I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)

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The last of the Second Chance/First Impression Binge this weekend before the football game is from the creators of Scream.  I Know What You Did Las Summer takes the tropes of the slasher movie and the kids in jeopardy and makes a movie that I saw once and did not remember much about.

I knew that Buffy the Vampire Slayer was in it (aka Sarah Michelle Geller) and her future husband Freddie Prinze, Jr.  I found it hard to see Sarah running from this fisherman with a hook character as I kept wanting her to turn to him as Buffy and kick his ass.  Unfortunately, that was not to be.

Four kids, out for a summer night of drinking and sex on the beach, wind up running down a man on their way home.  Instead of calling the police, they decide to dispose of the body and pretend like it never happened.

Of course, that kind of secret has a way of coming back, but not usually in the form of a psychotic fisherman looking for revenge.

There are some big old plot holes in the story and the fisherman sure seemed to be able to be anywhere in a flash of a second.  Plus, Barry (Ryan Phillippe), the football kid and boyfriend of Buffy, was a real dick.  As an entitled rich kid, you almost did not mind the fisherman chopping him up for chum.

The film is pretty fun at times watching these four pretty people suffer for their crime while hoping that, at least some of them, make it out alive.  It overcome most of the problems to give us a poor man’s Scream.

The biggest issue I had was “how did the killer get around, get those bodies out of there so quickly and efficiently, and still be in the right place at the right time?”  It was a major distraction and made the killer seem supernatural even though, spoilers, he wasn’t.

Still, it is not the worst film I have seen in the genre and it provided some dumb fun.

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Perfect Bid:The Contestant Who Knew Too Much (2018)

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This one is a bit of a palate cleanser.

I needed one after the first four movies in the Second Chance/First Impression Binge this weekend.  The Land of the Lost nearly broke me.  So I found this documentary on Amazon Prime from last year called Perfect Bid: The Contestant That Knew Too Much which focused on the man (or perhaps the man behind the man) who made a perfect, to the dollar, bid on The Price is Right.

Theodore Slauson was a teacher and he was a fan of the television game show The Price is Right.  So much so he started plotting out the prices of prizes shown on the show so that he would know how much something would cost.  It gave him a distinct advantage if he were ever to get on the stage.

He attended multiple tapings and, since the crowd is encouraged to yell out prices to help contestants, Theodore would become a bit of a known commodity.

Ironically, when Theodore made it to the stage himself, the Wheel round knocked him out of contention.

It wasn’t until years later that Theodore returned to help Terry Kniess, the contestant who bid the exact amount on the show’s Showcase Showdown.  Kniess has never admitted that he had any sort of help from Theodore for the bid.

However, most of the documentary focuses on Theodore and his years in the audience of the show.  We get interviews with Bob Barker, long time show producer Roger Dobkowitz, Drew Carey and others to help punctuate the moment, but the scandal of the perfect bid is really not the main aspect of the film.

In fact, it is downplayed as a scandal at all.  It just indicates that Theodore is excellent at his homework on the show, going as far as to show his chart of prize costs.  There is a bunch of clips from the game show revealing Theodore yelling out exact price numbers to other contestants.

This documentary is fine, but it does not feel to have much weight to it.  To define the perfect bid itself as a scandal is stretching somewhat.  It was an enjoyable watch, and I am grateful for the cleansing of the palate that I needed for the other bad films that I have been binging this weekend.

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Land of the Lost (2009)

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The Second Chance/First Impression Binge continue this morning with an adaptation of a late 1970s, early 1980s kid show from Sid and Marty Krofft called Land of the Lost.  The film starred Will Farrell.

I have seen parts of the film before and did not like it at all, so second chance certainly fits here.  I watched the Land of the Lost TV show as a youth and always enjoyed it.  Then, when it came out on DVD, I purchased the entire series as a lark.  It was nostalgia, but I discovered something surprising.  The TV series was way better than I remembered.  In fact, I would go on and say that Land of the Lost was one of the best science fiction series of all time, certainly ahead of its time.  Of course, the biggest issue it faced was the budget and having dinosaurs and other such looked cheap.  That lack of ability to create the proper look caused Land of the Lost to not be taken as seriously as it could have been.  However, go back and watch the show for the stories, they are outstanding.

