Throwback Thursday: The Goonies (1985)

They Are Good Enough

1985 will go down in history as one of my favorite years.  The NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) was test marketed in the United States, eventually leading to a countrywide roll out early in 1986.  Artists such as Duran Duran, Madonna, The Cure, and Bruce Springsteen had huge hits on pop radio.  Transformers and G.I. Joe dominated my toy box.  Some of my all time favorite films were released as well.  A few of them that were released in 1985 were Back To The Future, Ladyhawke, Enemy Mine, Weird Science, The Breakfast Club, and Fright Night.

The Goonies (1985) 5

There was also a little film called The Goonies that was released just a few days before my birthday.  With names like Steven Spielberg, Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy, and Richard Donner tied to it, you pretty much knew that it was probably going to be a great film.  In hindsight, the film’s screenwriter, a guy by the name of Chris Columbus, was also a pretty important part of the puzzle, as he was fresh off of writing Gremlins (1984) and would go on to direct some of the most popular films in history including Home Alone, the first two Harry Potter films, and Mrs. Doubtfire.


The film centered on a small group of kids who set out to find a legendary pirate’s treasure, hoping to save their families’ homes from foreclosure.  If the families fail to make payments, the group of kids would be split up as they would all have to move away from the “Goon Docks” of Astoria, Oregon.


The group bites off more than they can chew as they find themselves being chased by a family of outlaws known as the Fratellis.  The criminals hope to cash in on the pirate treasure as well, and will stop at nothing to get their hands on the prize.  The kids risk their lives as they take on multiple booby traps set by One-Eyed Willy, the pirate that hid the treasure along the Oregon coast, and try to stay away from the Fratellis as well.


The film featured a stellar young cast, most of whom would go on to bigger and better things.  This was the feature film debut for the movie’s star, Sean Astin, who played Mikey Walsh, the unofficial leader and lone optimist of the Goonies.  Astin would go on to have a long and steady career that is still going strong.  He has had starring and supporting roles in films like Rudy (1993), Toy Soldiers (1991), The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-2003), and Memphis Belle (1990) and television roles in shows such as Stranger Things (2017) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012-2017).  Josh Brolin portrayed Mikey’s older brother, Brandon.  Like Astin, Brolin has had a solid career that continues to this day.  Some of his work includes roles in The Young Riders (1989-1992), W. (2008), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Jonah Hex (2010).

Corey Feldman was already a veteran of television and film, having had roles in Gremlins, Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), and multiple appearances in commercials and supporting roles on television including episodes of Cheers and Mork & Mindy.  His star would continue to shine in films such as Stand By Me (1986), The Lost  Boys (1987), and a number of highly successful films with Corey Haim including Dream A Little Dream (1989).  Feldman’s career would quickly spiral out of control due to alleged sexual abuse he suffered as a child actor and drug abuse.  Feldman eventually cleaned up and has managed to gain a number of roles in film and television (including a reality series with Haim) and has written a memoir and also released multiple albums.  Feldman also became an extremely vocal advocate for child actors.


Martha Plimpton, who played Stef, started her career as a model prior to appearing in The Goonies and went on to have a very steady and successful career in film in television.  She has had multiple film roles over the years including work in Parenthood (1989), Running On Empty (1988), and I Shot Andy Warhol (1996).  She has also starred in television shows such as Raising Hope (2010-2014) and The Real O’Neals (2016-2017).

Jonathan Ke Quan was fresh from his role as Short Round in 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom when he took on the role of Data in The Goonies.  He would go on to star in final season of the television series Head of the Class (1991) and had a few more roles in both film and television. Quan would also find work as a stunt rigger and coordinator.


Kerri Green (Andy) starred in the hit film Lucas (1986) just one year removed from The Goonies but would not star in another hit film.  She had a few more starring roles and minor roles in film and television, but would eventually take a break from acting in order to attend college.  She now appears occasionally on screen in small roles and has a production company.


The man who gave us the Truffle Shuffle, Jeff Cohen (Chunk), had just a few roles outside of The Goonies.  He had roles on Family Ties, She’s The Sheriff, Amazing Stories, and a few others, but would turn his attention to college and eventually become a respected entertainment lawyer.  He eventually opened his own firm in Beverly Hills.


