Monday, February 28, 2011
I really, really, really wanted to watch "Dogma" in my room last night. Except that the TV that was given to me doesn't work at all. After hours of frustration and exhaustion I gave up.
That seems to be the running inspiration for my blogs. If I can't watch it, I think about it, I write about it to console myself.
Kevin Smith is one of my favorite idols. I absolutely adore him. I know I already mentioned him in my "Clerks" post but I'll mention again.
I don't think there is Kevin Smith movie I don't like. Well I know I hate "Cop Out" but I'm gonna ignore that.
I have to say that I know zilch about religious stories. I watched this movie about 5 to 6 times before I even thought to ask the relevance of these characters. For my own intents and purposes they were just funny magical beings. I know alot of controversy surrounded this movie when it came out from all the religious folks out there. Sigh. My stance is that if you believe strongly in your religion then no one can take that away from you. Alot of movies grossly exaggerate or misinterpret Buddhist ideals but I don't rush out and condemn those people. I just shrug and walk away.
Key word there: walk away.
In "Dogma", two earthbound angels (played by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck) have plans use a loophole to get back into heaven. This would destroy the basic foundation of the world. Pretty much if God decrees something, it is done. It cannot be undone. Sounds like a physics problems waiting to disproved.
The solution is to enlist the help of the Scion. Which I believe is a blood relation of Jesus or something. The scion is Bethany who is aided by Metaron, another angel, played by Alan Rickman (Snape to the rescue!!!). They pick up more allies in the way including the awesome duo of Jay and Silent Bob.
The cast. The cast is a wonderful group of comedic glory. Alan Rickman was great as Metaron with his dry humor. There was also Selma Hayek as Serendipity. I think her role as the oracle. My favorite scene with her was when she's helping them all figure out how to destroy the demon. Oh! And Jason Lee as Azreal was just so cute! That was probably not meant to be funny but whatever.
My ultimate favorite cast member is the ever great George Carlin as Cardinal Glick. If you are familiar with George Carlin in anyway, then you should already be smiling.
I also love, LOVE who plays God.....which I will leave as a surprise. Hee, I am evil.
This may be lame but I was a tiny, tiny, tiny bit scared when I first watched it. There were some suspenseful and scary scenes. For the most part, the movie is full of comedy and fun. It's just a great silly movie.
"Dogma" was also my first Kevin Smith movie that I watched all the way through. I didn't watch "Clerks" until a few years later. So when I watched "Dogma" I was not familiar with Smith or his style at all. I was floored by the jokes and dry humor. I was also very attracted to turning an idea upside down and just twisting it about. I just love twisted things in general.
Alot of people are quick to say this movie is juvenile and the humor is vulgar. And it is. What I take away from this movie is the power of belief. The Scion is successful when she rediscovers her faith in God. I don't see how this is a negative image.
Which is something alot of people seem to overlook. There are alot of philosophical debates sprinkled through out the movie but they're no different from the ones that I have with me friends.
I have rewatched this movie countless of times. I enjoy it all the way through. It not only cheers me up but leaves me with a lighter step.
Is this a movie that will have me analyzing points of religion? No.
Will this movie be applauded for addressing religious debates in a respectable manner? HELL, no.
Will you come away with having your religious foundation crumbled? No. And if you, then they weren't that strong in the first place. I would recommend a priest/rabbi/monk/ furry animal
What is the point of this movie? For me, I love creative twistings of stories. I love epic retellings. I love the idea that there is a chance that I may be the only mortal person to save the world.
Ultimately, because I just love Kevin Smith movies. I can't explain it what that means. Just watch one. He has plenty of different varieties to choose from.
Advice: Don't take it too seriously. Enjoy!
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
How can I forget one of my favorite Disney movies of all time?!??! what? What?
Most people have no idea that Dorothy returns to Oz. Many, many times. I believe there are about 30 or 40 books in the series. Only the first fifteen were written by the original author L. Frank Baum.
I LOVED this series when I was young, I believe elementary school age. I hadn't grasped the notion of chronological order so the sequence was off from what I remember. It didn't really matter. The stories were awesome. Just like the "Neverending story" book, these stories were dark. Very dark. And damn do I love my dark stories.
I haven't read the series since but I do remember the plot from the movie were similar to the novel. I have no idea from which one and which order but it doesn't really matter.
In "Return to Oz", Dorothy is having difficulty coming to grasps on reality and the world of Oz (wouldn't you, too?). She begins to have nightmares and becomes withdrawn. Her concerned aunt and uncle enroll her in a psychiatric program that touts a surefire method to cure Dorothy of her problems. It's a mental hospital during the early 19th century. It's shock therapy.
