Random Thoughts of a Movie Insomniac 11/08/18

 

As I write this it’s election day folks and by the time I publish this.  You’ll all be really happy, super pissed off, or really don’t give a shit, but are just glad those goddamn political ads have stopped.  Either way  I hope you got out there and did your part and voted for the person you think will help this country be better.

The movies have their own way of wining elections and it’s with the box office.  Sadly I only have seen a few movies that did make the top 5 in the last month.  But I did manage to see some older movies that I have never seen before on the big screen again  so that’s cool.  Once again I am sorry for missing out and posting things but I am sick as I finish this so I hope you understand

 

The Innocents.

This was an really creepy movie about this nanny(Deborah Kerr) who takes this job at this estate and than she starts seeing ghosts. Are there really spirits or is she just seeing things  Incredible black and white cinematography and haunting score makes this a great ghost story to watch.  The Widescreen Cinemascope aspect ratio really helps pull you along in this journey

 

Mandy

If you took away Nicholas Cage and all of the really surreal like imagery you would be left with a really basic revenge story.  I enjoyed this film very much for showing me things that I have never seen before but it’s not something I need to see again.

You can listen to both of my reviews of Mandy and The Innocents on this episode of Cinema Recall.

https://www.thatmomentin.com/cinema-recall-podcast-thriller-thursday-mandy-and-the-innocents/

 

Halloween (1978 and 2018)

The Riverview theater showed John Carpenter’s original Halloween back on the big screen before the David Gordon Green’s reboot hit theaters that week.  Now that was quite the treat if you ask me.  The best thing was seeing a group of kids in the early 20’s get scared at all the moments I did when I first watched that movie.   It shows that the classics are that way for a reason

As for the reboot/sequel that wants to wash away the the other movies in the franchise.  It was fun, but it relied on a little bit too much humor if you asked me.  This was one of the problems with Wes Craven’s Scream ‘s being so successful.  It was difficult to have a slasher movie without adding in jokes here and there.  I like Jamie Lee Curtis very much.  I just don’t buy her as being this gun toting, kick ass fighter who has been preparing all this time for when he would escape.  Oh and that’s another thing.  How did he get captured at the end of the first movie.  SPOILER ALERT FOR A 40 YEAR OLD FILM.   After Loomis shoots Michael and the end of Halloween and looks over the banister onto the lawn, the shape is gone.  When was he captured?  I think if they were going to reboot this franchise, it should have been after II.  The whole sibling thing could still be misproven.   Judy Greer was great as her daughter and I kind of wished the focus was on her and her family and than later its revealed that she is the daughter of Laurie Strode.  It’s a fun movie but it just wasn’t scary enough.  No I will not be ignoring the other movies in the franchise.   Except Halloween Resurrection.

You can listen to my retrospect on the Halloween franchise  here

https://www.thatmomentin.com/cinema-recall-podcast-the-laurie-strode-halloween-saga/

 

Suspiria (1977 2018)

I am a huge fan or Dario Argento’s colorful, macabre, beautiful, twisted, fairytale, nightmare.  From the iconic score from Goblin to the memorable sets and visuals.  Suspiria stands above most other horror films in terms or style.  Yeah the acting is not all that great and yes you can clearly see where it’s badly dubbed.  But the story is easy to understand that you really don’t need any dailogue to explain what’s happening.  It’s simply about a dancer who comes to Germany to train and than weird things begin happening at the school.  The Minneapolis Art Museum showed the 4K version of this and it was astounding.

The 2018 version is a very different movie.  Its still about a dancer who comes to train at a school and weird things happen.  But this one is from the perspective of the teachers rather than one dancer.  I mean it has her view’s and another student’s, oh and there is this doctor also investigating and you know what.  You can just read my spoiler free  review to get a better grasps  on what I mean.  This is a very good remake because it is very different and yet still has the same core plot from the first movie.

https://www.thatmomentin.com/suspiria-review/

 

Night of the Living Dead

In October AMC theaters was playing the 50th anniversary of George A Romero’s original zombie classic back on the big screen and it was great.  I have only watched this on a bad VHS back in the day and to see in 4K restoration was awesome.  I could do without Barbara, I thought she was a little annoying, but Duane Jones as Ben was bad ass.  I wonder what it must have been like for whites back in the 60’s to see a black man slap a white guy around.  I’m sure many don’t mind because of how it ends.  It’s a movie that still holds up and feels relevant today. Watching the people inside that house try to survive the hordes of zombies is almost accurate to what our country is going through

 

Dawn of the Dead

Still my number one favorite zombie movie of all time.  Shaun of the Dead would be next.  To me Dawn is more of an action movie which would explain why a lot of people prefer the 2004 remake.  I like that version, the opening is among the best works ever put out there.  But once we get to the mall, the movie falls a little flat for me.  I like the characters more in the 1978 version.  They have more depth and I care for them more.  The satire on consumerism is more in your face as well as it’s taking jabs at baby boomers who decide to lock them selves away in gated communities.  Yes I know this topic was covered more  in Land of the Dead, but it started off here.  Yes you can say the makeup is bad or it wasn’t scary enough for you.  Sometimes when I watch a horror film.  I want a good story and this has a really good one.

