Posts Tagged ‘Movies’

TheRef

Growing up I had the odd experience of being the one of the only kids in my school, whose parents were still together. When you are surrounded by the societal norm for your community, you start wondering when you’ll conform. I remember asking them very casually when they would be getting a divorce. Luckily it never happened.

Hollywood has created some interesting movies that touch on divorce. They aren’t supposed to be conversation pieces about relationships but they could be. They aren’t the most cliché divorce movies you’ve heard of like, War of the Roses or Kramer vs Kramer. A lot of the movies I’ve watched that talk about divorce in a more realistic, less dramatic fashion are outlandish comedies. Starting with spies and we end with crimes! Enjoy.

5. True Lies

Summary: Harry Tasker is a secret agent. His wife has no idea. Helen Tasker is bored with her life because she is growing apart from her husband. Using his  friends at the agency, he concocts a plan to make her life more interesting and reconnect. The plan goes horribly wrong when Harry is interrupted by actual counter-espionage, revealing his real occupation.

How this movie touches on divorce: Harry Tasker doesn’t realize how boring life seems to his wife. She looks for an outlet and starts to consider cheating. The movie is really discussing how important it is to do things outside the daily routine, together. Their solution is to make her an international spy! That way they can share their unusual day-to-day work.

In real life they suggest going out to eat at a new restaurant or taking a dance class. In the real world, you wouldn’t become a spy just by getting kidnapped by a terrorist organization that has Tia Carrere as their evil leader.

4. Mr. and Ms. Smith

Summary – John and Jane Smith are married but they are growing apart. In reality they are spies working for rival agencies. Neither is aware till they are given the assignment to eliminate each other.

How this movie talks about divorce: This marriage was never based on the truth. In the very beginning of the relationship these two spies lied about everything. In fact, I’m not sure how they could legally be married because … well never mind. They start suspecting that the other is cheating and start working on  getting a divorce. This movie is really talking about how you can’t have a stable marriage if you kill people for a living… I mean if you lie to your loved ones. They realize after they have to band together to get out alive that they need to tell each other the truth.

Eventually they work it out, even in the midst of a fire fight.

3.  Moonrise Kingdom

Summary – Two young lovers flee together to get married. The town Sheriff and the Girls family band together, putting their problems aside to find the two kids before a hurricane hits the island.

What does this have to do with divorce? Suzy’s parents have a very distant relationship. Both parents have their issues. Suzy’s Mother has been cheating with the town Sheriff. Suzy’s Father, pretty knows that his marriage is a failure. Suzy, decides to run away with her secret love so that she doesn’t wind up like her Mother in a sham marriage. That’s when the adults realize that, while they care about each other, they are hurting themselves by behaving badly. Sam, is a troubled orphan that goes to the island every year with a scouting troop. Well, his foster parents don’t want him back this time. Suzy’s parents don’t divorce them but the sheriff adopts him, realizing that the kid just needs the right influence in his life. All of Wes Anderson’s movies deal with dysfunctional families. This one has a happy ending because once everyone realized how their happiness was tied to each other, they got the help they needed.

2. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Summary – Steve Zissou is a naturalist, exploring the underwater realms in his yellow submarine. This is his escape from the surface world where he has to deal with the death of a dear friend, the fall out from his divorce and the sudden appearance of an illegitimate child.

Divorce is the basis for most of the character relationships in this movie. The main character Steve Zissou has an ex-wife Eleanor who controls part of his world. She’s still deeply involved in his life even though they are no longer married. This deals with the aftermath of divorce and how different people cope. Although the marriage bond has been severed, you are most likely still going to deal with that person. Why not try to become friends or at least civil? Sometimes, your ex may even know you better than you know yourself. Even through Eleanor has issues with her ex, she still wants to support him in his goal… to an extent.

1. The Ref

Summary – Talk about a bad night. Gus, a professional cat burglar, breaks into the wrong house on Christmas Eve. His partner abandons him and he has to take a family hostage.  The family fights even while tied up and being robbed blind. The burglar finds himself playing marriage  and family counselor instead of getting his job done. It helps that Dennis Leary is the unfortunate burglar.

