Throw on some jazz, pour a glass of Giggle Water, and curl up with your favorite bowtruckle, we’re talking Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, on this spoiler-free review.
Do you remember The ‘burbs? It came out back in 1989, directed by Joe Dante and starring Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, Carrie Fisher and Rick Ducommon, and was a fun and slightly creepy tale about how neighbours react when someone moves into an old house across the street. Every couple of years I go back and watch it; I even wrote about it here back in 2010. It’s just one of those under the radar movies that sticks with you. And when I finished watching Suburban Gothic, the excellent second film from director Richard Bates Jr., I couldn’t help but feel like I’d seen a kindred spirit to The ‘burbs.
As the American Fourth of July holiday figures solidly into its plot, what better time to talk about the first of the big movie blockbusters – Jaws – than on Independence Day? The biggest and the baddest of the sharks, a real-life monster based on a real-life incident, and the baptism of fire of one of our greatest directors – Steven Spielberg – Jaws is one of the greatest films ever made. Meet me after the jump for my thoughts.
I think some folks are afraid to say it, but I’m not. Guardians of the Galaxy is the best movie of 2014, and it’s only been out a couple days. I saw it once and I want to see it again. When’s the last time you heard someone say that about a movie? This is the one. Meet me after the jump for a quick spoiler-free review of Marvel’s newest hit flick, Guardians of the Galaxy.
Monsters in monster movies.
The wolf man, the vampire, the swamp beast, the thing from another planet, the mutant entity. All of these creatures – and so many more – who doesn’t love them? The problem is that, in film, they are often derivative of those that have been seen in movies before. Sadly, they are also rarely done well.
At their essence, monsters are metaphors for the things we, as human beings living out our relatively short existences on this planet, fear. They are what we don’t want in our lives: hardship, pain or disease. They are what we can never hope to truly comprehend: hatred, death, and, sometimes, even love.
Monsters force us to acknowledge these elements in our own lives and, in acknowledging them, force us to understand and come to terms with our own, primal, fears and misgiving.
In a way that was very understated, very delicate and very human, that’s exactly what the 2010 low budget indie film, Monsters, did.
I have a problem…
The other day my editor, Patti O’Brien, asked me to go to the movies with her. Since Patti is a romantic like me, I was expecting to see anything but the movie she picked. I don’t know anything about football except that once a year, my son-in-law has a big Super Bowl party at his house and I go there to party and watch the commercials. I got in trouble last year for calling a touchdown a home run. Hey! A player was running and there was a ball involved. So, now that you know how football challenged I am, the question is did I enjoy Draft Day? Meet me at the goal post to find out.
This movie made me feel old. It’s not a bad flick at all, entertaining for the kids and jokes for the adults as well. The core of the Peabody and Sherman concept is there, but really this story could have easily been plugged into a Shrek, or a How to Train Your Dragon, or even some new DreamWorks property instead of tarnishing my childhood. More after the jump.
This winter has done a huge number on me, health wise. I’ve had pneumonia, ear infections and now strep throat. The only good thing is the popsicles and ice cream I’ve been downing since last night. Oh, and the movie watching. Since I’m not up to full blown review mode, I thought I’d at least give you my quickie thoughts on one a new release.
Austenland: the Queen and I actually watched this a few days ago before I got sick, and rather enjoyed it. It’s the story of a Jane Austen obsessed woman (Keri Russell) who takes a trip to Austenland, where she gets to dress up in gowns and have her very own Austen-like romance. It’s pretty light fare, but Russell makes a very compelling leading lady. She shines every moment she’s on screen (which is pretty much every minute of the film). Austen fans will no doubt love the film, and hubbies and boyfriends trying to get in their partners good graces could do a lot worse than sit through this one.
Sorry I don’t have more details but the meds are kicking in. I’ll see you on the other side.
Remember “Challenge of the Superfriends” from Saturday mornings in the 1970s? You had the Justice League of America in pitched battle with the Legion of Doom on a weekly basis, and good always triumphed over evil? Now, so far available only at Target, we can return to those days of old as DC Animation brings the Superfriends and the Legion of Doom into the present day with JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time. Check out my review after the jump.