Sunday, March 29, 2015

Bullet


Frank Marasco (Danny Trejo), better known as Bullet, has earned his title as one of the most badass cops on the Los Angeles city beat. Unafraid to go undercover and get his hand dirty, Bullet has only ever had one goal: make the city a safer place for families like his. In the early years, Bullet could have done a lot better. Struggling with drug addiction, Frank was never around for his growing daughters but he is striving to make that right now. He does his best to support his youngest daughter, who is also overcoming a drug abuse problem, and he spends as much time as he can with his eldest daughter and her young son Mario. Bullet is totally in love with his grandson Mario (Kyle Villalovos), who idolizes him because he's a cop. And now that Bullet is on the verge of retiring so he can spend even more time with his beloved family. But an unseen evil is going to roughly rip him out of his dream retirement.

I wouldn't want to be on Bullet's bad side, that's for sure!

Manual Kane (Eric Etebari) is the son of notorious crime lord Carlito Kane, and is on the verge of being executed after his short stay on death row. Well, Carlito (Johnathan Banks) doesn't want to see his beloved son put to death so he decides that he's going to twist some arms to get what he wants. Manual first kidnaps the mayor's daughter and then calls the mayor with his demands. Carlito has a score he's looking to settle with Bullet, so Carlito demands that the mayor send him Bullet to hand deliver his son to him and then he'll let the mayor's daughter go free. When the mayor approaches Bullet, he is extremely resistant. Put someone else on the case, he's getting tired of this junk! But while out at the playground, Bullet turns his back for a second and Mario goes missing! No!!! Carlito has Mario!!! Now Bullet has no choice, he must trade Manual Kane for Mario and the mayor's daughter before time runs out. But maybe Bullet can turn the tables and take down Carlito in the mean time!

You got this...right Bullet?

Danny Trejo, once more, wins again in this low budget but KILLER action movie!! Always playing the tough-looking good guy with super strength and a nice car, Danny Trejo has once more slid into a role that fits him like a glove. That being said, this movie is cheesy. It's got good one-liners and some intense action scenes, explosions and gun fights... I really couldn't ask for more from a Danny Trejo movie! Fans of decent action and Danny Trejo will be overjoyed with this movie - another excellent find on Netflix!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Devil's Knot


When I first heard about the West Memphis Three, I was in high school and dating a boy who was really into showing me different songs he loved. One of his favorite bands was The Misfits and anything associated with the band members, which included side projects. One day he showed me a song by former Misfits front man Michale Graves called 'Butchershop' and he told me that the song was inspired by the West Memphis Three. I didn't know what that was and he just gave me a brief overview: "Some guys who were falsely accused of murder because they wore black and loved heavy metal music are still sitting on death row". I got curious and did some research...and I became fascinated by this case! I checked the West Memphis Three  website religiously, I ordered books so I could read more about how the trial and accusations went down, I watched the documentaries, I donated some money to the fund... yeah, I was a little obsessed. And finally seeing that this story was going to be made into a Hollywood movie...my inner high school girl screamed with happiness!!

Michale Graves' "Butchershop" - the song that started it all for me!

Once there were three little boys named Stevie, Christopher, and Michael. These boys grew up together in the small town of West Memphis, Arkansas. They to the same school, were in the same Cub Scouts troop, and played together all the time. One night, little Stevie (Jet Jurgensmeyer) and Christopher (Brandon Spink) went to go meet Michael (Paul Boardman Jr.) at the woods near their homes in Robin Hood Hills to ride their bikes. Stevie was given strict instructions by his mom Pam (Reese Witherspoon) to come home before she left for work...but 5'o'clock came and went, and Stevie didn't come home. And neither did Michael or Christopher.

Where, oh where, have those little boys gone?

The night wore on and there was still no sign of any of the boys. Neighbors and families took to the woods and searched all night but still came up with no trace of them. Days passed, the entire town nearly shut down due to the search when a few days later the boys are discovered. But it was far from a moment of celebration. While dragging the riverbed, one of the police officers unearthed the body of one of the eight-year-old boys. His hands and feet were bound together behind his back, he was stripped naked and bruised, and his genitals were mutilated. After a little more searching, the officer uncovered the bodies of the other two boys also buried in the riverbed. Such a horrific and disturbing find, and such an inconsolably painful blow to the families of the young boys and their entire community. What kind of monster could have done something so wretched to these sweet children?

