Friday, December 17, 2010


I love Glee. I love music, and am a total nerd, so yes, this show appeals to me.

This also makes me inordinately happy:

"The Hole" and "Surviving Crooked Lake"

This movie wasn't bad. The acting is actually very good for amateur acting, and even though the characters aren't brain trusts, they're four scared thirteen year old girls, so what they do is believable, if not very smart. My only complaint with this one is the ending. It's literally like they ran out of money and decided to have the narrator tell us what happened over shots of nothing happening, because they ran out of money to actually shoot the ending. It was a cheap shot, and I would have been happier if they'd filmed enough to give us some closure and THEN had the narrator tell us what happened after that, but as it is, the ending feels like a cop out. but the rest of the movie is surprisingly good even though you kind of want to reach through the screen and smack these girls. I remember being thirteen, so I think I probably would have done what they did in that situation (and even if I wouldn't have, I do understand why they did's not like anyone is completely logical all the time now, let alone when they were thirteen).

I had the poster for this movie hanging on my wall when I lived in my first house after graduating college, but I haven't actually seen it until now. It's not bad. Now I've seen movies like "Cry Wolf" and "High Tension," so I know better than to trust anything I see until I see the movie all the way through, so the ending didn't come as a surprise as much it might have if I'd watched it back when it first came out, but it's still a good little movie. The acting is good all around here, so there's no complaints there. I'd probably like this movie better if I were eighteen though. I'm getting too old now. :-p

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Collector

This movie actually has a somewhat original premise: a burglar breaks into a house, but unbeknownst to him, a serial killer is already inside. People keep comparing these movies to the "Saw" movies, but really, there aren't that many similarities. So both movies feature torture, big deal, the premise for the two movies couldn't be more different. Jigsaw in the Saw movies was at least ostensibly trying to teach his victims about valuing their lives. the killer in "The Collector" doesn't give a shit what his victims take away from his killings, he does this as a hobby. A gory, nasty, disgustingly icky and creepy hobby. I won't spoil this any further. Give it a watch. It's worthwhile.


This movie is disturbing. I know, shocker, right? It's supposed to be disturbing. but a lot of movies that are supposed to be disturbing are just dull and annoying (with filmmakers drowning in their own smug arrogance) and this one is different. I refuse to read any interviews with the filmmakers, because if I read and find out they're a bunch of arrogant assholes I might change my mind about the movie...right now I'm teetering on the edge of "great and disturbing" and "exploitative garbage" and I don't want a push. Seriously though, some of the disgusting crap in this movie even got to me, and disgusting crap usually doesn't, so be warned if you want to see this. Unlike every other reviewer, I'm not going to give away everything that happens in the movie (I'm looking at YOU, Netflix) so you'll just have to find out for yourself.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Movie Update

Well, I only watched 11 horror movies this year, but I had fun.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Last Exorcism

The next person to tell me that I didn't like a movie's ending because I didn't understand it, and then proceeds to EXPLAIN it to me, is going to get my foot up his or her ass. Let's just get that out of the way right now.

I was with this movie right up until the end. I'm one of those people who sits there in a movie and comes up with endings in my head to pass the time, and sometimes I think my endings are better than the real ending once it happens. I think that happened this time. I still think the quiet little ending that I had planned in my head would have been better than the one I saw onscreen, but now that I've let it sit for awhile I am happier with the ending the way it appeared, and I'd like to say a few things.

1. I did not dislike the ending because it wasn't happy. I came into the movie not expecting it to end with rainbows and puppies and kittens, and indeed, if it HAD a happy ending, I would have felt it was a cop-out.

2. I do not need your little 18 year old self to EXPLAIN the particulars of the ending to me. I grew up in the 80s, with satanic panic and ritual abuse reports all over the media, and the McMartin trial, and if you don't kn ow what any of these things are, that's because I know more than you, not the other way around. I UNDERSTOOD what was happening in the ending perfectly well, I just don't think it was as powerful as the ending I had in my head. Yeah, I get it, and I'm ok with it now, but I was let down because I still think my ending would have been better. It's not the movie's fault, though, and I need to evaluate the movie for what it is, not piss all over it because of what it ISN'T. On those terms, it was a good little movie.

