The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a movie I have never watched until last weekend. There is a Rocky Horror Picture Show themed party room at Convergence every year, but I never knew what the references were. My friend was shocked I had never seen this movie and ultimately, she pulled the DVD from her collection and made me watch it. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is the ultimate horror-themed musical.

Throughout the movie, the unnamed narrator tells the story of the newly engaged couple Brad Majors (played by Barry Bostwick) and Janet Weiss (played by Susan Sarandon). They hit a flat tire and stumble upon a massive mansion. Brad and Janet are invited inside and are immediately introduced to Dr. Frank-N-Furter (played spectacularly by Tim Curry) a transvestite from Transylvania. Brad and Janet see Furter create a human named Rocky (played by Peter Hinwood) who becomes Furter’s lover. There’s sex, music, murders, and generic chaos as the story unfolds.

I’m typically not a fan of musicals, but The Rocky Horror Picture Show is an exception. I like the references to various horror films. An example of this would be when Rocky is created as a mad scientist experiment by Furter. The music is catchy and I didn’t know the rockstar Meat Loaf was in this movie.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is an important musical for its time. Released in 1975, this movie has men dressing up in drag along with sexual liberation seen by Janet when she hooks up with both Rocky and Furter. Androgyny is also highlighted amongst several characters. It doesn’t surprise me that The Rocky Horror Picture Show has a cult following or how this attracted the LGBTQIA+ community to the film.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is so fun. I can’t believe I waited so long before watching this. It’s the perfect blend of sexuality, horror movies, and musicals. It’s fitting I watched this right before the Halloween season. I’m going to have the soundtrack on repeat for weeks.

Ghostbusters (2016)

Last weekend, I went to visit my friend for the weekend. Besides playing multiple board games, we like to watch movies together. In college, we would go see a movie once a month, at least? Her DVD collection is massive, and I decided to pick the Ghostbusters re-make for us to watch.

This particular Ghostbusters outing is a remake directed by Paul Feig who also directed Bridesmaids. The film is centered around physicists Abby Yates (played by Melissa McCarthy) and Erin Gilbert (played by Kristin Wiig). Erin is fired from her teaching position at Columbia University after Abby re-publishes the ghost book they wrote. Since Erin’s fired from her job, she teams up with Abby and Dr. Jillian Holtzmann (played wonderfully by Kate McKinnon) to hunt ghosts. Eventually, they meet Patty Tolan (played by Leslie Jones) as her expertise navigating around NYC helps the group locate the ghosts. Ghosts end up being unleashed and all hell breaks loose.

The show stopper in this film is Kate McKinnon. Her facial expressions and lines in this movie were the best. I wish Leslie Jones was more of the main character. She felt sidelined for a lot of the movie which is a shame. I can’t forget to discuss Chris Hemsworth playing the “dumb” secretary. Chris Hemsworth isn’t known for comedy, but his one-liners were great.

Although I liked Ghostbusters, this movie ended up being a box office bomb. There was so much controversy over having a female cast. I remember when the trailer for this movie hit Youtube, there was a remarkable amount of thumbs down responses. I’m biased in my response because I was a 90’s baby, so I wasn’t alive when the original Ghostbusters was released. It saddens me that fans had such a negative reaction to a movie before it was being released.

Ghostbusters wasn’t a perfect film by any means, but it was a campy sci-fi film starring incredibly funny women. I want all the Dr. Jillian Holtzmann merch. I saw her Funko pop and it’s so quirky. Let me know what you think of this movie in my comments section below.

BlacKkKlansman (2018)

BlacKkKlansman is a movie I have wanted to watch for a while. I couldn’t find BlacKkKlansman on any streaming service I subscribe to. My mom collects DVDs and allowed me to borrow this movie. This movie tells a crucial story especially with the real-life events that preceded the making of this movie. There was a lot I took away from watching this film especially because I am a white woman.

