She needs to just keep pouring milk all over herself instead.

Fergie can do a lot of things. She can make fun pop music. She can look sexy in heels for being …oh nevermind- she’s only 42. Why did I think she was in her 50s? Okay, well she can still make milk fun in her “M.I.L.F $” video from last year.

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Aside from the fact that America’s Sweetwhore™ was in the video, teaching millions of females all about appropriate body image and shitty names for your children 🙆, this song and video were fun.

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This was a single from her album Double Dutchess which managed to stay in the Top 100 for only one week. So what happened to our Fergie, the girl who taught us about how “Glamourous” her “London Bridge” in a world where “Big Girls Don’t Cry” no matter how “Fergalicious” one may be back in 2006? (That took me seconds to think of💅). I’m guessing the awkward promoting of this album for two years. Literally. The album’s first single came out in 2014. And then she released video teasers over the course of 2015 to still promote it. I’m guessing people just forgot and moved on after a while. Or at least I did. 👋

But this isn’t about bashing Fergie. Okay, so it is a little bit. Mostly because my fiance bashed Carrie Underwood in saying Fergie’s ability to hold a note exceeded that of my homie Carrie Underwood.

I’ve seen Carrie Underwood perform live five times and can vouch for her. And she’s perfect, so there’s that. 💁

So let’s get to the meat and potatoes. Or, in this case, Spam and Crystal Light in a mug. Fergie done fucked up in performing the national anthem on February 18, 2018 for the NBA All-Star game (that will hopefully be the straightest thing I say all month). Check the video. It’s a 14-car pileup witnessing a 200+ passenger train wreck. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone except Taylor Swift. Today, Fergie admitted she tried her best and even added the she is a “risk taker artistically,” which includes covering yourself in milk with Kim Kardashian. I’m not bitter; I’m better. *housewife swirl* 💃

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Neftlix and chill with me, m’am

Netflix has been fast attempting to up their game with their original movies. I’m usually reluctant to watch these original releases because, as with most bowl punches at parties, you never know if it’s going to be a hit or a miss- and by miss, I mean finding yourself in a puddle of your own filth in the bathroom eight hours later. By history and experience, movies that aren’t released in theaters (and instead go straight to DVD or VOD). Power Rangers, observe through the viewing globe as we discuss Netflix’s The Open House, The Cloverfield Paradox, and The Ritual. 

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First time and young as hell director Matt Angel does some cool and unique sensory experiences with the camera. He plays with the darkness in latter portions of the film fairly well; and he ties in (to a fault) a lot of foreshadowing (as with the contacts scene, for example). The movie builds up suspense nicely, I have no problem here. The Open House got rained on on Rotten Tomatoes. And while I think that website is over-hyped, usually off the mark, and a stupid name, I’m guessing it get knocks for the lack of characterization.  Fair.

The adorable Dylan Minette (13 Reasons Why; Don’t Breathe) has such potential- I’ve said this since he was in season 6 of Lost. But his story with his mother just wasn’t working. And as we move through this movie, things fall flat. I didn’t mind the ending, but I could have done without the final scene before the cut-to-black, which is another problem some will point out about the director as he all to often points things out for the audience. Not the worse by any stretch for a Netflix horror/suspense, but not the best.

C+

 

 

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Do whatever you want with piss, but don’t piss all over my new shoes and tell me you drank mostly water. Yes, Netflix, you surprised us during the Super Bowl about the fact this movie is real and then surprised us again in saying we could watch after the game was over. The biggest surprise was the piss poor “connection” this movie had to my third favorite movie of all time (DEAL WITH IT) Cloverfield.   **Spoilers ahead**

Aside from this movie talking about a book with the word “Cloverfield” in it through out, no one or their mother would have guessed this movie was associated. It felt like the director made this movie to get it out his system and then said, “Wait, I liked Cloverfield. Let’s waste time and money on reshoots and then make it end this way.” Now, I love sci-fi. I love opening up new dimensions so we have walls eating people and crawling arms writing us cryptic messages with pen and paper. But don’t make this a (what’s supposed to be) a prequel to the Cloverfield world and then shit out the excuse that we have multiverses to where, genuinely, anything can be turned into a Cloverfield movie. Not now. Not during these hard times

Also, I can’t watch this movie and act like Life (sci-fi movie from last year) doesn’t exist when The Cloverfield Paradox felt like a replica of Life. But at least with Life we had something tangible to fear through out as the alien wreaked havoc in the spaceship. Thank Jesus Paradox didn’t go to theaters; I would have been upset enough to write a strongly worded letter.

