Monday, September 23, 2013

Jason Reviews: Zonad

Zonad is a movie based on logical conclusions.  These logical conclusions are reached from systematically thinking in a logical manor about what logical conclusions are correct.  Here is an example.  Tara likes Chris Hemsworth.  Chris Hemsworth is a male, therefore Tara is a homosexual male because she is attracted to Chris Hemsworth.  See? Completely logical.

Flash Bang

While the Cassidy family was out on a constitutional they saw a flash in the sky and a shooting star.  When they get home they find a man in a red jump suit passed out on their living room floor.  It HAS to be an alien right?

What could it be, no, a man in a costume who escape from a court mandated detox center?  Nahh it has to be an alien.  It is only logical.  Just like Tara being a homosexual male because she is attracted to Chris Hemsworth.  Hmmm tangent here, would Chris Hemsworth be a homosexual if he was a Narcosis?   I am a Narcosis, that must mean I like Chris Hemsworth.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Daredevil and Elektra: Two Underrated Movies

I'll defend them both: Daredevil and Elektra.

As a Marvel movie fan, I know I'm not 'supposed' to do this.

After all, Ben Affleck is over in the DC Universe as Batman now (albeit controversially), and "Daredevil" was released in 2003 by Fox. The rights have reverted back to Marvel since Fox failed to produce another Daredevil flick before October of 2012.

And then there's Elektra, the 'not-true-to-the-comic-book-enough' 2005 movie. Fox made that one, too, only Marvel sadly does not have the rights back (yet).

And now I present my defenses:

  • I saw both films for the first time recently, going in without the expectation of recent Marvel movies.
  • I viewed the director's cuts.

Because Daredevil and Elektra are a couple, I enjoyed watching their stories unfold together. I appreciate how this was planned and how the characters met. Specifically, I tend to view superhero movies in particular through a feminist lens, but I really enjoyed what both movies accomplished, particularly concerning Elektra.

The journey of heroes

I'm disheartened that the Elektra movie in particular is overlooked so frequently. While I agree with the criticism that the film included a gallery of villains (denying each of them their depth), the climactic action was especially appropriate for the female hero's journey, with a special focus on its cyclic nature.

Too often we see the trope of 'single mom and her child' in which the male protagonist fills the missing role for them. Elektra fills that role - additionally, she is not simply a nurturer, but a protector.

As a viewer who had not read the comics, I was most skeptical of the films because of the costuming. However, learning about Daredevil's origins (and his reason for donning the outfit), I completely appreciate the deliberate costuming suggestion.

About the devil costume and the lingerie...

The outfit was actually a reason I hesitated seeing the Elektra film in the past. Judging from the advertising materials, it would seem as though Elektra constantly fights enemies in her skimpy red outfit, serving as simply eye candy for a male audience. Only after watching the film did I realize the true meaning behind it. She dons the outfit as a true means of empowerment, skill, and confidence.

The negatives


These movies came out years ago, but I feel like Fox missed an opportunity to market these films to more specific audiences in addition to existing comic book fans. Elektra, for example, is a movie that every mother should want her daughter to see. Daredevil is a wonderful hero for kids without direction or boys who feel the absence of their fathers - and as an Irish American, it was pretty cool to see the journey of a superhero emerge from Hell's Kitchen. (Seriously, he could be the Boondock Saints' other brother.)

Abby Miller

I appreciate Elektra having a child to mentor - one who doesn't just need a nurturing mother figure in her life (in fact, the dad's the one that usually cooks the dinner...), but someone more like an example or role model. That said, Abby's annoying. The fact that there are two female characters in this trope makes it no less annoying when it's a male role model and a smartass kid being overly annoying.

Abby's problems aren't makeup and boys - and that's good - but she was still pretty snotty.


Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck both performed well in their roles. That said, the casting wasn't at the level that contemporary Marvel movie fans have come to expect. (Is RDJ actually Tony Stark? Yes. Flawless casting happens.)  -- SPOILER BELOW CUT

Friday, June 14, 2013

Street Fighter: The Movie - A Van Damme Good Time!

Street Fighter is an odd movie. It less movie and more of a time capsule.

All the cheesy goodness of the '90s is captured here. Honestly, it could be a new throwback movie today - like Tropic Thunder or The Expendables. Add it to your Netflix Instant Queue now and NEVER TAKE IT OUT. Don't worry if you haven't played the games the movie is based on.

The sheer awesomeness of this movie transcends the games and holds its own, so don't worry.

Can't have a hero without a villain.

Raul Julia is amazing as M Bison. He plays such a maniacal mad man and has so many great lines. This movie has so many good and decent actors and RJ steals the movie.

If you would have told me he played Gomez Addams, I would have never believed it.

Man of Steel: Review (Spoiler-Free)

I didn't go into this movie with very high expectations. The last Superman movie just kind of left me feeling meh. This one was better - one of my favorite movies featuring DC characters - but compared to "Smallville," "Lois & Clark," or any of the recent Marvel movies, it didn't really stack up.

What I liked:

  • Minus the shaky cam, I liked the cinematography - camera angles, intentional focus/unfocus, quickly changing point of view to indicate confusion during action sequence.
  • The roles were all well-cast.
  • The actors performed well and the chemistry between Clark and Lois was believable.
  • The background about the characters - also believable.
  • Russell Crowe as Jor-El was fantastic and expressive.
  • Clark's human parents and some of the scenes in Kansas felt right out of "Smallville."
  • The new Superman costume. I thought it was going to look silly or maybe be a bit too tight, but it didn't.
  • I felt like it had definite elements of "Serenity," "Thor," and "The Matrix" in there, but it was different enough to be its own movie.
  • Chemistry between Superman and Lois.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan - A Retrospective


Walter Koenig as Chekov.
Public Domain Image.
Had to get that out of my system.  I been rewatching the whole Startrek Series in canon Timeline and I got to "Wrath of Khan" last night. Probably one more painful points in the series for me.

Growing up, I was a lot like Spock. I had a hard time fitting in and I was rather logical. (Still am today,  I can just compensate better.) So watching Spock die was as about the same as watching Optimus Prime die.

"Wrath of Khan" wraps up the eugenics wars time arc and the crew of the Botany Bay. Kirk leaves Khan and his crew on  Ceti Alpha V. Well there was a problem, Ceti Alpha V turned into a hellscape desert planet.

My only problem with the movie is how they use this fact in the movie.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

FACE OFF: Unicorn City

Directed by: Bryan Lefler
Starring: Full cast list at IMDB.
Official movie website | Trailer 
(Trailer embedded at end of blog post as well)

Critic: Jason

As a former LARPer (Live Action Role Player),  I have been a Feralkin Paladin, a Centurion Guard, Pixie Sage and an insane chef who almost killed the whole town. I have even been on staff at a game before. So "Unicorn City" was a bit strange for me because I spotted things that would never happen at a LARP. There were real weapons, unpadded weapons, using a car as a prop. Plus, just a lot of modern things in a fantasy setting like the badminton game.

