Sunday, April 29, 2007

Grudge 2

The Grudge 2 (2006)

Directed by: Takashi Shimizu
Written by: Stephen Susco, based on the film Ju-On: The Grudge written by Takashi Shimizu
Starring: Amber Tamblyn, Arielle Kebbel, Edison Chen, Jennifer Beals, Teresa Palmer, Misako Uno, Sarah Roemer, Matthew Knight, Takako Fuji, Ohga Tanaka, Joanna Cassidy, Jenna Dewan, Sarah Michelle Gellar

Sixth and most recent film in that spoooky Japanese haunted house series (apparently Shimizu's working on Ju-On: The Grudge 3), although only the second one to be shot in English.

This one picks up two years after The Grudge ends, with Sarah Gellar's sister coming to bring her back to America. While investigating the curse, the ghosts drag her into the bad house (that's not really fair, is it?). Then, two mean-spirited schoolgirls bring one of the unpopular girls from their class into the house as a joke and get offed by the mean-spirited spirits. The one remaining girl returns home to America, only to be pursued by the ghosts who take up residence in a Chicago apartment building and kill it's inhabitants.

That story isn't told in such a linear way, of course. All three parts of the story are going on at the same time, making the whole thing maddeningly confused. For some reason, Shimizu pulls that crap off in Ju-On: The Grudge, with even more threads, but not in this movie.

It's all just so Americanized. The first Grudge was, in fact, my introduction to Japanese horror cinema, and was strange and scary to me. Now that kind of thing is so commonplace that nothing in this movie is the least bit frightening. It also doesn't help that it has the same plot and the same scary shit as the first one, and seemed to lift a lot of stuff from Ring 2.

There are a few marginally disturbing bits - those ghosts are pretty unsettling - but none of it really stuck with me. The first film actually kept me awake for about a week and living in fear for a month and a half, but this one has no lasting side effects.

And I'm sorry but the ghosts in this one make no sense at all. I know, they are irrational beings, but there's something called suspension of disbelief and when the ghoulies have no rules whatsoever, I get annoyed. I can put up with a lot, you know. They didn't even seem that pissed off, either. It was more like they got off on scaring the crap out of people, and didn't have any other motives for doing what they did, really (unlike the ghosts in The Eye, say, whose actions make perfect sense. They just happen to be extremely grotesque looking). For example, how come Sarah Gellar and Edison Chen can be cursed for two years before anything bad happens to them?

I kind of like Takako Fuji, though. She doesn't do a whole lot in this movie, and I have yet to see her in anything else, but I just think she's cool. I dunno why.

The movie could have done with a more convincing story, better actors (most of them were okay, but a couple of them were just awful. The biggest problem was that Amber Tamblyn and Arielle Kebbel look almost identical), a better script and more original scares. In other words, they should have changed everything.


House of Dracula

House of Dracula (1945)

Directed by: Erle C. Kenton
Written by: Edward T. Lowe Jr.
Starring: Onslow Stevens, Lon Chaney Jr., Martha O'Driscoll, Jane Adams, John Carradine, Lionel Atwill, Ludwig Stossel, Glenn Strange, Skelton Knaggs

Fifth film in Universal's Dracula series, fourth for The Wolf Man, seventh for Frankenstein, and sequel to House of Frankenstein (which I haven't seen).

Both Dracula and Larry Talbot seek out this doctor who they believe can cure them of their respective maladies (although Dracula seems to quite enjoy being a vampire). The doctor is also planning to rid one of his pretty assistants of her lovely lady hump. They find Frankenstein's Monster buried in a cave later on. The doctor manages to cure the Wolf Man before being turned into a vampire by The Count (who is in love with the guy's other beautiful assistant) and going completely insane. An angry mob also shows up partway through the movie, too.

I must say that Junior actually looks good in this movie when compared to his atrocious performance in Son of Dracula. He plays the werewolf surprisingly well.

The acting in general is relatively good. The art direction isn't particularly inspired when compared to some of the earlier entries in all three series (especially the Frankenstein pictures), but there is a castle and a room full of machines that go buzz. It also feature the little village from the Frankenstein movies, the name of which I am unable to determine. I can't tell whether they're saying "Vasaria" or "This Area".

Regardless of all the weird little flaws and inadequacies, I can still say it's better than Van Helsing. I admire Steve for making that movie, but... well, it's a piece of shite. They might as well have just made this movie, I mean, really.

