Thursday, July 31, 2014

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

1989 science-fiction family film about inventor Moranis accidentally shrinking his and his neighbors' kids to the size of a quarter-inch. Strong in delivering memorable sequences even if everything is skin-deep and dated; however, for a 1989 film, the reality sets and effects are top-notch. Moranis is perfect as the goofy struggling inventor—a role originally offered to Chevy Chase and John Candy, the latter of which recommended Moranis—while Frewer and Sutherland are quite likable in their supporting roles as the neighbors. The four shrunken kids all deliver well enough, but never seem to get fully fleshed out; and Strassman, unfortunately, has very little to do at all. Mostly filmed at the backlot of Churubusco Studios. Joe Johnston's directorial debut. Spawned two follow-ups HONEY, I BLEW UP THE KID and HONEY, WE SHRUNK OURSELVES, as well as a TV show that ran from 1997 to 2000; if you didn't like this one, then don't proceed to the sequels!

Monday, July 28, 2014

You Again

When successful public relations executive Bell realizes protective older brother Wolk is about to marry the girl who bullied her in high school (Yustman), she sets out to get even by exposing the bride-to-be for who she is… or who she was. A strong second-half makes the widespread panning seem a bit harsh, but it undoubtedly takes way too long to get going. The film's strongest quality is how three-dimensional all the characters are (at least for a rom-com, that is), with everyone falling into the gray-zone of being imperfect but sympathetic. Another refreshing trait is that a side-plot love-interest for main character Bell is not forced, which would've been the clich√© move. This one's probably a bigger letdown for the movie-goer looking for the cookie-cutter rom-com, but someone who is looking for something a little different or someone being forced to watch it might be pleasantly surprised.

"Eastbound & Down"

HBO comedy following the adventures and misadventures of has-been pitcher Kenny Powers (McBride) trying to squeeze every last hope of ever returning to professional baseball before having to concede to a normal life. The first season immediately launches to an excellent start, with Powers being forced to return to his hometown of Shelby to be a substitute middle-school PE teacher; but about halfway through the season, the story begins to go from raunchy and crude to just downright cheap and trashy, especially when anti-hero Powers begins to get everything he wants without deserving any of it. After a very disappointing first-half of Season 2, the show begins to pick up again, but it never reaches the satisfaction found in the first three episodes of the series. Another downfall is too many funny and/or likable characters coming and going, with every co-star being a mere recurring character (except for Steve Little, who doesn't really earn his keep until the end of Season 2). Still, despite its flaws, you can almost always count on a laugh; there are even some surprisingly emotional moments during the season finales, which is not easy to do with this type of comedy. McBride's humor fits the role perfectly.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Cornfield People: UPDATE 07/23/2014

I honestly didn't think I'd be making so many updates to The Cornfield People out of the blue, but once C. W. Schultz got in contact with me, the interest and controversy had a snowball effect.  Just to give everyone a heads up, somebody (or somebodies) have been trying to remove information regarding the underground film The Cornfield People.  If this person or these people had been successful, Geekster On Movies would not be the first site taken down for discussing the film.

What's the big secret about this film?  Well, we can grasp based on the little information I have uncovered that the premise of this film involves a cult that knows the meaning of life and what comes after death, and will stop at nothing to keep this knowledge a secret.  Now, this just sounds like the plot of an interesting horror/thriller, right?  Well, perhaps there's a little more truth behind it, which is why the film was never released and why a certain person or group of people are hiding behind the internet while trying to delete The Cornfield People from existence.

Even though Schultz (who is writing a book about this film) has only posted here once, I have actually been in close contact with him regarding these strange posts on this blog.  More details to come, as Schultz has dug up a lot of dirt on this missing motion picture.

The only thing tougher than waiting for the answers is keeping these freaks from hacking my site.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Cornfield People: UPDATE 07/20/2014

An anonymous poster just requested I take The Cornfield People page down, saying there are no facts to back up the claims.

For one, Geekster On Movies is about opinion, not fact.  Two, I will not be censored.  And three, this post just feeds my curiosity even more.

Considering the information I have culled and the ad C. W. Schultz retrieved, it seems that the debate is pretty much at an end. The film does exist.  So how could this anonymous poster says there are no facts to back up my claims?  Furthermore, even if there wasn't, why would s/he care so much anyway?

The comment is now a new fascination of mine, as Schultz warned me I would begin to get pressured into taking anything related to The Cornfield People down.

