Saturday, December 27, 2014

A Ghoul Versus Liam Neeson's Taken 2 (Part 2)

Click here for Part 2!

Old Man visits Bryan in his cell, revealing Marko was his son and that he's taking him to Albania to pay for his crimes against his family. He has Lenore brought in, cutting the side of her throat open and hanging her upside down for her to bleed out. He plans to put Kim in the worst brothel they can find, even worse than that weird construction site one in the first film. Damn, THAT'S a threat! Old Man gets call from the other thugs saying that they've lost Kim, so he leaves to deal with this himself. You want something done right... Bryan is able to get free and cut Lenore down, but does nothing for the gaping would on neck. Ahh, I am sure she's FINE.
He calls Kim again, having her use grenades as the most dangerous homing signals of all time. She arrives at the building he's in, dropping the gun she took down into a vent. Wait, that wasn't for her self defense? Why didn't Bryan have her take a gun too? He is kind of all over field with this whole “protecting his daughter from harm” thing.  The thugs spot Kim and begin to chase her across the closely knit rooftops of Istanbul. Bryan shoots his way out of building, arriving in time to save Kim. I would have really liked to see Kim deal with this herself to really cement how much stronger she has become. Oh well. Bryan and Kim steal a taxi cab and go back to the building to get Lenore, who is being loaded into a van by the thugs.

A Ghoul Versus Liam Neeson's Taken 2 (Part 1)

Come on Kim, move! Faster Kim faster! Go go go! Move! Come on, go! Move Kim! Keep going Kim! Move! Faster! Come on!”*

*Dialogue from Taken 2, NOT a pornographic movie

The first Taken came out in 2008 and was not expected to do much in terms of box office appeal. Instead it became a huge blockbuster smash, as it was first real action thriller in YEARS to have an actor who can actually act in it. While I was not a fan of it, I can appreciate why it was successful. But in this day and age of cinema, every single successful and unique property has to be exploited for maximum potential so Taken 2 was put into production no matter how ridiculous a sequel would be. After all, putting the same man in increasingly implausible situations never EVER gets silly, right Die Hard series?

The first movie was the major league debut of director Pierre Morel, a cinematographer who CERTAINLY knew his way around generically bland action movies with fare like the first two Transporter movie and War. He apparently too busy doing NOTHING when the sequel was green lit, so directing honours went to the awesomely named Oliver Megaton. Looking at his filmography, Megaton is also an expert in dull action movies, having directed the THIRD Transporter movie and Colombiana. He also served as the second unit director for your favourite film and mine, Hitman, so this man knows how to sterilize ANYTHING that might get exciting. Will Taken 2 be able to recapture the spirit of original, or will it end up like most action sequels and turn into a glorified remake lacking what made the original special? Let's see with A Ghoul Versus Taken 2!

A Ghoul Versus X-Files: I Want To Believe (Part 2)

Click here for Part 1!

Amanda and Xzibit go to search their office, Mulder going with them and leaving Scully behind. This is the part of the movie where I realized I was utterly bored. I just can't believe the team that made the X-Files was behind this, it was always one of the slickest and most engrossing shows on all of television. You could say the same thing about the, first movie, but this one... it's torture. And the worst part is there's still have an hour to go.  AN HOUR.

Xzibit and his men search the office while Amanda and Mulder wait outside. Leoben, carrying an organ transplant bag, sees the FBI agents are quietly sneaks out. However he is spotted by Amanda and Mulder outside, dropping his bag and running off. They chase him in a VERY long sequence that unfortunately doesn't go through the back of busy restaurant, but instead winds up at a construction site.

Leoben manages to lose Mulder and gets the drop on Amanda, pushing her down an empty elevator shaft to her death. I sure am glad they gave her significant screen time for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON! Back at the offices, Xzibit opens the medical bag that Leoben dropped and finds the missing agent's head inside. Mulder meets with Scully at the hospital, where she tells him Joe has advanced lung cancer. They go to visit Joe, who has had a vision of Leoben. Scully shows him a picture of Baldie, whom Joe recognizes as one of his victims. He thinks that was his connection to the FBI agent, God sent him visions to save her. Scully asks Joe if the FBI agent is still alive, he replies yes. She looks knowingly at Mulder.