No parent should have to bury their child...

In a mere matter of days, the West Memphis law enforcement found the murderers responsible for the despicable murder of Stevie, Christopher, and Michael; and the community rejoiced! Based on the testimony of a kid who overheard them bragging about this crime teenagers Damien Echols (James Hamrick), Jason Baldwin (Seth Meriwether), and Jesse Misskelley (Kristopher Higgins) were taken into custody. Everyone in West Memphis felt relief, justice shall finally be served and these teens are going to pay for what they've done! But as a case starts up and the courtrooms are packed with people wanting to get a glimpse of how these three young men are going to be tried...something doesn't seem right. For example, all these young men have alibis that hold up, none of them have ever seen or heard of these three young victims...nothing seems to be tying them to the case. What's going on here?

Are Jason, Damien, and Jesse REALLY the murderers? 

Private investigator Ron Lax (Colin Firth) has, like everyone else in Arkansas, been faithfully following the progression of the murder trial and he is repulsed by the proceedings. In his eyes, just because three boys were found dead doesn't mean they need to add three more to the body count. And while Ron is not actually on the case, he decides to lean in and offer a hand when he can. And what he is uncovering is disturbing. There is not a single shred of physical evidence that links Damien, Jason, or Jesse to the murders - aside from that random kid's testimony and a few other heavily doctored confession tapes, there is nothing that can pin the murders on them! So what does the prosecution have? A list of Jason and Damien's favorite heavy metal CDs, the fact that these three teens tend to exclusively wear black clothes, and journals taken from Damien's room expressing interest in the occult. This isn't a trial, this is a witch hunt! But can the prosecution be brought to reason before these three teenagers are sent to rot away on death row?

Time is not on their side...is anything on their side? 

Based on the true story of the West Memphis Three, it was a thrill to finally see this movie...but I will admit that I am disappointed. Because I have read Mara Leveritt's book Devil's Knot, which a factually extensive telling of the entire trial proceeding with just a touch of bias towards the falsely accused teenagers, I was really hoping for the movie to be told from the point of view of the accused boys. Granted, I did feel like the actors who played the parents of the murdered children were very well cast... not enough time was spend on Damien, Jason, or Jesse - sure, it could add a very biased tone to the movie but we don't know much about what struggles they're going through in this movie. So I'm torn. I'm torn between wanting to love this movie because it exists, and hating the movie because it spends so little time focusing on the falsely accused West Memphis Three whom I actually wanted to see more of. So I'm not sure. The movie is well done, it's paced well, they did leave some factors out...but I understand that some fat had to be trimmed considering how much meat the writers had to sift through. If you have followed the case at all, or shown any interest I would recommend checking out this movie just so I can hear back from you about what you think! Otherwise, this is yet another "good, but not great" movie.

The movie isn't perfect, but the book definitely is! It goes super 
in depth with everything that happened in the case - I recommend it!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Lunchbox


Every once in a while, a friend comes into your life who truly goes about and beyond to do special things for you. I always mention my blogger buddy Psycholiloquy and how we're always watching all these movies together and how I get awesome movie suggestions from him too. Well, what you don't know is that Psycholiloquy is also a major supplier in a growing portion of my movie collection. Basically every single holiday, I can expect a package that is overflowing with DVDs. Some are from my Amazon wishlist. But the ones that always surprise me most are the DVDs that he sends me based on his impression that I will love them. And The Lunchbox is one of them. After I told
 Psycholiloquy that I love foodie movies, he had me watch The Hundred-Foot Journey which I fell completely in love with. And from there he told me about this Indian foodie movie he thought that I would like...and this is that movie.

Here we have a small sampling of the movies that he has sent me
over the past 6 months - movie buddies for life!

