In honor of my favorite holiday coming up next month, I will be celebrating it with you by having 31 days of reviews that are horror, thriller, suspense, and Halloween related in any way. Not all of the movies reviewed will be considered good, but that’s part of the fun. I personally like crappy horror films, because I enjoy making fun of them. Plus, I’m always on the lookout for something that will actually scare me. Not all of the films will be horror. I think that for Halloween, there are certain films that should not be left out.
I am also proud to announce my brother and fellow movie lover, Stu, will be joining me for some of these reviews. It seemed only natural to ask if he’d be interested in joining me in this event, because he’s the one I see these movies with. He’s got a sense of humor like my own, so I can only imagine what his take will be on the films he chooses.
I have put together a list of my personal top ten favorite films to watch for the Halloween Holiday. I will give you a little synopsis of why they are my favorite, but I will not review them until later. I hope you enjoy the fun!!!!
My Top Ten Favorite Halloween Movies
1. Hocus Pocus
All I really should have to say is Bette Midler for this to be understandable. It’s a fun movie that makes me laugh and just evokes the Halloween spirit. Plus, the brother and sister remind me of my brother and I, that’s another major reason I love it.
2. Something Wicked This Way Comes
It may be a Disney film, but there is much to be said about the creep factor of this film. I was pretty creeped out by it as a child, not so much anymore. It is still a great film.
3. Idle Hands
I immediately ran out to see this film due to my teenage love affair with Devon Sawa, but you know, it is actually really funny, if you like hilarity in the form of something morbid. Who doesn’t?
4. Army of Darkness
It’s the whole morbid hilarity thing again, and Bruce Campbell is the King, baby.
5. Paranormal Activity
This is so far the only film that has gotten close enough to creep me out. It is the Blair Witch Project done right.
6. The Lost Boys
1. 80’s 2. John Hughes 3. The Coreys 4. Kiefer 5. 80’s
7. Shaun of the Dead
I enjoy British dry humor, but I enjoy it more when it deals with zombies.
8. Donnie Darko
Okay, so this isn’t really a Halloween movie, but it’s weird and does have a Halloween party in it. A stretch, yes, but it is possible one of the greatest movies ever made.
9. Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Ah, the film that started it all. Being young, I actually enjoyed the movie when I first saw it. I still think it’s entertaining in a stupid way now. It’s the film for the television show that literally changed my life.
10. My Bloody Valentine 3D
I have many types of moments in my life, and this would be a shallow one. This film is purely on here for the eye candy, otherwise known as Jensen Ackles. The 3D is kind of fun.
Director: Mike Newell
Screenplay: Boaz Yakin, Doug Miro, Carlo Bernard
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, and Ben Kingsley
After a great act of courage witnessed by the King, Dastin is at once adopted by the King and raised as one of his sons, a prince. As an adult, Dastin travels with his brothers and uncle for battle, except he is persuaded to wage war upon the wrong city. This decision changes his life and leads Dastin on an adventure to save his name and his existence.
This film, based off the popular video game, is an action/adventure that achieves its main goal of a superb visual experience. The world depicted in this film is gorgeous as well as believable. The sad thing about these movies, is that they tend to be visually awesome, but the story and acting leaves you with an eh. The acting in this film was as well as I expected. There were certainly no Oscar performances, but a certain level of excellence was expected with the likes of Ben Kingsley, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Alfred Molina. They add a little class to the film and keep their characters believable. The only thing that would have made this film better would have been a stronger focus of the story. I felt at times the story was presented to us as the outline of the real story. There was just so much emphasis on look that they seemed to forget that there is more to a story than a plot. It still wasn’t a terrible film, though for personal fears, I could have done with less snakes. *shivers*
As I said before the acting was okay. I don’t think that it is within Ben Kingsley’s range to be terrible anymore. Jake Gyllenhaal was at his usual par. The only thing remotely different about him was his well defined physique. I certainly have nothing to complain about that. Gemma Arterton seems to be the newest British import for actresses. Her face is popping up everywhere you look. She really is not a bad actress, and I believe there will be a lot to look forward to coming from her future performances.
I will leave this review with one last comment. It is a question I kept asking myself throughout the entire film. Why is it that a film portraying a time period of the past that does not take place in America must always feel the need to use British accents to further the sensation of a foreign culture, regardless of that culture actually being in England? I don’t get it.
