Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Shape Of Water

One more before the end.

I almost waited a damn month to see this movie! I set on my calendar, December 7th The Shape Of Water. Movie didn't even hit here until the 22nd. Just got out from seeing it today, so geez was the wait worth it? Actually yeah! This is a very, very good movie with it's own unique visual style set in 1962 where a cleaning woman name Elisa works at a government base where basically they bring Abe Sapien in from Hellboy (who is literally played by the same guy) and they kindle a strong bond together. What follows is a jailbreak, a power struggle over a creature's life, and the strangest and yet very heartfelt romance I've ever seen. The romance does work, believe it or not. You wouldn't think a mute woman and the creature from the black lagoon would make an endearing couple but they do. And now comes the part, where I bow down on my hands and knees and shower endless praise for Sally Hawkins. Oh my God. Now I said this about 3 years back when I watched Legendary's Godzilla, "Mother of mercy that woman is absolutely beautiful.". And now this film has cemented the fact that Sally Hawkins is one of the most gorgeous women, if not the most gorgeous woman on the planet. This film was legit made for her, if she didn't take the main lead, the movie would never have been made. And she has the most powerful performance and not even spoke a line, that takes ridiculous talent and she sells this movie down to the last detail. Doug Jones also does very well, and the creature effects look incredible. Like, I really think he is there. It's not full CGI, he is actually there. Wow. And again, not a single line spoken and yet says so much. All the supporting cast help flesh out the movie, Octavia is a wonderful supporting member and made me smile a lot, Richard Jenkins and his relationship with Elisa is a highlight of the movie, and of course we have Michael Shannon. He is a dick in this movie! Like with every major player, you get why they are the way they are, but not Michael Shannon. Still intense as ever, and just a highly unlikeable and despicable human being. So that really helps us love our protagonists better, and it goes without saying this is an emotional film. Logic left far before the movie began, there is a scene....and it is so corny. But, there's a reason to it all, it has a (somewhat) logical progression to it. Doesn't change the fact it is totally ridiculous and kinda makes you go WTF, but it is based on human emotion alone. I have to say though when it began, I was awestruck, it really hit hard and I was stunned and amazed but then it went off the deep end. This was a weird movie. And I want you to think about that for a second. In over 300 reviews, with all the weird stuff I watch and love with reckless abandon, and I say this movie is weird? Damn. But, it's still a great movie and I am so happy I finally got to watch it. It didn't disappoint, I will no doubt buy it when it hits video, and if you are in a weird part of your brain and desperately need something off the wall and bizzare, look absolutely no further. Dive in head first, and let the emotions wash over you.

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Last Jedi

I have never heard a more appropriate and true line in a trailer ever, "This is not going to go the way you think.".

New Star Wars movie, well that's neat........STAR WARS!!!! Yes!! Yes! The day is finally here! And let's be real here. From fan to fan, this movie is very good but it has problems. The story pretty much takes place after Force Awakens, Rey finds Luke and tries to persue Jedi training, Leia, Poe, and Finn are fleeing from the First Order, and Kylo Ren and Snoke are hell bent on ruling the galaxy. First thing is first, this is not Empire Strikes Back. At all. This movie does things no other Star Wars movie has ever done or even dreamed of doing. That must be commended for something, for going to such unforseen and unexpected areas but it just makes me wonder what in God's name is gonna happen in Episode 9? I don't know! Don't even have a clue! And neither do you! It pleases me they went in a bold, and unexpected route but what now? What comes next? Have to say, performances are still strong though. Mark, Daisy, Carrie, and John are the real stars here and they all bring full force into these characters. And seeing Carrie Fisher on screen for the last time was surprisingly pleasant, I forgot she was no longer here because she is just so great in this movie. Action and effects are extremely well done, with jaw dropping scenes, and moments that made my heart thud in my chest. So obviously the movie had profound effects on me, so it must be amazing right? Well...kinda. There was so much pandering to younger kids with these jokes that have no place being in a very serious Star Wars movie, and the Porgs got distracting. Why is it a sin to have a serious movie? I know Star Wars is for all, especially kids, but could you literally have not put butts in those seats if you didn't tell jokes? I place this stigma on today's movies, you can't be too serious because every godforsaken movie HAS to have comic relief right?! Just....this movie has tonal problems. But thankfully it quits after awhile. It's like there were so many good and even groundbreaking things you saw in a Star Wars movie, but there were elements that could not be ignored and hurt the film. The ending was by far the worst part, not just because it was over but it just kinda stops. Sure, stuff happens but it just leaves you dangling and not even in a good cliffhanger way! Just, what the hell is supposed to happen next? Now you can argue the middle movies of both trilogies had similar endings where not much happened and you were left guessing but with this movie, I thought the ending was just kinda there and had no real purpose. I'm very happy I saw it, it certainly did not disappoint but I feel like I need to see it again before I can fully put my thoughts in. Of course you should see it, to make your own judgements but I can safely say that I did enjoy this movie and really, really need to see it again for myself.

Well I think that's it. Time for the reviews to end for the year. Surprisingly, and again I do need to see this movie another time, this was not the best movie of the year. At the moment. I'll watch it again and make my ultimate decision, so I'll let you know before Christmas. Until then, thanks for another year, hope you have a fantastic holiday, and may the force be with you.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Hogfather

Ah, what a nice movie. And a very appropriate film for the season.



One of the few adaptations of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, Hogfather follows the story of the book quite well. Imagine a world as flat as a disc, carried by four elephants, on the back of a giant turtle. And in this world, magic and fantasy are common place with wizards, bogeymen, and gods walk among mortal men. This particular story takes place during the Discworld equivalent of Christmas, where the fat man in red has gone missing forcing Death himself to take up the job. Meanwhile his granddaughter Susan investigates exactly why he disappeared, what follows is an offbeat adventure mixed with comedy, peril, and a very appropriate and extremely thought provoking issue of belief. Now it must be said, it is not necessary to read the book, though it does help. If you choose to give it a shot I ask you to keep a very open mind, and have some serious free time, the movie is split into two 90 minute episodes culminating in 3 hours. 3 hours is nothing to me, but it can be daunting to others so keep it in mind. The characters are outstanding, that's Michelle Dockery of Downton Abbey and Good Behavior fame as Susan, and believe it or not this was the second thing she ever acted in! And she does a great job, as this no nonsense, pure logical woman in a very illogical world, that's just trying to maintain an ordinary life despite the whole, her grandad is The Grim Reaper thing. Oh, and her grandfather is all things wonderful and I absolutely love him. It's difficult to describe his character strangely, he just tries his best to understand humanity because he has a great affinity for them, he may not understand everything but he just tries his best and it is incredibly endearing to me. Granted, this will probably just be my cup of tea. I love the more fantastical, and offbeat things in life so of course this thing is right up my alley but I do hope that you give it a shot! It has that Christmas or Hogswatch spirit depending on your point of view, with a fascinating and surprisingly poignant standing on the power of belief and more importantly, why you should believe in things. Quite possibly the best scene in the entire movie is a merely a conversation between Susan and Death on why human beings need to believe in things. It has such power and truth, and kinda made me get all misty-eyed. In fact that happened at least twice, the movie has just that all encompassing Christmas spirit and atmosphere just with a very odd twist to it all. I was very happy to see it, especially after reading all the Discworld Death novels, and it does improve elements of the book I have to say. With Terry Pratchett's writing, there is wandering about, and checking out other things beyond the main plot and the movie sticks to what's important but it does still wander a bit, but it's not that bad. So I had a lovely time watching this movie, I was invested even though I know how it all ended, and I daresay I would watch this every Christmas. Might be a longshot, maybe nobody will be brave enough to check it out, but honestly I loved talking about it, these books have become favorites of mine so it was nice to finally show the love for it. Regardless, we got one more review for the month (maybe) and I am heavily excited for it. So until then, Happy Hogswatch.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

It's A Wonderful Life

It's A Wonderful Life, Christmas classic, beloved by all, and......I really do not get the love for this movie.

This is not an uplifting, happy, or joyous movie that makes you appreciate life. Hell, it's not even a Christmas movie until more than halfway through! I just...I can't....why is this movie so loved?? Honestly, it's one of the most depressing movies I've ever seen. I really did not like this movie! It's not a bad movie, not by a long shot! But dear God, I just could not get into it. Did I watch the wrong movie? You know the movie where we spend the better part of an hour and a half watching the life of an ordinary guy, his buisness ventures, romance, and decline until there's about maybe 40 minutes left and his guardian angel goes Rod Serling on his ass, showing him the world if he was never born, then we get a mere glimpse of happiness and genuine pleasant moments before the credits roll? A Christmas movie where suicide is brought up multiple times, the stereotypical rich asshat actually wins the day in the end, one of the most cruel and genuine suspenseful scenes where a man berates his family and almost looks like he is about to beat his wife and children, and just gets more and more dark and depressing until...maybe the last 10 minutes. I'm sorry, this is a Christmas classic? How much xanax did you take in order to enjoy this movie? Please, tell me. Cause I need some! True, the movie has brief comedic moments but they are so few and far between. It deals with some pretty heavy stuff but the problem is, Jimmy Stewart's character has had a not so great life to begin with, so honestly when he Twilight Zones and see what the world is like without him, and he comes back it doesn't feel triumphant or uplifting in the slightest. It just still feels tragic. I'm sure I'm nothing but a dirty, rotten, heartless bastard for not liking this movie but it is not a happy, or uplifting, or even a Christmas movie. This movie bombed big time when it first came out, critics hated it, and not many people saw it. So how did it become ressurected as this "Christmas classic"? Now I will say the performances are all good, with Jimmy Stewart having a lot of humor and frantic energy but good God does he get over the top happy near the end. I honestly was kind of rolling my eyes at how joyous he was being back to the real world, it just seemed so cheesy and forced. I really did not go in to this movie like, "Bring it so called Christmas classic, show me the joy of life, and the spirit of happiness.". No! I was happy to finally see this movie with hardly any expectations, and what I got was an underwhelming, kinda dull, and downright depressing movie. Jesus H. Christ, no wonder suicide rates skyrocket around this time of the year since we got this movie playing! I am dead...fraking...serious. This is not a joke. It's A Wonderful Life is actually the exact opposite of a wonderful film.

