Watched, Read, Reviewed: November 2017

I’m again starting up a month-in-review post as I can’t find the time lately to do full movie reviews but would still like to at least briefly discuss the things I’ve seen & read each month. Here’s a quick look at the month of November…

MOVIES THIS MONTH

MOVIES REVIEWED (ranked best to worst):

Only one movie reviewed this month due to lack of time:

The Untouchables, which was my November 2017 Blind Spot choice. Great film! Glad I finally watched it. My Rating: 8/10

MOVIES WATCHED (ranked best to worst):

• The French Connection – This is a Blind Spot 2018 choice of mine & I decided to get a head start by watching it now. It’s good but not as good as I was expecting. I definitely preferred The Untouchables. I’ll review this film in depth in January after posting my full list of 2018 Blind Spot films… My Rating: 7.5/10

• Moonlight – This was good. Was it “All-time classic, Oscar-worthy” good? Not really. It’s probably the best of the nominees, though, as it was weak year (La La Land is overrated). Mahershala Ali was very good & had a “presence” that not all actors have. I’m glad he won the Supporting Actor Oscar but was disappointed to find it was quite a small role. I’m also glad that Naomie Harris didn’t win as I feel that exact same sort of role has been played far better in countless other films. I really liked the character of Kevin (especially adult Kevin), who is the one & only friend of the main protagonist, Chiron. But it was very hard to feel a connection to Chiron, played by three actors in three stages of life, due to his traumatic childhood making him extremely shy and reserved. I felt sympathy for him but couldn’t feel much more than that as we never really got to “know” him. Moonlight is a good film but it wasn’t as emotionally powerful as I was hoping. It did pick up in the final half hour or so and I really liked the ending. I think it’s a better film and that the emotions felt much more genuine than in Manchester By The Sea, which I watched as a double feature with this (what a fun time that was!). But this is also one of those “heavy Oscar dramas” that I’ll probably only watch once then never again. My Rating: 7.5/10

• Manchester By The Sea – Hmm. This was okay but it felt a little contrived. I don’t do well with heavy dramas but I especially struggle with ones that don’t come across as fully genuine. I was surprised to find there was a bit of a dark humor throughout the film, especially with how Casey Affleck & his nephew (Lucas Hedges) interacted, which was a welcome relief from all the depressing drama! Hedges was fun to watch as a pretty typical & well-liked teenage boy. Affleck did well as a seemingly emotionless man whose tragic past has forever completely changed who he is as a person. When you find out why, f*^k…. No one should have to go through that and your heart breaks for him while, at the same time, you kind of hate him. And then, of course, it sounds like he may not be the nicest guy in real life. And then you get really annoyed and try to just think of this as the fictional movie that it is. Holy shit it’s depressing. At least Moonlight felt a little more hopeful, I guess. My Rating: 7/10

• Jackie – Erm. I’m sorry but I was thoroughly bored while watching this, which I certainly hadn’t been expecting. I’m terrible when it comes to anything to do with history (it was always my least favorite subject in school) and I truly knew nothing about Jackie O. And, after watching this movie, I still feel like I know absolutely nothing. I know that Portman was supposedly very good only because that’s what people said. Did Jackie really sound like that??? Bizarre. I just found it very difficult to care, which is quite a feat as you’d think such a traumatic true story would create a very sympathetic character. I don’t know. Sorry! I just thought this was a truly weak film considering its powerful potential. My Rating: 6/10

• Sing – Ugh. Sing was shit. I know it’s not Disney or Pixar so I had pretty low expectations anyway. But… Sheesh. I wish they’d stop pumping out crap like this. Kids are smart. They want better than this! My Rating: 4.5/10

BOOKS, TV, MUSIC, MISCELLANEOUS THIS MONTH

BOOKS READ (ranked best to worst):

• Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – I read this as it’s being made into a television series by HBO & starring my girl crush Amy Adams. Gillian Flynn also wrote Gone Girl, which I reviewed HERE and which I liked okay despite thinking it was a bit f*^ked-up. Holy hell… Gone Girl ain’t got nothing on Sharp Objects!!! These may be the most f*^ked-up characters EVER. And I kind of enjoyed the book. It’s so seriously f*^ked-up and over-the-top that I ended up quite entertained. I guess. I’m not sure if you can take that as a recommendation or not… 😉 My Rating: 3.5/5

• Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple – I read this as it’s supposedly going to be made into a film by one of my favorite directors, Richard Linklater. It’s an odd book, told mostly through e-mails and letters between characters. It’s about a teenage girl whose eccentric mother, Bernadette, goes missing. Bernadette is indeed an intriguing character and I can see why Linklater would be interested in putting her on the big screen. I found it very hard to get into this book & its storytelling style, though. The characters are fun but you’d probably either love this book or hate it depending on if you buy into the characters or not. My Rating: 3/5

• The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson – This is a Young Adult novel about a teenage girl whose older sister dies unexpectedly. Again, I read this as it looks like they’re planning on making it into a movie but there are no specific details yet. I thought the story handled grief quite well and that the characters were strong but it’s very much a “YA” novel so won’t be for everyone. My Rating: 3/5

Currently Reading: The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt – This will be a 2018 Western film starring John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix & Jake Gyllenhaal. I’m struggling to get into this one…

TV SHOWS WATCHED (ranked best to worst):

Black Mirror: Season 1, Episode 2: Fifteen Million Merits – I’ve finally convinced the hubby to start watching these with me after I recovered from episode 1 (that was seriously f*^ked-up). My all-time favorite TV show is the original The Twilight Zone so I knew Black Mirror would probably be my sort of thing. I liked episode two a hell of a lot more than the first one and now can’t wait to continue. I loved the dystopian future displayed in episode 2 and, of course, the usual morality lessons that were done in the same way in the 1950s with The Twilight Zone (that show was SO ahead of its time!). Daniel Kaluuya, from Get Out, did a very good job in this (I wonder if this role is what got him noticed for that film). I really hope the rest of the episodes are as good…

Stranger Things: Season 2 – As with all things with as much hype as this show, season 2 didn’t manage to quite live up to season 1. I just sincerely hope they know when to quit with this one instead of dragging it out for years (like The Walking Dead!!! Ugh). What I did love was seeing these thoroughly likable characters again and getting to know them even better. I still like this show a lot and think that, if they make just one more season and concentrate on making it a damn good final season, it’ll be seen as a bit of a classic years from now. The story isn’t perfect but the characters and the style make it lots of fun.

• The Walking Dead: Season 8 so far – I’ve fallen behind & not watched the last two episodes that aired. Because I’M BORED!! This show started out strong but has gotten worse & worse every season. I’ve had enough. At this point I’m continuing just because I’ve watched it so long now that I feel like I have to see it through to the end. Meh.

BLOG PLANS FOR THE COMING MONTH

As December is the month from hell, I have no blog plans. Damn you, Christmas! I sound like Scrooge. All I want to make sure to do is review my December Blind Spot film (Wolf Children). But it’s unlikely that I’ll make it to the cinema to see any films. Other than THE ONLY film that MATTERS…

Upcoming Movies I Want To See:

Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Yeah, baby! I’m not missing this one. My ticket has been booked for ages. Can’t wait!!!

Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle – Okay, I admit that I want to see this one. I love Jack Black. Since the kid wants to see it too, it’s likely that we’ll make this one a Family Movie Night.

Beyond these two, I don’t even have a clue what’s coming out this month. I’ve fallen so behind on new releases this year. So feel free to make any recommendations on movies I shouldn’t miss! 🙂

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Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (Book Review)

13 Reasons Why is a new young adult TV series being released on Netflix this Friday (March 31st). There will be 13 episodes (all available on Friday) and the show is based on the novel Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, in which a teenage boy receives a package containing audiotapes recorded by a classmate who has recently committed suicide. The show was directed by Spotlight’s Tom McCarthy & produced by Selena Gomez. I read the book recently so figured I should review it before the show airs. Here’s my review…

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

What It’s About: (via Goodreads)
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.

Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.”

