Movies: The Sequel

Periodically, I do watch movies that don’t fall into horror or 90s sci-fi…not much recently, though. However, I find time for some. Below are movies I’ve been watching, in no particular order…Except for Drowning Mona, which my favorite movie.

 

Drowning Mona (2000)

WATCH

Again, my favorite flick.  Great cast, soundtrack, writing and location.

 

 

 

National Treasure (2004)

WATCH

Fun movie, indeed, but I also love treasure hunting flicks.  Mr. Cage, I can only handle for a little while, but as long as I keep them spaced out, I’m A-OK.  I do intend to watch part two in a few days.

 

 

 

Deep Blue Sea (1999)

SKIP

LOL

 

 

 

Kong: Skull Island (2017)

WATCH

Pretty much non-stop fun, and Kong is a bad ass.  Worth your time.

 

 

 

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) & Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life (2003)

SKIP

They’re just awful…awful movies.  I was prepared for some ridiculous action movie shit, but these are just too much…Plus I had to deal with Gerard Butler in the second movie…I don’t like Gerard Butler…Or Angelina Jolie…But especially Gerard Butler…God damn it.




The Adventures of Tintin (2011)

WATCH

I can’t stress this enough. This movie came out of nowhere for me, and I loved it. It’s packed full of pirate treasure-hunting adventure, as well as visually gorgeous.   The details, animation, and direction are spot on, so where the hell is the sequel?  Grab on Blu-ray immediately.

 

 

 

The Mummy Trilogy (1999, 2001, 2008)

WATCH

These movies are so much fun.  Adventure, romance, action, treasure, and the supernatural.  What more could you need?  Oh, yeah, a mummy and Jet Li.  That works, too.

 

 

 

The Mummy (2017)

WATCH

I know people have talked non-stop shit on this flick because they want to compare it to Fraser’s Mummy series (also by Universal), but everybody at The Corner thought it was really good.  Here’s the thing: you can have both, people.  Fraser’s series is canon, and this one proves it.  If you haven’t seen the movie, I won’t spoil it, but it’s there, so give this one a shot.  If you HAVE seen it, and didn’t catch it, email or comment and I’ll fill you in, but I won’t spoil it for the rest.  We very much hope that they continue the Dark Universe, because that’s super exciting.  Just PLEASE don’t cast Angelina Jolie as The Monster’s bride….please.  I’m begging you.

 

 

 

Serial Mom (1994)

WATCH

For the love of everything holy…and HOLY shit.  I’m about 50/50 on John Waters’s movies, but this one delivers, and Kathleen Turner is outstanding as the June Cleaver-esque murdering mother.  It’s clever, funny, original, and recently remastered by Scream Factory.  It’s also Matthew Lillard’s 2nd role.

September

Halloween 1-4 (1978-1988)

WATCH

Grab the Scream Factory set if you can. The remastering is stellar, and they’re all there.  The original is my favorite.  Very well done.

 

 

 

Friday the 13th (1980-2003)

(all except Jason X and the remake. Those are on the way.)

WATCH

My favorite slasher series from day one.  I hold Jason Goes to Hell the most dear (first one I saw new to VHS), but they’re all entertaining. Part 3 had a KILLER (sorry) soundtrack.

 

 

 

Ghost Ship (2002)

SKIP

It started off OK, but fell flat pretty quick. It was a bit too long, and I simply don’t see the cult fascination with it.

 

 

 

From Beyond (1986)

WATCH

From the makers of Re-Animator, Jeffrey Combs shines again in this weird tale of a creature crossing dimensions and being gross.  Loved it.

 

 

 

They Live (1988)

WATCH

Another Carpenter gem.  Plain and simple.  Reminiscent of The Twilight Zone, it had me hooked from start to finish.  Put on the glasses and watch immediately.

 

 

 

The Thing from Another World (1951)

WATCH

Inspiration for Carpenter’s The Thing, and starring James Arness as the creature.  It’s fun to compare.

 

 

 

The Thing (2011)

WATCH

Pretty well made prequel to Carpenter’s Thing.  They definitely did their homework, right down to the Norwegian camp.  Tip:  Stick around for the credits.

 

 

 

The Thing (1982)

WATCH

Duh.

 

 

 

The Monster (2016)

SKIP

Boring, depressing, I hated the characters, and the monster sucked.  Ella Ballentine’s performance was very good, however.  Still not worth your time, though.

 

 

 

Evil Dead (1981)

WATCH

Sam Raimi’s original classic still holds up.  Come for Bruce under a bookshelf, stay for the old-fangled gore.

 

 

 

TerrorVision (1986)

WATCH?

I’m not sure what I just saw…it was either magnificent, or utter garbage. I don’t know, man…holy shit.

