Monster Hunter (2014), Lifeforce (1985) & The Forest (2016) Reviews

Three quickie reviews of two dreadful movies & one that was decent…

Monster Hunter (2014) (aka US Title: Dark Was The Night)

Directed by Jack Heller

Starring: Kevin Durand, Lukas Haas, Bianca Kajlich

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
An evil is unleashed in a small town when a logging company sets up shop in the neighboring woods.

My Opinion:

This is the movie that was decent. It’s now almost a year ago that I watched all three of these films so that’s why I’m doing quickie reviews as I can’t say they were all that memorable. I remember this one the most, though. The look of the creature was done well and there was some decent acting, which is more than can be said for a lot of mainstream horrors that have bigger budgets.


Little Lukas Haas is in this. Aww. Remember him? It’s so weird that I still think of him as a little kid like when he first started out in movies such as Witness, which is stupid as he’s actually the same age as me. He plays a New York City cop who is now deputy to the sheriff (Kevin Durand) in a small town logging community. I liked the characters and thought Kevin Durand did well as a father grieving the accidental death of one of his sons. Decent characters in a horror movie! Yay!

There’s nothing in this movie that’s exactly groundbreaking. The story is fairly predictable and the characters behave as you’d expect in this sort of genre. However, I found the film enjoyable and really liked the “isolated small town” atmosphere, which is a setting I’ve often gone for in horror films (maybe being from a tiny isolated town myself). The onset of winter also added to the isolated feel, which is another horror cliché that I really like. I’m okay with some horror clichés as long as a decent film comes out of it and I’d say that this movie is quite good for one that doesn’t seem to have any big names attached to it or to be that well known (I’d only heard of it thanks to this good review at Vic’s Movie Den).

If you’re a fan of “creature” movies and not too picky, this is one I’d definitely recommend. It’s a very straightforward but fun monster movie that isn’t too silly or too serious. I’ll end with this bit from Wikipedia if you’re interested in checking the film out:

“The film is loosely based on the real-life events that unfolded in Topsham, England in 1855, known as The Devil’s Footprints. The small town woke to find freshly fallen snow and biped hoof prints tracing the landscape. Dark Was the Night is said to tell the story of a present-day community’s reaction to a similar event.”

My Rating: 6.5/10

Lifeforce (1985)

Directed by Tobe Hooper

Screenplay by Dan O’Bannon & Don Jakoby

Based on The Space Vampires by Colin Wilson

Starring: Steve Railsback, Peter Firth, Frank Finlay, Mathilda May, Patrick Stewart

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The film portrays the events that unfold after a trio of humanoids in a state of suspended animation are brought to Earth after being discovered in the hold of an alien space ship by the crew of a European space shuttle.

My Opinion:

Ugh!!! This movie was so bad. Why does it have a decent IMDb rating of 6.1 out of 10?! Oh. That’s right. It’s because the woman is fully nude for, like, 90% of the movie….

I was kind of excited about this one. Directed by Tobe Hooper (RIP), who did do a lot of dodgy stuff but also did the awesome Poltergeist & Salem’s Lot. Screenplay by Dan O’Bannon (also RIP), who wrote things like The Return Of The Living Dead & a decent little thing called ALIEN(!!!). And, of course, Patrick Stewart was in this and I love Patrick Stewart. Sounds like a recipe for success to me! Ugh. Hell no. And Stewart was terrible.

I can’t be bothered. This movie sucked. I’m sure it has its fans but I do wonder if they’re all male. Feel free to speak up if you’re a fan! I promise I won’t be rude. I’m genuinely curious to know what it is that people like about this movie. To be fair, I may not have been in the right mood since I wasn’t feeling well when I watched this. I watched it in bed on a small iPad while lying on my side, giving me a backache. My backache and the movie’s full frontal nudity are all that I really remember now.

My Rating: 3/10

The Forest (2016)

Directed by Jason Zada

Starring: Natalie Dormer, Taylor Kinney, Yukiyoshi Ozawa, Eoin Macken

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The Forest follows a young woman who travels to Aokigahara (the suicide forest) to find her sister.

My Opinion:

Crap. Seriously. Surely Game Of Thrones star Natalie Dormer can be in movies better than this boring & cliché horror tripe. I mean, she got to make out with Chris Hemsworth in the surprisingly good Rush. Hot DAMN he was hot in that. How can you go from that to starring in this???

Where’s a movie starring Chris Hemsworth fully nude for 90% of the movie like Mathilda May in Lifeforce? Hmm???? Equal rights, dammit! Anyway. Where was I? Oh yeah. The Forest. Um. I don’t remember this one AT ALL. I watched it almost a year ago. Natalie Dormer goes into a creepy forest to find her possibly suicidal twin sister, who went missing there. Weird shit happens. There’s a potential love interest. It doesn’t end well if I remember correctly (as to be expected from this predictable sort of supernatural type of horror). How stuff like this gets a major mainstream release in loads of cinemas is beyond me. Unless you’re absolutely in love with Dormer, don’t bother with this one unless you’ve never watched another horror film in your entire life. If you have, you’ve seen this all before.

My Rating: 3/10

**Here’s my review of a (comedy) horror that I actually did enjoy, which makes fun of horror movie clichés: The Final Girls (2015). I had problems scheduling it last week & don’t think it posted correctly. I do like horror movies sometimes! There are just way too many bad ones.

My Blog’s January 2016 Stats

Happy February everyone! 🙂 Can you believe January is over?! Man, I hate January… Good Riddance!

I haven’t done one of these monthly “blog stats” posts in a while. I just always enjoy having a look at what posts got the most views and/or comments each month (usually not my favorite posts!). And, as always, I find the bizarre Search Terms amusing.

