This Week in Macabre & Mysterious Media: April 6 – 12, 2015

~YOUR MUSICAL AUDITORY INTERLUDE~

Deathly Spirits: A Ghost Story (and cocktail recipe) from Ted Raimi

A huge thanks to my daughter, Pooka, for finding this and sharing it with me.

If you only watch, play, or read one thing from this list, it should be:

movie poster whiplash

[EDIT] Now that I’ve found and added the sneak peek video for the 8th season of Ancient Aliens, though, I’ve got to say the TRAILER (at the very least) is not to be missed.

(See below.)

~THE MOVIES~

NEW ON NETFLIX & IN REDBOX:

Nothing exciting in the releases this week, but The Babadook is coming next week!

Wait, here’s something: A movie called Monsters: Dark Continent will be coming to theaters soon. I’ll share that next week. Right now, you might want to check out its forerunner. (What’s the the correct name for a movie that spawns a sequel?)
Monsters (2010) R
Currently available on Netflix streaming.
This film has surprisingly good reviews. Not sure how I missed it entirely back in 2010.
On IMDb here.

Whiplash (2014) R
Available in Redbox.
I forgot to mention Whiplash last week. It’s not horror, of course, but it’s definitely intense and suspenseful. And weirdly inspiring for artist types.
On IMDb here.

EDIT: Housebound (2014) Not Rated
Available on Netflix streaming.
O.M.G. This one is fantastic. I’m not even done watching it yet, but I had to pause it so I could come here and add it to the list. Because I missed it on Monday this week, I’ll feature it next week too.
On IMDb here.

IN THEATERS:

Ex machina (2015) R
In general release.
On IMDb here.

To see other, recent, recommendations, visit
This Week in Macabre & Mysterious Media: Mar 30 – April 5th, 2015.
Nearly all of the highlighted movies listed there are still available.
Last Week’s Don’t Miss: Nightcrawler in Redbox.

~ON TV~

Ancient Aliens | HISTORY (not H2) | Fridays | 9/8c
(Eighth season begins April 10th.)
I cannot wait! This is my favorite sleep aid of them all.
Webpage here.

The Returned | A&E | Mondays | 10/9c 
(First season. Episode 5 will air on April 6th.)
I’m catching up with this series this week. I missed it when it came out, but luckily all the episodes are available On Demand through my cable provider. To be honest, I had it confused with ABC’s Resurrection, which I tried and abandoned last year. This show has nothing to do with that. It is an American version of a French television series which began in 2012 and went on to win an International Emmy for Best Drama Series in 2013. I’m three episodes in, and I’m liking it so far. If you have the opportunity to see it from the beginning, give it a shot. This one might have some legs.
On IMDb here.

The Lizzy Bordon Chronicles | Lifetime | Sundays | 9/10c
(Started LAST NIGHT, Sunday April 5th.)
Sorry I missed this, Guys. I’m not a Lifetime watcher, but I’m thinking of giving this one a go, because I love Christina Ricci.
EDIT: Ok, I’ve given it about 15 minutes. So far I see two characters that I could maybe love, existing in a show that might be too chaotic and experimental for my tastes.
On IMDb here.

The first full episode is available online right now, at Lifetime.
The movie that came first is available on Netflix streaming now too.

 

~***~

The color of each title is keyed as follows:
Black = Not yet watched. I’m interested … or I think you’ll be interested.
Red = Watched. Not recommended. Worse than the reviews or buzz indicated.
Orange = Watched. Recommended, with reservations or cautions.
Green = Watched. Recommended. A good movie that lives up to its reputation.


This Week in Macabre & Mysterious Media: Mar 30 – April 5th, 2015

I’m still trying to work out the best way to do Macabre & Mysterious Media. I’d like to make writing these posts easier and quicker for me, and reading them more useful for you. I’ll be experimenting in the next few weeks, so please bear with me. (I’m not sure I’m going to stick with the date-as-post-title thing, for example. Terrible SEO.)

