I first heard about this movie on Facebook when a (gay) friend had posted an article about it and the preview image was two male characters kissing. That was really all I needed to know, so I logged onto Netflix and watched it. And that, as it turns out, was the right decision!
I honestly don't know why I dragged my feet on this movie. Harry Potter grows horns and solves a murder, man! And it's based on a novel by Mr. Joe Hill, the pen name of Stephen King's son, whose last work I saw was In the Tall Grass (I'll get to you one day, Locke & Key). If I had taken the time to look at the cast I would've also been blown away by names I recognize: Joe Anderson (Across the Universe), James Remar (The Blackcoat's Daughter), Heather Graham (Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me), and more! It's almost like this movie was made for me! Just a shame about the weak points, though.
I’ve only ever seen one Wes Anderson movie (Rushmore, in case you were wondering). I’m not actively avoiding the filmmaker, but I just haven’t taken the time to watch a lot of his movies. But I do get the “Wes Anderson aesthetic” (or at least the version of it that has spawned a thousand memes)! So I will say that Liza, a rókatündér, AKA Liza the Fox-Fairy, is a Hungarian Wes Anderson movie. Just with a murderous lounge ghost.
I remember watching the Legends of the Hidden Temple TV show when I was a kid. If you don’t know what that is, that just reminds me that I’m an old on the internet. Anyway, it was a adventure game show on Nickelodeon back in the 1990’s where teams of kids would attempt challenges, and if successful they would enter the Hidden Temple and try to get an artifact out before the hidden guards would pop out, scare the shit out of them (and probably a good number of kids watching), and end their run. And because nothing is sacred, in 2016 it was brought back as a made for TV movie. Apparently the first game show to be turned into a movie! That’s certainly… something.
Dear reader, I want you to know that I have standards for this blog. Somewhat high standards! The kind of standards where once I find out that a movie I’m watching on Amazon dot com has been severely edited, I go out and search for the intact version. And for this movie, that happened to be Pornhub, so I guess my standards aren’t all that high…
There’s a trend of gay movies being rather dark and ending with the queer protagonist (or someone they love) dying. Soldier’s Girl, Brokeback Mountain, the list goes on. And I just… can we not? Life as a queer person is already rough enough without having to sit through “tragedy porn” in order to see some representation. Give me more gay romantic comedies! Or gay love stories that DON’T involve someone dying in an attempt to tug at my heartstrings and/or win awards!
It’s kind of hard to review your favorite movie. When I hate something, oh my god, I have to force myself to stop ranting about it. And with a mix of schadenfreude and impassioned writing those posts are usually pretty fun to read (I have been told). But a movie I love? It’s kinda rough to get the ball rolling…
Once upon a time, this almost was a live-action Doctor Strange movie. Not the first, that distinction goes to the made-for-TV 1978 version staring a Mr. Peter Hooten and his pornstache. But the licensing fell through and enough details were changed so that Charles Band could be credited as "based on an original idea by." Sure, why not.