Archive for September, 2008

I’m not the only one who thinks Max Payne is going to be kickass, right?

Forget The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Revolutionary Road, this is what I want to see. Will it have the world’s greatest plot? Of course not. Will the dialogue blow my mind? Hell no. Does it have copious amounts of guns, things blowing up and Mark Wahlberg being sulky? Oh, yes.

I’m so there. This thing is gonna be awesome! The only thing that can top it this holiday season for me is either Let The Right One In or JCVD. Now how about that?

On another note, I’ll be back to full blogging capacity tomorrow, since the past few days in Real Life have caught up to me. I’m sorry, and I’m making each and every single one of you a sparkly friendship bracelet with matching plastic lanyard keychain.

In the meantime, be excellent to one another.

SCOTT – If you’re reading this, you need to e-mail me about the blogathon because I can’t pick, so I’m making you do it for me.   I suck, I know.   But I can’t find your e-mail anywhere.   I’m going off to cry sad tears, now, Scott….

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#1470: The Burning

The Burning – a boring slasher movie?  Yes.

Cropsy is the caretaker for Camp Blackfoot and one night, a scheming bunch of campers decide to pull a prank on ol’ Cropsy.   Cropsy also has the best killer name evah, because Cropsy sounds like the name of a drunk hobo.

Okay, so Cropsy kind of is a drunk hobo, but those wacky campers are about to scare him.   What they don’t know is that they might scare him…to DEATH!   (Insert ominous music here.)

The campers sneak into Cropsy’s tiny cabin and place the following by his bed, rapping on the window to wake his drunk ass up.


It’s not easy to rouse a man from a deep slumber brought on by copious amounts of Jim Beam and Budweiser, but the industrious campers beat on poor Cropsy’s window until he awakes in horror, knocking the terrifying skull…thing onto his sheets (which are the quickest igniting sheets I’ve ever seen), which catch fire and then the flames start eating at Cropsy.  As if he can’t catch a break, Cropsy flails out of bed and knocks over a gas can, sending the cabin and Cropsy’s entire body up into flames, causing Cropsy to go completely batshit and bust his way out of the cabin.

Watch out for the dude in flames!

Camper 1: Dude, this is MESSED. UP.


Camper 2: He looks like that time that Brian stuck his marshmallow directly into the fire at the sing-a-long and I told him not to but he did anyways and it caught fire and got all black and nasty.  It’s a lot like that.


Camper 3: Should we do something?

Camper 1: I don’t know.   Let’s think on it.



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A Quick Question…

How do you guys feel about me doing all horror movies in October? Yay or nay?

It’s pretty typical to do horror in October, but I leave the decision to you fine, fine folks.

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Why do you stock neither of the following movies?

Thanks to Scott for reminding me of the pure genius that is Cool as Ice.

Also, I don’t think Night of the Creeps has any sort of DVD release, which sucks – because it’s actually pretty damn funny, from what I remember.

Dammit, Netflix, there goes my lazy Sunday…

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I don’t tend to discuss politics here, so I’ll leave it out of this review, aside from a small, personal message at the bottom which you’re free to skip over if that sort of thing doesn’t interest you.

Slacker Uprising is the new movie by Michael Moore, and if you want to see it for free – you can.   Just CLICK HERE to do so.   You have to confirm that you’re a US or Canadian resident to download it, but I don’t think Mike’s going to hunt you down and take your firstborn from you if you aren’t.

Moore documented his 2004 tour with stops in 60 cities to accomplish one thing that Moore makes very clear at the beginning of the movie:  “To save John Kerry from himself” and to get people to essentially vote against Bush.

Mainly, his targets are college students, and the film follows the trials and tribulations of Moore as he goes across the country trying to urge kids to kick the president out of office.   We see appearances from celebrities and songs from well-known artists, as well as the struggles of the tour to appear on some college campuses that really don’t want Moore speaking there at all.

