My Halloween Favorites

It’s Halloween again! If you’re like me, a movie marathon is in order. So grab some popcorn, candy, and soda and check out my list below.

Rockula

This little known comedy is the king of camp. Rockula is a satire about a vampire who is forced to live his life over and over again always loosing the woman he loves. This generation he vows not to loose her and creates a band to woe her. This ‘80s film features vampires who always have fangs and musical numbers culminating in a performance by Toni Basil. Hilarious and not your average vampire movie, this movie has me quoting it all year. So watch out I will threatening you with a ham bone soon. Available on Netflix Instant Streaming.

 

 

Nightmare Before Christmas

This movie plays in my house from the beginning of October all the way to New Years. This stop motion classic of holiday mixing gone awry is the thing my father and most bond over. I still remember going too see it with him after the Iron Bowl, and it still holds a dear place in our hearts. As a child I often wondered what it would be like if my two favorite holidays were switched, and then magically it come out of Tim Burrton’s mind. With a wonderful story, unique characters and fabulous musical numbers by Danny Elfman, this movie that Disney originally didn’t wanted to be associated with is now one of its staples.

 

Hocus Pocus

 

I didn’t like horror movies as a child; they were something I had to grow into. But when I was young I loved this movie, and it became a gateway to scary movies. Packed with zombies and witches, this hilarious kid-aimed movie delighted parents as well. In fact we saw this movie many times at the dollar theater. As an adult, I still quote the movie (“Amok? Amok, amok, amok, umph!”) and look back on it with sweet nostalgia.

 

 

The Omen

This movie frightened me the first time I saw it, and it still scares me to this day. This familial tale of the devil’s spawn is more compelling than Rosemary’s Baby. The Omen packs more of an emotional punch because you actually see the child. Tackling other radical sociological ideas of the time (motherly apathy towards her child, the affects of a father who is rarely home), The Omen goes beyond physical scares to psychologically creep up on you. When Thorn goes to kill his own child, it’s one of the most heart breaking scenes you’ll ever see. But the creepiest part? Evil wins.

 

Dracula 2000

This is personally my favorite retelling of the Dracula story. Taking few plot points from the original story, it really goes in its own direction and becomes a fascinating story all its own. The explanation of where Dracula came from is a brilliant piece of story telling. The movie finds a good balance between gore, story, and casting. Introducing me both to Jonny Lee Miller and Gerard Butler, this film helped the career of many of the up-and-coming actors. This updated spin on an old classic is always on my favorites list.

 

 

Psycho

This is the best horror movie ever. Forget the Exorcist; this psychological thriller proves that you can scare the pants off of someone without nudity, cussing, or gore. We all know the tale. Woman steals money and runs away. The cute but awkward motel keeper’s mother kills her in the shower. Her sister comes to look for her, and it turns out it’s been the innkeeper all along. Zone of Hitchcock’s best, the score, directing and sets give the perfect atmosphere for this Bates tale. The genesis for all multiple personality or schizophrenic killer tales, Psycho and Anthony Perkins’s creepy smile stays with you forever.

 

A Second Visit to Silent Hill Turns to Hell

Silent Hill Revelation 3D
Contains Spoilers

The genre of video game movies has always had a torrid past. Sometime decent films are made (Mortal Kombat, Resident Evil), but the majority of them are just horrid. One of the best adaptations was the original Silent Hill. Created by people who played the video games either before or during the filming process, it was a labor of love that brought a video game world to life. While it took some liberties with the original game concept, the beauty of the landscape, the casting, and shot for shot sequences from the first game make it a true adventure in Silent Hill.

I had high hopes for the second movie installment Revelation 3D, but it was an ill-conceived mash-up of the games and poorly thought out new ideas. The movie is schizophrenic: it goes off on its own story but pays homage to so many ways to the games. Only gamers would get the significance of the one red shoe in the hotel or the fact that one of Heather’s other names was Mary. But the story goes off course convoluting the story of Silent Hill 3 and taking on a life of its own.

Silent Hill Revelation tells the story of Heather, the teenage version of the Sharon in the first movie. Her and her father now named Harry, live a gypsy life style moving often and changing their names. Heather thinks it’s because Harry killed a man; she has no idea she is on the run from a cult. This cult isn’t some Jim Jones group of wackos; their God is real and has trapped the members in Hell on Earth. This hell differs for each visitor shaped by their own sins and fears. When her father is kidnapped, Heather and one of her fellow high school students head back to Silent Hill to rescue him.

