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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Friday The 13th Movie Guide

With The Friday The 13th remake coming out in a couple of months, I have noticed an increase in people looking for the previous installments. This guide will let you know what to watch and what to avoid, at least in my humble opinion.

Friday The 13th (
1980): Years after a horrific double murder, Camp Crystal Lake is ready to reopen. But someone out there is determined not to let that happen.

The Good: This is a pretty taut and scary installment with genuine scares and great atmosphere. If the ending hasn't been spoiled for you then you will be shocked.

The Bad: Absolutely nothing.

Notable Cast Members: Kevin Bacon stars as one of the counselors.

Friday The 13th Part 2 (1981): Five years after the first installment, the ill-fated camp is ready to open. But that is easier said than done.

The Good: Amy Steel as the main heroine Ginny is awesome. Out of all the final girls on the series, she is one of the best. Her character is stronger and sympathetic of Jason which helps her out in the end.

The Bad: Too many characters. They are hard to tell apart and do not warrant the screen time given to them. In fact one character that seems to have a big plot merely disappears never to be seen again. What was the point then?

Notable Stars: Soap Stars Lauren-Marie Taylor and Russell Todd appear as counselors.

Friday The 13th Part 3 (1982) : A former victim of Jason's decides to return to her summer cabin in order to face her fears. But this time she isn't just facing Jason, she's facing him in 3D.

The Good: This film is notable only for being the first to feature Jason is his now iconic hockey mask

The Bad: Let's start with the 3D. Watching it sans 3D glasses is painful and annoying. The acting is atrocious and there are numerous boring scenes that only existed to show off the 3D effects. And was a vengeful biker gang really necessary.

Notable Stars: It should speak for the talent of this cast that most of them are no longer is show business.

Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter (1984): A presumed dead Jason manages to escape the hospital where he was taken in Part 3. He heads right back to his former hunting grounds and the oblivious teens that are there. But has he met his match?

The Good: The acting is a lot higher quality than a majority of the sequels. The kills are more creative. And to top if off this movie actually bears some continuity to the previous films, one of the characters is the brother of a character killed in the first film. Corey Feldman is amazing in the lead role of Tommy Jarvis.

The Bad: Again with the multitude of characters, just because it gives Jason more bodies to hack through doesn't warrant their existence.

Notable Stars: Corey Feldman, Crispin Glover, Peter Barton, and Camilla Moore star.

Friday The 13th: A New Beginning (1985): Tommy Jarvis, who never recovered from his encounter with Jason moves to a halfway house in the woods. But everywhere he looks he sees Jason. Is Jason back or is it all in Tommy's mind?

The Good: It made Part 3 look better in comparison. Shavar Ross is pretty entertaining and watchable.

The Bad: Mediocre acting, completely unpleasant characters that are unwatchable, and the ending which I am going to spoil for you right now. The killer is not Jason but a copycat killer, a human copycat killer who still somehow has Jason's super strength.

Notable Stars: Shavar Ross, as previously mentioned and Corey Feldman does a cameo.

Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986): After being released from the mental institution, Tommy Jarvis returns to Crystal Lake to ensure that Jason doesn't rise from the grave. All he succeeds in doing is resurrecting him and now Tommy must convince a town that's trying to forget that their worst nightmare has returned.

The Good: The entire movie. This film is a perfect synergy of good acting, comedy, and some of the most creative deaths in Friday The 13th's history. This is defintely one of the Friday films not to miss.

The Bad: Absolutely nothing.

Notable Stars: Jennifer Cooke, Thom Matthews , Renee Jones, and Michael Swan

Friday The 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988): A telekinetic teen inadvertently resurrects Jason from his watery grave. Her warnings fall on deaf ears and she realizes that only she has the power to send him back.

The Good: Creative kills, not as creative as the previous installment but still memorable.

The Bad: Lar Par Lincoln is simply awful in the lead role. Her character comes off as just completely helpless and the facial expressions she makes while using her powers are comical. The ending is simply cheesy and tacked on.

Notable Stars: Kevin Spirtas, Terry Kiser, Staci Greason, and Elizabeth Kaitan

Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989): A group of graduates are taking a cruise to New York. However they've just picked up a murderous stowaway who plans to paint Manhattan red.

The Good: It was refreshing to see the films leave the all too familiar woods, even if it was shot in Vancouver and purported to be New York. The Opening song is all kinds of '80s awesomeness. There were also some pretty funny scenes.

The Bad: Way, way, too many characters. If you have a character that will literally spend less than ten minutes on the screen before being killed, they are not worth it. The ending was stupid, confusing and never explained.

Notable Stars: Jensen Daggett, Scott Reeves, and Kelly Hu.

Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday
(1993): After years of terror, Jason has finally been caught and destroyed. But true evil never dies and Jason begins possessing people in order to get to his long lost sister and be reborn.

The Good: Good action scenes, some great comedic moments, and some decent acting. It was nice to see the films touch on the family of Jason. Actor Steven Williams plays bad ass bounty hunter that should've been in Freddy Vs. Jason and every other Jason movie as long as the actor lived.

The Bad: The Freddy bit at the end was cheesy and there was a sex scene just randomly thrown in there that frankly didn't belong.

Notable Stars: Steven Williams, John De Lemay, who starred in the unrelated Friday The 13th series, Erin Gray, Rusty Schwimmer, Leslie Jordan, and Michelle Clunie.

Jason X (2001): Jason Voorhees unable to be executed has been put in cryogenic suspension along with the government researcher who kept him from escaping. Now 445 years later they are found and unfrozen by a group of students on a field trip.

The Good: It was refreshing seeing it made more Sci-Fi than horror. The deaths scenes are awesome, they are some hysterical one-liners. And Uber-Jason is extremely bad ass.

The Bad: Nothing at all.