Monday, December 11, 2017

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Yet another first. And you know what? Though I have not seen hardly any of the Vacation movies (I do not count Vacation as part of this series cause fffffffffffffff-I do not particularly care for it.) this will be hard to top.


Christmas Vacation almost perfectly encapsulates families visiting for Christmas, it's almost too real despite the ridiculous and outlandish tragedies that befall our main character Clark who really just want a nice, lovely Christmas with his family. Now I've stated it before and I shall state it again, all great comedy stems from misery. And there is some misery in this movie! But it also has actually very touching and nice moments, so it's not just slapstick and crude jokes, it actually has some genuine pleasant moments that aren't just there to remind you "Hey! It's a Christmas movie! Look at the sweet Christmas-y scenes!!". No. It's there to support the story. Clark just wants a Christmas like he had when he was a kid, and the conversation he has with the little girl is legitamately heart warming and sweet. But dude, he puts up with some boalshiet in this movie! Honestly the funniest bits is when he slips, and just starts being an ass to people just right out of nowhere. I was rolling, that cracked me up so much. I have to admit I didn't really expect anything with this movie, I never even really heard all that much about it, so I went in with an open clear mind and what I got was a very good movie. It was funny, surprisingly charming and sweet, and just a fun movie. I do recommend it very much, and am very happy I saw it. So it was a good night, and we got one more unseen Christmas movie. Hopefully I can take it.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Scrooged

Well damn this movie was awesome!


In fact....this is my favorite adaptation of A Christmas Carol. Yep, I said it. Why? Well, here we go. Scrooge is a loose adaptation of Charles Dicken's classic tale, with a new modern spin on it. Bill Murray, more or less plays Bill Murray specifically this outrageous jerk named Frank who is the head of a major broadcasting channel, and he is a diiiick in this movie. Like, to the point where I was laughing but also taken aback by just how unashamedly brutal and mean this guy is. It's like if Scrooge, the Grinch, and Blackadder spawned this evil, yet hilarious person. And I was surprised how great the movie was, cause I read up on it and the production seemed like a total mess, with the script constantly being re-written, Richard Donner and Bill Murray had a very strained relationship on set, and yet through all of that this is still a coherent, funny, and a very decent adaptation of a classic. This movie still has the heart and message of the original, while still doing a fresh take. Sure, we still get all the ghosts but the film has fun with it, and really treks into dark comedy which I love. The ghosts all have unique personalities but by far my absolute favorite is Carol Kane as the Ghost of Christmas Present. Now let me go on record and say, I friggin' love Carol Kane. She is 90 different flavors of crazy and perfect, she's just wonderful and I adore her. Her scenes in this movie had me rolling on the floor laughing! She stole the movie for me, that is how great she was! She was just so odd, and offbeat, yet so funny, and for lack of a better word...adorable. I must meet her and hug her, because Carol is brilliant in my eyes! Another person who I just loved watching is Bobcat Goldthwait in a supporting role, mainly because almost the whole movie I was like, "I know this voice. This is so damn familiar. But why? This guy is funny and his voice is so recognizable!" and then I found out. Ah! Good old Bobcat, funny dude! The music caught my attention too, throughout the movie I was just thinking, this music sounds like unused tracks from Batman Returns. This is very Danny Elfman. Guess what? Music was done by Danny Elfman. About 4 years before Batman Returns. Hey man, if your brain is really onto something, chances are you are totally correct. Scrooge was a treat to say the least, to the point where I want to make it a tradition to watch it every December. There's even a great Groundhog Day reference 5 years before Groundhog Day was even released. Yeah, this movie's a bit weird. But great. You gotta see this movie before Christmas, especially because of the speech at the end. It still rings true after about 30 years, and really makes you feel good inside. 4 stars! Check it out! And come back tomorrow, cause we always got more.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Oh how I find such joy in this short, though it's mostly found of a certain Grinchy sort.

Everyone knows the tale, of the town of Whoville and the Grinch who hated holiday cheer. But why is this story so beloved? That we must think, unlike that of a certain remake. It is a tale of finding the true meaning of Christmas, and not just the mirth of material possesions, with wonderful animation, color, and cast that makes this film just as memorable as it was in the past. It knows the point it is trying to make, and does not try to distract, because it is done with actual sophistication and tact! With a story of an eternal grump, a kind of story we know too well, who eventually learns to appreciate the holiday and not think of it as hell. Our Narrarator is Boris Karloff who voiced the Grinch too, and looking back it is so much cooler than anyone else could do. His voice is perfect and deliciously vile, with devilish body movements that are equal in guile, with hate and disgust for all things happy and seriously who could ever want anything so sappy? For Christmas is a nightmare and something I don't wish to exist, though at the very least I can deal with it for my family does insist. Although Charlie Brown told the meaning of Christmas better than most, this short film still has heart and something worthy of note. The songs are memorable and detailed in filth, so gross and disturbing it could curdle milk. It's a classic that no one could ever top, but that didn't stop Hollywood from making a flop. If you want a short film with cynicism and love for Christmas, then I couldn't think of a better candidate. Gather around with your family and give it a watch, who knows maybe even your heart will grow a notch.

Rhyming is hard, I must truly say. It makes me wonder how Dr. Seuss made it through the day. There is only one Grinch for me thank you very much, so you can keep your Jim Carrey movie. I often did watch this movie even when it wasn't Christmas, hell I did that with the Rankin-Bass specials too so I'm happy I could talk about it because it does indeed deserve the love and could do more than a big budget flub. But our job is not done, for tomorrow I will be visited by 3 spirits....

Thursday, December 7, 2017

In Search of Shapes In Water

Well I'm stumped on this. So I wanted to review The Shape Of Water before I went on my Christmas break and the damn movie was released in New York today, and won't get down here until the 21st! The closes theater showing it is in Austin, so that pretty much scratches that out. As a gift, I might do it after my break has started but until Saturday, I really got nothing. On the upside, it is snowing outside now. In Texas. In SOUTH Texas. Hell, at least someone has been listening to me! I decided that October should be cooler with a lot of breezy air and falling leaves, and we got that here. I felt it was high time December should be, you know...December so the temperature has dropped to the 40s and now snow. Now we need to make the snow last just one day more, and all will be right in the world. So what should I talk about tomorrow? An In Retrospect, or another Christmas classic, maybe even a short film to get you in the spirit? Who knows? But we'll all find out tomorrow. Until then, stay frosty and I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Ernest Saves Christmas

Alright, it's Christmas time again. Bah humbug to you and your ridiculous elfs on shelfs!


But seeing as how it is Christmas time, we should look at holiday movies. It's for you, and certainly not for me. So let's start with a more outlandish movie Ernest Saves Christmas. Starring the late and talented Jim Varney, this particular Ernest movie finds him meeting the big red guy himself, and tries to help find a succesor to the role of Santa Claus. It's a decent flick, with Jim doing fine work and gets to improvise a bit, the story takes a basic Christmas story and expands on it beyond just..."Santa! Let's go deliver presents!" which I do admire, the comedy is good, the setting of Florida gives it a unique setting since it barely gets below 70° down there (very much like Texas), and the replacement for Mr. Clause is genuinely heartwarming. Even though my grinchy grinch heart does not hold Christmas highly, I did actually enjoy this movie. It's a very good family movie and perfect for children around this time of year. I do have to state explicitly how this might be the best on-screen version of Santa, ever. This is the best Santa ever (And no, I have not seen The Santa Clause. Any of them. Withold your stoning and stake burning of me later.). You'll recognize his voice as the Sultan from Aladdin, and he is beyond perfect. You get the sense this is a man who has a deep love and commitment to Christmas, and all aspects of his character are addressed. Kindness and compassion, a great connection to all children, devotion to the season and his job, it's just raw unadulterated joy and happiness and all things good. I believe in Santa Claus. He is real. But....this doesn't change my views on Christmas, not one little bit! That holds a lot of power from an average holiday family film. Hell, the opening is quite frankly one of the most lovely and and dare I say even nostalgic Christmas movie openings ever. All it is, is select images of Santa Claus with carol music. But by God, it is like Christmas in it's most basic form and really would be prime movie watching if you hold a Christmas party, just the overall mood and....I don't know just pure esthetic is ideal in a situation like that. I haven't seen many Ernest movies, but from what I have heard this is easily the best. But it's all due to this film's Santa. Think about it, how many times have you seen Santa in films, and legitimately loved the potrayal? Like, this is the real deal Santa as he could, would, and should ever be? I can't say that often. But this movie did it. And while my general disdain for Christmas remains.....this movie was really good and got me in the spirit a bit. Oh hush, I'm not enjoying this. Kinda. Um...I hate Christmas! And, to prove my point we won't review another Christmas movie until Saturday! Ha! You won't be finding me in any yuletide cheer or joy this month! Until next time, my plans for stopping Christmas continue...

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Peanuts Movie

Well this movie was fan-flilpin'-tastic!



