Happy Halloween! This is Part 2 of our “Lesser Known Horror Movies Series, now moving into the 1990s. Check out Lesser Known Horror Movies of the 80’s here.
Sorry I’m a little late on this one guys, my wife just gave birth to our first kid last night, so I’ve been distracted….and the lack of sleep might make this weeks review either less funny or overly vicious
so bear with me.
THE BIG YEAR
Now I love me some Steve Martin. I love me some Steve Martin so much that I will even go out of my way to see shit like It’s Complicated, just for the single glimmer of hope to see Steve Martin be funny again. And yes, I have even seen not one, but BOTH Pink Panther movies…but alas, the days of The Jerk and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels are behind us and Steve Martin has succumbed to just being “kinda amusing” and it’s a damn shame. This movie looks like no exception. It’s a movie with Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson all bird watching. Could be funny, but judging from the preview, it just seems like the kind of movie that producers say “Throw Martin, Black and Wilson together in a movie.” “Well….is there a script?” “Fuck the script….make em’ watch birds or something.” And bingo. Looks like sub-par, but trust me, if I could stomach Cheaper By The Dozen 2, then I can stomach this just for the sweet possibility of some vintage Steve Martin.
PREDICTION: 2 stars
How I feel about this movie is how I feel about terrible things that happen far away in other countries. It really sucks, but I’m glad I don’t have to deal with it. Same thing here. I have to say that out of the nearly 5000 movies I have seen, I have never actually seen the original Footloose. I do love Kevin Bacon, I just never had any reason to watch a movie about a town that’s banned dancing. I don’t get it. Can’t you just dance at the next town over? And why dancing? Are there no murders and rapes and violent crimes in this town that the police have nothing better to ban but dancing. And if that’s the case, then the crime value statistics of living in this town must be through the roof positive. It seems like you can walk down the street in this town wearing solid diamond sunglasses with $100.00 bills dripping from your pockets and not have to worry about getting mugged, but the fucking selfish ass people in the town STILL have to find something to complain about, so they want to DANCE! Jesus. Well, this is a remake of that ridiculous premise, and it doesn’t even have the charm that Kevin Bacon can bring to light up any dark room. So not only could I give two flying fuckweeds about Footloose WITH Kevin Bacon, you can imagine how I feel about this diarrhea without him. Wham, bam, no thank you ma’am.
PREDICTION: 1 star
So what is this movie? A remake or a sequel or a prequel? As far as I can tell, it’s a prequel to the awesome, kick ass, 1982 masterpiece The Thing which in my opinion still has some of, if not the best, horror FX ever put on film. 5 star movie. This one…not so much. I mean, if it’s a prequel, then why is everyone in it American, because we all know that it was actually a group of Norwegians who discovered The Thing and it looks like a bunch of Americans in this movie. Also, if it’s a prequel and not a flat out remake, like it’s being hyped as, then is it set in 1982 like the first one? Because all the tech seems pretty up to date. Now, all of that aside, the preview doesn’t look horrible, but it doesn’t look great either. I could deal with a sequel to one of my favorite movies of all time, but what I will complain about is that if you’re going to go balls out and try to replicate the sheer awesomeness of the original, why would you slack and make all the FX CGI? The amazing charm of the first one was mostly due to the FX, which just hit it out of the park. CGI is not enduring, looks flat and also messy and cheap. Sure, they might hold a scare the first time you see it, but in 5 years, they’ll look old and detached, which then takes me out of the movie completely. Whereas the original, the FX still hold up to this day for me. The scene where they’re testing the blood with the hot wire still gives me chills to this day, and I fucking know what happens! So I feel this is wasted potential. I feel like if some filmmaker could just come out and blow everyone away with a horror film using state of the art PRACTICAL FX, then the movie would blow everyone away. Splinter is the closest I’ve seen to that, but certainly not The Thing prequel.
PREDICTION: 2 1/2 stars
That’s it for this week.
