Hellraiser Movie Review
By: Justin Hopkins
This has been an interesting few months for Pinhead. Being introduced into Dead By Daylight as a playable killer. Then the other day it came out that Jaime Clayton will be taking on the role of Pinhead in the next movie. While I am very excited to see what comes from that. What better time to look back on the first. It’s spooky season and 13th. Hellraiser certainly fits the bill of a classic, so lets do it. Lets dive back and discuss shall we.
The movie kicks off with Frank buying the box from a merchant. Taking it back home where he works on solving it, kneeling in a square of candles. When a chain leaps out and snags him. We start to pan from room to room and when we return, find the room covered in chains and a totem covered in flesh. Seeing a woman cenobite putting his face together like a puzzle, while Pinhead closes the box and everything disappears. We jump to Frank’s Brother Larry and wife Julia coming into the house. Discussing the potential of moving in. Frank being gone and Larry doesn’t really care about it. An idea Julia does not seem sold on the idea. When he goes off to answer the phone, a call from his Daughter Kristy, who tells him found a room. She goes through Franks stuff and sneaks a photo. Before agreeing to move and they start on Sunday. We meet Kristy during moving day. While Julia is upstairs. Having a flashback to first meeting Frank and the affair she had with him. Brought out of it by Larry coming in. Bleeding from a nail cutting him. Needing her help since he can’t handle the sight of blood. Dripping blood on the floor that starts to absorb into the floor. When her and Kirsty take him to the hospital. The floor boards begin to shake and gore pile form and Frank comes out. Only, a shell of himself. Missing skin and flesh and just a bunch more. Later that night, when Julia leaves the Dinner Party early. Hears noises coming from the room and finds him. She tried to escape, but he stopped her. Asking for her help. The blood brought him back and he needed more blood to put himself back together. After remembering their time together. She comes back and tells him she will do it. We see her go out and pick up a guy from the bar. Bringing him back and killing him with a hammer. Allowing Frank to suck him dry, but he needs one of two more, and needs the quickly, before the Cenobites come for him. After the second, he explains the box opens the door for the Cenobites. Who bring pain and pleasure. That night she has to do everything to get Larry from going into the room. Then beg Frank to not kill Larry. When he gives her a choice. Get another or he is killing Larry. So, she goes out again, and brings a third. Which Kirsty sees her bring home. Since Larry asked asked her to go talk to Julia and see what is wrong with her. Rushing in when she hears the scream and is attacked and trapped in the room with Frank. Using the box to distract him and chucks it out of the window and escapes. Grabbing the box along the way. Getting far away but the trauma and everything getting to her and she passed out. Waking up in a hospital bed. Not letting her out of bed and even locked her in. She turned her attention to the box. Starting to solve it. Opening a doorway. Going inside and immediately chased out by a monster. She tries to close the box and the cenobites arrive. Going to take her away when she says Frank is alive. Reaching a deal. Have Frank confess himself and maybe they will let her go and that is where I ill stop for now.
The gore and carnage candy was fantastic through. The practical effects on Frank rising from the gore pile and all the work they did with the chain cutting into him. The final look of Frank being held in place with all the chains and ripping him apart. This movie needed depending on the gore and they delivered big time.
On those same lines, the prosthetics and costumes were tremendous. All the stages of Frank looked wonderful. The Engineer was great and then there are the Cenobites. All having their distinctive look and personality that spoke through their look. Pinhead is legendary. Chatterer and Butterball were really cool and interesting designs. While I always found the Female Cenobite to be the most unnerving of the bunch. The needles and contraption opening up her throat. Way she spoke and small motions spoke volumes and worked perfectly.
For the most part, the movie was perfectly paced. Building to a wild finish. A really creative dark, twisted story. Of the punishment and chaos that is housed inside the box. Giving you just enough to entertain in the blood soaked violence and intrigue to not only entertain, but open enough to let your mind wonder about the mystery behind it and what more could be inside the box.
The picked up an amazing group of actors and actresses to bring the characters to life. Each of the Cenobites were excellent. Doug Bradley came out like a star, for Pinhead, but the others were equally awesome, with Grace Kirby as the Female Open/Deep Throat, Nicholas Vincent as Chatterer, and Simon Bamford as Butterball. Claire Higgins pulled off Julia’s descent into madness and turn to a villain nicely. Same with Andrew being nice guy Larry to Frank in disguise by the end. Oliver Smith as skinless Frank brought a terrifying presence to the performance. Last, but furthest from least is Ashley Laurence as Kirsty. Turning in a master class and staked her name as among the best Final Girls in horror.
While, I have no out right negatives about this one. I do have some mixed and it surrounds the dream and the homeless man. I did praise them about keeping enough to the chest, but these two things could have used a bit more time. Think she had one dream and homeless man followed her about, eating crickets at the pet store. He was the way to get the box back to the merchant of course, but a little more would have been nice. None of which is going to put much of a dent into what I thought about the movie though.
If you haven’t watched it. Now, is the best time to change that. Fantastic, brutal horror film that is the personification of an all time classic. Legendary characters brought to life by great performances. Fit for any Halloween Marathons. Final Grade – A+
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!
By: Justin Hopkins
Welcome to this months Classic 13 review… three days late. I know, I am sorry. Between getting ready for this past weekend and attending Rampage. Didn’t have enough time to get this one done, but didn’t want to pass this one up. Since we are less then 2 weeks away from Candyman’s return to the theaters. No better time to go back to the 1992 classic that started it all. A movie that I have only actually seen one time going into this when I was a kid. A lot of it going over my head and no really sticking with me. Now, older and somewhat capable of understanding things. It was time to give it another go. So, lets jump in and discuss.
