The Lords of Salem

Featuring All Tomorrow's Parties
"The Lords Are Coming."

Good Morning everyone, it's a new week and a new month, and that means it's time for more movies at The Tagline! I figured since it's now October, I should start the month off right with a movie about witches, the occult, and worshiping Satan, and maybe the birth of the Antichrist. If you're looking for one stop shopping in the satanic bloodbath department, I feel like you can't find a much surer thing than Rob Zombie, so I decided to take a peek at The Lords of Salem, his most recent film, released only in a limited circuit this past April. Starring Sheri Moon Zombie (Rob Zombie's wife, see more of her bare-caboose here in Zombie's remake of Halloween) as Heidi, a recovering smack-head radio DJ who gets a weird wooden box with a record inside it. This insidious sounding music disk is addressed specifically to her, left at her office by a group calling themselves the "Lords of Salem", and starting a chain of events that leads Heidi down a dark, dark path from which she may not return. Also featured prominently in this film is Bruce Davison (who you may remember was the lead in The Lathe of Heaven) who portrays Francis Matthias, a writer and historian who is disturbed and intrigued by the music and the name Lords of Salem, and attempts to unravel the mystery behind the record. Also Sid Haig appears briefly, because I mean really how could he not this movie is directed by Rob Zombie get real. This movie was met with a mixed reaction by critics as well as by fans of Rob Zombie, and why that was became immediately apparent to me after watching this movie for about ten minutes.


Drinking Buddies

This sums up the whole movie.
"A comedy about knowing when to say when."

Hey everyone, welcome back to The Tagline! I'm attempting to get through The Mortal Instruments, which I swear to god has to be like 70 hours long (that's how the first 40 minutes felt at least) so in the mean time I'll have to entertain us by talking about that not so good movie that I watched over the weekend. That movie was Drinking Buddies, a thrilling film with the tagline above, that I think was dubiously about any of those words. Starring Anna Kendrick (see her more relevant work here), Jake Johnson (his more relevant work here) Olivia Wilde (All over the place, here have Deadfall) and Ron Livingston (The guy from Office Space you know) as they drink lots of beer and carry on with their intensely mundane existences. It features drinking in a bar, making phone calls to potential clients, walking in the woods, and moving furniture. Yeah I can see you all practically falling off your chairs you're so into it. I'm gonna go into more detail though, so hold onto your hats kiddies.


Olympus Has Fallen

On that day we received a grim reminder...
"When our flag falls our nation will rise."
Good morning boys and girls, it's the beginning of another thrilling week at The Tagline! (maybe it's actually night, I post these in the evening the day before so if that's so good evening you early readers you) In an effort to counteract my almost complete inability to go to the movies I have acquired a substantial stockpile of films to watch in the comfort of my own home. Some of these movies I think have at the very least the potential to entertain me. Some others I downloaded specifically because I think they will suck ass, and I know how amusing you all find it when I complain. The first one I decided to watch... was not very good, and I might talk about it later. Not now though, today I'm going to be talking about Olympus Has Fallen, released this past March, and featuring Gerard Butler as ex-Secret Service agent Mike Banning, who is trying to save the president (Aaron Eckhart, so Harvey Dent is the president in this movie) after a terrorist attack on the White House. I know what you are probably already thinking, "wow isn't THAT the most original plot to a movie ever!" Well no it isn't but bear with me here, it isn't as bad as you might think. After a car accident on a snowy death road results in the death of the first lady (Butler's character chooses to save the president but doesn't have time to get her out before the car falls off a cliff) Banning is removed from the presidential detail, relegated to a mundane desk job. During a meeting with the prime minister of South Korea, the White House is attacked, first by a gunship which initiates a terror attack on the streets around the White House, and then later by a ground assault, resulting in a considerable amount of death and destruction.


American Mary

She never wears anything this conservative
while hacking people up.
"She's an artist."

Hello all! It's Thursday at The Tagline and you know what that means! It means a Canadian actress is going to surgically split your tongue and then cut your dick off! If that sounds like just another Friday night to you, well you scare the ever-loving shit out of me then! If it sounds kind of crazy, then you'll probably react similar to the way I did when I start talking about my movie for today, American Mary (which is funny because it was shot in Canada and is full of Canadians). Starring Katherine Isabelle (maybe best remembered as Ginger from the Canadian Werewolf/puberty metaphor film Ginger Snaps) as the titular Mary (and believe me theres a fair bit of titular going around in this film if you know what I mean), American Mary is a kind of freaky revenge horror movie directed by the Soska Sisters, best known for being really creepy Hungarian twins (I mean I don't think they're best known for much of anything, but they are creepy, and twins, and appear in the movie, presumably as creepier versions of their real-life selves.)  Mary is a medical school student aspiring to be a surgeon, more or less immediately alerting you that the plot is going to take a bad turn sooner or later. Mary is strapped for cash, but also appears to have a robust collection of fancy fetish-wear (maybe she was planning for this exact moment I don't know), so to try and make ends meet while she's in school she decides to resort to stripping (I know ITS SHOCKING WHO EVER HEARD OF SUCH A THING). When she arrives at the strip club, instead she is drawn down into the sub-basement by the owner Billy after he finds out she is a med-school student training to be a surgeon. He wants her to keep a guy who had been tortured alive, which she does because she's offered 5000 smackers, in cash money. Who can blame her right? Things sort of proceed as you'd expect from thereOR DO THEY.


Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

My favorite Transformers movie.
Hey y'all, welcome to another week at The Tagline! Today because I haven't watched any new movies and I'm kind of feeling like a jerk, I'm going to talk about that sequel to the Percy Jackson movie that came out like a month ago. Most of the time, most people I think go to movies because they imagine there is at least a chance that they will be half-way decent. In comparison, I often go to movies because I know they will be regrettable shitshows. I crave that kind of sordid fuckfest, the way normal people crave actually good movies. Do I take a twisted enjoyment out of movies that are comically awful? Yes, I certainly do (On that score I am filled with regret that my schedule has yet to permit The Mortal Instruments into my viewing area. I think that is definitely what I'm after, but it still eludes me). This was the general attitude that drew me into the theater in August to go see Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, the sequel to Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Both are based at least nominally on a series of young adult books, all focusing on the eponymous Percy Jackson(the kid from Perks of Being a Wallflower, who is a scion of the god Poseidon. He hangs out with all his half godly friends at a camp which is specially set aside for them, with a really stupid name (Camp Halfblood how creative right?) After the events of the first movie, where Percy stopped some bad god related stuff from happening, Percy has been experiencing a dry spell. In the hero department I mean. Probably in other departments too, he only hangs around this one Athena daughter who's clearly not giving him any action, and this other Mars daughter who is just making him look like a chump all the time.


Whisper of the Heart

"Suki na hito ga dekimashita."

Hello all, welcome to Thursday's edition of THE TAGLINE!!! (look how excited I am!) Today as promised, I will be talking about an animated movie that is in content the exact opposite of Tuesday's Perfect Blue, a movie about fantasy, madness, and violence. Today I will be talking about Studio Ghibli's Whisper of the Heart (originally Mimi wo Sumaseba in Japanese) a movie that is also about finding oneself, but with markedly less nude corpses and blood in low-rise apartments. Whisper of the Heart is, I think I've mentioned in previous posts (maybe when I reviewed Arrietty?) my favorite Studio Ghibli movie, which may make me some kind of iconoclast because it was not directed by Hayao Miyazaki (though he did write the screenplay). Instead, Whisper of the Heart was directed by Yoshifumi Kondo, an animator at Studio Ghibli who at the time was expected to eventually succeed Miyazaki and Takahata as Ghibli's pre-eminent animator. This was not meant to be however, as Kondo died of an Aortic dissection (or possibly an aneurysm) as a result of overwork (this is cited perhaps as one of the reasons why Miyazaki began to work at a more relaxed pace afterwards). Kondo was only 47, and Whisper of the Heart would unfortunately be the only movie he directed before his death. Given how good Whisper of the Heart was, I can say honestly the world was robbed of a great animator much too soon (the same could be said of Satoshi Kon, and I AM saying it now, gosh I didn't mean to review two animated movies by directors who died young. Sorry guys). Anyway, that's enough of the macabre, let's instead focus on Kondo's charming movie, which I absolutely loved.


