The House with a Clock in Its Walls

 

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Hey, kids! Let’s watch the new Eli Roth film!

Not something most parents would say, eh? But The House with a Clock in Its Walls is a kid movie, so it’s okay…I think. I can see why Roth was drawn to this story – it’s full of every kid’s worst fears: dead parents, a creepy old house, being the new kid at school, peer pressure, ghost moms – it’s like a fucking laundry list of fear! And don’t get me started on baby Jack Black – I’m having flashbacks every time I close my eyes.

My kids are coming around on Jack Black, I think. I mean, my daughter practically begged us to see the new Jumanji (haven’t yet) and she was excited about this one.

Cate Blanchett is an amazing actress and a joy to watch. Please let her be in every movie – all of them!

Kyle MacLachlan has got to be having so much fun playing quirky villains these days. He was absolutely chewing the scenery – it was greatness.

I didn’t even realize it while watching, but Angelica Schuyler herself was in the film. Such a shame that there wasn’t a call for her to sing.

I was expecting to play games on my phone the whole time I watched this, but it sucked me in and was a great bunch of fun.

We had watched this film months and months ago…it would blow their little MINDS if they knew this was the same guy who made Cabin Fever.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

 

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Gary Oldman just makes every film better, doesn’t he? I mean, Bram Stoker’s Dracula notwithstanding, he is AMAZING.

Is it totally out of line to say that I think Sirius Black is sexy? I think it’s just Gary Oldman with long hair and a goatee…even though he’s one of the best actors of our generation…he’s hardly ever – ok, mostly never – sexy. Mason Verger? No. Zorg? No. Beethoven? Maybe.

Let me settle down – this is a children’s film, after all.

I think my favorite part was when Hermione punched Draco in the face. To me, Hermione is a much more interesting character than Harry Potter. As a mudblood, she’s subject to just as much – if not more – bullying and hardship as Harry. Yes, sure, she’s got parents – but they’re fucking dentists. Snape fucking straight up ignores her – she knows all the answers and he harrasses Harry instead. She’s been turned into a cat (or dog). She’s been frozen. She solves the mystery of the pipes. She saves the day in this film. I’m just saying, Hermione Granger is the real hero here.

I can’t believe I missed Dobby.

This one is my favorite Harry Potter so far…but then again, I still have 5 films to go.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

 

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Chamber of Secrets? That’s what I used to call my vajayjay back in college…

Thank you folks, I’ll be here all night. My children absolutely appreciate any and all mentions of their former abode and entry into the world, so let’s give them a round of applause for pushing me to revisit Harry Potter and to make inappropriate vagina jokes. My son voraciously consumed Harry Potter books the second he could read. My daughter was slower to get hooked and in fact, only promised to read them if I read them. Challenge accepted!

I saw Sorcerer’s Stone shortly after it was released, but never sat down and intentionally watched the rest of the films. I am fairly certain I’ve seen them all in bits and pieces over the years though. Having just finished reading the second book, my daughter and I had a Friday Night double feature of the first two films…

My favorite part is when I say Her-Mee-Oh-Nee instead of Her-My-Oh-Nee – my daughter has an absolute shit fit about me not saying it right.

Dobby is so fucking annoying. He reminds me of our dog, always cowering and whimpering. I wonder if I give her a sock, she’ll fucking leave?

While watching the film, I told my daughter that Gilderoy Lockhart is a butthole. She said, “No, he’s another B-word, but I can’t say it.” “A bitch?” “Yeah. Can I say that?” “Uh, no.” At what age is appropriate to let a child call someone a “little bitch”?

So, I didn’t know that a Basilisk was a snake – I thought they were lizards. The only thing I know about Basilisks was from playing Magic in college, and they looked like big fucking iguanas. Wikipedia was not very helpful, as they also have chicken legs and a cock’s comb. The fuck?

A fun film, but I feel like it was really long. My daughter fell asleep halfway through, but I made it through both. Onward to the next one!

Moana

 

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I know, I know…I’m late to the Moana party. The girl has been trying to get me to watch it for YEARS, but it just hadn’t worked out until I scheduled a special ‘Movie Luau’ with her. The boy is at Band Camp and the husband is closing all week, so I set up several Movie Nights for the two of us. First up, Moana and Hawaiian Chicken.

Above all else, the songs are the best part of Moana. I mean, Lin-Manuel Miranda – how could they not be the best? ‘How Far I’ll Go’ and ‘You’re Welcome’ are obvious favorites, but I’ve actually had ‘Shiny’ stuck in my head the most. Is it because of my recent fascination with Jemaine Clement? Maybe. Or maybe it’s just a catchy tune, sung by a crab. Oh! I told the girl about the Decorator Crab we used to have – she didn’t know they were a real thing! See – Moana is educational, too.

