Mr. Bean the movie (1997)

mr bean the movie rowan atkinson

mr bean the movie rowan atkinsonMr. Bean the movie takes a great character and makes it feel stale and defiled.

I think a Mr. Bean movie is not a bad idea. It could be done well. Should have been done well.

There is an issue that is made clear right at the beginning of the movie. They have Americanized Mr. Bean. Yes. Instead of Mr. Bean being in Britain, he is now in America. L.A. of all places. Why was this done? I can think of a few reasons but none that make any f*cking sense. Why is this so bad? Because it’s just unnecessary. Putting Mr. Bean in America is like putting Snoopy in Australia. And yes I do think Snoopy and Mr. Bean are a fair comparison.

They do give a reason for Mr. Bean being in America, but it comes out of nowhere. The reason is that Mr. Bean’s boss at the art museum sends him to America for the presentation of a famous painting. But wait a second, Mr. Bean never had a boss. He never worked at a museum or art gallery. We never found out what his job was on the show. That is assuming he had a job, Which I figured he didn’t, and whether or not he did was not important to the show. I find it hard to believe that that was the best reason they could come up with to get Mr. Bean to America. I still haven’t accepted the fact that he should be in America anyway, but I digress.

The last episode of the Mr. Bean TV show ended with Mr. Bean getting mailed to Russia. I would rather them cheat the mythology and make him  mailed to America rather than give him some imaginary job.

Mr. Bean is, unsurprisingly, the best part of the movie. What’s no so understandable is that he’s the only enjoyable part. All of the American characters are awful. They are cliched, forced, and most of all: NOT FUNNY. Mr. Bean has an American sidekick character, who is just not funny, and the worst part is that the story revolves around him rather than Mr. Bean. I mean for God’s sake the movie is called Mr. Bean not Mr. Someguythatnobodygivesadiddlyabout.

The show was always light on story. It just consisted of Mr. Bean being put into a particular situation and then seeing how he deals with it. Each episode was a couple of situations which where usually unconnected. That’s actually how it was written, they would just think of a situation Mr. Bean had not yet been in, and then take it from there. I don’t see why they couldn’t just do the movie that way.

There is also way too much talking in the movie. Mr. Bean is a man of few words. This is not just a characteristic but it is also where a lot of the comedy comes from. In this movie, Mr. Bean talks way too much. In the entirety of the show he only says a few words, which provide excellent comedic moments. But in this movie he talks in unnecessary places. He even gives a speech at an art gallery. But I won’t complain too much about that, because it was actually pretty funny. But now that I think about it, it was Rowan Atkinson funny, not really Mr. Bean funny.

The entire show was quiet, not just the character of Mr. Bean. The other characters on the show were all quiet as well. They didn’t talk much either, they just reacted to Mr. Bean. The show was almost a silent comedy. But the characters in this movie just won’t shut the hell up.

The music in this is all awful. It is all unfitting, overused, or just bad. They even play some god awful cover of Stuck in the Middle With You, the song made famous in Reservoir Dogs.

There is a whole segment with Mr. Bean giving the middle finger. This made me very angry. That added raunch to Mr. Bean. That is something that should never be put with Mr Bean. Mr. Bean was always clean and pure. Rowan Atkinson is usually one of the only big comedic actors that doesn’t need to rely on dirty humor to be funny.

Rowan Atkinson is amazing. He is Mr. Bean. He provides all of the funny moments for the movie. Unfortunately everything Mr. Bean does is just a stale recreation of a situation he already went through on the show. It is the exact same scenario, I mean exact same. They even re-do the entire turkey on the head thing. I would call it a rip-off, but I don’t know, I mean, it’s ripping off itself isn’t it? No. Mr. Bean the movie is not Mr. Bean.

mr bean the real bean rowan atkinsonIf you want a taste of the real Mr. Bean I highly recommend Mr. Bean – The Whole Bean (Complete Set)

The movie is a disgrace to the TV show so skip it and enjoy the Whole Bean on his original British television show. You will laugh until you cry.

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Zone Indefinitely

Here is a brief look at one of the movies Sam is currently working on.

