Monday, December 27, 2010

Top Ten Movies Of 2010 ... Sort Of

It's the end of the year and, obviously, I've taken a long break from writing reviews. There's a reason for that: I got kind of sick of it. I'll be back to it soon; I borrowed Boogeyman and Boogeyman 2 from my brother JustinCase, so as soon as I get around to watching those, I assure you there'll be new reviews. I haven't given up completely; I'm just taking a break so I can watch Leverage. Lots and lots of Leverage. (I considered writing reviews of The Ho Ho Ho Job, The Big Bang Job and The San Lorenzo Job when they aired but, obviously, I didn't follow through. Short version: Of the three, Big Bang Job was my favorite thanks to an insanely awesome and over the top gunfight.)
Back to the matter at hand. The end of the year is the time when movie reviewers make their lists of the Top Ten Movies Of The Year. I had planned to make one of my own, but hit a little snag as I went over the movies I watched this year: I only watched nine that were released in 2010. And unless I get off my ass and go see Tron Legacy or Black Swan in the next four days, that's all I'm gonna see. I watched a boatload of movies this year, but couldn't even bother to see ten new ones. This is what happens when you go through a huge Robert Englund phase, I guess. He's in more older movies than newer ones. (I have to say, I'm really looking forward to Inkubus. I think that's coming out next year.)
Speaking of actors I adore, I think I'm going to have to go on a Bill Moseley kick soon. There was a time where I had actually seen everything he was in. This is no longer the case. I've fallen way behind.
I found out earlier today that Bill Moseley is going to play Charles Manson in a movie called Manson's Girls which also has Thora Birch in it, as well as Monica Keena from Freddy Versus Jason (thus connecting the movie with my recent Robert Englund kick) and Estella Warren from Her Minor Thing (this connecting the movie to my current Christian Kane kick). And, just to make sure no strings go untied, according to IMDB both Bill Moseley and Robert Englund are going to be in a movie called The Gathering, which will be the first movie they've been in together and all I have to say about that is "It's about fucking time!"
I'm also very much looking forward to the release of Good Day For It, which doesn't look like a movie I'd like very much (it kinda looks similar to Red (the dead dog one), which I supremely hated) except it has Robert Englund and Christian Kane in it. And they both play bad guys who are trying to kill Robert Patrick (AKA The T-1000). Awesome.
Now if only Bill Moseley and Christian Kane would be in the same movie...
What does all this have to do with my Top Ten Of 2010 List? Not much, I guess, but it does pretty well sum up what I've been up to all year. I watched Robert Englund movies for the better part of the year and, thanks to Amanda introducing me to Leverage and my subsequent obsession with the show, I've been watching Christian Kane movies over the past few months. That's all the year was for me: Freddy Krueger and Eliot Spencer. And whoever did the casting for Good Day For It had the good sense to put them together in one movie for my fangirly convenience.
And how does Bill Moseley fit into all of this? Because he's cool, too.
So, to make a long story short (too late), here is my Top Ten Favorite Movies Of 2010:

10) A Nightmare On Elm Street - The dream sequences were cool and Jackie Earl Haley made a fine Freddy, but thanks to the absolute uselessnes of Rooney Mara, my overall reaction to the movie was quite negative. It's only on the list because I didn't see ten new movies this year.
9) There is no movie number nine - I would have started with nine, but I'm pretty sure the lack of a tenth movie was actually better than the Elm Street remake, so that one was demoted to ten and nothing takes the number nine spot.
8) 2001 Maniacs: Field Of Screams - Sure, it's fun once the blood starts flowing but the not very funny humor leading up to the carnage that is the last half hour kinda sinks it. Extra points to Bill Moseley for stepping into Robert Englund's eyepatch (???), and to Lin Shaye, who I met at a party in November and was the nicest lady I could've ever hoped she would be. (Which has nothing to do with the movie itself, I guess, but she's just so damn cool!)
7) Red - The Retired and Extremely Dangerous one; the good one. The one that features but does not star Brian Cox. The action packed fun fest. Loved it. I think the only way I could have loved it more would have been if I hadn't seen Machete earlier the same day.
6) Despicable Me - I don't really remember much of Despicable Me, but I know I really enjoyed it. It was fun and silly and the minions were entertaining. The scene where he reads the girls the bedtime story about the three kittens was probably my favorite part, and I'm still going around yelling "It's so fluffy I'm gonna die!" when the situation calls for it.
5) Machete - I realized while watching this movie that I'm a total sucker for Robert Rodriguez's work. I think the only thing he's done that I've seen that I wasn't terribly fond of was Four Rooms, and that was only one quarter his fault. Machete is all action and scantily clad women and more action. And Danny Trejo being a badass.
4) Toy Story 3 - Easily the only Toy Story movie I really like, and it's mainly thanks to Spanish Mode Buzz Lightyear and Ken. Plus, the scenes that ripped my heart out and made me cry were, for lack of a better word, justified. They weren't easily avoidable attacks on my very soul, like that song from Toy Story 2.
3) Inception - Christopher Nolan is, like Robert Rodriguez, one of those directors I'm a fan of without really realizing it. Inception was chock full of neat ideas, I didn't want to punch Ellen Page, I love Joseph Gordon Levitt and Marion Cotillard and, let's be honest, I'll watch anything that revolves around dream sequences (I'm a Nightmare On Elm Street fan whose favorite episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer is Restless).
2) The A Team - Hell yeah! I'm so bummed this movie flopped, 'cause it really is an origin story and I would love to see a sequel. And, now that I think about it, I can see a lot of parallels between this and Leverage (and not just because Hardison occasionally says "I love it when a plan comes together"); it's the formula that I'm obssessed with. I'll love that formula 'til the day I get Alzheimer's and forget what movies and television are.
1) Iron Man 2 - Even if for no other reason than it's the only movie of 2010 I've seen more than once. I suppose I didn't like it as much as the first Iron Man, but that's not saying much. There are a lot of movies I didn't like as much as the first Iron Man. This was an awesome sequel; the only thing wrong with it was Scarlett Johanssen. She's insanely uninteresting to me, almost more flat and boring than Rooney Mara in A Remake On Elm Street, and that causes problems when she's playing someone as fucking cool as Black Widow. That problem aside, though, Iron Man 2 is everything it should be, and the scene where he figures out the secret of the map his dad left him is way more exhilirating than it should be (seeing as it's basically just a guy in a room with a fancy computer).

So, there you go. The Top Ten Movies Of 2010 ... Sort Of ... If You're Me. I hope you've enjoyed this rambly trip down recent memory lane and here's hoping I actually see ten or more new movies in 2011 so this list will actually be a challenge to put together at the end of next year.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Faith No More at the Hollywood Palladium, November 30, 2010

Okay, you know how I'm always saying I'm sick of Epic, I don't care if I never hear Epic again, I've heard Epic way too many times?
I cried when they played Epic. I did. My guess is that it really hammered home for me "This is a Faith No More concert." Something I thought I'd never get to see. I hadn't really started going to shows yet when they broke up and for years and years Mike Patton said he'd never do a reunion.
I'm glad he's a big liar.
(Honestly, though, if they'd reunioned with Chuck Mosley instead, I still would've gone and rocked out. I'm actually kinda bummed he didn't do a guest spot like he did for one of their San Francisco shows.)
There were three downsides to the concert:
1) I never managed to sell my extra ticket. (The sting of which lessened when I realized if one ticket had cost $120 I still would've bought it.)
2) The guy standing to my right would not shut up. He was loud, he was obnoxious, he kept making duck calls and saying stupid things at the top of his voice, I'm pretty sure he thought he was funny and that everybody wanted to hear the dumb shit he had to say, and he seemed to think Mike Patton was the only guy in the band. (I'll admit I'm very much a fan of Mike Patton (I can't help it; I've had a crush on the guy since I was ten and his voice and music fascinate me), but there are four other men on the stage rocking just as hard as he is and they all deserve our love.) The guy's lucky I didn't go all Toki Wartooth on his ass, but that would've ruined the concert as it would have certainly ended in my getting arrested.
3) One of the lights on the stage shone right into my eyes whenever it was on (I was standing on the balcony), making it impossible to see anybody but Roddy Bottum and Mike Bordin. (Which isn't a huge complaint since they're both really entertaining to watch.)
Other than that, everything about the show was amazing and wonderful.
Except (thought of a fourth downside) I didn't like how the audience booed the opening acts (Selene Luna, a guy from the Magic Castle whose name I've forgotten, and the Creepy Creeps). I hate it when people boo.
Selene Luna told my new favorite joke; she was talking about how when people see her they tend to stare (she's about three feet tall) and she said "You know, I understand it's not often your day is enchanted by a little person. So go ahead, take it all in and be on your way. But some people don't know when to stop staring, and those are the people who I want to go up to and say 'No one else can see me. I'm here to help you.'" Cracked me up, she did.
The Creepy Creeps were synthesizery surf music, and I'm assuming, based on the zombie masks, the name of the band and the coffin shaped keyboard stand, their lyrics were probably horror inspired. I couldn't tell a damn word they said, though, so I can't be sure. What I can be sure of is that I liked them. They were very danceable. If I'd had more cash I would've bought one of their albums.
And then there was Faith No More. They fucking rocked. It was everything a Faith No More show should be; they played hits, they played randomass covers, they played a few really good non-hits (Just A Man and Helpless especially blew me away), they were wearing suits (except Mike Bordin).
There was even some inter-band bickering. I couldn't hear what they were saying but at one point in the show Mikes Patton and Bordin seemed to be having a rather intense discussion. It looked like Billy Gould got involved at one point, too. They made up later; I saw Mike Patton say "I'm not mad," but that's as much of the conversation that I managed to lip-read. And by the end of the show they were friends again. That's how it looked to me, anyway. It was fascinating and I don't know if I would've seen it if I'd been standing anywhere else.
People crowd surfed to I Started A Joke. Roddy Bottum and Mike Patton kept asking the audience if we were happy. And Roddy forgot which album Spirit was on. Nobody bothered to bust out the melodica for This Guy's In Love With You so instead he had to whistle.
And from now on, as far as I'm concerned, encore is a French word, and it's a big secret that Roddy let us in on.
I got to go to a Faith No More show. I'm feeling transcendent. I'm walking on the clouds pictured on my beautiful new Faith No More shirt.
I'm a happy, happy sprout butt.

