I think the PG-13/borderline R-rated content of DC’s animated movie line has spoiled most fans. Rightfully so. I remember when I was a kid thinking wouldn’t it be great if one day these superhero toons became more like their comic books? More mature, more graphic? Lo and behold that actually happened, but not until I was all grown up. All I can say is thank God my love for these kinds of toons never went away. With JLA Adventures: Trapped In Time (2014) DC has now decided to create a line of animated hero toons without the graphic violence and occasional swearing of their PG-13 line and when news of that hit I know there was a segment of the fan base that presumed this meant “movies for kiddies.”
This isn’t a film I would normally watch. I’m not a fan of film noir be it from the 30s or from the 21st century, but this one piqued my interest. I had been seeing the previews On Demand for a while, but I normally mute commercials and previews now when I’m in the middle of watching something. I’ve just hit my tolerance level when it comes to advertising, but this one particular day while I was perusing a few On Demand channels I un-muted the volume and got a whiff of this Inherent Vice flick purely by accident. Oh, it’s a comedy?! I thought. Hmmm, looks funny enough. Yup, that’s pretty much what got me from there to here.
Warning! Spoilers Contained Within! Warning!
With the economic inequality we are suffering through thanks to the one percent’s out of control greed the story line behind DC’s latest animated movie is a timely one. It’s an adaptation of the Court Of Owls arc from Batman in The New 52 line and in Gotham economic inequality comes in the form a secret society made up of the city’s one percent and their children and their descendants, yes, this society was instrumental in the very creation of Gotham centuries before and they call themselves The Court Of Owls. Their objective is to keep the disease of greed flourishing which means Gotham has to suffer for that happen.
(Warning! Spoilers Contained Within!)
“Say, ‘Aaaaah,’ motherfucker!”
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.
The late 90s was significant for the nature run amok genre, for I can recall five major movies, and when I say major I mean movies that were made for a wide theatrical release, got a wide theatrical release, and had big name stars in them, that came out between 1997 and 1999. It all started with Anaconda in spring of ’97, then Mimic in August of ’98, Lake Placid and Deep Blue Sea (this could also fall in the science run amok category) in summer (July, I think) of ’99, with Bats rounding it all out in fall of that same year.
When it comes to the Giant Croc/Alligator sub-genre I have three favorites. Until someone comes along to knock it off the top spot Greg Mclean’s Rogue (2007) is about the best one you’ll ever watch. In the #2 spot Lake Placid (1999) is a very good rural variation on the giant gator myth, and, finally, we have the first giant alligator movie I ever saw, the one that literally explores the urban myth of “alligators-living-in-the-sewers,” Lewis Teague’s Alligator (1980).
(Warning! Spoilers Contained Within!)
Ah, yes, another big time “memory movie” from childhood.
I can’t quite pin down an exact time frame for when I saw it. Let’s see, it hit theaters in 1982, but I distinctly recall seeing it after I saw Of Unknown Origin, that Peter Weller rat flick, which came out in 1983, so I probably saw Deadly Eyes in the mid-80s. Best I can do. I do remember the moment I saw it though; late night on cable, in the living room, everyone asleep in the house but me because I was interested in seeing if this particular rat movie would actually deliver the goods this time.
The Pretty One, directed by Jenée LeMarque, is a late bloomer’s coming of age tale about twin sisters, Audrey and Laurel (both played by Zoe Kazan). Audrey is the outgoing has-it-all-together sister, while Laurel is the nervous, awkward one — too afraid to begin life.
The Pretty One opens by showing us the dollhouse existence of Laurel. She still lives at home trying her best to cleave to an aggressively nostalgic childlike existence well past its expiration date. She exclusively wears the wardrobe of her dead mother who appears to have stopped buying clothes after 1981, in her attempt to keep the past alive. The impression Laurel gives is that of a rejected distant cousin in a Wes Anderson film. She thinks her only purpose in life is to care for their father, a replica artist for whom she helps to paint Mona Lisas and the like. Unfortunately, she doesn’t really have a talent for it, but her father doesn’t have the heart to tell her, so he hides her pieces away to spare her feelings.
I know it’s cliched to ask why, when confronted with some major threat in a horror film, the characters don’t try to leave the house or call the police. But it’s cliched for a reason: why the hell don’t they do that? The door’s right there, asshole, fucking run out it. What, do you have some sort of crippling social anxiety that getting dismembered by a blue toddler is preferable to having to go outside of your house and interact with other human beings?
In Ju-On: The Grudge, there is one character in the film who decides to do just that, and judging by the fact we never hear from him again, it must have turned out well for him. The other two people in the scene, rather than following his lead, stayed rooted where they were, staring dumbfounded at this supernatural horror that was moving towards them at a rate of half a snail’s asshole per hour. They could break every single one of their limbs and roll away at a faster pace than what it was going at.
If I had to characterize a Michael Bay film, I would say explosions. Why? Because “BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM” is all one hears and fiery metallic limbs are all one sees during one of his movies. Want proof? Watch this video.
Did you see the BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOMs? Thought so. I mention this Bayacteristic to emphasize how un-Baylike Pain & Gain is. Want to know the number of explosions I can remember from the film? One, and it is not exactly a massive one. Most of Bay’s films are stereotypical action flicks with little to no plot and loads of explosions. This one is not like the others. I reiterate for emphasis: this one is not like the others.
Hey guys! It’s me, Madeleine! Last week I went on this awesome podcast that my awesome buddy Will Link hosts with my other awesome friend Sean David and it was awesome.
We talk about You Won Cannes as a concept, how winning awards doesn’t necessarily make a movie good as to be “good” is an individual bias, and some other projects I’ve been working on, like this TV pilot called Fluff, and my upcoming album. I actually have an alter-ego that makes music named Erik Leafinson. We also talk about how this Japanese splatter film called Meatball Machine makes me cry. Anyhow, I highly recommend checking out their podcast, Will Sean Podcast?, my episode and others, because they are both really funny characters. Once more, this is a link to it!!!