Posts Tagged ‘movies’

I haven’t done one of these in a while, but after watching a very special movie last week, I was inspired to return to movie recapping.

So without further ado, may I present to you: The Edge (1997) a.k.a. Jack Donaghy and Hannibal Lecter fight a bear!

I love the blurred texture of this poster, as though they're going at some supersonic action movie speed. Amazing.

I know, I know. It’s not a conventional choice. My other picks were really actiony or campy and perhaps lent themselves to an easier skewering, but the thing about this movie is, while it is actually not poorly written (by David Mamet) and it is reasonably interesting to watch, there are parts of it that make me question its logic so hard, I thought it might be an interesting thing to dissect.

So back to The Edge. Anthony Hopkins plays a silver-haired billionaire named Charles Morse, but for the purposes of this recap, we’re calling him Hannibal. Hannibal is married to Elle Macpherson who, playing against type, is a model. Her character’s called Mickey, I guess to conjure up an image of youthful spunkiness, but since we don’t really see her do much of anything, it doesn’t really matter. The main thing we learn about their relationship is that Hannibal is old and Elle Mickeypherson is young and hot. That is it. I was always kind of hoping that we’d get a little more insight into how they got together or even worked together as a couple, but it never happens. They have no relationship chemistry at all and instead, Elle Mickeypherson treats him like her favourite grandpa . . . which is why Alec Baldwin is kind of a problem.

Alec Baldwin plays a character named Bob Green, but we’re calling him Jack. Now, please keep in mind that this movie was filmed long, long ago in the 1990s, back when “Being A Baldwin” still meant something. Granted, this movie was shot in the later ’90s, so by this point Baldwin’s appearance was kind of halfway between his young skinnypants Beetlejuice self and his latter day elder statesman of Thursday night television self (suck on that, Chevy Chase!), but he was still rocking the slicked hair and the steely gaze, so he’s a formidable opponent to Hannibal’s old codger.

1990s Alec Baldwin - Not as dumb as Stephen, not as dumpy as Daniel.

You see, “Jack” is a famous fashion photographer who is traveling with Mickeypherson, Hannibal and a bunch of stock artsy characters up to Alaska to shoot Mickeypherson against an Alaskan backdrop for some reason. What the photo shoot is for is never really made clear, but it is a grandiose show of Culture Misappropriation with Mickeypherson dressing up like a sexy Indian and posing on a dock in front of a lake. While they are shooting, Jack gets frustrated with the quality of his pictures and so he talks to the Wizened Old Scarface Innkeeper who shows him a picture of a real Indian who lives nearby. Jack is suddenly inspired by this and wants to make a jaunt out to whatever remote part of the Alaskan forest the Indian dude lives in to take pictures of him instead of Mickeypherson. Again, this brings up the question of what magazine this shoot is actually for? I think if FHM or Stuff magazine sent you on an expensive trip out into the wilderness to take pictures of a bikini babe and then you came back with pictures of a hard living old Indian dude, you’d have some explaining to do.

Pampered rich white ladies pretending to be ethnic is SO in right now.

In any case, Jack somehow convinces Hannibal to come along with him and a small crew to find the real Indian dude. All the while, Hannibal has been reading an Outdoor Adventuring book given to him by his assistant, so I suppose, feeling the need for some adventure, he joins Jack and his assistant (played by Harold Perrineau a.k.a. Mercutio) on a rinky-dink plane to go find Jack’s weathered old muse. Jack makes a point of assuring everyone that they will be right back which is how you know they are totally screwed. Have you ever watched a movie where a character saying “I’ll be right back” hasn’t led to their certain doom? Me neither.

Anyway, when they get to the guy’s rustic little cabin, there is a note pinned to the door saying he’s “Gone Fishin’” (or “Huntin’” as it were), so the team re-boards their plane and takes to the skies once more.

However, while they are in the air and chatting away, Jack makes a poorly timed joke about how he thinks Hannibal’s wife is cute. As Hannibal was already feeling a bit spiky/suspicious about Jack’s relationship with Mickeypherson, this leads him to respond with “So, how do you plan to kill me?” And pretty much immediately, the plane is downed by a flock of birds.

Stupid The Edge pilot! Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberg would NEVER have let this happen!

Again, I have questions:

1)      Are birds not visible to pilots unless they are being sucked up into their Cessna engines?
2)      Would that line of dialogue actually be said by a real human being who wasn’t:
a) a huge drama queen? Or b) in an action movie? Because it doesn’t even seem real.
3)      Have none of these people ever heard of the word “divorce”? Because chances are, you’d still get money and things could be a lot less murdery. Just an idea!

So, temped by fate, the plane has crashed and is rapidly sinking into the Alaskan lake. Jack swims to safety while Hannibal uses his trusty hunting knife to cut Mercutio free of his seatbelt and rescue him. The pilot sadly receives no such help as he was done in by the duck that came crashing through his windshield. Poor, poor expendable pilot.

