adventure, horror, movie, movie review, romance

April 9th, 2018 Movie – Unknown Island

unknown island

Another classic movie brought to my attention by a YouTube video. Isn’t the internet wonderful? Yes, today’s movie is one that I first came across in a clip from the YouTube video I found that focused on B movie monsters. To be honest, I find it a little surprising that I had not heard of this movie before that, as I love dinosaur movies and try to find and watch them whenever I hear about them. So to learn that there was a movie that came out in post-WWII that featured dinosuars was all I needed to know to go try and find a copy of it, and I eventually did. So let’s see if this movie was worth the effort as I watch today’s movie, Unknown Island.

The plot: In Singapore, Ted Osborne and his fiance Carole Lane head into a bar looking for Captain Tarnowski. Tarnowski and his first mate Sanderson notice them in the mirror above the bar and, as they watch Osborne and Carole get a table, Tarnowski becomes infatuated with Carole. Osborne approaches the two sailors and speaks with Tarnowski about chartering his boat. Tarnowski refuses at first, as Osborne doesn’t particularly want to give many details until they have a deal, but he agrees to go to their table to talk it over. Arriving at the table, Osborne introduces Tarnowski and Sanderson to Carole and Tarnowski suggests they get a private room, throwing out the people inside so they can speak privately. Tarnowski is curious as to why they want to charter his ship, as it is just a trap steamer used to transport wild animals. Osborne explains that when he was a pilot in WWII, he had flown over an island and spotted what appeared to be dinosaurs walking on the ground. He did not report it to his superiors, as the island had no military value and he didn’t want his superiors thinking he was suffering from battle fatigue, but managed to take a picture of one of the beasts from his plane. Tarnowski examines the picture and says it could be what he says, then tells Sanderson to go fetch Fairchild. When Osborne asks who that is, Tarnowski explains that Fairchild tells a story very similar to Osbornes, only that he and his friends had been shipwrecked on the island and he was the only survivor. Tarnowski and his crew had fished Fairbanks out of the sea on a life raft he had fashioned and Fairbanks had been trying to drink away the horrors he experienced ever since. Sanderson finds Fairbanks and brings him into the room but when Tarnowski says they are heading back to the island, Fairbanks gets a distressed look on his face and says he would rather kill himself than go back, then leaves the room. Tarnowski tells Osborne and Carole not to worry and accepts the charter, with Carole telling him they can meet at the bank for his payment in the morning. Sanderson is skeptical of the journey but Tarnowski says he would do anything to get a shot at Carole, then tells him to make sure Fairbanks is on board the ship when they leave. After they set sail, Osborne makes continuous adjustments to the course, which worries Sanderson but Tarnowski says it’s fine. Sanderson says he is worried about the crew, as they have been muttering to themselves ever since the veered off the trade route but Tarnowski doesn’t seem worried. That night, the crew talk among themselves and deduce that Tarnowski is heading towards an island that is forbidden among their people, and they decide to stage a mutiny and kill Tarnowski and the others to stop them from reaching it. The mutiny starts but Tarnowski, Sanderson, and his other loyal crew manage to stop it without to many lives lost. After a few more days, they reach the island and Tarnowski and Sanderson both see a brontosaurus moving on a ridge but it is gone when Osborne tries to see it. As they ready a boarding party, Fairbanks tries to talk Carole out of going onto the island, as he has become attracted to her and doesn’t want to see her hurt, but she insists on going. When she asks if he is going ashore, Fairbanks refuses at first but after hearing some of the weapons Tarnowski is bringing with them, he changes his mind. When they arrive on the island, they find some dinosaur tracks in the sand and Tarnowski orders his second mate, Edwards, to stand guard by the boat in order to keep anything, or anyone from destroying it. As they head further into the island, they see a pair of brontosaurus in a nearby swamp and some time later a couple of dimetrodons, and Osborne is excited about seeing the animals really have survived. Setting up a camp, Tarnowski has one of the crew go to fetch some water but they suddenly hear a scream and race off to find the crew member being attacked by a pair of ceratosaurus. Fairbanks, Tarnowski, and Sanderson attempt to ward off the dinosaurs but when they realize their bullets are ineffective, Tarnowski shoots the man so he won’t suffer, then they head back to camp. That night as they prepare to get some sleep, they hear some roaring close by and take cover as a giant sloth moves through the jungle close to the camp but it chooses to leave them when it sees a dimetrodon close by and goes after it. The next day, Tarnowski says he wants to try and capture one of the creatures, and they head back out towards the valley. They spot several ceratosaurus in some sort of animal graveyard. The crew all want to go back to the ship, and Sanderson agrees with them but Tarnowski refuses and ends up struggling with Sanderson. One of the crew throws a knife at Tarnowski and accidentally kills Sanderson, then Tarnowski shoots him as the rest of the crew flee back to the camp. Tarnowski and Fairbanks then use grenades on the approaching ceratosaurus, killing one of them and frightening off the others. When they return to camp, Tarnowski has the crew making a barrier of dried wood, which he plans to light on fire to keep the dinosaurs, and the giant sloth, at bay. Meanwhile, Carole grows upset with Osborne, as he is more concerned about the pictures and video he took of the dinosaurs than anything else, including her, and she ends up getting closer to Fairbanks. When they hear some disturbance in the brush, Tarnowski, Fairbanks, and Osborne quickly grab some rifles when they hear a shot ring out on the beach. They head there to find that the crew had snuck off and attacked Edwards, then stolen the boat to try and escape but end up getting smashed on the reefs surrounding the island. As they check on Edwards, Fairbanks notices some smoke coming from their camp and they head back to find it is destroyed in a blaze, as one of Tarnowski’s cigarettes accidentally set his barrier on fire. Trying to salvage what they can, Fairbanks suggests they build a raft, as he had built one last time to get away, and he, Edwards, Osborne, and Carole start working but Tarnowski, having become deranged from jungle fever, goes wandering off. On another section of beach, Tarnowski finds a boat from Fairbanks’ old ship that had washed ashore and he quickly hides it so the others don’t see it. When Carole heads back to the camp for some tools, Tarnowski follows after her and attempts to lead her away when they are attacked by a ceratosaurus. Tarnowski uses the last of his grenades to kill it, then carries Carole, who had fainted, away while Fairbansk, Edwards, and Osborne show up and realize that they are gone. Fairbanks and Osborne start to argue about Carole when Edwards says they don’t have time for this and they go looking for her. Meanwhile, Tarnowski tells Carole about his ship and plans on leaving with her and Carole agrees to go, hoping to buy some time until the others could find her. The next morning, Carole wakes up and finds Tarnowski still asleep and quietly steals his revolver. As she is about to escape, a dimetrodon appears and she quickly shoots it but the shots wake up Tarnowski. He grabs her and realizing she had saved his life, goes to kiss her only to receive a slap. As Carole struggles with Tarnowski, she sees Fairbanks, who had gone off in the night to find her while the others slept, and he begins fighting with Tarnowski. Fairbanks eventually beats him and then grabs Carole so they can escape as the giant sloth appears and kills Tarnowski. As they head to the beach, they are confronted by a ceratosaurus and, seeing the giant sloth coming up behind them, they hide behind a rock as the two creatures fight. The ceratosaurus is knocked off the cliff to the rocks below and the giant sloth, injured in the fight, heads back into the forest just as Osborne and Edwards show up. After explaining what happened, they head back to finish the raft and make their way back to the ship. On board, Edwards tells them they are almost ready to sail and Osborne starts to say something to Carole but she interrupts him and says they will have a lot to discuss when they get back. Realizing that Carole has fallen in love with Fairbanks, Osborne agrees with her and walks off, leaving the new couple to smile at each other before turning to look back at the island.

