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The Halloween binge continues.

Rings
The third 'The Ring' movie. Plotted like a thriller more than a horror movie, and the plot is too uninteresting and too incoherent.

Child's Play III
Chucky kills people in a military academy. It's dumb and boring and not particularly funny or scary.

Event Horizon
Alien meets PG-13 Hellraiser. One hour of fakeouts chased by 30 minutes of slasher malarky, with a non-ending for dessert.

Hereditary
This one was terrific. There's something very alluring and disarming about the geometric scenery and warm lightning, contrasting with the dispair and visceral breakdown the family has to endure. Reminded me of the great pagan horror thrillers of Polanski.

Silentpony:
'Hey Arthur, if no one saw you kill those three dudes, how did the #OccupyGotham movement get your exact makeup style right the first go? Oh, unreliable narrator! Gotcha, nice cop-out'

- The three dudes are harrassing a lady that leaves shortly before they're all killed by the clown that was sitting across from her.
- As Arthur chases the last dude we see a subjective POV short pan from within the subway car, following the action.
- Two other people see Arthur run up the subway stairs, fleeing the crime scene.

You're gonna need better nitpicks.

Johnny Novgorod:
The Halloween binge continues.

Child's Play III
Chucky kills people in a military academy. It's dumb and boring and not particularly funny or scary.

Event Horizon
Alien meets PG-13 Hellraiser. One hour of fakeouts chased by 30 minutes of slasher malarky, with a non-ending for dessert.

Hereditary
This one was terrific. There's something very alluring and disarming about the geometric scenery and warm lightning, contrasting with the dispair and visceral breakdown the family has to endure. Reminded me of the great pagan horror thrillers of Polanski.

Silentpony:
'Hey Arthur, if no one saw you kill those three dudes, how did the #OccupyGotham movement get your exact makeup style right the first go? Oh, unreliable narrator! Gotcha, nice cop-out'

- The three dudes are harrassing a lady that leaves shortly before they're all killed by the clown that was sitting across from her.
- As Arthur chases the last dude we see a subjective POV short pan from within the subway car, following the action.
- Two other people see Arthur run up the subway stairs, fleeing the crime scene.

You're gonna need better nitpicks.

Oh! I got one! Arthur's six-shooter fires way more than six shots. And the comedy club scene, the establishing shot never shows a camera, yet somehow Arthur is filmed

Silentpony:

Johnny Novgorod:
The Halloween binge continues.

Child's Play III
Chucky kills people in a military academy. It's dumb and boring and not particularly funny or scary.

Event Horizon
Alien meets PG-13 Hellraiser. One hour of fakeouts chased by 30 minutes of slasher malarky, with a non-ending for dessert.

Hereditary
This one was terrific. There's something very alluring and disarming about the geometric scenery and warm lightning, contrasting with the dispair and visceral breakdown the family has to endure. Reminded me of the great pagan horror thrillers of Polanski.

Silentpony:
'Hey Arthur, if no one saw you kill those three dudes, how did the #OccupyGotham movement get your exact makeup style right the first go? Oh, unreliable narrator! Gotcha, nice cop-out'

- The three dudes are harrassing a lady that leaves shortly before they're all killed by the clown that was sitting across from her.
- As Arthur chases the last dude we see a subjective POV short pan from within the subway car, following the action.
- Two other people see Arthur run up the subway stairs, fleeing the crime scene.

You're gonna need better nitpicks.

Oh! I got one! Arthur's six-shooter fires way more than six shots. And the comedy club scene, the establishing shot never shows a camera, yet somehow Arthur is filmed

- There are revolvers with as many as 12 chambers. I don't know if the Colt Detective Special 3rd Gen - .38 Special is one of them, but there're enough cuts in the scene that he could've reloaded it with the offending 1 or 2 extra bullets.
- There are 2 cameras mounted on tripods filming Pogo's. They're out of focus but you can see them because 1) the red REC lights are on and 2) the camera pans slightly to the right to show Arthur notices them as he's walking onstage. He had been watching the preceding comic backstage on a video assist monitor before that. So, you know. Maybe I should've started there.

This is fun. Got any more?

Overlord (2018) - Still a great movie, and the best adaption of Wolfenstein or Nazi Zombies you will ever see. This is one of JJ's best movies. It's a shame the film was an acclaimed flop in theaters. Hopefully, the DVD/Blu-ray sales even things out.

Johnny Novgorod:

Silentpony:

Johnny Novgorod:
The Halloween binge continues.

Child's Play III
Chucky kills people in a military academy. It's dumb and boring and not particularly funny or scary.

Event Horizon
Alien meets PG-13 Hellraiser. One hour of fakeouts chased by 30 minutes of slasher malarky, with a non-ending for dessert.

Hereditary
This one was terrific. There's something very alluring and disarming about the geometric scenery and warm lightning, contrasting with the dispair and visceral breakdown the family has to endure. Reminded me of the great pagan horror thrillers of Polanski.

- The three dudes are harrassing a lady that leaves shortly before they're all killed by the clown that was sitting across from her.
- As Arthur chases the last dude we see a subjective POV short pan from within the subway car, following the action.
- Two other people see Arthur run up the subway stairs, fleeing the crime scene.

You're gonna need better nitpicks.

