Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Must See of 2012

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time of the year again! This is the time when we reflect on the last 365 days and look towards the next. This is also the time when I discuss my favorite films of 2011 and give a sneak peak at the ones I’m looking forward to in 2012. My initial thoughts on Coming Soon releases were negative. I really didn’t think there were too many films I was genuinely anticipating. Well, after reviewing my various spreadsheets & IMDB Watchlist, I realize now I was mistaken. There are a ton of promising features coming up in the next year. I’m still waiting on a few films that were set to be released in 2011 but have been delayed such as, RAMPART, THE TALL MAN, WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN, PIRANHA 3DD, CARNAGE, NATURAL SELECTION, and THIS MUST BE THE PLACE. Let me share a few of my personal “Must See Films of 2012” with you. (Brief synopsizes are courtesy of IMDB)

Don’t expect to find THE HOBBIT, SPIDERMAN, PROMETHEUS (Ridley Scott is a racist prick), GI JOE, BATTLESHIP, or the many SNOW WHITE adaptations anywhere near my list. Will someone please tell me already if JGL is really going be the Boy Wonder in the new Batman? That is the only thing that could convince me to see it; Bland Hathaway is probably the worst casting decision since Ted ‘Theodore’ Logan in BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA. As you may know by now, those big budget features do not appeal to me in the least. If you’re interested in that kind of cinema go to Fandango.


“With the help of his mentor, a slave-turned-bounty hunter sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner.”

Almost three years have passed since the last Tarantino outfit and I’m ready for a new one. I'm so excited for this film I could slap the shit out of Chris P. BASTERDS was a phenomenal film and I celebrate all things QT. As soon as I heard he was doing a Spaghetti Western, my heart went a flutter. His expert knowledge in the genre will no doubt produce something incredible with that classic Tarantino edge. Just look at how he revolutionized the Kung Fu genre with KILL BILL (PS- KILL BILL 3 is listed as being released in 2014). The cast alone for DJANGO is pretty exciting too. JGL, Kurt Russell, Sasha Baron Cohen, Christoph Waltz, and the incomparable Samuel L Jackson will all be starring. If I could only see one film in 2012, this would be it.


“A gothic-horror tale centering on the life of vampire Barnabas Collins and his run-ins with various monsters, witches, werewolves and ghosts. Based on the cult TV series.”

Tim Burton has been talking about doing a film adaptation of the much loved British series Dark Shadows for several years now. I never thought he’d actually pull it off, let alone get Johnny Depp to play the legendary Barnabas Collins. As a child, I loved the original show as well as the 90s remake so this is a very personal project for me. I read an interview with Johnny Depp and he said this is the role he was born to play. I truly have faith that Tim Burton can redeem himself for the last ten years of shitty films. DARK SHADOWS is the stuff Goth girl dreams are made of.


“Young Victor conducts a science experiment to bring his beloved dog Sparky back to life, only to face unintended, sometimes monstrous, consequences.”

While we’re on the topic of Tim Burton, I thought I’d include FRANKENWEENIE. The original short was also a remnant of my childhood. I’m surprised it took this long for Burton to make a full length version of this endearing and much loved story. If you’ve never seen the short, check it out. I promise the adorable frankendog will melt your heart. The original also has a cameo by a very young Sophia Coppola.


“In feudal China, a blacksmith who makes weapons for a small village is put in the position where he must defend himself and his fellow villagers.”

Here’s a Kung Fu film directed by The Rza and co-written by The Bear Jew himself, Eli Roth. What more do you need to know about it? It’s about time Eli Roth quit dicking around Twitter with The Blueberries and got back to making films. I’m still waiting for THANKSGIVING to come out.


“A pair of lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out and find them.”

I’m a sucker for Wes Anderson films and pretty much anything with Bill Murray; this film has both. It also stars Cohen wife, Frances McDormand and my hairy boyfriend Schwartzman. Wes Anderson films are always so witty & charming; this is sure to be a delight.


“Scheming on a way to save their father's ranch, the Alvarez brothers find themselves in a war with Mexico's most feared drug lord.”

With the exception of STEPBROTHERS, I generally detest Will Ferrell projects. I just don’t think he’s very funny. On the other hand, I do absolutely love Gael Garcia Bernal who stars in this film alongside BFF Diego Luna. I’m definitely interested to see how Ferrell will handle an English/Spanish language comedy.


"Five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods. Bad things happen."

For the most part, I’ve pretty much given up on American horror films. I'm not entirely convinced of this film; part of me wants to see it just so I can talk shit. The only promise this has is that Joss Whedon co-wrote the script and the reviews aren’t too bad either. Where the hell does he find time to do so many projects? I’m certain Joss is not of this world! I’m still not sure if I will see THE AVENGERS because I hate comic book movies and 3D, but I do love Joss Whedon.


“When a debt puts a young man's life in danger, he turns to putting a hit out on his evil mother in order to collect the insurance.”

This film stars Matthew McConaughey which would normally be a turn off for me since most of his films are bile (except for DAZED AND CONFUSED). My main motivation for seeing this is William Friedkin who directs. Billy Friedkin directed one of the greatest films of all time (a personal favorite of mine) if not the best horror film ever, THE EXORCIST. It got some good reviews on the film fest circuit. KILLER JOE also stars Juno Temple who I’ve become quite fond of after seeing her in KABOOM.


