Friday, January 27, 2012

Mom Vs the Kids-The Tabatha Carlson Story

The newest movie to be attracting all the buzz at Sundance and Cannes is Mom VS the kids.  The movie is comedy/drama based on real events.  Mom Vs the kids stars Tits McGee as Tabatha Carlson, and Joe Ripple as her husband Chris. The film also stars Christopher Lambert as the enigmatic Darth Fussypants, Chuck Carlson as Mr Furley the landlord, and Eric Roman as Lord David Berlin.

Mom Vs the Kids is based on the book written by Tabatha Carlson and based on her real life experience of raising her kids while her husband purses his career as a Vaudeville performer.  This is made all the more difficult for Tabatha being that Vaudeville is dead.  Tabatha Carlson also serves as executive producer and caterer, proving that in the movies as well as real life, she can multi task.

Tabatha was also instrumental in casting Tits McGee to play her in the role.  We asked Tabatha Carlson why she choose Ms McGee.  "Chris was always calling me Tits McGee and I was shocked to see that there actually was an actress Tits McGee.   I had to have her in the cast. 

When we asked independent film director Joe Ripple why he joined the cast of  the Tabatha Carlson bio pic he simply stated "They promised to stop calling me if I did it"

One of the most controversial moves was to animate the kids instead of using real actors. Tabatha says "We wanted to go for a Roger Rabbit feel, plus Harvey Keitel turned us down for the role of Conner.  He said he just wasn't mature enough for the role." Tabatha Carlson as a modern Jessica Rabbit, that's a carrot with no stick, if you get my meaning.  When we asked independent horror film actress Elske McCain her opinion she started screaming and said she thought of it first.

Mom Vs the Kids looks to be a sure win at the box office, giving Tabatha Carlson another blockbuster. I'd be willing to bet my VIP Camp Blood tickets that Tabatha's new movie opens in the top ten.  We asked Tabatha how different it was being behind the screens vs being in the spotlight as the star.  "Well it's a lot easier to see when your in the spotlight, because there are lights.  Behind the screen it can be hard to see, because, well, you're behind the screen."

Also rumored to be in the cast are Michael Gilbert Jr as Ralph Kramden,  Morgan Freeman as Captain Kangaroo, and Leonardo DiCaprio as Guy Fawkes, and Miley Cyrus as a young Tabatha Carlson.  Why Miley? Because Miley Cyrus is a great Google trend and will help the search engine optimization of the blog.

Just in case I haven't used the term Tabatha Carlson enough to get it to the top of a Google search for Tabatha Carlson, I just want to say Tabatha.  Then I will say Tabatha Carlson.  Carlson.  Some people call her Tabby, but her name is Tabatha Carlson.  That should be enough as I want a density of 35-45% for optimal SEO.
Baba booey
Fight the Power, repeal the NDAA!

No Joe Ripples were harmed during the filming of this blog
Tabatha Carlson

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Underworld Awakening eyes wide open

OK so Underworld Awakening is the newest film in the Underworld series. Now if you are one of those people unfamiliar with the Underworld series, aka real horror fans, it is basically the story of a sexy vampire with an S and M fetish who falls in love with the lead singer of Creed.

Stapp or Speedman
Stapp or Speedman, you decide

This is the fourth film in the Underworld franchise and it reunites Selene, played by Kate Beckinsale and Michael, played by Scott Stapp, um Scott Speedman.  Both stars were absent from the third film.  Beckinsale apparently busy with other film projects.  Speedman touring with Kid Rock.  Their reunion is short however letting Beckinsale carry most of the film.  Not that I'm complaining.  Leather clad hottie Beckinsale vs weepie emo werewolf, yeah no complaints.

With truth in advertising firmly in mind there is an actual awakening in the film.  Of course for an awakening someone must be put to sleep, someone besides the audience that is.

Where Underworld Rise of the Lycans was set in the past the majority of Underworld Awakening is set in the future.  Twelve years from the start of the film which we assume is set in the near future.  The gist of the film is that the human population has suddenly become aware of the vampires and werewolves living among them. 

