Halloween is here and that means time for a couple of horror rounds, the first we are looking at our favourite film involving ghosts, we have some of the most frightening or comical films but what will everyone pick?
If you want to join the next round of Opinion Battles we will be take on What is your First-Choice Halloween Horror Marathon, to enter email your choice to email@example.com Saturday 28th October 2017.
Darren – Movie Reviews 101
One Missed Call
I personally love ghost film, I find something in all of them but One Missed Call bought into horror something I never thought would be scary, an asthma inhaler. I know that doesn’t sound like the most threatening but trust me it is, the ghost side of this film comes from ghost haunting the students who need to figure out why.
Who ya gonna call? Anyone who knows me knows that Ghostbusters is one of my favourite films because it has everything! Laughs, action, proper scares (anyone who says they weren’t scared sh*tless by the librarian is a liar) and a killer 80s soundtrack.
This is a difficult one as it’s hard to know what can be considered a ghost film. In searching Google, The Shining came up a lot but I don’t really think of that as a “ghost film”. Besides, I love that movie and use it as an answer too often. 😉 So I’m instead going to go with what I think is the best “haunted house” movie: Poltergeist (1982). It’s proper creepy and a classic that I think has stood the test of time pretty well. The pointless remake sucked, though. Ugh….
The Eye has always been my top choice for supernatural films. It uses a nice psychological balance to build up the atmosphere and had effective jump scares and wraps up a tight woven mystery to figure out why. Not to mention Angelica Lee does a fantastic job.
In recent years I’ve seen a few films about hauntings, from the mediocre Paranormal Activity series to the excellent Conjuring and the classic horror style The Woman In Black, but to me, the best is still this masterpiece of the 80s, Poltergeist, a film with enough scares through its runtime, behind the scenes and beyond.
Unlike most modern ghost films, such as the Conjuring, which lose their impact and steam the moment you “see” the ghost for the first time, Poltergeist doesn’t let up, it just keeps adding to the frights, one scare leading to the next, one ghastly scene leading to another ghoulish encounter, until you finally reach the end as a quivering mess. It is simply a glorious horror film.
I thought about choosing an outlier pick, like The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, but with this category I couldn’t say no to the Ghostbusters. However, I am in the minority of preferring Ghostbusters II just a little more than the first, so that probably won’t help my chances this round. Building on the comedic success of the first movie,Ghostbusters II upped the laughs with so many scenes that I consider iconic: the dancing toaster, the river of slime, the Statue of Liberty walking to “Higher and Higher.” I’d rather laugh at ghosts than fear them, and the Ghostbusters let me do just that every time.
It’s loads of fun, there’s all sorts of imaginatively designed ghosts (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis get to do the whole “sheet ghost” bit) and other unique creatures and it has an incredible soundtrack – fun tunes from Harry Belafonte and an iconic score by Danny Elfman.
Plus, it’s one of Michael Keaton’s best ever roles (tied with “Birdman” IMO)
I really wanted to go with a classic, absolute GHOST film for this choice, so what better than the chilling, atmospheric film The Changeling.
It stars George C. Scott as a grieving man having just lost his family in a roadside accident. He moves to a creepy, old house (that old chestnut) and begins getting haunted by an entity caused Joseph.
With no blood or gore it is simply the chilling atmosphere of the film, plus its terrifying, tense and creepy films that make this an absolute must for ghost film fans.
Once again we dive into searching through Hollywood’s lack of ideas as they return to old television shows to make a movie, this does offer a show cancelled too soon to say goodbye to the hugely loved characters.
If you want to join the next round of Opinion Battles we will be take on What is your Favourite Ghost Film, to enter email your choice to firstname.lastname@example.org Saturday 14th October 2017.
Darren – Movie Reviews 101
Firefly was one of the most loved sci-fi shows that got cancelled too soon, we only got 13 episodes but Serenity gives us a chance to see our character one more time, they are bigger and better with a story that gives you everything you wanted for our characters.
