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Showing posts from February, 2016

Kubo and the Two Strings

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Laika Films, the masterminds behind  Coraline , Paranorman , and The Boxtrolls , is celebrating it's 10th anniversary this year with the release of Kubo and the Two Strings . Stop-motion films are definitely a favorite of mine and this one is looks stunning (the trailer features a few glimpses of the monsters and some familiar looking witches).  Here's a description of the story from IMDB: Kubo lives a quiet, normal life in a small shoreside village until a spirit from the past turns his life upside down by re-igniting an age-old vendetta. This causes all sorts of havoc as gods and monsters chase Kubo who, in order to survive, must locate a magical suit of armor once worn by his late father, a legendary Samurai warrior. Kubo and the Two Strings  arrives in theaters on August 19, 2016 (in 3D) and features the voices of Art Parkinson, Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, Rooney Mara, George Takei and Ralph Fiennes. Watch the trailer below.

Favorite Scary Movies of 2015

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It's award season and rooting for Max Max to win top honors at the Oscars next weekend. I've spent the last six weeks watching horror films and I'm almost caught up with the 2015 batch of horror films. We are definitely in a neo-golden era of scary movie thanks mostly to the rise of VOD (video-on-demand) releases. Without an expensive marketing plan, commercials, and national theater chain contracts, smaller independent films are being pushed through on-demand channels to much success. Hardcore horror fans also seem to be abandoning water-down and often mediocre mainstream releases aimed primarily at teens in favor of VOD's more adult-oriented fare. Without further ado, here are my favorite films from 2015: 1. Krampus - From the director of Trick ‘r Treat comes this new holiday gem that combines humor, family satire, and thrills into one neat package. It is not too scary but never stops being entertaining and finally features a creature of lore that has yet to

Department 56 ~ Halloween 2016 Introductions

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Since being bought by Enesco in 2009, Department 56 , the manufacturer of fine collectibles that includes a wicked Halloween village, has gone through a striking evolution leaving behind much of its niche antiquity. Their website which felt like it was trapped in the early 90s for the better part of two decades relaunched in April 2015 with a modern overhaul aimed at a sophisticated (and younger) audience. Suddenly the site is airy, responsive, and their once hard-to-find merchandise is sold directly to the public (to the chagrin of many third party sellers). Their 2016 Halloween Introductions  have a decidedly updated air as well. The folksy and cutesy elements have been replaced with a more mischievous (creepy candy house), humorous (a plump black widow), and even scary tone (skull tree and angel of death). Take a look at some of my favorite pieces this year:

America's Most Haunted Village Collection

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Halloween village collectors take note: the Bradford Exchange , purveyors of fine collectibles, is considering offering a series of infamous haunted houses. Sign up now to reserve the Amityville House for a rather modest price of $59.99 (most Department 56 buildings start at $70). If they get enough orders they will proceed with the series, and the second issue will be the exquisite  Franklin Castle . Why has no one thought of making replicas of famous haunted houses until now?

V-Day Valentines

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Just in the nick of time! Wish those you love a scary V-Day with these Pride and Prejudice and Zombies valentines from Quirk Books . These feature artwork and lines from the book by Seth Grahame-Smith. Here are some of my favorites.

Pride + Prejudice + Zombies ~ Review

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I loved Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies the moment it arrived on bookshelves. It was an irreverent tangle of Jane Austen and zombies in a cocktail so absurd you couldn’t help but laugh. When the Bennet sisters retired to the Dojo to practice the deadly arts in hopes of battling the scourge of unmentionables yet still childishly scheme to find wealthy suitors you can’t help but smile. But that was 2009 when the mashup was new. Seven years later with countless books, movies and even tv series, the mashup is not as fresh or funny. It’s a pity. Seven years ago this movie would have killed. The cast of P+P+Z keep too much of stiff upper lip amongst the chaos and never seem to be in on the joke – save for the foppish Matt Smith. The overall tone is just too serious. The music is too important. The lighting is too severe. And the limited gore is never quite fun. Perhaps its the dull script or the plodding direction but the film never quite soars like it should. It’s

The VVItch Gets (Un)welcomed Attention

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According to an article on IndieWire , THE VVITCH, a new period horror film coming out February 19, is being endorsed by the Satanic Temple as a transformative satanic experience. Uh-oh – this just got too real. Horror films are supposed to be fun, scary, and entertaining – not recruitment tools, and stories like these give horror movies (and fans) a bad rap. I'm sure its a palm-to-the-face for the filmmakers and a sudden cash opportunity for the distribution studio. I'm still looking forward to the movie as a work of art, and have no intention of subscribing to a any devilish membership.