By now we all know Michael Moore really, really well.  If you don’t like his movies, chances are you’re not going to like this one.   I do notice that he’s not marketing this one as a “documentary” but more of a “film”, which is a good step, considering none of his films are truly objective.    I’ve noticed that there’s always one thing in each Moore movie that sets me just a tad on edge about him.   In this one, it was the fact that Moore seems to style himself as the anti-propagandist, the counter to the media’s “sucking up” to the Bush administration.   There’s a fine line that Moore is straddling where he can easily become no different than a talking head on Fox News, just skewed in a different political direction, and Moore’s lack of awareness about this makes you take pause for a moment, and kind of look at him a little oddly when he berates journalists for not doing their job and, to paraphrase, forcing Americans to pay $10 to see his films to find out the “truth”.


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You know how when you’re dating someone and they really, really like something and it irrevocably ruins it for you after you break up? Or, you meet someone that you have some sort of horrific experience with and something they like sticks out in your head and consequently you always associate them with that thing they like?

That’s what I’m talking about here. For one of my friends, it’s music; for another of one of my friends, it’s places she and her ex went.

Can you guess what it is for me? I promise, it’s really easy.

Stupid movies.

To be fair, none of these guys are bad guys; most of the time, we should’ve just never hopped on that train to Relationship City, nor should I ever have assented to have dinner with some of them in the first place. What can you do? But in the shallow crevasses of my mind, I get these things stuck in there as being connected to these fine gentlemen forever and ever and ever. But you do, at least, get random, off-putting stories about why I can’t stand these movies anymore.

So, behind the cut, five movies I can’t watch ever again, and the stories behind them.   Because that is how I can, and do, roll, my friends…


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Guys, seriously.  You may have to sit down and slap some sense into me.   NOTHING is grabbing my attention right now; not on Netflix, not in my personal movie collection, nothing.   I may just post my wide array of movies that I own and let you guys pick and choose, because…damn.

I think watching Gerard Butler do the worst striptease in the history of cinema broke my brain or something.  I hurt all over.   I had to drag myself, broken, bloodied and anguished across the finish line to get to the end of that last one.

So far this weekend, I have agonized over lip gloss, a pair of sandals, my fantasy hockey auto-draft (oh my god, my team is filled up with midgets and jerks and like…TWO ACCEPTABLE people), and wrapping up Season 6 of Friends, which needs to be returned to one of my Best Friends Ever.

As you can tell, I’ve mulled a lot over movies this weekend.   And also, you can tell that I live the high-life, right?

Anways, thus, you guys get a little link love, some miscellaneous crap, and some randomness from my brain this evening before I turn in for the night, I guess.

First up, if you’re a LAMB, WHY HAVE YOU NOT E-MAILED ME YOUR CHOPS SUBMISSION YET?   Get on it!     Go check the LAMB if you’re unclear about what to do.

  • I did this nifty thing for Fletch over at Blog Cabins called CAGEFEST.   Mine was the con position on Con Air.   I know you’re all shaking your heads in disbelief that I took a negative position on a Nic Cage movie, but I did, and if I had to get my ass whipped by anyone, I suppose it was a pleasure having my ass whipped by Adam from The Hater Nation.   Also, you’ve got to respect the fact that Fletch took a statement like this, ” She’s currently up to 1,466, but that number doesn’t reflect all the work and passion that goes into her site,” which is clearly a nice way of saying, “Caitlin has no life, humor her.”   Love ya, Fletch.

If you haven’t checked out Fataculture, you should.   Go read Nick’s reviews and then be flabbergasted by the fact that Nick is only 16.   Dude makes me feel like a monkey bashing away on a typewriter.   He’s awesome and you should read him.

  • If my life was a Western movie, Scott from He Shot Cyrus would totally be my gunslinging, mime-gang partner in crime.   Scott’s mega-supportive of 1,416 and Counting and I’m mega-supportive of He Shot Cyrus.   Scott even has a tattoo of DOUG on his body.   That, my friends, is geek awesome.

