Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Night part 4

My blog's Rocky Horror Picture Show party... sort of.

Hallowe'en's biggest tradition in the last 37 years, is the midnight showing of the sci-fi musical Rocky Horror Picture Show.   Starring Tim Curry and Meatloaf.

I've been to a few of the parties over the years, and some were great, some were drunkenly put together and not so great.

The plot of this seems like a mess when you first view it.  Aliens, Frankenstein monsters, zombies, cannibals, vampires, geeks and greasers.  The brilliant Richard O'Brian took something from every genre out there and mashed it up in a tasty cocktail.
But after viewing it a few times, you start to unravel the threads that combine to make Rocky who he is.
So to speak.

A story about innocence lost and even found, of hope and doubt and desires that many people are afraid to admit they have or even might have.

The cult following didn't come until 1977, two full years after the movie version was released, and four years after the original stage play made it's debut.

I have to admit, my favourite songs from the soundtrack are "Sweet Transvestite"  and part one of "Floor Show-Rose Tint My World"  though I would be amiss if I left off "Going Home"from my personal list.

Everyone has a character that they really connect with, usually the more aggressive characters like Frank n' Furter or Magenta.  I have to say, after one party I went to as the character Eddie, you have to appreciate the role a bit more. (we had five Magenta's that year, one Columbia and two Frank'n'Furters but no Brad, no Janet and no Riff Raff or Rocky)
I had rice down every part of me that particular night, which was not fun at to clean up. 

Columbia's rant in the pool room really shows the vampiric undertones to the Frank'n'Furter character.  She always put me in mind of the character Lucy from Dracula.

Let's make a toast, do a little dance, and have some dinner... the menu is meatloaf, roasted not baked heavy on the cheese.Then settle back for a midnight double-feature.

I hope that anyone who might be reading this feels free to share your memories of Rocky Horror... I'm sure they are groovy.  Happy Hallowe'en.

Halloween Night Part 3

Hallowe'en Week

Hallowe'en Movie Marathon- movie 3

movie: American Psycho
starring: Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe
genre: Horror
year: 2000
format: DVD

plot: It's the 1980's and Patrick is just trying to get up the corporate ladder and fit in. Only thing is, he just doesn't have any emotions other then when he kills.

This is based on the controversial book.

This film has some of the wildest quotes "feed me a stray cat" and "I have to return some video tapes"

This is one of those films that everyone loves when we just shouldn't.  It's a cultclassic, which makes you wonder about yourself when the movie is over.
There are scenes of extreme  violence and sexuality that can make you shiver with disgust. 
The character of Bateman has a complete mental breakdown at one point, while throughout the film trying to impress everyone with his "knowledge" of pop-culture. Only because he doesn't really care about anything, every time he talks about the music, food etc, he just sounds like he's reading the newspaper.

It's a story about how the emptiness of material status drives us to fall into a more primal ego.  The lead character just wants to be seen as important, and leave everyone in awe of his skills, only he doesn't really have any skills and is really just pathetic. You almost wonder if he's developed his insecurities because he's unable to connect or if he's unable to connect because of his insecurities.

what do I think I learned from this film?
The race to be the top dog doesn't always end in the alpha position.

Check back at midnight for last movie...

Halloween Night part 2

Hallowe'en Week

Hallowe'en Movie Marathon- movie 2

movie: A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 Freddy's Revenge
starring: Mark Patton, Robert Englund
genre: Horror
year: 1985
format: DVD

plot: Jesse moves into Nancy's old place, and starts to become possessed by Freddy, soon everyone around him is turning up dead.

This is one of my favourite of the NOES films.
Elm Street has made a name for itself as being able to balance on the horror and dark humour, and this is one of the darker stories in the series.

I've always found the Elm Street films to have vampiric tones, but this one even more so because of Freddy weaseling his way into the real world by taking over the physical body of the lead character.

I know that many fans and critics have had negative reactions to it, because of the fact Freddy does crossover to the real world more, and the controversy of the bi-sexual themes; but these elements play strongly to the vampiric manipulation. The lead character is not sure of himself, and because of not being open, he's more susceptible to Freddy's manipulation.
This film also fits heavily into the sub-genre of the 80's that dealt with possession/and poltergeists (such as the scene at the shower scene and gym scene)

what do i think i learned from this film?
Sometimes everyone has an identity crisis.

Check back in at 10pm for the next movie...