D+

 

 

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David Bruckner (who is known for the V/H/S movie from 2012 that wasn’t great but you make the Obama not-bad face after it’s over) surprised me. He gives you some beautiful use of silence in some of the woodsy scenes that creates ridiculous suspense. The use of slow camera zooms sprinkled through out the movie have you looking to see what’s beyond the woods. It’s pretty fucking great. Sure, this movie follows some familiar tracks of The Blair Witch Project; however, The Ritual does some nice character development to where you feel for the characters instead of wishing them dead or wanting to wipe their noses with all that snot.  There’s a psychological tie-in which get a little heavy-handed but not overdone like my steak. I won’t give anything away here because, unlike The Cloverfield Paradox, this movie doesn’t deserve to have it’s story ruined; but there’s more to this movie than just some thing in the woods. *golf clap*

B

“Tom Tom Tom what is happening to [you]…”-Bubbalicious, Redbox review

This was supposed to be the start up for Universal’s “Dark Universe” world, which seems to have more promise than this movie could hope for. We can anticipate to be hopeful for more from this universe, including Bride of Frankenstein (with the monster played by Javier Bardem and directed by Beauty and the Beast‘s Bill Condo in 2019. The Invisible Man (Johnny Depp), and The Creature from the Black Lagoon (rumor has it Scarlett Johannson). Meanwhile, we have to initially greet the first installment, the ugly stepson with bad hair and jagged teeth, of the universe. 

The Mummy attempted to do things right with its summer release, using Tom Cruise, and some fun action. It turned out to be a bad pairing with Cruise and Annabelle Wallis (from Annabelle 😎) with zero chemistry. And poor Tom, try as he may, just didn’t work here. The movie tried at comedic bits which didn’t seem to flow right. It’s action scenes, while fun, offered nothing new or memorable by the end.

Director Alex Kurtzman (whose only directing experience comes from 2012’s dramedy People Like Us) seemed to try his darndest. The zombie-like reanimated corpses and the trailer-famous plane crash were cool to watch. But bringing anything around with mummies may have still been too soon, even with 2008’s third Brendan Fraser/Mummy being not at the 20 year mark. And while Sofia Boutella did fair as this mummy, she ended up just looking like a hot pale woman waltzing around London half naked, which, to some, may be rewarding, but there’s porn for that. This movie put buckets of cash into its special effects; it could have used a CGI mummy look creepier before sucking all the life out of the living and, ultimately, this movie. 🥁🥁🥁

A critic from Arizona Republic sums it up brilliantly: “The Mummy winds up being not much its own movie as what, by the end, feels like the first episode of a show that’s already been renewed for several seasons.” 👏 get👏it 👏 gurlll

C

*excessive heavy breathing through nostrils while cramming handful of popcorn into mouth*- unattractive heavy-set woman next to me

And I mimic the large-framed lady’s sentiments, though hers were out of desperation. She was genuinely trying to breathe because she was drowning herself in popcorn. For me, director Andy Muschietti recreated It well.  But before I bash him, revisit with me the miniseries from 1990. Adapted from the 1986 Stephen King novel, the four-hour, two-part miniseries was great because of Tim Curry’s performance as Pennywise the Clown. I’ll kindly preface the rest of my opinion of this movie in stating I never did read the novel that this movie was based off of (and I never will. YOU MADE ME READ OVER 1000 PAGES IN UNDER THE DOME, STEPHEN KING, SO YOU RUINED ME AND YOUR CHANCE).

With this movie, the director has done what genuinely very few horror movies, if any, have ever done- building characterization so as to allow you to feel for the main characters throughout the movie. 2008’s The Strangers sort of did this, but not at the length to which It demonstrated. In doing so, this has a two-fold result- viewers will like it for the cinematic value, and horror fans will dislike it because it takes away from the movie being truly horrific. Here’s how: the [effective] overuse of score music, coupled with displaying how the characters grow and develop alone and together as a group of children, helps build feeling for the children in this movie. I’m definitely supportive of this being done in the movie, but it takes away and separates itself from good classic horror, like Halloween, The Shining, and so on, because in doing so, it almost fills another category of horror, such as slasher horror (Scream) or cinematic horror (The Witch). As the director took this approach, he may have created a new sub-genre, as it just broke multiple horror-movie records and made over $120 million in just a few days.

Like with his other movie, Mama, from years back, where the director veered off from the typical horror plot and turned it emotional, Andy did it again with It. Here, thank God, it was effective because it followed along with the novel. As with Mama, where he showed the creature too much to where it wasn’t even scary at the end, he did the same with Pennywise. However, it follows with the frequent showing of the clown in the 1990 miniseries, so I can’t be mad. This movie was effective in everything it took on. And while it was not truly scary for anyone that watched the first two or more trailers, it did a considerably great job in characterization, creepiness, and delivering messages.

To end on performances, Bill Skarsgard did great as Pennywise. I loved the way they made him seem almost off with the blank stares and drool. He gave me the chills in one scene despite having seen it in the previews multiple times. I don’t care much about child actors, but I will say Jeden Lieberher and Sophia Lillis will definitely be future names of fame as long as they don’t do drugs and get arrested over the next few years. Jack Grazer and Finn Wolfhard did wonderfully in adding some really great humor to this movie. Over all, it’s obviously worth seeing. Watch it for the cinematic experience, not the scares. Thanks, betch.