So first I’ll have a look at My Top Posts for January:

I’m happy that my top post by far was the one where I chose the 12 Blind Spot movies that I plan to (hopefully) watch & review throughout the year. I’m cutting back on blogging but that’s the one new project I’ve decided to attempt this year (and I’ve already watched two of them and reviewed one: An Education & Summer Wars).

I also got a scary number of hits on my very old Cast Of Labyrinth Then & Now post and my very short David Bowie tribute post. People do love a tribute post, I guess, as My Top Ten Alan Rickman Movies also got a lot of views. January was a sad month for celebrity losses. To be honest, I still can’t even really talk about Bowie without getting far more upset than I ever expected so let’s move on.

Since January is so depressing, I decided I’d go & watch that heartwarming Leonardo DiCaprio film with the big cuddly bear. I was surprised to see that my review for The Revenant got so many views. I apologize for not being able to take that review seriously! It was a very good movie and all that, but… You couldn’t drag me back for a second viewing.

There are two movies I really want to mention once more as I feel they deserve attention. I’ve already watched 14 movies in 2016 (is that excessive? well, it was January – it’s too cold to do anything else!). Anyway, of those 14 one is a new favorite while another is one of those very rare types of films that could, quite possibly, change someone’s life for the better (not mine, though – maybe if I’d seen it in any month other than cold & bleak January!!!).

The new favorite is a pretty obscure film called In Your Eyes, which did get quite a few views but not many comments as I suppose most people have never heard of it. I was therefore very happy when two bloggers gave it a watch because of my review and they both loved it too. It’s a surprisingly simple love story (rare for me – I’m not big on romance) about two people with a telepathic connection. It was written by Joss Whedon and it’s a good script with great characters and it just worked. For me, anyway… I’m now totally in love with the dude in it (Michael Stahl-David, in the above photo). *sigh*

The other movie, which isn’t high in my stats as I only just posted the review last Wednesday, is Room. I believe I told someone here that this is the type of movie that makes me wish I was a writer so I could put into words exactly how I felt about it. Well, I attempted to in my review but nothing I say could do it justice. Just…. Watch it. Please. If you’re a film lover, it’s one you need to see. I watched it last Tuesday and it’s still playing on my mind. It gives such a bizarre mixture of emotions – thinking about it now I don’t know whether to smile or burst into tears. It’s an extremely powerful film, probably more so than anything I’ve ever seen in my (many) years on this Earth.

Yikes. Let’s lighten the mood and look at My Top Search Terms for January:

Okay, pervy Googlers! Seriously – get over the girl in Odd Thomas in her panties and the girl in the short skirt in The Purge. And I’m sure all the boys DO love Mandy Lane nude scenes but you’ll find none on my blog (plus, I don’t actually remember a nude scene in that movie…).

I had no idea who the hell Ron Mlodzik was so I had to look him up. Looks like he was in David Cronenberg’s Shivers but I didn’t even mention his name in my review so I don’t know how that search led someone to my blog. Well, here you go – I think this is Ron Mlodzik?? That’s one way to clean glasses, I suppose:

I also had to look up Ken Duken to see who the heck he was. Oh – he was in the unexpectedly enjoyable Chalet Girl! I’m sorry to say I have no naked photos of him on this blog, though. It would certainly be better than nude photos of that Ron Mlodzik dude.

Finally, I’m happy that my post about the Steve Buscemi/Roger Daltrey episode of Tales From The Crypt (Forever Ambergris) got some hits as I had a lot of fun with that post.

I hope you all have a lovely February! It can’t be worse than January, right?! 🙂

My Blog’s August 2015 Stats

Well, it’s the first Sunday of the month so I thought I’d review my blog’s stats for August. It was my biggest month for views in the almost three years since starting my blog, which is cool as it’s felt like everyone kind of disappeared over this summer. Where is everybody?! Hope you all had lovely summer vacations. 🙂

Here are the stats I enjoy looking at the most – My Top Viewed Posts For August:

Well, My Top Ten Shower & Bath Scenes In Movies post is never going to die – I posted that in 2013 & it’s in my Top Posts every month. Pervs.

What I’m always happiest about is when I review something slightly more obscure & end up getting a huge response from people who either wish to add how much they love that movie or from people who had never heard of it & are now very interested in seeing it after my (stunningly well-written) review. 😉

There were two posts like that in August. One was my review for The Last Unicorn, a strange little animated Rankin/Bass film from 1982 that was animated by those who later went on to form my beloved Studio Ghibli. It’s very of its time & has a totally 70’s-easy-listening soundtrack with songs by America plus big-name voice talents such as the always cool Christopher Lee as the “baddie”. It’s strange & beautiful and lots of bloggers, male & female, stopped by to say how much they love that movie.

The other post that got a lot of attention was My Top Ten Drew Struzan Movie Art Pieces. I love movie poster art & thought Struzan was more of a household name but after I reviewed the excellent documentary about him (review HERE), it was obvious many bloggers weren’t aware of him. When I did my Top Ten list of his movie art, people became far more interested when they saw just how many iconic posters he created (Back To The Future, various Star Wars special editions, The Thing, etc etc).

