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Legolas’ funky eyes and other mysteries of Middle Earth

I went to the movies last night to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.  I must say that I greatly enjoyed this installment more than I did its predecessor, An Unexpected Journey. I’m not sure if it’s because we were knee-deep in plotline or because my favorite character, Smaug, was finally around (wonderfully voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch). Regardless, I had a great time watching this film. The spiders were a problem. I hate them and an only take comfort in the fact that at least I didn’t see the movie in 3D where the spiders would have been too close for comfort.

My main beef with the film was that every time Orlando Bloom was on the screen, I would be pulled out of the movie  spell. Have you ever seen The First Wives Club? There’s a scene when Bette Midler, Diane Keaton, and Goldie Hawn are all having drinks after the funeral of a mutual friend. Midler keeps staring at Hawn and finally asks her how much plastic surgery she’s actually had. I felt that way with Bloom in the movie. I kept mentally picking apart everything that didn’t look right with him as Legolas.

I know it’s been 10 years since The Return of the King.  However, it looks like they used come computer technology to either de-age him, or redo his face somehow. His face seems much more filled out that normal.   And his eyes…. Legolas had some kind of crazy, cloudy eyes going on. These were clearly not the same types of lenses they used in Lord of the Rings.  In the LotR films, his eyes are way darker. Or maybe his pupils are just way dilated.  In this movie, he had like crazy Underworld vampire eyes going on. It took so much away, that I couldn’t pay much attention to any of his scenes. Pity…

While we are on the subject of Legolas, why was he in the movie in the first place? WHY did Peter Jackson pull a George Lucas and start tinkering with the story? Adding the elf storyline (and original character of Tauriel–who was pretty cool, btw) felt like a disservice to the original text. Whatever. I’ve voiced my opinion. I still enjoyed the movie.

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On a side note that is completely and wholly unrelated:

Bulletproof Monk is on the television right now. It’s not that great of a movie. This was Chow Yun-fat’s follow-up to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Seann William Scott was in the middle of his American Pie bro movie era. He might still be in that era. I’m not sure. I like him and feel he could do more. We’ll see. What makes Bulletproof Monk a noticeable movie to me is that it features a character with the delightful name of Mister Funktastic. The character is some East End street thug who remains shirtless so all can admire his chest tattoo which says…..wait for it…. “MisterFunktastic.” He’s a pointless character, yet the name is so ridiculous that I always stop to watch this movie just to catch his few scenes.

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Sports on Film

So I took September off. Sorry about that. Actually, I take that back. I’m not sorry. If I had posted anything last month, it would have been half-assed and uninspired. You deserve better than that. So it’s good quality posts or nothing at all. Also, I’ve been spending lots of non-work free time playing Dragon Age II. So there’s that too. *cough*

Anyways, I was searching for a topic when my friend Kirk suggested I write about why Rudy  is the best sports movie ever.  Sadly, I disagree. Okay, maybe it is on some list somewheres, but I’ve never really cared for it. Sports isn’t really my game. I follow some men’s tennis. I sort of pay attention with the football and when it’s World Cup season, I’m watching the soccer. I also enjoy watching winter olympics events. Otherwise, I spend most of my time doing other things. I’m more of an indoorsy type.

I know folks who sacrifice whole weekends to sitting in front of the tv for marathons of football or basketball and the like. I have neither the patience nor the time. But sports in movies?  Sports in movies only gives you the highlights. You don’t have to sit through a 3-4 hour football game with all it’s starts, stops and advertisements for erectile dysfunction meds. Sports in movies takes you into the personal struggles of the players, coaches and fans. It’s the best!

Here’s what I have done. Listed below by sport are the sports movies I will watch which veer more towards the lighter, comedic side of sports movies. There’s no weeping in this list:

 Football:  The Replacements because you can get through most of a season in less than two hours. Because the team is made up of misfits. Because Rhys Ifans makes me smile (because he’s “wiry”).  Because Keanu is my quarterback.

Ice Hockey The Mighty Ducks. What can I say? It was fun and the final game was pretty intense.

Racing (cars):  Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo because it’s a self-aware car in a European rally race. Also, Herbie falls in love. It’s cute.

Racing (people): Walk, Don’t Run because it’s a fun movie set during the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Because the highlighted event is racewalking.  And Cary Grant is in it.

 Martial Arts The Karate Kid (original 1984) because it was cool. Duh.

