As It Follows circles about the top of everyone's "best movies you haven't seen list," I found it appropriate to check it out myself. While it was on my watch list, it wasn't near the top. After all, it is a horror movie, and I always have some trepidation to plunging into one of these by myself. So far, I remain unscathed, although they have provided me with a good deal of entertaining dreams afterward. It Follows is no different, and unexpected, as it tapped into one of my core fears, and actually reminded me of a film that possibly spawned my (legit) fear of what i should now be coining: The Unstoppable Force.
I've never put together a top ten (less or even more) list before, so bear with me here. I'm frequenting other blogs and seeing some top tens being published, so throwing my hat into the ring seemed pretty fair, if not, at least redundant. There are a few problems I can think of as I prep this list.
1. I may not have seen ten films that were released in 2014.
2. I can never make up my mind.
Regardless, I'm pushing forward. It's a good thing I've been recording everything I watch because my memory isn't as good as it should be at my tender young age. Either that, or the movies that came out in 2014 really weren't that memorable, which makes the likelihood of a bottom ten list pretty high. I remember going to see Godzilla in theatres, but if you were to ask me what year that was, I would tell you 2013. It seems so long ago, and this is true for many films from 2014. This is most likely happening when those movies have received a home release and have been on store shelves for a while. Godzilla also points out another issue: I really enjoyed that film coming out of theatres, but when it came time to sit down and watch it again, I found myself turning it off. Anyway, here we go.
As my friends were planning a birthday party they reached out to see if I was available on a specific evening to participate in a very specific board game. They wanted to play with me, specifically, which immediately makes me a bit apprehensive and hesitant, as the pressure of having been tagged as someone who woudl enjoy "this type of particular game" staggers me. Without knowing anything about the title itself or even the type of game it is, my feelings are best explained by saying that I am always a bit startled to trust that my friends know me and my interests better than I know myself - which is actually, in retrospect, not that surprising. The night quickly approached and all I knew about the game is it's title: Sherlock (which when I research on Board Game Geek, is actually a touch shortened). Immediately the tales of Holmes come to mind (well, at least the mythos, as I'm not really familiar with specific stories) and the structure of the game loosely imagined: you'll be solving a crime in a Sherlock-ian fashion.
I'll just get this out of the way right now: I'm not a Kevin Smith fanboy, and don't melt in front of any film or product he puts out. We're fine with that. I really do enjoy watching Comic Book Men, but have never listened to one of his podcasts. I do, however, listen to The Nerdist, and enjoy listening to Smith whenever he's on there. So a couple of months back I was on the road and popped the latest episode of The Nerdist on with Kevin Smith in the conversation. They talked quite a bit about Tusk, and how the film came to be which was incredibly fascinating, and promoted Tusk to my watchlist. The other day I found myself needing a break from video games, and took the opportunity to put the movie on.
It was weird, but that was expected.
Initially I prepared myself for a fairly generic - if not poor - horror movie with a unique name. It feels like there are plenty of these to go around, but man, that name. The Babadook. It invokes intrigue, terror, psychological torment. What is it? The boogey man? A serial killer? Something worse, more likely. The trailer of this film guaranteed that we would watch it, and watch we did, as we set aside a night for it. And that doesn't often happen: on a Saturday night, we're likely to browse a list of unwatched movies trying to come to an agreement on what to watch. The Babadook demands more than this though, and we wanted to satisfy him. My friend's wife made alternate plans: she had resolved to not watch this movie - the previews were just too scary. This blatent avoidance just added more fuel to our burn to see The Babadook in action. Then it began.
I spent a few hours writing this a few years back in a cold February evening. The story embraced me and I had to see it all the way through, even if it meant staying up way past my bed time. It was worth it. I won't try and pretend this short story is any good, or will even make any sense. It was based on a dream, after all, although I have "fleshed" it out a bit, so to speak.
Originally published February 18, 2012.
Since the Iron Banner v2, I had been taking a little break from strikes - of all things. I was too busy with dailies, weeklies and the nightfall and reducing my Destiny intake, as the Banner wore me out. I had also started a new character during this time, which helped to invigorate the game to feel fresh again. My friend had been doing the same thing, so we could go through many of the story missions and bounties at a similar level. This past weekend, it was time to strike though, as they get you experience and of course, materials for upgrades. I was settled in at level 23, where the "Tiger Strike" playlist is at level 24. It can be a challenge, but we were able to hammer out a few strikes in a short period of time, and my time away from the playlist over the past couple of weeks helped, as these strikes became fun again.
Hollywood has gone back to many of our beloved childhood franchises, all of which have been met with a degree of hostility. This practice is not new, and will never go away; as long as money is to be made, you can guarantee somebody will try. And it's not necessarily all bad, because it can expose a new generation to an old favourite, and allow yourself to relive some of those precious memories. Unfortunately, it more often than not ends in disaster. At the very least, disappointment. Oftentimes, the reboot/remake will make you wax nostalgic for the original, and as you revisit the past, your memories are crushed. Nostalgia is a powerful lens, and one that can be shattered easily. Personally, I don't get that upset over the process, but that doesn't stop me from participating in thrashing sessions at a dinner party with other like minded people. I can share in their sentiment and appreciate their vitriol, and for the most part, we'll all go out and spend our money on it anyway. Case in point was Transformers 4, the latest Michael Bay CGI movie. We lambasted the film, the concept, everything, but every single one of us spent our "hard" earned cash on it at the theatre. When my friend asks me a question like, "who is going to these things" the answer is simple: we are. We vote with our dollars and through this process, we've given the thumbs up to a fifth movie.
As I typically keep up on forthcoming special editions of various movies and frequent Bluray collector sites, I became aware of a movie named Nightbreed that was being given quite the royal treatment. Shout! Factory was releasing a 3 disc special edition of this film, pricing it at about $45 and stamping limited numbers on some of them upon the thriving horde of movie collectors worldwide. Never heard of Nightbreed before, so I took it upon myself to see what the fuss is all about, and most importantly, decide if I wanted to partake in this expensive special edition. After all, at a price like this, there must be something boiling underneath.
The first hit on this movie brings up the name Clive Barker, who wrote and directed the film, which was based on a short story of his own creation. It's a familiar name, especially for those of us growing up in the late eighties: a few iconic horror movies adorned Clive's name above the title, including Hellraiser and Candyman. He was also a well known author, and was involved in various comic book projects (and still is, most likely). It wasn't my type of horror back then, so I missed out on all of it, including Nightbreed.