Category Archives: Films Released in 2010
Directed by Victor Garcia
Teleplay by Matt Venne
I am lead to believe that the underlying message of Mirrors 2 is that we are our own worst enemy. There’s kind of a revolving door theory to all that; I know for a fact that I am my own worst enemy because I just watched Mirrors 2. Only someone harboring a masochistic side would voluntarily subject themselves to this piece of garbage. I can truly understand why Nick Stahl went AWOL earlier this year; the poor guy was ashamed that he made this atrocity of a motion picture. Mirrors 2 is a watered down version of the original Mirrors and it never once reaches the level of creepiness, albeit flawed, of that first film.
Max (Stahl, Sin City, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines) is a security guard hired by his father (William Katt, The Greatest American Hero) to guard the soon to be re-opened Mayflower Department store. Max is going through a rough time. He lost his fiancé in a car accident and is taking medication and seeing a psychiatrist; so of course he thinks he’s crazy when he sees the image of a dead girl reflected in the mirror. Gee, I wonder what’s going to happen next. If your guess is that the reflective doppelgangers of certain people act independently of their owners and cause them bloody and violent death then la-de-da for you; you just figured out 90% of the plot of this piece of crap. The other 10% is a revenge tale that doesn’t make it known until near the end of the movie.
Stahl seems to be the only one who gets any significant screen time. The rest of the cast is nothing but window dressing. It took me forever to find a photo of Christy Romano (Even Stevens) for this review. Everyone I found was a nude photo and I ended up having to crop the one I finally did use. After I saw the film I realized that she’s naked more than not. That would be a good thing except that her make-up, hair and pale skin make her look like she’s channeling Marilyn Manson.
Emmanuelle Vaugiér (Saw II, Dolan’s Cadillac) is second billed in this film. Don’t ask me why; she’s only on camera for maybe fifteen minutes. She never gets naked and that’s okay; at least she doesn’t look like the aforementioned Manson.
As for William Katt; to be honest I didn’t even realize the guy was still alive, let alone making movies. He’s in this one a whole lot too. For those of you who don’t read between the lines too well, that was sarcasm. I could keep going and going, but I’ll shut up now.
The last thing I will say is that when I am standing in front of the mirror tonight I hope and pray that my reflection doesn’t flip me off for watching this waste of time.
- The mirror house 2 (drunkarcher.wordpress.com)
- IF Mirror 2 (thepenmover.blogspot.com)
- Infrastructure/Mirroring/Tiering (fedoraproject.org)
- :: Mirrors & Your Home :: (tuvaluhome.wordpress.com)
- Messaging SIG (fedoraproject.org)
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- Messaging SIG (fedoraproject.org)
- Infected, the Newest Offering from Woodhaven Films, to Hold World Premiere at Rock and Shock (dreadcentral.com)
- reflecting (thespillblog.co.uk)
- Film: Inventory: The mirror has two faces: 15 great movie scenes where characters meet their reflection (avclub.com)
Written and Directed by Quentin Dupieux
At the beginning of Quentin Dupieux’s “Rubber” a man (Jack Plotnick, “Meet the Fockers“, “Gods and Monsters”) in a shirt and tie stands in the middle of the desert holding several pairs of binoculars. A car approaches and another man (Stephen Spinella, “Milk”, and “Ravenous”) climbs out of the trunk and begins asking a series of random questions of which he provides his own answers; “In the excellent Chain Saw Massacre by Tobe Hooper, why don’t we ever see the characters go to the bathroom or wash their hands like people do in real life? Absolutely no reason. Worse, in The Pianist by Polanski, how come this guy has to hide and live like a bum when he plays the piano so well? Once again the answer is, no reason.” This continues for a few minutes and the man climbs back into the trunk and is driven away. The accountant then hands out the binoculars to a group of spectators who then proceed to watch a tire as it comes to life and cause various animals and people’s heads to explode through the power of telepathy. The tire becomes infatuated with a pretty girl (Roxane Mesquida, “Fat Girl“) and becomes the subject of a police manhunt after murdering two people at a motel. Eventually it leads an exodus of tires as makes its way to the foot of the famous HOLLYWOOD sign, where it seemingly was headed all along.
