Last weekend I went and saw Us. I have questions. I also have observations. There will be spoilers. I also want to note that I saw Us at the drive in. Sometimes darker (as in colors, not genre) movies I run into some difficulties seeing, so some of my questions may be because I couldn't see properly, feel free to enlighten me on anything.
- Observation: Winston Duke's character was a punk. He was absolutely useless, and his drive to keep up with the Jones' drove me nuts
- Question: Did you notice you never got a good look at Adelaide's parent's faces? What was the symbolism in that?
- Question: When they won the T-shirt for young Adelaide, the mother noted that the Thriller movie scared the mess out of her. You scared of Thriller, but you walking into an abandoned fun house? Oh you dumb dumb?
- Question: When they were pulling up to the beach that Adelaide didn't want to go to, they saw the Jeremiah 11:11 guy dead. On that beach, you saw his tether dripping blood, just standing there. Did they kill each other?
- Question: Also on that beach, did anyone else get the feeling that the twin girls were racist assholes? They knocked over the little boy's sandcastle, and demanded to know why Zora wasn't swimming. Maybe racist isn't the right word. Maybe just insensitive pricks.
- Observation: Something struck me as off with the little boy. I am not sure what though.
- Observation: When the tethered met Adelaide's family you notice the father's face was dark as well? You could barely see it. He was worthless too. Skulking around like Frankenstein's monter.
- Question: Pluto (The little boy's tether), what happened to his face? Why was he all burnt up? I know he liked fire, but we never got a reasoning for it.
- Question: You saw at the end the little boy controlling his tether. Why didn't anyone do this from the beginning? WHY DID WE NOT START A FIRE AND BURN OUR TETHERS!?
- Question: Maybe it was too dark for me, but what was the significance of the dance recital? I know Adelaide stopped dancing after that, but the tether mentioned how she knew Adelaide felt it during the dance. Felt what? What did she do?
- Observation: Winston Duke's character and his boat are the worst. THE. WORST.
If you guys could help me with these questions, I would be much obliged. Also, I would love to hear your theories!
Matthew Currie-Holmes, writer/director of Buckout Road, did an AMA for Earpers in the DomSquad Facebook group on May 31, 2018. He thoughtfully answered an avalanche of questions about Buckout Road, Dominique, and indie filmmaking. Earpers ask great questions, so there is a lot of wonderful behind the scenes info as well as advice for creative types who want to be in the movie biz. Also, he told us how Dom's audition for Buckout Road went!
For smidge of background, DomSquad is a group of Dominique Provost-Chalkley fans who promote Dom’s projects. Anyone can join, just look us up on Facebook. We do meetups, screenings, and twitter campaigns to promote Dom’s projects. That’s how we met Matthew! Here we are with Matthew at the Hollywood Screening. Dom even ‘grammed us!
When we met Matthew, he really clicked with DomSquad, agreed to join our Facebook group, and the rest is AMA history. I edited the following transcript for clarity/grammar, and I omitted names of our members because it is a closed group so privacy is part of the deal. So here is how it went! Matthew posted the following photo (hell yeah) and we dove right in!
Let’s do this #DomSquad excited to chat!!
Q. There tends to be a fair amount of sexism and misogyny in horror movies but Buckout road seems to avoid that. Was that a conscious, purposeful decision? (ok, this was my question, sue me I'm always thinking with my feminist brain ha!)
A. You’re absolutely right there is a ton of misogyny in genre films and I think it’s important that we not only address it but change it. I’m the father of a daughter and if I tell her that she can be anything she wants to be and then show her that women are basically sacrificial lambs just to follow the trope, what kind of example of my setting?
Q. I’m not being specific because I don’t want to spoil people. But there was a lot to like about the movie as a woman.
A. Thank you so much for saying that. And for noticing. It’s hard for me to answer this question without spoiling but in my fairytale movie the princess saves the prince.
Q. Are there any other folktales you would love to bring to screen?
A. Great question I have a few scripts that I’ve written that are loosely based on folktales but I think the one that I would love to see done right is bloody Mary 666.
Q. You recently tweeted that you would like to do some more acting. What role would you most like to play and one you wouldn’t
A. I think I’m just nostalgic for acting, I loved being on stage and performing and I loved engaging with other actors. I love what actors do. I think as I get older the roles that I would like to play would be kind of fucked up characters with fucked up pasts. There’s no real specific role that I’d like of course I would love to do true west and there’s some John Patrick Shanley pieces that always make me happy. I’m not sure that there’s a role that I wouldn’t take, the only problem I have with acting is the pursuit of the job Ha ha ha.
Q. How many actors did you actually audition for the roles - a large number or were you able to narrow your options pretty quickly?
A. I had three sets of auditions one was the initial call for every role except the priest the cop and Aaron and Dr. Powell. Every other role in the movie was up for grabs. I saw probably 15 people per role and when I did my callbacks we narrowed it down to three people per role.
Q. Did you write Buckout Road with Evan Ross and Danny Glover in mind?
A. Evan and Danny were attached before I was. I had to audition for directing!
A. Right now we are in the process of getting distribution there will be announcement soon I promise. Don’t forget to follow @BuckoutRoad on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on the latest!
The next Buckout Road Screening is at the Niagara Falls Comic Con on Friday June 1st at 6pm. Get tickets here: https://tix.extremetix.com/webtix/3798
Q. Will any film stills be released?
A. If you want to see some cool film stills check out the IMDb page at https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4847454/
(Note: That is where DomSquad member Laura Harley pulled the movie still for this cool fan art)
Q. What made you choose this urban legend to make a movie about? And what made you decide that Dom would be one of its stars?
