Movies

The Wolfy 10

Here is the random list of werewolf movies. Be mindful of the moon, my friends.

Cursed

Cursed_poster

I am pretty sure that this is one of the earliest if not the first PG-13 movie that Wes Craven, the Horror King, ever made. It wasn’t because he toned down his movie. Nope, the film and television industry changed during this time allowing more gore on the big screen as well as television. I remembered being floored that this even got a PG-13 rating when I saw it after it first hit the video stores. The one reason it seemed not get an R rating is due to lack of nudity and excessive use of the F-word. While the movie is not Craven’s best film, it is decent. There is also a massive amount of people in it. Especially, people you weren’t exactly aware of at the time. For example, Nick Offerman even pops up.

Ginger Snaps

Ginger Snaps

This is one of the best campy horror movies to come out of Canada. It is gory and overly gory, but hilarious. Emily Perkins and Katherine Isabelle gained cult fame from the popular series it turned into, allowing them to guest start in several things like Supernatural, their weirdest role probably being Another Cinderella Story. I have unfortunately seen this movie, and amazingly enough, their role and Jane Lynch as their mother is the only entertaining thing in that movie.

American Werewolf in London

an-american-werewolf-in-london-poster

While I have nothing against the original Wolfman movie, I declare this my all-time favorite if not best werewolf movie ever. I have talked about this one several times before. The practical effects are a sight to be seen for the time. The mixture of horror and humor make this fantastic! Definitely a must watch for the season.

Teen Wolf

Teen Wolf

You may call it a crappy movie, but I call it amazing 80’s goodness. It is fabulous. While I know the new television series doesn’t exactly play along with the original script, I know someone deemed it well enough to create a show. This is a classic Michael J. Fox, people.

Howling

howling

This is one of the more popular werewolf movie series from the 80’s.  Some versions were better than others, and some versions were straight up crazy. Howling III, anyone? Still fun though.

Dog Soldiers

Dog Soldiers

This little gem of a film surprised all horror movie enthusiasts. The premise was interesting the effects were pretty damn decent for the film budget, and the damn writing was even pretty good. If you haven’t seen this or heard of it. You should give this bad boy a shot.

Blood and Chocolate

Blood and Chocolate

If this movie came out now, if would be considered an attempt at Twilight fame. It isn’t horrible, and it does have Hugh Dancy, who is adorable in it. It is one of the better werewolf movies that exits.

Red Riding Hood

red-riding-hood

This could have been a really good movie. Unfortunately, it suffers from a bad director and further proved why I was not a massive fan of the first Twilight movie. The director is talented. Thirteen was proof of that. She doesn’t really know how to do epic, fantastical movies. She really needs to stick to films that are indy and fueled by realism. If you ignore all of that, the movie is actually entertaining and fun.

Silver Bullet

Silver Bullet

Another of my favorite 80’s horror movies. It doesn’t hurt that this is a Stephen King tale. It makes me miss the Corey’s phenomenon, and I'm a little sad that Mr. Haim is now passed. We can still celebrate the good times, and this is definitely one way to do it.

Wolf

wolf-movie-1994-jack-nicholson-6

If I could find a way to put Jack Nicholson on every list, I would, but unfortunately, this must be the last. Granted this film lives in the shadow of The Shining, it was still pretty good. I think they leaned a little too much on the star power of Jack Nicholson and Michelle Pfeiffer, and forgot to fine tune some of the rest of the parts, like the story, for example.

The Ghostly 10

This week’s post will feature a random assortment of some of my favorite ghostly themed movies.

Poltergeist

poltergeist

It is a classic for a reason. I don’t think anyone who has seen this movie doesn’t think about the whether or not an Indian burial ground is located underneath the house they are about to buy. You can believe what you want about the superstitions that surround the filming of this movie, but it is still one of my favorites from Steven Speilberg. Even though it was 1985, this movie can still be pretty terrifying.

The Ring

The Ring Screenshot 19

This movie ushered in the great American remake when it came to Japanese ghost movies, but I liked that movement. It started a change in what people wanted to see in a horror movie. They not only wanted to be scared, but they wanted a story that had character development. Turns out, the movie gets real interesting if the ghost itself has character development. The movie Thirteen Ghosts wouldn’t have been a lot better if all of the interesting ghosts had backgrounds. If you didn’t know this, those ghosts do. The DVD has a feature that does just that. The little feature is way more fascinating than the whole movie. In this film, Samara brought a whole new creep factor to the silver screen by having you get to know her and understand her, whether you wanted to or not.

The Shining

the_shining_back

There’s haunted hotels, and then there’s Jack Nicholson. I mean, people have to pause when they see twin girls because of this movie. It's scary and a mind trip, just the way Stanley Kubrick liked his movies. In the end you are left with this piece of artwork called a movie that you have to just watch again regardless of the amount of sleep you know you will lose over it.

Ghostbusters

ghostbusters

The first is solid gold and I personally enjoy the second one. I saw it as a kid, so it still holds that nostalgia for me. This movie is amazing. As a kid we watch one film and as an adult we saw another, both fantastic. While I am still sad over the passing of Harold Ramis, I plan to go and see the 30th Anniversary release. Who you gonna call?

