Monday, May 28, 2007

Bug (Friedkin, 2006)

I consider, "The Exorcist" to be the all-around best horror movie of all time, so you can imagine how excited I was to see another Friedkin horror flick. Not only did this movie not disappoint, but it greatly surpassed my expectations. Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon were absolutely phenomenal! During the first third of the movie I began to reflect on why, "The Exorcist" was such a classic. Set-up. Friedkin actually takes the time to familarize the audience with the characters in such an intimate way that when the shit hits the fan we actually give a damn. "Bug" was no exception. After a series of smooth, quirky, quit-witted verbal exchanges between Agnes (Judd) and Peter (Shannon), we are treated to a lascivious, sweaty, flesh-romp of a sex scene that leads directly into the 'Bug' dilemma. Friedkin nailed the timing of this movie from the beginning, including his brilliant usage of Harry Connick Jr. as the angst-ridden ex-con boyfriend. There are only four main actors in "Bug", each fits right into their role with perfect ease. The gut-wrenching gore really hit the spot after Friedkin's superb character set-up. I'm not suggesting this is the best flick of all time, but it's definately worth the price of admission, and I will be buying this as soon as it is released on DVD. OJO gives this two barks and a couple paws way up!

GURPS Quote of the Week

Let me hit them with my T-shirt pants!


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Black Christmas (2006)

I begrudgingly watched this over the weekend, despite the overwhelming number of lackluster reviews and my own disdain for remakes. Being an avid horror/sci-fi fan, however, I feel a sick compulsion to watch everything I can regardless of other peoples opinions. Before I give you my tagline review of Black Christmas (2006), let me preface by saying that I give every horror movie the benefit of the doubt. I love the genre so much that as long as the most basic elements of horror (gore, tna, and storytelling etc) are present then I will consider the movie a success for at least keeping me entertained for 90-120 minutes. So, here goes-

This Movie SUCKS!!

Torn optic nerves, sorority babes, and a jaundiced serial killer sounds great (as far as horror films go), until you put the project in the hands of "Mr. I've made two films and both are shitty remakes ie Willard, Black Christmas" Glen Morgan. Glen, you're career is over. If any executive producer gets drunk or high enough to give you a third chance at making a decent movie that actually makes money, maybe you should consider creating your own art instead of copying other peoples work. Obviously you can't remake a film that is watchable. If you make an original movie then even if it sucks as bad as Willard and Black Christmas, at least you won't have trampled someone elses work, and your failure can be pinned directly on your shoulders without pock-marking someone elses art.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Deadwood Knows Commentary

The HBO show, "Deadwood" is not a new thing. It started in 2004, and has finished it's third season. What is new, or relatively rare amongst DVD extras is the quality of the director/creator/actor commentaries that are available on various shows within the DVD. They do something in "Deadwood" commentaries that most other DVD productions have been unable to do- commentate. My idea of good commentary is giving the viewer insight into a world that they have only known within the confines of the show itself. Effective commentary allows the viewer to feel as though they are a part of something more than just appreciating the final product- they are actually involved in the process of creating the art. Ian McShane, William Sanderson, and Paula Malcomson are my favorite participants in "Deadwood" commentary. Most actor commentaries are another opportunity to do some good 'ol fashioned Hollywood ass-kissing. I've listened to some commentaries that were more like an actor's appeal to the director or producer to include them in their next project, than actually giving the viewer any insight into the show. The most dreadful example of a director commentary is William Friedkin's dull narration of, "The Exorcist: The Version You've Never Seen". The commentary for this recut should be titled, "The Exorcist: The Commentary That Leaves You Comatose". He simply tells you exactly what you are seeing, scene by scene, moment by mundane moment.

The "Deadwood" commentaries don't follow the same strictures that most other commentaries include. Sure, there is the occasional appreciative nod toward David Milch (creator, lead writer), but they don't supply endless praise offerings to the filmdom monarchs that most commentaries provide. "Deadwood" commentary typically made me feel like I was sitting down with the actors, havin' a brew, and enjoying their take on the process of making each scene, or working with the other actors. Paula Malcomson (Trixie) is a delight to listen to. Malcomson and Ian McShane translate their onscreen chemistry into the commentary soundtrack. If you're like me and are drawn to behind-the-scenes footage and commentaries, then I implore you to treat yourself to the, "Deadwood" DVD extras. If you've never watched a director/actor commentary, then "Deadwood" is the perfect introduction. Prepare to be disappointed when you move from a "Deadwood" commentary to the likes of most film/tv commentaries available- the "others" just don't compare.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

This Just In: Two Wrongs Do Make A Right

I was with a friend at the Rocky Mount DMV (Dept. of Motor Vehicles). While at the information desk, I noticed a sign inviting people to start a career with the DMV. I read the sign with the same zeal one would read a cereal box's nutritional value index. Then I got to a part that chapped my ass. The following quote is word for word, "women, minorities, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply". Nice. I guess the government feels it is their responsibility to right the wrongs of the past by using reverse discrimination. I wonder what the reaction would be if a private business were to post a job lising that read something like this,

"Help Wanted: Healthy White Males are encouraged to apply.

Oh, wait, that would be illegal. Only the state and federal government is allowed to discriminate when it comes to employment. It never changes.