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 – Blue Valentine

[Note: I spoil Marley & Me in this post. I honestly didn’t think you would mind. Also, if you do mind, you’d probably like to know I use the “f-word” too.(Shame on me)]

Blue Valentine is like watching your parents divorce, but you actually care about the marriage falling apart because your dad is Ryan Gosling.

Dean(The World’s 2nd Sexiest Man Alive, Ryan Gosling) and Cindy(Michelle Williams) are engaged in the type of marriage no one wants, but we’re all inevitably hurtling toward. His dream of making it big as a rock star ukulele player never really panned out.(Fuck you Israel “Iz” Kamakawiwoʻole) Dean now works as a house painter and Cindy is a nurse. They have a daughter, Frankie(Faith Wldaya), whom they both love and you get the sense is the only reason they’re still together. Dean has a line near the beginning of the film that somewhat sums up their situation, “I’m just tired, you know? I’m just fuckin’ tired.”

The action is split between showing how Dean and Cindy came together (he worked as a mover and she helped care for her elderly grandmother) and how their marriage is currently falling apart. In the beginning, Cindy is fed up with the fact that Dean isn’t serious enough. He drinks every morning before work, but sees this as a perk. He has no drive to become something better.  As the story unfolds, however, it’s revealed that things aren’t that simple. The kindest thing Blue Valentine does is getting the death of their family dog out of the way in the beginning.(Fuck you Marley & Me)

The World’s 2nd Sexiest Man Alive, Ryan Gosling, and Michelle Williams give equally great performances. They have great chemistry as young lovers and that lingers over the dead inside married couple.  A lot of praise should go to co-writer/director Derek Cianfrance. His background in documentary film making really shines through as he tells a very real, heartbreaking story.

Blue Valentine is extremely well-balanced. It’s an unabashedly brutal and simultaneously beautiful film. It gets a Full Energy Drink.

The text I sent my friend summing up this movie:

Dude. Blue Valentine is awesome. Also, women are the worst.

What did you think? Let me know in the comments. Also, if you liked this post, don’t be a jerk, share it with your friends.

Movies I Slept Through – Midnight in Paris

In “Midnight in Paris,” Woody Allen takes me back to the time I spent roaming the streets of Paris in “Twisted Metal 2.”

Gil(Owen Wilson) is a screenwriter who has grown weary of the Hollywood scene. He’s begun working on a novel, but isn’t really confident in his ability to pull off a real piece of art. Gil travels to Paris with his fiance Inez(Rachel McAdams) and her parents(Kurt Fuller and Mimi Kennedy) to celebrate a merger between her father’s company and a French company.

Gil doesn’t get along with Inez’s parents, he’s always looking for an argument and to make matters worse, Gil and Inez run into Paul and Carol(Michael Sheen and Nina Arianda), a couple they know from home. Gil doesn’t get along with Paul either. To be fair, Paul is a pretentious know-it-all who refuses to admit he’s wrong; going as far as to argue with a tour guide.

Actually, Gil doesn’t seem to get along with anyone. He loves Paris, but no one  shares his appreciation for the city’s beauty. He loves walking the streets and dreaming of all the great artists who walked those same streets in the past. Late one night, after a party, Gil decides to walk back to his hotel instead of going dancing with his wife and her friends. While wandering, Gil realizes he’s lost his way so he takes a seat on a stair case. As he sits a bell rings midnight in the distance and a anachronistic car pulls up.

The door opens and a French couple beckons him to enter. Now, personally, I’m not getting into a strange car with anyone after midnight; I don’t care how French the people are. Luckily for the movie, Gil isn’t me. The car takes Gil to what he believes is an elaborate 1920s costume party, but quickly realizes he has actually been transported back to the 1920s. Gil spends the rest of the film jumping back and forth between the past and present visiting some of his heroes and figuring out what is really important to him.

Every performance in “Midnight in Paris” is great. You dislike everyone you’re supposed to dislike and love everyone you’re supposed to love because the film captures Gil’s perspective perfectly. This movie really is a love letter to the city of Paris and a great exploration of the idea that things were better in the past. If you’re the type of person who actually enjoyed a lot of the things you were forced to read in high school, you’ll enjoy “Midnight in Paris.”

