Horror Marathon: Monster House (2006)

We’re in the final week of the horror marathon! Maybe its a little late to slow down the gears and change our pace to something less serious and thats why I decided that it was time to finish Monster House. In that sense, I had to rewatch it completely because I had started it ages ago and then somehow the DVD got lost somewhere at my mom’s before my move so I never ended up finish it. Now that its landed on Netflix, I decided it was a good time to give it a go, plus all those intense films from brutal gory traps to creepy clowns was getting to me.

Let’s check it out!

Monster House (2006)

monster house

Director: Gil Kenan

Voice cast: Mitchel Musso, Spencer Locke, Sam Lerner, Steve Buscemi, Catherine O’Hara, Fred Willard, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Lee, Kevin James, Jon Heder, Kathleen Turner

Three teens discover that their neighbor’s house is really a living, breathing, scary monster. – IMDB

Maybe for kids this movie would be a scary selection, however for myself, it was a fun movie which some cool moments but never truly scared. Monster House is an entertaining animated film set on Halloween and includes a haunted house and a creepy house that is alive along with a cranky neighbor. These kids are suspicious about it all and are the only ones who believe that the house is evil and are determined to prevent any kids from getting caught in the trap. Best friends DJ and Chowder along with a girls scout Jenny end up taking up the mission in their own hands. While them and the house are the main characters of the story, we also saw the goth babysitter and her boyfriend.

Monster House

Just looking at the voice cast list up above, there are some names that definitely pop out and having them on the team here really does add to it even if some of these roles are quite short. The kids are also done quite well. There’s a level of believability to it. Monster House follows all the moves of the making of decent animated Halloween story however, it lacks that element that makes it truly soar. However, Monster House will get a few chuckles in there with some lighthearted fun.

Monster House

Where Monster House does really well is in its visuals. The house coming to life always makes for a fun time. At the same time, the best moments are when they are inside the house as we don’t know much about why this house is alive. I do wish that they had spent a lot more time with shenanigans and other traps and flesh out the backstory for the house and perhaps it would be more catchy. It would be a cool possessed home story with lots of danger. It felt that they didn’t quite manage to hit that potential . Some of the best moments are after they manage to get into the house.

Overall, I’m a pretty neutral with Monster House. I remember liking it more the first time I had seen it (or the little bit I did see) however watching it again now, I feel like it doesn’t quite expand on where it should. There are some fun laughs here and there and the voice cast is fantastic. The story could have been a little better to give it a bit more excitement. But then, it is a story for kids so I guess it works in that term.

The Jewel of the Nile (1985)

After some debate, I decided that this is the first sequel recommendation to appear here mostly because a week or two ago, I reviewed Romancing the Stone (review HERE) and Smash from Smashing from Life told me that The Jewel of the Nile was a great sequel to check out 🙂 Smash is an awesome girl who lives in Toronto.  Honestly, I’m new to her blog but I love everything she posts up and she definitely should get some support to bring her smiles so head on over and show her some love.  I know she did an amazing job when she blogged about a potential location for my upcoming visit to Toronto  HERE 🙂

the jewel of the nile posterDirector: Lewis Teague

Cast: Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito, Spiros Focas, Avner Eisenberg, Paul David Magid

Picking up six months after the first one ends, Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner) has sailed around the world with her boyfriend and adventurer Jack Colton (Michael Douglas).  All the romance starts being a bit too much and she wants to go back to New York and try to get her career back as she still can’t find the reality in her books now.  Because of that, she is also struggling to finish up her latest book.  Its at this time, Omar (Spiros Focas), a soon- to-be emperor of the Nile hopes to have her write his biography about how he unites the tribes in the Nile.  She agrees however Jack doesn’t and decides to sail the Mediterranean instead.  At this time, Tarak (Paul David Magid), a man from a tribe in Nile comes to him and asks him and coincidentally Ralph (Danny DeVito)  to get back the Jewel of the Nile.  He agrees and as Joan also sees through the plans of Omar, she finds a way to escape and eventually joins up and together they try to make everything right again in a whole new adventure.