I couldn't really suggest this movie unless you role play in some manor. If you don't, then all this movie will have for you is laughing at socially awkward nerds. You're better off watching another movie. Even for me, being part of the 'off culture,' it was a rough movie to watch. I just didn't like it too much. I couldn't find a reason to like the characters. Heck, I didn't realize until the credits that half of the characters had names.

The Game Itself

Yes, I know the game was made over night but wow there was a lack of effort. LARPs can take a year of writing and testing before they can even make it to a beta test. The movie just shows a lack of research. It would be like having a World War II movie and swapping Hitler with Charlie Chaplin. They look the same but to think of them as such really shows a lack of knowledge on the subject.

Voss Himself

What is my reason for being behind this guy? Why should I want him to succeed? He is a jerk to his friends, he can't see that Marsha has a thing for him, and just a one note stereotype. The movie tries to make his brother look like the mean one, but if your no-prospect brother was sleeping in a closet in your place without paying rent all the time, wouldn't you be angry? There is no character development.  He might as well be scenery.

Just avoid this movie. Watch "Krod Mandoon," "The Guild," or hell, go out to an actual LARP. (Do this at your own risk though. Those people can be a little wacko, right Tara?)  I don't care if you get Netflix for free, don't bother with this one; it isn't worth your time.

Defender: Tara

All I knew about this movie before I started watching it was that it involved LARPing. While I wouldn't say the movie depicted LARPing as I'm at all used to it, I did enjoy it as a charming, lighthearted love story. I think Jason took the movie a bit too seriously (which is weird...because he's Jason). I didn't take this movie as making fun of LARPers at all.

Gamer Jokes

Knowing the potential this movie had for possibly ridiculing LARPers, I was suspicious of it. These kinds of movies really have to display some geek knowledge for me to become fully invested. This movie succeeded - especially considering they played "Dawn of Days" (instead of "Dungeons & Dragons") and Voss wants to work at Warlocks of the Beach (instead of Wizards of the Coast). The quirks were genuine and that helped me ease into the movie.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Examining Franchise Movies and Sequels

Do you remember that time in "Back to the Future II" when Marty McFly travels to 2015 and finds that there are still future incarnations of "Jaws" movies playing in the theater? It was a good joke - and a funny one, mainly because it's true.

Many franchises extend for multiple sequels. Examples include "Indiana Jones" (and its sad attempt at a comeback years later), "Police Academy" (there are seven), and "Pink Panther" (with ten). There seems to be a difference between movies like this and the epic, universe-encompassing franchises such as "Star Wars," "Star Trek," and "Lord of the Rings." However, some movies have made me think about the legitimacy of sequels. Do they exist to tell a story - or just to get more money out of the audience?

A to Z Blogging Challenge: Transmorphers

This was made to cash in on Transformers. In fact they released a prequel: "Transmophers: Fall of Man" a week before "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen"  Fun fact  Revenge of the Fallen is one of Tara's favorite movies, seriously open another tab and google "Tara Clapper Revenge of the Fallen."  I'll wait.  Yup she loves it that much.

Class Reunion

In Febuary, I watched a movie called "Bram Stokers: Draucla's Curse" that was so bad I still have nightmares about it. Well, this movie has ninety some odd percent of the same actors. A year later and some of them must have taken acting lessons because this time it wasn't horrible. It was just bad bordering of passable. They also removed the hangers from the costumes this time.

CGI On The Other Hand...

Is super over-the-top bad. Just god awful. I don't know who made them, but they need to go back to school...for a different profession. The robots just looked funny. They should have made less and had better models. Also, they could have opened a text book and saw how physics worked. If robots crashed into to earth like that, there wouldn't be an earth to save.

Final Verdict

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Ironclad: Historically "Accurate"

The movie works like this: King James III signs the Magna Carta under duress from the Knights Templar. Wanting his power back, King James must lay siege to the rebels at Rochester Castle.

As an Action Movie...

The combat is actually fairly historically accurate. I was very happy when James Purefoy didn't use his sword one handed like some ninja. Those things were heavy. In fact, you could shatter your wrist if you didn't use it right. A lot of the maneuvers that were used were historically accurate for crusaders in the opening scenes.  Everything was well-paced and could easily be a date night movie.

As a Historically Accurate Retelling of the Siege of Rochester...

I don't want to ruin the ending for you, so I will just say this. It is UTTERLY WRONG. FDR: American Badass was more historically accurate than this movie.

Friday, May 10, 2013

A to Z Blogging Challenge: Quest for Movie Fandom Culture

The culture of a movie fandom is unique to each movie, and hard to explain to someone who hasn't ever been a devout fan of anything related to entertainment. That said, I find it no different than a fan's devotion to a favorite musician or author - the only difference is it's another art form; another genre.

Being moderately interested in a movie franchise is the real interesting part. Obsessed fans wonder 'how can you not KNOW that?' and non-fans wonder exactly what the fuss is all about. When you first become interested in a fandom, it might seem really elite, and some fandoms are known for being elite. It's just like a part of joining any other club or interest group.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A to Z Blogging Challenge: Paintball

While on an extreme paintball outing, the players get shot...with bullets. PLOT TWIST! Wow, I think I actually just gave a rather detailed summary of the entire movie. Nope, I don't think I missed anything.


I am actually on a paintball team, so I noticed that there were a ton of glaring flaws with how they depicted the sport. Almost all of them could have been cleared up had they just taken the actors out to the range one for a day, then maybe followed it with some gun safety lessons.

Oh wait, this is Hollywood, and guns are magical things that don't require common sense. Over half the actors didn't have a full masks on...just goggles and a helmet.

A to Z Blogging Challenge: OTPs

Have you ever loved the idea of a fictional couple so much it makes you cry? If so, you have an OTP.

An OTP is a "one true pairing," and your love for an OTP only gets worse when you find others who feel the same way about it. Becoming emotionally invested in a character and his or her relationships isn't as weird as it sounds - almost everyone has felt that way about a book, TV show, or movie at some point.

My first OTP.

I'm pretty sure my first OTP was Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe, as portrayed by Megan Porter Follows and Jonathan Crombie in the made-for-TV "Anne of Green Gables" miniseries, based on the L.M. Montgomery book of the same name. I liked the idea of a smart and witty guy enjoying the same qualities in a female character - and Anne and Gil go through a ton of antics before they even realistically think about the possibility of actually being together.


Most OTPs include a fair amount of drama that makes you wonder if they will or will not ever be together, sometimes (but not always) resulting in a favorable conclusion. Examples include:

  • Buffy and Angel
  • Thor and Jane
  • Thor and Sif
  • Colonel Brandon and Marianne
  • Emma and Edward
  • Simon and Kaylee

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A to Z Blogging Challenge: Nineties movies

Oh, the nineties. I miss the nineties as much as I miss the eighties. It was an odd time; we had two Woodstocks that were so corporate that it would have made hippies roll in their graves if they weren't the ones running the show.

