February 27, 2015

Sneak Preview Clip of ConTV's LAST FAN STANDING


Bruce Campbell aficionados have been waiting for an update on when the Army of Darkness icon would be making his debut as a television game-show host ever since CONtv announced Last Fan Standing a month ago. And now Esquire can exclusively reveal that the wait will end on March 9, and even has a teaser clip to help get you through the next ten days. 

Rest In Peace, Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015)

February 25, 2015

MAGIC (1978) and the Scariest Movie Trailer...EVER!

Starring Anthony Hopkins, Ann-Margret, Burgess Meredith, Ed Lauter. Directed by Richard Attenborough. (1978, 107 min).

There were three major reasons 1978's Magic was a must-see when I was 14.
First, it costars Ann-Margret. She was my biggest celebrity crush back when most of my peers were ogling Farrah Fawcett. My teen lust may have seemed kinda weird to my friends, especially since she was old enough to be my mother (in fact she was older than my mother), but I didn't care. In the 60s and 70s, the woman was flat-out hot. I only wished the local Spenser's Gifts would have carried a few of her posters along with the Farrah-Fawcetts & Lynda Carters. Such pin-ups probably didn't exist though, because even though Ann-Margret didn't actually appear in that many good movies, she was occasionally taken seriously as an actress, especially after 1971's Carnal Knowledge (which isn't as much deviant fun as the title implies). Still, she was my definition of a woman.
Anyway, when Magic was released in 1978, Ann-Margret was still relatively young, still smokin' hot and starring in a horror movie, second only to disaster films as my favorite genre.
Second, I think ventriloquist dummies are scary as hell...I mean the traditional, old school dummies with bow-ties, giant ears, painted faces and eyes the size of billiard balls that look like they’re trying to suck your soul. Yeah, they’re meant to be humorous little wise-crackers, just like those scary-ass wooden soldier nutcrackers are supposed to be a celebration of Christmas cheer. Christmas in Hell maybe.
Ventriloquist dummies have been subjects of horror on numerous occasions. One of the greatest Twilight Zone episodes was a psychological mind-fucker featuring Cliff Robertson as tortured artist whose connection to his own puppet creation has you wondering who is controlling who. Earlier still was a British anthology film, Dead of Night (1945); its final chapter features a ventriloquist who thinks his dummy is alive. And although much of the rest of the movie seems kind of quaint today, that last chapter is still terrifying.
This means I'm not the only one who thinks these freaky-ass puppets are inherently scary. What's truly unsettling about them is, unlike Chucky from the Child's Play series, they don't simply go on a killing spree...their ultimate goal is to control you.
The third and final reason that made Magic a must-see was the teaser trailer that kept popping up on TV back then. It featured nothing but a creepy-ass rhyme spoken by Fats, the dummy from the film:

