Monday Morning Movie Review: House (1986) and House II: The Second Story (1987)

This week’s Monday Morning Movie Review is a double feature:  I’m reviewing the comedy-horror flicks House (1986) and the even goofier sequel House II: The Second Story (1987).  While the films share a name and both take place in odd houses, the two storylines are completely independent of one another.

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Lazy Sunday CXXXV: More Movies VIII: Movie Reviews, Part VIII

It’s a late Lazy Sunday today.  A very long homecoming weekend at school, followed by a Saturday spent at the South Carolina State Fair and a University of South Carolina football game, has me behind on the blog a bit.  As soon as I churn this post out, it’s straight to writing comments for report cards.  So much for a day of rest.

But I digress.  For the first time since Lazy Sunday CXXV, I’m back with more movie review retrospectives.  It’s fun (for me, at least) to go back through these movie reviews; I’ve written so many of them, I’ve started forgetting which movies I’ve reviewed!

This week we pick up where we left off ten Sundays ago with another three flicks:

  • Monday Morning Movie Review: Aniara (2018)” – I really enjoyed this movie—bleak though it is—about a space cruise ship getting thrown off course irreversibly.  It’s one of the more thought-provoking films I’ve seen in the past year, and it’s stuck with me.  It’s one of the movie reviews I’ve written that I have not forgotten.
  • Monday Morning Movie Review: Willy’s Wonderland (2021)” – Compared to Aniara, Willy’s Wonderland is quite lighthearted.  If you like Nicolas Cage—and I definitely do—you’ll enjoy this movie.  Unusually for Cage, though, his character doesn’t say anything, but he still manages to bring his trademark insane fury to the character, who spends a night fighting demon-possessed animatronics in an abandoned pizzeria.
  • Monday Morning Movie Review: Robot & Frank (2012)” – This flick ad the feel of an indie flick, with its quirky premise and craftily heartwarming story arc.  I love stuff with robots, and this movie delivers it in an interesting way:  an aging thief trains his robot nurse to help him plot a jewel heist.

That’s it for this week’s belated Lazy Sunday.  Enjoy the rest of this quiet day!

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

The War on Halloween

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It has long been the position of this blog that Halloween gets a bad rap, especially from the Christian Right. The holiday’s association with deviltry, witchcraft, and the occult is, of course, difficult to deny, but the holiday’s name is an abbreviation of “All Hallow’s Eve”; that is, the evening before All Saints’ Day on 1 November.

Granted, the Internet atheists will claim the roots of Halloween in Samhain, the Gaelic festival of the harvest. They are not wrong, per se—the influx of Irish immigrants into the United States in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries brought a peculiarly Celtic flavor to the holiday. But the holiday is a Christian, specifically a Catholic, one—the Irishmen bringing tales of Jack O’Lantern and his carved turnip (it would only later become a pumpkin) were not ancient pagans, but among the most devout believers in Europe.

Certainly the medieval Catholic Church had a habit of taking pagan holidays and replacing them with Christian observances. For some reason, Internet atheists always use these replacements as examples of Christianity’s secretly pagan roots. The argument is ludicrous.

When Hernan Cortez destroyed the Aztec temple at Tenochtitlan and built a cathedral in its place, was he honoring the bloodthirsty Aztec gods? Or was he symbolically noting that The Holy Trinity had displaced the false gods and idols of the Aztecs? It is almost certainly the latter. Similarly, when Christians took existing pagan observances and replaced them with Christian ones, they were symbolically and practically demonstrating the victory of Christ and His Church over pagan gods.

Indeed, much of the American Protestant objection to Halloween must have been due to its associations with the Papists, rather than the Devil. The mischievousness of the holiday in the twentieth century, especially the concept of trick-or-treating, probably has more to do with its more sinister modern associations.

But the latest assault on Halloween is coming from a different quarter.  No longer are conservative Christians alone in hedging their bets on the holiday.

