Twixt (2012)


The Clocks are Set Incorrectly … BECAUSE OF EVIL!

Twixt (2012)I saw a movie on the shelf of the local DVD store that caught my attention.  It was in the Horror section, so I made a mental note of it as a potential for the October Horrorthon.  I also found myself interested in it because it included three things that I have liked in the past.  The writer/director of this movie is a highly acclaimed man, and two of the stars of the movie have both been in some great movies.  But why had I heard nothing of this movie?  It seems like the writer/director alone should have made this movie blip on my radar.  Well maybe I’ll figure out why as I review Twixt, written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and starring Val Kilmer, Elle Fanning, Bruce Dern, Ben Chaplin, Alden Ehrenreich, Don Novello, David Paymer, and Joanne Whalley.

Writer Hall Baltimore (Val Kilmer) goes to a small town on a book signing, but finds that he can’t even talk people into being interested in his presence.  Local Sheriff Bobby LaGrange (Bruce Dern) eventually comes to the signing to attempt to enlist Baltimore to read his own horror novels.  When Baltimore shows his disinterest, LaGrange has Baltimore follow him to the morgue to show him a dead body, getting Baltimore involved in the murder investigation of a young girl.  Hall gets drunk and has a dream about a young girl named Virginia (Elle Fanning), who may or may not have some connection to the murder.  Also, she may have been the murdered person.

According to Wikipedia, Coppola said that the idea for this movie grew out of a dream he had.  That makes sense because the movie doesn’t.  I barely have any idea what was going on here.  It seems like it’s very dangerous to make a movie involving Edgar Allan Poe, because both this and The Raven sucked pretty hard.  I kind of had an idea that I was in for something that didn’t make sense when the Nick Nolte-sounding narration was describing the town’s clock tower and said that there was something evil afoot because the seven clocks that lined the tower were all set to different times.  …Yup!  No other possible explanation for that.  And that fact terrifies me because it means that most of the clocks in my house are evil.  After that, the story is about Baltimore taking a lot of head trauma and taking drugs so that he can fall asleep and go into the dream world where he keeps finding new information about the mystery.  That is not a joke.  And by that I mean that I did not intend it as a joke, and if they did it was so devoid of comedy that it cannot be considered a joke.  It’s hard to tell with this movie because there were a lot of things that seemed like they thought it was funny.  I actually managed to stay hopeful in this movie because their constant talk about thinking of a bulletproof ending for Baltimore’s book made me think they were hinting that there was a bulletproof ending to the movie.  This was not so much the case.  It was some bullshit about a vampire with braces that fired off of her teeth when her fangs came out and some “reveal” about Baltimore’s daughter.  I wasn’t even sure that I was supposed to be surprised by that.  Lemme ask you something: if you see a guy with a drinking problem and a failing marriage looking at pictures of a daughter you never see in the movie, what are you going to think about her current status?  If you checked “Alive,” then you also checked “idiot.”

Here’s the part where I say one good thing about the movie: it mostly looked good.  The things that were supposed to look spooky achieved that.  Sometimes almost too much.  The scene when Baltimore was walking through the forest was so spooky I would describe it as what a child would draw if you told him to draw a picture of “spooky.”  Now, this is not to say that it was effective.  It was so textbook spooky that I feel like it flipped on itself and wound up being more pretty.

I don’t know if I can blame anything on the cast of the movie.  None of them seemed to take the movie seriously, and I couldn’t blame them for that.  The sheriff character struck me as pretty stupid, and not just for his stupid bird house business.  They love doing wacky hobbies in movies to make their characters seem more interesting.  I’m talking about the fact that he’s the sheriff of a town and meets a random writer and decides this dude needs to check out this dead body in the morgue.  You are a terrible public official!  I was also fascinated by the fact that Father Guido Sarducci (Don Novello) was in this movie.  And you can all be fascinated by who the hell that is as I’m probably one of the few people that remember who that is.

Twixt was not a good movie.  Or maybe it was… I have no idea what was going on.  Whatever it was wasn’t entertaining, so I’m going to assume it sucked.  The story was goofy and made no sense, and since it calls itself a horror movie they probably don’t want to be.  I feel fairly confident that everyone that participated in this movie can do much better.  There’s no reason to watch this movie, and probably no reason for me to even say that because most people don’t know it exists.  I’ll probably do one last horror movie for the October Horrorthon since I can barely count this one.  Twixt gets “Whuh?” out of “Huh?”

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Carrie (2013)


I Can STILL See Your Dirty Pillows

Carrie (2013)I love my Film Criticism class.  At first I was a little bit resentful that I showed up for class to find that we were watching the 1976 Carrie movie.  I had already seen and reviewed this movie!  And more than that, I didn’t really like it that much.  But after the movie, I found out some very exciting news: our midterm was to watch the new remake of the movie and compare the two.  I had already considered seeing this movie out of potential morbid curiosity.  But even better than that, I’d have to assume I’ll just be able to pull my midterm right out of this review.  But you guys will get the Director’s Cut of my midterm about the movie Carrie, based on the novel by Stephen King, written by Lawrence D. Cohen and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, directed by Kimberly Peirce, and starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, Judy Greer, Portia Doubleday, Gabriella Wilde, Ansel Elgort, Alex Russell, and Barry Shabaka Henley.

