Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Health Care Ruling: Or How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love The ACA

For the record, I’m not a huge fan of the ACA. Unlike its critics, though, my problem is that the bill does not go far enough: lack of a public option means that the law is not true universal health care. Still its an attempt at fixing a broken system, although I’m not sure it will reduce costs, either. Yet I’m not flipping out and overreacting like so many people are about the Supreme Court’s very close and somewhat surprising decision to uphold the law, although Justice Roberts’ assertion that the law requires people to pay a tax or be subject to a penalty is correct, and should be noted.

Yet what’s truly hilarious in all this is the overreactions about the landmark decision-well landmark unless Mitt Romney gets elected and overturns the law, even though he enacted exactly the same type of health care system in Massachusetts. There are really dumb people threatening to go to Canada when our rather nice neighbors to the north already have an even better and more expansive universal health care system, and its rather depressing that so many people oppose the idea of enacting something that has been adapted and accepted by the rest of the westernized civilized and democratized world. Say what you will about Michael Moore, but the guy smartly put forth the case for universal health care with his only truly great film, Sicko (2007).

While yes I acknowledge that people have the right to worry about their premiums going up, I think that might be a middle class concern only. The poor will receive aid in paying for insurance, and the rich already can afford it. My biggest fear is that the already hit hard middle class will suffer from another tax that they cannot really pay right now, and that’s something that Obama and the Democrats will have to address. Perhaps that fear is unfounded, but I’m not so sure, and of course the Republicans have only included that in their arguments to drum up a new case for repealing the law. The next five months leading up to November should be very interesting indeed, and apparently this issue will overshadow jobs even though the economy is still struggling to recover and unemployment is still above 8%.

#Mitt Romney 2012 #Barack Obama 2012  #Affordable Care Act #Supreme Court Ruling

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

For My 100th Post, I Give You:

My Top 50 Horror Movies Of All Time List, with link to the Top 31 with commentary here:

1. Halloween (1978)-100, slasher
2. Night of the Living Dead (1968)-100, zombie
3. Nosferatu (1922)/Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (1979)-100/100, vampire
4. Jaws (1975)-100, creature feature
5. The Thing (1982)-100, creature feature
6. Rosemary's Baby (1968)-100, demonic
7. Alien (1979)-100, creature feature
8. The Exorcist: The Version You've Never Seen (2000)-100, demonic
9. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)-100, slasher
10. Dawn of the Dead (1978)-100, zombie
11. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)-100, creature feature
12. The Omen (1976)-98, demonic
13. Peeping Tom (1960)-98, slasher
14. Dead Alive (1992)-98, zombie
15. Antichrist (2009)-97, body mutilation
16. Videodrome (1983)-95, body mutilation
17. Re-Animator (1985)-95, zombie
18. 28 Days Later (2002)-95, zombie
19. Frankenstein (1931)-95, creature feature
20. Night of the Creeps (1986)-95, creature feature

21. Shaun of the Dead (2004)-95, zombie
22. Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn (1987)-95, demonic
23. In The Mouth of Madness (1995)-95, apocalyptic
24. The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)-93, creature feature
25. Black Christmas (1974)-92, slasher
26. From Beyond (1986)-92, creature feature
27. Rabid (1977)-92, zombie
28. Psycho (1960)-91, slasher
29. An American Werewolf in London (1981)-91, werewolf
30. Cujo (1983)-91, creature feature

31. The Shining (1980)-91, ghost
32. Zombieland (2009)-91, zombie
33. Dog Soldiers (2002)-91, werewolf
34. The Evil Dead (1981)-90, demonic
35. Eyes Without a Face (1960)-90, body mutilation
36. Suspiria (1977)-90, witches
37. Blood and Black Lace (1964)-90, slasher
38. Day of the Dead (1985)-90, zombie
39. The Adominable Dr. Phibes (1971)-90, creature feature
40. The Haunting (1963)-90, ghost

42. Martin (1977)-90, vampire
42. Gremlins (1984)-90, creature feature
43. Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2007)-90, slasher
44. The Bird With the Crystal Plumage (1970)-90, slasher
45. Arachnophobia (1990)-90, creature feature
46. The Call of Cthulhu (2005)-90, creature feature
47. Cloverfield (2008)-90, creature feature
48. The Host (2006)-90, creature feature
49. The Legend of Hell House (1973)-90, ghost
50. Let the Right One In (2008)-90, vampire

Subject to change, of course. But this is the current list for now.

