Category Archives: Films Released in 2002
Have you ever been in love? Have you ever felt what it’s like to have love truly wrap its arms around you and squeeze the life out of you? I’m here to tell you that I have been in love. I am here to tell you that I am indeed in love. I am in love with the greatest woman on the planet. She is my lover, she is my confidant, she is my muse, my inspiration and she is my all-time greatest friend. Above all these things she is my wife. That last thing alone is the hardest job on the planet. I am by no means an easy man to love. I am temperamental, I am angry and at times I am a complete and utter with a capital ‘A’ asshole. But before I met my wife I was a lonely man. I would go to the movies and I would see all these people holding hands and looking into each other’s eyes and I would be so damned jealous. I wanted that so badly but there was that one thing that held me back and that one thing was me. I allowed myself to believe that there was no way anyone would love me. There was no way anyone would want to be with me. Me? I’m too fucking weird to be loved. I’m too fucking angry to be loved. Who in their right mind would want to love a guy like me? The answer is very simple. My wife, that’s who.
I love Punch-Drunk Love for one very simple reason; I can identify one hundred per cent with the character of Barry Egan. Barry is an emotional wreck of a man who is letting everyone hold him back from the one thing that he has always wanted but has never had: true love. But then one day Barry meets Lena and all bets are off. Nothing is going to stop Barry Egan from finding love. Not family, not work, not phone sex, nothing. I love this movie undeniably and unconditionally. I believe it is one of the greatest love stories ever filmed and I believe it is inarguably the best performance of Adam Sandler’s career. Punch-Drunk Love is not a conventional love story by any means. It is a love story that only Paul Thomas Anderson could tell and he tells it with a style that is one hundred per cent his own.
So, on this most romantic of all days I want you to take your lover by the hand and I want you to look deep into their eyes and I want you to say ‘That’s very food.’
From all of me here at Written in Blood, Happy Valentine’s Day.
The film was inspired by an article in ‘Time’ magazine about David Phillips, a University of California civil engineer who stumbled upon a lucrative frequent-flyer promotion. By purchasing 12,150 cups of Healthy Choice pudding for just $3,000, he accumulated 1.25 million air-miles.
During the scene where Barry is at the supermarket looking for the cheapest Healthy Choice food item, he is being followed by an out-of-focus character in a red outfit. It’sEmily Watson’s character, before they’ve been introduced.
When Barry says, “That’s very food,” it was actually just a typo that the director decided to keep.
- An Ode To Singles – Top 10 “Love Stinks” Songs For Valentine’s Day (khmx.radio.com)
- Spotlight: Punch-Drunk Love  (skepticalhero.wordpress.com)
- Punch Drunk Love Sigmun Freud (almostdorothy.wordpress.com)
Written and Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
At first glance, ‘Signs’ would appear to be just another science fiction film about an alien invasion of Earth. But one thing that has always been clear up to this point is that M. Night Shyamalan has never given us just one glance at anything. There’s always more lurking just under the surface. With The Sixth Sense it wasn’t just ghosts and Unbreakable was not just about a guy with super powers. ‘Signs’ is no different; there may be aliens and crop circles, but its central story is about a man who had faith in God and then lost it only to regain it when he comes to the conclusion that everything, no matter how trivial or tragic, happens for a reason. We may not know what that reason is at that particular moment, but there will come a time when we will know and that time will be when we need to know.
Mel Gibson is the Reverend Graham Hess. At least he was a reverend until his wife was taken from him by a random and fatal action. After that Graham has been angry at God, turning his back on Him and on his congregation. He lives a quiet life as a farmer with his two young children, Morgan and Bo, and his brother Merrill, a pro baseball hopeful whose problem was swinging at everything that came across the plate. Graham’s idyllic life on the farm will soon come to a screeching halt when he finds crop circles cut into his cornfield. At first thinking it to be a hoax, he soon finds himself in a desperate struggle to protect his family from an alien threat.