I could go on about this film and how much I love it, but I would rather you go out and watch it for yourself.  The film was very successful and has become a favorite among folks around my age.  From Sloth’s signature “Hey, you guys!” to Data talking about his “slick shoes,” The Goonies is one of those films that stuck with pretty much everyone from my generation.

Honestly, who didn’t love this film growing up in the 1980’s?  Who didn’t have a crush on Kerri Green or Josh Brolin?  Myself, I had quite the crush on Martha Plimpton.  Still do.  I wanted to go on adventures like these kids and find pirate treasure.  The Goonies was the perfect film for 1985, and it’s still perfect today.

Thanks for reading.  If you loved this film, let me know in the comments.  Also, feel free to share this post with anybody that you know who loved this film as well.


Paranoia? Faith? Witches?

New England, the 1630’s

Horror films come in all shapes and sizes.  You have your standard slasher films, haunted house flicks, monster movies, and suspense thrillers.  You also have those trendy found footage films, Japanese ghost stories and comedy horror as well.  Religion is often at the center of many horror films, and 2015’s The Witch uses religion to give us a not-so-traditional tale that’s more thought provoking than thrilling.


Based on the stories and folktales that he grew up with, writer and director Robert Eggers’ film introduces us to a family that is banished from their Puritan community after the patriarch, William, refuses to change his stance on the New Testament of the Bible.  The devout family heads out on their own and settles in a large clearing deep in the woods.

the-witch 2015. 2min

Minor Spoilers Ahead

Katherine, the family’s matriarch, gives birth to Samuel at their new home.  Not long after that, he is apparently stolen by a witch that lives in the forest while being cared for by his sister, Thomasin, the eldest child in the family.  Katherine turns to God, praying for the safe return of her infant son.  William believes that a wolf carried the child away.  The oldest son, Caleb, begins to take notice of his older sister and while he makes no advances on her, it’s very obvious that he is at the age where young boys start becoming attracted to women (this comes into play later in the film).  The youngest living siblings, the twins called Mercy and Jonas, are seen throughout the film talking to Black Phillip, one of the family’s goats.  They chase him and sing songs about him.


Soon enough, another tragedy strikes the family and paranoia begins to settle into the mind of Katherine.  She becomes convinced that Thomasin is a witch and that she has written her name in the book of the Devil.  William tries to defend Thomasin at first, but even he begins to question not only his daughter, but his faith as well.  Thomasin blames the twins, claiming that they are in league with Black Phillip, whom she believes is a familiar of Satan.


More tragedy soon follows, and the family spirals out of control.  Begging God for mercy, forgiveness, and salvation, the entire family becomes convinced that a witch is at work against them.  Whether or not that is true, we never really know.  Watch the film and decide for yourself if it’s a witch, bad luck, or mental breakdowns that break the family apart.


This film has no true jump at you scares in it.  Other than a couple of grotesque images and a little gore, there’s not much that will make you queasy.  The real horror in this film comes from the way the family breaks under the pressure of either their faith (or lack thereof), paranoia, isolation from other people, or actual witches.  Eggers never shows us the man behind the curtain in this film, so we are left wondering about who actually does all of the damage to the family.


The film is extremely bleak.  Almost all of the scenes feature very little light.  After cruising the web for a bit, I learned that Eggers intentionally used natural light and candle light to add to the film’s dark tone.  The music is minimal as well but works perfectly when it is utilized.


The only things that aren’t minimalized in the film are the performances of the cast.  Ralph Ineson (Game of Thrones, the Harry Potter films) plays William.  Katherine is portrayed by Kate Dickie (Game of Thrones).  Harvey Scrimshaw, Ellie Grainger, and Lucas Dawson play Caleb, Mercy, and Jonas, respectively.  All of these actors do a brilliant job with their respective roles.  Ineson shines while showing a father torn between the love of his family, his staunch faith, and trying to rationalize the tragedy around him.  Dickie goes completely over the edge as Katherine.  Scrimshaw does fine work as a young man who is beginning to have certain feelings and urges about women.  The twins are brutally annoying but quickly transition into young children that are terrified of someone or something that’s destroying their family.


