Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Film snips

Poor Mr. Mouse has been sick as a dog lately, while the dog has been healthy as a horse - wait, what? - so I've had plenty of quality time with the DVR lately. This is what I've seen; I don't have enough to say about any of them for full-on reviews but I got enough for snippets.

Hairspray (2007) - I caught about 85% of this version and since I'm a huge fan of the original, I figured I could catch up. Elijah Kelley (Seaweed) and Nikki Blonsky were wonderful, although young Nikki seemed a little too earnest; I got a flashback to Batman Returns (the Anti-Claus scene at the end) when Michelle Pfeiffer was getting all up in Christopher Walken's business at the store; and John Travolta creeped me the hell out. I really disliked how this version made Edna's coming-out so important, like Travolta couldn't stand to not be the center of attention.

Sleepaway Camp (1983) - Oh good heavens. This is what comes of reading Final Girl too much. This cheesetastic horror film is like a survey course of all that was bad in the early 1980s: short shorts, high-waisted jeans, feathered hair, and insane teenaged transvestites murdering all the bullies in the area. Just like junior high.

Dawn of the Dead (2004) - Again, I missed the first half hour or so of Zack Snyder's pretty darn good remake. I must say, SciFi Channel is packing some serious cojones for showing this movie. It's awfully gory and I'm pretty sure I figured out what they were saying behind all the bleeps. I did rather miss the slow-moving Romero-era zombies but I'll admit that Snyder's living dead were dang nasty. And poor Max Headroom! (Hey - when is Max Headroom coming out on DVD? I loved that show!)

Black Snake Moan - Holy smokin' hotness is Christina Ricci not a pudgy pre-teen anymore. Wow. If you put her character Rae and Cherry Darling from Planet Terror (Rose McGowan) in the same room together you would melt the world's remaining glaciers. So better not do that. Regardless, I really liked this movie, sex-crazed white trash girl chained to the radiator by a God-fearing sharecropper notwithstanding. Rae reminded me of Faith from BtVS: terribly damaged and terribly sexy, and using the second to suppress the first. Samuel L. Jackson, continuing his trend of movies in which he is contractually obligated to say "motherfucker" at least once, is outstanding - and damn, that man is a musician! The music here is awesome and I shall be investigating the soundtrack on iTunes shortly.

Running Scared - I also really liked this movie, starring Paul Walker, Vera Farmiga and that scary, scary man, Chazz Palminteri. It is very violent and has a lot of people shouting the f-word at each other agitatedly: Walker, a minor hoodlum, is charged with disposing of a gun that was used to kill a crooked cop. When his young son's best friend, Oleg, steals the gun to shoot his abusive stepfather, Walker goes on a horrific ride trying to find the boy and the piece, passing through all the seedy underbelly of New Jersey in the process. Oleg, on the run, has what is for sure the worst day of his life. It is fast and nicely complicated plot-wise (which I love), with everything coming together at the end with a twist I didn't see coming (which I also love). Not for the faint-hearted - I mentioned it was very violent, right - but a really good movie if you like mobster/gangster stuff.

I have more in the DVR lineup: Brazil (awwwww!), The Departed, Recount and The Prestige; and on DVD I've still got No Country for Old Men and Revolver (sorry, Blockbuster). So much to see - good thing the forecast is for rain!

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