In the city of Mumbai, India there is a woman named Ila. Ila (Nimrat Kaur) is the mother of a young daughter and a wife to a distant husband who works long hours. Like many faithful wives across the city, everyday Ila prepares a lunch that is picked up at her home and delivered fresh to her husband's office. This is nothing out of the ordinary, many women do it for their husbands and many restaurants are paid to deliver lunches to single men who sign up for the service. But one afternoon something weird happens. Ila sends out the lunchbox and within hours it is returned back to her home. Her first sign that something strange was afoot is that she finds the tins within the lunchbox completely empty - like they'd been licked clean! Ila's husband has never done that before, but then again maybe he was just really hungry. Her husband comes home that night and she asks him how he enjoyed his lunch...to which he says that he loved it, especially the cauliflower. But Ila didn't make cauliflower...where did the lunchbox really go that day?

So many questions...

The following day Ila prepares a new lunch that gets picked up and dropped off as usual, but today she adds something special: a little note apologizing for the extra spiciness in the foot. Whoever is really getting her lunchbox has to reply, right? Then she'll have proof that something got mixed up with the lunch delivery system! And sure enough, Ila gets a note back that says the food wasn't too spicy. Well now Ila is curious...who is this mystery diner receiving her lunches? And that is when the note exchanging begins.

"Dear Ila..."

Weeks go by and Ila learns more and more about the mystery man who loves her cooking so much. His name is Saajan (Irrfan Khan) and he has been working as an accountant for many years. Saajan is actually on the verge of retiring and his replacement - an annoyingly eager man named Shaikh (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) - is raring to learn the details of Saajan's job. Before Saajan started receiving Ila's lunches, his life was dull and monotonous - every day he went to work, every day he came home to his empty house where he divided his time between watching television and smoking cigarettes on the back porch. He has no children and his wife has long since passed away - Saajan has no joy in his life. But now he has Ila. Together they exchange notes about their lives, Saajan writes about his love for Ila's cooking  and about memories from his younger years, while Ila reveals her sadness over her unsatisfying marriage. Saajan and Ila form a bond, a friendship...but are they getting lost in a fantasy?

Saajan is smiling again!

It is wonderful to finally have a companion, someone to speak openly with about their fears, doubts, and dreams...but these two strangers are getting in over their heads. Ila dares to dream of a life away from Mumbai and her neglectful husband..a life where maybe Saajan could be at her side. But Ila is young, and Saajan is well passed the prime of his life. She could never start a life over with him, she has a daughter and a husband! Ila has her whole life and marriage ahead of her, Saajan can't give her false hope. But then..there's always the timeless question of "what if"? What if it could work? What if Ila and Saajan could being again? What if?

Maybe it's a better idea to just leave these fantasies in the past. 
Or maybe it's a better idea to do something about them...

This movie is beautifully sweet! Something I don't think enough foodie movies are credited with is the deep sense of love that comes across in them, especially with a movie like this. Two strangers happen to meet but they only know the most basic of details about each other...but their hearts still connect. Almost like a Mumbai-based You've Got Mail but centered around food instead of the Internet. My one complaint about this movie though is the lack of subtitles. The characters in this movie flip flop between speaking English and Hindi and while there are subtitles for the Hindi parts, the rest of the movie isn't subtitled and because of their thick accents I had the hardest time figuring out what the characters were saying. I know, bad me for not being more culturally open but that's why I love my subtitles - I don't miss a word that way! Overall, I highly recommend this movie for those who love foreign romance and foodie movies - delicious, elegant, and enchanting!

I am totally in love - another great pick!

Dear readers, today is a very important day in the CineBlog's life. Today, this blog turns 5 years old!! HAPPY 5TH BIRTHDAY CINEBLOG!!!! It's so hard to believe that a little over 5 years ago today I was sitting on my bedroom floor watching Julie and Julia when I decided that I should also start a blog. It was intimidating and weird thinking that I reigned supreme over this tiny corner of the Internet where I wanted nothing more than to write about movies. Since then, I've started and deleted several other blogs that had to do with relationships and general writing...but I have no remorse because CineBlog has always been my baby. When I started this venture I was in the mindset that I was going to start off small and then be making money within a few years, which obviously hasn't happened. But what has happened is that my mindset has changed. I just love movies, and I love telling you readers about movies. I blog because it makes me happy, and that is the thought that will hopefully fuel my fire for the next 5+ years to come.

