directed by Drew Goddard and written by Joss Whedon
It's the equivalent of a really smart person slumming in a GED class. One minute the person is pretending to be dumb and the next minute they're giving you detailed explanations of Maxwell's Equations, the Copenhagen Interpretation and superconductivity, right before they remember they're supposed to be dumb. You might say what was that and they're like who me, I'm just a dummy.
Of course if you really really don't like horror films regardless of their twists or differences then yeah, this movie won't be pretending to be dumb, it really will be dumb. So different strokes for different folks. If that is you I salute you but think you're missing out. This film is similar to Tucker and Dale... in that it messes with your initial expectations.
Ok. I hope some minor description won't spoil things. Five college friends, Curt (Chris Hemsworth), Holden (Jesse Williams), Jules (Anna Hutchison), Dana (Kristen Connolly) and Marty (Fran Kranz) head off to an conveniently abandoned rural cabin for a fun weekend. Of course "fun" means drugs and sex. Curt and Jules are an item while Curt is trying to set up Holden (his smart teammate) and Dana. So Marty is literally a fifth wheel but he doesn't seem to mind. Anyway, Jules might be up for a little extra fun with Marty if Curt isn't watching...or even if he is. Jules likes to do the do.
Richard Jenkins) and Steve (Bradley Whitford). Jenkins and Whitford really make this movie work as they PERFECTLY embody just about every midlevel IT manager I've ever known. But we don't know who these people are or why they're interested in these kids. In fact we're not even sure that they ARE interested in the kids. And that's really all I can say without delving into spoiler territory. This was written and produced by Joss Whedon, who directed The Avengers. It's worthwhile if you are a fan of classic horror movies but are also looking for something that is both a tad more intelligent. It has lots of well placed humor and a cameo by "Ellen Ripley" herself.
I really liked this film. It shows that horror movies don't have to be dumb and gross-out, though it has its share of gore. Like any other genre, if you put good writing together with top notch production, direction, writing and lighting, and throw in some decent actors and killer special effects you can make a high quality entertaining movie. The Cabin in the Woods both mocks and endorses some common horror tropes, often at the same time. And no the black guy does not die first. If you're a horror fan don't miss this one. And if you are iffy about horror this could be a good intro.
directed by Alan Zemeckis
This cat Beowulf is a bad mother....shut your mouth!!! Beowulf defeats Grendel by ripping his arm from his body. When Grendel's monstrous mother seeks revenge Beowulf kills her in an underwater battle royale. Beowulf returns home and becomes King, where decades later in his old age he must give his life to protect the land against an awakened dragon. Believe me this sounds MUCH more majestic in Old English. There's some overlay of Christian themes (Grendel is thought to be a descendant of Cain) in Beowulf but not much. This was written for and by people who either still believed in the Old Gods or had only recently converted to Christianity and retained a certain appreciation for the old ways and pagan heroism.
noted author Neil Gaiman. Some of it touches on short stories he had previously written about Grendel.
Despite those changes the film Beowulf remains interesting and even exciting. The film's major draw is the special effects, primarily the motion capture animated images of the actors. This is most obvious with Beowulf (Ray Winstone) and Grendel's Mother (Angelina Jolie) but you will be intrigued by the altered versions of several other well known actors. These include Grendel (Crispin Glover), Wiglaf (Brendan Gleeson), Unferth (John Malkovich), and Queen Wealtheow (Robin Wright Penn) I like Winston's acting. His work, I guess that would be mostly voice, is pretty good here. It's hard to remember that you are watching animation. Although it's animation, it's really not for kids. Nope. There is a bawdy song about Norse wenches and glaciers, plenty of cleavage and Angelina Jolie...
I am Beowulf!!
directed by Paul Schrader
Well if that happened to you I'm betting you wouldn't like it very much. You might even make a stink, threaten someone's job, or get into a fist fight. That is pretty much what happened in the movie Blue Collar (perhaps even including the fight though that is just a rumor). Rising stars Richard Pryor, Yaphet Kotto and Harvey Keitel were all lured to do the movie with the promise that they would be the film's breakout star. After they started filming, they all learned each of the two other men had been told the same thing and the film was really more of an ensemble piece. None of them were happy with the director or with each other. The tension could be felt in the film (in a good way and a bad way) and may have caused the director to temporarily lose his marbles.
Unfortunately there is very little money in the safe but there is something more valuable and much more dangerous: information. And the powers that be want that information back. Now.
directed by Steven Shainberg
not for everyone. But you should probably already know that because it stars James Spader. It is occasionally explicit. It's certainly not for kiddies. This film is, in a weird twisted way, a romantic comedy. It's a fairy tale, a modern day Cinderella. It follows the primary tropes associated with that genre; a strong minded yet traditional woman convinces, after struggle, a high status man to settle down with her and her alone, after both she and her prince have proven to each other that they are indeed worthy of one another.
The difference is perhaps minor and perhaps quite major. It all depends on your point of view. I was reminded to watch this film again by both the current frenzy over 50 shades of Grey and seeing a commercial for Maggie Gyllenhaal's new movie, Won't Back Down.
The twist is that both the Cinderella and her Prince in this story are deeply disturbed, even warped beings, who nevertheless find something useful in each other.
Gyllenhaal) is a young woman recently released from a mental hospital. She cuts herself. Lee is an extremely shy person and is an introvert even among introverts. Socially inept doesn't even begin to describe her. Her parents (Lesley Ann Warren and Stephen McHattie) are unpleasant people. I wouldn't want to spend time around them either. Seeking a new start while also dealing with an on-again off-again relationship with dweeb Peter (Jeremy Davies), Lee answers an ad for a legal secretary for lawyer E. Edward Grey (James Spader). As it turns out Grey is a domineering perfectionist who notices everything and misses nothing, not Lee's cuts and certainly not her typing mistakes. If there's one thing Grey can't stand it's a typo. Grey is something of an oddball himself and has trouble talking to people, especially women. When his verbal reprimands of Lee fail to have the desired effect he corrects her physically. As it turns out this is something that turns Lee on IMMENSELY. She wants things to continue down this path. Grey does as well but is afraid to admit that. He's ashamed of what he likes and is more than a little disturbed by the fact that Lee's needs mesh perfectly with his own.
this song by Tom Lehrer, which I heard on the Doctor Demento show many many years ago. Snicker.