drama, fantasy, movie, movie review, romance

October 15th, 2018 Movie – Ghost

ghost

Ok, another movie from the free gift collection. Once again, I have a movie that is not something I would have sought out and bought on my own, but this time I have a movie that I have seen before. This is due to my mom, who is a huge Patrick Swayze fan, and her renting many of his movies while I was a child. Now I remember seeing this movie back in the day and the main thing I remembered from it, aside from the potter’s wheel scene that has been parodied over and over again, was the shadow demons that dragged people to Hell. Now, I was a teenager when I first saw this movie and really didn’t think much of it. Let’s see if some growing up on my part will change things as I watch today’s movie, Ghost.

The plot: Sam Wheat and his girlfriend Molly Jensen buy and renovate an old apartment building to live in, with Sam’s friend and coworker Carl Bruner helping them out. As the renovations progress and they move into the building, Sam is worried as he says that every time things start looking up for him, something happens to ruin it. A few days later, Sam is at his office going over several accounts that he manages and notices that several of them have more money in them then he should. He tells Carl about this and Carl offers to help Sam look into it but Sam declines the offer, choosing to tackle it himself. That night, Sam and Molly go to the theater to see Macbeth and as they are walking home, Molly tells Sam that she wants to marry him but as they discuss it, they see someone stepping out of the shadows of a nearby alley and decide to keep walking. The man follows them and as Sam turns to confront them, the man pulls a gun on him and demands his wallet. Molly tells Sam to give him the wallet but when the mugger strikes her, Sam starts struggling with him while Molly calls out for help. After a while, the mugger runs off and Sam chases him for a little but when he returns to Molly, he finds her kneeling down cradling his body. As some people come to help her, they pass right through Sam and he sees a light shining down from the sky close by him but Sam hears Molly crying out not to leave her and he walks away from the light and towards her. Sam follows Molly to the hospital and as she goes to speak with the police about what happened, Sam is approached by an old man. The old man starts speaking to Sam, who is shocked that he can see him, and the old man reveals himself to be a ghost, like Sam is, and starts to explain things to him when they see a commotion in another operating room and the old man says that the patient won’t make it and as they watch, they see the light that Sam saw earlier shine on the patient and his spirit moves out of his body and is absorbed into the light. A funeral is held for Sam and afterwards, Molly is still depressed over his death, talking to him as if he is there, unaware that Sam’s ghost is watching her. Some time later, Molly and Carl are going through Sam’s things and Carl convinces her to get out of the house for a little bit. Sam tries to follow after them but is nervous about going through objects, when he hears someone putting a key into the lock. Sam backs away from the door, thinking it is Molly coming back, but is shocked to see it is the mugger. An enraged Sam tries to attack the mugger but is unable to touch him as the mugger begins searching the apartment for something. When Molly returns, the mugger ducks out of sight, then moves towards the bedroom to attack her but Sam is able to frighten the cat, as it can sense him, into attacking the mugger, causing him to run off. Sam decides to follow the mugger as he heads to the subway and boards a train but as Sam is on the train with the mugger, another ghost sees him and quickly approaches Sam, grabbing him and throwing him out of the car. The ghost then breaks the window, shocking Sam, and tells him that it is his train and to go somewhere else. Sam continues following the mugger to his apartment, where he learns the mugger’s name is Willy Lopez, and watches as Willy makes a call, telling the person on the other end that he couldn’t get what he was after but he will try again in a couple of days. Feeling helpless to protect Molly, Sam wanders the streets on his way back to the apartment when he sees a shop for Oda Mae Brown, a self proclaimed psychic, and he heads inside, only to find that Oda Mae is a fraud. Sam starts laughing about her scam when Oda Mae suddenly starts hearing him, shocking Sam. After causing Oda Mae to scare off her customer, Sam starts talking to Oda Mae and convinces her to call Molly and warn her about Willy. Oda Mae reluctantly agrees and calls Molly but when she tells her that she has a message from Sam, Molly hangs up. Sam tells Oda Mae to go see her, singing all night when she refuses, and Oda Mae heads over to the apartment. When Molly refuses to see her, Oda Mae starts yelling out things that only Sam would know, convincing Molly that she is telling the truth. Molly is still skeptical about the whole deal, thinking Oda Mae is using people’s grief to play a trick on them but when Oda Mae says that Sam says “ditto”, which is how he always responded when she said that she loved him, Molly realizes she is telling the truth. Sam has Oda Mae tell Molly about Willy and how he it wasn’t a random mugging and that he was murdered but when Oda Mae learns that Willy lives in her neighborhood, she gets scared and refuses to help anymore. Molly goes to see Carl and tells him about what Oda Mae said regarding