It’s a great ad, made during a bygone era when promoting a film didn’t always involve giving a clue to what the story was about. What it did was make the movie look a hundred times scarier than it actually was (which I suppose was the point). Deceptive? Sure, but the trailer was still artistic and very clever.
Teasers today don’t really tease an audience. They present the movie like Denny’s presents the food on their menu; all you gotta do is look at a picture and know what you’re gonna get. Seeing what your plate is gonna look like, as opposed to endless adjectives describing the ingredients, simply makes ordering a lot easier. Same with modern movie trailers. The Transformers movies may suck total shit (and if you don’t agree, wait a few years and watch them again as free-thinking adult), but at least the trailers leave absolutely no mystery to what ticket buyers can expect. And with admission prices being what they are today, moviegoers want a guarantee they’ll like what they‘re paying ten bucks to see. With the cost of most movies, I truly do understand why modern trailers practically give away every single plot point.
Still, there’s something to be said about not laying all your cards on the table. Back in 1977, the teaser for Close Encounters of the Third Kind offered absolutely no plot details or visual effects. Most of us intrigued enough by the trailer to catch the movie in theaters were absolutely blown away by the appearance of the mothership during the climax. We had no idea it was coming, a wonderful, jaw-dropping surprise.
Then there’s Magic, starring Anthony Hopkins and Ann-Margaret. It was directed by Richard Attenborough (director of numerous films people claim to love because they think they are supposed to, but best-known as the billionaire grandpa in Jurassic Park), and written by William Goldman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the President’s Men & The Princess Bride). The plot’s more-or-less the same as the aforementioned puppet-horror flicks, only with a lot more talent & cash behind it.
Yet, Magic isn’t really that scary. When I finally saw it, I felt like I’d been duped, even though Ms. Margret looked as fine as ever. The movie’s okay, and maybe just a little creepier today now that Anthony Hopkins has become part of our cultural consciousness as Hannibal Lector. But there’s nothing in the film nearly as terrifying as Fats’ evil grin and creepy-ass rhyme from the trailer. But as much as the ad scared me, my kid sister was so freaked out that she had to leave the room whenever it showed up on TV.
Being that it was in my job description to torment my sister whenever possible, I had the bright idea to record the commercial with my cassette player, sneak into her room while she slept, stick it under her bed and crank up the volume. A buddy of mine, Rick, who was sleeping over that night, also suggested waiting until she awoke to Fats’ voice and throw a Charlie McCarthy doll at her. And I agree, that would have been awesome, save for the fact I didn't have a Charlie McCarthy doll because no child in history has ever fucking wanted one.
Anyway, we snuck into her room at two-in-the-morning and played the tape, which didn’t go quite as planned, mainly because, even though she was my sister, she wasn’t a complete idiot. Audio technology was still in the dark ages back then, and recording directly from the TV speaker made Fats sound like he was manning a Burger King drive-thru window. It didn’t help that me and Rick were loudly snickering just outside her room, impressed with our own cleverness. She didn’t scream or piss herself like I’d hoped. She did, however, grab the tape recorder and threw it at us. It put a dent in the wall, which I ended up having to pay for with several weeks’ worth of allowance.
The film may have been disappointing, but Magic still boasts the scariest movie trailer of all time. And after revisiting it all these years later, I'll probably have to sleep with the lights on again.

February 23, 2015

If Oscar Winners Were Honest During Their Acceptance Speeches

"I guess this means you finally forgive me for Batman and Robin."

"I'd like to share this award with all the legendary directors I've ripped-...er...paid homage to over the years."

"Another trophy? Fabulous! I need one for my guest bathroom."

"If you thought Jerry Maguire was great, wait'll you see Boat Trip!"

"None of you even know who the hell I am!"

"Suck it, haters...and I'm the next fucking Batman, too!"

"Look at what those crazy Jews gave me."

"Thank God I nabbed this before y'all saw Swordfish!"

"There's something 'titanic' in my pants, ladies."

"We'd like to thank our families, the only folks in America not taking a bathroom break right now."

February 19, 2015

8 Non-Existent OSCAR Categories We Need Right Now

As movie fans, of course we love the Oscars….the best of the best competing for the ultimate prize in various categories. For film fans, it’s our Super Bowl, our World Series, our Daytona 500.
But at the same time, how often have we watched the ceremony, having only seen one or two of the films with the most nominations, simply because the average filmgoer doesn’t spend most of their spare time in an art-house? There are a lot of factors which make a great film, not just those related to the handful of awards given out on Oscar night. What about a movie with awesome stunt work, or an animated film featuring an actor whose voice performance rivals anything they’ve done onscreen?
Look, the annual Academy Awards ceremony is already long enough, but it still isn’t a comprehensive show giving accolades to everyone who deserves them. I, for one, would be willing to sit through an extra hour of the telecast if the following categories were added:

1. Best Un-billed Performance

An unexpected appearance by a big-name actor is usually a gimmick, but sometimes it's a vital part of the story, like Joe Pesci in JFK, or Gary Oldman in Hannibal. Actors appearing un-billed in movies is now commonplace, so why not reward such false humility with a trophy? Who wouldn’t have awarded this all-elusive award to Bill Murray for his appearance in Zombieland (especially since the Academy seems reluctant to give him one for anything else)?