J.D. over at Valley Dreamin’ is like a fifteen year old version of me.   Okay, so it’s more like a fifteen year old version of me with more Japanese animated movies and less Vincent Cassel, more Ting-Tings and Demi Lovato and less The Smiths and The Subhumans, but you get my drift.

  • Final Girl is the end all and be all of horror blogs.  Much love, Final Girl, much love, as you keep me consistently entertained, although you were so totally right about The Burning.

Twitch is my first stop for all Russian movie related news (as well as other foreign film releases) so if you’re not reading them, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

  • Allison’s just starting out but you should check her out, as she’s got some great stuff up.   Well played, Allison.

Kevin makes me laugh a lot and is endlessly entertaining, even if he does like Gremlins a whole bunch.   NOT FUNNY, THAT MOVIE IS TERRIFYING.

And…I think that’s about it?

Thank you to all you fine people for making my daily blog-reading a scintillating experience, to say the least.

Oh, and before I forget:  I’ll be gone all next weekend, so don’t tear the place up while I’m gone, okay?   Hockey is calling my name and I got some good seats to a pre-season game, so be kind to the site while I’m not gone and watch where you’re spilling your beers, dammit.

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Family members used to say to me when I was a kid, “If you keep rolling your eyes like that, your eyes are going to roll right out of your head.” And my mother, bless her, would tell me, “Your face is gonna stick like that if you’re not careful,” when I was in awful, sour moods.

Momma, assorted family members: My eyes didn’t roll out of my head and my face didn’t stick like that, and I think P.S. I Love You is the scientific test to see if either of those statements are actually true.

This movie is so bad it has to be given the full, awful treatment. What can I say? The suffering – I’m passing it on. Think of it as paying it forward, just with badness. Strap in, grab your booze, because I’m going through this one every arduous bit.

We start out in medias res (how’s that for a fancy term, eh?) with Holly and Gerry, a married couple living in NYC who are having a huge fight. Holly’s mad that Gerry told her mother that they wanted to wait to have children, which she equates with Gerry telling her that this means she doesn’t want to have children. From this ensues the most manic, nonsensical fight I’ve seen on film in a while. It’s a lot of What Holly Thinks Gerry Says and Gerry just standing there, bewildered and defending himself, while his wife throws shit at him and has a Life Crisis.

This is where I firmly hopped on the “I HATE YOU, P.S. I Love You,” train, for two reasons: One, I loathe this sort of thing, where the woman rants and raves about things that make no sense while the husband has to calm her down, and two, because she pretty much gets away with throwing shit at her husband’s head. If you’re trying to make me like Holly, this isn’t the way. If you reversed their roles, no one would ever think Gerry throwing things at Holly was remotely acceptable, but since she’s a woman and she just threw a Marc Jacobs shoe at him, that’s okay.


Then they kiss and make up and Gerry says, “I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” – cue me, screaming at my televison, “FOR WHAT? MARRYING A CRAZY BEEYOTCH?” – and they go to sleep, with words of love and giggling. So, I’m already reaching for the whiskey bottle that doesn’t exist.

Also, I have a really hard time buying Gerard Butler as a devoted husband. Gerard Butler always looks to me like the drunk guy at the end of the bar with the cute accent. He’s the guy that you know is a lot of fun, but only in that he’s fun from the hours of 9 p.m. to last call o’clock and that he’s a miserable wretch for the rest of the day. So seeing him as Husband of the Year is kind of weird to me, in the sense that I keep thinking, “Don’t you have somewhere to go to pickle your liver or something?”

Moving forward.

We land in the present time, where we’re at a bar. And while we’re at it, let’s cue up the Irish Stereotype Counter right about now.


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#1467: Cloverfield

Shaky cam, ahoy!

Seriously, I saw this movie a few years ago.   It was called The Blair Witch Project.

