Friday, December 21, 2012

Weekly Movie Roundup (The Strangely Eclectic Edition): 12-16-12 to 12-21-12

I did pretty good this week, guys! I almost have too many movies to talk about, and I couldn't pick which one would get the actual review treatment yet, sooooooo I'm a-talk about them a bit in my roundup and maybe that'll help me decide, yea?

This eclectic week of movies includes topics like pendulums, presidents, fish hangovers, turtle torture, and strangling people with jump ropes. Sometimes I just love my life.

The Raven (2012)
Despite some pretty low expectations for The Raven, I actually quite enjoyed it and had a really good time watching it. At first I wasn't entirely sure how I would feel about Edgar Allan Poe's life and work being put up on screen in such a fictionalized manner, but I found out pretty quick that that was easy to overlook with this movie. It's just a fun, nice paced, and not too thought-provoking little flick that easily killed a couple hours while I was recovering from my wisdom teeth surgery. John Cusack's performance of Edgar Allan Poe was not particularly convincing for me as being an honest portrayal of the real man, but at least he was charming and funny. The Pit and the Pendulum murder was nicely gory, I have to say; didn't expect that. One thing I also loved about the movie was the recitation of Poe's poem "Annabel Lee" by Emily in one scene. That one has always been a favorite of mine.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)
Okay, now, this one was exactly the opposite of The Raven. For Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, I had pretty high expectations and was so incredibly excited for it. In the end, though, it really let me down. The title and premise right away offers up the opportunity to have so much fun with the story that I almost couldn't believe the final result. The movie takes itself way, way too seriously! It's about Abraham Lincoln being a secret vampire hunter, for crying out loud! Why am I not laughing at campy one-liners and hilarious vampire deaths at the hands of Honest Abe with an axe? Why are they trying to be so historically accurate? I thought the whole point of the movie was being completely historically inaccurate? Another thing I hated about it was the style. I am really so sick of modern movies adopting this completely unrealistic, CGI-inflated, way-too-much-use-of-random-slow-motion style that is all about the visuals and absolutely no substance. It looks terrible and I hate it. So seeing it in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was a big disappointment. So sad. Maybe the book is better. I do love that poster, though.

Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
My Classic Monster Movie Marathon from a little while ago got interrupted by my moving into an apartment, but I had totally meant to include Creature from the Black Lagoon in it. So I finally watched it the other day and... well, I'm kinda glad I didn't have to review it for my marathon because I don't really have that much to say about it. Oh, sure it's nice and B-movie campy and there's a guy in a rubber suit and some hilarious homoerotic subtexts with the two guys who are fighting in their swim trunks all the time, but the movie just didn't interest me as much as some of the other classic monsters. I like the monster himself, though, especially the costuming which is actually a really nice design. The underwater scenes are filmed well too (although they tend to go on a little long sometimes) and the set design of the monster's secret home or whatever is cool. I might give this another look in the future but for right now I'm kinda meh about it.

The Innocents (1961)
Dudes, where has this movie been all my ghost-loving life? I mean, this is so freaking up my alley and I can't believe that I haven't heard that much about it before. The whole package was simply amazing - a huge, gothic mansion; two creepy, possessed children; a ghostly mystery; and a heartbreaking story with an equally heartbreaking ending. It seems like there is a lot of the talky-talky going on at first but everything that is said is important and warrants your attention from the start. There is the one amazing scene where Miss Giddens is wandering around the house at night and hears all kinds of creepy-ass whispering and laughing, but all the little tidbits thrown in the movie that add up to things not being all right with the children are pure perfection. Flora asking if tortoises can swim, Miles requesting a goodnight kiss... yeah, something's going on with those two. Deborah Kerr is wonderful in the lead role and carries the film beautifully. This is a new favorite. Really, really excellent ghost movie - I loved it!

Bloody Birthday (1981)
I have almost no shame in saying that Bloody Birthday was actually my favorite of all the movies that I watched this week. I know. I should say The Innocents 'cause it's all classic and stuff and I really did love it, but Bloody Birthday was so freaking awesome. Three murderous kids who take out anybody they don't like for whatever reason? And they use bows and arrows, cars, guns, jump ropes, and baseball bats? I love these kids. And the movie itself isn't really all that bad either. The acting by the three kids is very convincing - they're not trying to all psychotic and scary, just normal kids who kill because they have no conscience (I guess being born under a total eclipse does that to you). The story is interesting, and the usual 80s camp is surprisingly very minimal. This is a nice little sleeper classic that deserves a bit more recognition. Great movie!


  1. I too, love The Innocents! It's one of my favorites! So with that said, have you seen 1944's The Uninvited? I think you'd like it a lot as well...gothic mansion on the cliffs of the sea and a ghost or two to haunt it properly. Good stuff!

    1. The Uninvited is still on my to-see list - people seem to keep recommending it to me so I guess I should probably see it!

  2. Very cool roundup, dudette! :)
    Love the Raven and it'll even pop up in my Top 25 Horror of 2012
    Abe VH is terrible. Seen Abe vs Zombies just a few days ago and I enjoyed it way more - recommended!

    Innocents is super-awesome and super-creepy, and Bloody Birthday is just bloody good 80s fun.

    I admit, I've never seen Black Lagoon before... :/

    1. I put Abraham Lincoln vs Zombies into my queue right after watching Vampire Hunter. If the big budget movie was that lame and disappointing, then the straight-to-DVD flick has got to be a hundred times more entertaining! The Innocents was indeed amazing but almost overshadowed because I watched Bloody Birthday right after it! Freaking Loved That Thing.