The movie kicks off with a title sequence, ending with a swarm of bees and Candyman talking, ” They say I have shed some blood, but what’s blood for if not for shedding. With my hook for a hand, I will split you from groin to gullet.” After a shot of bees overtaking the city, we jump to Helen, a grad student, listening to story of The Candyman. A babysitter who had a guy name Billy show up. Taking him upstairs and to the bathroom. Telling him the story and he said the name 4 times. When she sends him downstairs she says it a 5th and he came for her. Killing her and the baby. Billy managing to escape but went crazy. Hair turning white. She knows the story because her roommates’ boyfriend knows him. Meanwhile, fellow Grad Student Bernadette hearing a different story. Heading back to the university, a little annoyed by the way one of the students is looking at the professor, her husband, Trevor. She pushes on, because she is more upset that he is teaching the Urban Legend portion while her and Bernadette are working on their thesis. See her typing on a computer later, when one of the cleaning ladies overhears the recording. Knowing someone, another cleaning lady who knows about the Candyman. Telling her the story of Ruthie Jean, a woman who lived at Cabrini Green housing. Heard what sounded like someone banging through her wall. She tried numerous times to call the police, but they ignored her till it was to late. Finding her dead when they finally arrived. Believing it to be the Candyman who did it. Helen found numerous articles and the Ruthie Jean murder. Making a connection between Cabrini Green and her apartment tower. Showing Bernadette how the apartments are connected through the bathroom mirror. Where she said Candyman five time, Bernadette only doing it four, but nothing happens. The next day, they head to Cabrini Green, much to Bernadette’s chagrin. The gang catching sight of them immediately. Not messing with them, because they thought they were cops, but shouted a warning up the stairs. Making their way to Ruthie Jean’s. Where she climbed through the hole to the abandoned apartment. Taking pictures. Finding a massive mural of The Candyman on the wall. Along with an offering of candy before it. Coming back when she runs out of film, one of the neighbors, Ann-Marie, comes to check what is going on. After a little reluctance, not wanting them to bash those who lived here. That not all of them are bad. She tells then a bit more about when Ruthie died. How she heard her screams and tried to call the police, but no one came. Believing it to be done, by Candyman. Over dinner with a group of professors, we learn more about Candyman. 1890, he was the son of a slave who struck it rich. Allowing his Father to send him to the best schools. Where he became an artist. Sleeping with a woman he was hired to paint a portrait of. Father hiring a group to punish him. Chasing him down to where Cabrini Green would be built. Sawing his hand off with a rusty blade. Smashing honeycombs over his body and dying by bee stings. Burning his body to ash and scattered across the grounds. When she goes back, tricks a kid, Jake into taking her to where he claims the Candyman can be found. Taking her to the restroom outside. Telling her about a kid the Candyman killed. Was told that was where he is. While she is inside, a group of guys come in. One brandishing a hook. Calling himself the Candyman, brandishing a hook and hits her in the head. Leaving her out cold and bleeding. Jake calling for help. The police catch the man, because unlike before they do come and sweep the building. The man was the leader of the Overlord Gang, and with her testimony could be put away. Jake is upset about her breaking their promise. Afraid of the Candyman, which she assures him is only a myth. When she is well enough to finally go back to school. Making her way through the parking garage, when a man calls out to her. Seeing flashes of Cabrini, as he lulls her into a hypnotic state. Telling her that he was obliged to come because of her spreading doubt of his existence. Be his victim, as she sees a swarm of bees as she blacked out. Coming to on the floor. Covered in blood. Hearing a woman screaming. Finding herself in Ann- Marie’s Apartment. Head of the dog on the floor. Helen picks up a knife, going to see what is happening. Baby Anthony is gone, and Ann Marie attacks her. Police bursting in as Helen is defending herself and she is arrested and that is where I will mercifully leave it for now.
I enjoyed what they were going for with the Candyman and the myth surrounding him. Way he feed on the fears and thrived by being the boogeyman of Cabrini Green. Way he had to go about targeting Helen when she threatened to debunk his myth with his “Congregation.” Way he masterfully tore down here life. Leaving her with no other choice but to come to him. Then the switch happened, by him reneging and she fought back. Dying as she saved the baby. Making her the new Myth of Cabrini Green. Which was a risky move , especially with great of a character they had made, in Candyman, but one that they paid off for them.
I like the fact they didn’t just make him another hack n’ slash serial killer. Candyman being more suave and sophisticated. The way he talked and his movement. Story based in sadness and racial inequalities. That his only crime was falling for a white woman. Then preying and feeding off the black community who can never get any help. His crimes being ignored and just written up as gangs. While people Ann-Marie and Jake are caught in the middle.
The prosthetics were wonderful. From the small stuff like Helen’s swollen eye after she was attacked in the restroom. The aftermath of Bernadette and Trevor and the hook for a hand was excellent. The burns on Helen were morbid in the right way. For a movie that didn’t show a lot of the actual killing. Went all in on the aftermath and a great job with it. And a massive round of applause to Virginia Madsen and Tony Todd for working with swarms of bees. Couldn’t even imagine the amount of tension they were under pulling that off.
It almost goes without saying that the actors and actresses were phenomenal. Tony Todd created a villain of the ages in Candyman. Bringing the look, style, and derangement to stay with you long after you leave. Virginia Madsen was the perfect woman to bring in for the part of Helen. Nailing Helen’s descent . Making you feel so much sympathy for her as not only Candyman tore apart her life, but her Husband was cheating and moved in his girlfriend after she was committed and Virginia and Tony had excellent chemistry. Then you had Xander Berkeley, who played Trevor. A guy you just knew was cheating on Helen and became more unlikeable as you went and seeing him get his comeuppance was the cherry on the top, and it was because of how good Xander pulled it off.
Most of my nitpicks I had going from my first watch was cleared up on this one. So, guess we will go into final thoughts. Candyman is a really enjoyable film that had a lot going on for it. Good carnage candy, tragic tale, social breakdowns. An excellent final girl and Iconic killer in Candyman. With the sequel right around the corner, now is the best time to leap back to where it all started with this 1992 classic. Final Grade – A
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!
