Thursday, June 27, 2019

Ghost World

This was such an interesting movie.

I didn't hate it, I didn't love it, I'm not really sure what to make of it but nevertheless it was fascinating. Apparently many people felt the same when the movie came out in 2001, mainstream audiences were not enthralled but critics really liked it, making this a major cult film. I wasn't even really sure what to expect from it, it centers on two friends Enid and Rebecca who just graduated high school and are trying to figure out what to do next. They're both very cynical and are easily the oddest girls in town, teasing gas station clerks, following a couple they claim to be satanists, and just interacting with the people of their town. And while they are looking for an apartment together, Enid comes across a personal ad in the newspaper and actually meets up with the guy, as we watch their friendship take off and grow. This slowly becomes a huge aspect of Enid's life and strains her relationship with her one and only friend, as she tries her best to figure out the best course of action. I really love these girls, they are so bizarre and yet so fun, it seriously made me realize I had an excess of friends like that through my teen years. I like the town they live in and the people they meet, the relationship between Enid and Seymour as their friendship grows is odd but endearing. You really have no clue where the movie is gonna go, and when it ends you do try to come to your own conclusions. That's not a bad thing by any stretch, but I think that's what hung me up on it. There is no clear resolution for really anybody and you do want to know what happens to these characters in the end. And surprisingly and I do mean surprisingly, this is actually based off a comic book and I reeeeally need to get my hands on that immediately, because I like these characters and I want to see them more. But beyond story details how is it? I like the dialogue it feels natural in that early 2000 fashion, the look of the film both in execution and substance is interesting forming a strange yet fully understandable environment. Maybe that's where the title inspiration comes from, the world feels just a touch off like you're seeing it from a unnatural viewpoint, or perhaps it means how our main characters are just shifting aimlessly, spinning their wheels going nowhere and having no idea where to go. Now that makes a lot of sense, because when you're a kid it's oh, go to school, do your homework, get good grades, for an absurdly long time, so what do you do when it's finally over? No more school to go to, a constant in your life removed from the equation, what comes next? A lot of young adults feel that, and true some plan for college or what have you, but most don't fully know what to do next. Why do so many high school movies always ask the question what are you going to do next or what do you want to be when you grow up? And this doesn't just come from high school teen movies, The Graduate had incredible uses of that same question so obviously it's there for some reason. Life is random, movies are calculated. It's always nice to look back on the past and remember the good times, but they don't stop there. Think of the future even if you're not sure what to do next, you'll move on eventually to a new life and maybe for the better.

Well it was fun to do this week, I was greatly surprised, had a lot of fun, and even got to wax philisophical like the old man I am. Pretty good week all things considered! But now comes the part where we say goodbye for now, I'll be back in August with more movies, ideas, and something special that I've been wanting to talk about for years.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The Edge Of Seventeen

I'm not even mad they didn't use the song.

Shit, that was really a good movie. I mean like, holy hot damn this movie was great. I actually wanted to see it in theaters when I saw the trailer but never got around to it until now, and I'm trying so hard not to dash my brains against the wall while berating myself for not seeing it earlier. I was greatly impressed, expecting a more comedic film about teenage angst and day to day life dealing with various teenage situations, and instead what I got was a funny, emotional, and completely wonderful movie that not only did I incredibly enjoy but also relate to. My girl Hailee absolutely just slays this movie, she is a great actress in this and just further reinforces why I appreciate and love her so much as an actress. She plays a very introverted, very cynical teenager Nadine, who is going through a rough patch when her one and only friend hooks up with her brother and the movie focuses on her emotions and how she's handling it whether in a good way or a poor way. I was kinda stunned how much I saw of myself in Nadine, like I fully 120% identified with her and I'm sure I'm not the only one. I know some people will see this movie and see Nadine as a very self-centered, selfish, and maybe even a crazy teenager but I strongly disagree. I remember being a little too much like this, a supremely hot mess of mixed emotions, thinking every soul should revolve around me, and having straight up meltdowns from seemingly insignificant details but in reality it was the straw that broke the camel's back. Many teenagers are like this, and still are but we all come to terms with it and grow past it into better people just like Nadine. She fully accepts she's a unpopular and neurotic person at times but she tries to make it better and finds a bit of solace in her history teacher played by Woody Harrelson. I was expecting a lot more building on their relationship and how they would become very good friends but it's not really the focus, and yet it's still great. He can be a wise ass and she can throw it right back at him, it's a great dynamic and even I've had relationships like that with my teachers. Everything was done incredibly well, the story and characters are wonderful, the film looks beautiful at times, the music is quite nice, and though it's more a drama bomb the comedy never failed to make me have a good laugh. Though there's one scene, and I'm not even sure what it was because it's not that long nor does it have much going on but as it played all I said was, "Holy shit this is a great movie.". It's a calm down scene where events have built up and an emotional climax has been reached but then it gives the audience time to reflect and calm a bit, it's just one shot for about maybe 30 seconds but the subtle music, lack of dialogue, and the events that led up to it really hit this movie home for me as a great movie. I have nothing but love for this movie and can't give it anything less than a sterling recommendation and a perfect 4 stars, check it out! Huge thumbs up from me, and hopefully you too.

