Archive for February, 2011

I Spit On Your Grave (2010 remake)

Friday, February 11th, 2011

tn_ispitonyourgrave10I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (2010) is an okay-but-could-be-much-better remake of the disreputable cult classic. In the rankings of 21st century remakes of notorious ’70s rape revenge movies I’d put it at #2, more watchable than CHAOS but not nearly as artful as LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT. It has pretty effective pacing and a couple good ideas, but it’s not as smart or observant as I’d want for a really worthwhile remake.
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Scorpion

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

tn_scorpionSometimes you find a movie you never heard of, and you just have this feeling that this is the one you’ve been looking for, this is gonna change your life.

But usually you’re wrong. Especially with this one. Some day I gotta learn that just because the cover is printed in special inks derived from 92% organic awesomeness doesn’t mean the movie itself is gonna even be possible to sit through. 1986’s SCORPION is a prime example of a movie where all the greatness was used up in the cover photo and none was left for the movie. (read the rest of this shit…)

My Soul To Take

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

tn_mysoultotakeI don’t know if “good” is an adjective I would apply to Wes Craven’s little-seen latest horror movie (his first writing/directing joint since NEW NIGHTMARE). Other than the synonyms for “strange” there aren’t many adjectives that really do the job here. So it’s hard to explain what this movie is like, exactly, but I’ll try.

MY SOUL TO TAKE looks like a pretty typical glossy teen horror movie, with characters that could be in FREDDY VS. JASON or a FINAL DESTINATION, plus your standard Marco Beltrami score infused with an occasional rock song. Although it’s not a remake, a sequel, a prequel or a prequmake it does fit your modern mainstream horror mold by being released in last-minute-post-production-3D (LMPP3).

Yeah, it looks normal from a distance, but when you get up close it’s clear that something’s off here. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vengeance

Monday, February 7th, 2011

tn_vengeanceIf a revenge movie is just called VENGEANCE, somebody might assume it’s gonna be obvious and unimaginative. In the case of Johnnie To’s VENGEANCE they’d be wrong – it’s elegant and poetically simple is what it is. Like a haiku with exit wounds. At this time I would like to ask that hypothetical somebody to admit that they would’ve been wrong.

In the opening scene a family is gunned down by three hitmen. Only the mother survives, and just barely. Her father, just known as Costello (Johnny Hallyday), comes to the hospital, vows to avenge her and gets minor details about the attackers by having her point at words in a newspaper. (read the rest of this shit…)

Le Samourai

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

tn_samouraiLE SAMOURAI is a movie I’ve meant to see for years. It just comes up so often when you’re into the shit I’m into. It was a big inspiration for THE KILLER and GHOST DOG, and probly THE AMERICAN, and since it’s both a crime movie and an instigator of that French wave that was new at the time it appeals to a broad range of movie buffs. People who wouldn’t normally watch too many French movies from the ’60s might watch it because it’s about a hitman, and vice versa. (‘Vice versa’ is Latin by the way, not French.)

So after hearing about it all these years it’s kind of a surprise still, ’cause it turns out I got the wrong impression. The way people talk about it I thought it was gonna be way more arty, way more slow and difficult, way more pretentious. But it’s a pretty straightforward crime movie in my opinion. It’s not fast-paced by modern standards, but it doesn’t have much fat on it either. Just alot of quiet. And a bird chirping.
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Saturday, February 5th, 2011

fyc

Never Let Me Go

Friday, February 4th, 2011

tn_neverletmegoLast year I honestly couldn’t remember which one was LET ME IN and which one was NEVER LET ME GO. It’s similar to the great “A ______ MAN” onslaught that made it easy to mix up A SINGLE MAN, A SERIOUS MAN, A SOLITARY MAN, THE EXTRA MAN, etc. And Denzel made a movie called UNSTOPPABLE even though Wesley already had a movie called that, and Seagal made BORN TO RAISE HELL around the same time as a gay porn of the same name came out. It’s all so confusing.

But now I’ve seen LET ME IN and NEVER LET ME GO so I got them marked in my brain and I think I can keep them straight for now on. LET ME IN is the one that takes place mostly at night, this one is in the sunshine.
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Let Me In

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

tn_letmeinAh shit, I hate it when this happens. I’m about to write a review for a sequel, or in this case a remake, and before I get started I figure I should go back and read what I wrote about the first one so I don’t repeat myself too much or forget something important. But it turns out I never wrote a review of the Swedish kid-befriends-vampire movie LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. And now I’m gonna review the American version of the Swedish movie everybody loves without reviewing the first one, and everybody’s gonna think I’m an asshole.

So please imagine I wrote a brilliant, in some ways moving and definitely mind-expanding and film criticism re-inventing review about how it was a very original and well made movie, I liked how the kids talked like kids and it didn’t really feel like any movie I’d seen before, pretty good, etc. Way to go, Swedes.
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Hatchet II

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

tn_hatchetiiHATCHET II is at least more fun than HATCHET I. Both are maybe too tongue-in-cheek, but at least they’re kind of slasher throwbacks, nothing meta-y or postmodernish or self-reflexable about them, and I appreciate that. They got Kane Hodder from FRIDAY THE 13TH parts whatever playing Victor Crowley, a Madman Marz-type ghost-of-a-murdered-deformed-guy chopping up trespassers in a Louisiana swamp. (read the rest of this shit…)