This particular list is long because I haven’t been staying on top of what’s going on lately, so I have some catching up to do. Because movies come and go so quickly, I’ll concentrate on gathering the best and most promising movies this week, but rest assured, you will also see television shows and games in the future.

NEW FEATURE: The color of the title is keyed as follows:
Black = Not yet watched. I’m interested … or I think you’ll be interested.
Red = Watched. Not recommended. Worse than the reviews or buzz indicated.
Orange = Watched. Recommended, with reservations or cautions.
Green = Watched. Recommended. A good movie that lives up to its reputation.

~YOUR MUSICAL INTERLUDE~
Blackie & The Oohoos – Song for Two Sisters

If you only watch one thing from this list, it should be:

nightcrawler

~THE MOVIES~

ON NETFLIX & IN REDBOX:

I have some last-minute alerts — these movies are about to become less accessible:

Jane Eyre (1943)
Ends Netflix streaming 4/1Watch it tonight, before it’s too late.
On IMDb here.

The Amityville Horror (1979)
Ends Netflix streaming 4/1Watch it tonight, before it’s too late.
On IMDb here.

Clue (1985)
Ends Netflix streaming on 4/1Watch it tonight, before it’s too late.
On IMDb here.

There. You’ve got more time to plan for anything else on this list.

Nightcrawler (2014) R
Currently available in Redbox.
BEST MOVIE IN THIS LIST
This film was robbed at the Oscars. I didn’t manage to see it before the 2014 Academy Awards, so I didn’t know just how pissed I should be. Jake Gyllenhaal should have been nominated for best actor. And, maybe, he should have won. This is a film that keeps you deeply engaged. (It’s not a horror movie, but it is horrifying … and very dark.)
Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton
On IMDb here.

Interstellar (2014) PG-13
Currently available in Redbox.
A fine movie with an interesting premise. Solid scifi drama.
Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain
On IMDb here.

A Good Marriage (2014) R
Currently available on Netflix streaming.
Currently available in Redbox.
Joan Allen, Anthony LaPaglia, Stephen Lang
From a short story by Stephen King.
Update: I watched it this weekend. Not bad. Pretty faithful to the short story. A fine performance by Joan Allen.
On IMDb here.

Stonehearst Asylum (2014) PG-13
Currently available on Netflix streaming.
Currently available in Redbox.
Kate Beckinsale, Michael Caine, and Ben Kingsley
Update: Just finished it. It’s based on a dark comedy, by Edgar Allan Poe, called The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether. It’s a pretty movie. There are some nice performances here – particularly by Kingsley. Not scary, but atmospheric. Feels fairly chick-flickish to me, but it’s got a nice twist. Worth a watch if you want to feel cozily creeped out.
On IMDb here.

Ouija (2014) PG-13
Currently available in Redbox.
I’m willing to give this a go, mostly because I really like Olivia Cook, who is also in Bates Motel.
On IMDb here.

Jessabelle (2014) PG-13
Currently available in Redbox.
This caught my eye because it’s set in Louisiana. I tend to like a good deep southern Gothic. We’ll see.
On IMDb here.

The Quiet Ones (2014) PG-13
Will be available on Netflix streaming on 4/3.
Currently available in Redbox.
On IMDb here.

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby (2013) R
Currently available on Netflix streaming. Him & Her
Here’s an interesting concept: two movies, about the same story, each shot from the viewpoint of one of the lovers in the story. (There is nothing paranormal about these movies, they are just interesting, so I thought I’d share.)
Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy
IMDb: Her
IMDb: Him
There is also a third movie, denoted as “them“. From reading the reviews, it sounds like this is the one to skip, because it’s a compilation of the first two films.

IN THEATERS:

It Follows (2014) R
In general release.
There is a lot of buzz about this movie. I think I’ll be seeing it this week, because Ogre has heard good things. Gotta say, though, that I’m not impressed with the premise. I’m hoping it comes through in the execution.
EDIT: A reviewer I respect has a great piece up that perfectly encapsulates my hesitation about this movie. And one of his readers has an interesting counterpoint in the comments to the post.
Review: It Follows by The Angry Scholar
On IMDb here.