One more before the end. And somehow I doubt you've heard of this one.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

10 Things I Hate About You

I was pleasantly surprised.

Outside of the 80s John Hughes movies, and especially in the late 90s and a good chunk of the 2000s I just don't watch high school teen films. Mostly because it always seems like the same damn movie, high school romance with stereotyped characters, and no real substance. And I held this movie right up there in that category, but I was incredibly shocked to find the movie was made in 1999 when such a concept as high school was as vague and alien a concept as you could get since I was 4 years old, and yet I always heard about this movie from the ages of 9 and up. 10 Things I Hate About You, what a great movie, it's a teen romance movie done so well, oh Heath Ledger is a dream in that movie, the praise was astronomical. And I just never watched it, I had no interest in it, even when we covered Shakespeare in school specifically The Taming Of The Shrew we watched the Elizabeth Taylor version and this movie. I was way more interested in the Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton version than this one, cause the last time I saw Shakespeare modernized a few years before that....ugh. So this was really and truly my first real viewing of it. I, I kinda loved it guys. It's so much a teen high school romance movie and yet it totally isn't, it really is a film all of it's own with such a unique sense of humor and quirks that really took me off my guard in the opening scenes. The fact that this high school not only has the most wise ass and hilarious staff I've ever seen in my life, but also has and I kid you not, various clicks of students that include coffee addicts, cowboys, and white kids heavy into the reggae and love Bob Marley. Whaaaat?? This is the most fascinating school I've ever seen in film! It was really damn funny too, and it doesn't feel dated at all I mean I was wondering if this came out before or after A Knight's Tale, I thought it was that recent! And the characters I like to, I must really give the film some praise that there are the usual roles of your standard high school movie, you got the geeks, the popular girls, the jocks, and the rebels however each main character in those categories aside from the jocks who are still massive braying jackasses all have time devoted to them and we learn more about them. It's not a Mean Girls situation where every popular chick is the spawn of Beelzebub himself, and the geeks aren't just technically spoken awkward guys who need some sex, and the rebels aren't just people trying to throw it on the ground and proclaim they're not part of this system but the movie shows them as people both good and horrible. And I'm not gonna lie, Heath Ledger is pretty spectacular in this movie, he has such charisma and charm, I mean no wonder people loved him so much, I was practically man crushing hard on him. It shows he could do pretty much any role and is further testament as to why people still talk about his performances to this day. Julia Stiles is wonderful and actually has some great material to work with and she nails it! My boy Joseph Gordon Levitt being a big smoothie in this movie too, so that's two Gotham boys in search of romance. I think I especially like Larisa Oleynik as the uppity popular sister probably because she's way more than that, yes she's a royal pain, yes she's kinda spoiled and waaaay too self-centered, but it shows a lot more of her actual character that further drives my point of the characters being like real people, maybe not my favorite character but I was very pleased the way they handled her. I also really loved, what I personally think is the meaning of the movie, this one scene where our main girl and guy basically say that you should live the life that you want, and to not let anyone try to tell you who you are supposed to be. There's great wisdom in that scene for every age group out there and really should be seen at least once. The soundtrack was also not half bad, in fact I really digged the soundtrack for the most part, with a pretty grand singing scene with Heath thrown in. And that's why I loved it so much, this movie can take some pretty out there steps and creates this bizarre, funny, and very no frills world and yet have people act like real people. I really enjoyed this movie, it was highly entertaining, great fun to reminisce, and very funny. You should absolutely check this one out. I totally had friends like our main girl and guy Kat and Patrick, which is funny because I was the most vanilla good kid you could possibly ever see and yet I had friends who smoked pot, and sometimes drank, and were completely doing their own thing but still were like the punk group of the school and I really wouldn't want anything different. I couldn't even count how many times me and my friends would utterly bitch each other out and hate each other but 5 minutes later we get over and hang out again, very much like our main couple. It's still very identifiable to this day, and while high school wasn't even close to what you see in the movies for me, I still like to think it was a very good experience. Even if I didn't go to prom or get a girlfriend. And before I go have an emotional episode that's all for today. Until tomorrow!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Toy Story 4

Well I was sorta right about it.