This is pretty much every stereotype of early cinema you could ever hope to find wrapped up into one movie. This is cheesy, corny goodness that you cant help but laugh at as you enjoy watching it. The acting was ok, with Virginia Grey (Carole), Richard Denning (Fairbanks), and Phillip Reed (Osborne) doing good jobs in their roles but Barton MacLane honestly stole the show with his portrayal of Tarnowski. The story honestly felt like it was mixture of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Lost World” and King Kong, which did not give it much in the way of originality. The special effects were laughably bad when it comes to the animals. I don’t know what the budget was but they obviously couldn’t afford to use stop motion animation, which is why we got people in suits to play most of the monsters, primarily the ceratosaurus and the giant sloth. That is where things get funny as the ceratosaurus suits were so big, that the heads kind of flopped around as the people moved while the giant sloth looked absolutely ridiculous, and I think the suit would end up used in some other B movies in later years. This is not a ground breaking movie by any stretch of the imagination, nor is it even really a good movie, but it is entertaining in a bad way, which makes it fun to watch.

Rating: 2 out of 5

crime, dark comedy, drama, movie, movie review, romance

March 28th, 2018 Movie – True Romance

true romance

Man, there were a lot of notable movies to come out in the 90’s and today’s movie is no exception. This is honestly my first experience with Quentin Tarantino’s work, even though he wasn’t the one directing the movie. Now I remember seeing this in theaters and being thoroughly entertained by it. When I watched it again years later, I was honestly amazed at how many people were in it that I didn’t realize when I first saw it. I know several of my friends that saw this movie also enjoyed it so let’s see if True Romance is still as much fun now as it was back then.

The plot: Clarence Worley is attending a Sonny Chiba triple feature at a Detroit theater when a girl, Alabama Whitman, accidentally dumps her popcorn on him. As Alabama apologizes, she asks Clarence to fill her in on what she missed in the movie and the two start talking, continuing their conversation over pie after the movies. Clarence takes her back to the comic shop that he works at and shows her around and they end up having sex in Clarence’s apartment above the shop. Later that night, Alabama admits to Clarence that she is a call girl that Clarence’s boss hired for his birthday but that she has fallen in love with him. Clarence says he is in love with her and the two end up getting married the next day. Later that day, Clarence keeps thinking of Alabama’s pimp, Drexil, and has a vision of Elvis telling him he should kill Drexil and Clarence decides to go through with it. Clarence asks Alabama for Drexil’s address, saying he is going to go there to pick up her things, and she begs him not to go but he insists that he has too so she relents. Clarence goes to Drexil’s house and tells him he is Alabama’s husband and he wants her things and ends up getting into a fight with Drexil and his bodyguard, Marty. Clarence kills Drexil and Marty and tells one of the other call girls to put Alabama’s things in a suitcase but when he gets back to his place, they find the suitcase is filled with bags of cocaine. Clarence and Alabama go see Clarence’s father Clifford, a former cop, and Clarence asks him to asks his friends on the force to see if they are looking into Drexil’s murder. Clifford does so and says that the police think it was drug related, as Drexil was associated with a drug dealer Blue Lou Boyle. Clarence thanks Clifford for his help and gives him the address for his friend Dick in Los Angeles, where they are heading too. As Clarence and Alabama head to L.A., they call Dick, saying they will be there tomorrow, and ask him of they got the letters Clarence sent, as it would explain what they are coming there for. Meanwhile, Clifford is visited by Vincenzo Coccotti, Boyle’s consigliere, and his men, who proceed to interrogate Clifford for Clarence and Alabama’s location. Clifford tells them that they left on their honeymoon and didn’t tell him where and Vincenzo kills him. As he cleans up, Vincenzo tells his men to go to Clarence’s apartment and find out where he might have gone when one of his men finds the note Alabama left with Dick’s address and points it out to Vincenzo. In L.A., Clarence and Alabama arrive at Dick’s apartment and he is shocked that they really have a suitcase full of cocaine. When Clarence asks if he arranged a sell, Dick says he can’t do it but his friend Elliot works for someone that could handle that much cocaine. Clarence, Alabama, and Dick meet with Elliot at an amusement park and explain what they have and Elliot calls Lee Donowitz, a film producer, who agrees to meet with them to sample the merchandise. Meanwhile, one of Vincenzo’s men, Virgil, shows up at Dick’s apartment and speaks with his roommate Floyd, asking where Clarence and Alabama are and Floyd tells him the motel they are staying at. Clarence drops Alabama off at the hotel while he goes to get them some lunch but when Alabama walks into the room, she finds Virgil waiting inside with a shotgun. Virgil asks her about Clarence and the cocaine and she tries to lie but he proceeds to beat her to get the information. Virgil finally finds the cocaine and plans to kill Alabama but she fights back and manages to kill him just as Clarence returns, and he quickly grabs her and the cocaine and quickly leaves. Meanwhile, Elliot gets pulled over for speeding and tries to get the girl he is with to hide the cocaine he is carrying but she refuses and ends up smacking him with the bag, covering him in the powder. He is arrested and offers to cut a deal, telling them about the upcoming sale, and the two detectives, Nicky Dimes and Cody Nicholson, tell their captain about it and plan to wire Elliot to make a sting. As the day of the deal comes up, Clarence, Alabama, and Dick show up at the hotel and meet with Elliot but Clarence, feeling cautious after recent events, points a gun at Elliot and threatens him, causing the police listening in on the wire to worry that the op is blown but Elliot manages to convince Clarence that everything is fine. Meanwhile, Vincenzo’s men show up at Dick’s apartment and learn from Floyd where Clarence and Alabama went. Back at the hotel, Clarence and the others arrive at Lee’s penthouse and they make the deal for the cocaine. As Clarence goes to use the restroom, he is visited by Elvis again, who tells him everything is going fine. Meanwhile, the police got the information they need and show up to make the bust, just as Vincenzo’s men show up. Finding out that Elliot had set him up, Lee throws coffee in his face, causing a shoot out to occur. Clarence is wounded as he exits the bathroom and Alabama crawls over to him while Dick throws the cocaine in the air to cover his escape. Everyone ends up getting shot to death, while Clarence is shown to still be alive and Alabama grabs him and the suitcase with their money and they leave, using a standoff with the last mafia member to cover their escape. Clarence and Alabama head to Mexico to live, with Alabama giving birth to their son, which they decide to name Elvis.

True Romance met with high praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Fueled by Quentin Tarantino’s savvy screenplay and a gallery of oddball performances, Tony Scott’s True Romance is a funny and violent action jaunt in the best sense.” It was Brad Pitt’s idea to make his character a stoner that never left the couch and the hat he is wearing in the movie was one that he found on the boardwalk and decided to keep it, wash it, and use it for the movie. Despite the good reviews, the movie did not fare well at the box office, earning $12.3 million off of a $12.5 million budget.

This is such a good movie an so many levels. The acting was really good, with Christian Slater (Clarence) and Patricia Arquette (Alabama) doing great jobs in the lead roles. I also liked all of the other characters that were in the movie, though I wish that Christopher Walken (Vincenzo) had a bigger role in the movie than just the one scene. The story was incredible and very well written, indicative of Tarantino’s style for story telling. I will admit that the scene with Virgil beating up Alabama to get the information is a bit rough to watch but her fighting back and killing him made it memorable and if possible, more powerful. The drama involved was great in moving the story forward and the fire fight scene, while a bit over the top, had a bit of a poetic feel to it. A great movie and one that earns it’s own place in Tarantino’s hand crafted cinematic universe.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

comedy, fantasy, movie, movie review, romance

January 18th, 2018 Movie – Splash


So we come to an end to the movies that were purchased/gifted over the holidays and I am sure you are thinking this is an interesting movie for me to own. Well, this movie was bought as a gift due to an inside joke/nickname I was given. Years ago, when I was roommates with my friend Emily, a commercial for the TV show Charmed came on, showing Alyssa Milano’s character becoming a mermaid. Emily asked how one’s become a mermaid and my wife at the time responded that one becomes a werewolf when bitten by a werewolf. Without missing a beat, Emily turns to me and asks why I bit Alyssa Milano, to which my response was, “Why wouldn’t I?” Anyways, that response led to Emily calling me a mermaid, which has stuck to this day, though I did get her back with my own nickname for her. Anyways, in honor of the nickname, and because she felt I needed to own this movie, this was one of the movies she got me for Christmas. So let’s have some fun with today’s movie, Splash.