End of line.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Harper's Island

"One by one."
Henry and Trish are getting married on Harper's Island, where they met and grew up together. Six years ago Henry's best friend Abby's mom was killed by a guy named John Wakefield on that island, and she damn near didn't come to the wedding because of it. But arrive she did, and it turns out that was a bad idea because now the wedding party are getting all kinds of killed and all the deaths seem to be Abby-related.
The first few episodes are kind of dull and very soap opera-y. It starts to pick up around episode six or seven, and then around episode eleven or twelve it took another turn and I kind of stopped caring again.
Harper's Island was interesting and entertaining, but it absolutely wasn't what I wanted it to be. There was too much interpersonal drama and soap operainess, not nearly enough murder mystery.
I have to give the show credit, though, in making me care about characters I didn't think I could ever care about. Most of them are snooty rich people but the writers put in the effort to make them human, and I actually cried at a few of the deaths.
The show also gave me really screwed up dreams, which is a total downside. Maybe I shouldn't have watched the whole series in one day.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Thus endeth Movie Lottery: The Revenge. Guess it's time to go buy up a bunch more movies I've never seen. Movie Lottery is becoming a bit of an addiction for me. It's fun. I like the luck of the draw aspect and I like the fact that I picked all the movies so if I really hate one, I have no one to blame but myself.
Except Inside; that one is totally Mark's fault.
And Red is Robert Englund's fault; I never would have given it a second glance if he wasn't in it. I want to see the new movie that's called Red because I guarantee you it'll be a hundred times better than that godawful dead dog movie.
So, yeah, Movie Lottery = Good and as soon as I get a job I'll probably start a new one up.
For now, though, I have to talk about Hide.
I am a sucker for villain protagonists and outlaw love stories. I have no idea what it is about them that draws me to them; maybe it's the fact that I am and forever will be a goodie two shoes that I'm fascinated by badasses and evil fuckers. That would be my guess. At any rate, I love The Devil's Rejects, I love Natural Born Killers and, what do you know, I love Hide.
Once upon a time, Billy and Betty went on a killing spree, which ended in Billy getting arrested. He went to prison for seven years until, while being transferred from one state to another, Betty smashed the prison truck he was in and busted him loose. Now they're going to find the money he stashed and take that trip to Bolivia they were planning when they got caught.
But Billy's not the man Betty remembered. He feels bad now about all the things he did. So he spends a lot of time talking about souls and redemption and his feelings and junk, which annoys Betty.
Then, about two thirds of the way through, Hide's cousin Straight To Video Horror Movie reminds Hide that it totally promised him a job, so Straight To Video Horror Movie takes the rest of the movie on a bizarre left turn.
Good times!
It's not the greatest movie ever made, there's a lot more talk than action and Rachel Miner was almost impossible to understand (I'd bet money her Sourthern accent wasn't real). It entertained me, though, and that's all that really matters as far as this blog is concerned.
I don't have any sort of deep reasoning for it. I just like this kind of movie, that's all.

End of line.


The movie starts out horribly, brutally violent with Lucie getting revenge on people who abused her fifteen years previous. Then the second act takes a turn for the weird. Then the audience (or me, at least) figured out where the movie decided it was going to go and the (what felt like) hour it took to get there was mostly tedious and dull.
I don't think it was intended to be tedious and dull. I think it was meant to be harrowing. It just didn't do anything like that for me. I wanted it to get where it was going. It did eventually pick up again and wander back into somewhat interesting territory. It just took the scenic route through Okay I Get Itville.
Martyrs is the other movie Mark gave me and, after Inside, I was expecting another impossible to watch cryfest. It wasn't, not for me at least. The beginning is hard to watch but it was the most interesting part of the movie. The turn for the weird really ground everything to a halt as far as I'm concerned. Action stopped and some lady did a lot of talking. And then we took the trip into I Know Where This Is Goingland.
Honestly, it could've stopped at the end of act one (act two? I'm not sure how many acts movies have). It would've, for me at least, been a far more interesting movie. The title wouldn't have made any sense, but I would have been rivited through the whole thing.

End of line.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Donner Party

Oh, Movie Lottery, how do you magically pick double feature themes for me?
Today's theme: Crispin Glover.
In the eighteen hundreds a big ol' group of people decided to cross the mountains from Nevada into California. But there was an uncommonly wintery winter that winter, the group got lost and most of them didn't survive. Cannibalism rumours abound.
And here's a movie about that. It starts after they've all been lost for a while, some stuff happens and then it ends before the few survivors are saved.
I really hope that fifth grade teachers show this movie to their classes after they do a unit on the Donner Party. I feel like that's exactly what this movie was made for (it's rated R, but other than a couple of brief head wounds and the pukey implications of eating another person (which you've already dealt with in class if you're any sort of a decent teacher at all), I don't know why it got such a harsh rating). I felt like I should have been watching it in a darkened classroom, only half paying attention and drawing band names on my arms (which I did a lot in fifth grade).
Just out of curiosity, this movie inspired a What Would You Do? question in me:
You're a member of the Donner Party. A group of three men (they tried but failed to put together a larger search party; thanks a lot, war with Mexico) has come to rescue you, one of whom dies upon walking in the door of your makeshift cabin. One of the remaining two doesn't speak English. The third man tells you there's a stockpile of food three days away. So your group follows the two surviving rescuers. But the one who speaks English is dying of ... I don't know, being sick in the eighteen hundreds. After five days you ask him why you haven't reached the stockpile of food and he tells you he lied. There is no food, it was just the only way he could get you out of the camp and, hopefully, safely to California. Then he croaks. Your party is completely out of rations (not counting the rations one party member stole for himself and hid in his backpack). Would you:
A) eat the guy who lied to you and is already dead?
B) draw sticks to see which of your surviving companions you're going to shoot in the head so you can eat him?
I say eat the guy who's already dead. It's a lot less murderous, seeing how he died of natural causes and all. The people in the movie chose Option B. One of them even mentioned how they were all going to go to Hell for it. I cannot figure out why they didn't just eat the dead dude who lied to them.
Or, rather than draw sticks, just kill William Eddy. He stole rations from the rest of the group to keep himself alive. I got the feeling the audience was supposed to be on his side, since the movie began and ended with him, but he was my least favorite character. He was a theif and an asshole and he bossed his wife around, which does not sit well with me.
Sure, Crispin Glover's character went all Shannon Wilson Bell all over everybody's asses (if you don't get that reference, watch Cannibal! The Musical, which is a far more entertaining cannibal movie than this classroom movie day "at least it's better than doing work" thing), but at least he treated his wife with respect. He didn't treat anybody else with respect but what can you do, really?
Actually, the main problem with this movie is that it begins when it does. When the audience meets these people, they're all already at their worst. You can't care about them if you don't meet their good sides first. If the movie had started earlier the audience could decide who they liked and who they didn't and we'd have someone to stand by as they all started to unravel. In this case I was rooting for Christian Kane, Crispin Glover and Mark Boone Jr. because I like the actors and not necessarily the charactets.
Also, the guy who played William Eddy looked almost exactly like the guy who played Mark Boone Jr.'s son in law. I spent half the movie being confused why Eddy had two different wives, only one of whom he allowed to leave the campground. Took for flippin' ever to realize it was two different guys.
It got a lot less confusing after I figured that out.
One more thing: Why didn't anybody bother to put on their snowshoes? They're all struggling through the snow with snowshoes strapped to their backs but nobody ever bothers to wear the damn things!
Was the real Donner Party that stupid?

End of line.


Once (twice, actually; this is a remake) there was a guy named Willard who had rats in his basement, a terrifying gargoyle woman for a mother and the drill sergeant from Full Metal Jacket for a boss. His life sucked until he figured out he could make his basement rats do whatever he wanted. Then his life still sucked, but he had rat minions.
Now, I know when you have about a bajillion rats doing your bidding, you're not going to know all of them by name. The problem with Willard is, he only likes white rats, of which there is only one in his house. That rat's name is Socrates and Willard loves him. There's also a bigass brown rat named Ben who Willard hates because ... I don't know why. 'Cause he's really big, I guess.
Willard's kind of an asshole but he's the only protagonist we've got.
I kind of liked the movie. I liked bits and pieces of it. It started out good and there was a pretty satisfying revenge scene. I liked the fact that Willard's dad was played by pictures of Senator Mutant Hater (Bruce Davidson, who played Willard in the original movie).
I hated the way Willard treated Ben, which took up most of the movie, and I really hated the scene with the cat. It was completely unnecessary, it had nothing to do with the plot and it was, if you're me, genuinely upsetting. I think it was intended to be dark humor but it wasn't funny. It made me cry.
So the movie was kinda meh. Which is too bad because I remember the previews looking really cool.
Oh, and I'm confused because it had the American Humane Association's "No animals were harmed" seal on the end credits (hooray!) but there are several scenes when Willard picks Ben up by his tail which is, as I learned back when I was first reading up on pet rats, something you never ever do. What the hell, American Humane Association? Were you having a smoke break when they filmed those scenes or was that a pretend rat?
Actually, I think Ben was the best actor in the movie. He had a way of sort of narrowing one eye that really made it look like he was glaring at Crispin Glover. It was pretty cool.

End of line.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sorority Row

How come moviemakers think the only way audiences will know a character is "the smart one" is if you make her a crybaby and put her in Eliot Spencer's nerd glasses? Most of the smart people I know aren't crybabies and wear less obvious styles of glasses (if they wear glasses at all).
I'm pretty sure Sorority Row is a remake of House On Sorority Row, which I never saw. I want to now, though, to compare them. Anybody out there got a copy they'd like to loan me?
In this movie, six girls in the Theta Pi sorority decide to play a prank on one of the girls' cheating boyfriend (who is the brother of one of the other girls). However, they don't really plan the prank, which involves the cheated-on pretending to be dead. So nobody really thinks it through when they drive out to an abandoned field and "look for sharp objects to dismember the body." And nobody expects the boyfriend to stab her through the chest with a tire iron. Well, that's what you get for being stupid.
At the end of the school year, the Theta Pi sorority house throws a graduation party and people start getting brutally killed. Well, that's what you get for being stupid.
The best thing about movies like Sorority Row is the characters are all outwardly horrible, and that way the audience isn't sad to see anybody go. I openly cheered a few deaths (and at least one of them was pretty funny).
I wasn't happy with who the killer turned out to be, but I can't think of any character I would have preferred as the killer, so I guess that's a pretty minor complaint.
The only other real problem with the movie is a lot of the characters looked ridiculously similar to me, to the point where there were some scenes where I wasn't actually sure who was involved.
Oh well. You know what makes up for that, though? Cursing, shotgun toting Carrie Fisher.

