Better Watch Out is a little gem available on Amazon Prime for a buck to rent that I decided to try out on Christmas day. With the marketing material, it would seem that this would be the perfect new horror movie to watch on the holiday, but it is a bit misleading. Aside from the house being decked out with Christmas decorations, and a slight bit of tension with some outside decorations falling at an inopportune moment, it doesn’t live up to it’s Christmas scene. Which is disappointing but not terrible because the film still delivers. Continue reading
Amazon Prime is a great resource for shopping and a few shows and movies here and there. But in my personal experience, I have had just the worst luck with horror movies. I mean the ones you rent or buy are fine, but the Horror Prime selection has always been weak with a difficult rating system to follow. Do their star ratings go off of your previous habits, off of other people with similar taste, and why can’t I rate an item after watching it anymore? So when trying to find a new horror film after exhausting curated lists online of what movies to watch on what streaming site, I tend to go for a film that is rated 3.5 stars or more on Prime for my horror addition.
It proved a worthy system this weekend with a 2/3 success rate. I binged on Dead Body (winner), Red Christmas (loser), which then suggested All Through the House (a major loser as I stopped after about 10 minutes, that tit stab in the shower was where I ended), and then went searching again and found the lovely Hell House LLC. Which is what we will talk about today. It is, by all means, an Indie horror film that was released in 2015 but also screened in 2016 by some outlets. Continue reading
Drinking game for 2 Lava 2 Lantula staring the Gutenberg.
This specific game is for Sharknado 4: The Force Awakens. Have fun and stock up, you’ll need 5-7 beers easily. Tomorrow we will have a new or updated infographic for Sharknado 5.
Harry Potter and the Fantastic Beasts….. Excuse me, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, opens up with a familiar tune and then an explosion! Many of its audience returning to learn more about the Harry Potter world we’ve all loved and have adored for more than a decade now, some members might even be new to the magical world, but regardless of your familiarity with the Harry Potter world, you won’t be disappointed.
Fantastic Beasts delivers on fun, magic, and the same childish wonderment that the very first film, The Sorcerer’s Stone, instilled in both youths and adults. What is extra-wonderful about the film and this new extension of the beautiful universe that JK Rowling delivered to us nearly 20 years ago, is that it takes place long before Harry and his Parents. It begins in 1926 with a demolished building in New York, New York. Yes, that’s right, if you didn’t know, this first installment in the extended universe (which rumors claim their will be 5 story-lines through 19 years) takes place in America. And it is a breath of fresh air.
It is an easy claim, that there are Harry Potter lovers throughout the world, and to get a glimpse (glimpse being a full-length feature film!) of the magical universe in different parts of the world is well-deserved.
After the explosion we move into the classic moving headlines/picture format of what is going on in the American Wizarding World. Preparing us for the new information about the different culture that we (the audience) have been salivating for. After the opening credits, we land on Newt Scamander, a name many will recognize as the author of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a book that every wizarding family should own. A worthy endorsement by Albus Dumbledore.
Newt (Eddie Redmayne) is our first lead protagonist that came from House Hufflepuff (badger house), he is a kind soul who just wants to save all magical creatures out there, and “politely educate” his fellow magic folk, as he claims while explaining his reason for traveling state-side. Yes, that means that these magnificent, magical creatures are not just confined to the UK, and this also means that many (absolutely breath-taking) creatures are indigenous to certain areas, much like our no-maj animals. Oh what is “no-maj” you ask? It’s is American slang for non-magic folk. So its our term for muggles!
Eventually a few of Newt’s beautiful, scary, and chalk full of personality, beasts escape his magical suitcase. An American witch, Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), tries to detain Newt for not registering his wand when he came through what I guess is customs in the ’20s? Anyways, they become these kind-of awkward partners in crime, but only after the poor no-maj, Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), has a nasty bump in with one of Newt’s many creatures. Newt and Tina only eventually become allies because of Jacob’s innocent, yet beautiful mind set that Tina’s Legilimency (mind-reading) sister Queenie (Alison Sudol) feels towards Jacob. Jacob takes the role of audience in this film, learning about all of this new wonder and expressing it, he eventually becomes the glue between the sisters and rule-breaking Newt.
