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  1. #31
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    Past Tense - Trouble (The Good Kind) Across The Way Part I


    [An earlier version of this PT was originally posted on September 29th, 2011 on JoBlo's "DVD, Blu-Ray & Home Theater Discussion" forum. Too big, have to break this up into two parts.]

    Get swooned and learn a secret identity from "The Girl Next Door"...



    The motion picture opened on April 9th, 2004. It was made with a budget of $25,000,000 (estimated) and grossed over $14.5 million during its U.S. theatrical run; counting foreign receipts it made $30,411,183. The film opened at number ten, the following week it dropped to number fourteen. It bombed, sadly.

    The feature opened against "The Passion Of The Christ", "Hellboy", "The Alamo" and "Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed".



    This originally came with a unique partial slipcover - used to conceal the cover girl's torso (Elisha Cuthbert), the illusion that she is nude, as seen above.

    Later pressings exclude it.

    First pressing also came with an insert, chapter listing/bonus features index.

    - - -



    Best Buy offered the only exclusive, a bonus disc (36:33 minutes, full screen). The set streeted on August 24th, 2004 for $14.99. The DVD came in a printed cardboard sleeve (which can fit inside the case) - this was not attached to the case, but in a nearby cardboard rack.

    There is no screen shot, the program just plays. The bonus also included an advertisement for "Maxim Presents The Real Swimsuit DVD: Vol. 1".

    This could be bought separately, if you could find it; sold out quickly was $0.01. Anyhow, I have since moved mine into a two disc case.

    The program is a bikini spotlight (interviews and photo shoots), centered on five contestants from Maxim magazine's "Girl Next Door" contest, hosted by Jennifer Lothrop.

    None of the film stars appear on the exclusive. Why is this here? A slim connection; the film's star, Elisha Cuthbert was on the cover (and photo spread) of Maxim's March 2004 (75th) issue which included the announcement - winner of the "Hometown Hotties" competition (participant Christina Dare won). And both the contest and film share the same name. As I wrote, 'slim'.

    It appears that the exclusive is the final episode of a limited run series on the FX channel, "Girl Next Door". The show ran for one season, eleven episodes in 2004 (not on DVD). This could mean, the exclusive aired on March 13th, 2004.

    "Maxim's Girl Next Door" has great eye candy. I liked the submission videos. Did recognize two of the girls. Not picked was Monica Jackson. She's the busty (artificial) and quite petite person who won a million dollars with her boyfriend on the couple's edition of "Fear Factor". She also appeared in a pictorial with another female "Fear Factor" contestant for the February 2005 issue of Playboy.

    The other woman is Charity Hodges. She's all over the net, pretty sure you've seen her. Hodges does lots of bikini contests and conventions. A pretty girl.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.

    I have a double sided poster for this! You don't care. Mine is still rolled up in a poster shipping tube, bought from the post office in '04. Not sure how to hang it. I would like to have the option to present both sides; making it a flipper.

    This was gotten for FREE at my local video rental shop - which is still in business. I think it opened in late 2003 or early 2004. This happened in mid September 2004. I was there to rent "The Passion Of The Christ" for my mom. They had at the time; sadly no longer - I blame Ebay; posters for customers - overstocks and replacements; their indoor poster marquees.

    I go through the pile, junk. I ask the clerk if they had any "The Girl Next Door" posters, 'why yes we do'. He then pulls out this huge glossy double sided print. Side one, advertisement for the regular edition DVD. The other for the uncensored version; it is mint. Sway!

    The movie was enjoyed. I saw it on opening day at a theater that no longer exist - converted into a Wal-Mart groceries store. Man, I had so many good time there. One of the best experiences, well probably bad for them was watching "Bubble Boy" on opening day, August 24th, 2001.

    Paid my ticket went to the screening room and was the only one. Later after some time a second person entered. Just us - two attendees. I remember looking up and seeing the projectionist looking down at us, 'I guess I have to show the movie'.

    The feature was fun and it felt like it was being shown just for me. It's the first and only time I had that kind of experience, a private screening. A good flick too.

    - - -

    Favorite hate quote...
    A good movie could presumably be made from this premise -- a good movie can be made from anything, in the right hands and way -- but this is a dishonest, quease-inducing 'comedy' that had me feeling uneasy and then unclean.
    - Roger Ebert.

    WTF?

    Unclean? Did we see the same movie? I spoke to my friend afterwards. We think the reason is he expected, XXX industry bashing. Instead it portrays it in a neutral light. At least that's our thoughts.

    By the way, on his syndicated TV show, "Ebert & Roeper At The Movies", Ebert and Richard Roeper both gave it thumbs down.

    *sad panda face*

    - - -

    I shouldn't, but let's be honest - it kinda bombed...



    The movie is about high school student Matthew Kidman (Emile Hirsch) who falls for his new neighbor, Danielle (Elisha Cuthbert). Quite the personification of 'the girl next door'. By accident he witnesses her getting undress; his bedroom window is across from hers - and is caught by the girl.

    Nice scene when she comes over a moment later, greeted by Matthew's parents; asking to see their son. The death walk down the stairs. Danielle does not destroy him, but demands satisfaction - have him strip down in front of her; away from home on the street.

    The two click and find romance, they first kiss at a high school party, a passionate moment. But later that night, cashes hard. It is his best friend Eli (Chris Marquette) who makes the connection - this girl is an award winning adult film starlet; screen name, Athena.

    Disbelief until Eli shows him one of her pornos (on VHS). Yup, it's true. His attitude changes and results in her dumping him. Guilt at what he had done or rather what tried to do compels him to make amends. But how? She's gone, no longer home.

    It is Eli who comes with a plan - after all, he screwed up their relationship; bad, very bad advice.

    Right at this moment the Adult Entertainment Expo is happening. More than likely she is there. The plan to is to crash the convention. How? It is an industry only gathering. It is Eli, a die hard porno enthusiast (putting it lightly) decides they should impersonate XXX producers looking for talent for their new video. A second friend joins them on this voyage, Klitz (Paul Dano) - only one with a car.

    Matthew wins her back, but gets the wrath of Kelly (Timothy Olyphant), Danielle's ex and her adult video producer. The kid's action has cost him $30,000 so he steal it from his bank account. A fund that the school started to bring a Samnang (Ulysses Lee), a Cambodian student to America. Gone. Matthew is screwed - he was responsible for that charity. He'll be expelled and lose his acceptance to Georgetown University.

    Danielle and Eli comes up with an unconventional fix. Film a sex tape, an educational video for 'sex ed' classes. A project bankrolled by an adult mogul, Hugo Posh (James Remar) on the promise that this could make millions if schools buy it. It does.

    The video is shot on campus by Eli, an aspiring film makers with his A/V club minions on prom night with a legal student (signed release form). Not with Danielle, but with two of her XXX gal pals; one of which is Sung Hi Lee, a Playboy model, character named Ferrari. The other is Amanda Swisten as April.

    Happy ending for all. Yes, that kind of happy ending too.

    The film also starred a pre-famous Olivia Wilde as adult starlet, Kellie.

    Ton of spoilers? Nah, a lot more happens. I've left out some subplots. Do see, it's an entertaining flick. Though the conclusion isn't quite so happy.

    Matthew is now a student at Georgetown, still with Danielle, but his dreams will always be out of reach. He's a marked man, social stigma of dating and perhaps marrying a porn star. He'll graduated, but his political dreams is as it reads, is no more than 'dreams'.

    Many have said this is a modern "Risky Business" (1983). I guess it is.

    What I would like to see sequel with Eli, his filmmaking antics. He stole the show, quite quotable.

    I'm glad this was rated R, none of that water down PG-13 pandering. But sadden that Cuthbert doe not appear nude.