Notable Stars: Lexa Doig, Lisa Ryder, and horror director David Cronenberg.

Freddy Vs. Jason(2003): Freddy has been forgotten by the children of Elm Street, thus rendered powerless. He releases Jason from Hell to put the scare back into the children. However Jason refuses to play by Freddy's rules and an epic battle begins.

The Good: Katharine Isabelle saves the film briefly, however rent Ginger Snaps in order to truly experience her awesomeness.

The Bad: 10 Years, I have waited for this pairing. I have read rejected scripts, wrote fan fiction, and even began to wonder if this movie would have ever been made. And I was rewarded with this crap. We don't even get a single cameo from a previous actor of either series, save for Robert Englund. Jason and Freddy are watered down versions of their former selves. The cast is just annoying and the ending was lame and vague. Not worth the wait at all.

Notable Stars: Katharine Isabelle, Monica Keena, Kelly Rowland, Jason Ritter and Lochlyn Munro.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Gracie's Choice

Gracie's Choice is a 2004 Lifetime movie starring Anne Heche and Kristen Bell. It was inspired by this 2000 Reader's Digest article.

Kristen Bell plays Gracie, a teenager forced to take care of her younger siblings as her mother neglects them in favor of drugs and ill-advised relationships. Gracie realizes that their mother's continual presence will ultimately separate her family, so she lobbies to become the legal guardian of her three younger brothers.

Kristen Bell is amazing as Gracie. She shows the right combination of vulnerability and determination as the plucky hero of this film. And Anne Heche is chilling as her drug-addled mother. She does such a great job that you will find yourself despising her and routing for Gracie to win.

This is definitely a film not to be missed. It's emotional, uplifting, and sometimes heart-breaking. There is never a really fake moment in the film and comes off as more of a documentary than a fictional film.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dead Like Me: Life After Death

For those of you who have never heard of the show, Dead Like Me was an awesome little dramedy that aired for two seasons on Showtime. Despite it's near genius writing and great cast it was then canceled.

The plot of this show revolved around Georgia Lass (Ellen Muth) a college dropout who just started working at a temp agency. She dies when a toilet seat from a space station falls from the sky and hits her. She's not dead though but has been tapped to be a grim reaper. As she learns to adjust to her new "undead" lifestyle and tries to help her family who are falling apart.

The show also starred Laura Harris, Jasmine Guy, Mandy Pantinkan and for the first season Rebecca Gayheart.

And now a movie, it's straight to DVD. Mandy Pantinkan is not returning, he will be replaced by Henry Ian Cusick who Lost fans know as Desmond. Laura Harris is being replaced by Sarah Wynter who I hear is from 24. (Sorry I never watched the show).

Update: After months and months of waiting, a release date for the film has been set. It will be out on DVD February 17th.

Here's a teaser trailer for the film

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Strangers

One thing to be warned of you when you watch The Strangers, it starts slow. Ridiculously slow, in fact the first half hour could be easily written off and ignored. But then it slowly builds into an intense, taut, thriller with a powerful ending.

Kristen and James (played by Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman) are a young couple spending the evening at an isolated cabin in the woods. Their evening turns into a nightmare when they are stalked and harassed by three murderous strangers.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love horror films where the killer does not have some convenient link to the victims, it's scarier that way in my humble opinion. That why Black Christmas was phenomenal and how Slumber Party Massacre distanced itself from the other slasher films of the time.

I also love seeing Liv Tyler back on the silver screen again, she is simply amazing and makes her character so likable that you anxiously hope she survives. This is a film not to be missed for sure.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Imaginary Bitches

Imaginary Bitches is a hysterical new web series starring All My Children's Eden Riegel. Eden played Bianca Montgomery daughter of Erica Kane and the first mainstream lesbian in daytime television.

Eden plays Eden a single girl whose closest friends are all in relationships. Feeling lost and ignored, she creates two imaginary friends Catherine and Heather whom Eden exposes her innermost thoughts too. The friends infiltrate her real life as she dates a Second Life obsessed perv who finds himself attracted to Heather, they get revenge on a girl who stole Eden's boyfriend, and generally help her express herself in ways she normally doesn't.

The show also stars All My Children alumni Elizabeth Hendrickson who played Riegel's love interest on the soap. It also stars Connie Fletcher who played Erin Lavery on the show. Guest stars include Greg Rikaart (The Young And The Restless) and Jessalyn Gilsig (Prom Night).

The show is funny and Eden is engaging in her role. I love some of the one liners and the fact that it touches on a lot awesome topics. The show returns on July 11 and new episodes are released Fridays at 11:00pm.

You can watch it on their homepage or check out their Youtube page.

Update: They are now releasing a DVD of the first season for those of you that don't want to watch it online. You can purchase it off their official website.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Curse Of Degrassi

This episode was a great idea for a Halloween episode but not a great cast. The episode focuses on Rick Murray returning to Degrassi to seek out a little revenge. He possesses Holly J and then begins stalking the newbies as they try to get the gym ready for a dance.

Rick returning and Spinner finally making amends, good television. Stocking the episodes with a cast who were not part of the show during that initial storyline, pointless. Where were Toby, Jimmy, Sean, Emma, and Terri? They actually had storylines with Rick and would've given the fans of the show a nice blast from the past. It just loses it's impact with the newbie cast.

This episode was at least longer than Degrassi Of The Dead with it's fifteen minutes of show and then a lame 15 minutes behind-the-scenes featurette. Ephraim Ellis who played Rick does not physically appear in this episode, you only hear his voice. I don't know if Ephraim simply could not participate in the episode or if Degrassi didn't want the ghost of Rick to look like he has been getting older in the afterlife. Remember it has been about 4 years since his character was killed off. Actors may age but ghosts cannot.

