Posted in Writing

You’ve Been Tagged ( but not really)

This is the tag post with a twist. The lovely, kind-hearted Vinnieh who ‘writes movies and anything else that comes to mind’ has included me in a post about movies, and since it is one of my favourite topics to speak of, I thought I’d make the effort to engage. (Plus the questions are short yet unique). I’ve mentioned briefly I am not feeling well which will be the case for some time, so blogging will get difficult but I did not want this to get too overdue and lost in the post-  literally.

What DVD/Blu-Ray would you like to receive this year? – It would be nice to get Mad Max: Fury Road to add to my collection of  the Mad Max series. I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did.

Favourite Soundtrack or Song from a Christmas Film? – I love all the soundtrack to the Home Alone movie and  Especially the song Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by Mel Torme.

Three of your favourite Christmas Films? – Home Alone (1990), The Nightmare Before Christmas  (1993) and Black Christmas  (1974).

A Film that divides people.. The Shining movie? There are a lot of people who disliked it, even Stephen king – the author of the original novel hated it but I thought it was well paced and visually captured the  eerie feeling of the ghostly hotel. Plus a crazed Jack Nicholson is always enticing to watch.

Favourite British Film? – There are always many to choose from but I’ll go with The 39 Steps By Alfred Hitchcock. (It’s about a man in London who is mistakenly framed for the murder of a spy found in his apartment and he has to go on the run. It’s a great mystery thriller.

A Film considered Culturally Significant? – 12 Angry Men (1957) By Sidney Lumet. The group of men debate the fate of an 18 year old boy in trial for allegedly killing his father. Tension builds up in the courtroom and things get out of hand with such an incident that got so heated, it became a phenomenal drama.

Favourite Film Franchise? – There are so many amazing ones to choose but I’ll go with Harry Potter. Each one is surprisingly as magical as the next. It’s not just for kids ahem.

Favourite Childhood Film? – I grew up watching a lot of animated Disney movies on vhs as it was the only way i would ever eat apparently, so one of my beloved ones is called The Rescuers (1977) by Wolfgang Reitherman and then I kept watching The Goonies (1985) by Richard Donner.

Favourite Comedy? – Me, Myself and Irene (2000) by Peter and Bobby Farrelly.

One Film you want all of your followers to watch…- Howl’s Moving Castle by Hayao Miyazaki. I feel like it’s an animated movie mostly anyone would enjoy for it’s thought out character development and the story, along with the stunning visuals and music is just very uplifting while  on the seriousness of the topic of fighting with all you have. Miyazaki himself said it was his favourite creation conveying the message ” that life is worth living”.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading through my favourtes on this tag, it’s  quite different which is why I liked doing it. The twist is that instead of tagging certain people (because sonea gets a little socially awkward with that), I will ask those of  you who wish to participate, can simply post your answers in the comment section. I’d love to hear your thoughts too or if you wish to spread the love, you can create  a  post for it . Happy thinking to you all.

Credit: Image artwork by sweetsongVD on DeviantArt

Posted in That 80s film

Batman (1989)

Darkness cascades the bat cave  as the story opens to the iconic Batman Theme tune we have grown to love, composed by the talented Danny Elfman.

As a couple and their son take a shortcut through the gritty alleyway of the supposed seventh street, they are attacked by two robbers who tell the lady to ” do yourself a favour, don’t scream for your son”.

Meanwhile Gotham City is doing it’s best to stay above ground as corruption level of crime is at an all time high and there’s rumours of a vigilante who roams the street in the shadows. Some say he drinks blood, others say he can’t be killed. But most want to know if he’s the menacing 6ft creature of the night.

Eager to put the theories to paper are Alexander Knox and ‘hello legs’ Vicki Vale, a photojournalist who’s ” looking to see some wildlife”, bats in particular.

Hold onto your hair lady..we’re going for a sling ride to the other side

Their lead is trusted in following Bruce Wayne to dish up on some stories at his fundraising event, where the pair stumble across his rather exquisite museum where Knox ‘logically’ points out that rich people are so odd because they can afford to be.