Finally, my biggest post of the month (after that old shower/bath post) was My Top Ten Movies With Song Title Titles. I had a lot of fun putting that list together so was very happy to get so many comments on it. I’m glad I finally got up off my bum & started posting these top ten lists every Thursday. I have a lot of them – I just need to get the time to put the posts together each week! I’ll try to keep it up. 🙂

Now onto the always entertaining (and pervy) Top Search Terms For August:

“Alice Eve hot” AGAIN?! Every damn month that pops up! And I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t get at least one view of my old Odd Thomas review & I know it’s just because the actress in it, Addison Timlin, wears extremely revealing panties. Pervs. But… Kyle Reese naked?! I wish! Unfortunately, I have no nude photos of Michael Biehn. 😉

Let’s see… Haviland Morris? The popular bitch from Sixteen Candles? Wonder who was searching for her… Not Jake Ryan! Ha! Interesting that people were looking for current photos of the cast from The Lost Boys & The NeverEnding Story (don’t click on that – you may ruin your childhood looking at Barret Oliver now). Looking at those posts, I’d forgotten I did this Lost Boys haiku. I like it!:

Two Coreys defeat
Santa Carla vampires
Death by stereo

 

Finally, here are My Top Commenters (hugs!) & New Followers (hello there!):

I can’t believe it’s already September. But I must admit that I can’t wait for this month to finish so that I can start posting nothing but horror movie reviews & other horror-movie-related items through all of October. And I love reading all the horror reviews on other blogs, which is weird as it’s hardly my favorite genre! I’ve been watching horror films since July to prepare. And, man – have they sucked! I’m hoping to watch a few good ones by October. So far, this is the only one I’ve enjoyed in the slightest:

Happy September everyone! 🙂

Crystal Fairy & The Magical Cactus (2013) Review For Shitfest At The IPC

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I wrote about the godawful indie-nightmare Crystal Fairy & The Magical Cactus for the now-famous Shitfest over at Isaacs Picture Conclusions.

You can read my review HERE. Warning: Things get a little hairy…

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Happy 2nd Blogiversary To Me

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I’m having a party! And you’re all invited…

Hi all! How is it possible that I’ve not seen a movie where Mary Ingalls slaughters a bunch of people?! Well… I’ve made it to two years! Wasn’t sure that I would (and almost didn’t). I’m now chilling a bit and just doing this thing when I have the time. Let’s do a little recap of this past year and then I’ll talk a bit about my (more laidback!) plans for the future of this blog. 🙂

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MOVIES:

As usual, I’ve watched a lot of movies so far this year. I’m way behind on reviewing the movies I’ve watched at home but have at least managed to review most the movies I went to in the cinema. Top Ten lists will of course be done end of December (god I love LISTS!) but here are My Top Five Movies (watched in the theater & at home so far in 2014) (the full RANKED list can be found HERE for anyone who is really curious. or bored).

Seen In The Cinema:

1. The Wolf Of Wall Street – 9/10
2. Guardians Of The Galaxy – 8.5/10
3. Her – 8.5/10
4. Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes – 8/10
5. Edge Of Tomorrow – 8/10

Seen At Home:

1. Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind – 9/10
2. The Return Of The Living Dead – 8/10
3. Spring Breakers – 7/10
4. Full Metal Jacket – 8/10
5. Marnie – 7.5/10

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STATS:

My views are still nothing compared to the 100,000 a lot of you seem to get in just one year but I’m happy enough considering I know I’ve slowed down on the blogging this year. As always, I’m most thankful to everyone who stops by & leaves me a comment as I always love some movie chat. 🙂 I’ve found it very hard to keep up with blogging this year but I do my best on catching up when I can.

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As always, I loved seeing my above All-Time Top Search Terms. I had no idea 21 Jump Street was in the lead, probably because I reviewed the movie as well as talked about the TV show (which was way better and nothing whatsoever like the movies). It’s nice to see that Avengers Dildos is still going strong and that Duplicitous Taint is slowly gaining. The power of anything slightly pervy, eh?

Which leads me to My Most Viewed Posts. Well, number one by FAR is still the same as last year: My Top Ten Shower & Bath Scenes In Movies. Coming in second is Chris Hemsworth’s Butt In Rush (along with Natalie Dormer’s naked butt as well – I know this now that I’m obsessed with & halfway through Game Of Thrones). In third place is my About Me page. I’m honored to be so close to Chris Hemsworth’s naked bum! *snicker snicker* I was hoping that My Top Ten Carpets & Rugs In Movies would be a top post but it doesn’t quite make it.

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One of the highlights for me this year was getting a lot of Twitter attention for my review of Night Of The Comet. The film’s star, Kelli Maroney, thanked me for the review and she & Catherine Mary Stewart now follow me on Twitter! Oh, and Egg Dude in the middle. We’re all gonna go on a post-apocalyptic shopping spree together! 🙂

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GUEST REVIEWS:

I’d once again like to thank everyone who participated in my massive John Hughes Blogathon back in March. I believe I managed to get at least one review for every film written by Hughes (except for one obscure one – I’ll try to do that one myself someday). You can find the links to every John Hughes review HERE including my The Breakfast Club and Don’t You Forget About Me (documentary about John Hughes) reviews that NO ONE read as everyone was sick of Hughes after an entire month… 😉

Also, thank you as always to everyone who has contributed to (or at least signed up for) my ongoing IMDB Top 250 Challenge (you can find the links to every review HERE). I have guest reviews scheduled for every Tuesday from now through February at the moment! I’ve fallen way behind on the 100 I’m meant to be doing myself – this year I’ve only managed to watch 9 and, of those, only reviewed 3. Yikes! So I plan to do a lot more IMDB reviews myself in 2015. Which leads me to some plans I have for Cinema Parrot Disco in 2015…

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FUTURE PLANS FOR THE BLOG:

As I said before, I’m planning to take it a little easier & not push myself to do loads of reviews if I don’t have time. I have a few things planned, like an Akira Kurosawa Month & a Charlie Chaplin Month where I’ll work through reviewing their IMDB Top 250 films (plus a few more). Don’t worry, I won’t overdo things like I did with John Hughes – I’ll still review other things too those months. 😉 I also plan to start my own blogging relay soon that I’m hoping will work its way around WordPress. And, as always, I’m still trying to think of the best ways to make the time to READ READ READ all your blogs too! :-/ The main things I’ll be focusing on for this blog in 2015 besides my own IMDB Top 250 reviews are:

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Studio Ghibli Month in January:

As you can see above, I’ve ranked Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind as the best movie I’ve seen at home this year but I’ve not yet reviewed it. I’ve watched a lot of Studio Ghibli films this year that I’ve not yet reviewed so have decided I’ll review as many as I can through January. As so many of them are in the IMDB Top 250, I’m doing all those (as well as several others) and am holding off on the guest IMDB reviews that month.