Once Jack, Hannibal and Mercutio make it to shore, they all take a moment to freak out about what just happened. I have to say, they recover from the trauma of just surviving a plane crash pretty well as they all seem to be pretty together within about 5 minutes. If it were me, I would be chanting “Holy $h!t” and rocking in the fetal position for the next two years. But, I guess you’ve got to focus on the task at hand, which for these guys is not freezing their asses off in the Alaskan wilderness since they are all wet and only wearing light polar fleece jackets for warmth. Jack has matches but they don’t work, so he instead opts to start a fire with one of their conveniently saved-from-the-plane rescue flares. So, one problem solved!

The next day, Hannibal take a paperclip off a bundle of papers he’d been keeping in his pocket, magnetizes it on his silk shirt and makes a makeshift compass with it in a tree stump. The men resolve to start walking back in the direction they came from when they encounter . . . *dun dun dun* a giant Kodiak bear! You see Wizened Old Scarface Innkeeper had previously warned them about bears, but none of them could have imagined his warning was actually an important piece of exposition.

I know, right?!

It is at this stage of the review that I would like to point out that THE EVIL BEAR was played by famous bear actor Bart the Bear who basically played “The Bear” in every movie that needed a bear from 1977 until his death in 2000 from cancer. Watching this movie in particular reminded me of how typecast poor Bart was. I mean who wants to constantly play “The Bear” in everything? I’ll bet he was just yearning to play a goldfish or Jean Val Jean or something. He could have become a famous Academy Award winner! . . . and then followed up his big screen tour de force with a movie in which he wore a fat suit. *sigh* Bears can dream, can’t they?

In any case, getting back on track after that detour into animal acting, THE EVIL BEAR, having locked onto their scent then starts chasing them through the forest. To get away, the men push over a tree and create a single log bridge across a rushing stream to supposedly make a quicker getaway, but truth be told, they seem to kind of be taking their time considering there is a two tonne man destroyer on their tail. For some reason, Mercutio hasn’t caught onto the fact that he is merely a Red Shirt in this whole wilderness adventure so he crosses the bridge with Jack and Hannibal is left trailing behind them. I guess this is done for dramatic effect, but when it comes to celebrity hierarchy, everyone knows that Anthony Hopkins trumps a dude from LOST any day of the week.

Instead of crotch scooching across the log like a sane person, Hannibal decides to tightrope walk across the log bridge, only to have THE EVIL BEAR jump up and down on the end of the log, making him drop the bag of flares and nearly drown in the rushing water below. Smooth moves, Hannibal! Thankfully, just in the nick of time, Jack grabs his hand and pulls him to shore, saving him from a watery grave. Isn’t that swell of him? You should let him sleep with your wife, Hannibal . . . if he hasn’t already (SPOILER ALERT!)

Scary bears, are watching you, watching your every move!

Once they are free of THE EVIL BEAR – because in this version of reality, bears don’t like water – Mercutio, like any normal person, starts spiraling into a state of panic again. It’s not exactly a Bill Paxton in Aliens kind of spazfest, but he’s pretty scared, so Hannibal decided to distract him with busy work and gives him a knife and a stick to make a spear. Unfortunately, instead of making a spear, Mercutio promptly stabs himself in the leg and starts bleeding all over the place. Hannibal uses some cloth to make a bandage/tourniquet like the elderly boy scout he is and then hands some of the blood soaked strips to Jack, telling him to bury or burn them so as not to attract the attention of THE EVIL BEAR. However, Jack instead takes this instruction to mean “hang the soiled bandages on the branches of trees downwind of our fire so that THE EVIL BEAR can smell Mercutio’s flamebroiled goodness” like a goddang twat. You know, Alec Baldwin, it’s a good thing you were pretty because you sure are dumb. So, since this movie barely lets five minutes elapse between dramatic foreshadowing statement and sudden doom, no sooner has Hannibal discovered the bandages in the trees does poor Mercutio get his ass mauled to death by THE EVIL BEAR. Alas, poor Mercutio, we hardly knew yea!

Oh Harold Perrineau, will you ever not die?

With Mercutio dispatched, that just leaves Hannibal and Jack, our two intrepid adventurers left to go. The pair decide to stay on the move and make a trap to capture a squirrel for some good eatin’. They rig up a variation of the old “baited box on a string” trap and are deliriously happy when they catch a cute piece of fluffy-tailed prey. Sadly, their jubilation is cut short when they realize THE EVIL BEAR has caught their scent again and is stalking them through the woods once more. That was really fast. I would have thought good ol’ Mercutio would have provided him with at least two days worth of eats, but maybe THE EVIL BEAR was more in the mood for some supple Baldwin beef . . . just like Hannibal’s wife (SPOILER ALERT AGAIN! Damn, I’m really bad at this today!)

In a feeble attempt to ward off the bear, Hannibal and Jack take sticks from the fire and “randomly” throw them around their camp spot to form a perfectly symmetrical circle barrier that THE EVIL BEAR cannot hope to penetrate (unlike Hannibal’s wife who . . . yes, I’m sorry, I’ll stop now). Hannibal decides the only way that they are going to survive this journey is to dispatch THE EVIL BEAR because at least that way, they can get on with their journey back to civilization uninterrupted by pesky bear attacks. Hannibal bates THE EVIL BEAR with his own blood and the two join forces to lure it into a battle to the death. At one point, THE EVIL BEAR slashes Jack across the chest, but apparently, it’s the gentlest bear mauling ever, because he survives, as does Hannibal who manages to get THE EVIL BEAR to impale himself through the heart on a giant spike. You know, it was at this moment, I actually kind of felt bad for THE EVIL BEAR. I mean maybe he just wanted to talk to Anthony Hopkins about his work in Amistad or something. He could have had purer motivations than we realized!