Carrie White (Chloë Grace Moretz) is a shy weirdo that gets abused by her schoolmates for not understanding what’s happening when she gets her first period in the shower.  To top that off, her mother (Julianne Moore) abuses her because she thinks Jesus gave her a period as punishments for her sins or some such nonsense.  But Carrie starts to realize that she’s not just an ordinary creepy girl.  She starts to realize that she can do things with her mind; a phenomenon she finds is called “telekinesis.”  But, more important than that (if you’re a high school girl), is that Tommy Ross (Ansel Elgort) asked her to the prom!  Sure, he asked her at the behest of his girlfriend, Sue Snell (Gabriella Wilde), because they felt sorry for Carrie.  But Carrie still has a problem: Chris Hargensen (Portia Doubleday).  Chris is the head of the bully girls that pick on Carrie, and she resents Carrie because picking on her got her punished and banned from the prom.  And that’s just good logic right there.  Chris devises a plan with her boyfriend Billy (Alex Russell) to make Carrie pay for the punishment that she brought on herself.

I should do remakes more often!  I just got to copy and paste that whole thing from my other review!  Now, my midterm essay is supposed to be more about the differences between the two movies, so this won’t be my typical review.  But I’ll still get the review in there somewhere.  Let’s start with the story.  The story was almost exactly the same.  This movie claims that it stuck closer to the original novel than the original movie, and that just makes me think I wouldn’t like the novel.  I don’t particularly care about either story.  But the differences that I noticed actually made me like the story a little bit more.  The fact that Carrie’s mom had a job didn’t make that much sense to me.  It seems like it’d be hard to keep a job with that level of crazy going on.  I thought the ending of the original movie was much more effective, but this one was apparently more like the novel (at least according to Wikipedia).  The scene afterwards worked much better as well.  First of all, the sequence happened in a dream, so Carrie might not actually have decided to come back from the dead.  But if she did, it just makes much more sense that she could maybe have survived bringing the house down on her head instead of bringing the house down on her head, being dug out, prepared for burial, buried, and then coming back to life as it seemed the remake was implying by having Carrie’s gravestone start cracking.

The look of the movie would obviously have improved over time just because of advances in technology (not to mention the extra $28.2 million the remake had to work with).  Most everything in the movie just looked a lot better.  I like that they kept the fact that Carrie starts and ends the movie covered in blood, but they did it differently.  The original started with the shower scene which this movie still had, but this one started with Carrie being born.  I guess that makes it more symbolic that not only the movie but Carrie’s life started and ended covered in blood.  I thought the prom scene in this movie was much better too, even before it gets to the “bloody prom” part.  They still have the scene where Carrie and Tommy dance in this movie, but thankfully Peirce didn’t make the strange choice to film the two of them dancing in a centrifuge as De Palma did.  But I liked it much better when it got into the “bloody prom” part.  It was much more brutal as I imagine it should have been in the original.  The original movie had Carrie attacking people with a fire hose.  In the remake, Carrie crushes people with bleachers, throws heavy decorations at people, electrocutes them, and lights them on fire.  The ensuing car crash was also done much better.  It made more sense that they would have tried to run Carrie down because she kept them from leaving town.  In the original, they just kind of show up and the movie doesn’t really bother trying to tell us their motivation for running her down.  Then it was also graphically better when she slams the car to a stop.  I did think it didn’t make sense because the speedometer made it seem that they had gotten up to about 100 mph trying to run her down but they didn’t fly through the windshield until Carrie slammed the car into the gas pump.  I think going from 100 mph to 0 so instantly would have sent them both out of the car.

One thing that came up in class was the fact that De Palma filmed some of the scenes in a very perverted fashion that really didn’t seem to fit the movie.  Things like the shower scene and the detention exercises seemed more like they were out of Porky’s than out of a horror movie.  There was a little bit of that in this movie, but I only noticed it in the beginning when they were playing volleyball in the pool and they were filming all of the “high school students” underwater and below the belt.  I guess it helps that this movie was directed by a woman instead of a man.

There were a lot of differences in the performances in this movie.  Chloë Moretz did a decent enough job, but I didn’t feel she could really touch the quality of work Sissy Spacek put out in the original.  Spacek’s Carrie was afraid of her powers for most of the movie.  Moretz relished them almost immediately.  I thought it was a bit of a stretch for this movie to want me to believe that this girl would lose her mind when she got her first period but think it was cool that she has telekinesis.  She apparently has pyrokinesis as well because she can weld locks with her mind, and she also has some amazing baby gender-detecting ability.  I guess she did get a lot more practice with her powers in this movie than Spacek did, which I also thought was weird.  Seeing her practice with her powers made this feel more like I was watching a prequel to X-Men.  The strength of her powers also varied as needed by the movie.  At one point she’s lifting a car, but minutes later she can’t push her mom off of her?  On the other hand, I thought Julianne Moore did a much better job than Piper Laurie.  Moore played it a lot more real and Laurie played it almost cartoonishly over the top.  It makes sense since after I read that Laurie thought the movie was a satire of horror movies after she read the script, but the character works much better if she doesn’t cause the audience to laugh at some of the things she does.  It made me think that my dream team would’ve been Spacek as Carrie and Moore as the mom, if that would’ve been age appropriate.  Maybe with some clever editing…

