Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 10/29/18 — 11/04/18

Me, after Halloween

Oh my God, what a week!

It’s been exhausting but it’s been rewarding!  On Tuesday, Jeff and I saw Big Data perform at the House of Blues!  Then on Wednesday, Halloween!  And now …. now, I’m trying to rest.  I’m probably not going to be as prolific a film blogger over the upcoming week as I was in October.  Horrorthon took a lot of effort but it was totally worth it!

Plus, this upcoming week is my birthday week!  On November 9th, I will be another year older and …. yeah, let’s not talk too much about that.

Here’s what I accomplished this week:

Movies I Watched:

  1. 14 Cameras (2018)
  2. Billionaire Boys Club (2018)
  3. Dead on the Water (2018)
  4. Detour (1945)
  5. Halloween (1978)
  6. Halloween 2 (1981)
  7. Halloween 3: Season of the Witch (1982)
  8. A House Divided (1913)
  9. Inferno (1980)
  10. Killer Under The Bed (2018)
  11. Lady Gangster (1942)
  12. Lady in the Death House (1944)
  13. Masque of the Red Death (1964)
  14. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
  15. The Other Side of the Wind (2018)
  16. The Perfect Mother (2018)
  17. Psycho Prom Queen (2018)
  18. Six: The Mark Unleashed (2004)
  19. Suspiria (1977)
  20. The Vampire and the Ballerina (1960)
  21. Where Are My Children? (1916)
  22. Whispering Footsteps (1943)
  23. Zombie at 17 (2018)

Television Shows I Watched:

  1. 911
  2. American Horror Story
  3. American Masters: Edgar Allan Poe
  4. Bar Rescue
  5. Better Call Saul
  6. Birth of the Living Dead
  7. The Brady Bunch
  8. Camping
  9. Charmed
  10. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
  11. Dancing with The Stars
  12. Degrassi
  13. The Deuce
  14. Doctor Phil
  15. Face the Truth
  16. Friends
  17. Hell’s Kitchen
  18. Homecoming
  19. It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
  20. Jamestown
  21. King of the Hill
  22. Kolchak: The Night Stalker
  23. Legacies
  24. Mike Judge Presents Tales From The Tour Bus
  25. Night Gallery
  26. The Office
  27. Parking Wars
  28. Saved By The Bell
  29. Seinfeld
  30. Shipping Wars
  31. South Park
  32. Survivor 37
  33. The Twilight Zone
  34. The Walking Dead
  35. You
  36. Young Sheldon

Books I Read:

  1. The Craven House Horrors (1982) by Hilary H. Milton
  2. You Are A Cat (2011) by Sherwin Tija
  3. You Are A Cat In The Zombie Apocalypse (2013) by Sherwin Tija
  4. You Are A Kitten (2011) by Sherwin Tija

Music To Which I Listened:

  1. Above & Beyond
  2. Adi Ulmansky
  3. Big Data
  4. Broken Peach
  5. Charli XCX
  6. Elle King
  7. Emerson Drive
  8. Erika Costello
  9. Goblin
  10. Grace Lightman
  11. Jakalope
  12. IC3PEAK
  13. Kedr Livanskiy
  14. King Princess
  15. LANY
  16. Leo Moracchioli
  17. Lindsey Stirling
  18. Mai Lin
  19. Matthew Dear
  20. Michael Fredo
  21. Moby
  22. Mothica
  23. Ninja Sex Party
  24. Public Service Broadcasting
  25. Slashtreet Boys
  26. Tara Lee

Links From Last Week:

