Halloween Marathon: Friday the 13th The New Blood (1988)

A lot of you didn’t fail me when you told me that Part 6 was one of the best movies in Friday the 13th.  Apparently, its supposed to fall apart of this one also? Excuse me when I’m trying to not think about that.  Especially when my boyfriend couldn’t even remember if he liked this one or not.

Still, fingers crossed that it’ll be decent.  I already don’t hold particularly high expectations as this was done almost the same years as I’ve been alive.

Friday the 13th Part 7 The new BloodDirector: John Carl Buechler

Cast: Lar Park-Lincoln, Kevin Spirtas, Susan Jennifer Sullivan, Susan Blu, Terry Kiser, Heidi Kozak, Kane Hodder

Tina (Lar Park-Lincoln) returns to her childhood summer home with her mother and her psychiatrist where she believes she caused the death of her father because of her uncontrolled telekinesis when she was a little girl.  Next door, the house is rented by a group of young adults/teens (or whatever age group they are) want to throw a surprise party for a guy that never shows up (and you know why already, right?). Tina has these fits as she’s undergoing therapy and mistakenly uses it to release the dormant Jason Voorhees trapped since the previous movie.  Coming back rotten and even more supernatural than the last one, he continues his killing spree as he chases and tries to kill everyone. Will Tina’s telekinesis be enough to fight against Jason?

friday the 13th the new blood

The New Blood started off a little weird and sketchy if I’m being honest.  Then it kind of has some bad acting, which is okay because its pretty much expected after six movies (and even during those ones).  The whole telekinetic thing was really a completely funky tangent to use.  There were also some technicalities that didn’t really make sense like the ending.  Still, I can’t help but think that this was still pretty entertaining.

Friday the 13th The New Blood

Jason keeps a lot of good details.  I mean, he’s been rotting at the bottom of Crystal Lake so he shows obvious signs of that from the tattered clothes and rotting hands and you can even see the exposed bones.  Then if you remember the ending of the last one where he has the motor chop his face or neck (or somewhere around there), the mask carries on with that.  On top of that, Jason Voorhees is a freaking supernatural zombie to the max now and he actually is a pretty menacing size.

Friday the 13th The New Blood

Despite not totally buying the whole telekinetic business and the ending was really stretching it, the process of watching this was pretty good.  The kills are pretty cool, the characters are alright and you know what really made me realize how I was pulled into this? When a character totally pissed me off (the dude up there) and I kept cheering on for Jason to show up and chop him up.  Sounds mean? If you’ve seen this, you know he truly does deserve it.

Overall, Part 7 isn’t quite as impressive as how I felt about Part 2, 4, 6 but its still a relatively good one.  The telekinesis thing really ended up working out and the main character(although she was pretty stupid and made some pretty stupid choices) was pretty good.  Her out of control powers gave this a special twist.  The entertaining factor can definitely be found in bits and part of this one and it was a lot better than I expected.  All this is a plus to this series.  I’m going to accept decent viewing experience to be good at this point because the expectations are starting to waiver a little.

Have you seen Part 7 The New Blood? I really think the appreciation for this one could go both ways so did you like it or not? 

Halloween Marathon: Alvin & the Chipmunks Double Feature

After seeing Cara at Silver Screen Serenade with her intense movie marathon and making her list of family-friendly Halloween movie (check it out Part 1 and Part 2), I’ve already reviewed a good bunch of that list and it made me realize that I needed a little non-intense Halloween portion so I started watching Alvin and the Chipmunks double feature on Netflix.

Lets do a little double feature segment to take a little breather before heading back into little more intense stuff :)

ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS MEET FRANKENSTEIN (VIDEO 1999)

ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS MEET FRANKENSTEIN

Director: Kathi Castillo

The Chipmunks are working a show at the Majestic Movie Studios when they wander off and get locked in. They soon realize that the park unexpected hired Dr. Frankenstein and to spook up the Frankenstein castle attraction, his plans are to create the monster.  As the boys try to escape from this danger, they have this wild adventure.

I fully understand that Alvin and the Chipmunks are not targeted for me but then I’m trying to finish watching all the seasons of The Magic School Bus on Netflix before it expires in November so I guess I have my nostalgic moments as well.  This is exactly where that is.  Alvin and the Chipmunks are extremely fun to watch.  I mean, I’ve seen the live/CGI version and other than the first one, the sequels aren’t really that great.  It has some fun chipmunk style music that has some feet tapping qualities but this one really reminded me what watching Alvin on TV felt like.  I had more fun than I probably should have had.  I really think thats what counts :) It took a pretty dark story and changed it to something really fun to watch.  You know that its never going to be creepy scary or anything.  Even the scary parts get a little goofy but thats the charm of it. Did I mention it was a full length feature? Not those 20 minute side stories that are put out nowadays.

ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS MEET THE WOLFMAN (TV 2000)

alvin chipmunks wolfman

Director: Kathi Castillo

Another full length movie like the Frankenstein one.  Alvin believes that the new next door neighbor is a werewolf.  After he causes chaos at the school play rehearsals, Dave tries to take away his monsters obsession by removing all monster-related things in his life.  The play is now replaced by the bullied Theodore and sharing his role is Simon.  When Theodore comes home one day, bitten by a big dog, he transforms into a werewolf pup gradually and this changes him as his confidence increases and he turns into something even worse than Alvin was.  How do they change Theodore back to his old self?

I love Theodore the most in the Chipmunks.  I love watching monsters and this one even includes the Chipettes (which is pretty cool).  They have some cute music and the characters always are fun to watch.  I feel its a little less entertaining than the Frankenstein one.  It still is pretty lovable to watch but its not quite as complete.  Maybe its because I watched this back to back with the other one, I feel less excited than the previous.  I just thought as predictable as these are, this one really didn’t offer quite as much fun.

Alvin and the chipmunks do have a special place in my heart.  So, it was worth it to go down this nostalgic road to revisit an actual animated full length feature with them and not the updated CGI version :)

Are you a fan of Alvin and the Chipmunks? 

Horror Movie Survival Kit

What would  you want handy if you were part of a horror movie?

Do you ever wonder that when you turn on that horror movie or in the process of watching it?  Do you ever think to yourself what would have helped in that moment to get to the end credits alive?

Halloween is the time for horror movies.  As I go through my Halloween horror month and head into the second half of the month of the movie marathon life, I can think of all those movies I’ve seen (whether Friday the 13th or not) of what would be so useful to get through a monster attack, zombie apocalypse, chased down by a crazy slasher in the middle of nowhere (or ever somewhere civilized).

There seems to always be a formula of how the setting is and what happens.  How would you approach it?

Man Crates Gifts for Men is a company that focuses on gifts for men and their community manager reached out and told me about their campaign called the Horror Movie Survival Kit. The concept is simple.  If you were stuck in a horror movie, what would you want as your Horror Movie Survival Kit in your personalized crate.  There is no number limit of items.

I thought this campaign is a really fun idea.  After giving it some thought, I thought about portability, usefulness and durability (especially in the case of a zombie apocalypse or being in the middle of nowhere).

Here’s my list:

1. RECHARGEABLE FLASHLIGHT

rechargeable flashlight

Flashlights are the one thing I always would want in a horror movies because they are just so damn dark.  ALL THE TIME! How would you like to have a flashlight to see further ahead and know whats there before you step into that dark room while escaping or at least using it to quickly find your path and see if you are walking into another corpse or obstacle on the ground.  Its usefulness is unquestionable except, I don’t want to deal with batteries because you know in that crucial moment, those batteries are going to run out and instead of fumbling for some in the millions of pockets, I’d rather give that flashlight a few shakes so that it’ll recharge again.  Its relatively quiet and kind of quick.  I’d say thats already a better alternative.

2. HIKING SHOES

Just an example :)

Just an example :)

Goodness knows where this horror movie is but at least with nice sturdy shoes, it’ll have the grip to climb stuff quickly and run through forests and all that tough work.  If it was at a party or a beach thing, at least its not running in heels or flip-flops.  I guarantee you that its a shortcut for falling flat on your face and whoever and whatever is chasing you is going to attack.  No way I’m letting that happen!

3. WEAPONS(Portable Machete/Guns/Extra Ammunition)

I’m pretty sure this goes without saying that whatever situation, you need some form of weapons. I couldn’t decide between guns (because I’ve never shot one) but then its a movie, realistically speaking, it’ll work out somehow.

300px-Para-Ordnance_Nite-Tac

At least its something.  Extra ammunition goes without saying.  If you asked me what guns exactly, give me Resident Evil Alice’s Double Shotguns or those Silver Nite-Tac ones and I’m a happy camper.  As for the machete, just portable one is fine, like smaller than the big ones. Something I can tuck away and access easily but not hurt when running.  That sounds like a pretty good plan.