“A teenage girl at a boarding girl suspects her roommate is a vampire.”

I’m still a little on the fence about this one. My trusty horror websites praise it, but the movie message board trolls have panned it. Who do I rely on? This peaked my interest since it’s the first real film Mary Harron has directed since AMERICAN PSYCHO. Harron tends to be hit or miss. I wasn’t a fan of the Bettie Page film or I SHOT ANDY WARHOL. However, AMERICAN PSYCHO happens to be one of the best books to film adaptations out there (along with FIGHT CLUB). I’m willing to give it a chance and the poster looks cool.


“A 1950s-set drama centered on the relationship between a charismatic intellectual known as "the Master" whose faith-based organization begins to catch on in America, and a young drifter who becomes his right-hand man.”

Who else could pull off a film about Scientology but Paul Thomas Anderson? Phillip Seymour Hoffman stars along with everyone’s favorite lunatic Joaquin Phoenix (weren’t the Phoenix family apart of a weird cult too). I will also pretty much watch anything PTA puts out. He’s one of the few current filmmakers who is unbelievable creative and unique. Someone give this man an Oscar already!


“The tale begins with Jonathan Harker, journeying by train and carriage from England to Count Dracula's.”

Dracula has been done to death and I cannot express how much I loathe 3D, but I will pretty much see anything Dario Argento puts out. His catalog speaks for itself. I also love his daughter Asia Argento who stars alongside Rutger Hauer in this new adaptation of the dark prince. When did Rutger Hauer become to go to guy in horror? He’s like the new Udo Kier!


“Set in a future where the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister's place for the latest match.”

I was attracted to the book before they announced a film version; my friend Ruth had nothing but good things to say about the series. The book sounded like an American version of BATTLE ROYALE. Then they announced Elizabeth Banks and Jennifer Lawrence (who I loved in WINTERS BONE) as stars so I began to watch this project very closely. The director is not relatively known; he also did critically acclaimed films PLEASANTVILLE and SEABISCUIT. The more and more I hear about this film, the less interested I’ve become. I feel like its being packaged as a successor to TWILIGHT which I abhor. The studio is already promoting merchandise such as nail polish, t-shirts, and jewelry (check your local Hot Topic) for the film. With Taylor Swift doing the theme song, it will be a hard sell for anyone over the age of fifteen.

Honorable Mentions

The winter months tend to be a very busy time for me as far as movie watching. I’ve got award season coming up which means a ton of research is to be done. This is also the time when the films that made the rounds at the festivals finally get released. I plan on seeing A DANGEROUS METHOD, TINKER TOY SOLDIER SPY, and THE ARTIST before the year is over.

What are you looking forward to?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Priscilla's Favorite Things

As you may know, I am not one for Christmas and yuletide. I tend to avoid all things holiday except for tamales & Frosty Nerds.
Frosty Nerds

So, is anyone reeling in the loss of Oprah Winfrey's talk show? Didn't think so. However, usually this time of the year Oprah would host an episode where she'd talk about her favorite stuff. Then she'd give people a bunch of shit like cars, scarves, and Michael Buble CDs. I will be doing no such thing, but I thought I would share a few of my own favorite things. Here goes:

Thanks to the Vegan Black Metal Chef, I have gained a bit of confidence in my cooking skills. I'm beginning to feel a little more comfortable around the kitchen and have come to the conclusion that spices are incredibly important. I've amassed a decent collection of spices from Central Market, but there's a couple new spice shops around town that are pretty awesome. I've also realized that garlic goes great on any and everything...LOTS of garlic. I really love tangy flavors too. If you get a chance check out the Savory Spice Shop.

There's nothing worse than cold feet...literally not metaphorically! It's safe to say that I am consistently cold, especially my feet. I think it's very important for someone to own a decent pair of slippers. The pair I currently use have seen better days so I am on the hunt for a new pair. I'm open to suggestions.

Xmas Stocking
I never put up decorations for Christmas with the exception of stockings. Sandy Claws likes to bring Spike some treats for the holiday so I put up a stocking for the little guy. I have a pretty cool one for myself too that was a gift many years ago. I would be willing to trade in my stocking for this upgrade. Nothing says Christmas like "God Hates Us All."

Xmas Stockings

I've read comic books on and off since I was ten years old. I've picked up a few cools ones lately. I really love the new Hellraiser; it's got great artwork. I have to say that my all time favorite comic has to be Battlepug. Battlepug is a weekly web comic by Mike Norton. It's the story of a great warrior on a long journey aboard a giant pug. What could be more awesome than that!? Seriously, the story and art are amazing. I look forward to a new panel every Monday and the Friday Reader submitted pugs are adorable.

Garlic Press
As previously noted, I love garlic! I use it with just about everything I cook. Fresh garlic is the best, but I'm not opposed to minced or powder. I've had a couple different garlic presses before, but the best one I've found came from IKEA. It's stainless steel, easy to clean, and inexpensive. Those Swedes really know how to make terrific furniture and home accessories.