‘Signs’ is one of those rare films that work on both the level of what we see and the level the director wants us to see. As with his previous two films, Shyamalan shows us that he is the modern day master of the Hitchcockian twist. The trouble is, after two previous films, and Signs, that novelty is beginning to wear thin. ‘Signs’ is the last truly good film from Shyamalan and the last great performance from Mel Gibson. Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin and a quite young Abigail Breslin are a talented supporting cast. Whether or not you believe in God or any other higher power in this universe, Signs is a film that makes you think.
Joaquin Phoenix replaced Mark Ruffalo, who had to pull out of the film due to a brain tumor. It was later found to be benign.
M. Night Shyamalan insisted that the film posters be released without showing Mel Gibson’s face, as it is an ensemble piece, and that it didn’t refer to The Sixth Sense, as it’s an entirely different movie.
The stories of the children’s birth are actually the stories of M. Night Shyamalan’s two children.
- Reporter Trashes M. Night Shyamalan’s Career to His Face (cinematical.com)
- M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Devil’ trailer laughed at in New York City (hollywoodnews.com)
Written and Directed by Mark Romanek
Let me go on record right away as saying that this is Robin Williams’ best performance in a film to date. Not Awakenings, not Mrs. Doubtfire and certainly not Patch Adams. It is certainly his bravest role; he is cast completely against type as Sy Parrish. Sy’s the guy you see all the time, but you just don’t realize it. He’s the guy that knows your life inside and out. You can’t call him a stalker or a criminal. You let him into your homes and your lives every time you see him. Sy the Photo guy. He’s the one who develops the rolls of film you drop off at the Sav-Mart or the Wal-mart or any superstore with a photo lab. Sy knows your life from the time you were born to possibly the time you die. Just ask the Yorkins, Will and Nina and their young son, Jake. They have become so much a part of Sy’s life that he feels just like Uncle Sy. The Yorkins are the perfect family to Sy, and he is determined to keep it that way, no matter what the cost.
For years, it seems, Disney cast Williams as the voice of every zany character they could think of. I have always said that if Disney had gotten their hands on The Silence of the Lambs they would have made it an animated film and cast Williams as the voice of that wacky cannibal, Hannibal Lecter. It’s a wise move to cast Williams in these roles. He’s a talented and gifted comedic actor. But after a while the roles all seem to flow together and his performances become more annoying than funny in their repetition. Williams role as Sy Parrish is so refreshingly good that one can’t help but beg him to do more roles of this same caliber. He needs roles like this to push his abilities as an actor. We need him in roles like this to keep him fresh and to not become a parody of himself. So, in closing, here is my plea to Robin Williams. Please, whenever you get a phone call or an e-mail from director Mark Romanek; please, by all means, pick up.
Directed by Neil Marshall
Written by Neil Marshall
Sean Pertwee as Sgt. Harry G. Wells
Kevin McKidd as Pvt. Cooper
Emma Cleasby as Megan
Liam Cunningham as Capt. Ryan
Thomas Lockyer as Cpl. Bruce Campbell
Before there was The Descent, there was Dog Soldiers; Neil Marshalls’ 2002 debut film about a British Squad of soldiers on a training mission in the Highlands of Scotland who encounter and do fierce battle with a pack of bloodthirsty werewolves. With this film Marshall put himself solidly on the list of horror directors to keep a close eye on.
Dog Soldiers is a film that combines the best (read as most exciting) elements of Aliens, Predator and the werewolf genre in general to make a horror film that is every bit as fun as it is scary and intense. It is a thrill a minute joy ride through the world of the werewolf. By the way, these are not your Twilight werewolves that you can take a rolled up newspaper to. These are the werewolves that would have made Little Red Riding Hood piss her pants and crap her drawers. They are big, mean, terrifying brutes with no remorse and plenty of appetite. They are the bastard children of Peter Stumpf and The Howling rolled into one.