James Gunn gave a great Q&A Monday night at the IFFBoston presented screening of “SUPER,” his new film, featuring actors Rainn Wilson, Ellen Paige, and Kevin Bacon. Gunn touches on how he got such a great cast of actors, the challenges of the production, comments on the comparisons to “Kick-Ass,” and has some advice for aspiring writers. Enjoy the video, and check out our review of the film here.
This is a good example of some of great Q&A’s that you’ll find at IFFBoston. This years festival starts April 27 and goes through May 4, 2011 – Passes for the festival are available for purchase here.
James Gunn’s ‘Super’ starring Rainn Wilson and Ellen Paige is doomed to be compared to last years ‘Kick-Ass,’ and it is my job as the journalist to state before I even begin my review, ‘Super,’ is most definitely not ‘Kick-Ass.’ Gunn has assembled an entertaining, darkly funny film with a great cast of actors.
Frank (Rainn Wilson) has lived a sad, lonely life, in the films melancholy opening, we learn that there are only two perfect moments in his life. The day he got married to the love of his life Sarah (Liv Tyler), and the day he helped a cop find a perp. We join the story as Sarah and Frank have grown apart, and Sarah leaves him to go back to a life of drugs and alcohol, as she starts dating a shady (but somehow nice seeming) character named Jacques (Kevin Bacon).
Frank is watching television, and he finds himself inspired by a Christian Super Hero called The Holy Avenger (Nathan Fillion). Called to by God to start bringing Evil to Justice, and hopefully saving Sarah from the evil influences of drugs and alcohol. Frank starts researching to create his own superhero. He goes to the obvious place one would research such a thing, the local comic book store, where he connects with Libby (Ellen Paige). His creation, the Crimson Bolt, lacking super powers, he takes up a heavy wrench, and starts telling crime to “Shut up,” usually by violently splitting their heads open with the wrench.
‘Super’ is extremely violent. Gunn doesn’t hold back on some of the brutal violence the Crimson Bolt commits. Of course, its all done with an air of comedy, but it doesn’t change the fact that there are definitely some intense scenes in the film. Frank is essentially Travis Bickle in a mask, where, he believes what he is doing is for the greater good.
The only similarity the film has with ‘Kick-Ass,’ is that they are both films about superheros that are ordinary people. That is where the comparison ends. This film is about a sociopath who is trying to save the woman he loves. Rainn Wilson is excellent as Frank. Unfortunately, he is going to be compared to his television character for quite a long time, but he does a great job embodying the character. It would have been very easy for an actor to take the character over the top, but there is a degree of believability at play, owed most likely to Gunn’s and Wilson’s excellent collaboration. At the Q&A with James Gunn following the screening, he points out that it took him a long time to find an actor to play Frank, which was one of the main reasons the film lay unproduced. But once he met with Rainn Wilson, he knew he’d found his lead.
Ellen Paige also plays a great sidekick, often times Paige is given roles with dialogue that irritates the hell out of me (READ: Juno, Inception), but she was perfect here. Kevin Bacon’s villain I found a bit non-traditional, he was definitely not a good guy, but he wasn’t particularly evil until much later.
What I enjoyed most about ‘Super,’ was James Gunn’s interest in really messing with his audience. The film takes some significant risks of losing the audiences. Things occur to characters that you wouldn’t ordinarily see in other films, and I commend the film for this.
The music was great, and the film was shot well. Despite being an independent, I didn’t feel like the effects felt low budget whatsoever – oftentimes this is the weakest point in films like this – and there were some interesting visual effects (I’ll hold back the spoilers).
All in all, ‘Super’ is certainly not a film for everyone, it is violent, dark, and darkly funny. But the recognizable cast will hopefully fill the seats, and those folks that this film is for, will definitely be in for a treat.
The X-Men: First Class is getting more and more interesting. Several news outlets are reporting that Nicholas Hoult (A Single Man) will be playing young Beast, Lucas Till (Hannah Montana) will be playing Havok, and Kevin Bacon will be cast as the villain.
There was a persistent rumor that Aaron Johnson, the lead from ‘Kick-Ass’ would be playing Cyclops, but apparently, that is not the case.