This is one of the few non entertainment related posts I’ll do, I just wanted to address the issue of spamming. I have no problem with a person leaving a comment that has a link to a product they are trying to promote. So long as the rest of the comment is relevent to the post, and the English is understandable, then it is fine by me. I know spamming is just a job like any other and that you’re just making a living. Just leave relevent comments and your stuff won’t be deleted. I have to sift through a ridiculous number of pages to find relevent comments because of all the spam, so if thsi post helps clear the air, then great.
Ah, Gremlins. Gremlins is the ultimate movie to show kids who are begging mom and dad to get them a pet of some kind. For those who have never seen this, you have my pity because this movie is a bonafide classic of comedy, horror, and even Christmas genres.
The film starts off innocently enough with Randall Peltzer, a bumbling inventor whose inventions are great except for the fact that they do not work, looking in Chinatown for a gift for his son Billy (our hero played by Zach Galligan). He discovers a small antiques shop where he discovers the Mogwai Gizmo (voiced by Howie Mandell, of all people). The owner of the shop doesn’t want to sell Gizmo because of the responsibility he would come with, but his sneaky underhanded grandson has no problem selling the little dude. When Randall takes Gizmo home, Gizmo’s greeted warmly by the family, but Randall recites the rules of caring for a Mogwai.
1. It hates bright light. And sunlight will kill it.
2. Don’t get it wet, not even to take a bath.
3. Whatever you do, no matter how much it begs, no matter how much it cries, never EVER feed it after midnight.
Easy enough rules to follow, right? But don’t forget, this is a B movie, and some poor schmuck, usually the hero, screws up at least one of the rules. Well, the poor schmuck in this movie is, surprise surprise, our hero Billy. When Billy gets Gizmo wet, a bunch of new, very mean, Mogwai are born, and when the little meanies trick him into feeding them after midnight, they turn into viscious, slimy, scaly, pimply demons that send Billy’s sleepy little town into the Christmas from Hell.
This movie is one of my top five favorite non-John Hughes 80s movies. Joe Dante’s film took a hokey B movie concept and milked it for all it was worth until it was pure comedic/horror gold. The film doesn’t take itself seriously, instead relishing in just how old school (despite some of the language) it is. It was a true genre bender that made a mark. It was almost two movies, the first half being a family friendly Christmas flick, and then the second half being an excellent horror flick. The two together was like peanut butter and chocolate, but some people are allergic to peanuts just like there were some complaints about one half or the other of the film. Many said that baiting the audience with family friendly fare and then turning it on its head with horror was too risky, as the film legitimately scared some children. In fact, it was one of the movies that led to the creation of the PG-13 rating. But these people obviously didn’t get the point of the movie.
The movie is a fun, riotous piece of cinema, and belongs on the shelf of any movie fan. I won’t touch on the sequel, because that movie’s a whole other ballgame that you either love or hate, but there’s no hating the original. It is a definite must own. Oh, and it features one of the kings of B movies, Dick Miller!
If you want to pick up Gremlins, you can do so right here on Bluray and DVD! (BTW I don’t want any crap for using an image from Gremlins 2. It was too epic to pass up.)
Christopher Nolan is my favorite director of the past ten years. Not only are his stories fantastic, but he has gained his great reputation by simply not patronizing his audiences. Even his take on the Batman franchise has been a milestone in getting audiences to take a vigilante who dresses like a bat completely seriously. He also holds an outstanding track record in that in the 12 years he’s been releasing movies (6 in total, with a bun in the oven) none of them have been bad. This is a great track record for any director. His new film, Inception, looks like it will maintain that track record, but Peter Travers of Rolling Stone recently reviewed the film, and had this to say about it: It’s good, but might be too smart for audiences.
My response to that generalized statement is simply “Who cares?”. When was the last time an audience was intellectually challenged by a director? It can be argued that the last time that happened was in 1999 with the Matrix, but I say you have to go back to Stanley Kubrick’s films (any of them done after Lolita) for an answer. Let’s face it and admit that audiences have become dumbed down somewhat lately. I’m not saying that with a snarky elitist sentiment. I don’t really view myself as particularly of intellect, but I’m certainly not the dumbest creature on Earth. The problem is that intellectual films in the past twenty years haven’t been successful because, to be honest, they’re not all that entertaining. So hats off to Nolan for finding a way to make the audience think without boring them to death.