My Thoughts:

I’m not entirely sure how to feel about this book. I’ll say it was very “readable”. I usually take a good few weeks to read a book (due to lack of free time) but this was a quick & easy read plus I found that I really didn’t want to put it down as I was truly curious to see how it would end (I read it over a weekend). It’s an uncomfortable subject matter, however, and I still don’t know if I feel right about how it was handled. Plus, the below trailer for the TV show makes it look almost like an “exciting mystery”, which I don’t think is necessarily a responsible way to market the story. I guess we’ll see how the show unfolds. This IS a book about suicide. The only “mystery” is why the girl did it, which she explains in her audiotapes. The trailer’s mood just feels a bit off to me.

I’ll say this is very much a teen book but it didn’t feel immature or like the author had dumbed it down for its target audience. My teenage years are far far (far!) behind me but this book feels like it was written in a way that would seem genuine & relevant to a modern teen. I know nothing of the book’s success but I would imagine that current teens can relate to it whereas I feel that certain other young adult books are too obviously written by authors whose teen years are far far (far!) behind them. Okay, yeah – I’ve just looked up the author (Jay Asher) and he’s my sort of age. I also think that he did a good job with the character of Hannah Baker, the girl who commits suicide. It can’t be easy for a middle-aged man to capture the feelings of a teenage girl but I think he did well with her character (probably even better than with the main male character, Clay Jensen).

I’ll of course avoid major spoilers but the main moral of this story is to treat people with kindness and to be aware of the signs to watch for that may indicate that someone is suicidal. I of course agree with this message and would love to think that this book could save some lives but, well, I don’t think the world works that way. If anything, it worries me that this story could play into the rather typical teenage thoughts about suicide: that whole “this will make people notice me & understand what I was going through” thing. No. The bullies, etc? They didn’t care beforehand & they wouldn’t care afterwards. I hope no one thinks that because of this book. However, from the other point of view, who knows? Maybe it would help some teens to notice the warning signs & perhaps offer someone some help. Maybe. The nice ones. (Is it obvious that I thought a lot of the people in my high school were uncaring assholes?!)

I admit that Thirteen Reasons Why was a bit of a page-turner, even if the subject matter left me feeling uncomfortable. Clay listens to several cassette tapes from Hannah, each focusing on a different classmate & the role each person played in her final decision. This meant we were told several stories as Clay listened to each tape, which was an interesting way to set up this novel. Hannah Baker was a well fleshed-out character though, interestingly, kind of hard to like. Maybe that was partly the point… Due to various incidents, she turned inward so I suppose she was kind of ignored. Clay Jensen comes across as a little less genuine but I think this is due to his seeming so simple in comparison to Hannah’s complexity. Overall I’d probably recommend this book to anyone who likes young adult fiction and who is emotionally stable. But I wouldn’t necessarily want anyone who is anything like Hannah Baker’s character to read it…

My Rating: 3/5

Here’s the trailer for the Netflix series, starring Dylan Minnette as Clay Jensen & Katherine Langford as Hannah Baker:

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty (Book Review)

Big Little Lies is a seven-episode series starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman & Shailene Woodley. It’s airing on HBO in America this Sunday (19th of February) and looks like it will air on Sky Atlantic in the UK sometime in March.

Based on the novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty, the show was created by David E Kelley & directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (director of films such as Wild & Dallas Buyers Club). Having just read the book, I figured it was time I do a quick book review for anyone who may be interested in either the novel or the TV show…

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

What It’s About: (via Amazon)
Perfect family, perfect house, perfect life; Jane, Madeline and Celeste have it all . . . or do they? They are about to find out just how easy it is for one little lie to spiral out of control.

My Thoughts:

I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed this book as it’s certainly not my usual sort of genre (give me Stephen King, fantasy, dystopian, or post-apocalyptic!). Is it chick lit? I hate that term – It’s so condescending. And I hate the so-called chick lit genre as it tends to be the “silly” books that are given this label. I suppose it’s certainly aimed at female readers, though.

I haven’t read reviews at all but I would assume the main comparison being used to describe this book’s story & overall feel is Desperate Housewives, which would be extremely accurate. I have a confession: I’m not a girly girl & watch very few girly things but I watched all of Desperate Housewives (despite its AWFUL title, which almost made me not watch it in the first place). But then the opening DH scene started with a tragic death and a woman who then happily realized that it meant she wouldn’t have to return (some kitchen appliance she’d borrowed – can’t remember) to the now-dead woman. And I was hooked! Well-written dark humor with rich characters is something I can get behind. Who cares what label you give it? I don’t think Big Little Lies is quite as good as that first season of Desperate Housewives (as with all shows, DH went badly downhill in later years) and it doesn’t have as much of that darkly humorous streak but it’s a fun satire on parents, particularly mothers, and the crazy world of school politics.

Big Little Lies starts with a tragic & unexplained death on the night of the adult-only trivia fundraiser taking place at the novel’s school. Our three main characters, Jane, Madeline & Celeste, each have five-year-olds attending their first year of school. This is a fairly long book that I found a very quick read thanks to the way it was broken up into so many chapters & the way most chapters ended with statements from witnesses who were there on the trivia night. After the opening chapter in which someone has died, the novel then goes back to the beginning of the school year to introduce us to all our main potential victims and murderers. I loved not even knowing who ends up the victim, which kept me reading as I was anxious to find out. The witness statements at the end of the chapters give us little clues along the way as to what may have happened.

Big Little Lies isn’t exactly some piece of “worthy literature” but it was a light & entertaining read and should make for an enjoyable TV series. I’d actually like to see them up the dark humor for the show if they can. The book sounds more shallow than it actually is – It tackles some heavy issues, especially at the end, but it could’ve done with sticking more to its sassy satire we mainly glimpse in the witness statements and through the character of Madeline. Speaking of Madeline, the casting of Reese Witherspoon for this role is absolute perfection – I can totally see her as this outwardly superficial character with the deep down heart of gold. I can also see Woodley & Kidman as Jane & Celeste now even though Celeste won’t be how I pictured looks-wise but Kidman definitely has the right sort of personality & manner to suit the role well. With a lot of big names involved, including Jean-Marc Vallée as the director, I think the show is in good hands & I’m looking forward to seeing how they adapt the book.

My Rating: 3.5/5

Here’s the UK trailer for the TV show. I think they’ve upped the drama! Hope the show doesn’t take itself too seriously…

Sesame Street To Again Be Shown In The UK!

YES!!! Starting today, Cartoonito will be airing Sesame Street in the UK. This is a big deal to me! I grew up on this show & the characters will always be very dear to me. And I met Gordon when I was 4 or 5 (I have a picture of the two of us – it’s awesome).

It’s always felt weird no longer having some American staples like Sesame Street & Saturday Night Live on TV. Even though I didn’t always watch them, I’ve missed them no longer being around since moving to the UK. Oh, and The Young And The Restless. But don’t tell anyone that I used to watch a soap… (What’s up with Victor & the Abbott gang these days?)

Read more about Sesame Street’s comeback here: Sky News. Unfortunately, it sounds like Sesame Street has undergone a lot of changes. I know they got rid of some of the longstanding human cast members a few years ago, which is a horrible shame. I’ll still be checking it out, though. It’ll never be as good as it was in the classic, pre-Elmo days but it’s a show I’ll always support.

Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani will be guest starring in today’s comeback episode so that’s a promising start, at least. Too bad my daughter is now too old for the show but, with such big name guest stars (she’s a fan of both Williams & Stefani), I have a feeling she might not leave the room when I start watching it. 😉

Let’s end this with the classic Alligator King clip…

Stranger Things & Peanuts Mashup: A Stranger Things Christmas 

I didn’t really want to take a break from my October horror-only posts but….. It’s PEANUTS! I love Snoopy & Charlie Brown and I can’t NOT post a Peanuts thing. Then, of course, we have the TV sensation Stranger Things that everyone seems to have gone absolutely nuts for. Understandably, as that show was a lot of fun. And, hey – Stranger Things is a horror so I’m still sticking with my horror theme anyway.

So, I’m sure everyone saw this while I decided if I should post it or not but I’d be crazy to ignore it as this mashup is absolutely brilliant! It was created by Leigh Lahav and Oren Mendez and mixes A Charlie Brown Christmas with Stranger Things. Perfection. You can read a bit about it here: Rolling Stone.com

And here’s the clip. SPOILER WARNING: It continues where Strangers Things left off so you need to have seen all episodes before watching it. I love this so much. Every once in a while, the Internet doesn’t suck… 🙂

My Top Ten Creepy Dolls In Movies & Television 

Well, you knew this would be my top ten list for Creepy Dolls Week. I hate dolls, puppets, marionettes, ventriloquist’s dummies, and mannequins (unless there’s some Starship on the movie’s soundtrack). Evil f*^kers! All of them!!!

