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Thursday Movie Picks - Halloween Edition: Folk or Urban Legends

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  This week's Halloween theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is movies about folk or urban legends. There's plenty of those, and the only rule I set for myself was not to use Urban Legend, because that's too easy. Here's what I came up with. 1) Candyman (1992)- Say his name 5 times.. This is still one of my favorite horror movies, and I have an even bigger appreciation for it after how Nia DaCosta's 2021 remake frames it in retrospect. It made me afraid of parking garages and park bathrooms my entire childhood. 2) When A Stranger Calls (2006) - Yes, I'm going with the remake. I like Camilla Belle and I wish she had a better career. But what better choice than "the call is coming from inside the house!" to use for Urban Legend week. 3) The Ring - You die 7 days after watching the video tape. I still think this is the best PG-13 horror film out there. It holds up even though I've seen this 100 times.

Books I read in 2020

Why yes, this is a post I normally write in January, but I had told myself I hadn't read enough books last year to justify it. Then when I started counting up what I've gotten through this year, I realized I didn't do as badly as I thought. So here's my belated quick reviews. Selznick's Folly - This is technically a script, but it fits in here. I read this because of Be Kind Rewind's wonderful youtube channel on actresses in Classic film. Unlike the books, I'm not going to give this a grade because it's not exactly complete, but it was an interesting read. Attack on Titan by  Hajime Isayama  - You may or may not remember me raving about this manga in the past, then it decided to end on the worst note possible. One of my biggest annoyances was how Mikasa, the strongest female character in the entire series simped over Eren the entire series. It was an annoying unrequited love that had purpose and potential for Mikasa to overcome, but then she never does.

Thursday Movie Picks - Halloween Edition: School

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We've made it to October which means we're on for another Halloween month at Wandering Through The Shelves! This week we're talking about horror films that take place in schools. Here's what I came up with.  1) Jennifer's Body - This movie is having a bit of a resurgence. Once a flop, now rightly a cult classic. This movie is just fun. 2) Spontaneous - While not a conventional horror movie, there's enough blood in this to make me count it. This movie is about kids who start spontaneously combusting in school, and it's exactly as you imagine it.  3) The Faculty - One of my favorites from my childhood. I need to re-watch this film about creepy teachers again.

Review: Venom: Let There Be Carnage

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Eddie (Tom Hardy) is trying to get his career back on track with Venom living inside him when a convicted serial killer, Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) insists he be the one to interview him before he is executed. When Kasady gets a taste of the symbiote within Eddie, he comes the foil to Venom; Carnage. The first Venom is a film I'd classify as "so bad, it's funny" so that's exactly where my expectations were for this one. Throw in the very excitable director, Andy Serkis, and I had hopes this would be both dumb and fun. And it is! There's plenty about this film that works, Eddie and Venom are a funny duo, there's a great dick joke that lands perfectly. Harrelson plays Carnage like an over the top weirdo at a poetry slam, Michelle Williams clearly still has someone pointing a gun at her off screen because she is doing the bare minimum here. That's the fun and dumb I was looking for. At a brisk 90 minutes, we don't have time to drag, which is nice

Review: The Many Saints of Newark

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A prequel to HBO's legendary show, The Sporanos, this time we're following the infamous Dickie Moltisanti, (Alessandro Nivola) Christopher's father and a character who died long before we meet the Tony Soprano we know. We the younger versions of plenty of familiar names, and most of all Dickie's issues with another criminal, Harold (Leslie Odom Jr.) I watched The Sopranos for the first time during lockdown, so a lot of the story was fresh in my mind. I was pumped for this. While some aspects of that show did not age well at all, Tony Soprano is such a compelling character and I was happy to see his quasi-origin. Even better, HBO got the late James Gandolfini's son Michael to play Tony in this. He's not a seasoned actor, but just seeing his face which looks so much like his father's made me happy. Unfortunately, this prequel has too many issues to make me love it overall. It doesn't do anything to ruin the series it builds off of, it's just very under

What I Watched on TV In September

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Well I certainly made up for my slower months in September. I feel like I'm watching SO much stuff on TV right now. It's almost overwhelming, but I've got quite the variety to talk about this time, so here's what been happening on the small screen in House Rambling Film. Ted Lasso - Fresh off their multiple Emmy wins, season 2 continues to be just as great. These last couple of episodes have been quite a bit more emotional and heavy than their usual, but they still throw some great laughs in there. Jason Sudeikis is just phenomenal in this. God, what was Olivia Wilde thinking leaving this dude? Mr. Corman - I'm TRYING hard to love this show because of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but his character is just...not great. That's a shame because the concept and whimsy is really different than anything else on TV right now, and I like the risk he takes, but Josh needs to get out of this rut. The newest episode finally caught up with COVID-19 times, and honestly I'm jus