End of line.

Monday, October 11, 2010


This movie didn't have enough going on for me to have a cohesive reaction to it. For such a short movie, it was awfully slow moving. Mostly it's about a guy and his son killing the people who are trying to kick them off their old abandoned slaughterhouse property. But they also kill a bunch of teenagers because it was the '80s.
Here are my thoughts in no particular order:

1) Why does Buddy only speak in pig-esque noises when his dad speaks to him in perfect English, which Buddy clearly understands?
2) While it was cool that there was a character named Sally Jean (she's named like my name!) she was too dumb to live. "Oh no, I'm being attacked! I'll climb back in my car, roll up the windows, lock the doors and then, rather than drive away like any logical person would do, I'll cower and scream until he smashes my windshield. Then I'll get back out and run so he's guaranteed to catch me."
3) All the dead animals (pigs especially) in this movie made me a little nauseous. I didn't watch the opening credits sequence 'cause I could tell what was coming (for a clue, see the name of the movie). I don't want to watch pigs getting killed. Just 'cause I eat bacon doesn't mean I need to see the process used to harvest it.
4) And how come Buddy's dad could understand Buddy's odd grunting language? They had the weirdest conversations.
5) I want to know if Rob Zombie's seen this one, 'cause the part when Buddy puts on the deputy's bloody shirt and drives around in the cop car with the siren blaring was straight out of House Of 1000 Corpses (only backwards, 'cause this movie was first). Also, similar endings. Hmmmm. (I like House Of 1000 Corpses much better.)

End of line.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer

Really, Movie Lottery? After the hell you put me through with Inside you couldn't give me The Ghost And Mister Chicken? Seriously?
Actually, I guess it's a testament to how fucked up Inside is that Henry barely affected me.
The thing I noticed most about Henry: Portait Of A Serial Killer is that I personally wouldn't categorize it as a horror movie. It's a meandering, almost plotless but quite violent and disturbing drama. It's a Weird Movie About People that happens to be Based On True Events. The true events being the doings of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas. Oh joy.
You know what? I feel bad for Michael Rooker. I've never ever seen him play a nice man. Not once. I'll bet he's perfectly pleasant in real life, but he never gets to play anything other than serial killers and asshole dads and corrupt cops. And maybe that's fun for him, but it tends to make audiences hate him.
Anyway, as for a review of the movie itself, I don't know. Overall it was, to me at least, a Weird Movie About People, which is one of my least favorite genres ever. They're always depressing and plotless, and Henry is not an exception. It's the least exceptiony it could be.
I don't understand why I like, for instance, Natural Born Killers but not this movie. They're both full of senseless attacks on people who probably don't deserve it. Maybe it's a style thing. This one just isn't my cup of tea. Didn't sit right with me. No bueno.
It is, however, a pretty well respected movie in the horror realm, and I can see why that is. It's certainly disturbing. I once read a story (whether or not it's true I do not know) that Michael Rooker was running late to a screening of Henry and, on his way in, literally ran into a woman who was running away from the movie. She looked up at him and started screaming. I hope it is true, 'cause it's a good story and it pretty well sums up what the goal of the movie is.
I do kinda feel bad for the lady in the story, though. I'd be scared, too, if I ran into Michael Rooker in my attempt to escape him. That's like the world's scariest Looney Toons gag.

End of line.

Friday, October 8, 2010


Remember how I said Dimension Extreme is good to go to for "entertaining horror movies for a rainy, unemployed afternoon?" Sometimes that's not true. Sometimes they're also good for "brutal French movies that make you wonder why you're alive."
Funnily enough, there was a preview for Inside on Steel Trap, to which my reaction was "Oh, hell no; I'm never watching that." I wasn't thinking about the fact that it was one of the movies my mom's friend Mark had given me and was waiting patiently for me in the Movie Lottery Box.
I should point out that there are two kinds of horror movies I don't do well with:
1) Ones about babies or pregnancy (Even A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child upset me; I'm a wuss when it comes to baby horror; there's a reason I've never seen It's Alive or Grace)
2) Ones about being trapped and helpless in a house (I'll point out again that The Collector terrified me, as did Them and The Strangers. Hell, the first time I saw House Of 1000 Corpses I was a bit of a wreck; just an enthusastic wreck)
Inside is both of those.
Four months after the car crash that killed her husband, nine-months-pregnant Sarah is attacked in her home by a crazy woman. Sarah locks herself in the bathroom. Lots of people die.
The movie is extremely bloody and extremely serious. By halfway through (probably even before that, actually) I was curled in a ball, crying and sobbing, smacking myself in the head and wishing it was over so I wouldn't have to be watching it anymore. I do not leave movies unfinished unless they're terrible.
Which Inside wasn't. It was smart, it was scary, it was gruesome, it was well acted, it was well made. Nothing about it was a bad movie. But, oh, it is so not my kind of movie. I don't have the emotional stamina to ever watch it again.
The main thing that got to me, though, was that they kept showing CGI shots of the unborn baby reacting to the attacks on its mother. It seemed like every time the tears started to dry up they'd show one of those and I'd lose it again. The movie's hard enough to watch, you know? Actually seeing the baby, even if it is a cartoon, just makes it a thousand times worse.
We all know I'm not really into serious horror because it either bores me or completely drains me, and Inside definitely falls into the latter. I can't say it was bad. I can't say I don't recommend it. I recommend it with a disclaimer, but it's worth watching if you have the emotional stamina to deal with it.
Basically, I recommend it to people who are stronger than I am.

End of line.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Steel Trap

Five people at a New Years party on the top floor of an abandoned building receive text messages telling them to join the "real party" on a different floor. Unrealistically (honestly, if you got a text message from a number you didn't know saying "come join the real party downstairs," would you go?) all five of them and two tagalongs actually go, which turns out to be a very bad idea. "Real party" is code for "series of traps that will kill your asses."
Steel Trap was released by Dimension Extreme, which is a reliable label for horror movies that are entertaining and a good way to spend a rainy, unemployed afternoon. They're not brilliant or life changing, but they're always worth the rental fees (or, in this case, the five dollars you pay for it at a video store that's closing).
I happen to like "series of traps" movies. Obviously, seeing as I'm a Saw fan and all. And The Collector actually made me afraid of the dark again (and to all those people who complained that it was a Saw rip off, I have ten words: boo hoo for you; I didn't see it that way). Steel Trap was not nearly as effective as The Collector or any of the Saw movies (...well, maybe Saw V) but I enjoyed it. I even cared if any of the people made it out alive, which is amazing considering there wasn't one damn likeable person in the group.
The acting was average, the dialogue was weird (I don't know how to describe it other than that; it was stilted and obvious and sounded like real conversations and arguments but only if you overlook the fact that nobody talks the way these people did) and every character was just awful. And it kind of fell apart near the end.
But the movie was well made enough that I rather enjoyed it. I'm glad I saw it and I'd probably even recommend it to people if they asked. It's not exactly a glowing review. It's like a glow stick review. It's fun for a while but only really worth it if you don't think about it too hard. (I like glow sticks, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get one, you know?)

End of line.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Phantom Of The Opera

Once upon a time, Claude Rains thought a publisher was trying to steal a concerto he wrote. So, like any rational person would, he killed the guy. The dead guy's wife grabbed a convenient nearby cake pan that had some green water in it and threw it in Claude Rains's face, horribly scarring him.
Then some people sang for way too long.
Okay, I know I'm very shaky on the story of The Phantom Of The Opera, but I think this movie followed it even less than the Robert Englund one does. Mainly because, this one doesn't really have a story. It has extended opera sequences.
It's a very 1943 kind of movie. The drama is melo, the color is techni, the music is boring (non-musicals that focused on music were not great back then) the women's voices are all so shrill only dogs can hear them and the two guys (other than the Phantom) vying for Christine's affections look exactly the same so it doesn't matter who you're rooting for.
The two guys both liking Christine was supposed to be the comic relief, them both always being around and speaking at the same time, and Christine never choosing between either of them because in this version Christine's entirely self absorbed.
Seriously, did nobody teach this woman humility at all? Every time her maid tells her how wonderful she sounded that night (gag) Christine's response is "I was good, wasn't I?" Gag me with a spoon (I'm bringing that one back, I've decided)! That is not the proper response to a compliment, lady.
P.S. Isn't everything I do fantastic? (Eyeroll.)

End of line.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Dark Half

On the other end of the spectrum, there's one of George Romero's "lesser" works, which I enjoyed quite a lot. I mean, it wasn't absolutely brilliant and I probably thought it was funnier than the filmmakers intended, but since when is that a bad thing? (I guess if I thought, like, Schindler's List was funny, that'd be a bad thing. Luckily, I'm not reviewing Schindler's List. Ever.)
The movie starts with a kid named Thadeus Beaumont (now that's a name) having terrible fits and headaches, and has to have an absorbed twin removed from his brain. Thad grows up to be an author (played by Academy Award Winner Timothy Hutton) who releases novels nobody reads under his own name and, secretly, trashy detective stories under the name George Stark. When a guy threatens to blackmail Thadeus, ol' Thad decides to go public about his pseudonym and "kill off" George Stark. Georgie (played by Large Ham Timothy Hutton) doesn't take too kindly to being dead, though, and crawls out of the ground to exact his revenge.
For someone who has a hard time getting through even Stephen King's short stories, I love movies based on his work. I think it might be that I love his ideas but have a hard time with his writing style. Off the top of my head, The Shining is the only King movie adaptation that I didn't like (I have a hard time with Kubrick's directing style, so King + Kubrick = "ugh, nevermind"). So, knowing I have a soft spot for Stephen King movies, it was almost a given I was going to like The Dark Half (even though I think Dark Half may have been written by George Stark ... I mean, Richard Bachman).
It's also no secret that I'm a big fan of over the top acting, so Hutton's Stark was my very favorite part of the movie. He may as well be wearing a neon sign that says "Villain;" he's dressed in all black and has weird greaser hair and cuts people with a razor blade. And he has the best line in the movie:

GEORGE STARK: Murder. You want some?

That is brilliantly, ridiculously, hilariously evil, my friends. And I love it.
As with most King adaptations, there were some things I didn't get (Why sparrows? Why did George develop zombieism? ... Actually, I think they explained why George Stark appeared to be melting and I just missed it; sometimes the dialogue got a little quiet) but that's okay. I had fun watching The Dark Half and that's all that matters.

