31 Horrifying Days: Day 15- Rapture-Palooza (2013)

The rapture has happened and Lindsey (Anna Kendrick, Into the Woods), her boyfriend Ben (John Francis Daley, “Freaks and Geeks”), and their families have been left behind, doomed to endure torture on Earth. A former politician named Earl Gundy (Craig Robinson, This is the End), now known as The Beast, is the Anti-Christ. But when The Beast decides he wants to take Lindsey as his wife, Lindsey and Ben must come up with a plan to defeat the Anti-Christ. 

…Lindsey and Ben are supposed to be teens… but they’re a full decade into adulthood, both actors have played iconic teens AND adults. While it’s played cute and Kendrick’s nasally voice and good skin makes it almost believable and Dalet channels his Sam Weir persona.. it’s still weird.

They think about starting their own sandwich cart because “people appreciate a good sandwich, even when the world is ending.”

The remaining earthlings make due without a lot of resources, with locusts biting their ankles, blood rain and fiery meteor storms. When one of those fiery meteors lands on their sandwich cart, Ben’s dad gets them a job working for the Beast. He lays eyes on Lindsey and lays the mack on her. Ben is not amused but his Dad tries to get him to be cautious. “I’m not going to let the Anti-Christ steal my girlfriend, dad.” he says, “I Don’t care, I’m punching that guy in the face.” But Ben’s dad ices him with a shovel, and upon finding out that Lindsey is a virgin, the Beast is more enamored. He decides to marry her, if she declines: he’ll kill her family and Ben.

So Ben and Lindsey decide to lock him in a kennel for 1000 years.

Good plan.

Except they have no choice but to involve their zombie neighbor, wraith security guards and Lindsey’s pothead brother as well in their convoluted plan involving sleeping pills and a ride on mower.

They get caught up in a murder plot… and accidently kill Jesus. 

Craig Robinson is hilarious. Everyone clobbers each other with shovels (before it was cool).

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If you’re in the mood for some funny with horror/supernatural elements check this one out.

4/5

 

31 Horrifying Days- Day 13: Godzilla (2014)

Lazy as hell. Make due with Radio Of Horror‘s official video review.

The only thing I’d like to add -Aaron Taylor-JOHNSON (told you he had 2 last names)who plays Ford finds a little buddy at one point and saves him from monsters on a train. When the monster’s are around Elizabeth Olsen’s Elle, the shots are all her running for her life. I’m just saying, she could have had a side adventure. The bus driver on the bus that her son was on got in on some heroics and he was in the picture for 5 minutes. 

4.25/5

Don’t be cheap, go see it on the big screen.

31 Horrifying Days- Day 5: Odd Thomas (2013)

This one isn’t a horror movie so much as a action/comedy/mystery/love story with horror elements (including ghosts, clairvoyants, demon-like apparitions and murder). 

Odd Thomas is based on a series of novels by Dean Koontz. They’re books I’ve never read because reviews and press releases left me with the impression that the novels were more serious mysteries and for an older crowd. Of course, I am getting to be an older crowd. But really I can’t imagine anyone who can stomach the bile regurgitating corpses wouldn’t enjoy the film.

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Odd Thomas (who may or may not have supposed to have been named “Todd Thomas”) can see the dead, and he uses his capabilities to help track down their murderers. The police chief, played by Willem Dafoe, knows about Odd’s powers but it’s a secret from most. In terms of personality, Odd is incredibly quirky, but not to the extent where it makes him a misfit. He’s employed, not gainfully- but employed, as a short order cook and he has a wonderful girlfriend with a weird name, Stormy, who works at an ice cream shoppe, she knows about his powers and helps him out with fighting evil. Part of their love story is that a fortune telling machine told them they’d be together for eternity, they got for a single quarter what most people could never buy. Other ladies flirt with him as well, but Odd never reaches Harry Dresden style lecherousness. 

Odd (played by Anton Yelchin, Star Trek, Terminator Salvation) and Stormy (Addison Timlin, “Californication”) uncover a conspiracy to commit a bombing and race to stop the deadly attack.