    At one point it reported that Danielle was a one-time porn talent. No, her character is quite established in the industry. Another axed plot point, mentioned before the release; Danielle was a new student at Matthew's school (Westport High School), trying to get her diploma. Nope.

    I have some moans about the DVD. 1) I wish they had gone with a two disc set and not double sided. So easy to scratch. 2) I just wished the commentary by Hirsch and Cuthbert was full length and not just a few scenes. 3) Cuthbert nudity. It's a guy thing.

    Is the juice worth the squeeze? Yes.

    To paraphrase Homer Simpsons, 'Porn! The cause of and SOLUTION to all of life's problems.'
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 08-08-2017 at 07:07 AM.

  2. #32
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    Past Tense - Trouble (The Good Kind) Across The Way Part II


    [An earlier version of this PT was originally posted on September 29th, 2011 on JoBlo's "DVD, Blu-Ray & Home Theater Discussion" forum. Too big, have to break this up into two parts.]

    Footnotes.

    There was some controversy before its release - not from conservative groups, but from the blue cinema industry.

    XXX journalist and screenwriter (yes, they have scripts), Gene Ross (formerly of AVN - adult trade publication) was seriously thinking about suing Regency pictures.

    ???

    Copyright infringement, he believed the studio stole his idea. Dead serious.



    Penned and produced in 1994 were the shot on video flicks, "The Girl Next Door" and sequel "The Girl Next Door 2", both directed by Mitch Spinelli for Video Team. The two VHS cassettes (later on DVD), starred Lexus Locklear (retired).

    Frank Meyer, AVN Online (Associate Editor) interviewed Ross...

    It's the same title. It's about the same identical subject matter. They can argue coincidence, but it can also be argued that it's more than that. Mainstream has attacked porn in the courts for ripping off ideas. Maybe it's their turn to squirm.


    (Locklear - left, Cuthbert - right)

    Ross added that star of the Hollywood film (Cuthbert) has a strong resemblance to his starlet, Locklear. He IS correct, both women could be sisters - a decade apart. But that's a weak argument for copyright violation.

    First installment; a girl who moves in next door only to be discovered by her neighbor that she's a porn star. Cue-in wakka chikka wakka chikka music. Similar yarns? Sure. But the second video ditches continuity for an entirely different story involving mobsters. In the end, Ross declined to file.

    If he had, his case would've been the very first of its kind. The semi-usual is Hollywood threatening to sue over XXX titles, sounding too much like the real deal.

    The Locklear photo I wanted to use was very different; sweet/wholesome. But I couldn't find any Cuthbert pictures that were comparable (body pose and hair style), so I went with sexy.

    For the Video Team full page ads I dig up my old issues of AVN (Adult Video News). What I found online was crap quality, ended up scanning. These came from the December 1994 and January 1995 issues. Sure, both videos scored AAA 1/2 out of five.

    A sample of potential suits from Hollywood to porn:

    "Backside To The Future" (Zane Entertainment Group, 1986), "The Sperminator" (Video-X-Pix, 1985), "Super Hornio Brothers" (Midnight Video, 1993), "Invasion Of The Booty Snatchers" (JM Productions, 2010), "The Texas Dildo Masquerade" (Heatwave, 1997), "Forrest Hump" (Homegrown Video, 1995), "Fast Times At Deep Crack High" (Celestial, 2001), "San Fernando Jones And The Temple Of Poon" (Metro, 2000), "Miracle On 69th Street" (Heatwave, 1992), "Honey I Blew Everybody!" (Midnight Video, 1992), "Muffy The Vampire Layer" (Las Vegas Video, 1992) and of course "Itty Bitty Titty Gang Bang" (Filmco Releasing, 2003).

    - - -

    Is Ross' claim BS?

    James Cameron's "The Terminator".

    The director was sued by science fiction writer Harlan Ellison. And won!

    He believed that Cameron stole the concept from an episode of the original ABC series, "The Outer Limits" (which he wrote), "Soldier" (September 19th, 1964). Ellison's suit also cited pirated elements from another "The Outer Limits" episode, "Demon With A Glass Hand" (October 17th, 1964). And the classic "Star Trek" episode, "The City On The Edge Of Forever" (April 6th, 1967).

    A run down...

    "Soldier": A random convergence of events transport a trooper (Michael Ansara) in combat from Earth's distant future into the then present. The man is armed with a lethal ray weapon and an exaggerated instinct to kill. Caught after a disturbance, he is taken into custody for examination. Linguistics expert, Tom Kagan (Lloyd Nolan) gradually learns that this man is quite literally the perfect soldier, breed and taught for one purpose only - destroy the enemy. Kagan befriends the man hoping to learn more and arranges for the soldier's transport to his home. The taming of the savage beast appears to be working until it is discovered that this soldier was not alone, the Enemy (Alan Jeffe) is here as well.

    "Demon With A Glass Hand": A man from the 30th century (Robert Culp) journeys to the mid 20th through a time-mirror. He is pursued into the past by the Kyben, an alien race which conquered Earth - in a would be war. The aliens are desperately trying to capture the last homo sapien, to learn where the entire population of Earth disappeared to, on the eve of their invasion. The survivor is also trying to uncover what happened to his people and identity, his only assistance comes from from his incomplete left hand, a segmented computer, housed in glass/clear plastic. When fully assembled it will reveal a great truth.

    As for "The City On The Edge Of Forever", Ellison alleged that the scene where Dr. McCoy (Deforest Kelley) time travels back to early 20th century Earth is remarkably like the scene in "The Terminator" where Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) first appears from the future, down to the same dark, back alley with a disheveled bum on a doorway.

    In the end Cameron's camp settled out of court for $72,500. In addition to the reparation, Ellison demanded his name be on the end credits of all existing and future prints of the film. He got it.

    The producers wish to acknowledge the works of Harlan Ellison.
    So, Ross' claim isn't all improbable. Nowadays nobody really gives a crap. So much of what's made is derivative; fragments, concepts and/or imagery.

    Today it has to be such a blatant rip-off to get attention. A note, Ellison made a litigious name for himself. He wrote many of the original notions that have become the foundations of sci-fi cinema and television. And sued everyone he thought used his ideas without consent.

    - - -

    In 2007 20th Century Fox Home Video gave some of their existing DVD library new slipcovers. This was one of them.



    It was a lenticular that reproduces the concept of the original '04 partial. I have replaced the mini slip with the lenticular, looks sway. Wal-Mart sold the re-release for $9.99. No I haven't thrown away that mini slip, it's in a box with other exclusives; exclusives that can't be stored with their DVDs.

    At the time I thought this was a Wal-Mart exclusive, the store has a long history of masquerading older titles with new slipcovers - tricking people into buying. It did surprise me; remember that at that time, the store was quite pro-Christian; they didn't carry racy DVDs and sold censored music. They have since toned down significantly. I was quite surprised when I saw season five of "The Girls Next Door" in 2009 in their stores Times have changed.

    That was the former E! series on Playboy life; Hef's then three girlfriends, Holly, Kendra and Bridget. Lot of nudity, lots. Funny too.

    - - -

    Emile Hirsch's recent actions which landed him fifteen days in jail (sentenced on August 18th, 2015)?

    The actor attacked Daniele Bernfeld of Paramount Digital VP, choking her (from behind) inside Tao Nightclub (January 25th, 2015; 3:30AM); so hard, she momentarily blacked out. Both were there in Park City, Utah for the annual Sundance Film Festival.

    Besides jail time he got fined $4,750 and fifty hours of community service. What brought it? It appears that he's a evil drunk. He claims he has no memory of it and has apologized to Bernfeld. Since then Hirsch (twenty-nine) has complete alcohol rehab.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Easter Egg.

    There is a hidden vintage educational short, "Parent To Child About Sex" (1966).

    Side B

    Special Features -> highlight "Gag Reel", press right; highlight "XXX" - ENTER.

