Film Nerd 2.0: Universal monsters, Bud and Lou, and something really scary
Allen asked every day for the next week to see the rest of "Twilight Zone," but if one of them isn't ready, the other isn't going to see it. Keeps things nice and even, and with sibling rivalry, that's a big deal. My wife put an official ban on all horror films or horror-related films in the house, which was a crushing upset for both of the kids. Even though Toshi knew he wasn't ready for a real horror movie, he remains fascinated by every creepy thing that comes into the house. I've caught him going through the three big binders of horror movies that I have, 300 discs in each one, looking at the discs and the artwork on them. When one of the Shout! Factory box-sets for "Mystery Science Theater 3000" showed up, Toshi was excited to see that one of the films was "Revenge Of The Creature."
It's interesting watching "MST3K" with them. We've got everything that Rhino and Shout! Factory have put out, almost one full shelf of discs, and the boys like watching movies with Tom Servo and Crow and Joel or Mike. They don't really laugh the same way I do, and certainly they don't get 99.9% of the cultural references, but they view it as an opportunity to watch a movie with their friends. Since Toshi and Allen have most of the Toho Godzilla movies and most of the Gamera movies in their original forms, they don't innately see those movies as bad when they watch them with the bots. Watching a "MST3K" episode with them is like having a movie party with a bunch of rowdy friends, and it's part of our moviewatching cycle to throw one in from time to time. They both immediately noticed that the Gill Man looked different in this film. Allen told me that he looked like he wanted to throw up:
They were confused about why anyone would try to put the Gill Man in an aquarium, and not remotely surprised when it went badly. It's a pretty funny episode, and I had to explain to the kids that the running thread in the host segments about Crow not knowing who Mike is was because they were changing puppeteers at the time. Because we've been watching the series out of order, they already know that the host segments are always changing. This was the introduction of Bobo, the first post-Forrester episode, and they were really entertained by seeing how that was handled. It was a lazy Sunday afternoon, a good way to hang out with them, and there was more talking than watching, which is always a good time. And one of the things that most excited them was when I pointed out a guy who appeared in one big scene at the start of the movie... young guy... goes by the name Clint Eastwood. The boys only know his name right now from "Back To The Future Part III," so it entertains me mightily that their first exposure to the real thing comes from one of his very first film appearances in a bit part. Awesome.
I took them to see "Frankenweenie" before it came out, and they had a great time with it. There was nothing about it that scared them, not even the crazy bat-mutant creature that shows up towards the end. They were charmed by it, and they both loved Sparky and the Frankenstein jokes and the Bride of Frankenstein hair-streak and the look and the mood. And when the other classmates raise the other dead animals late in the film and they take monstrous shape, the turtle Shelly grows to giant size, and in the Disney theater on the lot, in a packed house surrounded by people, Allen loudly and proudly cried out --
"DAD! IT'S GAMERA!"
And it was like he was a teenage girl in Shea Stadium he was so excited. He was so pleased to have made the connection, and so happy to see Gamera on the big screen. I guarantee they'll make "Frankenweenie" a regular event once it arrives home on Blu-ray. Already they've asked me to play the original live-action version on the "Nightmare Before Christmas" Blu-ray a few times, and they're really intrigued by what's the same and what's different. They like the full-length film better, but they think the real-life Sparky is great. And the Universal Monsters thing that underscores both versions is, of course, an ongoing fetish for the boys.
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Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
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