Posts Tagged ‘MacGuffin’

Knowing

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

At first, I wondered where Cage was in this photo. Then I realized that's just a picture of his forehead.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.

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WarGames

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

You know it's make-believe because his girlfriend is excited about his videogamesThere’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…)