My Blog’s July 2016 Recap

Happy August, everyone! August? When did that happen?! Well, it’s a new month so here’s my blog recap for July. 🙂

POSTS

My Most Popular Post: My Ten Most Hated Movies Since Starting This Blog. I think this proves that people love a good bitchfest! I was starting to wonder if anyone looked at this blog anymore when I decided to put this post together on a day when I was in a really bad mood. I got loads of comments! I loved hearing from people who agreed with some of the movies I absolutely hated but also from many who disagreed as well (my hatred of Mary And Max & of Slumdog Millionaire was especially unpopular).

My Favorite Post: My Top Ten DJs/Disc Jockeys In Movies. This was a fun list to put together & one I’d been meaning to do for ages. I still love that, while researching this list, I discovered that a cartoon Skrillex was in Wreck-It Ralph.

MOVIES REVIEWED

My Most Popular Movie Review: Circle. This movie was a very pleasant surprise. This is the type of movie I love to blog about – good films that not many people have seen or maybe not even heard of & which deserve more attention. I think I talked a few people into watching it. Oh, and one of the lead actors also stopped by & left a comment so that was cool. I love when that happens! Glad that didn’t happen on my “Most Hated Movies” post…

All Movies Reviewed (ranked best to worst):
Battle Royale
Circle
People Like Us
The Secret Life Of Pets
We’re The Millers
Red Dawn (2012)

MOVIES WATCHED

In Cinema (ranked best to worst):
Finding Dory
The Secret Life Of Pets

At Home (ranked best to worst):
Battle Royale
Circle
Little Witch Academia
The Book Thief
Deathgasm
The Visit
Paper Towns
Finders Keepers (2014)

TOP TEN LISTS

Top Ten Tom Hanks Movies
Top Ten Harry Dean Stanton Movies
Ten Most Hated Movies Since Starting This Blog
Top Ten DJs/Disc Jockeys In Movies
Top Ten Kevin Spacey Movies

SEARCH TERMS

My Top Search Term: “gnome project x“. But spelled as “gnom” – how annoying. Well, variations of this search term pop up all the time. The “gnome giving the finger” in the movie Project X seems to be very popular!!

My Favorite Search Term: “jennifer balgobin weird science“. I like search terms for people I’ve never heard of. I had to look up Jennifer Balgobin. Turns out she was “Biker Chick” in Weird Science (which I reviewed HERE). Cool.

Here are my top search terms for the month:

BOOKS

Book Reviewed: Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Book I’ve Just Finished: The End Of The World Running Club by Adrian J. Walker

Book I’m Currently Reading: Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

BLOG PLANS FOR THE COMING MONTH

I’ve been taking it easier & not posting as many reviews plus I’m doing simple Top Ten & Music Video posts as these don’t take up much of my time. I’m going to stick with doing things this way for now as I can keep up with the slower pace. It’s no longer a fun hobby if it becomes stressful! I was happy that I finally managed to watch Battle Royale for my July Blind Spot film as I really enjoyed that. I’ll watch my August Blind Spot film soon – what do you guys think of these choices? It was going to be El Topo but I keep putting that one off so may go with one of my alternates instead:

El Topo
Akira
Zodiac
The Raid
Running On Empty
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
House (Hausu) (1977)
Tetsuo
Solaris (1972)

Upcoming Movies:

There are quite a few movies coming out in August that I’m hoping to see. I wasn’t all that excited about Suicide Squad but I’m changing my mind now (mainly because that below poster for it is so awesome). I’m sure none of these will be great but I’m looking forward to The Shallows, Lights Out & The Purge: Election Year (I seem to be in the minority but I’m a fan of the first two Purge movies – you can see why in my reviews of the first movie & the sequel). It looks like the adaptation of Stephen King’s Cell is finally coming out this month?! I expect that to be horrible because of all the problems & delays that movie has had. What a shame as I really liked that book. I’ll still watch the movie, though, since I watch every King adaptation. Finally, I’m curious to see how the Pete’s Dragon remake turns out so I plan to take the kid to that. Remakes piss me off but this is one rare occasion where I have to admit that the original film is badly dated (even though I love it).

I always end these with a music clip related to something I watched/reviewed. Well, there weren’t any great soundtracks in the movies I watched this month so here’s a tribute to the Project X gnome! I didn’t like the movie but did like some of the songs in that film. My favorite was probably Pursuit Of Happiness by Kid Cudi (Steve Aoki remix).

Advertisements

Weird Science (1985) Guest Review

20140311-100808 pm.jpg

Today’s review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes from Kieron of What About The Twinkie?. Thanks for being a part of this, Kieron! This is the first time we’re getting a multiple review of something (but there will be plenty more – including several for Sixteen Candles!). If you want to see what Eric & I thought of this one, you can click HERE. But first let’s hear Kieron’s thoughts on Weird Science. 🙂

20140311-101332 pm.jpg

Director: John Hughes Starring: Anthony Michael Hall, Ilan Mitchell-Smith & Kelly LeBrock Synopsis: “Two nerdish boys attempt to create the perfect woman, but she turns out to be more than that.” Runtime: 94 minutes Rating: 12

“We need more input. We gotta fill this thing up with data. We gotta make her as real as possible, Wyatt. I want her to live. I want her to breathe. I want her to aerobicise.”