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Along the way they have a run in with a weird haired man in a pink suit surrounded by bodachs (paranormal predators that feed on pain) that leads them too a grander conspiracy. Odd races against time to save the other townspeople while dealing with a human mystery, paranormal hauntings and bodachs that might be smarter than he thinks. The grosser portions of the movie are still done up with cartoonish humor. If I had to compare this film to anything it would probably be BeetleJuice. The cinematography is bright, colorful, playful and very unique for such a tale. The chemistry between actors is phenomenal. I might be naive on this one, but the ending caught me entirely by surprise. This film made me feel so many different ways which is really rare for and Urban fantasy, love story/mystery.

Was it scary? Nah, I told you that though. It’s not really a horror film. It just has horror elements. This does come highly recommended regardless.

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These are the bodachs who prophecize upcoming carnage.

5/5

The film had a limited released in February 2014 and is out on DVD and on Netflix currently. The Odd Thomas book series is 12 books long, while this film leaves options open, there is no current plan to release a sequel.

Tuesday Nerd News-Day

Super-News Galore!! There are no spoilers on this PAGE but there are in some LINKS. 

In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, when Cap meets the man who will be Falcon, he gets a tip on things he missed while he was frozen and adds it to “The List” well, that list changed for international markets. My personal favorite is the South Korean list with the inclusion of “Dance Dance Revolution”

Captain America 3 is officially announced for May 6, 2016. Which is the proposed date for whatever DC thinks that they are doing with Batman/Superman or the Justice League. Marvel Cinematic Universe is a steam roller at this point, even with a fresh franchise I think DC would lose out, not Marvel. 

After the shake up in the stellar sequel, Agents of (SHIELD) returns tonight! I think it is really interesting that they are lining up so much with the cinematic universe, but I think the gaps between new episodes were a real challenge in keeping fans’ attention, either way. It’s going to be a crazy return tonight, join me for the the live tweet! PS- Samuel L Jackson will be back for the season finale!

Captain America 2 shattered records, becoming the highest grossing April release of all time with $65 million domestically in the first 3 days. These numbers were boosted (slightly) by Robert Downey, Jr. He wrangled up a crew and celebrated his 49th birthday Marvel style with a trip to see Captain America 2!

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In other Marvel franchise news (although not Marvel Studios news): Jackman has previously discussed that his days as Wolverine might be numbered. Who would Jackman choose to take over the claws? Channing Tatum. Interesting. Channing Tatum has already agreed to play Gambit if Fox gets a Solo Gambit movie going. The studio has not declared this project is in the works ..yet. 

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For the record: I am so down for either of those things. Actually, he’s really TOO frigging boyishly good looking for Wolverine. I don’t actually care though. *sigh*

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Male Objectification Monday- Chris Evans

Do I even need to say anything about this?

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Chris Evans has been in some TERRIBLE flicks from his first (2) superhero go arounds as the Human Torch in 2005’s Fantastic Four and the subsequent sequel to the less than stellar Cellular. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is unstoppable, but the movie that started it all, Captain America, was a near flop.. even with this week’s cinematic release of Captain America: the Winter Soldier; the previews have focused on equal parts Cap, special effects and Natalia Romanova. Having Black Widow show up because they weren’t sure that he could carry a movie on his own even with the MCU steamroller? epic girl power. ..sort of. But this isn’t about that. It’s about how awesome Chris Evans looks.

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What is even going to there? I don;t know.

Movie Review #18- The LEGO Movie!

One sentence review: Surprisingly awesome movie about a children’s building toy has surprising messages about activism, creativity, being “special” and how nerds wreck things made for kids. And jokes at Green Lantern’s expense.

Okay, that way 2.

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Spoiler Free: Emmett is ignored at work, doesn’t have any close friends and there’s nothing really remarkable about him. It doesn’t bother him at all. He follows instructions and keeps smiling and thinks everything is awesome. Everything changes when he meet WyldStyle. She’s looking for the Piece of Resistance. Which is accidentally stumbled upon by Emmett. She tells him about a nefarious plot orchestrated by President Business (alternately Lord Business) that threatens to freeze everything as it is, using the Kragle, so that nothing can change. Emmett finds out that he is “the special” sent to save everyone and he teams up with his new special friends to stop Lord Business and the Kragle at all costs! 

