Monday, September 24, 2012

House At The End Of The Street

Before I say anything about the movie, I just want to say to the general public (since I don't have the gumption to say it in person to the people to whom this rant is intended):
I don't give a flying fuck's ass what rating a movie has on Rotten Tomatoes. I could not possibly care less. The amount I care is already in the negative numbers and falling rapidly. I don't care. I don't fucking care. Stop fucking telling me what rating movies have on Rotten Tomatoes. Because I don't motherfucking care.
I started this blog so other people could equally not care about what I have to say. Let's all form our own opinions, shall we, and not let the internet affect our expectations.
There. That's out of the way.
House At The End Of The Street was a royal letdown. You know why? Because it was marketed as a horror movie. You can't take a soap opera, slap on a crazy person and call it a horror movie. That's bullshit.
House At The End Of The Street is a soap opera. It goes something like this:
Four years ago, a crazy girl killed her parents. Now, in the present day, Fake Renee Zellweger and her mom, Fake Sheri Moon Zombie (Elizabeth Shue, giving the only decent performance) move in to the house next to the one where the murders happened. Fake Renee Zellweger almost has a crush on Fake Dave Franco, but he's sleazy. Then she meets Fake Chad Michael Murray, who lives next door and is the brother of the homicidal girl, who went missing after the murders. Officer Fake Matthew Broderick is the only person in town who likes Fake Chad Michael Murray.
Meanwhile, in a subplot that goes nowhere, Fake Renee Zellweger is a "really amazing musician" who makes friends with Fake Jena Malone and is invited to sing in Fake Somebody I Can't Quite Place's band. (He really did remind me of a Young Somebody, I just never figured out who Somebody was.) I cannot stress enough how much this subplot means nothing. I think it was just thrown in there in a MarySue kind of way; whoever wrote this thing fancies her(him?)self a singer and threw that in there to make her(him?)self feel cool.
It was really just annoying and painful to have to watch / listen to.
Just like the rest of the movie.
So Fake Renee Zellweger has a crush on Fake Chad Michael Murray and Fake Sheri Moon Zombie wants them to stay away from each other because she's nervous about the whole double murder thing. Like you do.
Does any of this sound remotely scary to you? If it does, I pity you.
Yeah, okay, fine, double murder, whatever. But that's no different than your usual soap opera fare. Everybody's always killing everybody. This movie had way too much plot and not nearly enough murder by hammer.
In the last twenty minutes or so House At The End Of The Street suddenly remembers it was marketed as a horror movie and not a very special episode of Dawson's Creek so it makes one of the characters take some homicidal maniac pills and hope that the people in the audience forget about the first five hours of the movie where people just bitch and moan about their "problems."
And if you're the eleven year old girl this movie was made for, you might actually be scared by it. If you're an actual horror fan, you're just going to be mad.
Really, really mad.

End of line.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Disney animated features (short reviews)