Stabbed through the heart! And you're to blame! Baby, you give bears a bad name!

Anyway, as THE EVIL BEAR is now THE DEAD BEAR, the two men eat his meat and manage to skin the corpse to create some weather appropriate winter wear . . . because I think it’s winter? I don’t know. The only things I do know are:

1)      It’s started to snow,
2)      Hannibal’s little utility knife was strong enough to skin an entire bear,
3)      They must have had a sewing kit or something tucked away or there was a chapter in Hannibal’s Outdoor Adventure Book about making outfits out of bear carcass because coats and such they make look pretty expertly done.

Tragically, they’re not out of the woods, figuratively and literally yet because they have yet to be rescued. Really, at this point, with THE EVIL BEAR gone, we’re just killing time, but it does lead to one of the more ridiculous parts of the recap, so I’m continuing.

The men, dressed in their bear garb, come upon a cabin where they find some supplies. Hannibal reaches into his pocket to grab something and he pulls out the wad of paper that was originally clipped together by the paperclip they used for a compass earlier. It is the warranty for the birthday pocket watch Mickeypherson gave him, and attached to it is a slip of paper detailing what she wanted engraved on his watch . . . as well as what she wanted engraved on the watch she bought for her lover . . . Jack!

I wonder sometimes if Alec and William Baldwin (of "Fair Game" fame) ever compared notes about what it was like to be in movies with models. "Elle wouldn't shut up about being tall and from Australia! It was SO annoying!"

This is where I have some major logic issues with the movie. I know Mickeypherson is a model and perhaps not all that bright but:
1)      If you’re conducting an illicit affair with someone you work with, why didn’t you take more care to not hide the evidence in your husband’s birthday gift?
2)      If you’re buying presents for both your lover and husband, could you maybe have made TWO shopping trips?
3)      If you insist on being a moron and buying all sex partner gifts at the same store, do you really have to include names on all the engravings? I mean, if you’re discovered, wouldn’t you maybe want to maintain some shred of plausible deniability? The engraving she put on Jack’s watch read “Dear (Jack), Thanks for all the nights. Love (Mickeypherson)” which is just as good as saying “Dear (Jack), Thanks for boning me when my husband wasn’t around! Love, your ridiculously stupid secret lover (Mickeypherson).”

I don’t mean this as a tutorial for how to cheat on your spouse, but for crying out loud, get a bit of a brain, woman! Not to mention, it’s kind of bad form to buy both men similar gifts – makes a tacky thing even tackier!

So as Hannibal’s great fear that his hot wife is hooking up with someone else is realized, stupid Jack decides that he really IS going to try to kill Hannibal after all. Really, movie? They get through a plane crash and a bear attack and now he’s going to try and take him out by shooting him? He could have just let the bear get him or he could have just let him drown in that tree bridge crossing incident from earlier. Little to no effort on Jack’s part. What is the point of showing them bonding and making “Best Friends Forever” necklaces out of bear claws if you’re just going to turn one of them into a megadouche? That sucks!

1990s Alec Baldwin is plotting your doom!

Thankfully the sucking doesn’t last too much longer since, when Jack Donaghy goes to shoot Hannibal Lecter, he falls into a massive pit full of spikes and his leg gets impaled on a very large wooden stake. In spite of Jack’s being a backstabbing asshole, Hannibal manages to get him out of the pit and into a boat which he rows to safety. This doesn’t stop Jack from dying just as they are about to get rescued but it shows us that in spite of his old codgery-ness, Hannibal is actually an okay guy.

Once the bush plane lands back in civilization, Hannibal hands Mickeypherson back the sex watch he stole from Jack’s body as a subtle way of telling her he knows about the affair. Hannibal also tells all of the reporters gathered for a press conference that both of the men that accompanied him on the trip (the pilot gets no love!) died but that they really “saved (his) life.” Ummm, did I miss the part where Mercutio was useful in any way? Or the part where Jack Donaghy didn’t try to kill you, Hannibal? Because while I know it’s meant as some serious depth of character statement, it almost makes you seem kind of dumb that you’re glossing over the fact both of those chumps almost got your billionaire ass killed.

This is Anthony Hopkins' "I might have won an Academy Award, but I can't work miracles on killer bear movies!" face.

So that was The Edge. I hope you learned as much about bear attacks, illicit love affairs and survival in the wilderness as I did! Join me next time for the “I Watched It So You Didn’t Have To” Series when we examine the ins and outs of working as a bouncer . . .

Other entries in the “I Watched It So You Didn’t Have To” series:
Predator 2
Conan The Barbarian

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My life these days seems to have a fair number of children in it. Many of my girlfriends had babies last year (I believe the final total was 16) so I am often buying baby gifts. I spent a fair bit of time with my niece and this weekend in fact, Boy and I are babysitting as some friends of ours (who have three kids, ages 4 to 10) sneak off for a romantic weekend sans brood.

