Friday, December 21, 2018

Bumblebee

Where the hell was this in the first 3 damn movies?? I'm almost pissed off at how good this movie is!


So yeah, shock of the flippin' new millenium! Bumblebee was pretty damn good! I have so much to talk about and so little time to talk about it. Bottom line, go see it. Yeah, I know. You know my history. But go see it! The action is really good, the comedy doesn't make me want to inflict harm upon myself and others, the bond between Bumblebee and Charlie is absolutely wonderful. The look is Generation 1 all the way and it looks spectacular! The movie is soaked in 80s radical music and clothing, to the point where I might buy the soundtrack. I won't even divulge plot, cause I want this to be totally fresh and new to all eyes. If you've seen the trailer, good for you the movie is even better. I do hate one thing about it but trust me you'll know what! I am being real with you, this may squeeze into the top 10 of this year! I am questioning my own sanity but it's true! I really, really enjoyed this movie guys. Good behavior and good movies must be awarded and as the last film reviewed of the year we went out on a high note. Thanks for sticking around, you know how much it means to me. To a new year of reviews, and of course the happiest of the holidays to you. Goodnight everybody!

Aquaman

What a rush!


If a movie can make my jaw drop based off of visuals and scale alone, quite a few times even, you may have a really damn good movie. Just saying. Well the plot mostly stuck to Throne Of Atlantis, with some well added elements, Jason Momoa is fantastic as always, Amber Heard further proves not only why I love redheads above all others but also that Mera can take any badass chick from the DC universe, James Wan brought so much to the visuals and style which was excellent, and I have to admit it ended pitch perfectly. Hell it even threw me for a few loops most of which were good but I gotta say, there was one shock that wore off quick. Take a shot everytime someone is having a conversation then stuff explodes from the background into the foreground, you will get tipsy fast. But honestly that's the only bad thing I can say. The film looks so beautiful in terms of design, color, effects style, it's a visual feast to the eyes and I give it 10/10 for visuals easily! They did the story very well and yes it actually involves a bit of world trekking both above and under the ocean waves which is fun. And oh, that reminds me! I almost daresay that the movie would not be nearly as impressive audibly at home than the theater, every wave, every water drop sounds so impressive with that booming surround sound. I just love this movie both from a technical standpoint to story. I definitely recommend it, especially to a friend who thinks Aquaman is a bit shall we say outclassed in the Justice League. Major props to Geoff Johns for making Aquaman freaking beast, and of course to Jason Momoa for bringing such a wiseass, hard edged, rough and ready persona to a growing in popularity hero. Go see it for sure, you will not be disappointed!

And now I am going straight from Theater A to Theater B for, hopefully the Transformers movie I've been wanting since 2007.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Home Alone 2

I think because of both of these movies I always watch where I'm stepping all the time.


I'm not doing a plot synopsis, I think even the director admitted it was just a bigger remake of the first one, substitute being home alone with accidentaly travelling to New York, and you pretty much got the same movie with some fine additions. So let's talk about them! I love seeing New York, you get some fantastic scenery and tons of locations to see. The traps are even more inventive and somehow even more lethal than before, with a welcome return of the paint buckets but I love the new additions. And of course every bad thing I could say about this movie like the almost egregious whoring out to the Talkboy, or the exact same scary force turned friend like in the last film, or how the actor playing Kevin's dad is the most boring and phoned in trite I have ever seen in a performance despite one really funny bit, or even how carbon copy the plot is has some really outstanding bits to counter it. Like I love the owner of this toy store Kevin visits, he is one of the nicest characters I've ever seen in film he's just so nice and his voice is the cheeriest elderly voice I've ever heard and ack, it just brings me such joy. Yes they have yet another Marley character named Pigeon Lady, seriously you couldn't even name her? You had to be so lazy you couldn't even name her character Tilly or Annabelle or some nice old fashioned name? But I'll be damned, they have yet another copied scene where they sit and talk and share parts of their lives and while it doesn't have that absolutely outstanding atmosphere and sweet simplicity, the writing is absurdly good in that scene, it goes a bit deeper than the previous one and really showed why John Hughes was still a great writer even after his 80s hits. I've never heard anyone talk about it before so I had to bring it up, cause it's a real gem. Speaking of gems, Tim Curry. Ohhhhh my sweet beautiful snow, Tim Curry. You want a reason to watch this movie? Tim Curry. He cracks me up damn near every second he is on screen, he is just oozing with deliciously devilish smiles and hilarious dialogue, oh my God I just can't get enough of him! It's like he knows he's not in that good a movie but decides screw it, I'm going to have fun regardless and it is such an improvement. If Tim Curry was not in this movie, it would lose a star already from a 2/4 star rating. Yeah these movies aren't exactly the glorious movies I remember, the writing is off in terms of story, the dialogue is average which is a shame coming from Hughes cause you know he can write gooood, the traps while fun and even sometimes funny doesn't merit the lollygagging around beforehand, yet at the same time I don't hate them! They're okay movies, they have moments of greatness and can be little Christmas guilty pleasures, but man they really did not age well for me. You can always watch them with friends or family while you open presents or gorge on Christmas dinner, just as some movie fluff to put on, and get a few laughs out of the pained screams and enjoyableness of a certain actor. Adequate movies but not exactly a Christmas classic to all.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Home Alone

Boy would this film be impossible to potray in the modern day.

Like, you go back and watch this and you're just like holy hell people would be up in arms over this stuff today. I don't know, do I even need to recount the story? Well better safe than sorry I suppose. An average family of about 15 are traveling all the way to Paris for Christmas, because....I guess it's a supreme spot for the winter season (yeah I know it's just to make the plot more feasible but seriously what?) and a young boy named Kevin who is a surprisingly accurate depiction of a boy his age in a family this size, gets left home alone through a series of supremely fine tuned mishaps, and soon the house is assaulted by burglars which he must fight off while his family races back home to him. I loved watching this movie when I was young and after quite a considerable time since I watched this movie last, we're talking 10+ years, looking back I finally understood why I watched it a lot. I really got Kevin! His bratty attitude, his resourcefulness, even his massive bouts of panic induced running, I totally identified with this kid! Plus the final act antics with the booby traps was endless fun, now I just look at them with cringing pain and shock. Some of these are sadistic and might kill someone! But hey man if people are trying to bust into your house and take your stuff, there is no mercy to be found within it's walls. I also never really paid that much attention to the family members cause honestly they were jerks and I didn't want to see them as a kid, but now I daresay the best performance in the movie is Catherine O'Hara as Kevin's mom, she friggin' cracks me up and is hell bent to get home to her son and loses her stocking stuffing with how much crazy nonsense she deals with, I absolutely love her. And, though I'm incredibly happy of the outcome and even the best scene in the movie comes about because of it, I hate the antagonistic edge to Kevin's next door neighbor Marley played by Roberts Blossom. There's nothing wrong with his performance, I really love it, but it's just the fact he runs into Kevin like 3 times and scares the living daylights out of him each time and he doesn't even say a hi or how are you, just unsettling stares set in silence. Why?? If I scared a young kid, I would at least attempt to calm them and show I was no threat. That bugs the hell out of me. Even though the scene they share together in the church is lovely, and easily is the best scene in the movie, just a quiet conversation backed by beautiful singings of Christmas songs before the big finale. And yes, that music when he starts leaving the church is awesome, it pumps you up to set some traps and nail these bastards! And the music is quite nice with a decent mix of orchestral and holiday hits but nothing compares to that. It's an ever so slight mixed movie, it's good but you might need to suspend that disbelief a bit more than usual. Also, a personal thank you to John Candy for saving the day, he's the reason Kevin's mom gets home by Christmas! Go John, we miss you.

And we might as well do Home Alone 2 tomorrow. Cause how the hell am I ever supposed to say no to Tim Curry?

Friday, December 14, 2018

Miracle On 34th Street (1994)

I bet not many people would know that John Hughes actually produced this movie.


So yes, another remake of a Christmas classic, does it hold up against the original? Honestly I've heard both in my lifetime, it improves elements of the original and it shouldn't have been made, and so on and so forth. Do I hate it? No, it has some real lovely scenes, they can show off a lot more because of the budget, and Sir Richard Attenborough is a wonderful Santa Claus. The scene with him and the deaf girl is one of the most cherished scenes in cinema, you can't friggin' frown at that scene even I a very grinchy Grinch soul loves that scene down to the milisecond. But I must admit the film, like any other has pros and cons. Richard Attenborough is magical, and Mara Wilson though a bit on the cutesy side for me plays it well and her relationship with Attenborough is truly lovely. Yet on the other side of the spectrum, Elizabeth Perkins I swear to God looks so damn bored in this movie! She just looks uninterested and I know her character is always thinking, and moving, and working but did someone spike her drinks with adderall, she barely looks awake! And Dylan McDermott still has that friendship with Kris like in the original, and he does alright but the romance just doesn't work as great in the original though it was slightly a product of it's times. But what really gets on my nerves about this movie is the fact they have to throw in a ridiculous antagonist who I swear they filmed for a different movie and accidentaly spliced him in, most 90s movies even if they were simple kids movies tried to shoehorn in some conflict so we have this whole bruhaha about a feuding business owner who wants to hire Kris to his buisness so he can....take over the city, or something. You think I'm joking about that, but watch this dude's first scene and tell me he doesn't seem more suited as a crime boss working for the Kingpin or perhaps a less intriguing Bond villain. It is so friggin' lame and it only gets worse with idiot side henchman, and the fact that the movie puts Kris in more...violent light. I have no idea what they were trying to communicate but a few mean words and Kris is about to take his cane and beat somebody like they owe him his money. Now there is one scene where I can justify it to the teeth, but the other times seem just so out of character. Attenborough brings a ton of charm and even more magic I would say to the role of Santa Claus than Edmund Gwenn did, the smile on his face is unbridled delight and happiness, he feels more like a true entity of Christmas than just an elderly gentleman who lives in a nursing home who just so happens to be Santa yet they still put him in a home but whatever. There's more tropes of 90s family films you can notice throughout but there's one scene that makes up for (almost) all of it, it's a very quiet and even powerful scene where Kris explains to Mrs. Walker what his image means and it's really incredible to listen to. It's the best scene in the movie hands down! Plus I like how they updated the court case at the end, and the ending is something clever and works better than the way they proved Kris' credibility in the original. So yeah, it's mixed what they did incredibly right and did horrendously wrong, but I still say go see it just for Attenborough and Wilson who are what made the film so memorable even to this day. Miracle On 34th Street regardless of film version is a unique and interesting story, one that takes it's own route in the oddities of Christmas films and is still viewed and enjoyed by millions of people every holiday season. Whether you believe in Santa or not can make your holiday experience boundless with optimism or drenched in melancholy, but I think regardless of your own personal beliefs someone thinks about you every Christmas.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Miracle On 34th Street (1947)

Well thank the celestial beings we're ending on a high note.