Thank you so much for your unending love, support, comments, and feedback! I love that so many of you follow me on my TumblrFacebookTwitter, and Instagram and are always suggesting movies to me and telling me your personal memories with the movies I review. Besides food, I feel like the one thing everyone can agree on is liking movies and I love that this little community has built itself before me and that I have made so many incredible friends because of it. Once more, thank you again for your support darling readers. You are all amazing! And here's to another amazing 5 years!

Happy 5th Birthday CineBlog! You've matured so well!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Priceless


I know I've mentioned many times that when I was about 10 years old our family had gotten cable television for the first time. Alongside the cable, we also had a free trial of HBO that rarely got used, but I managed to discover some of my favorite movies while surfing through that channel - movies like Pulp FictionDeep Blue SeaLake Placid, and My First Mister. During that time I watched the end half of a movie called He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not - a French movie about a young woman who becomes obsessed with a married man - this was my first introduction to French movies, and while I do hold that movie in a special place in my heart what really stuck with me was the main actress: Audrey Tautou. I became mildly obsessed and wanted to see more of her movies when I first got my Netflix account...which was how I initially stumbled on this movie in all its cheeky glory.

Some say that you can't get ahead in this world by having good looks alone...well that might apply to most people, but it definitely doesn't apply to Irene. Irene (Audrey Tautou) has no home, no job, and nothing to her name except the clothes on her back but she still manages to thrive. How? Simple. She prowls around the finest hotels and banquets and restaurants in France and locks eyes with an obviously wealthy, single gentleman. Irene then uses every weapon at her disposal - her large brown eyes, her charming smile, her scantily clad body - all to woo the man into dating her and spoiling her with luxurious gifts. Because of this, Irene is able to sleep in the finest hotels and dine in the most expensive restaurants and wear terrifyingly expensive clothes. And when the man grows tired of her, or she of him, she hops along to the next one! Such a simple life!

What Irene wants, Irene gets!

One evening, Irene is spending her birthday with yet another suitor in another luxury hotel. Dressed to impress, Irene is looking forward to an extravagant night of dinner and drinks...but being that her latest gentleman is quite a bit older than her, he falls asleep right before they're supposed to leave. Perfect. Now Irene is alone for her birthday, so she heads down to the hotel bar to maybe have a little fun of her own. The bar is empty that night except for one very handsome gentleman who is asleep in an armchair. Irene wakes him up and together the two spend the evening drinking and flirting so Irene's birthday wasn't a total bust! But the happiness ends here because it turns out that Irene's suitor woke up shortly after she left...and he saw her at the bar with this other guy! Oh no! Now Irene has to hurry up and find a new guy to crash with....or maybe she's already found him.

Happy birthday indeed!

So this midnight mystery man of Irene's? His name is Jean (Gad Elmaleh), but he's not the wealthy bachelor that circumstances pegged him for. Jean is actually an employee of the ritzy motel,which explains his fancy attire and his eagerness to wait on Irene. After their drunken night in the hotel bar, Jean snuck Irene into one of the hotel's large suits for some adult fun but she left while he was still asleep. But Irene comes back to the suite with all of her things assuming that Jean will take her in and become her newest sugar daddy...but Jean's facade is ripped away when a family checks into the hotel room where Jean and Irene are both laying naked in bed! Irene is disgusted and flees, leaving Jean feeling disoriented...she may have just wanted him for his imaginary money, but he wanted Irene for...well, Irene.

Jean goes to Irene and offers to be her suitor...but after maxing out every single bank account and credit card he owns,  it's clear that Irene is too expensive for him. And so she moves on, but Jean ends up getting snatched up by a middle-aged woman who is looking to act as sugar mama for a handsome young man - and now Jean gets an insight into Irene's world. He is bought expensive clothes and nice watches...even a scooter! Irene and Jean come together and start bonding over this shared experience between the two of them, and Irene even gives Jean some helpful tips that will get him even more spoils...but Jean still wants Irene. That has never stopped. But will Irene ever come to terms with the fact that love and money are not the same thing, that maybe what Jean can offer her will be a billion times better than any dress or handbag? Maybe. Maybe there is a chance for love.

Some things, money just can't buy. 

