Category Archives: Saturday At The Movies
It started off with a bang – both Iron Man 3 and the 2013 summer movie season. The third instalment in the Iron Man series hit the big time whether anyone thought it was good or not, but unlike a Black Friday line-up, it was worth the time and effort to fight the crowd to get in. Here’s a look back at what worked in the biggest movie of the year.
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Three is definitely the magic number to kill a franchise. This is usually because the other movies can never match up to the wonder we had exploring the world of the first movies….The Matrix anyone? But this most recent instalment of the Men In Black series delivers just what it promises – fun. This movie is all about the things we loved in the first one – aliens exploding (courtesy of the incomparable Rick Baker), a sassy Will Smith (still in fine form) and Tommy Lee Jones/Josh Brolin, who tries his hand at a Tommy Lee Jones impression (impressive!).
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Earlier this year, when the first trailer to Thor: The Dark World was released, I found myself surprisingly excited. Here was what looked to be a bit of a throw back film; a bit of a Marvel Studios homage to the those great swashbuckling sword and sorcery movies of the early 1980’s: Conan, The Sword and the Sorcerer, The Beastmaster and Krull. Those were movies that I loved as a kid – and love even more now.
With Thor: The Dark World, it seemed liked the eightification of comic book films was upon us. And in this particular case, I was ok with that. There was no better decade for this kind of genre than the decade that spawned all of those cool movies of my youth, happily spent at the video rental store.
Thor: The Dark World, was more than that, though. It was a movie that combined muscular heroes and dreaded villains with big-budget sets and fantastic special effects with well-known actors, working inside a shared fictional universe, playing well with at least three other important film franchises. A truly twenty-first century aesthetic.
It’s Saturday. Let me tell you more about the movie, Thor: The Dark World after the jump.
In the spirit of of the upcoming holidays (and since Editor Andy Burns was late getting this piece up – Andy), it’s all too appropriate to highlight Jeff Lieberman’s black comedy/horror film for this edition of Lucas Mangum’s Hidden Horror Gems. In this film an imaginative but painfully naive little boy becomes the pawn of a masked serial killer on Halloween night.
Last week I was seriously under the weather, dealing with some “minor” pneumonia. Essentially, all I could do for a week was making ghastly coughing noises, sleep and lay on the couch watching television series and movies. The latter part wasn’t so bad, mind you, as I was able to catch up on Hannibal, the Bryan Fuller created NBC series that I now think is one of the best of the last few years. Feeling inspired, I then decided to watch what is arguably my favourite of the four Hannibal Lecter films to hit theatres – the under appreciated Red Dragon.
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I’ve been seeing spirits since I was a kid. Lucky me! Until recently, I’ve only encountered the friendly type. But, there is a second type of spirit. These malicious entities are capable of hurting you. I’ve already posted about one spirit in particular, the angry ghost, who may have caused the death of a child. I’m still doing the research on this and will get back to you when I have the answers. The Conjuring, a supernatural horror film, is a story about a family under attack by a demon, and the paranormal team that helps them. How do you fight a demon? Find out after the jump.
A quick summary (spoiler alerts!): new preacher comes to a small town were everyone is creepy and boring and low and behold they’re actually a cult and the new family is the sacrifice for the demons of Hell. One is left alive to close the gate of Hell again and she must watch a new family come to town to start the cycle over again.
It’s not a bad premise for a short little horror film. You can tell that Slash grew up with horror films and he knows the tropes. The movie is filled with them. From the blonde haired blue eyed skinny virgin being the one to survive, to the slightly chubbier, dark haired, sex starved sister being the one who is sacrificed to the demon. They have their prerequisite 2.5 children, we get a little stringy haired creepy walking girl action in there, we get foreboding dream sequences, we get creepy towns people being all ritualistic. You can go on and on. There are plenty of tropes to find. I do take exception to the fact that the virgin heroine seemed to need to be faultlessly pretty, tow headed and compliant and the sacrificed sister is slightly defiant, sarcastic and just good at talking to guys so its automatically implied she’s a slut and has to die. But that is the trope and they use it.
Joseph Gordon Lovett (JGL) makes his writing and directorial debut with the romantic comedy Don Jon. If you’re thinking: why would a Hollywood veteran bother making a sappy, clichéd, trope-filled travesty of a genre film, be prepared to have your misconceptions skewered with the opening frames. JGL makes sure you know his debut is indie in its conception, execution and casting. This is not an emo love story, it’s not an indie film trying to brush up against Hollywood. This is a film that has a powerhouse behind it who can get a first time director’s movie made with big stars that actually has something to say. ‘Safe’ is not a word to use for JGL’s first film. It may have Scarlett Johansson, Tony Danza and Julianne Moore as the main characters in the film, but this could be considered anything but mainstream. Channing Tatum and Anne Hathaway also get funny cameo rolls, but as the $9 million opening weekend box office attests to, Hollywood does not consider this film a mainstream winner. And thank God for that. There is little evidence of Hollywood interference in a movie containing explicit drug use, in your face sex scenes and a narrative thread dedicated solely to porn.