I give this film 3 Buttery Kernals.
Coming Soon: The 31 days of Halloween
Director: Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo
Screenplay: Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo, Paul Vosloo, and Jakub Korolczuk
Starring: Liam Neeson, Christina Ricci, and Justin Long
Anna Taylor wakes up in a morgue finding out that she’s dead according to the funeral director. He explains to her that she had been in a terrible car accident and had died. He can talk to her, because he can speak to the dead. Anna has a hard time believing that she is dead and tries to fight it even attempting to contact her fiancé. The funeral director tries to help her accept her fate, so that she’ll move on and not be trapped forever in a coffin. The only problem is that Anna just doesn’t believe she’s dead.
I, personally, am a fan of scary or weird films. I believe that it is much more of a challenge to make something completely fantastical believable. To be honest there are a lot of movies that barely make a scream believable and come off as campy. Even though their bad, I still find enough to make fun of to be entertained. That being said there is a limit with bad films, where even I cannot find a smidge of entertaining value.
I eagerly picked up this film because I thought that it would be decent being that Liam Neesonn is in it. He’s a solid actor that is usually in good films. While this film was not terrible, it was not a great memory either. The first thing I will always remember about this film is how naked Christina Ricci is throughout it. It really makes the film awkward. Unnecessary nudity is normal commodity of a scary movie. Why that is, I have no idea. Beyond that, the story does attempt to be thought provoking and leave you guessing as to what is really going on. That attempt alone is enough to give the film credit. Most scary movies rely on creative, gory death scenes and nudity leaving not a lot for the actual story. The movie wants you to keep asking yourself, “Is she dead or is she alive?” throughout the entire film. Also, I think it wants you to ask yourself, “Who is this creepy child?” Why have the kid in it otherwise?
Liam Neeson is a profound actor. This however isn’t a shiny example. He was by no means terrible in this film. It just felt as if he was not trying at all. He had a more commanding presence as Aslan, and he was just voice acting then. Whatever it was I expected from this film after seeing he was in it, I sure didn’t get.
Christina Ricci played Anna. Here is my problem with Christina Ricci. She always seems to play the same character. Granted her acting skills were a little higher than her usual par in Black Snake Moan, she always plays characters that there is something off about them. This film did not stand out. It was that same girl with something off whether it be drugs, death, or werewolves. I won’t say that I dislike her as an actress. She is alright and fulfills some purpose. There have been roles she played where you could not think of any other actress as the character. In her defense, her acting career could be the result of Hollywood’s favorite pastime, typecasting.
Justin Long is also in this film. He plays Anna’s boyfriend. Sadly, beyond that, there is not a whole lot else to be said about him in this film. This is not really his fault. The writing for his character was extremely limited and didn’t offer him a whole lot to work with.
I give this film 2 Buttery Kernals.
Coming Soon: Prince of Persia
Director: Alan Poul
Screenplay: Kate Angelo
Starring: Jennifer Lopez and Alex O’Loughlin
Zoe has decided to take matters in her own hands and get artificially inseminated to have the baby she’s longed for, since she believes she will never meet Mr. Right. Fate always has a twisted sense of humor and throws Mr. Right into her midst right after her procedure. Zoe has to now juggle an impending pregnancy with her feelings and fears of an impending relationship.
It is your typical romantic comedy, with a baby twist. The best way to describe this film is cute. It was the best romantic comedy that I’ve ever seen, but I still enjoyed it. I actually saw this in the theater, and didn’t feel that I should have waited for it to come out on video. The addition of the baby conflict added for some new twists and enjoyable jokes over the numerous awkward situations both characters found themselves in.
This is Jennifer Lopez’s return to the big screen, and it was a pleasant return. She seemed at ease, and her acting was more natural, very similar to her performance in The Wedding Planner where we all fell in love with her. Her comedic timing in this film was not her best, but it has certainly improved since Monster-In-Law. Maybe her next film will be even better.
This was Alex O’Loughlin’s first major picture debut. We’ve seen him before on short lived shows such as Moonlight, Three Rivers, and this fall’s Hawaii 5-0. He’s not a bad actor and there seems to be a lot of potential with him, not to mention his good looks don’t exactly hurt his case, either. I wouldn’t mind seeing him in more films, especially since his television career hasn’t exactly panned out yet.