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Monday Morning Movie Review: In the Earth (2021)

Well, it’s not quite morning, and I’m still playing catch-up after a weekend of indolence and ice cream, but but I’m eking out this Monday “Morning” Movie Review for your daily delectation.

I often review films that I like, or about which I can say something positive.  This week’s film, In the Earth (2021), is one that I cannot recommend to most viewers, but one I nevertheless enjoyed.

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TBT: Soda City Market

Earlier this week my little town of Lamar observed National Night Out, and the local neighborhood watch put together an organic, decentralized street festival to celebrate.  Regular readers know I am an avid fan of festivals, especially this time of year, and I look forward to visiting them—the weirder, the better.

With the proximity to National Night Out and the excitement of festival season in the air, I thought I’d dedicate this week’s TBT to a post about a much larger weekly festival, the so-called “Soda City Market.”  It’s been months since I attended, but it still holds a fond spot in my heart (and my stomach).

Here’s hoping that more of these open-aired autumnal festivals make a comeback this year.  After the long drought of The Age of The Virus, we could all use some fun.

With that, here is “Soda City Market“:

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Lazy Sunday CXXXIII: Inspector Gerard

It was a long, grueling week at work, including a Saturday morning spent proctoring the SAT.  It was one of those weeks where my job and my various sidelines all coincided to leave me utterly exhausted.  Anyone who has ever worked a job knows the kind of week:  seemingly everything must be done at the same time.

Well, self-promotion never ends, and after working myself weary this week, I figured I’d make another attempt at schlocking my various wares to you, my faithful readers.  As such, it seemed like a good weekend to revisit my book, The One-Minute Mysteries of Inspector Gerard, and my various blog posts about it.  Also, some of my students learned of the book this week, so it’s on my mind (and currently only $10 in paperback):

  • Inspector Gerard eBook is Coming 1 April 2021 (Out NOW in Paperback)!” – Ah, yes, the first, excited post announcing the arrival of Inspector Gerard to the world.  At that time, the Kindle edition had not yet released, but was available for preorder.  I actually did pretty well on those, and, of course, enjoyed the initial surge of book sales from friends and family with the announcement.
  • SubscribeStar Saturday: Inspector Gerard Preview” – The day after my announcement, I posted three Gerard stories, “Dial ‘M’ for Malfeasance,” “Sleazebag in the City,” and “Inspector Gerard and the Video Rental Caper” to my SubscribeStar page.  Considering I was selling the paperback version for $15 at the time, that made a $1 a month subscription a pretty good deal.
  • Lazy Sunday CX: Inspector Gerard Reviews” – Soon enough, the reviews—mostly from blogger friends—began pouring in.  I think most of the reviewers “got” the book, and I even got a shout-out in a mailbag episode of Z Man’s podcast after I mailed a copy of the book to him.  I really appreciated the reviews.

Christmas is just around the corner—why not take the lazy way out and buy yourself or a loved one a copy of my absurdist book?

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

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TBT: Monday Morning Movie Review: The Empire Strikes Back

Earlier this week I reviewed 1977’s Star Wars, the film that started a craze that is still raging nearly five decades later, despite Disney’s best efforts to destroy the franchise.  What I didn’t realize is that nearly a year to the day earlier, I’d written a review of 1981’s The Empire Strikes Back, quite possibly the greatest Star Wars film ever made—and, I would argue, just one of the best films ever set to celluloid.

Naturally, I had to do a throwback to my review of the film, which I think was my first Monday Morning Movie Review.  Kind of crazy to think that I’ve been doing regular movie reviews every Monday for a year.  It both seems longer and shorter than that.

Well, no need in going any longer.  Here is 28 September 2021’s “Monday Morning Movie Review: The Empire Strikes Back“:

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The Weather

From the title, you’re probably thinking, “wow, he’s really reaching for content now—he’s literally writing a post about the weather.”  Well, yes, it’s a bit of a stretch for a blog post, but while enjoying the absolutely glorious weather this past weekend, I began contemplating the topic.  It’s perhaps not quite as trite as we think.

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