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Why did we include THAT?

“I wasn’t going to cut corners. I wasn’t going to miss something obvious. Somewhere along the way, I started to go overboard. I may, in fact, have started to go a little insane.” -Ready Player One, page 62

So I really should have written this a lot earlier…but you know. I’m still learning about how all this works and what the project should really be. Coming up on 9 months of working on the blog I’m finally getting into a rhythm with actually getting things done and reviewed (movies and music are pretty easy, tv isn’t so bad but literature is tough to get through even with the rate at which I read…)

And I’m only one person.  While my brother watches a lot of things with me and is trying to help me work up to playing video games live on twitch, which I am not good at keeping up with, he doesn’t write for the blog.  And I have a small circle of friends that will help me with things like finding books or letting me borrow them…or to let me come over and mooch off their streaming services for a tv show I need to watch, they are really just there for moral support.

So, consuming and writing about all of this is a LOT…it’s a full-time job. And I work and have a house on top of it.

Then why have you included all of the things you have (even if they weren’t exclusively mentioned in the book)?

I get asked this a lot.  And it was a hard decision to make as I developed this project over the years. Here is what I decided and why…

The book Ready Player One takes place in the year 2045.  Halliday grew up during the 1980s. 1990s, and was in his formidable adult years during the early 2000s into the 2020s…. but the book was published in 2011.

Which leaves a lot of time between the publication of the novel and when the actual story takes place.

I could have made the decision to just deal with any media that came before 2011. But it didn’t seem right.

Then there was the route of just going off the references that are directly named within the book.  And boy are there a LOT of those.  Yet again…this just didn’t feel like the right way to go.

So what was left?

In my opinion it was this:

If Wade was doing his research from around 2040-2045 which are the dates from Halliday’s death to when the first key was found by Wade himself then it would make sense that during that 5-year period he would have delved into all the references in Anorak’s Almanac.  

Since we don’t have direct access to the actual Almanac (I’m working on a version of it to post in the blog in case anyone wants to try this for themselves) I am left to guess about what all it contained.  Many of the references and things that would have been in the Almanac are quite apparent.  Throughout Ready Player One they are listed plainly: The Muppet Show, PAC-MAN, Firefly…

But the issue is with references that were vague…or that had more of the universe than what was mentioned directly.  Or even references that were expanded after the novel was published.

Using some general guess work and some logical reasoning the Almanac would have contained many additional items from pop culture that WOULD have existed in 2040 when Halliday died.

For example: Star Wars.  Directly in the text Wade talks of the “Holy Trinity’s” which included The Original Trilogy and The Prequel Trilogy.  There were several other films out in the series when Ready Player One came out that I do believe Halliday would have watched such at The Star Wars Holiday Special, The Ewok Adventure…etc., as well as a few tv shows, that came out before the book was released. Then after 2011 there was an expansion to the Star Wars Universe. Another trilogy, two more stories set in the Star Wars world…and don’t get me started on the insane number of comics, novels and other media that has existed throughout the years.

And I do believe that Halliday would have been interested in the extended universe of a world that he considered important enough, that he revered enough, to call “holy”.

So that is what I have done. I’ve included some things that wouldn’t have been considered part of the world in 2011 but would have existed in 2040, when Halliday died. Extended universes, more novels, new TV shows…and other things that maybe just weren’t directly messaged.

I’ve done this for a few reasons.

  1. I think that Halliday would have had these in his Almanac.
  2. Halliday shows Neurodivergent tendencies (I am also ND and show many of the same traits) that include hyper focus, obsession and an inability to connect with the people around him…which can often be seen in extensive research, over recording and obsession of a specific topic and other coping mechanisms seen throughout the book (and subsequently the film).
  3. Because it just felt right.

So here you go.  My reasons that you will see things like Solo: A Star Wars Story, Star Trek: Picard, newer novels from Stephen King, obscure pieces of media from long dead authors, new music from the bands he loved (and maybe some that aren’t in the book just because it was something I thought he would have listened to because he liked They Might Be Giants), AND references from Ready Player Two… because Kira and her likes were much closer to my heart than Halliday’s.

