Category Archives: Movies

I like movies.

Movie Review: Orphan

Recently I found out one of my favorite Stephen King novels, “Cell,” is going to be made into a movie starring John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson. They once starred together in another Stephen King adaptation of “1408.” I also saw a young actress playing the part of “Alice” and wondered who she was. The actress is Isabelle Fuhrman, and I had not seen her in anything, except for “The Hunger Games” as “Clove” although I fell asleep right after it started. But I noticed on her profile on IMDB that she was in a movie called (SURPRISE) “Orphan” and it looked good enough that I thought I’d give it a watch.

Cute.

Cute.

You should know by now I’m all about spoilers, so expect them.

First of all, this movie reminded me quickly of “The Good Son” with Macaulay Culkin and Elijah Wood. Except “Orphan” was good.

Seriously, I was 13 when I went to the theater to see “The Good Son” and when Macaulay said to Elijah, “Don’t fuck with me.” I wanted to walk out. The only way Macaulay could have ever been scary is if he promised to straighten himself out and continue his career by first revitalizing the “Home Alone” franchise. No fucking thanks. There’s a reason Elijah still has a great career and Macaulay doesn’t, and drugs ain’t it. Well okay, drugs is one of the bigger reasons.

BAAAAHAHAHAHAHA! Seriously, you little shit? Elijah should have climbed back up that rope and beat the fuck out of him. On to something better.

She's a pretty good little psychopath.

She’s a pretty good little psychopath.

“Orphan” is about a rich married couple who has two children. They would have had three, but the last one died before it was born. So now they want to adopt. They go to the orphanage to pick out a new child and CCH Pounder helps them to find one. CCH, for those of you who don’t know, is an amazing actress who was in one of my all time favorite movies, “Demon Knight.”

At one point while the main characters were walking around their very nice, most likely very expensive house, my wife asked me why it is these movies always show people living in the posh estates and not in a trailer or something. I told her I appreciated seeing rich people having bad shit happen to them. It makes me feel like we’re not that different, they and I.

The parents discover little Esther painting some really good stuff. They talk to her, decide they like her and take her home. And then, naturally, shit hits the fan. She starts destroying the family from the inside. Slowly, methodical, devious. And then she starts killing people, like CCH Pounder, whom she bludgeons to death with a hammer. It’s actually a pretty nasty scene, too. She doesn’t just hit her a couple of times, she really goes to town on her. It was so bad my wife said she couldn’t watch any more. Then again, my wife sort of is a pussy.

With that said, here’s the scene.

Then she does more bad stuff but the mom had caught on to her, only the family wasn’t believing her. The son knew and the daughter knew, but both were too scared of Esther to say anything, even though the mom made it clear she knew something was wrong. The dad, on the other hand, was a fucking douche and it’s a good damn thing he was murdered violently. It looked like he suffered through a lot of pain as well, which is good.

With that said, here’s the scene.

Some bad moves on the parts of the characters in the movie, which one should expect when watching a horror movie. Those moments when you’re all “What the fuck are you doing, dumbass?! Don’t go in there! GOD YOU’RE SUCH AN IDIOT! Fuck I hope you die.” And then you applaud when they die. Yeah, quite a few moments in there. Otherwise, pretty good movie. Not nearly enough deaths, but that’s something I’ll just never really be happy with, so I’m used to it. But at least the deaths we get out of this movie are pretty awesome.

I give this movie 4 of 5 stars. Or 8 of 10, if you need that kind of rating.

Daily Prompt: The Show Must Go On

If you were involved in a movie, would you rather be the director, the producer, or the lead performer? (Note: you can’t be the writer!).

For this DP we have to pretend as if there are only four jobs involving movies. Director, producer, lead actor and the writer. Personally I’d like to be some sort of grip, but I can’t be. Honestly I’d have to go with actor, or lead performer.

During my senior year of high school I got into acting. I had always wanted to be an actor, I just never had the guts to do it. Finally I auditioned for the school play and was cast as the lead role. It was awesome. I then performed in another play and called it quits, because I didn’t want to do the musical that year because I’m not big into singing and dancing. My school did Little Shop Of Horrors that year and I was sort of pissed when I went to see it and realized I could have been in it. Anyway…

That year we were given these “Senior Memories” books to fill out. They were to remind us, years down the road, what things were like way back when. One section in particular was all about our future and what we saw in it. One thing I put down for something I’d like to do in my future was have fifteen minutes in a movie.

That’s probably never going to happen, especially since I’m pretty sure I put down that it had to be a speaking role. In any case, later that school year I kind of sort of did a movie.

I heard on the radio that there was a movie being filmed at our local horse racing track, River Downs, and they needed extras. Anybody was welcome, and they needed the extras at noon. At school I told the main office that I needed to be let go early that day because I had to have my car worked on. They let me go. ACTING! I had to do that because my mom wouldn’t call and say I was sick or I had a doctors appointment. So I decided to go anyway and I figured I’d be home before she knew anything about it.

I stopped at White Castles and got some food then drove to the race track. Sure enough, I walked right in and nobody cared. The parking lot to the place wasn’t full and when I walked in I noticed there weren’t a lot of people there. In the middle of the main floor was a huge gathering and I saw cameras and directors and producers and actors and writers, but nobody else who works in movies. No cameramen or key grips or lighting people… ahem…

Anyway, it was while I was there looking around at the official people that I saw on the back of a jacket “B+ Productions.” That was the name of the company making the movie. They were so low budget they couldn’t even call themselves “A+ Productions” and just lie about it, kind of like how the cheapest and shittiest cigarettes still say “Class A Cigarettes” on the pack.