    When a boy grows up and is ready to be a father, he is able to put his penis into the vagina [mimics action with fingers]; that special opening mother's have - and when he does this, he can plant the seed that starts a baby to grow.
    I see, sometimes his seed ends up on a woman's belly or bosom, her rear or occasionally in her mouth. When this happens, the couple can expect a lesser probability of a baby growing. These actions are shunned by the community and women who engage in such activities are considered 'sluts' and or 'whores'. Though these behaviors increases a woman's popularity among less than reputable men... and women.

    Vagina!

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Just Because.



    Above are the DVDs from Japan and United Kingdom. I prefer the Japanese to the U.S. wraparound. I can see it working. Have a clear plastic slipcover with film slate printed - remove it and see Elisha Cuthbert in a bikini or tube top. I would buy that.

    That's all for now. On October 1st, 2015 - the annual, Limited Edition Horror begins. See freakish puppets moving, all by their own accord - one frame at a time!
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 08-08-2017 at 07:09 AM.

  3. #33
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    Target - September 29th, 2015


    Avengers: Age Of Ultron (available October 2nd, 2015)
    Exclusive bonus content (bonus disc?); BD $17.99

    The Daniel Craig Collection
    Exclusive "7 Classic James Bond Theme Songs" (bonus disc/download?) $14.99

    Outlander: Season 1, Volume 2
    Exclusive Tartan postcard set; DVD $22.99, BD $29.99, Collector's Edition BD $27.99


    - - - - - - - - - -

    CDs

    "Janet Jackson - Unbreakable" deluxe edition with 2 exclusive bonus tracks $13.99 (available October 2nd, 2015)
    "Luke Bryan - Kill The Lights" with 3 exclusive bonus tracks $13.99 (available October 2nd, 2015)
    "Kidz Bop 29" with 4 exclusive bonus $11.99
    "Don Henley - Cass Country" with 2 exclusive bonus tracks $12.99
    "Maddie & Tae - Start Here" with 2 exclusive bonus tracks $11.99
    "Halsey - Bandlands" exclusive store release $11.99
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 09-30-2015 at 07:28 AM.

  4. #34
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    Best Buy - September 29th, 2015


    Avengers: Age Of Ultron (available October 2nd, 2015)
    Exclusive steelbook; 3D BD/BD/DVD/DC combo (Ultron or Vision) $19.99 (each)

    Poltergeist
    Exclusive lenticular cover; 3D BD/BD/DC combo $24.99

    Return To Sender
    Exclusive store BD release $12.99

    - - - - - - - - - -

    CDs

    "Trivium - Silence In The Snow" with 2 exclusive bonus tracks $11.99 (available October 2nd, 2015)
    "Paul McCartney - Tug of War" with free tote bag $22.99 (available October 2nd, 2015)
    "Paul McCartney - Pipes of Peace" with free tote bag (different) $22.99 (available October 2nd, 2015)
    "The Dead Weather - Dodge & Burn" with exclusive t-shirt $13.99 (available September 25th, 2015)
    "Keith Richards - Crosseyed Heart" with exclusive bonus track $13.99
    "Widespread Panic - Street Dogs" with 2 exclusive bonus tracks $11.99

  5. #35
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    Wal-Mart


    Perfect Pitch 2: Limited Edition Gift Set



    BD/DVD/DC/CD combo $24.96, available now.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 06-22-2017 at 03:36 AM.

  6. #36
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    Past Tense - Ghouls Just Wanna Have Fun Part I


    [An earlier version of this PT was originally posted on October 6th, 2011 on JoBlo's "DVD, Blu-Ray & Home Theater Discussion" forum.]

    We are in the Halloween season (my favorite). This month we kick off the first annual, Limited Edition Horror (at this site).

    All month I'll showcase various theme collectibles. Week one of L.E. Horror has "Tim Burton's Corpse Bride"...



    The motion picture opened on September 23rd, 2005. It was made with a budget of $40,000,000 (estimated) and grossed over $53 million during its U.S. theatrical run. The film opened number twenty-three at the box office, the following week it rose to number two.

    The feature opened against "Just Like Heaven", "Transporter 2", "March Of The Penguins" and "The 40-Year-Old Virgin".

    The regular release was case only - no slipcover issued, nor insert(s).

    - - -



    There was one exclusive this was from Wal-Mart; a thicker than normal lenticular slipcover (for widescreen or full screen editions) with a small, soft cover book (96 pages from New Market Press), "Tim Burton's Corpse Bride: The Illustrated Story".

    As far as I can tell, this was a complete, not part of a bigger compendium. Retold the story through text and stills. The collectible was sold on January 31st, 2005 for $18.99.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.

    Tragedies on your tongue.
    - The Endparty

    Of all the Tim Burton presents (stop-motion) features, this is the weakest. On paper, the story sounds solid; a man accidentally marries a dead woman and gets sucked in the underworld, tries to get out of his covenant and along the way helps his bride find closure and eternal peace.

    Good?



    The thing; only the two main characters have any depth, the rest are filler and plot devices.

    What hasn't at fault is the animation. Just frackin' amazing, such tiny subtle movement. No mistake about it, kinetics is an art. Even if you have the volume off (along with subtitles), you still know what's going on.

    Maybe that's it, this should've been a silent feature.

    But man, this ain't no "Nightmare Before Christmas" (1993).

    And the music fills and fills; terrifies, horrifies - forever scares.
    - Roky Erickson



    NONE of the songs are memorable, as if Danny Elfman was busy with other projects and tried to write and couldn't. So he looks about, finds one of his old song books - the rejects. Ends up polishes off some turds and hands them over.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Tangent.

    Back in 2010, L.L. Vynterchilld did a fan a video; mixing scenes with music from the goth rock/electropop band, The Birthday Massacre. "Two Hearts - The Birthday Massacre (music video HQ)" (from the album "Pins And Needles" ['10]) it's on YouTube; works quite well, damn well. Makes me wonder how this could've been if they had used the band to write the songs. Search for it or if you know how, "6vV7TatArt0". It's still there (as of writing), checked.

    Do seek them out, The Birthday Massacre. I'm still amazed that they're still not as popular as they should be. They're Canadian. They're last album came out in 2014, "Superstition". Great stuff.

    Anyway, this is a tale that would make an excellent addition to the Tim Burton stop-motion cinema series...

    Better yet made by Laika Entertainment; makers of "Coraline" (2009), "ParaNorman" (2012) and "The Boxtrolls" (2014). And directed by Henry Selick. By the way, Laika has another animated film coming out in 2016, "Kubo And The Two Strings". A Japanese ghost story.



    Published in 1991 from Signet Books (now Penguin Books) was a 256 page paperback, a murder mystery anthology (ten thrillers) called "Murder At Christmas And Other Stories". A holiday theme collection edited by Cynthia Manson.

    One of these is "Death In The Christmas Hour" by James Powell. Some back story. During the '90s I listened to the radio far more than I do now. There were shows I would hunkered down to; one of them was a science fiction and fantasy magazine program called "Mike Hodel's Hour 25" then hosted by Warren James.

    Some perspective, this was before internet for me. If you wanted to know movie news, fandom stuff you had publications like Starlog, Cinescape, Femme Fatales (magazine died in 2008, the relaunched didn't happened) and Imagi-Movies (remember that?). Of course, Fangoria and Cinefantastique to name just a few. The radio show was an excellent add-on for my fanboy cravings.

    Distance makes it fuzzy, but this could've happened in 1997 or 1998, the Christmas show. For that broadcast, Warren James read the Powell short. The man had the voice. I still remember that broadcast after all these years. Sorry, each Christmas they read various sci-fi/fantasy themed shorts.

    The story...