High Spirits

High_spirits

This is one of my favorites from the 80’s. Let’s just pull out a name call for the cast: Peter O’Toole, Steve Guttenberg, Beverly D’Angelo, Daryl Hannah, and Liam Neeson. It is a quirky little comedy about a decrepit castle in Ireland in need of saving, when the staff decide to fake hauntings in order to generate business. It was all good fun, until everyone finds out that the castle is truly haunted. I love it!

The Frighteners

The-Frighteners-10-1

Again, story driven ghost stories go far, and this one was a surprise when it came out. Not only was this one of the last feature films that Michael J Fox ever did, but it was directed by Peter Jackson. While the true hobbit fans know this, there are the partial enthusiasts that are being pleasantly surprised by this. After a man becomes psychic after a tragedy and upset with the hand dealt to him, he decides to use his new befriended ghost friends to scam people into paying him to rid their homes of the haunting entities that he sent there. Then he comes face to face with a truly angry spirit that is set on reliving and finishing the massacre he started before he was killed.

Ghost

ghost

Yeah, it has Patrick Swayze in it, so of course it will make the list. This movie isn’t just a film icon but a culture icon. I don’t have very much else to say outside of Patrick Swayze to help you understand my reasonings, except maybe Whoopi Goldberg. Yeah, she was pretty awesome in this too. I will leave you with this learned lesson. Apparently, if you are a mega asshole that kills your best friend only to be pulled down to the depths of hell, you will come back as president someday. This oddly explains quite a few presidents.

Woman in Black

woman in black

Maybe you haven’t seen this movie because it has Daniel Radcliffe is in it, and he will always be your Harry Potter. If you like old Victorian and Gothic mysteries and ghost stories, then I definitely suggest this. The story is quite intriguing and interesting as it is slowly revealed throughout the story. It was liked so much, that there is a sequel due out next year.

Stir of Echos

stir of echoes

Kevin Bacon had a mini movie come back when the late 90’s and early 2000’s hit. This was one of my favorites! It held my interest and always kept me guessing. I really didn’t see the ending coming at all the first time I watched it. It also features Jennifer Morrison in one of her earlier roles. Some may know her better as Emma from Once Upon a Time. Random fact about her. She used to do commercials for my old alma mater, Ball State University. She clearly moved on to bigger and better things.

Beetlejuice

beetlejuice

It isn’t Halloween without Tim Burton. Add what I feel is Michael Keaton’s best performance ever, and we have an inventive iconic movie about the ghost world and how humanity can inconvenience the peace that the dead have created, in a quirky, hilarious way. This movie was our first invitation into Tim Burton’s darker creepier side that has become go to for his films. It is good times, but if you are watching it with the kiddies, look out for the F bomb.

The Witchy 10

October 1st hits us this week, and while I can’t comprehend how it is that time of the year already, it is time for me to do one of my favorite activities. Watching movies that appropriately fit right in with the Halloween theme. I love it! I am going to do a creature feature every week of 10 movies for you to maybe check out. The ten won’t necessarily be what I consider the top films of their category, but definitely a random selection. Let me know if you can think of something I should check out. I am always looking for new movies! This weeks feature is Witches.

Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus

It goes without saying that this should be the first movie mentioned. It doesn’t matter how evil they are supposed to be, everyone wants to be a Sanderson sister, so they can kick it with Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker. I am half tempted to watch it now.

Harry Potter

Harry Potter

Harry Potter

ALL DAMN DAY! We are not going to separate them out, because really? Those books are jammed back with some of the most badass and inspiring witches of all time. Then we put those ladies on the silver screen, and this makes things that smell like genius.

Witches

The Witches

The Witches

I really enjoy this movie and still do. I love that the folklore is Scandinavian based in this movie. It is truly great fun, but what did you expect from a Roald Dahl story. I am not going to lie, but this movie used to terrify the crap out of me when I was a kid. When the witches took off their wigs and faces, I couldn’t handle it.

Witches of Eastwick

Witches of Eastwick

Witches of Eastwick

This is a fun and baffling movie at times, but I think it holds up great even today. The cast alone is enough to give the movie a chance. It is straight up 80’s, so count me in right there. I think Jack Nicholson has some of his best moments in this movie because he is just nuts, but that’s why we continue to watch him.

Teen Witch

Teen Witch

Teen Witch

This may be one of the unknowns for you. It is an obscure 80’s teen movie, and honestly terrible. I believe that is what makes it so damn charming. I also watched the mess out this when I was a kid, so I have the whole nostalgia thing working for me. I actually own the bad boy on DVD, meaning I physically searched it out on DVD. I know. It does have musical moments, and for those who have seen it and remember it, you can’t have someone say this title without thinking of the song, Popular Girl. Then there was I Like Boys, and Top That. That last song is probably the worst attempt at rapping ever made by man, and I freaking love it!

Practical Magic

Practical Magic

Practical Magic

Sandra Bullock was the big name on this movie when it originally came out, but it has a pretty well-known cast. Nicole Kidman was known, but this was still at beginning of her personal career where she was known as herself and not as Tom Cruise’s wife. We got the 90’s heartthrob manly man, Aiden Quinn. Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest costar as well. While I truly believe this was Hollywood’s attempt to cash in on the success of The Craft, it isn’t a terrible film. I am easily amused, so I am not the best of judges at times. I still enjoy this movie and probably will watch it when I’m done writing.

Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful-creatures-17178-1920x1080

Beautiful Creatures

A more modern movie, but still fun. I will admit that the books are way more detailed and altogether better, but I get what they did. I don’t think that there will be a sequel, so the movie makes sense. The cast is pretty stellar if not underused at times. I was a little sad that Amma was changed up from the book to big screen, because Viola Davis would have kicked ass at that. I like this series, because it featured a boy as the normal human that is entwined with the special girl, as opposed to the vice versa storylines that have been flooding YA. It was a breath of fresh air. The movie still gives life to the characters, and if I hadn’t read the books first, I wouldn’t have known any better. If you are interested in the books, I suggest the audio versions. The reader does great voice play which adds to southernisms.

Bewitched

Bewitched

Bewitched

So not the best movie in the world, but I still thought it was fun and entertaining. I love Will Ferrell, and I thought that Nicole Kidman’s aloofness was adorable. People put too much hope into this being like the original series, but that was show. The movie doesn’t have seasons to get a story down, so they went this route. It is good for a laugh.

The Craft

The Craft

The Craft

Sooooo if you were a teenage or tween girl when this movie came out, you watched it. You watched it a lot. It was one of those movies that I wasn't supposed to be watching, but my friends and I did religiously. I don't think there was a tween or teenage girl that didn't try to play Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board because of this movie. We probably wouldn't have gotten Charmed, if it wasn’t for this movie. Needless to say, some of our youthful energies were spent obsessing over this movie. Solidarity with Bonnie and her scars. Nancy is crazy as hell. Well, Sarah has a fear of snakes, so me and her are on the level. Good times and memories from this little flick. It’s like I’m thirteen again! Wait, that’s not a good thing.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunter

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunter

Before the shoes begin to fly at my head, please understand that I too heard this movie should have been left where it was long ago buried. Then Jeremy Renner had to go and get popular, and bam, somebody wants a little of the Renner money, too. It is a long honored tradition in Hollywood to jump on the band wagon in hopes to find riches, but I digress. Everyone, yes many mothers as well, said this movie was horrible. Me? I get seduced by the insane cheapness of the Blu-ray and make a purchase still fully aware of the crap I would find. You know what, all that preparation lowered my expectations so greatly, that it turned out to be a decent and entertaining film. I really liked the storyline and the twists around it. I think if you enjoyed The Brothers Grimm and Van Helsing, besides their obvious faults, you will probably end up liking this.

Show Me the Ladies, Marvel

Marvel Studios continues to knock it out of the park with their movie adaptions of our favorite comics. There just hasn’t been a lot of women standing alongside the men. As of right now, we have only seen three female superhereos, Black Widow, Lady Sif,  and Gamora. We have been promised more with the upcoming addition of Scarlet Witch to the Avengers. A Jessica Jones series for Netflix is also said to be released, and Marvel Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. announced that Mockingbird would be appearing on the show.

Scarlet Witch

Scarlet Witch

 

Scarlet Witch

Though comic book fans know her as Magneto’s daughter and a mutant, it is unlikely that she will be presented as such in the movie. I am under the impression that Marvel Studios will gloss over this information due to rights of “mutant” belonging to Fox. I have faith they will make a good run with making it believable and even open for later clarification if a possible crossover happens. Outside of the red tape Scarlet Witch has been a long time member of the Avengers in the comic and a suitable choice for the team’s next super heroine. Depending on which version they go with, her powers are capable of effecting probability or changing reality. I am assuming the later, because that would make her a much more mysterious and complicated character to write, especially when it comes to controlling her powers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones

 

Jessica Jones

Jessica has a few code names, the most famous being Jewel, but no one really refers to her that way. She, like her husband in the comics, just goes by her name. She has super powers from an exposure to radiation that give her super strength and the ability to fly. She also is a little hard to kill, which can be useful. I imagine the show will focus around her being a private investigator, but we will just have to see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mockingbird

Mockingbird

 

Mockingbird

Not only is she badass, she’s just human. She is a S.H.E.I.L.D. agent and was a big member of the Avengers in the comics. She could potentially be added to the Avengers later, but it would be interesting to see how they handle her and Hawkeye due to their history in the comics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Joss Whedon has stated that the new Avengers movie will feature four major female roles. We already know about Black Widow and Scarlet Witch, but the other two could already be known or simply wild cards. The known possibilities for the other two roles are Maria Hill, which is likely, Jane Foster, or even Sharon Carter. I don’t really think that Jane Foster’s role will be large if it even exits, but you never know. Sharon Carter was the fun S.H.E.I.L.D. agent that was keeping an eye on Steve Rogers in his last movie, and comic fans know her to have a romantic involvement with Cap as well as fighting by his side. Now, let’s play a game where they bring in some unknown power houses. Who could be added to the Avengers movie and possibly take on one of these roles?

