It's the end of the year as we know it

I always get terribly nostalgic and moody around New Year's Eve. I expect this year to get worse than usual.

I was going to write a substantial blog about something important, but I just don't have the energy, so I figured instead the last post of the year should be a great scene from a great film.

This one makes me cry on a regular day, around New Year's it's almost fatal.


A scene from When Harry Met Sally (1989)

Sally is alone at a party, Harry arrives out of the blue, just as the clock strikes 12.

Harry: I've been doing a lot of thinking, and the thing is, I love you.

Sally: What?!

Harry: I love you!

Sally: How do you expect me to respond to this?

Harry: How about, you love me too?

Sally: How about, I'm leaving?

Harry: Doesn't what I said mean anything to you?

Sally: I'm sorry Harry, I know it's New Year's Eve, I know you're feeling lonely, but you just can't show up here, tell me you love me and expect that to make everything all right. It doesn't work this way!

Harry: Well, how does it work?

Sally: I don't know, but not this way!

Harry: How about this way? I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night.
And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.



That's it for 2010.

Have a great New Year's! Stay safe, stay beautiful, and I'll be seeing you on the flipside.




Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)


I have a question to the floor: Does anybody remember what happened at the end of Resident Evil 3?

No? Too bad... But perhaps it's not such a big issue, since I'm not really sure what happens at the beginning of Resident Evil 4 either.

So you'll recall that the general plot of the previous films was something along the lines of: Insane powerful company called The Umbrella Corporation creates a powerful virus that turns people into flesh eating zombies. The virus gets out. Mayhem and chaos ensues. A small band of survivors make it through each film, with M.A.W. Milla Jovovich leading the bunch as Alice, who was also the victim of some very nasty Umbrella experiments... There, now you're caught up. Oh, and by the way the fourth entry also sees the return of original director Paul W.S. Anderson (who's Milla's husband in real life, at least at the time of writing), a man who has some serious duds on his CV.

The story begins when Alice attacks an underground Umbrella facility in a noisy, but unimpressive manner, and kills a whole lot of guards. Suddenly she's shot. She falls to the ground. Dead. But wait, what's this? Another Alice appears. Soon several dozen Alices take over the place, but the bad guy escapes and blows up everything behind him.

No, I don't know what that means either.

Enter the (presumably) real Alice, who's flying around in a plane looking for survivors, alas the world is all but empty, since the virus killed everybody. Then she picks up a radio signal from Arcadia, apparently this is a safe haven, free of infection and with plenty of food. When she arrives at the correct coordinates, however, all she finds is an empty beach and an abandoned helicopter. Then she's attacked by a deranged woman, who's got a spider-looking metal thing attached to her chest.

No, I also don't know what that means.

The woman turns out to be Claire (Ali Larter, hotness!). You'll remember her from the previous films, and if you don't we'll show you some clips to remind you. The two of them take off in Alice's plane.

They soon find a small bunch of survivors holding up in an abandoned prison. The place is surrounded by a crowd of starving zombies, numbering several thousand. They also find out that Arcadia is not a place... It's a ship, and right now it's located off the coast, very close to the prison. They figure they have to get out there, and thus attempt to hatch a plan to accomplish this, ignoring the fact that nobody on the ship seems to react to their emergency flares, or that the last transmission from the ship ended in a scream.

Then they stand around and do nothing for about an hour. They talk a bit. Nothing happens. No one attacks them.

Then the zombies suddenly manage to break into the prison and kill some people, which puts a bit of pressure on those escape plans. Since we're at the fourth film we need to spice things up a bit, so now the zombies have a huge tentacle mouth, with which they can bite off an entire head! (Again, this might also have been the case in the third film, but I have no recollection of it. It was definitely the case in Blade II, I remember that for sure.) The survivors must also go against a gigantic hooded guy with a big ax! (Him I remember as well... from Silent Hill.)

Finally the last survivors manage to make their way to Arcadia. The ship is empty, but they go into the basement and find huge white hangars filled with people in hypersleep and some choppers. Alice makes her way to the final room, where she meets the bad guy again - this was based on a computergame, I did mention that, right? He has glowing red eyes and two CGI zombie dogs, which split open and turn into a giant mouth. The bad guy has some issues, because he's turning into a creature, but he believes he'll get better if he eats Alice, because she's cool.

They fight - actually they mostly jump around in slow-motion - and Alice wins. All the frozen people are released, and everyone's happy. But then, what's this? Oh, it's the setup for a sequel... A gazillion Umbrella planes arrive to kill everybody. Cut to black. Roll credits.


I don't know why it surprised me that this film is SO much worse than the mediocre third entry. Maybe it's because it seemed as if the film makers were actually trying to get the series back on track, but the question remains: How do you create a horror film, without a single horific moment? Actually, there's not even a mildly interesting moment in the film. The brain-numbingly simple story - evil company releases virus, our heroes must survive - has actually gotten away from the filmmakers, who would have thought that was possibly?

So for the creators of the inevitable sequel, here's my two cents:

Look to the first film, because that worked. Keep the story simple and create some characters we care about losing. Show some zombies getting slaughtered, and make sure Milla runs around in as little clothes as possible. Finally come up with one, just one, original idea we haven't seen before. You can do that, can't you?

Can't you?


She Shoulda Been A Contender, Part II


Christmas is drawing ever nearer, and anyone working in retail (me for example) will find it considerably harder to maintain a steady update rate on their blog. However, just before the holiday madness truly takes over, we've got time to check in with our ongoing list of hot actresses who should have had bigger careers.