The plot: In 1964, young Allan Bauer is on the Cape Cod ferry with his family. As his family head to another part of the ship, Allan sees something in the water and jumps in. While underwater, a girl approaches him and grabs his hand and the two smile at each other, with Allan able to breath underwater, but their connection is broken when a crew member dives in to save Allan. As they take him back aboard the ship, Allan continues to stare out at the girl, who is staring back at him from the water, but no one else sees her and when Allan is led inside the ferry, she dives back underwater, revealing that she is a mermaid. 20 years later, Allan runs a fruit and vegetable warehouse in New York City with his irresponsible older brother Freddie, when his girlfriend calls and tells him that she is leaving him. After attending a coworker’s wedding, Freddie takes Allan to a bar to drink his sorrows away and as Freddie tries to arrange a double date with two women he picked up at the bar but Allan decides to head to Cape Cod, saying it relaxes him. The next morning, Allan is walking along the beach when he encounters eccentric scientist Walter Kornbluth and asks him for a ride to the island, as he was dropped off on the wrong beach, but Walter is paranoid that Allan is there to spy on him and steal his research so he refuses to help him. One of Kornbluth’s workers directs Allan to a man that will take him to the island and on the way there, Allan admits that he can’t swim, causing the man to try and scare Allan but he ends up stalling out the motor. As the man swims back to shore to get another boat, Allan attempts to fix the motor and gets it working but ends up falling overboard as the boat goes out of control and is knocked unconscious when the boat strikes his head. Allan comes too on the beach with a massive headache and as he looks around, sees a blonde, naked woman staring at him and calls out to her. The woman doesn’t answer but approaches him, then grabs him and kisses him before diving into the water. As the woman swims away, Allan calls out to her to come back but she doesn’t respond. The woman, who is a mermaid, finds Allan’s wallet on the ocean floor, where it fell when  he was knocked unconscious, and swims away with it only to encounter Kornbluth, who tries to take a picture of her but she quickly swims away. Reaching her underwater home, the mermaid finds New York City on a map and begins swimming towards it. The mermaid arrives at Liberty Island, with her fins transforming into legs when she is out of the water, and causes a commotion by walking around naked. The police arrive to take her into custody and when they discover she has Allan’s wallet, they give him a call about her. Allan quickly rushes to the police station, leaving Freddie to handle a meeting with a new client, and heads down to the police station to pick her up. Allan takes the woman back to his apartment, where she constantly tries kissing him, but he has to head back to work and turns the TV on, telling her he will be back later and take her to dinner. When Allan arrives back at work, Freddie is surprised by Allan’s new attitude and his willingness to let him have more control over the business. Back at his apartment, the woman starts learning how to speak some English by watching TV and heads out to a department store, where she ends up buying some new clothes and learning more English before Allan finally finds her. As they are walking back to his apartment, Allan tries to find out more about the woman and she decides to call herself Madison and tells him she is in town for 6 days. That night, Madison takes a bath in the middle of the night but when Allan goes to check on her, she quickly dries her tail so that he doesn’t see her as a mermaid. The next day, Kornbluth continues searching for the mermaid but when he sees one of his workers reading a tabloid with a picture of the naked Madison on it, he recognizes her as the mermaid he saw and heads to New York City. As Allan continues to fall in love with Madison, Freddie tries get Allan to admit that he is in love with her but he refuses to admit it to himself, as he has never really been in love with anyone. Meanwhile, Kornbluth heads to the National History Museum and tells them that he has proof that mermaid’s exist but his mentor says he can’t believe he is stuck on that nonsense idea. Korbluth decides to prove that the mermaid is real and goes looking for Madison to splash her with water but mistakenly splashes another woman by mistake, causing her husband to assault Kornbluth. During dinner, Allan asks Madison to marry him but she doesn’t answer. As they are ice skating afterwards, Allan asks her again and she tells him no, saying she wants to make the most of the 3 days with him but she has to leave. As Allan and Madison start to argue about the matter, she leaves and Allan tries to apologize but she runs off before he can catch her. As Alan searches the city for Madison, Madison heads to the water and prepares to head back to the ocean but thinks back as to why she came to look for Allan in the first place and heads back to him. Madison agrees to marry Allan and he wants to get married the next day and Madison agrees to it, saying she will tell Allan her secret before they get married. Remembering that they are to attend a Presidential dinner that night, the two head there, unaware that the injured Kornbluth is there trying to expose Madison. After Kornbluth is escorted outside by the secret service, Madison tells Allan she is ready to tell him her secret and they leave, but Kornbluth sees them and manages to spray Madison with the water he was carrying, exposing her as a mermaid to Allan and everyone else. Allan and Madison are quickly grabbed and taken to a government lab for testing, and when they are placed together, Allan tries to apologize for keeping it a secret but Allan doesn’t respond. When it is apparent that Allan is not a mermaid, he is dropped off back at his apartment, where reporters are waiting for him and try to get him to talk about his relationship with Madison. Freddie shows up and takes Allan out of there and as they get alone to talk, Allan starts questioning what he really felt for her and Freddie calls him out on it, reminding him how happy he was when he was with Madison. Meanwhile, Dr. Ross, Kornbluth’s rival, is heading up the research of Madison and is making plans to dissect her, which shocks Kornbluth and when he voices his objection, Ross tells him that he shouldn’t even be there as he doesn’t consider him a member of his team. Allan, realizing he does love Madison and tracks down Kornbluth to find out where she is being held. Kornbluth, who feels guilty about his role in what is happening to Madison, helps sneak Allan and Freddie into the lab by having them pose as Swedish scientists. Allan and Kornbluth then sneak Madison out of the lab, leaving Freddie there to take the heat when it is discovered she is gone. Ross has the military go recapture Madison and Kornbluth tries to delay them, saying he caused the mess, but he is unable to stop them. Allan and Madison reach the docks and Madison tells Allan that she was willing to stay with him forever. When Allan says he wishes that he could go with her, she tells him he can, telling him that she was the one who saved him as a boy, but that he would never be able to come back. When the military gets there, Allan tells Madison he loves her and she needs to leave but as she waves goodbye, he yells out to her and jumps in after her. Madison swims back to Allan and kisses him, allowing him to breathe underwater, and when some divers attempt to capture them, they quickly rip off the divers’ breathing gear then swim away. Allan takes off his jacket and kisses Madison before they swim off to an underwater kingdom.

Splash was highly praised by the critics, holding a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “A perfectly light, warmly funny romantic comedy that’s kept afloat by Ron Howard’s unobtrusive direction and charming performances from Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah.” The movie was the first to be released under Walt Disney’s Touchstone Pictures label, which was created in order to release movies with more mature content that were deemed not appropriate for the flagship banner. The movie was a box office success, earning $69 million off of an $8 million budget.

This is a pretty decent movie but not one I would watch every day. The acting was good, with Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah doing a good job in their roles of Allan and Madison respectively. I also liked John Candy (Freddie) and Eugene Levy (Kornbluth), who added some pretty good comedic and serious scenes to the movie. The story was essentially a take off of “The Little Mermaid”, with the mermaid falling in love with a human and wanting to be with him, only not as depressing a tale as the original story. The special effects involving Daryl Hannah’s mermaid tail were pretty decent in the water scenes, but not as much when she was on land. It’s a decent 80’s rom-com but not my normal cup of tea.

Rating: 3 out of 5

comedy, drama, movie, movie review, romance

September 13th, 2017 Movie – Singles


Sometimes when I think back to the movies I loved as a teenager, I find it hard to decide on if I loved it because of the movie itself, or the soundtrack. With regards to today’s movie, I think it was pretty equal in regards to how much I enjoyed them. This movie and soundtrack came out right when I was in high school, having just moved to another state, and starting to figure out who I was going to be and both of them just appealed to me on various levels. So let’s head back and get a glimpse of the Seattle scene during the blossoming “Grunge” era as I watch today’s movie, Singles.