Now Toy Story 4 is a really good movie, I had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed it. The animation is top notch, with excellent use of color and such fluid movements. The comedy made me laugh just as hard as when I watched Toy Story 2. It's great seeing actual good new characters, including a sympathetic villain done to absolute perfection, with of course our star roster. I even really enjoyed the story, I thought Inwas going to despise Bonnie's creation Forky but he grew on me quickly, and the idea of a road trip and fairgrounds backdrop with our favorite toys is really great! However, the ending didn't do it for me. Now I know. I know. It's a new chapter, as a very wise man said "Let the past die.", it even had this sort of Lost In Translation style ending so how could I not like it. Well when you watch every Toy Story movie Woody is our focus, we learn so much about him, and how much he is loyal to his kids, we see him still struggling with seeing Andy go yet is so ready to take care of Bonnie for years to come, and just remembering that undying loyalty and the importance of that to his character, makes the ending something I felt out of character and while could be interesting in future movies just felt wrong. Not full on betrayal or the ending ruined the whole movie, because it's not. It's a good movie, I really liked it, but I just have this nagging feeling that it does take away from Andy's ending. I really wanted there to be no Toy Story 4, it ended and it ended very well when you got right down to it. And I forgot to say last time, but I fully believe the fan theory that Andy's mom is Emily and I was shocked to see no scene in the last movie where she finds Jessie and has just this split second reaction, I could have sworn that scene existed. I guess I had a severe Mandela Effect moment, and a bad lapse of memory so I had to bring that up. Should you go see Toy Story 4? Well it depends if you're fully content with 3 or if you want to see more adventures. It is a very good movie and one you should see before the end, Pixar did such a good job with their animation and the characters but it did make me go into some deep denial. But the ending isn't really a bad one, and I should have a more open mind towards it. New chapter, and all that. I give Toy Story 4 a solid three and a half stars, and yet another fine addition to the series.

But what shall we do for the last week before my somewhat summer vacation? Well with me thinking a lot about how summers were for me as a kid and how much I do truly miss summer vacations from school, I figured we could look at some teen movies. Why? Because I'm an old, bitter, grumpy old man who is heavily nostalgic and needs to reflect on years gone by.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Toy Story 3

What we thought was the end.

Toy Story 3 is a good movie, I like the way the series has progressed but I have a few nitpicks if you can even call some of them that. It's a beautifully animated movie with just as much heart and care put into it as the last two movies, I got invested into it, I enjoy it, but there's some off things I need to bring up. Okay so we flash forward after a great opening by about 6 or 7 years, Andy is now 17 and headed to college (guess he was really good in school), and his poor toys have not been played with in years. Through a series of events our lovable lot get whisked away to a daycare center, and all seems well. You know, until it's revealed as a prison that would make Alcatraz look like a pleasant vacation spot, forcing our friends to try to find a way back home. I have no issue with this scenario, it brings up a lot of truths in this world for these characters, and the daycare setting is a brilliant idea for the toys to travel to. We meet a few new characters, Barbie finally meets a Ken whose even voiced by Michael Keaton (Yaaaay!), a few toys who might as well be a street tough gang from an 80s movie, and our "warden" of the daycare Lotso. I....ooh, I really don't like this bear. I hate him with a fiery vengeance the world has not seen for millenia, which is odd because villains have always been my favorite since the beginning but this fffffflip flappin bear is a massive prick. And his story tries soooo hard to elicit sympathy but garnered nothing but contempt from me, basically he was a happy go lucky bear yet somehow was left accidentally and instead of this kid's parents going back to get him they replace him, and he goes from Care Bear to controlling psycho in the span of oh about 5 seconds. He really does run the daycare like a combination of the warden from Shawshank and Jackie Treehorn from Road House. I swear if they sold legit toys of him I may have to take the Shaq-Fu angle and dedicate my life to destroying every one of them. The hate was so real, it damaged my love of the movie. I really don't want to watch this movie again and all because of a jerk bear. I guess that's a good villain if they can pull that sort of reaction out of a person but God, I need to take a woodchipper and a tank of gasoline to that bear for me to feel better. But I dig the whole prison escape feel the movie has for a good majority of it's length, and sweet Jesus does it get dark at that climax. I mean. Whoa. I'm not saying it's too dark or it's going to severely screw your kid up but even I was shocked to see it get that bleak. But if Don Bluth has taught us anything as long as the movie has a happy ending you can do whatever the hell you want with kid's emotions. Speaking of endings, this ending...sort of perplexes me. The fact that Andy was fully ready to take Woody to college with him seems well, stupid. I had favorite toys I held onto even to this day, but I didn't need to take them to COLLEGE with me. And when he introduces all the toys to a little girl, who I swear is the most pwecious thing in human existence, and has one final playtime I just, ugh. I'm not saying it's forced or contrived or even bad. But seriously, what is this ending? Even on my first viewing of this movie which I will freely admit I did not see opening day, nor did I not see it when it hit video, hell I didn't even see it until about 3 years after it came out when I was in highschool, the ending didn't do much for me. Oh sure, it's a touching and very bittersweet ending but if Andy came by, told the little girl about them and then left with a bittersweet but ultimately happy expression on his face, I'd pretty much call it perfect. Maybe it's too sweet that I practically got 5 different types of diabeetus from it, and maybe I'm an old cynical bastard that doesn't like anything anymore, but I still enjoyed it. But I mainly blame it on the bear. I should have seen stuffing shoot out in 80 different directions when he went through those cutting blades. Why am I so angry?? I don't know! Toy Story 3 is a good movie, I still recommend it, I give it a solid 3 stars, it just had elements that, shall we say diminsihed my enjoyment factor. Other than one character, and one ending, I very much liked the movie, maybe not loved but certainly not hated. All that's left to say is, this is not over bears!!