A Ghoul Versus X-Files: I Want To Believe (Part 1)

To find the truth, you must believe.”

In my previous review, I talked about how I was an obsessed X-Files fan back in the day. I was rabid about the show and my house was pretty much a shrine to it from books to magazines to toys, I even had the not-so-bad FMV PC game they put out. Like all love affairs, it came to a crashing halt with one party feeling betrayed by the other. Before I talked about how the fifth season of the show is where things started to go wrong, but it wasn't bad by any means. You could just see the cracks starting to form. As the years went by the cracks grew worse and worse until they gave way to the Doggett that was the eighth season. Disaster. I meant to say Disaster.

That's when I jumped ship and never looked back. I mean that too, I never saw another episode ever again. I've never even bothered to look up how one of my favourite shows of all time ended because I just quit caring completely. This also means I never saw the second X-Files movie when it came out in 2008, but judging from the box office receipts no one else did either. It's safe to say everyone was still watching this little indie film that came out the previous week that I'm POSITIVE you've never heard of, I think it was called the Dark Kite or something like that. It had a circus clown in it doing magic tricks with pencils, it was pretty freaking weird and has faded into the obscurity of time. Let's just hope this movie is Doggett-free because it's now time for A Ghoul Versus X-Files: I Want To Believe!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Ghoul Versus X-Files: Fight The Future (Part 2)

Click here for Part 1!

Mulder goes to meet with Kurtzweil, catching him up on the bees and the corn. We learn Kurtzweil had no idea about any of this, and Mulder oddly gets mad at him for “using him” to get information. Um, didn't Kurtzweil help you out a ton Mulder? Mulder's reaction here just makes no sense. Speaking of no sense, how did Kurtzweil know all the stuff he did? He's not a member of the Syndicate but is involved with them enough to know some very specific stuff (i.e. the bodies already being dead) that the average person couldn't have. A little back story here would have been nice.

Later, Scully goes to Mulder's apartment where he tells him she's being transferred to Utah so she's decided to resign. Mulder gives a very heartfelt confession to her about how much he needs her in his life, which would so make my eyes watery if my tear ducts hadn't rotten away during my untimely death. They hug. Scully kisses Mulder's forehead, and he takes her face in his hands. The moment millions of fans have been rabidly awaiting nears. They draw closer, their lips millimeters away from touching... when suddenly that MOTHERFUCKING BEE crawls out from Scully's collar and stings her. OH MY GOD, I can't believe this didn't cause riots in theaters. This is the most cruel and insidious fake-out perpetuated on loyal fans since the Phantom Menace.

A Ghoul Versus X-Files: Fight The Future (Part 1)

"Trust no one."

The X-Files was one of those shows that owes its massive success to coming out at EXACTLY the right time, even moreso than its quality writing, excellent acting, and overall style. See also LOST. It started in 1993, an era where the cultural pulse was based around UFOs and massive conspiracies. Every year it grew bigger and bigger, until 1997 when it hit its pop culture zenith. Agents Mulder and Scully were THE coolest kids in school, and the show's influence could suddenly be seen everywhere.  Even Baywatch did a spin-off show ripping off the premise wholesale, only with a lot more mermaids and frozen Vikings.

The fifth season is where everything began to go wrong. The show began making all the mistakes that these shows do when they get too popular: it began doing everything it could to try to bring it every type of viewer imaginable. We got episodes written by famous authors that had no idea how to write within the show's rules, gimmick episodes, and all kinds of distracting celebrity cameos. By now it was a fully established cultural phenomenon, so naturally the next step was the big budget feature film. Sadly X-Files: THE BROADWAY MUSICAL never materialized.

