Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

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

Synopsis:

Three paranormal scientists at Columbia university have their first true run in at the New York Public Library.  While they are run out of the facility by the corporeal specter at last they have their proof that supernatural and ghostly apparitions exist.  They return back to Columbia only to find that they are being thrown out of the college for lack of compunction and proof of their theories.

So what else would you do? Go into business for yourself obviously. 

It is in their new facility (a nearly condemned firehouse) that they meet Dana Barrett.  She has called on the Ghostbusters to help her with an anomaly that has somehow appeared in the fridge of her corner penthouse.  While the trio goes to work handling her case the rest of NYC seems to explode with paranormal activity.

What will happen as the Ghostbusters are pulled around by the new and extensive activity, the EPA and the mysterious Zuul?

General Information:

-Genre: Paranormal Comedy

-Creator: Ivan Rietman

-Length: 105 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 (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, William Athelton, Ernie Hudson

-Page of Reference in RPO: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

This was one of my brother’s first times watching through Ghostbusters (he got scared by Slimer… or maybe the freaky painting in Ghostbusters 2… 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: really fun movie.  Has a very 1980s feel in various parts particularly as they are on the street and headed into Dana’s apartment for the last fight with the StayPuft Marshmallow Man.  But yeah, really fun and silly.

I agree.  It is a really fun movie and is great for families with older kids.  It has some fairly intense and slightly scary scenes but anymore kids see worse on Tik-Tok and YouTube.  Just make sure to watch it first to determine if your kids are able to handle the supernatural and paranormal themes.

For us today the movie often comes off as cheesy and there are moments that feel very essentially vintage (the card catalogue in the library, the CGI ghosts and some of the soundtrack).  But for me it is all nostalgic.  I loved this movie as a kid.  It was a safe and fun movie to watch on Halloween paired with some candy from trick or treat.

Overall the whole movie still holds up.  The humor is still there. As an adult I get some more of the innuendos and the more adult moments of the film.  I appreciate the performances by Sigourney Weaver, Bill Murray and the rest of the very familiar cast.  If you watch a lot of 1980s and early 1990s film you will understand what I mean.

It’s a super fun and satisfying movie to watch even over 35 years after it was created.

Rating:

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

iZombie, based on the comic series iZombie, created by DC Comics: a Television Review

Synopsis:

Olivia “Liv” Moore is a promising Seattle medical resident.  She is excelling at work.  She has an incredible fiancé that she loves.  A great family.  Is planning her dream wedding.  Life is great.

Until she ends up one of the few survivors of a boat party gone wrong.  So wrong in fact that she ends up as a Zombie.

When her life is turned upside down, she decides to break up with her fiancé, change jobs, and cut herself off from society as much as possible in an effort to keep from killing innocent people in her pursuit for brains! 

Her new boss, Ravi, head of the morgue she is working at, guesses her secret he ends up as one of her best friends and confidant…and completely fascinated with her condition.  As Liv continues to eat brains, she realizes that she can see and learn the things of the person whose brain she consumes. 

Suddenly a Jane Doe ends up in the morgue and Liv is confronted with the fact that she may be able to help police solve the poor girl’s murder.  What is a Zombie to do?

General Information:

-Genre: Supernatural Procedural Crime Drama

-Creator: based on the comic series iZombie, created by DC Comics

-Length: 5 Seasons, 71 Episodes, 42 minutes per episode

-Rating: TV-14 (mild sexual jokes and implied sexual situations, moderate violence and gore particularly supernatural violence and gore, mild profanity, mild use of alcohol, drugs and smoking, mild frightening and intense scenes particularly with the consumption of brains)

-Where to Watch: Netflix (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Rose McIver, Malcolm Goodwin, Rahul Kohli, Robert Buckley, David Anders, Aly Michalka, Robert Knepper, Bryce Hodgson

-Page of Reference in RP1: DC Comics is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

Season 1:

This is a very promising start to a show.  Funny, snarky, kind of gory.  And the actors are just fantastic.

I have a feeling that this show is going to follow the issues that I have with DC Comics… their shows are amazing…and their movies are just mediocre with a few exceptions.

The little bits of the comic book that they work into the show is really a great concept.  It adds to that fantastical feel of the whole show.   

Solid first season.  The show held its own the whole time with very few downs.  The humor and cases were consistent which doesn’t often happen across a whole season of a show. The character development was there, as were the character relationships.

This was an incredible first season.  Between the idea that Zombies exist, Major hunting them down. The mental health issues.  The gaslighting and the lying.  Finding a cure.

So many different things happening. The storyline and the writing are spectacular.  The characters are deep and meaningful.  The twists and turns are well written.

And the ending is just a bit shocking.  What I don’t understand is why Liv doesn’t just say that she was diagnosed with a disease (like and immunodeficiency) which is why she can’t give blood.  It could be why she changed paths…quit being a doctor.  All of it.  Then again…we wouldn’t really have a show if that was the case.