But how will Toy Story 4 impact the series? It ended the best way it could, so is the fourth movie going to be a completely unnecessary sequel and a quick cash grab, or is it going to be a welcome and fine addition to the series? Tune in tomorrow to find out.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Toy Story 2

It's better than I remember.

I love Toy Story, it is an excellent film and still so enjoyable to this day. I watched both Toy Story 1 and 2 when I was a kid on VHS, a lot. And yet now as I'm older I love it so much more. I'm not even sure what it is, the humor is great with some moments that made me laugh so hard I couldn't breathe, the story takes new ideas and gives a bit more of an emotional tale, the animation is amazing, Toy Story 2 is without a doubt a superior film and another rare awesome sequel that you come across now and then. I love how the story goes, the fact that Woody gets damaged and then is stolen is a great way to hold interest for the whole movie and a handful of our favorite toys set out to rescue him. But in the meantime Woody comes to discover he's actually a rare toy and meets toys from the same line as him, a cowgirl named Jessie who almost singlehandedly makes the movie surpass the first, a fun horse Bullseye, and the astronaut prejudiced Prospector. Now these 3 characters alone bring so much to the table it's crazy. Bullseye is just a fun character and come on, what's a cowboy without a horse? The Prospector brings up a lot of important things to be seen in the next movie, and actually brings up the point to Woody that Andy won't be a kid forever. Ugh, those are such great moments! Which takes us to Jessie, and she is incredibly active with a bubbly personality but she has major emotional baggage that the movie isn't afraid to shy away from. It's her flashback sequence alone that really does push this movie from really good to great, it's a kind of powerful scene that can be understood by kids possibly more than adults. Kids grow up and change a lot, it may not seem like it but they really do, I had tons of toys as a kid and there were some that I lost, some that were replaced by new favorites, and some that got damaged, and this happened while I was still a kid. Though the humor is in my opinion better than ever, there's always something more to notice as time goes by. Some of it's little things like the abundance of Star Wars sound effects in the opening, or that surprisingly soothing and hypnotic repair of Woody's arm to more big things like how Woody is actually a family toy meaning he was passed down probably from his dad or uncle because he was around in the late 50s right before the big space race boom, or a certain fan theory that seems much too credible to dismiss but we will cover that next time. And I gotta say the animation for this movie looks outstanding, for a movie that's 20 years old some of this stuff looks like today's Pixar animation, I was thoroughly impressed by the colors and expressions of characters. Like jeez, I can't even imagine how I'll take Toy Story 3 because I have my own history with it but again, another thing for another time. Toy Story 2 is that perfect continuation of a great series, I wouldn't be surprised at all if some people said it was The Empire Strikes Back of the series, though for less obvious reasons. It really does improve and continue to innovate this world that Pixar banked everything on and it payed off. For only the 3rd film in their library, they hit their stride quick and is still making movies today. Yet another 4 stars, 10/10, could not recommend it enough! Definitely go back and check it out if it's been a few years, it might stir up some old memories for you too.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Toy Story

Yeah. You knew it was coming.

