Digital Shortbread Sporadic Scene: Jacob’s Ladder (1990) – Movement In The Tree Line

WHOOP! Tom of Digital Shortbread rocks my socks, being such a frequent contributor of my Sporadic Scene segment! Absolutely always a pleasure to host you, Tom, and thank you once again!

I hope this scene isn’t too intense or heavy or depressing or whatever else it probably realistically is to suggest for another entry to Sporadic Scenes.

What I have in my hands is a pretty f**ked up introductory sequence to the movie Jacob’s Ladder. The scene is titled ‘Movement in the Tree Line’ and it seriously one of the trippiest scenes I’ve ever watched, without the movie having anything to do overtly with drug use. Plain and simple, this scene is pretty disturbing.

I figured there could maybe be a crazy scene or two every now and then. ;)

I’ll just add a little line in here from the review I did on it awhile back:

“My friend was absolutely spot-on about this film’s opening moments. If you’re not hooked within the first five to ten minutes, there’s no real need to watch any further. One of the more disturbing, yet attention-grabbing openings I’ve been presented with so far in my young movie-watching career.”

*CONTAINS VIOLENT CONTENT*

If you have a scene that you would like featured, drop me a mail at sporadiczoe@hotmail.com with a picture/gif/video of the scene and an explanation as to why (should you want to include it).


Rapid Review: Absentia (2011)

absentia 2011 movie poster

“Don’t underestimate the attraction of oblivion… not ’til you’ve lived a little longer.”
- Tricia

SYNOPSIS: Tricia’s husband Daniel has been missing for seven years. Her younger sister Callie comes to live with her as the pressure mounts to finally declare him ‘dead in absentia.’ As Tricia sifts through the wreckage and tries to move on with her life, Callie finds herself drawn to an ominous tunnel near the house. As she begins to link it to other mysterious disappearances, it becomes clear that Daniel’s presumed death might be anything but ‘natural.’ The ancient force at work in the tunnel might have set its sights on Callie and Tricia … and Daniel might be suffering a fate far worse than death in its grasp. – via IMDB

absentia

GRADE 8This was freaking excellent! Alright, so I read a review about it a while ago over at The IPC, and I just never got to it after that. After some extremely terrifying threats gentle nudging from the chief Chop, I figured it was time. Well, between him and Seth, they both got overly excited, and I was soon let into the fold of whyAbsentia was a phenomenally beautiful movie that had so much going on in its favour. I never suffered from one minute of boredom, and the movie progressed at a perfect pace. The score was fantastic, as it was really subtle, and complemented the movie on so many levels. It never took over, it was never too loud, it was ever-present, and it worked really well. It was haunting. The film itself was well acted, and for the life of me I can’t explain it, but I thought Detective Ryan Mallory’s partner Detective Lonergan, played by Justin Gordon, was a real cutie. I loved his glasses and how he chewed his gum. It was pretty hot. Don’t judge me monkeys, I said I couldn’t explain it. I have no idea why this movie scored so low on IMDB, I thought this was one of the best laid out and chilling movies in this type of genre. I was thrilled endlessly when I did not see the Big Bad (or more like not in its entirety), because as I have said before, that is where you usually lose me in a film. The cast worked really well together, and brought all these scenes home with a beautiful resonance that is haunting and lingers long after the movie is over. It is a slow burn, but never does the film drag. It was also shot stunningly, and was incredibly atmospheric – eerie and chilling – perfect. I also really, really liked the way they presented the “theory” scenes – all the different scenarios. If you have not seen Absentia, like myself for some unknown reason before this, don’t waste time, get to it immediately! I have no idea why it took me this long to get to it, it is well worth the watch in every sense!


Top Ten Reasons I Like Chris Pine: Life of this City Girl

Well howdy do folks? Looks like I still have Top Ten lists making their way to me, albeit sporadically (cough cough – yes, my attempt at humour). At any rate, I think Natasha was having an absolute perve day when she decided to put together another list for me. This one is different than a lot of the others that I have done, seems that she wants to share her love here with us today! With little more, let me move this day over to Natasha!

