Film review: Halloween 2018

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Horror films are still a major part of film releases and we’ve come a long way in the different types.  Early horror films were iconic characters like Dracula, Frankenstein, and Bea Arthur.  Then we had zombies, exorcists, and then back to iconic characters (Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers and to lesser degrees, Chucky and Pinhead).  Then after Hollywood made those franchises silly beyond recognition, (Jason goes to space?  Michael Myers was part of a druid cult?  Hillary Clinton pulled hot sauce out of her bag to relate to black people?)  we then hit the “found footage” horror types.  The Blair Witch Project started it all and then Paranormal Activities came which then gave birth to the Exorcisms of Haywood Jablowme.  For a hot second, we had the Saw franchise sneak a couple of ok sequels in there after a fantastic opening to the series.  But mostly, we’ve seen reboots fall flat: the aforementioned Jason and Freddy rebirths were lackluster and toothless.  

So when I read they’re doing a sequel to Halloween, I could’ve given 5 cat shits.  But then, the reviews came in from the Toronto film festival that this wasn’t a reboot or sequel in its typical sense.  David Gordon Green, Danny McBride, and Jeff Fradley decided to wisely ignore ALL of the Halloween sequels and pick up 40 years after Michael was captured after being shot by Dr. Loomis.  Jamie Lee Curtis reprises Laurie Strode, who is now a recluse that has a gun arsenal that would’ve made Charlton Heston harder than a shark tooth.  She regularly engages in target practice, has a hidden entrance to her basement, and has an insane home security system.  I’m sure Alex Jones would give this house a 5 star review on Zillow.  Laurie has a daughter whom avoids her like people from Pittsburgh avoid diction lessons.  She also has a granddaughter, Allyson, who keeps in touch with her, unbeknownst to her mom and goofball dad.  Laurie keeps reminding her family that Michael is due to be transferred to a new prison and oh yeah, it’s almost Halloween and the 40 year old anniversary of when Laurie’s friends were killed for fucking or just being clumsy.  

Spoiler alert: Michael escapes during the transfer and starts killing more people in 10  minutes than he did in Halloween 1, 2, and 4.  If this is a spoiler, than you need to go to night school.  Double M racks up kills like he’s trying to break the time record of getting 5 stars in Grand Theft Auto.  This film is insanely different versus others where you think some characters have a chance to live.  Nope.  He leaves corpses everywhere like the first 10 minutes of Saving Private Ryan on the D Day Beach scene.

Let’s take a brief timeout to discuss a few gems: John Carpenter never signed off on any of the sequels.  He saw this script and IMMEDIATELY wanted to be attached.  He also signed on to do the music again and the music is as masterfully scored as the first one.  Obviously, you hear a lot of the same arrangements but with cool twists.  And like the master scorers do: Williams, Zimmer, Elfman, etc, the music intensifies the mood and puckers up all the buttholes in the audience.  Back to the story. 

So of course, MM comes back to Haddonfield and lays waste to those good town folk, in search of Laurie Strode and her offspring.  I mean, wouldn’t you move FAR away from a town your mom get sliced up in?  It’s not like they live somewhere cool like Manhattan where you weight the pros and cons of a stalker possibly returning.  You live in a suburban town, ANY of them around the country can suit you just fine.  Why stick it out in Nowheresville where there’s the chance that lunatic could escape and easily track you down because of your laziness?  

Here’s why this film works and other serious reboots like the Batman trilogy, Star Trek reboots, or Dredd worked: Because they took it seriously and made it DARK.  No campy horseshit, no cheap gimmicks like the lack of cell phone reception.  There are a few laughs, some land and some don’t.  But man, these film knows how to build tension and hold it.  There are plenty of visual and musical nods to the original film.  And what really works is you really believe Michael is truly an evil spirit with ZERO human emotion.  Throughout the film, the characters BEG him to say “something.”  The reactions are priceless.  And you truly buy into Michael being a badass by just murdering ANYONE in the way but not for the sake of gore but for the sake of letting nothing stop him in killing Laurie Strode.  