Anyway, I kind of liked Jane Adams for some reason. And Skelton Knaggs, who basically plays the Dwight Frye character in this movie.

Like a lot of these movies, they use stock footage from other films in the series, specifically Bride of Frankenstein. The last few shots are taken from Ghost, too, actually. Poor Monster, woken up just to be burned alive AGAIN.


Son of Dracula

Son of Dracula (1943)

Directed by: Robert Siodmak
Written by: Eric Taylor
Starring: Robert Paige, Louise Allbritton, Lon Chaney Jr., Frank Craven, J. Edward Bromberg, Evelyn Ankers, George Irving, Adeline De Walt Reynolds

This is the third movie in Universal's Dracula series, though it isn't really much of a sequel to Dracula and Dracula's Daughter. Junior had already played the Wolf Man, Kharis the Mummy and Frankenstein's Monster by this point, and tries his hand at The Count. He's terrible.

I watched this movie once a long time ago, and it hasn't improved much since then. This particular entry is set in the southern United States, Louisiana or someplace swampy (Kharis ended up down there in the swamp too. Why?), with the mysterious Count Alucard (!) being brought to his girlfriend's plantation. The girlfriend's boyfriend (eh...) gets quite concerned about her behaviour, and then she turns into a vampire, and things really go downhill for him.

The movie has potential - they could make a pretty good remake of it (there was a film of the same title made in '74 but it didn't have too much to do with this movie. It had Ringo in it...) - it's biggest problem being Junior's hideously bad acting.

I guess he's trying to be sexy and mysterious or something, but he comes off as wooden and horrible. Of course, he only has about three lines of dialogue in the whole movie (I expect they cut a lot of it), but he's still ruddy awful. No one else was that bad.

The special effects have improved quite a bit. The bat to man transformations alone are monumentally better than they were in the 1931 Dracula (shot of bat flapping in window; cut to shot of Frances Dade/Helen Chandler sleeping peacefully; cut back to window with Bela. Incredible!). You actually see the bat turning into The Count (wow!). You also get to see him changing back and forth from a cloud of mist. I thought it was cool, okay?

There was also a cool scene in there where he rises up out of the swamp and rides his coffin across the water. The whole movie actually had a nice look to it.

Anyway, another problem I had was that The Count marries his girlfriend before turning her into a vampire (et cetera). I mean, what kind of lamewad vampire does that? (Christopher Lee sure as shit doesn't.)

And a bat that size would eat fruit anyway. Vampire bats are tiny. I mean, Jesus, don't these people know anything?


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Three Extremes 2

Saam Gaang (2002)

Another three part horror anthology from Asia. The weird thing about this is that it was made before Three Extremes and only released as Three Extremes 2 in America after the success of the other one. I feel confused.

Written and Directed by: Ji-woon Kim
Starring: Hye-su Kim, Bo-seok Jeong, Jung-Hee Moon, Jung-Won Jang

This would be the South Korean contribution to the film. It's about a man whose wife has gone missing and he can't remember what happened to her. He's also having weird nightmares about her digging her finger into her head and picking out bits of her brain. Then there's the woman, his wife, who wakes up in an empty street without any memories of what happened to her and no idea of who she is. Some freaky stuff happens to her too. Eventually she makes it home and learns that her husband killed her and chopped her up into little pieces and stuffed her into a gym bag (spoilers). Not particularly original, but fairly well done.

It's all extremely strange, and pretty atmospheric (in other words, very little actually happens). Unfortunately, there's only so freaked out a person can get before they start laughing. I can't help myself.

Especially when the fingers start falling on people. That was funny, I'm sorry. Fingers are one of the funniest pieces of a person (hence my online name).

The movie just sort of drifts along in a very dreamy fashion (a lot of Asian films are very dreamlike) with beautiful images and very little sound. It was nice.

It also used that weird sort of stop motion thing (you know, they used it in The Ring) with the freaky people twitching along. And of course, dead women with long black hair.

This one was probably the more coherent of the three...

The Wheel

Directed by: Nonzee Nimibutr
Written by: Nitas Singhamat
Starring: Suwinit Panjamawat, Pongsanart Vinsiri, Tinnapob Seeweesriruth, Vinn Vasinanon, Komgrich Yuttiyong

Not that this one wasn't coherent. It was just a little... bizarre. They did there best to explain it to an ignorant American audience (by which I mean myself), but I was still a wee bit lost.