It was hard to decide on the order for this top ten. I’ve kind of done a combination of how much I liked the movie crossed with how creepy the dolls are. Well, don’t take the order too seriously but I’ve ranked each doll’s creepiness factor.

So here are My Top Ten Movie & TV Creepy Dolls:

10. TIE: The Twilight Zone: Episode – Living Doll (1963) & The Boy (2016)
The Doll: Talky Tina (The Twilight Zone) & Brahms (The Boy)
Doll’s Creepy Rating: Tina: 6/10, Brahms: 7/10

– I adore The Twilight Zone & this episode, starring Telly Savalas as a mean step-father, is a great one. The doll isn’t that scary but it’s a fun story. The Boy, starring The Walking Dead’s Lauren Cohan, has a story with a retro 80’s feel & I really enjoyed it even though it’s predictable. Loved the design of the porcelain doll with the “sweet” face. Not all dolls have to be ugly to be creepy.

9. Trilogy of Terror (1975): Part 3 – Amelia
The Doll: A Zuni fetish doll
Doll’s Creepy Rating: 6.5/10

– It’s been a long time since I saw this horror classic starring Karen Black but I certainly remember the “Amelia” segment, unlike the others in the trilogy. The doll was kind of more funny than scary but it’s a must-see of the killer doll subgenre.

8. The Conjuring (2013) & Annabelle (2014)
The Doll: Annabelle, in real life a Raggedy Ann doll
Doll’s Creepy Rating: 7.5/10

I was quite harsh on Annabelle in yesterday’s review. The movie isn’t very good but the doll itself is effectively creepy while the real life story, as shown in The Conjuring, is far more scary than the made-up story in Annabelle.

7. Pin (1988)
The Doll: Pin (short for Pinocchio) – a doctor’s medical dummy
Doll’s Creepy Rating: 8.5/10

I caught this bizarre movie on TV late one night when I was maybe about 18 or so & that creepy medical dummy has stayed on my mind ever since. Ugh! Look at it!!! From what I remember, this was actually a pretty good psychological thriller (despite some, er, Flowers In The Attic-y incestuous brother/sister stuff).

6. Dolls (1987)
The Doll(s): Various – there’s a creepy old mansion filled with loads of them
Dolls’ Creepy Rating: 7.5/10

This cheesy 80’s horror is loads of fun (and very tame for a Stuart Gordon film). And the chick from the A-ha Take On Me comic book video is in it!

5. Magic (1978)
The Doll: Fats – a ventriloquist’s dummy controlled by Anthony Hopkins
Doll’s Creepy Rating: 8/10

I reviewed this William Goldman written/Richard Attenborough directed film on Monday as one of my Blind Spot choices & recommend it for the great performances from Anthony Hopkins & Burgess Meredith. Good psychological character study also starring Ann-Margret.

4. Dead Of Night (1945)
The Doll: Hugo – a ventriloquist’s dummy controlled by Michael Redgrave
Doll’s Creepy Rating: 8/10

This British horror anthology classic is most memorable for the segment involving Michael Redgrave’s ventriloquist & his dummy, which he believes is alive. Fantastic film that was ahead of its time.

3. Child’s Play (1988)
The Doll: Chucky (aka Charles Lee Ray)
Doll’s Creepy Rating: 7/10

I always had a soft spot for the Child’s Play films (well, the first three – I’ve not watched any further). They’re bad. They’re cheesy. They’re SO Eighties (even though the second two were early Nineties. Never mind). They’re from my teen years, though, and we all like what we grew up on. I was in America & knew nothing of the banning in the U.K. & the reason why. I’ve not watched them since but I can’t leave Chucky off a “creepy dolls” list.

2. Poltergeist (1982)
The Doll: A toy clown
Doll’s Creepy Rating: 8/10

Who doesn’t hate a creepy clown? It’s a well-known phobia, which is why there’s a current “crazy clown” phase going on in the U.S. & U.K. Poltergeist is easily the best film on this list & its clown, although only a small part of the film, has haunted us 80’s kids forever.

1. The Alfred Hitchcock Hour: Episode – Where The Woodbine Twineth (1965)
The Doll: Numa
Doll’s Creepy Rating: 4/10
The Episode’s Creepy Rating: 10/10

This had to be my number one as it’s the one thing responsible for my fear (or, more like a deep distrust now in my old age) of dolls. As you can see, the doll itself in this story wasn’t creepy. Well, there’s a slight creep factor as ALL dolls look like they have murder on their minds but the doll in this was actually very cute and, slight spoiler… Friendly. She’s the best friend of the little girl in the story & the ending of this story scarred me for life. Seriously. The entire episode used to be on YouTube but, at the moment, I can only find a clip of the ending (watch it HERE if you’re curious but I obviously recommend seeing the entire episode if you can). I also found the whole short story, by Davis Grubb, online HERE if you’d like to read it (just remember that it was written in a very different time period). It’s funny – I can barely remember things I watched a year ago but the ending of Where The Woodbine Twineth, which I must have seen at the age of eight or so, is forever burned into my brain. I watched that clip just now, which I last saw probably 30 years ago, and I remembered it like I’d seen it yesterday. That’s the power of good storytelling.

Honorable Mentions:
– The Saw film series (first one 2004) (Doll: Billy The Puppet)
– Dead Silence (2007) (Doll: Billy, a ventriloquist’s dummy)
– The Fear (1995) (Doll: Morty, a wooden mannequin)
– Goosebumps (2015) (Doll: Slappy, a ventriloquist’s dummy)
Finders Keepers (2014) (Doll: A possessed doll that may have had a name but I can’t remember & don’t want to watch the movie again because it’s BAD)

A Few Movies I’ve Not seen:
– Puppetmaster (1989) & its sequels
– Demonic Toys (1992)
– Two truly bizarre looking films I’d never heard of until I started looking up creepy doll movies and now I really want to see them! Tourist Trap (1979) & The Pit (1981). Anyone seen these??

Stranger Things Poster Art By Kyle Lambert

Okay – who else is watching Stranger Things on Netflix?? I’m exactly halfway through watching all 8 episodes & I’m really enjoying it. No spoilers, please! 🙂

There are very few TV shows I watch anymore other than Game Of Thrones & The Walking Dead (which is starting to piss me off). I’ve tried a few new shows here & there but always lose interest. I may be the only person who couldn’t finish Making A Murderer (why the hype?).

Well, I’ve finally found two shows that I like! It’s not surprising that both happen to be set in my favorite decade (the 1980s). I adore Freaks And Geeks, which I’m only just watching for the first time now (it’s on Amazon Prime in the UK, FYI). How did I never see this show before? Like Stranger Things, I’m also about halfway through watching all of the episodes. Why the hell did Freaks And Geeks last only one season, dammit? Now I see why fans were so mad about that.

I started watching Stranger Things when I heard it described as “Stephen King crossed with 1980’s Steven Spielberg sci-fi”. That couldn’t sound more ME! Plus Winona Ryder is in it. Yes! Edward Scissorhands & Heathers Winona Ryder!!! Add the early 80s setting & great soundtrack and I’m extremely happy. 🙂 At the moment, I’d say I prefer Freaks And Geeks overall. I think it’ll depend on how Stranger Things ends. Supernatural horror can go very wrong at the end sometimes. But both are great & I highly recommend them if you love the era.

Anyway, I thought I’d share a link to some great Stranger Things poster art by artist Kyle Lambert. I love the deliberate Drew Struzan style. Struzan is a favorite movie poster artist of mine (I did a top ten of my favorite Struzan posters HERE). You can see Lambert’s Stranger Things poster art at this link: Huffpost.com.

Scott Ian Turns Into A White Walker While George R.R. Martin Talks To Stephen King

George R.R. Martin interviewed Stephen King at an event last Thursday night?! Wow! How did I miss the news of these two legends being in the same room together? And I love Martin’s question to King: “How the f*%k do you write so fast?” HA! You can read more about this event & some of their conversation here: thisisinsider.com. Wish I’d been there!