    Every Christmas at midnight, toys come alive for just one hour. They get drunk, party and/or reminisce. This Christmas Hour we follow the toys in a department store which haven't sold. One of them is a Sherlock Holmes action figure... you know where we're going with this. He is helped out of his dusty old box (the figure was put away and became long forgotten) by a teddy bear - his new Dr. Watson.

    One of the toys is killed, the motive may have been a discovered affair. The body was discarded downstairs where toy crocodiles ate the corpse. One clue leads to another. The mystery comes to a climax - a chase. Holmes pursues the culprit up the store's Christmas tree, some of the ornaments are alive and try to stop the fleeing killer.

    It ends with our villain reaching the summit where an angel ornament sits attached. He untethers and threatens to killer her (knife, I believe) if she doesn't take off - an aerial getaway. During this chase the clock tics down, we're coming to the end of the hour. The wrongdoer falls to his death in the struggle with Holmes; both hanging for dear life on the flying angel.

    The tale ends the next day with both the bear and Holmes bought by a family giving a late Christmas gift. It was an awesome story, it rocked!!! SCREAMS to be made.

    In 2000, "Hour 25" left the airwaves of KPFK (90.7 FM; Southern California) and became an internet show, podcast. While doing research, it appears that the program died on January 30th, 2011. No new shows listed. Too bad, I had fond memories of that.

    I need to buy that book.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 08-08-2017 at 06:55 AM.

  7. #37
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    Past Tense - Ghouls Just Wanna Have Fun Part II


    Tangent.

    I became of aware of this some weeks back - was quite a surprise. How could I not have seen this YEARS ago? I've watched the movie over a dozen time - Paul WS Anderson's 1997 sci-fi horror flick, "Event Horizon". Even saw it on opening day, August 15th.



    Yes, there is a slight chance you haven't seen it. I'll say this; think haunted house in an experimental - now derelict, space craft. The stuff of nightmares and genuine paranoia.

    In the finale; Lt. Starck (Kathleen Quinlan) was busy getting ready to detach the area with the cryo chambers, needed for the long journey back home - their escape. She was quite occupied with preparations.

    So?

    At this point, Starck had no further exposure to Dr. William Weir (Sam Neill), who had a demonic transformation. BUT she has a Weir nightmare as help arrives; taking her, crew members Cooper (Richard T. Jones) and Justin (Jack Noseworthy) out of stasis.



    How can this be? She did not see reformed/possessed Weir... unless a fragment of Hell/chaos dimension still remains in that compartment. This isn't the end; evil wasn't vanquished.

    Something else; have zero proof, just his word. One of my friends from high school saw the movie when it was in theaters. He claims that there was a stinger on his print.

    After the end credits, the remnants of the craft materialize above Earth. The ship's ID (Inner Dimensional) drive has been activated by Weir; under the assumption to return to that other realm. If what he says is accurate - Hell has physically come to Earth.

    I want it to be true - that would be super sway. The film bombed at the box office, but has since found it's audience on home video, do seek it out which segue to...

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Recommendations.

    Here are some titles to consider watching this Halloween.

    I'll showcase suggestions for four weeks, since my last post (week five) will hit two days before Halloween - would be pointless and you should already have an idea of what to watch that night.

    Most can be found in your local video rental shops. A very few can be found in stores. The best bets is to find them online, cheaply, through Ebay or from Amazon's resellers marketplace where you can purchase used/new DVDs. Good luck.

    "The Asphyx" (1972)
    England, 1875. A moving blot caught on photographic plates by three different photographers at the moment of their subjects’ demise leads Sir Hugo Cunningham to a spectral discovery... Death. We all have a personal Reaper, an Asphyx. Hugo and his adopted son, Giles attempt to prove the theory and accidentally creates a temporary optical containment device. While this is enough to substantiate his claim, Hugo ponders the bigger implication - if a long term apparatus can hold a person’s Asphyx; would it grant that person, immortality? How far would you go to live forever? Little to no gore, this is a slow paced gothic drama, plays like an extended episode of "The Twilight Zone". It has been put out on DVD a few times, go with the Redemption release, remastered and has both versions of the film (86/98 minutes; theatrical and extended cuts - watch that, fills in the plot holes). This movie appears to be the inspiration for "Ghostbusters" (1984).
    Redemption Films - 2012 - NR

    "Critters" (1986)
    Grover's Bend, Kansas. The rural Brown family discovers an interstellar menace in their backyard, the Krites. Escaping from a maximum security prison asteroid, the aliens have come to Earth to hideout and for supplies. The insatiably hungry beings have set their sights on the Browns and town folks. In pursuit of the vicious escapees are two shapeshifting bounty hunters dispatched by the prison warden. The carnage and hunt begins. Spawned three sequels, only "Critters 2" (1988) is good.
    New Line Home Entertainment - 2003 - PG-13

    "Elvira: Mistress Of The Dark" (1988)
    Television horror movie hostess, Elvira is fired from her local station for not sleeping with the new owner. She dreams of having her own Las Vegas show, but is told she will have to put up some of the financing, fifty thousand dollars. Elvira finds salvation in a recently deceased great-aunt who list her as a beneficiary. But she must travel to the *ultra-conservative* New England town of Fallwell to collect the inheritance. Her arrival is met with outrage and scorn by the residences and cheers by the younger community. To her disappointment the bequeath isn't money, but a creepy old house, a small dog as well as an antique recipe book hidden somewhere in the home. A book her uncle will kill to possess.
    Anchor Bay Entertainment - 2001 - PG-13

    "Flight Of The Living Dead" (2007)
    This movie was in production before "Snakes On A Plane" (2006). The passengers and crew of a red eye flight from Los Angeles to Paris have something far worse than jet lag to worry about - within the plane's hold is precious cargo. A medical project, an engineered virus. Things go very wrong when turbulence unbuckles the box, unleashing the horrors within. The infection spreads quickly leaving a few survivors stranded at 30,000 feet, fighting for their lives. A horror comedy with fast zeds. Great opening credits; as if it were created for a James Bond vs. zombies movie. I would love to see that by the way.
    New Line Home Entertainment - 2007 - NR

    "Storage 24" (2012)
    London, England. Charlie and his best friend Mark are picking up the remaining personal items at a twenty-four hour storage facility; the result of Charlie’s relationship ending - badly. Things go worse when he finds her there too; Shelley is shorting out her stuff, helped by her friends Nikki and Chris. All hell breaks loose, but not from fighting; the group become trapped when a military cargo plane crashes above them. Soon it becomes very apparent that something got loose in the impact... now inside the building. It’s cat and mouse with a unseen menace within the maze of the huge indoor property. Their only weapons are the valuables stored in other units.
    Magnolia Home Entertainment - 2013 - R



    That's it folks. And go see it if you haven't yet, 'cause you don't want to piss Emily off. Do you? Do you? Come back here next Thursday for a close encounter, a two parter of the ghoul kind. Mwah-ha-ha-ha!!!

    And don't forget to check out my "Night Of The Living Dead DVD Retrospective" which has been resurrected. Updated and expanded up its undead arse.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 09-20-2017 at 02:21 AM.

  8. #38
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    Target - October 6th, 2015


    Penny Dreadful: Season Two
    Exclusive packaging (slipcover?); BD $27.99, $24.99 DVD (unknown if this is BD only)

    American Horror Story: The Complete Fourth Season
    Exclusive 72 card fortune teller deck; DVD $29.99, $34.99 BD (unknown if this is DVD only)

    - - - - - - - - - -

    "Selena Gomez - Revival" with 2 exclusive bonus tracks $13.99 (available October 9th, 2015)

  9. #39
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    Best Buy - October 6th, 2015


    Tut: Season One
    Exclusive metalpak; BD $24.99

    - - - - - - - - - -

    "Paul McCartney - Pipes of Peace" with free tote bag $22.99 (available now)
    "Keith Richards - Crosseyed Heart" with exclusive bonus track $13.99 (available now)
    "Paul McCartney - Tug of War" with free tote bag $22.99 (available now)
    "Trivium - Silence In The Snow" with 2 exclusive bonus tracks $11.99 (available now)

  10. #40
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    Past Tense - Mallrats Z Part I


    [An earlier version of this PT was originally posted on September 1st, 2011 on JoBlo's "DVD, Blu-Ray & Home Theater Discussion" forum.]