I also learned the name of the movie, “April’s Fool,” and how it was about some dude who did something. Whatever, I don’t remember. But there was a dude there, he was the main actor, and he had cuts and scratches on his face. I wasn’t sure if that was part of the movie or if he got his ass kicked before filming.

A down on his luck accountant, in deep trouble with his bookie, thinks he's found the answer to his problems in a run down night club. He's terribly wrong. IMDB

A down on his luck accountant, in deep trouble with his bookie, thinks he’s found the answer to his problems in a run down night club. He’s terribly wrong. IMDB

I filled out a paper saying I could be in the movie and they told me to go have a seat in a certain section and that they were going to be there shortly to film those scenes where they needed extras. I went and sat down. There were maybe twenty other people there.

Back then, in 1998, I didn’t have a cell phone to play on while I waited. I may have taken a book with me, which I didn’t get to read much of. While I was sitting there I noticed a guy sitting by himself a few rows below me and he kept turning around and looking at me. He was well dressed and cleaned up real nice, and I literally thought, “Is that Tom Cruise?” He looked a whole lot like him. But I figured even back then that Cruise wouldn’t be caught dead in this movie.

The guy finally came up to me and asked if he could sit with me. He noticed I was alone and he was alone so it would be better to pass the time if we could hang out. That’s it folks, he wasn’t hitting on me and he wasn’t trying to sell me time share. He was just bored. It didn’t take long before I was thankful he showed up, because holy shit, it took forever before they came to film anything where we were sitting.

The guy, I believe his name was Mark White, was a stand up comedian also wanting to be an extra for a big budget… well, a budget movie. We had a good time talking and shooting the shit. I say “shooting the shit” and mean “talking,” not “filming a bad movie.”

While we were talking I told him something I had thought up, and since have heard numerous times. “Isn’t it strange how packages sent by car are called ‘shipments’ while packages sent by ship are called ‘cargo’?” He thought that was hysterical and asked if he could use it in his routine. Since I had never copyrighted it I said it was okay.

I’m not sure what all we talked about, but at one point while we were waiting we decided to walk around. We went to the top floor, right next to where the escalator was, and looked down over the railing. Directly beneath us was where they were filming at a betting window. I’m not big into horse racing so I don’t know if that’s what they’re actually called, but that’s what they were doing. While they were filming, my watch, which was cheap and the band constantly broke, broke. A piece of it fell all the way down to where they were filming and landed right next to the main actor. I froze. Mark ran.

When they were done filming I asked somebody wearing a “B+ Productions” jacket if I could get the piece of my watch that broke and he said I could while they weren’t filming. I walked out and found the piece of my watch and put it in my pocket. I looked around and everybody was staring at me. The cameras were all pointed at me, the lights were all shining on me. It was awesome.

I quickly left, fixed my watch, and Mark and I went back to our seats.

We finally filmed some scenes, acting as a crowd watching a race happen. Then we went back down to the main floor and filmed some scenes as a crowd just walking back and forth in front of the betting windows. We were told not to look at the cameras, or look like we were acting. So as Mark and I walked by, we talked to each other while gesturing with our hands, about how we were supposed to be acting like we weren’t acting.

Eventually they wrapped and everybody left. I got home around eight o’clock that night. My mom wasn’t too upset.

I never spoke to or saw Mark again. With his dashing good looks I’m sure he’s somewhere in Hollywood, playing Tom Cruises stunt double. As far as the movie goes, I never got to see it.

Three years later I was serving at an Applebee’s when I happened to look in a paper at the movie section and saw where the movie was playing at our local artsy indy-film theater. I planned to go the following day, but when I called to see when it was playing I discovered the film had been pulled because another, bigger showing had come up.

Years later when I finally got online I searched for the production company, found some contacts and emailed them about it. I was told the movie was probably never going to be released for sale, but that someone might have a copy I could have or buy. That was the last I ever heard of it.

So if anybody has actually seen it, I gotta know… when the main actor is at the betting window, can you see my watch piece fall next to him?

UPDATE: Even though I haven’t posted this yet, this is an update. While looking around on the IMDB page for April’s Fool, the link I posted above, I saw Mark’s name in the cast! As it turns out he’s done several other movies, has some in the works, and has even made his own movie! Congrats Mark!

Also, if he was “Man In Stands #2,” I was “Man In Stands #1.” Just sayin. Oh, he doesn’t look like Tom Cruise, which I guess is a good thing nowadays.

Mark Stacey White

Movie Sequels?

In the world of movies we’re sometimes promised a sequel, especially at the end of a comedy. It’s happened time and time again… they promise a sequel but they were just kidding. HA! Funny joke.

Sure there are tons of instances where sequels are actually announced by a director or writer or studio and then nothing happens. Or a sequel is started and then falls flat and nothing ever comes of it. Like in the case of Sleepaway Camp 4: The Survivor, where scenes were filmed but the filmmakers went bankrupt before they were done, so someone else pieced the filmed scenes together and released it as a shitty, half-assed movie. Or the star who originally green-lights it drops out because he’s an idiot, like with Dumb & Dumber 2.

Lately I’ve heard of a few different sequels that ACTUALLY HAPPENED… sort of… It pisses me off because it was like, we got more of what we all seemed to want, but not entirely. It’s kind of like wanting to eat some pizza and someone gives you some pizza flavored Combos.

"Pizzeria?" So these taste like a pizza shop? Mmm.

“Pizzeria?” So these taste like a pizza shop? Mmm.