Should you be interested in submitting a Top Ten list, draw up a list of either your top ten personal favourite movies or a top ten list by a specific genre/theme and send it along to me at sporadiczoe@hotmail.com. Hope to see a few more lists!

Chris Pine: The Man, The Myth, The Legend

chris header

So I have made time in my enormously busy schedule to come and violate my best friend’s blog. Now, my Zermattenman (remember Mr. De Lange at school, friend?), usually runs a very serious minded establishment over here, full of the esteemed movies and books she usually watches and reads. A while back her blog became a safe haven for any individual that would like to express their interest in the characters that inhibit, and it became quite successful.

Now, why am I back? Haven’t I put enough men on here already? I did, I most likely did. Then I remembered that I had neglected my good friend Chris Pine, a man whose acting abilities know no bounds and whose fearlessness in the face of adversity is legendary.

Today I present to you the Top Ten Reasons I Like Chris Pine

1. He is a human, and I have never even heard a rumour otherwise.

You need all your actors and actresses to be human. I really have nothing against aliens, really, but the language and galaxial gap (I DID make that word up), would make co-production quite difficult. (That is why humans are often dressed up as aliens in movies. Speaking of aliens, my main man Chris Pine was in Star Trek). So, back to my point here – I haven’t actually heard that Chris Pine is a douche, anywhere. Rag Mags from Hollywood should never be trusted, but it usually becomes quickly known if a celebrity wants imported cow brains from Indonesia for their seventeen cats when they are on set. I have never heard anything about Pine that indicates that he is in-fact, a cow brain importer from Indonesia. I am not saying that Chris doesn’t occasionally swear at passive aggressive people, or at anyone who can’t use “their” and “there” correctly, but he does seem to be a normal guy without any dictator/serial killer tendencies. Normal people are desperately needed in this world, and I think no normal person, no matter their birth conditions or their job warrants unneeded hate.

chris eyes and beard

2. His eyes are as bluer than the waters that grace the shore of Bora Bora.

I mean, have you seen his sparkly lookers? They are intensely blue, incredibly beautiful and will pierce the most lost soul and fill it with the hope of tomorrow. You could swim everyday in the Sea of Pine and never feel homesick.

Chris-Pine

3. His bearded face looks like baby sloths could sleep on it, cushioned with marshmallows.

4. His face is as beautiful with a beard as it is without a beard. Not many men can pull this look off. Man is either made as a cave-impersonating millennial or as the casual, clean shaved metro-sexual (this statement isn’t in the least a horrid generalization of an entire gender).

5. Have you noticed the tiny speckles of grey in his beard? HOT. And the man doesn’t dye his beard, and he gets serious points for not doing that.

6. Him with glasses is the answer to every nerd girl’s dreams.

chris with glasses

Some people really like other people who smoke a ciggy (hint hint), and some people really like other people who really look intelligent (I was speaking about me, if you couldn’t guess, and then I would certainly not be referring to you). The next question is rather predictable – does Pine have any intelligence whatsoever, or does he just wear glasses to impress me? I would say that yes, I do think that Pine is intelligent – he has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California. I think you need to have a bit of brains to get any type of degree, amirite?

7. He probably smells very nice because he is a spokesperson for Armani cologne. *sniff sniff*

Chris Armani

8. Speaking of Armani, have you seen this beautiful specimen in a suit?

chris-pine suit

9. His smile promises that all the bad days are gone, that happiness is upon you, and that every care in the world has evaporated miraculously.

chris pine smile

10. Oh, he is relatively good actor too.

Look he is no Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Ralph Fiennes, Anthony Hopkins or Tom Hardy, but neither is he Jack Black, Adam Sandler or Taylor Lautner. He always does the best with the material he is given and produces relatively good movies. He hasn’t made made it in Hollywood yet, but I think the time is nigh and soon he will be everywhere.


