Category Archives: cult classics

Faded tickets, magazines and Todd Barry!

The next movie on my list, or it really should be, is “Enemy” starring that doe-eyed Jake Gyllenhaal and his doppleganger or whatever.

I’ve had it on DVD from Netflix since Jan. 24, 2017, but alas it still sits atop my DVD player and probably will until the Guinness Book of World Records people show up at my door.

I honestly was going to watch it last night, but instead went down a rabbit hole of Conan O’Brien episodes (did you know he is still doing the string dance?) That prompted me to catch up on “Silicon Valley” after seeing Thomas Middleditch’s wonderfully awkward appearance.

After a day in the sun both from a long walk (I actually ran for part of it, woo!) and then lounging in my new favorite chair reading InStyle and listening to podcasts, it was the perfect evening.

I also started to think about a subject for my blog this morning and, with no material on “Enemy,” looked for inspiration by sifting through my old movie tickets.


I keep meaning to buy a scrapbook for them, especially now that some have faded beyond recognition. I saw one where all I could make out were the words “Hunt for” and I thought … did I see “The Hunt for Red October” at some point? No, it was a ticket from “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” last year. (One of the best movies of the year, by far.) Now I do have to watch “The Hunt for Red October” … but only if it is re-released in the theaters so I have the ticket to prove it.

Or maybe I can win the Guinness record as the only person who hasn’t seen it.

My ticket nostalgia continued this morning with a quick look through a box of old cards and whatnot from high school and I found the mother of all movie stubs from my senior year:


I also uncovered some mint condition magazines from the 1990’s:


Why do we save stuff like this? If anything it’s for the random moments you decide to look through old boxes and even better when you don’t know what you’ll find.

I didn’t know I kept some old magazines, especially not this one:


Oh how things have changed.

A little nostalgia from time to time can’t hurt, just remember it’s memories associated with the past that wouldn’t be the same today. My favorite nostalgia expert, John Hodgman, would tell you that.

That’s why I subscribe to his Lifestyle newsletter and then often don’t read it because I forget to check under the Promotions tab in Gmail.  (I just added him to my contacts –why didn’t I think of this earlier?– so maybe the messages will arrive in my primary inbox.) Anyway,  I did click over one tab  (tough stuff) while catching up on emails yesterday and read the newsletter, which included a recommendation for what is now my new favorite blog by musician and writer Carsie Blanton.  I purchased her album “So Ferocious,” which I’ve been listening to while working on this post, and also read her most recent blog with words of wisdom on pursuing your life goals.

It also references the (visually) aforementioned Brad Pitt after she watched “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” with her husband during a cabin getaway. (They didn’t have many movies to pick from.)

The lyrics from her song, “Lovin’ is Easy” made me smile and I think my favorite tune on the album is “Hot Night.”

From “Lovin’ is Easy”:

“I’m in love with you but it’s alright/I fall in love nearly every night and it fills up my heart until I can’t keep it in/so I hope you don’t mind if I say it again.”

It’s time for other happiness news in that the Minneapolis movie in the parks schedule is hot off the presses and “Clueless” is showing on my birthday. The list includes many of the 1980’s and 1990’s classics that are a perfect excuse to get out at dusk during the heydays of summer. Now I can finally see “Space Jam” on the big screen.

And lastly, since I probably won’t write before then, I am headed off to Madison this weekend to see my favorite deadpan man Todd Barry at the Comedy Club on State.


I have his book ready to be signed and now just have to think of what to say to him. (I also need a purse big enough for it in case I chicken out, which is very likely.) Do I tell him I think it’s cute that he included his cat Sunflower in the acknowledgements or just that I really admire him?


Should I show him this selfie? There is a good chance I am going to embarrass myself, but it’s going to be great.




54 of 366: Teen Witch

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I think the page on Teen Witch in 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die is missing, at least in my copy. This week’s episode of How Did This Get Made featured the 1989 movie as its subject matter so I decided to give myself a pass and watch it again. It’s been ages since I’ve seen Teen Witch and I knew it would be a welcome trip back to the end of the 1980s and that era of films centered on high school drama.

Teen Witch may very well be a combination of the hits from the 1980s, Pretty in Pink, Can’t Buy Me Love, Sixteen Candles, etc., and closes out the decade of film with perhaps the best mix of dance numbers, dream sequences and ill-fitting clothing for teens (ahem, the leotards) in existence.

Plus the main character Louise Miller, (Robyn Lively), is blessed with the powers of witchcraft on her 16th birthday so she can channel all her teenage problems into casting spells on other people.