  1. On her photography site, Erin shared: 30, Keep Walking, Foggy Morning, Foggy Neighborhood, Foggy Neighborhood 2, Foggy Neighborhood 3, Foggy Neighborhood 4, The Dead, Keep Watch, Watch Tower, Rain, Rain 2, Rain 3, Rain 4, Rain 5, Rain 6, Rain 7, Rain 8, Rain 9, Rain 10, Rain 11, Rain 12, Storm, Storm 2, Storm 3, Storm 4, Storm 5, Storm 6, November, Ducks, Army, and Mockingbird Station!
  2. On my music site, I shared music from Above & Beyond, Big Data, Broken Peach, Emerson Drive, Adi Ulmansky, more from Adi Ulmansky, and IC3PEAK!
  3. On Reality TV Chat Blog, I reviewed the latest episode of Survivor!
  4. Alec Baldwin Was Always Trash
  5. Liberals Scorned Me For Liking Ballet
  6. Ridley Scott to Develop Gladiator 2
  7. Voter Education: Eight candidates who have expressed blatantly anti-Semitic views, or who openly associate with anti-Semites

Links From The Site:

  1. I shared music videos from Mai Lin, Slashstreet Boys, Leo Morachioli, Grace Lightman, Adi Ulmansky, another one from Adi Ulmansky, and yet another one from Adi Ulmansky!  I reviewed Episode 5 and Episode 6 of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.  I shared The Twonky, Little Shop of Horrors, and Night of the Living Dead.  I paid tribute to Christopher Lee, John Carpenter, George Romero, Boris Karloff, and Bela Lugosi!  I shared scenes that I loved from The Wicker Man, The Fog, Zombi 2, Dawn of the Dead, Halloween III, and Targets!   I shared Episodes 19 and 20 of Kolchak and The Curse of Degrassi!  I also reviewed Nadja, The Vampire and the Ballerina, Vampire Circus, a book about The Night of the Living Dead, Dead in the Water, Killer Under the Bed, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Six: The Mark Unleased, Lady Gangster, Whispering Footsteps, Footsteps in the Night, Lady in the Death House, The Billionaire Boys Club, and Fifty Shades Freed!  I also shared a Peter Cushing interview6 Trailers For 6 Films That Still Scare Me and an AMV of the Day!
  2. Erin shared the following artwork: Blood of Dracula, On the Edge of the Galaxy, All True Love Stories, Virgil Finlay, Ghost, more from Virgil Finlay, Window, Walk on the Water, The Path Between, and Torment!  She also took a look at the Skeletal Covers of the Pulp Era and shared several vintage Halloween postcards!  She reviewed The Jackie Robinson Story, wished you a Happy Halloween, and posted the final post of October!
  3. Ryan reviewed Going to Heaven and From Crust Till Dawn.  He also shared his weekly reading round-up!
  4. Gary reviewed The Creature From the Black Lagoon, The Revenge of the Creature, The Creature Walks Among Us, The Other Side of the Wind, and the Stone Killer! He also shared Bela and Boris doing the Monster Mash!  He also shared a little more Bela and Boris!  Finally, he cleaned some Halloween leftovers out of his DVR and shared a one-hit wonder!
  5. Case reviewed Episodes 7, 8, 9, and 10 of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina!
  6. Jeff reviewed Demon Wind, The Carpenter, and FleshEater, and shared 8 Frightening Serials from Dr. Who’s Classic Era!
  7. Arleigh shared Highway to Hell!

(Want to see what I accomplished last week?  Click here!)

Catching Up With The Films of 2018: Fifty Shades Freed (dir by James Foley)

“Mrs. Grey will see you now.”  (Insert your own eye roll GIF here.)

Occasionally, you see a film and, even though you know you should, you just never get around to reviewing it.  For instance, I saw Fifty Shades Freed when it was originally released in February and then I watched it again when it was released on DVD.  Both times, I thought to myself that I should write down my thoughts on the film, if for no other reason than the fact that I previously reviewed both Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker for this site.  And yet, I never did.  To be honest, it was difficult to really think of anything to say about this movie that I hadn’t said about the previous two films.

