Posts Tagged ‘Media Update’

Media Update 10/19/17

October 19, 2017


Cult of Chucky

When I watched the Curse of Chucky last year, I was wary of what I heard was a reboot. I loved the weird five-movie franchise starring Brad Dourif as a foul-mouthed killer doll. I was unsure if lightning would strike twice if they tried again. Thankfully, the movie was a soft reboot and the best of both worlds. By rebooting the tone instead of the lore, they breathed new life into the franchise. To me, the Child’s Play and Chucky movies were never really scary. They were more silly than scary. By making Curse into a thriller, they somehow made it scary. Cult continues in that vein with a more psychological approach which is fitting since the movie takes place in a mental hospital. This movie continues not long after where Curse left off. It follows Nica but the movie also seeks to reintroduce the lore and plotlines from the original Child’s Play movies. Best of all, Brad Dourif is both funny and scary as Chucky. I was legitimately scared for the characters on screen for the first time since maybe the second Child’s Play movie. This movie also sets up for yet another sequel which would be the eight in the series. Thanks to the soft reboot the series does not feel tired or overplayed in the least. I definitely recommend this one.


Beyond the Gates

I never played VCR board games as a kid. As a teen, I played DVD versions of Trivial Pursuit but I never encountered the horror VCR board games until I found them uploaded onto the Internet. They are cheesy and rely a lot on drawing the victims in and jump scaring them. This movie is a loving tribute to those board games but more so to the VCR portion of them. The movie is definitely very modern but it also has a lot of Eighties throwback elements. This matches the movie of two brothers revisiting their childhood in the Eighties. The movie does not have much gore but it has a very gloomy and eerie mood. It was the kind of feel that tightens my gut, like waiting in line for a haunted house. Some of the actors have been in horror movies but nobody was famous but everybody did a great job. The character of Evelyn was the best, the woman in the VCR, guiding us through the story. It is not in itself terrifying but it also confronts more realistic fears beyond the supernatural threats that are relevant to my life right now and more terrifying than any ghost or demon. I wholeheartedly recommend it as it harkens back to the 1980s and 90’s pretty well.


13 Demons

Let me get one thing out of the way right away: I am not prejudiced against people who drink and smoke weed. I am kind of prejudiced against people who only smoke and drink and seem to do nothing else. The protagonists of this movie are three guys who are hard-drinking, wake and bakers who seem to do nothing but play video games. I guess that’s at least one of the reasons that the acting is so sleepy and slow for most of the movie. These guys find a predictably ancient and cursed board game and things go wrong. However, the movie is not really clear on what’s going wrong because when you have characters who always act weird when they ‘start acting weird’ it’s hard to tell for a while. About halfway through, the movie starts to pick up in the style of a psychological horror movie. Parts of the movie reminded me of playing games like Eldritch Horror with my friends. We sit around a table and move our pieces, roll dice, and read a lot of lore from little cards. These are not the gamers that I ever hung out with but the gaming experience is similar. Of course, the horror aspects are the part that is drastically different. As the movie picks up, it does get a lot creepier and more fun to follow. Still, there was not much meat to the movie. I would not recommend this movie as there are so many better horror movies in this vein.

Music of the Week:
As Blood Runs Black – My Fears Have Become Phobias

NEVERMORE – Born

Hardwell, Austin Mahone – Creatures Of The Night

Queens of the Stone Age – The Evil Has Landed

Primus – The Devil Went Down to Georgia

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Deadly Playthings”
– I watched more Glitter Force Season 2
– I watched more Santa Clarita Diet
– I watched more Blindspot Season 1
– I watched more Little Witch Academia
– I continue to watch Critical Role everyday

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Media Update 10/12/17

October 12, 2017


What We Do In the Shadows

I had heard over and over how this was a movie worth seeing. Mockumentaries have a rich and varied history in the world of comedy but I had never seen one mixed with the horror/Halloween genre. This is a mockumentary about a group of vampires who share an apartment in New Zealand. In most supernatural stories, the main characters are the only ones in the world dealing with vampires or werewolves or whatever. In more modern tellings, like urban fantasy or young adult literature, there are supernatural creatures everywhere. This is the reality that I like to visit because you get to explore all sorts of personality types reacting to the supernatural. In this, you get vampires based on Interview with a Vampire, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (both Oldman and Lugosi), Nosferatu and The Lost Boys. They are part of a larger community of vampires, witches, zombies, and werewolves. There is a lot of really fun comedy based on the movies and books that I have seen. The script was written by Jemaine Clement (of Flight of the Conchords) and Taika Waititi but that script was never seen by the rest of the cast. Instead, they were given loose directions and they improved the heck out of pretty much every scene. Much of the comedy comes from the fact that the vampires are pretty lame and also they have not adjusted well to the modern world. What I did not expect was that the special effects would be so good. My mind was actually blown by some of the neat camera tricks they were able to pull. I definitely recommend it.

