I’ll be back…

…just as soon as I find my feet and manage to touch sides. With moving to a new country, starting a job, filling in reams of paperwork and everything else (including leaving for work just after 5am and getting home late)…I’m not managing to find any time to read, watch movies or just relax. So…until I manage to regroup I’ll be lying low for a while.

I’ll still be doing the Now and Then Blogathon with Realweegiemidget Reviews and the 2 Reel Quirky Cat (P)reviews but I can’t promise much more. I mean, I need time to watch movies, read and listen to music in order to blog about such topics…and I’m finding no time at all.

 

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The Hand (2 Reel Quirky Cats October (P)review)

(A Random Trailer (P)review)

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It’s the month of ghouls and such. So, naturally, the 2 Reel Quirky Cats had to go along with the perfect opportunity for Horror Movies. The one genre that I’m so scared of. Rest assured, this month all my previews will be of trailers of movies I’ve never watched.

If I don’t sleep tonight…all your fault…

Well…whew…I made it through the trailer. At least it isn’t one of the modern day really, really scary ones with all sorts of awful gory, disgusting, terrifying scenes. This one almost looks like a psychological thriller in which all will be explained. In fact, I think the trailer really leads us to believe that.

From what I can see…Michael Caine’s character loses his hand and the psychological effects drive the story. That’s the thing with these older movies…they aren’t as…I don’t know…vivid? Gory?

Oh wow…I’ve just looked it up…written and directed by Oliver Stone. Ok…so has definitely got to be a good one.  And Michael Caine is Jon Lansdale who loses his hand. Yes…figured that much. The hand then takes on a life of its own. But, like I said…I strongly suspect it is all in his mind. You’ll have to tell me because I’m still too scared to watch this one.

I think the best is to head on over to Realweegiemidget as it was her choice…I’m sure she’s seen it and can give you some more of the gory details! Have fun…

cropped-cat2As always, head on over to Realweegiemidget Reviews (here) for her take on this trailer and then join us on Twitter (@2ReelQuirkyCats) for your comments. See you there…

 Oh…and I was so nervous of this horror theme that I forgot the poll. Let us know which is your favourite (hmmmm….is that the right term?) here:

 

 

Suspiria (2 Reel Quirky Cats Guest Post – Cinematic Catharsis)

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We’re on to Horror movie trailers….just in time for October…the month of Halloween. Kicking off this genre is our guest poster Cinematic Catharsis. Thanks so much for joining us with your great post.

Here is Cinematic Catharsis’ post:

Trailer Take: Suspiria

 

“The only thing more terrifying than the last 12 minutes of Suspiria are the first 92.”

– voiceover from Suspiria trailer

I’d like to extend a great big thanks to Gill Jacob for inviting me to do a guest post for her blog Realweegiemidget Reviews.  I’m honored to participate, and I hope I don’t adversely affect Ms. Jacob’s readership. In addition to the aforementioned web site, be sure to visit the flipside of Realweegiemidget Reviews, Thoughts All SortsTwitter-inclined folks can stay up to date by following Gill and Company at @2ReelQuirkyCats, @Thoughtsallsort, and @realweegiemidge.
I’ve reviewed quite a few movies over the past seven years, but never tackled the previews that advertised them. As an experiment of sorts, I present for your perusal, a look at the trailer for Dario Argento’s mind-blowing horror film, Suspiria.
A movie trailer, at least a good one, is supposed to pique the potential audience’s interest and get them revved up for the movie. This is especially difficult for horror. In three minutes or sometimes significantly less, the trailer needs to capture the viewer’s attention, getting the heart pumping with memorable images or scenes. One thing that sets Suspiria apart is that the opening part of the trailer doesn’t contain a scene from the film.
It’s this opening sequence that took me by surprise as a little kid innocently watching the small TV alone, in my parent’s room (where I cut my teeth on quite a few movies and classic TV shows). The commercial (which turned out to be an abridged version of the trailer, but I’m not splitting hairs), seemed innocuous enough, with a lady, her back turned to the camera, combing her hair and getting spruced up, presumably for a date, “roses are red, violets are blue…” And then – holy crap (I’ll say no more)! Looking back, 40 years later, it all seems quite tame, but as an impressionable nine-year-old, it floored me. For years, I never made the connection with the film. Only that opening portion of the trailer remained embedded in my gray matter.
What the heck is Suspiria anyway? I have no idea, but it sure sounds good. The trailer has it all. It hooks you from the first shot, lulling you into a false sense of security, and then pow! Almost immediately, you’re asking, “What’s this movie about, and where’s it taking me?” The initial shock is followed by a pastiche of scenes from the movie, and those glowing, disembodied eyes – Yikes! Well, if this doesn’t get you in the mood to see this, I don’t know what will. The trailer works its magic, promising stylish scares, and the movie delivers the goods.
Need more convincing? Here’s the trailer in all its glory:

Shameless Plug: This trailer review is all fine and dandy, but what did I think of the movie? Well, I’m glad you asked, because I reviewed the film several years back, and you can read it here.  
Just remember: “You can run from Suspiria… You can hide from Suspiria… but you can’t escape Suspiria.”

