King of the Monsters: Introduction

Rooster Illusion King of the Monsters

There’s a new Godzilla movie coming out, and I could not be more stoked. I’ve been a fan of the Big G since before I could tie my shoes. In honor of the King’s (suck it, Elvis) 60th anniversary outing, I’ll be posting a series of columns commemorating his legacy. This one, as the more astute of you will have gathered from the title, is the introduction. Now that I’ve gotten the intro to the intro out of the way, let’s get on to the meat of this thing.

The following is a speech I wrote for my 6th grade English class. The assignment? Talk about our hobbies and interests. My subject? The one and only King of the Monsters: Continue reading

Rooster Recap: Justified 5.13 “Restitution”

Rooster Recap

This week marked the finale of the fifth season of Justified, and things got pretty interesting. As per norm, the finale concluded the main arc of the season, but left just enough loose ends to propel us through another. To remind everyone, next season will be the sixth and last, so hopefully it’ll be topnotch.

The finale picks up almost immediately after its preceding episode, with Vasquez breaking the news to Wendy and Daryl that Kendal will be tried as an adult for attempted murder of a federal officer (which means forty years to life if he’s convicted). The Marshals release Daryl, dispatching Tim to tail him, but hold Wendy for a bit extra. Why? Well, to allow her to watch as Raylan breaks the bad news to Kendal. While Kendal maintains his story, it’s very clear in his body language that he’s lying, and that, as everyone suspected, Daryl is in fact responsible for shooting Art. Despite this, however, Raylan can’t seem to convince Wendy to wear a wire and record her brother’s confession. Continue reading

The Tuesday Zone: Science Fiction Double Feature (Part 1 of 2): ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’

I believe I’ve intimated this before, but I’m a huge fan of science fiction movies, especially the really thoughtful ones that use the sense of another world to reveal truths about our own. Given that my past several reviews have been timely, I’m going the Second Breakfast route; since I’ve been stuck in bed feeling like Werner Herzog pulled a boat over my body, I decided to check out some sci-fi flicks I’ve been intending to see for a while. So, this review is the first part of a Science Fiction Double Feature—both movies following an alien who comes to Earth and tries to enter society—and I’m going to break up the reviews in A-Movie/B-Movie format. Although I love B-Movies, I’m using the term here to refer to the one that I think would deserve second billing. So, without further ado….

B-Movie: The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)

Plot: Thomas Jerome Newton (David Bowie) is an alien who has come to Earth in order to build a fortune through technological patents, all in the hope of building technology in order to save his draught-stricken home planet. Continue reading

Second Breakfast: A Few Favorite Scores

SecondBreakfast-01

As you hopefully know by now, this blog is dedicated to movies. And TV. But let’s say primarily movies. As writers and critics, we try to address every aspect of a film, especially those that make a film great. Alas, 700-1200 words isn’t quite enough to address every strength of a really strong movie. Much to my own disappointment, I tend to fail to talk much about one of the key components: the music. Music can make or break a movie, propelling otherwise lackluster movies into fame, or causing otherwise good movies to fail. So, today I’d like to take a look at a few excellent original scores from the last few years, excepting Oscar nominees and winners, and scores by Hans Zimmer and Howard Shore, because I assume everyone is up to speed with them. Instead, here are a few you may have missed:

Stoker­ – Clint Mansell

Most of you are probably familiar with Clint Mansell in at least some capacity. He composed the music for Moon, The Fountain, Black Swan, most famously Requiem for a Dream, and most recently Noah. Since he works with Darren Aronofsky a lot, his scores are frequently steeped in horror and mystery, which means that he struck the perfect tone for Chan-wook Park’s atmospherically unsettling Stoker.

Continue reading

Rooster Recap: ‘Community’ 5.12: “Basic Story”

Rooster Recap

Season 5: 1 & 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12

Last week’s Community episode was a G.I. Joe riff, which I thought was, at best, a mixed bag in terms of success. I am, as I’ve pointed out many times, incredibly skeptic of “theme” episodes. Sadly, I am also skeptic of several part episodes, since the end of season three was lackluster. Now that we’re within an episode of the finale, how is this first of a two-part finale? Well, let’s recap what happens. Continue reading

Rooster Recap: ‘Archer’ Season 5, Episode 8: “The Rules of Extraction”

Rooster Recap

Hey, Archer fans. James here. The Boss (of this site, not to be confused with Bruce Springsteen). It’s been a while since I wrote about Archer. Last time, I promised you a Reckoning. Well, the time has come. If I’m caught up on these by Monday, I’m buying myself a Talking Heads album. I like that band. The odds are pretty good.

This is, by far, the best episode of season five. In my last recap, I celebrated the return on Competent Archer. Well, “The Rules of Extraction” manages to continue nailing the best parts of the character, and this time without ripping off a better episode! Continue reading

The Tuesday Zone: Eldritch Adaptations (Part 14), or a Rational Skepticism of Low Budgets

The Tuesday Zone

The Call of Cthulhu | Die Farbe | In the Mouth of Madness | Re-Animator | From Beyond | The Dunwich Horror | Shadows on the Bayou | “Pickman’s Model” & “Cool Air” (Night Gallery) | Cthulhu | The Whisperer in Darkness | Dagon | “Dreams in the Witch-House” (Masters of Horror) | Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown“Cool Air” (H.P.L. Collection, Vol. 1)

Eldritch Adaptations is a series of reviews of movies based on or heavily inspired by the works of Howard Phillips Lovecraft—better known as H. P. Lovecraft—an American horror writer who produced numerous stories during the 1920s and ’30s. His works have influenced the horror genre and inspired major writers and directors like Guillermo del Toro, John Carpenter, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, and many more.

Hello, all. It’s been a while since I’ve checked out a Lovecraft film adaptation, so I was enthused to hear my friend and housemate mention that he had to view the adaptation of Cool Air featured in the first volume of the DVD series, The H. P. Lovecraft Collection, from 1999The semi-short feature (about 47 minutes) seemed inoffensive and possibly quite fun, perhaps invoking some of the hilarious silliness that thinking back over The Dunwich Horror (1970, see review above) yields.

I was wrong. I should’ve known better, considering how poor Lovecraft adaptations are wont to be and the particularly detrimental effects low budgets have on directors that lack a lot of cleverness. Cool Air saw a previously lackluster rendition in the likes of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery (see review above), but this one really takes the cake in terms of poor depiction of the source material. Continue reading