 


Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

A classic horror movie set up is that a bunch of dumb college kids travel out into the wilderness. Along the way, they piss off some psycho hillbillies and those hillbillies pick off the kids one by one. That seems a little one-sided against the hillbillies. What is their story? That is the question posed in this very meta horror/comedy movie. In this, two innocent hillbilly guys get mistaken for psycho killers in a real comedy of errors with each mishap leading to a worse situation. Obviously, the makers of this film have seen a lot of horror movies and they knew just how to pick them apart in a loving way. Movies like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Wrong Turn, Mother’s Day and others are all parodied or paid homage to. The movie kind of made me think of Cabin in the Woods with its loving parody of a horror subgenre while still being creepy and suspenseful. There are so many well-done beats taken from good and bad horror movies that made the movie really fun to watch even if it was not actually very scary. A really bright spot for me was that one of the stars of the movie is the legendary Alan Tudyk who plays an excellent intelligent hillbilly opposite a big dumb hillbilly played by Tyler Labine. The two play like Abbott and Costello and really help make the movie. However, the college kids are also spot on what they needed to be and the writing is very clever. I definitely recommend it.

 


Grabbers

On my journey through the world of Horror, I keep trying to visit other countries to see what they have to offer. Earlier this week, I visited France. I have also visited Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Japan, China, and many others. However, I have yet to watch an Irish horror film and I found a recent one. This one is a science-fiction horror movie which is hit and miss for me. This movie involves a shapeless horror falling to Earth near an island just off the coast of Ireland. The tiny community must deal with these creatures who only want to consume and humans are definitely on the memo. It is up to two Garda officers to solve the case and protect the community before the creatures can spread to the rest of the planet. Along the way, the movie confronts and plays with a lot of Irish stereotypes and employs a lot of great Irish humor. It utilizes the wet weather seen a lot in that part of the world but also shows some of the beauty of the Emerald Isle. Some of the movie plays like something out of HP Lovecraft or other stories about a horror coming to a quiet, simple village. However, it is a modern story but some out-of-the-way places are less modern than others. The movie ends up being a lot of fun even if it is a pretty simple and straightforward movie. I definitely recommend it.

Music of the Week:
The Cult – Lil’ Devil

Sir Sly – You Haunt Me

Sunmi – Full Moon

The Pretty Things – Welcome To The Monster Club

Queens of the Stone Age – The Evil Has Landed

 

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Horror Comedies”
– I finished Gotham Season 3
– I finished The Good Place Season 1
– I finished House of Cards Season 2
– I watched more Glitter Force Season 2
– I watched more Santa Clarita Diet Season 1
– I watched more Little Witch Academia Season 1
– I finished Rick and Morty Season 3
– I did not get any Mulan sauce. They ran out.

Media Update 10/5/17

October 5, 2017


Ghoulies II

I just had to give the sequel a shot after I kind of liked the original film. Ghoulies had the bad luck of coming out around the same time as Gremlins which ended up overshadowing it (and other similar films). It and this sequel were also attacked during the satanic panic of the 1980s. Critics thought that both films glorified summoning demons. Once again, these religious nuts did not watch the movies they were trying to attack. There is definitely demons that get summoned in both films, they got that part right. However, in neither film does anybody have a good time or benefit for long by summoning demons.

Anyway, I thought that this sequel was much better than the original. This movie actually benefited from Gremlins because it injected more of the fun I like into the proceedings. The original was kind of somber and creepy. This one was way more fun but also still creepy. There is no way you have such good puppets as the Ghoulies and they do not end up being creepy. The puppets are slimy and their movements are so realistic and the subtle voice acting really sells it. The original was set in a drafty old manor. The sequel is set in a traveling carnival so there is a lot more eye candy and more interesting characters to grab onto. The sequel also has actual protagonists instead of focusing on the villain of the movie so there is an actual conflict between good and evil. The kills were also way more inventive but just as creepy and unsettling as the first film. I felt my skin crawling a lot when the ghoulies were on screen and especially when they were on the attack. I definitely recommend this to fans of old-school campy horror films.


