We’re Mad Scientists. We’re Monsters: Avengers, Age of Ultron (2015)

AvengersAgeofultron

“We’re mad scientists. We’re monsters.”

So I know many of you see this film on this list and are probably thinking to yourself:

Whattheheck

Why would I put an action/adventure, superhero film on my list of horror films? Well I’m including it because of this reason: 1) You have two, not one, TWO scientists who create two, not one, but TWO creatures.

The-Bride-of-Frankenstein-006

So I’m sure you all who have been following me know how much I liked The Avengers film that came out two years ago.

DANisnotonfireAvengersobsessed

Not me, that’s for sure.

I loved this film and thought it was the best superhero film. It covers a team, but each character was given their own moment to shine. It had great dialogue, amazing scenes, and was just altogether fantastic.

AvengersvsMagicMike

Now as for the sequel? How did I feel about it.

Bad Sequels psycho-1960-alfred-hitchcock-janet-leigh-pic-21

I thought it was horrible!!!!!

EW!

And it sucks because I was jazzed about this film. James Spader? Love him in everything! Our dream team, the Avengers? Awesome! Having some X-Men characters finally in it and teasing with a full on cross over? YES!

excited

But then is sucked.

You ruined it!!!!

You ruined it!!!!

And believe me, my opinions based on this film isn’t just from one viewing. I saw it at the midnight showing, I saw it in 3-D the Sunday after with my nephew, and then my friend and I went and saw in June after seeing Jurassic World. Each time I saw it, the more I thought it was just done poorly, 2015’s Godzilla (which strangely, the same actors who were husband and wife in that movie are the Maximoff twins in this one.)

So this is going to be a slightly different review, I will give a brief synopsis and then go on to list why I didn’t like this film.

DeanSupernaturalLetsGetStarted

So the film starts with the Avengers taking down what they believe is the last cell of HYDRA out in a small Eastern European country. They are also after the scepter Loki had in the first film. They believe they have accomplished it when they run into two “enhanced creatures” or whatever they call them, Wanda/Scarlet Witch and Pietro/Quicksilver Maximoff. Wanda has the power to manipulate reality, while Pietro can run at super fast speeds.

Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron Quicksilver/Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) Ph: Jay Maidment ©Marvel 2015

Wanda uses her powers to cloud each Avengers mind and mess with their ability to think, espechially Tony Stark. After the defeat, of everyone, (except the Maximoff twins), the team returns home to the tower in New York to have a party and celebrate the end of the Avengers.

Endbeginning

Tony convinces Thor to allow him to study the scepter, believing he can use it to create a robot that will be able to save humanity and keep it safe. He convinces Bruce Banner to assist him. See here is where we have the Frankenstein parallels.

Clive, Colin (Frankenstein)_02

In Frankenstein, Dr. Frankenstein believed that his work could save humanity: it could bring about immortality, he could save people who’s limbs were lost reanimating dead limbs; etc. Instead he creates a creature, that immediately tries to destroy him. It also has a goal in mind and tries to force Frankenstein into playing his games and doing what he wants. Frankenstein realizes his mistake in trying to take God’s place and create something he has no control over, but it is too late. His creature has decided to destroy not only him, but everything he loves.

With Tony, he believed that his work could save humanity: it would protect them from aliens and any threat too large for humans to handle. Instead he creates a creature, Ultron, that immediately tries to destroy him. It also has a goal in mind and tries to force Tony into playing his games and doing what he wants. Tony realizes his mistake, but it is too late. His creature has decided to destroy not only him, but everything he loves.

drfrankenstientonystarkavengers

The team has discord and seems to be falling apart, when after a brief pastoral retreat they come back in the game and go after Ultron. They steal the machine he was going to use to create the perfect body, with Tony comes up with a second idea. Use Ultron’s plan, but instead of Ultron, input his best friend/butler, J.A.R.V.I.S.

meettheRobinsonsPlannotthoughtthrough

So here we have The Bride of Frankenstein parallels.

The-Bride-of-Frankenstein-006

In the Bride of Frankenstein, Frankenstein has realized his mistake. Never again will he ever make another creature, but instead be satisfied with what he has already accomplished. Then an old friend, ), comes around and convinces him to make another creature, to be the opposite and balance out the first. Now while Frankenstein knows it is wrong, and has seen how out of control things could get with his first creation, he decides to do it again creating a bride for the creature.

So in this Bruce Banner has realized his mistake in assiting in creating Ultron. Never again will he ever make another creature, but instead be satisfied with what he has already accomplished. But then Tony starts wheedling him, insisting and convincing him to make another creature, to be the opposite and balance out the first. Now while Bruce knows it is wrong, and has seen how out of control things could get with his first creation, he decides to do it again creating a yin to Ultron’s yang, Vision.

ColinClive_013_From_BrideOfFrankenstein

So after the create Vision, they go after Ultron, ending back where the film started; but this time with Vision, Scarlet Witch, & Quicksilver (Wanda and Pietro both choosing to go with the Avengers than Ultron).

The fight to save the world, losing an avenger in the process. Back in New York, the old has gone it’s own way and a new Avenger team is born.

TheEnd_Title_2

Now on to the issues.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

1) What an Opening, “What” as in “What is Going On?”

what what'shappeningSupernatural

The first scene was all over the place, in a ton of slow motion, and unrealistically packed with action that I thought they were pulling a Toy Story 2 and it was a video game.

Say What

I mean come on, in that one scene they are practically posing for the camera.

It might have been the drugs I was on for my ear infection, but yeah I legitamitely thought it was some kind of tease, that is how horribly fake looking that beginning is. It didn’t feel like it was happening, but as if you were watching a bad community play. I mean I saw several times where Black Widow should have been shot but “wasn’t”. The fighting in the first one was much better.

Also no context as to what it going on, why are they after Loki’s scepter? Where did it go after the first Avengers film? Now some people might say “if you watch the TV show you’ll know”, but that’s not what a sequel is about. A sequel is created to enhance characters or events from the first film/book, having a progression from the previous to the next. Not suddenly throw everything at you with you like I don’t know what is going on.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

2) Slow Mo needs to Go No Mo’

Stop stop it now!