The show was stolen by actress, Charlotte Arnold, who plays Holly J. She is wonderful and totally owns her role as a girl possessed by a vengeful spirit. My favorite quote from her in this episode was "Why don't you shut your piehole, Mamma Mia. I've telekentically murdered a lot of people tonight. What one more?" And this was uttered when she wasn't possessed.

The episode can be seen on The

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Starship Troopers 3: Marauder

Well my only excuse for watching was that it was on Pay Per View and there was nothing else better. It's been seven years since the events of the first film and things have gotten worse. The bugs have adapted and have since spawned new and different bugs for the Federation to fight.

There's no real plot to this film, just the typical bug deaths, obligatory group nude scene, and of course Casper Van Dien hamming it up for the camera. There's a subplot about how the government is executing war protesters and how religion is banned. Of course the underlying theme of this all is that religion is good.

The film also stars Enterprise's Jolene Blalock playing the latest eye candy and looking like she could be Angelina Jolie's long lost twin. The movie was worth it because I had never seen this actress out of her Vulcan make-up.

Former Charmed killer er I mean actress Marnie Patterson plays an irritatingly religious and hopeful flight attendant. (Yes for some reason flight attendants are allowed to go on dangerous missions with soldiers. Her character is one note and wooden and hardly worth the storyline that was written for. The film also wastes the talents of Boris Kidjoe and Danny Keough.

This film couldn't even hold up to the loose standards set up by Starship Troopers 1. While ST1 was not the best film at least it was a good guilty pleasure film. ST3 could've have gone that route and been okay but chose to litter the movie with deep and meaningful plots that made the movie basically a snore.

Simply put don't bother, rent the first one or the animated series on DVD if you want to get a Starship Troopers fix

Monday, October 6, 2008

Too Young To Marry

Too Young To Marry is a smart and honest view on the subject of teen marriage. The film centers around Max and Jessica who decide to get married before graduating high school. While Max's mother and Jessica's father disapprove, Jessica's mom is extremely supportive of the two.

Things begin to unravel as Jessica gets accepted into Harvard and Max doesn't. As Jessica becomes more immersed into her collegiate world, Max suffers through a construction job he hates and starts to grow bitter. The couple begin to wonder if they have made a mistake settling down so young.

I like the film because it isn't melodramatic and actually shows both character's flaws. They show how stereotypical some people's views on marriage are. There is no last minute perfectly gift wrapped ending for the couple. Also kudos for not going the obvious route and trying to toss in a teen pregnancy like a lot of teen marriage films do. It shows the girl maturely taking birth control and concentrating on her studies.

Nina Dobrev (who currently plays Mia on Degrassi) shines as Jessica. She brings warmth and believability to the role without turning her into a Mary Sue. The only thing in the film that really does not fit was the character of Jessica's younger sister. Her entire role consisted of showing up randomly, saying something snarky and then vanishing. That might be okay for a medicore sitcom but not a film like this.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Pulse 2: Afterlife

Americanizing a Japanese horror film can be a hit or miss situation. For every good film like The Ring you have to suffer through One Missed Call. Pulse in my humble opinion was a great film Kristen Bell and Ian Somerhelder were awesome and it was a nice way to pass time.

Pulse 2 however is an insult, a big middle finger pointed at the masses as they run off with your the money you squandered in order to watch it. The only word that can describe it would be unnecessary.

The plot basically centers around the restless spirit of a woman stalking her ex-husband and daughter. To punish the unfaithful ex, Mommy Deadest intends to take her daughter into the afterlife with her. The ex however plans to fight her at every turn.

Let's start with the "hero" of the film. He seems emotionally stunted at best. In one scene in a small cabin with his traumatized daughter in the next room, his current squeeze wants to fool around. Despite saying no, all it takes is five seconds of body heat before he's ready to toss her on a table and get busy. Let's further traumatize the already traumatized daughter.

Then there was the gore which was nauseating and had no place in the movie. Eye gouging, slain house pets, repulsive sex scenes, none of these enhanced the film and were obviously thrown in for shock value. And did I mention of the ghosts walks around nude, unnecessarily so.

There is some strange side character who swoops in, announces his plans to "end the madness" once and for all. Was he some forgotten character from the first film or a weak link to a Pulse 3 (please god no stop it). He has no point whatsoever which is sad because he was the only tolerable person in this mess.

The ending was abrupt, pointless, and confusing. Rather than defy the odds and create a sequel as good as it's predecessor. It was tossed together in a slapdash effort to score some quick cash. And with straight to DVD sequels becoming popular I see no end to inferior sequels in the near future.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer

I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer is the saddest, most incoherant, most blatant rip-off of a film that I have ever seen. And that's saying a lot, I've seen Troll 2. In fact that is so bad that I am going to break my rules and spoil the ending. Because if I can stop one person from wasting time with this I'll have made a difference.

In a small Colorado town, some teens decide to play a little joke on the 4th Of July. Unfortunately the joke goes awry and one of their friends winds up dead. The teens immediately make a pact not to reveal their roles in his death and go their separate ways. Sound familiar? Oh yeah it's the freaking plot as I Know What You Did Last Summer only less interesting.

Fast forward time, main heroine feels guilty, people die, everyone's a suspect yadda yadda yadda. Then we finally find out who the killer is. Ben Willis, yes that Ben Willis, our favorite hook-wielding fisherman from the first two installments. What's this film have to do with him? Absolutely nothing.

See now Ben is an evil vengeful spirit whose main hobby is killing teenagers who have covered up their roles in murders. Come on, we could not even get a vague little connection to the previous films. Like the kid who died was Ben's other unknown son. Or how about the heroine was the daughter of the survivors of the film. They could have easily hired actors who look like older versions of Jennifer Love Hewitt and Freddie Prinze Jr. Or have them killed off and pay the actors to allow them to show a photo or something.

