Thursday, December 26, 2019

Blade Runner 2049 is the greatest movie of all time

Blade Runner: 2049. You newer models are happy scraping the shit... because you've never seen a miracle. Fuck, man. One of my favorite movies of the decade. Sequel to a top 10 of mine from all time. Totally does that film justice and stands on its own. I fucking loved it. 


Basic gist is that K, a police officer/blade runner/replicant, discovers some crazy shit when putting down a rogue replicant working on a protein farm. Buried on the farm is Rachel, Sean Young's character in the original, who it is discovered had a child, which should be impossible for a replicant. Thinks would give the replicants hope or something. They would realize they have souls and rise up and smash their oppressors. Fuck to the ye... So, K finds a little bit of evidence, goes to a place where a false memory of his actually happened (whoa), thinks, “hey, I'm that kid.” Spoiler, he is not. But it leads him to the real chosen person... Harrison Ford. Rick 'fuckin' Deckard. Who unlike Hans Solo doesn't yuck it up.

A lot to unpack here. First, the cinematography is incredible. Won Roger Deakins--his previous work includes most Ethan and Joel Coen bros movies, Kundun, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Shawshank Redemption, and a bunch of other stunners--an Academy Award. You need two watches for this movie just to take it all in. It's sick. In addition to Ryan Gosling and Ford, the movie stars Ana de Armas, Dave Bautista, beauty Mackenzie Davis (lots of pretty ladies in this), Sylvia Hoeks who plays Luv, Carla Juri, and lovely Robin Wright. Was a little nervous going in about Leto but this flick has a tolerable amount of Jared Leto though he says a bunch of nonsense and does weird shit... as he does.

You need two or more watches because there are things that change depending on your mood or what sticks out to you on that watching. For example, like the original Blade Runner, it is unclear whether Deckard is a replicant or not. It doesn't matter, this film says. Still human. Not the most original message, you know, but still one that we need to be reminded of in 2019, don't ya know. By the by, the first watch I was sure that he was a replicant. Thought they even said as much. The second, yeah, not so sure and what I heard was much more ambiguous. 

Then there is Joi, played by the lovely Ana de Armas (Knives Out) who comes up just short of winning the movie. Joi is the holographic girlfriend of K, whom she has dubbed "Joe", designed and sold by the Wallace Corporation, the bad guy in the film. On one hand, she is something like we think of TV wives from the 1950s. She brings him food, lights his cigarettes, makes him drinks, and listens to his retelling of the day while not sharing any of hers. On the other, there is definitely some connection and meaning there, though she may be programmed to make it seem like there is.  She seemed special. So did Joe, for a while, when he thought he was Deckard and Rachel's love child. So did their relationship. But she was wrong about him, he was not in fact the kid of replicants, and he was probably wrong about her and their relationship as well. She is the only "person" who doesn't think he is a piece of shit in one way or another. First viewing I thought that relationship could be meaningful. She seems as real as the replicants, at least. Feel it when she dies and says she loves him. Second time, she is just there to be what he wants. Programmed as such. After she dies, Joe/K walks by a Joi advertisement saying "Everything you want to see. Everything you want to hear." He realizes as much... Or maybe not. Suspect I might feel differently the next time I watch it. Next time it may seem that he is sad for the loss. Even though he has the opportunity to try again with another Joi, she won't be the same. Deep shit. That's what is so great about this movie.

Winning the movie, in my opinion was Ryan Gosling. Lot of depth with this character and his performance is moving. Joe, like Joi, is programmed a certain way. Can't really overcome that, or can he? Once he figures out that he is not Deckard's child, he still makes the decision to help Deckard find her. His experience gives him the tools to make that decision based on his emotions, rather than programming. It is quite powerful. I have a coworker who didn't want to watch the film because he didn't want to see Gosling "crying in the rain." He had also never seen the original. I told him there was an iconic scene in that film known as "crying in the rain," but he wasn't phased, saying Gosling does that in every movie. No, there is no Gosling crying in the rain. But the part and the film was more powerful than such a cliche. Great shit. 

Holiday Inn is the greatest movie of all time


Holiday Inn. It's Christmas so I'm writing about the movie with the greatest Christmas song of all time. Love a musical. Loved this movie. Most of it, anyway. Then  we get to Lincoln's Birthday (which they celebrate in February, pretty sure they are confusing it with Washington's Birthday). Then it is holy shit. The Bing Crosby character, Jim, is trying to hide the Marjorie Reynolds character, Linda, from the Fred Astaire character, Ted, because he fucking sucks. But Ted is looking for Linda as a mystery woman he danced with on New Years and wants to steal her away. Jim's idea, to conceal Linda's identity, is for him and her to dress in blackface and do a minstrel show number of the song "Abraham". It is fucked up. AMC and other channels even cut the scene out entirely. Apparently former British Prime Minister Theresa May said Holiday Inn was her favorite Christmas film, causing controversy due to, you know, racism. I mean, other than that, it is a great film. But that shit is pretty much impossible to ignore or give a pass since it isn't like this was from the days of D.W. Griffith or something.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: With the combined might of Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, and Irving Berlin working in its favor, Holiday Inn is a seasonal classic -- not least because it introduced "White Christmas" to the world.

Gist of the flick is that Astaire can dance and Crosby can sing. They both pursue the same ladies, Linda and Lila, played by Virginia Dale, who can do both, basically mesmerizing them with their insane crooning or dancing, depending on the guy. First it is Lila whom they go after. When she breaks Crosby's heart, he goes and opens a hotel that has large, extravagant holiday shows. This with the help of his new love interest, Linda. After the Astaire/Dale pairing falls apart, Astaire weasels his way into the Holiday Inn where he ends up dancing with and instantly falling in love with the Reynolds character. Crosby tries to hide her identity for a while but Astaire eventually finds her and more or less demands that they immediately go to Hollywood to work in the pictures and get married.

The plot barely matters as this is just a vehicle for Crosby to sing and Astaire to dance and those two do the shit out of those things. But if you pay attention to the plot, the movie is pretty fucked. You've got your overt racism. Then there is what a son of a bitch Astaire's character is. His modus operandi is basically wait for Crosby to get serious about a girl and then do everything he can to steal her, even as Crosby shows him insane kindness for someone who does this twice in the same movie. Dude needs his ass kicked and Crosby needs to learn to be a fucking man. Eventually, Crosby grows some balls and tells his "friend" to go fuck himself. He then gets with Lila or Linda or whoever and Astaire gets with the other one. Happy ending all around.