The brightest star in the film is Anya Taylor-Joy as Thomasin.  In a film that lacks a lot of action and relies heavily on dialogue and emotion to get itself across, Taylor-Joy does a fine job of telegraphing her feelings of terror onto the viewer.

Some have called this film boring for its lack of traditional scares.  Others have said that it’s a slow burner that never really takes off.  I see it as a film that simply tells us a story about life in New England in the 1630’s where an isolated family succumbs to their own fears or possibly an actual witch.  Again, Eggers never reveals what’s really going on with the family.  On the surface (especially at the film’s conclusion), it looks like a witch really is tormenting these people, but there’s just enough hysteria thrown into the mix to leave the audience wondering.

As always, thanks for reading my post.  Let me know in the comments if you’ve seen this film and if you enjoyed it (or were bored out of your brains).  It’s certainly an unconventional horror film and it’s not for everyone.  Still, I think that it deserves a look.



Throwback Thursday: The Music Of DC Comics (2010, 2016)

The Sound Of Superheroes

Founded in 1934, DC Comics has made its mark on the printed page, the small screen, and the big screen.  With its new subscription streaming service, DC Universe, officially underway, the world of heroes such as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, has become even more available to anyone with a device connected to the web.  The streaming service will offer everything from original content to a rotating catalogue of classic films, cartoons, and television programs.


While not everything that DC has put out has been a hit, there have been plenty of films, cartoons, and television shows that have left their mark on pop culture.  We’ve all hummed along to the Batman (1966) theme song and who hasn’t puffed out their chest and pretended to fly when hearing the iconic Theme From Superman from John Williams’ score for the 1978 film?

In September of 2010, DC Comics released The Music of DC Comics: 75th Anniversary Collection as a celebration of the music that accompanied the live action and animated content from DC.  At first you might not think that comic books and music make a good pair, but you’d be wrong.  By just listening to the first few tracks on this album, you realize just how important music is to building up a character or setting the tone for a film or series.


The collection features quite a few expected tracks such as the previously mentioned Superman film theme and the 60’s Batman theme, but it also features plenty of other songs that take you on a trip down memory lane.  The tracks are listed by hero and include voice overs and sound effects.  Starting with Superman and ending with Wonder Woman, the album covers decades worth of great music from films and shows featuring characters like Swamp Thing, Plastic Man, The Flash, and lesser known heroes that you might not have known had their own shows like Hawkman and The Atom.


Some of my personal favorites from the album include the Batman Beyond theme from 1999, Green Lantern First Flight from the 2009 animated film, and Batman: The Electrical Brain from the classic 1943 serial.  It also included Danny Elfman’s iconic The Batman Theme from Tim Burton’s 1989 film.


As massive as the collection is (featuring thirty-one tracks), it is far from complete.  There is a ton of musical content related to DC Comics and its many characters and it would be very difficult to include all of those tunes on a disc.  Thankfully DC released released twenty-nine more tracks in July of 2016 with The Music of DC Comics: Vol. 2.


This volume proved to the fans that there’s way more music to explore in the DC Universe than one might initially believe.  While the first collection featured some of the most recognizable tracks that one might think of, it was missing a few big tunes as well.  Starting with Superman and ending with Wonder Woman once again, Volume 2 gave us songs such as Danny Elfman’s Batman: The Animated Series (1996) theme and The Flash TV Series Theme from 1990.  It also included songs from series featuring characters such as Metamorpho, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, and DC’s recent DC Superhero Girls theme.


Volume 2 offered even more juicy tracks like Mark Hamill’s Joker singing Jingle Bells Batman Smells from the classic Christmas With The Joker episode of Batman: The Animated Series and Mischeif (Harley Quinn’s Theme) from the 2015 Infinite Crisis game. It also featured a number of selections from the surf guitar heavy The Sensational Guitars of Dan and Dale.

