Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Random Thoughts of a Movie Insomniac: #5: The Vern takes a vacation.

Hello again folks.

It's been a while since I have posted one of these articles but I wanted to let you all know some changes that are going to be happening this fall.  For starters I am going to be taking a break from writing for at least two weeks because my work schedule is going to be rough.  I'll barely have enough time to watch any movies much less write about them.  I'm also working with Nick and Joe on making our podcast As You Watch a better show and a better site.  We have a brand new design and our working on having our own domain.  I want the site to feature more then just our episodes.  I want it to feature reviews and articles by us as well.  Not only am I editing and co-hosting that podcast, I'm also editing a new one called KTZR: Katzenjammer Radio. This is the official podcast of the Cinematic Katzenjammer and I'm honored to be helping out with this show.  My contributions start on episode 2

Since I am going to be working massive hours these next few weeks.  Lets get to a few of the movies I have seen so far.

World War Z.

I'm going to rename this movie World War ZZZZZZZZZ, because it put me to sleep twice when watching it.  That is not a good sign, and for it to do it twice counts as an utter failure in my opinion.  Yes the movie had a huge box office gross, but for me it was completely dull.  My biggest complaint about the flick was the characters.  They were too cliched and generic for me to care about.  Brad Pitt is a good actor but his role as Gerry Lane was just bland.  I for one am getting tired of movies where an ex military agent has to reuse his skills to help save his family.  There is no tension because we know that everything will be alright at the end.  When watching it I was reminded about another disaster flick "The Impossible" where the father gets separated from his family after a tsunami.  That one was more exciting because that guy was an average joe and you really had no idea if he would find them or if he would have survived the storm.  I was also bothered by the shaky camera work and the quick fast editing that cut out the gore of the undead chowing down on humans.  Without that element it doesn't feel like a real zombie flick.  I know that many will argue that you don't need to show those things to make your movie effective and I agree with other horror movies, but not Zombies.  "ParaNorman" use of walking corpses was way better then "World War Z"  oh I'm sorry. "World War ZZZZZZZ"

You're Next.

On the other end of the spectrum there is "You're Next".  The 2nd best horror flick next to "The Conjuring".  It's a damn shame that "The Purge" left such a bad taste in most movie goer's mouths.  Most people just skiped this one thinking that it will be just an average home invasion thriller.  It starts out that way when a group of masked men start killing guests at a family home but quickly turns into to something else when one of the victims decides to fight back.  There are elements of "Straw Dogs" considering the use of being forced to use violence when your not expecting too.  But this for me was more like "Home Alone" where traps were set not to just hurt someone for comic effect, but to smash their heads in.  I still laughed and cheered the whole way through this movie.  Just like "Cabin in the Woods" the less you know about this movie going in.  The more fun it is. There are nice twists in the plot that I was not expecting and it made the feature that much more enjoyable.  "You're Next"is a nice horror,comedy, mystery, that I would love to watch again.

Seven Chances.

This was a slightly older movie with Buster Keaton.  I have been meaning to watch more silent classics and have been told by Pat from 100 Years of Movies to check out more of his films. In this story he plays a man who has inherited a large fortune if he can be married by 7PM on his 27th birthday.  He happens to hear the good news on the same morning of his birthday.  This was an alright movie that managed to make me laugh a few times.  With a running length of just under an hour.  This was not a waste of time.

Other Men's Women.

I will post a longer review of this on my Video Vortex site for my Forbidden Hollywood section.  But for right now, I will give you a quick little review.  It's about a man who falls in love his friend's wife.  The friend becomes angry  and attacks him but has bad consequences.  The story and acting by the main leads were good, but that was not the sole reason why I watched this film.  I never knew most of the actors besides James Cagney and he wasn't in it for that long.  The main reason for me to watch this was because of Joan Blondell.  I will have to do a Girls on Film post on her soon because
she is really quite beautiful as you can tell from the pic below.  Her role wasn't so memorable, but those eyes are hard to forget.

April Grace.

There is an actress named Victoria Guthrie who followed me on Twitter and has gotten me in contact with a few filmmakers.  The first two were Tony Trov and Johnny Zito who made the film "Alpha Girls".  The next one she introduced me to was Andrew Hutcheson who directed the feature "April Grace".  The movie is about a boy named Justin who falls in love with the new girl in town.  Not realizing that his best Penny has the same feelings for him.  It's a generic story line but the performances by the great cast help elevate this to one that is an enjoyable watch for a light Sunday afternoon.


Recently I got to interview filmmaker Jessica Cameron to help promote her debut feature "Truth or Dare" on As You Watch.  On the show she tells me about this film she made with one of her co stars Brandon Van Villet and mentions that it was filmed in my home state of Minnesota. I love it when movies are set where I live and I love it even more when they are filmed there. When I sat down to watch it, I was only going to watch just 30 minutes and head to bed because I was really tired.  I ended up watching the whole thing and when it was over I wanted to rewatch it again.  This was a very fun movie that constantly kept surprising me throughout.  The only other recent movie I could compare this too would be "Rubber".  In that explaining the plot is kind of tough to do.  It is a time traveling, drug induced musical with zombies and medieval battles.  Yeah that's basically the best way to describe it, but man oh man was it fun.

I will be back in a few weeks with more reviews for this site and The Vern's Video Vortex.  Thanks again for reading.


  1. Right now, I'm taking a week off from film-watching and blogging after a summer of just doing Woody Allen films. Sometimes, I think it's best to just kick back. Enjoy your vacation.

    1. Thank you. Yes Im glad to just watch some movies and not worry about posting a review. Your Woody Allen reviews were amazing. I keep going back and reading them.

  2. See you soon Vern. And I fully agree with World War Z, what a train wreck! Ive read so many good things about You're Next, really need to get round to it.

    Enjoy your break dude!

    1. Glad you agree with my thoughts on World War Z. You're Next is not that scary (imo), but it's characters and situations are certainly not dull. Thanks for reading.

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