2. Best Stunt Work
When you think about it, it’s amazing (and obscene) that this is already not already a legitimate category. Think of the all the classic films with iconic action sequences ...the car chase in The French Connection, the motorcycle jump in The Great Escape, the opening foot chase in Casino Royale, the fight choreography in Enter the Dragon. Do you know how many Oscars these stunt coordinators have received? None, which is a travesty because, in certain genres the ability to pull off such scenes is every bit as important as make-up or costume design.

3. Best Use of a Classic Song
Sure, lots of songs are written specifically for a film (usually Oscar bait), but just as often, filmmakers like to dip into the past for one which best fits the tone of a scene. Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese do this all the time, and sometimes an old classic tune does more to enhance a movie than anything a current songwriter can dish up. Think of “Layla” in Goodfellas or Dick Dale’s “Miserlou” in Pulp Fiction. Finding the perfect old song is just as vital for some films as hiring a currently popular poptart to croak yet another power ballad.

4. Best Sequel or Remake
There have been some truly great sequels and remakes, and they are a huge part of what drives Hollywood as a business, but the Academy seldom likes to even nominate them for Best Picture. So why not create a category just for those movies? God knows there would be enough of them eligible every year, and the average movie fan who never tunes into the Oscar broadcast every year might be more inclined to do so if their beloved Harry Potters or Twilights or Die Hards were up for at-least some kind of award.

5. Best Motion Capture Performance
A sign of the times. Gollum in Lord of the Rings, Kong in King Kong, the bear in Ted and Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes are main characters of the films in which they appear. Sure, they are special-effects, but they are also performances, a true collaboration between an actor and the technical wizards who bring the character to visual life. At this point in time, is their anyone who can seriously argue that Andy Serkis isn’t an amazing actor, even though we don’t see his true face on the screen? He's the De Niro of motion-capture.

6. Best Gore Make-Up
Traditionally, the Oscar category of Best Make-Up has been reserved for movies where a character has a physical deformity or is required to age. But whether the Academy likes it or not (and history has shown it doesn’t), some of the best make-up ever used in movies has been to depict graphic violence. If the effects are physically applied to an actor, it's make-up, and the genre should not matter. For Christ's sake, Tom Savini has never been nominated for anything!

7. Best Trailer
Trailers are the main things which plant butts in theater seats in the first place. Coaxing moviegoers to part with their hard-earned cash is an art unto itself, so why not reward the folks who cut these two-minute epics together? In fact, this would be the one category in which totally terrible movies could have a legitimate shot at Oscar gold. It takes a real artist to convince people that a truly crappy film is going to be great.
8. Best Voice Actor

Is there anyone out there who can argue that Robin Williams' work as the genie in Aladdin wasn’t the primary reason that movie was so cool? With the increasing number of traditional actors lending their voices to animated characters in blockbuster films, it seems a shame the Academy still doesn’t acknowledge their work, simply because they don’t appear onscreen.

February 18, 2015


Starring Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Laurie Holden, Kathleen Turner, Ron Riggle, Steve Tom, Rachel Melvin. Directed by Peter & Bobby Farrelly. (2014, 109 min).

There isn’t much that can be said about Dumb and Dumber To other than, if you loved the original, chances are you’ll be happy with this one. To quote an oft-abused cliché…same shit, different day, only this “day” happens 20 years later. But the interim between may also be the biggest problem with this, the first official sequel.

Good sequels are always a challenge to pull-off; belated sequels even more so. As far as belated comedy sequels go…forget about it. So I suppose it’s a credit to the Farrelly Brothers and Carrey & Daniels that Dumb and Dumber To sticks to the formula…the same two dimwits, another road-trip and as many gross, low-brow gags and un-PC humor as a PG-13 rating will allow. Sure, Carrey and Daniels seem a bit too old and respected to be returning to this schtick, but that’s just nitpicking. Aside from their age, this is practically the same movie as the original Dumb and Dumber.

