Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Color Out Of Space (2019,

Color Out Of Space has Nicholas Cage balancing his two distinct types of acting: calm, collected, normal and completely unhinged. I think the movie could have used more Cage freakouts, however in this case his dad operates as the film’s main source of stability. Once the center fails to hold and things fall apart, he comes unglued. This was also a pretty good Lovecraft adaption as far as those go.

Elliot Knight’s plays a Hydrologist working for a big company who shows up near the property of the Gardner family. The mom is played by Joely Richardson, Brendan Meyer plays the son and Madeleine Arthur the daughter. They’re a happy, normal bunch until a meteorite crashes into their front yard. From then on, things get weird, very quickly. If there ever was a movie about not trusting the local drinking water, it would be this one.

Even though most of this film is a slow burn, I was never bored and that is all just building up to the film’s last, insane act. The special effects were pretty good here too, and I liked how it ended. Even if this isn’t a great flick it is a pretty good one. More modern adaptations of Lovecraft works, please.

Excess, Cults, and Humanity: The Master (2012)

I finally viewed The Master because it was leaving Netflix and people kept telling me to watch it. There’s something in all that, I’m sure, but that’s a subject I’ve already covered. Paul Thomas Anderson did in a way make a lose movie about Scientology, however it could be about most cults. Some feel that all religions are cuts-more on that later. Yet if one only focuses on that aspect they miss out on the film’s bigger picture, and that is one I almost missed, too. The film works like poetry and thus leaves you to think for yourself, which is ironic considering the subject matter.

What I got out of Anderson’s modern classic (one more year and it a decade old-my how time flies) is that Freddie, our protagonist, never bought into The Cause. This is the new age religion at the heart of the movie, and yet what is the real focus is the tumultuous relationship between Freddie and The Cause’s leader, Lancaster Dodd. Ah, what a name for a cult leader, and he has a magnetic personality that attracts Freddie instantly from the moment they first speak. This conversation is based in Freddie having stowed away on Dodd’s boat, and then having given him a strong bottle of alcohol he made himself.

Dodd’s wife, Peggy, grows to mistrust Freddie although that partly grows from how infatuated her husband is with him. The jail scene is a key moment where Dodd admits that he is the only person who likes Freddie, and that seems to have a ring of truth to it. Dodd naturally tries to mold the cause to his new friend, however Freddie’s own volatile and unpredictable behavior makes that rather difficult.

Another fun note is how Anderson brings together a magnificent cast for his sweeping epic. When Laura Dern and Rami Malek are secondary players in your movie you have a great cast. Also I liked that Dodd’s son is played by Jesse Plemons, who has carved out a character actor niche for himself in Hollywood. Yet it is the dynamic of Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams that is the heart and soul of the movie.

The film doesn’t always work at times and the finale may seem jarring and abrupt to many viewers. I was left mostly satisfied, mediating upon what had occurred, and asking myself if I knew anyone quite like Freddie. I don’t think so, although few come close in my mind. I dwell upon how Dodd tells Freddie that everyone has a master, and while that part is a tad heavy handed the moment works. We’ve all got to serve somebody.

“Minty flavor.”

31 Films 31 Years: A Favorites List

Favorite Films From Every Year I’ve Existed:

1986: Big Trouble In Little China

1987: Wings of Desire

1988: The Great Outdoors

1989: Field of Dreams

1990: Wild At Heart

1991: The Fisher King

1992: Hard Boiled

1993: Jurassic Park

1994: Cemetery Man

1995: Fallen Angels

1996:  Scream

1997: L.A. Confidential

1998: The Big Lebowski

1999: Three Kings

2000: American Psycho

2001: Memento

2002: Gangs of New York

2003: Finding Nemo

2004: The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou

2005: Brick

2006: A Scanner Darkly

2007: Hot Fuzz

2008: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

2009: Watchmen

2010: Monsters

2011: Drive

2012: Skyfall

2013: The Place Beyond the Pines

2014: The Guest

2015: The Hateful Eight

2016: The Nice Guys

2017: John Wick: Chapter 2

MadMan’s December Movie Challenge

The goal is to try and view as many films as possible in 31 days to end the year. Right now I’ve viewed:

1. Birdman (2014)-Great
2. Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb (1971, Holt)-Mediocre
3. Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972, Gibson)-Decent
4. The Toxic Avenger (1984, Kaufman)- Shittastic
5. Gone Girl (2014, Fincher)-Great
6. The Yards (2000, Gray)-Really Good
7. The Visitor (1979)-Decent
8. My Darling Clementine (1946, Ford)-Great
9. Warrior of the Lost World (1983, Worth)-Garbage
10. Safety Last (1924)-Really Good
11. Gamera vs Baurgon (1966)-Awful
12. Little Odessa (1994, Gray)-Really Good
13. The Atomic Brain (1964)-Crap
14. Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993, Allen)-Wonderful
15. Thief (1981, Mann)-Great
16. Sherlock Jr. (1924, Keaton)-Amazing
17. Seven Chances (1925, Keaton)- Great
18. Batman Forever (1995, Schumacher)-Decent
19. The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974, Baker)-Fun
20. The Iceman (2012, Vromen)-Solid
21. The Crying Game (1992, Jordan)- Excellent
22. The Internship (2013, Levy)- Google
23. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002, Columbus)-Weak Sauce
24. The Hobbit Part 3: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014, Jackson)-Good
25. Jubal (1956, Daves)-Beautiful
26. Judex (1963, Franju)-James Bond
27. Two-Lane Blacktop (1971, Hellman)-Great
28. Wild (2014)-Fantastic
29. Let The Fire Burn (2013)- Moving

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