He wrote the script for a class inspired by the book “The Last Babylon”. It’s pretty dark and twisted. Unfortunately, because of conflicts between cast members, shooting has been delayed.

Sam edited a brief snap shot for you to take a look at. Hopefully, if enough people view, comment and like the clip the actors will get back to work.

One Hour Photo (2002) Macabre Month of Horror #12

one hour photo robin williams
Cover of "One Hour Photo (Widescreen Edit...
Cover of One Hour Photo (Widescreen Edition)

‘One Hour Photo’ is a horror/thriller starring Robin Williams. You may think this is really strange casting decision. Robin Williams is mostly known for his comedy roles. A good number of those comedies are also geared towards little kids. But “One Hour Photo” is not one of those films.

The basic plot is that Robin Williams’ character works in the photo development section of a Walmart like conglomerate, and becomes obsessed with a particular family that he develops photos for. I think this is a very interesting concept. This family has developed their photo’s at this place for years. Robin Williams’ character has handled the photo’s of the birth of their children, sports, birthday parties, all noteworthy events. He feels as though he has gone through all of life’s most important experiences with this family. One of the opening lines of the film is a narration saying “People take photos of times they want to remember. You don’t take photos of things you want to forget.” This line is good foreshadowing and gets the viewer interested in the film from the very beginning.

He continuously tries to get closer to the family, but the family does not share the same desire. He isn’t obsessed in the common movie sense. He doesn’t want to kill them, or do anything sexual, he just wants to be part of their family. He doesn’t even want to take the role of one of the existing family members, he thinks of himself as an uncle.

So how does Robin Williams do in a horror role? Fan-freaking-tastic! His performance is amazing. The screenplay, directing, cinematography; all very good, but they could suck, and his performance would carry the movie. Robin Williams really is a great actor. The man doesn’t get the credit he deserves sometimes. He play’s this role very subtly and makes it work perfectly. He has this perfectly creepy smile. All of his emotions come off as very real.

There is a line where Robin Williams says that he broke his collar bone falling out of a tree. I’m not sure if this was the intention or not, but I get the impression that he was probably watching someone from a tree and fell.

There are a lot of long shot’s with no dialogue and pulsating tension music. These shots work really well especially in the sets designed for this movie. Most of the set’s are very bright and immaculate. Almost sterile looking. Lot’s of stark blank white walls. All this adds to the creep factor. The soundtrack is great. All droning pulsating themes, that continue to amplify.

In a particularly creepy scene; he goes into the family’s house, and doesn’t do anything. He just lives there for a few hours. He eats their food, watches their TV, even wears their clothes. He almost seems like an obsessive fan. They could have easily made the movie about a fan of some movie star who stalks them, but instead it is just a normal family that this man has grown a strong attachment to.

For a movie about photo development there are an awful lot of bad shots. There are quite a few shots where the lighting is all off, and the picture is browned out and hard to see.

The movie isn’t very horrifying, it’s creepy though. Nobody dies, and there isn’t really any blood, except for one dream sequence, which is great. The horror comes from how realistic the situation is, and how easily possible it is for something like this to happen.

Near the end of the movie he starts to do more extreme things.  I actually feel like this took away a little bit of the creepiness, but the progression was well paced, so it still works. Very close to the end of the movie, Robin Williams makes this face, which I swear is one of the creepiest faces I’ve ever seen. You really believe that this guy is insane.

“One Hour Photo” is very underrated. I highly recommend checking it out. It’s worth it just to see Robin William’s go crazy, in a different way than usual.

Tamara (2005) Macabre month of horror #6

tamara

*Spoiler Alert*

Tamara was a fairly low-budget slasher kind of horror movie.

I must begin by mentioning Jennifer’s Body“. Now I’ve never seen that movie, but from what I know about it, it looks like a giant rip off of Tamara. I have feeling Tamara wasn’t completely original either.

The basic plot is that a very “ugly” unpopular girl is tricked by some people into going to a motel room where she thinks she is going to meet her teacher for  some “cramming”. This isn’t very original, but did have a little aspect added that helped it not feeling totally cliched.