A. There are actually over 13 urban legend surrounding buckout Road. Obviously we couldn’t film all of them so I did an amalgam of three or four legends and mashed them into one. Dominique had been recommended to me by a friend who had directed her in an episode of Murdoch mysteries. I asked her agent if she would audition and she came in and absolutely crushed it. Both myself and the casting director and my producer knew the second she walked in the room that she had the part. She was really something special! (RRL note: we agree!)
Q. What would you say was the most difficult part of creating this movie overall?
A. For me the most difficult part of making this movie was whenever we shot at night we couldn’t do a pick up because the sun was our ultimate clock. Once the sun came up the day was over and there is nothing we can do about it. We were on such a tight schedule that every location we shot had to be wrapped out at the end of that day. So you can imagine during the night shoots if we didn’t get what we were supposed to we were kind of fucked.There were often times during night shoots that I either had to scrap what I had intended to shoot or reconfigure my shooting schedule
Q. Did you use any specialist lighting? Some places where remote how did you get your equipment to location?
A. We had BIG trucks carry our lights to remote locations.
Q. When you write for a film do you have the season or time off in your mind too?
A. Sometimes it’s set specific, and the time of year is a character of the film. Film shot in winter use the weather as a plot device. I prefer to write most of my things in the summer because I hate the cold. That said if someone offered me an obscene amount of money to shoot something that I had written for summer and the only time we could shoot it is in the winter, well then I would pull up my snow pants and get to work.
Q. How do you start your your plots for a movie? How do you turn the story into a script?
A. That’s a great question. I have a very strict process of how I like to work. The first thing I do is write five pages of gobbledygook. Just crazy bullshit that doesn’t make any sense. Then I turn that into a beat sheet. Mapping out all of the major plot points and beads in the film, not the minor ones just the big ones. Then I create back stories for every character even though nine times out of 10 you never see it (that’s from years of acting). Then I create a log line and a two page synopsis. Once I have all these things I write a 10 to 20 page treatment. Once I finished my treatment I start writing my script and filling in the blanks with dialogue, action, etc. Finally once I’m finished a draft of a screenplay where I think there is no way in the world I can possibly write anymore about this particular subject, I send it out to get notes and then the rewriting begins.
Q. Do you have specific people you trust to proof your scripts and give you notes?
A. I do. I have screenwriters who are friends of mine who have graciously donated their time many many times to read my shit. I in exchange read their fantastic screenplays.Once I get notes back from my fellow screenwriters I send it out to get coverage from a screen writing company. If you’re looking for someone to read your work there are really great companies out there that can help you and that aren’t very expensive. The first hat comes to mind is called Dan Rosen reads. He’s a fantastic screenwriter and a great filmmaker and he just started a company reading scripts for people. His notes are amazing. There are other companies that are use as well because, I tend to have a lot of typos in my scripts so I need to professionals to clean them up for me.
Q. How do you select your crew? Is this a different process to auditions?
A. As far as crew is concerned, The majority of the hiring is done by the production manager. I select my cinematographer, my editor, and my production designer. Because I was somewhat unfamiliar with some of the great crew that was available to me in Ontario, where we filmed, I had to rely on our production manager to fill in the blanks. She did a great job and we had a fantastic crew. We wouldn’t be having this discussion if I didn’t have an amazing crew. They made me look great and I am deeply indebted to every single person on that film said who gave 110%. It was a very tough shoot and not one person complained. I would work with the vast majority of the crew I had again in a heartbeat.
Q. What advice would you give to aspiring indie film directors just starting out?
A. This is the New World order and the rules that used to apply don’t anymore so if you want to make a movie just start filming. Grab your phone, grab a Canon rebel, and start shooting. I really do believe that the best school is practice. I have a saying: never be the smartest guy in the room. If you’re a director surround yourself with an amazing cinematographer and amazing sound person, And make a movie. Then hire an amazing editor and have her cut it for you. Just as long as every person that you hire or asked to do the job is better than you at it
Q. Besides being able to scare people based on their belief in folktales, is there anything specific about bringing folktales to life, or the horror genre in general that speaks to you?
A. I absolutely adore horror. I find that it is just drama with higher stakes. Being scared and coming through a fear tunnel is what reminds us that were really alive. I think that people have been scared of the unknown for as long as there have been people and posing questions on film that don’t necessarily give answers but reinforce those fears is what makes life worth living in my humble opinion. We are creatures who love to tell stories and we love to solve mysteries and to feel like we’ve experienced something. I find horror is a ultimate surviving of a folktale. And it’s what you can’t see that’s more scary than what you do. That’s why the shark doesn’t appear until the third act JAWS.
Q. How do you raise funds for a film project? And how do you keep to a budget? (I understand this may not be answered)
A. Hahaha, this is an AMA so by the laws of the universe I have to answer, but I do have to be judicious as well. I make most of my movies in Canada and I have amazing producers who are able to access some of the benefits Canada has to offer like tax credits and film funds. The rest of the budget is raised by the caliber of cast, and the amount of territories that the film sells in. For example if we sell to a UK distributor for $100,000 we can take that promise to the bank and get a loan for the amount and all of that is how the budget is compiled.As far as how I keep to a strict budget, once again I just have amazing people who keep me on track and tell me under no uncertain terms what I can and cannot do Based on the money we have. It’s my job to be as creative as possible within the limitations.
Q. Is Canada your location of choice because of funding/tax credit considerations or more because of your connections there?
A. I am a Canadian citizen so I can access some of the tax credits by my birthright. Plus, I love shooting in Canada. Canada has the best people, best crews, and great actors. And that’s where my family is.
Q. What qualities or roles can Dom play that the world hasn’t seen yet?
A. Dom has an incredible control of her emotional faculties and I think she has a really wonderful mischievous character inside her as well. But more importantly she is so unbelievably dedicated to her craft that I’m sure she can do just about anything. I would love to see her get super angry and I think that she would make a kick ass bad guy! I think she has incredible range and if given the opportunity she could add and an enormous amount of complexity to someone perceived as evil.
