Thursday, April 27, 2017

One simple question will tell us if you're a Starbucks or Tim Hortons girl

Have you ever found yourself wondering if you're a Starbucks or a Tim Hortons girl? I know I have. So me and my staff have devised a simple quiz that will help you decide if you are a Starbucks or Tim Hortons girl.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

6 INCREDIBLE behind-the-scenes Secrets about X-Men

With the release of Logan, we've now officially seen the last ever X-Men movie. So I think it's time we look back at this remarkable series and some of the shocking truths me and my staff have uncovered these past weeks.

X-Men are the best movies about mutants that I've ever seen, and you know they're your favorites, too. But did you know these 6 INCREDIBLE behind-the-scenes Secrets about X-Men??

1. The "X" in X-Men doesn't stand for anything

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Top 50 favorite Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, part 5

To make it easier for anyone out there who doesn't want to take the 2 minutes required to click on my previous countdowns and scroll through them to see what episodes made #50-11, I'm gonna take that grueling work away from you and put the list right here. If you want to know what I have to say about them and see what seasons they're from, just click on the following links. I'll put them right before the #50-11 list. But first, look at this picture of the cast of The Next Generation.

Part 1: #50-41
Part 2: #40-31
Part 3: #30-21
Part 4: #20-11


4 shocking examples of the Mandela Effect in movies

The Mandela Effect is something I read about yesterday, and I've been thinking about it every day since. What IS this false memory effect? It's a massive point of contention and one of the most controversial topics of conversation nowadays, so me and my staff have decide to way in on this by presenting 4 shocking examples of the Mandela Effect in movies.

Do you remember things in movies that never actually happened? So do we! Keep reading and prepare to be shocked!

1. Yoda

7 hilarious pictures - try not to laugh!

1. Just look at his face! Babies aren't supposed to look surprised. Whattttt

Monday, April 24, 2017

Top 5 movies with "THE" in their title

We all love movies. That's a fact. But have you ever considered how many movies have the word "the" in their title?? I'd say it's the single most common word in movies, but most people probably wouldn't even notice this. I'm just weird like that. So me and my staff have compiled a list dedicated to this crazy coincidence.

If you haven't seen these movies, watch them right away! Add them to your Netflix list.

Trigger warning: I tell it like it is.

5. The Handmaiden

Top 5 FACTS about Star Trek that will BLOW YOUR MIND

We all know and love Star Trek. It's got spaceships, aliens, jedi, I mean c'moooon, what's not to love about it? It's even got Chris Pine in it. Who doesn't love Chris Pine?? No one, that's who.

So in memory of the 8 year anniversary of the first Star Trek movie, me and my staff have compiled a list of the top 5 FACTS about Star Trek that will BLOW YOUR MIND!


1. Vulcans

Friday, April 21, 2017

Top 10 Favorite Movies of 1982

This is definitely a top-heavy list , but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy everything on here. Hopefully you, the reader, can find something new to watch from this. There's definitely variety to this countdown. Alright, here we go.

The Entity

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Top 50 favorite Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, part 3

I really should write the intros before I do the rest of the post, because now I don't want to write anything. I'm tired.

Part 1
Part 2

30. 'Unification', Parts I & II
Season 5, Episodes 7 & 8

Friday, April 14, 2017

Top 50 favorite Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, part 2

I've already talked about how much I love Star Trek: TNG. So let's not waste any more time and get on with the list.

Part 1 (#50 - 41) can be found here.

40. 'Relics'
Season 6, Episode 4

200 Items Or Less: Nekromantik (1987)

A few thoughts: By the director's own admission, this movie was made for the sole purpose of shocking people and defying censorship. As a proponent of free speech and anti-censorship, I do have to wonder if "just because" is enough of a reason for something to be made. This entire movie is basically a lose narrative centered on a guy who likes to disembowel corpses (collecting all their bits and pieces in jars, of course) and have sex with them -- the corpses, I mean, not the bits and pieces. Aaaand that's just about it. If you want to watch a collection of gross-out scenes that serve no purpose other than to be gross, well I've got the movie for you! If you think it would be fun to watch someone stab themselves in the stomach while ejaculating and bleeding out of a fake dick spliced with footage of someone field-dressing a rabbit, I can think of no other movie that could satisfy you quite like Nekromantik. As for me, I don't see the point in this movie, even though it's a supposed classic of the exploitation genre.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Top 50 favorite Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, part 1

As much as I love the original Star Trek, it didn't take long for me to realize that The Next Generation was a significant step up for me. No, it's not because I have some fascination with the 1980s, nor is it because of the upgraded effects (I find the cheesiness of the original quite charming). It was more because it took something that was great and expanded on it without constantly retreating back into safe territory. This show took w little while to get its footing, but once it took off, I was more than hooked. The ideas were expansive, the characters more fleshed out -- this was its own show. It didn't need prior material to make it great, it was just great.

