Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Century of awesome (kinda) BnB #100

Charles B. Boonsweet

So here we are.
A long freaking way from the start...
You know, with all these damn punks makin flicks, and all kinds of planetary citizens devouring the medium... well I have a feeling we gunna be here a while.
Still, 100, is something special dang it.
Its been quite the run, from Ol' Boonsweet here stumblin through the early days of mixing entertainment and substance... and awesome... to finally being joined by K.K. Bucklesworth, an event that I think finally added the variety, and perspective such ventures need.
Now, with "TRAILER TRASH", and the upcoming "CHILLER CLASSICS", we are expanding our original programming, and I am pumped.

So all this in mind here we are, 100th blog. Myself, and my esteemed colleague, wanted to do something special for all you Booniacs.... all you Buckleheads... we decided why not dig into the dark recesses of our past to pull forth our favorite films. No ties, no top tens, the all time number ones, and maybe inspire a few of you to check them out... or, heck, you might just bask in the glow of a couple films you already know, and love... far too much :) We are also gunna for the first time, throw in our own comments, crosscontaminatedreviews you say? Yup. Take the gloves off kiddies...

The Crow (1994)

The story goes. Detroit: Two crazy kids in love, Eric and Shelly are in love. On the eve of their wedding (Devil's night, yes romance blooms) they are jumped by thugs, Shelly is brutalized, and Eric tossed from his multistory apartment. The both die. A year later a spirit guide, The crow, guides Eric back from the dead to exact revenge on those responsible. Granted powers, and all but invincible, to follow through on his purpose.

Sound simple? It's not. There are simply layers of awesome here, that only loving a movie enough to watch it 121  (possibly 221) times can reveal.

I saw this film in the middle of my teenage angst. Everything about the film lured me in deeper. From the strangely hypnotic cover, to the fact that it was Bruce Lee's son in the film. Then the music, song after song blasting perfect tone behind each scene. The cure, Nine inch nails, even a haunting rooftop solo by our hero. Did I mention he was also a musician? As he takes out all those responsible, the script really starts to have fun with itself. Great lines, a very dark villain (played with a calm glee by Michael Wincott), some heart and humanity by way of tired beat cop, Ernie "You move, you're dead" Hudson, action, and Skank. Dear. Lovable. Douchebag. Skank.

I won't bore you with every little detail of this film. This is how I will say it. This is one of those rare moments where fates simply aligned. Myth. Talent. And a truly great tale. You have James O'Barr, who , though he revisited his comic creation often, he never again hit the story right as with Eric Draven, and hence, never the success. You have a young Alex Proyas (a director who would later cement his ability to create atmosphere with the criminally overlooked "DARK CITY"), breathing life into the gloomy graphic tone of real world Detroit. Then, to finish it. You have Brandon Lee, a young movie star to be, stepping out, and taking a chance on a role he will forever be remembered for, and dying while making it. In fact, on set, an accident that would mess up the director so much, that he did not step back behind the camera until 1998's aforementioned Dark city.
Would this film have the following? The cult status today if the death of it's star was not attached to it? I would like to think so. Really, though, a man playing a man brought back from death, dying during the filming... Knowing this while watching it, it affects you. Still does, after all these years. There is a scene in the movie where the director pauses, the colors shift to black and white - just Brandon's smile, while children, dressed for halloween pass by. It is a moment, that catches your heart in your throat.

Dark, twisted, cool, and death, made all too real, this is a film that should not be missed. By fans of today, yesterday, or whatever the heck the other is...

Movie scale 4.5 out 5 stars
Cult movie scale 5 out of 5 stars.

"Victims aren't we all"

The After-Thought by Kendrick K. Bucklesworth

C. Boonsweet speaks nothing but the truth in this review.  The Crow is also one of my all-time favorite films.  And really, how could it not be?  This is one of those rare flicks where I can say there is nothing I didn't like about it.  The best portrayal of the Crow is still Brandon Lee in my opinion (and may never be topped).  The soundtrack fits the movie like a tailor made suit.  The visuals are just outstanding.  And the action hits at just the right time, and isn't overdone.  Though considering the son of Bruce Lee plays the Crow, there's very little, if any, martial arts.  But it's not detrimental in this case.
A little trivia for you: I dressed up as the Crow for two Halloweens straight after I watched this movie.  At the time, I had the long hair to match the look, and even got second place in a costume contest.  The Crow has certainly impacted a lot of people, and as long as people like myself and Charles B. are around to inform the masses, it will continue to leave an impression. 

