The House with a Clock in Its Walls

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Lara (@knobbygirl)

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.

Dead Ant

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Lara (@knobbygirl) on

Never pee on an ant on sacred Native American lands after taking cursed peyote.

I mean, that’s just common sense, right? Well, apparently, the members of 80s Glam Rock Band Sonic Grave do not have any common sense. And especially don’t buy Peyote from the guy who played Horse on Twin Peaks. He will totally fuck you over.

I only recorded this because Sean Astin & Jake Busey are in the band…and their manager is Tom Arnold. And still, with those low expectations, I was still disappointed.

The film was pretty boring and dumb, but there are moments that had me guffawing. The end is pretty funny because you finally get to hear the band play. They suck so bad, that the giant killer ants commit suicide to escape their shitty music. Sonic Grave does have a song that isn’t shitty – it’s called “Side Boob” and it’s a pretty good jam.

Leprechaun Returns

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Lara (@knobbygirl) on

A direct sequel to the first Leprechaun, would you be surprised to hear that Jennifer Aniston is nowhere to be found?

You know who WAS around from the first film? Ozzie, better known as Francis in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. Turns out that Jennifer Aniston’s character died of cancer, so her daughter comes back to the VERY SAME HOUSE, which is now an environmentally conscious sorority house. It’s exactly 25 years later, and very bad Leprechaun things start to happen…

I was ready to be fiercely loyal to Warwick Davis’s portrayal of our Leprechaun hero, but it turns out that the new Leprechaun, played by Linden Porco, was pretty consistent with the OG Leprechaun. He was silly and brutal and full of limericks.

This one character gets stoned and yells at goats. I feel that in my bones. She also takes a Leprechaun selfie – that must be some goooood shit. And then this other guy takes a leprechaun selfie – and he wasn’t even high. What the fuck is wrong with kids today?

There were some good chuckles in this one, like when the Leprechaun finds some Crocs and gets offended. He wasn’t impressed by their Prius either.

Unlike the abominable Leprechaun: Origins, Leprechaun Returns is a throwback to the original Leprechaun films and is a worthy installment in the series. There are a few major laughs and a few truly stomach churning moments.

Spider-Man: Far from Home

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Lara (@knobbygirl) on

Just a few weeks after opening, we lucked into a private showing one morning last week…matinee prices, too. Going to the Movie Theater is GREAT without all the people!

I wasn’t feeling patient, so I was glad there were only four previews to sit through: Midway (maybe the only WWII film that’s piqued my interest), Blinded by the Light (it just looks WEIRD), Jumanji 2 (the kids are going bananas over this one – demanding to see it as soon as it comes out), and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (why is there a trailer for this in front of a PG-13 film – and does anyone even give a shit about Tarantino any more?)…

Far from Home was really fun – I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it, wait – didn’t I say the same thing about the first one? There were just so many laugh-out-loud moments, from the bad Whitney Houston PowerPoint, to Peter Tingle, to “I love Led Zeppelin!” I loved that the film took care to circle back to Iron Man and touch on not only the evolution of Tony, but all those around him. Never forget, Tony Stark was a dick, even up to the very end. I like that Marvel let Tony be a dick AND be redeemed – the two aren’t mutually exclusive. What more can I say that isn’t totally spoiler-y? Hmmm…not a goddamn thing. I especially don’t want to ruin the post-credits scenes, they are magnifique.

Jake Gyllenhaal, I’ve never been a big fan. I don’t hate him or anything…he just doesn’t moisten my mailslot. He was a good fit for Mysterio though, although I think Tobey Maguire would’ve been a hilarious choice for the role. It would’ve been a total stunt-cast, but so?

Like the first one, the soundtrack was really smashing. A good dose of The Ramones, plus The Specials and The Jam and some fun Euro tunes. I really gotta give it to whoever put this collection of tunes together – I put together a quick and dirty playlist on Amazon Music – thanks TuneFind!

Oh! And just like Homecoming, Far from Home dovetailed neatly into our recent NYC vacation. Our hotel, The New Yorker, was a block or so from Madison Square Garden, which my kids immediately recognized in a scene, having walked right by it days earlier. We even popped into that very same Duane Reede to buy bottled water! Why is Spider-Man following us on vacation???

Far from Home was a fitting postscript to Endgame, giving the audience a window into how the world rebounded after the unsnap, while also reminding us that not everyone loved/loves The Avengers. The post-credits scenes didn’t necessarily set up future films, as much as they set up a whole new Marvel Universe for Phase 4, with all new rules, new heroes, new villains. I’m looking forward to Phase 4…except for having to watch a whole boring ass movie about Black Widow, that is…

Sherlock Gnomes

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Lara (@knobbygirl) on

Shhhhh, no one tell my kids that I watched this without them.