Here are a few movies that gave the fans what they wanted. Kinda sorta…

Continue reading

Movie Review: Smiley

Oh man, do people love to hate this movie. If you go to the IMDB forum and read some of the discussions on this flick, wow, you’d almost feel bad for the movie even if you hadn’t seen it yet. There are a couple of people who say they like it, and those who don’t like it attack the ever loving shit out of them. As if it actually offends people that someone, anyone could like this movie.

smiley-movie

The official reviews of the movie are almost all unanimous in saying how horrible it is. Nothing is left untouched either. The acting, writing, directing, pace, scenery, blood, gore, deaths are all horrible.

I liked it. And to those on IMDB’s message board who think anyone who liked this movie actually had something to do with this movie (seriously, go read the comments of the haters, they insist everyone who likes it worked on the film cause that’s the only argument they could come up with) I had nothing to do with this movie. If I had, I would have changed some things.

Sure it’s a decent flick in my opinion. But it could have been better. The pacing is a bit slow and at times I felt like the movie was never going to end. But the pace kept up at just the right speed to keep me interested. It added new stuff to the story at just the right spots to make the film bearable.

For my tastes in a slasher film there wasn’t enough death, there wasn’t enough blood and there wasn’t enough gore. There weren’t even any sex scenes and hardly none to no nudity. There wasn’t even really that much cussing. But still, it wasn’t that bad.

Here’s why I really liked it. The slasher genre is basically dead and gone. Too many people want to see suspense thrillers now and that’s what studios are pumping out. A page on Facebook that I follow, Horror Society, posted a question the other day asking their fans to name all of the slasher films that have come out in the last 2 years and sadly the only two movies anybody could really throw back at them were “Hatchet” and “Smiley.” And “Hatchet” fucking sucked.

Not even the presence of horror legends Kane Hodder (Jason Voorhees), Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger) or Tony Todd (Candyman) could save “Hatchet.” It was too over produced. It looked too clean. It wasn’t gritty at all. I had my hopes set high for “Hatchet” when it was announced because I’m a fan of slasher films. I wanted so bad for their to be a new slasher franchise, and with those name drops how in the hell could it be bad? Well, it was. And I was more disappointed than when I found out George W. Bush was elected to a second term.

I had all but given up hope. And then I saw an ad for “Smiley” and I was intrigued. It looked good. The killer, Smiley, looked freaky. I gave it a shot and it wasn’t as bad as “Hatchet” and that’s why I liked it.

As I said, I would have made some changes had I had anything to do with it, but I enjoyed the story and I enjoyed the ending. At first the ending started to be sort of cheesy and it seemed that the writers had no idea how to end it so they just kept writing dialogue and making it as horrible as they could, and then BAM! Cool way to end the film.

What I really like about it is, if the makers of the movie (who have announced there will be a sequel) take a little more time with the sequel and really go for glory, they could have a damn good movie. With their current premise, I see a lot of potential. But I think if they decide to put out another film that resembles the first too closely, it isn’t going to be impressive at all. In order to make it work, they have to throw in a few boob shots, one sex scene, a lot more gore and a few more deaths. Maybe a little bit better of a story and I think they’ll be good to go. They are making a horror/slasher movie here after all, and those are what you should get in a horror/slasher movie.

The only real tragedy I found with the movie was the chick at the beginning of the movie who dies first, she was really hot and attractive and I could understand everything she said. She died. Then one of the two main characters in the movie, a girl named “Proxy,” spoke too fast throughout the movie and very unclearly and I had a hard time understanding what she was saying most of the time she was talking. The first chick to die should have had her role and vice versa. Other than that, the cast was pretty good, the acting was better than everyone gives credit and there’s even an appearance by the awesome Keith David who I will always like after his excellent role in the awesome comedy “Men At Work” with the Estevez brothers Emilio and Carlos.

To give you a quick synopsis of “Smiley” since I haven’t done that yet, there’s this “urban legend” that says if you go onto one of those roulette chat sites, start a conversation with some random person and during the conversation you type in “I did it for the lulz” three times, Smiley will appear behind the person you’re talking to and kill them. People start doing it and people start dying.

If I could slash people to death and get away with it, I'd always wear a smile too.

If I could slash people to death and get away with it, I’d always wear a smile too.

Smiley is a man who sewed his eyes shut and cut his mouth in the shape of a smile (yet he has no nose and nobody ever says anything about it) and the appearance of him is quite disturbing. There just wasn’t really enough of him in the movie, nor was there much depth to him or his character. He wasn’t so much a slasher. He appears, stabs someone once or maybe cuts their throats and that’s that. He’s no Freddy or Jason, but he’s a good attempt to keep the slasher genre alive and I hope part 2 evolves into something a little more decent than the first showing. Even still, you should give “Smiley” a chance. There are so many good places they could go with a sequel and I hope they delve into those.

I give this movie 6 of 10 stars.

Movie Review: Vacancy

I just got around to watching 2007′s suspense thriller “Vacancy” starring Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale.

"Once You're In There's No Way Out" I guess even the makers of the movie didn't watch it.

“Once You’re In, There’s No Way Out”
I guess even the makers of the movie didn’t watch it.

With this review we’re going to have a little fun with several multiple choice questions scattered throughout.

The movie starts off with married but soon to be divorced couple Luke and Kate driving at night down a long, deserted road. He’s driving, she’s sleeping. Suddenly there’s a raccoon in the road, WAY UP AHEAD, and when it shows Luke reacting to it, he has more than enough time to slow the car to a stop, or better yet, drive around the raccoon. Instead he slams on the breaks, loses control of the car and spins out. Kate wakes up and gives him shit, because they’re about to be divorced and they hate each other. Honestly, their back and forth with their attitudes and cheap shots saves the opening of the movie.

