Long Time, No Write

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So, it’s been a while since my last review. I guess June 10th (my review on The Purge) was only a few weeks ago, but it seems like it’s been a lot longer. I have been pretty busy with some things. I still have found time to go to the movies though 🙂 So, hopefully in the coming week I’ll be able to get some new reviews rolled out. I’ve seen a lot of new movies in the past couple weeks and I can’t wait to share my thoughts on them.
In the meantime, for my fans of horror films, here’s a picture of Exorcist Twister.

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Trivia Tuesday

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In the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, many of the extras were actual mental patients. The cast and crew had to become accustomed to working with extras and supporting crew members who were patients at the Oregon State Mental Hospital; each member of the professional cast and crew inevitably worked closely with at least two or three mental patients.

The Purge

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The Purge movie poster

The Purge movie poster

Warning: Contains Spoilers

The Purge was released this past weekend (June 7th). The film was directed and written by James DeMonaco. It is rated R for strong disturbing violence and some language. The film currently has a 5.9 out of 10 on IMDb and a 41% on Rotten Tomatoes. It is also currently number 1 at the box office with $36.4 million.

The Purge takes place in 2022 and the U.S. is now a reborn nation ruled by the New Founding Fathers of America. Crime and unemployment rates are at a all time low. The cause of the low percentages in crime and unemployment are thanks to the government mandated annual “Purge.” The purge is a 12 hour period where all crime is legal, even murder. The purge is a way for the citizens to cleanse themselves of all negative emotions and in the film it is stated that humans have a natural, violent side and that the purge helps us to not bottle in all that violence and be able to rid ourselves of the negativity.

The film focuses on the Sandin family. James Sandin (Ethan Hawke) makes all his money from home security systems that are put to use during the annual purge. James is married to Mary (Lena Headey) and they have a teenage daughter, Zoey (Adelaide Kane), and a son, Charlie (Max Burkholder).

James (Ethan Hawke) & Mary (Lena Headey). I think I'll just go watch Mr. Hawke in Sinister instead...

James (Ethan Hawke) & Mary (Lena Headey).
I think I’ll just go watch Mr. Hawke in Sinister instead…

When I first saw the trailer for this film I was excited. I thought it looked good and was an interesting concept. Plus, Ethan Hawke is in it and I thought he did a great job in Sinister (released late last year). Well, I sure was wrong. Not that this film was the worst film I have ever seen, it just did not play out how I expected. The film had an interesting concept, it was just executed poorly.

It is a home invasion film and by watching the trailer, you get the idea that this creepy group of young people wearing creepy masks are going to be taunting and (possibly) killing each member of the Sandin family one-by-one.

Now where have I seen somewhat similar looking masks before?? Oh, right, now I remember....

Now where have I seen somewhat similar looking masks before?? Oh, right, now I remember….

Yes, the masks totally remind me of The Strangers. And with The Strangers, where the majority of the film the couple are being terrorized by the killers, I thought The Purge would be the same. Nope. Watching the trailer for The Purge you already know that the young son, Charlie, lets in some random guy (credited as Bloody Stranger; played by Edwin Hodge) off the street during the annual purge. Dumb, dumb, dumb! I’m not going to lie, I spent most of the movie completely annoyed with Charlie. I know he is just a young kid, but still. Everything that happens after Charlie lets in the bloody stranger I kept thinking: “Yeah, none of this wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for you. This is all your fault.” Anyways, in a movie that is only 1 hour and 25 minutes long, a lot more of the movie than necessary takes places with James and Mary trying to find the bloody stranger. Charlie actually helps the bloody stranger hide (idiot).

The reason they are looking for the bloody stranger is because the “leader” of the gang outside (credited as Polite Stranger; played by Rhys Wakefield) states that the bloody stranger is just some “homeless pig” and is their target for the purge. The polite stranger says that the Sandin’s must hand over the stranger to them within one hour or they will break into the house and kill everyone. When the gang finally breaks into the house, only about 15 minutes (maybe 20 minutes) of the film are of the gang terrorizing and stalking the Sandin family. It got pretty good when James encounters some members of the gang and some intense fighting occurs, but then he goes around a corner and dies. He gets stabbed by the polite stranger. I was disappointed by that. I didn’t want Ethan Hawke to die.

Another thing that I didn’t like, at the beginning of the film, was the character Henry (Tony Oller), Zoey’s older boyfriend. We learn that Zoey’s dad won’t let them be together because Henry is a few years older than Zoey. Later that night, Zoey goes up to her room after the purge has commenced only to find Henry in her room (he snuck in when the family was eating dinner before the purge began). Henry says he is going to talk to James, man-to-man, about being with Zoey and since it’s the purge, James can’t just throw Henry out. Right when the bloody stranger has come inside, James (who grabbed a gun after Charlie let in the bloody stranger) sees Henry and then *surprise* Henry didn’t want to “talk”, instead he pulls out a gun and tries to shoot Zoey’s dad, but instead gets himself shot. Needless to say, that role was a short one and I honestly think the film could have done without the character. It wasn’t important; it wasn’t something that we, as the audience, needed to remember for later on in the film or anything. The storyline with the boyfriend was just a waste and not really necessary.