Robbie the Rabbit and Heather Mason

At its core the plot mirrors that of the third game. Heather is found by a private detective who was hired by Claudia to bring her back into the fold. She uses Harry to drag Heather back in. But the plot similarities end there. The private investigator Douglass is no longer her companion. The film writers have warped the Samael worshipper Vincent into Claudia’s son and pawn. Leonard is actually humanoid (with a wonderful performance by Malcolm McDowell). Harry doesn’t die. The list goes on and on. For a Silent Hill fan, this is a farce, turning beloved characters into something new and obscene (pyramid head being beat up by another creature? Please). Silent Hill Revelation is the bastard child of Hollywood and gaming.Let me take a moment to complain about Vincent. As my favorite character in the third game, I was dismayed to see how his character was warped. He was no longer the bookish scholar whose talk indirectly stated that people saw Silent Hill differently, but a high school student sent by Claudia into the real to retrieve Heather. While Kit Harrington did well with what he was working with, the character is a sham to any one who knows the character. Unlike Cybil (who the casting department took seriously and cast Laurie Holden perfectly), he is the most disappointing character adaptation in the series. I would have accepted three actors to play Vincent: Jackson Rathbone, Matthew Gray Gubler, or Cillian Murphy. At least Harrington has good hair.

There are some merits. Most of the casting is pretty spot on. Douglas’s voice is great, and Heather is perfect. (I wish I could tell you more about Carrie-Ann Moss as Claudia, but she was only in for about ten minutes.) The 3D is fun and adds to scares to the creature arracks. Robbie the Rabbit is insanely creepy. The music is either directly from the games or created by Akira Yamaoka himself. The town of Silent Hill is still beautiful and very much reminiscent of the game, and with the music, is haunting. But the movie doesn’t spend much time in Silent Hill itself. A valid complaint of many of the game, it is a fatal flaw of the movie.

The second fatal flaw is that this movie leaves behind everything that made the first movie good. The movie relies too often on heavy CG and many of the creatures lose the organic look of the first movie. While CG has to be used in a movie like this, part of the scariness in the games is how real everything looked. The first movie understood this perfectly. The current installment also focuses more on the bloodiness and shock value. Cooking people alive, cutting off arms and fingers, and the sexual assault of a mannequin are in your face and disturbing instead of psychologically disturbing. It seems odd to make that complaint about Silent Hill which has a history of disturbing images. But it’s never been about gore, and all physical reactions are from a sense of psychological dread. Revelation instead relies on cheap scares.

Is this a good movie on its own? I can’t tell you. As a devoted fan, I have yet to emotionally remove myself from this project. It will take another viewing to decide the merits of it as a stand alone film. Though I fear, even trying to watch Revelation as a separate entity, the movie will not fare much better.

But the end did leave me happy. SPOILERS: Harry goes to look for Rose ala Silent Hill 2, Travis Grady picks Heather up to take them out of town, and we see Murphy Pendelton’s prison bus head in. For the first time, I truly felt embedded in Silent Hill.  If the rest of the movie could have been this spot on, it could have been as good as the first.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Watch This Not That Halloween Edition

John Carpenter Film

Watch This…

The Ward

A fabulously spun psychological thriller places Amber Heard in a haunted mental ward. Tight writing and plot twists keep you guessing the entire time through out this movie. More than anything, the final moments of the movie are the scariest and will be carried around with you for days.

…Not That

Vampires

I hated this movie. It joins the ranks of B-movies every where. There was gratuitous gore, violence, cussing and nudity. It was a spectacle instead of a story. Anyone wanting  a no holds bar horror movie of flesh and rampage would do well for this, but other viewers should beware.

Stan Winston Studio Creature Fest

Watch This…

Wrong Turn

A throwback to ‘70s horror films, Wrong Turn uses tension and release in tandem to scare the pants of the viewers. The Stan Winston Studio creatures are grotesque in bred humans and terrifying in their own right. Add in talented young actors (Eliza Dushku, Desmond Harrington), and it’s a horror film worth watching.

