Category Archives: Irregular Posting
Guess Who’s Back? Back Again?
Shady’s back – tell a friend! *dance break* Oops, sorry, got a little excited there for a minute…Anyway, I’m back (for today at least. and later this week. then hopefully forever and ever and ever like that creepy clowndoll you can’t get rid of but being ill makes life rarely go as planned, so we’ll see. right? 😉 ) WHY am I here? To let y’all know that the Portland Film Fest is back!!
Remember AIMY IN A CAGE from last year? The mind-blowingly, amazingly, freakishly, insanely beautiful love child of John Waters and Marc Caro/Jean-Pierre Jeunet (that is currently on Amazon Prime – hint, hint, nudge, nudge)? It was one of the AMAZING pieces from last year’s festival and this year’s line-up promises to be just as interesting! I’ll be covering the festival and reviewing films from it for the next couple of weeks, and there’s just so much diversity going on here – there are films on pinball wizards; accountants dying to be stand-up comedians; Ovarian Psycos; pot growers; guys with allergies to the sun; haunted Mediterranean islands; politically-conscious indie musicals (YES!!!); family dramas; goat farming; gang life vs. street fashion; superstar role models; and MORE…*deep breath* Whew, that’s a lot of film! Obviously, I can’t get to them all, but I’ll be getting to as many films as I can. If you’re IN Portland, however, I HIGHLY suggest you go watch these beauts for yourself!
The fourth annual Portland Film Festival will take place August 29 – September 5, 2016, at Portland’s iconic Laurelhurst Theater, and will include over 20 educational panels & forums, 12 archival presentations, and many parties, events, and industry networking opportunities throughout the week. Established in 2013, the Portland Film Festival is one of Oregon’s largest film festivals, and was named “one of the coolest film festivals in the world,” by MovieMaker Magazine. This year, the festival has programmed a near equal balance of films from men and women, furthering the festival’s commitment to supporting diverse voices and visions.
“This year’s screenings, panels, and programs are an exciting cross-section of icons of classic cinema, engaging new filmmakers, and the best of modern indie film. We’re truly proud to bring this year’s eclectic program to local audiences. We’re also thrilled that, for the first time, all of our films will screen at Portland’s historic Laurelhurst Theatre. This year’s festival will be a not-to- be-missed event,” said Josh Leake, Portland Film Festival Founder and Executive Director.
The festival will present two opening and closing night films (a documentary and a narrative film on each night) and feature films in the following sections: Narrative Competition Feature, Documentary Competition Feature, Narrative Spotlight, Stranger Than Fiction, Tribute: Visionaries, and Milestones. New this year, the festival has created a section to screen classic films from the 70’s and 80’s, and will also be honoring two iconic writers, Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club, Choke) and William F. Nolan (Logan’s Run).
Visit their site for full deets and list of films!
Predictions: 5 Worst Sequels/Remakes Coming In 2016
We’ve already seen some clunkers at the theaters in 2016. From “London Has Fallen” to “Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice,” it’s basically been an onslaught of soulless action sequels designed to fill the gap between the winter awards season and the spring and summer blockbusters. But beginning in April we’ll really start to get into the coming year in film – and there are sure to be more disasters on the way.
Keeping that in mind, here are my predictions for the five worst movies still to come in 2016.
Alice Through The Looking Glass
It’s amazing how infrequently Through The Looking Glass is mentioned, given the fame of Alice In Wonderland. Lewis Carroll’s sequel was as quirky and wondrous as the original, and probably deserves a similarly high place in the literary canon. That said, it probably doesn’t really need a film sequel, does it?
2010’s “Alice In Wonderland” wasn’t actually bad, but it’s been another six years, and I’m just not sure the public is ready for more Tim Burton/Johnny Depp eccentricity (though Burton is only producing this time around). The trailer looks like a combination of “The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus” and a bunch of Disney ideas that were locked away in a vault (not a good combo), and the cast is a who’s who of actors who are strange for the sake of being strange: Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen, Michael Sheen, Andrew Scott, Rhys Ifans, Stephen Fry…. They’re all very capable, but thrown together in a project like this they just sound annoying.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows
Where was I when we decided we needed a sequel to the blasphemous garbage that was Jonathan Liebesman’s 2014 “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles CGI Festival” (not the official title). The movie got 21% on Rotten Tomatoes and prompted one reviewer to make the claim that it made Transformers movies look subtle. But hey, it made almost $500 million, so full speed ahead.
I don’t feel I have to get into this one too much, so here goes. Spoiler alert: it’s going to be horrible.