See the thing with Toy Story and more importantly future movies in the series is the fact that it came out the year I was born. I did not know a world without Toy Story, I've been watching this movie for over 20 years and it still holds up. I want you to think about that for a second. 20 years and the animation, story, and characters have stood the test of time and is still being shown to kids today. That is absolutely incredible. Everyone has seen Toy Story at one point or another, so really this isn't much of a review but more a love letter to the series. It's a classic and no one can argue that, watch it again if you haven't recently. The cast does such good work and every person who worked on the movie wanted it to be the best movie ever, cause they take everything seriously and put their best foot forward in every department. The characters are great and I love them all but Slinky and the little aliens get a lot of love from me in particular, and I can say that the dynamic between Woody and Buzz is really perfect especially because they become friends through bleak and desperate times much like people do. They make for fun enemies but make even better friends and the best part is we get to see them change and grow over time. It's really something special in terms of kids movies cause it just doesn't happen that much, can you name one movie series made for kids where each film is excellent and isn't a slap in the face or down grade from the first movie? I can't besides like Harry Potter, but that's for adults too but whatever. And it's made such a huge impact on kids older than me and younger than me, and I think it's because any kid can really get this movie. Andy loses his two favorite toys in the world, every kid has felt that, every kid wants to go to Pizza Planet, every kid knew at least one Sid in their life, every kid has gotten a super awesome toy for their birthday. It really does go beyond just a fun kids movie about toys coming to life. The dialogue in particular is fun, inventive, and quotable, it even takes advantage of toy jokes but it's not painful puns or gags it just tells funny jokes concerning toys. I was really impressed how so little of the film looks "bad", it's all good but admittedly some effects are not as good as others, the environments both indoors and outdoors look pretty damn good and some objects look really real. There's a timelessness quality to the whole film, if you showed this to a kid they would probably say it was made now or awhile back, cause it doesn't really look, sound, or feel 90s so it further makes the film better. It's just a great movie for everybody, you love it, I certainly love it, and it's high time you watch it again if it's been awhile. 4 stars, 10/10, cannot recommend it enough! Tomorrow we look at the sequel, so stay tuned.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

The Dead Don't Die

May be missing some bone in my skull but hey new movies, new reviews.

And in the case of The Dead Don't Die, see it. Just see it. If you can catch this movie in the theatre, do it. It is a lot of fun, it's friggin' weird for a zombie movie, and I really digged it. I almost expected a non-zombie movie because it takes awhile for the dead to rise and even then the movie's not centered on it. It's centered on a small town where there is some weird shit going down, days and nights stick around way too long, watches are frozen in time, the moon is glowing, only one song is heard constantly on the radio, it has a bit more of an apocalyptic feel almost. And there is indeed a reason for the dead rising, and I'm pretty sure it would take 20 minutes of Star Trek technobabble to explain it. But in the meantime we hang out with Bill Murray and Adam Driver as they drive around town and do their normal duties as police officers, and the funny thing is even when the zombies are shambling around they don't hop into action. Also free tip, Adam Driver knows what's up. Like this movie I swear has chronic self awareness, meaning they point out that this song which is also the title of the movie, is the theme. And I was like okay so we're self aware now? But thennthe movie keeps rambling on doing it's thing and it is so odd. I really like this movie, I enjoyed it but even then I can't deny it's weirdness. But you should see it regardless, and draw your own conclusions. I know I didn't divulge much beyond basic plot, and it's for the best trust me. When you watch it, you'll get what I mean, and maybe hopefully enjoy it.

Well that's all for now, but next week is no joke and we are going deep into nostalgic love.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

House (1977)

What the somersaulting pink pythons was that??

I just wanted to review this movie cause I've never seen it, heard a bit about it, and wanted to see what it's all about. What I got was a film so batshit crazy it makes Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas a sobering and as real a movie you can get without it being Schindler's List! How do I talk about it? Other than attempt to dissect and better understand the movie by describing the madness on screen? Well, apparently this movie was the director's first attempt in feature length film production and many of the ideas came from nightmares and other horrorshow ideas of his young daughter and that's fine. There is nothing wrong with taking inspiration from childhood fears. But I don't have a flippin' clue where the rest of the movie's ideas came from. It takes the very simple concept of travellers entering a spooky haunted house to unparalleled new avenues and directions, with the actual style of editing and camera shooting like it was made more for a music video than a film, quite good actors especially since none of them had previous acting experience, and effects so experimental and not quite the greatest looking that I question if somebody slipped PCP in my drink and none of this is really happening. It certainly made me question if the production team had some high power blotter acid on set. It's such a visually interesting movie with stuff I've never even dreamed of seeing in a movie. It's pretty amazing. So amazing it's actually part of the Criterion Collection with it's library consisting of impressive, distinguished, and culturally cultivated films that had some impact and significance on the genre and film itself. I mean the effects are interesting if nothing else, the movie has a unique style to the point where the actual characters don't have names. I am not kidding, the group of girls who go this haunted house do not have names. Now in horror movies, specifically slasher movies you can label each character as part of a group, you got the pretty girl, the nerd, the meathead, the joker, and son on. No, no, no, no this is a whooole other level!  The characters names ARE their attributes, with names like Gorgeous, Fantasy, Professor, and Kung-Fu. I couldn't make this up if I tried. I am sad I lack the imagination to make this stuff up! I honestly really like all the girls, specifically Professor and Kung-Fu but what even are these names?? It's like Suspiria in terms of plot yet somehow makes even less sense, at least in Suspiria there was a reason to explain everything. Not here! I'd even take the, "And then I woke up." ending, at least it would explain the absurd nightmare events. And yeah the horror moments are sometimes horrific but other times it's so absurd and it makes me laugh in huge bursts. There's also a surprising amount of nudity that I wasn't expecting but really I've seen it all by now. Can I recommend it? I don't even know. The only way I could is if you are on some serious pain meds and you're being as weird and bizzare as the movie. Which I might be on very soon. So by all means knock yourself out or don't, but I will give props to Criterion for bringing this movie to my attention. I'm sure I'll watch it again. Tune in next time for The Dead Don't Die.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Good Omens