Maniac Cop III: Badge of Silence

This has been an interesting series and I am kind of sad to reach the end of it. The series started with Bruce Campbell and that was what drew me to it in the first place. For a B horror movie series, the movies are surprisingly socially conscious. A framed cop is arrested and sent to prison where he is killed by the criminals he helped catch. He comes back as a revenant, pulling himself back to life to avenge the injustice against him. Since that story was resolved in the second movie, the third movie has him returning to face public injustice towards a police officer instead. It is up to Robert Davi to solve the real crime to try and stop the Maniac Cop from killing more people. The chinful Robert Z’Dar once again plays Officer Cordell who is the titular Maniac Cop.

Once again it is directed by William Lustig who seems to be a good friend of Sam Raimi. Their styles are definitely similar as the dialogue and the action hit a similar groove to the Evil Dead series. There is not as much comedy but there are plenty of interesting special effects. Z’Dar’s Maniac Cop is just so fun to watch and his unstoppable nature seems even stronger than Jason or Michael. It is a shame that Lustig has disavowed this film and did not want to continue the series. They had to bring in another director to finish it and edit in a lot of outtakes from the previous film. I still recommend the movie as Z’Dar and Davi and the rest of the cast (including Jackie Earle Haley!) really save the movie.


Bride of Re-Animator

After watching Re-Animator for the first time last year, I was absolutely disgusted but excited to watch the sequel. Based on an HP Lovecraft series, the Re-Animator movies are pretty crazy. I have not seen a lot of movies quite like it. Herbert West is one of the most interesting characters I have seen in a horror film. His deadpan delivery is at times frightening and other times it is funny instead. He is also so morally ambiguous. Like Victor Frankenstein, he pursues forbidden knowledge through distilling magical science goo that brings the dead back to life (hence the title). Everything is his fault but he never intends any harm which leaves him in a frustrating gray area. In this sequel, Herbert and his buddy Jake return from serving in the Peruvian civil war. They resume West’s experiments with the undead but they have a lot of unresolved issues from the first movie. This was released in 1990 but it definitely feels like an eighties horror film. Once again, the body horror is off the charts and makes my skin crawl. I feel like this movie definitely inspired the writers and effects team for Ash vs. The Evil Dead. I definitely recommend it but watch the original first for the full effect.

Music of the Week:
W.A.S.P. – Scream Until You Like It

Ariana Grande – Dangerous Woman

The Nearly Deads – My Evil Ways

The Steeldrivers – “Ghosts Of Mississippi”

Ghost – Cirice

Weekly Update:
– This Week’s theme is “Sequels of Halloween Stuff I Reviewed Previously II”
– I watched more The Good Place Season 1
– I watched more Gotham Season 3
– I watched more House of Cards Season 2
– I finished Bojack Horseman Season 4
– I watched more Glitter Force Season 2
– I watched more Santa Clarita Diet Season 1
– I watched more Little Witch Academia Season 1

Media Update 9/27/17

September 28, 2017


Kingsman: The Golden Circle

When the first Kingsman movie came out, I was excited because it was from the same director as X-Men: First Class, a great movie. The first Kingsman was a fantastic action/spy film with a lot of quirky humor along with some great themes. They tackled the clash between the upper class and the lower class in England, human aggression and a lot of other great stuff. This sequel once again follows Taron Egerton as a young agent who used to be a bit of a hoodlum. He has learned the value of self-respect and growing up to be more responsible (in the first move). Now, he continues that arc in trying to grow up by learning how to maintain trust and relationships in general. The villain is the delightfully insane Julianne Moore who just sparkles in every scene she has. Egerton is joined again by Colin Firth and Mark Strong but he is also joined by Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges, Pedro Pascal, and a surprise guest I do not want to spoil. Throughout all of the action and intrigue, he still has to keep things solid with his love interest from the first film (Hanna Alstrom) who just happens to be a princess. The film was very funny, exciting, and even touching in some places. I definitely recommend it.


Santa Clarita Diet

After watching stuff like iZombie and Shaun of the Dead, I realized that zombies do not have to be that boring on the screen and apparently the makers of this show thought the same thing. Drew Barrymore and Timothy Oliphant play a married couple who are real estate agents with a daughter. They live in the suburb called Santa Clarita on a little cul de sac. One day, Drew’s character dies and immediately comes back as a zombie. She suffers no loss of intelligence, mobility or lividity. Instead, she suffers an incredible craving for raw meat and a drastically reduced ability to control her impulses. The show is about how a suburban family in California tries to deal with the mother and wife suddenly becoming a zombie. Apparently, this is rare in the show’s universe because nobody knows what is going on. Instead of medical experts, they rely on information cobbled together from movies, television, and comic books. They try to keep under the radar which is hard since Drew’s character cannot restrain a lot of the random ideas in her head. There is a deep sense of unease through the whole show but that accompanies all of the comedy and action. I am only four episodes in and there are so many great celebrity guest stars and cameos. I also recommend this although be warned, it is very bloody.


