Cruel Irony

The Crow is one of the darkest superhero movies of all time. Much like Twilight Zone: The Movie, it’s also known for a tragic on set tragedy. The difference being that this tragedy happened to the star of the movie. Brandon Lee (son of Bruce Lee) was killed when a bullet was accidentally lodged in a blank gun. It’s ironic because The Crow centers around a man who dies and comes back to life as the titular superhero. The Crow is another comic book character that arrived in what I call the dark age of superhero films. I haven’t seen any of the sequels, but I don’t get why they were made in the first place. The Crow itself might have been completely forgotten if not for the tragedy. The final result however, is a well crafted piece of dark fantasy that isn’t afraid to get dark. A movie that Brandon Lee might have been proud to call his final film.

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The Crow sits in contemplation

You’re Traveling through Another Dimension

Twilight Zone: The Movie, such lost potential. The Twilight Zone is one of my favorite TV shows. I watch the marathon every New Years or 4th of July. Although just select classic episodes. If I was alive in the 80’s then I would have been thrilled to see a Twilight Zone movie. Unfortunately, Twilight Zone: The Movie will forever be associated with the worst tragedy in the history of filmmaking. Look it up if you don’t know what I’m talking about. It could have been avoided, but the director John Landis was too reckless. Still, it’s a movie, and as such I have to watch it without thinking about what happened behind the scenes. There are five separate segments in the movie that I can only review separately.

Prologue – The prologue is the perfect combination of random and creepy. Which perfectly sums up the show. Dan Aykroyd and Albert Brooks play two men driving at night. They play a game of guess that theme song which ends with The Twilight Zone theme song. I’d say it’s well done for an opener.

“Time Out” – “Time Out” is the infamous segment in which the on set tragedy happened. It’s also the only segment that isn’t a remake of an episode. It’s about an old racist man who gets thrust into various points in history. Where he is the oppressed minority. The lesson is clear and the story is interesting. It just ends abruptly. Which hurts the quality of the segment.

“Kick the Can”ย – “Kick the Can” feels like the most out of place segment. Steven Spielberg directs with his signature brand of whimsy. Which just feels out of place in this movie. Plus “Kick the Can” is an episode that I only watched once and it’s definitely not a classic. Which makes the segment kinda boring and unmemorable. Old people become young, that’s it.

“It’s a Good Life” – “It’s a Good Life” is one of two segments that are the best in the movie. For one thing it’s based on one of the all time best episodes of the series. Joe Dante just does things in a different way. Anthony (the kid with powers) is more of a modern kid who loves things like junk food and cartoons. It’s creepy in a way that feels the most like the classic show. Making it one of the better segments.

“Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”ย – “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” is often considered among the top 3 best episodes of the series. This remake is nowhere near as good as the episode, but it’s still one of the better segments in this movie. George Miller brings his over-the-top Mad Max style to this tale of a gremlin messing with an airplane. Surreal is probably the best word to describe it.

In conclusion, if you can separate fact from fiction than I’d say Twilight Zone: The Movie is worth checking out. Just don’t expect a masterpiece like the TV show was.

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Nightmares become a reality

I’m Dadman

Happy Father’s Day everyone. In honor of fathers everywhere, I thought I’d review Mr. Mom. Before Michael Keaton was Batman he was Mr. Mom. The story of a working man and his stay at home wife. Everything changes when he loses his job and she gains a job. While Mr. Mom seems like a normal premise, to have a mother with a job and a father staying at home with the kids. Back then it was almost unheard of. Of course the dad has a difficult time adjusting to the current situation. He finds a way to do it in his own fatherly way. Mr. Mom is funny, but also relatable. I myself went through a similar situation. My mom worked at a hotel for about 3 years. My dad was the one who looked after us for most of the day. It wasn’t always easy, but my dad knew what he was doing. Movies like Mr. Mom show me just how important dads are.

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Jack (left) stirs his coffee with his baby’s milk

City of Stars

La La Land is the musical I’ve been waiting for. A musical with terrific songs, stellar acting, and amazing visuals. After the less than worthy Chicago won “Best Picture,” I couldn’t be happier that La La Land won. Wait, it didn’t win… crap! I didn’t see Moonlight yet, but I’ll continue to think that La La Land should have won. Right from the start I could tell that La La Land was something special. It pays tribute to the beloved musicals of yesteryear. They just don’t make movies like this anymore. La La Land is about the movies (and jazz) and how hard it is to make it in Hollywood. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling once again play lovers. Both of which are trying to aspire to there own individual dreams. Mia is a struggling aspiring actress and Sebastian is a struggling aspiring jazz singer. The only problem is, can they achieve their dreams and stay together? I absolutely love musicals and every song in La La Land is a winner. “City of Stars,” “Another Day of Sun,” “Someone in the Crowd,” “Audition (The Fools Who Dream),” they’re all fantastically original. I’m definitely going to watch it again and again just to sing-along. I honestly cannot say enough good things about La La Land. It will always be a winner to me. As long as I heard the words Best Picture and La La Land together, I’m happy.