Will someone PLEASE explain to me what the concept behind this film is? I mean, I understand that the yard statues come to life and have little adventures and shit…but WHAT is Sherlock Gnomes? He doesn’t appear to be yard art, so is he an action figure? A leprechaun or something? I don’t understand why he is tasked with keeping track of London’s gnome population. I mean, I guess he is a gnome, too? But why?

I also don’t understand why Johnny Depp was cast as Sherlock Gnomes. Why do children need to be subjected to his lame fake British accent, when they could’ve just hired a British actor?

And what was the point of Mary J. Blige? Why?

The only part that truly made me smile was the scene in the Chinese knick knack shop, because I have most of the tchotchkes depicted there.

This was not a very good film, utterly lacking the heart of the original. The message was supposed to be about taking people for granted, but the message was too ham-handed for a child to really understand.

What We Do in the Shadows

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Lara (@knobbygirl) on

Ever curious, I’d been wondering where Taika Waititi came from – like what did he do before Thor: Ragnarok? A quick google pointed me towards his vampire mockumentary with Jemaine Clement, What We Do in the Shadows. I’d had it filed away in the back of my mind for awhile, until I saw a commercial for an upcoming TV series based on the film. Oooh, better get on it!

Having a weekend of flying ahead of me, WWDitS was the first thing I downloaded from Prime. Filmed in two camera documentary style, it wasn’t the easiest film to watch in daylight, on a 7 inch tablet – keeping with the vampire theme, it is rather dark and grainy at times. I squinted my eyes and blazed forward. Goddamn, this is one of the funniest vampire films I’ve ever seen – and there are A LOT of funny vampire films – Fearless Vampire Hunters, Vampire’s Kiss, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Once Bitten, Innocent Blood, Queen of the Damned – oops, I don’t think that last one was supposed to be a comedy.

I have a total crush on Vladislav, probably because he reminds me of my BFF’s future husband, Voltaire. I know his look was a nod to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but I didn’t hate it.

Taika’s Viago is a dandy vampire, with a tragic backstory. He is roommates with Vladislav, the Nosferatu-esque Petyr and the Lugosi-ish Duncan – they all share a Wellington flat…and argue over who is going to do the dishes. They also go clubbing, try to lure victims and get into a turf war with the local werewolf pack. It is sidesplittingly funny – it’s a dry humor, though not as dry as British humor, with a bit more of the physical comedy. I’ll never get over the vampire sissy slap fight or Vladislav’s failure to “get the face right”.

I don’t know if it is valid to say I have a “New Zealand sense of humor”, just based on Taika Waititi and Peter Jackson – I cannot even think of anyone else from New Zealand. <Googles New Zealand Celebrities…> Nope.

Deadpool 2

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Lara (@knobbygirl) on

Deadpool 2 just debuted on HBO, so we all cuddled on the couch for a family movie night. Good thing that Deadpool ASSURED the audience that this is a family film – because we let the 13 year old and the 10 year old watch.

There was no pegging (although it was alluded to), so there wasn’t too much explaining I had to do for the kids. I did have to explain to my daughter what an IUD was – no biggie. Everything else went over her head – thank the lord she didn’t ask me about docking.

The major complaint about Deadpool 2 was the “fridging” of Vanessa. (“Fridging” is killing off a female character, solely to give motivation to a male character.) Yes, she was fridged…but I’m kinda okay with it. Deadpool gives zero fucks about anything BUT Vanessa. There is literally nothing else you could do to Deadpool to motivate him. I do wonder though – NO SPOILERS – how do they motivate him in the next movie?

I wish Josh Brolin was taller.

Now I need to see Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which is where Ryan Reynolds first saw Julian Dennison. He was a punkass little kid.

Stick around for some mid-credits scenes – you won’t be disappointed.

All things considered, I liked Deadpool 2 even more than the first one. The action was okay, but what really got me were the jokes. I feel like I’m the Deadpool in my friend group, what with my pop culture obsession(s). I could not stop laughing throughout the whole film – I even caught myself laughing at jokes the next day. Looking forward to watching Once Upon a Deadpool (maybe should’ve started the kids there), then Deadpool 3/X-force/whatever Ryan Reynolds decides to do. The one downside though…I’ve had Cher’s ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’ stuck in my head for the last week. Gee, thanks DP.

The Frighteners

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Lara (@knobbygirl) on

I love introducing the kids to my favorite horror films. I love introducing the kids to my favorite directors. The Frighteners is a horror film by one of my favorite directors – Peter Jackson. What’s not to love?