#Horror Movies #Best of Lists #60s #70s #80s

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Don't Go To That Creepy Planet Redux

Ah, space. The final frontier, the last great beyond, a swirling and stunning array of visual delights and planets both known and unknown. In 1979 Ridley Scott became famous for creating a sci-fi/horror classic in Alien, a movie that is one of the best when it comes to both genres. He then directed Blade Runner in 1982, and after that movie was unfairly bashed he left the sci-fi genre behind-only to pick it up again in 2012 with Prometheus. Now whether or not this film is a prequel, a reboot of a series that closed out in 1997 with a forth installment is up for debate, and to be honest I don't really care. However what Prometheus actually represents is Scott's second great film out of his past three efforts, the only one of the bunch being an actual misfire. This is a tad remarkable considering that there are many who feel he's only made two great movies, and while most of his career is marked by some lesser efforts I've always been a fan of his. After all, most of the time his movies are rarely boring, and considering that Prometheus was more heavy on the sci-fi than the horror I was impressed that the film managed to not be rather engaging.

That said there are some rather notable flaws with the film even though I found it to be a rather great and satisfying viewing experience, watching it in a crowded theater last Thursday night at a midnight show. Despite having some really good actors in the cast, the characters were mostly paper thin, as Scott clearly sacrificed character development for his larger themes and because he was clearly more focused on visuals as well. If you are expecting this movie to give you a ton of answers, well then you will be disappointed, and honestly that's not surprising-Scott brought in Damon Lindelof, one of the writers/creators of Lost to help with the screenplay. Which means that this is more of a "Let's enjoy the journey/ride without hoping to get a semblance of closure" type of deal. Since I've never been worried too much about getting answers all of the time, this does not bother me as much as it certainly does others, although the film still sports a fairly solid Tomatometer rating at this present time.

Something to else worthy of note is how Scott in some ways outlines what happened prior to the events of the Alien films, and yet due to not featuring certain aspects of the previous films Prometheus has the feel of a stand alone film. This was done intentionally, as Scott clearly intended to go in a slightly different direction than before, and therefore the movie benefits heavily from that decision. However there are strong horror elements in this movie regardless, as some scenes were quite disturbing and one sequence was absolutely terrifying, to say the least. Part of the movie even plays out as if this was a slasher movie, which is funny considering that Alien (1979) at times had the feel of a slasher film, only the alien being the killer instead of a big man wielding a large knife. Scott also still manages to capture the essence of space as harboring both secret terrors while also being a place of mystery and even wonder, something he also did in his previous installment. Certainly elements of Planet of the Vampires (the inspiration for Alien, or the film he ripped off, based on your point of view), 2001: A Space Odyssey, and of course the original Alien are at work here and Scott manages to mix and match those aspects into a cohesive movie, although a solid criticism of this is that you would be almost better off just viewing those films instead of this one to get the same effect.

The trailers actually make this movie more suspenseful/action packed than it actually is, which amuses me a bit since most people, like myself, were already previously excited that Scott was returning to a genre he had sadly left behind long ago. Based on his latest effort, I'm wondering if Prometheus will form the basis of a new trilogy, one where Scott takes us to places we've never really seen before. And even if the journey feels old, he'll find a way to make it seem fresh once more, a true attribute to his talents as a filmmaker. Personally as a fan of his work, I cannot wait. 92