Eventually, the president of MACUSA (the Magical Congress of the United States of America), Seraphina Picquery is lead to believe that the chaos happening in New York is Newt’s fault (even though they were having problems before HE EVEN GOT THERE). Trying to keep this review spoiler free, we will leave the remainder of the plot for you to find out yourself. But know that there is more than just one plot line, and that there are many twists and turns along this amazing ride.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them provides another sweet, and succulent extension of JK Rowling’s incredible mind and Wizarding World. The story was written by Rowling herself, and the magic leaps of the screen and stays with you hours after you leave the theater. (Let’s be honest, probably days.) Currently, it can remain as a stand-alone film, but there are many names that we pot-heads will recognize through the film, and for the well-trained ear, you may even recognize some of the musical scores. Personally, this pot-head can’t wait for the next installment of the Wizarding World, and learn more about some twists that were delivered throughout the film.
This holiday, see what is truly, the best film of the year. Fantastic Beasts deserves your $10 and 2 hours of your time. Even if you aren’t a grade-A Potter fanatic.
PS on a fun fact, Actor Eddie Remayne was almost the young Voldemort in Chamber of Secrets! Let’s just say he makes a much better Newt.
Independence Day (1996) is one of my all time favorite films. As I rewatched the film just last night, I realized, to be a girl is to have a crush on Mr. Charismatic, Will Smith, Captain Steve Hiller, to become a woman is to love Jeff Goldbulm’s David Levison. To be fair, I love both characters and have watched Independence Day at least once a year my entire life since 1996. Whoa… that’s at the bare minimum of 20 times. Needless to say, I was very excited for Independence Day 2: Resurgence to soar into theaters and got the chance to see it opening day on Friday.
ID4 2 delivers edge of the seat fun, 20 years after Levison and Captain Hiller defeat the aliens that came to pillage the earth for their own reasons that never really become clear until we get the sequel. It is very entertaining to watch almost all of our favorite characters come back to continue a story line that we have all come to know and love, and most likely quote in regular day conversation and then not have other people understand, then you sigh and die a little inside, but know that there has to be someone out there who would have understood the reference. Then you smile a little. Because now you have another installment of one of your favorite story worlds. Continue reading
Just this week, an incredibly influential man in my life passed away. This man pushed my creative depths and made me see the world in a different light when I was in high school. Maybe even JR high. I was kind of popular, but just weird enough that I wasn’t really invited to the in-crowd’s parties.
I liked horror. I enjoyed movies that were based around a monstrous being terrorizing a group of teenagers. I wasn’t Goth by any means, but my obsession with blood and guts made me just odd enough that I was labeled as a freak. But I didn’t care about any of that. Because neither did either of my fathers.
Now let me explain when I say fathers. Plural. I was part of a nuclear family. One mom, one dad, a brother and a dog. But my curiosity and passion for movies and Halloween were deep. I dressed up as a countess, a witch, and a devil when I was younger, I think the only time I was a princess was in the 3rd grade because I felt the pressure of my peers baring down on me.
But my Dad taught me at a very young age to not care what others thought of me, because honestly, my Dad was the weirdest guy I knew. Out there and opinionated every day of my life. He adored Halloween and his love was passed down to me. Through the womb, because I’m told I came out looking like a monkey. Happy Halloween Mom and Dad! In the middle of May.
I carried around a little ugly deformed baby doll, and it was my favorite. Snot hanging out of its’ nose and the most contorted face of what must have been a dirty diaper. I think my dad actually had it before I was even born and at the age of 3 I fell in love with it.
Even though my Dad was really into Halloween. I mean, this guy turned our home into a haunted house for all the kiddies and adults every year for Trick or Treat night. He insisted that regardless of what night the 31st of October fell on, that would be the Town’s Halloween. Oh, he was also totally the Mayor of my small town for nearly my entire life, since I was the age of 2. But he wasn’t into Horror movies.
A foreign concept, I know! I didn’t get that quirk from my real father. I got it from the late great Wes Craven. Master of horror and the meta. My brother showed my A Nightmare on Elm Street when I was like 8. And Freddy didn’t even phase me. It was then I knew my passion of horror. Wes created my high school career; I can’t even begin to explain how he influenced my perspective of life at one of the most influential ages of a young teenager.
On Sunday, he passed in the comforts of his home after losing a battle to brain cancer. This news rocked me to the bone, because this man who made my high school career, who influenced the “freak” in me, passed from the same illness as my father.