We never find out exactly how and can only assume it was from watching True Blood.  Michael and Selene's reunion is short loved as the humans attack.  Michael falls into the ocean and Selene goes after him, as a bomb explodes they embrace, with arms wide open.  OK that's the last Creed joke.  I promise.
Michael Corwin Scott Speedman
Really hates Alterbridge

Twelve years later, Selene is revived from cryogenic sleep by someone whom she thinks is Michael.  She escapes from a lab and goes in search of Michael, only to find a very different world, where vampires and lycans are almost extinct and in hiding.  She also finds that she has given birth while in cryo sleep.  How embarrassing is that?  As she searches for Michael, while trying to protect her hybrid kid, who just happens to be coolest thing about Underworld Awakening, besides Beckinsale's booty that is. Stuff explodes, lycans transform, and vampires go "RARRR" in the camera with fangs bared.  Ya know, usual Underworld stuff.

Fans of the Underworld series won't be disappointed unless they came to see Michael.  It's basically more of the same formula.  Kate is still hot, lots of guns, werewolves etc, etc.  The series as a whole is getting a bit old but having Beckinsale back adds a bit of juice to it.  The open ended conclusion will keep the loyal fans itching for the next film.

My major complaint was the 3-D, which I felt forced to watch as every theater near me only had one non 3-D showing.  There was just no need. This is a 3-D movie when 3-D is the norm, not for now when it still costs extra for 3-D.  It did add to a few scenes, and made them look more real. Those scenes were where a character is just standing or walking and the 3-D adds depth to the scene.   However the 3-D dust clouds and gun barrels pointing into the screen are more annoying than anything else.

There was also too much CGI.  Now I know complaining about too much CGI in an Underworld film is like complaining there are too many dicks in a gang bang video, but still there was too much CGI.  Not just the transformation scenes, but all through the movie.  Especially the giant ass werewolf, honestly why not a normal sized werewolf, just with more strength and stamina.  I honestly felt like I was watching a Resident Evil movie every time the bigun was on screen.

Last complaint.  Kate Beckinsale.  Get your kit off or stop teasing.  Seriously.  You are becoming like that high school girl who always says she MIGHT go out with you, but is always washing her hair.  OK personally I never heard the "washing you hair" story, mine was "I might go out with you, call me when you aren't so creepy."  In Underworld Awakening we are treated to Kate in a cryo tank naked as naked can be, but do we see anything?  Even after the tank breaks, we get Kate lying on the floor in what can only be called "lessons in implied nudity 101."  All I could keep thinking was "If this was Milla we be seeing some boob," this isn't Milla though.  I know being nude on film can be a hard thing to do, and I believe in personal choice, all I'm saying is stop with the tease.  Tit or no tit, there is no implied.  Sorry Yoda.

With all that I can't say I didn't enjoy Underworld Awakening.  However I find it hard to say I enjoyed it.  It was just kind of meh.  The fights were fun, watching Kate walk around was fun, guns go pow pow.  This is the kind of film that should have went straight to DVD. Watching this on Netflix with a cold beer would have been funner than hell.  In the theater, I just kept thinking about what I could have used the ten bucks for.
sexy Selene black leather Kate Beckinsale
Super hot Beckinsale

So should you rush out to see Underworld Awakening?
Depends on just how much of an Underworld and more importantly a Selene fan you are.  Personally I'd say wait till it's on DVD

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Don't censor the web

Tell your COngressmen not to support SOPA, keep the web free.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Megan is Missing

Megan is Missing
Megan is Missing
I went into Megan is Missing with basically no prior information on the story. I did know that it dealt with child abduction in some way but little more.  I had heard from friends that it wasn't worth the time and from other friends it was a must see film.

Honestly, after watching it myself, I have to say it falls somewhere in between.  It isn't trash, but I don't know if I would call it a classic just yet.  It's powerful film, with a powerful message, unfortunately it also has some powerful flaws.  Those flaws unfortunately lend to the power of the film, but they still are flaws in my opinion.