Unfortunately, whoever made the movie did not have the same love of the show as I did because they made a travesty, taking some of the best parts of the show and warping it into something unrecognizable and downright insulting.

I am not a Will Farrell fan, but the first five minutes or so of the movie gave me some hope.  I enjoyed the weird interaction with Matt Lauer and saw potential in the way they were setting up the story.  Then, Will Farrell and his idiotic comedy took over and the film took a nose dive into T-Rex poop.

Anna Friel played Holly and Danny McBride played Will, taking both of those characters in a completely different direction than the show.  There was no connection between them and Rick Marshall (Farrell). The way they entered the Land of the Lost was silly and everything afterwards was inconsistent and just a waste of a great concept.

The movie lost the heart that the series had and never found anything even close to it.  It took the characters and settings of the show and warped them into an unrecognizable mess that was simple a name of a character.

This is the third out of four movies during this binge that is terrible and I may be rethinking the theme of Second Chance/First Impression Binge.

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Mars Attacks! (1996)

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Well, the snow has ended.

So the Winter Storm part of the weekend binge-a-thon is done too.  Now, we are just down to the Second Chance/First Impression Binge and this is the first second chance we have to offer.

Mars Attacks! was a comedy alien invasion spoof film from the mind of Tim Burton that came during the mid 90s and I disliked it quite a bit the first and only time that I saw it on VHS.  Finding it now on Amazon Prime, I decided that this would be the next installment in the binge.

And I did find it more entertaining than I did on the first viewing.

There are a ton of actors appearing in here and most of the big names do not last for too long.  There are a bunch of storylines that really make little to no sense.  It is just a fun movie where a bunch of little green jerks from Mars came to the planet earth and tried to take it over.

Jack Nicholson was the President of the United States (and a weird second role of a Vegas businessman that really had no reason).  Glenn Close was the vapid FLOTUS.  A group of actors (Michael J. Fox, Pierce Brosnan, Danny DeVito, Martin Short, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jack Black) are here basically to see how the Martians kill them.

The main heroes of the piece is Jim Brown, Tom Jones (playing himself), Lukas Haas and Sylvia Sidney.  Not exactly the group of names when matched up with the other actors in this movie.

That was probably the idea here and Mars Attacks! made these deaths funny a lot of the time.  The Martians themselves were fairly ridiculous too.

Certainly, one of the standout performances was Lisa Marie as “Martian Girl” who is able to infiltrate the White House with horny chief of staff Martin Short.  Her weird way of moving created the most memorable of all the characters involved.

While this is nothing unbelievable, I found it more entertaining this time around and the first film of this binge that is going to receive a positive review.  One out of three so far.

Getting out this afternoon for Glass.  Binge will continue later this weekend.

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Terminator Salvation (2009)

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Well, the snow is still falling.

And I am 0-2.

The Second Chance/First Impression Winter Storm Binge continued with Terminator Salvation.  A 2009 movie that I had never seen and has been called the worst film of the Terminator franchise.

Unfortunately, that may not be too far from the truth.

This was so boring.  It seemed that all this movie had was explosions, machine gunfire, another explosion, and surprisingly poor CGI.

Oh, and a weird voice from Christian Bale.

There was a great cast starting with Bale and following with Sam Worthington, Helena Bonham Carter, Anton Yelchin, Common, and Bryce Dallas Howard.  Yet, it felt like the film was full of people who could not act at all.

The film was dark, literally, and that made it difficult to watch.  It was hard to tell many times exactly what was going on in many of the action scenes.  The film wanted me to connect with the human characters, but I did not.

This is the last film before I go to bed tonight and hopefully two things will happen.  One, the Winter Storm will be over when I start the next film and two, maybe I will find a film that I do not dislike so much.  Maybe it is time to search for a second chance film.

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Cool poster though….

The Happening (2008)

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We are currently in a snow storm which should be going for at least tomorrow some time.  So I decided that this would be a good time to do another of the EYG Binge-a-thons.  I have been planning the next binge.  This time, the concept is Second Chance/First Impression Winter Storm Binge.  The idea is that I am going to choose from two types of films.  Either films that I saw once before and did not like or movies that I have not seen because I have heard others say negative things.

I mean, the only time I ever watched Se7en was in the theater and I did not like it much, but when I rewatched it last year, I found it much better. The same could be said for Sicario.  You never know how your opinions or tastes may change over the years.

