Archive for the Movies and Theatre Category

No Christmas Movies before Thanksgiving

Posted in Entertainment, Holiday, Movies and Theatre, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2016 by urbannight

not-christmas-yetI like movies and watch a lot thanks to Netflix being WAY cheaper than cable.  I miss a few shows I like but it is much more affordable this way.  Because of that I have a few movie blogs I follow.  Today, only two days after Halloween, a Christmas movie review popped up in my feeds.

No thank you, I deleted it.  No Christmas before Thanksgiving.  It is bad enough seeing it in the stores before Halloween.  About the same time they start setting up for Halloween, the stores start to clear out and set up the Christmas tree section.  Some stores wait until after Halloween and use that space for the Christmas decorations.  Other stores, bigger store, I’m calling you out Wal-Mart, actually started putting out decorations before Halloween as well.

So I really don’t want to start seeing Christmas reviews before Thanksgiving.  I’m just not mentally prepared for it yet.  I’m not ready for Halloween to be over. I haven’t even thought about Thanksgiving.  It isn’t time to be torturing us with early Christmas propaganda.  We are still having the occasionally 70 something day out.  Non-specific winter movies seem to early now.

One exception I might make, Christmas time horror movies.  That seems like a natural bridge from Halloween to Christmas.  I always wanted to watch the 2006 remake of Black Christmas.black-christmas-2006-poster

The Month for Horror Movies

Posted in Movies, Movies and Theatre, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2016 by urbannight
give-me-what-i-want

Storm of the Century

It is that time of year again.  I love Halloween.  I also like horror movies and I am strangely picky in some ways while being relaxed in other areas.  I read some movie blogs and sometimes post my own movie reviews and mine are not as pretty as others nor do I have a systematic format that I use.  Maybe I should think about that some day.  Not today.

The first movie I watched this October was Steven King’s Storm of the Century.  I bought it from one of those cheap movie bins for 3.75$.  It was a great find for 3.75$.  It was quite good.  I kept asking myself how I managed to miss this in 1999 and how come I never saw it since.

Tim Daly did a great job as a constable of a tiny town.  The town being so small that the town manager and equivalent of sheriff/chief of police actually don’t have enough official work to pay them full time that they have to have full time day jobs as well is kind of amusing.  Since the constable also owns the grocery, it is mighty handy that the ‘jail’ is in back of it with a joining door.  What would happen if the constable wasn’t the owner of the store as well?  Or am I the only one who thinks of these things?  And maybe I missed it but the constable was really handy with the Bible quotes and I never figured out why.

Colm Feore was really creepy as the villain.  They managed to do a great deal with minimal makeup.  Occasionally his eyes went solid black.  The animal-like teeth are particularily effective.  It wasn’t the normal vampire type monster teeth. It is what a human mouth might look like if dog teeth were set in a human jaw.  The weird steel-like coloring made it more disturbing.  The make-up to make him look ancient was pretty good.  But he was more scary with his normal looks since he had such a smooth face and even complexion.  The only thing that was odd was that it is suggested that he was ‘Legion’ from the Bible but Legion was a whole collection of demons as the man who was possessed was possessed by more than one.  Yet Feore’s character seemed to be one being that was once human and that he was a representation of something that was passed down from one person to another since the earliest times of mankind.  But he is never clearly explained.  The ‘Legion’ explanation was weak in my opinion.

The town manager really annoys me the most.  He acts like he owns the town rather than being an elected official.  He acts like he owns the town and that his word is law and that he owns the people in charge of the actual law.  The pissed me off and I thought he was the least believable character in the entire film.

The rest of the story is good, although character development is weak.  I understand that by taking so long to finally tell the people what he wants all the while scaring people by telling their secrets and controlling people to cause them to kill themselves or others helps whip the town into a fearful frenzy, I found it still unbelievable that they would agree so easily to just hand over a child.  This was the least believable part of the film.  But the aftermath voice over that tells what happens in the years after is what really makes this film.  After spending three nights with these characters and having the time between episodes to think about things, that follow up at the end of the film is perhaps the most important part.  We see some of the real fallout of the towns actions.  And I did watch it in three spaced out sessions rather than in one sitting.  More by accident that a deliberate plan.

I will watch this again.  It was good and enjoyable.  Very few horror films enter the realm of ‘great’.  So I never expect that level out of any horror movie.

 

 

 

The Seasoning House.