So before I keep gushing about how much i love this show in an unfocused way, let's get that focus back. I'm gonna hone in on my favorite episodes of the show. I planned to make a top 25 at first, but that would have been impossible for me to do without feeling like I was leaving out a lot of stuff I really loved. So here are 50 instead.

50. 'Redemption', Parts I & II
Season 4, Episode 26 / Season 5, Episode 1

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Top 10 Favorite Movies of 1981

Hey, guess what? I just made a list of my top 10 favorite movies of 1981. If you want to see it, look at it. It's right here. #7 will blow your miiind! You won't belieeeve what made #3!! #8 will make your jaw drop!!! #4 will give you AIDS!!!

Enter The Ninja

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Top 10 Favorite Movies of 1980

Trying to decide which year to start this with was difficult, but since I don't have much at all to say about most of my top 10s from the '50s, '60s, and '70s, the 1980s seemed like the next logical step. Now, this is the part where I mention the fact this is my list and I don't always like the same things as everyone else. You'll probably notice right away that, although my list does have most of the movies you might expect, there are plenty of other things that are a little...different. Liek ohmagawd, I'm so unique. So without any further hesitation, here's my thingy. My list thingy.

Altered States

Monday, March 27, 2017

200 Items Or Less: Starship Troopers (1997)

A few thoughts: Paul Verhouven, after the critical and financial flop that was Showgirls, shifted gears from the erotic back into his wheelhouse: action with a brain. Though some people will blindly call this movie propoganda, those are the same people I would call "idiots" as they've missed the entire point in the movie. This is an incredible satire and one of the most intelligently constructed action films of the 1990s, right alongside Total Recall. I love how Verhouven builds his worlds through the use of media within the film's universe. In this case, he does it through propoganda pro-war footage, which shapes the mindset of the characters. It's these kind of clever details that make this movie warrant multiple viewings. The action set pieces are great, and while there is an overuse of CG, the effects found here hold up surprisingly well even 20 years later. The acting is bad, but that's almost on purpose here. This is a movie with few faults, most of them functioning equally as well as strengths.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

200 Items Or Less: Quatermass And The Pit (1967)

A few thoughts: As the fan of Hammer and sci-fi that I am, this movie sounded like a match made in Heaven just for me. And while I did enjoy it and found the premise clever and interesting enough to keep my attention, I wasn't as invested in this one as I thought I might be. This is an incredibly '60s film filled with all the slick set designs and technology found in classic Star Trek and Bond movies. The acting is passable and the pacing is solid (with a few sluggish and hokey moments), but it's in the end of the movie that the film really establishes itself as something uniquely special. This movie goes totally bonkers in the last 20 minutes or so, and in the best sort of way. Though it doesn't stand up too well against some of the better science fiction shows and movies of the time, it would ultimately be incredibly unfair to pit (PUN!!!) this one up against titans like Star Trek, so make sure to go in with your expectations tempered, fully aware of the clunkiness of the script and outlandish nature of the film's finale.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

200 Items Or Less: Turbo Kid (2015)

A few thoughts: The first time I watched this movie, I really liked it. The second time, I kind of loved it. As you've probably noticed by the kind of movies I generally talk about, I have a deep love of '80s cinema. That, to me, was the decade that brought about some of the best genre films and shaped the future of the industry (for better or worse). So when I watch a new movie that doesn't just pay tribute to the '80s (which is pretty easy to do, really) but rather create its own environment and atmosphere that holds up as its own distinct vision and design, I get pretty excited. The chemistry between the two leads are the emotional core of the movie, and honestly it actually works here pretty well and much better than anticipated. I cared about what was going on, and wanted to see them get out alive. Michael Ironside gets to show everyone up as the main villain and he does an excellent job at being sinister -- as always. It's a bloody fun movie and I don't just mean that in the British sense.