We discover that he got off of the highway because of a traffic backup, which I’m thinking was a lie because it’s late at night and when the topic comes up again, multiple times throughout the movie, he never goes back to that excuse. In any case, the spin out causes something wrong in the engine. Because uh… that happens.

As they’re driving down the road again, there’s a random noise coming from the engine and Luke’s worried. They see a small town gas station up ahead so they pull into it and notice it’s closed. Because it’s the middle of the night in a small town, and well, shit happens.

Suddenly there’s a guy there who works at the garage/gas station. They’re closed, yet he’s there.

MULTIPLE CHOICE
You’re out in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night with the woman you hate. Your car acts up and you pull into a shoddy gas station that’s closed only to discover one of the employees is there. He didn’t leave the building to come to your car, he just pops up at the driver side window. Do you:

A. Stay and see how fast he can kill you?
B. Leave and take your chances on the road with renegade raccoons?

Answer: Since everything in this movie is completely predictable, you naturally choose A.

They explain their situation and he says he’ll take a look at the engine, so Luke pops the hood and the guy takes a look. Luke gets out to stand next to him for a moment. This leaves Kate just enough time to lower the sun visor so that a picture secretly stashed up there falls down. The picture is of her and her son. She rubs it lovingly with her thumb and tears up. It’s the middle of the night so there was no need for her to lower the visor other than to bring the picture of her son, who is obviously not with them anymore, into the film. And the only reason for that is to give a little more (completely unneeded) depth to this ultra-predictable movie. So this was completely pointless. A couple more times in the movie they bring up the son and apparently he’s dead, which we already guessed. Yet there’s no real reason for it at all, so again, it’s pointless. It’s obvious they needed some filler for the movie so they put a dozen widely used ideas into a hat and this was the one they drew.

Luke gets back in the car just after she puts the picture away and the eerie stays-at-work-long-past-closing-just-in-case-some-strangers-need-someone-to-look-at-their-engine-for-them dude continues to look at their engine for a moment. After tinkering around for a few minutes he tells Luke to try it, and HUZZAH! The car starts.

Ironically, there was no problem with the car actually running, there just happened to be a slight ding sound that randomly happened. So the guy fixed nothing, yet he shuts the hood and says that they have a ding in a fan blade and they should be able to drive with no problem.

MULTIPLE CHOICE
Would you let some random person in the middle of nowhere “work” on your engine without your supervision to just cut whatever wires he wants?

A. Yes
B. No

Answer: Since everything in this movie is completely predictable, you naturally choose A.

They drive away and a couple miles down the road the engine stalls and they’re fucked. I swear I never saw that coming. Luke gets out of the car to check the engine himself, because obviously he’s a mechanic when he has random people check shit out for him. In the process he pulls out his only flashlight.

MULTIPLE CHOICE
You’re living in the year 2007 and you have a newer BMW. What type of flashlight would you have in your car in case of an emergency?

A. Really old flashlight that hardly works.
B. Brand new, never been used spot light that could land a plane.

Answer: A, Obviously you have a flashlight from 1956 in your possession and you have to smack it all the time just to keep it working.

They walk back to the motel that happens to be right next door to the gas station they had just been at. Through persuasive argument, Creepy McCreepenstein who manages the motel tells them they can stay there for the night until someone can help them with their car.

Now let’s stop here and take a look at some of the things that would keep any person from staying at the motel.

-McCreepenstein insists they have the honeymoon suite for only $5 more.
-They say a regular room will do just fine.
-McCreepenstein says he’ll give it to them for no extra charge.
-McCreepenstein doesn’t accept credit cards.
-There’s no phone in the motel office.
-There’s a pay phone just outside that, in 2007, takes dimes.
-Oh yeah, they need a phone because SUR-FUCKING-PRISE, their cell phone doesn’t have reception.

Luke and Kate decide to stay. McCreepenstein needs his photo ID. They get the key and go to their room. Once in the room, Kate goes to the bathroom and discovers water doesn’t come out of the faucet, mud does. She then looks over the bed and mentions how she’s going to sleep with her clothes on. Thank god, cause we don’t want to see any nudity in a suspense thriller. That would turn it into a horror movie, and well, that shit just isn’t going to happen.

Sorry, you don't even get to see this much of her. Shame too, those are some pretty decent legs.

Sorry, you don’t even get to see this much of her. Shame too, those are some pretty decent legs.

Luke responds to her “sleeping in her clothes” line with a comment about how he’s going to sleep in his shoes. Come on folks, that’s comedy. After another line or two he sits down at the foot of the bed and TAKES HIS SHOES OFF. Fuck man, if I can’t trust Luke Wilson in this movie, just who am I supposed to trust?

That’s about when the shenanigans start. The phone in their room rings… wait, there’s no phone at the front desk, but there’s a working phone in the room? Okay, anyway, they answer and nobody’s there. Then there’s banging on their door but nobody’s there. Then there’s banging on the door that separates their room, the honeymoon suite, room number 4, from the next room over, room number 3. Yeah, real swanky motel. Their honeymoon suite has a connector door to the next room over. So romantic. Yet, they continue to stay.

Luke goes back to Creepy McCreepenstein and complains that their neighbors in room 3 are being dicks and that he wants McCreepenstein to take care of it. McCreepenstein mentions how Luke and his wife are the only two renting rooms that night.