And remember…I’m only one person who doesn’t have “12 hours a day, 7 days a week” to devote to this as much as I would love to.  So I’ll get to reviews as quickly as I can.

And Anorak’s Almanac is forthcoming…

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SPOILERS ABOUND….you have been warned.

With the release and subsequent reading of Ready Player Two I believe a warning should be posted… this wasn’t really a spoiler free blog in the first place but as Ready Player One is a few years old I didn’t feel the need to make a big deal of the fact that every single post here could possibly be a spoiler for that book.

HOWEVER

As we continue to move forward with both books this is NOT A SPOILER FREE BLOG.

Spoilers can happen in all sorts of places in this blog from the tags, the pages, the titles of articles….and especially in the content of those articles.

You have been warned.

Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

REPOST: Army of Darkness, created by Sam Rami: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Ash has been transported back to the Middle Ages by the powers of the Book of the Dead.  When he arrives, he is taken prisoner by Lord Arthur, suspected of being part of Henry the Red’s army.  After all his weapons are confiscated, he is thrown into the Pit, the wiseman rightfully returns his chainsaw as he is attacked by more of the dead he had just escaped from.

As he climbs from the pit victorious yet again, Ash is told the only way for him to get home is to go and retrieve the Book of the Dead for Lord Arthur.  They set out on a quest of the Book.  Arthur and his men leave Ash with the simple words to get the book and save them all from ultimate destruction.

Will Ash remember the spell?  Will he be able to retrieve the book?  Or will an Army of Darkness fall upon the land?

General Information:

-Genre: Comedy Horror

-Creator: Sam Rami

-Length: 81 minutes

-Rating: R (mild sex and nudity, moderate violence and gore, mild profanity, mild alcohol use, moderate scary and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), iTunes (Buy/Rent), STARZ (with subscription), DVD, Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Bruce Campbell, Embeth Davidtz, Marcus Glibert, Ian Abercrombie, Richard Grove

-Page of Reference in RPO: 177

Review (contains spoilers):

I’m really not sure what to say about this.  Its basically 80 minutes of one-liners.  With a general plot (I guess?) holding it together.  There isn’t a lot of continuous dialogue, the majority of the film is absolutely ridiculous, and the whole thing is just plain silly.

I enjoyed it overall but am quite glad it at least had enough money in the budget for some killer effects (for the time) and lots of explosions otherwise I’m not sure I could have made it through the film.

Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

REPOST: Evil Dead II, created by Sam Raimi: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Two Michigan State University students decide to take a long weekend at a remote cabin in the woods.  When they arrive, the cabin is more rustic than they had anticipated and as they explore the property, they find a variety of different items that leave them less than comfortable.  As they settle in for the night things begin to go haywire after listening to the recording of the cabin’s former owner reading from the Book of the Dead.

During the night the dead arise…and our valiant students must fight the oncoming spirits or die trying.

General Information:

-Genre: Horror Comedy

-Creator: Sam Raimi

-Length: 84 minutes

-Rating: R (for mild sex and nudity, severe violence and gore, moderate profanity, and some frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, YouTube, DVD, Blue-Ray, or find it at your local library!

-Main Cast: Bruce Campbell, Sarah Verry, Dan Hicks, Denise Bixler, Richard Domeier, John Peaks, Lou Hancock, William Preston Roberston, Ted Raimi, Snowy Winters

-Page of Reference in RPO: 177

Review (contains spoilers):

Basically, the comedy version of Evil Dead.  Less characters, comical take on horror…generally great.  Not sure where the next movie is going to go.

Overall, solid.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

REPOST: Evil Dead, created by Sam Raimi: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Five Michigan State University students decide to take a long weekend at a remote cabin in the woods.  When they arrive, the cabin is more rustic than they had anticipated and as they explore the property, they find a variety of different items that leave them less than comfortable.  As they settle in for the night things begin to go haywire after listening to the recording of the cabin’s former owner reading from the Book of the Dead.

During the night the dead arise…and our valiant students must fight the oncoming spirits or die trying.