Megan is Missing is a disturbing film, some have said the most disturbing film of all time.  I think a lot of the disturbing quality will come from how closely you identify with the characters.  Mothers with teen daughters will be very disturbed, all parents will be bothered.  In all honestly, mothers with weak hearts should maybe pass on Megan is Missing. Which is a problem with the film.  Many of the people who will be the most moved, won't be able to handle it.

Despite what the title might lead you to believe Megan is Missing deals with not just Megan's disappearance but also that of her best friend Amy.  Amy and Megan are teenage best friends and seemingly polar opposites.  Unlike most odd couple pairings in films, their friendship comes off as real and unforced. Megan is the cool popular teen, while Amy is a bit of a wall flower.  Through online chat rooms, Megan makes friends with an unknown boy, arranging a date and goes missing.  After Amy goes to the police with what she knows, she too goes missing.  Shortly after we find out what happened and descend into what could be the darkest 22 minutes ever filmed.  I will go into those 22 minutes so anyone wishing to avoid a full spoiler can do so.

For the most part Megan is Missing can be described as a  "found footage" film along the lines of The Blair Witch Project or Cloverfield.  The film quality is better than either of these and there are few if any instances of shaky cam filming though.  The majority of the film, at least up to the last 22 minutes, are composed of alleged web cam footage, mixed in with police tapes, news footage, and the girls video diaries.  The quality is excellent for this type of film, and my head is glad there was no bouncing footage to bring on a migraine.

As I started watching I had a problem with the girls acting and dialogue, but as I got into the film it sank in that this was what I should be seeing and hearing.  This wasn't a high dollar A list film.  This was supposed to be two teenage girls "acting" for the cam.  When chatting with friends the dialogue and acting was believe able.  When they were hamming it up for their video camera, it was more stiff and unbelievable.  The type of script two teens would come up with.

There are several of those moments in Megan is Missing.  Moments where at first you think "this is stupid" then realize, "No this could really happen."  One of those big moments was when we "meet" Josh. His dialogue screams PREDATOR, but the girls fall for it.  Crazy right?  Not if you have spent any time around young girls.  Teen girls are way too trusting.  The fact that this film is based on several accounts of real  abductions lends weight to it.  Don't believe me?  Just check out Facebook, see how many teen girls have their phone numbers listed.  Maybe not every teen girl would fall for Josh's lines, but many would.

The treatment of Amy by Megan's other friends also seems exaggerated at first.  She is totally rejected  by the other students and verbally abused, even blamed for Megan's disappearance,  but believe it couldn't happen?  Bullying is rampant in America.  Kids are bullied to the point of suicide. Amy's plight is unfortunately, way to real.

The characters of Megan and Amy were both fleshed out more than typical teen characters.  Megan is more than just the oversexed party girl she first appears.  She genuinely cares for Amy and puts her own social standing at risk for her.  The film makers give us a glimpse into why she acts the way she does, and once again, it's all too real.  It might be a bit of a cliche but it  works and adds another layer of depth to the character.

Most of the other characters in the film are one dimensional, almost silhouettes . This doesn't detract from the movie, but like a photographer blurring the background, keeps the focus squarely on Megan and Amy.  Josh in fact is never fully seen, and in fact we never know for sure if "Josh" is even the one responsible.  We ate strongly led to believe that he is the culprit but I could make a case that it isn't.  We never see his face, and until the last 22 minutes never see any part of him.  There is a blurry image on a security camera of a man who is assumed to be Josh, but we never know for sure.

Which brings us to probably the most disturbing, most controversial part of the film.  The final 22 minutes.  The onscreen caption declares it as the final 22 minutes of tape on Amy's video camera, uncut and unedited.  While watching this, I checked my clock several times, wishing it was almost over.

 I think the director decided to go for reality more than good film making at this point.  There was a point, in the last half of those 22 minutes, where it just seemed to keep going with no real purpose, except that it took that long to happen.  After the initial shock wears off  I just got tired of watching it, and I admit it was bothering me.    I also admit I sped the movie up, stopping occasionally to make sure I missed nothing.

