And so, my fellow readers, the time has come….01/04/13. I’ve posted this date two Mondays ago on my Facebook page, and for those who noticed it and wondered what that date meant, here it is:
This is the final entry of A Legally Black Blog.
As to why I came up with this decision, the answer is simple: maintaining this blog has become too daunting a task for me. When I first started A Legally Black Blog, it was with the intention of reviewing movies from a regular moviegoer’s viewpoint as opposed to a professional film critic sitting behind an office desk. I’ve written on a number of films for the past year and a half, and I must say: I enjoyed writing every single review. Even when I bashed a film….and boy, did I unleash hell on certain films…..I did so with pride and passion.
As a fan of both online movie review sites and YouTube movie review channels, it was a personal goal of mine to have my own movie review blog. But all jokes aside: watching films just to write about them almost every week and every month eventually takes its toll. And when a blog you created gets in the way of your priorities (as it has for me since beginning mine), then you have to make a decision: Do you continue to write half-assed reviews, knowing damn well that hardly anyone will make the time to read them, or do you let go of your creation for good, and move on with your life? I choose the latter.
Yes, ladies and gents, this is the end. It’s been a fun ride, and I managed to deliver the best reviews I could despite the odds stacked against me. But all good things must come to an end. And so, it’s time for me to say goodbye to A Legally Black Blog. To all those who supported me from day one, those who actually followed my blog on WordPress, those who made sure to leave a comment on my reviews and Facebook posts, and to the few who unfortunately joined my Facebook page too late, I leave to you these final words…
Now I know what you’re thinking: Matthew, why in the holy FUCK would you pull a childish prank like that?! How DARE you toy with our emotions like that?! I thought you were DOWN, man! I thought you were down for the cause, man! Well, I’ll give you FOUR reasons…..man.
(1) It’s April Fool’s Day! DURRRRHH!!
(2) It’s been a month since I wrote anything on this blog. After the Academy Awards review, I was mentally spent and I needed time to recharge. So I kept myself busy, mostly with screenwriting and assisting my fellow colleagues with their student films – among other things. I had always intended to return to blogging in April, but then I figured – what better day to do so than on April Fool’s Day?
(3) When you devote your time and energy to something like a blog, there are moments where you do lose the zeal you had for it from the beginning. As such, adding fresh content becomes more of a chore than a hobby. And the temptation of abandoning the blog altogether becomes stronger. Because of this, it’s always good for me to step away from the blog every once in a while, recharge my mental batteries and handle my priorities before getting back in the saddle, so to speak. The above introduction was my way of confronting that temptation, creating a scenario in which I gave in to it, and finally overcoming it.
Ahh, who am I kidding? It was an April Fool’s Day prank! LOLZ!
But seriously though, I can safely say that at this moment, I have no intention of quitting my movie review blog. However, if I do stop writing in this blog, it won’t be because I gave up. More than likely,the reason would be that I’ve moved on to bigger and better things. Like making my own films. Or working as a professional screenwriter. Or joining another blog site. Who knows? The sky’s the limit. But for now, guys, you can breathe a sigh of relief. I won’t be going anywhere anytime soon (cue studio audience “AWWWWWWWWWW” track)
But I must mention the fourth reason why I pulled that prank. As you already know, today is April Fool’s Day/Easter Monday. By now, you’ve probably seen every Biblical epic shown on television during the Easter weekend, and you’re probably looking for something different to look at today. Fortunately for you two, I have the perfect alternative. But first, consider this scenario. You know that guy or girl that you were friends with in the past, and you both loved the same types of movies, and then one day he or she did some shit that fucked you up, and even though you guys aren’t on speaking terms anymore (even though you’re still “friends” on Facebook), you still want to get back at that person? Then why not recommend these two special April Fool’s Day movies to your ex-BFF? Now the poster for each film implies that the film itself should be great, but in actuality, it’s NOT! All you have to do is persuade your ex-BFF that these movies are indeed great, and then he or she will sit through both of them and suffer AGONIZING PAIN…. for about four hours or so. But trust me – that’ll be enough to quench your THIRST FOR REVENGE! April Fool’s Day payback, bitches!
So you see, guys, my April Fool’s Day prank was worth it after all. You’re getting a Double Feature review today…..so LIGHTEN UP ALREADY! JEEZ!