Yes, we finally got around to Miracle on 34th Street and will look at the remake tomorrow. Yet again, you know I'm realizing I must have not watched a damn thing around December. Cause until...it can't be more than 3 years ago I saw this movie, the remake (which is odd cause I actually owned the movie, you figure that out), It's A Wonderful Life and the Charlie Brown Christmas Special and you'd think after being a bitter, cynical, Grinch loving adult the magic would be lost on this award winning Christmas movie made not all that long after World War 2. But, the first time I watched and future viewings have proven there's a reason it's still loved and watched today. The story centers around an old man who believes he's Santa Claus, and is soon hired to be a mall Santa (guess they still had those even back then) as he comes into the life of a mother and her daughter who are more logical thinking and don't quite believe in things like Santa Claus. And thus the story involves Kris trying to prove he is the genuine article of Christmas spirit. Now I love how the writers woved the story and sequence of events, the whole challenge of faith is done very subtley centered around not a deity but a dignified, sophisticated, and above all kind man who believes he is Santa. Edmund Gwenn is a joy to watch, it's hard to distinguish from actor and beloved gift giver and even actors from the set felt the same way. Little Natalie Wood is quite possibly the best actor in the whole movie, cause we never really got, competent child actors back then, we just had to work with their modicum of acting but she is excellent in this movie, seeming wiser than any child and exudes intelligence with still a sense of innocence and wonder. Maureen O'Hara has always been a wonderful actress, and still brings her all to this performance. I love the relationship between her and Natalie, they seem like a real mother and daughter, and her parenting style is something to be admired. And I just love the fact that we have an adult who is unfaltering in his belief that Kris really is the Santa Claus, and it's hard to argue with that! Hell, they even hold a court hearing to decide if he's legitimately Santa or if he's just nuts. Now you may be saying well that can't hold a child's attention and maybe this is more for older viewers, but I would disagree, they keep it interesting and simple plus kids would want Santa to win so there's some hardcore stakes for the little ones to get invested in. So yeah, I love it, you feel the true spirit of the holiday, and walk away with a smile on your face. What more could anyone ask? Watch it this season for sure, and we'll compare notes tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

Doug was severely on top form with his review of this movie.

And entirely correct too. Yes, the Jim Carrey Grinch movie isn't held highly in my eyes. But why you might be asking? Well there is surprisingly some stuff I really like. Jim Carrey looks just like The Grinch, the make up and suit allows so much expression and movement which of course is a big part of Jim's performance. I really like Taylor Momson as Cindy Lou she is absurdly cute, and makes up the only decent person in Whoville. The art direction really nails that Seuss style of drawing, and there is an incredible amount of sets and practical effects. But with every positive I noted there is negative connotations with it. Carrey plays an eccentric grump, and does have his funny moments but only when he acts like a jerk. When he's being Jim Carrey in a green suit, it's not distracting but it's not good. Cindy Lou Who has Christmas doubts because well, Whoville is filled with materialistic and commercial assholes. A town that loved the spirit of Christmas? I guess that was too hard to believe! God help me. Though they brought the world of Whoville to the realm of the 3rd dimension, it doesn't all work, sure the buildings and props look all fine and well but the Who's themselves look freaky as hell! Mainly because in animation if a character has no upper lip, it can work but if a character in the real world has no upper lip it looks disturbing. And while we're on the subject of Who's they're not doing well as a society, the city looks smoggy and kinda dingy with no real burst of color anywhere, as I said the Who's are heavily delved into commercialism and care nothing more than to get their presents on Christmas day, and the fact that I don't think they care what happens in their town, kids run with hacksaws, people fall and get in wrecks, they don't care about delinquet behavior. Do you see why I have such issue with this movie? It entirely misses the point of the story. I heard some people bitch about Cumberbatch's Grinch because they softened him up, he doesn't hate Christmas or the Who's, he acts more like a millenial adult with emotional support animals etc., and he acts somewhat nice to his dog and Cindy. Okay first off, he's a dog owner so he wasn't a total jerkface, he had nice moments in here too like saving Cindy from being crushed and not running over a woman and her baby carriage, so they can get off my planet. I still prefer it to this! Oh my God, it's like every time I think I ran out of stuff to hate, it just. Keeps. Going. I counted 3 moments that Dr. Seuss would roll in his grave for! The face plant in a woman's chest, an explosion a la' Michael Bay occured, and the worst offense, the Grinch lets his dog be kissed on the rear. I honestly want to eat cyanide laced gingerbread men after typing that. I want to give up on life. Ron Howard, what the **** have you wrought??! I'm done! **** it!! This movie is garbage, it's ass sauce, this is the worst Christmas movie I ever saw in my life!!! It's proof that Jesus was crucified for nothing and legally changed his middle name to ****ing!! A few funny moments and one genuinely nice lovely moment cannot change the fact this is garbage that should be taken to the summit of Mt. Krumpit to dump it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Christmas Chronicles

Okay, here we go.


The Christmas Chronicles is okay. It's a mixed bag if anything. I must admit, I think is the first Netflix Original film I've seen and honestly the production and budget does not seem much higher than your everyday children's movie budget except they got a big name star in it. So what's the story? Well we get a montage of home videos introducing us to our main characters Katy and Teddy who after losing their dad in a fire has come to the first Christmas without their dad, and through reasons I don't think I got Katy's older brother gets roped into staying up with Katy to see Santa Claus because....I have absolutely no idea. They hear him on the roof and give chase, leading them to meet ol' Saint Nick when all hell breaks loose. The sleigh crashes, the bag of toys is missing, and Christmas cheer is slowly plummeting, forcing our young siblings to help Santa retrieve his belongings and save Christmas from not happening. A goal I can despise. So here comes the problem with this movie and why I deem it a mixed bag, Kurt Russel is amazing, it's like if you mixed Jack Burton, several Santa's like from the Ernest movie and the Guardians movie, with even a dash of old Luke Skywalker when he gets upset at them, but he makes the role his own and he may be my favorite Santa ever. The problem, I hate to say it comes from the kids. Not the actors, they do fine especially the girl who plays Katy she's just so full of that Christmas spirit and is really great to watch, but the problem is more their personal story. Now I need to go on a brief tangent but trust me it ties back! Last Christmas I was forced to watch a Christmas movie with my younger cousin and you know all those bargin bin, shoestring budget, lazily written, poorly contrived, and low quality kids films? That was one of them. I hated every nanosecond of it. That's kinda what this movie is, a not so great written kids movie with a bit of a budget, but no good or interesting family elements. They lose their dad in a fire, the mom is barely around, they bicker and argue but deep down they love each other, it's so ridiculously forseeable and shoddily written. But every scene with Kurt Russel in it is the reason you watch this movie. It's like the writers had this great premise of a no nonsense, more gruff looking Santa and they really wanted Kurt to play him and wrote all this great stuff, but then had to write main characters from a Hallmark tv movie. I love how they handled the Santa mythos kind of, like how his hat is magic and is what lets him get through chimneys, his sleigh is that mix of tech and mysticism like you see in Elf, and The Santa Clause, they get some stuff really right!....and then you get to the elfs. Like they fully reinforce this weird undercurrent of almost horror you see throughout the movie. Like the first time the kids hear Santa it switches to a handheld camera as they run around trying to find him, and when you first see these elfs, not only are they quite disturbingly designed like they look like rats, tails and all! Wait I take that back, it's like if a lemur and a rat had babies then they were mutated by radioactive waste. And these suckers are mean! The first time the girl meets them, they swarm her, tie her to a chair and are about to probably torture her. But that's nothing compared to when the brother meets them. They pull a Gulliver's Travels and pin him down as one elf comes toward him with a fully working chainsaw about to take it straight to his gnards until his sister intervenes! The f*** movie??! Jesus Christ, who needs a (slightly less) creepy elf on a shelf when you got these beasts? Soooo, yeah. Kinda juggles a bit in this movie. Just YouTube Kurt's scenes, they are the best part of the whole movie, and I saw you little Elvis nod, very nice touch! Just watch A Very Murray Christmas if you're on Netflix, there's less muck you have to wade through and it's an underrated Christmas special!

Tomorrow, I'm not looking forward to. I've gotten and will probably continue to get comments about how I don't like this movie, but I need to set the record straight so I don't have to do it next year. Tomorrow, we'll be looking at, the Jim Carrey Grinch movie. Oh boy.....

Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Year Without A Santa Claus

The more I analyze it, Christmas movie titles are such liars! It's A Wonderful Life is not wonderful, How The Grinch Stole Christmas is not an instructional video on how to steal Christmas, and The Year Without A Santa Claus has Santa Claus delivering presents! What even in the coldest depths of hell??