The plot: Linda Powell is an environmentalist living in Seattle and happy to have her own place. One day she meets Luiz, a tourist from Spain who is only in the country for a few more days. After talking with her friend Ruth about Luiz, Linda decides to make the most of her time with Luiz and starts a brief relationship with him. The night before he is supposed to leave, Luiz gives Linda a ring to remember him by and she gives him her garage door opener, her most prized possession. The next night, Linda and Ruth go out dancing and as they stop to get a drink at the bar, she sees Luiz there with another girl and when he notices her, he just shrugs his shoulders. Linda and Ruth quickly leave the club, with Linda crying once she gets outside, and the next day, Linda buys herself a new garage door opener. Steve Dunne lives in an apartment complex which caters to mostly single bedroom apartments with his friends Janet Livermore and Cliff Poncier. While Steve is contemplating his love life and decides to focus on work, Janet is seeing Cliff, who is a musician as well as doing odd jobs to help pay the bills, but Cliff is not as serious about the relationship as Janet is. One night, Steve is at a club with his friend David Bailey and he sees Linda and Ruth there. Steve approaches Linda and tries talking to her but she dismisses him and as she is leaving , he tries asking her if she would like to go somewhere else but she refuses. Steve and David leave and stop at a newsstand, where David brags about getting 20 girls’ phone numbers, when they happen to see Linda and Ruth stop at the stand and Steve and Linda end up talking. Steve calls up Linda a few days later and they meet for lunch and end up talking the entire time. That night, Linda is doing laundry at Steve’s place since her machine is broken and she asks him about his neighbors at the complex and he tells her about Cliff, Janet, David, and Debbie. As her clothes are drying, Steve invites her in to his apartment and the connect even more and almost kiss but Linda pulls back and goes to get her clothes. As she is leaving, Linda freaks out when Steve offers her a garage door opener so she can use the underground garage the next time she comes over and quickly leaves. When she gets home, she thinks back on Steve and starts to smile when Steve shows up at her place, and she kisses him and brings him inside, where they have sex. The next day, Steve is talking with David, Janet, Cliff, and Debbie about how he should handle things with Linda and they convince him not to call right away and he ends up not calling for 4 days, which upsets Linda and she breaks things off with him. Meanwhile, Janet is feeling insecure in her relationship with Cliff and decides to get a boob job. However as she is about to be prepped for the procedure, she changes her mind and decides she want Cliff to love her for who she is so she cancels the surgery, helping the doctor get more confidence in himself at the same time, and breaks things off with Cliff. Debbie decides to use a video dating service to meet someone and has Steve, Janet, Cliff, and David choose the guy she should meet. When she arranges the date, there is confusion over the location to meet and she learns that her date left a message saying he will meet her at her apartment. When she gets there, she finds her date flirting with her roommate Pam, and learns that the two have a history, and she argues with Pam about this but Pam lets Pam have the guy in exchange for $80 and her doing the dishes for a month. Meanwhile, Linda calls Steve and tells him that she is late and after they do a home pregnancy test, she confirms that she is pregnant. Steve says they should get married and after they discuss things, Linda agrees to it but when they get in a car wreck, she ends up losing the baby. When she recovers, she tells Steve that she needs to get away for a while and collect her thoughts so she heads out on an oceanic environmental trip for a month. When she returns, things are uncomfortable between them and Steve says they don’t have to go back to how they were and can start over and Linda agrees. However, Steve knows he made a mistake and tries calling her to explain that he asked her to marry him because he loved her and he wants to be with her but her answering machine eats the tape and so she doesn’t hear it. Debbie flies to Cabo and ends up sitting next to an annoying kid but when she lands, she meets the kid’s father, who compliments her on her favorite earrings and they end up falling in love. The man wants her to move to Mexico and until she is able to get a job there, he sends her flowers every day. Steve ends up losing his job at the Department of Transportation when the Mayor rejects his plans for building a super train to help relieve the city’s traffic problem. Falling into a depression over everything that happened, he starts to turn into a shut in and Janet pays him a visit and tries to convince him that things will get better. Cliff realizes that he misses Janet and tries to win her back but she tells him that she is finally over him. Linda has moved back in with her ex-boyfriend Andy but when she breaks a plate, she thinks back to her time with Steve and goes to see him. The two end up getting back together and finding a place of their own while Cliff and Janet also end up back together after they end up on an elevator together and Cliff says “Bless You” when she sneezes, which is something that Janet had wanted him to do in the past.

Singles met with positive reviews from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 80% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Smart, funny, and engagingly scruffy, Singles is a clear-eyed look at modern romance that doubles as a credible grunge-era time capsule.” The movie’s soundtrack, featuring several bands that were prominent in the upcoming Seattle music scene, came out 3 months before the movie was released and became a best selling CD. Singles was a modest hit at the box office, earning $18.5 million off of a $9 million budget.

Watching it now, I think I would have to give my appreciation to the soundtrack an edge over the movie but this is still a great movie to watch. The acting was great, with Kyra Sedgwick (Linda), Bridget Fonda (Janet), Campbell Scott (Steve), and Matt Dillon (Cliff) all doing great jobs in their roles. I will admit that it is a little sad to see Alice In Chains and Soundgarden performing in this movie, as both Chris Cornell and Layne Staley both died. The story was interesting as it kept jumping back and forth between the different people, with several times the characters would break the 4th wall and address the audience at times. I did like the relationship struggles that they presented in the movie and how they showed each characters way of dealing with their problems and resolutions. The soundtrack was amazing and is still something I listen to on a semi-regular basis, with almost all of the songs being from bands that were from Seattle or coming up in the Seattle scene. A great movie and a great soundtrack, both of which are worth watching and listening too.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

dark comedy, drama, movie, movie review, romance

June 20th, 2017 Movie – The Rules Of Attraction

the rules of attraction

Ahh, the memories of all of the random movies I was able to watch for free due to my old roommate. Back when she worked for Disney, my roommate would get advanced screening passes to all sorts of movies, even some that were not Disney films. Today’s movie was one of those movies and I remember enjoying it in the theaters so during a random movie buying binge several years ago, this wound up being one of those purchases. So let’s see if this movie is still enjoyable as I watch today’s movie, The Rules Of Attraction.