Q. Directing really requires a broad knowledge of all aspects of filmmaking. What aspects of directing do you love the most and which challenge you the most?
A. I love working with actors and I really love the editing process. The most challenging part is getting the shot, lining up the shot. There’s always an element where everyone on set is holding their breath to make sure we get it. But that’s where a fantastic crew comes in
Q. Do you find it easier or more difficult to direct a screenplay that you wrote.
A. I prefer directing things that I’ve written because I already had a picture in my mind when I wrote it. That’s not to say that the picture that I had in my mind is the only version that I shoot. Part of being a director is the ability to take the best decision and put it on the screen. A lot of great ideas that made it in the final cut of the film weren’t mine to begin with but we’re better than what I had so we shot it. You have to put your ego aside and do what’s best for the film even if that means someone else had a better idea than you did. The cool thing is it says directed by Matthew Currie Holmes so I get the credit, haha.
Q. Have you ever had an experience in which an actor was really difficult to work with or had a really contrary interpretation of the character than you imagined? If so, how did you work it out?
A. What makes a good artist is their dedication to their craft. A great actor will interpret the material they’re given in a number of ways. To me the only reason someone would be perceived as “difficult “ is because they don’t feel they are being heard. Ultimately I have the final say on set as far as what I want my performers to do. My job is to be open their interpretation because even though I have an idea in my head they might do something that I didn’t see coming and I need to be receptive to that. I’ve been lucky in that all the actors that I’ve worked with have been professional and courteous so I can honestly say it was very little drama on the set. That being said, there are always contrary opinions but nothing can’t be worked out.
Conclusion: Hey everybody thank you so much for asking me all your amazing questions I hope I was able to give a little bit of insight into the process and I didn’t look like too much of a fool.I’m really humbled by This engagement. Hope you all have fantastic day or night wherever you are in the world. I will leave you with this. I spoke to Dom just before got on here and asked if she had any messages for you she wanted to let you all know that you’re all amazing and that season three of Wynonna Earp is going to be EPIC!!! Happy #TransDayOfVisibilty MCH out!
For more DomSquad fun:
Terran (our one and only nb Earper prince) did a vlog on the Buckout Road Screening Earper meetup with Matthew, if you want some behind the scenes fun check it out! https://youtu.be/ADRImLFxNEE
You will have more fun in Star Wars: The Last Jedi than you knew was humanly possible. There are scenes so striking, innovative, and flat out magical that you will nearly fall out of your seat. You will gape. You will cheer. You just might cry.
Megafans will debate for years about character arcs, continuity, and whether porgs are adorable or nah. But what cannot be denied is that The Last Jedi is visually stunning, massively entertaining, and almost never takes the predictable route.
This crop of Star Wars movies has the unenviable task of pulling off the near impossible: honor the past while creating the future. Change is hard. Launching the next generation of heroes and making space for them is crucial, but honoring the deep love that fans have for the original heroes is equally as important. The Last Jedi did both.
Our beloved heroes, Luke and Leia, are still leading the rebellion and bringing hope to the galaxy. They still know how to pull victory from the jaws of defeat. Our iconic villain, Darth Vader, still casts a looming shadow even in his absence. Yet it is clear that the power of the force is not owned by anyone or anything. The Jedi religion is not shackled to any physical place. Good and evil are choices, not destiny, and we all get to make choices, no matter our family tree.
The Last Jedi also succeeds making the Star Wars universe more nuanced and complex, even while delivering crowd-pleasing scene after crowd-pleasing scene. In The Last Jedi, heroes can make mistakes. Legends can have crises of faith. Things that are shiny can be grotesque upon closer inspection. And the girl who fixes the pipes can have a hero inside of her you just haven’t met yet.
The plotlines are equally innovative. There are numerous times I thought I knew what was coming, and The Last Jedi surprised me.
A forty year old franchise that can still surprise you is pulling off something special.
At its heart, Star Wars is an epic, timeless story. Truly valuable stories are living, breathing things that we pass down to our children and grandchildren. When we hoard them and encase them in carbonite, they become more suited for museum display. The surprises and innovations of The Last Jedi ensured that Star Wars is a story that will inspire generations to come.
Still dubious? Stand in my sensible-yet-attractive middle-aged pumps for a second. Let’s go on a journey to 1999. Picture being an overjoyed young adult camping out for a Star Wars prequel--the first in fifteen years. Imagine squeezing into a movie theater with breathless anticipation. The projector turns on and The Phantom Menace appears on the screen. Imagine a void where the soul and charm of Star Wars was supposed to be. Picture acting so wooden you want to feel something but you just don’t. Then you see Jar-Jar Binks. Yikes. What you are picturing is the experience of being fed an aggressively mediocre sci-fi movie dressed in a Star Wars suit. If you didn’t experience that, count your blessings.
I was born the year before Star Wars premiered. I have lived long enough to see great Star Wars movies being made again. These movies have introduced wildly endearing new heroes like Rey, Finn, Poe, and Rose. They are movies packed with talented people acting their asses off, and with chemistry that sparks off of the screen.
You don’t even have to imagine that last part. Just go see The Last Jedi, and experience it for yourself.
Yesterday, Hollywood lost one of its greatest masters of horror, Wes Craven. Born in 1983 and a horror movie enthusiast myself, it would have been impossible for me to not have been exposed to Wes Craven’s work or influence on the genre. His ability to terrify with the smallest of details to the craziest of creations is what made his work stand the test of time. His work from the seventies and eighties was so popular, that many have been remade in the last ten, fifteen years. Yet, none could really capture the original finesse of the stories the originals told.
