Five Easy Pieces (1970)

fiveeasypieces_1Starring Jack Nicholson, Karen Black, Susan Anspach, Lois Smith, Ralph Waite, Billy Green Bush, Fannie Flagg, William Challee, John Ryan, Marlena MacGuire, Sally Struthers

Directed by Bob Rafelson

Expectations: Moderate.

threestar


Sometimes you just can’t connect with a movie no matter how good it is, and this was my experience with Five Easy Pieces. I honestly don’t know what I think of the film. I didn’t like it much, that’s for sure, but to say it’s bad just because of that feels wrong. It’s not you Five Easy Pieces, it’s me. Due to this experience, my initial thought was to forgo my usual star rating and replace it with question-filled stars. But after writing the rough draft of this post I was able to wrangle my thoughts enough to rate it, so without further ado let’s get wrangling those thoughts and my initial indifference with Bob Rafelson’s Five Easy Pieces.

The film opens by introducing us to Bobby (Jack Nicholson), an oil worker in the central valley of California. He’s a blue-collar guy who enjoys more than his share of beer and women. He’s involved with Rayette (Karen Black), a diner waitress with dreams of becoming a country singer, but he doesn’t seem all that into her. Eventually we learn that there is more to Bobby than this working-class lifestyle suggests. He is actually a classically trained pianist from a wealthy, eccentric family, but he decided to give it all up and live a simpler, more down-to-earth life.

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Ooga Booga (2013)

OogaBoogaCoverCreditsStarring Ciarra Carter, Gregory Niebel, Wade Forrest Wilson, Chance A. Rearden, Maddox, Patrick Holder, Tom Massmann, Karen Black, Stacy Keach, Corey MacIntosh, Amber Strauser

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: Super low.

On the general scale:
twostar

On the B-movie scale:
threestar


I went into Ooga Booga with much trepidation. I didn’t have enough faith in modern-era Full Moon films to think that a movie about a killer racial stereotype would be anything but a racist B-Movie, even after enjoying Doll Graveyard where Ooga Booga made his first appearance. Then a few days prior to release, Full Moon unveiled the “Bad Ass Dolls,” a new line of horribly insensitive and stereotypical figures as seen in the shameless pseudo-commercial within the film a few minutes into Ooga Booga. So despite the fun trailer, this series of events led me to a state of apathy when starting the film.

This fear was honestly for naught, though, as Ooga Booga is a lot more enjoyable than you would expect. The story is simple: Devin receives a large-scale Ooga Booga doll from his buddy Hambo (the drunken, kid’s show host first seen in Full Moon’s Zombies vs. Strippers). Through a strange series of events (and one fritzed-out Slurpy Slurshy machine), Devin and the Ooga Booga doll are one. Now he’s out to get revenge on the racists who done him wrong! Booyah!

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