Season 2:

Season 3:

Season 4:

Season 5:

Rating:

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

Misery, based on the novel by Stephen King: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Paul Sheldon is a famous writer, known for his Victorian-era romance novels about Misery.  These novels were so popular that, in order to focus on his “more serious” works he purposely kills off Misery in the final novel just to be rid of her.

After completing his latest novel, an untitled piece that he believes will launch his career in a more serious direction, he celebrates and then takes off for his home in New York City.  When an unexpected blizzard hits the area, Paul runs his car off the road and into a ravine, wrecking his legs…but miraculously not killing himself.

He is rescued by a strange woman named Annie Wilkes, who is a nurse that lives out in the country.  As she claims to want to nurse him back to health and will take him into the hospital when the roads clear things begin to change.  Paul realizes that Annie is not what she seems.  His biggest fan, sure, but what happens when your biggest fan isn’t happy with the ending of your latest book about Misery?  And how much worse can things get when that person…isn’t exactly stable…?

General Information:

-Genre: Psychological Horror, Psychological Thriller, Horror

-Creator: based on the novel by Stephen King

-Length: 107 minutes

-Rating: R (for severe violence and gore, moderate profanity, mild use of alcohol and smoking, mild use of drugs in a medical context, severe frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Vudu (for purchase), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: James Caan, Kathy Bates, Frances Sternhagen, Richard Farnsworth, Lauren Bacall

-Page of Reference in RP1: 63

Review (contains spoilers):

I will say it probably as many times as there are Stephen King novels translated into film, but his work is so much better as movies in my opinion.

Now having watched the movie and read the book I can say this.  This film is nearly perfect.  Its one of those situations where you can watch the movie and you’ve basically read the book.  Which, one, doesn’t happen often, and two, when it does the movie is often bogged down in superfluous details and is boring.

Not the case here.

The material that this movie was pulled from was very detailed and the crew and director did an excellent job with everything.  The house, the setting, the characters…all how you would picture them when you read the book.

And Kathy Bates performance is just INCREDIBLE.

She absolutely nails the bi-polar back and forth that can happen in someone who isn’t medicated and can go from very high manic moments to the extreme lows of depression.  She was able to capture the flip on a dime nature of the character of Annie Wilkes.  There are moments where she is sweet as pie….then there is the scene where she hobbles him.  Cool and calm.  Absolutely perfect.

The things I wish the film had kept in which would have given it five stars in my mind:

  • The actual hobbling from the book where Annie cuts Paul’s entire foot off of his leg.
  • More of the hallucinations that Paul has throughout the book
  • The death of the young police officer and then the visits from several police officers to add to the suspense of finding Paul
  • And the final hallucination of Annie in Paul’s apartment with the ax….

Just a few extra minutes and a few extra details would have gotten this to a five-star film.  But as is Kathy Bates performance sealed the deal of this film being a must watch.

Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Read Me

Misery, by Stephen King: a Novel Review

Synopsis:

Paul Sheldon is a prolific writer.  He is most famous for his Victorian-era romance novel series: Misery.  The problem is…he hates writing it.  He has passion projects that he would rather be spending time writing (though they often do not even net HALF of what a single Misery installment brings in).  As his final installment of the series, Misery’s Child, is released in which he FINALLY kills off his dreaded main character Paul takes a break to write a new crime novel: Fast Cars.

As he finishes the manuscript in the small town of Sidewinder, Colorado, Paul decides to celebrate with some champagne and a long drive…deciding that he should take his ’74 Camaro to Los Angeles instead of flying back to his empty apartment in New York, recently vacated by yet another ex-wife.

Fate has other plans as a snowstorm pops up outside of the small town and causes Paul to crash on the side of the road.  When he awakes its in a strange environment.  A small room with nothing other than a bed, a side table….and he doesn’t recognize any of it.  When Annie Wilkes comes into the room things go from odd to plain weird. 

It turns out Annie saved him from the wreck.  And being a nurse she has first hand experience, and the resources to take care of Paul as he recovers from his incredibly destroyed legs…but is she really there to take care of him?  Or is something about this “number one fan” even more sinister than what is first presented when Annie brings him back from the brink of death?

General Information:

-Genre: Psychological Thriller, Horror

-Author: Stephen King

-Number of Pages/Words: around 420 pages,

-Main Characters: Paul Sheldon, Annie Wilkes

-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:

Review (contains spoilers):

So I’ve seen the movie a lot and now I’ve read a few of Stephen King’s novels…and I can honestly say this: Stephen King is much better on film.

Maybe its because my imagination (while very clear and my inner eye can create basically anything) knows that it doesn’t have to with books) has decided it doesn’t need to animate what is going on in the novels.  Or maybe it’s the way the prose is written…the books just aren’t’ scarry.