I give this film 3 Buttery Kernels.
Coming Soon: AfterLife
As you may have noticed, I haven’t exactly been updating here lately. My original goal was to at least update weekly. The problem I’ve been facing with this is that there haven’t really been a whole lot of changes since my last post. That is until recently. I will now reward you with an extra long post.
I am still on the hunt for a job. My previous attempts leaving me with nothing, I decided to venture back to my roots and go with a familiar staffing agency. I received my last job through the same agency and thought that my luck might be better even if I only receive some temporary positions. That certainly didn’t go as well as planned. After driving all over Las Vegas to one currently closed branch to the other open branch, I found the service here in Las Vegas to be a little stressed and so far not exactly helpful at all.
My luck was not with me, which I’m beginning to dismiss entirely. My luck where Vegas is concerned was never present before, I should not be surprised to find that it is not here now, a fact that has led me not to pursue gambling since the first trip out here. The turn of events with the staffing service that insisted on referring to me as Kristen (not a bad name just not close to being mine) and asking me if I ever received an email (and no, I still haven’t) has left me dissatisfied and hopeless of getting an office position or something along that environment.
I may not have a job, but I still have bills, bills that I’m literally just scraping by with. This led to my current branching out in my job search, retail, and has now led to a couple of interviews. They seemed to go alright, but I don’t want to jinx anything. I’ve always been one who prepares for the worst and likes to be surprised by the good. I have the same outlook where criticism is concerned. I can take bad criticism. In fact I prefer it, because I know how to fix it. When I get good criticism I try to hide the blank look on my face with a small smile. I know there are some of you that know this look. I don’t handle good criticism very well, and yes, I realize that is not normal. I have never been one to claim that I’m normal. I guess it is also has to do with the fact that I really don’t like to flaunt or show off.
To add to my financial ruin, I got a lovely overdraft scare from my bank this week. I never have been one to pay minute attention to my accounts, but because they are both practically nonexistent, I now, have them recorded down to the last penny. My mother would be very proud. Why if my organizational skills have recently hulked out in my time of disparity would I receive an overdraft fee? Apparently, when I transferred the last of my savings into my checking and clicked the two confirmation boxes that followed the transfer it was not in fact confirmed by the bank……ever. I will admit fault for not double checking my balance the next day before paying my bill, but I’ve never had to before. I did call them today to ask for forgiveness, and the nicely obliged to remove it, so yay?
The state of my finances have led me to consider panhandling at the local corner of the interstate. I remember when I helped my brother move out here there was a midget on that very corner the whole during my entire stay. He’s not there now, so this leads me to believe in progress. I figure all I really need is some strong sunscreen, a few gallons of water, and a collapsible chair. I briefly considered bringing along my iPod, but I don’t think that will help the desperate impression I’d be trying to convey. If I don’t make any money at least a may sweat my ass into a size 10. Can’t go wrong there?
This brings me to discuss to newer issues with my body. Every year since college my wacky skin springs something new on me. This year it was heat rash. I now have to be careful of the sun, because I break out in annoying hives. It’s even more fun when they break out on your face, which I now have learned. Being that my skin’s personality is as random as my own, I did not believe that it was heat rash, but rather eczema. Fact 1: The way one treats eczema is exactly the opposite way of treating heat rash. Fact 2: If heat rash is treated like eczema, it gets worse…..a lot worse. That was an awesome two weeks of my life.
My second issue with my body is my weight. I want it to be known that I am a big girl, and there is sure as hell nothing wrong with that. I’ve been a big girl since high school, granted I was smaller in high school than now, but still singing plus size praises. I do not believe that I’ve ever been made fun of for my weight, at least that I’m aware of. I am probably one of the lucky few that didn’t have to deal with that. I’m sure there was someone at some time who didn’t like me or someone I may have pissed off that threw weight related slurs my way just none that I paid attention to. You have to make yourself into who you are, because the only thoughts and comments you will ever be forced to listen to are your own. It’s not the voice of the popular girl from high school who rants in your mind as you lay your head against a pillow at night. Although, points for imagination and creativity if it is, but the main idea is that you’re in the driver’s seat. I think the hardest lesson to be learned is that it is just as easy not to care about something as it is to care. I would be lying if I said I was immune to society and negativity. I’ve got issues and a lot of them are with my weight. I’m not a saint people. They’re my own personal demons, not anyone else’s.
