April 18, 2012
Advisory: The Cabin in the Woods is best seen with as little foreknowledge as possible. Not to say that there’s a huge twist, as quite a bit is revealed fairly early on, but a lot of its pleasure comes in watching where it goes. Suffice it to say that I enjoyed it quite a lot, and you should see it if horror films are anywhere near your wheelhouse, and quite frankly, even if they’re not.
August 23, 2010
After all the hype, the derision, the debate, the increasing sales, the pitiful cash-ins, and the recent fall-off in interest (if box office is anything to go by, anyway), 3D finally comes into its own with Piranha 3D. James Cameron and other somewhat credible directors might see it as the future of film-making, and there is every chance that someone will come along and do something interesting with it, but at this moment, through the blood-soaked vessel that is Piranha 3D, it reveals its strength to be in pure, unmitigated schlock. It’s a gimmick, nothing more, and should only be used (if, indeed, at all) in the service of puerile, tongue-in-cheek affairs. And this film is so tongue-in-cheek it explodes violently through the skin, not unlike the titular aquatic beasts. Read the rest of this entry »
December 1, 2009
Oh boy. I really don’t know where to begin. The Twilight series of books and now accompanying films are a genuine global phenomenon, and it is almost enough to make me give up on the world altogether. Okay, that’s unfair, as there are plenty of cultural touch points that are just as bad and befuddling in their popularity (Dan Brown, Transformers, and The Hills come to mind). Still, there’s something insidious about the enterprise that just feels worse in some way. The writing in the books (of what little I have read, anyway) is appalling, and I can’t help but feel that an entire generation is getting dumber for reading them. At least with Dan Brown and Nicholas Sparks it’s a more adult demographic, meaning that an awful lot of people are already lost. As Stephanie Meyer’s series is directed at tweens and teens, I worry that it might stunt their growth. Only time will tell, and that’s literature anyway, which isn’t my area in the first place. Based on the two films so far, however, I wonder if they’re not just feeding a generation of emotional idiots, but actually creating them. Read the rest of this entry »
June 11, 2009
It feels like it’s been so long since I’ve had a truly fun time at the cinema during the summer season that I had forgotten what the loud, brash escapism of the season is really for. I’ve liked plenty of the big, goofy blockbusters that get churned out, though admittedly I’ve loathed more and more as the years go by. Sam Raimi’s Drag Me To Hell isn’t a big-budget event like his Spider-man films that dominated their respective years. This is a summer picture down solely to the release date, and yet it captures perfectly the essence of what the other should be about: fun. Perhaps the films I’ve been seeing have been so poor that my expectations have dropped lower than I thought, but this film felt to me like one of the best popcorn flicks of the last several summers. The fact that the budget was comparatively miniscule serves to make an even larger mockery of the bloated behemoths that compete for that hallowed place at the top of the year-end box office chart. This is proper filmmaking, and it is a truly invigorating sight to behold. Read the rest of this entry »