Saturday, October 25, 2014

13 Phones of Halloween #7

Hey kids, remember these things? They were called phone books, and we used to have to flip through them to find the phone number of the person we wanted to reach. People like...

Sarah Connor.
Oh wait not that Sarah Connor, whoops!

This Sarah Connor.
Everybody's looking for her.

This naked guy is looking for her.

This naked guy is looking for her.

If it didn't involve so much violence and horror and honest-to-goodness Armageddon this would be a seriously erotic situation that Sarah Connor finds herself in. Many a porn film's been founded upon the same plot!

Anyway it being 1984 and all, clearly the Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Kyle Reese (mmm Michael Biehn) were both educated in the ways of phone-bookery by somebody back in their future place of 2029 (where we now know phone-books will be forgotten) because that's where they both immediately head (well after finding clothes, unfortunately) to find our Sarah.

Although you'd think that the folks at Skynet would've programmed their Arnold Robot a little bit better, so it would know which damn Sarah Connor to pick off. Clearly the rebels that Reese belongs to had better information (I suppose they would since they're run by - SPOILER - her baby!!!). But it's the robot killing the first two Sarah Connors that alerts our Sarah to the danger she's in...

... and because she's kick ass, even in this here first movie without all the muscles she gains for the sequel, it sets her on her path to... well, I guess I can't say "safety," after all the shit she has to go through, but "not death." Her path to Not Death. That works.

Tomorrow James Cameron's flick turns 30!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Five From Eighteen

I just wrote out a list of all the movies I'm behind on reviewing, and it totals eighteen. Eighteen! I will never ever catch up. That said I've got half an hour until I leave work, so let's see how many quickies I can rattle off between now and then, go. (ETA 5, the answer is 5)
The Two Faces of January - It really really really wants to be The Talented Mr. Ripley, and in the sense that I'm sure everybody had a nice time on location when the cameras weren't pointed at them, I think it was; for the rest of us sitting and watching it though, it ain't quite there. I'm gonna try to make it though this whole thing without mentioning how I never like Oscar Isaac (whoops) - honestly he's fine here (and his best assets are showcased well in those slacks he runs around in) but his sleepy performance is par for the course in a movie that just seems half-sedated when it oughta be riling us up, making us tense with underhanded shenanigans. Everything that could've been curious about the story, any twisted Highsmithian lust or depravity boiling beneath the surface, seems scrubbed clean - it's a lot of pretty pressed clothes folded in a suitcase.

Maps to the Stars - Whenever Julianne Moore's on the screen it's seventeen awesome movies I wanna be watching all at once. She's a spark, incendiary - funny and horrible and genuine and a cartoon all at once. There are other bright spots - Mia Wasikowska and Robert Pattinson have an easy off-kilter charm together, and I appreciate that Cronenberg has no interest in making the movie we want him to make out of this. He's unstoppable in that regard - he has no interest these days in doing anything but following his own whims and letting the pieces fall where they may. (Here's where I pour one out for all the body-horror movies I ain't watching.) But that's not an especially warm appreciation I'm offering - I just wasn't vibing on the majority of your wave-length with this one, Dave.

22 Jump Street - Like the rest of the world I was surprised and satisfied by the first movie, but I've gotta go against the general consensus for take two - this sequel was stale crumbs if you ask me. I suppose the fact that I grew to dislike Jonah Hill in the interim between the two movies (there was one insufferable Oscar campaign too many - two too many, actually) might've aided and abetted my boredom, but man was I not laughing, nope just not laughing at all. (And really, Channing - the football uniform was nice and all but come on, more please.) That said, save when Gillian Bell was around - her nicely bizarre line readings spiced up a sad after-thought of a movie. I hope Channing stays true to his expressed doubts and they don't make a third (but the money, oh how the money will win.)

'71 - Gangbusters! What a captivating little hot-box of a thriller, and Jack O'Connell, man is he fantastic. What a face - at turns brute or beautiful, it's honestly an old-fashioned kind of movie-star face that the light can play all kinds of tricks on; he needs to be a gigantic star. Honestly I enjoyed this much more than Starred Up, which save Jack being once again great in I felt kinda cold to; Starred Up I felt like I'd seen and heard that story a million times before, however well-acted it was. '71 though, made me think of all the best scenes of Children of Men, in a complimentary fashion - what it might lack in that film's magical realism and futuristic sheen, '71 maintains in its captivating movie vérité, its blood on the lens nightmare sense.

While We're Young - I keep describing this as a movie that'll do well on Netflix - the kind of movie you watch in your pajamas at three o-clock in the afternoon on a Sunday with your laptop in front of you, chuckling at a gag or two while you dig for your remote which accidentally slipped to the bottom of a bag of chips. I maintain that. It's broader than anything Noah Baumbach's made so far; it feels as if he's genuinely aspiring for a larger audience with it, Ben Stiller's influence most likely, and the stretchmarks are visible. And that's a shitty obnoxious ending, Noah. But Adam Driver does some more deceptively incisive work, and Amanda Seyfried gets to act a bunch too, so s'all not for naught.

Who Wore It Best?

The Snake-Oil Psychiatry Charm of Dr. Frederick Chilton?
A happy 44 to Raúl Esparza Today!

Christoph Waltz Three Times



13 Phones of Halloween #6



... wicked...

... this...

... way...

... RINGS!!!

