In Theaters 09/22/17: Stronger

His story is true.

His journey will inspire you.

Boston Marathon bombing survivor, 
Jeff Bauman,
as portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal.



Don’t miss this moving and memorable film.

Powerhouse performances abound !


Roadside Attractions


Halloween Favorites: Volume X


These Films Are Hair-Raising !

Hello Everyone !
Welcome to my parlor…
Time to feast your eyes upon:
Halloween Favorites: Volume X

In the darkness, shadowy figures make their way through town.  If a wary
soul pays close attention, whispers can be heard just above the ominous
autumn winds.  Some lurk just beyond graveyard gates, whilst some hide
behind misshapen trees.

Soon, bloodshot eyes will be focusing on your humble abode.  You might
want to bolt the door, lock the windows, and pull the drapes !  Otherwise,
trick-or-treaters and their frazzled parents will probably notice that you’re
watching “Keeping Up With the Kardashians”.  Egads !  How can you save

Fear not.  Just plan on checking out some of the following movies.  When
possible, view them in HD (Horrific Demise).  Muah-ha-ha !!!

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Pillow of Death

*Frightening Fluff.

He Knows You’re Alone

*Because you forgot to wear deodorant !

Lights Out

*The electric bill is way too high.

The Last Exorcism

*I doubt it.

The Grudge

*Let it go already !

Young Frankenstein

*Never gets old.

Ouija: Origin of Evil

*A terrifying board meeting.



Be Honest.  Does This Make My Eye Look Big?



*Who let the dogs out?

The Lost Boys

*Should have asked for directions !

Ginger Snaps

*And hums (while listening to music on her radio).

Frozen Ghost



*A favorite ant comes to visit

Blair Witch

*No relation to Linda.

Don’t Breathe

*Someone farted.



Look !  It’s Another Political Billboard Ad !!!


The Nightmare Before Christmas

*Also known as Election Day !

Dark Water

*Wasn’t that a song by the Doobie Brothers?

The Devil’s Rejects

*Prada knockoffs.

I Am Legend

*Sounds like someone has a big ego.

Drag Me to Hell

*Just don’t drag me to see “Hello Dolly”.


*Scarlett O’Hara looks great in ’em.

Boo!  A Madea Halloween

*Scares up plenty of laughs.

Final Destination

*We’ve reached the end !


  Have a happily haunted Halloween !!!

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Daniel’s Critical Corner: “Earth Vs. the Spider” Museum Screening

“Earth Vs. the Spider” (1958)


Hello Everyone !

I’ll be co-hosting a “classic” movie screening at The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History
tonight (in beautiful Albuquerque, New Mexico).

It’s  Earth Vs. the Spider !

The evening’s events will include an informative lecture by Ann Lerner,
Albuquerque’s film liaison.

Other guests include Craig Chrissinger (Fangoria) and the very talented comedienne
Jessica Osbourne !

Things get started at 5:00 PM, with the movie showing at 7:00 PM.  Bug spray not provided.

The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History is located at 2000 Mountain Rd. (in Old Town).

 Link: Museum info

See you there !!!

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Daniel’s Critical Corner: “Oz the Great and Powerful”

   The Feathered Look Is Coming Back !   

Hello Everyone !
~ Welcome to Daniel’s Critical Corner * ~
Prepare to be blown away by:
♦♦♦♦ Oz the Great and Powerful ♦♦♦♦

* Nowhere near Kansas

I’ve got to admit, it’s rather refreshing to know that there are still many fans
who are totally crazy (but that’s how it goes) over anything “Oz”, even in this
day and age.  Friends of Dorothy seem to be popping up all over the place !!!
You can’t watch the news anymore without seeing pretty rainbows.

Does anyone recall that strange kid in the movie “A Christmas Story” ?  He is
sporting a weird aviator hat and goggles.  You know, the kid who stands next
to Ralphie saying he likes “The Wizard of Oz”.  Well, that is me in a nutshell !
No, not the hat part (but perhaps the goggles on occasion).  I really do enjoy
tales involving the aforementioned master of magic.

I am very happy to report that Disney’s “Oz the Great and Powerful” does not
ever disappoint.  People were quite skeptical that today’s filmmakers could do
the iconic source material justice !!!  Thanks to smoke and mirrors, a lovely
companion piece emerges (despite what the naysayers feared).