Sam and Willy and Carl is skeptical but he says he will check it out. Sam follows Carl as he heads to Willy’s apartment but is shocked to learn that Carl knows Willy. Sam learns that Carl is laundering money for drug dealers and has $4 million that he needs to transfer to a fake account or else the dealers will kill him, which is why he wanted Willy to steal Sam’s address book which has all of his account passwords for work, as Sam had changed them before he died. Molly goes to the police and tells them about what Sam told her through Oda Mae but they don’t have a record on Willy but do have one on Oda Mae, as she has been charged. While Molly is out, Carl sneaks into her place and steals the address book and heads back to work, where he proceeds to call the dealer and is told to transfer the money to a single account under the name Rita Miller, all of which Sam sees. That night, Carl heads over to Molly’s place and attempts to seduce her but as he moves to kiss her, Sam leaps at them and ends up knocking a picture off the nearby table, causing Molly to stop Carl. Realizing there might be a way to stop Carl and Willy, Sam heads to the subway and searches for the ghost he encountered earlier and begs him to teach him how to interact with objects. After trying to get rid of Sam, the ghost eventually agrees to teach him, revealing that Sam’s problem is that he keeps thinking he is real and needs to focus with his mind. Sam is eventually able to interact with objects and heads over to see Oda Mae, only to discover that there are several ghosts in there with him. When Sam tries talking to her, Oda Mae yells at him about the ghosts all coming to see her now when one of the ghosts possesses her in order to talk to his dead wife. Oda MAe eventually kicks the ghost out of her and when the ghost complains about not being able to move, another ghost comments on possessing someone draining all of their energy. Oda Mae kicks everyone out of the room but as she goes to sit down, Willy shows up. Sam shouts out a warning to Oda Mae and she ducks into her trick closet while Willy shoots up the place, then leaves. Sam tells Oda Mae that they will come after her again but he knows how to get them to stop and she agrees to help in order to keep herself and her sisters safe. The next day, Sam has Rita dress in a nice outfit and use some of her fake ID’s to pretend to be Rita Miller and close out the account before Carl can transfer the money to a bank in Nassau. As they are finishing, Molly enters the bank to have lunch with Carl and Sam uses his abilities to knock some papers off the desk to distract her but Molly still notices her and questions the banker about what she was doing there. After they leave the bank, Oda Mae starts trying to figure out how to spend the money but Sam tells her that he never said she could keep the money and convinces her to sign it over to a charity. Meanwhile, Carl tries to transfer the money only to find that the account is closed and as he tries to figure out what happened, Sam starts taunting him, typing out “Murderer” and “Sam” on the computer. Carl heads over to Molly’s place to ask her about what happened when she thought Sam was there and Molly says it doesn’t matter as Oda Mae was a fraud and had closed out an account at the bank. Realizing what happened, Carl fakes being sick and asks Molly for some medicine. When she leaves, Sam starts taunting Carl but he threatens to kill Molly unless Oda Mae brings the check back to Molly’s place by 11 that night, then rushes off. Sam heads to Oda Mae’s place to warn her and when Carl and Willy show up, Oda Mae and her sisters quickly tun and hide in another apartment. Carl and Willy enter Oda Mae’s apartment and finding them not there, start searching for them but Sam uses his powers to frighten Willy, who eventually ends up being struck by a car. As Willy’s spirit recovers and stares at his body, Sam calls out to him and tells him he is dead. Suddenly, shadowy beings appear and grab Willy, dragging him screaming down to Hell. Sam and Oda Mae head back to Molly’s to warn her and when she refuses to open the door for them, Sam tells Oda Mae to puch a penny under the door and he makes it slide up the door and float over to Molly, convincing her that Sam really is there. Molly calls the police and asks them to show up and then talks with Sam through Oda Mae when Oda Mae tells Sam he can use her body to interact with Molly. Sam possesses Oda Mae and he and Molly share a dance but when Carl shows up and starts banging on the door, the surprise shocks Sam out of Oda Mae. Sam is too weak to move and Oda Mae tells Molly they should escape out the fire escape as Carl shoots out the lock and chases after them. He manages to catch up to them and grabs Oda Mae, threatening to shoot her if she doesn’t give him the check but she tells him she gave it away. Sam arrives and knocks the gun from Carl’s hand but he grabs it and threatens to kill Molly but Sam knocks the gun away again. Carl attempts to escape but Sam continues attacking him and when Carl throws a hook on a rope at Sam, the hook swings back and shatters a window, with one of the shards impaling Carl. Carl’s spirit leaves his body and as he stares at Sam, the shadow beings appear and drag him to hell. Sam asks Oda Mae and Molly if they are all right and Molly can hear Sam now, as the light appears and Sam is revealed to both of them. Sam kisses Molly and when Oda Mae says it is time he goes home, he thanks her for her help, then tells Molly he loves her before walking into the light.