BlacKkKlansman tells the real-life story of Ron Stallworth (played by John David Washington) who was the first African-American detective in the Colorado Springs Police department. During his service, he sets up an undercover operation to have white police detectives infiltrate the KKK. Philip “Flip” Zimmerman (played by Adam Driver) is the “white” Ron Stallworth who uncovers a planned bombing on the Black Panther Party. It’s a race against time to stop the bombing at all costs.

The real Ron Stallworth wrote a book about his experience which I have already ordered from my local bookstore. I admire his bravery in becoming a police officer while racism was still rampant. I’m glad his story was told as a film, so others like me can be aware of his story and to read his book.

My major takeaway from this film is recognizing the role white women played in the KKK and for keeping systemic racism alive today. In the film, one of the wives of the Klan helped plan the bombing. This level of violence wasn’t unheard of during this time. In today’s society, I think of the white women who call the police on young black kids. This is a way white women have been playing a role in the discrimination of the African American community. I may not have been alive during the Civil Rights movement, but I want to be an ally and to do better in ending racism.

Towards the end of BlacKkKlansman, the film shows real-life footage of the Unite the Night rally in Virginia along with President Donald Trump’s statements. Racism isn’t dead and these hate groups still exist. If we are to truly eliminate these hate groups, we cannot tolerate them in our society. There are no “both sides” with the KKK, their existence is a symbol of hatred and violence.

BlacKkKlansman deserved every single Oscar nomination. It’s a movie with incredible acting and storytelling. Ron Stallworth’s story along with the history of the Black Panther Party has inspired me to seek out more information. To help out this movement, I recommend donating to Black Lives Matter, the ACLU ,and the NAACP.

Magic on a Budget: The Commander’s Quarters

Commander’s Quarters: Deck Tech.

I don’t get to play Magic the Gathering often, so I tend to watch gameplay videos on Youtube. From The Command Zone, I discovered The Commander’s Quarters. The Commander’s Quarters is hosted by Mitch and his main focus is to create powerful commander decks on a budget. Magic can be an expensive game due to the powerful cards and what they’re worth. Some decks can be worth roughly $700 based on the cards added to a deck. Mitch’s channel steers clear of this to build decks cheaply.

The Commander’s Quarters has a variety of different videos. There’s “deck tech” videos that show what kinds of cards go into a deck. One caveat is card prices do vary. Once the videos go live, a card may increase in value and not be as cheap as what it was described. That’s something that Mitch cannot help as that’s how Magic works.

The Commander’s Quarters released their first gameplay video. At roughly an hour-long, Mitch and three of his friends gather around the table to play a game of Commander. It was a well-balanced game. Mitch used one of his budget-friendly decks and the deck performed well! As a casual player, I don’t plan on putting a lot of money into decks. Eventually, I would like to watch one of Mitch’s videos and build one of his decks to see how it would play.

One reason why I enjoy this channel is Mitch seems to be a genuine Magic player. To describe this statement, Mitch makes it clear you should communicate with your players about playing certain decks. If you have a deck that’s ultra-powerful, it doesn’t hurt to ask your players if it’s okay to bring this to the table. Sometimes, it’s nice to have a challenge. Otherwise, it feels demoralizing to have someone bring this ultra-powerful deck and you feel you can’t do anything during the game.

I have become a fast fan of The Commander’s Quarters. They recently released their Kickstarter with a new playmat which I was more than happy to back. To support The Commander’s Quarters, follow, share, and subscribe to their Youtube channel. The Commander’s Quarters does have a Patreon. I’m enjoying this channel and I look forward to all of the new Magic content.

Lucifer Cold Heaven Plus Lucifer Show News

I started watching Lucifer last summer when it was moved to Netflix. I didn’t know what to expect when I started the pilot episode, but I was blown away by the show. It appealed to my love of Law & Order SVU only this time, the king of hell plays a major role. There’s been some recent Lucifer TV show news and I read Lucifer Cold Heaven #1, so I figured why not make an all-encompassing Lucifer post.