Not that making sense of the plot would've helped the film any but it certainly would've been less annoying. Avoid at all costs.

The only interesting thing about this film is that Torrey Devito who played Hot Creepy Nanny Carrie on One Tree Hill stars as one of the teens. And did I mention avoid at all costs?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Dawn: Portrait Of A Teenage Runaway

Dawn: Portait Of A Teenage Runaway is a deliciously cheesy tv movie that stars The Brady Bunch's Eve Plumb and soap star Leigh J. McCloskey. The films centers around the aforementioned Dawn, a 15 year old who runs away from her alcoholic mother and winds up in California.

Due to her age and lack of experience, Dawn quickly winds up sleeping on the streets. She is befriended by Alexander, a teenage hustler who takes her in. Alexander is perfectly willing to take care of Dawn with no strings attached.

However Dawn feels increasingly useless and is desperate to make an income. She meets Frankie Lee, a teenage prostitute who introduces her to Swan, her pimp. Soon Dawn is working the streets and suffers abuse from Swan when she doesn't toe the line.

Alexander becomes worried about Dawn's health and enlists the help of Dawn's parole officer. The two team up to convince Dawn to give up the night life and return home to her now sober mother.

This movie is perfectly cheesy. I love the fact that Dawn becomes a hooker simply because she wants to help support Alexander. Her "bad girl" act is laughable and it doesn't help when she still looks like Jan Brady. The character of Swan is the epitome of the stereotypical pimp but can convincingly be charming one moment and scary the next.

The best part of the film is the character of Frankie Lee played by Marguerite DeLain. Even though the character is only supposed to be 17 but she looks 30. I tried looking up the actresses' age but IMDB does not have it. The movie features a very small role by Anne Ramsay of Throw Momma From The Train and Goonies fame.

The film also features the song "Cherry Bomb" by the Runaways. The Runaways were a '70s all girl rock group that included Joan Jett, Lita Ford and Michelle Steele of The Bangles. The song was also featured in the film Dazed And Confused.

If you have the good fortune to find this film and you are into cheesy teensploitation films then you will love this. The movie also spun off a sequeal called Alexander: The Other Side Of Dawn. I have a request, I honestly didn't like the character of Alexander and this film is hard to find. Can anyone who has seen the film tell me how it ends? I only wanna know if Dawn and Alexander hook up in the end.

Finally Someone Said It........

I mentioned this in my moral ambiguity in the '80s article. I am tickled pink that Robot Chicken covered this for one of their skits.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Girl, Positive

All in all, Girl, Positive is a wonderfully scripted and enlightening film. The movie centers around teenager Rachel Sandler (played by Desperate Housewives' Andrea Bowen). Rachel is stunned to learn that she contracted HIV after a one night stand.

As Rachel deals with the news, we also get a glimpse into the life of Sarah Bennet (90210's Jennie Garth). Sarah is a substitute teacher living with HIV and has caught the eye of the school's principal, Tim. She is concerned on how her HIV status will affect this burgeoning relationship.

The movie clears up a lot of misconceptions that people have about HIV, such as only gay people get it or that you tell what a positive person looks like. It also shows just how difficult living with HIV can be and the impact it has on one's every day life.

While the film does start out extremely slow it quickly grabs your attention, the ending was realistic if albeit a little predictable. The film also stars Erik Von Detten and features music from Ryan Huston, an artist I think you should check out.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Moral Ambiguity In The '80s

During the last couple of weeks I have had the opportunity to view three '80s films that I haven't seen in awhile. While the films were still good there were three distinct WTF moments that happened.

Trading Your Girlfriend In For A Newer Model
[Caroline is very drunk]
Caroline: Who's he?
Jake: That's me.
Caroline: Who are you?
Jake: I'm him.
Caroline: Oh, ok.

While Sixteen Candles is supposed to be about a girl's family forgetting her sixteenth birthday, it centers mostly on super stud Jake Ryan. For any teenage girl (at least in the '80s) he was the ultimate wet dream. The hunky seemingly perfect senior willing to jettison his hot, perfect, girlfriend for the gawky sophomore in a quest for something more serious. The movie wraps Jake in a pretty little bow and presents him to Molly Ringwald like a gift from the Gods and everything is happy.

Except for one glaring error Jake hands his too drunk to notice current girlfriend off to a geek with no problem. A nerd he has known all of a single day. Before the trade off he callously says "I can get a piece of ass anytime I want. Shit, I've got Caroline in the bedroom right now, passed out cold. I could violate her ten different ways if I wanted to." He then proceeds to say "I want a serious girlfriend. Somebody I can love, that's gonna love me back. Is that psycho?". (No Jake but I get the funny feeling you might be.) Surely there are more than one reason violating a passed out girl would be wrong.

The only thing he says to his new found geek pal is to make sure she gets home and not to leave her in parking lot somewhere. How about "Dude don't take advantage of her" or better yet "What am I saying, I'll let her crash here and break it off with her then". Nope he hands over the keys to his Dad's Rolls Royce and lets them go with nary a thought to her well being.

Later in the film Caroline wakes up in a church parking lot with the geek and is sure she and him had relations. However rather than be furious at what her "boyfriend" and this geek put her through, she likes being with the geek and has a nice break-up with Jake to boot. If any boyfriend of mind had stuck me with a stranger while I was too drunk to comprehend what was going on, he'd be in traction for a long time.

You Tricked Me Into Sleeping With You And It's O.K

Revenge of the Nerds is the ultimate nerd fantasy. The nerd-driven Tri-Lambda house goes head to head with the abusive jock-driven Alpha Betas. In true '80s glory the nerds stand up to their tormentors, win the coveted student council spot, and one of the nerds (Louis) steals the head Alpha's girlfriend (Betty) from him.