The plot: Lauren is attending the End of the World Party at Camden College and wants to lose her virginity to Victor but he had been having sex with her roommate Lara. So she ends up taking a film student upstairs to have sex with him but she passes out and when she comes too, she finds herself being raped by a “townie” while the film student films it on his camcorder. Paul is at the same party and stares across the room at Sean but ends up taking a jock up to his room to do some ecstasy. As the pills start to take effect, Paul tries to kiss the jock, who violently shoves him away and when Paul taunts him about being “closeted”, the jock throws him out of his room and spits on him. Sean sees Lauren taking the film student upstairs and rips up some letters written on purple paper. As he looks around the party, he heads towards a girl who he had sex with at the beginning of the term but when she asks him his name, he lies and says he is a freshman named Peter. Sean takes the girl back to his dorm and as they are having sex, he finds himself thinking that he can’t remember the last time he had sex while sober. Going back several months to the beginning of the school year, Sean checks his mail and receives a love letter written on purple paper. Later, Sean goes to see Rupert, his drug supplier, who is angry over the amount of money that Sean owes him and threatens to shoot him but Rupert’s friend, a Jamaican named Guest, tells him to leave Sean alone. When Sean says that all the new freshmen are coming to campus so he can charge them more for the drugs, Rupert agrees and allows Sean to leave but Sean has trouble getting his customers to pay the money that they owe him. At the Edge of the World Bonfire, Paul sees a guy, Mitchel, that he had flirted with before and continues flirting with him but Mitchel’s girlfriend shows up and tells Mitchel to take her back to her room. She invites Paul to join them but Mitchel tells her he can’t come. Paul goes to get a beer from the keg but Sean cuts in front of him and the two end up talking. Sean is only half paying attention to what Paul is saying and through miscommunication, Paul believes that Sean said he was bi and arranges to meet with him the next day. Saturday morning, Sean and Lauren both head to a Saturday morning class but the teacher is passed out in his office so the class is cancelled. Sean and Lauren start talking and after Lauren takes his sunglasses as she leaves, Sean pulls the letter from his pocket and thinks that she is the one writing to him. Meanwhile, Paul is getting ready for his supposed date with Sean when a friend bursts into his room saying another friend is overdosing and drags Paul away to help him. Paul reluctantly helps take the kid to the hospital and watches as his two friends panic over the fate of their friend. Elsewhere, Lauren is at her dorm looking through a book of venereal diseases in order to convince herself to not go to a party and hook up with a guy, though her roommate Lara tries to convince her to come. At the party, Lara talks with Sean for a while, who asks if Lauren is coming, and she explains about the book. Later, Sean is getting some more beer and Paul approaches him and apologizes for missing their date, then invites Sean back to his room to smoke pot. Lauren shows up at the party and asks Lara if she has seen Sean and when Lara tells her he went off with Paul, shoe worries at first but calms herself by thinking that he just went to sell Paul some pot. As Lara goes to hook up with a guy, Lauren’s teacher approaches her and asks about why she missed the tutorial on Saturday. Lauren accompanies him back to his house and they start making out but when she finds out he is married, she refuses to sleep with him but does end up giving him a blow job. Sean and Paul end up getting stoned in Paul’s room and Paul imagines sleeping with Sean. The next day, Paul receives a call from his mom telling him to come up to the city for the weekend and he asks Sean to give him a ride to the bus station. Returning to campus, Sean gets another love letter that says “Tonight is the night.” Meanwhile, Lauren and Lara are snorting cocaine in their dorm room and Lauren tells her that she plans on going all the way with Sean, saying that they have a connection. In the city, Paul meets up with Dick, the son of one of his mother’s friends, who will be joining them for dinner and ends up causing a scene at the restaurant before he leaves. Back at college, Sean attends a “dress to get laid” party and is talking to Lara as she snorts some more cocaine and when he asks about Lauren, she tells him that she isn’t coming and that she has a boyfriend. Sean ends up having sex with Lara but he imagines it is Lauren. Meanwhile, the girl who was writing the love letters is actually a student that works in the cafeteria. She sees Sean leave with Lara and ends up writing him a suicide note, then heads into the women’s bathroom and slits her wrists in one of the tubs. Lauren returns to her room and finds Sean finishing getting dressed and she slams the door as he tries to apologize and heads to the bathroom to cry, only to find the girl’s body. When Sean finds the suicide note, he tries talking to Lauren but she refuses to speak with him. When Lara tells him he is wasting his time, he ends up punching her, blaming her for what happened. Sean attempts to commit suicide through various methods but they all fail so he decides to fake it. Lauren shows up at his room and sees him lying in bed with fake blood and while Sean laughs at fooling her, she calls him sad and runs off. Victor, arrives back in town from Europe and he is telling Sean and Mitchel about his adventures in Europe. Victor asks Sean for some pot and Sean agrees to get him some but says Mitchel has to come with him. Sean and Mitchel head to Rupert’s house to get the pot but when they get there, Rupert demands his money. Sean gives him the money that Victor gave him but Rupert says it isn’t enough and ends up threatening Sean and Mitchel. A fight breaks out, with Sean cutting Guest’s hand, and Sean and Mitchel manage to escape and make it back to college, where Mitchel kicks Sean out of his car. Meanwhile, Lauren learns that Victor is back in town and heads to his dorm and runs into Sean, who tries to talk to her and asks to get to know her but she tells him he will never know her. Lauren reaches Victor’s dorm and knocks on the door and when he opens it, she hugs him and starts kissing him but Victor says he doesn’t know who she is and Lauren notices Lara jumping on Victor’s bed in her underwear. Paul sees Sean sitting on the steps at the stadium and tries talking to him, saying he wants to get to know him but Sean tells Paul that he will never know him and Paul starts yelling at Sean as he leaves. Sean goes and checks his mailbox but doesn’t find a letter inside. Rupert and Guest enter the mailroom and Sean tries to run but the stop him and proceed to give him a beating. Returning to the events at the beginning of the movie, Sean sees Lauren heading upstairs and then spies the blonde but it is shown that his sleeping with her was only a fantasy as Sean puts his drink down and leaves the party. Later, Lauren walks outside and runs into Paul, who is moping on the porch. The two start talking and Paul tells her that Sean loves her but Lauren says it doesn’t matter. Paul asks if she was the one writing Sean letters and Lauren tells him it was someone else, as the two watch Sean ride off on his motorcycle. As he rides, Sean starts a monologue about his thoughts on Lauren but it is cut off as the credits start to roll.

The Rules Of Attraction met with mixed to poor results from the critics, holding a 43% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that it is, ” A tiresome movie about unsympathetic college kids engaging in self-destructive behaviors.” The movie originally received an NC-17 rating so the director made cuts to the film in order to get an R rating, however those cuts were retained in some of the foreign releases of the movie. The movie was a mild success at the box office, earning $11.8 million off of a $4 million budget and has since garnered a bit of a cult following.

This is a pretty dark look at an aspect of college life that most people don’t necessarily want to think about. The acting was good, with James Van Der Beek (Sean), Shannyn Sossamon (Lauren), and Ian Somerhalder (Paul) doing good jobs in their roles. The story was really good and from what I remember, followed the novel it was based on pretty closely. Like I said, this movie essentially focused on the other aspect of college life that did not involve grades or sports, sex and drug use, though some aspects of this felt like something out of the 70’s. Especially Lauren hooking up with her teacher, which felt similar to what happened in Animal House. There wasn’t much special effects work in this movie, but they did have a pretty effective use of split screen camera work a couple of times, especially when Sean and Lauren first meet. It’s probably not going to be your first choice for a college themed movie but it is worth watching.

Rating: 3 out of 5

drama, Hitchcock, movie, movie review, romance, silent movie, sports

May 22nd, 2017 Movie – The Ring (1927)

the ring 1927

Two old school Hitchcock movies in a row. This is a great start to the week. So this is another of his early silent movies that had never heard of before. So this is going to be a little interesting for me because while I enjoy watching sports, I don’t necessarily like watching sports movies. Obviously there are some exceptions to that but in general, sports movies just don’t really hold my interest. So let’s see how this one does as I watch today’s movie, The Ring (1927).