End of line.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Kung Fu Panda

Po is a panda who wants to be one of the Furious Five, a group of kung fu masters. But he's big and clumsy and set to inherit his dad's noodle shop. But then he accidentally ("There are no accidents") gets chosen to become the Dragon Warrior. Which would be awesome, but the Furious Five and their master all hate him for being big and clumsy and not a member of the Furious Five.
Meanwhile, a leopard who the master had trained back in the day who thinks he should be the Dragon Warrior is escaping from jail to reclaim his status and probably kill a bunch of people 'cause he's a villain like that.
I really liked Kung Fu Panda. It's one of those "work hard and follow your dreams and you can do anything" movies. It was entertaining and most of the characters were completely loveable. Even the leopard; he's a good villain. Big and menacing and the type of guy who doesn't think twice about killing a thousand rhinosceri.
Heck, I can't think of a character that I didnt' like.
Except Tigeress. I'm not sure why the audience is supposed to be on her side but not the leopard's; I saw pretty much no difference between the two of them. She just threw a smaller tantrum when she didn't get picked to be Dragon Warrior. But both of them had that "it was supposed to be me" attitude and I don't believe for a second that she ever stopped believing it. Add that onto the fact that I never like self proclaimed leaders (I've always despised Leonardo and the Red Ranger, too) and you've got a character that I'm guaranteed to hate.
Other than her, though, the movie was great. I absolutely loved Po's dad, a manic, optimistic goose. He's one of those characters who you just want to hug all the time.
The most brilliant thing, though, is this movie understands the superhuman abilities a person can achieve when they need cookies. The needs of the sweet tooth outweigh the needs of the full. Or something.
You know how when Julie And Julia came out everyone talked about how it was food porn and the whole movie makes you really hungry? And then there's only a lot of food near the beginning and the whole movie mostly makes you want to smack Julie Powell for being a self centered twat? ... Wait, what was my point?
Oh yeah, food porn! Kung Fu Panda is food porn. By the end of this movie I was craving noodles and miso soup and dumplings and almond cookies like nobody's business. In fact, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.
Why does food in cartoons always look so delicious?

End of line.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Alphabet Killer

It's official. I've seen too many movies and studied too many video boxes. I figured out who the killer was before I even opened the DVD case, based solely on the list of actors on the front of the box. It's depressing is what it is!
There's an episode of The IT Crowd where Roy really wants to watch a movie but doesn't want to know anything about its twist ending but things keep thwarting him. At one point he tries to watch the movie with Douglas, who sits there trying to guess what the twist is.
I, for all intents and purposes, am Roy. I just want to watch and enjoy my movies, that's all. The problem is, a conflicting part of my brain is Douglas, constantly trying to figure out the twists. I would really like that part of my brain to shut up sometimes.
Thanks to Buffy The Vampire Slayer, I have a pretty hard time buying Eliza Dushku as a police officer. I have no trouble, however, buying her as a complete nutball. Her character has a nervous breakdown trying to solve a murder (that's not a spoiler, that's the setup for the movie).
The Alphabet Killer was pretty good but, considering the course of events, I'm not sure if I buy very much of the "based on a true story" angle.

End of line.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Final Destination

When you've got almost nothing but horror movies left in Movie Lottery: The Revenge (I think there's only one non-horror left in the bunch) and you're pretty sure most of them are humorless, it's probably not the best idea to watch one of them when you woke up depressed and the day isn't doing you any favors. That's probably a good time to put on The Emperor's New Groove or Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure. Something fun. Something happy.
But, feeling it's your duty (and you skipped a day or so anyway) you pull a slip of paper and watch what the Movie Lottery has bestowed: Final Destination.
Should've gone for Bill And Ted.
Let's just say it didn't improve my mood. That's not to say Final Destination is a bad movie. It just doesn't help when you're already down. It's too serious.
Devon Sawa plays a kid who has a vision of the airplane his class is taking to France exploding. So he freaks out, screaming that the plane's going to crash and they have to get out. Security tries to remove him, he says "Fuck that, I'll remove myself!" (I loved that line) and one of his classmates starts a fight with him. So Devon Sawa, Captain Pickafight, Pickafight's girlfriend, Sawa's best friend, a late arriving passenger, a teacher and a random girl who believes Devon Sawa all get off the plane, which explodes.
And when Death figures out that it missed a few, it gets pissed.
For the most part I really liked the movie; the premise was interesting and the action scenes were cool. It just wasn't the right movie for my mood; there's a lot of focus on people mourning and really reacting to the deaths that are happening around them. It's depressing.
Also, there's a whole lot of "nobody believes the one person who knows the truth" in the plot, which is something I always hate. It makes me tense. It also makes sense that nobody believes this guy, mainly because Devon Sawa's character does and says a lot of stuff that makes him look crazy or guilty or crazily guilty.
I have to say, I like Devon Sawa. I didn't back when I was in junior high and he was considered dreamy (he's not my type) but now that I've actually seen him in stuff (he's great in Idle Hands) I think he's a good actor and wonder why I haven't seen him in anything lately. Where did he go?
What really bugs me, though, is why did Captain Pickafight pick that fight? I mean, Devon Sawa was already being escorted off the plane. He didn't do or say anything to Captain Pickafight directly, his freakout had absolutely nothing to do with Captain Pickafight. Did the scriptwriters just decide one of the survivors needed to be a total asshole who you wanted to see get killed? There's no reason for it; the guy doesn't start throwing punches until after Devon Sawa has already decided to get off the plane. If he'd just stayed in his seat he could've blown up with everybody else and not spent the whole movie being an angry dickhead.
I'm just saying.

End of line.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Babysitter Wanted

Angie is a good little Catholic girl who has just moved away to college, where she acquires a doesn't-serve-the-plot-in-any-way bitchy roommate, a good little Catholic boyfriend, a job as a babysitter and a creepy stalker.
This is probably the best "babysitter in peril" movie I've ever seen. It's tense, it's creepy, it takes its sweet time but never strays into Boringville.
There were some plot points I knew about before I watched it (I saw a panel about it at Weekend Of Horrors last year and they had to tell some plot points to show the scenes they wanted to show) but that didn't detract from the movie at all. I was still on the edge of my seat, as they say (it was more like cowering in a corner of the couch).
And it's always nice to see Bill Moseley playing a good guy. I heart that man.

End of line.

Return Of The Living Dead 3

While my brother JustinCase is dealing with the misery that is Faces Of Death (I could never accomplish his Video Nasties quest, and Faces Of Death is one of the main reasons for that) I'm slogging through a misery of my own: Return Of The Living Dead 3.
The movie is ripe for drinking game status: Drink every time the lead character does something stupid. It's a good thing I didn't try that, though; I'd have the world's worst hangover right now.
Our lead characters are Curt (the stupid one) and his girlfriend Julie (who's not stupid so much as she is irritating). They sneak into a top secret military testing facility (drink!) and watch as the government tests some Trioxin (the zombie-making chemical from the first two movies) on a dead dude, who they then shoot with a zombie-tranquilizer. Curt and Julie go home and Curt has an argument with his dad and then runs away from home (drink!). He nearly runs his motorcycle in front of an eighteen wheeler (drink!), getting himself all scratched up and killing Julie. What's a whiny teenage boy to do? Sneak back into the military testing facility (drink!) and douse Julie in Trioxin (drink!), then act like everything's going to be the same as it was before she fucking died and continue to run away to Seattle (drink!).
There. Twenty minutes in and you're already hammered. And we've got a long way to go from here.
Eventually, the military's out to get them, some street thugs are out to get them, they take advantage of the hospitality of the one likeable character, a homeless guy named the River Man, to whom Curt conveniently doesn't mention that his girlfriend is undead.
Some people get bitten but there's almost no zombie action at all 'til damn near the very end of the movie.
Most of the movie is teenage angst: Curt trying to make everything the same as it was before and Julie whining about the pain and the hunger and her lot in unlife. First of all, if all being a zombie does is make you hungry and achey, then I'm a goddamn zombie. Second of all, stop bitching and moaning! This is supposed to be a zombie movie!
Not only is it supposed to be a zombie movie, it's supposed to be a Return Of The Living Dead movie. The first Return... is considered a punk rock zombie movie. It's simultaneous dumb fun and "we're all doomed" nihilism and it's the reason cartoons always have zombies saying "Brains!" (To be honest, I wasn't really a fan, but it was better than this nonsense.)
The second Return... is more mainstream, but still a hell of a lot of fun.
This movie isn't any of those things. It's annoying. It's overlong and it's dull and it takes too much time to get to the ending where the zombies show up. By then you don't care anyway, you just want it to be over.

End of line.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Friday The 13th

Second on the low-on-plot, high-on-carnage double feature I watched last night (I love it when Movie Lottery picks a theme for me), we have Jason Voorhees 2.0.
Some guy is looking for his sister who went missing and a bunch of assface fratboys and their dumbshit girlfriends are staying at a fancyass summer house, which happens to be in the same general area. When the assfaceiest of the fratboys becomes too much of an assface, the least dumbshit of the girls goes off with the sister seeker to help him out. Meanwhile, Jason is stalking through the shadows killing everything that talks, most of whom deserve it.
Again, there isn't a whole lot of plot. There's some gratuitous sex and nudity (why did that chick take her top off to go water skiing? Because she could), there's some drug use, there's even some dialogue scenes, but the main point of the movie is Jason stalking through the woods and slaughtering everyone. Which he does with gusto. And it's awesome.
It was weird how much this had in common with Field Of Screams, actually. It had a little more plot, and some of the machete fodder were actually kind of likeable (to make up for that they had the Assfaceiest Fratboy, upon whom I would have wished a slow and prolonged death even if he weren't in a slasher movie), and it definitely wasn't a comedy. But it had the same setup:
"Here are the basic plot points you need to know. Good, that's out of the way. Now start the killing machine!"
Good times.

End of line.

