So, I’m sitting here and thinking about what I wanted to do for the first review of 2017 that wasn’t a recap of 2016… Ultimately I came up with a blank. School got me stuck firmly in a rut and the other areas I want to cover a little later. So, I thought to myself that it was finally time to open back up the vault and have a second look at a movie from the past. In particular we will be looking at the Pierce Brosnan & Linda Hamilton disaster movie, Dante’s Peak. In particular, what I want to look at is the fact that this movie is not looked upon fondly by many people. It bombed at the box office, walked away with under a 20% on Rotten Tomatoes (though admittedly that is today. Rotten Tomatoes wasn’t what it was then), and is often forgotten compared to its competitive counterpart, Volcano starring Tommy Lee Jones. I want to challenge that slightly. While I do not think the movie is necessarily “great” I do think it is entertaining on a camp level similar to the entertainment, but batshit insanity of Twister. Continue reading “From the Vaults: Dante’s Peak”
It has been a while since I have opened up the vaults and taken a look at something in the past that needs a new eye to its legacy, so why not spin the giant steel wheel and see what we have today. Well if it isn’t one of John Hughes most popular movies of all time. I will state this right away, I think that John Hughes is one of the best filmmakers of all time. He truly revolutionized the 80’s and became a true coming of age icon. However, I do feel that a lot of his movies are looked at through a certain “rose tinted glasses” and some of his bad movies tend to get looked at with the same wave of nostalgia and love. While Sixteen Candles has had a few problems as it has aged over the years, it can still be looked at as a product of its time. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, on the other hand, is a movie that I feel does not hold up in the time that it was created and the time that we find ourselves in today. It is because of this that this movie finds itself being pulled out of the vault and evaluated for the failings that need to be addressed. Continue reading “From the Vaults: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”
It has been a while since I have opened up the vaults. So why the hell not open it now and take a look at one of the more underrated horror movies of the late 90’s. Horror movies of the 1990’s kind of sucked, let’s just be honest. Everyone was going through their cynical rebellious phase which worked well for a lot of stuff like music… But it didn’t exactly do any favors for the horror film industry that made every movie look like they couldn’t be bothered to make anything of value. But there were a few hidden gems out there. I have already mentioned Event Horizon in the past and now I am going to mention another fan favorite of mine, The Cube. I will say this right now, The Cube 2: Hypercube and The Cube: Zero are absolute trash and besmirch what the original movie set out to do. However, the first movie is an excellent film with a unique message of what happens when bureaucracy runs wild.
Set in an omnipresent cube, six people wake up to find themselves trapped inside with no recollection of how they got there in the first place. Most of the rooms in the cube have deadly traps inside that threaten the protagonists at every turn. The protagonists must come to terms with their surroundings and learn how to avoid the traps and escape the dreaded sarcophagus. Continue reading “From the Vaults: The Cube”
It is time again to open up the vaults! It is that lovely time when I go back and look at movies and video games of old that may have not received a fair review in its first run or they could be seen differently as they have aged over time. The movie on today’s menu: Thirteen Ghosts. Oh yes, the movie starring Tony Shahloub and Matthew Lilliard. For those of you following my site will know that I had some rather chipper things to say about it when I discussed redeemable horror movies of the 2000’s. Well, strangely enough, I notice that this is a movie that is typically panned by critics with a solid score of 12% on Rotten Tomatoes. So I am going to make a more formal statement of how underrated this movie was at the time of its release.
After the death of his estranged uncle Cyrus (F. Murray Abraham), Arthur Kriticos (Tony Shalhoub) and his family travel to Cyrus’s strange glass house left to them in his will. While there they meet Cyrus’s old partner, Dennis Rafkin (Matthew Lilliard) who hunted ghosts with Cyrus. Dennis, Arthur, and Arthur’s family quickly learn that the basement is filled with the 12 ghosts that Cyrus and Dennis captured with the purpose of gaining unlimited power. The machine starts up and Arthur’s kids are kidnapped. Arthur and company need to search through the house and find his children. Continue reading “From the Vaults: Thirteen Ghosts”
So… Once again, I find myself swamped with graduate work and not enough time to get a full review on. So… Instead of making another quick post, I decided to write a mini review of a 2015 game that I missed, Life is Strange. A ‘choose your own adventure’ style of game that gives many alternate paths akin to other favorites of mine like Telltale’s The Walking Dead and Until Dawn. The game offers five episodes and more alternate paths then I can even count. Tragically, it has gone past the cut off date for most of my reviews now so I didn’t want to give it a full review or even a From the Vaults review. But I thought I would just give my general feel of the game and call it a day. Continue reading “Mini Review: Life is Strange”
It is that time of the week again and I am still feeling that 2016 new year hangover. Fear not, I will be going to the movies soon so I can waste my time with some of October and the Oscar’s dumping ground that is January. But for now, I will dig something out of the vaults to give it a little bit of nostalgic talk. Whenever I came up with the ‘From the Vault’ reviews, I always wanted this to not just be my filler reviews where I just talk about some random ass movies. Whenever I brought something out of the vault, I did want a legitimate reason to discuss it. Whether or not this was to take a second look at a movie that received criticism it did not deserve or a look at a bygone age and the movies that represented it. So today, I want to bring up the 1990’s and more importantly, 1990’s horror movies. The 90’s were a weird time. After the cocaine comedown of the 80’s, the 90’s became a time of rampant cynicism. It was seen in movies, television, culture. The idea of flaunting the establishment and horrific nihilism was the mainstay of our culture. This was reflected in our cinema as well. You see this, ‘fuck the past, they didn’t understand how the world works’ type of attitude popped up a lot when it came to movies. Particularly one that had a pro 90’s grunge look to it.