I first saw this movie a couple of years ago on Netflix and I recently found it at a thrift store when I was going on another movie buying binge. What can I say, Audrey Tautou is an absolute goddess and I love her performance in any movie she stars in! She is frail and delicate but sharp and sassy, and this romantic comedy completely lets those traits of her shine like a diamond! I don't know how the English translation of this movie is, but I do highly recommend this movie for all fans of rom-coms. And thanks to the wonders of the DVD and bluray, everyone can enjoy foreign film in their own language! Now I just need to get my hands on even more of her movies... I think my obsession is starting to blossom again.

Time to break out some more Audrey!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Country Strong


Kelly Canter (Gwyneth Paltrow) was once the biggest name in modern day country music. She had hit single after hit single, her albums sold out millions of copies around the world, and she was loved and adored by millions of fans..but that all changed. Caught up in the throes of fame and super stardom, Kelly turned to alcohol to keep her moving and to keep her pep up. Sure, a cocktail with dinner was fine..but then her addiction evolved until she was going out on stage every night and performing for thousands of people while heavily intoxicated. Kelly was a mess...but she didn't see that until the night of the accident. While stumbling around the stage during a show in Dallas, Texas one night Kelly fell off the stage and crashed to the ground below. This would have just been seen as a mild embarrassment...if she hadn't been several months pregnant with her first child.

Oh, how the mighty do fall...

Kelly lost the baby, but she realized she needed help. And so she was immediately checked into a remote live-in rehab center where she was slowly being treated for her alcoholism. Rehab is never fun for anyone, but Kelly became friends with a young man that worked at the center named Beau. Beau (Garrett Hedlund) is a big fan of Kelly's music and aspires to be a big time country western singer himself one day, so naturally the two bond over music and spend long hours playing guitar and singing in Kelly's room during the day. Kelly finally seems to be on the right path, like she's going to get her life together again. And the James comes knocking.

Maybe Kelly and sobriety will become friends after all!

James Canter (Tim McGraw) is Kelly's husband, as well as her manager, and he's decided that Kelly has had enough rehabilitating. With a big comeback tour already scheduled for 3 major cities in Texas, James wants to see Kelly back on that stage and performing. But Beau knows better - Kelly is nowhere near ready and going back on the road is only going to shock her back into her old ways. But James is strong headed and Kelly doesn't want to disappoint. Kelly's only stipulation for leaving? Beau gets to come on the tour with her and open the show. But this is going to add for a very awkward working environment since Beau is harboring an intense love for Kelly and James is lividly suspicious of something going on between Beau and Kelly. And finally, rounding out Kelly's comeback tour is a friend of Beau's named Chiles Stanton. Chiles (Leighton Meester) sings in the same bar that Beau does on weekends and after watching them perform together, James offers Chiles a spot on the line up which she excitedly takes. And with that, the tour is underway.

Husband knows best...right?

On the first night back, everyone is excited! Chiles and Beau perform successfully to a screaming stadium and both are elated at their first taste of fame...but Kelly isn't doing so well. After receiving an alarming package from an angry fan in her dressing room, Kelly is deeply rattled...and when it's finally time for her to go on stage she cracks. She can't sing, she can't think straight, and so the curtain is dropped early. Beau is worried and doesn't want to see Kelly relapse but every time he tries to lend a hand, James jumps in and pushes Beau away. Which actually turns out quite well for Chiles, who has a crush on Beau and wants to see their relationship progress past them just singing on the same tour together. But Beau is hung up on Kelly, Chiles is hung up on Beau, James is hung up on making money, and the whole time Kelly is finding it harder and harder to get a grip on the spotlight. But maybe she'll be okay. Maybe she'll have a breakthrough moment and realize that she loves what she does and that her life is worth living sober. Or maybe not.

You've got this Kelly!

Being a big fan of Western movies, country music, and country western movies I was really excited about seeing this movie when it first came out. I've never been too keen on Gwyneth Paltrow but I grew up listening to Tim McGraw and that's reason enough for me to check him out on the silver screen. But while I was expecting some kind of romantic drama about life as a super star interlaced with country music... I didn't get that. Not really. Instead of a lighthearted romp through the trials and tribulations of life in the spotlight, I was met with a really intense movie about alcoholism and failing/forbidden love...this movie was really heavy! Don't get me wrong, it's still really good and I feel like with a few more watches I'll really warm up to it...but until then I was freaked out by the overwhelming sadness and helplessness found in this movie. Sure, there are a couple bright shining moments. But for every moment of happiness in this movie, there is a moment of crushing sadness. I do recommend checking out this movie if it did pique your interests, just to see what you think of it. And the music is really good. Give it a shot, you never know!

