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

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

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.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

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.