MULTIPLE CHOICE
Upon hearing that news I got excited. Maybe, JUST MAYBE, there’s a twist here where Luke and Kate are staying at a super haunted motel and they have to deal, for the rest of the movie, with unruly spirits. That, I would not see coming and would probably enjoy much more than the so-far-predictable shit I’ve already seen. Do you think it’s:

A. Exactly what you thought it would be from the beginning.
B. An unruly spirit.

Answer: Of course it’s not a fucking ghost. This isn’t Scooby Doo. Then again it was never actually a ghost in that either, was it? Fuck.

Luke lays down on the bed, turns on the TV and discovers static. He decides to play a VHS tape in the VCR. Never mind the decor of the motel highlighting all of the best designs from 1958, they don’t even have cable. Or a DVD player. But, Luke and Kate decide to STAY. They would have had more fun in their broken down car cussing each other out. I would have enjoyed the movie more if they had gone that route.

While watching the tape he discovers each tape in the room plays a video of people in a room being beaten, harassed and murdered by two masked assailants. And the room on the videos is… SUR-FUCKING-PRISE, their room.

It turns out that Creepy McCreepenstein is video recording them, too. He’s running some smut operation where he records people in the room being beaten and killed by his two hired assailants. He gets off on that sort of thing.

MULTIPLE CHOICE
I could keep going on with the review, but you’re going to realize that everything that happens in the movie is exactly what you think is going to happen. Should I:

A. Continue with the review.
B. End it here.

Answer: Surprise, I’m ending it here. I bet you didn’t see that coming.

So to sum up the rest of it, SPOILER ALERT, Luke gets stabbed and killed but Kate fights back and kills off the rest of the bad guys. I bet you didn’t see that coming. One of the two assailants is the guy who originally helped them from the garage. I bet you didn’t see that coming. Oh, and then she goes to cry over Luke’s dead body because during their fight to stay alive they decided that they’re still in love. I bet you didn’t see that coming. Oh, but Luke isn’t dead, he’s still alive. I bet you didn’t see that coming. And then she uses the phone in the back room of the main office (surprise, they DID have a working phone, this is the big twist of the movie) to call the cops. And then she goes to sit with Luke until help arrives. And that’s the end of the movie.

BORING.

Another fine point to watch out for… during the night they had called the police and an officer is sent. The officer is killed before he can help. The rest of the night goes by. At the end of the movie which takes place in the morning, and Kate calls the police for help, the dispatcher says that they had already sent out an officer to that location. Yeah, and that fucker never went back to work and never called in a report. Yet nobody gave a shit that he had just disappeared after having gone to check on a call from a woman who said people were trying to kill her and her husband. Nobody gave a shit about that cop. Does that sound realistic? After he never returned they would have sent a few more cops out to check out what was going on, but that didn’t happen.

Despite having a pretty bad beginning and a pretty bad ending and everything in the movie was predictable, and there was no nudity (there’s some but it’s hard to see and could have basically been left out), it actually wasn’t too bad of a movie. I enjoyed it. I probably won’t watch it again, but it wasn’t too bad.

I give this movie 6 out of 10 stars, mostly because of that picture of Kate above with the nice legs. I know it has nothing to do with the movie, but if it weren’t for me writing a review of the movie I would have never seen that picture.

Piracy, What A Glamorous Lifestyle

Pirates_of_the_Caribbean_movieI just watched the first Pirates of the Caribbean again for the millionth time in as many weeks, and at the end of the movie I got to a point that I hate. It’s probably my least favorite part, my least favorite line actually, in any of the four movies. It’s been my least favorite line for a long time now and up until now I hadn’t realized why. But then it hit me. Here’s the scene.

Will decides he’s going to risk his life to save Jack’s and Elizabeth steps in and also says she’s with them. Will and Elizabeth announce their love for one another and Jack falls into the ocean. Norrington gives his blessing to Will and says they’ll give Jack a one day head start. And then as he’s walking away, Elizabeth’s dad says to her, “*something something blah blah* He’s a blacksmith.”

And then she says in a romantic, loving way the line that pisses me off, “No. (She pauses here long enough that anybody watching the movie can figure out what’s coming next.) He’s a pirate.” And then they kiss as the music builds and her dad walks away, probably completely pissed off that he can’t do anything about it and his daughter’s a whore.

Here’s why I hate the line. For one, it’s predictable and cheesy. Two, she says it as if it’s a wonderful thing, as if being a pirate is a glamorous life (I guess it is depending on who you ask) and three, no the fuck he isn’t. Neither is she.

Neither one of them are pirates. She’s the Governor’s daughter, born into wealth and the fancier things in life. He’s the son of a pirate, but that means literally nothing. He didn’t grow up as a pirate. In fact, he knows so much about his pirate background and heritage that in the movie he wants to fight Jack for saying his dad was a pirate because *gasp* he didn’t fucking know.

In the movie they say a few times how Barbosa needs Will’s blood and Will mentions how he needs “pirates blood.” No, he doesn’t need “pirate’s” blood, he needs your blood. Whether you’re a pirate or not doesn’t mean shit.

Speaking of that, just because his dad was a pirate doesn’t mean Will’s a pirate. That means nothing. You’re not born into it. My dad was a garbage man, that doesn’t mean I’m one by blood.

So here we have two kids, basically, in their young 20′s who have one crazy adventure with pirates and they decide that they’re going to be pirates. No, they decide that they ARE pirates. What have they pillaged? What have they raped? Who have they killed? Sure they kill a few people in the movies, but they’re all pirates and they’re fighting for their life, for their survival, for their protection. At no point did they sail to a port, get off the boat, kill a bunch of innocent people, rape their families and then steal their money. Hell, they barely drink. Elizabeth drinks rum in the first movie, then burns it and says it is a vile drink. No REAL pirate would do that shit.