It's not bad, I think Country Strong just needs some warming up to. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Cecil B. Demented


John Waters is such a fascinating creature to me. He is a filmmaker who has birthed cutesy creations such as the original Hairspray and the cult classic Cry-Baby, but then he has this other side that is just oozing sleaze and slime, grit and grime. And THAT is the side I am both intrigued and scared by. My first introduction to the sleazier Waters movies was with A Dirty Shame and wow! That was no ease into the sleaze, that was a full-on dunk! But the blatant sexuality, morally questionable antics, and intentionally bad acting - all of this combined together made this deliciously racy movie that I couldn't tear my eyes from! And because of this, I've had an itch to scratch. I've needed more Waters movies! And lo and behold, at the urging of one of Zorch Radio's most faithful listeners, I dug this movie out of the Netflix archives and fell in love.

Honey Whitlock (Melanie Griffith) was once one of the greatest actresses in Hollywood, but in recent years her career has taken a dive. Yes, she stars in box office movies that draw in millions of dollars and thousands of movie-goers....but what is exciting about a career that consists of performing in watered-down Hollywood drivel? And its obvious that Honey is no longer happy with her own career, even though she pretends to be. Tonight, Honey is making an appearance at a benefit screening of her latest film at a small theater in Baltimore, Maryland and she's in her usual grumpy mood. And just as Honey takes the stage to graciously present a donation to be made to heart disease research...a greasy platinum blond creep jumps out of the crowd screaming "I AM CECIL B. DEMENTED AND THIS IS A KIDNAPPING!!" and that is when the first shots are fired.

Do what he says Honey, or your pathetic career/life are both over!

Cecil B. Demented (Stephe Dorff) is an indie film director and a total lunatic. Famous for his wildly bizarre films, Cecil has a new vision and for it he wants to remove Honey Whitlock from Hollywood stardom and stick her in the underground spotlight where she truly belongs. Alongside his team of indie film enthusiasts, Cecil successfully kidnaps Honey and steals her away to an abandoned warehouse that serves as the mothership of Cecil's creepy movie-making antics. Honey is totally appalled - this people are genuine freaks! Cecil's leading man Lyle (Adrian Grenier) is taking every kind of drug and doing anything to gain some kind of high - sniffing gasoline is included, make-up artist Raven (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is devout and vocal in her love for Satan, hair stylist Rodney (Jack Noseworthy) is ashamed of his heterosexuality...they're a bizarre crew. And together they are going to live and die by Cecil's latest movie making escapade. And this is literal.

"Yes Cecil, you are the prophet against profit!"

Honey's look is completely changed against her will and she is starring as the mother in a film boasting about the evils of mainstream Hollywood and preaching the glory of underground film. Honey laughs - this movie is stupid! She doesn't want to be part of this! But what choice does she have? She can't escape or she'll be shot...so she has to act her way through this nightmare. But the more time she spends with these weirdos and all the support they show Honey starts to wear on her...maybe this is the world she really belongs in. Making movies is suddenly fun again - and now she can't imagine being anywhere else. But now Honey has to see if the world is going to accept her decision or fight her on coming back into the spotlight! War is being waged in Baltimore, and it's war cry is "DEMENTED FOREVER!!"

This is the life for Honey Whitlock!!

THIS MOVIE ROCKS!!! And it was everything I could have hoped for! Cecil B. Demented is outrageously hilarious and inappropriate. The action is intense, the comedy is uproarious and filthy, the characters are out-of-this-world weird, and the one-liners are brilliant! "STAY CELIBATE FOR CELLULOID!!" "WE ARE THE ULTIMATE BAD REVIEW!!" "Hey MPAA, how many movies did you censor today?" So brilliant and so John Waters!! If you're looking for an action-comedy and don't mind some inappropriate antics, or are a fan of movies that tear down mainstream cinema - check out this madness! It's worth the watch, and it's on Netflix!