Only about half the group actually knew what was going on. She get’s embarrassed, and one thing leads to another which leads her head careening into a coffee table. Her death was a complete accident, and I thought her death was rather realistic. She doesn’t get impaled by a table or anything crazy like that, she just hits her head and dies.

The group who killed her bury her in the woods. She comes back to life because of some “Witchcraft”, and for some reason has now over gone a makeover, and acquired a new wardrobe. Taking a dirt nap is always cheaper. So now she’s transformed and wants revenge. “Jennifer’s Body” cough cough.

She doesn’t just get revenge on the people who were there when she died, there a few others as well. Some of the kills are pretty original and interesting. Two deaths that stand out are the death of her alcoholic abusive father who she forces to consume glass bear bottles until he dies, and a bulimic girl who she forces to puke until death, and this is the kind of movie that shows everything.

The kid who get’s it the worst is the one who deserved it the least. He really didn’t deserve anything. She kills him in an undeserved but interesting fashion. She forces him to kill himself over the schools TV system in a manor following the three monkeys. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. This scene is particularly tense and much gorier than most of the rest of the movie. I feel this kill should have gone to someone more deserving.

None of the characters are terribly interesting, but the acting is fairly solid.

Overall Tamara is a fairly solid slasher film. It doesn’t have anything too special going for it, but it has a sort of “B-movie” charm to it.

 

“Scavenging” a post Armageddon mini-series

Scavenging is a horror/action mini-series set in a post Armageddon New Hampshire. The series stars Emmett Morrill as Alverez and me, Sam Kench as JuanDingo. The characters are scavengers. They do not have an overall goal except to survive. They are not heading anywhere but are just going where they need to, to find resources.

All of the dialogue and banter between JuanDingo and Alverez is completely unscripted. The only scripted parts are the opening prologue and the holo-tapes that play. It not unscripted because I was lazy or anything like that. It is unscripted to be more natural and realistic. I planned out the story. Where we start, where we end, important things that happen along the way. But I left all the dialogue and movements unscripted. I feel that thinking of what happens on the spot, really added to the realism of the show, and increased the overall effect of the atmosphere.

The atmosphere Is a huge part of the show. The locations that we filmed at, actually were authentic destroyed and run down places. You don’t really know when the show is actually taking place. There is a mix of old and future technology.The world has been in chaos for such a long time, that people have become complacent, and killing and war is now common place. Two generations have passed since the start of the end. We are not playing older people, we are playing our age. Our characters have grown up in this world, and know nothing but stories and fantasies of how the world was before.

Here is part 1 or Watch the video on our Youtube channel where you can see it full-screen, and watch it in glorious HD.

The sound design is a very important part of “Scavenging”. Horror ambient noises keep you wary of the danger that lurks in the universe created by the show. You can hear destruction in the background. bombs going of, buildings being broken into, all necessarily in creating the doomed world that “Scavenging” exists in.

As a special bonus for all our readers, Click Here to see the next episode before it is released on Youtube or anywhere else.

If you like the video(s) can you help them gain recognition by sharing, commenting, rating, and just generally spreading them around.

There will be a total of ten episodes, and I would really like this show to go somewhere.

10 Things You Should Know About The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

steinbeck grapes of wrath
Cover of The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck...
Image via Wikipedia

I read a lot. But, no matter the genre or author I veer toward in the moment, John Steinbeck is and will always be my all time favorite author.

The first book of his I read was “East of Eden” when I was in the fourth grade. Perhaps a little too young to understand all the concepts, but it was the first time I clearly remember the characters, sights and sounds of a book crystallizing in my mind’s eye.


One Saturday afternoon I stumbled upon “East of Eden” starring James Dean playing on the TV.

Somehow I was alone and able to watch my channel without being forced to change it by parents or siblings who had no interest in classic movies. Unfortunately, I was only able to watch about half an hour before my sisters rudely changed the channel to some inane cartoon.