It didn't really matter though. I figured out what was going on. This guy has all these puppets, and then he dies, and then this other guy steals his puppet, but it's cursed so it kills everybody (some people for no apparent reason other than they looked at it cockeyed or something). I guess.

This is the Thai 'extreme', and it's got evil puppets, curses, ghosts, demons, all kinds of freaky shit. I didn't dig it all that much, though. It was just kind of... I don't know... dull or something. It had way too many effects. And I kept thinking about all those evil puppet movies I've seen before.

It looked nice, though. Nice costumes, nice scenery, well shot - they're all well shot... it just didn't do anything for me, that's all...

Going Home
Directed by: Peter Ho-Sun Chan
Written by: Matt Chow, Jojo Hui
Starring: Eric Tsang, Leon Lai, Eugenia Yuan, Ting-Fung Li

And this one is from Hong Kong. It's about a man who moves into a dirty old apartment building with his son. The little boy runs off with this weird little girl, and when the father goes looking for him, he sort of gets kidnapped by this other guy who has his dead wife in a wheel chair and is convinced that she's going to 'revive'. He ties the first guy up (why?) and says he'll let him go when his wife wakes up.

All of this has very little to do with the boy and the little girl in the red coat. I guess she's like their (the man and the dead woman) aborted fetus? I don't know. It doesn't mean anything.

Anyway, if you try hard not to think about that, it's all good. It's just really weird, especially when it gets to the end (the woman does wake up briefly). It makes no sense whatsoever, but that's okay.

I kind of liked it the best out of all three (even though it didn't make any kind of sense). And it looked good... (that statement's getting a little tiresome, no?). But hey, Christopher Doyle. There you go.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Hot Fuzz

Hot Fuzz (2007)

Directed by: Edgar Wright
Written by: Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg
Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Timothy Dalton, Jim Broadbent, Olivia Colman, Paddy Considine, Rafe Spall, Adam Buxton, Billy Whitelaw, Peter Wright, Julia Deakin, David Threlfall, Lucy Punch, Bill Bailey, Paul Freeman, Graham Low, Pamela Franklin, Elvis the Swan, Edward Woodward, Martin Freeman, Bill Nighy, Steve Coogan, Cate Blanchett, Peter Jackson

Sorry, I got a little carried away there, didn't I? Oops. Anyway, I went to see this movie yesterday. Good for me. As we all know (or if we didn't know, we might've guessed) Shaun of the Dead is one of the movies that makes me really happy. So there you go.

This is about a cop that's so good about being a cop that he gets reassigned to a little village where nothing really happens and gets teamed up with Nick Frost (naturally). And then murders start happening and said cop figures out that it's all part of this evil conspiracy led by Timothy Dalton.

Funny, funny stuff. It was obviously made by a guys who watched way too many action movies (I believe what the trailer says about them having watched every action movie ever made) and really like weapons. There are a lot of weapons...

And it was pretty gory. People getting hit on the heads with bits of churches and stabbed in the throat with garden shears. Funny stuff. And of course a ridiculous gun fight somewhere near the end of the movie.

It was really very... stylish, too. Some crazy editing and crap going on in there. A few of the CG effects were kind of fake looking, but I can live with that.

As expected, it was very well written, and very British. It felt a little more American than it's little cousin Shaun, though, I dunno why. Maybe it was all the guns. Who knows.

And hey, there were little cameos by Cate Blanchett and Peter Jackson (I didn't even notice that until I looked up the cast on my favourite website (no, I don't memorize anything). Imagine my spasm of happy) in there. How adorable.

Yep, I quite enjoyed this movie, and I'm glad I went to see it. It brightened up my day (it wasn't as depressing or vulgar as Shaun either (not that I have a problem with either of those things. In fact, I revel in depression and vulgarity)). I'll give those guys a collective, mental hug. Hey, maybe that should be my little rating system from now on. Kind of like 'thumbs up, thumbs down', but better.