Why am I telling you the entire plot of “Rubber”? No reason. But if I did have a reason it would be that I needed to tell you the plot in order to tell you what the filmmakers are trying to say and that is that the majority of the people who make up the movie-going public are sheep. They will watch anything you put in front of them as long as it has a recognizable star (you can’t get much more recognizable than a tire) and a plot that is linear and easy to follow. “Hey, let’s go see this movie about that INSERT GENERIC PLOT HERE that stars INSERT GENERIC ACTOR HERE.” The sheep go to their pen aka the multiplex, they get their favorite snacks from the trough–oops—snack bar, and they sit for two hours or more watching their favorite GENERIC MOVIE with their favorite GENERIC ACTOR. Their minds saturated with images, they are helpless as Hollywood takes their hard earned money.
But, there is light at the end of the tunnel. There is the minority. This time it is represented by Man in Wheelchair (Wings Hauser, “The Insider”). He likes what he sees, but he doesn’t necessarily want to go along with the whole shebang. He wants something a little different. He’s not completely satisfied with all these instantly recognizable GENERIC STARS. He doesn’t fall for the tricks. He’s not going to drink the Kool-Aid just because everyone else is doing it.
So, tell me this; why do you think that I would attack the very thing that I love, watching movies? Why do I insult the very thing that I spend hours doing and more hours writing about for no profit whatsoever? It’s probably for the same reasons that Quentin Dupieux (“Wrong”) made this movie.
One of the Spectators is played by Daniel Quinn, who starred in Scanner Cop as a man who could make people’s heads explode with his mind, just as the tire does in this film.
- Rubber Bands Vs. Watermelon (neatorama.com)
- Rubber (milkandcookies.com)
- Marilyn Manson meets a very bad lieutenant in ‘Wrong Cops’ (dangerousminds.net)
- Stabilize a Cutting Board with Rubber Bands [Kitchen Hacks] (lifehacker.com)
- 2 thesps get ‘Wrong Cops’ ridealong (variety.com)
- One day I hope to make something as awesome as this (thehouseofvines.wordpress.com)
- Save Your Walls! Use A Rubber Band – DIY Life (apartmenttherapy.com)
- Watermelon Stunt Isn’t The Pits (huffingtonpost.com)
- New Substitutes for Rubber and Latex on the way (InnovationToronto.com)
- Use Old Tires, Culverts To Grow Vegetables (personalliberty.com)
- Play Fair: Rotate Your Tires (inhousefinancingautoloans.com)
- Myanmar sentences 92 Thai nationals to jail terms (thehindu.com)
- Words cannot describe this trailer for Quentin Dupieux’s Wrong, just watch it (itsnicethat.com)
- Action Bronson, Flatbush Zombies, Meyhem Lauren & Tanya Morgan playing free Converse Rubber Tracks show at MHOW (brooklynvegan.com)
- And Time to Rest (jaybirdtakesflight.com)
- Membrane keypad, switches & gaskets – Essential parts for modern electronic gadgets (tradebroadcast.wordpress.com)
- Rubber Band Necklace Tutorial (beadinggem.com)
- 10x Magnification Binoculars Using ED Glass Give the Brightest and Clearest Images Possible (smarthome.com)
- Manufacturer to move subsidiary to Piqua (bizjournals.com)
- Mrs. Rosemary Giacin|Worked at American Rubber Stamp (rep-am.com)
- Gossip Girl Premieres Tonight – Get a Sneak Peek at All of the Gorgeous Outfits (fabsugar.com)
- Anaheim Cops Fire Rubber Bullets and Sic Dog into Crowd, then Attempt to Buy Witness’ Video (pixiq.com)
- Introducing the $1,000 Rubber Ducky (bellasugar.com)
- Roadkill Experiment Using Rubber Animals Finds Some Drivers Go Out of Their Way to Hit Animals (sciencespacerobots.com)
- Tires made from Russian dandelions? It could happen (bottomline.nbcnews.com)
- Wrap a Hammer with a Rubber Band to Keep It from Destroying Your Walls [Clever Uses] (lifehacker.com)
- Lehigh Turns Old Tires into Plastics, Chemicals, via the Freeze-Dry Method (greentechmedia.com)
- Goodyear follows in Ford’s footsteps, will release a tire made with soybean oil in 2015 (digitaltrends.com)
- Goodyear tests tires made with soybean oil (miamiherald.com)
Directed by Breck Eisner
There’s a saying that goes ‘expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised.’ I believe that phrase would go a long way in describing my experience with “The Crazies”; a motion picture that I continued to put off even after hearing a bit of positive buzz about it. To be honest I just never was one of those guys that enjoy the type of movie where the government lets a virus loose on an unsuspecting town and then screws the entire population in the poop chute. I have to hand it to “The Crazies” though; the individual human element of the film is held together by a couple of strong performances by Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell. Olyphant is one of those actors that have the looks and the chops, but he’s danced on the razor’s edge of stardom for far too long. The same can be said of Mitchell to a lesser degree. Both of them deserve that big chance and “The Crazies” comes real close to being that opportunity.
