Posts in Movies
5 Movies That Changed Me.

It's been a REALLY long time since I made a list article or "listicle".  Movies seem like a good topic and I thought it was about time (no pun intended from my first film choice) that I put an article like this one out.  It seems to me that some movies just present themselves at times in life when you need them most. Other times, they show up and enter your psyche in a way you hadn't planned and at times, weren't mentally prepared for.  

Today, I'd like to talk about five movies that I've watched as an adult that changed me. These particular cinematic trips affected me in a way that no other stories on screen have at very particular times in my life. I'm excluding documentaries from this list because I want to focus on fiction. Let's dive in.   

1. About Time

 Photo courtesy of  Sami Naik

Photo courtesy of Sami Naik

I saw About Time for free through a company that hypes upcoming movies and allows you to see them earlier than most, though the seating is never ideal. It's a beautiful film about love and loss, but not in a way that most romantic comedies tread. If you haven't seen the film, you may want to skip to my second movie pick, as I'm about to talk about one of the plot reveals.

About Time is about a family where all the men can secretly travel in time and how a young man deals with the knowledge of this and how he uses that gift. It may sound cheesy, but the film is done in a fantastic way. Because this revolves around his father telling him about this "power", the father-son relationship unfolds before us in a really wonderful way. I instantly connected to the characters as I love my own father very much and we're close as well.

Later in the film, the protagonist finds that his father has terminal cancer. Rules around the movie's time travel are explained in a way that makes it so neither of them can change this grim outcome. This movie forced me to confront my own father's mortality and how I might deal with it when that frightful day arrives. I'm not ashamed to admit that I found myself crying a few times in this film. It all just felt so real.

I found myself connecting to it in other ways too, like the way the main character's relationship evolves throughout the film. Besides the prospect of having children, everything else is very much like my current relationship. One of my favorite quotes from the film is a saying I lived by when I was single and it certainly applied to Tiff, my fiancee, when I met her and our relationship matured. 

I’d only give one piece of advice to anyone marrying. We’re all quite similar in the end. We all get old and tell the same tales too many times. But try and marry someone kind [...]
— Bill Nighy character

I actually wrote about About Time (I apologize for the word-play redundancy) a while back, which is why I put this movie first on the list. I could reiterate and expand its meaning to me and move forward. You can read that HERE if you're interested.

2. Albatross

 Photo courtesy of the  New York Times

Photo courtesy of the New York Times

If you google "Albatross film" you'll probably get a documentary about birds, however the movie I'm referring to is a British coming-of-age tale from 2011. Here's a brief synopsis of the film from Wikipedia:

The rebellious teenage dropout, Emelia Conan Doyle, believes herself to be a descendant of Arthur Conan Doyle. She takes on a job as a cleaner in a seaside hotel owned by Jonathan Fischer. Jonathan is a writer from Germany who has struggled with writer’s block since his successful first novel, The Cliff House, was published 21 years before. He lives in the hotel with his wife Joa and two daughters, Beth, 17, and Posy, 6. Jonathan is constantly sequestered in the attic working on his writing, leaving the hotel to be run by Joa. Their marriage is stormy as Joa is unhappy about Jonathan’s lack of success in his profession and his disconnected parenting. Meanwhile, Emelia has lived with her grandparents since her mother committed suicide.
— Wikipedia

The film's main character, Emelia, finds herself seduced by Jonathon and an affair occurs. The affair isn't what I connected to however, but rather the act of Emelia being young and not knowing where she fit in, like me. At the time, I watched this film on a laptop sitting on my bare legs atop a mattress surrounded by boxes. A week or less from then, I was to move out for the first time and was filled with depression and excitement.

I was in a very strange head space at the time. This movie added to that sensitivity, but also made me feel like maybe I could make it as a writer after all. Or maybe I merely could make it in life. I'm not sure what I meant by "making it" then and I probably still don't. Either way, the movie caused me to embrace some inner stuff I'm not sure I was ready to confront. It's quite hard to describe, but I'll never forget Albatross and the scene/feelings I attach to it in my memories of the film.