Most folks seem to be looking for similarities to the classic 1939 Judy Garland
flick.  Legendary author L. Frank Baum’s “Oz” books are indeed referenced to
some degree, but few individuals worried about that.  Those showing concern
are now content (because they’re back on their meds) !

It goes without saying that we’ve all had our own “Wizard of Oz” dreams.  At
least I assume so !!!  My dream involved me skipping along (whilst sporting
some ruby Air Jordans).  I was joined by Zsa Zsa Gabor, Jabba the Hutt and
Rex Reed.  Rex kept making fun of Jabba’s weight so Zsa Zsa slapped him. I
woke up screaming !!!   Rex did not look good in that famous blue and white
checkered dress.  Hmm…  What was it made out of again ?


Oppan Gingham Style !


You gotta love Judy Garland’s “Dorothy”.  Surprisingly, Dorothy’s nowhere to
be found in 2013’s lush prequel !  All of the action takes place in 1905, many
years before the farm girl’s famed adventures.  We’re introduced to someone
who might just be Dorothy’s Mom.  She’s going to marry a man named “John
Gale”.  Doesn’t that last name sound familiar ?

This woman is breaking things off with her old beau, “Oscar Diggs”.  Oscar is a
philandering cad and flim-flam man !!!  He is also a magician, with a snake-oil
salesman’s demeanor.  James Franco portrays Oscar with sleazy aplomb, and
he proceeds to break hearts with an effectively deceptive smile.

In crisp black and white sequences, Oscar cons his way through a magic show
before being called out as a fraud.  He is chased around by an angry guy who
looks like “Mr. Clean’s” grandfather (but he does escape him by stealing a hot
air balloon).  What a gas !  Oscar’s troubles, of course, are far from over.

While he is soaring above his home state of Kansas, a terrible tornado touches
down in the balloon’s vicinity.  Oscar starts praying when his fragile transport
gets sucked away by the ravenous wind.

Things eventually settle down, as calming breezes carry the frightened fellow
over a stunningly beautiful rainbow.  After another scare, Oscar seems to be
alright when his dilapidated balloon basket lands in a shallow pond…  Amazed
by the colorful new world he has discovered, our wet friend makes his way to
land.  An attractive young woman wearing black pants greets him…

Wait a second…  What’s up with the pants ?  It’s 1905 for heaven’s sake.  Who
does she think she is, a suffragette ?  Katharine Hepburn ?  At any rate, Oscar
is totally smitten !  “Theodora” (Mila Kunis) charms him with her alluring and
mysterious presence.  Turns out, she’s actually a witch !

Theodora is a good witch in the land of Oz…  She tells Oscar that he might just
be the wizard that her land has been waiting on, as noted in a prophecy !  She
decides to take him home (so he can meet her sister).  Bad idea !  On the way
to her palace in the Emerald City, they meet a talking flying monkey and have
a brief encounter with a cowardly lion !!!


What Did I Just Step In ?


The monkey “Finley” (voiced by Zach Braff) joins them as they all go forward.
Oscar meets Theodora’s noxious sibling, “Evanora” (Rachel Weiss).  Evanora
is even a bigger manipulator than Oscar, shown by the way she weaves webs
of deceit !!!  Her good-hearted sister’s caught in her nefarious plot, involving
yet another witch.  This one’s called “Glinda”

Glinda (depicted divinely by Michelle Williams) is allegedly a monstrous fiend.
Oscar learns that if he kills her, the entire kingdom will be his to rule, and he’ll
get a pile of gold too.  Despite being somewhat unscrupulous, Mr. Diggs never
really wanted to harm anyone…

Now things start to get interesting.  Oscar does have a conscience, and he’s at
odds with himself…  After many years of womanizing and cheating, this man is
seeing the light.  He wants to find his purpose !  He grabs his monkey and hits
the “Yellow Brick Road” in search of adventure Don’t knock it.  It worked for
Elton John.  The road that is, not the monkey grabbing…

On their road trip, the duo encounter a tiny girl made out of china.  The effects
used to bring this adorable character to life are simply mesmerizing !!!  She is
from “China Town”, and has a courageous spirit.  Joey King provides her voice,
and this porcelain princess turns out to be priceless.