I started compiling possible lists when I came across this movie.  With Glass coming out this weekend (and me yet having to see it, despite some negative reviews I have heard), I thought this would be the perfect film with which to kick off the Second Chance/First Impression Winter Storm Binge.  M. Night Shyamalan’s notoriously bad movie starring Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel called The Happening.

“What? Noooooooooooo”

I just saw some discussion of this on Movie Fights Live this past Thursday, where they had a whole Shyamalan-themed episode.  It also shares a lot of ideas with the recent Netflix hit Bird Box.  What better to do for a First Impression (as I have never seen this).

My first impression… this is crap.

I was not angry watching this like I was during Movie 43 or Holmes and Watson.  This was more like watching Birdemic: Shock and Terror or Manos: Hands of Fate.  You know that at some point, the RiffTrax Live guys will get there hands on this and it will be hilarious.  Heck, there were parts of this movie that were damn funny as it was (even though that was not what was intended).

Mark Wahlberg has had some bad movies before (Transformers: The Last Knight, Planet of the Apes, Collateral) but this one is right near the top of stinkers.  He is terrible as a science teacher named Elliot Moore.  He seemed void of any real emotional reactions and his acting is wooden as can be.

Yes, the trees and the wind were trying to kill them, and, after watching the film and their acting, how could you honestly blame them.

The dialogue was ridiculous.  The story was horrendous.  There was no sense being made and M. Night tried to bash you over the head with a message.

I laughed more here than anything else.  There were no tension or scares.  I can’t imagine why they made some of the choices that they made.

This one did not get the Second Chance/First Impression Winter Storm Binge off to a good start.  I hope I can find some diamonds in the rough during this binge or I might have to move over to the Punisher.

*Please let Glass be better than this*

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The Death of Superman (2018)/Reign of the Supermen (2019)

The Death of Superman + Reign of the Supermen Double Feature

Fathom Events today provided two DC Animated movies that showed that it is possible to make a compelling and interesting film focusing on Superman.

The Death of Superman was a direct-to-DVD from last year and told the story from the iconic DC Comics comic book from 1993, Superman #75.  This was one of the comics that Batman v. Superman took and crammed together for their story arc.  This is evidence proving that the choice to rush through the storyline in the live action films was a huge mistake.  At the end of the animated version, when Superman sacrificed his life to save Lois Lane from the rampaging Doomsday, I was feeling the emotions.  There were some tears in my eyes whereas I felt nothing during the whole BvS mess.

They followed this up with a new release of Reign of the Supermen, which continued the storyline from the comics where a group of “new” Supermen (a clone Superboy, The Eradicator, Steel and Cyborg Superman) stepped forward in the absence of Kal-El to stand in his stead.

Quick takes on these two animated films.  I thought The Death of Superman was fantastic from start to finish.  Loved just about everything about it.  Reign of the Supermen dragged a bit for me at the start, but the last half of the film was just excellent.

Once again, as I stated with my review of Justice League: Gods and Monsters, maybe it is time that Warner Brothers divvy up some cash so these DC Animated movies can get some better animation.  There is no doubt that the animation on these films are below average, if not downright cheap looking and that is a damn shame because the storytelling is top-notch.  WB should take some of that Aquaman moolah and see if they couldn’t come up with the next Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse-style film using the wealth of wonderful characters that DC has.

Back to the double feature, I found the pay off to be strongly done once again.  Not only did we get the best representation of Superman we have gotten since Christopher Reeve (or maybe Superman: The Animated Series), but we got the Justice League cameos as well.  Both Flash (Christopher Gorham) and Green Lantern (Nathan Fillion) stole the show.  Rosario Dawson’s Wonder Woman was another highlight.

The voice cast was solid.  Jerry O’Connell as Superman.  Rebecca Romojn as Lois Lane.  Rainn Wilson as Lex Luthor.  All three stood out as great castings.

Being able to watch the two films together in one event was an awesome treat and it really helped the second film.  I feel that if it hadn’t had that strong intro, the relatively weaker beginning of the second film would have stood out more.  As it is, it just felt like a slower bit necessary in the story.

This is what the DCEU should have worked toward instead of throwing away Superman’s death as a moment in a movie that did not need it.  This is so much more compelling and emotional than the Superman death in BvS that it showed what could have been.