Now the puzzling thing is they wanted to make the movie accessible to non-fans, so what did they do? Create a Monster of the Week film that wouldn't require any knowledge of the show besides “they're FBI agents that deal with weird stuff”? No, they went with a movie completely based off the show's insanely dense and complicated ongoing storyline, something so difficult even the hardcore fans couldn't fully explain it. It's okay though, the show's creator couldn't either.

A Ghoul Versus Christmas Evil

Happy holidays from here at A Ghoul Versus! Let's celebrate this cherished time of year with the only way I know how, watching poorly written characters kill other poorly written characters!”

Silent Night, Deadly Night exploded onto the scene in 1984 amidst endless controversy, as it was the world's first Christmas horror film to feature a killer Santa Claus. Parental groups and critics rallied against it and its tasteless subject matter and marketing, which was plastered everywhere with the image of Father Christmas carrying an ax. Horror fans ate it up with a spoon though, as this film actually BEAT Wes Craven's epic A Nightmare on Elm Street at the box office on their opening weekend. The film was eventually yanked from theaters in response to the controversy, but its legacy was already cemented.

However, it WASN'T the first “psycho Santa” movie. That honour goes to today's film, 1980's Christmas Evil, or You Better Watch Out as it was originally known. Written and directed by Lewis Jackson, this film came and went without making a sound but has gone on to earn a substantial cult following in the years since. I'm choosing to review this one not because I seem to only review horror themed holiday films, but because this is LEGENDARY for having one of the most WTF endings in movie history. That's certainly more than enough to earn it a spot in my review queue, so let's see if it can live up to the hype with A Ghoul Versus Christmas Evil!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Ghoul Versus Stripped To Kill

Take a chair as we welcome the Wonderful World of Roger Corman to A Ghoul Versus...!”

It is almost mind blowing it's taken me this long to review a film that wasn't produced by the immortal Roger Corman. For those few of you not familiar with the name, he is a producer who has made a career out of making VERY cheap movies in a VERY short time, having over FOUR HUNDRED credited to his name and is still going strong. Although he has definitely helped create some all-time classics in the form of Death Race 2000, Rock 'n' Roll High School, and Children of the Corn, he is probably best known for hundreds of exploitation films featuring everyone's favourite sex and violence.

One such example is today's film, 1987's Stripped to Kill, a certified cult classic that RULED late night Cinemax broadcasts back in the day. With it's awesome tag line of “A Maniac is killing strippers. Detective Sheehan has one weapon to stop him. Her body.”, what's NOT to love about that premise? Chosen to play the title role was Kay Lenz, an actress of minor acclaim in the 1970s and 80s, including a highly memorable spot as the object of Rod Stewart's crossing the line stalker affections in the 1984 music video for his hit “Infatuation”. Helming the director's chair was Katt Shea, an actress turned director like many of the alumni of the so-called “Corman Film School”. Stripped to Kill was her debut film, though she would go on to find much bigger success in Poison Ivy and the Rage: Carrie 2.

Stripped to Kill has maintained an enduring legacy over the years to the point where it was just released on DVD earlier this month by the MAGNIFICENT distribution company Scorpion Releasing, who specialize in reviving long forgotten films that deserve some love. They're even planning a blu-ray release of this down the road, showing they have a true understanding of how movies should be done. I think it's high time to see what Stripped to Kill has done to inspire such a loyal fan base, so get out your dollar bills and get ready to make it rain with A Ghoul Versus Stripped To Kill!

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Ghoul Versus Uwe Boll's House Of The Dead (Part 2)

Click here for Part 1!

Jordan and Greg run afoul of some zombies, leading to a HILARIOUSLY bad sequence featuring the actors running straight into the camera while it's held about a foot away from their faces. Greg manages to evade the zombies by hiding under a hill while they sniff around overhead in a shot that looks SUSPICIOUSLY like when the Hobbits did the exact same thing with the Ringwraiths in Lord of the Rings. Boll must have really liked that movie a lot. This only buys him a few minutes though, as he eventually gets surrounded by the zombies who can now leap into frame like Spider-Man. They dogpile on him to put him out of our misery, but then he's... standing all alone in the forest while the camera rotates around him?! Ohhhhhh, my head hurts so bad right now.

