“CATCHING UP” #8 – The Man Who Fell to Earth

The Man Who Fell To Earth (1976)

Nicolas Roeg

David Bowie. The Space Oddity. Ziggy Stardust. The Thin White Duke. The Sovereign of the Guild of Calamitous Intent (watch “Venture Bros.”). David. Goddamn. Bowie.
I mean, the fact that he’s in it ALONE should have been enough to get me to see this movie, especially during my Bowie/70s glam rock phase in late high school and early college. Hell, it got me to read the book (which was pretty damned good read) to prepare myself for the movie…which, as you can tell, I never got around to tracking down.
But! I have it now! And as I prepare to embark on a sci-fi adventure with Ziggy Stardust (which I realize sounds like slang for “doing lots of drugs”), I can’t help but realize that my hopes for this movie are pretty high…

(To subject yourself to the virtual equivalent of me talking in the theater jammed into 140 characters, follow me @stuffbyed. Note: I have my account blocked to keep those pesky spambots out. Send me a request and regret it when you sober up.)

-CATCHING UP! Now watching: “The Man Who Fell to Earth”
-This soundtrack is akin to that of the Weather Channel during a local update.
-He’s holding his shit together amazingly, for someone whose first encounter with the denizens of Earth was a walk through a carnival.
-David Bowie is very much on cocaine.
-It’s evident that he was sharing said cocaine with the director of photography.
-What does David Bowie need more than $300 million for? Lots of cocaine.
-There is nothing right about that entire sequence involving Rip Torn having sex. Nothing at all.
-Fact: David Bowie weighs 50 lbs. in this movie.
-Rip Torn likes ’em with daddy issues.
-He’s barely known her a day and she’s already shouting at him while he’s on the toilet.
-David Bowie in: Th Rise of the Guild of Calamitous Intent #venturebrothers
-I want a picture of David Bowie in this bathroom scene across from my toilet with the caption; “David Bowie is watching you poop”.
-Looks like Bowie’s home planet is Arrakis.
-It looks less like kissing and more like he’s sucking her brain through her mouth.
-Bowie’s not a fun drunk.
-I saw strange stock footage montages EXACTLY like this one in art school.
-I’m no sportsman, but it looks like Rip Torn knows even less about fishing than I do.
-“What’s this space vehicle for?” “FOR ME TO GO TO SPACE IN, NERD.”
-It honestly sounds like Bowie’s offering Rip uncomfortable anal sex.
-Another poorly-executed jump. This director of photography needs to come down a bit.
-The footage from the World Enterprises commercial looks like it was taken from a karaoke machine.
-That’s right, the economic problem is BOWIE’S FAULT!
-That harpy he’s with has the craziest mood swings.
-David Bowie says “FUCK YOUR COOKIES!”
-I’m sorry, was a closeup of her peeing absolutely necessary? I vote no.
-The sex scene from Velvet Goldmine looks a LOT like this “creepy alien sex” scene.
-That looks not so much like a spaceship as much as it does a flying Twinkie.
-I’m remembering that in the book, Newton says he’s from the “planet” Pluto. I’d hate to be the one to explain to him what we think of Pluto.
-Okay, there’s awful, weak, unsympathetic female characters…and then there’s this broad. Holy crap.
-And here we have the beer pong room…
-FACT: David Bowie has a crack team of nipple surgeons on retainer.
-That revolver is quite the drink stirrer.
-This movie wins for most bizarre sex scenes, which I think means that it loses.
-“I’m a doctor. Booze?”
-Sweet Christ. This is “Space Oddity: The Movie”.
-Might as well have said “Tell my wife I love her very much/SHE KNOWS!”
-Huh. Fairly underwhelming. Well, this has been another “CATCHING UP!”, part of http://geeksyndicate.co.uk

AFTER THE FACT (may contain spoilers):

Were it not for David Bowie playing himself in this movie, I’d say you should stick to the book, which was fantastic, as I mentioned before.
Bowie’s performance alone is worth the watch. Not because it was great; mind you, I don’t think his acting chops* fully developed until much later (like his cameo in “Zoolander” or his role as Nikola Tesla in “The Prestige”), but watching someone who is very much up to his eyeballs on cocaine on film is hilarious**. For sheer drug-related comedic value, I’d honestly say this is funnier than that out take of Barry Williams stoned on the set of “The Brady Bunch” (find it on YouTube).
In the end, though, sometimes you have to throw up your hands and say, “But it’s David Bowie.” And that’s enough.

*BOWIE FACT: “Acting chops” are actually a set of organs somewhere in David Bowie’s waify alien body.
**BOWIE FACT: Snorting cocaine before a take is referred to as “Bowie method acting” in the film world. In fact, his race introduced cocaine to Earth circa 750 BCE.

GS Reporter: Ed

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