Misery has a few ick moments in it but I didn’t find myself worried or scared.  Honesty the false ending where Paul imagines Annie as having escaped the police and showing up at his apartment to kill him with the same ax she uses to chop off his foot was way worse and would have been a better ending in my opinion that the “everything is fine” ending that was written for Paul.

Overall,

 the book was fine.  It wasn’t too long.  The action was fine.  The depiction of the mental illness that Annie displayed defiantly fit more of the knowledge and views that were known about in the 1980s when the novel was written and published.  There were some slightly misogynistic moments and Annie (while overweight, isolated and mentally ill) was described in a way that was disparaging when all the things she is aren’t necessarily negative traits.  Her being an Angel of Death however was discovered in a very interesting way.

It wasn’t the worst thing I’ve read.  And it wasn’t the best.  The movie is better in my opinion which for me isn’t a common view…usually the books are way better.

Review:

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

You’re going to The Rocky Horror Picture Show! What do you do now?!?

The etiquette, traditions and all the information you need to go and see this cult classic whether it’s your first time ever or a yearly tradition!

So you’ve decided (or been coerced) to see Rocky Horror Picture Show this year.  Be it in the theatre, or live, there are some things you should know before you walk into that theatre for the first or the 100th time.

If you would like to just look at a specific section of this article you can use the links below…otherwise enjoy!

General Etiquette:

First: always buy your tickets in advance.  Tickets for this show almost always sell out and often additional showings are added if this happens.  Don’t wait to get your ticket at the door or all your hard work and preparation may be turned away!  And we don’t want that to happen!

While you are ordering your tickets always make sure to check with the theatre/performance to see what is allowed of their guests.  Here is a list of things to ask:

  • Is audience participation allowed?  If it is, then to what level?  Are call-backs ok but participation kits are forbidden?  Is it a live performance and participation will distract the performers?
  • Do you allow your patrons to dress up? If so, then do you have any restrictions on what type of costumes are allowed? (some theatres have restrictions or regulations about just how revealing a costume can be or suggestions like wearing a coat to the theatre over your outfit in order to comply with the regulations of the area they are located).
  • Are your patrons allowed to bring their own participation kits?  If they are what restrictions are there on what is contained in the kits (some theatres will let you toss toast but it can’t have butter or anything on it…it must be dry, others will reject the use of confetti or glitter)?  What modifications does your theatre/performance require?  If you don’t allow outside kits:  will there be kits at the theatre/performance for purchase? Or are kits strictly forbidden?  If kits are for sale is there a list of the items inside so that the patrons can know ahead of time what call backs and participation moments to focus on?

Many of these things will probably be answered on the website where you find the event.  Most places that have hosted this event for years will know what to put on their informational pages.  You may not even have to ask anything when you reserve your tickets.  But when in doubt ALWAYS ask.  While participation in this show is fun it is often mildly destructive and means that the theatre may not want to take the time to clean up the mess that this show can leave behind.

Please be respectful of any requirements and regulations your participating theatre or performance group may have.  One person can ruin the experience for everyone and can prevent further performances. If you enjoy being able to participate in this fun event year after year then be respectful and have fun.

Below you’ll find other information broken down by category.  Feel free to skip to the category that you may want more information on.

Costumes:

Normally dressing up is not only acceptable it is ENCOURAGED! And you don’t have to dress as a particular character to have fun with this. If you want to go with a generic costume any combination of vintage style dress particularly in pastel colors, corset, fishnets, high heels, vintage style flats, vintage button downs, khakis, wingtips, anything acceptable to wear to a sock hop, cardigans and sweaters, pretty much anything gothic or dark, or any sort of undergarments you are comfortable wearing in public (particularly if they are embellished in pleather or sparkles) are all acceptable to wear.

If you have more conservative sensibilities do be aware that this is the kind of show were anything goes and you will see everything from half naked women walking men on a leash to fully buttoned up vintage pin up dolls.  This does not mean you have to dress like this.  Just be prepared to see a lot of skin.

If you want to dress up as a specific character here is a quick list of items you may have around your house or can pick up for cheap.

Do note:  these are just suggestions.  Honestly, it’s the overall feel of the characters that make them recognizable.  Feel free to put your own personal spin and comfort level on the outfits!  I’ve seen some awesome Janet (underwear outfits) in everything from a thong and corset to a full pinup undergarment set complete with the crinoline.  It’s all about the general feel of the character!

Janet:

Janet has a few outfits throughout the show. 

The easiest of which is the pastel and white outfit that she shows up to the mansion in.  it is simply a pastel pink button-down style dress (any type of pastel dress will do) belted around the waist.  A white (or light colored) cardigan and a matching pair of shoes and purse.  It doesn’t matter if you match the colors in the movie exactly… most everyone will know who you are if you wear something like this.  Especially if you are joined by someone dressed as Brad.

If you are willing to be a little more scandalous but still covered up you could go for Janet in her underwear.  This is a simple white bra (of any style you are comfortable in), a white slip usually of a silky material (the kind you could find at a big box store for a few bucks), the white shoes and the white purse from above.  And white brief style full coverage undies.  If you want to be a little more daring you could rip the front off the slip…this happens to Janet in the movie.

