(Warning! There are spoilers in these woods! Be careful in your tread! You have been warned)
Maleficent is movie number five in the big budget, live action, Hollywood fairy tale reinvention series that’s currently en vogue. Other entries were Red Riding Hood (2011), Snow White And The Huntsman (2012), Hansel And Gretal: Witch Hunters (2013) and Jack And The Giant Slayer (2013). Maleficent is similar to Jack And The Giant Slayer in that its concept is to show the “real story” behind the fairy tale, with this movie it’s Cinderella, but told from the perspective of the perceived “evil witch.”
If it wasn’t obvious before it’s pretty damn obvious now Greed is the primary sin slowly killing our society. As sins go, it’s an awful one too because it destroys any morality you may have had and any prejudices you might carry, thus making sure you think of nothing else but it. Greed has even found it’s way into the fantasy world of Middle Earth. Barring any “special rings” among the various beings that inhabit the realm, it appears Dwarves are more susceptible than most to its corruption. They used to live in this great mountain called, Erebor (aka The Lonely Mountain), where they forged huge amounts of gold.
ATTENTION: It’s a cold hard fact that this review contains tremendous spoilers, so if you have an inherent, almost medical sensitivity to them I recommend NOT reading any further. You have been summarily warned!
When I’m interested in reviewing a movie I’ve never seen before I need to know what I’m getting into before I commit one or the other to it, which means locating a trailer. Life After Beth was the first movie I didn’t do that with, not did I know anything about the plot. I simply received a press release on the pending DVD and blu-ray and based on the people I know who are Aubrey Plaza fans I decided what the hell.
I’ve always wondered why certain crimes get more notoriety than others. With serial killers it’s understandable, they’re the most evil of evildoers and that fascinates us, but what of people who only kill one person, or a small group, and never kill again? Is it the murder, or the murderer, or both? Take Lizzie Borden’s 1892 ax murder of her father and stepmother. I’m sure she wasn’t the first woman to kill another human being with an ax, so why does she go down in infamy when others don’t?
After Groundhog Day (1993) came out I was a little surprised that there weren’t more films made exploiting that particular time travel anomaly Bill Murray suffered from in that film. The only other movie I can recall that had a similar plot was 12:01 (1993), which came out the same year. Here we are in 2014 and there are two new movies I know of now using this concept, the soon to be released sex comedy, Premature (2014), where a kid ends up re-living the embarrassing day he lost his virginity over and over, and the movie I’m about to talk in depth about, the Tom Cruise/Emily Blunt sci-fi actioner, Edge Of Tomorrow, so it looks like everything about being trapped in a time loop is new again.
Seeing as zombies aren’t my favorite movie monsters I was surprised that the last zombie flick I added to my collection was John Gulager’s Zombie Night (2013), and it’s not because I don’t like Gulager. He did a masterful job with Feast (2005) and a not bad job with Feast II (2008), it’s just the distributor who footed the bill for Zombie Night, The Asylum, I’m not a fan of. But they are showing some promise these days with their Syfy channel zombie series, Z Nation, which so far I’m a fan of.
I had no clue that Toho had remade Mothra and then added a couple of sequels until I discovered that double feature DVD Sony put out back in 2000. Yeah, I bought it, and then wished I hadn’t after I started watching the first one. It was the direction they took with it that destroyed my interest. They made it for kids. I’m not sure it all the way through. I think I may have done a lot of fast forwarding, but I do remember putting on the second, thinking for some reason it would be better. It wasn’t. It was the same tone, and I remember doing a lot of fast forwarding on it too.
I’ve always had a slight fascination with the doppelganger concept, It’s probably an extension of my more intense fascination with shape-shifters in general, and this year there were two movies that came out directly concerning doppelgangers.
Earlier in the year it was Enemy (2013) with Jake Gyllenhaal and based on a Portuguese novel called, “The Duplicated Man,” but according to Wikipedia, “It was translated into English and published as The Double in 2004.” Now we have The Double (2013) another “double-goer” flick this time with Jesse Eisenberg and another that was also based on a novel, an 1846/1866 Russian one by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
I was in 7th grade when this kid I knew told me about Without Warning. Rob was also the one responsible for clueing me in to the existence of Fangoria. His father pretty much took him to all the new horror movies coming out and in turn the following Monday in school he would tell me all about them.
This was the era of the slasher, so I heard more about those kind of movies than any other, but occasionally a “monster movie” would come along, like The Boogens (1981), The Being (1983), The Beast Within (1982), Alien (1979), or Without Warning and I’d be absolutely amazed at what he would tell me about the creatures skulking about in those movies.
1989 was the year of the underwater monster movie. Five of them were made and four of them were scheduled to roll out that year. Three were major theatrical releases (DeepStar Six, Leviathan, The Abyss) while the remaining two (The Rift, Lords Of The Deep) were straight-to-video and/or cable. I saw all of them but Lords Of The Deep.
I believe I saw The Rift (1990, aka Endless Descent) in 1991 on cable, but I distinctly remember reading the Fangoria article in 1989, where they acknowledged DeepStar Six and Leviathan, saying both of them died at the box office.