Movies I Slept Through – The Cabin in the Woods

The Cabin in the Woods is a slasher film that isn’t just trying to cash in on death and boobies… but there are death and boobies.

I have seen a couple other places do this and I feel like I owe it the same. If you do not want any type of spoiler at all, do yourself a favor and stop reading. Go see this movie with as little information as possible.  Just know it is a slasher film. A bunch of teenagers go to a cabin and are attacked. That’s what you want to see and you’re going to get a lot more too. Now, on to the still not very spoiler-y, but a little more information than you may want review.

Horror movies are known for being predictable. They’re filled with archetypes we all know and, some of us, love. There’s the jock(Chris Hemsworth), the sexually charged bad girl(Anna Hutchison), the nice guy(Jesse Williams), the comic relief(Fran Kranz) and the good girl(typically a virgin or at least set on abstaining from the fun)(Kristin Connolly). It varies from film to film, but they typically end up in a secluded area where they split into small group and make increasingly stupid decisions until they’re mostly all murdered. The good girl usually survives and, if she’s lucky, gets to bring a friend along.

In that respect, The Cabin in the Woods is no different from the others. I personally grew up loving this genre. They’re not well acted and the stories are absurd, but there’s a joy in their simplicity(and sometimes boobies). My grandpa had a penchant for having marathons of these movies with my brothers and me. He especially enjoyed offering us money to touch the screen during extremely tense scenes(no one ever did). I will always have a special place for slasher movies and other horror films of their ilk.

The Cabin in the Woods has everything you want from a stupid slasher movie, but it differs by daring to ask why. Why do these people always make the dumbest decisions?(I don’t care how dirty you are, people are dying, it’s no time for a shower) Why do they always seem to find the perfect place in the forest to have sex? Why does this phenomenon of young people being murdered seem to happen nearly every year? The answers lie in a giant corporation having an affect on their actions. Don’t worry, there’s much more to it than that. The twists and turns will keep coming until the very end.

The two main guys representing this corporation are played by Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins and they’re great in their roles. The acting of the young people is more than passable and probably justifiable once you consider the meta things going on. Humor is used to great effect throughout the film. The standard slasher stuff stands by its self as a fine tribute.

The Cabin in the Woods isn’t perfect, but it doesn’t really aim to be. It wouldn’t be a send up of horror movies if it was. There’s one scene involving a motorcycle in particular that I really didn’t like, but it’s less than a minute.

I’m sure there will be more slasher movies made(and I’ll gladly watch them), but The Cabin in the Woods has rendered them unnecessary. The Cabin in the Woods essentially finishes the genre. I take my figurative hat off to Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard. The bottom line is, if you’re a fan of the horror/slasher genre, you owe it to yourself to see this movie. The Cabin in the Woods gets a Full Energy Drink and the best of luck to people attempting to top it.

Movies I Slept Through – Thor

“Thor” is what would happen if a grown up Richie Rich had purchased a really sweet Halloween costume.

God of Adventures in Babysitting

Most everyone I know assumes I read comics. Simply put, I don’t. I can hold my own in a conversation about comics because I know a lot of people that do read comics and if you mention one thing they will talk for the next 45 minutes without realizing you don’t actually care. That being said, when I was younger, I would pick up a few comics from time to time and when I did, I chose  Thor.

So, having some history with the source material, I was wary of the ability to translate it into film. Thor differs from most other Marvel characters because, well, he’s an actual deity from Norse mythology and brings all of that baggage with him. Marvel tends to put things in the real world with characters growing up in actual cities and Thor is kind of the exact opposite. On to the movie!

“Thor” begins with a brief encounter on Earth and then quickly thrusts us into the realm of Asgard, where the Norse gods dwell. Long ago, frost giants had come to Earth to wreak havoc upon the pitiful humans.  Asgardians appeared, led by Odin(Anthony Hopkins) and essentially kicked their asses, stole their power and sent them back to World 6 of Super Mario Bros. 3.

In present day Asgard(I guess), Odin has two sons: Thor(Chris Hemsworth) and Loki(Tom Hiddleston). Thor grows up to be the clear heir to Odin’s throne. He’s big and strong and a bit of a prick. Loki is jealous of the attention Thor receives. He’s smaller, but tricky and a bit of a prick.

Thor isn’t happy with some of the decisions Odin makes so he decides to travel to Super Mario Bros. 3 World 6 and finish off the Frost Giants once and for all.

Pro Tip: Use the Magic Flute to take the Rainbow Bridge and get the Hammer of Thor Suit.

Thor and his buddies fight the Frost Giants for a while, but eventually have to be saved by Odin riding the mighty Sleipnir, an eight legged horse.(The horse’s name isn’t mentioned and it isn’t important to the story, but I wanted you to know how smart I am.) Odin is pretty pissed because Thor kind of violated a truce that had been around for quite a while and banishes him to Earth There(Or… here?) Thor meets some affable scientists(Natalie Portman, Erik Selvig and Kat Dennings) in the whitest small town in New Mexico and learns what it means to be mortal. Meanwhile in Asgard, Loki uses his trickery to become the ruler.

Reading the plot or even explaining it, things seem complicated, but I have to give the film credit because at no time did I feel confused. Other than that, there aren’t any bright shining stars in “Thor”, but there aren’t any glaring holes either. The movie shifts tone a bit when it jumps from Asgard to Earth, focusing more on the fish out of water stuff on Earth. The humor is hit and miss, but overall is passable. The Frost Giants also seem to change sizes depending on how intimidating they need to look, but it’s off putting and doesn’t make a lot of sense.

My main problem with “Thor” is Loki is right. He essentially grew up feeling like Thor was the favored son, and that’s because he was. Odin told them both that one would grow up to be the ruler, but never had any intention of choosing Loki. Loki’s the type of leader that people will look back on in a few years and say, “You know, Loki did a lot of bad stuff, but he did get rid of the Jews- I mean Frost Giants.”

“Thor” is a pretty fun movie, but you won’t miss much if you Doze Off during some of the slower parts. If you’re looking forward to the upcoming “Avengers” movie, keep a hawkeye out for a cameo and don’t forget about the bonus scene at the end of the credits.