Monday, March 20, 2017

200 Items Or Less: From Beyond (1986)

A few thoughts: The '80s marked the pinnacle of body horror and one of the central figures in this movement was Stuart Gordon, who directed this as well as Re-Animator. While I definitely prefer the latter and find it much more fun to watch, this is a movie that is very easy to love if you're fond of practical effects, makeup, and prosthetics. One of the other great things about this movie is its pacing, which never comes to a crawl and manages to keep things interesting throughout its entirety. The lighting and set design is fantastic, adding to the dark and weird atmosphere that makes this movie so special. Jeffrey Coombs and Ken Foree are memorable, as always, though they have both been better a couple of other times before. As far as horror actors go, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better on-screen pairing outside of the Universal classics and Hammer's earlier efforts. While I can't say I love it, this is a solid movie and one of the better Lovecraftian films.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

200 Items Or Less: First Blood (1982)

A few thoughts: As far as action stars go, few rank quite as high as Stallone. And of all his action roles, Rambo is his greatest character (no, I'm not counting Rocky). As the series progressed, the body count flew up higher and higher, but it's with this first movie that Rambo left the strongest impression, capturing the emotional side of a badass highly trained killer. This is one of the rare films of the '80s that succeeds both as an action movie and as an effective drama, giving Stallone more than enough material in both categories. The set pieces are stripped down (for the most part) and allow for creative battles, slowly escalating to all-out war. While I generally gravitate towards the ridiculous in regards to '80s action, the restraint found in this movie is both admirable and wholly successful in creating a realistic atmosphere out of something that might have otherwise been overblown action-porn. The cast is great, the writing is great, and the series this movie spawned was...well, never boring.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

200 Items Or Less: The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)

A few thoughts: 1957 was a pretty crazy year for horror (and sci-fi), varying from the birth of Hammer's gothic horror to the introduction of teen exploitation, as well as featuring several examples of corny alien invasions and giant monster pictures. A bit of everything, really. That being said, possibly the most interesting of all was this existential horror adventure. This is an impressive movie, from its scope to the execution of visually interesting and tricky effects. At its core, this is among the most terrifying movies of the 1950s, in spite of being pulled off in an adventurous way that is oddly misleading but ultimately effective. This is a very emotional movie that handles it's subject in a serious manner, never allowing itself to fall victim to its own inherent goofiness. Much like the greatest science fiction, this is a story that makes you think and sticks with you long after it's over. It makes household objects into the setting for an adventure and manages to be fun, haunting, and exhilarating at every turn.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

200 Items Or Less: Candyman (1992)

A few thoughts: Considered the first (or at least among the first) horror movies centered on an urban legend, Candyman is a fantasy slasher of the post-Elm Street era that I feel gains much more praise than it deserves due to a general lack of strong horror films of its time and the small changes it brought forth within the genre. While the setup is interesting and well-built as a thriller, the eventual payoff leaves you feeling slightly underwhelmed, never fully meeting its horrific potential. Virginia Madsen is solid in the lead, but it's Tony Todd's performance as the titular villain that steals the show here, with his otherworldly deep voice and presence adding a great deal to the myth and danger of his character. In a lot of ways, this movie feels like it could have been an Elm Street movie with a few rewrites, but I still prefer Freddy even if he isn't as creepy. This is a pretty solid movie, but as I said before I don't see it as the highlight of '90s horror that many have deemed it.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

200 Items Or Less: Tremors (1990)

A few thoughts: The modern monster movie is largely made up of big CG effects and very little character development. Tremors, while not as distinctly "modern" as something like Pacific Rim or Legendary's Godzilla from a few years back, marks one of the last examples of more classic creature features before the modern age of CG and relentless action without consequence or ingenuity. And after watching this again more recently I can say with some certainty that the effects, writing, and structure of this movie are far greater than what comes out today. With its use of miniatures, models and other practical effects, this is one that still stands as an effective and ingenius film. While some of the acting is lacking (I consider this one of Kevin Bacon's weakest performances), the characters feel genuine and keep the story light and intense. It's just a really well-balanced movie, and a reminder of the ingenuity required of filmmakers in the 20th century.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

200 Items Or Less: Hellraiser (1987)

A few thoughts: I first watched this one about 6-7 years ago and didn't like it. I probably just didn't appreciate practical effects as much back then as I do now because the past several times I've watch this I've been amazed at how well so many of these effects hold up. This movie is bloody, grotesque, and at times difficult to watch with how totally disgusting some of the body horror in it is, which makes me like it even more. Because I'm a sicko. You add in the creepiness of the set design, an eerie score, fantastic lighting, and the introduction of one of the greatest horror icons of all-time, and you've got yourself one fantastic horror movie. Easily among my favorites of the '80s, maybe even all-time. It has its flaws, but they're minor enough that I'm willing to overlook them due to the effectiveness of everything surrounding them. This movie is just really creepy and impressive to watch. And it apparently only cost roughly $1 million to make, which is ludicrously cheap all things considered.