It’s a bright sunny day in Ogden Marsh. There’s a baseball game being played between the rival high school teams and the whole town is there to cheer them on. Life is as it should be in a small town: peaceful, serene. All it takes is for one guy with a shotgun to walk out onto the ball field. After that you can watch a man burn down his house with his wife and son inside. Maybe you would enjoy seeing a man shove a pitchfork into helpless people; or a trio of rednecks shooting the locals as if they were deer. It’s all fun and games in the small town of Ogden Marsh. What’s even more fun about it is that it’s all government controlled and sanctioned. Yes, America it is your tax dollars at work. I guess it sure is a damn good thing it’s only a movie.
It should come as no surprise that “The Crazies” is a remake. The original film was directed by George A, Romero. George is that guy that brought us “Night of the Living Dead” and all those other films where the dead munch on the flesh of the living. He’s even a producer on the remake of “The Crazies.” Having never seen the original I can’t compare the two films. I do however get the feeling that Mr. Romero would be proud.
If you read the graffiti on the jail cell wall, one appears to say “Romero”.
The film opens with the song “We’ll Meet Again,” as performed by Johnny Cash. The song is from the same album that provided “The Man Comes Around,” which opened another remake of a George A. Romero film, Dawn of the Dead. The album is “American IV“, the last full album Cash released before his death. “The Man Comes Around” and “We’ll Meet Again” are the opening and closing tracks, respectively.
Some of the filming was done in Lenox, Iowa. Lenox is the opposing team in the baseball scene early in the film.
- Daily Dialogue – June 25, 2012 (gointothestory.blcklst.com)
- George A. Romero and Simon Pegg Taking Part in the Doc of the Dead (dreadcentral.com)
- Two-Minute Tune-Up 6.23.12 My Crazy is Better Than Your Crazy (pamboyd.wordpress.com)
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- Breck Eisner Talks New ‘Flash Gordon’ Movie (cinematical.com)
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- Simon Pegg: George Romero deserves sainthood for creating zombies (herocomplex.latimes.com)
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- [NEW COLUMN] Here & Then & Now: 1979 (sundancenow.com)
- Buy Night of the Living Dead (The Nightmares Series, Vol. 3) Movie Online (nbeadmr.typepad.com)
MOTHER’S DAY-United States-2010
Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman
Screenplay and Screen story by Scott Milam
I haven’t seen the original “Mother’s Day” from 1980, so I can’t use it in comparison to this, the 2010 remake. From what I do understand the original was more of a gore fest. Although there is gore in the remake it’s more of a psychological thriller. To be honest I must say that it was better than I anticipated.
