Heart and Souls (1993)

Heart and Souls (1993) – IMDB

Rent Heart and Souls (1993) on DVD and Blu-ray - DVD Netflix

Knowing if I were to browse the various mediums of movie streaming, half hour would float by, and I would impulsively hit play to preserve the time I had left in my life. (God forbid I’d be a wondering soul looking for a movie to watch.) Fumbling through my personal collection, I notice two copied movies that have been neglected, trapped in their own individual paper envelopes. One being We’re the Millers and the other titled Heart and Souls. Already had I taken a trip with the Miller’s to score some pot, I went with the latter for not knowing much about it and basically because I haven’t seen it.

So, let’s talk about Heart and Souls. In the most effortless way of describing the story, a man is followed by four ghosts, souls, what-have-you. He is their link to accomplishing the four lost souls’ tasks. Being thirty years later, there have been number of movies like this. Rom-coms, ghostly-comedic-boohoos that have a focus on the dead’s transfiguration or the Man upstairs waving his hand for those in need of a second chance. Down to Earth and Ghost Town come to mind. Interesting to think why this theme is so common. Perhaps we’re not ready to let go. There’s a fear among us where we need closure, can’t leave any loose threads. For those we love or acts we seem to never fully see through.

The tunes featured in this feature blends a feeling of 50’s and feeling comfortably settled within the domain of the 90’s. You have the doo-wops complimenting the traditional 90’s violin-feel-good that you’d expect in a heart warming motion picture that represents the time period all to well. I will say now and may say again, 1990’s movies are the feel good, most wholesome of a generation. Big claim, I know. Considering the full spectrum of a decade, this is the most consistent. Special mention when the group fancies themselves into their own doo-wop of “Walk Like a Man”.

As for stand outs, they all work with one another. Some play harder in the presence of the story, however they all take equal share as the movie progresses. Despite the predictability, Heart and Souls is a fun ride we become invested in to solve the spirits’ last request; as one departs after the next we want these marooned spirits to fulfill their last wishes. Some are more expectant than others, but in the end, you can’t go wrong with a little wholesomeness drizzled with some sap.

Heart and Souls is a charming movie, perfected for the rainy Sunday afternoon. Whether we’re searching for the comfort of unsaid words with loved ones or simply the enjoyment of the afterlife presenting a humorous perspective of our physical lives, Heart and Souls safely delivers what it’s set out to do. With souls having an inner body experience with Robert Downey Jr. and some cheesiness along the way, this turns out to be a heartwarming movie about being with those you love. What else do you expect from a flick from 1993?

Little Nicky (2000)

Little Nicky (2000) – IMDB

Little Nicky on Apple TV

Eh, not the worst Adam Sandler movie, I liked it, but tries a little too hard. Little Nicky has all your favorite pals here from Sandler’s cinematic family we’ve come accustomed to, even some unforgettable cameos. Devilish gags poking it’s harmless fork at heaven and hell. Not all jokes land however, they run a little too long like Little Nicky’s shoveled face and voice for the entire flick or just some jokes that sizzles out and is just not that funny. With that said, the premise of Satan’s son being sent to capture in a flask two of his brothers and bring them back to hell is fun enough to watch along with the metal-head, masochistic duo, the roommate, and the dog. In addition, some pleasant surprise of cameos.

The romance subplot is nearly forgettable between our repressed, devil spawn and an earthling. It’s uninteresting and kind of distracts from the story, however it shows Lil’ Nicky’s more sensible side (if he didn’t seem sensitive enough already). Still, Sandler shares screen time with yet another beauty and makes for a casual date night flick even if it is underused. It’s pretty much just “there”.

Seeing this was a box office failure, I can tell they put a lot of money into the music, special effects, sets, and including cameos. The special effects shows it’s time for sure, but most money was wasted on the music. They may use nearly five seconds of a song before they cut it for various reasons. For example one scene starts with Foo Fighter’s The Pretender, cuts away to something funny, then begins Pardon Me by Incubus, which quickly burns out. No song here is played along enough to create a feeling, a jam, or entertaining quality to enjoy. I wish they chose a few songs opposed to many and hear them play out respectively.

For fans of Adam Sandler and co, Little Nicky is still an entertaining movie that isn’t the best but is unique in it’s premise compared to Sandler’s other creations. Some gags are better than others like when Nicky is forced against his will and gives a lady the finger and says remorsefully “I’m Sorry”. Or when the Gatekeeper has a bit of naughty time with his hairy friend is wierdly funny. Also, there’s a beloved Chris Farley reference at the end which is funny on multiple levels that made my tummy tickle (God rest his lively soul). I’d likely rewatch flicks like Billy Madison or Happy Gilmore compared to this but still, not bad for casual viewing.