The Good Place

I love Kristen Bell. This is a proven fact ever since I discovered Veronica Mars during a low point in my life (also the same period when I discovered Firefly). I will watch just about anything she is in, no questions asked. So, when I found out that they had given her a new television show, I just had to check it out. To my surprise, my mother had already watched most of it and, when I visited, we watched the season 1 finale together. I did not fully understand what was happening but I liked the characters enough to move the show up on my list of things to watch. The show follows Bell’s character who awakens in The Good Place (kind of like Heaven but not exactly) where she is told she has died and this is her eternal reward. Unfortunately, she realizes that the powers that be got the wrong Eleanor Shellstrop. The right one was a relief worker and charity foot soldier. Bell’s character may have the same name but she was a horrible person in life and now she needs to try to fit in or she will surely find herself in The Bad Place. The show focuses a lot on the character interactions as Eleanor tries to become a person worthy of the reward she received so she can stay blended in. The show tackles a lot of actual theories of ethics developed in the history of philosophy. I definitely recommend it if you like funny supernatural situational comedies with a strong cast.

Music of the Week:

Wheatus – Teenage Dirtbag

Yui – Laugh Away

Stitches – Brick In Yo Face

Demi Lovato – Sorry Not Sorry

Old Crow Medicine Show – Caroline

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Keeping Secrets”
– I started watching Gotham Season 3
– I watched more Glitter Force Season 2
– I watched more House of Cards Season 2
– I watched more Little Witch Academia Season 1
– I watched more Rick and Morty Season 3
– I watched more Bojack Horseman Season 4
– Halloween starts next week (Three days!)

Media Update 9/21/17

September 21, 2017


King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

I like Guy Ritchie movies. He makes interesting films and has already proven that he can adapt things from a slightly different angle (see Sherlock Holmes). In this, he takes King Arthur and has him banished to the poor district as a baby. He lives in a whorehouse and scraps and fights to survive. This a little different from the usual boy king story we get in movies like The Sword in the Stone. It also has some pretty cool battle scenes including bare-knuckle fighting which Guy Ritchie is kind of known for at this point. Charlie Hunnam plays Arthur in his path to the throne and gives him a bit of a harder edge. We get a more diverse group of knights with Djimon Hounsou standing out above all the others. Instead of Merlin, we get a female magic user who is a little more enigmatic. We also got Jude Law as the usurper of the throne and he was sufficiently slimy. Parts of the movie did move a little slow for me but when the movie got going it almost never stopped being interesting and exciting. This is why I like watching a lot of adaptations of stories I love because I will see a little something different each time. I definitely recommend this as it was visually appealing and an interesting angle on an old story.


Warcraft

Back in the day I owned and beat Warcraft and Warcraft II and then I subscribed to and played World of Warcraft for nearly a year. The first two games were endless fun as real-time strategy games where you unleash an army on your enemies. WoW is a game I still feel conflicted about but not because of the game itself. The Warcraft franchise allows you to play as either of two armies (or part of either of two armies in WoW’s case). You can play as the Horde which is a coalition of invaders from another realm and assorted races that feel disenfranchised. You can also play as the Alliance which is a collection of races native to the realm being invaded. The movie similarly covers both sides neither of which are all good or all bad. Instead, both sides have an enemy in the dark forces of Necromancy. They went to great pains to fill both sides with sympathetic characters as they knew that there are still players loyal to either side. A lot of the work of world building and art direction had already been done throughout the games so all they had to do was present that faithfully. They did that well. Even more, they gave the orcs more expressive faces which allowed the viewer to sympathize with them more. It starts slowly as they struggle to wade through the exposition but it gets way better as it goes and gets into the meat of its story. I definitely recommend it although non-fantasy, non-Warcraft fans might not be interested.


Mythica: The Dark Spore

I am a huge fan of the Critical Role stream on Geek and Sundry, yet another Dungeons and Dragons show that I listen to religiously. Through it, I have become a big fan of voice actor Matt Mercer and when I found out he was in a live-action movie then I had to check it out. Mercer is great at embodying characters. As the Dungeon Master of Critical Role, he plays over a hundred unique characters throughout. In this, he plays an evil necromancer and he’s really good it. The movie kind of feels like a Dungeons and Dragons campaign distilled into movie form. The heroes have been through a lot together and each has their specific role that they’re good at. They try plans that go wrong until somebody gets a good idea. It was also interesting to see a necromancer as a good guy (not Mercer, a female necromancer). I have seen it in stuff like Anita Blake but not in high fantasy. The beginning is a little muddled as they deal with events from the first movie (which I did not see). The budget is low and besides Mercer, the only actor I recognize is Kevin Sorbo who plays an advisory role like Gandalf. I think the series has a lot of potential and I may check out the other ones. I recommend giving it a shot but I would understand if it is not your thing.

