[BLOG] A Little Something Extra, Hatton’s Good & Bad Movies

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How many movies have you seen the past year?  If you are anything like good ol’ Hatton here, you have probably seen a lot.  I have been getting annoyed with myself at just how many damned movies I’ve digested in the last year because.. honestly, why the hell shouldn’t I?  I’ve found in recent months that it is harder to settle in to a television show (although I most certainly have), but I can convince myself to give up 2 hours to movies about almost anything. So here are a few of the movies I’ve watched that I’ve loved, and also a couple that I’ve hated.  If you have any interest you can read my shorter reviews on these and every movie I watch over on Letterboxd (which is basically like GoodReads, but for movies (which is basically Raveller, but with books (which is basically … ok, I’ve run out, but about yarn).

The Good

SOUL – Yeah, there was no way that Pixar’s journey into the afterlife, what it means to live, the soul, and jazz wasn’t going to make a list of movies I enjoyed. It’s just rich in color and tone, it makes the music feel like a living and breathing character while the performances of Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey are so emotional in both the good and the bad, I would believe that they are best friends outside of work. I also would watch that talk show. Anyway, Soul is beautiful and the music, from a genre that I don’t usually have anything to say, makes the world live.

 

VFW – In the ‘weird subgenre’ tropes that exist out there, the ‘a group have to defend their place from evil’ is one you don’t hear a lot from. Things like Breakin‘ 2 or Revenge of the Nerds, obviously 1980’s fair and Home Alone being the most famous. (I do hope you are now sitting there and trying to find the connection between those 3 movies, and I assure you.. it’s there. They’re movies about a group of like-minded people defending a THING, a PLACE, an IDEA from evil.  Well, in VFW it’s a bunch of veterans defending their watering hole from evil drugged out punks. It’s an action movie riot – and stars so many actors you know from that action movie thing they did that time.  The film looks dated, the locales look old… this movie could be from 1993 Cinemax and you wouldn’t know the damned difference.  It’s brilliant.

 

SPONTANEOUS – This is, by far, the best movie I’ve seen in a long time. Part of that, I’m sure, is because I wasn’t expecting it.  The premise is that there are kids in a high school that occasionally blow up, so the rest of the class has to deal with it. It sounded like it was going to be a perfect little silly horror comedy, but it isn’t what I got. It is a movie with humor that actually made me laugh out loud, and the emotional weight of a Heathers or a Pump Up The Volume. The movie is a breakdown of the modern teenage experience in ways I can’t empathize, but I certainly can sympathize.  If you go look up one thing on this blog post today – This should be the one.

 

THE BAD

GIRLS WITH BALLS – A weird French Canadian film about a volleyball team fighting deliverance style backwoods types that turn out to be a cult?  I mean, it isn’t the worst premise in the world… sadly, the movie it got is just a series of  scenes that may have had plots, but somehow they don’t now. The same 5 bad guys dying over and over again due to, I am sure, budget reasons. Moments of suspense ruined by these girls yelling at each other over their status in the team, but the comedy being ruined by not having a punchline. This movie fails at fundamentally everything, it doesn’t even fit the mark for a ‘so bad its good’ because it knows its bad… so there is intent, which makes it even dumber. The poster is actually much cooler than the movie

 

STARFISH – The world is ending and this girl may or may not have the answer to fix it?  I mean, that feels like a good slug line for a reasonable film… but this movie just.. walks around. Takes a nap. Reads a book. Feeds the fish. Ignores the monster outside. Doesn’t tell you much about what’s going on. Takes another nap. Ends.  Seriously, won’t lie, that’s pretty much the whole thing. The worst kind of ‘horror as art’ and ‘I don’t have to explain it to you, Warren…

 

30 MILES FROM NOWHERE – A bunch of 30 – 40 somethings all meet in the woods after one of their own’s funeral. I actually am most disappointed by this one, as I find the premise is wonderful. It is the sort of premise you hear about a great play… there is a history the viewer isn’t aware of, tensions we can’t see, there is so much that could be happening before the story even starts that it is rife with things to reveal — but 30 Miles just starts the film with everyone acting nice, but hating each other. It is less ‘Friends reconnected’ and more ‘We have to do this’ – which would be fine, that is a reasonable direction, but none of them respond to anything reasonably. They just do dumb plot-pushing things and yell at each other!