3. The Fountain

 Photo courtesy of The Fountain's trailer on YouTube

Photo courtesy of The Fountain's trailer on YouTube

The Fountain was my introduction to the films director, Darren Aronofski, or at least it was the first movie that led me to his work in a focused way. The Fountain is quite honestly an exhausting film, emotionally and physically. For this reason I've only seen it twice, which is mournful since this movie probably deserves 5+ watch-throughs to really wrap my head around the entire plot and its intricacies.

The film focuses around two main characters played by Rachel Weisz and Hugh Jackman, in three different timelines. (Before you ask, yes, the movie is long, but worth it.) 

Three stories - one each from the past, present, and future - about men in pursuit of eternity with their love. A conquistador in Mayan country searches for the tree of life to free his captive queen; a medical researcher, working with various trees, looks for a cure that will save his dying wife; a space traveler, traveling with an aged tree encapsulated within a bubble, moves toward a dying star that’s wrapped in a nebula; he seeks eternity with his love. The stories intersect and parallel; the quests fail and succeed.
— IMDB

The Fountain was recommended to me by an old co-worker as, "a movie you watch and then go sit outside and stare into the sky, not knowing what to say or think." I think that perfectly encapsulates the film for me and my feeling toward it. This was another film I watched shortly before I moved out of my parents house and a film that made me confront love and loss, not toward my father, this time but in a future love interest.

It's long been my fear that I would meet someone and fall madly in love only to find myself or my significant other entangled in a terminal disease at a younger-than-old age. As you may know from previous posts, I now have that "significant other", so I'm not sure I ever want to revisit The Fountain any time soon, in the attempt to dodge my own worries and anxiety.

This movie isn't all doom and gloom in my memories though. I think about this movie from time to time and appreciate the health, however temporary that may be, my fiancee and I share. It's sad to come to the realization that someone close to you will pass one day, but hopefully her and I won't have to experience that anytime soon. Plus, I somewhat lived it out literary-wise a few months ago in a novella I wrote and am currently attempting to publish. Though the characters are completely fictitious in my book, they bear a resemblance to how I feel about Tiff, my significant other.

All these years, all these memories, there was you. You pull me through time.
— Hugh Jackman

4. HER

 Photo courtesy of  Roger Ebert

Photo courtesy of Roger Ebert

Even in the best state of mind, this movie can really make you feel peculiar. I watched it during one of my most depressing junctures in life which proved to be a poor decision. I had seen it years before this and remembered bits and pieces, but it wasn't until my second viewing that everything hit home. Mid-movie I walked outside, fell flat on the grass in the middle of a park, and lost touch with reality for a small amount of time, (no drugs or alcohol needed).

This movie is set in a not-so-distant future, but deals with city landscapes and technology we don't yet have. This film is great at making you feel isolated with the character even though he has friends and lives in a large, active city. He's a poet of sorts and besides the extreme introverted-ness, him and I had a lot in common (a couple years ago). I found a connection.

A sensitive and soulful man earns a living by writing personal letters for other people. Left heartbroken after his marriage ends, Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) becomes fascinated with a new operating system which reportedly develops into an intuitive and unique entity in its own right. He starts the program and meets “Samantha” (Scarlett Johansson), whose bright voice reveals a sensitive, playful personality. Though “friends” initially, the relationship soon deepens into love.
— Google

Joaquin Phoenix plays this main character and I really can't imagine anyone better for it. The melancholy and sadness he brings to this role are perfect; almost too perfect. It should be obvious to note that I don't relate to him because I, too, fell in love with an operating system, but because of his situation in life and how life just seems to drag along for a bit while you allow depression to live within you.

The ending, which I won't spoil, is incredibly beautiful cinematography. I can imagine it as I write this like I'm watching it on a screen in 4K. Maybe, at the time, I did need this movie in my life?