 

Music of the Week:
Nothing More – Go To War

Sifu Hotman – Embrace the Sun

30 Seconds to Mars – Walk On Water

Camila Cabello – Havana

Charlie Puth – Attention

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “High Stakes High Fantasy”
– I finished White Collar
– I watched more Bojack Horseman Season 4
– I watched more Rick and Morty Season 3
– I watched more House of Cards Season 2
– I watched more Little Witch Academia Season 1
– I watched more Glitter Force Season 2

Media Update 9/14/17

September 14, 2017


Silver Streak

I was astonished as I sat down with my folks this weekend, my mouth full of gauze from my wisdom tooth extraction, and started watching this movie. I thought I had seen it. Unless I was more drugged than I thought, I had not. I definitely would have remembered this movie. Gene Wilder was an absolute genius. His comedic performance often had an underlying depression and/or anger underneath it that just added such great layers to it. He is brilliant in this mystery aboard a train from Los Angeles to Chicago. There is plenty of slapstick, wordplay, great situational humor, and even some vaudeville style stuff. The other top-billed actor in this movie is, of course, Richard Pryor who does not show up for the first hour of the movie. This gives Gene Wilder, Jill Clayburgh, and a great cast of character actors room to breathe. Richard Pryor appears in time to give the movie a good kick in the rear to get it going faster towards its conclusion. He works so well with Gene Wilder which is why they paired them together several times at the height of their careers. Somewhat inspired by movies like North by Northwest, this movie ups the comedy without losing the suspense of the thriller genre. I definitely recommend it.


Snowpiercer

If you look back at last year’s Halloween movie reviews, you will see how much I enjoyed Joon-Ho Bong’s The Host. It was a great take on what would happen if a city was actually attacked by a strange, alien creature. Bong is really good at taking fantastic ideas and then grounding them and making them relatable while still keeping them insane. This movie is about an Earth where the world released chemicals into the air to counteract global warming and accidentally froze the world. The movie takes place on a train that perpetually circumnavigates the world. The movie says a lot about class differences and what you are willing to forgive others for and what you are able to live with within yourself. It stars Chris Evans in arguably one of his most difficult acting roles. We also get great performances from seasoned professionals like John Hurt and Ed Harris. There is also Tilda Swinton in probably the best performance I have seen from her. Finally, we have Kang-ho Song, which adds a little more variety to this tense combination between a drama and basically a war movie. The movie is dark and not at all happy. Instead, like most futuristic stories, they show just what we are willing to do to each other. I definitely recommend it.


The Great Train Robbery (2017)

In 1963, 2.6 million pounds (which is 49 million today) was stolen from a train transporting cash through the Royal Mail system. After they got some inside information, a gang of fifteen thieves was able to get away with the money without firing a shot. Recently, a new dramatization of the crime was released on Netflix. I watched the first of two parts which was basically a movie about the heist itself. The movie follows the careful planning of the crime, its completion, and then the immediate aftermath after the criminals were not immediately caught. I am looking forward to watching the second half which is the investigation and arrest of the whole gang based on the mistakes they made. It is an interesting concept because I spent the whole first half getting to know the criminals and a lot of them are portrayed as likable. None of them are guilty of much violence and each of them walked away with a small fortune. They come off as kind of heroic so you forget that they are definitely criminals. I recommend it.

Music of the Week:
The Fluids – Creatures

Chvrches – Broken Bones

BUCKY BOYS – Shadowpeople

TWRP – The No Pants Dance

Fab 5 Freddy – Change The Beat

Weekly Updates:
– This week’s theme is “Mysteries and Secrets on Trains”
– I watched more Supergirl Season 2
– I finished Once Upon a Time Season 6
– I watched more White Collar Season 6
– I watched more Glitter Force Season 2
– I started watching the Mae Young Classic
– I started Bojack Horseman Season 4
– I watched more Riverdale Season 1