Weird Science is a movie I fell in love with not as a child or a teenager, but as an adult. As I must confess that I only saw the movie for the first time about 6 years on a VoD service when I needed something to cheer me up. The movie was released in 1985, which meant I was only a 1 year old at the time of its release, but unlike some of John Hughes’ other efforts such as Home Alone, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Breakfast Club, which I did watch growing up, Weird Science took its time in gaining my attention.

I’m not entirely sure how or why I missed out on Weird Science growing up, because looking at it now it had everything I could have wanted in a movie when I was younger. Two nerdish boys, who somewhat reflected my own time at school, goofy special effects, some brilliantly funny jokes and a smoking hot woman in the form of Kelly LeBrock all make up a delightfully silly movie about two nerds who create their perfect woman.

The premise is the best kind of nonsense, as two highschool nerds, Gary (Anthony Michael Hall) and Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith), decide one Friday night, after watching Frankenstein on the TV nonetheless, that they are going to create something of their own. After hacking into a government computer network, for more power, and then connecting a barbie doll to Wyatt’s computer a lightning bolt strikes which causes all sorts of mayhem only for Lisa (Kelly LeBrock) to emerge from the carnage.

The science behind Weird Science is pure 80’s nonsense. I doubt anyone seriously believed any of this was at all possible, especially at a time when technology was really only just finding its feet. Still, it’s this kind of loopy science fiction that gave many an 80’s movie its charm, and charm is something that Weird Science has by the bucket load.

Once the initial three leads are set up, the story moves quickly, as our protagonists move from staying in watching movies on a Friday night to bar crawling their way through the city as Lisa encourages them to let loose and have some fun for a change. Lisa is the kind of creation that can somehow manipulate environments and seemingly create things at will, as she has to make fake ID’s for our two heroes in order for them to be able to drink, drive and drink and drive legally.

Hughes makes the clever decision to focus on the characters and not so much on the plot here. The plot is established quickly, leaving the endearing charm of the three main characters to hold things together. Anthony Michael Hall, starring in his third Hughes directed movie by this point, gets some of the best lines in the movie and really excels in a bar scene explaining to his new friends how the girl “with the big titties” broke his heart. While Mitchell-Smith plays the straight guy who has to be the foil to Gary and his own older brother Chet, played by Bill Paxton.

Both Michael Hall and Mitchell-Smith are charming in their roles despite being the school nerds. They are ably supported by a superb cast who, despite limited screentime for some, manage to leave their mark on a movie that could easily have forgotten about them (see what I did there?). Robert Downey Jr. makes an early career appearance as one of the bullies who continually picks on Wyatt and Gary and then stupidly believes he has a chance with Lisa. Vernon Wells essentially makes an appearance as the same character he played in Mad Max 2, which further adds to the bizarre elements of the movie. While the previously mentioned Paxton plays Wyatt’s hardass military brother, who likes to give Wyatt a hard time throughout the movie, but pays for it when he encounters Lisa late on and who gives him more than he bargained for. When asking him to keep quiet about the movies events, she exclaims: “I can be a real serious bitch, if I don’t get what I want!”

Kelly LeBrock threatens to steal the show several times throughout the movie, getting some great lines and delivering them with a poise that makes her character even more likeable. On the John Hughes documentary, Don’t You Forget About Me, LeBrock admits to her character being “Mary Poppins with breasts” and in all honesty she is correct. Despite being sexy, she is never there for sex or to really pleasure the boys in any way, but more to give them a guiding hand and teach them a thing or two about self confidence. She is the emotional core of the movie, loving the boys, nurturing them and sticking up for them when they either can’t or won’t.

That is Hughes’ greatest strength here, as he directs a movie that is so daft in principal, that he manages to make a character piece about two teenage boys growing up being bullied and laughed at throughout their entire school life, or being told they will amount to no good from their overbearing parents. To then find the self confidence to break out of their shells and and become more than they thought they could. The struggles of teenage life are apparent in many of his efforts, particularly his earlier movies, and they remain here too. Despite the special effects and nonsense science, Weird Science is simply a, very funny story of two teenage boys encountering things for the first time in their lives. From drink, to women, cars to fights a simple tale exists of two boys growing up.

In summary: A fine effort from Hughes, with a young cast on top form, Weird Science is a superior piece of 80’s nostalgia that still stands up today.

Weird Science (1985) Review At The IPC

20140303-083724 pm.jpg
The John Hughes Blogathon reviews officially kick off now with my double review of Weird Science with Eric of The IPC. You can read what we both think of the film HERE.

I posted yesterday about how much the John Hughes films mean to me and why I’m doing this blogathon. It blew my mind a little when I found out that Eric, who is about the same age as me, didn’t watch most of the teen John Hughes movies back when we were teenagers. What?! So he kindly agreed to watch & review several Hughes films for this blogathon. Thanks again, Eric, for watching movies I know aren’t your normal type of thing and for inspiring me to finally do my own blogathon. 🙂

And stay tuned for a review later today from a guest blogger reviewing another classic teen movie from Hughes.