Superfriends_Challenge 1

While both of these volumes have some great music on them, there’s still enough music left for even more volumes.  It would be really cool if DC started releasing character focused albums that feature music strictly from individual characters.  It would be great to have an entire volume of music collected from the entire legacy of characters such as Batman, Superman, and the rest.  Hopefully the upcoming Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Shazam! films will be successful enough that more volumes will be released that focus solely on those characters and others.


As always, thanks for taking a trip down memory lane with me.  I’ll be posting again in the very near future about some upcoming events that I’ll be attending.  I hope to see you there!



Ooooh, That Smell!

Somewhere in the 1950’s

Every once in awhile I watch a film knowing that it’s going to be bad.  Everything about the film, from the title to the plot description, screams “bad movie” but I watch it anyway.  Why?  Because sometimes you just have to watch a bad movie for the fun of it.  I Was A Teenage Wereskunk is one such movie, but it is intentionally bad in a good way.


Neal McLaughlin wrote and directed this cheesy B-movie that makes fun of and pays homage to classic horror films from the 1950’s that featured primarily at drive-in theaters.  Obviously one of the films that inspired this movie is I Was A Teenage Werewolf, which featured a young Michael Landon (Little House on the Prairie, Highway to Heaven) and Guy Williams (Lost In Space, Zorro).  From the transformation sequence to the use of a trigger to start the transformation, there are a few nice nods to that classic film.


In the film, Curtis Albright (Scott Monahan) struggles with his relationship with Mary Beth (Shey Lyn Zanotti).  He’s not sure if he should ask her to be his “steady” despite tons of pressure from his friend, Jerry (Jonathan Rosetti), who has plans of his own with Sally (Christian Drerup).  He also gets involved with a local beatnik and bad seed named Finn (Sean Cork), who encourages Curtis to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, and trespass on another person’s property in order to enjoy some time at the pool with some tragically hirsute lady friends.


As the film rolls along, Curtis comes into contact with a skunk that sprays him while he’s in a state of “excitement” while peeking into the window of the local veterinarian, Dr. Nancy (Dawn Brodey).  He soon finds himself transforming into a wereskunk any time that he becomes aroused and he goes on a killing spree.


His father, Sheriff Albright (Charlie Farrell), teams up with officers Maggie (Amy Heidt) and Gary (Melanie Minichino in one of two roles in the film) in order to track down the savage murderer terrorizing their town.  When he learns that it’s his son, things get very complicated.  Can the sheriff stop the beast?  Will Mary Beth go all the way with Curtis?  What’s up with Curtis’ mom and dad and circus clowns????  You’ll have to watch every terrifying moment of I Was A Teenage Wereskunk to find out!


The film is very fun to watch.  The cast and crew are in on the joke the entire time and have plenty of fun letting the viewer know this fact.  The cast channels stereotypical characters from 1950’s cinema and deliver dialogue in a similar tone as well.  A couple of the characters appear to be trapped in different films or even different times.  Officer Gary is portrayed as a bungling cop reminiscent of Barney Fife (but with a lot more attitude) or any of a number of comic relief officers featured heavily in comedies throughout cinematic history.  Officer Maggie uses texts and references Google and Harry Potter in the film, drawing strange looks from the other characters.  She’s actually one of my favorite characters in the film.


I also enjoyed the chemistry between Sheriff Albright and Mrs. Albright (the second character portrayed by Minichino in the film).  Their relationship is intentionally adult and out of place in this otherwise wholesome film.  It pokes fun at the idea of relationships between parents in the 50’s as being spent in separate beds and with absolutely no “dirty talk” or amorous actions.  Minichino’s look was hilarious every single time that the sheriff made an off color remark.  There’s also another moment in the film featuring some very strong and very out of place dialogue by Mary Beth.  It comes out of nowhere and makes for a hilarious moment in the film.


This movie is fun.  It’s cheesy, full of innocently disguised adult humor, and worth a watch.  It’s definitely not one of the greatest films that you’ll ever see, but it’s perfect for a rainy afternoon, especially if you’re a fan of cheesy horror films like Tarantula! and Robot Monster.