Day 306

Hallowe'en Week

Hallowe'en Movie Marathon -movie 1

movie: Scream
starring: Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich
genre: Horror
year: 1996
format: online

plot: A killer is on the loose at a high school, and is using the rules of horror movies to do so.

This is the movie that rewrote everything in the horror/thriller genres.
Wes Craven's the master at horror and teen drama, and he once again gave a generation something to talk about.

I have to admit, this was a movie when I first saw it almost twenty years ago (yes it's 16 years since this movie came out) I didn't like it.  It's taken having it pop up over the years on late night television seeing snips and bits to sort of come around to the idea of this film.

what do i think i learned from this film?
Not everything is what it first seems, and there are always rules even when you think that you are creating them yourself. And always run outside not upstairs when being threatened.

Check back at 8pm for the next movie...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day 305

Hallowe'en Week

movie: Sweeney Todd
starring: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter
genre: Horror
year: 2007
format: DVD

plot: A barber returns to his home after years of being in prison, to find that his wife is dead and the man who put him in prison is raising his daughter.  Soon, he goes on a spree of revenge with the help of the woman who is running a store in his old house

This is a musical-opera, based on the stage play.

The blood count is high, the look glossy-morbid, and the story thin.
The Tim Burton factor makes this an interesting movie, but I don't get what it is that draws millions to this story. (keep in mind I'm talking about the movie only, as I have never seen the stage play)

what do i think i learned from this film?
Lies, betrayal, broken hearts. It can happen to anyone at any time, it's up to the each person to be able to keep control of the darker side even when they would be in the right.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Top 5 Fav Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes

With it being Hallowe'en Week, I thought I would mention my favourite of all time tv show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

1. Gingerbread (season 3)

2. The Pack (season 1)

3. Pangs (season 4)

4. Once More With Feeling (season 6)

5. Get It Done (season 7)

Day 304

Hallowe'en Week

movie: Night of the Living Dead (remake)
starring: Tony Todd, Patricia Tallman
genre: Horror
year: 1990
format: Online

plot: The dead have come back, and a group of survivors are trapped in a farm house.

This is the remake, and I'm scratching my head as to why this film is considered a goldmine? 

There is a line in the first half of the film, when the lead female character asks what is going on, and the answer is simply "I don't know. Nobody knows"  I thought that was a pretty swift move given you are literally thrown into the story without ever getting a real explanation.

what do i think i learned from this film?
There is a line at the end, where the movie's sole survivor utters "they are us, we're them"  while looking at the mob scene before her. What I take away from that is that like the zombies, we as a society do things on autopilot because it's breed into us.
This film is about having faith in yourself and knowing that when you're faced with the impossible, you will be able to find the strength to carry on. This is simply about surviving the worst and having to do the hardest thing you ever thought you'd have to do.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Top 5 Fav Twiztid/ICP cds

I'm a major fan of of Twiztid and Insane Clown Posse, and I thought given their music is a mix of horror pop-culture and comedic rap, and they have their Hallowicked tour every year (some year I'll actually get to go) I thought they would be perfect to mention for Hallowe'en Week.

1. W.I.C.K.E.D (Twiztid)

2. Freak Show (Twiztid)

3. Man Myth vol 1 (Twiztid)

4. Amazing Jeckel Brothers (ICP)

5. Riddle box (ICP)

Day 303

Hallowe'en Week

movie: Blade
starring: Wesley Snipes, Stephen Dorff
genre: Horror
year: 1998
format: DVD

plot: Frost, a turned vampire is trying to invoke the vampire god and take over the whole race of vampires. There is one man who can stop him, a vampire with the gifts to walk in the sun. Blade,

The first movie in the series, and the series itself is based on the comic.

I think this film helped to make vampires tougher again, after the romantic vampire wave of the early 1990's.  It helped to bridge a whole fandom between what was happening in the vampire genre and what was happening in popculture in general.

It also made both the main actors mega stars.

Blade was one of the transition films, that really blended the action movies with horror, giving a new look and feel to them. And having Udo Kier, who's played a vampire almost as much as Sir Christopher Lee has, was a giant bonus.

what do i think i learned from this film?
There is always worlds within worlds, gangs within gangs, cultures within cultures. You just have to be open to seeing what you need to see when you need to learn it.
When you have a god complex, be prepared to fight for your beliefs, and know that you might not make it out the other side, not because you're wrong, but because you're right. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Saturday Morning Bites

Hallowe'en Week

Saturday mornings for me as a kid consisted of getting up and getting a bowl of either Fruit-Loops or Count Chocula, or both if I was quick enough before my Grandfather got up in the morning to catch me.

