Basement Talk 004: The Evolution of Horror

For episode 4 of Basement Talk, hosts Olivia and Anthony are joined by guest Julia Wilson to discuss the evolution of horror. From Psycho to Get Out, we look at how generations of horror are defined and what the new era holds for this terrifying genre.

Episode Length: 35 minutes

Intro & Outro Song: “funhouse” by John Treash

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‘The Room’: The Best Worst Movie Ever

By Julia Wilson, Edited by Therese Gardner

The Room is infamous for many reasons. Its strange origins, how absolutely terrible it is, and the cult following it has developed.

The man, the myth, the legend, Tommy Wiseau, wrote, directed, and starred in this film. Even those closest to him are unsure how he got the money to make this film which cost roughly $6 million to make which, if you’ve seen it, is quite hard to believe.

But Wiseau’s money isn’t the only thing that’s mysterious about him. For the longest time no one knew exactly how old he was, but after a quick internet search it seems we may have finally settled on 63. People also aren’t sure exactly where he’s from as he used to claim he was from New Orleans, but his accent told a different story.

The mystique surrounding Wiseau and The Room was a large contributor to its cult following. However, that isn’t the only factor. It also helps that it’s so bad that it makes you actually want to watch it. While most bad movies make you want to turn them off, The Room somehow has you coming back for more.

Although not very popular at the time of its release in 2003, it has now grown to cult status with regular midnight showings across the country that Wiseau himself will often show up to and sign stuff for fans.

The intrigue surrounding this film even sparked a movie, The Disaster Artist, which stars James Franco and is based off the book by Greg Sestero who co-starred in The Room. The Disaster Artist gives a detailed look into how this strange film came to be.

All in all, The Room definitely made an impression on the film community. It’s hard to pinpoint what about it makes it so watchable despite how bad it is, but to be so widely talked about 15 years after its release is quite impressive for any movie. Especially for one known as the worst movie ever made.

 

Basement Talk 003: What’s Going on With Netflix?

For episode 3 of Basement Talk, hosts Olivia Norwood and Anthony Peyton welcome BFS writer Julia Wilson to join them in a deep discussion about Netflix as a whole. They also evaluate the 2018 Netflix films thus far.

Episode Length: 41 minutes

Intro & Outro Song: “funhouse” by John Treash

‘The Notebook’: A Tale of Unconditional, Everlasting Love

By Therese Gardner, Edited by Olivia Norwood

Based on a novel written by Nicholas Sparks, one of the world’s most beloved romance storytellers, The Notebook has easily become a timeless story of young love. The lovers are named Allie Nelson and Noah Calhoun. As young lovers they are played by Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling. As older lovers, they are played by Gena Rowlands and James Garner. The story intercuts between the same couple at two different points in their lives: passionate teenagers at the brink of the rest of their lives, and then as older people fading away in the midst of getting older and her dealing with Alzheimer’s.

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Directed by Nick Cassavetes, the story is narrated by an older Noah (James Garner) as he tells a story from his notebook of two people who fell madly in love. He reads the story to a fellow patient at a nursing home who has forgotten most memories as a result of the onset of Alzheimer’s.

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A classic love tale of a poor boy and a rich girl falling in love against all odds. Allie is a rich kid, spending the summer at her family’s mansion in North Carolina while Noah is a local poor boy working at a sawmill to support himself and his father. He’s a hardworking, smart, poetic teenage boy working to figure things out for himself with the support of his father.

 

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Noah (Ryan Gosling) notices Allie (Rachel McAdams) while at a summer carnival and, so their summer love affair begins. The two spend many moments together dancing in the streets, running through the woods, and experiencing the heat of the summer alongside one another. All appears to be going in their favor, until Allie returns home one evening with Noah in hand. Allie’s parents disapprove of Noah immediately and forbid her from seeing him again. Allie chases after Noah, as he’s leaving her parent’s house where an argument ensues and the two break up. The following morning, Allie’s mother, Anne, suddenly announces the family is leaving South Carolina. So, Allie tries to find Noah to tell him the news. When she can’t find him, she asks one of his best friends, Fin, to tell Noah that she loves him. After Noah receives the message, he returns to her home to find she is nowhere to be found.

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As a result, Noah writes to Allie every day for 365 days, but Allie’s mother, Anne, hides all the letters such that Allie never sees them. Noah enlists with Fin to fight in World War II, where Fin is killed in battle. Allie volunteers in a hospital for wounded soldiers where she meets a captain. The two fall in love, and after a couple of years of dating, the two get engaged with full support from her parents, as he is young and has money. Shortly after, Noah returns home from the war to buy the abandoned house him and Allie found long ago. While in town, Noah happens to be walking by a restaurant where he sees Allie kissing Lon.  

Noah convinces himself that if he renovates the house, Allie will return to him. Allie sees a picture of Noah in the newspaper alongside the house and decides to take a trip to Seabrook to find Noah living in the house. The two rekindle their relationship, until Anne shows up to warn Allie that Lon has followed her. Anne recounts her love for a young man from her teenage years that she still thinks of and, in doing so, finally gives Allie the letters that Noah had written. Allie confesses to Lon, and decides that she belongs with Noah and so returns to the home.

It is then revealed that the patient from the beginning of the movie, is Allie and that Duke is Noah. Allie had told Duke at the onset of her illness to continue to reread their journals to help her remember their past memories together. Noah suffers a heart attack while Allie is sedated after having a panic attack. Noah visits Allie in the middle of the night, and both Noah and Allie pass away holding each other while sleeping.

