Blog Archives

What Makes a Good Horror Movie? Four Drink Minimum Podcast Episode 3

Last week’s podcast about A Quiet Place got Jules and I thinking – what makes a great horror movie for us? What elements do we like to have, or need to not have? We answer those questions and talk about our favorite movies, just to prove that fact that I actually DO like things. Then we shit on the ones we really hate because honestly it’s a lot more fun to do that.

Click here for downloading purposes

Red wine and shandies were consumed during this podcast. The skeletal hands holding a wine glass was an unintentional addition that turned out to be pretty fitting.

A Quiet Podcast: Four Drink Minimum Episode 2, A Quiet Place, Reviewed

Well, I violated the edict and name of the new podcast on the second episode, since we had absolutely no drinks before or during the recording of this podcast. But it is the first-ever Timely Movie Review on my blog, so there’s that! Join Jules and me as we discuss A Quiet Place, the John Krasinski and Emily Blunt movie about people shushing each other. We recorded it as soon as we got home, so you can tell there are feelings about this critically-adored film (95 inexplicable percent on Rotten Tomatoes!).

By the way, we spoil the shit out of this movie. Listen if you don’t care about what happens, or if you’ve already seen it and realized that there’s no point in caring about what happens.

Link to the m4a file for downloading purposes

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John Krasinski responds to our criticisms.

 

It’s Time: The 2017 Sorta Annual Aravan Awards!

I know, I know. I do like two blog posts in 10 months, then I do 2 in two days. Some people binge drink; some people binge blog. And some people do both, like me!

Anyway, it’s still February, the All-Time Aravan Award Winner for Shittiest Month 1600 years in a row (seriously, it’s so shitty that we cap it at 28 days unless we need to make the calendar still work, then we grudgingly add a 29th every four years and resent the fuck out of extending it), so technically I can get away with a 2017 awards presentation. And if you disagree, the terrible Academy Awards won’t be held until fucking March, so take it up with them if you think I’m too late. So you know what that means.

IT’S TIME FOR THE MOTHERFUCKING 2017 ARAVAN AWARDS, BABY!

Before you get too excited, let me pause and explain what the Aravan Awards are. From the archives:

…Coming up with a top ten list has to be the easiest writing job in the world. Jot down ten things, come up with superficial reasons for their inclusion, and then explain how blatantly wrong you are as just “a way to get people talking about it.” It’s the ultimate mail-it-in, who-gives-a-shit approach to writing.
So I am TOTALLY in!

So sit back, relax, and cheer for your favorite candidates as I google the World’s Shittiest Trophy and use the first image that comes up as the award for this year:

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This is literally what came up. They aren’t wrong.

And now, here it is – YOUR 2017 ARAVAN AWARD WINNERS!

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The Marvel Movie Villains, Ranked

Marvel movies have a villain problem. At least, that’s what occasionally bubbles up from the depths of internet think piece generator, which I think lies between the third and fourth levels of Hell, just behind people who don’t pay attention to where their cart is in the store and just above folks who call people without texting them first. Sometimes it’s an offhand comment when praising the villain of one of the movies (like I’ve seen a bunch with regards to Killmonger in Black Panther) or as entire droning essays about how the villains aren’t compelling or whatever. It was after reading the praise for Killmonger that I went onto Facebook, the homeworld of bad opinions, stupid memes, terrible discussions, and inane observations, as well as the second level of Hell, and offered up this little tidbit of bad opinion and inane observation:

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Hot take alert!

It was a random and off-the-cuff statement tailor-made to troll the kind of people who take this kind of thing too seriously. But it did make me think about who I thought were the top-ten Marvel movie villains, which then turned into a rumination of who the worst were, and finally ended up as a spreadsheet-driven ranking of each and every Marvel movie villain based on various criteria. Which led to this article/think-piece bubbling up from my own place in the circles of Hell.

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Atomic Blonde is the Most Important Feminist Movie of 2017. And Possibly Ever.

(I am absurdly pleased to host this post (with the most) on my blog. These are not my words, but I am 100% behind them. I am also proud to have something worth reading on my blog for a change.)

Hi, I’m Jules. I’m Alan’s wife and I’m writing a guest blog here instead of on my own blog because I just got a job that requires me to interact with folks in DC and now I’m paranoid about the people I work with finding it. It’s not that I think they’d take issue personally with the content, it’s just that the things I have to say about this aren’t the most professional things I’ve ever said. So with that disclaimer, here we go!

So the year is 2017 and apparently, Charlize Theron only makes badass lady movies now. Let me be (probably not) the first to say that I am 100% here for that. Mad Max: Fury Road was hailed as a feminist masterpiece, which it unequivocally was. It was also just a really fabulous action movie and, considering it was a reprisal of an 80’s franchise, that’s pretty impressive. But I’m here to talk about Theron’s most recent empowering bombshell, Atomic Blonde, which is in a whole different class. It’s not set in a post-apocalyptic desert world, it’s set in late eighties Berlin. It’s fiction, sure, but it’s not exactly fantasy. That very fact is groundbreaking in terms of the portrayal of strong women.