Brad:

Brad has a few outfits in the show as well.

The most common of which is the outfit he shows up to the mansion in.  Grey slacks (or really any color), a white button down, a sweater vest and some sort of vintage jacket (in the movie it is a tan jacket sporting the Denton, TX high school logo on the front), white calf-high socks, and some sort of tennis shoe/loafer/dress shoe.  And you can’t forget the glasses… some sort of horn-rimmed plastic framed glasses…usually slightly square in shape.  Again, like Janet, colors here can vary.  Its more the overall look that gets the point across.

And just like with Janet, if you want to be a little more daring you can go with his underwear look: white brief style underwear (I recommend ones made out of a thick fabric or maybe two layers), white calf-high socks, tennis shoes/loafers/dress shoes, and the famous horn-rimmed glasses.  Variations of this add a white tank-top style undershirt… or even a pastel colored women’s cut bathrobe (if you want to go with Brad a little further into the film).

Magenta:

If you want simple then go with Magenta.  Basically some variation of a French style maids outfit as long or a short as you are comfortable with, fishnet thigh highs and boots or heels finish the ensemble…  Make sure to curl your hair and tease it big.  Bonus points if you dye it burgundy or go with a wig!  Add a feather duster, or not, and you are set.

Magenta also has a simple outfit made from a (often sheer) black negligee and the appropriate undergarments (often sparkly), fishnet stockings, and heels or boots with the same curled and teased hair. 

Riff Raff:

A riff on the traditional butler’s costume.  With a little flamboyance added: tails from an old tuxedo, a white vest (with no shirt), skinny or tuxedo cut pants, heels or combat style boots (whichever you are comfortable in), biker or other fingerless style gloves, and a long haired wig with a bald top.  The hunch on the back is optional.

Columbia:

If you are into super flamboyant you can always dress up as Columbia.  She is the brightest and flashiest of the group.

Her most memorable outfit is as follows: rainbow striped black satin shorts (quite short shorts), a rainbow sparkly corset, red sparkly bowtie, gold sequined top hat and tailcoat, fishnets or sheer tights with the seams up the back, light blue bobbie-style socks and some sort of heels (usually Mary Jane style).

My favorite outfit is her pjs outfit.  A pair of vintage style pjs (the ones that look like a button up shirt and a pair of pj pants that match), and a bra or nothing underneath the top (if you are really daring), and a mickey mouse ear hat.

Dr. Frank N Furter:

Has the most outfits of everyone…the diva that he is.

The simplest is his most noted.  A black corset or teddy usually sparkly or sequined, fishnet stocking or thigh highs with a garter belt, black brief underwear (preferably shiny), some sort of high heels, a pearl or faux pearl necklace, elbow length fingerless gloves and full makeup (kind of a play on the pale faces of vampires with a little drag queen thrown in for good measure).  A crazy mop of fairly quaffed hair completes the look.  Some variations add a feather boa or a leather biker jacket.  Boots can also replace the heels if you aren’t comfortable in them or can’t find your size!

His lab outfit is the same look as above but adds on a green lab coat and pink rubber gloves. Because this is a more covered up look the most important part of his main outfit are the few items we can see: the elbow gloves, pearl necklace, hair and makeup, the fishnet stockings, and heels

Take outfit one and add a leather biker jacket.

Check the “finale costume” for his other look.

Rocky:

Gold briefs or boy shorts, gold boots.  Two items.  The skimpiest and the simplest of all the costumes in the film.

Eddie:

One of the easiest of the costumes…Eddie is your typical Greaser from the 1950s. Cuffed jeans, black tee shirt, leather biker boots (doc martins also work), leather biker vest (bonus points if you trick it out with spikes and leopard print lapels), a long white scarf.  Pair this with a pompadour hairstyle and you are set. 

This works even better as a couples costume with someone dressed as Columbia (in her first outfit sans the top hat and tailcoat)

Finale Costume:

This works great for groups. Brad, Janet, Rocky, Columbia and Frank all wear this outfit: black corset (red for Frank), black panties, black garter belt, black high heels, thigh high black fishnets, red or black feather boa.

Audience Participation!

Audience participation is HUGE in Rocky Horror.  All AP varies from theatre to theatre and community to community.  If you aren’t sure the following information is usually pretty safe.  When you feel something coming call it out.  The whole point of the community is finding new or revisiting old discarded lines and keeping the show fresh.  Don’t be frightened to participate.  It’s the whole point of the community is to have fun!

Common Call Backs/Participation:

Call Backs can vary from theatre to theatre.   Some performances even provide sheets with the more common and universally acceptable call backs.  Here are some typical ones and when they are used!

