Monday, November 8, 2021

RiffTrax Live: Amityville, Dune Review, and New Music – Dream Theater, Jerry Cantrell, and Mastodon

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:

Dune Review

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.

Now Available!

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!


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Excellent review of Dune. My husband and I watched it together. It was very heavy, but beautifully done. It's been ages since I read the book or watched the Lynch film, so sometimes I was slightly lost, but quickly followed along again.

Lisa said...

Thanks for the heads up on Dune. Loved the memes!!!!!

Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, Alex!

As soon as you mentioned Chris Hansen and his Dateline series To Catch a Predator, I knew I needed to link you to this parody video I found a while back. Its hilarious!

The Riff screen shots are funny as heck. Mastodon would be my album pick.

Have a great week, good buddy Alex!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Glad you enjoyed Dune. My boyfriend and I are thinking about going to see it at the theater this weekend.

Joanne said...

love the Riff blurbs - I laughed out loud. As for Dune, I can appreciate the film making but I should have seen it on the big screen. Watching at home it was too easy to pause and go do stuff - it moved a bit slow. Acting was excellent and cinematography lovely. Not my fave genre but I can see how folks will love it and it could win awards. Have a good week!

joylene said...

I appreciate the review on Dune, Alex. You've got me hooked. We won't be watching it on the large screen, but a 50" tv isn't so bad.

Christine Rains said...

Excellent review for Dune! I will hopefully see it soon. I haven't had much time to do anything with NaNoWriMo going on. Yet my little bits of fun come from watching the British show, Taskmaster. I think you'd like it. It's hilarious! Have a great week, Alex. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Shady - I will go watch it!

Natalie, go!

Joanne, it did help to be immersed at the theater.

Joylene, no it's not!

Christine, I'll look for it.

Jacqui Murray said...

Accurate review. I saw it with my son. He was blown away, declared it the best film. I thoroughly enjoyed it. We are both awaiting Part 2.

Andrew Leon said...

Sorry, had to guffaw at "masterpiece." said...

I've only read and heard excellent reviews on Dune.
Glad you agree, Alex.
Have a smooth, safe week.

Patricia Josephine aka Patricia Lynne said...

I know nothing about Dune, but I may check it out one day. Or at least, that's my intention. Whether I do it is another question. LOL

Mary Kirkland said...

I haven't watched Dune, not sure I would like it so I haven't seen it yet. Maybe one day.

Those funnies are...funny. Malignant was actually a good movie but probably not for 7 year olds.

J E Oneil said...

I haven't seen it, but I assume the RiffTrax guys had a field day with an Amityville movie!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Mary, definitely not!

JE, when it's a bad but not unwatchable film, they score with the jokes and this one was no exception.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Those memes are hilarious.

I saw Dune years ago with my dad. I mostly went to see Sting in underpants.

Botanist said...

Thanks for the Dune review, Alex. It's always been one of my favorite novels and I'm intrigued to see how they;ve handled it. Yes, the storyline is dark, so I wouldn't expect anything else.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

I really liked Dune. I would watch it again. I think it's the best adaptation of them all.

Liz A. said...

No, I haven't seen Dune yet. I plan to. I just have a hard time sitting down to movies. TV shows are easier.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - thanks for the Dune review - good to read ... and I will look forward to taking it in when it turns up here - glad to know that it's one to watch on the big screen - cheers Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Elizabeth, I'm really glad this movie didn't have that...

Ian, you won't be disappointed then.

Lynda, we've already watched it twice.

Susan Kane said...

We keep meaning to see Dune, but each time something occurs. It isno a definite see.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That's way too many Batman reboots.

I liked Dune.

cleemckenzie said...

I'm so glad you reviewed Dune. I've been wondering if it was going to be worth the time to see it. The last film version didn't work for me. How did they handle the worms in this one?

H.R. Sinclair said...

Oh yes, that first one about volumes is maddening.

I enjoyed the new Dune. The visual were indeed stunning.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lee - massive! Much cooler.

Sandra Cox said...

You had me at Dune, till you said dark. Sigh.

Nilanjana Bose said...

How to let a movie breathe is a rare skill. Always prefer watching on a big screen in a packed theatre especially for visuals - a totally different vibe and satisfaction. Waiting for us to get back to that.

Rhonda Albom said...

I am now looking forward to Dune, thanks.

Just saying, I don't think you got that Nostradamus quote quite right. :)

Patsy said...

I don't tend to like new music – but I probably don't give most of it a proper chance!

Tara Tyler said...

Sounds like a great time! and love the screenshots - how fun we can attend shows like this from home!

And thanks for the reviews - I like knowing what to expect before I waste my time or have too high expectations for a movie, like Dune

APEX should be fun - I love Bruce Willis, even though he’s getting up there, I love he is still running around in action flix

No, please let Ghostbusters die with respect. Guess it’s too late for that... They will never eclipse the original!

hope you all are doing well!

Tara Tyler Talks

Victoria Marie Lees said...

Awesome pictures with these movies and books. My daughter and husband love the Dune movie. You know I can't watch anything scary. I can't sleep well as it is. All best to you, sir!

DMS said...

I haven't seen Dune ye, but it sounds intriguing. I haven't read the books- so I won't be comparing the versions. :) Thanks for the recommendations.

Jemi Fraser said...

It's been a couple of decades since I read Dune - I'd like to read it again before I see the movie. Looking forward to it!

Annalisa Crawford said...

That's some cast in Dune! I hadn't realised. I'll have to wait until it's on the small screen due to my new-found aversion to the cinema though 😕

Congrats to Steven!

Truedessa said...

I will have to give the new Dream Theater a listen. I have some of their work. There are def ones I enjoy more than others but, overall I enjoy their style.

Answering the call has some great lyrics - Wow...

When will there be a day when all of us
Trust that love and peace
Burns bright for us?

Sandra Cox said...

I blush to admit I have yet to see Riff Trax.
Have a good one.

SpacerGuy said...

I'm not surprised Rifftrax are getting mileage out of the Amityville horrors. So much great source material to play with.

Shadow said...

47 batman, no no no no no!!!!! And I watched Dune, twice, cause I fell asleep first time, it's loooong *grin* I enjoyed it, thank you. Have a wonderfilled weekend coming, love and light, V

Al Penwasser said...

I haven't seen Dune. Probably should. I am so behind in my movie watching. Apparently, there's a new Batman. I never would have thought Adam West could be topped.

Jeremy [Retro] said...

Thanks for the heads up on Jerry Cantrell, also if interested Tears For Fears has a new release... I really liked the DUNE film, it was moving and I am looking forward to the next part. Check out the scores, three different versions from master Hans Zimmer.

On my streaming service there is a RIFF TRAX channel, with films and shorts... and I love it.

take care and as Spock says, "you always be my friend".


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nila, we're hitting theaters here but they are certainly not packed.

Tara, saw the new Ghostbusters last Friday and it was really good!

SpacerGuy, tons!

Al, there have been six Batman since him...

Jeremy, excellent! Enjoy your RiffTrax!