Tiptoes (2003) Written by Matthew Bright (as Bill Weiner) Directed by Matthew Bright
When I first thought up the idea of a film series exploring embarrassing forgotten pictures, this was one of the first to come to mind. The internet has helped Tiptoes achieve meme status mainly through its cheesily edited trailer. Since the film was a part of a Harry Knowles film marathon, I’ve heard about it but never actually read a review or even sat down to see it myself. Now that is remedied, and I am left aghast at how this film ever got made. It has been compounded by reading up on the background, which confuses things further. So here is my review and some of the behind the scenes on a bizarre movie.
Planetary Book One Written by Warren Ellis Art by John Cassaday
This was the first comic book work from Warren Ellis I was ever exposed to, but at the time, I wasn’t able to keep up with the series. However, what I did read was so powerful it has resonated with me for 20 years, and I decided it was time to go back to Planetary and read the series in its entirety. The dominant pervading feeling you get from the opening issues of Planetary is Mystery. The protagonist is shrouded in mystery, and the world as it unfolds one chapter at a time is mysterious and wondrous. This is a place where superheroes, monsters, aliens, and everything fantastical exists, but it has left a dark toll on humanity.
Disney’s The Kid (2000) Written by Audrey Wells Directed by Jon Turteltaub
Why am I doing this? I perfectly reasonable question to ask. As someone who watches lots of movies, reads up on actors, directors, writers, genres, etc., I will eventually come across movies I half-remember or never even knew got made. These are not low budget, indie picture but films with considerable financial backing, starring well-known performers, and distributed by major studios. Yet, they have been forgotten, very intentionally. There are approximately 700 English-language films released in the United States annually. With all of the quality control mechanisms and studio notes, we still get complete stinkers put on the big screen. Or the studio realizes in the wake of filming that they have just financed a disaster and try to cobble together something palatable in the editing room. Regardless, these movies are released and then systematically ignored by the people who made them, hoping general audiences allow them to fade into obscurity. Well, I’m here to watch them and write about them for this “We’d Rather You Forgot’ film series.
Please, Kill Mr. Kinski (1999) Written & Directed by David Schmoeller
In 1986, director David Schmoeller worked with notorious actor Klaus Kinski on the set of his film Crawlspace. As expected, Kinski was a nightmare to direct and continuously tried to find ways to throw a wrench in the production. It became especially terrible when Kinksi learned that Schmoeller went to the producers to get the actor thrown off the picture. This is a short essay film, a docu-comedy, sort of like a story Kevin Smith tells in his live shows. I haven’t seen Herzog’s My Best Fiend yet, but I suspect it covers the same territory with more depth.
Children of Men (2006) Written by Alfonso Cuarón & Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby Directed by Alfonso Cuarón
It’s been approximately ten years since I sat down to watch Children of Men, the film I put as my favorite film of the last decade, the 00s. A decade later, with a thousand plus more movies watched, I can see the cracks in the picture better now, but it still holds up as a significant technical achievement and vision of a very potential future on the horizon. Since Children of Men first came out, we have had global tumult including, but not limited to, the passing of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, which have been frightening signifiers as to the direction our planet is taking. Climate change has worsened, which lead to an influx of refugees and creates the very circumstances under which Children of Men’s future is born. All we are missing is the sudden, unexplained infertility.
Promethea Volume 2 (2002) Promethea Volume 3 (2003) Written by Alan Moore Art by J.H. Williams
Alan Moore’s second volume of Promethea is probably my favorite of the bunch as it spends time developing out the Promethea myth and the people who have had her power. By the end of the second volume, we’re going into the long chunk that boils down to a treatise of human existence using the Tarot and Qa’ballah as a structure. I always felt like I needed volumes of background knowledge to get what Moore was doing here, and as a result, I felt lost most of the time. I would argue that Promethea as a whole is not a good comic book series, too personal a topic, and too close to Moore for it to be enjoyed by most readers.
Two Dollar Bill (2016) Written & Directed by Hannah Marks
Hannah Marks was born into the industry, the daughter of actors, granddaughter to a musician. She made her debut in 2006’s Accepted, a middling Justin Long vehicle. Along the way, she became interested in directing and has jumped into the deep end. After a series of successfully received shorts, she’s made a feature film with another in the pipeline.