Posted in Wednesday Warriors

Rob Hawkins

He doesn’t have to think about it. He knows what he has to do. Above all, no one or anything can stop him. Beth needs him, and that is all that matters to him. He will save her. He will risk his life for her. If he dies for her, then so be it. He will not have died in vain.

Wednesday Warriors. Cloverfield‘s Rob Hawkins.

Cloverfield's Michael Stahl-David as Rob Hawkins
Cloverfield’s Michael Stahl-David as Rob Hawkins

When falling in love, no one knows where it will lead. There may be periods of indescribable joy, and there my be episodes of unbearable pain. So it is with Rob Hawkins (Michael Stahl-David) when he shows up at a surprise going away party in his honor. He is heading to Japan and leaving his friends behind. He is also leaving Beth McIntyre (Odette Annable) behind whom he loves.

The night couldn’t be better. His friends have determined to make his farewell bash the best party ever. And it is, until Beth appears with her new boyfriend. Soon after she leaves though, he and his friends plant themselves on the fire escape and talk about forgetting about Beth. As much as he would like, Rob can’t do that. He loves her and he doesn’t want to leave for Japan without having some sort of resolution with his former girlfriend.

That’s when it happens.

The earth shakes. The walls quake. And the lights go out.

Something sinister falls on New York City and everyone, including Rob wonders what it could be.

Rob Hawkins
Rob Hawkins

When the lights come back on, the news states something has attacked lower Manhattan, rendering it helpless. Fleeing to the top of the apartment building, Rob and his friends survey the city for damage. He doesn’t know it yet, but what will happen next will change his life forever. An object screams down from the heavens blasting the city’s core, laying it waste. Debris flies over Rob’s head pushing everyone to dash to the stairs to the street below.

All would have been fine hadn’t Rob received the call. He can’t help himself, he has to find out how she is. Beth made it home, but she needs help. Rob is the only one she can count on to save her.

And the boyfriend? What happened to him? It doesn’t matter. All Rob cares about is Beth. He wants her safe.

Against the advice of his friends, Rob takes to the city streets in search of his friend, stranded by whatever had befallen her. Through the military maneuvers and the train tunnels he roams, fighting against exhaustion, overcoming perilous attacks from forces unseen. Rob’s only focus is Beth, saving her life and redeeming himself of what had torn apart their relationship in the first place.

The eventual outcome of the story rests on friendship. Rob Hawkins doesn’t have to think twice when it comes to Beth. As awful as their breakup was, he will still offer his life in order that she might live instead.

Isn’t that what true friendship is all about?


Have you seen Cloverfield? What do you think about Rob Hawkins and his friendship with Beth?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Monster Movies

Monster movies have always captured my imagination. When I was a kid, a Sunday afternoon wouldn’t be the same without watching Godzilla and all the other Japanese monsters wreaking havoc on Tokyo. Back then, it was the thing to do. We had those twenty-four-inch TVs with mono sound and low-res images that sparked our interest and carried us through the weekend.


For today’s Monday Mayhem, I would like to delve into my liking of monster movies, why I like certain ones and the impact they have made on my life.

Godzilla—As I stated in the intro, Godzilla was the movie series my friends and I loved and would gather after school to talk about. Yeah, you could have considered me a nerd. In the earlier movies, which were films filmed in Japanese, brought overseas and translated for the English-speaking audience, Godzilla was anything but pleasant. In the earlier incarnations, he was the bad guy. Born from a radioactive mess, he stomped his way through Tokyo causing authorities to use deadly force on the giant creature. In later films, he became the hero, also destroying cities, but taking down other monsters in the process. I loved the series because it had a ominous, end-of-the-world feel I couldn’t shake.


Cloverfield—No monster movie discussion would be complete without the addition of the film Cloverfield. Directed by J.J. Abrams, Manhattan once again becomes the playing ground to an alien invasion. Similar to other alien invasion movies, other than War of the Worlds, a creature sets foot in New York City and rips apart the downtown core. The premise is not a unique one, yet the story flow and action progressively escalates to hypertension as the shrieks and destruction the beast yields causes the masses to stampede from the scene. Filmed from a first-person perspective, the story merits attention due to its unyielding build throughout the story. I also love the fact that the plot encompasses older themes of the earlier Godzilla movies, complete with military intervention and wanton devastation.