The plot: A man and his friend are walking along the grounds of a fair when they approach a tent where the barker is challenging members of the crowd to compete in a boxing match with the athletes. As the barker is promoting the talents of “One Round” Jack Sanders, the man becomes infatuated with the ticket girl, Mabel, and begins flirting with her. When Jack notices this, he challenges the man to be one of the fighters and the man agrees. Inside the tent, Jack easily defeats his first two opponents and then proceeds to fight the man, but the man is more of a challenge than Jack expected. When the fight last longer than one round, Mabel, who was watching the fight through a flap in the tent, informs the barker and he begins selling more tickets for people to watch it. The man eventually beats Jack and he leaves with his friend but as he starts flirting with Mabel again, she is upset because Jack and her were going to get married but Jack might have lost his job after he lost. The man’s friend hands her a card, revealing his name to be James Ware and that the man is the World Heavyweight Champion boxer Bob Corby, whom he manages. James and Bob approach Jack later that night as Mabel tends to his wounds and James offers Jack a job in becoming Bob’s sparring partner providing he win a trial fight. As they are talking, Bob continues flirting with Mabel and she leads him outside the tent, as some people were staring at them. Outside, they walk behind a trailer and Bob gives her a bracelet that he bought from the prize money as a gift. Mabel give his a quick peck as thanks but Bob kisses her again and she allows it but then reluctantly breaks it off when she notices Jack and James looking for them. As they are saying their goodbyes, Mabel does her best to keep the bracelet covered up, though Bob sees this and sneakily tries to get her to reveal it to Jack. After they leave, Mabel goes to the fortune teller’s tent and asks to have her fortune read but Jack shows up and believes the fortune is about him. The next day, Jack is washing his face in the pond behind his trailer and Mabel goes to talk to him when the bracelet falls off her arm and into the pond. When Jack retrieves it, he questions her about it and she admits that Bob bought it for her because he didn’t want to take their money. Later that day, Mabel receives a telegram from Jack stating that he won his fight and he would meet her at the church the next day so they can get married. Jack and Mabel get married, though Mabel appears a little reluctant to do so and at the reception, Bob, who had attended the wedding, jokes about wishing Mabel was the prize in their fight. Jack says he will fight any man to defend his wife’s honor and an exhibition match is arranged, which Bob ends up winning. Jack notices Mabel flirting and gets upset but his trainer has him take out his frustrations on the punching bag. Later, Jack tells James he wants to challenge Bob for the championship but James says that he is too far down on the list of contenders and will need to work his way up. Jack begins winning his fights and at a party at James’ house, James informs Jack that if he wins his next fight, he will be the #1 contender for Bob’s title. Jack worries about leaving Mabel alone while he goes to the fight, as he fears she is having an affair with Bob, but James says that he was doing this for her and to trust that she will be there for him. Jack wins his fight and afterwards, sees the barker and some of his friends from the fair were there to watch the fight. As the talk about the upcoming fight with Bob, Jack invites them back to his house to celebrate his win and surprise Mabel. When they get there, they find that Mabel is out and Jack pours some champagne, saying she should be back soon and they will drink when she gets there. As it gets late and Mabel still doesn’t show, their friends say their goodbyes and leave while Jack waits up for Mabel to return. Looking out the window, Jack sees Mabel getting out of Bob’s car and when she enters the apartment, they end up getting into an argument over her affections towards Bob. Jack then heads to the club to confront Bob over his spending so much time with Mabel and when Bob tries to punch him, Jack blocks it and knocks Bob down, then tells James that Bob can try and get revenge in the ring. When Jack returns home, he finds that Mabel is gone, having left a note saying she is staying with people that know how to treat her. On the night of the big fight, Jack’s trainer and the barker notice Mabel heading into Bob’s dressing room and they decide not to tell Jack that she is there. As the fight is about to start, Jack keeps looking out into the crowd to see if he can catch sight of Mabel but he doesn’t see her. As the fight commences, Jack notices Mabel sitting in the front row in Bob’s corner and it distracts him to where Bob is able to get the upper hand. As the fight continues, Mabel begins to get worried about Jack and starts making her way over tho his side of the ring. During the rest period before the final round, Mabel manages to reach Jack’s corner and tells him she is there in his corner and when he sees her there, he gets a second wind and manages to knock out Bob, winning the championship. As Jack celebrates his win, Mabel apologizes to him and he accepts and as they hug, she sees Bob watching them in the corner and takes off the bracelet he gave her and leaves it on the ground, which Bob’s trainer returns to him after the fight.

The Ring (1927) received high praise from the critics, holding a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the critics all seem to feel like this was one of Hitchcock’s best silent films, praising all of the visual nuances and symbols used to tell a compelling story. Out of all of the movies that Hitchcock made over the years, this is the only original screenplay that Hitchcock wrote himself, having collaborated with other writers for all of his other films. The movie was a success during it’s initial release but when it received a more general release, it was considered a failure.

I have to admit, this was a pretty good movie. The acting was good, with Carl Brisson (Jack), Lillian Hall-Davis (Mabel), and Ian Hunter (Bob) doing good jobs in their roles, though I also liked Gordon Harker, who made for some funny comedic breaks as Jack’s trainer. The story was very good, with the main three actors showing a lot of emotions to help showcase the drama of the situation. To be honest, some aspects of the story and fight, primarily the whole underdog aspect, kind of feel a little similar to Rocky and makes me wonder of this might have influenced Stallone a little when he wrote that movie. The fights and camera angles during them did look a little off at times and didn’t seem as clear as the rest of the movie but that could have been intentional. Regardless, this is a great movie in it’s own right and definitely worth watching.

Rating: 4 out of 5

comedy, Hitchcock, movie, movie review, romance, thriller

May 21st, 2017 Movie – Rich And Strange

rich and strange

Ahh, I do love starting the day with a Hitchcock movie. Once more I find myself watching an early Hitchcock movie from the Legends Of Horror box set and am reminded of just how much I have been enjoying this collection. The only bad thing about all of this, if you can call it that, is that it has really made me want to buy several of his more well known movies. Well, maybe I can work on that at another time but for now, I’m going to focus on today’s movie, Rich And Strange.

The plot: After a rough day where nothing seems to go right for him, Fred Hill returns home to his wife Emily. As the two start to argue over finances, they receive a telegram from Fred’s uncle, who has decided to give them an advance of their inheritance so that they may, in Fred’s words, enjoy life a little more. Fred quits his job and the two decide to go on a cruise but as they are crossing the English Channel to Paris, Fred ends up getting sea sick. While in Paris, they decide to attend a show at the Folies Bergère but Emily wants to leave when somebody pinches her on the butt so the end up at a bar, where they proceed to get drunk and when they finally make it back to their hotel, they end up falling asleep on the floor with their heads on the beds. The next day, they board the ship to head to the Orient but Fred once again feels sea sick and heads down to their cabin, leaving Emily alone on the deck. While on the deck, she ends up meeting Commander Gordon and starts a friendship with him but as they spend more time together, they end up getting closer and Gordon kisses Emily on the deck before she heads back to her cabin. When Fred starts feeling better and is able to move about the ship, he goes for a walk on the deck and meets a German princess, who apologizes to him when she accidentally hits him in the eye with a rope ring from one of the deck games. As the voyage continues, Fred and Emily end up spending more time with their new partners and less time with each other. As the boat makes a stop in Columbo, they all head ashore, and Fred and Emily both tell their new lovers that they intend to dissolve their marriage and start new lives with the princess and Gordon respectively. When the boat arrives in Singapore, Emily leaves with Gordon and heads to his house. Along the way, Gordon tells Emily that the princess is really a con artist who is merely after Fred’s money and Emily, feeling bad about the way things became with her husband, leaves Gordon and heads off to warn Fred. Emily heads to Fred’s hotel and tries to warn him about the princess but Fred doesn’t believe her. As the two start to argue over everything that has happened between them during the trip, Fred leaves Emily crying in his room while he goes to locate the princess. As she is sitting there, a telegram from Gordon is delivered to her, stating that he understands her reasoning to stay with her husband. Fred returns, saying that the princess had run off onto a train for Rangoon and he finds a note stating that she was a simple street walker whose father owned a laundry in Berlin. Realizing that the fake princess took most of Fred’s money, they use what little they have left to pay the hotel bill and then book passage on a tramp steamer in order to return home. During the journey, the ship strikes something in the middle of the night and as everyone aboard begins to abandon ship, Fred and Emily find themselves trapped in their cabin as they see the water rushing up over the porthole. As they await their watery end, Fred and Emily apologize for how they have acted. In the morning, Fred and Emily discover that they are still alive and Emily opens the porthole so that they can climb up onto the deck and see where they are. They head into a nearby cabin to find some clothes, unaware that water has now started seeping into their cabin through the open porthole. When a Chinese junk appears and the crew begin looting the steamer, Fred and Emily manage to board the junk and the crew feeds them and tends to leave them alone. Fred and Emily eventually manages to make it back to London but as they get reacquainted to being home, they start arguing in the same fashion that they were before the telegram had arrived some months earlier.

Rich And Strange met with mostly positive results from the critics, holding a 70% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, most people felt that while it wasn’t one of his better films, it did provide a mature exploration of wandering affections and romantic betrayal. The movie was not a commercial success and most of this is attributed to the lack of dialogue, as the dialogue only occurs for about a quarter of the movie, and that there were several hold overs from the silent film style, such as scene captions and exaggerated acting styles.

