The advent of the vibrator gets the comic treatment, but filmmakers fail to touch a nerve
Imagine, if you will, a smirkingly lightweight comedy about the creation of the world’s first electric vibrator. Well, imagine no more, because the Brits have made one. Though nowhere near as odd as Alan Parker’s 1994 biopic about sexual health pioneer Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (The Road to Wellville), Hysteria is an unusual topic for cinematic enshrinement.
Biz Markie for the Block
“Hip Hop Squares” on MTV2
People in the entertainment industry prefer the term “reboot” as opposed to “remake.” That makes it sound like they’re doing something new and clever, when they really aren’t. Much as I was entertained, for example, by last week’s dusted off and relaunched nighttime soap “Dallas,” it’s basically the same old “Dallas,” but with cell phones. So, when MTV (MTV2, to be specific) said it was reviving the popular ’70s-era game show “The Hollywood Squares,” there wasn’t a whole lot of reason for rejoicing. However, by remixing the whole thing as “Hip Hop Squares,” producers have created something fresh, clever and rather cheeky.
Ran , Don’t Walk
The KiMo Theatre is honoring the work of Japanese cinematic master Akira Kurosawa with a seven-film tribute. The chronological retrospective begins this Thursday, June 14, with the 1949 crime drama Stray Dog. In it, the legendary Toshiro Mifune plays a rookie detective whose gun gets stolen during a sweltering Tokyo heat wave. Things continue on June 21 with the film that brought Kurosawa his first international acclaim, 1950’s award-winning Rashomon. That historical drama will be followed by 1954’s action-packed Seven Samurai (June 28), 1958’s Hidden Fortress (July 12), 1961’s Yojimbo (July 26), 1963’s High and Low (Aug. 2) and 1985’s Ran (Aug. 9). Films start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $7 adults, $5 students and seniors.