Perfect Blue

Looks like a healthy girl right?
"The color of illusion is Perfect Blue."

Hello everyone and welcome back to The Tagline! Today I decided I would take a break from psychologically disturbed movies soaked with violence and twisted sexual motifs, and talk about an animated movie that is... all of those things I just said. Written and directed by Satoshi Kon, who's final theatrical length work Paprika might be better known to my writers, Perfect Blue was released in 1998 and is about a J-pop idol named Mima who decides to become an actress. This seems to be going well until she is cast in a role that includes a rape scene (that she assents to despite some hesitation), and then spirals into psychological confusion and madness, while being stalked by a 'fan' calling themselves Me-Mania. To make matters worse, someone claiming to be Mima is keeping a detailed public journal of her life, leading Mima to question whether or not she is going coocoo batshit crazytown. This situation is complicated still further when everyone around her start dying grisly deaths, as the result of an unknown killer, possibly the aforementioned Me-Mania. While the primary plot's affinity for violence and sexualization might at first blush seem unrefined, the direction of the plot is nuanced and pointedly raises questions about certain aspects of Japanese pop-culture.


The World's End

Three cheers for lotsa beers!
"Good food. Fine ales. Total Annihilation."

Hello all and welcome to Thursday's installation of The Tagline! Today, as mentioned, I will be talking about The World's End, a comedy starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. This film marks the end of the "Three Flavours Cornetto" trilogy, an arrangement of films all directed by Edgar Wright, written by Wright and Simon Pegg, and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (the other two being Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz). This particular entry stars Pegg as Gary King, what I'd describe as a Grade-A Fuck-up, who gets his group of (very reluctant) high school buddies back together so that they can attempt a feat they failed in their youth: to drink their way through the 12 pubs of their hometown, one after another, in rapid succession. Despite their general disinterest and apparent resentment towards Gary, his four friends Peter, Oliver, Steven, and Andy (Frost) all agree to come along, after some cajoling/deceiving (also worth noting, if you want to establish the hierarchy of this group of friends, their last names conveniently organize them: Peter Page, Oliver Chamberlain, Steven Prince, and Andy Knightly) and it isn't long into the endeavor that things start to seem rather strange. At first noting the homogeneity of their former haunts, it becomes quickly evident that the pubs aren't the only things being homogenized. The town of Newton Haven has been invaded by... robots! Or, not robots, because they aren't slaves... no-bots. Well they aren't people!


The Apple

The fact that this made it to DVD is troubling.
"A Funky Fantasy That'll Rock Your World!"

Hello and welcome to a new week of horror and confusion here at The Tagline! Today as long threatened I will be talking about a movie I was exposed to several weeks ago, the way you might be exposed to high amounts of radiation, or a deadly plague. I will say for the record that no, I did not sit through this whole movie without assistance, I was watching the Rifftrax for it, and even then this movie was so enchantingly horrible that it was sometimes difficult to focus on the riffs over all of the disco music and bedazzled packages. Made on the leading edge of the 80s (1980 exactly) when the grisly hold of disco had loosened, but not yet let go completely. This movie reminds us all of those dark times. Also it reminds us that sequined banana hammocks are not a good idea, ever ever ever. Set in the distant future of 1994, The Apple is maybe the most ham-fisted movie about the rapture ever produced. The plot revolves around a couple from Moose Jaw, Canada that sings really bad folk love songs, and attempt to win over a crowd at some sort of... music contest or something in the US? Probably sit down, the stupidity of this plot might knock you over.

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