April 3, 2012

Happy 5th Birthday and 1000th Post!


Exactly five years ago, I was sitting in my office without much to do. I was soon to be a bride in just over two months and due to early planning, wedding responsibilities were at a temporary standstill. Meanwhile, Brad was hitting the books hard, studying for a huge test, one that covered everything he'd learned in the classroom setting during his first two years of med school and that would also play a huge role in what type of residency he would get in another two years. Essentially, I was bored.

I didn't know much about blogging. I had used the "blog" tool for my Myspace page a bit, but not for anything specific, just random musings. Alas, my days on that out-of-date site were drawing to a close and I put my Facebook profile on hiatus as well, but something kept telling me my social life on the internet wasn't quite done. I had used the Myspace blog to discuss movies some, but I decided that's what I wanted to do all the time and it turned out that starting a blog of my own was quite simple. (Maintaining it over the years, not so much.)

And so I jumped into the world of movie blogging. At first the site was Mrs. Thuro's Movie Rants & Raves (which I changed after a year) and looked a lot different. I just wrote reviews for any movie I watched, and that was it. At first I had maybe five people reading, family and friends of course. Then I happened upon an old (now defunct) blog named Blog Cabins, via the IMDb hitlist. It was run by some guy who really hated Nic Cage and featured in the sidebar a link to an association of movie blogs that claimed to be rather large. A couple of weeks later, I had actual blogging buddies, who have become real friends over the years.

Around the second anniversary, I became determined to reach this day, with a goal of at least five years or 1000 posts, which ever came first, but now I've achieved both. However, I feel there is nothing more for me to do here and that it's time to move on. So thank you for being a devoted reader or just a random guest from a Google image search. Everyone who has taken the time to read and comment has kept me going and I wouldn't have made it this far without them.

The site will be left up for archival purposes, but it will also revert back to the blogspot.com, as there is no point in paying for the domain name anymore.



Please don't think I'm being casual about this. I admit it is difficult to say farewell to this project that is older than my child, my marriage, my job...essentially life as I know it today. However, it is time to move on.

Goodbye.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

April 2, 2012

Monday's (Recycled) Movie Review: Grindhouse (Spoilers)

I have never done this before. I do not recycle my previous posts, as I always thought of it as "cheating" to increase post numbers, but tomorrow is a big day of celebration around here, and I'm feeling a little sentimental.


Below you will see my first movie review on this site, which was my first movie review period, with zero changes. I won't lie: it ain't pretty, folks. But, you know what? Though I could easily make it more subdued, eloquent and spoiler-free, I wouldn't change a thing. This review launched me into the world of online movie blogging five years ago and I hold it as a badge of honor...a tattered, faded badge, but mine all the same.


WARNING: AFTER SEEING THIS MOVIE, YOU MAY HAVE A STRONG URGE TO GO OUT AND KICK SOME ASS!

Well, last night Brad, Garrett and I went to see Grindhouse. I must admit I hadn't gotten really excited about this one until about a week ago when Garrett said he could get us tickets for a sneak peek showing. That's when I started researching it and finding out about grindhouse theatres and exploitation flicks, which I'm pretty sure I'd never seen one before. For more info without a boring explanation, here's a Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grindhouse.

Before I begin, I must first mention what a huge Tarantino geek I am. I've seen Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction countless times. Jackie Brown and Reservoir Dogs are both amazing. Of course, none of this takes away from how awesome Rodriguez is too. Having seen a majority of his work (sans the Spy Kids trilogy and Sharkboy and Lavagirl), I'm convinced he is one of the gods of action flicks today.

So these two geniuses got together to pay homage to old exploitation films from the days of yore. The result? A damn good time! If you know their intentions were to make two bad movies, if you can suspend all logical thinking and if you can endure the sights and sounds of extreme gore and violence for 3 hours, then you should enjoy Grindhouse just as much as we all did.

Rodriguez starts off the party with the first faux trailer of the night, Machete, which was quickly followed by his zombie horror fest, Planet Terror. In PT, a small Texas town is being overrun with, well, zombies. And man are they ugly zombies. Big hideous boils all over their bodies, which are also decaying (just wait for Tarantino's scene in this one to see all kinds of stuff rotting off), and they love to just rip right into a fresh body, just ask Rose McGowan's Cherry Darling who loses her leg as a zombie midnight snack.

