Archive for the ‘Lists’ Category

Top Five Live Action Fairy-Tales

Posted: March 14, 2017 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in Lists

Written by Daniel Simpson

One of the growing trends in modern cinema is the live-action fairy tale, with Disney currently leading the charge. We’ve already got Cinderella and Maleficent, adaptations like The Little Mermaid and Snow White are on the way, and of course, this Friday sees the release of a live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. Little of this trend has done much for me and I think the aforementioned Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont adaptation coming later this week looks pretty lame. Still, there have been some exciting live-action fairy tales throughout cinema and it’s a good time to take a look at some of the best. Fair warning, I’m taking a pretty broad approach to the term “fairy-tale” that differs pretty hard from the princess-centric image of the fairy-tale that Disney has helped solidify.

 5. The Thief of Bagdad (1940)

Thief_Of_Bagdad_(1940)

Though it is technically only based on the original silent film of the same name, The Thief of Bagdad draws heavily from Arabian Nights. Arabian Nights does of course differ from the standard definition of a fairy-tale (which are usually from Europe), but the texts has been acknowledged as a “fairy-tale” in its own right and The Thief of Bagdad came to inform much of Disney’s Aladdin. The film spots some beautiful colour cinematography, ground-breaking special effects, and brings to life a wonderful adventure. It certainly isn’t the most sophisticated movie and it doesn’t have some of the morals fairy-tales tend to preach, but it’s good fun. (more…)

Top Ten Films of 2016

Posted: February 21, 2017 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in Lists

So as some of you may have noticed, this year I did not opt to do my annual series of awards posts celebrating the best of the year in cinema. There were a few reasons for this, but what it came down to is simply finding the time while also contending with school, work, a social life, and all the other BS that comes with living. Still, that shouldn’t suggest I haven’t been keeping up with the movies all year because I certainly have. The general consensus is that 2016 was a weak year but I don’t really agree with that. Rather, I think it was a weak year for big-budget Hollywood entertainment, but there were plenty of smaller films to adore. I actually had to make some tough cuts for my top ten list, but all told I’m pretty happy with the films I’ve collected here. Let it be known however that I was unfortunately not able to see Silence. Scorsese’s new religious drama has yet to open where I go to school and I doubt I’ll be able to get a crack at it until March. With that of the way, let’s dive in!

10. Knight of Cupsknight-of-cups-poster1

Full review here.

I had a lot of films competing for this final slot but I ultimately decided to go for Terrence Malick’s much maligned newest feature. The film’s divisive status certainly influenced its placement, but more than anything Knight of Cups has proven to be one of the most memorable and unique cinematic experiences I had all year. Eschewing a traditional narrative, the film consists of a series of vignettes following a disillusioned screenwriter (Christian Bale) as he navigates a series of relationships, affairs, events, and family drama. Malick’s films have grown increasingly plotless in recent memory and that reaches something of an apex with Knight of Cups. Despite some heavy levels of abstraction, I do think the film pretty clearly dwells on themes of failed relationships and how the death of a loved one can affect a person later in life. In that sense, the film is very much a continuation of the themes explored in The Tree of Life and To the Wonder, and I suspect these themes are quite personal to Malick (I doubt it’s a coincidence that the main character here is also a Hollywood outsider searching for meaning).

Still, one need not be caught up in trying to decipher what Malick’s intentions are to appreciate the cinematic journey crafted here. The weightless cinematography captures both the beauty of the natural world and that of humanity while Hanan Townshend’s score is absorbing. Individual moments are so well-crafted that one finds themselves completely enthralled even with the plot feeling so distant. Knight of Cups is certainly not a perfect film (it never closes out its protagonist’s arc), but its meditation on trying to find meaning in life still resonates heavily. I for one am intrigued by what yet waits in Malick’s career. (more…)

The Great 2016 Last Minute Round-Up

Posted: February 14, 2017 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in Lists, PG Cooper's Movie Reviews