I also thought they made some strange changes in the other girls of Carrie’s school.  I thought the role reversal was weird between Sue and Chris.  The Chris of the original (Nancy Allen) was a hot blond, and Sue (Amy Irving) was the cute brunette.  In the remake, Sue was the tall, hot blond (Gabriella Wilde) and Chris was the cute brunette (Portia Doubleday).  I guess anyone can be a bully, but typically the tall, gorgeous blond is the mean one, having been spoiled by being able to get her way her whole life with her looks.  I also thought that the bullies weren’t as cartoonishly mean to Carrie as they were in the original.  When Carrie sucks at volleyball, Chris makes a joke about it but is generally encouraging.  Carrie didn’t get hit in the face with a baseball cap because of it.  And when Carrie was freaking out in the showers, the girls thought it was strange that she didn’t know what a period was, but they seemed to be genuinely offering her tampons until she kept freaking out about it.  Chris did start to become much more unlikeable when she filmed it and put it on the internet, and even more unlikeable when she didn’t delete the video from her phone before going into the principal’s office.  No one likes a stupid person.   I also thought it was interesting that the roles were reversed between Chris and her boyfriend Billy, who I thought was The Situation for a good part of the movie.  Chris was the manipulator in the original movie, and Billy was in this one.

The Carrie remake was scarcely different from the original.  In some ways it was improved, such as in the look and in the greater majority of the performances.  The only performance I liked in the original movie was Sissy Spacek, and the only performance that was not improved on for the remake was the very same role.  The story was basically the same.  If you were forced to make a choice between the two of them, I guess I would recommend this one, while still saying that Spacek is worth checking out in the first movie.  But if you don’t need to choose, then I’d say you can get by skipping both of them.  Carrie gets “You know the devil never dies, keeps coming back.  But you gotta keep killing him” out of “There are other people out there like me who can do what I can do.”

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The Walking Dead: Season Two (2011)


Am I the Only One Zen Around Here?

The Walking Dead: Season 2 (2011)Season one of The Walking Dead was so good, I couldn’t help but continue.  Especially since I knew that season four was starting.  Truth be told, season four has already started by this point, and I’ve already caught up and readied myself to start the fourth season, but I’ve resolved to finish putting out the reviews before I start watching.  So let’s rush through this, shall we?  I had a little bit of trepidation before starting season two even though season one was so good because I had heard this was slow and more about human interaction than zombies.  Let’s see what I thought as I review The Walking Dead: Season Two, based on the graphic novel series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard, developed for TV by Frank Darabont, and starring Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Scott Wilson, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Laurie Holden, Jeffrey DeMunn, Emily Kinney, Chandler Riggs, Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, IronE Singleton, Madison Lintz, Pruitt Taylor Vince, and Michael Zegen.

After the CDC turned out to be a bust, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his group set off for Fort Benning.  On the way, the group gets stuck in dead car traffic and must hide while a large group of walkers passes through the area like a herd.  In the confusion, Carol (Melissa McBride)’s daughter, Sophia (Madison Lintz), is chased into the woods by walkers.  While searching for her, Rick’s son, Carl (Chandler Riggs) is accidently shot by a local farmer named Otis (Pruitt Taylor Vince).  Otis hurries them back to the farm of Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson), a former veterinarian, who attempts to fix Carl up.  Lacking the necessary supplies, Rick’s former partner Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal) sets off to find them with Otis while the rest of the group continues their search for Sophia.

Y’all people be trippin’!  This season didn’t seem to suffer in my opinion at all.  I guess people complained that there wasn’t enough action in this season and that it was too much about interpersonal relationships.  …Who cares?  The show is awesome BECAUSE of that stuff, not in spite of it!  I don’t think I’d be that into this show if it was all mindless action and zombie killing.  They need some of that (and they get plenty enough for me) but I like it better because it’s more about the human interactions than just the zombies.  So anyone that told me that is a stupid jerk and I hate you.  The Sophia situation kind of slowed things down in the lives of the survivors, but I liked it on a human level.  It probably would’ve been more effective if I hadn’t watched Chris Hardwick’s All-Star Celebrity Bowling before I saw this season, enabling me to put a few things together with a joke that he made to figure out exactly what the outcome of the situation would be about five episodes before it happened, but that’s really my fault for not having watched a great show earlier.  I was still able to get angry early on when that dumb little bitch ran off in the first place.  I don’t want to sound harsh or anything, but maybe she deserves to die in order to punish Carol for not raising her daughter to listen to what adults tell her while trying to save her life, or for running off in the first place when the herd of zombies were about to pass by.  And speaking of bad parenting, why the hell did Rick let Carl approach that reindeer?  Even if he didn’t get shot while trying to pet it, that thing could have gored or kicked him to death pretty easily.

There were lots of very effective moments in this season as well.  The entire scene of the zombie migration was intense and aptly handled.  I also found myself crying, “OH NO!” out loud while Andrea pointed the rifle at Daryl.  My love affair with this show could have ended right there if one of my least favorite characters on the show had killed my favorite character in her stupidity.  I also really liked Daryl’s story about the Cherokee Rose.  Later on, Beth drops a pretty heavy argument in favor of suicide.  Her logic was strong on that one.  It was also effective when Rick admitted he had killed Shane and that if anyone stuck around, it was going to be his way or the highway.  It was like the “This is not a cheerocracy; this is a cheertatorship” speech from Not Another Teen Movie.  I wish he had said it was now a zombtatorship and not a zombocracy.  There were also a couple of moments that were less than effective.  I was not at all surprised by the results of the pregnancy test.  They wouldn’t even have included it if it was negative.  That would’ve just been a giant waste of time.  I think the reveal of what was in the barn wasn’t that much of a surprise either.  Maybe when they got more specific about what was in the barn it was a surprise, but the general contents were not.  The reason for locking them up in the barn seemed much stupider than was typical for Hershel, but I guess he wasn’t in his right mind about it.