How does this talk about divorce? They couple in the movie is at each other’s throat. The rest of the family isn’t much help. The son is a blackmailer. The husband is considered a weakling by his overbearing wife. Everyone has their own issues caused by the image they want to project. They are stuck in a suburban life, miserable and can’t even tell each other why they are unhappy. The situation helps them work through their issues by forcing them to actually de
al with each other. I am sure though, if we saw a sequel, there was divorce over the horizon.

All of these movies bring up divorce in their own bizarre ways.

Runners up: Death Becomes Her and She Devil. Both movies involve Meryl Streep. In both movies Meryl Streep steals another woman’s man and both movies have novelists. They also both have a supernatural twist after divorce and getting revenge on the other woman and ex husband. This is why I didn’t add them to the list. I don’t want to shame any party in a relationship. Both movies are bizarre in their own way. Death Becomes Her involves a treatment that makes you younger, more beautiful and… immortal. She Devil involves a deal with the devil that gives Roseanne Barr’s character the ability to summon everything she needs to get revenge.

 

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Years ago, around 12 years, I had a website called the Bathroom of Darkness. I mostly wrote movie reviews for old movies. At the time I was working part-time for a video store. Through all the years I’ve noticed some really weird things about movies. I’d like to resurrect my movie reviews and movie lists.

I had lists. They were my Sei Shonagon moment. The lists were compilations of my observations like, the worst super hero movies ( any Fantastic 4), top favorite holiday lists ( Hebrew Hammer) and other things that were wacky (Frogs is really about reptiles?!). I had a list I posted every year about movies where the turkey was a character. I don’t mean a live animal either. I’m talking about a dead, cooked turkey.

There are a lot of movies out there that do weird things. Did you ever see Mr. and Mrs. Smith? It was a movie starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. They played a husband and wife that  didn’t know they worked for rival spy agencies. Sounds like an awesome action movie right? It was really a conversation about how the lack of communication is the major contributing factor to divorce. I’ll get into that more later.

Demolition Man is a pretty great science fiction action movie with Sylvester Stallone. The main character has a hard time asking people for help and always thinks he’s right. The movie is really about learning to ask for help and learning to trust the people around him.

Now, those are just two examples. I’ve also discussed subliminal zombies also known as horror movies incorrectly marked. Love it. This is what I think about as a writer. It would be easy to write about all the horrible things in the Star Wars prequel movies, but I’d rather tell you about Father Goose, with Leslie Carone.

Talk to you soon!

Noccie

xoxo

 

“No body leaves this place wit’out singin’ da blues.” – Albert Collins

AIBS Singing da blues

Thor wasn’t always fighting the evil that men do. Once upon a time he went by the name Dawson and he fixed cars.

Not all geek movies were obviously aimed at our particular audience in the 1980’s. They often tried to carry a group of teenagers that would reflect a spectrum of social groups and appeal to a wide audience. Adventures in Babysitting is a teeny bopper, action adventure, comedy. There is an underlying nerdy streak to this movie and it was really one of the first movies to have a blatantly nerdy GIRL. Maybe it was before it’s time or maybe it was a sign that things were changing in society.

What’s Adventures in Babysitting about?

AIBS Poster

Chris is supposed to be on the date of dreams but her boyfriend cancels at the last-minute. Having nothing better to do, a babysitting job pops up and she decides to take it because she needs the distraction. Meanwhile her friend Brenda gets stranded at the bus terminal in the city with no money and a cast of scary characters threatening her safety. Begging for her life, Brenda convinces Chris to drive into the city, with Sara and her brother to pick her up. Just as they are about to leave, everything starts to go wrong when Brad’s douchey friend Darryl black mails his way into joining the trip. A series of missteps leads them on an improbable adventure and through life-or-death situations.

The cast meets interesting characters along the way such as The Hook Handed Man; The Car Thief; The Blues Man; Inner City Gangs and even Thor.

Why do I love this movie? Sara.