Yesterday was Sam Raimi's 55th birthday, so let's celebrate by paying tribute his last great movie, 2009's Drag Me To Hell. (Sorry Oz, but no.) This was one of my favorite scares in the movie (that image of the witch on the cell phone has been an MNPP banner in the past!) because of its silly chutzpah - it's a great way to bring the curse right into the room with a surprise sleight-of-hand. And somehow I never noticed that we can see Alison Lohman's hands trying to hold the witch off in the shot too - what a nice little touch, breaking down the barrier between the two spaces even further.

Today's Fanboy Delusion

Today I'd rather be...

... frisked by Josh Duhamel.

Frisked, patted down, hand-cuffed - all of the above, please. These shots (via) are from the set of Josh's upcoming show Battle Creek (created by Breaking Bad's Vince Gilligan but I don't think Vince has much to do with it now, save raking in some cash and credit) - it is driving me crazy what is that other dude's name? Somebody's gonna know, he's one of Those Guys that I've seen in a billion things. (ETA JAMES LE GROS, I remembered, yay me!) Anyway come with me after the jump to watch That Guy (aka James Le Gros) get molested some more, the lucky sumbitch.

Five Frames From ?


What movie is this?

I Am Link

--- Wheat Fire - Luke Evans is making it really difficult for me to ignore him like I'd prefer to - he's signed on to star in yet another Ben Wheatley movie, and I love Ben Wheatley movies dammit. Evans just finished High Rise, that Ballard adaptation with Tom Hiddleston, and now he and Wheatley (and Armie Hammer!) are going to make Free Fire, which is about an illegal arms deal in 1978 gone wrong. It'll be Wheatley's first US film.

--- And Fine yes here's more Luke Evans news - he's still apparently going to star in The Crow remake, reboot, whatever, and they are planning on filming that in the Spring. I love that The Hollywood Reporter got his name wrong - they called him Lee Evans! Ha! Obviously mixing him up with his closet-case Hobbit friend Lee Pace.

--- Listen Up More - You should read Max O'Connell's review at The Playlist of Listen Up Phillip if you've seen the movie by now (here's my not-nearly-as-good review); it's a really great piece placing the movie in the context of Wes Anderson, Woody Allen, and Noah Baumbach's asshole characters. Loved this especially:

"In a way, "Listen Up Philip" is as perverse a mentor-student film as "Whiplash," where the teacher only gives his pupil advice that will make him a worse person."
--- Hell Boy - I made it through the majority of the first season of Eli Roth's Netflix show Hemlock Grove in one sitting almost as a dare to myself, seeing how much crap I could actually take - my brain hurt for awhile afterwards, and once the crap-spell wore off I never was able to work up enough energy to care about how it ended, much less make it back for Season 2. My point is before HG I would've been more enthusiastic about an Eli Roth TV show, but the news that he started shooting South of Hell, a Lifetime exorcism drama set in Charleston, this week hits me with a wet thud. (All this said I still wanna see his cannibal movie if it ever gets released.)

--- Classic Scares - Reading this makes me wish I'd been laying on Joe Reid's floor watching all these movies with him - over at the Atlantic our pal Joe hit up a bunch of horror classics for the first time and shares some thoughts on Nosferatu, Dracula, House on Haunted Hill, The Mummy, Black Sunday and Peeping Tom. So much wonderful stuff!

--- Little Green Men - For a movie about a dude stranded on a planet all by himself Ridley Scott's The Martian sure does keep adding an awful lot of people to its cast - Chiwetel Ejiofor, Halt and Catch Fire's (terrific) Mackenzie Davis, and Sebastian Stan are the three latest folks piled on alongside the previously announced (deep breath) Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Donald Glover, Michael Pena and Jeff Daniels.
--- Grr Argh - Remember how just a couple of weeks ago I wrote a big post about how hot Frankenstein is these days? Well the big dead lug just got hotter - he's getting a TV show. X-Files and Buffy producer Howard Gordon and Homeland producer Rand Ravich are behind the announcement, but there aren't any other names of you know, talent, involved, so we'll see what happens from here. They say it'll be about an FBI agent who's brought back from the dead.

--- Just Dandy - It's unfairly brief but here's a chat with American Horror Story's Finn Wittrock, who is so fucking good in a character created for just me to adore on this Freakshow season that I am immediately and completely smitten with him. (thanks Mac) I love Dandy so much I might even never make fun of Finn's Flintstones name again.

--- Rings Hallow - I haven't watched this myself but here's the teaser trailer for the third Insidious movie, this one from the writer of the previous films Leigh Whannell. I just linked to the first pictures from the movie the other day. I have no idea when this is supposed to be out, I figured it was awhile away but maybe I was wrong.

Good Morning, World

I keep waiting for Oliver Jackson-Cohen, who's turning 28 today, to happen - I'm sure he does too, but my waiting is more annoying to me personally so that's what I'm writing about here. I thought maybe that Dracula show would help but even with Thomas Kretschmann swanning around I only made it two episodes into it before tossing my hands up in frustration.

Vacillating between his wonderful naturally hirsute self and a waxed-down state isn't helping him - how are we supposed to remember who you are, Oliver? And yes we remember who people are by the lushness of their chest hair; doesn't everyone?

The hairless yoga (eww, that phrase) pictures are from that forgettable action flick Faster with The Rock - Oliver played the bad guy, ever so subtly named Killer. He is introduced with this whole gratuitous yoga scene, bless that movie's lil' heart. You can see that scene, plus some more caps and bonus pictures, after the jump...