Honestly Joss Wheedon, the ’90s called, they want their special effects back. But seriously, waaaaaaay tooo much. It looks horrible, it is distracting, and just takes your viewer out of the right state of mind.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

3) Calling Someone Out for Cursing Worth Talking About, But Create an Evil Robot and That’s Just a Moment Thing

funny-Captain-America-car-Ultron-sad

Seriously. This a running joke for everyone, it keeps rearing its ugly head throughout the film. But Tony? They are mad for a nanosecond, and then they move on. Really guys? Really? The Robot is definitely worse and worth discussing.

And he doesn’t make just one thing, but TWO! TWO!!!!!

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

4) Enhanced Not Mutated

Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron Quicksilver/Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) Ph: Jay Maidment ©Marvel 2015

I don’t know who’s idea it was to not make them mutants and the children of Magneto, but that was beyond stupid.

THEY ARE MUTANTS NOT ENHANCED MUTANTS!!!!!! And they are Magneto’s children.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

5) Clintasha or Brutasha?

So I did not like Black Widow and Hulk together. I really wanted it to be Black Widow and Hawkeye.

NatashaandClint

Now I might not have minded the whole Brutasha if it weren’t for the fact that it came out of left field. Natasha does go get him in the first Avengers film, but that’s all we see of their interactions. There is nothing to suggest anything romantic, and no chemistry between them,  but yet we are expected they are considering running away together?

Girl Please

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

6) Visions…I Guess?

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

So what is up with the visions that Scarlet Witch makes. They never really explain her powers in the film so is it magic? Really the future? What?

They also don’t make any sense. For Tony it is his fear, and a bit of the future. Black Widow, a hidden memory, Thor a fear/vision. Captain America? How does what he sees relate to anything?

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

7) Tony Pop Culture Allergy?

princess-leia-i-dont-know-what-youre-talking-about

So unlike Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, etc. Tony is a HUGE pop culture junkie. Yet when he creates artifical life, he doesn’t even consider how things could go horribly wrong. Wouldn’t he have seen Jurassic Park, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Frankenstein, The Terminator, I Robot, etc? Espechially as three that I just listed involve bad robots? Wouldn’t that make him pause, at least for a moment.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

8) I Leeloo Ultron Robot

The part when Ultron awoke and then starts researching to figure out his purpose and what he’s supposed to do made me think if The Fifth Element.

Ultron’s breakdown around his objective is also very similar to V.I.C.K.I., in I Robot, when she starts killing mankind to save mankind.


heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

9)Massive Iron Man Vs. Hulk

I feel like someone thought of this and then wrote the script around it. I know everyone thought it was super cool, but I actually thought it was kind of a worthless scene.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

10) Green Acres is the Place to Be

So the whole crew go out to Clint’s farm so that they can regroup and figure out a new plan. To me it seems like a ripoff from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990), when they go to upstate New York to heal and refigure out what to do.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

11) Motorcycle Mama Knows NO Bounds of Gravity

When Ultron tosses the ground at Black Widow and she is able to not only stop in time but turn so she isn’t hurt.

Really?

Really?

Impossible and dumb thing to do. Just no, no.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

12) Copying Captain Underpants

So there was this book series in the early 2000s, Captain Underpants, about two kids, George and Harold, who hypnotize their principal into thinking he is their comic book creation, Captain Underpants.

In the sequel, Attack of the Talking Toilets, George and Harold use the nerdy kid’s  science fair project, a 3D printer, and accidentally bring a giant toilet and his toilet army to life.

toilets_page

When Captain America isn’t able to stop them, they then create a Giant Robot to battle and destroy the toilets.

Avengers: Age of Ultron is like the same exact plot. Just switch out toilets for Ultron & the robots, and Giant Robot for Vision.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

13) A Death That Didn’t Need to Happen

So people have been complaining that no one really dies in a superhero film, they always come back to life again. This coupled with Joss Wheedon liking to make us cry, meant he was going to kill someone and he killed Pietro.

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. The man has SUPER SPEED!!!! You really think he wouldn’t be able to just move around the bullets in time?

overlookedthatoneJoss

I mean for once Fox did a better job than Disney.

Just so much awesome.

And if they are going to kill him, why not save him in the Stargate cradle thing? Hawkeye used it. And why does he, Cho, and Coulson get to survive?

You know why, because he is just being a pain, like Wes Craven when he killed Randy but let Dewey survive. And you know what Wheedon? Because that was so stupid, I’m going to ignore it.

AvengersAgeofUltron

Let’s face it, we all know how it should have ended:

So no banner as I couldn’t find a pic that worked right. Instead I’m going to end with those who criticize films best:

halloween banner

To start Horrorfest IV from the beginning, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It Has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

For the previous post, go to A Giant Metal Man: The Iron Giant (1995)

halloween banner

For more on The Avengers, go to Avengers Assemble!

For more evil robots, go to She’s Been Totally Different…Like Stepford: Ted, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)

For more mad scientists, go to Unleash the Savage Instincts that Lie Hidden Within: I Was A Teenage Werewolf (1957)

For more Frankenstein, go to It’s Alive, It’s ALIVE!: Frankenstein (1931)

For more on The Bride of Frankenstein, go to I Want Friend Like Me: The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

For more on sequels, go to It’s Happening Again, Isn’t It?: Scream 2 (1997)

For more How It Should Have Ended, go to I’ll Be Back: The Terminator (1984)

For more CinemaSins, go to Let Them Fight: Godzilla (2014)

 

The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend: Alien Vs. Predator (2004)

Avpmovie

The enemy of my enemy… is my friend

So some of you might be wondering, why am I reviewing Alien Vs. Predator before reviewing Alien (1979), Predator (1987), Aliens (1989), Predator 2 (1990), Alien3 (1992), or Alien: Resurrection (1997).

