When I say Francis Ford Coppola, what do you think of? The most common answer is The Godfather movies. They are considered to be one of the, if not, the greatest movies ever created with its violence, dialogue and plot. He is synonymous with those films as well as other gems throughout his illustrious directing career. Roger Corman is also a legend in his own way. The man, according to IMDB, has produced almost 400 movies and directed over 50 films.
The man also gave us, to this date of writing, the only decent Fantastic Four movie ever created in Hollywood. The man is known for low budget exploitation and “indie” movies with low budgets and some questionable acting in some retrospect. However, when the man had a good script and a good cast, he was able to turn low budget schlock into some hidden gems that have appreciated and have gained cult status over time.
So, what do these greats have to do with each other? Well, Coppola worked with Corman on some films early in his career. With them finishing a movie, Corman had a small budget of $22,000 dollars left over and wanted Coppola to write and direct a movie with the remaining budget. Coppola complied and the movie is Dementia 13. Why is it called Dementia 13? I don’t know. However, this movie is quite fascinating. You have a small budget, a location from your previous movie in Ireland and a script written in only a couple of days. Does this movie have any lasting appeal that has long been forgotten or is this a film that is lost to the viewer for a reason? We’ll judge this movie based on story, acting and the violence factor involved in this film. Let’s sit back and delve into the psyche of a messed up family and review Dementia 13.
The story of Dementia 13 focuses on the Haloran family in their castle in Ireland. We learn that there are three brothers and two wives in the family. The mother has written her will and is leaving all of her inheritance and money to charity in name of Kathleen (who is the deceased sister of the brothers who tragically died years ago). The first woman we meet is Louisa, who is the wife of the eldest son. She is vindictive and very manipulative. When learning of a deceased sister, Louise gets an idea of tricking the mother into believing that Kathleen is channeling from the afterlife through her. The main goal? She wants all the money.
However, things become more complicated and when we introduce an ax wielding murderer to the scenario and a lifeless looking body in the fold, the family starts to unravel more secrets and our wonder who is the murderer. Without giving away spoilers and events to the review, this story is a little complicated just because of the dialogue and scene and character choices. I can understand that this script was written very quickly because some of the dialogue and false flags throughout the movie doesn’t really make any sense and when we see it on screen, it just leaves me scratching my head and making me rewind the movie thinking I might have missed a key element in the plot. Overall, if this movie had maybe a couple more weeks of flushing out the imperfections in the story and gave a better red herring in the story, I think the movie would have been treated better than it is currently perceived as.
The main characters in the movie are the mother, Billy (the youngest), Richard (the middle), Louisa (wife of the oldest), Kane (Richard’s fiance/wife), and the family doctor. The mother acts like a shrew. She is cold toward her sons’ wives and doesn’t want anything to do with them. She is very superstitious and goes through some dementia when it comes to the coping of her lost daughter. Richard is the main brother that gets most of the screen time. He gets these violent outbursts and tends to just want to be by himself when he gets stressed or frustrated with the family. Billy is the quiet one who keeps having flashbacks playing with his deceased sister. He doesn’t seem out of the ordinary and blends in with the background.
Louisa acts like a gold digger who is stubborn and wants inheritance money from the mother. She is cutthroat and is extremely manipulative and strategic. Kane is the sweet lady who loves her fiance and is trying to understand the families backstory and wants her fiance to leave the castle and its haunted backstory and legend. The family doctor is very straightforward, persistent and also very no-nonsense. When dealing with the legend of the fallen daughter, he immediately results to finding out who is behind the trickery of messing with the mother. Each character has their own flaw and their own motivation. However, we’re being introduced to each of them and we want to get to know who each of them are and it feels like it all fell short. I like each character is unique but with creating suspense in the movie and introducing an ax murderer, I wanted to know more about these characters and plant seeds for potentially being the killer and fleshing out the idea of inheritance and an endless supply of financial gains. Overall, the characters were easy to differentiate but I didn’t really get to a point where I actually cared whether one of them lived or died and if they were the killer. We needed a little more character depth and maybe less random acts of murder.