Of course, the few uninfected must fight to stay alive (surprise!) and that's not an easy task. Yeah, you guessed it, no plot to this at all, but PT serves its purpose: it completely grosses you out and never leaves you bored! There's really no point in going into character development, since there is none. The acting is supposed to be ridiculous, but man, I'll be damned if Freddy Rodriguez and Rose McGowan don't make one awesome zombie ass kicking team. And of course, watch out for those little moments when Rodriguez pays homage to himself and his previous flicks.

Intermission: but wait! Don't you dare go pee out that 60 oz Diet Coke you purchased before this double feature started. Or you'll miss more faux trailers! About 10 minutes of awesomeness from Eli Roth, Rob Zombie and Edgar Wright. I won't go into any details about these so you'll have to sit and watch them and see for yourself, but my absolute favorite was Wright's Don't Scream. Oh, and one more thing: DON'T be like the stupid little goth girl sitting in front of us who thought this was the time to talk...loudly. Yes, Elvira, this is still part of the movie going experience.

For the second half of your viewing pleasure, we have QT's Death Proof. Unlike, Planet Terror, DP does slow down the pace for the first 30 minutes or so, pointlessly introducing us to a group of obnoxious girlfriends that will meet their doom at the hands of Kurt Russell's Stuntman Mike and his death proof car. Then we quickly switch to the next group of friends Stuntman aims to kill, being Rosario Dawson & Co. and we spend a significant amount of time getting to know them, as well. Though up to this point there hasn't been much going on in the way of action, except for the first girls' graphic deaths, QT's brilliant dialogue moves things along quite nicely.

But soon the chase is on. Daredevil Zoe (played by Uma Thurman's stunt double in Kill Bill) decides to pull a stunt (just for fun) on the hood of speeding car. Stuntman Mike decides to take it to the next level, without checking with Zoe first. After nearly killing Zoe and her friends, Mike takes off in his weapon of choice, only to be chased down by the very same 3 hostile bitches. They've come for revenge and, eventually, deliver it ten-fold. (Once again, lookout for QT to pat himself on the back with references to his earlier works too. Hey, Rodriguez had to learn it somewhere!)

As you probably guessed, Death Proof has a bit more plot (not a lot, just a bit) than Planet Terror, but we don't know why Stuntman Mike does what he does, though he won't be doing it anymore. And as before, discussing character development and acting ability would be an exercise in futility.

My best advice: the only proper way to watch Grindhouse is to check your brain at the door for the next 3 hours. You'll be quite happy you did. Oh and FYI, yes the film itself is supposed to look that grainy, aged and crappy (Rodriguez & QT have their reasons), there are supposed to be "missing reels" so we don't know what happened for a small amount of time, and surprisingly there's very little sex and nudity, compared to what I was expecting anyway. Enjoy!

Rating:



And I watched the film again this weekend (thanks for my Blu-ray copy, Nick!) and still heart it this much.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

April 1, 2012

2012 Watch List - March

3/1-3/3
Chalet Girl - If this movie had legs, it'd be a walking cliche. Awful way to end a Bill Nighy fortnight.
Anonymous - Making up history is fun, isn't it?

Didn't you know Rhys Ifans really wrote Romeo & Juliet?

3/4-3/10
The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio - Surprisingly rose above a hokey Lifetime movie-of-the-week feeling.
Scorched - What happened to your career, Alicia Silverstone?
No Country for Old Man (R) - Almost five years since I've seen it in the theater, and it's still amazing.
Cool Blue - Thankfully Woody Harrelson's transition to film eventually yielded better results than this.
Management - Motel art, homeless people, Buddhist monks and Fred Ward in spandex. What the hell did I just watch?
Transsiberian - So not what I thought it'd be. Easy to say I was disappointed.
The People vs Larry Flynt - Time for a typical 90s biopic, even if the subject isn't typical.
The Grand - Cool concept, but needed to be shaved by about 20 minutes.
Indecent Proposal - Pretty sure Demi Moore makes everything a little bit worse.
Defendor - 10 Woody Harrelson movies in half as many days; I need a breather...
Take Shelter - Oh, that's much better.