As our final nod to the Rankin/Bass Christmas specials I decided to do this movie, and it's not half bad so we ran the full gambit of, not that good to excellent to okay. And so the story goes that Santa woke up one day before Christmas and through quite honestly the rudest and most likely to be terminated elf decides that his days of nightly adventure to bring gifts to kind and good children must come to an end, but the missus won't be having none of that talk and sets out with two elfs to find the Christmas spirit that Santa doesn't believe exists anymore. Now I for one would think that would be an incredible Christmas movie, to have Santa Claus himself doubt his abilities and intentions in a world that doesn't believe in him and the Christmas spirit has disappeared leading to a very reflective, dark, and downright depressing movie where Santa has to come to terms with the world and come out on top. And you get hints of that here, I mean obviously they have to keep it upbeat and not childhood scarring but come on! How great would that be to see a character study of quite possibly the most beloved man in history? But it's more subtext than actual text I grant you that, with Mickey Rooney returning as Santa giving a very good performance juggling doubt and sadness with hope and kindness, and the cool thing is it ties with Santa Claus Is Coming To Town! Santa is still voiced by Mickey, Mrs. Claus has red highlights so clearly she's Jessica, and even some artwork survived to this movie. It's a shame we couldn't have Winter back but we kinda make up for it with the addition of Snow Miser and Heat Miser which are very brief characters in an already brief special, but my lord did they leave an impression. Everyone knows or has at least heard I'm Mr. White Christmas, I'm Mr. Snow once in their life, and it is a very catchy and fun tune. The music quality is sort of in the middle this time around, not as great as Santa Claus but not as forgettable as Rudolph, I Believe In Santa Claus and Blue Christmas are highlights for me and they are very nice and sweet. So if you're in the mood for more after the first two Rankin/Bass specials check this one out, it's an alright movie with some highlights though Santa Claus will always be the best in my eyes. I always heard very mixed opinions about the Rankin/Bass stuff ranging from absolute Christmas classics to just being weird and kind of nonsensical so I wanted to bring up a few examples and judge for myself and let you do the same. Personally, they are a mixed bag but I don't hate them, I'm a fan of stopmotion and true it's no Harryhausen but they did good work. I guess it depends on what you like, which I can understand. And next week, we look at some well known, something new, and something I'm....less than looking forward to. Until next time.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

Bet you didn't know Santa was a total ginger!



You'd think after the near merciless beating I delivered to Rudolph, I'd be ready to take out old Saint Nick as well but I think you'll be surprised how much I enjoy this special. This was the one along with Rudolph that I watched many a time when I was very young regardless of the time of year, and it's aged very well in my memory. Though I doubt it's the first, I do say this is the best Christmas special that tells the story of how Santa Claus came to be. The story takes every pre-known fact about Santa and interweaves it into a lovely little story, starting when he was just a wee baby and adopted by a family of elfs who parent him and teach them their ways of toymaking. As he grows up he decides to take the toys he and his family made to the children of a small and rather quite depressing looking town, which brands him as an outlaw and forces him to be more elusive in his delivering of toys to the good kids. There he meets a schoolteacher named Jessica and a very sweet relationship starts between them, and they continue on with their lives while still delivering gifts. Unlike the Rudolph special that took barely a darn thing from the actual song it was based on, this special covers just about everything with hardly anything added on besides a penguin in a scarf and a warlock turned babyface but even then it works very well. Mickey Rooney is our Santa and honestly I never realized how absolutely southern he sounds in this special, and it is glorious. It's just a cherry on top of an already very good performance where most of the story focuses on when Kris Kringle was still a young man and he brings such a legitimate joy and niceness to a world known and beloved person. Robie Lester is such a sweetie in this movie as Jessica and quite possibly has the best song in the whole special, in fact the songs are quite sparse compared to the last special but are done way better. They're more memorable, fun to listen to, and are even songs I wouldn't mind hearing on the radio this time of year. One Foot In Front Of The Other is an incredibly upbeat and catchy tune, and serves basically as an inspirational song while My World Is Beginning Today is a slow little ballad that's quite lovely to listen to and Robie Lester slays the singing. The more I think about it, just the entire quality of the production is improved since Rudolph, the animation while still stopmotion is more fluid and looks nicer, the songs are definitely a gigantic improvement, the story and characters feel natural, and it can have it's sweet moments that make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. And again my favorite character is the warlock who Kris meets and convinces him to be a friend to his journey, I don't know if it's Keenan Wynn's voice or what but he's a joy to watch and it's funny to think he legitimately scared me when I was younger before he became a good guy but honestly I was one step above being afraid of my own shadow at that point so I'll give myself some credit. And we even have Fred Astaire as the narrator and it's always nice to see him in a movie. So yeah, kinda surprising that I love this special so much but it's hard to argue with decent material and fine actors that make it all work so well. Now this is a definite recommendation for the holidays with your youngins' or just if you're curious from how much praise I showered it with. No wonder I used to watch it a lot as a kid.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer

Okay. This is gonna suck either way so let's get this over with.

You know waaaay back when, when I was but a lad I used to watch this and our next movie this week even if it wasn't Christmas time. In fact I watched tons of Christmas movies long before or after (depending on your point of view of time) December. And I have not watched this special in years. And boy howdy, is it much much weirder than I remember. You all know the story of Rudolph, the young reindeer who is born with a neon red nosed who is shunned by his parents, friends, Santa and just about everybody except for a nice elf who breaks conformity and ventures to be a dentist, before saying "Peace bitch!" to the North Pole and travel the wastelands of the arctic evading a genuinely unsettling snow monster while meeting a prospector who soon find themselves on an island of odd and yet somehow really friggin' awesome toys led by a winged lion whose title is King Moonraiser, before returning to Christmas Town to save Christmas when a devastating snowstorm blows in. It's just like the song! So yeah....a touch different than most people would remember this special, but I take ever so slight issue with this than just story. Mainly the fact that everyone in the North Pole aside from one elf, a girl reindeer, and a enthusiastic prospector are a bunch of jackasses! This is a very mean spirited movie, not quite as abusive as Chicken Little, but when the message of a movie is if you're born different you will not be accepted by society unless your unique trait is useful, is kinda f***ed up! But is there more than just general disdain for the story in this special? Actually yes. Burl Ives is a nice narrator, he has a warm and inviting voice and can sing incredibly well, the animation though far from Kubo And The Two Strings quality has a charm and style all it's own (and surprisingly was done in Japan), some of the backgrounds with certain effects and lighting can look very moody and pretty, and my favorite character is the Abominable Snowmonster. This guy makes the movie for me, not only is the design and how he moves and react strange but effective, the fact that they pose him as a threat and he kinda works as a threat is something you rarely see. He's no moustache twirling villain who wants to destroy Christmas, he wants to wreck your stuff and eat your girlfriend because he's a terrifying beast. Perfect. This creature is known for being a force to be reckoned with and should be stayed away from and you feel that, his roar is actually unsettling, and I wouldn't wish meeting such a beast on even my worst enemy. You want to know the best part of the movie? Him. But gah, I just can't get over just the cruel and unusual punishment Rudolph has to take from these people! He's a good kid and despite clearly being segregated and ostrecized still tries to do the right thing so I think the special is trying to impart, don't be a part of society if they judge you and don't want to be around you and look for a group of people who respect and appreciate you as yourself, and to not settle for anything less. Which is commendable but that took some inference on my part to come to that conclusion so the special tells it very sloppily if that was the intended subtext. Geez I guess it just shows what America in the mid-60s viewpoint was on people who were a bit different huh? And this never bothered me as a kid...much, it still pissed me off that they treated Rudolph and Hermie the elf so poorly when they were perfectly fine folk, but everything else I took at face value. So do I recommend this movie? I'm not entirely sure I can. I don't even think it's a Christmas classic, though tons of people watch it every year. Now I know the Rankin/Bass specials have a place around this time of year, but this one tries to fly and lands face first into the ice for me. I sense this is just the beginning for a month of, less than great shall we say, movies to talk about. Better than It's A Wonderful Life. But only by a smidge.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Hugo

Random choice I know, but two points: 1. I've never seen it and 2. I was gonna review Crazy Rich Asians but that will have to wait until next week. So let's go!


It's a strange series of events in this film, centered around a young boy who lives in a train station keeping the clocks ticking who after meeting several interesting characters is uncovering a mystery with a very familiar artist to some. How the film goes from this visually stunning yet odd story to a undeniable love letter to the early days of cinema is something special. Martin Scorsese made a film with a style all it's own while paying tribute to the artists who made it possible for such a film to even exist. The cast is quite good, Asa Butterfield is a fine lead and carries the film almost singlehandedly with the innocence and wonder of a child yet goes much deeper the more you learn about him. Chloe Grace Moretz yet again proves age does not matter when it comes to acting and gives a more quiet yet enthusiastic performance. We have Ben Kingsley as a toymaker and does his usual fine work, and even dear Christopher Lee as a librarian who I single out as the true force that makes the film continue is wonderful to see like always. I took seeing this movie on pure chance and I was not disappointed, I appreciated the dreamlike yet still grounded visual style, the love and respect for silent cinema filmmakers, and being very accurate to real time periods. The film takes place in 1931 and not just the style of clothing but the atmosphere, and telling of past events before and after the Great War help the film a lot in terms of setting and characters. I must admit I have more respect for this film than love, though I did enjoy it very much. How a group of people already created an interesting story but went further and tied it into a medium that's been around for more than a hundred years surprised me and I was proud of myself knowing some bits of past cinema history. A very good film, a fine tribute to the past, and a good end to a let's be honest, a week that has been in shambles. I can't even remember the last time I only got 2 reviews out in the course of a week. I sincerely hope next week fares better for me, and with the schedule I created for December I should be fine for most of the month. Soon another year will be upon us, with new films, old films, a month of horrors, and a even more terrifying month of horrors. But that is a event for another time. Give me strength to weather Christmas....

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Creed II

You know man I was feeling really bummed out today. Getting to this movie so late made me not even want to get out of bed today, I just wanted to give up and move on. Now, I remember why I do this.


