Goosebumps – Review

I honestly just added this film to the marathon because it popped into my head. I wasn’t really that into Goosebumps when I was younger, I remember watching some episodes of the show and I know we owned some of the books so it’s possible I might have read some but I don’t really have any attachment to the franchise, I barely even know that many of the creatures with Slappy being the only one in the film I remember.

It’s alright, about the level of quality I expected. The first 20 minutes or so are pretty boring but once the actual story starts and Jack Black joins the cast it becomes a lot more entertaining. The story itself is nothing new for action movies, especially ones with a high school setting but it’s decent enough and a huge improvement over the first 20 minutes of setup that dragged on longer than it needed.

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Jack Black is the reason to even bother with this movie. His performances as R. L. Stine and Slappy are funny and make their characters stand out more than the teenage characters who at their best are just average.

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Well it’s Halloween now and there’s one more film to watch. What do I have planned for the final film in this marathon? Well for this last film I’m actually going to the cinema…

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Hocus Pocus – Review

Considering how nostalgic the internet gets for this film this time of year I felt I needed to see what all the fuss was about. It’s possible I might have seen this when I was younger but I have no memory of seeing it so either way it gets a review.

It’s alright. It’s funny and I can see why people like it and it is amusing that a Disney movie has a bunch of lines of characters putting emphasis on the word virgin but I think without that nostalgia I’m just not as fond of it as most people. It’s just a fun and silly Halloween movie.

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Of course the main appeal of the film is the three witches. Their performances are the source of most of the film’s comedy and lets face it they’re the only characters that you tend to see gif sets of on Tumblr. No one’s going to care about the boring human characters with the cliche romance subplot that doesn’t even go anywhere.

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Two more movies left in this Halloween marathon now and amusingly I think this is the only one actually set at Halloween itself.

Attack the Block – Review

Originally I only had three movies planned for this marathon before realising I could add a couple more and be able to watch a film every day leading up to Halloween. When I remembered I’d been meaning to watch this one it not only got added to the selection but I watched it the day the DVD arrived.

This is one of the better alien invasion movies I’ve seen. The alien designs look great, they remind me a bit of the Vulpimancers (Wildmutt) from Ben 10. I especially like the glowing teeth, it’s something that sets them apart from their influences making them look unique.

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Of course the main reason I wanted to see this is the cast. This was the film John Boyega was known for before Star Wars and he’s great in it. This is also the first thing I’ve seen the next Doctor Jodie Whittaker in, she’s a good actress and I’m looking forward to seeing what her version of The Doctor will be like. It’s also pretty neat seeing what is essentially a team up of Finn, The Doctor and Firestorm.

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Another film ticked off my To-Watch list. You might notice none of the films in this marathon are horror movies, that’s on purpose. In fact the next film is a lot more family friendly than the rest…

Pan’s Labyrinth – Review

I’ve liked each of the Guillermo del Toro films I’d seen so of course this film, El laberinto del fauno, has been one I’ve been meaning to watch for a while. Something I knew about the film was that it was dark, creepy and sad so of course when picking movies to watch in this Halloween marathon it seemed like the perfect time to finally watch it.

It’s fantastic. As expected from del Toro the visuals are stunning with the fairy tale world looking suitably creepy but in a way that is still beautiful and something you’d completely understand being a world you’d want to escape to, especially when you contrast it against the way things are in the regular world.

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The best example of what I mean is the film’s antagonist Captain Vidal. Sure the Pale Man scene is creepy but it doesn’t even come close to the the way every scene with this guy in gets. In fact even in scenes where he isn’t there just the fact that he could show up at any moment is enough to make a scene unsettling.

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If you haven’t seen this yet you’ve probably had it recommended to you already. It won’t be for everyone but if you like any of del Toro’s other films you should like this one too. On the subject of Guillermo del Toro I’m annoyed we’re not getting The Shape of Water until February next year over here.

Little Shop of Horrors – Review

This film came up in conversation earlier this month and I decided to watch it and a few other films that seemed appropriate during the build up to Halloween.

It’s a lot of fun. I like how some of the sets are designed like a stage as a nod to the stage musical it’s based on. It contributes to the film’s charm in a way a fully realistic set just wouldn’t have. And of course the songs are great, I’ve heard bits of them before but it’s much better hearing them in full in their original context.

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And I can’t talk about this film without talking about the puppet work on Audrey II. It looks fantastic and reading about the effort that went into operating it only makes it even more impressive. Of course considering the director of the movie is Frank Oz it’s no surprise the puppetry is so good.

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I saw the theatrical cut and while I know there’s a lot of people who prefer the director’s cut ending I’m fine with this one, in fact I like it. This has been on my To-Watch list for a while now, it’s good to be ticking films off that list again.

#realityhigh – Review

I wanted to see one more film from this year before the end of the month since after watching Thor Ragnarok I was up to 59 films and it’d be nice to wrap up the month having seen 60. I considered going to see Geostorm but it sounds like that turned out to be boring rather than laughably bad so I turned to Netflix instead. Like many of the Netflix films I’ve watched I knew pretty much nothing before watching, it stood out as one I hadn’t scrolled past before and a Google search confirmed it is a 2017 film so I just watched it.

Maybe I should have just watched the trailer, it tells the entire story and it really wasn’t good. It’s another cliche American high school movie that really wants to be the next Mean Girls and cash in on social media trends but fails miserably at both. In fact the more familiar with said social media you are the worse it looks, for example there’s a scene near the end where the main character is doing a Facebook LIVE stream and thumbs down icons are popping up even though they don’t exist.

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Honestly the only thing that keeps this from being truly terrible is the cast. Nesta Cooper and Keith Powers are especially good and actually make the romance between their characters sweet sometimes before the scene transitions to another example of bad writing.

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I’d say you should skip this movie but I doubt anyone reading this had much interest in seeing a movie that has a hashtag in the title.

Thor: Ragnarok – Review

It wasn’t until I was discussing films coming out this month that I realized we were getting this film before America. Of course when we get films before the US it’s only a week or two ahead while when they get films first we often have to wait an entire month or more (seriously why is Coco coming out next year?). Anyway on to the review.

This is the best Thor movie and the funniest MCU movie outside of the Guardians of the Galaxy series. It’s great to see the comedy given more attention this time around, it was always the best part of the Thor movies and is an opportunity to remind people of how great a comedic performer Chris Hemsworth is.

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And of course Taika Waititi brings his own sense of humour to the film. His portrayal of Korg is very different from his 616 counterpart but a hilarious character that steals every scene he’s in. The Thor and Loki dynamic is the best it’s ever been and this was the best film to finally give Hulk more lines of dialogue.

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If you’re a Marvel fan you’re probably already going to see this or have already seen it (there was a line for the next showing when I left the cinema). I also have to repeat my recommendation from the end of my Hunt for the Wilderpeople review of checking it and What We Do in the Shadows if you liked this film. The only real criticisms I have are that Sif isn’t in it and Thor only wears his helmet for one scene.