Pairing wine with movies! See the trailers and hear the fascinating commentary for these movies, and many more, at Trailers From Hell. This week, we delve into the less glamorous side of Tinseltown, that side which is inhabited by murderers, con men and people who are just trying to make a living at this crazy business.
Star 80 came out in 1983, just a few years after Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten was murdered by her husband, who then killed himself. Television actually beat Hollywood to the punch in this true-life potboiler, as a made-for-TV version of the story was aired in 1981. In Star 80, Mariel Hemingway plays Stratten, with Eric Roberts as the sleazy husband and Cliff Robertson as Hugh Hefner.
Roberts required some arm-twisting from director Bob Fosse to play Paul Snider, as he considered the role to be as unpleasant as Snider no doubt was. Roberts gained several nominations for best actor, but not one from the Academy. It was film critic Roger Ebert who pointed out that “Hollywood will not nominate an actor for portraying a creep, no matter how good the performance is.” However, for a guy who has appeared in about a million movies, his roster is noticeably short on award nominations.
Not a pleasant movie, Star 80, but hopefully we can find a wine to make the experience less debilitating. How about the Playboy California Red Wine? It was made a few years back by Lot 18 in a partnership with the magazine, as a limited release. It cost about $25 a bottle then, and you may have to seek it out on Ebay today, at what price only Hugh Hefner knows. But you know how crazy some folks get over bunny ears and a bow tie.
1992’s The Player stars Tim Robbins amid dozens of other Hollywood names, directed by Robert Altman. The story pokes at the soft underbelly of the screenwriting world. Robbins is a studio mogul who is being stalked by a screenwriter. He meets up with the guy he thinks it is, and ends up killing him. Who knew pitching a movie could be so dangerous?
The movie has plenty of lines you can incorporate into your everyday life, like “Ghost meets The Manchurian Candidate – but with heart,” “One of us, one of us” and “Traffic was a bitch.”
Blackstone Paddock has a $20 Shiraz from Australia’s Barossa Valley and it’s called, wait for it, The Player! It seems to be available at the Aldi grocery chain, so hopefully there’s one near you.
The 1975 British film, Inserts, concerns silent movie directors and actors who ran into trouble when movies suddenly came with sound. Set in the 1930s, these relics who found themselves on the technological trash heap turned to making pornography as a means of making a living. Hey, at least they didn’t sign up to be parking enforcement officers. You must draw the line somewhere.
Besides the unsavory profession considered by these Hollywood rejects, Inserts also deals with drugs and an overdose death. That should be enough darkness to make this movie a welcome addition to this week’s theme.
For a movie about 1930’s porn, which was rated X initially, by the way, we have a wine named If You See Kay. They actually have a back story about who Kay is, as if that were necessary. There’s only one reason you have this wine, and that is the name on the bottle. Enjoy. As Kay might say, C U Next Thursday.