  • Slut! (or some variation)- when Janet appears or more commonly when her full name “Janet Weiss” is said**
  • Asshole! (or some variation)- when Brad appears on screen or more commonly when his full name “Brad Majors” is said**
  • Do the Time Warp! Most performances will teach you the dance before the movie starts but it’s a simple dance:
    • “it’s just a jump to the left”- hop to your left
    • “and a step to the ri-ri-ri-i-i-ight!”- on “step” put your right foot to the right and then repeat as they sing “right” ending with your feet around shoulder width apart (for more advanced dancers: as you step your right foot to the side keep your hands at waist level and move them out and back to your belly button)
    • “put your hands on your hips”- put your hands above your head and circle them out to your sides ending with them on your hips…if you want to make this even sillier then make your hands jazz hands
    • “and bring your knees in ti-i-ight!”- starting with one then the other bring just your knees into each other leaving your feet about shoulder width apart
    • “but it’s the pelvic thrust”- thrust your pelvis forward and back around 3-5 times
    • “that really drives you in-sa-a-a-a-ane!”- circle your hips around in time to the music…not in a fluid motion
    • “lets do the Time Warp again!” jump and face your body to the side (usually to face the left)
    • Repeat on the chorus
  • When Dr.Scott comes into the show there is a good minute long scene where everyone is saying each others’ names. After “Rocky!” Yell: “Bullwinkle!”

**be careful with the overuse of these call backs.  While the easiest these should be used pointedly and not at every single appearance.  These characters are on screen a lot and these call backs can become irritating, especially to those who are frequent Rocky Horror patrons.

Kits:

Kits contain the physical items that you use to participate in the show.  Some uses are apparent (like the squirt guns and the newspapers during the song “Over at the Frankenstein place”) others are  little more obscure like the toilet paper.  I am going to list the most common items and where they are used in the show.  But remember, always check with your theatre/performance on what items are or are not allowed or even what modifications you may have to make to items (like taping the toilet paper roll closed or only using paper confetti). 

  • Rice- toss this in the beginning of the film when the wedding party is throwing rice at the newly weds
  • Newspaper- when Janet covers her head from the rain so should you!
  • Water pistols- use these to simulate the rain that Brad and Janet are caught in…that’s why the newspapers are handy!
  • Some sort of compact light such as flashlight or the light on your phone (please do not use open flames like a lighter if this is not allowed by the theatre)- when the lyrics to “over at the Frankenstein place” say “there’s a light” its time to light up the theatre
  • Rubber gloves- snap these when Frankenfurter snaps his in the creation scene
  • Noisemakers or celebration horns (the kind you use on New Years Eve)- ring in during the celebration of the creation with the rest of the Transylvanians
  • Confetti- toss this when the Transylvanians do as Frank and Rocky head back towards their bedroom
  • Toilet paper- when Brad yells “great Scott!” as Dr. Scott enters the lab toss this at the screen (seems silly but it is because of the brand of toilet paper)
  • A piece or two of toast (DRY)- when Frank goes to make a toast…throw the toast at the screen
  • Party hat (like from a birthday)- put yours on when Frank puts on his
  • Bell- during the song “Planet Shmanet Janet” Frank sings the line “did you hear a bell ring?” Ring it now!
  • Playing cards (you just need a few so most groups split a pack)- when Frank sings “I’m going home” there is a line that says “cards for sorrow, cards for pain” you should toss these around now

What do you crazy people mean by VIRGIN?!?!?!

In the Rocky Horror world the term Virgin is used to describe ANYONE who has NEVER seen the show in a theatre usually with a live cast that acts out some of the parts of the film in front of the screen but at the very least in a theatre with complete audience participation.

NOTE: SEEING THE FILM AT HOME OR ON TV DOES NOT COUNT FOR YOUR VIRGINITY STANDING!!!

So if it is your first time you should be prepared.  Here are some tips:

Wear whatever makes you comfortable.  You shouldn’t feel obligated to dress as any particular character or in any particular way.  Just be prepared to see a lot of varying states of undress, dress, dress up, cosplay, kink and a lot of craziness… I promise we may look crazy but we are all just here to have fun.

No one expects you to understand anything that is going on, any call backs or when to use your props…if you are with a group of friends they will help you with all of this if you want to play with us.  If not just enjoy!  Its all about being part of the group and the culture!

If you know some of the simple call backs (for example when Janet shows up you yell “slut” or when Brad shows up you yell “asshole”) don’t do them every single time during the film.  These are easy to learn but get really annoying if they are said EVERY time these characters appear…they are in the show for MOST of the time.  There are lots of simple ones to learn and you’ll get the hang of it soon!

If you don’t want to participate in the Virgin Ceremony then it’s best to make sure that your group knows that.  They will keep you firmly in your seat.  As a community we love to have fun and laugh, and be kind of crude, but we don’t want anyone so uncomfortable that they don’t come back or don’t have fun.  We will listen to your wishes!

The Virgin Ceremony:

This varies from theatre to theatre and usually consists of two carefully chosen Virgins from the audience.