I won’t say anymore about the ending. There is somewhat of a “twist.” I really didn’t expect it, but then the more I thought about a scene from earlier on in the film, it made sense and I probably should have seen it coming. I really wanted to like this movie, but it just was not what I thought it was going to be. I really was disappointed about the strangers outside only really being a part of the film for a short period of time. Yeah, they had quite a few scenes of them standing outside, but I went into the theater to see a home invasion movie and instead I saw a movie where a family spends a good chunk of time trying to find some stranger, while the creepy strangers outside were only inside the house for what seemed like a total of 15 minutes.

Even though I wasn’t a big fan of this movie, like with anything opinion based, there will be people that will like this movie and then there will be people like me that end up disappointed. But, with all that said, I’m glad there is no such thing as a annual “Purge.”

The Goonies: Where Are They Now?

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So, I’ve decided to do something a little different. I decided to do a “Where Are They Now?” list and this one will focus on the cast of The Goonies. I will definitely do more of these in the future. I’m also working on doing “Top Lists”, like Top 5 Favorite (something) or Top 10 Worst (something). Despite some of these new additions to my blog, I will still continue to write reviews.

The Goonies is an adventure-comedy movie that was released in 1985. If you haven’t seen this film, watch it–NOW!

The Main Cast

Sean Astin (Michael “Mikey” Walsh)

Sean Astin as Mikey in The Goonies

Sean Astin as Mikey in The Goonies

Sean Astin now

Sean Astin now

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The character Mikey, played by Sean Astin, was the main character of the film. The Goonies was Astin’s film debut and he was only 13 years old. After The Goonies, Astin appeared in a couple other films, including: The War of the Roses (1989), Memphis Belle (1990), Rudy (1993), and many other films. Astin had a career breakthrough when cast as Samwise Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings trilogy in the early 2000s. Since Lord of the Rings, Astin has appeared in various other films and TV shows; most of the roles being supporting roles. Astin is married with 3 daughters and is now 42 years old.

Corey Feldman (Clark “Mouth” Devereaux)

Corey Feldman now

Corey Feldman now

Corey Feldman as Mouth in The Goonies

Corey Feldman as Mouth in The Goonies

The character of Mouth in The Goonies, unlike Sean Astin, was not Corey Feldman’s first role. Feldman, a former child actor, appeared in many popular films in the 80’s, including some of my favorites: Stand By Me (1986), The Lost Boys (1987), and The ‘Burbs (1989). Feldman was paired in many films with actor Corey Haim (The Lost Boys being the first film they appeared in together) and the two became known as “The Two Coreys.” Feldman and Haim would later do a reality TV show called The Two Coreys. Feldman continued to appear in films into the 90s and also voiced the character Donatello for the live-action movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990). He still stars in films to this day and has also appeared in numerous TV shows. He has also made appearances in recent music videos, such as “1983” by the Neon Trees and “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” by Katy Perry. He has been married twice. His second wife filed for divorce in 2009 and Feldman has one son with his second wife. He is now 41 years old.

Josh Brolin (Brandon “Brand” Walsh)

Josh Brolin now

Josh Brolin now

Josh Brolin as Brand in The Goonies

Josh Brolin as Brand in The Goonies

Josh Brolin played Brand, the older brother of Mikey, in The Goonies. Brolin appeared in a few other movies and TV shows throughout the late 80s and 90s. He has since appeared in many popular films including: No Country For Old Men (2007), American Gangster (2007), Milk (2008), True Grit (2010), and Men in Black 3 (2012). He will also appear in the sequel to Sin City (2005), Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2013), which is currently being filmed. Brolin’s father is actor James Brolin and his step-mother is singer/actress Barbara Streisand. Brolin has been married twice. His first wife he had two children with and until recently, Brolin has been married to actress Diane Lane since 2004, but have now filed for divorce. Brolin is now 45 years old.

Jonathan Ke Quan/Ke Huy-Quan (Richard “Data” Wang)

Jonathan Ke Quan now

Jonathan Ke Quan now

Jonathan Ke Quan as Data in The Goonies

Jonathan Ke Quan as Data in The Goonies

Jonathan Ke Quan (born Ke Huy-Quan) played Data in The Goonies. This was his second film role. His film debut was the character Short Round in Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom (1984). Since The Goonies, Quan has appeared in few TV shows and only a couple movies. His filmography is fairly small compared to some of his other Goonies co-stars. He worked as stunt choreographer for X-Men (2000) and The One (2001). He hasn’t appeared in a movie since 2002. He is 41 years old.