Friday, March 10, 2017

200 Items Or Less: Flash Gordon (1980)

A few thoughts: From the wrong perspective, this movie could be seen a something of a disaster. The acting is mostly awful, the writing isn't much better, and certain special effects sequences wouldn't be out of place in a movie over a decade older than this, but with all of its quirks and poor execution there is a charm to this movie that can't be matched by most special effects extravaganzas that are perhaps pulled off "better" than this. The characters are memorable, the sets look pretty awesome, and even in its failures you can tell there was actual effort to make something great here. Even when it falls short it winds up at worst laughable, and when it succeeds it's pretty fun and exciting. This is an excellent movie to watch with friends who want to enjoy themselves but not have to force themselves to sit through something as drainingly inept as The Room or Troll 2. It's just good enough to be fun, and bad enough to be even better. Also, it has Max Von Sydow hamming it up -- which is awesome.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

200 Items Or Less: The Thing From Another World (1951)

A few thoughts: The first evil alien invader movie of the 1950s (at least that I'm aware of), and what a great start for a decade filled with them. Notable for its overlapping Howard Hawks-ian dialogue, and for the fact that when the characters in the movie are in a cold room, you can actually see their breath. It's little touches like this that make all the difference, not to mention the fact that this is already one of the most important sci-fi movies of the 1950s. The characters are well written - they mostly behave like believable people, and the way they interact feels very natural - which makes the danger they're in all the more effective. This isn't a simple giant monster eating tons of people movie, as most of the action takes place off-screen, and the "thing" looks mostly human. Definitely different from the 1981 remake, which is possibly even better in its own way, but that doesn't take away from how great this one is.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

200 Items Or Less: It Came from Outer Space (1953)

A few thoughts: As a fan of movies about aliens invading a small town, killing and eating the townsfolk, and being defeated in the end by unlikely heroes, it should come as no surprise that this was a very fun watch for me. It's actually much more intelligent than what I described and manages to stand out from the crowd in an era riddled with these clich├ęd b-movies. I loved the creature design (what little you see of them), and I found the second act twist a very likely change of pace, adding much more depth and personality to the creatures. This isn't as generic as the name might imply. The effects are wonderfully dated, but it never takes away from the enjoyment factor -- honestly, I think it only enhances it. I think in the end, this isn't a sci-fi/horror movie that stands as particularly get within either genre, but more as a solid blend of both, and a pretty insightful look at hysteria and fear of the unknown. It hits all the right notes and definitely stands the test of time.

Monday, March 6, 2017

200 Items Or Less: Forbidden Planet (1956)

A few thoughts: While I know a lot of people throw out hyperbole like it's going out of style (please let it go out of style...), I feel it's worth noting that this is quite possibly the greatest science fiction film ever made. From the intricate sets, badass robot design, ahead-of-its-time special effects, great character development, and sheer inventiveness in its scope and ideas, there is so much to love about this movie it's hard to compress it to under 200 words. One of the first movies to be set almost entirely on a different planet, this movie handled weirdly complex ideas and pulled them off so successfully it managed to leave strong enough of an impact on Gene Roddenberry to be a key inspiration for Star Trek -- which itself is among the most substantial science fiction works of the 21st century. There's plenty of humor to be found here, tons of great visuals to keep your eyes busy, and a strong plot that keeps your mind active throughout. It's a complete, geniusely crafted film that's among my absolute favorite movies of the 1950s -- maybe even of all time.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

200 Items Or Less: Reefer Madness (1936)

A few thoughts: When it comes to pure, unadulterated propoganda, few movies are as infamously misinformed and wildly entertaining as Reefer Madness, an anti-marihuana PSA that recently celebrated its 80th anniversary. From the very beginning, you're treated with one of the greatest opening text crawls of all time, and while it does slow down with the laughs, the absurdity on display never fully lets up. Attempting to blend documentary elements with an actual narrative, this "gritty expose" runs at a tight 60-70 minutes, every moment filled with hilariously bad acting, writing, and direction all of which tring to shock you into fearing this drug menace that's sweeping the nation. And no, you don't have to be high or do drugs at all to find this movie funny -- I personally have no interest in this monstrous drug demon. But if you can't at least let out an occasional chuckle at the insanity and ineptitude of this movie, I feel bad for you. Classic garbage.