 It was basically ten minutes or so of the same thing.  Boring one part of my mind, disturbing the other.  If I had not been told at the beginning of the film that the two girls had never been found, perhaps I could have held more interest, more tension, hoping for that eventual rescue.  That was how I watched Martyrs.  During the incessant torture there, I kept hoping Ana would escape somehow.  In Megan is Missing, I knew what was coming at the end.  I just didn't know how I would be taken there.  While for me this was a bit of a hindrance I can see most viewers sitting shocked through the whole ordeal.  I can also see a lot of people not able to take it and switching the film off.  Honestly if I was the director I wouldn't mind people switching off, it just proves how powerful it was. 
Now for spoilers****************************************The Last 22 minutes**********

The last 22 minutes document exactly what happened to Amy.  Kidnapped by the same person who had kidnapped Megan, Amy is locked away in what appears to be a basement.  She is forced to eat what appears to be dog food (without using your hands).  Some point later she is taken out of her cell and viciously raped.  I will say this is probably the most vicious rape I have ever seen ion film, and yes I have seen irreversible.  The director does this with no graphic gore or nudity.  Instead we see a closeup of Amy's face in camera as she is violently raped. You can tell what is happening but all you can focus on is Amy's face.  The baby rape in A Serbian Film looks like a cartoon compared to this.  This is real, or as real as I ever want to see on film.

As disturbing as this is it's the end that will probably haunt people the most.  I didn't time it, and it seemed to go on forever, but I'd estimate 10 minutes or so is pure torture (no better word)for the viewer.  Amy is forced into a barrel with Megan's corpse and it is sealed shut.  The camera is placed on the ground and we watch as Josh digs what is to become their grave.  All the while we hear Amy cry and beg for her life.  We know how it's going to end and after what seems an eternity it does.

The movie has been condemned for it's disturbing content among other things. I have heard complaints that it glorifies teen sex, that it unreasonably scares parents, and presents and unrealistic portrait of teen life.  The film is disturbing, I wont argue that point, but unlike many shocking films it is practically gore free.

The gore is so scarce that the few, well timed moments of visceral horror really take you by surprise.  When we see Megan's corpse it was like a slap in the face.  It only on screen for a fraction of a second, but that was enough, in fact it was brilliant.  Not long enough to look for the effects, but long enough to sear in your brain.  Then the horror of knowing Amy was locked into the barrel with the decomposing body of her best friend, was almost unbearable.

As to it's effects on parents, I might also reluctantly agree, to a point anyway.  I do think that parents should be more aware of their kids Internet activity.  There really are "Josh's" out there, as well as a multitude of other predators, some worse than others.  However we can't go to the point of locking our children  away in towers, and I see many children facing stricter curfews after their parents watch Megan is Missing.  Hopefully parents will also take note of what ultimately drove Megan down the path she took.  While a dysfunctional family doesn't guarantee a bad end, it definitely weighs the odds toward it.

Anyone who thinks the portrayal of teens is off, honestly doesn't know teens.  In fact I think they made a direct hit.  One thing that caught my eye was the way Amy was handled.  As the ugly duckling in the friendship she barely exists to those around her.  It's as if the film makers are confirming that  in the teenagers world, she isn't as important as Megan.  Even after her disappearance, all the focus is on Megan.   Megan's name is in the title and on the lips of everyone discussing the film, yet it is Amy who's torture we are forced to endure.

Megan is the name on everyone's lips when discussing the film, and I'm sure a lot of people will associate the torture with Megan.  In our heads Megan is who is getting tortured.  It's like the director is forcing us to face the fact that girls like Amy aren't as important to us.  As much as we rail and storm at the evil bullies who abuse those who are different, we are all guilty of being drawn to the beautiful people.

Or maybe I"m way off base.

So my opinion?  While technically it might not be a great film, it packs a wallop.  It paints an all too real, all too scary picture, and accomplishes what the director intended.  It scares the shit out of parents.  While I will say this definitely qualifies as a horror film. a lot of horror films might find it slow and boring.  I found the burial scene both disturbing, and well not boring but tedious.  I admit I fast forwarded though it.  The film is basically gore free which will make it more accessible to a wide audience but will turn off some hardcore gore fans, as well as  fans of Saw and Hostel.  That part is a shame because this movie will actually scare them.  In many ways Megan is Missing has brought fear back into a largely neutered genre.

Do yourself a favor (if you can call it that) and check out Megan is Missing.  Just be prepared to be disturbed.

Friday, January 13, 2012

That is not dead...

Seriously, I am still here.  Abandomed by adsense I will persevere, new movie review is almost completed.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My final word on the matter (for now)

It’s seems I keep forgetting that I live in the south.  Not that I hate the south or anything.  I actually love it here.  It’s just that the area I live in is somewhat progressive (in ways) and it always manages to shock me when I run across open bigotry.

Not that bigotry doesn’t exist outside the south, it does.  But the genteel southern style of open racism and homophobia just seems to be so bitter.  It is so deeply ingrained, not just from people’s parents but from their religion.  I grew up in a Methodist church but it was not what you would call open.  The one I spent most of my young life in, definitely isn’t open minded and I won’t set foot inside it again while I am living.

You see I saw racism there first hand and have written about it before.  The ugly, evil vile side of southern racism in the sweetest little church you would ever want to attend.  As long as you were white that is.  Now that was racism, and today I really wanted to touch on homophobia.  Maybe that’s not exactly the right term but it is close enough to serve.

It’s about gay rights and gay marriage.  It’s a big issue, not just in the south but everywhere.   Almost all opposition to gay marriage comes from a religious basis.  Either a religious basis or an ignorant whiny “It just aint right” which seems to most to be all the explanation and reason needed.  Some anti-gay rights people want to claim it’s not religious based, but that’s just a sham to try and gain secular support.  It all goes back to “’cause the bible tells me so.” 

Supporters of gay rights like to offer creative reinterpretations of the biblical passages that condemn homosexuality.  I have used those same arguments.  The fact that Jesus Christ never mentions homosexuality, the effeminate nature of David and his relationship with Jonathon, and the fact that homosexuality isn’t mentioned in the Ten Commandments are just some of the arguments.

 Even the book of Deuteronomy, probably the biggest religious weapon of the anti-gay forces, has its interpretations to make it less harsh and unforgiving.   Still it’s pretty clear and I can’t deny it, Deuteronomy calls it an abomination.  At the best we can reinterpret as a kinder, gentler abomination but we can’t really deny it’s there.  It’s there and I’m tired of fighting it.

So here’s my final word, finally.  After almost 500 final words, here it is and it won’t be popular with a lot of people.  I have dodged this final word for a long time because I hate to piss people off.  I hate to be defriended on Facebook in the middle of the night.  A part of me still wants to fit in, to be every ones friend.  Ok I’m stalling again.  Here is my final word on Christianity and homosexuality.

I don’t care what the bible says.  I’m grown and I know right from wrong.  All my life as a religious person I was told that my heart would know right from wrong and it does.  I know murder is wrong, I know rape is wrong, and I know that treating people different because of how they were born is wrong.  I know not allowing two people who honestly love each other to be together is wrong.  I honestly think if Jesus were alive right now, he’d be face palming over the fact that we use his name to justify hate and bigotry, and in the end, that’s all this is, hatred and bigotry mixed with fear.

So defriend me if you like.  Talk about me behind my back in your churches, and pray for me if you must, but I don’t care.  Nothing you can say will change my mind.  Maybe I’ll burn in hell, but I doubt it, at least not for this.  Call me a heretic, an apostate, an antichrist, atheist or whatever you like.  I know I still believe in a man who preached love, not hatred.  A man who would be sickened to see us kill in his name, to see us hate in his name, and just like me, I’d bet he really doesn’t care too much about what Deuteronomy says.  He sure didn’t mention it very much.

So feel free to debate me on the subject.  I’ll listen but just remember, what the bible says about homosexuality means nothing to me.  My friends deserve to live their life to the fullest, just like everyone else.  Who they choose to marry shouldn’t matter, and it doesn’t matter.  I won’t let a 2000 year old book written by superstitious, primitive men won’t change my mind about the subject.  I don’t care.

Belated Happy New Year!

I wanted my first post of 2012 to be cheerful, so Happy New Year!  Now on to post number two