Jim and Jeff learn of their unexpected
Oscar nominations (a cruel prank by the crew).
And here’s where the problem lies. Had this film been made a year or two after the original, it would probably have been considered nearly as fresh and edgy, back when the Farrelly Brothers’ brand of over-the-top humor was still something of a novelty. Since then, we’ve been inundated by countless juvenile comedies (some by the Farrellies themselves) which pushed the envelope of good taste far beyond anything in the original Dumb and Dumber. Unfortunately, Dumb and Dumber To peaks with its very first scene, and uproariously funny bit in which Lloyd commits the penultimate prank and long-time buddy Harry, followed by a catheter gag that’ll have every male viewer squirming in his chair.

After that, the movie is more like a nostalgia trip, relying on the goodwill of the audience who grew up with the first film. Some gags work, some don’t (like any other Farrelly Brothers movie), but this time, we react more with a nod and a smile than shock or belly laughs. After all, we’ve seen this all before. For better or worse, the film gives us exactly what we expect, with no surprises whatsoever. Whether or not that’s a good or bad thing depends on the viewer.

However, one thing is certain…anyone who fondly remembers Dumb and Dumber as a kid will surely want to share this one with their own children (providing you’re willing to explain the ‘peanut butter’ scene to them).


  • “That’s Awesome!” - The Story of Dumb and Dumber To (a lengthy, multi-chapter behind-the-scenes documentary)
  • Featurette: What’s So Smart About Dumb and Dumber To
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes, including an Alternate Opening (which isn’t as funny)
  • Gag Reel
  • DVD & Digital Copies

(OUT OF 5)

February 17, 2015

February 16, 2015

CAT NIP Reviews: THE CHAIR Rocks, THE LOOKALIKE Bores and METEOR Makes Us Laugh

A terrific idea for a series…a reality show which pits two would-be directors against each other to create two separate films based on the same screenplay. This original show from Starz’ covers the usual behind-the-scenes trials of the artists involved, and their efforts to put together their films is often fascinating. The first three discs of this five-disc set contain the series itself; the remaining two consist of the completed films themselves, Not Cool and Hollidaysburg. Unsurprisingly, the episodes are far more entertaining. In fact, Not Cool is a godawful shitfest. Hollidaysberg is better, but not anything you’d ever feel compelled to see if-not for this show. From Anchor Bay.

A pretty decent cast (including Justin Long, Luis Guzman & Gina Gershon) is largely wasted in this disjointed crime story which juggles too many characters and subplots for its own good. In the right hands, a film like this can be a lot of fun. Here, these characters are simply not interesting enough to care about, resulting in a film that’s kind-of a chore to sit through. It’s well-made on a fairly low budget, but nothing to write home about. From Well Go USA.

METEOR (Blu-Ray)
Pre-dating Deep Impact and Armageddon, Meteor was one of American International’s few attempts at a big-budget Hollywood blockbuster, but it still looks as cheap as the drive-in fodder from their heyday. Everyone in this all-star cast (Sean Connery included) is slumming here, save for an over-emoting Martin Landau as General Adlon, the obligatory disaster movie antagonist whose job it is to contradict every logical decision made by the hero. Eyes bulging and nostrils flaring, he refuses to believe there’s any real danger, even though entire cities are being taken out by falling rock. It’s a hilarious performance. Other folks showing up for a paycheck include Henry Fonda, Natalie Wood, Karl Malden and Brian Keith, uttering inane lines from a by-the-numbers script totally devoid of any creativity or suspense. In other words, Meteor is a ton of ridiculous fun. From Kino Lorber.


Starring Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox, Emily Watson, Simon McBurney, David Thewlis, Christian McKay, Maxine Peake. Directed by James Marsh. (2014, 123 min).

The first thing we walk away thinking after seeing The Theory of Everything is that Stephen Hawking is even more amazing (considering what he's had to overcome) than we initially assumed. The second thing is that his wife, Jane, is an equally-remarkable human being in her own right. The third is that both Eddie Redmayne’s and Felicity Jones’ Oscar nominations are well-deserved.