 

First Man

Ryan Gosling goes up in space in this follow up to Damien Chazille’s(sorry if I spelled the name wrong) La La Land.   While I appreciate this director doing something outside of music, I never found this to be at all engaging, and I saw this in IMAX too.  I never felt the awe and wonder of going on this journey into space like I wanted to feel.

A Star is Born 1954 and 2018

I saw that Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper where getting awards for their work but I wanted to know the story first.  So I popped in my laserdisc of the 1954 version with Judy Garland and James Mason. If you don’t know the story. It follows a very famous man who at the end of his career turns to a life of drugs and alcohol.  He discovers a young woman protege and than begins molding her into becoming a big star.  This puts turmoil in the relationship as soon she is making it big and he is not.   I liked the acting very much and I could understand why her character would fight for Mason’s at later moments.  I also understood the complications that Mason’s character was having and although I don’t agree with his actions I understood it.  Some of the musical numbers will feel slightly racist, but keep in mind that this was the 50’s.   Now Im not saying that Mason and Garland appear in black face, but there are a few questionable musical numbers.  Still it was a good story  that I’m glad I saw.

I do wonder if I saw the 2018 version first.  Would I hold that one up in higher regard.  After all this version has more in common with the 1976 version(there are four official versions so far) than the others.  I thought both Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga were just fine in their roles and their duet on Shallows will easily nab them the Oscar for best original song.  I just never got into their characters as well as Mason and Garland.  Once Gaga goes big she starts making all of this crappy dance music and than Cooper is immediately an alcoholic.  Why?  He doesn’t play the same music she does.  He is this country rock star, and she is doing her usually Lady Gaga style songs but way worse.  I always thought the movie was 2 different ones instead of just one.  The first part where you have this girl who is supposed to be all plain and boring but she has this amazing voice but no one is giving her the chance.  But wait here comes this singer who is very drunk but he likes the way she sings and he gives her a shot on stage and suddenly that one performance blows up.  I may not understand how trends work, but can really one video on youtube get you a recording contract.  If so I better get working on creating a really good music video

Bad Times at the El Royale

A nice enough story about strangers who check themselves into a hotel and than little by little.  Their secrets are revealed.  Drew Goddard’s follow up to Cabin in the Woods has some great style and some good acting from everyone.  I just wasn’t too big on how the story wrapped up at the end.  Still I am glad I paid for two movies starring Dakota Johnson (Suspria 2018) and didn’t hate myself for it.

Creepshow 2

The first one was a lot of fun and has some really memorable stories.  The sequel is terrible and only has one passable section called The Raft.  In that one a group of kids are stalked by this black blob in the river that eats people.  So after everyone is dead, this one guy thinks it’s a good idea to lay this girl down on this raft and begin feeling her up while she is passed out.  Knowing that this blob thing can come up through the cracks and eat you.  What a creep?

 

 Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

I will check out The Haunting of Hill House very soon but I decided to start with this and I am glad I did.  To me this series is for this generation as what Buffy the Vampire Slayer was to kids of the late 90’s.   It’s Sabrina the Teenage witch and her aunts worship Satan.  Basically in this universe Sabrina must sing the devil’s book on her 16th birthday so that she can become a full witch.  She doesn’t want to because she has a boyfriend and she actually likes doing normal things.  It’s a great series where each episode builds on the characters involved.  I like the fact that even though Sabrina does do some dumb things, her heart is in the right place so I can’t fully hate her for it.  The show can get graphic at times but I was fully on board every step of the way  Episode 7 aka The Feasts of Feasts is my favorite one.  The way it tackles faith and the nature of of religion is the best I have ever seen.    It does get kind of graphic in terms or violence so kids under 11 probably shouldn’t watch but what do I know.  I was allowed to see  Nightmare on Elm Street when I was 8.

 

Until Next Month dear readers.  THANK You Very MuCH FoR reaDiNg

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About The Vern

I love movies and I enjoy writing about them too. They both go pretty much hand in hand with each other and it's fun to discover new classics. I co host the podcasts The Film Pasture, ScreenTrax, and soon Cinema Recall. While also contributing reviews and articles to other great sites when I can.
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6 Responses to Random Thoughts of a Movie Insomniac 11/08/18

  1. Brittani says:

    I finally bought the original Suspiria on blu ray and re-watched it the other night. I’m hoping to catch the remake this weekend.

    I’m still so annoyed with First Man’s cinematography. Man, back up. The camera doesn’t need to be in everyone’s faces all the time.

    • The Vern says:

      Very Very True Brittani. I was impressed with the cinematography for both La La Land and Whiplash. I would think this would look awesome but instead EXTREME CLOSE UP( if you watched Wayne’s World. You would get that joke)

  2. ninvoid99 says:

    Glad to see some love for the new version of Suspiria. It’s now my #1 film of 2018.

  3. Chris says:

    Suspiria (70s) (and its underrated 1980 sequel) are all about atmosphere and I appreciate them for that. If you go in expecting a story (like my friend did) you will be let down. Will check out the remake soon.

    I like the documentary approach to zombies in Night of the Living Dead, that there is a scientific explanation, and not just supernatural mumbo jumbo. The social commentary is what sets Romero’s best work apart from other b-movie horror. Remarkable how Night and Dawn continue to be relevant.

    Based on your advice, I’ll go with the original Creepshow and the 50s Star is Born

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