Not exactly what I would prefer in a Hitchcock movie but it wasn’t that bad. The acting was decent, with Henry Kendall (Fred) and Joan Barry (Emily) doing good jobs in their roles for the most part. The story was interesting, pointing out something that can happen to every married couple if they stop paying attention to each other and work on strengthening their relationship, but the the mix between periods of dialogue and non speaking scenes and events made it a little difficult to fully grasp what all was going on. There wasn’t really any special effects as the movie used dialogue and situations to help carry the plot. An interesting take on relationships as only Hitchcock could tell.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

horror, movie, movie review, romance, zombie movie

May 16th, 2017 Movie – Return Of The Living Dead 3

return of the living dead 3

Another day, another zombie movie. Now today’s movie is one that I had actually chanced upon on cable back in the day, and honestly didn’t know that a third movie had come out in the series. I only got to watch a little bit of it at the time but I was curious enough to rent it so I could watch the whole thing. So let’s see if today’s movie was as entertaining as I remember as I watch Return Of The Living Dead 3.

The plot: At a top secret army facility, Colonel John Reynolds is escorting a corpse that is being carried to a secured room when he meets up with Colonel Peck, who introduces him to Col. Sinclair. Reynolds says he heard about Sinclair’s research involving an exoskeleton to contain the corpses and make them more effective in combat but feels his approach is still better. As they reach the room, Reynolds must use one of the soldier’s key cards as he apparently misplaced his at home. Meanwhile, Julie Walker is hanging out at the beach with her friend Mindy and some other friends when her boyfriend Curt Reynolds shows up. When Julie asks about it, Curt reveals that he stole his dad’s key card and heard that a big test was occurring that day so they decide to head to the base. After getting on base, they sneak inside the building his dad works in and make their way up on top of some containers, which they notice are sealed up to be air tight. After seeing a man burning body parts in a furnace, they head over to another container and see Curt’s father overseeing an experiment. A corpse is strapped into a suspension harness and then a hose is attached to a drum containing a zombie, which allows them to release the Trioxin gas from the drum and reanimate the corpse. The scientists then shoot the zombie with a special round containing a paralytic agent, successfully rendering the zombie immobile. Curt and Julie are shocked at what they saw and when they accidentally attract the attention of a patrolling guard, they quickly leave before they get caught. Meanwhile, the scientists place the zombie on a tabe and start to examine it when it suddenly bites the fingers off of one of the scientist, then proceeds to bash his head against the glass of the control room, eventually killing him. The other two scientist shoot it again and manage to strap it onto the table, but the scientist that was bitten suddenly turns and crawls over to the table and bites one of the other scientists. Reynolds orders the room to be sealed as Peck demands to know what happened. Sinclair says she will make the call to Washington, as she told the general that she would give her opinion on the project. At his house, Curt and Julie are having sex but Julie can’t stop talking about what they saw. When Reynolds comes home, he tells Curt they need to talk and has him come into his office. Reynolds tells Curt that he is being reassigned to Oklahoma City and they leave in a week but Curt refuses to go, saying he wants to stay with Julie. As the two argue even more about it, Curt storms off and tells Julie they are leaving. As the two are riding on Curt’s motorcycle, Julie is teasing Curt and making him lose control of the bike and when he swerves to avoid hitting a semi, they end up wrecking and Julie is thrown into a telephone pole. When Curt goes to check on Julie, he discovers that she is dead and he calls out for help but there is nobody around. Grief stricken, Curt heads back to the facility and makes his way inside to the room where they saw the experiment. Putting on a biosuit, Curt tries to hook the hose up to the drum to release the gas but when that doesn’t work, he simply pries off the lid of the drum. The gas revives Julie and as Curt explains what happens, they hear something and discover that the zombie that was inside the drum has revived and tries to attack them. They manage to get away but as they are leaving, a guard sees them but he is attacked and killed and Julie asks if that is what she is going to become. As they watch the video footage of what happened, Peck tells Reynolds that he put a state wide APB out on Curt and Julie, and they have a containment team standing by. They theorize that due to the strong bond between Curt and Julie, Julie won’t attack Curt yet but that could change when her brain shuts down. Meanwhile, Curt and Julie are trying to leave town but Julie has Curt stop so she can get some food. Heading inside a market, Julie starts grabbing some food items and eating them but quickly spits them out. As Curt tries to get Julie to stop, he accidentally pisses off a group of thugs that were playing a game at the back of the store. As the store owner goes to ensure no fighting occurs, one of the thugs hops the counter and starts emptying the cash register. When the owner pulls a gun out to stop them, the thugs manage to shoot the owner with his gun. As they are leaving, Julie bites one of the thugs in the arm so they shoot Curt’s bike before they leave. Hearing sirens on the way, Curt and Julie go to leave but when they see his bike is ruined, they get in the store owner’s van. The owner appears and asks that they drive him to the hospital and Curt agrees, just as the police arrive and start shooting at them. As they drive off, the police follow and keep shooting at them, killing the store owner when he tries to get them to stop. Curt manages to lose the police but when he turns around, he sees Julie eating the brains of the store owner and he gets her to stop. The police eventually find the van and approach it and end up attacked by the store owner, who kills one of the cops. Reynolds and the containment team show up and manage to stun the store owner before he kills the second cop but they find no sign of Julie or Curt. Curt and Julie are making their way through the sewers and Julie starts stabbing and cutting herself, saying the pain helps her feel better. Curt and Julie argue and Julie moves to jump off the rail of a bridge and Curt apologizes for what he said but Julie says that he shouldn’t have brought her back, then jumps off the bridge into the water below. Meanwhile, the thugs that were at the store go looking for Curt and Julie, as the man that Julie bit is getting sicker. At the same time, Sinclair shows up, having managed to push ahead her taking over of the project and orders no discrimination when it comes to containment but Reynolds defies her orders and goes looking for Curt. Curt makes his way down to the river and encounters a homeless man called Riverman, who saw what happened. and as they search the river, they find Julie’s body. Just then, the gang shows up and Riverman leads Curt and Julie into the sewers and has them hide in his home. As Julie lies down, Riverman asks Curt what is going on and Curt tells him that the gang shot someone and is now after them. Riverman goes to keep watch and when Curt asks how he can repay him, Riverman hands him a coin and says that if he sees someone in need, he should help them, then give them the coin, always paying it forward. Julie and Curt have sex and afterwards, Julie begins shoving nails and other items through her body, making it so that the constant pain will help keep her in control. Meanwhile, the gang find Riverman and begin torturing him to find out where Curt and Julie are. Curt goes out to help them but they overpower him. Just then, Julie emerges and Curt is shocked at what she has done to herself. Julie seduces Santos, the gangs leader, and ends up killing him, then kills another gang member, while the female gang member is killed by the gang member that Julie bit. As the gang members come back as zombies, Riverman, Julie, and Curt take shelter in Riverman’s home, then Curt and Riverman work on barricading the door. When the zombies star to come through, Curt tells Riverman to take Julie and leave while he holds them off but when he meets up with them, he finds that Julie has killed Riverman. As the zombies start to attack them, Reynolds and his team show up and manage to subdue the zombies, then Reynolds tells Curt to move so they can shoot Julie and he reluctantly does, then holds her as the paralysis kicks in. At the facility, Reynolds attempts to come up with some sort of reconciliation with Curt but is unable to answer when Curt asks about Julie, saying she is part of Sinclair’s project now. As they are leaving, they are stopped by Peck and Sinclair, who ask Reynolds not submit his report on Julie, though Reynolds argues with them that Julie shows they are able to retain their memories. As Curt wanders through the facility, he comes to the room where Julie and the other zombies are being kept. When the scientist says they are going to be turned into bioweapons, Curt goes to free Julie, knocking out the scientist in the process and attracting the attention of Sinclair and two other scientists, who are working on placing Riverman in an exoskeleton. The distraction allows Riverman to go free and he begins attacking the scientists and Sinclair, eventually causing the other zombies to be released. Curt manages to get through to Riverman and has him help them escape the room but as they try to get out of the facility, a zombie manages to bite Curt. As the whole building undergoes lockdown, Curt and Julie see Reynolds, who is trying to keep a door open so Curt can escape. Curt tells his dad that he can’t leave as the door shuts and Peck drags Reynolds away before he is trapped inside the building. Curt and Julie head to the furnace room and Curt activates the furnace, then they both step inside, with Curt saying they are where they belong as they kiss one last time before being burned.