That’s that! A few movies to tide you over until we’re allowed outside – I mean, even the bad ones take up time… it’s an angry, want to crush and destroy, time.. but it’s time.

So what have you seen during the world of lockdown? What great or horrible thing had you previously missed? Let us know!  

 


Every week, the Somethings will be giving you a little something extra, so please check back every week for reviews, lists, cool finds, and more!

[The End] Sense8

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A group of people, connected.. somehow.. for some reason. 

They can see what the others see, they can take control when it’s time to, and when one feels pain… they all feel pain.

Part Wachowski FeverDream, part JM Straczynski longform storytelling – gone before it told its story its own way…. we’re talking about Sense 8. What did the boys think about the movie-length finale that was only done to sate the rabid fanbase? Find out on an episode that spans 3 continents.. on The End: Sense 8

Ok here we all go!

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[BLOG] A Little Something Extra Rob’s Nightmare on Elm Street Movies: Ranked

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Hey Somethings!

Been playing a fair amount of Freddy on Dead By Daylight lately, and that got me thinking about the “Nightmare” franchise, so here’s my take on ranking all nine movies from worst to best!

#9 – Freddy’s Dead : The Final Nightmare
This movie was trash.  Most of their plots and ‘revelations’ were lifted from other movies that the viewer had known for a while (Wait… you can PULL FREDDY OUT OF A DREAM?!?!?…) which made things very boring for me, and the times they tried to be original (Freddy having a daughter.. his power coming from ‘Dream Demons’…) were so schlocky that this movie easily falls to the bottom of the list.

 

#8 – A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge
Regardless of the possible ‘subtext’ of this movie… it was a huge downgrade from the original with lackluster acting, cheesy visuals, and ZERO memorable scenes. The lack of memorable scenes gives it JUST enough of a boost over the AMAZINGLY memorable(ly bad) Final Nightmare to have this one clock in at number 8.

 

Good, bad, I’m
the one with the
knives…

#7 – A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010 Remake)
Rebooting a beloved franchise that had fallen off in recent years?  Casting Jackie Earl Haley (who was amazing as Rorschach in ‘Watchmen’) as Freddy?  I’m in!  At least… I wanted to be in.  It felt like a college film project based on the original.  Visually it was close (although, I wasn’t a fan of Freddy’s ‘new’ look), but it lacked the heart and… dare I say charm.. .of the original.  All in all, the title was accurate, though not in the way that was intended.

 

#6 – Freddy VS Jason
It was a bold move to even attempt this movie as it had the potential to ruin two different, beloved horror franchises…however, out of all the matchups that could have been made… the ‘immovable object’ of Jason paired up with the wise-cracking Freddy was the perfect match.  While the ending was to be expected, it was a valid homage to both fan bases and well done.

 

#5 – Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
This movie is underrated.  Arriving 3 years after ‘The end of the franchise’, I love the metaness of it.  I love seeing the principle cast back.  While it’s the poorest performing movie of the lot, and falls a bit outside of the continuity of the franchise, it was an amazingly bold direction to go in and I applaud the choice.

 

#4 – A Nightmare on Elm Street : The Dream Child 
The wrap up of the ‘middle trilogy’, “The Dream Child” uses Alice’s unborn baby’s dreams to fuel Freddy’s ability and was the poorest performing of said trilogy.  The gas was starting to run out of the series, which lead to the inevitable “Final Nightmare” debacle.

 

#3 – A Nightmare on Elm Street : The Dream Master 
This was the mid point of the “Dream….” trilogy and it effectively put Renny Harlan on the map.  Pulling in nearly $50 mil on a $6.5 mil budget, it was the highest grossing film of the series in the U.S. until Freddy VS Jason came out… even with Patricia Arquette’s role recast to Tuesday Knight.

 

Plus, that song…

#2 – A Nightmare on Elm Street : Dream Warriors
Spots 2 and 1 are close enough for me to almost be interchangeable… (almost).  With a great cast (Langenkamp, Arquette, Fishburn…) it revitalized the franchise after the dismal “Freddy’s Revenge” and really drove the series for the next two films.  Had this movie tanked, it easily could have relegated “Nightmare” movies to late-Saturday-night-schlockfests until it died with a whimper.  Instead, it lit a fire in the fandom and shifted the series from straight horror/slasher to more Horror/SciFi/Fantasy which was a wise choice.