 

 

 

The Fog (1980)

WATCH

Real good, if a bit slow in parts. Carpenter and Curtis is always a good combo, though.

 

 

 

House (1985) & House II: The Second Story (1987)

WATCH

Campy and confident. My kind of movie(s).  Part 1 is definitely the better of the two, with a great performance from William Katt.  Co-starring Bull from Night Court and Norm from Cheers. Sold.

 

 

 

Leviathan (1989)

WATCH

Peter Weller Sci-Fi flick.  I’ve seen it billed as, “Alien underwater”, and it’s not far off from that, really.  This one sneaked by me for 30 years, and was a happy surprise when Amy and I stumbled on it.

 

 

 

Sleepaway Camp (1983)

WATCH

I rented this twice on VHS from Aardvark Video when I was a kid.  Hadn’t watched it since, but always considered it a staple in my personal collection of favorites.  Recently, I picked up the Scream Factory Blu-ray on the cheap, and was happy to discover that the movie still holds up.  Scream Factory does good work.  I remember watching the VHS on an old tube TV, and thinking it was blurry.  The SF edition is just shy of crystal clear, and the sound is fantastic.

 

 

 

Escape from New York (1981)

WATCH

Snake’s a bad ass.  Another great John Carpenter flick with a great score.

 

 

 

Prince of Darkness (1987)

WATCH

I know you’re tired of hearing about John Carpenter.  Well, I’m not, but I’ll give you a break.  Just watch his movies.

 

 

 

The Pyramid (2014)

SKIP

I watched it so you didn’t have to.  You’re welcome…but you owe me.  The monster looks like an mid-90s made-for-TV special, despite being released in 2014.  Just don’t.

 

 

 

Child’s Play (1988)

WATCH

One of the great, off-the-wall slashers.  A vulgar little red-headed doll in overalls chasing people around with a kitchen knife.  Ummm….yep.   Put it on.

 

 

 

Lifeforce (1985)

WATCH

My favorite Tobe Hooper film I’ve seen so far.  Great special effects with a throwback feel.  Also, there’s a whole bunch of nudity.

 

 

 

Chopping Mall (1986)

WATCH

This one’s pretty fun.  A bunch of kids get locked in a mall overnight with killer robots. 80s blood, nudity, and acting just good enough to squeak by.

 

 

 

An American Werewolf in London (1981)

WATCH

Very cool special effects (can you tell I’m a sucker for old-school FX?), a good amount of humor, and cool setting.  That being said, I still don’t think it should be in the COMEDY section on Amazon Prime Video.

 

 

 

John Carpenter Presents: Body Bags (1993)

 

WATCH

Originally presented by Showtime, this three-part horror anthology features stories directed by Carpenter (who also hosts) and Hooper set in the same world as the Halloween series (Haddonfield, IL is referenced in the first story.) I caught this on late one night in ’93 or ’94, and it may have been my first look into the minds of John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper.

 

 

 

Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)

WATCH

Might as well.  It’s just what you think it is.

 

 

 

Fright Night (1985)

WATCH

Fun vampire movie.  Makes me long for the days of traditional cable TV and all-night monster movie marathons.  Great cast and setting, plus look at that movie poster!

 

 

 

976-EVIL 1 & 2 (1988 & 1991)

WATCH

IMDB nailed it:  “People who dial 976-EVIL receive supernatural powers and turn into satanic killers.” Yep.  You could probably SKIP part one, although it’s directed by Robert Englund.  Part two is more fun, but if you have to watch One for Two, so be it.

 

 

 

Invaders From Mars (1986)

WATCH

Not the best Hooper flick, but still watchable.  Cheesy acting with some pretty cool sets, and fun aliens.  Keep a sharp eye out for a cameo from Lifeforce.

 

 

 

Phantasm: Remastered (1979/2016)

Not bad. I felt parts were strangely edited and acted, and it had trouble keeping my attention in some spots. However, I was a tad distracted by other technology, so I’m very much to blame, too. It’s most definitely good enough to warrant marathoning the first three or four, which is what I plan to do when I have the opportunity.

 

 

 

Jaws (1975)

WATCH

Giant shark terrorizing a beach community…still holds up.

 

 

 

Night of the Creeps (1985)

WATCH

Goofy and fun, with some decent attempts at one-liners.  Perhaps (at least a bit of) an inspiration for Slither?

 

 

 

Screamers (1995)

 

WATCH

90s futuristic Sci-Fi starring Peter Weller and underground killer robots on another planet.  Do you need more?

 

 

 

The Blob (1988)

WATCH

Entertaining as hell, it’s gory and gross with some decent acting.  It’s also full of action, complete with more than a couple, “OH SHIT!” moments.  Wonderful special effects that blend (then) modern looking visuals with those reminiscent of the 50s.