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

Well there are two reasons why: 1) I just saw it last week so it is fresh in my mind; and 2) This was the first movie I saw in either franchise. Although I kind of knew what Alien was about as I had seen Spaceballs.

So Alien Vs. Predator, was an idea that began in back in the ’80s after the films came out. It was then shown in comics, video games, etc. Eventually a script was written, but no studio wanted to make it, so it sat on the back burner for ten years.

It eventually was accepted and is the higest grossing film in either franchise to date. It is absolutely riddled with references to both films, so if you are a fan you will enjoy.

So let’s get started!

Avpmovie

So it is the year 2004, a Predator ship is nearing the Earth, and some scientists detect a mysterious heat bloom beneath the ice on the island Bouvetoya, near Antartica.

weird

What is it with aliens/monstrous creatures and Antarctica? We have Aliens Vs. Predator, The Thing from Another World, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, etc. I guess some like the cold, although The Blob didn’t. Sorry, moving on.

Billionaire Charles Bishop Weyland (those who are Alien fans should recognize why I bolded that), decides he wants to claim it for himself. He sends out his top man to recruit the best from all over the world.

Alexa “Lex” Woods is the best field guide for Antarctica. They offer her a large sum to come to a meeeting and hear Weyland’s proposal.

Alien-vs-Predator_Sana

Sebastian de Rosa, is a struggling archeologist in Mexico. He is just about out of money, and the bank won’t supply anymore; when just like in Jurassic Park Weyland’s man comes with an amazing offer.

AVPSebastian_De_Rosa

I love this man. He is smart, sexy, Italian, and oh…there’s only one word to describe how I feel. Swoonworthy!

swoon dreamy

Anyways, these two and a collection of paleontologists, linguistic experts, drillers, and mercenaries all gather together. Weyland shows the prospective team the discovery, a pyramid that is a blend of three different cultures. He proposes that they all go try and discover what this phenomenon is.

Alexa ‘Lex’ Woods: Where exactly on the ice is this?

Charles Bishop Weyland: Bouvetøya Island. But it’s not on the ice. It’s 2,000 feet below it.

All will be rewarded handsomely.

AWESOME!!!

AWESOME!!!

Lex is the only one that disagrees, stating that they aren’t ready to make the journey in, they need more time to train the crew. Weyland refuses, saying they need to go now before anyone else moves in.

Lex says she won’t be a part and goes to leave. Weyland agrees to let her go, saying they will go with their number 2 guy.

Good-bye

Good-bye

When Lex hears who it is, she refuses to go. While she doesn’t want to stay and help a group she thinks is doomed for failure, she’d rather go and help them survive.

I-got-this-reaction-gif

So the team moves out. While they are getting there, the Predator ship has entered the Earth’s orbit. They make a shaft from the surface to the pyramid below.

From the film Stargate.

From the film Stargate.

When the team reach the island they discover that on the surface is an old whaling station. A hundred years ago, in 1904, the whole crew disappeared. It is still an unsolved mystery.

shiver

When the team gets ready to drill a cavity to reach the pyramid. The discover one has already been dug for them.

What?

What?

And when the drillers start examining it, they discover that the area was cut with no tools that exist on Earth.

weird

They decide to head down to the pyramid anyways, with a few near mishaps along the way.

When they get inside the pyramid, they start examining the walls and the rooms. They discover that this civilization must be older than anything they have ever known in history. And one of the rooms, appears to be some mind of sacrificial chamber.

shiver

Noooooooooo!!!!! Don’t go in!

However as this is a film and the characters can’t hear me, they of course go in and start looking around. There they find remains with a large hole on the left side of their chest.

Adele Rousseau: What happened here?

Thomas: It’s common in ritual sacrifice to take the heart of the victim.

Adele Rousseau: That’s nice. But that’s not where your heart is. [pauseBesides it looks like the bones were bent straight out. [Thomas stares at RousseauSomething broke out of this body.

Now this bothered me the first time I saw it, and it bothers me still. THE ALIENS SHOULD NOT BE COMING OUT OF THE CHEST!!!! THEY SHOUD BE COMING OUT OF THE STOMACH!!!!

MeanGirls I know right!

They screwed up one of the best scenes. It is way creepier seeing this:

Anyways, back to the film.

So unbeknownst to them, on the surface, the three predators have takes out the rest of the team. Below them, their presence has begun the preparations for “the game” and awakened the Queen Alien Queen. It is a creepy scene. I couldn’t find a video, but trust me, it is super creepy!

shiver

So back in the sacrificial room, Sebastian has discovered what appears to be a sarcophagus with a calendar lock, set for October 10, 1904.

mummy

He studies it and notices that ten, and multiples of it, seem to be significant to this culture, whatever this culture is. He then moves the date to October 10, 2004; the current date.

Stop stop it now!

Don’t you know better than to touch/mess with things. Like in The Mummy (1999), you never know what might happen.

Some things should just be left alone. But no, these are scientists and they never know when to back off, setting off the spring lock and revealing guns.

Whattheheck

What is an ancient civilization doing with such advanced weapons we don’t even have today? How did they get them? Where did they get them? It just doesn’t make sense.

[the team finds the Predators’ shoulder cannons]

Graeme Miller: Any idea what these are?

Sebastian de Rosa: No, you?

Graeme Miller: No.

Maxwell Stafford: It’s a good thing we brought the experts.

Graeme Miller: Well, yeah, it is a good thing, cos’ this is like finding Moses’ DVD collection.

And then as Lex convinces them it is time to move topside and regroup, they stupidly take the guns, beginning the “game.” Now part of the game is that every so often the pryamid shifts, making one difficult playing ground for either team.

If that was me? I’d start shooting everywhere, killing as much as possible.

For reals, they would all be dead.

For reals, they would all be dead.

So the teams are separated and all are trying to find an exit, but soon they will realize that will be near impossible.

you-cant-escape-forever-trailer-title

As Lex’s party makes their way to the exit, they are attacked by the Predators, of which have to switch gears when the aliens start showing themselves.

Yeah two Predators end up getting killed. Too bad they didn’t have their guns.