 

 

Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel

 

Captain Marvel

I say this while crossing my fingers and praying to whatever nerd god will listen. Can we have Carol Danvers, please? I would settle for her in her Ms. Marvel incarnation, but the comics have done so much to rebrand her that I feel it would be a step back. While there is no need to go into full detail of who and what she is, we have seen the Kree in the latest Guardians of the Galaxy movie. They just have to quickly link her powers to a Kree machine explosion and go on about their business. Then they need to give the woman her own damn movie where they can go to town on her background and origin. The chica can fly, has super strength, advanced healing, and can absorb energy just to throw right back in someone’s face. Captain Marvel is one of the strongest damn female characters they have in Marvel and they need to put her ass on the big screen immediately.

 

 

Spider-Woman

Spider-Woman

Spider-Woman

I know there are rumors about a Sony Spider-Man spinoff featuring female leads, but Jessica Drew’s Spider-Woman is a rumor, and one I hope won’t come true for Sony. There are a lot of female characters out there that have used a variation of spider for her name, but please don’t let Sony take Jessica. She doesn’t really have any involvement with Spider-Man especially after they retconned her origin story. The new and accepted origin for Jessica Drew is what makes her a great possibility for current Marvel Studios universe. She was raised and brainwashed by Hydra becoming an agent only to discover their lies and ended up joining S.H.E.I.L.D at Nick Fury’s invitation. She went back to Hydra as Fury’s girl and kept tabs for S.H.E.I.L.D. With Hydra’s current rise in the film and television world, she would be an ideal addition. Her abilities include being able to walk and crawl across anything much like Spider-Man, but that’s as far as it goes where similarities are concerned. She has a venom like energy that comes out of her hands to take down her opponents. Her last ability is the one she dislikes the most and is the hardest to control. She can release pheromones from her body that can either make you terrified or enamored by her depending on which she was going for. She can’t just turn it off or focus it on one individual, which makes it unpredictable at times.

 

Marvel Studios has also left open these possibilities for their current franchises. While they don’t need to be large focused roles, it would be nice to see them.

Original Concept Art of Valkyrie for Thor: The Dark World

Original Concept Art of Valkyrie for Thor: The Dark World

 

Valkyrie

Sadly, during the development of the second Thor movie, creators had every intention of including Odin’s shield maiden, but left her on the idea podium. However, it looks like Thor will be returning to Asgard to deal with his brother in the third film and hopefully he will need every ally possible including Valkyrie. If they decide to bring in the Enchantress to help Loki keep up his throne, it would be good for Thor to have another female ally besides just Lady Sif. Valkyrie is Asgardian, so she is super strong as well as quite durable. It would be nice to see her.

 

 

 

 

 

Misty Knight

Misty Knight

 

Misty Knight

While she may not be one of the biggest female superheroes that Marvel puts out, she is quite large where Hell’s Kitchen is concerned. She plays a large role in keeping the streets clean alongside Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Hell, she is romantically involved with Iron Fist in the comics. She was a former NYPD officer that lost her arm in an explosion. Tony Stark helped her out with a bionic arm and super strength that allows her to be one hell of a badass. If you get a chance to read the short lived Fearless Defenders comic series, please do. It features Misty and Valkyrie leading an all-female superhero team. I am just bummed that they killed it.

 

 

She-Hulk

She-Hulk

 

She-Hulk

Yes, I agree, a long shot, but if they pursue anymore Hulk stories, then she is still a possibility. She is blessed enough to keep her mind when in hulk form, and actually prefers that compared to her normal human self. She has all the hulk perks with practically no negatives. I am sure her cousin Bruce Banner gets jealous a little every time he sees her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wasp

Wasp

 

Wasp

You really can’t do an Ant-Man storyline without at least mentioning the woman. While Hank Pym is clearly going to be aged somewhat, we may not get to see the Wasp. I just hope they at least mention Janet Van Dyne. She has so connected to the Avengers in the comics, that it would be disrespectful not to at least give her a shout out somewhere in the films.

Top Ten Favorite Scary Movies

Growing up I have always enjoyed the supernatural and the scary is some form. I read all the Goosebumps books I could get my hands on and loved anything by Betty Ren Wright. As I got a little older, I moved on to the more graphic Fear Street books and Christopher Pike novels. I did what I could with books in my tween years, because my parents were good parents and wouldn’t let me watch any scary movies that were above my pay grade. That doesn’t mean I didn’t sneak off to enjoy a few under the radar. But as much as I loved to watch movies like High Spirits, I was running out of choices.

I would watch edited horror movies on television until my parents finally decided to begin to let me watch R-rated movies when I was 15. In the beginning they watched them all with me and sent my ass out if they thought it was too much. Gradually I started getting access to more and more. When my parents realized that I was extremely cognizant of reality vs. story, they let me run free. My mom was pretty satisfied with my answer when she walked into the living room one day during a pretty gory scene, and I was eating spaghetti with tomato sauce. She asked how I could watch that and eat. I pointed at the screen and told her that was corn syrup and pointed to my bowl and stated that it was tomato sauce. I still don’t think she was fully comfortable with the thought until we both happened upon a reality show surgery, and I got grossed and left the room. I had a very clear grasp on what was real and what wasn’t.

Let me introduce you to my Top Ten Favorite Scary and Horror Movies.

