Goosebumps: Nostalgic Horror

Hello everybody! It is time for the return of our movie club, and this time we watched Goosebumps.

GOOSEBUMPS

Goosebumps_(film)_poster

DIRECTED: Rob Letterman

STARRING:Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush, Amy Ryan, Ryan Lee, Jillian Bell

GENRE: Horror, Comedy

YEAR: 2015

COUNTRY: United States

Upset about moving from a big city to a small town, teenager Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) finds a silver lining when he meets the beautiful girl, Hannah (Odeya Rush), living right next door. But every silver lining has a cloud, and Zach’s comes when he learns that Hannah has a mysterious dad who is revealed to be R. L. Stine (Jack Black), the author of the bestselling Goosebumps series. It turns out that there is a reason why Stine is so strange… he is a prisoner of his own imagination – the monsters that his books made famous are real, and Stine protects his readers by keeping them locked up in their books. When Zach unintentionally unleashes the monsters from their manuscripts and they begin to terrorize the town, it’s suddenly up to Stine, Zach, Hannah, and Zach’s friend Champ (Ryan Lee) to get all of them back in the books where they belong.goosebumps-picture01

The way that they tell the story is excellent. Jack Black stars at R.L Stine (1st spoiler) and his portrayal is enjoyably unique. I mean actually using Stine as a character (he also make a cameo), whose storyline propels the plot of the movie forward is a great idea and it works very well. In that, Stine is set up as a man who learned to escapes the dullness and loneliness of his life by writing these stories on a special typewriter, and because he does so, they come to life when the original manuscript is opened. And as you have probably already figured, that’s exactly what happens.

The remainder of the film is a high-energy chase in which Stine and the three youngsters have to recapture his demons. There’s a rather tedious over-reliance on CGI imagery at times, but things improve when the special effects dial down. A stretched-out chase in a supermarket is a bore, but watching our players bicker and strategise is a hoot.

GoosebumpsThere’s a streak of old-fashioned B-movie spooky playfulness here, and when actual, motivated characters are on screen it’s delightful. Danny Elfman’s score keeps the proceedings moving along, and it’s fair to describe the film as Tim Burton-lite. The director, Rob Letterman, was also responsible for the abysmal Gulliver’s Travels, but Goosebumps ought to get him out of director’s jail.

PROS:

  • Jack Black’s performance.
  • Monster design.
  • Special Effects.

CONS:

  • Supporting cast performance.
  • Pacing.
  • B-movie with an A-movie budget.

SCORE: 6.0 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

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All check out my lengthier video game reviews over at Nerd Bacon Games.

Birdman: Washed Up Actors Excel at Being Washed Up

Hello everybody! For this week’s new movie show we watch Birdman.

BIRDMAN

birdman

DIRECTED: Alejandro González Iñárritu

STARRING: Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts

GENRE: Black Comedy

YEAR: 2014

COUNTRY: United States

Riggan Thomas, once known quite well to movie theater goers as an iconic super hero called “The Birdman” had recently turned down a fourth installment of the franchise. Now washed up, he attempts to reinvent himself as a director by staging a new adaptation of a Raymond Carver short story called “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”. The events leading up to the Saturday night premiere prove to be one disaster after another as the original lead actor is injured while on set and Riggan scrambles to find a replacement, but the replacement proves to be exactly who he needs – a method actor who takes the job way too seriously. But Riggan has a hard time juggling between the set, his replacement actor, his equally washed up daughter, and a host of other disasters that prevent a proper staging of the play. Meanwhile, a New York Times critic who Riggan has to woo threatens to shut down production of the play before it even starts with a scathing review of the opening night performance. Does Riggan have a hit on his hands or will he even make it past opening night?

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Birdman definitely wasn’t what I expected. Maybe that is because when  first saw the trailer/ heard about the film, I thought it was actually a documentary and not a comedy. The one thing that I absolutely loved about Birdman is the editing and camera work. It is done so well, edited so closely together that it makes the film look like it was shot in one continuous take. I can understand that this was to give the illusion that our main character was being followed by paparazzi. Lastly, I want to point out that Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, and Edward Norton are all great in their roles. Superb, ladies and gents.

birdman (1)

There isn’t much I didn’t like about Birdman. The pacing was relatively slow, as at some points I wish it would stop dragging. That feeling quickly passed me by, as yet another episode with the Birdman was going to occur. I did not like Zach Galifinakis in his role as friend and producer. I do want to acknowledge that you performed decently, especially since it is such a far role change from his more drunken comedic roles. I just wouldn’t have cast him in this film. Not this time.

PROS:

  • Editing.
  • Camerawork.
  • Main cast performances.

CONS:

  • Pacing.
  • Zach Galifinakis casting.

SCORE: 8.8 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

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All check out my lengthier video game reviews over at Nerd Bacon Games.