I love Halloween. It is my absolute favorite holiday of the year, far beyond any other. The thing is, I’m a total wuss when it comes to scary movies. When I saw The Ring, I had to sleep with the lights on for two weeks. (FYI, that’s a good test for your relationship right there. Hubby passed with flying colors). So what movies can you watch that won’t ruin your precious, precious sleep? Me to the Rescue!
- Poltergeist (THE ORIGINAL ONE. WE DO NOT ACKNOWLEDGE ANY OTHER VERSION): This movie is fantastic, with amazing special effects and a completely solid story. It is the embodiment of Spielberg epicness. If you haven’t seen this yet, stop what you’re doing, quit your job, and go watch it. Fun fact: it also came out in 1982, which is widely acknowledged to be the best year for movies ever.
- The Nightmare Before Christmas: This one is good for Halloween AND Christmas! This movie is a gorgeous distillation of Tim Burton and Danny Elfman. Twisted, beautiful, and heart-wrenching, it is a forever classic. If you’ve already seen this a million times, there’s an internet theory that Frankenweenie, Corpse Bride, and Nightmare make a kind of trilogy, so re-watch with that in mind.
- Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon: A documentary crew gets access to a Jason Voorhis-like serial killer. This is a great movie, with a good mix of humor, and the Talking Heads in the soundtrack! It’s one of those small release movies that didn’t get the attention it deserves.
- Tucker and Dale vs. Evil: Absolutely hilarious version of the teen thriller. If you love Alan Tudyk (AND YOU HAD BETTER) you will absolutely love this movie. He gives yet another stellar, hilarious performance, as does Tyler Labine, of Reaper fame.
- The Cabin in the Woods: This is probably one of my favorite movies ever. The marketing department really failed when this movie came out, because they made it look like any other basic horror movie. Thankfully, it is not. In classic Whedon-style, Joss turns the horror genre on its head, and the results are spectacular. I went into this film like “Meh, let’s see”, and by the time the opening title hit the screen I was hooked. If you felt kind of blah towards it, or missed it altogether, I promise, Cabin in the Woods will not disappoint.
That’s all I can think of off the top of my head, but I’m sure another dozen will occur to me the second I hit “publish”. Help me out: what non-scary horror movies do you love?
Around this time of year, people are constantly asking “What are you doing for Valentine’s day?” Hubby and I have been together for ten years, so people assume I’ll answer “We’re riding winged hippos to our private concert with The Cure in Valhalla, then we roll in fairy dust and eat rainbow babies. They taste like marshmallows!” or something like that.
I know single people hate Valentine’s because couples are gross, and on and on. But couples hate it too. Do you have any idea how much pressure there is to come up with a magical romance scenario? Also, I’m not really supposed to plan anything, it’s all on Hubby’s shoulders. On top of all of that, some people made their plans LAST year, so all the winged hippos are already reserved! I would rather stay home, get drunk together, and play couch coop killing zombies on Xbox.
So let’s REBEL.
No more expensive meals crammed into busy restaurants with every other couple in your neighborhood. No more over-priced flowers and chocolates (I mean, you can make chocolate covered strawberries if you want, but those are just good for any occasion).
Die Hard is the perfect movie to watch on Valentine’s. Yes, it’s a Christmas movie, but it has action, adventure, romance, and most importantly, ALAN RICKMAN. Oh what a hot demon of a man. He’s so good at being evil!! It’s romantic without being in your face mushy, and let’s just be honest, it’s possible one of the greatest movies of all time.
If you haven’t seen it yet, don’t bother to tell me. Use this as your excuse to finally see it. I’m starting a new tag called “Movies you should have seen by now” and this is a great movie to start with. You really should see the whole series.
Have a great Thursday, no matter what you end up doing or with who.
I don’t know about you, but I was a teeny bit disappointed there was no apocalypse. I had already mapped out which houses on the block to raid, our weapons were ready, food and water stocked, and plenty of crafts to keep me occupied. Then…nothing. Not even a small town taken over by zombies! No aliens or meteors coming from space, no leather-clad gangs roaming on motorcycles, no worldwide plague, no solar flares or mega-storms, volcanoes or mutants.
To console ourselves, Hubby and I watched a string of post-apocalyptic movies, so we could at least survive the wasteland vicariously. We stumbled upon an absolute GEM of a movie, called “The Bed Sitting Room” (in Britain that would be like a studio apartment, I believe).