Alfred Hitchcock Blogathon Conclusion

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Well, ladies and gentlemen, Rob and I would like to thank everybody that got involved with this blogathon, those who watched films, contributed reviews, to those who read the vast amount of reviews that came forth in this project, and to all those who took the time to share their two cents with us. Thank you all very much for making this blogathon a success!

Rob, this was  a huge project to undertake, but it really came together well, so congratulations! :)

Here are all the films that were reviewed for the blogathon, as well as links back to the respective reviews. Again, a massive thank you to everyone, you guys rock!

The Pleasure Garden (1925) – Film Grimoire

Downhill (1927) – The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger

The Lodger (1927) – FilmNerdBlog

The Ring (1927) – Movie Rob

Champagne (1928) – The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger

Easy Virtue (1928) – Movie Rob

The Farmer’s Wife (1928) – Movie Rob

Blackmail (1929) – The Dirk Malcolm Alternative

The Manxman (1929) – Movie Rob

Juno and the Paycock (1930) – Movie Rob

Murder! (1930) – The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger

Rich and Strange-East of Shanghai (1931) – Movie Rob

The Skin Game (1931) – The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger

Number Seventeen (1932) – The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger

Waltzes from Vienna (1933) – Movie Rob

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) – Raging Fluff

The 39 Steps (1935) – Raging Fluff

Sabotage (1936) - Justine’s Movie Blog

Secret Agent (1936) – Movie Rob

Young and Innocent (1937) – Movie Rob

The Lady Vanishes (1938) – My Kind Of Movie

Jamaica Inn (1939) – Movie Rob

Foreign Correspondent (1940) – Movie Rob

Rebecca (1940) – Raging Fluff

Mr and Mrs Smith (1941) – Movie Rob

Suspicion (1941) – Life of this City Girl

Saboteur (1942) – The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger

Shadow of a Doubt (1943) – Popcorn Nights

Bon Voyage and Madagascar Landing (1944) – Movie Rob

Lifeboat (1944) – Vic’s Movie Den

Spellbound (1945) - Beanmimo

Notorious (1946) – No Nonsense With Nuwan Sen

The Paradine Case (1947) – No Nonsense With Nuwan Sen

Rope (1948) – The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger

Under Capricorn (1949) – The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger

Stage Fright (1950) – Movie Rob

Strangers on a Train (1951) – Cindy Bruchman

I Confess (1953) – Life of this City Girl

Dial M For Murder (1954) – The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger

Rear Window (1954) – My Mind Reels Through Film

The Trouble With Harry (1955) – The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger

To Catch A Thief (1955) – RobbinsRealm

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) – Digital Shortbread

The Wrong Man (1956) – Snap Crackle Watch!

Vertigo (1958) – Silver Screen Serenade

North By Northwest (1959) – Screenkicker!

Psycho (1960) – Alex Raphael

The Birds (1963) – Sidekick Reviews

Marnie (1964) – Cinema Parrot Disco

Torn Curtain (1966) – FlixChatter

Topaz (1969) – Movie Rob

Frenzy (1972) – The IPC

Family Plot (1976) – Tranquil Dreams

hitchcock


Review: Dead Until Dark – Charlaine Harris

Dead-Until-Dark

Sookie Stackhouse is a waitress at the local bar in Bon Temps, Louisiana, called Merlotte’s. Everything is unassuming and normal, though Sookie struggles daily with what she perceives to be her affliction: she is telepathic. She uses inordinate amounts of energy to block people out, and lives with her grandmother, Adele. Sookie’s life is changed forever one night when vampire Bill Compton walks into the bar. She cannot hear any of his thoughts, and is somewhat relieved that she can let her guard down a little. He is also mysterious, and she likes that. However, at the end of the evening he leaves with a trailer trash couple, and Sookie caught a bad vibe from them. Following the couple out, she finds that they are draining the vampire, and she saves him. After that, Bill is sort of indebted to Sookie for saving him.