I struggled with this one until I realized that one of my all-time favorite movies should qualify as it’s a part of a long-running American comedy sketch show. So my favorite TV show to movie film is Wayne’s World. And I’m not at all ashamed to admit it. Wayne’s World is excellent. Zang!
Veronica Mars is a great character played by Kristen Bell and the show ended in a way that there was such a lack of resolution. The movie did a great job at helping tie up some loose ends as well as a reason for a reunion for everyone. However, it was truly a movie for the fans. The characters would mean much less for those who haven’t seen the show and just hopping in. However, its a ton of fun. Veronica Mars and her sleuth skills is always awesome.
One of the small handful of SNL characters to successfully make the transition to the big screen (sorry, Pat!), Wayne and Garth’s irreverent antics throughout led this flick to become one of my most quotable and effortlessly funny out there. Excellent!
I didn’t fully appreciate it the first time I watched it but this feature length excursion for our favourite yellow family, Lord knows how many years it took to make, is a very funny, easily watchable, exciting adventure.
The best thing is that it keeps on being funny through repeat viewings and you’re likely to even pick up on something that you missed the first time.
It may have a gazillion screenwriters but The Simpsons Movie is tons of fun and a shining example of TV to film done right. We need a sequel!!
My favorite TV to movie adaptation has to be Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. This is actually my favorite Batman movie and it is based on Batman: the Animated Series. What I love about this film is it treats Bruce Wayne as a real fully developed person with emotions and relationships. Often I feel like Batman and especially Bruce gets lost in Batman movies to the charismatic villains. Not here. The villains are important but nothing to Batman and his journey to walk the line between good and evil.
The score by Shirley Walker is amazing. The animation is striking and beautiful. It’s just a great movie from a great show.
While I may have briefly considered The Fugitive, the first and best TV show-to-movie that comes to mind is Joss Whedon’s Serenity. Who would have thought, after Firefly was canceled without even a complete first season, that it would get its own theatrical finale a few years later? Boasting both technical finesse (like that great tracking shot through the ship) and awe-inspiring action, Serenity tied up most of the loose ends left by the show and gave us one more grand adventure for Mal Reynolds and his crew
For years now movies have used books to make money with a film, few are good, less are great, most are hated because you just don’t get the time to tell the whole story. this latest round we get to look at the ones we hated the most, so let the hate commence.
If you want to join the next round of Opinion Battles we will be take on What is your Favourite TV show to Movie, to enter email your choice to email@example.com Saturday 30th September 2017.
Darren – Movie Reviews 101
Angels and Demons
I will be honest, I don’t read many books, since leave school you can count the fictional books on one hand, so this made this category harder than it should have been. Angels and Demons is one book I truly did enjoy, I love a good mystery and twists that dive into historical events and this book offered it all. The film didn’t it turned out to feel flat and lacking the shock value I felt it should have had.
Least favorite book adaptation? Hmm. I quite often try to read any big books before their movies come out (I don’t like doing it the other way around). But it also means I’m often disappointed with the film adaptations. I don’t mind stuff being left out but don’t at all understand the movies that don’t even resemble the books (such as World War Z & The Scorch Trials). Why completely change from what’s in the book?! But I’m going to choose something else as my answer since, well, I suppose I just didn’t like it since I love the book SO much. My choice is the 2005 Hollywood adaptation of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. The thing is, they’d already done a low budget BBC adaptation of the book that will always be the far far better version than that weird ass Hollywood film. Which I can’t remember much of now since I put it out of my mind…. Please just read the book instead if you haven’t. It’s brilliant.
There are lot of book adaptation these days. Honestly, I’m not too picky about these things. The Last Song was an immediate choice mostly because I’m tolerant of Nicholas Spark movies and yet, Miley Cyrus’ acting is just not cutting it for me. Seeing as that is the central role to The Last Song as she not only is a love interest but also the father-daughter element here was important, it fell short making the film really not good.
Of all the kids books in the ether, the Diary Of A Wimpy Kid series is by far the most irritating yet befuddlingly popular out there. So, why not follow the trend with three (wait, four?!) insufferable movies featuring some real douchebag kids.