Written by Daniel Simpson

Before moving on with 2016 in the form of my top ten list, I wanted to take a minute to highlight some of the films I caught with in early 2017. I didn’t think there would be enough demand for them to warrant their own reviews at this point, so I’ve opted to combine a handful of shorter reviews here. So here is my last minute round-up of 2016 films.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

hunt_for_the_wilderpeople_ver3 (more…)

Top 30 Best Non 2016 Films Watched in 2016

Posted: January 10, 2017 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in Lists

Before I begin honouring the best films of 2016 I want to take a moment and look at the best first time watches I had for films not released in 2016. A huge chunk of my time is spent watching older films and they’re just as important to my cinematic education as new releases are. Here are the 30 best first time watches I had in 2016. I hope anyone who’s a fan of anything I listed will share their enthusiasm and I hope that if you haven’t seen some of these films, you give em a chance.

30. The Killers (1946) (Watched May 8th)

the-killers

The Killers is a classic noir which takes a Citizen Kane-esque approach wherein the main character is murdered in the first ten minutes while the rest of the film unravels who the man was and why he was killed. The framing story proves an effective means of telling the story and while the mystery which unravels is a little obvious it nonetheless is interesting. The film is also really well-crafted, the performances work, and generally speaking is a fine example of how to make a film noir.

“If there’s one thing in this world I hate, it’s a double-crossing dame.”

29. Closer (Watched February 9th)

closer

One of the final films from the great Mike Nichols, Closer is a low-key drama which looks at four young people and their various sexual relationships with each other over the course of a few years. The film is based on a play and it does feel it, but that hardly matters when one considers the top-notch performances. Jude Law, Julie Roberts, Natalie Portman, and Clive Owen are all excellent and they’re also given some really killer dialogue to work with. The film does have its issues and I get why it isn’t considered a modern classic, but it’s stirring stuff all the same and well worth a look.

“Lying’s the most fun a girl can have without taking her clothes off – but it’s better if you do.” (more…)

Top 20 Worst Non-2016 Films Viewed in 2016

Posted: January 3, 2017 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in Lists

The start of a new year marks a horde of film critics and bloggers posting their best and worst lists of the year. I’m no exception, but when it comes to 2016, I still have a few titles to scratch off my list before I put anything in writing. I am however ready to look back on all the films I saw in 2016 that were not released in 2016 and am starting things off with the worst first time viewings. I’ll note write from the start that I generally don’t seek out bad movies, but none the less I did find twenty stinkers which earned my scorn.

 20. King’s Row (Watched February 16th)

kings-row

This story of small town melodrama is actually kind of amusing in how over the top it is (not to mention because Ronald Reagan has a lead role), but as a film it’s pretty dumb. This is an extremely basic movie with simplistic characters and morals. The corniness is further enhanced by director Sam Wood, who leans into schmaltz fully. Fairly watchable, but highly laughable. (more…)

Noirvember – Top Five Film Noirs

Posted: November 29, 2016 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in Lists

A lot of film people consider this month “Noirvember”, and use the occasion to celebrate and watch Film Noir. I’m no noir expert, but I certainly have some favourites and that seemed like a perfect way to close out “Noirvember”. I should note that the rankings here are not just based on what films are better or worse, but rather, for the ways in which they embody what it means to be a Film Noir. Also, for the purposes of this list, I’m only considering classic noirs. Modern, neo, or revisionist noirs like Chinatown, Blade Runner, or Sin City don’t count.

