I reserve “zero star” ratings for movies I can’t even get through (see: The Big Hit), and I got through this. “One star” ratings are for movies that offend my sensibilities on a visceral level, movies that simply shouldn’t have been made, movies that are a waste of time, both for the creators and the viewers. One star reviews are reserved for movies like Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. (more…)
Archive for the ‘General’ Category
It’s a cardinal rule of movies: if you lock n characters in a room, n – (x+1) characters will walk out. Whether that “room” is at the bottom of the sea (The Abyss), the deepest, darkest South American jungle (Predator), or the farthest reaches of Antarctica (The Thing), the success of movies of this genre depend on a couple things. First, whether you enjoy being trapped in that room with the characters that inhabit it, and second, whether the buildup, if not the payoff, is sufficiently enthralling. As to the second part, you could call this the “Jack in the Box” genre, because the interesting part isn’t when the box pops open, but the suspense that builds with every turn of the crank. In Sunshine (2007), director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting) shows that he’s pretty good at cranking one out. (more…)
I don’t generally like “scary” movies for the same reason I don’t generally like comedies. Fear, like humor, is not a universal constant, and what’s scary for one man isn’t for the next. Hitchcock, for instance, was reputed to have said that Psycho was the funniest movie he ever made (which may prove or disprove my point, I’m not sure which). Regardless of how many reviews I may read for an example of either genre, I still feel it’s a shot in the dark as to whether I’ll like it. Because just as a movie like Porky’s isn’t universally renowned among comedies, neither is Knowing acclaimed among suspense films. The difference is that Knowing deserves more credit than it gets, while Porky’s is, let’s face it, still Porky’s.
Movies that are targeted to a specific audience are always a bit of a crap shoot, especially if you’re outside their range, or if they just miss and don’t have enough splash damage to affect your critic shields.
Um. Sorry, I’ve been playing a lot of videogames. (more…)
There’s something about movies from the 1980s that I find reassuring. At some point in the last 25 years people stopped wanting, or studios stopped providing, movies featuring kids that look, sound, and act like real people. I suppose this can be traced back to the heyday of Macaulay Culkin, when it was no longer enough for kids to be smart, funny, or endearing in the way that kids can be in real life, but instead needed to outsmart the villains, mug for the camera, and provide a running dialog of snark along the way. By the same token, it is no longer enough for Winnie Cooper to be the Platonic ideal of a grade school/high school beauty, now we have a 21-year-old Megan Fox playing a high school student. WarGames, set contemporary to its 1983 production year, predates this trend, and provides a realism that seems both odd and relieving in contrast, like having a bowl of soup after a week of gorging on Halloween candy. (more…)