My Dad died in October 2013, one month after his diagnosis of brain cancer. My Father didn’t even get a chance to battle it, I saw him wither away in front of my eyes. The man who taught me to read. This six foot plus guy who dressed up as Frankenstein’s monster the year I wanted to be the Bride of Frankenstein.
I lost myself at the age of 23, two years ago. I finished graduate school on time. A feat that many were surprised by. But I stopped blogging as much. I didn’t analyze movies like I used to. I would vedge out in front of Netflix and pity myself because my dad would never walk me down the aisle. Now, my media father has passed. A man I always dreamed of meeting. Some day and shake his hand and tell him how he shaped my life. Shaped me.
But with the sadness of his death, my life has re-awoken. Losing both my “dads” to the same illness 2 years apart. Fuck that! I mean it! I’m done feeling sad for myself. I have a talent. Writing. Story telling. Pop culture. Using pop culture to my advantage while writing my stories.
I’m not going to hide it any more. I’m going to hit that keyboard hard this weekend. And I am going to write something that both Wes and my Father would be proud of. Because a Father’s influence …. It will never fade.
A little known Australian franchise began in 1979 that focused on an apocalyptic world where gangs ran the world and gas is a very fucking high commodity. The trilogy that was born in the desert with flames and explosions galore. Fast-forward 30 years later and the now widely-known Mad Max is being rebooted by its creator George Miller with a Hollywood treatment and a cool hundred million dollars. So before we cross the finish line with Mad Max: Fury Road, let’s gear up for the weekend by returning to the classic car-chases, consumptive waste land, and the desperate, deviant characters of the early 80s with a cumulative review of the original trilogy.
Mad Max of 1979 was a bit of a blur; cars exploding, gangs fucking shit up, and very little dialogue that was actually pretty difficult to follow without subtitles. The difficulty wasn’t just on me and my download though, apparently when the film hit theaters in America in ’81–as the sequel was coming out–they dubbed American speakers over the actual dialogue to help not confuse the audience about the film specifically taken place in Australia? The film follows Max (a young Mel Gibson) as a police “Interceptor” who tries to keep a handle on the rising crime and gang violence whom eventually takes a break from the force as his partner is badly tortured and eventually dies from a gang. So Max becomes the perfect husband and father while taking a long vacation with his doting wife and son (the son may have been playing with an actaul gun in the first seen we meet him…. CaRAZY!) Honestly, you could skip Mad Max if you wanted because the sad back-story of the Road Warrior (excluded here because of major spoilers) is reprised in a much more effective manner in the beginning of the sequel.
1981’s Road Warrior is another tough pill to swallow but somehow has, like, a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes? It’s a fun film, more fun then the first, but still makes the fatal mistake of being a very serious action movie. There are few moments of laughter at a clever script or perfectly placed explosion which is why I wouldn’t give it that high of a rating. It’s a bummer that I am watching the film this late in my life, within the heavily influenced world of bigger budgets and CGI, but the fact that these explosions really happened with real stunt people in them, that’s pretty fucking insanely cool. Max himself has very little dialogue in this installment and he is contracted to help out a gasoline-rich community out-run a nasty raiding gang. A gang that is into leather and some same sex loving! But, you know also a gang that Max did kind of lead straight to their door, so the least he could do is help the community out. So Max is the resentful Road Warrior, it takes him time to look out for anyone other than his dog and himself but eventually he becomes our resisting protagonist in this dark and dreary life.
Beyond Thunderdome-–oh sweet sweet Thunderdome. If you haven’t figured it out yet, Thunderdome is by far my favorite of the trilogy because it finally stops taking itself so damn seriously. Miller Americanized it a bit, with a star as big as Tina Turner in it, it’s hard to think they kept it Australian. The characters in Beyond Thunderdome are the most colorful and least civilized of the franchise and they make the movie so much more enjoyable. The very beginning is a bit confusing, but I feel as though this is a running theme within Miller’s work at this point. But soon enough we meet the glorious, rampant Auntie (Turner) who runs her Barbertown under a strict rule. She strikes some sort of deal with Max who is new to the city, and soon we find him fighting a giant “George Milton” who is ruled by a very small “Lennie Small” in the Thunderdome. And the dome is pretty damn rad. Two men enter, one leaves, and I will leave the rest of the awesomeness for you to view on your own time (because I personally think it’s the best part of the film). Eventually, Max is annexed back into the deathly desert and finds himself as a savior of a “Lord of the Flies” scenario. Our once again reluctant hero finds himself slowly helping a rag-tag group of survivors.