3. I most certainly do NOT think the ending is as cut and dried as some people are making it out to be. I think there are several different interpretations and ideas you can come up with from what we're shown onscreen and most of those interpretations could be perfectly valid. Whenever anyone makes a post declaring THIS IS WHAT THE ENDING MEANT AND ALL OTHER IDEAS ARE TOTALLY FALSE AND STUFF, that person just comes across looking like a pompous assdrip.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Lost Boys II: The Tribe

I totally almost typed "Lost Boys II: The TriPe" when I was typing the title of this movie, and I think that's a Freudian slip of the best kind in this case. This movie was a mess. The shower scene is the best part of the movie. I love Corey Feldman and Corey Haim and the original "Lost Boys" is one of my all-time favorite movies, but this isn't even worthy to be called a sequel.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


This movie almost seems like an anthology of scary stories at first, and each of the stories on their own, though not always the most realistic thing I've ever seen, are freaky enough to keep me totally interested in the movie. Once things tie together, again, it gets a little hard to believe, but the actors and actresses play everything totally straight so there's never a sense that anyone is just cashing a paycheck here, and in the end, I really enjoyed this movie, in spite of its flaws. Clowns freak me out, and some of the other images I won't spoil here will stick in your head, as will the killer's maniacal laugh. I recommend this one. Give it a shot. It's not perfect, but its good scenes are better than some movies I watch in their entirety, so it's totally worth the watch.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Furry Vengeance


OMG this is the worst movie ever made. Seriously. No one in this movie can act, not even a little, and nothing that happens makes any kind of sense, and we have no idea who these characters are, and we hate them all for being so stupid from the very beginning so we don't care what happens to them, and then just when you think the movie couldn't get any stupider, it gets worse and it tries to have pretensions to a PLOT and a DEEPER MEANING and you just want to stab the director in the face and then vomit into the open knife wounds. Seriously. Skip this.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Repo Men (2010)

I don't know how I feel about the ending to this movie. Up until the ending, I loved it, and the ending did make sense and answered some questions I'd been yelling at the screen, but I'm going to have to let the ending sit for a bit before I form a final opinion on it. Otherwise, this was a lot of cool, gory fun and it's also a bit unnerving. 20 years ago I might not have batted an eye at this movie, but now, I can TOTALLY see this happening in our country, so it really freaked me out and got under my skin a little (hardy har har).

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Kolchak: the Night Ripper

This is the first episode in the short-lived "Kolchak: The Night Stalker" TV series where Kolchak the reporter had a monster-movie-of-the-week kind of format where he'd try to crack a supernatural murder case in under an hour every week. the format got old, but some of these mini-movies are supposed to be good. This one was ok. A tad dated and Kolchak is kind of a jerk, but otherwise the episode kept me entertained. I like anything Jack the Ripper related, so I had fun with this episode but I hope some of the others are better.


At some point halfway through this movie I thought maybe I'd dropped acid sometime during the day and forgot about it, because I couldn't explain the movie any other way, but the feeling passed and I'm left with admiration for this movie. This is a twist I've seen done before, but never quite this way, and if it's true there's nothing new under the sun, at least these filmmakers found a way to redo this twist and make it worth watching again, and for that, I'm thankful. Give this movie a chance (but you might want to take some Dramamine first).

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Drag Me to Hell

I saw the opening sequence of this movie and thought "Oh lord, what have I gotten myself into?" But it gets better after that, I promise, so give this movie a chance. The effects are too cartoony for my taste (seriously, sometimes they look downright ridiculous) but the story is good, and I actually liked the main character. Not a big fan of her boyfriend's snobby, wasp-y family, but he was ok, and I actually cared what happened to her (even if she was an idiot throughout most of the movie).