 

 

 

Wishmaster (1997)

WATCH

Pretty decent late 90s horror movie about an evil genie.  Andrew Divoff is creepy as hell, even if a bit over the top.  Watch for cameos by Kane Hodder, Tony Todd and Ted Raimi.

 

 

 

Hellraiser (1987)

EITHER WAY

So-so.  It was ok, but I don’t understand why it’s a horror movie must, honestly.  I understand that for it’s time, it was weird, creepy and unnerving, so I’m not comparing it to modern shock horror.  I just found it boring.

 

 

 

Haunted Honeymoon (1986)

WATCH

A throwback to old time radio programs, this murder/mystery/comedy is written by and starring the director, the wonderful Gene Wilder.  This gem is an old favorite at The Corner, and definitely holds up.  Wonderful cast, great writing, and awesome setting (huge old mansion.)

 

 

 

The Stuff (1985)

WATCH?

Umm…I don’t know how I feel about it, really.  I think i liked it…at least enough to say it’s worth a watch.  It had a very Blob: Alternate Universe feel, which seemed to work.  Michael Moriarty’s performance was a bit bland, but the special effects were just cheesy enough to keep me going.

 

 

 

Scream 4 (2011)

WATCH

Pretty fun time, indeed.  I wasn’t sure if I could handle the “meta” at first, but it wasn’t as ridiculous as I’d previously thought.  I think I was just being a smug asshole, honestly.  Once I pulled my head out, and actually watched it, I liked it.

 

 

 

It (2017)

WATCH

Damn good.  “Horror Goonies” is what I kept hearing from everybody.  I can see that, I think.  Bill’s Pennywise was fantastic and creepy, and the kids were phenomenal.  Can’t wait for more.

 

 

 

It (1990)

WATCH

This movie made me, and half of the country, afraid of clowns in the early 90s.  I think I’m moreso afraid of Tim Curry, though, which means he’s good at what he does.  It definitely wasn’t as scary as I remember, but I was 8 or 9 at the time…It was good, still, though, if a bit cheesy.

 

 

 

C. H. U. D.  (1984)

WATCH

A bit slow in parts, but worth your time, ultimately.  Daniel Stern runs a soup kitchen in grungy clothes and curly hair while he fights humanoid mutants in the NYC sewers…aaaaaaand GO!

 

 

 

Cat’s Eye (1985)

 

WATCH

Three part horror anthology by Stephen King.  It’s worth it for the last story.  I suggest you just pick up the King of Horror Collection Blu-ray set, as the mastering is really good.  Plus you walk away with four King classics for a good price.

 

 

 

The Fog (2005)

SKIP

Again, you’re welcome…I watched this for you, and I don’t like Tom Welling, so that should show you how much I love you.  Just watch Carpenter’s original Fog and call it good.  I know, he’s listed as a producer on this stinker, so it should be okay, right?  Nope.  According to IMDB, Carpenter said this about his work as Producer:  “I come in and say hello to everybody. Go home.”   There you go.  Even he didn’t stick around for it.

 

 

 

Hatchet (2006)

WATCH

Old-fangled horror.  Loved it.  I don’t remember seeing a lick of computer graphics anywhere in the film.  I may have missed some, but I don’t think so.  Also, Kane Hodder as Victor Crowley?  Bring on the sequels!

 

 

 

Scream (1996)

WATCH

This was a favorite of mine when it came out, and it held up.  It’s actually a bit more fun now, after I’ve had 21 years to watch enough movies to get all of the references.

 

 

 

Prom Night (1980)

WATCH

Although filmed oddly, and a bit slow at first, it turned out to be pretty decent.  I didn’t think so at first, and had to mull it over for a bit.  Jamie Lee Curtis helped for sure, and they fooled me with the killer’s identity.  I was certain I knew who it was, too.  Well, I was wrong…DEAD WRO-…No.  I’m not going to do that to you.  I really WAS wrong, though.

 

 

 

Scream 2 (1997)

WATCH

Good sequel.  Still fun, and self-aware enough to keep you going…Plus Aunt Jackie from Roseanne is in it.

 

 

 

Prom Night II: Hello Mary Lou (1987)

WATCH IF YOU HAVE TIME

Seriously, don’t stress about it.  It’s okay, but there’s no Jamie Lee, and there are more than a few laughable moments.  Good soundtrack, and very supernatural, though…The chalkboard scene was cool, but the wooden horse was just plain weird.

