Sunday, February 28, 2016

Oscar Night!

You guys! Tonight's the Gay Superbowl!! It's the Oscars! I am so freaking excited. I mean, of course the Tangerine-shaped wound is still fresh on my heart. And don't get me started on the Carol snubs. But whatever. The important thing is: the 2016 list of nominees is perhaps the strongest group of Oscar movies since the best picture list was expanded in 2010. In other words, there's absolutely no Blind Side, no Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close in the bunch! And that, my friends, is definite room for celebration. All of these movies are good, and some of them are great.

This is honestly the first year in my memory where I won't be disappointed if any of the nominated films wins Best Picture. Of course, in a perfect world, Mad Max would win everything it's nominated for, or (barring that) at least Spotlight (the second best movie of the bunch).

I have a creeping suspicion that The Revenant will have a very good run tonight, which is only disappointing in comparison to all the other, slightly worthier movies in the running. Either way, I'd be perfectly happy to live in a world where the Oscar for best picture goes to a movie about a guy who crawls inside a dead horse so he won't freeze to death. Why not?

So I'll be satisfied with whatever happens tonight... Unless, of course, Inside Out loses the best cartoon award, in which case I'll never forgive myself for this blind optimism. But that won't happen.

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy the awards, too. And in the meantime, you can check out some of my latest movie reviews over at Slickster Magazine. We have:

Kung Fu Panda 3: The Repetition
"if you're a fan of the first film, just watch that instead"

The Visit
"at least as good as Signs or The Village"

Hail, Caesar!
"a disappointing Coen Brothers movie that happens to have some of the best scenes they've ever done"

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
"the idea is better than the execution"

None of these movies are horrible, so check them out if you're at all interested. But whatever you do, don't watch this movie:


Saturday, February 20, 2016

A Little Plug for My Amazing Monkey Story

Do you like reading about Quantum and Woody, the world's worst superheroes?

Do you have amazing taste in literature?

Do you dare to check out a 99 cent short story about superheroes, charm bracelets, accidental panda murder, and the deadly ravages of Monkey Flu?

If you answered yes to anything of these questions, then head on over to Amazon to get my exclusive new Kindle Worlds story "Monkey Brains."

If you answered no to all three of those questions, then... just go away. Right now.

Seriously. Go away.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Visit

Wait. This is a "Nigerian romantic comedy thriller." First of all, I don't know what that means. Secondly, this can't be the right film.
That's more like it.

The Visit
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan (Yay!)
Written by M. Night Shyamalan (Sigh.)

Two precocious kids spend a week with their estranged grandparents. They'd never met the old couple before, which makes things particularly unnerving when the grandparents start acting very strangely. There's poop and vomit involved, as well as the tensest game of Yahtzee ever committed to film. I did not make any of that up.

I'm not going to include any quotes here, because I think the dialogue was a little overwritten. But the young boy does rap a lot. Freestyle. It's cute.

Oh, wait. I'll include one quote: "YAHTZEE!"

Seriously. You gotta see this movie. 

Okay. We all know that found footage horror films are well past their sell-by date. After the first Paranormal Activity came out, people went crazy. After the last Paranormal Activity came out, people went... nowhere. At least not to the theaters, anyway. The bloom is off the rose, is what I'm saying.

But leave it to good ol' M. Night to shake things up a bit. After a long and embarrassing dry spell, he's figured out how to breathe new life into this dying subgenre. In this film, the main girl is an aspiring filmmaker who has clear emotional reasons to continue making her movie, which only heightens the weirdness when her footage starts revealing the creepy side of her family.

The violence doesn't erupt until the very end, and the worst of it is only shown in quick flashes. Instead, this movie gets its chills from showing a seemingly normal elderly couple doing increasing weird and dangerous stuff. Also, there's a lot of poop involved. That's pretty gross.

M. Night's best decision when writing this movie is to go against his tendency to attach a twist ending to everything he does. Instead, he reveals the true nature of the situation at the end of Act II, which makes the whole movie seem less cheap than, say, The Village. It also allows him to really go ape shit during the third act. 

Seven eights of this film is good.
Nope. There is absolutely nothing queer about it. On a scale of 1 to Freddy's Revenge, this movie's a 1. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't go see it. You absolutely should. I mean...