Ghost met with mostly positive reviews from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 74% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Ghost offers viewers a poignant romance while blending elements of comedy, horror, and mystery, all adding up to one of the more enduringly watchable hits of its era.” Molly tells Sam that he “leads a charmed life”. This is a line from William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Macbeth also claims to lead a charmed life, meaning he cannot be killed. Immediately after making this claim, however, he is killed while Sam is killed after seeing a production of Macbeth. The movie was a massive hit at the box office, earning $505.7 million off of a $22 million budget and was nominated for 5 Academy Awards, winning the awards for Best Supporting Actress (Whoopi Goldberg) and Best Original Screenplay.

Well, this still isn’t something I would watch on a regular basis but I will admit that it was a good movie. The acting was good, with Patrick Swayze (Sam) and Demi Moore (Molly) doing good jobs in their roles but Whoopi Goldberg pretty much stole the show as Oda Mae. I also liked Tony Goldwyn (Carl) as his desperate antics to get the money actually made him an effective bad guy. The story was pretty decent, mixing a good amount of drama with some comedy aspects to keep it from being too depressing. One thing I didn’t particularly care for is that the were too obvious at times in setting something up. Case in point, when Sam is working on figuring out where the deposits were coming from, Carl offers to help and when Sam refuses the help, Carl asks what he and Molly are doing that night. About the only way you could have made it more obvious that something was going to happen and Carl was involved was if you had a giant, flashing, neon sign saying “MAIN BAD GUY” floating over his head. The special effects with the ghosts were pretty neat in how they kind of absorbed the properties of what they were moving through. However, there were some times where the blue screening between the ghosts and the living was a little off, making it look really fake. Definitely one of the more memorable romance/dramas to come out in the last couple of decades and one that is worth watching if you get the chance.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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comedy, fantasy, horror, movie, movie review

January 20th, 2018 Movie – Tales From The Crypt: Bordello Of Blood

tales from the crypt- bordello of blood

I hate having to go to work on s Saturday, as it kind of throws my whole day off. Anyways, today’s movie is the second in the Tales From The Crypt trilogy and, like it’s predecessor, I never saw it in theaters. However, I had many opportunities to see this movie as it seemed to always be on TBS, TNT, and just about every other cable channel around during the late 90’s. Anyways, about the same time as I picked up Demon Knight, I decided to go ahead and pick up today’s movie as well. So let’s have some fun with today’s movie, Tales From The Crypt: Bordello Of Blood.

The plot: Opening – In Tierra del Fuego, a dwarf named Vincent Prather leads an expedition team deep into the jungle and has his workers start digging into a a cavern. After they all lower themselves down, they find a casket and open it to discover the skeletal remains of Lilith, the mother of all vampires. His men think he is mad to lead them there, but Vincent explains that he scoured the Earth for the 4 pieces of her heart so he can give it back to her. Opening a box and removing the barriers, the heart merges into a single organ and Vincent places it inside the skeleton, where it begins to regenerate the skeleton. Lilith begins to attack and kill three of the men, almost completely healing herself, but when she goes to attack Vincent, he pulls out the Demon Key (from Demon Knight), and says that whoever holds the key controls her. Vincent then asks if she will behave after finishing off the last guy and Lilith answers, Anything for you, lover.” then kills the man as he tries to climb to safety.

Prologue – The Mummy is finishing telling a story to the Crypt Keeper while they are having lunch. After briefly saying hi to a guy named Jack, who is also in the movie business, the Mummy asks the Crypt Keeper if he wants to play a high stakes game of rock, paper, scissor. The Crypt Keeper agrees and when he loses, the Mummy cuts off his hand with a cleaver. The Crypt Keeper laughs and says it doesn’t hurt and when the Mummy asks if he is ready for Round 2, the Crypt Keeper agrees, then addresses the audience and introduces the movie.