2001 Maniacs: Field Of Screams

The vengeful ghost residents of Pleasant Valley have just been told they can't hold their Guts 'N Glory Jamboree anymore because the cop they've been bribing is being investigated by the FBI. So they kill his ass and then take to the road and settle in Iowa, where they hijack the crew of a parody of The Simple Life.
And that's about it for plot. There really isn't one. 2001 Maniacs didn't really have a plot, either. So it's not really a problem. The problem I have with this (and the first) movie are how long it takes to really start getting to the carnage. There's a couple of kills early in the movie, but then there's a lot of talk and "character development" and gratuitous sex. Which is fine, but there's too much of it. I came here for carnage, damn it!
Oh well, once the blood really starts flowing it's relentless and I love that.
Field Of Screams is less cohesive than its predecessor and there was one Big Lipped Alligator Moment that just bugged me: Where do spirits from the Civil War get references to 1980s pop culture? There's a part where Granny Boone and three other Pleasant Valley residents put on tights and ripped sweatshirts and do a Flashdance dance while Granny Boone sings a song about being cannibals to the tune of Maniac. Nope. I ain't buying it. Sure, the whole movie's pretty dopey, but that one's just too stupid. It serves no purpose and it isn't as funny as it's supposed to be.
Bill Moseley did a fine job taking over for Robert Englund. I'm still anxiously awaiting the day they're actually in a movie together (this was supposed to be it, but Robert Englund had to drop out) but until then I'll have to settle for seeing them both play the same part. Much as I love Bill Moseley, I wasn't completely convinced he'd work as Mayor Buckman. I was wrong; he brought his glorious hamminess and nobody else could deliver the line "Hey two eyes; suck my Dixie!" with such panache.
I also love Lin Shaye in everything I see her in and, Flashdance sequence aside, she's totally awesome in this. Kevin "Nivek Ogre" Ogilvie was also a lot of fun, even though Doc Harper was pretty much just Pavi again, only without the accent and stolen face. No worries, though. We all love The Pavi.
As for the "good guys," I hated them all. I love it when you don't feel sorry to see any of them go. Every single crew member of The Simple Parody (I can't remember what they actually called the show) was disgusting and awful; the only two who I didn't mind were Rome and Tina Sheraton, the Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie knockoffs; they had no real personality traits other than being kind of dumb. The rest of them, though, were fucking awful, and it just made all the waiting for the killing to really start all the more annoying.
So it's a little slow and a lot plotless, but who cares? It's fun!

End of line.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History

Before I talk about the book, I just want to say I'm really tired of defending new episodes of The Simpsons to people who bitch about them. Here is my stance:
All shows evolve. They have to. The Simpsons has been on for more than twenty years; if it were exactly the same as it was in its "golden age" people would complain that it hadn't changed, that it had become stagnant. So, yes, The Simpsons is different than it used to be. Yes, the humor is not the same style it once was. Whether anybody believes me or not, that is in the show's favor. And if I'm the only person who still thinks it's funny, so be it.
Author John Ortved doesn't think The Simpsons is funny anymore. And he's allowed to think that. One of the problems I have with this book, though, is he won't quit fucking harping on new seasons. He also uses the show's drop in ratings as "proof" that it's not funny anymore. If that were true, then I could use the same argument to "prove" that the years he kept referring to as the "golden age" weren't funny, either, because they occured after the whole "Bartmania" thing. I'm sure when The Simpsons wasn't the hugest fad around anymore, the ratings dropped. So there.
A lot of the book focused on the business behind the show and who on staff hated who else on staff. In other words, crap I don't give a fuck about.
He talked a lot about how people got mad and thought Matt Groening took more credit for The Simpsons than he rightfully should have. Admittedly, I've had similar thoughts for years. However, I also like Matt Groening and I think his biggest job on The Simpsons is "take credit guy." Yes, the entire staff deserves respect, but the general public likes to have one person that they can associate with a TV show or whatever. That's why so many bands have "the face." Yes, Aerosmith is very famous, but most people know them as Stephen Tyler and some other dudes. It's just how things go sometimes. And I happen to like Matt Groening, I think he's a cool guy (not like I know him; I just think he seems like a nice guy), so when the book decided to go on and on about "he took way too much credit and people got pissed off" I got defensive.
I actually got defensive whenever I felt like they had started picking on someone, which happened a lot, especially in the earlier chapters. Regardless of whether I even knew who they were talking about, I'd be on their side if I felt like they were being attacked.
I'm not even going to address my distaste for the chapters about business, other than to say they pretty much went straight over my head and they bored me.
I completely disagree with the book that South Park and Family Guy "have more laughs per episode" than new episodes of The Simpsons. I do like Family Guy and I used to be a huge South Park fan but I don't like them as much as The Simpsons.
The thing about South Park is it's gotten preachier than preachy. There was always a moral at the end of the episode but the recent episodes I've seen are nothing but moral and, as far as I'm concerned, they've given up on the "being funny" aspect of the show to focus entirely on "ramming a message down your throat." I'm sad that South Park has gone that direction but, like I was saying earlier, every show has to evolve and that was the path they took. Not to my taste, but I know people are still watching it, so good for them.
In the book Matt Stone is quoted as saying "...The Simpsons doesn't ever promise to do anything more than make you laugh. There's social satire in it, social commentary, deeper themes in it, but what's great about The Simpsons is it says up front, 'All we're gonna do is make you laugh.' That's a purely noble cause, I think." Then why don't you try it yourself sometime, Matt?
Family Guy is a pretty good show, but I kind of stopped watching after ... I don't even remember what episodes they were. In one of them the Griffins are driving somewhere and they all start singing The Rose. And that's the gag. They all sing The Rose in its entirity. Never mind the fact that that's not funny and The Rose is, in my opinion, not a fucking dull song. They stop the entire episode dead for almost five minutes to sing a boring song.
And then! There was another episode that involved Mister Herbert, the pedophile up the street (he's a semi-regular character who I happen to fucking hate), also stops the show dead in its tracks to sing a pre-existing song in its entirity. But to add insult to injury, he doesn't sing a song I think is boring. He sings Somewhere That's Green. My favorite song from Little Shop Of Horrors (we all know how I feel about Little Shop); my karaoke standby song. It was horrifying. It actually made me feel ill and depressed and it's probably the main reason I stopped watching Family Guy on a regular basis. Maybe it's a petty and childish reaction, but I don't care. I felt like Family Guy was going downhill for a while at that point, and that moment just sealed it for me.
Because when Family Guy first came back after being cancelled, it was really good. For a while. Those were some of the best episodes I've seen. But after maybe one and a half seasons I felt like the writers somehow got lazy while, at the same time, they were trying way too hard. Almost every joke tried to be over the top offensive because "Well, we were uncancelled, we can do whatever we want. We don't have to try anymore because if you cancel us again, fans will bitch and moan until you bring us back again. So we'll be, in turns, disgusting, offensive and boring and there's nothing you can do about it."
I will say I liked what Seth MacFarlane had to say in the book. He acknowledged that his show and The Simpsons make fun of each other a lot, but he thinks that, while it can get mean spirited, it's all in good fun and doesn't really stick. My first reaction was sarcasm. "Oh yeah, that scene where Quagmire sleeps with Marge and then kills the entire family (Maggie included; it's off screen, but it's still really disturbing), that was all in good fun." If you ignore that one instance, though (they never showed that scene in prime time; Adult Swim shows it), he's probably right. And there's a big, long, quote from him somewhere in the book that I really liked, but I'm too lazy to quote it myself. It begins on page two hundred eighty seven and continues onto the next page.
And, anyway, this review was supposed to be of an unauthorized history of The Simpsons, not a couple of other animated series.
There were parts of the book I liked. The chapter about guest voices was interesting and I really liked the chapter dedicated to Conan O'Brien. (Golly, I wonder why?) There was also a chapter about a couple of other writers, George Meyer and John Schwartzwelder, that was also really cool to read. And one of the quotes in that chapter actually, for lack of a better word, name dropped one of my favorite moments of The Simpsons, which Schwartzwelder wrote:
In the Whacking Day episode, Homer sets up event parking on his lawn, with a sign that says "Parking: $10 per axle." A car drives up that's like a combination limo and sports car, with, like, a bajillion axles. Homer, as he is wont to do, yells "Woo hoo!" and the man driving the car yells "Hooray!" It's charming and it's absurd. It's cracks me up every time.
So there were good spots of the book. And I feel like the people quoted in the book who worked on The Simpsons and who lament that it's not what it once was, they have every right to complain.
I guess the author has every right to complain, too, if he doesn't like the newer seasons. I just wish he hadn't made that opinion so blatantly obvious throughout the course of the book.
I've saved my biggest complaint for last: John Ortved doesn't know what he's talking about.
I'm not kidding, the book is filled with little mistakes that the majority of Simpsons fans wouldn't make.
On page six he claims that "Maggie killed a man." No she didn't. Maggie shot a man. Mr. Burns is still alive.
On page two hundred sixty nine he claims that, in the episode about gay marriage, Marge's sister Selma comes out of the closet. No she doesn't. Marge's sister Patty comes out of the closet. What Selma does in the gay marriage episode is get an annulment from Disco Stu.
I think the most egregious error, though, is scattered throughout the book. John Ortved does not know Smithers's first name. Every time he's mentioned in the book (even when calling him Smithers would've been more appropriate since that's the name he generally goes by) Ortved refers to Smithers as "Wayland."
Smithers's first name is Waylon. Waylon Smithers.
Wayland isn't a name! It's an amusement park for people with no direction in their lives.
Should people really trust a guy who, when writing a book about The Simpsons, couldn't bothered to do thirty seconds of research to learn how to spell Waylon?

End of line.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Little Shop Of Horrors alternate ending

Ye be warned, here there be all kinds of spoilers.