This is EASILY one of the best horror film sequels ever made.  But honestly, besides the original Halloween 2 (It’s fine), Nightmare on Elm Street 3 (love it), or Friday the 13th 2 or 3 (Meh) Dawn of the Dead (maybe), this isn’t stiff competition.  Some will say that Silence of the Lambs (yes, that’s a sequel) or Aliens fall under horror.  I would call them thrillers, not horror.  This film is AWESOME, I dare you not to love it.  You’ll get sucked right in for the 105 minutes and already make plans to see it again.  But in the daytime when not many people will be in the theater.  Because most people chew loudly and make unwarranted, dumb remarks to their friend instead of shutting up for 2 hours.

I give it an 8/10

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Film Review of “Bad Times at the Old Royale”

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Yep, it’s been a minute.  Why?  Because I heard Venom sucked.  Because seeing Night School is for people who barely have a GED.  Because I could care less about Crazy, Rich Asians than I care about than the homeless problem in Sudan.  The best film in September-Thanksgiving is like the NL East division winner, you get a playoff spot by being the best of the worst shitbox teams.  What else besides Halloween, Creed 2, Wreck it Ralph 2 and maybe Bohemian Rhapsody look good?  Johnny English?  Another garbage sequel that no one asked for.  So when the preview BTATOR came out, I thought that this has a shot of being decent.  Early positive reviews confirmed my thoughts so I figured, time to pony up 11 bucks to a matinee.  You may be thinking, “why not wait till movie pass picks it up?”  Because I don’t feel like waiting till the next election to see this film.  

A priest, singer, bellhop, vacuum salesman, runaway and her weird sister, and cult leader all stay at hotel that is split in half by state lines.  Cute idea but wish it played more into the plot. If you’re going to see this, you’ll going to say in 10 minutes, this is similar to Pulp Fiction.  Remember, nothing will top Pulp Fiction.  Don’t argue with me as that’s an infallible argument.  The stories are told in a circular fashion and from multiple angles.  Of course, this hotel has its own secrets and no one is who they seem who they are.  

Jeff Bridges plays Father Flynn, which is a cute nod to one of his early roles as Flynn from Tron.  Time and probably cigarettes have added to that gravelly voice of his; another 3 bottles of gin and he’s right into Sam Elliot vocal territory.  Hello avalanche of voiceover roles!  I did a double take with Dakota Johnson as she looks damn near exactly like Sophie Marceau.  Last I saw of her, she was in one of the worst Bond films of all time.  “The World is Not Enough” is in “A View to a Kill” territory.  Only saving graces of that piece of shit are Sophie and Denise Richards.  Goddamn, it’s a shame her looks became as bad as her acting.  Anyway, Dakota looks fantastic and kills it as a badass with a checkered past.  Jon “Footlong Dong” Hamm plays a vacuum salesman that turns out to be an FBI agent.  Mix in Lewis Pullman expertly playing a nebbishy bellhop and Cynthia Erivo playing a “Supremes-esque” background singer and you have a pretty solid cast of characters.

The problem with my review is so much is going on that I don’t want to spoil anything. I enjoyed a few curveballs and wait till Billy Lee (Chris Hemsworth) shows up. It’s a sadistic cult leader character that we haven’t seen yet.  And we’re used to Hemsworth shooting lighting and throwing hammers so it’s nice to see some range out of him.  My biggest complaint is this film begins drag at the 2 hour mark, ending at 2:21.  I think if they would’ve trimmed 15-20 minutes off of this, it would’ve felt much more concise.  Cut a little here and there and this would be a fantastic tale.  But this is a pretty damn good tale nonetheless.  Could you wait till Netflix, sure.  But if you’re looking to see something in the theater, I highly recommend this.  Otherwise, this is going to be a long season of banal shit.  

I give it a 7 out of 10.

Films that need to be removed from AFI’s top film list and films that should be added.

So here are the films I think that should be removed on the AFI top 100. I’ve seen 54/100. Either they’re not good or don’t hold up. The link to the list I’m referring to is in the comments.