Predator 1987 Movie Review
By: Justin Hopkins
June 12 marked the 34th anniversary of the epic, Predator. So, I am a touch late for the celebration, but I am certainly not going to pass on the chance to talk about this movie. Actually pretty nervous about this one. 34 year old classic that has been praised numerous times, but it is such a classic that it is hard to pass on the chance to talk about it. So, lets jump in and discuss.
The movie kicks off with a ship traveling through space and landing on Earth, before we jump to Dutch. Landing on a base to meet with General Phillips. To discuss a mission. Going behind enemy lines to rescue mission to save some hostages. Learns an old friend Dillon, was there and the guy who recommended Dutch and his team for the assignment. After the manliest of handshakes, learns that Dillon will be joining the team and we jump to the team flying in. Listening to music and getting to know them a bit, before they land. Making their way to the downed helicopter. Finding signs that things may not be as explained to them by the General and Dillion, but they carry on. Tracking where the Guerrillas went. When they find the skinned remains of another recue team, lead by a friend of Dutch, Jim Hopper. Again Dillon denies any knowledge, but it does stoke the rage in the team. Not only wanting to save the hostages, but get a bit of payback in the process. Finding their base, and after stealthily taking out the guys on watch. They attack in a massive hail of bullets, explosions and one liners. When the smoke settles, they learn Dillon had in fact lied. That he used them as a hit squad to squash out an invasion and in fact, they were the second team. Hopper was the first, but lost contact with them. Insisting that they bring back, a woman, Anna, to grill her for information when they get back. Unbeknownst to them, they are being watched by something from the trees that is much worse than the Guerrillas and that is where I leave it for now.
This was a tremendous story and they did great job with handling the characters. Taking their time to build up Dutch and his team. Everyone having their own personality and characteristics. Getting to know them and building the bond they have together. Just how they good they work together and operate. Easily overwhelming the Guerrillas and by showing how strong they were. Should how much stronger the Predator is in comparison.
The Predator itself is such an amazing creature. Hands down my favorite alien, by a mile, and is up there on my favorite monster list. The look and design is incredible. From his advanced arsenal, the silver mask over top of alien face and mandible like mouth and jaws. The dreads and fishnets. Him being a hunter and only hunting prey that is armed and would be a challenge to go after. Way he handled Dutch who had proved himself a skilled hunter and flat out challenging to a battle. Everything about the Predator was simply perfect.
The movie is chalked full of not only some great action and gore, but some of the most quotable lines and incredible moments. From seeing the Predator for the first time and the manliest handshake. Had incredible lines. Knock-Knock, I aint got time to bleed and of course, Get to the chopper. Such a fun movie that stays with you longer after you have watched it.
Casting was spot on. Everyone did incredible work at making this movie great. Kevin Peter Hall was spectacular as the Predator. Giving him a menacing and threatening demeanor. Using his seven feet three body frame to his absolute advantage. His facial expression and look in his eyes when his mask came off. The way he looked at Dutch when he had him cornered and saw the trap. Playing off of Arnold so well. Peter Cullen was a great choice to voice him. The tiny clicks and harsh tone. Elpidia Carrilo did a wonderful job as Anna. Than you get the team. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, Sonny Landham, Richard Chaves and Shane Black were all incredible together. The chemistry was fantastic between the group and they were incredible to watch.
So, this is an incredibly short review, but I have nothing negative to say. Not even a mixed. Just a great movie from top to bottom. It’s has great horror elements, action and suspense. Sci-Fi and parts that make you laugh and a monster that has stood the test of time. It is nothing short of a classic. Final Grade – S
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!
The Craft 1996 Movie Review
By: Justin Hopkins
The Craft, like so, so many other movies it seems, has been a movie that I have been wanting to watch for longer then it probably should have been. I think about it, tell myself that I am going to watch, and end up forgetting about it. So, when I set about trying to find a good classic movie to review for Women’s History Month. Knowing very well, that I was not going to be doing a Rom-Com. The Craft came rushing to the front of the line and with the talented line-up The Craft felt like the perfect choice. So lets see if the long wait was worth it.
The movie starts off with three girls holding a ritual of some sorts, followed by a wild title card and we jump to Sarah and her family arriving to their new home. Moving from San Francisco. On her first day at Catholic School, we see the three from the beginning. Nancy, Bonnie and Rochelle, and they are in disagreement about whether or not they need a fourth to complete the circle. Nancy being against it and Bonnie pushing for it. While Bonnie was in French class with Sarah. She sees her levitating a pencil up on its point and believes she is the fourth and Nancy immediately scares her off. At lunch when Chris comes to flirt with her, lets her in on who they were. Calling the supposed witches along with several other insulting words. Inviting her to watch his football practice, which she does, but from far away and the girls find her. Telling her of some of the awful things he has done and that he is only using her. Inviting Sarah to come along with them. Which she begrudgingly does. Going off to a shop based around Wiccan belief, candle, spells, charms and such. Sarah doesn’t believe to much of it, but is talked into buying a few book from the Shop Owner. After they leave, the homeless man who was in her house the day before bumps into her and starts chasing her. Screaming about how he dreamed she was dead. starting to chase her across the street. When the three other notice what is happening and they all see him get hit by a car. Which causes them to flee. Once they get to a safe place in the woods are excited. They believe that they caused it because all four of them hoped he would get hit to save Sarah and we learn a bit more about their beliefs. Believe in what they call Manon, which is everything around them. The Earth, plants spirits and life energies and through it, can help them and make everything better. A thought that turns Sarah away. Not believing the pain can just go away and leaves. Going to Chris. When she declines his invitation to go back to his house, she find out the next day, Chris told everyone that she is the lousiest he has ever slept with and treats her terribly when she confronts him on it. Making it seem like she is a clingy creep. As a group the three come together and for a ritual, where she places a Love Spell on Chris and it works. So, they come together for more and the power begins to get to them and this is where I will leave it for now.