It was also the last decade where things took time. If you saw a movie in '91, you couldn't buy the copy of it till at LEAST '92 or see it on TV until late '92 early '93. Also there was a reason to own a movie because Netflix wasn't a thing. Seriously we had no idea what a Netflix was and how it would kill our productivity at home.

So many movies, so little time.

I remember seeing so many movies that are now considered classics: Wayne's World, Bill and Ted's Bogus Adventure, Ghost, two different Toy Stories, American Beauty, The Big Labowski, Titanic, Home Alone, Braveheart, and wow... I should stop listing movies now.

These are now all classics, and shaped culture. Heck, do you know how many cited Braveheart as historical fact? Guess what? Prima Nocta never happened. English nobles and land owners didn't actually do that to the Scottish, but if the legend is better you go with the legend. Look at Tang; people still think NASA invented it.


Ghost Dad was a thing that happened. I even saw it in the theaters. Fact: Cosby only starred in one movie because Ghost Dad was SO AMAZING.

A to Z Blogging Challenge: Mists of Avalon and Morgaine

"The Mists of Avalon" is a feminist re-interpretation of Arthurian legend. Based on the 1983 Marion Zimmer Bradley novel of the same title, the book and made-for-TV-miniseries caused me to drastically redefine how I think about the past.

In the past, most of our legends and stories were spoken of and written down by men. In past times (and sometimes in the present), the influence of patriarchy strongly interprets even the most progressive tellings of events.

"Mists of Avalon" changed that for me. It follows the struggles of several prominent women in Arthurian legend - defined by their roles and men in a patriarchal, male-centric society that includes a king. I will go into more detail about Queen Guinevere in a future "Q" entry, but today I'd like to talk about Morgan Le Fay, or Morgaine (Juliana Margulies), as she is represented in this 2001 Uli Edel film.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A to Z Blogging Challenge: La Mission

"La Mission" follows a father and son working though their issues. The father, an ex-convict, has to deal with anger issues, and his son has to deal with understanding his homosexuality and his father. To say his father isn't quite understanding and accepting is an understatement.

A Father.

Through out the movie you can tell Che does love his son. He just can't come to grips with his son's sexuality. It is a cocktail problem: part religion, part fear for his son's safety, and a touch of homophobia from not understanding what it means to be gay. It doesn't help that he was in prison, one of the most macho environments outside of the military.

A Son.

Jes is a really strong character. The whole time he stands up for himself. It would have been easy to claim it was a phase or that it was something that could be prayed away. Even worse; it was a white boy... you don't surprise your dad with a white boy. You work them up to a white boy if you live in the hood. Instead he tries to explain it to his dad, and work out with him and pushes back against people as they try to bully him.

A to Z Blogging Challenge: Kung Fu Fighter

Ahh K, sweet lady K. Today is KUNG FU Movie time with the aptly named "Kung Fu Fighter." I know what you're saying, a more generic name could not be found. "Kung Fu battle between two foes who don't seem to see eye to eye on an important issue so they have to fight with Kung Fu till the death or reasonably close!" was actually filmed the previous year. Now I love me some kung fu movies.  All you have to do is throw the words "kung fu" in a movie title, and most likely I will watch it.

Retro Vibe Including the Bad Over-Dub.

I actually think "What's Up Tiger Lily" had a better over dub than this movie and Woody Allen actually wrote a whole new script.  At first it was enduring but after a while is crossed into being annoying.  There was an entire scene where they did a dialog drop while the speaker didn't move his lips and had his tongue out the whole time. A good solid two minuets of spoken dialog without moving his lips.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A to Z Blogging Challenge Bonus: Jurassic Bark

In reply to: JURASSIC PARK

Tara,  I am not sure how you watched Season 4 Episode of Futurama in the 90s when it was aired in 2002, but how can you be happy thinking about it?  It is easily the saddest sitcom episode of any television show ever.  What kind of person are you, Tara?  Fry lost his dog Seymour, and the Seymour waited without any chance of Fry coming back.

Watch with your dog.

If you watch this hyper sad episode of Futurama be prepaired to cry and hug your dog.

You seriously don't have a dog!?

If you don't have a dog,  adopt one first at your local shelter.  I suggest naming your new dog Rex and teaching him or her an adorable trick for parties.  What ever you do though,  don't I repeat don't dress your dog up.  Rex seriously wouldn't like that.

A to Z Blogging Challenge: Jurassic Park

“Jurassic Park” was a movie that heavily influenced me as a young adult. I know you're supposed to be influenced by something more 'deep' like “Citizen Kane” or generational like “Easy Rider” and “The Breakfast Club,” but for me, it was “Jurassic Park.” I guess it just came along at the point in my life when I was looking for something.

That's what makes “Jurassic Park” so magnificent in a less-than-dinosaur-sized obvious way. Each character in that movie really has a personal quest – whether it's to find understanding in a parent's divorce or to achieve validation of a scientific theory.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A to Z Blogging Challenge: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

"Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" is a nostalgic film for many of my friends. It's a movie from our childhood. Watching it as objectively as possible and reading reviews from younger viewers of the film, however, it's also clear that this film has the potential to be perceived as culturally insensitive by contemporary audiences.

The Criticism:
In the movie, our hero and his companions wind up facing worshipers of a goddess called Kali (kind of like in "Help!"). As they attempt to escape, members of the Thuggee cult attempt to takeover the mind of Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) - and steal his heart - literally. Some viewers find the portrayal of this historical group offensive, as there were apparently actually religious zealots worshiping Kali and killing up to a million in her name. Furthermore, India briefly banned the movie on grounds of cultural insensitivity.

Critics also dislike Willie (Kate Capshaw), Indy's love interest in this film. Used to finer things, Willie's not the world's best companion when it comes to adventuring with elephants and creepy crawlies. (She also screams a lot.)

Lastly, some viewers are offended by Short Round (Jonathan Ke Quan), Indy's underage Asian sidekick. This kid drives cars and it's clear Indiana's a mentor to him, but critics call out the immoral treatment of the child because in real life, Indiana would be putting him in danger.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A to Z Blogging Challenge: Help!

Help! Help! Help! Yeah - I mean, yeah, yeah, yeah - like, The Beatles movie.

Cheesy, comedic, and culturally insensitive, "Help!" is a favourite movie of mine. After all, It stars The Beatles (and Beethoven's "Ode to Joy").

Besides my apparent fangirlish nature, I do have many reasons for enjoying this movie.

The music. The Beatles' album of the same title contains some of my favorite Beatles tunes. Due to their musical evolution and the progression of the interpersonal relationships within the band, "Help!" symbolizes a period of musical cohesion for the band. That said, the title track is catchy and upbeat - but have you ever read the lyrics as a standalone piece? This movie is cute and artistic, but it says something more - as does John Lennon.