 

 

 

Prom Night (2008)

SKIP THE TEEN DRAMA

WATCH THE IDRIS ELBA SCENES

If possible, that is.  If it’s too much work, just skip the whole damn thing and watch a proper thriller.  Elba’s scenes are effective, but don’t go looking for the 1980 Prom Night story arc…you won’t find it (or anything even close to it), other than people getting slashed up at prom.  Hell, they even tell you in the opening scene who the killer is.  No mystery.

 

 

 

The Gate (1987)

WATCH

This is about the only movie I can tolerate Stephen Dorff in.  A bunch of little demons surface from a weird hole in Dorff’s backyard.  No wonder he started E-Smoking.

 

Aaaaaand that’s a wrap for September’s movie selections.  Check out October’s here.

Star Wars Episode 1: Jedi Power Battles (PS1)

Star Wars Episode I: Jedi Power Battles for the Playstation 1 is a game that I had located in a bargain bin about a year ago.  After watching the trailer for The Force Awakens the other day, I decided to dig it out and finally give it a chance.  I’m not too sure that was the best idea.  My time could have been better used cleaning my attic, garage, or simply zoning out at the wall.

You begin the game by choosing one of five Jedi Knights: Plo Koon, Qui-Gon Jinn, Mace Windu, Obi-Wan Kenobi, or Adi Gallia.  After you receive word from the chancellor concerning shipping to Naboo, you then take your character to battle through ten levels, all with different settings (Trade Federation Battleship, Swamps of Naboo, Tatooine, etc).  Throughout these levels, you must overcome several different instances of platforming, enemy swarms, short-lived escorting, and incoming motion hazards (rolling boulders and animal stampedes, for example).  In addition, this must all be done while blocking enemy blaster shots, managing terrible controls, and dealing with a limited amount of force powers.  Lives are replaced by credits, giving a nostalgic arcade feel, which makes it seem only right for a buddy to hop in and copilot the game for the duration.

Select your Jedi!

Select your Jedi!

The visuals are actually quite impressive for the Playstation 1, and would have been moreso, had it been released a few years earlier.  Being an early 2000 release brought its wow factor down considerably, but not so much that it hurts the eyes or distracts much from the gameplay.  There is a great deal of strange texture rendering, however, especially in the Naboo swamp.  What I mean by this is that you can clearly make out grass ahead of you, while the ground is blurry underfoot and behind.  Then, when you approach the rendered section, it becomes blurry, and the places you were just inhabiting become fully clear.  It’s not a huge deal, but it did catch my eye whilst destroying droids in that particular level.  The character models (especially those based off of the actors appearing in the film) look decent, but had a few quirks.  For example, Samuel L. Jackson’s Mace Windu, looks incredibly confused the entire time, and Neeson’s Qui-Gon Jinn is strangely missing his neck.  The in-game animations are carried out just fine, though, save a few awkward running motions.

I believe Mr. Jackson is befuddled over who's taken Neeson's neck.

I believe Mr. Jackson is befuddled over who’s taken Neeson’s neck.

The music, being seemingly brought straight from The Phantom Menace, provides a very nice soundtrack to slash enemies to, and appears to actually fit specific scenarios.  This is a big plus for me, as too many games I’ve previously endured had randomly generated scores and tracks that just did not fit the scene.  This really takes away from the immersion of the game.  Thankfully, though, this is not the case with JPB.

While making your way through the levels, you will pick up power-ups that accumulate points, and fleeting upgrades to your light saber. The points are then attached to skill and level.  You don’t have the option to manually level your character, from what I can tell, but it does help your character’s health and force pool throughout the game.  Each time you pick up a goodie, you hear a little snippet from Yoda, addressing his pleasure from your exploring.  It’s not much, but it is amusing (the first few times, anyway).  Eventually, the slashing gets a bit old, but for a good while, it is rather satisfying.

Grab a buddy and carve up some droids.

Grab a buddy and carve up some droids.

What really turned me off from this game was the frustrating 2.5D platforming.  You have no idea where you’re jumping until you see a tiny shadow on the targeted platform, letting you know that you’re on the mark; or you simply miss, falling to your death. Perhaps if the aggressively laggy controls were a tad more responsive, this wouldn’t be quite an issue.  However, the final product we are left with will drain your credits quicker than a rigged arcade cabinet at a sketchy pool hall by the docks.

One spot of guesswork platforming.

One spot of guesswork platforming.

Star Wars Episode 1: Jedi Power Battles for the Playstation 1 is a frustratingly platformed beat ’em up that does a couple of things alright, but mostly just falls short.  If you discover this game in a bargain bin or garage sale for a shiny nickel, and you have a competent copilot in mind, you may want to pick it up.  If you’re looking for a good Jedi-themed game to enjoy alone, I wouldn’t recommend it, as there are much better choices out there.

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