You know I feel so bad I never really watched Peanuts when I was a kid, oh sure I read the comic strips in the newspaper but never really watched it until very recently. This movie started off perfectly with Vince Guaraldi's beautiful music, I highly recommend you listen to his music if you are a jazz lover like me, and what followed was a very charming, sincere, funny, and just a wonderful movie to watch. It seriously made my day! So what's the story this time around? Charlie Brown is being very Charlie Brown as always, until a new girl moves in across the street and our boy Chuck has got a crush. The movie pays such a loving and excellent tribute to Charles Schulz comic and the various specials that came out over the past 50 years, and I'm so happy they made this movie cause I feel like current generation kids don't know Charlie Brown very well, and maybe this movie would get them to watch the cartoons and read the comic strips (Do kids even read comic strips anymore, or are they just for me?) so I applaud the people who did it. And while I'm at it, the animation is...wonderful. So much color and expression, with beautifully detailed backgrounds, and somehow mixes a three dimensional world with two dimensional characters and they mix so well. It just looks so dang good! Just everything was done so well. I especially loved Peppermint Pattie and Marcie in this movie, they are absolutely fantastic, Peppermint Pattie almost stole the show for me. All the voice acting is spot on, and I'm very happy they continued the tradition of using real kids as the voice actors, it really really does add so much to the performance. The only bad thing I can say about the movie is, there is modern music in it. It is not a complete jazz soundtrack which I can kinda, sorta understand. You need upbeat music for kids to enjoy it, I doubt most little kids would love to listen to some relaxing jazz music for about an hour and a half but I still wish it had more music which I associate Peanuts with. But regardless I am thrilled to own this movie, and you know it's funny, most people will admit Charlie Brown is not a happy character. He's a very down trodden, depressed character but with this movie it really is his time to shine which puts you in such a good mood! I haven't been this happy in...a long time, let's just leave it at that. So I'm walking on sunshine right now, I loved this movie to death, I really hope you go check it out, I feel so bad I did not watch this in theaters but I feel I appreciate it and love it a thousand times more than I would have when it came out. So I'm very happy I decided to review it now, I needed this pick me up so badly and I will no doubt watch it more in the future. Well.....you know what tomorrow is. I'm not ready. But we cannot stop Christmas from coming. Or can we?

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Killing Of A Sacred Deer

Jesus Christ, and I was shellshocked by Mother? This is a whole new level!




There are no words. I am still trying to wrap my head around this movie. This is not a part of the program, I am legit blank in my head. How do I talk about it? Guys? Please help me. Okay, deep breaths. What the flaming ostriches was that?? Okay, so apparently The Killing Of A Sacred Deer was directed by the same person who directed The Lobster, and whereas The Lobster was an off beat but still interesting and entertaining movie in it's own weird ass way, with this movie? I got nothing. No wait, I take that back. It was like, no it IS, a movie directed in the style of Stanley Kubrick. Like textbook Kubrickian cinema! Problem is, it's overdone, they tried to out-Kubrick Stanley Kubrick and while it is a well made (shot, edited, pacing, and overall atmosphere) film to the point where a simple zoom-in shot made me feel highly uncomfortable, the execution of it all and the story is just odd. Basically, it's a eye for an eye revenge story concerning a surgeon and his family being tormented by this teenage boy who lost his father. That is literally as much plot I could get from the movie, cause it spirals out into insanity very quickly. I will say this though, if the film's intention was to make me incredibly uncomfortable, and uneasy, and make me squirm in my seat, it's easily a 11/10 star movie in that respect. Like, I was so queasy when I left and felt very...out of it. I need to watch something like Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, or Mother just to feel normal again. Cause at least with Mother, you can be very confused by it but then you read and hear other people's interpretations of it and it suddenly makes complete sense. Or with Fear And Loathing, honestly it's not that far off from the book and though it gets odd it still stays true to our reality. This movie's world feels like The Lobster on vicodin, and everyone acts the exact same way as in The Lobster, very unearthly, blunt and straightforward, totally accepting of what we the viewer would call madness. I mean, to a T! Like they totally wrapped shooting on The Lobster, same actors, same crew, and immediately started filming this. So maybe this is what happened about 20 years after The Lobster. It makes about as much sense as anything else in this movie, so why not? I just....ugh, I need a drink. Or at the very least a more down to earth movie. So tune in tomorrow where hopefully I can find something that doesn't make me feel like I had a lobotomy.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Lady Bird

You know, for the highest rated and all around best reviewed movie on Rotten Tomatoes.....it was good.


Now don't get me wrong, Lady Bird is a very endearing, very well made, and just plain nice movie, I very much enjoyed the film and thought it was a very faithful and interesting movie that still rings true to late teenage years for most people. I mean the movie can be summed up in about two sentences. Lady Bird is your everyday, ordinary girl mainly living her life. She goes to a catholic high school, makes friends, finds romance, deals with her family, and all around is trying to progress through life. Bam. Easy plot, but so well done. Like, this movie legitamately feels like the life of a teenage girl like she was a real person. Saoirse Ronan is excellent in this movie, and I actually do look forward to seeing more from her in the future, she just nails it in this movie. You feel for this girl, can identify with her, and really wish for her to succeed in life. Now whether this movie can be described as an independent (because I refuse to call it 'Indie') is up to debate, but I love the look of the film. It's very basic in camera movement, but in terms of style, use of color, and environments it gets an A+ very easily from me on visuals. I don't know, for such a simple movie it had so much heart, and intelligence to it, there are few to no cliches in the movie, and honestly I only have one problem with the movie. The ending. Now let me clear this up, not the actual ending. Well....kinda. Basically the movie could have ended perfectly at several different points! Like, there was at least 4 or 5 instances where the credits could have rolled and I would have been very satisfied. But the film just keeps...sort of, meandering on and ends right the hell out of nowhere and it kinda hurt the film. I thought Return Of The King had a severe case of multiple endings disorder, this reaches a whole new level! The movie ends on a fairly basic and just all around "Eh." moment, and it could have done better! Did I still like the movie? Yeah! Do I recommend you watch it? Very highly, yes. It is a very good movie, not perfect, but very well done and an important movie to see, regardless of age, gender, or current standing in life. Will it win awards? Yeah. Do I still love Lady Bird? Without a doubt. But let me know how you thought the movie was, until next time good friends.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

In Retrospect: Atomic Blonde

You know it takes a lot for a spy thriller to keep holding your attention once you know how it all ends, but thankfully this movie does it well.


Yes, Atomic Blonde is still a fantastic movie that I would gladly buy and own for the rest of my life. Charlize Theron carries the whole movie, and she does a phenomenal job. Honestly if they announced her as the next 007, I really wouldn't mind that much! She gets the ever living hell beat out of her and she still comes into combat with all piss and vinegar, nobody and I will stand by this, has ever been beat down as much as her and yet she still fights back and wins. Pick any movie. Any protagonist. They don't even get a scratch on them compared to her. Jesus God almighty Charlize is the queen! The action is done so incredibly well utilizing slick and quick editing, while still giving the audience a wide view of the action so you can appreciate the choreography and brutal fighting displayed. The espionage element is still very good, with alliances, betrayal, and twists to keep it interesting. And of course, Sofia Boutella. Ohhhh my yes. Movie's perfect! It's perfect! Buy it, that is all. But in all seriousness, she is the cherry on top of this awesome movie. Just every aspect of it is so well executed. Story is very good, characters are interesting, action is exhilarating, the mystery is intriguing, the soundtrack is kick ass, it's just a really good movie! I was so happy to see it again, because I knew I was in for a blast and I highly enjoyed it as I did the first time. Although mind you, it wasn't an easy movie to watch with my mom. Cause she wanted to see the movie, and when it got a little...ahem, steamy, oh dear. Cause you remember how I described those scenes, and it really has not changed in terms of uncomfortableness, like I still feel like I am watching full on hardcore adult movie. Just....God. Beyond that though, very good movie! I might die tomorrow from massive consumption of food, but at least I will die happy and fed. So I'm okay with that. And if I live, I get to run around and breathe in the chaos of Black Friday, so it's win-win. And next week we will have lots to talk about...

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Music Don't Start Until Pie Day Ends

Some people call it Thanksgiving, I call it Pie Day. Because that's what I look forward to the most. And it all kicks off soon, helping the family cook, checking out the ballons at the Macy parade, wearing sweatpants for the sake of not busting buttons and breaking zippers, and of course being witness to a trial next Monday because someone curb stomped a lady because she got a television set before they did. Holidays man....they mess with you. So how about a review before I become comatose from too much ham and mashed potatoes? Atomic Blonde hit video, and I do need some Sofia Boutella right about now. Plus it was a damn fine movie that deserves more analysis, so what the hell. And maybe if I survive the Black Mass, uh I mean Black Friday and grab a thing or two I'll share it on my twitter. Oh dear can you hear it? The distant sounds of sleigh bells, and carols.....the horror. Oh God it's coming, and I cannot stop the inevitable but I must stay strong until Black Friday then I will have to endure the assault of the "most wonderful time of the year". Give me strength. I do not hate Christmas, but I don't like it as much as I did when I was 5. So we'll see.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Justice League

Yep, I loved it.


Justice League is another hit in my book, dashing all insecurities and paranoia that this cinematic universe could not take shape. This film was awesome, everyone was perfectly casted even in supporting roles, the action was very well done, all the characters got their screen time to shine, they did not feel shoehorned in or forced in anyway which made me very happy. In fact let's talk superheroes. Batman is still done very well by Ben Affleck spearheading the charge to form the League, Wonder Woman is really the backbone and soul of the League holding it all together while really throwing her all into kicking ass, Flash is perfection, (No I have not seen the CW show yet, so currently Ezra Miller is my Flash.) and you can tell he is having the time of his life in this role, Jason Momoa is Aquaman (Need I even say more?) and the sad part is most of his best moments are in the trailer but screw it Aquaman is the King, Cyborg was done I though incredibly well giving the character his struggle between man and machine and finding his new place in the world. However! You underused Mera, how dare you? You do not disrespect the Queen, and damn it I wish there was more of her! J.K. Simmons is really good as Jim Gordon, again terribly underused but it's great seeing him. And actually that's the thing, true these characters migh not be seen much but there will be more movies so we can fully appreciate the potrayals of these beloved comic book characters. Now I must admit, I have never heard of Steppenwolf in the comics, quite frankly he sounds like a Norwegian metal band, and I'd be lying if though while he is a formidable foe for the League, he is not that great a villain. He's basically a "all he sees he conquers" type of villain, and the best part of his character was that he mentioned an even bigger, badder villain than himself. Though that reveal will be easily detected by any fan of the comics or their related media. So the villain was not that strong, but the actions scenes are so well done, though the slow motion has reached Zack Snyder levels over 9000 thanks to The Flash now, but regardless it is all framed and shot well so you can get a large scope of the battles. And it does do justice to the comics incredibly well, and I highly suggest you stay after the credits. It may not be what you are expecting, but I think you will like it. It's by no means incredible like The Dark Knight or the 1978 Superman movie, but it is worth your time and money if you love comic books and love the movies even more.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Murder On The Orient Express

Well bollocks, turns out I did know the ending!