While The Beatles were truly innovative, McCartney has repeatedly said that they were simply bringing existing elements of counterculture into the mainstream - not inventing them. "Help!" represents a fading innocence years before the counterculture sensed it. As a result, I feel like I have a completely different read on the movie and song than people of my parents' generation.

The tiger. As a kid, I loved the tiger. The tiger randomly appears when Ringo is trapped in his basement along with his fancy ring. As the tiger enters the room, there is dramatic cinematography and a poignant subtitle: A tiger.

Last innocent foray. "Help!" represents The Beatles' last film frolic, mainly construed as 'innocent' by contemporary audiences. After this, it was into the realm of psychodelia and legal battles.

Monday, April 8, 2013

A to Z Blogging Challenge: Eighties Movies and Why We Like Them

Jason on the 80s:

The 80s were a magical time for movies.  They looked to the future, they taught us how to rebel, and they were completely unique to the time. Worlds similar to ours that we really waned to live in. Personally I wanted to attend Atoms College of "Revenge of the Nerds" fame, after attending San Dimas High School (I hear their football team rules!) from the sublime "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure." Then afterwards, move to Chicago and be in parades every day. I was young and thought that was an option.

The 80s had proper parody movies, too. Movies that had jokes for all intelligence levels; it's just I liked the lowest common denominator ones more. DATE MOVIE,  EPIC MOVIE,  MOVIE MOVIE, SCARY MOVIE 1 - 30!  I like crass humor but at least be smart about it... just because I have a common ancestor with an ape doesn't mean I fling poop.

The best part about the 80s: you could go to the movies without taking out a loan or having a fear or losing your car. I think I can buy a black market kidney for less money than it takes to see a movie now. Heck,  there are countries with less GDP than it takes to see a movie at the Regal.

I still remember my mom taking me to Batman and flipping my little kid ummm... doody.... when the Teen Age Mutant Ninja Turtles popped up or bawling my eyes out at Optimus Prime dying. Seriously, do you remember how sad that scene was? Just thinking about it now makes my throat swell up. Two years ago we were watching it for Rick's (Tara's husband) birthday and it got really quiet during that scene. Almost three decades later and it can still cut me to the core.

I want to start a campaign to keep Micheal Bay away from my childhood. I felt like my childhood was punched in the back of the head when his Transformers movie came out. Now he wants to make the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles aliens. Freaking Aliens. Seriously someone stop him, all I have or the memories from this golden age.  Wow this got sad quick... post a picture of a dog in a sombrero, Tara.

...Ahh that makes everything better.

Tara's Take: The 80s

A to Z Blogging Challenge: Cabin in the Woods

"Cabin in the Woods" isn't my favorite movie ever, but I adore it because (like "Devil's Carnival"), it's unlike any movie I've ever seen before. I should also preface this review by saying that I'm not the biggest fan of the horror genre, although I will watch anything Joss Whedon creates (and anything Chris Hemsworth is in). I watched this movie mainly because of those reasons, and also because when I went to Philly Comic Con last year, Hemsworth mentioned the movie including a unicorn and I'm kind of into unicorns.

If you go into this movie with the right expectations, you'll probably enjoy it. It's a cheesy, well-thought out horror movie. 

Each character in the movie represents an archetype of someone you might find at college. This group of friends (including a jock and a stoner) head up to - you guessed it - a cabin in the woods for a weekend. Mayhem ensues.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

A to Z Blogging Challenge: A Good Old Fashioned Orgy

I did not expect to find this movie touching. Who ever roots for the rich son to not lose his summer house in the Hamptons? It sounds less plausible than Jello Biafia writing a dissertation on why commercialism is a good thing in music. Yet here we are; I enjoyed this movie.

The characters are lovable. Specially if you are at the same stage of life, they are all easy to relate to. I mean we all been in this situation. Not the sex orgy situation sick-o. I mean that awkward time trying to figure out what you want with your life. 

Although congrats on the, Orgy Mr or Mrs Interesting Reader,  please send in your stories as a guest post.  (I am sure Tara will approve of this.)

A to Z Blogging Challenge: Bubba Ho-Tep

Elvis is alive and the CIA changed JFK's skin color and they are both living in an old age home in the middle of nowhere. I thought this was a fiction; what's not to believe? This movie is COMPLETELY grounded in reality. Well, at least until they introduce a mummy named Bubba Ho-Tep. Everyone knows mummies aren't real.

All Joking Aside, This Explains Elvis.

Early in the movie, we find that the real Elvis got tired of being famous and decided to pass along the title.  Then the Elvis impersonator went over the edge and we had cray jump suit Elvis eating a sandwich that took an entire loaf of bread. Doesn't knowing this make you feel better? This is now the world I choose to live in.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A to Z Blogging Challenge: The Avengers

So we're a bit late on actually starting the A to Z Blogging Challenge (totally my fault), but I'll gladly start back at A. Why? Because "Avengers," that's why.

There are many reasons to like this movie. Flawless casting, plot twists, and the knowledge that director Joss Whedon is an evil mastermind who will eventually break your heart by making you love characters before he tortures and/or kills them. (I'm so sorry, Thor. That's just how Joss rolls.)

Now that the movie has been out for a year and Marvel is about to release the phase 2 movies, I've prepared a list of frequently asked questions many fans have after seeing "The Avengers." (NOTE: Spoilers below.)

Is Coulson dead? - Answer: Probably not. After all, he appears in the upcoming "S.H.I.E.L.D." TV series.

Is Jane Foster angry that Thor didn't you know, stop to say hi or Skype when he was on Earth? - Answer: This topic is addressed in an interview "Thor" actor Chris Hemsworth gave back in November of 2012. Apparently this subject will be addressed in the movie. Additionally, actor Chris O'Dowd is rumored to appear as Jane's date in "Thor 2: The Dark World."

Will Pepper Potts become Rescue? - Audiences long for Pepper Potts to take a more active role in the "Iron Man" franchise. A fan favorite, she's the real brains behind running Stark's entire company. In the comic books, Pepper becomes "Rescue" and gets her own suit. Many think this will happen in the final "Iron Man" movie.

Who is the next big villain? - "Avengers" villain Loki teamed up with The Other, a being who works for (and therefore isn't likely as powerful as) Thanos. This means that a future "Avengers" movie could tackle The Other as well as Thanos. At this point, it's presumed that the "Thor" sequel will deal with Loki's punishment and that Thor and company will possibly enlist Loki's assistance.

Do you have any other lingering questions after seeing "The Avengers?" Please post them in the comments below!

A to Z Blogging Challenge: FDR: American Badass

Wait, what did I just see?! Did I just imagine that whole movie? There is no way that just happened.

Seriously, this movie happened, and if you love crass humor like I do, then you should watch it. This movie goes blue real quick.

A German Werewolf Outside of Paris.

The movie starts when a Nazi werewolf attacks Governor Franklin's hunting party. After the creature kills two people, FDR takes matters into his own hands with some good old fisticuffs. Then we find out werewolves are carriers for polio. (Glad we finally explained how FDR contracted polio.) Honestly, I am pretty sure this movie is historically accurate. At least I wish it was.