How Louis won Betty is highly questionable. At the big carnival Betty wants boyfriend Stan to go off and fool around with her. Stan who is happily manning the kissing booth refuses. Betty goes off to sulk in this weird moon setup, Louis grabs Stan's abandoned Darth Vader costume and follows. Betty assumes Stan had a change of heart and nails him without Louis identifying himself or even removing said mask.

Betty is stunned to find out that she has slept with a nerd but since nerds are good in the sack and jocks are not, she's totally cool with this near rape experience. The couple will later turn up in the sequels happily married. Again if it were me, traction, 'nuff said.

Intergalactic Bestiality

Unlike the two aforementioned mentions there is nothing truly right about Howard The Duck. The only good thing I remember aside from the unbelievably catchy title song......

was this cool little Pez dispenser that my Mom got me. It lasted until I cadged the cigar from Howard's beak and gave it to my Ken doll. Yes kiddies we had Pez dispensers with cigars, we also had candy cigarettes which I miss, but that's a whole other rant, moving on.

Howard is an alien duck who is suddenly plucked from his planet and thrown into 1980s Cleveland. He meets meets up with punk rocker Beverly and has to battle evil overlords in order to try to get home. However getting home will ultimately destroy Earth so Howard makes the ultimate sacrifice and stays put. But at least he has Beverly who has no qualms about macking with a duck. Because apparently it isn't bestiality if he's from another planet. I beg to differ I would end this with if it happened to me but I won't. Because I would never date a duck.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Top 10 Best Movie Kisses

I was watching Princess Bride on cable a few days ago and while the movie touted it as the best kiss of all time, I disagreed. While it was a nice kissing scene, I couldn't say it was the greatest movie kiss of all time. These are my picks.

10. Empire Records 1995: Corey (Liv Tyler) goes up to the roof to profess her love for AJ (Johnny Whitworth.) He in turn surprises Corey with the news that he's going to attend art school near Harvard so they can be together. This kiss was a sweet little ending to a pretty cute film. Screencap Courtesy Of

9. Sweet Home Alabama 2002:
Melanie (Reese Witherspoon) is moments away from marrying Andrew (Patrick Dempsey) when she realizes she is still in love with her ex husband
Jake (Josh Lucas). Sh
e breaks it off with Andrew and meets up with Jake on the beach. In the midst of a rainstorm they duo reunite.

Screencap courtesy of Me.

8. Gone With The Wind 1939: After successfully getting Scarlett (Vivien Leigh) and company out of Atlanta, Rhett (Clark Gable) decides to join the soldiers in the final battle against the North. Scarlett is upset as she was banking on Rhett taking over and getting them safely back to Tara. Unaware if he will live of die Rhett plants a kiss on Scarlett.

Screencap courtesy of

7. 13 Going On 30 2004: Awkward teen Jenna Rink (Jennifer Garner/Christa B Allen) is transported into the future into her 30 year old self. She learns a lot of life lessons including just how much childhood best friend Matt (Mark Ruffalo/Sean Marquette) means to her. Granted a second chance Jenna has her dream wedding to Matt and lives happily ever after.

Screencaps Courtesy of

6. The Breakfast Club 1985: 5 students from different cliques get to know one another during a Saturday detention. The Princess Claire (Molly Rignwald) gives into her attraction to bad boy Bender (Judd Nelson) and surprises him with a kiss. "Why did you do that?" he asked to which she replied "Because I knew you wouldn't."
Screencap courtesy of

5. Titanic 1996: Rich girl Rose (Kate Winslet) is on her way back to New York via the Titanic. Trapped in an arranged marriage she meets and falls for Jack (Leonardo Dicaprio) a poor but adventurous artist. After a fun filled day together they share a kiss on the bow of the Titanic. This scene is oft mocked and overused but I still like it.
Screencap courtesy of

4. St. Elmo's Fire 1985: This film follows the life and times of 7 college buddies their first year out of college. Law student Kirby (Emilio Estevez) becomes reacquainted with Dale (Andie MacDowell), a woman he shared one date with freshman year. Kirby turns his life upside down trying to impress her. After following her up to a ski cabin he becomes stranded and is forced to spend the night with Dale and her boyfriend. The next morning Dale tries to let down Kirby easy but he plants a kiss on her that makes her look as if she's changed her mind.

Screencap courtesy of Me.

3. Pretty Woman 1990: Heartless corporate raider Louis meets Hooker With A Heart Of Gold Vivian one night. Vivian agrees to be Louis's companion for the week at the bargain price of 3000 dollars. However the duo soon fall for one another. On his way to return to New York Louis changes his mind and arrives at Vivian's apartment where the two kiss on the fire escape.

Screencap courtesy of Me

2. The Virgin Suicides 1999: High school Lothario Trip (Josh Hartnett) falls head over heels for Lux (Kristen Dunst). After being forced to spend a boring evening watching television with her entire family Trip is set to leave. All of a sudden Lux leaps into his car giving him a passionate kiss before running off.

Screencaps courtesy of

1. Back To The Future 1985: 80s teen Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) accidentally goes back in time and interferes with the meeting of his parents. Faced with the possibility of fading out of existence he tries to encourage his nerdy father George (Crispin Glover) to chase after his mother (Lea Thompson) who has fallen for Marty. Moments before Marty fades away George gets the courage to kiss Lorraine and makes history right.

Screencap courtesy of

Monday, August 18, 2008

Karin Slaughter's Beyond Reach

I don't know whether to applaud this book or hate it. I discovered Karin Slaughter by accident. A couple of years ago I had been a member of the Doubleday Book Club. However I had forgotten how obnoxious filling out those monthly book cards were. I am not sure of the official name but they send you this card advertising whatever book they are pimping that month. If you space and forget to send it back telling them you don't want it, they up and send it to you.