Creed II tops the first easily. It is a powerhouse of a movie, there's no need for setup of the threat to the fight because it's already their in the history of the Rocky series. There's a lot to love, and I know for a fact these Creed movies and really the Rocky movies past number two are made for Rocky fans. Not just for the callbacks or similar stories but because of the growth of these characters and seeing where they go since the last movie. So Addonis Creed just got the Heavyweight Champion belt, and through the workings of a semi-shady backer pits the son of Ivan Drago against the son of Apollo Creed forcing our young champion to come to face with why he wants to fight and more importantly why he wants to win. I think I severely messed up if I ever labelled any Rocky movie as a sports movie, sure the fight is the driving force for our main character but the characters themselves is why it works so well. We know their motivations, history, and emotions, which is what keeps us invested and cheering for them. The movie understands this perfectly and it feels right in the series. Now Rocky IV was a bit out there I'll grant you that, but it's amazing how much they pulled off this story despite the 80s influence. Addonis follows in his father's footsteps, he has his strongheaded attitude, the compulsory urge to prove he's worthy of that belt, the pride in his family name is what keeps him going. And you can feel what Rocky is going through cause he doesn't want to lose this kid like he did his dad, so it builds up so much from the previous films. It does make me wonder how they can cap this off, cause with the Rocky movies every movie raised the stakes a bit higher. The first movie Rocky just wants to go the distance and prove his mettle, second movie Apollo lets his pride get the better of him and fights Rocky for the championship, then the threat is escalated by a tough loud mouthed son of a mother Clubber Lang who challenges for the title, then Jesus Christ Rocky has to go up against the russian superman an almost impossible task that pushes him to the limit. So every movie builds on the characters, and the stakes, and I'm gonna say it right now I do not know how they are going to top Viktor Drago. The dude is a mountain, and the fact we get further character interactions between previous combatants with Ivan and Rocky brings so much to the table. Now I get to fanboy the hell out over my man, Dolph Lundgren. Sweet Christmas is it wonderful seeing him again and they do so much good development for him, and he still has that intimidation and power from the last movie. And truthfully if I went to Philadelphia, ran up the art museum steps, and ffffflipin' Dolph Lundgren was at the top of those stairs I would not be able to count the bricks I would shat. You just never see that, and it is awesome! The whole movie is awesome, go see it! Without a doubt one of my top 10 films of the year. I seriously cannot wait for Creed III, I am ready for that next story and challenge.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Ugh....

Why can't I just get paid for this? So my actual job job called me in tomorrow and Tuesday which means Creed 2 will be pushed until then. And it's the same situation as the last time this happened, wake up before the sun rises and get home by nightfall just to do it all over again. I'm simultaneously happy I got the Kurosawa movies done so early cause if I did them now I would not be a happy camper, yet I'm kinda kicking myself in the ass for doing them early cause I had to push new movies back weeks ahead! November has just been a nightmare this year, thank the gods I only have a grand total of I think 2 new movies in December. I'm so tired. Like what use am I if I can't tell you about a movie the day it comes out? This month just needs to end. Normally I would never say that because of Christmas starting soon but man, I need to break this bad spell beginning with the subsequent end of this month. Hopefully I can get the new Creed done by Wednesday. I am so upset because of this and I don't know what to do. Hang tight for me, I'll be back. I hope.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Ralph Breaks The Internet

Well shoot, they topped the first one.


So not only does Ralph Breaks The Internet top the first movie, it is a contender for my top 10 films of 2018. Like I'm serious, I can scarcely believe how great it is. Set 6 years after the first movie (Can you even believe it's been that long?) Ralph and Vanellope have been hanging out in the arcade and things have been pretty good, but unfortunately disaster happens and Vanellope's game could be unplugged. Ralph takes it upon himself to find a new working part and venture's into the newly founded connection to the internet to help his friend and be a hero once more. Now I strongly urge you, do not fully trust the trailer. Now what I mean by that is, it the trailer sets up this lighthearted romp around the interwebs, but it does so much more than that and actually has weight and importance in this world that Wreck-It Ralph created. The friendship between Ralph and Vanellope is explored more and put to the test, and it ends in one of the most bittersweet ways imaginable. It's like if you took the ending to Lost In Translation, but instead of it being completely soul crushing, it's soul crushing with a bit of happiness. And that is the reason why this film will probably make top 5 on my list, not just because of that ending because it made me think of another perfect movie. They throw references left, right, and center, like showing off the original 1982 Tron Lightcycle grid which made me fanboy so hard it was like seeing Tarkin all over again in Rogue One. Even my inner fanboy cannot claim, "Oh this whole movie should be just Tron and Star Wars!" because it would detract from an excellent, excellent film. I have to say I was expecting more burning satire of the internet and the current society we live in, but nothing really came of it but that's okay. They thread the story so well it makes sense why Vanellope would be in Disney, and I have to say though I'm not a shall we say great fan of the Disney Princess movies, just to see dang near every original actress for each Princess all together on the big screen is incredible! No one would have ever expected to see such a thing in their lifetime, least of all me, so that's just really impressive work from Disney. They put their heart into this story, they wanted you to love the story, they wanted you to connect and enjoy these characters, and they do it so well. I am immensely proud of the ending of this movie, because you just never see it in a Disney movie or hell really any movie! The last Disney movie I saw that did something this real and life experienced was flippin' Lilo & Stitch! This film put me in a mood, I was already quiet, a bit melancholy, and appreciative of my day, now I'm just a bubble of emotions and feel even more happy yet sad then I was! 5/4 stars!! Glorious movie! Go see it!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Wreck-It Ralph

Crazy to think this was Disney's 3rd video game movie after both excellent Tron movies.


Man I love this movie. To bring an already told and recognizable story as the video game characters we all know and love living real lives, but then adding such a unique and interesting story to it with good characters, funny humor, and outstanding animation makes Wreck-It Ralph a cut above the rest. The movie stars John C. Reiley though you would never know without seeing him do the voice of a video game villain named Ralph who gets sick of being a bad guy and wants to be a hero for a change, forcing him to leave his game in search of a hero medal. Though after obtaining it he soon loses it to a young girl named Vanellope who wants to be a racer and the two form an odd but undeniably charming and loving friendship. There's a lot more fun and crazy plot stuff that happens, but hey I can't spoil the whole movie for you. Now I have to admit a long whiles ago, I surprisingly never saw anything about this movie. Not a trailer, poster, or anything. So when a friend of mine asked me to see the movie with her, I was skeptical because I know the...shall we say lackluster reputation video game movies had colored my perception. And when I heard that Sarah Silverman was in the movieb though by no means I do not hate her, made me kind of grudingly go and dread the movie. My opinion quickly changed when the movie began. The animation is great, and to see more old school video game characters in excellent 3D animation was awesome! The voice acting is top notch and I think they chose wisely in terms of main characters, though Jane Lynch has one of the best supporting roles. I appreciated the video game references and they didn't constantly show them off, so even if you're not a gamer you can still love the movie. What makes the movie work is the imaginitive plot, and the likable characters and trust me when I say I am ready to see the new movie. Though it does make one wonder what they could do after you've done the internet! But I guess we shall see. Watch this one for sure, and I'll let you know what I think of the sequel tomorrow!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Grinch

This is the best comedy marketing ad I have seen in awhile. Not only do they release it 2 days after October but the fact that the poster says, it's never too early to hate the holidays. That is genius.


Thank God this movie did not suck, in fact it was great, and it's the perfect film for a certain holiday I hate. Enjoy that, it's the only rhyme I'm doing. So this film take it's own unique spin to the Dr. Seuss classic, done in spectacular animation with a small but really good cast. If they didn't say who voiced the Grinch you would never know it was Benedict Cumberbatch he does so well and brings his own personal flavor to a timeless character. It follows the book better than you would expect but still with new elements that are sure to impress, with comedy that works and visuals to dazzle all done with Illumination Studios usual style. (Whew, nearly dodged that one.) Does it top the original? Of course by no means, but it tells the story well and for that you should be pleased. The visuals are gorgeous especially the atmospheric shots, to the point where you can literally see the sparkling decoration lights reflected in someone's eyes. That...is incredible! The comedy is great almost to the point I feel I was having the most fun out of everybody in that theater. I've never identified more with the Grinch than in this movie, it's kinda scary how similar we are but what the heck I take that as a compliment. He was able to steal Christmas and that is something to be admired, though all I can do is try not to be tired of this looming Christmas nightmare. But I urge you to see this movie, there's something to love, something to like, all of which will make you smile bright. (Curses!) So that's all the time we have for today but with any luck I'll be back soon to look at another good video game movie.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindlewald

I know, I'm late. And I'm not too sure if I got a headache from this movie.


I have such conflicted emotions on this movie. I feel I have to make my stance clear on this matter, I am what I like to call a 'light' fan of Harry Potter. Really like the films, I have some nostalgia in play since I was 6 when the first movie hit, and me and my mom even if it was a school day went to see the new Harry Potter movies opening day. But I'm not that hardcore into it, I was more a regular fan in my youth but I still enjoy those movies today! I greatly enjoyed the first Fantastic Beasts movie, it was seeing something new yet familiar and it was interesting. I've heard some people say the movie is cluttered and busy, and yes I can safely say that the plot is nothing but heavy, involved, and busy! So much happens that it actually bogs the film down! Now some people I'm sure could look past it and still enjoy it, and there are bright spots in this bleak sky! I can honestly say Jude Law is the best part of the whole movie, but he's barely in it. To see Professor Dumbledore so young, and learning new things about him is wonderful and Jude Law pulls it off fully! Eddie Redmayne is still wonderful as Newt and still exudes some specific Time Lord traits, but it still doesn't save the film. You know what I think is the worst part of the whole movie? Not the heavy plot, or the several instances that does not pay off in the end, but the fact that I have this nudging feeling that this movie panders to Harry Potter fans. Now what do I mean by that you might ask? Of course it does, to a degree, it's a spinoff of an acclaimed and popular series! But there is more to it than that, for me. It's like the movie needs to lean back on the Harry Potter franchise because there is so little that the Fantastic Beasts characters contribute to the story, and I just had a revelation! You know how some people say the plot of Raiders Of The Lost Ark would end exactly the same way if Indiana Jones would not have gotten involved? I think that's utter rubbish to begin with, but this movie I think would end the exact same way if Newt did not appear. Nothing happens! But back to the main point, it's like the filmmakers were like, "Hey! You remember Dumbledore, and Professor McGonigle, and Hogwarts, and the LeStrange family, and the phoenix in Dumbledore's office, and the snake Nagini? Guess what! It's all in this movie because we didn't have enough original character content to fill this movie!" and it hurts the movie. I like to call this the Star Wars prequel syndrome, now I know Star Wars references itself at nauseom and that is a bit distracting but the Harry Potter world does not need this fanservice pandering, not at this level. You can reference Hogwarts or the other wizarding schools, or a older character that pops up later, but when you flat out show the sorcerer's stone.....no!! Ohh my head....I have no idea if I can recommend this. If you read this whole review and still want to see the movie, by all means do. But with this much plot jam packed in this movie, I can truthfully say this franchise will not last beyond the 3rd movie. It will be a trilogy, no more no less. It can't go on for 8 movies, because there's just not much there! By the time the first movie hit, J.K. Rowling was on what, the 4th maybe even 5th book? She had a plan for a beginning, a middle, and an end. This series does not have that! If it makes it to movie #4 I will be amazed. Alright, I'm done. Hopefully The Grinch does not suck as bad as the 2004 movie, I'll let you know tomorrow. I genuinely wish to do all the Harry Potter movies either before the end of the year or not that long into the new year. Because I need a pick me up to remind me why I looked forward to this movie.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

In Retrospect: Solo

It's always a good day when I watch a Star Wars movie.