Fifty Shades Freed opens with Christian (Jamie Dornan) and Ana (Dakota Johnson) getting married and going on their honeymoon.  It’s fun!  It’s sexy!  And it’s kinda creepy because, as always, Christian has control issues and he has to have his security team following them all over the place.  Christian freaks out with Ana removes her top on the beach.  Ana gasps at the sights of handcuffs.  There’s one hot sex scene that will temporarily make you forget about the fact that Jamie Dornan doesn’t seem to be that good of an actor.  It’s everything that you’d expect from a Fifty Shades honeymoon.

Unfortunately, the honeymoon ends way too quickly and then we have to deal with the marriage.  On the plus side, marrying Christian Grey means that you get to live in a really nice house and fly around in a private jet.  On the negative side, Christian is still basically an immature douchebag and, now that’s she rich, Ana has become a lot less likable.

Christian freaks out when he discovers that Ana is still using the name “Ana Steele” in her email address.  Ana explains that she’s Ana Steele at work but then, when she meets an architect named Gia Matteo (Arielle Kebbell), Ana tells her to stop flirting with her husband and announces, “You can call me Mrs. Grey!” with all the intensity of Kelly Kapowski announcing that she’s going to prom with Zach Morris on Saved By The Bell.

The marriage continues to play out like a perfume commercial written by Sartre’s bastard child.  Fortunately, there’s a few more sex scenes that are designed to again remind us that a good body can make up for a lack of everything else.  Unfortunately, Ana gets upset when Christian tries to humiliate her for real and a pouty Christian walks out of a shower as soon as Ana steps into it.  Ana is told that she’s pregnant and Christian totally freaks out because he still has all sorts of things that he wants to do with his money.  Christian’s a douchebag but he’s got a good body and he’s like super rich.  Have I already mentioned that?

Anyway, it turns out that Ana is being stalked by her former boss, Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson).  Fortunately, all of the stalking allows Ana and Christian to rediscover their love for each other.  There’s a kidnapping.  There’s a car chase.  There’s a lot of music and a lot of scenes of Dakota Johnson looking confused and Jamie Dornan looking blank.  It’s a Fifty Shades movie.  What else were you expecting?

The usual argument that critics tend to make with the Fifty Shades trilogy is that the movies are terrible but Dakota Johnson does the best that she can with the material.  Actually, both Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan are pretty lousy in all three of these films but Ana was at least kind of a sympathetic character in the previous two films.  Unfortunately, Fifty Shades Freed sees Ana and Christian becoming a boring married couple and what little chemistry Dornan and Johnson had in the previous films completely vanishes.  As a result, Ana doesn’t seem like someone lucky enough to have fallen in love with a man who just happens to be super wealthy.  Instead, she just comes across like someone who sold her soul for a private jet.

Fifty Shades Freed is the weakest of the trilogy, done in by the fact that there’s really not much of a story to tell.  Ana and Christian get to live blissfully ever after and it’s always good to see happy mannequins.  I saw this movie with my best friend and we talked through the entire movie and I imagine that’s what we’ll do every time we rewatch it.

30 Days of Noir #4: Lady in the Death House (dir by Steve Sekely)

The 1944 film, Lady in the Death House, tells the tragic and faintly ridiculous story of Mary Kirk Logan (Jean Parker).

The daughter of a small-time criminal, Mary has spent most of her life trying to escape from her family’s legacy of crime.  She’s even got a job, working at the same bank that her father once tried to rip off.  Of course, at work, everyone knows her as Mary Kirk and they have no idea that her father was the infamous Tom Logan.  If that information got out, Mary would lose her job and no longer be able to take care of herself or her younger sister, Suzy (Marcia Mae Jones).

One night, Mary is out on a date with a clumsy man who takes her out to a nightclub and manages to accidentally set Mary’s dress on fire.  Luckily, Dr. Brad Braford (Douglas Fowley) is there, having a drink with his friend, the famous criminologist, Charles Finch (Lionel Atwill).  Brad jumps into action, extinguishing the fire and saving Mary’s dress.  It’s love at first sight.

