Category Archives: movies

I, Frankenstein

I,Frankenstein (2014) is GREAT. If your use of the word “great” is at the start of a sentence that begins “Great! There is at long last a worthy partner for Reign of Fire, the 2002 epic in which Matthew McConaughey and Christian Bale take off their shirts and fight dragons.”

I always expected that the double-feature-mate for Reign of Fire would be a Ben Kingsley movie. Sure, that dude was Gandhi, but that dude has also been in some seriously craptacular movies. Un-ironically.

I, Frankenstein does, however, have Bill Nighy, so that’s nice. No Liam Neeson, but I kept confusing Frankenstein’s monster (Aaron Eckhart) with Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) and assuming that I’d spaced out during the scenes where he learned how to fight from Ra’s al Ghul, because that was the only way I could really make any narrative sense out of this thing.

Hey, if you look at it that way, the film is honorarily somewhere on the Axis of Neeson-Nighy, which. is definitely a thing and not something I just made up.

This film is so expensive, yet so cheap-looking. I, Frankenstein has the insane Whatthefuckitude of SciFi Pictures Productions circa 2003-4 but with the smug seriousness of Underworld, but with a budget. A big budget.

And the grunting and growling! Oh god, so many characters growl. It reminds you how rare growling is in contemporary cinema. Aside from werewolf movies, just not a lot of growling these days. I, Frankenstein goes all-in on the growling.

Oh, gods, and the ineptitude of the effects! They have the modern syfy intentionally-shitty-looking-to-seem-hip aesthetic, but clearly aren’t intentionally shitty. And the scale of the set pieces! The deranged self-serious terribleness boggles the mind! And, and, and…the GROWLING!


XMen: I Have Questions

And now, we return you to our continuing series, “Xmen: I Have Questions,” already in progress.


What sort of nuclear war was Charles Xavier’s stepfather preparing for exactly with that bunker full of department store mannequins?

Okay. Fine. Technically this series only existed in my head until now, but it was already in progress, as far as I’m concerned, whether you knew it or not.

The Underpass

Happy Halloween!

Hang on. I’m being told today isn’t actually the first day of Halloween, it’s the first day of October.

Husband is silly before he has coffee!

To kick off Halloween and/or October, director David Schmidt (Sword and Cloak Productions) has released a new short horror film.

The Underpass (2015)

Poster courtesy of Sword and Cloak Productions.

The sound mix is swell, so watch it with good headphones or speakers if you can!

The Underpass (2015)

Sword and Cloak have other shorts, clips, and trailers on their youtube page, so check them out!

I’m particularly fond of the faux trailer they produced for a contest last year.

House on Nightmare Lane (2014)

I suppose I should disclose that I’ve known David online for dog’s years and think he’s a peach. That doesn’t mean he’s not actually a talented filmmaker!

Interstellar does not look stellar to me.

We saw a lot of movies in the theater this summer. An unusually high number (for us).

I quickly reached the point where I could only endure the trailer for Interstellar by imagining all of the characters who go into space (for no apparent reason) eventually crash land on a planet of apes.

If I see the trailer too many more times I may have a psychotic break, because there’s something about it that irritates me. A lot. I don’t know what the movie is about. I don’t care.

Husband’s plot summary is good enough for me. Granted, it’s also based on seeing the same trailer too many times. Everyone’s a critic these days.

According to Husband, the plot of Interstellar is this: “Matthew McConaughey loves his children but he hates wheat. He probably loved baseball, but not as much as he loves his old truck and his children. People play too much baseball which results in all of the old trucks in the world being covered with dust. This endangers humanity, and possibly the wheat, so Alfred must send Catwoman and Matthew McConaughey into space. McConaughey is sad to leave his children. How sad? Really fucking sad. But he’s got to go, because we need a new planet to play baseball on. But he’s really really sad anyway.”

Here – in case you’ve managed to miss it:

The Ricardo Montalban Time Travel Paradox

Escape from the Planet of the Apes

image: Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)

We spent Christmas quality family time with the 5 original Planet of the Apes movies. (Seven months later, I found this post in my drafts folder).

You’d think we’d have these movies memorized by now, but when you’re dealing with such a sprawling franchise things get a bit hazy, even for Highly Trained Professionals such as ourselves.

After all, we’re not dealing with a mere trilogy. The first film, Planet of the Apes (1968), was adapted from a French novel, Pierre Boulle’s La Planete des Singes (1963) and was followed by 4 sequels in 4 years: Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970), Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971), Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972), and Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973).

Plus, there were 2 TV series (1 live-action and 1 animated), 1 execrable reboot (2001), 2 prequels – (Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) – and a whole bunch of comic books.

Plus, there’s time travel. Time travel that contradicts the time line established in the narrative – a narrative that’s already a bit nonsensical to begin with, to boot.

The 3rd film, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, may be a terrible movie, but it’s also terribly entertaining. And it’s got Ricardo Montalban and Eric Braeden giving the scenery a pretty thorough chew, so there’s that.

There’s a delightfully nutty scene in which Presidential Science Advisor Dr. Otto Hasslein (Braeden) goes on the nightly news and explains time travel. I couldn’t find the full scene on youtube, but I did find a remix called “A Lesson in Regression” that does it justice:

You really should watch Escape from the Planet of the Apes, if only to be thankful that the new prequels forego time travel in favor of something slightly more science-y and slightly less what-the-fuck-y.

Still the old films have something the new ones never will: 70s fashion. And, of course, Ricardo Montalban.