Those of you who know me know I am prone to obsession. Thankfully, never to the point of stalking or other illegal behavior, but obsession nonetheless. I devour information like delicious, nutritious candy bars. And one of my obsessions is Little Shop Of Horrors.
The original 1960 Roger Corman film was written in two weeks and filmed in two days on the sets of another movie for no greater reason than to prove that he could. It was a very silly movie, best known for being Jack Nicholson's first (it's hard to find a copy that doesn't mention that; he's even all over the cover art of a lot of copies. He's in one scene) and for being the basis of the stage musical of the same name.
In 1986 a filmed version of the musical was released, directed by Frank Oz and starring Rick Moranis and Ellen Greene, the latter of whom originated her role off-Broadway.
I could go on for days and days about the history of the movie, the play and the other movie. Like I said, Little Shop is one of my obsessions and I devour information about it like Audrey II devours blood.
Here's a quick synopsis of how each version of Little Shop Of Horrors ends:
Original Film: Audrey Jr. has eaten a homeless man, a dentist, a robber and a streetwalker. Seymour decides the plant has ruined his life and jumps into it, armed with a knife, and is promptly eaten. The last shot of the movie is a blossom opening up, revealing Seymour's face, which cries "I didn't mean it!"
Stage Musical: Audrey II has eaten a dentist, Mushnik and Audrey. Seymour decides the plant has ruined his life and jumps into it, armed with a knife, and is promptly eaten. A businessman and the Greek chorus take cuttings of the plant and explain that Audrey IIs have taken over the world (as vines drop over the audience! Kick ass!) and warn us not to feed the plants.
Movie Musical: Audrey II has eaten a dentist and Mushnik and has attempted to eat Audrey. Seymour decides the plant has ruined his life and electrocutes her ass to death. He and Audrey get married and go to live Somewhere That's Green while a little Audrey II bud smirks at us from the vines growing on their fence (which seems like an "Or is it?" ending until you realize there's no way they're going to fall for that again).
As far as I'm concerned, each ending is completely appropriate for whatever medium it happens to be. The original is a low budget dark comedy and the ending reflects that. The stage musical is a stage musical, many of which have downer endings and need a big closing number. The movie musical is a spoof on 1950s movie musicals, and those tended to have happy endings.
But it wasn't how the movie originally ended. The movie musical's original ending was much closer to the ending of the stage musical: Audrey II wins and takes over the world.
Shelby found a copy online for me, ripped right from the original recalled version of the DVD. The original ending was about 23 minutes long and ... wow. Holy crap. It was in black and white and it didn't have all the sound effects and music it would have had if it'd been in the movie but ... damn.
I liked it, certainly, but I think I wouldn't have if:
1) I weren't obsessed
2) I hadn't seen the released version with the happy ending first
3) they had actually kept this ending
Which isn't necessarily fair. According to what I've read, it's Frank Oz's preferred ending, as well as members of the cast, but (I hate to admit it, because I hate the whole concept of test audiences and changing one's work to suit what "the public" wants) I can completely see why test audiences hated it and, in spite of being over budget, they had to film a whole new ending.
Because what Frank Oz has said about it is right: you really love and care about these characters, and to have them just die and the plant wins, and it's a movie so there's no curtain calls, it's pretty hard to take.
But let's back up, shall we?
The alternate ending starts with Audrey II tricking Audrey into watering her, at which point she (the plant) attempts to devour her (the person). Seymour bursts in and rescues his lady love from the jaws of the monster. This is all in the final version of the movie.
Outside, Audrey collapses and tells Seymour that she's going to die and that she wants him to give her to the plant, so the plant will get bigger and Seymour will become more rich and famous; also because if she's in the plant then she's part of the plant and, not only will they be together, but she'll finally be Somewhere That's Green. She sings a heartbreaking reprise of the song and dies.
Seymour takes her inside and feeds her to Audrey II, then runs outside and to the roof of Audrey's apartment building to leap off and kill himself (which would defeat the purpose of her request to be fed to the plant, but whatever). Before Seymour can jump, though, a salesman comes to him and attempts to make a deal to take cuttings of the plant and marketing them, putting Audrey IIs in every home in America. Seymour suddenly figures out what the plant's been up to all along and goes to confront her. This part's in the final movie, too, as is the plant's big number, Mean Green Mother From Outer Space (it was written specifically for the movie; there was no way they could leave it out).
As the song ends, however, rather than Seymour grabbing exposed wires and electrocuting the bitch, Audrey II pulls the building down, fishes Seymour from the rubble and, in an epic and painfully slow manner, raises him into the air with her vines and eats him, spitting out his shattered glasses. Fade to black.
Then the Greek chorus shows up to sing their song explaining how similar events had been going on all over the country. Shots are shown of shoppers in Cabbage Patch Kids style frenzies buying Audrey II plantlets. A couple lie in bed and watch as Audrey IIs eat "Cleveland and Des Moines and Peoria and New York," and the movie ends with three or four giant Audrey IIs running rampant in New York City. One of them climbs the Statue Of Liberty and the ending card reads "The End?!" A giant Audrey II head rips through and the camera (and, effectively, the audience) goes straight into her mouth.
As is the case with most things that disturb me on some level that I can't define, I'm completely obsessed with this new revelation that is the original ending. I love it but I hate it. It's fascinating and deeply upsetting. It's almost exactly the same as the ending of the play but infinitely more dramatic and upsetting.
Maybe it's the fact that they can linger on things. When Audrey dies and Seymour feeds her to Audrey II, it's almost in slow motion. The camera lingers on Audrey disappearing into the plant, on Seymour watching her go. It's painful.
And the last sequence was ... I'm starting to wonder if J.J. Abrams ever saw this ending. Maybe it wasn't Godzilla he was inspired by, because I felt like I was watching Cloverfield again, but with background music and several monsters. It was that level of sort of inescapable horror. "Holy shit, this really is the end of the world."
I've wanted to see the original ending ever since I knew there was an original ending (which was, I'd say, probably my freshman year of high school) and now I'm very glad I have. It was one of the few instances of wanting to see something for years and have it actually surpass my expectations of it. I had no idea it would upset me as much as it did.
I loved it but I hated it. There's no other way to describe it. It was perfect. It was exactly what it should have been. It's the best work of Frank Oz's directing career. And I'm one hundred perecent glad it's not the ending in the final cut of the movie.
What I would like, though, is a DVD with the option to watch the movie with either the happy ending or the original ending. Apparently David Geffen is the only person on the planet with a color copy of the original ending (the masters were destroyed in a fire a couple decades ago) and I get the feeling that he won't cough up his copy for DVD release, since he's the one who recalled the original DVDs with the alternate ending in the first place.

End of line.

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs

If I had known, back when this movie came out, that it was by the guys who did Clone High, I would have gone to see it in the theaters. But nobody bothered to mention that (which is understandable; Clone High wasn't all that popular) and it wasn't advertised very well. That is to say, the previews didn't make the movie look all that great so they overcompensated by showing a preview every five minutes.
So I was not interested in Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs.
Until Shelby insisted that it was very funny and I should watch it.
Shelby does not steer me wrong.
Shelby is an animation nerd and most of the cartoons of which I am a fan (Clone High included) are Shelby's fault. She tends to know what my tastes are and she doesn't make me watch absolutely all cartoons. When she's adamant that I watch something, it's for good reason (she's the one who convinced me to give Metalocalypse a second try, and now look at me).
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs is great. It's funny, the characters are people you actually care about and it has an actual story, something the book on which the movie is based does not have. (That was the other reason I didn't want to see the movie when it came out; I didn't see how it could have a plot.)
I laughed a lot through the whole movie, but the two moments that made me laugh hardest were the kind of moments of absurdity that pretty much define my sense of humor.
The First: The townspeople wake up to find their city covered in ice cream (it's your average cartoon snow day scene, but more colorful). There's an overhead shot of kids playing in a field of neopolitan. The vanilla and chocolate stripes are crowded with kids. There's only one kid in the strawberry section of the field and he announces "I like strawberry best!" Don't know why it's funny, but it is.
The Second: When the food weather machine starts going crazy and the hero tries to shut it down, the villain of the piece shows up to thwart him, yelling "Nice to beet you!" and throwing a root vegetable at the hero. As the hero dives out of the way he shouts back "That's a radish!"
The whole movie is filled with little moments that make me happy. It was a pleasant surprise.
And I totally want spray on shoes.

End of line.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fright Night

Charley Brewster is living next door to a vampire, whose bad side he gets on pretty much immediately (by doing dumb stuff by calling the cops and telling them "Hey, my neighbor is a vampire"). Now he needs the help of his girlfriend, best friend and favorite creature feature TV host to stop the vampire from killing him.
Let's talk for a moment about vampires, shall we? The definition of vampire has changed a lot over the years. I still consider Dracula the definitive vampire, but these days a lot of people are convinced that Glitter People are vampires, too. They're not. Yes, vampires can exist in sunlight (holy shit, Stephanie Meyer was actually right about something?) but they don't "sparkle like diamonds" or whatever. They just get weak. Romantic adaptations of Dracula (including that godawful "official sequel" The Undead, which was so bad I turned temporarily cross eyed) make people forget that, wait a minute, the dude's a monster. He's ratlike and soulless and will kill you for no good reason other than that you're delicious.
So, watching Fright Night, at first I thought Chris Sarandon was the weirdest choice to play the vampire. I mean, you can't look at the guy and not think Prince Humperdink.
Holy crap, he's the perfect vampire! I mean, you can't look at the guy and not think Prince Humperdink. He's repulsive but still has a weirdly interesting charm. You hate him, but you can't stop watching him. Just like a freakin' vampire is supposed to be! It's brilliant casting! (Never mind that Fright Night came out before The Princess Bride; that blows no holes through my theory because Chris Sarandon is smarmy either way.)
The other think I really liked about Fright Night is it had no problem making their vampires horrible looking. Disgusting and fanged and red eyed and warp faced. There's one lady vampire in the movie who is pure High Octane Nightmare Fuel. I blame her entirely for the fact that I had a hard time falling asleep last night.
That's the other thing that's really cool about Fright Night: it's flippin' creepy. When it was over the house was completely dark and I had second thoughts about walking out to the kitchen for a drink of water. I mean, what if Vampire Chris Sarandon was in there? Yaugh!!!
The only thing that would've been worse than that: if Prince Humperdink were in my kitchen. I hate that guy. (At least he's a coward and easy to deal with.)

SPOILER: I have a theory that, in horror movies, if a character is named Jerry, he will be dead by the end of the movie. Fright Night supports that theory. Apparently even villains named Jerry are not safe from the Dead Jerry Clause.

End of line.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus

It's half reality, half fantasy, completely awesome.
It's beautiful, vague, confusing, disturbing, amazing and I don't understand why it didn't win every award ever.
I don't even know what to say about it.

End of line.