But, in that brief moment in time I fell in love for the first time. James Dean has been my favorite actor ever since. The way he talked, his mannerisms, his beautiful face and that painful, smoldering look in his eyes that just breaks your heart.

The next time I went to the library I searched out the book and gobbled it up along with every other Steinbeck novel my library offered.

Over the years I have read and re-read many of his books and each time fall deeper in love with Steinbeck’s writing style. I only wish words would flow so effortlessly and colorfully from my own fingertips.

The Grapes of Wrath is second on my list of Steinbeck favorites. It is one that is difficult to read because the truth is overpowering, but you will savor every turn of the page.

Here are 10 Things you should know about The Grapes Of Wrath

The Grapes of Wrath was written by John Steinbeck and developed out a series of article he wrote for the San Francisco News called “The Harvest Gypsies”. These articles ran in the paper from October 5 through October 12, 1936. This series of stories was about the migrant workers who came from the Midwest to work in the California agriculture industry.

Awards

The novel, Grapes of Wrath, based on those articles was published in 1939 and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1940 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962.

Genre

Although categorized as fiction, this is really an epic work of realistic fiction and social commentary on the people, places and signs of the time.

Setting

The time frame is the late 1930’s during the Great Depression. The novel begins with the Joad family in Oklahoma and follows them on their journey to California.

Protagonist and Symbolism

Tom Joad is the protagonist of this novel, he is also the symbol of growth and rebirth. The story begins just after Tom is release from prison where he served a sentence for homicide. Upon his release he is a selfish man determined to mind his own business. But through his journey and living as a migrant worker in California, the experiences with his mother and the former preacher Casey philosophy of the Oversoul, he builds concern for his family’s welfare and becomes the head of the family. He also is concerned with the welfare of all families and by the end is willing to sacrifice his life for others.

Major Theme

The horrible treatment of the migrant workers is highlighting in the story of the Joads. The novel humanizes the horrors of daily life for the migrant workers and the effects of the Great Depression and poverty on them and everyone around them. Steinbeck’s novel is a plea to end the inhumane treatment to his fellow man.

Major Conflict

Due to the 1930s drought which caused the Dust Bowl, families were forced to moved west in hope of a better life. Poverty stricken, they took work wherever they could find it to keep themselves and their families alive. This pitted the current migrant workers against the incoming workers, against the property owners and the destitute. Tom Joad symbolized the instant human response to respond to a disaster by focusing on one’s own needs and the underlying need to support his fellow man and work toward a common good.

Minor Themes

Humanity Must Adapt to to Survive

The Grapes of Wrath shows that in order for humanity to survive and thrive it must adapt to the changing environment. The migrant workers must learn how to live in their squalid conditions, and make them better on their own before working toward a greater good. The landowners must learn to adapt to new rules if they expect to continue to own and farm their land. Families must learn to adapt to uncontrollable change to keep their families together.  This underlies another minor theme of Family Survival.

Dignity and the Strength of the Human Spirit

The hardships faced by the migrant workers just trying to survive and keep their families alive and together puts most characters in survival mode at almost an animalistic level. Despite these hardships, the Joads act proudly and even through their search for food and shelter, try to maintain a sense of human dignity.

Mood

This is a tragic fictional story build on the truth of the devastation of the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression and the human will to survive. Although the mood for the majority of the novel is dark and depressing, there are moments of light-hearted humor providing a little respite and break from the doom and gloom. In the end the reader can see the human spirit’s ability to survive against all odds.

***

Although it was a movie that first brought me into Steinbeck’s world, the images he created in my head are much more vivid than those on the screen.

SNOB Film Festival Reviews ~ by Sam

On September 16th and 17th I volunteered at the Somewhat North of Boston (SNOB) Film Festival. This event is in its 10th year, running four days and screening 60 independent films from around the world. I spent most of my time working and watching movies at the Red River Theatre in Concord, NH. It was a great experience, the people running the event were great and I got to meet a lot of writers and directors.

I saw a total of 23 films, mostly shorts, and would like to share my reviews of them over a few blog posts.

29 Reasons To Run

29 Reasons To Run is a comedy about 2 guys who go cross country for a few different reasons (there aren’t 29), meet with friends along the way, and get into various comedic situations.

