Archive for the ‘Thriller’ Category

Abducted

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

tn_abductedslashersearch13This is not really a slasher movie, there’s not much of a body count and the villain uses a gun, not a knife. And I didn’t find it in the horror section. But it does involve an innocent woman out in the woods getting abducted by a crazy mountain man, and there is a part 2. It sounded like enough echoes of TEXAS CHAIN SAW to be worth giving it a shot.

Renee (Roberta Weiss, THE DEAD ZONE) is a lady in pink Nike sweats out for a jog on a hiking trail somewhere (it was filmed in or around Vancouver) when suddenly she gets jumped by a crazy shades-wearing mountain man named Vern (Lawrence King-Phillips, ROLLING VENGEANCE), who ties a rope around her neck like a leash and makes her come with him. The cover says it’s based on a true story so I want to make perfectly clear that they better not be saying it’s based on me. I never abducted nobody. I’ll sue. (read the rest of this shit…)

Summer Movie Flashback: Inception

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

tn_inception

2010

2010

The best way to explain the genius of INCEPTION is just to describe what’s going on at the climax. The main characters are all asleep on a jet, dreaming that they’re in a van that’s crashed and is falling off a bridge. All but the driver, Dileep Rao, are asleep and are also in a dream-within-a-dream where they’re tied together floating weightlessly in an elevator. Joseph Gordon Levitt is preparing to wake them up, the rest are asleep and in a dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream about blowing up a snowy fortress. But Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page are asleep there because they’re actually in a dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream where Leo is making the emotional decision to leave behind a SOLARIS-type living memory of his dead wife Marion Cotillard to go into a limbo to rescue his client, Ken Watanabe, who has lived a whole life there and is now an old man and forgets that he’s not in reality, because time passes at a different pace within each of these worlds. And there is a decades long slowed down music cue that tells Leo the van in the first dream is about to hit the water and wake them all up.

And here’s the kicker: all of this was understandable even on the first viewing for knuckleheads like me and the millions of people who made it a huge hit summer movie. I mean, you don’t have to like it, but it takes a silly motherfucker to deny the accomplishment of making such an effective mainstream thriller out of a concept this complicated. (read the rest of this shit…)

Summer Movie Flashback: The Taking of Pelham 123

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

tn_takingofpelham

2009

2009

After their disagreement over DOMINO, my eyeballs and Tony Scott’s movies weren’t speaking to each other for years. But UNSTOPPABLE was okay and then the poor guy died and my eyeballs started to feel kinda bad and got nostalgic for all the good times of TRUE ROMANCE and CRIMSON TIDE and all that, and they finally saw REVENGE and they liked that quite a bit. You know, maybe if they had known what was coming they could’ve patched things up like N.W.A. did when Eazy E was dying. But that just wasn’t the way it worked out. It’s too bad.

Anyway I got caught in the middle of that beef and that’s why I skipped PELHAM 123 until now. Plus I really like the original and thought (well, knew) it could only suffer from updating. (read the rest of this shit…)

Summer Movie Flashback: The Da Vinci Code

Sunday, September 1st, 2013
2007

2006

tn_davincicodeHonestly, DA THE VINCI CODE or whatever is not a movie I ever though I’d watch. Some of the things going against it are:

a. didn’t look interesting to me
2. book I never cared about
III. director Ron Howard is competent but kind of a square director in my opinion, not somebody whose movies I ever get excited for and
d. in my opinion Akiva Goldsman is the writer of BATMAN AND ROBIN.

And I would’ve gotten away with it if it wasn’t for this Summer Movie Flashback I got myself into. There just wasn’t another significant summer of 2006 movie I hadn’t seen. Right up until the last minute I was actually planning to do MY SUPER EX-GIRLFRIEND just ’cause I thought that would be easier to stomach, but I decided that would be dishonorable. This one was obviously part of some cultural phenomenon of the time and is more representative of that summer. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Call

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

tn_thecallWhen I saw the trailer, I thought THE CALL looked hilariously awful. Halle Berry, 911 operator who gets a girl killed by redialing her and giving up her location to her attacker, has to redeem herself when another victim calls from the trunk of the killer’s car. In context, though, I gotta say it’s not bad. A watchable if undistinguished suspense thriller.