She joins Oscar and Finley on their quest, as they head towards the foreboding
realm of Glinda.  But when Glinda and Oscar meet face to face, sparks start to
fly.  Love is in the air (along with winged baboons, balloons and houses).  This
romance causes drama, when one of the sisters turns green with envy.

It isn’t long before the “Munchkins” come to help out…  These perky little folks
sometimes get mistaken for “Oompa Loompas”.  Munchkins inhabit Oz and are
basically normal citizens who happen to be small in stature !  Oompa Loompas
are orange (and only appear if you’ve had too much chocolate).

With all of the wonder and whimsy that this film creates, it’s hard to go wrong.
The colors are brilliant, the CGI is flawless and the 3D treatment is reminiscent
of “Avatar” !!!  A cinematic success, this frothy flick feels connected to the old
stuff (while presenting many contemporary spins).  When we are talking about
CGI tornadoes, we are talking about “contemporary spins”.  Ha-ha !

 Hold on to your hat.  “Oz the Great and Powerful” is a deliciously wicked ride.


Would I Recommend This ?  Yes

Daniel’s Critical Rating:  8.5 out of 10

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In memory of Roger Ebert (1942-2013)

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Daniel’s Critical Corner: “The Odd Life of Timothy Green”

I’ll Stay Planted In My Seat For This.

Hello Everyone !
~ Welcome To Daniel’s Critical Corner  ~
Today, Al Gore Will Endorse:
The Odd Life of Timothy Green

Late summer’s crop of movies is always a mixed bag.  Sure, there are a few
bad apples, but some decent offerings still manage to sprout up !  Disney’s
heartwarming new family film, “The Odd Life of Timothy Green”, is certainly
pleasant enough (and aptly titled).  Basically, we have an odd kid who does
weird things under peculiar circumstances.

Arguably, there are other films with stranger titles out there, like “Lemony
Snicket’s Tragic Unfolding of Whatever”.  Hmm…  Or something like that !!!
Then we had Heath Ledger’s last flick, which I think was called “Dr Magoo’s
Fascinating Emporium of Potassium”.  Ugh !!!  Sorry folks, “IMDb” is down.
I’m winging it !

Now, I must admit that “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” is kind of vague in
describing itself.  Heck, “John Carter” would certainly agree !  But, as stated
above, this is some heartwarming* stuff.

*Artichoke heart (delicious heated, and full of vitamin K).

Audiences, no doubt, will dig the characters of Jim and Cindy Green (played
by Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Garner, respectively).  Joel was “Uncle Owen”
in the last two “Star Wars” movies.  Which, were technically the second and
third “Star Wars” movies.  I’ll let George Lucas handle that business…  I am
here to talk about horticulture.

Believe it or not, I’ve actually got a green thumb.  OK, it’s only because I’ve
been attending a finger painting class (our assignment today involved some
fields of clover).  Being artistic can be difficult at times…  Yet Jim and Cindy
Green dream of having an artistic child one day.  Or perhaps athletic !

As a matter of fact, even a talentless child would make the Greens happy.
The only exception possibly being “Honey Boo Boo” (everyone must draw
lines somewhere).  Cindy and her husband Jim can’t be too picky because
they are fast approaching middle age without kids of their own.


Look ! “VeggieTales” Is On TV !


Unable to conceive, they start talking about adoption.  Since that is often a
lengthy process, Jim and Cindy decide to hurry things up by planting some
dreams in the garden out back.  This hopeful couple first jotted down traits
of a “perfect” kid (then placed the writings in a wooden wish box).  Well, it
isn’t long before a little boy surfaces next to the spinach.  Now that’s what
I call organic.  Michelle Obama would be proud.

Timothy introduces himself, and the family welcomes this miracle into their
lives.  They don’t carrot all where he came from, or why.  Best to just leaf
well enough alone !!!  However, the Greens do get into quite a pickle while
dealing with a dilly of a situation !  No matter.  Lettuce continue…

As the proud parents of fresh produce, Jim and Cindy have quite a task on
their hands.  Tim seems like a good little lad, but there are problems from
the start.  For one thing, he has a shrub growing out of his leg.  They opt
to prune it down (I guess because they’re out of antifungal cream) !

Bringing magic and delight to everybody he encounters, Timothy becomes a
smash hit at the annual family picnic.  He indeed takes a particular shine to
his new uncle, “Bub” (played by M. Emmet Walsh).  Uncle Bub’s a funny old
coot and trickster.  He and Tim do nothing but tell jokes and laugh !