Soccer:  Bend it Like Beckham because it was cute and humorous and exciting and a little dramatic and never ceased to be anything other than entertaining.

Baseball:  The Sandlot because it’s not only about love of the game, but it’s about having fun too—something that’s way out of focus in sports these days. This movie will live on FOREVER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer’s End

Wow. I just did a count of all the movies I’ve seen this summer. We’ve hit a new record low, folks. I’ve only seen 3 films. But you know what? I’m totally cool with that.

In the days of yore before I had, you know, bills and a car payment, rent, etc., I would see almost every film released during the summer season. I used to collect the ticket stubs and marvel at their number.

Mind you, this was also when matinée showings were around $3 and evening films were $5-ish. Today’s matinée showing of The World’s End (I’ll get to that in a bit) was $8 freaking dollars!!! WTF!

My overdue point here is that I can no longer afford to go to every release as that really adds up. Instead of marveling at my stub stack, I’d be marveling as how quickly my bank balance plummeted. Ha!

Anyways, things being what they are, I’ve become a little particular when it comes to what I see over the summer months. I check out the releases and make a list of (a) what I’d like to see and then out of that (b) what I must, by all means, see. The rest go straight to the Netflix queue. Needless to say, my queue is a bit crowded right now.

So..what trifecta of films made the grade?

  1. Star Trek Into Darkness
  2. Pacific Rim
  3. The World’s End.

Just looking at that list made me realize that my genre of choice must be science fiction. Again, totally cool with that. Most of my favorite movies fall into that bucket, and really, why else do we go to the movies but to escape? There’s no further escape than sci-fi.

I’ve raved about Pacific Rim already, so you don’t need my thoughts on that. Star Trek? All I need to tell you is this: Cumberbatch. Nuff said. But The World’s End? Ahh…I’ve decided it’s the perfect film to watch for this summer’s end.

The World’s End is the final film of the “Three Flavors of Cornetto” trilogy starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and directed by Edgar Wright. The other two films are Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.  TWE follows a group of friends as they attempt to recreate a pub crawl from their youth. During the crawl they discover their hometown has been taken over by aliens. The premise is a little zany but it totally works.

I’m a HUGE Simon Pegg fan so it’s hard for me to find anything wrong with the film other than that it had a bit of a slow start. Aside from that, it was awesome. There were several cameos from folks who were in the other two films as well as a couple from the Pegg/Frost/Wright TV show, Spaced  (if you haven’t seen this, shame on you).

Oh, also this movie was damn funny. I laughed and laughed. People in the theater laughed too. It wasn’t just me!! Anyways, that’s about it. I just wanted to note the few films I saw and say that I’m glad I saw them.

Did you see any stand-out films over the summer? Are you having to be choosy too? Let me know.

“They’ve just formed Blazing Sword!”

Last weekend, I saw Pacific Rim. Wow. I loved it. Something about ginormous robot types (called jaegers) pummeling even more ginormous alien monsters… Now that’s good cinema. Don’t get me wrong. There is not one ounce of character development in this movie. Characters met at the beginning of the movie are more or less the same if they live to see the ending credits. You can’t have it all, people!

Anyways, one of the things I really liked about Pacific Rim was that this might be the closest I ever come to seeing a live-action version of Voltron: Defender of the Universe. Hands down, Voltron was my favorite cartoon when I was a kid. Commander Keith was the no-nonsense leader of the team. The Princess was pretty and in constant danger of being kidnapped by the evil Prince Lotor who was more conceited and far less evil than his father King Zarkon. And the sexually ambiguous Pidge talked to mice.

Every episode, the king’s witch, Hagar, would send down a Robeast (aka giant alien monster) which would attack and wreak general havoc on the goodly peoples of Planet Arus. I’m sorry. If my planet was being attacked on a regular basis, I’d have give serious consideration to relocation. Just saying.   

So…the Robeast would attack, and then the Voltron team would assemble their individual lion robots into Voltron!! (Which rocked!) The two would fight on the planet and fight in space. Usually, the robeast would gain the upper hand at some point. Then and only then would Voltron use its secret weapon: Blazing Sword. Ah yes. Best part ever. From that point on, the Robeast has no chance. It’s over.

So, during a massive fight in Pacific Rim there was a scene where the jaeger is out of ammo and is about to lose a fight. What to do…. One character mentions they have one weapon left which just happens to be a sword. Right there in the theater, I elbowed my good friend Sabrina and hissed in her ear, “they’ve just formed Blazing Sword!!!!” I might have shouted it. I’m not sure.

