Tagged: movies

Castlevania III: What Was, What Is and What Might Have Been

Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ah, the days gone by. I remember first playing Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse (known in its original Japanese as悪魔城伝説, or Devil’s Castle Legend) on my Nintendo Entertainment System in 1990 and marveling at how the series had grown and changed. I’d been a fan since receiving the original Castlevania as a gift a few years earlier, loving it and hating it at the same time. I loved it because of its themes, its characters, its music and its simple but engaging story, and hated it for being an immense challenge with play control limited enough to cause controller-tossing rage after mistiming a jump for the eight zillionth time. The more RPG-like Simon’s Quest was fun, but didn’t quite hold the same fascination for me as the original. Dracula’s Curse brought that fascination back and raised it a level. Continue reading

Modern Movie Mediums: Why It’s OK That Blockbuster Is Gone

tumblr_mh5dn24RUv1qm91tto1_1280When I was a kid in the early ’80s, home video was still a relatively new invention. I remember getting our first VCR and going to the video rental store – the stores had a huge influence on me and can be blamed or praised for my love of movie posters and decorating aesthetic of plastering every empty surface with movie posters.

My strongest memories are of Yucaipa Center Video, which was next door to the Pizza Chalet. So a good weekend would include a trip to pick up some pizzas and rent a few videos. I still remember when YCV shut down during my senior year of high school – in anticipation of the new Hollywood Video opening across the street (incidentally in the former-bank building that had also formerly been my dad’s law office). There was another video store in town that had $1 rentals on Mondays, and I remember we used to rent the same movies over and over again (especially NEWSIESSHIPWRECKED, and WILD HEARTS CAN’T BE BROKEN). There was also Calimesa Tower Video which was walking distance from my best friends house and I think is now a clothing store. We rented every Pauly Shore movie as it came out. Continue reading

50 Outstanding Movies, Vol. 2011

There are the 50 Best Movies I saw for the first time, or practically the first time, in 2011. There are a few I had technically seen before, but either couldn’t remember them at all, or felt that I experienced them in a new way, so those are still included. Please enjoy. Both the article, and all 50 movies.

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Ambien Review #1: Red Riding Trilogy

A little while ago, I got a prescription for Ambien (more specifically, generic Ambien) to help me sleep. For those not familiar with the drug, it seemingly helps you fall asleep by putting you into a dream-state while you’re still awake. So if you don’t lie down in bed after taking it, and instead remain seated in front of the computer, you will start hallucinating. Which is awesome, but I’ve also found that it can defeat the purpose, because I end up wanting to stay awake, watching words swirl around. Anyway, on one of the days after I had first started taking it, I was looking through the Word doc where I keep track of all the movies I watch, and discovered that I had written a few reviews during one of these states of half-dreaming. This is the first of them, and it’s not my favorite, but I kinda like some of the lines where I’m trying to be clever. As far as relaying a synopsis and my general opinion, it’s pretty much the same as my regular reviews, but it’s with a way goofier sense of humor and a fucking shitload of spelling errors. The line about subtitles at the end was supposed to be sarcastic, by the way, because I turn the subtitles on for every single movie I watch, especially movies in English. Fucking try it before getting so incredulous, it’s totally great.

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Discussing Movies: The Cult of Taste

There are two ways to talk about movies: in absolutes/closed conversation, and in discussion/dialogue. In the first instance, for example, someone says ‘I hate The New Barbarians, it is such a terrible movie’ which closes the conversation. It states the value of the movie as a qualitative absolute – the film is terrible, it is bad, it has no merit and there is no purpose and no value in discussing the movie. There is no room for discussion, no room for dialogue.

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