Shocktober: 15 Days of Fright

Welcome boils and ghouls to Mildly Pleased’s 12th Annual edition of “Shocktober”! This year we’re celebrating some of the finest female directors or dare I say “FEARmale” directors the genre has to offer.

We’ll cover established auteurs like Karyn Kusama, Kathryn Bigelow, Mary Lambert, Mary Harron, just to name a few. We’ll also cover some up and comers, a few husband and wife teams, even an aunt and nephew directing team. Because this blog is all about family.

We have films from Austria, France, Belgium, jolly old England, and of course the scariest place of all… America. So join us as we countdown Fifteen Days of Fright starting tomorrow. Also, we’re only posting on the weekdays, so don’t get too confused by that 15 days thing. Anyways, I’m sure you’ll find it appealing or dare I say APPALLING?!?

The Pick: Venom

With Venom: Let There Be Carnage hitting theaters this week, we’re taking a look back at the original film, the rare case of a superhero movie that we all basically just ignored. It’s hard to say whether Venom convinced us to see this new installment, but at the very least it gives us a reason to see whatever bizarre acting choices Tom Hardy will be up to this time. Apart from Hardy’s madcap performance, we talk about the character’s history, its relation to the overall Spider-verse, and why Sony can’t help but milk it for all it’s worth. Continue reading

The People’s Bonus Album: Tapestry

Well it’s officially Fall. So before this blog starts to turn more spooky as well as toward some exciting upcoming movie releases, I wanted to get this bonus episode of The People’s Albums in. After all, what mega-selling album has a cover that radiates such quintessential Fall vibes?

Album: Tapestry
Artist: Carol King
Release Date: February 10, 1971
Copies Sold In U.S.: 13 million Continue reading

The Pick: Rock ‘n’ Roll High School

We just wanna have some kicks, we just wanna get some clicks! This week, in honor of the return of school that accompanies any September, we’re enrolling at Rock ‘n’ Roll High School. Coming from the same blog/podcast feed that hosted a show called Rokk Talk, we can’t help but get into talking about the Ramones and how it’s both strange and amazing that they got to be such an integral part of a delightful little comedy. We also talk a bit about the Roger Corman production company and ethos that birthed the movie, as well as the unsung story of director Allan Arkush and his Letterboxd feed. Gabba gabba hey! Continue reading

The Pick: A Touch Of Zen

Another week has gone by and Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings is once again at the top of the U.S. box office. Who knew that releasing a Marvel movie in theaters without the option of streaming could actually make you a bunch of money? While touching on Shang-Chi a bit in this episode, the bulk of it is dedicated to a different kind of martial arts film. A film often considered the first “arthouse martial arts movie” as well as the high point of director King Hu’s career, 1971’s A Touch of Zen. We talk about Hu’s career as well as the complicated conception of Zen, its lasting impact on its genre, and even make room on the show for a new segment. Continue reading

The Pick: Candyman

Don’t say his name 5 times, but feel free to listen to this podcast 5 times (you know, in case you miss some of the nuances). In lieu of the Candyman remake that came out last week, we’re taking a look at the original 1992 film while also offering a few thoughts on how the two movies compare. We also get a bit into the character’s background and how it’s kind of a miracle how effective this character is (even if his mythology is inherently a little inconsistent). Also, if that isn’t scary enough, John offers his take on a mutant hybrid of a snack concocted by Pringles and Wendy’s. Continue reading

Polar Sour

Lorde – Solar Power

In two separate assessments of albums released earlier this year, I both raised the theory that making more than one album with Jack Antonoff producing might be a bad idea, and that Lorde’s Solar Power would be the deciding factor of whether his status as pop’s favorite producer has run its course. While I harbor no grudges against Antonoff, as he’s produced some albums that I love (including Lorde’s Melodrama), Solar Power makes it apparent that both these fears have been confirmed. While Antonoff was able to create fantastic results by teaming up with modern pop’s biggest female stars, including Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, and St. Vincent, each of the follow-ups to those albums, which Antonoff also produced, have been less exciting. Granted, none of those albums were complete busts by any measure, but they all feel a little soulless, and Solar Power might be the most blatant example. Continue reading