I'd take my cereal and proceed to the living room, curl up in a blanket and start watching the morning shows, which included  The Munsters, The Addams Family, The Hilarious House of Frightenstein, The Groovie Goolies, the Drak Pack, Amazing Spiderman, The Hulk,  and Scooby Doo.  (a few years later The Real Ghostbusters and Teen Wolf would take the time slot of the two  monster cartoons)

The Munsters, The Addams Family and The Hilarious House of Frightenstein would start at 6am and run till after 9am, then the cartoons would carry on through until lunch time.
After lunch, there would be the movie matinee that always had old black and white films and a host who would run a lotto during the breaks, making bad jokes. (movies hosts are still a cool idea)

I'm sitting here this morning, talking about this because of two things.  One, being last night the Hallowe'en special Mockingbird Lane (loved it!)  and the fact that I'm babysitting this morning, and the kid is watching tv and the shows are live action sitcoms. 
None of the channels we have carry cartoons in the way they did when I was a kid. (I'm 38) There is a two hour slot that carries the New Adventures of Scooby Doo and some Japanese Anime, but nothing like I remember.

Then again, there really hasn't been anything else like Hilarious House of Frightenstein.

Day 302

Hallowe'en Week

movie: Midnight Movie
starring: Daniel Bonjour, Michael Swan
genre: Horror
year: 2008
format: Online

plot: A small movie house decides to show a rare slasher film from the 1970's, five years after the film's star went on a rampage killing patients in a mental hospital. Only they never found the bodies. Before they know it, the movie goers find themselves the targets of what they think is a copycat killer

I'd love to say this was completely original, but there were elements that reminded me of one of the Nightmare on Elm Street films, and the horror film Popcorn from the early 1990's.
But with that said, this film still had a fresh take on the slasher films that were so popular in the last 40 years.

It blends the teen slasher movies with the mystical side of the recently popular paranormal thrillers, given that every time a person is killed their souls end up becoming part of the film strip.

There is a scene in the opening, where the killer is performing a ritual filled with occult symbols in his own blood while his movie is being shown.  Nothing else is explained on this regard, but we're left to assume he found away to open a portal to the film and entered. There he could live it over and over again.

This is one where you sort of want a sequel just to tie up some backstory loose ends.

what do i think i learned from this film?
You can't always trust what you see, and sometimes things have no reason just a rhythm.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Day 301

Hallowe'en Week

movie: Wes Craven's Cursed
starring: Christina Ricci, Jesse Eisenberg
genre: Horror
year: 2005
format: DVD

plot: A brother and sister are both bitten by a wolf after having been in a car accident. Soon, everyone around them are dying. Their only hope is to find the original werewolf that bit them and kill it.

Wes Craven is the master of teenaged horror.  This is one of my favourite Craven films. And one of my favourite werewolf films.

The story takes place in the television and movie industry, giving to scenes of  pure alpha fights. The werewolf-ism seems to heighten the already natural jealousies that are part of being in high profile jobs, such as being an agent for a top teen idol.

The set designers and costume people were not only brilliant with their additions of animal prints and wax work sets, but you feel the tongue in cheek humour when the big battles happen in the middle of all the smoke and mirrors.

what do i think i learned from this film?
Everyone wants to be the top dog, even if they don't admit it.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Top 5 Fav Scream Queens

I thought I would do something I normally wouldn't do, give a spotlight to the female actors. With it being Hallowe'en Week, here's  my top five Scream Queens.

1.  Jamie Lee Curtis

2. Heather Langenkamp

3. Linnea Quigley

4. Neve Campbell

5.Sheri Moon Zombie

Jamie Lee Curtis and Heather Langenkamp are not just scream queens, but if it hadn't been for them, there would have been a much more difficult path for Neve Campbell or Sarah Michelle Gellar. (I know I didn't add her but I wanted to keep it to 5)

Day 300

Hallowe'en Week 

movie: The Craft
starring: Robin Tunney, Skeet Ulrich
genre: Horror
year: 1996
format: DVD

plot: Four high school students have the ability to control the elements, and begin to take revenge on the rest of the school who have bullied them.

The movie that caused a generation to get into magick. The chills are there and the drama is high.
Classic witch film, classic revenge film.

Meant to be a very empowering film for women, it deals with self esteem, self respect and finding your voice.
There is a scene where one of the lead characters is nearly raped and manages to get away, this sets off a chain reaction with another character who takes the insult to the extreme.