5. Touch of Evil

touch-of-evil

Much of noir is dedicated to creating a world which feels bleak and hopeless. I can’t think of any noir that nails this quite like Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil. This isn’t just a world without hope, it’s a full on nightmare where seemingly every goodness in the world is compromised. The film pushes the twisted angles and dark shadows of noir to the extreme and the characters are often bitter and hateful. This is most emphasized in Welles’ Police Captain Quiplan, a hardened bastard who has been made bitter after years of living in a dangerous place. That might sound like clichéd material, but Welles presents the material in such a way that it feels fresh while also being very personal in a sense. (more…)

Top Ten Animated Films

Posted: November 22, 2016 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in Lists

Written by Daniel Simpson

Tomorrow, Disney is putting out an animated adventure film called Moana which is already pulling in great reviews. It isn’t the last animated film of 2016, but it does seem to be the last of a string of above average animated movies to see wide-release in 2016, with others including Disney’s Zootopia, Laika’s Kubo and the Two Strings, and Pixar’s Finding Dory (I haven’t seen that last one, but reviews are strong so I’ll assume it’s at least better than mediocre). To mark the occasion, this week’s list will be celebrating what I consider to be the top ten best animated films ever made. Generally speaking, I’m limiting this list to only one film per director/studio, but I’m making an exception in the case of Studio Ghibli. Simply put, the filmmakers working under Ghibli have distinct enough auteurial styles that it would be unfair for to lump all of these directors under one label.

10. Persepolispersepolis

Of all the films in this list, Persepolis is easily the one I’ve gone the longest without seeing. None the less, I still felt like it needed to be included as its one of the boldest examples of a work of animation made for adults. The fact that the film depicts a fascinating portion of Iran’s history which doesn’t get much representation in cinema alone gives the film a big edge and it also tells a young woman’s compelling coming of age story quite well. The film’s animation has a deliberately two-dimensional look which is interesting and the use of black and white is really striking. On a rewatch, this film might well climb a lot higher. (more…)

Top Eleven Feel Good Movies

Posted: November 15, 2016 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in Lists

It’s been a distressing week. For many, Donald Trump winning the presidency is a clear cut example of hatred winning over love and society going back on progress. Marginalized groups have already seen a wave of discrimination and violence following the election and the legitimization of hateful views. People are afraid and upset, and they have every right to be. Many are reaching out for comforts and for me, those comforts can be as simple as a film that makes you feel better. Rather than just sharing my own “feel good” movies though, I thought it be better to get some other opinions in there. I asked some of my friends to share their own feel good movies and they move them so much. Together, we’ve put together this list. These movies won’t change our current problems, but they do provide comfort, and sometimes that’s necessary to keep on fighting. I encourage anyone who reads this to share their own feel good movies.

1. The Apartmentthe-apartment

Billy Wilder’s The Apartment is my feel good movie, and it’s also a romantic comedy, but the film is no frivolous romp. The central romance occurs between two characters who experience a lot of loneliness, pain, and are riddled with their own insecurities. That might sound depressing, but there’s a warmth to the center. Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine are both intensely lovable characters that you can’t help but root for and the film’s dry wit really turns the film into an enjoyable experience. Most importantly, the catharsis of the film is not a foregone conclusion and that makes it all the more powerful. Happiness in The Apartment, like in real life, is not easy. It takes hard work and it comes with suffering, but it can be achieved, and it’s a beautiful thing when it is. Anyone who has ever felt love for someone else knows that it’s not always easy. Relationships cost, mistakes are made, and feelings inevitably involve some level of heartache. The Apartment is a film that reckons with this, but the overall impression is not despair. Rather, the film inspires a sense of joy and hope. For my part, The Apartment moves me every time I see it. I’m entertained, I’m enlightened, I laugh, shed a tear or two, and leave the film feeling a little bit better about the world.

2. The Boy and the Beastthe-boy-and-the-beast

Written by Angeli Pineda

My go-to movie for when I’m down has always actually been Lilo and Stitch. I’m not kidding when I say I watch it about once a month. But this year, on Thanksgiving weekend, I stumbled upon a movie on Netflix directed by one of my favourite Japanese auteurs; similar to Miyazaki but with a style all his own, Mamoru Hosoda, who has also directed Summer Wars, Wolf Children, Ame and Yuki, and The Girl Who Lept Through Time. In fact, for the first time, I enjoyed this movie enough to watch it three times in three days, it inspired that much feeling in me. The Boy and the Beast builds a fantastical world around a young boy who feels he has no place in the world. One day, he stumbles into a world full of beasts who reject him, asserting that humans carry a darkness in them that animals simply lack. Still, he stays in the world of the Beasts and trains with them. Part of, I think, what makes this such a good feel-good film is that it centres on a young man hoping to find some respite from reality, just as movies do.

