When I was in school, I'd go home with a friend the last day of school and we'd stay up all night watching movies, going to bed somewhere around 5 or 6 the next morning and setting up our whole summer to be nocturnal. Sleeping days and watching HBO all night. I bet I have seen Top Gun 30 times, Legend about that many and Nightmare on Elm Street at least a dozen times. When the loop got too repetitive, her dad would take us to Green's Video-the only place to rent movies in the whole county-and we'd stock up on a half dozen movies or more. Everything from Strawberry Shortcake to Die Harder.
Home Alone, Total Recall, Dances With Wolves, Ghost, Edward Scissorhands, Pretty Woman, Tremors...and that's just from 1990! We did this for YEARS.
This time of year, I still get the urge to watch loads of movies. Jake and I watch one or two during the week some weeks, we have toned down our Netflix, getting fewer dvds out and our connection is so iffy, we don't usually bother trying for a full movie on instant play. Especially with public schools being out.
Matt and I had been getting a couple of series in that we watch via Netflix, I have not sat down with the boy and movie in a while, so yesterday we watched Dark Skies and Sinister and today we rented Dark Shadows, Parker, The Courier and The Numbers Station.
It's a glut of visual brain candy, a great chance to veg out and we actually spend a LOT of time talking while watching, usually about gaping plot holes and bad acting.
I will give a run-down of what we think about each movie:
Obvious Part One of a franchise, this is an alien movie centered on a family of 4 who is being visited by the Greys (scarey spindly alien guys). The first 3/4 of the movie is basically a normal family going through financial stress because The Dad has been Laid Off and is looking for a new job. Odd things happen, none of which are okay or explainable. The first time I walk in to the kitchen to discover all the cans stacked up with a cake slowly rotating up near the ceiling and some crop circles thrown in for the heck of it, I'd probably NOT just go back to bed and get on with things the next day. Enter JK Simmons as the expert with some advice. I really, really like JK, he is one of my top 5 favorite actors ever. The family bands together. The sequel is prepped for.
If you like alien movies, this one is okay. It's not scary so much as a little creepy, some of the plot points make NO sense and honestly, the entire scenario is so whack that no one would leave the theater thinking, "I am being Visited!" Thinking you may really be a psychopath would be more plausible.
Ghost/mystery story with a boogeyman (named Mr. Boogie) and plot holes so huge, you will actually start getting vertigo as the movie plunges into one after another.
Ethan Hawke plays The Dad who is also A Writer and has moved his family to The House where a family was killed the year before to write what everyone hopes will be a good true crime novel, as his previous 2 attempts have been crap. It's crunch time, you want him to do a good job and Get Paid.
Upon moving in, he finds a box in the attic. It's set in PA, and he also finds a scorpion in the attic, a juicy giant black one. I'd be shitting a brick, and I don't think there are scorpions in Pennsylvania. (update, there's one species) What's wrong with people in movies who see one critter and don't even look for more?
The Box is full of Home Movies which are freaking creepy-and he watches them. Making you watch them, too. Okay, I will admit, ghosts who live IN images are a particular favorite of mine-as are images that simply move and hold some of the personality of the subject intact. Jake is playing a game in which the more times you view images in the course of the game, the more aware the subjects become that they are trapped in that image-creepy!. That creeps me right out. Dorian Grey, loved it. Harry Potter, loved it. The season of Fringe where they went to the other side and the photos in the newspapers moved, loved it.
Okay, what I like in a scary movie is anticipation, I don't want the music to swell and BAM at me, but a good BOO is key. Scary ass bad guy, children involved, parents who are doing crazy things to save their kids, mysterious good guys giving help when most needed, creepy house, a believable plot. This has...well a couple of those.
Here are some questions that should have been asked, but were not (in no order):
"How did you get photos of a crime in progress?" Deputy So-and-So
"How did a 150 pound limb lift 500+ pounds?" Viewer
"Why is that limb still there." The New Owners
I could go on.
Just...skip this one. We had put off watching it for over a year now, then today asked, "How bad could it be?" and got it. It was like the people in editing hate Tim Burton and pieced together all the spoof pieces that were meant as jokes or outtakes into the actual movie. Plus, Jake walked around afterward talking like Barnabus. The only question that should be asked while watching this one is...WTF?
Or, Jason Statham Volume 13.
I honestly can't remember if I saw this one before. They are all so similar, parts felt like I had seen them already. This one had Jason playing himself, the guy who from Pawn Stars, PeeWee Herman, a big black guy and someone else I can't even remember. There was Jennifer Lopez in her underwear, a dog, there was some of Palm Beach in the background, Nick Nolte looking like an asthmatic Santa, the Ohio State Fair, some scary clowns, loads and loads of guns, fake blood and things being smashed. The only thing this one did not have was a series of car chases, I mean really, it's JASON STATHAM. The man can drive.
Well...okay, so I am madly in love with Jeffery Dean Morgan, he has all my stringent requirements in a man. He's beefy and scruffy. Which may imply I have the hots for Bluto, but that's not true. I am a Popeye girl all the way. Don't ask me to explain, there's no sense in it. Just be happy that after 16 years I still find Matt's scruff more than just a little appealing.
I thought he did well with this travesty of a plot. It may just be that the plot was too complex for my female brain, or it may very well be that it was TOTALLY WANKED. There were gaping holes, no chemistry between him and the female lead, who only looks 12, IRL, she's my age. I stopped looking 12 when I was 9.
Skip this one, unless you can forgive the man anything. Being in a bad movie is not the end of the world, but this tattered display of cliched 'twists' and the open ending just made me feel tired. But, not as tired as Matt and Jake, who both slept through the last half.
I don't get the cloak and dagger stuff that supposedly runs our government or why there are people who need to be killed at such regular intervals that there are actual shifts of people to decide and carry that out. John Cusack was better as an assassin in Gross Pointe Blank. In this, he seems like a mid-40's guy who has woken up and seen that what he does is shredding his soul. Hey, wait-that sounds like a PLOT! This may very well be the only movie out of all of them with a story to tell and that tells it. Nothing much before and nothing at all after the day the movie takes place, it's a one-shot event that has the potential to change his life.
The numbers station where he works as some type of security has come under attack. There are plenty of questions for this one, but over-all, it's an interesting character study as John and the girl who reads the numbers are pretty much the only 2 people in the whole movie. As you can see, I was not stuck dumb with insight into her, as her name does not even graze the vault door of my memory. His was Emerson, because we all know in government, you go by your first name. Just like footballers.
The questions you will ask in this one is "why would a secret agency make such a huge public event of an assassination to the point of taking out civilians...instead of just waiting until dude went home. Was it THAT imperative that he be taken down that instant?"
"When an assassin shows up to kill you in your house, is it not bad form to fail to look around for anyone else in the same house? Are they not now potential loose ends?"
"If there were 4 bad guys, one dead in a tunnel, one killed by our man John and one outside shooting an amazing amount of bullets, one is otherwise occupied-so WHO is running the drill?"
"Why are they drilling in? Why did they not just all stay in the bunker to begin with? They had to kill people, leave, get a drill, come back, get locked out and then start drilling. They could have just stayed put."
In all, it's a pretty good movie, different enough plot to not be 100% predictable, worth watching if you like John Cusack, which I do because why? He's scruffy.