THE WICKER MAN (2006)
Also known as the beginning of the end of Nicolas Cage’s acting career, “The Wicker Man” is a remake of the 1973 British film of the same name. Written and directed by Neil LaBute (director of “Nurse Betty”, “Lakeview Terrace” and “Death at a Funeral”), this film has Nick Cage playing Edward Malus, a policeman who’s requested by his ex-fiancee Willow (played by a seemingly-drugged up Kate Beahan) to search for her daughter on a remote island run by a group of neo-pagans led by the elderly Sister Summerisle (Ellen Burstyn of “The Exorcist” fame). Now, without spoiling the plots of both versions of “The Wicker Man”, the first, and still EXCELLENT, version dealt with Catholicism versus paganism. This version, however, flushes that concept down the toilet (along with any positive redeemable factor for the film) in favour of the battle of the sexes. Yes, this version of “The Wicker Man” is about a pagan cult of females subjugating men for procreation, manual labour and sacrifices (oops…spoiler alert) in their ancient ceremonies. And while the original film moved at an even pace while maintaining a sense of dread and creepiness, this version runs slow like molasses in the first half, then gets more and more absurd as it tries to gain momentum in the second.
The score sounds like something out of a fucking TV movie with its “DUMMMMMMM DUM!” musical moments, And the music is wrongly used to manipulate the audience into feeling a certain way about the events occurring on screen – even when the payoffs at the end of these events are nothing short of underwhelming. Also, apart from a few WTF-ish moments, the film is far from frightening. The acting is shitty throughout the film, but the standout performance….and mind you, this isn’t a compliment, comes from the man himself – Mr. Nicolas Cage. His overacting and unintentionally laughable dialogue in this film are extraordinary (also, not a compliment). He delivers the film’s best lines (and when I say great, I mean you can watch a number of videos based on his dialogue on YouTube) like “What’s in the bag? A shark or something?”, “How it’d get burned?! How it’d get burned?!! HOW IT’D GET BURNED?!!” and the infamous and hilarious-as-fuck “NOT THE BEES! NOT THE BEES! AAAAAAAAAHHHH!! MY EYES! MY EYES!”. In short, while the first film presented a provocative look at religion and blind faith, this remake presents a poorly-written story, weird and uninteresting characters, terrible acting, hammy dialogue and bees. Lots of bees. If you’re looking for a good laugh from a piece-of-shit movie, then you’ll get your money’s worth with this film. But whether you’re interested in seeing Nicolas Cage punch a woman in the face while wearing a bear suit (YouTube this shit if you think I’m lying) or not, I strongly recommend that you see the original film. Matter of fact, since this is a remake, you can tell your ex-BFF that “The Wicker Man” is better – and SCARIER – than the original. And don’t forget to tell him/her that it has one of Nicolas Cage’s most memorable performances. So in essence, you’ll be telling him/her a half-truth, which is always better than a whole lie? Right?
TROLL 2 (1990)
On the subject of lies, here’s the PERFECT horror film to recommend to your ex-BFF for April Fool’s Day: “Troll 2”. Why, you ask? I’ll give you two simple reasons:
(a) It’s not scary (but you probably figured that out already)
(b) There are NO trolls in this film! NONE! But there are GOBLINS though.
I shit you not, folks. “Troll 2”, a movie with the word “Troll” and the number “2” in its title, is about fucking GOBLINS! Now while you attempt to ponder on the monumental stupidity behind that last sentence, let me get to the premise of this film. The Waits family is vacationing in a remote farming community named Nilbog. As part of an exchange program or rental agreement or some shit that wasn’t fully explained, the Waits swap houses with a family of local residents. Now here’s where shit gets interesting….ly insane. Joshua Waits (Michael Stephenson), the youngest in the family, is warned – even before entering Nilbog – by the ghost of his deceased grandfather Seth (Robert Ormsby) that there are goblins (“NOT THE GOBLINS! NOT THE GOBLINS! AAAAAAAAAHHHH!”), in human form, living in the community. The goblins are vegetarian (*FACEPALM*) and as such, they detest meat and people who eat meat. Through the magical powers of a Druid witch named Creedence Leonore Gielgud (Deborah Reed) who transforms her human prey into human/plant hybrids (*DOUBLE FACEPALM*) and the use of town-made milk products like Nilbog Milk and Nilbog Ice Cream (*MULTI-FACEPALM*) which turn humans into green ectoplasm, which in turn is devoured oh so ravenously by the goblins (*GOD MODE*), human beings in general have absolutely no opportunity of surviving in Nilbog for long. The only hope of stopping these evil creatures (and they are evil because Seth says in the beginning of the film: “Goblins don’t need to justify their evil acts. They’re evil creatures” which pretty much justifies the fact that they are evil) is Seth, who knows far too much about goblins than anyone else in this goddamned movie.