Please put The Rock in every movie I watch, thank you. Also, I demand a rap breakdown in all of The Rock’s future movies.

I very much appreciated the conscious departure from yet another Disney Princess looking for her Prince story. Maui even pokes fun at the trope by repeatedly calling Moana a princess, which she vehemently denies. Thank you Disney for confirming that not every adventure needs a romance!

I enjoyed Moana very much and want Lin-Manuel Miranda to take over writing all Disney songs this instant!

Next up for Movie Night, From Dusk Til Dawn and Taco Tuesday!

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

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Well, it’s official…the Jurassic Park movies have gone full Sharknado. (No spoilers, but once you see the film, you’ll get what I mean.)

There was plenty of action and there were plenty of dinosaurs, but the plot clicked together so predictably that it took a lot of the fun out of the proceedings. There were elements of the plot that were frankly unbelievable – like Claire dumping Owen because she didn’t want to live in a van down by the river. (I feel you Claire, I fucking HATE camping.)

The film also didn’t have enough Jeff Goldblum. Why tease me like that? Every time, every day and in every way, I would pick Jeff Goldblum over Chris Pratt. Even old Jeff Goldblum.

It is always a treat to see Ted Levine in a film – tucked or untucked. He is so delightfully unhinged. So…is it creepier to keep fat girls in a pit in your basement? Or to have a pocket full of extracted dinosaur teeth?

Oh, and the trailers in front of the film were…odd. I’ve never even heard of Welcome to Marwen, but it looks amazingly weird. Oh! And yet another remake of The Grinch, but this time with Benedryl Cucumberpatch. Shit…I swear there was another one, but I’ll be damned if I can remember it. I asked my son, my daughter, my husband – no one can remember what the third trailer was.

Ultimately, I kinda wish that I had spent my $38 on Ant Man and the Wasp instead. Oh well.

Iron Man 3

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I’ve somehow managed to avoid seeing Iron Man 3 in the five years or so since it was released. No particular reason, except maybe the fear of too much GOOP. Even so, I’m hearing rumblings that there are some plot threads from this one that will be picked up in Avengers 4, so might as well dig in.

The film kicked off with a 1999 flashback, featuring one of the worst songs ever recorded – “Blue (ba da bee)”. I was able to look past that, and fully enjoy the site of Happy Hogan decked out like Vincent Vega – bolo tie and all.

The central plot device seems familiar…an Eastern, mystical type, bent on destruction, is revealed to be a sham, with the real villain pretending to be his underling…oh yeah, Batman Begins! And according to Wikipedia, Guy Pearce was even in consideration for Ducard/Ra’s al Ghul.

Miguel Ferrer! What a pleasant surprise! He was one of those underappreciated actors that you don’t think to miss until they’re gone. Even though his role was blink and you’ll miss it, it made me smile.

This film really filled in a lot of gaps for me in Tony Stark’s character arc and how Tony’s attitude changes in Ultron and leading into Civil War. Tony wasn’t exactly humbled, but he experienced a few humble moments. It was interesting to see how Tony was able to scrounge at Home Depot and create weapons – his lab was nice and all, but he makes MacGyver look like MacGruber.

Also, GOOP still didn’t die. Goddammit.

The Mummy (2017)

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I’ve never tried so hard to NOT watch a movie. I played games on my phone, ate cinnamon toast, took a dump…yet I still ended up watching too much of this abysmal film.

They thought they were starting a Universal Monsters extended Film Universe…but they led with the wrong monster! Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll was the only watchable part of this whole mess. If they had led with Dr. Jekyll, maybe this whole thing could’ve worked.

It wasn’t empowerment – the only reason they made the Mummy a woman was so that they could dress a model in a skimpy mummy outfit.

Oh the good old double-double cross – ugh, I’m so tired of seeing this tired old trope. Also tired of the dead comrade moving the plot along trope – see American Werewolf in London and Pet Sematery. That’s really what’s wrong with the film – it’s all cliches, nothing fresh at all. Ugh, so bad.

Black Panther

The MCU has got its claws in us now…Black Panther is the second release in a row that we’ve seen in the theater. Granted, it was an early bird, non-3D, 9:35am showing, but we paid nonetheless…

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Before I get into my thoughts on Black Panther, there were SO many good trailers before the film. Deadpool 2 (even though I’ve seen it, I could watch it 100 times), I Feel Pretty (wow, an Amy Schumer comedy that I actually want to see), Venom (again, I’ve seen this, but I’ll never get tired of Tom Hardy), Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (this one was new to me – I got chills down my spine when Jeff Goldblum said, “life finds a way.”), Solo (new to me, but meh), and Ant-man and Wasp (cute). I was surprised there wasn’t an Infinity War trailer – I guess that would be overkill? I need to fall into a coma before this summer, or tickets will get expensive.