Home from the (Texas) Hill…

I’ve had a love/hate relationship ever since first watching this way back when on Super 8 film. Somehow I liked it yet didn’t. Not sure why. One thing was sure though, I recently “just had to” track it down for my DVD collection. And, naturally, once it arrived in my post box, I absolutely had to re-watch it. And didn’t think it too bad after all. Maybe the 20 or so years of growing up (or older) made me view it differently. Home from the Hill (1960), the movie I’m on about.

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Based on the novel by William Humphrey and directed by Vincente Minnelli, it has Robert Mitchum starring as Wade Hunnicutt, the wealthiest womaniser inhabitant in the Texas town the story is set in. In his luxurious home are also wife Hannah (Eleanor Parker) and their son Theron (George Hamilton). Theron, having been his mother’s “little boy” is at a time in his life where he is curious about women and also becoming a man. Wade is keen to teach him to hunt, together with his loyal employee Rafe (George Peppard). While also learning about women from Rafe, Theron becomes more and more drawn into family politics (as well as some other problems along the way). So unfolds a family drama of note where things are quite complicated and relationships not so straightforward (if they were, we’d have no story would we?).

In a way, I do have some nostalgic memories from Home from the Hill. For example, I always had a soft spot for the name Libby purely because of the character of the same name in this movie. She’s Theron‘s first love, played by Luana Patten and such a sweet girl. And then, there’s a little confession…I’ll forever remember learning the word “flirt” from Libby and Rafe‘s (yes, Rafe, not Theron) encounter in the diner. “Are you flirting with me?” and somewhere there she bursts into tears.

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So, a drama to behold. There is always something on the go in Home from the Hill. From disapproving parents to first loves to the heartbreak and sacrifices. Not bad at all. And I can definitely say, I see this (as with many movies) in a very different light these days as back when I was a teen. Great, convincing performances by Robert Mitchum, Eleanor Parker and all involved. I always had a soft spot for George Peppard‘s Rafe (or maybe it was just for George Peppard).

Just give yourself time though as this approx 2.5 hour movie never rushes the character development and events (it isn’t an action movie after all). But never boring.

Head on over to The Midnight Drive-In’s Texas Blogathon for more things Texas.

Edge of Tomorrow (2 Reel Quirky Cats September (P)review)

(A Random Trailer (P)review)

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I really need to stop saying “I don’t really watch Sci-Fi movies” because I’m finding more and more that I enjoy. This is another one that I watched for lack of anything else to watch and ended up enjoying it.

I haven’t watched the trailer…so let me go do that before Realweegiemidget Reviews tells me to focus on the topic at hand 😉 I’m already treading on thin ice because yet again my poll selection won for the time travel theme this month.

Ok…trailer watched…

“For me, it’s been an eternity”…that’s exactly the point you need to understand from the trailer. It really has been an eternity for Tom CruiseCage as he finds himself in an endless cycle of repetitions. Endless Reset buttons…

Don’t be put off by the outlandish creatures faced on combat or think this is totally absurd (I mean yes, the trailer makes it look that). Rather, ignore that aspect and focus on Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise in the trailer. You’ll find yourself quite curious. What does she mean by wanting to start over. Or “come visit me when you wake up”. It all becomes clear.

Basically, we have a type of time travel movie where the characters find themselves in the same spot over and over yet with slightly different knowledge this being able to change the outcome of that same situation. It is really cleverly done. The only “negative” is that there could have been a more elegant closure of this cycle…to be honest, I got the impression that no matter how brilliant the concept was…there was no way out…but don’t let that put you off. It is fantastic and the trailer doesn’t do the movie full justice.