I am severely disappointed in anybody who boycotted this movie, this is a fine movie. It's the western Star Wars movie I wanted and it did good by sticking to the lore and making a fun adventure movie. Yes I still take slight issue with L3 but not as harsh as before, and Enfys Nest still brings my piss to a boil but that's only 1 bad thing and one slight annoyance in a really good Star Wars movie. I got even more of a very young Harrison Ford in Alden's performance this time around and he did fine work. I doubt Disney would ever do a sequel but at the very least we should have a Lando movie cause let's face facts, Donald Glover is the man. He is so cool, funny, and has an oustanding screen chemistry with Alden that I wouldn't mind seeing a movie with Lando out on one of his outlandish adventures! Maybe not to how he acquired Cloud City but a completely original adventure like this movie. I have no issue saying I bought this movie with pride and excitement to see it again and have set a high note for the day ahead. True I wanted some more Imperial might but what we got was great and I fully understood why we got less Imperial action in this movie. Disney I swear, you either make Star Wars Empire or you make a film dedicated to the glory of the Galactic Empire because I do not share your optimistic appraisal of the Rebel Alliance, I am most displeased with your apparent lack of progress. I hope you do so for your sake, The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

In Retrospect: Teen Titans Go To The Movies

Rest in peace Stan Lee.


Yeah, after that very sad news I needed an upbeat movie so I picked this one. And it made me so happy, not just to see Stan in I think his final film cameo but to enjoy the movie that I continue to love. I think the big factor of why I do not only In Retrospects but even 2nd Viewing's are because the first time around you're swept up in the experience. Watching the Titans face Slade for the first time in all it's wacky, lore filled humor with such crisp and beautiful animation is awesome, so on second viewing I appreciated the film more and dare even say enjoyed it more than the first time. If the rumors are true, Teen Titans Go will end next year and the original Titans will come back which by no means is a bad thing. I love both shows but my absolute favorite episodes of Teen Titans were the goof off episodes, no real serious plot, just fun antics with these great characters though I enjoyed every episode I saw. So to have a show devoted to comedy and the absent seriousness was something to enjoy. I love Teen Titans Go, it is a wonderful show that is bulletproof to any criticism, and is more akin to the 60s Batman tv show than the 2000s cartoon. And honestly, I'm very happy they got a movie, ley alone a theatrically wide released movie before the end. Not many shows or hell cartoons get such luxuries, so there's something to be admired. True not every joke works but there are at least 2 good laughs to every silent dismissal, and it's the wacky personalities of this world that make it so endearing and fun to watch. And to see Stan Lee in a DC movie just for the love of him doing cameos is something wonderful in this world, the man loved comics and superheroes and it didn't matter if they were his or not, he appreciated and built characters and stories that will no doubt last long after we're gone. And though a DC fan I am forever, even I loved Stan Lee and his true dedication to the art and importance of comic book characters. Excelsior indeed my friend.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Akira Kurosawa's Dreams

A bittersweet ending to it all.



Akira Kurosawa's Dreams in my mind could be viewed as a perfect movie to some. It contains 8 vignettes, each story having a different style and message and that's why I can see someone saying it's a perfect movie. At the end of the day you will have your absolute favorite story, and mine personally would be Village Of The Watermills. It's sort of difficult to explain why, I love the conversation between the young man and the elder talking about life and the way they live and the ending to the whole film is very life affirming and did choke me up a bit. Whether the film is talking about life, death, childhood wonder, or facing the demons of your past and future it does it beautifully, with enough time in each story to not only appreciate the message but the visuals. The story Crows was a very close first pick for me, and mainly due to the ending. Now I need to talk about the time period this was made, the film was released in 1990 and though the effects in the ending of Crows could just be brushed off as a green screen but I don't care it looks great! The whole film just feels like it was made in the 90s, not by the dated fashion trends or terminology but just how the film was shot. Now I may be going out on a severely thin limb here, but I think once a very, very long time ago I saw this movie. Not the whole thing but maybe one or two of the stories. I might have watched it on one of the premium movie channels like HBO or Starz back in the day, and it really made me feel like I was that young again. I have such good memories of seeing different kinds of movies from different parts of the world at that age, whether it be a Heisei Godzilla movie, a piece of French cinema like Amelie, or just a movie good or bad made here in the States, this film took me back to that and I loved it. It's such a good movie, I mean unfairly good like I can't say one bad thing about it kind of good. It reinforces the fact that film is made for the amazing and the beautiful and this particular movie does it in flying colors.

So concludes my initial journey into Kurosawa's works. It was greatly interesting and even touching, and no doubt I'll come to own and watch these movies time and again. But our work is not finished this week, for there is much to return to and to explore.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Ran

Our first Kurosawa film in color!


After Red Beard in 1965, Akira Kurosawa didn't direct for about 15 years later and showed that his classic example of samurai cinema still worked. Ran was a project Kurosawa worked on for the better part of a decade before shooting even began, essentially adapting King Lear with Japanese elements the same way with Throne Of Blood being Macbeth, and I must admit I have seen Macbeth (with Ian McKellen and Judi Dench to boot!) but I've never seen or read King Lear. So as the introduction to such a famous story for me, I was impressed by the results. The story focuses more on a family than a central character (kinda) where an aging lord passes on his kingdom to his three sons but they begin warring on each other and eventually on their father. What follows is family drama too extreme for television. The main selling point of this movie to me and many others is the visuals, for quite some time I have heard about Ran having frames of celluloid that is art, images comprised so expertly and beautifully that it has been praised more than I think any other Kurosawa film in terms of visuals. But the story is told so well, with actors who give it their all, and you are so invested and interested in the story that you don't even realize there is hardly any kind of music score. I think I heard maybe 3 orchestral pieces through this almost 3 hour film, and I didn't even notice until there was about 45 minutes left of movie. So it's purely focused on the performances and the events of the story, with some fantastic scenery to go with it. The characters are also done very well, but I think hands down is Kurogane who is basically the lord's advisor, and I can pinpoit it to two scenes, one I can talk about and one I can't. The first scene shows he has commitment to his superior and will abide their wishes while still giving counsel, but will not follow anyone blindly and has no problem announcing that. It is a delightful scene. And the other....well, let's just say he did exactly what I wanted him to do and it was glorious! I greatly enjoyed this movie and highly suggest you watch it if you have a 3 hour gap in your day and want something beautiful. And sadly, all good things must come to an end. We conclude this Kurosawa marathon with his final directorial film released after he passed away, Akira Kurosawa's Dreams.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Sanjuro

I daresay I enjoyed this one more.



Not that there is anything bad about Yojimbo, but I feel it set the stage for another film despite that not being the case. Kurosawa had to rewrite this movie in order for it to work as a sequel to Yojimbo, and honestly you can't tell. Our protagonist from the first film literally is awoken by the plot, a group of nine samurai discuss the corruption in their clan and want to put an end to it, our ronin tells them to cut it out with the racket but eventually helps them in trying to take out the source of corruption. It does help I haven't seen this story before, but the movie is fine on it's own regardless. Toshiro Mifune though seeing him in several roles and always saying this is his best performance, I feel this will be hard to top cause he finally had two movies to build on the same character, that is really awesome to see and his character fits several characters I have seen before. His introduction feels almost Spike from Cowboy Bebop and he has little character touches that are interesting. I have no issue saying the best part in the movie is the barn scene with the two geishas. I can't explain why though, it's a quiet, pleasant, and slow scene with really good dialogue but the performances is what sells it especially with Mifune. I mean come on, you don't get hired by the same acclaimed director over and over because you're good friends with him. The look he gives when the two geishas are looking at him in intrigue and possible affection, he doesn't really know how to react and goes off to do something. That can say a lot about a character who we know nothing about. It's just little touches like that which really elevates the movie from the last. Again, the action is peppered throughout but the ending climax is so good I honestly don't mind. It's not crucial to see Yojimbo before Sanjuro but it adds more to Mifune's ronin character. Whether you watch one or both, there's something to admire and appreciate in both.


And we sadly could not find Red Beard, Toshiro Mifune's last colaboration with Kurosawa, I checked everywhere and no one had it to stream or rent or anything. So we skip to Ran, what many regard as Kurosawa's most epic film, retelling another Shakespeare classic.

Yojimbo

It's always good to go back to the source.