The Theory of Everything is not your standard biography of a renowned figure. Rather, it’s mostly the story of two people who fall in love and their resilience to stick together despite the life-altering affliction which strikes one of them (Hawking was initially given only two years to live). The film covers their 30+ years together, through three children, Stephen’s groundbreaking theories and the emotional struggles which eventually drove them apart. It’s that last aspect which provides the emotional heft of the movie. Not only do we get Stephen’s incredible story, but the sacrifices Jane herself made over the years, at the expense of her own dreams and goals.

"Hey...I think someone spiked the punch."
Redmayne, tasked to portray Hawking from a nerdish, awkward student through the degenerative disease which physically ravaged the man, is stunning; he truly embodies Hawking from beginning to end. His performance is so commanding that one might overlook Jones’ equally-impressive turn as Jane, the true emotional center of the film. Stephen may have lost use of his physical abilities, but Jane herself is to be admired for her own personal sacrifices. Her increasing unhappiness eventually has her finding love elsewhere, yet she doesn’t suddenly become a villain because it’s doubtful most of us would even sign-up for this life, much less see it through.

The end result is a movie that’s both joyous and sad, inspirational and arduous, an emotionally-satisfying love story and a comprehensive biography. It’s easy to see why The Theory of Everything garnered all its Oscar nominations (including one for Best Picture), and would make a great pre-award double feature with the similarly-themed The Imitation Game. This film is an all-around winner.


  • Featurette: Becoming the Hawkings
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Director Commentary
  • DVD & Digital Copies

(OUT OF 5)

February 15, 2015

Blu-Ray Review: THE HOMESMAN

Starring Tommy Lee Jones, Hilary Swank, Miranda Otto, Grace Gummer, Sonja Richter, Meryl Streep, John Lithgow, James Spader, Tim Blake Nelson, William Fichtner. Directed by Tommy Lee Jones. (2014, 123 min).

I’ll say this up front…The Homesman is an impeccably-crafted movie, loaded with outstanding performances, rich characters, challenging themes and haunting imagery (some scenes will linger with you for days, whether you want them to or not). Once again, Tommy Lee Jones demonstrates he’s just as skilled behind the camera as he is in front of it. But admiring a film isn’t always the same as actually enjoying it. As a 'western', The Homesman is relentlessly downbeat, practically wallowing in the misery of its characters and their bleak environment.

In the first act alone, a woman loses all three of her children to diphtheria, another murders her own baby by unceremoniously tossing it into the hole of an outhouse, while yet-another is repeatedly raped by her husband so she’ll pump-out a son. All three go understandably insane, especially in the horrible frontier town where they live with their asshole husbands. Still, crazy is crazy, and it’s decided that these women should be transported back east. An unmarried spinster, Mary Bee (Hilary Swank), ends-up with the task, along with cantankerous & self-centered claim-jumper George Briggs (Tommy Lee Jones), who she saves from being lynched by vigilantes.

Charlie's Angels: The Early Years
That’s essentially The story in a nutshell, a deliberately-paced and depressing journey in which we think the overall theme is the personal journey of one main character, but suddenly turns out to be about the redemption of another. As lovingly-made as it is, The Homesman is an utterly joyless film which may-indeed realistically depict what it was like to be a loyal wife (as well as that of an unmarried woman) during the westward expansion of the 19th Century, but it’s an emotionally exhausting experience, which was probably the whole point all along.

Still, despite all the misery on display, we feel compelled to see it through to the end, simply because it's so well made and the performances are terrific (Swank is at the top of her game, as is Jones, even though he's been a grizzled old cowboy before). But I seriously doubt The Homesman is a journey many would want to take a second time.

It should also be noted that, despite the impressive supporting cast (including Meryl Streep, John Lithgow and James Spader), most of these actors pop-up in little-more than glorified cameos and have little to do with the actual overall story.

Three Featurettes: Origins; Behind the Scenes; Beyond the Western

FKMG RATING (reluctantly):
(OUT OF 5)

February 12, 2015

THE BLACK HOLE and the Borgnine Action Figure

Starring Maximillian Schell, Anthony Perkins, Robert Forster, Joseph Bottoms, Yvette Mimieux, Ernest Borgnine, Roddy McDowall, Slim Pickens. Directed by Gary Nelson. (1979, 98 min).