So…don’t delay. Go give it a watch!

cropped-cat2As always, head on over to Realweegiemidget Reviews (here) for her take on this trailer and then join us on Twitter (@2ReelQuirkyCats) for your comments. See you there…

Fender (Book Blog Tour)

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My first instinct, and I told Shanannigans of Reads & Reels as much, was “no thanks. This book isn’t for me”. Why? Well, based on the blurb (see further down), my initial judge-a-book-by-its-coverblurb was that I wasn’t reading about the loss of a child (or spouse). Ever since I have a child of my own I avoid this topics as I find it soooo heartbreaking and would hate for anything to happen to any child. Yet, for some reason, Fender kept nagging and nagging at me until I popped Shanannigans a mail again…yes, asking if it was too late to join after all. Next thing I knew, Fender by Brent Jones was in my mailbox. And you know what? I really enjoyed it.

RR Book Tours Button (2)Wasn’t at all what I had expected. Here’s what the blurb says:

Blurb

How far must we travel to find our way home?

Nothing could have prepared Brennan Glover for the car crash that claimed the lives of his wife and six-year-old daughter. Stricken with grief, the only things that get him through each day are breaking his sobriety and clinging to Fender—the family dog and the sole survivor of the crash.

Desperate to distance Brennan from tragedy, his two closest friends take him on the cross-country road trip they had always talked about. But what begins as an effort to mend his broken heart ends up unraveling a secret that changes everything he thought he knew about his family. Can a journey of six thousand miles lead Brennan to acceptance and new beginnings?

From finding the good in an often cruel world to learning to say goodbye to those we love most, this sophomore release from author Brent Jones is sure to leave readers longing for home, wherever that may be.

Fender Cover

What I got was:

A book that most definitely didn’t pull me down in terms of the loss of family. Yes, it was tragic (and definitely not a pleasant thing) but the approach was more about finding one’s feet and the will to move on. That life happens for a reason and that there are certain things that are out of our control (be it the good or the bad). And, that people and animals cross our paths when they are meant to. That friends, human and animal, are so important.

I’ve had a bit of a reading drought recently (just because I’ve had lots on my mind) but for the first time in ages I managed to get through a book without forcing myself to read it. Fender was that book. Granted, a few places I did get a bit of a repetitive feel, but that’s not something that overshadows the story. The author kept me on my toes in that I had no idea as to how this one would end. Spoiler alert: I was expecting the main character to meet someone new…but if that would have happened, it just wouldn’t have worked. Would have been wrong.author pic

So, a really enjoyable book that wasn’t heavy yet didn’t undermine the theme at hand. Thanks Reads & Reels for sending this one my way. After my initial “no thanks” I’m glad I read it.

Here’s an excerpt for you:

Brennan sat on the living room floor staring at his polished shoes, his back pressed against the leather sofa, a bottle of Jim Beam in his left hand, a lit cigarette in his right. Traces of afternoon sun peeked through lush drapes, adding a hint of color to an otherwise dark and empty room. He tilted the bottle back and flicked ash in an empty drinking glass between his legs, trickles of silver smoke rising up past his face. He was too stricken with grief to hear the front door open.

“You here, Bee?” Rocco entered with Franky in tow. He lowered his head, taking in the scene before him. “We’re so sorry.” He offered Brennan a sympathetic frown, his forehead wrinkled with worry. “How’re you holding up?”

Brennan flicked more ash in the drinking glass without responding.

Rocco let out a deep breath, added, “It was a beautiful service.”

Brennan kept his head down, making no effort to suggest he had heard Rocco.

“Should we come back later?”

“It’s all right if you wanna be alone,” said Franky.

Brennan raised his eyes with pronounced difficulty. He was immediately turned off by their concern, which looked a lot to him like judgment and shame. Rocco, evidently concerned about his drinking, and Franky, concerned because Rocco was concerned. “Go ahead,” said Brennan. “Say it.”

“Say what?” asked Rocco, exchanging a glance with Franky.

Brennan dropped his cigarette in the glass, raised the Jim Beam to his lips. “Say I shouldn’t be drinking again.”

“What you’re going through right now, Bee, I understand—”

“Oh, you always understand, Rocco. Don’t you? Not thisss one, though. You fucking can’t. You didn’t loosh yer family.” Brennan could hear himself slurring.

“I didn’t mean it like that.”

“He’s saying he’d be fucked up, too,” Franky chimed in. “That’s all.”

Brennan hadn’t taken a drink since the day his daughter was born—hadn’t smoked a cigarette since that day, either—and he knew drinking himself senseless was no way to honor her memory. Just this one time, he had told himself. I need this today. But so far, it had brought him no peace. It only heightened his sense of hopelessness.

A faint jingle echoed down the hallway, getting closer, a senior beagle with a limp and fresh stitches emerging at last. Franky knelt down, extended his hands. “Fender,” he said in a singsong voice, scratching behind the dog’s ears. “Who’s a good boy, Fender? Who’s a good boy?”