I can’t really say much about the look of this show.  Still great.  That swimmer in the well was exactly as disgusting as it should’ve been, and the part where the walker was peeling off his face while trying to stick it through the hole in a windshield was pretty awesome.

All of the performances in the show remain fantastic.  About half of the characters remain assholes.  I didn’t have many thoughts about Rick this season.  He may have spent too much time whining around his unconscious kid.  I couldn’t really get behind how quickly he let Lori off the hook for cheating on him.  Sure, she thought he was dead, but maybe take more than a month to mourn before moving on.  Now that I think about it, that’s more of a complaint about Lori.  And here’s a couple more!  I hate that bitch so much!  Not that I was on board with Shane through most of this season, but this bitch could have stopped dragging him along.  Do you want him or not?  “Stay away from my son!”  “I’m so happy you risked your life for my son!”  You don’t know what you want so much it’s like you’re a woman or something.  Speaking of which, she’s also terrible at driving!  She crashes a car and almost gets killed by walkers because she’s full on reading a map while driving.  I assume she was on her way to pick up makeup that she could put on while driving on the way back.  I got mad at her again when she was shitting on Hershel because he was trying to save her sons life and he was just a veterinarian.  Alright, bitch.  Go pick from one of the thousands of human doctors you have at your disposal.  Animals basically function in the same manner as humans do, and you don’t have a whole lot of choices.  The worst thing she did was getting pissy when Rick killed Shane.  He was trying to kill him!  Are you just mad because he narrowed down your options of men to cheat on him with?  Now you have to start considering Hershel?  I also don’t understand her logic in not wanting to let Carl learn how to shoot.  I’m not saying let him carry around a gun all the time, but would you rather he get killed by walkers because he can’t hit shit?  Speaking of which, Carl was a bit of a little shit in this season.  Most of the time I couldn’t tell if he was gravitating more towards his dad or Shane.  There’s even a point where we’re not sure if he’s going to shoot his dad or Shane.  It was a good shot when he finally made it though.  Of course, the little asshole is the cause of one of the nicer people on the show dying because this little asshole had to go and pester a trapped walker until it was able to free itself.  Never really got on board with the Andrea character either.  First off, she shot Daryl.  She also sucked with a gun for most of the season, and she fucked Shane.  I don’t think I disliked her enough to just forget she existed when abandoning the farm as the other survivors did, however.  I don’t know what the kid’s name was, but I also thought the young kid that lived on the farm was a dumbass.  Why didn’t he start driving off once Carl and Rick jumped onto the RV?  Fuck letting them climb down while you wait so you can get eaten by walkers!

I do like a lot of the people in the show, however.  Daryl is the best.  He seems like such a nice guy under his gruff exterior, and he’s the most useful person in the group.  He can track, his weapon can be used at any time, and he carries around a giant baggy of useful drugs.  I loved how dedicated he was to finding Sophia, and I kind of hope he winds up with Carol.  She looks like she needs a little lovin’.  Glenn is also great, but I think my favorite thing about him is Maggie Greene.  It’s about damned time I got to see some of that sexy ass Lauren Cohan!  I also liked Otis, and I was pretty sad to see what happened to it.  I wasn’t surprised by it because that Shane is a piece of shit, but I was sad.  Hershel was also very likeable, especially since he was supportive of Glenn’s relationship with Maggie.  I wasn’t expecting that conversation to go that way.  She wasn’t named in this season, but the lady with the samurai sword seems like she’s gonna be my jams.  That’s exactly how I’d roll in the zombie apocalypse.

Season two of The Walking Dead was every bit as enjoyable to me as the first season.  I suppose if all you want out of a series is random glory shots of zombie’s heads exploding then you might find the human drama a little boring.  I would also find you a little boring.  The only problems I’ve had with this series so far are that some of the characters are assholes and idiots.  But I only hate those characters, not the performers.  They are also awesome.  And I suppose the show wouldn’t be as interesting if there weren’t some assholes for me to want dead.  Check this season out on Netflix.  I already purchased it.  Moving on to season three as soon as possible.  The Walking Dead season two gets “Merle Dixon’s clap is the best thing that ever happened to you” out of “If I hadn’t done what I did, you would be dead now.”

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0023 – Jason X Review


0023 - Jason X Review

CLICK ON MY FACE TO LINK TO THE VIDEO!

WATCH REVIEWS HERE!  YouTube  OTHER JOKES HERE!  Twitter  BE A FAN HERE!  Facebook  If you like these reviews so much, spread the word.  Keep me motivated!  Also, if you like them so much, why don’t you marry them?!