You ever have something either ruined or spoiled for you, and yet somehow you didn't know? Like it wasn't this buildup to a reveal, it was more or less just said in conversation and your brain didn't register it? Because all throughout Murder On The Orient Express, I was paying attention to the facts, not jumping ahead to any conclusions (though I did make several correct deductions), being calm and collected and not being spirited away by my theories and thoughts and just soaked it all in. However! In the back of my mind, that thought kept nudging. You know the one, where your brain is pretty much telling you, you already know the truth/ending/reveal. Did this hurt my enjoyment of the film? Surprisingly not, cause there were twists, and revelations that led to the big reveal that I did not know so it was this, really weird and surreal feeling where you know the ending and yet did not know the events leading up to it. Same sort of thing happened with Psycho for me. But I digress so we can actually get on with it! Murder On The Orient Express, though a classic story has been done justice in my opinion, and you know what really surprised me? This is a movie that could actually tell the story in modern time, but it chooses to stay in 1934 so visually, the film is spectacular! The fashion, sets, and setting all look wonderful. Our story follows a world renowned detective having to spontaneously board the Orient Express, where shock of all shocks, a murder takes place, the train is stuck in an avalanche, leaving the detective to solve the crime before the train can move on and the culprit can escape. Now while this is a very star studded cast, what I loved was, the characters were not one dimensional and just the actors who potrayed them. There is backstory, and important tidbits of information to almost each and every character, making them feel more real and not, oh that's just that suspicious looking guy, or it's just that mousy girl who is shy. There's more to them than that so I was very happy it wasn't just stereotype on top of stereotype. The mystery aspect is done very well, with enough twists and revelations to keep it interesting and not seem absurd with a new twist every 10 minutes. The logic of the crime solving is legitimate and there's no huge Sherlockian moments where the case is nearly completed in less than 60 seconds. Our detective is a perfectionist, very OCD, so detective work is merely an extension of his normal everyday life, he's not a super intelligent genius but he is intelligent and uses common sense and logic to solve the case and find evidence. It could have been so easy to make him an eccentric genius with a superhuman brain, but they did not and I applaud them for that. All the actors do their parts well, though Judi Dench is criminally underused, seriously how dare you? But anyway, another major positive is there is no red herrings, or fake outs with who killed our victim. Sure, you can have your suspicions but there is nothing concrete to go on. It reminds me a bit too much of Clue, downright to some scenes and instances which I can deal with, I love that movie to death so I guess one of the most underrated and cult classic of mystery films influenced this movie. But hey, I haven't read Agatha Christie's novel so maybe Murder On The Orient Express inspired Clue to a massive degree! Actually yeah, if I can go on one more brief tangent before I wrap this up, um what is the point of going to see a film adaptation of a crime or mystery novel if you have read the book? Like, you know how it ends and all the events leading up to it so why go see the movie? That never made sense, probably because it doesn't! Like what the hell is the point? Either watch the film or read the book. Granted this doesn't count with ALL books, I want to read all the Lord Of The Rings books including The Silmarillion even though I've seen the movies hundreds of times. So this gripe is only with murder mystery novels. Man, I really went off this time didn't I? It's rare I get this many tangents and ravings on my reviews so I'm sorry about that! Uh, to close the file on this one, if you legit do not know the ending go see the movie! This movie felt really concise and quick for a two hour movie, so I say go for it! But if you do know the ending, or read the book, or just don't care that much, pass it.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Suburbicon

This was a very different movie.


Now I'm gonna be honest, I liked the movie. I think George Clooney did a very good job directing and handling a Cohen brothers script, which basically concerns just your average suburban family being pushed too far and the ensuing chaos and death that follows. I gotta admit, that ending was great! I don't know, it was just such an odd little movie that had some genuine tension in some scenes, had a very good and very true social satirical viewpoint. All the actors did good work, with Matt Damon just being an average guy trying to cope with the terrible tragedy (get used to hearing that a lot in this movie) and how he tries to handle it all, Julianne Moore who has been cloned in this movie, yes you get not one but two Julianne Moores and once you try to get used to that...well let's move on. Next point, white people were assholes back then in 1959 or whenever this takes place, like Jesus do you people have anything better to do with your life than ostricize a black family? The most genuinely best and all around nice character, is a kid and he does great work for the dark and disturbing subject matter. The movie has a point but it sure does serve it in a very WTF way. And it finally happened, after 22 years, I have finally went to a movie theater and watched a movie alone. There was not a soul in there besides me. And I had a blast with it. I think that's why I enjoyed this movie, cause I could just say out loud "Dude....WTF?" when stuff started going to hell in a handbasket. Do I recommend the movie? Uh....yeah. Probably best just as a rental unless you have to see this movie soon. It certainly got reactions from me, so take from that what you will.

And yes, I did not forget about Murder On The Orient Express, we'll get to that next week. Best part is I have no idea how it ends so the mystery factor should be high for me! So I'm very excited to see that and can't wait to talk about it, so until then don't be a jerk to your neighbors but suspect all you like.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Batman Vs. Two-Face

Wow, this movie was great!

A loving last tribute to the bright, colorful, and wild Adam West Batman series that is everything you want and more. I was genuinely surprised how good this movie was, last time with Return Of The Caped Crusaders which wasn't bad by any stretch it wasn't what I was hoping for. This movie was leaps and bounds better than the last, with our Caped Crusaders unraveling a mystery of identity surrounding Harvey Dent. Now if you should know anything, Two-Face is my absolute favorite Batman villain of all time, better than The Joker, Mr. Freeze, or Scarecrow so when I heard William Shatner was going to voice him I had just one thought: please don't let it be cheesy. Well....more cheesy than necessary, this is the 60s Batman we're talking about. But to my surprise he did a great job, sure he had fun with it but you actually got the sense of the struggle between the two personalities which must be applauded. The best part is we get a whole volley of classic Batman villains, from King Tut and The Bookworm to Penguin and The Riddler, meaning I could revel in the lavish and ludicrous villains that I know so well. Another huge plus to the movie is the lore. This not only pays tribute to the Adam West show, but references the comics, Batman The Animated Series, previous films and I loved every last second of it. This movie was a blast, and though my heart is still shattered over the loss of our Bright Knight, I couldn't ever wish for a better send off to the Batman we deserve. The animation is great, voice acting is classic, the humor is off the wall and hilarious, and does the 60s TV show incredible justice. And of course the movie ends with a bat dance party, and yes I did Batusi. Well worth renting, buying, and wishing a fond farewell to the most beloved Batman in history. Until we meet again old chum.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

In Retrospect: Baby Driver

Yeah, been awhile since The Seventh Seal but I'm back!

This movie is still really damn good guys, like I was surprised how much I was still invested and gave a crap about the story even though I saw it all play out before. Ansel Elgort is still fantastic and I want to see this guy in more movies, Kevin Spacey is still Kevin Spacey and I love that guy, the action and driving is still incredibly done. And Edgar Wright has steadily become a name I am familiar with and look forward to seeing attached to a project, just the style of editing and music mixing is sublime and is really the driving force behind the movie, editing can make or break a movie and this movie is made in aces. I do think it will be one of those movies that does live on, well regarded and has it's fans but by no means a big blockbuster or classic, but it's a fine movie that will be appreciated and enjoyed for years to come. I have to say, when I first saw the movie I knew barely any of the songs which disappointed me a bit, but now I'm a much bigger fan of the music and own a bit of it which is funny because only until recently have I really been expanding my horizons and listening to different music. Most people do that in their teenage years, so I'm a late bloomer without a doubt but I'm happy to find new stuff that I love. And that's an undeniable fact, with film and music there is always something new to enjoy.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Seventh Seal

This was a very fascinating movie.


I can see why it has become such a popular and renowned film since it first came out, but did I like it? The short answer, yeah. The long answer, well here we go. You know what actually surprised me about the movie? The chess match was played in sessions, so really the whole structure of the movie was nothing like I anticipated it. I thought it would be, buildup, buildup, dialogue, dialogue, "Who are you?" "I am Death.", chess match, end of movie. But no, the match is split up between character action, development, and dialogue. Even Death himself is kind of more in the background, with the main focus on Antonious Block played by a very young Max von Sydow and his search for knowledge of God, existence, and death. It's strange seeing Max as a very young, dashing man because every movie I've seen him in he always looks the same, awesome elder gentleman so this was a new light and he does good in the movie really capturing that viewpoint of, what's the point of it all when you get right down to it, that sort of cynical, I need proof, no nonsense attitude towards life and more importantly religion. See Antonious was in the Crusades, so after 10 years of bloodshed all in the name of God, you kind of start having your doubts about the whole religion thing. And most of Death's screentime is devoted to him toying and antagonizing Antonious, with a very menacing presence and just this sort of uneasiness. Which is how it really should be when you get down to it! You shouldn't look upon Death as a grandfather figure, or someone you have deep emotional attachments to, you really should have your skin crawl in his or her presence which is how I felt! Especially in the second to last scene, I mean my God I felt so uneasy and disturbed, it was dripping with such a doomy atmosphere and dark ending to it all, it really hit me believe it or not. Surprisingly as much as it touches upon death, it takes the time to appreciate aspects of life. Seeing children learn how to walk, having a meal with friends, pursuing love, simple joys but can mean entire worlds to some. It was an interesting experience, I was a mere witness to this story and these people but really felt a lot. Solace, anger, fear, shock, apathy, empathy, happiness, sadness, a whole volley of emotions. Certainly made me appreciate the day I was given. So yeah, I do recommend the movie. You certainly have to be in the right mindset and mood for it, but if the time comes go ahead and watch it. I found it well worth the time I had of living.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

When Death Is On The Mind....