Back several years ago. Might have been 2007 or so, I heard many a tale of a live-action Voltron movie. I was eager to learn more. Sadly, nothing has come to pass. I found a report from a year ago saying that the movie was still in development. Maybe if Pacific Rim does really well, the studios will see that yes, there is an audience for this movie! Maybe.

Anyhoo, if the Voltron movie never gets made, at least I’ll have that one scene from Pacific Rim. I can hold on to that for a while.

Chupacabra vs what????

How on earth did I manage to hear about this AFTER it has aired???!!!  Syfy’s schedule shows the next air date as May 4. I’m tuning in. Oh yeah…

Seriously, with a title being Chupacabra vs The Alamo and Eric Estrada being the star….I can’t even form a full sentence. Needless to say, I will watch this movie. Has anyone seen it?

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Fun factoids about the Chupacabra and the Alamo

1. The Chupacabra is listed in the animal grouping of “cryptid” which translates as a creature whose existence is suggested but has yet to be proven. Other cryptids include the Yeti and the Loch Ness Monster.

2. There is no basement in the Alamo. I learned this from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure when he trekked to San Antonio in search of his stolen bicycle. The fortune teller told him it was in the basement.  Guess not.

And the Winner Could Be…

Here we go. Oscar time! As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have a wager going with a buddy of mine as to who can best predict the winners. Once again, here are the rules:

We each pick a potential winner for each of the categories. We compare our ballots. Any categories of which we pick the same movie get highlighted in yellow. Otherwise, all his picks are in blue and mine in pink. Each predicted win awards 1 point. At the end of the program, the person with the most points gets bragging rights for a year and also gets treated to the movie of his/her choice as paid for by the loser

We used to do a tie-breaker question. Last year it was how long to the minute the ceremony would last. The closest answer won. This year, we decided that since we’ve both one once already, that we would ignore a tiebreaker and just admit that we are both experts in our fields and see a movie together to celebrate. It’s a warm fuzzy all around.

So that said, we take this thing semi-seriously. My opponent, Crint, makes every effort to see each of the nominated films. While I usually see most of them, I don’t go out of my way to see them all. However, I do my research. I watch trailers and read reviews. I pay attention to buzz and the political climate of awards season. I compare and contrast the nominees. I check them against whether they’ve ever been nominated or won before. In a lot of cases, I can rule out a nominee by realizing that the nomination was the award all along.  I also pay attention to which categories some films are in. Sometimes you can zero in on a potential winner or rule out a nominee that way.

I try to stay away from other Oscar predictions, but it’s really difficult to do. When I do run across them, I do the honest cheater’s thing and check to see if my picks are in agreement. However, I usually stick to my gut. This has worked both for and against me. Really, it’s just a guessing game. It’s like being skilled at playing “which hand.” It’s silly really, but I enjoy the competition.

Picking this year’s potential winners has been really difficult. Unlike last year with The Artist and The King’s Speech the year before, this year has no front-runner. If you asked me back in December, I would have told you it was Lincoln but things have since changed. I think this year we get a mixed bag of winners.  In some ways, that’s a good thing. While there’s no projected sweep of the categories, it’s nice that many different films have a good chance to be in the limelight on Sunday. I kind of like it.

Okay, enough stalling. Here are my picks:

Best Picture:  Argo  I think this is the movie to beat. It’s crazy suspenseful, it had drama, it has comedy, it’s based on true events, and Hollywood plays a major part.  I think Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook are potential winners, but in my opinion, they are in a distant second and third.

Best Director: Stephen Spielberg for Lincoln

Best Actor in Leading Role: Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook

Supporting Actor: Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln

Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables

Cinematography: Life of Pi

Animated Feature Film: Wreck-It Ralph

Foreign Language Film: Amour

Film Editing: Argo

Adapted Screenplay: Argo

Original Screenplay: Django Unchained

Original Score: Life of Pi

Documentary (Feature): Searching for Sugar Man

Documentary (Short): Open Heart

Visual Effects: Life of Pi

Short Film (Animated): Paperman

Short Film (Live Action): Curfew

Production Design: Anna Karenina

Costume Design: Anna Karenina

Sound Editing: Zero Dark Thirty

Sound Mixing: Les Miserables

Make-up: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Original Song: “Skyfall” (Skyfall)

Crint and I only differ on seven categories which is nice. Last year, I think we agreed on all categories but two. So this year should definitely be fun. He’s clearly wrong on some of his choices, but what can you do? Ha ha.

