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Movie Reviews: Tales Of Halloween +TheAmazingSpider-Man2 +Michael Moore In Trumpland+Murder By Death

Tales Of Halloween (2015)
This is an excellent anthology of 10 horrifying tales of Halloween. This has a cool cover and great opening credits. This is a wonderful 80s homage. I liked it better than ‘Trick r Treat’. I’ve been waiting for this film. ‘Night Of The Living Dead’ seems to play on every TV as the evening unfolds. Also a radio DJ (Adrienne Barbeau) speaks and does the segues.

Sweet Tooth
A boy dressed like Kurt Russell in ‘Escape From New York’ is told a tale of another boy whose vile parents issued authoritarian rules and facilitated their own end. There is no myth debunking here as his morally suspect babysitters fall prey to badly thought out revenge fantasies and despair. There is a jump scare as the stupidest possible people learn the meaning of grief. Greg Grunberg and Claire Kramer feature. I liked this a lot.

The Night Billy Raised Hell
A stupid kid meets satan (Barry Bostwick) and this takes acerbic glee in wrecking Billy’s day and is a pithy reflection on why you shouldn’t egg the houses of weird old men. This was full of haughty insouciance and is divertingly ludicrous and joyously creative.

A foursome of self destructive dimwits (one of whom is Tiffany Shepis) answer the door to kids in box fresh costumes who convey their malevolence. Shepis is wasted in all senses of the word and there is a twist. This was okay.

The Weak And The Wicked
This was tiring and awful and full of bad acting as hoodrats act out. How many urban legends in this town are real?

Grim Grinning Ghost
Lin Shaye, Barbara Crampton, Mick Garris, Stuart Gordon and Lisa Marie hear a ghost story. This was turgid and attritional.

Ding Dong
A mad woman screeches and becomes a witch in this genuinely horrifying take on ‘Hansel & Gretel’. This was good.

This Means War
Neighbours feud over Halloween decorations and the trashy people are a real chore. This was okay.

Friday The 31st
A slutty Dorothy is menaced by an inbred backwoods machete wielding killer. But there is a bizarre twist and things go ludicrously OTT and hilarious. This was brilliant and funny.

The Ransom Of Rusty Rex
Kidnappers strike and soon wish they hadn’t. Okay.

Bad Seed
Directed by Neil Marshall. A cop faces down a man eating evil pumpkin. It’s really good fun.

Best Lines:
“I say we drive til the sun comes up. And then we just drive a lot more.”

“Close the dairy.”

“Always something worse lurking out there.”

“My nuts were viciously assaulted by a monster!”

“Is your mother in a slutty costume like your sister?”

“Dress like a retarded 6 year old from ‘Leave It To Beaver’.”

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
This film is terrible in every way. There are logic gaps and plot holes. Why is an Oscorp truck driving plutonium thorough a city? Who care about Peter Parker’s parents? Peter does stupid quips and flips. Jamie Foxx exists in a badly written role in Spider-Man’s vicinity at the wrong time. Gwen is a stick with pee coloured hair and massive eyebags. Spider-Man got Gwen’s father killed and disregards his dying plea to leave his daughter (Emma Stone) alone. Gwen bores and seems to forget her father ever existed.

The Raimi Spider-Man films ended in turgidness and so does Andrew Garfield’s career as the webcrawler, no wonder Spider-Man was rebooted for ‘Captain America: Civil War’. Spider-Man is pontifical, selfish, stupid and a stalker. Stan Lee has his cameo. This was not life-affirming. He’s a smug arrogant dislikeable idiot. Where is the Lizard? Peter acts erratically like he is shooting up heroin and drain cleaner whilst mooching off downtrodden Aunt May.

There is a lot of Sinister Six set-up which came to naught. Spider-Man is a vigilante. J Jonah Jameson does not feature. Aunt May is dense and ignored. Peter is stupid. Max (Foxx) is a weirdo nutter.  Stupid Peter is at college apparently but we never see him in college. He is oblivious. The man in the shadows lurks and the trailer gave away the whole damn movie including the very final scene!

A drugged up looking Harry Osbourn shows up as his father Norman (an under-used Chris Cooper) dies looking green with long nails. Peter and Harry know each other like in the Raimi movies. Harry can’t act and James Franco is much missed. Max falls into a tank full of electric eels and becomes an angry super-villain. WTF? This was stupid and not deliberately striking, engaging and thought-provoking. Oscorp is worth 200 billion and the board want Harry gone. Harry is 20 and is Felicia the Black Cat? This movie heads toward its ignominious end as the permanently aggressive Harry shrieks and tantrums.

Gwen learns Peter stalks her and this means love to her. Peter is hateful, Gwen is a bimbo and Harry is a tool. Peter does lots of slo-mo flipping and there is a breakdown of social order and Peter makes a wall of crazy. Peter is willing to let Harry die and is untruthful. ‘Batman v Superman’ and ‘Fantastic Four’ cannot be worse than this can they? Aunt May rants about being taken for granted. There is bad acting and so much focus on Peter’s parents and the Oscorp Special Projects division.

Harry finds the secret lab full of secret bio-weapons. Peter’s father was a jackass who set all this in motion years ago. There is an unholy alliance and wild overacting. There is sap. Harry starts yelling and twitching and rips his shirt off conveniently close to the Green Goblin suit in the lab. It is near the suits for Vulture, Doc Ock and Rhino which was a cool set up but came to naught. Did Norman do the same moronic thing as Harry? Peter causes Gwen to join her father in the afterlife but soon shrugs it off. Selfish git.
Aunt May is a nurse. The movie ends up in a CGI punch-up, because nobody reasons and talks. Peter killed one bad guy but doesn’t care. The Green Goblin looks ridiculous but the pumpkin bomb looked okay, it was about the only thing in this movie that does. This was franchise killing mess and don’t get me started on the ridiculous Rhino suit, the inept script, the bad acting and smug ‘hero’.

Best Lines:
“Mr criminal.”

“Got you too.”

“No one is going to miss you.”

“Currently serving a life sentence. His.”

“What did you do?”
“What you made me do.”

“Buried him in the bughouse.”

“What is all this stuff?”
“The future.”

Michael Moore In Trumpland (2016)
An incoherent and sprawling stage show rant.

Best Lines:
“A racist third verse.”

“Hillary nightmare dream.”

Murder By Death (1976)
A whodunit spoof with Eileen Brennan, Truman Capote, James Coco, Peter Falk, Alec Guinness, Elsa Lancaster, David Niven, Peter Sellers and Maggie Smith. There are pastiches, clues and death. This was not a decisive success but was okay.

Best Lines:
“Twain picked up Sam in a gay bar.”
“I was working undercover!”
“Every night for six months Sam?”

“Say your goddam pronouns!”

“I small gas.”
“I’m sorry I’m old.”

“I’m not a Frency, I’m a Belgy!”
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