Of note, the song "White Christmas" came out of this movie. After Irving Berlin wrote it in some California hotel, he went back to the office and told his secretary that he "just wrote the best song I've ever written." Adding that "heck, I just wrote the best song that anybody's ever written!" Not a modest one, this Berlin. And, at least in pure numbers, he was right. The Bing Crosby version is the all-time best-selling single with sales in excess of 50 million copies. Was extremely popular with the soldiers away at war during WWII. Combined with other versions of the song, we are talking in the 100 million range. Crunched some numbers and did some half-assed internet research to put this in perceptive. A single goes "Gold" when it sells 500,000 units. "Platinum" when it sells 1,000,000. A single goes "Diamond" when it sells 10,000,000. Only like 20 something songs have ever done this. This is the only song that reached over 25,000,000. No one else have even come close. Not even half way to 25 mill. That is insane. For this alone, going to say that Irving Berlin won the movie. For creating the Christmas song to end all Christmas song.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Elvira: Mistress of the Dark is the greatest movie of all time

Elvira: Mistress of the Dark. How's your head? I haven't had any complaints yet... If they ever ask about me, tell them I was more than just a great set of boobs. I was also an incredible pair of legs. Not going to win any awards but it was a lot of fun. A lot of talking around Elvira's breasts, which are stunning. Witty one-liners a plenty with some semblance of a plot. That'll do. Greatest movie of all time.

Gist is that Elvira inherits her aunt's dilapidated mansion in an uptight New England town. The treasure, however, is her book of "recipes" which consist of spells. You see, her aunt was a witch and her surviving uncle, who wanted the book for himself, a necromancer of some persuasion, tries to steal the book and kill Elvira. That is the gist but the flick is mostly humor that comes out of Elvira being an outrageously groovy chick in the repressed town that was probably a lot like the one in Footloose. Also, dudes are basically constantly trying to rape her.

In addition to the lovely Cassandra Peterson (still gorgeous as a senior citizen) as Elvira, more on her later, there are actually some actors I recognize. Some include Edie McClurg (she was a high school student in Carrie and was the one who called Ferris Bueller a "righteous dude" in Ferris Bueller's Day Off) plays one Chastity Pariah, the guy who played Kenickie in Grease (his name was Jeff Conaway), Frank Collison who I think of as the "she r-u-n-n o-f-t" guy in Oh, Brother Where Art Thou and the guy obsessed with hotdogs in The Happening, William Morgan Sheppard who is such a that guy, Kurt Fuller who always plays someone who is super punchable, and Dick Miller, he was the guy that knew what gremlins were in Gremlins, is in a movie that Elvira watches at some point.

I am sort of in love with Elvira/Peterson here. Doing half-assed internet research I saw that an unknown Brad Pitt auditioned for one of the teenage boy roles. Peterson thought he was way too hot and felt that Elvira would not be interested in Bob if Pitt was one of the teenagers trying to get her. On her casting notes of his audition, she wrote next to his name, "Yum Yum!" She is a different breed, this one. Into horror, has a cool-ass dog, gorgeous, funny, lovely assets, you get the idea. A lot like my female companion, now that I think about it. Two things cemented it for me though. The first was her dance at the end, which is just indescribable. Then, whilst reading her Wikipedia page, I saw that she is a vegetarian who appeared in a humorous Halloween-themed ad for PETA. Right on, girl. Also saw that she was scalded on over 35% of her body in a kitchen accident when she was little. She said that her Elvira costume "showed only the good bits" but there isn't much you don't see in the movie. Anyway, totally wins the movie and life.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Chopping Mall is the worst movie of all time


Chopping Mall. Let's send these fuckers a Rambo-gram. It is bad. Also, it is very bad. Not a single chop was made in this film. Was pretty sure they came up with the name of the movie, which is amazing, and then built a film around it. That, however, was not the case. Laser Mall or Fire-Extinguisher Throwing Robots Mall doesn't have the same ring to it. But yeah, worst movie of all time.

Gist of the movie is a shopping mall installs a trio of robots to police the mall at night, killing anyone that isn't an employee that is there over night. But them shits malfunction and then just kill anyone in the mall. Alright to kill anyone breaks in in this universe. Killing employees of the mall that are there to bone in a furniture store, that shit is fucked up and wrong though. Instead of smoking cigarettes and drinking, though, post-coital activities for these kids includes shooting at robots trying to kill them and dying. The robots malfunction after the building gets struck by the infamous blue lightning, ever present in the 1980s, which gets featured a lot in electrocution scenes in this flick.

Directed by one Jim Wynorski, a guy out of the Roger Corman school of film making, has over 150 titles to his name. Kelli Maroney, who plays the part of Alison, and Tony O'Dell, as Ferdy, are the survivors who are notably the only pair of "teens" that don't get it on. O'Dell is one of the Cobra Kai punks in The Karate Kid and is also in the YouTube spinoff Cobra Kai. You may recognize Maroney from Fast Times at Ridgemont High or as one of the leads in dope 80s horror flick Night of the Comet which I'm going to have to rewatch. Director Wynorski claims to have cast her because he wanted to date her. That is one way to do it, I guess. Get a Dick Miller cameo. He was the guy that knew what gremlins were in the movie Gremlins. There are a couple attractive ladies in the film who have a little bit of gratuitous nudity but the only one I recognized was Barbara Crampton who is horror royalty in my book. She was the lead chick in Re-Animator and Castle Freak and more recently was in You're Next. She is great and very beautiful but was pretty annoying in this flick. She completely gets herself killed in a grossly unnecessary way. Her and the other girls are on their way out of the mall via the air duct but she keeps saying shit like, "my boyfriend needs me, I have to go help him!" She tries and immediately gets herself killed although the dudes have the situation sort of in hand at that point.

There is this raging asshole who is boning the mall owner's daughter who I thought was funny as a character. This was the guy with the mullet played by one John Terlesky. Oh he is over-the-top unlikable and offensive. You don't mind when he gets killed after going out to get the lady he just boned smokes out of an old fashioned cigarette machine. He has a super solid one-liner to the robots when they ask for his badge which is what I think set them off to rampage. When he shows them his badge he tells it "Klaatu barada nikto" which was the phrase used to stop Gort, the robot in the 1951 film The Day the Earth Stood Still, from destroying the world. It was also the line that Bruce Campbell flubs when he picks up the Book of the Dead in Army of Darkness which I am sure is also a reference to the Cold War-era film. This guy's girl's death is pretty solid, too. She gets shot with a laser and her head explodes. Always solid.

With a brief 77 minute run time, I still felt they could have tightened this movie up. Not a great sign. Also, nothing with the killer robots really makes sense. Deploying killer robots to work security at the mall, what could happen, am I right? Pity, that this movie isn't more watchable with a cast that includes Crampton and Maroney. Maroney, I guess, wins the movie though there really aren't what you would call winners here. She also has the worst camel toe I have ever seen in khakis of all things. It is fucking crazy. Googling that I see there was a How Did This Get Made? where this phenomenon in the movie was discussed. Will need to give that a whirl.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Knives Out is the greatest movie of all time


Knives Out. This is a twisted web, and we are not finished untangling it, not yet. A donut hole inside a donut hole. Love a Agatha Christie style whodunit. Gosford Park. Fucking great. Manhattan Murder Mystery. Get the fuck out. Murder Mystery. That was supposed to be trash. Loved it. The Ghost Writer. Ate that shit up. Shit, I'd put The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which also stars Daniel Craig, in that boat as well. Movie was tits. This one, better than those even. Greatest movie of all-time you say? I do.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: Knives Out sharpens old murder-mystery tropes with a keenly assembled suspense outing that makes brilliant use of writer-director Rian Johnson's stellar ensemble.