Friday, March 3, 2017

200 Items Or Less: Cemetery Man (1994)

A few thoughts: Italian horror has never really been my strong suit, but I can generally appreciate certain elements of this type of film. While this movie doesn't have the incredible dynamic visuals of one of Bava's efforts or the particularly memorable music of an Argento film, this movie has one element that is generally sorely lacking in a majority of Italian horror movies: a good sense of humor. Based on the works of the creator of Dylan Dog (this is similar, but not quite the same), there's a very sick sense of humor and personality brought to this movie thanks mostly to Rupert Everett, who is the kind of actor who always brings a smarmy charm to his roles and can make anything watchable. Luckily the material here is interesting and the visuals are pretty neat (if a little grubby), so it doesn't all fall on his shoulders to carry the movie. It isn't the greatest horror comedy around, but it's funny, tense, and looks good while doing it. An upper echelon zombie movie.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

200 Items Or Less: The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

A few thoughts: I'd always considered this one of Wes Anderson's better movies until rewatching it just a few days ago, but now I can say it's definitely among the bottom two or three as it lacks much of the humor and absurd quirks that define many of his other more inspired efforts. That being said, this is still a very good movie that's charming, funny, and filled with more melancholy than a majority of his other movies (The Life Aquatic being the big exception here). The main cast of Wilson, Brody and Schwartzman play off each other perfectly, convincingly handling the difficult task of playing believable brothers, which is a rare thing for movies to capture. The Indian setting was beautiful and a perfect match for Wes' yellowed palette, helping to make this one of his most visually lovely films -- which is itself a remarkable feat. I still really this movie in spite of its relative lack of humor, but I don't love it now nearly as much as I used to.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

200 Items Or Less: I Bury The Living (1958)

A few thoughts: This movie had me, it really did. I was totally invested and tense, awaiting a thrilling climax until...dammit. This is three-quarters of a really, really good horror thriller, but it sadly (and almost aggressively) dispenses of everything it was building up to in favor of an ending that makes very little sense when looked at closely, and betrays the entire previous hour of the film. That being said, it is still a solid movie with cool cinematography, minimal sets, and a great lead performance by Richard Boone who almost singlehandedly makes the movie work. The fairly simple set-up alows for the performance and character development to take central stage, which helps set this apart from the bigger, more fancy and exciting horror movies of its time. As long as you go into this movie knowing the ending will be a letdown, I could see most fans of '50s horror enjoying it. It's definitely a few steps ahead of a majority of b-movies of the time.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

200 Items Or Less: The Beyond (1981)

A few thoughts: I've never seen a Fulci movie that I really loved. I was holding out hope that this would be the one to break that, but I suppose it was unfair of me to expect so much. As it stands, this is still an enjoyable zombie movie with fun gore effects and one particular scene involving spiders that's very difficult to watch -- even to those who aren't terrified of spiders. There are some cool visuals and the standard Italian horror music ties everything together well. The acting is as stiff and poorly directed as you could expect from an Italian horror movie (try naming one that actually has good acting from all involved), but this isn't the kind of movie you watch for the Oscar-worthy performances. It's basically stylized schlock --and Fulci is a veritable schlockmeister. This is more clever than a majority of Romero zombie clones, but it's never creepy enough to stand up to the levels of actual Romero. I can't say it was great, but I enjoyed it.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

200 Items Or Less: Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959)

A few thoughts: Arguably the oldest movie that's still generally considered one the worst of all-time, a disasterpiece of epic proportions, this film written, directed and produced by Edward D. Wood, Jr. still stands as one of the most inept and hilariously bad movies ever made. A gold standard in poor filmmaking decisions and bafflingly blunt and over-written '50s dialogue, everything about this movie screams "calculated failure". But Wood believed he was making worthwhile pictures, which makes it all the more endearing and humorous; filmmakers this inherently awful don't come by every day. This movie is legendary, and watching it again still makes for some great entertainment. The effects are as fake as you can get, the sets are obviously made from cardboard and spray paint, and none of the actors seem to have any clue how to deliver dialogue in a way that even comes close to appearing human -- especially not the human characters. It's a mad, muddled mess and I couldn't recommend it enough.