Back to Kirk and the gang of idiots, where they've decided to return to the cabin for some reason. Jordan returns, having written off Greg as a lost cause when she found the pistol she gave him lying on the ground. Kirk takes everyone to one of his crates so they can arm up, cracking “Let me introduce you to my little friend!” as he opens it up. Hey now Kirk, you're in my good graces, don't go fucking it up with shitty one liners ripped off from infinitely better movies. He pulls out a giant gun, joking that size DOES matter. FUCK. YOU. KIRK. Now armed to the teeth, and breasts in the case of Fencer, they approach the cabin. The outside is swarming with zombies, so it's time for another insanely dull shootout! Yay... Only THIS time Boll splices in more footage from the video game, and it's not transitions, it's just... shots of someone playing the game. I don't... how...NO ONE told Boll how imbecilic this looked?! I can literally feel my brain cells dying every second I spend watching this, and I already have a dead zombie brain!

A Ghoul Versus Uwe Boll's House Of The Dead (Part 1)

A Uwe Boll movie? More like House of the DREAD!”

What is there to say about writer/director Uwe Boll that hasn't already been said? To call him a schlockmaster is almost a complement since schlocky films are among some of the most enjoyable type of movies to watch. His films are famous for redefining terrible thanks to his lack of cinematic skills, scripts that all feel like rough drafts, Amateur Hour actors, and WOEFULLY low budgets. In his case though, none of this comes off charming like it does in some of film's more famous movies, where directors were at least TRYING to make a good film despite their limitations.

In Boll's case they aren't made for the love of the “language of cinema”, but for the love of money. No duh, right? What movie isn't? In Boll's case however, it's a little different. Thanks to the batshit crazy tax laws of Germany, if you invest money into a movie that is filmed there not only is it fully deductible from your taxes, you get a DELAY in having to pay your taxes for the year AND your tax bracket lowers. If you're rich enough in a high level tax bracket, investing in one of Boll's guaranteed to flop movies, you will actually MAKE MONEY BACK. This is how Boll has become one of the most prolific directors of the decade, as I imagine there are German mutli-millionaires tripping over themselves to throw money at Video Game: The Movie Part 26.

The more shoddy and haphazardly he makes a movie, the more money he makes for himself and his investors. I imagine he's probably a HERO to the wealthy class of his home country by now, because he's been at this for well over ten years now. Germany has since changed this crass exploitation of its laws, but considering he's made TWENTY-TWO films since 2003 it's safe to say he's found another loop hole in the system.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

A Ghoul Versus The November Man (Part 2)

Click here for Part 1!

Alice, in all her infinite wisdom, goes to meet with Edgar instead of hopping the first tram out of Belgrade. Good to see Kurylenko is still playing complete idiots, because Peter told her that Alexa was a world class assassin. The same assassin who saw her meeting with Edgar at the diner, but I'm sure she wouldn't, you know, BE FOLLOWING HIM OR ANYTHING. Edgar takes her back to his hotel where Alexa pops out and kills him. Oh gee, what are the odds? Alice runs, but we can't see what happens next because this film was edited by someone with extreme ADHD, so we go back to David who is going through Pierce's CIA file.

He discovered Natalia wasn't just Peter's lover, but was also the mother of his daughter. Oh snap! Well, it's been a minute already, better see what Hanley's doing. Pierce pistol whips his way into the shipping yard the CIA is holding him at, confronting him over why he lied about Natalia wanting him to rescue her. Hanley says Natalia had been acting strangely the last few months of her assignment, so the CIA planned to take her out. He figured sending Peter was the only way to save her life, because he really wanted her information about Mira witnessing the bombing. Hanley tries to say Federov masterminded the whole thing, but Peter knows better and asks who in the CIA was behind it.

A Ghoul Versus The November Man (Part 1)

James Bond is back, and this time he's brought an R-rating!”