Let’s start with Lucifer Cold Heaven. As many Lucifer fans can attest, I started the show before reading Neil Gaiman’s run with the character. Lucifer’s Cold Heaven isn’t the first issue by Neil Gaiman, instead it’s written by Holly Black, art by Lee Garbett, colorist Antonio Fabela, letterer Todd Klein, and features other creative minds including Stephanie Hans, Dave Johnson, and Christopher Moeller. In this first volume, Lucifer is mysteriously injured and it’s announced God is found dead. Lucifer heads on a quest with Gabriel to clear his name as he didn’t kill God.

I rated this three stars on Goodreads. I adore the show which meant I had big expectations for the graphic novel series. This story took place mostly in Hell, but I wish the backdrop would have been LA. I thought the story was mediocre, but the artwork was what sold this novel. My favorite cover features Lucifer drinking a cocktail with a red-eye in his drink. Mazikeen’s character design is intriguing as she wears a theater mask with half of it cut off. I do prefer Maze in the show, she’s played wonderfully by Lesley-Ann Brandt. Overall this wasn’t bad, but I’m not in an urgent rush to continue in the series.

Moving on to Lucifer show news, season #5 does have an official release date of Friday, August 21st. There will be 16 episodes for season #5 with eight episodes dropping in August while the other eight will drop at a later date. This will be tough because I will probably watch all eight within a day or two.

Lucifer surprisingly was renewed for season #6. Netflix made a tweet with the “666” animation announcing Lucifer returning for season #6. How could you not do a season #6 especially because 666 is the devil’s number. The show has a huge following and it was the fans who helped sway Netflix to renewing the show. After season #6, I would be satisfied if the show concludes. However, fans have been wanting a John Constantine crossover with Lucifer, which I wouldn’t be opposed to.

I could talk about Lucifer all day, however, I have to end this post at some point in time. Let me know in the comments section if, like me, you will devote yourself entirely to Lucifer when the episodes air on Friday, August 21st.

The Normal Heart

As Pride is coming to a close this year, it’s crucial to support the LGBTQIA+ community all year long. This includes supporting organizations like the Trevor Project or watching media that’s been created by someone from the community. I recently watched the movie, The Normal Heart and it’s heartwrenching. With the Covid-19 pandemic, the Normal Heart revisits a time where the US didn’t do enough to manage another pandemic.

The Normal Heart is based on a play written by Larry Kramer. The play follows activist, Ned Weeks (played by Mark Ruffalo in the movie) who notices this mysterious disease mostly impacting gay men. As he starts to discuss this disease at length, he’s surprised how he cannot get anyone to listen to him. This is during a prejudiced time where many felt this was “god’s punishment” Ned falls in love with his lover, Felix Turner (played by Matt Bomer) although tragedy struck when Felix is diagnosed with HIV. The play and the subsequent movie version highlight how the US failed its people by refusing to provide research sooner.

This movie is difficult to watch. It’s graphic in the way it needs to be to show how HIV has taken young, healthy men and turned them into frail human beings. There’s one man as he lays dying calling out for his dog. I was crying throughout the entire movie because it hurts to know this is real. It’s amazing how far we have come into treating HIV and how many can live completely normal lives. At the core of this story is the discrimination gay men faced in getting basic care.

For those who feel the US isn’t handling Covid-19 correctly, it seems we can only look to our past for our failures. It wasn’t until 1986 where Ronald Reagan mentioned AIDS while addressing the United States. This is stated toward the epilogue of the Normal Heart. This is when discrimination becomes deadly.

The Normal Heart was a well-made movie honoring the brave people who passed away from this awful disease. It’s a movie that shows how media can influence public opinion and how our media can highlight issues before even our government can address them. I would recommend being in a good mental place before watching this because of the difficult nature of the movie. This movie is one of the reasons why Pride still needs to exist, so we never forget how our country failed its community.