Three brothers are involved in an (off-camera) robbery. One of them is shot and is taken back to the family home until the other two can decide what to do with him. The only catch is that it’s no longer their home. ‘Mother’ wasn’t able to get a message to them to tell them the house had been foreclosed on. The place had been purchased 2 months prior; so at the same time that the brothers burst through the door the new owners, Beth and Daniel (Jaime King and Frank Grillo) are throwing a house-warming party with a small group of their friends. I’ll give you a moment to imagine how that goes over with the three brothers. I’ll give you a hint: not too fucking good. Pretty soon ‘Mother’ (Rebecca De Mornay) arrives and the fun begins. By ‘fun’ I mean the psycho head games, beatings, burnings, shootings and all that jazz.
What impressed me the most about “Mother’s Day” is the way that it not only pits ‘Mother’ and her boys against the hostages; but it also puts the hostages against each other for reasons that become more evident as time passes. The expression ‘you are your own worst enemy’ reverberates quite heavily with this group.
The last time I saw Rebecca De Mornay was in “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle“. I honestly didn’t recognize her when I first saw the trailer for “Mother’s Day” and was pleasantly surprised at her performance. Her character is to me what Kathleen Turner’s role as Beverly Sutphin would have been if John Waters had decided to make “Serial Mom” a straight up horror film.
“Mother’s Day isn’t a perfect movie. It drags in the final act and I found myself checking the time quite a bit. All told, though, I would have to say that I recommend it for one of those evenings when you have nothing better to do. ‘Mother’ and her boys will certainly do their best to keep you captivated.
The first cut of the film was completed on December 11, 2009.
The story is loosely based on a true life home invasion, The Wichita Massacre, also known as The Wichita Horror, where brothers Reginald and Jonathan Carr perpetrated a murder/assault/rape/robbery spree against a home owner and his guests in 2000. It remains one of the worst crimes in Kansas state history.
During the filming of a scene that involved guns, the actors were pulled over and held at gun point by the police after mistaking them for people that actually robbed a bank not too far from where they were filming. After realizing that it was all a big misunderstanding, the police and the film team all had a good laugh about it.
- Official Trailer for Horror Thriller MOTHER’S DAY (geektyrant.com)
- New Trailer for Darren Lynn Bousman’s Horror Remake MOTHER’S DAY (collider.com)
- The Cops Come Calling in Latest Clip from Mother’s Day (dreadcentral.com)
- Win a Signed Copy of Mother’s Day on Blu-ray! (dreadcentral.com)
- Fifth Mother’s Day Clip Shatters a Cardinal Rule (dreadcentral.com)
- AICN HORROR: Ambush Bug talks with Darren Lynn Bousman about MOTHER’S DAY, 11-11-11 and THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL! Plus reviews of all three!!! (aintitcool.com)
- Exclusive Interview: Darren Lynn Bousman Talks Remakes, Moral Ambiguity and More for Mother’s Day (dreadcentral.com)
- Mother’s Day Preview (scifitalk.com)
- AICN HORROR: Ambush Bug talks with Darren Lynn Bousman about MOTHER’S DAY, 11-11-11 and THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL! Plus reviews of all three!!! (aintitcool.com)
- Mother’s Day (2010) (journeysinclassicfilm.com)
- Mother’s Day 2012 or Cat in the Hat! And 7 Month Photos! (adventuresofthelopezs.wordpress.com)
- Celebrate Mother’s Day with a New Trailer (dreadcentral.com)
- Exclusive Interview: Patrick Flueger Talks Mother’s Day, The Tell-Tale Heart and More (dreadcentral.com)
- Swedish, French and Polish Mother’ Day soon. (glassbloggery.com)
- Official Artwork and Details for Darren Lynn Bousman’s Mother’s Day (dreadcentral.com)
Directed by André Øvredal
Written by André Øvredal and Håvard S. Johansen
Leave it to the Norwegians to make a mockumentary about a trio of college students who follow a guy around while he hunts and kills trolls. Here in America we get Bigfoot and the Blair Witch. Well, I guess Norway had to compete with us somehow or another. I’m not being racist or xenophobic here; I’m just saying that nobody does troll hunting like some big bearded Norwegian named Hans. I’m serious as a heart attack here. Just follow the guy around and you will learn all kinds of troll information. For instance, did you know that trolls eat Christians? There is a scene in this very movie where Hans plays ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus‘ on the loudspeaker and this big freaking troll gets all sex nuts and retard strong and starts chasing him. Another poor Christian fella gets eaten alive! I am not kidding and I am not making fun of Christians; I’m just stating the stone cold Gospel according to trolls.