This usually got me stuck with a boring book I did not want. But then Karin Slaughter's Triptych came in. I was hooked, her writing was dark and intense. And unlike other mystery/suspense novels I have read, I did not guess the ending. I went right out and ordered Faithless and Indelible that day.

Imagine how thrilled I was when I discovered Beyond Reach in the book rack at work and eagerly dove into the lives of my favorite Grant County denizens, Sara Linton, Jeffery Tolliver, and Lena Adams.

The book opens up with Lena in the center of a hideous murder in her hometown. Jeffrey and Sara promptly go there to try to fond out the truth about what happened. However Lena is less than happy about their presence and demands that they leave before escaping police custody and disappearing. As we read about Sara and Jeffrey trying to clear Lena's name, we learn the circumstances that led up to the murder.

This book is typical Karin Slaughter, dark and intense with enough twists to keep you on the edge of your seat. Normally I would have loved this book but the ending really broke my heart. It was so senseless and unexpected that it left a negative feeling in me after I was done reading. What sucked is that I did love the book and never has a final chapter ever negated my joy of the rest of the novel.

I am loathe to give away the ending here. However if you are curious Karin Slaughter has posted a letter on her official website defending her actions. The letter is long and rambling and does not really convince me that her idea to kill off a major character is a good one.

The story will continue in 2009's Genesis but I am not sure if I want to read it. Only time will tell.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lost Boys 2: The Tribe

As a horror fan I should hate this movie. As an '80s movie fan I should hate this film. As a Lost Boys get the point. But I am also a lover of cheesy horror films that don't take themselves seriously and Lost Boys 2 is just that.

The film picks up an indeterminate amount of years after the first film. Former surf champ Chris Emerson and his teenage sister Nicole (Autumn Reeser) move to Luna Beach after the death of their parents. Chris meets Shane (played by the extremely luscious Angus Sutherland) another surf champ who dropped out of sight. Shane sets his sights on Nicole and begins to seduce her into his vampire coven. Chris teams up with vampire hunter and board shaper Edgar Frog (Corey Feldman reprising his role from the first movie) and goes to the brink in order to save her.

The film has some good and some bad points. The good: Corey Feldman is awesome to watch in this film, and eerily enough looks almost exactly how he looked in the first film. The story is engaging enough and Angus Sutherland literally steals the film. Kudos for bringing back Gerald McCann's Cry Little Sister as well. It's a wonderful song and makes more sense in a film about a brother trying to save his sister.

The bad: While viewers do find out what happened to Edgar's brother Alan and Sam Emerson there is no word on what happened to the rest of the Emerson clan or Star and Laddie for that matter. The film's official website claims that Chris and Nicole are cousins of the Emersons but this is never mentioned in the movies. The movie relied a little too much on sex scenes and a ran way to long police chase scene that simply weren't necessary for the film. Also unnecessary was the character of Chris and Nicole scatter-brained aunt who is pretty much a one note joke that wears thin very quickly.

If they really wanted a weird family member why not have their aunt be the mom from the first film Lucy. It'd be fun to have her essentially play the same role that her on screen dad played in the first film. The seemingly clueless character who knows more than she lets on.

Lost Boys 2 would have done better as a stand alone film. It's a decent story with a great cast. Corey Feldman is a welcome return and we even get blessed with a cameo by Tom Savini who is all kinds of awesome. This is definitely a film to veg out to.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Diary Of The Dead

This film centers around a group of film students who are shooting a horror film in the woods when a zombie outbreak commences. We watch the gang via camera deal with zombies as they attempt to contact their loved ones and find a safe place to hide

I honestly don't know what to say about this flick. On one hand, I love George Romero and have never disliked one of his films. I do however dislike films that are shown from a camera's point of view. I know it's supposed to be more realistic and tries to make the viewer "live" the film but I simply don't like it. I got nauseous watching Blair Witch and while Cloverfield was good I don't intend on seeing it once again. With Diary Of The Dead, it simply bored me and distracted me from really immersing myself in the films.

Don't get me wrong George Romero didn't disappoint as far as the story went. It's nice to know that he still has the magic touch. However the constantly jerking camera angles did not impress me. If I want to real camera footage I'll rent a documentary but when it comes to zombie flicks I want the fantasy. If you liked George Romero or Cloverfield/Blair Witch check this film out. If you suffer from migraines or get easily nauseous then avoid it.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Ruins

The Ruins was a lot better than I expected. In light of what horror has been reduced to lately, I was worried that I was going to spend two hours being grossed out. The Ruins focuses on a group of Americans who decide to go to some hidden ruins to explore. They are joined by Matthias a European looking for his brother who had gone to those ruins a few days prior.

Inexplicably the gang is attacked by Mayans and are quarantined in the Ruins with no contact to the outside world. The Mayans are not their biggest problem as some mysterious vines begin to infect the gang.

The premise may seem silly but the films is a good way to pass the time. Jena Malone is a great actress even though I found the character she played to be whiny and unlikable. People who have read the book the movie is based on, be warned. The movie barely follows the books aside from the basic plot.

This film is refreshingly light on gore and doesn't bore the viewers with the generic crap that most horror films are hindered with. The only thing that really bugged me about the film was the vague ending and the selfishness of the protagonists. Even after knowing they are infected and knowing they could infect others they still want to escape. If I were in that situation, I would be thinking of other than my own skin.

The film also stars Joe Anderson (Across The Universe) and Shawn Ashmore (Iceman from the X-Men films.)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Hush Little Baby

Once again a combination of boredom and nothing else to watch has led me to the channel Lifetime.

Hush Little Baby is a ghost story centering around the character of Jamie, played by the adorable Victoria Pratt. After her first born daughter drowns, a frightened Jamie gives birth to her second child.

