Going for the Goldblum: Into the Night

Here we are, at Jeff Goldblum’s first starring role: Into the Night. Top billing. No ensemble. It’s all him! Too bad it’s in such a mess of a movie.

Goldblum is an insomniac who’s fucking up at work and discovers his wife is cheating on him. So, one night, he jumps in the car and drives to the airport. To escape? Mindlessly filling the hours? It’s hard to tell. What he does manage to do is rescue Michelle Pfeiffer from a group of pratfalling Iranian bad guys and then go driving aimlessly around Los Angeles while she tries to offload the emeralds she smuggled into the country. (Director John Landis plays one of the Iranians, so that might give you a sense of how responsibly they’re portrayed.)

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Going for the Goldblum: Buckaroo Banzai

Hoo boy. I don’t even know where to start.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. It’s a sci-fi action comedy. Buckaroo Banzai, of course, is a practicing neurosurgeon theoretical physicist test pilot who also fronts the world’s most low-energy band (until the Decemberists sprout from a pile of peat moss roughly fifteen years later) and invents a device that lets him drive through a mountain/other dimension, which means that the bad aliens can finally go home (somehow) and the good aliens have to get Buckaroo to stop them. Or something.

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Galavant: “Oh, great, another musical number!”

Galavant was back again this weekend opposite the Golden Globes with two new episodes, “Two Balls” and “Comedy Gold”. Somehow, I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

Last week I said that Alan Menken and Glen Slater’s musical work for this show is reminiscent of Mel Brooks, though far less pointed and raunchy. But I still didn’t expect the show to go for the full Catskill the way it does in the third episode, “Two Balls.”

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Review: Signal to Noise, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Before I tell you about Signal to Noise, go have a listen to this playlist of the songs and artists mentioned in the book. It’s a wonderful mix of everything from jazz standards to treacly mid-80s Mexican pop. Perfect.

Cover of Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-GarciaNow. The book. Signal to Noise is set in Mexico City in both 1988/89 and 2009. As a teenager, Meche is obsessed with music, a behavior she picked up from her father, an alcoholic failed musician and would-be writer. Her best friends are Sebastian, a tall and awkward bookworm, and Daniela, who dresses like a doll and would rather play with her Easy-Bake Oven. First Meche, then her friends, discover that they have the ability to do magic: hexes, glamours, and spells to get them what they’ve always dreamt of. But, as these things so often do, things go much differently than they hoped.

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