Though vampires have now stepped out in public, it does not mean that they are necessarily accepted in society, and Sam Merlotte, Sookie’s boss, worries about her spending time with a vampire. Sookie is extremely drawn to Bill, but the two are from two completely different times. Some vicious and violent murders have been happening around town, and it does not help that the victims were renowned for having spent time with vampires and being promiscuous. Things are looking bad when vampire punctures are discovered on the corpses, but even worse when the town relatiates. In the meantime, Sookie is irritated as hell that Sam waited all these years for Bill to step in before showing her that he has feelings for her, and she is irritated with Bill for being so distant and cold, though she is attracted to him. She is terrified and broken when whoever murdered the girls makes a play for her, and instead kills her grandmother.

After Adele’s passing, Bill spends more time with Sookie, who is falling completely in love with him, letting her guard down. When the murder investigations take detective Andy Bellefleur to Jacon Stackhouse, Sookie’s brother, she decides to investigate on her own, to show that neither Bill nor Jason could have been involved with the murders of the young women and her grandmother. Going to a vampire bar called Fangtasia, she meets with the owner, Eric Northman, to make some queries, and learns the scary lesson here that not all vampires are like Bill at all, and it frightens  her. Nevertheless, she wishes to clear the men in her life, and even starts to listen in on people more when Jason asks her to listen out for the real murderer. The town is seething over the murders, and are becoming increasingly hostile towards the vampires. It seems that soon they just might make a stupid play at them.

Will the townsfolk rebel and fight with the vampires? Will the tentative human/vampire peace fall away? Is the small town of Bon Temps cut out for a vampire? Who is killing the women in Bon Temps? Are they being killed because of vampire affiliation, or is there something else that connects these girls? Will Sookie and Bill ever have a decent relationship, or will something outside of them always get in the way? Will Jason beat the murder charges that the town is ready to pin on him?

GRADE 7.5I don’t even know how to explain this. I absolutely hate romance novels. They are so predictable and soppy and crap. But then I got a bee in my bonnet that all I wanted was something fluffy, useless, and light. A romance ticks all those boxes, but I was not up for something super mushy or anything. Then I remembered the Southern Vampire Mysteries that I had read a few years ago, and then just stopped, though I am  not sure why. Who knows, maybe I will get reacquainted with my reasons soon, or it is just one of those series that I lost track of. Well, it was what I needed. Not too steeped in the romance, and not with a story line that takes itself too seriously or anything, it was light and had more than just kisses, sex, and fights in it. Granted, Sookie is pretty average, getting huffy with Bill all the time and all that, but is less annoying than most characters in a romance novel. Plus there is the whole supernatural aspect to this that is pretty fun. I don’t know, don’t read these expecting something heavy or hardcore, but for light entertainment, they are worth the read. They flow and are very fast reads, so really not bad for what they are. Some of the characters are very entertaining, and the events keep you engaged. The progression is cool, and as an introductory novel, this was a rather decent first outing. I like the way Sookie finally finds someone she can be with, even though he is dead. It took me a while to get used to the concept of the vampires being known as well as the fact that they are marketing as an “affliction”. I can highly recommend you check these books out if you have not already, but not for mind-blowing reading or anything. I don’t think these books will really appeal to the male demographic, but who knows?


Alfred Hitchcock Blogathon: Topaz (1969) – Movie Rob

hitchcock

Today I welcome Rob, my collaborator in this Alfred Hitchcock blogathon, and his final review of the films he was entrusted to watch is Topaz. Read on to find out what Rob thought of his last film!

topaz movie poster

For my final review of a movie for our Alfred Hitchcock blogathon, I watched Topaz.