One Cut of the Dead (2017)

One Cut of the Dead (2017) – IMDB

One Cut of the Dead - PosterSpy

A very fresh take on a tried and heavily explored genre. One Cut of the Dead doesn’t just impress but enlightens us there is more to offer in this addition to the ever-hungry zombie filmography.

The plot is a simple one: a director wants to shoot a low budget zombie movie when real zombies appear on the scene. All fashionably done in one cheesy cut. I’m a modest man who begs you to stay past the thirty minute mark and endure the shabby introduction. One Cut of the Dead is one of the most rewarding movie experiences I’ve had. Sitting there with a slight grin on my face as the absurdity unfolded. The movie is funny, self aware, heartwarming, and creative. You can tell it was handled with care and from people who loves not only the genre, but movies in general. I can only imagine the crew having an enjoyable time off screen.

One-Cut-of-the-Dead | The Kim Newman Web Site

This one took me by surprise. Not at all what I was expecting and very glad I watched it. One of those movies you’d be hard pressed to search for. The last act is so humorous it gives a whole new meaning on a second viewing. I’m saying this with the little knowledge I had before going in, knowing only the straight forward synopsis. Take what you will from my words but have your own expectations. It’s a good time. One Cut of the Dead is a fresh and original take away from the mouth watering limpers that crowd our screen. POM!

Special note: It took 2 days and 6 takes to get the perfect cut and the film took $25,000 to be made!

Bargain Bin 1

With so many movies releasing every year it’s hard to keep up. A lot of time is spent on which one to watch?  Hoping you wouldn’t regret your decision after the two hours are up. You may choose one through networking because a friend told you to watch it. Or this other flick was hailed by a bunch of critics. Or perhaps you decided not to listen to anyone and watch some random movie out of the mainstream or whatever the case may be. Well, here’s someone else not to listen to: me.

I have compiled a small list that shouldn’t take up much of your time to skim through; a random selection of movies on different budgets, languages, genres, and other rubbish you may find amusing. Whether whatever weather outside, you sit on fur or leather, this is your chance to be pickey-choosey for your pleasure.

Here you go:

Hunter Prey (2010)

This small film caught me off guard. Whilst i was binge surfing on Netflix I decided to give this movie a try. I knew nothing about it and was rather impressed. A small squad is traveling with a cloaked prisoner on a distant planet when he gets loose and they must find him. Simple right? Hunter Prey is really well done for what it sets out to accomplish. Even though the soldiers’ costumes look like they were borrowed from the Clone Trooper sweat shop, it’s easy to write off for it’s still believable and the make up is also well done. Just please, do not watch the trailer. You are better off not knowing anything since the trailer somewhat ruins the twist and makes it seem more like an action movie.

PS: If you liked Enemy Mine you’d like this.

13 Assassins (2010)

I love Japanese culture and their art style. I love samurai movies even more. Takashi Miike gives himself a break from his outrageous horror/gangster films and brings us a story about thirteen samurai who are set on taking down a corrupt, evil leader. And he is evil. The film is set up in two parts basically, the first is build up. This is when Shinzaemon Shimada collects the twelve other samurai on a suicide mission and in contrary, the evil lord shows us just how evil he is. For some, the first hour may seem slow as it really lets us get to know a little bit about each character. Those who are patient, however, will be rewarded. The last hour is nothing but blood shed as the thirteen face off the many in epic fashion.

PS: I love the wide range of colors presented in every frame. Most notably when Japan’s landscape is shown. 

Session 9 (2001)

A little known horror film that came across my way through a friend. This wasn’t a movie i thought he would even like in the first place so when i watched it I was surprised that HE was the one who found it. Session 9 doesn’t need jump scares, no need for gore, just the real Danvers Mental Hospital to film in. At first, everything seems easy enough for our asbestos cleaning crew in an eerie, haunting asylum. But not everything is what it seems in this psychological horror. Hiding secrets can result in brutal fatalitie. Brad Anderson’s editing, shots, and music is what really creeps up your nerves. As well as the session tapes. There’s something about this place that will leave you feeling mental.

PS: Even though the movie isn’t widely known, those who have seen the ending and were left scratching their skull were not satisfied for it’s rather ambiguous. This is a movie worth watching with some people who are open for conversation. I, myself, loved this film for it will have you thinking for days to come.

The Fisher King (1991)

What to say about this delightful movie? I blessed myself when i purchased this without giving it a first look and  it was the one of the best decisions i ever made. It’s a story about fate and moving on from the past. When a radio DJ (Jeff Bridges) who lost his fame due to assisting a woman’s suicide, crosses paths with a looney hobo (Robin Williams) with a tragic past, becomes a comedic tale of redemption and love. Jack (Jeff) befriends the bum hoping he can help him find his true love and aid his past. All performances  are top-notch giving Robin enough room to be weird and heart warming, and letting Jeff be the down-beat cool guy. A favorite of mine from Terry Gilliam.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

I’m a little butt hurt this movie isn’t more well known, or to my knowledge it is not. You have a kick a** cast and amazing one liners. Scrap that, the whole script must be heard. Val Kilmer and Robert Downey Jr are perfect together, seeing that Val nearly steals the show in every scene.  Their chemistry and delivery couldn’t be any more pluperfect. The story line is a little everywhere which will take you a couple times to re-watch this. That’s not a complaint though, do yourself a favor and have fun solving this jazzed up mystery. I couldn’t recommend it enough.