John Carpenter Project:

When I finished the John Hughes Blogathon, I announced that my next blogathon would be a John Carpenter one. Apologies to the few people who got really excited about this… I kept putting it off as I remembered JUST how much work is involved in a blogathon so, instead, I’ve decided to make it my own personal project to review all his movies in 2015. Not sure yet if I’ll post them randomly when I get time or if I’ll save them up then post them all when I’ve finished them. Either way, I’m not going to stress about it & will take my time. I’m doing this because there are a few big films of his I’ve still not seen. Unlike the Ryan Gosling Project, I won’t abandon this project. (I got bored with Ryan Gosling. I’m so fickle! Then again, it’s not like he’s done anything as bad as Ghosts Of Mars. Hmm…)

Wow. Sorry for the LONG POST! It was all a bit “me me me”, which I hate. The truth is, I’ve kept doing this for two years now thanks to all you great people! I do love to “have a chat” when I have time and wish I could find more time for this blogging thing. Thanks again to everyone who visits and who comments – I’m sorry I’ve not been visiting other blogs much this year. I really do appreciate you all! Not just these lovely people below but also those who’ve taken the time to comment on even one of my silly posts. You’re the best! THANK YOU! 🙂

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Magic Mike (2012) Review

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You may be aware that The IPC was taken over this week by these lovely ladies: Zoe, Smash, and Cara (or should I say Miguel?? I don’t want to piss him off!). 😉

Anyway, Eric stupidly kindly agreed to let me take over today. The fool! So I posted about a shitty movie full of half naked men. You can read my review of Magic Mike HERE.

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All Good Things (2010) Review

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All Good Things (2010)

Directed by Andrew Jarecki

Starring:
Ryan Gosling
Kirsten Dunst
Frank Langella
Kristen Wiig
Philip Baker Hall
Diane Venora
Lily Rabe

Running time: 101 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Inspired by the life of accused murderer Robert Durst, the film chronicles the life of the wealthy son of a New York real estate tycoon, and a series of murders linked to him, as well as his volatile relationship with his wife and her subsequent unsolved disappearance.

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My Opinion:

Earlier in the year, I decided to start a Ryan Gosling Project where I’d watch all his films. But then… I don’t know, I just sort of fell out of love with him. So I haven’t continued that project but I guess I can add All Good Things to the list HERE.

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I thought this was a decent “based on a true story” (suspected) murder mystery movie. It’s not a genre I really go for but occasionally I’m in the mood for this kind of thing. I have to admit that I sometimes miss those (horrible) true story made for TV Lifetime movies in America. All Good Things is that exact sort of thing – It’s a Lifetime movie with a bigger budget & better actors. Okay, those Lifetime movies do get played in the UK but I just don’t have time for those (horrible) wonderful movies anymore. I miss Nancy McKeon, though – is she still doing that type of stuff?? And Valerie Bertinelli! And Meredith Baxter-Birney!

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So, anyway – this film is based on the story of wealthy Robert Durst, whose wife went missing in 1982. The case remains unsolved but Durst is suspected of two other murders 20 years later (and was tried for one, in which he claimed self-defense). Gosling plays Durst (but with the character name changed to David Marks) and Kirsten Dunst plays his wife Katie.

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I’ve never really liked Kirsten Dunst but I have to say she really did a very good job in this film. She was the highlight of the movie for me & I thought her performance was even better than Gosling’s. Obviously, it’s not a spoiler to say she disappears & we never see her again but, luckily, the film spends the majority of the time focusing on the marriage so she’s in the film a lot. After she disappears, the film goes through the next 20 years or so very quickly (maybe a little too quickly considering that this is when things got REALLY interesting & f%*ked up!).

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Ryan Gosling also does a good job but I kind of feel like we’ve seen too many similar performances from him before. He plays the character as a quiet, deeply troubled man (the type of role he plays so often). He plays it very subtle & it’s nice not seeing some over-the-top psycho but, again, we’ve seen this from him before. My very favorite Gosling movie is Lars And The Real Girl – he plays the role of Marks the same sort of way as he played Lars (but with a crazy anger underneath the surface – Lars was crazy but just sweet). He was great as Lars – if I hadn’t already seen that film, I’d probably be more blown away by his performance in this one. He is good in this – I’m not saying he isn’t. I just thought that Dunst felt like the true star in this one.

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Summary:

All Good Things is a very intriguing mystery based on the real life 1982 disappearance of the wife of a wealthy businessman. Gosling & especially Dunst give very good performances and a lot of time is spent exploring their characters & their relationship. Then she disappears & things get REALLY odd. I liked this movie quite a bit considering it’s not my favorite sort of genre. It really is an interesting case so I can see why they made a film out of it. I recommend this if you like “true crime” dramas.

