On Boring Movies…



Oh, God! How friggin' DULL!

Oh, God! How friggin' DULL!


Oh Lord…

How your world never ceases to astound me. Today I discovered something that will undoubtedly prove itself one of the greatest boons to humanity – nay! – civilization itself in the last hundred years. Give or take 20 or 30…

Today I saw Reefer Madness for the first time again. If that confuses you, welcome to the club.  I know that I saw it years ago on one of those bargain video tapes that populated the aisles of the now defunct Woolworth’s. I had the tape so I must have seen it. Someone had opened it, and that likely someone must certainly have watched it for the person had not bothered t rewind it.  As for that someone’s ID… all signs correctly point to me. But today I saw it again and had virtually no memory of it! For example, I must have cleanly and neatly excised from my memory the fact that this film practically puts one to sleep instantly, hence it receiving my vote as the greatest invention in the world. What a great thing to cure insomnia and other sleep disorders. The hell with the fancy sleep clinics! Just have the sleep deprived look at this dog. I assert in the strongest way I know how, that Reefer Madness stands alone as the only known film that gets totally boring during the opening titles!

Yes, I know other boring films exist. But there’s something to recommend them. Like Arthur Penn’s snooze-fest The Missouri Breaks. There’s a few nice touches, but, well let’s be honest and say that it takes a heap of cinematic – oops I mean: movie – skill to get a boring film out of Brando and Nicholson. They should have pepped things up by having the two superstars do something really creative. Yeah, Brando has a phony accent and wears a dress now and then and Nicholson gives a stunningly impressive imitation of that guy who starred in Chinatown. You know who I mean. He starred in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and he was the loony guy in The Shining. You have to know who I mean. The young comic actor who showed such flair in the original Little Shop of Horrors.

Now folks, let us not confuse boring with dull. A dull film could be dull on purpose. Like Dragnet (minus the Dan Ackroyd spoof) and 2001: A Space Odyssey. They were made to show the dullness of routine. I mean boring like put out the light, honey.  In the old days studios spiffed up what they knew were boring films with additional scenes featuring their strongest comedic

Mantan Moreland Frequently Got Very High Billing in Movies

Mantan Moreland Frequently Got Very High Billing in Movies

talent. Like MGM did in the snoozer The Rogue Song by slipping Laurel & Hardy into the operetta. Or almost any one of probably hundreds of films with the sadly underrated comic genius Mantan Moreland. Catch his brilliant comic/dramatic appearance in the Melvin VanPeebles film Watermelon Man. Moreland was so funny and so adept with both verbal and physical schtick that Moe Howard considered signing Moreland to become a member of The Three Stooges after Shemp Howard died. Now that’s some gigantic comedy shoes to fill!  Funny isn’t it that Moreland, a clear comic genius, was for a long time reviled for representing Black people in a “denigrating” way while The Three Stooges never got kicked out of show business for denigrating Jewish people and they played the stupidest people ever put on film.  Moreland languished during the late 40’s and 50’s until he was at last appreciated again in the 1960’s. From there Morland worked steadily in film, TV and commercials until his death at age 71..    Ah, well.


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