This is a movie about power. The power of jealousy, about the heart, and the desire for power. The characters feel like they have no voice, that no one is listening to them. And it takes the extreme breakdowns each goes through before they feel they've been heard.

This is also hollywood's version of the nature of other religions. For as much  as special effects are used to show the magick in the film, it does deliver some of the actual elements of Paganism.

what do i think i learned from this film?
You must always be aware of what you are doing, as everything in life has a duel nature. A crush can turn to hatred in the blink of an eye, and when you're emotionally involved in anything it will seem like it's a million times worse then it really is.
Bullying/abuse is still an issue that everyone needs to help stop.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Coffee Talk- Oct 24th 2012

Hallowe'en is next week, so as I've mentioned few days ago, I'm going to do a bit of a Hallowe'en Week on this blog. 

On October 31st, I plan on having a blog version of a movie marathon.

Happy Hallowe'en. 

Day 299

movie: Die Another Day
starring: Pierce Brosnan, Halle Berry
genre: Action
year: 2002
format: Shaw Video On Demand

plot: Bond is captured in Korea and after over a year being tortured, he is traded and sent home. He then takes a mission in Iceland to stop the diamond smugger who was the one responsible for his capture.

This is #20 in the 007 film series, and the last one before the big reboot.

I was disappointed. There were the usual moments of coolness, an invisible car, witty comments, nifty looking suites, but there was just something that seemed like it was off with the film.
It felt almost as if they were trying to combine two films into this one, and there wasn't the kind of chemistry between the pairing of Brosnan and Berry as you would have hoped.  These are two great action stars, but this film didn't mix them well at all.

The film just seemed to drag for me, and the opening shots were comical at best, and didn't feel like they fit with the storyline.

what do i think i learned from this film?
Shinny things are pretty and sword fights are a lost art.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day 298

movie: Madea's Witness Protection
starring: Tyler Perry, Eugene Levy
genre:  Comedy
year: 2012
format: Shaw Video On Demand

plot: Madea is asked to help a family after they are targeted by the mob, in a company's ponzi scheme. Along the way, Madea's brother believes he's the father of the man in question, and Madea has to pretend she's someone else to get access to bank accounts by the company.

Not the best of the Madea films, nor the funniest.  It felt like it was mis-matched, and not in the fact of it being so on purpose. It just really felt like a low-rung attempt to keep the franchise going.

Eugene Levy could have been great in his role as the scapegoat, but somehow his role came across as not even good. There is a scene where he is in disguise but ends up looking more like a cartoon then anything else, and it's not even funny. 
Had they expanded on the sub-plot of Levy's character being related to Madea and Joe, the sub-plot might have held some more water.
There was just none of the usual Madea flair that you come to expect from this series of films.

What do i think i learned from this film?
You can't take anything for granted.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Day 297

movie: The Blob (remake)
starring: Kevin Dillon, Shawnee Smith
genre: Sci-Fi, Horror,
year: 1988
format: Online

plot:  A small town is terrorized by a living creature that has fallen from the sky. At first they think it's an alien from a meteorite, but soon learn it's a man made virus

This is one of those over the top creature features from the 1980's, that could go hand in hand with The Stuff.

Not much is really explained, other then it's a military experiment gone wrong, which is another trademark of horror films specially ones from the 80's.

what do i think i learned from this film?
If it falls from the sky, don't touch it.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Day 296

movie: Serendipity
starring: John Cusack, Kate Beckinsale
genre: Romance
year: 2001
format: TV EDIT

plot: On a christmas eve shopping spree, two people meet and spend the evening talking. Both are in relationships with other people, but feel such a connection that they make a deal that if they are meant to be together, they will find each other again. Few years later, fate brings them both back together just before they're set to marry other people.

I cried. Yeah, it had me sighing, dreaming, nodding and snotting. Gotta love a romantic comedy about trust and soulmates.

