TV Turnon Week

1114 A couple weeks ago I was at Blockbuster (I know, who rents videos/dvds anymore?) because all the movie theater movies in the area sucked, and of course, most of the dvds sucked too (we ended up with Walk the Line). But James pointed at one of the boxes and commented, “Henry Thomas is in that” and I thought he was full of shit because generally, he doesn’t indulge my petty manias, and I’m not fully convinced that he would recognize Henry Thomas. The only male face on the 11:14 box was Patrick Swayze’s and for a second I thought James was trying to tell that was H.T. I should stop being such a doubter because it was totally true, and he even remembered that it was on Showtime last night and reminded me.

In classic H.T. fashion, this had to be a straight-to-video number. It’s from 2003 and has a motley cast that includes said Mr. Swayze, Barbara Hershey, Hillary Swank and Rachael Leigh Cook, and I’ve never ever heard of the damn thing. Henry is only in the opening and closing scenes, and without getting into the plot I’ll just say that it’s one of those madcap, dark comedy, interconnected coincidences told from varying perspectives kinds of films.

I normally have a hard time sitting through movies at home, but somehow I managed to watch the tail end of Sixteen Candles (I’m still at little freaked out that the movie is 22 years old–boy does that Long Duck Dong humor hold up well) on Universal HD and then afterwards caught the most demented, zany movie that I’ve never heard of in my life, Playing for Keeps. This channel clearly has some winners. At first I thought it was For Keeps (which I actually saw in the theater–I think my aunt took me and my sister as a cautionary measure) and they were doing a Molly Ringwald retrospective or something.

But, no this is a gem directed by Harvey Weinstein about street smart NYC teens who buy a dilapidated upstate hotel and turn it into a club called Hotel Majestic. At first is seems like the antithesis of the John Hughes suburban genre. It starts out kind of gritty in that New York when it was still scary way, but then it turns so cheesy it’s hard to believe your eyes, with lots of dance sequences involving leotards and splatter art and lightening bolts. There’s even an Arcadia song playing during one of the scenes. How come I’ve never heard of this movie before?

Thank god TV Turnoff week has come and gone because I can’t abide that shit (I’m appalled my much of the eating habits on Honey We’re Killing the Kids. I love it when they have to throw out all their junk food and force everyone to eat vegetables and fish, but the 30 minutes of TV rule pains me. I also love how they do the projected aging thing and that somehow if the kids keep eating so poorly, they’ll inevitably end up with mullets, facial hair, tattoos and earrings but wear khakis and oxfords if they get healthy. I think the premise of this show is decent, but they expect way too much. I mean, these are families who seriously eat take out pizza and hamburgers every single day and can’t cook and then they give them recipes and shopping lists for things like stir-fried tofu and paella and no one will eat any of it and the kids end up crying. You can’t jump straight into bean curd and mussels. They should transition them with say, veggie burgers or oven baked fries, healthy versions of familiar foods). I do promise not to watch bad movies for four hours straight for at least a few days.

3 thoughts on “TV Turnon Week

  1. Is “Playing for Keeps” with Marisa Tomei? And I only paid attention to “11:14” because Jason Segel from “Freaks and Geeks” was in it. It was TV Turnoff week? Whoops.

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