These two idiots give up a wonderful life to be pirates when they’re not even good at that. Sure they can swing a sword, but so can the royal navy. Why don’t they join them and not have their lives threatened by the gallows just for being what they are? Because they’re young and dumb.

Even though I love the movie series, I still think it’s rather ridiculous that Disney would make a series of movies showcasing just how wonderful it is to be a pirate. And the movies are for kids, so at least we’re teaching kids that being a pirate is okay. That it is glamorous, that it is funny and fun all the time, and that all pirates are likable people. Because why the fuck not?

Anyway, I probably would have never come up with this shit had that one line not been in the movie. And had that one line not been in the movie I would have had no complaints about it. But it’s just so out of place and bad. Why would they do that? Oh, maybe because of this…

A fun bit of trivia for you. The following scene after that shitfest is where the crew of the Black Pearl throws out a rope to Jack Sparrow in the ocean and they pull him aboard, tell him the ship is his, he looks at his “broken” compass and he says the final line of the movie (which is almost equally as cheesy). The music playing in the background there is called… “He’s A Pirate.” So not only does Elizabeth Swann deliver the worst line in all of the movies, but she also throws out a nod to what’s coming next.

Gag me.

Movie Review: Return To Sleepaway Camp

Sleepaway Camp is my all time favorite horror movie franchise. I saw the first movie when I was a kid, because family movie night was almost always horror movies. Seriously. That explains a lot, actually.

Anyway, Sleepaway Camp was one of the first horror movies I ever got to see, and I loved it. It was also the reason I never wanted to go to summer camp. Not because of Jason, but because of Angela.

This is the reason I never left the house in the summer. My parents only have themselves to blame.

This is the reason I never left the house in the summer. My parents only have themselves to blame.

The first three movies are classics. For those of you who don’t know, the first was made by Robert Hiltzik. The twist ending it had was made of epic. And then nothing happened with any sequels until a few years later when Michael A. Simpson got permission to do some sequels and he put out parts 2 and 3. He even used some of Hiltzik’s original ideas for sequels in his movies.

And then, many many years later we finally get a new sequel written and directed by the original, the creator, Robert Hiltzik. Except he doesn’t recognize parts 2 and 3 as actual Sleepaway Camp movies (even though his ideas were used in those movies), so in his new release “Return To Sleepaway Camp” he shows what happened following the first movie instead of what happened following the third movie. Make sense?

Quite frankly, it pissed me off. I’m a huge fan of the ENTIRE series and think of parts 2 and 3 as successors to the first film. A continuation of the story. “Return” isn’t a continuation of that, and that’s just wrong.

But being a fan of the series and FINALLY having a new Sleepaway movie to watch, I was absolutely fucking stoked to get my copy in the mail and watch it. And then…

Well, it was just so bad that I don’t feel like bitching about it. I just watched The Cinema Snob‘s take on it, and he nails it. Watch this, if nothing else, for the hilarity of The Cinema Snob. And even though he’s funny, everything he says about this movie sucking is true.

Watch his review on his site! (I tried putting the video here but for some reason it wouldn’t appear or play. Fix that Mr. Snob.)

The only thing I would have added is, the soundtrack to the movie sucked. It was too loud in most parts, didn’t fit the movie at all, and was just poorly done all the way around. It was like someone took the background music from another movie and threw it into this one and then cranked up the volume so that everyone knew it was there at all times.

With that said, there’s rumor of two more movies coming out in the franchise, one from Robert Hiltzik which will continue with his time line of events, and one from Michael A. Simpson continuing from his time line of events. That would make this movie franchise TWO movie franchises of the same franchise. Uh… awesome?

Theater Applause

Have you ever been to the theater to watch a movie and it was either so good or so bad that the audience reacted together in unison? I realize saying “together in unison” is sort of repeating myself, just play along.

I’m not talking about gasping or laughing. I’m talking about the movie was so good the audience gave it a round of applause or even a standing ovation at the end. Or it was so bad the audience got up and left at the same time before it was over.

Following my last post I had to watch Freddy vs. Jason because it’s been awhile since I last saw it and it reminded me of when I saw it in the theater, which brings up this post. There will probably be spoilers, but if you haven’t seen these movies yet it’s your own fault.

I’ve been to a lot of movies at the theater, none recently, and of all those times I can only remember two where the movies were so good the audience couldn’t help but applaud at the end.

The first was Batman back in 1989. Before Hollywood decided to put out a new superhero movie every other week for the last few years, we actually had to wait between superhero movies. Our wait was finally over when Michael Keaton slapped on a black rubber suit and showed us all just what a good fucking movie Batman could put out.

Those were the good ol’ days. Keaton as Batman worked, because he was a good Batman. Unlike that Bale fellow who sounded like he had laryngitis as Batman, Keaton dominated the role and made that movie his bitch. Let’s also not forget the stellar performance of the Joker by the legendary Jack mother fucking Nicholson. At least he didn’t kill himself after making the movie. All I’m saying is, if I had to be in a movie with Christian Bale ruining Batman that much, I would’ve killed myself too.

The movie was moving along awesomely, because it was an awesome fucking movie. I don’t recall blinking for 90 minutes because I didn’t want to miss even a nanosecond of it. And then it happened. One of the coolest things ever happens at 1:25 in the video.

When Batman soars up to the moon and uses the Batwing as a make-shift logo, the audience erupted in applause and cheer as if we were all on the street watching Batman take on the Joker first hand and we were giving Batman our approval. The air was electric. I had goosebumps running all over my body. It was awesome.

