Archive for the Movies Category

I Am The Law – Part 1

Posted in Cosplay, Judge Dredd, Movies, Personal Thoughts on March 10, 2017 by Neal

I’ve always been a big fan of Judge Dredd and the 2000AD universe. It’s a brutal view of how things in the world could become so easily given our current trends of the last half century. The Sylvester Stallone version was almost comical in its portrayal and blended other 2000AD characters into the mix. The most recent version by Karl Urban was very close to the source material and very gruesome. But I’m not discussing the movies or the political connotations to today’s society. I’ve been inspired for another cosplay idea by Dredd.

Presenting Judge Death

Now before people that know me start commenting how I don’t have the stature to play such a thin character, keep in mind by the time I get around to making this costume I’ll probably resemble death himself. Yes it would be a challenge to make some of the components of this but that’s what has my interest. We shall see what happens.


Happy Jason Day

Posted in Movies, Personal Thoughts on January 13, 2017 by Neal

Figured I’d make a meme for day and enjoy some movies tonight when I finish work.

Can I Get Some Horror With My Gore?

Posted in Movies, Personal Thoughts on December 29, 2016 by Neal

I love a good horror story. The idea of someone or something stalking people and causing a gruesome death is a guilty pleasure I have. Especially when I’m placing odds on how and who is going to end up on the slab. Our minds can take the descriptions given to us and manufacture a world in which we see the grisly events unfold. Alas we all interpret things differently and thus the great debate begins when two or more readers start comparing notes on a story. 

Enter Hollywood to save the day. Adapting a story to the screen gives everyone the chance to see one person’s vision of the story. You can argue about the casting of the hero or heroine and how they don’t match your vision. We can see the villain (or hero depending on your view) stalking our hapless victims and dispatching them. The music score adding to the suspense and atmosphere of the events. 

Perhaps I’m old school but I do find a lot of new horror movies to be very tacky. It’s not the plots or scantily clad swim suit babes romping in snow that annoys me. It’s the depiction of the kills that has me wondering wtf? I love a bit of gore but when you have gore just because you can, it looses some of the impact. I use a gore factor scale out of 10 to identify the effects. Paper cut would be a 0, exposed bones and organs get a 5 while 10 is reserved for wtf moments. 

For example in many of the Friday The 13th movies, people are being killed in gruesome ways but the cinematography doesn’t always depict that final blow. When it does show the killing moment they range from a 2 to a 6. Then there are those moments of an 8 or 9 just for the sake of gore. In The Redwood Massacre, the heroine is punched in the face several times and the amount of blood shown makes it look like she’s on extreme blood thinners. Or a classic head stomp is shown in extreme close up until the head resembles a smashed jar of strawberry jam. The logic that more gore equals good horror is misguided in my opinion.

That being said there is a place for the whole range of gore in horror movies if used correctly. Alien and Psycho implement the assumption of death with the flash of teeth or a silhouette behind a curtain. Teenage slasher films mix it up depending on the style of director, extreme injury mixed with a range of deaths and gore in just the right proportions adds to the experience. Horror/comedy like the original Evil Dead trilogy use the whole range of gore to enforce the gruesome effects of the Deadites on our heroes (the flood of blood out of the wall over Ash and then having it vanish adding to the mind games they play). Now a truely great wtf moment has got to be in the original Nightmare on Elm Street when Glen (Jonny Depp) falls asleep on his bed and Freddy pulls him into it with a fountain of blood following. 

Gore for the sake of gore doesn’t always make a movie. Like any form of cinematography it needs to be used in a way that suits the story and setting. Just like good story, the effects can either make a winner or make you wonder.

Reboots – Work Great For Computers, Not Always For Movies

Posted in Movies, Personal Thoughts on December 28, 2016 by Neal

If there’s a buck to be made in a movie then there’s the chance Hollywood will grab the idea and run with it, Sharknado springs to mind. The choices for movie topics, stories and ideas are as limitless as our imaginations. Now that being said there must be some very imagineless people making decisions when it comes to new movies. Most of the time a reboot is aimed at just getting more money from an already successful franchise. It is very rare that a reboot does better than an original, almost like a sequel pales to the first. But we also have to consider that each person has their own opinions and views when it comes to what they enjoy. Keep that in mind as I give my views on things.