B+

 

“Unexpectedly delightful, and I’m not talking about the current presidential debacle of multiple resignations.”-USA

This random movie that got little advertising earlier this year with even less buzz truly surprised me.  And after watching it, it makes sense to a degree. Sure, it’s mostly unoriginal. It takes much on from Gravity and Alien (1979).  Life boasts mostly impressive visuals that seem eerily similar to Gravity at times.  It comes across as a weak knock-off, however, with the first major scene serving us several minutes in one continuous shot (Sorry, but Gravity‘s 17 minute opening continuous shot delivers worlds more).  After Life gets….life…in itself (smirk emoji), it begins to take on the stuff that made Alien incredible. However,  Life never measures up, by any stretch, to Alien, the original hallmark of the horror/sci-fi genre, regardless of its darkness and hysteria.

But what Life lacks in originality, it makes up considerably in its performances and dark grit of horror/sci-fi.  With Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, and Rebecca Ferguson, the cast does a nice job in harnessing the movie’s suspense. And with its suspense, the movie truly makes use of it’s R-rating with some gory, nasty deaths. Don’t get me wrong, this is the stuff of dreams for me; I just didn’t expect it. By the movie’s end, Life offered me enough anxiety-provoking moments that allowed me to actually enjoy the twist, despite how critics are claiming it to be predictable. But I have the IQ of a houseplant.

B-

*slow applause*- me

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I honestly couldn’t tell you the last time I saw a genuinely great horror movie like this. I’m hesitant to put Annabelle: Creation into the “one of the best rated-R horror movies I’ve ever seen” shelf, as it is currently stocked with, in order (take notes, please): Halloween (1978), Psycho (1960), It Follows, Cabin in the Woods, The Hills Have Eyes (2006), Trick r’ Treat, Quarantine, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), Evil Dead (2013), and The Wolfman. Please note these are ranked by overall film and not by how scary they are; also note these are my rated-R favorites, and so my list excludes many of producer James Wan’s films from “The Conjuring universe.”

Let’s first return to the name of James Wan, who’s truly renovated the 21st century horror genre. He made a name for himself 13 years ago after directing Saw and ultimately helped in production for the rest of the Saw series. Directing the acclaimed Insidious, which is truly a staple of his, he went on to direct the unnecessary but still enjoyable Insidious 2.  Re-making a name for himself with The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2, he began to create his own horror universe with these films. Annabelle eventually spun off from The Conjuring because the doll was so amazingly creepy.  Due in 2018, spin-offs of The Nun and The Crooked Man will debut as some of the more memorable moments from The Conjuring 2. Sorry for the James Wan parade, but I wanted to lay the groundwork for the horror world he has created with just (originally) one film, The Conjuring.

Back to the movie! Annabelle: Creation serves as the prequel of Annabelle, which was more-or-less a prequel to The Conjuring, and it surpassed its predecessors for an arsenal of reasons. Direction played a major part, much obliged to David F. Sandberg, who was behind last year’s great horror movie, Lights Out. He made great use of camera direction and movement with Annabelle: Creation that truly helped in creating some of the most suspenseful scenes I’ve endured in years. He truly mastered the use of the horror basics with blurred focus, long takes for suspense, and light/darkness.

Most incredible, which can be a rarity with horror these days, is that the the demon is shown with such great use of darkness and ambiguity; you leave the theater still with chills because you never see 100% of the creature most of the time. This was my biggest complaint of (what could have been one of the best horror movies in years) Mama from 2013. It lost its ability to be re-watched enjoyably and, most of all, its horror appeal, because of overuse of showing the creature and, hence, ruining what would have been left to the imagination.  To close, Annabelle: Creation is as close to horror-movie perfection we have been in years. The final scene seemed almost like an add-on to make a connection to its predecessor, but I won’t complain as it was still a unique-enough twist/closing.

 

B+

“Averagely unique. And disgusting. Don’t forget disgusting.”-me

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Director Gore Verbisnki is very eclectic in his works, which range from most of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies to the animated Rango, and from groundbreaking The Ring to the children’s movie Mousehunt.  The Cure for Wellness tried to do a lot, and much to my dismay, fell flat. Much of the movie’s score and cinematic sequences seem to hold a lot of promise, guiding us in “What will come next?” and a fair amount of suspense and intrigue.  I will say that visually this movie is very impressive and considerably well done.  But it also, sadly, makes up the 90% of why I enjoyed this movie.

What didn’t work, just at a glance, was that the main character. Played by Dane DeHaan (and nothing against him as an actor; he did well in Chronicle), the lead is just not likeable. Things start to take place with the main character after you trudge halfway into the movie’s 2 1/2 hours (of what could have been reduced by easily 45 minutes), and you find yourself not really caring what happens to him. Once you start to pick up on the idea that this movie doesn’t have much of a direction halfway through, you start to let this movie go into the background, only picking up on the over-production of it all. But please don’t be remiss in briefly discussing how vile some of the scenes were, not to mention just how real they came across. I haven’t looked away from a scene in disgust since 2013’s Evil Dead, which is a huge, uuuuuuuuuuge, compliment.

C-