The Descent

The Descent (2005)

Written and Directed by: Neil Marshall
Starring: Shauna MacDonald, Natalie Mendoza, Alex Reid, Saskia Mulder, MyAnna Buring, Nora-Jane Noone, Molly Kayll, Oliver Milburn

Okay, so a bunch of women (one of whom recently lost her husband and daughter in a hideous car accident) go on a caving expedition in the Appalachian Mountains (bad idea. That's pretty much asking to get attacked by scary rednecks). Whilst down in the cave, a tunnel collapses and they all get stuck without much in the way of food or water. That's a pretty good set up for a psychological thriller a la Blair Witch but no! There's this nasty race of flesh-eating goblins living down there who just go crazy when these chicks get down there. So no rednecks...

The movie felt pretty much like The Cave, but set in America and without any men. I liked that. There was one guy, but he gets a massive spike through his head in the first ten minutes. It was nice and claustrophobic, and scary enough.

It was better than The Cave, too, but the monsters weren't as cool. I didn't like them too much. They made more sense than the Cave monsters, but still not a lot.

Anyway, there were a couple of good, clean scares in the movie ('couple' being the operative word - one when a goblin pops up unexpectedly behind a lady, one when the woman sees some really nasty thing out of a J-Horror movie in her car), and the ending was pretty bogus.

Again, bogus being the operative word - the main character thinks she's escaped the evil cave and all its horrors only to find herself up Owl Creek without a paddle.

They did a pretty good job of scrambling the formula, in other words, you have a pretty good idea of who's going to die and in what order (a couple of the faceless fodder characters, then the bitch, then the main character's friend, then maybe a toss-up between the emotionally disturbed lady and the plucky, adrenaline loving youngest member of the expedition), but they change it for my benefit.

And may I stress the point that there aren't any men in it? That was great! Of course, there were men in The Cave, and Alien and The Thing and a few people get out okay (well, like, one for each of those movies). The emotionally disturbed woman in this movie turns into a sort of Ripley by the end, now that I'm on THAT topic.

I guess The Descent is probably a metaphor for her descent into animal like barbarity or something.

Anyway, this movie wasn't too great, but I liked the blooper reel.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Stranger Than Fiction

Stranger Than Fiction (2006)

Directed by: Marc Forster
Written by: Zach Helm
Starring: Will Ferrell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Emma Thompson, Queen Latifah, Dustin Hoffman, Tony Hale, Tom Hulce, Linda Hunt

I haven't done a lot of posting lately and I apologize. I kind of got stuck, but I blame the weather. It was making me depressed and pulling me down.

Anyway, this is that movie about the guy who finds out he's actually a character in a woman's novel and that she's going to kill him. Good premise, no?

Yep, I liked it a lot. Usually I really don't like Will Ferrell (nothing wrong with Will Ferrell, exactly, just his choice of roles. I liked Anchorman, but that was just about enough), but he was really good in this. Very... relaxed.

I like Queen Latifah, too, I'm sorry. I don't listen to her music, but I think she's pretty cool. And Emma Thompson. She's great.

(I'm afraid Maggie Gyllenhaal is conspicuously missing from that paragraph - I do like her, she just freaks me out a little bit because she looks exactly like Jake, but she's a woman. It's rather off putting, I'm afraid)

Anyway, I always thought this would be a good idea for a novel. Now it's been done. Thanks a lot.

From an artistic standpoint I thought it was pretty neat, too. All those white lines and shit coming out of his head? Great. They kind of cut that out a little once the novelty of it wore off, but it was still cool while it lasted. Of course, that does create a conflict within the artism of the movie - what does that have to do with the novel? I don't know. I guess it was just there to look cool, and wouldn't have made much of a movie all by itself. It just reminded me of some computer game or something (not that I really play them... heh heh (no, I don't play computer games. I read books. That's right...)).

Anyway, that wasn't particularly irksome. I thought it was pretty cool. Also, the movie was very well written, and I laughed heartily. I don't have a very hearty laugh, I'm afraid. It's more of a wheeze, but it's the thought that counts. I think hearty thoughts.

Dustin Hoffman was funny, I'm sorry. He's kind of repulsive, but he was funny ("Aren't you glad you're not a golem?" HA!).

Yeah, I thought it was really silly and bizarre, but handled in a really good way. It was tragically funny, which is important. Tragedy is always important in comedy.

And, even more important, it was about DEATH. Yay for death.


Sunday, April 15, 2007


Paranoiac (1963)

Directed by: Freddie Francis
Written by: Jimmy Sangster
Starring: Janette Scott, Oliver Reed, Alexander Davion, Sheila Burrell, Liliane Brousse, Maurice Denham, John Bonney, John Stuart

Another old timey Hammer movie, this one, however, not a Gothic period monster movie, but a modern (well, you know) suspense thriller thing.

