Chelsea: Flashbacks to the Good Old ’80s – Stranger Things (Review)

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The theme on Chelsea today was the ’80s and nothing fit the bill better than having three of the Stranger Things kids on the show. Although conspicuous in his absence was Finn Wolfhard, who played Mike Wheeler in the series. It was odd for him to be missing as his character was closer to Millie Bobby Brown’s character than either of the other two boys. 

“Flashbacks to the Good Old ’80s” was a very upbeat and fun episode. The guests were all animated and so was the audience. Bob Saget even remarked about it.

Another thing that Saget mentioned was how mean natured the Rob Lowe roast was. Yet another professional in the business who noticed that the business of “Roasting” has changed since the Rat Pack days.

The Stranger Things kids were fun and while Gaten was quite “controlled” on this talkshow, Millie was quite verbal. Matarazzo was celebrating, his  14th birthday and surprise guest “Barb” (Purser) came out with a cake. The thing had one candle and Gaten blew it out. The entire audience then sang Happy Birthday to the teen.

One interesting point was that none of the child actors knew what justice meant. Although to be fair, Gaten may have done but he was not asked.

Chelsea did another “anti-kid” rant, pre-recorded, and apart from it being very funny, it looked like Ms. Handler did the entire thing sans makeup.

Suffice to say, the woman still looked stunning.  As one guest said on another earlier episode, Chelsea has got great skin.  Have a look at her PSA segment and see what you think.

After her video warning of older women being tempted to “pop’ out babies because of that old biological clock, Jim Gaffigan did a rebuttal video which was also funny. Gaffigan also did his “sans” makeup but with all that hair it is hard to tell just how clear his skin is.

Next up as Abigail Breslin, who just finished filming the TV movie remake of Dirty Dancing and has just started working on season two of Scream Queens. She spoke of her struggle to learn coordination for the dancing required.

Chelsea brought up an attacking tweet that Breslin sent a Gold’s Gym on Twitter after they posted a rather insulting tweet. (It had a picture of a pear with a post saying that “no woman wants to look like this.” Her vitriolic tweet back caused the gym to take down their tweet and they changed the pear to an apple.

Bob Saget was last up and he and Chelsea had a wonderful time, as did the audience. The star of Full House and now Fuller House, on Netflix, was funny. He and Ms. Handler brought out the best in one another.

He did talk about the earlier ’80s show and talked about a donkey getting an erection in front of the audience and the child actors. They spoke of his girlfriend, who can read, and, as mentioned above, Roasts.

Chelsea finished with the host poking fun at the Olsen twins and Bob defended the two multimillionaires. This was a brilliant episode, very light and more fun than any of the episodes dealing with politics.

The show airs Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays on Netflix. Catch them all, even the ones with too many politicos and sports figures.

Guests:

 

Final Girl (2015): Abigail Breslin Death in a Red Dress (Review)

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Directed  by Tyler Shields (his first time in the driver’s seat) and  based on a screenplay by Adam Prince ‘Final Girl’ is an odd sort of horror film. Starring Abigail Breslin and Wes Bentley (in what can only be described as an extended cameo) it follows Breslin’s character learning how to kill from an early age. 

The film opens with Bentley’s character  William “interviewing” the young Breslin character, Veronica.   Years pass and Veronica is now a young woman that  William uses as a weapon.

There are group of young men who hunt and kill young women for sport and it is this quartet of killers that William aims Veronica at. The story was obviously heavily influenced by real life “woman hunter” Alaskan businessman Robert Hansen.  In the film there are four young men who dress in tuxedos and chase down female victims in the woods.

It is never really explained why William trains Veronica to become a living weapon.   The two have an odd relationship. The man has “raised” and trained her from childhood, yet at one point she asks him to “teach her” about sex, first hand. William refuses.

The four men take Veronica out in the woods and she turns the tables on the would-be murderers.

‘Final Girl” has moments that work extremely well. However, there are just as many that miss the mark. At the start of the film Veronica fights with William and the choreography is off.  Three clear misses from Breslin’s character still results in her sparring partner going down.

Reviewers have complained that the actress was miscast in the film but the very fact that Breslin does not look like a trained killer makes the storyline work.  She looks more victim than saviour and this lends itself to the plot.

Alexander Ludwig  plays the leader of the group and Logan HuffmanCameron Bright and Reece Thompson make up the members of the serial killer club. Francesca Eastwood plays the girlfriend of one of the group.

The film ends just as oddly as it starts.  Shields does a good job putting his cast through their paces. Cinematographer Gregory Middleton does a splendid job shooting the forest scenes and the each frame is lit well enough that everything that needs to be seen is.

While not overly impressive the film features solid performances by all the cast making the movie an entertaining experience.

‘Final Girl’ is a 3.5 stars out of 5 and well worth watching. Head on over to US Netflix and check it out.