Posted in Activities, Entertainment, Movies and Theatre, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2015 by urbannight

This movie is about a brothel. All the girls in it are kidnapped and drugged. They are kidnapped by a military unit. While the film is a British film, it seems to be set in some Eastern Bloc country after the fall of the USSR when there was all that fighting over there. I’m guessing the name of the brothel was The Seasoning House as it is the name of the film. I’m not sure as it is never mentioned in the movie.

I feel I should mention that one of the things that caught my eye about this film is that Sean Pertwee is in it. I didn’t think Pertwee was a terribly common name so I had to look him up. He is, indeed, the son of Jon Pertwee, the Third Doctor. He plays the commander that is using his unit to kidnap young women from the towns and take them to the brothel. In fact, the military men seem to be the primary customer base for the place.

They take a young girl who is deaf and mute. Parts of the movie are filmed with no sound other than background music and it is effective for getting into the head of the girl who will be called Angel.

For some reason, movies fall apart around biological function. Angel is def and someone drops a bucket next to her head with a loud clatter for the audience. The implication is the sound woke her but she is def. More likely she felt the vibration through the metal bed frame. But the give the impression it is sound. At another point, someone goes pst pst to her and she turns her head. There is not viable explanation to that. It isn’t like he was close to her. He was several yards away. Lastly, it looks like she is emptying slop buckets into one bucket. But the girls are tied to the bed by one hand. The slop bucket is out of reach. So how are they using it?

Angel herself is very pretty but has a very large, strawberry birth mark on one side of her face. Victor, the man who runs/owns the brothel, keeps her for himself and has her take care of the girls. He seems to treat her with a very strange sort of gentleness and kindness contrary to the rest of his actions.

This movie is dark and dirty and violent and generally horrible. Yet is has some bizarre moments of cinematic beauty. The scenes with no sound but background music, when Angel starts to wash the hand of a girl whose was killed by a soldier as he raped her, when Victor is showing Angel how to inject a girl w/ heroin.

Angel bonds with a girl who knows sign language. Her father was deaf. And through flashbacks, we learn that Angel’s own father was also a violent and abusive man. Her mother kicked him out. So Angel is upset when this girl’s pelvis is broken by a customer. The doctor is brought in and Victor implies the doctor can use her for something that is never explained. The doctor says that she is in no fit condition. Victor says some things about the past and clearly has a hold over the doctor but it isn’t explained. This becomes sort of important later.

Victor seems to be looking forward to a time when everything will be different, when he and Angel can leave and start over someplace new. He seems to think himself in love with her. Why is never really explained. Does he think that because he keeps her safe from the customers and is somehow kinder and gentler with her even though he forces himself on her that she will somehow love him for it? Does he think that because of her birthmark and her being deaf and mute that she would be grateful that someone would want her? It really makes no sense.  I have a theory that when we see evil characters trying to be good or gentle about something and not to turn it around as a trick, we are seeing a weird peek into the person they would have been, should have been, had they not ended up being a sick and twisted individual.

The people who kidnapped Angel and killed her mother (she had a sister, I’m wondering if that was the girl Victor kills in the beginning to frighten the other girls into cooperation) arrive in town again. I think this must be a military town because the commander acts like he owns the place and later acts like he own a machine shop that Angel tries to hide in. He orders everyone out and they go. Anyway, they come into the brothel and this freaks Angel out.

Time passing is hinted at as the commander implies that he is in security now. One of his men is sent in to the girl with the broken pelvis and she ends up dying. Angel now starts her killing spree. Only it isn’t a spree so much. She is really the only one she kills on purpose. The rest she kills as she is defending herself and in some cases, almost accidental. The fact that no one ‘really’ catches her is more a factor of dumb luck and her own desperation to get away.

Eventually, the last one standing is the commander dude and she is in the machine shop, (not really, I don’t know what it was so that is what I’m calling it) and she gets into the duct work and pipes to escape him. He tries to follow her and eventually gets really stuck. I mean good and stuck. The more he tries to get unstuck the worse it gets. He starts to beg her to help him. He is trying to kill her, he is responsible for her mother’s death and likely her sister as well, he kidnapped her and sent her to this brothel where the owner is raping her, and he wants her to help him. At this point, she happens to be facing him so she is able to read his lips as he does this. She produces a rag from someplace. As her clothes are pretty shredded up, it is probably cloth she ripped off. She shoved it in his mouth so he can’t talk and leaves him stuck. The implication being that he will die a slow death of starvation in the duct or pipe.