Oh! I got one! Arthur's six-shooter fires way more than six shots. And the comedy club scene, the establishing shot never shows a camera, yet somehow Arthur is filmed

- There are revolvers with as many as 12 chambers. I don't know if the Colt Detective Special 3rd Gen - .38 Special is one of them, but there're enough cuts in the scene that he could've reloaded it with the offending 1 or 2 extra bullets.
- There are 2 cameras mounted on tripods filming Pogo's. They're out of focus but you can see them because 1) the red REC lights are on and 2) the camera pans slightly to the right to show Arthur notices them as he's walking onstage. He had been watching the preceding comic backstage on a video assist monitor before that. So, you know. Maybe I should've started there.

This is fun. Got any more?

Oh tons!
Did you know that despite you knowing about 12 shot revolvers, the movie uses a 6-shooter? Like in multiple scenes Arthur breaks the gun open, and yup, only 6 rounds. And yet shoots more than 6 without reloading! My count was 10, but to be fair one might have been the same shot, but with a sloppy jump cut.

Oh and you know how he does the thing to his mom? Yeah, mommy has a breathing mask in. That's not how that works.

Oh and he somehow got into both the Theater with Mayoral candidate Wayne, and the Ed Sullivan theater without running afoul of any security what so ever, including having a firearm.

Silentpony:

Johnny Novgorod:

Silentpony:
Oh! I got one! Arthur's six-shooter fires way more than six shots. And the comedy club scene, the establishing shot never shows a camera, yet somehow Arthur is filmed

- There are revolvers with as many as 12 chambers. I don't know if the Colt Detective Special 3rd Gen - .38 Special is one of them, but there're enough cuts in the scene that he could've reloaded it with the offending 1 or 2 extra bullets.
- There are 2 cameras mounted on tripods filming Pogo's. They're out of focus but you can see them because 1) the red REC lights are on and 2) the camera pans slightly to the right to show Arthur notices them as he's walking onstage. He had been watching the preceding comic backstage on a video assist monitor before that. So, you know. Maybe I should've started there.

This is fun. Got any more?

Oh tons!
Did you know that despite you knowing about 12 shot revolvers, the movie uses a 6-shooter? Like in multiple scenes Arthur breaks the gun open, and yup, only 6 rounds. And yet shoots more than 6 without reloading! My count was 10, but to be fair one might have been the same shot, but with a sloppy jump cut.

Oh and you know how he does the thing to his mom? Yeah, mommy has a breathing mask in. That's not how that works.

Oh and he somehow got into both the Theater with Mayoral candidate Wayne, and the Ed Sullivan theater without running afoul of any security what so ever, including having a firearm.

- Either Arthur reloads the gun or your count is off, like when you didn't notice the two cameras and that ruined the movie for you.
- Arthur suffocates Penny with a pillow, either removing or impairing the breathing apparatus on her face as he does so.
- I don't have to fish up examples from actual history of people walking into theaters and TV sets with firearms.

When you said tons, was it those three?

Silentpony:
'Hey Arthur, if no one saw you kill those three dudes, how did the #OccupyGotham movement get your exact makeup style right the first go? Oh, unreliable narrator! Gotcha, nice cop-out'

Jeez, do I need to go to Hollywood and start something called 'Post Production' where we watch movies for editing/scripting errors?

Well, what about the chick that got harassed being the only person besides Arthur in an otherwise empty train? Or the people that saw a man in a clown suit running at the time of the incident? If he was just an eye witness he didn't have to flee the cops. It's really not hard to put 2 and 2 together. It's also why the cops only have a vague description of his appearance and not a precise one. Also, it are just regular clown masks the protestors wear that don't mimick Arthur's makeup.

Anyways, just saw the movie 'Cuck'. Or, ''do you wanna get red-pilled, or are you a fucking cuck?''. Kind of similar in theme as the Joker movie but without it's ephemeral, artsy and evocative qualities. Another character study about a disenfranchised loner, Ronnie, but this time about someone who is as repugnant as one can get. The movie is a definite deep dive into how internet culture intrudes into Ronnie's life by first lifting him up and then crushing him down. What does someone do who lost at life and lives with his neglegtful ill mother that sucks the life out of him and who can't get a job and who women obviously avoid? Rage online ofcourse on alt-right forums how feminists and immigrants are to blame.

Ronnie starts making these vlogs ranting about cucks and alt-right issues and dreams of internet fame. In real life, Ronnie is at the bottom of the food chain and feels the odds are stacked against him and instead of blaming his own inadequacies he blames women and minorities. In desperate need of a job he ultimitaly finds one for a minority shop owner. He has a son of about Ronnie's age that also works in the shop but is graduating college. Ronnie, meanwhile, only sits in his depressing room imploding from impotence of his failure at life while eating potato chips behind his laptop as his man boobs grow bigger.

The movie adopts it's real world inspiration as literal as it can get to the point anything with copyright can still be recognized. A Reddit tab is literally in the movie. Though, I would have expected more 8chan here. Anyways, Ronnie goes on plenty of fish and miraculously scores a date with an attractive college girl on his first try. So they meet up for coffee and Ronnie makes this off-hand remark about 'cucks' the girl doesn't get. She is ofcourse well adjusted asking Ronnie what his passions and ambitions are and what she herself is gonna do after graduating Stanford. The date obviously doesn't work out and the two have a falling out as Ronnie is thrown out of the cafe by guests and personnel while still ranting about 'libtards' and feminists.

Back at his mom's place Ronnie immediately goes online to the alt-right forum to post a new rant that gets quite a few views feeding his need for recognition, frustration and hate. Followed by some desperate humping the bed itself to some milf porn. Next he starts ranting against his employer as well after provoking some colored blokes at a car and getting beat up by them so he loses his marginal job too.