Cloverfield tells the story of a group of friends who are living it up in Manhattan, celebrating one friend’s new job in Tokyo when something goes horribly wrong in the city.  Things start blowing up and buildings come crashing down, and the group of friends rushes into the street to see a glimpse of a large monster doing its best Godzilla impersonation.  From there, the rag tag group has to survive crazy obstacles to survive, including their own stupidity.

What amazes me about Cloverfield is how thoroughly unappetizing fare it is.    What should have been buttery, popcorn fun is just plain gross.

Any movie like this, you should actively care about the survival of the main characters.    The idea of the introduction to our scrappy bunch of survivors is by showing them at a party, where it’s painfully evident that they’re shallow, self-absorbed types who have some randomly interspliced love problems to keep things predictably interesting, in a way.   So, right from the get go, you think to yourself, “Right…I should care…why?”

That’s a problem.   Oh, and they have crap taste in music, which certainly doesn’t help matters any.

And when the big bad monster starts destroying New York skyscraper by skyscraper, the conversation descends into less of “Dude!   Bro!  MAN!”   and more into, “AIIIIIEEEEEEEEEE, OHMIGOD OHMIGOD OHMIGOD” for thirty minutes straight.

Me:    “AIEEEEEEEEE.   When are you all going to die?  Hurry up.   I’ve got another terrible movie waiting to be watched.”

Then the little monsters that spawn from the big monster come out, and the characters make the most infinitely stupid decision imaginable – head into the subway tunnels.   They get picked off, one by one, in a grueling testament to my patience and ability to grind my teeth into a fine powder.   By the time one dies via stomach explosion, it’s easily apparent that everyone is going to die.

Oh, wait.   There’s still another 45 minutes left to the movie.   Filler time.

So the characters are left zig-zagging around Manhattan, trying to rescue a friend and board a helicopter, and you get a subtle, Jason-esque “Gotcha!” moment, where the remaining survivors believe they’re free and then are pretty much bitchslapped by the monster into Central Park.

At the end of the film, you’re left with two characters professing their love before Central Park and the rest of Manhattan is carpetbombed to destroy the monster.   Fun!

I was actively cheering for the monster to win by the end (“Go, big grey thing, GO!”).   That’s how shallow and single-layered these characters are; the dumb guy is dumb, the best friends truly ARE in love, and the nasty, bitchy outsider is … nasty and bitchy.

Not a moment of it is really, truly terrifying.   If you could get a good visual lock on what’s going on, that would certainly help.   Most of the movie is set at night from the perspective of a handheld camcorder, so it’s not exactly easy to make out what’s going on.   Further, this whole “civilian footage” thing would be infinitely more appealing to me had we not already seen this for The Blair Witch Project.

Now, I’m not a professional – I have no film degree, no (real) writing experience, no great depth or understanding of film criticism in general.   I watch movies and I write about the impressions I get.   After 1,400 plus movies, I think I can honestly say that if your story really blows, your movie is going to really blow.   They do a lot of things right:  minimal shots of the monster to heighten tension, using the whole shaky-cam shot by a Real!Person! effect to create confusion and chaos, and so on and so forth.   But the general outline of the plot doesn’t feel good to me; it feels weak and like the monster should be the star attraction, but it’s really not.

The problem is that to make an effective movie like this, you have to have something to care about.   We’ve all seen monster movies before; we’ve all seen New York Gets Destroyed movies before.   Hell, we all saw big chunks of New York get destroyed in real life.   The trick is that you have to make it feel fresh to feel scary.   There’s nothing new or exciting about Cloverfield whatsoever, aside from some intelligent marketing.

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Blog Notes

Three posts in one day.  Can you handle it?

Before I turn in for the night, here’s some random stuff to keep you updated:

*  If you have my old e-mail address saved somewhere, you need to update it to 1416andcounting@gmail.com.  Much obliged.

*  You can now follow the blog (and what’s arriving and departing for Netflix) on Twitter HERE.

*  Since I am a hermit am very dedicated to the Internets, an index will go up in the next couple of weeks of every movie I’ve reviewed.   More caffeine, please…

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