Thursday Movie Picks - TV Edition: Non-English TV

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  This week's TV theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is that one I saw I'm going to do better with every year, then never do. There is so much TV to watch in English that I rarely get to anything else, and the few I do, I've talked about before. So here's me reaching again. Recommend something fun to me in the comments. 1) Yu-Gi-Oh - I've never watched this show, but as a kid I remember thinking it was so weird that so many adults liked this, and jokes on me because now I'm an adult who likes anime too. We can all grow, folks.  2) Pokemon - My son is obsessed with this. He takes great pride in his cards and tells me all about them, and I know nothing, because I don't watch this either.  3) Scenes From A Marriage - This is kind of a cheat, because while it aired as mini series in Sweden, I've only seen the film cut, but I'm watching the remake so it reminded me of this. 

Review: The Eyes of Tammy Faye

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While attending a religious college, Tammy Faye (Jessica Chastain) meets Jim Bakker (Andrew Garfield) and together they build a televangelist empire.  Truth be told, I knew nothing about the Bakkers prior to watching this movie. I know televangelism is a thing, but it's something I never encountered growing up. Of all the real life figures in this film, I only recognized one name and it was because Jon Stewart dragged him all over The Daily Show back in the day. So because of this, I can't speak to whether or not most of it is accurate, but I can say I was entertained. The beginning of the film shows a bunch of news clips about the real rise and fall of the Bakkers, which I thought was a weird choice, but I'm assuming the majority of the people watching this would already be familiar with them, and not watching it because it could be an Oscar contender like me. But after that, we jump right into the story and briskly move along. One of the things I appreciated the most abou

Thursday Movie Picks: Femme Fatales

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  This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is all about femme fatales. This made me realize that a lot of the films that come to mind when I think of this, I haven't actually seen. I tried to pick three different types of femme fatales. Here's what I came up with. 1) Sin City - This movie is chuck full of women that could be considered femme fatales, mainly the Dames of Oldtown. I've seen this movie so many times. It's one of my favorites. 2) Chinatown - I had to go with at least one classic film here, and Chinatown is one that came to mind. Evelyn is a woman who looks like she's capable of anything, and she is.  3) Brick - I wanted to go a little out of left field for my last pick, so I landed on Laura, this film's high school version of a femme fatale.

2021 Blind Spot Series: Mean Streets

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  What I knew going in: The basic premise. Charlie (Harvey Keitel) is a small time criminal in Brooklyn, He's in love with Teresa (Amy Robinson) who is family doesn't approve us because she has epilepsy, and he spends a good amount of time trying to reel his sort of friend/fellow criminal Johnny Boy (Robert De Niro) from being the walking dumpster fire that he is. Charlie wants to rise in the ranks, but everything seems to be working against him. I've been trying to go back and catch some of Martin Scorcese's earlier work. Last year, I got around to Raging Bull , and I knew that Mean Streets was going to be next. I had to laugh while watching this, because it's the first time I've thought Scorcese's direction was bad. Obviously it's one of his earliest films so he was still trying to find his footing at this point, but it's easily the least polished of any of his films I've watched.  For me, the only thing making this film worth watching is Harve

2021 Emmy Winners

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We made it to Emmy night! Seth Rogen immediately called them out for having a roof when they promised an outdoor event, and then we were off to a show that had way too many stupid comedy bits. The funniest bits of the show were not from host Cedric The Entertainer, but were rather a few quips from presenters. From the categories below, I went 14/21 with my picks. Below are the winners (highlighted in blue) + a few thoughts. Outstanding Drama Series “The Boys”  “Bridgerton”  “The Crown”  “The Handmaid’s Tale”  “Lovecraft Country”  “The Mandalorian”  “Pose”  “This Is Us”  Everyone knew this was coming. Respect to the majority of the cast and crew sitting in a fancy bar in London in the middle of the night.  Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Uzo Aduba, “In Treatment” Olivia Colman, “The Crown” Emma Corrin, “The Crown” Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale” MJ Rodriguez, “Pose” Jurnee Smollett, “Lovecraft Country” I love Olivia, and her speech was so lovely. She talked about how pr