Looking for work Ronnie ends up doing some yard work for a couple who, surprise, shoot amateur porn films in which they ask Ronnie to play the husband who is cheated on as he watches and masturbates to the woman as she gets, ehm, you-know-what by black men. Ronnie needs the money and has a crush on the woman so he concedes. The couple said it was also just for a private collection. One day Ronnie flees the set as one bloke cums on Ronnie's face as if things couldn't get any worse for him. To console Ronnie the woman has sex with him, but the husband forces him to pay which was their scheme all along. Ronnie uses his mother's cheque book and when she finds out his mother goes ape shit to the woman. Meanwhile Ronnie finds out the couple did publish the cuckold porn vids online and it's not long before the alt-right forum finds out and things spiral out of control for Ronnie.

I thought this movie was going to be laughable trash but it's actually cleverly made with a cohesive message. The movie doesn't make you sympathize with Ronnie but it does make you understand how someone's misery can just pile up and how social defeat, marginalization, cultural appropriation of masculinity and internet echo chambers accelerate the downward spiral of radicalization that ultimately make these young men forfeit their life and wreak havoc.

Return of the Living Dead 3

Two franchises branched off 1968's The Night of the Living Dead: Romero's "X of the Dead" movies, which have more or less single-handedly defined our conceptions of zombies ever since (they're slow, reanimated corpses and you gotta shoot them in the head) and the "Living Dead" movies, which didn't stick as much because the rules are convoluted and inconsistent from one movie to another. The 80s trash-punk aesthetic doesn't help either. The one unifying element is a chemical called 2-4-5 Trioxin, which turns both living and dead into... living dead.

This one's about a kid who decides to reanimate his dead girlfriend with Trioxin (dad works at a military facility that runs experiments in what I *think* is the first example of zombies being referred to as "bio-organic weapons", like Resident Evil will bang on about for 20 years afterwards). The girlfriend's originally into bikes and leather and dad doesn't approve; as a zombie she's pretty much the same, only driven by an insatiable hunger for human flesh that can only be staved off by sticking hooks and needles into her flesh so she ends up looking like a sexy!cenobite. There's a half-baked metaphor about choosing authority or rebelliousness somewhere.

Anyway, it's a 1993 movie but it feels 80s to the bone. It takes place all during one night as the two lovebirds escape the authorities and, later, a gang of Latino goons that have no real reason to be chasing them but they do to a ridiculous stretch. Everything that happens in the movie feels random and improbable yet sticks to the movie for the rest of its running time.

Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers

Another choppy studio hatchet job. Things sort of happen and then sort of end. Shame Donald Pleasance and his character had to go on such flat not. The plot doesn't need Loomis yet he's running around with the protagonists looking important and getting the door.

As for justifying Michael's return, now he wants to kill the rest of Laurie's extended family, who live in the same Haddonfield house (without knowing it, bizarrely). There's a pattern on doubling down on stupid decisions and running with everything that climaxes in this overburdened movie, so much so they had to reboot the franchise in the next. Michael's "pure evil" in the first movie. He's Laurie's brother in the second one. By the fourth or fifth he's established as immortal. And now there's a pagan druid cult that prays to the Celtic god Samhain who's tied to Halloween and they need Laurie's baby to perform some kind of ritual and... whatever, none of it pays off.

Just saw Joker and it was kind of a hodgepodge that doesn't allow itself to breath. Phoenix really does give it his all, but to little avail since the character writing feels so unfocused. The other characters are extremely one-note and are just there for Athur to feel disillusioned by. I'm not the biggest fan of Ledger's Joker, but he still feels like a focused portrayal, not just of the Joker but of a character. The way scenes were structured also felt sloppy, like where Athur shows up at Wayne Manor.

And there was one moment toward the end during the talkshow where Arthur tells a joke that supposed to be in very poor taste as it shocks both De Niro's character and a guest, yet it's super tame. And after Todd Phillips criticizing woke culture for ruining comedy this felt like him blatantly showing his hand. 'Look at all those overly sensitive people feeling offended by a joke about death.' No Todd, that's barely a blip. You could've atleast given us a child rape joke, but a joke about death to show how we're too sensitive to comedy? Nice try.

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later
Michael Myers kills some people during Halloween. He dies at the end. Or does he?

Switch
Male chauvinist dies and gets sent back by god to earn his way to heaven by finding a single female that "likes" him. The devil throws in a handicap: the dude is sent back in the body of a woman. All of this happens within the first 5 minutes or so. There's very little context to anything. The chavunist isn't even established as a chauvinist except for the fact that everyone keeps mentioning it. How hard was it to give him a couple of lines? Anyway, the movie obviously has its heart in the right place, though it does fall back on tons of painful stereotypes (and some abrasive name-calling that wouldn't do so hot at the Oscars). It's one of those vintage comedies. Fun but not funny. Ellen Barkin playing a man in a woman's body is a lot of fun to watch.

The Void
Really enjoyed this one. Reminded me of an '80s Carpenter or Lovecraft inspired flick.

Elvis & Nixon
Fine performances from Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey as Elvis & Nixon in what is otherwise a non-event: the story of how they took a picture together. Well, in summary, Elvis decided he wanted to meet Nixon on a whim and Nixon said no but then he said yes and that was that. There isn't much in the way of stakes or conflict so we get a totally banal subplot about Elvis' friend having to make it in time to dinner with his girlfriend's parents. Like we care.