You know what, I can over think everything and find a million ways to doubt myself. And since Charles left I’ve been really thinking about that part of myself and, I’ve just come to realize that, we’re only here briefly. And while I’m here, I wanna allow myself joy. So fuck it.
— Amy Adams

5. Perks of Being a Wallflower

 Photo courtesy of  Sky

Photo courtesy of Sky

I watched this film during my depression as well which makes so much sense as to why I connected to it. I think there's something romantic about being a wallflower in real life. The act of being misunderstood and then being found out by someone is a beautiful thing. It's carrying a secret that only a select group of people or less get to see; the secret being: who you really are.

It doesn't feel beautiful or wonderful being an outcast, but those small moments when you can escape the anxiety and be the real you in front of others - those moments are worth it all. The main character in this film is discovered as being this creative human being and through that exposure, other repressed secrets reveal themselves, good and bad.

To me, it was a movie that teaches you that no matter how bad life gets, it'll get better. Then worse. Then better. Then worse. Then better again. Life ebbs and flows to a random beat we can't control, so I learned to let go. My approach to difficult situations has now changed from the nagging sting of anxiety to, "I'll figure it out. Life will always go on." It also taught me to appreciate the hell out of each moment in life. I now take time when I'm on an adventure or when I'm just really happy and I just soak it in; these are blips in time that I'll never get back again. One day when I'm old, I believe these moments will be all that ever really mattered on my journey through life.

 Photo courtesy of  We Heart It

Photo courtesy of We Heart It

My 5 Favorite Fight Scenes in Movies as a Kid

If you've never felt the need to tornado kick a bottle off of the kitchen counter or imagined fighting a cluster of adults as they are trying to rob your house as a kid, then you weren't watching the right movies. I was a 90's kid, which meant that every movie taught me I could win any fight with enough training from a mysterious old man in a forest or repeatedly watching the Power Rangers.

Today, I wanted to take some time out of my day to share with you the action movies that warped my perception of defense and attack skills. LET'S DO IT.

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1. Desperado Bar shoot out!

Desperado was my go-to bar scene shoot out. Every time I watched this movie I grabbed my NERF gun. Nothing breakable in the house was safe. I WAS A DESPERADO. (Am I using that right?)

 

2. 3 Ninjas DUDES!!!!

This movie holds such a special place in my heart. I can't tell you the amount of times I imagined beating up the 3 surfer bonehead dudes who show up to kidnap the 3 Ninjas. Anyone with a surfer accent was a trigger (when being TRIGGERED wasn't a default Tumblr teen emotion). 

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3. Blade

When the music kicks in on the first scene below, THE DAYWALKER STARTS KICKIN' ASS. I remember getting the soundtrack to this movie as a kid and memorizing Snipe's every move. Fast forward to the last fight against Frost (also below) and you've got some KICKASS MOVIE FIGHT SCENES.

 

4. Mortal Kombattttttttttttttt

My girlfriend and I recently watched back through this one and, man, I have no idea why this movie pumped me up. I suppose the same could be asked about the other films on this list too though. It could have been the fighting...yes...but more than likely is the iconic soundtrack that came along with the movie. If you were to turn on the Mortal Kombat song today near me, YOU KNOW I'M ABOUT TO KICK SOMETHIN'.

5. Unleashed

This movie came out a little later than the previous films on this list, but made me want to fight nonetheless. This movie debuted in 2005 when I was about 16 or 17, but I'll be damned if age stopped me from karate kicking the air. To me, "kid" is anything under 18, so this movie counts. Plus, I love Jet Li and I really wanted him and this movie on this list.  

I'm sure anyone reading this is screaming, "WHAT ABOUT THE NINJA TURTLES or KARATE KID??!" and to that I say...

 

BONUS # 6. and # 7. NINJA TURTLES AND THE KARATE KID

Both of these movies were amazing! I don't even need to write anything here because I wasn't expecting to write a 6th movie, let alone a 7th. JUST WATCH THE CLIPS.

Have your own favorite childhood movie fight scenes? Let me know in the comments!

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6 Horror Films I'm Excited for in 2018
 Photo courtesy of ComingSoon.net

Photo courtesy of ComingSoon.net

I can't in good conscience say that I am a huge horror fan, even though I'd like to pretend I am. Compared to the many die-hard fans of the genre that I've met, I consider myself more of a neighboring cubicle to the fandom; often popping my head in to see what's new on Dave's desk or what's so damn funny about the meme on Neil's computer. 