…Not That

Darkness Falls

This uninspired horror movies is neither good nor bad. It fails to draw viewers into their world. The evil tooth fairy is very frightening in look but due to the lack of excitement in the story, her psychological fear is minimal. Darkness Falls lacks the urgency, character relation, and tension needed to a good horror movie.

Clive Barker’s Book of Blood Adaptation

Watch This…

Dread

One of my friends calls Dread the “best worst movie ever.” The plot is so psychologically twisting that the terror lies more in the decisions of the killer instead of his actions. I dare you to look at a steak the same way ever again. Staring Jackson Rathbone and Shaun Evans, the film looks into the idea of fear and comes to the conclusion the only way to get over your fear is to face it.

…Not That

Midnight Meat Train

I love Bradley Cooper. I love Leslie Bibb. I love Peter Jacobson. I hate this movie. One of Barker’s more odd tales about beings that devour humans, Midnight Meat Train is full of blood and gore and it down right depressing. The short story is actually better, minimal zing many of the things that make the movie so bad. Like men with hammers on a train? Like creatures from the center of the earth that need sacrifices? Watch this movie.

Classic Horror Movie Remake

Watch This…

The Omen

It takes handwork to keep something true to its source material. The Omen does well giving a modern twist on several scenes while keeping the spirit and the spookiness the same. Well cast actors help as well, and only Liev Schreiber could pull off the famous Gregory Peck role. While not as good as the 1976 original, the new version gave quite a spook on 6/6/06.

…Not That

Psycho

This “shot for shot” remake is horrible. Why Gus Van Sant thought this was a worthwhile project I don’t know. Why Vince Vaughn was picked to play Norma Bates is beyond me. This version gives a modernized spin adding masturbation and graphic violence where there is no need. The original 1960 version didn’t need it, so I’m not sure why the 1998 version did.

Sons of Anarchy Mid Season Check In

FX

Contains Spoilers

When the explosive first episode of Season 5 aired, fans were shocked as Tig watched his daughter being set on fire. This episode set the bar for SOA to be more brutal not allowing Jax an easy transition.

After that fateful bon fire, things got murkier for the club. Damien Pope was not done taking vengeance on SAMCRO. Jax and Chibs are arrested for a Niner started assault on the Sons, and Tig is brought in for murdering Pope’s daughter. In an effort to stay close to Jax, Opie assaults Sheriff Roosevelt, and goes to county with them.

Meanwhile, Tara and Gemma are trying to figure things out. Tara and Jax planned a secret wedding ceremony without

Gemma’s knowledge. This only strained an already tense relationship between the two women. Tara is trying to shut Gemma out of Thomas and Abel’s lives. This causes some go between with Wendy, the now sober and desperate to know her son biological mother of Abel. Wendy learns quickly she is a pawn and pulls out but not without making it clear that she wants to know her son no matter what.

Gemma and Tara both have taken to drugs to calm their stress. But Tara hasn’t hooked up with a call girl pimp whose crazy half-sister decides to kill herself in front of them. In a scene reminiscent of Nip/Tuck his sister forces Nero and Gemma into bed and to commit sexual acts at gun point. When they refuse, she puts the gun top her head and pulls the trigger.

But there isn’t lost love between the sister and Gemma. Nero’s sister had already sold out the club almost getting Jax killed. In a very Gemma like move, Tara knocks the her around for threatening her family.

Tara’s family is not the only one in danger. It seems there has been a rash of home invasions culminating in Roosevelt’s pregnant wife being shot and killed. While viewers may have guessed the three new SAMCRO bikers are behind it, they don’t see coming is that Clay is in charge. The new recruits are loyal to him a well as Juice who thinks Clay is still incapacitated. It seems, though he lost Tig, Clay has other minions.

Tig and Jax learn where their loyalties lie in prison. Pope wants a son dead, though he doesn’t want it to be Tig; Jax has to choose between himself, Chibs and Opie. Pope also wants in on the drug deals. Jax is torn apart by the idea that he has to choose. Tig offers himself up for sacrifice, but is turned down. Jax tells him for his life, Tig must exchange his loyalty to Jax and to never ever vote against him. Ultimately it is Opie who gives himself up as a token, and is brutally beaten to death.

Jax and company do not leave this vendetta unclaimed. Once out of prison, the three and Bobby head to the warden’s house who arranged for Opie’s death. Tig mercilessly kills the man’s wife when she walks in, and Jax beats him to death with a snow globe evening the score.