Carl Grissom, a big time criminal boss finds himself in trouble, as Harvey Dent and the police force are hot on their trail in finding out about their criminal activities. With his ‘trusted’ guys at hand, he sends his best men which include Jack Napier, ( Jack Nicholson) who has been playing naughty with the bosses mistress Alicia,  to clear the evidence at Axis Chemical Industry.

Unknowingly to Jack and his men, Grissom has set them up by calling the corrupt officer- Max Eckhardt and his police force to raid the place, however Comissioner Gordan also arrives causing a frantic Jack to run and find that exit.

With every man at a corner and nowhere to escape, jack meets with the cape crusader within reach and tries to shoot him,which backfires into his face causing him to stumble backwards into a drum of chemical. Jack Napier reaches for one last hand as he sizzles away and is presumed dead.

This is a  comic book inspired movie which impressed me for the very first time I watched it and it still holds true. Granted I prefer Batman Returns (1992) a little better  but that’s a story for a different era and everyone has to play catch up to eventually..catch on to the bigger picture.

The atmosphere builds up the film’s noir vibe, mixed with the steampunk attitude it strongly visualizes. It can be seen as the birth of the first edgy Batman movie since the 60’s campy tv series which could now see better days.

The audience had never seen such an extravagant Bat attack. I had never seen such  a superhero in his six pack armoured outfit and that was ‘very cool’ to the most of us before the dark knight would eventually rise.

Not only is it a great action -packed movie, I admire it for the ideas that Burton had given birth to which I’m sure were later ‘inspired’  to fit the masks of later revisions of the Batman we have today.

For a director who wasn’t so used to taking on such comic styles, he impressed the theatre goers with his thought out armadillio batmobile and batarangs we could only dream of seeing outside the cartoon series.

Tim Burton described his vision of the movie as ” it’s a fight between two disturbed people. Any character who operates on the outside and is deemed an outcast, a freak, then has the freedom to do what they want. Insanity is in some scary way, the most freedom you can have because you’re not bound by laws of society”.

It is  impressive not only visually with it’s costumes, where the joker is donning his fedora and purple suit like the comic, but  it highlighted the wonderful performance by the eccentric Jack Nicholson as the Joker  who may have lost his head but his womanizing heart stays beating, as his interest in a certain miss Vale is enough to  ” put steam in a man’s strides”. 

Similarity it was a nice touch to see Bruce Wayne portrayed as an awkward everyday man going through his frustrating alter-ego as Batman. The ‘winged freak’ he is so called. Whilst trying to display his demeanor to a crowded party, he seems rather uncomfortable in his own house yet he longs to be loved when he meets the tenacious Vicki Vale. “she is great isn’t she Alfred”, not quite knowing how best and how much he can share with his potential lover.

On the other hand, Jack’s diabolical tendencies give some much deserved credit to the joker I was always excited to see in the cartoon series and this live adaptation  was well executed.

Do I look like I’m joking?

His ‘honey i’m home’!  Enthusiasm can bee seen as creepy yet fascinating, as his brains have certainly been fried to the extent of his wide spread smile. We see him go from the egotistic and sleazy guy to the ” jack is dead my friend. Call me..Joker. As you can see, I’m a lot happier “.

It is highly  worth watching a cape crusader flying into the shadows fighting crime to bring Justice to Gotham while a joker will certainly put a killer smile on your face.

Credits: Movie poster artwork by Mark Welser 

Directed by Tim Burton

Story by Sam Hamm

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Michael Keaton, Kim Basinger and others

Music by Danny Elfman

Other honourable mentions that i love:

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade – Directed by Steven Spielberg

Dead Poets Society- Directed by Peter Weir

Ghostbusters 2- Directed by Ivan Reitman

(I had to rewrite this again as i lost a chunk of my work! so I apologise to anyone who liked it and commented before).