There’s just one problem.  Dr. Bradford is studying ways to bring the dead back to life and, in order to raise money for his research, he’s been working as the state’s executioner.  When someone goes to the electric chair, Brad is the one who pulls the lever.  Mary says that she can only marry Brad if he gives up his electrifying night job.

However, before Brad can turn in his letter of resignation, Mary is arrested for the murder of Willis Millen (Dick Curtis), a crook who once knew her father.  Mary swears that she’s innocent but there are two eye witnesses who testify that they not only heard Mary and Willis fighting but that they also saw the shadow of someone hitting Willis over the head with a lamp.  It doesn’t take long for the jury to reach a verdict:

I have to admit that, when this newspaper appeared on-screen, I was actually more curious about the “youth” who was arrested for stealing glitter off of campaign signs.  However, for whatever reason, the film declines to follow up on that story.  Instead, we watch as Mary goes to death row, with the knowledge that she is to die “at the hand of the man I love.”

However, there may still be hope!  Charles thinks that Mary is innocent.  Though there’s only 24 hours left before Brad is scheduled to execute Mary, Charles launches an investigation of his own.  But even if Charles is able to find the evidence that exonerates Mary, will he be able to contact the governor in time?  Or will Mary go to the chair?

Well, regardless of what happens, rest assured that this World War II-era film will end with an appeal for all movie goers to do the right thing and buy war bonds.

Lady in the Death House is an entertaining but fairly ludicrous little movie.  I mean, realistically, having the executioner execute his own fiancée is a huge conflict of interest.  It seems like they could have gotten a substitute executioner, if just for one night.  But, if they did that, we wouldn’t get the melodramatic highlight of Mary announcing that she’s scheduled to be killed “by the hand of the man I love.”

Lady in the Death House provides a rare chance to see Lionel Atwill in a heroic role.  The British actor played a countless number of mad scientists, killers, and Nazis before his premature death in 1946.  (Atwill’s promising career was derailed in 1943, when he accused of hosting orgies at home and was subsequently convicted of perjury.  That’s one reason why Atwill turned up in a “poverty row” feature like this one.)  Atwill is convincing as Charles Finch.  The same superior attitude that made him a good villain also makes him believable as the only person capable of figuring out who murdered Willis Millen.

Taking on its own terms, Lady in the Death House is a fun movie.  If nothing else, it provides a lesson on how to get a message to the governor, even if no one’s quite sure where he is for the evening.  That’s an important lesson to learn!

Weekly Reading Round-Up : 10/28/2018 – 11/03/2018, Richard Alexander’s “Richy Vegas Comics”

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

There’s no road map for this series. It eschews all comparison, not so much as a matter of design or intent, but simply because cartoonist Richard Alexander pays absolutely no heed to anyone else’s arbitrarily-imposed “rules” and, as a result, his Richy Vegas Comics is utterly without peer — and frankly even belies very little by way of outside influence. It is the product of a singular aesthetic vision, and speaks in its own self-created visual language.

Which probably sounds like a real mouthful when describing what is ostensibly “yet another” autobio comic. But don’t let’s categorize this so simply. Alexander, after all, operates in a format no one else does — he literally draws on paper plates, and the end result is oversized, spiral-bound comics that engage in a type of hermetically-sealed storytelling specifically suited to this particular format. Each page, in fact, is a self-contained “universe” unto itself, even…

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Music Video of the Day: Dreamin’ by ADI featuring KDC (2015, dir by Shir Rosenthal and Adi Ulmansky)

For today’s music video of the day, we have more from Adi Ulmansky.

The video switches between shots Adi defiantly performing and shots of Adi defiantly walking down the streets of Tel Aviv.  The important thing to remember here is defiance.  This song, which features the American rapped KDC, was produced by Austin’s own Eric Dingus.