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Spent a pleasant Sunday evening with my son watching Odd Thomas. The movie is pretty well done and there is no question that Oddie fans will enjoy it~~available from Amazon Instant Video.
Granted, It's not going to be on the short list of Academy Award nominees, but it is a solid movie, a particularly welcome change after the tragic and total butchering of Dean Koontz' incredibly awesome novel, Watchers, and pretty much every other film adaptation of his books.
Slight quibble: No Dead Elvis. It worked in the book, but might be hard to pull off Dead Elvis in a film without it going to corn pone right quick. [shrugs]
Honestly, I expected less from Jack Reacher The Movie, but I was wrong, Tom Cruise was outstanding. The writers managed to pull together a coherent plot flow from beginning to end, no mean feat in modern Hollywood, which often uses spectacular special effects to disguise sloppy screen writing.
My only gripe? Somebody needs to be shot for wreaking carnage upon that gorgeous 1970 Chevelle SS.
Ain't nothin' quite like driving a muscle car with a four speed. That one made me miss mine like my first crush.
TWC hauled The Boy and four of his hoodlum friends off to see Paranormal Activity 3 Friday night. The film is rated R hence the need for a responsible adult to procure access. Which does not explain the presence of six or seven unaccompanied eight year old girls who would not shut up.
Metal Matt: Would you shut up?(!).
Eight YO Girls: No! Yeeew shut up!
Metal Matt: Shut Up!
Reverberating Baritone Male Voice From Five Rows Up: SHUT UP!
Eight YO Girls: Scatter to various parts of the theater
Earlier on Fright Night, TWC hooked up with Mrs TWC and the House Blond in the bar at Macaroni Grill in The Crossings for a couple of three-dollar, happy-hour glasses of Valoroso Toscano house red. Sure, it's a corporate screw top red blend, but it is also a very quaffable red table wine. And, it is better than the old House Chianti. Three Bucks, Dude. That's the upside to the recession. These guys didn't even have a Happy Hour when things were Rockin' and Rollin'.
Paired the wine with spicy Italian meatballs and Shrimp, Cannellini Bean & Avocado Crostini.
The bartender, Brian, is the guy you *wish* was serving your table every time. Nothing beats reliability and friendly service. He makes a good mojito as well.
I noticed he noticed the House Blond. He was discreet. I also noticed that he noticed that she was too young. Good man.
I'm not a bootleg kind of guy but someone gave us a bootleg copy of Paranormal 1. Not only was it a suck movie but it had the early suck ending that was, apparently, not released in the theaters. Suffice it to say that I was not looking forward to Paranormal 3.
That said, it really was a much better flick than the original. A little tedious at first but the tedium was punctuated with a couple of good startles and several excellent sight gags. Humor and Horror. Not a bad combination and it worked. Later, the film got serious.
TWC couldn't sit down front with the boys without getting nauseated. That's how I came to be stuck with three of the eight YO juvenile delinquent females who scattered on account of Metal Matt and The Voice telling them to STHU. Like, where are *your* parents? Once the movie got with the program, though, they ran screaming from the theater. Bye. If only the couple next to me, who brought canisters of NOS, had run screaming from the theater instead of falling on the floor laughing every three minutes. This is why TWC likes Netflix and Amazon. No riff raff.
Good scary movies are very difficult to do well. I can only think of a handful that make the cut. Paranormal 3 isn't one of them, but it might be worth your while if you enjoy a good cheap scare. Certainly better than any run-of-the-mill slasher movie.
Those boys had the hair standing up on the back of their necks. They didn't shut up for the entire ride back to Jared's where they spent the night. Not a one of them volunteered to go with Metal Matt to get his laptop inside his dark, silent house. He sent the dog in first to run interference. Said he wasn't going to another horror movie until he was thirty.
After a mildly amusing opening scene clearly inspired by these guys......
.....Four Christmases sort of staggers along in search of a funeral. The movie is Just OK, 2.5 on a scale of 10. Lots of name actors, none of whom can help this thing out.
Everybody has crazed fam damily, but the absurdity is pushed off a cliff and the characters aren't. Instead they're all monochromatic caricaturizations that don't evoke sympathy or laughs (okay, a couple of chuckles here and there).
Yet another good idea that Hollywood mangled. It could have been a good drama or a good comedy or both. Meh.
And what is it with these so-called PG family movies? This isn't a family movie and you will not want to watch it with your kids.
I Am Legend struck me as Night of the Living Dead on steroids (and in color). Before it was a cult film I mean.
Saw Night of the Living Dead at one of those downtown 1930's movie palaces that even then was well past its prime. It was still a couple of years away from non-stop Spanish language porn films and it would be a decade before eminent domain and the bulldozers rearranged Broadway in Santa Ana into something less recognizable.