Do you know why they put up those big metal towers with the super-duper high voltage power lines? It sure as hell isn’t to keep your curling iron running. It’s to keep trolls out of populated areas. Also did you know that are two classes of Trolls? There are Mountain trolls and there are woodland trolls. But after that there are several sub-classes within the two classes. Did you know that when you kill a troll it either turns to stone or explodes, depending on its age? You didn’t know that? What in the hell would you people do without me? Oh wait, don’t answer that. You’d just watch Trollhunter and find out all this info.
Anyway, I’m having fun with this review because I get the odd feeling that the filmmakers had a lot of fun making Trollhunter. The film plants its tongue so deeply into its cheek that it grows roots. There’s even a ‘we found this footage, but we didn’t find the people who shot it’ type of disclaimer at the beginning and the end of the film. Plus, if you’re up on your entire childhood fairy tales there’s a fantastic homage to one involving three billy goats.
I don’t have a lot to gripe about with Trollhunter. My only problem with the film is that it’s too long and tends to drag a little at the end. Other than that, it’s a pretty damn good little movie. Now if you will excuse me I need to do some troll research on Wikipedia.
Summit Entertainment bought the rights to produce an American remake before this film’s initial release.
The HDDs used by the students are LaCie Rugged portable drives.
- This is what happens when you mix the Troll Snot with the Mummy Dust . . . (kendrakandlestar.wordpress.com)
- Review: Troll Hunter (2010) (thefilmoracle.wordpress.com)
- Film Review No.103: The Troll Hunter (Trolljegeren) (filmdump.wordpress.com)
- Thoughts on Andre Ovredal’s Troll Hunter (hkauteur.wordpress.com)
- Trailer Talk: Thale (2012) (moviesfilmsandflix.com)
- Troll (poemsforkush.com)
- Troll Hunter – Film Review (dimorphism.wordpress.com)
- Scandi ‘Phenomena’ goes to Giddings (variety.com)
- Never trust a beautiful woman with a cow’s tail [Trailer Frenzy] (io9.com)
- Durotar Rares (bubblesofmischief.com)
- Rider Strong: The Resistable Rise of the Mockumentary (news.moviefone.com)
- Troll Hunter: Childhood Nightmares Become Missed Eco-Tourism Opportunities (alexoxborough.wordpress.com)
- Trolls (mommasmoneymatters.wordpress.com)
- Re: Paul Krugman — world champion troll (bitcointalk.org)
- Norway: Breivik And The Death Of Multiculturalism – OpEd (eurasiareview.com)
- Places with single-letter names (including seven places in Norway called Å) (boingboing.net)
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- Anders Breivik trial: Bomb went off with ‘a huge roar’ in Norway capital (theprovince.com)
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- Competition: Win Headhunters Goddies! (thepeoplesmovies.com)
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Directed by Eli Craig
Written by Eli Craig and Morgan Jurgenson
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is a funny, gory horror-comedy that, while uneven at times, is a hilarious tribute to all those redneck hillbilly horror films that have come our way over the years. Films like Wrong Turn, Friday the 13th, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and every other horror film whose main setting has been the backwoods is paid homage to in this uproarious comedy of errors and misunderstandings.
When Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) rescue college kid Allison (Katrina Bowden) from drowning, they set off a series of events between the two of them and Allison’s preppy friends that is nothing short of insane. The preppies think Tucker and Dale want to torture and kill Allison. Led by Chad (there’s always a preppy named Chad) the popped-collar frat boy leader, they mount an attack against the two hillbillies. Tucker and Dale think that the preppies are off their medication and can’t understand why they will not stop killing themselves right there at their ‘vacation’ home in the beautiful Virginia woods. Hell, one college kid just dives right into a working wood chipper and another one impales himself on a homemade spear. What are two totally misunderstood hillbillies to do?
