nicktrunks

Meg saw The Void as part of the Toronto After Dark Film Festival last year and raved to me about how much she enjoyed it and was looking forward to revisiting it. Outside of films by David Cronenberg, Canada isn’t known for pumping out the best horror content. Often they’re cult for the sake of cult or a blend of humour and horror that leans toward the former. There’s nothing wrong with these types of films, but it’s nice to see something that is more competent come out of Canada in recent years. 

The Void is a love letter to horror films of the 80′s without being too in-your-face about it. The acting is often a bit muddy and not all actors are capable of carrying their scenes, but all of that is overshadowed by the practical effects in the film (which are brilliant). The film reminds me a lot of classics like The Thing (1982) and Hellraiser (1987). It’s the right level of dark for the tone of the film.The puppetry is convincing and adds an eerie realism to the story that would have been a bit lacking without. The film doesn’t waste a lot of the viewer’s time and jumps into the plot and moves full steam into a story that it doesn’t hold back from. 

If you’re a fan of horror films from the 80′s and want more of that type of storytelling and execution in your life, then The Void is a no-brainer and comes highly recommended.

Moana is a wonderful film. I missed out on seeing it in theatres because I felt as though the trailers for the film were a bit “on-the-nose”. It seemed like a pretty stereotypical Disney film that had been done a million times over and I didn’t see any need to see it in theatres with a bunch of screaming kids. A month after it hit theatres I started hearing praise for the film by every single person I had talked to about it: “the music is fantastic”, “there is a strong message of female empowerment”, etc. - the compliments went on and on. The second I could finally bite the bullet and see the film, I did - and it is a fantastic film.

My love for Lin Manuel Miranda knows no bounds, and his soundtrack for the film is highly appropriate. The songs capture his voice and cadence perfectly and he even makes a cameo on a few of the tracks. I thought the songs were a fitting addition to the film and helped elevate a lot of the scenes. If I had a complaint it would be that most of the musical moments are front-loaded. We don’t get to live in this musical world the entire time as the film does deal with heavier themes that would get bogged down with depressive songs.

One of the big complaints I saw about the film was that the the premise is a bit formulaic at times and follows pretty standard Disney expectations, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Telling classic stories with archetypal characters and necessary beats of action/story advancement is totally fine in films for children. Moana’s story is a hero’s journey but does a much better job leaving out the male influence. We don’t see her lusting after the idea of marriage or trying to marry a prince and giving young women positive female role models is critical in moving animation storytelling forward.

Moana is a sweet and genuine film that is both inspirational to young women watching it and also a step up from a lot of the stuff Pixar has been putting out lately. It is easily one of my favourite films I’ve seen this year and one of my favourite animated films I’ve seen in recent years. Disney is giving Pixar a run for their money by producing original content that is not only appealing to all audiences but engaging. I highly recommend checking it out.

The Greasy Strangler is one of the stranger films I’ve seen in recent years, with Rubber, Wrong and Wrong Cops falling into the same absurdist camp. It’s niche and weird and by the end of it you feel exhausted by what you’ve just watched. Did I like it? I think I did, but it’s hard to pin down why I did other than I appreciated the fact that it was such a weird film. It’s self aware in just the right way that the insanities that transpire seem perfectly plausible despite their non-sequiturs and constant attempts to derail any logical meaning found in the story. 

The plot is as simple as a father and son competing to win the heart of a woman - but the film is so much more than that (not necessarily in a good way). In fact, it’s so barely that that I couldn’t remember if there was an actual “storyline” or plot of the film so I just looked it up as I wrote this. I guess that’s the whole story, but there’s so much gross and bizarre moments interwoven throughout that it has to be seen to be believed.

I’ve probably thought about The Greasy Strangler once every few days since seeing it and I don’t regret it. There are moments that make you roll your eyes in a good way, and moments that make you roll them in bad ways (as in: “I see what the director is doing, but also this is wasting my time – but also, is that what the director is doing?”). I’m going to go out on a limb and say that you probably won’t like this film. If you liked Napoleon Dynamite but wish it was more twisted and insane than you could ever imagine - maybe this is up your alley. I tried to find a SFW trailer but came up short…so I guess if you’re interested in seeking something like this out, be warned.

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Will Arnett Can’t Keep A Straight Face When Talking CGI With Rich Fulcher

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So, Nick, Chris, and I were patrolling the Interwebs on Saturday night (more specifically YouTube). After watching some Karmin covers, who Nick now calls my Internet crush, he showed me this kid and his original video “Pale Kid Raps Fast”. I was blown away. Just some of the references were right up my alley. I guess this kid is my new internet hero. Mixtape being released in August.

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I almost forgot about this video….makes me laugh every time.