FYI – I’m aware that last night was the penultimate episode of Game Of Thrones, meaning someone big most likely died a horrible death. I’m in the UK and didn’t feel like staying up until 3am to watch it so SHUT YOUR YAP until I’ve watched it tonight!!! 😉

Any regulars here probably know by now that I’m a HUGE fan of Stephen King but, as for Martin’s books, I shamefully have yet to read them even though I got A Game Of Thrones for Christmas 2014. I know, I know… Hey, he’s apparently such a slow writer that I should easily catch up before he finishes the next book, right?? At least I’ve finally read ONE of his books (Tuf Voyaging – I loved it! Review HERE).

And to keep with a Game Of Thrones theme for this post, I thought I’d share a link where you can watch Scott Ian of Anthrax get a White Walker makeover. Scott Ian of Anthrax!!!! Don’t you dare say “Who?” my young bloggers – Scott Ian rules. I was such a huge Anthrax fan in my teen years and I absolutely loved that they so often included pop culture references in their songs (such as Judge Dredd, Blue Velvet, and my beloved Stephen King’s books). Geeky metalheads! Is there anything cooler?

Anyway – it’s a great video to check out whether you’re a Scott Ian fan or just a Game Of Thrones fan. Ian has a video series called Bloodworks where he goes behind the scenes to talk to make-up and effects artists & he talks to Barrie Gower, prosthetic makeup designer for Game Of Thrones, for this episode. Check out the article & video here: io9.

Star Wars Vegetables & A New Eurotrash Special!

Okitsugu Kado is the sushi chef behind these fantastic Star Wars vegetable creations. The above jawas are my favorite but you can see loads more photos of the chef’s culinary art here: Kotaku.com

And I’ve just read that there’s going to be a one-off Eurotrash special airing tonight on Channel 4 at 9pm! I am SO watching that. Reruns of this bizarre show were among the very first things I watched on British TV after moving to the UK. Seriously – It made me wonder what the hell I’d gotten myself into by moving here…

Read all about this one-off Brexit special of Eurotrash here: Guardian.com. I’m looking forward to seeing the man who apparently paints portraits with his penis. 

My Top Ten Coppola Movies

Happy Birthday to Francis Ford Coppola, who turns 77 today.

This is a part of my Coppola Week. I’ve been reviewing movies directed by Francis Ford Coppola & his daughter Sofia (ones that I’ve seen for the first time this past year). So far, I’ve reviewed The Bling Ring, The Outsiders & Marie Antoinette.

I was going to make this a Top Ten including all of the members of the Coppola family who are in the movie industry but, after looking into how many that would involve, I decided it would be a pain in the ass! Besides, I’ve already done My Top Ten Nicolas Cage Movies HERE. I’ve also never seen the Rocky movies, so there’s no point including Talia Shire. And Jason Schwartzman is mainly in those Wes Anderson movies I can’t stand so screw that. And then there are loads of other family members who do lots of behind-the-scenes stuff such as cinematography so, after researching the Coppola family more than my own ancestry, I decided to make this a list including only Francis Ford & Sofia.

So here are My Top Ten Movies Directed By Francis Ford or Sofia Coppola, counting down to my favorite:

**(Okay, I’ve seen a total of thirteen so here are 11, 12 & 13):
13. Jack
12. Somewhere
11. Peggy Sue Got Married

10. Dracula

9. The Bling Ring

8. Marie Antoinette

7. Apocalypse Now

6. The Conversation

5. The Virgin Suicides

4. The Outsiders

3. Lost In Translation

2. The Godfather: Part II

1. The Godfather

FYI: If they’re not listed, I’ve not seen them. No, I never even bothered to watch The Godfather: Part III. The one I really need to see is Rumble Fish now that I’ve finally watched The Outsiders…! 

I’ll finish Coppola Week tomorrow with a review of The Conversation.

**I recently participated in Ruth from FlixChatter’s Five For The Fifth, in which she asks fellow bloggers five movie or TV-related questions. The fifth question is from a guest blogger & I was this month’s guest with the question “Which character would you most like to see killed off in a current TV show?“. I chose this question knowing I’d be seeing The Walking Dead season finale the next day & now I’d really love to bitch about that ending with fellow bloggers!! Grrr. Have a look at Ruth’s Five For The Fifth post HERE. Thanks again, Ruth! 🙂

Betty White Reviews Deadpool 

I’m sure absolutely everyone has seen Betty White’s review of Deadpool by now but, as a huge Betty White & The Golden Girls fan, I had to share it.

Here’s Betty’s tweet:

LOVE. HER. SO. MUCH. And I agree – Deadpool is pretty f*%king good. You can read my Deadpool review HERE (but it’s not as entertaining as Betty’s).

**I dedicate this post to my fellow Golden Girls lovers – Melissa & Cara. 🙂 Melissa, I’m still cracking up about this photo you posted:

Ghostbusters, The Lost Boys & Amazing Stories News

Happy Halloween! I thought I’d share a few tidbits about three (of many!) things I loved in the Eighties: The Lost Boys, Amazing Stories & Ghostbusters.

First up is some fun Ghostbusters artwork. There was an art show in Los Angeles last night called “No Ghost Logos” in which artists paid tribute to the Ghostbusters logo creator, Michael C. Gross. Each artist did their own take on the Ghostbusters logo. You can check some of them out here: GeekTyrant.

Next is an interesting article I read about my all-time favorite vampire movie: The Lost Boys. You can read the article, “How The Lost Boys made vampires sexy way before Buffy or Twilight” here: gamesradar.

Finally, I just read some news that I’m very excited about! I absolutely loved Steven Spielberg’s TV series Amazing Stories and wish it had run much longer than it did. Luckily, it looks like it’s being revived all these years later by Bryan Fuller. Fuller is responsible for shows such as Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies, and Hannibal. Well, damn – I’ve not watched any of those shows. Also, Spielberg won’t be involved with this new Amazing Stories series. Hmm. Okay, I’m still excited although I really don’t know what to expect. (You can read the Geek Tyrant article about it HERE).

Amazing Stories was a collection of odd & often supernatural stories each week and while some weren’t great, the good ones were fantastic. The episodes had very big name stars and it looks like pretty much all of them are available to be watched in full on YouTube. Three that I’d recommend are The Mission starring Kevin Costner & Lost Boy Kiefer Sutherland (this is probably the most famous episode – watch it HERE) and a war one called No Day At The Beach starring Charlie Sheen (HERE) and a cute Halloween-y one called Mummy, Daddy (HERE).

Being the age I am, however, my personal favorite was Head Of The Class directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Christopher Lloyd, Mary Stuart Masterson & Scott Coffey (after which the two young stars were also together in a John Hughes favorite of mine: Some Kind Of Wonderful). It’s another one that’s perfect for Halloween! Here’s the IMDB plot synopsis:

In this hour-long episode, a teenage horror buff (Coffey) is so smitten with a sexy classmate (Masterson) that he helps her use black magic on their loathsome English teacher, with shocking and bewildering results.

Here it is. Love it!: 🙂

Tales From The Crypt – Forever Ambergris (1993) Review

**I’ve done this review as part of the Tales From The Crypt blogathon over at Channel: Superhero. Every day this month, someone will be reviewing a different episode of Tales From The Crypt so head on over there & check out all the participating entries! 🙂

My contribution below is a review of the episode Forever Ambergris, starring Roger Daltrey & Steve Buscemi.

Tales From The Crypt – Forever Ambergris (1993 – Season 5, Episode 3)

Directed by Gary Fleder

Starring: Roger Daltrey, Steve Buscemi, Paul Dooley, Marshall Bell, Lysette Anthony, John Kassir, Tim Ahern, Titus Welliver, Luis Antonio Ramos, Kevin Benton

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
A jaded, has-been photographer plots the demise of his younger, talented protégé when they go on assignment in Central America.


No one knows what it’s like to be the bad man

My Opinion:

For some reason, I never saw many episodes of Tales From The Crypt although the stories are the type of thing that I like. They tended to have some sort of twist, right? Growing up, one of my first favorite TV shows was The Twilight Zone (it remains my very favorite now) so it seems like I should really try to check out more Tales From The Crypt episodes. I’d probably like the stories even though the “horror” side of things isn’t really for me so much. I’m really looking forward to reading all the other entries in Channel: Superhero’s blogathon this month! 🙂

So what did I, a bit of a wuss when it comes to gore, end up choosing as my episode to review? A thoroughly disgusting one that would give David Cronenberg’s body horror films a run for their money! Damn. And I only chose it because it starred Roger Daltrey & Steve Buscemi, which I thought was pretty damn cool.