Glass
I kinda liked this one up until I didn't. Like every other Shyamalan movie it's simultaneously preposterous, pretentious and corny but the guy has a filmmaker's eye for stylin' it up, I'll give him that much. The whole character stuff is fine: McAvoy gets the most attention I guess because he's coming in hot from Split; would've liked to see more of Willis and Jackson, who are on autopilot these days but it's nice to see them trying again here. The final stretch was just ridiculous though, and the conclusion is one of the most disappointing anticlimaxes in recent memory. Movie built up beautifully and then went nowhere interesting.

Exists
From one of the dudes that made the original Blair Witch. Here's my 2 qualms with the movie: A) it goes for found footage horror but gears the characters and the woods with dozens of GoPro cameras so that the movie we're watching ends up looking like a conventional horror movie, and B) it's about Big Foot, who isn't scary at all. Why would he be? I'm watching a dude in a suit, inspired by a real-life dude in a suit. What's scary about that?

Wishmaster
One of them "gory prosthetics" movies that CGI eventually killed-off around the 2000s. Made by Robert Kurtzman and Greg Nicotero, students of Tom Savini. The result isn't terrifying or even disgusting, but the movie's a riot, specially the beginning and ending sequences were all hell breaks loose. It's one of those movies were you have fun because clearly the people on screen are having fun clutching their latex props and overacting. I didn't like the leading lady though - annoying and terrible deadpan actress.

Johnny Novgorod:
Return of the Living Dead 3

Two franchises branched off 1968's The Night of the Living Dead: Romero's "X of the Dead" movies, which have more or less single-handedly defined our conceptions of zombies ever since (they're slow, reanimated corpses and you gotta shoot them in the head) and the "Living Dead" movies, which didn't stick as much because the rules are convoluted and inconsistent from one movie to another. The 80s trash-punk aesthetic doesn't help either. The one unifying element is a chemical called 2-4-5 Trioxin, which turns both living and dead into... living dead.

This one's about a kid who decides to reanimate his dead girlfriend with Trioxin (dad works at a military facility that runs experiments in what I *think* is the first example of zombies being referred to as "bio-organic weapons", like Resident Evil will bang on about for 20 years afterwards). The girlfriend's originally into bikes and leather and dad doesn't approve; as a zombie she's pretty much the same, only driven by an insatiable hunger for human flesh that can only be staved off by sticking hooks and needles into her flesh so she ends up looking like a sexy!cenobite. There's a half-baked metaphor about choosing authority or rebelliousness somewhere.

Anyway, it's a 1993 movie but it feels 80s to the bone. It takes place all during one night as the two lovebirds escape the authorities and, later, a gang of Latino goons that have no real reason to be chasing them but they do to a ridiculous stretch. Everything that happens in the movie feels random and improbable yet sticks to the movie for the rest of its running time.

Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers

Another choppy studio hatchet job. Things sort of happen and then sort of end. Shame Donald Pleasance and his character had to go on such flat not. The plot doesn't need Loomis yet he's running around with the protagonists looking important and getting the door.

As for justifying Michael's return, now he wants to kill the rest of Laurie's extended family, who live in the same Haddonfield house (without knowing it, bizarrely). There's a pattern on doubling down on stupid decisions and running with everything that climaxes in this overburdened movie, so much so they had to reboot the franchise in the next. Michael's "pure evil" in the first movie. He's Laurie's brother in the second one. By the fourth or fifth he's established as immortal. And now there's a pagan druid cult that prays to the Celtic god Samhain who's tied to Halloween and they need Laurie's baby to perform some kind of ritual and... whatever, none of it pays off.

Each Halloween movie should have been it's own story originally intended after II & III as Carpenter planned. But noooo, audiences in 80s bitched about: "Where's Michael", "Why isn't he in the movie?". Loomis blew the motherfucker up along with himself. Of course he ain't going to show up in III. I hope the people got what they want, because we got nothing, but shitty or average sequels afterward. Be careful for what you wish for indeed.

Zombieland: Double Tap (5/10)

So, quick confession, I've never seen the original Zombieland. That said, apart from a reference to Bill Murry, you wouldn't have to see it to get the gist of this film. So when I say that this film is "painfully average," this is coming from the view that even if I'd seen its predecessor, I doubt the score would be much higher.

If you want to know what's wrong with this film (well, partly wrong), you need only watch the first three minutes. Here, three types of zombie are introduced - the "Homer" (idiot), the "Hawking" (smart), and the "Ninja" (stealthy). Of these zombies, the Homers are never relevant to the plot, and only get a few gags, the "Hawking" appears once and is functionalyl no different from a regular zombie when it appears, and the "Ninja" never appears. Instead, we get a new zombie in the film that the characters call the T-800 (named after the Terminator) who's introduced once, becomes plot relevant later, and doesn't make it to the finale. Those three zombies introduced at the start? Never relevant.

Why do I bring this up? Because this is the absolute antithesis to Chekov's Gun (look it up), and it's indicative of the rest of the writing issues that will follow in the film. Namely, the following:

1) Character development is uneven. Of the main four, Little Rock barely gets any screentime, nor does she have any character development. In contrast, if you've seen the trailers, you'll have seen the 'dopplegangers' for Columbus and Talhassae. They're introduced, built up as characters, then promptly killed off 5-10 minutes later, and never mentioned again, despite a third character being attached to one of said dopplegangers. You could argue it's played for laughs (and it is as Columbus's "rules" are contrasted with his coutnerpart's "testaments"), but if you spend all this time building these characters up, why kill them off immediately afterwards? Because it sure as hell isn't for emotional impact.

