Goth Chick News: Tish, That’s French…

Thursday, June 14th, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

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Most people assume The Addams Family started life on TV in the 1960s, but they were actually conceived by Charles Addams as a series of comic panels for The New Yorker magazine, beginning in 1938 and running until Addams’ death in 1988. The roughly 150 unrelated panels that make up The Addams Family story are still enormously popular today, especially with me, who has stationary, artwork, and couple of tee-shirts depicting the family as well as a vintage Morticia and Gomez, Ken and Barbie set which is about as close as I have or ever will get to the Malibu version.

In the spring of 2017 there were rumors that on the heels of the success of The Incredibles and Hotel Transylvania, the world was now sufficiently primed for a seriously upscale animated version of The Addams Family which to me sounded like first-rate idea considering what happened the last time.

If you can believe this, The Addams Family had been animated before, having appeared in a well-received 1972 episode of The New Scooby-Doo Movies, “Scooby-Doo Meets the Addams Family” which saw several of the original cast members return to voice their TV roles. This resulted in Hannah Barbera’s launch of a cartoon modelled on Addams’ comic panels, which ran for two seasons (although the second was just repeats). A big change to the format was having the family hit the road in a Wacky Races-style Victorian motorhome. Sadly, the format change along with the loss of all but two of the original cast sort of doomed this venture, though not without launching the career of a 10-year-old Jodie Foster who voiced Pugsley.

Last summer it was officially announced that Oscar Isaac (Star Wars, X-Men) was slated to voice Gomez Addams in Sausage Party director Conrad Vernon‘s animated Addams Family film for MGM. This week Deadline has reported the entire core voice cast was announced, and it’s pretty unbelievably awesome end-to-end.

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Burton in a Skirt, or What Are You Going to Do with Your Life when Game of Thrones Is Over?

Sunday, June 10th, 2018 | Posted by Thomas Parker

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Are you still trying to pull yourself out of the depression death-spiral you entered when you heard that the next season of Game of Thrones won’t appear until 2019? And do you find yourself going through every day in an ostrich-like endeavor to evade the knowledge that the next season of Game of Thrones will be the final season?

What will you do? What will you do?

Well, you could surrender to despair and binge-watch whatever the current iteration of CSI is (CSI Fresno? Arkadelphia? Mu?) until the foul odor of your sweaty, unwashed body drives away everyone you love and cherish.

Or you could do as your fathers’ fathers’… er… fathers (just old are you, kid?) did, yea, even as they wandered in the barren wilderness of the pre-internet, pre-fanboy, pre-CGI age: you could return to the source, the ancient fount from which Game of Thrones derives much of its overheated, multi-hued, melodramatic substance: the historical epics and biblical blockbusters and costume dramas that were Hollywood’s bread and butter from the silent era through the sixties, when the whole madcap caravan broke down by the side of the road, a victim of cultural change and economic vapor lock.

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Solo: A Star Wars Story – It Was Fine

Saturday, June 9th, 2018 | Posted by Derek Kunsken

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I saw Solo: A Star Wars Story today. I hadn’t planned on it, but my brother wanted to go with his son and my son wanted to see it too. I’m feeling a tiny bit block-bustered out with this being the second or third Star Wars movie in 18 months, in the context of two or three major superheroes movie in the same period.

Or maybe I’m still a bit jet-lagged? Or cranky? Ontario, which I can see from my bedroom window, just made an asinine electoral choice and maybe the ache is still in the air?

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Goth Chick News: King’s Doctor Sleep Gets a Director and a Release Date

Thursday, May 31st, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Doctor Sleep-small Doctor Sleep paperback-small

Stephen King’s The Shining is one of his most iconic stories, perhaps as much for the book itself as for the author’s intense loathing of its screen adaptation by Stanley Kubrick, which has often been called one of the best horror movies ever made. King hated everything about Kubrick’s take, from his interpretation of Jack Torrance to the victim that was Wendy. Some 38 years since the release of The Shining, King was recently quoted as calling the film, “a big, beautiful Cadillac with no engine inside it.” I mean, I have only just cracked the binding of King’s new work The Outsider when he introduces a character by noting that she’s watching Stanley Kubrick’s Paths of Glory because, in her words, it’s “better than The Shining.”

Ouch.

Understanding that King is still hanging onto significant ill feelings about The Shining’s translation from page to screen makes me wonder a bit about the news this week that his Shining sequel, Doctor Sleep, has acquired both a director and a release date.