As always, thank you for checking out my blog.  Let me know if you’ve watched this film and if you enjoyed it.  It’s not for everyone, but for those of us that “get it,” it’s a fun flick.

All photos taken from the I Was A Teenage Wereskunk Facebook page except for the header image, which I found using Google.  Visit their page and give them a little love.


This Ain’t No Three Hour Tour!

Crescent Bay Retirement Community

With Halloween just over a month away and the leaves starting to turn, I’ve been on a horror kick.  Horror films are hit and miss on Netflix and Amazon Prime and I often find myself checking out of a movie before it’s over.  Last night, Amazon delivered with Late Phases (sometimes listed as Late Phases: Night of the Lone Wolf).  I’m a sucker for werewolf flicks and this film had a really interesting plot that runs a little bit deeper than one might think.


The film stars Nick Damici, best known as both a writer and the star of horror flicks Stake Land and Mulberry Street.  Damici portrays Ambrose McKinley, a  blind Vietnam veteran who moves into the Crescent Bay Retirement Community to live out his final years.  With him is his service dog, Shadow, who helps him get around.

Mild spoilers and a creature test shot reveal ahead!!!!

Ambrose moves into the community with the help of his son, Will (Ethan Embry of Sneaky Pete, Can’t Hardly Wait, Empire Records), who appears to want to help his father but ultimately leaves him to his own devices.


On his first day in his new home, Ambrose meets his neighbor, Delores (Karen Lynn Gorney of All My Children).  They become fast friends as the pair lightly flirt with one another.  He also discovers a claw rip in his wall and finds a piece of one of the claws left behind.  Later on, Ambrose is “welcomed” to the community by a trio of its other residents, Clarissa (Tina Louise of Gilligan’s Island), Emma (Caitlin O’Heaney), and Gloria (Rutanya Alda).  The ladies come off as snobbish and Ambrose quickly lets them know that he’s not the kind of person to take much BS from anyone.

As Ambrose settles down for his first evening in the community, he and Shadow are alarmed to loud screams and growling noises from Delores’ side of the duplex.  Ambrose bangs on the wall and asks if she’s okay, but soon finds out that a large beast is attacking her.  Once it kills Delores, it is attracted to Ambrose’s home by his noise and the barking of Shadow.  The beast bursts through the wall and attacks Ambrose.  Shadow manages to fight the creature off long enough for Ambrose to find his gun.  He fires in the direction of the beast (remember that he’s blind) and manages to scare it away, but not before it manages to mortally wound Shadow.


Ambrose brings Shadow’s body to the local veterinarian to determine what type of creature killed him and the veterinarian tells him that at first glance it could be a dog, but she never comes out and says that it actually is a dog or any other animal.  Police investigate the attack on Delores and Ambrose and write it off as “another animal attack” in the community.  They tell Ambrose that these attacks are a monthly occurrence and most likely due to the close proximity of the community to the forest.  Ambrose immediately believes that he’s dealing with a werewolf.


Ambrose, knowing that he has one month to prepare, sets out to kill the beast.  His month long preparation involves getting to know potential suspects such as fellow residents, the local priest named Father Roger (Tom Noonan of The Monster Squad and Robocop 2), and a resident of the community who set up a shuttle service to the church named Mr. Griffin (Lance Guest of The Last Starfighter and Jaws: The Revenge).  Ambrose also has silver bullets and one silver shotgun shell made for his guns and creates a booby trap.


As the next full moon approaches, Ambrose amps up his investigation and the werewolf soon realizes that he/she has been discovered.  In order to beef up its chance for survival, the werewolf recruits unwilling members of the community to aid it in its battle with Ambrose by turning them into werewolves.  Ambrose and the pack square off at the climax of the film.  Who is the werewolf?  Does Ambrose survive?  Do you prefer Ginger or Mary Ann??? While that debate will continue to the end of time, you’ll have to watch Late Phases to find out about the werewolf and Ambrose!


The film works quite well as a traditional werewolf film.  The hero uses the tried and true method of silver bullets to battle the creature and while the beast is supernaturally strong, it’s not so strong that it is unbelievable that Ambrose and Shadow could fight it and not be instantly murdered.  The person that is the werewolf also shows some slight remorse for their actions, but succumbs to the bloodlust quickly once the change occurs.