The Death of Superman is…

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While Reign of the Supermen is…

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The Death of Superman + Reign of the Supermen Double Feature

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

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So last weekend I watched the three great (okay two great and one okay) Indiana Jones movies and I made a smart aleck remark about the fourth film not really existing.  Of course, we know that the infamous fourth film of this franchise did indeed exist and it was also on NetFlix.  So, in spirit of completion and in second chances, I decided to give Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull a second look.

It was absolutely as bad as I remembered.

Now, I told myself at the beginning that I would specifically look for parts that I liked, because there had to be some, and, in fact, I did find some parts of the movie that was directed by Steven Spielberg and written by George Lucas that I liked.

What I liked:

  • Harrison Ford is always fun, even if he was way too old for this.
  • The early part of the film’s motorcycle chase.
  • During that chase scene, there was a moment where Mutt (Shia LaBeouf) looked at Indy with a “look what I did” look and Indy looked back with an unimpressed glare that was taken directly from The Last Crusade.  It was meant to hearken back to the relationship between Indy and his father (Sean Connery).  That was cute.
  • There were some classic Indy lines and banter
  • Cate Blanchett.  You’ve got to respect her as she always throws herself into the role, even with a terrible Russian accent.

Unfortunately, that is where the “What I liked” ended.

What I did not like/hated:

  • Mutt.  He was really forced, and yet, in the third act, he disappeared.
  • Almost everything in the jungle chase.
  • The “Call it a rope, not a snake” gag.
  • Marion Ravenwood did not fit in this film and forcing her in just did not work.
  • All the peripheral characters (Oxley, Mac, Dean Stanford) took away from what should have been the focus of the film, the relationship between Indy and Mutt.
  • Mac, in particular… the “triple agent”?
  • The sci-fi ending was just stupid.
  • Why can’t Russians hit anything with a machine gun?
  • The monkeys.
  • Oh… I nearly forgot… “Nuking the Fridge.”  All of that. And groundhogs.
  • The FBI hating on Indy only to drop out of the story completely after the first act.
  • Most of the comedy was over-the-top and missed badly.
  • The story was confusing and you could not connect to any of it.

 

In the end, this was one of the most disappointing film going experiences I had had.  I remember walking out of the film with my friends in shock.  We turned to each other and we all just admitted that Kingdom of the Crystal Skull sucked.  Nothing about the rewatch or second chance made me change that opinion.

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Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

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The third and final film of the Indiana Jones trilogy (yeah, there is a fourth one, but I try not to think about that one much) is one of my favorites.  Honestly, I am never sure if I prefer Raiders of the Lost Ark or this one, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

The Last Crusade went back to Indiana Jones basics as they sent Indy on a quest for the Holy Grail and they kept the mystical stuff to the ending.  The film followed the pattern of the original film but this one had some extra special.

Sean Connery.

Sean Connery played Dr. Henry Jones, the estranged father of Indiana Jones and the connection between Connery and Harrison Ford is magic.

Magic I tell you.

The film was great from the beginning with young Indiana Jones (River Phoenix) through the set-up, but the movie truly caught on fire when Indy crashed through the window and gets smashed in the head with a vase… thankfully a fake one.

The constant dialogue and bickering between Henry Jones and “Junior” was just tremendous.

These characters were so deeply rooted in love despite the fact that they had barely been talking that you can feel it through the screen. The scene where Indy was believed to have been killed in the tank that went over the cliff was some of the best, most subtle acting from Connery that we have ever seen.

There was great action as in any Indiana Jones movie and the humor is a perfect fit and hit nearly every time.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is a wonderful movie and a great way to end the series…

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Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

 

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The second film in the Indiana Jones series was quite a step down from the brilliance of Raiders of the Lost Ark, but it was still a good time.  Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom took the archaeologist into a prequel and made it a much more pulpy type serial than we got in the first one.

Indy starts out in Singapore trying to make a deal for a diamond, but that deal falls through.  The opening bit of the film is not very effective as it depends too much on slapstick and silly coincidences.  It also introduces us to the singer and this film’s love interest Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw) and Indy’s sidekick Short Round (Jonathan Ke Quan, who later stars as Data in The Goonies).