This thriller is based om a novel by Leon Uris who wrote some great books partially based on true events including Exodus, Mila 18, QB VII, Battle Cry, Trinity and The Haj.

I never read this novel, but the premise intrigued me quite a bit.

The story revolves around a French spy who tries to uncover what is going on in Cuba right before the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

As a spy thriller the plot moves along pretty slowly but if you wait it out, you will discover some very interesting twists and turns.

I liked the dual nature of the espionage portrayed and the fact that there were two stories taking place at once.

Hitchcock who was known for not always getting along so well with his writers clashed with Uris causing him to leave mid production leaving some scenes to be written right before being shot.

Hitchcock was criticized for not casting known stars on this film but I actually think that it works better this way.

I think this kind of spy thriller worked better in the 60’s, but is still enjoyable to watch now.

I think, that I’d actually be interested in now reading the novel this was based on.

Rating – Globe Worthy


Alfred Hitchcock Blogathon: Torn Curtain (1966) – Flixchatter

hitchcock

Ruth from Flixchatter is joining us today for our Alfred Hitchcock blogathon, having picked a movie she had never seen before. Ruth runs a fantastic blog filled with awesome content, interesting questions, movie reviews, and an array of other material. I am sure you all follow Ruth as is, but those who do not, hop on over there and get involved! Ruth, thank you very much for taking the time to venture into unknown territory for us!poster

This review is part of this Hitchcock Blogathon hosted by Rob & Zoë.

An American scientist who pretends to defect to East Germany as part of a clandestine mission to obtain the solution of a formula resin and escape back to the United States.

I’ve been planning on catching up on a bunch of Alfred Hitchcock films. Now this one is perhaps one of his lesser-known films, or perhaps it’s not as popular as frankly, it’s just not a good film. The premise is actually intriguing, as I’m a big fan of spy thrillers, plus it has two famous classic actors: Paul Newman + Julie Andrews.

Well, as it turns out, the film started out slow and it never really picked up. My first issue is the casting of Julie Andrews. For some reason she just isn’t convincing in this role and there’s no chemistry between her and Newman, despite the film opening of the two making out in bed. Andrews looks so much like Maria Von Trapp in The Sound of Music that it’s somewhat distracting to me, I kept expecting her to burst into song or something. Newman fares a bit better but he’s not entirely convincing as a scientist either.

But the bigger issue is the lack of suspense, which in a Hitchcock film is a major no-no. There’s one fight scene that appeared in a lot of the film’s promotion, that is between Newman’s character and an East Germany officer assigned to track him down. The scene happens at a farm and there’s even a knife scene reminiscent to Hitchcock’s most famous film Psycho (1960) but again, totally devoid of suspense to me. In fact, the whole fight scene seems to have been choreographed in such an awkward manner that it made me laugh.

torn curtain

To top it off, the two main characters aren’t that well-developed that it’s hard to feel anything for any of them. I was a bit intrigued by Tamara Toumanova’s casting as the ballerina. I knew that actress from seeing clips of her in Days of Glory (1944) which was Gregory Peck’s debut film. She looks pretty creepy in this one and that theater scene is perhaps one of the film’s most interesting but also weird scenes. Other than that, none of the cast really make an impression to me.

Interesting that this is Hitchcock’s 50th film, and audiences were highly anticipating this, especially since the spy genre was quite popular thanks to the release of James Bond’s Dr. No in 1962. I think the Cold War theme and story has a lot of potential but the execution is just meh. I wouldn’t call it horrible per se, but a huge disappointment considering the reputation of its filmmaker. Well reportedly the director himself didn’t enjoy making this, and clearly it showed. According to IMDb trivia, Alfred Hitchcock was so unhappy with this film that he decided to not to make a trailer with his appearance in it.

I suppose even one of the industry’s greatest auteur can’t hit it out of the park every time. I’m still looking forward to his other, hopefully better films I’ve missed out on.

ruth rating


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