Over the years, his accomplishments have equaled many, including:
The Last House on the Left (1972)
The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Deadly Friend (1986)
The People Under the Stairs (1991)
Red Eye (2005)
My Soul to Take (2010)
The most culturally impacting of all of his creations being the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise and his creation of the murderous, nightmare king, Freddy Krueger. A figure that is still revered in terror to this day. Nightmare on Elm Street is the most successful of all of Wes Craven’s creations. Nightmare on Elm Street is my personal favorite, and one I feel still holds up today. It balances the right amount of realism and fantasy to create an unforgettable ride of fear that the human mind is capable of as well as just how powerful vengeance can be, even from beyond the grave.
This was not the typical teen slasher flick of its day. The Krueger/Nightmare allowed for a unique story that left watchers confused and on edge as to what would happen next. It especially didn’t encourage anyone to go to sleep after the fact. Freddy changed all of the nightmare rules and became a cultural icon of fear.
Craven’s next biggest accomplishment was his single handed resurrection of the horror genre during the late 90’s with the film, Scream. The film was a wonderful homage to the slasher flicks from before with a freshness that appealed to new generations using mystery, suspense, and even comedy. It spurned a franchise of a new boogie man for a new generation, a boogie man that is almost as notable as its predecessor, Freddy.
Wes Craven’s imagination and terrifying storytelling will be greatly missed. My heart is heavy with sadness, but his films will live on in his absence, ready to influence and inspire many generations of horror film hopefuls to come. You will be missed, Mr. Craven.
I recently traveled to Los Angeles to visit some friends. They had a full weekend planned for me. There were some touristy things like a road trip to Santa Barbara, which was gorgeous. Also, was honored to have the best Mexican food I have ever had in Santa Barabara. Simply fantastic.
However, the most amusing event planned for my weekend was attending a stage version of the film Point Blank. If you take the movie seriously, which is difficult for myself to fathom, then this presentation will probably not be something you want to spend an evening doing. If you love the movie and think it gets more ridiculous every time you watch it, this is definitely something you need to do without question. This is the stuff of bucket lists, people.
Point Break Live is a wonderful, immersive experience of insanity. You know what kind of game you are in for, when you are advised to purchase a poncho. Warning, this isn’t the kind of evening you plan to look cute for. Wear something that you won’t exactly mind getting blood stains on. It’s okay. It’s only fake blood.
We start the show with a very important task, choosing a Keanu Reeves for the night. That’s right, one lucky man will be plucked from the audience and after a series of grueling challenges will emerge from the masses holding the crown of one Johnny Utah. I imagine the same casting accreditation happened to Mr. Reeves when he originally auditioned for the role.
Once we had our ponchos and a Keanu, we were good to start the show, and what a show and farce it was. I wasn’t kidding when I said the show was immersive. Everybody in the audience becomes a part of the game, hence the recommendation of ponchos. You will definitely get hit by water, maybe some blood, and maybe some stuff you would really feel better not defining. Tips for future audience members. If don’t like being center of attention or the ass of the joke, then avoid the front row or VIP sections. However, if you want to set your friends up and have a story that will last a lifetime, that is exactly where you want to sit. The actors will hit these areas the hardest.
My friends and I did our homework for the show. I probably haven’t seen this movie in like ten years, so a refresher was definitely needed. Having watched it again, though, brought up some concerning questions. No, I am not talking about the plot in general. I am talking about how this little group of actors was going perform certain scenes. For example, the sky diving scene. I was pretty doubtful of their ability to pull that off on a stage. Oh they do it, ladies and gents, they very much pull it off. Hilarious at that, as well. There is also a moment where the streets of good old Hollywood get utilized… It is truly hysterical, but probably terrifying for that random driver or pedestrian that gets surprised by the event.
I don’t really want to reveal too much. The plot is pretty much blown for you, so there has to be some kind of mystery that pulls you in. This is the kind of show you go to for a good laugh and most definitely a good time. I fully recommend Point Break Live to anyone that happens to be in the LA area and finds themselves with the opportunity. The company also stated that they do a parody of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, called, Terminator Too Judgment Play. I really want to see this one now as well! If any of you, my lovely readers, happen upon Terminator or hell get to see this little show, let me know how it went!
This list is not in any particular order, nor does it necessarily showcase my favorite comedies. These are the films that I quote frequently, if not on a damn near daily basis. I have watched these films more times than I probably should have, but it's still a hell of a lot of fun.
This film is probably not as well-known as the other films on this list, but it is the one that I actually do quote daily. I was heavily in my swooning days of Devon Sawa, when I saw this with my friends. While my adoration of that man has faded, my love for this movie has certainly not. Some of my friends and I can sing the song at the end instantly. Hell, we say “I luuuu you,” more than we say “I love you,” because of this movie.
Ethan: I want to make sure that you and I are best friends - "gnome" matter what.
Angela: Ethan, that's a troll.
Ethan: "Gnome", it's not.
Angela: Ethan, what is this, is this a hair doll?
Ethan: I didn't make that! It fell out of your hair that way!
Ethan: Are you okay? Do you need a Fresca?
Whether or not you are a Star Wars fan, most of us agree at least that Spaceballs was a thing of comedic beauty. I always tell people to use the schwartz. As a child of the 80’s this not only made perfect fun of Star Wars, but it brought together all of the bests 80’s jokes of the time. Max Headroom was in the movie. Epic.
PrincessVespa: I am Princess Vespa, daughter of Roland, King of the Druids.
LoneStarr: Oh great. That's all we needed. A Druish princess.
Barf: Funny, she doesn't look Druish.
DarkHelmet: You have the ring, and I see your Schwartz is as big as mine. Now let's see how well you handle it.