Of course like any plot point in the 1980s teen angst film genre, such as successfully faking sick to get out of school or winning the affection of the most popular girl (even if you have to pay her), Louise’s powers and new social status are a little too good to be true and her one real friendship is pushed aside.

Louise has her fun with casting spells to seek revenge against unfair teachers and her annoying little brother, but in the end she realizes she doesn’t need those powers and can date Brad and keep her old friends all while performing a well-choreographed dance number to Shana.

I started listening to the How Did This Get Made episode about the film, which Paul Scheer had never even heard of, and it’s clear it stands the test of time even for people who didn’t see Teen Witch as the 1980s came to a close.

One thing, similar to Labyrinth, that I didn’t remember about the film was all the musical numbers outside of the famous Top That routine. There is I Like Boys and Most Popular Girl and of course the final scene at the Moonlight Magic prom with “Louise Mania” going on in the background.

Teen Witch is stereotypical for the 1980s, but it still works so well and I am glad I revisited it tonight.

I’ll watch it in another 20 years when I have quit the writing business, other than this blog of course, and run my own fortune teller shop.

“You have the power to make anything you want happen.” — Madame Serena.







28 of 366: Labyrinth


There is so much and so little to say about Labyrinth.  I wanted to revisit the film once I started my 366 movies challenge, and then David Bowie died and then one of my favorite movie theaters here decided to pay tribute to him with a screening of it and The Man Who Fell to Earth, which I have not seen.

Of course watching it now felt bittersweet with Bowie gone and seeing him on screen in  one of the movies I associate as much with nostalgia as with cinematic creativity and history in the world of film.

People in the audience cheered when Bowie’s name showed up in the opening credits and when he first appeared as the Goblin King.

I know I don’t need to describe the film except to say it’s weird and wonderful all at the same time and manages to mix what seems to be, at first, a 1980s coming-of-age story with total fantasy and heart and of course it holds up after all these years.

What did stand out more for me watching it as an adult was the music and score, which Bowie composed and, obviously, performed.

I know fans of Bowie’s whole catalog of music and film had a lot to mourn after he died. I will admit I have only heard and seen a fraction of his work in my life, but Bowie had such a cultural influence it didn’t take much to be affected by his art over time.

Seeing Labyrinth in the theater more than met my expectations and I don’t doubt the film will continue to stand the test of time.

“I’ll be there for you as the world falls down.”

— David Bowie, As the World Falls Down

22 of 366: Pretty in Pink

pretty in pink

1986 is a great year for cinema and full of classics in 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You DieTop Gun, The Fly, Hannah and Her Sisters, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off that are all on my list to watch this year.

Pretty in Pink didn’t make the cut in the book, but any child of the 1980s knows it is a cult classic and should have a special place in their heart for the film.

“This is an incredibly romantic moment, and you’re ruining it for me.” — Duckie

It’s certainly my favorite from John Hughes’ library of work, and the scene where Duckie busts into Trax and dances to Otis Redding’s A Little Tenderness is a cinematic wonder.

I clearly can’t say enough good things about Pretty in Pink. Even the bad guy, Steff, (James Spader) in all his smug glory has a certain appeal when you watch him on screen.

It feels like John Hughes and director Howard Deutch knew the film would be a source of nostalgia for its viewers (its 30th anniversary is on Feb. 28 and you can see it on the big screen) and fit in the theme through Annie Potts’ character Iona, who works at Trax with Andie (Ringwald) and often reminisces about her high school years.

They were right and with that, “applause, applause, applause.”






12 of 366: Heathers


Lunchtime poll for all of you who saw Heathers in its heyday: Does it hold up?

I am enough of a Christian Slater fan-girl to say it does, but I only just watched the film yesterday and don’t have the same nostalgia for it as the masses of people who I hope saw it in 1988 or before that decade was over.

It didn’t make it into the 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die book, at least not yet, but Heathers’ cult classic reputation makes it worth revisiting or watching it for the first time.

I don’t know if it influenced Clueless (in the Must See book) or Mean Girls (not a must see);  but there are some similarities between Heathers and those films that show it was ahead of its time as far as the makings of a teen classic.

The difference is Heathers has more of a dark side as Veronica (Winona Ryder) and J.D. (Christian Slater) navigate their way through a violent plot to bring down the popular kids and then eventually turn on each other.

The film could be too dark if made today, but it works for 1988 and if you keep in mind the societal environment at that time.

Despite my very new exposure to Heathers, its oddities and cult classic reputation from the time I was 7-years-old already make it hold a special place in my heart.

“We live for just these twenty years. Do we have to die for the fifty more?”

– David Bowie, Young Americans