Soon everyone is being killed or taken to be impregnated by the aliens until they are properly formed. This actually reminds me a lot of the tarantula wasp, who lays its eggs in the spider. When the eggs hatch they eat the spider, then creating a cocoon in the spider body, coming out when it is fully matured. After all that’s what happens here, except no eating. The alien baby goes into the human, emerging only when fully pupated.

ew! Gross Yuck

The only ones left are Weyland (who is slowing them down as he is on his deathbed with his bad heart), Lex, and sexy Sebastian. Lex wants to lighten Weyland’s load, discarding the gun he took from the sacrificial chamber. When he refuses, wanting something from the death and destruction, she switches the heavy weapon to her pack instead. They are then interrupted by Sebastian, who has figured out that the pyramid also goes off the decimal system, and that every ten minutes the pyramid shifts.

AVPSebastian_De_Rosa

Weyland asks to be left behind, to buy them some time from the predator hunting them. Lex and Sebastian don’t like it, but agree and head off to another area trying to escape. Weyland is killed when he attacks the remaining Predator, but Sebastian and Lex make it out. Oh, this scene always stresses me out.

So luckily, they ended up in the room full of the hieroglyphics that tell us the backstory of why these extraterrestrials have come to our planet.

Yes, the whole thing was a trap. They made that heat signal to attract somebody, as this was the only way to begin the hunt as they need the humans for hosts.

After hearing the story, Lex figures out what they must do to survive, is to give the weapon back to the Predator.

Sebastian de Rosa: When that door opens, we’re dead.

Alexa ‘Lex’ Woods: Not if we set things right.

Sebastian de Rosa: What do you mean?

Alexa ‘Lex’ Woods: This pyramid, it’s like a prison. We took the guards’ guns, and now the prisoners are running free. To restore order, the guards need their guns.

Sebastian de Rosa: During a big game hunt, the animals being hunted don’t arm the hunters!

Alexa ‘Lex’ Woods: They’re not hunting us. We’re in the middle of a war. It’s time to pick a side.

Sebastian de Rosa: We are on our side!

Alexa ‘Lex’ Woods: We have to consider the possibility that we might not make it out of here.

Sebastian de Rosa: The enemy of my enemy… is my friend.

Alexa ‘Lex’ Woods: [pyramid starts to reconfigure] Let’s go find our friend.

So after the pyramid opens, the two go looking for a Predator, but run into an alien. They run away, but reach a collapsed bridge. Taking an Indiana Jones  leap of faith, they jump across the chasm. Sebastian lands rights, while Lex on loose stones and starts falling.

Spoke too soon

Sebastian helps pull her up, until he is taken by an alien.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

WHY!!! WHY!!! WHY SEBASTIAN?????????

Why

He was an awesome character. He was intelligent, funny, kind, has common sense, and hot. Poor Sebastian. RIP handsome.

AVPSebastian_De_Rosasmilehappy

Back to the review.  So Lex is running away, and runs right into the Predator. He is about to kill her, when she stops him and gives him back the weapon. Before the Predator can do anything else, and alien attacks them.

Having proven her worth, Lex and the Predator head out to finish up.

Alien-vs-Predator_Sana

The two head back to the sacrificial chamber, which we should really call the birthing room. There Lex finds all her team members, including Sebastian, all of which have been impregnated.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

NOT SEBASTIAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So the Predator scans the room, and sees that the eggs are all going to try and hatch. He activates his bomb, to destroy everything. Then he and Lex run to the lift, planning to get out of there and to the surface, as quickly as possible. They are followed by the Queen, but make it up the surface. The whole pyramid goes Kablooey!

Jaws Backstage Universal tour

But it turns out that the Queen wasn’t destroyed in the blast! She comes topside and knocks the Predator out, chasing after Lex to destroy her too.

You know for a huge environmentalist, Lex just threw a whole bunch of trash into the ocean. She could seriously damage the ecosystem. And I don’t know if that was the best idea as we don’t if the aliens are unable to survive underwater. Maybe they can. I couldn’t find any info on that. Anyways…

So after all the fighting is completed, the Predator ship returns to pick up its champions. They take their fallen warrior inside and are about to kill Lex, when the see the sign the Predator carved into her face. She is a warrior, equal to them.

They leave and in the ship, the crew get a surprise.

Now this was a part I didn’t like either. All the other people when impregnated, had the alien jump out rather quickly. I mean Sebastian got his after the Predator was supposedly infected, and his came out way before. And I looked it up, so don’t say it is because they were in a different species, its supposed to happen for everyone two hours after impregnation. This was just a cheap twist in order to ensure a sequel. And I hate it when filmmakers do that.

I don't like it 11

But on the whole I loved this movie. The story was a great homage to both films, with its own flavor and not giving the vibe of being a remake. The characters were great, and pretty intelligent, making only one big mistake (removing the weapons). The main character, Lex, was a strong character like Ripley: powerful, and in control; but a realistic way, being scared and frightened but using that fear to fight. Great movie.

As for the sequel? We’ll just have to save that for another post.

halloween banner

2004alien_vs_predator

halloween banner

To start Horrorfest IV from the beginning, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It Has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

For the previous post, go to Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?: The Twilight Zone (1961)

halloween banner

For more aliens, go to It’s Mrs. Archer. She’s On a Rampage!: Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958)

For more expeditions gone wrong, go to Eternal Punishment for Anyone Who Opens This Casket: The Mummy (1932)

 

Horrorfest IV: The Curse

HalloweenStartsNow

Sorry, sorry, for the messy posting and the lack of posting. I have just been so excited for Horrorfest and trying to get everything ready in between work and all my other commitments.

So October is upon us, and while:

 

EverydayHalloweenHorrorfanOctober

October is the penultimate.

halloween-wallpaper-large006

So what do I have planned for you this year? Every year has had something extra planned, beyond just reviewing horror film. In Horrorfest (2012), I reviewed what I call the Big Three in remakes & sequels, Friday the 13th (1980), Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)and Halloween (1978)

I see more sequels and remakes coming in the future.