Historical Fiction + Monsters = AMAZING.

2012 AD gave birth to an amazing trend. Take a historical figure and have them fight monsters. I really hope 2013 continues this oddball trend. We got to see Abraham Lincoln fight zombies and vampires in two separate movies and now FDR in a tricked-out wheel chair killing werewolves.

Monday, February 18, 2013

FACE OFF: Devil's Carnival

FACE OFF: "Devil's Carnival" (2012) 

Defender: Jason

"Devil's Carnival" is a self-funded project by the people behind "Repo: The Genetic Opera." Everything about this movie is amazing. The atmosphere, the costumes, the characters,  the writing, and the music (you should all buy the soundtrack now!) fire on all cylinders. Nothing here falls flat at all.

"Devil's Carnival" follows three lost souls who recently departed as they enter hell.  Each person's tale is based on an Aesop's Fable. I really don't want to mention what tales, though, because it will ruin way to much of the story for you.

Come One, Come All!

The carnival is amazing. The set designers did an amazing job; when I go to hell it better look half as good as this movie. If it doesn't, then it won't be nearly as ominous or creepy. Add in the costume design for the carnies and you get something that is some mythical word that is better than amazing. Ultra-amazing maybe? I not sure we have a word to describe it.


Because this movie was self-funded, they had to do their own publicity. Luckily, "Repo" has such a cult following that they already had a good fan base, but really more people should know about this movie. It is just so great. There are just too many things to like about this movie.

Two more episodes have been written, and there was word that they will continue the story if they can afford it. So please buy this movie and tell your friends. Everyone should have their 'tickets' ready.

Critic: Tara

I thought this movie was iffy. If you're looking for a movie with extensive plot, look elsewhere. If you want a macabre showcase of songs, check it out. It's more like a revue.


Like Jason, I enjoyed the aesthetic of this movie. As a fan of the steampunk genre, I appreciated the Victorian carnival-inspired costuming. The costuming really defines the members of the carnival, including the victims who fall to hell.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

We're Co-Hosting the All Things Irish Blog Hop!

All Things Irish Blog Hop - 3/17/2013

are co-hosting the 2013 All Things Irish Blog Hop. 

On 3/17/13 (St. Patrick's Day), blog hop participants will publish something related to Ireland, Irish culture, Irish diaspora, or St. Patrick's Day.

Please schedule your blog posts to publish ON St. Patrick's Day.

Ideas for your blog topic include:

  • Review of an Irish movie
  • Reflection on Irish American Culture
  • Irish fashion
  • St. Patrick's Day
  • Irish recipes
  • Content about beer
  • St. Patrick's Day safety tips
  • How your family or city celebrates St. Patrick's Day
  • A short story with an Irish theme
  • Interview with an author who is Irish or member of the Irish diaspora
  • Irish craft ideas
  • Irish history

Please note that while this is a friendly blog hop, it is open to all blogs and blog types. Some participating blogs may include content that is:

  • Religious
  • Adult
  • Political

All participants must express their opinions in any commentary and comment in a respectful manner.

As hosts of the blog hop, Tara (of both hosting blogs) and Jason (of Jason and Tara Argue About Movies) will read and promote the first 300 participating blogs and provide a comment.

You may join until 8:00 PM EST on 3/16/2013.

Simple guide to joining:
1) Place the following image on the main page of your blog and link it to

You may copy and paste this code (copy and paste only items between the XMP tags. Do not paste XMP tags):
<xmp><a href=""><img src=""></a></xmp> 

2) Sign up using the below list (via Linky)

3) Spread the word! Make this a successful blog hop!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

REVIEW: "Dracula's Curse"

REVIEW: "Dracula's Curse" (2006)

This blog is part of the 2013 Precious Monsters Vampire Blog Hop (Valentine's Day, 2013).

NOT Recommended...

Wow, I am not sure what to say about this movie. It is so bad it became good again then went straight back to awful. Just everything about this movie is whole new level of suck. I am not a fan of Bram Stoker's novel but he should consider coming back from the grave and taking everyone involved with this movie out. I mean it King Tut has his curse, Bram should get something for this. All Tut had were some grave robbers. Nothing this bad.

First off, the acting is as hollow as you can get. Not one actor in the whole movie has inflection in their voice. They have normal and angry voices. It is like the actor/esses have never had a normal conversation in their lives. It is like they scoured the local high school for acting talent.

Then when it comes to the fight scenes, they are so robotic. Everyone moved like they had a hanger still in their coat. Just an amateur effort all around. Also, I got the feeling that Col Rufus (played by Thomas Downey) wanted to wink at the camera every time he fired a gun or landed a punch.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

REVIEW: "Wrong Turn Two: Dead End"

REVIEW: "Wrong Turn Two: Dead End" (2007)

Not gonna lie,  I am watching this because I was to lazy to turn on Netflix and nothing is on TV.  The original "Wrong Turn" was too dark to see. Dark enough that is wasn't scary at all. They corrected that problem in this one: most of the movie takes place in the day, and the night scenes are light enough that you can actually see the movie.

Plus there is 100% more Henry Rollins in this one. True fact: Henry Rollins' body contains more awesome in it than the entire state of Utah. He has had to deal with this his whole life by producing awesome things lest he explode. This movie is surprisingly one of them.  

Let's paint the forest red!

The gore was pretty good for a straight-to-DVD movie. In fact, they did better than the previous movie that was meant for theaters. I also learned that when a person explodes it create more of a blood splatter than what was actually in the victim's body. Also, not everyone throws up when they find out they just ate their friend. (More on that later...)

Story, as in, there was one.

Well it was more of a premise really. But then again a premise is really all a slasher movie needs. When out filming a reality TV show, all mayhem breaks out when deformed cannibal hillbillies start raising havoc. How many times have you wished for this after flipping past "The Bachelor" or "Jersey Shore?" I don't even watch those shows and wish it would happen. 

Remember your roots

This movie was done as an homage to 80s horror movies. There are almost no noticeable CGI effects. Almost everything was a Karo blood and explosions. It even had the same kitsch that I remember from my childhood. 

I found myself screaming in my head, "why are you going in that cabin?!" or "WATCH OUT!" There were even three great references in the movie. The shows director was wearing a "Battle Royale" shirt and the cast was trying to survive in the woods. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

REVIEW: "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters" 3D

Review: "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters" 3D (2013)
This review contains no spoilers.

Directed by: Tommy Wirkola
Starring: Jeremy Renner and Gemma Aterton
Official movie website and trailer 

I wasn't sure what to expect when I went to see "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters" in 3D, but what I got was "Buffy: the Vampire Slayer" meets "Once Upon a Time" and "Snow White and the Huntsman" (SWATH). This movie adequately capitalizes on the interest in re-made fairy tales and legendary lore.

