Getting the wheels rolling on the horror satire trend, Behind the Mask folllows a camera crew documenting the day-to-day of a very Voorhees-esque killer and has a number of genre cameos.
From the mind of William Friedkin comes this terrifying little tale of what drugs and paranoia can do to wreak havoc on Michael Shannon and the people who come near him. Not one for the easily perturbed.
An intense horror film that taught me the depths of how much I can stomach before I don’t want to watch anymore. If you’re a genre fan, definitely see once, though I doubt you’d like to again.
With today being the official 30th anniversary of the release of Ghostbusters, I thought it would be appropriate to go over all things Ghostbusters, and rank them, Listmania style, from worst to best! Note, this is exclusively Ghostbusters stuff I’ve experienced firsthand, so I can’t judge stuff like original release Ecto-Cooler, unfortunately.
Instead of going for a way too busy or complex set of designs, like pretty much every animated iteration of Spidey has done, the animators on Spectacular decided to go with a simpler, yet more fluid set of designs, that while odd at a first glance, look great once you sit down and watch. 2.The Voice Cast
This show has perhaps the most awesome and diverse voice cast I’ve ever seen in a show. From veteran voice actors like John DiMaggio, Clancy Brown, and Steve Blum (perhaps better known as Bender Bending Rodriguez, Lex Luthor and Spike Spiegel, respectively) to Hollywood actors like Robert Englund and Keith David. I mean, what other show has Freddy Kruger, Admiral Anderson, and the Kurgan all teaming against a superhero? None, that’s the answer. On a related note, Josh Keaton is fantastic as both Peter Parker and Spider-man. If you didn’t already know.
Honestly, I don’t think I’ve seen writing on a kids show like this since Avatar the Last Airbender. Stories are often subtly split into 3-episode sagas, but the show is still solid enough on its own to just sit down and rewatch random episodes. While being a show originally aimed at kids, the characters all have depth and personality, something missing from a lot of similar productions.
4.Stylized Reinterpretation of Classic Spidey Mythos
If you’re a fan of Spidey comics, or even some of the Raimi films, you’ll recognize a lot of the iconic scenes, especially early on, like the evolution of Venom from being a suit and Peter’s best friend to being Spiderman’s gravest enemy…
My own personal love bias for Venom aside, other characters receive introductions, origins and developments that are simultaneously reverential to the original material while being a fresh take on the source material, something other interpretations could learn from….
5.The Theme Song
There’s an old saying: a picture’s worth a thousand words…. so what if I just showed you a video, instead?
While this topic may be cheating a bit since I already mentioned them in both the voice acting and writing columns, I still feel it’s worth mentioning. Every villain has time and care taken to be developed and receive a proper origin, even one-note characters like Rhino. Plus, many of their designs are a clever and purposeful combination of both Amazing and Ultimate comic designs…
7.Now Completely available on Blu-Ray and Cheap!
This one isn’t exactly a reflection of the shows viewing experience, but I figure it’s worth mentioning. Before last Tuesday, you could only purchase Spectacular Spider-Man Season 1 on DVD, while if you wanted the complete second season, you’d have to hunt and buy a handful of single discs containing 3 to 4 episodes each. Now, you can buy the whole thing in HD for under $30 and you’ll get a free ticket to the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man 2!
8.Doesn’t Talk Down to Kids
This is one of the most important things for me, especially in children-aimed programming. If you want a show to have an actual impact on people, don’t just write it as if your audience is stupid. Kids may not have a lifetime of knowledge, but they’re not innately dumb. If you present them with the idea of a moral dilemma, they can figure it out on their own. This isn’t to say you can’t skimp on comedy or do something silly from time to time, however. You absolutely can, just make sure to balance it out, and not treat your audience like they need everything explained to them through fourth wall breaking recaps every two minutes, and and a little angel and devil on Spidey’s shoulder… Like another show…
9.Has something for Everyone
Like that seminal classic, Batman the Animated Series, Spectacular Spider-Man toes a very fine web between serious and fun, thrilling and frightening. Topics on the show range from dating, drug abuse, crime, and mutation. These may have been visited in a lot of the Amazing issues, but we certainly haven’t seen them touched before or since in a Spidey show. There’s even brief bits for horror and anime fans besides the inclusion of Robert Englund in the voice cast! For example, Sandman’s “birth” scene seems freakily reminiscent of Tetsuo’s final transformation in the film AKIRA. That’s simultaneously really heavy and cool for a kid’s show.
10. THAT THEME SONG!
I couldn’t just mention it once. It’s fun, it’s swingy, and extremely catchy. In fact, I’d say it’s Spectacular!
Totally not copying, and totally not late to the game, here are my top 5 most anticipated movies coming out this calendar year!
It’s a new Godzooky movie, and Matthew Broderick is not involved.How could I not be excited. Expect a review of the IMAX version, because I’m totally willing to travel cross-country to see it that way. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nP5s2Y3yJE
22 Jump Street
Truth be told, besides my love of the first film, I don’t know why I’m hyped for this, especially with the natural habit of comedic sequels being worse than the first. Maybe I’m going against my natural cynicism, and hoping for the best… Regardless, the first had great comedic chemistry, and I hope this remains as awesome as the first. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06rvPK8ydZo
Hot Tub Time Machine 2
Again, a sequel I have no justification for as to why I have any hype. Actually, that’s a lie. I love the first film. Seeing another is an insane surprise, and I can’t wait to see the crazy direction they take it this time…The future? The 1700’s? I have no idea, but I love the cast and the first, so let’s get hyped! This is the end of the sequelitis, I swear. And this time, I do know why I’m excited. The first was really good, and set up properly to this, and I’m enthusiastic to see the how’s and why’s of this world’s development. Plus, Gary Oldman. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0wP5ZkaUGg
Guardians of the Galaxy
This is currently my most hyped film of the year. With James Gunn, a witty genre director at the helm, and a cast just chock-full of stars I like (Chris Pratt, Djimon Honsou, Bradley Cooper, John C. Reilly), this may be the movie to actually get me to the point I may not hate raccoons. Maybe. At least I know it’ll have a fun soundtrack.
