Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
In Let Me In, a moody tale about a 12 year-old vampire girl, you’ll see familiar faces. The kiddie-vamp in question? Throw on a purple wig and it’s Hit Girl, Chloe Moretz. Her tormented boy-toy? Kodi Smit-McPhee just got done escaping apocalyptic cannibals – and Robert Duvall’s overacting -- in The Road.
Then there’s Elias Koteas. Though he’s frequently in dark, boundary-pushing movies like Crash (the sex-and-car-crashes one, not the “racism is bad” one) and The Killer Inside Me, you’ll most likely recognize him as Casey Jones, the second-most famous hockey-mask-wearing vigilante in cinema (with deference to Mr. Voorhees), who fought alongside the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Let Me In is based on the Swedish novel and film Let the Right One In. Koteas plays “The Policeman,” and gives a performance with an unlikely inspiration. “Abraham Lincoln, and the fact of malice toward none, and compassion. You can use anything as long as it grounds you.”
Let Me In opens Oct. 1, 2010.
Monday, September 27, 2010
There are some subjects so serious that you just don’t joke about them: cancer, genocide, the coming robot wars. But not abortion. Nope, abortion can be hilarious!
For proof, pick up tomorrow’s DVD release of an abortion-themed Family Guy episode that was so controversial, Fox refused to air it on television. In the ep titled “Partial Terms of Endearment”—Nothing like mixing your abortion jokes with your Shirley MacLaine references!— Lois agrees to act as a surrogate mother for an infertile couple, only to have the couple die in a car crash, forcing the Griffin clan to ponder whether or not to keep the baby.
Because of the content, Fox decided advertisers were skittish about the episode, so they shoved it in a brown bag and handed it off to their home video department. But while "Partial Terms of Endearment" does have the standard Family Guy absurdities—Lois is impregnated by natives wielding blow dart guns, Peter initially tries to stop the pregnancy with an ACME Miscarriage Kit—it somehow manages to discuss the subject respectfully enough to win positive reviews in the UK, where the Brits were ballsy enough to air the episode in June.
As a bonus feature, The Family Guy: Partial Terms of Endearment DVD also includes The Seth and Alex Almost Live Comedy Show. That was a non-animated special featuring Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane and Lois-voicer Alex Borstein singing and performing comedy bits. Admittedly, that special actually has aired on TV, but—judging by the number of people who actually remember it—it might as well not have.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Reading something other than a comic book is a dubious undertaking. First of all, there are no pictures on the page. Second of all, THERE ARE NO PICTURES ON THE PAGE.
How much work can one man's imagination be expected to do?
Well, it's apparently time to put that question to the test because a new short story collection delivers all the thrills of horror comic books, but none of the helpful thought bubbles. The Living Dead 2 is an anthology featuring 44 tales of the not-quite-dead, including work from such zombie legends as Max Brooks (World War Z, The Zombie Survival Guide) and Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead). Kirkman's contribution is actually the first time he's had a piece of prose published, and Walking Dead fans will be happy to know that this twisted love story takes place in the same world as his comic. Meanwhile, TheLiving Dead 2's other tales include everything from chilling investigations of a world gone undead to more fanciful yarns that mix zombies with pirates and—it was about time—zombies with dinosaurs.
The Living Dead 2 is actually the follow-up to a critically-praised 2008 anthology called—you guessed it—The Living Dead. Collectively the two books have about 1,000 pages filled with words about zombies. All those words should give your brain quite a workout. Which will make the zombies happy.
Well-toned brains taste better.
Monday, September 13, 2010
We are geeks. We are the underdogs, the soldiers of impossible causes. We got a Firefly movie made. How's about throwin' a few dimes this blind guy's way so's he can finish his fright flick?
Comic book writer turned horror auteur Joseph Monks is, in his words "100 percent, lights-out blind blind. And I’ve directed a feature film.” Clash Of The Titans. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Transformers 2. Frankly, with all the damage done by sighted directors, what can it hurt to give an unsighted one a try?Monks lost his sight in 2002 to diabetes. Undaunted, he directed every stage of production and shooting by working closely with his cinematographer. Rough cuts of the low-budget film, The Bunker, which is about a runaway kidnapped by your standard sadistic murderer, have screened at film festivals and horror conventions to shockingly positive reviews.
Now Monks has taken to the online fundraising site Kickstarter to raise the $5,000 he needs to finish his project (right now, he's only got a little over a grand in the kitty). The production was hit by two hurricanes and the composer committed suicide mid-score. Considering those obstacles, having a blind director might be the film’s smallest complication. If only they had let him direct Jonah Hex!
Saturday, September 11, 2010
I went to this movie with trepidation, even though it had two major stars, from "30 Rock" and "The Office". Too often, films like this fail to deliver relying on lame plot lines, overblown chaos, shoot outs, etc., etc. Well "Date Night" has all of these pitfalls, but with the prodigious talents of Fey and Carrel driving the comedy, the film delivers laugh out loud moments and good entertainment value. The two stars play a married couple, with two kids, and careers, who decide to break their routine and kick back with a trip to Manhattan for an upscale dining experience. The meal in Manhattan begins the mayhem that develops into mistaken identity for the married two. Carrel and Fey are pursued through Manhattan by thugs, (all perfectly cast and who definitely enhance the plot line). James Franco is especially delightful, bringing a laugh out loud moment with his plaintive, "Like I want to spend the rest of my life selling stolen wheelchairs!!!". William Fichtner, as the D.A. Frank Crenshaw is a comical scene stealer with his farcical facial expressions. In the final analysis it is Fey and Carell who make this film better than it would have been by their obvious chemistry and often what seems like improvisations. Fey's quick wit and Carell's dry wit work magic with the script. This film is a fun ride and I recommend it.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
If this season didn't make us so damn sad, we'd be pretty excited about yesterday's come-from-behind win. Rookie Casey Coleman spotted the Astros four runs in the second inning, but then he and the rest of the bullpen shut 'em down for the rest of the game. Meanwhile, Marlon Byrd got things going with a two-run homer in the third, and Jeff Baker tied it with a double in the fifth. Geovany Soto cranked a solo homer in the eighth to put the Cubs ahead, and that was that. Nice.