General Information:

-Genre: Supernatural Horror

-Creator: Sam Raimi

-Length: 85 minutes

-Rating: X/NC-17 (for extreme horror violence and gore, some moderate sexual content, mild language, mild use of alcohol and smoking, some intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, YouTube, DVD, Blue-Ray, or find it at your local library!

-Main Cast: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeMannicor, Betsy Baker, Theresa Tilly

-Page of Reference in RPO: 177

Review (contains spoilers):

 So… I’m glad I finally watched this.  As a horror buff I’m surprised I had never delved into the series.  This one was a fascinating look into what was considered inappropriate when the film came out.

For today’s standards we would find this film tame but for the times it was completely unique. I can see why it earned the rating NC-17/X.  Between the dark story line, the insane amount of violence and the sexual content its unsurprising that Evil Dead became one of the first mainstream films to earn this rating.

To be honest I found the whole film slightly comical.  Wonderfully done with what they had available at the time.  I can see how this became an influence on later films and one I’m glad is now in my repertoire.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

REPOST: Silence of the Lambs, based on the novel The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris: a Film Review

Synopsis:

A new serial killer has popped up.  “Buffalo Bill” has killed five victims when we enter the scene. A young trainee agent is sent to speak with the notorious Hannibal Lecter, a psychologist who is committed to an asylum for the criminally insane after murdering and eating several of his patients.  The agent who sends here on this mission is hoping that she may be able to recover some information that will help the FBI capture Buffalo Bill.

As our trainee, Clarice, begins to seemingly befriend Lecter a senator’s daughter is abducted by Buffalo Bill and the hunt is on.

As Clarice works with the Behavioral Analysis Unit and begins to decipher the clues from both Bill and Lecter himself, she gets deep into the hunt for the killer.  But will she come out of this the same?

General Information:

-Genre: Psychological Thriller

-Creator: based on the book The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

-Length: 118 minutes

-Rating: R (sex and nudity, extreme violence and gore, moderate profanity, realistically intense scenes dealing with stalking and murder)

-Where to Watch: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, iTunes, YouTube, or find it at your local library

-Main Cast: Jodi Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, Ted Levine, Anthony Heald, Brooke Smith

-Page of Reference in RPO: 172

Review (contains spoilers):

A decent psychological thriller that sadly doesn’t stand the test of time cinematically in the horror genre.  Or maybe I just watch too many films and true crime items and am just desensitized to the whole idea.

While the story line is well thought out and provocative and both Jodi Foster and Anthony Hopkins give stunning performances in their rolls as Agent and Serial Killer, the cinematography and the designs are thourally 1990s or even 1980s.  which works overall for the idea and the general feel of the film.

Yet when viewed through the lens of modern film which has managed to not only push the agenda when it comes to blood and gore but also on the desensitization of the film goer this just doesn’t seem to hold up anymore.

I remember watching this when I was younger and it frightening me.  But now having literally spent a good portion of my adult life fascinated by serial killers and the inner working of their mind I don’t find this to be a real psychological thriller any longer.

It is intense in places and leaves one feeling slimy when you connect with Lecter…which sadly happens a few times because he is able to showcase a human side even while you know he is manipulating Clarice for some nefarious reason or another. But honestly I’ve been more on edge during an episode of Criminal Minds or the first Saw movie that I was the entire time re-watching this film…

Maybe I will find the book more difficult to get through at my age.

Rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Posted in Flick Central

REPOST: IT: Chapter Two, based on IT by Stephen King: a Film Review

Synopsis:

27 years have passed since the Loser’s Club fought Pennywise.  They have since gone their separate ways, now adults, some married and some not…life went on after the dark events that summer in Derry, Maine.

But it has begun again.  And as Mike Hanlon calls up his old friends the Loser’s Club finds that they may have done so much more than simply move on from their childhood.  They seem to have forgotten everything from that summer…and honestly most of their lives in Derry. All but Mike, who stayed…who became Derry’s historian…and who kept watch incase Pennywise rose again in the strange 27-year cycle of the past.