There is just no denying that Temple of Doom is several steps down from the Raiders of the Lost Ark, and that the film suffers from the portrayal of the Indian villains of the movie as bloodthirsty cultists and that this would be considered seriously racist these days.  Some people include Short Round in this mix, but I do not.  The young boy is one of the highlights of the film here, filling the young sidekick trope that these types of serials would have.  Short Round is shown as capable and heroic and I take nothing from the broken English.  I am sure that is how the actor spoke.  There are plenty of racist parts to Temple of Doom without adding Short round into the discussion.

And the relationship between Indy and Short Round feels real and sweet.  It feels as if they have been together for years and have grown into a close knit pair.  This, of course, begs the question of exactly what has happened to Short Round after this movie as there is no mention of him in Raiders of the Lost Ark or the remaining films.  Did Short Round meet with a terrible fate on an adventure?

This falls into the category of white savior films as the white man arrives and saves the day for the Indian people, who apparently cannot do it for themselves.  And the mysticism of the film adds another component to the question of race relations.

That mysticism angle just does not work as well for Indiana Jones as does the adventure and swashbuckling action, which is why the action picks up drastically when the film gets away from the mystics and the mind controlling blood and features on a mineshaft chase scenes and a final confrontation on a rope bridge.  These moments feel like classic Indiana Jones and help elevate the remainder of this.

I was not a fan of Kate Capshaw and her role as Willie.  She was more annoying than anything else as the helpless, dumb blonde.  She was nowhere near Indy’s equal as Marion had been, and, had we seen Willie first, maybe we would have liked her more.

In the end, Temple of Doom is a good, but not great Indiana Jones movie.  They took away the parts that worked best for Indiana Jones and tried to add in a different kind of pulp story that was not as effective.  Still, Harrison Ford is always entertaining and Short Round was a fun and interesting addition (and way more than just a racial stereotype).

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Next Up:  Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

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Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

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As I was going to Netflix to watch the new season of A Series of Unfortunate Events, I spotted that Raiders of the Lost Ark and the Indiana Jones movies that followed it were now on Netflix and I immediately thought….triple feature!

Of course, Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of the greatest movies of all time and its rating was never going to be in doubt.  It is absolutely the highest rating I can give which makes it a…

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I can remember watching this movie at a special event at school while I was at our junior high.  We watched the film on reels in the gym and I was completely mesmerized. Indiana Jones, played by the amazing Harrison Ford, was everything you could have wanted from a hero. He was brave, adventurous, and determined.  He brought this adventurer to life like few others could have possibly done.

This is perhaps the ultimate collaboration between Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.  Throw in an iconic score form John Williams that makes every scene more epic and fills you with that feeling deep down inside.

The chemistry between Harrison Ford and Karen Allen was off the charts and, despite being kind of whiny at times, the character if Marion Ravenwood was the perfect pairing with Indiana Jones. The lack of Marion in future films was a drawback.

The Nazis make awesome villains as they did in the old serial adventures that this was based on and you can find such a wonderful mixture of exciting action, laugh out loud humor and a cleverness that you can rarely find.

There are scenes here that are some of the greatest ever put to film.  The moment Indiana Jones shot the swordsman was as perfect as you were going to get (and the idea that this was an improv moment from Harrison Ford that everyone went with is even more epic).  The fight on the airplane is one that I will always remember.  Harrison Ford adds so much to each scene with a simple facial expression that does a brilliant job of informing about this character.

Raiders of the Lost Ark and the character of Indiana Jones are members of the EYG Hall of Fame and it is well deserved.  It is one of my personal favorite movies of all time and those people who complain about Indiana Jones not really affecting the plot are just looking for something to complain about.  Raiders of the Lost Ark is near perfect.

Next up:  Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

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A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

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I have to say… this has been the biggest surprise of the 2018/19 New Year’s Eve/Day Binge-a-Thon so far.  A Fish Called Wanda was pretty boring.

I know, right? I didn’t see that coming.

I could not get into the film at all.  Sure they have a great cast and I thought that, when I saw the movie years ago I liked it, but watching it today, I just could not wait to get it over.

I know that I am distinctly on the minority side of this, but I just did not enjoy A Fish Called Wanda.  Just a glance had the score at 93% on Rotten Tomatoes.  EYG Hall of Famer Roger Ebert had given the film 4/4 stars.  The audience number on Rotten Tomatoes is 84%. Google users had it at 81%.  These are all very high numbers.

And yet, it goes to show that movies are subjective and it falls into the idea that everyone has their own opinions.  I did not like this movie, I found it mean-spirited and nowhere near as funny as I thought it would be.  Maybe it did not age well for me since my memory was that I liked it originally.