Colonel Sandurz: Are we being too literal?
DarkHelmet: No you fool, we're following orders. We were told to comb the desert so we're combing it.
Austin Powers in Goldmember
I love all of the Austin Powers movies, but this was the best and far more quotable of the three. The lines in this film, they are fantastic! One of my best friends and I spent three hours watching this movie, because we kept rewinding shit just to fall out all over again.
Goldmember: Dr. Evil, can I paint his yoo-hoo gold? It's kind of my thing, you know.
Dr. Evil: [comes over to Goldmember] How 'bout no, you crazy Dutch bastard?
AustinPowers: Thanks, baby! Now what's your name?
FookMi: Fook Mi!
AustinPowers: Can you kiss your mother with that mouth?
AustinPowers: Mole. Bloody mole. We aren't supposed to talk about the bloody mole, but there's a bloody mole winking me in the face. I want to c-u-u-t it off, ch-o-o-p it off, and make guacamole.
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
If you were born in Indiana, like me, and grew up next to a cornfield in the heart of Nascar country, then you lived and breathed this comedy. It didn’t matter if you liked Nascar, because it played on several redneck stereotypes that you had no choice but to grow up around. That personal connection just made the whole movie funnier.
TexasRanger: Aw, Grandma, not my prison shank!
Cal Naughton, Jr.: I like to picture Jesus in a tuxedo T-Shirt because it says I want to be formal, but I'm here to party.
Lucy Bobby: So how was your day driving with you father?
Ricky Bobby: Well let's see. I got mauled by a cougar, my Crystal Gayle shirt is ruined, and I didn't learn dick about driving. Other than that, it was great.
Thank you comedy gods for blessing us with a sequel to this movie. This movie is sooo dumb, yet sooo good. My co-blogger and I used to quote this movie all time at our old job. We were always trying to be the life of the party. She and I can go all day on this movie. All damn day.
Mugatu: Oh, I'm sorry, did my pin get in the way of your ass? Do me a favor and lose five pounds immediately or get out of my building like now!
Derek Zoolander: [high-pitched cough] ... I think I'm getting the Black Lung, Pop. It's not very well ventilated down there.
Derek Zoolander: Or did you think I was too stupid to know what a eugoogooly was?
I was in college when this movie came out. I will admit after the first time I watched this movie, I had no damn clue what the hell I just witnessed. It puzzled me so much, that I had to watch it a second time. I was sold. This was by far the best movie without any real plot I had ever seen. There was about a month to a month and a half where every Saturday we watched this movie with a bunch of friends. Tater tots and nachos were made, while one of my best friends and I tried to perfect an alcoholic beverage with Gatorade. Yeah, that last part never panned out well, nor did my hopes that if one hydrates you as the other dehydrates you, they should cancel each other out. Nope, straight up Thunderdome for Gatorade and alcohol, and alcohol always wins.
Kid on Bus: What are you gonna do today, Napoleon?
Napoleon Dynamite: Whatever I feel like I wanna do. Gosh!
Napoleon Dynamite: Well, what is there to eat?
Grandma: Knock it off, Napoleon! Just make yourself a dang quesa-dilluh!
Napoleon Dynamite: Grandma just called and said you're supposed to go home.
Uncle Rico: She didn't tell me anything.
Napoleon Dynamite: Too bad, she said she doesn't want you here when she gets back because you've been ruining everybody's lives and eating all our steak.
I will continue to follow all Jared Hess movies, because they are the best and the lines are amazing. This movie is also so dumb, and I love it. I never get enough of it. It is just this perfect beautiful world that I can’t help, but fall in love with.
Nacho: I'm not listening to you! You only believe in Science. That's probably why we never win!
Esqueleto: We never win because you are fat!
Chancho: My mother gave it to me before she died. It was her lucky machete. You can have it.
Nacho: Somebody stole them.
SeñorRamon: Did you not tell them that they were the Lord's chips?
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
This is probably the classiest of classic comedies, and dammit do I ever eat up British humor. I have a lot of friends who are not really into this movie, so making jokes and quoting around them doesn’t get real far. Oh but how it does on the inside. Give it another chance if you haven’t seen it in a while. It may surprise you.
King Arthur: [after Arthur's cut off both of the Black Knight's arms] Look, you stupid bastard, you've got no arms left!
Black Knight: Yes I have.
King Arthur: Look!
Black Knight: It's just a flesh wound.
The Dead Collector: Bring out yer dead.
[a man puts a body on the cart]
Large Man with Dead Body: Here's one.
The Dead Collector: That'll be ninepence.
The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I'm not dead.
French Soldier: I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty-headed animal food trough wiper! I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!
The Sweetest Thing
This is one of the select films that when my best friends and sisters get together, we immediately put this on. It is the epitome of our friendship. We each identify with someone in the film and we can’t get enough of it. If we are missing each other, we’ll watch it and start sending quotes.
Gramps: F@#$ Grandma.
Christina: I got a penis in my eye.
Courtney: Let me see.
Christina: How is it? Is it okay?
Courtney: Yeah, it's okay, but I think you're pregnant.
[to little boy sitting in the pew in front of her in church]
Courtney: Turn around.
[Little boy shakes his head]
Courtney: Turn around.
[Little boy shakes his head]
Courtney: Look, it's Jesus. Look at Jesus!
So I Married An Axe Murderer
Really the only reason to watch this movie is to watch Mike Myers. While the main character that he plays has some good scenes and lines here and there. It is the character of his Scottish father that Myers plays that steals the whole damn movie. I always watch this movie, but after seeing it once, I tend to turn it off when the two main characters head off for their honeymoon. The character of his Scottish Dad is no longer in the movie, and I just can’t see the point.