The characterization of the two good ole boys balances a thin line between genius and stereotypical. In other words Tucker and Dale are like every other redneck hillbilly horror film character; dumb as hell and oblivious to the happenings of the outside world. However, Tudyk and Labine play their parts so well you’d think they went to backwoods redneck hillbilly training camp. Tucker is the smarter of the two and therefore the straight man, of sorts, to Dale and his bumbling antics.
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil works not only as a parody of redneck hillbilly horror films, but also as a love letter to the genre. It’s a smartly written horror-comedy that laughs with the genre instead of at it. You’ll find yourself giggling at the funny parts and laughing out loud at the gory stuff. Hell, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is so funny it might just make you slap your mama. That, my dear friends, is fucking funny.
A rough cut of the film was leaked which revealed various moments when lines are dubbed and when post-production effects are used.
- You Should Know Better than to Vacation in the Woods – An SML Epic Movie Review of “Tucker and Dale vs. Evil” (stuffmonsterslike.com)
- Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (afilmlog.wordpress.com)
- TBTS Reviews: Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil (thebrowntweedsociety.com)
- Justin does Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (mutantreviewers.wordpress.com)
- On Tucker and Dale versus Evil (bblurb.wordpress.com)
- Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (mrmovietimes.com)
- Non-Review Review: Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (them0vieblog.com)
- Tucker and Dale vs. Evil: This isn’t your dad’s Chainsaw Massacre (faceplantreview.wordpress.com)
- Tucker and Dale VS Judging Others (smoorns.wordpress.com)
- Cabin in the Woods (2012) (crimecrawlers.wordpress.com)
- ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ Review (screenrant.com)
PIRANHA -United States-2010
Directed by Alexandre Aja
Written by Peter Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg
Authors’ note- The following commentary is a dramatization. I am going to be 50 soon, and that much is true. However, I am a happily married man and have never had opportunity or the need to watch a GGW video. This was all just a way of saying that I wish the director would have made up his mind. Boobs or blood, Mr. Aja, what’s it going to be?
I’m going to be 50 years old in a little under 2 weeks. Having never seen a Girls Gone Wild video in its entirety, I thought now would be as good a time as any. I went to the video store and I got this one that had this hot babe sunbathing on a red raft on what appears to be a peaceful lake. She’s all kicked back with her barely there bikini and her dark sunglasses covering her eyes. I took it home and I popped the disc in my trusty player and sat back to enjoy the bouncing hooters and gyrating buttocks. This one was a really good one! Woo hoo! It had a little something for everybody! There’s Kelly Brook and Riley Steele cavorting naked underwater like dolphins. There’s Jessica Sour looking all cute so that the younger male viewers can be happy. There’s even Elisabeth Shue in the film for the older viewers such as myself. It’s funny, though; they have her dressed as a sheriff in this one. But still, she’s really hot! It must have been some sort of role playing thing.
So, I’m enjoying all this girly action and all of a sudden these really mean fish with obscenely large teeth commence to chewing up and spitting out all the bodacious babes and voluptuous beauties. Pretty soon the whole thing breaks down in a shower of guts and gore. It’s not just the boobies that suffer; this one guy suffers such an emasculating injury before being chewed to pieces I can’t even mention it without wincing.
What the hell is this movie?!? I thought for sure I’d picked up a Girls Gone Wild video. I hit pause and picked up the DVD case to examine it more closely. What do you know? My hand had covered up the cover earlier. There it was in big red letters-PIRANHA. I flipped the cover over and read the description. Oh, so this is supposed to be a horror film? In fact, it’s supposed to be a remake of the Joe Dante B-movie classic; which itself was a parody of Jaws. According to the credits, this one was directed by Alexandre Aja. Oh yeah, I thought, he directed High Tension and The Hills Have Eyes remake and they were really good. I don’t really know what to say about Piranha, though. Two things come to mind:
- For a Girls Gone Wild movie, Alexandre Aja has made a pretty decent horror film.
- For a horror film, Alexandre Aja has made a pretty decent Girls Gone Wild movie.
I guess it’s all in how you look at it.
