Monday, February 24, 2020

15,000 Subscriber Q & A Announcement!


Cereal At Midnight is throwing a party, and you're invited! As we near 15,000 subscribers, we're planning a question and answer video, which means we need your feedback and input! Do you have a question you've been wanting to ask us? Now's your chance! THANK YOU for all your likes, comments, and subscriptions, which have made this possible!

The Creature Columns: It Comes At Night (2017)


*Because of the nature of this review spoilers are somewhat necessary.

While I do not put tremendous stock in Rotten Tomatoes scores, they can sometimes serve to tell a story. Such is the case for the excellent film by Trey Edward Shults, It Comes At Night. The film was surrounded in controversy back during its release because many people felt that it was marketed in a deceptive way. Some in the horror community were disappointed by the film because it was not what they were expecting. They claimed that the movie failed in its execution, and many audiences openly spoke against the movie. They cited plot holes and profound disappointment as reasons. However, critical acclaim was high. As of this writing, the critical score on Rotten Tomatoes is at 87% while the audience score is at 44%. Before I delve into the film itself, I would like to make a suggestion. Everyone is certainly entitled to their own opinion, but I think modern audiences are cheating themselves out of some amazing cinema experiences by not carefully considering the entire purpose of film. People went into this movie with expectations. They wanted something to be lurking in the darkness in a literal manner. When they did not get what they wanted, they decided that the movie was bad. I think it is a disservice to film to judge a movie based on an individual’s expectations. I honestly believe the best way to view cinema is with an open mind while simply taking what is offered and processing it as a whole. We certainly all have expectations, but if we can govern those we can gain much more from cinematic offerings than simple surface perceptions.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

5 Movies That Need Blu-Rays - Films At Home Crossover!


It's crossover time! In this episode, we're collaborating with the awesome YouTube channel Films At Home for a discussion about movies we wish were on Blu-ray! The five movies presented here are just half of the conversation, so be sure to check out Films At Home's video for the other half!

Check out Films At Home's 5 choices HERE

Subscribe to Films At Home HERE

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Review: This is the Night (1932) - Cary Grant's Debut and The Glimpse of a Darker Hollywood

1932's This is the Night comes from the short--but wonderful--pre-code era of cinema. More specifically, it was made before the days when the Hays Code (aka the Motion Pictures Production Code, which guaranteed the decency and moral value of each and every Hollywood production) was being firmly enforced. Those that consider movies of the thirties and forties to be gentrified might be surprised at just how bold and risque some of the films from the early days of cinema actually were, and sometimes still are.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Tex Avery Animation, Underwater Adventure, and a Guillotine! (Warner Archive Spotlight #4)


In our latest spotlight on Warner Archive, we discuss Tex Avery Screwball Classics Vol. 1, which features 19 restored MGM animated shorts directed by the great cartoon icon! We also talk about a half-dozen other gems from the label which have recently arrived on Blu-ray!



Friday, February 14, 2020


Sonic the Hedgehog has arrived in theaters! How does Sega's greatest and most famous mascot fare in his transition from the small screen to the big screen? Find out in this Five Minute Review!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Thrift Store 21 - Thrifting With Billy Blanks and Frank Sinatra


In the latest installment of the thrift store series, we chill with the Rat Pack, watch cigarette commercials, hang with Mel Brooks, and do a little Tae Bo before finally saying Aloha to Hulk Hogan!

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

"Under the Blade: Horror Author Matt Serafini Dissects Vinegar Syndrome, Streaming Services, and Doctor Sleep" By Joshua Jabcuga


Under the Blade and Microscope: Wherein author-screenwriter Matt Serafini dissects physical media, standouts of streaming services, and Mike Flanagan’s film adaptation of Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep, with comics writer Josh Jabcuga.

(Note: The following interview was conducted via email, beginning in early November 2019, and wrapping up February 7th, 2020.)

JOSH JABCUGA:

Over on your Twitter account (@MattFini) you encouraged your readers to support Mike Flanagan's film adaptation of the Stephen King novel Doctor Sleep when it had just been released theatrically. One of those tweets struck a chord. Your comments went viral, even catching the attention of Stephen King himself, who then quote-tweeted you. This film had so much going for it, if nothing else than being a sequel to, in my opinion, a classic King novel and a classic horror film. As if the sheer potential wasn't enough, you said: "Flanagan stages an incredible adaptation that somehow bridges TWO legacies from separate mediums. A sprawling, empathic, miracle."

Audiences love King, they love horror in general, and yet this film was criminally overlooked. Do you have any theories as to why?

MATT SERAFINI:

I'm not a box office analyst by any means, but I will say I was genuinely stunned by the performance of Doctor Sleep. It *is* a great film in my eyes. One of my favorites of the year (and I've already got the Best Buy steelbook preordered). As to why it failed to draw an audience? I think marketing probably overestimated the general public's awareness of The Shining. I mean, that movie is nearly 40 years old at this point. And if you're a cineaste or a devoted horror fan, you probably know about it. But if you're not in that scene? Well, Doctor Sleep’s marketing really didn't give you a whole heck of a lot to work with. It didn't tell the audience what the story was about (a middle-aged man protecting a young girl from psychic vampires) and instead depended solely on the original film's iconography. I personally loved the marketing, but I realize now they were preaching to the choir with me and probably should've worried more about the rest of the ticket-buying world.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Review: Vibes (1988)


Before Mill Creek Entertainment announced 1988's Vibes as part of their latest wave of retro VHS-style slipcover Blu-rays, I hadn't even heard of the movie, at least not that I can remember. Yet, something about it immediately ignited my interest. In part, it was the cast: Jeff Goldblum, Cyndi Lauper, and Lieutenant Columbo himself, Peter Falk. Maybe it was that cover image, recreating the stunning video cassette box art. Maybe it was even the font of the title logo, which screams 1988 and ignites my nostalgia for the long-gone days of my childhood. Regardless, I couldn't wait to pop Vibes into my Blu-ray player.