My Rating: 6.5/10

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Vanishing Point (1971) Review

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Vanishing Point (1971)

Directed by Richard C Sarafian

Starring:
Barry Newman
Cleavon Little
Dean Jagger

Running time: 98 minutes

Plot Synopsis:
Kowalski (Barry Newman) is a car delivery driver who makes a bet that he can get a white 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T 440 Magnum from Denver to San Francisco in less than 15 hours. (Yes, of course I had to look up what kind of car it was. I’m a girl.)

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My Opinion:

This is one manly, groovy, cool, super fly 70s movie. It’s Easy Rider meets Smokey And The Bandit. It’s a total GUY movie. But I liked it because I’m a sucker for 70s films. They’re effing cool & we don’t get anything with that same sort of look & feel these days.

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This was 1971 so it has that late 60s vibe as well (another era that’s way cooler than our current one, which is uncool & sucks). I was reading about this movie on Wikipedia to refresh my memory as I watched it over the summer & it says “The film is notable for its scenic film locations across the American Southwest and its social commentary on the post-Woodstock mood in the United States.” Had to use that quote as it really does sum up the feel of the movie. I’d love to have lived during that time. And everyone & everything was so ugly! I love that.

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I’ll keep this short: If you’re old like me and if you love 70s movies (and especially if you’re a dude & you like cars), you’ll definitely like this movie so go & watch it right now. It’s very “American” and captures a time & place that’s really like no other.

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The acting is dodgy (especially from Kowalski’s girlfriend), Kowalski’s backstory is actually very interesting but poorly explained in that 70s movie type of storytelling way (I filled in the blanks reading about it online afterwards), and it’s also very slow paced (again, in that total 70s way) considering that it’s about a guy driving really fast.

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But it’s cool. There’s a super cool blind DJ named Super Soul (Cleavon Little – in the pic above) who hears about Kowalski’s mission & the cops who are on his tail so uses his radio broadcast to help him evade the police. There’s also a guy in the desert collecting snakes for his religious cult, two “just married” male hitchhikers who try to rob Kowalski, plus a biker who tries to help by giving him pills to keep him awake. Oh – And, of course, the biker’s girlfriend who rides around on a motorcycle fully nude. As you do. Then we get a “WTF?” ending they’d totally change if (when?) some unoriginal Hollywood idiots decide to remake this. (Oh shit – in just now looking for pictures to use in this review, I see this WAS remade in 1997. Except Viggo Mortensen’s Kowalski is trying to get home to his wife who has gone into labor. Puh-LEASE! Argh! I hate Hollywood!!!!)

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Summary:

Vanishing Point is Seventies Goodness.

My Rating: 7/10

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Pitch Perfect (2012) Review

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Pitch Perfect (2012)

Directed by Jason Moore

Starring:
Anna Kendrick
Skylar Astin
Rebel Wilson
Anna Camp
Brittany Snow
Adam DeVine
Ben Platt
John Michael Higgins
Elizabeth Banks

Running time: 112 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Pitch Perfect follows a women’s college a cappella group, The Barden Bellas, as they compete against another a cappella group from their college to win Nationals.

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My Opinion:

Let’s get another review done! I need to start this review by saying this: I’m old. I grew up on John Hughes teen movies & NOTHING has ever or will ever come close to those in my old person opinion. I do still like watching movies aimed at teenagers & twentysomethings – I’m just always on the lookout for another Breakfast Club, though, and that has yet to happen. There have been some movies that I’ve enjoyed and are a bit of fun but won’t exactly become all-time favorites of mine. Pitch Perfect is one of these.

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The Good:

– Anna Kendrick: She’s a decent character I know I would have liked if I was still that sort of age. I always like a kind of “tough girl” (although, please! She’s not fully believable as one. Come ON – she’s SO not a “tough girl”! They obviously went “Let’s stick a tattoo on her & make her angry at the world!” Please). But a strong female lead is always a good thing & I’d happily have a teen daughter look up to this character instead of the many horrible female role models around these days.

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– The Crazy Quiet Girl: There’s a girl in The Barden Bellas (Lilly) who’s this tiny little thing who goes around mumbling and no one can understand her. When you DO catch what she says, it’s something completely insane like “I set fires to feel joy”. I loved this character! Her lines actually made me LOL and I am so NOT a LOLer. And when I recently reviewed Sound Of My Voice, I said there was no good puking scene in the history of cinema besides in Stand By Me (because puking is disgusting). Well, I forgot about Pitch Perfect. I don’t necessarily like the puking scenes in this but the thing Lilly does (I don’t want to spoil it) is disgustingly hilarious! I LOLed at that too. She really needed a bigger role in this & more lines because she was the highlight of the film for me.

– The Story & Humor: It’s not exactly the most original plot but it was fun & I do love a movie that ends with a competition of some sort. It’s also a fairly funny film overall. I think I have a weird sense of humor because I like very few comedy films these days so the fact that Pitch Perfect actually made me laugh a couple of times is pretty amazing. Heck, I also didn’t mind the predictable romance. I mean, I can SO relate to two people bonding over great movies! 🙂

– The Breakfast Club Reference: It’s funny how so many teen movies now seem to try to be like the great 80’s teen movies. I assume this is because the filmmakers are often my sort of age & grew up on Hughes as well. It’s good that some films at least TRY to live up to that.

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The Not-So-Good:

– The Breakfast Club Reference: Can’t current teen films just try to be good on their own without having to rely on mentioning the genius that is John Hughes? Easy A did this as well. However, it does fit better into the story in Pitch Perfect – it felt very forced in Easy A (I didn’t really like that movie).