I think it's safe to say Olga Kurylenko is the Patron Saint of this blog. Some of my earliest reviews were of her video game based films Hitman and Max Payne, where she captured the spirit of what A Ghoul Versus... is all about with jilted line delivery and general vacuousness in regards to acting. She was dramatically improved in Joseph Kosinski's Oblivion, where she turned in a pretty good performance, but was right back to her bag of tricks in this year's DELIGHTFUL atrocity that was Vampire Academy.

This leads us to her latest film, the November Man. I know next to nothing about this film, as it was in and out of theaters pretty quick because Pierce Brosnan quite isn't the box office draw he used to be. Despite this short window, it did turn a profit, so much in fact that a sequel is already being planned. I saw a few trailers for this, it looked like James Bond only not quite. This film is based off the novels of the same name, and in true Hollywood fashion it's based off the SEVENTH book of the series. Chronology, what's that?

The movie is directed by Roger Donaldson, who has a somewhat respectable and varied filmography with films such as No Way Out, Cocktail, Species, and Dante's Peak. The movie was co-written by Karl Gajdusek, who was also the writer of Oblivion so hopefully he can continue his streak of making Kurylenko sound intelligent when she opens her mouth. Interesting bit of trivia here, the other writer of this movie is Michael Finch, who is currently writing the reboot to HITMAN. Good God, it's Six Degrees Of Olga up in this piece! And with that, it's time to see is Pierce Brosnan still has the suave and sophisticated spy game with A Ghoul Versus The November Man!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Ghoul Versus Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones (Part 5)

Click here for Part 4!

Instead of freeing the others, Padme climbs to the top of her pole and out of harm's way. That's quite smart of her, figuring out that both Anakin and Obi are going to be in the next trilogy so they won't need her help. One of the arena monster scales the pole in pursuit and slashes at her, but only succeeds in tearing her shirt into a belly-baring midriff. Spellbound by the sight of Padme's toned abs, it decides not to kill her and instead just descends to the ground to ogle her. Can't say I blame it... Nute watches this unfold, suggesting someone just shoot her. Congratulations Mr. Gunray, it took you nearly the length of two films but you finally said something INTELLIGENT!

No one does though, because having another boring battle is much more important than the carefully crafted plan of the Separatists. Anakin and Obi manage to get free while dodging the attacks of their monsters, and this goes on for awhile as tediously as possible. Nute orders Jango to fly in and kill them, but Dooku tells him to have patience. How is it Nute is suddenly the smartest person in this movie?! And where does Palpatine find these morons to serve as his apprentices, you'd think after Darth Maul he would have really stressed that whole “kill your enemies the first chance you get, DON'T give them time to regroup because that never ends well” thing.

A Ghoul Versus Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones (Part 4)

Click here for Part 3!

Bail tells him the Senate will never approve using a clone army, and this is where the infamous “Star Wars Brain Pains” strike me. While I'm well aware that if I didn't over think this damn movie so much I might actually enjoy it (false, there's still the acting and dialogue) but this vital plot point is incomprehensible to me. And since it's the crux of the entire movie, that's a problem. WHY does the Republic, which consists of well over 10,000 worlds, NEED to create an army through the military creation act? I get they don't want to go all militaristic because they're dedicated to peace, but no one wanted to step up and defend their home worlds? It is acceptable to take up arms to defend your home and your loved ones.

We saw freaking WOOKIES were a member of the Senate in the last movie, a race that lives for violence to the point they rip the arms off their opponent when they lose at space chess! You're telling me the Wookies wouldn't want to throw down with some stupid robots? Hell, even the Naboo had a fully trained space armada and they were pacifists. I just find it really hard to swallow that billions upon billions of people would be perfectly content to just sit around and get killed in the face of a war. Which leads me to another point of contention with this plot: why exactly are the Separatists trying to break away from the Republic? We're never told any details besides Dooku's political ideals, whatever that's supposed to mean.

A Ghoul Versus Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones (Part 3)

Click here for Part 2!

