Guilty Pleasures Film Festival 2013

“Ed Wood”

Johnny Depp and Martin Landau in "Ed Wood" (Touchstone, 1994)

Johnny Depp and Martin Landau in “Ed Wood” (Touchstone, 1994)

This week’s entry is “Ed Wood” (Touchstone, 1994), Tim Burton’s biopic about schlock movie director Edward D. Wood Jr. Wood made the 1959 film “Plan 9 from Outer Space,” which many consider to be the worst movie ever made. He also wrote and directed the awful cross-dressing (and semi-autobiographical) pic “Glen or Glenda,” (which I think is the worst movie I’ve ever seen) along with “Bride of the Monster.” Filmed in glorious black and white and directed in the style of, well, an Ed Wood movie, the story follows Ed (played by Johnny Depp) and his crazy entourage as they do everything they can to get their movies made. The film also focuses on the relationship between Ed and actor Bela Lugosi (brilliantly played by Martin Landau, who also won an Academy Award® for the role). Ultimately, the movie shows a character who is incredibly in love with what he’s doing, even though he’s not very good at it. A classic film and definitely made for grown ups. Also stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Bill Murray, Jeffrey Jones and Patricia Arquette. Written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. Directed by Tim Burton. “Visions are worth fighting for. Why spend your life making someone else’s dreams?”

Comedy Film Festival 2012

“Pee-wee’s Big Adventure”

Paul Reubens as Pee-wee Herman in "Pee-wee's Big Adventure" (Warner Bros., 1985)

Paul Reubens as Pee-wee Herman in “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” (Warner Bros., 1985)

“Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” (Warner Bros., 1985). Pee-wee Herman (played by Paul Reubens) travels the country trying to find his treasured stolen bicycle. Along the way, he meets ex-con Mickey Morrelli, truck driver Large Marge, waitress Simone, and a bunch of bikers. We also learn about the architecture of the Alamo. Surreal silliness which I totally love. Written by Phil Hartman, Paul Reubens and Michael Varhol. Directed by Tim Burton (his first feature-length film). “I know you are, but what am I?”

Comedy Film Festival 2012

“Mars Attacks!”

The Killer Martians in "Mars Attacks!" (Warner Bros., 1996)

The Killer Martians in “Mars Attacks!” (Warner Bros., 1996)

“Mars Attacks!” (Warner Bros., 1996). It’s the U.S.A. vs. a bunch of mean-spirited Martians. No one is safe in Tim Burton’s spoof on the schlocky-but-sincere alien invasion movies of the 1950s-60s. The film’s all-star cast includes Jack Nicholson (in two roles), Glenn Close, Annette Bening, Pierce Brosnan, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michael J. Fox, Jim Brown, Pam Grier, Rod Steiger, Danny DeVito, Natalie Portman, Lukas Haas and Tom Jones (yes, Tom Jones). Weird and crazy in the Tim Burton tradition. Based on the Topps trading card series, which is celebrating its 50th birthday this year ( Written by Jonathan Gems. Directed by Tim Burton. “Well, they’re not going to eat off the Van Buren china.”