You know, it's funny. Yojimbo was the brainchild of Kurosawa who loved western cinema and wanted to bring it full front to Japan and was inspired by the Western genre, which led the world to appreciate his cinema leading to a Western remake of his Samurai film. We all come full circle some point in life. So how is Yojimbo? Well truthfully if you've seen A Fistful Of Dollars, you've seen Yojimbo. It's almost point for point the same film not just in terms of plot, but characters, scenes, and even certain shots. But I greatly enjoy Fistful Of Dollars, and to see it with samurai instead of cowboys is a really cool idea. I look at it almost as an Elseworlds story, they really should do more stuff like that where you take a popular concept and put a unique twist to it. Like if Star Wars was not a space opera but a Shakespearean drama, or if The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly was told in modern times or hell how about a Scream-esque idea but set in the 1940s. You can find cool and interesting ideas like that. So seeing Yojimbo though heavily familiar, was still really good and kept my attention the whole time. So if you want to know story just read my Fistful Of Dollars review and swap the word cowboy with samurai, it's a good story and though our main character is sort of enigmatic to the point where we have no idea what his name even is, you can tell a lot. This is one of, if not the only Kurosawa film that has a sequel so it greatly intrigues me to see what this ronin samurai will see next, it gives both films this sense of an actual world and it's not just a single adventure with this guy but he's a real person and continues on after the events have played out. So just to be able to see what he gets into next is really fascinating to me, I wish a tv series could do something like that. Take like a Sherlock run time, make it about 6 episodes, and just follow this character whether they be samurai or not and kinda do this movie for the first episode. You run into them, no idea who they are or where they come from, and just sort of follow their lives which will have some major and minor moments that shape their character. Even to the point where we don't care where they came from but we are interested in where they are going. That could be an incredible show and really be something no one has seen before. So I am thrilled to see what happens next in the sequel, Sanjuro.

Friday, November 9, 2018

The Hidden Fortress

Yeah I can draw the connections here.




So after several dramatic and adult stories, Kurosawa decided to do Toho a favor and create a more widely enjoyable, sort of film for anybody, where it was more fun and adventure than serious storytelling, leading us to The Hidden Fortress. The story follows two peasants who encounter a general and a princess, who bribe them with gold to help them reach friendly territory after they have lost a war. Similar aspects to another popular film, but it's own entity it still is. It's actually a leisurely paced movie for a good long while, dang near to the end. So it gives you plenty of time to get to know these characters, and I really have to say for once Toshiro Mifune was not the stand out actor in this film though he gives a very strong yet mostly silent performance, Misa Uehara who plays the princess is incredible. Though she doesn't speak that much her physical acting demands a strong presence, there's one scene where this guy is being a complete creep and she looks like she is about to kick his ass 8 different ways till Sunday all through facial expression and body stance. That is really good acting, and I would love to see her work in other films! So yeah, yet again Kurosawa gives a very different film from my expectations but was really good nevertheless! Story is the strong point, but the characters, scenery, and dialogue are excellent as well. And that is all for today, tomorrow we go double feature yet again with Yojimbo and Sanjuro.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Throne Of Blood

The first thing I have to say is, if literal Shakespearean drama is not your style of movie, though I do urge you to see this movie I can understand.




Throne Of Blood is Macbeth set in feudal Japan, and told accurately but with such a different twist obviously due to the culture but I'll be damned if I said it did not work. And what really shocked me was how unsettling and eerie it got, not just with the spirit in the woods but the atmospheric shots are creepy man and you feel this uneasiness in the forest where the spirit lives, I dare say both technically and immersively those are the best scenes. And strangely it was calming for me, hearing this spirit softly speak and sing of things to come in this eerie but beautiful location was a real treat. And apparently they built the sets near Mt. Fuji to get the mist and fog effect which I have to applaud for sticking that close to the scottish geography the story is set in, but man does this film look gorgeous at times. I got two words why you should see this movie: Mifune and climax. Ask anybody who has seen this movie and they will say the best part of the whole film is the ending. But Mifune man, I mean he goes out there and just wrecks this role, in the best way possible. This is acting if I have ever seen it, and even then I can't say some of it is not genuine. In the climax, well....when you see it you will know what I am talking about but let's just say, the terror in his eyes is incredibly real. And the actress who plays the role of Lady Washizu, who is clearly not mentally well from scene one is what sets the film into motion and drives events forward, she is enigmatic to me. Like I can't stand her, she's not a nice or even normal person, like I said she is off her rocker fast in this movie, and yet I cannot take my eyes off her when she is on screen. She is that character you love to hate without a doubt. But yes, if Shakespeare is something you like by all means watch Throne Of Blood. It is a very, very good movie and I genuinely enjoyed it a great deal. I wonder what tomorrow will hold though, seeing as The Hidden Fortress is next on my list. Will it enhance my enjoyment of Star Wars? We shall see.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Seven Samurai

Okay fine, this movie topped Ikiru!



So yeah, I don't think it's any mystery Seven Samurai is a great film, made in the golden age of Japanese cinema with Kurosawa on top form throughout. It's funny I've seen this movie before, or rather should I say I have seen this story before. Concerning a group of villagers that have been raided by bandits on a regular basis, a group of farmers set out to hire samurai in order to protect their town and kill the bandits. Not only was this made into The Magnificent Seven, a trend in western films that happened several times with Kurosawa films essentially being remade, with Yojimbo and A Fistful Of Dollars, this movie and The Magnificent Seven, and obviously The Hidden Fortress and Star Wars. But to the people out there who are my age and grew up watching Pixar movies in their early years, this plot may sound very familiar to A Bug's Life. You think I'm fooling around, but it's true! Go watch the movie, I'll wait......we back? Good, on with the review! Yet again here we are with a character driven film, and I have to admire the fact that all seven samurai are given a lot of character and have their own individuality, and though I am terrible with names each I can tell from the other. And I couldn't help but notice the characters of Kikuchiyo and Kyuzo seem oddly familiar to Mugen and Jin from Samurai Champloo so that was a great realization for me. I do firmly believe Kurosawa peaked with this movie, I mean all of his movies have his visual style and there are some really good shots through Stray Dog, Rashomon, and Ikiru but he perfected his editing and camera shots in this movie, and from what I've heard the shooting was strenuous and went over schedule and budget to the point where Toho almost went bankrupt but thankfully they are still around. So Japan got a double dose of greatness in 1954 with Seven Samurai and Gojira, cementing the company's status as THE major succesful movie studio in Japan to the point where you can see murals of both Kurosawa's films and Godzilla on either sides of the studio's entrance. Kurosawa put a lot of attention, and detail, and passion into this film and it does show. He knew exactly what shot he wanted, how to get it, and how to edit it all together. And while there were issues on set and during all stages of production, it became a succesful film and still renowned over 60 years later leading yet another point to the term "art through adversity". And we will continue the samurai trend tomorrow with a twist in Throne Of Blood.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Ikiru

This is gonna be a real hard movie to top.



Throughout this little marathon I've been steadily getting through, each movie has been better than the last. Stray Dog was good and had some interest, Rashomon had a lot of intrigue and was fascinating to watch, but Ikiru made it from really good to outstanding! And not only is this going to be a hard movie to top, but Takashi Shimura's performamce is going to be hard to top. His acting in this movie is amazing even though he doesn't say that much, his eyes can speak volume and the subject matter is what I think counts for so much of the greatness of the film. The story follows an older man named Kanji who discovers he has stomach cancer and is given a short time to live. He realizes he has wasted 30 years of his life stuck behind a desk and tries to cope with his disease and trying to make the last few months of living worthwhile. It goes much deeper than that, and done so very well I can barely describe it. It's such a wonderful movie, that really has not only a life affirming message but also makes you appreciate the life you have. There's quite a few scenes that easily made me an emotional mess but also just absolutely floored. The scene where Kanji sings Life Is Brief just made me freeze in sheer heartbreaking wonder, it's a chilling scene yet so beautiful too. And I'm going to level with you seriously, I have seen many funerals in my life. Far too many. And I have never seen a more real, crushing, respectful, or loving funeral scene in any movie before. It's tough to watch, especially for me, but it is....Jesus. Guys. This is coming from a man who mostly detests life stories, I'm not one for personal drama of an individual captured on film, it's odd saying but I'm not one for movies about life. That is the most bizarre thing I've ever said, and YET I love this movie, I would watch this movie time and time again. It's a excellent film that should be seen by all at some point in your life. It says so much despite it being a simple and yet very sad story that hits home a little too close for most people. I actually thought the name of the main character was Ikiru but on discovering it was Kanji I typed it into a translator, and the meaning of the word Ikiru is, to live. And that is what one should do, the only thing you can do is to make the time you have on this world worthwhile and mean something to the other people in your life. Take that away from this if nothing else dear ones.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Rashomon

Yet another very unpredictable but very good film.




The film that put Japanese cinema on the map, Rashomon takes the story of a bandit, a newlywed wife, her husband samurai, and a woodcutter that discovers the samurai's body. A court hearing is issued where all the parties speak their own truths, and the woodcutter along with a monk and a random passerby tries to piece the crime together and know the real story. I greatly enjoy this form of storytelling, yes I admit crime stories are far from something I enjoy but mysteries can be very entertaining. This is a film that you don't casually watch from the sidelines, you're right in there piecing the stories together and finding common facts that are in all the accounts. But the film does go much deeper than just, oh we gotta figure out what all happened between these people and the death of a samurai, the concept of good and bad more specifically morality are called into questioning. Because as you hear each person recount the events, differences come up and they all have reasons to lie. So it takes a much deeper look at people in terms of desires, character, and choices which I think is why so many people consider this film so great. And Kurosawa's directing style has pretty much hit the mark we will see throughout his other films, with dynamic and fluid camera movement, long takes that can showcase so much even at a distance, and the cuts though seeming a little off do work to the movie's advantage. I gotta say though Mifune is glorious in this movie, his whole attitude towards acting in this movie I can sum up in a simple phrase, go hard or go home. The frantic and deranged energy he potrayed in Stray Dog is multiplied tenfold in this movie, I cannot take my eyes off him when he is on screen! He's such a wild card which means you can never tell what on earth is gonna happen next, I swear you can see the literal fire in his eyes in some shots, the man just conquers this role and this film singlehandedly. We see Takashi again in another smaller role, but he makes up for it entirely in the last scene in my opinion. Usually most people when they decide to watch Kurosawa they start here, and I'm not arguing this is a bad place to start. If you want the feudal, samurai driven Kurosawa films then this is the place to start, but I didn't want to do strictly his samurai films. I really wanted to reach all corners and have a real Kurosawa 101, spanning his career from the beginning to the end. Which will lead us into his next film, Ikiru.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Stray Dog

I felt it was time not just in terms of reviews, but my life to finally see some Kurosawa films. We'll go chronoligically with his directed films to see how it all began and how it will end.