Friday, February 24, 2017

200 Items Or Less: Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes (1978)

A few thoughts: For some reason, everyone has heard of this movie yet few seem to have actually seen it. I find this to be an absolute tragedy as it stands as one of my favorite movies of the 1970s -- or even of all-time. Obviously going in you have to realize the movie isn't going to be entirely serious, nor is it going to be "good" in the general sense, but what it is is a pitch perfect satire and embodiment of the oh-so elusive so-bad-it's-good genre. Remarkably corny to say the least (both intentionally and due to obvious budget constraints), there is a genuine wit to this film that few satires of this variety seem to possess. Filled with off-the-wall humor and genre send-ups ranging from war movies and noir to musicals, there isn't a single joke left untold, with several more unexpectedly emerging from the rubble. It's impressive for its writing, not production value, and many of the jokes can be seen as pretty cheap, but there's a lot more to this movie than what you might expect. I find it hilarious even after a half-dozen viewings, and consider it a massively underrated b-movie.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

200 Items Or Less: Evil Dead 2 (1987)

A few thoughts: One of the most over-hyped, over-the-top, desperate movies of the 1980s, this cult sequel to the far superior original Evil Dead tries way too hard way too often, and winds up being pretty annoying and unfocused as a result. I can appreciate the effort put into this movie on the parts of everyone involved, but there's quite simply far too much going on in this movie for it to ever feel like any more than just a pile of half-baked nonsense. The makeup and practical effects are solid but lack the subdued, creepy charm of the original, and while Bruce Campbell gives it his all and transforms Ash into the iconic hero most people know him for, the level of self-awareness in his performance reaches critical mass and he no longer seems like an actual character anymore - just an extension of Campbell's own ego. It can be fun to watch in small doses, but it winds up becoming far too much and without much narrative focus, left me feeling surprisingly ambivalent.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

200 Items Or Less: The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004)

A few thoughts: Wes Anderson makes some of the most visually lovely, charming and funny movies around. And while I could argue that The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, or The Grand Budapest Hotel are my favorites, that would probably be a lie, as this is the movie I find the most consistent enjoyment out of and touches me the most on an emotional level. Bill Murray is perfect in the lead role, a generally unpleasant man who takes everything for granted, but there's a charm and vulnerability to him that makes it impossible not to enjoy watching him. The sets are fun, the use of stop-motion animation is magical, and the entire rest of the cast do an excellent job at making you care about them and get invested in their adventures. There's a sweet melancholy to this movie that makes for a difficult struggle between seriousness and wackiness, but Anderson exploits that line to great effect. It may not appeal to everyone, but to the rest of us there's nothing else that compares.

Top 10 Adventure Time episodes - Season 1

Alright, instead of bogging you all down with reviews I've already written, here is my top 10 favorite episodes of the first season of Adventure Time with just a plot description. If you want the reviews, just find them on my blog. I don't feel I need to explain myself further, so here we go.

'My Two Favorite People'
Episode 9

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

200 Items Or Less: It's Alive (1974)

A few thoughts: What a disappointment. Though I've never been a huge fan of The Stuff, I have a weird soft spot for Larry Cohen's low-budget films and the creativity that went into making them; God Told Me To is possibly one of the most ingenius horror films of the '70s. That being said, this movie - often considered one of his very best - was a bit of a mess. Never silly enough to be fun and never capable enough to be creepy, this movie flops around in that void like a dying fish, only ever watchable when the mutant baby briefly emerges. I admired its simplicity and hilarious creature design, but I feel Cohen dropped the ball in terms of story, characters, and any kind of emotional connectivity. I never cared about what was happening, and within the first half I found myself mentally checking out. When you're given no reason to give a crap about anything that's happening it's hard to be scared or invested in any way. But in the end, I didn't totally hate it just for the baby. That being said, I really hoped for more.

Top 5 Horror Movies of 1958

I've already made a top 10 for 1960 and 1959 (though I will be remaking them as top 5s, since I need to change a few things up with them), so why not jump into 1958? Not as great of a year for horror, I found it hard to even find enough interesting movies to want to make more than a top 5 here anyway, but don't let that fool you: the movies on this list are pretty awesome. Not a landmark year in the history of horror cinema, but the ones that stand out really *really* stand out. So let's get this list started, my top 5 favorite horror movies of 1958. But first...

Monday, February 20, 2017

200 Items Or Less: Invasion Of The Saucer-Men (1957)

A few thoughts: I love watching alien b-movies for how serious yet totally goofy they can be, which is why I have so much trouble with this one. Obviously a major influence on Tim Burton's Mars Attacks, the level of self-awareness here is beyond what you would expect from a movie of this era. While I can appreciate the attempt at making a semi-humorous sci-fi movie like this, what is sad missing here was the humor. I didn't laugh once, and found myself almost scowling at the bad jokes far more often than I was even mildly amused. The alien design is fun and suitably standard (just picture a 1950s alien, odds are it looks something like this), but I felt they were underutilized, as I barely had a chance to see them at all throughout the movie. Also, this is one of those rare instances where I feel the film would have been better suited in color as opposed to blsck and white, but that's just me. It's not a bad movie, I wasn't s just hoping for more laughs -- especially since it's supposed to be a comedy.

