12 Films of Christmas 2018 (Part 7)

Good day to you all! Hope all of you are doing well! Man, I’m in a good mood today, let’s do this!

I was considering doing “Alvin and the Chipmunks” for today’s thing, but then I decided to not be cruel to myself like that. So instead I went with something that I hadn’t seen, but was based on something that always brings a smile. It’s “A Muppet Family Christmas”. So what’s it about? Simple, Kermit, Animal, and the rest of the gang travel to Fozzie’s mother’s home to celebrate the holidays. Cue the singing, heartwarming talks, and funny hijinks that one expects from these lovable cloth creatures. And that’s really it. The only real twist here is that characters from both “Sesame Street” and “Fraggle Rock” show up to join in the fun. Not much that can be said, I love Muppets, and they use them to great effect here, giving me a nice, cozy feeling. It’s the frickin’ Muppets… how could one not get all warm inside? “A Muppet Family Christmas” brings much joy for the holidays.

On the seventh day of christmas, Markus brings to you, the Swedish Chef once again speaking gobbledygoo. 

Movie Review: An American Werewolf in London (1981)

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. For today’s Month of Spooks post we’re going with a classic about werewolves. And it’s also a first time watch for me, so it’s pretty exciting. So here we go.

Ladies and gentlemen… “An American Werewolf in London”.

After getting attacked by a werewolf while trekking through the English countryside, American college student David (David Naughton) gets sent to the hospital. And we follow him as he tries to cope with the possibility that he might turn into a werewolf himself. So now we have our story. And I think it’s really good, and I think a lot of it comes down to the tone here. While it has its basis in horror, it never takes itself too seriously. That isn’t to say that there isn’t any drama here, because there is, and I think it is fairly effective in getting the audience invested. But it is often more of a dramedy rather than a straight-up horror movie, which I think works very well, and even makes the horror parts of the plot even more effective as it’s such a change in tone and style. Good stuff.

The characters in this are interesting and entertaining. First up we have David Naughton as David, the college student who might be turning into a werewolf. Seeing his development as he copes with the thought of turning as well as everything else surrounding the entire situation is quite interesting, and it makes him a pretty compelling character. And Naughton is great in the role. Next we have Jenny Agutter as Alex, the nurse who treats David at the hospital, while also being a bit of a live interest. She’s charming, clever, and just an overall fun foil for David. And Agutter is really good in the role. We also get supporting performances from people like Griffin Dunne, John Woodvine, Frank Oz, Don McKillop, and more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Elmer Bernstein, and it was good. Typical mood-building horror stuff, worked well enough for the various scenes it was used in. Then there were also a bunch of licensed tracks used throughout the movie, and they really added a lot to the movie, giving a bit of extra charm to it, somehow adding to the entire experience. So yeah, this movie had some good music.

This movie was written and directed by John Landis, and I think he did a great job with it. He builds a thick atmosphere here, thick enough that you can shoot it with a silver bullet, and it just adds a lot to the movie. There’s a dread that lingers in the background, and it gives a lot of layers to it all. But it’s not just doom and gloom, as there’s a fair bit of humor throughout the movie. And I found it all to be quite funny. And let’s not delay it any further. Rick Baker’s makeup and effects… they are absolutely fantastic and still really hold up to this day. Especially THAT scene. The people who have seen it know which scene I’m talking about. Mind-blowing stuff, yo.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 60/100. Roger Ebert gave it 2/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10. The movie won 1 Oscar in the category of Best makeup.

“An American Werewolf in London” deftly blends horror, comedy, and drama to create an interesting and compelling package. It has a really good plot, good characters, great performances, good music, and great directing/makeup and effects. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “An American Werewolf in London” is a 9,67/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “An American Werewolf in London” is now completed.

There’s a bad moon on the rise. Awooo.

Movie Review: The Score (2001)

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I have proclaimed my love for heist movies more than a few times on the blog. A lot of movies from “Heat” to “Fast Five” interest me because of the heist stuff. And therefore I always look forward to watching another heist movie.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Score”.

Nick Wells (Robert De Niro) is a former thief who now runs a jazz club in Montreal. But his retirement has to be pushed back even further because of his old friend Max (Marlon Brando) teaming Nick up with young thief Jack Teller (Edward Norton) who has a plan to steal a scepter that have been found. So of course Nick unwillingly accepts Jack’s offer to try to steal the scepter. Okay, the premise is cliché as all hell, but as you know i am a person who thinks that if a cliché is done well, it doesn’t matter. And I’m gonna be quite honest, the clichés in this movie work perfectly to create a good heist story. And I was honestly surprised at some of the twists the movie had to offer. Yeah, I really enjoyed it.

The characters in this movie never stopped being entertaining (in my opinion), they were consistently well-written and entertaining. I think it also helps a lot that the actors were fucking phenomenal in their respective roles. Robert De Niro played the character of Nick Wells with a lot of confidence and even a bit of regret to have to do one more heist. Marlon Brando (despite limited screen time) was also great. And Edward Norton, once again giving us a winning performance that we can all look up to. I really mean it, he is truly great in the movie. Everybody was great in the movie, even the supporting cast.

The music was composed by none other than the masterful Howard Shore. You know, the guy who composed “Se7en” and the “Lord of the Rings” movies. And while the score for “The Score” (That is hilarious) isn’t as great as any of those, he still did a great job here to create a soundtrack that at times sounded like typical heist-movie music, but also at times create suspenseful and straight up great tracks for other scenes. And I loved it all. Again, not as much as in “Se7en” or “Lord of the Rings”, but I still loved it.

Frank Oz directed this movie and I have never seen a Frank Oz movie before. So if you know any great Frank Oz movies, please let me know. Anyway, he did a great job directing this movie. He made it look great and be very stylish which really made me appreciate it even more. Something I was surprised by was jsut how tense it could get as times. Like during the big heist itself, the hair on my arms was standing and my heart was racing during parts of the heist. And I like that, it is rare for me to find a movie with that level of tension.

This movie has been pretty well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 73% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 71/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,8/10.

“The Score” is a heist movie that uses it’s clichés to it’s advantage to create an interesting take on the heist movie. It has a really well-done story, great characters and acting, great music, great direction and surprising level of suspense. Time for my final score. *Steals envelope*. My final score for “The Score” (again, hilarious) is a 9,88/10. It definitely deserves the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
Seal of Approval

“The Score” is now reviewed.

Okay, bye bye!