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (2014)
Not rated? I’d guess a PG-13 at the most.
In art houses.
This is a movie about an urban legend, about the movie Fargo (1996). We saw it this last weekend and I think I mostly loved it. Granted, it’s a bit slow in places, but the second half of the film is memorable and affecting. It’s definitely not a paranormal movie, but it’s beautifully mysterious and, yes, a bit macabre.
On IMDb here.

Run All Night (2015) R
In general release.
Not remotely paranormal, but — because I’m married to a cinephile — I see lots of movies. This was really good. Great performances, good writing and excellent pacing. Much better than I expected it to be.
On IMDb here.

And that will wrap it up for this week. Now that I clearly see what’s out there, I’m guessing I’ll get to about … three of these. (And I’m going to go watch Jane Eyre now, but that doesn’t count because I’ve seen it before.) Care to guess which ones? Would you recommend anything you’ve seen that I haven’t? 


And now a tiger salamander:

salamander in hand

I’ve been on a change-everything-in-my-life kick lately.

It’s been good. I went in for a long over-due check-up and got a clean bill of health. I took a look at my priorities and goals and made some real changes. I’m writing more and taking better care of myself. Pages are piling up. I’ve lost 12 pounds in 6 weeks.

I quit my job at the Paranormal Hotel. Okay, I sorta-kinda quit. I tried to make a clean break of it, but ended up agreeing to fill in for vacations and sick days and stuff … when I can. I suffer from some sort of twisted addiction to the place, I think. (I’m already scheduled for a long weekend in early May.)

I also started volunteering at our local nature center.

That chubby little guy up there is my new friend, Right-Side Salamander, aka The Fat One. (These are my names for him. The rest of the feeder-people don’t seem to make much of a distinction between the two.) Please forgive my filthy fingers … the salamanders need to have their soil loosened and moistened thoroughly, and the trowel is just unnecessarily awkward. I promise I wash very well after tending to my new buddies. (There are others critters I take care of as well. You’ll probably get pictures of them at some point in the future.)

I have been working on the blog too … you just can’t see any of that yet. I’ll give you a sneak peek of one upcoming feature though:

paranormal hotel block

Yep. It’s going to get its own section. (That link doesn’t lead to a public page yet, btw.)

… And that’s the end of tonight’s out-of-the-blue post. I just wanted to let you all know I haven’t died or anything, and that I’ll be back soon.


Paranormal lesson of the day: stalking pays off.

A long time ago, I wrote about stalking the author Hunter Shea. Regular readers of this blog will already know that I’ve gotten nothing but positive reinforcement for that behavior. I mean, he actually included me in a list of acknowledgements in at least one of his books. (I’m not sure what I did to earn that.) Then the man sat down and had a (virtual) beer with me … and let me record it!

Now he’s gone and given me a cameo in his new book, Island of the Forbidden!

book cover hunter shea island of the forbidden

Click the cover to visit its Amazon listing.

Here’s a screenshot of a little snippet from the first chapter. Apparently I play a real estate agent:

my cameo in Island of the Forbidden by Hunter Shea

Pretty cool, huh?

When my namesake character is first mentioned in the book, we learn her full name is “Renae Rudd.” I can only assume that Hunter thought an agent with the last name “Rude” would be too on the nose. (Though this character Renae seems quite polite.)

I’ve known this was coming for a while. During one of Hunter’s early book launches, he made a limited time offer on his Facebook page, in which he offered to name a character after anyone who bought a book within a brief time window. Of course I saw it and jumped on the opportunity.

I’m particularly pleased that this is the book he decided to put me in because it’s part of a series I love. Island of the Forbidden is the the third book featuring Jessica Backman.

Here’s the description for Island of the Forbidden:

Jessica Backman has been called to help a strange family living on a haunted island in Charleston Harbor. Ormsby Island was the site of a brutal massacre two decades ago, and now the mysterious Harper family needs someone to exorcise the ghosts that still call it home. The phantoms of over one hundred children cannot rest.