Now You See Me 2
“Now You See Me” wasn’t an awful movie… it just wasn’t very clever. Billed as a sort of “Ocean’s 11”-but-with-magic, it was expected to be a mind-blowing heist thriller complete with intelligent twists and intricate plot puzzles. Instead, it was kind of just a heist movie that used only partially explained magic tricks as explanations for thievery. There was something there, but whether via poor direction, uninventive writing, or perhaps even shoddy editing, it didn’t quite come to the surface.
Maybe round two will be better. The cast, at least, has been loaded up for a major summer blockbuster. Returners Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, and Mark Ruffalo are all bigger deals now than they were when the first film came out; established pros Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Woody Harrelson are all back; and this time around we’ll also be treated to appearances by Daniel Radcliffe and Lizzy Caplan. The ingredients are there. But frankly, the first movie didn’t inspire much confidence, and given that sequels are usually dumber and less inventive (see: “Ocean’s 12”), it feels more likely that this movie doubles down on the shortcomings of its predecessor.
Independence Day: Resurgence
It might be about time for an alien invasion movie. This particular sort of fiction is always popular, but it’s actually been a while since a big budget movie tackled invasion. Aliens in general have remained popular subjects for entertainment of late. There was actually a little-known 2015 movie about our history of alien fascination, called “Area 51,” and Gala’s bingo platform even played into the same history with the introduction of an “Area 75” video game. It’s one of several themed bingo games to embrace fiction or pop culture, and brings up topics and imagery related to Area 51 and UFO sightings.
But a big budget, Hollywood thrill ride about a large-scale alien invasion? It really has been a while. But does our next foray into this popular topic really have to be a shameless cash grab? This is a 20-years-later sequel that’s lacking its biggest star, and while the trailer looks intriguing, I have my doubts. Continuing Independence Day without Will Smith is like if “The Force Awakens” had been made without any of the old timers on board. Sure, it would have made limitless money anyway, but would it have been nearly as interesting? This has flop written all over it.
Oh, Hollywood…. We just can’t drop the sword-and-sandals epics, can we? There really hasn’t been a good one in years, let alone anything close to the impact we saw in films like “Gladiator,” “Troy,” and “300” earlier this century. However, at least the majority of failed sword-and-sandals movies simply fade away into obscurity, or drift to Netflix to be buried beneath better movies. This one might be different.
The 1959 “Ben-Hur” starring Charlton Heston has a certain iconic place in Hollywood history, and messing with it now just seems kind of careless. Not to mention it’s being remade with a relative unknown in Heston’s shoes (Jack Huston, who most recently starred in “Pride And Prejudice And Zombies”), and written by a guy who has a single film credit since penning 1994’s “In Search Of Dr. Seuss.” This really feels like a half-assed effort trying to capitalize on a famous name.
Predicting the worst films of any summer is always a difficult exercise, because there are always a few clunkers nobody sees coming. Furthermore, it’s always possible that something that looks truly awful winds up exceeding expectations! But specifically where sequels and remakes are concerned – and really, those categories make up most of the summer blockbuster season these days – these five look like pretty safe bets to elicit groans from critics.
James Morey is a freelance writer and blog contributor.
Optimus Prime’s Secret Past Life – Instantly Dated
Remember that time I showed that new feature from Rogue Cinema called “Instantly Dated” about cool, vintage pop culture? (Pretty sure the last one I shared was about The Hoff 😉 ). Well, this time I present to you: McQ presenting evidence of the secret past life of Optimus Prime. Oooohhhh…. Enjoy!
Counseling: Episode 2 – Creativity
After last week’s spot of “teamwork”, can the boys handle a bit of creativity?
Counseling – The Webseries
What’s this? The webseries I co-wrote is FINALLY here? It premiered TODAY?? Indeed it is and indeed it did!
COUNSELING tells the tale of Matt and Tom, who seek the assistance of counselor, Dr. Robbins, in order to become more upstanding members of society. Does it go well? Does it go poorly? Do they become the most upstanding of upstandingest people ever? Well…as I say in my interview:
I really wanted to write two really awful people and make people really like them.
Take that as you will. 😉
So head on over and check out my interview, then watch the premiere episode of COUNSELING below! (RATED R for language and crass humor – aka E., I think you will like)
Volumes of Blood II
Remember Volumes of Blood? Remember how much I loved it? Well, P.j. and the gang are back for Round 2 and if you’re so willing, they’d love your help. They have an Indiegogo campaign up right now full of fun perks so if you have a couple of extra dollars and love indie horror, head on over and give ’em a hand!
Instantly Dated – The Hoff vs Lightsabers
Um, what? What am I talking about? David Hasselhoff and lightsabers? Am I drunk? (No) Did I fall and hit my head? (Always a reasonable question, as clumsy as I am) Am I simply talking about Rogue Cinema’s cool new retro video feature? (YES!)
