Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ever After

For Valentine’s Day, Mary suggested we watch an old favorite of hers[1] that she hadn’t seen in a while and I hadn’t seen at all. Ever After is a semi-realist take on the Cinderella story, in which Drew Barrymore suffers under the yoke of her dissatisfied stepmother Angelica Huston[2], but then ends up in the mistaken identity trope of a romantic comedy when she inadvertently encounters the prince of France while trying to free a family servant from being indentured to the Americas.

And I do not use “trope” advisedly; it’s more like a term of art here, because the plot never rises above its rom-com trope roots, and indeed it never tries to. But it’s also the kind of movie you’d watch on Valentine’s Day, you know? Plus, and this is technically a spoiler, any movie that turns Leonardo Da Vinci into a fairy godmother is a-okay in my book.

[1] By way of seeing one of the stepsisters in the latest episode of The Last of Us, and being reminded of the movie’s existence
[2] Perversely, she’s quite a bit less nice than when she played Morticia Addams

Truth or Dare (2017)

IMDb says the version of Truth or Dare I just watched was a TV movie. And now that I’m thinking about it, like, maybe it was? Most of the violence was reactions or cutaway, and I honestly do not remember the language levels, though also I’m not sure if made for cable counts as what they consider “TV movies”. There are just a lot of layers here.

And then, on top of that, the Happy Death Day people did a remake the next year that was theatrical. Man, why didn’t I just see that one instead?

Anyway, this implies that I was unhappy with the truths and/or dares that the movie provided. And, nah, it was fine. Maybe a little too deep in the gross-out mutilation angles, but…. it’s like, I can imagine this having turned into a franchise the way Final Destination did. A bunch of college kids rather than high school kids, but either way: they’ve gotten mixed up in something outside their control, and now they have to find a way to survive something that very much wants them not to. We’ve seen it dozens of times before, but have we seen it with people who immediately rule out anything sexy in a goldurn game of truth or dare[1], can’t figure out how to rob a gas station, and accidentally miscount the number of body parts they have to sever?

I think we perhaps have not.

[1] If there’s anything that makes me dislike the movie, this was it. Either play the game or don’t, but, come on.

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

It’s been nearly a decade since I last watched a Paranormal Activity movie. …well, a new one, anyway. I rewatched the first four this week, after determining that they released entry #7 and thinking, should I catch up? Hey, why not!

To answer: The Marked Ones is a perfectly cromulent spooky demon stuff movie. Things move around of their own accord, something is angry about who knows what, there is a third act body count, all the boxes were ticked off, even ominous references to the Featherstons. But… it was either too much or not enough.

I guess what I mean is, the first movie was just a movie. The second movie and onward built on a shared mythology, though, following the backstory and travails on one cursed family. And, okay, the prior movie did make reference to an army of demon people looking for hosts for their pet demons or whatever is going on; it didn’t entirely make sense? And look, I found my point! Because the problem isn’t that this movie built on the demon army idea by branching out to different families experiencing different but basically the same problems. That part was great, and even a correct direction for the franchise.

No, the problem is that nothing new happened. Well, no, the first problem is that every character was a teen, and teens aren’t spooky. Kids are spooky, and we have been given too many spooky kids in this series to move to adult teens now. No thank you, I have Friday the 13th[1] for that. But the main problem is, I don’t know anything new about the mythology than I knew at the end of the fourth movie. Why is there an army? Are they all for one demon? Are this many people coming due for demonic money and power deals, or how did the army even happen? Answers to these questions: nope, nothing, nada. This was just… filler.

Meh. (I liked the Simon Says bits, though.)

[1] Or maybe A Nightmare on Elm Street is more appropriate?

State of Delirium

Get it?

Anyway, I’ve been doing this for north of five years. Wow. And you may have noticed over the past week or so that it all went away. There was an unfortunate server incident and an even more unfortunate failure to retrieve data backups for six months. However, Google is sufficiently advanced as to be indistinguishable from magic, and with help from longtime contributor Jason Newquist and longtime reader Mike Kozlowski, and from the Google cache, I have retrieved all of the actual review files, the vast majority of the tags, and all but four of the comments. Everything should look just about the same as it did a week ago when this all happened. I, for one, am relieved. Also, the WordPress instance is now, as I understand it, mailing me weekly site backups to avoid this kind of tomfoolery down the line.

That’s it. Just wanted to catch y’all up, those as wondered at least. Thanks for reading.

Not a review of The Walking Dead: Miles Behind Us

One thing that I do before I review a sequel to, well, much of anything, is go back and read my review (or reviews) of the previous entries in that series. Having just done so prior to my review of the second Walking Dead graphic novel, I have come to the unprecedented realization that I need to read it again before I say anything substantive. Now admittedly I went to an awesome days-long party since finishing it wherein I drank like a… well, I drank a lot. But I’m pretty sure I remember what happened in the book. I just wasn’t reading it in the correct frame of mind, and I want to look at it through different eyes before I replay my thoughts.

Currently, they are: wholly entertaining, but nothing special. And that just doesn’t fit with my review of the first book. So now I’ll get a second opinion.

A brief update from the author

So, two things.

One, I’ve changed it up, to get out from under the spam. We’ll see if it works. I’m gradually going through the archives and revamping the links plus fixing the ones that are currently dead. It’s an ongoing project, but it shouldn’t take all that long. In any case, if links in older entries are broken or just barebones compared to the current crop, that will eventually get fixed. Honest. I do think it’s a lot prettier than it used to be, though, so that’s pleasant.

Two, there was a problem with the comments system, probably since I shifted over and started fiddling with things last month. It has been resolved. Sorry about that.

Wanna hear something sad? I actually have four more movies I’d like to see immediately. Would like to see, not actually want to see. Because the thought of reviewing anything else right now literally makes me cringe. Maybe in a day or two, I’ll be back on track. (I am reading, but the book is pretty long and my time lately has been even shorter than usual. So.)

Anyway, that was all. Back to your regularly scheduled reviews, once I’ve finished anything.