Not House the television show (which I think is actually called House MD) and not House the William Katt movie from the 1980s (which I saw when I was in high school; it didn't live up to its tagline "Ding dong, you're dead"). This is yet another House.
I like to call it House Of 1000 Things Borrowed From House Of 1000 Corpses. You see, the movie starts out with a bickering couple driving down some back roads in some southern state or another. They get directions from a local (SPOILER: who seems trustworthy to the characters even though everyone in the audience knows better) which take them down a not-often-used road. There their tire "mysteriously" blows out. They don't have a spare and it's raining, so they take refuge in the nearest giant, creepy house and meet another stranded couple. Matriarchal Leslie Easterbrook (okay, so she wasn't in House Of 1000 Corpses, but she did take over the Mother Firefly role in The Devil's Rejects, so I'm going to allow it) ropes the two couples into staying for dinner, which is when Bill Moseley makes a sudden entrance and scares the two couples. Later in the movie, the creepy son-of-the-house dresses one of the women up like a dolly.
Other than those blatant similarities to my favorite movie of all time, House was really pretty interesting. It was bloodless and full of a lot of religious stuff that I didn't really get (about a year ago I read an article in Rue Morgue about Christian horror movies, and House was mentioned, so it was pretty much a given that there was going to be religious stuff that I didn't really get), but I liked the way it was shot and there was one scene that was rather moving.
What I didn't like was the ending. It should have ended at a certain point, but it kept going and defeated what I thought the message of the movie was going to be.
Oh well, whatever, it was pretty good anyway. It needed more Bill Moseley (most movies do), some of the twists were kind of "Well, duh" and I'm generally pretty uncomfortable with religious overtones in my movies, but this one was good enough that I didn't mind.

End of line.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wishmaster: The Prophecy Fulfilled

You know how I really liked Wishmaster? How I thought it was clever and interesting and underrated? Wishmaster: The Prophecy Fulfilled is the opposite of that.
Admittedly, it's the fourth Wishmaster movie, so it's almost guaranteed to be inferior to the original. But it was just such a bummer to see the series fall so far. This was almost like a Lifetime Original Movie.
Admittedly, I didn't see Wishmasters 2 and 3; the series may have deteriorated gradually and making the leap from 1 to 4 is what made the change in quality so obvious.
Again the movie starts with explanation: If you wake up a Djinn you get three wishes, and when the third wish is granted all the Djinn's demon buddies take over the world and have a demon party.
The Waker (as they call her) in this movie is Lisa, whose boyfriend decided he didn't love her anymore when he became paraplegic and refuses to believe that she still loves him ('cause she couldn't possibly love a wheelchair dude). Meanwhile, their lawyer has a thing for Lisa, but the Djinn kills him and steals his face pretty much immediately, so we don't get to see much of him.
Well, we do, but he's an evil genie now. And he's just not convincing as the Djinn. When the first movie's genie guy got himself a human face he was still creepy and interesting, and he still had his Djinn voice. This guy loses the Djinn voice when he takes human form, and he's completely uninteresting and not the least bit scary or menacing. He's just some yuppie guy who happens to have magic powers. Yawn.
So Lisa makes three wishes, but the third one is a wish the Djinn can't grant for her because it has to do with her being in love, and human love cannot be faked or whatever (apparently the Djinn work under the same book of Da Rules as The Fairly Odd Parents).
So the Djinn's demon buddies are getting annoyed that they're not free even though three wishes have been made, and there's a Hunter who wants to kill Lisa to guarantee her third wish is never granted, therefore preventing the apocolypse.
It sounds way more interesting than it actually was.

End of line.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Room

Everybody loves Johnny. Johnny's a great guy. Denny loves Johnny, Johnny's best friend Mark loves Johnny, Lisa's mother Claudette loves Johnny, Michelle loves Johnny, Mike loves Johnny... In fact, the only person in the world who doesn't love Johnny is his fiance Lisa.
You know how I know this? I saw The Room. The Room is basically a series of scenes that were not proofread or put together with any logic in mind, but are instead various arrangements of the following lines:

Lisa: I don't love Johnny anymore. I love Mark.

Claudette: You should marry Johnny. He makes good money and can provide for you.

Mark: Johnny's my best friend. [or] I'm Johnny's best friend.

Being Johnny's best friend doesn't stop him from having sex with Johnny's fiance three or four times through the course of the movie, though.
Meanwhile, what's Johnny doing? As far as I can tell he's walking around San Francisco, buying flowers for Lisa, having long talks with his friends about nothing and being a generally great guy. (Did I mention the guy who plays Johnny also wrote, produced and directed this movie?)
He also spends a lot of time having a funny accent and putting emphasis on the wrong words. ("I did not hit her. It's not true. It's BULLshit. I did not hit her. I did NAAAHHHT. Oh, hi Mark." That's right, most of that line was directed at nobody. He was just talkin'.)
My favorite scene in the whole movie is when Denny (an orphan kid who's now in college that Johnny is supporting out of the goodness of his heart because he's such a great guy) stops by just after Lisa has ordered a pizza. The scene goes something like this:

Lisa: Hi Denny. I can't talk, I'm really busy. Do you want something to drink?
Denny: No, I wanted to talk to Johnny.
Lisa: He's not here right now but he should be back soon. You can wait for him if you want.
Denny: No, I have to leave.

Actually, I think that may be more coherent than what's in the movie.
The other really "brilliant" scene is the flower shop scene. (Linking to it may end in my being forced to take this review down, much like The Nostalgia Critic was when he reviewed The Room, but I'm willing to take that risk. By the way, the Nostalgia Critic's review of The Room is still on Youtube (I guess he only had to take it off his official site) and is really funny; I recommend it.)
The Room was fun to watch once (emphasis on "once") and make fun of. Apparently it's become quite the midnight movie among ironic hipsters, but I just don't think I'm cynical enough for that.

End of line, haa?

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I got Bloodletting because a quote on the box described it as "Natural Born Killers done right." Well, that just sounds like a challenge to me. I happen to really like Natural Born Killers.
Bloodletting is about a woman who tracks down a serial killer and forces him to teach her to kill people, too, and they fall in love and have a weird relationship.
And once I got used to the awkward acting and no dollar budget, I rather enjoyed the movie. It isn't a horror movie like the box claims; it's more like a very dark and bizarre comedy. The guy who played the serial killer was pretty damn funny; I liked his delivery and I found myself laughing at lines that I probably would have ordinarily found stupid. The whole movie had a sort of gory, no budget appeal.
Until the last scene.
(From here on in, there be spoilers.)
In the last scene, the two main characters have beaten and shot each other silly and are bleeding to death. The woman confesses the guy killed her mother and the guy confesses he isn't the serial killer at all, but just some guy. He went along with the woman thinking he was the serial killer because she was pretty and he was lonely. "So you killed people for me?" she swoons. And then they laugh and bleed and die together.
Except that doesn't make any sense. In the scene where they first meet, when she gets into his house and then tries to escape, he starts acting like a serial killer before she says one word to him about it. He tells her he has magnetic locks on the doors, the windows are unbreakable plexiglass and none of the neighbors are home and, therefore, wouldn't be able to hear her scream. How could he be "going along with her story" then if he hadn't heard her story yet?
The entire movie, all its weird humor and bad acting charm, fell apart completely when he said he wasn't the serial killer. One line ruined all the good feelings I had about Bloodletting.
Man, that sucks.

End of line.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fifty Favorite Movies

I cannot, in good conscience, end on such a negative note today. I'm not feeling it. So, to counterbalance my anger and hatred, here is my list of fifty favorite movies. I don't have anything to say about these movies. As usual, I feel like hate needs a reason but love speaks for itself. (I've lumped some sequels (and Beatles movies) together as one movie, because I can.)

50) The Last Horror Movie
49) A League Of Their Own
48) Pep Squad
47) Vertigo
46) Feast
45) A Hard Day's Night / Help!
44) 2001 Maniacs
43) Tron
42) Batman Forever
41) The Addams Family / Addams Family Values
40) Bugsy Malone
39) Brick
38) So I Married An Axe Murderer
37) Labyrinth
36) Deceiver
35) Natural Born Killers
34) White Christmas
33) Robin Hood
32) Monkey Business
31) Sherlock Holmes
30) Ink
29) The Lost Skeleton Of Cadavra
28) Grindhouse
27) American Psycho
26) Who Framed Roger Rabbit
25) Sleepy Hollow
24) Sin City
23) Gogol Bordello Nonstop
22) The Phantom Of The Opera
21) The 'Burbs
20) Singin' In The Rain
19) The Emperor's New Groove
18) The Muppet Movie / The Great Muppet Caper
17) Iron Man
16) Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid
15) High Tension
14) Arsenic And Old Lace
13) Saw
12) Halloween II
11) Run, Lola, Run
10) The Impostors
9) Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure / Bill And Ted's Bogus Journey
8) The Hunchback Of Notre Dame
7) Little Shop Of Horrors
6) Cannibal! The Musical
5) The Evil Dead
4) A Nightmare On Elm Street / Wes Craven's New Nightmare
3) Clue
2) Repo! The Genetic Opera
1) House Of 1000 Corpses

End of line.

Fifty Least Favorite Movies

Yes, fifty. Sigh. It was supposed to be ten, but I just couldn't narrow it down. If you ever feel the need to piss me off, bring up one of these gems and watch me go off. Seriously. It's hilarious.