Not so much the actual act of dying but more the personification of Death. I have been reading Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, specifically the Death novels (I'm currently on Soul Music.), which are great and very enjoyable reads that I do recommend if you like more off the wall, absurd, and just plain fun writings in the world. But also, I watched Death Takes A Holiday and it was quite good I have to say, almost certainly worth talking about more in the future, and even a Twilight Zone episode that may not be as surprising as others but it was still good and young Robert Redford makes it worth your time. Now of course it has some inspiration from one of my many reviewers, in this case Lindsay Ellis (Formerly known as the Nostalgia Chick) who did a brief sort of, example slideshow of the personification of Death itself filed under her series Loose Canon which is a highly entertaining and informative series which you can watch on YouTube. So yeah, she certainly put me in the right mindframe and death is more common than dirt around Halloween time. I saw at least 3 Reapers on Halloween day, so that was cool. And as I live and breathe now, I saw Death. I mean like, the real deal. Straight from the pages of Neil Gaiman's acclaimed Sandman series, I saw her. All black clothes, 80s level of big hair, I could have sworn I saw the ankh around her neck, and it was as brief as a whisper. Came and went in the blink of an eye. It's a shame I'll have to probably wait 100 years to see her again but hopefully not or hopefully so depending on your point of view. Yeah, it's been an interesting week to say the least. So what do I make of all of it? Difficult to say, but I highly doubt it will hinder how I live my life in the future, yesterday was such a wonderful day and today may have been just a wretched day of existence but I assure you I am quite well and in much better spirits as I write this. I do have to say Lindsay brought up a classic film, one I have never seen and very much want to, so with Death on the mind, tomorrow we will watch The Seventh Seal and I'll see how much I like it.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Mummy (1959)

And here we are, at the end of another horror filled month of reviews. And how better to end where we began?


The Mummy, one of Hammer's finest movies combining the best elements from all previous Mummy movies before it, specifically the Universal Mummy movies into one excellent film. The plot is very similar to the Boris Karloff Mummy movie, explorers discover the tomb of an Egyptian princess Ananka which is percieved by protectors of the tomb as sacrilege so they ressurect her high priest Kharis played by Christopher Lee to seek vengeance on those who raided her resting place. Peter Cushing plays the son of one of the explorers, and must stop the ancient Mummy from spilling more blood. This movie, Curse Of Frankenstein, and Horror Of Dracula are the prime examples of Hammer horror and must be seen by any horror fan. The sets are excellent, the acting is fantastic and played by the best actors Britain had to offer, the story is timeless though set near the beginning of the 20th century, and I don't think I need to say this is the greatest Mummy movie ever made. Peter Cushing is a brilliant lead that plays the part with great conviction and style, while Christopher Lee though a mere pawn in the game has such emotion purely through his eyes and you feel immense sympathy for his character. The bits of action are quite good too, fully taking advantage of the set pieces and are there to progress the story but are great spectacle too. It even has a bit of romance in it, which is a common theme with the more classic monsters, the monster seeks a young woman to have and to hold till death do they part. Such emotion is severely lacking in modern horror movies today, you can feel a wide range of emotion other than just fear and shock, which is what sets classic horror so high in the eyes of this humble reviewer. The Mummy is a first rate thriller, deserving of every ounce of praise it gathered after the almost 60 years since it first hit theaters.

Thank you for joining me this month and I sincerely hope you find great enjoyment in these films, as I did. It's always such a joy to discuss horror movies this most wonderful time of the year. Oh, and.....Happy Halloween.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell

The monster from hell? Looks like hell!


So the last of the Hammer Frankenstein movies, and to tell you the truth it does end very underwhelming but it's by no means bad. Frankenstein is now in an insane asylum continuing his experiments by putting the brain of a genius into quite possibly the worst designed Frankenstein monster in history, and that's including Frankenhooker, Blackenstein, and the monster from Evil Of Frankenstein. Dear sweet lord, it looks like an ape from a zoo. Like what the frak?? The monster is played by David Prowse who played the monster in another Hammer Frankenstein movie that did not star Peter Cushing so that's why we didn't talk about that, and to think not even 4 years after this movie came out both Peter Cushing and David Prowse were in control of the Death Star. And that's awesome! But anywho, for the last in a series it's by no means a masterpiece but I love the look and feel to it. The asylum is a dark, grim, and depressing setting for macabre experimentations, with the camera focusing on every gruesome detail, it's a slower paced movie, and Peter Cushing was very tired and frail, this being not very long after the death of his wife Helen but he continued on giving another very good performance though very routine for this role and honestly he was playing the role since 1957, this final movie came out in 1973, when you play the same role for almost 20 years you can bring a lot to it, but I have to agree it was a good thing Hammer ended the series with this. Watching all these Hammer Frankenstein movies, you can appreciate the new ground they broke with Curse Of Frankenstein ushering a new age of color horror movies, with it constantly pushing boundaries and giving the same stamp of quality every time. Whether it's Dracula, Frankenstein, or other Hammer films you always get an interesting chapter in horror history and can always enjoy them even after 60 years since its inception. It was a lot of fun and very interesting to watch all these movies, and really did remind me why I love Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing so much and adore them as actors and human beings. And I got to tell you, I was feeling real down in the dumps, just wanted to shut the lights off, close the door and lock it behind me, and just leave it all then I sat down and watched the Hammer Dracula movies and felt instantly better. So the next time you feel depressed, watch Christopher Lee bite the necks of luscious young women, and Peter Cushing create a monster. It'll make the day better.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed

Well that's an over the top title isn't it?


I don't know, I kinda feel split on this. It's a very good movie but it has some glaring problems, so we will have to deliberate on this. So Frankenstein has abandoned soul transfers and back to good ol' brain transplants, but he needs research from another doctor on how to preserve a brain for prolonged periods of time after his previous lab is discovered. What's interesting about these movies is that there's not really a monster in every installment, where Frankenstein creates a new monster every time, you can without a doubt do a character study and maybe even a character arc throughout these 6 movies which I find very fascinating. I actually prefer the idea of following the good doctor than his creations, cause that's what the novel was really about, it was about Victor and his changing character from beginning to end. Peter Cushing is at one of his highlights in this movie, always in control, having a brilliant scene where he puts four posh idiots in their place, and in some scenes you fully understand why Peter Cushing was called the gentleman of horror, he's very charming and kind even though you know the terrible things he has done in the past 5 movies. But....oh Jesus, there's no way I can get around this. So I'll just say it, there's a scene where Frankenstein rapes a young woman. Everybody, and I do mean everybody from the actors, to the director, to the writers were against it. It wasn't even in the damn script! But apparently the executive producer wanted it to sex up the movie. Sex it up??! It's not sexy or erotic, it's friggin' horrifying and terrible!! What in the name of all things good and holy was he thinking? Now I know this series took the character and made him more unsympathetic, not caring about killing people and feeling no remorse towards his work, but this took it way to far. Peter Cushing kept apologizing to Veronica Carlson because of the scene, and if I was there I honestly would have told the executive producer that shooting would cease and the movie would not be made until the idea for that scene was removed and would never be shot. And if that scene was not there, this would be one of the better movies in the series. And the fact that Frankenstein now needs help to properly preserve a brain after literally swapping souls in the last movie makes his intelligence seem inferior, and that hurts his character. That and the whole rape thing. Honestly, I can get over the lack of knowledge but I can't get over that scene. And the rest of the movie is well made! Sets are great, the music might be the best of the series, all the acting is really darn good, the story though extremely flawed is very well done, it just has some bad decisions in the terms of making the movie. The finale and leading scenes toward it is great, with a very good confrontation. I really, really want to love this movie, but Jesus. And I blame this on not one of the major forces of greatness in this movie, not the actors, or director, or writers. I almost wish Hammer would re-release this movie and omit the rape scene, then I could highly recommend it. I still do recommend it but it was very important to bring those issues up. If you can put up with it, you will find a very good movie.

One more. How does it all end? Well even I cannot say, but we certainly will talk about it tomorrow.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Frankenstein Created Woman

This is certainly a better film than the last, but by how much?


Well in this installment Frankenstein has apparently evolved from transferring body parts now....are you ready for this? He's trying to transfer the soul. I am so not even kidding. His next experiment involves taking the soul from a person and placing it into another person. Let's just say it isn't what we would call a succesful experiment. Our story doesn't really focus on Frankenstein much but on a couple, Christina and Hans. The third damn Hans in this series, you know there are other German names guys geez. And they are actually a nice couple, but each have emotional baggage. Hans' father was executed right in front of him, so the townspeople think very little of him, and Christina is a closed in young girl with a disfigured face that Hans has a romantic relationship with. And the care and affection you feel between them makes future events more tragic. I'm not even sure if I can discuss the next events without giving away the whole movie, but I can say it ends on a very somber note and you feel that Frankenstein has learned a lesson and will not continue in this field. Coming off the last movie, which had so little going for it I could barely write anything, this movie does improve. I genuinely care about the characters, albeit with slight disbelief because of other events that occur but it never takes me out of the movie much. I do enjoy it, and apparently I'm not the only one. Martin Scorsese claimed this was one of his favorite films of all time. Well hell, now you gotta go see it! And one more note I have to add is, if you Google the title of this movie you will find tons and tons of promotional material with the female monster half naked alongside Peter Cushing. No scene in the movie shows the experiment performed on her, they just cut to her recovering in bed. Now I know this was the late 60s, you had to get something to make people want to see the movie, and in that time period where less people were uptight about the human anatomy it does kind of make sense why they chose that, and since not a lot of women went to horror movies compared to guys it makes even more sense. Now granted there have always been women who liked or loved horror movies even to this day, so take my word for it, if you want to make out with a young lady take her to see a horror movie. If Silence Of The Lambs can come out on Valentine's Day, why not?

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Evil Of Frankenstein

And now Hammer joins Universal to bring an.....okay Frankenstein movie.