Gist of the movie is that famous and massively wealthy mystery writer Harlan Thrombey (played wonderfully by Christopher Plummer) is found dead of an apparent suicide at his massive estate the day following his 85th birthday party. But there are issues and someone has anonymously hired famous private detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) to investigate. Everyone of Thrombey's horrible and dysfunctional descendants are suspects after they all get cut out of the will. Then there is his beautiful and seemingly kind nurse, Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas), whom the family finds suspect. Thats about all you need to know. Don't want to spoil the surprise.

Directed by one Rian Johnson, he also did Brick (which I saw way back when and don't remember caring for, little dark for my taste), Looper, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi (meh). He is married to Karina Longworth, the host of this podcast that I fucking love called You Must Remember This, you have to check that shit out if you are into old movie stars and Hollywood history, which is pretty cool. The movie stars de Armas (Blade Runner 2049) who is just perfect, Craig, Evans, Plummer, Toni Collette, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, Michael Shannon, and Lakeith Stanfield. In case you don't know, that cast is fucking sick.

This movie is so in my fucking wheelhouse. No way I wasn't going to like it. But I genuinely loved it. I wait for years for these types of movies and lose my fucking mind when they come out. This was fucking great and I loved the experience of it (even though it was a packed house and the guy setting behind me smelled horrible). I'm definitely going to see it second time, no fucking doubt.

Something super clever I noticed was how no one listens to "the help." There are three times this hilariously comes to light. In one, every time the family mentions Marta's family, they say that they come from a different country, never getting it right. By the time they make the third reference to it, you are definitely LOLing. The second time, the housekeeper, the one we see deadish with the spider on her face in the trailer, is trying to explain the whole murder plot to another character, which would totally have ended things way sooner, but the person doesn't even try to follow along. This was subtle and low-key the funniest one. Then there is when she straight up, point blank says who the killer is and no one really gets it. A bit about the woman that plays this character Fran. Her name is Edi Patterson. Before a couple of months ago I had never seen her in my life. Now, I can't get enough of her. She is legit hilarious and is kind of having a moment between her work on this and in the television show The Righteous Gemstones, which I cannot recommend enough.

MVP goes to Chris Evans. That guy is really something. In a movie with all that talent, I think he probably won the movie. His performance is complex and layered. No Captain America, that is for sure, this guy is a douche-bag. It's obvious that Evans loved it and it shows. Plummer and de Armas are solid honorable mentions, though there isn't anyone who isn't just amazing (have heard some shit about Craig's ridiculous accent but I think it works and I loved hearing yuck it up about how the case was like a donut, no a donut hole, no a hole within the donut hole, and so forth).

Friday, November 29, 2019

Death Proof is the greatest movie of all time


Death Proof. The woods are lovely, dark, and deep. And I have promises to keep. Miles to go before I sleep... I'm the horniest motherfucker on the road! 2007. Part of the Greatest Years in Cinema Project I'm working on. One of my least favorite films by Quinton Tarantino. That being said. Still a huge fucking fan. Both of the movie and Tarantino. I mean, dude makes movies that I fucking love. When this came out, people who said Tarantino has lost his edge I thought were insane. Not instant classic like Inglourious Basterds. But still a goddamned solid picture.

Rotten Consensus: Death Proof may feel somewhat minor in the context of Tarantino's larger filmography, but on its own merits, it packs just enough of a wallop to deliver sufficiently high-octane grindhouse goods.

With Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror, which was also solid and probably a movie I'm going to rewatch soonish, was part of the "Grindhouse" double feature. This confused the few people in the theater where I originally saw the pair. Supposed to recreate the experience he loved as a child of going to exploitation double features. Tarantino's portion follows Stuntman Mike played by Kurt Russell who gets off by killing young women by crashing into them with his stuntman, death proofed car. But first he likes to fuck with them.

The movie is split into two halves. The first set, whom he meets at a bar in Austin, Texas, he hits head-on, crushing one, ejecting another from the car, ripping off one's leg, and running over the other one's face. This is after he has killed a woman played by Rose McGowan whom he is "giving a ride home" by pinballing her around in the non-death proofed side of the vehicle. It is probably the most terrifying moment in any of Tarantino's movies when McGowan's character, after ignoring many red flags and is in the stuntman's car, when he asks which way she is going and she says "right" and Stuntman Mike explains that they are going "left" and if she had been going left too, it would have been a while before she had gotten scared. The girls in this section consist of pretty lady Vanessa Ferlito whom I've never seen in anything else before or since, Jordan Ladd who is the daughter of Charlie's Angels star Cheryl Ladd, and Sydney Tamiia Poitier who is the daughter of Academy Award winner Sidney Poitier. This was sort of the second movie, the first being Jackie Brown, where Tarantino started using the children of stars he admired but the first that he really started to go all in on it (he has since done this again with Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood). This portion of the movie also features Michael Parks who became sort of a Tarantino and Kevin Smith favorite late in life (he played the villain in both Red State and Tusk), Eli Roth who plays a frat boy type, and Tarantino playing the bartender.

Second part of the flick, spoilers, Stuntman Mike tries something similar, trying to run a group of women off the road, one of whom, stuntwoman Zoë Bell, Uma's Kill Bill stuntwoman, playing herself, has strapped herself to the hood of a car in some dangerous as fuck thrill seeking shit. Unfortunately for Stuntman Mike, the women he has decided to fuck with include a legendary stuntwoman (Bell), a fictional stunt driver played by one Tracie Thoms whom I don't know, and pissed off hair and makeup person played by Rosario Dawson who wears shit-kicking boots and throws a hell of a punch. After Bell is finally thrown from the front of the car, Stuntman Mike tells them that "that was fun" but he doesn't get to enjoy the moment as Thoms breaks out a gun, wounding him with a shot to the arm, and then the ladies go on the offensive, eventually running him off the road, pulling him from the car and beating him to death. This was Tarantino's chick/car movie, obviously.