I see more sequels and remakes coming in the future.

The year after that, Horrorfest II: Return of the Terror and Woe, I posted on the odd days of October. I also reviewed all three Jurassic Park films: Jurassic Park, The Lost Worldand Jurassic Park III

It was great

It was great

Then last year, Horrorfest III: The Revenge was the best Horrorfest I have ever done. I was able to get it halfway completed, before October 1st even came around. Last year I did a Werewolf theme: I started with The Wolf Man (1941) and ended with The Wolfman (2010), and making nine out of the thirty-one reviews Werewolf related.

wolf

And I also reviewed all four films in the Scream series: Scream, Scream 2, Scream 3and Scre4m.

Randy Scream

And I reviewed three Alfred Hitchcock films: Shadow of a Doubt (1943), Under Capricorn (1949)and Dial “M” for Murder (1954). Yes, I had to make up for lost time.

AlfredHitchcock

I even finally got around to reviewing a Vincent Price film, Laura (1944)

Laura Interviewing Shelby

So what do I have planned for this year? Well you’ll just have to wait to find out.

HorrorfilmCan'tlookaway

After all:

BetterWhenScared friday the 13th jason voorhes

So stay tuned for 31 days of terror, woe, mystery, murder, monsters, mad scientists, vampires, witches, robots, stalkers, serial killers, and much, much more!

Happy Halloween jack-o-lantern

halloween banner

To start Horrorfest from the beginning, go to I Don’t Belong in the World: Carnival of  Souls (1962)

To start Horrorfest II, from the beginning, go to There are Many Strange Creatures in the Amazon: Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

To start Horrorfest III, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart: The Wolf Man (1941)

All By Myself

Being alone can suck.

allbymyselfAloneBridgetJones'Diary

And I’m not talking about being single or just having some fun by yourself, you know space away from people.

talonePartyMeBySelf

I’m talking about being lonely. As in no best friends or people you can really talk to or hangout with.

Friends-Best-Friends

In fact, if we spend a  lot of time alone we can start doing things that we don’t normally do,

JurassicParkAloneTalkingtoSelfIanMalcolm

And even going as far as doing things we didn’t think through.

meettheRobinsonsPlannotthoughtthrough

Which really explains Emma’s character.

Emmafakesmile

Yes, in the beginning of Emma, we read that her life has been pretty awesome:

“Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.”

Life is great.

-Jim-Carrey-beautiful-gif-UYfb

Until…

da dum Jaws

Her governess gets married!

Say What

Come on, give me a second and I’ll explain.

So Emma lost her mother when she was a baby. To take care of her and her older sister, Isabella; Mr. Woodhouse hired a governess, Miss Taylor, but she was young and treated the girls more like her sisters than charges. In fact, after Emma’s older sister was married, Miss Taylor and Emma became the best of friends. BUT, with Miss Taylor’s marriage, that close companion is now gone. Not for good, but when your friend gets married, or in a romantic relationship with someone, your friendship changes. No longer does that person have as much time for you or free time, as they are now focused on someone else. No more Miss Taylor, just Mrs. Weston.

“It was true that her friend [Mrs. Weston] was only going half a mile from them; but Emma was aware that great must be the difference from a Mrs. Weston, only half a mile from them, and a Miss Taylor in the house…”

In losing Miss Taylor to Mr. Weston, Emma loses more than just a governess. She loses a sister, mother, friend, confidant, equal, etc. And is all by herself.

HowI MetYOurMotherAloneRobin

“Her father and her were left to dine together, with no prospect of a third to cheer a long evening.”

Noo!

Noo!

But what about her father?

Well, Emma’s father is not the best companion. First of all she is a girl, and I don’t care what anyone says (looking at you Mean Girls 2), girls need other friends that are girls. Guy friends are great, but there are things you can’t talk about with them. Mainly,

Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

And other stuff. Plus her father…well he’s not in the best place to be a young girl’s companion. Mr. Woodhouse married when he was much older, as was often done. So he is first of all, much, much older than Emma. He also is a hypochondriac and is always getting anxious about things. This is hard for Emma as she always has to takes care of him, be cheerful so he can be cheerful, and abide by his rules (really fears). She loves her father, but he isn’t the everyday companion she needs.

Now what about people in the town? Well…Emma is friendless there too. You see at this time in England, there was a social hierarchy, and Emma is at the top.

indiana_jonesoh_yes

It is pretty sweet to be the first family and everything, but not so much in this situation. Everyone is kind or civil to her and she is invited to all the events, but unfortunately no one is her equal. So no one can be her real friend. Except Miss Taylor, who now is busy with her new life as Mrs. Weston.

The only friend she has now is Mr. Knightley [but more on him later].

So you see it is very easy how a smart girl, can become lonely and bored being by herself…

Emmayawnreading

Turning to meddling in other’s affairs, not only for amusement but for what I believe is a desire to have a connection to other people. To feel “a part of the group” and involved.

Now does this turn out well?

meettheRobinsonsPlannotthoughtthrough

You’ll just have to keep reading to find out!

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

For more on Emma, go to One of a Kind

For more on Mr. Woodhouse, go to A Bit Pottery About Jane Austen

For more of my favorite songs, go to Let It Go

Please Excuse My Dear Fan Lady

LifeofaFangirl

Yep another Fangirl post, chock full of all the things I love. Be sure to check out a few of these as they are awesome and you are sure to enjoy them almost as much as me.

hearts banner

Eureka

eureka-cast-image

Eureka is a show that is The Twilight Zone merged with Twin Peaks. Now I know most of you are probably scratching your heads at those references, but I will be talking about them later in a future post.

I remember when SciFi, or SyFy as it is now called, first brought this show on TV. I thought it was an interesting idea and happy that they set it in Northern California as people always forget that there is a lot more in California than just San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. I wasn’t into it, but my sister would watch it. It wasn’t until Amazon put it up on Prime that I started watching it and getting into the series.