The film also takes a subtle look at how the elderly are written off by society.  Will has a strained relationship with his father and while appearing to want to assist him on the surface, you can see that he’s really hoping for a way to free himself of the “burden” of his father.  Despite monthly brutal murders, the police seem disinterested in investigating the attacks because it’s just crazy old folks that are too weak or too dumb to fight off the wild animal that is attacking them.  Even the security guard at the front gate hauls tail once things get furry in the film’s climax.


The cast is excellent, especially Damici and Guest.  Damici carries the bulk of the film by himself, with the supporting characters coming into the story to build and frame Ambrose.  Damici is believable in the role and while he has a few humorous lines in the film, he never goes in any absurd direction with the character.  You’d expect an old guy like Ambrose to act exactly how Damici portrays him in the film.

Despite seeing Lance Guest’s name in the opening credits, it didn’t register with me that he was Griffin until the film ended.  He really became that character in the movie.

The creature effects were almost entirely practical with just a few unnoticeable CGI touch ups.  The creature’s transformation scene reminded me of An American Werewolf In London and The Company Of Wolves.  Its look appeared to be a combination of a lot of werewolves from various films including Dog Soldiers and The Howling.


A test shot of one of the werewolves from Late Phases.

If you enjoy solid story telling and character development, give Late Phases a shot.  It definitely has a few weak moments, but it is still one of the better werewolf films from the last twenty or so years.

As always, thanks for reading.  If there are any werewolf flicks out there that you enjoy, let me know about them in the comments.  Also, if you’ve seen Late Phases, I’d love to hear your opinion about the film.  Ohhhhh! Be sure to let me know if you prefer Ginger or Mary Ann, too!!!!




Throwback Thursday: Man Of Steel (2013)

Five Years And A Few Months Ago

It’s hard to believe that it’s only been five years since 2013’s Man Of Steel was released.  So much has happened since the release of that film.  Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, and Justice League have all been released in that time and three more films will be released within the next two years with Aquaman coming later this year and Shazam and Wonder Woman 1984 coming in 2019.  There are also plans for films featuring Cyborg, Green Lantern Corps, Black Adam, Flash, and Birds of Prey, as well as another standalone Batman film.

Each of the released films in the DCEU have been met with varying degrees of success and appreciation.  Wonder Woman is considered to be the crown jewel in the DCEU, with Man of Steel not too far behind.  The rest of the films have been scoffed at and hated by plenty of people, but they also have their fans.  I’m a fan of all of the DCEU films, but unlike a lot of folks, Man of Steel is my least favorite.


So why am I revisiting the film?  Two reasons: 1) Apparently Henry Cavill (who portrays Superman in the DCEU) was either booted or got out of his contract with Warner Bros. and 2) it started the whole DCEU, so it’s pretty important whether I enjoyed it or not.


The film starred Cavill, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Michael Shannon as Zod, and Laurence Fishburne as Perry White.  The supporting cast included Diane Lane and Kevin Costner as Martha and Jonathan Kent (Clark’s parents), Antje Traue as Faora-Ul, a lieutenant in Zod’s army and one of his most loyal followers, Russell Crowe as Jor-El, Clark’s biological father, and Rebecca Buller as Jenny Jurwich, an intern under Perry White at the Daily Planet.


The film gave us a much grimmer version of Superman, at least one unfamiliar to comic fans.  As Superman is always looked up to as a shining beacon of hope, his portrayal in the film as someone who was told to rein in his powers came as a bit of a slap in the face to general audiences.  It turned a lot of people off to the film and started a massive debate on why Superman allowed innocents to die in the film.


The way I see it is that screenplay writers David S. Goyer (the Blade films, etc.) and Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Trilogy, among others), along with director Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen, BvS, etc.), hoped to give us a look at a being that was so totally unique in our world that he felt alone and misunderstood.  He struggled with his powers and whether or not he should use them.  Later films would show Superman grow into his own, but this film had a very hard task and managed to pull it off with some success.