Couple of things that stuck out. Tarantino and the feet thing. There are multiple scenes featuring woman's feet, per usual. Feel this is the first one where it is like a real joke, notably when Dawson's character is sleeping with an eye mask on in her friend's car with her feet out the window and Stuntman Mike comes up to her and is a huge disgusting creep. Sort of Tarantino being like, "you think I am creep with the feet stuff? Here is some real creepy shit." There is a lap dance scene where one of the girls that dies in the car crash. This is pretty unnecessary and just sort of weird. You definitely don't like it when you see what this asshole does to her sort of thing. Finally, has one of funniest scenes from any of Tarantino's movies. The girls in the second part are trying to test drive this classic car they are into owned by some hillbilly (whom I remember as the lazy eyed dude in a couple Adam Sandler movies). As collateral on the car, they leave this actress/model dressed as a cheerleader played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead (she is extremely attractive) they are hanging out with. They imply that she will suck the guy's dick, unbeknownst to her. The guy asks Dawson's character how he knows her. "She is an actress," she says. "From porno movies?" he asks. "Yes, from porno movies," Dawson says. Funny shit but it gets scary as they take off and he walks up to the girl with a disturbing grin on his face. "Gulp," the cheerleader says. 

Hard to say who won the movie, really, but I'd probably go with Russell. He plays a pretty convincing maniac, and without this role, I don't think we get The Hateful Eight and possibly not Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood (it is rumored that the Russell and his longtime stuntman were maybe the inspiration for the movie [or maybe Burt Reynolds and his stunt guy]). A case could also be made for Bell who went from stunt person to legitimate actress after this flick. Also, the minute or so that Parks is in the movie is an incredible heat check. That guy always made the most out of his 30 seconds or whatever of screen time. 

The Shining is the greatest movie of all time

The Shining. Wendy. Darling. Light of my life. I'm not going to hurt you. You didn't let me finish my sentence. I said I'm not gonna hurt ya. I'm just going to bash your brains in! I'm going to bash 'em right the fuck in. Stanley fucking Kubrick. Maybe a top five most watched movie for me. First saw it when I was way too young. Like it a little less than I did the last time I watched it... But I finally read the book a few years back and see this film differently now. In the novel we get this super complex character in Jack with whole character arch. We also get a character that Stephen King was personally connected to with the same demons as he had. In the movie we get a raging fucking asshole who basically is just Jack Nicholson who becomes a full on maniac. Nicholson on coke, presumably. No real development nor any personal attachment. Still the greatest movie of all time though.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: Though it deviates from Stephen King's novel, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is a chilling, often baroque journey into madness -- exemplified by an unforgettable turn from Jack Nicholson.

Should know all this shit and the people in this by now, but in case, here goes. Gist of the movie is a dude gets a job as the winter caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, taking his son and wife with him to this isolated location. Once they get snowed in, the ghosts come out (they want the boy who has a psychic gift him that the hotel's head chef calls "shine"), fuck with his head, convince him to kill them. He loses his fucking mind. Shit gets cray.

Directed by Stanley Kubrick, legendary director. Jack Nicholson, yeah, that guy, plays Jack Torrance. There are a few shots where it seems like a Kubric film. But more than that it feels like a Jack Nicholson movie. Nicholson definitely wins the movie, by the way. Total fucking psycho. Goes from being a prick to everyone to being a complete psycho. Also staring in the flick are Shelley Duvall plays Wendy Torrance, Danny Lloyd as Danny (his sweater game is on fucking point) and does a hell of a job for a very young child actor who thought he was in a family drama, and Scatman Crothers (mostly remember him from this, Twilight Zone: The Movie, and as the coach of the Harlem Globetrotters on various TV shows) plays Dick Hallorann, the psychic chef. Few other people in the movie but no one you are likely to recognize. Most notable are Philip Stone as Delbert Grady, Joe Turkel as Lloyd, and hottie Lia Beldam as the young woman in the tub in room 237 who makes out with Jack.

As I said before, me and this movie go way back. Used to watch it yearly, it felt like it was always on TV, but it has been more like every five years for the last 15 years or so. Still, every time I notice something new. Tis' how it is with Kubrick movies I guess. In this viewing, picked up on a bit of comedy I'd never noticed before. It comes when Jack is in the ballroom and Grady bumps into him and spills some custardy, thick, yellow beverage all over Jack's hands and jacket. Grady convinces Jack to go to the restroom with him to wash off. "It tends to stain," Grady says. It is then that Jack pats Grady on the back and leaves a hand print. Pretty sure he did this on purpose.

Also picked up something Jack says early in the movie. He tells Wendy that he "felt like he had been there before." Of course at the end we see him in the July 4th Ball photo from 1921. Hard to say if we are to take this literally or not. Hard to say what the fuck Kubric was ever thinking. Shit, I mean, he once called The Shining his most optimistic movie because it showed some sort of afterlife. Alright, buddy.

Think part of my affinity for this flick when I was young came from my mother being the spitting image of Shelley Duvall in this movie. It was crazy, though they have since adopted vastly different looks. Also, she was a a super fun mom, always playing with her little guy, just like my ma when I was a wee one. Aw. I love my mom. Wendy is a super sympathetic character as well. Husband is a major asshole but she is stuck there with him, eventually realizing that he is insane. I mean, the day before everything goes to shit, she just thinks her husband is an asshole, which is sort of crazy to think about. The next day she is beating him down the stairs with a baseball bat and then dragging him to the dry goods storage room, hoping to lock him in before he wakes up. Something else I noticed this time around, Wendy did all of Jack's work. She was the true caretaker, ironically, keeping the place that is trying to kill her and her boy from burning to the ground. She is the only one that gets anything done, the true hero of the movie.

So that, is The Shining, I guess. Something else I get now that I am older is Jack's freaking out after being interrupted while writing. That is exactly how I feel at work like 75% of the day. I bring this up as my female companion tells me that the trash is full and that I need to deal with it. Bebe. Darling. Light of my life...

Saturday, October 26, 2019

The Blair Witch Project is the greatest movie of all time

The Blair Witch Project.  "I just want to apologize to Mike's mom, Josh's mom, and my mom. And I'm sorry to everyone. I was very naive. I am so so sorry for everything that has happened. Because in spite of what Mike says now, it is my fault." Anyone who doesn't like this movie got bamboozled when it came out. Another horror movie from my Greatest Years in Cinema Project. This one form 1999. The first time I saw this movie, before my junior year of high school,  was at the drive-in. I was at the concession though and missed the first few minutes. I missed the bit about Rustin Parr, the hermit who kidnapped and murdered a bunch of kids in the 1940s on the orders of the witch, stealing two at a time and making one stand facing the corner while he killed the other one. Sooooo, at the end when Mike is in the corner it didn't carry the impact intended as I thought he was taking a piss or something. I thought the movie was fucking dumb as shit because of this. When it came out on video I rewatched, forgetting all about that, just remembering I hated it and it was stupid. Oh, I thought, that shit is scary AF, actually. Greatest found footage movie of all time.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: Full of creepy campfire scares, mock-doc The Blair Witch Project keeps audiences in the dark about its titular villain -- thus proving that imagination can be as scary as anything onscreen.

Gist is that three film student who disappeared after filming a documentary in the woods of Maryland about the Blair Witch legend have their footage show up and shows a bunch of creepy shit. This is that footage.

