Monthly Archives: March 2020

Movie Review: The Invisible Man (1933) – Universal Classic Monsters 4

The Invisible Man (1933)

Premise: A scientist finds a way of becoming invisible, but in doing so, he becomes murderously insane.

A man enters an inn, demands privacy, and works tirelessly at mysterious experiments. He’s isolated, agitated, and slowly growing more and more insane. Also, he’s invisible. The Invisible Man is the mind-blowing journey of a man overcome with the conflicting feelings of the power he has gained and the longing to come back to the one he loves. It’s a mad scientist motif that drives a narrative more and more toward an ending that may not be as redemptive or emotionally satisfying as one might expect. With a powerful lead performance by Claude Rains and spectacular visual effects, The Invisible Man leans into its mad scientist’s descent as it leads to a thrilling conclusion.
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Movie Review: The Mummy (1932) – Universal Classic Monsters 3

The Mummy (1932)

Premise: A resurrected Egyptian mummy stalks a beautiful woman he believes to be the reincarnation of his lover and bride.

A year after making his mark as the monster in Frankenstein, Boris Karloff cemented his icon status with his portrayal of Imhotep in 1932’s The Mummy. Despite having a plot that is heavily borrowed from Dracula, The Mummy showcases Karloff’s strength and range as an actor behind it. The film also features an exotic Egyptian locale and set design that is noticeably different from the Gothic horror of Dracula or the villages of Frankenstein. More importantly, The Mummy has tense atmosphere and a sense of grandeur to its monster that keeps it from simply being a rip-off of Dracula.
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The Obsessive Viewer Podcast – Ep 311 – cOVid-19 Film Festival Days 4 & 5 (Amazon Prime Weekend) – Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, Never Surrender, Thunder Road, and HBO’s Watchmen

RIGHT CLICK IMAGE, SAVE LINK AS TO DOWNLOAD THE EPISODE…

OV311 – cOVid-19 Film Festival Days 4 & 5 (Amazon Prime Weekend) – Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, Never Surrender, Thunder Road, and HBO’s Watchmen

COVID-19 is sweeping the nation. So, naturally, I am coping by watching movies and podcasting about them as if they were part of a Film Festival. Here is my coverage of day 4 & 5: Amazon Prime Weekend. For the spotlight review, Tiny calls in to talk about HBO’s Watchmen with me in a non-spoiler and spoiler section.

This week’s stinger is an outtake from our recording.

Runtime: 2:02:15 Continue reading

Movie Review: Frankenstein (1931) – Universal Classic Monsters 2

Frankenstein (1931)

Premise: An obsessed scientist assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses.

James Whale’s 1931 adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was released in the same calendar year as Dracula. Together, the two films kicked off the Universal Monsters’ reign in cinemas. While both are similar in their Gothic horror aesthetics, Frankenstein infuses its monster with a science fiction hue to great effect. The scientific and moral concepts at the heart of Frankenstein help enhance the wonderful characterization and tragedy-laden arc of the film’s titular character and his complicated monster.
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The Obsessive Viewer Podcast – Ep 310 – cOVid-19 Film Festival Opening Night and Day 1 – Crawl, The Year of Spectacular Men, Outbreak, The Edge of Seventeen, and Contagion

RIGHT CLICK IMAGE, SAVE LINK AS TO DOWNLOAD THE EPISODE…

OV310 – cOVid-19 Film Festival Opening Night and Day 1 – Crawl, The Year of Spectacular Men, Outbreak, The Edge of Seventeen, and Contagion

COVID-19 is sweeping the nation. So, naturally, I am coping by watching movies and podcasting about them as if they were part of a Film Festival Here is day 1.

This week’s stinger comes from our Patreon-exclusive Vlog: COVID-19 Vlog 1 – Crawl (2019) & Theaters Close – March 17, 2020

Runtime: 1:16:05 Continue reading

Movie Review: Dracula (1931) – Universal Classic Monsters 1

Dracula (1931)

Premise: The ancient vampire Count Dracula arrives in England and begins to prey upon the virtuous young Mina.