The film carries us through a journey with the young boy, Kyuta, and it’s got an entertaining story, but I find that the best part of the film, the thing that gives it all of its re-watchability, is the way that they humanize Kyuta and his Bear-like master, and make them both so personable. Though a bit cheesy at times, I think that all aspects of the film contribute to the charm of their stubbornness and their constant bickering, which if done poorly could make the characters come off as annoying.

Admittedly, the characters are quite flat. But I think that a lot of feel-good movies center on characters who are just that. Like the story, they are indeed charming but above all, they aren’t complex (though the film does have its one fun little twist moment). And this is what makes the film not only so easily digestible but absolutely sweet and heartwarming.

3. Digimon: The Moviedigimon_the_movie

Written by Jordan Dawson

My feel good movie has always been the CRIMINALLY underrated but deserving classic: Digimon: The Movie. Why? Well I have literally no idea why. Maybe it’s the amazing soundtrack, likeable characters, high octane plot, and general nostalgia? I was always one of those hipster kids that said Digimon was better than Pokemon mostly because I just watched Digimon more. I still contest to this day however, that this film is vastly superior to the film of its poke-counterpart, I mean it is good enough that Summer Wars basically ripped off the plot. The film has a hilarious and hard hitting commentary for us Dial-up internet kids (represent!) with Matt and T.K being on their grandma’s shitty old computer trying to stop a worldwide virus threat. Ultimately, you could summarize the entire plot in a sentence or two: a worldwide virus (Digimon) enters the web and begins getting nuclear launch codes for Armageddon (whoa heavy). However, when our loveable and favorite Digi destined heroes jump on the case it becomes apparent that their friendship…is more powerful than any thermonuclear device!

Honestly, the movie just smashes every nostalgia button like its playing Contra and I can’t get enough time and time again. It’s the kind of movie that not meant to be hard hitting, or to some even interesting. It’s not unique and most people would prefer Pokemon but that’s the best part! Everyone can hate on the movie all they like, in the end it’s reserved for those scarce few that really loved the poor man’s Pokemon: Digimon. If you get it, I am glad we can both feel good viewing this masterpiece and if you don’t well, here is a video of the Digirap from the movie. You’re welcome.

4. Donnie Darkodonnie-darko

Written by Adam Mott

The film with which a viewing offers the most solace to myself is without question 2001’s Donnie Darko, directed by Richard Kelly. Perhaps it was the fairly pivotal point in my life in which I watched it that laid the groundwork for feelings like comfort and warmth but every return to the pocket universe which is presented in a stunningly multifaceted detail, satiates my need for said emotions. The fact that the film in question is a thriller which many consider to be “too frightening” to watch due to a plethora of reasons leaves little bearing on me and I honestly couldn’t quite tell you why. It’s safe, the narrative existing in generic small town America with all the trappings inherent in such a place serve to define the nest where the film lives in my mind. To me, Donnie Darko represents Fall, individuality, pain, poignancy, the need to be true to who you are, the want to belong and be loved, as well as the reality that sometimes it just isn’t meant to be. Yes, there is time travel and a giant man in a bunny suit but all around these things is an earnest and vibrant heart that asks the audience, “Who are you? What do you see?” and that question in part is what keeps me coming back. I find it kinda funny, I find it kinda sad.

5. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkabanharry-potter-and-the-prisoner-of-azkaban-movie-poster

Written by Michael Dennos

There were honestly a number of films that came to mind for this, but upon narrowing it down based on the criteria I was given — a movie that leaves you feeling great every time and where the magic of the experience is never lost on you with each repeat viewing — my choice became obvious: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Anybody who knows me well enough also knows that I am a massive Harry Potter fan.  I grew up reading the books and seeing the movies as both sets were released, with my age roughly mirroring that of Harry’s in each of the films as they progressed; I was 11 when they started and 20 when they finished.  So, I feel very connected with the main trio in certain respects.  And if I had to choose one film in the series that, to me, best exemplifies the magic and wonder of JK Rowling’s universe, it would be Azkaban.  What I would label as the BEST Potter film would depend on my mindset at the time and what day of the week you asked me, but I now always flip-flop between Prisoner of Azkaban and Deathly Hallows: Part 1.  Azkaban, though, holds the record for the most times I’ve seen a film in theaters: nine times.  From the very first time I saw it, I fell in love with it.  Like I said, it brilliantly represents everything I adore about the series: an imaginative world full of wonder, whimsy and sometimes danger, compelling and lovable characters whose sense of friendship and family feels fully fleshed out, and much, much more.  Aesthetically and tonally, director Alfonso Cuaron succeeds brilliantly in capturing the tone of the books, to the point where it often feels like the filmmakers cast a spell that took the words on the page and transferred them to the screen in such a way that they formed the images on the screen, story omissions be damned.  Prisoner of Azkaban is also the most fun of the franchise to me.  The humor and such never gets old or stale.  Plus, the film contains what may possibly be my favorite John Williams score ever.  The Harry Potter universe is a world I would live in if I got the chance, and every time I watch Prisoner of Azkaban (which I’m sure is the Potter film I’ve seen the most), it feels like that’s exactly what I’m doing.

6. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemenleague_of_extraordinary_gentlemen

Written by Steven Griffin

When I was a child this film was the best and scariest thing I had ever seen, and watching it today I feel the exact same way if not for different reasons. The film, based on the Alan Moore’s graphic novel, follows a group of characters from famous literary works in 1899 as they globe trot around attempting to stop a terrorist for creating super soldiers and starting a world war. If nothing about that gets you somewhat excited, then you might want to check your pulse. In all honesty, the film is relatively hammy, especially with all the actors playing a caricature of literary icons like Tom Sawyer, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Captain Nemo, a vampire chemist Mina Harker, Dorian Gray and the Invisible Man. It is not all that well executed, the direction is poor, the sets laughable and the effects for Dr. Jekyll which used to scare me as a kid now scare me because of how horrible the VFX’s look. But when the film is on, it’s on. The car chase through Venice, Dorian revealing his motivation as well as his fight with Mina Harker, the Invisible Man and Alan Quartermain (Sean Connery) fighting M (who turns out to be Professor Moriarty from Sherlock) and how can forget the brilliance that is Alan Quartermain staring down a snow tiger in a blizzard. Extraordinarily terrible, but extraordinarily watchable.

7. Mermaidsmermaids

Written by Sydney Urbanek

Of Mermaids, Roger Ebert once wrote that “the material is ‘funny’ instead of funny, and we don’t laugh so much as we squirm with recognition and sympathy.” Set in 1963, Charlotte (Winona Ryder) and her younger sister, Kate (Christina Ricci), have spent their entire lives moving from town to town with their mother, Mrs. Flax (Cher). When the film’s narrative begins, they’ve already moved eighteen times, seemingly whenever Mrs. Flax takes up and breaks up with another man. What’s considered normal to this family would be bizarre to any other, and this is partly why Mermaids is so much fun. Charlotte is a typical Winona Ryder role, by which I mean she’s quirky and doesn’t really fit in. This is somewhat due to her obsession with Catholicism – strange only because the Flax family is Jewish. In her voiceover, she frequently repents of what she thinks to be sinful thoughts about Joe (Michael Schoeffling), the local bus driver and caretaker of the convent up the hill. But the true bane of Charlotte’s high school existence is Mrs. Flax, who, despite being the most fun character in the film, is often stealing Charlotte’s thunder. Always wearing a signature polka-dot dress that she seems to own in multiple colours, she unintentionally (or maybe intentionally) derails parent-teacher night and is a major obstruction to Charlotte’s relationship with Joe. Mermaids is indeed a coming-of-age story and to a lesser extent, an awkward sexual awakening, but it’s also about love, family, and breaking old patterns. It’s technically a period piece too, and features some easy listening music from the 60s as well as one of the biggest historical events of the decade – JFK’s assassination. The film has its stressful bits, but it’s a feel-good watch for anyone who considers their family strange, has a younger sibling they’re obsessed with, or can barely think about certain years of their adolescence without cringing.