Having said that, My favorite film of all time is a horror film (Martyrs) and I thoroughly enjoy them. That's why today I've decided to start the new year with a cliche countdown of the six horror films I am most excited about in 2018. Let's dive in.

1. Annihilation

This movie initially reminded me of Stranger Things, but it seems like this movie could go in a different direction than the upside down (down upside?) Either way, this movie looks really interesting. It's almost a mix of Stranger Things and the movie Arrival. I also love Natalie Portman, so even if the film sucks, her acting will more than likely still be phenomenal. 

2. A Quiet Place

This movie has me excited in all the right places. I love movies with small bits of dialogue, especially horror films(House of the Devil). With John Krasinski and Emily Blunt as the lead characters, I'm really rooting for this one. It seems intense (well actually in a house) and hopefully it'll be well-paced. I can see how a movie like this could be really amazing or dull as hell, depending on the writer, director, and all around cast. 

3. The Strangers: Prey at Night

Generally, sequels to great horror films fall flat as the pressure of finding a balance between the same tone and something as fresh as the original is a hard task to accomplish. Though one could argue The Strangers movie that came out in 2008 isn't necessarily untypical, it was incredibly well made.

One of my favorite scare tactics in the original film was how silence was used during what could have easily been cheap jump scares. A character would slide into the room as the watcher gasps and spills their popcorn, screaming at the screen. Oh, wait, that was just at the AMC 30 in Mesquite, Texas. (Please don't scream or talk to characters on a screen. We all hate you.)

I can't wait to see what early 20th century LP record is used to scare us this time around.

4. The New Mutants

Up until now, Marvel films have explored a variety of comic book characters. While most are still stuck in the same superhero-type movie tropes, the new Marvel film "The New Mutants" is ready to explore horror and it looks fantastic.

The movie has a great cast including Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams and Stranger Things actor Charlie Heaton. I really hope this turns out as good as the last time Marvel tried their hand at a little horror with Legion. It's also exciting to see Marvel characters like these finally getting screen time. WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE.

5. The House That Jack Built

This movie actually hasn't released a trailer yet, but going off the description and cast, I'm incredibly excited for The House That Jack Built. The story follows Matt Dillon (Jack), a highly intelligent serial killer. The movie will take place over a twelve year span as we watch Jack develop into a master at his art. It releases in December 2018, so we'll probably be waiting awhile for a trailer.

 Photo courtesy of IMDB

Photo courtesy of IMDB

6. The House With a Clock In Its Walls

I'm eagerly awaiting to buy this book this weekend as I've heard nothing but good things about it. Although the book released in 1973, the movie is slated to premiere this year under the helm of gory director Eli Roth (Hostel, The Green Inferno, Cabin Fever). I've always enjoyed Eli Roth's movies so when I heard he was adapting this story to the big screen AND Jack Black was in it...needless to say, I was and am interested. 

This movie hasn't released a trailer yet, but you know damn well that when it does, I'll be writing a post about it.

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Honorable Mention (because I'm not sure how to feel)

Halloween is one of those franchises that I love the originals of and have a hard time wrapping my head around for the new ones. I loved the original and it's awesome to see Jamie Lee Curtis and John Carpenter returning, but I could see this flopping just as hard as I can see this soaring to the top of the box office like IT did. (Well, maybe not that high up.) I suppose we'll have to wait and see.

What movies are you guys excited about?

Let me know! 

  

Avengers: Infinity War Official Trailer is Finally Out!
 Photo courtesy of Express.co.uk

Photo courtesy of Express.co.uk

We've all been waiting so long for this story arc! I have refused to watch the leaked version of this from Comic Con because of its poor quality. Now that it's out, I've watched it twice and will do my best not to watch any other trailers so that less is ruined. Keyword: TRY. 

I am extremely disappointed that this story is finally coming to the big screen without Silver Surfer (my favorite character) since he has such a main part in the graphic novel, but I know that's not possible right now. Maybe one day 20th Century Fox and Marvel Studios can come to an agreement. A MAN CAN DREAM. Check out the trailer below!