Evil Dead 1981

Evil Dead 1981

1. Evil Dead Trilogy

So yes, it isn’t one, but can you really have one without the other two? Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, and Army of Darkness were waiting for me before I even knew it existed. I have to thank my brother for introducing me to them, but I had unknowingly been preparing myself as I grew up watching Hercules and Xena. Sam Raimi hooked himself a fan for life after watching these three films, and well Bruce “Don’t Call Me Ash” Campbell got himself another adoring follower. Now, if we can only get Mr. Campbell to do a cameo on Supernatural, now that his show is over, life would be complete.

House 1986

House 1986

2. House

Yes, another scary movie with humor in it. I tend to love these. Funny story about this movie. I remember watching this movie on television with my brother when I was little, and the scene where he tries to flush the monster hand down the toilet scared the mess out of me. I had serious issues with using our toilet for years, because I kept thinking that hand was going to come out and grab me. I have since come to terms with that and can use a toilet without fear. This is one of my favorites, because while it is funny, it is a great story.

Suspiria 1977

Suspiria 1977

3. Suspiria

Honestly, this movie isn’t terribly scary, but it is gorgeous. The set design and art design add another level to this late seventies movie that sets it apart from the rest of the horror films coming out at the time. It actually might be boring to those but the strictest of horror movie buffs. I still think it is worth a peek.

Pet Sematary 1989

Pet Sematary 1989

4. Pet Sematary

There are two things that easily turn on the creeps for me and that is dolls and small children. This adaption of Steven King’s novel has one of the creepiest children I have ever come across. While I hate it, I can’t stop watching. Small child, plus scapel, plus tophat? I have never been more terrified in my life.

1408 2007

1408 2007

5. 1408

I have always felt that John Cusack never got married, because he has been waiting for me to first grow up enough where it wasn’t creepy and then finally meet me. While this is highly delusional, a girl can dream. Whoever thought it was a good idea to put this man in a not only a horror movie, but a Steven King story, they need a monetary reward and a week’s vacation to somewhere tropical and not war threatened. This is a great movie.

American Werewolf in London 1981

American Werewolf in London 1981

6. An American Werewolf In London

This movie was just a stroke of genius. The practical effects were amazing for the time and the humor was sprinkled perfectly throughout the film. It saddens me that they tried to make a sequel of this gem, but I’m willing to ignore it.

The Possession 2012

The Possession 2012

7. The Possession

Yes it is another demon possession movie, but why did I like it so much to add it to the list? It deals with the Jewish faith and superstitions. The majority of the other demon or devil possession movies utilize Christianity to save the day. While completely acceptable, this movie changed it up and looked at a different faith making it strong enough to stand out. I think this movie was as good as The Conjuring.

Silent Hill

Silent Hill

8. Silent Hill

Just reading this title, would probably make horror buffs scream in outrage! I really like this one and here is why. I am a leisure gamer. If I had more time and money I would probably never leave my house. Resident Evil came out and was fun not super awesome, but okay. It took the sequel to make something out of it. Silent Hill was not only a better adaption of the game, but honestly had a better story. There were little touches in this film as well. They treated the story progression as if you were in the game, and how the main character looked for objects and clues to get them from point A to point B was standard game play. I don’t think there is a woman alive who didn’t cringe internally when Christabella bit it in the end.

Insidious 2010

Insidious 2010

9. Insidious

I know there is a large amount of people that hate this movie, but I loved it. I was sold at the opening credits with the homages to Alfred Hitchcock. This was very story driven, which makes for the best horror movies. If you forget about meeting blood and boob quotas and make a good story, people will watch and mostly likely buy your movies. It is a crazy thought. I loved the parallel between the father and the son, and how everyone in the house was affected. I even enjoyed the twist of the house not being haunted, but the kid because of what he can do. The sequel was even great, especially how it takes off right where this one left off. That’s fantastic!

Drag Me to Hell 2009

Drag Me to Hell 2009

10. Drag Me to Hell

My love of Raimi could not allow me to finish this list without this movie. I was so excited when it came out. Raimi hadn’t done a horror movie since Army of Darkness. It was everything that I imagined to be. It funny, disgusting at times, and fascinating. This was a damn near perfect movie. The only reason it didn’t reach perfection was there was no Bruce Campbell cameo. I mean the man made a cameo in Spider-Man 3, but we couldn’t get him to sign on to this. Well maybe he was angry with the cameo in Spider-Man 3, and this was Raimi’s punishment. I could probably get behind that.

There you have it. While the movies may not be considered the traditional classics, they are my favs and how I was really introduced to the horror genre. I love a lot scary movies, and it was hard enough to pick and categorize as it was. Let me know some of your favorites?

A Short Peak at 22 Jump Street

If you loved the first movie because it was absolutely ridiculous and stupid, well then, the second one will not disappoint you. It is hilarious and pokes fun at itself at every moment. The true genius of the film is how it makes fun of the fact that it is the sequel and tropes of all sequels. This is the kind of movie that you go to see when you want to check out for a couple of hours and not have to think.