RUSSELL CROWE as Jor-El in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure “MAN OF STEEL,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

I still find the film to be a bit uneven, and actually enjoyed all of the other DCEU films more than this one.  I still watch it on occasion, but it’s not my go-to DC live action film.  When I’m in the mood for a DCEU flick, I usually go with Suicide Squad or Wonder Woman.


My favorite character in the film was Faora-Ul.  Antje Traue was both fierce and beautiful in the role and I hoped that we would see more of her in later films.  That’s up in the air now since talks of Man of Steel 2 or any other film featuring Superman are on hold at the moment.  Hopefully Cavill will return in the role in at least one more movie, but I’m finding that opportunity to be slipping away faster with each passing day.

Cavill was very good as Clark Kent/Superman.  He’s not my favorite Superman, but I would place him at a solid second place just ahead of Brandon Routh.  Cavill was never given much to work with as Supes, but there were flashes of what could be in Justice League, especially once he flew in to help the rest of the gang when they were fighting Steppenwolf.


There’s still so much potential in the DCEU, and I’d hate to see Cavill miss out on what looks like a brighter future thanks to the upcoming trio of films with Aquaman, Wonder Woman 1984, and Shazam!  DC’s characters are so much more iconic than the bulk of Marvel’s characters with just Captain America and Spider-Man being the exceptions in my opinion, and I’d love to see DC’s characters get a film that is truly great.

Ben Affleck, who portrays Batman in the DCEU, is also rumored to be out as the Dark Knight.  Hopefully the next few films will be better received by general audiences and both Cavill and Affleck will return.  Until then you can catch Cavill on the upcoming Netflix series, The Witcher.

Oh, and here’s a video of a moment in Man Of Steel that pays tribute to my favorite Superman, Christopher Reeve:

As always, thanks for reading.  Let me know what you think about Man Of Steel, BvS, or any of the other DCEU films in the comments section.

Throwback Thursday: The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

What’s This?

I apologize for posting two Tim Burton related Throwback Thursday topics in a row, but with Halloween right around the corner, you really can’t blame me.  Also, The Nightmare Before Christmas celebrates its twenty fifth anniversary on October 29th of this year, so it’s a perfect time to highlight this wonderful classic.

For those of you unfamiliar with this film, it’s the story of Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town who, despite loving Halloween, has “grown so tired of the same old thing” as he states in Jack’s Lament (more on the music later).  He manages to find himself in Christmas Town and upon returning to Halloween Town, decides that he and his citizens will take over Christmas that year.  Things go terribly, terribly wrong, and Jack has to save Santa Claus from the dastardly Oogie Boogie so that Christmas can be fixed.


I’ll admit that I didn’t actually watch The Nightmare Before Christmas until just a few years ago when my son fell in love with the film.  After multiple viewings I, too, became a huge fan of the film.  The story features a sweet romance between Jack and Sally, and the other characters in the film, particularly Oogie Boogie, Lock, Shock, and Barrel, and Zero, were wonderful.


The film has some very light scares for youngsters and is the perfect film to introduce children to the world of Tim Burton.  Burton produced the film, allowing Henry Selick to direct.  Burton developed the concept for the story around a decade prior to production.  It started as a poem and eventually morphed into Selick’s film.  It featured the voice talents of Chris Sarandon as Jack Skellington, Danny Elfman as Jack’s singing voice, Catherine O’Hara as Sally, and Ken Page as Oogie Boogie.  Paul Reubens (Pee Wee Herman), O’Hara, and Elfman joined forces to portray the evil trio of Lock, Shock, and Barrel, respectively, as well.


Danny Elfman also took the reins on the film’s music.  Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: The Next Generation) provided narration for the prologue and epilogue.  The film featured a number of songs that have become very popular on their own including the aforementioned Jack’s Lament, This Is Halloween, Making Christmas, and my personal favorite, Kidnap The Sandy Claws.

The music was so popular that in 2008 Disney released an album of covers of the music from the film.  Marilyn Manson, Korn, Flyleaf, and The All-American Rejects are just a few of the artists that covered songs for the album.  The album is called Nightmare Revisited.  I own a copy of it and highly recommend it to anyone that loves the film or any of the artists involved with the project.


