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.