Friday, December 4, 2015

A Nerd Girl's Guide to Cinema

A Nerd Girl's Guide to Cinema by Kelly Cozy
Smite Publications: 2/18/15
eBook review copy; 516 pages
ISBN-13: 9780991044542

A Nerd Girl's Guide to Cinema by Kelly Cozy is a very highly recommended collection of reviews for 200 movies that are either overlooked, failures, or cult classics. Her selection of movies included is off the beaten path of the usual review books. 

Rather than include the list of 200 movies she reviews, let me send you to her website,, where the complete list can be found.

This book would be a great gift for the movie buff in your family!

I have several movie review books, but Kelly's is decidedly different from those. This is not just a guide for bad movies. Kelly includes several that are overlooked gems which deserve a cult following or at least another viewing. She notes that: "My goal is to steer you toward some films that are a bit off the beaten path, and while there are plenty of horror, action, and sci-fi films covered here, you’ll also find reviews for many other genres: film noir, Western, art-house favorites, romantic comedies, chick flicks, musicals, anime, and even a porn film. The hardest part of this book was limiting myself to 200 movies." And, wonders upon wonders, Kelly includes a list of 200 more films she considers worth viewing. "Some are good, some are bad, some are in the middle, and some are just plain nuts."

Now, let me just say straight up that once I saw Kelly included a review of The Beast of Yucca Flats I knew we could be BFFs. Sure, we won't agree on every movie choice. I really do like old 50's and 60's sci fi, like Teenagers from Outer Space and The Giant Gila Monster, and Kelly might not be quite on board with that, but she will watch old Godzilla movies. I know she would give great commentary during whatever movie we decide to watch. I'll provide snacks.

As for the writing... her comments run from serious to snarky; I simply have to include quotes from some of Kelly's reviews:

"The Arena isn't a good movie, but there’s something weirdly endearing about its badness, like poetry written by a teenager."

"I try not to throw around the words 'masterpiece' or 'perfection' too often, but I really have to use them when I talk about Jaws. Everything about it just works so well."
"...but what really makes Jaws work is how real it feels. If the movie was made today, the beaches of Amity would be packed with pretty hardbodies. But the beaches of Jaws are full of ordinary people. Families, people of every age and variety, from the partiers in the opening scene to the wannabe landscape painter who sees the shark in the estuary. They’re people just like us and we identify with them."

"So I’m happy to report that Animal House holds up, and does so very well. Not only is it still funny, but time has been very kind to it."

"Remember those times in college when everyone in the room was drunk or stoned except for you? And they’d be prattling on about stuff they thought was so profound and sh*t, while you sat there and thought, 'Man, these people are boring.' Well, that’s pretty much what Performance is like. Ta da! End of review. Boy, that one was easy! Wait, my work ethic just kicked in..."

"In a better world, Phantom of the Paradise would have the cult that the far less deserving Rocky Horror Picture Show has."

"It can be difficult to find a genuinely sweet movie. Not sappy, not saccharine. Just sweet. Fortunately there’s Roxanne, a romantic comedy that should leave you smiling."

"Subtle as an icepick in the forehead, Snakes on a Plane should serve for generations as an example of truth in advertising. There are snakes. A lot of them. On a plane."

And now, for one of our all time favorite movies to laugh at: The Beast of Yucca Flats: 

"There are few examples of cinematic ineptitude as mind-boggling as this movie - it does nothing right, and its only saving grace is a direct result of its ineptitude."
"The movie’s loss is our gain, because the narration (provided by Francis himself) is a joy. It’s flat and pretentious and weirdly poetical - Francis comes off as Ed Wood’s older, grumpier brother. Some choice samples of this narration include: 'A man runs, someone shoots at him.' 'Nothing bothers some people, not even flying saucers.' 'Boys from the city. Not yet caught by the whirlwind of Progress. Feed soda pop to the thirsty pigs.' 'Always on the prowl. Looking for something or somebody to kill. Quench the killer’s thirst.' And my all-time favorite: 'Flag on the moon. How did it get there?' You’ve got to love narration like that. Watch if you dare."
Oh we dared... and more than once.

I used to feature blog posts about our fun family movie nights with my nephew. They were entitled "Movie Dude Weekend." A Nerd Girl's Guide to Cinema makes me want to plan another Movie Dude Weekend asap.

"I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book so I could give an honest review."
(Regular followers can rest assured that all of my many reviews over the years have always been my honest opinion, however this direct quote is required for this eBook review copy.)

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