Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"Where's Micah?" "He...he uh..wasn't up for hanging out today."

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

As many of my readers will know, I loved the first Paranormal Activity. What some people don't know is up until Paranormal Activity I really didn't like "found footage" films. I mean I had seen Cannibal Holocaust (if that counts) and Blair Witch but really I wasn't into the whole idea of home video films. As someone whose done a number of low budget (and I mean like me and a few friends) horror films, I thought that if these kind of films could get released and make millions but ours couldn't it was a bit unfair. But then, after being nagged by my friends, I went and saw Paranormal Activity and I was genuinely unnerved. It made me scared of my shadow. And it took me a while to figure out why. The Exorcist, Dawn of the Dead and The Descent were all scary in their own right but what PA did differently was that it relied on subtlety and realism, something that the aforementioned films don't have.

And since it made a huge profit it was a no brainer that they would make a sequel. But does it suffer from the usual sequelitis that other films tend to have? Surprisingly no. It's not as good as the first one, but it's still damn good.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

"I remember the CIA being a lot tougher." "Me too."

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

Warren Ellis's three issue mini-series RED was one of those comics I never thought would get a movie, or at least a movie that was a direct adaptation. Why? Because for one the comic wasn't all that good. Despite it only having three issues, I was really disappointed that the plot could be written on my middle finger. That and there is one issue that has barely any talking and might as well just be pictures for about 10-20 pages. I'm not a comic snob by any means but I expected more to say the least, especially given the concept. 

But enough about the comic, is the film any good? Well yes, yes it is. It did what I hoped and was nothing like the comic whatsoever. It kept the basic outline of the story but expanded and added so much more to it that it went from potentially an Edge of Darkness rip off to a great action comedy ensemble piece featuring some of my favorite actors.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

"Don't apologize." "Why?" "You're a grown up...it's embarrassing."

 Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

I really wanted to like this movie. Despite the poor reviews and the whole "This was filmed in 2006, nobody would buy the film until 2009 when it was released in the UK and then a year later in the US" thing I had hope for this one. The trailers made it out to be either the 2010 answer to Orphan or a ghostly thriller (the two trailers were completely different, also not a good sign) and sadly it's the former. I had nothing against Orphan, just like I had nothing against the Omen, but I don't find little girls scary unless they're in a Kubrick film.

But why did I want to so desperately like it? Because Christian Alvart is a good director (see his German thriller Antibodies for proof) and while I initially hated Pandorum I now think it's kind of interesting space thriller that even when I hated  it, I thought it was well shot and put together nicely. So imagine my disgust when I left Case 39 and it was extremely underwhelmed and disappointed. It does have some saving graces that keep it from being on par with Ghost Ship or other craptastical horror films but it's still by no means great.

Bulls make money. Bears make money. Pigs? They get slaughtered.

 Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

The one question I keep getting asked about the new Wall Street movie is whether or not there really needed to be a sequel. The first one didn't exactly leave a giant hole that only a sequel could fill so why make a sequel? And why now?

Well it's pretty simple actually: the market has changed a lot since the 80s. Since then we've gone through (and are apparently "over") a recession and the economy isn't as strong as it once was. With that in consideration, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps seems like a really smart thing for Oliver Stone to have done. Gordon Gekko inspired a generation of Wall Street businessmen and changed the way we looked at greed forever. Ask any Wall Street guy alive in the 80s and he could probably quote Wall Street and Glengarry Glen Ross in his sleep, backwards and forwards. I don't know about the rest of you but I sure did miss the Gekko.