And the number one is!

#1 – A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
This is the one that started it all, and therefore deserves top spot on the list.  With an original concept for a slasher/killer and amazing practical effects, this movie put not only Freddy, but Langenkamp and a young Johnny Depp on viewer’s radar.  Without the impact this movie had, none of the others would have been made, and therefore takes its rightful spot at the top of my list.


Every week, the Somethings will be giving you a little something extra, so please check back every week for reviews, lists, cool finds, and more!

[The Wheel] Predictions: Marvel Phase 4

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It’s time for another adventure with the WHEEL!

With a myriad of topics and journeys for the Somethings to go on, what is it this week? Well the answer is right there in the title, but you should still act surprised.

From WandaVision to Dr. Strange, the Young Avengers, X-Men, and all of the movies pushed back – we are going to talk about what might be coming next for the House of Ideas.

Don’t forget to check out our friends at Quixotic Games brand new Kickstarter for the CORE WORLDS sequel and its expansion. CORE WORLDS: EMPIRES and NEMESIS that are not only live, but almost to goal!

Ok, here we Mephisgo!

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[BLOG] A Little Something Extra, Hatton Takes On Evil…

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We’re on a mission from God…
..not him though…
…that’s Kurt Fuller.

Have you listened to our recent episode about Cobra Kai & Evil? Well, if you haven’t – take a minute – go listen now… I’ll wait.

Now that you’re caught up – since that episode, I’ve binged down Evil and figured it seems only right to discuss it. (And I challenge my podcasting partner to do the same with a certain karate oriented program)

The only information I had walking in was what Rob had told me – the show was about a man of faith trying to debunk exorcisms with a tech and a shrink on his side. The premise felt like the type of show I would dig, add in that there are lengthy background mysteries going on the whole way through and a villain in Ben Linus—- I mean Michael Emerson, it was an easy sell.

So, with all that, was it worth the time and effort – and the answer is a yes, but not without qualifications.

Both Mike Colter, playing David Acosta and Katja Herbers, playing Kristen Bouchard are three-dimensional characters who spend the season fighting demons (internal, external, and imagined) and come across as three-dimensional layered and conflicted people. To round out their trio is Ben Shakir, as performed by former Daily Show alum Aasif Mandvi, the skeptic tech expert who is enjoyable to watch, even though out of the three, his character feels the most stereotypical.

One of the main factors the show wants you to question throughout is ‘what is real and what is supernatural’ – is this person possessed or do they have an identity disorder? Is that person pulling secrets from the aether or is someone being stalked? That, it does well. Even weird creepy things from the first half of the show get more concrete answers later. To the point where it lulls you into a false sense of security when you see something that you are certain must be supernatural.

No man is an island…

The only problem the show suffers from is one that a lot of shows do – and that is the ‘nothing is normal’ issue. It’s a minor gripe, but its one that never ceases to be notable. A perfect example is an episode near the end of the season where David is invited to a woman’s house because she is having a crisis of faith. It also just so happens that she has a man chained up in her basement for offenses he may or may not have committed. Why was David called? Why would she invite David over? Can’t David just go to someone’s house and tell them about his Lord and Savior and provide them a bounty of pamphlets and associated literatures?

A lot of that is simply the buffalo of television – nary a minute can be spent not developing a plot lest they lose our attentions which is reasonable. It wouldn’t be an interesting episode if he just so happened to visit a an old friend, they talked about their favorite episode of Friends and there was no possible demon infestation… but when the weird shit is the only thing you see, it makes it feel like these characters just stumble place to place and every portion of their life is an interconnected plot of intrigue.

I will give it this though – the last ten minutes of its first season makes you re-evaluate what you’ve just watched. Not in a ‘Fight Club’ way, but in a ‘Oh, this is a story about Sam Gamgee’ sort of way. It makes you look at one particular character’s journey in a new light… and also makes you wonder what Baphomet charges for in-patient office visits. (When you watch the show, that will make you laugh..)

So was Rob right? Is Evil a show for me? The answer is yes. I’m not riveted, but I’m enjoying it. It’s a show that teeters on the edge of too much. The villain is too smart and gets what he wants too easily. The ramifications of actions are brushed aside when they’re not necessary… but it is telling an interesting story, and that’s all that really matters.


Every week, the Somethings will be giving you a little something extra, so please check back every week for reviews, lists, cool finds, and more!