AIBS Group

Sara is a little girl who is obsessed with comics and especially Thor. She wears a Thor helmet, a red cape and carries a plastic Mjolnir. Her devotion to the character is unflappable. Even when she comes face to face with the cranky Dawson, at Dawson’s garage she bows to him. Tapping her hammer on the groundshe greets him as a God. Her zeal wins over Dawson and his goodside comes out when Sara offers him her Thor helmet. She is convinced that because he doesn’t have his helmet, he’s not acting like himself. That melts the heart of the super cranky, muscle bound Thor look-a-like.

AIBS Thor

Sara was so relatable when I was a kid. I was into comics. I was into dressing up and being weird. Branded a tom boy, no one really understood that instead of Barbie, I wanted to read the Outsiders and Amethyst Princess of Gem World. (Seriously bad ass comic btw.) I had friends that were into elves and fantasy but they were more of the Anne McCaffrey vein. We would sometimes play pretend. There was always an elf, a dragon born and me, A NINJA! This character, Sara,  wasn’t truely outrageous, wasn’t wearing thigh high boots and wasn’t wearing a liatard. I could related to this little girl, about my age, being super excited about nerdy things.

Other things I love about this movie include singing the blues. That scene always stuck with me. Part of that is because my Mother loves to quote it, often. Recently, I had her over to hang out with her and my Dad. We wound up watching it because she went through my Netflix. It was in my recently watched catagory.

The Lords of Hell, scene on the train is like watching the dialogue after a Michael Jackson video between the two gangs.

The Doctor in the hospital. This was a social statement. He was overworked, nonplussed, and clearly taking some of his own meds.

Secret geek moment, Chris’ scarf reminds me of Dr. Who. It’s not exactly Tom Baker worthy but reallyclose.

Adventures in Babysitting is in my “infinately rewatchable” catagory. Other movies include, Ghostbusters; Shaun of the Dead; HotFuzz and Galaxy Quest. I love this movie and own it on DVD. It’s currently on Netflix. Enjoy.

AIBS Promo

 

Secret bonus… this scene reminds me of Jellyfish Princess. They did release this movie in Japan. Maybe it had an influence on the manga author.

AIBS ThenHeKissedME

Chris singing “And Then He Kissed Me.”

Zukimi as a Princess

Zukimi as a Princess

IMDB Link

Hey folks! Now that the holidays are over, more cool Kickstarters are starting to pop up again. Here are a few to keep an eye on.

Customizable 3D Printed Tabletop Miniatures! Made-to-order miniatures. This one has already blown by its funding goal and through a couple of stretch goals adding sci-fi  and mounts to the core of fantasy minis. They are a bit pricey, but for something that is basically print on demand, its hard to beat. Their really are no other options short of hiring a sculptor!

Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians! A tactical strategy game directed by the man behind Final Fantasy Tactics. Sounds promising, but not showing us much just yet. Definitely worth keeping an eye on if you like that sort of game, though.

Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen! Fantasy MMO brought to you by a bunch of guys who broke away from SOE and were behind EQ, EQ2, SWG and on and on. Worth keeping an eye on if you liked any of those.

Project Nimbus! Open world mech shooter. Looks to have elements of the greats such as Zone of Enders and Virtual On. Only a few days left so go take a look!

Red Box Games Norse Warrior Miniatures! Tre Manor is one of the best miniature sculptors in the business today. Get some of his amazing work early by backing this one!

Earthdawn 4th Edition! I am a fan of Earthdawn and am VERY glad to see it coming back again. I’m not sure who is behind the new FASA, but looks like they have plenty of people convinced that they know what they are doing. Epic heroic fantasy with its own take on the genre.

The Mini Box – Simple Storage Solution! Affordable miniature storage. Glad to see an American company doing that as we don’t have many choices this side of the pond.

Last, but not least KUNG FURY! Just go watch the trailer on the Kickstarter. If that doesn’t convince you…I don’t have anything to say to you.

As always, if YOU know of a Kickstarter that everyone needs to hear about, let me know in the comments!