Mike Flanagan has had success interpreting King’s work in the past, having recently adapted Gerald’s Game for Netflix in 2017, and Warner Bros announced this week that Doctor Sleep has been greenlighted, with Flanagan at the helm and set to release on January 24, 2020.

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Who Is Mysterio? The Early Days of the Spider-Man Villain with the Fishbowl on His Head

Saturday, May 26th, 2018 | Posted by Ryan Harvey

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News dropped on Monday that actor Jake Gyllenhaal will likely play the part of Mysterio in the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming, whatever it’s called. (Spider-Man: Back from the Ashes would work.) Gyllenhaal is an excellent choice to play a whole range of Spidey villains — the actor’s earned trust on that front thanks to his performance in Nightcrawler. But the real news for me is Mysterio, regardless of who’s putting on the mesh green outfit with eye-brooch accessories. He’s a Spider-Man villain overdue for the big screen treatment.

(Oh, and we now know for certain that Michael Keaton will return as the Vulture, probably to stoke the fires about the Sinister Six getting together. Bokeem Woodbine’s Shocker is still alive, and it looks like Scorpion is in play as well. Only two more slots to fill! Maybe Kraven the Hunter and … The Kangaroo? I hope it’s the Kangaroo.)

So who is this Mysterio bloke? Short version: he’s a special effects wizard who decided to go into a life of crime and put a fishbowl on his head. Because comic books. He doesn’t have superpowers, but he can put on a helluva light and illusion show and he specializes in reality-bending tricks and mind games, making him an ideal movie bad guy.

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Goth Chick News: Just When You Think There Is No Originality Left in Hollywood…

Thursday, May 24th, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

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This may be the greatest movie news I have had so far this year.

I’m a tad embarrassed to admit this one completely snuck up on me but I recently got a link to the red band trailer (aka: too naughty for the average viewer) for the movie The Happytime Murders. Thinking this might be some sort of serial killer bloodbath, I skeptically had a look only to discover the greatest thing ever.

Per its logline, The Happytime Murders is a “filthy comedy set in the underbelly of Los Angeles where puppets and humans coexist.”

Directed by Brian Henson, puppeteer, son of Muppets creator and master puppeteer Jim Henson and current chair of The Jim Henson Company, The Happytime Murders tells the story of two detectives with a shared secret. The human detective, played by Melissa McCarthy and her puppet colleague are forced to work together to solve the brutal murders of the former cast of a beloved classic puppet television show.

So, two things before you watch this.

First, I warn you this trailer is “red band” for a reason. Don’t watch this at work without a screen protector and headphones. Second, in spite of the fact the level of humor here is so gutter that I feel I now need a hot shower, I laughed hard enough to cause the people in the upstairs offices to think there was something wrong with me.

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The Complete Carpenter: Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992)

Saturday, May 19th, 2018 | Posted by Ryan Harvey

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The turnaround time on this installment of my John Carpenter retrospective was fast. That’s because there isn’t much to say about Memoirs of an Invisible Man. It’s the only film Carpenter directed strictly as a work-for-hire job. He came onto the film to get it shot after most of the creative pre-production decisions were already made. He didn’t take his usual above the title possessive credit, the only time that happened since Dark Star.

This article series by its nature takes an auteur approach to film analysis, and there’s not much to analyze with a movie where the director himself acknowledges he had little authorial voice in the final product. But there’s not much to analyze no matter the approach because this is a deeply mediocre movie.

Basically, if you want to skip this article and wait for In the Mouth of Madness, neither I nor John Carpenter will mind.

The Story

Chevy Chase plays Nick Halloway, a rich San Francisco investment banker who gets turned invisible by a scientific accident. Sinister government intelligence agent and hatchet man David Jenkins (Sam Neill) pursues Nick as a potential asset. Nick meets a pretty woman, Alice Monroe (Daryl Hannah), who helps him out. Eventually, Nick outwits Jenkins and goes to live in Switzerland with Alice, although he stays invisible. Roll credits.

The real story is what happened in pre-production. Memoirs of an Invisible Man was a Chevy Chase vanity project. He purchased the rights to H. F. Saint’s novel as a path to more serious leading man roles. This change in approach to what was supposed to be a comedy caused original director Ivan Reitman to jump ship, and screenwriter William Goldman (The Princess Bride and other movies far better than this one) followed soon after. Many directors were considered, and for a while Lethal Weapon’s Richard Donner was the serious contender. But then John Carpenter — not somebody you’d expect to helm a Chevy Chase movie of any type — ended up with the job. Possibly it was Carpenter’s track record working with visual effects and having directed another couple-on-the-run SF movie, Starman, that got Chase’s attention. Carpenter was engaged in a legal dispute with Alive Films at the time and decided to do the work-for-hire gig. Let’s see how that went.