Luckily for me, I've been given the heads up, unlike other sites that have discussed this film… and I will not be taken down.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Cop and ½

Widely panned spoof of the Hollywood buddy cop movie, but if you were a preadolescence in the 1990s, you may have a soft spot for this one. Admittedly ridiculous plot about an eight-year-old witness (Norman D. Golden II) cutting a deal with the Tampa Police Department to provide them information if he could immediately be a cop… and, for some convenient reason, is partnered up with the short-tempered child-hating Reynolds. Ray Sharkey plays the primary antagonist in his final performance, a big band singing killer with plenty of goofy henchmen in tow. If you're able to look past how unrealistic the movie is, it is ultimately incredibly funny and entertaining; with Norman D. Golden II having the perfect attitude for pulling off a kid with a badge, while Reynolds is able to make good use of his big temper and explosive facial expressions. Originally intended to be a sequel to KINDERGARTEN COP.

Sansho the Bailiff

Beautifully shot tragedy about a brother and sister taken from privilege and sold into slavery, and their journey of loss, redemption and sacrifice. Rightly a classic, but is perhaps a little too quick paced for its own good; director Mizoguchi wanted to focus more on the title character and slavery, but ended up getting overruled into focusing on a broken family piecing their lives back together. There is just too much beauty in the setting and tone for a critic to pry at what might be missing. The black-and-white not only sets the mood, but is visually stunning, as if each scene is a moving photograph—particularly when the family is traveling through fields of miscanthus sinensis (Chinese silver grass).

True Lies

Action or comedy? Take your pick. TRUE LIES has both. Harry Tasker (Schwarzenegger) leads a double life, with his wife (Curtis) and daughter (Dushku) thinking he is just some boring sales rep when he is actually performing covert missions for the U.S government under a counter-terrorism task force. Jamie Lee Curtis has a steamy striptease that'll make your eyes widen, but Cameron knows not to corrupt the film's tone by crossing the line that separates sexy and erotic; and Tia Carrere is just… well… hot. Non-stop action and non-stop laughs. Everything works so well in this outing. Extended remake of the 1991 French film LA TOTALE! Most expensive film ever made at the time of its release, and is the first film to have over a $100 million production budget. Tom Arnold (who almost didn't get the part) makes the movie worth seeing; and let's not forget Bill Paxton's performance as… well… just watch… it's worth it. It's almost sad to watch the movie now, as it takes you back to a time where we could afford to feel comfortable about taking terrorism lightly.

22 Jump Street

Worthy sequel to the 2012 blockbuster about Hill and Tatum taking their "skills" as narcs from high school to college. The chemistry definitely works better here, with the two leads bickering like a married couple instead having a bully/nerd team like in the first film. Quite predictable in the first half, but begins taking unexpected turns midway through and leaves you laughing to its unpredictable ending. Ice Cube really steps it in this one and makes an effort to move in as the third main character, and his subplot is perhaps the best part about this film. Its self-awareness helps hit all the right buttons and it never backfires.

Cool Runnings

Loosely based on the true story of the first Jamaican bobsled team trying to make it to the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Plagued by factual errors, and is a forced comedy that may have been smarter (and more authentic) to sell as a drama. Definitely takes a while to get going, but if you have the patience and are eager to make it to the end, you'll find that the laughs and the charming characters are worth the effort. Originally titled "Blue Maaga". Those who make it to the closing credits will be rewarded with Jimmy Cliff's excellent cover of Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly Now".

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Cornfield People: UPDATE 07/14/2014

On 07/06/2014, author C. W. Schultz replied to this blog, which I originally wrote on 08/28/2013.  Apparently, he is writing a book about this film after coming across all the rumors circulating on the internet; and, in the process, has uncovered some pretty crazy stuff!

In the e-mail exchange we had, he did not provide me with a whole lot of details about his book or about the film itself.  However, he did provide an attachment that "should put an end to the debate of whether or not this film actually exists or is just a myth."  And so… the truth…



Schultz says the above image is an ad found in a Seattle P.I. from April 5, 2002 that he was able to retrieve through Google News Archives in December 2010 when he began working on this project a few months after submitting the final draft of his second novel The Pack to his publisher.

He explained that the blog I originally published in August 2013 covered some interesting facts and rumors that actually assisted him with piecing together the puzzle of his project, but that he has so much more to offer the world about The Cornfield People.

Schultz is exercising caution with the information he is providing me.  Originally, I thought this might be the work of a hoaxer because of how discreet he was being, but after I did some research and found that Schultz is indeed published author, I realized the provided information had at least some credibility.  So then I figured Schultz was just holding back on some info to prevent me from posting some juice on here for free that would drive sales away from his upcoming book.  However, after a couple of exchanges, Schultz has said that the reason for secrecy is that he tried to reach out to other bloggers and webmasters in the past with detailed information about The Cornfield People, but their blogs, message boards and/or websites have since been taken down.