Keep in mind that some of these films may be very good, just not amazing in my eyes. Some just don’t hold the test of time. And just because some of them have social issues doesn’t mean they’re great. Also, you may have enjoyed some as a child/teenager and it doesn’t mean you still have to hold it in high regard now. Lastly, I’ll define something as great if you have seen the film at LEAST 3 times and/or own it.

Here are the ones that should be removed:
1. Casablanca-solid but doesn’t hold up.
3. Citizen Kane- see above.
8. Schindler’s List- It’s very good but c’mon, you’re not re-watching this film. 
15. 2001-Hated it. Never saw this on drugs and if you need to be high to see this, it’s not good.
17. The Graduate-Good but again, do any of you own it or have seen this multiple times?
31. Maltese Falcon-solid but does it hold up? No.
34. Snow White-definitely doesn’t hold up. Not in my Disney top 20 and this has nothing to do with the animation.
35. Annie Hall-I know I’m in the minority but I hate this film. Just not funny whatsoever.
36. Bridge over the River Kwai- Good but not top 100
39. Dr Strangelove-Ambien, Aziz Ansari, or this. You decide.
42. Bonnie and Clyde-Mediocre at best.
50. Lord of the Rings-enjoyed it but definitely not top 100.
51. West Side Story-nope, nope, and nope.
53. Deer Hunter-it’s fine and I think the Russian roulette scene is what put this film on the list. Otherwise, it’s nothing remarkable.
62. American Grafitti- absolutely boring, couldn’t finish this film. Put Diner in this same category except I finished Diner…begrudgingly.
64. Network-fine but not top 100. Social issue film
68. Unforgiven-very good but not top 100.
70. A Clockwork Orange-Just because it was off the wall for the time doesn’t mean it should remain on the list. It’s fine but not list worthy.
76. Forrest Gump-I’m just bitter that this film beat Shawshank and Pulp Fiction in 94. But this film is also fine, not list worthy.
81. Spartacus-Definitely doesn’t hold up, couldn’t finish during a recent rewatch.
83. Titanic-Get the fuck out of here.
84. Easy Rider-Insanely boring. Great soundtrack but a big collection of nothing. Social issue film.
89. 6th Sense-Please. I called this ending out in the theater when I saw it. You’re not rewatching this except one time after you want to see how he never directly talks to Willis. Overrated.
92. Goodfellas-Just kidding, this film is flawless.
96. Do the Right Thing-Very good but not top 100. Definitely a social issue film.
97. Blade Runner-The Emperor’s New Clothes, I just don’t see it.
100. Ben Hur-Also doesn’t hold up.

 

And now, films I believe should be on the AFI top 100. If you disagree with a selection, don’t be a queef and just say the pick sucks. Offer another film instead of the one.

1. Aladdin-Next to the Pixar films (toy story 1 is currently on the AFI list), this is the best Disney film, ever.
2. Alien/Aliens-I prefer Aliens but fully acknowledge the first was groundbreaking.
3. Back to the Future-Go ahead, find me ONE person that hates this film. Good luck.


4. Good Will Hunting-Won multiple awards and hits a ton of emotional points throughout the film.


5. Heat-First film with DeNiro and Pacino doing scenes together and it doesn’t disappoint. One of the best gun battle scenes in film history.


6. JFK-Plenty of awards and noms. And it also made America restart their curiosity of the JFK conspiracy.


7. LA Confidential-One of the best crime dramas and also scooped up a bunch of awards, including Basinger and screenplay.


8. Naked Gun/Airplane-I prefer Naked Gun ever so slightly and there needs to be comedies on this list. Those films have non stop LOL moments and these films are daily quoted.


9. Terminator 2-one of the few times the sequels is better than the first. Groundbreaking technology at the time and this story is fantastic. Again, find someone who hates this film. And if you don’t get a little teary eyed when he lowers himself into the molten steel, you’re not alive.


10. Usual Suspects-See LA Confidential and one of the best endings I’ve ever seen. Spacey and best screenplay winners


11. Untouchables-Connery wins best supporting in the tale of Al Capone. DeNiro as Capone, brilliant.


12. Bronx Tale-And for those of you that want social issues in films, here you go.


13. The Dark Knight-This film is an 7 by itself, Ledger makes it a 10. Even the biggest anti-superhero people admit this is the one which is the exception.