An emotionally, yet romantic movie that many are attracted to, as they can place themselves into the story and live out its emotion. A timely reflection of the power of a deep, everlasting love. Noah’s commitment and love transcends the emotional and physical grief caused by Allie’s Alzheimer’s – his unconditional love for Allie sustains them.  

Is ‘The Meg’ Worth All The Hype?

By Julia Wilson, Edited by Olivia Norwood

The new film The Meg has been getting a lot of attention. People are loving it. I even heard someone say, as I was entering the theater, that it was the best movie since Jaws. But does it live up to the hype? In short, no.

The Meg is about a scientific research group trying to explore the bottom of the ocean. In doing that they end up releasing a thought to be extinct shark called the Megalodon. The rest of the movie is then dedicated to them trying to stop and kill the Megalodon.

This movie isn’t terrible, but it isn’t great either. It’s really exactly what you would expect it to be. A typical shark movie with some action and lame attempts at comedy thrown in.

One of the most redeemable qualities of this movie however was the acting. Although the dialogue that was written wasn’t really that funny, their delivery made it not quite as cringy.

I honestly can’t even pick a favorite from the cast because they all played off each other very well and made the movie watchable. Although, this isn’t surprising considering the star studded cast featuring actors such as Rainn Wilson from The Office and Ruby Rose from Orange is the New Black.

As far as the story and writing goes, I definitely wasn’t as impressed as everyone else seems to be. I personally don’t think it came anywhere near being at the level of Jaws.

All in all, The Meg was able to remain entertaining thanks to its talented cast, but there really was nothing special about it to warrant the hype it’s been getting.


My Rating: 64%

Acting: 3/4

Cinematography: 2.5/4

Story: 2/4

Enjoyability: 2.8/4

Falling Crazy in Love with ‘Crazy Rich Asians’

By Olivia Norwood, Edited by Julia Wilson

One of my favorite film genres (if not, my favorite) is romantic comedy. From The Wedding Planner to Love, Simon, I always rush to the theatre (or Netflix) to see these movies. More recently, I rushed to see Crazy Rich Asians which did not disappoint.

Starring an all Asian cast, Crazy Rich Asians follows Chinese-American Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) on a trip to Singapore where she meets her boyfriend Nick Young’s (Henry Golding) family and discovers just how wealthy, luxurious, and privileged they are. Rachel, then, tries to prove her worth to his snobbish, overbearing mother Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh) and ponders if she’s really cut out to be apart of Nick’s otherworldly life.

This film exceeded everyone’s expectations as it made $34 million dollars at the box office in its first five days, making it the best debut for a comedy this year and the best debut for a rom-com. This shouldn’t be shocking because it marks a very important moment in film history as it is the first Hollywood film to feature an all Asian cast in 25 years. When I went to see the film, nearly the entire audience were of Asian descent and that is something to be immensely proud of.

Crazy Rich Asians is pulling in the audiences that may have felt underrepresented in Hollywood and giving them something to connect to, and that is why this film made the money that it did.

Aside from its logistics, let’s talk about the film itself. I loved it, to say the least. It was one of the most visually appealing films that I have seen this year (and the past few years) and had characters that you just want to hold and never let go.

What I mean by that is that I want a second movie.

By the end of the film, I was begging for more of the posh Astrid (Gemma Chan), the fashionable Oliver (Nico Santos), and the goofy Peik Lin (Awkwafina). I wanted to follow the rest of Rachel and Nick’s relationship, see what the wedding was like, and see if she ever meets her long lost father. Now, the film is based on the book trilogy by Kevin Kwan and with the extra clip added at the end of the film (NO SPOILERS) I think it’s safe to hope for a sequel.

In conclusion, Crazy Rich Asians made me laugh, cry, and fall in love with its main AND supporting characters. It’s a beautiful film that deserves all of the spotlight and praise that it’s receiving.


My Rating: 91%

Acting: 3/4

Cinematography: 3.8/4

Story: 3.9/4

Enjoyability: 4/4

Film Forecast Friday: August 17th

On Friday August 17th we have…

Alpha

Mile 22

We The Animals

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Liv’s Prediction:

August 17th is a big date for movie releases with approximately 15 films but let’s discuss just a few of the ones that are opening and how they’ll do at the box office.

First up, we have the new Kodi Smit-McPhee epic Alpha. This seems to be one of the biggest films opening this weekend so I do expect this one to do quite well. I don’t foresee it making as much as The Meg did last weekend, but that was also completely unexpected so Alpha may surprise us all.

Mile 22 starring Mark Wahlberg is also hitting theatres this weekend and what I can expect from this one is about the same turnout as Mission: Impossible- Fallout. Opening weekend it made around 60 million but because it was a franchise, we expected a large sum of money. Mile 22 is an action feature and not a franchise, but it also has Mark Wahlberg headlining so, who knows.

Next, we have new Netflix chick flick To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before which I expect to have numerous people opening their apps or running home to watch it. In this case, the viewership on this film will not disappoint.

Lastly, we have We the Animals. It is an indie drama and most likely will not do numbers at the box office on its opening weekend, but I do believe it will make the people who do watch it fall in love and spread good reviews like wildfire. This will ultimately bring more audience members and will gain success over time.