Top Non-Horror Halloween Flicks 

Sometimes you’re in the mood for some happy hearted Halloween goodness minus the horror and gore. As much as I love the horror and gore, I get it! So here’s a list of flicks to get you in the Halloween spirit, even if you’re not a horror hound. And if you are a horror hound… these can still be a lot of fun to round out your October watch list.

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Binge This: 13 Reasons Why – Trust Me, It’s Important

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Warning: Mildly spoiler-ish

It would be easy to dismiss Netflix’s latest hit as nothing more than fare for the Young Adult Fiction crowd. But it would also be a lie. This show was unexpectedly profound, dark, and yes… even important. Watch and discover your own reasons why this show is important. In the meantime, here are just a few of my top reasons why this is more than popular YA fluff:

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Binge This: Dimension 404 on Hulu

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Two episodes into Hulu’s new anthology series Dimension 404, and the best description I can give is that it feels like a more adult/bigger budget version of the Goosebumps tv series. And I mean that in the most complimentary way, because I love the shit out of some Goosebumps, Are You Aftaid of the Dark and Eerie Indiana. Continue reading “Binge This: Dimension 404 on Hulu”

The Void (2017)

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With an early nod to Romero’s original Night of the Living Dead this movie starts off promising with killer cults and creatures. Police officer Daniel Carter (Aaron Poole) encounters a raving and blood soaked man by the side of the road, but the real fun begins when they arrive at the hospital. It’s not safe outside, as the hospital becomes surrounded by an ominously still cloaked cult-like crowd, and it’s not safe inside either when members of the hospital staff become inexplicably violent and Thing like creatures begin popping out of bodies. This slimy creation goes deep through the eye sockets and deep into the gross out factor. Lots of exploding creature blood and guts mixed with a healthy dose of oozing pussing creature goop. Eventually the gorefest takes a turn into Hellraiser-ish territory, and I half expected the main villain (no spoilers here) to beckon to Carter with promises of “such sights to show you”.

The beginning really did it for me with some great imagery of the cloaked figures, the middle not quite as much though it was still a fun gore fest, and the ending not nearly so.

If you grew up on Carpenter, Barker and the like, you’ll probably love this in spite of its shortcomings.

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Lingering cloaked cult members delivering the terror

TWD: Why Jadis Would Never Let Me Join The Garbage Pail Kids Gang

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I like to think I’d look like a badass in the zombie apocalypse. Toting around my crossbow and machete and clad mostly in black fitted clothes consisting of leather and various other textures. The boots would definitely have to be leather. Maybe I would start off that way. But as the months, and maybe years, went by I imagine I would have to scavenge for clothes. Mostly ill fitting clothes and most likely not always entirely fashionable outfits. Somehow The Walking Dead crew, (the girls especially), manage to find fashionable clothes in their size. This to me is probably the most miraculous bit of the post-apocalyptic world they inhabit. The new band of trash dump dwellers is fashionable in a “models in a post-apocalyptic world” sort of way. If I were in the Walking Dead world and stumbled upon their camp, I don’t think they’d let me in.

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Life, Animated: Owen the Hero, Going the Distance

“Life, Animated” follows Owen Suskind and his family as they navigate their way through life and autism. With no real communication, the family discovered Owen’s love of classic Disney films was the key to unlocking his entire world. The film is inspiring, uplifting and relatable. Owen’s coming of age touches upon milestones we’ve all grappled with – graduating, growing up, finding our way in the “real” world and even heartbreak. So much of how Owen expresses himself is incredibly pure and honest, “Mom, why is life so full of unfair pain and tragedy?” We’ve all been there, but likely very few of us have been able to express it so concisely in adulthood.

After years of non-speech, Owen and his family are gradually able to begin communicating using the Disney films Owen has memorized. The reciting of lines progresses into linking certain scenes to expressing real life emotions.Bullied at school, he likens it to the character of Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, watching the world pass him by exiled in his bell tower. He learns to read by memorizing the credits. These films act as the gateway to Owen’s further development of communication, reading and writing skills.

Owen is a hero to root for, warm, endearing, talented and really just a funny and clever guy. It’s no wonder he was invited to Paris to address an international autism conference. This movie is really a love story at its core. The love the Suskinds have is proof of the strength derived from being surrounded by people who believe in, uplift and love unconditionally.

2017 Oscar Noms and Where to Watch Them

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Each year I try to make my way through as many of the Oscar nominated films as possible. While most are easy to track down (all the nominees for Best Picture are still in theaters, for example) some of the smaller films can be a bit harder to find. Here’s a (nearly) complete list of where you can (legally) watch all of this year’s nominated films.

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Oscars 2016: LaLa Land + Hollywood is Shifting

Official Oscar nominations are out. No surprise, “LaLa Land” tops the list with 14 nominations, making it a three way tie (“All About Eve”, “Titanic”) for the most Academy Award nominations in history.

The list also shows the face of Hollywood is changing. Filmmakers are telling more diverse stories with a more diverse cast of characters and that’s an interesting movement to be a part of. The filmmakers themselves are becoming more diverse. This shift gives us films like “Moonlight” and leading ladies like Ruth Negga. New perspectives, new faces and new voices, it’s an exciting time to be a cinephile. And if you feel you’re not represented on screen- write yourself up there. Make something or seek out and support the filmmakers who are trying to tell the stories that represent you.

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Cameraperson (2016)

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Cameraperson is an interesting memoir, the likes of which I’ve never seen. Documentary cinematographer Kirsten Johnson has shot for tons of high profile documentaries over the span of her 25 year career as a camera person. As I was watching this film, I realized I had seen much of her work before without realizing it. A testament to the sometimes invisible men and yes, women, behind the camera.

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