Stuart Mackenzie: I'm not kidding, that boy's head is like Sputnik; spherical but quite pointy at parts! Now that was offside, wasn't it? He'll be crying himself to sleep tonight, on his huge pillow.
StuartMackenzie: [after exhausting a bagpipe player at Stuart and Harriet's wedding] We have a piper who's down! Repeat, Piper Down!
Stuart Mackenzie: Thirty years ago today, May and I were married. Some of you were there, some of you weren't born, and some of you are now DEED! But, we both said "I do," and we haven't agreed on a single thing since.
May Mackenzie: That's true!
Stuart Mackenzie: But I'm glad I married you, May, because hey, could've been worse.
Call it lucky or unlucky to be single on Valentine’s Day, but one thing is certain. There really isn’t a whole lot of game plans out there for what to do when you are in fact single. Since I am somewhat of a professional when it comes to being single, I thought I would share my day with you. This is how a geek girl gets along on the coupling holiday of Valentine’s Day.
You may not have to get dressed up or fancy for anybody in particular. You may not even be feeling the desire to dress up to give yourself a little perk. I valued comfort over pretty for my day, and one adorable pair of pantaloons so to speak later, I did make sure my ass at least felt sexy and festive.
My next plan for the day was to head out and see the closest thing I have to a significant other. My job.
Yeah, I am aware of the sadness of this, but, alas, it is my reality.
After that horrid affair, the plan was to have one of my besties come over and I would cook dinner. I got lazy and tired by the time I got home and easily convinced myself and my bestie to go for something much better, a local pizza and pasta joint that is horrifically close to my humble abode. While I was waiting to pick up my bestie, I put on the first of my holiday traditions, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I watch the Valentine’s Day episode from season 2 every year, Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered.
Giles: Valentine’s Day. Yes, um, “Angel nails a puppy to the-“
Buffy: Skip it.
Giles: Ye- but…
Buffy: I don’t wanna know. I don’t have a puppy. Skip it.
I love me some Buffy.
I now had food and good company, after running out to pick up both. I had planned on showing you a picture of my amazing and tasty baked spaghetti, but I was so hungry that I ate it before I remembered I needed to take a photo. Hunger struggles. I can say that it was cheesy and spaghetti goodness. While we ate, I put on my next tradition for the holiday of love, horror movie.
I know, how cynical of me. I’ve been doing it forever. I at least try to stay in the spirit of the holiday. First up was Valentine. Yep, that slasher flick from 2001. I already knew who the killer was the moment I saw the preview all those years ago. There was simply only one man that could wear a trench coat like that, and that logic was sound.
Once that ended, I pulled out the V-Day treats that I bought for myself and the bestie. Ice cream and chocolates. Since I was about to put on My Bloody Valentine, I thought I would do a quick snuggle with the fakest boyfriend I will ever have. Sigh. Though that thing can seriously scare the hell out of me when I’m not paying attention as I stroll to my bedroom.
My friend and I spent most of the time trying to will the Dean Winchester into Jensen Ackles. I knew how the movie ended, but this was the first viewing for my friend. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that her fake boyfriend was three fries short of a happy meal in this little movie. This realization prompted the debate of would you still date him. Sadly, my hesitation was little longer than hers. The man is fine, and that is a tough decision.
This was my little Valentine celebration. You may not have a special someone to celebrate with the holiday, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a good time. In the end, it is a big excuse to love and pamper yourself. So Happy Belated Valentine’s Day my fellow nerds and geeks, and if you find yourself single next year, there is always some type of fun to be had. Special thanks to my bestie, Mecca! It was the best way to spend the day.
I make this statement, but if I am honest, this is one of the most original storylines I’ve seen in any horror or thriller in a very long time. Tusk isn’t the kind of film that is going to blow your mind like something such as Inception. While this film may not be in the running for awards, it should not be dismissed so easily. What this little film is, is a labor of love. It is a happy harmony between creator and creation. It will make you laugh, disgust you, and unnerve you all at the same time. It is these variables that make Tusk so important and watch worthy.
Kevin Smith has been known for films such as Clerks, Chasing Amy, and Dogma. While most of his previous films have been driven by story, his films are also known for their outrageous and raunchy comedy. I have personally been a fan a Kevin Smith’s for practically forever. His movies have always entertained me, and I am a great fan of his podcasts. There was a time in Mr. Smith’s career, where he had decided to completely give up on film making. His previous endeavor, Cop Out, left such a bitter taste in his mouth that he saw no other reason to put himself through something so horrible. The simplest of solutions was to quit making movies. It would have been very easy for Mr. Smith to do this as well. His budding podcast business was just starting to soar, and profits from this business were becoming more successful and stable than any of his films before had ever been.
Maybe it was all of his life lessons finally lining up into a conceivable pattern or his newly regular consumption of weed. Perhaps, maybe, a little of both. Whatever it was brought upon an epiphany of sorts that gave Mr. Smith the confidence to stop trying to conform to a specific belief and expectation that Hollywood continues to cloak over the masses flocking toward it. Hollywood is capable of many things, many great things, but the one thing it cannot do is create. People create. Kevin Smith creates, and began to create for himself and no one else. The first film project birthed from this revelation was the film Red State. This was a film so unlike his previous films, that if you didn’t know it was Kevin Smith’s brain child, you honestly wouldn’t know. It was provoking, intriguing, and baffling all at the same time. And it was serious, probably the most serious film that he had yet created. If you have not seen this film either, I highly recommend you looking into it. This revelation and large support for Red State allowed the opportunity for the movie Tusk to happen.
