R.I.P. Karen Black (1939-2013)

Prolific actress Karen Black recently passed away from cancer. imdb clocks her at 194 roles but I’ll always remember her for her mid-70s run of Family Plot, Capricorn One, Burnt Offerings, Trilogy of Terror and Airport 1975. Netflix does not have her best work available but here is where you can see her on instant:

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby (1974) – Rated PG

Mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby is obsessed with Daisy Buchanan in this 1974 film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel. Beyond Gatsby’s grasp, Daisy is married to unfaithful Tom, making for a love triangle that ends with broken hearts.”

AKA That other version of Gatsby that misfired. I can’t really recommend this but Black does give a good supporting performance here.

Crime and Passion

Crime and Passion (1976) – Rated R

To save his own skin, embattled financial advisor Andre (Omar Sharif) convinces his mistress, Susan (Karen Black), to marry his outraged client, Rolf (Bernhard Wicki), a wealthy businessman. But when Rolf targets them both for murder, the deceptive couple’s precarious plan backfires. With an intriguing premise and surprising supernatural developments, this movie co-stars Joseph Bottoms as a handsome ski instructor who attracts Susan’s attention.

Children of the Corn IV

Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering (1996) – Rated R

When the children of a small Midwestern town morph overnight into possessed murderers, it’s up to a young medical student to save her affected sister and her cornfield-surrounded neighbors from the evil child zombies.”

Obviously Black is the best thing about this. That’s not saying much so I’ll just say, actors need to eat, too.

Rest in Peace, Karen Black, you will be missed.

The Summer of Meh

I love summer blockbuster season. I am marginally a film critic and I do enjoy good, prestige movies. I watch innumerable independent films as well but I love a big action movie and summer is the season for those. I had high hopes this year but it has not panned out very well.

Iron Man 3: The Disneyfication of Marvel. Forget Pepper Potts, Happy Hogan, the Black Widow, and War Machine, let’s give Tony Stark a cute kid sidekick. Can we call him Short Round?

The Great Gatsby: A film adaptation of a book where the director honestly didn’t understand what the book was about.

Star Trek: Into Darkness: The plot is utter nonsense but this was a lot of fun just the same. I mean really just the same.

Fast & Furious 6: The World’s Longest Runway. I’m just saying.

Epic: Generic

After Earth: Hmm I already used Afterbirth for Asylum’s take on this film so maybe Crash & Burn. Sorry Will – people like you but are apparently not so keen on your forcing your son on us. Another nail in Shyamalan’s career.

Man of Steel: The Anti-Superman movie – way to Kryptonite the franchise yet many people enjoyed it and the sequel will feature a non-Bale Batman.

World War Z: IF you can forgive it for not having anything to do with the book (hope you enjoyed the payout Mr. Brooks) and don’t mind a PG-13 zombie movie, it was pretty intense and intelligent.

Monsters University

Monsters University: Fun but not the classic that Monsters, Inc was.

White House Down: White House Dumb, Olympus Has Fallen part Deux

The Lone Ranger: Actually Tonto – the movie would have been a lot shorter if Tonto had let him die.

Despicable Me 2

Despicable Me 2: Fun but not as good as the first PLUS I had to endure innumerable McDonald’s Happy Meals to get the toys for umm my granddaughter – yes my granddaughter wanted them.

Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim: Godzilla Meets Transformers but I still love monster movies. This could have been a lot better but was a bright spot this summer.

Red 2: More nonsense from folks who did not really understand what made the first one kind of, sort of, work. Still I love watching Helen Mirren kick butt.

R.I.P.D.: Men in Black 4, only supernatural instead of science fiction and poor CGI.

Turbo: Generic Cartoon 2: Electric Boogaloo

The Wolverine:X-Men 6 minus all the X-Men save two, and one of those is dead for the whole movie. The saving grace is the post-credits scene.

This was pretty much a summer with no new ideas. Of course the twelve-year-old boy inside of me enjoyed going to all of these movies even if the half-century old man knew most of them were duds.