Media Update 9/7/2017

September 7, 2017


Kong: Skull Island

I have seen every version of King Kong to date (including vs. Godzilla). I remember the last one in 2005 and I remember liking it because the characters felt more fleshed out. This one was even better. This is yet another reboot of King Kong but this time it is set at the tail end of the Vietnam War. John Goodman plays an explorer looking for access to vast caves full of giant monsters. He and his group are accompanied on an expedition to Skull Island by a photojournalist, a mercenary tracker, and a group of soldiers fresh from Vietnam. This version plays out more like Heart of Darkness with giant monsters which was a really refreshing take on things. Spoiler: There are no scenes set in New York City and there are no scenes where a wide-eyed female character entrances King Kong. Instead, we just watch the characters try to survive in an environment twenty times more dangerous than the jungles of Vietnam (during the war). They brought out some excellent actors which especially includes John Goodman, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, and John C. Reilly. The movie is tense but interrupted with good moments of comedy. I definitely recommend it.


Shin Godzilla

The last Godzilla movie I watched was the awfully boring 2014 American version which I could not even finish watching. I have fond memories of watching Godzilla movies but mostly for the Godzilla action. My favorite is actually Godzilla vs. Biollante which is a good movie where Godzilla is still a threat to Japan but he takes on a giant plant monster. When I heard that there was going to be a new Japanese reboot and that it was critically acclaimed, I decided I should check it out. When I was a kid I was bored by all the parts in between the actual Godzilla parts but that is not true anymore. This movie was definitely inspired by the recent tsunami that hit Japan and the resulting nuclear fallout from the Fukushima and how the problem was approached. A lot of the movie focusing on the frustrating bureaucracy as Japan tries to figure out how to best approach the Godzilla problem. Another huge theme is how the government fails to listen to the scientists until the last minute. The Godzilla parts are probably the best I have seen, a great blend of practical and computer generated effects. The acting in between is really believable, well-paced, and interesting which was a huge contrast with the 2014 version. I definitely recommend it.


The B. F. G.

I have talked about how I read the entire works of Roald Dahl at a very young age. The BFG did not make as much of an impact on me as the other books so I could not remember a lot of the story. The movie is about an orphan girl trying to navigate the world of giants with the help of the only friendly one. The movie is absolutely anchored by Mark Rylance who breathed depth into the Big Friendly Giant and his odd way of speaking. He is joined by Ruby Barnhill who is very cute and did a great job playing off of Rylance. The movie’s plot takes more than half the running time to actually kick in. It wanders and meanders for a long time as they set up bits of exposition and allow their main characters to bond. The actual plot really starts in the third act. It annoyed me at first but the movie is so charming that I eventually forgave it. It is a touching Disney adaptation of the dark yet endearing Roald Dahl. It is directed by Steven Spielberg and who does endearing better than him? I definitely recommend it.

Music of the Week:
K.Flay – Blood In The Cut

Jason Charles Miller – You Get What You Pay For

The Sisters Of Mercy – This Corrosion

Summer Camp – Pink Summer

Roxanne Shante – Have a Nice Day

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Giants Attack”
– This morning I will be going in to get some of my wisdom teeth taken out
– I finished White Collar Season 5
– I watched more Riverdale Season 1
– i watched more Supergirl Season 2
– I watched more Once Upon a Time Season 6
– I watched more Glitter Force Season 2
– I am so very much into Critical Role and Dice, Camera, Action now

Media Update 8/31/17

August 31, 2017


Sing Street

I watched this one on monthly Movie Night with friends and, while I had seen the movie on the Netflix menu, I probably would not have watched it on my own. Anyway, I was three when this movie took place in 1985. All the same, I remember some of the fashions even when I was older which is what caused most of the shocked and delighted comments from my older friends. The movie is about a young boy who is forced to go to a Christian School by his parents where he is bullied. To cope, he decides to chase a girl by forming a band. Through the story, the music also becomes about him discovering his identity and his confidence and also bonding with his brother. There is a lot of original music inspired by bands of the eighties including various genres and subgenres of the time as the band struggles to find their own sound. There is also a ton of great music from the seventies and eighties (and there’s also Genesis). While this is a bit of a period piece, there is plenty that hit home for me. The relationship between brothers was particularly hard hitting for me. Also, the family on the verge of a breakdown. Anyway, I definitely recommend it as it will have you both laughing and feeling and singing along.


Hedwig and the Angry Inch

I had heard about this musical for a long time but I have never seen it on stage. I was excited when I found out that the movie stars the original stars of the stage show. The show stars John Cameron Mitchell as gender ambiguous Hedwig (who was born male) who is trying to get her music career off the ground. However, she ends up following the tour of a former friend/lover who stole all of her original songs. So, she tells each audience on her tour her story while singing songs associated with different parts of her past. We see flashbacks as she tells her story which is definitely not a happy one. I would compare this movie to The Who’s Tommy which has a similar musical genre and also had a lot of trippy imagery in it. There is a lot of emotional pain in the movie but somehow they manage to keep it light enough not to be too much of a downer. The movie also had a few moments that felt a lot like This is Spinal Tap. I would recommend it as it was pretty fun and definitely an interesting and uncomfortable ride.