200 Items Or Less: Kiss Of The Vampire (1963)

A few thoughts: I've seen this referred to as one of the best non-Dracula, non-Frankenstein Hammer films, but I honestly wasn't very impressed. It felt like a very standard Dracula movie set-up, just with a considerable lack of Lee's daunting presence. There were aspects I enjoyed about it, particularly the elderly man who helps out the main protagonists in the third act, as well as the entire third act as a whole involving bats and a cult of vampires, but the journey there was fairly standard. As is always the case with Hammer horror, the sets, costumes, and lighting were pretty great, but it was the story that didn't really grab ahold of me. All-in-all, I definitely wouldn't consider this a bad movie, but of the 2 dozen (or so) Hammer films I've seen, this is among the weakest as far as I'm concerned. One of the only highlights is, again, watching a ton of bats fly around attacking people in one of the final scenes of the movie. That was at least entertaining. As a film overall, it's not good, not bad, mostly just bland and forgettable.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

200 Items Or Less: Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954)

A few thoughts: Often considered the last of the classic Universal monsters, this is a fairly standard monster movie that arrived at the perfect time to help usher in a new wave of creature features. Released the same year as the original Gojira, it's safe to say 1954 was a pretty important year for these kind of movies, and while I have never really loved this movie, its influence on horror can be seen from a mile away. With beautiful underwater cinematography and one hell of an awesome monstrous costume, a good deal of what makes this particular film so good comes from how relatively unique it was for movies of its time. Instead of just being an irradiated slug or a giant turkey or something, this creature is just an alternate man-like evolution and is in ways sympathetic, with the human characters trespassing on its territory leading it to feel threatened. It isn't an all-time horror classic in my eyes, but marks a significant turning point within the genre, and must be regarded as such. Also, it's worth looking into as an early inspiration for Jaws.

200 Items Or Less: RoboCop (1987)

A few thoughts: Oh yeah, it's time for RoboCop, one of the greatest action movies ever made. It's difficult for me to go from watching this to more modern action, because the amount of effort put into this movie is staggering. There's a kind of self-awareness to this movie that allows it to embrace its dark sense of humor, while it also stands as an incredible showcase for some of the most exciting and awesome shootouts in film history. I don't know about anyone else, but I miss blood in my action movies. Anymore, action movies seem to be rated R for language instead of for being filled with human bloodbags exploding when shot by gigantic guns -- and if there is blood, it's usually just CG. Lame. All practical effects in this movie are incredible, from RoboCop himself to the squibs, stop-motion robots, and special makeup thrown in that in once particular scene reminds me a lot of The Toxic Avenger. It's exciting, paced well, and never feels redundant. There's nothing here that could be improved upon. This is a perfect action movie.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Top 5 Horror Movies of 1932

In the history of film, very few years have brought us quite so many great horror movies as 1932. I can name several right off the top of my head that could easily go down as some of the greatest and/or most influential of their time that didn't even make the list, but that would sort of defeat the purpose of making this into a countdown with a dramatic reveal, now wouldn't it? I suppose the best thing I can do here is mention that this is very much a "me" list, which means you won't necessarily agree with everything on here. And I like it that way. It gives readers new things to look at, a fresh perspective, and hopefully helps people to find movies they might not have otherwise thought to give a second glance. So it should go without saying, this isn't my attempt at making an objective list, these are just the 5 that I consider the most enjoyable, effective, memorable, etc. And hopefully I'll be able to commit to making more of these lists in the future.

So here we go, let's do this countdown. My 5 favorite horror movies of 1932.

200 Items Or Less: Alien (1979)

A few thoughts: It feels like a cop-out, but I almost don't even want to write this review at all. Alien is one of the most well respected sci/fi and horror movies of all time, and my thoughts on it don't vary much from that label. The cast do a great job at feeling like actual people (unlike the over-simplified action sequel) trapped in a claustrophobic setting. Every character behaves as you might expect, which helps heighten the suspense. The setting and creature design is beyond terrific, with great special effects and a perfectly complementary musical score that adds to the tense atmosphere. I didn't initially enjoy this movie (don't ask me why, I was probably just being stupid), but every single rewatch since then has improved it in my eyes. This is a fantastic horror movie, an equally fantastic science fiction movie, and a total masterpiece of suspense. Easily one of the greatest monster movies ever made, and far superior to the sequel -- which I still enjoy, it's just much less interesting. Oh, and yes, this movie did inspire my website color design.