Poster for Final Girl

 

Scream Queens: Seven Minutes in Hell (Review)

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Before looking at the humor in Scream Queens, Seven Minutes in Hell, there a a few holes to look into (and no, despite a show that wallows in double and triple  entendres that is not another one) while chuckling at the “Someone always goes lez” line that is so politically incorrect.  The news is that the Ryan Murphy co-creation is steadily dropping in ratings and this could be down to viewers taking the show too seriously.

Example: Those pesky holes, aka plot holes, aka “wtf” moments.

In this episode, all the Kappa gals are trapped in the house. All windows and doors are locked, via a panic system; a’la Panic Room, when suddenly the power goes out.  As anyone knows  (Well, anyone who watches technical thrillers, Die Hard,  or even CBS’s Scorpion.) when the power goes out all electric powered locks go down. The house, once the power went off should have been “wide open.”

This was ignored however, just as after Chad comes over to break into the “locked” house by breaking a second story window,  he requests that his smart phone be hooked up to the sorority house speakers to jam some hot music and the group all dance to said music.

Hello? No power? Speakers need electricity…

And last, but not least in the blazingly obvious stakes, there is the broken window on the second floor where a few knotted sheets could have rendered everyone safe-ish.  Chanel, however, repeatedly states that they are all still trapped in the house (where the doors must now be open with the electric off) and recommends that they use the hidden tunnels to escape.

There were a number of other “holes” in the episode, but to be honest?

Who cares?

This was a fun episode and a chance for almost every “sister” to be funny as hell. Chanel #3 (Billie Lourd) gets to pile on the comedy, with her wildly unplayed performance, and the entire exchange between Sam (Jeanna Han) and Lourd’s character is hysterical.  Sadly, Sam dies in the bathtub in the storage room. (Which points out another hole, 5 gives the gay pledge the key which was given to ZayDay (Keke Palmer) moments earlier in the episode.

Still, despite all the boo-boos in the show, how can one not love a series where Emma Roberts’ character admits to watching documentaries on A&E about the Mafia as a survival tool.   Or hosts a slumber party, suggested by new co-president Williams, where “someone always experiments with lesbianism and a serial killer strikes,”  which featured a “spin-the-bottle” game despite there being no guys there and Chanel #1 clearly did not get it.

Sam does, although she does not get a chance to benefit from 5’s experimental smooch too much before being snuffed out in the tub later. Something that Chanel numero five is responsible for.

The Red Devil, despite its mask looking an awful lot like Jamie Lee Curtis’ Dean Munsch, may turn out to be Gigi and/or Denise since that were the only two character’s not seen.  Disregarding Pete’s not being there either since someone in the cast brought that up so it must be a red herring. However, Wes; Grace’s dad, only shows up at the end of the episode. After threatening to throw his daughter over his shoulder and carrying her out, daddy leaves empty shouldered.

With the masculine chest plate of the Red Devil, at least one of the two killers must be a bloke, although the man’s pectoral plastic molding is not the only “clue” to the killers gender. In the tunnel scene the killer comes at Chanel and ZayDay with an axe in each hand. At the risk of sounding sexist, there are not many women who could weld two heavy duty cutting implements that easily.

*Sidenote* In this episode it is revealed why Chanel #3 wears those earmuffs, which, apart from making her look cute, does look a little odd.  Cute ear coverings aside, it is also revealed that her fear of being accused of being the serial killer after everyone learns that her dad is Charles Mansion, was not unfounded. Although to be fair, only Chad reacted to the news.

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The body count, by the end of the episode, was three. Sam, who manages to a) see the killer’s face and b) reveals that she knew “it was you.” The second casualty was the poor frat lad who had his arms chopped off earlier.   Third was the last half of the Roger/Dodger twin set who buys it after being shot with a red (color-coordinated) nailer apparently with huge amount of nails in it.

Another of the funnier moments was Chad, who after “building up of his armless Dickie Dollar brother” deserts the poor guy when the killer turns up.  Just as amusing was Chanel #1 picking on poor #5. The “vagina with teeth” gag was so cruelly funny and a perfect indicator of Roberts’ character’s childish nastiness.

Lea Michele’s character is still vying for the creepiest girl in the house trophy and all the characters, except for Grace, are still vacuous airheads.  The combination of shallow self centered characters and a slew of horror film references still works brilliantly:

Chanel Oberlin: “That means the killer is still in the house!”

Farty McCandles: “Oh God, has someone checked on the kids?”

The clear reference to the 1978 Carol Kane film When a Stranger Calls  is just one of many nods and winks to iconic horror films  in the series.

It is not clear just why numbers are dropping. This show is special funny. Glee goes to American Horror Story funny, and without all the annoying High School Musical singing and dancing or Lady Gaga.