So those are my predictions for Sunday night. I’ll report back Monday to see how well or horrible I did at playing Miss Cleo. I’ll also let you know who won the wager. I can tell you are on the edge of your seat about that one.

Everyone have a good weekend!

 

 

 

 

Snowmageddon — ’nuff said

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas. I also hope you aren’t over it quite yet. After all, I did promise another holiday flick….I just didn’t say what kind. mwah ha ha. The title really says it all, and there’s little else to explain as an intro here: Snowmageddon. 

In a nutshell, Snowmageddon is a disaster-laden holiday flick about the wee, tiny town of Normal, Alaska that is the unfortunate victim of a snow globe. And not just any snow globe, kiddies. Nope. This one, though beautifully crafted and not made in China, is very much made of EVIL.

I just feel really bad for the peoples of Normal, AK. It’s Christmas, and all fifteen of the town’s residents are really going all out for the holiday. The town square (that might actually just be all of the town) is decorated and pretty. Seasonal lights are everywhere.

The Miller family are doing their part. John Miller is going about the town collecting gifts for needy families. His wife, Beth, is a helicopter pilot. She will drop off the gifts the next day. Even their kids are involved. It’s nice when the kids do charity work too. Start them early, I say.

With all this jollity and good spirit, no one is surprised when a mystery box appears on the Miller family doorstep. Since they don’t know which family is supposed to get the box, they decide to open it and if the ominous doomed and dark Christmas score didn’t forewarn you enough, then the dog going berserk should have clued you in.

Let me describe the Snow Globe of Doom for you. It’s a snow globe. It’s base is made of wood. Inside the globe part is a teeny replica of the town and the mountains behind it. The base has all these visible gears and buttons on it. I don’t get the point of these because the thing is totally self-aware. Most unfortunate of all is that it does not play any little tune. There’s no creepy “Silent Night” jingling out of the device. The biggest thing about the SGoD is that whatever occurs inside the globe, occurs in the town. .

For example, our first foray into decorative disasters has a series of rumblings and bubbles that come up from the ground inside the globe. At that same time, the ground shakes in the town square and flaming gas erupts from the ground. Flaming gas isn’t the best choice of words here, but you get my meaning.

Later, dark clouds form around the mountains in the globe and a big, nasty storm attacks the area. Another important detail is that the clock in the globe has synched up with the clock on the town hall. This would be kind of cool if it wasn’t for the fact that the town hall clock hasn’t worked in years and Fred the local shop-owner gutted the clock a while back.

Snowmageddon is a lot of fun to watch for the endless series of disasters. There’s a little something for everyone. There are ice missiles shot from the clouds, giant tree-like spikes that shoot upwards from the ground, explosions, convenient people-trapping ravines, avalanches, etc. My favorite is when a man is killed by the town Christmas tree.  And of course, after almost each of these disasters, a fire starts somewhere.

But while the movie doesn’t let up on crazy challenges, it pays that price by giving us rather boring characters who have to deal with all the hoopla. On top of that, no one ever seems to be wearing a hat even when they are on top of a snowy mountain! What is that about? It’s Alaska! Bundle up, people!

John and Beth Miller are kind of boring characters. They stay calm in all situations, they never seem too upset by their town being under attack from all forms of nature, and they might be superhuman. Beth easily survives a helicopter crash. All she’s got is a cut on her nose. John can drive a snowcat just about anywhere and then leap across giant iceberg divides.

The Miller children fall into familiar stereotypes. Daughter, Jennifer, comes across as the  boy-crazy teenager. She begs Beth to take her on the delivery flight because Beth will be dropping off a famous snowboarder so he and his friend can hit the groovy slopes. All Jennifer does during pretty much the entire movie is whine and cry. Poor girl. She will so need therapy when this is done. Her younger brother, Rudy, is the typical innocent youth that figures out what’s causing the problem. He’s wiser than his years and feels the need to right the wrong caused by the SGoD.

Another thing—and this is a biggie—is that the purpose behind the SGoD or the person who ominously delivered it to the Miller house is never really explored. Having a character explain why it’s in their town as “maybe it was meant to come here” is not a good enough answer.