Snow White And The Seven Dwarves - If I ever saw it, I don't remember it.
Pinocchio - Ditto.
Fantasia - My brother and I used to watch it with the sound off while playing our own music. If you start Come As You Are by Nirvana right at the beginning of the Rite Of Spring segment, it syncs up really well.
Dumbo - Just rewatched Dumbo the other day and noticed for the first time how unbelieveably cruel this movie is. The elephant chicks going around saying Mrs. Jumbo was right to be jailed for defending her child and then going on and shunning said child (who is essentially an infant)?! Jesus Christ, movie!
Bambi - Whenever I say I don't like this movie, everybody assumes it's because of when his mom gets killed. I don't remember that part. I don't like Bambi because Bambi is mindnumbingly boring. And I hate all that twitterpated shit.
Saludos Amigos - Ahh, back when educational films strove to be entertaining as well.
The Three Caballeros - Saludos Amigos's hallucinogen-fuelled cousin. I freaking love this movie! (Also, today I came up with an idea that the whole thing is Donald Duck's struggle with his sexuality; I may write that review someday.)
Make Mine Music; Fun And Fancy Free; Melody Time; The Adventures Of Ichabod And Mr. Toad - Not only did I never see these movies, but I doubt anybody else did, either.
Cinderella - I loved Cinderella when I was kid, possibly to the point of obsession (I can still quote almost the whole movie from memory). Which is probably what led to my writing a dark, violent interpretation of the story. I like mine better.
Alice In Wonderland - I love almost any version of Alice In Wonderland that Tim Burton has nothing to do with. Bright, colorful, plotless, amazing.
Peter Pan - I love What Makes The Red Man Red and dislike pretty much everything else. Wendy's a whiner, Peter Pan's an arrogant brat, Tinkerbell is a horrible bitch. Captain Hook, Smee and the nameless pirates are pretty cool, though.
Lady And The Tramp - I actually like Lady And The Tramp a lot more than I think I do.
Sleeping Beauty - Beautiful animation, the fairies are funny, the action is entertaining, Maleficent is a great villain and that dress should be blue goddamnit!
101 Dalmations - Has its moments. I like the line "Crazy woman driver!"
The Sword In The Stone - Loved it when I was a kid, have grown disenchanted with it. Higitus Figitus and Mad Madam Mim are still great but I feel like most of the movie revolves around misery and I just can't deal with it anymore.
The Jungle Book - Forgettable.
The Aristocrats - Fluffy and cute, just like an actual cat.
Robin Hood - My second favorite Disney movie.
The Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh - Come on, it's Winnie The Pooh! How could I possibly say anything bad?
The Rescuers - Fuck you, Someone's Waiting For You! What if I didn't feel like crying?
The Fox And The Hound - Fuck you, the entire movie! What if I didn't feel like crying?
The Black Cauldron - Gurgi does not look that way! Good night!
The Great Mouse Detective - I'm pretty sure that when I was a kid I thought Sherlock Holmes was a ripoff of Basil of Baker Street. (I never said I was a bright kid.) I love this movie and I say "Ow! My foot! My only foot!" almost every time I stub my toes.
Oliver And Company - Another movie I know I've seen but cannot remember. I know I like some of the songs.
The Little Mermaid - Loved it when it came out, went through a phase of hating it. It now lies in the category of Better Than I Give It Credit For But Not As Good As Most People Seem To Think. Has one of the best Disney villain songs ever.
The Rescuers Down Under - Never saw it. Don't care to.
Beauty And The Beast - Love it.
Aladdin - I'd have to rewatch it again to decide for myself what I think of Aladdin. All my thoughts about the movie are based on other people's opinions and I honesly don't remember what I think of it.
The Lion King - I like Be Prepared and the part where Timon "dress[es] in drag and do[es] the hula." That is all I like. Fuck this movie.
Pochahontas - Wow, Disney's "resurgence" was filled with some dull crap. I like the We Hate Them 'Cause They're Different song.
The Hunchback Of Notre Dame - By far the best Disney animated feature. Absolutely number one. I love almost everything about this movie (the only thing wrong is that Quasi doesn't get the girl; but that's also realistic so I'll let it slide). I love the music, I love the animation, I love the humor, I love Clopin, I love Hellfire, I love, love, love, love, love this movie. Anybody who disagrees with me is just plain wrong.
Hercules - Actually a lot better than I remembered it being the first time I saw it. Still not great, but entertaining and not the waste of time that some other movies are.
Mulan - Also quite high on my list. I wish they hadn't changed the music in the scene where Mulan cuts her hair and leaves the house (I also hate that I can't find the original music or any information about why it got changed) but other than that, it's fantastic and one of the more easily quoteable Disney films.
Tarzan - I didn't like it (except for the line "Tarzan, Ohisee.") and I was pretty well traumatized by the fate of the bad guy. Probably the most disturbing Disney death (which now actually makes me respect the movie but I wasn't quite into darkness and violence yet at the time).
Fantasia 2000 - It's apparently an unpopular opinion, but I actually like this one better than Fantasia. I wish they had imported a different segment from the original, though; The Sorcerer's Apprentice is one of my least favorites.
The Emperor's New Groove - Boy did they drop the ball on advertising this movie! The previews looked so terrible and so I didn't bother going to see it. When I finally got around to watching it years later and found out it was so brilliantly funny and entertaining, I was mad that the previews made it look so lousy and, therefore, I didn't see it in theaters.
Dinosaur - Didn't see it.
Atlantis: The Lost Empire - The opposite of the Emperor's New Groove situation; the previews were incredible and got me so hyped for the movie, which was a dull letdown. Even now, knowing that the movie is a dull letdown, I can watch that preview and still get completely hyped. It's one hell of a preview.
Lilo And Stitch - I liked it. It was cute. I only saw it once, though, so I guess I didn't like it that much.
Treasure Planet - Hooray for Patrick McGoohan's last film! Also, a smaller hooray aside from that. Treasure Planet wasn't anything to write home about but I did enjoy it and really loved Long John Silver.
Brother Bear - Ugh. Didn't see it.
Home On The Range - I intended to see it because it was hyped as Disney's last classically-animated movie. Also, I heard it has a pretty fantastic Disney Acid Sequence in the middle. But I never did see it and then Disney started making non-compter-animated movies again. So it's all okay, I guess.
Chicken Little - I think I watched this once with Mokey but all I remember is that the beginning really upset me and I didn't pay attention to the rest of it.
Meet The Robinsons - I really want to see this one. It looks great. And I love the "I have a big head and little arms" line. Someday I'll get around to watching it.
Bolt - Rhino is awesome. The plot, not so much.
The Princess And The Frog - Love it. Don't know why I don't own it, actually.
Tangled - Didn't see it. Don't care to.
Winnie The Pooh - Didn't see it. Do care to.
Wreck-It Ralph - Eagerly anticipating its release.
Frozen - Never heard of it but I bet you money it'll be better than the Adam Green movie of the same title.