50) Election - I cracked Scott up on Friday when I mentioned I watched Election six times before I realized I hated it.
49) Arizona Dream - How could a movie starring both Johnny Depp and Lili Taylor suck this bad? Oh, now I remember: I respect them as actors and think they're both gorgeous, but they tend to make movies I hate. Damn it.
48) Garden State - The first of many Some Shit That Happened movies on this list.
47) Truly, Madly, Deeply - As discussed in the tearjerkers list, I don't really remember this movie, but I never forgave it for making me cry like that.
46) Kids - Ugh. This movie was a huge fucking deal for some reason but the only thing that came out of it was that song Natural One by Folk Implosion. Which is a great song, but good lord does this movie ever suck.
45) Blood For Dracula - Better known as Andy Warhol's Dracula, but a better name would've been Udo Kier Throws Up A Lot.
44) Gone With The Wind - You know how "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn," is so overquoted out of context that you want to kick everybody who says it in the shins? Well, in context it is the only thing that makes it almost worth sitting through three hours of Scarlett O'Hara whining about shit. When that line finally comes it makes you want to stand up and cheer. "Yes! Walk out on that goddamn bitch!" The only downside? I hate Rhett Butler, too.
43) Black And White - There are quite a few movies on this list I don't really remember, but I know I saw them and I know I hated them. This is one of those. All I remember about it is Robert Downey Jr. is in it (doing what, I don't know, but he was probably the reason I let Sarah talk me into seeing this nonsense) some guy complaining because his white son is wearing a Kangol hat (I guess they're only for black people?) and a high school basketball player being shot to death.
42) Blow - I'm a horrible person for laughing, but I found out the director of this anti-cocaine public service announcement died of a cocaine overdose. Good job, dude.
41) The Ice Storm - Oh goody, a Some Shit That Happened movie starring Elijah Wood. My two favorite things! No, wait, the opposite of that.
40) Spanking The Monkey - Good lord, I let Sarah talk me into watching a lot of terrible shit when we were in high school. All in the name of being an indie film snob (for me, at least. She genuinely liked this stuff). I'm so glad I came to my senses.
39) Where The Day Takes You - This was a movie about homeless people, including wheelchair-bound Will Smith. And I think Stephen Tobolowsky was a child molester. Stupid.
38) At Close Range - I was in the middle of a Christopher Walken phase and my mom was in the middle of a David Strathairn phase and both of us hated this movie.
37) Cheaper By The Dozen - Not the original (which I've never seen) but the Steve Martin / Bonnie Hunt travesty, where there's only one likeable character and he exists solely to be the moral at the end of the story.
36) Boys Don't Cry - Also known as Redneck Assholes Are Assholes Who Will Kill You For Being Different: The Movie (Based On A True Story).
35) Bob Roberts - This was the first thing I ever saw Tim Robbins in, and he scared the crap out of me. This is a disturbing, terrifying movie. Oh well, maybe if I see him in something else he won't frighten me so much. Let's see, how about ...
34) Arlington Road - Sonofabitch!
33) The Baby - Sometimes you rent a movie because you like the box. This was one of those movies. I should have just rented the box.
32) Revolutionary Road - Sure, the acting was good, but what was the point of this? It sucks to be a nonconformist in the '50s? It sucks to be Leonardo DiCaprio? I still don't know what I was supposed to take away from this fucking movie.
31) Boogie Nights - I hate Paul Thomas Anderson.
30) American Pie - You know what really sucks? I had to watch this movie for school.
29) Big - I wonder if I would have liked this movie had I seen it when I was the target audience age (which is, I guess, around three)? I hope not.
28) Being John Malkovich - "Hey, we've just made this hideously depressing, soul rapingly sad movie. How shall we market it?" "Well, the premise is mildly weird, so obviously we must market it as an uprorious comedy." "Brilliant! All the independent film snobs will buy into that ridiculous marketing ploy! We'll make millions!"
27) The Shining - I've figured out why I don't like Kubrick. I don't have the attention span for him. He's a director who takes his sweetass time getting to where he's going, and I can respect that, but I sure as hell don't like it.
26) The Fox And The Hound - Wait, how did this not end up on my tearjerkers list?
25) Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things - I've actually read an intelligently written essay that had positive things to say about this movie. I still have no idea how that's possible. This movie is absolute crap.
24) Welcome To The Dollhouse - Oh goodie, yet another Some Shit That Happened movie.
23) Smart People - The character Ellen Page plays in this movie is the polar opposite of the character she played in Juno. You know how I know that? Someone told me. You wouldn't know it from watching the movie, though, because she played the part the exact same way as she played the Juno kid. How does she have a career, again?
22) Heathers - I heard there was an alternate, never filmed ending where Christian Slater actually did blow up the school. I think I may have actually liked this movie if it had ended with everybody dead.
21) Meet The Parents - Ben Stiller is my mortal enemy. Even the movies he's in that are good (Mystery Men, Tropic Thunder) would be infinitely better if he weren't.
20) Magnolia - I really hate Paul Thomas Anderson.
19) Changing Lanes - Let's watch Samuel L. Jackson and Ben Affleck try to ruin each other's lives for an hour and a half. Yeah. That sounds entertaining.
18) Happiness - Haha, I get it, the title's ironic because nobody in this movie is happy. Please go destroy every copy of this film and never speak of it again.
17) Gummo - Apparently this movie is named after Gummo Marx. What the hell did he ever do to deserve such a horrible punishment?
16) Harriet The Spy - When I was a kid, Harriet The Spy was my favorite book. I actually like the book less because this movie was so horrible and untrue to its source. It's also one of the many reasons why I despise Michelle Trachtenberg.
15) Ferris Bueller's Day Off - For years people kept telling me how much I'd like this movie. Then I finally saw it. Turns out lots and lots of people don't know me very well.
14) Hitch - I don't like romantic comedies, but something about this one offended me much more than the average romantic comedy. I don't want to watch it again to try and figure out what.
13) Series 7 - Awful, awful, awful. A really interesting premise executed far too depressingly to actually be interesting.
12) The Cook, The Thief, His Wife And Her Lover - Eegawds was this ever disturbing. Totally not worth it if you just want to see Tim Roth (which is what I did).
11) Broken Flowers - Who the fuck watches these Some Shit That Happened movies? How are there so many of them that there's such a huge market for them?
10) A Christmas Story - "So, what's this new Christmas movie you've got for me?" "It's two hours of people being absolutely miserable and unhappy. None of them are likeable and nothing good happens to anybody. We're going to sell it as a family comedy!" "We'll make millions!"
9) Juno - When people ask me to explain why I hate Juno, I tell them about the scene when she's talking to Planned Parenthood. Her phone starts acting up and she says "Hang on, I'm on my hamburger phone." Okay, she knows she's on a hamburger phone, it's her own damn phone. It's not like she had to explain that to herself. Planned Parenthood doesn't know or care what "hamburger phone" means. What the line should have been (if it needed to exist at all, which it didn't) was "Hang on, my phone is acting up." But, no, she said the words she said and, indeed, the phone only acted up in the first place, so that the screenwriter could point out to the audience "Look, her phone is shaped like a hamburger! She's so charmingly quirky! Please pay attention to me and think I'm cool!" The entire script is a series of moments like that. Fuck this movie.
8) Observe And Report - No amount of ice cream will wipe the horrible that is this movie from my brain.
7) Hope Floats - This is the only movie I've ever walked out of. I don't think Sandra Bullock has ever made a movie that's interested me, but this is the only one I've tried to watch. It didn't end well.
6) Mulholland Drive - David Lynch claims that he knows what this movie is about and that nobody has ever figured it out (didn't he say the same thing about Eraserhead?). That's bullshit. Either even he doesn't know what it's about or (far more likely) lots of people know what it's about and Lynch is too arrogant to admit it.
5) Twilight - I feel bad about having this movie on this list because I hate the anti-Twilight backlash as much as the pro-Twilight phenomenon. However, it took all of my self control to not throw a wine bottle through the television when I saw this movie, so it deserves to be here.
4) Napoleon Dynamite - I'd ask what the appeal was, but I don't want to know. Yugh.
3) Red - Go read the review I wrote a couple months ago. That sums it up.
2) The Squid And The Whale - Can I sue this movie for being horrible? I'm sure it caused some sort of damage to my brain.
1) Paranormal Activity - I could go on for days and days about how much I hate this movie. It's an hour and a half of an uninteresting and unlikeable couple sleeping and arguing. And that actually scared people. How fucking stupid do you have to be for this movie to be scary? Or am I an idiot because I thought it was boring? ... No. No I'm not. This is a dull nothing of a movie and I resent it for being successful. It should have failed miserably. It shouldn't have been made. They should have taken their twenty dollar budget and just had a nice lunch and not inflicted this goddamn stupid bullshit on the gullible idiot populace of America. Fuck Paranormal Activity. More than any other movie on this list I hope it dies and rots in hell.

End of line.

Top Ten Movie Songs

Here's hoping nobody's sick of lists, 'cause I've got three more (one idea I came up with yesterday and two I stole from Amanda). These are the top ten songs I heard in movies and became obsessed. Songs from musicals were not allowed, however, 'cause then it would have been Ten Songs From Repo! The Genetic Opera or Ten Songs From Little Shop Of Horrors.

10) Ballroom Blitz performed by Tia Carrere in Wayne's World - Sure I love the version by Sweet, but I heard this one first and it made quite an impression on my little ten year old brain. I love it when chicks rock!
9) Mad World performed by Gary Jules in Donnie Darko - This is probably the one song on the list I became unobsessed with due to over-play. It's still pretty but it doesn't hit me the way it used to. Oh well.
8) Seems performed by Queen Sarah Saturday in Empire Records - And this is the one song on the list I became unobsessed with when I finally found a copy. Man, it took years to track it down. And it's just not as good on its own as it is in the movie.
7) Don't Stop Me Now performed by Queen in Shaun Of The Dead - Shame on me for not knowing this song before I saw Shaun Of The Dead, but it's now my favorite Queen song. The choreography of people beating a zombie with pool cues in perfect time to the music was brilliant, and it's probably the best part of the movie. If you're me.
6) Super Mega Zsa Zsa performed by Pleasant Gehman in Pep Squad - Why the crap is this song so cool? By all means it should bug the snot out of me. It doesn't, though. I freaking love it. Which could probably be said for all of Pep Squad, actually.
5) Color Of Your Eyes performed by Smokey Hormel and Ezster Balint in Trees Lounge - This one's a bit of a cheat, since I didn't actually hear it in the movie until after I became obsessed with it. You see, it's in the movie so faint and briefly that I didn't notice it until I was listening for it specifically. I became obsessed via the soundtrack, which a friend of mine put on a tape for me. It was the only song on the soundtrack I listened to. (I can't find a youtube video with this song in it. And I thought Super Mega Zsa Zsa would be the impossible one to find.)
4) I Will Always Be There performed by Niki Harris in Urban Legends: Bloody Mary - Ahh, my newest obsession. The song on its own is good, but its featured scene in the movie (a final confrontation between a ghost and her killer) is so insanely perfect and creepy, I get chills just thinking about it.
3) Superstar performed by Sonic Youth in High Tension (sort of) - Okay, so the song isn't actually in High Tension. It's in the trailer, which is probably the most effective horror movie trailer I've ever seen (that "sort of" is the link to it if you'd like to see it). I love High Tension, and there's a song in it during a car chase that could have made this list if it weren't for the facts that A) I don't know what it is and 2) it's overshadowed by the amazing trailer and creepy, creepy Sonic Youth. (I privately mock people who learned of this song through Juno and never got to experience the glory that is the High Tension theatrical trailer.)
2) Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) performed by Nancy Sinatra in Kill Bill - I have nothing to elaborate with. This song is just great.
1) Happy Birthday To Me performed by Syreeta in Happy Birthday To Me - I don't care what anybody says, Happy Birthday To Me is a freaking awesome movie. "Oh, boo hoo, the ending doesn't make any sense." Says you. I think the ending is pretty brutal. In fact, the whole movie is pretty damn brutal. And what better way to end a brutal movie than with a creepy, haunting song? No better. (Okay, the only video I could find of the song shows the very end of the movie, so if you want no spoilers, don't watch it, but it doesn't really give away the twist.)

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