I was not disappointed.

The movie is delightfully quirky, seemingly in service of no particular direction or tone. At some points, it's an comedy about characters who are gifted with psychic abilities, while at others, it's a romance. Still at other times, it's an adventure movie that seems to be chasing Raiders of the Lost Ark and Romancing the Stone. It also manages to be a buddy comedy about two opposites that are thrown together in circumstances beyond their control. Somehow, the movie is all of these things while never leaning particularly into pursuing any of them.

Unboxing Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet!


Robby the Robot, the mechanical masterpiece made famous in the 1956 science fiction film Forbidden Planet, has arrived on Walmart toy shelves! In this video, we unbox the toy robot, which speaks, walks, and lights up!

Check your local Walmart for Robby HERE

Monday, February 10, 2020

The Creature Columns: The Aesthetic Appeal of Movie Posters - Sequel Posters (Part 2) By Tom "Creature" Jeffers


DISCLAIMER:
Remember art is completely subjective. 😀 I also realize that there are multiple posters for many films. I am simply comparing particular versions that show artistic growth.

Read Part 1 HERE

Movie sequels: we love them or we hate them. Some have surpassed the original films as in the case of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and perhaps The Godfather 2. Many others go on to be notoriously bad pictures or box office flops. However, along the way new ideas on how to promote such films rise up and grab our attention. I wanted to showcase a few franchises that, in my opinion, did this in a spectacular fashion. Some of the changes to movie posters are very obvious, and some are more subtle. Here are a few of my favorites.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Birds of Prey / Harley Quinn Spoiler-Free Review and Discussion


Cereal At Midnight sits down for a spoiler-free discussion about the latest DC movie from Warner Brothers: Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn! Margot Robbie is back as the iconic anti-hero, and this time, she's got friends!

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Retro VHS Blu ray Unboxing, Plus Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt!


The latest releases in Mill Creek Entertainment's Retro VHS Blu-ray line have arrived, and so has Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: The Complete Series! Join us as we unbox each item and stick around for a look at the ENTIRE Retro VHS Blu-ray collection so far!

All of our Mill Creek Entertainment Retro VHS Slipcover Blu-ray videos can be viewed in this handy dandy playlist!


Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Elton John: Live From Moscow 1979 - Elton Unplugged!


Elton John: Live From Moscow 1979 is a brand new live album from the BBC archives! It captures Elton at the tail end of the 1970s as he ends a string of concerts in the USSR, but what makes the concert even more spectacular is that it presents a man alone with his piano. Here's our review!


Tuesday, February 4, 2020

The Creature Columns: The Aesthetic Appeal of Movie Posters (Part 1) by Tom "Creature" Jeffers


DISCLAIMER:

Art is completely subjective. The appreciation of cinema is completely objective. I wanted to get that out of the way before I proceed with what is a deep passion of mine. Movie posters are like book covers. They can draw or repulse. They can even draw a person in because they repulse. Bad movies can have spectacular posters. Excellent films can have terrible posters. This is the first article that I have in a planned series that discusses this notion from a purely artistic standpoint. A review of a movie poster in no way reflects a film. It is a total and separate entity. What I am also offering here is my own opinion based on hours of research and art appreciation. I am in no way a complete expert. Therefore, if my opinion is different from yours, dear reader, please do not take offense. My intention is not to be negative in any way. I am simply offering my observations and opinions. Thank you for your understanding!

A movie poster can make a film or break it. That may indeed be a bold statement, but I know it to be true for myself and many over film buffs. The first impression we often get from a film is a released poster. Movie trailers can change our minds about a film, but that first impression tends to stick with us. With that understanding, it is easy to see why posters are such an integral part of a film release. I want to discuss a few posters to illustrate my meaning. My intention in this first article is to focus on poster versions that work better than others.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Interview with Body By Starfleet Author Robb Pearlman


Cereal At Midnight recently had the opportunity to speak with author Robb Pearlman about his new book Body By Starfleet, a fitness guide that uses the worlds and characters of Star Trek to promote physical health!

C@M: Robb, thank you so much for speaking with us! Body By Starfleet combines physical fitness with the themes, characters, and ideals of Star Trek. Some readers may be surprised at how naturally these two topics fit together. What was the genesis of this project, and what led you to combine your love of Star Trek with personal fitness?

RP: A few years ago I decided to make a change in my life and go where I'd never gone before: they gym. I found a great local place, Tutela Training Systems, in Clark NJ. Though I was initially intimidated to even walk through the door, I quickly warmed to it as I realized that the other guys working out were not only of all different body types, backgrounds, and careers, but all completely supportive and encouraging of each other as we all strove toward our universal goals of fitness and health. If that doesn't embody Starfleet, I don't know what does.