Sunday, October 24, 2010

1st Annual 31 HORRORble Halloween Films In 31 Days: Part 3

11. October 11, 2010- Friday the 13th part II

12. October 12, 2010- Friday the 13th part III 3-D

13. October 13, 2010- Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

14. October 14, 2010- Friday the 13th part V: A New Beginning

15. October 15, 2010- Friday the 13th part VI: Jason Lives

16. October 16, 2010- Friday the 13th part VII: The New Blood

17. October 17, 2010- Friday the 13th part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

18. October 18, 2010- Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday, Jason X

19. October 19, 2010- A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

20. October 20, 2010- A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

21. October 21, 2010- A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare

22. October 22, 2010- Wes Craven's New Nightmare, Freddy vs. Jason

23. October 23, 2010- Poltergeist

24. October 24, 2010- Halloween (1978)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

1st Annual 31 HORRORble Halloween Films In 31 Days: Part 2

Continuing my list of movies viewed in celebration of Halloween 2010:

9. October 9, 2010- A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge

10. October 10, 2010- My Soul To Take (viewed at the cinema in 3D)

Friday, October 8, 2010

1st Annual 31 HORRORble Halloween Films In 31 Days: Part 1

I've decided to celebrate Halloween 2010 by watching 31 scary movies in 31 days. Here are the films I've viewed thus far:

1. October 1, 2010- Disney's Lonesome Ghosts cartoon/Season 5, episode 1 of Tales From The Crypt- "Death of Some Salesman"

2. October 2, 2010- The Thing (1982) (midnight movie at Landmark River Oaks Theatre in Houston, Tx)

3. October 3, 2010- Fright Night

4. October 4, 2010- Ghostbusters

5. October 5, 2010- Ghostbusters II

6. October 6, 2010- Disney's The Adventures of Ichabod Crane

7. October 7, 2010- Friday the 13th (Original)

8. October 8, 2010- A Nightmare On Elm Street (Original)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Iron Man 2 Makes For Sloppy Seconds

In 2008, Marvel's Iron Man went from obscure comic-book hero to worldwide silver-screen titan. However, two years have passed and the new exploits of Tony Stark in his iron mask seem stale, overdone, and underwhelming.

Where the original film oozed swagger and heart, the follow-up leaks mediocrity and detachment. Despite a parade of new characters (or because of it), Iron Man 2 fails to pull the audience into its thin, crawl-pace plot. Certainly there are loads of action and explosions to woo your inner 12-year old, but what precedes this spectacle is so trite and heartless that you just don't care what happens to Tony and his pals- One of whom, James "Rhodey" Rhodes is played by a different actor than in the original film and this robs audiences of what should have been a tense, white-knuckle payoff as Rhodey becomes War Machine. As is, this film is disposable, messy, and ultimately redundant; A died-in-the-iron Hollywood sequel which overexposes the best parts of the first film ad nauseam.

The cast do their best to deliver, but they cannot overcome a boring, convoluted storyline. Mickey Rourke as lead villain, Ivan Vanko, is underdeveloped and wasted, spending most of his screen time secluded in a warehouse listening to Sam Rockwell rant and whine aimlessly. Similarly, Scarlett Johansson gets shoe-horned into the plot with little time to shine as Natasha Romanoff, personal assistant to Tony Stark.

There are a few genuinely fun moments: Seeing Samuel L. Jackson return as Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. is cool, as are cameos by Captain America's shield and Thor's hammer. In fact, the most interesting plot point in the entire film comes when Nick is rapping with Tony about the Avengers. But this and all of the aforementioned tidbits of cool serve to set up other film franchises within the Marvel Cinemaverse. The creative minds behind Iron Man 2 should have spent more energy developing this one.

In the end, Iron Man 2 is not an awful film. It's simply a film I don't care about because nothing in its 2-hour run time endears me to any of the characters. And apathy is no way to feel when leaving the latest installment of a superhero franchise that began with such outstanding promise.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I'm Back In The Saddle Again!

Well, isn't it amazing how time heals all wounds. Nearly a year after my frustration at being targeted as a Spam blog prompted me to leave The Teague Report behind, I find myself back in the saddle, or computer chair, hammering away on the keyboard and letting my love for all things entertainment carry me away!

Why today? Because gentle readers, we are less than one week away from the start of the 2010 Summer Bowl- "the Super Bowl" of the movie season! Our kickoff title this year is Iron Man 2 and if early reports hold accurate, it may be the best of the bunch. Only June, July, and August will tell. For in these multiplex-packing months, movie fans will be treated to the likes of:

Sly Stallone's sublime action-stars-filled opus The Expendables, The A-Team, Predators, Toy Story 3, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Ridley Scott's Robin Hood, Sex and the City 2, Inception, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Cyrus, Shrek Forever After, Grown Ups, Knight and Day, MacGruber, Survival of the Dead, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Despicable Me, Salt, Dinner For Schmucks, Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist, and Rebel, The Other Guys, The Last Exorcism, A Film Unfinished, and Piranha 3D!

And these are just the titles I'm mainly interested in. A slew of smaller, but no-less entertaining films will vie for our discretionary income this summer. So grab a cherry coke and hot tub of popcorn and...turn off your damn cell phone!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Remembering Michael

June 25, 2009 is a date I will never forget. This day saw the passing of my childhood hero, Michael Joe Jackson. His was a talent that was unrivaled by anyone in the entertainment industry. Michael Jackson had a gift for song and dance that captured the imagination of every living sole on our planet. Everyone knows his name, Those of us lucky enough to grow up in the 80's experienced Michael at his height of fame and creativity.

