Scary Movie October 2013

In case you haven’t heard, I. LOVE. SCARY. MOVIES. For the past two years I’ve put The Late List aside in October in favor of watching and reviewing a bunch of scary movies (check out the scary movies here). And this year will be no different!

Here’s a list of scary movies I am hoping to watch this October:

  1. Aliens
  2. Hellraiser
  3. Shaun of the Dead
  4. Rocky Horror Picture Show (Editor’s note: scary in a way)
  5. Nosferatu

I also have room for a few write-in votes, so here’s your chance to give me your input. What’s your favorite scary movie?

scream scary movie drew barrymore

Don’t make me repeat myself.


Late to the mission from God! A review of Blues Brothers

Prologue by Ryan Stites:

Mrs. Tarantino: “Are you the police?”

Elwood: “No, ma’am. We’re musicians. “

This blog is all about Laura and her quest to right the cinematic wrongs in her life, but let’s talk about me first real quick. The Blues Brothers is probably my favorite movie of all time (Jaws being #1a, thankfully, she’s seen that one). I only bring this up because I wonder how this movie comes across to someone that has never seen it and only knows the movie/characters post-John Belushi. Bless Dan Aykroyd for his work on SNL and writing this movie, but the man has done everything but dig up Belushi’s corpse and have it hock House of Blues merchandise (he also should be deported back to Canada for allowing Jim Belushi to appear as a Blues brother). I’m a little worried that Laura’s frame of reference will be clouded by what has happened since the movie*, but a lot of that is probably my own baggage. The Blues Brothers themselves have aged poorly as a property, but the movie is timeless.

The movie hits a lot of personal wheelhouses; growing up Catholic, a giant SNL dork, Chicago (fun fact no one cares about: Car 55 flying into a truck was filmed in my hometown!), car chases, fantastic music. Hell, even Steven Spielberg is in it. Personal business aside, I think Laura will discover multiple things she missed pop culturally, love that lit-rally everyone is in it and like this movie a lot for similar reasons…maybe not so much the Catholic stuff, but just go with it. If she doesn’t our friendship is probably over.

*A quick note on the sequel that never, never, ever should have happened: If you fast forward to the music numbers, it becomes tolerable. Even then, you feel bad for everyone involved and it is best to pretend it didn’t happen.

On a “WHAT? You haven’t seen _____?!?” scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest level of shock, disappointment and sad) I’m going to assign an 7.5 to this just because there was a period of time between roughly 1993-1997 where this movie was on TBS roughly three times a day and I’m not sure how Laura didn’t at least come across it in passing. Also, it is pretty much a musical and she loves musicals.

LTTM Review:

Elwood: They’re not gonna catch us. We’re on a mission from God.

Soooooo, I never saw The Blues Brothers on SNL. Is that bad? I’m definitely curious to go through and watch some reruns to see how this worked as a sketch.

Blues Brothers movie poster

Blues Brothers (1980)

Like Ryan mentioned this movie is pretty much a musical. But not just any musical! A musical where Aretha Franklin makes an appearance teaching her man a thing or two (unsuccessfully), Ray Charles shoots a gun, James Brown sweats a lot, Chaka Khan is a BACKGROUND singer. [And all of the cameos are not just singers. Twiggy makes a small appearance, Carrie Fisher shows up several times with several different incendiary devices, and Steven Spielberg has an incredible performance as the tax man towards the end of the movie.] It’s the only “musical” that Kevin will ever enjoy, so Blues Brothers gets major kudos for that.

Another item of note: while living in Chicago I never once had the chance to drive on Lower Wacker. Based on the Blues Brothers and Batman scenes that take place on Lower Wacker, I assume there is a car chase down there every hour during the day.