So U.S. Marshal, Jack Carter, is bringing his daughter home to Los Angeles from who knows where she had run away to. It is late and raining and the two get lost, crashing the car. They walk into the nearby town of Eureka, Oregon (I don’t know why they didn’t just use Eureka, California). With their car messed up, they have to stay in the town a few days and discover that it isn’t any regular area. It is a town full of scientists, giving them a place where they can work and create in privacy. Nearby is the company Global Dynamics that employees most of the scientists, contracting to the military. While they are there, one of the townspeople are creating a time machine that causes a huge rift in time and almost destroys the town. Jack Carter is able to come up with a plan to help over come it, and due to his efforts is promoted from U.S. Marshal to Sheriff of Eureka.

What I like about Eureka is that the Sheriff is very smart but also very much a regular guy. This makes him extremely relatable and also allows him to solve the hard cases, with help, in that he has a different way of viewing things than anyone else. Each episode revolves around a crisis involving an invention, along with giving us clues to a mystery that runs the whole season. It is a very fun and good show and I highly recommend it to anyone into science and mysteries.

hearts banner

Make It or Break It

make_it_or_break_it-show

I started watching this show because I loved the film Stick It and had wished, too late, to be a gymnast. If I could go back in time I think I would try it, whether or not I would compete and try for the Olympics. Anyways, this show is about four girls trying to achieve the dream of Olympic gold, while at the same time dealing with family, friends, and regular teenage girl stuff.

First we have Kaylie Cruz (Josie Loren), who is rich as both her parents used to be famous and are rich. She is secretly dating fellow gymnast Carter, which has to be a secret as dating is not allowed in the gym or by her parents. Carter ends up sleeping with Kaylie’s best friend Lauren, as Kaylie wouldn’t sleep with him. Most of the first season is Carter trying to keep it a secret, Lauren trying to win him, and Kaylie being oblivious. When she finds out she is pissed, but eventually forgives Lauren. Kaylie goes on to win the National Chap and has a better chance at getting the gold. Afterwards, Kaylie feels a lot of pressure as everyone had expected Payson to win, and feel as if Kaylie didn’t deserve her title as Payson was out with a back injury. She constantly feels as if she has to defend herself and her talents. The gym brings on Austin Tucker (Zane Holtz), who I really liked, but Kaylie dislikes. Kaylie also becomes anorexic as the pressures from the gym, her father and mother, her parent’s divorce, and a need to be in control. Now a lot of people made fun of this as abcfamily was trying too hard or something, but I thought this was done very realistically and well in regarding what it is like to be anorexic and how other issues can compound into it. Austin sees what is going on and helps her come to terms with it and seek help. While Kaylie is recuperating, she starts singing and hanging out with Damon. She eventually is ready for worlds, bringing in the gold. The third season sees Kaylie on the team in London, getting ready for the gold and Austin’s girlfriend.

Payson Keeler (Ayla Kell) is from a middle class family that is always struggling to get the money to support their daughter’s dream. Payson is extremely focused on her goals, being the best of all the girls on the team. In the first season Lauren‘s father blackmails their coach, getting rid of him. Sasha Belov is brought in, and Payson is ecstatic as he is one of her idols. When they hear of a party in the area, Payson does not want to go, but ends up coming too as she wants to make sure the other girls stay out of trouble. She has some back problems, but conceals it from everyone. She ends up damaging herself and loses her chance at worlds and messes up her back completely. In the second season she starts a relationship with Nicky Russo, played by Cody Longo. This didn’t go far as he ended up leaving the series. I was sad about this as I LOVED him. I was also sad as every guy Payson started to get with, ended up disappearing shortly after they proclaimed their feelings. Payson was the best as she worked through her trauma and disappointment to try other things, and was brave enough to try an experimental project, restoring her. When she comes back, her body isn’t exactly the same and she finds herself not being able to do the same things, changing to be one on grace. She gets involved with Max, Austin’s friend, and they start dating, but then he left to be the lead guy on Revenge. She goes on making it to London, and meeting a guy there.

Lauren Tanner (Cassie Scerbo) is the rich, spoiled, princess as she is the apple of her dad’s eye and used to getting anything she wants. She wants Carter, and his constant denying her for Kaylie makes her incredibly angry and want him more. Kaylie finds out and is angry, but the two work through their issues and become friends again. A new guy, Max, comes into the gym and is into Payson, but Lauren wants him and bad. She constantly tries to seduce him, not always getting the responses she desires. On one of their dates she gets in a car accident, she’s okay but Max is out of the competition. She eventually focuses on her gymnastics and sees herself setting off for London.

Emily Kmetko (Chelsea Hobbes) is a girl from the wrong side of the tracks. She has a single mother who does nails, and later works as a waitress at a strip club to make ends meet. She also has a younger brother in a wheelchair. She has been trying for years to get into a gym, and eventually scores a scholarship. She faces the most issues out of the girls as she has money she is trying to earn to stay afloat, trying to take care of her brother, and trying to befriend girls who have been friends for years and hate her. Eventually, they all become friends, but it takes quite a while. She meets this guy, Razor at work and kind of likes him; but when he goes out of town, his best friend Damon fills in for him. Damon was the best character, and when the series got weird and too silly, he was the anchor I loved, the reason I watched.

Makeitorbreakit

Yep, he was awesome. He was always there for her, he helped her practice, he got her family to Nationals, he brought Radiohead, when she wanted to wait to have sex he was all for it, when she decided she wanted to be with him and ended up pregnant (the actress was pregnant in real life) he went after to her to help raise the baby. He was awesome and hot…and I love him. 🙂

swoon dreamy

hearts banner

Michael Crichton

History

For me the love of this author began with one book Jurassic Park. You see I have always loved the series, it is one of my all-time favorites, (and you can read a review here). After one of my constant viewings, my mother mentioned it was based on the novel. I decided to start reading his book, buying every one I would find in a book sale. I still have one to go, The Andromeda Strain, but besides that I have read everything he has ever written. I love all his writings as the characters are great, the plot always suspenseful, and I love the melding of science-fiction and technology with horror, history, etc. Almost every book has been turned into a film, but sadly I have yet to view how they all were done. Each one is amazing and I recommend them all.

goodbookDon'twantittoEnd

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park- In this book, a genetic company has decided to try to bring back dinosaurs. By using frog DNA to fill in the gaps, they have created new versions of the creatures. John Hammond, the head of the company, has asked a group of people to visit and review his island. Ready to review is paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant; paleobotanist, Dr. Ellie Slatter; Ian Malcolm; and Hammond’s two grandchildren. Of course, “life can find a way”, and these creatures do what they want to; causing havoc on the island. This has quite a few differences then the film, with the dinosaurs escaping the island; a pterodactyl fight, more deaths of the group, and no relationship between Dr. Grant and Dr. Slatter. However, I think both are done very well and could watch the movie or read the book again and again.