Jax also has other ideas for club business. He votes in the Pope drug deal as well as running coke for Pope as well. This will make the club a pretty penny but lines break down the center as some are loyal to Jax and some loyal to Clay. Jax is also taking a new stand on CharmingHeights, helping Hale blackmail members of the community to make sure the deal that the club squashed earlier comes into play. Jax is proving that he has totally different ideas than Clay.

Tonight’s episode will hopefully answer a few questions as well as give clear paths to both Clay and Jax’s visions. Will Gemma be able to keep herself from Nero? Will Tara’s transition as a powerful old lady cause her to falter more? What’s going to happen with the CIA investigation? Viewers can be sure that Kurt Sutter will amaze and blow the mind of viewers every where when answering these questions.

Hell Has Never Been This Much Fun

Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit

PSN, Xbox Live, PC

I am not big of films or TV shows with comic violence. I hated the fake blood sprays in Kill Bill and hate the gratuitous gore in horror movies. I can’t watch operation scenes on TV shows and can’t stand when someone guts a zombie. But I have a fascination with entertainment that contains these aspects: The Walking Dead, Nip/Tuck, and House M.D. The latest of these? Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit.

I am in love with this side scrolling platforming video game. SEGA takes hell, comic violence, and twisted humor and wraps it in a player friendly package. Its animated cartoon look keeps the violence from being gore and keeps it from being at all realistic.

Players take control of the ruler of Hell, a dead rabbit with a fondness for rubber duckies. When pictures leak on-line of him and his buddy, he must destroy the photos and the creature behind the leak before the Netherworld is no longer afraid of him. Players go through 10 levels with a variety of abilities including jet packs, missiles, and a variety of guns. Players can dress their rabbit in a variety of costumes and complete challenges to unlock new goodies.

As a gamer who not good at platformers, I was surprised how much I liked this game. The game play was easy to handle and each death taught me something new about each situation. There were not instances of death because I couldn’t make a certain jump on time, and the battles were more than that just bounce and wack. To kill bosses and mini-bosses, players must complete a mini-game that tests the player’s mental and physical dexterity. The mini-games are not random, allowing players to learn the certain mini-game and easily defeat the creatures.

The biggest draw is the absurdity of the plot, scenery, and violence. Red paint blood spurts and pieces of creatures that look like steak are insane and frivolous making it hard to confuse real violence with the pixilated carnage. The skeletal rabbit and octopus with a monocle are just examples of the fantasy world this game operates in. While not for every gamer, Hell Yeah! Is very entertaining for those of us with a twisted humor.

Arkedo Studios continues to show that small, downloadable games can sparkle with pizzazz and fun. Making a very kitsch game, the French developer gives the Japanese side scrollers a run for their money. Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit is perfect for gamers with a sense of humor that is a little “off.”

Thoughts on the New Season of The Walking Dead

This post contains two parts: the first a general review of the premier episode and contains no spoilers. The second part, after the photos, looks the episode in relation to the comic book. This CONTAINS spoilers.

Season 3 starts out with a very different group of survivors. While we know the faces, but the quite, their dedication to Rick’s word are new. The opening sequence is a silent crew taking out zombies in a house. They have to move on and not one word is spoken. It is the Rickatorship.

The changes don’t stop there. The opening title sequence is new reminding us who we’ve lost, and, who we gained. Even those familiar faces have changed some. After making it through the winter Carl looks as if he is becoming a young man, Lori is very, very pregnant, and Hershel has turned into Santa Clause.

The survivors happen upon a prison which they strive to make their home. Now the whole group is pulling their weight wilt Carl, Lori and Carol armed and ready. Meanwhile, Michonne and Andrea have survived the winter though Andrea isn’t doing so well. They are still separated from the group and not much was shown about their current location.

The episode shows Rick in his true comic form. If you thought Shane was aggressive, you ain’t seen nothing yet. On that note, Carol mentions that Shane would have never gotten this far. As a Team Shane member, I find this untrue and mean, especially coming from Carol. While the writers were trying to point out Shane’s death was the best option, coming from Carol it’s cruel because if it weren’t for Shane, she would still stuck on the road with an abusive husband.