That electricity continued through the rest of the movie and when it was over, everyone jumped to their feet and applauded the movie. That was one of the coolest moments I’ve ever been apart of, at least as far as watching movies in a theater goes.

The second time it happened was back in 2003 on the first day of showing Freddy vs. Jason. I left work early and caught the very first show. I wasn’t alone, the audience was packed. To this day it was the most people I’ve ever seen at that particular theater for any movie. I’ve been to that place, a Showcase Cinemas, many times and even on Friday and Saturday nights for opening weekend blockbusters the place was always dead. But not on this day at 1 PM in the afternoon on a Friday.

Everyone and their mom showed up. Because like I said in the last piece, everyone had been wanting a Freddy vs. Jason since the dawning of time. And then it happened.

The two titans clashed and everyone was on the edge of their seats, watching with the utmost interest in what was going to happen. Who was going to win? More importantly, who was going to lose?

I’m a Freddy man. I have nothing but respect for Jason, I mean, he’s a total badass. But Freddy is the shit.

We watched and watched until finally the two juggernauts brought each other down blow by blow. And finally there had to be an end to the movie and this is what we got… the answer to our question. Who survived?

As soon as Jason emerged from the water carrying Freddy’s head, half of the place erupted with applause, obviously fans of Jason, while the other half, myself included, booed. That was total bullshit! Say it isn’t so! Freddy slain at the hands of the massive Jason?!

And then it happened, Freddy winks and laughs. The booing half of the audience erupted with cheers and the entire theater jumped up for a standing O. I get chills just thinking about it. Hell, I just rewatched the movie and then, while watching this clip I got chills again.

That’s what a good movie will do for you. Have there been any recently that have caused that sort of emotion from the audience? Have you experienced this in a theater?

Movie Franchises

We’re currently in a time when there is almost nothing coming out of Hollywood that hasn’t come out in recent years, regurgitated as someone else’s vision as a “remake”, threatening us with a lack of ideas and a horrible outlook on the future of Hollywood movies.

I say “Hollywood movies” because there are a ton of indy films coming out, for better or worse, that show us that the idea of a unique movie isn’t necessarily dead. But Hollywood is Hollywood, for better or worse, yet sadly in recent years it lays more on the “worse” side of things.

Proof can be found everywhere, from the fact that there are a huge amount of remakes in the works for the coming future such as what this list points out (Dirty Dancing remake? Cause that needs to happen.) and that list only scratches the surface. There’s also the recent Amazing Spider-Man which came out just a couple of years after another Spider-Man franchise ended.

Another way we can tell that Hollywood is running out of ideas is by taking a look at certain movie franchises. This is where someone buys the rights to a movie’s name, and then low-budgets their way through countless sequels that tend to completely ruin the vision started by the original creators.

I found a great website that lists a bunch (not all, for some reason) of movie franchises and what they’ve done as far as box-office totals.

Children Of The Corn

Stephen King has created a monster, only this time it was unknowingly. He wrote the book that inspired the first movie, a tale of kids in a corn field who kill for the God they follow.

This is the first time I’ve seen the trailer and now I’m wondering why I ever watched the movie in the first place. The movie is actually better than the trailer would suggest. Plus there’s a totally awesome sex scene in it where two kids (as far as the movie goes they’re supposed to be under the age of 18) bone sexily… in front of all of the rest of the kids as part of a ritual.

The franchise spun out of control and spawned eight sequels. At some point you’d think that people would just stop going to that fucking corn field. The good news is, there hasn’t been one to come out since 2011. The bad news is, that probably doesn’t mean shit. After all, there was an eight year span between parts seven and eight, with eight apparently being a reboot to the franchise, as if it were needed. Sadly, this franchise shows us that even after a ton of sequels, a remake to the original can still happen. Even Hollywood can’t let a remake go.

Other franchises with sequels that spawned remakes of the original when it wasn’t really needed… Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Evil Dead. Sure there are others, I just refuse to go looking for them. Although I will say this… the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake was a pretty damn good movie and I’m going to give Evil Dead a chance. If Bruce Campbell can give it his blessing (which was probably just good PR on his part) then I can give it a chance.

Police Academy

police-academy

Remember the Police Academy movies? Back in the 80s they were the shit. I, for one, am a fan of the first… oh, FIVE of them. But they didn’t stop there. They went on to put out two more movies, the last which was a direct to video movie and did very poorly, as one might imagine. After all, just how long are these cadets in the academy anyway?

The first movie did an amazing $81 million, while each sequel slowly did worse with the last one only making a whopping $126,247. The good news is, the last one came out in 1994, ten years after the first. It’s been almost 10 years since then, but the bad news is it will most likely be a remake in the near future, after Hollywood has completely remade every movie made up to that point and has no other options other than a Police Academy reboot (or put out a completely unique movie, HA!).

Friday The 13th/Nightmare On Elm Street

Freddy_vs._Jason_movieNow, I’m a huge fan of both franchises, even though I’m a much bigger fan of Freddy Krueger. For those not in the know (you should be beaten), Freddy comes to us from the Elm Street franchise.

Freddy has been the main protagonist/antagonist depending on how you look at him (he’s totally the good guy in my book) for an awesome nine movies while Jason has slashed his way through twelve. The best part about horror movies for me is the inevitable sequel titled something to show it’s the absolute end of the franchise, before having a ton of sequels follow it. Such as Children of the Corn 2: The Final Sacrifice (7 movies followed), Friday the 13th part 4: The Final Chapter (8 movies followed), Nightmare On Elm Street 6 titled “Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare” (3 movies followed).

