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Friday
February 28th, 2020

john leguizamo latin history for moronsJohn Leguizamo prepares the start of a history lesson in his one-man show “Latin History for Morons,” currently available to stream on Netflix. Courtesy photoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times

 

Suggestions for movies and TV shows and other media come to me in a variety of ways, whether it’s via Netflix, a conversation on Facebook or a conversation at the office. My most recent suggestion for something to watch came from a YouTube personality I follow and I can definitely say YouTube is a good source for media suggestions. 

In this particular video for this YouTube personality, she mentioned seeing John Leguizamo’s one-man show “Latin History for Morons” where she lives and a few days after watching that video, the show itself came up in my Top Suggestions tab on Netflix. I’d seen the suggestion before without giving it a ton of thought, but after seeing a review of it on YouTube, I clicked on it and gave it a shot. Like a lot of things I’ve seen this past year, I ended up being VERY surprised by what I saw. In this one-man show, Leguizamo describes how he found humor and heartbreak as he traced 3,000 years of Latin history in an effort to help his bullied son with a school project. 

The first thing I’ve got to give praise to is Leguizamo’s performance throughout the show. He gives 100 percent of himself into every minute and he is able to very deftly blend humor and history together as he’s telling the story of his quest to help his son in school. His timing is outstanding, the humor throughout is solid, and you feel everything right along with Leguizamo. One-person shows are exceedingly difficult to do well, and Leguizamo pulls off this show very well. Another thing I liked about the performance overall is just how open and raw it is. With the way Leguizamo tells the different parts of the story, he performs it all in a way that allows the viewer to have an inside track on how he was feeling at that point in time, and especially in the more serious moments of the show (particularly near the end when he’s recapping some other information for the audience) he is open and raw and it’s a credit to how good an actor Leguizamo really is. And the way he presents the actual information is also done very well – so well, in fact, I wonder if Leguizamo ever considered actually becoming a teacher of some type at some point in his life. 

young frankenstein spotlight pageFrederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder, center) and his assistants lament the seeming failure of their experiment in the 1974 Mel Brooks classic “Young Frankenstein,” which continues to be a Halloween favorite today. Courtesy photoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times

 

Many people will be out and about enjoying trick-or-treating or Halloween parties this evening, but for those who are choosing to stay in for the night, there are many movies to choose from. 

So pop yourself a bag of popcorn or grab something sweet, get a big, steaming mug of your favorite fall drink and settle in for the evening with some of my favorite Halloween movies, perhaps you’ll enjoy them too!

 

The Conjuring (2013)

This movie follows paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (portrayed by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga)  as they help the Perron family, who experienced increasingly disturbing events in their farmhouse in Rhode Island in the early 1970s.

I discovered this on Netflix a few months ago and much like with “A Quiet Place,” I came away pleasantly surprised with it. The performances are solid throughout the movie, the atmosphere during the entire movie is full of dread and spookiness, and the scares throughout the movie are real and made me yell out some rather inappropriate phrases because I got so startled. If you’re into the “based on a true story” haunted house movie genre, you should have this on TV for this evening. 

 

Coraline (2009)

This movie, based on Neil Gaiman’s novel, follows young Coraline Jones as she discovers a new and better world on the other side of the wall of the apartment she and her parents have recently moved into. But not everything is as it seems. 

I actually first watched this back in college during a weekend when my roommates were gone and I immensely loved it. The voice acting is great (particularly from stars Dakota Fanning and Teri Hatcher) and the claymation work is smooth and very well done. And while it is marketed primarily as a children’s movie, there’s enough of a underlying feeling of danger to make it appealing to adults as well. If you enjoyed the novel and are into this type of animation, “Coraline” is one that should be on the watchlist for this evening. 

zombieland double tap spotlight pageTallahassee (Woody Harrelson, center) outlines his plan to defeat an oncoming horde of zombies in this scene from the recently released “Zombieland: Double Tap.” Courtesy photoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times

 

A few months ago I was at home indulging in a lazy Sunday afternoon and was looking for something to watch on Netflix and during that quest, I came across the 2009 movie “Zombieland,” which followed a group of strangers (portrayed by Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin) taking an extended road trip looking for sanctuary from a recent zombie apocalypse. I ended up thoroughly surprised and entertained by the movie so when I heard earlier this year that there would be a sequel, I was wary but also somewhat excited (I have a bit of a bias against sequels, I freely admit it). So this weekend I made the trek to the movie theater in town to see how “Zombieland: Double Tap” would end up. 

“Zombieland: Double Tap” takes place 10 years later with zombies still being an issue for our main quad as they’ve evolved. And much like with its predecessor, I ended up being entertained and surprised by what I saw.

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