Beckinsale is one of the few female actors that I've seen more then just one of her films. She's also one of the few that can play anything from dripping romance, to action hero to vampire to disco diva.
Cusack is one of the few men who's made not just a name for himself in the romantic comedy genre but is believable in the lead roles he takes.
I loved the little signs that kept popping up in this, from the single glove to the book. It just makes you want to start paying more attention to the details you would normally dismiss. 

what do i think i learned from this film?
Don't ever give up hope for happiness. The fact that love isn't always a clear path, doesn't mean that what you first feel isn't just your imagination. Love at first sight can happen, you just have to be able to understand it when you feel it. When you give yourself over to fate/faith no matter what the situation, you will find just what you are suppose to just when you need it most and are ready for it.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Day 295

movie: When Good Ghouls Go Bad
starring: Christopher Lloyd, Joe Pichler
genre: Comedy
year: 2001
format: TV EDIT

plot: Danny and his dad move back to the small town where his dad grew up to take over the family business. They plan the relaunch of the factory for Hallowe'en, but the townspeople are unhappy about this because of a twenty year old curse. Meanwhile, the grandfather has a freak accident that kills him. Only he doesn't stay dead. And he's not the only zombie now in town.

This is based on the R.L. Stine book.

this is one of those cute family channel movies that gets released for Hallowe'en, and Stine's works are designed for them.
Given this is geared for kids, the zombies are not the type that you would expect.
Which works fine for me.

It's actually pretty quick paced, but doesn't loose anything in translation. The zombie make-up is good but subtle, as it's mostly grey on blue, and again it's geared for kids so there are none of the horror/gore make-ups that is normally done for zombie films.

what do i think i learned from this film?
You have to believe in magick, if you want to keep your innocence. Nothing is worth loosing time with your family. Art is good, chocolate is better.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Day 294

movie: Evil Bong
starring: David Weidoff, Tommy Chong,
genre: Comedy
year: 2006

plot: A group of stoners buy a one of a kind bong, only to find out it is stealing their souls when they use it.

Twiztid and Insane Clown Posse are on the soundtrack, and Tim Thomerson (in character as Jack Deth from the Trancers movies)  and Phil Fondacaro have cameos. There are also cameos by many of the puppets from various Full Moon movies.

This is one of those really cheesy but so stupid it's funny films that have become cult classics that Full Moon is known for.
I have to admit, I got a wicked kick out of the cameo by Thomerson more then anything else.

There is little plot, the dialog is heavily peppered with the word "bro" and it's done like a stage play with limited space. This is meant to be a time waster, but it has it's moments. The horror is not really there, but the nudity is everywhere.

As a vampire movie, it used it's metaphor brilliantly.  The relaxation leads to pleasure, and with their guards down the zombied victims would be both easy prey, and their lifeforce would be heightened.

what do i think i learned from this film?
Bro...Bro...Bro...I forgot.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Day 293

movie: Grown Ups
starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James
genre: Comedy
year: 2010
format: TV EDIT

plot: A group of high school friends who haven't seen each other in almost twenty years, reunite for the funeral of their football coach and end up bringing their families along for the weekend.

This was pretty much a SNL group film as over half the actors were from the show.  This was a slapstick film of toilet jokes.
With this being a tv edit, I don't know if there was much more to the plot other then a bunch of guys hiding from their wives and talking about their pasts?

There were a few scenes where one of the couples were at odds about how much of their wealth they should be flaunting, which seemed to me like it might have been a more important sub-plot if it hadn't been edited.

what do i think i learned from this film?
You're family is all you have when it's all said and done.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Halloween Week

Hallowe'en is my favourite time of year.

There is just something about the few weeks leading up to Oct 31st that always sends a rush through me, there is literally something in the air.

So, in the tradition of every tv station ever, and many other Trick or Treaters out there, I'm going to do a few days devoted to the topic of Hallowe'en.  Some of the posts will be a tad on the spooky side, some will not.

Hallowe'en Week Oct 25th -Oct 31st 2012.

Day 292

movie: Princess and the Frog
starring: Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos
genre: Cartoon,
year: 2009
format: Shaw Video On Demand

plot: A young waitress with dreams of owning her own restaurant, gets accidentally turned into a frog, when she kisses a cursed prince.  Soon the two are trying to out smart the local Vodun Priest and turn themselves human again.

Okay, this is so not for kids. It's too complicated.  The whole thing is set in the 1920's New Orleans, and the richness of the dialog is a bit heavy for younger audiences. 
The music doesn't have the same zing as previous Disney cartoons, and are very deep with lyrics. It was hard at times to keep an ear on some of the songs.

It is an interesting twist on a classic fable, but it falls short.

what do i think i learned from this film?
It's a story about never giving up on your dreams, but also knowing the difference between what you want in life and what you really need in life. Just because something appears to be one way, does not mean it really is all it's seeming.  True love defies reason sometimes.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Day 291

movie: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
starring: Judi Dench, Bill Nighy
genre: Drama
year: 2011/2012
format: Shaw Video On Demand

plot: A group of retired seniors, all head to India for the summer before settling into their lives as retirees. Along the way, they learn about their dreams and help each other and the hotel owner find his own dream.

