Wednesday, October 28, 2020

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown: A Parents' Night Mini - The Great Pumpkin is Finally Revealed!

We're back with another Parents' Night mINi-episode movie review, where we discuss the OTHER classic Peanuts cartoon, It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!  We'll talk about our history with this TV special, some of our earliest Halloween memories, the awful Halloween costumes we wore as kids,  how disappointed we were that we never got to actually SEE the Great Pumpkin, the origin of the phrase "trick or treat," and more!  Stick around to the end, because THE GREAT PUMPKIN IS REVEALED!

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Snippet of the Peanuts theme by Vince Guaraldi.
Parody lyrics:

Parents' Night mINi is back for
Halloween time
Linus and Sally are missing
Tricks or treats
Wait....who says that?

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Disclaimer- Some contents are used for educational purpose under fair use. Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.       

Top Ten Things: Scary Movie Moments

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Things, here at!

Since it's October I thought I'd do a Halloween-themed list, so today I'll be talking about truly frightening or disturbing moments/scenes in some of my favorite scary films.  I generally don't scare very easy when watching a film; I've seen so many in my lifetime, and coming up with new ways to shock audiences becomes more difficult with each passing year.  But there are some cinematic scares that have endured for me, either because of a visually harrowing moment, or because of the sheer genius of a scene's construction.

10. The Shining: Bear Suit - This first entry isn't terrifying in the traditional sense, but I've included it more because it's such a strange and upsetting image.  In this scene from one of the all-time horror classics, Wendy Torrance is running through the halls of the haunted Overlook Hotel trying to find her son.  She stops in her tracks and the camera abruptly zooms in through the open doorway of one of the rooms, on a ghost dude in a bear suit pleasuring another ghost dude in a tux.  The novel provides an explanation for these supernatural shenanigans, but it's so much more effective as an unexplained cinematic bit.  This visual is so traumatic, so bizarre and disorienting, for both Wendy and the audience, particularly since neither of these men is supposed to be there.  It's like something out of a nightmare that you can barely remember; one of those dreams where you can only recall fragments of out-of-context imagery that stay with you for weeks.

Seriously, what the hell's goin' on?

9. Invasion of the Body Snatchers: Pointing - The 1978 remake of this sci-fi classic (in my opinion the best version by far) ends with the entire city of San Francisco being taken over by human-impersonating pod people.  The protagonist Matthew Bennell has seemingly escaped without being assimilated and is spotted by his friend Nancy, one of the few humans left in the city.  As she approaches him, he turns and lets out the signature body snatcher screech, revealing to us that he's one of them, and alerting the other pod people to Nancy's presence.  It's a truly terrifying conclusion to the film, and the visual of Donald Sutherland pointing at her accusingly with this inhuman facial expression is an iconic horror moment.

If you ever suspect someone of anything, just point at them like this
and I guarantee they'll own up to every shitty thing they've ever done.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Top Ten Things: Hell in a Cell Matches

Hey there, and welcome to another Top Ten Things, here at!  

Today's list is all about the most demonic of wrestling gimmick matches, Hell in a Cell.  Introduced by the WWF in 1997, HIAC expanded on the traditional Steel Cage match by surrounding the entire ringside area with the volatile mesh structure.  They also covered the whole thing with a roof, trapping the combatants inside but giving them enough room to utilize the numerous unforgiving surfaces and weapons found outside the ring.  The result was one of the most brutal recurring stipulations in the history of the business, where only the most personal and heated of rivalries would be settled.  2009 saw the creation of a Hell in a Cell-themed PPV, which undermined the severity of such a gimmick match by making it an annual tradition instead of a feud-ender.  Regardless of its recently history though, Hell in a Cell still remains one of the most intriguing special attractions in WWE.

Here are my picks for the ten greatest HIAC matches of all time....