10 Spoopy Doot-Doot Soundtracks that Mr. Skeltal Would Approve of You Listening to On Halloween

Happy Halloween, chumps! Though if you haven't started celebrating Halloween already, there must be something seriously wrong with you. Now, most of us have to work on Halloween since it falls on a Tuesday this year. That sucks, but it doesn't have to suck. If you're like me, and you're able to, then you listen to a lot of music while at work. So in the spirit of Halloween, I thought I'd saloot the doot with 10 soundtracks to put in your ears holes. LET THE TOOTING BEGIN.

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1. Stranger Things

Stranger Things, Vol. 1 (A Netflix Original Series Soundtrack)

Stranger Things, Vol. 1 (A Netflix Original Series Soundtrack), an album by Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein on Spotify

2. The Ring

3. Beetlejuice

4. Crimson Peak

5. It Follows

6. The Witch

7. Suspiria

8. Silent Hill

9. The Nightmare on Elm Street

10. Hocus Pocus!

Happy Samhain!

My 13 Favorite Horror Films of All Time.
 Photo courtesy of LoveThisPic

Photo courtesy of LoveThisPic

It's finally everyone's favorite month: HALLOWEEN. I don't care what anyone says, Halloween is 31 days of celebrating scaryspookynastydeadly things. Not to mention, (even though I'm clearly mentioning it), we also get an October Friday the 13th on the calendar this year.

This is the time of year to snuggle up with your significant other, or the most recent corpse you dug up, and binge some horror movies. I decided to share with you my favorite films in this genre so that maybe you can find a new favorite. (Though, if you're an avid horror movie watcher, you will probably have seen most of the films on this list.) Let's get to it.

1. Martyrs

Martyrs isn't just one of my favorite horror films, it's one of my favorite films, period. This movie travels into almost every realm of horror and the ending is beautiful. Martyrs works in three very distinct acts and almost feels jarring at times when thematic elements suddenly change. This has lead to some people not liking the film, but I, of course, feel differently.

I really don't want to tell you too much about the story. I went into this film blind and I think that's the best way to do it. It's violent, philosophical, and brilliant. There is one scene that lasts a little too long, but it doesn't affect my feelings about the film. Check out the trailer below.

2. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

This was the first film I ever saw that made me feel disgusting. It was even more effective since I grew up in Texas. When I'd drive way out into the country to small towns as a kid, and even now, it felt and feels as if any one of the houses set far out on a plot of land could be the house of leatherface. 

I love how everyone thought the film was based completely on a true story while I grew up in north Texas. Everyone made up their own part of Texas where it happened. If for some odd reason you've never seen it, you must. If you have, watch it again. You can never see the Texas Chainsaw Massacre too many times. Check out the trailer below.

3. Street Trash

I recently saw this film near the beginning of the year at my friends house. I had no idea what to expect. 1980's horror movies can sometimes be hit or miss, but this one was fantastic. From the trailer, you can see that it's clearly not the scariest of films, but god, it's so much fun.

The film actually felt like two separate movies to me. One about a killer alcoholic beverage and another about homeless violence. It was almost as if the screenwriter couldn't decide which story he wanted to go with so he just went with both.

The props and effects are what make this film though. There's also a side character/actor in this that is incredibly captivating named James Lorinz. I have no idea how he didn't go on to be the Robert Downey Jr. of the late 80's/early 90's. Check out the trailer below.

4. 28 Days Later

I feel as though we, in 2017, are entering the aftermath of the zombie craze that plagued this decade earlier on. Of all the zombie movies looking at this decade, last decade, and all the other decades, 28 days later is by far the best in my opinion. (How many times can I put the word decade into a sentence?) Slow zombies are scary, but when you put characters in a world filled with the undead and they run fast as hell, that adds a whole new element of horror.

It seems like every moment of this movie is filled with either sadness, despair, or anxiety. All are great emotions associated with good horror films. It doesn't just make you afraid of this reality, it makes you live in it and feel for the characters. It focuses on the zombie aspect, as well as humanity's depravity in the event of an apocalyptic situation. Check out the trailer below.

