A few weeks ago I was treated to an amazing experience in theaters that I never thought would happen.
I am a huge fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000. I would wake up early on the weekends in order to watch this show on Syfy (known back in the day as Sci-Fi… I think…) and laugh until my sides hurt. The basic premise of the show? A group of three talented off-the-cuff comedians would sit down to a really crappy older sci-fi/fantasy film and dub over it, making fun of the situations with one liners and references. Coming from a very nerdy sense of humor, this show really hit home.
And then, as if out of nowhere, MST3K reappeared on my radar. And this time, in theaters. On several events, the guys from Rifftrax would simulcast live to Regal Cinemas all over the country and riff things live that they thought of during the movie. At first I was hesitant to watch this among other people (most of them were sad and fat nerdy people), but then I forgot that as the lights went down. 80% of the jokes were well timed and golden, leaving me with tears in my eyes. My whole family loved it and I was over the moon about this fantastic return to my childhood.
In this particular instance, we watched Manos: The Hand of Fate. Considered one of the worst movies of all time, I was dying at the movie and everything said. It was wonderful.
For more on the movie, check out the link below to Wikipedia:
I loved the experience and I would encourage other sci-fi/fantasy/nerd culture fans who love great high brow comedy to come to these events and laugh with everyone else. It’s like coming to see a comedian, and walking away with a great movie watching experience. My experience, 10 out of 10. The bomb.
This Comedy Central exclusive documentary by Arthur Bradford was a nice little change of pace to all the films and stuff I’ve been watching recently. I was never that big of a fan of South Park until I recently started watching up on Netflix, and I’ve been converted. After hearing Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s mentality of “F&*^k you to everyone”, I now find their humor (although it was always similar to mine, but cruder) right in my ballpark.
And watching how they make an episode in 6 days. Mind blowing. Seeing them in their natural work environment, and finding how accepting they can be of all ideas, makes it that much easier to like them. They work hard and fast at what they do, and they are
Trey and Matt, still kickin’ it.
part of every step, and there every day. I was shocked to see how much time and effort they put into everything, and after all is said and done, Trey still feels he could’ve done better. There are those skeptics out there of which episodes are good or not, and Trey and Matt are the biggest ones.
Gotta laugh at those poop jokes.
After all their success from The Book of Mormon and previous seasons, they come back to it with as much passion, even though they’ve done 15 seasons now. And no signs of stopping. I give them all the credit in the world for keeping it fresh and funny.
I just thought I’d write a little review on this behind-the-scenes documentary on something I found interesting and worth every minute of the total 42. If you’re a South Park fan, it’s nice to see who the people are who make the show and find out what kind of mentality they have about the show you tune in every week for. Nice and refreshing. So check it out. It’s worth a laugh or two. 6.5 out of 10.
It’s Ross “TheBoss” here again from The Abyss wishing every one of you dads out there a Happy Father’s day. I’m actually several hours away from my dad at the moment (summer work elsewhere) and this is how I’m getting my dad’s present to him. What could I possibly be sending my dad via a blog post? Well here’s the surprise…
Dad, and I know you follow me so you’ll get a notification, you get to pick out a movie of your choice and review it on my blog. Get the word out about one of your favorite films and let people know what you think. Sound like a good present? Whenever you find one you want to review, just let me know and you can post it whenever you want. Happy Father’s Day, Dad!
Hey those of you who view my blog. I’m going to take a step away from a blog today and talk about what I’m doing this blog for. In light of a celebrity (and I say that with surprise on my part on being communicated with) commented on my blog recently. In an eye opening comment, I forgot just what I do this blog for. Let me make a clarification.
I do not write this blog to intentionally demean any of those artists or actors or even creators in a general sense out there. I am sure, as people, those groups of people whom I write about are wonderful people, if they choose to be. The intent of writing this blog is to talk, on a more personal and relatable level, to an audience out there that likes hearing just what an average college age student has to say about the media around him. Yes, some of it is biased towards my likes of death metal, horror, and all things dark (hence the name, The Abyss). But I would like to think, as we all can, that we can branch out of our niches and find something outside our comfort zone that we like.
When I write, and it is not intentional, I come off as a ranting pessimist. I don’t know if I can consciously change this, because it is the person I am when it comes to film. When I really like something, I’m sure I come off as a ranting optimist. I don’t consider most films or music bad. I have an fervent appreciation for anyone who puts their time and effort into creating a movie, a CD, a book, etc. When I really like it, it shows. When I don’t like it, it shows more. But please, don’t let it offend you if you don’t agree or feel its a personal attack to your sensibilities. We all have opinions and you don’t have to believe mine. It’s just a different way of viewing.