More or less just three people in this with a few extras. The three we care about are Heather played by Heather Donahue, Josh played by Joshua Leonard, and Mike played by Michael C. Williams. Josh pops up every once in a while but Heather and Mike not so much, which is unfortunate since they were pretty solid, in my opinion, and since they didn't make shit and couldn't really capitalize on the success of the movie. A lot of why they could was because of the viral marketing campaign that said these were real kids that died. People ate that shit up, this was the early days of the internet and people believed everything. They still do I guess. Bursting that bubble though was when Donahue showed up in the Steak 'n Shake commercials. But some people still believed. Probably Trump supporters now. Donahue was also in maybe the worst movie I've ever seen, Boys and Girls. My girlfriend at the time made me go see this piece of trash. When middle school girls were walking out of it and shit, I thought about breaking up with her for making me stay. I never forgave her for this experience.

I remember there was this "documentary" that came out the summer of 1999 that aired on the SciFi Channel in 1999 called Curse of the Blair Witch that detailed the legend and was maybe as cool as the movie. In it we learn that the witch, one Elly Kedward, was this woman blamed for these child disappearances in the late 1700s. The towns folk ultimately sentenced her to death by exposure and banished her to the woods. Her body was never found. Then we get the guy from the 1940s, Rustin Parr. That shit was hot. Honestly, that whole legend shit and the marketing around it was the best part about it. I mean, total bullshit but cool. That is the MVP of the movie for me.

20 years later for my third viewing, shit holds up. Lot better than that Blair Witch trash from a few years back. Real disappointed by that turd. Loved two of the director's, one Adam Wingard, other movies. You're Next and The Guest but have pretty much hated everything since that. You're Next though is one of my favorite horror movies of the last decade. Up there with Get Out and shit. Then there was the sequel to BWP called Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 which I like a lot but was extremely poorly received. It stared Jeffrey Donovan from Burn Notice and Shut Eye both shows I was somewhat into and Kim Director whom I found extremely attractive. Will have to rewatch that one as well to see if it holds up. Will get back to you on if it does.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane is the worst movie of all time

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane. How old do you have to be before people start treating you like a person? What the fuck, man? That is a difficult question in the universe of this film. One of the horror movies from my Greatest Year in Hollywood Project. This being one of two from 1976--the first was CarrieBasic gist of this is that 13 is too young to take care of yourself... and probably to fuck. Weird shit. Did not like. Was too uncomfortable in too many ways. Seeing an old dude trying to sexually molest a child who maybe lives alone, torture killing her pet in front of her, strong arming her child boyfriend. All of that was not easy to set through. Then there was sex scene that nearly made me throw up. Never really prepared for that. But then that child whom I just suddenly watch go to the bone zone killing some pretty awful people... That I was for the most part okay with.

Okay. Gist of this movie is that Jodie Foster is the child of a professor or something. She claims he is around but he is most obviously to everyone not. She mostly tries to keep to herself but I think the school superintendent, played by Alexis Smith who was quite the looker and B-List starlet (she was like Ronald Reagan level famous) in the 1940s and 50s, and her rapey ass son, played by Martin Sheen, keep coming around, fucking with her shit. Being an independent tween or whatever of the world, can't have people come to her house and make her do shit. So she starts killing folks. Oh, and she gets a boyfriend which is dumb and filler mostly. You've never seen him or anyone else in the movie. It was also directed by a guy you've never heard of, one Nicolas Gessner, who did a handful of low-budgets and made-for-TVs before and after this and is still alive but hasn't had anything else to his credits since 1997.

Noice
So the movie opens on Halloween with Sheen's character showing up at Foster's house a few minutes before his kids come ringing the doorbell for candy. That is not how this works, man. And is obviously is putting it out there that he is DTF. Foster isn't having any of this shit. She is stern in a way that suggests old dudes are always pulling this shit. Days later, his mom starts snooping around, basically playing a truancy officer or something. She dies at the house from being an idiot, more or less, and Foster hides as much evidence as possible, but really isn't hiding shit. After a few days, Sheen comes back over while Foster is entertaining this magician boyfriend kid she met that day, don't ask, and gets all passive aggressive about his mom. He and Foster fucking know but they play the game until Sheen has had enough and tortures her hamster to death with a cigarette. Okay, movie, you fucking lost me. That was it. But I watched on, like an idiot.

Foster wins the movie, but at what cost? I mean she is indeed a kid that is going places. This is around the same time as Taxi Driver, also a 1976 watch, but more fucked up. You've been warned. The shit that I couldn't deal with in addition to the hamster torture had to do with her sex scene. I mean, is it too much to ask not to have animal deaths or fucked up kid shit in a movie? Those are my two things. I pretty much dig everything else. But this movie has both. Too much. So the shit I am talking about comes near the end when Foster's BF stays over. It is not super obvious they are going to fuck but then you realize that is where they are going. By the time you realize this, unable to completely mentally prepare that this is about to happen with a very young child actress, she is suddenly naked. Fuck, man, I didn't want to see that shit. I seriously almost spilled the groceries... But then I read in the trivia section on IMDB that it wasn't Jodie Foster that we saw nude but her at least of legal aged sister. Apparently, the producers of the film adamantly wanted this nude scene for god only knows what reason, and Foster refused and walked off set. Now, she doesn't talk a lot of shit about the movies she likes or dislikes that she was a part of, but she has hinted, somewhere but I don't know where, that this is a movie she is not extremely fond of, I think for obvious child labor/nudity reason.  

In any case, yeah, never watching that shit again. Do not recommend. The end is pretty satisfying though. But I won't give that shit away. 

Monday, October 21, 2019

Carrie is the greatest movie of all time


Carrie. These are godless times. Indeed. Finally getting back to one of my Greatest Years in Cinema flicks. First film from 1976. Skipping ahead to the horror movies since it's close to Halloween and all. Watch a shit ton of horror this month, obviously. It's been well over 20 years since I've seen this particular flick. Talking junior high days. This is what I thought high school would be like. Girls having their first periods. Not knowing what it was. Getting ridiculed mercilessly. Going to prom. Winning prom queen. Having pig blood dumped on them. Raging out and killing everyone with your telekinetic powers. You know, normal stuff. On rewatch, holy shit-balls, this was a great movie.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: Carrie is a horrifying look at supernatural powers, high school cruelty, and teen angst -- and it brings us one of the most memorable and disturbing prom scenes in history.

Noice
I pretty much set up everything you need to know about the movie already other than it is based on a Stephen King novel (which you probably know) and was directed by Brian De Palma. But her is some extra: Carrie White's mother is a religious nut job and blames the period on her sinning instead of biology. Because of her upbringing, she is bullied constantly. She does have an advocate at the school, the gym teacher played by Betty Buckley, who is smoking hot. She is basically the same age as all the actresses playing high school chicks but they pass for high school while Buckley is a woman. She is old now, of course, and has sort of become my surrogate grandmother in film, but she is still attractive for an old lady. She is the chick from Split, the psychiatrist that treats people with multiple personalities. I like her. So does Carrie. Just want to hug her.