I’ve kind of adopted a “do’s and don’ts” of big girls, or as I affectionately call it, “The Big Girl Code.” This code could possibly be the very reason I didn’t get a lot of crap for my weight in high school. Who was I to care, when I was following my code. It doesn’t necessarily tell you how to live your life it just points out the various disadvantages and advantages of being a big girl in society’s skinny girl world, very reminiscent of a “choose your own adventure” novel. If you choose a specific action, then society is probably going to react this way. I felt that if I knew this outcome was going to happen, then I could prepare myself on how to deal with it. If I didn’t want to deal with something, then I chose the safer ending. It is not a perfect system being as limiting as it is freeing, but one has to deal with the world somehow.
This being said, I have finally decided to change my lifestyle. I’m not a big fan of the word diet, because society has presented it to be a short-term solution. I’m not really doing a whole lot to be honest. I’m just trying to apply balance to my life. I have been trying to make exercise into a habit, because I haven’t been active in forever. I got bigger once I stopped being active, so in there lies a big clue. I also am trying to relieve stress that way, because lord knows I have enough of that. I haven’t denied myself the foods I love, and I want to see how the balance thing works before I do. I have been eating better, because there is more time now and my SIL is showing me new and easy meals. I was a big boredom and stress eater. I always eat when I’m bored. Now I’m just replacing eating with exercise. I want to think that because I am no longer eating fast food everyday for lunch that I have lost 20 to 25 pounds already. This is a guess-timate based on my clothes getting a lot bigger. It could also be the result of it being so freakishly hot here, that my ass had no other choice but to sweat some of that off.
This is pretty much my randomness at the moment. The only other thing I’m really excited about is that my nephew is now a hug machine, which I cannot get enough of. My shows are all starting this week: Castle, Glee, Bones, Supernatural (my boys, sigh), and Dexter. It is sad I know, but this is my excitement. TNT will be running a marathon of the best of Supernatural starting at midnight tonight. For someone that literally just finished rewatching the entire series, this should not be of interest. I can’t help it though. Being single, you’re only left with the option of your personal eye candy, and I can’t deny myself what is so readily available. Sigh…..
Until next time……
Man made with cushioned insole. Imported.
- Full inside zip with metal detail. 1" wedge.
Plus size boots - wide calf riding boot in full and half sizes M, W 7-11, 12,
Not wide calf
Sizing: Feels true to size
Width: Feels true to width
Cons: Normal calf
Best Uses: Going Out, Work, Casual Wear, Date Night
Describe Yourself: Stylish, Comfort-oriented
I was very disappointed in this boot. The calf is not wide at all. It has like a 17' calf I believe..I tried to go get them tailored, and then the boot people screwed up, so now i can only wear them under pants.
Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Screenplay: John Eskow and Richard Rush, adapted from the novel by Christopher Robbins
Starring: Mel Gibson and Robert Downey Jr.
In the midst of war, Vietnam troops began to infiltrate the country of Laos in the late Sixties. The American government secretly provided aid to the many citizens of Laos using civilian pilots to air drop supplies with the help of the Laotian military, dubbing the operation, Air America. New recruit, Billy, gets thrown into a world of danger, secrets, and drunken hijinks as he gets used to flying the rough terrain of the country. Gene, a vet of the company, volunteers to break Billy in and show him the ropes and a little fun. The fun and adventure soon take a forbidding turn as secrets about the use and funding of Air America begin surface.
It is a movie such as this when I truly miss the Eighties and Nineties. This film is proof that Mel Gibson was not always crazy, but in fact loved and admired. This can also be said about Tom Cruise. I think many of us can also look back upon the movie, Legend, and at least remember some of it fondly. The main point is that there is a reason that these actors are so popular, and it is because they have talent and charm. Regardless of how they seem to use their talent nowadays, we loved them during these decades because of their acting abilities and good looks.
The main reason this film was watched was indeed for Mel Gibson. He was the shining action star of the time, the guys’ guy, but his charm and good looks also brought many female viewers. Oddly enough, I remember my parents taking my brother and me to this movie when I was six. Shocking, I know. That is what I told my mother when I picked it up in the cheap bin. I literally have not seen this film since I was six, so this was really the first time. It was the typical action and comedy that I expected. A bit predictable, but the movie was not looking for Oscar nods. It is an entertainment movie with Mel Gibson, acting his usual typecast character of the Eighties.
An added bonus is Mr. Robert Downey Jr. I am personally glad that he chose acting over drugs, not to say that his performance in this film was glowing. His potential was present, yet he was still honing his craft at this time. There was still the subtle sarcasm with this character that Downey is known for playing well. He was by no means the hilarious Tony Stark and Sherlock Holmes, but I still found him charming and good looking, which should be a plus in anyone’s book.
I give this film 2 Buttery Kernels.
Coming Soon: The Back-Up Plan
I’m still searching for employment. With my funds dwindling before my eyes, I am off to Kelly Services tomorrow. The whole not working thing has been fun, but now it is getting a little depressing. My growing concerns with my bills have begun shadowing my happy go lucky vibe. Ask me two weeks ago if I was happy, and I would have answered definitely yes. Now, I’d probably give you the go to meh response. I was gambling with the idea that I could be choosy and better my situation. I should have known. My gambling experiences in Las Vegas never worked out before. Lol! It also doesn’t help that the news constantly reminds me that Las Vegas has the highest ratio of unemployment in the country. These concerns are even affecting my writing. As you could tell if you follow the film review blog, my reviews have been lacking in content if not present period. That is what annoys me most. I get stressed when my writing isn’t flowing out naturally.
On the bright side, I still have fun with my nephew and the little walker he is developing into. He really is a riot. I jokingly call him Godzilla. He gets this intense, zoned look on his face if I have something he just has to investigate. Then he walks towards me focused completely on whatever interested him, whatever is in his way be damned. This is when my nephew channels Godzilla. It cracks me up. He’s also a little chatter box. I’m not quite sure what he’s saying, but I’ll let you know when I master the translation. The little man is starting to get very sneaky. It is amusing, but hard to discipline. I am being challenged just as he is. He’s starting to become aware of what he can and cannot do, and before he does something he is not supposed to, he shoots a look around to see if someone is watching. It’s pretty funny, but I have to work very hard not to laugh. We are both going to be learning a lot of things we cannot do.
I am looking forward to my first babysitting gig this week. I’m sure that I will have a lot of fun, because the little girl is a sweet pea. Hopefully, I’ll get some better news tomorrow after I venture to Kelly Services. They haven’t failed me yet, so I hope they don’t start now. I am starting to get a little homesick. I said a little, people, not a lot. Lol! Don’t make any party plans. I know you guys miss me as much as I miss you. I may currently be a squatter, but it is locationaly permanent. Yes, I just made up a word. It happens with me. As much as I appreciate the offer of some kind of employment if I return, this is supposed to be a lasting gig. I would like to take the opportunity to give a shout out to all of my ladies back at AHN, my friends in Indy, and my sisters. I love and miss you all.
For now, I will continue my usual “I’m bummed, and I cheer myself up with television shows I’ve seen over and over” ritual that has propelled me through the years. They’re perfect for me, because I don’t have to devote too much attention to them and can still be entertained. I just finished watching the Sailor Moon series again. Crikey, did she just mention an anime?!? Before you begin to question my values, I am not what you would call an anime enthusiast. This is the only one I’ll claim, because I watched it when I was a kid and loved it!! As an adult I got to know the Japanese version, which is actually a little more complex. It has a great romance story line that my inner hopeless romantic tripped over. The lead character is the unlikely superhero who is just entertaining if not loveable. I like revisiting my old favorite cartoons, because they allow me to slip into the delusion of what it was like to be a carefree kid. Since I finished that, I moved back to my current favorite, Supernatural. The guys are pretty and funny, so it’s obvious why I go back to it. Can’t help myself with my not so guilty pleasure. This is what happens when I have nothing going on. I talk about nothing. Lol! Here’s to a hopeful future something!
Until next time…..
