Monday, November 18, 2013

Pilot Watch: Reign

As has been mentioned here before, I like most CW shows.  I don't care if they're full of insanely unrealistic pretty people, I don't care if they're silly; I just likes them.  And what's wrong with silly pretty people if it's well-written and entertaining?  Nothing, that's what I says.  So why did I wait for five episodes to pile up before I decided to give Reign a try?  Well, it looked stoopid.  Too stoopid for me.  I had also heard not-good things about it.  But, with the pilot episode about to expire from Hulu, I decided to go ahead and give it a go.

And wasn't good.  It made me giggle in places that I don't think were meant to be funny.  It's like...if you've seen good productions of historical dramas, you know what they're supposed to look like.  And this show is about Mary Queen of Scots, and there's a mental image you get when you think about shows about royalty.  Mostly I think of Downton Abbey, full of production values and ACTORS and good writing.  And I know DA isn't about royalty, per se, but it is about posh people wearing posh clothes and getting dressed for dinner and worrying about heirs and marrying for political purposes and not for love.

And Reign?  Is full of pretty people playing dress-up.  None of them look or act like they live in a different time period.  The writing is silly, the acting is silly, and sometimes it's so silly it's giggle-inducing.  For instance, this guy?  The French dude Mary is supposed to marry?

Made me giggle SO HARD.  There's just something so weird about his facial hair and his acting and I dunno, I just giggled at him.  Not sexy AT ALL.

And then there's Hunky Nostradamus*.  I guess at this point in time, Nostradamus was actually around 50, or 70, I dunno, but he was OLD.  He definitely wasn't 20, which is what he looks like on this show.  Which is just, well, silly.  They could have hired someone venerable and made it interesting, but instead we get another generic stud who will be more believable as a romantic possibility for someone later on. 

*I believe this term originated with Dan Feinberg from; at least that's where I first heard it.

If I graded such things, I'd probably give this one a C-.  It wasn't terrible, but it sure wasn't good.  However, I didn't immediately delete the rest of the episodes from my Hulu queue, so it's likely I'll give it a second episode. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Review: Curse of Chucky

Well, Child's Play 3 can revel in the fact that it is no longer the worst in the Child's Play series.  That honor can now go to Curse of Chucky.  I'm just glad I waited to get the disc from Netflix instead of renting it from Amazon instant over the weekend.  After my Chucky marathon on Saturday, I really wanted to watch Curse, but I knew I had the disc coming, so I decided to wait.  I would have been pissed if I'd wasted $5 on this piece of crapola.

First of all, the movie is only 90 minutes, and yet I kept looking at the time, waiting for it to be over.  Seed of Chucky, which is kind of the weirdest entry in the Chucky oeuvre, at least isn't boring.  It's kinda weird and stooped and the doll kid was named Glen, but Tiffany wanted him to be a girl so she called him Glenda, and then he didn't know what he wanted to be so they called him Glen or Glenda, haha, wink, get it???  Just too much.  On the other hand, it had even more Tilly than in Bride, and that's always a good thing.  Point is, not boring.  Not looking at the clock going, holy baby jeebus, make this end!

Also, the attempt at MORE backstory.  Now, I love some good mythology.  I was stoopid enough to watch Halloween Resurrection even though I knew they'd ruin the great ending to H20, because I wanted to know how he wasn't dead.  I've gone back and filled in all the Fridays I hadn't watched because I wanted to know how he got killed at the end and then got brought back for the next one.  I like that kind of shit.  But you don't need to go overboard.  We already know that Charles Lee Ray was some kind of strangler before he was gunned down in the toy shop before he transferred his soul to the Good Guy doll.  We don't really need any more back story than that.  And when you have flashbacks to poor Brad Dourif looking about 50 years older than he did in the first one?  Just sad. 

The only thing I can say I kinda liked was the post-credits sequence.  It makes no sense, but I dunno, I still kinda dug it.  (And yes.  I will watch another one if they make it.  I love my horror movies.)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Halloween Quickies, pt. 2

Okay, so after Sleepaway Camp 2, I watched:

The Innkeepers:  Talk about a tonal shift.  SL2 was loud, obnoxious and incredibly stoopid.  The Inkeepers was more thoughtful and slow.  UNTIL IT WASN'T.  I was a big fan of Ti West's  earlier movie The House of the Devil because it was really atmospheric and full of tension.  The Innkeepers has the same kind of vibe.  And unlike SL2, it had characters who I was interested in.  I liked them.  The basic plot is that this old hotel, The Yankee Pedlar Inn, is closing and this is the last weekend that it's open.  There are only a few people in residence so there are only two employees working, who are also attempting to document the existence of a ghost.  I really, really liked this movie.  It was funny and it was also genuinely scary.  There were things that a jaded horror movie watcher SHOULD have seen coming, but I didn't and I actually yelled once.  There's a scene towards the end where the tension was so unbearable I almost wanted to turn off the teevee.  Very good flick.