Main movie – Katherine Verdoux is arguing with her brother Caleb about his music and when he makes plans to leave, she begs him to stay in but he ignores her and goes out with his friends. After hanging out at a bar with his friends, he decides that they should leave and try to get laid. A stranger at the bar, Jenkins, tells them to head to a nearby funeral home if they want to get laid and Caleb and his friend Reggie head out while there other two friends stay behind. When they reach the funeral home, they are greeted by a mortician, McCutcheon, who directs them towards a coffin and tells them to get inside. When they refuse, he forces them in at gunpoint and sends it towards the cremation oven, but it is really the secret entrance to a brothel. Inside, Caleb and Reggie are approached by two women, who take them to separate rooms but before Reggie can get started, Lilith enters the room and explains that the girls’ job is to get them warmed up so she can finish them off, then proceeds to kill Reggie, then Caleb. Several days later, Katherine is at the police station trying to file a missing person’s report on Caleb but they refuse to help her, saying that they have too many cases. She is approached by Rafe Guttman, a private investigator whose office is in an old adult theater. Katherine is hesitant to hire Rafe but he persists and she finally relents and agrees to hire him, giving him the name of some of Caleb’s friends to go to for information. Rafe tracks down Caleb’s friends and after pestering them, he gets the address for the brothel they went to. When he goes there, he finds a funeral taking place, with McCutcheon presiding over the services, and notices Jenkins slathering himself with sunblock. Meanwhile, Katherine has gone to her job at Current Ministries, where she works for J.C. Current and as they are talking, Vincent appears, saying he has some blueprints for Current to sign. Rafe heads to Current Ministries and, after briefly being introduced to Current, he tells Katherine what he learned about her brother and she thanks him for his time and pays him. Rafe heads to the bar and laments about losing a chance to start something with Katherine and Jenkins starts telling him about the brothel. Rafe heads to the funeral home and tells McCutcheon the phrase Jenkins told him but McCutcheon tells him to come back tomorrow. Sensing something strange going on, Rafe climbs up to the second floor and hears Lilith talking to a woman and later, after avoiding McCutcheon, he hears the woman scream and a body hitting the floor. When Lilith heads downstairs, Rafe quickly hides to avoid being seen, then heads towards the back room where the bodies are worked on and finds one of Caleb’s earrings. Rafe heads back to Current Ministries, where Katherine and Current are not happy to see him, but Rafe hands Katherine the earring before walking off. Katherine catches up to him and apologizes, then asks if they should go to the police but Rafe says the police will want more proof before they act so he is going back there to try and get another look. That night, Rafe heads back to the funeral home just as Jenkins gets there and McCutcheon allows Rafe to go in, yelling at Jenkins to wait there. After getting out of the coffin, Rafe is met by Tamara and taken to a part of the home intended for BDSM. Meanwhile, Lilith goes to talk with Jenkins, who is complaining about the process turning him into a vampire hurting, and she ends up taring off his head. Back in the BDSM room, Rafe manages to turn the tables on Tamara and lock her in the restraints, then quickly leaves the room but accidentally drops his wallet. Rafe makes his way out of the greeting room and hides in a coffin to avoid being seen by McCutcheon but does a double take when he sees that Jenkin’s body was also in the coffin. Lilith frees Tamara and licks Rafe’s blood from her fingers, saying it is a rare blood type. After noticing Rafe’s wallet on the ground, Lilith heads over to his office and attempts to seduce him, but Rafe is able to resist her just as Katherine shows up and Katherine is disgusted by Rafe being with Lilith and says she is going to the police and Rafe follows after her, attempting to explain what was going on. At the police station, the sheriff doesn’t believe Rafe’s story, then informs Katherine that Rafe’s PI license had been suspended a year ago. Humoring them, the sheriff takes them to the funeral home and McCutcheon allows them in but when Rafe is unable to show them the secret entrance to the brothel, Katherine believes he is a fraud and leaves with the sheriff. On the second floor, Lilith and Vincent watch Rafe leave and Vincent asks if he should kill Rafe but Lilith says to let him be, then speaks with Vincent about changing their operation. At Current Ministries, Katherine asks Current about doing an expose on his religious channel about the sin of lust and Current agrees to it. Later that night, Current discovers that Vincent had stolen the money from his safe and tracks him down to a strip club, where he is sitting in a booth with Lilith. Current approaches them and it turns out that he was the one who sent Vincent with the key to retrieve Lilith for his own ends but Lilith wants to change the plan. When Katherine appears at the strip club to interview some of the patrons, Current and Vincent quickly leave before she can spot them but Katherine notices Lilith and talks to her before she is escorted outside. In the alley behind the club, Current and Vincent start to argue when Lilith grabs Current. Current tells Vincent to give him the key but Vincent throws it to the ground, causing it to explode, and Lilith says she is going to let Current live knowing he is powerless to stop them. Meanwhile, Rafe had observed a funeral procession and noticed the pallbearers struggling with the coffin when they were placing it in the mausoleum. Sneaking in that night, he opens the coffin to discover Jenkin’s body in there with another man’s and quickly takes some pictures. The next day, Rafe takes the developed pictures to show Katherine, who only sees one body in there, and Rafe tries to explain that there were two bodies as he is being thrown out. Turning back to her TV monitor, Katherine and her editor are going over the video she took at the club when Katherine notices that Lilith is not on camera when she should have been. Katherine takes the tape to Rafe and as he is watching it, he notices Current and Vincent in the background. As they try to figure things out, Katherine gets a phone call from Caleb, saying he needs help and ask to meet them at the power plant. When they get there, they find Caleb’s body lying on the ground but when Rafe goes to check on him, he finds that Caleb has become a vampire. Rafe and Katherine try to run but Rafe ends up falling out the window and onto the sheriff’s car while Katherine is captured by McCutcheon and Vincent. When Rafe regains consciousness, he finds himself strapped to the hospital bed but gets free just as Tamara kills the sheriff. Rafe starts fighting with Tamera and during the course of the fight, her uniform is ripped and when she gets exposed to the sunlight, she explodes. At the funeral home, Katherine pleads with Caleb to let her go but Caleb says he likes being a vampire, just as Lilith arrives and starts to feel Katherine up, planning on making her one of her girls. In the foyer, Current arrives to talk with Lilith but McCutcheon and Vincent don’t believe him and plan on killing him. Suddenly, Rafe drives his car into the funeral home, running over McCutcheon, then shoots Vincent. When he questions Current’s loyalties, Current admits her is there to stop Lilith. Rafe hands Current a water gun filled with Holy Water but Current says that won’t work on Lilith, as they need to cut her heart out of her chest. Heading into the brothel, Rafe and Current begin shooting the women with Holy Water, causing them all to burst into flames and explode. As Rafe deals with Caleb, Current goes to rescue Katherine only to discover it is Lilith in disguise, who stabs him with his own knife. Rafe manages to injure her with an axe but she pulls her body together and quickly diappears before he can do any further damage. Rafe finds Katheirne and, after checking her neck to make sure she wasn’t bitten, unties her and they go check on Current, who dies from his wounds. Heading to Current Ministries, they come up with a plan to expose the vampires to the world but Lilith shows up to stop them, handcuffing Rafe to a railing before attacking Katherine. Rafe manages to activate the crucifix laser, burning Lilith’s chest, but she tells him that it won’t work and approaches him to finish him off. Before she can kill him, Katherine stabs her in the chest with a pitchfork, sending her heart flying out of her chest and finally destroying Lilith. The next day, they cremate Lilith’s remains so that she can never come back and as they leave, Katherine starts flirting with Rafe. Reacting to her advances, Rafe starts kissing her but when he smells something funny, he asks her about her perfume. She tells him it isn’t perfume, but sunblock, just as he discovers a bite mark on her thigh, and Katherine grabs him and bites into his neck.