While I enjoyed this movie a ton, I don’t think it hits anywhere near my top list of movies I’ve ever seen, or even seen as a part of this project. It’s funny and I really had a good time watching it, don’t get me wrong. But I think Ryan’s Chicago homerism might be getting the best of him (Jaws is INFINITELY better, plus there are sharks). This isn’t even my favorite Dan Aykroyd movie (Ghostbusters II) or my favorite John Belushi movie (Animal House). It’s also not my favorite SNL sketch-turned-movie (Wayne’s World or *cough* Coneheads). That said, Angels in the Outfield is one of my favorite movies so I can understand letting weird quirks  and sentimentality get the best of you. [Or maybe it’s a Catholic guilt thing.]

If you love music, if you love car chases, and if you hate Illinois Nazis, I think you’ll really enjoy this movie. If you’re late to every movie like I am, I’d prioritize lower than some of the other movies I’ve watched so far, but I do recommend that everyone watch it.

Face palm moment: 

I can’t get into details but the community computers at my agency all use the same password. After seeing this movie, I realized that the password is a Blues Brothers reference. I’m a dweeb.

Favorite part: 

As a former Chicago resident, I just really liked seeing different aspects of Chicago that I recognized. I got so excited when I saw a Jewel, you have no idea. Related: I am a dweeb.

The “I missed that in pop culture trivia” moment: 

I honestly can’t think of anything in particular that I was really missing from the movie. I’m not sure this movie is quite as quotable as some of the others I’ve seen.

Regrettable tardiness scale (out of 10): Don’t kill me Ryan. It’s not at the top of my list as far as regrettability, simply because there are so many other movies that I had missed out on and prioritized higher. I’ll give it a six or so here. BUT YOU SHOULD STILL WATCH.

The Late List, Round Two

With your help, I’ve put together my second list of late movies. Drumroll please…
1. Matrix
2. Robocop
3. The Natural
4. Kingpin
5. Aliens
6. High Noon
7. Dr. Strangelove
8. Blade Runner
9. Trading Places
10. Usual Suspects
11. When Harry Met Sally
12. Gold Finger
13. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
14. Fletch
15. Patton
16. Clerks
17. The Graduate
18. The Notebook
19. Hunt for Red October
20. Roadhouse
21. Lethal Weapon
22. Major League
23. Thelma and Louise
24. Bev. Hills Cop
25. Blazing Saddles
My thoughts?
Dis Gon B Gud gif
[As a reminder, you can see the first late list here.]

Late to seven years down the drain! A review of Animal House

Dean Vernon Wormer: The time has come for someone to put his foot down. And that foot is me.

One of my first memories of college was attending the poster sale at the Kansas Union. The poster sale was  A BIG DEAL. Personally, I attended intending to pick out my Radiohead posters and my Beatles posters and my poster of The Kiss to convey to the ladies in my all-girls dorm that I was way too cool for school (and also a terrifying and boring person to be around). While there, I noticed almost every single dude at the poster sale picking out a variation of this photo:


Why were people buying that poster? I have no idea. Drinking is cool, I guess? College is cool? The poster is cool? Cool.

Now I see– Animal House! So Animal House is kind of like all of the good parts of Old School plus American Pie plus PCU? But better? I understand. I wouldn’t say I have anything particularly deep or thoughtful to say about Animal House, but isn’t that the point? It’s funny, it’s gross, it’s really vulgar and there are a lot of boobs. John Belushi’s physical comedy is perfect, he doesn’t need to say a single word to be funny. Aside from a few SNL sketches I’ve seen with him, this is my first true exposure to his genius. I love it.

I highly recommend Animal House if you have a gross, goofy semi-bro like sense of humor. I do; I learned it from my dad. I only hope his fraternity years (Sigma Nu, Auburn University) were nothing like this. If they were, I do not want to know.

Animal House

Animal House (1978)

I do have a few lingering questions following my viewing of Animal House. They are as follows:

  1. Do fraternities REALLY do the paddle spanking thing during fraternity initiation?
  2. Do fraternities really have access to old tests? I guess that makes sense. Now I wish I had joined a fraternity.
  3. Do fraternities really deal with charter issues all that often?
  4. Are toga parties that exciting?
  5. Why is Shout such a great song to dance to?
  6. Wouldn’t you cheat on your boyfriend with Donald Sutherland? I know I would.
  7. Why is Jim Belushi so inferior to John Belushi?
  8. What the hell else we s’posed to do, you moron?