As we’re meant to discuss the episode in its entirety as well as the tale’s “twist”, I’ll be doing that now & I’ll also be including the most gruesome images I could find. So, SPOILER & NASTY IMAGE WARNING! Here we go. 🙂


Steve Buscemi is a Happy Jack at first…

In this tale, Dalton (Roger Daltrey) & Ike aka Isaac (Steve Buscemi) are war photographers. Dalton was once the best but he’s lost his touch and the younger & more talented Ike looks set to achieve big success while Dalton becomes a has-been. It was funny that Buscemi was this “young guy” compared to Daltrey (but this was back in my generation of 1993 so I guess he was a lot younger then). Anyway, I love Buscemi and you can’t help but like his friendly & enthusiastic Ike.


The kids are alright

Ike is a big fan of Dalton’s work and invites him over one night to have dinner & meet his girlfriend Bobbi (Lysette Anthony). Dalton is immediately smitten with the gorgeous blonde Bobbi (especially after later that night when he peaks through the bedroom door to watch her having sex with Ike. With her fully naked & on top, of course. Sorry, guys – I couldn’t find an image of that). 😉


“Hey, baby. They call me The Seeker.”

Naturally, the already jealous Dalton becomes more & more obsessed with Ike’s life and, when they’re sent on an assignment to war-torn Central America, he devises a plan to get his career back (and hopefully become the substitute for Ike in Bobbi’s life).


He wants her squeeze box…

While on the plane to Central America, Dalton is visited by a (ghost??) played by Marshall Bell (a total “Hey, who are you?” guy who, to me, will always be Gordie’s asshole father in Stand By Me). He tells of a village in which the population was decimated by a disease caused by some sort of germ warfare. This is when Dalton’s evil plan fully takes shape.


How do you think he does it?

He convinces Ike, as he’s his “friend”, to go to the village because he’s heard rumors of devastation that will guarantee Ike the opportunity to capture some once in a lifetime photos & to achieve the level of fame that Dalton once had. Does the trusting Ike do as Dalton says & visit the village while Dalton remains at the camp? You better you bet!

As soon as Ike gets back & joins Dalton in their tent, it soon becomes obvious that something isn’t right with Ike. First this happens:


Dizzy in the head and I’m feeling bad

Then his eye pops right the hell out:


I can see for miles

Then the evil Dalton, not content with just stealing Ike’s roll of film which Dalton will pass off as his own once Ike has taken the magic bus to heaven, decides to put his cigarette out in Ike’s eyeball:


See me, feel me

Afterwards, back in America, Dalton visits Ike’s girlfriend Bobbi to give his condolences and, of course, to hopefully win her affections as they had some pretty strong sexual chemistry when they first met. But Bobbi has other plans as she knows the photos published after that fateful trip weren’t Dalton’s as claimed.


There has to be a twist

After smoking some weed together, Bobbi and Dalton have sex, during which Bobbi reveals that what they smoked was sent to her by Ike from that contaminated village in Central America. She’s given them both the virus as she doesn’t want to live without her beloved Ike and wants to ensure that Dalton pays for Ike’s death. So as they screw, the virus causes her spine to burst and she bleeds all over Dalton as her skin melts off. Dalton freaks out & runs to the bathroom just in time to see his nose drop off into the sink. Plop! He’ll no longer play by sense of smell…


He won’t get fooled again!

Thanks for letting me join in on this blogathon! 🙂 I’m going to go watch more Tales From The Crypt now. I suppose I should give this a rating like I do with my movie reviews. I can’t really compare it to other episodes as I’ve not seen many but I did enjoy it & loved that it starred Daltrey & Buscemi, who looked so young! Definitely a little too gross for me but I do love an occasional body horror film and the special effects on Buscemi, although of course dated, really looked just as good as a lot of older movies that probably had a much higher budget. Definitely an episode that should be seen by fans of the show if they haven’t seen it already.

My Rating: 6.5/10

Oh, by the way, I wondered what the heck “ambergris” was so I looked it up at Wikipedia:

Ambergris is a solid, waxy, flammable substance of a dull grey or blackish colour produced in the digestive system of sperm whales.

Freshly produced ambergris has a marine, faecal odour. However, as it ages, it acquires a sweet, earthy scent commonly likened to the fragrance of rubbing alcohol without the vaporous chemical astringency. Although ambergris was formerly highly valued by perfumers as a fixative (allowing the scent to last much longer), it has now largely been replaced by synthetics.

Hmm. Make of that what you will from the story.

Here’s the Crypt Keeper pretending to be a photographer during the episode. His model is a bit chubby by today’s standards. Of course, her head falls off anyway.


They’re all wasted!

Music Video Friday: Aphex Twin – Come To Daddy & Windowlicker (A Chris Cunningham Special)

I’m vaguely aware of the MTV Video Music Awards having been on last weekend. Like MTV itself, remember the good old days when the VMAs didn’t suck ass?? I usually still watch the show (and bitch to hubby about how much it sucks – I’m so old!). But I haven’t watched last weekend’s. Hosted by Miley Cyrus? A world where Kim Kardashian could be the First Lady? I just don’t have the energy for it anymore. I’m all bitched-out. I feel so far removed from the “youth” of today. And that’s before we even get to the fact that the music & the videos are shit now!

Then David Bowie’s son (Duncan Jones) tweeted this:

Right on, Duncan! Hell, I was happy enough with the cheesy videos of the Eighties (things like last week’s video – Pat Benatar’s Love Is A Battlefield). That will always be my favorite era of MTV, of course, but I did love that period during the late 90s/early 2000s when people like Spike Jonze & Chris Cunningham came along & made truly artistic videos that were more like “mini-films”. I know we still get the occasional good video but they seem to be few & far between.

I love the videos from those mentioned in the above tweet (Jonathan Glazer, director of Under The Skin, made one of my very favorites: UNKLE’s Rabbit In Your Headlights) but I’ve been meaning to talk about Chris Cunningham one of these Fridays. I’m sure I’ll post other videos of his but wanted to start with those he did for Aphex Twin.

Cunningham is most famous for the amazing Björk video All Is Full Of Love and I think his video for Afrika Shox by Leftfield and Afrika Bambaataa is great. But I remember going “what the fuuuuuuuu%&k?” when I saw his video for Come To Daddy by Aphex Twin (Richard D. James). Come To Daddy was released in 1997 & I saw it on MTV but it was on a show where I think celebrities were talking about their favorite videos and this one was chosen & played (since by this point MTV was just TV shows instead of music videos). And I thought “Wow! What the hell was that? Why isn’t MTV playing this sort of thing all the time??” Then Cunningham topped it with the ultra weird 1999 video for Aphex Twin’s Windowlicker. 

I’ve rambled on long enough & I’d assume everyone here has seen these videos by now. But, just in case you haven’t (Rob), I better put a WARNING: Not Safe For Kids! Both are very disturbing and Windowlicker has loads of swearing (according to Wikipedia, “There are 127 uses of profanity in the dialogue segment of the video (which is under 4 minutes), including 44 uses of the word fuck. This averages to more than one use of profanity every two seconds”). But, in searching for these, I discovered a short film by Cunningham that I somehow knew nothing about!!! And it makes these videos look like Disney cartoons. If you’re brave enough after watching these, click THIS LINK for his film Rubber Johnny (featuring, again, music from Aphex Twin). Now THAT is weird…

Enjoy! And Sweet Dreams. 😉 I know I won’t be having any of those since watching Rubber Johnny!

Anthropomorphic Cuteness Part X: The Amazing World Of Gumball

What is this strange Amazing World Of Gumball show?! My kid was bored the other day & ended up on Cartoon Network. The below clip is what I saw. It’s funny! I worried that it was inappropriate & immediately made her turn the channel. Then… later looked for it myself on YouTube. 😉

Anthropomorphic food! My favorite thing! This clip, The Battle, cracked me up:

Question Of The Month At Oracle Of Film – Favorite Game Of Thrones Character?