Yep, the newest Amazon show based on a book by two great writers Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

I greatly enjoy their work and I had to read the book to fully be able to compare notes and judge if you can watch the series by itself and not lose any enjoyment, and thankfully you really don't. You get a lot more out of it if you read the book and it is a very good book, but you can spend an afternoon watching the show and get invested. Hell I only had two major flaws with the series, it was too short totaling in 6 episodes each an hour long, which is funny cause it took me about six hours to read the book but gah I wish it was longer! But is that really a bad thing if you want more? Not really. And the other flaw is a stigma because of it's short length, don't get me wrong this is a great adaptation nearly putting everything in, but it does lose some stuff. Not major story breaking stuff, it follows the major points of the book from beginning to end with some added content which I love, but more detail stuff that help immerse you in the world better. But what is this world exactly? Well a very long time ago, in the beginning some might say, in a lush garden an angel by the name of Aziraphale and a demon by the name of Crowley meet and after millenia they slowly become good friends and when the big day approaches of the end of the world, they have some differing opinions and formulate a plan to avert the apocalypse so they can keep enjoying Earth. It's an interesting story and the performances is what grabs you and makes you stick around! Michael Sheen is amazing, I think he was perfectly cast as a very prim and proper angel, and is a complete joy to watch. David Tennant gets to play a ginger demon who still has that style and charisma that made him beloved in Doctor Who, and if I'm being embarassingly honest I fully ship them. They are perfection, it was subtext in the book but it might as well be text in the show and I for one love it. And it ends just right, it put me in such a good mood! I loved it! In fact if you look at the cast for the series, and if you watch a lot of british television, you will recognize many of these names and they really don't skip out on the star power. I'll give you a buck if you can guess who voices Satan without looking it up. All the major players get plenty of screen time for the most part, the kids get sort of sidelined but it's not too bad. I'll also say the woman who plays our friendly witch Anathema who has certain knowledge of the end of days, is absurdly gorgeous yet her romance life feels a bit rushed but that's what it was like in the book too and it's no big deal when you get down to it. But the show knows where it's major priorities are and want to make a good adaptation, and the new stuff they throw in is great. I would fully endorse a Aziraphale and Crowley spin-off show detailing their various misadventures through centuries of friendship, because they do it so well in one of the episodes you want to see more! I also don't mind some superficial changes, I like how the Four Horsemen are split with two men (sort of) and two women, and I love the idea of the personification of war to be a woman. Usually people just rain down hate if something diversifies people from it's source material, but trust me it could be worse. J.K. Rowling could be pissing on Terry Pratchett's grave but it's done well. And yes, I would say though Good Omens is the brain child of both Neil and Terry, it's Terry's writing style that forms the book. If you've ever read one of his Discworld books, his sense of humor and writing prose becomes abundantly clear and the series tries to do justice to it but some of it falls flat if you haven't read the book, and to further prove my point I only know one person who speaks LIKE THIS in his writings. But what's missing out on a joke if the story and characters are still clearly defined and engaging? This is a really good series, criminally short, but entertaining and fun. Great production, excellent casting, a faithful script, and a witty and enjoyable however brief series. A definite recommendation from me, and perfect for people wanting more imaginative and original storytelling. And someone please write a series called Aziraphael And Crowley, while in the meantime I'm gonna listen to some Queen and have a nice meal.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Everybody Look What's Going Down...

Well good evening to you all. Just wanted to let you know what's happening here in the next month or 2 before we start our next week of reviews. I am taking some study time into my next review, it's based off a book by one of my favorite authors and I wanted to take notes and see how faithful it is. After that though...the rest of this month is a trainwreck. Too much stuff is coming out this month so I really had to pick and choose what I wanted to do cause when you have a job that starts around lunchtime and ends when the sun has gone down, time is not a major luxury! And sadly I really wanted to check out The Dead Don't Die because Adam Driver and Bill Murray versus zombies sounds a little too good to be true but I can't see it opening day, so I'll have to do it on Saturday instead. After that though it's a fairly stable week, and the last week drove me so insane that after constantly shifting from potential movie to potential movie, I'm taking my monthly break in July. There's stuff I want to see in August and September so July is the only option left. And can I just rant for a brief moment in time, there is way waaaaay too much horror stuff coming out before October, more Chucky movies, Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, IT: Chapter Two, if all this got pushed until October it would be the best October we have ever had on this show! And I think we have had some pretty good years, so that bugs me a bit but I can live. After that though, same old schedule. Just pray for me that I live to see August because the deep south in summer time might as well be one of the levels of Hell, and I am not a creature of light or warmth I mean I'm already hot enough, and the more I stay in my cave the better so consider July my hibernation period. So I will see you Monday, bye bye for now and goodnight all!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III

And no it is not called Turtles In Time! I will stab the next person who even dares compares that game to this horrible movie!