Opening Night

I stumbled on this in the Netflix menu and I have been a fan of Topher Grace since I was introduced to him in That 70’s Show. He has definitely grown as an actor. He plays a Broadway stage manager and immediately his role is so familiar as are a lot of the situations backstage in the movie. The movie is a lot about the past and missed opportunities and whether you can find those opportunities again. Appropriately, the musical within a musical is called One Hit Wonderland and it is about showcasing all of the One Hit Wonders in music history and whether those groups could have had another hit. Topher’s deadpan delivery is my favorite thing about the movie but there is a whole cast of wacky characters played by Alona Tal, Anne Heche, Taye Diggs, Rob Riggle and Paul Scheer. Beside’s Topher and Alona’s central story, there are a lot of side stories that are often amusing. There are musical numbers on stage and also one hit wonders are sung backstage that apply to the current point in the story. I would actually recommend this as it was a pretty good romantic comedy (although it is a little raunchy for raunchy’s sake).

Music of the Week:
Jimmie Rodgers – Honeycomb

Royal Republic – Baby

ZZ Ward – Put the Gun Down

Against Me! – Crash

The LaFontaines – Release the Hounds

Media Update:
– This week’s theme is “Presentational Rock Musicals”
– I finally finished The Defenders
– I watched more White Collar Season 5
– I watched more Riverdale Season 1
– I watched more Supergirl Season 2
– I watched more Once Upon a Time Season 6
– I finished Criminal Minds Season 12

Media Update 8/24/17

August 24, 2017


The Defenders

I have raved on this blog before about how much I loved Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist. Marvel’s Netflix shows have been on point since day one. Sure, Iron Fist was the weakest link in the chain but it was still way better than a lot of stuff I have watched. This series combines all four previous heroes into one show. I was wondering how that work and then as the first few episodes rolled, I realized that they were not just throwing the heroes together. They were combining entire shows. Each previous show gets moments to show its strengths and each hero is accompanied by their surviving supporting casts. They acknowledge the events of each show in dialogue and they even acknowledge The Avengers (2011) as they did in the first episode of Daredevil. The two things that make me love this show and the other shows are the characters and the fight scenes. For example, I did not realize just how much I missed the character of Jessica Jones until her grumpy face showed up on screen in episode one. I definitely recommend this one but it is obviously better if you have seen the other four series first.


Descendants 2

I have said before that I am a huge Disney nerd and, while I have not talked about it much on this blog before, I definitely sample stuff from the Disney Channel sometimes. Yes, this includes some of the Disney Sitcoms. Anyway, a while back Disney created a franchise where we meet the kids of famous Disney Animated movies. However, the heroes of the franchise are the children of Jafar, Cruella DeVille, The Evil Queen, and Maleficent. They have been given a second chance to show that they are not evil like their parents and live among the good kids of the kingdom. They meet and befriend the children of Dopey, Beast/Belle, Fairy Godmother, etc. In this new movie, the now good “Villain Kids” must deal with some of the children of villains they left behind back in exile. These include the son of Gaston, the son of Captain Hook, and the daughter of Ursula. Oh, and this is all a live-action, straight to television musical. I love it because I am a huge Disney nerd and I like when they play around with their own lore (see also Once Upon a Time and Kingdom Hearts). However, I recommend it with the caveat that it is definitely not for everyone.


Sharknado 5: Global Swarming

Speaking of not being for everyone, Asylum’s Sharnado franchise is pretty crazy and seems to be polarizing. I am pretty sure most of my friends either dropped out after the first one or have not watched any of them. I like a good “bad” movie. The first movie had the heroes encountering a freak combination of sharks and tornadoes as a spoof on a lot of SyFy disaster movies. As they piled on the sequels, the movies became more and more self-aware. Now, they are a bundle of cameos, puns, sight gags, technobabble, and spectacle. Now, this is not necessarily a bad thing but it does mean that there is not much space for such things as “coherent plot” or “good acting”. Mostly, we watch our heroes try to save their son in between celebrities getting murdered by flying sharks and the heroes murdering flying sharks. This one gets out of control with the crazy science fiction plot as now sharknados are plaguing the entire globe (including deserts). There is also time travel, teleportation, and advanced robotics involved. The most ridiculous part (at least to me) is the reveal of this ever expanding secret sisterhood that just happens to always be in the right place to help the main characters. It is not ridiculous because they are a secret sisterhood but rather it is ridiculous because they could not possibly predict where the heroes are teleporting next. It weird and strange but also kind of pleasing in a good bad movie kind of way. I do not recommend it. Save yourself.