Kendrick K. Bucklesworth

100 posts.  Where has the time gone?  While I haven't posted as many reviews as Charles B., this is still quite the occasion.  Adding a touch of class to this blog has been quite a privilege, and how does that song go?  Oh yeah, "we've only just begun".  So the question is, what will yours truly review for this milestone entry?  Which movie has captured my heart as no other has been quite able to?  Well, none other than....

The Evil Dead (1981)

That's right people.  The movie that began the legendary Bruce Campbell's career.  One of the very first horror flicks I've ever watched.  The flick I've watched so many times I have to replace my dvd at some point because of it's excessive use.  If I didn't watch ED at so young an age (10 years old If I recall correctly), I'm not sure how different my taste in movies would be.  Without further ado, let's get this train rolling.

I don't know if explaining the plot is even necessary, unless some of you are just emerging from a cave somewhere for the first time.  In case you are, the story is quite simple.  Five friends decided to take a vacation to a cabin in the woods.  After they get settled in and sit around a table, the door to the cabin's cellar slams open by itself, startling them.  2 of the friends go into the cellar to investigate, eventually discovering the Book of the Dead, as well as an old tape recorder.  Naturally, they decide to bring the items upstairs with them.  Unfortunately, the previous owner of the recorder translated and repeated the incantation to awaken the evil in the woods. And after playing the audio, the hijinks ensue.  One by one, the campers become possessed by demons.  Until only one remains, and you can probably guess who that is.

Does this movie have the best acting?  No.  Is this the most technically sound movie?  Again, no.  But this was made by a few kids out of college just trying to make a movie.  There was no big budget, there was no wealth of cast/crew experience.  But to me that just added to the charm of the whole thing.  Other flicks in my top 10 favorites (which I will post here soon, I promise) have much more going for them, but they also had more money to work with.

Another reason I enjoy ED is because of it being straight horror.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I also love ED 2 and Army of Darkness.  But I'm more of a fan of a pure horror experience.  And as the tag line for ED goes, it's "The Ultimate Experience in Grueling Terror".  Also, I'm not a big fan of a movie starting out as horror, and then its sequel going the comedy route (Return of the Living Dead 2 is another example of this).

"Hey Kendrick, what do you think about this Evil Dead remake?".  Well, I'm glad you asked.  I'm hesitant to be excited about it, as nobody can replace Bruce Campbell in his role as Ash.  Also, I understand that the main protagonist is going to be a woman.  Look, please don't read this the wrong way.  But horror movies have a looong history of women being the ones who stop the protagonists (Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm St. being prime examples of this), and it's getting kind of old news.  I thought the point was made long ago that women are equal to men.  Can't we have a male hero in horror a little more frequently from here on in?  Either way, expect the ED remake's trailer on here down the road.

Well, there you have it.  My favorite movie pick for the 100th posting on Boonsweet and Bucklesworth.  Those few who haven't seen it MUST watch it, at least before the remake comes out.  And for you fans of the B&B blog,  hmm, how does that other song go?  Ah, yes.  "You ain't seen nothing yet".

Movie scale: 4 out of 5 stars
Cheesy-horror gold scale: 5 out of 5 stars

"Why are you torturing me like this.  WHY??"

The After thought by Chuck Boonsweet - As promised. Cross contamination :)
I have to say I agree with everything that is this review. The fact that this film was made with nothing, by nobodies, and slowly but surely grew to dominate the globe. You think I jest? Never about the Evil Dead folks. Never. Two of the highest selling DVDs - version of Evil Dead. Top five best selling blurays - You got it, again Evil Dead. Even the all forgotten Laserdisc (if you are tilting your head by way of WTF is a laserdisc, totally acceptable) number 2 all time behind ... Titanic. This is a film that has inspired merchandise the likes of which perhaps only the Saturday morning heroes of old could match. Two sequels. Multiple touring plays... but most importantly it inspired movie fans to become movie makers. Myself included. And that, is perhaps the most important piece of the legacy that is the little bloody-as-hell-too-cool-for-words-backyardmichigan adventure.

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