Luckily Dorothy is helped by a fellow patient and runs away during fiery rainstorm. At one point she falls into a raging river. She manages to climb about a wooden crate and falls asleep with exhaustion.
She wakes up washed upon a shore and a talking chicken. As she ventures deeper into land, Dorothy realizes that she has just came from Oz. But Oz has changed dramatically since she last left it.
While Dorothy has been gone, the Gnome King has found her slippers. The King has then used the power to destroy the land. For some reason I can't remember, the scarecrow has also been kidnapped.
Along her journey, she is allied with a creature with a pumpkin for a head, the lion, the scarecrow, a mechanical being named Tik-Tok. And a bed that an fly with a magical moose head.
Oh yeah, this Disney movie is warped, dark, twisted, and weird. My favorite kind of movie.
I haven't seen in a long time since my VHS copy was ruined. I remember being frightened at some parts, excited during the action sequences, and just in general awe.
Fairuza Balk played the role of Dorothy. That is too weird! Balk was later known to play one of the teen witched in " The Craft".I guess she kept the dark roles going.
I'm pleased to see that the costume design for the tin man and the lion were more close to the novel than the "Wizard of Oz". "Wizard of Oz" had some beautiful scenary and a talented cast but it did stray way off the descriptions from the book. As much as I loved hearing Judy Garland's voice, trying to believe that she was a young girl of about 12-14 years of age was a bit of a stretch.
It was weird that Disney made this movie. Disney made alot of dark movies during the seventies and the eighties. "Something Wicked This Way Comes" was in '85. I think "Escape from Witch Mountain" was in '70 something. Gimme more darkness Disney!!!!
I still love this movie and it's on the top for my DVD wish list. It's a completely different style from "Wizard of Oz" done in 1939. "Return to OZ" isn't cut, shiny, or full of songs. It's gritty, dark, and full of adventure. I love both movies for their own reasons. I wish Disney continued to make more but I bet people were just turned off by the difference in style and not understanding that it was a series.
Friday, February 18, 2011
I'm in a horror-rific mood. And I'm scared of the dark but damn am I drawn to the scary. Walking contradiction.
I was loading books onto my new bookcase (hooray!) when I came across my signed copy of a book by Ray Bradbury. I met the great author along with Forest Ackerman during an instore signing at the Mystery and Imagination bookstore in Glendale (great bookstore!) .It was also very significant since it was Ackerman's birthday and he was presented with a cake. At the time, I only knew of both legends in name but nothing else.
I learned that both men are gigantic geeks. As Ackerman and Bradbury reminisce about their childhood, you can easily imagine them as young boys playing around with monsters and toys. Both men loved their monsters and enjoyed creating horror even more. Ackerman helped create the Monsters magazine and opened up his home to the public to view his horror and sci-fi collection ( I believe it was called "The Ackermansion").
Ray Bradbury is a gifted storyteller of science fiction and horror. At the signing, I could just tell that the man loved to tell stories. When I'm down and low about my own writing skills, I remember the joy in his face as he recalled stories and just tap into my own love. Very inspirational man.
Bradbury has a looooong list of works but one that has stood out for me was "Something Wicked This Way Comes". As always, I read the book before watching the movie. This is one of the few times where both the book AND the movie were amazing and scary.
It is a story of two young boys as different as night and day but still have a strong friendship. They live in a small town that is suddenly treated to an arrival of a traveling circus. The boys are naturally curious and set about poking their noses around. This isn't a normal circus. The ringleader has ulterior motives than simple entertainment.
Circus. Already you know that something bad is gonna happen. In cinema, the common formula is circus= weird, unexplainable shit is gonna happen. When a circus called "Pandemonium Circus" led by the ringleader named "Mr. Dark" come rolling around, they're not going to hand you a shiny balloon with a smile. They're baaaaaaad.
It seems like a simple story of two boys getting in trouble with the circus. Boys will be boys. But there are layer upon layer of horror. Horror of humanity and desire. The chasm between youth and elder communication. The true core of friendship and love. Ultimately it is a story between the forces of Light and Dark.
When I read the book I was hooked. The movie had me clutching my blanket. Just like "Cat People", the horror is subtle with a precised focus. The atmosphere is heavy with ill intentions and the people exude barely disguised contempt and loathing for the townspeople.
The ringleader just scared the crap out of me. He has the ability to tattoo images at will upon his body. During one scene, he speaking to the father of one of the boys and shows him an image of his son. Then the ringleader slowly closes his fist and blood begins to ooze. Geez that was freaking scary!