Jaws—By far, many wouldn’t consider Jaws a monster movie. If anything, Jaws is about a biological anomaly that should have never happened. But happen, it did. The story about a shark laying waste the shores of Amity Island became an instant success in the movie industry and introduced the world to the summer blockbuster flick. I would consider it a monster movie because the shark was beyond imagination. The great white spanned longer than the length of a fishing trolley and its jaws could swallow a person whole. The shark also had no redeeming qualities to catch the audience’s will to sympathize with the creature. It wanted to kill and nothing more. For this, the crew made up of a sheriff, an oceanographer and a fisherman needed to get rid of the beast before it hurt anyone else. It was, by all accounts and definition, a monster that had to die.

There you have it folks, my picks for admirable monster movies that would make a Sunday afternoon great again. By no means is the list complete, but I think you get the point of where I was going with it. I hope it spurs you to seek those often-neglected titles and admire the work involved with making such films.

Quite frankly, monster movies are awesome—but that’s my opinion.


What monster movies do you like? What attracts you to the genre?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Top 10 Alien Invasion Movies

It never fails. Every summer there’s an alien invasion movie that hits the box office to steamroll critics and become a ginormous success. Does anyone remember Independence Day? This summer, the mega-film Transformers: Age of Extinction may be on approach to becoming 2014’s first billion-dollar movie.

Independence Day
Independence Day

Since it’s summer, and since everyone wants to read something quick while doing other things. I thought for Monday Mayhem I’d give you a list of my most favorite alien invasion movies ever. This list is not complete, but these alien films stick out in my mind as the ones that made summer awesome for me.

Here they are. My Top 10 alien summer flicks from least to most favorite:

10. Mars Attacks!—Released December 13, 1996, this Tim Burton film makes it feel like summer. The aliens are horrible critters bent of the destruction of humanity. What makes this film special is the hilarity that ensues once the humans finally meet the visitors.

9. Cloverfield—Released January 18, 2008, aliens couldn’t be more frightening. Bugs are not fun when they’re human-sized pests that only a shotgun can take out. Yes, another winter title, but it wouldn’t be right not to include Cloverfield in this list.

8. Alien—Released May 25, 1979, Ridley Scott created a creature so vicious, it was a wonder anyone survived. It’s not an invasion of earth, but brilliant nonetheless.

7. The Thing—Released June 25, 1982, this John Carpenter classic is sure to make you think twice before heading to a remote place in the arctic for a vacation. Make sure you know who your friends are before heading there.

6. Predator—Released June 12, 1987, the film poses a question: who would win a battle to dominate the world, Arnold Schwarzenegger or an alien schooled in the fine art of warfare? Governator jokes aside, Arnie puts the smack dab on anything remotely alien.

5. Signs—Released August 2, 2002, M. Night Shyamalan presents his version of an alien invasion based on hints and Hitchcockian deception. A worthy film to enjoy that illustrates what it would be like if aliens tried to take over an ordinary Joe’s farm.

Independence Day dogfight
Independence Day dogfight

4. Men in Black—Released, July 2, 1997, this film has it all . Aliens. Government conspiracy. Secret agencies. Not taking itself seriously, the movie provides a great escape from the ordinary hustle and bustle of ordinary life. Excellent special effects.

3. Transformers movies (all of them)—Released 2007-2014, Michael Bay’s view of an alien invasion consists of explosions, more explosions and tons of explosions. This true-to-the-genre flick blows away anything standing in its way and decimates whatever’s left.

2. War of the Worlds—Released June 29, 2005, Steven Spielberg throws his hat in the ring to present his version of malevolent beings wanting to take over the earth. Making this movie special is the survival story of one family led by Tom Cruise.

1. Independence Day—Released July 3, 1996, summer alien invasion movies haven’t been the same since. With a good helping of dogfights, sarcastic one-liners and skin-slicing thrills, this movie delivers on the promise that aliens are insidious beings with no redeeming qualities other than to become mantelpiece trophies for the survivors. Lots of action makes this the go-to film for popcorn munching viewers with a few hours to kill.

I know I’ve missed many fine titles like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and It Came From Outer Space. Thing is, I wasn’t around when they released, so I can’t really say they made my summer. But wouldn’t it have been cool to live during the days when B-movies reigned supreme?

I know I would have loved it.

[Notable mentions go to Pacific Rim and Battleship. Nothing quite beats films produced to celebrate the human spirit than those featuring humanity fighting against all odds and winning.]


What are your favorites? Why do you like them?