Overall, Mad Max is a bit of a scramble, we have a few good characters that we only get for half the film (Fifi, Max’s Chief of Police Department and his partner Jim Goose), some sweet ass car chases, but really the film doesn’t age well as it takes itself much too serious for an action revenge film. 1981’s Road Warrior has twice the amount of action, as sequels usually do, a better climax and a silly Feral Kid (calling Short Round?) at Max’s side after he unfortunately looses his dog to a gang member (that’s twice now!!!). For me, it wasn’t the best of the three, but definitely a fun ride to take. 1985’s Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome is personally my favorite and I believe it to be the best out of the Mad Max trilogy, even though it rated lower than both its’ predecessors on Rotten Tomatoes. But the whole trilogy rates over an 80% for critics which is god damned impressive for a franchise that started nearly 40 years ago. The plot for Thunderdome is easier to follow and it has enough action to hold you over, but maybe some people find it not as entertaining as the first two because there isn’t as much car chasing because we have the actual Thunderdome instead, along with some covert affairs going on too.
One thing is for sure, I can see why Hollywood wants to revamp the franchise for a new audience as the first three were successful and looked back on fondly as an exhilarating ride. But as a first time viewer, 30 some years later, and as a viewer who is actually younger than the latest film, it makes sense to make another installment for a fresh-faced audience.
Phantoms is a horror, sci-fi, thriller set in a ski town of Colorado that is very much dated by the decade of the 90’s; if not by just the cast but the special effects alone. The movie is based off of a novel by horror writer Dean Koontz who also happened to pen the screenplay. The movie is a bit of a cross-over between The Thing (1982) and Scream (1996); it’s pretty much a small group of 90’s arch-type characters being picked-off one by one by creatures from another world that they can’t really identify. It even casts Rose McGowan as the classic whore, a Skeet Ulrich look-a-like Ben Affleck, and a young Liev Schreiber; so as you can tell, they are trying hella hard to replicate the success of Craven’s Scream.
Overall the film is lack-luster with time. It did not age well in the last 17 years; the scares are dismissive, the creature are un-realistic and poorly construed, the cast only called in on half the days, and the story holds no real sense of believable urgency. It’s a bummer as my boyfriend highly recommended the film as a fun, campy 90’s classic; for me it missed the mark, which is disappointing as I am a very big fan of Koontz’ Odd Thomas which is also on Netflix as of May, 2015.
Galaxy Quest is a sci-fi comedy, considered to be part of the Star Trek franchise, which is beyond brilliant and relevant to the series still 15 years later. One of the best casting decisions was pulling alien guru Sigourney Weaver on deck and having Tim Allen as the misogynistic Captain Kirk archetype slowly sinking into desperation and the sad realization that he’s a laughing stock? I mean come on, that’s Buzz Lightyear man. To make the cast even more perfect, Alan Rickman plays our Spock surrogate who never removes his head piece (even while at home gossiping on the phone) and we have Sam Rockwell (Moon and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) as a classic Red-Shirt team member, constantly aware and afraid of being killed off before the first commercial! And these are just a few of the glorious jems in the film that create the perfect realm.
If you have no idea on what the movie is about, shame on you, but here is a pretty simple synopsis taken from IMDb.com to explain a rather difficult summary: “The alumni cast of a space opera television series have to play their roles as the real thing when an alien race needs their help.” ….. And that’s really as the best as it gets.
If you’re a fan of science fiction and haven’t watched Galaxy Quest yet, you need to, even if you’re not a hard core Trekkie, it’s still a great time and delivers the laughs and a general euphoria of happiness whole watching. Making any fandom hope, and maybe even believe that their favorite show could be real. Because who wouldn’t want the Doctor, Captain Kirk, Han Solo, Rose Tyler, Gamora, Leia, or Ellen Ripley to be real? At least in some alternate universe, they have to exist, right?
Galaxy Quest is currently available on Netflix as of May 2015, I would suggest watching it while also reading the trivia about.