Review: Riders of Justice

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Markus (Mads Mikkelson) is a miltary man whose called back home when his wife is killed in a tragic train accident. Only, maybe it's not an accident at all. A Mathematician, Otto (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) switched seats with Markus' wife prior to the crash, and feels incredibly guilty, even more so when he sees Markus' daughter Mathilde (Andrea Heick Gadeberg) all alone at the hospital. He concludes that there are too many factors that lead to this not being an accident. Along with his colleagues Leinart (Lars Brygmaan) and Emmenthaler (Nicolas Bro) they bring their suspicions to Markus and what unfolds is a violent tale of revenge. Mads Mikkelson is one of my favorite working actors right now so this has been on my watch list for a while. I know he has worked with director  Anders Thomas Jensen several times, but this is the first time I've watched one of their films and now I need to search out the rest. I knew I'd like this, but I wasn't expecting to love it as much

Thursday Movie Picks: Outlaws

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  This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves has plenty of films to choose from..Outlaws! I decided on a theme within a theme this week with everyone's favorite outlaw 1) Robin Hood - Disney's version is unapologetically my favorite because I had it on VHS growing up so I watched it over and over.  2) Robin Hood: Men In Tights - I thought this film was SO funny when I was a kid. My dad and I watched it together quite a bit, and I still find it pretty funny now. 3: Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves - I love how bad this is. The true gem of this film is Christian Slater delivering one of the greatest lines in cinematic history: "Fuck me, he cleared it!"

Review: Malignant

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Madison (Annabelle Wallis) suddenly has visions of murders being committed by a dark figure from her past and she is unable to intervene. Between her sister Sydney (Maddie Hasson) and two detectives Kekoa (George Young) and Regina (Michole Briana White) they try to unravel this mystery. Thank God for Twitter ads, for once. I almost ended up going to see this in theaters before Twitter reminded me it was also on HBO Max so I got to watch this at home. Now I didn't have to pay theater money to see what director James Wan abounded his Conjuring movies for.  There are parts of this movie that were definitely right up my alley. The booming soundtrack, the absolute gore-fest that happens, and the mystery itself was very engaging, but there were a few things that just held this back from being a solid horror film. It hits a lot of annoying horror tropes that I can sometimes overlook when I'm having fun. Characters never turning on the damn lights when something is going bump in the ni

Review: The Card Counter

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William (Oscar Isaac) spent a decade in prison, and during his time there he learned to count cards. Now he spends his life traveling from one casino to the next winning just enough money to stay under the radar. One day, he meets Cirk (Tye Sheridan) who brings up something from William's past, and tries to rope him into a very high stakes scheme. I have to admit, when I first saw the trailer for this film, I thought it looked awful. Promising reviews came out of Venice and my local indie theater opened it right away, so why not see this on opening night? I love Oscar Isaac after all. While this isn't as bad as the trailer made it seem, it's far from a good movie. It has all the pieces to make a compelling story, but it's very drawn out. I didn't feel like I was watching a complete film. I felt like I was watching an idea, something not fully formed and certainly no clue on how to end it.  Isaac is good, he always is. There's a lot of questions about William and

Against The Crowd Blogathon

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It's that time of year again! I'm for Wendell's annual Against The Crowd Blogathon . I'm coming at you late with an entry because I some how missed the initial posting. If you need a refresher on the rules, here they are straight from the man himself. Pick one movie “everyone” loves (the more iconic, the better). That movie must have score of 75% or more on rottentomatoes.com (or at least 7.5 on imdb.com). Tell us why you hate it. Pick one movie that “everyone” hates (the more notorious, the better). That movie must have a score of 35% or less on rottentomatoes.com (or 4.0 or less on imdb.com). Tell us why you love it. Include the tomato meter scores of both movies. Use one of the banners in this post, or feel free to create your own (just include all the pertinent details), or just mention this blogathon if using an audio or visual medium. Let us know what two movies you intend on writing, vlogging, posting, or podcasting about in one of the following ways: Comment on

2021 Emmy Predictions: Who Will Win, Who Should Win

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The Emmys are coming up on September 19th, and it's time for me to attempt to guess all the winners and fail miserably! Here's who I think should win, and in some cases, who should win. Outstanding Drama Series “The Boys”  “Bridgerton”  “The Crown”  “The Handmaid’s Tale”  “Lovecraft Country”  “The Mandalorian”  “Pose”  “This Is Us”  Who will and should win: The Crown It's hard to say who "should" win because there's a lot of excellent shows here, but unless the Emmys go nuts for Lovecraft Country, I see The Crown prevailing for its strongest season yet.  Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Uzo Aduba, “In Treatment” Olivia Colman, “The Crown” Emma Corrin, “The Crown” Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale” MJ Rodriguez, “Pose” Jurnee Smollett, “Lovecraft Country” Who will win: Emma Corrin Who should win: MJ Rodriguez This is hard, and I think there's a chance Colman and Corrin could cancel each other out, but I'm predicting a big turn out for The C