2) The humour relies on stereotypes a lot of the time. Now, before we go on, I'll make this clear - I don't think stereotypes are an absolute no-go for humour. But if you're using them, at least make them funny. Because if you're humour is relying on the stereotypes of "dumb blonde" or "hippies/SJWs/pacifists/college kids," then you need a punchline beyond "point at this and laugh, you sheep." Blondie is introduced as a dumb blonde, and ends the film as a dumb blonde." Also, there's a fakeout for her death that anyone could see coming a mile away. Or, I did, but then I thought "hey, maybe she really is dead, because there's no way they could have thought that would fool anyone," but nup. Fakeout!

Also hippies/SJWs, or, rather, the stereotypes of them. Um, yay? Again, not complaining about the stereotype, I'm complaining that there's no punchline.

3) There's a lot in this world that doesn't make sense for the characters. Now, I know that this film is a comedy, and that there's a lot of suspension of disbelief, but the characters do things, or don't do things, that make little sense. Like, there's a line about home being with your family, but I'm pretty sure home would be in the White House as well. Y'know, that secure place you got at the start. That you're not going back to...because reasons...and other character is tagging along because...reasons...again, I'm nitpicking, but there's a lot of stuff that's done in this film for the reason of "just because." Or not done. Like, there's a car called The Beast, whom we see Talhassae fit a chaingun to early on in the movie. The car is destroyed later (because reasons), and the chaingun is used...once. Against bags of money. Because reasons. Again, CHEKOV'S GUN. If you're setting up a plot point, use it!

So, is this film bad? No, not really. I did get some humour out of it. But even for a film such as this, there's a lot of holes in the writing, and the humour, a lot of the time, feels outdated. And while I haven't seen the original, of what I've seen on YouTube, it does strike me as "more of the same" rather than any kind of evolution of the franchise. So, ten years, and we get a film that's simply okay at best, and aggressively average at worst. Maybe the Zombieland fanbase will, ahem, "eat this up," but for me, it was lacking brains.

...I'll see myself out now.

Joker

We live in a society, the movie. It has nothing to say and seems content to just remind the viewer of the perceived ills of society. The media, mental health, wealth inequality. Joker brings these up but never explores them. They're window dressing at best. It does look good though. Gotham's trash riddled streets are great and Joaquin Phoenix gives an amazing performance.

Rating: Way better than MoS or BvS, but still disappointing.

CoCage:
Each Halloween movie should have been it's own story originally intended after II & III as Carpenter planned. But noooo, audiences in 80s bitched about: "Where's Michael", "Why isn't he in the movie?". Loomis blew the motherfucker up along with himself. Of course he ain't going to show up in III. I hope the people got what they want, because we got nothing, but shitty or average sequels afterward. Be careful for what you wish for indeed.

The most annoying thing is that they'd rather keep rebooting the series over and over than move on. H20 being the first. Even if it stars Curtis as Laurie Strode, it retcons every other movie after Halloween II. Then Halloween: Resurrection retcons the ending of H20. Then Rob Zombie rebooted the franchise. Then we got Halloween 2018, which again, like H20 chooses to ignore most of the series and works as a sequel to the very first movie. For all its acclaim about how it went back to basics the movie wasn't all that novel, it's essentially a remake of H20: Laurie's alive, suffers from PTSD and that estranges her from her one child up until they have to fight off Michael together at the end. At least they're not siblings anymore, that was a stupid call.

Johnny Novgorod:

CoCage:
Each Halloween movie should have been it's own story originally intended after II & III as Carpenter planned. But noooo, audiences in 80s bitched about: "Where's Michael", "Why isn't he in the movie?". Loomis blew the motherfucker up along with himself. Of course he ain't going to show up in III. I hope the people got what they want, because we got nothing, but shitty or average sequels afterward. Be careful for what you wish for indeed.

The most annoying thing is that they'd rather keep rebooting the series over and over than move on. H20 being the first. Even if it stars Curtis as Laurie Strode, it retcons every other movie after Halloween II. Then Halloween: Resurrection retcons the ending of H20. Then Rob Zombie rebooted the franchise. Then we got Halloween 2018, which again, like H20 chooses to ignore most of the series and works as a sequel to the very first movie. For all its acclaim about how it went back to basics the movie wasn't all that novel, it's essentially a remake of H20: Laurie's alive, suffers from PTSD and that estranges her from her one child up until they have to fight off Michael together at the end. At least they're not siblings anymore, that was a stupid call.

The sibling thing you can blame on Carpenter as it was just him, a six pack, cigarettes, and a type writer after midnight. He still regrets doing that twist.

Captain Marvelous:
Joker

We live in a society, the movie. It has nothing to say and seems content to just remind the viewer of the perceived ills of society. The media, mental health, wealth inequality. Joker brings these up but never explores them. They're window dressing at best. It does look good though. Gotham's trash riddled streets are great and Joaquin Phoenix gives an amazing performance.

Rating: Way better than MoS or BvS, but still disappointing.

I'll agree to half of your opinion. Most things are better than BvS, but MoS is better than Joker. I like Joker, but I agree to an extent that most of its themes are window dressing. Joker is obviously more of a character study, but if you're going state the obvious with your themes, then do something with them or don't. I am in no rush to get the DVD when it comes out. but at least the film was a fun experiment, and I like to see more comic book movies do more weird experiments than copy the MCU verbatim. Luckily, we are getting that now.