How do you royally screw up the Turtles going back to feudal Japan? Well the answer is this movie but come on this idea is pretty awesome! In fact it's practically a staple in the series and it makes sense, the Foot Clan was founded in feudal Japan, Shredder's ancestors are from Japan, you could even do some bullcrap revisioned history where the Turtles teach ninjutsu to combat samurai or even aid samurai becauses the practices and cornerstones of ninjutsu were founded when samurai were still a force to be reckoned with! But nooooo! You pull a nonsensical Back To The Future rip off with terrible villains, a dull story, lackluster fights, and downright painful dialogue that I wouldn't force upon any child! Ugh, okay gotta backtrack. So the story opens up with April again played by Paige Turco purchasing a antique that turns out to be a time scepter whisking away not just her but all the turtles back to 17th century Japan where some rebellion is being formed against a tyranical Daimyo which is actually a step below in rank from a Shogun but whatever, so the Turtles have to do battle to reclaim the scepter and return to their time. It honestly doesn't sound that bad written on paper but the devil is in the details and there are a lot of details to talk about. The costumes though still maneuverable look like ass and that's mainly because Jim Henson's studio had no part of the effects like in the last two movie due to a low budget, which also made it difficult to do everything else. The villains are stock, we have the Daimyo and a british....arms dealer(?) I have no clue who he is and neither are very interesting or even entertaining. The sets while done well in some instances are very few so get used to seeing the sewer, the castle, and the village cause that's about it. They got Casey Jones back, same guy and everything which is really awesome cause he still has that charm and sense of humor but he is 150% wasted!! That sucks dude, he's a lot of fun in this movie and it was great seeing him back but he didn't have anything to do! I could totally see him beating the crap out of soldiers with his various sporting goods, hitting on every cute asian girl he sees, and the more I think about it he would be a regular Jack Burton from Big Trouble In Little China! Come on! That would be so cool! But no, wasted potential. The fights though on occasion shows the physical prowess of these stunt actors, just fall so short. It is about turtles who know ninja fighting styles versus samurai, how can you be this boring?? And the worst crime of all is the writing, the jokes are horrendous and sometimes make less than zero sense, the dialogue itself sometimes isn't bad but it's on such rare occassion you just check out. God this really pisses me off now, because the first movie was just right in every aspect and was honestly a great and fun movie for kids that even adults could enjoy and sit through, then we get to the second where it's a bit more silly and corny but you can watch it as a guilty pleasure because you still have fun with it's absurdness. But this? Ugh. Stay away. Just...just don't. The Nostalgia Critic's reaction was pretty spot on, and created the perfect word to describe it. Now all I want to do is watch the first movie and about 3 Kurosawa movies to wash this garbage out of my mouth. And you should too, watch the first movie and a combination of Throne Of Blood, Sanjuro, and Ran. Done! Perfect! Skip this horrible death of a promising series of Ninja Turtle action. I also highly recommend the Critic and AVGN's reviews as well, very entertaining and can put it into better perspective. And I have an update for everyone this Saturday. Damn! What a bad movie!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret Of The Ooze

Yeahhhh this movie isn't that great.