A wealthy but whacko young man decides that his sister is insane and tries get her committed. Then their brother (who killed himself eight years ago) shows up. Except he's actually a con man and he falls in love with the sister (wee hoo, incest). Problems ensue.

Um, yeah, so I liked it pretty good. It was entertaining. And kind of amusing, in a weird way. Alcoholics are funny. Ha ha ha. I'm laughing me arse off, metaphorically. I apologize to any alcoholics out there, but face it, you are.

It wasn't really very exciting, just really dramatic. And shadowy. Go shadows. I like black and white movies. It reminded me of those haunted house movies I like. Those super duper black and white ones, you know. It was a nice house.

There were a few pretty creepy moments. Not a lot of blood and guts, but there was a lady in a really gross mask with a hook that I didn't care for very much. It was nice and quiet.

And you know, it was sexy. I guess. There were lots of ladies in lingerie (well, one. Another one in a sort of dressing gown).

I can't think of anything more to say about this. I feel tired. My unusually long babble on Curse of the Werewolf will have to make up for this one's shortness.


Halloween 2

Halloween II (1981)

Directed by: Rick Rosenthal
Written by: John Carpenter and Debra Hill
Starring: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Charles Cyphers, Jeffrey Kramer, Lance Guest, Pamela Susan Shoop, Hunter von Leer, Dick Warlock, Leo Rossi, Gloria Gifford, Tawny Moyer

Sequel to Halloween, obviously, the first of many many many many, and, as expected, inferior. It took a long time to get rolling. It did get rolling eventually, but that was about twenty minutes towards the end.

It picks up a little before the first one left off, and then goes from there. Michael Myers keeps on coming, Jamie Lee keeps on running and Dr. Sam keeps on babbling about evil or something.

Mikey doesn't really settle into his groove until the second half of the movie. Then the murders start piling up two at a time. Some of them are pretty nasty, but most of them aren't.

This one just kind of overdoes it a little bit. There are a shitload of murders, but they aren't especially shocking. I mean, the needle going in the old eyeball (cross my heart and hope to die...) was gross, but I didn't really give two shits. And the music got pretty annoying.

It was just like any sense of suspense that the first one had was mysteriously missing. The only interesting part was wondering how long Mike could hide behind a screen without anybody noticing him. He's very good at his job, so it was a long time.

And now his motives don't make any sense. I mean, if he just wanted to kill Jamie Lee because she was his sister, why the fuck did he kill all of those other people? Sigh. Nevermind. He was a lot more interesting (or rather scary. He isn't particularly interesting) when he didn't have a motive or anything. He just did it because he could, who cares why?

I'm over rationalizing, I know, but come on. He was actually kind of lame in this one. I mean, he could have just killed her, but no, every time he got within a twenty five foot radius he became completely incapacitated and could do little more than swing his knife around (and not hit anything).

And then there's the problem of Dr. Sam blowing himself up, because I was positive he was in at least one of the sequels. In fact, I thought he was in all of them up until Donald Pleasence's death. I'm sure they have a clever explanation for that, too.

Not that it matters. I just think to much, and this movie made me irritated. If it was actually good I could ignore it's many flaws. Like the first one.


Curse of the Werewolf

Curse of the Werewolf (1961)

Directed by: Terence Fisher
Written by: John Elder (A.K.A. Anthony Hinds), based on The Werewolf of Paris by Guy Endore
Starring: Oliver Reed, Catherine Feller, Clifford Evans, Hira Talfrey, John Gabriel, Warren Mitchell, George Woodbridge, Ewen Solon, Yvonne Romain, Richard Wordsworth, Anthony Dawson, Josephine Llewellyn, Anne Blake, Michael Ripper, Desmond Llewellyn

One of many old Hammer movies, but one of their few werewolf pictures. They weren't big on werewolves. I guess werewolves aren't very sexy...

This is the basic werewolf story - young man becomes werewolf, young man is tormented by his being werewolf, young man falls in love with young woman, young man's being werewolf threatens young woman, young man's father shoots him with silver bullet. Practically every werewolf story goes along the same lines (except, of course, for those rebellious neo-werewolf stories). This one stands out because of it's unbelievably long intro.