I guess Normal, AK happens to be the unlucky town for this SGoD to enact it’s wrath. Maybe Normal is such a fan of the holidays that the SGoD can’t stand it. Maybe it hates Christmas. No idea! And we never find out!  Instead the filmmakers bring on a Lord of the Rings scenario with John Miller making the arduous trek up the local mountain (*cough* Mt. Doom) to drop the ring SGoD into the fiery pits of the suddenly active volcano. I guess if it worked for Frodo…

Now for that snow globe. One would think that since it’s made of evil, it might put up some kind of fight to avoid destruction. Perhaps it will suddenly get hot to the touch or speed up disasters. No!! Not a thing. It’s just an evil snow globe. It doesn’t even speak or anything. John, however, has his own choice words. “Merry Christmas you son of a bitch,” quoth he, as the globe is pitched into the fires of Mt. Molehill. Lovely writing, isn’t it?

Thoughts

Snowmageddon was very predictable yet highly entertaining. I’d say it’s way better than IceQuake. Waaay better. I like how there’s fifteen people in town and they all know each other. I like how the town is about the size of a parking lot.  The acting was fairly decent, and there were some familiar faces in the movie. Battlestar Galactica alum, Michael Hogan, played Fred. Laura Harris of Dead Like Me fame was Beth Miller, helicopter pilot extraordinaire.

While most of the effects were computer-generated, they were done in conjunction with actual real effects, and the combo worked well for a movie whose budget (I will assume) does not compare to that of Avatar.

My biggest beef with the film is that it’s about a freaking snow globe that causes disasters and destruction for a little town. Who came up with that idea? Does someone hate or fear snow globes? I have no idea. I hate that the movie never explains that fully. It’s frustrating.

Oh well, if I’ve learned anything from the crazy goings-on in Snowmageddon, it’s this: invest in snowcats. The one in this movie was pretty sturdy and despite it’s 10 mph super speeds, it held its own through most of the disasters it encountered.

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And that’s it, my little snow bunnies. No more holiday flicks until 2013.  Now let’s focus on next year. I think we will need more dragons.

Holiday Movie Roundup

Happy Christmas Eve!

As I’ve noted in a couple earlier posts, I’ve been actively watching whatever cheesy flicks the good people at Hallmark, Lifetime, and ABC Family have made available. Like the nerd that I am sometimes, I’ve been keeping a log of what I’ve seen. I know I’ve described some of these, so I’ll gloss over those and get to the good ones. Also, I’ve thrown some classics in as well. The chances are pretty good that some of these will be airing in the next 24. Happy hunting!

1. Christmas Song:  This was a romantic comedy I caught on Hallmark back in November. I think I’ve gone over this one already, but I’ll recap. Two private schools have recently merged to form one. Now there are two music teachers and two competing programs. The principal tells the two teachers that whoever wins the upcoming local music contest gets to keep their job. She lets that bomb drop right before Christmas too which is just rude. So while the two teachers (with student assistance) compete, they also sort of fall in love. My eyes rolled a lot while watching this. The students were so stereotyped. The popular mean girl, the shy good girl, the popular jock, the nerdy guy, etc…   Natasha Henstridge and Gabe Hogan (who I know as the pen-trache UPS guy from Wonderfalls)

2. A Season for Miracles: This was also a Hallmark movie. This one made me cry a little. A down on her luck lady hides in a small town while trying to maintain custody of her niece and nephew. The small town embraces them and it’s a new start for everyone. Carla Gugino and Laura Dern star in this.

3. Crazy for Christmas:   This was pretty crappy. A single mom (with the world’s cutest kid) works as a chauffeur on Christmas Eve. She’s tasked with driving an eccentric millionaire (billionaire?) around town all day. I’m going to spoil this one for you because I need you to know how stupid and crazy this one was. Last chance to avert your eyes for a spoiler… Turns out the crazy, rich man is chauffeur lady’s long-lost father. Yeah…  (Lifetime Network)

4. Annie Claus is Coming to Town: I’ve gone over this one before too. Santa’s daughter goes to Los Angeles to find herself before deciding to carry on the family business. She finds employment and love in a local toy store (big surprise) and makes a few friends along the way. It was silly but entertaining. (Hallmark)

5. Debbie Macomber’s Call Me Mrs. Miracle: I think this movie is a sequel or companion piece to the one I reviewed a couple of weeks ago.  In this one, Mrs. Miracle works at the toy counter in a department store. Business isn’t the best, and the owner’s son has chosen stock the toy department with old-fashioned items rather than the super popular robot toy that everyone else has. I guess it’s like selling a deck of cards when everyone else is selling X-boxes. Anyways, Mrs. Miracle steps in to matchmake (that’s her primary function), sell the shit out old-fashioned toys, save the store, and save Christmas in general. I actually enjoyed this one and would totally watch it again.  (Hallmark)

