Scary Stores to Tell in the Dark (2019) is probably the best scary movie that I’ve seen in a while. Not quite Drag Me to Hell kind of scary but rather close.

Fairly quickly the film comes off as a period piece. The home made Halloween costumes, Night of the Living Dead at a drive through, and racial slurs that you shouldn’t hear out of a sheriff, all quickly begin to paint the scene. Thorough the film if you pay attention: you’ll notice the 1968 setting. I really liked the opening: while I grew up in the era of commercial Halloween costumes and shopping malls, my mother grew up in an era when kinds made their own costumes and went around the neighborhood. My mom and dad would have been in their early 20s at the time the film is set, making it more apparent to me. some of my mom’s stories of course had to do with her Halloween experiences as a kid.

The various stories are superb twists of horror. Often grisly, yet classic. But it’s painted over with a modern varnish. Sarah’s story is the kind that would often be skipped over or down played. Her chilling tales of terror on the other hand are ones you’d sell in the horror isle of a bookstore (remember when those were a thing?). Stella and her dad, and friends serve a stark contrast. In many ways, I’d say Stella is rather modern despite the film pelting us with ‘60s vibes.

In some ways, I have mixed feelings about the ending. I kind of agree with the way it plays out android The more positive tone. It’s not the kind of “Oh, shit!” Twist at the end that horror stories often train us to expect. Instead it’s rather hopeful and determined. Most of all it sets the stage for a sequel :).

Starting A Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix, I’m pleasantly surprised to see Joan Cusack pop up as Justice Strauss.

At first it was hard to place her with that silly wig, but both the voice and the face were sticking out enough that I had to look up the cast. That she’s the voice of Toy Story’s Jessie explains why the voice jabbed me in the face as very familiar. While I’ve seen more than a few of her films countless times over the years, oddly the part I most remember seeing her in is as Robin Williams’ quirky sister in the film Toys. A silly little movie perhaps few remember today, but one I enjoyed quite a bit growing up.

There’s not a lot of films that make me feel like best movie ever, but The Mitchells vs The Machines rather had that effect. I’m pretty sure that it’s at least the best weird family adventure slash road trip movie ever made, lol. There is so much awesome in this movie I had to update my rather rarely updated list of favored movies. Hopefully sometime after the Netflix release, we’ll see it available on Blu-ray as well.

Remember the family that weirds together, saves the world together ;).

Finding myself searching Netflix for something simple to watch, I was pleasantly surprised by a little cheese flick called The Warrior’s Gate. It’s stoic sense of humor and comfortable territory makes it entertaining, if not spectacular. Many movies exist that fit that bill, but are sometimes hard to find. Often mixed into the same bin as films that try to be something more than a cheesy enjoyable romp.

And then there’s the ending. With the ice cream, I’d say the twist is exactly as it should be. But warrior Zhao teaching the knights in the end……oh man was that a priceless finish.

From tonight’s movie:

鳴る神の 少し響みて
[A faint clap of thunder
Clouded skies
Perhaps rain comes
If so, will you stay here with me?]

鳴る神の 少し響みて
[A faint clap of thunder
Even if rain comes not
I will stay here
Together with you]

That was kind of beautiful enough, that I almost wonder if there’s any collection of the poems that are in both Japanese, and a worthwhile adaption to English.

Check out “Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll” on Netflix

Rather thrilled to find the #VioletEvergarden movie released, and made its way to Netflix.

While the series is principally Violet’s story, the film is a more heartwarming tale focused on the side story of the two sisters that she meets. Which I think is a rather lovely thing. The side story takes place at a time after Violet has developed as a character, and shows a world that has like her, begun to recover from the war. So it makes more sense for a movie like this than one focused on Violet’s story; the main series rewards us with a character that can create such an aside, and not have to devote extra to her development. Well, providing you actually watched the beautiful series 😉

Violet Evergarden is one of a handful of anime characters that will likely stick with me a long time. A character introduced to us as constantly on fire, and not yet able to realize that her arms were perhaps the smallest thing she lost to the war.

Because of how the main series tells Violet’s story, I can appreciate the depth of the backdrop even more. You’ll notice how rapidly the city has evolved, and how common place postal service has become. It’s quite nicely executed behind the story, IMHO.

Going with a dinner double feature of Olympus Has Fallen, and Angel Has Fallen was an interesting pair.

I remember watching the first film in the series on cable shortly after it came out, and finding it a nice action movie if a tad brutal. Give or take that a bunch of office workers who have barely played Halo or CoD, would probably make better cannon fodder for guarding the front door. But that was kind of the point I suppose.

Angel Has Fallen is a rather more varied film. Starting off with a return to its more Call of Duty generation like approach before descending into The Fugitive, and than back into straight up action. Somehow though, I find the best parts are about Mike and his dad.

‘Cuz if his dad had to be a crazy old man, at least he’s a rather handy, crazy old man. And the ending after the credits may have made me laugh quite a bit.

Misc thoughts from this weekend’s R&R cycle

Getting caught up on Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun, I was rather happy to see the festival conclude with a happier note. It’s also nice to see another surprise musical number from Clara and her family, which much like the first, was pretty freaking great.

Netflix’s Locke & Key seems worth watching based on the first half, and Marianne is a horror series well worth watching if you like scary stuff. Take the former for the story, and the latter for the chills.

Kemono Michi has been sitting in my Hulu queue since it started. By the time Genzo suplexed the princess, I was pretty sure it was going to be an entertaining series. And yes, it has, mostly because of his craziness, lol.