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The Problem with Spider-Man

I saw Spider-Man: Homecoming this weekend. This post will contain the mildest of mild spoilers for that film. Like, there are less spoilers for the movie in this post than there are in any given trailer for any movie. If you’re the kind of person who would be freaked out to learn that Spider-Man: Homecoming is a movie about the Marvel superhero Spider-Man, and pitch a fit about not being warned about it, this is the point where you turn away, as I am about to spoil the fact that both Peter Parker and Spider-Man are in the new Spider-Man movie. As I have now fulfilled my societal duty to tell people that a post about Spider-Man will reference a movie about Spider-Man wherein I mention that Spider-Man is in the film in question and a detail or two that have already been present since Captain America: Civil War, I can now move on to the part where I briefly discuss the movie, which isn’t even what this post is about.

Ooops, I forgot to warn people that Captain America: Civil War has Spider-Man in it before I just dropped it into regular conversation. It’s only been out a year, and I believe the current level of spoiler-warning necessity on social media is 75 years after the movie/TV show/book’s death. I apologize for my brazen lack of awareness and total lack of empathy.

Anyway.

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The 2016 Sometimes-Annual Aravan Awards!

It’s been a couple years since I did this, but I thought that if there was ever a year that deserved to be celebrated by a two-bit writer on a pointless blog, it’s 2016.

OK, wait a second. First aside (and it might be a record coming in on the second sentence – although the chances that I’ve done it before in the first sentence is becoming likelier the more I think about it): it’s been a long-time habit of mine to be self-deprecating and insulting to my abilities and this blog. It’s a tradition, of sorts, mostly because I try to be humble and also that I recognize that, in the world of writing, I’m barely the speck of dirt that will one day invade a pore and give rise to a pimple on the ass of the world’s literary giants. I might not even be that important. Anyway, I recognize that my talents are limited and this blog is rarely updated and barely worth the cost of reading it (opportunity costs, folks. You could be learning about dimorphism or the Egglet-Burke Theory or how to properly season a cast-iron skillet instead of wasting your time here). So I know these things. But I’m going to take a conceit from my favorite gaming-related blog (The Angry GM) and, instead of being self-deprecating (read: honest) about my abilities and this site, I’m going to go the opposite route. For the remainder of this post, I will assert that I am an amazing writer, the GREATEST WRITER, and this site is the most prestigious and exclusive gathering of the greatest distilled thought that millennia of evolution have worked towards in building to that apex of human development, me.

So I’ll basically pretend like I’m almost every other blogger ever.

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Untimely Movie Reviews: Miss Peregrine and The Raven

One of the specialties of this blog has always been reviews of things that are well past the point of needing reviewing, since by the time I see them or write about them you’ve already made the decision to see or not the movie a long time ago, so my review had zero chance of swaying your opinion one way or another.

Actually, that’s total bullshit.

Yeah, OK, maybe some people read reviews to help determine if they’re going to see something. I myself have a few places I trust to see if a movie is worth it, but I usually don’t read them because they’re spoilery and I just glance at it quickly to see if it’s a yes or a no. But you and I both know that reading movie reviews is only fun if you’ve already seen it, and you either want to have your own views confirmed so you can nod along and be all “yeah, that movie sucked/kicked ass” and feel smug, or you want to read a review of a movie you loved/hated that hated/loved it so you get a chance to engage in our national pastime: outrage. That’s why I write these things, anyway.

So today I have a couple of movies to talk about, one of them pretty recent! Miss Peregrine’s, uh, House ofPeculiar Creatures? I think? Something like that? That sounds mostly right and I’m not looking it up. Also, 2012’s The Raven, starring John Cusack as Edgar Allen Poe. Yeah. That is a thing that exists, and I watched it.

Oh, yeah, also, SPOILERS. I mean, you’ve had a chance to see this shit, so if you get mad that I let slip that Negan killed Luke Skywalker’s father then it’s on you.

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The Five Best Things About The Hobbit Films

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The Tactical Guide to Snake Plissken’s Hair

In honor of Snake Plissken Month, I thought it was important to take the time and focus on the most important advantage that Snake Plissken had in his one-man battle against the world. Forget his special forces training, Purple Hearts, and combat experience. It’s not his quick wit and acerbic attitude. It’s not even his guns (ahhh, the 1980’s – we just couldn’t get enough of huge unwieldy revolvers with massive scopes mounted on them). It’s not even his badass jacket. Forget all that shit.

It’s the hair, baby, all day every day.

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