I should also point out that it’s not “Nightmare On Elm Street”, it’s actually “A Nightmare On Elm Street”. Just wanted to throw that out there before someone inevitably corrects me. Moving on…

These two giants are such huge characters that fans had been screaming for a mash up of the two for years. I had just turned a teen when me and my friends were talking about it back in 1993 and there were probably talks about it before then. We finally got our wish, Freddy vs. Jason came out in 2003 and lived up to the hype. It was an amazing movie. So amazing, in fact, that it was the highest grossing movie of either series.

Both have been rebooted (and I refuse to watch either) which goes to show that both will live on. The problem is, while Jason can really be played by anybody since he wears a mask and doesn’t speak, Freddy on the other hand has personality. Robert Englund, who IS Freddy Krueger, wasn’t in the reboot as Freddy. I don’t give a flying fuck if the new guy did a good job or not. Rob IS Fred, period.

Planet Of The Apes

planet-of-the-apesSure you’ve heard of the Planet of the Apes movies, right? They’ve been around since the 60s. They are classic Hollywood. What you might not know, which I didn’t either so don’t feel bad, is that they’ve put out seven movies. And this is proof that it doesn’t matter how new or old a movie is, Hollywood will remake it.

Planet of the Apes came out in 1968 and spawned four sequels. They must have really had nothing to make back then, because the four sequels came out in 1970, 71, 72 and 73. By 1973 the fans didn’t give much of a shit, because each of those sequels also declined in box office totals with each movie, but still for 1973 pulling in almost $9 million wasn’t too shabby.

Everyone forgot about them (except when Mel Brooks made fun of them in Spaceballs) until 2001 when a reboot happened. Everyone rejoiced, but only enough that the franchise was left alone after that. UNTIL 2011 when another movie was put out. So you see, Hollywood has ways to make you think a franchise is finally resting in piece before ruining that dream. It’s never over when Hollywood is in control.

James Bond

bond

I saved the best for last. And by “best” I mean “Bond, James Bond”. I’m not really into James Bond, and I’ll tell you why. I watched “Live And Let Die” once. Once. Typically in a movie the soundtrack is filled with different sounds and songs. Not in this movie. Apparently they had worked out an agreement with Paul McCartney and Wings that the only sound you heard in the movie other than the actors talking would be that song or pieces of it. By the time the movie was over I was so fucking sick of hearing it that I swore I’d never watch James Bond movies again, and I haven’t. Guns N Roses helped to ruin the song as well.

I also have a theory that people continue to put out James Bond movies because of the name alone. Otherwise a spy movie would still be an excellent spy movie because spies do awesome shit with awesome toys. The movie I-Spy was an awesome movie, yet it could have very easily been labeled another Bond film if they wanted to, just because it had spies in it. And it probably would have made more money than it did just by having the Bond name on it.

The fact of the matter is, James Bond is the reigning champ when it comes to a franchise. James Bond has put out an incredible 24 (twenty fucking four) movies since 1963. No other franchise comes close. Friday the 13th is in second place with 12 movies.

Does that sound ridiculous to you? It does to me. To me it sounds like Hollywood has no ideas. This whole list helps to prove that. Sure it’s nice to see your favorite characters having new adventures, but when your favorite character can be played by anyfuckingbody, what’s the point? In those 24 movies, there have been NINE different James Bond’s. If the Batman franchise continues (and it will) they’ll probably come close to that themselves, if not surpass it. Currently there have been five different actors to play Batman in movies, never mind the TV versions.

Despite what Hollywood tells us, more and more of us fans are starting to speak up at the ridiculousness of all of these reboots and sequels. When is enough going to be enough? I’d love to see a movie trailer on TV and think “That looks like a good, original movie!” But I know that won’t happen anytime soon, so I’m not holding my breath.

The fact of the matter is, as long as people keep going to the theater and watching these atrocities, the more Hollywood is going to keep doing this shit. If these reboots stop making them money, they might get the picture.

Get it? “Get the picture”? Never mind.

So people, stop going to see this shit. If you want something unique and original, stand up to Hollywood. Don’t give them the pleasure of ruining the classics for your money. They don’t care about the classics, nor do they care about the not-so-classics. They just want to make money, period. It’s not art to them, it’s money.

So take a stand and do what’s right. Or at the very least wait until it’s out on video before watching it.

Movie Review: Friday The 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan

Friday the 13th Part 8- Jason Takes Manhattan may just be one of the most perfect, most underrated films of all time. The film was directed by Rob Hedden, who has written such masterpieces as The Condemned and Knight Rider 2000. And with those kind of credentials, we already know we are in for heaven in the form of cinema.

FUCK The Grapes Of Wrath. THIS is cinema.

FUCK The Grapes Of Wrath. THIS is cinema.

We start off with a New York City montage, because this is the late 80s, and you DON’T have a full movie in the 80s WITHOUT a string of shots showing how filthy and disgusting New York is. We then go back to Crystal Lake, where of course, a couple is about to fuck on a boat. We have a woman with a sexy ass and a man with even sexier eyes who have to stop making out because the boy has to drop anchor from a boat that is already totally motionless. Then, and I in no way saw this coming at ALL, the anchor somehow tears a power line, which just happens to land on Jason who is wrapped in chains at the bottom of the lake. Then, in a STUNNING example of beautiful writing, the electricity from the cut wire is powerful enough to not only reanimate Jason Voorhees, but it is also enough to break the chains, thus freeing our undead hero.

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