There is not one moment in this film where you feel that it is safe to take a breath. Every time you try, you are once again assaulted by a wave of action and horror. This film, like The Descent in 2005, does something that not too many horror films are capable of nowadays and that is that it scares the living piss out of you.
If you haven’t seen this film yet, all I can say is this:
What the hell are you waiting for?
THE EYE-Hong Kong-2002
Directed by Oxide Pang Chun and Danny Pang (The Pang Brothers)
Written by The Pang Brothers and Jo Jo Yuet-chun Hui
Angelica Lee as Wong Kar Mun
Lawrence Chou as Dr. Wah
Candy Lo as Yee (Mun’s sister)
Jinda Duangtoy as Old Lady in the Hospital
Edmund Chen as Dr. Lo
The Eye is one of those films that lives up to its hype. As I was searching for the trailer on YouTube, I noticed descriptions and captions announcing the films “scariest scenes.” It turns out that the hype is all true. The Eye does indeed have some of the scariest moments in a horror film that I have seen in a long time. It also has moments that make me wonder what movie the creators of Ghost Whisperer and one M. Night Shyamalan were watching when they concocted their own little ghost stories. Before you can say ‘Jennifer Love Hewitt‘ and ‘Haley Joel Osment‘, you start to notice those nagging little similarities between films.
A young woman who has been blind since the age of two is given a new lease on life when she receives a cornea transplant and is able to see again. At first everything is fine and she begins the process of adjusting to her life as a sighted person. However, this is a horror film, and we all know that you can’t have normality in a horror film. Pretty soon she begins to see what she describes as a shadowy man coming to take people away. Soon after the man appears, that person is dead. She also sees a young boy who keeps asking her “Have you seen my report card?” She soon realizes that these are not normal eyes through which she is seeing this big beautiful world. With the help of her therapist, she goes on a quest to find the previous owner of her shiny new corneas so that she may finish any unresolved affairs that this person may have had in his or her life. This is in the hope that she herself can live a normal life. Again, this is a horror film, folks.
I got the remake of this film from Netflix and I returned it without even watching it. I will someday, but for now I’m glad I saw the original film first. There truly are some very frightening moments in this film. The Pang Brothers have a knack for in your face horror and it shows in this film. The actors are all excellent and Angelica Lee especially gives a convincing performance as the young woman Wong Kar Mun. Edmund Chen is also very good as Dr. Lo, the person that Mun turns to for help. The only thing that nagged me about the film were its similarities in places to Ghost Whisperer and the Sixth Sense. I think the reason this nagged me was not so much I felt ripped off but more for the fact that I’d seen it before.Either way, this is a film I would definitely recommend to someone who wants to see a good Asian horror film.
Maybe I’ll get around to seeing the remake one day.
Written and Directed by Takashi Shimizu
Megumi Okina as Rika Nishina
Misaki Ito as Hitomi Tokunaga
To be honest, I have to admit that I didn’t quite understand the film Ju-on when I first watched it. I knew that it was about a curse that was put upon a person who has died while under extreme sorrow or rage. I knew that the curse stayed in the area where the person died and that it killed those it came into contact with, thereby carrying on the curse. What I didn’t really understand was how were the people, whose names appeared before each vignette, connected to each other. Then I thought about it for a while and I realized that they really aren’t. Ju-on is not so much about the living as it is about the dead. It is about the ghosts who haunt the living and the house where most of those haunting/deaths take place. The vignettes guide through the haunting like a dark ride at an amusement park. Each person has a story, an experience with the dead. This is not a film for the faint of heart. It has images of pure terror and it is evident that the director has it in his mind to scare the pants off his audience. He succeeds for the most part. The ghosts in the film are wide-eyed and terrifying and the characters react to them accordingly. But I personally think that he might have benefited from a more linear storyline. I felt sometimes like I was watching an anthology. All in all, though, Ju-on is definitely one of the finer examples of J-Horror.