5. The Changeling

I saw The Changeling for the first time about two years ago around this time and I was blown away. Everyone talks about The Exorcist as being a great possession/demonic film from that time, but in my opinion, The Changeling does it better.

I think the story is better written then The Exorcist, the sets are fantastic, and the acting/character development are dead on when it comes to proper pacing. The musical scores are about on par with each other, but it blows me away that I and many others overlooked this movie. Check out the trailer below.

6. House of a 1,000 Corpses/The Devil's Rejects 

Most people have seen these films already, but to me, they're such a great ode to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre story. I should clarify, I'm obviously not saying this is a remake, but it's certainly inspired heavily by the 1970's film.

These are Rob Zombie's best films, hands down. "Doctor Satan" is a bit cheesy, but I think it plays well with the terrifying playfulness Zombie writes into his films. Add on to that: Captain Spaulding is one of my favorite horror movie characters of all time. He also reminds me of my late uncle, in looks and personality. Also, DWIGHT. Check out the trailer for House of a 1,000 Corpses below.

7. Resident Evil

I remember sneaking into Resident Evil (just for a moment) and seeing the Licker scene when I was about 15 years old. I had to see the whole thing. Plus, growing up playing the video games helped. I finally saw it when it became available on DVD at Blockbuster. 

If 28 Days Later is my favorite zombie horror movie, R.E. comes in as a close second. I can't vouch for the sequels, but the first movie is wonderful. I remember having a nightmare after seeing it about getting chopped up into latticed pieces. I wish all of the sequels were as good, though they aren't TERRIBLE (debatable, I suppose.)

This was my introduction to Milla Jovovich as an actress and I instantly fell in love. She was a badass. Michelle Rodriguez graced us in this film as well, hot off of the first Fast and Furious film. Together, they made this movie for me. Mix in the awesome special effects and the line that stuck in my head for a lifetime, "You're all going to die down here", and you've got a great horror film. Check out the trailer below.

8. Saw

Say what you want about the sequels, but the first movie and its twist fooled everyone. James Wan has been a favorite director of mine for awhile as he tries to go the cheaper route on creating movies. This leads to more creativity and an overall better film, I believe.

Who knew a movie about two people chained in a room could be so good? This brought torture horror back to the mainstream of American movies. GOD BLESS YOU, SAW.

I feel bad for anyone who saw it later on and had the ending ruined for them. Check out the trailer below. 

9. The Blair Witch Project

Ahhh the movie that made found footage film a big thing in America cinema. I recently re-watched this one and it still holds up today. It actually feels more authentic than most found footage films today. I'm looking at YOU, High Definition cameras.

This movie made the woods scary again. I did an article awhile back on horror movies and the stories they're based on in reality. Not surprisingly, the film itself is not real, even though it some really great marketing to make you think it was. The surprising part though was that it wasn't based on anything that had happened in that area. You can read more about it here.

The Blair Witch is one my favorites because it was somewhat a re-pioneer if you will, in what it was doing and was made on almost no budget. Like James Wan, they turned a small budget into a great film, showing Hollywood that more money doesn't necessarily lead to a better movie. Plus, it was downright horrifying as a young teenager. Check out the trailer below. 

10. It Follows

It Follows was one the best horrors of the past few years. It's suspenseful, has a WONDERFUL john carpenter-styled soundtrack, and the camera positions and 360 shots are amazing. Where Michael Bay typically uses 360 angles for lens flare and to show how many things are blowing up in an action movie, David Robert Mitchell uses the 360 shots in a controlled manner for horror and produces some really uneasy and anxiety-filled pans.

For a movie dealing with a killer S.T.D., it was surprisingly serious and creative. It reminded me of Teeth th movie if Teeth had better actors and was written better and was directed better and...nevermind, it's nothing like Teeth. 

The ending is phenomenal as well. I won't spoil it. There's a lot more I could say, but I feel like less people have seen this film than others and I really want you all to experience it for yourselves. Check out the trailer below. 