Director: Chris Columbus
Screenplay: David Simkins
Starring: Elizabeth Shoe, Keith Coogan, Anthony Rapp, Penelope Ann Miller, and Maia Brewton
After her boyfriend cancels their date, Chris has nothing better to do, but babysit. Expecting a relaxing if not annoying at times night, Chris finds herself thrown into one mess after another. Hilarity and danger ensue as she and the kids brave downtown Chicago at night. Chris’s only goal is getting everyone back to the house and safe before the parents get home.
This is officially my first review of an Eighties film. For those who know me, I have a slight problem when it comes to this decade. I am a bit obsessed. Eighties film tend to be more story driven, because visual technology was not as strong to help the films. This is why I respect them a bit more. Sure there were fabulous displays of acting in Eighties, but with most films of the decade it didn’t seem to be a requirement. The Eighties mostly wanted to entertain you with whatever your poison was, and that they did.
For a film that was a favorite when I was young, it is still a favorite now. It is a bit hokey or campy at times, but most films from this decade were, which where I think those words actually came from. This movie is just fun for everyone. The story is entertaining, but not the best ever written. You can’t help but laugh along with the antics. The Mighty Thor probably got one of his first major advertisements with this film. I remember personally wanting a helmet like the girl’s in this film when I was younger. The film is certainly not going to change your life by any means, but it should make you laugh at something, whether it’s the story or the decade itself.
This was probably Elizabeth Shue’s first lead role. Her talent as an actress is apparent in this film, but it was still growing. She had not yet achieved the level that would eventually lead to an Oscar nomination, but she was still believable here. The actors that play the kids that Elizabeth Shue’s character is babysitting have been in other things here and there throughout the Eighties and beyond, the more famous being Anthony Rapp. He is probably best known for his role in the musical, Rent. The only thing I usually thought of when he would be on screen was Ron Weasley. Terrible? Yes. But, I couldn’t help myself.
Every actor has to start somewhere, and most of our favorite leading actors of today started in these movies. This film has the added bonus of seeing some of those young actors. Not only do we get to see Elizabeth Shue when she was younger, we get to see Penelope Ann Miller, Bradley Whitford, and a very blond Vincent D’Onofrio.
I give this film 3 Buttery Kernels.
Coming Soon: Air America
Director: Julie Taymor
Screenplay: Dick Clemet and Ian La Frenais
Starring: Evan Rachel Wood, Jim Sturgess, and Joe Anderson
This is the story of Jude, a young Englishman, who is finally able to go to America to search for the father he has never met. The New World, broken by war, opens up opportunities of friendship and love. Using the music of The Beatles to propel the story, Jude finds a inspiration and himself.
This is an artistic film. It has a strong story line as it follows the lead character, Jude, and his friends, but the film reflects a painting with colorful and imaginative scenes that interpret the music it follows. This film would probably be more enjoyable if you are indeed a Beatles and art film fan. It is possible that you could still appreciate the beautiful cinematography and story without knowing of or liking The Beatles music, but it is the main draw to this film. It also follows the main elements of a musical with singing and dancing, which I felt were stunningly choreographed. The actors even provided their own vocals, which I feel is always a plus and adds another layer of respect to the actor. The main feature is still the art of the film, not the story. This is what the film was intended to be seen for, and that may not be of interest for some. As an art and Beatles lover, myself, I really enjoyed this movie.
The actors are not exactly well known just yet, the most famous probably being Evan Rachel Wood. Best known for her role in Thirteen, she seems to be selective about her roles, sticking mostly to independent films. She is a growing talent who has the potential of being a great and respective actress of her generation. Her work in this film does not disappoint either. Most of the characters she has played have always seem to be driven by some kind of edge or hardship. Though her character, Lucy, has some hardship, this does not propel her character. The hardship in this film was simply the way of life for most Americans during this time. In fact, this is probably one of the more normal roles she’s played so far with the added touch of a very sweet and pleasant voice.
Both Jim Sturgess and Joe Anderson, being British, have had sporadic roles here and there. This is probably their most distinguished film. The both carried their large roles well. I had hoped that we may have seen more of both of them as a result from this film, but their roles still seem to be varied as of late.
I give this film 3 Buttery Kernels.
Coming Soon: Adventures In Babysitting