Michael Shannon predicts the apocalypse in Take Shelter.

3/11-3/17
Natural Born Killers - I should have liked, if not loved, this. I blame Juliette Lewis.
Money Train - I remember this being controversial in the 90s due to the violence. Now it feels tame.
A Scanner Darkly - Probably Keanu Reeves most believable performance.
White Men Can't Jump - Foods That Start with the Letter "Q"
A Prairie Home Companion - Let's take what would have been an amazing film and drag it down with Virginia Madsen playing an Angel of Death.
Like Crazy - It needed more Jennifer Lawrence. Every movie could use a little more Jennifer Lawrence.
Heathers (R)- Over two decades later, this movie is still so very.

Woody Harrelson and John C. Reilly love bad jokes in A Prairie Home Companion.

3/18-3/24
Ladyhawke (R)- Outside of a hideously over-bearing 80s score, this one is still pretty good.
MirrorMask - Glad Tim Burton didn't get his gothy hands on this.
Dream House - When celebrities hook-up while making a film, I really hope there isn't a correlation between the quality of the film and the quality of the relationship. If there were, I'd predict a divorce for Craig and Weisz by summer.
The Whistleblower - This is what happens when you don't have Liam Neeson as a father tracking you down to save you from human trafficking.
The Hunger Games (x2) - Well this new. I've never seen the same movie twice in the same day, especially not in the theater. It wasn't planned, but I certainly didn't mind.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (R) - Had to show Brad the American remake to see if he would have a preference, but he claims to like both versions equally.

I have a feeling Dali was a huge inspiration for some of the art direction in MirrorMask.

3/25-3/31
Runaway Jury (R) - This one really didn't need another viewing.
Confidence - Maybe I'd like it more if Ed Burns didn't annoy the crap out of me.
The Fountain (R) - Oh, so pretty on Blu-ray.
Beautiful Creatures - Only a handful of people can pull off the platinum blonde look...Rachel Weisz is not one of these people.
Going All the Way - I don't get the endearing love for Jeremy Davies. He plays the most pathetic characters, or perhaps the same pathetic character all the time.
Agora - I can't watch Max Minghella films without making Social Network jokes in my head.
About a Boy - About time I watched this. I've been missing out.
Young Adult - Charlize is so hysterically inappropriate.
Grindhouse (R) - It still makes me wish Zoe Bell did more acting.

2012 TALLY:
First Time - 72
Rewatched - 24
Total - 96


Large Association of Movie Blogs

March 31, 2012

Saturday's Sims Screenshots: Fin

Andy knows his green girls from the rebooted Star Trek:


And with that, Saturday's Sims Screenshots comes to a close here at Rachel's Reel Reviews. I thank everyone who anxiously awaited the weekend so the guessing could begin. It was fun, but computer/game  issues have told me it's time to move on. And thus the final leaderboard is as follows:

Leaderboard:
Nick - 13
Andy - 11
Jason, MovieNut14 - 6
Jess, Ryan - 5
James, Kai, Mom - 4
David, Kano, Stevee - 3
Dylan - 2
Adam, Angela, Brian, Marc, Red - 1

Thanks for playing!

Large Association of Movie Blogs

March 30, 2012

Friday's New Feature Films: 3/30/12

Mirror, Mirror
I think two Snow White adaptations in one year is two too many, but I am willing to throw my money at one and ultimately it comes down to whom do I loathe more, Julia Roberts or Kristen Stewart? Gonna have to go with Pretty Woman on that one, which means Miss Stewart will get my hard earned dinero in June with Snow White and The Huntsman, and so will Chris Hemsworth...mmmmm...Chris Hemsworth.


Wrath of the Titans
"Titans Will Clash" and "Feel the Wrath"...bloody brilliant taglines from the marketing department. Since I actually fell asleep to the first one and this sequel is sans Neeson belting "Release the Kraken," I'm just going to sit it out (forever).





If I'm not mistaken, I think The Hunger Games will easily find itself at the top of the box office again this weekend.


Large Association of Movie Blogs