RiffTrax: Live – Amityville: The Evil Awakens
Another awesome riff from the guys of a movie that isn’t horrible, so it’s easy to watch as they riff it. (And as a made-for-TV film, it’s not bad and rather gory.)
One of the best lines was from Mike. The priest is hesitant to enter a room and Mike says “What, is he afraid Chris Hanson is waiting for him in the next room?” (Host of To Catch a Predator.)
And of course, some screen shots of the event:
Directed by Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049, Arrival, and Sicario), known for his stylish and deliberate pace, this is part one of two movies.
The director knows how to let a movie breathe and how to make quiet moments just as important as active and loud moments.
The visuals are stunning. On a massive scope as well as an intimate one.
The actors are great and assume their roles well - Rebecca Ferguson (Mission Impossible: Fallout/Rogue Nation), Zendaya (latest Spiderman movies), Jason Momoa (Aquaman), Stellan Skarsgård (Thor, Avengers), Josh Brolin (Avengers, Deadpool 2, Grindhouse), Javier Bardem (Skyfall, No Country for Old Men), Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy), and on and on and on.
Gone are the weird whispers from Lynch’s version. (Awful film, but he did follow the story even as he bit off way more than he could chew.)
This is a film you digest. We saw it opening night in the theater and then again a week later on HBO Max. Its depth continued to resound.
Now, not to offend fans of the books, but this is not a movie you will love. The storyline is dark. You will admire and respect it, but not love it.
There are those who hated it (and they need not comment about that here) but go in with an open mind and know you are about to see a deliberate masterpiece and you will not be disappointed. Highly recommended.
New Music Reviews
Dream Theater - A View from the Top of the World
Dream Theater are one of those bands whose every release garners strong reaction (positive and negative). For every fan that loved The Astonishing, you have a camp that found it too long and frustrating because it was a departure. For every fan that loved Distance Over Time, you have a camp that thought DT played it too safe and didn’t take enough risks. I love both because it is, in fact, the essence of progressive music.
On the new disc, DT harkens back to their mid to late 2000s compositions (think Octavarium). They don’t break any new ground, but they don’t have to. This album is solid and enjoyable from front to end. There is no filler. Each track spotlights the reason to listen to DT, the musicianship. Every member gets a chance to shine with guitarist John Petrucci anchoring the whole affair with his stellar playing. James LaBrie shines on vocals and props to Mike Mangini for his phenomenal drumming.
Standout tracks include Answering the Call, Transcending Time, and Awaken the Master.
For me, they never disappoint, and this release is exceptional.
Jerry Cantrell - Brighten
I am a huge fan of Cantrell’s Degradation Trip (2002) double disc. It is a powerful musical journey that deals with the devastating effects of drug abuse. So, I was so excited to hear that JC was finally back with more solo music. I don’t have the words to express how disappointed I was on my first listen. This was not what I was expecting. I didn’t listen to it for a week but to be fair I finally gave it a second spin. I’m so happy that I did. Once I got over what it wasn’t, I could focus on what it is.
It’s Jerry Cantrell churning out mid-tempo rockers and it’s really, really good. I’ve enjoyed this more and more on each subsequent listen.
If you love Alice in Chains, keep an open mind and give this a try. It’s a great listen.
Mastodon - Hushed and Grim
Mastodon are one of those bands that the critics love. The last two discs received glowing reviews, but I found them to be good just not great. They just didn’t resonate with me. So along comes this new album, and the reviews are pouring in over how great it is. I’ve been down this road, so I approached this album with a skeptical ear.
This is a home run for Mastodon in my humble opinion. This is the most adventurous and progressive music that they have ever made. It’s 85 minutes long without a stinker in the bunch.
This is my favorite Mastodon release since Leviathan.
The Boo Brothers by Steven Arellano Rose Jr.
The Boo Brothers consists of two teen tales of terror. These tales come from the deepest fears of that isolated realm that lies between childhood and adulthood. They are sure to entertain with fright. Now available at Smashwords. Sign up for his newsletter and get it for free.
Did you see the latest RiffTrax? Catch Dune? Interested in any of the new discs? (So much new music!) Be sure to tune back on December 1 for the next IWSG post!