10. Batista vs. Triple H - Vengeance - 6.26.05

After two rather lackluster efforts at WrestleMania 21 and Backlash, Hunter and Big Dave finally delivered a classic inside the hellacious cage.  This was a bloody, grueling fight that ran over 26 minutes and finally solidified Batista as Triple H's conqueror.  These two made innovative use of weapons, as well as the ol' cage walls to create a shockingly good Cell bout.  When it was over, the torch had finally been passed to Batista, who along with John Cena became one of the faces of the company.

9. Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose - Hell in a Cell - 10.26.14

After multiple years of underwhelming HIAC matches two young, hungry stars took the gimmick back up a notch at the 2014 event.  Mortal enemies Ambrose and Rollins followed up their unruly SummerSlam Lumberjack match with this brutal, chaotic fight that kicked off atop the structure.  After about ten minutes of crazy brawling leading to both men falling through announce tables (the first spot like that since the Mick Foley years), the match officially resumed inside the cage, and 13 minutes later Rollins took advantage of Bray Wyatt's (hokey) interference to win the bout.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

WWE Hell in a Cell 2020 Preview & Predictions

What is it with Hell in a Cell PPVs nowadays?  This is the second year in a row WWE has only announced four matches as of a few days before the show.  And we all know how that went last year, don't we?  What the fuck, with this company....

Anyway, Hell in a Cell 2020 is in four days, so I guess let's pick the winners for the half-card they've been gracious enough to announce.  There's really only one match on this show I'm interested in and that's the three-years-in-the-making Bayley vs. Sasha match.

Jeff Hardy vs. Elias

So as I understand it, Sheamus attacked Elias backstage but framed Jeff Hardy for it, and now Elias wants to fight Jeff.  Even though we know for a fact that it was actually Sheamus.  Is that right?  This has gotta be the stupidest-ever basis for a feud, and I was around in 1995 when Jean-Pierre LaFitte stole Bret Hart's jacket (that his mom supposedly made for him, because moms are good at fashioning leather garments...).  At least that feud yielded two really good matches.  This isn't gonna be that.  Elias stinks and Jeff is beyond irrelevant in 2020.  Who gives a turd?

Pick: Jeff wins I guess?

Universal Championship Hell in a Cell: Roman Reigns vs. Jey Uso

This is one of two Cell matches where the challenger has already lost to the champion.  So therefore let's have a rematch in the most brutal gimmick structure.  Makes sense.  Man do I miss the days when Hell in a Cell was about settling a blood feud and not "Hey, it's October again!"  Anyone who thinks Jey Uso has a snowball's chance in Guatemala, I have several bridges to sell you.  In Guatemala.

Pick: Anyone with brains knows Roman Reigns retains

Monday, October 19, 2020

NJPW G1 Climax 30 Recap: Ibushi Does It Again!

The 30th G1 is now behind us, and while not the all-time classic tournament the last three editions were, the 2020 installment provided us with plenty of good wrestling, some big news, and a clear direction for next year's Tokyo Dome double-shot.

One usual G1 trope that was magnified this time around was the disparity of match quality from one block to the other.  While there's almost always a slight imbalance in that department, this year almost all of the great matchups took place in Block A, while Block B too often suffered from matches either going too long or featuring too much interference.  Evil's bouts in particular frequently became tiresome thanks to constant Dick Togo shenanigans.  Between Evil, Kenta, Yano's usual antics, and Jay White in A Block, this G1 must've seen the most outside interference of any edition to date.  I'd say it's time to curb this stuff; Evil and especially Jay White are capable of excellent matches but the constant chicanerie on the outside has made me not look forward to watching them (Jay's matches usually still deliver though).  In past tournaments Evil has provided multiple highlights.  Not so much as a Bullet Club member.  White on the other hand was able to muster some pretty great showings despite Gedo's tomfoolery.  But overall the BC stuff is wearing thin for me, and so many tainted moments throughout the tourney took away from the one big angle NJPW presented (More on that shortly).