Return Of The Living Dead 3 met with mixed results from the critics, holding a 44% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the critics that liked it said it was a fun bit of “schlock comedy” while the ones that didn’t like it called it boring and inept. According to director Brian Yuzna’s commentary, the studio did not require the movie to use the same actors or have the same comedic effect but the did want the zombies to eat brains. The movie only got a limited release in theaters, where it ended up flopping, only earning $54,207 of a $2 million budget.

Yeh, I honestly don’t know what to think of this movie. There were some good parts and some bad parts to this thing. The acting was ok, with Melinda Clarke (Julie) and J. Trevor Edmond (Curt) doing a good job in their roles. I also liked Sarah Douglas (Sinclair), but wish that she had a larger part than she did. The story was interesting, having some elements from the previous two movies, primarily the involvement of Trioxin and the zombies desiring brains, but unlike the previous movies, this time the bites would turn people into zombies. The main plot line of Curt and Julie’s relationship made for an interesting driving force for the movie but did get a bit overly sappy at times. The special effects were pretty good, as was the makeup for Julie when she turned herself into a zombie pincushion. There are better zombie movies out there, but at least this was better than the second movie.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

drama, Hitchcock, movie, movie review, romance

April 6th, 2017 Movie – The Manxman

the manxman

You know, it seems like every other movie in the Legends Of Horror box set is an early Hitchcock movie. Considering his film career, you could probably easily make a 50 movie box set of his movies alone. Don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying watching all of these old movies but I wish there was a little more variety in the set. But enough complaining, let’s get on with today’s movie, The Manxman.

The plot: In a small island fishing village, Pete Quilliam is a poor fisherman while his childhood friend Philip Christian is a up and coming lawyer. Whenever the fishermen come across legal troubles, Philip is always willing to help due to his friendship with Pete. The two head to the local tavern, where they are both interested in Kate Creegan, the owner’s daughter. Pete wants to ask Kate’s father, Old Caesar, for her hand in marriage and asks Philip to speak on his behalf. Philip speaks with Caesar about allowing Kate to marry Pete but Caesar refuses, telling Pete to leave because he is a penniless lout. Pete is angered over Caesar’s dismissal and vows to make him eat those words. Pete decides to travel to Africa and make his money abroad and rushes to tell Kate, with Philip reluctantly coming with him. Calling out to Kate until she answers, Pete stands on Philip’s shoulders so he can talk to Kate and tells her he is leaving for Africa and asks if she will wait for him. She agrees to wait for him and gives him a kiss before closing the blinds on him. As she peeks down on the two, she sees Pete telling Philip that she would wait for him and asking Philip to look after her but Kate suddenly seems nervous and goes to call out to them but the two men have already left. While Pete is gone, Philip begins calling on Kate almost every day and the two end up being attracted to one another. Philip’s mother says that his father ruined his career by marrying beneath him and she doesn’t want to see his chances of becoming Deemster, the island’s chief magistrate, and says he should break off his affair with Kate. Philip heads to the bar intending to do just that but he finds it full of the local fishermen and wonders what is going on. Caesar hands him a telegram, saying that Pete is dead, and Caesar says he might have been wrong about Pete and Kate as she hasn’t said a word to anyone. Philip goes to see Kate who tells him that they are now free and shouldn’t feel guilty about what they are doing. Meanwhile, Pete was still alive in Africa and had made his fortune. He writes a letter to Philip telling him he will be coming back and not to tell Kate, but Philip and Kate have begun to have a physical affair at an old mill. When Philip receives Pete’s telegram, he asks Kate to meet him and tells her the news. Kate says that she is glad Pete is alive but she doesn’t love him but Philip says she was promised to him and they have to end things as they watch the ship carrying Pete head towards port. Heading back to the tavern, Kate has Philip go inside first, as she is unable to face Pete just yet. Philip does and Pete embraces his friend before asking about Kate. Kate shows up and Pete embraces her before the two are led away by Caesar, who is happy to have Kate marry Pete now. The two are wed at the old mill where Philip and Kate had been having their affair and during the reception, Caesar gives a warning to them about dishonoring their vows, saying God will punish them. Kate goes through with the wedding but she can’t stand to be with Pete, as she is in love with Philip. Several weeks go by and Philip, who had gone on holiday after the wedding, is set to be appointed Deemster. Kate sends a note to Philip saying she must speak with him before the fishing fleet comes back. When Philip comes over, Kate begs him to take her away and when he asks why, she tells him she is pregnant with his child. Philip asks why she didn’t say anything sooner and she tells him he thought more of his career than her feelings. Kate insist that he take her away but Philip refuses, worrying about the shame they would face if what they did was known. Pete returns home and Kate starts to tell him the truth but seeing Philip walk away, she merely tells him that she is pregnant. Pete is excited and calls Philip back to tell him the news but as Pete turns his back, both Kate and Philip have sorrowful expressions on their faces. Time passes and Kate gives birth to a daughter, while Philip is made Deemster. After giving thanks to the crowd when he makes Deemster, Kate goes to see Philip and tells him that she left Pete and wants to be with him. Meanwhile, Pete returns home to find Kate missing and had left a note saying that she had loved another man and still loved him, leaving Pete with the baby. Pete is heartbroken but tells everyone that Kate had a rough time and was on vacation while he cares for the baby. Philip feels guilty when Pete tells him the news while Caesar finds the note Kate wrote but chooses not to say anything when Pete sees him with it. Meanwhile, Kate had been hiding in Philip’s office and wants Philip to run off with her but he refuses to ruin his career by doing so. Distraught, Kate returns to he home and Pete is excited to see her and have her back but she tells him she isn’t staying. Kate tells Pete that she is there for the baby and Pete refuses to let her have it. Kate then says that the baby isn’t his but he refuses to believe her and still won’t let her take the baby, grabbing the baby and locking themselves in the bedroom. Feeling completely hopeless, Kate leaves the house and decides to try and commit suicide by throwing herself off the harbor into the water below. Kate is rescued by a police officer and, charged with attempted suicide, brought before Philip’s court. Philip is shocked to see Kate there when suddenly, Pete, Caesar, and several of the fishermen enter the courtroom. Pete asks Philip to let him speak on her behalf and Philip agrees and after listening to Pete beg to have her released back to his care, Philip agrees to it but Kate refuses to go. Caesar, who figured out that Philip was the other man, accuses Philip and Philip admits to it, removing his powdered wig and vacating his position. Philip and Kate go to the house to pick up the baby and Pete kisses her goodbye and as Philip and Kate leave the island, facing the jeers of all the villagers who were watching from the windows, Pete sits at the table and cries as he has now lost everything, before returning to the sea with a haunted look in his eye.

The Manxman met with high praise from recent critics, holding a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the critics seem to feel that, several critics seemed to like the story but admit this isn’t one of Hitchcock’s masterpieces. Hitchcock’s last silent movie, he began filming this movie two weeks after his daughter Patricia was born. Two key lines in the movie, where Kate tells Philip, and later Pete, that she is haing a baby, did not have intertitles to go with them and instead, the audience was left to read her lips to know what was being said.

To be honest, I am feeling a little indifferent towards this movie, but it is not a bad movie. The acting was pretty good, with Carl Brisson (Pete), Malcolm Keen (Philip), and Anny Ondra (Kate) doing great jobs in their roles, putting a lot of expression and emotion into their performances. The story was ok, though pretty predictable for the most part. I know it was based on a novel by the same name, but I wished Hitchcock could have added a little more suspense to it. The camera work was pretty good, showing plenty of close ups to help emphasize the emotions from the main actors. Definitely not something you would expect from Hitchcock but worth giving a shot if you want to see some of his early works.

Rating: 3 out of 5