The violence in the movie, for the time period, is actually pretty decent. They show beheading with seeing the heads rolling down, drownings, some splatter from the ax murderer’s swings and debris from an old building collapsing on the mother. I like some of the angled the camera gets with some of the killing as well as some underwater scenes in the pond. The suspense is the main thing that kept my interest in the movie. The black and white contrast and the eerie music as well as dark shadows all play for the effect of something foul is afoot. Coppola does a great job with the suspense using his location and set to his advantage. If the suspense and the eerie feel fell short and didn’t keep me invested, I would’ve just stopped watching and try and find another movie to watch instead. With all the flaws of the movie, this is the shiny spot in the rough. For a movie made back in the 1960s, this movie effects and camera shots were done with precision and a good amount of effort. For that, it made the movie bearable to watch.
Overall, this movie could have been great or a classic if it just had more time. It needed some proofreading, some tweaks on the dialogue and more suspense with unraveling more of the backstory of the family and who could be the murderer. This movie feels incomplete and maybe like some scenes might have gone missing from the movie even if it’s just 15 minutes of script. The suspense elements were the bright spot and helped make the movie watchable. The dialogue was almost unrealistic, the characters needs more flushing out, and we need a more concise backstory and more information with inheritance. The movie is view-able but would go well with watching with a group of people with some riffing in the background.
Finally, the Cinderella story of the Richmond Greyhounds has come to an end.
We are now in a new season for the team, and they have started off on the wrong
foot. The team is broken up and Ted has his work cut out for him. The team goes
through a slump, and Ted is now doubting his coaching ability. Ted’s personal life
has also gotten out of control, and he discovers his ex-wife Michelle has started a relationship with their therapist. The wonderkid, Nathan Shelley, the former manager of West Ham has had a change of heart and leaves his job to be with his one true love, the waitress from his favorite restaurant.
She convinces him to return to the Richmond team he started out in and it’s quite evident that
everyone wants him back and held no hard feelings. All of Lawrence’s series he has worked on with others have just that right balance of slice-of-life drama with a little bit of ridiculous comedy that reality dishes us, normal folks, every day.
This all comes to a head in the potential series finale where Ted announced to
Rebecca that he will be returning to the States to his family after his mother tells
him that his son misses him. This puts the Richmond owner into quite a state of denial; doing everything from offering Ted the position of being the highest-paid coach in the league to selling the team after he leaves. The team is also affected by this decision as they perform a number from the musical The Sound of Music that is a more than touching farewell to this family.
This bleeds into their playing as in the final title match the first half is met with
bumbling and possible injuries to their star player Jamie.
After an energizing pep talk and a circle back to the first motivator in the
beginning, a sign Ted made up that said “BELIEVE”, the team dominate the second
half and win with a rousing closing scene that is reminiscent of any 80’s party
movie. It’s a fitting end for this pandemic darling that emotionally carried us through. It is
a must-see series even if you don’t like soccer (football).
No Question Mark Box Here; Super Mario Delivers a 1-Up in Theaters
If you were born in the ’80s, ’90s, or literally ANY decade after those, you know about Super Mario. A cultural phenomenon was brought to life on the big screen this last weekend. One that has not only stood the test of time but reinvented itself time and time again. This wasn’t even the first time it’s been made into a movie but, well, let’s be honest.. some of us choose not to acknowledge the LIVE action adaptation of the beloved game from 30 years ago.
It was pretty bad… But this was animation. ILLUMINATION animation at that. The Universal company that brought us Gru and his Minions, showed us the Secret Life of Pets, and gave us a reason to SING! Still, I had my reservations and even some concerns, especially when the casting was announced.
Eyebrows were raised. As big of stars as they were on paper, could they really deliver on voicing characters from a staple of our childhood? They did.