In some places all other Virgins will be marked when they come in with a lipstick “V” on your forehead.  This isn’t meant to be embarrassing…its more of a sign to let those around you know if we should help you out!  Either by teaching you something, or offering you a quick time warp lesson, or something out of our prop kit (or even shelter under our newspaper as the rain falls down).  Usually being marked like this is more than helpful for the community around you but if you really don’t want to stand out just let the person marking Virgins know.

The community is meant to be fun and inclusive.  We want you to come back.  We want you to feel safe and comfortable.  If anyone makes you feel uncomfortable through their actions, words or is pressuring you in any way find the coordinators of the event (or anyone who is helping the theatre out) and let them know.  We want you to be safe.

Some common Virgin participation ceremonies are things like deep throating a banana, faking an orgasm or eating a brownie out of other Virgin’s lap (to look like you are eating them out…this is what I was asked to do and it was super fun and all in the spirit of the night),

After you have watched the movie in the theatre ONCE then you NEVER are considered a Virgin again and are safe from this silly and fun bit of the community.

Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

REPOST: Rocky Horror Picture Show, created by Richard O’Brien: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Narrated as a documentary the film follows newly engaged couple, Brad and Janet, as they venture out on a dark and stormy night to meet up with some friends.  As the storm rages and worsens the pair end up stuck on a dark road.  They rush to a nearby mansion to see if they can call a tow truck and as they are ushered inside they realize they many have accidently walked into a strange party of some sort… hosted by a man who by all accounts is a far cry from what they consider normal.

As the night progresses with no tow truck in sight the pair find themselves getting dragged deeper and deeper into the insanity that surrounds them… will they ever get away? And when they do will they ever be the same?

General Information:

-Genre: Musical Horror Comedy

-Creator: Richard O’Brien

-Length: 100 minutes

-Rating: R (nudity, explicit sexual content, cross-dressing, moderate violence and gore, moderate profanity including the use of the word fuck, smoking and alcohol use, some intense and disturbing moments)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, YouTube, DVD, Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library.  If you are reading this after the Coronavirus Pandemic Quarantine of 2020: look for a local playhouse production of the theatre production, or a local theatre’s October showing of the film.  If you do this then ALWAYS check for the rules and regulations of the theatre regarding audience participation bags and supplies.  Find our article on this information here:

-Main Cast: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell, Johnathan Adams, Peter Hinwood, Meat Loaf, Charles Gray, Jeremy Newson, Hilary Farr

-Page of Reference in RPO: 178

Review (contains spoilers):

One of the best WORST movies of all time.  This film capitalizes on the fact that it is just hands down BAD. 

Because of this it is a cult classic.  From Tim Curry’s epic performance as the transvestite alien entity that is Dr. Frankenfurter to the riff on the now abysmal horror films of the 1930s to the 1960s this fill is full of nods to the world of science-fiction  and horror.

The cast does a stellar job being over the top putting on the performance of a lifetime.  And while no one can ever call this film GOOD by any stretch of the imagination there is something wonderful about the comradery and community that can be found around this film.

Made famous by its incredible soundtrack, audience participation and encouraging its following to dress up and toss everything from toilet paper to toast at the screen this film has created a cultural phenomena all its own.

This is one I watch every year and while I know it isn’t safe to do so I wish I could go to a showing this year.  It is a tradition that I miss.

If you want to participate at home you can find our riff on a Mystery Science Theatre 3000 overlay here:

Or the extensive list of call-backs, costumes and kit items here:

Do note that for all of the hideously bad acting and over the top and often fake looking effects this film is not for kids.  This is for adults.  It contains extensive sexual scenes, sexual fantasies, skimpy and provocative dress, nudity, sexual jokes, murder, mayhem and references to cannibalism.  It is rated R for a reason.

Rating:

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

REPOST: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, based on the world created by Michael Crichton: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Not long after the events of the Jurassic World theme park incident a group of mercenaries arrive on the island tasked with getting a sample of DNA from the Indominus Rex remains that are at the bottom of the park’s lagoon.  As the team evades various attacks, they accidently release the Mosasaurus from the lagoon into the ocean.

Three years later while the U.S. Senate debates whether the dinosaurs should be saved from a sudden but inevitable eruption from Isla Nublar’s volcano John Hammond’s former partner, Ben Lockwood, sets up a team with aid from Claire to relocate as many of the dinosaurs as they can to the California estate that Lockwood owns.  Claire speaks to Owen Grady to get his help…particularly to assist with getting his beta Velociraptor, Blue, off the island.

Unbeknownst to Claire, Eli Mills (Ben Lockwood’s aide) is planning to only acquire Blue to use in his experimentations to develop a new dinosaur to be used exclusively for war and combat…. And that Claire and her team are just collateral damage.