Now she gets out of the shop, continues running across more fields until she comes to an old lady working in her garden. The lady start to call for help and the doctor who tended the girls at the brothel comes out of the house. The old woman takes a sobbing Angel inside while the doctor looks both ways and then closes the door. End of film.

So, what did Victor have over the doctor? What was the doctor using girls for since all we know is that a girl with a broken pelvis was unsuitable? Did Angel just get out of the frying pan only to find herself in the fire now? We don’t know because this is where the story stops.

I find it very frustrating. I want to know how something ends. Even if it is not a happy end, I want an ending. Not a great big question mark.

What news is important to you? SEALs and Osama or Star Wars and JJ Abrams?

Posted in Movies and Theatre with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2014 by urbannight

Today there are some interesting news articles and I find it more interesting to notice which ones I am drawn to.

For instance, the official title for the new Star Wars movie has been released and the person who actually shot Osama has been identified.  I find that I really don’t care about knowing the specific SEAL who shot Osama.  It isn’t really relevant to my world.

He was a National problem and a representative of our Military got rid of the problem.  While I sometimes consider if what we do as a nation on an international scale is right or wrong I believe that this person attacked this nation and we resolved the situation.  Some of the things around that resolution might not be to my liking, but I believe that we had a right to retaliate in this.

So it is over and done with and life goes on.  Know the official title of Star Wars is actually more important to me.

Star Wars did more to shape who I am personally, starting from when I was a young child, and so I feel somewhat invested in the stories.  As a child, I didn’t play house or school or things like that when I played with Barbies and other dolls.  The kids in my neighborhood played together, boys and girls.  The girls brought our Barbies and the boys their G.I Joes and we played space battles, pirate ships, jungle explorers, and such.

Playing space based stories was the norm and this was pretty much because of Star Wars.  This is who I am.  Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  I’m eager to see the discussions this starts and the ideas people have as to what this means.  I need to think about it more myself.  Decide what I think it might mean.

Star Wars

Some people might think that I’m investing too much importance to fictional stories, but the reality is this is Mythos.  I may not be overly fond of Joseph Campbell, but he was right when he realized it was a modern way to deal with, relate to, and understand the larger concepts that humanity has been trying to shape and understand through the mythologies and religions, and even fairy tales, that have been produced throughout human history.

We have passed it to a second generation and are moving Star Wars onto a third generation of young children.  Star Wars has become more that just a movie that no one thought would succeed.

Connections Between Missing Baby Lisa Irwin and the Movie The Tall Man

Posted in Economics, Economy, Education, Entertainment, Life, Movies and Theatre, Politics, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 2, 2013 by urbannight

Lisa Renee Irwin went missing almost two years ago after her mom put her to bed and then had a few drinks. She would be almost three now. Half a year later, someone attempts to use a debit card stolen that same night on a website for buying false birth certificates. FBI thinks the baby is still alive.

So do I. Kidnapping babies to sell for illegal adoptions has been around for a long time. It is not as common as it once was. Now days, you are more likely to hear about people who kidnapped babies to raise as their own.

Still, after watching The Tall Man on Saturday, I can’t help but wonder. The thriller was well acted and I’ve seen worse acting and writing hit the big screen while this went straight to DVD, as far as I know. I never heard of it until it came up on my Netflix feed. I’m revealing the ultimate plot twist when I tell you that it ends up being about a woman who helps kidnap abused children and gets them to safety. It might not have been so objectionable except it wasn’t just abused children. It was children of poor families or single parents struggling to get by as well. It equated losing your job because the business closed to child abuse, as if you can control something like that.

Now think about it. There were a couple sightings of a man with a baby that night. Once I think was caught on video but maybe I’m thinking about a different case. Someone probably watched the family to get the pattern of behaviors down to know the best opportunity to take the baby. Imagine someone seeing a family where dad works the night shift and mom has a couple of drinks alone, after the kids are put to bed. Imagine the person thinking it was the perfect baby to take because the parents didn’t have an ideal, 8 – 9 lifestyle, and a June Cleaver mom. In fact, the person probably thought he or she was doing the baby a favor.

The movie came out after the kidnapping. But it glorified kidnapping children to save them. Even if the only thing they were saving the child from was poverty or less than perfect families rather than any real physical or emotional abuse. The reason it is an irresponsible movie is because this kind of kidnapping is still going on and should NOT be glorified.