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Mia and Sebastian dance together

Alright, Alright, Alright

Dazed and Confused puts the high in high school. It’s another one of many teen movies that aren’t really about anything. Dazed and Confused is set in the 70’s near the end of high school. There’s an ensemble cast that has their own individual teen problems to deal with. Probably the most impressive thing about the movie is the look. It genuinely tricked me into thinking it was made in the 70’s. The fact that there are a lot of before they were famous actors in it is what reminded me it was 90’s. The most well remembered thing about the movie is Matthew Mcconaughey. Dazed and Confused is where he coined his famous catchphrase “alright, alright, alright.” So add it to your list of teen movies to watch.

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Wooderson (foreground) and Slater (background) take a drag

Diary of a Vengeful Kid

I’m glad I didn’t see Harriet the Spy as a kid, because I can’t imagine myself ever liking it. Harriet the Spy is based on an (I guess popular) children’s book. It’s also the first film from “Nickelodeon Movies.” In fact, it was released with the unaired pilot of Hey Arnold. Which is sadly the main highlight of the movie. At first Harriet the Spy just seemed like an average kids detective movie. Harriet is a self proclaimed spy who writes all her thoughts in her journal. Which I probably would have just called okay. Then something happens halfway through the movies second act. Things take an unexpected turn when Harriet’s journal ends up in the wrong hands. All of her personal thoughts about everyone (including her best friends) comes out for all to hear. Everyone in her class turns on her and, for lack of a better word, torment her. So Harriet decides to get revenge on everyone in her class. For something that she started in the first place! The best word to describe Harriet the Spy is meanspirted. Man, it was unpleasant to watch. Not the best start to “Nickelodeon Movies.”

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“Can you read this”

One Cuss of a Fox

Fantastic Mr. Fox is an odd sort of film. It’s has a more realistic look to it’s stop motion animation. Fantastic Mr. Fox is also based on a less than well known Roald Dahl book, and it’s directed by the ever symmetrical Wes Anderson. Fun fact, this was the first Wes Anderson movie that I saw. It may be animated, but it still feels like all of his other work. As I’ve stated before, Fantastic Mr. Fox is odd. Probably the oddest thing is about the movie is the fact that the characters use the word cuss in place of any swear word. Fantastic Mr. Fox is about a fox who decides to give into his animal instincts. Which leads to family problems and endangerment of the animals. The whole movie feels like a book brought to life. They literally spell out the titles of each chapter in the book. So I would say the it’s an odd movie that’s worth watching.

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Mr. Fox (center) and his team of bandits

Just the Bad and the Ugly

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Movies like Jonah Hex should not exist. In case you’re unaware, Jonah Hex is a DC comics character. One that that nobody’s ever heard of. Which makes the fact that they made a movie based on the character seem even more perplexing. Seriously, we live in a world where Jonah Hex gets a movie before Wonder Woman or The Flash?! As a movie, Jonah Hex was completely forgettable (I actually tried to stay awake while watching it). As a western, there are plenty of other more interesting action filled westerns (I’d rather watch Wild Wild West). And as a superhero movie, it’s very lazily thrown together. Luckily “The CW” revived the character in a better small screen capacity.

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Jonah Hex on a horse

Like Looking in a Mirror

Twins was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first performance in a comedy. Before then, Arnie was known exclusively for action. Twins is also the first movie in a sort of trilogy of Schwarzenegger comedies directed by Ivan Reitman. It ended up being the last one that I saw, and I didn’t own it on vhs. However, Twins has a very interesting story that could have been very different if it wasn’t a comedy. There’s an experiment to create the perfect man (Schwarzenegger), but they end up with a less than perfect twin (DeVito). The funniest thing about the movie is that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito are supposed to be twins. Arnie is definitely a natural when it comes to comedy. So,ย Twins is a brotherly love filled recommendation.

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Julius (left) shops with his twin brother Vincent (right)

mYstErIouS maRgO

Paper Towns is not as deep as The Fault in our Stars, but it is enjoyable. Paper Towns is the second movie based on a book (that I also didn’t read) by John Green. It has an interesting story, but there really is no comparison. Paper Towns focuses on a teen who’s been in love with a mysterious girl for a long time. By mysterious, I mean she loved mysterious. In fact, she loved mysteries so much that she became one. Most of the movie is dedicated to the teen and his group of friends as they try to track her down. So it’s one of those “it’s not the destination, it’s how you get there” type of stories. Which would be okay if the ending wasn’t such a let down. I still liked Paper Towns. In fact, I think it’s one of the more accurate depictions of teenagers in recent memory. Though I wasn’t sure if the movie was a comedy or not. So I tried to contain a few laughs. If you watch Paper Towns as it’s own separate movie, then I’m sure you’ll like it.

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Margo and Q bond