It’s so cute. And so good. And seems as if it could have been strung together by a child but in a good way, mostly. There are artifacts from the real world incorporated but manly it’s an awesome mishmash of colored bricks and Lego licensed characters. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Shaq, 1980’s astronaut, Mermaids, Pirates, Cowboys, Chewbacca, Dumbledore. Nerd cookies everywhere! 

Mild Spoilers + Analysis After the Photo of Lord Business

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How is this like Occupy? What does this have to do with activism? Isn’t this movie basically an ad?

I’ll answer the last question first. Yes. In the movie playsets are presented as better if interacting together and the importance of trusting your instincts and creating with your heart.. and then they created playsets specifically for the movie. Huh? +catchy soundtrack +videogames based on the movie +a rumored sequel. So… yeah, it’s a 2 hour long advertisement. 

Which makes it all the more surprising when you realize that there’s a group of people from all backgrounds (franchises) and walks of life (playsets) working together against a corporate mogul seeking to brainwash citizens and keep societal structures from which he benefits in place. 

President Business (Will Ferrell) creates boring shows and annoyingly catchy songs to pacify and distract the masses! He owns the TV station, the radio station, makes commercials, sells food and hoards artifacts. President Business seeks to stratify characters into their original playsets and make sure THAT’S WHERE THEY STAY. Complete metaphor for media diversion and power structures that seek to hinder class mobility. That’s right. A movie about colorful bricks that’s about class mobility, corporate control and citizen uprising. Emmett was born to be a construction worker. Everything he’d been taught, all the directions he received told him he was on the right track, he was a cog in the wheel. And all it took to shake Emmett, and later others, out of their watered down, “good enough” existence was to be shown that there was another way. And if they didn’t fight back, if they didn’t think outside of the directions (society’s rules) then they would be prisoners forever! 

Along the journey Emmett meets WyldStyle (a girl with big ideas who’s a little insecure and kind of an idealist), Batman (who is kind of a dink, awesomely voiced by Will Arnet), Vitruvius (snarky, mystical hippy voiced by Morgan Freeman), Benny the 80’s astronaut, and all sorts of other “master builders.” But Emmett isn’t a masterbuilder, and this could be symbolic of many things. Emmett can make a difference. The same way we all can make a difference even if we aren’t a genius, a superhero, a PhD candidate, a celebrity, or a prodigy. We can all take action and make an impact! 

You don’t have to be a special to make a difference. Everyone comes to the table with their own positive qualities, special talents and goals. Manipulating society means stepping outside of established rules and norms, a key component in the movie was communication. It happened with Emmett and the master builders, Emmett and WyldStyle and ultimately with President Business. Open dialogue, free exchange of ideas. They all use their talents, including Emmett. Emmett has been taught that he’s a piece of the machine but it’s also taught him cooperation. When he breaks out of following instructions just for the sake of it he is able to see when this is up for negotiation (putting the wheel on his head) or when it is more important to use teamwork and rules to get through -and destroy the system from within! Muahahahaa (like when they break into the tower) And WyldStyle’s “You should trust me! I’m on TV!” speech after added to the “nefarious media” theme, too.

It’s kind of awesome.

Okay okay, what else? Talk about the other master builders. 

Superman (Channing Tatum) is pretty much like you’d expect. Green Lantern (Jonah Hill) follows him around like an inept Puppy Dog. There’s not enough Wonder Woman (Colbie Smulders). Batman was awesome. 

WyldStyle is Batman’s girlfriend. Batman writes bad electronica and is kind of a self centered douchecanoe. But he’s also hilarious and resourceful -as he should be. But it’s always clear that this isn’t the Lego Batman movie.

*Sigh* Anything you didn’t like?