14. The Matrix-More revolutionary technology and what an insanely original story. This one sure makes you think..


15. Halloween-Best horror film ever that isn’t shock-centric and what a score. I daresay this is better than the Exorcist.


16. Whiplash-I think this the BEST film in the last 10 years. JK Simmons destroys as an asshole jazz teacher and he won for doing so. This script is magnificent and EASILY should’ve beaten Birdman.

Honorable mentions that I could make an argument for but I’m sure would get shot down:

1. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade- my favorite of the trio. And Raiders is on the AFI list so this isn’t a stretch.
2. Glengarry Glen Ross- If you like acting tour de forces, this film is for you. Take the names out of this film and you have a decent script. But Pacino, Lemmon, and obviously Baldwin chew up the scenery and make this fantastic.
3. Commando-Just kidding but goddamn, I love this film and have a huge soft spot for 80s/90s action films with a hint of cheesiness.
4. Die Hard- Find me someone who hates this film. Best Xmas film of all time!

5. Caddyshack- My favorite film and it is one of the most quoted films of all time.  Still holds up and is fucking hilarious.

 

Favorite sports films, let’s hear ’em!

Football – Any Given Sunday. Fuck you, this film is solid.
Basketball – Teen Wolf. I know everyone is supposed to put Hoosiers but I didn’t like it. Hell, I could even put in Space Jam here.
Baseball -Major League or Field of Dreams. Flip a coin
Hockey – Miracle. 2nd place: Goon. Slap Shot is overrated.
Boxing – Rocky 1-3. Cinderella Man is HORRIBLY underrated.
Gaming – Tron Legacy
Racing – Rush. Forgot about this one, good call JA and NC.
Martial Arts – Bloodsport. Any other answer is wrong.
Golf – Caddyshack!!!! Tin Cup is boring, don’t even think about it.
Murderball – Murderball
Professional Wrestling – The Wrestler
Horse Racing – Seabiscuit
Documentaries-King of Kong
Poker-Rounders
Pool-The Hustler and Poolhall Junkies

Week 7 NFL Picks

The NFL is by far the hardest league to consistently pick winners.  The best handicappers are 55% and your boy is currently 54% for the year.  Who the fuck would’ve thought Denver would’ve lost OUTRIGHT to the Giants?  That screwed a ZILLION people (hand in the air) in their suicide pools.  And who would’ve even contemplated the Falcons would lost OUTRIGHT  to the Dolphins.  At home.  After a bye?  Jesus H Christ, this gets zany.  Oh wait, let’s talk about this past Thursday’s Oak/KC game?  Chiefs laying 3 but the Raiders drive the field late.  Raiders on the 1 and then get called for pass interference, back em up 10 more yards.  Time for just one more play and what happens next is just stupid: Carr throws incomplete but hold on, defensive holding.  Can’t end the game on a defensive penalty so here we go again.  Another incomplete pass but deja vu inserts itself with ANOTHER KC defensive holding penalty.  Carr gets one last shot at redemption and the third time is the charm as he finds Crabtree for the TD.  Point after is good, Oakland wins by 1.  If you had KC (I had the under, that shit was toast by the middle of the 3rd quarter), you developed an ulcer.  If you had the Raiders, you must have been balls deep in a leprechaun while Kate Upton motorboated you at the same time.  And if you plan on motor boating Kate, do it soon as she’s going to hit the wall in about 3-5 years.  She has Anna Nicole Smith part 2 written all over her.

3-3 last week so a push for the week sans the vigs.  As I mentioned, I took the Oak under and lost so it puts me at 0-1 this week.  Let’s right this ship with some winners.

Can you make an argument how the Colts can win or cover 3 against the Jags.  Me neither and that’s why I really like Jacksonville in Indy this week. Fournette hasn’t practiced all week but they’re saying he still may go.  And even if he doesn’t, I’m still confident that D can shut down the Dolts.  Ivory is very capable of gashing that awful defense.  Some numbers to back up my statement, sure.  Jax is 6-3 ATS in their last 9, 5-1 on the road, and 4-1 ATS vs Indy.  Sound good?  I think so too.