Jeff Cohen (Lawrence “Chunk” Cohen)

Jeff Cohen now

Jeff Cohen now

Jeff Cohen as Chunk in The Goonies

Jeff Cohen as Chunk in The Goonies

Jeff Cohen’s most notable performance is the character Chunk from The Goonies. His first film was a TV movie released in 1983. Before and after The Goonies, Cohen appeared in a couple TV shows, but hasn’t acted since 1991. After the film industry, Cohen attended college at the University of California, Berkley earning a degree in business administration. After Berkley, Cohen went to UCLA School of Law and later became an entertainment lawyer in Los Angeles. He is the co-founding partner of Cohen & Gardner, LLP. He works full time as an attorney. He is now 38 years old.

Martha Plimpton (Stephanie “Stef” Steinbrenner)

Martha Plimpton now

Martha Plimpton now

Martha Plimpton as Stef in The Goonies

Martha Plimpton as Stef in The Goonies

Martha Plimpton rose to prominence with her role in The Goonies as Stef. Before The Goonies, she appeared in a few other films, but started off as a model for Calvin Klein around the age of 10 or 11. Since The Goonies, Plimpton has appeared in a steady stream of movies and appearances in TV shows. She has also been in numerous Broadway and off-Broadway theater performances. She is currently a series regular on the TV show Raising Hope (2010-present). Her father is Keith Carradine (Carradine as in the famous acting family) making her grandfather the legendary actor John Carradine. Plimpton has never been married. She used to date actor River Phoenix (older brother of Joaquin Phoenix; River Phoenix died in 1993 from drug induced heart failure). Plimpton is now 42 years old.

Kerri Green (Andrea “Andy” Carmichael)

Kerri Green now

Kerri Green now

Kerri Green as Andy in The Goonies

Kerri Green as Andy in The Goonies

Kerri Green’s big break came from playing Andy in The Goonies. She gained even more notice from her performance in the film Lucas (1986), but her next film, Three for the Road (1987), didn’t do as well. She took a break from acting to study at Vassar College. She appeared in a couple TV shows in the 90s and appeared in a film called Complacent back in 2010. Green went on to co-found a movie production company called Independent Women Artists. She is married with kids and is now 46 years old.

I already have a few ideas for some more Where Are They Now? posts, but if you have any suggestions, leave a comment!

Less Than Zero

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Warning: Contains spoilers

Less Than Zero movie poster

Less Than Zero movie poster

Less Than Zero was released in 1987 and is very loosely based off of a novel by Bret Easton Ellis of the same name. The film looks at wealthy life in 1980s Los Angeles and the effects of drug abuse. The film has a 6.1 out of 10 on IMDb and a 54% on Rotten Tomatoes. It is rated R for language, some violence, nudity, sexual content, drug abuse, adult situations, mature themes, and graphic scenes of drug withdrawal.

Clay (Andrew McCarthy), a college freshman, returns home for Christmas, but a lot has changed since he was last in L.A. Clay’s high school girlfriend, Blair (Jami Gertz), and their mutual best friend, Julian (Robert Downey Jr.) are now together and Julian has become a heavy drug user. The reason that Clay came back home was after an insistent request from Blair worrying about Julian because of his drug habit and being hassled by his drug dealer, Rip (James Spader), because of a debt of $50,000. The film focuses on Clay ending up back with Blair and the both of them trying to help Julian clean his act up.

I love watching movies from the 80’s and had always wanted to see this film, so when I saw it was on HBO one day, I jumped at the chance to finally see it. This movie, like I mentioned at the beginning, is based off of a novel. I haven’t read the novel, so I can’t really compare it to the film. I’ve only read American Psycho and The Rules of Attraction, both by Bret Easton Ellis, and I’ve seen the movies based off those books. However, even though I haven’t read the book, I did read in a article that Bret Easton Ellis didn’t like the film very well and that the film is very different than the book.

Happier days...before drug abuse. (From Left: Julian, Blair, and Clay.)

Happier days…before drug abuse.
(From Left: Julian, Blair, and Clay.)

After watching this movie, I did like it, but at the same time it isn’t going to be a movie I watch all the time, like other movies from the 80’s that I like a lot. I thought the acting was alright, but with the exceptions of Robert Downey Jr. and James Spader. They were both pretty good. Robert Downey Jr. really knocks it out of the park with this one. This film shows really well what can and will happen if someone becomes a drug addict. The character of Julian ends up dying in the end. Even though you get the feeling that something bad is going to happen to Julian, it still is a bit of a shock when he actually dies. The other “scary” thing about this film is that Robert Downey Jr. has said that the role of Julian “was like the Ghost of Christmas Future.” If you are unaware, RDJ became involved with drugs and ended up getting arrested multiple times on drug related charges. So, to look at how Julian ends up in the end and to think that if RDJ had not cleaned up his act, there is a chance he would no longer be here.

I think it’s safe to say that I would definitely suggest this movie. It’s interesting to see RDJ in his younger days (I haven’t seen too many movies of his back when he was younger) and to see how life almost imitated art. If you like 80’s movies, especially ones that include members of the “Brat Pack“, then give this movie a shot.