Originally, I just wanted to look up any latest developments on the Lisa Irwin case. (I couldn’t find any) and complain about how the case just seemed to stop. I didn’t mean to turn it into a longer rant about the movie I watched a couple days ago.

Five Thoughts on Jobs

Posted in Life, Movies and Theatre, Technology with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 8, 2013 by urbannight

1. I don’t care for Aston Kutcher.
2. I didn’t like Steve Jobs.
3. I hate Macs and how everything is an iSomething.

4. I feel very compelled to watch the biopic Jobs.

And

5. I don’t like biopics!

How odd.

“Better Quality Movies”

Posted in Entertainment, Movies and Theatre with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2013 by urbannight

For random amusement factor, brought to you by The Pessimist calendar, is a quote by Lloyd Kaufman.

I shared a quote on another blog and thought I would mention it here.  Because I’m so far behind this year because it exploded in business.

He was the producer of somethings called ‘Stuff Stephanie in the Incinerator’ (3.1 IMBD) and ‘Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (6.1 IMDB – I’m a little shocked by that one).

For a very low score on the first, and a small number of reviews, there are a surprising number of good reviews.   It is apparently in the “its-so-bad-its-good” category.   It is also one of those movies where the title is misleading.  I often wonder if misleading titles are based on scenes that got cut or re-editing changed the movie in a way that the title was now meaningless.

The second title has a surprisingly high score given the title.  It sounds appallingly bad.  I may have to consider watching these one day for a B movie review. 

Anyway, this producer once stated that, “It is up to us to produce better-quality movies.”   Which sounds hilarious with his movie titles.

Given the movies this year in general and this summer in particular, it is an even more hilarious quote.

What is going on….

Posted in Apartments, Entertainment, Gaming, Hobby, Movies and Theatre, Reviews, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2013 by urbannight

I have not been coming up with as many good ideas as last year.  Or, I do have a few, but when I have time to jot them down, I can’t remember them.

So I’ve posted less.

And it looks like I’m in for another move again.  Fairly soon too.  So I may end up having a moving process to talk about. 

Tonight is my gaming night, but tomorrow I’m going to start the ambitious task of whittling my stuff down my 25%.  It may be painful.  But I need to have less stuff.  I really do.

So, it will be slice of stuff for a bit. 

I do need to write about a rather bad movie I saw last week.  I was watching 1980’s comedies.  One movie with an all star cast was not funny at all.  It was sad.  Just sad. But more about that later.

7:00 Movie Hour — The Evil Dead

Posted in Entertainment, Movies and Theatre with tags , , , , , , on April 3, 2013 by urbannight

Some days I have a 9:00 Raid.  So I have to start a movie by about 7:00 if I’m going to fit one in before the raid, hence the name.  Admittedly, if it isn’t raid night then I may start the movie anytime.

 

I know I saw the Evil Dead way back when.  Not in 1981 when it was released, I was only 11 then, but somewhere between 1987 and 1991 mostly likely. What I really remember is that I was with a friend at someone else’s home.  Someone I didn’t know.  It was someone she knew.  There were too many people in too small a living room and they had Chihuahuas.  I remember being uncomfortable the entire time. 

 

Possessed Linda

Possessed Linda

On the whole, this is a pretty bad film and I don’t see why it is so popular.  The second and third are much better as they bring out comedy elements missing from the first one.   I love The Evil Dead: Army of Darkness.  This one fell flat for me.  Here are a few reasons why.

 

  1. There is a reason the only actor from this movie anyone knows is Bruce Campbell.  He was the only one who could act.  The woman playing his sister, Cheryl, was passable.  Ellen Sandweiss, I guess her name is vaguely familiar.  But if I hadn’t looked her up, I would have said, “yeah, sounds familiar, can’t think of who she is though”.  The woman who played Linda must have been picked because she could giggle maniacally. 
  2. Discontinuity.  There was SO much of it.  Just to name a couple off the top of my head: After attempting to bury a body, Ash gets a geyser of blood sprayed in his face.  Upon getting up from the ground, his face is mostly clean.  Cheryl goes outside to investigate and the key ring, which had been taken inside with them all, is suddenly on the top of the door frame again.  A tree branch breaks a window in the living room that evening, a couple hours from morning, Ash shoots through the window that is suddenly not broken out anymore. 
  3. Storyline got a little jumbled.  Or maybe the scenes were out of order when they assembled them.  But Cheryl gets possessed enough to perform some automatic writing and draws the book before they actually find the book and recordings and play the incantation that wakes up the demons. 
  4. Special Effects.  I’m usually pretty good at watching special effects for the particular time in which a film is made.  The inaccurately spraying blood didn’t bother me.  The strange, semen-like white stuff which followed the blood was strange but I ran with it.  It was the stuff like over-cooked oatmeal that really snapped me out of being able to accept the rest of it.  It is strange to realize it was the number one, splatter film at the time.  The utter lack of realism makes it easy to watch. Too much realism is why I don’t like splatter films in general. 
  5. Some of the injuries were real as Raimi felt actors who were in real pain and suffering would convey horror better.  This seems a cop-out and, to me, would indicate poor acting skills if they need real pain to get the point across.  Oh, wait, I already noted that the most of the actors couldn’t act.  No wonder he tried to torture his cast.