I didn't know what to really expect with Stray Dog, considered to be Kurosawa's first major succesful film, it sounded very simple. A young rookie cop has lost his colt handgun to a pickpocket and must track him down. Ridiculously simple plot, straight out of a detective novel but done very well. It was very different from what I expected, when I read the plot synopsis I pictured a Japanese noir film with a lot of close calls, dark atmosphere, and one hell of a climax. The movie was far from it but still very engaging and great. I have to admit the film took me for a few loops, for instance after we've followed our protagonist and seen a pretty good procedural set up which is quite interesting to see especially in 1949 before police procedural media was a dime a dozen, we follow this guy for a good near 10 minutes just wandering the streets. We have no idea who he is, why he's roaming about, or where he is going. At first, it seems kind of obvious who this guy is, but we keep following him, he looks for people but is always on the move. Again, you can guess kind of why he is looking for specific people, but it turns it completely on it's head and surprises you not once but twice. Despite me not greatly loving crime dramas that much, this movie did a good job at keeping the story interesting and entertaining. Toshiro Mifune had his first collaboration with Akira Kurosawa in this movie, a relationship that lasted the majority of Kurosawa's career as a filmmaker, and this is a good bar he set for his performance. They constantly refer the pickpocket to a mad dog, but I feel Mifune is the eponymous stray dog, not as experienced as his older partner played by Takashi Shimura and often feverishly distraught and highly punishing of himself for losing his gun. He looks at this particular case as the end all be all of his career as a police officer, not focusing on the bigger picture of serving the citizens but serving himself, just trying to correct his mistake and is faced with heavy consequences that he constantly berates himself for, even though some of it is not his fault. A stray dog roaming the streets in search of his own personal gain. I love that, and Kurosawa's directing style though not at his height of technique as later on is still great. His cuts are still based around motion, and despite it being black and white the film has depth and good contrast, he knows when to crank up the pressure and energy but also takes lots of time building to it. I would say this is the place to start with both Kurosawa and Mifune, it's a humble beginning to an incredible duo and sets the stage for future classics of film which we will be continuing tomorrow with the movie that made Kurosawa known around the world, Rashomon.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Trick r' Treat

I am genuinely surprised I've never talked about this movie.

Trick r' Treat is a necessity to watch every Halloween season. I have never seen a Halloween themed movie of this magnitude before, the closest thing to come to it was Halloween 3 and even then it was more background than front and center. It's an anthology movie, with 4 seperate stories tied together not only with background cameos of the other characters but with a character named Sam who is pretty much the mascot of Halloween, the same way Santa and the Easter Bunny are for their holidays and he is awesome. So the stories range from, kids going to the scene of a terrible crime to pay respects, a principal with a dark secret, a group of girls looking for fresh dates, and a grumpy Scrooge like character who learns to appreciate Halloween the hard way. The film's true power is in it's visuals, there is so much Halloween scenery to an almost gratuitous degree, from costumes, to pumpkins, to decorations and candy, it really gets you in the mood for Halloween day! And not a lot of people know about this movie, it had a modest budget and an adequate release, but it's a staple of the season just as much as Charlie Brown and more famous horror movies, so it's important to spread the word and hopefully get this film to be a Halloween classic. I've been so busy this month, I plan for October more than any other month both in terms of reviews and personal life so it's almost to the point where I won't know what to do with myself come November 1st. This month has really been my life and it's ending tomorrow. It's sad but I'm excited nevertheless. I highly urge you to check this movie out either today or on Halloween night after you've went to some parties, gotten some candy, and need a perfect send off to the most wonderful time of the year. I'll be out tomorrow before the sun rises and won't be back until after the sun has fallen and then some, so I want to wish you the happiest of Halloweens and I will see you guys soon.

Monday, October 29, 2018

It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

It's high time I did this.

For the longest time I never watched Peanuts. I would occasionaly read the comic strips but I never actually watched it until very recently in my life, and I can fully say it was a mistake. The Great Pumpkin upon first viewing a year or two ago made it an absolute necessity to watch it every October near Halloween. It's a first rate, gold standard example of Halloween TV specials! But what's it all about? Well Linus is determined to sit in a pumpkin patch on Halloween night and await the arrival of the Halloween equivalent of Santa Claus, though I doubt it's Krampus. And that's pretty much it, it's very akin to the Christmas special, it focuses more on the customs and the holiday itself more than a story. If you ever wondered what all you need to do to celebrate Halloween, this short tells you all. It has everything, carving a pumpkin, jumping in a pile of leaves, making costumes, going trick or treating, attending a Halloween party and a few things you can do there, visiting a pumpkin patch, and spending time with friends or maybe just by yourself. I'm pretty certain I've said this before but Halloween is the best and most nostalgic holiday of all, and why that is is because you can do whatever you want with it. You celebrate it how you want, whether you go out for tricks or treats, stay home to watch some scary or not so scary movies, got to a Halloween party with friends, or just go for a quiet autumn walk by yourself. There's no real solid tradition that applies to everyone. You don't have to go to a family get together, you don't need to exchange gifts, or eat until you are sleepy. You celebrate the holiday by doing what you wish, you can do anything you want and it works brilliantly. Like Linus who wants to sit in a pumpkin patch to await a figure that he believes is real. Halloween spirit is in the heart, wherever I go it is with me. And there is so much more to love with this special, the music is outstanding to the point where I don't fully consider it Halloween time if I don't hear The Great Pumpkin Waltz, it is a perfect song for the season and it doesn't stop there. The animation is simple but atmospheric and captures that exquisite fall feeling with warm colors and moody skies. There's a fun side trip with Snoopy which is always fun, the humor is present perhaps even more so than the Christmas special, it's a wonderful time for all. Sometimes we can get swept up in the horrific and scary elements, but it's important to do the simple things that even kids can enjoy, and above all just enjoy the holiday. The Great Pumpkin is a tradition to me, and I feel so bad about not watching it when I was younger, so I hope I'm making up for it by expressing my love of the special and the best holiday in the world.

And we got one more before the end, join me tomorrow for Trick r' Treat.

Friday, October 26, 2018

The Exorcist

Well it didn't scare my socks off but I'll be damned if I said it wasn't really, really good.

How does one talk about the reputation and impact of The Exorcist? Everyone has heard of this movie, it's one of the most critically acclaimed and highest grossing films of all time. It sent audiences screaming out of the theater in 1973, and still has had that effect ever since. I think the power of the film and the fear it emanates, all falls down to a question of belief. Do you believe in the devil? Well, I think by the end of the movie you'll find out the answer. Me personally, I was slightly disturbed at parts so clearly that question has a no from me. I honestly don't even know why there are other exorcist or devil posessing films, because this one is clearly the best. I do highly suggest you watch the movie again, if you haven't seen it in some time, I got several facts wrong about the story and it really does more than just, an innocent girl gets posessed by the devil and an exorcism occurs. The story follows a mother and her child, one thing I really must commend and why it works so well is that it takes quite some time for the possesion to happen. Some would complain the movie is too slow, but you spend a lot of time with these characters and you grow fond of them, particularly Regan which thus makes the horror parts that more scary. The story mainly is split between Regan and her slipping more and more, and Damien Karris who is battling his own demons and must overcome them. Good dichotomy of story! What surprised me the most is that when shit goes down, and Regan is full on demon, the actual scary scenes with the psychiatrist, the crucifix, everything but the fish tank smashing around the room, are few and paced inbetween. So it's not one horrifying hit after another, it gives plenty of time for the audience to be in suspense and wonder what in God's holy name could possibly happen after the last scene. So pacing is slow, but it builds steadily to an outstanding climax! I watched that exorcism scene over and over, it was and is incredible. Have to admit though I thought the ending was totally different, end of exorcism, crash through the window, Tubular Bells plays out over long shot of the stairs, roll credits. I was wrong. Ended differently, but it didn't matter. Very, very good movie, a true staple of the genre, I'm so happy to have watched this movie.

So now we come down, and mellow out (a bit) and we go straight to classic, gold standard material of the season. It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Suspiria

Sweet Jesus....


Damn, that was a good movie! I mean holy hell in a handbasket, it was creepy, genuinely horrifying, visually striking, a must see before Halloween! In Dario Argento's most popular film and to many considered his finest work, a young woman has just travelled to a dancing school in Germany but as time passes and several strange occurences and a growing sense of unease and alarm fill her, she discovers a dark history about the school and must escape with her life. An effectively creepy story only expanded upon by it's look and sound. This was actually the last movie ever to be produced in Technicolor and what a way to go out, every color is bold and deep, and practically glows in the darkness of the school, it firmly proves you can build a nightmarish and chilling atmosphere without being in black and white. It's unlike any film ever made. I've never seen a film even half as distinct and unwordly as Suspiria. But it doesn't stop there! The music is creepy beyond words, further enforcing the dreamlike quality, and done by the band Goblin who really did a spectacular job with the score. In fact, now that I think about it only this movie and Blade Runner have entire scores done by bands and not composers, or at least right off the top of my head. For a hour and forty minute film, it has a slow pace but when it needs to go it friggin' goes. Though the actual scares are few, honestly the film does a great job at creeping you the hell out almost all the way through, you don't notice. Though I must admit this is a rare instance where a horror movie actually horrified me, I mean jaw dropping fear and slight paranoia hit me. And you know what? I was already against the remake, because I heard of the reputation of this film and saw several scenes so I really had no idea why they wanted to do it again. Now I am feverently dismissive of the new movie, I mean I have to hear some ecstatic word of mouth if I am ever to watch it. So I do suggest you watch it now, you can find it on Midnight Pulp for free and the reason I say that is, unless you have Tubi TV or are willing to pay for a physical copy you can't find it anywhere. YouTube, Amazon, on television or any on demand service, you will not find it. Those are your options, so I watched it over at Midnight Pulp and it worked great. But next time, we are not screwing around, we're going right for the jugular and reviewing what many regard as the scariest movie ever, The Exorcist.