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Blood and Black Lace

Lest you want to burn me at the stake for insulting one of the most beloved and talked-about Italian horror movies, let me assure you, I LOVE Italian horror movies. I've seen plenty of them, and most of them are a million times better than this movie. that's right, I didn't like it. I don't care if Mario Bava is supposed to have been a genius, you can't tell that from this movie. Right from the beginning the movie is "stylish" in the most annoying way possible, with opening credits that made me want to gouge out my eyes (and ears...what the FUCK was that music?)

The acting in this movie is pretty terrible, with everyone acting as suspicious as possible (I think we're supposed to suspect everyone) so the actual killer doesn't stand out too much because everyone is acting like a raving lunatic, but by the end of the movie when the killer is revealed, I honestly didn't care anymore. I was falling asleep, and everyone was so sleazy, using coke and stealing money from each other and blackmailing each other that they pretty much all deserved to die anyway. One particular character was having sex with/using drugs with the first three victims of the killer (slut that he is) an I was disappointed when he didn't die, but other than that, I didn't really give a shit what happened to anyone in the movie and the lighting was annoying, not stylish, and the music was grating, not shocking, and everything about the movie felt like it was working against the feeling it wanted to achieve. This was a spectacular failure for me and it made me want to watch a better Giallo to wash the taste of this one out of my mouth. You can safely skip this "classic." You won't miss much (except a headache).

The Crazies (remake)

Words can't describe how much better this movie is than the original, but I'll try. First of all, the plot follows a much more logical pattern in this movie. I'm sure the original thought it was being all edgy and shocking with its opening scene, but it was muddled and confusing, not shocking. Plus it threw us into the fray before we even knew any of the characters enough to care what happened to them yet. We didn't get to meet those characters until they were already in a crazy situation and on the run from the military. In the remake, we see a scene of chaos, and then we flash back to two days earlier and see the town before all this started, and we get to know and care about the characters, so we actually give a shit what happens to them. Much better.

Second, the characters in this movie act like residents of a small town would actually act. Everyone knows everyone else, they all know who's the town drunk, who's dating who, etc. I've lived in small towns all my life and this is much more believable than whatever bullshit dialogue the people in the original were supposed to be spewing. Instead of standing in our faces and screaming "THE GOVERNMENT DOESN'T CARE ABOUT YOU!" this movie SHOWS US with its plot and the events that happen. Again, much better.

Third, the gore and special effects and acting were much better, and the sets were far more realistic. Now this might sound like a nasty thing to say, since I know the original didn't have a very good budget, but I can't forgive Romero for having a good idea and then going ahead with it anyway if he didn't have the budget to pull it off. "Night of the Living Dead" worked with a tiny budget because its idea didn't call for huge sweeping sets (like a decontamination chamber, for instance) and when Romero had the idea to adapt Stephen King's novel "The Stand" into a movie in the early 80s, he put the idea on hold because he knew he didn't have the budget to pull it off and he wanted it to be good. He should have realized how silly it would look to have the military be five guys in green pajamas running around a town in makeshift Hazmat suits that look like Hefty bags, herding all the infected people into one school gymnasium and then being surprised when they escape. Come on, give me a break. This movie doesn't have a ton of expensive sets either, but what they do have looks believable. Instead of randomly trying to herd everyone in town into one gymnasium, they herd the townspeople into vans and then check to see if people are showing signs of infection, and then they separate the infected from the uninfected, which not only creates drama and pathos, it looks more believable, and it adds a huge emotional impact later on in the story when other details are revealed (which I won't spoil here). Suffice it to say, "The Crazies" of 2010 isn't perfect, but it's a damn sight closer than the original.

The special effects falter a little at the very end, but I didn't mind too much, and all in all, for my money, this is a remake that is superior in every way to the original. THIS is what remakes should be. They should take movies with good ideas and poor execution and make them better. That's what this movie does, and I love it for that.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Who Sloo Auntie Roo? / What's the Matter with Helen?

Alright, I don't care what the movie cover says, the name of the movie is "Who Sloo Auntie Roo?" That's the title that makes sense and it rhymes, too. Somewhere someone decided "whoever" was more "correct" but when I watched this schlocky little movie as a kid, the title I remember was "Who Sloo Auntie Roo" so that's what I'm sticking with. I was excited to find this two pack for $4.99 at Meijer today because I loved these movies when I was a kid. Good stuff. I love October!

