Happy Birthday, Arleigh!

This cute anime kitty is super excited for Arleigh's birthday!

This cute anime kitty is super excited about Arleigh’s birthday!

Hi, everyone!  Today is November 27th and that means that it is a major holiday here at the TSL Offices!  Today is the birthday of TSL co-founder and editor-in-chief, Arleigh Sandoc!  Five years ago, Arleigh came across me ranting about Dario Argento on twitter and asked me if I would be interested in contributing to this blog and it has been an amazing journey ever since!  Thank you, Arleigh, for the site and the opportunity!

As always, we first observe Arleigh’s birthday with song:

And now, we shall move on to the traditional celebration of cake, Guiness, and a trip to the shooting range.  During the celebrations, why not check out some of the reviews that Arleigh has posted over the years:

Like, for instance, his review of A History of Violence?

Or Captain America: The First Avenger?

Or Pacific Rim?

Or Bubba Ho-Tep?

Or Skyfall?

Or Battle Beyond the Stars?

Or, one of my personal favorites, his review of Cloud Atlas?

Check out Arleigh’s thoughts on the first ever episode of The Walking Dead!

Check out this scene that Arleigh loves from Ken Burns’s The Civil War!

And then check out this scene from Saving Private Ryan!

And this scene from They Live!

Check out Arleigh’s report on Anime Boston 2014!

Check out Arleigh’s tribute to H.R. Giger!

And definitely, you simply must read Arleigh’s review of the original Night of the Living Dead!

Happy birthday, Arleigh, from all the writers and readers of Though the Shattered Lens!


Breithlá Sona!

Quick Film Review – Weird Science (dir. by John Hughes)

Today, the Shattered Lens is kicking off a special birthday celebration for our fellow contributor, Lisa Marie Bowman, with a set of “Lisa” themed reviews. My contribution to the Everything Lisa festivities is one of my favorite John Hughes films, Weird Science. I love this movie.

Weird Science is basically about two teens, Gary (Anthony Michael Hall, a Hughes favorite) and Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell Smith), who have the house to themselves and come up with a crazy idea to build themselves a girl. With the use of a computer and a modem, & a little Einstein & Mozart, they end up with Lisa (Kelly LeBrock), who acts as something of a genie in their lives. It requires a bit of suspension of belief but for the subject matter, it’s actually fun.

Neither Wyatt nor Gary are very popular individuals. They get picked on by a set of wisecracking bullies (played by Robert Downey Jr. And Robert Rusler), never get invited to any parties and are pretty much left to daydream about how cool they could end up being, only if. Wyatt also has his brother, Chet (a pre-Aliens Bill Paxton in a funny turn), who extorts things from him at every turn. This is where Lisa comes in.

One of the first things she does is to take the boys out on the town. It’s here that she asks them what her name is going to be. The boys decide on Lisa as the name, and she runs with it (even changing the license plate on the car). While the partying seems like something completely out of their comfort zone, by the end of the night, they’re well adjusted. Mind you, it’s helped with a lot of drinking and laughing.

Eventually, the boys slowly grow in popularity after being seen at the mall with Lisa and her throwing the biggest party in town at their house. Like with every John Hughes movie, there’s always a message here, and the boys go a little overboard in chasing their popularity when they try to create another girl for the bullies (which of course goes wrong in so many ways). Eventually, Lisa decides that what the boys really need is something that will build their character. Bringing in a group of Road Warrior-like motorcycle thugs, Wyatt and Gary engage in a standoff that they eventually win (which also wins them kudos).

I’ve seen this movie so many times, it’s ridiculous. When I got my first car, I decided to name it “Lisa”, after this movie and the line that a drunken Gary yells while Wyatt drives – “He doesn’t even have his license, Lisa!” While it may not be Hughes’ magnum opus, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, it holds a special place for me.

A Happy Birthday shout-out goes out to our own Lisa. Have a great day today!!