coveted Rondo Award for Monster Kid of the Year. But it’s Charles Bronson, not Vincent Price, who is Tom’s all-time favorite movie star and Tom is already in the early planning stages of Bronsontennial for 2021!
“Rats. Rats. Rats! Thousands! Millions of them! All red blood! All these will I give you if you will obey me!”
DRACULA (1931) screens Thursday August 6th at 7:00pm at Schlafly Bottleworks
Ladies fainted in their seats when Bela Lugosi rose from his coffin as a vampire in the 1927 Broadway stage production of “Dracula” that preceded Tod Browning’s timeless 1931 film version that had an equally chilling effect on movie audiences. Playwright Hamilton Deane based his lean script on Bram Stoker’s famous 1897 novel, and introduced horror to talkies. Dwight Frye’s gonzo performance as Renfield, the hapless Brit accountant who first sets foot inside Dracula’s foreboding castle, set the film’s tone of ghoulish insanity. For the well-established lead, Bela Lugosi is positively blood-curdling as he stalks every scene. With his thick native Hungarian accent and dapper tuxedo and cape, Lugosi forever defined the title character. The way he looks, behaves and sounds is truly vampiric. Think of Lugosi saying, “The blood is the life.” Or, “I never drink … wine.” Or, “To die, to be really dead, that must be glorious.” And when he hears wolves howling, “Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make.” To see DRACULA for the first time, after seeing so many other versions, is to appreciate this first one. Lugosi and his eyes, as well as the sets, the story, and to an extent even the early special effects, make it memorable. DRACULA is a classic not to be missed and you’ll have the chance to see it on the big screen when it plays Thursday August 6th, at Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Avenue Maplewood, MO 63143). The show begins at 7pm.
“I don’t need this. I already got trouble with my kids, my wife, my business, my secretary, the bums… the runaways, the roaches, prickly heat, and a homo dog. This just ain’t my day!”
STREET TRASH screens midnights this Friday and Saturday Night (August 7th and 8th) at The Hi-Pointe Theater (1005 McCausland Ave, St. Louis) as part of Destroy the Brain’s monthly Late Night Grindhouse
Vintage Vinyl, the used record store on the Loop in U City, is housed in the same building that used to be the Varsity Theater. The Varsity is where THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW played midnights to sold-out crowds throughout much of the ‘70s and -80s. The theater definitely catered to the cult and college crowd, presenting counterculture film programming, mostly for the students at nearby Washington University and for years was the only place in town to catch 3-D movies. Films I can remember seeing at the Varsity in my youth include ERASERHEAD, BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS, ANDY WARHOL’S FRANKENSTEIN, HOUSE OF WAX in 3D, DIAL M FOR MURDER, MYRA BRECKINRIDGE, FLESH GORDON, and NINE LIVES OF FRITZ THE CAT. The Varsity closed in 1987 and the last movie I saw there was STREET TRASH (I’m not sure if it was the last movie booked there – the old manager could not remember but did say the last film screened there was a special closing night screening of ROCKY HORROR)
“One time Atticus said you never really knew a man until you stood in his shoes and walked around in them; just standin’ on the Radley porch was enough. The summer that had begun so long ago had ended, and another summer had taken its place, and a fall, and Boo Radley had come out.”
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD plays at The Hi-Pointe Theater ( 1005 McCausland Ave., St. Louis, MO 63117) Saturday, August 8th at 10:30am as part of their Classic Film Series
Come to the Hi-Pointe Saturday and see Atticus Finch before he became a racist! Harper Lee’s new book Go Set a Watchman – written in the 1950s but only now being published – is turning out to be a hugely controversial. In Watchman, we discover that Atticus Finch, the heroic father figure from Lee’s beloved 1960 Southern novel To Kill a Mockingbird, is a bigot who attends KKK meetings! Yikes! For fans of the book and the beloved 1962 film adaption, it’s like learning there is no Santa Claus.
“You have penetrated me. There is no escape. You are within me. Come into my center. Come into the center of the crystal!”
ZARDOZ (1974) screens midnights this weekend (August 7th and 8th) at The Tivoli Theater as part of their ‘Reel Late at The Tivoli’ Midnight Series.