– The Music: Okay okay. Sorry. I know that’s the whole point of this movie. But the reason I didn’t rush out to see this is because I hate things like Glee. Glee is awful. I tried to watch Glee for a while & just got annoyed whenever they took a good song & made it all cheesy & crap. Pitch Perfect is quite similar to Glee in some of the “slightly naughty” humor and, obviously, in the cheesy singing. Luckily, it works better than Glee. The story is better & funnier and the songs aren’t TOO terribly annoying. But stay the hell away from Simple Minds, people! LEAVE THE BREAKFAST CLUB SONG ALONE!!!! The best song in this is actually the original one.

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– Rebel Wilson: I dunno. I have yet to like her in anything I’ve seen her in. She does have some funny lines, though, and the fact that she calls herself Fat Amy “so twig bitches like you don’t do it behind my back” was pretty damn funny.

– The Fact That I Can’t Remember Much Else Besides What I’ve Listed: I watched this several months ago & don’t remember it that well anymore. But I can recite so many lines from my favorite John Hughes teen movies even though I haven’t watched most of them in years.

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There’s a shower scene in this, btw

Summary:

Pitch Perfect is a fun movie with a predictable plot but some great unexpected humor thrown in which does make it stand out when compared to other current movies aimed at teens & early twentysomethings. Like many other movies for this age group, it wants to be a John Hughes film but of course can’t manage that. However, it does stay on the right side of the line in trying to achieve this. And I LOLed a few times. I don’t LOL much.

My Rating: 7/10

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Shame (2011) Review

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Shame (2011)

Directed by Steve McQueen

Starring:
Michael Fassbender
Carey Mulligan
James Badge Dale
Nicole Beharie

Running time: 101 Minutes

Plot Synopsis:
Michael Fassbender is a sex addict and isn’t shy about walking around fully nude.
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My Opinion:

Seriously – I’ll make this a quickie (Ha!). Because, obviously, I’m not mature enough to do a proper review for this. But I have at least decided to not grab a thesaurus and use the word “large” in as many ways as possible throughout the review.
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Michael Fassbender plays a sex addict. So it’s already a movie I can’t relate to in the slightest (TMI?). He struggles with this & it’s very serious & it’s ruining his life and OH MY GOD he’s walking around FULLY NAKED! And I totally didn’t rewind that & freeze frame it & actually take a picture of the TV screen. Who would do that? That would be immature.
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Then Fassbender’s equally messed-up-in-the-head sister Carey Mulligan comes to stay with him unexpectedly (and totally uninvited). And OH MY GOD we see her fully naked too!!!!

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Seriously, though, Fassbender’s acting in this is very very good. I hate to say that I was slightly disappointed with Carey Mulligan, though. Oh I hate saying that as I do like her! But this is the second movie recently that I DIDN’T like her in (The Great Gatsby being the other one but I think that was mainly the fault of the script). She’s fine – she’s not bad in Shame but… I don’t know – Maybe she wasn’t quite right for the role. And I think she just couldn’t out-act Fassbender. They had a good creepy incestuous sexual tension thing going on that worked, though. I guess. Ew.
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Summary:

Does Shame really explore sexual addiction & do we learn anything by the end of the film? No. Only that no addiction is ever a good thing. Oh, and that most of us are totally f*&ked up in some way but some are better at hiding it than others. So the movie only states the obvious and I suppose it was successful for A) a truly great performance from Fassbender and B) being a bit racy, which always gets attention. Heck, it turns into almost full-on porn there for a scene toward the end (I think. I’m not an expert on porn).

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Is it good? Well, yeah. It’s a bit artsy, it’s filmed well (not that I know anything about filmmaking but it all looked very good), and it has some great acting including a very memorable performance from Fassbender. Did it change my life? No. Did it ruin my life? No. Am I glad I watched it? Yes. And I have a picture saved on my phone of my favorite part.

My Rating: 7.5/10

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From Beyond (1986) Review for Halloween Horror Fest

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Bloody hell I can’t find a good poster for this movie…

From Beyond (1986)

Directed by Stuart Gordon

Based on From Beyond by H.P. Lovecraft

Starring:
Jeffrey Combs
Barbara Crampton
Ken Foree
Ted Sorel
Carolyn Purdy-Gordon

Running time: 80 minutes (original), 85 minutes (unrated)

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
From Beyond centers around a pair of scientists attempting to stimulate the pineal gland with a device called The Resonator. An unforeseen result of their experiments is the ability to perceive creatures from another dimension that proceed to drag the head scientist into their world, returning him as a grotesque shape-changing monster that preys upon the others at the laboratory.

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Before I Start…

This review will be full of SPOILERS, especially in the pictures. But I HAVE to include the pictures – this movie is mental.

This is the first movie I’m reviewing for my Halloween Horror Fest. Saw it about a month ago. Now, this is a film that is definitely not for everyone. If you like Re-Animator meets Society meets Slither meets The Thing meets David Cronenberg meets H.R. Giger-type sexual imagery meets “body horror”, From Beyond will be right up your alley. If you’re now looking at me like I’m nuts, you might want to skip this one.

Put it this way – there was this annoying woman I used to work with and couldn’t stand. She was all “perfect mother”, “perfect housewife”, yada yada. She used to look at me like I was mental when I would go all geeky discussing films & couldn’t understand why I had no interest in the things she did for fun like sew & bake cakes (nothing against anyone here who does these things for fun!). My point is this: If she still worked with me, I’d totally recommend From Beyond to her in the hope that she would hate me forever & stop talking to me. It’s one of those types of movies.

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My Opinion:

Like I said – If you like any of the movies that I mentioned above, you’ll like this. This was made by Stuart Gordon, who also made Re-Animator. Both films also star Jeffrey Combs & Barbara Crampton and are (I assume very loosely!) based on H.P. Lovecraft stories. (Barbara Crampton also starred in the recent horror You’re Next). I know Re-Animator is a cult classic but I’d not heard of From Beyond until recently. I think it’s just as good/bad as Re-Animator. I actually think it’s more memorable.