6. A Holiday Heist: I’ve left this as the last of the made-for-TV movies because this was absolutely terrible. It made Christmas Song seem normal. A group of college students spend their Christmas break working in a school’s fine art gallery. They are a hodge-podge of character types so at times it’s sort of a B-movie Breakfast Club set. When the students decide to have Christmas dinner at the gallery (food and drink near the art?????) they get locked in. As it happens, the dumbest, most incompetent, stupid burglars break in to steal some art. Lacey Chabert stars as one of the students. It’s terrible. (ION)

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And now for some classic movies I’ve recently watched.

1. Bundle of Joy:   (1956) This movie stars Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher. Reynolds is an employee of a department store who finds an abandoned baby. Though she denies being the child’s mother, everyone else (family services, her employer, etc) assume she is. The movie is a musical, but it really feels like the musical numbers were just vehicles for the studio to showcase Fisher. He’s got most of the songs, and he’s looking directly into the camera for many of them. I couldn’t finish watching this one.

2. All Mine to Give: (1957) I caught this one yesterday. At first, I thought it was going to be a heartwarming pioneer family movie, but no. Not. At. All. Instead I was crazy depressed after watching it. This movie is about a pioneer family in Wisconsin. Both parents die, and the oldest boy (who can’t be older than 12 or 13) works to find homes for his five siblings in time for Christmas. It was bleak and depressing and very sad. Worst of all, I think it’s based on a true story. *sniffle*

3.  The Man Who Came to Dinner:  (1942) I love this movie and that’s why I’ve saved it for last. I haven’t seen it in a few years, but every time I watch it, I’m delighted by the insanely good writing and Monty Woolley’s performance.  Based on a stage production of the same name, this cinematic gem is the story of a famous radio personality named Sheridan Whiteside who is invited to dinner at a home in a small Ohio town. He slips on the icy front steps and becomes a most unwelcome houseguest of the Stanley family. Starring Billie Burke, Bette Davis, Jimmy Durante and the amazing Monty Woolley as Whiteside, this is a definite favorite. I caught this yesterday too.

Anyways, that’s all for today. I’ll be back later this week for a review of the worst Christmas disaster movie ever and hopefully something else too. Happy Christmas!

Don’t Panic

I’m back, and in celebration of the possible end o’ the world, I thought I would do another one of my annoying lists to mark the occasion.  But first, let’s look at December 21 (or 22nd depending on where you get your info). It’s also the Winter Solstice. Kim Harrison’s groovy Hollows books have characters that celebrate it. Lots of real folks do too. I plan to decorate my tiny gingerbread village if the planet is still intact ,and we still have a breathable atmosphere. Plans are good.

So anyways, apparently per the ancient Mayan calendar, tomorrow is the last. day. ever. It had to end sometime, I suppose. Or maybe it won’t. I always wondered if maybe it’s just the last day ever for Mayans. Who knows? Certainly not I.

Enough rambling musings. On with the list of best end o’ the world movies and/or scenes!!!! [Insert crazy Kermit dance here]

1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy    I may have celebrated a love fest for this movie before. I can’t remember. Anyways, the Vogon Destructor Fleet moves in and in a span of seconds, BOOM goes the planet. And that’s just the beginning. Has anyone checked to see if the dolphins are still around?

2. Sunshine  Only about 45 seconds of this movie take place on Earth. The rest is up on space where a crew of scientists and astronauts are on a mission to recharge a dying sun. The world-ender in this one is that the sun is almost extinguished (I guess you would call it that) and the earth has become a rather chilly place to live. It’s a pretty intense movie, but I like them that way. Danny Boyle directed this one, and it’s pretty cool.

3. Twelve Monkeys  This Terry Gilliam-directed flick is one folks either love or hate. Basically, Bruce Willis is sent into the past from his post-apocalyptic future to collect information and possible evidence regarding a virus that all but ended human life on the planet. The movie is a little trippy but it wouldn’t be a Gilliam film otherwise.

4. The original ending of Army of DarknessStuck in mediaeval times, Ash drinks the potion and is supposed to wake up in his own time. Instead, he oversleeps and wakes to find a destroyed world. It would be a depressing ending if it wasn’t so funny.

