The “It” Movie Event of the Season Falls Short of Greatness

This past Friday I did something that I haven’t done in far too long: I saw a movie in the theater on opening day. The movie: “It: Chapter One.”

When the first YouTube trailer was released, download records were broken and a buzz formed around the movie, a buzz that has never really died down. This fact, coupled with my being a fan of the 1990 ABC-TV miniseries and the 1986 novel, which I’ve read three times, had me go in to Andy Muschietti’s (“Mama”) film with high hopes (and an 18-inch gourmet pretzel to snack on).

My full review follows, but in a word: meh. Continue reading “The “It” Movie Event of the Season Falls Short of Greatness”

Even More Great Horror Movies (#21-30)


I love top ten lists! I have, in fact, already published two top ten lists related to scary movies. “Psycho,” “Halloween,” “The Shining,” “Friday the 13th,” and “The Sixth Sense” are just five of my favorites, and they each appeared somewhere in the (thus far) Top 20. My original lists are here and here.

It is a funny thing about horror movies, though. They seem rife not just for sequels but for remakes as well. Four of the five films mentioned above have been remade (with the original remaining superior in each instance). As I continued the list for this Halloween season with ten more scary movies, I noticed that four of those films have also been, or are currently being, remade. Additionally, one of them is the sequel to a film that was remade, while another one is a remake!

What else can be said, except to remark about the genre’s durability and profitability…and for me to share my list of ten more great scary movies:

Continue reading “Even More Great Horror Movies (#21-30)”

Top Ten Stephen King Books

Reading SK

As you may know, I do not currently have the financial wherewithal to do the kind of travel that I yearn to do. Although I am working on changing that, in the meantime, the head-in-the-clouds dreamer that I am often passes the time by reading.

I frequently go through genre/author phases when I read. Five or so years ago I went on an “American classics” kick (think J.D. Salinger and John Kennedy Toole). One summer I devoured those dystopian sci-fi masterpieces from the mid-20th century (“Brave New World,” “Fahrenheit 451,” and “1984” – my favorite novel of all time). I read all seven “Harry Potter” books in just 12 days. During my late teens I raced through several political yarns by the late Tom Clancy. I even convinced myself a few years ago that Russian literature should be my next foray into classical literature…but I failed after just one book – Boris Pasternak’s snail-paced “Doctor Zhivago.”

My favorite author is – and always has been – Stephen King. I first discovered his writing in the late 1980’s when, as a teenager, I went through a serious horror phase. I subscribed to Fangoria and Cinefantastique magazine and I rented every grade-D slasher movie that I could get my hands on – never mind the fact that I was under 17. In fact, I was only 13 when I first saw Mr. King’s “Pet Sematary” on an end cap at the local Waldenbooks. The cover art – which showed an angry cat and the silhouette of a man carry a dead body towards a cemetery – spoke to me. I figured that the word “sematary” was deliberately misspelled, but why? I parted with five dollars of my hard-earned paper route money, bought the book, and was hooked.

Continue reading “Top Ten Stephen King Books”