A whole bunch of other pretty ladies in this flick as well. Not only do you have Nancy Allen from other De Palma movies Blow Out and Dressed to Kill (my second/sometimes favorite of his)--who is just really something, though she doesn't really do it for me in this, probably because she is such a bitch--and P.J. Soles (the ditsy blonde from the original Halloween), you also have all these randoms in the standard De Palma gratuitous shower scene. Noice.

Unfortunately that leads to all the shit that goes down as Carrie, played by the Sissy Spacek, has her first period, which she knows nothing about, and loses her goddamned mind. All the girls in her class mock the fuck out of her as she screams like she is dying. The girls get in trouble from good old gym teacher Buckley and have to miss prom, which they take out on Carrie, and meanwhile telekinetic Carrie is traumatized as shit. The teacher then sends her to the principal, this idiot, who is like, "uh, hey, Cassie... uh, Wright, would you feel more comfortable if I shook you (which is his only move when it comes to 'consoling')? Ah, uh, go home, I guess, Corrie Night... Congratulations!"

So she goes home and is like, "you should have, you know, given me a fucking heads up about this shit and whatever," except Christian like. And her fucking crazy-ass mom, played by Piper Laurie from Twin Peaks is like, "You have sinned! Eve was weak! And the Lord visited Eve with the curse, and the curse was the curse of the Christ's blood! Oh, Lord, help this sinning woman see the sin of her days and ways, show her that if she had remained sinless, this curse of the Christ's blood would never have come down on her!" So I guess old Marge here thought that her daughter could pray her period away but was also born of sin because of Eve. The point here is that sex ed has failed Carrie White she really has no fucking chance. Meanwhile Nancy Allen blows Travolta whilst saying his name at the same time which takes some talent.

Oh my god
Good time as any to talk about what a fucking catheter in my dick Travolta's character is. Going to a slaughterhouse and killing a pig with a sledgehammer like a maniac. Fuck this sick fucking asshole. No way to get me to hate a character more than some shit like this. The chicks are fucking awful, too, of course, taking advantage of this chick who is clueless as fuck, for no reason really. She just doesn't want to be funny and sort of makes a friend in one of the girls who has her boyfriend take Carrie to prom. This is stupid and almost backfires as it seems he is trying to low-key fuck. But it doesn't ever get to that post prom party where everyone loses their virginity if they've still got it as the mean girls dump the dead pig's blood all over her and the bitches laugh like fucking idiots. This is when we get the fucking shit storm to end all shit storms and it is not limited to the ones that wronged her. Shit is burning the fuck down. Also, hell'a scary ending.

Spacek would normally win the movie. She goes from naive bumpkin to out of control banshee. De Palma is solid as hell, too. But King is the hands down winner here. This is the first of his 100+  movies based on his works. That shit is insane. This has to be near the top of them as most of them are indeed trash. But still. This was his first book. The one that got him on the map. This flick being fucking great catapulted him into rock star.  Finally, don't fuck with people for no reason or they will kill you with telekinesis. Remember that.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Madman is the okayest movie of all time

Madman. "You didn't let me finish," the survivor girl says to a hairy-assed dude giving her underwater cunnilingus when he comes up for air. "Gotta breath, baby, gotta breath... sorry." Nothing like watching a supernaturally ugly dude killing camp counselors for doing camp shit on a fall Saturday night. At the same time, if you've seen one, you've seen them all. This doesn't exactly add anything to the genre, if you know what I mean. Plus, the copy I watched, on a legitimate streaming service, mind you, occasionally had these weird purple lines going down it that were pretty concerning as far as my television goes but then I eventually realized it was just something with this flick. But it is serviceable. As I thought I had stated before, but maybe haven't, I'm no longer binary. I can deal with three ratings. Hence this is, like, the most okayest movie of all time.

Gist of the movie is that a camp pisses off a giant, monstrous killer who then does a shitload of killing. Some brutally with an axe. Some brutally in more creative/insane ways. More on that later. This is one of those they-tell-a-campfire-tale-that-ends-up-being-real slashers. You aren't going to recognize a single person in this except for maybe Gaylen Ross who was the female lead in Dawn of the Dead (the original) and had a minor part in Creepshow.

Lot of shit that doesn't really make any fucking sense but just roll with it. Stuff like a chick who goes out on a canoe to play a record for no reason, a strange precoital hot tub courting contra dancing, or this dude throwing a rock from the woods with noodle-armed bullshit of a hurle. I mean, they are in the woods and this dipshit couldn't have flung this thing 15 feet. But no, this breaks the window of this house that had to be miles away where they are having this fire is not in the wide shot when they show the house. But yeah, ignore that shit.

The "hot" one
Loosely based on the Cropsey Staton Island legend. A mental patient that was released from Willowbrook State--the one that Geraldo Rivera made a name for himself when covering the horrific conditions patients were subjected to, it is really fucking sad--that takes and murders kids. For a solid explanation check out the Cropsey documentary that also touches on a real series of Staton Island child murders that people associated with the legend. Insanely, this wasn't the only Cropsey movie being shot in 1980. Once the filmmakers heard this they downplayed the Cropsey stuff and changed the name to Madman Mars. The Burning was the other movie. Might be watching that soonish.

Bitch slap
The only attractive chick who has sort of an afro. The killer keeps going after her too, boy, almost getting her as she slides her way up a hill and drives around looking for people. He eventually gets her in the most infamous scene of the movie, involving a checking under the hood decapitation while she is jiggling the wires or whatever. One of the other girls, yeesh. Plus she takes everything out of the fridge and hides in it, just throwing all the shit that was in there on the floor right next to where she was hiding. This Bigfoot/human hybrid, though it doesn't appear he has a working refrigerator in the dilapidated home he (I assume) squats in, more of a icebox type, probably thought something like, "what the hell is all this shit doing on floor? Oh, yeah, some asshole is hiding in there. I paused the movie and typed this shit up, I'm watching the Joe Bob Briggs: The Last Drive-In on Shudder version, and Joe Bob made the same comment. Makes a lot of the same points that I do here. Great when our minds think alike since he is my favorite and all. But it makes me look like I'm plagiarizing which I am very much against.

I like how at the end, when most of the survivors (including the five kids at the camp) are in this ready to leave, they see Madman carrying someone to his trophy room. The chick is like, "someone should do something!" and the dude on the bus doesn't say shit and lets her go off to have a showdown with Marz while dude drives off to safety. What does she get for her effort? Marz bitch slaps her face off and gets thrown on a meathook. This is bullshit. She does burn his place down and stabs him from the meathook, which is impressive. I'd say that dude who drove the bus out of fucking dodge won the movie as there really was no clear winner.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Joker is the greatest movie of all time


Joker. I used to think that my life was a tragedy, but now I realize, it's a fucking comedy. Pretty damn solid. Might even be transformative to the superhero genre like The Dark Knight and Heath Ledger's Joker performance was in 2008. However, don't see the flick as rewatchable as those Christopher Nolan Batman flix. I mean, you never really forget that you are watching a guy suffering from serious mental illness that society doesn't give a shit about. Not my idea of a movie I want to watch a whole lot. Like Taxi Driver, which everyone keeps comparing it to, in that way, but worse.