    For week two of L.E. Horror we gather all available supplies and hope to go undiscovered in "Dawn Of The Dead"...



    The motion picture opened on March 19th, 2004. It was made with a budget of $28,000,000 (estimated) and grossed over $59 million during its U.S. theatrical run; counting foreign receipts it made $102,356,381. The film opened number one at the box office, the following week it dropped to number four.

    The feature opened against "The Passion Of The Christ", "Hidalgo", "Confessions Of A Teenage Drama Queen" and "Starsky And Hutch".

    I'm going to be covering the "Unrated Director's Cut". This release originally came with an embossed cardboard slipcover which mirrored the case's wraparound. It also came with an insert, not a chapter listing, but advertisement. One side, an ad for "The Chucky Collection"; the other side - various Universal horror theme releases ("Funhouse" [1986], "Ghost Story" [1981], "Legacy" [1978], "The Sentinel" [1977] and "Sssssss" [1973]).

    - - -



    The long dead Circuit City sold the movie on release day, October 26th, 2004 for $15.99. They offered an exclusive, mini eighteen page, limited edition comic book; slightly smaller than a DVD case (mine is under the slipcover).

    It retold the opening; up to where the survivors go to the mall.

    A sampler, part of a bigger Mig. Biz official comic adaptation. I was unaware of this exclusive until a week after its release.

    Quite lucky my store still had a couple copies. Now, damn impossible to find.



    Best Buy had their own that street, a bonus disc (13:47 minutes). It retailed for $15.99 too. Sorry, I don't have the store's weekly ad.

    The DVD case for that exclusive was a two discer - though there were reports that some found the bonus inside a single disc case within a CD envelope. The bigger story was the difficulty finding a copy that had the bonus DVD.

    While common now, back then most didn't notice a tiny sticker indicating that this particular copy was special (it was assumed all the copies sold that day had it). This goes for myself as well. I found mine by weight; had two copies, one in each hand - one was heavier.

    I remember customers asking store staff for help. And there was that moment looking at the mess, thinking to myself, I'm not going to get one. Also these were the days - if a title had a bonus disc it was attached on the back of the DVD case or completely separate on a cardboard rack (next to the new releases table).

    Future Shop in Canadian (was a sister store of Best Buy [died earlier this year]; the same company owns both) sold it with an metal slip cover, similar to Artisan Home Entertainment, 2000 (year), limited edition metal slip for "Terminator 2: Judgment Day - The Ultimate Edition". I am unable to tell you the price. Sorry.

    As far as I can tell, no bonus disc was issued for the Canadan exclusive. The metal slip has the name "Dawn Of The Dead" pressed-in and the Universal logo on the back, the side reads Future Shop.

    Just so you know, it's a bad idea. The metal slip scuff the DVD case with each removal and put on. I should know, I own that T2 edition.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Footnotes.

    Separate extras...

    *nods*



    Above is the unrated DVD cover and 'Bonus Features' menus.

    And its sub-menu.

    Okay.

    Below is the R rated DVD (widescreen) cover and its 'Bonus Features' menu.



    There is a featurette exclusive to the R-rated edition, "Surviving The Dawn" (23:30 minutes). If fans want the complete remake experience - you need both versions. The main menus for both versions are different (news reports and zombie apocalypse). And the unrated edition has an unlisted extra, an introduction by director Zack Snyder.

    For my use, I ended up finding a transparent three disc case, all the DVDs are inside - the unrated wraparound is on the front with the R rated wraparound seen on the inside. Sway.

    - - -

    Something that has fallen into forgotten territory - nudity.

    Even though Region One release says "Unrated Director's Cut" it isn't. There was a quick shot of a topless woman early on that was censored...

    Once Ana Clark (Sarah Polley) has fled from her resurrected significant other, Luis (Louis Ferreira) in their car; she breaks behind a stopped bus. The dead feasting on commuters inside, horrified by the sight. Then from out of nowhere - a nude woman walks in front of her car... (with pierced navel).



    Digital (knit) pasties SHOULD do the trick. This is Canadian actress Luigia Zucaro, "Naked Woman" - end credits. She had only done two films, the other is "Guarded Secrets" (2004) in Hungary.

    In North America, Ana's windscreen has a big crack on the driver's side from Luis' zombie fist and various (digital) blood stains on the passenger side. The obstructions covers the nudity as she walks by. But for the Region Three releases (Southeast Asia, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau), Zucaro is topless, clear as day.

    American puritanical rearing it's fracked up head? Gore fine, but nudity - bad.

    Not so in this case.

    Before you ask; still in debate. Was that girl dead? Or in shock? She has no marks on her. Perhaps this was Snyder's homage/tribute to the original "Night Of The Living Dead" (1968) where there's a nude female ghoul who walks into frame. If that's the case - Zucaro's character is definitely dead.

    This moment is censored in the 2008 Blu-Ray edition (all regions).

    As I understand, Zucaro is a friend of Snyder and asked to have it removed. I'll be honest, the moment isn't all that flattering. Perhaps she regretted doing it after seeing her scene.

    By the way, Kim Kerns is the topless girl in the camcorder footage during the end credits. The woman on Steve's boat, video flashback as it were.

    Should you care; French BD is uncensored.

    - - -

    This was the first movie to be previewed on television before its theatrical release, first ten minutes shown on Fox; March 15th, 2004 during the broadcast of "Final Destination" (2000). A thing is common now. But was a big deal then. I remember NOT watching that (preview) since I wanted to see it new on opening day.

    Something I will always remember, since it made me uncomfortable.

    Can not recall what I was watching in the theater that day. One of the trailers was for the remake. It had a cinéma-vérité flavor. The trailer is having problems playing, like it was jamming in the projector, jumping and audio out of synch. It finally burns out - the celluloid, just a blank white screen. Then they show up, several zombies in silhouettes on the other side of the theater screen, people sized, clawing their way to us, the audience. The sound effects really sells the moment. That was excellent! I wish more studios would do that, out of the box promotion.

    - - -

    On a countdown to zero, take a ride on my nightmare machine.
    - Def Leppard

    Unproduced sequel.

    Director Zack Snyder was busy working on "Watchmen" (2009) and would have only been a producer in the unfilmed project. A script was penned by him and Joby Harold, called "Army Of The Dead" and concerned an infected Las Vegas. How early in the plague, the city was quarantined - hoping to contain the virus. You can pretty much guess the rest. A director was attached, Matthijs van Heijningen Jr., the guy who did 2011 prequel "The Thing". The script was approved by the studio... then nothing.

    What happened? Damn good question.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 09-18-2017 at 03:37 AM.

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    Past Tense - Mallrats Z Part II


    Rant.

    This was the film brought about fast moving zombies. NO, the folks in "28 Days Later" (2002) were infected and quite alive. ALIVE. Not zombies. Got it? Good. Yes, that ticks me off.

    The teens (years) of this new millennium will be remembered not so much for new movies as it was for so many remakes and reboots of those remakes (looking at you "Spider-Man"); disposable. AND remembered for the abuse of jump scares. They're even making a movie about it - "Five Nights At Freddy's" (2016). *shakes head*

    Of the pile of remakes made this new century, "Dawn" ranks among the few which is widely considered excellent. I agree.

    It's part of my DVD library; while not a straight remake to the original "Dawn" (1978), it's a worthwhile movie. The plot is solid with good characters, dangerous situations and excellent make-up effects, most of which were practical. Gun shots done not just by traditional squibs, but also by air mortar filled with bloody chunks. Simple and visual. Recommend.

    This was the first undead film that delivered. The opening ten minutes set the bar so high; society eaten from the inside out - chaos and utter destruction. In these early outbreak hours, people were clueless as to what's going on, including news...

    It's a massive riot.

    It's a terrorist attack.

    It's a mass hysteria.

    It's everything BUT a zombie pandemic.

    A close second is "Resident Evil: Apocalypse" (2004); infestation of Raccoon City as it begins. The police in the dark - treating the dead as if they're drugged out provocateurs.

    - - -

    Needs to be talked about.

    The grief given to Nicole (Lindy Booth).

    Risked it all for that dog. Stupid girl! *deep sigh* She's a deeply scarred young woman; lost her mom, two brothers and later her father (Matt Frewer). Everyone she's cared for has passed. The only reason she gave Terry (Kevin Zegers) a chance is because she was surrounded by armed men in a secure locale.

    Nicole transferred her core affections to the dog; maybe this won't get eaten - that K9 became her family. This is why when she felt it was threatened, she reacted so swiftly. NOT AGAIN! She becomes quite proactive which probably didn't happen the first time around.

    Perhaps blames herself for their passing. If she had done more they would still be here. It was LOVE, not stupidity or recklessness. She was going to save her family member - just that.



    Both Booth and Zegers had worked together earlier in "Wrong Turn" (2003), playing a couple; Francine and Evan.

    She had a part in the short lived Showtime 2002 sci-fi series, "Odyssey 5" (on DVD); too bad that it got axed when it did. The show runner, Manny Coto mapped out five seasons.

    Recap...

    August 7th, 2007; six astronauts are on board the space shuttle Odyssey when a global disaster hits - Earth is destroyed. They are all that's left of the human race (one was killed in a space walk). No answers given, the planet is rubble. All they can do is wait for their life support to exhaust.

    But before that happens, First Contact is made. The ship is taken into a large crystal craft. An atmosphere is created. They encounter an alien projected in human form who calls itself, The Seeker. WE are the only survivors it has ever met. There have been fifty other inhabited worlds which were obliterated by an unknown force. Including the home world of The Seeker - the last of its kind.

    He offers them something unique; a way to save themselves, our world - time travel. Not a physical journey, but their consciousnesses sent back into them; five years before the disaster. Five years to figure out what happened and stop it.

    They uncover a global conspiracy; there is another intelligence on Earth; artificial, the Sentients.

    But there's a problem, a big one. It's hinted in the nineteen episode run - these A.I.s might NOT be responsible, that this pursuit is a fool's errand. Something else yet unseen is the real culprit. It ends on a huge cliffhanger, a game changer.

    Post show; as it turns out; the Sentients were not responsible (not directly), but an alien race known as "The Exterminators" who seek worlds infected by the Sentients and demolish them. The Seeker would've made an appearance in season two. Our heroes and Sentients would later join forces to save Earth.

    The Sentients are like us; some good, some evil and some indifferent; not a unified virtual species.

    - - -

    It's that time when hot girls must consider what slutty costume to wear this Halloween. Here ideas to some ponder...



    "Ms. Krueger Naughty Nightmare", that's so wrong. But clever in that behind locked doors kind of way. Next to that is "Doctor Seussette" or the Puss In The Hat if you so choose. Indeed. Last is "Sexy Gizmo".

    Let me get this straight; somebody woke up one morning and thought, 'hey, why isn't there a sexy mogwai outfit?' *shakes head* So "Gremlins" (1984) got spanked by the erotic hand; had to have been a Furry.

    Would Kate (Phoebe Cates) wear this for Billy (Zach Galligan) in the bedroom? How awkward would that be if Gizmo saw her? WTF!?!

    So it's okay for her to get wet?

    There you go, not doing is a disservice to the decades long tradition. You can check the math, but you'll come to the same conclusion. *nods*

    - - -

    This is my favorite time of the year. But for the past eight years or so I’ve seen a massive decline in Halloween related offerings.

    Years ago my grocery store had a section devoted to the holiday; even went so far to build a giant display. One year it was a ghost pirate ship, pretty sway. Not anymore.

    It hit me on Tuesday (10/7/15), where are the seasonal, Halloween stores? They exist for a month and a half each year. I have yet to see one.

    The same goes for other stores; items for Thanksgiving and even Christmas - as if my holiday is being phased out.

    Was at Best Buy their horror section for the season is so... tiny; with lots of junk, filler. It saddens me.

    - - -



    Almost forgot about this... above is the Japanese poster.

    In the United Kingdom before the movie came out, there were numerous complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority.

    Why? *shakes head*

    That poster (same image, just in English) was too scary and it frightened lots of little kids who walked by the ad. Times have changed, that kind of thing just doesn't happen nowadays. The girl on the poster is the kid who terrorizes Ana and Luis, Vivian (Hannah Lochner).

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Recommendations.

    More titles to consider this Halloween season.

    "Curse Of The Demon" (1957; black & white)
    A paranormal symposium (witchcraft and devil worship) brings American psychologist, Dr. John Holden to London. He’s a non-believer, a debunker. His attention shifts when friend, collaborator, Professor Henry Harrington is found dead - an accident? Did cult leader, Julian Karswell have something to do with his demise? Karswell was Harrington’s main topic at the conference. Wanting answers, Holden and Harrington's niece, Joanna investigate. What they find is something improbable... Has Karswell been summoning a real demon for his own ends? This DVD is called “Curse Of The Demon And Night Of The Demon: Double Feature”. It’s the same movie, the U.K. and U.S. versions. “Curse” is the longer, better cut of the movie.
    Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment - 2002 - NR

    "Fido" (2006)
    Set in an alternate universe where the zombie apocalypse happened in the 1930s. We won the war. It is now the 1940s; we have become masters of the undead. The creation of a special collar, makes the ghouls docile. The dead have become our servants and pets. A bloody version of "Lassie". Where a boy befriends a dead guy, their new servant. Only to discover that its collar isn't working. How far will he go to save his pal and vise versa? Where Timmy, boy? Grrrrrrr! A horror comedy.
    Lions Gate Entertainment - 2007 - R

    "Isolation" (2005)
    A United Kingdom film. A runaway teen couple find shelter (in their van) near a farm unaware that the ranch is doing illegal genetic research on cows; making them breed faster. The result is this... creature. The easy answer is monster calf. But it's something more. The survivors are trapped, the beast is on the loose. There are some shots of it, but I can't describe what I saw. The DVD has a gallery. A clear look, but that did not help. All I can say, it's nasty looking.
    First Look Home Entertainment - 2007 - NR

    "Midnight Movie" (2008)
    A rundown theater is having a midnight screen of a 1970s horror film, "The Dark Beneath"; a crazed, murderous hillbilly stalking teens - stranded by their broken van near his decrepit farmhouse. Worlds collide; the slayer comes off the silver screen into reality. Some try to flee, others are pulled into the black-and-white feature. Why? The director was a Satanist who cursed his motion picture. Be smart, stay alive, don't follow the clichés. A throwback to grind house movies. It should be more widely known, but it’s not. Different, imaginative and relentless.
    Peace Arch Entertainment - 2009 - R

    Next week the nightmare continues, another two parter! Can you stand your ground against Dracula, the Wolfman and Frankenstein? Bring your "A" game and maybe Kate Beckinsale in something tight/revealing.

    If she's not busy - but ask nicely.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 08-06-2017 at 05:33 AM.