A lot of people are freaked out by Woody Allen. I can’t say I blame them, I personally believe he kind of hates women. Most of the movies I’ve seen from him involve a man who’s smart and is well aware of it, but is dating or married to a woman who he feels far superior too except for the fact that she has some sort of emotional control over him. If you have anything against Woody Allen, please set that aside , drink a Full Energy Drink and enjoy.

Movies I Slept Through – Super 8

“Super 8” is a really good episode of the Wonder Years mixed with Cloverfield.

After his mother dies, Joe Lamb(Joel Courtney) has trouble connecting with his father. Jackson Lamb(Kyle Chandler) is a Sheriff’s deputy and has never really understood his son. Joe would rather help his friends make a zombie movie than go to the baseball camp his father would prefer.

Joe’s best friend, Charles(Riley Griffiths), is a budding director who really wants to win an upcoming film competition. He’s bossy, has a temper and a catch phrase so he’s only a finished product from becoming successful.

The group of friends are rounded out with the nerdy tall kid, the nerdy camera man and the pyromaniac, oh and a girl, but she’s a new addition. While shooting a scene at a train station, they witness an epic train crash that they all miraculously walk away safely, save for a scrape or two.

This being a JJ Abrams movie, the train was carrying something no one was supposed to know about. The military quickly swoops in to take over the crash cleanup. The longer this goes on, the more weird things begin to happen: people disappear, weird things like car motors are being stolen and dogs are running away. By the way, any time all the animals start running away, you run the ef away too.

“Super 8” harkens back to the days of the late 70s when people were afraid the Soviets could nuke us at any moment, but children could be out at all times of the day without the threat of some guy with a van pulling up to brutally murder them. I didn’t grow up during those times, but I have to be honest, they kind of seem right.

The film focuses mostly on the children, relying on them to be relatable and carry the brunt of the emotional load. That being said, they all did a really nice job. They come off as real kids. Joel Courtney and Riley Griffiths have great chemistry together as best friends who sometimes have issues but ultimately realize friendship is more important. Elle Fanning is nice as Alice, the bad girl who comes in and is actually a really good actress in their movie. Ryan Lee also stands out as Cary, the kid with a foul mouth and penchant for blowing things up. He seems to be channeling Tanner from “Bad News Bears”, but in an endearing way. He even looks like him.

I haven’t had much opportunity to praise Kyle Chandler when it comes to movies, but I am a big fan of the television show “Friday Night Lights” where he plays Coach Taylor and does an amazing job. He has the ability to convey so many things without speaking and even when he’s being distant or angry you can see he still loves his son. I hope this movie helps more people see that and we get to see him a lot more often.

Overall, “Super 8” is about nostalgia. Even if you didn’t grow up in the late 70s or early 80s you can appreciate the honesty with which the kids approach their home spun movie. There are a few winks at future events that people who make period movies always like to slide in, but “Super 8” has enough restraint that they don’t become annoying.

“Super 8” also reminds us a great thing about children which is, even in the face of horrible disaster, the little things still matter to them. If you forgot to come to a baseball game because a giant monster is rampaging through the city, you still forgot about the baseball game.

Put simply, “Super 8” is an excellent movie. Drink a Full Energy Drink and just enjoy a time before they existed. Also, stay during the credits because you get to watch the edited together movie the kids were making and it really just makes you smile and feel good.

Movies I Slept Through – The King’s Speech

The King’s Speech is the story of a king that could have benefitted from “The Derek Zoolander Center for Kids Who Can’t Read Good and Wanna Learn to Do Other Stuff Good Too”. Colin Firth plays the titular (hehe) king who finds himself in the terrible position of being a public figure and not being able to speak without stammering(that’s English for stuttering).

His wife, Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter), is determined to help. She eventually takes him to Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) a pirate/speech therapist that is supposed to be the best. With the aide of the pirate and the witch standing by his side*, the king attempts to over come his weakness.

I’m almost certain you’ve heard how great this movie is by now, I just wanted to post a review before it wins an Oscar. I’m here to reassure you, it’s great. It gets a Full Energy Drink. It’s a very nuanced movie and you’ll need all of that sugar coursing through your veins to appreciate it. You can crash during the credits, they don’t have out takes or the cast singing a song or anything. Jerks.

*Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush put in great performances as normal human beings in this movie. It was just easier for me to stay tuned in if I pictured them as a witch and a pirate. Yargh.