Wednesday, August 20, 2014
This already has close to 3,000,000 views and I just saw it. I have my finger on something and its certainly not the pulse. In case you haven't seen it, here ya go
I've always loved the what if/almost movies that could have been. This is one I've been contemplating since I saw Kevin Smith speak at the Academy of Arts and Sciences over a decade ago.
Kevin Smiths Superman Lives story about writing a draft of the film
Directed By James DeMonaco
Starring Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo and Zach Gilford
A young couples car breaks down right before the annual purge is about to commence. That's really all you need to know about the plot plot for this movie. If you're like me you think, why the hell would a couple go grocery shopping before the annual Purge? Why wouldn't they go to Mexico for the weekend? Or Canada? Or anywhere but the inner-city to pick up some celery? I'm going to start this off by saying I really enjoyed The Purge last year. I know people had problems with the movie but the concept was really fun and I found the execution to be mostly enjoyable. The first film was creepy and tense, the characters made incredibly poor choices but I was still onboard. The Purge: Anarchy has removed everything that worked about the first film and replaced tension with heightened action. I never thought the original Purge was a subtle movie but it feels like an understated masterpiece after watching The Purge: Anarchy.
I generally only take time to write about films that I enjoy but I'm making an exception here. I can't believe how alone I feel in my assessment of these two films. It appears that most people prefer the sequel to the original. The IMDB, metacritic and rotten tomatoes scores are all higher for this new (of what I'm sure will become annual) installment. I guess it could be argued that they took the Aliens approach to sequels with this one but Aliens did far more than heighten the action.
The political commentary in The Purge: Anarchy is embarrassingly on the nose. I liked the idea that the New Founding Fathers are involved in the killing but it didn't need to be spelled out. We all got it. By the time characters are explaining what has been happening with the large military style tractor trailers, we as viewers understood what was going on for over an hour. The first film was clearly an indictment on the class system in the US and was just shy of being over the top with its political message. It appears the filmmakers felt the first film was too ambiguous and decided to remedy that with this outing.
What is it about this film that is resonating more with people than the first? I seriously don't get it. I've read reviews and listened to podcasts where people who I respect are trashing the first film and mostly praising this far inferior sequel. I guess this is one of those times that I need to remind myself that I have really bad taste. I remember when I thought I had good taste, those were confusing times.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
I'm not a fan of film ratings systems per say, the thumbs up, thumbs down, five stars, four buckets of popcorn... I guess the rotten tomatoes system isn't too bad but it removes all insight to the film. If I had to create a system to distill my thoughts on a film I guess I would tell you how much to invest in it. Should you buy it, rent it, watch it, avoid it or burn a copy if come across one. With that system in mind I'd like to tell you about William Friedkins Sorcerer. Buy it. If you haven't seen it, buy it blind. I have that much faith in the quality of this film.
This film is about a group of five men who agree to transport nitroglycerin across the South American jungle. To say this film is tense is an understatement. This film is an exercise in white knuckled anxiety. Imagine the opening of Inglorious Bastards stretched out for over and hour and you might have an idea of how stress inducing this film is. That's not to say the film is gratuitous or wanton in anyway, no this a remarkably well crafted film that tells a simple but highly effective tale.
I'm not sure I could spoil this film by going into its specific details but the less you know before going in is always better in my humble opinion. This a film that has been woefully ignored for far too long and I just want people to see it. When I here people talk about the great films of the 1970's Sorcerer rarely makes it into the conversation. We need to change that. If you want to see Roy Scheider in a film that easily stands toe to toe with Jaws give Sorcerer a chance, you won't regret it.
Honeymoon will be released on VOD and theatrically Sept 12th
Leigh Janiak the writer director of Honeymoon described the film below:
I wanted to tell an intimate, grounded genre story. I was inspired by Polanski’s paranoid thrillers where the horror gnaws from within. Paul and Bea share an intimacy that only couples can. They know each other’s minds. They know each other’s bodies. Their emotional endurance is tested as the narrative explores how far love can be pushed when it’s tortured and under attack.
Rose Leslie and Harry Treadaway hadn’t met prior to being cast, but their talents created an on-screen relationship that reflects the nuance of a couple who has known each other for years. The chemistry they share as Bea and Paul is imbued with youthful energy and desperate fear.
HONEYMOON is an exploration of how the familiar can become alien. There should be a sense of impending doom bubbling under everything—contamination creeping into every scene, a slow-rotting, spoiling sensation. When you’re walking home from the theatre with a friend, when you climb into bed next to your partner, hopefully there’s a nagging: Who is this person next to me?
Leigh Janiak’s first obsession with movies grew after becoming particularly enamored with THE GOONIES. Using her parents’ VHS camcorder, she spent her childhood in suburban Cleveland creating and filming sketches and then starring in and directing plays as the president of her high school theatre troupe. She attended undergraduate at NYU, where she focused on creative writing and comparative religion, studying abroad in Germany and Israel. She then attended graduate school at the University of Chicago, enrolled in a doctoral program in modern Jewish studies with an emphasis on violence and identity in post–World War II Hebrew literature. In Chicago, her passion for filmmaking was reignited by Fire Escape Films, a community of student filmmakers. After working on numerous short films and experimenting with Super 16 and old-school Moviola editing, she ultimately abandoned her PhD and moved to Los Angeles to pursue film full time.
In Los Angeles, Leigh worked at Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company, Appian Way, and at Misher Films in both development and production.