As children and adults go missing, the Losers much rise again to fight that which haunts the tiny New England town.  They must regain their memories in order to fight off the killer clown.  Will they be able to dig up their pasts?  Will they be able to end the nightmare?  And if they do…what will the cost be?  In the end will it be worth it?

General Information:

-Genre: Supernatural Horror

-Creator: based on IT by Stephen King

-Length: 165 minutes

-Rating: R (for supernatural violence, severe violence and gore, severe language, alcohol use and smoking, LGBT+ violence and slurs, mild nudity and sexual innuendos)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, YouTube, DVD, Blue-Ray, or find it at your local library (like I did)

-Main Cast: Bill Skarsgard, Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, Andy Bean, Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sphia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Nicholas Hamilton, Jackson Robert Scott

-Page of Reference in RPO: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

A wonderful continuation of the story started in IT: Chapter One.

First I must commend the casting agent on a job well done.  It is rare in the film industry to find children and adults that look like they could be the same person but they did this FLAWLESSLY! One of the best casting jobs I’ve seen in a long time.  Even the IT miniseries (which did a decent job) didn’t get it done THIS well.

And while I did enjoy the fact that the first movie stood alone and if you didn’t know the story you could watch it independently and not need the continuation of the story, I absolutely love the way this story was written.  There are just enough “flashback” style moments in the film but they are new and fresh information.  Not tired flashbacks from the first film which is nice because then you can watch them back to back without a lot of déjà vu.

There are a few good jump scares in this one and the overall dark and intense quality of the themes are incredibly well done.  I chalk this up to utilizing as many practical effects as they could.  I enjoy that they didn’t rely on doing everything in post-production.  I really do believe (having worked in the film industry myself) that films that rely completely on CGI tend to fall flat.  Practical effects are the way to go…filling in what you cannot possibly do (like a giant clown or 300 rows of teeth in a distended mouth) is what CGI should be used for.

The changes in the story (like Audra not showing up and getting captured by Pennywise) are enjoyable and keep a more consistent story.  The moment Beverly realizes Ben is the one who wrote the poem is much more satisfying that in the miniseries.  And the overall pacing is more consistent than the other film. 

Timing is everything in a horror film.  Using just the right choreography, lighting and musical beat in with the blocking is what makes or breaks a film.  And this one really got it right.

Overall, wonderful.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

For the review on IT by Stephen King:

Review on It (miniseries)

Review on IT: Chapter One

Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

REPOST: IT: Chapter One, based on IT by Stephen King: a Film Review

Synopsis:

In 1986, young Georgie Denburough is out in a storm playing with a paper boat that his older brother, Bill, had made for him.  As he follows the boat along it gets swept into a drain.  Georgie reaches into the drain to try and get the boat when he is confronted by a clown.  A clown deep down in the sewers.  When he reaches for the boat again, the strange creature rips his arm away and drags the poor boy down into the sewers.  Georgie becomes one of the first missing children that would haunt the town of Derry, Maine over the course of the next year.

Summer has finally come for Derry, Maine.  Kids are out of school.  Bullies have free reign of the streets and the “Losers” are trying to stay out of trouble.  As the mysterious disappearance of more kids continues a small group of kids come together, tormented by the local bully as well as a far less tangible but far more dangerous force lurking in the shadows.  This group, known as the Losers’ Club, discover that each have been visited in the last year by a strange clown.  This clown…a force that knows who they are and where they live…is far beyond everything that even their scariest nightmares could have imagined.

As Bill and the rest of the Losers follow the clues, they will be led down the path closer to Pennywise.  Will Bill find his little brother, Georgie, alive and well as he fervently believes?  Or will all of them have to face their darkest nightmares at the hands of a terrifying clown?

General Information:

-Genre: Supernatural Horror

-Creator: based on IT by Stephen King

-Length: 135 minutes

-Rating: R (for supernatural violence, severe violence and gore, severe language, mild sexual innuendo, mild mentions of abuse, some smoking)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, YouTube, DVD, Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library (like I did!)