Welcome to part II. (oh, and remember part I, right here.)

We'll begin with royalty...


Carrie Fisher

Carrie never stood a chance, when she became an overnight sensation after appearing as Princess Leia in Star Wars (1977). And sure enough, three years later during the shooting of The Empire Strikes Back (1980) she was doing coke on a daily basis. She was 23 at the time. And then things really got out of hand.

Later in her life Carrie got back on the straight and narrow. She started writing, she clawed her way back to the real world, but by that time she wasn't in her twenties any more, and the career she could have had, was long gone. Still, she was fairly spunky when she turned up in Fanboys (2008).

High point: The Empire Strikes Back (or Fanboys).
Low point: The Star Wars Holiday Special, but that goes for everyone who was involved.
Should have been in: Some completely ordinary dramas, without any spaceships.

Peta Wilson

Despite sharing a name with that animal terrorist group Peta is all style, class and sexiness. She got to explore this fact in her most memorable performance, playing the lead in La Femme Nikita (1997), the TV-series based on the French action movie. That gig lasted for four years, and though the show was never huge, and admittedly quite silly at times, she was perfect in it. But that was almost 10 years ago. In the intervening years, her turn as Mina Parker on The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003) is the only thing worth mentioning.

Peta is best used when she can look like a model, and kick ass like an East European terrorist. Are you telling me Hollywood can't use that? Really?

High point: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (yes, I love it, leave me alone)
Low point: I'm gonna go ahead and assume it's Malibu Shark Attack (2009), sight unseen.
Should have been in: Mission: Impossible III (2006).

Traylor Howard

The weirdness of the name notwithstanding, Traylor is the classic combination of the quintessential Girl Next Door, and the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. In the TV show Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place (1998) she showed great comic timing, but also a tender dramatic side, when her character found herself torn between a boyfriend and a longtime friend. For a while after the show ended I kept checking her IMDb page for cool new projects, but there was nothing there. Just a few scattered TV appearances and multi-season appearance on the Monk (2005) series. Where did Traylor go, and why?

High point: Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place.
Low point: Son of the Mask (I assume).
Should have been in: Trayler could step into any flavorless comedy in lieu of any TV-star-turned-film-star and improve it!

Jennifer Esposito

There's a scene in Spin City (1997) where Stacey (played by Jennifer) is checking out an apartment for rent with her boss Mike (Michael J. Fox). Through the walls they can clearly hear a couple having sex in the next apartment. Mike comments that it sounds loud. Stacey looks at him with a crooked smile, and replies: "You think that's loud? Poor Mike..."

That simple throwaway moment in a random episode of a TV show contains more pizzazz than the whole rest of Jennifer's career. Don't get me wrong, she's done a ton of work, plenty of TV shows and movies, but her appearance is always completely and utterly forgettable. Spunk has an expiration date too. Jennifer has left hers in the fridge too long.

High point: Spin City.
Low point: Everyone forgetting that she actually starred in an Oscar winning film. It was Crash (2004).
Should have been in: A cool thriller ala Backflash (2001), or perhaps playing a levelheaded cop in something like Don't Say A Word (2001) or maybe an action/comedy like Taxi (2004)... What? You're kidding! She was? In ALL of them? Are you sure?

Neve Campbell

At the height of her career she had a successful TV show AND an unbeatable horror franchise on her hands. That was 15 years ago. Neve made a name for herself in the fantastic and touching family drama Party of Five (1994), she was cast as the lead in Scream (1996) a few years later, which she completed, while she was on the TV-series! She was a busy girl.

Scream 2 (1997) and Wild Things (1998) followed, and it seemed like the sky was the limit. It wasn't. Neve was flooded with offers, but she turned them all down. She didn't want to be the next scream queen, so instead she turned her attention to small independent films and the theater stage in London. Too bad.

High point: Wild Things.
Low point: The barely watchable When Will I Be Loved (2004).
Should have been in: Save the Last Dance (2001), instead of The Company (2003).

Leelee Sobieski

What the hell happened to Leelee Sobieski? No, seriously, what the HELL happened? Leelee first caught my eye in the big budget disaster flick Deep Impact (1998), she was surprisingly good (far better than Milla) in the miniseries Joan of Arc (1999). A small, but nonetheless saucy, appearance in the Stanley Kubrick film Eyes Wide Shut (1999) really raised some eyebrows, and she was perfect in My First Mister (2001). Then... it all went downhill. Her performances in 88 Minutes (2007) and In the Name of the King (2007) were awful, to put it nicely.

She's still doing great work now and then, but being great in Walk All Over Me (2007) ("A small town girl runs into big time trouble as she takes on her roommates identity as a dominatrix to pay the bills") is less impressive than being great in a Kubrick film. Come back to the A-list Leelee! And if Uwe calls, just say no.

High point: My First Mister.
Low point: 88 Minutes, no In the Name of the King, no 88 Minutes, no...
Should have been in: My Second Mister? Eyes Wider Open? I dunno, anything but 89 Minutes and In the Name of the King II (by the way, the first one was a joke, the second isn't).



Like I mentioned in part I, it's hard to figure out why some of these actresses disappear, despite having great potential. Often the reason is quite mundane or just plain sad.

Here's the thing, though. Once you put something on the Internet, it's everywhere. So maybe, just maybe, a producer or a casting agent somewhere will come across one of these lists one day, and decide to bring back one of the girls from the semi-dead. And then we'll have done our part.

So add your suggestions to the comments, so they can be included in the inevitable part III.