200 Items Or Less: Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)

A few thoughts: A slow, meandering road movie fairly similar in tone to Easy Rider, this is the kind of movie that feels like a genuine representation of a very specific time and place. The acting is largely understated and underwhelming, with the exception of Warren Oates, who brings a sort of used car salesman swagger to his role. A big-talking loudmouth of a man with nothing important to say, he makes for an interesting foil to the quieter competing gearhead played by singer-songwriter James Taylor. There's an admirable simplicity to this movie, as it seems to understand its subject and feels perfectly content with simply existing as a window to this point in time. As for the overall effect, the film captures a mood and does so in such an informal way, it never seems to realize how to handle more than a very loose narrative. It doesn't have much of an ending, nor does it start off in a traditional manner. It simply is and then isn't, with very little sense of emotional urgency or dramatic tension -- and that's sort of the point.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

200 Items Or Less: Swamp Thing (1982)

A few thoughts: It's strange to me that Wes Craven directed Last House On The Left and The Hills Have Eyes right before this, and turned around only 2 years later to direct A Nightmare On Elm Street. I'll give him credit, he has some weird range. As for the movie itself it isn't particularly impressive or overly exciting up until the climax, although the setting, scene transitions, and makeup/costume design are all amusing to say the least. I can't help but to feel The Toxic Avenger wouldn't have existed were it not for this movie, which honestly makes me happy this existed regardless of how entertaining it is in its own right. This is a bizarre superhero movie that captures all the campy elements you could expect, even going so far as to supply one of the most hilarious and awesome monster fights this side of the Godzilla series. It may feel cheap and lame at times, but it's always entertaining and the ending more than makes up for any of its problems. Just don't expect anything "good".

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Adventure Time (S01E26)

Episode #026
'Gut Grinder'
Season 1, Episode 26

As Finn and Jake travel around through many different towns and villages, the locals fear Jake and mistake him for a mysterious monster that's been attacking their homes and stealing their gold. Jake begins to fear he may actually be this "Gut Grinder" as Finn seeks to absolve his friend of these accusations.

Adventure Time (S01E25)

Episode #025
'His Hero'
Season 1, Episode 25

Finn and Jake stumble upon a hidden cave where a legendary hero named Billy spends his days. Billy used to fight and save people as Finn and Jake do, but he's given up hope that any of the lives he saved made any difference at all and beleven non-violence is the only real way to make a difference. His disillusionment leads to Finn and Jake contemplating whether or not they need to find non-violent ways to help people as well.

Adventure Time (S01E24)

Episode #024
'What Have You Done?'
Season 1, Episode 24

Princess Bubblegum sends Finn and Jake to kidnap and imprison Ice King, but they aren't sure why. After they capture him, Ice King proceeds to tell them that he hasn't committed any recent crimes, which causes Finn to have a bit of a crisis as he now receives himself as a bad guy. But PB sent them to capture the Ice King for a reason...

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Adventure Time (S01E23)

Episode #023
'Rainy Day Daydream'
Season 1, Episode 23

It's a rainy day, so Finn and Jake can't go out for an adventure. Instead, Jake decides to use his imagination to invent a dungeon inside of their house, but there's a problem: it isn't just in his imagination. Everything he thinks becomes true, even though Finn can't see it. So they have to venture through the treehouse to get to Jake's imagination shut-off switch before it completely takes over.

200 Items Or Less: The Beast With Five Fingers (1946)

A few thoughts: The second killer hand movie starring Peter Lorre that I'm aware of, this mystery/horror/thriller almost entirely set within a single house is one of the finest of its time, offering interesting twists and providing Lorre possibly the best role of his entire career. While there are definitely some flaws in its tone and semi-comedic execution, the occasionally lighthearted approach to this dark and psychological story is never enough to distract from the overall effect and quality of the film, which makes the most of its limited setting and quirky characters. It's gorgeous to look at (the lighting and set design are incredibly effective), always keeps you guessing, and does a great job at establishing its immoral characters and their respective motivations. As I said before, Lorre is terrific here, adding an air of creepiness that would've otherwise been lost without him. While I personally would've scrapped the cornball comedy that pops up in the last several minutes, I still felt very satisfied by the time it had finished. Good stuff.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Adventure Time (S01E22)

Episode #022
Season 1, Episode 22

Finn happens upon Marceline and her old henchman, who desperately wishes to be set free from his role as her stooge. Finn offers his services in exchange for the old man's freedom. Marceline accepts, and takes him with her to complete a series of seemingly-evil but innocent tasks. Meanwhile, Jake attempts to conquer his fear of vampires in order to save Finn from a lifetime as a henchman.