What I Watched, What You Watched #14

Sorry I missed last week’s What I Watched, What You Watched. I was feeling under the weather and couldn’t get any writing done. At any rate, you already know that I only reviewed Mascots these past two weeks, but that didn’t stop me from seeing multiple films over the period.

I started my week with a fifteen-minute trailer for Doctor Strange. I won’t be reviewing that one for another week, but I can comment on the trailer. It starts out rough, with some really terrible pieces of dialogue, but boy does it pick up. The effects are incredible, and at times it almost plays like a live-action Rick and Morty, proving that Dan Harmon’s alleged rewrites are alive and well in this script. And the effects-my god, are the effects impressive. This has potential to be a great superhero film, and I am excited for it. Afterwards, I got a coupon to see Deepwater Horizon, so, you know, might as well see that too. I thought it was a fine sendup to 70s disaster films, and did a good job of just presenting a good story without bloviating one way or the other. Although I have to ask: did anyone else find it to have a lot of weird Titanic homages? Like, there was no romance, but it seemed like it was following James Cameron’s epic beat for beat, including its own Propellor Man. I dunno, just seemed really weird. I also had the chance to see Ghostbusters: Answer the Call. Yikes. That film did not hold up. While I stand by the review I wrote at the time, I realize now that many of those jokes do not hold up, even if Leslie Jones is still great. At best, that is a C film, not the B- I gave it at the time.

Of course, I also continued my 31 Days of Horror binge. I’ll admit, many factors-including a Wifi crash-caused a delay in the marathon. I have fallen a week behind. However, I’m back on track, and hope I can catch back up in order to hold to an average of one-a-day for the remainder of the month. I started the binge with Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn. My God, is that a great horror comedy. While many films try to play one of those types over the other, Sam Raimi is great because he balances them evenly. Of course, this film doesn’t work without Bruce Campbell, who’s Ash Williams is may be the greatest horror movie hero of all time-on par with Laurie Strode and Ellen Ripley. The hand sequence is an all-time great, and will stand as such for all eternity. I followed this up with The Wicker Man. Holy crap, is that film hilarious. I’m not sure if Nicolas Cage played it campy or not, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, because I like him. Either way, the script is terrible on its own, and the film is so nightmarishly bad it needs to be seen. Next came The Strangers, a film I wanted to like more than I did. There was a lot of good stuff there. I mean, look at the Bag Man sequence-that’s great filmmaking. But a terrible ending and a weak performance from Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman ruin it overall. I don’t know. Maybe Bryan Bertino should take another stab at this-with a better cast and a tighter ending, maybe he could make a better film here. Otherwise, I have to give it a shrug. Next I watched Sleepaway Camp, a completely bonkers film from beginning to end. For an hour and ten minutes, the film is just bad-it looks cheap, the actors suck, and the deaths are stupid. And then the ending. My God, the ending. It’s so shocking, so terrible and amazing, that it makes the entire film worthwhile. I’m not joking. Watch this, just to see how insane that twist is. Next was Children of the Corn, a terribly acted and terribly written Stephen King interpretation. I guess Isaac and Malachai are scary every once in a while, but I got no joy out of this film. It’s not great. It also lacks the humor that makes it a so-bad-it’s-good masterpiece, like King’s Dreamcatcher. Holy hell, is Dreamcatcher bizarre. Nothing makes sense, there’s almost thirty plots, and the main plot involves Damien Lewis and Jason Lee fighting aliens that come out of people’s asses. You can’t make that up.

In the world of television, I watched a couple of the usual Halloween classics: Charlie Brown, Treehouse of Horror (their 600th episode!), and Hocus Pocus. I also watched my usual shows for review, and some great Saturday Night Live.

Oh, and speaking of TV, I’ve actually begun a new book: TV (The Book), in which Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz, two of our last great critics, spent months and years creating spreadsheet rankings of the best of American television until they ranked the greatest of all time. It’s a great book, and incorporates a lot of the ideas I’m trying to bring to this site. I highly recommend it, and not just because most, if not all, of my favorite shows get honorable mentions.

That’s it for the past few weeks. What about you? See anything worth noting? Want to yell at me for missing last week? Let me know in the comments!

  1. Hush ********
  2. Tucker and Dale vs. Evil *
  3. The Invitation #
  4. Devil #
  5. Zombeavers *
  6. A Nightmare on Elm Street *
  7. Hellraiser *#
  8. Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn *
  9. The Wicker Man #
  10. The Strangers #
  11. Sleepaway Camp *#
  12. Stephen King’s Children of the Corn *
  13. Dreamcatcher *

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