Horror Marathon: IT (Miniseries 1990)

It’s time for another Stephen King adaptation! We’re finally looking at the 1990 miniseries IT which I’ve never seen before today. Perhaps a good way to justify why I haven’t is that I have a GIGANTIC fear of clowns. I can remember exact moments of being a little girl and the clowns that scared the heck out of me. However, I watched this one to have a comparison with the new IT movie that had hit theatres earlier this October and that review will be up tomorrow. Unfortunately, I’m still working on the book.

Let’s check this out!

IT (1990)

IT miniseries

Cast: Richard Thomas, Tim Curry, John Ritter, Tim Reid, Annette O’Toole, Richard Masur, Dennis Christopher, Harry Anderson, Jonathan Brandis, Brandon Crane, Adam Faraizi, Seth Green, Ben Heller, Emily Perkins

In 1960, seven pre-teen outcasts fight an evil demon who poses as a child-killing clown. Thirty years later, they reunite to stop the demon once and for all when it returns to their hometown. – IMDB

This miniseries turned out to be quite a lot less scary than I imagined it. Its probably because it didn’t age well and Tim Curry brings that very comedic clown feeling even when he gets his sharp fangs out. It originally aired in two episodes. The first part was focused on the kids and the adults heading back to Derry on a promise after their friend calls them back and the second part focuses on the adults who now need to face the reality of the reoccurence of the terror that has struck Derry again and how they plan on dealing with it. This is a long piece with the two episodes combined of over 3 hours. I guess that isn’t so bad considering we frequently get 3 hours blockbusters (close to it) so its doable to just watch the whole thing in one sitting. IT is a pretty good time to be honest. The ending is a little lackluster and I’m wondering if the actual book ends the same way.

IT

Part 1 is definitely the highlight of the movie where we focus on the kids and shape how they’ve turned out as adults as we take a peek into their lives. All the actors are quite good and there are a few familiar faces. Since this was made for TV, there are some parts that were taken out and modified which makes sense to me and for the most part, it still flows pretty well. What makes the first part intriguing is its familiar structure to the source material which helps us not to only see how the story started for each of The Losers but also how they became friends and also to see their characters at the same time. The Losers each had skills and added individually to the story and the group. The kids here are very believable and they hold a naive sense to them despite their struggles.

IT 1990

Its length here has its pros and cons. For one, it allows it to stay more faithful to the source barring the moments that may be too much for general TV audience. The con however is that when the story isn’t moving, it feels like a bit of a drag. However, those are fairly rare moments. IT also uses its length to give more substance and create more of the moments. The effects are definitely dated but it is to be expected in a 1990 film however, it still is quite entertaining.

IT 1990

Tim Curry has taken on a lot of daring roles and some not so much. It really depends on what tone wanted to be created here. Pennywise is what will bring in those creeps as he is the villain. While Pennywise is quite entertaining and  clown-like with a slight darker edge, he or the tone of the mini series never manages to get into the horror elements well. Perhaps it is the first viewing being now that I feel this way and that if I saw it back in 1990 (unlikely since I was 4 and all I watched was Mr. Dressup and Ghibli films) that it would have scared me a lot more. The scenes had its intentions of being scary and creepy but it never sinks in.

Overall, there are some great elements here however, to say this was a scary movie experience would be inaccurate however, it is still very entertaining and has its moments. Tim Curry’s Pennywise also delivers a good performance.

Double Feature: Annie (1982) & Annie (2014)

double feature

Welcome to another double feature!

This time we are looking at adaptations and how well the 1982 Annie and the 2014 Annie compares. I have never seen the Broadway musical so I can’t compare to that experience.

Annie (1982)

Annie

Director: John Huston

Cast: Aileen Quinn, Albert Finney, Carol Burnett, Ann Reinking, Tim Curry, Bernadette Peters

A young orphan girl’s adventures in finding a family that will take her. – IMDB

Annie is a movie that hear of a lot but never got around to seeing. Its quite weird since I love musicals a lot and watch and rewatch them throughout the year. Annie is a really fun movie especially with the subject it deals with like an orphan waiting for her parents to get her at the orphanage run by a mean woman. However, Annie is never a sad movie buy rather a very charming one although sometimes the long runtime might be where it suffers a little. The songs are fun and catchy which is pretty important since this is a musical.