I’m fairly certain that I saw The Frighteners in the theater. Or maybe I didn’t? I’ve seen it so many times since then though, it’s kind of blurry. At the time though, the special effects were cutting edge. Unlike lots of 90s films, the effects still hold up. Bless you, Peter Jackson.

There’s so much to love about The Frighteners. Michael J. Fox in his last major film role. Jeffrey Combs being creepy as fuck. Jake Busey, also being creepy as fuck. John Astin, father of the future Hobbit. R. Lee Ermey as…R. Lee Ermey. My daughter was excited about Dee Wallace Stone, who is apparently starring in some Disney Chanbel Show she watches. Whatever happened to Trini Alvarado, AKA young Andi McDowell?

I also think that this film continued my obsession with ‘Don’t Fear the Reaper.’ For sure, it started with the miniseries of The Stand, but then this film ended with it…and wasn’t it in Scream? And then ‘More Cowbell’ and then Six Feet Under…that song can do no wrong.

I love the contours of Peter Jackson’s career. From his start with Feebles, through the camp horror of Bad Taste and Dead Alive and then the ethereal beauty of Heavenly Creatures, Jackson makes a pit stop here in big budget horror before his forays into the Tolkien universe. I’m really intrigued by his newest project, a 3D documentary of WWI.

Grease 2

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Lara (@knobbygirl) on

I think my daughter hates me. I was watching Grease and Grease 2 came on afterwards and she made me watch it, too. Somehow, I had managed to avoid it for the last 42 years. It’s so, SO bad. I give her credit, though – about half way through, she begged to change the channel, but I wouldn’t let her. She must live with the consequences of her bad decisions.

So instead of muscle cars, the thing is motorcycles. And instead of Sandy, the Australian exchange student, we get her cousin Michael, the English exchange student. Good thing Frenchy, the Beauty School Dropout, is around to push the plot along by telling Michael exactly what he needs to do to win Stephanie’s heart. Barf. Strangely enough, she mysteriously disappears halfway through the movie.

Why does everyone except Michelle Pfeiffer look period appropriate? Her hair is just not right, and neither are her clothes. Honestly, I don’t even think that Michelle Pfeiffer is even in the same movie as everyone else.

So many songs – and they are so dumb! Weird as hell songs about bowling and sexual reproduction and going to the grocery store. What the actual fuck? and the Motorcycle Heaven scene – are they fucking kidding? There’s only one explanation – cocaine. Bales and bales of cocaine.

Why is the bad guy the same pitted-face dick from the first movie? So lazy. And why did I have to see so much of Adrian Zmed’s nipples? He just comes off as a dick the whole movie, especially when he is making out with Judy Garland’s daughter. Oh, and Christopher McDonald (he eats pieces of shit for breakfast)! And the Sagal twins – I was OBSESSED with that show Double Trouble!

I didn’t realize that Pamela Adlon is Pamela Segall – she was in one of my favorite movies as a kid – Something Special (AKA Milly/Willy). I need to track that down for my kids to watch.

I hope I never have to sit through this again.

The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time

A post shared by Lara (@knobbygirl) on

I don’t care what they call that damn movie, I really doubt it’s the last one. (Are you sensing a certain cynicality in me, when it comes to franchises? You’re goddamn right you are!)

As the last film ended, everyone on the planet was dead I think, except Fin. His son showed up with a time machine…and that’s right where Sharknado 6 picked up. Fin ended up in the Jurassic period and oh look! There’s Tara Reid riding a Pterodactyl. Or was it a “Tara-dactyl”?

As the shark-fighting team travels through history fighting Sharknados, they also travel from continent to continent. Not sure where they started in Dinosaur-land, but they make appearances at King Arthur’s Court (Excalibur was really a chainsaw), the American Revolution, wherever Billy the Kid was hanging out at, then San Francisco in 1996, and then…the far off future full of Tara Reid Clones wearing tinfoil hats. We truly had no idea what the fuck was going on. And I don’t mean that in a delightful way.

The cameos were fast and furious this go-round. And weird…very, very weird. Alaska Thunderfuck as Morgana (le Fey?); Deanna Troi; Neil deGrasse Tyson as Merlin; The Offspring (the band), literally telling the American Revolution Cavalry to “Come out and play”; Leslie Jordan as Benjamin Franklin; Darrell Hammond as George Washington (but doing his Bill Clinton impression…so weird); Ben Stein as Alexander Hamilton; Dee Snyder; Murr from Impractical Jokers; Gilbert Gottfried (again); Tori Spelling and her gross cheating/anal sex-obsessed husband as Fin’s parents; Peter Brady as Nova’s grandfather; Doc from The Love Boat; LaToya Jackson as Cleopatra; James Hong as Confucius; and Al Roker (also again).

I take it back, this really has to be the last one. There’s no where else to go, right? RIGHT?