Scream Queens is anti-PC, irreverent and funny. As stated before, it is National Lampoon’s Animal House married to Sorority Row. Sit back and enjoy it.  This is hilarity with little semblance to reality and despite hints that Denise Hemphill is not dead, well worth watching. The show airs Tuesdays on FOX.

Scream Queens: Pumpkin Patch – Gigi and Her Boobs(Review)

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Scream Queens continues to play the Animal House hole card and deliver gags so fast that they seem to stumble over one another.  Despite the fact that the most annoying character to ever grace a television series  (Denise Hemphill) is still alive (Could show creators Murphy, Brennan and Falchuck  PLEASE let the Red Devil take this major irritant out? Please!) and that the series may be too campy for many potential fans, Scream Queens continues to deliver.

Whether paying a massive homage to Silence of the Lambs, or to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (featuring that film’s maze with snowdrifts) or revealing that Chanel #5 “regularly rubs one out while watching Dora the Explorer, this comedy horror show flings the jokes out with a rapidity that almost leaves the viewer breathless.

While the sex jokes are trotted out just as quickly as the horror film references in the show,  this week, Abigail Breslin’s character meets the twins who “spit roasted” her and they force her to choose which twin she wants, there are more “serious issues” being presented.

For instance, Grace (Skyler Samuels) walks in on her dad Wes,  (Oliver Hudson, offspring of Bill,  of the Hudson Brothers, and Goldie Hawn) going in for an evening of 90s mood music and desert after a salad date with Gigi (Nasim Pedrad).  Wes’ daughter is traumatized by the sight of Gigi on top of her dad and Grace also sees the woman’s boobs. 

Grace is upset but soldiers on, telling her dad that she is glad he has “moved on from mom” and “Um, but enough about me and my confusion and sad dead feeling inside.” Rather interestingly, Gigi’s boobs feature in another scene in the Red Devil’s lair. These two appendages may also prove to be a, gasp, plot point.

Standout Moment:

ZayDay down in the pit and the trapdoor being opened and seeing the devil with a small dog, a’la “Silence of the Lambs,” begins screaming.  A truly funny moment that did, amidst all the other funny gags, stand out. All that was needed to top this “homage moment” was the “First it rubs the lotion in…”

After the intrepid Grace, Gigi, Wes, Denise and Pete (Diego Boneta) head to the basement where ZayDay is being held, Hemphill hands out tasers to the team as they search for Williams.  Denise and Gigi team up and end up in  a room full of torture instruments, bone saws and  medical tools. As the two find the room and move in deeper to investigate, the lights are turned off (another Silence of the Lambs moment) and the women are stalked by the Red Devil who is wearing night vision goggles.

Denise accidentally tases Gigi in the boobs and the woman is hardly affected by the shot. She recovers quickly enough that she manages to tase the Red Devil in the throat. The “killer” is put down on the ground immediately from the shot.  Later, after the group discover that ZayDay is not in the basement, Gigi is followed by the Red Devil and she tells the figure that “he has to go.” Gigi then leaves for a “very special salad date.”

The implication appears to be that either Wes or Pete are to be the next victim.

That, however, is not important. The big question is, how did Gigi manage to be tased in the boobs and not end up on the ground like the Red Devil? Are they not real? Does silicone not conduct electricity?

Or…

Does Gigi have a secret, apart from apparently  knowing who the killer is,  that requires her to wear fake boobs? (Before readers rush to point out cancer, and other real life reasons for fake breasts, remember this is a television show that seems to be based upon an Animal House meets Sorority Row (2009) mashup…Okay?) Any suggestions, or theories can be left in the comments below.

Meanwhile, someone turned in Chanel #1 for murdering the cook, poor old faceless Ms. Bean,  and despite her father refusing to post bail, Oberlin gets out. Emma Roberts continues to kill it as the scheming vacuous sorority leader who bullies her minions and believes she owns Halloween.

Whilst ruminating on the whole Gigi boobs thing, take a moment to appreciate a show that dares to have its lead character explain to her teacher that the guy helping on an exam is “my Asian.”

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Chanel # and “her Asian.”

Scream Queens airs Tuesdays on FOX. Tune in and let these talented folks tickle your funny bone.

 

 

Scream Queens: Chainsaw OTT Fun Continues (Review)

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The pilot of Scream Queens last week started off the over the top (OTT) fun with Ariana Grande’s character, Chanel #2,  tweeting about being murdered by the Red Devil.  Something that Denise Hemphill brings up later in the second episode and then the scene follows up with a gag about Instagram and an obviously dead Chanel #2 posting to the social network.