A simple formula that’s been done before and 29 reasons to run doesn’t really bring anything new to the sub-genre. Even though the actors are only in their 30’s the movie can be boiled down into a mid-life crises movie. The characters experience events such losing their jobs, being framed for embezzlement, a cheating girlfriend, and other events that send them on their journey.

At one point they find themselves at the Grand Canyon when their mini-van breaks down. They have a deep philosophical talk about life, but the whole time I just kept wondering whether they were actually there or if they were just on some rocks and used some establishing shots.

The movie was funny at times and was never really boring, but some lines and jokes felt really forced. One of the main characters seems like he’s trying to impersonate Adam Sandler. The actor overall was nothing great, but not bad except for sometimes seeming really unnatural. I couldn’t really see this movie playing in theatres but I can definitely see it playing on TV. Near the end there are some lame plot twists and an extremely built up joke that falls flat.

The writer, Gary Weeks,  co-stars in the movie, and is a successful actor, writer and filmmaker. He has appeared in several movies and TV shows including roles on Burn Notice, Monk, Wicked Wicked GamesNCIS, Parks and Recreation, All My Children and the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse with Ving Rhames’s.

Alter Ego: Rating 2/10

Alter Ego is about a man in world that has super humans and he kills them for a really vague reason. The movie likes to pretend it is led by a strong narrative but really it just comes off as convoluted and doesn’t make a whole of sense. He is basically a serial killer, who’s target is super humans.

The superhuman concept is completely pointless, it could have been replaced by any other group or minority. (He kills a man who can breath underwater, by drowning him. How does that work?) even though its only 15 minutes long, it feels like half an hour of a very boring confusing mess, centered around a very lacking protagonist who’s main target looks like three different people and I couldn’t tell who was who, but that was most likely because I didn’t care enough to really pay attention to the names. That is a sign that your movie has failed

Cravings: Rating 1/10

This is the type of movie that gives independent films its bad reputation. The stereotype that this movie gives off is what you see when someone is making fun of an art house film. No sound just music over the visuals, which can be done well, just not here.

The movie is 5 minutes long and consists of a model being followed around by these people with pig masks on. I understand it is to represent her “cravings” and how she runs away from them because she’s a model, but that doesn’t really matter. Just having symbolism doesn’t make it a good movie. That’s all it is a woman getting followed around by pig people, nothing else to it. The director should be ashamed for confirming a bad stereotype.

The Dance

The Dance: Rating 8/10

This is an example of how you make a movie that’s sound track is only music and have it be really good. At 8 minutes long it doesn’t really have any down time, but manages to not feel rushed, which is an important but difficult task for a short film.

The plot is simply a man wants to ask a woman to the “the dance” who works in the cubicle on the other side of the room from him. It goes through about a week overall. Each day he does and wears something to get her to realize they have something in common. For instance one day she wears a dress that has cupcakes on it. The next day he wears a cup cake suit and tie and makes her a tin of cupcakes. Unfortunately, the cupcakes get eaten by another co-working.

The entire short is very funny and has a nice ending, where he stops trying to impress her and just acts like himself. He is wearing a puzzle piece shirt with a piece missing. She happens to be wearing a shirt that has the missing puzzle piece on it. This is the day after the dance, so they end up dancing in the office, and it turns out, she liked him all along. Very funny and has good energy to it while pulling off the music only style.

#10 Underrated Actor Bruce Campbell~by Sam

I’ve decided to move our movie content from our Green Carbon Creations blog to keep the focus on the craft how to instructions, frugal finds, New England living and Etsy items there and the movie, gaming and well, more entertainment related posts here. So the next few posts about Sam’s Underrated Actors list will be a bit out of order.