4. FIRST AID KIT

Portable first aid kit

There is no way to avoid getting hurt in a horror movie.  So, disinfectants at the minimum is needed regardless of alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, along with band-aids, Polysporin (if possible) or maybe add in a few painkillers.  I think this sounds pretty reasonable.  On the downtime, it would be useful to have this.  I don’t go anywhere without band-aids and I’m not in a horror movie, just saying ;)

5. NON-PERISHABLES & WATER BOTTLE

nonperishables

Unless you are in a slasher flick, where its usually a one night do or die deal, most of time its a relatively stretched out battle.  I’ll need to keep replenished and hydrated.  I’m hoping that water hasn’t been contaminated whatever scenario I’m trapped in because I’d keep that bottle near by. I just hope that it doesn’t get too heavy.  And well, at least a little bit of food to stay decently nourished.  Its either that or getting some Centrum but pills tend to be heavy and noisy when carrying it around.

Other than that…

The best recipe for getting out of a horror movie alive comes in the form of something I can’t pack in a crate but rather in my mind and its called common sense and quick reflexes.  I need to remember to keep that in check even in panic because you don’t want to be that person that just freezes when some crazy man comes at you with some scary weapon.  Or stop or not shoot them a second time or in the case of Jason Voorhees, chop off his head so he doesn’t come back alive for 11 movies.

I’m not very unique in what I need because I really think sometimes simplicity is the way to go.

Now its your turn.  What would you bring in your horror movie survival kit/crate?

Book Review: Ranger Martin and the Alien Invasion by Jack Flacco

It is my absolute honor that fellow blogger and author Jack Flacco asked me be part of his review team for his new book that will be launched next Tuesday (October 21st) to be the first group to read and review his new novel, Ranger Martin and the Alien Invasion.  This is the sequel of his previous novel launched last year called Ranger Martin and the Zombie Apocalypse.

Jack is a very awesome blogger who has a fantastic blog featuring a few lovely segments like Women Who Wow Wednesday and Freedom Friday and Monday Mayhem. I urge you to check out his blog right HERE!

Ranger Martin and the Alien Invasion

by Jack Flacco

Ranger Martin and the alien invasion

I’m not a huge reader of zombie books.  In fact, I only started last year when I read World War Z and Warm Bodies for their movie adaptations.  And then there Jack first novel which dragged me into this lovely zombie apocalypse world when his main character Ranger Martin was extremely entertaining to watch.  He reminded me a little of the free-spirited, going out of with a bang  personality like Tallahassee in Zombieland.  Of course, as a character in a novel, the development is done better.  With the way things ended in the first one, this second one picks up a little while after as the original group separates due to difference in opinions.

In this world, its already succumbed to the zombie apocalypse except now an unknown entity has invaded them.  No one knows who they are and where they are from but they do know that they are causing a lot of pain and destroying the remaining human life that exists.  What is their plan? No one knows.  Regardless, Ranger Martin has to hold up his responsibility for taking care of the kids that sticks with him and while these entities try to track down one of their members, Randy, he also tries to find them and stop their plans before there isn’t anything and anywhere left for them.

Ranger Martin and the Alien Invasion never really stops.  Unlike the first where there moments to slow down and breath, despite still being extremely eventful this one is non-stop action for the most part.  It also traces different groups: Ranger Martin and his crew, a new group of kids, the military, etc.  We get a perspective of how things are further than just where Ranger Martin is and that gives the readers a wider perspective of the world that Jack has built with the zombie apocalypse.

I have to say that adding aliens to the equation is very smart.  Its not just zombies but now it gets worse when you add in an unknown thing that has unknown capabilities like aliens.  Its a whole different ballpark and it makes for an exciting adventure.  Thats how I felt while I was reading this novel.  It was really fun and the description of how things went down was very vivid that I could get what was going on. Ranger Martin is still a fantastic character and in this one, he gets a deeper development as we get to see a little more of his history and background here and there.  That helps to connect with the character.

The new additions to the book each were good in their own ways.  Some didn’t get a lot of development and some only showed up near the end, however each had their purpose.  The only thing I felt wasn’t done as well was the relationship from last novel’s Matty and Randy.  Except, I wonder if it could be different because there isn’t much time to think about having something more.  Its just sometimes the actions a bit irrational and that was just one part where I felt that way so the impact wasn’t huge.  Plus, it is considered young love as they are just 15 years old and never really quite encountered feelings especially in the situation and environment they are in.

Ranger Martin and the Alien Invasion has a clever premise, doubling the danger of zombies and adding in another layer with aliens, while keep Ranger Martin a memorable character who isn’t going to back down from any situation.  The action is consistent and frequent making this an exciting and at times, intense read.  The characters from the previous books each have a little more development and growth in this one and we learn a little more about them. Although there are little parts that could be polished, it is a step up from the previous book which felt lengthy at parts, which never happens in this one and if it did, I wasn’t frequent enough for me to notice it.  Definitely a great read and I highly recommend it.  Its fun, entertaining and full of action! :)

If this interests you, remember to take note that it comes out on October 21st.  Also, remember to check out Jack’s site (which I linked above)!