While the violence quotient is high, some of the most interesting issues are personal relationship. Is there a budding romantic relationship between Carol and Daryl?  But moreover, what’s going on with Lori and Rick? Why won’t Rick have a conversation about the impending birth of his child? Is the Shane aspect affecting him worse than he ever let on?

Season 3 looks to keep up the zombie action fans are used to, as well as a quickened storyline. As always with TWD, it is the relationship between the survivors and their fight to keep their humanity that makes this show stand out as more than just a monster show. I look forward to seeing them making the prison their home and what becomes of fan favorite Michonne now that she is live on our TV screen.

Reflections on the Episode with the Comic Book in Mind

Contains spoilers

The latest season of The Walking Dead seems very much to mimic the comic than it has. The group has found the prison, emptying the zombies, but still taken by surprise, finding the convicts, and Rick is now the man to reckon with. Though there is a lot that can’t follow the comic (Dale is dead and it seems that Michonne and Andrea will encounter The Governor first), it seems to be a season that will be more faithful to the original material than some of the others.

Case in point: don’t get too attached the Hershel. His zombie bite and first aid puts him in the role of Alan and for those who know the comic book, also know his fate. This does take him from his original arc, but he makes me wonder if they are going to cut off somebody’s hand this season.

Things that I want to see that follows the comic: Lori dies, but I want the baby to live. Lori’s incarnation in the TV show is atrocious, week with bad parenting skills. She is not like the strong female presented in the comics.

I want Tyreese. You gave us Michonne now give me this character. Speaking of characters, I am very happy that they scaled down Hershel’s family because I won’t see two little girls slaughter. But what will this bring for a psychopathic convict?

While I am sure there are many surprises, I look forward to seeing certain themes and events transpire as I struggle to find a new favorite character.

The Walking Dead Episode 4: Around Every Corner

PSN, Xbox Live, PC

The newest episode of Tell Tale Games The Walking Dead comes with less bugs and a tuned up frightening system. In the penultimate installment, Lee and company finally make it to Savannah but find neither Clem’s parents nor a boat. Instead they find streets full of zombies, an underground group of cancer survivors and a mysterious sub-division free from zombies.

The group arrives in Savannah and the first order of business is to find a boat. But their plans are quickly waylaid by the town’s bell ringing brining in hordes of zombies. In the mad dash for shelter, they separated from Chuck, and the remaining survivors find a vacant, but fortified house. At the house they learn that animals don’t turn into zombies, and find a child zombie that really shakes Kenny up. His only concern is finding a boat and getting out. They run into another survivor named Molly (who had been ringing the bells so she could travel the town unperturbed) but get separated when geeks attack. While Lee is looking for safety he runs into Vernon, a doctor, and his cancer survivors support group. Vernon and support member Brie decided to help Lee break in Crawford so they can get medical supplies for Omen and the support group. The sub-division Crawford is zombie free but the survivors have radical ideals about surving. Children, elderly, and the sick are killed or kicked out of the compound. The group finds even more atrocities than they imagined when they break in for supplies.

The fourth installment has improved technically over the last two episodes. While some players have made complaints about saves not carrying over, I have had no issues. Some loading time are lengthy but with no disappearing Ducks or conversation cut offs, this is nothing. I was also excited to see that they made changes to the fighting system. My long complaint that you have to use the same finger to aim and shoot makes for difficult game play has been changed. For PS3 users the fire button is now R1 making the infrequent battles scenario much easier and less frustrating.

I do have one issue with the writing. When Lee finds Crawford full of zombies, an answer does seem fourth coming. But when they find a video of a pregnant woman killing the doctor forcing abortion, the group easily accepts this idea as the cause of the zombie outbreak. This issue with continuity bothers me because since this game is set before the events of the comics, how do they know that when you die you turn into a zombie and therefore an out break occurs? Are the makers assuming that viewers know this information and take for granted that the characters don’t? Or was this simply overlooked by the writers? Or do they know something we shouldn’t?

Overall Around Every Corner plays well and delivers emotional impact. As the characters brace for the final showdown, the conclusion becomes clear. Now if only the voice on the radio was just as clear.

TV Just Got Hot, Hot, Hot

Chicago Fire, NBC

This last Wednesday, women’s TV got a little more exciting. NBC’s newest show Chicago Fire is an hour long drama centered on the Chicago Fire Department and their lives in and out side of the department.