I have to say it, I don’t like what’s considered the norm for good films. I wouldn’t consider the top 100 films of all time in my top ten in the slightest. It’s just the way I am. I extol the classically classic (as me and my friends would say) and the cinematically excellent falls by the wayside. Best comedies, Meet the Spartans and Dumb & Dumber. Best action, Equilibrium and The Mummy. Best drama, The Pianist (actually considered good) and The Fall. Nicholas Cage is an amazing actor. And so on and so forth. I will defend my views even if they don’t appear to have a logical path of argument. It’s just the way I’ve always been. It’s the way my mind works.
This love of the mediocre and classic (in the sense of something we among our friends find hilariously good, although not actually good) extends to all things. And if I hate on a movie and those actors in it, I couldn’t mean less harm. It’s only a twisted way of showing my appreciating for something that is just too classic.
So please continue viewing my blog and enjoying the “classic” rants of a fellow entertainment enthusiast. And always return to The Abyss.
What do you guys think of this? I’ve been away for a while, but this year I’m coming back in force. And with changes. Look for it soon. This year will be huge.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 59,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 22 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
Now, I’m not gonna lie, I’m not a big Parks & Recreation fan. But I am a huge Aziz Ansari fan, especially after this movie. 30 Minutes or Less is hilarious and a lot of things came together to make this movie near perfect as a comedy. A lot of things I think came together to make Aziz Ansari a tour de force of hilarity in this film as well. Starting off with a small acting career (or comedy first?), Aziz started with School for Scoundrels and moved on from there after a few shorts as well. (I’m using IMDB, not exactly sure on the details…) But, after a funny episode as a racist fruit seller in Flight of the Conchords, Aziz took off in the MTV show Human Giant. With some Scrubs work and a few more small comedy films, he made his way into Parks and Recreation, and this opened the door to a starring role in 30 Seconds or Less. And by God, was it phenomenal.
Let’s get to the story. Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) is a down in the dumps pizza
Hilarity ensues! Yay!
delivery guy who prides himself on his driving ability and speed in getting there, “30 minutes or less,” the slogan of his employer’s pizza business. He has a best friend, Chet (Aziz Ansari), now a school teacher and not lowlife like Nick. Nick and Chet are pretty good friends, other than the fact that Nick slept with Chet’s sister, Kate (Dilshad Vadsaria). This has created a rift between them and this pervades as comic throughout the film.
McBride and Swardson are fiends in this film! (Big Nick Swardson fan!)
Meanwhile, two friends, Dwayne (Danny McBride) and Travis (Nick Swardson) are two scummy friends who live off of Dwayne’s dad the Major (Fred Ward) and his winnings from the lottery. But he spends it like a bastard. So Dwayne and Travis make a plan to off the Major through an outside hitman, suggested by a hooker/stripper/prostitute. But it’s gonna cost 100,000 bones.
And that’s where Nick comes in. With their expertise in pyrotechnics and bomb making (more Travis’s forte…), they strap a bomb to Nick’s chest and demand that he rob a bank for their nefarious purposes. Nick enlists the help of Chet and these two groups are off on a wild ride of wild driving, destruction, and a string of hilarious jokes (one in particular about Facebook that Jesse Eisenberg delivers expertly.).
This Ansari face explains all.
From occaisional film director Ruben Fleischer (director of Rob & Big and Zombieland. Guess he really likes Jesse Eisenberg…) and first time writer Michael Diliberti, comes a fantastic film about love, betrayal, and all things ridonkulously funny. Aziz Ansari kills it in this film and I was literallly howling in the theater with laughter (my mom looking at me strangely). I gotta admit though that Danny McBride, although sometimes funny, ruined this movie with tons of sex jokes and random unfunny swear words. All-in-all, I give this film a definite top 5 best of the summer and a definite watch with a group of friends. 8.8 out of 10.
I gotta tell you, I’m a sucker for exorcist/devil related films. Any horror movie that tries new ways to prove the Devil walks the earth, I’m on board with believing it. These movies are usually more frightening than gore/slasher/paranormal films. Why? There are a lot of people out there who pray for their immortal souls. Why? Because demons and the Devil himself walk among us, waiting to corrupt us and enter our bodies. In The Rite’s case, no human being is an exception. We are all judge and condemned by spiritual forces. By God himself.