Aileen Quinn as Annie is a great choice. She truly comes alive on screen and makes us believe in Annie who is a positively bright ray of sunshine to everyone around her. She appreciates what she has and fights to protect those in need and knows how to find a way to stay hopeful no matter what. Her fascination with the world around her under Warbucks care is really cool to watch. However, the orphanage kids are all very fun to watch. My favorite two songs are the scenes with them for Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile and Its a Hard Knock Life.

The 1982 Annie is almost destined for success as it does have quite the brilliant cast. Albert Finney plays as Warbucks, a billionaire who believes in making money and capitalism until he meets Annie who opens his eyes to what he is missing. Daddy Warbucks is great and it goes all the way to creating memorable characters in his bodyguards, Punjab and The Asp. While I haven’t seen Ann Reinking in anything else, she also has such a wonderful role with Grace Farrell, who plays the private secretary/assistant and really forms a bond with Annie.

There was the surprise of seeing Tim Curry as Rooster. I absolutely love Tim Curry because he has an art of naturally capturing all the roles he does so incredibly well. The same applies for Rooster who really doesn’t have much depth other than being the greedy brother. Of course, we can’t forget the mean and yet very entertaining Miss Hannigan played by Carol Burnett, whose voice reminded me that I hadn’t seen Horton Hears a Who in forever and should soon.

Overall, I love Annie. I’m not a fan of the length and some of the songs I didn’t really care for but overall, it was a lot of fun.

Annie (2014)

Annie

Director: Will Gluck

Cast: Quvenzhané Wallis, Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale

A foster kid, who lives with her mean foster mom, sees her life change when business tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks makes a thinly-veiled campaign move and takes her in. – IMDB

The 2014 modernized remake of Annie was a shorter affair than the original. While it still held some nice songs and changed the orphan to foster kid and even readapted the songs to work with that. They took out some songs and added some new ones. However, the songs are still decent and delivered for the most part alright.

Other than still liking the kids and wishing their role still was more, Quvenzhane Wallis truly does stand out as Annie. I haven’t seen Beasts in the Southern Wild yet so this is the first movie I have seen her in. Her modern parallel to Annie and Sandy being a beautiful Hachi dog was really great and possibly the best part in the movie. At the same time, while Rose Byrne and Jamie Foxx are both great actors. I can’t say that I particularly loved or hated them. They were okay however, also at moments felt awkward.

While Cameron Diaz has had some comedic roles in her career and even as someone who doesn’t always like the roles she plays, her role as Miss Hannigan was just way over the top and just too much that many times, it felt annoying. The same goes to the shallow character that is the equivalent of Rooster in the 1983 version but now is the PR guy for Warbucks to help him become the New York mayor which is played by Bobby Cannavale. I remember watching this guy before and him doing some other movies where I did like him but I honestly can’t remember anymore what they are.

Something about this remake felt like it was lacking some charm that the original had. Even if we put the comparison apart, there were some great moments in this movie and some nice choreography however, it did have a lot of moments that didn’t work well either.

Three Quick Reviews: Fearless, FernGully & Choose

You all really don’t want to know what I’ve gone through this week but in short, its been just crazy.  All I’ve been doing is work, workout and have a movie playing in the background.  So I decided that I’d do a small review of a few movies I’ve seen over the past few weeks but didn’t get around to writing a review for  since I’ve been focusing on catching up on 2013 releases. Not that that was very successful either. I still have a good amount of 2013 movies left and well, not so much time left before Valentine’s marathon starts next week.  I’ll probably resume second half of February.  For now, I just need to survive tomorrow and get off work on time 🙂

Remember when I did the other 3 reviews 😉 If you didn’t see it, you might want to check it out HERE! Its kind of silly and funny and along the lines of sexy.  I really want to do another one of those but well, we’ll have to stick with this for now…

Let’s get cracking with those reviews! 🙂

FEARLESS (2006)

fearless poster

This is about the life of martial arts master and founder of Jin Wu Sports Federation, Huo Yuanjia.  Don’t start telling me how accurate it is, because I don’t know. I haven’t dived deep to read up on the man yet, but I do know of his existence.