WyldStyle is Batman’s girlfriend. But it becomes implied that Emmett wants her to be his special friend. And they can be friends. It just reeked of “nice guy” horseshit. Example- Batman disses WyldStyle to chill with the Star Wars stars. WyldStyle is sad and Emmett comforts her -by insulting Batman and saying she deserved better. BUT Batman faked them out and stole a part they needed and came right back. He even caught Emmett talking smack and doesn’t get aggro about it. But up until that point, Batman had been helpful to the cause, kind of dismissive of Emmett, but helpful and he saved their lives and what does he get? Some “nice guy” chump trying to get close to his girl.

Hey, “nice guys,” it’s not actually your business if she wants to date a douchecanoe. His ego is not your business. His taste in music is not your business. If he names things after himself or only likes black and very dark grey it’s not your business. it’s her business. Not your business.

And there are barely any girls in this movie. There are dudes aplenty on both sides. But there’s spunky loner WyldStyle, not enough Wonder Woman and… Unikitty? A cat unicorn? Does that count? Even if it does- damn are the ladies underrepresented. Shouldn’t be surprising since Lego is FREQUENTLY criticized for catering almost solely to boys or “gendering” the toys in obvious, stereotypical and demeaning ways.

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So I hope that if the sequel comes to fruition –which it appears it will– I HOPE they keep young girls in mind. I won’t be holding my breath since we are taught that “boy stories” are “people stories,” but “girl stories” are just “girl stories” This movie was great, had a stellar overall message. New writers are on board for the sequel …I’m skeptical… but hopefully they can hold true to the essence that encourages action and self expression instead of being (just) a way to sell more toys. 

4ish Stars (out of 5)

alternet.org got something totally different out of it.

So did KissMyWonderWoman (who’s review tipped the scale on me seeing this one)

Nerd News-day Tuesday

Daily Beast ran an article about therapists using comic books to help children through difficult times. Losing loved ones, bullying, facing fear. Notably; recommending the Bruce Wayne/Dick Grayson dynamic for foster children. It’s gaining legitimacy, but actually began in 1941, right after the very first Superman comic hit stands, Dr. Lauretta Bender touted the benefits of using superhero stories to treat adolescent patients. At a time when superheros were being accused of corrupting youth and causing them to commit crimes, Bender was speaking out about the importance of these tales. Comic books are still somewhat touted as a waste of time, applying important academic/therapeutic uses stands to further legitimize this form of storytelling. Read more about the history and research here.

In the world of real life heros; Ellen Page reveals she is gay. Kitty Pryde came out and proud at an HRC event on Valentine’s Day. In other X-Men news; This one is so late to the game, but I just read it. Chris Claremont’s reaction to The Wolverine. KP is playing less of a role in the upcoming film than she did in the comic storyline. I wonder what Claremont will think of Days of Future Past?

In the DC Universe, Gail Simone’s The Movement gets axed. What a shame. I love that series, but only 3 more issues.. hopefully they can round out some of what they started up. Which is crazy. The hacktivists at Channel M are about to unmask Batgirl for crying out loud! Gail “doesn’t blame DC,” so I’ll refrain my ranting and just say that it was cool they gave something so different a shot. Coral City was to Gotham was Worcester, MA is to Boston. Only my Central Mass readers will get that, but whatevs. I hope to see Virtue, Katharsis and Vengeance Moth make appearances in the DC-U in the future! It was great to have a series that focussed on activists being their own heroes and helping each other even with meager resources. Diverse cast, awesome origin stories. I’M SO BUMMED.

But, nerd news-day comes full circle. Gail Simone is penning Savage Wolverine which we should see out in May!

ISSUE #19 –

• He’s the best there is at what he does – but what if he has a bad day?
• Logan collides head first with some bad luck on the worst possible day. Can Jubilee lend a hand?
• It’s Wolverine’s no good, very bad, extremely awful day by Gail Simone (Batgirl) and Somebody!

Hold the fucking phone! I hope Jubes does some vampire stuff!!!!!!!!!!!!1

And… a teaser trailer for the Guardians of the Galaxy