While I used to babysit hardcore in high school – I even took the babysitting course through our local community centre – I actually went through a long child-free period in my early twenties and am now adapting to the whole experience of dealing with children who are less like peers and more like progeny. Your realms of interest and knowledge become less entertwined and you realize that a lot of your references are lost on people of another generation. In fact, the more time that passes, the more you become accutely aware that you’re going to have to explain a lot of the things you love or that were cultural touchstones when you were growing up. Cartoons, movies, games, toys etc. that you just take for granted as being a part of your life are completely unknown entities to someone who is 4 or 8 or even 10.

As people who are currently child-free, one of the things we often discuss with our clan-laiden friends are how and when to introduce bits of pop culture nerdery to children. Over the course of these conversations, a major topic of contention is Star Wars. There are three schools of thought here:

1) “The Chronies”: People who have championed the idea of showing them in chronological order (1,2,3,4,5,6) because that progression works from bad to good.
2) “The Retroists”: People who say you start old and go new (4,5,6,1,2,3) because that was the way we experienced them.
3) “The Classicals”: People who will under no circumstances show their children the new triology and will aggressively deny the existance of 1,2, and 3.

While we haven’t worked out our own Star Wars strategy yet, we’ve definitely discussed the random bits of nerdery we definitely want to introduce our future spawn. Some things that we love that we want the next generation to love too:

1. Lego/Playmobil: Boy is in Camp Lego and I am in Camp Playmobil. Tying into the Star Wars issue, Boy has an incredibly large collection of Star Wars Lego that he keeps in a glass display case in our apartment and he is exceptionally proud of the fact he has collected many Star Wars minifigs. None of this eBay crap for him! He got those five stormtroopers piece by freaking piece, people! As for me, I have a very large collection of those Victorian Playmobil that is currently being stored at my parents house which is pretty much in mint condition. Though I did not actively play with it, in high school on the ocassional sick day, I would sometimes pull all of it out and set it up to look at it in a nerdy, completist sort of way. It is a weird dream of ours that our children will sort of mesh the two and build a giant lego tower which will be the site of a fight involving Playmobile Dinosaurs and Gladiators.

Too awesome not to post - Playmobil Beatles!

2. Old School Monopoly: None of that crap with debit cards or fancy fake properties. We’re going to plan it with paper money and screw our friends up by building hotels on Park Place. Oh, and I’m going to be the little Scottie dog, thanks!

Whoever came up with this doesn't understand that half the fun of Monopoly is subtly cheating with the paper money!

3. Early Simpsons Episodes: I am good with The Simpsons up to about Season 8 as I think the Hank Scorpio episode was that season. Beyond that, I just don’t care. The longer that the show has been on, the more rambling it’s gotten, the less it’s focused on the core family dynamic and the more deviation from canon there has been. In my mind, Homer and Marge got together in the 1970s after her crappy prom date with Arnie Ziff, not in the 1990s when they lived in a Melrose Place-esqe apartment building and Homer fronted a grunge band. The only grunge references allowed are when Homer tours with Lollapalooza as part of their freak show!

Boy and I often jokingly reference "The Hammock District."

4. The Muppets: One of Boy’s favourite movies is The Muppet Christmas Carol and I have grown to love it as well. We have all the old Muppet movies and we hope that our kids find them charming too. (But Muppets in Space can be forgotten. Sorry Gonzo!)

This is what Christmas is all about - adorable Muppets!

5. Mystery Science Theatre 3000: Making fun of things is one of our favourite things so Mystery Science Theatre 3000 is right up our alley. I’m not sure if our kids are going to be raised in the church of Joel (Boy) or Mike (Me), but it will be an interesting battle.

Boy likes Joel's dry wit and I like Mike's sheer wackiness.

6.The Hunger Games Books: I am a meganerd for these books. In fact, I have a little nerdy token that I wear pinned to my winter coat to show my love of the Suzanne Collins books. I like that they’re so action packed. I like that the main character is a strong girl. I like that neither of the love interests is an obvious dick. Very eager to share them with kids.

If you haven't read these, you are missing out. So much fun.

7. The Terry Prachett Discworld Series: Want to know a secret? The name Boy and I have picked out for if we have a boy some day is partially stolen from a Discworld book. I have only read a handful of his books – maybe 6 – but they really make me laugh and I love pouring over the language of them. The way Prachett can turn a phrase is a thing of beauty.

Librarians say "Ook!"

8. Degrassi Junior High/Degrassi High: I specify because I do not care for Degrassi: TNG. As far as I am concerned, Degrassi is all about Spike, Caitlyn, Wheels, Snake, Lucy and a little behatted devil-may-care rapscallion by the name of Joey Jeremiah. I love how the episodes such a time capsule of their era and I love how stripped down everything looks, which is probably my biggest complaint about the new series. Childhood/teenage years are often pretty messy and I like that they have such a straight forward, non-glossy attitude about them. Super watchable.

How adorably retro!

9. Retro Kids Movies: I didn’t want to do separate list items for all of them, so I am lumping them all together. The Sandlot, Return to Oz, The Wizard, The Goonies, Labrynth, Troop Beverly Hills, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Ghostbusters, E.T., and The Princess Bride will all be watched  with reverence.

I watched this a while ago, and it's still kind of great. "The kid is an L7 weenie!"

10. Cthulhu/Conan: Boy is really obsessed with the writing of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard, so he wants to introduce whatever kids we have to their stuff. I am not quite sure how it’s not going to be total nightmare fuel, but I at least have some ideas about good things to start them with . . .

A Children's Book based on some of Lovecraft's Mythology. Because that needs to exist.

So bloggerinos, what kind of things can’t you wait to introduce your offspring/extended family/friends kids to? Let me in on your nerdy childhood obsessions!

P.S. Also, if you haven’t seen this, it needs to be watched. What kid didn’t try to use the force after seeing Star Wars for the first time?

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With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to get your spook on. But who wants to watch Halloween for the 75th time? Maybe it’s time to try something a little different. So, with that in mind, I came up with a list of some of my favourite off-beat horror movies. They are flicks that you might not be aware of and a lot of them are foreign* (so you can pretend you’re uber-continental when you talk about them with your friends). I’ve done my best to include descriptions and trailers below, so check ’em out and see if you might be able to find a new holiday favourite!

1. Silver Bullet
Genre: Werewolf
Notable Stars: Corey Haim, Megan Follows, Gary Busey.
What It’s About: Corey Haim and Megan Follows are a precocious brother and sister growing up in an idyllic little town . . . until mutilated corpses start showing up. Will they be able to uncover the truth about these deaths and discover who is responsible?
Why You Might Like It: Corey Haim has an epic chase scene on a motorized wheelchair! Gary Busey harnesses his inner survivalist loon and helps the children devise werewolf traps! Anne of Green Gables does something other than pine for Gilbert Blythe! Awesome!
Trailer? Yes.

2. Night of the Comet
Genre: Zombie/Apocalypse
Notable Stars: Bunch of random people, but the most notable is Mary Woronov.
What It’s About: A comet crashes into the Earth and destroys almost everything except two valley girls who are left to fight LA’s remaining zombified population.
Why You Might Like It: Who doesn’t want to see a cheerleader fight zombies? Also, the one liners are pretty great. “Daddy would have gotten us Uzis!”
Trailer?: Yes.

3. The Convent
Genre: Zombie/Possession
Notable Stars: Adrienne Barbeau, Coolio.
What It’s About: College students break into an abandoned nunnery and become possessed by demonic spirits.
Why You Might Like It: It has a Leslie Gore soundtrack! Adrienne Barbeau is awesome! There are day-glo monster nuns!
Trailer?:  Yes.

4. Dance of the Dead
Genre: Zombie
Notable Stars: None.
What It’s About: Zombies invade a small town on the night of the high school prom.
Why You Might Like It: People slash up zombies in prom dresses! A rock band keeps a horde of the undead at bay by playing music! Hormonally charged zombie makeouts!
Trailer?: Yes.

5. Eyes Without A Face
Genre: Mad Scientist
Notable Stars: A bunch of French people!
What It’s About: A crazy doctor kidnaps girls so that he might use them to fix his daughter’s disfigured face.
Why You Might Like It: It’s a slow burner, but it’s actually really beautifully shot. The music and the cinematography make it very haunting to watch.
Trailer?: Yes.

6. Phenomena
Genre: Creepy Crawlies/Psychotic Killer
Notable Stars: Jennifer Connelly, Donald Pleasance.
What It’s About: A young girl can communicate with bugs and uses her ability to help solve a murder.
Why You Might Like It: I have written about this one before and the thing about it is that it is truly insane. Bug talking! Monkey nurses! Psychotic pig face boys! It really has to be seen to be believed.
Trailer?: Yes.

7. Brotherhood of the Wolf
Genre: Werewolf
Notable Stars: Vincent Cassel, Monica Bellucci
What It’s About: A noble man and his Indian sidekick team up to investigate the killings of mysterious beast in 18th century France.
Why You Might Like It: It’s like a period piece monster whodunit! Plus, the Indian dude knows kung fu and Monica Bellucci has heaving bosoms**!
Trailer?: Yes .

8. The Happiness of the Katakuris
Genre: Haunted House/ Zombie/Musical (This one is really hard to define)
Notable Stars: A bunch of Japanese people!
What It’s About: A scrappy little Japanese family buys a run down hotel near Mount Fuji with the idea they will turn it into a thriving bed and breakfast. Unfortunately, all their guests start dying.
Why You Might Like It: This movie has everything. There is singing. There is dancing. There are puppets. There are zombies. Basically, the whole thing is insanely surreal and deserves to be watched.
Trailer?: Yes.

9. Strait-Jacket
Genre: Axe murderer (literally)
Notable Stars: Joan Crawford, George Kennedy.
What It’s About: Years and years ago, Joan Crawford killed her husband and his lover with an axe. Now she’s out of the insane asylum and cured . . . or is she?
Why You Might Like It: Joan Crawford wears jangly bracelets and shouts! Greasy looking George Kennedy gets killed! Hammy looking axe murders!
Trailer?: Yes.

10. Dog Soldiers
Genre: Werewolf
Notable Stars: Kevin McKidd, Sean Pertwee.
What It’s About:  A bunch of army dudes get dropped in the Scottish Highlands for a training exercise, but they are not alone.
Why You Might Like It: Do you need a reason beyond army dudes fight werewolves? Because if you do, I don’t think we can be friends.
Trailer?: Yes.

11. Night of the Living Dorks
Genre: High School/Zombie/Teenage Sex Romp
Notable Stars: A bunch of German people!
What It’s About: A group of nerdy high school friends perform a voodoo ritual and then die in a car crash . . . but they don’t exactly die.
Why You Might Like It: It’s kind of a cross between American Pie and Night of the Living Dead. Also, watching the nerdy dudes in high school take back their power with superhuman strength is kind of awesome. Take that, stupid bullies!
Trailer? Yes.

12. The Devil’s Backbone
Genre: Ghost
Notable Stars: A bunch of Spanish people! (It was, however, directed by Guillermo Del Toro who did Pan’s Labyrinth some years later. I think this is better!)
What It’s About: A young boy comes of age at a haunted orphanage after the Spanish Civil War.
Why You Might Like It: It is subtle but spooky as hell! Just the right kind of ghost story.
Trailer?: Yes.

13. Let The Right One In
Genre: Vampire
Notable Stars: A bunch of Swedish people!
What It’s About: A troubled young boy befriends the new girl next door, but little does he know his new friend has a very big secret.
Why You Might Like It: I know they’ve done an American version of this, but do yourself a favour and see the source material. It watches kind of like a bizarre version of My Girl . . . if, say, Thomas Jay hadn’t been killed by bees and instead was Vada’s undead friend.
Trailer?: Yes.

If you don’t like any of those, here are some other movies I enjoy:

–         Return of the Living Dead. My ex introduced me to this and even though we are long done, I still love it.

–         The Thing. Can you believe I just saw this a few months ago? The special effects are still really good and they’re as old as me.

–         Near Dark. *singing* Adrian Pasdar fighting some vampires, one is Bill Paxton, so it won’t end well.

–          Frailty. I cannot believe Matthew McConaughy is in something I like. Go figure.

–          Black Christmas. By which I mean the 1974 version. Do not even talk to me about that crap-ass, cookie baking remaking.

–         Suspiria. To be honest, it was a toss up between this and Phenomena for my list, but I figured more people would have seen Suspiria. Also, I don’t know why, but whenever I see the preview for Black Swan, it reminds me of this movie.

–          Witchboard. This was the very first horror movie I ever saw. I was both intrigued and mildly traumatized to see Patch from Days of Our Lives get his ass kicked by a supernatural entity.

–          Ginger Snaps. I really liked this movie but I hated that they had to milk the concept with sequels. Just let sleeping hormonal werewolf girls lie!

–         Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? I know this is supposed to be scary but the first time I ever saw it, I laughed my ass off. Joan Crawford and Bette Davis trying to outdiva eachother is priceless.

–          The Bad Seed. My mother shares the same name as the villain in this one so she always loved it growing up and she introduced it to me when it was on TV.

–          Army of Darkness/the assorted Evil Dead movies. I would be lying if I said that part of the reason I loved these movies wasn’t because of the musical version. However it does also have Bruce Campbell which is pretty awesome. BRUCIE!

–          28 Days Later. This was one of the first movies that brought zombies back into the spotlight. Also, I think Cillian Murphy should always have a shaved head because he looks much hotter that way.

–          Dead Alive. Zombie baby!

–         The Lost Boys. The Coreys at their finest. Now if only Feldman would stop making direct to video sequels. You’re legitimizing garbage, Corey!

–          Fright Night. Chris Sarandon . . . Mmm . . .

–         Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. A big part of the reason I love this is because of the Dokken theme song. DREEEAAAAMM WARRIORS!

–         Dead Heat. Treat Williams and Joe Piscopo are a zombie/cop team (and it also has a crazy theme song).

–         The Exorcist. It’s still scary but the two failed prequels were awful.

–          Jamie Lee Curtis in pretty much everything. Except the later Halloween movies, because, yuck. Even my mammoth Joseph Gordon Levitt crush can’t keep me from watching H20 without cringing my ass off.

 If you enjoy horror movies and horror movie coverage, I encourage you to check out Stacie Ponder over at Final Girl and Brian Collins over at Horror Movie A Day. They both have good genre taste and will introduce you to even more good stuff.

Also, if you want to add a regular dose of horror to your viewing schedule, AMC (the same station that brought you Mad Men) is premiering The Walking Dead on Sunday. I’ve loved the graphic novel series for years so I am pretty stoked that the show looks so fantastic. Hooray zombies!

What say you, bloggerinos? What are your favourite horror flicks?

*Whenever possible, please do yourself a favour by avoiding horrible dubs and watching in the original language with subtitles. Trust me, it’s much better that way.
**Actually, I am trying to think of a movie where Monica Bellucci doesn’t have heaving bosoms, but I can’t come up with one. Maybe that’s not such a novelty after all!