This movie does a fantastic job at building the four girls. None of them starting out as evil, just people who are hurting. The pain, both physically and mentally Bonnie goes through from the burn scars on her back. Rochelle being bullied because of her race. Nancy coming off as strong in public, but feeling powerless at home to help her Mom and not having any way to make it better and Sarah still suffering over not having her Mom and the Stunt Chris puled solidifying her even more as an outcast she felt like. They felt like they were desperate to find power, a way to make their pains go away of fell some sort of justice that they never get and are elated when it happens and crushed when it goes south and shows the ugly side of when power corrupts and how toxic it can be.
While this movie did have some CGI, which could be hit or miss, but they had some really great practical effects and prosthetics at work. Camera angle from under the car when the homeless man got hit by a car. An angle that I was not ready for. The blistering scalp on Lizzie and even the burn scars on Bonnie looked good.
The four women involved did such a fantastic job and all seemed to have amazing chemistry with one another. I often forget how good Neve Campbell is. Feeling her pain during the gene therapy session and the desperation of her pleading with Manon during the spell to please take her scars and are elated for her when it happens. Actually soul crushing to see her go bad at the end. Playing so well off of Rachel True’s Rochelle. Who, despite her own issues, felt like had the potential to be the level headed one of the three. Robin Tunney played Sarah to perfection and making herself the perfect foil to Fairuza Balk’s Nancy. Fairuza stole the show with her performance. She was so over the top and seeing her loosing herself to her powers was a sight to behold. Before we move to the next, got to spotlight Christine Taylor’s Laura Lizzie, the racist bully. Her performance in the showers was near redemption worthy. She was a rude, nasty person to Rochelle but Laura did so well in the fetal position with hair coming out in her hands and it just should she learned and Laura did so well. Which brings us to the negative.
It almost feels like they wanted Rochelle to turn on Nancy. Which caused her character to lose a bit of shine toward the end because of her flipping emotions. Had the scene in the shower and see the remorse on Rochelle, but that night she is invading Sarah’s dreams and threatening her in the bathroom. Than she doesn’t want to go upstairs because she thinks they went to far. Only, to come back the next day and taunt her. A Rochelle could have been something interesting and it ended up hurting her character for not picking a lane.
So, as we round this out. What grade will I be giving it. It is definitely a must see if you haven’t and worthy of anyone’s collection. The more and more I think about it, the more I think that it is top tier. Great story, with deep dives into society ills from four different perspectives. Some horrifying and a suspenseful climax. Even has a good kill. So, only one way to go. Final Grade – S
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading.
They Live Movie Review
By: Justin Hopkins
It is a shame that it has taken me this long to get around to this classic. Granted my ability to stick to a schedule is dodgy at best but still, They Live probably should have been higher up on the to do list. I grew up with this movie, even before I was a fan of the movies. Due to me being a wrestling nerd and was sold when I heard it stared Roddy Rowdy Piper, and it has remained a movie I continue to go back to, but lets dive in shall we. Discuss the good, the bad and the in between.
The movie kicks off with a man with no name (Nada) arriving to the city in search of a job. Having lost his previous one in Denver. His first day he ended up striking out at Job Placement, but on the second day he lands a job at a construction sight. Where he is spotted by a man named Frank who tells him about a Homeless camp and invites him to come along. after introducing him to Gill and showing him around, they get to talking over a meal and we learn a little bit about Frank. Has a family back home in Detroit and had to come due to the Steel Mills closing down, which left him angry over it. How badly the workers were treated and the overall harshness of life. While Nada still believes in the dream. Works hard and plays by the rules and wait for his chance. Later that night, we see a TV Program a group of people are watching is interrupted by what the one calls a hacker. Warning the people of signals coming through the transmissions and that they are out there and only safe as long as they are hidden. As that is going on, Nada spots the Preacher from the day before mouthing along to it. When the feed cuts out, Gill runs up to the Preacher and drags him to the church across the street. Getting into a visible argument with him. Next time another hack, which was much shorter and Gill again runs off to the Church, with Nada following along. Finding a make shift Lab, a lot of cardboard boxes and Choir noises are actually just a radio. Can hear bits and pieces of a conversation but is caught by the Preacher who tries to warn him, but he is quick to leaves. Seeing a suspicious helicopter flying overhead, which draws them out of the church as well, but leaves as quickly as it arrived. Collecting a pair of binoculars from one of the people at the camp and starts watching them. Much to the chagrin of Frank, who wants nothing to do with this. Not wanting to risk his job and warns Nada to do the same. That night, and still watching, the helicopter returned, with a full police unit, SWAT Team and bulldozer. Overwhelming the Church and Homeless Camp. Brutalizing anyone they could catch, including the Preacher. Nada barely makes it out. Taking shelter in a nearby house with a few others. The next morning he goes back and gets a box from the church, and to his confusion, finds it filled with black sunglasses. Throwing all but one in the trash, putting it on when he hit the street/. To find everything turning black and white. Billboards and signs saying things such as, obey, marry and reproduce and consume, but worse was when he saw and alien disguised as a human and that is where I will leave it for now.
I loved the story of they told so much. Entwining the dangers of Capitalism with aliens. Showing how distracted people are to real issues with consumer goods and the hardships of when they lose everything and are on there on. No one helping and feeling lost and forgotten, despite them trying their hardest and the temptation of betraying everything to avoid that faith vs testing who you really are, and all told so well through the eyes of Nada. A character told so well, that it can go over your head on first viewing that they never give his name, which to me, is amazing feat. Again, speaks on the world around him. Frank gives a diatribe about his problems and Holly tries to trick him later, but no one ever asks for his name.