CoCage:

Johnny Novgorod:

CoCage:
Each Halloween movie should have been it's own story originally intended after II & III as Carpenter planned. But noooo, audiences in 80s bitched about: "Where's Michael", "Why isn't he in the movie?". Loomis blew the motherfucker up along with himself. Of course he ain't going to show up in III. I hope the people got what they want, because we got nothing, but shitty or average sequels afterward. Be careful for what you wish for indeed.

The most annoying thing is that they'd rather keep rebooting the series over and over than move on. H20 being the first. Even if it stars Curtis as Laurie Strode, it retcons every other movie after Halloween II. Then Halloween: Resurrection retcons the ending of H20. Then Rob Zombie rebooted the franchise. Then we got Halloween 2018, which again, like H20 chooses to ignore most of the series and works as a sequel to the very first movie. For all its acclaim about how it went back to basics the movie wasn't all that novel, it's essentially a remake of H20: Laurie's alive, suffers from PTSD and that estranges her from her one child up until they have to fight off Michael together at the end. At least they're not siblings anymore, that was a stupid call.

The sibling thing you can blame on Carpenter as it was just him, a six pack, cigarettes, and a type writer after midnight. He still regrets doing that twist.

That's about the only thing that I liked about the latest one: they're not related anymore.

Barbarella
It's a cheesy 1960s sex comedy - in space! Stars Jane Fonda as Barbarella, a bimbo who pilots a fur-covered spaceship and strips in zero-G for 10 minutes (like Sandra Bullock in that one scene in Gravity, only Fonda actually strips completely naked). Anyway, she wears a variety of skimpy tops and mini-skirts throughout the movie because she can't wear one for more than 10 minutes before it's torn apart. She also spends the whole movie getting captured and rescued, at which point she rewards her savior by fucking him. She makes an exception when a lady rescues her, at which point I called shenanigans. Anyway, Barbarella accomplishes nothing and simply bounces back and forth between getting captured and rescued while the "plot" trudges forward. Her one accomplishment is that she "defeats" a machine that's supposed to masturbate her to death. She either has too many orgasms or the machine can't keep up with her, I don't know what's the lore but I'm sure I'll find out when Disney remakes it.
image

Halloween: Resurrection
I don't know what it was with slasher movies circa 2000s that they suddenly started casting trendy rappers in support parts. H20 had LL Cool J and Resurrection has Busta Rhymes. Ice Cube may have also snuck in a couple here and there. And I can't think of anything more antithetical to the premise of a scary movie than a loud, trash-talking gangsta rappa. Wasn't that the whole joke od the first few Scary Movies? Anyway, the first few minutes are supposed to be the good ones (because they feature Laurie) and the movie already sucks. First off there's the infamous contrived retcon that makes it so Laurie killed some dude in the previous Halloween instead of Michael. She then gets killed by a VERY out of character Michael, shown to be some kind of master manipulator who can mimick people and cook his own crime scene. And after that we get to the problem that, according to Halloween 2, Michael's sole motivation to kill is to off every last member of the Strode family (goes after Laurie's daughter in 4, 5 and 6, and then her cousin/foster parents in 6 as well). Now that he's finally killed Laurie does he go after her son, introduced in 7? Nah. The movie ignores him and has Michael just sort of decide to haunt his old house, where coincidentally some kind of reality TV event is being hosted. This was the last movie before they decided to reboot the whole thing, up until they decided to de-reboot it with Halloween 2018. Good riddance.

Zombieland: Double Tap
It is what it is: the sequel to a 10 year old movie nobody asked for, too late for anyone to care but not late enough that they couldn't do something - anything - different. It feels like a quickie cash-in that was made ASAP. Everyone's having fun, which always makes the movie fun, but not necessarily funny. Thing is there's nowhere for the movie to go. The driving thrust of the story is that Abigail Breslin has ditched the group because she was... bored? In the middle of the zombie apocalypse. Woody, Jesse and Emma are out to get her but there's no tension, we keep cutting back to her to show she's alive and fine and still kinda bored to boot. So you know. Movie takes it one scene at a time. Some are amusing, others are tiring, but none of it builds up to anything interesting.

Johnny Novgorod:

Zombieland: Double Tap
It is what it is: the sequel to a 10 year old movie nobody asked for,

I thought a lot of people were asking for it actually. Course its actual quality is another matter.

Hawki:

Johnny Novgorod:

Zombieland: Double Tap
It is what it is: the sequel to a 10 year old movie nobody asked for,

I thought a lot of people were asking for it actually.

10 years ago maybe. Who honestly cares at this point?

Johnny Novgorod:

Hawki:

Johnny Novgorod:

Zombieland: Double Tap
It is what it is: the sequel to a 10 year old movie nobody asked for,

I thought a lot of people were asking for it actually.

10 years ago maybe. Who honestly cares at this point?

Not too long ago there was the attempted TV series. There was a lot of hub-bub about that. So, I think people care. Or at least cared.

Hawki:

Johnny Novgorod:

Hawki:

I thought a lot of people were asking for it actually.

10 years ago maybe. Who honestly cares at this point?

Not too long ago there was the attempted TV series. There was a lot of hub-bub about that. So, I think people care. Or at least cared.

I was thinking the other day it's weird there isn't a zombie comedy on TV just yet. I think.