This concludes the 80’s series from 1980-1989, as we come to the end of an era. I hope you enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane as I have enjoyed writing every one of these movies that I once again discovered a love for.

Posted in That 80s film

Beetlejuice (1988)

Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice…Beetlejuice! Say it once, say it twice, third times a charm, except it isn’t quite so charming to greet an obnoxious dead guy who likes to eat all sorts of bugs and  manipulate his way through some sleazy ( but funny) dialogue. A guy no one would want to be friends with.

Barbara (Geena Davis) and Adam ( Alec Baldwin) Maitland are the happy couple living the cosy  suburban lifestyle. They are busy on vacation trying to decorate their home, whilst having a snooping neighbour who likes to remind them that their house is just two big for a couple and would be well suited for a family.  ” I don’t think it’s any of Jane’s business”.  I agree Adam. I agree.

On their way home from a little trip to town, they swerve their car from a dog who stands in front of them and the car falls into the river. Moments later we see the couple arrive in their soaking state, to a lit fire in their home, but something doesn’t quite feel like being at home. Their hands can catch on fire and no reflection can be seen in the mirror as they notice a Handbook for the recently Deceased waiting to welcome them instead. ” I don’t think we survived that crash”. 

The couple try to understand the manual but trying to catch up on some ghostly reading can be pretty overwhelming when you’ve just come back from the dead ” maybe this is heaven”, although a frustrated Barbara is quick to think ” if it was Heaven, there wouldn’t be dust on everything”, but they do  understand that they cannot be seen by the living.. (well in most cases).

It’s not long before the house is sold to the owner’s of the Deetz family. Charles who is quickly adjusted to the house, his wife Delia, a sculptor ( which is unfavoured in the monstrous outcomes), Otho, their interior designer, and their daughter Lydia, a strange and unusual girl who likes to dress for the funeral.

As the unwelcomed guests to the Maitland begin to change the wallpapers and furniture around,  the couple try their best to scare them out of the house by tearing off their faces, hanging themselves in the closet and becoming headless, which all fail miserably as it’s no good being invisible to a living person, although to their surprise they find Lydia is able to see them.

As the renovation for the house goes under construction,  so does the minds of the couple who are eager to do their best to get these people out of their home. As they try searching through the handbook for the decreased, they find a pamphlet reading Betelgeuse, an apparent ‘bio – exorcist’ who will ” eat anything you want me to eat! I’ll swallow anything you want me to swallow, so come on down, I’ll chew on a dog!” That’s one way to advertise.

Unaware of his wacky intentions, the couple follow the manual at first by drawing a door and stepping into another dimension to a ghost centre,  where they find themselves among different kinds of dead people who have suffered worse ways to die,  looking quite burnt, shrunken, alien  and just plain skeleton. Even the dead need some guidance on how to lead a good afterlife.

Meeting their cut throat caseworker Juno, the pair realise there is much to learn. ” what about that beetle..” shh don’t even say his name. You don’t want his help”. She explains that “he does not work well with others. He got into trouble and then more trouble as a freelancer, trying to haunt people out of their homes”. 

Taking note of this rumour,  the pair try their hands at disgusing themselves with bed sheets, not forgetting to make eye holes to ironically become ‘a ghost within a ghost.’ But even that proves ineffective as Charles is more concerned about ” your mother will kill you when she sees you cut holes in her $300 sheets.

Approaching Lydia, she takes a photograph of them and is hardly frightened. Instead she  anticipates if they are as gross looking as the night of the living dead movie she has seen too many times. Alas, they are just your friendly neighbourhood ghosts who look as aesthetically pleasing dead as they were alive. The sophisticated dead couple with the personality of Casper.

It would seem about time they took a visit to the pin striped ‘professional’ who has ” seen exorcist 167 times, and it just keeps getting funnier”! Sleazing around a miniature model who wants nothing more than to get out in the real world where he can cause more havoc than he already has.