By contrast though, another traditionally heel stable forwent the bullshit and got down to some great business in the G1.  I'm talking about Suzuki-Gun.  Minoru delivered multiple excellent matches, Zack Sabre was true to grappling spider monkey form, and perhaps the man who grew more than anyone in this tournament, Taichi actually became fun to watch.  No valets, minimal cheating; at age 40 (I had no idea he was that old) Taichi seems to have finally gotten serious about good wrestling matches.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Parents' Night In #47: The Exorcist (1973)

It's our third Halloween-themed episode of 2020 (and our 20th episode of the year), and we're back to discuss The Exorcist, a yardstick in horror cinema, directed by William Friedkin and starring Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Jason Miller, and Max Von Sydow!  We'll talk about the film's extraordinary production stories, its profound cultural impact, its Oscar-nominated performances, Mercedes McCambridge's legendary voiceover work, why the theatrical cut is superior to the extended cut, and why Justin doesn't think much of Lee J. Cobb's character, Lt. Kinderman.  The Exorcist is just as powerful, visceral, shocking, and endlessly fascinating now as it was upon its release, so join us for some fun and terror!


Excerpt from Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells," 1973, Atlantic Records

Parody lyrics:

Parents' Night In with Justin n' Kelly's a show on YouTube that you should like and subscribe to
We watch movies and make some funnies and drink some booze and we think you'll enjoy our antics
Click that notification bell so you'll be alerted when we post another video

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Disclaimer- Some contents are used for educational purpose under fair use. Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.       

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Parents' Night In #46: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

Our Halloween-time coverage continues with one of the greatest film remakes in history, Philip Kaufman's 1978 adaptation of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, starring Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Leonard Nimoy, Veronica Cartwright and Jeff Goldblum!  Where the original novel and 1956 movie version were steeped in 50s Communism paranoia, the 70s update smacked of that era's "Me Generation" self-importance, distrust of the government in the wake of Watergate, and conspiracy theories run rampant.  We'll talk about the film, its continued relevance in today's political climate, its stars, 70s decor, rotary phones, mud baths, and that terrifying "pod people" squeal!  Come and hang out with Justin & Kelly for another episode of Parents' Night In!


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Disclaimer- Some contents are used for educational purpose under fair use. Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.     

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Monday, October 5, 2020

Cinema Showdown: Dracula 1979 vs. Bram Stoker's Dracula 1992

It's been a long time since I published one of these, but welcome to another installment of Cinema Showdown, here at, where I compare and contrast two films of similar subject matter and pick which one I like better, and you all must agree with me....

Today I'll be discussing two of my favorite film versions of Bram Stoker's timeless novel Dracula.  It's been a long time since Hollywood gave us a serious adaptation of this story - everything since 1992 has been either satirical or a pointless reinvention of the wheel - and it's the two most recent high-quality versions I'm here to talk about.

1979 saw the release of three Dracula films - a Werner Herzog-helmed Nosferatu remake/homage (an excellent film in its own right), a modern-day spoof called Love at First Bite (starring a hilarious George Hamilton), and on the heels of a massively successful revival of the Broadway play on which it was based, a remake of Universal Studios' 1931 production of Dracula.  As they'd done in the 30s (after the sudden death of their first choice Lon Chaney), Universal cast the star of the Broadway production - in 1931 it was Bela Lugosi, in 1979 it was Frank Langella.  Reimagined as an extravagant, atmospheric horror-romance, this new version of Dracula was critically well-received but underwhelmed at the box office (no doubt hampered by the George Hamilton comedy released only a few months earlier).  It was perhaps even further removed from the novel than its 1930s counterpart, removing most of the first act and changing some characters around.  Still the Langella Dracula is a pretty excellent update of the Lugosi classic, with a more explicit emphasis on the sensuality of vampirism, and a romantic, minimalist portrayal of the immortal Count.  My wife affectionately refers to this version as Disco Dracula due to Frank's very 70s hairstyle.  This moniker is actually very fitting since John Badham had previously directed Saturday Night Fever....