However Jamie becomes increasingly convinced that her late daughter is somehow possessing the baby and trying to kill her. In her confusion she begins to alienate her husband and sister by accusing them of having an affair. After a stint in the ER, her therapist begins to fear that she will hurt the child.

For the most part, Hush Little Baby has a wonderfully creepy atmosphere and Victoria Pratt proves that she's more than a pretty face. She takes a character that was dull and made her riveting.

The ending however was weak, rushed, and confusing. In fact the last scene is so ludicrous that you will more than likely find yourself grabbing the remote in disgust.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Why You Fail At Horror

After reading Stephen King's recent EW article "Why Hollywood Can't Do Horror" I started thinking about the state of the horror film. I realized that the large majority of my favorite horror films come from '60s, '70s, and '80s. Very few of the recent films were likable or memorable enough to make me want to watch again. Horror has lost it's way in the recent years.

One thing I can't stand about recent horror is the gross-out factor that half of the movie director's are going for. If the film isn't filled with graphic dismemberment, disemboweled organs, and gore then it's considered boring. I hated The Hills Have Eyes remakes, I couldn't finish Wrong Turn, and I thought the entire Saw franchise was dumb. I don't like to vomit and don't see why I have to spend money so that a director can try his damnedest to make me do so.

True horror doesn't need the best guts money can by. Horror is supposed to scare you not gross you out. Take Psycho for instance, the shower scene still scares the pants off me. It plays off one of my basest fears. What if someone attacked me while I am in the shower. There is no escape, there is no weapon to defend you. The shower scene from Psycho is one of the most chilling scenes in horror cinema and you never saw the knife penetrate Janet Leigh. Some recent horror films keep the faith. The directors of such films as Hostel, Frailty, and Ginger Snaps know when to use gore and when to scare the pants off of you.

We don't need to understand the killer in horror movies, we don't want to. In the real world people are killed for just being in the wrong place at the wrong time, that is a scary thought. Slumber Party Massacre is a movie that comes to mind. Granted it wasn't the best slasher film of all time but the ending was awesome. When we find out the killer was just some random dude with no connection to the final girl, it was refreshing. We didn't have to delve into his psyche and find out the reason he killed, he simply killed.

1974's Black Christmas was also awesome in the fact that we never knew why the killer did it. He stayed mysterious and uncaught, stunned viewers wondered who he was and better yet who was Agnes. It some cases there are questions that never need answers. When you answer those questions you get Black Christmas the remake. A film filled with unlikable characters, boring subplots and gore gore gore galore. Oh and yes we now know why the killer did what he did. He's not a bad man just a kid who watched his mother kill his father. A kid who was forced to impregnate his mother. A kid who is forced to live in walls. What's the point of the back story? Are we supposed to forgive him because he just didn't know any better?

Today's horror takes itself way too seriously. Sometimes a good horror film can be deliciously cheesy as well. Not every horror film needs to be "deep". We don't need some slap in the face about what horrible people we are. We don't need a message on how we brought this horror on ourselves. Modern horror seems more about being discussed and revered than actually trying to scare the viewers.

I miss being scared by a horror movie. Not startled, not grossed out, not confused simply scared. I miss slasher films that were all about the slash, not burdened down by back story. Michael Myers was scariest in the first Halloween movie. Because you had no idea why he was on his spree. They gave you the facts, mysteriously killed sister and lived in Haddonfield. His scariness failed as soon they brought in relatives and thorn cults. Freddy from Nightmare On Elm Street 1, mysterious and scary. But of course the back story fairy had to interfere. I hate the back story fairy.

True horror is mystery, suspense, the kind of film that keeps you from sleeping at night. The film that makes you want to turn on all the lights. We don't need big budget movies fraught with gore and socio-political meaning. We just need to get the that delicious chill up our spines once more.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Blogroll: A book that changed your life

It would have to be Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel. No I am not bipolar nor have I ever taken Prozac but I have been in Miss Wurtzel's shoes. I was the girl who would one minute be smiling and the next in tears. I had the pessimistic who gives a shit we are all going to die anyway mentality. I cut myself before cutting became the disturbingly "trendy" thing to do nowadays. I would drink and party to excess often causing a scene or becoming a nuisance.

I was a prisoner of my own emotions and I hated every minute of it. And I thought I was a freak, there was no one who acted the way I did. Then I read Prozac Nation and nearly cried reading it. Elizabeth was a lot like I was and it alienated her friends and family and made her life Hell.

As she worked her way to some sort of recovery, I began taking stock of my life. Writing became less a hobby to me and more an outlet to my emotions. I learned how to maturely deal with my anger and not to self-medicate myself with booze. I have a steady mature relationship with a man I love. I am making friends and not alienating them with unnecessary drama or tantrums.

When I felt alone, I felt there was no hope for me but after reading Prozac Nation and realized that I wasn't alone. I had hope which I think saved my life.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tuck Is Out And Torpey Is In

Jessica Tuck who played Megan Gordon from 1988 to 1992 will not be returning to One Life To Live for the 40th anniversary extravaganza. She was supposed to appear in an upcoming Heaven sequence after Viki Buchanan gets into a car wreck.

However the powers that be will simply replace her with another Megan, Megan the late granddaughter of Viki. She was the stillborn daughter of Jessica Buchanan and Will Rapport. The fun part is she will be played by former Jessica portrayer Erin Torpey who played the role from 1990 until 2003.

It will be fun to see Torpey back albeit temporarily and this is an ingenious way of dealing with Tuck's departure. I haven't been watching One Life To Live for awhile but may just tune back in for this. Other actors returning for the anniversary are Phil Carey (Asa), Mark Derwin (Ben) and Stephen Markle (Mel).

The Heaven storyline won't be the only crazy storyline in the show's future. Tina will be forced by Carlo Hesser to watch her daughter go down the Iguazú Falls, her character was presumed dead after going down those same 'falls in the early 80's. Both John Loprieno will be retuning for this storyline as well.