  12. #42
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    Target - October 13th, 2015


    San Andreas
    Exclusive steelbook; BD only $24.99

    Aladdin: Diamond Edition
    Exclusive 32-page storybook; BD only $24.99

    Hunger Games: Mocking Jay - Part 1
    Exclusive bonus disc (DVD); BD only $9.99
    - same thing as the March 8th, 2015 ad; must have left overs

    - - - - - - - - - -

    CDs - available October 16th, 2015

    "LeAnn Rimes - Today Is Christmas" with 3 exclusive bonus tracks $9.99
    "Kidz Bop 30" with 4 exclusive bonus tracks $9.99
    "Pentatonix" deluxe edition with 2 exclusive bonus tracks $13.99

  13. #43
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    Best Buy - October 13th, 2015


    Aladdin: Diamond Edition
    Exclusive lenticular cover; BD only $19.99

    San Andreas
    Exclusive lenticular cover with bonus content; BD only $19.99
    (appears to be; bonus through CinemaNow)

    Skin Traffik
    Exclusive BD only release $9.99

    - - - - - - - - -

    CDs

    "Coheed & Cambria - Color Before The Sun" with 2 exclsuive bonus tracks (available October 16th, 2015)
    "Scarface - Deep Rooted" with 3 exclusive bonus tracks $8.99 (available now)

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    Past Tense - Teeth Part I


    [An earlier version of this PT was originally posted on October 13th, 2011 on JoBlo's "DVD, Blu-Ray & Home Theater Discussion" forum.]

    Week three of "L.E. Horror" brings us a steampunk hero with a mysterious past in "Van Helsing"...



    The motion picture opened on May 7th, 2004. It was made with a budget of $160,000,000 (estimated) and grossed over $120 million during its U.S. theatrical run; counting foreign receipts it made $300,257,475. The film opened number one at the box office, the following week it dropped to number two.

    The feature opened against "Mean Girls", Kill Bill Vol. 2", "13 Going On 30" and "Man On Fire".

    This release originally came with an embossed cardboard foil slipcover which mirrored the case's wraparound - the single disc release.

    - - -



    Best Buy had the only exclusive, a bonus disc. This set streeted on October 19th, 2004 for $15.99 (eighty copies per store). The bonus came in a CD envelope inside the case. As mentioned in a previous Past Tense, I began buying/collecting DVDs in November of 2003. I was still a newbie and didn't know better.

    This was passed (at the time). Why? An answer in a moment...

    The exclusive has a run time of 21:11 minutes, not including "306º Tour Of Frankenstein's Foyer". The ad erroneously list the run time as "over 40 minutes". It also includes "The Art Of Van Helsing" a slideshow; galleries for Dracula, Frankenstein, Valkan Werewolf, The Brides, Van Helsing Wolf, Bats and Mr. Hyde.

    There was a second offer; Target had a special too, I suppose - purchase the single disc version (full or wide) also for $15.99 and get a free 11.25 to 14 ounce bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey’s chocolate, or Kit Kat bars. It came as an attached coupon on the case.

    Okay back to the narrative; there were three versions; widescreen and full screen presentations. And the "Ultimate Collectors Edition" which is three disc set. I bought that at Best Buy (same street). I remember having to get two exchanges.

    This collection (digipak) is beyond the movie. Two discs for the film and a third, double sided DVD which held the original classics to "Dracula" (1931), "Frankenstein" (1931) and "The Wolf Man" (1941). All three films (remastered) came with commentaries (from their "Legacy Collection" releases). "Dracula" came with the previously available documentary and a poster gallery. The third disc was all scratched up, both sides. The third time was the charm, mint.



    Anyhow, I had mistakenly believed the "Ultimate" edition had all the extras, no need to buy that single disc release (with exclusive). I was wrong and I wouldn't learn about my error until years later.

    Then began my off and on quest to acquire.

    Man, lots of failed attempts.

    It was 2011, seven years after the fact when I finally able to complete my set, found on Ebay. I have mine slipped in the "Ultimate" set.



    On July 8th, 2008 the "Ultimate Collectors Edition" was re-released, in abbreviated form; now called "Collector's Edition". This has the first two discs from the UCE and originally came with a theater voucher to see the then upcoming "The Mummy 3: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor". I bought this too. Why?

    The nubs on the box set are a pain, the DVDs are hard to remove - increases the risk of scratching. I bought this to freely watch the movie and extras without worry.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.
    Van Helsing is a movie made for stupid kids and retarded adults.
    - Atomic_Jedi

    I don't get it.

    All the dislike for this movie. I can recall so many people complaining about the CGI used. Really? The computer animation was made in 2003 and it still looks better than many films made today. I'M DEAD SERIOUS. Stop painting this worse than it is!

    Just look at any the stuff coming from the SyFy Channel and tell me in a straight face that it still sucks... "Sharknado" (2013) or "Sharktopus" (2010) anyone???

    "Van Helsing" may not have been photorealistic, but damn near close. And given what it is, that's just fine.

    The most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is good as dead.
    - Albert Einstein

    Man, there are people who absolutely hate director Stephen Sommers. You would think he made a film about a serial puppy killer who wears a duster (featuring songs by Sarah McLachlan).

    What were they expecting? Some kind of life changing - moving cinema. What he does and does well is make popcorn flicks. I suppose the naysayers would be correct if Van Helsing went up against Blackula (1972) and MadTV's "Funkenstein", then again that might be fun too. *sigh* And there's a swatch of folks who did not care for his 1999 remake, "The Mummy".

    I though the effects were damn good. The fur on the Wolfman reminded me of the motion of Sully's pelt in "Monsters, Inc." (2001). They were more convincing here than "Hulk" (2003), which had no weight or physicality - like the title character was just superimposed on screen. That's bad CGI.

    People no longer know how to forget about their little life and let themself dragged into these movies. Today's people are so spoiled that they've become professional whiners at everything. It probably makes them look cool when they say that a movie sucks so, that's why they do it although they probably didn't understand a thing about the movie they saw.
    - Riouxda

    Yup, that pretty much covers it.

    By the way, before I forget - have a lot to cover. The look of the title fellow is based on the "Weird Tales" magazine character, Soloman Kane - created by Robert E. Howard in the late 1920s. Which was turned into a movie, 2009 with James Purefoy as the star. A lot of folk bitch about how Kane ripped offed Van Helsing's appearance when it's the other way around.



    One of the things I enjoyed was Friar Carl (David Wenham), Van Helsing's sidekick. I was expecting a buddy cop situation (key example; the craptacular heap "Judge Dredd" (1995), Sylvester Stallone and Rob Schneider characters). Not the case at all.

    Carl was used to move the story along and for some comic moments. It could have gone quite badly; he's not sprouting out one-liners every time his lips move. Nicely done.

    And I liked the design for the new Frankenstein monster, interesting concept. But what I particularly liked was the non cop-out. One of the main characters is killed at the end. AND there is no resurrection with Dracula's reanimation apparatus, a happy ending.

    Reality based, bad things happen; thing can't always get put back together.

    I loved this flick, too bad I'm in the minority. It was exactly what I wanted/expected, a fun ride.



    It has a bigger than life story, a great villain, hot girls, steampunk technology and a cool protagonist. What's not to like? And Richard Roxburgh as Count Vladislaus Dracula kicked ass; one of my favorite depictions. You could tell the actor was having fun being wicked and it shows. The best villains are the ones who don't think they're are.

    Frack, one of the repeated complaints is the technology - 'that didn't exist back then'. IT'S A MOVIE!

    That and the name, 'it should be Abraham Van Helsing, not Gabriel'. Dude, take a step back; Abraham would be an old man when fighting Dracula, how could he perform all the action in the movie? There is a second reason, copyright. The Bram Stoker novel is now in public domain, so the studio couldn't copyright, "Abraham Van Helsing". So it became Gabriel.

    Oh yeah, Vladislaus' brides were played by Josie Maran, Silvia Colloca and Elena Anaya.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 08-06-2017 at 05:12 AM.

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    Past Tense - Teeth Part II


    Footnotes.