1931’s Dracula, the beginning of the Universal Classic Monster films, is a work of stunning beauty and dread from the outset. The detail in the backdrops of the opening scenes is awe-inspiring and lends to an impressive scale and cinematography that has aged extremely well. Within the first few moments, we’re introduced to Count Dracula and his castle. Giant interior scenes are filled with broken staircases and cobwebs. The set design goes a long way in establishing tone and a sense of danger for every character who crosses Dracula’s path. Continue reading

Ben’s Column: Onward (2020) Movie Review

Onward (2020)

Premise: Set in a suburban fantasy world, two teenage elf brothers embark on a quest to discover if there is still magic out there.

At what point should we start worrying about the original storytelling capabilities of Pixar? While the studio remains at the forefront of modern animation and earns plenty of major awards at the end of almost every year, the studio has loaded its docket lately with sequels to its most beloved franchises, some less successful than others. Look through their recent filmography and the last non-sequel put out was all the way back in 2017 with Coco. Go back even further and you won’t find any until 2015, with The Good Dinosaur and Inside Out – a mixed bag, as the former is one of Pixar’s worst, and the latter one of its best. Granted, most of their sequels have been mostly solid (Toy Story 4 was one of my favorite films last year and won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature), but the studio’s reliance on existing property could be taken as a troubling sign. Continue reading

The Obsessive Viewer Podcast – Ep 309 – Extended Potpourri – Coronavirus/COVID-19, Devs, Dave, Kan Kan Cinema, The Warrant, The Way Back, The Outsider, Mythic Quest, McMillions (Guest: Ben Sears)

RIGHT CLICK IMAGE, SAVE LINK AS TO DOWNLOAD THE EPISODE…

OV309 – Extended Potpourri – Coronavirus/COVID-19, Devs, Dave, Kan Kan Cinema, The Warrant, The Way Back, The Outsider, Mythic Quest, McMillions (Guest: Ben Sears)

This week, frequent guest and OV contributor Ben Sears joins Tiny and me to discuss several topics in an Extended Potpourri episode. Topics include: Devs, Dave, The Outsider, McMillions, The Way Back, Mythic Quest, The Warrant, Fail Safe, and more.

This week’s stinger comes from our Patreon-exclusive recording: 060 – OV B-Roll – “How to Wash Your Hands” – Second Run Theaters, The Simpsons, Replacing Actors, and Upcoming Movies – March 11, 2020

Runtime: 1:29:15 Continue reading

Movie Review: The Invisible Man (2020)

The Invisible Man (2020)

Premise: When Cecilia’s abusive ex takes his own life and leaves her his fortune, she suspects his death was a hoax. As a series of coincidences turn lethal, Cecilia works to prove that she is being hunted by someone nobody can see.

Leigh Whannell’s reimagining of one of Universal’s iconic monsters for the #MeToo era has its highs and lows. The Invisible Man takes the classic monster and makes him into a predatory, controlling, and abusive narcissistic sociopath. It’s a far cry from the mad scientist searching for a cure to his invisibility in the 1933 James Whale film. That’s not a bad thing, however, as Whannell creates a menacing and intrusive villain within the framework of a highly effective thriller. Unfortunately, the film ultimately falters in its depiction of the aftermath of abuse to the point where it becomes a bit reckless in its handling of the material.

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Movie Review: Onward (2020)

Onward (2020)

Premise: Set in a suburban fantasy world, two teenage elf brothers embark on a quest to discover if there is still magic out there. 

In telling the story of two disparate brothers on a time-sensitive quest to temporarily bring their father back to life, Pixar’s Onward recaptures some of the heart and soul of some of the studio’s earliest hits. Onward takes the classic “what if” template that makes Pixar films so magical and creates a charming epic suburban fantasy world plagued by modern technology and consumerism. Though the world building itself is just slightly lacking in the long run, there’s a hefty emotional weight to the story of Ian and Barley Lightfoot that harkens back to some of the studio’s most heartfelt films.

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