I guess the movie's biggest flaw is the complete lack of tension between what the characters are trying to achieve and the challenges they face. Some people might dismiss it as a quirky meta comedy that doesn't have to play by daddy's rules but those rules apply to any kind of narrative, no matter how irreverent or lowbrow. You gotta give us something to care about.

Johnny Novgorod:

I was thinking the other day it's weird there isn't a zombie comedy on TV just yet. I think.

Z-Nation could arguably count. I haven't seen it, but my understanding is that it's tongue in-cheek, or at least, predicated on the idea that "the zombie apocalypse can be fun" or something similar. IIRC, it presented itself as an alternative to Walking Dead, though fell off the radar fairly quickly.

I guess the movie's biggest flaw is the complete lack of tension between what the characters are trying to achieve and the challenges they face. Some people might dismiss it as a quirky meta comedy that doesn't have to play by daddy's rules but those rules apply to any kind of narrative, no matter how irreverent or lowbrow. You gotta give us something to care about.

That's a fair criticism. I mean, the main criticisms I have with the film are detailed in my review above, but you are right that there isn't much tension. However, as a comedy, I will say I'm not overly looking for tension in the film. The film estabishes things from the opening shot with the characters effortlessly killing zombies that this isn't going to be a film where the undead are that big of a threat.

The exception being where the 'doppleganger characters' turn into zombies though. Credit where credit is due, the scene was pretty good, because not only do they present the "T-800" zombies as lethal threats, but it's done in a single shot. Very solid directing there, if not writing.

Hawki:

Johnny Novgorod:

I was thinking the other day it's weird there isn't a zombie comedy on TV just yet. I think.

Z-Nation could arguably count. I haven't seen it, but my understanding is that it's tongue in-cheek, or at least, predicated on the idea that "the zombie apocalypse can be fun" or something similar. IIRC, it presented itself as an alternative to Walking Dead, though fell off the radar fairly quickly.

I guess the movie's biggest flaw is the complete lack of tension between what the characters are trying to achieve and the challenges they face. Some people might dismiss it as a quirky meta comedy that doesn't have to play by daddy's rules but those rules apply to any kind of narrative, no matter how irreverent or lowbrow. You gotta give us something to care about.

That's a fair criticism. I mean, the main criticisms I have with the film are detailed in my review above, but you are right that there isn't much tension. However, as a comedy, I will say I'm not overly looking for tension in the film. The film estabishes things from the opening shot with the characters effortlessly killing zombies that this isn't going to be a film where the undead are that big of a threat.

The exception being where the 'doppleganger characters' turn into zombies though. Credit where credit is due, the scene was pretty good, because not only do they present the "T-800" zombies as lethal threats, but it's done in a single shot. Very solid directing there, if not writing.

I mean tension in the dramatic sense. Even a dumb comedy needs it, and the good ones work because of it. That's the long-lost secret to a good Adam Sandler movie like Billy Madison or Happy Gilmore: give him a noble objective, paint him as an underdog, pair him against a bigger douchebag. Deadpool, for all its lol randomness, always works in terms of having his revenge, saving the world, rescuing the girlfriend. The original Zombieland was about bonding in order to survive. "Tension" is basically what the story is about. Without it, Zombieland 2 isn't really about anything.

As for the T-800s, does Woody even try shooting them in the head? We're supposed to be awed because this one super zombie is a bullet sponge. It'd be impressive if it could soak up headshots but I'm not sure they even try that. Which doesn't make sense because they kill every other zombie by shooting it in the head. So I was mostly just confused and nonplussed by that scene.

Johnny Novgorod:

Hawki:

Johnny Novgorod:

10 years ago maybe. Who honestly cares at this point?

Not too long ago there was the attempted TV series. There was a lot of hub-bub about that. So, I think people care. Or at least cared.

I was thinking the other day it's weird there isn't a zombie comedy on TV just yet. I think.

I guess the movie's biggest flaw is the complete lack of tension between what the characters are trying to achieve and the challenges they face. Some people might dismiss it as a quirky meta comedy that doesn't have to play by daddy's rules but those rules apply to any kind of narrative, no matter how irreverent or lowbrow. You gotta give us something to care about.

Does iZombie count as a comedy?

A Rainy Dad in New York
Woody Allen's "new" movie, actually completed 2 years ago and shelved because of some controversy. I don't really hype myself for Woody's movies anymore, I go expecting the same mild-mannered yet bittersweet screwball shtick he's been making since Annie Hall. But I really liked this one, even if it doesn't rank that highly in his career (Match Point remains his last masterpiece), which to be fair totals dozens and dozens of films by now. I don't think he does anything *new* here, but I love watching a pro doing what he does best. And I don't know what it is about his direction that actors I ordinarily don't care for light up so mesmerizingly.

trunkage:
Does iZombie count as a comedy?

No idea, haven't seen it.

The Laundromat
Steven Soderbergh's mad-as-hell take on the 'Panama Papers', made in the key of The Big Short & Vice. We get colorful chapter breaks, helpful animations, bizarre segways and characters constantly talking to the camera, using simple metaphors to drag you through the intricacies of shell companies, money laundry and tax evasion. I like how Soderbergh shoots his movies - stark, kinetic, playful - and the coral cast is top notch as usual. The story's messy and all over the place, which to be fair is kinda the point, though I would've preferred a more focused approach. And I'm not a big fan of the epilogue where Meryl Streep lectures the audience. Felt a little too much like a TV spot and that cheapened the ending.