Lucas tries to quickly distract us from how head smashingly stupid Obi is by returning to Anakin and Padme back on Naboo, where they've set up shop at the place Padme is going to be hiding. And by hiding, I mean walking around in public while wearing the least amount of clothes possible. The rest of the Anakin/Padme scenes are going to be very similar: they go on some ultra romantic date while Padme teases Anakin then shuts him down when he starts getting too close. This one is notable though as it's probably the most famous bit of dialogue in the entire movie: Anakin's sand metaphor.  Padme has returned to her Queen Monotone voice and is putting us to sleep about how she used to swim at this beach as a kid, prompting this GEM from Anakin:

“I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and irritating, and it gets everywhere. Not like here. Here everything’s soft... and smooth...”.

I've seen smoother lines from guys in rape/revenge movies. I laughed out loud when I first saw this, and I'm laughing out loud while typing this. Padme doesn't laugh though, even when Anakin starts caressing her bare skin and kissing her. The kiss is VERY rough looking, so the movie starts playing this huge orchestral swell to make it seem romantic. Padme breaks the kiss, saying she shouldn't have done that while Anakin looks around shocked. Yeesh.

A Ghoul Versus Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones (Part 2)

Click here for Part 1!

Obi and Anakin are still boring us with politics, Anakin saying not all politicians are bad by citing Palpatine as an example. Obi actually starts talking smack about him too, something that he'll instantly forget the next scene. When the centipedes start crawling closer to Padme, this somehow notifies the Jedi and they rush off to her rescue. I guess the Force can detect when a bug has murder on its mind, something you think they would have sensed a bit earlier. Anakin runs in and lightsabers the centipedes to death while Obi looks out the window at the droid... and LEAPS OUT THE WINDOW TO GRAB IT.

Oh God. This is one of the more memorable scenes in the film and one I do remember seeing the first time, but like all of those scenes, it's for entirely the wrong reason. Okay yes, it looks BADASS as hell, which is what Lucas had in his mind when he wrote it. The PROBLEM is that (and get used to reading this sentence) it makes no sense! First of all, why wasn't it Anakin recklessly jumping out the window without a second thought while Obi killed the bugs? In the few minutes that we've gotten to know him, we've already learned Anakin's whiny ass is a hot headed punk who acts without giving a single thought to what he's going to say or do while Obi is cool, calm, and reserved.

Second, how in the world did Obi know this tiny little droid would be able to support his weight? Is he an expert on assassin droids and their weight limits? Maybe he's using the Force to keep himself from falling to his death, but somehow I doubt it. And why isn't the droid trying to shake him off, either through its laser or by smashing into nearby buildings?

A Ghoul Versus Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones (Part 1)

Previously on Star Wars...

Writer-director George Lucas set the bar for CGI and green screen usage in blockbusters, while simultaneously lowering the bar for quality in blockbusters. We journeyed back to the days when Darth Vader was a young boy, and two hours of ENDLESS BULLSHIT followed. The important takeaway is Chancellor Palpatine is in the middle of executing a brilliant master plan to become the unopposed dictator of the galactic republic, and EVERYONE is too stupid to figure this out. He also apparently knows everything that is going to happen in explicit detail thanks to his Sith powers, so any of the actions of our heroes are completely futile. Whoo, that makes for an exciting film!

Star Wars has been dominating the news headlines lately, all thanks to the release of the highly anticipated release teaser trailer of the RABIDLY anticipated new film The Force Awakens. This minute and a half trailer shed a light on a great deal many things we can expect from the new movie, but I think the most important was the revelation a great deal of Star Wars fans are racist degenerate fuckwads. That... was probably something I didn't want to know, since I REALLY didn't need another reason to hate one of the former loves of my life.

The trailer opened with a shot of one of the stars of the movie, John Boyega, in a Stormtrooper outfit and BOY did this piss off the KKK card holding contingent of Star Wars fandom. To their credit some fans only complained about the fact all Stormtroopers should look like Jango Fett, which I will admit is a fair criticism since there's NEVER EVER been an established moment in the franchise where characters impersonated Stormtroopers by wearing their armour. EVER. Like, NO ONE has ever dressed up like a Stormtrooper that wasn't a Stormtrooper in Star Wars before.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Ghoul Versus Maleficent (Part 2)

Click here for Part 1!