Yeah, so Hammer co-produced this installment with Universal and my God, you thought it was going to be really good and guess what? It's sub-par at best. Plot is boring, mainly dealing with the good doctor finding a previously made monster (which we have little to no background on) and they employ the help of a hypnotist that has vengeance issues, and my lord could this movie be more boring? This definitely is one of the weaker installments, I mean you hear Universal and Hammer teaming up to make a horror movie, you expect the friggin' creme de la creme of quality and you don't get much. The design of the monster itsslf is terrible, combining Jack Pierce's makeup with 60s makeup. It's bad, but granted I have seen worse even in this series! Now while the sets are fantastic in some respects, with probably the best laboratory set in the series, and even the acting is still good, the material to work with is so forgettable and kinda rubbish. I don't know, it's just not all that great. The movie is very basic, with little to keep you interested or entertained. Skip it unless you're a hardcore fan, and hopefully I'll enjoy the next one more.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Revenge Of Frankenstein

Second movie in, and still going strong.

So Revenge Of Frankenstein follows the events of the first, with the good doctor escaping the death sentence and continuing his experiments, only now everyone knows the legend of him so he also has to keep his identity and work more secret. Although the plot is basic, it keeps the pressure high and has some good twists in it, with Peter Cushing owning the whole movie. One element I must address is the laboratory sets are incredible, seeming homemade for that time period but fully functional, and even quite possibly better than the Karloff Frankenstein lab set in my opinion. There's so many good scenes in this movie! I especially like the opening scene that introduces us to Frankenstein perfectly, and it is great fun but the scene that steals the show is an interrogation scene where after a series of events, a group is formed and accuse Frankenstein of being, well...Frankenstein. But Peter Cushing is so cunning and in control of the situation, you take great delight in seeing him make everyone seem stupid. Obviously, Peter Cushing is what holds every single one of these movies together, no matter how ludicrous or silly the movie seems, his performance makes you believe it and even enjoy it. Hammer knew they had something good after the success of the first and second movie, so what happens next? Well, I'll tell you tomorrow. In the meantime, if you can get your hands on seeing this movie I do highly recommend it for it's first rate acting, set design, and continuing story of an infamous character.

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Curse Of Frankenstein

How do you remake one of the most classic and recognizable horror films ever made?


Curse Of Frankenstein was the first in a long run of Hammer movies centering around Dr. Frankenstein played to perfection by Peter Cushing that took the enormous responsibility of retelling the classic story of a scientist who tried to be God and create a man that was in truth a monster. This film should be applauded because, the movie was in the shadow of the Universal classic, and tried to do it's own thing and in my opinion, it did it in aces. This film is great, with the same production level of other Hammer films and alumni actors who still give in excellent performances. Peter Cushing is our star, and this series of movie explains why he wasn't in all but 3 of the Hammer Dracula movies, because he was too busy being the greatest Dr. Victor Frankenstein ever potrayed on screen, even today. You believe his obsession with his work, and can be genuinely horrified by his actions in this and future films. What's interesting is the movie is told through flashback, with Victor in a prison cell retelling the story we all know, and there's a reason why the story is told this way but it's not obvious until the end. This was also the first movie where Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee shared the same scenes in the same movie, and it's because of this movie that they are both the horror stars we know today, and the year after this movie came out in 1957, Horror Of Dracula was made, so really the most succesful and quite even arguably best remakes in film history all spanned from this movie. Not a lot of recognition and love is shown for Hammer horror films even today, unless you're knee deep in horror like myself, so I found it very important and fun to talk about these movies. This is a very important chapter in horror movie history that deserves more recognition and respect, so that's why I chose these series of movies for this year. And we're gonna take em' one by one until the end of the week. See you then!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Satanic Rights Of Dracula

I apologize for this review being late, we had a bit of a crisis at home and let's just say it was busy.

Let me tell you there's a reason this is not only the last Hammer Dracula movie but also this is the only movie to slip into the public domain, that's right Hammer doesn't even want anything to do with it and for good reason. The Satanic Rights Of Dracula is without a doubt the weakest of the series, because it doesn't even focus on Dracula! The whole movie is just boring and they threw in elements of spy movie stuff, occult sacrifices, and crime drama and threw it in with Dracula, with very lengthy talking scenes and very little else. Peter Cushing is in most of it which is great obviously, but he's mainly used for exposition but I can listen to him talk all day so I can kinda let that slide. Dracula is barely in the movie, showing up randomly and having very little to do until the last 20 minutes. In fact the only real reason you should watch the movie is the last 20 or so minutes. The final confrontation between Van Helsing and Dracula is outstanding, with Christopher Lee having a full blown monologue before the fight erupts and it is glorious. I would talk about the plot, but I can't figure it out, it's just a series of incidents and exposition. There's actually one more good scene in the movie but only because it's just odd. So basically Van Helsing is trying to find Dracula, and for some reason he turns up at this building and meets this guy who is so obviously Dracula, but the part that interests me is he kinda talks like Bela Lugosi! His dialect and accent heavily reminds me of Bela Lugosi, and it's just odd to hear Christopher Lee talk in such a way but I strangely find it kinda neat. Bottom line, stay away from this movie, just watch the last 20 minutes or so.

Okay so tomorrow, we look at one more Hammer series and let me tell you, it will be awesome.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Dracula A.D. 1972

Behold! The underrated classic of the Hammer Dracula movies!

You either look at this movie and say it's one of the worst or one of the best. Me personally? I love it! It's my 2nd favorite Dracula movie from Hammer, next to Horror Of Dracula. And it doesn't take anytime to kick off the right way, opening scene is a fight between Van Helsing and Dracula and that's how you announce Peter Cushing is finally back. Then we jump ahead 100 years, in 1972 with bellbottoms, teenagers grooving with some funk music, and shenanigans. We're introduced to Jessica Van Helsing played to greatness by Stephanie Beacham, granddaughter of this generation's Professor Van Helsing. And it must be noted it is so wonderful to have Peter back, he plays the part wonderfully as always, combining occult expert but now bringing in a new dynamic with a granddaughter that I have to say is super sweet to see. You get the feeling he loves and cares for his granddaughter deeply as she does for him, which never ceases to make me smile. Christopher Lee is very good as always, and though he doesn't have much screen time it's still great and he has some dialogue, good dialogue even. And now I can definitively say, this movie has the best ressurection scene in all of the Hammer Dracula movies, you can see the sheer fear on people's faces and the atmosphere is doomy and dark. Surprisingly, even though the film takes place in the 70s the gothic and creepy sets are ever present, and I noticed there is a lot of great sets, really good use of camera angles, the colors are bright and vibrant (Again, the 70s.) which clash with the dark and gloomy sets, the music is funky and I love it, you can really enjoy this movie. There might not be much in terms of plot, but the characters and the action is fantastic, and the final fight between Van Helsing and Dracula is very good with tension and there's this one scene where you really see the hate and passion to kill Van Helsing in Dracula's eyes, it's one of my favorite scenes of the entire series. For a movie with the title of Dracula A.D. 1972 you would expect a ridiculous, cheesy, not even slightly good movie but the movies is great compared to others, it took a chance by setting it in the then modern day but it paid off, at the very least for me. I love this movie, it's just a really damn good movie and I doubt many people have seen this movie. I really have to say give it a shot.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Scars Of Dracula

For the 5th movie in a series, this one isn't terrible.

In the 70s, Hammer was running low on ideas for movie, so they rebooted the Frankenstein and Dracula movies, although to be honest most of the movies had loose continuity to begin with, and yet for some weird ass reason the movie starts with a ressurection scene that is absolutely terrible in every sense of the word. So Dracula is back, and our main hero named Paul (It's always Paul! Was that your favorite name Hammer Studios??) is just sort of meandering about until he just so happens to turn up at Dracula's castle, then we pick up with his girlfriend and brother as they try to locate him. Basically, it's like Psycho but with gothic sets, a 19th century look and feel to it all, and vampires. If that sounds like your kind of movie great, but for me this is by no means a bad movie but not one I hold highly to the others. I mean the best scene in the movie is so just right the hell out of nowhere, doesn't make any sense, but it will shock you. And not the way you expect. Totally not even going to hint at what it is. You just gotta see this stuff to believe it. I have to say, since the movie takes place for the most part at Dracula's castle you get two things in great supplement: outstanding gloomy, gothic sets, and more Christopher Lee screen time and he does speak in good length too so that's always great. The ending is just as absurd as the beginning so take from it what you will. Not terribly bad, but not excellent either. No that honor goes to the next film in the series.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Taste The Blood Of Dracula

Yet another awesome title.

So picking up after the events of the last, Taste The Blood Of Dracula is a decent sequel, not bad not great but good. The plot starts off with three very wealthy men who are fed up of the same routine and wish for something more, they meet this awesomely insane guy played by Ralph Bates who shares the idea of, "Hey wanna go ressurect Dracula?" to which they say, "Yeah sure." (You can tell they're wise men.) and so they do in now that I've rewatched it again, a better ressurection scene than in Prince Of Darkness, it really builds that atmosphere of stuff is about to get dark real quick. I love it. So Dracula is back, huzzah! And Christopher Lee has a bit of dialogue, huzzah! Let the seduction of women begin, and the inevitable death of our favorite bloodsucker. The most shocking part of the movie is Dracula really isn't the worst bad guy in this movie, it's one of the men who participated in the ressurection and father of our hero's love interest. This guy is just a bastard, a cruel, vicious, abusive man who I honestly wished got a worse demuse than he did. Our hero is named Paul, yeah the name of our last hero but tottaly different guy, he's not bad in the role but my God do they try to sell this romance, like okay guys we get it. You love each other. Now where's Chris? So yeah, it's a decent sequel, I'd rank it somewhere in the middle of the series. So tomorrow we move on to a Dracula movie that I honestly do not remember much about, so we'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Dracula Has Risen From The Grave

That's a great title by the way. Love that title.

