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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

ALL GROWN UP!


I always get a strange feeling whenever I see a familiar TV character looking slightly off-brand. For example, I recently re-watched the first episode of the Simpsons during the Fox 25th Anniversary Special. There was a scene, only about half-a-minute long, that showed Homer talking to Barney. Only Barney was sober and had yellow hair. It just felt wrong to me. He looked almost exactly the way he does now, but that hair color thing really threw me off. It was a strange sensation, and not a very pleasant one.

The same can be said for the semi-popular Rugrats spin-off All Grown Up!, which takes all the familiar characters and ages them into preteens. Tommy now has a full head of hair, but otherwise has the same lumpy head-shape. Chucky looks creepily similar, just a little bigger and sans-diaper. And Spike, the dog, has gray fur and looks like he has worms.

I really cannot explain how creepy this whole show comes across to me. I mean, I had stopped watching Rugrats back in the mid-90s, when they had originally gone off the air before their first movie. I had very little emotional connection to the characters anymore, and yet... here they are, the same yet different, and everything seems so wrong.

All Grown Up! lasted for several years, so maybe I am the only one who felt this way. But it is a quite intense feeling, and every time I see another still from this show, I get a really strange queasy feeling. I do not want my cartoons to grow up. Please stop them.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

CAPTAIN KRONOS: VAMPIRE HUNTER

                                               
STATS:
CAPTAIN KRONOS: VAMPIRE HUNTER
1974
Written and Directed by Brian Clemens
Starring Horst Janson (seriously)
                   
WHA’ HAPPENED?
A rich family goes around sucking the life out of pretty, young girls in order to stay youthful forever. Our titular captain (What is he the captain of? No idea.) comes to the rescue, defeating these age-sucking jerkwads with his fencing skills, luck with the ladies, and obscure vampire knowledge. (Fun fact: vampires can bring dead toads back to life just by walking by.)
                 
                       
ISN’T THAT SPECIAL?
I’ve always been a Hammer fan, and I knew this entry in their mid-70s output is particularly strange. Not oppressively strange in a kung-fu-vampires kind of way, but strange enough to catch my interest on a lazy Saturday morning.

SHIRTS AND SKINS:
Kronos is shirtless a good 40% of the movie. He has one dimly lit sex scene, and a bunch of innocent bromantic scenes with another male character that turn slightly more homoerotic because hes shirtless. (In one memorable exchange, his buddy touches the captain's torso scar and says that he knows he has guts, because he’s already seen his insides.) The actor playing Kronos isn’t exactly someone to write home about, but hey.
                 
                           
BLOOD AND GUTS:
Mostly slight trickles of mouth blood and glumpy old-age make-up. Hammer has done a lot better in the past.

RANDOM THOUGHTS:
I enjoyed the wonky mythos that this film built around its vampire characters. Specifically, each vampire can only be killed in specific ways. Some have to be staked, some have to be burnt, and some have to get a crucifix to sink into their embarrassingly vulnerable chest. It must suck to be the vampire that dies via garlic pizza.
                    
                           
OK. IS IT GAY?
Yeah. The film builds a strange rhythm where it has a bromance scene with Kronos and the doctor who summoned him (the scar-caressing one), followed very quickly by Kronos making sexy-time with his female companion. Either hes bi, or he needs to sort through some issues fast. That, coupled with a particularly androgynous son-of-a-vampire, makes for some pleasant 70s escapism with a slight queer bent. Fun times all around.
                          

Monday, April 16, 2012

THE DARKEST HOUR


For a movie about the world ending by massive alien-based slaughter, this movie is laughably bloodless. I guess that comes from the premise: alien balls of electricity take over the world by zapping humans into ashes. No carnage. No gore. Just PG-13 ash murder.

This is not a complaint, though. The movie is fast and enjoyable enough that I really got into the rhythm of run-hide-zap-scream-motivational-speech. The dialogue is pretty dire (one climactic speech outside a submarine is particularly painful), but that never really mattered to me. The best fwiends drama between the two male leads was also half-baked, but thankfully so, because who comes into a movie like this wanting to spend half the run-time watching two guys bicker about a failed business venture!


As I write this, I realize that this does not sound like a ringing endorsement... and it really isnt. This film is bad in a bland, forgettable way. But I will say that, if in the right mindset, you can wring a few moments of enjoyment out of it. But ignore the speeches. God damn those are awful.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

THE CABIN IN THE WOODS

                   
The Cabin in the Woods is unclassifiable. Is it horror, sci fi, or comedy? Is it a clever mash-up of all three? Does it lovingly pay tribute to past horror films, or mock their genre tropes?
                      
In the end, I walked out of the theater not sure what to make of it, but the smile on my face told me that it really didn’t matter. I’m not exaggerating when I say that The Cabin in the Woods is the most enjoyable movie I’ve seen so far this year. Perhaps it’s my favorite horror-comedy since Scream 4. And everyone knows how much I love Scream 4.
                           
                     
Because I enjoyed the unusual twists and rhythms of this movie, I don’t want to give anything away in this review. I want everyone who walks into this movie to have as little knowledge as possible, because the ride is such an unusual and twisty one. But I will say the dialogue is Whedonesque and clever, the deaths are memorable, and the last half hour is filled to the brim with moments that would make any horror fan want to stand up and cheer. The world that this movie creates for itself is insanely clever and immersive; it basically explains how every horror film ever made could co-exist in the same, crazy, wonked-out universe.
                                  
Please, please, please see this movie while it is still in the theaters. Pay the ticket price. This is a singular experience. I may not know how to classify it, except to say that it’s good. Really, really good.
                            

Friday, April 13, 2012

Happy Un-Christmas.

Watch Rare Exports. You will have to read some stuff, but it is totally worth it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Breaking News

I have a problem with my computer... and that problem is run-on sentences.



DELL needs to figure out the difference between a conjunction and a transitional phrase. Also... stupid battery life.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

HAPPY ARBOR DAY EVERYONE!

Trees! Trees! Carly’s Arboy Day Foundation,
spread the word across the nation about TREES!
Trees are terrific! Ah ha!

Monday, April 2, 2012

BUCKY LARSON: BORN TO BE A STAR

   
So we have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that Nick Swardson did not make a movie starring any of his gay stereotype characters. The bad news is Nick Swardson made a movie.
   

This film, produced by the American auteur Adam Sandler, helped Mr. Sandler set a record for the most Razzie nominations in a single year. It also set a record for one of the lowest-grossing wide-release movies in the history of film. Let us see how the title character, porn star Bucky Larson, responds to the bad news...
       
     
Oh I see. Bucky is a freakish man-child, and everyone else in the movie are actual, normal characters who have to help him grow up.
    
   
...No. I guess not. I guess everyone in this movie is an off-putting weirdo. Good thing they decided not to cast any big-name stars who might otherwise derail their careers...
   
Oh look. I see Don Johnson. Well, he got a paycheck out of it.
   
   
And of course, this would not be an Adam Sandler movie without an addled old lady who gets abused by people. I will be you three dollars that she gets run over by a car.
   
Well, this is clearly turning out to be a train wreck, but at least there were no A-list celebrities slumming it in the film. We can rest assured that none of our favorite actors had to endure the awfulness of this film.
     
   
Wednesday!!!! NOOOOOOO!!!!