The action and fight scenes were great. There wasn’t much in the way of gore and the fire fights were fast paced. Showing the importance of them moving quicks and of course, helping differentiate it from the fight between Nada and Frank. Over him trying to get Frank to wear the glasses and Frank wanting none of this, which kickstarts a six minute street fight which was awesome. There was nothing flashy about it. Just two guys trading punches and throwing each other around in an alley. Can see how much time Roddy and Keith David put into making the most brutal looking fight they could and it works perfectly.
Roddy “Rowdy” Piper was brilliant as Nada. Bringing a lot of his natural charisma and charm to the character. Quick witted to throw out a one liner, not all of them stuck, but majority are fantastic. Brought a gritty realism with him. Makes you feel bad for him. A guy willing to take any job and do his best and clinging on to the belief that if he stays the track, it’ll get better. Playing so well off of Keith David. A character who lives in reality. Wanting to keep his head down and not be noticed, despite the anger he has over his situation. George ” Buck” Flowers, incredible as support. Same with Peter Jason and massive praise to Jason Imada, who from what I have read about, played most of the Aliens.
I don’t really have a lot of bad things to say. Some of the jokes didn’t quite stick and Meg Foster came across as a bit to much dead pan for my liking, but none of which broke my immersion all that much so call it in between. I am stretching a lot here, this movie is fantastic is tremendous. Memorable characters, a story that could drop today and still be just a relevant and quotable as they come. If you haven’t seen it make it a must watch as it has [earned it’s title as moniker as a classic. Final Grade S
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading.
The Naked Gun Review
By: Justin Hopkins
Thanks to how the last few months have gone, I haven’t been able to do a Classic 13 and was definitely looking forward to getting back on track with it and when a co-worker told me I have to watch Naked Gun. Figured, that I would save it for today. It may sound strange that I haven’t watched this classic, but I don’t normally go out of my way to watch comedy movies all that often. While some are good, I don’t get a lot of enjoyment out of them. Lets dive in and see how Naked Gun is shall we.
The movie kicks off with a meeting between terrorists. Trying to plan out an attack on America. Only to be stopped by Police Squads on, Frank Drebin in an over the top fight, before making his escape through a window and we go to a opening title sequence from the view point of a police siren watching the car going through things like a house, roller coaster and even a girl’s locker room. Movie picking up with Nordberg watching the ship about to make a massive drug bust on his own. When he failed to kick down the door though. Ends up getting shot and running into a slew of awful things before going overboard. Frank comes back from his trip from Beirut to both that news and the news his girl had run off and married someone else. Going straight to the hospital to find out what Norbert knew about his attackers, only to do more damage to him than anything else. His wife showing him a picture of the ship. Before they can go to the dock they have to attend a press conference that pertains to the impending arrival of the Queen of England. A conference that goes wrong pretty quickly. After a back and forth bribery exchange with the Dock Master, is told he is dealing Heroin for respected businessman and owner of the docks Ludwig. The same man who ordered Nordberg to be killed on the dock. Who is quick to help him by getting assistant Miss Jane Spencer to collect the shipping files. Files that don’t have the ship in question. Then he finds out that they found drugs on Nordberg’s clothes and is given twenty four hours to clear his name, before the Queen’s arrival and that is where I will leave it for now.
This was a fun story. A cop who tried his best, but continuously bungled the situations that he found himself in. Fact that he plays it serious half the time added to the amusement. Some of the jokes were hysterical. Such as the back and forth bribery scene and when the airbag blew all the way up and kept going. To the point it put the car into gear and rolled away. Actually most of him hitting stuff when he parked and the car chase was great. Helped massively by a comedy great, Leslie Nielsen.
Leslie is just a legend in comedy. His delivery and ability to play it as straight while insane things breaks out around. To go along with his ability to talk. Made this movie fun to watch and he was backed up by a solid supporting cast.
With that said, there were some negatives. Some jokes fell just flat and boring and some just didn’t know when to end. Such as when Nordberg was shot and kept hitting things and was funny, but they just kept it going. To the point it wasn’t funny anymore and just meh. Then the musical montage with him and Jane was just dumb. It felt like it slowed down the pacing and one two many being that they would do something similar later on when he was in disguise as the umpire.
I get why this is a classic and beloved movie and it should be held up in high regard and there are plenty of good moments to be had. If you haven’t checked it out. You should you’ll probably have a great time with it. Comedy is just not really something I enjoy all that much and think that hurt it going in. I am glad I watched it, but won’t be in a hurry to watch it again. Final Grade – B –
As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank You For Watching.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit
By: Justin Hopkins
When sat down to look for a classic to review this month, wasn’t exactly sure which way to go. Obviously, a fair number of movies jump to mind, but with what is going on in the world. Wanted to go with something a little more light hearted, and while I am not much of a fan of comedy movie. When I spotted this classic, knew I couldn’t pass it up. A favorite growing up that hadn’t seen I was a kid, and what better time to relive it then now. So, lets dive back to 1988 and see what made this live action hybrid so memorable.