So this particular Dracula movie takes place a year after the last with Dracula being buried under ice when a monsignor visits the town and investigates the ruins of his castle, through one of many inexplicable ressurections in the coming future the Count is ressurected and seeks after the monsignor's niece played by Veronica Carlson. Meanwhile, we meet our main hero Paul played by Barry Andrew who I have to say is the second best hero in this series besides Van Helsing, he's just a normal nice guy who gets swept up in all this and has to deal with Dracula to save his girlfriend even though he is an atheist which I think raises the stakes very nicely. And I think because of our heroes in this movie, it makes this particular movie one of the best in the lineup. All the elements from previous Dracula movies are here, excellent set design reminiscent of The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, Christopher Lee is a straight up pimp in this movie, the music is great, and the blood is increased greatly and I love how ridiculously red the blood is in these Hammer films. One thing that must be mentioned is Christopher Lee has a surprising amount of dialogue, though most of the time he can really speak through his body language but it's great to hear him in this. And guess what? This movie was rated G by the MPAA! What?? A horror movie that is rated G, I cannot believe it. So the next time your 3 year old niece is over, show her this movie! What were they thinking??! But all in all, it's one of the better movies to be sure, and the next one isn't half bad either. Until then....

Monday, October 16, 2017

Dracula Prince Of Darkness

I can't believe it took 8 years to get a sequel to the first Hammer Dracula movie. You think they would get right on that, but better late than never.

So how's the sequel? Ehhhh, not great. Not terrible but kinda boring. The plot follows a group of travellers that happen across Dracula's castle, what follows is an excellent ressurection scene that builds the tension wonderfully, and Christopher Lee is on the hunt again. It must be said that Christopher Lee from beginning to end is a mute monster, he hated the dialogue which is a shame because he really is a terrific Dracula. The best character in the movie is our replacement Van Helsing, Peter Cushing will be absent for most of the future sequels due to him being in the Hammer Frankenstein movies, and honestly he's awesome. A gun toting, wise, no nonsense, kickass cleric, now that's what you need in your party! The rest of the cast is the absolute worst most boring dredge you can possibly imagine, it's slabs of meat heading for the meat grinder, no character, no motivation, just boring. So yeah, not really a great or even really good sequel, but they pick up in the next installment. So until then dear friends...

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Horror Of Dracula

Good God I forgot how great this movie is!

Yes, the film that made Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing the horror stars they are today, Horror Of Dracula was the first of a long running series of horror films produced by Hammer Studios in England. To my knowledge the first Dracula movie in color, and it is a sight to behold. While the plot is basic, just a retelling of the Bram Stoker novel, what the film excels in is rich visual appeal with lavish sets and costumes, great acting especially by Peter Cushing, and for a movie that's not even an hour and a half it moves at a great pace. In fact, this movie is one of those films where every scene is crucial, you cannot cut a thing out of this movie because it would hurt the film. Terence Fisher did a great job with this movie, it's gothic sets are incredible to look at, the music is used for dramatic effect which enhances the movie significantly, for a movie from 1959 it holds up because it's more or less a period piece around the late 1800s. I don't know, there's just so much good stuff in this movie. The only bad thing I can say about this movie is it takes place in Germany without a doubt but everyone, and I do mean everyone hails from Britain but honestly that's it. Christopher Lee is a fantastic Dracula and seriously has an imposing presence on the screen, Peter Cushing is by far the best Van Helsing ever potrayed on screen and plays it with sophistication and class, and it shows a lot more than in any vampire movie before. Since it was close to the 60s, censors were less uptight so now there was blood, cleavage, and two very graphic staking scenes. You know how I said before the music was used for dramatic effect? I can pinpoint the exact scene to back up my claim, it's where we see our first stake through the heart. The music builds with tension and horror as you see the open graves of Dracula and his bride, Jonathan Harker prepares to kill them and then the music goes deathly quiet. There's barely a sound, which builds the tension cause you know what he's about to do but it still is done, and it is not quick or quiet when he does so, the only sounds you hear are the hammer smashing the stake into a heart and screaming. It's very hard to watch because it's surprisingly realistic, it's not just one hit and they are dead, it takes multiple strikes and the blood is minimal but highly effective, and it happens not once but twice. For 1959 this was some serious hardcore stuff, and it still kinda is. There's no stunning visuals or ridiculous amounts of gore and blood, hell you barely even see the actual staking but the picture that your mind paints is much more effective than what the screen could ever show you. Horror Of Dracula is the best of the Hammer Dracula movies and should be seen by any horror fan, especially if you have great love and admiration for the classics like I do. Great film, great actors, and there is more to come in the days to follow.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

This movie is so bizzare. And the first movie was already bizzare enough!

So Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is the sequel to the classic, with Tobe Hooper in the director's chair yet again. It must be said this is by no means whatsoever a serious film, it harbors on a spoof and I think Tobe knew damn well he couldn't top the first so he just went crazy and had fun with it in this movie. Caroline Williams is our major star here, and my God you wanna crown a scream queen look no further. I love Caroline Williams in this movie, because she screams her lungs out and you want her to win. The plot is very difficult to describe believe it or not, it basically follows Stretch played by Caroline as the Sawyer family, our favorite family of cannibalistic psychopaths randomly pick her as their next victim. Meanwhile, Dennis Hopper is tracking the Sawyer's down, in the most insane, scenery chewing way possible and it all culminates in a frantic climax with an ending that will leave you wondering, what the actual hell did I just watch? This is a good movie, not heard or watched by many but boy howdy does it have it's fans. I can certainly see the appeal and I in no way can compare it to the first, because it's just a totally different beast. The humor is prevalent and made me laugh often, but for a horror comedy there's 2 scenes which are very difficult to watch because of just how horrifying it is, I mean this is just a weird movie. You gotta have a real twisted sense of humor and an open mind to enjoy this movie. I'm glad I saw it, and I can greatly appreciate what it tried to do, and Caroline Williams who is 80 different flavors of awesome and gorgeous make it a treat to watch. By no means for everybody, but if you want something different, this is a prime place to start.

Okay, next two weeks are gonna be busy where we look at two of the most recognizable and well made horror series from England.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Candyman

This was a really good movie. And the sad part is not many know of either the urban legend or the film.


Candyman is a truly horrifying and scary film, following a college student writing her thesis on the urban legend of the Candyman, with more and more accounts told and evidence that perhaps he truly does exist, with many twists before the end. This is an undisputed classic in my mind, it takes place in a suburban area of Chicago which makes it feel too real because it's a legit place you can go to. The film looks great, while not being fully extravagant the set design and shots of Chicago give it a realistic and yet somehow still dream like and in the realm of the fantastic. I have to say Virginia Madsen who does very good in this movie, can be misconstrued as a bad actress or just slightly off but I think that was the direction they were going for, a very surreal horror tale that has an urban and more modern look to it. But the man who steals the show is Tony Todd, even though you don't see him much in the film his presence is constantly hanging over you, and you're never quite sure when he'll turn up. He has one of the most amazing voices I have ever heard, he's not just speaking he is invading your mind and filling it with his booming terrifying voice. And while we're at it, the music is fantastic! It is gloriously creepy and easily unnerves me, major props to Philip Glass for making one of the most skin crawling, and just plain disturbing musical scores ever composed. It genuinely horrified me and made me very jittery several times, and I think it is very, very safe to say I will NOT be uttering his name in front of a mirror. Ever. And to close it all out, I loved the ending. Was it good or bad? Well I'd call it all depends on your certain point of a view. I think it's a very happy and downright disturbing ending that I'll never forget.

One more movie for the week, and I think I got another cult classic just right for the season.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Carnival Of Souls

Now we truly start October.


Carnival Of Souls is not only a great cult classic, but I think it's so good this will become a regular film to watch during the Halloween season for me. The story follows a woman who after surviving a car crash goes on a search to find her place in the world again while being plagued by visions of ghouls, and a mysterious building once used as a carnival, which is now derelict. There is much to be admired here, for a low budget of $33,000 this movie does a lot in terms of atmosphere, chilling scenery, creepy music, and a basic but still quite enticing movie. I was drawn to it the first time I saw it, and I honestly can say that this is one of a few movies where you can analyze it to whatever degree you wish or simply take it at face value and lose nothing. For a completely amateur crew, director, and actors this is still a very good movie. It's slow, almost dream like or perhaps a slow building nightmare that draws you in and keeps you guessing until the end. The imagery used is unforgettable and the organ music can be genuinely bone chilling especially paired with the ruins of the carnival which is actually a real place, Saltair where you can visit it even today. It's one of the most interesting movies I've ever seen and I almost daresay to watch it how I did the first time. Let me set the scene: It's late one evening, everyone's going to bed and I'm lounging on the couch. I'm restless. It's late October, I long for a creepy classic when I decide to watch Carnival Of Souls. I sit alone, in absolute darkness as the organ music fills my ears and I soak up every ghoulish image on the screen. I don't finish the movie until near midnight, but the atmosphere it created in my mind left me creepily uncomfortable and made me have dreams of silent people waltzing in the shadows....

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Blade Runner 2049

Alright, that was a pretty good movie!


So the follow up to the strange and yet enticing Blade Runner just hit theaters, and I have to say it really did not disappoint. So it's been about 30 years since the last movie and we follow a detective replicant who soon is put on a case to find a living miracle, a child birthed by a replicant. And through this we meet old friends, new enemies, and a damn impressive looking film. Now this is what a good sequel should do, take the elements of the original film and expand upon them to tell a good story and this movies does it very, very well. I almost would say this could be a standalone film, it doesn't even need to be a sequel to Blade Runner but there are important plot lines and elements from the first movie which are adressed here, but it does feel a touch self contained. Ryan Gosling, who I haven't seen in much was a competent lead, I really liked his potrayal of a replicant who just tries to live a normal life but also happens to kill his own kind. I don't think I'm spoiling anything by saying Harrison Ford is in this movie, but you might be surprised to know he doesn't show up until the last 45 minutes, or maybe even an hour before the credits roll, but for the time he is on screen he still does a great job, they don't bring up the whole is he a replicant thing so I still want to say he is human but regardless it was great seeing him in another reprising role. Also, thank you for not killing him off. I already saw that crap once, which is enough for a lifetime. And all the other elemnts of the film are excellent, the music is still very synth heavy like the first and I still love it, the film is rich in visual appeal but I have to say I'm of course more impressed by the original since it was all real but still the movie looks excellent, I like how it's more plot oriented so you don't get confused as to what is going on, and the ending was actually perfect for me! The ending was just what I wanted, it didn't give me more or less, it was just right, and I was very happy to see the movie. I thought it was a very good continuation of the original Blade Runner, it probably won't be looked back on with such high regard as the original but it's still a really good movie and if you feel up to having a double feature in the Blade Runner universe, I say go for it!