Halloween Marathon: Take Shelter (2011)

Can you believe half of October is already behind us? We just wrapped up more than 2 weeks of Halloween marathon. I’m a little behind schedule so maybe I’ll be popping in some double review days or head into the next weekend with reviews as well. However, we are right on track with Friday the 13th series. If you missed any of them, I’ve updated the Halloween Horror Marathon page up in the menu on top so you can trace back whatever you’ve missed up till now :). If I remember correctly, I’ve reviewed 10 movies so far.  With work picking up steam, its a little harder to find time to watch movies during the week without it heading into some crazy 1 or 2am area (which I try to avoid).  Still, I’ll make this thing work out and I’m ready to go through a bunch of movies this weekend to be prepared for next week!

Are you ready to continue? The next review is Take Shelter.  I’ve grown to praise Michael Shannon especially after seeing The Harvest at Fantasia Film Festival this past summer.  If you missed that review, check it out HERE!  It works well with horror marathon because it is a psychological horror movie that is extremely creepy to watch and has an amazing plot.  Going into another psychological thriller  with Michael Shannon and with the Rotten Tomatoes score of 92%, I’m pretty intrigued as to what this is all about.

take shelterDirector: Jeff Nichols

Cast: Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Tova Stewart, Shea Whigham, Katy Mixon,

Curtis (Michael Shannon) wakes up one morning from a dream (or nightmare) of the world being attacked by a horrible storm.  Except it wasn’t the standard storm.  Following that, he is repeatedly plagued with these more and more apocalyptic, extremely real dreams that changes everything and everyone that he loves.  Unsure whether to believe if he is being affected with his mother’s psychological issues, he goes to seek for more help while having the nagging feeling that he needs to prepare for what could destroy his family.  Its then he gains an obsession of building a shelter against something that seems impossible to everyone else.

Take Shelter

Take Shelter is a heart-pounding and terrifying psychological trip.  There isn’t one moment you can let down your guard because you are right with Michael Shannon as he wavers between whether he is actually mentally ill or that he should believe there is a storm coming and he is having visions.  That is the question that will keep circling your head as you watch Take Shelter.  The way the movie is set up with the dreams or visions (whatever you want to call them), have this creeping feeling to this especially because it specifically has ominous background noise to intensify the situation.  The tone and atmosphere of the whole setting is done really well also.

Take Shelter

Michael Shannon is extremely convincing in his role as Curtis.  He is a husband who tries hard to make end meet and balance his life. His mother’s condition has impacted his family at a young age so he relies heavily on his brother who also makes an appearance.  At the same time, he loves his wife and keeps his promise to protect both his wife and young daughter.  As a father, he is learning to cope with his daughter’s hearing problem and communicating and connecting with her. As these “dreams” intensify, we watch as Curtis’s world crumbles as he tries to hide what is actually going on causing tension between him, his family, his work and the situation they are in.  Michael Shannon is simply amazing in this. I truly sympathized for this character quite a bit.

Although compared to the role of Curtis, everyone else is pretty minor. I still want to mention playing opposite him is Jessica Chastain as his wife.  I actually  haven’t seen her in anything yet. No, I have not seen Zero Dark Thirty.  She is completely new to me as an actress. His wife was an equally important role because she needed to question him on his actions and to be his strength when he was crumbling apart.  Her character grew on me by the end of the movie when she felt so essential to Curtis.

Take Shelter

There is so much to love about Take Shelter.  It gives off an intense unsettling feeling throughout the movie.  The main character is ambiguous as to whether the problem is him or that he is experiencing visions of an impending apocalypse.  As he waver between his belief, his obsessions may ruin his life but his intentions are clear that he wants to protect his family despite just being an strong feeling that this unreal situation is going to happen. Michael Shannon delivers a strong and convincing performance and the sound, effects, atmosphere and tone are done masterfully. Its terrifying, uneasy, and dramatic all wrapped into one.

This one is definitely worth a watch even if the ending will put even more questions into the equation. Thats actually what I love the best about this :)

Have you seen Take Shelter? What did you think about it? Thoughts on Michael Shannon and/or Jessica Chastain?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the ending if you’ve seen this but to avoid spoilers, feel free to drop me an email :)

Halloween Marathon: Friday the 13th Jason Lives (1986)

Judging from the comments, Part 6 is possibly the most loved in the blogging world in this Friday the 13th franchise.  This being said, it was my most anticipated one because all of you have impeccable taste usually :) Plus, after the pretty much failed Part 5 for  a so-called “A New Beginning”, it didn’t really make it promising.