This is based on the book.

There are a lot of characters to be introduced in the first twenty minutes, giving the beginning of the film a bit of a whiplash feeling. But, as it progresses, you neatly fit into the story as you start to understand the mix-matchedness of the group.

This is a slower moving story, with a few predictable moments, like the one lady falling for the gay man.  The young couple in the story I know was there to help balance and ground the rest of the characters, but they almost felt like they were becoming too much of the focus point, taking too much of the story away from the rest of the group.

what do i think i learned from this film?
It's never too late for you to start over and live up to your dreams.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Day 290

movie: Prometheus
starring: Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace
genre: Sc-Fi
year: 2012
format: Shaw Video On Demand

plot: A group of researchers find a map that leads them to the very outer edges of the universe in search of the origins of humankind.

This is the prequel for the Alien movies. I have to admit, I have not seen the original series, so going into this I hoped it would be a stand alone film, and it does hold up as one.

You've got robots, aliens, and a lot of government secrets. Everything for a really good sci-fi.

There are moments where you sort of feel like you've seen this before, but at the same time, it's got a few tricks up it's sleeve. 
I would have liked to have had a bit more of an explanation for the "creator"  that they find, but otherwise, this is a decent movie. I understand that it's part of the series/spin off, so things might have made more sense to me if I'd seen any of the other Alien films.

what do i think i learned from this film?
You have to believe in something. Sometimes, even when you know that something is going to kill you.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Day 289

movie: Open Season
starring: Martin Lawrence, Ashton Kutcher
genre: Comedy,
year: 2006
format: Shaw Video On Demand

plot: A bear that has been raised as a pet is let back into the wild after destroying a gas station mart. The other forest animals soon end up with him as they try to make it back to town before the hunters gather for hunting season.

We rented this because of babysitting and it's a kid's cartoon.  Or is it?
I was watching this wondering why on earth they would make a movie for kids under the age 10, about a hunter? 

I know the main plot seems to be about the deer and the bear's bond, but the deer is a bit of a delinquent to begin with, leading the bear on to do what he does in the beginning which gets him in trouble with the law.  And the hunter seems to be one of the most moronic and cruel characters I've ever seen in a cartoon. (Which if your hunting for something other then survival you must be)

Can you tell I really did not care for this film

what do i think i learned from this film?
This film seems at first to be all about the peer pressure, but soon comes down to morals and family. One of the plots is about how long you should stay sheltered before moving out on your own, and taking responsibility for your own actions. There is another subplot here about animal cruelty but it seems to be overshadowed by the "growing up"  part. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Day 288

movie: Hotel Transylvania
starring: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg
genre: Comedy, Cartoon,
year: 2012
format: Cinema

plot: Count Dracula is planning a big birthday weekend for his daughter's 118th by having all the monsters come stay at his hotel. Before they know it, a human traveler crashes the party and things get out of control.

This is a 3D film.

This is one of the funniest movies I've seen in a really long time. An hour later and I'm still giggling.  This is in the spirit of Addams Family and old Scooby Doo cartoons, there is just enough weirdness to be Hallowe'en worthy, but it's not violent or gross.

I can easily see some of the minor characters having their own spin off Saturday morning cartoon.
The teenage-ish character of Mavis was done like a typical goth girl, black hair and clothes; and therefore very easy to identify with.  There is a scene where they need one of the wolf children to track down the human and it's so over the top, much like the humour in old Bugs Bunny cartoons. 

what do I think I learned from this film?
This is about tolerance and trust.  Dracula is so scared of what happened to him in the past that he's created a bubble for everyone around him. If we live our lives always worried that everyone is out to get us, we end up creating a world for ourselves that is so far detached from reality that we loose touch with others.  We can only protect those we love for so long, then we have to let them make choices for themselves.


Ed D Wood Jr  Oct 10th 1924- Dec 10th 1978

The man who will be known for the rest of movie history, as creating the worst film in the world.
He's also one of the few movie makers who truly created his films from the heart.

His most famous movies of course being Plan 9 From Outer Space and Glen or Glenda  and The Bride of the Monster.

Known also for being the man to have the final performance by Bela Lugosi, and many would even say, Ed Wood helped to create cult classics as we know it.  Without even trying.

