Category Archives: 1990

Cry-Baby (1990)

I may be a drape, but I love your granddaughter. And if that’s a crime, I’ll stand convicted, ma’am.

— Wade “Cry-Baby” Walker

I believe that Cry-Baby is my first experience watching a John Waters movie from beginning to end. Known for his subversive movies, I was hesitant watching this film. I didn’t know how what to expect. I was surprised that this movie was more of a musical that anything else. It doesn’t that this is a good movie.

Taking place in Baltimore 1954, Wade Walter aka Cry Baby (Johnny Depp) and Allison Vernon-Williams (Amy Locane) meet each other while getting a vaccination at the gym. They like each other but it like John Waters’ version of “Romeo and Juliet”. Cry-Baby is a Drape, one of the juvenile delinquents of the town. However, Alison is a Square through and through with her boyfriend Baldwin (Stephen Mailer) and grandmother (Polly Bergen) try to reel her inner drape back.

The two factions clash as Cry-Baby wants to participate in the RSVP talent contest at Mrs. Vernon-Williams’ charm school. Cry-Baby crashes the contest to whisk Alison away on his brand new motorcycle from his grandmother, Ramona Rickettes (Susan Tyrrell), grandmother and uncle Belvedere (Iggy Pop) to his favorite drape hang out, Turkey Point.

Alison meets the rest of Cry-Baby crew that doesn’t tale a liking to the outsider. There is Cry-Baby’s badass pregnant sister Pepper (Ricki Lake), the vixen Wanda (Traci Lords) and the couple Milton (Darren E. Burrows) and Hatchet-Face (Kim McGuire). There is a Drape wannabe Lenora (Kim Webb) has a crush on Cry-Baby, she is the romantic rival.

At the Drapes’ own talent show, Jukebox Jamboree showed Alison what Cry-Baby can do with his voice, hips and electric guitar-playing. Alison is torn between her duties of being with her Square boyfriend, Baldwin or have a wild ride with Cry-Baby.

The movie was short. It felt rushed. It was shallow. Pop in and out. That’s it. I wasn’t invested in the character long enough to care about them. The musical sequences were very entertaining. That’s all.

Judgment: I heard that there is a Broadway musical of this movie, I’d rather see that.

Rating: **1/2

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Total Recall (1990)

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If I am not me, then who the hell am I?

— Douglas Quaid

Here is another movie that I was embarrassed that I have never seen, Total Recall. People bragged how cool the movie is. I have to admit that it’s freaking awesome.

In the not too distant future, Earth has colonized some of the planets in the solar system including Saturn and Mars. An unhappy construction worker, Doug Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has strange dreams about the struggle between the rebels and the corporation, led by Cohaagan (Ronny Cox) control the action on the red planet.

His wife, Lori (Sharon Stone) is worried that he is becoming obsessed with vacationing on Mars. He finds an alternative from a co-worker about a company called Recall, Incorporated who implants fake memories into their clients.

A smooth salesman Bob McClane (Ray Baker) persuades Doug to upgrade to an “ego trip”, which is essentially a vacation from themselves. Doug wants to be a secret agent.

There is a malfunction in the machine when he goes into the schizophrenic state, instead of a medically induced coma. Consequently, his memories are erased. The agency wants to cover its tracks.

After he comes back to the city, his life is turned upside down. His whole life is not real. He’s name is not Doug Quaid. He was implanted by the Agency. Everybody in his life is a double agent that tries to extract vital information from his brain.

He is chased by Richter (Michael Ironside) and Helm (Michael Champion) that wants to kill him. An unknown guy phones Doug to pick up a suitcase that contains a video message from himself. He learns that his is not what he thinks he is. The message says that he needs to get himself to Mars. Find Kuato that is the savior of the Mars colony. He wants what is in Quaid’s head. He has to reconnect with a woman from The Last Resort, Melina (Rachel Ticotin).

The movie left me wondering, was the world real or imaginary? Two or three times in the movie, it seems like the life of Quaid is not his. This movie was made in 1990. The “futuristic” elements like the videophones and guns felt dated. The vehicles looked like the Delorean on crack. The dialogue is hilarious at times. I don’t know if that the director, Paul Verhoeven intended for that to happen.

Judgment: A solid sci-fi thriller that makes you think what is real and what is not.

Rating: ****

Paris Is Burning (1990)

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I always had hopes of being a big star. But as you get older, you aim a little lower. Everybody wants to make an impression, some mark upon the world. Then you think, you’ve made a mark on the world if you just get through it, and a few people remember your name. Then you’ve left a mark. You don’t have to bend the whole world. I think it’s better to just enjoy it. Pay your dues, and just enjoy it. If you shoot an arrow and it goes real high, hooray for you.

— Dorian Corey

Jeannie Livingston’s Paris Is Burning has been a part of my collection for a long time. I watch it from time to time see the people again, learning a bunch of lingo and see a world that I never knew.

This documentary tells the story of the “ball” scene in New York City in the late 80s. Most African-American gay men were kicked out of the house when their family found out that they were gay. The impoverished men gather together early in morning in rented out banquet halls to have their balls.

It breaks down the different categories, the participants in those categories and the talking heads explaining the mechanics of their moment in a spotlight.

We are introduced to memorable people like the wise Dorian Corey, the fierce Pepper LaBeija, the fem queen realness of Venus Xtravaganza, the gorgeous Octavia Saint Laurent, and the voguing master Willi Ninja.

We learn about “reading”, “shade”, “voguing”, “mopping”, “house” and “mother.” We also learn about the lives of these people that want to achieve the unreachable dream. It’s sad at the same time.

Judgment: If you want to learn the real origin of voguing, check out this documentary.

Rating: ****1/2

Pretty Woman (1990)

You and I are such similar creatures, Vivian. We both screw people for money.

— Edward Lewis

This is the first time that I saw Pretty Woman in its entirety on FLIX last night. I have seen bits a pieces of the movie over the years since in came out in 1990. This movie is loosely based on the themes of Pygmalion and Cinderella.

If you don’t know, the story is about Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts), a hooker with a heart of gold meets a handsome, ruthless businessman, Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) on Hollywood Blvd. Edward is visiting Los Angeles to acquire and breakup a business from James Morse (Ralph Bellamy) with the help of his prick of attorney Philip Stuckey (Jason Alexander).

Vivian is trying to earn enough money to pay for next month’s rent when her roommate, Kit De Luca (Laura San Giacomo) spent the money on nose candy.

Held up with each other at a ritzy penthouse suite, Edward pays Vivian a couple of thousand dollars to escort at various dinners and events. They fall in love.

Nothing groundreaking with this movie. I thought it was a solid movie.

I want to know one thing. Why was Philip Stuckey so jealous of the relationship between Edward and Vivian?

My judgment: An endlessly watchable chick flick. Seeing Richard Gere almost naked. Yummo!

My rating: ****

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