8. My Neighbor Totoromy_neighbor_totoro

Written by Brooke Spencer

My automatic go-to “feel good” movie would be My Neighbour Totoro (1988). My Neighbour Totoro is a Japanese animated film directed and written by the well-known Hayao Miyazaki. It tells the story of two young sisters (Satsuki and Mei) who run in to some friendly forest sprits and interact with them when they move to the country side in Japan. This my favourite “feel good” film because the movie never stops depicting joy and happiness. It shows the perspective and imagination of a child’s mind that is timeless, as well as precious to those who don’t have it anymore. This film depicts the relationship of two siblings perfectly and their bond/love for each other. Having a young sister of my own and watching her grow up, I feel as though I was responsible for her just like Satsuki felt for Mei and there is a definite unconditional love shown between the two girls. When I first watched this film, my initial thoughts were that I loved the animation, the memorable music and the adorable forests spirits. But as I got older, this movie also brought to my attention that there is so much more to this than looks and sounds (although they still hold up great). This movie to me has no flaws. It is an endless bundle of joy that keeps giving and brings back great nostalgic memories (especially of my sister and I). This film for me will never get old and I will continue to watch it when in need of a pick-me-up.

9. The Naked Gunthe-naked-gun-poster

Written by Myles Brett (HT Schuyler)

When it comes to feel good movies nothing elevates my mood and puts a smile on my face faster than The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!. The 1988 Leslie Nielsen starring comedy classic has been a favourite in my family for as long as I can remember. The film fires jokes and gags at you from all cylinders and never stops to take a break, making it to this day one of the funniest and most entertaining films of all time. Unlike most comedies these days this movie’s strength lies in the fact that everyone is playing their characters completely straight. Leslie Nielsen is phenomenal as the stern, no nonsense Frank Drebin, with all the comedy coming from his serious demeanor, making the comedic situations that much funnier. Despite Airplane! (another feel good classic) Nielsen was mainly known for playing serious and dramatic roles, with this film really emphasizing his talents as an actor, making him a household name in comedy.

There have been times when I’ve been in a bad mood, miserable, upset, etc, and I’ll toss this movie or one of its hilarious sequels or even the original TV show Police Squad! on and by the time it’s over I’ll honestly feel better. I’ve seen this movie more times than any other movie, and it still makes me laugh. The jokes still feel fresh, the film is still entertaining and it holds up 100%. I will never get tired of this movie, and it will always make me feel better. Sure it won’t solve all my problems or fix everything, but after an hour and a half of constant laughs it will elevate my mood, and help me realize that at the end of the day the world didn’t come to an end.

Want to hear me talk about The Naked Gun films more? You can listen to a whole Podcast episode with Daniel and I talking the films at length. Guaranteed to elevate your mood!