Let me relate it as quickly as I can: A beggar comes to a village and finds it deserted. He learns that it is the Marques' wedding day and everybody is up partying at the castle. He goes to the castle. The Marques, being a mean fuck, makes him dance around then buys him for his bride. The Marques throws the beggar into a dungeon and forgets about him. The beggar is completely ignored by the world except for the jailer and his mute daughter. Time passes. The beggar grows more and more feral. The Marquesa dies. The Marques grows into a mean old fuck. The mute girl grows up. While cleaning the Marques' fireplace, he tries to rape her. She runs away, and he throws her in the dungeon with the beggar. The beggar rapes the mute girl and dies. They let the mute girl out of the dungeon. She stabs the Marques to death. She runs off to live like an animal in the woods for a while, and is eventually found by this dude who rescues her and takes her back to his house where he and his servant look after her. Her baby is born on Christmas Day (which is really bad). She dies. The dude adopts the baby. Some Holy Water boils. The baby grows up a bit and turns into a werewolf. They cure him of this. He turns into Oliver Reed and moves away. Then they get down to business.

(If you read all of that, good for you). Anyway, that's probably the longest fucking prologue I've ever seen. It took up at least half an hour, I should think, and it doesn't really matter. They probably just didn't have enough werewolf action to make a whole movie, and padded it out with that crap.

It was all very... dramatic (being a Hammer film), but Oliver Reed was pretty good. He was pretty. The only other thing I can remember him is was Gladiator. Imagine my surprise. He was very tall.

The werewolf, as usual, didn't look great. It was very square. It didn't look like a wolf. Also the blood looked really fake, but I'm not going to get into that right now (I like my blood to be realistic, God dammit. My blood is already realistic, because hey, it's real blood).

And it had the traditional sexy lady, so that's always good (sexy from the '60s is a little different than sexy now...). I dug the costumes and the sets, they were all very period and red (ew), and they looked nice. I recognized a few of them from other Hammer flicks, but that was okay. It was comfortingly familiar.

I kind of missed Christopher Lee, not that he really needed to be in it. I just miss him sometimes. Sniff. Hey, wouldn't it be cool if they did a House of Frankenstein type thing, but, like, Hammer (not going to happen, I'm afraid, seeing as many of the people who should have been in it are deceased. Chris Lee is pretty much the only one still living, and he's about 200 (no, he's 85, I just like to tease him))

Yep. Slightly more interesting than Wolf Man but not really as classic. It's not as old, either, so there you go.


Friday, April 13, 2007

The Skeleton Key

The Skeleton Key (2005)

Directed by: Iain Softley
Written by: Ehren Kruger
Starring: Kate Hudson, Gena Rowlands, John Hurt, Peter Sarsgaard, Joy Bryant, Ronald McCall, Jeryl Prescott Sales

This nurse goes out to this old house in the swamp ("Welcome to the swamp!" HAHAHAHA. Wow) to look after this old guy what had a stroke and can't really move or talk or any of that stuff. And then there's this key and this attic and all this funky voodoo (well, hoodoo, actually) and these ghosts and stuff.

Descriptive, huh? It kind of feels like a bunch of weird stuff pieced together - it wasn't anything I hadn't seen before, really - but it was okay. It was pretty creepy. Good atmosphere.

And hey, Louisiana is a spooky place. Or it was, anyway. I don't know what it is right now. And actually, despite it's being a bunch of chunks of other things, I didn't see The Twist coming (despite the fact that I'm familiar with that particular Twist. I think it was in some Richard Matheson story or something).

Anyway, I dug the way it looked. That swamp was beautiful, that house was beautiful, I'd sell my shoes to live there.

I didn't think the dialogue was especially well written. It seemed... fake. The actors did a pretty good job with it, though, I guess. I don't like Peter Sarsgaard all that much... (I do like the fact that his name is Sarsgaard. I always think of that episode of SNL I saw him on. Heh heh, pirates).

And isn't Kate Hudson Orlando Bloom's ex girlfriend or something? I seem to remember there was some big news story when they broke up. I can't quite recall. Maybe that was somebody else. I don't know. I have to look that up now. Kate Bosworth. Who the fuck is that?

Off topic. Sorry. Yeah, I liked this movie pretty good. It was like a ghost story plus. And it had some good spooky bits. Shit jumping out at you kind of thing. I didn't think that the characters were particularly realistic. They suffered from that traditional horror movie affliction. You know the one. They wander off by themselves for no apparent reason. I can forgive them that, though.