Haywire
This was great! It's a B-movie to the core, knows it, has no problems with it. Gina Carano makes for the best action heroine I can think in recent times. The fight scenes are flashy and intense yet grounded, like early day Bourne before Greengrass' shakycam killed the franchise. Wish she was leading more stuff. She would've made one hell of a Wonder Woman.

Ready or Not (5/10)

So, this film came out of nowhere, at least for me. I first became aware of it when I saw a trailer for it before Zombieland: Double Tap. Week after that, ti airs at the cinema where I work on Saturdays. True to form, films I see are mostly dictated by where and when they're airing rather than going to a cinema specifically to see a film. So, I ended up seeing it. And...I didn't like it much.

Now, to be fair, there isn't really anything wrong with the film itself. With Zombieland, there were a number of "objective" issues I had with the film. Here, while there's less stuff that's outright wrong, I liked it much less. It reminds me of Pet Semetery in a sense, a film that, as I stated, doesn't do much wrong, but made me really uncomfortable. Yet I can't complain about that, when being horror, that's kind of the point. Still RoN is the weaker of those two films, and the reason is that this is horror comedy. Only those two things never really gel all that well together.

I mean, the premise isn't too bad. Woman marries into family whose ancestor may or may not have made a deal with the Devil, and has to play a game. She draws the card of "Hide and Seek," which means that they need to hunt her down and sacrifice her before dawn, or they'll all apparently die. This all done in a grand mansion with grand grounds. So, okay then. You've got yourself a decent setup there. So, what's wrong? Well, what's wrong for me is that this film is trying to do both horror and comedy, and it doesn't always sync them well together. Because there's times when the comedy gets so 'comedic' that it undercuts any sense of tension with the film. On the other hand, there's moments in horror that do make me feel uncomfortable, in regards to physical pain/laceration/whatever. By themselves, they're well done, least as far as conveying the physical cost of being on the run from murderers. On the other, again, it feels at odds with the more comedic moments. This film is trying to do two things, but they end up clashing with each other.

Also, there's some weird moments. There's a lot of setup, but no payoff at various moments. For instance, the protagonist gets a gun, but after ages, it's revealed to be a replica with fake ammo. The house's security cameras are turned on to find her, but this never really affects the plot. The protagonist is strapped down to a sacrificial table, escapes, is recaptured, is strapped down, and escapes again, in the space of about ten minutes. And the ending is presented comedically, when up to that point, the (supposed) stakes are played straight by the family.

At the end of the day, this film isn't bad. But there's a clash of tones here that ends up undercutting the final product.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Best Gift Ever (7/10)

So, it's debatable as to whether this counts as a movie, as it's only 45 minutes and a TV special. But, screw it. I'm counting it. And after everything, I needed something upbeat.

That said, not much to say about it. If you like FiM, you'll like this. If you don't, it won't sell you. If you're new, it's arguably a good microcosm for the show, in that it takes a concept that would so easily give itself over to something sacharine and instead succeeds by being 90% comedy. Oh sure, we have the friendship song/'lesson' at the end, but the road to get there is well done.

And...yeah. That's all I've got to say.

Midsommar
Another ghastly (in a good way) horror movie from Ari Aster (Hereditary), all ominous symmetry and hallucinatory imagery. It's a good-looking, "beautifully" directed movie that I think doesn't quite reach Hereditary tier due to two flaws: 1) the movie doesn't give the characters something to do or anything to live for; the first few scenes make it clear the protagonist has nothing left to lose too, which breaks a bit of the tension and undermines her one decision in the movie, and 2) our understanding of the plot and what's going on doesn't change much over the course of the movie. To contrast it to Hereditary, we care for the family (especially Toni) because they're trying to make it through as a family, and the plot has taken a good number of twists and turns by the end so that you couldn't have possibly predicted it. Even if the implications behind the pagan cult in Midsommar remain a bit hazy, our first impression that there's something off about an idyllic little commune with no cellphone signal are 100% correct.

Munchausen
I looked this up after seeing Midsommar at the theater. This is Aster's second short, which you can see here. I guess a bit like Hereditary, it's another family drama about an overbearing mother. It's completely silent and shot/scored like a whimsical Pixar movie about a mom (Bonnie Bedelia, great) pained by the prospect of an empty nest (also the same plot as Pixar's Bao, come think of it). I guess this is Toy Story 3 meets Bao meets The Sixth Sense, if you didn't figure it out by the title already.

Joker

Ooh, boy. This is the kind of movie I feel like I can say I liked, but to say I enjoyed it would feel wrong. Not because it's a bad movie, mind you. If anything, it's the opposite scenario for me. The movie did such a good job of putting me in Arthur Fleck's mind that I started to, if not sympathize, empathize with him. That realization that I was empathizing with someone who had a lot of problems, but went about solving them in such a terrible way was honestly scarier than a lot of actual horror movies. Joaquin Phoenix, in my mind, deserves at least a nomination for his performance, as I feel that he carried the movie almost entirely on his own, and made it look easy.

If I had to fault it for anything, it would probably be that it went maybe too far in trying to set up a dark tone. It mostly worked, establishing how the situation of day-to-day living in some ways turned Arthur Fleck into Joker, but if they had held back just a bit, or more clearly established that Arthur Fleck became Joker not just because of society, but that society merely gave him "a little push", if you will, it would have had a lot more impact on me.

9/10, easily.

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