Is There Incest? No. Thank goodness. There's romance, but no incest, and that's all you're getting out of me in terms of plot. Besides, you'll have the entire movie plot figured out within the first ten minutes.

Go for the Renner, stay for the explosions.

It's Rated R. Seriously. Being an adult, I don't really pay attention to mainstream movie ratings, so I just kind of assumed that "H&G" was PG-13. I thought it would be done in the style of "SWATH," a fresh re-telling of a traditional story. While it was that, it was definitely darker and more adult.

The characters use the F word when appropriate and the violence and gore are gratuitous. Unfortunately, the filmmakers didn't take advantage of the R rating when it came to a sex scene. Needless to say, Renner fangirls everywhere will be disappointed, but at least he appears shirtless, so there are arms.

Not Too Serious... Like "Buffy," this movie is entertaining and engaging without taking itself too seriously. The witch nemeses are presented in full-out attire and embellishment. This movie isn't in a half-fantasy world - it goes full-scale when it comes to the fantastic.

Aesthetic. This film blended medieval fantasy and steampunk attire and weapons. I wish more movies did that. It made it different from "SWATH," which is an obvious comparison since Renner's "The Avengers" co-star Chris Hemsworth plays the Huntsman in that film.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


FACE OFF: Thor (2011)

Directed by: Kenneth Branagh
Distributed by: Marvel Entertainment
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Tom Hiddleston
Official movie website | Trailer 

Critic: Jason

Full disclosure, I do actually like this movie. Just not nearly as much as Tara. It is hard for her to go a single day without mentioning the Thor. It is kinda like a little kid with Pokemon, its all Squitle this and Pikachu that. If Tara was ever weaponized as a drinking game we would all be dead from alcohol poisoning. I do have some problems with the movie though.

Let me paint a picture, a blonde man wearing tight jeans gets out of an expensive car and pushes around a nerd. Did you hope that everything turns out well for Mr. Blonde? If so you just got behind every 80s movie villain that wanted to close your rec center.

That's right, Thor is an 80s cheese ball movie villain. He starts out the movie as an arrogant man-child who throws temper tantrums when he can't get his way. After three of the Jotunheites break into the armory, Thor wants to destroy their world. Punish a whole world for the actions of three Jotdidians. Never mind Mr. Blonde, he is looking pretty nice. I mean what is one rec center vs. a whole freaking world of Sons of Jotenheim. Yeah Loki makes a better try, he is a better character after all, but he is the freaking villain. He is supposed to do this stuff.

How about the Warriors Three? How the hell is Errol Flynn and a Ninja Scandinavian? Seriously, and how about the armor. It looks like it was designed by Tony Stark as failed Iron Man prototypes. Could they have gone more space aged with the design? Why not have them be in space suits investigating Uranus, because it felt like they were investigating Myanus. Also Thor's accent, could it be more wrong? Seriously how is that Scandinavian at all. It sounds more like the people the Scandinavians raided and pillaged instead. Plus the beard is a disgrace.

Loki is actually better.

Loki character has way more depth. Poor Loki finds out he adopted and thinks that is why Odin picks his man-child brother to be king of space town over him and his superior handsomeness. (Loki fans, AMIRITE?!) So what does Loki do? Outsmarts them all and gets very close to being the space king. That why Thor went on to be a Huntsman having to kiss Stewart and Loki went on to be in "War Horse."

You wanted Science?

Jane should have died or at least been horribly maimed twice in the Destroyer fight. First when the Destroyer destroyed the gas station. It blows up a 7-11 gas station and there is barely a shock wave. A Gas station explosion releases a lot of energy. Simply fire at one and they evacuate a whole block. An explosion would be more damage faster. She was barely a half a block away when it happened. Then she is on top of Thor when the hammer comes back....bringing lighting. A ground shock can have a decent kill radius. Seriously she was better off with V shaving her for the bad English accent.

It isn't the worst Marvel movie; that goes to "Electra."  It's just not a very good one. Thor is just a man-child and Loki doesn't get enough screen time.

Random notes and thoughts:

  • When the town tried to lift Thor's hammer: “Whosoever lifts this hammer from the stone is king of Mine Craft.”
  • When Thor was trying to lift the hammer after the mud fight: “Wow this would make a good beer commercial.”
  • After he fails to lift the hammer: “How did he get so clean when Coulson was talking to him. Did they let him shower and give him a shirt?”
  • When Thor gives Jane the notebook back: “How does Thor know about the Hubble but none of our other technology.”   

Defender: Tara

FIRST POINT: LOOK AT THOR. IF you still need further convincing that this is a worthwhile movie, feel free to read on.

Okay, this is my favorite movie ever. I had to take a day or two to like, not unleash some rage on Jason for hating on my favorite movie and favorite actor. Clearly when he was watching this movie, he wasn't actually looking at how amazing looking Thor actually looks. As Jane says in the movie: "It's a good look."

Thor is a hero - but he doesn't start out that way. That's what makes him appealing. He's not a cheesy 80s villain; he learns to be humble (and human, while he's mortal) and that's the whole point of the movie - that's what makes him worthy. The most romantic part of it is that he clearly recognizes it couldn't have happened without Jane Foster - who, by the way, is a rather kick ass character in her own way.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Review: Blitz

Review: "Blitz" (2011)

Directed by: Elliot Lester
Starring: Jason Statham, Paddy Considine, Aidan Gillen
Official movie website and trailer 

Synopsis: A ruthless killer is targeting cops. It takes an especially dangerous cop to catch the killer.

Reviewer: Jason
Status: Meh.

Jason Statham is actually 'The Most Interesting Man in the World' in the commercials. It took a lot of effort, but he built a time machine and came back to film them. Statham has been a model, Olympic diver, black market merchant, martial artist in multiple forms - and when he gets the time, he's an actor.

That's why I was sad to see "Blitz." Maybe my expectations were too high from movies like the "Transporter" series where Statham did all his own stunts. This movie was relatively boring.

When I watch a movie for this blog I usually have my laptop open or a piece of paper so I can take notes. This time, I only wrote one thing,  "Joker-Purple." The action is few and far in between and the plot was pretty easy to guess.  


The villain Barry Weiss reminded me a lot of The Joker. When we are introduced to him he isn't wearing a shirt and has a purple and blue track suit with toxic green sun glasses. Actually, a lot shots they did were reminiscent of how they shot the Joker in "The Dark Knight." Problem is, that is too lofty of a goal for even the best movie. Aidan Gillen doesn't fall flat as a villain, he is just no Ledger.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

PREVIEW: Jason and Tara Argue About Thor

It's going to be pretty epic. I mean, "Thor" is pretty much my favorite movie ever.

Because, Thor. 

Now, I'm pretty sure Jason likes "Thor," he's just not completely in love with it like I am.

If you get into a discussion with me about this movie or its characters...well, he's a brave man, he is. I can pretty much win an argument about anything in this movie, from the validity of the space-folding Einstein-Rosen Bridge concept, to the length of Jane Foster's eyelashes.