Chainsaw, the second episode of the Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan, Brad Falchuk project,  is apparently Brennan’s baby, written and directed by, and he has obviously channelled his inner Wayans’ and Zucker’s into this installment. The first look at the series, in the pilot, contained a lot of Scary Movie type humor, but now the show has shifted into overdrive with its clear homage to all things Animal House as well as the more comical side of every sorority house slasher ever made.

Emma Roberts continues to slay her role as Chanel #1, aka Chanel Oberlin (“Hello Idiot Hookers”) who manages to make every insult that comes from her mouth hysterically funny. The actress can literally deliver the goods with each gem that spills from her vitriolic lips. The makeover prelude with Lea Michele is brilliant.

Speaking of Lea Michele…the whole makeover scene is her baby. While Roberts starts off as the lead, Michele as the new Chanel #6 steals the entire set piece. Looking beyond stunning after coming down the stairs, one of the girls tells the pledge how great she looks. Hester (Michele) replies that she is in agony without her brace but it is worth it; all delivered between gritted teeth shaped into a smile. Brilliant.

In this installment, Denise Hemphil (Niecy Nash) continues to play the female version of Marlon Wayans’ character in Scary Movie, without the drug intake. Her lines throughout the series thus far are funny but one winces while laughing wondering when the PC police are going to strike.

Abigail Breslin has completely left her Little Miss Sunshine and Zombieland days behind her. The scene between Chanel #5 (Breslin) and Roberts is eyeopening and also requires a bit of wincing. Realizing that the young lady who is boasting of being “Eiffel Towered” is the same one who competes in the talent  contest in “Sunshine” is a little disturbing…but still so funny.

There are so many sexual innuendos that one can easily lose count. One of the best has to be the Chanel #3 (Billie Lourd) line, “Cause munching box is what killed Michael Douglas…” (Note, Douglas is not dead for those who may have just panicked a little.) Later #3 comes out with a line that has nothing to do with sex but is still memorable. Discussing her family lineage she says to Sam (Jeanna Han) “You know Swenson? Swenson the frozen dinners, like Swanson’s for poor people…”

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Chad in The Warriors, A Clockwork Orange, West Side Story, boy band scene…

There are so many comic moments that it is hard to keep track. The whole The Warriors thing with Chad and his frat boys carrying bats and calling out the Red Devil but looking like A Clockwork Orange with their cricket whites on. Grace’s dad showing the film analysis class the Tobe Hooper 1974 original classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and his strange rambling summation of the film’s ending after.

Also the completely random but, oh so funny, battle between Coney the new mascot and the Red Devil after Aaron Cohen’s off screen monologue about how great it is being Coney and how he is never taking the costume off.

Back to Cody’s baseball bat carrying friends and their moment in the street against the two killers…Was that a riff on the 1975 Monty Python and the Holy Grail?  The “Come back and fight scene?” Answers in the comments please, or on a post card if you are over a certain age…

Scream Queens not only takes on all things from the slasher genre and makes over the top fun of it but also includes as many pop culture references as possible. Even the cast are culturally relevant. Ariana Grande,  Jamie Lee Curtis, and KeKe Palmer (one of the busiest young performers in the business apparently) are an example of the awareness of the casting directors and the show’s producers.

*Sidenote* How many folks instantly hear that YouTube kid’s song (Jenna Rose “My Jeans.”) when they see Palmer on screen? You know the one, “KeKe Palmer is wearing my jeans.” Never heard of the actress till that song…

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Wes, Grace’s dad, presents the best movie ever…

Back to the show, Curtis is still knocking it out of the park even when the dialogue and the action enter and  then go beyond ridiculous. The whole white noise gag bordered on idiocy yet both actresses managed to play it straight which made it work…after a fashion. A little too OTT chaps…just saying.

The show is still working though. The bit of almost Airplane! dialogue between Grace and ZayDay (Palmer) at the start :

“You want to put syrup on chips? You can’t be serious, right?”

“Yes, I’m serious.”

“You’re insane.”

Everything about episode two screams comedy. Dean Munsch’s  “Take back the night” speech and (disregarding the comedic Barfman and kelp in ice cream gag) Lea Michele’s character Hester’s rapt look while listening to the dean. Michele pretty much owned this installment on the sorority sister side. Watch that scene and you will see why.

The taser in the “nuts” gag, the chainsaw under ZayDay’s bed, the frat boy street battle…Chainsaw shoved comedy up front and slipped the horror under the bed with Williams’s granny’s protection present.

Charisma Carpenter (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel) and Roger Bart (Desperate Housewives, The Producers) as Ariana Grande’s Chanel #2’s parents worked brilliantly for obvious reasons.

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Roger Bart and Charisma Carpenter…

All in all,  Scream Queens still manages to deliver in the comedy stakes even if horror took a reluctant backseat in Chainsaw. The show airs Tuesdays on FOX. Tune in to learn the latest slang words for sexual acts and non pc humor and to laugh uncontrollably.