Chicago Fire puts House’s Jesse Spencer front and center. An under appreciated actor, his wide range was not shown as the too cute Aussie on Gregory House’s team. On his new drama, TV viewers will get a look his dramatic chops that are unknown to those that haven’t seen Swimming Upstream (It’s on Netflix instant streaming; watch it now!). And, yes, he can perform as the main center of the show. Take that Jennifer Morrison!

The pilot is more than just a fire department procedural. Each character has a rich story and issues in their lives. It is this character development that gives the show its sticking power. The fire sequences are fun and exciting and are changes from watching police chase criminals on foot or wheels. The two components make it a unique addition to the network television. Plus, it adds a little more beef cake in a world centered on big busted women with little butts.

As the pilot opens, the Chicago Fire Department is on site at a fire in progress. The fire squad and the rescue squad are trying to fight the fire when they loose one of their own. This leads to tension between the two squads as each captain tries to deal with the after affect of the event. Lt. Matthew Casey (Spencer) in charge of the truck team and the Rescue Squad’s Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) blame one another and can’t wait seem to find a good working relationship. But all the team members have more than just work drama in their lives. Casey is going through a separate from fiancé, Severide is battling some kind of pain, and seasoned fire fighter Christopher Herrman has a house that been foreclosed as well as on the job injuries. Watching each of these men and women deal with their trails and then put them aside as they trying to save the lives of many citizens is inspiring. It reminds me there are things in this world bigger than ourselves, especially fire.

One of the best aspects of the show is the variety of cast members. In a culture where having a minority or two is the norm; the show seamlessly integrates characters of gender, orientation and race as a tight group of close nit friends. Except for one odd explanation of homosexuality, the combination does not seem forced and contrite nor does it seem like the show is jumping on the “cool minority” bandwagon (the variety is not for humor or spectacle).

As a woman, I have been more and more excited that TV and film are going after the female demographic without movies and shows just being a crying cheese fest. What Magic Mike did for movies, Chicago Fire is doing that on a smaller scale. I read a complaint that the promo poster was a Chippendale ad. That’s the point. Expressing women’s sexuality with soot smugged or toned shirtless firemen is new to network TV. Cable has long taken advantage of women’s desire for good looking men in shows like Nip/Tuck where you know if a gorgeous guest star was on he would see his butt (including my high school crush Mario Lopez and Bradley Cooper) to Sons of Anarchy (ask any woman who Jax Teller is, I dare you). Even though it’s still shunned, men should be ready because gender equality is finally coming to TV and films. Networks are finally selling to women and the idea that we are sexual being.

Now that I have spent two paragraphs on the sociological aspect of the show, let get back to the simple thinking that many have when viewing a TV show. Chicago Fire is exciting and character driven and probably the best show NBC has had in years.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Goodbye Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl, CW

Hello Upper East Siders! It’s the last season for our favorite socialites! After learning that Daddy Bass is still alive, Chuck is trying to get his empire back, and Blair had left Louie and Dan for him. Serena split with Blair, and Dan split on Serena. Lonely Boy getting a tad full of himself? Meanwhile, Nate is trying to run the Spectator on his lonesome. Can this stoner turn into a real business man?

Beguiling Blair

It seems B and C have been holed in Monaco, confirming their relationship if you know what I mean. And it seems S has taken off once again to start over. But it seems the drugs have gone straight to her head.

Currently, B is in Paris working on her new clothing line with no Bass in site. It seems that C is in Dubai looking into his Dead Daddy’s Dealings. A young attractive woman seems to be helping him get to the bottom of it or, maybe, of himself. What exactly happened to the love birds?

Oh, wait. It seems N has alerted B that a certain someone is missing. Apparently S has been missing all summer and missed when her mom renewed her vows with Daddy Bass. But what’s more exciting is the look on B’s face. It seems that everything she said last spring about not wanting to see S ever again, aren’t true.

Ah, a new alert. It seems Lonely Boy doesn’t know where S is either. B must be worried about her if she has stooped to calling Lonely Boy for the low down. She must see what we’ve been seeing all these years: S and B are soul mates. I hear she’s head back home to find S.