End of line.

The Aristocats

There is an era of Disney movies that is completely forgettable to me. Everything after Sleeping Beauty but before The Great Mouse Detective are movies that I just can't remember exist.
For the curious, those movies are 101 Dalmations (which I think I like), The Sword In The Stone (which I forgot existed even when I owned it; I don't like it as much as I thought I did), The Jungle Book (meh), The Aristocats (which I'll get to), The Rescuers (never saw it and, thanks to the song Someone's Waiting For You, I never will), The Fox And The Hound (HATE!) and The Black Cauldron (I respect it for being Disney's first PG rated animated feature but compared to the books, it blows).
Robin Hood also falls into that time frame, but I adore that movie; it's the only non-forgettable one in the bunch. The Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh also falls into that era but it's made up of short films so I don't count it.
The Aristocats and The Rescuers always looked like the same movie to me: weird, disjointed and boring. The Rescuers has a bizarre looking lady with a pet alligator, The Aristocats has ... geese? I don't know. The Aristocats has a couple of good songs, The Rescuers has one soulstabbingly sad song, either way I don't care. I'm not into cats and orphans.
But enough of my crankiness and cynicism.
There are certain rules to watching movies when babysitting very small children (five months and twenty one months). Basically, I can't watch horror movies but Disney movies are the bee's knees. But I'm sick of Peter Pan (speaking of Disney movies I don't really like), cannot handle Dumbo again (speaking of soulstabbingly sad songs) and every time I watch Cinderella I just end up scoffing at it because I like my version better.
They had a copy of The Aristocats lying around, though, and I figured I should give it a try.
And it was pretty okay. I've seen worse.
I've seen better, too. It absolutely deserves to live in the Era Of Forgettable Disney Films. And I feel like there was a huge plot hole or something that irked me, but now that I'm no longer watching the movie, I can't remember what it was.
Overall, it was entertaining. I liked the songs, the cats were cute, the geese were mildly annoying, the Sheriff Of Nottingham was a bassett hound who kept insisting he was the leader and there was really no plot or conflict to speak of.
It was a poofy movie.
You know what's fun, though? Those short, little, one line reviews of Disney movies. I think I know what my next post is going to be!

End of line.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Safety Not Guaranteed

I absolutely did not want to see this movie. I had seen one preview for it and thought "That movie would upset me."
I've also been having problems with soulcrushing loneliness and what I used to think was mild depression rearing its ugly head and making me miserable at all times. Like, PMS-style moodiness, but five thousand times worse.
Which is really none of your business and I don't know why I'm telling you about it.
The point is, I didn't want to yet again stay home alone all night and the only companionship option I had was to go see Safety Not Guaranteed with Scott and Ivy.
It's a tough movie to review. The short version is: I liked it. I liked it a lot, actually, far more than I expected to. It had parts I hated and it's definitely the kind of movie that attracts people who tend to like movies I really hate, and if I have to hear them talk about it my opinion might skew. So I really hope I never have to listen to anybody talking about Safety Not Guaranteed.
This movie's going to stick with me for a while.
I hate that in the movies they'll have characters like the female lead who is supposedly antisocial and unpopular and all that crap but then they cast a beautiful actress to play her. She did a fine job and I even liked her, but I don't think it's fair to have a character that I can almost relate to and have her played by someone far prettier than I will ever be; it ruins the connection somehow. If a character is supposed to feel like me, she should look like me, too.
I didn't know until right before the movie that it was based on an internet meme. A movie based on a fucking meme. That is so stupid and pathetic that I feel embarrassed for whoever it was who first had the idea to do it. It's a good thing your movie turned out as good as it did, because no one wants to see your next movie, Don't Tase Me Bro. (Sorry to hear contract negotiations fell through on The Cake Is A Lie. Are you shopping Basement Cat around Hollywood? ... Look, the point is, I can do this all day and it will always be stupid.)
I'm not entirely sure what the point of Fake David Krumholtz's subplot was. It didn't go anywhere; it just kind of invaded the interesting plot every once in a while and made me feel bad about myself and life in general.
Of course, I was feeling like that anyway.
It probably wasn't the right movie for a melancholy mood.
It certainly wasn't a comedy. People in the audience were laughing and I don't know why. I didn't see any humor in the movie. The plot was kind of unusual and a couple of the characters were kind of odd, but they were all interesting and (for the most part) likeable. And nothing in the movie really felt funny. There were happy moments, certainly, but nothing to laugh at.
There were also people in the audience who laughed at a shot of one character crying, so they're probably just asshole people who don't understand what humor is.
The main thing that makes Safety Not Guaranteed (which I did really like, despite the overall negative tone of this review; that's a reflection of my mood more than the movie) as good as it is, is Mark Duplass's performance as the main character.
Now, there are a lot of really great actors in the world who can just blend into parts and play them well, and I can suspend my disbelief for all but the worst acting jobs. But almost never do I have to remind myself that the person on the screen isn't real but in fact a character portrayed by someone else.
I had to do that with this movie. It didn't occur to me until almost the end of the movie that Kenneth isn't a real person, he's a character played by Mark Duplass. (A character who, if he were real, I wouldn't be able to be friends with. I wouldn't have the patience for him. But with a protective layer of movie between us, I found him quite likeable.)
I wish the whole movie was about Kenneth and Darius. The minor characters's subplots did nothing for me.

End of line.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Son Of Dracula

There is a genre of movie that seemed to exist more in the late '60s and early '70s than any other time period: famous-people-just-kind-of-goofing-around. A little self-indulgent, usually a bit crap, can be fun to watch but usually not.
Magical Mystery Tour felt a lot like one of these movies, as did The Bed-Sitting Room and, if you want a modern example, The Impostors. (I love The Impostors.)
Son Of Dracula is definitely one of them.
Harry Nilsson is Count Downe, son of Dracula, heir to the throne of the King Of The Netherworld. His coronation is tomorrow but he's not really into it. All he wants to do is play music and feel human love.
Baron Frankenstein wants to be King Of The Netherworld and knows how to perform a vampire-to-human procedure, and boy is he untrustworthy. Merlin knows it, too, and wants his friend Van Helsing to do the operation instead.
Van Helsing's assistant is a chick named Amber who has a weird face, but I guess she counts as attractive in the '70s. Anyway, she's the main catalyst for Count Downe deciding whether to go through with the humanization operation, which is weird because if he already feels enough for her to become human, isn't he already feeling human love?
I guess I can see why Son Of Dracula was not well received upon its release and why the copy I have felt the need to point out that Harry Nilsson and Ringo Starr could tell during production that the movie probably wasn't going to be very good.
What I don't understand is why it's never gotten an official video release of any kind. It's sure to appeal to the sort of people who watch movies like Skidoo or The Bed-Sitting Room or other such odd cult films, not to mention Nilsson fans.
Son Of Dracula was marketed upon its release as "The First Rock 'N Roll Dracula Movie" but there's no Dracula in it and the plot only stops dead for musical numbers, like, three times so it barely counts as a rock 'n roll movie.
Except it stars rock stars. So I guess that counts.

End of line.