You know a guy is cool, when decades after his death, not only is he remembered as the father of cult films, but has a whole religion based on his idealism. ( Look up Church of Ed Wood. I think it's a major statement on how important films are in society.)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Day 287

movie: Rock of Ages
starring: Tom Cruise, Paul Giamatti
genre: Music, Comedy
year: 2012
format: Shaw Video On Demand

plot: A religious activist is trying to ban rock music, and targets a popular bar that is famous for starting the careers of some of the biggest names in the business.

I have been wishy washy about seeing this film, as it had 3 things against it already 1) I don't care much for musicals, 2) I really hate rock operas and 3) Other then Interview with the Vampire  I have never been able to sit through more then five minutes of a Tom Cruise movie

What it had going for it was 1) Paul Giamatti,  2) it's set in the late 1980's during the heavy metal hair band era, 3) everyone I've talked to hated it so it must be good
Bonus points for having real rock stars from that era as extras and wrestler Kevin Nash as a body guard.  Even though Nash didn't have a talking role, it was cool just having him stand there looking serious during all the music video moments.

I remember being a teenager during the late 1980's/early 1990's when the whole mom's against rock thing was happening, as well as the documentary Decline of the Western Civilization Part 2 the Metal Years was released.
This movie is more an idealized snip of that time in pop culture then anything else

what do i think i learned from this film?
You risk more then just "selling out" when you sell out your dreams. This movie is a morality tale as well as a tale of self truth. There is a line from the movie about how the spotlight doesn't just shine on the star but makes those surrounding the star disappear.  This line is sort of the heart of the story, reminding you to not loose sight of who you are or the people who really love you.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Day 286

movie: Wes Craven's Scream 2
starring: Neve Campbell, Liev Schreiber
genre; Thriller,
year: 1997
format: Shaw Video On Demand

plot: The survivors of a brutal killing spree are forced into reliving the events three years later as a copycat who was inspired by the events starts to kill people connected to them at the same time that a book version and movie about the killing come out.

This is the second film in the series that changed the horror genre back twenty years ago.
I have to admit, I'm not that impressed with this series of films, mostly because of the hype around them, but I do love Wes Craven.

This film, seemed to be the one that  launched the careers for many of the actors involved. And set some new rules for the way sequels were looked at. 

what do i think i learned from this film?
They always come back.  Everyone wants things to be bigger, badder and bloodier. If you want to run away from someone, always wear flats.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Day 285

movie: The Raven
starring: John Cusack, Luke Evans
genre: Thriller
year: 2012
format: Shaw Video On Demand

plot: Edgar Allen Poe's stories become the inspiration for a serial killer in the 1800's, and he's asked to help stop the murders as his girlfriend becomes a key victim.

This is one of the best crime stories I've seen in a long time. It reminds me a lot of the Johnny Depp film From Hell which was about Jack the Ripper.

There is just enough elements of Poe's works with just enough of the mystery that was around his death, to make this film "feel real".
The scenes that are taken from the stories of Edgar Allen Poe, are few but bloody, and this is more of a detective story then anything else.
There is a character in this that hints at a similar personality to the Ripper in From Hell, and at times you're led to believe that everything is in Poe's head. 

what do i think i learned from this film?
That some people feel the need to make themselves the center of attention, even when they are not suppose to.  A psychotic mind can be a thin line between genius and madman.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Day 284

movie: Beverly Hills Chihuahua
starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Piper Perabo
genre: Comedy
year: 2008

plot: A purse pet is kidnapped while it's owner is on a trip to Mexico, and soon everyone is looking for the pampered puppy

This is a movie about a bunch of talking dogs. You follow this clueless dog as it manages to survive a dog fight club, a con-rat, and a group of human robbers while the owners travel all over Mexico looking for her.

The worst part of this film, is the fact there are hundreds of people who take having a small dog to the extreme like the first half of the movie with the rich pets in places like Hollywood, where they dress then in clothing and perfume.
I got roped into seeing this simply because I was stuck babysitting and the kid brought the damned dvd with her.  I have nothing nice to say about this movie

what do I think I learned from this film?
I hate talking dog films.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Day 283

movie: 1408
starring: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson
genre: Thriller,
year: 2007
format: Shaw Video On Demand

plot: A writer who has made his name by writing about haunted hotels, rents a room that is suppose to be so haunted that the hotel in question deny the very existence of it.  While there, the alarm clock starts a countdown giving him an hour to live, or die trying to get out alive, as he has a ghostly experience when he has a conversation with his dead daughter.

This is based on the Stephen King short of the same name.