Gist of the movie is that Arthur Fleck, a mentally disturbed aspiring comedian, basically completely loses his shit after getting pushed to his breaking point. After getting jumped for the second time in the movie, he kills some stock brokers in self defense but guns another down as he is trying to escape. From there it is all down hill as he becomes an icon for the oppressed of Gotham City.

Stars Joaquin Phoenix as Joker (aka Arthur Fleck) and has a notable appearance from Robert De Niro as late night talk show host Murray Franklin. Something cool about having De Niro in the film is that it connects all the allusions to Taxi Driver (maybe De Niro's most memorable role) that are in the film. Both take place at the same time and Joker references this by talking about the garbage strike. This isn't laid out in Taxi Driver but it was filmed during a massive garbage strike in the mid 1970s in New York City. That is the reason the city looks like such shit in Taxi Driver and Travis has his whole fixation on washing away all the trash.

Other people you are likely to recognize are Zazie Beetz (a pretty lady who was in Deadpool 2) as Joker's love interest, Frances Conroy--whom you may remember as Ruth Fisher in Six Feet Under--plays Joker's mother (Penny Fleck), and Marc Maron whom I always assume is incredibly famous but no one seems to really know when I geek out whenever he shows up in anything (he is only the star of GLOW, Maron, and the host of WTF?, sorry he isn't Ben Shapiro or Joe Rogan or whatever). Then there are several "that guy"s like Glenn Fleshler who plays this monster clown coworker of Fleck's. This guy is brutally killed in everything I have seen him in including True Detectives (he is the serial killer in the first season) and Barry (he is the leader of the Chechens). Then the little person, an actor named Leigh Gill, was in Game of Thrones and Fantastic Beasts is somewhat recognizable but I think is mostly because he was the other little person in GoT.

Ladies!
First off, Phoenix was pretty great. Not anyone going to make a convincing argument that he didn't win the movie. It is nuts. Also, interesting stuff written for his character. One of the coolest things is the allusion to the 1928 film The Man Who Laughs which the Joker character from the 1940 Batman #1 comic was the obvious inspiration. Like the title character from that film, who looks exactly like the Joker, Fleck laughs despite the really fucked up shit that goes down around him. He has this disorder that resulted from severe childhood trauma where he would laugh uncontrollably when in extremely uncomfortable situations (which is how he ends up on Murray Franklin's show). I think I may have this for all I know made up disease, by the by (see my review for Pet Semetary, but I won't get into it here. He then can't really laugh when things are actually funny but sort of fakes it. As an aspiring comedian, we see him at a comedy club taking notes and such and faking a laugh like a second off from the audience in an obviously fake, not getting it way. I find that sort of shit extremely off putting. It is one of several ways that they show us that he is not in control. Another way comes after he starts his crime spree, killing for the first time. He is kind of freaking out but definitely sort of digging it. He goes to a filthy restroom to compose himself and does a sort of beautiful dance that is really something. Reminds me of a mime or a marionette. This stuff was really good shit.

As far as De Niro's character goes, he is a Johnny Carson type Pushing a civilian over the edge like that is pretty fucking gross. He wasn't asking to go viral. You are sort of on board with that shit, his rage. Then he shoots the guy in the face and at least I was like, "whoa buddy." Sort of like when Mike Tyson was all "I'm the best ever; there's never been anybody as ruthless" and I was all "yeah." "My style is impetuous." Yeah! "My defense is impregnable!" Yeah!!! "I'm ferocious. I want your heart." YEAH!! "I want to eat his children." Hold the fuck up, man, I'm not signing up for all this now. Same shit. Shoot a guy in the face on TV. Talk of butchering and eating a baby. Not quite at that level. Though we'll see how this Trump thing goes. Maybe in a year I will be. Anyway. Love that they do this shit. You see this in a lot Batman comics and graphic novel, Joker going on talk shows and then murdering people, and it is portrayed really ingeniously here.

Other things that are of note is what an asshole Thomas Wayne is. Dude is a one-percenter and is finally fucking portrayed like it. Fuck him. I always thought he was secretly a prick. If I have to watch him die in the same way for the 10th time on film, it better offer something. This totally does. Another thing is this twist that happens. Totally didn't see that shit coming. I think it is obvious that there would be one but this was not one I was expecting. Enough said there.

Complaint is did it need two goddamn endings? The first one was solid. The second was complete shit. Not going to give it away in detail but this is sort of a spoiler. It is like the studio and all the rich fucks that had say were like, "I'm a little uncomfortable with this ending, we have to make sure everyone knows he is in Arkham." Horseshit.

Overall, though, the film is a really fascinating study of how when pushed to the breaking point and politicians and agents of order just keep pushing, shit will go the fuck down. I would say if you ignore the second ending, it is a call to action of sorts (or maybe more of a warning). It says that we are fucking living this shit. The film doesn't fuck around with that. This may take place in the 1970s, but this Gotham is Trump's American. Burn the mother fucker down.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Wolfcop is the greatest movie of all time


Wolfcop. The fuck are you? The fuzz. Ah. A wolf... Cop. Part time wolf. Mostly shitty cop. Great alcoholic. Completely Canadian. This movie is exactly what you'd expect and then some. I mean, what other movie solves the age old question of what happens to the guy's dick when he turns into a wolf man so convincingly. That's worth a watch alone... But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Gist of the movie goes thus. Shitty cop in rural Saskatchewan, that's in Canada, who is a fucking DRUNK, gets cursed by this shapeshifting, immortal cult that prolong their lives by drinking the blood of a werewolf every 32 years. The cult's intentions are a bit hard to follow as we get this from hand written notes that the wolf cop does at the library but whatever. The group of occultists get some big town event called like the "Drink n' Shoot" or something like that canceled so they can have the woods to themselves, (again, or something) to make their sacrifice during the once every 32 year lunar eclipse, which pretty sure it doesn't work that way. But none of this really matters. What matters is that he is a wolf and a cop and he is out there fighting crime. Cleaning up the streets whilst drinking handles of whiskey and being hairy. What more do you expect? Shit was fun as fuck.

Apparently the movie was funded through some annual Canadian movie contest where the most popular concept gets moneys (up to a million Canadian Dollars [loonies, I guess]) after winning a NCAA Tournament style face-off. This is something called the CineCoup Film Accelerator which is a pretty cool project that funds independent Canadian films. Sort of like a less bullshitty Project Greenlight with, one would hope, way fewer rapists.

