Thursday, January 24, 2013

Fool's Views (1/14 – 1/20)

All right, I’ll just make my apologies right now, since I realize I spent much more time in the civilian quarter this week. Maybe I’ll have to start calling this blog 10% HORROR 101...

Truth of the matter is, a couple “hold” items came in at Ye Olde Publicke Librarie, I headed to the multiplex, and it’s Awards Time. As a result, I’m weeding through a lot of Oscar bait and haven’t been able to devote much time to the blood n’ beasts. But fear not, true believers, I’ll find my way back into darkness soon enough. In the meantime...

As always, feel free to leave your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.



Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013) (1st time viewing) d. Luessenhop, John (USA)

I surprised even myself with my verbosity on this one. Check out the full review HERE


Karate Kid, The (2010) (1st time viewing) d. Zwart, Harald (USA)

You know, being a kid of the 80s, I instinctively shrugged off any intentions of seeing this remake (starring...who? Will Smith’s son? With cornrows? Transplanted to China? Kill me now!) However, after reading some generally positive reviews and the added allure of seeing Jackie Chan pick up the Mr. Miyagi mantle, I decided to give it a whirl. You know what? It ain’t half bad. Heck, it isn’t even a quarter bad. It doesn’t have quite the same heart as the 1984 original, but it gets more right than it gets wrong – down to giving us a reasonable facsimile of the “wax on, wax off” training without completely aping it, as well as a genuinely climactic ending and denouement. As someone who has seen their share of unnecessary, soulless remakes in their time (see above), it’s nice to see the suits bringing Robert Mark Kamen (the original KK’s screenwriter) back into the mix to revamp the screen story (Christopher Murphey receives official screenplay credit, so I’m going to blame him for the multiple cases of the cutes on display).

Stranger Than Fiction (2006) (1st time viewing) d. Forster, Marc (USA) Pleasant surprise #2: A Will Ferrell movie that didn’t make me want to shoot my eye out. Plus, with it being shot in Chicago, I got to see a bunch of my fellow thespians running around onscreen with Maggie Gyllenhall, Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman. Huzzah!

Super (2010) (1st time viewing) d. Gunn, James (USA)

A splendidly subversive superhero flick…subversive in that there’s a whole lotta bloodshed and, like, zero actual superpowers. Just Rainn Wilson as a sad sack short order cook who, after losing luscious Liv Tyler to creepy Kevin Bacon, dubs himself “The Crimson Bolt” and proceeds to cave wrongdoers’ heads in with a pipe wrench. This earns him some ambivalent notices in the press and the unqualified adoration of Ellen Page’s comic bookstore tending fangirl, with the latter appointing herself his spandexed sidekick in a flash. Not quite as funny as it could have been, but worth a spin.

This Is 40 (2012) (1st time viewing) d. Apatow, Judd (USA)

I’m sure someone has said this already, but Apatow really should stick with television. His gifts lie in the comedy of discomfort, which seems to be the smaller screen’s realm, especially these days. He really isn’t interested in telling a standard three-act story, but rather in creating relatable and enjoyable characters and then letting them run around for 2+ hours. Said characters don’t really change all that much from start to finish, but we didn’t really want them to anyhow. All these attributes seem to point to a medium whereupon I would probably never see anything else the man does ever again. I would be sad for this, but Leslie Mann would have a steady gig, and that’s never a bad thing. (Though I prefer her as a supporting character – that whiney voice thing she has going…)


Hitchcock (2012) (1st time viewing) d. Gervasi, Sasha (USA)

Clunky biopic
Tony hides behind makeup
By the numbers drag

Impossible, The (2012) (1st time viewing) d. Bayona, Juan Antonio (Spain)

Family drama
Breathtaking tsunami scenes
They gotta be White?

Life of Pi (2012) (1st time viewing) d. Lee, Ang (USA)

CGI showcase
Avatar sans pretension
Live action parts best

Master, The (2012) (1st time viewing) d. Anderson, Paul Thomas (USA)

PTA is back
Flawless acting, imagery
Story is…what? Where?

Zero Dark Thirty (2012) (1st time viewing) d. Bigelow, Kathryn (USA)

We know how this ends
But KB maintains suspense
Chastain leads race? Huh.

2013 Totals to date: 17 films, 17 1st time views, 4 horror, 4 cinema


  1. Finally caught up with Zero Dark Thirty today. Oddly enough, I was more impressed with everything leading up to the raid than I was with the raid itself.

    And in a just world, The Master would be the tenth Best Picture nominee (and PTA would be up for Best Director as well).

    1. The whole thing felt long to me, which I'll admit was fitting since the extended delay before literally pulling the trigger was half the point.

      Honestly, I feel the same way about THE MASTER as I do Aronofsky's THE FOUNTAIN - clearly he knows what he's talking about, but he didn't make it interesting enough for me to put aside the fact that I didn't understand what he was talking about. It's been a divisive movie from the get-go, but it'll be a while before I saddle back up for it again for another attempt.

    2. I haven't seen The Fountain since it was in theaters, but I do recall being blown away by it while at the same time recognizing that there were other people who were going to come away from it confused and/or dissatisfied. And I give Clint Mansell's beautiful score a spin every once in a while.