I really liked this film. It's a good old fashioned horror/thriller that does just what it promises.  To spook the hell out of you and does it without being vulgar.

It comes back to one of King's favourite topics, and one that he's the master of; isolation of a creative mind.  Once again, we have a writer who is left alone to discover his own limitations.
We're brought into a direct personal hell.
He throws everything at us from ghosts, to time loops, to sound deprivation. Anything that could make the lead character start to go mad and doubt if what he's seeing is the real deal in hauntings or if he's just high?
In the end we're left with little doubt that the situations that he dealt with in the short time frame are real.   This film is also done with a degree of real time, as the "countdown" doesn't happen till after the first half hour of the film. 

what do i think i learned from this film?
The biggest non-believers are usually the ones who end up needing to cleanse their psyche.  The degree of isolation each person experiences in their life time will lead to the degree of madness each is willing to believe in.   Ghosts are real. And Stephen King has created a sub-genre all his own, that of the depressed writer in isolation.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day 282

movie: Jiro Dreams of Sushi
starring: Jiro Ono, Yoshikazu Ono
genre: documentary
year: 2011
format: Shaw Video On Demand

plot: a documentary that follows an 85 year old Sushi master and his son, after he is awarded 3 Michelin Stars.

I had been hearing a lot of good stuff about this film, and given I'm a nut for foodie films, when this became available on SVOD, I had to see it.

I felt let down.  The film follows Jiro and his grown son for an unannounced amount of time as they talk about how he's not ready to give up working to let his son take over the business. You also meet some of the fish suppliers and the rice supplier but you never really get any sense of the reason behind why he got into the business.
And the subtitles were white on white and very tiny, which are always a pain in the ass to read.

I think had it had a bit more of the history of the food it would have appealed to me a bit more.

what do i think i learned from this film?
That the size of tuna is surprisingly huge.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Day 281

movie: Tim Burton's Dark Shadows
starring: Johnny Depp, Jonny Lee Miller
genre:Comedy, Drama
year: 2012
format: Shaw Video On Demand

plot: After rejecting his lover, Barnabas Collins is cursed to live as a vampire and everything he cares about is destroyed. When he still refuses to marry the witch who cursed him, he's locked in a coffin and buried alive.  200 years later, he is set free, only to find that the last few family members of his bloodline still carry his curse and the witch still running the town.

The highly comical remake of the classic soap opera, had me laughing out loud through most of it.
I've seen the odd episode of the original, and the movie House of Dark Shadows, plus the 1991 remake starring Ben Cross, so I wasn't going into this as blind as a bat. 

Still, if you're looking for dark and gloomy, this only fits the bill in set design not script.   Tim Burton did a fantastic job at reworking the classic vampire soap.  Johnny Depp played it with just a pinch of naughtiness and a bucketful of clueless charm. I'm surprised it took so long for the duo to get around to sinking their teeth into such a chewy project.
To say this film was done in brilliant techno-colour is an understatement, as the scenes with blood were brightened to look like the goo in a lava lamp. The texture and colour was over the top and reminded me of play-doh.

There were a few backstories that I would have liked to have expanded, but otherwise this is just the gothic humour you would expect from Tim Burton.
This film proves once again that when you have the combination of Depp and Burton you have a great way to spend two hours.  

Witches, Vampires, Ghosts and Werewolves, and Alice Cooper!  I have a taste for  a sequel.

what do i think i learned from this film?
What I've said for years, never send a witch to do a vampire's job.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Day 280

movie: Iron Man
starring: Robert Downey Jr, Jeff Bridges
genre: Sci-fi
year: 2008
format: TV EDIT

plot: A wealthy man who makes weapons, is kidnapped and forced to create a weapon. He's injured while there, and in turn creates for himself a small nuclear pace maker.  He then makes a suite of armor and fights his way out.  Only his design is copied by the man who kidnapped him.

this is based on the comic series.

I loved part 2 when I saw it few weeks back, and was looking forward to seeing how the series started.  I found this one to be a bit on the dragging side. 
I don't know if that was because it was a tv edit or if the first half was just a bit muddled?  This film was a good 40 minutes into it before it started to pick up and become what I was half way expecting.

There is something about the way Robert Downey Jr manages to deliver his lines in a quick witted sarcastic way with that sparkle and stare, that makes you believe he could play every movie lead on the planet. His timing is bang on in every scene.

what do I think I learned from this film?
Trust no one.  Never let a disability get the better of you if you can.