The last movie I watched was:
Epitaph: After watching all five of the Child's Play movies, I wanted something scary.  So I picked this Korean movie, hoping for something creepy like Ju-On or Ringu.  Instead, I got a quite lovely psychological ghost story of sorts.  It took me a while to actually get into the movie.  In fact, I was ready to turn it off after 30 minutes, but for some reason I kept watching.  The plot seems kind of crazy because it's highly complex and you think you're missing something and then realize maybe you weren't.  It's one that I'd like to go back to at some point and see if it makes more sense after having seen it once.  I'd recommend it if you don't mind a slow-paced atmospheric movie.  And when I say quite lovely, I really mean that.  I'm not good at the ol' film jargon, so I'll just say it was pretty to look at and was actually about something.

Anyhoo.  I watched that one on Saturday night, and I was all prepared to make another day of it on Sunday afternoon.  But even though the Child's Play franchise isn't even as half as graphic or bloody as the Friday the 13th movies (and there are only 5; well, plus the new one I haven't seen yet), somehow I felt all horror movie-d out and ended up catching up on some of my teevee shows.  So I guess I have a horror movie limit after all.  I even got really grossed out watching last week's American Horror Story.  Like flinching at blood and stuff.  Totally not like me.

But all in all I had a good weekend of drinking and sitting on my butt on the couch, watching silly movies and annoying my blind kitty.  I mean, by moving around so much on the couch she calls her bed.  Maybe by next October, I'll be writing more regularly and have gotten better at it, and maybe I'll actually plan something out.  One can hope! 

Halloween Quickies, pt. 1

So, my Halloween movie marathon didn't exactly go as planned.   I only watched movies on Saturday and instead of watching a random assortment of movies, I went killer doll crazy and watched all of the Child's Play movies.  In some ways, it's a better franchise than some of the others because they're mostly pretty good.  Pretty good in a silly horror movie way, that is.  I mean, I've seen all of the Nightmare on Elm Streets and Halloweens and Friday the 13ths, but mostly, there are maybe three good ones in the mix and the rest are shit.  I'd say all but Child's Play 3 are pretty darn watchable.  And I haven't seen Curse of Chucky yet, so I don't know how that one will pan out.  Child's Play 3 was the only one where I was looking at the clock, waiting for it to be over. 

Anyhoo, I watched some other things besides Chucky movies.  Here they are:

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark: I guess this was a remake, but I'd never seen or heard of the original, so I have nothing to say about that.  This was a pretty decent movie, but I had one major problem with it.  There's a little girl in the movie who, either because of the writing or the performance, seemed to be fairly intelligent.  She's being stalked by little demony fairy things in her new house and at some point discovers they don't like light.  And she does a few smart things in that regard.  BUT, later in the movie, she's taking a bath and they come in and somehow turn off the light.  She gets out of the tub and runs to the door but then just kinda stands there while I'm yelling "turn on the light, stoopid!!!"  And she never turns on the light, despite knowing it will make them scatter.  DUMB.  I mean, if she had, it wouldn't have suddenly turned the movie into a modern masterpiece or anything, but I would have thought much better of it.  As it was, it was all right, but I probably wouldn't watch it again.

Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers: Um, yeah.  Sleepaway Camp is a terrible movie.  TERRIBLE.  But I had heard some people kinda liked the sequels, so I thought, why not?  I'll give most anything on Netflix Instant a try.  OMG.  Sleepaway Camp 2 is WORSE than the original.  Just horrible.  From about five minutes in, I just wanted all of those stoopid campers dead.  And you watch a movie like this and you remember that not everyone could afford the services of someone like Tom Savini.  So instead, when Angela cuts out someone's tongue at the beginning, rather than actually seeing any kind of simulation of such a thing, Angela just puts her hand over the girl's mouth, then moves a knife around like she's cutting off her lips, and then it cuts to her throwing a tongue on the ground.  I mean, her mouth wasn't even open.  Just ... inept. 

Stay tuned for part 2!!