Yes, I will even use math and science against Jason (who actually understands math and science) if it means properly defending this movie.

Bring. It. On.

FACE OFF: Guilty Pleasures

FACE OFF: Guilty Pleasures
"Gossip Girl" vs. "Snooki and Jwoww" - Who Wins?

Jason's Guilty Pleasure: "Gossip Girl"

I heart-o-potamus "Gossip Girl," or as the other fans say "totes luv it!" I have a wing-dang-doodle so I shouldn't like it, but the show is just so damn juicy. In the first episode, Serena comes back and we find out she slept with Nate, her BFF's boyfriend. Dan meets Serena and it is sooo love at first sight but we find out that Dan's dad Rufus and Serena's mom Lily dated while they were younger and they still carry a torch for each other. The show is so amazing that it causes run on sentences!

ZOMG the fashion!  Even the poor characters are put together.

Look at those dresses!  All four of them are AH-MAZING. I could seriously live in their closets. Those two on the right are in little black dresses. Seriously, that is drab for them.

Then There's The Back Stabbing.

Everyone plots against everyone. "Gossip Girl" is like the Roman Senate. I mean like Oh My God every episode there is something new and juicy and it never gets tiresome. I once watched five hours accidentally and had to call out of work.

I am sad the show ended. I still have to catch up on Season 6. I decided to re-watch them and hope that six is on Netflix when I get there.

Tara's Guilty Pleasure: "Snooki and Jwoww"

I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but I actually like "Snooki and Jwoww." I guess I enjoy it because the show depicts what I've seen happening so often in real life: an irresponsible, self-centered person gets pregnant and actually gets her act together.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Review: Neo Ned

Review: "Neo Ned" (2005)

Directed by: Van Fischer
Starring: Jeremy Renner and Gabrielle Union
Official movie website and trailer 

Synopsis: A Neo-Nazi meets a black woman who thinks she's Hitler. Romance blossoms, revenge may happen.

Reviewer: Tara
Status: Recommended

Watched it for Renner, stayed for the story.

I'm always hesitant to really pass judgment on movies when I can't actually figure out how I feel about them. This is one of a select few films that made me a little uncomfortable for one reason or another - but this one I ended up really liking after watching it a second time. I found out about this gem thanks to my friend Jo, who adores actor Jeremy Renner in all of his "Avengers" glory and beyond.

Jeremy Renner in "Neo Ned."
Acting Talent and Characterization
I'm not sure what it is about Renner that makes me believe he could just turn around and methodically kill someone, but that's kind of a thing for him. He pulls it off really well in just about every movie, including this one. Throughout the whole movie, I kept wondering when he'd snap.

Similarly, Gabrielle Union offers an unflinchingly believable performance. It took me a while to wrap my head around the fact that she's playing a (black) mental patient who considers herself the reincarnation of Hitler, but once I accepted it, I started to note the quirky comparability of the characters.

Neither of them make sense, individually or together, but they make sense to each other in a world otherwise meaningless to them.

Let's also not forget that Cary Elwes makes an appearance in this film as Dr. Magnuson.

So Why Is Ned Neo?
Ned hangs out with his dad in jail. Clearly, his father was the best example for him throughout his life and he wants to make a connection with his family.This is why Ned chose the Neo-Nazi lifestyle. It's shocking enough to be interesting; relatable enough to be emotionally confusing for the viewer.

The movie, of course, is actually about finding family - whether it's someone who will just be weird with you or actually tracking down your family, as Rachael wishes to do. Ned wants to help her accomplish all of this.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Face Off: Lord of the Rings Trilogy

FACE OFF: Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Directed by: Peter Jackson
Distributed by: New Line Cinema
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Liv Tyler, Elijah Wood. Full cast list at IMDB.
Official movie website | Trailer 

Critic: Jason

Nine hours I will never get back: Lord of the Rings.

I will start out by saying by stating two things. I liked "Fellowship of the Ring," and I have not read the books.

There is a reason people say “Ohhh you watched that movie? The book was SO MUCH BETTER!” A writer isn't charged every time they use the word “The”, But every minute on the silver screen cost money. This means that the nine hours we got was majorly cut down.

Well that caused a lot of problems for us illiterates out there, I watched Gandalf die just to come back as Gandalf the White with NO EXPLANATION. Worst part was no one was weirded out. “Oh HAI, WERENTZ YOU DEAD LIKE A MOVE AGO?” “Why yes I was indeed dead, that is why I am now Gandalf the White."  “OTAY THATZ LIKE COOL!” “One more death and I'll be Gandalf the “Egg Shell Cream on a cloudy day."

Then we have Gollum. I thought Frodo was losing his mind because for the most part in the movie Frodo is only one who interacts with Gollum and never asks for help. “Umm hey, there is this creepy guy following us. He with you?” No nothing of the sort. I actually just learned in a trailer for “The Hobbit” that Gollumn wasn't a hallucination over a decade later.

Money Problems.There was only so much budget for the movie. "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" split the party up, and they would cut back and forth at bad times. We would get twenty five minutes of Hobbits riding a tree and then they finally get to a battle they would cut to the other party. Then when Aragorn's party would come up on something interesting, they would cut back to Frodo and Sam after the battle. I actually had a hard time staying awake.

Then there is "Return of the King."  “We need like a thousand more warriors to have a chance.” Just so happens that these dead people owe the king a favor? Really. Dead people owe the king a favor and now they just happen to have enough soldiers to defeat the evil force. You know where we have seen that plot arc before? Beach movies with Frankie Avalon. “Oh no, we need $503.27 to pay the taxes on the beach house and there is a surf contest is $503.27!” "Return of the King" doesn't have the camp value to make that work.

Then we have all twenty endings. I kept on getting up thinking, “Oh good the movie is over....nope still more.” After the third or fourth ending I told my ex-gf that I am leaving after the next ending.

Now let's talk about the last ending. Frodo sails off to heaven. Lets think about this for one second, Gods usually hang out in heaven and can over power the strongest mortal. So it stands to reason that if Frodo made a bee line for the afterlife and took the ring then Sauron couldn't get to it. No he has to take it to the ONE volcano in the entire world. Not to Mount “No one lives here” or “Mt. Kitten Whiskers."  No. Mt. Freaking Doom.

So to sum it up, they were horrid movies and people like them because they cost a lot to make. They didn't even have the most important character in the books in them. A Narrator to describe every blade of grass on the screen for us. That would have made the movie better. I know more about Duran Duran's“Rio” because of Pop Up Videos. Maybe Jackson can try that with the hobbit trilogy.   

Defender: Tara 

The entire "Lord of the Rings" trilogy is amazing. We'll just put aside the fact that I'm kind of obsessed with Elves and that Aragorn and Arwen are a serious OTP for me. (That kind of happens every time there is a spark between a mortal and an immortal, kind of like Buffy/Angel and Jane/Thor. But I digress.) I'm going to take this point by point, addressing each bolded section in Jason's case against the trilogy.