Noble Nate

Well, Upper East Siders, it seems that I, your online source for scandal, is the only one who has a clue where S. Well of course I do! You think after last year’s debacle with S and the lap top I wouldn’t? Ha. I know where that girl is at all times!

Poor N. He wants to so badly to make The Spectator work on his own. While I secret hope he succeeds, watching him fail makes for more juicy news. Besides what story could he have that would propel him to fame?

Pardon me. Let me check my instant message.

Well, well, well. It seems N is more cunning than I thought. It seems he has video surveillance from where I reclaimed my lap top. How 007 of him!

Look at that! He is offering a deal! I give up where S is and he forgoes his expose. Since I’m in the mood for a game, I think I’ll let him know where she is. Besides, I think Lonely Boy has put two and two together.

Delusional Dan

Lonely Boy has left Europe and his new tell all book. The claim is that it will tear apart the Upper East Side. As if!

But he is in business with the Devil herself. It seems Georgina Sparks his new muse, and she wants a bad ending for S. How he puts up with her craziness, I will never know. But he is at a loss for lady friends, and she seems to be the only one not disgusted by his hair. And look. It seems Georgina has finally developed a “womanly” body. Kids are killer for that figure, huh?

The Delusional Devilish Duo has in fact crossed paths with N.B.C. Will they be the better for it?

Too bad finding Serena at a wedding in a gorgeous dress, lots of cleavage, and a name change its Lonely Boy’s biggest shock today. Wait till he comes home and finds Rufus and Ivy in flagrante. It seems Ivy and Lola’s plan to get back at Lilly, will catch others in the cross fire.

Scandalous Serena

Is our famous It Girl tying the knot? I’ll never tell. But it seems B might.

After “Sabrina” blew off her old friends off for a new life, B can’t take no for an answer. She her Scooby Gang are going to put an end to the wedding. Hope you’re streaming the video kids.

Blair is standing up at the altar taking about why S’s new man, also named S, shouldn’t marry S. She’s making a total fool of herself and S. And what she doesn’t know? S is a bridesmaid for the gay couple who are getting married!

Apparently I was having too much fun, because I just lost my feed. But my sources tell me that S bared all to her new beau; her past, her drugs, her friends. He seemed to buy the line that she wanted to start a new life and forgave her indiscretions. How new will it be when they return to New York?
Ah, my feed finally buffered. You just can’t get good WiFi out here. Sigh. This was supposed to be the most exclusive pent house in the city. At least the Hpnotiq martinis are marvelous.

And I’ve made it back for the best part. B has come crawling on her knees begging S to come back to her. But, oh, my. S refuses saying she needs to start a new life and not be “stuck” with B. It seems they aren’t stuck like glue after all.

Confusing Chuck

The only one of this little Scooby Gang that I don’t have a line on is Bass Jr. He seems to be onto something with the mysterious lady from Dubai. She seems to have connections to Daddy Bass’s dealings. She claims not to have information buts wonders Bass Sr. would bribed her with 10 million dollars. Don’t worry. I’ll get to the bottom of this. If you’re good, I may give you the scoop.

But I do have a scoop for you now. It seems Bass Jr. and B made a pact. The Bass family straightens out their mess, B conquers the fashion world, and the two can finally be together. Bass Jr. has finally given her that Harry Winton ring that he’s been carrying for a while. Will to the do stick to this pact? My money is on no, the couple is too explosive, and besides it makes for a better story.

So welcome back to New York ladies and gentlemen. This old girl has a few more stories to tell.

xoxo

Gossip girl

Whedon’s Talent Pales on the Big Screen

Joss Whedon is best known for his TV projects: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin off Angel, Firefly and the ill-fated Dollhouse. Each TV show pushed the limits of reality as well as told moral stories in new and intriguing ways. His big screen work has been minimal with his best work in the screenplays of Toy Story and Atlantis and culminating in his last two big screen productions Cabin in the Woods and The Avengers. Neither of these lives up to the Whedon reputation.

Vacation, I’ve got to Get Away

Cabin in the Woods, Blu-ray & DVD

Written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard

This is possibly one of the worst horror movies I have ever seen. I was hoping that the Whedon half not responsible for Cloverfield would balance out the movie. But I was very wrong. The problem with this movie starts with the trailers.