And Bo and Rex will be struck by lightning and transplanted back in 1968 (the year the show debuted) and find themselves taking over the roles of Asa and a younger Bo.

I don't know if this will be the lamest idea that One Life To Live has had or the most creative. But it definitely has me interested in getting back into the show just to see how it turns out.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

What’s your favourite smell in the world and why

This is another assignment for my blog tour group. This may sound weird but my favorite smell in the world is gasoline. It just brings back this nostalgic feeling from my childhood.

I grew up in Texas and cars, garages were a big part of my childhood. It's your father in the garage with his friends, beers in hand as they talked about carburetors and engines or what not. Rock n roll blaring from the radio. I loved being in there just listening and feeling safe.

Gasoline also brings to mind other Texas memories, family reunions by the lake. I would watch my cousins fuel up their dirt bikes. I would wait there hoping for one of them to take pity on me and take me for a ride.

Gasoline also brings to mind the summer trips I took with my Dad. Loading up on junk food and gas at the station before taking off to Disneyland, or Friday Harbor to visit family, or Las Vegas where Dad would give me a bunch of money and send me up to the kids part of Circus Circus while he happily gambled in the casino.

Gasoline has always brought up pleasant memories and good times in my life.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

New Futurama Trailer

It looks fun I like the fact that it appears that Kip and Amy will hook up. There was virtually none of their relationship in Bender's Big Score. While the movies are fun I do hope Comedy Central gets off their duffs and does an actual season of the show. Fans cannot live on straight to DVD movies alone.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My Super Sweet Funeral

This is a hysterical parody of MTV's insipid Super Sweet 16 television show. It's one of the funniest parodies I have ever seen. I forgot to credit the originator Scott Gairdner when I first published this.

Monday, May 26, 2008

It's A Small World After All

I was on one of my favorite forums when someone posted a link to this Amy Winehouse parody. I watched and out of curiosity scrolled down to see who the actress (Christiana Speed) who played Amy was. Imagine my shock when it turned out to be someone from my hometown, Orcas Island. She and I actually were in a production of Psycho Beach Party back in '01 or '02 (I can't exactly remember).

It's weird to stumble upon this through non Orcas channels. But also it's pretty cool.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Black Snake Moan

Despite the curiously exploitive way the studio promoted this film, Black Snake Moan is a good film. The movie stars Samuel L. Jackson as Lazurus, a former blues player who is deeply religious. Christina Ricci plays Rae, a troubled, promiscuous girl beaten and left for dead on Lazurus' property.

Fearing that he would be blamed for her injuries, he nurses her back to health secretly. When he realizes the depths of just how disturbed Rae is, he decides that he cure her of her evils and chains her up in the house. Despite this odd start, the two begin to form a close bond.

I know the movie comes off as racist and sexist but it's anything but. There is an honesty and intensity to this film that surpasses a lot of the garbage that has been coming out of the cinema as late. Jackson and Ricci are amazing actors and they give their characters a depth and honesty that sparks on the screen.

The movie also stars Justin Timberlake as Rae's boyfriend Ronnie who deals with his own problems that rival Rae's.

This is a film that can't be missed. If you love intelligent scriptwriting, top notch acting, and some great blues music this is the film for you.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Bucket List

One of our assignments for my blog tour is to write a bucket list. Here is mine.

I want to visit a foreign country preferably Indonesia

I'd like to bungee jump

I'd like to have a child

I want to be with my honey forever

I want to be fluent in at least three languages

I want to have published at least one book.

I'd like to sing in front of an audience but not karaoke

I want to scuba dive

I'd like to see my 100th birthday

I want to interview one of my idols, Stevie Nicks, Elizabeth Wurtzel, Madonna, Stephen King or Naomi Judd

I'd love to appear in a slasher film even I am the first character killed.

It's a weird list but then again I'm a weird girl.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Ellen Page To Star As Jane Eyre

The adorable star of Juno and Hard Candy has signed on to play Jane Eyre in upcoming adaption. The BBC film will be produced by the same person who brought us The Other Boleyn Girl. No director has been attached as yet.

Even though I have seen countless versions of Jane Eyre, I am very interested in seeing this one. Ellen Page has usually played modern, wiser than her years type characters, so having her play a mousy 19th century governess will be a challenge.

If Page can nail this role then she will have her choice of roles and not be subjected to typecasting. No word yet on when this film will be released.

Update! This blog got mention on The Week Daily. I am so stoked. ;o) Click here if you want to check it out.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Zombie Strippers

There are movies in this world that are so deliciously bad they're good, Zombie Strippers is one of them. Zombie Strippers is a fun and quirky film with some great political commentary hidden among the nudity and bloodshed.

The film begins in 2012, America is at war with practically everyone, Bush is on his 5th consecutive and fixed term, and public nudity has been outlawed. Due to the lack of soldiers, a chemo-virus has been invented to render keep the soldiers fighting, dead or alive. However the virus inadvertently gets released into an illegal strip club. The undead strippers learn that they become better and hotter dancers. The human strippers struggle with the desire to conform to the new fad and give up their humanity.

The cast includes adult film star Jenna Jameson and Robert Englund who is best known as playing the iconic Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare On Elm Street series. Englund is hysterical as the sleazy, opportunistic strip club owner. And say what you want about Jenna Jameson, the girl can act.

This is a film that does not take itself seriously. It's fun, B-Grade, a refreshing bit of cinematic junk food. It oddly has a Tarentino meets Starship Troopers (the movie) vibe to it which I enjoyed. If you are offended by gore, nudity, or just don't have the appreciation for "bad movies" this film isn't for you. However if my description hasn't turned you off the film I think you'll enjoy it.