The boys are back, and, now, Schmidt and Jenko are headed to college. The love from the first movie that the boys had carries over to higher education and is challenged with new goals, new covers, and a new case. They have a new drug to investigate, but for Jenko, it seems to be the exact same thing that he did with the last case. Jenko is looking for change, a change that Schmidt may not be ready for. The roles are reversed for the two cops, but this time they may not be able to make it through.

They use the same delicate care with the jokes as they did in the first movie. The best jokes come from the tiniest details and the commitment they have to the jokes. The best running gag throughout the movie is the care and detail they take to point out that this film is a sequel. Every trope that usually associated with a sequel gets brought forth and is completely ridiculed. This goes on throughout the entire movie and sneaks up at you. They just don’t take the movie completely serious, and that is the charm.

Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill keep the comedic chemistry for this round. While many recognize Tatum for his good looks and dancing skills, I personally have never been a huge of his acting skills. I think that he has a lot of work to do in that department where drama acting is concerned. What he has proven to me is that he can handle comedy extremely well. He pulls off the dry humor needed for this movie. It was the main thing that caused me worry with the first movie. He has proven to me that he can do comedy, and that it was not a fluke in the first film. I will be forever sold on any comedy that he does.

It is chock full of stupidity and random jokes that don’t really fit into anything, but somehow work. G for the laugh. Go for the entertainment. It is summer and this is the perfect movie to watch in the nice air conditioned theater. I would tell you more about the movie, but I would be giving too many of the jokes away, and where’s the fun in that?

Maleficent

If you haven't had a chance to see Maleficent, run to the theaters. It is a good time, especially if you a Disney fanatic. Check out my review from Our Knight Life

When Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland became a success in the box office in 2010, a rumor started to go around that the same live action treatment would be given to the Disney’s animated Sleeping Beauty, but would focus on the villain, Maleficent. Let’s just say I freaked out. I was very excited, because this is my favorite Disney movie. Everyone who knows me is aware of how large of a fan I am. Sure I was a little bummed that Maleficent would be getting the focus because I wanted to see as much of Aurora as well, but I would take what I got. When things got a little more serious they announced that the film would actually go into production, they gave it a tentative release year of 2013. That was a maybe in the film world at that time. Hollywood was a different beast at the time with the writers’ strike ending and the economy hitting the studios hard as well as movie goers. Giving a film this far in advance date could have easily have been a death sentence. Well, the movie made it, and what a movie it was.

The movie focuses on Maleficent’s character and her journey before she appears at Aurora’s christening. We get to follow her as a child and watch her grow through the trials and tests that are thrown at her. The biggest trial she goes through is love, the largest battle that she faces throughout the entire movie. As she takes this journey, the audience can begin to piece together the beloved animated film coming to life around her as she interacts with it.

Maleficent and Aurora

I knew going into the movie that it would be epic to see and would really focus on Maleficent. I expected it to be good, because it was Disney, whose lowest standard is still pretty good in comparison to most other companies. I did not however expect it to be fantastic. I say this coming in as an already prepared critical fan due to my love of the original animated classic. The entire film is presented as a fairy tale, and yes before you point out that Sleeping Beauty is actually a fairy tale, let me point out that Maleficent is not. She is a pure creation of Disney. This tale is spun with the aid of the beautiful and mythical scenery that is as magical as it is believable. This is just the first 15 minutes.

The part of the movie that impressed me the most was the Sleeping Beauty tale. It was just as vital to the movie as Maleficent’s story. Let me warn you now that there are changes to Aurora’s tale, which give her character way more depth and in a very good way. Aurora is very important to this story and to Maleficent’s character. Their interaction with one another creates the major conflict for Maleficent each time she and Aurora cross paths.

I just thoroughly enjoyed this movie. I loved the realism, even with fairies, that was put into the story. I loved, loved Angelina Jolie as Maleficent. She was fantastic and perfect, which was expected since she was first cast for the part. Elle Fanning’s Aurora was a perfect balance to Angelina Jolie’s mystery and darkness, embodying everything that makes a trademark Disney princess but also making her real and believable. The story was compelling from start to finish, and I am just sad that it was only ninety-eight minutes long and not more.

Aurora

For those of you who are a bit unnerved by Maleficent if not terrified by her. I don’t blame you. I have always stated that she is one of the darkest and evil characters Disney every created. I don’t think I can say that honestly anymore, because if I was Maleficent, I probably would have done the same thing. If there was ever to be a movie that could take Maleficent from a terrifying level to an understandable one, it will be this movie.

It is a perfect addition to the summer movie blockbuster list and a great family outing in my opinion. While there are some parts that can be considered violent like a couple of battles and attacks on Maleficent, I don’t think they are any worse the battles seen in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. I even feel that the battles in that movie are a little more focused upon and personal than they are in Maleficent. There is a character death, but it is not gory. It is however focused on, because it is important for the story. I would confidently say that ages eight and older should be fine with this movie, but again it is up to your parental discretion on what your children can handle. Beat the summer heat with a family trip to the theater to enjoy Maleficent. Some of you might even see me, because I plan on going again.