Directed by one Lowell Dean, no idea, I like what I see. Makes what are totally my kind of movies, it appears. Horror. Comedy. Canadian. My shit. You might recognize a few people in the movie, I guess it's possible as there are legitimate actors in it, but unless you fucking birthed one out of your womb or something, you sure as shit don't know who the fuck Leo Fafard or Amy Matysio are.

Two things really stuck out. The first: wolf cop cock. In the first transformation scene, all of these are pretty dope, btw, dude is sort of feeling like shit. He is drinking at the bar, as he does, and excuses himself to the can. Whilst there he takes what looks like a pretty painful piss, screaming and what have you. We see pee coming out of his dick when suddenly wolf cock. It sort of comes out of the normal guy cock. It looks extremely unpleasant. You cannot unsee that shit. Nor can you unsee the wolf/human intercourse that takes place in this flick. Like Teen Wolf except way fucking graphic and way more disgusting.

Anyway, second thing: Wolfcop's drinking throughout the whole movie. As a cop, dude spent more time getting fucking sloshed at the bar than pulling people over and shit. Dude wakes up. Starts drinking. Goes to work. Breaks out the flask at the desk. Goes on his beat. Hits up Liquor Donuts and gets a gallon. Does a little bit of research or whatever then hits the bar where he gets blackout until he gets a call or whatever. Wakes up in bed with no idea how he got there. And repeat. And as he was as a cop, so he is as a wolf cop, fucking drunk. More so probably but it only enhances his powers as a wolf as he gets liquored up and rips people's faces/heads off and shit. It also makes him more or less invincible.

And speaking of drinking, for me, the concept of liquor donuts wins the goddamned movie. Where has that been at the million fucking epic Sunday brunches I've had in my life. That shit is next level. What the fuck. Someone in Toronto is even opening a music themed donut shop/bar called "Liquor Donuts" like the place we see throughout the movie. I hope they make it cause that shit is hot.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

It Chapter Two is the greatest movie of all time


It Chapter Two. Just trying to add some levity to this shit. I’ll go fuck myself. Beep Beep Richie. Great flick. Really fucking loved it. Not quite an instant classic like It Chapter One but it's really fucking good. Also, not scary like the first one, though I jumped out of my seat like four times and there are moments. But super entertaining and really funny. Usually not a good sign but just roll with it and you'll have a good time. The ending, also, is just alright.

And to be fair, when I was pulling into the theater for the first one, the parking lot was more or less empty. Definitely no one walking around or anything. The way I came into the parking lot brought me up to the theater and I turned into a row of cars that faced the exit. When I did this, just sort of floating at me was a red balloon. It was fucking terrifying with no one obviously around and me going to that movie. I quickly parked, never seeing anyone around, and popped out my phone and took a picture as evidence (though by that time the balloon was sort of far away). Shit freaked me out and definitely fucked with me during the film, probably adding to my enjoyment of it.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: It: Chapter Two proves bigger doesn't always mean scarier for horror sequels, but a fine cast and faithful approach to the source material keep this follow-up afloat.

The gist most of us know. Follow up to It Chapter One from 2017. That film follows a bunch of kids (collectively known as the "Losers' Club") who in 1989 set out to a supernatural, murdering clown/demigod who feeds off the fear of children every 27 years in the town of Derry, Maine. This is the same shit, only now, in 2016, it's 27 years later and the kids are all grown up. Based on the dope ass 1986 novel by the Stephen King, this is considered one of his masterpieces.

Directed by one Andy Muschietti, who also directed Chapter One, the film stars Andy Bean who is sort of in the movie plays Stanley Uris, Jessica Chastain as Beverly, Bill Hader as Richie Tozier, James McAvoy as Bill Denbrough, Isaiah Mustafa as Mike Hanlon (which was also the name of my first newspaper editor and most significant influence when it comes to style), James Ransone as Eddie Kaspbrak, and Jay Ryan whom I've never seen before in my life plays Ben Hanscom, are the adult versions of the Losers'. All of these actors (except for I'd say Chastain, McAvoy, and sort of Hader) are spitting images of their younger counterparts. All of the them are also fucking great if some of them are under-utilized (Chastain and McAvoy sort of barely feel in the movie for long stretchs, for example). Bill Skarsgård reprises his role of Pennywise the Dancing Clown. He's still great as well as super creepy. And all the kids also returns to play their parts.

One big complaint is that they included the kids, honestly, who have obviously aged a couple of years, in the film. Other than one of them turning out to be sort of gay, none of the kid stuff really adds anything. Also, all of the violence is extremely off-putting. Don't like stuff happening to animals or kids in movies. Stuff, spoiler, happens to kids. It's hard to watch... But expected.

Hard to not to note some of the solid AF Easter eggs sprinkled throughout the film. A couple, like a high profile cameo, I'll leave to the viewer. A couple others are sort of harder to notice. Like the actor Brandon Crane who played 12-year old Ben Hanscom in the 1990 version of the film showing up in a boardroom of executives Skyping the new Ben who gets a call from Mike to come back to Derry. Then there are things that I am sure if they are Easter eggs or what. Like Peter Bogdanovich playing himself directing a Denbrough movie at the beginning. (Something weird about this that has little to do with the movie is that after I watched this I went to a used book store and went to the Director Biography section and found a book by Bogdanovich, one Who the Hell's In It. It totally felt meant for me. Then I opened it up and saw that it was signed by the author which was fucking awesome.)

Winning the movie was Hader as Richie, as everyone basically agrees, but I thought a lot of that performance was lifted by Ransone as Eddie and their chemistry together. Just like Finn Wolfhard (who played young Richie) and Jack Dylan Grazer (the young Eddie) their comedic timing was impeccable and you really feel like they are homeys razzing each other. There is the stuff they say to each other. Like when Eddie is petrified with fear and Richie hypes him up by asking him who did all of these things that took extraordinary courage like taking a knife to the face, pulling that knife out, and stabbing the guy who stabbed him with it in the face. "Me," says Eddie. And "who married a woman ten times his own body mass?" "Me," sayeth Eddie. On that note, one of the biggest chuckles I got, sort of spoiler, was when Richie talks about boning Eddie's mom and then says that afterward she leaned down and whispered to him "Jabba amu intoe tah parena" or some such shit in his best Jabba du Hutt voice out of nowhere. They both get pretty good lines in reference to murdering bully Henry Bowers (played by one Teach Grant). More spoilers. Eddie, after he stabs Henry but doesn't kill him, tells him "You should cut that fucking mullet. It’s been like 30 years, man," which, yeah. This leads to what is easily my favorite line of the movie. After Richie kills Henry with a tomahawk to the back of the head in old Derry Public, he looks at Mike, whom he has just saved, and says "I guess you could say that was long overdue. Get it? ‘Cause we’re in a library." And then he pukes. Beep Beep Richie.