The movie starts out with a cartoon, of Roger Rabbit failing to watch a baby. Trying hard to save the child from dangerous situations and ending up worse off for it, but a refrigerator hits him and he see birds. Which causes the director to yell cut, and berate him for not seeing stars. While the baby turns out to be man, who storms off for his trailer and we meet Eddie Valiant. Who is there to meet the head of Maroon Toons, R.K. Maroon. Tells him Roger’s mistakes are from a broken heart. Due to rumors his wife, Jessica Rabbit may be cheating on him, and he wants Eddie to follow her, take pictures and bring them to Roger to see. After a bit of haggling, due to his reluctance on working a toon job. He agrees to work the case for a hundred dollars and fact he doesn’t have to work ToonTown. After hitchhiking a ride back on the back of the Red Car, and some smokes from kids. Returns to his office, but goes to the bar across the street. Getting a camera from Dolares, who wants the money he owes the bar. After an altercation with one of the patron who was heckling him for working a toon job and he storms off. We learn a Toon killed his brother by dropping a piano on his head. We go to the club Jessica sings at. A swank club where Toons work at as either hired hands or entertainers. Such as Daffy Duck and Donald doing dueling pianos. He meets Mr. Acme. A prankster who sprays him with invisible ink, and according to Betty Boop. Never misses a Jessica Performance. Who turns out not to be a rabbit like he assumed, but a thin waisted, busty cartoon woman. Who draws everyone’s attention. After she finishes, Eddie follows Acme to the back, and gets the pictures he needs. Which is them playing Patty Cake. After seeing the, Roger goes from sadness to anger. Yelling that she was the one for him and that they would be happy again, before jumping out of the window. The next morning, Eddie wakes to the news that he killed Acme during the night. With a Maniacal Judge and pack of weasels tracking him down. Only Roger shows up at his office, proclaiming his innocence… and that is where I will leave it for now.
This was a wonderful story that reaches a lot of layers. You had the silly, slap-stock zaniness that Roger and the Toons provided. Had the redemption of one Eddie Valiant, from drunk who hated toons to finding what made him the detective Toons could rely on for help. Truly terrifying moments with Judge Doom, especially when he is revealed to be a Toon himself and everything that is Jessica Rabbit. Had jokes that pay off later, like the portal black holes, the punching bag hammer, and the you’ll die laughing. Foreshadowing with the invisible ink and the missing will. While, it ain’t much of mystery. Kind of just spell it out for you. A story that stays with you long after it’s over.
The characters they got were as diverse as they come. From Bugs and Daffy. Goofy and Mickey. Keeping Betty Boop in her black and white form was a great touch and a load others. Can spend an entire watch just trying to name them all, but they blended so well together. Not only that, they blended well with the characters they made for the movie. Roger feeling like the perfect cross blend of the big cartoonists at the time, and Jessica Rabbit is still popular all these years later. Maybe even one of the things remembered most.
Despite being over thirty years old now. The animaton still holds up pretty well. It does have some moments that have not aged to well. Particularly when one of the toons are in the background, and may be being a bit lenient on it, but stills looks good to me, and unfortunately see much worse in some movies far newer. The cartoonist and animators who worked on this film deserve a lot of praise for the work they did here.
The cast was tremendous here. Bob Hoskins was delightful. Straight faced, down on his luck Eddie was perfect balance to Roger, and he did so well playing off to characters who were not there to work with. Christopher Lloyd was great as the villain. Just terrifying in his ways. His movements and posture were perfect and made himself known every chance he had. Memorable performances from Charles Fleischer and Kathleen Turner for Roger and Jessica.
The only negative really is the fact we only got one of these movies. We’ve had a lot of hybrid movies since, with their own varying degrees of success, but never a return to ToonTown. Despite having plenty of stories they could tell. From what was transpiring in ToonTown now that they ran the town or just a new mystery for Valiant to solve. Way to much time has passed and some dearly missed cast members, including Bob Hoskins. Which would leave a remake, but not even sure that would work. From having to get all of the owners to agree to share their characters and agree to ignore the vocal minority, because they would have to stick to the fact it was not only cartoon enough for kids, but mature humor for the adults. This came out just in the right time to have all that and avoid the MPAA. So, until the winds change. This may be the only trip to ToonTown we get. Which is unfortunate.
Times may be rough right now and while we wait for them to pass. It’s great to have movies like Who Framed Roger Rabbit to kick back and laugh along with. Final Grade is A+. As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank You For Reading.
Friday the 13th Part 3 Movie Review
By: Justin Hopkins
Hello and welcome back to this months Classic 13, with the 3rd installment of the Friday The 13th Series. While this may not be as classic as some, I couldn’t not do a Friday The 13th Movie this time around, and since I did the first and Paul did the second. The third one it is. Besides, an iconic moment does happen here, with not only getting the Hockey Mask, but the crack in it. It’s weird, but always enjoyed the fact the crack carried on for as long as it did. Showing the scars from his prior fights. So, let’s dive in and discuss shall we.
We get the movie started with a recap of what happened in Part 2, with him crawling away after Alice and Paul leaves. Going off and killing two of the locals, before we meet the teens, and see some of their characteristics. Like Shelly being awkward and trying to gain attention and laughs by scaring them. Chris has a backstory of some sort of trauma. We meet her Boyfriend Rick that she hasn’t seen in some time. Vera is going against her Mother’s demands, Andy and his Girlfriend, and of course, two hippies, cause why not. After yet another prank from Shelly. Vera goes to the store. Taking pity on Shelly at the last minute and takes him along the way. Ending up on the wrong side of a biker gang. When they get back with the damaged car. Rick leaves in some sort of strange anger and Chris goes along. Not spotting the biker gang, who steal the gas, and meets their end at the hands of Jason, and from their, starts the game of Jason laying and wait and will leave it there.
The story was nothing really much to write home about. It was effective enough for what the movie was, but their was one aspect that I really liked, and that was Chris’s backstory. Having escaped Jason’s grasp once in her past, for two reasons. It kind of raises a things a bit. Normally you hear people reference kills that have occured between movies, but this kind of hammers it home that a lot happens between the movies, and liked the fact that he recognizes her and heightens the interactions between them. Particularly when he removes his mask on the rope.
Speaking of Chris, she really makes for a memorable Final Girl. A stand out in a series of top notch Final Girls, but she stands out. What really sold her performance was how fast she was to go for the kill, by hanging him. Most of the time, they hit the killer and walk away, but she goes all in. Knocks him out, gets the rope on him, and hangs him. Showing not just strength to survive, but guts to take the extra steps to make that happen. Dana Kimmell did a stellar job at bringing out the best parts of Chris.