11. The House of the Devil 

This movie reminds me of Wall-E in only one way: the dialogue or lack thereof. A large portion of this film has no lines, but is suspenseful nonetheless. BONUS: The actors are incredible.

It's about a babysitter who works at a weird house. The synopsis sounds a bit over done, I know, but trust me - It's so much more than that. I really don't want to give too much away though.

It appears as a 70's or early 80's film, but was actually released in 2009. The movie goes from zero to horror film extremely fast. It's actually one of my favorite jarring scenes in a movie. From there, the movie really gets going and leads to a pretty awkward ending. Check out the trailer below.

12. The Descent 

I love caves and I love well done horror films. If you feel the same, the Descent is for you. 

Essentially, the movie is about some spelunkers who get trapped in a cave and things come out of the shadows that are not ideal considering you're trapped.

There's creatures and jumps and all sorts of madness. It reminds me a bit of The Hills Have Eyes and I can't really pinpoint why; maybe because they both involve walls made of rock and murder? I don't know. Check out the trailer below. 

13. A Serbian Film

Lastly, I wasn't sure if I should add this one, as people may begin to think I have some sort of mental illness or have some really weird fetishes, but...here it is. I'm not putting this movie on here not to recommend it to you, but only to tell you that it is one of my favorite horrors. Let me explain.

This film gets really dark and outrageous really. Most would say it goes too far. The first time I watched it was on my birthday in 2012 and I vividly remember my roommates/friends walking out of the room and saying "I can't watch this" and "how can you keep watching this, Eric?" It's incredibly twisted and created scenes no one should have ever made. 

The reason I like the film so much is because it seems like the writer said to himself, "Let me think of the worst stuff I can put on screen...and then do something a little worse than that." The movie took chances that I've never seen any other film do. Anti-christ was sick. Cannibal Holocaust was revolting. But A Serbian Film is somehow worse and progressively gets worse and worse as the film goes on. Check out the trailer below.

Huffpost: Was ‘The Lion King’ Copied From A Japanese Cartoon? Here’s The Real Story

I don't usually make articles into re-blog/shit posts and yet, here we are. Here's how this came about by a chain of events:

  • A co-worker was talking about how much he hated the Marvel show "Iron Fist" on Netflix.
  • I watched the series, but I didn't know the origin story.
  • I read the origin story and found that one of the events in the original story closely mirrored Disney's "The Lion King".
  • I mentioned this to said co-worker when a second co-worker chimed in with, "It's all a rip off of "Kimba, The White Lion".
  • I didn't know what this was and found the article below.

Okay, so we're caught up. I'm sharing because I didn't know anything about this and I found it incredibly interesting the a childhood movie favorite could be a ripoff. Not sure who I believe, but either way, it seems like the creator of Kimba would have been proud if it were in fact an ode to his creation. 

Confused or not, check out the article below. Huffpost created a really good write up on this.   

Was 'The Lion King' Copied From A Japanese Cartoon? Here's The Real Story

Ever since " The Lion King" debuted a little more than 20 years ago, everything the light touches has been its kingdom. The movie is one of the most cherished Disney films of all time, it was turned into the most successful musical ever and its soundtrack was Disney's most decorated until "Frozen" came along.

5 Books That Changed My Life.

1. The Last Lecture

 (Click Image For More Info)

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Awhile back, CMU created a lecture series called, "The Last Lecture". The idea was to have different professors give a lecture as if it was the last one they would ever give. Sadly, the book, The Last Lecture, is based off of Randy Pausch who actually had terminal cancer. I picked this book up at Half Price awhile back and read it cover to cover without putting it down. There is a wealth of knowledge and life lessons in his last lecture entitled, "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams." You can watch the entire lecture below, but I recommend reading the book as well! 

The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.
— Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

2. Tough Shit

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Tough Shit is an autobiography of sorts about one of my favorite film makers, Kevin Smith. Kevin Smith writes with such a humble pen throughout the book and is incredibly honest (and descriptive) with each chapter. He talks about the movie business, his personal life, and everything in between. I hope one day I can meet Kevin and interview him or just have a private conversation. Kevin and his book have inspired me in my own writings and creative projects. I would also suggest you follow him on Instagram and Twitter!

