Saturday, October 31, 2015

Pumpkinhead (1988)

Happy Halloween!  Today's film is Pumpkinhead.

Way deep in the country,  there is a place where a freaky alien-looking demon thing will chase after anything you want it to.  Everyone knows about it and is terrified of it.  

A man named Ed Harley lives with his young son (his only child) that he loves very much.  He works at the only grocery store for miles.  One day, a group of teenagers go up to the country to go dirtbiking.  Ed has to leave the store to get something from home, and just leaves his child alone in the store.  I have a five year old and I don't leave her alone for five minutes.  Especially if there's a group of strangers right outside.

So, the boy doesn't stay inside like he was told to, big surprise, and gets hit by one of the dirtbikes.  Not accepting that it was an accident, Ed wants to wreak revenge on the teenagers.  With the help of a country witch, he summons the demon Pumpkinhead to kill them all.

One thing I noticed is that all the country people are dirty.  Their faces are dirty, and it seems that no one owns a washing machine in the area.  My inlaws live out in the country, and they will go from the pecan orchard straight into the house to cook and eat, and they don't once wash their hands.  They are so gross.  Most country people are not like this honestly.  Most farmhouses are impeccably clean, and they are a source of pride for most people.

Ed regrets unleashing the demon, but it is too late to stop him.  He learns the hard way there is only one way to stop the demon.  I found this movie a lot more sadder than I found it scary.  I will give it a 5/10.  

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Jurassic World (2015)

Jurassic World is one of the most fun movies I have ever seen.  It has dinosaurs and Chris Pratt riding a motorcycle.  Really what more do you need from a movie?

I may be a bit biased because this is part of the Jurassic Park series.  My dad took me to the premier of Jurassic Park when I was eight years old.  Since then, I have watched the sequels and been to the Jurassic Park land at Universal Studios.  My dad also got me all of the books.  Now, my daughter is five years old and she gets to watch a new Jurassic Park movie with me.  This is so great.

So if you don't like dinosaurs this movie is not for you. But what about the first three movies?  We have learned that dinosaurs are very dangerous and will kill people.  But now we are sophisticated enough to stick them in a Seaworld type environment where the dinosaurs are more secure.  Since I work for a large entertainment company, I am very familiar with how theme parks work behind the scenes.  A lot of it is exaggerated and is way more high tech than real life, but that's to make it look cool.  In reality our computers are so old!  And they hardly ever get updated, and the wifi is spotty if it ever works at all.  But we do have a kickass monorail though.

Living in Florida I have the opportunity to visit Citywalk often.  It is a lot of fun, and if you've never been there, it's like a street full of shops and restaurants right before you enter Universal Studios.  It doesn't require a ticket to enter, so it's cheap fun.  The reason I tell you this is because the main street in Jurassic World is identical to Citywalk.  I almost thought they filmed it there, but it turns out they rebuilt a set to look like it.  So Jurassic Park isn't real, but hey Citywalk is.

My favorite part was the cameo of Jimmy Buffett as he runs away from the pterodactyls while carry his margaritas.  

Since we have learned from past experience that dinosaurs are dangerous, there's no more threat from them.  There's even a petting zoo at the park.  But you know us Americans!  We love Danger! Yeah, explosions fire awesome.  Why do you think people watch NASCAR?  It's for the crashes that's why.  So a corporation (of course) sponsors a new breed of dinosaur, specifically created in a lab to be the scariest dinosaur ever.  Not surprising to anyone in the audience, it escapes and destroys everything in its path.  The dinosaur was created by bits and pieces of living animals, so it has many helpful advantages in the wild, such as temperature control and camouflage.  Oh, they also manage a whole subplot about using raptors as weapons for the military so we now got both evil corporate greed mixed with evil government greed.

Here's my theory, which isn't in the movie at all.  Owen realizes that the scary dinosaur, named Indominus Rex, is part raptor which explains her hunting prowess.  She killed all the brontosauruses in the field for fun.  A raptor would have killed and eaten them.  A raptor's goal is to swarm an animal like a pack of wolves and devour it.  But think about this.  She figured out how to escape.  She enjoys solving puzzles and quickly finds answers to problems. She's far smarter than any other dinosaur and uses every adaptation she has to her advantage.  I believe she has human DNA in her.  This explains both her incredible intelligence as well as her viciousness.  I hope they will explore this further in the next movie.

This movie is fun and everything you can expect from a movie about killer dinosaurs.  I will give it a 9/10.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The English Patient (1996)

Today's movie is The English Patient, winner of the 1996 best picture award at the Academy Awards.  But come on, we all know what the greatest movie of 1996 is.  Come on and slam and welcome to the jam.

This film is pretty good, it's just way too long.  And there are way too many subplots.  At the heart of it all, it's just a classic story of a wife cheating on her lovely husband with a much hotter guy.

So, we first find the English Patient as he is being carried away from a burning plane.  He's actually Hungarian but that's not important right now.  What's interesting is that we expect him to be some kind of hero, but he's not.  He's a normal person, and even has some bad traits.

The English Patient's real name is Count Almasy, and his nurse is Hana.  I did not even recognize her until she cut her hair!  She is the same lady from Chocolat.  I love that movie.  She doesn't want to transport him any longer, and knows he only has days to live.  So, she moves into an abandoned building with him like a makeshift hospice.  But she didn't check for bombs or booby traps!  Luckily a crew comes in later to handle that.