The first time I heard Michal Jackson was in 1982. I lived in Willis, TX and was listening to 93Q Zoo on my tiny GE radio. I can't remember if the song was 'Beat It' or 'Billie Jean', but I do remember thinking it was sung by a girl. A short time later, I was over at my aunt D' ann's and she popped in a cassette tape that blew my mind. I asked her who it was and she introduced me to Michael Jackson and the best-selling album of all-time, 'Thriller'. Just as I was blown away the first time my Mom took me to see 'Star Wars', I was equally captivated by Thriller and songs the likes of which I had never before heard. 'Beat It', 'Wanna Be Starting Something', 'Billie Jean', 'P.Y.T.', 'Human Nature', 'The Girl Is Mine', 'Thriller'- All these songs were instantly burned into my psyche. The moment my Mom picked me up from my aunt's, I begged her to buy me the album. I remember holding the record in my hands. Everything about Michael Jackson fascinated me. My sister put the album on cassette tape for me, and I wore that thing out. There began my 10 year fascination with the greatest entertainer of the 20th century. From age 11 through 21, Michael Jackson was my favorite musical artist. My first concert was The Jacksons Victory Tour in November 1984 at the Astrodome in Houston, TX. I saw him again on his Bad tour in 1988 at The Summit in Houston, TX. Little did I know then that this would be the last time Michael Jackson would tour the United States.

I remember wearing my Victory Tour muscle shirt to school the next day. It didn't matter to me that my puny arms looked ridiculous poking out of this cotton shroud in the dead of winter, nor the teasing I received for liking a performer who my less competent peers called "faggot" every time they saw his picture on my person or textbooks. I didn't care what anyone thought because to me, Michael Jackson was a vessel that could transport me light years away from the bullies and bigots that peppered my otherwise carefree childhood. When I listened to 'Thriller' I was overcome with awe and appreciation for the man who invented the "Moonwalk". I remember flipping through the pages of my over sized MJ wall calendar and playing with my MJ Thriller doll. Though I never got the Thriller or Beat It jackets, my parents lavished me with plenty of Jackson memorabilia. Man, those were the days!

Then, one day in 6th grade science class, my teacher showed us the 'Thriller' music video. My jaw dropped. My brain nearly exploded from the amazing images slamming into my transfixed brain. From that moment on, Michael Jackson could do no wrong.

On a Sunday in September 1987, CBS ran the SPECIAL 'Bad' video. I waited impatiently for this moment that I was sure would be unofficially dubbed, 'Thriller 2'. While his face may have changed, the joy I got from Michael Jackson's music did not. Both the video and subsequent album rocked my world yet again. I proudly tattooed my bedroom wall with my Michael Jackson Pepsi poster. The only difference between Thriller and Bad was that I owned the latter on cassette tape.

In 1991, as I was struggling with college life, Michael Jackson unleashed 'Dangerous'. After watching the exclusive television premiere of the 'Black or White' video, I was so inspired that I reenacted the entire video in my parents living room for my friend Bobby. I got so into it that I even destroyed a TV tray during my performance.

This album lead me to purchase my first CD. The pop-up book cover of the limited edition Dangerous CD was so amazing I purchased it long before I ever owned a CD player. Once again, Michael Jackson had captured my imagination. I just knew a new tour would happen. Though the official statement claimed MJ would only tour outside the U.S., his performance in Mexico convinced my a Texas date couldn't be far off.

That's when the allegations of child abuse surfaced and the promoters pulled out of the tour. The success of Dangerous nose dived into obscurity as did Michael's reign as the world's top entertainer. The next 17 years saw Michael Jackson on the stand more often than on a stage. Slowly my musical interests started leaning towards rock'n roll and by 1993, I was hardcore into Aerosmith, Guns'N Roses, and the Rolling Stones.

Even though Michael Jackson no longer captured my complete attention as he once did, I never failed to pick up his newest release. HIStory was pretty good. Blood on the Dance Floor had a few good tracks. Invincible was anything but. Still, I never gave up hope that Michael Jackson would put out a new record comparable to 'Off The Wall'.

Thursday evening, June 25, 2009 saw that hope come to a crushing halt. My friend Jason (D' ann's son-in-law) called me and asked if I'd heard the news about Michael Jackson. He was dead. I sat on my parents sofa shocked and filled with that sickly feeling that is unique to the news of someones death. Even as I write this, I can't believe Michael Jackson is really dead.

I'm not one for mourning celebrities. But Michael Jackson was far more than that to me. He defined my favorite decade. He was the world's greatest entertainer. He was that rarest of talents in a world starved for originality. And for a brief moment, we lucky few got to watch him shine. There will never be another like he.

I love you Michael. And I thank you for being one of many treasures that made my childhood so magical. Rest in peace.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Review: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

As far as big, action-packed summer blockbusters go, T:ROTF is absolutely amazing.

While I realize it is fashionable these days to bash Michael Bay for his HUGE ego, I can not subscribe to bashing this, nor any of his non-historically based films. Simply put, no one makes BIG action movies like Michael Bay. No one can deliver the goods like Bay. No one else in Hollywood is as skilled at the art of capturing jaw-dropping, explosive action sequences on film.

Say what you will about the plot and character development in T:ROTF, a movie based on an 80's toy line is not designed to tug at your heartstrings or stir you to reexamine your life path. This is a fun, popcorn spectacle designed to get you out of the heat for 2 1/2 hours and take a ride of pure, fantastical fun.

It's OK to let your hair down and watch cars transform into robots without finding some deeper meaning in the string of high-octane action sequences that provide the linchpin for this BIGGER, BETTER sequel. If you want your blockbusters served with all the emotional and character development bells and whistles, boldly go see STAR TREK. But don't forget to hop on this roller coaster at least once this summer.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is one movie you must watch on the BIGGEST screen in your town while munching on hot buttered corn seed and guzzling a crisp cherry cola.