Alright, first week of October down. We need to snap to on this horror movie stuff, so be patient we'll have a lot to come very soon so until next time....

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Blade Runner

I do not actually think it's fair to review a movie like Blade Runner on the first viewing. Yeah, it took me 22 years to finally see Blade Runner, a movie I've heard so much about and seen referenced countless times and only now have I seen the source material.


So Blade Runner is basically a sci-fi noir film following a detective on the hunt for human replicants for murder, and that's just the plot synopsis from what I saw. This is not a movie you can watch just once in your life, it's a difficult movie to fully describe. It's a quiet movie (I watched The Final Cut, so no voice over.) and you do have to pay attention to even slightly understand the plot. It's a visually rich film without a shadow of a doubt, and in retrospect Ghost In The Shell with Scarlett had much in visual style and art direction to be owed to Blade Runner. In fact almost every science fiction movie after 1982 owes some element to this movie. Now I know this movie is an adaptation of "Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?" by Philip K. Dick, and I have read up on it briefly, but even then the movie is it's own entity. I don't know, it's just such a bizzare, mysterious, just strange movie and there's no way in hell anybody can form a true opinion on this film in one viewing, this is a movie that you have to watch multiple times so I may have to break a rule and next year I will rewatch Blade Runner and do an In Retrospect of it. There's just no movie with a look and story like this movie, so I feel really bad actually about writing this review, because I have no words to explain how I feel. I couldn't even really say it's a great or even good movie although I found little wrong with it, so it's just all depending on the person and how many times they are willing to watch it again. So that's why I absolutely have to watch this movie again and talk about it again, because it's just that kind of movie. I'm sorry I was all vague and not highly opinionated, but my mind was accepting what I was viewing and I was highly interested in the movie, it held my attention all the way through, but I just couldn't say anything very definitive besides rich visual appeal, so I have to say go watch this movie and please for the love of all things good in this world tell me what you thought of it, doesn't matter if you've seen it once or 50 times I would love to hear your opinions. All I know for sure is, I want that gun.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

In Retrospect: The Mummy (2017)

I told you I didn't forget!


I'm so thrilled we get another one of these, granted not until 2019 but it will be worth it. So obviously The Mummy did a good job with not only gaining the revenue to show these movies would work in the future, but also with building the universe in which classic monsters are reborn. And I still attribute it to Sofia Boutella, you can get any big name star like Tom Cruise in a movie but the movie is called The Mummy for a reason so the film rides on her performance and I'm still head over heels about her and yet I can still look at her performance and say, yes she did a great job and I hope it won't be the last we see of Ahmanet. When I heard they would take on a more action/adventure tone with the Universal Monsters, I was worried but the movie was still very entertaining. I liked the movie a lot, it had brief but decent action, wonderful atmosphere in some scenes and the horror aspects can still be felt, so I can't say it wasn't a good movie. Not a lot of people know about the classic monsters, but boy howdy have I seen them popping up lately. From costumes, to these beautiful decorations found in regular stores not even specifically Halloween stores, they're coming back and it makes me proud. If you asked a normal person on the street how many Mummy movies Universal made, they might say 4 or 5, five if they count the Boris Karloff original when they made at least 9. These movies can create a new generation of monster movie fans, to make people watch not only The Mummy, but The Wolf Man, The Bride Of Frankenstein, even Creature From The Black Lagoon. There was a reason I talked about the classics my first October, because I was a fan and more people should watch those movies. So I applaud The Mummy, I applaud Universal for bringing them back, and I'm excited for the future of a new world of gods and monsters.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

ParaNorman

It's better than I remember.

Like man, it's a crime if you have never seen this movie. ParaNorman is one of the most original, funny, and amazing films I have seen in a long time. It follows a young boy named Norman who has a gift of seeing the dead, and he enjoys it though he is ostricized by his peers and even his family, but he is soon informed of a witch's curse on the town leading to the dead rising from the grave so he has to stop it. But that isn't really the plot of the movie, nothing is as simple as I described it. It's far, far better than that. This movie is automatically outstanding due to it being stop motion, and it is flawless. Absolutely flawless. This is some of the best stop motion I have ever seen! The comedy is ridiculously good, and it relies on subtle humor with background jokes, and very nonchalant deliveries in tense situations, it's just fantastic. And what I love about this movie is, it can make me laugh so hard and make me weep like a child. This movie is heartwrenching at times, and I have no issue saying you don't have a soul if you do not feel sad in this movie. Every aspect of the movie is stellar, the animation, the voice acting is awesome (Anna Kendrick is in this movie so you know....), the story is great, it has such charm and emotion and humor. You know what, I'm gonna say it. ParaNorman is a perfect movie. I can't find one damn thing wrong with it! It is perfect. It is one of the greatest movies I have ever seen in my entire life. You gotta watch it, I am ordering you to watch this movie! Go! Enjoy it. And I'll be back October 1st.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Haunting Hour

I love this movie. And I have absolutely no idea why!

So basically The Haunting Hour was a TV movie released 10 years ago (yeah that doesn't make me feel a bit old) based on R.L. Stein's work, the same guy who wrote Goosebumps in the 90s that premiered on Cartoon Network. So of course I saw it and I greatly enjoy this movie, but the reason why I cannot say. The movie follows a young girl named Cassie played by Emily Osment who after moving to a new town discovers an odd Halloween store where she purchases a book by the title of "The Evil Thing", she reads it out loud against a fair warning to her little brother awakening the beast, thus causing her to destroy the creature and save her brother. It's not a brilliant plot but I think it's more of the inner workings of the movie as to why I like it. The movie has that TV movie feel, but it works. Maybe because it follows the same vein as Goosebumps, and I really loved Goosebumps back in the day so nostalgia has a part to play in this, but that's not all. From the opening credits you know you're in for a basic but spooky time, and all things Halloween are addressed even it's origins, so it has that exquisite fall feeling to it. Emily Osment is awesome as Cassie, I really enjoyed her performance cause you can tell she's commited to the movie and she is just a likable character. I always digged the goth look, which I blame fully on The Hex Girls when I was like, four years old. But not only do we get her, we get Tobin Bell. Now you might be asking, who the heck is Tobin Bell? Well....does the quote, "I want to play a game." ring a bell? (Ba dum tss!) Yes, that's right it's Jigsaw from the Saw movies. Hwhat?? They got, the jigsaw killer in this movie? How? Why? I don't know. But it is friggin' brilliant. Love that guy! Anywho, you know what I noticed in this movie? The horror movie easter eggs and references are incredible, and you really have to pay attention to get them. They range from a total obvious Halloween reference in the credits to a almost obscure Stephen King reference unless you really look at the big picture of that scene, you even see Universal horror movies playing on TV's like Island Of Lost Souls or The Mummy's Tomb, it's great fun to see how many you catch. And lastly I love how the evil thing itself is a full animatronic, like this was 2007 and they did a full animatronic beast, so major huge props to the movie for that. Now the movie is far from perfect, some of the acting is stilted, Cassie's brother Max is....ugh, insufferable, and my God they go full Mean Girls with one character, and I haven't even WATCHED Mean Girls and I know that is full stereotype! But just the charm and simplicity of this movie makes it prime material for a family movie night in October. I can't explain it, the movie just entertains me and I love it to death. Why? I couldn't tell you but I highly insist you check this movie out, just to prove I haven't gone senile at the age of 22 and it's actually a really good movie. It's so good I bought it for crying out loud!

Well, that does it for today. But we saved the best for last, a film so incredible it deserves to be seen by all. The one, the only, Paranorman.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Monster House

Almost there....


Monster House, a simple but still entertaining movie about a group of kids who learn that their neighbor's house is possesed and and turns into a fearsome beast anytime someone steps on the lawn or rings the doorbell. What I like about this movie is that it is a good autumn movie to watch, it does take place around Halloween time and it shows, with falling leaves, trick or treaters, and it just fits right in with the season. In fact, this movie does have deep roots in a child's young years. Think about it, almost every kid has heard tale of a creepy house that you shouldn't go to or be around, to beware the scary old man in the old dark house, kids have imaginations so it makes sense that they come across an actual living entity in the shape of a house because they can relate to it in an odd sort of way. Another really good thing the movie has for it is the animation, now it is not that great like the quality of say Hotel Transylvania where everything is crisp, clean, and fluid to an almost absurd degree, since it was made in the early 2000s it's stilted, odd, but by no means bad. And the reason I say it's great is because of how the camera moves, you cannot get movement and shots like this in a live action film, that's the beauty of animation you can be creative, you can have expressions that are wild and fun, and you can move the camera in a full three dimensional plane, it doesn't just pan left or right, or cranes upward, it's flying around, moving through objects, having great transitions! It's just really well made for what they had at that time. The kids are great, they are weird, awkward, and they don't always get along but that's kids! Nothing is going to be perfect so I'm happy they got these characters down so well. It's just a good, fun movie that you can watch with your kids or put it on at a Halloween party and it won't be too much for anyone to handle. And watch for the subtle tribute to a masterful suspense movie! Which the more I think about it, Halloween to me, is a children's holiday moreso than an adult holiday. Adults can still participate and have a blast, but it's mainly for the kids. So why is there so few horror-ish movies for kids? Movies, shows, tv movies or specials that your kid could watch and it not be too graphic or scary. That's why I talk about these kinds of movies at this time, because well there are good kids movies for this time of the year, and you may need or want to watch something with your child and it not be friggin' Nightmare On Elm Street. So it's a good movie, watch it on a autumn evening with your family to get you in the proper mood for the coming month, and I shall see you tomorrow.