Sadly, Uncle Bub is hospitalized (after he almost becomes a vegetable).  It
goes without saying that Tim can relate.  Frowns are turned upside down in
record time though, as our hero displays his adorable bedside manner.  Not
too bad for a Cabbage Patch Kid.  Hmm…  “Cabbage Patch Adams” !!!


Nice To See You Again, Mrs. Dash !


Even though going to school is a little difficult for the tyke, Tim manages to
find himself a cute girlfriend.  He meets her while taking a quick swim (also
known as a “vegetable dip”) !!!  She happens to love leafy greens, so they
become like two peas in a pod…  A nice relationship develops, and some of
the best parts of this film are when these friends dream together !

Young actor CJ Adams really brings a magnificent perspective to Timothy’s
character.  He is both charming and convincing.  It’s understandable how
Tim’s entire hometown of Stanleyville ends up being inspired by him in the
long run.

There is a touching moment where Timothy (and his parents) are attending
some sort of musical luncheon…  Many kids in the group begin to showcase
their respective talents, with Jim and Cindy worrying that Tim can’t cut it !
He surprises everyone when he breaks into song, Broadway style !!!

The leaves on his legs come alive, and start ensnaring unsuspecting guests.
He pulls innocent people in and devours them (like a Venus Flytrap) whilst
singing “Feed Me!”  Blood curdling screams are heard as…  Um…   Yikes !  I
am thinking of “Little Shop of Horrors”.  Tim does not eat people, he simply
entertains them with a natural rhythm and freestyle beats.

Whenever our ambitious youth tries to branch out, his mother is overjoyed.
Jennifer Garner delivers a fine performance, despite some sappy moments
here and there.  Certain scenes do emulate a “Lifetime Original Movie”, yet
everything manages to stay rooted in good fun !

What this story boils down to (like a potato) is that we’re all blessed, at one
point in our lives, by someone who shows up like an angel.  They might not
stick around for long, but we are stronger for having known them !  Now, I
can’t tell you how things end…   That would be too mulch information.

  Regardless, I am sure “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” will grow on you !!!


Would I Recommend This ?  Yes

Daniel’s Critical Rating:  7 out of 10

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Daniel’s Critical Corner: “Marvel’s The Avengers”

Back In Black

Hello Everyone !
~ Welcome to Daniel’s Critical Corner ~
Suiting Up Today: Marvel’s The Avengers 

Fanboys around the world, it is time to rejoice !  Nerds, bask in the glory !
Geeks, dust off those action figures !  “Marvel’s The Avengers” has arrived.
More rewarding than Free Comic Book Day, and shinier than unobtainium !
This film is incredible…  A surefire SMASH !  Yes, those were some blatant
“Hulk” references !!!

Indeed, a multitude of people were holding their breath (until they turned
green) while anticipating our gathering of superheroes Samuel L. Jackson
has been dangled in everybody’s face for four years, promising us amazing
things.  Usually, Mr. Jackson does not like to be dangled !

 He’s made appearances in “Iron Man”, “Thor” (and even “Captain America:
The First Avenger”)Jackson’s always rambling on about something called
The Avenger Initiative. He peddles that idea as if he were selling “Amway”
or “Avon”.  And, if his plans tanked, selling makeup would probably be his
next career move.

Anyway, Jackson stars as “Odin”, the ruler of Asgard (and Thor’s father) !!!
He is also the father of…  Whoops !  Wait a second.  Anthony Hopkins plays
Thor’s dad…  It’s that darn eyepatch that mixes me up each time.  Jackson
portrays “Nick Furry”…  I mean “Fury” !  He’s not “Furry”, the man is bald !

But that is neither hair nor there.  Nick Fury is the director of the Strategic
Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division !  They just call
it “S.H.I.E.L.D.” for short.  This triumph of an action flick actually starts off
rather low-key (or, should I say, “Loki”) as Fury encounters a bad guy who
wants to steal his magic ice cube.

Loki (Thor’s evil bro) has dropped in to get his hands on that glowing blue
square known as “The Tesseract” !  Tom Hiddleston plays Loki (who is loco
in the cabeza).  But, his cabeza is well adorned with a killer helmet !  Fury
gets blindsided (pun intended) and his powerful thingy falls right into the
clutches of dastardly (if not impeccably dressed) villains.