J-0002_Jurassic_Park_The_Lost_World_quad_movie_poster_l

The Lost World- Now when I first watched the movie, I thought it was okay and denoted it as my least fav in the series. However, after I read the book,  I had to agree that the movie was better. This book was okay, it moves much slower than the original and doesn’t have as many lovable characters. In this book, Hammond reveals that there is a second island of creatures that survived from the previous book. He sends in Malcolm with a crew of people, and two stowaway kids. This isn’t a horrible book, but just pales in comparison to the original.

Timeline- This is one of my mother’s absolute favorite books, and she would constantly talk about how great it was. I decided that this would be the next book that I would read of Crichton, and it was AMAZING! I love this book so much. We have group of graduate students and archeologists, all working in Medieval history. One is focused on architecture, one on technology, one on fighting, etc. They find an amazing discovery, and are immediately swept off to a secret organization that has produced a technology allowing traveling through time, right back to medieval times. The group goes to find a friend sent before, and find that living history is fun, but also incredibly dangerous. The film was also really good, starring Paul Walker and Gerard Butler, the only thing I disliked about it was that in the book each person encountered what they were studying, helping them further their research. In the movie they cut that out, sadly.

Airframe- Just an ordinary day and an ordinary flight from Hong Kong to Denver. That all changes when it crashes with a hundred injured and three killed. What happened to the flight? It’s up to investigators to discover who was at fault; the plane, the airport, or the pilot?

A Case of Need- This was Crichton’s first novel and utilizes his medical training. The book is set in a Boston Medical Center, where a patient receiving surgery is killed. Is it just an accident or murder?

Congo- Deep in the Congo, near the ancient city of Zinj, eight American geologists are brutally and mysteriously murdered. Karen Ross, the project supervisor back in America, watches video feed of the massacre. In San Francisco, primatologist Peter Elliot has been able to teach a gorilla named Amy over 600 signs, finger painting, etc. Lately, Amy has been acting strangely and painting horrible things, that Peter thinks maybe it is time to take her home. A map from the 17th century supposedly leading to Zinj matches up with Amy’s finger paintings exactly. When all three parties intersect, a strange expedition sets out to discover what holds Zinj. This was made into a less than stellar film, of which I will review in Horrorfest IV.

Disclosure- This is an interesting book, although it doesn’t seem like it in the beginning. Thomas Sander has had a bad day. He is passed over for a promotion by an old flame, and his new tech is having some glitches. When his boss asks him over for drinks, she immediately comes on to him. He refuses, and leaves. The next day she is charging him with sexual harassment and Sanders is fired. Luckily for Sanders, he accidentally recorded what happened and tries to turn the case around and sue his boss. But Sanders start wondering, why would his boss do that? Was she so upset that he turned her down? Or is there more to this case then meets the eye?

Eaters of the Dead- This is a retelling of Beowulf told from the point of an Arab courtier, who finds himself unwilling dragged along a quest to destroy the monster, Grendal. This too was turned into a film I have yet to watch, but starring Antonio Banderas.

Five Patients- This is a non-fiction volume that tells of Crichton’s experiences as an intern at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

The Great Train Robbery- This is another novel that I love. Based on the historical event, Crichton once again is able to meld the account with amazing characters. In this, the charming and persuasive Edward Pierce easily moves through society in Victorian London, all the while plotting the crime of the century…The Great Train Robbery.

Prey- This one of my all-time favorite books. The way Crichton writes it, it is so haunting and amazing. I don’t want to give too much away as you REALLY should read it.

BookWithNoFandom

Jack Forman lost his job and took on being the one taking care of his daughter and the home. His wife works at Xymos Corporation and has been acting weird. Other things start to seem strange, but Jack thinks it is nothing but his imagination. When his wife hires him on, he discovers that the mirco-bots that Xymos produces are not as benign as he was told. In fact, there is much more horrifying things happening than Forman could ever imagine.

Rising Sun-During the grand opening celebration of the new American headquarters of a Japanese company, the dead body of a beautiful woman is found. The investigation begins, and immediately becomes a headlong chase through a twisting maze of industrial intrigue and a violent business battle that takes no prisoners. This two was turned into a film I have yet to view.

Sphere- This book always makes me think of the film Forbidden Planet. In this a spaceship on the floor of the ocean is discovered. Scientists prepare an expedition and head down to the ship, discovering a ship over 300 years old and holding a power much stronger than any could imagine. This power gives them increased abilities and paranoia. One scientists starts using his power to attack the ship and people, but which one? I really, really loved the book and couldn’t stop reading it the first time I had it. They turned this also into a film, of which I have had problems getting my hands on it. When I do see it, you can bet it will be a part of a future Horrorfest.

State of Fear- In this book Crichton spins a tale of political conspiracy. As eco-terrorists and global warming are the biggest issues ands causing all kinds of destruction, one investigator starts wondering if whether this is just a smokescreen for something far more sinister.

The Terminal Man- Harry Benson suffers from horrible seizures that cause violent outbursts. He is experimented on and has electrodes placed deep in his brain’s pleasure centers, effectively short-circuiting Harry’s seizures with pulses of bliss. The surgery is successful, but while Benson is in recovery, he escapes and his violent impulses have grown; leaving a horror in his wake.