So what is Tusk? It is a movie about a podcaster named, Wallace, traveling up to the Great White North in hopes of doing an interview for his show. Unfortunately, things do not go as planned for Wallace, and he finds himself on a wasted vacation with nothing to bring back. In a desperate search to right his fate, he finds himself journeying to the home of an old man with promises of great stories. The eccentric old man gives Wallace nibbles of stories knowing exactly what to say to bait the curious attention of his guest, but the old man isn’t just a storyteller. He is a creator, and he what he creates for poor Wallace is a nightmare unlike any that has ever come before. But the creator needs time, and the world must continue outside of his walls. This allowed for a small moment of hope for Wallace when he comes upon his cellphone, and he reaches out to his closest friends back in LA for help. He leaves them a voicemail message filled with fearful rantings and desperate pleas, which hastens them to Canada. There they search for Wallace, teaming up with even more eccentric detective in hopes to find their friend. What they do find is something so unimaginable that is changes their world and most significantly, Wallace’s.
Tusk is a well-timed rollercoaster of emotions and suspense. The story is wonderfully crafted to have you laughing one minute and terrified the next. The acting is superb, especially from the underrated Michael Parks, who plays the old man. His character is our generations Hannibal Lector. The moment, when his character unveils his deceit and becomes his true self, is so unnerving that it had to have the same effect on me as my mother and others like her had when Silence of the Lambs first came out. The tension is constantly broken, and I am thankful of that, by the well-crafted antics of an awkward detective, played by an actor known for his fantastic craft. Now now, please do not run to the internet and search for the actor playing this role. It is far more fun to discover the identity of the cleverly disguised man when watching. He isn’t even credited in the film, just his character. This secret is half the fun. We even have Haley Joel Osment, playing one of the first roles I have seen him in as an adult. Not to be forgotten of course is Justin Long, who plays the lead role as Wallace. I have always enjoyed him as an actor, and while he tends to lean towards comedy, his ability in drama is just as stupendous. He is adventurous with his acting and films, this one no different. I just don’t think, that on the day he decided he was going to become an actor, this particular character was ever thought as a possibility.
This truly is a fantastic and original film. If you are a horror and thriller buff, you must make time for this. As for Kevin Smith, I have a small message for you. I greatly enjoy your films, your wisdom, and comedy in your podcasts. Others may give you grief for changing up your film making, but I just want to say that I encourage it. It is clear that your heart has driven your last two films, and they are something to be proud of. I am just as sure that your heart will be in Clerks III when it comes out, because you are doing what you want. That will ensure that it is great. Hell, I think that your heart was even in Jersey Girl. I have heard you side with the general public when it comes to that movie. How I see it. Hollywood already assigned you to a particular mold and viewership when you made that film. That movie just didn’t fit in that mold. Since it seems you have now set that mold on fire, I hope your can find even the tiniest of places in your heart for Jersey Girl, because I have found one in mine. Thank you for all the entertainment, and I look forward to your next creation.
Growing up in the 80’s you were very aware of Jim Henson and his many wonders varying from the Muppets to Sesame Street. But Henson came out with this other little movie during the decade called Labyrinth. This particular movie changed many a childhood, but the love and loathe for this particular film became split.
The half that detest the film usually lean on two reasons. One, they don’t really like fantasy. Two, David Bowie freaks them out. There are plenty of fellow geeks and nerds that fall into either category, but mostly lean towards the David Bowie reason, because they do truly enjoy fantasy. These individuals are at a loss as to why in the hell their friends not only love it but loooooove it.
One of my best friends cannot stand this movie, which I forget about until she reminds me. I can’t seem to wrap my head around the fact that she hates it. She loves tons of fantasy fun and weird. Hell, she loves The Dark Crystal. Then I remember she is not a fan David Bowie. To be fair, Mr. Bowie was handling weird long before this movie, and the Jareth look didn’t make him look any saner. Even though my friend is not alone in her distaste of this movie, she just can’t understand why I love it.
Of course there were the Bowie fans that naturally gravitated, but the movie itself was our main pull. Many of us became fans of Bowie because of Labyrinth. So what exactly draws us into this fantastical story of a bratty teenager quickly coming to terms with her oldest child syndrome so she can save her baby brother from the chester that wants to keep her forever?
I realize where selling is concerned, that little synopsis didn’t help much. Chester or not, I didn’t see that when I was younger. Hell, I didn’t see the damn pants when I was younger. I saw a girl living the story she based her life around simply because she asked. She asked for someone to take her away, and Jareth came for her. So Sarah wasn’t exactly serious when she told her baby brother that she hated him and wanted to be rid of him. Sarah was going through a lot, emotionally as well. This story was about her growing up and fighting to want to.
Jareth’s world was the fantasy she had always dreamed about. He gave her adventure. Hell, he gave her friends. Based on how close she was with her dog and immersed in her imaginary world, I don’t think Sarah had any friends. There were no pictures in her room either. Scrapbooks had her face littered all over it, but no one else. Most importantly, he gave her a reason to take her brother’s existence seriously.
Jareth certainly gave her everything, but not exactly out of the kindness of his own heart. He wanted her to be with him forever. It's not long at all. Whether Jareth was capable of love or not, he certainly moved heaven and earth around her to give her what he thought she wanted and ultimately to get what he, himself, wanted . Again, this still doesn’t answer why this movie is so great.
No it’s not David Bowie’s endowment that did the trick. It was the ball scene. Everything was fun and playful with all of the goblins and other creatures up until the moment Sarah took a bite out of that forbidden fruit. When Sarah finds herself in the middle of that ball wearing that insane yet coveted 80’s ball gown with hair that probably took out its own personal chunk of the ozone layer, well, that was when shit got real.