10. Raiders of the Lost Arkraiders-of-the-lost-ark

Written by Nate Peck

Raiders of the Lost Ark is the ideal choice for a comfort movie. Why? Action, adventure, comedy, romance, it manages to encompass all wants in a film, while being utterly brilliant the entire time. Steven Spielberg’s direction is pin point perfect, creating a sense of fun that holds up, 35 years later. Spielberg’s change of setting, whether it be classroom or some mysterious cave, make it as if you’re right there with Indiana Jones. Furthermore, the character of Indiana Jones is nothing but enjoyable. Jones oozes cool, his charisma constantly engages and demands viewership. His quest to find the Ark, and stop evil is simple, yet everyone can identify with the want to stop evil, and save history. Raiders of the Lost Ark is the perfect movie to sit back on a weekend, push popcorn in your face and follow along with Indy on his journey. It’s one worth going on every time.

11. Ratatouilleratatouille

Written by Alex Sundaresan

Among Pixar’s list of offerings, I found Ratatouille to be within the echelon of its greatest, having a palette of diverse colours and characters almost as scrumptious as the rendering on all of the food shown in the movie. There are several examples in Pixar’s filmography of movies that talk down to their audience, but Ratatouille is not among them. It’s themes of great things coming from small and humble beginnings is something that can easily resonate with everyone and I found it oddly touching that all of the characters, even the villainous ones, are united by a love and passion for food. The voice cast is excellent, especially Patton Oswalt as Remy and Peter O’Toole as Anton Ego. I found the latter in particular worth writing about because his review of Remy’s food, which concludes the movie, spoke to me as a writer and as a reviewer and critic. Even the romantic arc–which usually nauseates me in movies–I thought was done effectively and in a way that served both of the characters well.

Ultimately, I think Ratatouille is my top pick among feel good movies. I always feel inspired to create something whenever I finish watching it: And I think arts capacity to inspire creativity in its consumers is the highest argument for any art form, whether it’s in food, film or writing.

Ratatouille speaks to lovers of all three.

 

Top Five Horror Sequels

Posted: October 31, 2016 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in Lists

A few days ago, I watched Ouija: Origin of Evil, a prequel to Ouija, which ended on a post-credits stinger that teased further follow-ups. We also already have three Insidious movies, two Sinisters, two Conjurings, a spin-off called Annabelle, and a bunch of Paranormal Activity movies. Clearly, there is a lot of sequelization going on with horror films, which is distressing when you consider most horror sequels suck. There are however some exceptions and with today being Halloween, it seemed appropriate to celebrate five best horror sequels ever made.

5. 28 Weeks Latertwenty_eight_weeks_later

Making a sequel to Danny Boyle’s well-regarded zombie movie 28 Days Later would not seem very intuitive given that film’s highly specific style and ending, but director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s follow-up proved more than worthy. The filmmaking on display is still sharp and the use of real film as opposed to digital is also a welcome change. The film opens like gangbusters with a really awesome chase sequence and the rest of the chaos which ensues is also well-rendered. The film also serves as a solid little analogy for the military mismanagement of the Iraq war. Great final shot too. (more…)

Five Dystopias to Expect if Donald Trump is Elected President

Posted: October 25, 2016 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in Lists

We’re near the end of the Presidential race and America is dangerously close to electing a hate-mongering, prejudiced cry baby with no political experience to their highest office. As you can probably guess, I’m no fan of Donald Trump. Donald has proven himself to be a hateful monster completely unfit for office time and time again. For all his failings though, I do think he represents a serious threat to the world. To illustrate that, I’ve chosen five dystopias that I think are likely possibilities if this pathetic pile of human filth takes power.

5. Fascist Government, V for Vendettav-for-vendetta-adam-susan

The governmental structure in Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s iconic graphic novel V for Vendetta is highly similar to how I imagine a Donald Trump presidency might look. The fascist government which enforces law with iron rule, silences media that questions policy, and strives for purity by eliminating non-whites, the LGBTQ community, and anyone with a disability definitely speaks to the hateful rhetoric that has defined Donald and his campaign. Additionally, it’s worth noting that the fascist leader in V for Vendetta, Adam Susan, is described as being a self-obsessed crazy person unable to make reasonable connections to other human beings. While his personality may differ from Donald in other ways, those traits are strikingly similar. (more…)