-Main Cast: Jaeden Lieberher, Bill Skarsgard, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sphia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Nicholas Hamilton, Jackson Robert Scott

-Page of Reference in RPO: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

Yay.  A real horror film.  As a horror buff I can give credit where credit is due.  While the 1991 version with Tim Curry was perfectly fine (this hurts to say because Tim Curry is a FANTASTIC actor…one of my favorites in fact), it lacks the more modern horror moments.  “Child’s play” as a friend once said, compared to this film and its sequel film.

While I was hesitant at first with the more modernization of the timeline (the book has their childhood in the mid-1950s) I was quite impressed with how this little change really worked with the overall feel of the film.  It definitely allowed for some of the more classic horror tropes to be utilized but also paid a wonderful homage to the real rise and birth of modern horror films.

From practical effects to an honestly terrifying Pennywise the Dancing Clown, this was the film I was hoping for when I watched the 1991 miniseries.

And no offence to Mr. Curry….But Bill Skarsgard’s performance, from costume to makeup to mannerisms, was the clown we should all be absolutely terrified is under our beds.

The story seems to follow the book (and the miniseries) fairly closely with small nods to the miniseries.  The big exception is that Georgie is missing and Bill still thinks he is alive.  It is his desire to find his brother, alive and well, that sends the Loser’s Club down the rabbit hole and into the depths of the horrors that lurk in the Derry sewer system.

I do think this choice was much more believable especially for the 1980s.  the idea that the kids are building a dam in a small creek just doesn’t seem to fit in a world where there are arcade games, movies and a robust set of Television shows.  Going out on an adventure like in The Goonies or fighting demons like in Nightmare on Elm Street or Gremlins is MUCH more convincing than what happened in the book (which was believable and fine for the mid-1950s).

This change in time also allowed for larger conversations and allusions.  Beverly’s abusive father became worse (from physical and mental abuse to actual alluded sexual abuse).  Eddie’s mother is even more neurotic and a bigger hypochondriac (now we may diagnose her with Munchausen’s by Proxy).  Richie’s deep dark secret is covered by his humor and foul mouth (also something that was easier to do in both a theatrical release and in the 1980s).  Bill’s stutter isn’t as pronounced but still there, apparent and more natural.  The rest of the group is just as well.  They join together and make a great team.

Honestly, this is a real horror film.  And if you didn’t know or weren’t familiar with the book is a complete movie on its own.  Which cannot be said of the mini-series.  Very well done and will be one that I will be watching again.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Review on IT (novel) by Stephen King

Review on IT: Chapter Two

Review on IT (miniseries)

Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

REPOST: IT, based off IT by Stephen King: a Mini Series Review

Synopsis:

Based on the novel by Stephen King, IT brings the horror to life on television.

The Lucky Seven have finally found friendship and comradery in each other only to find out that they have all been visited by the same entity: a bizarre and terrifying clown named Pennywise.  He can take on their deepest fears and as they begin to uncover the mystery behind these visits they discover that the clown is also responsible for the rash of murders in the area, including their leaders younger brother.  They follow Pennywise deep into the sewers to kill the creature and seem to be successful.

27 years later the murders begin again. The group returns with help from the only member to remain in their small hometown.  As their memories return they must face their deepest fears to fight IT again and this time hopefully rid the world and their lives from the haunting and dangerous presence.

General Information:

-Genre: Supernatural Horror

-Creator: based off IT by Stephen King

-Length: 192 minutes (original) or 187 minutes (DVD/Blue-Ray) split between two episodes

-Rating: TV-PG (episode 1), TV-14 (episode 2) (for mild nudity and sexual remarks, violence and gore, mild profanity, some alcohol and mild drug use, some intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (rent or buy), iTunes, DVD, Blue-Ray, or find it at your local library (like I did!)

-Main Cast: Harry Anderson, Dennis Christopher, Richard Masur, Annette O’Toole, Tim Reid, John Ritter, Richard Thomas, Tim Curry

-Page of Reference in RPO: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

So…

*blinks*

That was…not remotely scary.

Its supposed to be…I think.  Or at least I remember it being scary… but it was made for TV so maybe I am mistaken.

It could also be that I’m watching it 30 years out from its production.

And it was just…very tame.  Sure there was blood and gore.  The possessed fortune cookies were pretty cool.  IT’s actual form was pretty well done.  But as for scares.  It fell quite flat.