And we got to talk about Shelly. I never knew there was a group of people who don’t like him, and I don’t get why. He is kind of relatable to a lot of people. His low self-esteem and his desire to be accepted, but doesn’t know how to be and so he goes with the one thing he knows, which is also the one thing that makes everyone angry and makes things worse for a guy who just wants to be accepted. Deep down he is a good guy and sad to see him go and we all owe him a debt of gratitude for Jason’s Hockey mask.
This Jason is brought to us by the talented Richard Brooker. As a human Jason, he didn’t get the privilege of being able to tank everything thrown at him, but got a lot out of him all the same. He had the size to be intimidating and held himself in the right way when he was simply walking around. When he was hurt, he didn’t oversell to much, but as it went on. Can see it was all taking a toll, but was driven by the need to kill, and still laugh when the mask comes off at the end. He may not be my favorite, but Brooker’s take on the roll is high up there.
Some may be put off due to the 3-D, but was still fun to watch the likes of an eyeball popping out of Rick’s head and various pitch fork kills. You had one of the best kills when he cut Andy in half when he was walking around on his hands, and the kill from beneath the hammock. Plus, a projectile kill to the eye. Friday the 13th is known for great kills and part 3 is a great example as to why that is, and Higgin’s Haven is one of my favorite locations they used. If I sat down and thought on it, may actually be my favorite, but story for another time.
This is far from perfect though. They could have done a few things much better. They could have made the biker gang a little more viscous. Liked the fact that they were used to explain why Chris couldn’t simply drive away, but if they come across looking stronger and Jason takes them out. He looks stronger than in the process and Fox was a great character and would have liked to see her make it that much further. My next gripe is with Rick himself, and the fact his mood seems to swing at a moments notice, and don’t know why. We need someone to despise and wonder what colorful way Jason will kill him, but we have the biker gang for that. All Rick does is come off as annoying and that doesn’t serve any good. Than there is the end. The jumpscare with Pamela just doesn’t work, and I hate when the final girl goes crazy at the end. Always feels like I rooted her on for nothing and no, the argument that it would happen to anyone in this situation would experience the same thing, does not work because this is not real.
And that brings us to the end. Despite the complaints. The pros far outweigh the negatives. Part 3 is just as fun to watch today as it was when I first watched it as a kid. Brutal kills, a strong final girl, and Richard Brooker. All makes for a great watch on this, Friday The 13th.
As always, hope you enjoyed and..
Thanks For Reading.
Event Horizon Movie Review
By: Justin Hopkins
So, I was struggling a bit. Choosing which movie I wanted to review for this Classic 13. Would pick one, I was so sure about, only to change my mind at the last moment. Even started watching one and turned it off after a minute. Just nothing seemed to feel right, until I spotted Event Horizon. A movie a Co-Worker of mine stressed how great this was and called it, “Hellraiser in space.” Have to say, after watching it. He wasn’t that far off, except this may be in fact, better than Hellraiser. So, lets go amongst the stars, and go through the psychological horrors held within Event Horizon.
The movie opens with a bit of information on where Mankind is on space exploration. 2015 colonized the moon. By 2032 began mining on Mars and in 2040, The research Vessel went to explore the far reaches of the solar system, only to disappear beyond Neptune and we open in 2047. A rescue crew and Dr. Weirs are heading to Neptune tol address an immediate situation. Once they get closer to Neptune, Dr. Weirs makes them aware of the situation and what the Event Horizon actually was, and that was finding a way to travel ” Faster than light.” By using a gravity drive, the ship would fold time and space, so that it’s location and destination would be one in the same. Allowing it to punch through and appear where it was going in seconds. We find out later on, that it achieves this affect, by using a man made Black Hole. It all appeared to go exactly according to plan, but never returned till now and they are going to find out what happened. When they arrived, they couldn’t detect any signs off life, and a Miller, Stark, Mr. Justin, and Cooper go in to investigate, and while checking out the room the Gravity Drive. He gets sucked inside. Sending out a massive shockwave that damages the Lewis and Clark ship. Forcing everyone to evacuate onto the Event Horizon. With twenty hours of oxygen, they not only have to try and get the ship fixed, but figure out what happened on the ship, as more and more start to hallucinate and paranoia begins to sweep over, and that is where I am going to leave it.
I almost don’t even know where to begin throwing positives. Philip Eisner, seems like a good place. The Writer, who brought this psychological masterpiece together. It is one thing to scare someone, but this movie gets into your head. The way it tortures everyone with their greatest regrets, failures, and desires even. Way it haunts peters and teases her with her son and his condition. Miller is a caring leader, but strict, and the ships hurls the reason why he is so strict at him, and poor baby bear (Justin) And everything in this movie has some sort of meaning, and that is so much more powerful than just building emotion. It makes repeat watching even more fun. I am watching it while I type this and picked up to things that I overlooked the first time, because I knew more. That is just beautiful. Standing ovation for Philip Eisner.
Giant kudos goes out to Paul Anderson and everyone who worked behind the scenes as well. The shots and lighting were great. The scene where they are first inside. Flashing of lightning illuminating the gory walls waiting to be discovered. The atmosphere is intense. When you are looking at the Event Horizon, in the dark and dim lights. You see all these regular instruments, that take on an evil, and scary form. You had these floating balls of coolant that were such a fun addition to have floating around the glorious room that housed the Gravity Drive. The sets were great and shots made them that much better. The CG involved, is not bad for a nineties movie. Don’t know much about space, but they don’t do anything to outrages to the point of dumb, and the carnage candy is awesome. Especially the death of D.J and again where Justin getting sent out into space.
I don’t even think I can give a nod to one actor over another here. They were all so good. You had Laurence Fishburne, as Captain Miller, who you don’t really like, but he has a reason for being so strict and his sole reason for being is his crews safety. Than you have Sam Neill as Dr. Weir. This is the first movie I have watched of his that is not Jurassic Park, and definitely want to watch more. While he may not have started out as the bad guy, by the time he gets there. Is such a good bad guy. Could talk about the chemistry these two have been great, but that’s the truth between everyone. Kathleen Quinlan, Joely Richardson, Jack Noseworthy, Jason Isaacs, Sean Pertwee, and the “lifesaver” Richard T. Jones. Absolute All-Stars, each and everyone.