My Favorite New Girl Episodes

It’s been six months, but I finally finished watching New Girl. I always start watching a new show although I become bored and usually end up watching something else. I would go through phases with New Girl where I would watch a season in a week and then not watch the show for months. Since I finished New Girl in its entirety, I wanted to list off my favorite episodes of the show.

“Prince” Season #3 Episode 14

As a Minnesotan, it should come as no surprise to anyone that the Prince episode made it to this list. Jess (played by Zooey Deschanel) and Cece (played by Hannah Simone) are invited to a party held by Prince. Nick (played by Jake Johnson), Schmidt (played by Max Greenfield), Winston (played by Lamorne Morris), and Coach (played by Damon Waynans Jr.) all come to crash Prince’s party after Nick blurts out to Jess that he loves her. This episode is so fun. Prince gives the roommates great advice and I like the episodes in season #3 where Nick and Jess are together. I got a little teary-eyed watching this especially since Prince is no longer alive. R.I.P Prince.

“Cooler” Season #2 Episode 15

I couldn’t find a GIF of this episode I liked. This episode marks the first kiss between Jess and Nick. This kiss is one of the best on-screen kisses I have ever watched. I was re-watching this scene from various Youtube clips and it sent chills up my spine. Jess and Nick are perfect together.

“Where the Road Goes” Season #7 Episode #4

As a cat lady, this episode has to be on this list. Winston hosts a funeral for his cat, Ferguson, who passed away from a heart attack. I was crying throughout the whole thing as someone who has lost two kitties in my lifetime. Losing a pet is never easy and towards the end of the episode, we see Winston express his emotion over his lost furry friend. This episode is relatable.

“Normal” Season #1 Episode 20

I picked this episode because it’s the first episode to feature the drinking game True American. Jess invites her boyfriend, Russell (played by Dermot Mulroney) over to the loft where the roommates play a drinking game. True American shows up throughout the series as one of the remembered games the roommates plays together. All I know about the game is that the “floor is lava” and to start a game by shouting “JFK” “FDR”.

“Hubbedy Bubby” Season #6 Episode 2

In this episode, Jess and Cece make a bet with Schmidt about signing up voters for the upcoming election. Jess and Cece party at a sorority house to attempt to get them to register to vote. As Jess and Cece triumphantly lead the women to vote, they unanimously shout their support for Trump. I picked this episode because it highlights Jess and Cece’s friendship as they go on this quest together.

Honorable mentions include the pilot episode, Schmidt and Cece’s wedding and Nick and Jess’s wedding. Let me know in the comments which episode is your favorite.

Ready or Not

Ready or Not film poster.

Recently, I have been getting into watching more horror content. Typically, I hate horror movies. I’m not a fan of the “gory / over the top” horror. This is why I never got into the Walking Dead or why I couldn’t watch past Saw II because it felt a little too gross for me. Ready or Not was recommended to me to watch because it had more humor in this film and it wasn’t over the top gore. Ready or Not is an intelligently written, black comedy, horror film.

Grace (played by Samara Weaving) is ecstatic to be marrying her husband, Alex Le Domas (played by Mark O’Brien). The Le Domases are extremely wealthy as they own the “Le Domas Family Games” company. After Grace and Alex get married, they are forced to sit down and play a game. Grace draws the “hide and seek” card which is the only card that forces the Le Domas family to kill the bride or groom to be. Grace doesn’t take hide & seek seriously until she sees a family member murder a maid. Grace has to fight the family and survive the night.

As I mentioned, I’m not into gore. There’s a little bit of gore because it is a horror movie, but not enough where I couldn’t watch the movie. I appreciate the anti-rich message in this movie. The reason why the Le Domas have their money is they agreed to participate in this game ritual. They don’t care about what they have to do to keep their wealth. Even Samara utters in the movie, “fucking rich people”.

Samara Weaving is amazing in this role. I rooted for her throughout the movie. When Grace sits outside the mansion as it’s up in flames smoking a cigarette, what an aesthetic. Adam Brody plays Daniel Le Domas and he was a great character to watch too. Supporting roles by Andie MacDowell, Henry Czerny and Melanie Scrofano help make this rich family be as evil as they are.