Still, I remain optimistic and turned this on multiple times while because overcome with fatigue before actually watching this from start to finish on Monday night. I reassure that falling asleep during the movie has nothing to do with the movie but its purely because I was exhausted and at least for me, sleeping more is usually in my agenda during a long weekend.

Enough rambling, lets check out Part 6! :)

friday the 13th jason livesDirector: Tom McLoughlin

Cast: Thom Matthews, Jennifer Cooke, David Kagen, Renee Jones, Kerry Noonan, C. J. Graham, Ann Ryerson

Tommy Jarvis (Thom Matthews) is ready to end the haunting of Jason Voorhees in his life when he decides to go to the graveyard to destroy Jason’s body except he mistakenly brings him back to life instead.  Back as a supernatural zombie, Jason is back with an even greater vengeance.  As he makes his way back to Camp Crystal Lake which has changed its name to Camp Forest Green to forget the events thats happened there, Tommy comes back to try to stop Jason while the sheriff (David Kagen) doesn’t believe him and attempts to stop him.  On the other hand, the sheriff’s daughter Megan (Jennifer Cooke) decides to help him out.

friday the 13th jason lives

I have to admit that when Jason came back to life.  That scene was above cheesy and silly but after that part, things turned for the better really quick and I started enjoying the movie for its absolutely awesome tone that its set.  For one, Jason is even more invincible as the undying self that he is.  He’s pretty much a zombie so nothing bothers him.  He’s also come back from the dead and really emphasizes on how much more vengeful he is by making the killings all turn bloody and way more violent.  Thats a pretty good change because it puts the slash back in slasher.  Does that make sense? Anyways, what I’m saying is that how they set it up is a little unbelievable as in how Jason is a zombie freakish dude but its a lot of fun to watch. At the same time, we’ve only seen Jason interact with Tommy when he was a kid that slaughtered him and now, there is a camp full of kids.  Changes the dynamics a little, no?

friday the 13th jason lives

Other than buying into how Jason has evolved as the crazed killer, I like that they brought back Tommy Jarvis and this time as a more charming guy.  He’s still pretty stupid to begin with because if he didn’t dig up Jason, then Jason wouldn’t have risen from the dead a la Frankenstein style.  He kind of made this movie’s killing spree happen. Other than that, he’s not completely ridiculous.  I mean, he may be mentally disturbed and all from his youth but he still craves women. That part with Megan in the car was kind of funny in the cheesiest way.  I did like his character especially when he was playing off Megan’s character because it was a nice change in pace.

friday the 13th jason lives

Friday the 13th, Part 6, Jason Lives has a lot of fun features to it.  Its relatively fast pace and show Jason as pretty invincible.  Tommy Jarvis gives the story a little continuity for the last few. The ending is pretty cool as well. Tommy has a nice method of figuring out how to end Jason once and for all.  Whats really nice is that between all its crazy killing and Jason’s violence, there are moments where its just in cheesy territory but enough to laugh just a little.  I found this one extremely enjoyable.

Good call on this one, you know who you are who praised this one :)

Have you seen Jason Lives? Do you think this one is one of the better parts in Friday the 13th franchise?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreamy

This week, we’d like to see an image that looks dreamy to you. A photo of a place you often visit in dreams. A snapshot of your dreamy boy- or girlfriend. A scene that looks a bit out-of-this world. Take us on a flight of fancy!-The Daily Post

On Tuesday night, one of my girl friends asked me to go with her to go see the Lantern Festival in Botanical Gardens.  This year the entire event is called Garden of Lights.  I had gone two years ago and rumor has it that this year is captivatingly beautiful.  We both headed over after work and got there a little before it was completely dark.

I will have a full post on this after I sort through more of the pictures but I did go to this event looking for dreamy pictures for this challenge :)

Botanical Gardens

Walkway going into the main Chinese Gardens

Botanical Gardens

Walkways in the Chinese Garden

Botanical Gardens

Botancial Gardens

Lanterns on the water

Botanical Gardens

A full view of the main feature

Botanical Gardens

One of the walkways

Dreamy is something that is obscure and mysterious, maybe a little dark and lots of contrast.  Something unreal and out of the ordinary.  This captures how I felt in the Gardens.  It was a beautiful, mysterious but so mystifying experience. It was definitely nicer than the last time :)

What does dreamy mean to you?