28 October 2012

October 28th

Jaws (1975) directed by Steven Spielberg
I forgot how awesome this movie is.  The 'berg back in the '70s and early '80s really knew how to put a crowd-pleaser together.  Great characters versus a hellishly scary monster terrorizing a community.  What more do you need for a horror film?

Holy cow, Robert Shaw is incredible in this film.  Every line that comes out of Quint's mouth is gold ("Seen one eat a rockin' chair one time.").  Why Shaw didn't score an Oscar for the Indianapolis speech, I don't know.

Poltergeist is kind of Jaws with a ghost, ain't it?  The house = the beach, the ghosts = Jaws, Steve =  Brody, Dr. Lesh = Hooper, the real estate developer = the mayor and, of course, Tangina = Quint.  Hmm.  In that case, I think Mrs. Kintner should've dove into Bruce's mouth to grab her boy.   Or, Steve should've thrown a propane tank from a backyard grill into the ghost's mouth to blow it up.  Either way.

Watched: blu-ray from Universal.

Tales from the Darkside 1.12: "In the Cards" (1985) directed by Ted Gershuny
A tarot card reader is given a cursed deck of cards that only reveals bad news.  This is not very fun and she desperately tries to find a way to get rid of them.  A decent episode, and at least it was serious and dark for a change.

Tales from the Darkside 1.13: "Anniversary Dinner" (1985) directed by John Strysik
A great episode.  It's a little predictable, but it establishes a nice mood and the characters are well drawn.  An old couple is about to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary.  They are lonely in their old age and miss having their children in the house.  When a young runaway wanders by, they invite her to stay with them and encourage her to relax in their hottub.  And don't mind the vegetables in there...

Mockingbird Lane (2012) directed by Bryan Singer
Not bad.  I'm obviously a fan of the original show, but I'm not opposed to doing different things with those beloved characters.  And, those characters have been changed quite a bit.  In a reverse of the original show, the Munsters look more-or-less normal but aren't quite as nice as they used to be.  The show starts with Eddie transforming into a werewolf and ravaging a boy scout camp, and ends with Grandpa stealing the heart from Eddie's new scoutmaster to repair Herman's broken ticker.  Having the Munsters as killers is going to turn off a lot of old school fans, I'm sure.  But, I don't think this is really that important of a change.

For me, the meat of the original show was the interactions between the Munsters themselves.  They aren't quite there yet with this new show.  I like Herman and Lily's relationship, which seems to be as loving as it was in the original.  Herman's interactions with Grandpa could use some work.  I know it's far too much to ask for a repeat of that magic chemistry Al Lewis and Fred Gwynne had, but they at least need to hint that new Herman and new Grandpa secretly appreciate each other's friendship.  The family's attitude towards Marilyn, also, is a little too harsh.  They're straying into "shut up, Meg" Family Guy territory a little with her. I like it better when the family simply feels sorry for her.

If this thing gets picked up as a series, I'm not sure where they could really take it.  Based on this episode, it would be seem to be about monster-izing typical sitcom problems (instead of having a talk with Eddie about puberty, it's about being a werewolf).  That'll get tired fast.  There's potential for the family to cause some fun havoc in their little suburban neighborhood, though.  We shall see.

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