The Amityville Horror (1979)


Maybe I Am Just Chasing Shadows…

The Amityville Horror (1979)I have no idea why I was so drawn to today’s movie.  It’s another classic horror film, but that doesn’t usually work out in my favor.  I guess the thing that drew me to this movie the most was the movie The Conjuring that I saw in theaters not too long ago, a movie about two people whose investigations inspired this movie.  I think I’ve even seen the more recent remake of today’s movie, but we’ll get to that when I review it later.  For today, I had a big hankering to watch The Amityville Horror, based on the novel by Jay Anson, written by Sandor Stern, directed by Stuart Rosenberg, and starring James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger, Don Stroud, Murray Hamilton, Natasha Ryan, K.C. Martel, Meeno Peluce, Michael Sacks, Helen Shaver, and James Tolkan.

The father of a family goes through his house, systematically killing his entire family.  A year later, George (James Brolin) and Kathy Lutz (Margot Kidder) see no good reason not to move on into that house.  While they’re outside playing with their children, Kathy’s priest Father Delaney (Rod Steiger) shows up on Kathy’s request to bless the house.  Since they don’t answer the door, he shows himself in, and promptly shows himself out after the house tells him to leave after burning his hand and attacking him with flies.  Turns out it might be a bad idea to move into murder houses.

This movie was somewhat effective, I suppose.  It never really scared me or creeped me out, but it wasn’t bad.  You kind of have an idea of where it’s going.  I would’ve guessed that the dad would wind up killing the family if I didn’t already know a little about the people the movie was based on.  I guess you could say that the fact that it wanted to stick a little close to the source material may have hindered it.  The real incident didn’t have a very satisfying conclusion, and neither did this movie.  They get haunted for a little while and then just leave the house.  Boooooooring!  They didn’t defeat the demon, they didn’t rid the house of the troubles, and they didn’t even kill each other because of the evil influence.  They just get sick of being pestered by the spirits and they leave.  The spirits didn’t even do that much to the family.  In fact, it seemed the spirits were more powerful the further you got from the house.  They did some major damage to the priest that was miles away from the house.  They blinded him and seemed to make him lose his mind.  The people in the house heard voices, got angry with each other, felt a little under the weather, and talked to imaginary friends.  The worst that happened to them was that the dad fell through the stairs into some black goo.  One thing that occurred to me is that movies like these are going to completely ruin the concept of the imaginary friend.  It used to just be a cute thing that kids did and adults ignored.  Now it seems that all movies wind up making the imaginary friend some malevolent spirit.  And the illness was a strange thing, but mainly just because the family was too stupid to put two and two together.  Kathy writes it off as a stomach virus that’s going around.  Yeah, it’s going around … to only people that enter your house … at the exact moment they enter your house …  And why is the church so reluctant to investigate these things?  Wouldn’t it benefit you?  Even if what you find is a demon, finding proof of a demon would imply the existence of God.  You could do a good deed and shut those smug atheists up at the same time!

The look achieves what it wants, but doesn’t try too hard.  The closest they came to a ghost was two red dots out of a window.  The sets were nice though.  The house looked nice, and I thought it was cool (if not a little overt) that the two windows kind of looked like eyes.  I also thought it was interesting that the basement looked like the basement from the Conjuring, especially since that movie was about the same people that investigated the Amityville incident.  I know they weren’t the same house, but I feel like it might have been an homage in the Conjuring.  Or a delusion in my mind.  They did a couple of interesting visual effects, like the red negative image of the house, that were cool but also served no real purpose.

The performances in the movie did well enough.  That crazy ass Margot Kidder is in this movie.  Turns out she was attractive before she was nuts.  And if you can dig on Margot Kidder, this is a good movie for you.  Most of her outfits seem like they were ordered right out of a fetish catalog.  Pig tails, ballet dancer (complete with open shirt that may have given you a peak at them boobs), plaid school girl skirt.  I was waiting for the finale of the movie with the French Maid outfit.  James Brolin did fine in the movie, but I never really understood the motivation for looking like Grizzly Adams through most of the movie.  Mountain man ain’t scared of no ghosts!  I had some problems with the priests in this movie.  Is it wrong to call a priest a dick?  Because the ones in this movie were.  First was the one that just showed himself into the Lutz’ house.  He got punished with stomach pain and some blisters on his hands.  Honestly, if I were a priest I’d have blisters on my hands too, if you know what I’m sayin’.  Then were the ones that wouldn’t investigate even though it would prove their religion true and save some people’s lives.  I guess the Bible doesn’t say anything about helping people.  The worst one was the one that sat down next to Father Delany after he went blind and started talking about how beautiful the scenery was.  Dude just lost his sight, dick!  The most important role in this movie to me was Mr. Strickland himself, James Tolkan.  He did next to nothing in the movie and didn’t even have a name, but Back to the Future is awesome!

The Amityville Horror was … acceptable.  Problematically, it was not good enough for me to recommend it for you for enjoyment, and it was not bad enough for me to recommend it to you for mocking.  Simple story with an unsatisfying ending, nothing special to the visuals, but a decent enough cast.  You can go ahead and skip this movie.  The Amityville Horror gets “Jody doesn’t like George” out of “GET OUT!”

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The Walking Dead: Season One (2010)


You Just Rang the Dinner Bell.