Epilogue – The Crypt Keeper jokes about how if Rafe and Katherine got married, she would know what is eating him, “she is.” It is then revealed that the Crypt Keeper has gotten the better of the Mummy in their game, as the Mummy is down to just his head.

Tales From The Crypt: Bordello Of Blood was panned by the critics, holding a 12% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Bordello of Blood is not as scary or funny as it thinks it is (or should’ve been), and all of Dennis Miller’s lines sound like castoffs from his stand-up material.” William Sadler’s cameo as the Mummy was similar to a role he played in an actual episode of Tales From The Crypt titled “The Assassin”. In it, Sadler played the Grim Reaper and  got into a high stakes game of chance with the Crypt Keeper, even taking his hand during the game. The movie was a box office bomb, earning $5.8 million, and caused the studio to cancel plans for releasing a third movie.

This is a ridiculous movie to watch but it does have some funny parts to it. The acting was ok, with Dennis Miller being his usual sarcastic self but I was pretty unimpressed with everyone else, though the Whoopi Goldberg cameo was kind of funny. The story honestly felt weak, seeming to be about as contrived of a vampire movie as you could expect to find. The worst part was the deal with the key, as it was made to be this powerful artifact in the Demon Knight but seemed to be reduced to a trinket that was easily destroyed in this movie. The special effects were not as good as felt they could have been, as the make-up effects didn’t look that good at times, especially when the vampires were being killed by Rafe and Current. On the whole, it is kind of disappointing but can be fun to watch just because of it’s ridiculousness.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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