I usually don’t particularly like to watch these sorts of movies unless its Ip Man but I’m a HUGE fan of Jet Li.  I never get too overly enthusiastic about them either.  Something about Jet Li portraying Huo Yuanjia really works for me.  Maybe its that I’ve never seen him do that who egotistical prick role who learned better. You know, took a hard hit for his mistakes and through those consequences, learned to be a better man.  The final fight was really something and you know, as much as I’m a Canadian, I’m also proud of these martial artists who really strive to teach us valuable lessons through what they’ve done.  Support our own and respect ourselves and the whole our biggest challenge is to beat ourselves.  I like all that and it makes me proud when I watch this. 🙂

FERNGULLY: THE LAST RAINFOREST (1992)

fern gully poster

FernGully: The Last Rainforest is one of those animations that I keep thinking I’ve seen when I was younger and then I realized that I actually never did.  I realized that I mixed it up with Once Upon a Forest which had a similar idea about human invading natural habitats and then said habitat habitants fight back.  This animation is really dated.  Its not even the older animation style.  I actually like that.  It just seems like if I was 10, I’d like it a lot more.  But you know whats the redeeming features of this one? Robin Williams doing the voice of Batty and Tim Curry doing the voice of the bad guy, Hexxus.  I respect those two a whole lot and honestly, this movie was alright 🙂

CHOOSE (2010)

choose poster

My long awaited return to the horror genre.  Choose was going to expire Feb 9.  All you Canadian Netflix subscribers can keep that in mind if you want to see this 😉 Although, I’m not going to push you to see it.  I was working out at the same time so really watching the actual screen between doing sit ups and crunches and jogging in place and all those other things.  Its not great.  There’s a lot of unanswered questions to the ending but you have to give them applause for really stringing up the surprise ending.  I had a feeling maybe it would end that way but in my mind, the possibility was really like 10%.  There were some good scares, and creepy moments but thats probably because I’m really easily scared.  I also think its because they really use eerie music to accentuate the scene.  Its an okay horror for most.  I actually found it a tad boring in certain parts…so yeah, its alright 😉 I don’t think its horrible though.

I haven’t been watching very fascinating movies on Netflix these days.  I need to turn that around soon 🙂 I have a few more reviews to write.  I still owe a Bridesmaids and Mud review.  I just don’t want to do a crappy review so I’m going to wait for when I’m not brain fried from work and writing during my little break while stuffing my face with a quick dinner.

Out of the three, Fearless would be my recommendation though.  I love me some Jet Li and some action and valuable life lessons 🙂

Have you seen these? What did you think of them?

Tales from the Crypt: Ritual (2002)

I’m finally starting to work on those 8-movie packs.  What better thing to choose to watch something potentially bad than when feeling sick and crappy? Plus, I need to start eventually seeing these as Shitfest deadline is coming way sooner than I imagined.  This one obviously didn’t make it because right now, I am looking for that movie that makes me feel even more rubbish than Bad Moon did for the last one.  Apparently, my boyfriend knows what Tales from the Crypt is but I don’t so he recognized it the moment it started with that weird crypt master (or whatever you call it).