It was a movie I repeatedly watched around the age of ten. ( someone had recorded it for me on a bulky VCR tape) and one i remember finding both scary but entertaining, as it was a scary but light-hearted film that stood out for this little girl at the time.

Now I realise how terrible the C.G.I really is that Tim Burton lacked to visualise, but where it lacked special effects, it made up for the amazing performance given by Michael Keaton as the eccentric nutcase who caused such comic relief that he became unrecognisable. And the story is nothing short of being boring at any time, which is why i can almost forgive that awful sock like snake monster that was meant to frighten us all.

2017-04-17 13.30.31-1
(Google image) ” come on guys, let’s be pals”!

Betelguese has the  heart and brains of coming across as  crude and wacky and his demeanour impressively shines through as ” I’m the ghost with the most babe ” , and it makes for such a unique watch that Burton achieves in a lot of  his movies. A man well -known for creating  that gothic and fantastical eerie environment, where darkness meets charm. It’s a peculiar movie for those who live a peculiar life.

His taste for  musical score is also very fitting as usual which no surprisingly comes from the genius Danny Elfman, who sets the tone perfectly, as it enchants its way through the story which always makes my mood get uplifted and my heart flutter. It’s almost as if they were married to work together, but I have no complaints  as it always works out.

When you quite don’t get how to effectively scare the bejesus out of someone, be careful meeting the insane dead traveller who’s lived through the black plague and had a pretty good time during that. Not to mention you’re talking to a dead guy! Now do  you think he’s qualified? Let’s turn on the juice and see what shakes loose.

Credits: Movie poster artwork by Dimitri Frudakis

Directed by: Tim Burton

Written by: Michael McDowell and Larry Wilson 

Starring: Michael Keaton, Geena Davis, Alec Baldwin, Winona Ryder, Catherine O’ Hara, and others

Music by: Danny Elfman

Other honourable mentions from 1988 that I love:

Who Framed Roger Rabbit – Directed by Robert Zemeckis

They Live- Directed by John Carpenter

Big- Directed by Penny Marshall

The Blob- Directed by Chuck Russell

Akira- Directed by Katsuhiro Otomo

Grave of the Fireflies- Directed by Isao Takahata

Heathers – Directed by Michael Lehmann

Posted in That 80s film

The Lost Boys (1987)

‘Thou shall not fall, Thou shall not kill’ echoes across the ocean in the night sky, as an amusement park is seen overhead,  zooming  into the ground where the kids and teenagers are enjoying the rides and entertainment. A group of punk looking boys who are dressed  to kill, cause a fight when they meddle with another guys girlfriend and are told to get off the boardwalk. ” Ok boys, let’s go”. After a long night, the guard walks to his car, only to be attacked and lifted off the ground by an unseen force into the darkness.

In sunny daylight, Sam( Corey Haim) along with his brother Michael ( Jason Patric) and his mum, (Dianne Wiest ) are seen travelling to Santa Carla where “it smells like someone died”.  They arrive at their grandpa’s shabby, creepy – looking house, where he pretends to be passed out. ” If he’s dead can we go back to Phoenix ?”  Welcome home kids (!).

Upon entering, they find it looks as creepy on the inside as it is on the outside, run down like a broken up shack. Nice home, ” yeah for the Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. They also find their grandpa has a whole back room full of dead animals ready to be stuffed, but he means well, as  company sure comes empty handed in these parts of the town.

In the refrigerator, the ‘old fart’ labelled shelf is where he keeps his double thick Oreos and root beer so ” nobody touches the second shelf but me”. 

His eccentric demeanour is portrayed throughout the movie which makes for some subtle laughs which I really enjoyed because it’s my kind of humour.  A ‘cool’ but strange grandpa who has no tv but likes to read the tv guide and wears Windex cleaner as aftershave.

The teenage brothers are soon off to explore what the town has to offer; it’s got a great amusement park, some illegal jobs and alot of missing kids.