Plus, I think it's so bad ass that the father, a librarian, is the defender of all that is good. Go librarians!!!
While I was watching the movie, I couldn't but wonder if R.L. Stine gleaned some ideas for his stories from the movie. Stine's "Goosebumps" were similar but Bradybury was way superior in execution and content.
These kind of horror stories are the ones that I love to watch. The ones that slowly grasp your ideas of safety and twist it away. Until your blithering and quivering mess of snot and tears. Then when the horror safely passes, then you can get up and rebuild your defenses.
Hopefully it'll be stronger.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
I know it's a horrible movie. So please stop screaming at me.
I'm still kind of recuperating from my wild weekend in Vegas. So my head kinda hurts. Shhh.
For some odd reason, I focused on the Mirage during my drunken stupor. My first thought was "whoa! it's the white haired lady from the 'Incredibles'!". Then for some reason I started searching for the Stardust. Which no longer exists. It was imploded in 2006. I was drunk.
The reason for my frantic searching for the Stardust was that it was the main hotel for the cult favorite movie "Showgirls". Here are some common reactions I get when I tell people I love this movie:
1. WHAT? (add in some jaw dropping, uncontrollable laughter)
2. Isn't that the chick from Saved by the Bell? (yes it is)
3. Are you a lesbian? (no. )
4. Are you an idiot? (which is the last think the person would say before I punch their lights out and then yell 'for every action, there is a reaction BIOTCH!")
5. Damn that movie is sexy (agreed)
6. It's awful but I love it (agreed with a hug from me)
So lemme break down the movie:
Nomi Malone (played by Elizabeth Berkley) is picked up from the side of the road on the way to Vegas. Your not too sure why or where she came from but you can sort of tell that she did something bad. She gets ditched in Vegas while being distracted at a penny slot machine (dumbass). Fortunately she is picked up by a kind black girl named Molly who provides her with food and a place to stay. Molly works for the Stardust hotel and Nomi slowly becomes sucked in that world. So enters a movie of sex, drugs, sexuality, and titties.
(Nostalgia chick did a great video about "Showgirls". She goes more into depth about it and also shares my own bewilderment about loving the movie. I've posted the videos right below!)
Like I said, this movie is awful. The dialogue is horrible.Elizabeth Berkeley (the blond nerd from "Saved by the Bell" acting is extremely awful. I'm not too sure if this movie understood what sexy was or even how sex was performed. There are lots of pointless plot points.
But it is a an absolute guilty pleasure movie of mine. I first watched this movie when I was really young. I was sleeping over at a friends place for the first time but I couldn't stay asleep (a-ha their mistake for giving me candy). So I turned on the TV and boom: titties flying all over the place.
For a young girl ( I think I was around 12. Not too sure). I was confused but awed. I knew there was sex but I remember being interested in the floor show.
The next few times I watched it resulted in an increasing reaction mixed with awe and embarrassment. Now why would a girl love this movie? I have no idea. I might be a twisted pervert or something.
I love it because I know this is not real. Not even remotely close to being realistic. Even though its horrible dialogue and acting, I am still entertained by it. I might be even say that it makes me suprerior since I know how sex works ( just watch that scene in the pool).
I would even go so far that this movie is kind of what Las Vegas. It's sex and drugs based on an unrealistic idea of sex. Just walk on the strip and you will be bombarded with images of woman in skimpy outfits, shows of ridiculous sexiness, lots of alcohol, possibly drugs but I have no idea. Everyone who goes to Vegas knows that this isn't real but its damn fun. It's just a fantasy so just freakin' enjoy it.
So don't think too much when you watch the movie. Also, don't watch this movie with your parents or young children who still believe that babies come from the stork or flowers.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
I had another fit of nostalgia as I was sewing a few days ago. I promptly popped in my VHS copy (oh yeah I still rock those) of "George of the Jungle" . The minute the theme song by Presidents of the United States came on, I became that drooling adolescent all over again. De-lish.
I doubt alot of people will remember that "George of the Jungle" was an animated series in the sixties as part of the the "Rocky and Bullwinkle" show. The show ran the episodes again on nickelodeon I believe so I was able to fall in love it when I was younger. I seriously miss "Rocky and Bullwinkle" show and all the side characters. Rocky, Bullwinkle, Dudley Do right, mr. peabody. oh It was so much fun watching them all. I didn't really understand it at first but I still loved the humor.
"George of the Junge" is somewhat like a tarzan spoof. He's a muscular man who grows up in the jungle and is a hapless idiot. The biggest joke and recognizable feature of George is that he always swings into trees. Much like how I plow through doorways.