One unique aspect of this film is that it can be viewed as both a Halloween film and as a Christmas movie.  My son and I basically watch it once a week from the beginning of September to Christmas Eve every year.  We love this film that much.


If you’ve never seen this film, be sure to do so as soon as possible.  I regret not watching this film earlier than I did but am glad that I finally broke down and watched it.  Every year during Halloween and Christmas, there is plenty of paraphernalia to collect featuring characters from the film.  This year, a number of stores have exclusive collectibles celebrating the twenty fifth anniversary.  Walgreen’s always has some excellent exclusives and this year they have Funko Mystery Minis featuring characters from The Nightmare Before Christmas.


I hope you enjoyed this brief look at one of my favorite films.  Let me know in the comments if you agree (or disagree) with me.  Also, let me know if there’s a specific film in the horror vein that you’d like me to review in an upcoming post.

As always, thanks for reading.  I’ll be posting again real soon!

The Numbers Game

Rockwell Falls

Over the long Labor Day weekend, my wife and I found ourselves sifting through tons of films on Amazon Prime and Netflix hoping to find one that we might enjoy.  We settled on  Population 436, a 2006 Canadian/US production that just so happened to be the film directorial debut of Michelle MacLaren.  You may not recognize her name, but you definitely know her work.  She’s directed multiple episodes of some of your favorite television series such as Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul, and Westworld, to name just a few.


Penned by Michael Kingston, Population 436 is a fairly entertaining but highly predictable flick about a census bureau researcher named Steve Kady (Jeremy Sisto of Clueless, Six Feet Under, and Wrong Turn) who ventures out to the tiny town of Rockwell Falls where the community has always had a population of 436 residents.  What he finds is a town where the numbers really don’t add up when it comes to the friendly folks that call Rockwell Falls home.


Kady pops two of the tires on his vehicle while entering the town, and is given a ride to the mayor’s office by a local deputy name Bobby Caine (Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit).  Despite appearing friendly on the surface, Kady begins to notice that the citizens of the town all act as if they have something to hide.  He gets to know a few of them including Courtney (Charlotte Sullivan of Rookie Blue), a lady that he is attracted to and that Bobby quietly loves as well.


Kady starts making connections between the town’s obsession with the number 436, the Bible, and numerology.  He also starts uncovering some of the secrets of the town and sets out to see what is really going on with the citizens.  Many of them seem to have fallen ill with a fever that the local doctor has been treating for years.  There’s also an entire family that has apparently gone into hiding due to the fever.


Things eventually come to a head at a festival in Rockwell Falls.  The festival is held “whenever necessary” throughout the year and Kady gets to witness what happens at the festival firsthand.  He then attempts to escape town with Courtney and a young girl named Amanda who loses her father in an accident at the beginning of the film.  You’ll have to watch the film in order to find out what happens next.


The movie is okay.  MacLaren’s future potential as a director squeaks in at moments.  I can especially see hints of her work from The Walking Dead coming through at times.  The movie is a slow burner with only a few moments of action here and there.  If you’ve ever read or watched a version of the short story The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, you’ll quickly pick up on what’s going on in the film.  In fact, my wife and I figured out what was going on in the opening sequence of the film.  That doesn’t mean that the story is a bad one, just predictable.


The cast does a pretty decent job.  Sisto carries most of the film but receives excellent support from Sullivan and multiple character actors such as Peter Outerbridge, Rick Skene, and Monica Parker.  The real treat is Fred Durst who, despite his over-the-top personality in real life (especially during the big years for Limp Bizkit), manages to do a pretty good job of playing the tenderhearted and somewhat quiet deputy Caine.

Population 436 is not a great film.  It would definitely work as a television movie which isn’t a surprise since its director has made her bread and butter in that realm.  I still enjoyed it, though, and if you ever find yourself huddled up in the house on a rainy day, you might want to check it out as well.

Thanks for reading my post.  This little indie flick was a nice treat.  Hopefully I’ll find a few more flicks like this one in the future.  I’ll be sure to let all of you know what I think about them as well.