The Crazies (1973)

Good GOD this movie was boring. I know Romero has a rabid fan base who treat him like God, but he was asleep at the wheel here. Half the dialogue doesn't even make any sense; it's just a bunch of bad actors yelling about how the government doesn't care about anyone. When something happens, it's pretty interesting, but there are huge long stretches where NOTHING happens and those are indescribably boring. Skip this.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue

I might get a ton od shit for this, but I'm looking forward to this movie. "Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure" was adorable, and this one looks cute, too. I saw the trailer and wanted it right away. If nothing else, my friend Danielle will watch it with me and we'll pretend it's for the kids, Jozalyn and Arionna. :-p

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Glee season 1

This is a much-talked about show for a lot of reasons. First of all, it features a bunch of high school students who don't always fit the mold...a lot of them are outcasts, an they';re a motley crew drawn together by the fact that they all have talent. they can sing and dance (to varying degrees of success, but that's a minor quibble that I'm tired of hearing). Honestly, I heard nothing but positive things about this show for months, and I finally watched it and fell in love with it, and it was only then that I learned that a lot of people hate this show. It's been called racist, sexist, abelist (for its depiction of disabled people, for those who aren't familiar with the jargon) and homophobic. It's been slammed for trading in stereotypes, and people complain that it maligns the very students it's trying to showcase as talented and worthy individuals. I don't agree with this portrayal, but I don't really have time to address each and every slam this show has received, and it wouldn't help anyway. those who are determined to hate it won't be swayed by anything I have to say since they've heard it all before. what I will say is that while this show might not be perfect, it at least TRIES to show outcast minority students (who don't fit in for many reasons) coming together and growing and changing as their love of music unites them. They express their feelings through song, and a lot of the songs are familiar tunes you'd hear on the radio, which helps people relate to the show even if they don't normally enjoy "musicals." I love music and I often find listening to music is the only thing that keeps me from snapping and killing lots of people, so I relate to this show. I laughed, I cried, I sang along, and I loved it. I didn't like every episode ("Funk" was particularly flat for me) but I found SOMETHING to love in every episode, and that's something I can't say about every show...ok, about just about any show. So I dig it, and I think it will find a home among those who will always dig it too, even if it isn't always perfect.

TV I Watched: Law and Order: The Second Year

This is the second season of the long-running primetime TV drama "Law & Order." Some changes this season were evident right from the beginning. Detective Max Greavy was killed in the first episode of this season, and Detective Mike Logan had to track down his killer. Of course, being Mike, he broke a bunch of laws to do it, and the case almost got thrown out. when I was a kid, I thought Logan (Chris Noth) was the coolest cop ever, but now that I'm pushing thirty, I definitely see him for the hotheaded jerk he can often be. I really enjoyed Paul Sorvino as detective Phil Ceretta in this season (Greavy's replacement) because he was cool and calm and levelheaded, which was the perfect compliment to Logan's tendency to fly off the handle. This season was just as hard-hitting as the first, and like the first, still holds up today.

TV I Watched: Law and Order: The First Year

This is the first season of the critically acclaimed show "Law & Order." The original series has been on for over 20 years now, and it has always been and will probably always be my favorite TV show, no matter how many other shows I happen to like along the way. I keep coming back to this one, and I can watch episodes over and over again, even ones I've seen time and time again. I started watching reruns of this show on A&E =back when I was 12 years old (I wasn't allowed to watch it, but I'd watch it while my mom was at work) and I fell in love with it. The setup, the cops investigating the crime, catching the suspect, and the DA and ADA trying to convict the suspect (and often failing...even when the suspect is convicted, the show offers conflicting messages about how there can't ever really be justice for victims of homicide and the lives of the victims' families are often torn apart beyond repair). this is a show that didn't like happy endings and pat answers. sure, you can mock it for any number of presumed failings, but the fact remains, it often gets its law and its facts straighter than any other show on primetime TV dares to do. Maybe it has deteriorated recently, I wouldn't know, but these classic episodes are still just as good (if a bit dated) as they were when they first aired.

The Life Before Her Eyes

This is a movie that I'd heard about for a long time but somehow missed seeing. Somehow I got the impression that critics loved this movie, but when I checked out reviews after I saw it, I was surprised to learn that most critics panned it, and a lot of them unfairly so. they made really stupid observations too, like more than one review bitched that Uma Thurman and Evan Rachel Wood don't look anything, excuse me? First of all, that's a stupid objection to a movie, and second of all, it's patently untrue. Sometimes it's hard to tell the two actresses apart in this movie. Wood plays the rebellious teen Diana, and Thurman plays the grown-up Diana who keeps flashing back to a tragedy that occurred 15 years ago at her high school. Forced to make a choice between life and death, to choose between her life and the life of her best friend, Diana is haunted by the consequences of this decision.

The twist ending is another thing that critics bitch about, but they can just get over it. Yes, I've seen this twist done other times in other movies. Most of those movies suck. this one doesn't. I'll also say that while I usually guess twist endings right at the beginning of the movie, this movie had me so engrossed that I forgot to try and figure it out so it took me until almost the end of the movie to realize what was going on, and I'm a pissy little movie snob, so that's hard to do. I enjoyed this movie and think you should ignore then critics and give it a chance.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The New Daughter

PG13 horror movies have a bad rep among horror fans. We expect them to be dumbed-down and removed of all gore and shock value. There's not much gore on display here (but there's enough that it surprised me) and this movie delivers on the shocks. Kevin Costner plays a complete idiot in this movie (he doesn't know enough not to squeeze glasses while washing dishes, so they break, and he forgets to buy his cat a litter box when he moves, so he takes the thing outside to pee like a dog and is surprised when it runs away...moron) but he's likable enough. We feel for him, moving to a new house in an isolated location with two kids who grew up without him due to his job keeping him away from them for years. His kids are believable...the younger son is doting, and the teenage daughter is...well, a teenage daughter. One minute she's cuddly and loving, the next minute she's screaming at him and stomping off to her room. Teenage girls are so moody anyway (damn those couldn't PAY ME to be a teenager again) that at first, it's hard to tell whether she's just being moody or whether something is really wrong, but soon it's clear that something at the house is changing the girl and making her do increasingly frightening things.

I won't spoil anything, but this movie has the balls to do some things that even R-rated movies won't do, and some of the images really got under my skin. I respect that. Give this movie a chance.


It's probably best to come into this movie like I did. I saw the trailers for this movie and they sucked me in and I totally wanted to see it, like most people did. then everyone I knew saw it and told me how awful it was, one right after another, and I lost all expectations and when I finally saw it, I was prepared for it to be terrible. It isn't. Oh don't get me wrong, there are many things that are terrible ABOUT this movie (the ending was so unintentionally hilarious that I was almost rolling on the floor with laughter) but there's enough good here to keep me entertained, so I ended up enjoying myself. I think it's because I expected it to be so bad. If I'd expected it to be good, I would have been royally pissed.

Crazy Heart

I finally watched this movie yesterday. It was really a great movie. Very touching. the song "The Weary Kind," the main theme for this movie, is perfectly fitting and it's a beautiful song.

The Blind Side

This movie is about an affluent family who adopt a poor young homeless man, encourage him to play football, and help him get into college, where he then goes on to play professional football. I really identified with the homeless kid, because I was so much like him when I was a teenager that it's scary. I loved this movie.

The House of the Devil

There are a lot of great posters for this movie. Here's another one:

That one especially just transports me back to my childhood roaming the aisles of the video store, looking at horror movie covers and wishing I could see the movies (sometimes the movie cover was better than the movie itself). Horror movie covers were made to sell the movie back then, and this one is no exception. the movie is surprisingly good, though. It's a "take no prisoners" kind of movie. It builds slowly, getting you to know and like the main character, even while she's being stupid and you know something bad is going to happen to her. this movie doesn't waste time with long explanations either, you either buy what's going on or you don't, but you're not given much time to think about ti because you're kind of thrown into the horrifying situation just like the heroine is (and she's not stupid after all! She actually fights back and makes halfway intelligent decisions, which is something you can't say for most horror movie characters).

District 9

This movie is bleak and dark, and it's gritty and sad, and honestly, it's a very good movie, but it's another one of those movies that laments about why we shouldn't trust the government or the media, and I already know that, so movies like this hit me harder than they would otherwise. It's also a movie where I start out not liking the main character and end the movie really liking the main character and being sad for him. There are a few huge plot holes that piss me off because they could have been easily avoided, and those made me stabby with rage, but the movie is so good it overcomes that (which usually isn't the case for me...I watch hundreds of movies a year; I don't have time for bullshit). This movie is worth watching.

Dear Zachary

I hadn't heard anything about this movie until a few months ago someone told me it was very depressing and I should watch it. I finally checked it out, and it's very raw and emotional, and you should check it out, too, but I'm not going to tell you anything about it because I think the best way to come into this movie is blind. I will say that it's a documentary from a man to the young son of his murdered friend, and it's very sad and I cried like, through the whole movie, basically, and yelled at the screen a lot. You probably will too.

Land of the Dead

I hated this movie the first time I saw it, but it reads better the second time. I think it was too bleak and depressing and such for me the first time around.

Right at Your Door

This movie is very low-budget. It mostly works. there are a few logical inconsistencies that you can tell are a factor of the budget (it's unbelievable that we only see very d=few people in this film...none of the neighbors wanted to cause a ruckus and leave their houses?) but you won't mind those because the story at hand is too compelling. A man kisses his wife goodbye and she leaves for work in the morning, and then he learns that a bomb has gone off in the city. He tries to rescue her but it herded back to his house by cops. He seals everything off to keep whatever toxin came from the bomb from getting into his house, but after it's all sealed, his wife returns and he makes her stay outside for fear of what she'll bring in with her. I knew something bad would come of this and I yelled at the screen a lot, but neither of them listened to me. this movie is bleak and if you already don't trust the government, this won't change your mind. It's very depressing but very worthwhile.


This was a movie I hadn't heard of until a few years ago, and when I watched it, I was underwhelmed by the first hour. It's one of those "slow burn" movies that takes awhile to get going, which is all fine and dandy when I'm enjoying learning about the characters, but these characters are a bunch of vapid rich people whoi don't give a shit about anyone but themselves and a bunch of tech people behind the scenes who are ignoring signs that something is very wrong at this vacation spot, so I wanted them all to pretty much shut up and die. Once the first hour was over and things got going, though, I enjoyed the mayhem, so I think watching it again would be less painful since I know there's a payoff for all my tedious hard work. Yul Brenner is great in this movie as a sadistic robot who kills off a bunch of people I don't like.

Vantage Point

A fun little action movie. It has a gimmick that might make you pull your hair out, but when all is revealed, it's worth the watch (which is something you can't say about most gimmick movies).

The Burning

I'd heard about this movie for years, and I love slashers so I wanted to see it, but I never got around to it until last month. I'm sorry I waited so long. this movie is the typical "killer slashes teens in the woods" fare, but it's so much fun you won't care (plus this was one of the early flicks in this sub-sub-genre so it wasn't copying much). There's a massacre scene on a raft floating down the river that kicks so much ass I don't know if I've seen a better kill scene in any movie, even those made today. Check this one out especially to see Jason Alexander (from "Seinfeld" fame) when he was young and hot!

Silent Night Deadly Night III: Better Watch Out

This is a case of the movie's poster being a hundred times better than the movie itself. Good LORD. I needed something to help me calm down after "The Hurt Locker," but this was something no one needed. this movie is so bad I can't even describe it. It manages to be horrible, but not so bad it's good. I almost went to sleep. this movie is so bad at characterization it took me half the movie to figure out that the lead character is blind, and she looks so much like her brother's girlfriend that you won't be able to tell them apart. Plus did you know that shooting someone twice won't kill them, but if you then stab them once in the chest, they'll die? Ugh. skip this. even if you love bad movies like I do, this isn't worth it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Hurt Locker

I just watched "The Hurt Locker" and I enjoyed it very much. It amazed me that I could be riveted to the screen when for a lot of the movie, NOTHING is happening. Two guys are lying in the dirt staring at a house through binoculars. But I couldn't turn away. Sue me, I dug it (some people probably would sue me, since some people care WAY too much what I think about movies). Anyway, with regards to "The Hurt Locker," people keep complaining that it's unrealistic, but I have to ask, compared to WHAT? It's probably a thousand times more realistic than the war movies I watched growing up. None of them showed flies crawling into the eyes of snipers while they lay in wait. I don't know what people were getting at. Did it mess up some of the details? I'm sure it did. Movies are fictional, not reality, so I take them with a grain of salt, but I respect them for what I can see that they've gotten right, and "The Hurt Locker" gets a lot of things right that I've seen other movies get wrong. I think it's funny that an equal number of people complained "this movie is propaganda! It felt like a two hour commercial asking me to enlist!" and "this movie was propaganda! It was blatantly anti-war!" That in my eyes is the mark of a successful war movie.

Out of curiosity, and because I made the statement "I don't usually like 'Best Picture' winners," I went through and compiled a list of every 'Best Picture' winner that I would consider a movie that I love; a movie that has shaped/changed my perception of the world, a movie that I still think and talk about long after I'm done watching it, movies I can really say I love and I'd watch again (or that they're worth watching again, even if I don't want to, since I don't typically sit down with a big bowl of popcorn and pop "Schindler's List" in very often). For those of you who are interested, here's that list:

Gentlemen's Agreement
All About Eve
The Sound of Music
West Side Story
In the Heat of the Night
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
The Deer Hunter
Kramer vs. Kramer
Terms of Endearment
Schlindler's List
American Beauty
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Slumdog Millionaire
The Hurt Locker

Honorable mention goes to "Braveheart," because I quote it a lot, but looking at it, I really don't think the movie is very good, just individual lines and scenes are good, so I reference them. For the record, I also suspect that "Rebecca" and "Casablanca" will be on this list as well if I get around to watching them again. I think I was too young to appreciate them when I first saw them, so I need to see them again. Probably same with "The Apartment". In fact, I recently bought "Ordinary People" for this very reason. I'll also probably add "Unforgiven" to this list once I finally see it. I quote the damn thing enough already. And I might add "No Country for Old Men" to the list once I see it.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I love horror movies. I have since I was a kid. I love them so much that when I go for too long without seeing a good horror movie, I get cranky. I had an exceedingly bad day yesterday, and the only thing that could really cheer me up was a good horror movies, and this was it.

It's set in a future society where a "virus" has turned the population of the world into vampires. Of course, now there aren't many humans left, and vampires are the dominant race, so blood as a natural resource is getting more and more scarce. Vampires are dying off because of lack of blood, feeding on each other and devolving into ugly creatures that resembles Nosferatu on crack. The vampires are busy trying to come up with a substitute for blood, and the humans are hiding underground trying to survive, and things are pretty bleak.

I find it amusing how the trailer for this movie made it look really stupid. I loved every minute of this movie, but even the description I typed above sounds weird. I guess you had to be there. If you're a horror fan, check this one out. It's worth it. It's so good that even in this age of dwindling resources, I plan on using some of my resources to buy the DVD and watch it again and remember why I love horror movies so much in the first place.

The Box

Here's the deal with this movie. It's basically an elongated episode of the original black and white "Twilight Zone" series. Everything, from the music to the stilted acting, to the setting, to the plot twists that aren't fully explained which allows us to draw our own conclusions to the plot twists themselves which are straight from episodes of "Twilight Zone" that I remember watching as a kid, everything fits. If that intrigues you and you loved that show in all its cheesy heavy-handedness like I did, then check this movie out. If it sounds like it would annoy you and piss you off, you might want to stay away. I can fully understand why a lot of people hated this movie, but I liked it.