Sarah stood for many a geek. We related to her. Dreamed like her. And then, we got to dream with her and, most importantly, David Bowie. No ,kids, he wasn’t Jareth in this scene. He was straight up David Bowie all because of that damn amazing song. The song that makes the hearts of nerd girls everywhere pause. That damn song spoke to us. It tore into our very souls. It ripped out every sad unrequited love we ever had and all of the lonely and dark tidbits that followed, twisting it up into a melody that would forever draw us in like a damn pied piper. How we wanted what that man was selling. It didn’t matter how many times we watched it or how old we’ve gotten. That song gave us the ultimate fantasy we and Sarah dreamed about it. And since Sarah was our well placed avatar, we lived that scene and song like David Bowie, the bad boy rock god, made it just for us. Our hopeless romantic tendencies went into overdrive, and we just didn’t care.
Most of us that are big fans have the soundtrack, which we love and sing along to. I don’t think I am the only one that takes a moment when the opening synthesized notes of As the World Falls Down start. This ain’t no A Whole New World. That song is charming and fluffy, appropriate for all ages. Bowie wrote a song that would evoke feelings and tingles that most of us wouldn’t even begin to grasp for another five to ten years. It built a bubble that we would do anything to keep firmly intact. This song was grown. So what if people don’t find Bowie attractive. I have always said that there is a difference between hot and sexy. Hot will only get you so far, but sexy is self-reliant. And Mr. Bowie/Jareth had plenty of sexy with that song and scene.
That scene and song is the main reason we overlook Jareth’s pedophile tendencies and sit back and enjoy the whole damn ride that is Labyrinth. This is why there is a damn masquerade ball in LA every year in Jareth’s honor. I’m telling you, everybody wants a piece of that.
As awesome as that is, we all root for Sarah when she says, “You have no power over me.” Jareth was spinning some crazy talk like a shady misogynistic boyfriend, and she put him in his place. While we as fans are certainly tempted by Jareth's wiles, we still get our priorities straight along with Sarah.
Maybe there are some of you out there that watched this when you were a kid and never really watched it again, just kind of disliked it since. Challenge yourselves to give it another whirl. If you still don’t like it then okay, but who knows, maybe you will.
Shaun of the Dead
I personally feel that this is the funniest of the comedy zombie movies out there. It opened the door to the modern comedy genre of zombie films. The problem you may have with this film, is that it is British. If you are not a fan of British humor, then you will probably not get this film. Fun little fact Simon Pegg and Nick Frost reprised their roles for a cameo on Phineas and Ferb recently.
Another hilarious zombie comedy that most likely wouldn’t have been made if the above hadn’t done so well. I will say that when Hostess originally stated they were shutting down their factories my thoughts immediately went to Tallahassee and his endless search for Twinkies. Luckily for him, the company has been bought and saved, and Twinkies are now in continuous supply once again. Bill Murray’s best as well.
I know that some can give or take the original movie, but we still love the series. Most have learned to forgive the first one like myself. For as much literary symbolism that has been shoved done my throat from high school to college. The Alice in Wonderland theme totally escaped my attention until Resident Evil: Extinction. I was letting the credits play when a cover of White Rabbit started, which I thought was weird for a whole second and then started to cuss myself out for not even seeing the obvious. She’s named Alice. I’m an idiot.
Dawn of the Dead
Romero obviously has to be placed on the list somewhere. While this isn’t what I consider his masterpiece, it is a pretty damn good alternative. I prefer the late 70’s original, but the 2004 version was a decent. What made it so interesting was the use of the mall. It seemed like a pretty good place to hole up, because it should be well stocked. It taught us that malls aren’t fool proof.
Night of the Living Dead
It is the grand pappy of what our generation loves about zombie movies. If Romero hadn’t made this film, he may have not made the rest of his masterpieces. Thus we may never have any of the zombie films that we love today. Dare I say no Walking Dead. That’s how pivotal this movie was to generations of writers and storytellers. This literally is the film that started it all.
Night of the Comet
Not exactly a masterpiece, but one that I’m nostalgic about. My brother and I would always see this one during a Saturday movie matinee on television. It is pretty crappy, but that’s why I enjoy it. No one did crap quite like the 80’s. The premise is that due to a comet passing, it completely turns those who watched the night sky show into a giant pile of dust or a deranged, mutated zombie. The few individuals that stayed indoors due to the event are left to not only survive the unnerving solitude, but the crazy mutated things that want to kill them.
I do enjoy the humor in this one, but it is inspired by the Grindhouse movies of the past, and gore is high. It is a Robert Rodriguez film. If it’s not a Spy Kids movie then blood is what you will get. It is still very entertaining though.
It is a cute little love story about a zombie that falls in love with a girl. I had a really good time with this movie, because it was the first of its kind in our recent obsession with the undead. And no, My Boyfriend’s Back, doesn’t count. I loved that movie when I was a kid. This movie was pretty refreshing, and I definitely recommend.
This one you may not have heard of. If you have Netflix, you need to check it out. In this post zombie apocalypse world, a barrier drug for the virus has been made. It has stipulations, though. It is only works within a short time frame after exposure. It must be taken every 24 hours exactly everyday, or the effects will reverse for good, and it is made from the undead that fully revert to zombie form. Those individuals now returned can function normally in society, but fear of what they could become has made them pariahs. Everyone was pretty much dealing for the most part in this world, even with the hate. Unfortunately, the success of stopping people from becoming a fully turned zombie means that they have all but eliminated their resources for the temporary medicine and it is running out fast. The race is to find a synthetic replacement, but politics and money stand in the way. Panic sets in when word of the drug shortage gets out. This is a great and unique story and a nontraditional zombie flick. It is very interesting.
This one might also be an unknown movie. It is a South African film that showcases what the African plains would like if run over by zombies. Giving the budget they had to work with, it’s pretty damn good. It is a fantastic movie infact. I personally only had issues with the story turn towards the end of the movie. It really could have been all out amazing if that change hadn’t been chosen.