[Something In Review] Evil & Cobra Kai

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Why review two things when there are two of us, am I right? You see, there is a lot of television going on right now. If we were allowed to go places with water coolers, I don’t know how any work would get done with all the chatter about what we saw last night…

With that in mind, the Somethings were live on Twitch and reviewed not just one show, but two. One is about a team fighting evil at every turn, and the other is Evil! So hang with Hatton and Rob as we breakdown two shows that have gotten us through at least a little of our lockdown.

And don’t forget to jump on the Core Worlds Kickstarter, going on right now!

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[BLOG] A Little Something Extra, Rob’s Great Scenes From Movies You’ve Probably Never Seen

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I love me some movies.  I also love me some well filmed movies.  Even better?  Movies that have scenes that just, for one reason or another, stick with you for years after you watch them.  With that in mind, here’s some of mine.

Immediately hired by White Wolf

Near Dark
End Chase.  Near Dark is a great vampire movie, and while there are a number of good scenes in it, the image of Jesse and Diamondback in the station wagon, huddled under blankets to block the sun, smiling as they smoulder and start to catch fire as they try to run over Caleb is just a great visual scene.

Bound
Cesar’s Death.  Bound is another movie that is chock-full of great scenes, but the best one for me is Cesar’s death.  The top-down camera angle as it pulls back and we see Cesar, his blood pooling into the large puddle of white paint, then pulling back further and the white paint puddle framed by the dark floor… the way it was filmed, the contrast… it reminds me of the scene in The Untouchables after Capone killed that guy with a bat at the banquet table, just some great cinematography.

Welcome… to the Rock

Men With Brooms
“The Juggernaut’s Entrance”.  Years ago, after seeing curling for the first time on the Olympics, a friend of mine and I found a place in NJ and took lessons.  It was there we learned about a fun little movie called ‘Men With Brooms’.  If you’ve played curling or are familiar with it, this movie is great, and the cast is pretty impressive.  The scene I loved the most was when Alexander “The Juggernaut” Yount and his squad enter the bonspiel in matching silver lamé tracksuits with cheerleaders and pyro going off at the entrance.  The fact that curling in and of itself is such a subdued/great sportsmanship sport made their entrance scene completely hilarious.

28 Days Later
Deserted London.  I know you’ve probably seen this movie, but I had to include it for the scenes of deserted London.  It wasn’t a huge scene to be honest, established to get the point across of how empty everything was… but the scenes of London Bridge… just… EMPTY… it hit on a scale of not only what kind of undertaking it was to get that scene filmed, but how absolutely terrifying it would be to be in that position of being there and just… being completely alone. 

…I don’t think this is the right image…

Ghost Dog
Sidewalk scene.  This is a visually amazing movie from Jim Jarmusch with Forest Whitaker in the lead.  There’s a scene in the movie where he’s walking down a fairly busy sidewalk while people and businesses are interacting around him and.. the cinematography is nothing short of stunning in my opinion.  The way that people are talking to each other, bringing trash to the curb, waving to people driving by… but do so in a way that NONE of them actually make visual contact with Whitaker as he walks… one pace… never changing speed…it was such an amazing way to show how his character walks through society under the radar.


Every week, the Somethings will be giving you a little something extra, so please check back every week for reviews, lists, cool finds, and more!

Bad ‘Book to Movie’ Movies

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Sometimes, a good movie comes out and you find out that it came from a book! Sometimes it goes an entire other way – where you see a movie and you wonder what kind or source material could have birthed such madness… or the worst of the worst… you love the book, and the movie you get doesn’t even come close to the experience you had with words on paper.

Those are the ones we’re talking about today – movies that nobody would mind if we got a re-try on. Movies that just didn’t do any of their words justice and the things we love and hate about them.

Before we start, we would like to tell you to check out our friends at Quixotic Games brand new Kickstarter for the CORE WORLDS sequel and its expansion. CORE WORLDS: EMPIRES and NEMESIS are going live on 02/02/21, and you don’t want to miss out!

Ok, here we snow! (a day early!)

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[BLOG] A Little Something Extra, Hatton’s Gaming

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Since PCR went and did the games he’s been playing – I decided maybe I should do the same thing.. it seems only fair.