Precious: Based on the novel "Push" by Sapphire

I tried to watch this movie while it was in theaters. I obtained a screener and I watched half of it, and then it got to be too much for me, so I set it aside. I finally revisited it yesterday, and the movie is well worth watching. It hits me a little too close to home...I lived this life, or at least a life close enough to this one that it was painful to revisit. I adore Gabourey Sibide and she does such a good job with this role that I admire her so much. People have made disparaging comments about how she was just "playing her own life" onscreen, but shes said herself that her own life was much different from the life of this character, but she recognized Precious because she's "walked by this girl a thousand times without looking at her, and I owe it to her to tell her story." And she does. Mo'Nique, whom I've loved for years, nearly tore my heart out in this movie. I saw so much of my own mother in this woman that it was physically painful to watch. I'm so impressed with her performance and glad she's gotten the recognition and awards she deserved for being able to go there and take us all there with her, whether we wanted to go or not. This movie isn't for everyone, but I loved it.

Saw VI

I've wanted to see this movie for awhile. I'm one of the people who loved the direction the "Saw" franchise went in after part 3 (part 3 is still my favorite) and then part 4 hit me in the face and I wanted to punch everyone in the face. Part 4 is one of those movies that has the daunting task of setting up a bunch of plot twists that won't make sense until they are revealed in later movies, so it's very unsatisfying. Not only that, but Costas Mandylor, the main actor in the movie, can't act his way out of a paper bag and he has to carry most of the movie, so it's irritating. Further, the main cop who's being tested in part 4 doesn't actually do anything wrong (he's not a bad person, he doesn't hurt people or do underhanded things, he's just very overzealous and he essentially is being punished for doing his job TOO WELL...throughout the movie his "tests" involve trying to get him to ignore horrible crimes, and when he tries to solve them and bring people to justice anyway, he "fails" his tests). This bugged me. Jigsaw was always about teaching people lessons so they'd appreciate their lives more, so I balked at seeing him torturing a poor guy because he was good at his job. This coupled with the fact that Costas Mandylor introduced the first ever character into the Saw series who was completely devoid of any good characteristics (this guy is a total sleazeball with no redeeming value...even Amanda had motivations we could understand, even if we didn't agree with her...this guy, he's an asshole, plain and simple). All these factors turned me off the series and made me hate part 4. I was sure the series was unsalvagable. then I saw part 5, and it was a little ray of light. It explained a lot of the plot twists that part 4 left hanging, and Costas Mandylor, which he still couldn't deliver a believable line ot save his life, he was a little better, and the movie itself managed to deliver some plot twists without drowning itself in them. So I dug it. I was excited to see where part 6 would take us.

How did it hold up? Well first of all, they definitely ratcheted up the gore from part 5. This one is drenched in the red stuff, and while they'll never top the sheer gruefest that was part 4, this one is definitely gooey and icky enough. This movie also manages to resolve most of the plot twists that poor part 4 left dangling, and while I still don't like it for the other reasons I outlined above (bad acting; likable hero being "tested" for stupid reason, unlikable bad guy who is the first bad guy we have no sympathy for in the history of the series) I don't hate it as much as I once did. Hell, I'm even planning to buy it, since I want to own all these movies now. Costas Mandylor, which he's still a big lunkhead, is a much better actor this time around. He gets better with every movie, and I guess I can't fault him if he's impro0ving, which is what every actor should do as they move from film to film. This movie also has the =pleasure of introducing actress Tanedra Howard to us. She competed in the VH1 reality show "Scream "Queens" to win a role in "Saw VI," and she was my favorite on that show, so I loved seeing her here. Her character has a small role, but she lights up the screen with a lot of pathos, and I really appreciated her performance.

All in all, I really enjoyed this movie. It managed to introduce a bunch of new plot threads without failing to resolve its own central plot, and I can't wait to see which direction this series takes with part 7. If you're one of those people who didn't like the direction the movies took with part 3, you probably won't like this one, either. But if you're like me and you enjoy these stories for what they are, cool little puzzles with a lot of gore and poor tortured souls, give this movie a shot.