Saturday, April 7, 2007

The Black Dahlia

The Black Dahlia (2006)

Directed by: Brian de Palma
Written by: Josh Friedman, based on the novel by James Ellroy, inspired by real shit
Starring: Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, Hilary Swank, Aaron Eckhart, Mia Kirshner, John Kavanagh, Fiona Shaw, Mike Starr, Anthony Russell, Rachel Miner, Jemima Rooper, Rose MacGowan, Bill Finley

Well, that wasn't very interesting. But I was somewhat spaced out during most of the movie, so there you go.

It's about a couple of cops trying to solve the murder of this chickie, Elizabeth Short (or Lorna Mertz, I'm not sure) and having all kinds of problems - including that nasty inconvenience known as death - in the mean time. I think one of them was crooked or something.

It took them a very long time to get around to the actual murder, which wasn't really that distressing. I wasn't that distressed, anyway. Then there was all this other shit going on. It didn't really seem very focused.

The murder and mutilation of the young lady (whoever she was) all had to do with The Man who Laughs which was kind of cool.

Anyway, there isn't really too much to say about the movie. I thought it was kind of... dull. In other words, I didn't give two fucks.

Um... lets see... it was gory enough towards the end there. I guess they could've done it as a shocker... that would've been kinda lame though, so...

I'm not too crazy about Josh Hartnett, as I think I have already stated in my blammorous rant on Lucky Number Slevin (stupid, stupid title). I'm sorry, I just find him kind of repulsive. He's a good enough actor, it's just that whole teen heartthrob thing that turns me off.

Scarlett Johansson I do like, though not in this movie. I didn't think she was especially good. I think I prefer her in quieter things (Lost in Translation, for example).

Um... yeah... right. Um. I was watching a trailer for 28 Weeks Later on the computer box the other day. That looked nifty. Yeah. I like to watch trailers on my computer box. I can't afford to go watch them in the movie theatre.

Okay, there, I'm done.


Sunday, April 1, 2007

The Stand

The Stand (1994)

Directed by: Mick Garris
Written by: Stephen King, based on his novel
Starring: Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald, Jamey Sheridan, Laura San Giacomo, Adam Storke, Ray Walston, Rob Lowe, Corin Nemec, Ruby Dee, Miguel Ferrer, Ossie Davis, Matt Frewer, Bill Faggerbakke, Peter Van Norden, Rick Aviles, Kellie Overbay, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Mick Garris, Cynthia Garris, Stephen King, John Landis, Sam Raimi, the list goes on and on

This was a television miniseries, meant to be watched in four parts. I watched all of it at once. All six hours of it... needless to say, that fried my brain pretty good.

The first half of the movie is about this plague that wipes out most of America, leaving behind a rather large band of survivors who have to fend for themselves and rebuild society from the ground up. It's kind of like 28 Days Later or Omega Man but without the zombies.

Anyway, as if that's not enough, they also have to do battle with the Devil who is hanging out in Vegas and having wild and crazy parties.

So it's pretty epic. I don't think it was all necessary - I mean, they could have cut it down to two hours easy. Of course, Stephen King wrote the screenplay, so that ain't going to happen.

It was obviously made for TV - it had that really crappy TV look to it. Don't get me wrong, they did quite well considering, and I don't really have too many qualms about the production quality. It just looked a little... cheap, that's all.

I also don't have too many complaints about the acting. Molly Ringwald sucked ass, but that was okay. Just about everybody else was alright.

I just didn't buy it, that's all. It was too Goddy (as one of my people so aptly put it) for one thing. And I just don't buy it! I mean, why would Satan be that insecure? He's SATAN.

And The Stand is totally pointless. They don't DO anything. They just stand there and watch Renfield blow everything up (damn crazy people, you just can't trust them). Maybe that's why it's The Stand.

That was crap. And then, in the last ten minutes, it descends into total Hollywood bullshit. "Fran, do you think people can really change?" WHAT THE FUCK?! Not to mention the little montage of the brave men and women who lost their lives defending this beautiful country of ours. They died doing God's Will. Kill me now.

I don't have a problem with Stephen King - I think he's a very intelligent man. I guess I just haven't read enough of his stuff though. I always thought his problem was more to do with editing... I guess not.