So here are some of the games that have taken up a majority of my time while I’ve been sequestered to the inside world. Surprisingly, I’ve beaten a few of them, which is shocking for someone like me that gets distracted by the next bright thing that crosses my p

GOD OF WAR
I was never a God of War guy. I had the trilogy on my Vita, but they were always passing the time sort of games. I know there are some diehards out there that are all about that Kratos life, but Sony had a sale early in 2020 and I had heard enough great things that it seemed a worthy way to waste some time in this lockdown which should obviously only last a couple months, am I right?

This fits TWO games!

So for nights on end, I spent hours grinding away at creating my favorite minmax set of powers and armor, and in the end – I beat every Valkyrie, which if you aren’t aware… is a feat. The game is gorgeous from top to bottom with the conversations between Kratos and Boy never feeling like redundant chores or protection quests – it is an exquisite story, and other than a bit of repetition in enemies that you only start to notice as you reach the end of your 20 hours of gameplay.

SACKBOY’S BIG ADVENTURE
I fall in love with every Little Big Planet game. They are cute. They have great little extra challenges that actually strain your fingers. They have a mix of weird british sense of humor and childlike wonder. I understand completely why they have a hard time finding a major audience, because they are just a little too kid-like for adults and a little too hard for kids.

That said – this game is still on rotation as I try and squeeze out the last few gems… but the sign of a good game is going back to levels that you’ve already beaten and achieved everything and go and play them just because you love the level design. (Which is precisely what I’ve done with every single one of the half-dozen music levels)

Why do crafting games feature the least crafty monsters ever?

MINECRAFT / DEAD BY DAYLIGHT / 7 DAYS TO DIE
So, I’m lumping all of these into the same category. I enjoy each one for their own reason (MC because it is unendingly creative, DBD because it is this hot mix of horror and strategy, and 7DD because I haven’t played enough of it to have eked out all of its secrets) — but they all fall into ‘games I play to hang with friends’. I am mostly an extrovert, and I’m going to tell you that this has been a big old slice of hell to be trapped inside with little contact with the outside world.

These are the games that have kept me in contact with people I may not have had a chance to talk to otherwise.

CRACKING THE CRYPTIC SUDOKU
I’m putting a link to the company that makes these games, and at first you may think.. wait, that’s a bit of money for some sudoku puzzles, doesn’t my local paper have a new game in each and every paper? The answer is yes – but those aren’t handcreated by masters of puzzles. Spend some time on the youtube channel, Cracking the Cryptic and you’ll get it.

Yes, you have to be a certain type of person to want to grind away at super difficult and altogether confusing variations of number puzzles, but – yeah – I’m 100% that guy. I get the occasional free Google money from doing surveys, and the last $20 or so I’ve earned there has paid to have every one of these apps on my phone.

There’s a war! I’m the King!
LET’S COLLECT RECIPES!

THE REST
There is a whole other slew of games that fall under the ‘play until distracted’ that would make this article waaaay too long. So here’s the short versions and a quick few words.
FINAL FANTASY XV – I decided to beat one of the newer generations. This one seemed as good as any… it is the most gorgeous piece of unintelligible mess I’ve ever played.
LEVELHEAD – It’s like MarioMaker, but for PC – and has the most welcoming online community I’ve ever had the pleasure of hanging out with
DEMONCRAWL – It’s Minesweeper, but with roleplaying elements. Perfect to lose an hour in occasionally.

WHAT’S NEXT
Lastly, the games that are on my ‘going to try next’ list…

SPIDER-MAN: MILES – That’s next on the list, but I loved the original, so it’s a no-brainer.
RETURN OF OBRA DINN – Every reviewer I respect said that Obra Dinn is an amazing piece of adventure gaming that must be tried… and it was on Steam sale over Christmas, so it awaits me.

If you haven’t noticed – I fill the vast hole in my soul with digital enjoyment… what have you been up to?


Every week, the Somethings will be giving you a little something extra, so please check back every week for reviews, lists, cool finds, and more!

[The End] Seinfeld

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Why… are they called.. podcasts.

I don’t see any pod? I don’t see any fish? What are they casting? And why are they doing it in a pod?

Seinfeld, one of the top rated sitcoms of all time. The finale was one of the top comedy finales in viewership. Does the show’s legacy hold up? Does its finale hold to its legacy? The Somethings have a lot to say about Jerry and friends – but is it really a podcast about anything at all?

Ok, no soup for you!

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