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I’ve participated in another Question Of The Month from Luke over at Oracle Of Film: “Who is your favorite Game Of Thrones character?”. So many great characters to choose from! You can read all our replies HERE.

Thanks again, Luke! And, hey – can I just ask everyone this: “How awesome was the episode Hardhome?!?!?” 🙂 I’ve been really disappointed by this season so far but that episode kicked some serious ass!

When Peanuts Travels to Westeros, We All Win

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A Peanuts & Game Of Thrones mashup? Love it!

These are from artist Philip Hororton – You can check them out here: Neatorama

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I’m loving all my favorite things being mashed up with Game Of Thrones lately! Just in case some of you missed it, I also better share this Sesame Street parody from a couple of weeks ago: Game Of Chairs. Love this so much!!!! 🙂

Toy Story That Time Forgot (2014) Review

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Toy Story That Time Forgot (2014)

Directed by Steve Purcell

Starring:
Tom Hanks
Tim Allen
Wallace Shawn
Kristen Schaal
Kevin McKidd
Emma Hudak

Running time: 22 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
It’s a post Christmas play date and the toys have to go up against the fearsome and aggressive new dino toys.

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My Opinion:

Yes! Another Toy Story short! This aired in the UK on Saturday and I couldn’t wait to see it as I’ve loved all the shorts so far (Hawaiian Vacation, Small Fry, Partysaurus Rex and of course Toy Story Of Terror, which was a longer TV special like this one). It’s hard to pick a favorite, but… I think it’s probably this one now. And Angel Kitty RULES. 🙂

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I’ll say that, yes, this sort of uses the same idea from the first Toy Story film in the same way Toy Story Of Terror was similar to Toy Story 2. I thought this one worked better than Terror, though, and I found myself giggling at funny moments a lot more often this time. I really liked the new characters that are introduced, especially Reptillus Maximus and Angel Kitty with her profound statements said in an adorable child’s voice.

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Trixie the dinosaur is the star of this one and I don’t have a problem with that at all – I love it when they focus on characters other than just Buzz, Woody & Jessie. Although Jessie is sadly almost completely absent from this one, the other main characters are still in it enough to keep fans happy. In this story, Trixie wants the chance to play at being a dinosaur for a change and is finally given the chance when Bonnie takes her along for a play date at her friend Mason’s house. It’s a couple of days after Christmas and he’s just received what appears to be the entire set of toys called “Battlesaurs”. I won’t go into the story much more in order to avoid spoilers but it of course has an obvious but simple message that once again fits in with the overall themes in the Toy Story universe. They don’t hammer you over the head with the message or anything like that, unlike in most of my favorite Christmas specials (Charlie Brown, The Grinch… Not that I’m complaining as I loooooove those). My only complaint would possibly be that it didn’t really feel at all like a “Christmas” special but it makes it one you can easily watch year round, I guess.

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Summary:

A worthy addition to the Toy Story franchise, Toy Story That Time Forgot is packed full of the humor we’ve come to expect. I think I laughed even more than the kid I watched this with so, once again, I think they got the balance right with the adults liking it as well as their kids. Bonnie is still as sweet and wildly imaginative as in Toy Story 3 and we get a lot of Rex and especially Trixie, two characters I really like, as well as some great new toys. Plus a cute ending and scene during the credits. Oh, and watch out for the hilarious theme tune! I really had fun with this one. And… Everyone needs an apartment shaped like their own head! 🙂

My Rating: 8/10

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Btw – I’m posting a review on Wednesday for Brian De Palma’s Phantom Of The Paradise and I’m hoping at least a couple of people will check it out as it’s the type of movie I enjoy reviewing here. But people only want to read about things like Interstellar… 😦 (which I kind of trashed HERE…). Lol 😉

Happy 45th Birthday To Sesame Street!

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Oh! I just found out it’s Sesame Street’s 45th birthday today so I figured I should do a quick little post at a totally irregular time for me. (No one will see this anyway – I think I scared everyone off with my rectum & testicle post yesterday). 😉

I’m such a huge fan of Sesame Street. I won’t go into it again in this post – you can read what I had to say about it HERE in my list of My Top Thirty TV Shows (it’s number three but, in many ways, it’s actually number one). Best show for kids EVER.

This Time article is an interesting read: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About the Early (Sunny) Days of Sesame Street.

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Also, it’s the 40th anniversary of another favorite from my childhood: Little House On The Prairie (number five on my Top Thirty list). Damn I’m old!!!! Check out this Entertainment Weekly article: ‘Little House on the Prairie’ reunion: The cast remembers life in Walnut Grove.

Well, I ended my TV post with two of my favorite clips from Sesame Street (the Yip Yip Martians & The Pinball Song) so here are a couple more.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SESAME STREET! 🙂

I still say “and a stick of butter!” when rattling off a shopping list… 😉

CPD Classics: The Stepford Children (1987) Review

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The Stepford Children (1987)

Directed by Alan J Levi

Starring:
Barbara Eden
Don Murray
Randall Batinkoff
Tammy Lauren
Richard Anderson

Running time: 96 minutes

Plot Synopsis:
The Stepford Children is one of three made-for-TV sequels to the 1975 film The Stepford Wives. In this sequel, Steven and Laura Harding & their teenage children David and Mary have just moved to Stepford. Steven joins the town’s mysterious “Men’s Association” and Laura and her children soon begin to realize that something isn’t quite right in all-too-perfect Stepford.

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My Opinion:

You know how, when you’re young, you watch something and become really fond of it and still like it years later even though you know it’s not “good”? This TV movie is probably my biggest guilty pleasure. None of you would like it & I’m not recommending it. I’m just going to talk about it because I LOVED THIS THING when I was about 13 and watched the videotape I’d recorded it onto over and over until finally tracking down a VHS copy years later in the UK where I believe it actually had a limited cinema release. The VHS tape had that dodgy cover at the very top of this post. Hilarious! No one in the movie looks anything like that. Here’s an old ad I found for it & it’s much more accurate:

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The girl in this ad is Tammy Lauren and she was one of several actresses I was obsessed with as a teen (I discussed this recently when I talked of my love for Catherine Mary Stewart in my Night Of The Comet review HERE. Oh – and I’d like to add that Catherine Mary Stewart and Kelli Maroney, the other girl in that film, both retweeted me & now follow me on Twitter. Freaking awesome!!!). 😉

I loved Tammy Lauren in The Stepford Children – she had her own style and a cool attitude and didn’t always follow the rules so of course didn’t fit in when her family moved to Stepford, where all the wives and children were a little too “perfect”. I always wondered why she wasn’t in more stuff beyond TV other than Wishmaster (she was also in another great TV movie called I Saw What You Did – maybe I’ll review that next October! I’m sure you all can’t wait for that…). Look at her hair! Oh how I remember my Aqua Net days…

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Anyway – does everyone know what The Stepford Wives is about? I’m not talking about that awful remake with Nicole Kidman! I mean the 1975 film that’s a bit of a cult classic. You know – this thing:

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Well, I saw The Stepford Children with no knowledge of The Stepford Wives so it probably helped my enjoyment a bit as I wasn’t 100% sure what was up with the strange women & children of Stepford. I just really liked the two teens (Tammy Lauren & her brother, played by Randall Batinkoff). Oh, and I just looked Randall Batinkoff up at IMDB HERE – he’s turned into a hottie! Anyway… Where was I? God this review sucks. Basically, I liked this movie because of these two plus the boy’s girlfriend, who was the only other teen living in Stepford who appeared to be “normal”. Their dad joins the “Men’s Association” after they move to Stepford and they (and their mom – played by I Dream Of Jeannie’s Barbara Eden) start to become suspicious of this organization and the odd behavior of the Stepford residents. It’s all very predictable & silly and the ending, which kind of freaked me out at the time, will honestly just make you laugh if you somehow manage to watch this now. Here’s a spoiler-y glimpse:

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Yeah… I know… A little dodgy. How about this?