There are a lot of terrible book to movie adaptations but the one that annoyed me the most was the 2010 Tim Burton version of Alice in Wonderland. On the surface Burton seems like an ideal choice for the nonsense of Alice but it was not meant to be. For some reason he decided to take out all the nonsense and instead craft a garish, boring prophet narrative that didn’t have anything to do with the original novel or the 1951 Disney film.
One of the best things about Alice in Wonderland is that it is non-linear without a central plot to lead the character. This creates little vignettes that surprise and delight the reader/viewer. With the Burton version we turned Alice into a warrior woman, the Hatter into an emo annoying clown and the visuals grotesque instead of fun.
It’s just a joyless enterprise if I’ve ever seen one and that’s the last thing I should be saying about Alice in Wonderland!
Book was sooo much better. Cruise still isn’t a good Reacher and helps ruin such a great story. The adaptation tries to give us a grander story than the book did and as a fan of the series of books (I’ve read them all), I was extremely disappointed by this. This is truly action packed but it really feels like it doesn’t present the character or his abilities very well. The changing of some of the geographic locations actually hurts the story somewhat also. I propose that if they ever decide to make another film in this series, they recast the lead and also give us a story closer to the one from the book.
This isn’t a bad little film all things considered. Let’s look at the minimal facts – it’s a British comedy set in the 1980s and has a decent cast, a great story and a fun soundtrack – yep, definitely sounds good. But the main problem for me is that I loved the book. Absolutely LOVED the book and though it has many highlights, a big highlight for me was the humour – particularly the self-deprecating humour read via the thoughts of protagonist Brian Jackson (played in the film by James McAvoy). And the film, sadly, lacked all of this, which I did find hugely disappointing.
Though it was still funny to a degree, it lacked his innermost thoughts, which for me, really brought the character of Brian to life and made you love / hate him. It has an excellent story but really it’s all about the hapless main character and the way he brings that story to life. I understand it would be hard to portray ‘thoughts’ in a film, but still, I found it a let down. And I’ve loved many books in my lifetime and though those with film adaptations will never really cut the mustard, I’m sad to say this one really did stand out for me as a film that didn’t work.
While it’s far from the worst book adaptation I’ve seen, the one that sticks out to me as a disappointment is 2006’s Eragon, based on the first book of Christopher Paolini’s debut series. I loved the novel and eagerly anticipated the movie’s release. I wanted to like it and even saw it in the theater three times (more than any other movie for me), but it just couldn’t match the book. Jeremy Irons is great as Brom, as is Saphira the dragon and the other visual effects, but the pacing is unavoidably rushed as it tries to cram such a long novel into less than two hours. (Saphira grows up literally within seconds, and I guess we’re just to assume that’s normal for dragons?) Most of the acting is decent, though sometimes overdone, but there’s something lacking when I see so many pieces of the novel that just aren’t given enough time to develop properly. For once, I actually wish it would be rebooted as a miniseries someday.
High School movies are films that we can all relate too, we all went to school and had a mix of good and bad times there, we have seen the changes as the generation have come through new technologies and styles just to fit in. with this we will see just what are the most popular High School movies.
If you want to join the next round of Opinion Battles we will be take on What is your Least Favourite Book Adaptation, to enter email your choice to firstname.lastname@example.org Saturday 16th September 2017.
Darren – Movie Reviews 101
10 Things I Hate About You
A subject where I could easily have picked three different films, I went with the one I could just about what the most, for me 10 Things I Hate About has the most going on, we have the new kid learning the school hierarchy while trying to win the girl who isn’t allowed to date until her older sister does. We have a brilliant cast including the late Heath Ledger, with a story that just keeps getting something new in it every time you watch it.
Favorite High School Movie? Well, seeing as one of the biggest & most time-consuming “projects” in my early blogging days was to host a John Hughes Blogathon, I’m clearly a big fan and would be a traitor to all those within my age group if I didn’t choose one of his films for this question. Hughes is THE “high school movie” king of my generation and The Breakfast Club is THE “high school movie” movie of my generation. So that’s my answer. I need to stay true to my teenage Eighties self! 😉
The cast was great; Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy and Anthony Michael Hall are all perfectly cast as their alter-egos.