The Walking Dead: Season One (2012)I believe I intended to write a review for this TV show last October but I must’ve forgotten.  This year I would not make the same mistake.  The October Horrothon has given me the excuse to watch the Blu-ray that I purchased when it released in 2011.  It sat on my shelf for 2 years, forgotten.  It was not intentional on my part.  I’ve heard nothing but great things about this show, but it got filed away with the other shows like Game of Thrones, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad that I subconsciously refuse to watch because they’re supposedly so good.  Maybe I’m afraid that these shows can’t possibly live up to the expectations that the world has set for me for them.  But it’s October, season four is about to start, and I need to find out if I wasted money on The Walking Dead Season One, based on the graphic novel series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard, developed for TV by Frank Darabont, and starring Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden, Emma Bell, Steven Yeun, Jeffrey DeMunn, Norman Reedus, Chandler Riggs, IronE Singleton, Jeryl Prescott Sales, Melissa McBride, Adam Minarovich, Andrew Rothenberg, Michael Rooker, and Noah Emmerich.

Sheriff’s Deputy Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) is shot in an altercation with some criminals and slips into a coma.  After an undetermined amount of time, he awakens to find the hospital torn apart, with blood and bullet holes lining the walls.  He returns home to find it deserted, his wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) and son Carl (Chandler Riggs) apparently having escaped.  While trying to wrap his mind around the situation, a young boy named Duane (Adrian Kali Turner) hits him in the head with a shovel.  When he wakes up, Duane’s father Morgan (Lennie James) explains that while Rick was unconscious the world was overrun by zombies, or “walkers.”  Rick gets them into the police station where they get stocked up on guns and ammunition, and then Rick sets off alone to Atlanta, where it’s said there is a safe zone.

This show gets a mighty “Hell Yeah!” from me.  And I’m told this isn’t even the best season!  I can only hope that’s true because this season was fantastic.  It’s awesome because it’s equal parts zombie horror and human drama, and both of them work fantastically.  The show opens very effectively, giving the audience the zombie stuff that we need because that’s what brought us in before giving us the backstory we also require.  And it gives us so much in that small amount of time.  It shows how long things have been like this, how bad they’ve gotten, and the scene with the little girl zombie shows us that Rick is a good guy.  He tries to save her until he realizes half her face his missing.  The length of time was well-illustrated by the deserted cars at the gas station, but poorly illustrated by the mail overflowing from the mailbox.  How does that make sense?  It was bad enough for Lori to abandon her home but the mail service continued for a week?  But that first episode doesn’t only open strong; it also closes with a bang.  The reveal of the picture at the end of the episode was harsh.  The second episode taught me a couple of things.  The first is that women really do like to fuck in dangerous situations.  I thought that was just a thing they did in bad horror movies because they wanted to get some boobies in their movie.  But when this show does it I believe them.  The second thing I learned is that this show is good enough that they can make me feel bad for a racist dick like Merle Dixon.  When they reached episode four, I was surprised to see that the Vatos Locos from Blood in, Blood out apparently survive the apocalypse.  They weren’t kidding when they said “Forever” were they?  Then they started making me angry because they were acting like Rick’s crew started the fight.  You guys jumped them!  And if you’re going to argue that those guns could’ve belonged to everyone since they were just left in the street, then you’re right.  So it’s a good thing that the first people that came across them were the actual owners, I suppose.  Then they take a rather interesting and unexpected turn with the Vatos, catching me off guard yet again.  I was also expecting some huge reveal near the end of the season that Merle brought the walkers to the camp.  That’s not the way they went, but what they did was still very emotional.

I can’t really say a whole lot about the look of this show.  It’s fantastic.  There’s not much more to say than that.  The corpses are amazing, the walking corpses are amazing, everything is amazing.  I specifically use the term amazing because I think about how amazed the people that inspired these stories would be if they realized what was possible now.  On TV no less!  Romero’s first movie couldn’t even imagine this level of zombie effects.  All they did was white face paint!

Every actor in this deserves the accolades they’ve been given.  They’re all amazing.  I was especially impressed with Andrew Lincoln when I watched the Behind the Scenes stuff.  That dude’s from England!  He has an English accent!  Never would have guessed that from the show though.  And beyond that, he’s still one hell of an actor.  Lennie James was also fantastic, particularly in scene in the when he was about to shoot his wife.  I would’ve liked a little resolution with his story, but the story is so well-written that I have to imagine they will pay it off at some point.  They did with the grenade and I was all but sure they forgot they had that.  I did get irritated with his son though.  I understand the reason for him crying when he sees his mom as a zombie, but do you have to be so fucking loud about it?  I know people can cry without screaming; I’ve seen it happen.  I might have smothered him with that pillow instead of getting him to cry in it.  I would have to say I never really got on board with this Lori Grimes lady.  Sarah Wayne Callies does a great job playing her, but that woman works my nerves something fierce.  Much more in season two, but she did her part here too.  I could say it was because she fucked Shane, but I don’t really blame her for that.  Now when she fucked Rick in the same tent where her young son was sleeping, I can blame her for that ickiness.  How do you know he won’t wake up?  Did you test that theory out with Shane a few times?  I kept going back and forth on my feelings about Laurie Holden’s Andrea character.  I hated her when I was first introduced to her, when she got all up on Rick’s jock for getting them into the situation with the walkers.  He didn’t do shit to you!  He got HIMSELF into the situation.  Glen got you all into the situation by choosing to rescue Rick.  Rick owes you a thanks, but you can go ahead and shut the fuck up.  Then I got a little confused by her when she started complaining about having to do the laundry, but mainly because it was an instant before it cut to four of the menfolk risking their lives to save Merle.  But you’re right: rubbing clothes against a washboard is tough stuff.  I did get back on board when I thought she might make a critical (and cliché) zombie survival mistake involving her sister, but thankfully she did not.  I also found myself quite fond of Steven Yeun as Glenn, especially since we meet him as he’s dressed like a grown up version of Short Round or Data from Goonies.

