“Nobody Stays in Love For 23 Years.”

You may remember that the last noir film I watched, Touch of Evil, took place in a border town and dealt with racial politics. You may also remember that I didn’t care for it very much. Or at all. Coincidentally, my next film, Lone Star, also took place in a border town and dealt with racial politics.

cover

Thankfully, this one’s a strong contender for my favorite noir of the year.

Continue reading

Posted in SLIGHTLY LESS EPIC REVIEWS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

HAPPY BATMAN DAY!

In celebration of my favorite superhero and the World’s Greatest Detective, here are my cats: Bane and Nygma, never to be trusted.

Bane2

Nygma

You’re welcome.

Posted in MISCELLANEOUS | Tagged , | Leave a comment

RIP: James Garner and Skye McCole Bartusiak

A lot of sad news over the weekend. Both James Garner and Skye McCole Bartusiak have passed away.

James Garner was a highly well-respected actor best known for his work in The Rockford FilesMurphy’s Romance, and the television show Maverick. Because I am consistently familiar with actors from the wrong things, I best knew James Garner from the movie Maverick. I loved him in that, and I was very sorry to hear about his passing. James Garner was 86.

Skye McCole Bartusiak was a very young actress, mostly known for her work as a child star in movies such as The Patriot and Don’t Say a Word. I’m personally mostly familiar with her work in television, with guest spots in shows like House M.D. and 24. While she was considerably less well-known than James Garner, it felt wrong not to mention her passing here. She was only 21 years old, and her cause of death is currently unknown.

Posted in MISCELLANEOUS | 1 Comment

Hard Choices Are Hard

I just agonized for about fifteen minutes over this Best Geek Celebrity Ever Battle. Choose between Joss Whedon and JJ Abrams. Patrick Stewart and Felicia Day. GEORGE TAKEI AND SIMON PEGG.

It’s terrible. You should definitely try it out.

Posted in MISCELLANEOUS | Leave a comment

Coming Soon-Ish: Ouija Boards, Twelve Monkeys, and Dudes With Horns

Horns

I actually own this book, but I haven’t quite gotten around to reading it yet, and I’m not sure it’s going to happen before I see this movie, despite how much I enjoy Joe Hill’s work. (Well, maybe. If I could just force myself to finish all my old books before I pick up new ones, but who am I kidding? That is absolutely never going to happen.)

I do plan to see this, although I’ll admit, there’s nothing in the teaser that particularly wows me. Maybe when I see a full-length trailer. All I really got from this one is that Juno Temple is blonde and dead, and Daniel Radcliffe’s American seems a bit on the shaky side. (I mean, it’s better than my English. But that’s saying absolutely nothing.)

Suburban Gothic

Okay, I’d never even heard of this movie before last night, but while watching the above teaser for Horns, I saw a trailer on the sidebar that boasted the acting talents of Matthew Gray Gubler, Kat Dennings, and Ray Wise. And I was like, Oh this, I need to see.

This looks spectacularly weird, and I already know I’m going to rent it at some point. Will it actually be good? Possibly not. But Matthew Gray Gubler and Kat Dennings join forces against paranormal forces? And IMDb is telling me that Jeffrey Combs is also involved? SOLD.

Young Ones

Oooh. This looks cool.

When I first heard about Young Ones a few days ago, somebody referred to it as ‘dystopian YA,’ which, well. They aren’t wrong. (At least about the YA part, though it lately seems like the definition of ‘dystopian’ is changing from ‘supposedly functional yet secretly deadly utopia’ to ‘sucky future.’) But that classification might make you think of The Hunger Games and Divergent and The Maze Runner and The Giver, and this really feels like something else entirely. (Not to put those movies down, as I’ve enjoyed the Hunger Games films so far and have every intention of watching The Maze Runner for Dylan O’Brien alone.)

Young Ones, however, appears to be a science fiction western with romance and violence and robots, and really, how do you beat that? Add in some very nice cinematography and a damn solid cast — Nicholas Hoult, Michael Shannon, Elle Fanning, Kodi Smit-McPhee — and color me officially intrigued.

Twelve Monkeys

So, I saw 12 Monkeys a gazillion years ago (with the ending already spoiled for me), and I can’t say I loved the film. Like, I don’t remember it very well, and I’d be willing to give it a second go, but other than the sheer amusement of watching Brad Pitt play crazypants, I’m apparently the rare bird who didn’t find the movie all that amazing or original.

When I found out that Syfy was developing a TV show based on the film, well, I couldn’t work up a whole lot of interest. But I checked out the trailer anyway, and I have to say, it doesn’t look too bad. I like a fair number of the main players, and the production quality looks pretty decent, at least for Syfy. I’m not sure if I’m going to check this out or not, but it’s at least a maybe now. Considering that it was a definite no yesterday, I’d say that’s at least a step up.

