Friday, June 14, 2013

Hellraiser (1987)

Number Rolled: 10
Movie Name/Year: Hellraiser (1987)
Genre: Horror
Length: 93 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Clive Barker
Writer: Clive Barker
Actors: Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, Sean Chapman, Oliver Smith, Robert Hines

Larry and Julia have decided to move into a house Larry inherited. It’s a long way from Brooklyn, but that’s not such a bad thing in their minds. It goes pretty well until Larry cuts himself and the blood brings back to life something from hell. Blood and murder begin to take over the household as Kirsty (Larry’s daughter) attempts to solve the puzzle of what’s going on.

This cult classic is one of those movies I should have watched long ago and have simply failed to do so. Had I watched it earlier in my life, it may have scared me to death. Even now, in my desensitized-to-horror state, I found it to be chilling.

Watching Hellraiser was a bit like stepping back into time. Not just because it made me remember the horrible hair and ridiculous clothing either. I remember when the graphics in this film were considered amazing and so it’s easy for me to watch it from that point of view. Sure, if it had come out now with the same putty-like skin/blood and plastic masks, we wouldn’t find anything quite as believable; which would have really been a shame since I’m certain that this movie is what horror movies are supposed to be.

The script was clever, the acting was really good and the plot-line was phenomenal. I saw, immediately, where some popular works had been influenced by this film. In fact, I saw where there had been nods from Supernatural, 13 Ghosts, Event Horizon and The X-Files. I can’t blame them for their possible inspiration being this movie, it certainly left an impact.

Overall Opinion – 4.5/5

P.S. Hellraiser was based on a book titled “The Hellbound Heart” which was written by Clive Barker. This was also his first time directing a full-length feature film.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

Number Rolled: 9
Movie Name/Year: The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
Genre: Children & Family
Length: 74 minutes
Rating: G
Director: Ron Clements, Burny Mattinson, Dave Michener, John Musker
Writer: Pete Young, Vance Gerry, Steve Hulett, Ron Clements, John Musker, Bruce M. Morris, Matthew O’Callaghan, Burny Mattinson, Dave Michener, Melvin Shaw, Eve Titus, Paul Galdone
Actors: Vincent Price, Barrie Ingham, Val Bettin, Susanne Pollatschek, Candy Candido, Diana Chesney, Eve Brenner, Alan Young, Basil Rathbone, Laurie Main, Shani Wallis, Ellen Fitzhugh, Walker Edmiston, Wayne Allwine, Tony Anselmo, Melissa Manchester, Frank Welker

This tribute to Sherlock Holmes is Disney-fied and adorable. Of course, that’s being a little redundant since Disney is pretty much synonymous with adorable.

Basil, the hero of this story, is a mouse that lives in Sherlock’s home. Having picked up all the famous detectives mannerisms, he has become a renowned detective in the world of mice. Dr. Dawson, the new mouse in town, finds a stray girl and brings her over to Basil when the girl reveals her father was kidnapped. It isn’t long before Basil and gang are hot on the trail of the devious, deadly, and self hating, Professor Ratigan.

Old Disney movies are something I am always in the mood to watch and, likely, always going to love. There’s something about the simple animation, the semi-relevant songs and adorable creatures that steals my heart every time. Not to mention, Disney is the very best at making creepy, insane villains that are still somehow appropriate for kids.

When Disney was more reliably coming out with original cartoon creations, their stuff was amazing. Within five minutes of watching any of those films the audience could tell three things; the story was in depth enough for kids and adults to watch together (without either group getting bored), the movie was going to be completely enthralling and, on top of that, one could even tell that the movie about to begin was going to someday be a classic. Old Disney movies stayed with us as we grew up; Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, etc. This movie is one of the lesser known, but no less memorable and spectacular.

I don’t believe this movie should be rated G. It should definitely be closer to PG – with insinuated death/murder and a nod to burlesque shows. But that was really my only problem with the film. Not that I minded the morbid aspect, but if a movie is going to be rated G, I expect the content to fit the label, especially when it’s directed toward children.

Overall Opinion – 4.5/5

P.S. – This movie is based off the book titled, “Basil of Baker Street” by Eve Titus.

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Doom Generation (1995)

Number Rolled: 54
Movie Name/Year: The Doom Generation (1995)
Genre: Independent Movie
Length: 71 minutes
Rating: UR
Director: Gregg Araki
Writer: Gregg Araki
Actors: James Duval, Rose McGowan, Johnathon Schaech, Cress Williams, Dustin Nguyen, Margaret Cho, Lauren Tewes, Christopher Knight, Nicky Katt, Perry Farrell, Amanda Bearse, Parker Posey, Heidi Fleiss

After watching the entirety of this movie I can honestly say I still have no idea what it was about. You would think that even a movie as short as this one was, would make its point clear by the end. The problem is, this movie had no interest in making its meaning clear. In fact, the director seemed to only be interested in throwing more symbolism at us than we get in the Wingdings font.

The entire movie was about drugs, sex, murder and castration; but none of it seemed to actually be linked in any significant way. By the end of the movie I was waiting for that spectacular pay off that had to be coming that would link it all together and… nothing. The ending answered nothing. It was just comprised of even more horribly annoying abstract symbolism and a dab of the subtle political shoved down my throat. I don’t mind movies with a message or a political stance, but if it’s going to be shoved into me, I expect the director to at least buy me dinner first.

There were maybe three two minute long scenes that were bearable – but mostly because I was staring at James Duval trying to remember where I’d seen him before (SLC Punk!). I could have gone my entire life without ever watching this movie.

Overall Opinion – .5/5