Negative wise… Guess you can say some of the space CGI is a bit dated, but I have seen so much worse in recent years than what we get here. So, minor nitpick I can see someone might have. Doesn’t really bother me to much, but one big one, is something we don’t have, and that is the full 130 minute cut of the film. It was cut down due to how gruesome some of it was and whatnot, but when they went back and wanted to use it. It was not well achieved, and most of which is simply lost. Obviously, this isn’t going toward my final thought on the film, and I don’t have anything negative to say about the film itself. Just something depressing I found out about the movie.
In closing, if you haven’t had a chance to check out this classic film. I couldn’t suggest it enough. Mastercraft in Psychological Horror, and shows that you don’t need jumpscares to scare your audience. Just a showcase of talented people, crafting a story, with some talented actors bringing it all to life. Final Grade – S
Hope you enjoyed and as always…
Thank you for reading.
Ernest Saves Christmas Movie Review
By: Justin Hopkins
This might seem to be a stretch to run with. There are more beloved classics to pick. You got the likes of Gremlins, Miracle on 34th Street, It’s A Wonderful Life, and a trio of Grinch movies to select, or even Die Hard for the lols, but I think Ernest deserves this slot. It is far from played out. There is no day long marathons, nor does it seem to pop up in a whole lot of conversations when talking about favorite. Which is a shame, because it’s a fantastic, light hearted Christmas film. So, I thought we’d take a break from the horror, monsters, and mayhem and delve into the world of Ernest P. Worrell, man who lives his life in the fast lane.
The movie opens up, with an two old men getting off an airplane, in Florida. Each talking business. One a businessman, and the other is of course Santa Clause in a regular suit and tie, and he is not afraid to say it. There is a rather fun joke taken at Pittsburgh from the businessman, who wants snow for Christmas. Then we get our first look at Ernest, who is driving someone to the Airport, and the slapstick starts right up, when the man tells him to hurry up, and Ernest obliged in his own way. Speeding to the point where the man falls out of the car and petrifies in fear, and his agony continues from there. Ernest doesn’t mean anything bad of course, just him trying to help, in his own way, and after dropping the man in baggage terminal and chased by an angry group of people. Runs in Santa and speed away in the cab. This is where Santa admits to who he is and needs to meet with a former Children Tv Show Host, Joe Carruthers. Who we find out later, is to take over the mantle as the new Santa Clause. On the way, they meet Harmony. A juvenile delinquent, who jumps in the cab during a dine and dash. Making up a story about being held captive at the restaurant. They finally arrive at the Children’s Museum, where Joe volunteers, and Ernest comps him for the ride, because he doesn’t have real money, and it’s christmas time and all. When he finally gets a chance to talk to Joe, is interrupted by Joe’s agent who has a movie audition for him, and when Santa goes to explain why he is there. Realizes he left his bag in Ernests car. Meanwhile, we see Ernest being fired for giving to many free rides. Back at Santa Joe wants to help, but the agent convinces him to go to the audition, and the agent learns who he is, and thinks he is crazy and gets him arrested. We go to Ernest and Harmony who are bringing Vern a tree, which may be the best scene in the movie, and when Ernest is getting bolt cutters, opens the bag and discovers that he really is Santa Claus and it’s up to him to get the bag back into the right hands and save Christmas.
This was such a fun story, that kind of added some layers to Santa’s Lore. That the magic is not unlimited. He has to pass the torch down to someone new every few hundred years or so. It’s an intriguing look, and handled well throughout. The B side of the story was great as well, with Bobby and Carl at the Airport, with the reindeer. It was nice little filler that helped break up the main story without detracting from it. You knew something important was going to happen, due to the reindeer and Bobby and Carl were so good that got excited when they cut back, and when the climax came. Storylines came together nicely. For me as well, not being a fan of comedy in general. This never really has a drop off that I normally see. Even when things look bleak, the actors are strong enough to keep you invested. Of course, big fan of foreshadowing, slightly minor ones. When Joe makes it snow, to bring the businessman’s Christmas wish from the start happen, and them playing up Ernest forgetting Blitzen’s name when he needs to get the sleigh to fly. One was sweet and the other was fun. Both got their desired effects and was better for them.
Jim Varney, is absolutely fantastic. Comedic timing in perfect and great at body language and movements. He was just always on and mixed up his disguises with ease. Ernest being such a good hearted person, who always looks on the brightside fit perfectly into the story, and he may not be the brightest, but he had a moment that should he wasn’t completely dumb. When him and Santa came back from the studio. Knew Harmony did something with the bag, and pointed it out to Santa. Showing he is self aware of what Harmony is up to and fleshed him out more than just a naive klutz.
From there, you can take your pick of excellent talent. Oliver Clark who played Joe, came across as the perfect guy to become Santa. He was just such a nice guy, when it came to being around kids. Ready to drop everything to help a man he doesn’t know find his bag. Douglas Seale could beliveably been Santa in real life. Noelle Parker did a great job bringing a complexity to Harmony. That she wasn’t a bad kid. Just one who was lost and confused about so much in her life, and sent her into a bit of a spiral and of course, enough can’t be said about Gailard Sartain and Bill Byrge, Bobby and Carl were a joy to watch.
I don’t have anything negative to really say here. Anything would just be nitpicky stuff that is down to the age. Mostly due to special effects and what not. Not worth talking about. It was everything I could ask for from an Ernest movie. Great slapstick humor, with a warm hearted feel to it. Wants to get you into the holiday spirit and achieves that goal marvelously. Final Grade: A
Thank you for reading.