PS: Still reading? Stop, i found your movie. 

Chef (2014)

Chef (2014) via IMDb.

Ah, Chef. Man, if this isn’t in my top 5 (there are a lot of movies out there) then it’s in my top 10 for sure. The music, the vibe, the characters, and the story kept my interest throughout the entire film. Like it was promising me an authentic cuban sandwich by the end of it. Every time  food was being stirred, boiled, or fried I just wanted to reach through the screen and snatch it. I could smell it.

Jon Favreau has a fun and deliciously enjoyable film. By far a favorite of mine that has been cooked up from his mind. It’s about friendship, love, family, and the changing world around us. The best way to display this was between the father and son. The father: lonely, out of touch with the world and self-centered. Then his son: who needs his father and helps him rekindle a lost flame and discover the power of social media. Their bond is the perfect link between the old and new. And the storytelling is so dynamic leading one place to the next. I honestly didn’t know what to expect first time round, but really enjoyed it. Second time i fell in love. It gave me warm happy feels with a smile that resisted giving in. Especially when the food was on screen, I’d say that was the star of the show.

Everyone bounced off each other so well. You’d believe you just walked into these people’s lives for a split second to see it turn for the better. I loved it. It was made with so much love and passion. Everyone involved seemed to have fun making this as well. The dynamic flow of the film and the character interactions left no dull moment, just one tasty pleasure after the next.

Someone once asked me if i were to have made a movie, what movie would it have been? I didn’t know how to answer at first, but now, now I have found it. Did you smell it? Or maybe you started tapping your foot to the music? It’s Chef everyone. A nicely blended fiesta for everyone to dig in. Make a meal, grab a friend, poor some wine, and enjoy, my friends.

BTW: This movie is similar the French film called Le Chef. Although that film follows more along the lines of Ratatuoille. Le Chef is worth checking out when given a chance.

A Fish Called Wanda (1988) – IMDb

via A Fish Called Wanda (1988) – IMDb.

A dark comedy with sex, diamonds, foreign accents, and fish. A Fish Called Wanda kicks off with a group of four burglars who steal diamonds from a bank but unknowingly each of them wants to keep the loot for themselves. John Cleese writes this hysterical farce dishing out one-liners, vulgarities, and a clever-wit accompanied by a great story. This is his personally favorite film of his and he also stars as the lawyer who defends one of the suspects. If he’s lucky enough he may get a share of the loot and even the sexiest, most exciting woman he’s ever seen.

A Fish Called Wanda is a perfectly cast film. Even more so for Kevin Kline who won an Oscar for his performance, which surprised me because you don’t see that happen too often in this genre. It’s a stand out performance you will need to witness for yourself as the loony, don’t-call-me-stupid role, Otto. I can’t help but think if Super Mario was a villain in real life it would be Kevin Kline. I mean, look at how he jumps at the beginning of the movie in the garage when he and Wanda find out the loot has been relocated, reminds me of the older days of 2-D Mario.  Another stand out role is Jamie Lee Curtis who is sexy as ever as the conniving Wanda. She is determined to get her diamonds at any cost even if it means she has to kiss every major role player here (why couldn’t I have been a part of this?). Wanda pretends to be a law student and must get ‘friendly’ with a lawyer, Archie Leach (John Cleese), hoping he could tell her where the diamonds are since he is defending George, the one who relocated the loot. And then there’s the other Monty Python alumni, Michael Palin, as the stuttering K-K-Ken who is an animal lover and possibly has the saddest sub-plot who must kill the only witness: an elderly lady with three dogs. Palin’s father had a stutter so he knew how to transfer his experiences to the film.

Everyone did an excellent job in this funny, funny fare. Cleese wrote a story that is a bit messy but gets flattened out by the end (ba-da-bum-bum). A Fish Called Wanda is a smart, cleverly written movie that has hysterical moments and inside jokes that will leave you laughing so hard your heart beat will race 250-500 beats a minute like the guy in Denmark who died laughing in the theater. Yes, really. A forgotten gem that should be watched to remember how funny a good comedy can be with a smart story line and witty, fun characters. If you decide to watch this with a side of Fish n’ Chips don’t eat the green fish, it’s not ripe yet.

Shrink (2009) – IMDb

via Shrink (2009) – IMDb.