In the distant future, a savage trained only to kill finds a way into the community of bored immortals that alone preserves humanity’s achievements. Sean Connery took the role of Zed in ZARDOZ (1974) as a way to break out of his his James Bond image, and boy, what a crazy movie he chose! ZARDOZ is without a doubt one of the best bad movies that you’ll ever see – a masterpiece as far as cheesiness goes. All throughout the movie, Connery’s wearing nothing more than a red thong so basically, you’ll be seeing him as you really never wanted to see him, but he’s great as Zed. Something that I noticed is that the other entire cast seemed to know that this movie was going to be bad and deliberately acted over the top. But not Connery, who seems to have taken this movie seriously. ZARDOZ has many famous scenes, such as one scene including a giant stone head, as well as a scene where Connery and some of his other killers wearing thongs are riding on horseback shooting people who are wearing outfits like tuxedos and the like. And of course, I don’t think anybody could ever forget the immortal line: “The gun is good, the penis is evil.” Yes, this movie has plenty of laughable things about it, but I guess that’s what makes it enjoyable and a candidate, 41 years later, as a midnight cult classic, and something that will be showing midnights this weekend (August 7th and 8th) at The Tivoli Theater. I’ll be there with custom ZARDOZ trivia with prizes.
“Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”
Joe Williams’s life touched many in St. Louis and his recent death has left an awful hole in the local film community. The beloved movie critic for the St. Louis Post Dispatch, who died last Sunday in a car crash, often cited the 1946 Holiday classic IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE as his all-time favorite film. Next Saturday. August 8th, Cinema St. Louis is teaming up with Landmark’s The Tivoli Theater for a Tribute to Joe Williams. The event begins at 11am. Friends and colleagues of Joe will be in attendance and will share remembrances and anecdotes about Joe’s life and career. The tribute will conclude with a screening of IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. The event is free and open to the public, but tickets will need to be obtained at the theater box office. Click HERE to order online or obtain one from the Tivoli box office. There is a $1 service charge and .01 cent fee for online tickets.
It wasn’t until the 1980s when IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE became the perennial holiday favorite it’s known as today. The ultimate feel-good classic from director Frank Capra was a box-office disappointment when it was initially released in 1946. Due to a clerical error in 1974, the film went into public domain and was then shown on every low-rent local access channel in varying degrees of quality for years and was released on VHS by a variety of fly-by-night home video companies – including the infamous colorized version. In 1993 Republic Pictures enforced its claim to the film’s copyright. It stopped being televised as often but by then everyone, especially Joe Williams, had fallen in love with its charms and taken to heart its message: It’s not so much about what you leave behind when you die, but it’s more about how you use your life while you live.
Saturday morning August 8th you and your family will have the opportunity to see IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE on the big screen (not the colorized version though) and celebrate the life and career of a fine journalist and film lover at The Tribute to Joe Williams.
A Facebook invite for the event can be found HERE
The Tivoli is located at 6350 Delmar Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63130
This week’s episode the WE ARE MOVIE GEEKS The Show is up! Hear WAMG’s Jim Batts, Dane Marti and Tom Stockman discuss the weekend box office, and next weekend’s releases. We’ll review PIXELS, IRRATIONAL MAN, PAPER TOWN, and VACATION. We’ll also discuss at length the career and films of Woody Allen.
To listen, go to this link:
Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible franchise is like a series of demo reels for top directors (Brian DePalma, John Woo, J.J. Abrams, Brad Bird) to take turns showing off all the assorted ways they can film their star (and producer) running, fighting, shooting, driving, looking cool, and performing eye-popping physical feats. There’s not much continuity connecting the MI films, and it seems no big film series has ever had a leading character quite as scantily-developed as Cruise’s Ethan Hunt. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION is the fifth film in this series and I still don’t know much about him. But it doesn’t matter. Director Christopher McQuarrie takes the reigns for the newest installment and while it may not add up to much more than the sum of its parts, those parts include an exotic trip around the world, an engaging script, funny dialogue and spectacular stunts for one exhilarating summer ride......
Read the rest of my review of MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION at We Are Movie Geeks HERE
“I got the results of the test back – I definitely have breast cancer!”
THE ROOM screens Midnights This Weekend at the Tivoli – with Tommy Wiseau in Person! – as part of the Reel Late at the Tivoli Midnight Series. All seats $15.00, no passes.
There will be thousands of plastic spoons flying through the air in the Tivoli’s main screen this weekend. Grown men in tuxedoes will be throwing footballs three feet away from each other in the Tivoli’s lobby. What’s going on and who will that strange man with the sunglasses, odd accent and black stringy hair be that everyone will be crowded around?
Forget Ant-Man! The wait is almost over. The St. Louis movie event of the summer is this weekend! Our city is bracing itself for the arrival of the one and only Tommy Wiseau! St. Louis-area fans of THE ROOM will have the opportunity to meet the film’s talented, handsome, and charismatic star, writer and director when he comes to Landmark’s Tivoli Theater here (6350 Delmar in The Loop) for midnight shows of his film this weekend, July 31st and August 1st. His big box of THE ROOM T-Shirts, DVD’s, posters, ‘Johnny’ bobbleheads is sitting at the Tiv, ready to sign for his legion of adoring fans.