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My late Grandmother, my mother’s mother, was a very awesome lady.  She lived through 2 world wars. She was one of the first women drivers in Quebec. She had breast cancer in the 1950s, but worked her ass off to survive it*. She had a child in her mid-forties and effectively raised her by herself, and she helped raise me until her death in 1989. Though I don’t remember her that well (I was in the first grade when she passed away), I like to think that she still kind of lives on in me in the small ways she influenced my life. She taught me to like pink Smarties, she taught me how to appreciate Night Court and she taught me to love Charles Bronson.

The Charles Bronson thing is probably one of the things I find funniest about my grandmother. You see, Grandma was a very quiet tiny woman. She was tender and sweet with everyone and she was a big giver of hugs. But under her soft exterior was an avid Death Wish fan. Now if you haven’t seen the series, let me just give you a quick rundown:

Charles Bronson plays Paul Kersey, a solid mustache rocking dude who served in the Korean war but who now lives in New York and works as an architect. He has a nice wife and daughter and lives a happy life until some hooligans break into his apartment. They sexually assault his daughter, beat his poor wife and leave them both for dead. Paul’s wife later succumbs to her injuries and his daughter is left catatonic from the trauma of it all. So of course Paul is very upset by this and doesn’t know what to do, especially when he is told by police that the chances of catching the horrible men who did this are slim to none. So to keep from feeling helpless, Paul decides that the best thing to do would be to hit the streets and dispatch his own brand of justice.

Bronson: The man, the myth, the legend (and I believe my grandmother's secret movie boyfriend.)

Now you might think that a petite senior citizen and an angry mustachioed vigilante don’t exact seem like a match made in heaven, but Grandma loved these movies with a passion. She rooted for Charles and displayed a disturbing bloodlust while watching that only grew with each installment. She wanted Charles to get ’em, and she wanted him to get ’em good.

And in this way, I kind of feel like Grandma and I have something in common. Not only do we both love ridiculous action movies, but we also have an serious sense of right and wrong, a feeling that justice always needs to be served. Yeah, it’s kind of bananas and old testament of us, but seriously how satisfying is it to see a jackass get smited? 

Anyway, I got to thinking about this this summer when Boy and I were going through some particularly hard times. We were in the worst of it when someone we both knew and trusted did something kind of crappy to Boy and it got my hackles up.

I’m not going to get into the specifics of who it was or what exactly happened, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t picture this person being ground into a fine dust and released on the wind, never to be seen again. So yes, I was ferociously grumping around the apartment cursing this person’s name until Boy managed to calm me down and . . . I realized I am kind of the Charles Bronson in our relationship. It’s not rational and it’s probably not the best use of my energy, but if you’re an active part of my life, that means I love you, and if someone wrongs someone I love, well that PISSES ME OFF and I want justice.

Thankfully enough, eventually everything worked itself out and my anger did fade, but I still have that initial Charles Bronson reaction to things that I don’t think will ever fully go away. Truth be told, I’m not sure I ever want it to because I’ve come to see there’s some value in that emotion. I’m never going to off someone Bronson-style, but to feel such love and loyalty for a person that you want to defend them, to help them, to root for them, to make things right for them after something goes wrong is kind of a good instinct. At the very least, it’s a lot better than everyone just walking around doing self-serving $h!t all the time. 

I like to think Grandma would approve.

A family snapshot. Death Wish loving Grandma is the one in the rose coloured dress.

*Seriously, the lady went for radiation treatments on her lunch break and headed back to work afterwords. Grandma was hardcore.

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A.K.A. Where Have You Gone, Peabo Bryson, Peabo Bryson.

Peabo Bryson: The poor man's Luther Vandross.

Me (lying in bed): Hey, Boy?
Boy (in living room): Yeah?
Me: Whatever happened to Peabo Bryson?
Boy: Who?
Me: You know, that dude who sang all those Disney duets in the early 90s?
Boy: *sighs* Okay, hold on . . .
*clacking of Boy’s keyboard as he searches the internet for me*
Boy: He got busted for tax evasion in 2003, released a new album in 2007 and has often been engaged to Juanita Leonard, who was formerly married to Sugar Ray Leonard.
Me: Oh.
Boy: Is that all you need?
Me: Yes, that satisfies my thirst for Peabo knowledge. Thank you.

The next morning, I go into the bathroom. When I turn the lights on, the word “Peabo” is written on the mirror in green painter’s tape.

Me: Boy, why is Peabo on the bathroom mirror?
Boy: I wanted you to think that by saying Peabo’s name so many times last night, you had evoked his ghost like in Candyman*.

Peabo Bryson is coming to get you because you made fun of his version of "Beauty and the Beast"!

Me: Oh.
Boy: But then, in the night, I actually got concerned that someone might break in and murder us and then the police would have a hard time figuring out why the word “Peabo” was written on our mirror and then our killer would never be brought to justice due to a stupid prank.
Me: Well, that is always a concern. Poor Peabo, he just manages to dig himself out of debt and then he’s dragged into the murder of two random white Canadians.
Boy: I know!

*For the record, Peabo Bryson is not dead. If you want to learn more about him, you can read it here.