Face palm moment: 

Favorite part: Hi, Donald Sutherland is in this movie. You get to see his butt. Have a nice day.

The “I missed that in pop culture trivia” moment: Awww, hello Eric Stratton, Rush Chairman. That one goes out to my friend Andy who has diabetes.

This scene as well:

Dean Vernon Wormer: Here are your grade point avarages. Mr. Kroger: two C’s, two D’s and an F. That’s a 1.2. Congratulations, Kroger. You’re at the top of the Delta pledge class. Mr. Dorfman?

Flounder: [drunk] Hello!

Dean Vernon Wormer: 0.2… Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son. Mr. Hoover, president of Delta house? 1.6; four C’s and an F. A fine example you set! Daniel Simpson Day… HAS no grade point average. All courses incomplete. Mr. Blu…

[sees Bluto with a pair of pencils in his nostrils]

Dean Vernon Wormer: Mr. Blutarsky… zero… point… zero.

[Bluto shrugs]

Regrettable tardiness scale (out of 10): 24 out of 10. My GPA was a 0.2 in college; fat, drunk and stupid is an awesome way to go through life.

Late List Round Two: Help me help you help me!

So after more than two years at this thing, I’m ALMOST DONE with the original Late List. Wowzers, y’all.

Twin Pinks two thumbs up.

You guys are the best.

Prepping for the second list I’ve been talking to some friends and taking suggestions. First of all, my goal is to stay pretty close to the list versus veering off because I feel like it (hi Varsity Blues), with the exception of Scary Movie October. Second of all, I want to make sure I’m getting a well-rounded list (that means NO LIST OF JUST BASEBALL AND WAR MOVIES, KEVIN) of movies that are big time, well known films, especially those referenced frequently in pop culture. And finally… well, I just need your help.

Here are suggestions from various people– help me narrow this list down:

  • Platoon
  • Mallrats
  • Hunt for Red October
  • The Matrix
  • Trading Places
  • Beverly Hills Cop
  • Goldfinger
  • Star Trek IV
  • Robocop
  • Dirty Work
  • Blade Runner
  • Major League
  • The Natural
  • The Jerk
  • Roadhouse
  • Point Break
  • Chinatown
  • French Connection
  • Monty Python
  • Lost Boys
  • Rambo
  • True Lies
  • Thelma and Louise
  • Bull Durham
  • When Harry Met Sally
  • Hairspray (original)
  • Risky Business
  • Pretty in Pink
  • Clerks
  • Lethal Weapon
  • Kingpin
  • Braveheart
  • Manhattan
  • The Graduate
  • Fletch
  • Natural Born Killers
  • Bridge on the River Kwai
  • Dr. Strangelove
  • Outsiders
  • Red Dawn
  • Bond Movies
  • Blazing Saddles
  • Point Break
  • The Burbs
  • Love Story
  • Mystic Pizza
  • The Notebook
  • Thelma and Louise
  • Prince of Tides
  • The Way We Were
  • Teen Wolf
  • Weird Science
  • Top Secret
  • Adventures in Babysitting
  • Mask
  • The Wiz
  • Crying Game

(The bolded ones are ones that are definitely making the list based on other factors)

Here are suggestions from my grandparents (they were making fun of me [SERIOUSLY] and I want to make sure I see at least one of these):

  • How Green Was My Valley
  • Waterloo Bridge
  • That Hamilton Woman
  • Valley of Decision
  • The Wrong Man
  • Witness for the Prosecution
  • Anatomy of a Murder
  • Gaslight
  • Mrs. Miniver
  • Random Harvest
  • Now Voyager
  • High Noon
  • She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
  • Best Years of Our Lives
  • Jane Eyre
  • Foreign Correspondent
  • All About Eve

If you have any thoughts or special feelings about any of these, let me know. Help me. HELP ME.