The structure has a Larry Cohen-esque simplicity to it, which I respect.

Part 1: failed call and introduction of the spectacular call center where our heroine will spend 2/3 of the movie. (read the rest of this shit…)

Side Effects

Monday, July 1st, 2013

tn_sideeffectsSIDE EFFECTS is supposed to be Steven Soderbergh’s last theatrical release before handing in his camera and his DGA card, not counting BEHIND THE CANDELABRA, which went straight to cable in the U.S. I haven’t seen that one yet but thank Christ it came out already because I was real worried about him there, ’cause you know what tends to happen to guys right before retirement. Congratulations to him on making it out. I hope they gave him a gold watch.
(read the rest of this shit…)

Boot Camp

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

tn_bootcampHere’s one of these movies I come across by accident in the video store, I never heard of it before but I’m compelled to bring it home. See, it takes place at one of those camps where parents send their problem or perceived-as-a-problem teens to, and pay to have them tormented and worked to the bone and the idea is that just being treated like shit in a different way than at home will make up for whatever caused them to do drugs or listen to Slayer or whatever and turn them into productive members of society. I remember during the ’80s watching Sally Jessy Raphael promote these places on her show. I always wanted to send her to dig holes and do push ups while a dude spits at her and calls her a pig. See if it made her show better.
(read the rest of this shit…)

A Perfect Murder

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

tn_perfectmurderWith DIAL M FOR MURDER fresh on my mind I was really curious how they updated it in the 1998 remake A PERFECT MURDER. In this one Michael Douglas plays the scheming husband, Gwyneth Paltrow is the wife and Viggo Mortensen (when he was still a rising character actor and not yet the guy from LORD OF THE RINGS) is her boyfriend.

The basics are all there. The husband knows the wife is cheating, he blackmails someone else into doing the deed, but she ends up killing the guy, and he has to desperately maneuver to cover his tracks, ultimately being undone by a mistake he made after giving the would-be killer a key to the apartment. But within that framework they do all kinds of things to update, expand, complicate and alter things. Some of it is kinda clever in the way it will surprise you if you’re expecting everything to go the same as in the Hitchcock version (I can’t say “the original,” because that would be the play by Frederick Knott, credited as the basis of this). (read the rest of this shit…)

Dial M For Murder 3D

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

tn_dialmformurderDIAL M FOR MURDER is a minimalistic talk ‘n murder from our boy Alfred Hitchcock circa 1954. It doesn’t have the same “all in one shot” camera gimmick as ROPE (which was 6 years earlier), but it’s similar because 95% of it takes place in one apartment where an arrogant guy thinks he can get away with murder and an inquisitive guy tries to outsmart him and figure out what went down.

The attempted mastermind is Tony (Ray Milland), whose wife Margot (Grace Kelly) has an American boyfriend named Mark (Robert Cummings), so that would be the motive. Margot and Mark have called it off and tried to keep it a secret, but Tony has known for a long time and has put alot of work into staking out an old college acquaintance named Swann (Anthony Dawson) so he can find dirt on him and blackmail him into doing a murder.

(read the rest of this shit…)

The Assault

Monday, March 4th, 2013

tn_assaultTHE ASSAULT (which is American for L’ASSAUT) is almost like a French remake of DELTA FORCE. It’s based on the true story of a hijacking of a French airliner in Algeria. Four Muslim extremists posing as passport inspectors take control of the plane on the runway. They demand the release of two captured mujahadeen, and they try to fly the plane to Paris. But it takes them half the movie just to get the stairs detached from the plane, and then they find out they only have enough fuel to get to Marseille. (read the rest of this shit…)