Now, I’m a realist. But I love losing myself in movies like this. Any preacher/demon interaction scenes give me goosebumps.
Colin O'Donoghue. Didn't know he was Irish...
A good shaking of the faith scene here and there is good too. And I love directors/writers who push the boundaries on exactly what it means to be possessed. Different symbolical entities that manifest themselves in unspeakable ways are always something of an interest of mine. Without a strong biblical background, I love the ways the Bible is used to push the envelope with demons and what they can do on a mortal plane.
But anyways, enough of my obsession with the possessed. This movie follows the religious experiences of one Michael Kovak (Colin O’Donoghue). I’ve not seen this guy in any other films, but I was quite impressed with his “I don’t believe in faith” performance and the scientific approach he took. But Michael has two options in his father Istvan’s (Rutger Hauer) eyes. He can either pursue the life of a mortician or that of a priest/preacher. Choosing the less morbid/path his father didn’t choose, Michael begins his training as a priest.
Michael's first experience with an exorcism.
But his faith has never taken any form in Michael. And so Michael’s religious teacher, Father Matthew (Toby Jones) (Great little performance from a great English actor.) suggests Michael take an exorcism class in Italy. It is here that, with no faith in Father Xavier’s (Ciaran Hinds) teaching, is asked to seek the exorcistic teachings of Father Lucas Trevant (Anthony Hopkins). And with this, Michael is shown the tricks of the Devil, and the demons in himself he must conquer.
Now, I need to extoll how good Anthony Hopkins performance is. For the first half of the movie, he plays the nonchalant exorcist. This guy goes around curing people of the Devil himself, no big deal. This guy could care less about whether or not Michael believes in the Devil. He plays the carefree teacher who doesn’t care about his pupil. But then, out of nowhere, due to a shaken faith, Anthony Hopkins channels straight Hannibal Lecter. Could not believe where this came from (can’t tell). But you have to watch how amazingly evil Anthony Hopkins becomes. (Interesting note, there’s a mention of a “Welsh priest.” Coincidence that a movie based on true events would include a role with a Welsh older man? Gotta be fate, or gotta be Hopkins.)
Another little kudos for this movie: special effects. There are 3 scenes in which computer graphics are
Anthony Hopkins. Are you scared yet?
employed. That’s it. Everything else: make-up artists/actual tricks of the camera. When a movie can pull of subtle elements of horror without overdoing the special fx function, then it deserves to be noticed. I feel as if this movie was overlooked as far as horror movies go. This movie has a great balance of horror and plot. Something to watch and take stock in. And that’s worth the few intense horror scenes that’re shown. This movie almost felt like it was the prequel/setup for The Exorcist. (Michael Kovak goes to Chicago to be a priest. Coincidence?)
Pray for your sins. The Devil is coming.
Great Italy shots of Rome and Vatican City. Beautiful buildings to function as B-roll between scenes. The buildings looked (could have been?) Actual religious buildings in Vatican City. It was a great visual experience. I give credit to Mikael Hafstrom, the director of this film. Having some horror movies under his belt already, this Swede really has it down in his 13th film. So thank you, all that worked on this exorcism film. It was great. 8.8 out of 10.
Merry Christmas everyone! I have a short album review today for MSWHITE’s debut album, “Squares.” If you like the disjointed, yet melodic music of Norma Jean coupled with the drumming and singing of Underoath, then this band is probably right up your alley. On my way to Grandma’s (no joke) today, I decided to spice up my Christmas by listening to this album. To tell the truth, this album in its entirety is nothing too special. Andrea Arcari needs work on his vocals to make it in a country where screamo is standard. Yes, MSWHITE is from Italy and may be the big thing in underground Italian screamo, but I feel to make it over here, they need to harness their canoli’s a bit more. The album starts off quite uniformly from “A Snake Biting its Tail” to “Young, Brave, Analog” and from there, the potential is rising. The instrumental track “V.I.T.R.I.O.L.” gives the feeling of Underoath’s “Define the Great Line” album. “Primavera” enters the album, giving it a heavier side to it, and the album finishes strong with “22 Dots, 22 Stripes.” Overall, this album shows that this band has potential in the wide expanse that is screamo/alternative. I give the album 5 out of 10 and look forward to more music from them.
Here’s a little sample from MSWHITE, their single of the album, titled, “I Breathe the Sun.”