I actually saw the movies before I read the books, except for "Return of the King," and I was/am still a huge fan of the movies.

Being an English major, I understood Gandalf's transformation rather easily. Gandalf clearly serves as the guide archetype in LOTR. From the very beginning, he knows that the journey will change Frodo. He sees Frodo (as he had seen Bilbo) as a young and enthusiastic Hobbit. Gandalf will do whatever it takes to ensure the success of the mission, and in fighting the Balrog, he sacrificed as any mentor would do. Following his sacrifice, Gandalf is reborn to the next level; if you notice, there are changes when he returns as Gandalf the White. He truly wears the ultimate responsibilities of an Istar, now.

Gollum's interactions are confusing at first - that's true. But watch the way he skulks about after Frodo. Why is it that Frodo really fears him? Because Gollum is less important as a present character and more important as Frodo's living fear. Frodo isn't as afraid of the creature attacking him as he is of what Gollum represents. Hold on to this ring too long, and this is what will happen to me. Be without it; this is what I may become. And we do see in the end of the movies that Frodo has changed - he has lost so much of his innocence that he has trouble acclimating to life in the Shire once more.

I thought the second movie was a bit slow, and I feel this way about the second movie in many trilogies. The original "Star Wars" trilogy is a fine example, and it's one reason I'm nervous about all of the Marvel Phase 2 movies that are coming out soon. Changing POV (point of view) between different groups helped break the movie up. And while I'm not the biggest fan of the Ents (tree people), they serve a very important element in the story and I'm glad they're in it. The Ents represent:

Topic Face Off: The Bechdel Test

FACE OFF: The Bechdel Test (topic)

Originated by: Alison Bechdel

Introduction: What is the Bechdel Test?

The Bechdel Test is a competency applied to movies, books, graphic novels, and other media. For the purposes of this blog entry, we'll discuss how it applies to movies (since that's what we review).   To pass the test, a movie must a) feature two named female characters who b) have a conversation with each other about c) something other than a man. You can learn more about the Bechdel Test at

Critic: Jason

Tis a silly test.

Tara how is your husband?  (Whew had to fail the test first.) I find it funny that this post is tagged with the word "equality." The Bechdel Test does nothing to promote equality or even find it in media. It even slurs the idea of what a well-rounded character is. When I get together with friends, I don't always talk about women BUT the topic comes up. That is because I am, like the majority, not asexual.

I don't curb these discussions because I am proud of who and what I am. Now I understand that it is bad character development if a character (no matter what the gender) is one-track minded. It is the reason Sam Malone in "Cheers" progressively becomes a pathetic character with each season. We get the joke, he sluts around town and the guys applaud him for it. Also Vince Vaughn; I don't need to say any more.

Princess vs Princess.  

Tara pointed out to me that "Star Wars" movies don't pass even though Leia is a strong, well-rounded character  (The point of the test mind you.)  Leia saves Hon Solo by going under cover at Jabba's. Also, don't forget she took over her own rescue when Luke and Han were saving her and ended up saving them.  That's right the save-ee becomes the saver. Take that, hunter/hunted!

Now lets look at Cher from "Clueless."  Cher is a valley girl in high school and a horrible stereotype. Heck, I am just a cross dresser and I am offended by Cher. She can't earn good grades and must negotiate and barter for them; she can't drive,  she's more worried about her clothes than her own safety when she is being mugged.

Oh, and lets not forget the fact that she judges a book by its cover when she tells her friend not to date a skater. In fact, her one redeeming quality is the fact she doesn't disown Christian when she finds out he is gay. So clearly this movie can't pass the Bechdel Test.  Oh wait, it did. The first female-to-female conversation is about Dionne's wardrobe and funny hat. Not being sure if it actually did pass the test, I checked it out of and sure enough, it does count.

So if I had to pick a role model for my fictitious daughter Ada,  I would rather want her to be Leia.

This is because it is a meaningless test; it doesn't gauge if a character has meaning, just if her first conversation wasn't about a boy and IF it was the first female-to-female conversation.  Also, as long as we worry about things like this then we really won't have equality.

Defender: Tara 

Tis a noble test!

When movies more often than not fail to actually depict two named female characters talking to each other about anything other than a guy, it's a problem. End of story. That's not how real life works, and if my fictitious daughter (we'll call her 'Anne Shirley') was watching movies, I'd want her to see something other than portrayals of women talking about guys and nothing else.

Additionally, the Bechdel Test is a valuable tool for producers and film companies. Let's say a company like Marvel Entertainment wants to diversify their audience. How do they do it? They make a movie - like "Thor" (2011). "Thor" is a movie focused on a guy with an ego problem, but it still manages to pass the Bechdel Test within the first ten minutes. By the time the character of Thor came back in "The Avengers," the ensemble Marvel movie made it onto the top five grossing movies of all time - boasting a 40% female demographic for viewership. (I'm okay with that. Here, Marvel, take all my money. Just have it.)

Face Off: Rubber

FACE OFF: "Rubber" (2010)

Directed by: Quentin Dupieux
Starring: Stephen Spinella, Jack Plotnick
Official movie website and trailer 

Synopsis: "Rubber" is a movie that follows a tire (yes, a rubber tire) on adventures. The tire makes things explode. People gather in the desert to watch him. A cop pursues him.

Critic: Tara

"Rubber." Well, at least it wasn't a movie about condoms. It may as well have been, though. I will never get that hour and a half of my life back. Had this film been ten minutes long, it would have been endearing. Unfortunately, it was made as a full-length movie.

The film satirized everything at once, so I couldn't really tell if it was satirizing its own artistic cinematography, but the shots in the film were actually done masterfully. Another thing I liked about the movie was the soundtrack. There are only so many ways that the character of Robert the Tire can express himself, but the carefree music that accompanies his initial journey is amusing and expressive. Additionally, the acting talent are competent, which is interesting consider they interact with a tire.

The tone of this movie is summed up in one line by the character identified only as "black woman" when she says: "She'll start with a good blow job." Yes, the bad tire puns are endless.

Also, this kid in the movie says "It's already boring." It's good when the characters are actually aware that the movie in which they appear is making the audience fall asleep.

I don't consider a movie entirely valuable unless it helps me reflect about culture, country, or self. At the very least, it should make me laugh. This just made me groan and pine for that hour and a half. I should have read a book instead. Lesson learned.

This just left me wanting to slash a tire.

Defender: Jason

I am really watching this movie so I can make Tara watch it. Why? Really for no reason. "Rubber" is a forth wall shattering movie about a tire that comes to life and makes things explode. I feel the need to retype that. "Rubber" is a fourth wall breaking movie about a tire that comes to life and makes things explode. Yes, I retyped it, no copy paste here.

 "Rubber" explores the how we accept so many things in movies just so we can watch. I can actually think of an example of a movie that this happened to me. "Spider-Man." There was a moment where I honestly thought, “Holy Crap, Tobey Maguire is really good at swinging on those webs high above the city.”