And finally . . . Ouija

Oh, I think I’ve found a contender for Bloody Hearts, 2015. This looks pretty hilariously bad. Obviously, I can’t wait to see it.

Also, Shelly Hennig, I’m officially adding you to my list of perfectly decent or even quite talented young actors from genre shows (in this case, Teen Wolf) who pop up in clearly terrible horror movies. I’m starting to think it’s like a required thing — oh, you’re in a show that features werewolves? Let’s find you the worst scary movie out there this year so you can die gruesomely in it.

Posted in COMING SOON-ISH | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

“I Now Pronounce You Devil and His Shorty.”

A few weeks ago, my friends and I were faced with a hard choice. We had all gathered to watch a movie together, and the final nominees were this: Frozen, a highly beloved Academy Award winning Disney film, and The Crow: Wicked Prayer, the fourth movie in a mostly terrible franchise (saving the original, obviously), featuring the varied talents of David Boreanaz, Edward Furlong, Dennis Hopper, Danny Trejo, and Tara Reid.

I think you all know which one I watched.

cuervo1

It’s at least vaguely possible that we didn’t make the right call.

Continue reading

Posted in SLIGHTLY LESS EPIC REVIEWS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Coming Soon-Ish: Moses, Amnesiacs, and Dracula Origin Stories

Exodus: Gods and Kings

Well, this looks pretty bad all around. Like, okay, there are a couple of good visuals in here, and sure, the cast is pretty solid. Of course, the cast also appears to be rather overwhelmingly white, which seems like a rather spectacularly bad call on Scott’s part. (Joel Edgerton and his terrible makeup also seem like a particularly egregious choice.) Then there’s the whole subtitle issue — because while ‘Gods and Kings’ certainly isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever heard, the ‘title-colon-subtitle’ format is almost always reserved for sequels, which I really don’t believe this is. And finally there’s the music, which, well. I don’t dislike the song so much as it sounds like something a shipper might use to set their Elena/Damon fan video to.

If Exodus: Gods and Kings doesn’t turn out to be a cheesefest parading around as a Serious Picture, I will honestly be surprised.

The Skeleton Twins

Despite the fact that there is nary a beauty pageant in sight, my immediate reaction to the first thirty seconds of this trailer was, “So . . . it’s Little Miss Sunshine? With Kristen Wig and Bill Hader instead of Toni Collette and Steve Carrell?” But, you know. I LIKE Little Miss Sunshine. In general, I’m a sucker for dysfunctional family stories, and I’m especially a sucker for anything about siblings that seems to move a little deeper than ‘we’re opposites and we hate each other.’ And this actually looks pretty funny, so I might give it a try sometime. (Probably by myself, unfortunately, since my own sister is not as enthusiastic as I am about fictional dysfunctional families. I’m sure that says something relevant about our relationship, but it’s currently one in the morning — at least as I type this — and I can’t be bothered to analyze too deeply.)

Foxcatcher

There are the movies you watch, even though you’re iffy on the genre or plot, just because you like the main cast so well. And then there are the movies that you just can’t make yourself see, no matter how much you like the three principle guys in it. After this sixty second teaser, I’m pretty sure Foxcatcher is going to fall in the latter category for me. Sorry, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, and Steve Carrell — there is no amount of hilariously ridiculous wigs or obvious makeup in the world to make Disturbing Wrestler Movie my kind of thing.

Before I Go to Sleep

Look, it’s another one! Another Good Cast vs Meh Plot dilemma. Well, okay. I guess I’m more likely to see this than Foxcatcher, if only because Twisty Mystery is more my thing than Creepy True Sports Story. But even considering my adoration for both Colin Firth and Mark Strong, I’m not feeling real jazzed about this one. Mostly because, well. I’ve already seen Memento, which is kind of the King of Retrograde Amnesia Mysteries. This would have to be really special to top that, and I’ve got to tell you, I don’t think this is going to be nearly that special.

Also, I’m waiting to see an amnesia storyline that isn’t a twisty mystery. About the only thing I can think of is 50 First Dates, which was actually a lot better than I thought it was going to be, although it’s also pretty highly — and unintentionally — disturbing. (Can you even imagine? You wake up, and holy God, you’re suddenly going into labor with babies you don’t even remember conceiving? I mean, Jesus.)

And finally . . . Dracula Untold

First, let it be said that Lorde’s cover of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” is one of my favorite covers of all time, and it is so much better than this trailer. It’s not even funny, how unworthy this movie is of that song. Second, let it be said that this looks hilariously bad, and I might have to watch it purely to mock the holy hell out of it. Oh. My. God. And here I thought Judas-as-Dracula was the funniest vampire origin story I was ever going to get. I can’t believe they made a whole movie about the sympathetic origins of Warrior Dracula.

Oh, Charles Dance. I totally get why Luke Evans is starring in this, but seriously, man. What are you doing here?

Posted in COMING SOON-ISH | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment