Things I Watched #6

Movies with a * were seen in theaters.

  • Krampus (2015); second viewing for Thomas.
  • Black Christmas (1974); first viewing for Thomas and Beau.
  • The Man who killed Hitler and then the Bigfoot (2018); first viewing for Thomas.
  • Overlord (2018); first viewing for Thomas.
  • Pooka (2018); first viewing for Thomas.
  • My Bloody Valentine (1981); first viewing for Thomas.
  • I, Frankenstein (2014); second viewing for Thomas.
  • 47 Meters Down (2017); first viewing for Thomas.
  • Deep Blue Sea (1999); first viewing for Thomas.
  • Ronin (1998); first viewing for Thomas.
  • Interview with a Vampire (1994); first viewing for Thomas.
  • The Nice Guys (2016); fourth viewing for Thomas and second for Beau.
  • Black Christmas (2019)*; first viewing in theaters for Thomas and Beau.
  • Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse (2018); first viewing for Thomas, and second for Beau.
  • Spirited Away (2001); first viewing for Beau and unknown viewing for Thomas.
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)*; first viewing for Beau and Thomas.

Worth Watching

While coming up with the reviews for this list we have already started another post because we saw that this one was getting long. Beau helped with the recommendations, for some of them since I (Thomas) only saw the movie the recommendation is solely mine.

As before, at the end of each there is a link to the website Does the Dog Die? which can be used to search for triggering content in movies. We highly recommend this website and answering questions for movies that you have seen to help others.

Ronin (1998); I (Thomas) had not seen this movie before but scrolled past it while droning through free streaming channels on my Roku (there are so many free streaming channels with ads but they have the other movies most of the time). I think Ronin is a good movie, when I say good I mean that I was imterested during the entirety of the movie. I was there for these mercenary contract specialists who were doing watever gigs they could for money. The back and forth of every character with each other felt strong and with purpose. They acted like they knew what they were doing and gave off the energy of someone confident but careful in their work and planning. These aren’t flashy characters either, these are Dad khakis and Dad jeans mixed with the beige color section of the paint department in Home Depot. They could blend in, which added to tone it felt like for me? They could be nobody and their status was mercs with burned ties looking for money and use for their skills. Summary, the car chases were good. The action was good. And the dealings were tense. Warning though as it does deal with alot of IRA content as you discover in the movie the criminals that are being worked for are leadership for the group. While there isn’t a page for it on Does the Dog Die, Movies with Mikey has covered it in a video which may assist in determining if this movie is for you.

The Nice Guys (2016); This is a Shane Black movie. The fights are fun to watch and pack a punch without resorting to excessive camera perspective changes and shakey fight cam. It stars my favorite detective duo, a drunk Ryan Gosling and a bruiser wannabe P.I. Russell Crowe. The movies soundtrack is fun and perfectly the aesthetic that is being sought, a sunburnt L.A. with smog filled air and a porno theater on every corner. Angourie Rice plays Goslings daughter in the movie and pushes these two rough and tumble big boys to be better and do better. Russell is teased with a friendship and the possibility of straying too far she would cease to be friends with him. This movie would not have the sideplot vibes of a P.I. detective family of two divorced dad’s and a daughter if it wasn’t for her excellent acting and characters screentime. Both of us would recommend The Nice Guys as a fun P.I. movie for grownups, fans of Shane Black will not be disappoimted. As a warning though, it has the indigenous peoples sensitivity of the 70s and the alcohol abuse sleaze of the time period as well. Does the Dog Die.

Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse (2018); Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse is a masterpiece of artistic and technical design, highlighting multiple styles in the various starring Spider-Men and Spider-Women, with an amazing soundtrack and a complex but heartfelt plot that brings most nerds to tears at least once while the bright colors and brilliantly-executed use of words-on-screen (bagel! sound effect included) keep them locked on until the last credit has rolled. Miles Morales is a believable and sweet kid just trying to find his way, and he touches the lives of all of the people he interacts with in this film – some, with a cheeseburger, others, with a bus. The multidimensional story is rich and is also finally a story that doesn’t leave Black and Latinx culture in the cold, reflecting it all through Miles, his family, the art, and the music. Marvel needs more of this, every day. Does the Dog Die.

Overlord (2018); Overlord is weird. It has mega strong Nazi zombies and Nazis creating zombies for a thousand year Reich plots. In this movie you follow from the eyes of Private First Class Edward Boyce, the son of Haitian immigrants who moved to the states. Boyce is a paratrooper which means exploding planes and dead soldiers hanging from forest trees come into the movie early on. While so much occurs (a torture a Nazi interrogation, medical experiments similar to those in the movie Event Horizon in how horrific they are) the big thing I liked in the movie was Boyce. Boyce was the fudging best, a strong character that had principles they held dear. That there was a way to do things, and acting like the Nazi enemies was not the way to do it. The path forward was to think of not just how to stop the Nazi experiments, but also to make sure that the US does not get their paws on these secret gross blood elixirs of undead super strength. Throughout the Boyce has to work under a disillusioned commander whose sole philosophy is finish the job whatever it takes. By the end though, Boyce gets through to him. That there are more ways to get the work done, without having to become who they are fighting. Would recommend for those into zombie movies, even if it is a movie about zombies with little zombie shootouts and gun downs. It is also visually stunning, I imagine this is due to Bad Robot doing work on the movie (JJ did not direct). Does the Dog Die.

Black Christmas (2019); Black Christmas is a significant change from the original 1974 film of the same name in that not only does the film empower the sorority women to fight back against the threats they face, but it also more clearly and more intentionally calls out toxic masculinity as something some men carry with pride and force onto other men who would rather be doing the right thing. Cary Elwes is suitably creepy in his role as college professor, and every single one of the women – Riley, Kris, Marty, and Jesse – outshines him with their heart and their intensity. The backstory of Riley’s sexual assault that is mentioned is brought forth in a second instance of a halted sexual assault of another woman, Helena, and featured in some flashbacks later that focus on Riley, her experiences, and her pain. It is overall handled very well, and doesn’t stray from the point – that this was a cruel act and that the experiences of the women are paramount. Overall, a great film to watch if you are able to work through some of these difficult scenes – and the violence that inevitably takes center stage. Does the Dog Die.

Things I Watched #5

Movies with a * were seen in theaters.

  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015); first viewing for Thomas. Fourth viewing for Beau.
  • Knives Out (2019)*; first viewing for Thomas and Beau, seen in theaters.
  • Ready or Not (2019); first viewing for Thomas and Beau.
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019); first viewing for Thomas, and second viewing for Beau (Beau saw it in theaters when it had come out).
  • Apostle (2018); first viewing for Thomas and Beau.
  • Hot Rod (2007); first viewing for Thomas, and second for Beau.
  • The Invitation (2015); first viewing for Thomas.
  • Gerald’s Game (2017); first viewing for Thomas.
  • The Silence (2019); first viewing for Thomas.
  • Queen of the Damned (2002); first viewing for Thomas, 100th for Beau.
  • The Monster (2016); first viewing for Thomas.
  • Await Further Instructions (2018); first viewing for Thomas.
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle (2018); first viewing for Thomas.
  • The Rezort (2015); first viewing for Thomas.
  • Head Count (2018); first viewing for Thomas.
  • CAVE (2016); first viewing for Thomas and Beau (we do not recommend this movie, it wasn’t even good bad just not good). If you do decide to attempt this movie, please be warned there is a sexual assault in the film and it is lingered on for a couple minutes of full screen time.

Worth Watching

While coming up with the reviews for this list we have already started another post because we saw that this one was getting long. Beau helped with the recommendations, for some of them since I (Thomas) only saw the movie the recommendation is solely mine.

As before, at the end of each there is a link to the website Does the Dog Die? which can be used to search for triggering content in movies. We highly recommend this website and answering questions for movies that you have seen to help others.

The Invitation (2015); I (Thomas) heard about this movie through the podcast Horror Movie Survival Guide and immediately knew that I wanted to watch it. I had it already on my list and know that I new Karyn Kusama had directed it (the director of Jennifer’s Body) I just had to press play. This movie is about adults who have returned from their South American mid-life crisis getaway and come back death cultists. It doesn’t start with the murder, that is at the end. But it moves to that bloody ending inch by inch as the the viewers POV (ex-husband of cult lady dinner party thrower) becomes more and more convinced that this is a murder party. It is filmed like a bottle episode, and it soars like the best on TV but as a big movie. The Hollywood trendy’s want to die and have invited their friends to join them in their fabulous home in the hills. It is more serious in tone than Jennifer’s Body was, but if you want to see cults done in a way that is close and personal this movie is for you. Instead of a village of murderers, this focuses on the impact that a few individuals can have on the people closest to them. Does the Dog Die.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015); The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is an exciting spy film set during the Cold War that mostly flew under the radar when it was out in theaters. It has a stunning cast – Cavill and Hammer are gorgeous to look at and play their parts wonderfully, defying and aligning with their character archetypes at the times you most and least expect. Vikander kills any negative expectations and is picture perfect! The film is gorgeous, with Ritchie pulling off some of his best camera work, and the sets doing much of the support work. The villains highlight the kind of people we love to hate, beautiful and terrible, and there’s an unexpected twist at the end that could have tied to a promising sequel – had the audiences been up for it at the time. Funny, well-paced, with tight editing and really lovely characterization, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a good flick to watch when you want spies with a little more flair than the average Bond. Does the Dog Die.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle (2018); I (Thomas) have not yet read Shirley Jackson’s book of the same name (yet), so I cannot say with any certainty whether or not it sticks close to the source material. What I can say is that I like this movie. It felt like a creeping curse was seeping its way upwards from the earth into the movie, and as it grabbed hold it didn’t do it violently, it did it with a still oddness like a stare that holds for too long between two strangers. It smells of menace as the two girls and their uncle heal from a family tragedy where so many were poisoned with cyanide. These three live alone on their hill with their riches as the entire town hates them for their father, their hatred swells over time until it explodes one night during the movie. In this movie though, the primary figure that breaks through the POV character Merricats spells and sorceries is Charles. A cousin who seeks riches and a way to become the head of the Blackwood estates and their leftover fortunes. At times while watching this movie, I could have believed it if the twist ended up being that all of the characters were actually ghosts inhabiting the halls. This ends up not being true, but the halls are haunted by the lives they have led and the events they have participated in. If you liked the Haunting of Hill House mini series and are looking for more, it is not here or similar. This is a different thing altogether that I would recommend watching with hints of protection spells and curses in the earth, and the performances are good. It is on Netflix as of right now so check it out! Does the Dog Die.

Double Feature! Rich People and Satan (YES THEY SAY SATAN IN THE MOVIE).

Knives Out (2019) followed by Ready or Not (2019); Knives Out has been super popular since it hit the screens, star studded and surprising with Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc, a detective contracted to investigate the death of a wealthy mystery book author, and the rest of the famous actors as despicable rich and privileged white people that deserve pretty much everything they get (except the author himself). The movie is remarkable in that it convinced many people to watch thinking those people were the heroes and protagonists of the story, when in fact Ana de Armas is the true focal point and carries it brilliantly, shining through the film as a heartfelt and loving character. The film tells you the truth of the mystery, which is a brave thing to do, and because of that, when the real twists happen, it’s a sucker punch and it hurts ten times as much. Full of sharp and witty cutting jokes, emotional moments between characters, and the real elements of a Sunday afternoon mystery, Knives Out is a real treat – and a big trick for the privileged characters within it.

This is why it pairs so well with Ready or Not, which digs in a lot deeper. Ready or Not focuses on the lead, Grace, played by Samara Weaving, who is getting married to a positive lump of a man from a very rich family all obsessed with the games their family makes and sells. It’s tradition in the family that on the wedding night they all play a game, based on some agreement to a Mr. Le Bail that an ancestor met while traveling years ago. There are many games, most just good fun, but the one – hide and seek – turns deadly should the bride (or groom) from the new family choose it from the random deck of cards. Grace, unfortunately, chooses that one – and mayhem ensues! I (Beau) loved this film because in spite of all the nonsense and all of the other characters basically being shitheels, Grace maintains a surprising level of agency and power, even to the cries of “Hail Satan!” And in the end, well, the rich, privileged jerks get theirs – & it all burns down.