The Black Hole was Disney’s ambitious attempt to shed their kid-movie image and get a slice of the Star Wars pie, going so-far as to put out a similar line of tie-in merchandise (officially making this the only film in history to inspire an Ernest Borgnine action figure). 

It was also Disney's first film with a PG rating, probably a conscious decision on their part because 'G' was fast-becoming the box office kiss-of-death. While The Black Hole has some of the same ingredients as Star Wars - even a couple of “cute” robots - it’s obvious that most of the effort was put into marketing, visual effects and production design. Everything else - the story, the acting, the leaden pace, the dialogue, the logic - is so laughably bad (yet soooo dead-serious) that The Black Hole manages entertain by virtue of its sheer awfulness.

The story itself is sort of a reworking of Disney’s own 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, only without a killer squid to liven things up. The small crew of the Palamino, a deep space explorer, comes across the largest black hole ever encountered (we know this because a robot tells us it‘s “the largest black hole ever encountered”). Perched dangerously near this massive vortex, to their amazement, is the Cygnus, a gigantic vessel launched from Earth 20 years ago and assumed to be lost. After docking with the Cygnus, the crew discover Dr. Hans Reinhardt (Maximillian Schell), a renowned  scientist and the only survivor of the original crew. He claims he ordered his crew to abandon-ship after the Cygnus was damaged, but in reality he had them all lobotomized and dressed 'em up like extras from a goth metal music video so they would do his bidding (the same thing that happened to the entire cast when their agents signed them up for this).

Protecting Reinhardt and his ship are sentry robots, who stagger around like wind-up toys and couldn’t hit the sky with a machine gun. If you thought the stormtroopers in Star Wars were bad shots, these guys will redefine the term for you.

The pinball machine from Hell.
Reinhardt's insane plan is to fly the Cygnus into the black hole in search of “the ultimate knowledge.” Like most folks who appear to be a few cans short-of a six-pack, this is a half-assed plan, since he doesn't seem to have a clue what he's even looking for. Understandably, most of the crew of the Palamino (Robert Forster, Joseph Bottoms, Yvette Mimiuex, Ernest Borgnine) want no part of this. The one exception is Dr. Durant, which should come as no surprise since he's played by Anthony Perkins (channeling his inner-Norman Bates for the umpteenth time). He's immediately so enamored by Reinhardt's radical genius that we half-expect him drop to his knees at any given moment and blow the guy.

That’s pretty much the story, which gets increasingly dumb as it goes along, with hilarious lapses in logic even a five-year-old can notice. For example, the ship’s hull is breached during a meteor shower (the coolest scene in the whole movie), but not only do our heroes avoid being sucked out into space (though the attacking robots do), they are still able to run, talk and breathe. Adding to the fun is some really stupid “techno” dialogue, such as when Perkins’ character announces he’s “activating the micro-beam,” when all he’s actually doing is turning on the ship’s lights, not-to-mention the lame attempts to make Joseph Bottoms another Harrison Ford (sorry, Joseph, but you simply look too much like an accountant to ever be mistaken for a gun-totin' space jock). The only really cool character is the evil robot, Max (looking like the front-end of a Chevy Camero), mostly because he doesn’t talk. No one else in the film ever shuts up.

Despite the admittedly dark tone of the story, the appearance of “cute” robots (voiced by Roddy McDowell and Slim Pickens) will quickly remind everyone watching they’re still watching just another corny old Disney film (with a few “hells” and “damns” tossed in), not the next Star Wars. The climax itself, when they enter the black hole (if you consider this a spoiler, you haven't been paying attention) is either awe-inspiring or unintentionally hilarious, depending on how many other 'cerebral' sci-fi films you've seen in the past. Sometimes cerebral is just an eloquent way of saying, "We didn't know how to end it."