I wouldn’t approved it for young children, but older kids would find this ok…at least by todays standards.  Its campy and over the top (though Tim Curry’s performance was amazing as usual) with very few jump scares or creepy music.

Overall it was disappointing to watch as an adult.  Even one who is terrified of clowns.

Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

(and only because Tim Curry does a great job as always)

For the review on IT by Stephen King:

For the review on IT: Chapter One: https://guntersgamesandgold.com/?p=512

For the review on IT: Chapter Two: https://guntersgamesandgold.com/?p=524

Posted in Blog Posts, Read Me

IT, by Stephen King: a Novel Review

Synopsis:

Jumping between the past and the present, the Losers Club has been tasked with defeating a strange force that has caused the local children of Derry, Maine to hallucinate, have incredibly terrifying nightmares and to even go missing.

When Bill Denbrough begins to have nightmares of a mysterious figure, often taking the shape of a clown with a red balloon, things begin to go sideways in his life. His younger brother Georgie is found dead…his arms ripped from his body… when he goes out to play in the rain. Bill begins to realize that the creature in his dreams is what has caused Georgie’s death.

As his small group of friends spend the summer doing what kids do they join together over these nightmares, which have been plaguing all of them. When they discover the cause they do everything in their power to end it.

Ans things seem to have gone well, the creature appearing to disappear.

That is until another sting of vicious child deaths occur in Derry. The Losers Club must face all of their fears, and look into the face of IT again… this time will they defeat the alien force and come out alive? Or will they have to sacrifice everything they hold sacred to save the children of Derry, Maine?

General Information:

-Genre: Psychological Thriller, Horror

-Author: Stephen King

-Number of Pages: 1,138 pages

-Main Characters: Bill Denbrough, Ben Hanscom, Bev (Beverly) Marsh, Richie Tozier, Eddie Kaspbrak, Mike Hanlon, Stan Uris, Pennywise/IT, Henry Bowers, Vic Criss, Belch Huggins, Patrick Hockstetter, Peter Gordon, Moose Sadler, Gard Jagermeister, Georgie Denbrough, Eddie Corcoran, Adrien Mellon, Will Hanlon

-Where to Read: support local booksellers (many can order items that may not be in stock), get or rent the audiobook (on something like Audible or Libby), or look for it at your local library!

-Page of Reference in RP1: 63

Review (contains spoilers):

I just honestly can not with this book. It is WAY too long. You could cut about 400 pages out of the middle and it would be the same story.

There are so many moments in this novel where I feel like King was just putting stuff in to be disgusting. It wasn’t scary… it wasn’t terrifying. It was just disgusting.

This is one of the books I absolutely cannot stand. It is full of homophobia, misogyny, excessive abuse particularly sexual and abuse towards children. And most of the descriptions of these items ARE NOT NECESSARY to build the characters or move the story forward. It is just signature King.

As I have read more of his works I am finding that there is a consistent and excessive need to add in sexual encounters and moments that do nothing to the plot, often come out of no where, and are often incredibly degrading to women.

This books is no different.

The movie (particularly the newer two part film duology) are BEYOND better than this 1100 page novel. I wish I could get the 45 hours of my life back that I listened to the audiobook. Thankfully I was able to do other productive things while listening.

Do not recommend.

Rating:

Rating: 1 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

REPOST: Ghostbusters: Answer the Call, based on Ghostbusters: created by Ivan Rietman: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Former partners Abby and Erin have parted ways after writing a book on paranormal phenomena.  As Abby continues to study the paranormal, Erin has moved on and is up for tenure at Columbia University.

When Erin is approached by the owner of a historical building in New York, she discovers that Abby is selling their publication online.  As she goes to confront Abby about it she ends up dragged back into the game when the pair and Abby’s new partner, Holtzman, agree to go and check out the mansion.

The trio are confronted by a malevolent spirit, and in the aftermath Erin loses her position at Columbia.  When Abby and Holtzman go to get further funding to advanced their studies they also get fired.  So the three get together to continue to study the paranormal.  They create a [new] Ghostbusters.