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Lol! I don’t care. I love this movie and I know it’s because I was young when I saw it & I just really bought into the characters & story at the time. It’s a fun made-for-TV movie and, for years, I’ve been wanting to see the one they made after this one (The Stepford Husbands). I like the sound of THAT – I’d like to order up the Chris Hemsworth model! Seriously, though – if you have the slightest bit of interest in these films, just watch the original Stepford Wives. The idea of “the perfect wife & family” was a little more relevant to 1975 and is probably partly why none of the later films really worked (especially that godawful remake in 2004 – it was a very old-fashioned concept by then). The Stepford Children is probably about as good as these horrible grainy images look but I still love it anyway. (And, yes – I did rewatch it again recently for this review). 😉

My Rating: 7/10

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Question Of The Month At Oracle Of Film

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I’ve participated in another Question Of The Month for the lovely Luke over at Oracle Of Film. This month’s question was “What was the best TV season of 2014?”. See a wide variety of great answers HERE. 🙂

**FYI – I’m sure my answer would have been Game Of Thrones but I’m only halfway through Season 2 at the moment. Therefore, I can’t even read Luke’s post because I have to avoid spoilers!!! Sorry, Luke – I have to skip reading this one… 😉

What Character Would You Like To See On Game Of Thrones?

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The delightful Melissa over at Snap Crackle Watch has done a (I’m assuming) really fun post in which she asked a bunch of bloggers “what character from another movie or TV show would you like to see on Game Of Thrones?”. I’m sure there are lots of thoroughly entertaining answers! Unfortunately, I can’t read them as I’m currently working my way through Game Of Thrones (I’m up to Season 2, Episode 3). And it’s awesome. And I’ve managed to avoid spoilers. And if you spoil it for me, I will hunt you down and YOU WILL PAY! 😉 (I’m serious. Don’t mess with me)

Anyway, if you’d like to read my answer (and everyone else’s great answers, I’m assuming), follow this link HERE. 🙂

The Brady Bunch Movie’s Alice Pays Tribute to Ann B Davis

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Aww – this is really a sweet article about the time Henriette Mantel, The Brady Bunch Movie’s Alice, met the real Alice: Ann B Davis. You can read it HERE.

I loved The Brady Bunch far too much as a kid (I was an only child. Nobody loved me). 😉 As you can see, it’s pretty high on my list of My Top Ten TV Shows. Alice was awesome – she felt like a part of my family.

R.I.P. Ann Bradford Davis – May 5, 1926 – June 1, 2014

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My Top Thirty TV Shows (10-1)

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It’s finally here! My All-Time Top Ten Favorite TV Shows! Thanks for all your comments on my first list (30-21 HERE) and my second list (20-11 HERE). Sorry – I’ve had a hectic week but I’ll catch up on replying to all of you this weekend. 🙂

I’ll shut up as you’ve all probably lost interest by now anyway. 😉 Here, counting down, are the Top Ten of My All-Time Top Thirty TV Shows:

10. Lost

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**Warning: a tiny bit spoiler-y** Maybe a controversial choice for my top ten seeing as this show jumped the shark in the last few seasons. Or should I say a wheel was turned and that damn shark MOVED… But I’ll never forget the excitement I felt when this came on each week – it was the first TV show in YEARS that I truly looked forward to. I thought it was the greatest thing ever and spent waaaaaay too much time at Lostpedia trying to figure out what the hell it all meant. Too bad that, in the end, all that time felt wasted… But it still deserves a place in the top ten as there’s really been no other show like it and, to begin with, it was amazing.

Favorite episode: I have no idea any more… So I’ll say the “getting it on with Sawyer” episode. What a hottie. Actually – the first use of flashforward in an episode was brilliant. As was the pilot episode.

9. Amazing Stories

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This Steven Spielberg series should have been amazing EVERY week considering the talent involved (loads of famous guest stars & guest directors such as Clint Eastwood & Martin Scorsese) but there were some less-than-brilliant episodes. However, the good episodes more than made up for the bad ones and the show was a very worthwhile watch. I so wish there’d been more than two seasons! It was a new story every week & they were mostly sci-fi, supernatural & fantasy types of stories so this show was VERY much my cup of tea. Loved it.

Favorite episode: Either “The Mission” (directed by Spielberg) or “Go To The Head Of The Class” (directed by Robert Zemeckis).

8. Seinfeld

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At one point this will have been much higher on my list – I was pretty obsessed with this show when it was first on then watched reruns of it for years every weeknight at 10:30 (I think!). But I’ve not seen one episode since moving to the UK & it’s faded a bit from my memory. Main thing was that it was SO brilliantly written! Remember when it used to be Seinfeld vs Friends because they were on at the same time?? I went with Seinfeld & caught reruns of Friends if I’d not recorded it.

Favorite episode: Wow – SO many to choose from. I’m going to go with “The Contest” and the very obvious choice of “The Soup Nazi“.

7. The Cosby Show

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Who didn’t want Cliff Huxtable as their dad?? He was the definition of “perfect father”: loving and loads of fun but also strict when needed and always making sure his kids did the right thing. And he had the most awesome sweaters in the history of TV. I wanted to be a Huxtable. I still do! A lovely family and a lovely show that managed to be genuinely funny with no vulgarity. Then Lisa Bonet had to go & break Bill Cosby’s heart by starring in that nasty Angel Heart movie. Way to go, Denise!

Favorite episode: Hmm… Everyone remembers the one with the goldfish funeral. Oh – I loved that one where they’re in the recording studio with Stevie Wonder! “Roooobert!” “Jammin on the one!” Lol. Oh! And when Cliff was bouncing that fat kid on his knee! Hehe! I loved this show…

6. The Brady Bunch

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I need to explain why this is so high on the list. Was it a really “good” show? No. But I grew up with it. I was an only child & a bit of a latchkey kid – I admit I watched WAY too much TV during all that time alone. The Brady Bunch (and numbers 5, 2 & 1 below) kept me company. I think I also loved the thought of having that many brothers and sisters. Now I sound like a pathetic, friendless loser… Lol!

Favorite Episode: Let’s see – Marcia’s nose being broken was pretty funny because she was annoying. I loved when they built the house of cards as a contest (Girls win! A sewing machine? WHAT?!). The one with Davy Jones. The one where Kitty Karry-All was in Tiger’s doghouse all along. Peter & his “Porkchops & applesauce! That’s swell!” (I had a crush on Peter. You’ve tainted him, Eric!). Oh, and his voice changing!!! When it’s time to change, you’ve got to rearrange! The one where Alice snaps & kills them all. I’m just seeing if anyone is reading this. The one where Jan wears that stupid wig. It’s late & I’m exhausted so feel free to correct any mistakes I’ve made on these. To be honest, I’m hoping I have because I haven’t watched these in well over 25 years and it’s pretty sad to remember so much…

5. Little House On The Prairie

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What can I say? Like The Brady Bunch, I grew up with this. I loved Laura and I hated that bitch from hell Mrs Oleson and her evil offspring! This show was so damn wholesome and soooo damn depressing at times! Oh – Why did they always sing that same song in church all the time?? Bringing in the sheaves? WTF does that mean? Damn – it’s stuck in my head now.

Favorite episode: Probably the Ernest Borgnine one: “The Lord Is My Shepherd“. Also loved the episode where Laura pushed that bitch Nellie down the hill in the wheelchair because she knew she was faking not being able to walk. And Johnny Cash was in one! I preferred episodes with a bit of “fun” in them to the ones where everyone was dying of anthrax or going blind from scarlet fever…

4. Star Trek: The Next Generation

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So I put Star Trek in at number 14 as, without it, we wouldn’t have had The Next Generation, which is the one I REALLY loved. This show was absolutely brilliant. I don’t even know where to start. As I get closer to number one, I’m struggling with explaining my choices. I loved this show. I loved the characters. I loved the stories. I LOVE PATRICK STEWART! The number of times I watched this show late into the night instead of doing homework…

Favorite Episode: The Borg ones, of course. And the one that was, basically, the movie Enemy Mine (but that’s okay – that’s a great underrated movie). The one where Beverly Crusher kind of had weird, kinky ghost & Mrs Muir/alien being type of invisible sex. Raunchy! And I always loved any episodes that focused on Geordi or Data as they were my favorite characters.

3. Sesame Street

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I ADORE Sesame Street with all my heart. A couple things in life will never fail to cheer me up when I’m really down. One is Snoopy. The other is Sesame Street. I know I’m an old woman now but I’ll never stop loving this show and everything it represents. I think it’s always been a great influence on kids and has all the right values without ever being preachy. It makes learning FUN and no other kid’s show has ever come close to topping it. And it’s NO LONGER SHOWN IN THE UK. I think that’s a crime. Honestly – I’ve written letters! (Well, e-mails). Seriously – I’ve tried to get this shown here again. What a shame that kids here can’t experience this show.

