Movie Time with Benjamin II

Well, some folks have approached and messaged me saying they watched and enjoyed the movies I posted up last time, so that’s reason enough for a sequel I think …

If you still haven’t seen the first batch, stop being a tool. See those movies. See these movies too. I’m only recommending the best of the best here, and all of these are worth your time.

1.) Apocalypse Now

Marlon Brando, Apocalypse Now

I know, I know. Obvious suggestion. You’ve already seen Apocalypse Now. You’re so beyond this suggestion. Well, be quiet. I have a game plan here. I need to make sure you’ve seen Apocalypse Now. If you have, maybe watch it again or just skip to suggestion #2. If you haven’t, then I’m just going to say a list of names and then you’re going to go out and rent this movie tonight. Ready? Francis Ford Coppola. Marlon Brando. Martin Sheen. Dennis Hopper. Laurence Fishburn. Robert Duvall. You should have the movie in your hands by now. Watch that shet.

NOW, here comes the napalm:

2.) Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse

Francis Ford Coppola, The Failure

“We were in the jungle, there were too many of us, we had access to too much money, too much equipment, and little by little we went insane.” -Coppola

One of my favorite movies ever, for a lot of reasons. Using behind the scenes footage, and narrated by Eleanor Coppola, this movie chronicles the making of Apocalypse Now, and “illustrates how production problems including bad weather, actors’ health and other issues delayed the film, increasing costs and nearly destroying the life and career of Francis Ford Coppola.”  Marlon Brando shows up on the set 50 pounds overweight with none of his lines memorized.  Coppola can’t finish writing the script cause it doesn’t really express his ideas.   Dennis Hopper drops acid and improvises all his lines.  Martin Sheen has a nervous breakdown and heart attack in the middle of filming.  Shots are interrupted so that “Coppola’s helicopters” can go fight a civil war in the hills.

I mean… fucking hell.  This movie is one of the all time great studies of obsession, ego, and life’s mimicry of art on an epic scale.  So good.  See this movie.

Honorable Mention: ‘Tropic Thunder’ riffs on ‘Hearts of Darkness’ in a way that I found cool and entertaining, and I really dug the way ‘Tropic Thunder’ was continually pulling the rug out from under the viewer … but I’m bein stingy with these here recommendations.

3.)  Sweet and Lowdown

Sean Penn, Sweet and Lowdown

Sean Penn does it again boyee.  Sage actually recommended this movie to me, and lent me this VHS a year or two ago.  It’s easy to see why certain parts of this movie appealed to Francis, and you might find some recognizable themes from papa’s music in the character of the fictional jazz guitarist Emmet Ray.  Written and directed stunningly by Woody Allen, who I don’t always dig.  This one is sad and beautiful in all the right places.  I highly recommend it.

4.) The Taking of the Pelham One Two Three (1974)one two three

If you want a doo-doo rhyme then come see me!

Recently, I was in Reno, killing time before picking Francis up at the airport.  I decide to waste a couple hours seeing “Sunshine Cleaners” at a Reno movie theatre.  As it turns out, I should’ve just scored some ketamine and chased it with a bottle of Nyquil.  On the way into the theatre to see this 2 hour suicide ad, I started noticing that all the theater personnel were wearing shirts that say “The Taking of the Pelham 123.”

And I says to myself… “huh?  Are they celebrating an anniversary or something?  Are they showing it here on the big screen?”


Turns out fucking JOHN TRAVOLTA stars in a remake of this fucking classic that’s about to be re-released.  Hell. No.

See the original.  It’s got a 70s funk soundtrack that will kick your ass.  It’s where Quentin Tarantino stole his criminals with color names idea from (Mr. Blue, Mr. White, etc.)  See the original or the Scientologists have already won.

5.)  Jesus Camp


After seeing this movie, I sat down at my kitchen table and wrote “Joan of Arcadia” in one shot.  Recorded the song, as it appears on the album, within the hour.  I was effected by this flick.

The movie is a documentary about the “Kids On Fire School of Ministry” (heh.)  Which is run by Pastor Becky Fischer, who the entire first half of “Joan” describes.  “A smothering mother’s body, body like a black hole…”

Becky wants kids to be on fire for Christ like suicide bombers are on fire for Allah.  I’m not paraphrasing.  She states that directly in the course of this film.  It’s a well made, balanced documentary free of lame editorializing (ahem, Michael Moore.)  Lots of folks will have seen this one already, but for those who haven’t I recommend it strongly.

That’s all for now, suckas.

I’m trapped in fucking Humboldt County.

A cop just pulled me over and then told me all about his Grateful Dead cover band when I told him I was a traveling musician.

Get me outta hea before I turn into a hackey sack.




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albinored says

"Sweet and Lowdown" - YES...Never thought I'd see that on the list. Great Film and I hate Woody Allen.

"Apocalypse Now" - every time you watch it you discover something new or different (never gets old or tiring) - the big question is did everyone like the original or the unedited version better. Haven't seen the documentary yet, that'll be the first on my list.

“The Taking of the Pelham 123” sounds interesting as hell to watch - still a Tarantino fan after all these years (took elements of the past and re-created them for people such as myself who would have no idea where the cinematics were even stolen from). They call it thievery, I call it preservation.

"Jesus Camp" sounds a bit scary, just watched "Religulous" not to long ago. Don't know much about religion enough to care about the debate but it was very interesting (Micheal Moore journalism or no?).

Thanks for the new suggestions, still about to check out "Secret Honor" - sad to say I never even heard of it (just loved Robert Altman's "Short Cuts").

bdolan says

I think "Jesus Camp" was a lot better than "Religulous," chiefly because it's free of that Michael Moore-esque editorializing. The movie was fine, but Bill Maher's atheist sermon at the end (and throughout) just about ruined it for me.

In the case of "Jesus Camp," the crazy pastor lady being profiled actually endorses the movie, as do the people on the other side of the issue. I figure the mark of good reporting or documentary film making is if everyone on both sides is either happy or equally pissed off. That seems to have happened here.

frank says

I've been trapped here for 2 years. gonna check out the show at HSU. couldn't make it to accident gallery.

Our alternative to hippies:

Nate says

Although I did find Maher to be preachy throughout Religulous too, I really liked the message from the final monologue. It inspired me to stand up more for being an atheist and stop being so passive about it.
But the pure force of Jesus Camp could do the exact same thing just in a bi-product. That is some scary shit...

abaDOOD says

it wouldn't be so bad if you were as stoned as the cop

buddypeace says

I've got a book which is basically conversations with Walter Murch (sound editor and total genius - responsible for so much) and Michael Ondaatje which talks in depth about how Walter worked on his section of sound in the film. I think it was done in sections. It's incredible - they really went deep and the film was similar to something Herzog might have done in terms of completely giving your soul to a film, in pretty much everyone's case who worked on it. ALSO - trivia - apparently Harvey Keitel was originally casted for Michael Sheen's role... There is so much more about stuff like that too - it's crazy. Heavy film.

As for Pelham 123, that's one of my favourites dammit. That and The Conversation (sound also by Walter Murch and directed by FFCoppola) have two of my favourite film soundtracks... Beautiful. In fact, David Shire composed both! Pelham has the funk though, no doubt about it.

What do you mean the train's been taken?

Fuck a remake. Hard.

buddypeace says

The first paragraph above is about Apocalypse Now by the way, forgot to add that part!

albinored says

Rappers VS. Artists:

albinored says


albinored says

albinored says

You know you're getting old when...

albinored says

You know you're still young when...

albinored says

Terminator - Salvation:

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