Does the Dog Die for Knives Out.
Does the Dog Die for Ready or Not.

Note from Thomas on the double feature: I really want to see a side by side podcast episode where people can listen along to the commentary of this set. Mark my words I will have a Blu-Ray for both on my shelves as soon as possible!

Things I Watched #4

Movies with a * were seen in theaters.

  • The Brothers Grimm (2005); first viewing
  • Phantasm (1979); first viewing
  • CRAWL (2019); 2nd viewing for Thomas, and 1st for Beau.
  • They Come Knocking (2019); first viewing
  • Mary and the Witch’s Flower (2017); first viewing
  • Spring (2014); first viewing
  • The Witch (2015); 2nd viewing for Thomas, 3rd time for Beau.
  • Midsommar (2019); first viewing
  • Creepshow (2019); the shudder series, first viewing
  • Terrifier (2017); first viewing
  • Blackcoat’s Daughter (2015); first viewing
  • The Lighthouse* (2019); first viewing
  • Boa (2001); 1st viewing for Thomas, millionth for Beau. Beau owns the DVD.
  • Knight’s Tale (2001); first viewing for Thomas.
  • Krampus (2015); first viewing for both Thomas & Beau.
  • The Devil’s Backbone (2001); first viewing for both Thomas & Beau.
  • A Christmas Horror Story (2015); first viewing for both Thomas & Beau.
  • The Endless (2017); first viewing for both Thomas & Beau.
  • SOLO (2018); first viewing for Beau, 3rd for Thomas.
  • Creepshow (2019); rewatched episodes 1 & 2 for Beau, as Beau enjoys werewolves in their media. And Thomas wanted to share the haunted doll house episode.

Worth Watching

There were so many movies watched since the last time I posted, and there is so many that I want to talk about! But with the help of Beau we have the big recommendations that we can both suggest from this grouping.

As before, at the end of each there is a link to the website Does the Dog Die? which can be used to search for triggering content in movies. Highly recommend this website and answering questions for movies that you have seen to help others.

Boa (2001); Boa is a really excellent fun bad movie to watch and make fun of with friends. It has a lot of issues in the script, problems with the visual design and graphics. The plot is absolutely ridiculous, delivered by hilarious performances. Boa is always a good time to sit down and goof around with friends. One thing to note that is not on Does the Dog Die is that there is negative stereotypes and prejudiced language, especially for the Irish. Does the Dog Die.

“Spring is one of the best romances that I have ever seen, honestly”

Beau (handsome boy)

Spring (2014); Spring is a monster romance movie that involves an American grieving abroad after the death of the mother he had been caring for so long. The monster design is top notch and the love story is touching. Its horrific bits are horrific and when the girl transforms into the creature sprawled out with tentacles and scorpion tails flailing it is wild. A moment that we have gone back and paused to marvel at. Make this your Valentine’s Day feature film, we beg you. Does the Dog Die.

Krampus (2015); Krampus is wild. Krampus is good. Let this beefy hoofed boy wearing a dead man’s skin crawl down your chimney and bring you you holiday cheer. Krampus is great! Let Adam Scott be the great Christmas movie Dad you need in your life. The costumes are marvelous, the creatures are terrifying, and this movie got such a bad rap on its release that it does not deserve. This movie is generally in the cheap DVD bins at Wal-Mart so now is the perfect time to buy this fun movie. Does the Dog Die.

“I have strong armed Beau into making this our annual Christmas movie tradition. Which wasn’t hard because we both loved it”

Thomas (other handsome boy)

Devil’s Backbone (2001); The Devil’s Backbone is a historical horror film set in the Spanish civil war. While it is definitely a horror film the horror is more about the horrors of war and how they affect people that aren’t even fighting. There are ghost children and while violence against children is depicted, in true del Toro fashion, it is treated with honesty and not fetishized or lingered upon. Fans of del Toro will most likely love it, and horror and historical war film fans may also really enjoy this perspective. Does the Dog Die.

Things I Watched #3

Movies with a * were seen in theaters.

  • The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016); first viewing
  • 28 Days Later (2002); first viewing
  • King Arthur (2018); first viewing
  • Halloween (2018); first viewing
  • Scary Stories to tell in the Dark* (2019); first viewing
  • Baby Driver (2017); first viewing
  • Dracula Untold (2014); first viewing
  • Mystic River (2003); first viewing
  • Session 9 (2001); first viewing
  • I am the Pretty Thing that lives in the house (2016); first viewing
  • In the Tall Grass (2018); first viewing
  • Channel Zero (2016); season one, first viewing
  • House of the Witch (2017); first viewing
  • The Quiet Ones (2014); first viewing
  • Stonehearst Asylum (2014); first viewing
  • Shutter Island (2010); fourth viewing

Worth Watching

From this batch of movies that I have watched these are the ones I would recommend watching. At the end of each there is a link to the website Does the Dog Die? which can be used to search for triggering content in movies. Highly recommend this website and answering questions for movies that you have seen to help others.

I am Pretty Thing that lives in the house (2016); This movie is creepy and very evocative, the narration felt like it was written by a classic horror author. With manners, soul, and loneliness that hangs off every breath. Does the Dog Die.

Baby Driver (2017); It has a killer soundtrack and one of the best uses of music in any movie. Ham driving a car as a murder monster through a parking garage while Queen is blaring is intense and wild. It also has a good perspective to a disabled character (this is a comment added by a disabled person with tinnitus). Does the Dog Die.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019); Me and the boyfriend saw this in theaters on opening weekend! It was terrifying but worth it, both of us were big fans of the stories and the interpretations of each monster. As well as impressed by how multiple stories were strung together, and the setup for additional movies/sequels. Plus the effects were amazing. Does the Dog Die.

King Arthur (2018); King Arthur uses fun effects and an interesting perspective on the character of Arthur to retell the story for a action fantasy audience in 2018. The Sirens under the castle were one of the highlights of this movie, that and the giant mountains that turned into elephants. This movie did some flak, but we think it’s undeserved or at least is expecting something that this movie wasn’t even trying to offer. One downside that is apparent, that reoccurs, is that Guy Ritchie does not know how to write women characters. Does the Dog Die.

28 Days Later (2002); This is the best zombie movie of all time, for me (the boyfriend said this). It was dark and fast before zombie movies were fast. The movie is rich with emotion, tackling apocalypse experiences that other horror films had not yet approached. The military in horror movies before this was a common perspective of heroism, or being misunderstood, or doing the right thing despite the moral grayness of the actions. The military here is people with power abusing power while alone and creating structures to perpetuate said abuse on a small scale, alienating dissenters. The alternate endings suck though. Does the Dog Die.

Things I Watched #2

My adventure in watching more movies and TV continues, this time watching some movies in theaters (asterisks for those). I watched CRAWL (Alexandre Aja), first time seeing something in theaters since I had gone and seen Us (Jordan Peele) with my boyfriend.

I also started watching Twin Peaks, making my way through the first two seasons. Which made me realize people who described it to me never described it accurately? To be fair though, the last episode of season 2 definitely leaves a certain overshadowing taste in your mouth. I really am excited to see the movie prequel and then the 3rd season that came out in 2017.

Anyways, here is the list:

  • Twin Peaks (Seasons 1-2); first viewing
  • CRAWL* (2019); first viewing
  • Godzilla (1954); first viewing
  • In Bruges (2008); second viewing
  • Russian Doll (2019); first viewing
  • Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998); first viewing
  • Kong: Skull Island (2017); first viewing
  • Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005); first viewing

Things I Watched #1

Every two weeks I’ll post a list of what I watched since last time, here is the first list since I started writing notes in a small notebook about the movies and TV that I watch:

  • The Ritual (2017); second viewing
  • Halloween (1978); first viewing
  • Scream (1996); first viewing
  • Velvet Buzzsaw (2019); first viewing
  • In Bruges (2008); first viewing
  • I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997); first viewing
  • MAMA (2013); first viewing
  • The Haunting of Hill House (2018 series); first viewing
  • The Golem (2018); first viewing
  • Prince of Darkness (1987); first viewing
  • Jennifer’s Body (2009); first viewing