What is it exactly? It’s Instantly Dated, hosted by McQ, a look back at olden times (ya know, the 70s and 80s) when things were simpler and cool things happened more frequently (like Hasselhoff playing with lightsabers). Have a look, then go check out the other episodes we’ve got going on in this issue! (E, there’s one about a Star Trek guy being in a Star Wars ripoff!)
RIP Alan Rickman
I was lucky enough to see Alan Rickman on Broadway in SEMINAR four or five years ago. The play was amazing anyway but he – he was fabulous. All he did was walk on stage and stand there and pretty much go, “I’m Alan Rickman.” and the theatre went wild, lol. We were going to go out back after the show to try to meet him and the rest of the cast but alas, they were having a charity auction that night. So, so grateful to have gotten to see one of my favorite actors live. In honor, I present Alan Rickman making tea (otherwise known as the best 7 minutes of your life).
6 Year Olds & Bruce Campbell
This past weekend I was out of town for a few days for my niece’s 6th birthday (hence why no posts still). Now, my niece Tay is a riot. This is the girl who told one of her grandmothers that she should dye her hair pink when said grandmother wanted to cover up the grey (that may or may not have been my influence, I really can’t say…) and the same girl who recently used “selfie” in a sentence (that one was ALL me – you’re welcome, world, heh). She’s also a total sweetheart; a reading rockstar and pretty much the light of my life (well her AND her little bro, can’t play faves!). This past weekend, however, we had THIS conversation that I thought you all would appreciate:
I have a bottle cap necklace I got at Horror Hound that says “I Love Bruce Campbell”. My Tay is learning to read and she’s pretty damn good at it.
Tay (reading my necklace as she and G’man -her little bro- examine it closely): I love…(tries to sound it out and gives up)…what does that say, Auntie Misty?
Me: Bruce Campbell. I love Bruce Campbell.
G’man: What’s a Bruce Campbell?
Me: Well, he’s a who, not a what and he’s an actor.
(G’man totally loses interest at this point.)
Tay: In what?
Me: (wondering just how badly her mother will kill me if I try to explain THE EVIL DEAD to the 6 year old in very watered down tones…figure it will be A LOT) In movies…and TV…boring grown up stuff though, you’d hate it.
Tay: Oh. Okay.
SEVERAL MINUTES LATER…(a cookie for you if you get that reference)
Tay (reading necklace again): I love Bruce…what was his name again, Auntie Misty?
Me: Bruce Campbell.
Tay: And you love him?
Me: Um…well, yeah, I like him a lot. He’s a good actor. (Easiest explanation to go with anyway)
Tay: What does he look like?
Me: Hang on, let me get a pic up on my phone. (Googles BC and finds a non-EVIL DEAD pic to show her) Here.
Tay: (looks at photo…looks at me…looks at photo) THAT’S Bruce Campbell?
Me: Uh, yeah?
Tay: (looks at me with a raised eyebrow) Really, Auntie Misty? (eye roll, sigh and shake of her head) Really?
Sorry, Bruce Campbell, but the 6 year old is NOT impressed. *giggles* God, I love that girl.
And from here, just a note to say I finally seem to be caught up (mostly) on stuff and I’m not going out of town again for at least a couple of weeks and I HAVE been movie watching (AIMY IN A CAGE for one!) so reviews are coming and blog reading will actually be happening. And perhaps one day I’ll sleep as well…Catch ya on the flipside!
Lifelong Friends & Weddings & Happily Ever Afters
I *poofed* again. This time with good reason though. My best friend of the past 25 years got married this past Saturday and so this past week was crazy busy. I wish I could post a photo of her because she was absolutely gorgeous but suffice it to say, despite the fact that I loathe weddings with a fiery passion, it was a beautiful one and incredibly happy-making. 🙂
I just have a couple of more work things to catch up on and I’ll be good to go on jumping back into the Portland Film Fest films and my usual indies (and I’ve even watched a few things like THE BABADOOK here recently!). AND I’ll start making my rounds again (seriously guys, how do you manage to blog and read all those blogs and do everything else?? How did I used to do this? It’s insanity!). 😉 I am also determined to fit in watching MAD MAX: FURY ROAD this week b/c dammit, I’m the only one who hasn’t seen it!!! Grrr-bunnies…
I’m hoping to fit in at least 3 films this week (*fingers crossed*) b/c I have a VERY important FROZEN themed birthday party to attend for my niece this weekend, so I will once again be busy.
Till then, though I’m sure you’ve already seen it, since I think this is totes amazeballs, I leave you with this brilliant editing job. Enjoy and happy Labor Day, guys! 🙂