Bruce Campbell

“There is a large element of me in every role I do. Actors who say they can dive inside a character are either schizophrenic or lying.” Bruce Campbell

Click here to see Artwork & Fashions Inspired by Bruce Campbell

Bruce Campbell as Ashley "Ash" J. Williams in Evil Dead 2Click Here to find out why Bruce Campbell is in the #10 spot

Bruce Campbell would be higher on the list but he has a pretty substantial cult following.  Probably his most widely known role is as Sam Axe in the TV series Burn Notice, but his fan favorite role is as Ash from the Evil Dead Series. Bruce co-produced all three Evil Dead movies with his childhood friend Sam Raimi.  The first Evil Dead film was the best-selling video of 1983 in England.

Bruce Campbell does a lot of B-movies and independent films.  Because of his semi-large cult following he has a lot of small parts and cameos.  An example of one is in From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money. The movie starts out with two people in an elevator and the elevator suddenly stops.  Bruce Campbell’s character opens the emergency hatch and a body falls down that’s been eaten by the bats.  But he doesn’t see the bats, he climbs through the hatch and the bats attack him and he falls back into the elevator dead.  That’s it for him in the movie.

My Name is Bruce

After that scene ends, the camera backs away and you find out it was actually a different character watching TV and the guy watching the movie is Robert Patrick, the actor who played T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day who just barely missed being on this list.

Bruce Campbell has also written a few books:  If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor and Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way

Click here to see my Complete Top Ten List of Underrated Actors

#9 Underrate Actor Tom Savini~by Sam

I’ve decided to move our movie content from our Green Carbon Creations blog to keep the focus on the craft how to instructions, frugal finds, New England living and Etsy items there and the movie, gaming and well, more entertainment related posts here. So the next few posts about Sam’s Underrated Actors list will be a bit out of order.

Click here to see our Tom Savini inspired artwork and fashions

Savini as Blades in "Dawn of the Dead"

Continuing down my list of the Top Ten Underrated Actors is Tom Savini.  (Click the link to see the complete list.)  He’d be higher on the list if not for his substantial cult following, just like Bruce Campbell.

Tom Savini is an actor, director, stuntman and the most amazing SFX wizard of the splatter movie genre.  He also did a tour of duty as a combat cameraman in Vietnam and later simulated the actual carnage he saw in war on the big screen.  He was supposed to do the special effects and  make-up George A. Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” when he was drafted.

Savini as Sex Machine

He appears in quite a lot of stuff but usually his roles are as brief as a cameo to under a scene or two.  There are a few movies that he has larger roles in and gets more screen time like Dawn of the Dead as Blades, Deputy Tolo in Grindhouse Presents, Planet Terror and as Sex Machine in From Dusk Till Dawn.

Tom Savini as Deputy Tolo  in Planet Terror

He has many small roles that people put him in because of his cult following and because he’s a very cool guy to work with.   A lot of the films he does the special effects and makeup for he makes cameos in.

In the original “Dawn of the Dead” survivors are watching TV and there’s a sheriff on the news and he’s talking into the camera when he says that he rounded up a bunch of people to help go kill the zombies.  He’s telling people to shoot the zombies in the head twice (the double tap rule) and says you need to burn the bodies after you kill them.  In the remake of Dawn of the Dead , again they are watching TV and the sheriff is explaining about killing zombies but this time the sheriff is played by Tom Savini.  I think it’s a cool tribute to the original even if it’s only brief.

Savini as a zombified Blades

Savini’s character Blades in the original “Dawn of the Dead” is shot by Peter and he falls over the railing into the mall’s water fountain.  In George A. Romero’s Land of the Dead a zombified Blades comes back for about 3-seconds and it’s the coolest 3-seconds of the movie.  According to Tom Savini there was a time different between “Dawn of the Dead” and “Land of the Dead” and his character has been walking around as a zombie for a year and a half.

If you love the special effects makeup created by Tom Savini and want to try and recreate them yourself check out his books:  Grande Illusions: A Learn-By-Example Guide to the Art and Technique of Special Make-Up Effects from the Films of Tom Savini and Tom Savini: Horror Effects.

Tom Savini is just a very cool guy all around.  He’s an amazing artist and although his acting scenes are usually short, they are truly unforgettable.  He should definitely have more screen time, and that is why Tom Savini is #9 on my list of Top Ten Underrated Actors.