Through flashbacks, we learn of Count Almasy's story, and it is pretty sad.  Meanwhile, a romance blossoms between Nurse Hana and a handsome bomb removal guy.  The whole movie, from the beginning of Count's romance to his death, covers the entirety of WWII.  So we see a bit a history in a specific place.  I didn't like Count and Katherine's romance, I thought they were overly rich selfish people.  But Hana and the bomb removal guy's romance was more genuine.

The movie was overall okay, but it ended up with too many plotlines and dragged on because of that fact.  I will give it a 6/10.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Annie Hall (1977)

I have now watched this film four times because I feel like I have to write about every film on the list.  I can't think of anything positive to say.  All of the characters were unlikable. I don't understand any of the humor involved.  Maybe some of it was meant to be sarcastic, but people like me can't detect sarcasm so it gets really frustrating.  I am so frustrated with watching this film. I think it was meant to be a comedy but I am not 100% sure. I definitely have no reason to watch it again. I will give it a 5/10.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Hausu (1977)

Today’s film is Hausu (House).  It is a very strange film.  It is not

the strangest film I have ever seen.  That would probably be Naked
Lunch.  Also, Mulholland Drive was strange, but it made me angry.
This film did not make me angry.

I have heard many things about this film, but it was near impossible
to find.  But surprise! It randomly appeared on demand for one day
only, so I seized the opportunity and watched it right then.  It was
nothing like I expected, and I have seen plenty of Japanese horror
films.  But, there is so much humor in this film as well.

I believe that Evil Dead II got a lot of its inspiration from this
film.   The gross out humor, body parts, lots of blood, strange magic,
all of this are found in both films.  It starts off as a normal film
where we are expecting horror elements, then goes off on a tangent of

One of my favorite parts is where the guy doesn’t want any watermelon,
instead he wants bananas, and in the next scene we see he has turned
into bananas!   The girls in the film all go by nicknames.  Melody
loves to play piano, and she gets eaten by one while her fingers
continue to play.   Everyone is going to be killed in strange ways.
There are also elements of magic and witchcraft at play as well.  This
film was unique and very amusing.  I will give it an 8/10.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Wuthering Heights (1939)

Today's film is  Wuthering Heights. It's a romantic drama about the impossibility of true love and how it tears two people apart.  It was filmed in California, and they planted thousands of heather flowers in a field so it would look like England.
 The story is about Cathy, who grew up in a huge house named Wuthering Heights.  Her father brings home an abandoned gypsy boy named Heathcliff to live with them.  Cathy's brother wastes no time telling him what he thinks of him, and they will never be equals.  When their father dies, he won't even allow him to mourn with the rest of the family and turns him out to be a stableboy.
It may have been filmed in California,  but it is a very British film.  it focuses on themes of class and love.  Cathy has loved Heathcliff her whole life, but eventually rejects him because he's "beneath" her.  Money and stability are more important than love, so she marries a rich neighbor.  Heathcliff leaves for America and comes back a rich man.  First thing he does is buy Wuthering Heights!  He lets his "brother" live there with him, who can't afford to stay anywhere else now that he's wasted all the time.

Heathcliff may be back, but Cathy's not going to leave her husband for an old flame.  Heathcliff still loves her, and starts dating her sister in law in order to get close to her.  He ends up marrying her sister in law. But he will never love her the same way that he loves Cathy.   Then, Cathy gets sick and dies.  The movie ends with Heathcliff, who is still married by the way, walking outside of Wuthering Heights with the ghost of Cathy.  So I guess they kind of ended up toghter.  I will give this film a 6/10.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Hotel Transylvania (2012)

Today is the first day of October! I celebrated by eating the first pumpkin muffin of the season. Today we are watching Hotel Transylvania, which until the constant ads for Hotel Transylvania 2, I honestly didn't know existed. But we need to watch the first one in order to appreciate the second.

This film is very family friendly. It is especially good if you have already seen any classic horror films with your children. The monsters are all voiced by top billing comedians such as Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Kevin James, Molly Shannon and many others. There are so many stars in this film. The monsters are Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, Werewolf man, and The Mummy. There are many others in bit parts that add to the fun.

Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) builds a hotel as a monster's safe haven from scary humans. He does this by request of his late wife in order to protect their daughter, Mavis (voiced by Selena Gomez). Fast forward to her 118th birthday (which is 18 in monster years apparently) and Mavis is itching to see the world beyond the hotel. Dracula goes to great lengths to prevent this, until a human stumbles onto the hotel.

Obviously it's love at first sight for Mavis and the human, Johnathon, who Dracula quickly disguises as a monster.  Dracula is unable to hypnotize Johnathon into forgetting about the hotel and Mavis and leaving, because he is wearing contacts.  However, Dracula has no problem hypnotizing the airline pilots through a thick glass windshield.   Mavis is most intrigued by Johnathon's lifestyle as an adventurous backpacker, which is the polar opposite of her.  Dracula forces him to leave, but later teams up with the rest of the monsters to get him back.  

There are a lot of one-liners and lots of visual action, which is great for kids.  It may not be a princess movie, but with so much going on, they won't even care.  I will give this film a 7/10.