Thirteen years later Francis Ford Coppola decided to take the story back to its turn-of-the-century literary roots, presenting Bram Stoker's Dracula as an honest-to-goodness faithful adaptation.  All the major characters were restored, the film followed the book's narrative structure (including diary entries in voiceover), and Dracula's extensive supernatural powers were better explored.  Sure, they crammed in a romance where the novel did not, but overall the 1992 version is one of the closest to the novel to date.  What sets this film apart from other interpretations though is its surrealist, operatic style.  The visuals were unlike anything since the 1920s Expressionist period, while many of the performances could easily be classified as "scenery chewing."  Carried largely by Gary Oldman's star making lead performance, Bram Stoker's Dracula was a strong worldwide hit, grossing over $215 million on a $40 million budget (or $473 million in today's dollars).

But which version is superior?  I enjoy both films immensely, for different reasons.  Let's take a closer look and break these films down, shall we?


Dracula: Frank Langella vs. Gary Oldman

A Dracula movie of course will largely stand or fall based on the quality of the titular performance, and both films are on very solid ground in this category.  Langella and Oldman each delivered one of the greatest and most memorable portrayals of the immortal Count, in very different ways.

Langella's turn is understated, relying on smoldering sex appeal and a soft-spoken menace.  He also skipped the Romanian accent (an odd choice given Drac's nationality, but somehow it works) and refused any sort of vampiric makeup or fangs, telling the filmmakers, "There are fifty other movies where Dracula looks like that, we're doing something different."  Instead of a typically monstrous vampire, Langella embodies the Count as a stoic, romantic lead who exhibits no wasted motion, luring his victims to their demise with an almost feline charm.  And of course those hypnotic, ever-dancing eyes....

Gary Oldman's performance couldn't be more different from its 1979 counterpart.  Oldman, like everything else in the Coppola film, is operatic in his portrayal.  This Count is bombastic, charismatic, fully "old world," and depending on the scene either violently carnal or grotesquely terrifying.  He shapeshifts no fewer than half a dozen times throughout the film (as in the novel where he appears as an old man, a less old man, a bat, a wolf, an army of rats, and mist), and Oldman's fearsome theatrics shine through the layers of prosthetic makeup.  This is the film that made me fall in love with Gary Oldman's acting.

But who's better?  It's really up to your personal tastes and what you expect out of the character.  Langella goes for romance and a minimalistic sense of evil.  Oldman swings for the fences to make the Count an otherworldly demon.  Personally I like my Dracula to be a true, unearthly monster, and I think Oldman's larger-than-life version is much closer to what Bram Stoker probably envisioned.  Plus it's still one of my all-time favorite film performances.

Point: 1992

Thursday, October 1, 2020

NXT TakeOver 31 Preview & Predictions

NXT TakeOver 31 (Are they really just numbering them now? Lame.) is this Sunday, and it actually looks like a really strong lineup.

WWE's only good brand is back and they've got a slate of five hot matches for us to peruse.  It's shows like this that make me consider resubscribing to the Network, at least temporarily.  Hmmmmmm....

Anyway let's take a look.

NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar vs. Isaiah "Swerve" Scott

Ok, I know zilch about either of these guys and I haven't watched NXT since they annexed the Cruiserweight Title (though I agree with it; that belt got zero respect on the main roster).  But it's two cruiserweights on NXT, so it oughta be good.  Since I'm flying blind on this one I'll just go with the champ to retain.

Pick: Escobar retains

Kushida vs. Velveteen Dream

On paper this is a helluva match.  I'm glad Kush is finally getting something to do in this company; he's been there a year and a half and this is his first TakeOver.  That's mental.  Kushida is an amazing talent who, I grant you, Vince wouldn't take a second look at on the main roster, but he should've been utilized right away on NXT.  Anyway I'm hoping this is the beginning of a push for him and not just a one-off.

Pick: Kushida