Black Panther was flat out amazing. Believe the hype. Not only is the action non-stop, but the plot was strong and woven well around the strong characters. Even without considering the plot within the wider MCU, the theme was worth exploring further – what do the wealthy (individuals, organizations or nations) owe the less fortunate? Colonization vs. Cooperation. What would African nations be capable of today, if their resources hadn’t been plundered by Europe for hundreds of years? It goes without saying that my (75% white/european) opinion means Jack Squat, when compared to the overwhelmingly positive response from the black community. I am hopeful that this positive response is taken seriously by Hollywood and leads to a more black stories being told by black people. For example, a white guy directed Hidden Figures…just sayin’.

I will say, the one thing that boggled me, was the vibranium technology. I didn’t understand a lick of it. But then again, I don’t know how Iron Man‘s arc reactor or suit work. I sure don’t know how the rainbow bridge to Asgard works or the whole mjolnir thing works. Don’t even get me started on Doctor Strange. Comic book stuff – you’re not supposed to understand how any of it works.

I cannot stop laughing about the Andy Serkis/Martin Freeman memes – the two Tolkien white guys. That reminds me, I never watched that last Hobbit movie. D’oh! And the Zamunda memes!

The whole family really enjoyed Black Panther. My husband said it was a close race between Winter Soldier and Black Panther for best Marvel movie so far, and I tend to agree. I’m looking forward to seeing the Black Panther team in Infinity War and in their own standalone adventures.

The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course

It’s not the Crocodile Hunter’s fault that this movie sucked.

Steve Irwin was his old charismatic self. In fact, up until the final confrontation, the scenes with Steve and Terri were indiscernible from the real show – except for one notable exception, the scene in which he wrested a big rubber croc underwater. But, hey, Steve may be crazy, but he’s not stupid. The rest of the film, however, sucked big donkey balls. A croc eats part of a satellite and the CIA is after it. I would say that hilarity ensues, but it doesn’t.

The CIA Agents are mistaken for the Irwins, the Irwins mistake the CIA Agents for Poachers and the CIA mistakes the Irwins for Super Spies. The biggest error was by the makers of this film – mistaking me for someone who gives a shit about plot. I just wanted to see the Crocodile Hunter fucking with some animals.

Poor, poor Faramir – first your dad tries to set you on fire, now this. How did you end up taking pratfalls in a silly movie like this one? I know that Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman are hoarding all the good roles for Antipodean actors, but this is ridiculous.

By far, the funniest moment of the film was when Timothy Bottoms (fresh off of That’s My Bush?) cameoed as Dubya. Wooeee, I was rolling on the floor.

Next time my husband wants to play XBOX all night, I’ll let him. He punished me by making me watch this, I know it!

Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone

The quote above has already come true – there isn’t a child alive who hasn’t heard of Harry Potter.

Really, it’s no wonder that that children have fallen in love with Harry Potter. Harry Potter’s rise to fame and fortune is every child’s fantasy. It couldn’t have been written better by a child psychologist. Every young child wishes that they could whisked away from their horrible parents and taken to a place where everyone understands them and nurtures their hidden talents. A place where everyone knows your name. Add in gobs of cash and a magic wand, for emergencies. And of course, excelling in sports is an added bonus. Harry Potter has it all!

As popular as the Harry Potter thing is, I have only just now seen the film and I still haven’t read any of the books – I am sure I will get around to it someday. I had to be coerced into watching it – it wasn’t that bad. I was vaguely entertained throughout the whole thing – mostly because of the special effects. I’d have to say that the special effects were some of the best that I have seen, up there with Lord of the Rings.

Familiarity may also explain the story’s popularity. The Harry Potter universe is a mish-mash of popular fantasy and science fiction of the last 100 years. Large doses of Roald Dahl (mostly James and the Giant Peach), Time Bandits and The Wizard of Oz, tossed in some Alice in Wonderland, with a dash of C.S. Lewis and a pinch of Star Wars make up the body of the story. I really didn’t spot much new territory around Hogwarts.

I don’t expect Daniel Radcliffe to get many job offers after his tenure as Harry Potter. He’s a decent enough actor, but he has been marked for life.

I knew that Monty Python alum would show up sooner or later – I was surprised that it was limited to John Cleese. Funny as he was as Nearly Headless Nick, he was wasted as a cameo. He should have had a role as a Professor at least.

One part did make me want to die – the part at the end when Dumbledore tells Harry about the love in his skin. That is just fucking LAME. I bitched and moaned about that scene for 15 minutes after the film was over, I was so pissed off!

All in all, an intelligent effort to entertain children. Passable at entertaining adults, but only if they are stuck on the couch after a large dinner of really good chicken roma spaghetti.