Movies like Wes Craven’s Scream were a perfect example of this. It was a type of filmmaking that seemed to poke fun at the tropes of the past in an irreverent sort of way. Basically saying that all horror movies had certain rules that needed to be abided and that if you followed them then you would be able to survive a horror movie. Many movies liked to look back at the past with a sort ‘anything you can do, we can do better’ type of mentality. It was certainly a product of its time and dependent upon who you talk to, is either a solid part of 90’s cinema or a much appreciated end to a terrible movie trope.
I find it interesting that it is Scream that receive the majority of derision from critics of this type of 90’s movie making when there are certainly much worse culprits out there. I guess it does help to be the most well known, even if you aren’t the worst culprit. But today, I would like to bring to light the Robert Rodriguez movie, The Faculty.
One of the more forgotten movies of the 90’s, The Faculty is the quintessential movie that says ‘Yeah, we are the 90’s and we do stuff better than the past.’ What is basically just a recreating of Invasion of the Body Snatchers down to the point that they directly reference it in the film, the movie is a decent creation but ultimately a poorly aged execution. Continue reading “From the Vaults: The Faculty”
So I disappear for a few days in a slew of papers, grading exams, and of course playing Age of Empires 2! Anyone else spend way too much of their childhood/teens/tweenhood dedicating way too much of your time to put two gigantic armies on one map and have them beat face each other or is that just me? At either rate, once I found this gem 80% off on Steam, it was an insta buy for me. Which is solid, considering if I ever wanted to get my Age of Empires fix, I thought I would have to go to my local Wal-Mart and find it in that section of puzzle games and Nancy Drew mysteries where it has existed for at least 15+ years. But once again, I digress…
If you were to look for the grandaddy of ’em all when it comes to strategy games, you will be hard pressed to find a game that competes with Age of Empires 2. This game is and rightfully should be one of the greatest video games of all time. It was one of my favorite games growing up and was listed as one of my Top 20 Favorite Video Games of All Time! But the question still remains, how does it hold up over the years? We are going to find out today! There really is no plot to this game unless you count the scenarios that they set up, so with that said, I’ll just jump right into the review. Continue reading “From the Vaults: Age of Empires II”
Today we open up the vaults for a 2002 movie that you will now typically find in the $5 sell bin at Wal-Mart. This movie isn’t a case of a terrible movie sitting in the depths of a bin, waiting for some unsuspecting person to dig through it and pull out $5 worth of wasted time. Instead, this movie is more of a decent early 2000’s movie that just simply got forgotten as the times moved forward. Blue Crush isn’t a bad movie, in fact I thoroughly enjoyed Blue Crush when I was becoming a teenager and had nothing better to do with my time while I was on summer vacation from school. But as the years of worn on and I have watched the movie as an adult, I have come to realize that Blue Crush is an ambitious movie that falls flat when it comes to the ambition level.
Blue Crush is the story of a young woman named Anna Marie Chadwick (Kate Bosworth). She is a surfer from Hawaii who takes care of her little sister Penny (Mika Boorem) as their mom left them for a random boyfriend and her two friends Lena and Eden (Sanoe Lake & Michelle Rodriguez). The trio can either be found working a dead end job as housekeepers at a luxury hotel or surfing on the beach.
Anna Marie is a former pro surfer who was sidelined after a horrific accident that left her psychologically traumatized and unable to get back onto the board. One day while working, she meets a professional football playing Quarterback staying in one of the hotels named Matt Tollman (Matthew Davies) who also happened to be created out of the generic white love interest factory. The story follows Anna Marie as she prepares for a surfing competition in the hopes of over coming her fears and getting back into the professional surfing scene. Continue reading “From the Vaults: Blue Crush”
Today, we open the vaults once again to get to the heart of the reason I started this series. The whole idea of “From the Vaults” is to take a look back at movies and video games of the past and judge them on their impact on their respected industries how the film has held up over time. With that said, there are few movies from my life that represent the intent of this series than Rudy. The story of the plucky little guy from small town Illinois to defy the odds and play for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish is one of those all around feel good movies of the 1990’s. Anyone who has watched Rudy instantly becomes misty eyed by the story of the little engine that could, myself included. I loved watching Rudy when I was a young kid. So much so, that for a time, I cheered for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football Team myself. But over the years, the question still remains, does the movie hold up to this day? Continue reading “From the Vaults: Rudy”
I think every gamer, past, present, and future has that one obscure game that they just absolutely love. It is that game that nobody knows about, nobody has even heard of, and by all accounts you feel like you are the only soul on this earth that plays it. But it is still one of your all time favorites and you will always go back to it whenever you are bored or feeling nostalgic. For me, that game will always be Adventure Company’s Agatha Christie inspired adventure, And Then There Were None. A very obscure point and click adventure, I found this gem when I was with a group of my friends in my local Wal-Mart one day. When I looked at the murder mystery, I studied it, and seeing the price tag I said ‘why the hell not?’ This purchase would be one of the best purchases that I have ever made as it has brought me nothing but joy for several years. But, this does raise the question, how does the game hold up over time? And I cannot think of a better use of the ‘From the Vault’ series then for a game such as this. Continue reading “From the Vaults: And Then There Were None”