Tommy will set up in the Tivoli’s lobby around 9:30 or 10pm for the autograph session. This will be followed by a Q&A, an audience interactive game, and a midnight showing of THE ROOM. It’s the cultural event of the St. Louis summer!
TRAINWRECK is smart and funny and its female-centric theme will appeal to many women. I just hope they have the patience to trudge through the slow spots in the story which director Judd Apatow should have trimmed down to a more brisk running time. Amy Schumer wrote TRAINWRECK and stars as single New Yorker Amy, a feature writer at S’Nuff, a jerky magazine that runs articles such as “You’re Not Gay, She’s Boring” and “You Call These Tits?”. Amy is a Good Time Gal who smokes pot, drinks too much, and sleeps with more than her share of men. Sometimes she avoids the walk of shame, but other times wakes up wondering whose bed she’s landed in (“I hope this isn’t a dorm room” she mumbles after spotting a SCARFACE poster on the wall of her latest drunken conquest). Though she sorta has a boyfriend (John Cena), when it comes to relationships, Amy is decidedly noncommittal.........
Read the rest of my review at We Are Moviie Geeks.com HERE
TRAINWRECK – The Review
TRAINWRECK is smart and funny and its female-centric theme will appeal to many women. I just hope they have the patience to trudge through the slow spots in the story which director Judd Apatow should have trimmed down to a more brisk running time. Amy Schumer wrote TRAINWRECK and stars as single New Yorker Amy, a feature writer at S’Nuff, a jerky magazine that runs articles such as “You’re Not Gay, She’s Boring” and “You Call These Tits?”. Amy is a Good Time Gal who smokes pot, drinks too much, and sleeps with more than her share of men. Sometimes she avoids the walk of shame, but other times wakes up wondering whose bed she’s landed in (“I hope this isn’t a dorm room” she mumbles after spotting a SCARFACE poster on the wall of her latest drunken conquest). Though she sorta has a boyfriend (John Cena), when it comes to relationships, Amy is decidedly noncommittal. The film opens with a flashback speech from her father (Colin Quinn) about whether monogamy is even possible, illustrating his point with young Amy’s doll. Her editor (Tilda Swinton) assigns her a story on geeky Dr. Aaron (Bill Hader), a surgeon who specializes in rebuilding injured athletes. She seduces him after their first meeting, only to realize that he’s really into her, and to her surprise, she may feel the same way.
TRAINWRECK is often hilarious but plays as more a series of sketches than a full-blooded movie. The overall result is patchy and at 122 minutes, the film is at least half an hour too long. Seeing it I felt like I was binge-watching 4 or 5 episodes of some sort of foul-mouthed Amy Schumer sitcom popular on HBO (I’m aware such show exists somewhere). Ms Schumer is a huge talent but has the presence of a TV actress, not a movie star. Apatow’s penchant for close-ups and medium shots adds to the small screen feel. A romantic montage spoof ending with the Queensboro Bridge shot from the MANHATTAN poster (with Amy noting “I think this is where Woody Allen met Soon Yi”!), is the only time TRAINWRECK seemed cinematic. Schumer’s script is clever but uneven and the director’s trademark improvisation creates messy scenes that don’t know when to end. An odd intervention sequence with Chris Everett, Mathew Broderick, and Marv Alpert (a punchline 20 years ago!) is a dud and the climactic cheerleader showdown goes on and on just when you want the movie to end. There’s also a weird movie-within-the-movie, The Dog Walker, starring Daniel Radcliff and Marisa Tomei, that they should either have done more with or left out.
Those goggle-eyed scene-stealers from DESPICABLE ME (and its sequel) get their own showcase in MINIONS, a colorful, fast-paced prequel that kids will have fun with but fails to soar to the heights of the original films. The funniest bits in MINIONS are the opening scenes (we saw them in the trailer) with Minions throughout history disastrously serving the most despicable baddies they can find; a T-Rex, a Pharaoh, Dracula, Napoleon, etc. The story then jumps ahead to 1968, when three brave minions, Bob, Kevin, and Stuart, leave their tribe in the Antarctic to find a new Archfiend to assist. After a brief stop in New York City, the boys travel to ‘Villain Con’, a supervillain convention in Florida where they meet and get jobs working for Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock). She, along with her husband Herb (John Hamm) whisks the three off to England with the assignment of stealing for her the Crown Jewels from the Queen. They muff that job but accidentally wind up ruling the country, which doesn’t sit well with the Overkills.......
Read the rest of my MINIONS review at We Are Movie Geeks HERE