THURSDAY NIGHT IS THE BEST NIGHT TO TUNE IN TO REAL PUNK RADIO!! Home to the Thursday Night Wrecking Pit, Real Punk Radio is your Thursday night destination for the best in Psychobilly radio programming. Starting tonight at 6pm PT Gone Mental will be kicking off the evening, and then at 7pm PT Zorch Radio takes over the reigns and rides out the evening til 10pm with the best in Psychotronic rock n' roll. Make sure to tune in to the Thursday Night Wrecking Pit tonight, where I will be talking about my experience with Cecil B. Demented during the Trash-Tastic Minute on Zorch Radio. So make sure to tune in to Real Punk Radio tonight!

Psychotronic radio every Thursday night!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles


Neal Page (Steve Martin) is ready for his vacation! After spending several grueling days on business in New York, the Thanksgiving weekend is almost here and Neal couldn't be more excited to head home and spend the holiday with his family in Chicago. He even took off 2 extra days before Thanksgiving so he would have plenty of travel time. But that is the only stroke of good luck that Neal is going to have today. Right from the get-go, Neal loses his cab to some jerk (played by Kevin Bacon) and he is nearly run over by another! Great. But he finally catches one and speeds toward the airport where he boards his flight to Chicago without another hitch. Well, almost.

Poor Neal, nothing is ever simple around the holidays

It turns out that Neal somehow was charged for a first class ticket, but was given a coach ticket...so now he has to deign to sit in the cabin of loud strangers and no leg room. But worse than this is the man that Neal ends up sitting with. Del Griffith (John Candy) is the last man Neal wanted to see - he's another one of the jerks who stole a cab he flagged down from earlier! But maybe Neal can put aside those initial feelings of anger and get to know Del. Who knows, maybe Del is a really sweet guy! Well...unluckily for Neal, that ends up being far from true. It's not that Del is a bad guy, he's just loud and a little annoying and he kind of grates on Neal's nerves. But oh well, it's just one flight and after a few hours he'll never have to see Neal again. Or so he'd hoped.

You'll be seeing this face much sooner than you expected!

The snow in Chicago is so thick that Neal's flight ends up being rerouted all the way to Wichita, Kansas! Great! Now all flights into Chicago are cancelled! So Neal has to find another way to get there...but until then he needs to find a place to stay the night. And sure enough, here comes Del who is more than happy to offer Neal a bed in a hotel room..which they end up sharing together. Oh joy. But Neal is willing to put up with it if it gets him closer to home, and the next day is full of promise! Since air travel is out of the question, Neal's next fastest means of transportation is to take train. Surely nothing bad will happen there, well, minus the fact that Del is following him to the train station. The two get tickets and climb aboard, next stop Chicago! And then their train catches on fire. Seriously. 

Okay. So planes are no longer an option, trains are out of the picture as well. And Neal can no longer stomach the thought of being tied to Del for another second, so he brutally tells Del that there is just no way for the two of them to have any luck getting back to Chicago together. Ouch. But Neal is on a mission and doesn't think twice about Del's feelings. Now the only option that Neal has next is to rent a car, which should have worked out perfectly if the rental company hadn't already rented out the car they gave him and then abandoned him in the parking lot! But right when Neal can see no light at the end of this tunnel....his obnoxious guardian angel Del appears and offers him  a ride in his rental car. Which Neal does take. And so they continue onward to Chicago...and hopefully leave the last of their missteps behind them. Maybe...

One way or another, they are getting home!!

I have never seen this movie before in my life, although I did once own a VHS copy of it that I never got around to watching before I decided to ship it off to a thrift shop. What was I thinking?! This movie is a zany, hilarious thrill ride like only that that Steve Martin can deliver. John Candy is the perfect amount of lovable and over-bearing while Steve Martin is totally snarky and enraged the entire movie - the tension and ridiculousness of everything these two endure together is priceless and I was practically in stitches laughing! In a way, this movie reminded me a lot of Due Date which starred Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis - I seriously wonder if Planes, Trains, and Automobiles was the inspiration behind Due Date. But regardless of who inspired what, this movie is an incredible 80s comedy that will leave you gasping for breathe and I cannot recommend it highly enough!