All photos are courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

The X-Men are back and in the future facing a threat that has them and their fellow mutants on the brink of extinction as well as humanity. Having tried every means to stop this threat, they are left with only one option. They need to send someone back in time to stop the event that lead to this outcome before it ever happens and give them all a better future that they can not only fight for but live in. Wolverine becomes the obvious volunteer due to his mutant ability. Not only does he have the task of stopping the event, but he has to help Charles Xavier find the man that Charles once was and become the man that Wolverine knows. Oh, Wolverine also has to convince both Xavier and Magneto to play nice, so that they can both help Wolverine fix the future. That shouldn’t be too hard.

I wouldn’t be the first to admit that I had reservations for this movie as the release date began to creep closer and closer. Fox’s record hasn’t been exactly solid since X-Men: Last Stand. The third installment fell victim to entirely way too much going on. The movie would have probably been pretty decent if they had focused on either the mutant cure plot or the Phoenix plot separately. Unfortunately, just like Spider-Man 3, there were too many faces thrown at the audience without a whole lot of reasoning of why they were there except to fill seats of eager fans to see them. If this was the purpose, Fox, you could have at least stayed decently true to the character, *coughs* Psylocke *coughs*. Why have them in there at all if you are going to butcher them? The Phoenix storyline was clearly the B storyline, but took up most of the movie to explain and make believable, while the A storyline quickly went from the humans are utilizing the cure as a weapon to war at factory to save all mutant kind.

So that movie left a bad taste in the mouths of fans, and it was believed that a new X-Men movie would never happen. We were only to look forward to some Wolverine movies maybe. Then along came X-Men: First Class. It actually took me awhile to fully appreciate this movie. I was very excited to see a new X-Men movie and knew the concept would be very interesting. I just had too many issues with continuity littered all over the film. I’m not even talking about in comparison to the comics. I expect that. This film did not entirely fit into the established timeline of film franchise. After watching it a few more times, I accepted it as a reboot in a way and its own timeline. I became very okay with the concept and thoroughly enjoyed it as well as some of the fantastic acting they managed to snag for the film. Michael Fassbender is inspiring as Magneto.

Then Fox announced that not only were they going to do another Wolverine movie, but they were going to take on one of the biggest storylines in the X-Men comic history, and pull the cast from the original movies and First Class to make it. Now Fox was going to merge the two worlds. The not so awesome reception of the third X-Men movie and either two Wolverine movies was proof enough that Fox had the high probability of screwing this bad boy up.

I am thankful to report that the movie was actually pretty good. As much as it was fantastic seeing Ian McKellon and Patrick Stewart acting as our favorite professor and villain, there is just this amazing quality that James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender bring to Professor X and Magneto that is just a true joy to witness. It was awesome seeing some old faces and new ones and having them blend together as a whole. I saw that some other fan blog reported this film being the apology for the third X-Men movie, and I’m going to have to agree. It was really fun and engaging, until the end where it got slightly iffy.

The end left us with a lot to think about, because we are shown with the ending that the past definitely changed…a lot. I wasn’t looking to be baby fed the missing fifty years, but a couple of things would have at least established whether or not key points were changed, especially when we as the audience were given certain tidbits. If this was to be the last ever X-Men franchise movie to ever be made concerning this film universe, I would have no problem with how it ended. We would then simply be given the happy ending with no need to explain, because there won’t be another movie. Unfortunately, since it has already been announced that more will be made, I have a problem. My biggest is with the effect that this film has on Wolverine’s origin story and what has made him his character. They don’t tell us whether Logan continues his years in the same manner before. It wouldn’t have necessarily been too much of an issue, if they hadn’t chosen to end the film with the scene that they did.

I still had a great time and fully recommend the movie if you are only a fan of the movies or a fan of the comics as well. It is a still a fun ride. I really only had these issues, because I am a fan of the comics and am a firm believer in continuity. If you are not, you will probably not have too many problems. The nice part about them choosing not to answer those questions that the ending left is that they still can. I just hope that they make sense and they are careful.

I Need More Bridesmaids

Probably due to my older brother and the boys I preferred to hang out with in high school, it has become very difficult for me to become very close to normal girls, because I think and talk like a guy. I am not a big fan of drama, even though I am very aware of the fact that all women are predisposed to some level of it. I think it’s in the makeup of the uterus. There’s no way to completely escape drama, but I strive to keep it in check. While I had friends that were girls, I would usually only let them past a certain point. It was really hard for me to maintain that kind of friendship without either of us getting completely annoyed and frustrated with one another.

Then I met my sisters. They were just like me. They were two girls that also preferred the company of guys over girls for the same reasons. They were crazy and blunt and talked like guys, and I loved them instantly. We are nearing fifteen years in our friendship now, and practically nothing is sacred between us.

I say all of this because while I love Romantic Comedies, I want to see more comedies featuring women that represent my best friends and me. There have been a few featured over the years, and my sisters and I covet these films. I want to see more of these edgier comedies where woman are a lot more open and blunt for a laugh whether it be raunchy or not. We want to see the opposite of “ladylike,” because my friends and I are. I know we are not the only girls of this type out there.

When The Sweetest Thing came out, it was practically sent from high in our opinions. It stars Cameron Diaz as Christina, Christina Applegate as Courtney, and Selma Blair as Jane. It focuses mainly on the character of Christina, following her on an adventure to chase a man down that she just met only to find out he’s getting married. Hilarity and antics ensue along the journey that can usually make most woman blush or just become downright appalled. The three of us treat this movie like gospel, and we identify ourselves with one of the three best friends in the movie. It is also extremely random, which the three of us are immensely entertained by. It is was the closest movie we could compare our friendship to.