The dialogue is amazing. Most writers would have trouble creating a two hour movie that is held together just by its dialogue because besides the interaction between the kids not much else happens and this movie is better off because of it.
It is rumored that it took John Hughes only two days to write the first draft of this movie.
Not many better high school based films that have a real message!
Easy A is a movie that I easily watch the most. I put it on all the time as a background while I’m working on whatever on the computer or I just sit around on a day that I want to relax. Why is it such a great high school movies? Because its fun and entertaining. Emma Stone plays a great character and all the scenes are fun. There’s so many awesome moments. Honestly, I can go on forever about this one. High school is place of crushes, gossip and a desire to fit in and be noticed.
It’s incredibly rewatchable, really funny and is full of memorable scenes and outrageous characters.
It’s a great high school movie, looking at the potential end of a long term friendship and at the end of the day, the characters really love each other – the times spent at high school truly are the best years of our lives.
So yeah, an insanely fun, easy to watch movie that never gets old.
My favorite high school movie is Clueless. It came out my freshman year of high school and I remember seeing it, cracking up and then going to high school and recognizing all the cliques and groups that were in the movie. It still makes me laugh with the great script and scenarios I relate too. I love the scene where they go on the freeway. That is hilarious. Maybe it is just being based on Jane Austen but I love Clueless so much.
Back to the Futureis one of those films that if you come across it playing on TV, you have to watch it for a little bit. It is a classic that I don’t think I will ever get tired of watching. Marty McFly accidentally goes back in time to when his parents met and interrupts their first meeting. This causes one of the most hilarious situations in a movie ever: Marty’s mother begins to to fall in love with him. Now Marty has to get his parents to fall in love before he vanishes from history. It sounds like a bad spin-off of “How I Met My Mother.” It’s hard to believe that this classic almost stared Eric Stoltz instead of Michael J. Fox, even though I have a hard time picturing anyone else other than Fox as Marty. Of course, I can’t forget to mention the fantastic score by Alan Silvestri, one of my favorite film composers. Simply put, everything comes together perfectly.
I love Weird Science because it’s both quintessientially 80s but it also has such a unique plot that it’s timeless. The comedy is on point, with the late great Bill Paxton putting in an excellent performance. It’s also one of the ultimate high school movies because it’s John friggin’ Hughes!
“I love “Heathers” because it is such an unforgettable movie. It showcases teen high school issues and problems, such as school hierarchy and bullying, but also has this almost shocking death/murder twists, which make this film so entertaining and yes, strangely, funny. It may be too dark for some, but no one can really deny its originality. The script is very clever, and Winona Ryder and Christian Slater have excellent on-screen chemistry. A top-notch comedy-noir from the 1980s.”
This was actually quite a difficult one. There were a few ‘potentials’ and in the end it was between this and Superbad.
In the end I had to go with Clueless, because – 1. It’s DEFINITELY a High School Movie. 2. I’ve been enjoying it for twenty years and imagine I’ll carry on enjoying it for the next twenty years. 3. It’s so 90s (my childhood era) and the soundtrack is too. 4. It has a genuinely funny script and is STILL funny to quote.
And probably loads more reasons too. Basically, I love Clueless. I’ve watched it a ton of times and I still enjoy watching it so much.
What is my favorite high school movie? I easily could have picked High School Musical or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off for this round, but since I’ve already used both for past rounds, I don’t think I can use them again. Instead, I’m going with a quintessential John Hughes ’80s classic, The Breakfast Club. Few movies capture the angst, worry, desperation, hope, and pressures of being a high schooler like this story of five troubled youths forced together during weekend detention. Students who would normally never associate with one another actually get to know each other, and thanks to Hughes’ expert dialogue, both they and the audience are reminded that “each one of us is a brain and an athlete and a basket case, a princess and a criminal. Does that answer your question?”