5. Children of Men   In the not too distant future… People have not been able to successfully procreate for some time now, and the human race is aging and dying out. Another intense movie. It was really good.

And last, but not least…

7. It’s a tie between two episodes of Doctor Who. Yes, I know it’s not a movie, but it’s relevant. The first episode is appropriately titled “The End of the World.” The Ninth Doctor takes companion Rose Tyler five billion years into the future. From the safety of an orbiting space station, they play to watch the sun’s expansion wipe out an abandoned Earth. I However, this being Doctor Who, nothing goes as planned.  The other episode is called “Doomsday.” In this one, the Daleks and Cybermen are on the attack. it’s up to Rose and the Tenth Doctor to prevent world extermination. It’s probably my favorite DW episode, and it’s also one that makes me cry–oh how I cried the first time I saw it. 

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There are so many other movies or TV episodes I could list. I’ve left off 28 Days Later, for example. There’s also The Pink Panther Strikes Again in which a crazy Chief Inspector Dreyfuss invents a death ray and threatens to destroy England unless someone kills Clousseau. I could also have mentioned Independence Day but I really didn’t want to, so that’s all you are getting.

Anyways, tomorrow will be here in a few short hours. I assume we’ll be here a number of hours, days, weeks, months, years, eons afterwards too. But you never can tell…

Mr. Lincoln goes to Hollywood

Sometime over the Thanksgiving weekend, my brother announced that there were too many “Lincoln” movies and it was hard to keep them straight. The thought might have occurred to him about ten minutes into Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln  when he leaned toward me in the theater and whispered “So….I’m guessing this is the one without the zombies.” I would have thought it obvious since this was the Daniel Day-Lewis / Spielberg movie and that the movie was not only sold out but that the theater was also full of kindly white-haired elder persons. This didn’t faze my brother at all, not did it alter his assumption that we were there to see the zombie Lincoln.

Apparently 2012 is the Year of Lincoln, and my brother isn’t the only person to fall victim of movie mix-up. Several weeks ago, I posted my review of Abraham Lincoln vs Zombies. Several of my Facebook brethren and others in real life kept asking if this was a sequel to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. It is not.  Others wondered if it was the same movie. It is not.  Allow me to resolve this problem.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: This film is based on the Seth Grahame-Smith novel of the same name. Benjamin Walker plays the title character who lives a double life (one part politician, one part vampire killer). I have neither read the book nor seen the film (it’s in my queue) so I can’t say much more.

Abraham Lincoln vs Zombies: Bill Oberst Jr. portrays our favorite prez as both a man of honor and a man of crazy zombie-killing action. He slices, he dices, he shares words of wisdom with little Teddy Roosevelt. My review for that movie is here. Enjoy.

Lincoln: This is the Daniel Day-Lewis / Spielberg flick. It was wonderful. It felt like the Oscars were already in hand. Day-Lewis is Lincoln. Tommy Lee Jones and an almost unrecognizable James Spader do steal the movie at times. Loved it.

There have been other Lincoln sightings this year aside from cinematic ones. On TV’s New Girl, Schmidt dressed up as Lincoln for the Halloween episode. In a recent Saturday Night Live sketch, comedian Louis CK played the guy. Quick! Someone please air Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure or Kindergarten Cop!

This is neither the first nor the last occurrence of Hollywood releasing more than one movie of the same person/subject. In fact, 2012 might as well be the year of Alfred Hitchcock. Currently in theaters, there is a film called Hitchcock starring Anthony Hopkins. It’s about the making of Psycho. Also, HBO very  recently did a movie called The Girl in which Toby Jones played the famously jowled director.

Earlier this year, we were given two different Snow White versions. If we look further back in time, Hollywood once spent one year trying to kill us with volcanoes (1997’s Dante’s Peak  and Volcano) and another with meteors (1998’s Deep Impact  and Armageddon).  Go figure.

Anyways, I wanted to clear up the confusion with Mr. Lincoln and his many movies. Draw yourself a chart if you feel it will help. Otherwise, just enjoy whichever one you end up watching. Oh, and my brother really enjoyed Lincoln. I never doubted he would. I was just worried he was disappointed he didn’t see the zombie one. But there’s time for that.

****Special Note:  I’ll open December with a new review. It’s a sappy Christmas-themed flick brought to us from the good people at Hallmark. So prepare yourselves for sugary goodness.****