In the end, this will not be a film that I want to revisit again.

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Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)

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Happy New Year!  The first movie I watched in 2019, and the next film in the 2018/19 New Year’s Eve/Day Binge-a-Thon is Russell Crowe’s starring vessel, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.

I will admit, there was a chunk of this movie that I was not sure exactly what was going on.  I feel that is as much my fault, if not more, than that of the movie.  This feels as if Master and Commander is a movie that demands 100% attention right from the start and I was a little bit sleepy yet when I started it.

Nevertheless, I got more into the film as it progressed.  I found it to be a strong film with a lot of great sea faring action.

Russell Crowe was great as Captain Jack Aubrey but my favorite character was easily Doctor Stephen Maturin, played by the awesome Paul Bettany.  The scene where he operates on himself is just stunning.  I found the relationship between Captain Aubrey and Dr. Maturin to be strong and compelling.  The relationship was the focus of the novels that this movie was based on, specifically two Napoleonic War-era adventure novels by author Patrick O’Brian.

I am not sure there is a real through-line for the story as the film felt like it was more a series of scenes on the open seas strung together.  The French ship they were chasing was really more of a white whale for most of the movie than a real enemy.  However, I did enjoy the scenes of sea battle.  I did have some trouble following it at times, but the spectacle is without doubt.

I admired this movie.  It was a good time, and it needs me to institute a new category.  The “Good Stuff” category is around the “Fun Time” category, but leans toward a more serious tone and film.

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The Conjuring (2013)

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The  next film in the New Year’s Eve/Day Binge-a Thon is the first movie that I have already seen.  It is the horror movie known as The Conjuring.

The Conjuring was one of the big screen films that led the Renaissance of horror that we have been enjoying the last several years.  Creative and original horror movies such as Get Out, A Quiet Place, Don’t Breathe etc owe their success, to some extent, to The Conjuring.

Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson star as Lorreinne and Ed Warren, a husband/wife combination of paranormal investigators.  The Warrens are real people and the story of The Conjuring is based on the Warrens’ case files.  It is a “true” story.

The movie is great.  It is nerve wracking and tense.  The Warrens make a fantastic protagonist pair and you find it very easy to root for them.  They are heroically putting themselves in the crossfire of the demons that are tormenting the family living in the house.  There is a creepy backstory involving a witch that was hanged and her vengeance which is downright frightening.  The imagery of the creature and the way it starts by messing with the family before escalating the terror and the violence.

Director James Wan creates a beautifully scary tone that sticks with you after the film finishes.  The story is well developed and complex.  It involves not only the family living in the house, but also the Warrens’ own daughter.

Vera Farmiga is an outstanding actor and she never fails to create a strong character in her films.  She provides Lorraine with a soul and emotions unlike many in horror movies.

The Conjuring has inspired not only its own direct sequel, but also spin off films The Nun and two Annabelle movies.  The creepy doll debuted in this movie.

The horror genre certainly received quite the jump scare jolt from this exceptional film.

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12 Angry Men (1957)

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The next film in the 2018/19 EYG New Year’s Eve/Day Binge-a-Thon is an Academy Award nominated film from 1957 that featured 12 men and one small room and none of that changed for over 90 minutes.  12 Angry Men showed some powerful actors and what they can do to create tense atmosphere with dialogue and characterization.

In fact, we get some impressive characterization without even learning their names, so to speak, settling for “Juror#4” and “Juror #7.”

Henry Fonda was the lone dissenting vote on a trial that we had not seen.  11 votes for guilty against a defendant that we do not meet.  We learn more about the trial as the jury deliberates and, in that process, we learn more about each man.

Themes of racism, ageism, judgement by appearance all come up and are handled deftly and subtly as the group continued their contentious debate.

Henry Fonda was great in his role as Juror#8.  We got nuanced performances from Lee J. Cobb, Jack Klugman, E.G. Marshall, Ed Begley and Jack Warden.

We have seen this trope in dramas for years, but this is where that very trope began.  The performances were rock solid.  It is amazing that director Sydney Lumet could create such a tone in his film in one location without any changes at all.  The film is wonderful.

It is a simple film with nothing truly simple about it. If you look close, you can see the depth of character, story and dialogue.

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