The movie is from 1969, and it was completely amazing, and not in a terrible B-movie way. The settings are truly post-apocalyptic, and the story is weird and funny. It’s not a serious, Mad Max style apocalypse; more like Monty Python, but still incredibly well done. You will even recognize Veruca Salt’s father amongst the cast. It’s on instant on Netflix, so you really have no excuse not to watch it.
Apparently my Star Trek drinking game post riled up a few of my Trekkie friends. I’m still friends with them in spite of their Trekkiness, yet that’s not enough for them. One had to write a rebuttal post. It’s not as clever as mine, but who could even come close to that level? I normally don’t post on even-numbered days, but since the guest blogger is Black from Two Tokens, and Friday is their traditional posting day, I’ll allow it. Sit back and enjoy some good natured Star Wars mockery:
For those that do not know, ThatCleverChick is a bit of Star Wars fan. And by a ‘bit’, I mean huge, and by ‘fan’ I mean raving lunatic. She’s called me out on my own geek blog for my many indiscretions regarding Star Wars canon. Everything from name spelling to the anatomical accuracy of a Yuuzhan Vong warrior has been scrutinized under her ever-watchful gaze. She’s chided more than once for my love of Trek. She even refuses to call the show by name, but rather refers to it as “that show with 10 white dudes sitting around negotiating peace treaties.”
I think Star Trek is a far better moniker, but to each their own.
Understand folks, I’m not a Trekkie/Trekker or a Star Wars fanboy; I consider myself an enthusiast of all of the above. However, there comes a time when the scales of nerdom are tipped; and they must be righted so that balance may prevail. That being said, I feel it’s only right to level the playing field. So, grab a Romulian Ale and get comfy. Let’s run down a list of what a Star Wars drinking game would look like – shall we?
1. Anytime brother and sister kiss, drink a beer.
2. Every time Obi-Wan Kenobi loses a fight, drink a beer.
3. Every time someone says “I have a bad feeling about this”, drink two beers.
4. Anytime Anakin seems like he’s going to the ‘dark side’ when in actuality it’s just him being emo and bitching, drink a beer.
5. Anytime someone falls down a shaft, drink a beer.
6. Do three shots every time Jar-Jar says me’sa or something stupid. Check that…only do half a shot, I don’t want any hospital bills.
7. Anytime someone is captured, and instead of killing them, Darth Vadar allows them to escape – finish whatever drink you have.
There’s plenty more, but I’ll leave you with that for now 😉
Clever Chick’s commentary: I only had you people doing shots, because there are so many things that give you the urge to drink in Star Trek, I wanted all of you to restrain yourselves. You’ll notice that Black, however, is trying to get you super drunk, quickly so you don’t realize how far it is between drinks. He also focuses on mocking the prequels, whereas I took the high road, and left the original Star Trek alone, since I know you are all justifiably embarrassed about it. I wouldn’t want to rub salt in your wounds. Someday soon, Black and I will get together and bury the hatchet, probably by creating a Battlestar Galactica drinking game.
I have friends from all walks of life: there are fans of Star Wars, Dr. Who, World of Warcraft, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and yes, even Star Trek. These Trekkies have been insistent that Star Trek is actually interesting, and The Next Generation is a “good” show. I have always had my doubts, but they convinced me to start watching it, especially since it’s on instant on Netflix. I’m on about episode 10 in season 1, and so far? Still not a fan.
It’s pretty bad.
So Hubby and I made it into a drinking game! We haven’t actually been drinking while watching it, because even I don’t hate my liver THAT much, but here are the rules we can up with:
Take a drink:
1) If there’s an energy being.
2) If it’s a sex episode (like they land on a planet obsessed with sex, or the crew gets a virus that makes them want to have lots of sex).
3) If Riker looks at someone really intently, as though he’d like to make sweet sweet love to them (happens most frequently with Picard and Troi).
4) If Wesley Crusher knows what’s going on, but no one will listen to him because he’s just a kid.
5) If Data askes the meaning of a normal word that he should definitely know, because it’s in a dictionary (like aphrodisiac).
6) If any of the characters use their catch phrases: Picard says “Engage”, Troi wines about feelings, or Dr. Crusher tells Picard he should be in sick bay, or vaguely references that they used to be a couple.
7) If Worf gets the crap kicked out of him.
Finish your drink:
1) If there’s an energy being AND a sex episode in one (has actually happened)
Drink 1 gallon of wine:
1) If it’s a Q episode. Alcohol poisoning is a small price to pay to avoid hearing his smarmy voice. He is just awful.