How does one combat such treachery and high fashion !?  Find just a few
haute couture costumed-crusaders of your own, of course !


I Was Told They Would Make Me A Star.


As good fortune would have it, Fury has several colorful characters on speed
dial.  “Speed” being a key word, because these folks can run (and fly) pretty
fast !!!  There’s “Charlie Chaplin” (played by Robert Downey Jr.) also known
as “Iron Man”.  He doubles as “Sherlock Holmes” on occasion, so this is one
busy fellow.  Joining Holmes is “Captain America” (Chris Evans).

Captain America has been thrust into the future.  An odd world that’s given
him the red, white and blues.  He was a boogie woogie bugle boy, but after
dozing off for almost 70 years he does not feel like tootin’ his own horn !  If
nothing else, this guy needs to feel useful in today’s society.

After all, the man was actually frozen for decades.  Good thing.  Otherwise,
Mickey Rooney would have been hired to portray him.  Captain America was
a puny weakling at one point in his life (until the U.S. military experimented
on him with a bizarre strength serum).  Now, he is one tough cookie !!!

Weaving her way into this growing group of goody-goodies is the lovely and
alluring “Black Widow”.  Scarlett Johansson puts an interesting spin on the
iconic spy.  As “Natasha Romanoff”, she’s Russian to find every dangerous
criminal.  Widow is only armed with martial arts, a tiny gun and some dude
(who channels Daniel Craig) whilst shooting arrows !

To keep environmentalists off their back, the group promises to go green
Naturally, they enlist the “Hulk” !!!  I think because he recycles !?  Anyway,
the jolly green giant is (once again) voiced by Lou Ferrigno.  As for the guy
who plays his moody alter ego, “Bruce Banner”, we now have Mark Ruffalo.
Edward Norton was perfect in 2008 (these days, he’s just 2000 and late) !
Eric Bana was good too, but Ruffalo nails it.


I Just Don’t Know Who I Am Anymore !


The Hulk almost steals the show.  Everyone gets plenty of quality face time,
but (much to my surprise) Hulk just plain rocks !!!  To round out this heroic
posse, is yet another name on the roster.  While flying in their craft, several
members of our gallant gang think they hit a bird during a lightning storm !
Nope.  They’ve smacked into the god of thunder.  And boy, is he “Thor” !!!

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) swings his hammer to save the day (only because
he can’t find his baseball bat) !  Backing up this stellar star and his cohorts
are “Agent Phil Coulson” (Clark Gregg),  Iron Man’s computerized assistant
“J.A.R.V.I.S.” (Paul Bettany) and Iron Man’s seemingly always barefoot love
interest “Pepper Potts” (Gwyneth Paltrow).  “Hawkeye” (Jeremy Renner) is
Natasha Romanoff’s exceptional archer.

Even Sir Michael Caine has returned, playing the noble manservant, “Alfred
Pennyworth”.  He’s always putting in his two cents !  Ha !!!  Um…  Whoops,
wrong movie (heck, wrong universe) !  I’m already starting to get multiple
angry phone calls.  Sheesh.  Good thing I didn’t ask why “Wonder Woman”
wasn’t in this extravaganza.

It has been said that too many cooks spoil the broth Not the case here !!!
Each superhero brings something unique to the mix (and everything blends
harmoniously).  Sure, there are HUGE egos to contend with, and there are
plenty of grand fights amongst The Avengers themselves.  They do resolve
their issues (sometimes by duking it out) and that is half the fun !

Collectively, these warriors are able to thwart Loki’s fiendish plot.  Loki and
some random “Other” guy are planning on ruling mankind !!!  The second
dude’s name is indeed “The Other”, just for the record !  The Avengers are
shocked when a huge orifice opens up in the sky and nasty creatures start
flying out…  Very similar to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” video !

This flick’s graphics are nothing short of dazzling !  The audience is treated
to eye-popping special effects.  Hmm… That might explain what happened
with Thor’s father and Nick Fury !  Solid performances, dynamic chemistry
between the actors (and director Joss Whedon’s sense of humor) made it
all very much worth the wait.

So, start Romanoff towards the theater to see “Marvel’s The Avengers” !


Would I Recommend This ?  Yes

Daniel’s Critical Rating:  10 out of 10

~  ~  ~

Daniel Boyer