Chris Pratt and Charlie Day may not be Italian, and Jack Black may not be a King or Turtle creature from the Mushroom Kingdom, but they make the characters their own all while paying homage to the lore of a video game.
From the jump, the story reintroduces us to the brothers that just want to save Brooklyn one clogged sink at a time. We feel an instant connection and relate to these “underdogs of the plumbing world”. The movie is riddled with easter eggs, each of which tugs on the heartstrings of every generation of Mario fandom. And the soundtrack was beautifully put together to not only make us feel like we’re taking a walkthrough of the game but like an experience all its own with some familiar favorites thrown in.
Every word in the movie is pure eye candy for both those that are casual fans, and those analyzing every frame to see what they’ll catch next. Bowser’s ship, the Mushroom Kingdom, Kong’s arena, and the Rainbow Road.. They’re all meant to give us just enough of a “new” look at these amazing worlds, but stay true to how we remember them.
The movie itself moves along at the perfect pace. Although, if you don’t really know ANYTHING about the Super Mario Bros, you may have gotten a little lost and felt left behind in the green tunnel. But that’s ok! It’s an adventure of the imagination and a classic story of a boy that meets a girl and tries to save the world from a monster that wants to destroy it.
What’s funny is that you could easily say this is a story about two characters who couldn’t be more opposite if they tried, battling to win the heart of a princess. Who would’ve thought that the King of the Koopas was just trying to impress his crush?
And that song? Ohhh THAT song! It’s my new ringtone and deserves the Oscar for Best Original Song.
Back to the movie.
Universal and Illumination clearly understood the assignment. Is it missing some things or could things have been done differently or even better? Absolutely! We’re the worst critics of the things we hold nearest and dearest to our hearts. But if you’re up for going on a 90-minute adventure through amazing worlds, with awesome music, and characters that’ll make you smile and laugh, then this is the perfect movie to spring you into that warm summer feeling.
Plus there’s the whole part with karts and shells, and banana peels and oh my goodness how amazing was that?? It’s enough to make you want to stand up and cheer, then go home and destroy your friends and family on your favorite track haha.
The bottom line, it pays homage in all the right ways to the little guy with the mustache, while giving us something new and exciting. Take the kids and go see Super Mario Bros. You’ll be glad you did!
Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023
Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Opening Act Saturday, March 25 at 1:30 p.m. on North 200A. Talent confirmed so far to participate in the post-screening panel is Natalie Alyn Lind (Big Sky, The Goldbergs, Gotham) as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince and longtime RWBY cast member Lindsay Jones (Camp Camp) as Ruby, Kara Eberle ( RWBY: Ice Queendom) as Weiss, Arryn Zech (Detective Now Dead) as Blake and Barbara Dunkelman (Blood Fest) as Yang – along with Jeannie Tirado (Soul, Saints Row) as Green Lantern and Tru Valentino (The Rookie, The Cuphead Show!) as a cyborg. Also attending the panel will be producer/director Kerry Shawcross (series RWBY) and writer Meghan Fitzmartin (Supernatural, Justice Society: World War II).
Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023 with the big screen debut from DC Animated Films: highlights this year include the world premieres of the highly anticipated Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham and Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Part One the weekend of March 24-26 in Anaheim, California. Both screenings will be followed by panel discussions with actors and creators. Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham premieres at The Arena on Friday, March 24 at 6 p.m. Tati Gabrielle (Kaleidoscope, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Uncharted) as Kai Li Cain, Christopher Gorham (The Lincoln Lawyer, Insatiable) as Oliver Queen, David Dastmalchian (Dune, Suicide Squad, Ant-Man) as Grendon, producer/co-director Sam Liu (The Death and the Return of Superman), co-director Christopher Berkeley (Young Justice) and screenwriter Jase Ricci (Teen Titans Go! and DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem Across the Multiverse).
Both films will have encore screenings in the Arena on Sunday, March 26. Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One will screen at 12:15pm, followed by Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham at 2:00pm