I’m done wasting time on season one of The Walking Dead.  I’m almost done with season two by the time I’m finishing writing this.  Season one is real good.  I was not disappointed, and that says a lot with the level of praise I had heard for this series.  Season two seems to be turning out well also, but we’ll get to that later.  For now, I will recommend you find a way to watch this series.  I had already purchased season one, and season one caused me to purchase season two.  I’m told it’s on Netflix.  Do it whichever way you like.  Season four is not far away, as I have been told.  GET INTO IT!!  Season one of The Walking Dead gets “I remember my dream now; why I dug the holes…” out of “We’re going to need more guts.”

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The Raven (2012)


I’d Rather Stand.  It Makes it Easier to Leave!

The Raven (2012)The October Horrorthon causes me to do a lot of random movie watching, usually with random jaunts through the Netflix instant library.  That’s what happened with today’s movie.  Oh, I was aware of it, but there was no interest on my part.  I’d seen nothing of interest related to it, and the 23% it landed on Rotten Tomatoes certainly wouldn’t improve that.  But what would my October Horrorthon be without at least SOME crappy movies, right?  And I could at least say I was interested in the subject matter of the movie since it’s vaguely about the only poet I like.  So let’s talk about The Raven, written by Ben Livingston and Hannah Shakespeare, directed by James McTeigue, and starring John Cusack, Luke Evans, Alice Eve, Sam Hazeldine, Brendan Gleeson, and Kevin McNally.

Inspector Emmett Fields (Luke Evans) investigates a series of murders that eerily resemble a short story called “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” by Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack).  After later finding the body of one of Poe’s rivals cut in half in reference to “The Pit and the Pendulum,” Poe is brought in for questioning.  Together Poe and Fields decide that someone is copying Poe’s stories, but the reason is unclear.  Poe becomes involved when his fiancée Emily Hamilton (Alice Eve) is kidnapped and the note left in her place demands that Poe publish a new story else her death be on his head.

Oh my God!  The story of this movie was so good it was Shakespearean!  …But only because that was one of the writer’s last names.  This movie was not very good, and really all parts of the movie contributed to it.  It wasn’t written well, it didn’t look good, and the performances were lackluster.  When I started watching this movie I was wondering if I should’ve brushed up on my Edgar Allan Poe beforehand.  The only ones I could remember were the one about the bird, the one about the heart, and the one about the cask of booze.  After watching the movie, I felt like I probably should’ve brushed up on my Seven, because this movie seemed like it really wanted to be that movie.  It has a lot of elaborate deaths based on books and a mystery that turns out to be a guy you wouldn’t really expect, but that’s about as close as those comparisons go.  For instance, Seven was good.  This movie drops lines like, “Shut it or I’ll shut it for you,” from the killer.  Y’know, for someone that reveres Poe’s works so much, you really haven’t mastered his ability with the English language.  And it didn’t really turn out to be too necessary to remember Poe since they did only a few of his greatest hits.  “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Pit and the Pendulum,” there were some Ravens flying around, and there was someone buried in a wall.  At a certain point the killer loses his flair for the dramatic and just starts killing people in more conventional ways.  I don’t think Poe wrote that many books with things as mundane as slitting the neck of a policeman and shooting another in the arm.  Did you waste all your money on that elaborate pendulum gag?

Speaking of which, I found myself wishing the movie had spent even a portion of the money they must’ve used making that pendulum device on special effects.  The pendulum thing looked fairly cool, but then it hit the body at the bottom and sprayed some of the fakest blood computers can make.  I guess they did alright with some of the cadavers, but it seems like almost any movie can pull those off nowadays.

None of the performances seemed that interested in participating with the movie.  I can’t really blame them.  John Cusack kind of mailed the whole thing in.  Who knows?  Maybe he did a lot of research and that’s how Poe actually acted.  I would’ve always thought that Poe was smart enough to not draw the conclusion that he should feel in any way responsible for these deaths.  You just wrote some poems!  If someone starts killing people based on my reviews, I’m not going to feel like their blood is on my hands.  I mean, I’m not saying that they should kill Kristen Stewart or Miley Cyrus or anything, but if they did the world would keep turning, you know what I’m saying?  And I certainly wouldn’t feel bad about it.  If they police came to me about it, I suppose I could be persuaded to stop writing for a time, but really this is their responsibility to catch the murderer.  Let’s not drag me into this game.  Luke Evans did okay as the policeman that was working with Poe, and he should definitely be given credit for being able to link the girl stuffed in a chimney to “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.”  I barely remember that story so I would automatically start looking for a jolly fat man in a red suit with cherry blossoms on his cheeks and blood on his hands if I found a chick stuffed in a chimney.  Also, that scene was shortly after a police officer opened fire on a closet while still in the process of opening it.  I know you think there’s a killer in there, but what about the possibility that there’s a scared girl cowering in there.  Look first, and then shoot.  There’s a novel idea.