With Aurora's sweet sixteen fast approaching, Maleficent asks her to come live with her in the Moors. Aurora happily consents to this, rushing off to tell her aunties. Oh, I guess they are still in this thing. However Aurora can't quite think of how to break this news to them, so she stops in the forest to rehearse her speech. She runs into a young man who is on his way to Stefan's castle and has managed to get lost in the woods. He'll be instantly recognizable if you've seen the recently reviewed film The Signal since he was the star of it, Mr. Brenton Thwaites. Here he is Prince Philip (now spelled with one “L” because screw those hacks from the 1950s), like that's any surprise in the slightest.

He and Aurora have Insta-Chemistry, achieved even without the magic of a song and dance. Aurora asks him to visit her after his trip to the castle, to which he QUICKLY agrees to. Maleficent and Diaval have been watching this whole thing play out, Diaval excitedly speculating Philip could be the answer to the curse. Maleficent dismisses this, as she says there's no such thing as true love. Diaval counters with it's fine she believes that, but what about Aurora's belief on the matter? You know, with the exception of the idiot fairies, every actor in this film has been good to great. Jolie has been awesome, but that's a given. However, Diaval's actor, Sam Riley, has completely OWNED this movie. This guy has stolen every scene he's in, which is really saying something when all of those scenes were shared with Jolie.

A Ghoul Versus Maleficent (Part 1)

Original Vs. Remake Part 2: Disney's Sleeping Beauty vs. Maleficent / WTF Happened To Fairy Tales?!”

Click here for the first half of Original Vs. Remake: Sleeping Beauty!

Of all the things to come out of the 1990s, I think BY FAR the worst was the “Grim 'n Gritty” trend: the making of everything into dark and stylistically bleak because it's KEWL. It spread across all forms of entertainment, most prominently comics where EVERY one became a badass anti-hero more vicious than any villain of decades before. In movies, the Matrix was the genesis for most movies copying the formula of disaffected and monotone heroes clad in black blasting the shit out of everything indiscriminately.

The success of Christopher Nolan's Batman films only served to crank this to eleven, as damn near every superhero movie since has tried to copy that formula. This brings us to the latest feature on A Ghoul Versus..., something I'm going to simply call “WTF Happened To Fairy Tales?!”. One of the many trends happening in today's Hollywood has been giving classic fairy tales this same treatment, which I'll concede isn't totally unwarranted given most fairy tales originated with stories that were FAR from happy, but now that ALL OF THEM are aping this concept, it's gotten very annoying.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Ghoul Versus Disney's Sleeping Beauty

Original Vs. Remake Part 1: Disney's Sleeping Beauty vs. Maleficent!”

Disney's Sleeping Beauty is a film that needs no introduction, but here's one anyway. This timeless animated epic was released in 1959, and actually was a financial failure at the time. Boasting a budget of over six million dollars, it failed to even make that back upon release and resulted in Disney posting a LOSS for the fiscal year. Keep in mind this was the 1950s, if you adjusted that number for inflation it'd be like 90 trillion dollars or something. People were fired right and left to the point where Disney didn't attempt another fairy tale based animated film until thirty years later with the insanely successful Little Mermaid.

Critics were fairly harsh on virtually every aspect of the movie, which certainly hurt its box office receipts. It also didn't help the film is incredibly similar to Disney's 1937 film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, both featuring an evil witch whose jealousy of a younger woman causes her to curse her into a deathlike state that is only curable by the kiss of true love. Hell, Snow White and Aurora both even hide out in a cabin with a gang of goofy little people. But, like many great films that missed their mark upon release, Sleeping Beauty eventually carved out its own legacy and now is regarded as one of the greatest animated films of all time. Time to see why this is with the first half of the latest Original Vs. Remake showdown, as it's time for A Ghoul Versus Disney's Sleeping Beauty!