- Inside Horror: Episode 5 – Alexandre Aja Talks Maniac Remake and So Much More! (dreadcentral.com)
- Alexandre Aja to Direct Joe HIll’s Horror Story HORNS (geektyrant.com)
- PIRANHA 3DD – 2 International Posters (geektyrant.com)
- Filmmakers and Cast Debut Gruesome New Footage for PIRANHA 3D; Recap Along with Highlights From Q&A (collider.com)
LET ME IN-United States-2010
Before I give you my review for Let Me In, I want to give you my take on the attitude that Hollywood has in general about remaking foreign films. Now, this is going to date me to no end, but how many of you remember the TV series The Six Million Dollar Man? Okay, well, the show was about this test pilot named Steve Austin (no, not the wrestler), who gets into this horrible plane crash and is then rebuilt with a bionic eye, arm and leg so that he can go around solving crimes and kicking butt for the OSI (Office of Special Intelligence). At the beginning of the show you always heard Richard Anderson as Oscar Goldman saying “Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world’s first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster.”
That quote from that show is how I see Hollywood when it comes to remakes. They take a foreign film and they lay it out on the operating table and some bigwig executive who knows as much about movies as I know about the female menstrual cycle (nothing at all) says, “Gentlemen, we can remake this movie. We have the writers. We have the directors. We have the money to make a movie far greater than this piece of subtitled hodgepodge could ever hope to be. We will make a movie that will be better in every way.”
Now, I told you that so I could tell you this: Let Me In is not that type of movie. When director Matt Reeves laid it out on the table he didn’t see a film that he could improve upon. He looked at and thought, “Why do I need to make a better film? This film is already perfect in every way. It’s a horror movie that transcends its very genre. I don’t want to make a better film. I want to make a film that I can be proud of.”
So, that’s what he did. He took two of the best young actors working in film, Chloe Grace-Moretz and Kodi Smit-McPhee, and paired them with two of the most reliable performers in Richard Jenkins and Elias Koteas; and he made a vampire film that draws favorable comparison to its foreign big sister, Let the Right One In. Reeves and crew bring the story of Owen and Abby (Oskar and Eli in LtROI) to American audiences without compromising the intelligence of the original film. It’s an achievement they can, and should be, very proud of.
- Bad Robot Assembling New Action Film; Brad Parker Directing with Matt Reeves Producing (slashfilm.com)
- Movie Review No.71: Let Me In (filmdump.wordpress.com)
- ‘ParaNorman’ Teaser Trailer: Laika Crafts a Weird and Super-Cute Kids’ Horror Story (slashfilm.com)
BLACK SWAN-United States-2010
Watching this film is like watching an optical illusion. You look at it one way and it does something completely against what you have perceived that it should do. There is enough trickery, treachery and tragedy in this film to fill 100 films. Natalie Portman is Nina, a young dancer spiraling into insanity at the hands of her domineering mother, a woman who still sees her as 12 years old with stuffed animals and music boxes, and her forceful and controlling director, who sees her as another in a long line of ‘little princesses’ to seduce. Vincent Cassel based the characted of Thomas Leroy on the real life dance director George Balanchine, who was not above using control and sexuality to get what he wanted from his performers. Add Mila Kunis to the mix as Lily, a mysterious young dancer who may or may not be attempting to sabotage Nina in her role as the Swan Queen. I’ll be honest with you; there were moments in this film that I wasn’t truly sure what was going on. But then I realize that’s exactly what director Darren Aronofsky was striving to achieve. He wants us to feel the things that Nina is going through; to go through the changes that she goes through. Her character is chosen to play the Swan Queen, a role that requires that she play the innocent White Swan. But alas, the good in her must give way and she must embrace the evil that is the Black Swan. Again, I will say that there were times that I felt lost and that’s perfectly okay. I’m a guy and to be honest I’ve only been to the ballet one time in my life. The point I am trying to make here is that the film may be about ballet, but it sure as hell isn’t about ballet. What I see this film as being about is this one thing and that is how much of a fucking bitch is a person willing to be to get what the hell they want in life. But then again, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it really is about ballet. Hmm, maybe.