So, now that I covered what didn’t work for me I’ll move on to what I liked.

 

  1. Bruce Campbell. He was pretty to look at.
  2. The over-all story idea.
  3. The nod to archeology.
  4. The knife.
  5. The plant rape scene was probably the best done scene in the film.
  6. The magnifying glass necklace.  A very pretty trinket but a strange pendant to get a girlfriend.
  7. The brief appearance of the chainsaw. 
  8. Bruce Campbell screaming as something rushes towards him. 

 

Yeah, now I need to get my hands on the second film.  I think the scene I was trying to remember must be in part two.  I know it wasn’t in Army of Darkness.

Random Thoughts on Random News in No Particular Order

Posted in Advertising, Life, Movies and Theatre, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2013 by urbannight

the-incredible-burt-wonderstone

1. Apparently two movies opened and totally bombed as Oz stayed in first place. These were The Call and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. I have a theory here. Lack of advertising. I’ve not seen a trailer for either at any of the films I’ve seen and I’ve never heard of either title so they can’t have advertised very hard at all. You can’t expect to fill the theaters if you don’t advertise. The article says there was a strong marketing push for Burt Wonderstone. I wonder where that marketing money was spent?
2. North Dakota is passing a strict abortion law that would ban abortions at around 6 weeks into the pregnancy. Some people don’t even know they are pregnant until after that point. It’s just not a human being at that point. I’m just so sick of men controlling women’s reproductive rights and I really think it is wrong that any person has the right to tell another person she must have a baby she can’t afford, or care for, or any reason. But at the same time said people don’t want to do any thing to help the mother’s or the babies once the child is actually born and actually exists as another person.

gun-control1<

3. Some Sheriff in Colorado is refusing to enforce two gun control laws. One is requiring the background check when transferring ownership of guns between two people and another limiting the size of gun magazines. He says they will be impossible to enforce so he isn’t going to bother. I didn’t know law enforcement was allowed to pick and chose what they want to enforce or not enforce. How hard would the first one really be to enforce? You have to do something similar when transferring a car. Of course, a car is a lot more obvious if it isn’t plated. People see it going down the road. A gun isn’t so obvious. As for magazine size, if it holds to many rounds, it is illegal. Sounds simple. It’s not like they want to run around and examine every single gun. It’s more a case of getting in trouble if you get caught with one. Sure, he is correct when he says that it won’t stop the criminal from getting guns. But laws against murder are not stopping murderers, so does that mean we should stop arresting people for murder?

tiny-house-inside1

4. Tiny homes are adorable. Very cute. I think it triggers that spot in me that really desired a play house as a child. I could probably manage in a 600 sq ft one but the 220 sq ft ones are totally insane. I would probably need three of them. One to live in, one for my books, and one for my stitching and scrapbooking supplies. It’s the 120 sq footers that really get me. The shower is too tiny to turn around in, there is a sink and a stove but no place to cut and prep your meal. The photos were at such weird angles that you could not get any idea of the layout. Where was the bed/sofa in relation to the ‘kitchen’ and exactly where was that miniscule shower located? The single person dwelling had a toy shed behind it. A shed anyway, with several toddlers toys in front. There isn’t room in that box for an adult and a child. Where did the toddler sleep? Maybe the shed. The shed looked like it was bigger than the house. The 612 sq footer was over half a million. 649,000$. A little over a thousand dollars a sq ft. But the photos show that the materials were all high end, with a very fancy shower mosaic, and high end appliances. Very Top Drawer, so to speak.