Personally I would like to consider reboots as a way to reinvent a franchise. Look at the movie as a whole new experience to the universe in which it is set. However more often than not this doesn’t always happen. Sometimes it’s a retelling of the original with minor updates or changes to make it a little more relevant or modern in concepts.

Spider-Man is an example of reboots for the sake of it. Starts off with a retelling of how Peter gets his powers and the death of his uncle directing his life. The only major difference is in the villains and the actors. Another example is the Nightmare on Elm Street which was almost identical to the original with a few minor additions. Why go to the effort of making a movie which has unlimited scope if you are going to copy most of the original. Remakes like Annie or many of the adaptations of Shakespeare’s work all follow a fixed format since that’s how they are written originally, so you would expect a lot of similarities between the different versions. 

Then you have the reboots that totally use the idea of a fresh start to their advantage. The most notable I would have to say is Star Trek. The 2009 version kicked off a whole new cast and vision of the Star Trek universe. They took advantage of having a clean slate to work with and generated a new alternate universe for the Enterprise to explore. Or there are movies like Halloween and Friday the 13th in which they follow the previous formula founded in the originals but add new additions that give more insight into the protagonist of the movie. After all finding out why Michael Myers went crazy adds extra depth to the silent killer.

Recently I watched the new Evil Dead movie. There are a few things that bugged me about it but that’s a different topic all together. While there were moments of subtle and not so subtle homage to the originals, the movie looked at a totally new aspect of the Naturom Demonto. The movie has a very serious tone to it rather than the light hearted original.

Reboots offer many options to the creator which can open up a whole new universe to viewers. However this doesn’t always happen and we can sometimes be left with simply an updated version of the original. Some fans will swear by the originals while others will bow to the remake. Either way we all have our own views on things and this is the important part to always remember. 

Evil Cricket On My Shoulder

Posted in Anxiety, Depression, Disney, Movies, Personal Thoughts with tags , , , on August 18, 2016 by Neal

Who has seen or remembers the Disney classic Pinocchio? The story of a wooden puppet who wants to be a real boy. Yes the animation is old school but when you consider it’s a 1940’s production it’s no surprise the quality isn’t as crisp as today’s animations. But I’m not going to discuss the skill used in creating the movie or wanting to be a real boy in this crazy world, I’m going to talk about the concept of Jiminy Cricket, depression and self doubt.

Now Jiminy is Pinocchio’s conscience and does all he can to help him do the right things. Jiminy wants the best for Pinocchio. To help him reach his goal of being a real boy. My cricket however isn’t as caring. Let’s call him Jamany to make it easier to discuss since he jams up my thought processes. Jamany isn’t your typical devil or angel on your shoulder, one emploring you to do right while the other whispers what you should do for yourself or personal gain. No he doesn’t care about the consequences of my actions being good or bad. To him all my actions and thoughts are a waste of time, futile, pathetic, rubbish…you get the general idea. 

Jamany isn’t my conscience but my depression and anxiety given voice. When ever I think of how my actions will affect someone he’s there telling me I’m going to screw things all up so why bother. This can make things very difficult when it comes to day to day life. Some days I can stuff him into a canvas sack and toss him in a hole.  Other days I can put tape over his mouth to muffle his comments. Then there are the days when I just can’t get my hands on him. His constant chatter almost like a fog horn in my ear.  

Before you comment about me hearing voices let me clarify that this is all figurative. Yes I am mentally unwell but not at the white coat and padded cell level yet. Trying to explain things that are in your head can be very difficult when talking to people who have no idea.

What’s the point of all this? Why bother explaining things like this? It was actually while talking with my oldest son about his battles with depression that I saw how hard it can be to explain things to someone. You are taking an internal sense of self and attempting to explain it to others who can’t see the images or words in your head. Almost like explaining colour to someone who was blind since birth. 

We all have a Jamany, Jiminy, Angel, Devil and perhaps a myriad of others which make up our personalities. Some will be louder than others or we may not hear them at all. After all we are all unique in our own lives and how we face our insecurities makes for a daily battle that we can all have an impact in.