General Information:

-Genre: Science-Fiction Action-Adventure

-Creator: based on the world created by Michael Crichton

-Length: 128 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (moderate violence and gore, mild profanity, mild use of smoking and alcohol, moderate intense and frightening scenes)

-Where to Watch: DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rafe Spall, Toby Jones, Ted Levine, BD Wong, Jeff Goldblum

-Page of Reference in RP1: 63

Review (contains spoilers):

Ooof.  I just don’t really know what to truly say about this film.  Its better than The Lost World? That isn’t saying much though. 

I actually enjoyed the film overall but was really upset about the fact that we once again seemed to get a lot more of the “real” world and not as much of the island.  It’s a really fascinating study about the stupidity and greed of man…but that isn’t exactly what I wanted to watch when I chose to go and watch a Jurassic Park film.  I expect the morality discussions of bringing back and modifying long extinct animals…but the morality of man is something I wasn’t expecting from this film.

Generally good and I’m interested to see where the third film in Jurassic World is going, but I’m not sure when we are going to see this film come out.

And why waste such a treasure as Jeff Goldblum by sticking him behind a table….its just…sad.

Rating:

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

REPOST: Jurassic World, based on the world created by Michael Crichton: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Back on Isla Nublar, Jurassic World has been in business for many years.  It is a vastly popular attraction for families to come and explore, watching resurrected dinosaurs live in custom-built habitats. There are educational programs to attend, and even rides that take you out into some of the enclosures.

Zach and Gray Mitchell are sent to visit their aunt, Claire, who is the operations manager of the park. But when they arrive, she is far too busy with the latest attraction that will be opening in a matter of days: a new breed of genetically altered dinosaur named the Indominus Rex, developed by Jurassic Park geneticist Dr. Henry Wu.

Meanwhile on the island, Owen Grady (a US Navy veteran and ethologist) is training a small group of Velociraptors to see if their pack mentality can be utilized in other ways while researching their intelligence.  He has a group of four, that he has raised since birth, with Blue as his beta.  The research that he is doing seems to stem from the theories of Dr. Grant.

As Claire shows off the Indominus Rex to the owner of Jurassic World they discover that the enclosure may not be enough to keep everyone safe.  So, they task Owen with determining it’s security.  But during the course of the briefing, they discover that there may be more to the Indominus Rex than meets the untrained (and uninformed) eye… she seems to have disappeared, yet the enclosure is intact.  When a small group including Owen enter the enclosure to observe where she may have gotten to and fully assess the security Indominus shows just how clever and devious she truly is, using their desire to escape her jaws as way to become loose on the property.

With one of the most dangerous dinosaurs ever created on the loose, her nephews missing, and millions of dollars (as well as park full of guests) at risk, Claire needs to think fast, and act even faster if she is going to prevent a major tragedy from occurring.

General Information:

-Genre: Science-Fiction Action

-Creator: based on the world created by Michael Crichton

-Length: 124 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (moderate violence and gore, mild alcohol use, moderate frightening and intense scenes, large monster action sequences)

-Where to Watch: DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Omar Sy, BD Wong, Irrfan Khan

-Page of Reference in RP1: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

I really enjoyed this film.  The feeling of the first Jurassic Park movie is felt all throughout the film and it is a really great call back when the boys end up in the old facility.  There is the great unknown moments and yet the whole movie has the feeling that everyone really should have known better and had better security protocols in place…especially since the park had been open for quite a large amount of time.

The boys are smart and use every opportunity they find to get out of the situation they end up in.  The big bad is actually a set of horrible humans and not just an accident or a moment of happenstance.  And we get an appearance by the ORIGINAL T-Rex from the first film!

Character interactions and writing are well done. And the effects truly look spectacular.  They took a page out of the book of the original trilogy using both CGI and animatronics to create a large number of the dinosaurs in the park.  Its things like this that cause the movie to hold up well over the years.

The velociraptors being an asset is new and I like that they seem to be building on the research of Dr. Grant from the first trilogy.  They have moved onto the fact that not only are the raptors social creatures but that their intelligence can be curbed for more productive actions and not just the instinctual actions of an animal.  It brings another level into the film.

What I didn’t like was that a few of the deaths and some of the action sequences felt unnecessary or brutal in ways that weren’t needed (like that of Zara, Claire’s assistant who is trying to look after and then find the boys when they dodge her)…

In the end I really did enjoy the film and since I haven’t seen the second I hope I like it as much as I liked this one.

Rating:

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

REPOST: Jurassic Park III, based on characters created by Michael Crichton: a Film Review

Synopsis:

In the waters surrounding Isla Sorna (now deemed a restricted access territory) Ben Hildebrand and the twelve-year old son of a good friend, Eric, have gone parasailing.  When the boat they are attached to is attacked and heads on a crash course for a rock formation the pair release the rope and crash land on the island.

Weeks later Dr. Alan Grant is working with a team that is making new discoveries about Velociraptors: that they were socially sophisticated.  And if they had not gone extinct maybe they would have continued to evolve, eventually becoming the Earth’s dominant species.  He and his assistant are approached during a conference by a wealthy couple to hire them for an ariel tour of Isla Sorna.  He reluctantly agrees to the trip after receiving funding for his research.