    Not enough know, but there was a direct to video prequel, an animated short - "Van Helsing: The London Assignment". This streeted on May 11th, 2004 for $14.98. Four days after the movie premiered in theaters.

    The story deals with Jack The Ripper and Mr. Hyde. I won't spoil it, sway.

    Bought mine from Walmart on release day for $9.44, why yes, I am that anal.

    It featured Hugh Jackman, David Wenham, Robbie Coltrane and Alun Armstrong reprising their roles, voices. It's run time is thirty-three minutes. And is pretty decent.

    Do wish there were more made. But sadly that was a one time deal.

    - - -



    There was at one point, for a short time - a proposal for a spin-off television series.

    The show was for NBC and would've been called "Transylvania". A cowboy sheriff from America comes to Europe and encounters monsters and the supernatural. The one of the ideas was to have Hugh Jackman reprise his role of Gabriel Van Helsing for guest appearance(s).

    The producers came up with the idea because of the various sets which were built; detailed, not simple fronts, but huge three dimensional structures.

    One day we were just sitting on the set, which Allan Cameron [production designer] had built this fantastic village for, and I'm like, 'I'd hate to tear this down. I mean, it's so fantastic, and I'd hate to bulldoze it. We ought to do something with it. Let's do a television show!' And that's when my wheels started spinning.
    - Stephen Sommers

    It takes place in the late 1800s, like Van Helsing, and it takes place in Transylvania. But none of the characters intersect. It's actually a new idea that just takes place in the world [of the film].
    - producer Bob Ducsay

    But the project fell apart soon after the film's release; the weekend box office was not as high as Universal expected. And it killed the proposed sequel, TV series and any further animated adventures. Plus the math didn't add up: the price of make-up, special effects and shooting in Romania turned out to be cost prohibited.

    So the question is - how much pre-production was done? Don't know, but I would love to see that artwork.

    This wasn't the first time NBC was looking at the concept. In 1997 the network had a pilot made called "The Van Helsing Chronicles". I know there was some problems and a re-shoot happened, but not much else.

    This never aired. It starred Dan Gauthier as Christian Van Helsing and Teri Polo as Helena Harker. The teleplay was written by Javier Grillo-Marxuach who would later go on to be a supervising producer on ABC's "Lost" (2004).

    - - -

    There was a beastie that was left out. Cut out from the script stage, the Gill-Man from "Creature From The Black Lagoon" (1954). It was suppose to have been in the moat around Dracula's castle in Rome. Seen when the Frankenstein monster is abducted. But budget for such a cameo wasn't possible. The missing-link fish would have made an appearance in the sequel.

    - - -

    Something I had long forgotten, the other adventure. Published by Dark Horse Comics in 2004 was a one shot; a side story.



    "Van Helsing: From Beneath The Rue Morgue" take place right after he dispatches Mr. Hyde (voiced by Robbie Coltrane). Running from the French authorities in the sewers, he hears a scream. Investigating the source and he finds himself being hunted by an invisible menace.

    Later Van Helsing discovers a secret underground laboratory, which has made this abomination from the parts of man and beast. This thing that was hunting in France was given invisibility by a test serum.

    The lab belongs to none other than Dr. Moreau. Who has been playing with his chimeras notions with the poor and homeless of Paris. Moreau unleashes Beathán, the creature on him and during the chaos, escapes. Angry over his losses, decided that he needs a more controlled environment, like an island - perhaps somewhere in the South Seas.



    I need to pick this up along with the making-of book, "Van Helsing: The Making Of A Legend", published by Newmarket Press on May 20th, 2004; 160 pages.

    It's on my radar, I just need to do it.

    - - -

    Something.

    When I saw this last week - a thought immediately popped.



    The feminine costume is called "Blast Off Astronaut". It reminds me of the space suits worn by the ill fated crew of the long range space probe, the Icarus from "Planet Of The Apes" (1968).

    Not good replica, but close enough. That Halloween costume could be modified to be a sexy version of the ANSA suit, an accessory could be a plush chimp or gorilla.

    It would work.

    Sure, left to right; science officer Lt. Thomas Dodge (Jeff Burton), C.O. Col. George Taylor (Charlton Heston), biologist Lt. Maryann Stewart (Dianne Stanley) and navigator Lt. John Landon (Robert Gunner).

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Just Because.

    There she is; "Miss America" in me.
    - Vivien Glass



    Do you need to ask?

    Kate Beckinsale as Anna Valerious in her ballroom dress.

    She was nominated for a 2005 Razzie Award for Worst Actress (for this movie). It didn't happen, I'm glad.

    And yes, folks moaned about her too! Anna was too similar to Selene from "Underworld" (2003). *shakes head*

    By the way, a fifth feature is on the way for 2016, "Underworld: Next Generation"; Beckinsale will reprise her role as will Theo James from "Underworld: Awakening" (2012). Hope they get Scott Speedman too.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Recommendations.

    More titles to ponder watching this Halloween.

    "Alien Raiders" (2008)
    Buck Lake, Arizona; the local grocery store is closing its doors for the night. The remaining customers are told to bring their merchandise to the check out. Shortly later a group of paramilitary enter the store and holds everyone hostage. Terrorists? Army? Thieves? No, none of the above, they're scientists, looking for what they believe is the source of a secret alien invasion. Its leader is in the market - inside one of the staff or customers. A gory and paranoid feature with a twist ending. A great little film. And yes, everybody complains about the tacky title. Filmmakers didn’t do it, the distributor did.
    Warner Home Video - 2009 - R

    "Bait" (2012)
    Queensland, Australia. A coastal supermarket hold up turns deadly when the robber shoots one of the customers dead, but that becomes the least of their worries. An earthquake happens which results in a tsunami, flooding the area and market - the grocery store is below sea level. Surviving the disaster gets a lot worse, it’s discovered that a great white shark is now lurking in the submerged market, swimming between the isles - hungry. The other problem is that murderer is still in the store, he had his face covered during the robbery, he could be anyone of the survivors. This is bloody and at times quite creative flick.
    Anchor Bay Entertainment - 2012 - NR

    "Dance Of The Dead" (2008)
    So many movies claim to be the next “Shaun Of The Dead” (2004), 98% of them is crap; lame humor with so-so effects and a flimsy story. This is one of the exception. Prom night. A radiation leak from a nearby nuclear plant has seeped into the local cemetery causing the dead to rise, hungry. The only thing that stands in the way of a pandemic are the geeks, nerds and assorted losers who couldn't get dates. I can't not praise this enough. Great fun and played smart.
    Lions Gate Film Inc. - 2008 - R

    "Haunter" (2013)
    An original take on the haunted house genre. The year is 1985; teenager Lisa Johnson suspects her home is haunted after experiencing odd occurrences. Scared at first, but her inquisitive nature takes over and uncovers multi-layers of ghosts; each unaware of the other. As well as a sinister presence who keeps them locked in the house; feeding off their torment and suffering. Things escalate once she makes contact with Olivia, who desperately needs her help - communication that makes her a target of the Dark Man. Lisa's only hope is to unify the dead to take down the malevolence. Spoiled it? No, I haven't; not by a long shot. *wicked smile*
    MPI Media Group - 2014 - NR

    "Splinter" (2008)
    A couple on their drive to a camping site get car jacked while helping a stranded motorist (and his girlfriend). They find an abomination in the woods and become trapped in a convenience store. What is it? One of the most original fiends in a long time. They look like spines, black thick toothpicks. They have limited motion, but once inside you - it infects and kill. Once dead, they take you over, you're the engine and structure. Like Lego body parts; limbs can be severed and reattached in different places, functional. Lots of WTF moments.
    Magnolia Home Entertainment - 2009 - R

    Shaken? No? Well then, come back here on October 22nd, 2015 for a ghastly two parter on how one might cheat death. But Mr. Bones does not take kindly to meddling teens.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 08-06-2017 at 05:09 AM.

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