When you get back from the emergency room, hopefully several episodes will have gone by, and new episodes of Doctor Who will be that much closer.
I am so damn lucky. I was just telling a friend how Hubby and I were looking forward to the movie “The Pirates! Band of Misfits”, and then she won 2 free passes, and then gave them to me! How awesome is that? The movie comes out on April 27th, 2012, but we got to see it today!! One of my biggest pet peeves is spoilers, so all I’m going to say is it’s completely hilarious. They did a great job capturing the spirit of the books in an all-new adventure.
What books, you say? Why, these, of course:
They are all by Gideon Defoe, and each one is spectacularly hysterical. Even his website is awesome. Hubby and I are huge fans of his, and are eagerly awaiting his new book, and a sequel to the movie. GET TO WORK, DUDE. The movie, coming out in a week, is fantastic, and we’ll probably go see it again.
As everyone knows, my Hubby is a super-amazing, talented artist, and I make him do artwork for me constantly. When we found out there was an art contest for the new movie Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, I
begged and whined convinced him to participate. And boy, did he ever bring it.
Click this link and hit “like”:
I don’t care if you actually like it (I mean you obviously do), or me, or Lincoln, or vampires; just click like and make me happy. I am working on some kick-ass craft tutorials, and I have no qualms about withholding until I get my way. Now go VOTE!!
VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE!!!!
I’m aware there has been a big stink up going on regarding Netflix recently announced price increases. I know for a lot of people it will mean a huge (percentage-wise) increase over what they are currently paying (somewhere around an additional $6 per month). I don’t think Netflix is being very bright about this whole thing, but it is still WAY BETTER and cheaper than cable. And it’s the only thing in my mail box other than junk mail, and I get excited when I see one of those little red envelopes. So that’s my take on the whole thing.
The envelope that showed up yesterday contained “Whip It”, a movie that was filmed and set here in Austin. That in and of itself makes me want to watch it. It stars and was directed by Drew Barrymore, and it also stars Ellen Page, Juliette Lewis, and Jimmy Fallon among many others. Ellen Page’s character, Bliss, lives in a small town near Austin, and secretly attends her first Texas Roller Derby match. When it’s over, she is convinced to try out, and of course makes it onto the team, the Hurl Scouts.
Roller Derby is a big deal here in Austin, and I have been to a few matches myself. I freaking love it, and apparently so does Drew Barrymore, which is another reason I was excited about this movie. Overall, it was a good movie. It had funny parts, although it could have been funnier, and there were a few parts that seemed like “Well, this is how a movie plot should go, right?”
One easy improvement to the whole plot would have been to leave out the Bliss’s boyfriend plot line. It went nowhere, and was generally a distraction from the good parts of the story. All the cheesy, chagrin-inducing moments occurred in that part of the movie. It was a constant montage of “look how cute and goofy we are together! We sit near Austin landmarks!”
Other than that, it was a good movie. On the Clever Chick scale it gets a “I won’t be buying it, but it was worth watching”. Drew Barrymore’s character is hilarious and I wish she’d been in it more. And yes, there are lots of Austin landmarks for you to point out and shriek to your friends and/or spouse about. I totally did that.
– That Clever Chick
I love Netflix, not just because it gives me an endless supply of movies and TV shows, but because it suggests things I might like. One of those suggestions was Hogfather.
This movie is set in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. He has written a whole series of books set there, and this movie was made from one of them. This movie is set on the night of Hogswatch, which is similar to our Christmas Eve. Someone is trying to destroy Hogswatch, and Death’s granddaughter has to try and save it.
I think the best way to describe the series, is a fantasy series, with lots of humor thrown in. Kind of like the land of Narnia, but with clever, funny bits woven throughout. If you’re a fan of Terry Pratchett, or Douglas Adams you’ll enjoy this.
If you’ve already seen this one, or you trust my advice so much that you’ll watch anything I tell you, another Discworld movie is available. Horray! It’s called The Color of Magic, and it stars Sean Astin and Tim Curry.
Sean Astin plays Discworld’s first tourist, and he teams up with the most terrible wizard on the Disc and has hilarious and ridiculous adventures. They even explore beyond the Disc! Tim Curry is actually good in this, rather than horribly distracting as he can be sometimes.
There are some animated movies of Discworld available on Netflix as well. I didn’t find those to be as entertaining, but Hubby enjoyed them. I plan on finding some of the Discworld books so I can immerse myself in all the humor and detail. I’ll let you know how they are. On the Clever Chick Scale, these both get a “I will recommend these to friends, and eagerly await new ones”.