January is already over, and it’s hard to believe that 2014 is moving so fast. But, on the plus side, that means we are closer to some of the biggest releases of the year, and here at Film Freaks, we are going to list you some of our most anticipated movies.
Phantomhour’s 5 Picks
The biggest movie of the year for me, is easily Godzilla. It’s been far too long since we’ve had an exciting brush with the King of the Kaiju, since the terrible Matthew Broderick version in 1999. Here’s hoping it’s bigger, badder and one of the best films of the year.
Released Date: May 16th, 2014
Up next for me, is How to Train Your Dragon 2, the continuation of the epic adventure Dreamworks started in 2010. Everyone is older, more experienced, and have you seen Hiccup’s flight suit? How can you not be excited for this movie?
Release Date: June 13th, 2014
I’m really excited to see this darker telling of Sleeping Beauty, and maybe get a little more backstory on the main baddie, who looks excellently played by Angeline Jolie. Maleficent should be magnificent if done correctly.
Release Date: May 30th, 2014
Next up, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which looks incredibly epic. Stunning visuals and an all star cast, promises to be one of the biggest movies of the summer. I loved the first one, here’s hoping they continue the streak.
Release Date: May 2nd, 2014
Finally, we have the long awaited sequel to the amazing graphic novel to big screen adaptation, of Frank Miller’s Sin City. I think it should be self explanatory why this made the list, it’s been almost 10 years since we last ventured into the deep, dark streets of Sin City, that’s way too long. Plus, Miller needs to make up for the awful The Spirit.
You ever just sit down on Netflix on your day off, find a good show, and decide you’re going to marathon it, only to discover it ends right as it’s going great? No? That’s just us? Well, regardless, here are our picks for shows that got shut down way ahead of their time. Obviously, the occasional spoiler will be included.
Possibly the wittiest, if not the only, show featuring an animated elitist film critic there has ever been, The Critic balanced cynicism, snark, and the ability to parody its own subject matter fantastically. Jon Lovitz voiced Jay Sherman, a snobby film critic whose show “Coming Attractions” is seemingly minutes away from cancellation itself at any given time. Surprisingly, this show got two seasons on two different networks, but if you check out this or this, you’d be surprised that it didn’t last, especially with how prophetic it turned out to be about modern Hollywood.
Rather than an image, I figured this collection of gags from the show involving the great Orson Welles would serve well to give an idea of what the show was like.
Check out this show if: You like film as a subject, want some satire as witty as South Park without the vulgarity or violence, or enjoy high-brow humor.
The Devil’s in the details, and this dark comedy is certainly not lacking. Featuring an ensemble cast, this show mainly focuses on Sam, a man who finds out his soul was sold to the Devil, played by an endlessly charismatic Ray Wise. After this information is sprung on him, he is pushed into a job he definitely doesn’t want as the devil’s bounty hunter, collecting souls that have escaped from hell. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, be it the touchy subject matter, the dark plotlines, or what have you, this show only made it through two seasons (one of which is half the length of the other), leaving us fans stuck on a terrible cliffhanger… We’ll hope and probably one or two of us will sell our souls, but I think the closest this show will get to a conclusion is the reunion from earlier this year.
Check out this show if: You like horror, sci-fi, and comedy mixed together, or are a fan of 50’s or 80’s monster movies. Or you like this clip. Because that clip is essentially a microcosm of the whole shebang.
Better Off Ted
Imagine a sitcom about working for OCP, Weyland-Yutani, and Cyberdyne combined. That is essentially what Better Off Ted is about. Starring Jay Harrington as Ted Crisp, a VP at Veridian Dynamics who must negotiate between serving his overtly evil boss and the company, impressing/romancing his optimistic coworker Linda, and dealing with the day to day oddities of the R&D Department, Better Off Ted is a clever and subtly (and sometimes overtly) dark comedy. Like the last two, Better Off Ted was compressed into a miniscule two seasons, and left off on a romantic cliffhanger that could really use some resolution.
Check it out if: You like Dilbert comics,but think they could use more depth, whimsy, and a touch of sci-fi.
The Tick is not an easy to describe show. The closest I could come is “the zany adventures of an amnesiac superpowered Patrick Warburton and his accountant buddy/sidekick/hetero?-lifemate Arthur”. And that made very little sense. So, I’ll simplify. The Tick is a brightly colored, colorful parody of the superhero genre, especially comics made in the Golden Age, before comics required heroes to have 38 pouches and guns the size of a car (lookin’ at you, Liefeld). It’s just some good old fashioned goofy fun. Unfortunately, this show barely got a complete season, with only 8 episodes that were aired out of order (and are still out of order on Netflix).
Check it out if: you’re a fan of Patrick Warburton and/or Venture Bros, or just like poking fun at the Golden and Silver ages of comics.
Come on. Did you really think this show wouldn’t be on here? Probably Joss Whedon’s greatest work before The Avengers, Firefly is the best damn space western America’s ever produced, which was cancelled way before its time, and totally deserves a proper follow up. I have a hard time accepting it’s sequel film, Serenity, especially due to the many painful deaths of my favorite characters….
Check this out if: You have a pulse.
Honorary mentions: Happy Endings, Spaced, and The I.T. Crowd.