When they are in the air, Grant is knocked unconscious when he learns they are planning on landing on the island. When he finally wakes up and realizes they have landed, the group is attacked by a Spinosaurus which wrecks the airplane they came in on.

As he truly learns about what is going on with the couple and the actual purpose of the trip – to find the couple’s son, Eric, who was last seen parasailing near the island – Grant tells them his experience was on Isla Nublar…not Isla Sorna.  He is just as lost as they are.

As the group tries to find their way through the island and hopefully save Eric in the process they are chased by several different predators…who will make it out alive?

General Information:

-Genre: Science-Fiction Action

-Creator: based on characters created by Michael Crichton

-Length: 92 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (moderate violence and gore, mild alcohol use, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Sam Neill, Willam H. Macy, Tea Leoni, Alessandro Nivola Trevor Morgan, Michael Jeter

-Page of Reference in RP1: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

Watching this right after Jurassic Park II is actually fascinating because, while there is just as much action as there was in the second film, the action here feels more productive to the story.  It either is caused or causes character development or push the plot forward.

This isn’t to say that everything is good in the film.  Honestly, there are huge parts of it that aren’t as good as the original film. But I do like this one a lot better than The Lost World.

My favorite is that the raptors talk to each other… like birds or other flock/pack animals.  Their little interactions are absolutely lovely.  And the Spinosaurus isn’t half bad as the “big bad” for this film.  It’s a really interesting dinosaur and after seeing the T-Rex in the last two films a new dinosaur is kind of a welcome relief.

I liked the overall story here better than the last film and really enjoyed the fact that the kid was actually super smart in this one like the boy was in the first film.  It was a great little call back and really impressive that he managed to survive out in the wilderness, with dinosaurs, for EIGHT weeks.  With no supplies with him when he crashed into the island.  Not a lot of kids could do that. Even without the added danger.

The injuries, deaths and survivals fell more in line with the story line instead of some of the ones that feel out of place in both the film before and the film following this one.

I enjoyed this film and most of it seems to really stand the test of time.  Its all pretty solid from CGI to storyline.  A great way to end the original trilogy.

Rating:

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

REPOST: The Lost World: Jurassic Park, based on the book The Lost World by Michael Crichton: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Four years after Isla Nublar is abandoned by Hammond and his team due to the incidents of Jurassic Park, an upper-class British family has docked their yacht at Isla Sorna, located in the same grouping of islands.  While getting ready for lunch their young daughter is attacked by a group of Compsognathus, small pack-like dinosaurs who are looking for food.

Due to this problem John Hammond’s company has been taken over by his nephew, Pteter Ludlow, who wants to end the project Hammond is currently working on- a new interactive park that is built for conservation of the existing dinosaurs that have bred from those left behind during a new experiment on Isla Sorna- and instead, exploit the dinosaurs to save the company from bankruptcy.

Hammond contacts paleontologist Dr. Sarah Harding to document the dinosaurs and how they are living on the island.  As Dr. Harding takes off, her boyfriend Ian comes to see Hammond.  When he finds out what is going on at Isla Sorna he loses it and storms off to find Sarah on the island and keep her from a similar incident that he suffered on Isla Nublar.

Things seem to be going alright on the island when suddenly a large group of game hunters, clad in Hammond’s company logo show up on the island…and things start to go south very quickly.

General Information:

-Genre: Science-Fiction Action

-Creator: based on the book The Lost World by Michael Crichton

-Length: 129 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (moderate violence and gore, mild profanity, very mild use of alcohol, severe frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Moore, Pete Postlethwaite, Arliss Howard

-Page of Reference in RP1: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

So, I honestly don’t remember a lot of this movie.  I know I watched it when I was younger because it was part of the Jurassic Park series…but other than that I really don’t remember much of what happened.

I find a few of the scenes to make little sense.  The T-Rex attack doesn’t seem to have a place (maybe a little when their baby has been taken, but coming back doesn’t feel right for animal behavior).  It seems borne of the desire for action and a big explosion verses actually progressing the story. And then the explanation feels forced for the scene to make sense.

The velociraptor scene is hard for me because I love the idea of the homage to Jaws with people getting pulled randomly down into the grass by the dinosaurs but again it doesn’t feel so much as a driving force to the story so much as another action/slightly horror element to keep things off kilter.  But I have to admit watching the raptors come in to the group in the tall grass is a really cool effect.

Besides that, the story feels sound. Its nice that some of the same actors were brought back even just for small cameo appearances. And I do love some of the other dinosaurs that they introduce in the film like the tiny, pack hunting Compsognathus. So cute. So vicious. So deadly…

 So not necessarily my favorite of the Jurassic Park films but pretty decent.  You do have to suspend a bit more of reality to make this one feel real in the reality of the Jurassic Park.

Rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.