But something far more insidious is living on the island. When the living and the dead guard their true intentions, how can Jessica discover just what sort of evil lurks on Ormsby Island? And why is Jessica the only one who can plumb its dark depths?

For more information, including some glowing reviews, pop over to Hunter’s page to see his publication announcement.

huntershea.com

 


Proof of life: a quick Paranormal Hotel update (holidays edition)

Well, I meant to post something-anything on New Year’s Day, but I just glanced down at the clock in the corner of my screen and I see it’s after midnight. Let’s just pretend it’s still the 1st, okay?

I’ll be honest: I’m having a rough winter. I’ve been striving to get back on track for a while. Of course I’m trying to do at least some of the right things today, in honor of the new year. Checking in with you guys is one of them, even if I don’t have a lot to say right now.

I’ve been working at the hotel more than usual (which in itself isn’t actually all that unusual, now that I think about it) so I can give you some random highlights of the holiday season at the Paranormal Hotel.

This is NOT my Paranormal Hotel.

This is NOT my Paranormal Hotel.

Photo by Prayitno via Flickr CC

*

My men-folk and I made fudge in four different flavors for the holidays. Aside from just craving fudge, we also wanted to put together a few prize-packages for some of the residents at the hotel. One long-term guest, Willard, was too appreciative. When I gave him his fudge on Christmas night, he enveloped me in a huge hug and said he hadn’t been given a Christmas gift in years. (Willard is a big guy … well over six foot and probably 250 pounds or so. When I pass his room on my rounds, I often hear him singing Motown songs in a gorgeous baritone. I don’t know how old he is. To be truthful, I’m not good at gauging the age of black folks.) A couple of days later, when I worked again, I found out Willard had been taken away by ambulance on the night of the 26th. I was just getting the news from my manager when Willard and his son returned from the hospital. Willard  came to the desk to say he’d “just had a little heart event thing.” His son stood back from us, but volunteered that his dad’s blood sugar had been way too high as well <…pause, to establish eye contact with me…> which wasn’t surprising, considering how much fudge he’d been eating.

Yes, I do feel like I tried to kill one of my favorites.

*

The hotel is messing with my spidey-senses, I think. I had the strangest experience on Christmas Eve. I was in the laundry room and it was coming up on midnight. I was folding some towels and glancing up at the video monitor that shows the lobby every few seconds. I caught a flash of motion, and the impression of a man, just as he strode out of the camera’s line of sight. He had disappeared into the hallway that leads past the snack, soda and ice machines, then the laundry room, on the way to the elevator. Only two details registered. He was wearing faded jeans and work boots. (Not exactly an uncommon look around here.) Still, that glimpse of scuffed leather boots made my heartbeat stutter. A cold urge to slam the laundry room door shut sluiced through me. Instead of lunging for the door, though, I froze. Of course he didn’t come in. In fact I didn’t see so much as a shadow from his passing.

Considering the fact that I hadn’t batted an eye earlier in the evening, when seven rough-looking giants (at least a couple of whom were sporting teardrop tattoos) had invaded my lobby, I find my reaction to this guy’s boots odd. (Is this a Stephen King thing? As I write it up, I am reminded of the walking dude.)

*

Last night, on New Year’s Eve, I discovered a party of young folks smoking A LOT of pot in one of our non-smoking rooms. (Another guest complained about the scent in the hallway.) When I got up there, I sniffed my way to the offending room and knocked. A well-dressed guy with bloodshot eyes opened the door just a crack. I told him I had to come in to find out if there was smoking going on. He reluctantly allowed me to enter. The air in the room was visibly swirling in the eddies created by the breathing of the ten or twelve people in there. There wasn’t a joint or bong in sight and everyone in the room had perfect posture and folded hands. They were the guiltiest-looking bunch of 20-somethings I’ve ever seen. At the time, I was just stunned that they had requested a non-smoking room when they checked in. I made them pay for a-whole-nother room, on one of the smoking floors, but I didn’t kick them out. I left a note for my boss, telling him what I’d done. I was nervous he’d be mad that I hadn’t thrown them out, but I did not want to be responsible for any of them driving.