My girlfriend lived in Silverado Canyon and after the movie I had something in mind that would take her mind off scary things, but she was ready to go home.
These days Santiago Canyon Road is a commuter highway bordered by upscale gentleman ranches. At least those that survived last year's fire storms. Back in the day, it was winding narrow two lane canyon road that didn't really go much of anyplace, except to Cook's Corners, Silverado Canyon, and Modjeska.
I swear to you, Gentle Reader, there was a hitchhiking Living Dead, backlit by the harvest moon, lurking at the edge of every curve. They were peering at us from the chaparral and Sycamore dotted creek bed and staggaring around behind every granite outcropping on that narrow and desolate canyon road. It was like Disney's Haunted Mansion, except more believable.
And of course, that was one of the nights when her Ma didn't invite me to sleep on the couch in front of the fire. I was dodging Living Dead for an hour before the sweat cooled on my (then) less wrinkled forehead and I caught the cloverleaf at Chapman and the (two lanes) Newport Freeway.
Mr Cool, sometimes known as The Boy, and who TWC occasionally refers to as Moby Grape (he has penchant for purple) loves a good Western and Appaloosa fit the bill nicely. Jake built us a dandy fire, brewed himself some tea, and we settled in for a couple of hours with Mrs TWC's hang-on-the-wall TV.
The girls passed, invoking the chick flick rule. They missed a pretty good movie, too. Good cast, decent plot continuity, and all the divine retribution any red blooded American male could ask for. Plus, Aragon's way-cool Eight Gage double barrel shotgun. Boy howdy, that's gotta kick.
Jeremy Irons was fab as the bad guy. Jake told me he wanted one of those Winchester 1873 saddle guns. Ed Harris is, well, he's Ed Harris. Hadn't a clue it was Renée Zellweger. And Aragon Eight Gage was perfect as the implacable sidekick. Looked like it may have been filmed in Mescal, Arizona. If you like a Western, you'll like the movie. On a scale of 10, it gets 8.2.
Minor Quibbles: Nobody used the Eff Word in 1882. They didn't say not so much, neither. That's Jon Stewart's job. Or was. We never know why or how the Widow French ends up in the mythical town of Appaloosa with a buck in her pocket.
For parents: Typical violence you'd expect from a western. Not a lot of obvious carnage. No splattered internal oragans or brain cells. Some swearing. A little implied roll in the hay (morning after, everybody's dressed). One long distance shot of Renee Zelwegger's naked back side (probably a stunt double) that lasted about ten seconds. Just long enough to realize she warn't wearing no clothes.
TWC was not uncomfortable watching the movie with a twelve year old boy.
One of the ten worst movies I've ever seen. Avoid it like the plague. Scantily clad chicks and Katherine McPhee notwithstanding, this movie was the bomb. Not Da' Bomb, the bomb. For every mildly amusing wisecrack there were 28 minutes of interminable, predictable, ludicrous.....
See, these guys got together over lunch and sketched out this horrible scenario. They drank great wine and had a superb meal. When it was said and done, they each pocketed a half mil.
TWC Rule: If you could get your money back, they'd stop making these crapola movies.
The House Blond continues,
This was the worst movie ever! It stunk like a rotten, smelly shoe! I hated it!
Not to mention that it was highly inappropriate for the HB. PG-13? Well, how about PG-17?
I did not want to watch this movie, but I was roped into it. How-some-ever,Fred Claus turns out to be a lot better than TWC expected. It is entertaining holiday fare, perfect to watch with the kids or the grandkids (or both).
Whats-his-name is pretty good as the guy who constantly lived in the shadow of his younger and more famous brother. Miles from Sideways does nicely as a nominally henpecked, stress monster Santa figure. Kevin Spacey gets a 9.5 as the bad corporate drone bent on, well, I ain't no plot spoiler. Tugs at the heartstrings sufficiently to work as a chick movie (it put a little tear in The House Blond's baby blues).
The Boy is a shoot 'em up fan and he got worried when he heard the word drama used to describe John Wayne's final film.
Dad, are there shootouts?
No worries, son. You'll like it and so will the girls. Dam sure prescient of me to make that pronouncement too.
The Shootist stands the test of time well. A couple of soundtrack bits that define seventies porno and the horse drawn street cars courtesy of Carson City Traction notwithstanding (traction being a term indicating mechanical propulsion), the film has gracefully weathered the last three decades. To be sure, it was helped along by the likes of Lauren Bacall, Jimmy Stewart, Hugh O'Brian, Richard Boone, & Ron Howard.