Many people regard “Troll 2” as the best worst movie ever made. Actually, there’s a 2009 documentary on the film’s cult status called “Best Worst Movie”. But is it truly the best worst movie ever made or is there another piece of turd that can challenge that? While I can’t vouch for the latter, I will honestly say that “Troll 2” is the most entertaining piece of goblin shit I’ve ever seen in my life! Everything about this film screams “CULT CLASSIC”: the theme music that sounds like a late-80s action-packed kids’ cartoon; the unintentionally cheesy dialogue (“Speaking of eating, do you want some Joshua?”; “Think about the cholesterol”; They’re eating her… and then they’re going to eat me! OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOD!!!” (funniest… line….EVER)); the subtle tributes to other cult films like the food theme, disgusting green goo and zooming close-up camera technique of Peter Jackson’s “Bad Taste” (recommended by yours truly if you’re interested in the early days of Pete’s film career before he became Mr. “Lord of the Rings”) and the corny-ass book reading by the character of Seth, that echoes the great fantasy adventure “The Princess Bride”; and of course, growling midgets wearing goblin masks. Ah, midgets with goblin masks. Now THAT’S cult film material! Anyhoo, the story is dumb as fuck with sub-plots that add nothing to the dumb-as-fuck story and moments that are either cringe-worthily awful or laugh-out-loud hilarious, or both. Consider the following scene, which combines the two: the Waits family discover, upon arrival at the house, that the occupants left food and drink on the kitchen table. The mother, father and daughter prepare to eat, while Joshua is warned by Seth that the food and drink will transform them into ectoplasm. Seth magically stops time – for 30 seconds, mind you – in order for Joshua to prevent his family from eating the food. The camera follows Joshua as he walks around the table, and the family members (or should I say actors) try their utmost hardest to appear “frozen in time”. When the 30 seconds are almost up, Joshua can only think of one solution: PEE ON THE FOOD! Now THAT’S cult film material!
If I can pick a standout performance in the film, it would be that of Deborah Reed, who plays Creedence. If Morticia from “The Addams Family” and Natasha Fatale from “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show” were a lesbian couple (and I’m not saying that they are lesbians. I’m just making an example, folks), and they raised a daughter together, it would be Creedence. She is so ridiculously over-the-top with her bulging eyes, fake teeth, faux-European accent, and campy dialogue that she easily steals every scene she’s in! There’s even a make-out session (the only one in the film) with a younger and hotter Creedence (she is a witch, after all), a dim-witted young man, and an ear of corn! Believe me – it’s as ludicrous as it sounds. As I mentioned earlier, the movie isn’t scary. Not in the slightest. There isn’t even an effective plot twist in the movie, unless you count Joshua’s realization that Nilbog is “Goblin” spelled backwards! DUMMMMMMM DUM!
But despite the film’s lack of scares, “Troll 2” is redeemed by the sheer insanity of everything else. From the bargain-basement special effects and extensive use of green goo, to the the mask-wearing midget actors playing the goblins and the mere title of the film itself, it’s truly hard to take anything in this movie seriously. Because I had so much fun with “Troll 2”, and because I laughed my ass off numerous times while watching it, I strongly suggest that you check out this shit as soon as you can (today if possible)! Invite some friends over to your place, pop some popcorn, pour out the alcohol (believe me, if you’re not motivated to drink after watching the first minute of this film, your friends would be), and enjoy the “best worst movie” ever made! But whatever you do, don’t invite your ex-BFF! Let him/her stay home and watch “Troll 2” all alone. Trust me – it won’t be as fun as watching it with company! Recommended like eating a full carton of Nilbog Ice Cream!
Happy April Fool’s Day/Easter Monday, folks!