20131011-092854 am.jpgSo anyway – these two scientist dudes are conducting experiments to stimulate the pineal gland, a small gland in the brain which apparently (according to this movie, at least!) looks like a tiny penis. Especially when the experiment causes it to grow & pop out of this dude’s head. Yeah, spoiler. But, seriously – check this shit out!:

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Hilarious! Anyway, I’ve looked the pineal gland up online and still don’t fully understand why stimulating it makes you all into S&M and made Barbara Crampton put this outfit on:

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I also don’t understand why it allows you to see creatures from another dimension. But, anyway, it does in this film. It also makes you want to eat brains. Yum.

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Ken Foree, the dude above, is from one of my all-time favorite movies (Dawn Of The Dead) so it was cool seeing him here. Barbara Crampton gets naked (as usual?) so guys should like that. And. Yeah. Not much else to say. This movie was probably even more fun than Romero’s Monkey Shines. It’s completely mental. And that phallic pineal gland will haunt me forever.

My Rating: 6/10

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My From Beyond Haiku:

Brains and S&M
Protruding pineal glands
Naked Crampton boobs

Stoker (2013) Review

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Stoker

Directed by Park Chan-wook

Produced by:
Ridley Scott
Tony Scott
Michael Costigan

Written by Wentworth Miller

Starring:
Mia Wasikowska
Matthew Goode
Nicole Kidman
Dermot Mulroney
Jacki Weaver

Music by Clint Mansell

Running time: 99 minutes

Plot Synopsis:

India Stoker’s beloved father dies in a car accident on her 18th birthday. Soon after, the mysterious Uncle Charlie comes to stay with India and her cold & distant mother. India never even knew her father had a brother and she starts to suspect that Uncle Charlie may not be all he seems.

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My Opinion:

First of all, thanks to everyone for voting when I asked which film I should review next. Stoker was the winner.

I think it’s pretty well known that the inspiration for Stoker was Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow Of A Doubt. Being a pretty big Hitchcock fan and having just watched that one this year (review HERE), I can certainly see how similar the films are and how much Wentworth Miller clearly must love Shadow Of A Doubt. As to be expected, though, it’s not as good as Hitchcock’s film.

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I missed Stoker when it was in cinemas and I was so mad because it looked interesting & I really wanted to see it. But as it wasn’t Fast & Furious 23 or some shit like that, it was only on for one week at my local cinema. So, anyway, after fellow movie geeks seemed to love it despite some not so great reviews I think I had probably hyped it up too much in my mind & that may be why I was a little disappointed with the film.

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I’ve never seen Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy and had wanted to do this review along with that one but just haven’t had time to watch it. I’m assuming it’s a better film with all the best bits of Stoker, like some great visuals and all that director-y stuff that I know nothing about, but with a better story. Stoker looked great & it had this wonderful creepy atmosphere that I really liked. But the overall story wasn’t all that shocking or original and, with a different director, I think it would be a very forgettable film.

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I also think everyone did fine in their roles but no one really blew me away.
Mia Wasikowska was fine but I think plenty of other actresses could have played the role too. Matthew Goode has this insane look going on in his eyes so I think he was right for the role but, again, I think there are others who could have played Uncle Charlie and I can’t help but say that Joseph Cotten was a creepier Uncle Charlie in Shadow Of A Doubt. At least the character of India in Stoker has much more depth than Hitchcock’s Charlie, niece of the uncle with the same name. Nicole Kidman is also fine but she always is – I didn’t really feel like we were seeing anything new from her here.

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Overall I just found the story too predictable. It was too much “style over substance” for me. I don’t think it was bad but, if you’re going to make a film so clearly inspired by Hitchcock, I think you need to do a better job on the suspense in the film. You’re not going to top the Master in that regard but there are other films that have achieved a growing sense of anxiousness more than Stoker does, which never exactly had me on the edge of my seat.

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Summary:

Stoker is a very atmospheric film that is lovely to look at and one I’m sure that people who know anything about filmmaking would probably appreciate. In the hands of a less talented director (and without a certain shower scene), I think it would be a very forgettable film. It’s a good Hitchcock-inspired mystery but just can’t match his brilliantly suspenseful storytelling. But who can? Although it sounds like I almost hated Stoker, I did actually enjoy it. It’s a solid effort & I appreciate the attempt to make something other than the same old tired mainstream movie in this world full of horrible sequels, remakes, and “Ow, my balls!” comedies. Stoker is worth a watch for film fans but I would hope that everyone will have already seen Hitchcock’s biggest classics first to see the true master of suspense at work.

My Rating: 6.5/10

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And I’m on a Movie Haiku kick again so here’s one for Stoker. Warning if you’ve not seen it – SLIGHT SPOILER:

Strange Uncle Charlie
Masturbating in shower
Hitchcock this is not

Which leads me to two of my lists on which Stoker probably now at least deserves an honorable mention. 😉

My Top Ten Shower & Bath Scenes In Movies

My Top Five Movie Scenes Of Self-Pleasure

The Man Who Fell To Earth (1976) Review

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The Man Who Fell To Earth

Directed by Nicolas Roeg

Starring

David Bowie
Rip Torn
Candy Clark
Buck Henry
Bernie Casey

Plot Synopsis (via Wikipedia):

Thomas Jerome Newton is a humanoid alien who comes to Earth from a distant planet on a mission to bring water back to his home planet, which is experiencing a catastrophic drought.

Newton uses the advanced technology of his home planet to patent many inventions on Earth, and acquires incredible wealth as the head of a technology-based conglomerate, World Enterprises Corporation, aided by leading patent attorney Oliver Farnsworth. His wealth is needed to construct his own space vehicle with the intention of shipping water back to his planet.