Could it be that there is someone (or a group of people) out there who wants this film to be erased?  It sure it sounding like it.  But, if so, why?  Schultz said he will "cautiously" provide me with more details as he slowly pieces things together.

If you have any information, please shoot me an e-mail.  dant3p3rk1ns@gmail.com

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Moonbird

Short animation about the adventure of two boys sneaking out in the middle of the night to try and catch the mythic Moonbird and bring it home. The two characters' voices are actually rambles of directors John and Faith Hubley's sons (Mark and "Hampy") that were secretly recorded during an imaginary backyard safari before going to sleep in the darkness of their room. Storyline and visuals may not be above par, but given that the concept was pieced together by chance through the imagination of two little boys definitely makes it worth 10 minutes. Animated by Robert Cannon and Ed Smith, and won an Academy Award for Short Subjects (Cartoons) in 1959.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

After a brief recap of its 2009 predecessor, this fun little sequel picks up right where the first film left off. Citizens of Swallow Falls have been relocated while the island is being cleaned, with Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) being given a position at his hero Chester V's (Will Forte) corporation, only to return to Swallow Falls to find the leftover food has come to life! This installment introduces some fun creatures… or… "foodimals"; particularly, Barry and his strawberry companions (and one blueberry companion), who you'll find adorable. May not be as good as the first (what else is new?), but there's no doubt that a third film is more than welcome! Mr. T's voice is replaced by Terry Crews.

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Sandlot

1993 family film that quickly found its way to being a kids' classic. Perfect for those who love baseball, and equally enjoyable for those who don't or don't know much about it. All-in-all, a fun film about nine childhood friends in 1962, spending their summer days and nights at the sandlot playing baseball and having a variety of adventures related and unrelated to the sport. Nice parallels between baseball pickles and real life ones, plus other great lessons like the big and small differences between myth and actuality. Dennis Leary is perfect as the stern but awkwardly friendly stepfather, and James Earl Jones has an awesome bit role at the end.

Cinderella Man

An overall entertaining film about American boxer James J. Braddock, world heavyweight champion from 1935–37. A little melodramatic at times with interchangeable acting to go along, but ultimately a really good outing. Gordon Sim's set decoration and Daniel Orlandi's costume design fit the Great Depression-era tone perfectly, and Ron Howard's directing of the fight scenes create a wickedly superb realism that makes the audience feel like they're the ones giving and taking the punches. Neighbor DeWitt is the granddaughter of the real Braddock. Craig Bierko is incredibly interesting as challenger Max Baer, though Baer is portrayed as a harsher person than he was in real life.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Out of the Furnace

Overlooked thriller that does an excellent job focusing on the life of parolee Bale and his veteran brother Affleck, and the irony of how freedom is a prison/war when there is nothing left to come back to. Harrelson is an awesome redneck villain and Bower, Dafoe, Shepard, Whitaker and Wolfe stand out even in their minor roles. Affleck's character's conflict is overwhelmingly realistic and the actor flawlessly executes a soldier's postwar troubles; but the potentially wonderful character-development reveals itself to be a secondary interest to writer/director Cooper when we arrive at the popcorn finale. No doubt it ends as great as it began, but the climatic sequence before the last few moments is plagued with a lack of substance that is contrary to the rest of the film. All-in-all, entertaining AND moving. Final shot could be a portrait masterpiece.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Throw Momma from the Train

Immensely dark comedy for its time, about writer Crystal and student DeVito plotting a criss-cross murder à la STRANGERS ON A TRAIN. Because of its smooth parallels to Hitchcock's 1950 class, overlooked motifs and subtle details on story development, THROW MOMMA has since become a fun movie to screen in film study classes. Unfortunately, the film's most colorful character, Momma Lift (Ramsey), is way underused; and while Crystal and DeVito are both fine as the leads, neither deliver a memorable enough performance to justify Ramsey's lack of screen-time. DeVito also directed.

Silver Linings Playbook

Interesting and memorable dramedy about an emotionally scarred pair, one with bipolar disorder who is recently released from a psychiatric hospital (Cooper) and the other a young widow (Lawrence). The two leads do an excellent job of showing their characters' instability without ever being overly-dramatic or pity-party about it. The story is grounded in reality very well, but the romantic climax falls into place a little too easily. De Niro, Herman, Kher, Mihok, Ortiz, Stiles, Tucker and Whigham are all terrific in their supporting roles, but it seems like Weaver might let her Australian accent slip and is definitely not convincing as a Philly homemaker. Based on the book by Matthew Quick. Definitely a movie with replay value. Captures the difficulty of living with bipolar very well and how it also interferes with loved ones.