As for the much-touted visual effects... they range from admittedly spectacular (the Cygnus is indeed impressive, as is it’s destruction by the meteor shower) to laughably clumsy; you can actually see the wires tethering the actors to simulate a weightless environment, and when the Cygnus finally does enter the black hole, it looks like it’s being flushed down a massive galactic toilet. But all these liabilities are also what makes The Black Hole a real hoot. It may not be the Star Wars Disney was hoping for, but it's undoubtedly a classic of bad cinema.

Harry Booth
in action.
Regarding The Black Hole tie-in toys which graced shelves of Toys 'R Us for approximately 12 minutes back  in 1979...at least the basic concept of Star Wars allowed you to use your imagination to create new adventures with your Luke, Han, Leia and Vader action figures. But what exactly did Disney think kids were gonna do with a mustached Harry Booth doll? I imagine anyone who got one of these in their Christmas stocking that year was akin to asking Mom to bring home Oreos from the grocery store, but she returns instead with Fig Newtons.

Still, I truly wish I had one of those Ernest Borgnine dolls. It would be totally cool, if not a bit ironic, to not only own an action figure from a film with virtually no action, but sculpted from the face of one of the least photogenic lead-actors of all time.

February 11, 2015

February 9, 2015

FEAR CLINIC: Stone Sour's "The Dark" Digital Single and Music Video Now Available!

Stone Sour unveils their specially-created music video "The Dark," now available for viewing and posting. The song is featured in Anchor Bay's latest horror release, Fear Clinic, co-starring Stone Sour/Slipknot vocalist Corey Taylor! As heavy metal fans, we here at Free Kittens Movie Guide must concur that the song (a cover of the classic tune by Metal Church) completely kicks-ass!
Fear Clinic is now available on Blu-Ray from


Starring Ed Oxenbould, Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Dylan Minnette, Kerris Dorsey, Bella Thorne, Dick Van Dyke. Directed by Miguel Arteta. (2014, 81 min).

Watching this, I was reminded of all the live action, family-friendly comedies Disney cranked out in the 1970s…Superdad, Candleshoe, The World’s Greatest Athlete, etc. As a kid back then, these movies were affable, agreeable entertainment, but nothing which resonated much after leaving the theater. I’ve revisited a few of them as an adult and mostly wondered what the hell I ever thought was so great about them.

I suspect the same will happen with Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, which isn’t necessarily intended as criticism. It’s just as kid-centric as those yuck-fests back in the day (albeit with more penis and vomit gags), a movie intended to appeal to those currently growing up with the sitcoms airing on The Disney Channel. In this context, the film is pretty successful.

Alexander Cooper is an insecure middle-schooler whose life is generally tumultuous on a daily basis, while his family (mom, dad & siblings) seem to be having nothing but great days, always with something awesome to talk about at the dinner table. On the eve of his birthday, he makes a wish…that they all experience the same kind of bad day as he usually does. Of course, that’s exactly what happens.

Who DOESN'T live in fear of a stealthy
His wish couldn't have come true at a worse time, with Mom (Jennifer Garner) on the verge of a promotion, Dad (Steve Carell) trying to land a job with a video game company, sister Emily landing the lead in the school play and older brother Anthony hoping to pass the driver’s test so he can take his shallow girlfriend to the prom.

From an adult perspective, none of the events which ensue are especially funny or creative (plenty of pratfalls, sight gags and PG-rated scatological humor). But it’s easy to see how a kid could find all of this very amusing, especially since the film is generally good-natured and moves at a brisk pace (at a scant 81 minutes, it’s just long enough to amuse the kids without parents staring impatiently at the DVD timer). There’s also an absolutely hilarious moment late in the film which will likely fly over the heads of its intended audience, involving Australian Cowboys hired to entertain at a party.

Ultimately, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is as affably charming as those old 70s-era Disney flicks which amused me as a kid. It’s no classic, but good enough for a fun family movie night with your own young 'uns.


  • Featurettes: Alexander…in Real Life; The Australian Outback Yard Party; Walkabout - A Video Diary
  • Blooper Reel
  • Music Video: "Hurricane"
  • Digital Copy

(OUT OF 5)