I was privelidged enough last weekend to spend time with my dear friend Black, of Two Tokens, and his family. I have a lot in common with all of them, including their awesome 8 year old, Lil’ K (you can pick a new nickname if you don’t like that one).
While I was there, we spread out on the couch to watch movies. Through the magic of netflix, we picked some random movies, one of which was awesome, the other of which was terrible. This got us discussing how you can tell if a movie is bad from the outset. The rules (so far) are these:
1) If the movie has super long credits, it’s probably bad. According to Mrs.Black (again, you can choose a different nickname), if it’s a good movie, they want to get you right into it, rather than have you sit around watching credits.
2) If there’s gratuitous nudity early in the movie, it’s probably terrible. My reasoning is that the creators are hoping viewers will say, “Ooh, boobs!! Let’s stick it out to see if there are more boobs later!”
Both movies we watched this weekend followed these simple rules.
First up: Dance of the Dead. Zombies at prom??? Yes, please!! Awesome premise, and fortunately, awesome movie! It did break a couple rules of zombie movies, but the mistakes were forgivable. So, how it followed the rules:
1) Super short credits. I don’t even know if the actors names were listed.
2) The only nudity in the movie is about halfway through, and it’s just a male zombie’s bum. That means this movie has substance, rather than gimmicks.
The plot is great. The town is near a nuclear power plant, which doesn’t bode well for anyone. Of course, since it’s a zombie movie, the dead start to rise, but it happens to be on the night of the school prom. This whole movie is filled with humor, great acting, characters, and plot reveals. I loved it. On the Clever Chick scale it gets a “I’ll recommend it to tons of my friends, and watch it repeatedly”. It’s not on the level of Shaun of the Dead or Zombieland, but it is damn close.
Next victim: The Funhouse. This movie came out in 1981, and just from the tagline “Pay to get in; Pray to get out!” I was severely tempted to watch it. Let’s get right to how it violated the rules of good movies, and just human decency.
1) I swear, 10% of this movie is credits. When you start seeing “Best Boy – Kyle Furthham” and “Dolly Grip – Toby Westhover”, you know it’s going to be bad.
2) Boobs in the first 2-4 minutes. And it was creepy. The actress is about to get into the shower, so you think to yourself, “I bet they’re going to show her nude”, but she looks like a twelve year old. I’m not kidding. We all thought the same thing. I think it’s because she had her hair down, and a big, fluffy, pink robe on, and a fairly youthful face, but it was disturbing.
Any time movies start using nudity as a crutch, you know it’s going to be missing in the plot arena, and this movie was no exception. At one point, we realized there were only 24 minutes left in the movie, and anything interesting had yet to happen.
There were several plot points that were never resolved, or referred back to. For example, they make a point of having the main actress stop and stare at several carnival barkers, who are all played by the same actor, but then nothing happens with that. They basically took a bunch of random occurrences set in a carnival and called it a movie. On the Clever Chick Scale this gets a “It’s so bad, you can’t even laugh at it. Save yourself 2 hours and avoid, avoid, avoid”.
I love movies, and I love cheesy, hokey, attempting-to-be-scary movies, but this one is inexcusable in its awfulness.
Even though the Rapture obviously did not occur this weekend, (was there ever any doubt?) I thought I’d do a rapture post. It’s a movie AND book review, in one! Ooh-la-la!
First things first: how to out-live zombies. Max Brooks is (un)dead serious about his subject matter, and 100% practical. This book is written as a completely serious guide to survive zombie hordes. He even has historical accounts of when zombies rose in the past, what causes them, and how to survive beyond the complete extinction of humanity. It was very practical and useful. I am presently building a 10-foot-high cinderblock wall around my home, as per his instructions (not literally). On the Clever Chick Scale this earns a “I will keep it on my shelf, possibly loan it out, but probably not re-read it”.
The Last Man on Earth, starring Vincent Price, is based on the novel “I am Legend”. After having seen this one, and the Will Smith version, I really want to read that book. For an older movie (it’s from 1964), the plot moves at a decent pace, and the acting is good. There’s a twist at the end that I thought was genius, and of course it’s Vincent Price, so creepy-awesomeness just exudes from it. On the Clever Chick Scale this gets a “I probably won’t rewatch it, but I would recommend it to friends”. Plus, it’s on instant on Netflix, which is always a bonus.
Well, I hope everyone had fun at the “apocalypse”, and didn’t do any long-term credit damage, or anything. Save that for December 2012.