Remember: It costs nothing to encourage an artist, and the potential benefits are staggering. A pat on the back to an artist now could one day result in your favorite film, or the cartoon you love to get stoned watching, or the song that saves your life. Discourage an artist, you get absolutely nothing in return, ever.
— Kevin Smith, Tough Shit: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good

3. The Dharma Bums

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I read Jack Kerouac's "Dharma Bums" about 4 years ago and I still find myself thinking about it about once a month. Kerouac had a way with describing scenes and human emotions that I feel no one else ever has. He's prolific throughout and incredibly personable at the same time. I've yet to read a book since that makes nature, travel, and life discovery so vibrant and attractive. I advise that you read it and then go find your own adventure.

I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all. The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify (by their own lonesome familiarity) to this feeling.
— Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

4. Einstein's Unfinished Revolutions

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I always add this book to my list of favorites, because it's the book that started me on my path toward leaving organized religion and introducing me to the wonders of science. (If you're wondering why it took so long for science to resonate within me, It's important to note that most of my schooling was at christian schools which taught creation science.) Einstein's Unfinished Revolutions hardly ever touches on the subject of religion though and the way author Paul Davies makes science feel and look is incredibly captivating, or at least it was to eighteen year old me. I will forever keep my copy of this book and recommend it to others. 

Until now, I’ve been writing about “now” as if it were literally an instant of time, but of course human faculties are not infinitely precise. It is simplistic to suppose that physical events and mental events march along exactly in step, with the stream of “actual moments” in the outside world and the stream of conscious awareness of them perfectly synchronized. The cinema industry depends on the phenomenon that what seems to us a movie is really a succession of still pictures, running at twenty-five [sic] frames per second. We don’t notice the joins. Evidently the “now” of our conscious awareness stretches over at least 1/25 of a second.

In fact, psychologists are convinced it can last a lot longer than that. Take the familiar “tick-tock” of the clock. Well, the clock doesn’t go “tick-tock” at all; it goes “tick-tick,” every tick producing the same sound. It’s just that our consciousness runs two successive ticks into a singe “tick-tock” experience—but only if the duration between ticks is less than about three seconds. A really bug pendulum clock just goes “tock . . . tock . . . tock,” whereas a bedside clock chatters away: “ticktockticktock...” Two to three seconds seems to be the duration over which our minds integrate sense data into a unitary experience, a fact reflected in the structure of human music and poetry.
— Paul Davies, About Time: Einstein's Unfinished Revolution

5. Pale Blue Dot

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The opening to this book is incredibly powerful. Even if you don't have time to read through one or all of the books on this list, I highly recommend watching at least the video below, which is read by Carl Sagan himself. His words and this book apply just as much today, if not more than it did when it was written. The Pale Blue Dot forever changed my perspective on what it means to be a human on this planet.

Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.
— Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space
TBT: Chris Farley's Best Moments

I can't stop thinking about Chris Farley. He was one of my favorite comedic actors and he always found a way to make me laugh. I feel the need to spread this laughter to you right now. If you don't laugh, you don't have a soul. It's that easy.

Almost Heroes - Learning the Alphabet

Almost Heroes - Eagles Nest

Billy Madison: Every Time He Shows Up

SNL - Van Down by the River

Watch Matt Foley: Van Down By The River from Saturday Night Live on NBC.com

After their cleaning lady finds pot in the house, parents (Phil Hartman, Julia Sweeney) hire motivational speaker Matt Foley (Chris Farley) to talk to their teens (David Spade, Christina Applegate) about drugs and their future. [Season 18,1993]

All That - Cookin With Randy & Chris Farley

Tommy Boy - Desktop Demo

Tommy Boy - My Whole Life Sucks

Beverly Hills Ninja - Hibachi Chef

Working Out on E!

SO I SAYS TO THE GUY

Chris Farley on Conan

I could easily make this a million videos long. Farley will always be a comedy legend and one of my all time favorite actors. God, I miss him. We all do. Rest In Peace!

SNL - GAP GIRLS

SNL - El Nino