Monday, April 18, 2011

Scre4m (2011)

     When the original Scream first hacked and slashed it's way onto the scene it was something new, fresh, and original. It was a horror movie poking fun at horror movies filled with a cast of characters totally familiar with all the tropes and traps of horror movies. It spawned a wave of self-referencial scary movies (I Know What You Did Last Summer, Urban Legend) and changed how slasher films were constructed. That was 15 years ago. Kids who were still perplexed at the concept of walking and talking at the same time back then are now old enough to see Scream 4 in the theatre. Is the Scream franchise still bold enough to be relevant? The answer is a resounding, "Well, sort of".

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hanna (2011)

     Hanna is a movie that inhabits that limbo-like state between art cinema and commercial cinema. Plot-wise it is a very straightforward espionage thriller, much in the same vein as The Bourne Identity. The execution, however, is remarkably different and original. It's kind of like a sequel to Leon if Natalie Portman's character had actually trained to become an assassin and if that sequel was directed by a more narratively driven David Lynch. (Translation: Hanna is a teenager who kicks copious amounts of ass in a world that seems to be partially based in fantasy and partially based in reality.)

Monday, April 11, 2011

New Releases for 4/15

     After a barrage of new films each weekend since the beginning of March, this weekend sees only two wide releases. Rio seems poised to pick up the kiddie business from Hop, and the first Scream movie in 11 years is set to pick up the horror/comedy audience. It looks like a good weekend to plan for something else...but I'll let you know soon enough. Look for the Hanna review sometime tomorrow night.

     Anyone looking forward to the new Scream after so many years have passed?


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Source Code (2011)

      For me, one of the hallmarks of a great film is that you can get lost in it. You're not just entertained, forget you're broke, or distracted from the fact that your job sucks for two hours, but you forget you're even in a theatre watching a movie. It completely envelopes you for the duration of it's running time. You're actively involved in the narrative and feel like you have a stake in what happens. I hadn't seen a movie like this for quite a while...until I saw Source Code.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Insidious (2011)

     Insidious is the new horror film from Saw masterminds Leigh Whannell and James Wan. With that series they changed the face of modern American horror films, for better or worse. The "Torture Porn" movement those films ushered in is characterized by extreme graphic violence, copious amounts of blood and gore, and sociopathic human villains instead of fantastical or supernatural forces. The goal of this sub-genre is to shock and disgust rather than frighten. Insidious turns all of that on it's head. A throwback to the horror films of the 70's and 80's, Insidious is full of homages to the classic "haunted house" films of the era. Although it is ripe with genuine scares and laughs, Insidious ultimately succeeds in reminding the audience how much fun seeing a scary movie used to be instead of breathing new life into the genre.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

New Releases for 4/8

     I'm currently working on reviews for both Insidious and Source Code, so tune in for those coming up shortly. (Unlike the review for Red Riding Hood, they actually will be posted.) Super isn't playing anywhere near here just yet...most independent and foreign films take a while to come around the area. So if  indie/foreign films are your thing don't get discouraged, I'm not ignoring them...they just might be a few weeks off.
     Now, about the new releases for the coming weekend. Even though there is a more-than-average amount of national releases, there is nothing really stand-out. Both Hannah and Your Highness look like they could be solidly entertaining, Arthur looks like it could actually be harmful to your intelligence, and the rest of the bunch are just fluff studios are dumping before the summer season kicks into gear.
     What do you think?