Movie Review: Carrie (2013)

Posted: November 7, 2013 by Noccie in Movies, Noccie
Tags: , ,

Carrie-Cover

Do you know how many times they’ve remade Carrie? Three times at least. That includes a sequel which was secretly… a remake.

Carrie is based off the popular novel by Stephen King. They made a great movie  version in 1976 with Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie as her Mother. The original is very well framed with a good build up to the eventual disaster involving telekinesis. It’s become a classic set up of the outsider going berserk when pushed too far. So how was the remake? Good actually.

Don’t know the plot? Here you go.

Carrie White was raised by her single Mother, Margaret. They are a little different. The White’s are deeply religious and shun the outside world as sinful and ungodly. Carrie is an outcast at school because of the fear her mother has instilled in her through abuse and extreme biblical teachings. She has been kept from knowing the most basic information that most everyone learns. Suddenly, Carrie gets her period and finds herself at a loss for knowing what is happening. Thinking she’s bleeding to death she screams for help asking her classmates to get help. They chastise her and toss tampons while chanting. This incident leads to a group of girls working together to torment the innocent Carrie. Sue Snell realized that they are being horrible and goes about trying to get her friends to realize the error of their ways. Sue even goes so far as to get her boyfriend to take Carrie to the Prom. They want to show Carrie that she can fit in and have a good time like everyone else. Of coarse, Chris Hargensen (the head mean girl), remains the aggressor and refuses to understand that what she’s done is wrong. Chris is suspended from going to prom by the school for her actions and to get revenge she sets a cruel prank in motion. With the help of a bad boy boyfriend, Chris sets pigs blood above the stage. When Tommy Ross and Carrie are voted in as Prom King and Queen the plot is set in full motion. The vote was rigged and Chris’ evil friends help to get them into position. What everyone doesn’t know is that Carrie’s been learning how to use powerful telekinesis! Sue realizes that something is up and rushes to the school to try and stop the cruel joke. Before she can stop the prank, she is tossed out of the prom by a teacher. This actually saves her life as Carrie gets revenge on the students that tormented her and ruined her one moment of true happiness.

Chloe Grace Moretz plays Carrie and her Mother is played by Julianne Moore. Chloe can play just about anyone. She’s in the remake, Let Me In. She’s in Kickass, Hugo, Dark Shadows, and the 2005  remake of The Amityville Horror. Other than her horror movies, she been in a lot of television and movies that weren’t horror as well. She’s really good as mousy and really good at pulling off bad ass as well. Julieanne Moore is more of a mixed bag. She was excellent in the role made famous by Piper Laurie. I think she was actually a little more unsettling than the original performance by Piper Laurie. I haven’t enjoyed much of Julieanne Moore’s except the Big Lebowski and Evolution. Those were both comedies though. This was serious and Julianne Moore did not break character at all. The acting in the movie is pretty good overall. The effects are up to date and tip top. They added a modern spin to school bullying using texting, Facebook and cellphone videos. They updated everything except the cars. There were a lot of throw back 1970’s cars. Unfortunately, the movie wasn’t that scary. The same moments in the original, with Carrie’s Mother stalking her and Carrie crucifying her Mother, are the only truly scary moments. The prayer room where Carrie get’s locked, wasn’t as creepy either. In the 1970’s version the room was claustrophobic and terrifying. The new prayer room was pretty spacious and didn’t have iconography as scary as the original. The special effects were pretty good including a few gory make up effects.

Overall, this is a good movie, not a great movie.

Pet peeve: You could see the beauty make up on ALL of the teen actors. EVEN in scenes where they weren’t in a close up view.

Should you go see it? I guess so, if you have to choose. Rent it next Halloween when you can’t find a copy of the original. It’s a rehash, scene by scene remake. I’m not saying it’s a bad movie, it’s just the same movie.

Ghostbusters

Posted: November 6, 2013 by Noccie in Noccie, Video Games
Tags: , , ,

Ghostbusters

In 1984 the scaries movie I had ever seen was The Dark Crystal… and then came Ghostbusters. My parents took me with them to see this in the theaters. I remember coming home and needing someone to sit outside the bathroom because I was scared a ghost would appear when I was flushing the toilet. I don’t know why I made that association, but I think it was mixed with an add for Ghoulies. Either way, I love this movie so much, I want to get a tattoo of “Venkman Rot in Hell” on my arm.

I just rewatched Ghostbusters for about the millionth time. They just put it back on Netflix. I do own it on DVD but when we moved it was misplaced. I was so happy when it appeared on NetFlix again. YAY! This movie is way better in the theaters by the way. If you get a chance to see it on the big screen, do it!

We played the game of this a while ago but I thought I’d re-visit it. The game was based off the movie and filled in holes between the first and second movies. You get to revisit the New York Central Library and the Hotel from the first scenes. The levels are fun and fill in details that the movies didn’t have time to flesh out . Later on you are in the streets of New York again fighting the Stay Puft Marshmellow man. The game play is easy and quick. You move through the game at a really decent pace until the graveyard. The game is not balanced. You are moving through the game and suddenly there is a puzzle where you have to get rid of these horrible cherubs and it’s so hard you want to throw your controller at the TV.

The game is worth playing up till the Cherubs, fun and quick.

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Wait Until Dark

Posted: October 25, 2013 by Noccie in Movies, Noccie
Tags: , ,

Wait_Until_Dark_1967

Audrey Hepburn was a very versatile actress. Wait Till Dark was from 1967 and one of Audrey’s spectacular thrillers. Audrey plays Susy Hendrix, a woman that became blind as an adult after an accident. Her husband Sam leaves for a business trip because he’s an internationally renowned photographer and Suzy is on her own. A mysterious woman that sat next to Sam on a plane gave him the doll and he takes it home. Sam and his wife receive a call from the woman but they can’t find the doll. A stranger shows up claiming to be Sam’s old friend and then when Susy’s alone and a man screaming for her husband breaks into her apartment. The old friend returns and offers to help keep her safe. Weird happenings continue and it turns out a drug cartel is trying to locate the doll. Suzy doesn’t find the doll till much later and her alarm turns to suspicion as she tries to survive without being able to see.

I enjoyed this move enough to buy it on DVD. Part of why I love this movie is Audrey Hepburn. Another reason I love this movie is that it feels like a stage play. When I researched it, the movie was developed from the stage play. If you don’t like horror movies, this is the perfect effect because it’s suspenseful and scary. It’s more like a mystery with some murder thrown in for drama or a thriller with a classy edge to it like Charade. The acting is serious and a little over-the-top adding to the stage feel of the movie. There are some great sight gags, such as when the thieves are dressed up as a police detective rubbing down the apartment for fingerprints. Suzy asks if her apartment is dusty at the end of the scene to point out she is blind, not deaf. There are other scenes that illustrate Suzy may be blind but not oblivious, like when she realizes two of the men that came in had the same walking gait. Although my co-worker and I were talking about it and he asked me, “Why didn’t they just give the guy the doll full of cocain?” Well there wouldn’t be much suspense if we just gave in that easily.

On a feminist note, I love this movie. Audrey’s character does need help for some things, like grocery shopping, but she is largely independent. Even though her character be moans the fact she is “helpless,” Suzy is resourceful, smart and observant with her ears. Like every dynamic character, she has a few moments of weakness where she wants a man around to help her. I mean, think of all those pickle jars she needs opened? The movie is from the 60’s and developed from an even older screenplay. The movie is still pretty solid as a great example of overcoming a disability.

There are two things I don’t like about Wait Until Dark. The first is the way Audrey Hepburn screams. I hate her scream. It’s like nails down a chalkboard. The other thing is Gloria. She’s a bipolar little brat. Gloria does like Suzy though, probably because she’s pretty patient with her craziness. Those two gripes aside, it’s a great classic movie.

Wait Until Dark (1967)

Directed by Terrence Young

Produced by Mel Ferrer

Screenplay by Robert Carrington and Jane-Howard Carrington

Story by Frederic Knott

Starring: Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin, Richard Crenna