Travels- An account of Michael Crichton’s travels abroad and all over the world.

Next- This is his last complete novel and is an amazing story. In a world where we focus on our genes, what diseases we might carry, taking apart our genome; Crichton speaks on how such technology can get out of hand. A man going in for tests ends up having his blood and genes patented and in a sense sells his children into slavery of a company. A man who wins custody from his wife on the basis of her high possibility of becoming afflicted with deadly diseases; and an ape human born of gene splicing.

Pirate Latitudes- This was Crichton’s last book, but was unfinished. It was a “complete” manuscript, but was missing the special Crichton charm that each story has. Jamaica in 1665 is the home of people willing to go after gold and riches of the Spanish and Portuguese. If caught they are pirates, if they make it out with the wealth then England gets a cut and everyone is happy. Captain Edward Hunter is one such type and decides to go after the dangerous island of El Trinidad. A crazy scheme that will have enormous bounty if it succeeds, or incredible death if it fails; leads Captain Hunter and his team on a a swashbuckling adventure.

For more on Michael Crichton, go to Just Follow the Screams: The Lost World (1997)

hearts banner

The Mentalist

the mentalist

So I started watching this show on accident. The episode “Red Handed” came on after something else I was watching. In the episode “Red Handed” the CBI (California Bureau of Investigations) team discovers a right hand straddling the California and Nevada state lines. After measuring it, they discover that it is inside the California boundary, and therefore the CBI’s responsibility. After that I was hooked. I caught up on the previous episodes and became a big fan.

mentalistPsychShawnSpencerab0181d69b90b6545647d89bdd0280dc

So the series is about Patrick Jane, played by the incredibly handsome Simon Baker, who is a “psychic” consultant to the CBI.

Patrickjanementalist

Patrick Jane has such style. He only drinks tea, he has an Aston Martin, and always dresses amazingly sharp. Anyways, Patrick Jane isn’t really a psychic. He is extremely intelligent and observant, a sort of kind, sweet, and charming Sherlock Holmes. He never went to school, but was raised by his swindler father who touted him a psychic in his carnival show. He married a woman from a similar background and the tweo had a daughter, Charlotte. He went on to make millions off his “psychic ability”. It gained the attention of Red John, a serial killer, who murders his wife and child. This brings Jane to consulting with CBI as he does it from his guilt and in order to get a view of the official files. Red John becomes Jane’s Moriarity as in each season Jane continuously searches for him.

The team is lead by Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney), who is a no-nonsense cop. She is the perfect foil for Jane as Lisbon is tough and serious; while Jane is comedic and more fanciful. They have a platonic relationship, but like Bones and other cop shows there is something simmering under the surface.

Then we have Kimball Cho, who second to Jane is my favorite character. Cho is always reserved and speaks in a monotone.

the mentalist NoNonsense

But he is very intense as well. He is honest, straightfoward, observant, and altogeether awesome. We later find out that there is a lot more to him than meets the eye. He used to be a baseball player, gang member, and Special Forces.

Then we have Wayne Rigsby who is absolutely adorable, sweet, and charming. He was raised by a dad in motorcycle gangs and coming in and out of prison. He’s more relaxed than Cho, but more serious than Jane. He is also in love with fellow team member Grace Van Pelt. Grace Van Pelt is tough, but sweeter than Lisbon. She has a famous father, and tries to live up to his name. She is always focused on the job, but Rigsby constant infatuation starts her thinking of maybe more with him.

I used to watch this every Thursday without fail, but school got in the way and I am way behind in desperate need of catching up. The show just ended this last February, which saddens me as it was an awesome piece of TV.

hearts banner

Midsomer Murders

MidsomerMurders-76846

So I love the library.

ParadiseisaLibrary

When I was in college I would spend hours in the library; working, reading, watching movies or TV shows. The library had a great selection of movies and TV shows that I really utilized. But that library wasn’t enough for me. I also went to the city library for books and films. Every time I went there I would see the DVDs for the show Midsomer Murders and wanted to check them out, but never felt I had the time. This summer as I would write my blog posts on my computer, I would also watch movies and TV shows on my phone. Or at least try to as I had a little screen. One day Midsomer Murders popped up in related videos and I was estatic watching them. Now youtube doesn’t have every episode and I watched them out of order, but I really, really enjoyed the show. When I got another free month on Netflix I started rewatching the episodes and loved it all over again!

love it

This series is based off a book series and set in England. How their Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI) teams works is that they have a county in which they travel all over investigating, sort of like the Sheriff’s department. Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) is head of the Midsomer unit and is extremely intelligent and excellent at his job. Unfortunately for his wife, a murder tends to occur whenever she wants to do something, causing Barnaby to miss it. He also has a daughter,  Gillie, who is in college and studying to be an actress. He starts out with his assistant being Sgt. Gavin Troy, who I didn’t like as he wasn’t that bright, and same for his second assistant Sgt. Dan Scott. I really liked his third assistant Ben Jones, because he was very smart and actually helped solve the mysteries. The series is ongoing, but I don’t really like the newer episodes as Tom Barnaby retired and his nephew, John Barnaby, took over. He was good, but Tom was way better. Tom had a way of gathering information that made you not realize how intelligent he was until the end when he is the only one who has put the whole picture together. The mysteries were amazing, and often times really puzzling. The only thing that I kept questioning was, how do these small country towns survive with so many deaths? I highly recommend this for any mystery fan.

hearts banner

Murder She WroteMurderSheWrote

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this show. I grew up watching it and wish they had still played it on TV as I got older as I truly love this show.

Angela Lansbury plays J.B. Fletcher, former high school teacher and now famous mystery author. Every episode Jessica (the J in J.B.) will be minding her own business working on something or visiting a friend and get caught up in a mystery. Usually she can either get someone to share info with her, or is able to have some kind of insight that solves the case. If you love mysteries, then this is a show for you!

For more Murder She Wrote, go to At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heros

hearts banner

w:outFandoms

hearts banner

For the previous fangirl post, go to A FANtastic Voyage

Stay tuned for part 11

hearts banner