Monday, October 22, 2018

The Lost Boys

Thankfully not a rerun of Fright Night.


Though I haven't really heard of the impact and cult following this movie created, I understand why it is loved. Welcome the Emmerson family to the town of Santa Carla, a nice place to live, and idyllic for it's beaches, boardwalk, and youth culture. But the town harbors a dark secret, most prominently found in a biker gang who has a penchant for nightly escapades and feeding off of fresh blood. This is The Lost Boys. A fine film to be sure, with a great setting, good characters, comedy, and some good atmosphere as a cherry on top. Lord have mercy this is some 80s goodness that I had no idea I needed. This movie put me in a great mood, it's just fun, it never takes itself too seriously and even when it gets intense you're never scared out of your wits. I think what helps that is the Frog brothers played by Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander are great, always using this tough guy voice and the acting does nothing but make me have a blast. Kiefer Sutherland is a great villain lead, as I'm sure many people can imagine. The two Coreys have good chemistry and was the first of a few films they did together. Joel Schumacher did good work here for sure, making a new modern classic for vampire lovers. I recommend this for a movie night with friends, or if you just want some light scary movie material. Good movie, happy I saw it at last, can really appreciate the fanbase it has, and no doubt will see it again in the future. A solid 3 star movie! But now we shift gears for a time into the hardcore stuff, starting with the most colorful horror movie in history Suspiria.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Halloween (2018)

Now there's only one question: Did this film succeed as the new Halloween II?


I have ever so slight gripes about this movie, personally for my first Halloween film in theaters, it was really good. Not an outstanding film, but a very good if not great movie. It pretty much did what I thought it was gonna do, show some events prior to Michael escaping, set up some very likable and good characters, drop the hammer, let the bodies hit the floor, cap off the series, and throw in some easter eggs for the fans. And it did all that great. I only have two issues with the movie but one was impossible not to change, they half retconned the ending of Halloween so instead of Loomis not finding his body they add in some side cop who they claimed stopped Loomis from finishing off Michael and taking him into custody. Fine, that had to have been done because Halloween 2 ended things pretty definitively, so did this movie do a better job at ending it than Halloween 2? Kind...of? I guess it depends on your point of view of the ending. I still sense there may be something more after this. So story and characters are done well, some people could have gripes with more trivial matters, like for me we actually hear Michael breathe ragged and make sounds when he is injured and I just didn't like that. Little things like that, but the pros outway the cons. It's great seeing Jamie Lee Curtis back, she has outstanding chemistry with Andi Matichak who plays her grandaughter, and she legitimately puts up a fight. I think fans will appreciate and enjoy the movie, I know I did. Several nods to mainly the first and second movie, it wasn't distracting because it happens more at the beginning and as the plot wheels gain momentum you're invested in the story. And it does have moments of comedy but I laugh sometimes when I'm nervous, and there is a lot of suspense in this movie. Though, and I somehow forgot to bring this up in the last movie, but if I took a shot for every false scare or jumpscare I would have had to been dragged out of that theater. Like seriously, it gets old quick in both movies but when shit happens you feel that fear. I have absolutely no doubt I will see it again on Halloween night to cap off the year's festivities. Go see it if you haven't already, you only need to contend with one, maybe two movies before it and one of them is a shining example of greatness in the horror genre, so you got nothing to lose. Thankfully ending on a high note after that patchy middle of the week, so I'm a happy camper, and I will see you next week for some more classic and loved horror movies.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Halloween: 20 Years Later

This is how you conclude a series!



This was how it all originally ended, 1998, the return of Jamie Lee Curtis to the series, and the full intent on making this the final Halloween. Originally, the movie was supposed to be called Halloween: The Revenge Of Laurie Strode and I say that is an apt title. 20 years after Michael Myers terrorized Haddonfield and stalked Laurie Strode, she faked her death, moved to California, changed her name, and is in charge of a private high school where her son goes but all is not well and Laurie must face the demon of her past and put an end to him forever. This is a really, really damn good movie. And even though Michael does not go on the hunt until about the hour mark in this less than hour and a half movie, surprisingly I don't really mind. Believe it or not, I really like our main characters in this movie besides Laurie! Usually I detest horror movie character tropes but I genuinely like these kids and it didn't take me long to figure out why, because they are teenagers. They're not geeks, jocks, sluts, and final girls, they act like real people and made me laugh and smile when they were on screen. So I really have to commend the writers, great job guys! Hell, even the casting of LL Cool J works very well, he's not an integral or even slightly prominent role in the movie like that other rapper in the Halloween franchise, and he's still a very likeable and real guy. So characters are awesome, which makes the deaths more sad though they're not half bad for the series. Story is really good and capped off the series perfectly, leading to one hell of a climax! Laurie beats the life out of Michael and it is beautiful. I cannot wait to see the new Halloween movie tomorrow! And I love that Mr. Sandman music that plays in the beginning, a true great horror sequel. And the only bad thing I could ever say about this movie is you see Michael's eyes too often, that's nitpicking at best people! So watch the first 4 Halloween movies, this one, and join me tomorrow for a well welcomed return.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Halloween 6

We're doing the theatrical cut. There's no way in all the circles of hell I'm watching two versions of this garbage.


I got so fed up with this movie not only did I have to take several breaks before I finished it, but I was browsing through the Criterion Collection because I needed something good to watch after the fact. I can say without the slightest hyperbole, the filmmakers do not know Halloween. At all. This film is the reason we got Halloween: 20 Years Later and it dropped the continuity. And the first and most evident fact to my claim is that Michael Myers, The Shape who is purely and simply evil, that stalks and kills countless people, has come from a terrifying singular unstoppable force of nature to a pawn in a cult that originates all the way back in the time of the Druids. That's all the information on the cult that you get, I don't even think you know the name of the cult, they dedicate themselves to choosing....sweet Jesus this movie is ass, just bear with me here. So they explain the cult chooses a member of a family to kill off their entire bloodline to prevent famine and plague, or at least that's what I gathered. Not only is this a complete and utter BETRAYAL of the Halloween story, but it doesn't even make sense in terms of the story. What do I mean by this? Well, Jamie Lloyd is all grown up now and thankfully not played by Danielle Harris, and I say you dodged a bullet with this movie hon, and she just gave birth to a baby boy in this weird ass cult and Michael is hot on their trail to kill both of them. Jamie bites the dust, and Tommy Doyle from the first movie finds the baby and brings the whole Strode family into the crosshairs of Michael. So they're trying to keep the baby safe but who's the dad? Enter the cult rant: WARNING RANT AHEAD, VACATE THE PREMISES. This f***ing cult fails spectacularly in every way possible, not only is it set up abysmally beyond reason like I said we don't even know the name of the cult but whatever, but the motives and the way they try to achieve their goals defies all logic and reason. So we noted the cult is formed on a druid sacrifice of an entire bloodline right? Well, they suck at fulfilling that oath. Hard. Michael needs to wipe out his family right? Well let's see, killed his sister, failed to kill his other sister and she died of I guess an accident, took over 15 years to get his niece, and there's this little problem that MICHAEL IMPREGNATED HIS NIECE!! WHAT??! WHAT IS THAT GOING TO ACCOMPLISH, ARE YOU SHITTING ME UP THE ASS??? Ohh my head......so yeah, Michael Myers is a uncle daddy now. Did you know there's a magic drink that can help you forget this movie? It's called bleach. Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, great job cult leaders you suck so bad at killing people you gave birth to another target. Oh but we're just getting started folks on how much this movie is a blight upon the planet. Now let me be clear, I have no issue with a cult which started in ancient times, it ties well with Season Of The Witch and the origins of Halloween. Just don't add Michael Myers to the mix. Leave that to another movie outside this series. Or hell, if Halloween followed in the direction set by Season Of The Witch this would be awesome! A return of the mystical, sacrificial origins of Halloween, maybe with Connal Cochran back somehow in a new body with a new plan! God, that would be an amazing return after 2 anthology movies! But it's not all down to the cult why this movie sucks the root, it is a shoddily made movie almost akin to a trashy, 90s, trying to hard to be edgy, music video long before Rob Zombie got his hands on this series, with oblique angles, nauseating use of strobe lights, idiotic and out of place edits, almost as if the movie is trying to compensate for lack of story with visuals seen from an amateur filmmaker who really wanted to make this series edgy and a bit grunge. Just how did this series fall so far? Who dropped the ball and let it roll down the hill into the lake? The actor's suck, especially with the guy who plays Tommy, I know they try to pass off he's been not all mentally there after the events of the first movie but I got news for you, it didn't work. I mean like, Razzie award winning, did. Not. Work. Donald Pleasance is the only man who's trying, and it saddens me this movie was his last movie. The film is in memory of him, and what a great tribute. This may be worse than Expendables 3. No, scratch that. It is. At least Expendables 3 still felt like The Expendables, and yes it did have a direct to DVD direction to it but at least it kinda made sense. This movie? Dare even say it's the worst movie I have ever seen in my life. Manos, The Room, Birdemic, Sharknado, Baby Geniuses ain't got nothing on this movie. There are exactly 2 good things in this movie, Donald Pleasance and the death of Mr. Strode cause he was a massive cock. I am livid right now and I have no idea how to calm down, other than stab several people to death with a Lamson 9" kitchen knife, but that shit is expensive so here I am. I'm done. Halloween: 20 Years Later tomorrow, or Halloween H20 for you people out there. It's 20 Years Later, what wiseass thought that was a good idea? Whatever, f*** it I'm done, goodnight.