I almost put Sesame Street at number one as it’s my “first” TV show and it taught me SO much from a very young age. However, numbers 2 & 1 really shaped me & are probably responsible for my taste when it comes to all forms of entertainment today. I kind of see the top three as a three-way tie. They helped make me who I am. Don’t go thinking I’m sweet because of Sesame Street – the next two took care of that…

Favorite episode: It’s more about individual “skits” than episodes and there are loads I still love to this day. I’ve rambled enough, though, so I’ll just name a couple. First are the Yip Yip Martians. HILARIOUS. And I’m going to be obvious and mention the The Pointer Sisters’ “Pinball Song” (Clips of both at the end of this post). The most memorable episode (that I only got to finally see in recent years) was the one where they had to explain Mr Hooper’s (real life) death to Big Bird in a way that little kids would understand. Absolutely HEARTBREAKING!

2. Alfred Hitchcock Presents/The Alfred Hitchcock Hour

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When I first started this blog, one of the first things I posted was about my favorite Hitchcock episodes listed below. You can read that HERE (Warning: my old posts are shockingly bad). Where The Woodbine Twineth haunts me to this day. I still hate dolls… (You can watch the whole episode on YouTube HERE. I refuse to!) 😉 The stories were terrifyingly brilliant. Hitchcock was a genius. If you love his movies but haven’t watched his TV shows, I highly recommend them.

Favorite episode: “Where The Woodbine Twineth” followed by “The Jar” & “The Magic Shop“. All three gave me nightmares and, quite frankly, probably helped make me the slight basket case I am today.

1. The Twilight Zone

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This show was so ahead of its time. It’s amazing that you can watch it now and the stories are just as relevant. I loved how most episodes tried to “teach humanity a lesson”. I watched this from a very young age and it’s probably why I now love all things sci-fi and anything weird & wonderful.

Favorite episode: Impossible to pick just one! I could easily do a top ten of these. The first ones that spring to mind are: The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street, Eye Of The Beholder, Time Enough At Last, Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, To Serve Man, It’s A Good Life…. Okay -Yep, I’m going to do a top ten of these someday. 🙂

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That’s it! My Top Ten! Thanks for reading these, everybody. I’d love to get some more feedback on these choices – I’ll be replying to comments this weekend. Were my top two a surprise after quite a few sitcoms in the top 30? Does anyone else love my Top Five as much as I do? I’d especially love to hear from other fans of The Twilight Zone and I’d love to know people’s thoughts on Sesame Street. And if the end of Lost just pissed you off too much… 🙂

Finally, I have to add (way too many) Honorable Mentions. I should have done a top 50 but I really can’t NOT mention these:

Yo Gabba Gabba
Beavis & Butthead
Only Fools And Horses
Mystery Science Theater 3000
Family Ties
My So-Called Life
Roseanne
One Day At A Time
It’s Your Move
Silver Spoons
Diff’rent Strokes
Punky Brewster
Never Mind The Buzzcocks
Alice
Home Improvement
Supernatural
You Can’t Do That On Television
ER

And here’s my Full Top Thirty all together:

30. Highlander
29. Fawlty Towers
28. The Wonder Years
27. The X Files
26. My Name Is Earl
25. Quantum Leap
24. Growing Pains
23. The Facts Of Life
22. Monty Python’s Flying Circus
21. Saturday Night Live
20. Frasier
19. M*A*S*H
18. The Golden Girls
17. The Simpsons
16. South Park
15. Doctor Who
14. Star Trek
13. Friends
12. The Muppet Show
11. 21 Jump Street
10. Lost
9. Amazing Stories
8. Seinfeld
7. The Cosby Show
6. The Brady Bunch
5. Little House On The Prairie
4. Star Trek: The Next Generation
3. Sesame Street
2. Alfred Hitchcock Presents/The Alfred Hitchcock Hour
1. The Twilight Zone

**FYI: I MET Gordon from Sesame Street! Got his autograph and have a picture of us together. One of the best days EVER! 🙂

My Top Thirty TV Shows (20-11)

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Okay – so I’ve already posted 30-21 of My Top Thirty TV Shows HERE. I was surprised at the great response that post got and am really looking forward to posting my Top Ten on Friday. And, wow – a lot of you sure loved Quantum Leap! 🙂

So here, counting down, are 20-11 of My All-Time Top Thirty TV Shows. (My Top Ten will be posted on Friday. I think my Top Five may be a little unexpected)

20. Frasier

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When they made this Cheers spin-off, I was surprised they’d chosen Frasier as the Cheers character they thought should have his own show. But it worked! Loved the relationships with his father & his brother. And dog. And that manky old chair. What a great show.

19. M*A*S*H

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Who didn’t love these characters?? This was on every evening after the news when I was in my mid-teens & I watched every single one. **SPOILER**: I still won’t name names but that was one of the MOST depressing TV deaths ever. I may have cried a little… 😦

18. The Golden Girls

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Admit it – these women RULE! My favorite will always be sweet & dumb Rose. Betty White is possibly the coolest woman EVER – I worship her. I’m very sad she’s the only “Golden Girl” left. Also loved Sophia and all her rude remarks, especially about that “slut” Blanche. Lol! And her relationship with Dorothy was always so loving & hilarious at the same time. I’ll shut up now… I just loved these ladies. 🙂

17. The Simpsons

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I’ll admit that I haven’t watched The Simpsons religiously for at least ten years now. Supposedly it’s not as good as it used to be anyway? Hey – who cares? How many people could keep making something THAT good for SO long? The Simpsons gave us such iconic characters and the world is a better place for having Homer Simpson in it.

16. South Park

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Yes, I have this above The Simpsons although I think that’s the better show overall. Similar to The Simpsons, South Park has had some pretty dodgy episodes and isn’t as great as it used to be. But when they get an episode right, they get it VERY right and nothing else makes me laugh quite as much.

15. Doctor Who

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Chill out, Eric – top 15 isn’t bad! 😉 This has the potential to move further up the list if I ever see more. I moved to the UK a while before the Christopher Ecclestone ones started up so that’s where I started. I LOVED him and then ended up loving David Tennant even more. Then came the Matt Smith ones and it all went very downhill for me… Hopefully it gets better again. In the meantime, yes – I need to make a start on some older ones. I know, Eric. I know… Lol. I will say I love the stories and the characters and it’s amazing how this show keeps going. I totally understand the love for it.

14. Star Trek

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It was hard to know where to place this one. I probably “like” some of the shows I’ve already mentioned more than I actually like the original Star Trek series. But you have to credit this for the start of, well, something pretty great. The movies (that I’ve seen) and the other shows (that I actually liked more)… Shit – does that give something away? 😉 It looked a little dodgy but the writing was fantastic!

13. Friends

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Okay – I know there will be some “Friends Haters”. I was almost going to say this was a “guilty pleasure” but, screw it – Why make excuses? It was a HUGELY popular show so clearly these characters really worked for lots of people. Joey & Phoebe were my favorites (I always love the dumb ones). Like all the most successful shows, we grew to know these characters so well that it was almost like they were real. I liked Friends! And I know some of the rest of you did too. But, WOW – this thing looks soooo “90s” when you watch reruns now! (Yeah, I had a Rachel haircut at the time. So sue me). 😉

12. The Muppet Show

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It’s THE MUPPETS! Do I really need to explain myself? I’m not going to. 🙂

11. 21 Jump Street

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Showing my age again. Younger people won’t QUITE realize JUST how freaking cool the young Johnny Depp was. This show was loads of fun (Cops pretending to be teenagers & going undercover in high schools? HELL YEAH! That was awesome!) but it really was Johnny Depp who made this show what it was. It wasn’t at all surprising when he went onto bigger things and the show definitely suffered after he left. Favorite episode: When Tom Hanson (Depp) had to protect a teenage boy who was HIV-positive. The show got pretty heavy at times – I don’t think it got the credit it deserved. Hmm… Maybe I should have been listing my favorite episodes all along.

Oh well – maybe I will for Friday’s top ten… See you then! 🙂

The Golden Girls: The Best Of Rose Nylund