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Since I was a little kid, I have had crushes on older men. I can’t explain why, but in general, I’ve always liked them better and for the majority of my dating life, older guys were all I dated. Granted, I never went too far out of my age range (I think the biggest difference was when I was 19 and I dated someone 25*), but they were always older. Then I met and married Boy who was younger than me**. I still don’t know how that happened exactly, but I am happy it did.

Anyway, yesterday I was talking to a girlfriend of mine about the younger/older man thing and it got me thinking about the older dudes that I have loved, so this morning, I compiled a list for your blog reading entertainment. There are definitely more older men that I have enjoyed, but my criteria for this list was that they had to be 18 years older or more because I thought that would make it more of a challenge. Anyway, read on and see what you think!

1. Tom Selleck in 3 Men and a Baby (1987)
His age at the time of project: 42
My age at the time of project: 5
There’s something about Tom Selleck that’s just awesome and comforting. Maybe it’s his voice. Maybe it’s his demeanor. Maybe it’s his thick luxurious mustache. But damn if the man doesn’t pull off a certain kind of hotness. When he reappeared on Friends as Monica’s boyfriend Richard, he won me over again. Don’t get me wrong, I was rooting for her and Chandler, but he was a viable second alternative.

2. Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins (1964)
His age at the time of project: 39
My age at the time of project: -18 (my parents were 8 and 13 respectively)
Okay, hear me out on this one. Yes, he has a horrible accent as Bert, but he takes the kids to a tea party on the ceiling, he has a great production number as a chimney sweep and he dances with penguins. The penguin thing totally won me over.

3. Sam Elliott in Roadhouse (1989)
His age at the time of project: 45
My age at the time of project: 7
People always talk about Patrick Swayze in this because you see his butt, but for my money, it’s Sam Elliott all the way. He is actually pretty foxy with his crazy long hair and beard in this one and he’s got great arm muscles to boot. I was impressed when I saw him kick some ass in this movie and seriously bummed when he died. If anyone should have survived that movie, it should have been him and not that dippy blonde girl with the table cloth dress. She sucked!

4. Paul Newman in The Sting (1973)
His age at the time of project: 48
My age at the time of project: -9 (My parents were 17 and 22 respectively)
When I was a kid, I would watch this movie at my grandparents house because it was one of the more child friendly things that they owned. But even back then, I could tell Paul Newman was a fox. I mean even as an elderly man, he maintained a handsomeness that few people can lay claim to. As far as I’m concerned, he and Redford weren’t even in the same class.

5. Anthony Bourdain in Kitchen Confidential (2005)
His age at the time of project: 49
My age at the time of project: 23
Men who can cook are kind of amazing to me, so Bourdain making it on the list is a pretty easy hit. In real life, the dude would probably hate me because I use a garlic press, but his books made me laugh and after watching him on TV, I think he’s a total silver fox.

6. John Corbett in Sex and the City (2000)
His age at the time of project: 39
My age at the time of project: 18
That jackhole Mr. Big can eat his freaking heart out, because Aidan was the hotter and more awesome boyfriend. He liked animals, he worked with his hands, and he was just an all around sweet dude. The episode in which Carrie cheats on him makes me yell at the TV every time***. Why, Carrie, why?

7. Bill Murray in Ghostbusters (1984)
His age at the time of project: 34
My age at the time of project: 2
I’m not going to say that Bill Murray is hot, because I don’t think he’s ever really been hot. I will say however, that when the man chooses to be funny, he is really funny and that in turn makes him more attractive. After starting in some of my all time favourite comedies (Ghostbusters, Scrooged, What About Bob?), he earns a spot on the older dude crush list hands down.

8. Chris Sarandon in Fright Night (1985)
His age at the time of project: 43
My age at the time of project: 3
Vampire powers aside, I could totally buy him seducing Amanda Bearse away from William Ragsdale in this one. I mean the man wore some borderline Cosby sweaters in that movie and still managed to look pretty smoking. Not an easy feat, but he pulled it off. Way to go, Sarandon.

9. Harrison Ford in Star Wars (1977)
His age at the time of project: 35
My age at the time of project: -5 (My parents were 21 and 26 respectively)
The boy had enough sarcasm and spunk to be felt across the galaxy and he had a ship that could do the kessel in 12 parsecs. I still don’t know what that means, but as a kid, I thought it was pretty impressive. The man may look like someone’s pissed off grandpa now, but in the day, he was a fox.

10. Sean Connery in Goldfinger (1964)
His age at the time of project: 34
My age at the time of project: -18 (my parents were 8 and 13 respectively)
Maybe it’s something weird that’s been ingrained in me because of my background (my dad’s side of the family is from Dundee), but the Scottish accent gets me everytime. Nicely played, James Bond, nicely played.

Anyway, don’t leave me hanging, internet! Share your older man or woman crushes with me!

*Funnily enough, the 25 year old was the most immature person I ever dated.
**To be fair, Boy is only 8 months younger than me but his birthday falls in another calendar year and because I fast-tracked through high school, he graduated two years after me.
*** Boy gets mad too, but whether or not he’ll cop to watching Sex and the City, I don’t know.

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And I don’t mean lesbian. I mean love. Because hell ya do I love the full length Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World trailer.

If you thought I wasn’t going to post this today, you obviously don’t know me that well.


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