Today I got a text from my boss, telling me I’d done good.

My life is weird.


Macabre & Mysterious Media: Wintersong, The Dark Servant, NOS4A2, and movies on Netflix.

NOW:

If an item is posted in the “NOW” section, I have seen (or in some way experienced) it, and am actively recommending it. NOW items are immediately available to you if you have access to the same basic services I do.

YOUR MUSICAL INTERLUDE: WINTERSONG by SARAH McLACHLAN

For my dad.

*****

ANYONE ELSE IRKED BY MISLEADING MOVIE RELEASE DATES?

I’ve been waiting and watching for a number of movies that have technically been released, but that are not coming to a theater anywhere near me. I think the problem lies in all the damn film festivals we have these days. And maybe I have to take some responsibility, because I’m not as interested in the popular blockbusters as I am in cool, creepy, quirky stuff. Sigh. FYI: I’ve decided to start taking advantage of some of the features available at IMDb, including the watch list. Apparently I have the option to make that public so here’s my address over there:

 http://www.imdb.com/user/ur21932501/watchlist

I am annoyed with theaters right now, so, for this installment of M&M Media, I’ve concentrated on other things.

*****

**CHRISTMASY BOOKS**

book cover matt manochio the-dark-servant

Last week I mentioned the debut novel, The Dark Servant, by Matt Manochio. I didn’t give you much detail, so I thought I’d share the blurb today:

It has tormented European children for centuries. Now America faces its wrath. Unsuspecting kids vanish as a blizzard crushes New Jersey. All that remains are signs of destruction-and bloody hoof prints stomped in the snow. Seventeen-year-old Billy Schweitzer awakes on December 5 feeling depressed. Already feuding with his police chief father and golden boy older brother, Billy’s devastated when his dream girl rejects him. When an unrelenting creature infiltrates his town, endangering his family and friends, Billy must overcome his own demons to understand why supposedly innocent high school students have been snatched, and how to rescue them from a famous saint’s ruthless companion-that cannot be stopped.

Since then, I’ve been trying to find more intriguing horror books set in or around Christmastime. There are not many.  In fact, it wasn’t until I read a well-timed review of NOS4A2 that I remembered that Joe Hill has given us a great Christmas book. Read the review from Emily Einolander of Craft Fear that saved me: Hop in the Wraith and Let’s Go to Christmasland.

NOS4A2_cover

I have been in love with Joe Hill’s work since I read Heart Shaped Box (without knowing ahead of time that he was Stephen King’s son.) I can’t resist a guy who can write this:

“The problem with that plan was she liked guys better than girls, and she liked Lou better than most guys; he smelled good and he moved slow and he was roughly as difficult to anger as a character from the Hundred Acre Wood. ” –Joe Hill, NOS4A2

King himself touched on Christmas in Different Seasons, in the novella The Breathing Method. Then, of course, there’s all the wintry goodness of The Shining.

*****

 **MOVIES**

DREAM HOUSE (2011)

I had completely forgotten about seeing this until I ran across it today while browsing Netflix. This belongs on two of my existing best-13 lists, and on one I’m still compiling. If I’m remembering right, it’s also a beautiful movie. Heads-up: it’s far more of a psychological thriller than a ghost story.

PG-13
Stars:  Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts
Available on Netflix streaming.

BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA (1992)

You’ve probably seen it, of course, but if you haven’t this is a really gorgeous film. It has it’s flaws, but its dark opulence and sensuality is refreshing in this season of unrelenting chipperness.

Rated: R
Stars: Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins
Available now on Netflix streaming.

THE FROZEN GROUND (2013)

EDIT: I watched this Monday night, after posting it to & LATER in this post. Thus, I moved it up to the NOW section.