A delightful film. Sitting in my queue on Netflix since it’s release, I finally came around to watching Shrink. Over the years Kevin Spacey has become a favorite of mine, not just for his movie acting but his movie choices. Too bad I didn’t watch this film sooner, It’s a film about movies but more over about how the person next to us could be experiencing a bad time. Everyone goes through time and life differently, Shrink displays this very well and at the cost of two hours, you can spend your time enjoying yourself watching a story that intertwines with other stories. At a minor tempo pacing, the film unfolds at a calm, stoner pace; revealing a storyline thoughtful, heartfelt and honest.
Kevin Spacey is a therapist, Henry, who mostly has meetings with other celebrities; step in Robin Williams cameo, and is struggling over his wife’s death. His recovery consists of heavy pot smoking and drinking next to the pool. Poor guy needs a break but instead is slammed with the responsibility of a young girl who has also suffered a loss. They come to terms that going to the movie theaters is better than talking at an actual appointment. The rest of the story I will let you figure out on your own because it’s a journey worth going through. I’m one of those type of people who like to talk about movies within movies because movie in general are awesome. They can help gravitate to any means we mean necessary and interpret thoughts we occupy daily. Shrink looks at the different angles and explains the story it wants to convey through a simple form of dialogue. Many movies take this form, I’m just surprised by this small movie how it went and went above my expectations.
At times, a darkly comedic film with a rewarding cast. By the end of it all you feel everyone was a close family.
A movie recommended for those who enjoy showbiz flicks like movie buffs or just people looking for a calming, moving title. I like how the story held it’s subtle wit but kept it’s dramatic charm for a story. I myself like to aspire myself to be a filmmaker, one can dream, right? Until then, maybe I should get a celebrity shrink in the process.

Caddyshack (1980) – IMDb

via Caddyshack (1980) – IMDb.

A movie that ages like fine wine. Released in 1980, Caddyshack wasn’t warmly accepted by critics and audience alike saying it was too crass and had no class, I say nay, this movie was ahead of it’s time and people couldn’t see the big laughs presented. The laughs come fast at knock out speed with full attitude. Caddyshack is nothing but zany, silly humor that is both witty and dumb and will none the less end in laughter.
At first, you may think “oh, this is too much and old fashioned, I’m not going to like it” but don’t quit so early, the movie has just begun! I didn’t even catch all the laughs the first time round, or the second; some laughs I found more rewarding once I knew some of the history of the movie. I’ll give credit to the whole crew for all the booz and drugs done off camera. A lot of talent is to be had here, you have three SNL guys and a veteran actor. Ted Knight plays a veteran judge and is very old fashioned. He has with him his wife and the sexy granddaughter who likes to have fun and can palm read. As for the SNL crew they deliver if not all the laughs. Chevy Chase as a cool womanizer who is heading through life kind of aimlessly. His acting is hilarious under his calm demeanor. Rodney Dangerfield delivers the most energy and is the most obnoxious golfer to be around, but only if you don’t know how to party; his delivery on one-liners are stellar and will have you rolling on the floor. And finally, you have Bill Murray, the man who pretty much rewrote his whole script and played such a goofy character trying to kill a golfer, sorry gofer, who has been tunneling all over the golfing premises. I loved every minute Bill was on screen. From the story he tells when he met the Daila Lama to the Cinderella story are just priceless.  What made that even cooler was having Bill and Chevy on the same screen together. It’s a small bit but it’s funny despite the two having quarrel at the time. They were two legends from SNL taking drags from homemade grass and swigs of alcohol, just a beauty on screen.
There are just too many lines to remember, so many scenes to replay in your mind and laugh, thanks to the editing. This is due to the movie length being cut down from like a three hour film to just 98 minutes. Makes me curious as to what was cut out. With all the drinking to the side, there must have been a lot of ad-libbing. And with a comfortable atmosphere anything can happen, thanks to the director, Harold Ramis (Groundhog) who was very level headed and always had a smile on his face. Sad to hear his recent passing but always made movies that had laughter.
Hold the phone, Caddyshack delivers such great comedic performances I forgot to mention there is a storyline, Danny Noonan (Michael O’Keefe) is an upcoming caddy trying to earn a scholarship by winning the caddy tournament. This simple storyline is just teased through a good portion of the movie, being overshadowed by the comedic performances, the conclusion swings everything nicely together in one hole.
I have re-watched Caddyshack many times and I find more reasons to watch it one more. This movie will grow with you the more you watch it, you get it’s humor and laugh at something you didn’t notice before. It’s great to watch with friends or just to relax for a laugh after a long day. You don’t want to miss out on this comedy classic.

Judge Smails: You know, you should play with Dr. Beeper and myself. I mean, he’s been club champion for three years running and I’m no slouch myself.

Ty Webb: Don’t sell yourself short Judge, you’re a tremendous slouch.