Jalapeno Cheetos
No thanks to Chris P, I am now addicted to these delicious treats. I used to be a fiend for Flaming Hots, but I got burnt out on them. The jalapeno flavor isn't as spicy, but they still have a kick.

I'm almost done reading the newest Chuck Palahniuk book. Much like the rest of his collection, it's pretty dark and satirical. So far, it's been a great read. The story is about a thirteen year old girl who dies and goes to hell. All the chapters begin with, "Are you there Satan? It's me Madison." Madison talks about her previous life on Earth and the current one in Hell. I can't say I have ever read anything by Palahniuk I didn't like.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Pugs will always be my favorite dog breed. Some may say that I am pugsessed; I hope to own five pugs one day! Lately, I've come across several corgis that are unbelievable cute. One of my favorite writers, Joe Hill, is a corgi enthusiast and owner so he often posts photos of funny corgis. To be honest, I love all pooches so it's really not hard to sell me on them.
Corgi butt

Ellis is another of my favorite writers. His twitter feed is never boring. He often talks about films, TV, music, his 25yr old boyfriend and current events. Ellis regularly discusses everything from the "It gets better" campaign to the actors he had in mind when developing characters. His current Oscar predictions are truly insightful. Ellis recently commented on the possibility of an AMERICAN PSYCHO remake and quickly shot it down.

Austin Terrier
This place has quickly become my new favorite restaurant and it's located right in my own neighborhood. I have yet to try anything here that I did not enjoy. They've got everything from sandwiches, pizzas, soups, and salads. Austin Terrier also has a great selection of beers and the staff is superb.
Austin Terrier

No matter where the holidays take you, I really hope you have a wonderful season!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Grrr ... Arrgh!

Last month I had the opportunity to attend Austin Comic-Con. I had a wonderful time and hung out with some great people. There were so many brilliant artists participating in this year's event. I definitely did not leave empty handed! My main motivation for attending this year was the Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast members who did Q&As for a couple panels. Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia), Mercedes McNab (Harmony), Juliet Landau (Drusilla), and James Charles Leary (Clem) were appearing. But the absolute highlight of my fangirl dreams was James Marsters! I was in the same room (mere feet away) with the one and only Spike aka William the Bloody.

All the actors resembled their characters in very subtle ways. Cordelia was assertive & beautiful; Harmony was really bubbly & fun. Dru was very graceful & proper while Clem was humorous and goofy. Spike has a real rock-n-roll attitude that just exudes cool. He was engaging, unbelievably charming, and not to mention dreamy as hell! They each shared various stories and anecdotes of their time on the show. Spike was asked who was his favorite romantic interest. He undoubtedly proclaimed Drusilla whom I was always fond of; she's also much prettier in person. Although, I do love how Buffy and Spike's relationship concluded in season 7. How can you not be Team Spike, after all he did save the world (Angel never did that)!
Comic Con- Buffy panel

Spike/Drusilla panel
Before Joss Whedon became Hollywood's golden boy who can do no wrong, he created a little show about a spunky girl who fought vampires with her own Scooby gang. I actually watched BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (the film) in the theater and never thought too much of it. Joss wrote the script for the film BUFFY, but what we saw on the screen was not Joss' vision. He almost didn't do the show as a result of the studio cutting up his script to make it much more comical.

Buffy was the last real television show I watched with religious fervor. It's the most special out of my favorite shows because it was the one I related to most. Buffy was in high school around the same time as me so I found it easy to relate to some of her problems (except for demons and vampires). She dealt with issues of love, annoying siblings, isolation, and losing a parent all while juggling schoolwork. This show was also pretty cutting edge; it had the first on screen lesbian kiss. Buffy was also the first show to include a musical episode long before Glee came around. Which brings me to my next topic...

In addition to the Q&A panels, the Alamo Drafthouse hosted a special Buffy Sing-Along with Spike in attendance! The sing-alongs had been going on around the country for a few years after the show ended. It became a phenomenon akin to the ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW events. Even Joss Whedon gave his blessing to these delightful affairs. However, Fox (who owns the rights to Buffy) did not eye to eye. All sing-alongs ceased once Fox dropped the hammer, but somehow the Alamo convinced the powers that be to allow us to indulge "Once More With Feeling." This episode is also very important because it's the first time we see Buffy & Spike kiss. I cannot begin to tell you what an amazing time I had!
Spike @ Buffy Sing-Along

I recently started watching all the seasons in the series again in reverse order. I began with season 7 to get the crying all out of my system. Seriously, every episode of the final season left me in a teary mess. I'm relieved to find that the show still holds up after all these years. I also found that my hatred for Dawn has not subsided; she's the Jar Jar Binks of Buffyverse. I've tried watching Sarah Michelle Geller's new show, Ringer, and I just can't get into it. I was also forced to watch the last few seasons of Angel to deal with my withdraws when Buffy ended in 2003. Let it be known that if they really do go through with this remake bullshit with whoever the fuck from Glee, I swear I will call upon the dark forces of Evil Willow to skin them all alive. I highly recommend giving Buffy a chance if you've never seen the show. You won't regret it!