I could see no better way to remember Edgar Allan Poe than to review a movie about him on the anniversary of his death (Not the day this comes out, but the day I’m writing it).  Perhaps I could’ve selected a good movie in honor of him, but I chose The Raven instead.  It may really want to be Seven, but it’s more like a two and a half.  Not a fitting remembrance for the man, but it was all I had.  I would not recommend you bother watching this movie, and I would say that chances are you haven’t.  The Raven gets “That’s life, isn’t it?  So much less satisfying than fiction” out of “The last days of his life remain a mystery.”

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0022 – World War Z


0022 - World War Z

CLICK ON MY FACE TO LINK TO THE VIDEO!

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Children of the Corn (1984)


I Spy With My Little Eye Something That Starts With “C”

Children of the Corn (1984)The October Horrorthon has returned!  I actually purchased today’s movie a few months ago, but held onto it so that I could do it as part of the Horrorthon this year.  It’s a movie I’m sure we all know about, and even one I’m sure most people had seen already, but if I was one of those people I didn’t recall it at all.  I didn’t get to see a lot of horror movies when I was younger, so it’s nice to have an excuse to catch up.  This movie is Children of the Corn, based on a short story by Stephen King, directed by Fritz Kiersch, and starring Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton, John Franklin, Courtney Gains, Robby Kiger, Anne Marie McEvoy, John Philbin, and R. G. Armstrong.

A group of kids decide to kill all the adults in town because the corn told them to.  Two such children are Job (Robby Kiger) and his sister Sarah (Anne Marie McEvoy), and they join the other children lead by Isaac (John Franklin) who speaks for the corn and his muscle Malachai (Courtney Gains).  Years later, Burt (Peter Horton) and his girlfriend Vicky (Linda Hamilton) are driving down a country road when they totally mow down a little boy that was standing in the road.  Upon investigation, they find out that the boy had been stabbed while trying to escape the cult of children, so the couple feels like they’ve been let off the hook.  Showing the corpse all due respect, they toss him in the trunk and head off, but get lost and stranded in the town of Gatlin, where all the adults are now gone and the cult offers the children as sacrifice when they turn 19.  Makes you wonder how long this cult expected they would last without reproducing, doesn’t it?  Vicky gets abducted by the cult and Burt must try to reclaim her.

I thought this movie was supposed to be a classic!  Well, I guess it is by its age, but not by its quality.  It’s okay at its best; silly at its worst.  It’s strange to say that it seems a story about children killing their parents because corn told them to is unimaginative, but it felt that way to me.  It just felt standard.  Some killings, some supernatural stuff, overly simple solution, vaguely happy ending.  And what’s worse is that the only thing I found myself wanting out of this movie was never delivered: some hardcore kid punching!  I would’ve beaten the shit out of these little punks!  The closest that happens is Burt pushes some of them down and beats up on Malachai a little.  None of these kids would have escaped my wrath!  Even if they did nothing to me directly they’d have a punchin’ comin’ their way!

The simple story could’ve been overcome if the movie was scary, but it never really managed that either.  I had a bad feeling early on when the kid was running through the corn fields.  I don’t care how scary your music may seem or how jarring your camera movements are, if all you’re doing is showing me close ups of corn I’m not going to be scared.  Shortly after the kid gets stabbed, so I guess you could say that was scary.  You could also say it was just blood being flicked onto a suitcase.  Later on the movie tries to get supernatural when the corn starts getting involved, but that just looked goofy, as if corn stalks were falling over a man that was thrashing madly.

The performances didn’t do much for me.  They were fine I suppose, but they didn’t seem to be trying all that hard.  I think they wanted me to like Peter Horton’s character, but I stopped liking him when he ran that kid down.  Not because he ran that kid down, mind you.  I’ve nothing against that per se.  But he’s supposed to be a doctor and he tried to make the argument that the kid was already dead when he hit him even though the kid was standing in the center of the road holding his hands out as if to say, “Don’t hit me, I’m still alive!”  My uneducated opinion is that this kid had a little more fight in him.  And that wasn’t the only occasion that made me think he was stupid.  He also decided to trust the magical corn that opened up to let him walk into the fields.  Maybe I’m just untrusting of corn in general, but I would regard that as suspicious.  I didn’t like Linda Hamilton in this movie either, but mainly because I want her to be Sarah Connor levels of badass or nothing at all.  I think she had not yet been Sarah Connor by this point, but I would argue that she always has been and always will be Sarah Connor.  And then I would say stop arguing with me; this is my review!  John Franklin also weirded me out because he was supposed to be a little kid but looked more like a 30-year-old to me.  Then I looked it up and I guess he WAS more like a 30-year-old!  But I also couldn’t find out anything about why he looked like this.  That will haunt me much longer than this movie will, as demonstrated by the fact that it currently haunts me and the movie never did.  Also haunting was how much Courtney Gains looked like he should’ve been the third Pete brother.

Children of the Corn was a disappointment to me.  I thought that the fact that I had heard so much about this movie meant that it would be good.  That is a dangerous assumption to make, and one I hope to avoid in the future.  It wasn’t a bad movie, but it had a pretty simple story, no scares whatsoever, and lackluster performances that would keep the movie from being anything I will remember for very long.  Nor will I be recommending it.  You don’t really need to watch this.  Children of the Corn gets “Did you rewrite the whole thing, or just the parts that don’t suit your needs?” out of “Behold!  A dream did come to me, and the Lord did show all of this to me.”

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