MSDJEOF FE002

The Jewel of the Nile was definitely a fun sequel.  For the most part, I actually enjoyed it more than the first one.  The only deal was that Michael Douglas was not as wild and adventurous in his jungle suit.  He was actually in a suit through most of it, but still I still found his performance quite awesome and with Kathleen Turner, they are quite a great on-screen couple.  This one was entertaining even though I found some scenes showing their age a lot more than the previous one.

the jewel of the nile jack

I mentioned it a bit on the previous paragraph but the characters in this one actually had more room to shine. For one, Kathleen Turner’s Joan Wilder proved that even though she fell into the over thinking relationships in the beginning, she was still able to bring out that daring and taking chances abilities that she learned from Jack in the previous movie and take care of herself when in danger.  Michael Douglas’s  Jack also had the character development to getting into the whole commitment and facing the expressing his feelings that it seems he was scared of before (or is it settling down that he’s scared of). Still, the romance between them and little quarrels always makes it entertaining.In this one, we still have Danny DeVito with a bigger role this time around and he is definitely the additional comic relief.

jewel of the nile ralph

The Jewel of the Nile was a fun adventure through the desert with lots of laughs.  There was a lot of action also with out of control planes, fist fights, chases through the desert and fires, shooting and explosions.  What else can I say? Its just crazy entertaining.  I really enjoyed it and its like I said, I might actually have liked it better than the first 🙂 Maybe you disagree but lets just agree to disagree.  I definitely recommend it, especially if you enjoyed the first one and happened to not have caught this one yet.

Romancing the Stone (1984)

Before I start, I’d like to tell you that I’m going to try to pick up the pace with the movie reviews.  I have a whole list to do and because of my eye infection, its causing me to be a bit slower. I know its really been not looking like I’m putting too much time on it but I am, it just takes time to go through the movies and find it all.  Most of the movies are not available on Netflix so I had to physically get a copy. Anyways, so expect more reviews 🙂 It might dip into the first week of September!  Lets get on with this one!

Next recommendation up was in response to my review of Coma (HERE) from Mikey at Screenkicker.  He told me to that I “couldn’t go wrong” with Romancing the Stone when I asked about Michael Douglas films! Check it out!

romancing the stone posterDirector: Robert Zemeckis

Cast: Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito,

Romancing the Stone is an action-adventure-comedy focused around the life of adventure novelist Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner).  Her success in writing does not reflect her personality.  However, when she receives a phone call from her sister Elaine telling her that she is kidnapped and that she needs her to bring to the kidnappers (Danny DeVito and Zack Norman) in Columbia a treasure map in order to be rescue her.  Reluctantly, she arrives in Columbia and after some mishaps, she is lost on her way to Cartagena and meets a jungle saavy Jack T. Colton (Michael Douglas) and requests for his help.  After some bargaining, he agrees but to find out that she is being chased by Captain Zolo (Manuel Ojeda), police authority of Columbia who is after the same treasure map and will do anything to make sure he gets it.

romancing the stone michael douglas kathleen turner

I love action adventure movies a lot! This one may have been made before a more recent but similar flick, Nim’s Island but the moment I saw the character of Joan Wilder on screen, my mind thought, Nim’s Island right away.  The story isn’t completely the same but it also features a scaredy-cat adventure novelist that has to conquer their fears and find their courage and protect someone else while being protected also.  Also, I thought to myself, this sure isn’t War of the Roses! That was the first movie I saw Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas on the same screen…but point is, I really found this movie fun.

romancing the stone michael douglas

The best part of this movie was Michael Douglas hands down! I’m still learning about the movies that Michael Douglas has done and no, I haven’t watched Wall Street yet.  I will soon enough.  I have it already.  BUT, somehow I like Michael Douglas in this role because its different from his always being rich and arrogant all the time. He’s still not totally a doe-eyed sweetheart but still, he’s not in a shirt and tie and he’s actually fighting to survive.  Plus, who can say that he doesn’t have great chemistry with Kathleen Turner? Because he does.  Even in War of the Roses, they did, even when they were hating each other’s guts.  They have a believable vibe that just works.

romancing the stone action

I actually enjoyed this more as a comedy than as an adventure because it wasn’t that adventurous when they weren’t being shot at. It was pretty funny.  Mostly Kathleen Turner’s character, the nervous author was just ridiculously silly sometimes.  Most of the other time, its the stupid kidnappers.  We always have those in these movies, right? This time we have Danny DeVito and he always cracks me up (even when he was doing the voice of The Lorax)  ;).  This guy is totally awesome!

romancing the stone zolo

Overall, Romancing the Stone definitely has a fun element to it.  You want to see an outstanding performance by Michael Douglass out of his norm, this one is definitely a great choice.  Its a keeper in my collection and I will watch it again.  Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of Michael Douglas but even I was impressed 🙂 So maybe, if you haven’t seen this, you should give it a shot.  If you have, tell me what you thought about it!