Music of the Week:
Amon Amarth – Destroyer of the Universe

GiedRé – LES ROIS DES ANIMAUX

Maluma – Cuatro Babys

Katy Perry – Chained To The Rhythm

TWRP (w/ NSP) – No Pants Dance

Weekly Updates:
– This week’s theme is “Epic Teams”
– I watched more Glitter Force Season 2
– I watched more Criminal Minds Season 12
– I finished White Collar Season 4
– I watched more Riverdale Season 1

Media Update 8/17/17

August 17, 2017


Riverdale

When I was growing up and I was still fairly small (and yes, I am still kind of short), I had a bunch of relatives who knew that I liked comic books but understandably they did not know what I was buying with my allowance or what my friends were loaning to me. So, those relatives wanted to be nice and so they bought me Archie’s Double Digest comic books. These small books were chock full of Archie comic stories either reprinted or newly written. The Archie comics I read were full of puns and salt of the earth teenage characters trying to be happy in some decade long before I was born. It was simple and harmless and took a few minutes to read through. Now, they have released this new show called Riverdale which is an updated CW version of those characters and their adventures. All of the things I took for granted, like Archie not being able to decide between Betty and Veronica, Jughead’s apathy, and Reggie’s bullying are brought out in a different light. Reinterpreted, everything looks a little less innocent. Throw in a murder mystery arc and we have ourselves a darker version of Archie than I am used to. The show is pretty much a trashy soap opera but the mystery and characters have got me hooked. I have to praise the show for its cast diversity so far and their kind treatment of the LGBTQ community from what I can see. I recommend it but know you are heading into something less than dignified.


Vampire Academy

On a whim, I decided to check this out because I have loved vampire lore since I was pretty young and I am always up for checking out some different takes on the lore. Vampires vary so much in fiction and each take can be even just a little bit unique like a snowflake. This movie is apparently based off of a series of books. It adapts the rarely used dhampir legends instead of just using straight vampire lore. The story follows a school for both Moroi and the Dhampir. Moroi are vampires that must drink blood to live but are not physically strong or resistant. Instead, they all have magical power over the classical elements. They are protected by the Dhampir who are Half-Moroi/Half-Human and are physically tougher. The goal is to keep the Moroi safe from humanity and the Strigoi who are more like classical, bloodthirsty vampires like Dracula. The movie was actually pretty good as the acting was pleasant and they did not stray too much into the dreaded Twilight territory. It was also refreshing to follow competent, confident female characters in a vampire movie. I liked the different look at vampire lore and the various social and biological hierarchies. The romantic subplots did not seem to intrude too much on the mystery and the main plot and actually felt more organic than I thought they would be. A lot of the movie is about gossip and teenage angst while being vampires but it did not come off as annoying to me. I would recommend it but I would understand if it is not your cup of tea.


Reign

Since I grew up in the United States, I do not know a whole lot about British history. As you might imagine, there is way more written British history than written American history. So, when I first heard about Mary Queen of Scots, it was in an audio sketch from Monty Python and it taught me nothing about her (except that she was murdered). So, it was with some interest that I gave this show a shot. I have spoken about my studying (through film) of the modern royal family but I know nothing of French/British history from that far back. The show is full of intrigue so far. It is also full of teenagers trying to navigate the politics of royal/noble life, torn between duty and a pursuit of happiness. Since the show is about a time when there was no divorce, no media, and fewer social norms. All of this leads to a very chaotic atmosphere where everyone is sleeping with everyone and everyone is smiling while holding a dagger behind their back. I have not seen much so far but the show definitely has some substance to it. When I think of royalty, I do not think of them being young and reckless and emotional, I think of them as old and regal. Bringing humanity to these real life characters is an interesting way to go. I will most likely be watching a little more of this to see if I like it. I tentatively recommend it.

Music of the Week:
Paigey Cakey – Pattern

Volbeat – Black Rose

Shudder To Think – Speak

Jimin Park – CHEER UP

Boards of Canada – Dayvan Cowboy

Weekly Updates:
– This week’s theme is “Teenage Drama”
– I started watching White Collar Season 4
– I watched more Criminal Minds Season 12
– I started watching Glitter Force Season 2
– I watched more of Supergirl Season 2
– I watched more Little Witch Academia Season 1


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