The Interview – Review

The Interview movie poster

 “The Producers Of The Interview Should Consider The Sony Hacking Fortuitous Because There’s No Other Way Such An Otherwise Middling Movie Would Receive So Much Attention.”

When I first learned of all the hullabaloo over Sony Pictures’ The Interview, the first thing that came to mind was that if it weren’t for the hack, there’s no way the movie would warrant all the attention its received.

And I was right, though what’s I found more interesting is despite the movie being only intermittently funny it was at its best when it referred, directly or indirectly, to homosexuality (such as the bit about Eminem coming out, “honeydicking,” or using tiger blood as an anal lubricant) which can perhaps be interpreted as how infantile the movie, at heart, is.

And at the same time it’s almost anti-homosexual because there’s no other way to think about a movie that contains moments of Seth Rogen semi-nudity.

James Franco’s buys into the premise wholeheartedly, and his ‘Dave Skylark’ is pretty interesting in a vacant, opportunistic kind of way though I get the feeling that Seth Rogen as a producer aching to be taken seriously is probably the most outlandish thing about the movie.

And while Randall Park, who played Kim Jong-un, is pretty engaging as Kim Jung-un, and considered to be a rising star by some, I am willing to bet The Interview will be the most noteworthy thing on his resume.

Which wouldt be a bit disappointing.

And the movie ending with Winds Of Change, by The Scorpions is a bit…obvious.

The Interview is currently on Netflix

Hollywood Ain’t All Glamour (Featuring Studio ADI)

Anyone who thinks being an actor is all glamor and copious consumption–which isn’t to say that that isn’t there, but that’s hardly the case for everyone that makes the movies many of us love–needs to spend some time with the actors that bring characters like the Predator and Pred-Alien to life.

As evidence, take a look at this clip from Studio ADI, from the making of the 2007 movie Alien vs. Predator: Requiem.  The video shows how they shot a scene toward the end of the movie, when the Pred-Alien squares off against a Predator sent to hunt it down on the roof of a hospital.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but the people playing the Pred-Alien and Predator must have had a particularly difficult experience, despite the efforts of the people working to keep the actors comfortable.  After all, they’re stuck in constricting suits–in the case of the former, probably barely able to breathe, hear or see–in an almost torrential downpour.

Which isn’t to imply that there was any other way to do it, because to go the CGI route would have probably made things like like a middling video game.

Though to make matters worse, to have to discover after the fact that all the hours of hard work you just went through could barely be seen in many instances because the movie was so badly lit…

Serial Killing 101- Review

Trace Slobotkin‘s 2004 movie, Serial Killing 101 (otherwise known as Serial Killing 4 Dummys) is a shockingly–”shockingly” because it looks relatively cheap– entertaining movie.

Visually, the problems are due to the cinematography of John P. Tarver, who’s lighting seems to wash out virtually everything it touches.

Which is a pity because once you get beyond that, the movie is actually pretty clever, even witty, at times.

Events revolve around Casey Nolan (Justin Urich) an actor that actually looks like a high school student–which very well might have been the case at the time–casting that’s appreciated when filmmakers are too often quick to pass off twenty-somethings as teens.

He’s a bit of a slacker, and bored with school, which results in him writing a paper about his desire to be a serial killer, which  doesn’t go over too well with his teacher, Mr. Korn’s (Rick Overton), who’s intervention sets into motion a whole series of unfortunate–for Casey–events.

As I said earlier, the movie is more clever than you’d think, and shockingly fun.

Serial Killing 4 Dummys

Whatever the guy (in red circle) is staring at, it’s not Casey

It also has some big name actors, such as Thomas Hayden Church (as an tad overzealous gym teacher), a virtually unrecognizable Corey Feldman (prior to the credits, I had no idea he was even in the movie, though after a second viewing I wondered how I missed him in the first place) as a store clerk, Lisa Loeb as Sasha Fitzgerald as a serial killer enabler (?) and eventual love interest and the great George Murdock as Detective Ray Berro.