Fender parked himself at Franky’s feet—not out of obedience or affection, but sheer exhaustion. He was normally playful and energetic—even at twelve years old—and never allowed anyone to enter the house without barking to alert his humans. But at that moment he whimpered, sullen and subdued, rubbing his snout against Franky’s leg.

“When’s the last time he ate?” Rocco asked.

Brennan shook his head.

Rocco motioned to Franky. “Why don’t you take Fender out for a bathroom break? Maybe fill up his food and water bowls, too.”

Franky nodded and Fender followed him out of the room.

Rocco sat on the floor next to Brennan. “Listen, Bee, I get that this is tough.”

Brennan rubbed his temples and said nothing. He was a sensitive man, emotional, fragile at times, and now near speechless. He could almost feel himself shutting down, giving in to the pain, letting go of the world. It felt like he was drowning in a sea of sorrow, violent waves of grief washing over him, and he was losing the will to keep his head above water.

Rocco touched Brennan’s shoulder. “Me and Franky want to take you away for a little bit. It’d do you good.”

“Now?”

“Yeah.” Rocco motioned to the Jim Beam. “I think now’s good. You’ve been outta work for a couple months. I’ve got vacation time saved up at the office, and Franky can walk away from roofing anytime. We were thinking of taking that trip to California we’d always talked about.”

“We talked ’bout ’at shit when wurrr kidsss.”

“Yeah, I get that, but we could still do it. We’d make a road trip out of it, just like you, me, Franky, and Colin—” Rocco winced, having unintentionally drudged up the past.

“My family was just kilt in a car crasssh,” said Brennan. “And you think the best place furr me ish out on the open road?”

Rocco nodded. “I do, Bee. You need to get away and clear your head.”

Brennan listened without speaking, his line of sight again lowered toward his shoes. Tears spilled down his cheeks.

“You can’t stay here by yourself. It’s—it’s too much. It’s too much for anyone to have to handle.” Rocco glanced at Brennan through narrowed and swollen eyes. “Our hearts are heavy, too, and we all need to grieve. But nothing good can come of you sitting here alone and drinking. You need something to take your mind off it.”

Franky returned a minute later. Fender hobbled behind him, his movements labored and graceless, his eyes wet and dark. He positioned himself near Brennan in slow motion. Fender was the last member of the Glover household to see Rosie and Abby alive, and the only survivor of the crash that killed them both.

“Did he eat?” asked Rocco, gesturing toward Fender.

“Not much.” Franky changed gears without blinking. “What’d he say?” He asked the question as if he and Rocco were alone in the room.

“Bee says he’s gonna think on it,” Rocco said, standing. He looked down at Brennan before walking out. “You will give it some thought, right? That’s all I’m asking.”

The house was quiet again, but Brennan was certain nothing could silence the storm in his heart. He ran his finger over the tattoo on his left shoulder through his shirt, as he often did during difficult times. He knew its intricacies by heart—the anniversary of Colin’s death inked in a simple script. He once thought losing his best friend had prepared him for anything life might throw his way, but now he knew better.

 

The Time Traveler’s Wife (2 Reel Quirky Cats September (P)review)

(A Random Trailer (P)review)

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Here’s another time travel romantic drama with Rachel McAdams. The Time Traveler’s Wife. This time, she’s partnered with Eric Bana as her time traveling partner.

I find this story a lot heavier, a lot sadder than the previous trailer we did for About Time. While this one looks absolutely beautiful and draws me, I felt I didn’t really understand the actual movie when I watched it. Or maybe, I just wasn’t in the right time for it. Yes, it was really nice from what I remember but somehow I didn’t get the satisfaction I’d been hoping for.

But the trailer…it’s just beautiful. It shows that life isn’t always easy. Love stories aren’t always happy and uplifting but rather have their ups and downs as in real life. The story has Clare (Rachel McAdams) falling in love with Henry (Eric Bana). The catch to this relationship is that Henry travels through time. And we see how this couple interact, meet, fall in love during different ages in Clare‘s life. What I enjoy about this trailer is that it doesn’t give the entire movie away. The “problem” to be overcome isn’t disclosed or made obvious. It gives just enough to make you wonder what the explanation is and how these two will make it work. In fact, having watched the trailer again now, quite some time after having watched the whole movie, I’m really tempted to give it another go. It looks very sweet and special. But not quite sure…

So Realweegiemidget, thanks for choosing this one. It might, maybe, maybe, just get another chance in my To Watch list.

cropped-cat2As always, head on over to Realweegiemidget Reviews (here) for her take on this trailer and then join us on Twitter (@2ReelQuirkyCats) for your comments. See you there…