When New York City is once again taken over by ghosts the ladies find themselves on the receiving end of the upsurge.  Which seems great to start…but when things begin to unravel they must find the source of the activity and try and save New York (and possibly the world) in the process.

General Information:

-Genre: Paranormal Comedy

-Creator: based on Ghostbusters created by Ivan Rietman

-Length: 116 minutes

-Rating: PG (mild sex and nudity, mild supernatural violence and gore, moderate profanity, some supernatural themes, mild smoking)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (rent or buy), iTunes (rent or buy), YouTube (rent or buy), DVD, Blue-Ray, or find it at your local library (like I did!)

-Main Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Charles Dance, Michael Kenneth Williams, Chris Hemsworth

-Page of Reference in RPO: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

I absolutely loved this rendition of the Ghostbusters.  The story and the humor are reminiscent of the original movies.  The scare level is more up to speed for modern audiences.  And all the little nods to the first two films (from the theme song to the ECTO-1, to the cameo of the original firehouse and Bill Murrey as the doctor who debunks paranormal activity) are just absolutely wonderful.

The team has a great chemistry.  The writing is fantastic and the timing is just spot on.  We are given more of the backstory of the characters in this one. They aren’t just a group of people studing the same thing who eventually became friends.  We get to hear why Erin and Abby believe.  And it adds a whole new level to the characters.

Modernization was the key here.  As the world changed, as film changed, as audiences changed…movies have had to change.  And this one hit all the nostalgic points as well as the more modern necessities from advanced CGI techniques, more scary items than campy items, better character bonds and a more intense villain.

An extremely enjoyable film. Especially if you want to watch something fun, lighthearted and just a little bit scary.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

REPOST: Ghostbusters II, created by Ivan Rietman: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Five years after saving New York City from Gomer and his cronies (Zuul and the Keymaster, as well as the StayPuft Marshmallow Man) the Ghostbusters are basically defunct.  They have gone out of business when something goes wrong with Dana Barret again.

This time her child’s buggy ends up rolling away of its own accord and stopping in the middle of the street.  So she goes to two of the Ghostbusters, hoping to keep her ex-boyfriend out of the situation.  Which of course doesn’t work.  And as they begin to investigate the trio uncovers a huge river of slime beneath the city.

Their activities land them in court with a judge who is less than kind.  The resulting effects land them right back in their rolls as Ghostbusters.

Meanwhile, Dana’s employer gets visited by the ghost of a long dead count… who attempts to employ the man to bring him back to life.

What ensues is nothing short of traditional Ghostbusters hilarity, with a smattering of paranormal insanity thrown in.

General Information:

-Genre: Paranormal Comedy

-Creator: Ivan Rietman

-Length: 108 minutes

-Rating: PG (mild sex and nudity, mild supernatural violence and gore, moderate profanity, some supernatural themes, mild smoking)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (rent or buy), iTunes (rent or buy), YouTube (rent or buy), DVD, Blue-Ray, or find it at your local library (like I did!)

-Main Cast: Billy Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, Annie Potts, Ernie Hudson, Peter McNicol, Kurt Fuller

-Page of Reference in RPO: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

This was my brother’s first time watching through Ghostbusters 2 (he got scared by Slimer in Ghostbusters… or maybe the freaky painting in this one… as a kid and never watched them after that).  I’m an avid Ghostbusters fan and watch it every single Halloween season.

So I decided to ask his opinion of the movie both as we watched it and afterward.

He said: it was good.  Different than the first but still really good.

You can tell this movie was defiantly trying to go for more of a horror aspect vs the kind of campy comedy in the first movie.  Between some of the now classic effects true horror fans know and love like the push through wall, the talking echo, and the attempt at jump scares this Ghostbusters is trying to be a little more adult and a little more scary.

Though it does retain the comedy and charm of the first film.

I do enjoy the first film more but this was a solid sequel that didn’t feel like a cop out like many others do.  The continuation of the first story is very well done and feels like a full story unto itself.

This and the first make a great double feature with some Chinese food on one of those brisk and chilly October nights.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.