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My Opinion:

I’d been wanting to see this movie for a very long time and finally got the opportunity when it was on TV a couple of weeks ago. I’m a huge David Bowie fan. Okay – More a fan of his music than his, um, acting. But I’m glad I finally got to see this intriguing, unusual, crazy, slightly fucked up, and totally 70’s film.

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This film is a bit of an incoherent mess, quite frankly. It starts with Bowie coming to Earth. Then we suddenly get this college professor, Rip Torn, screwing lots of college girls. LOTS of screwing. There’s a lot of sex in this movie. And nudity. And naked Bowie (yes!).

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They show Bowie experiencing new things on Earth while Rip Torn does lots of screwing. I think they’re trying to show that he & Bowie have some sort of psychic connection? Then Bowie meets a sweet & simple girl, Candy Clark, and they start a relationship. And have lots of sex. And Bowie drinks a lot and watches multiple TVs all at once. And we see Bowie’s wife & kids slowly dying back on his home planet. And we see Bowie penis! And we see weird alien sex involving a milky substance that looks a bit like when Bishop is ripped apart in Aliens. And all of a sudden Bowie has a spaceship to fly back home and, oh yeah, I forgot that was the whole point of the movie. Then people are getting thrown out of windows and I’m losing the plot a bit. And the guy who’s the teacher in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is suddenly in the movie and I’m still not sure what his role was. Then there’s crazy gun sex and contact lenses and nipple tweaking and WTF. The end. Well, not quite the end but I won’t give the end away.

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So, yeah. When this movie finished, I admit that I just kind of sat there going “WTF?”. I watched this two weeks ago. Since then I’ve started to think that, actually, this movie was kind of freaking awesome. In a totally fucked up way. Why? Well, that’s simple: David Bowie, of course. He always has been and always will be thoroughly intriguing. Who better to play an alien? And being an alien excuses any less than perfect acting, I guess. How are we meant to know how an alien would actually behave? 😉

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Candy Clark is very good as Bowie’s girlfriend on Earth. For me, the best parts of this movie by far are the ones focusing on their relationship. Whenever they focused on any characters other than these two, I lost interest. They were great together and it was fun watching their dysfunctional relationship. And their crazy gun sex.

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Summary:

I honestly don’t know what else to say so I’m going to just sum things up now. This movie is not good. Iconic, yes. But not good. But I didn’t care. Because… It’s David Bowie. And I love him. He makes me feel kind of funny, like when we used to climb the rope in gym class. (Does that line work if a girl says it? Also, we never actually climbed any ropes in my gym classes at school). This movie LOOKS cool. Especially Bowie – he looks cool as hell. I mainly wanted to write this review just for the cool pictures I could post. No, this movie is not good. But I liked it. It’s horribly awesome and I have to own it on DVD. If you’re not a Bowie fan, though, you’ll probably want to avoid this movie.

My Rating: 7.5/10

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I’d like to also add that I recently went to the “David Bowie Is” exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. If you’re a Bowie fan and live anywhere near London, I highly recommend it. You get to see SO many personal items – I especially loved all his handwritten lyrics to all my favorite songs and his many costumes. It was excellent.

My Top Ten David Bowie Songs

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Star Trek Into Darkness Writer Apologizes For “Unnecessary” Underwear Scene

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Hahaha! As hot as she is, you have to admit that scene with Alice Eve in her underwear was pretty pathetic. 😉

Link to article: ScreenCrush

And as there have been far too many pictures of girls in their underwear on my blog lately, here’s a half-naked Chris Hemsworth to balance things out:

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And again:

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And as Thor. Hello.

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My Review For Star Trek Into Darkness

My Reviews For Star Trek: The Motion Picture & The Wrath Of Khan & Star Trek (2009)

My Top Ten Shower & Bath Scenes In Movies

Ever since I reviewed John Carpenter’s The Ward & happened to mention the shower scene with Amber Heard, I see variations of the search term “Amber Heard shower scene” bringing someone to my blog on a daily basis. Pervs! So, screw it – I’ll make a list! Here are my top ten movie shower (or bath) scenes starting with the best:

1. Psycho

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Obviously.

2. Hardware

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Such an underrated cult classic! I never know anyone who has seen this movie. And the shower scene is awesome with one of the BEST movie songs ever – The Order Of Death by Public Image Limited.

3. Carrie

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Dirty Pillows!

4. American Beauty

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“This will be the high point of my day: It’s all downhill from here.”

5. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

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“I recall Central Park in fall.”

6. Weird Science

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“If you ever get the chance, shower with them. I did. Mmm, it’s a mindscrambler. Hurts so good.”

7. A Nightmare On Elm Street

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One, two, Freddy’s coming for you…

8. The Shining

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All work & no play makes Jack make-out with creepy dead woman.

8. It

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Argh! Pennywise! Creepy f@#king clown!!! I don’t even want this damn picture on my blog!

10. Blade

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Cool bloodbath (well, more like bloodSHOWER) club scene. Set to the tune of the Pump Panel remix of New Order’s Confusion.

Honorable Mentions:
Slither
Arachnophobia
Fatal Attraction
What Lies Beneath
Pleasantville
Porky’s
Pretty Woman
The Big Lebowski
Stoker

For the guys:
Starship Troopers (I hate this movie)

Words to bring the pervs in: Hot, Steamy, Sexy, Naked, Boobies. Lol! They’ll be disappointed – my list isn’t very hot or steamy. 😉

Here’s Amber Heard wet in the shower in The Ward:

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Hardware shower scene with Public Image Ltd song The Order Of Death: