Movie Night Monday

The Movie Project

Week 50: Wyoming (Close Encounters of the Third Kind)

Category: Drama/Fantasy

Quote of Interest:

“STOP AND BE FRIENDLY”

–sign held by ufo watcher

Three words to describe this film/state: This means something

Best ‘Extras’:

  • Implantee, played by Amy Douglass
  • Implantee, played by Alexander Lockwood
  • Ohio Tolls, played by Norman Bartold
  • Sunburned Old Man, played by Eumenio Blanco

State food/recipe to try: Chicken-fried steak / Chokecherry preserves / White chicken chili

Earring Inspo Character: Jillian Guiler

Other Notes: I don’t recall ever having seen this classic, and liked it more than I’d thought I would. Featuring a crazed encounterer Richard Dreyfuss and strangely nonchalant mother Melinda Dillon, Close Encounters was an interesting and entertaining watch. It did stress me out–not from suspense but from the mess Dreyfuss’ character was making everywhere. I tend to not like movies where destruction and mess ensue (poor ducks). The main alien looked like a nasty plastic-wrapped spider that was missing a few legs and trying to conduct a bizarre symphony orchestra. A little long of a film, but with some funny quotes.

Grade: B+

State Facts: https://www.factmonster.com/us/states/wyoming

Next up: STAY TUNED for a new Movie Night project! Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Movie Night Monday

The Movie Project

Week 49: Wisconsin (The Giant Spider Invasion)

Category: Horror/Sci-Fi

Quote of Interest:

“You’re so dumb, you wouldn’t know rabbit turds from Rice Krispies.”

–dan kester

Three words to describe this film/state: Hairy, leggy monsters

Best ‘Extras’:

  • Helicopter Pilot (voice), played by David B. Hoff
  • Gas Pump Kid (uncredited), played by Joel Thingvall

State food/recipe to try: Brandy old-fashioned sweet / Beer-cheese soup / Fried cheese curds / Friday fish fry / Culver’s butter burgers

Earring Inspo Character: Terry

Other Notes: Finally, a movie worthy of Mystery Science Theater 3000! So bad it’s good and then bad again. I vaguely remember this being on TV when I was little and of course being terrified of it, but I buried that shit way deep. I also remember my dad taking me and my brother to see Arachnophobia after my first day of fifth grade (the same dad who tortured his 3 sisters growing up playing shark in the pool and dropping metal soldiers hot from the oven into their hands). Why am I living in the woods again?? Those Mexican red knees were really pretty though. An absurd and entertaining film.

Grade: C+

State Facts: https://www.factmonster.com/us/states/wisconsin

Next up: Wyoming (Close Encounters of the Third Kind). Follow along to discuss! Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Movie Night Monday

The Movie Project

Week 48: West Virginia (The Night of the Hunter)

Category: Crime/Thriller

Quote of Interest:

“It’s a hard world for little things.”

–rachel cooper

Three words to describe this film/state: Murder and Manipulation

Best ‘Extras’:

  • Bart the Hangman (uncredited), played by Paul Bryar
  • Burlesque Dancer (uncredited), played by Gloria Pall

State food/recipe to try: Ramps and fried potatoes / Apple dumplings / Buckwheat pancakes

Earring Inspo Character: Pearl Harper

Other Notes: The most interesting thing about this movie (to me) was that we saw something in it we’d seen in another state movie this year (New York’s Do the Right Thing). Apparently, the LOVE/HATE knuckles in Spike Lee’s film were an homage to The Night of the Hunter, a personal favorite of his. Pretty, pretty cool. Shot with play-like sets, this was a genuinely creepy movie. Leaning on the Everlasting Arms, a hymn I sang in church growing up, will never be the same to me. The poor children in this film were terrorized and abused from start to finish. And that little Pearl’s round doll face as she guarded her own doll with her life…irresistible.

Grade: B

State Facts: https://www.factmonster.com/us/states/west-virginia

Next up: Wisconsin (The Giant Spider Invasion). Follow along to discuss! Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Movie Night Monday

The Movie Project

Week 47: Washington (Singles)

Category: Romance/Comedy

Quote of Interest:

“You know, in a parallel universe, we’re probably a scorching couple.”

–steve

Three words to describe this film/state: No real chemistry

Best ‘Extras’:

  • The Mime, played by Eric Stoltz
  • Garage Opener Clerk, played by Chuck McQuary
  • Wrong Phone Number, played by Thomas A. Doyle

State food/recipe to try: Molly Moon’s honey lavender ice cream / Bow Hill Blueberries cold-pressed blueberry juice

Earring Inspo Character: Janet

Other Notes: I’m all about a slice-of-lifer, but this one was blah/meh. No one had any real chemistry with anyone else, and there was a good amount of bad acting. I later found out that this movie influenced the TV hit Friends (never got into that, either). Maybe I would have liked it better had I seen it in my 20s.

Grade: B-

State Facts: https://www.factmonster.com/us/states/washington

Next up: West Virginia (The Night of the Hunter). Follow along to discuss! Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Movie Night Monday

The Movie Project

Week 46: Virginia (The New World)

Category: Drama/Romance

Quote of Interest:

“I thought it was a dream, what we knew in the forest….it’s the only truth.”

–john smith

Three words to describe this film/state: Unsettled Love Story

Best ‘Extras’:

  • Cabin Boy 1, played by Tayla Kean
  • Leaf Garlanded Man / Warrior (uncredited), played by Henry Jaderlund
  • Doomed Sailor (uncredited), played by Terry Jernigan
  • Extra (uncredited), played by Melanie Reese

State food/recipe to try: Fried pies / Peanut soup / Chrysalis Wine

Earring Inspo Character: Pocahontas

Other Notes: Although I haven’t been a fan of previous work by Malick, I will revisit Tree of Life after seeing this film. It was a poem of scene and sound, with a love story tied in. It evoked strong emotion. The director has a thing for trees that I’d like to know more about. If I had learned more of my world history through rich and dreamy stories like this, I might have paid better attention. In it, the Lovers’ voices play back and forth like the purest pillow talk or most exquisite love letters, and at one point the Male Lover’s voice changes from John Smith to John Rolfe, from flawed but raw love to love safe/stable. The exchanges are like spiritual whispers, the unspoken language of souls that understand each other or are grasping to. It’s both painful and beautiful.

Grade: A

State Facts: https://www.factmonster.com/us/states/virginia

Next up: Washington (Singles). Follow along to discuss! Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Movie Night Monday

The Movie Project

Week 45: Vermont (The Trouble with Harry)

Category: Comedy/Mystery

Quote of Interest:

“Blessed are they who expect nothing, for they shall not be disappointed.”

–capt. albert wiles

Three words to describe this film/state: bury, unbury, rebury

Best ‘Extras’:

  • Man Walking Past Sam’s Outdoor Exhibition (uncredited), played by Alfred Hitchcock

State food/recipe to try: Apple pie with cheddar / Sauteed fiddleheads / Switchel / Sugar on snow / Ben & Jerry’s ice cream

Earring Inspo Character: Mrs. Wiggs

Other Notes: Watching The Trouble with Harry was like viewing an old Disney movie, and it probably could have been, dubbed with different lines. It’s been awhile since I’ve either watched or studied Hitchcock, but I remember enough to know that the dead body in this one really had nothing to do with anything. His films are more about the characters and their neuroses. No one seems shocked, scared, or really concerned that there’s a body there on what seems to be the most well-tread rural hill I’ve ever seen–and why is that? It’s been said that this film plays out like a Surrealist dream, with Sam Marlowe’s artist character and his abstract paintings a main movie reference point. I still found it tedious to watch, but that’s been the case for the last half-dozen movies or so, so it may just be me.

Grade: C

State Facts: https://www.factmonster.com/us/states/vermont

Next up: Virginia (The New World). Follow along to discuss! Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Movie Night Monday

The Movie Project

Week 44: Utah (SLC Punk!)

Category: Drama/Indie

Quote of Interest:

“Well, it’s a crazy fucked-up world and we’re all just floating along waiting for someone who can walk on water, man.”

–bob

Three words to describe this film/state: chaotic, anarchic drivel

Best ‘Extras’:

  • Liquor Store Fellow, played by Tom Jacobson
  • Poser, played by Dominic Gortat
  • Cowboy #1, played by Glade Quinn

State food/recipe to try: Navajo tacos / Funeral potatoes / Stone fruit salad

Earring Inspo Character: Trish

Other Notes: An awful and noisy movie with no message.

Grade: F

State Facts: https://www.factmonster.com/us/states/utah

Next up: Vermont (The Trouble with Harry). Follow along to discuss! Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.