"George of the Jungle" has George played by Brendan Fraser (oh oh there is so much I can gush about him) who has raised by a pack of gorillas including one that talks named, well, Ape (who is delightfully voiced by John Cleese-damn. this man is so awesome even just his voice is hilarious!). George encounters the beautiful Ursula (who is played by Leslie Mann- whom I loved in 'Knocked Up'). Ursula is an heiress on vacation in Africa where she is caught up with her fiance Lyle (played by Thomas Hayden Church-wow! Sandman!). Lyle unfortunately hired some black market poachers who have their eyes on capturing "the white ape". Then ensues a cute tale of romance, adventure, fun, and an elephant that fetches logs.
Wow. I can't stop gushing about this film. I was mesmerized by it when I was younger and I adore it today. The movie maintains a wonderful balance of silliness, fun, excitement, and enjoyment so well. It's one of those movie that children can enjoy and adults can love.
This movie also holds a special place for me because I would like to think that this was the time when I stopped thinking that boys were icky. When my little young eyes watched the very eye-pleasing muscular body of Brenden Fraser, I understood why Ursula would fall in love. That scene where he is running in slow motion....oh wow.
Brenden Fraser was the perfect casting as George. His great body and his goofy demeanor was perfect. Fraser always exudes this personality of the nice,sexy guy. He's really great looking but your not surprised if asks you to pull his finger. Man do I love those types of guys. Sexy and goofy. Fraser tops my celebrity crushes hands down.
Taking an animation and making it into a real life movie has had a very, VERY limited success rate. There have been so many strings of lame attempts. I mean every time I think of The Garfield movies I just want to cry bucket loads of tears.The beauty and joy of this movie is that the movie makers understood what the show was about. It was just a simple show of silliness. How cute is a Toucan bird that goes "Teek-teek-toukie-toukie" all the time?Or the little monkey that called for advice from George.
Also there was only minimal product placement and pop cultural reference. Which was very refreshing. It just left me to simply enjoy the movie.
The only downside? I can't get the theme song out of my head!"george-george george of the jungle....watch out for that treeeeeeeee!!!!"
Thursday, February 3, 2011
There's been too many signs and hints throughout the day that I should write my thoughts on this movie. Namely there was a great geeky facebook question: "has there been a sequel/ remake that was better than the first?" This was the movie that came to mind. I love this movie sooo much that I don't really remember the first Addams family movie at all.
I remember watching the television show and loving it. I even loved the Munsters. I love these oddball family shows. Family shows that turn typical shows upside down. In both shows, for a family of horror, I always wanted to hang out with them! Well..I wouldn't want to walk anywhere close to the spider webs.
In "Addams Family Values", we are swept right back into the normal life of the Addams family. Gomez and Morticia are in love as usual. Wednesday and Pugsley are still attempting to kill each other. Uncle Fester was still eccentric. The grandmother is still a witch. Lurch is still tending the ground. Except now, Morticia now has the baby. With the new baby came new jealousies with the older siblings who now focus their attention on killing the new baby. The murder attempts spur Morticia and Gomez to hire a new nanny. We learn that the new nanny is the infamous Black Widow and has her eyes set on Uncle Fester, Forbes richest man. So begins the tale of the fragmentation of the family. How they survive is just awesome.
My favorite segments to watch is when Wednesday and Pugsley are forced to a camp. Holy moly. From the cabin where they're forced to watch Disney to the Thanksgiving play, it is just joyful to watch the destruction of normal people.
Compared to the television, the casting for the movie was awesome. Christopher Llyod as Uncle Fester was particularly hilarious. Anjelica Huston as Morticia is spot on. How the hell she walks in that tight dress boggles my mind. I really love how theres always some sort of shadow on her face.
Once again, Christiana Ricci outshines the cast. She is my absolute favorite actress. In my eyes, she can really do no wrong. She will always be Wednesday. Man, did I envy her those braids.
As a sequel, it has everything for me. macrabe atmosphere, tongue in cheek jokes, cute romance, amazing characters. Fun, suspenseful, and awesome. I seriously can't remember what the first movie was. Doesn't matter. Kinda hard to beat the most coolest dialogue ever:
[Gomez at the police station speaking to a police office]
Gomez: Has the planet gone mad? My brother, passion's hostage. I seek justice - denied! I shall not submit! I shall conquer! I shall rise! My name is Gomez Addams, and I have seen evil!
[Grandma waves Pubert in the air]
Gomez: I have seen horror!
Gomez: I have seen the unholy maggots which feast in the dark recesses of the human soul!
Morticia: They're at camp.
Gomez: I have seen all this officer. But until today, I had never seen *you*!
Damn I love this movie.