Ritual posterDirector: Avi Nesher

Cast: Jennifer Grey, Craig Sheffer, Daniel Lapaine, Kristen Wilson, Gabriel Casseus, Tim Curry

*By the way, that cover picture there was not what the one on my DVD movie pack looked like, mine looked way more intriguing but had NOTHING to do with the movie itself. Haha!*

Dr. Alice Dodgson (Jennifer Grey) gets her medical license revoked due to not following orders which resulted in the death of a patient.  Since she could not practice, she tried to seek work elsewhere and found it in Jamaica as the caretaker of a wealthy man, Paul Claybourne’s (Craig Sheffer) brother Wesley (Daniel Lapaine).  Wesley has a disease but he also claims that he is a zombie.  As Alice with the help of Caro (Kristen Wilson) and veterinarian Matthew (Tim Curry) explores the voodoo cult that is the area and its influences when they realize they are all infected with the something that causes them to have hallucinations.  The only way to save herself and Wesley was to find out where this all started and why they are targeted in this voodoo curse.

Here's our intro to the movie!

Here’s our intro to the movie!

Whenever I get these movie packs, I really don’t know what to expect.  Especially when we start with a crypt keeper that looks like a doll and we start with the first shot of big breasted women in bikinis.  Obviously, I’m not the market they were aiming at.  That aside, the movie was not horrible.  It wasn’t scary at all but it wasn’t bad either.  Some parts merited the laugh out loud because it was somewhat ridiculous but then nearing the end, it did build up the mysterious secret pretty good before revealing the final part.

Voodoo Curse! *GASP*

Voodoo Curse! *GASP*

Lets look at the plus.  We do have Tim Curry in this little production which I think started off as a TV movie.  He’s always fun to watch on screen, right? Plus, the rest of the cast, even if I’ve only seen them in a few other flicks but nothing I remember off the top of my  head without researching, did a pretty decent job.  The acting was definitely not on the list of complaints. Plus, the guys got some pretty girls to look at and well, I liked Daniel Lapaine, the younger brother who thought he was a zombie.

ritual wesley alice caro

The movie gets just a tad predictable.  Let the flow of the story get a little same old same old but then the ending has a pretty interesting buildup to the finale.  It was alright.  I have to say some parts didn’t really flow and made no sense but hey, I have seen worse.

*Bonus* Naked Kristen Wilson

*Bonus* Naked Kristen Wilson

Overall, an average flick.  Nothing really scary about it but the actor’s do a good job to pull through a pretty predictable storyline that leads to a decent ending.  It was better than I expected for something that cost me 50 cents.

My brain’s in a mush right now from antibiotics so that’s all I’m going to write.  Its back to resting for me. If any of the review doesn’t make sense, I will be back to reread it afterwards (not that I didn’t this time around), so forgive me please!

Do you know about the Tales from the Crypt?

Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

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The second movie I decided to watch was Rocky Horror Picture Show.  I have a lot of love for this movie actually.  I had initally wanted to do this as the Halloween  special but the DVD had somehow vanished from its box.  I won’t give up on the search though, but when I get back.  This is a big Halloween theatrical thing here in Montreal.  I’m pretty sure other cities do it too.  However, I have never gone to any of those shows. 

The story is quite simple here. Brad and Janet are recently engaged and decide to pay Dr. Everett Scott a visit to tell him the news.  On that dark and stormy night,a flat tire leads them to a castle to ask for help.  You already knows a bad idea when you see the ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK!! sign at the gate.  Still they decide to give it a shot and end up at the castle and meet the odd characters that reside there.  We have Riffraff, Magenta, Columbia and the master of the house, Frank n Furter. It is there they are dragged into a whirlwind of events from the creation of Rocky himself that leads to some other events.  Let’s just say that this movie gets to be peculiar and very original.

I think it’s exactly the originality of this movie and how it is so unique that I love it so much.  I love the catchy music and the characters are really fun to watch.  Tim Curry doing the whole transsexual transvestite thing is amazing.  I love Susan Sarandon as an actress and she pulls thing movie off rather well.  Although I think this movie really attracts a specific crowd and some people will just consider this as a freak show party, I don’t know. I’ve never really discussed this movie much with other people except my boyfriend and he just finds this movie simply odd and he doesn’t understand why I love it that much. 

I would love to hear what you think about.  Have you seen it? Do you like it? If you did or didn’t, what made you love or hate it?