Meryl Streep was considered to play Erica, Nina’s mother.
The script took around ten years to make it to the screen.
The budget on this film was so tight that when star Natalie Portman had a rib dislocated during a lift and she called the producer for help. She was told that the budget was so low they had no medic. She stated that if they needed to cut items from the budget they could take away her trailer, instead of the medic. The next day her trailer was gone.
Portman’s body and dance double, Sarah Lane, came public shortly before the DVD/Blu-Ray release in March 2011 claiming that the film’s producers asked her not to conduct interviews until after the awards season so Natalie Portman would receive most of the dancing credibility. A promotional video released about the special effects used in the film was also altered so it didn’t include aspects of how Lane’s face was digitally replaced with Portman’s during complicated dance moves Lane was brought in to perform. Choreographer (and Portman’s fiancé) Benjamin Millepied counteracted Lane’s comments by stating, “It was so believable, it was fantastic, that beautiful movement quality. There are articles now talking about her dance double Sarah Lane that are making it sound like she did a lot of the work, but really she just did the footwork, the fouettés, and one diagonal phrase in the studio. Honestly, 85% of that movie is Natalie”. Director Darren Aronofsky also debunked Lane’s claims saying, “Here is the reality. I had my editor count shots. There are 139 dance shots in the film. 111 are Natalie Portman untouched. 28 are her dance double Sarah Lane. If you do the math that’s 80% Natalie Portman.”
- Breaking News: Mila Kunis is the new face of Christian Dior! (myfashionlife.com)
- The Wachowskis Courting Natalie Portman to Star in Sci-Fi Movie JUPITER ASCENDING (collider.com)
- A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Makeup of Black Swan (bellasugar.com)
- Top 10 Actors We Stalk on IMDb (newser.com)
THE WOLFMAN-United States-2010
Directed by Joe Johnston
Screenplay by Andrew Kevin Walker and David Self
Based on the 1941 Motion Picture Screenplay by Curt Siodmak
“Even a man who is pure in heart
And says his prayers by night
Will become a wolf when the wolfs bane blooms
And the autumn moon is bright.”
Thus begins the sad tale of Lawrence Talbot. A man destined by a bite from a werewolf to become a werewolf himself. Upon its release The Wolfman was met unfavorably by critics. Quite personally I think the proper description would be ‘unfairly’. The Wolfman is not the best werewolf movie ever made; that would be The Howling, in my humble opinion. But, alas, it is certainly not the worst; do I hear any votes for The Howling II for that honor? The Wolfman is a consistently entertaining and thrilling film that pays a great homage to the original classic. Unlike a lot of remakes these days it doesn’t forget or disrespect its beginnings. Yes, there are things wrong with the film; the main thing being the miscasting of Benicio Del Toro in the lead role. Del Toro is a wonderful actor, indeed, but quite personally I found him ill-suited for the role. The other sin that the film commits is that it allows Sir Anthony Hopkins to chew the scenery a little too freely. Also a very gifted performer, I feel that Mr. Hopkins is at his best when he is better controlled by his director.
I’m sure we are all familiar with the story. Lawrence Talbot (Del Toro) is bitten by a werewolf and becomes a werewolf himself. There are a few deviations from the original 1941 film, but for the most part this is a faithful remake. Emily Blunt is very good as the woman who believes she can cure Lawrence with love and not silver bullets. Hugo Weaving is the From Hell connection as Abberline. I kept hoping he would have the opportunity to say “Mr. Anderson”; but alas, ’twas never to be.
So, what have we learned here, boys and girls? We have learned that even the imperfect films have something to offer. Give The Wolfman another chance. I don’t think you will be disappointed.
Mark Romanek was going to direct but left the project over budget disagreements.
Benicio Del Toro’s Wolfman make-up took approximately 3 hours to apply and 1 hour to remove.
- Rumor: ‘The Wolfman’ Already Heading For a Reboot? (slashfilm.com)
- Who’s Afraid of The Big Bad Werewolf? (socyberty.com)
- Universal to Reboot THE WOLFMAN as WEREWOLF? (collider.com)