I’m wondering if this a gem we missed.  Yes, it is a bit of a gem, though a small one, and not very shiny. I was distracted during the first half and I think it was slow and a bit disjointed. It does pick up. Cage’s performance is really quite understated, and his character feels real. The story itself — which is based on the crimes of Alaskan serial killer, Robert Hansen — is compelling. The approach is unusual in that the Alaska Trooper Jack Holcombe knows early on who the killer is but can’t get enough evidence together to get a warrant. It’s frustrating, but I suspect it’s truer to life than most procedurals.

An Alaska State Trooper partners with a young woman who escaped the clutches of serial killer Robert Hansen to bring the murderer to justice. Based on actual events.

Rated: R
Stars: Nicholas Cage, John Cusack, Dean Norris, & Vanessa Hudgens
Available now on Netflix streaming.

& LATER:

If an item is posted in the “& LATER” section, it may mean that it has not yet been released, but it may also mean that it’s been around for a while, but is new to me. In any case, I haven’t seen the following yet, but my interest has been piqued. 

THE CONSPIRACY (2013)

Has anyone seen this? I want to be clear that is a fictional story, done in the found-footage style, about documentary filmmakers taking on a New World Order type conspiracy. I am interested.

Rated: R
Available now on Netflix streaming.

IDA (2013)

This is an outlier but I am intrigued. There’s nothing remotely supernatural about it, but there’s just something about the atmosphere that is compelling to me.

Anna, a young novitiate nun in 1960s Poland, is on the verge of taking her vows when she discovers a dark family secret dating back to the years of the Nazi occupation.

Language: Polish with subtitles.
Rated: PG13
Available now on Netflix streaming.

BOUND BY FLESH (2012)

In the spirit of American Horror Story: Freakshow

Documentary; 95 minutes.
Available now on Netflix streaming.

FORGOTTEN PLANET: SEASON 1

I kept meaning to catch an episode of this series but never got around to it. Now the six episodes of the first season are available on Netflix streaming. Reviewers seem to love it or hate it … in particular the overwrought narration. I’m still going to give it a go, because I think abandoned places are beautiful and oh so creepy.

Documentary series; 48 minutes per episode.
Available now on Netflix streaming.

MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000

May of us are going to have extra time off this month so an installment or two of MST3000 might be just the ticket.

Here are some titles available right now on Netflix streaming:

Click the episode title to go to its Netflix listing.

*****

REDBOX: YOUR NEW VIDEO STORE

BTW, did you know that you can use Redbox in much the same way you used to use a brick and mortar video store? If you create an account online, you can view the current contents of all nearby kiosks, reserve titles, then go pick up your movie(s) at you convenience. Start here:

Redbox Reservations


Macabre & Mysterious Media: The Hanging Tree, horror books on sale, & lots of movies incl. The Babadook.

NOW:

YOUR MUSICAL INTERLUDE: The Hanging Tree by Jennifer Lawrence Static Waves EDIT: Both versions: Static Waves AND Jennifer Lawrence

NOTE: At first, I had a video here that featured Jennifer Lawrence singing the song (apparently from the soundtrack). Then there was a sweep of YouTube, in which all of those were taken down. I found a cover that I liked and swapped it in. NOW, a kind reader has let me know that the OFFICIAL Jennifer Lawrence video has been posted. Here it is:

And here’s the cover:

And here are the lyrics: MetroLyrics: The Hanging Tree

DO YOU KNOW THIS MOVIE?

I got an interesting comment / question from Dave H. over on 13+ haunting movies for ghost story lovers:

I am trying to remember the title of a movie that I wanted to watch the other evening, after watching “The Others”. It’s plot is very similar to “The Others”, in that at the end of the movie, the family realizes that they are dead.

The movie starts with a family (father, mother and just one son, if I remember correctly) heading up to a house that they bought, driving a Jeep Cherokee (again, if I remember correctly) and they show the road as treacherous, then they are living in the house, something happens, the end of the movie is a crash scene where their car is pulled from a ditch or something.

It sounds so familiar, but I’m coming up blank. ‘Can’t even think of search terms that would help me track it down. Who out there remembers this movie?