Bridesmaids came out, and I immediately purchased a copy for both of my sisters for Christmas. The scene where Kristen Wiig’s character, Annie, and Maya Rudolph’s character, Lilian, are eating in a café after trying to sneak into the fitness class is every damn meal I have ever share with either sister or both. We are not shy, and we don’t take it seriously. These were the female leads that we could identify with.

My girl’s and I are not insensitive. We may joke all of the time, but when one of us is being serious, we back each other up fiercely. This is shown as well through both of these movies. In The Sweetest Thing, Courtney makes Christina get off her ass and drags her on a road trip just based on the loose possibility that Christina and this guy would get together. It didn’t matter to Courtney. She knew that Christina liked him and helped her, because that is what that kind of friendship is. The same thing happened in Bridesmaids. Annie went on the search for Lillian immediately after she found out she was missing from her wedding. It didn’t matter that they were fighting and hadn’t talked to one another. Annie knew the bigger picture. Her best friend needed her. It is okay to have these kinds of scenes in movies like this, because that’s how we truly are in real life, which is what I want in this type of film, a more realistic portrayal of our type of woman.

I want to see more of these kinds of movies that feature these much more open and blunt women. I am hoping with the success of Bridesmaids that more of these movies can be made. Especially, with Melissa McCarthy making the movies she has been. The Heat is another great example. But with this tally, it’s only gotten us to three total. There is a need for this. Maybe I’ll have to write some of my own, but I hope Hollywood at least gives more of these films a chance.

 

Mr. Ramis, It Has Been a Joy

Sadly we lost a great man last week, Harold Ramis. Most recognizable for Ghostbusters, many may not realize his true contribution to comedy. His writing and directing credits rival John Hughes, and many of his masterpieces are ingrained in our popular culture.

Below is a sampling of his greatest works. Take some time when you can to revisit some of these classic comedies, and when you do, remember the man that brought them to you. If you have never seen these classics, please do. You are missing out on comedies that continue to shape movies being made today.

Animal House

Considered one of the best comedies ever made and the crowning jewel of National Lampoon’s films, this was Ramis’s first real venture into to Hollywood. Co-written by him in 1978, the movie tells the story of a decrepit fraternity house, Delta house, and the motley crew that call it home. The school Dean has made it his personal mission to remove the ink stain of a fraternity off of his campus to finally claim the clean reputation his school sets out to present. Hilarity ensues as the Delta boys do everything in their power to foil the plans and efforts of the Dean in getting rid of them.

Caddyshack

Partly written and directed by Ramis, this film is considered the best golf comedy ever made. Danny, trying to earn money for his college education, become a caddy at a high end club. With the opportunity of earning a scholarship, Danny is left at the rude and dismissive whims of his superior. After meeting Ty Webb, Danny gets a whole other education and begins to work out what is truly important for him and his future. The laughs are always present between Roddy Dangerfield’s and Bill Murray’s characters. Whether or not you are a golf fan, you can find entertainment in this movie.

Stripes

Not only did Ramis lend his writing talents to this film, but he acted in it as well. This is the story of two friends joining the army for a change in pace.  John at least sells this to his friend, Russell. John is not a by the book kind of man and challenges every statute that defines the military. Bill Murray stars with Ramis alongside him in this creative comedy, one of many team ups by the creative duo.

Groundhog Day

Considered one of Bill Murray’s greatest roles, this film was co-written and direcected by Ramis. Phil is tasked with covering the Groundhog Day event for the fourth year in a row. Exceedingly annoyed by this job, he makes no effort to hide it throughout the day. The tables turn on him when he wakes up the next morning to Groundhog Day again. No matter what he does or does not do, he keeps waking up to Groundhog Day and reliving it over and over. He eventually discovers that he has been given the opportunity to make the day right in every way. He just has to figure out how.

Ghostbusters

Any geek or nerd would risk losing some of their reputation if they admitted to not knowing what Ghostbusters was. Not only that, but it has become the movie that keeps on giving for those who grew up in the late 80’s. The movie you may have watched when you were eight is not the movie you watch when you turn eighteen, and yet both are amazing. That is something very hard to achieve. This is another of Ramis’s great acting and writing examples. Three friends working in a university parapsychology department get their grant taken from them and are kicked out with no money or ideas for the next step. They decide to take what they know and turn it into a ghost capturing business. Taken as a joke at first, business starts to boom, spreading the word and popularity of the self-proclaimed Ghostbusters. They soon are tested with the biggest bust of their lives and end up saving the world to do it.

That is just a highlight of some of Harold Ramis’s work. Honorable mentions of his contributions include:

Meatballs

National Lampoon’s Vacation

Back to School

Club Paradise

Armed and Dangerous

Ghostbusters II

Multiplicity

Analyze This

Analyze That

Year One

I say this to Mr Ramis. Your work has brought me continuous laughter and entertainment. You may be at peace now, but your work will live on and continue to inspire me as well as others. Thank you for that.