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The Complete Carpenter: They Live (1988)

Saturday, May 12th, 2018 | Posted by Ryan Harvey

They-Live-Theatrical-Poster“What’s the threat? We all sell out every day. Might as well be on the winning team.”

The career of John Carpenter spans four decades, but the 1980s was his special golden era. Although his ‘80s films may not have always succeeded at the box office, their run of quality is humbling: Escape from New York (1981), The Thing (1982), Big Trouble in Little China (1986), and Prince of Darkness (1987). While Christine (1983) and Starman (1984) aren’t in the same tier as that group, they’re good movies audiences still enjoy today.

No other film could have closed out the John Carpenter Decade better than They Live. It’s not only the last movie he made in the ‘80s, it serves as a DO NOT QUESTION AUTHORITY curtain closer on the entirety of the decade.

The Story

Only four characters in the movie have names, so let’s get the actor attributions out of the way: Nada (Roddy Piper), Frank Armitage (David Keith), Holly Thompson (Meg WATCH TV Foster), and Gilbert (Peter Jason). “Frank Armitage” is also Carpenter’s screenwriter pseudonym, giving the impression that a fictional character in the movie also wrote it. That nicely predicts the meta-horror of In the Mouth of Madness by six years.

Nada is a drifter who’s come to L.A. searching for work. He meets another construction worker, Frank, who introduces him to the shanty town and homeless shelter of Justiceville. There’s something strange going on under the surface of Justiceville, however, and Nada discovers the shelter organizers using a nearby church to develop strange science equipment — and a bunch of sunglasses, for some reason. After a suspiciously timed police raid demolishes Justiceville, Nada escapes and finds himself in possession of the sunglasses. When he puts on a pair, he can see the disturbing truth of the world: ghoulish alien creatures disguised as the rich and powerful actually rule the planet. They’ve peppered all visual media with subliminal messages of submission to mindless consumerism to cow the human population.

But Nada is all out of bubblegum and he ain’t having this. He gets Frank to work with him — after they savagely beat each other in a back alley for five minutes — and then seeks out the underground resistance. However, they’re not only facing alien invaders, but also the human collaborators who have sold out for their slice of ‘80s yuppiedom.

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Why Spoil A Good Thing?

Friday, May 11th, 2018 | Posted by Violette Malan

Usual suspectsIt’s almost impossible for me to avoid movie spoilers. If it isn’t reviews (some of which aren’t very careful) articles on specific or general movie features, actors, genres, etc. then it’s discussions on social media.

And if this wasn’t enough, we live out in the country, a fair distance from any theatres, and often the logistics of movie-going are difficult enough that we just don’t go. For years now, with very few exceptions, we’ve been seeing movies for the first time when they come out on DVD, or more recently, on Netflix*.

Many people must be experiencing delays of some sort in their movie viewing, however, since the phrase “spoiler alert” appears to be almost mandatory in any discussion. At one point, people were even arguing about whether there was ever a time when a movie became “spoiler free” because of age. How old does a movie have to be before you can assume the person you’re addressing has had more than ample chance to see it? I’m always surprised when people haven’t seen Casablanca, or something else of that age and significance, but they are out there.

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Goth Chick News: 168 Days to Halloween

Thursday, May 3rd, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Halloween 2018

CinemaCon was held in Vegas last week and for those of you lucky enough to attend, you got a first look at footage from the upcoming (final, and we mean it this time) installment in the Halloween franchise. The rest of us are going to have to wait for it to be released publicly, which is happening soon.

Still, a lot of scoop came out of the annual four-day event. Here is what we now know about David Gordon Green’s October sequel to the original classic.

Things Jamie Lee Curtis said at CinemaCon, along with descriptions of the footage that flooded social media, have revealed the basic plot details. As we already knew, the new movie takes place 40 years after the events of the original, with all subsequent sequels ignored. Michael Myers has been locked up in an asylum since tormenting the teenaged Laurie back in 1978, but of course he escapes. Only this time, Laurie isn’t a helpless victim – this time, Laurie is “ready.”

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