From watching the trailer, I had a very different movie in mind. The trailer portrayed people being psychologically tested at their vacation cabin. The movie itself even hints at this with people in lab coats at a testing center and the two way mirror in the cabin. The movie abruptly curves away from that idea. Suddenly, the vacationers are being attacked by monster so they can be sacrificed to a god. The people in the test chamber are releasing the beings as the victims unknowingly call them out and take bets on what monsters they will choose. The sacrifice only counts if the victims choose their method of slaughter of their own free will. This begs the questions: What the hell are all the people there for? Just to house the beasts?

The movie becomes a more bizarre version of The Hunger Games as those in the control chamber cause an avalanche so the victims can’t escape. (It seems that that their free will can only go so far.) Zombies, mermaids, slashers, and a variety of mythological monster are released on the victims as well as the center itself leading to a blood bath that knows neither end nor reality. The twist? The people we are rooting for escaping can only save the world if they are killed.

In what is supposed to be poking fun at stock horror characters, each character is based on a movie stereotype: the jock, the slut, and the stoner. But any humor or sarcasm that was written in the screenplay was lost when portrayed by the actors. Chris Hemsworth does a horrible job, and I wonder how he went on to play Thor. Whedon alumni Amy Acker, Fran Kranz and Tom Lenk are the only actors that really put in a good performance. And it seems Kristin Connolly thinks she is Felicia Day but does a horrible job imitating the actresses.

The film does not know how to contain itself. It knows no limits to what is believable or what people want to see. Stealing evil creatures from other movies seems less like homage than a lazy stealing of other people’s ideas. Like Cloverfield, Cabin lacks a focus that keeps the viewer intrigued.

After watching the film, I totally understand why it took two years for the film to get a distributor. Sloppily thrown together, the characters never develop and the plot never makes much sense. Instead it seemed like I was watching Mystery Science Theater with out Mike, Servo or Crowe.

How Many Superheroes Does it Take to Save the World?

The Avengers, Blu-Ray & DVD

Written & Directed by Joss Whedon

I can hear you now, “What? You don’t like The Avengers? Are you crazy?” It’s possible that I am, but this movie was not a great move, superhero or otherwise. The characters are one sided and stereotyped, the plot is stilted, and the writing is weak.

The plot is easily divided into three sections: putting the team together, the team fights with each other, and the team beats up the bad guys. It’s this final third of the movie that finally has good kicking evil’s butt. I had no fun watching the team squabble with each other and try to beat each other up. You’re all superheroes; no one’s going to win. It seems they forgot they had to work together to beat up the bad guy. But when this happens, the movie is everything it could be: gorgeous fight sequences, teamwork, and defeating evil. Each team member comes alive as they use their unique talents to win and the movie should have focused more on this.

It also suffers from one dimensional characters. The characters are stereotyped to a fault because there is no time for character development in this mess. Hawkeye and Black Widow have the most depth out of all the characters.  But if Hawkeye hadn’t been hijacked by Loki, the two would have been reduced to stereotypes. The Hulk is a giant nerd, Iron Man shows nothing but sarcasm, and Captain America is so anal I wanted someone to remove the stick from his butt. I have seen the movies that focus on these characters alone: the characters are all well developed with a variety of emotions and desires. But Whedon has pared them down to one note characters that you don’t even like. (I loved Captain the America the best out all the movies but hated his character in The Avengers).

Whedon, the king of witty comebacks (see any episode of Buffy) looses his magic here. Dialogue is childish and very rarely funny, even when it was meant to be. For such simple character and plot delineation, the movie was often time confusing. Why are the characters where they are? What is the point to this other than looking cool? That is the movie’s fatal flaw: looking cool without substance.

I think that is overall my issue with the movie. Whedon has written for Marvel and can write good comic book issues. But a movie is not a comic book, and this translation into live action leaves me wanting more.  With this current reincarnation of Batman and the X-Men franchise, I have become accustomed to much more depth in my comic based movies. I expect characters I care about, deep storyline, and real life parallels; Avenger falls short on all of that.

It looks good, there is a lot of butt kicking, but the story is at a loss.

“You’re a Thundering Loonie!”

From badly accented demi-gods to pot heads, the latest of Whedon’s work is sub par. When not writing for Disney, his work on the big screen falters, and he cannot recapture that magic from Buffy. Many of his big screen works are simplified ideas of characters and themes. Long live the Whedon TV show!