*****

**BOOKS**

book cover mccammon boys life

Robert McCammon’s ebooks are on sale today, including Boy’s Life for $2.99. This is probably my favorite McCammon:

Small town boys see weird sights, and Zephyr has provided Cory Jay Mackenson with his fair share of oddities. He knows the bootleggers who lurk in the dark places outside of town. On moonless nights, he’s heard spirits congregate in the churchyard to reminisce about the good old days. He’s seen rain that flooded Main Street and left it crawling with snakes. Cory knows magic, and relishes it as only a young boy can.
 
One frosty winter morning, he and his father watch a car jump the curb and sail into the fathomless town lake. His father dives into the icy water to rescue the driver, and finds a naked corpse handcuffed to the wheel. This chilling sight is only the start of the strangest period of Cory’s life, when the magic of his town will transform him into a man.
*****
Samhain Publishing is having a 30%-off sale until the end of today, Monday Dec. 1st. Check out great horror books by:
**** Hunter Shea **** Jonathan Janz **** Brian Moreland ****
**** Sean Munger **** Ramsey Campbell **** Matt Manochio ****

P.S. That last one, by Manochio, is a Christmas tale — do you know who Krampus is?

 **MOVIES: IN THEATERS**

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING (2014)

I gotta say, I was a little disappointed with The Theory of Everything. Not a bad movie … just not as good as I’d hoped. Stephen Hawking’s story, of course, is compelling. Eddie Redmayne does a convincing portrayal of Hawking. The film is based on a book written by Jane Hawking and it departs from reality a fair bit. If you want to know the facts, check out this article from Slate Magazine. (Warning: if you read the article, you will find lots of spoilers.)

PG-13
Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Tom Prior
FINALLY playing at most theaters (in general release)

 **ON DVD/STREAMING**

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN (2013)

The campiest season of AHS. And a great deal of fun. Beware … they do not have any idea where the line is.

Available December 6th on Netflix streaming. (No link yet, check after the 6th.)

& LATER:

**IN THEATERS**

NIGHT CRAWLER (2014)

Still looking forward to this one:

Rated: R
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton
Playing at most theaters (in general release)

 **ON DVD/STREAMING**

COME BACK TO ME (2014)

The reviews are saying that this is a cut above most horror. Apparently there’s a twist / something special about the second half / ending. (I’m not looking into it too deeply, because I don’t want to have my experience spoiled.)

Rated: R
Available now on Netflix streaming.

**COMING SOON**

ScoobyClue brought TWO prizes to the comment thread of last week’s M&M Media post. (Apparently she’s caught on to my fondness for quirky 20th century period pieces, horror or not.) I’ll be watching for these.

BIG EYES (2014)


Rated: PG13
Stars: Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Krysten Ritter
Opening in theaters: December 25th
AGENT CARTER (2015)

Coming in January on ABC.

THE BABADOOK (2014)

I am really excited about this one:

EDIT: I just found a review of the movie by someone who has seen it! Here’s what Megan, of Halloween Girl, has to say: The Babadook Review

Mrs. Horror Boom brought this film to my attention in her thoroughly informative post:

See the Spooky-Ass Short Film That Inspired Jennifer Kent’s Upcoming “The Babadook” – “Monster” (2005)

For more in-depth info about the film, go have a read.

If nothing else, though, you’ve got to watch the actual short film that led to the full movie:

No, really. It’s VERY good. It’s only 10 minutes. Click the play button.

*****

REDBOX: YOUR NEW VIDEO STORE

BTW, did you know that you can use Redbox in much the same way you used to use a brick and mortar video store? If you create an account online, you can view the current contents of all nearby kiosks, reserve titles, then go pick up your movie(s) at you convenience. Start here:

Redbox Reservations

Here’s how M&M Media listings work:
If an item is posted in the “NOW” section, I have seen (or in some way experienced) it, and am actively recommending it. NOW items are immediately available to you if you have access to the same basic services I do.
If an item is posted in the “& LATER” section, it may mean that it has not yet been released, but it may also mean I have become aware that something of potential interest is currently available, but have not yet sat down with it.

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