Ready or Not is a great film to play in a horror movie marathon in October. Another recommendation would be to play this movie as background noise during a board game night. Let me know in the comments if you have watched Ready or Not and what your thoughts are. Additionally, if you have horror movie recommendations that aren’t super gory, I’m happy to hear those recommendations as well.

Hitman Tries Acting in Barry

While watching promotional interviews for It Chapter 2, Bill Hader would occasionally discuss his TV show, Barry. I knew the show was airing, but I don’t have any way to watch HBO. Recently, Hulu has acquired a few popular HBO shows without purchasing the HBO add on. This included Barry. Bill Hader and Henry Winkler won Emmy’s for this series, so it must be good, right? I concur this show is worth the watch.

Barry Berkman (played by Bill Hader) is sent to LA by his assassin mentor Monroe Fuches (played by Stephen Root). While completing his assassination, he discovers an indie theater where Barry decides to start taking acting lessons. Barry is living a double life by murdering people and acting in Gene Cousineau’s (played by Henry Winkler) classes. This is a weird concept for a show, but it works.

Bill Hader becomes Barry. Barry is shown to be struggling with his career of taking lives and wanting to be someone else. Acting has become his escape. Let’s be clear, Barry isn’t a good person. In season #1 especially, there’s a scene where Barry kills someone in a car. It’s shocking because I didn’t think Barry would go there, but he does. He’s balancing a fine line between doing his job and getting caught.

As a side note, Bill Hader is a great actor in darker roles. Another good example of this besides Barry is the movie The Skeleton Twins. It stars Hader and Kristin Wiig. It’s an emotional, depressing movie, but it illustrates how Bill Hader can act in darker material.

NoHo Hank, played by Anthony Carrigan.

Barry cannot be described as a dark comedy without the appearance of NoHo Hank (played by Anthony Carrigan). NoHo Hank’s witty one-liners are hilarious even if they’re about killing or torture. Bill Hader has talked about filming behind the scenes with Anthony Carrigan and it sounds like they’re shenanigans to be had.

Barry was a quick watch. Each season has eight episodes with only two seasons. Season #3 was supposed to be out next year I believe? However, with Covid-19, this will probably be delayed. Barry was an entertaining show, to say the least. Both seasons of Barry can be found on Hulu without the purchase of the HBO add on.

Monitoring Movies with Letterboxd

My cousin is a movie watching devotee. She watches so many movies many I have never heard of before. She made a Facebook status saying how she was updating her Letterboxd account. After researching, I downloaded the Letterboxd app and it has changed the way I am watching movies while in Quarantine. I can follow friends, see their movie recommendations, and list movies on a watch list to view later. Letterboxd is my new favorite app.

I’m the type of moviegoer where I always watch movies I have seen previously. It’s difficult for me to force myself to watch something new. I don’t want to waste my time watching a movie I don’t enjoy. With Letterboxd, it’s allowed me to record all the new movies I have seen along with typing reviews or recording my reactions to a particular film. Since using Letterboxd I have watched: Vice, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Knives Out, Ex Machina, and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo *Swedish Version*.

Letterboxd has renewed motivation in re-watching movies. I’m planning on re-watching the James Bond films, Marvel movies and since it’s May the Star Wars movies. I plan to log my thoughts as I finish the movies on my list. I created a list titled “The Movies That Define Me” and I have been slowly adding my favorite movies to this list.

Letterboxd is an easy to use app. It has a good interface, organized, and barely crashes on me. There are ads on Letterboxd, so while the app is free to use, there are ads now and then. For $19 a month, you can have an ad- free app or pay $49 a month to become a patron. Becoming a patron allows for backdrops on your profile along with early access to beta features. Right now, I’m not planning on paying for Letterboxd, however, it may be something I consider in the future.

If you use Letterboxd, feel free to add me! I’m BizarreBrunette. I always follow back. Letterboxd can be found on google play and the app store.