Two Cent Halloween

Random Halloween Picks Vol. 1

Thor 4 was amazing! Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) fight aliens together and save the world… WAIT! Wrong movie. Oops!
In this universe, Chris and Tessa are playing completely different characters, Agents H and M of the alien crime-fighting organization Men in Black.

Men in Black: International is a sequel/reboot of the popular Men in Black franchise starring Will Smith. When it first came out, Twitter raged about how bad this movie was compared to its predecessors, and naturally after I watched it myself, I ended up with a completely different opinion than Twitterland (as usual).
As a child, Mollie Wright met an alien for the first time, and unlike her parents, she avoided being be neurolized. She spends her time tracking aliens and infiltrating the Men in Black facility. She gets caught and is given probationary agent status.
She gets paired with Agent H, a “reckless, arrogant” agent who needs knocked down a peg or two. After alien royalty gets killed, Agents H and M need to work together to keep powerful alien tech out of the wrong hands (Are you sure this isn’t a Marvel movie?!) and take down a mole within the Men in Black agency.
This movie is fun! Chris and Tessa work great together (Any Marvel fanwho’s seen Ragnarok already knew this!). It’s got action. It’s got comedy. It’s got Chris Hemsworth! (What could be better?!) It’s also a good start to a new franchise if they’d only give us a sequel! This movie’s also got a bunch of language, an implied sex scene (you see nothing inappropriate, one masturbation joke, and some scary images. AKA not the best option for children, but fun for adults. And I could argue that it’s one of the more family friendly entries of franchise. Anyone else remember the Victoria’s secret/hooker antagonist from Men in Black 2? I rest my case on that example alone!

Do I know Princess and the Frog is an unconventional pick for Halloween? Yes! Do I care? No! With it having one Disney’s scariest villains to date and scenes full of dark magic and evil spirits, it fits the theme, so there!

Tiana (Anika Noni Rose) is working hard to fulfill her and her father’s dream of owning a restaurant. Prince Naveen (Bruno Campos) is a free spirit who’d rather dance his life away than work.

Naveen gets tangled up with the evil witch doctor, Dr. Facilier( Keith David), and through a bit of voodoo magic gets turned into a frog. Mistaking Tiana for a princess at the masquerade ball, he convinces her to kiss him, she does, and turns into a frog too! They teamup with Louis the Jazz playing crocodile (Michael-Leon Wooley) and Ray the firefly (Jim Cummings) to find Mama Odie (Jenifer Lewis) so that she can reverse Facilier’s spell and turn Naveen and Tiana back into humans.

This is Disney’s first Black Disney Princess movie (Yay!) and their next to last 2-D animated film (Boo!) It’s also one of their darkest movies content-wise. I feel like the G rating is too low for this one! With voodoo, blood magic, and evil demonic-looking spirits flying around, this should’ve been rated PG (But I wasn’t consulted). Despite its dark elements, Princess and the Frog is still a fun movie with catchy tunes that Disney is known for. The movie also explores themes of working hard to get what you want, and not always getting what you want, but getting what you need. This movie will be too scary for young children, but should be ok to watch for older ones.

“Don’t make me light my butt!” ~ Ray

WandaVision is one of the BEST things that Marvel has EVER done if not THE BEST! The nine-part miniseries came out in February of this year. After a long covid-related drought, the MCU was back full force, and it was worth the wait!

Part love letter to classic sitcoms ranging from Dick van Dyke and Bewitched to Full House and Family Ties and part MCU epic, WandaVision was everything I hoped it would be since it was announced in 2019.

It takes place after the events of Infinity War and Endgame. Vision has been killed by Thanos, but you wouldn’t know it since he’s alive and well in episode one. The Unusual Couple in Westview, witch and robot, move through 7 decades of sitcoms, the birth of their twins, Billy and Tommy, while the mystery of Westview unravels around them, and Wanda’s false reality crumbles around her!

This series was structured around the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. And horror vibes are running throughout the entire series with them on full display once Agatha Harkness reveals herself.

Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen are at their best here with a standout performance from Katherine Hahn as Agnes the nosy neighbor.

The show takes a deep dive into exploring all of Wanda’s past trauma which could be triggering for some. It also stresses that living in a false reality is a bad idea! Keep tissues nearby for the finale, if you’re a diehard fan of Marvel, you’ll need them. Some scenes will be too scary for young children.

“But what is grief if not love persevering?” ~ Vision

Spider-Man Villain Venom gets his own solo movie. Why?! I mean what purpose does Venom have other than defeating Spider-Man? Well, according to Sony, his purpose is to destroy the earth and chomping off as many heads as he can along the way.
Venom can’t wreak havoc alone. The Symbiote needs a host in order to survive and Eddie Brock, (Tom Hardy), after being in the wrong place at the wrong time, ends up being the host of choice. It’s a match made in parasite heaven!
Venom is DEFINITELY NOT MEANT FOR CHILDREN! You won’t find any spidey-swinging action here! But you will find a movie that is light on plot and heavy on action of the HARD PG-13 variety! Venom also has a language issue with so many S-words I didn’t bother keeping track and at least one F-bomb. There’s also a scene that shows Eddie’s body with a Symbiote’s sword through his chest making it appears that he’s been nearly severed in half. I think this should’ve been enough to push Venom into R territory, but Sony apparently doesn’t agree!

I love action movies, but this pushes my limits in places. (Yes, Mom, I have limits.) If you want something more hardcore than Marvel usually offers, Venom is for you!

What the bleep did I just watch? Disney, are you ok?! This was a special alright! A special kind of awful!
In this 52 minute-yet-it-felt-like-forever Muppets Halloween Special from Disney Plus, Gonzo and Pepé are invited to the Haunted Mansion for a Halloween Challenge. The challenge: spend the night in the Haunted Mansion. Goal: Survival. The goal of the audience: survive the hot mess that thankfully lasts less then an hour. Gonzo and Pepé survive. I cringed myself to death and am writing this from beyond the grave. The only highlight was a brief cameo from John Stamos The rest was a total cringefest with cheesy jokes, most of which weren’t funny. It’s grim. Barely any grins. I’m sick of socializing. That’s 52 minutes I’ll never get back!

Zach (Dylan Minnette) moves in across the street from R.L. Stine (Jack Black) author of popular children’s horror series, Goosebumps, and his daughter Hannah (Odeya Rush). Thinking Hannah’s being abused, Zach and Champ (Ryan Les) go investigate and accidentally let’s all Stine’s monstrous creations escape and wreak havoc on the fictional Madison, DE. They have to get all the monsters back in their books before they completely destroy the town!
If you’re a fan of the Goosebumps books, this movie is fun. Even if you, like me, have never read a Goosebumps book in your life, this movie is fun. If you’re a young kid, Slappy the Dummy, the Abominable Snowman, the Blob Who Ate Everyone may scare you. If you’re an adult, you’ll most likely find it amusing, cheesy, and have most likely moved on far more more scarier fare to be bothered by anything in this horror-lite comedy for kids. But it still manages to be an enjoyable watch. There’s even a romance and it gets emotional in places especially towards the end. And the real-life R.L. Stine pops in for a cameo. There’s no major life lessons here. Just some cheesy fun, and that’s OK.

R.L. Stine: [introducing himself to a classroom] Hello. My name is Mr. R.L. Stine. Every story ever told can be broken down into three parts. The beginning. The middle. And the twist.

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