I sure loved it as a kid though and while I did have fun with it now, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 does not pull an Empire Strikes Back in terms of quality. But it's a fine movie, it's a guilty pleasure if nothing else, but certainly not horrible. Okay so we pick up surprisingly not long after the Turtles beat Shredder, as they have shacked up with April while trying to find a new place to live, and I gotta say the continuity was such a nice surprise and is one of the few better things in the movie, meanwhile Shredder has returned and acquires a canister of ooze with mutagenic properties in which he makes (not) Bebop and Rocksteady and wages war once again with our favorite pizza eating reptiles. You can very quickly tell the tone has changed almost a 180° from the opening credits, bright colorful opening shots of New York City with even more colorful title cards, already throwing the more edgy gritty view out the window. I will say however that pizza has never looked better outside the Goofy movies in this opening sequence. Soon we meet our big co-star Keano who actually played Donatello's actual physical stuntperson in the first movie, and he's okay but they don't do much with him and you miss the charm of Casey Jones in this movie but I can't bash the kid too much. We get a new actress as April and I like her too, I get the more feisty reporter angle from this April though the original is still my favorite. And last but certainly not least we have an acclaimed actor here for.....some reason! Yeah I have no idea why David Warner is here but screw it he's the best part of the movie hands down. Again, I don't hate the movie but most everyone unanimously agrees it's a step down in quality but there was a lot I liked. Our new side characters are good actors, David Warner is awesome as always though even he looks confused at what movie he's in, I dig the fact Shredder looks more like the cartoon version but alas no Uncle Phil voice, Tokah and Rahzar are cool looking villains for the Turtles though apparently they actually did want Bebop and Rocksteady in this movie, it has decent humor and even one instance of really good banter between Leo and Mikey. But the rest is just, eh. They tried in places to have that more emotional and teenage angst thing going on with the Turtles discovering their origins but they don't do much with it and it could have been really damn good. The fights are more comical and less choreographed with hardly any martial arts from the Turtles and just silly catchphrases and not entertaining fight scenes. You could appreciate the talent in the first movie and really get into the fights but here there's really nothing. You remember how I said the last movie wasn't just kids movie fluff used for a cash grab? This movie feels more like that. Just harmless fun for little kids who love Ninja Turtles and that's by no means a bad thing but you kinda want more if you're an adult revisiting this movie. Even the designs of the Turtles are a downgrade, they look more cartoon-y and apparently the poor guys couldn't even see out of the costumes which explains a lot! I just wanna go back and watch the first movie. Okay, let's talk about the scene. Jesus Christ.....okay so the Turtles fight Tokah and Rahzar and they bust into a dance club(?) right by a construction site(??) where Vanilla Ice is performing and totally makes up a choreographed hit song on the fly while everyone fights(????). Just why? Am I the only white person who just isn't a Vanilla Ice fan? This movie is so 90s. Not even in like a cool old school feel where you love going back and seeing it time and again, just a dated and kind of embarassing feel. But boy did it leave an impression! If you have some geeky ass friends who remember this movie and ask them to do the Ninja Rap with dance moves, they might just do it even now. The song is fun and catchy in that special guilty pleasure way, and it does ever so slightly, like microscopically make me want to dance but uh, it's still stupid. I don't wanna talk about Turtles 3! It's really really not good. But I gotta do it even though I just did a whole month of bad movies. See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Yeah we're getting 90s in here people so strap in.

Yeah another reptilian movie after Godzilla but I got news for you, I was having the time of my life. Time for backstory! When I was 6 years old I owned this movie on VHS, I never heard of the cartoon, read the graphic novel, or anything. It was just a movie about fighting turtles and I absolutely loved it, I used to watch it and the second movie all the time and now over 15 years later I think I love it even more. I was a kid again watching this movie, quoting lines left and right, loving the fights, but I appreciate so much more now and I've gained knowledge about the making of the movie. See kids way back in the day before I was even a gleam in my mother's eye Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ruled the world, every kid loved it, there was merchandise coming out the ears, it was insanely popular in the late 80s and pretty soon producers wanted to make a movie. But absolutely no one wanted to do it, they had to take it to New Line Cinema who was still in it's infancy at the time to make it, and they really gave it their all. They wanted a more gritty, more badass edgy movie for teenagers but still make it suitable for kids and they exceeded spectacularly. It perfectly walks that tightrope of not being excessively violent and dark but also not being just another kid's movie fluff that parents would mentally check out on. The movie is hilarious but knows when to take it's time for mood, character, and even a tiny touch of atmosphere and they do everything so well. I know I'm just fanboying the hell out over this movie but it's true! This movie is fricking awesome man! It cherry picks the best elements of the cartoon and graphic novel to create a well done story, a crime wave of massive proportions has hit New York City done by thiefs with superior stealh abilities and it's not too long before we meet our heroes who with the help of a news reporter start fighting the mysterious attackers. It's incredibly basic but that doesn't mean it's boring or old hat. They treated it seriously and wanted to make a good movie. That is immediately recognized in the animatronics of the turtles, sweet heavenly pizza it is phenomenal! I'm serious they look so real it's ludicrous and they're not stiff puppets, you see them do flying kicks, cartwheels, roundhouse kicks, the costumes are done so well that it does not hinder the stunt performers and it is phenomenal! And of course it wouldn't be the turtles without their distinct voices, all given with such personality and charm that just deepens your immersion. And the soundtrack is rad from beginning to end! It's just...guys, watch this movie again if you haven't already it really is done incredibly well in all departments. And if my gushing love for this movie doesn't convince you, for the longest time this was the most successful and profitable independent film yet taking nearly a decade before it was topped by The Blair Witch Project in 1999. That's quite a reputation! I cannot recommend this movie enough, if you have an hour and a half to spare with friends order a pizza and have a movie night, especially if you were fans of it when you were younger. So after such a great opening entry, did the sequel continue the trend? Are Pogs still a thing? Well tune in tomorrow to find out!