At a musical festival, which has a great rock and jazz combined band playing for two minutes at best, is an amazing scene. It shows off the 80’s, semi hippie atmosphere and I love that they gave the band the time to shine. It’s also such a great piece which credits an oiled up Tim Cappello looking rather glorious with his saxophone.  That’s something you won’t see today but I Still Believe as he sings in the little clip I’ve included for entertainment.

Michael draws his attention to a curly haired girl named Star, ( Jami Gertz) who fascinates him as she dances, glancing at him every now and then. Very cute.

While Michael follows his sex glands to find this mysterious girl, Sam wanders off to a comic store where he is approached by two boys Edgar (Corey Feldman) and Alan ( Jamison Newlander) who are ”  just scoping your civilian wardrobe “. Evidently meeting their match as another ‘comic nerd’ who knows his stuff as he explains that certain issues can’t go next to each other because they haven’t discovered Kryton yet.

The pair waste no time in handing  Sam an issue of  Vampires Everywhere. They’d like to think of it as their personal survival vampire manual but Sam doesn’t like horror comics ” oh but you’ll like this one Mr. Phoenix. It might save your life”. 

Michael on the other hand finally finds and gets to talk to the mystery lady but is quickly approached by the same punk boys from the boardwalk who are associated with Star, and ask Michael to keep up, as they ride through the misty cold air, taking him to an abandoned cave where they seem to hideout in their  lair.

Their hospitality towards him is somewhat strange as Michael is aware of, but he sits down to some Chinese food where he begins to see things that are not quite there..” how are those maggots” ?Rice that turns into  maggots but changes again to seem ‘normal’.  When Michael grabs the next box he  starts to see worms. ” They’re only noodles Michael”. A charming trickster a vampire possesses well.

Moments pass when the head leader David (Kiefer Sutherland) offers Michael a jewelled bottle ” drink some of this Michael, be one of us”, ignoring Stars warning that it is blood. Soon Michael begins to feel unusual, he has his ears pierced to fit in with the angst punk boys and sunglasses to throw some shade on the world, though that is the least of his worries when he  begins to feel thirsty for something other than milk and floats up to his bedroom ceiling. This calls for some flying lessons!

This is the epitome of a great classic 80’s movie done right. The moment the scene opens, you feel transported into the era with some of the greatest music from amazing bands such as INXS and Jimmy Barnes, Echo and the Bunnymen that are placed in certain scenes that i’ve come across in a movie, so having the motion picture  soundtrack is a must have on my list. I’ve also discovered so many more  since watching this movie again, that I can really appreciate now.

It has the same iconic humour that was so  loved in the Goonies, Ghostbusters and Home Alone that make this comedy horror so likeable. It was a movie I cherished around the age of ten  and it really stood out for me as an intrguing vampire movie of its time, because let’s face it, most movies of such genre tend to suck.

These are a group of comic enthusiasts who are ” fighting for the Truth, Justice and the American way “.  They have read enough issues  to know how to defend themselves against  the creatures of the night. Whether they can kill them is another story.

Armed with holy water guns, and their  longbows, the boys have a long night ahead of them if they want to stake out the head vampire in hopes of bringing Santa Carla back to humanity. It’s truly a timeless classic worth sinking your teeth into.

Credits: Movie poster artwork by MalevolentNate on Devianart

Directed by: Joel Schumacher

Story by : Janice Fischer and James Jeremias

Starring : Corey Feldman, Jason Patric, Kiefer Sutherland, Edward Herrmann and others

Music by : Thomas Newman

Other honourable mentions from 1987 that I love :

Predator:  Directed by John McTiernan

Robocop : Directed by Paul Verhoeven

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 Dream Warriors: Directed by Wes Craven

Good Morning Vietnam: Directed by Barry Levinson

Evil Dead 2 : Directed by Sam Raimi

The Witches of Eastwick : Directed by George Miller

The Untouchables : Directed by Brian De Palma