I like the Jaguars -3

Deshone Kizer is back behind center.  I think Cleveland has had more quarterbacks in the last 20 years than Jenna Jameson has taken dicks on camera.  Cleveland has put up over 20 ONE time this year.  Tennessee has put up over 20 3/6 times this year.  Cleveland has a pretty good defense.  Can you see this game 24-21?  Best case scenario, which is great because the under is 46.  And let’s end this handicap with one last statement.  Cleveland has gone under at home the last 5/5.  Good enough for me…

To take the under 46

One of the bets I didn’t put in that I should have was taking the Bears getting 6 against the dumpster fire Ravens.  Those same Ravens now travel to Minnesota who admittedly are a bit banged up on WR.  Diggs is out and Michael Floyd left early in last week’s game. But the Vikings have a rock solid D and (Mike Francesa voice), “Let’s be honest, ok?  I’d ratha see the new Madea Halloween movie than trust Joe Flacco on the road, ok?  Here’s da Mink Man, back afta dis.”  Balt 3-7 ATS out of their last 10 and Minn 4-1 ATS at home.  Sometimes the best bets are the ones that require the least amount of thought.

Take the Vikings -5.5

Green Bay plays at home against the Saints who have been lighting it up when it comes to the over, home or away.  GB has also been a lock for the over at home.  But let’s bring up 3 facts:  The Saints have an improved (could it have gotten worse?) defense.  I mean, we’re still used to see a Saints defense getting exposed like a freshman sorority girl, begging for beads on Bourbon Street.  They gave up 38 last week but 2 of which were a pick or ST TD.  The previous week, they held the Panthers to 13.  But 2 weeks before, they shut out Miami (NBD, I get it).  Next which is the obvious, no Aaron Rodgers. And finally, the forecast calls for a good amount of rain leading into game time.  Is Brett Hundley going to put points up?  In the rain?  Against an average defense?  He did throw 3 in Minn last week.  I’m going to monitor this one solely based on the weather and IF the rain does indeed come through, I’m taking.

GB under 47

I like mixing up routines, vacation spots, and when I was single, women.  But now the few constants I love are steak, teams that stick to their trends, and winning free money from said trends.  That being said, let’s investigate another routine which I exploited a couple of weeks ago with the Jags.  The Rams have been to London several times already.  They stayed in Florida this week to prep for their trip across the pond.  They had some great fluky TDs against the Jags last week (one of my winners) and now they’re 3.5 point favorites against the Cardinals.  Cards just blew the doors off of an awful Bucs D and Jameis Winston’s shoulder.  They brought in the smartest (on paper) QB, Fitzpatrick, who is everyone’s favorite guy to bet against and he actually cut the lead down with the help of a pick 6.  But the Bucs lost (one of my losers) so the Cards got off the schneid.  I barely trust Carson Palmer and if you think I trust him when his body clock is 8 hours off schedule, you’re insane.  This game gets ugly, like the Brits’ smiles and food creations.

Take the Rams -3.5

AFC Central matchup this week, Bengals vs Steelers.  Or as I call it, two towns of women that resemble a grilled cheese sandwich with Rosie O Donnell’s face.  Bengals off the bye and the Steelers are home after stealing one in Kansas City with an amazing circus TD catch and run for Antonio Brown.  The line is MUCH too high for a division game, as these games are usually decided by a FG.  The history is against Cincy in Pitt but 5.5 is just too much; especially since the Bengals have gotten their shit together recently offensively as well as always having a decent D.  And I’m also quite inclined to take the under as Cincy/Pitt have been so 7/8 last times in Pitt.  Cincy also has been under 5/6 on the road.  But I’m waiting to see till tomorrow (this article was written on Saturday night) how that line moves.  However, I’ve already locked in…

Cincy +5.5

Here are a few games that I’m debating about taking tomorrow but seeing how the line moves:

Pitt under, SF, Denver, Pats and over,