I mentioned how clever the writing of this movie was, and there was an interesting payoff of an earlier scene in the movie that’s particularly well-handled (some of the practical FX, not so much).  It shouldn’t be so surprising to see a bit that’s set up in the beginning of the movie pay off at the end, but there you go.

Things wrap up a bit too neatly–all that was missing was a bow–as Casey’s fortunes begin to turn, but that’s a small gripe.

It’s also worth mentioning the winning performance by Stuart Stone (Amil) because once you get used the character, he threatens to steal any scene he turns up in.

Serial Killing 101 isn’t a great movie; it’s barely good, though what it is fun and doesn’t take itself quite so seriously, which is an okay every once in awhile.

 

Serial Killing 101 is currently on Netflix.

 

Project Almanac – Trailer

Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things.  They also shouldn’t play with time machines.  Project Almanac is a story about a bunch of teens that do just that (play with time machines, not dead things) and how they have to work to correct all that they have inevitably screwed up.

The movie hasn’t even premiered yet, and Michael Bay, who produced it, is already issuing apologies for its content.

Gotta be some sort of record.

Frank – Review

Frank movie poster

“”Frank” Is Thematically Reminiscent Of “Boyhood,” Except Stuff Happens.”

Lenny Abrahamson‘s Frank in some ways reminded me of Boyhood, in the sense that both movies are about change and growing up, but what I find most interesting how the former film is at times touching, sad, funny and irritating, as opposed to the latter, which–particularly after the second hour–became a test in audience endurance.

Frank revolves around a band, Soronprfbs, and their enigmatic lead singer, Frank (Michael Fassbender) who wears a huge paper mache head everywhere.  And I mean everywhere.

In fact, you don’t see the character without it till the last fifteen or twenty minutes of the movie.

Frank shower scene

Did I mention he NEVER takes off the fake head?

What makes Frank, the movie, though the individual is pretty interesting as well, so fascinating is that any other movie that revolved around a guy who who wore a huge paper mache head everywhere you could be relatively certain that it would be the crux of the entire movie.

Instead the movie is about growing up, and understanding that sometimes to build something beautiful you have to break it down.

I wish Boyhood were nearly as succinct and profound; though mainly succinct.

 

Frank is currently on Neflix.

Unfriended – Trailer

Gotta say, I like where this trailer is going.  Levan Gabriadze’s Unfriended looks pretty interesting and very much in the vein of The Den (if you haven’t seen it, it’s on Neflix, so check it out!).

We’re also lucky that someone decided that the original title of Cybernatural was pretty hokey–that may not have been the primary motivation for changing it, though it is–unless you’re taking about a sequel to Johnny Nemonic or something.

Unfriended seems to revolve around cyberbulling–a very real problem–among a small circle of friends, which causes one of them to kill themselves.

Or did she?  The group receives messages from the Facebook account of the dead person, which seems to indicate that whomever is on the other end of the account not only knows that one of their number instigated a suicide, but they’re willing to kill to find out which member of their group did it.

Unfriended looks like it’s relatively low-budget, in the vein of Blumhouse productions.

Though anything that makes Facebook interesting, I’m game.

Throwing Out The Baby With The Bathwater?

I haven’t seen Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, and I hold no animus toward the director (though I don’t particularly like what little I know about his politics).

That being said, why anyone would use an artificial baby when it was probably as easy–if not easier–to use a real one is literally beyond comprehension.

As anyone who’s read this blog is aware, I am a HUGE fan of practical effects, though with a caveat:  If there’s an existing thing that you are trying to put in your movie, it seems logical to me that you’d use it, if at all possible.  We don’t have dinosaurs, so though practical and CGI effects we bring them to life, so to speak.

This makes sense, though the last time I checked, there are plenty of babies, so why wouldn’t an actually child be used?

I have no idea, but as you can tell from the video, the result is hilariously bad.  Now, perhaps within context of the movie the baby doppelgänger perhaps better fit, but judging from the Youtube clip I posted above, I am not seeing it.