Monthly Archives: August 2011

Fright Night

I survived one of three horror movies I plan to see in the coming months, Fright Night. This movie is seriously fun, not scary, and I liked it, a lot. Based on the 1985 original, which I did not see, the modern version features Colin Farrell as a neighborly (and hot) vampire hiding out in suburban Las Vegas.
Enter McLovin from Superbad as Ed, a nerdy teen who knows something is up with Farrell’s character, Jerry. Ed tries to warn his friend, Charley, who lives next to Jerry, about his blood-sucking tendencies and pays the price. Charley, played by Anton Yelchin, is the hero in this high school student haunt.
Fright Night doesn’t stray too far from the standard horror movie requirements where characters fearlessly run into the villain’s house and areas they can’t escape from; weapons malfunction; and, well, a lot of people die. But in this case they also come back to life as evil monsters of the night.
How does Charley save the day? Well spilling the beans would take the fun out of this movie if you decide to see it, so I’ll leave the plot at that.
I will say I am thankful the writers managed to limit the cheese factor in Fright Night and added in some solid humor, especially in Farrell’s lines. The Dublin-born actor does well as a sexy/evil vampire and monster.
My only disappointment with Fright Night was the effects because there just weren’t enough of them and I am glad I didn’t see the movie in 3D.
Overall, you’ll have fun if you see Fright Night and I am satisfied my Halloween movie season started off on this note. With Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark and Paranormal Activity 3 on my agenda next, I don’t think I’ll be so lucky.
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The Royal Tenenbaums

“In fact virtually all memory of the brilliance of the young Tenenbaums had been erased by two decades of betrayal, failure and disaster.”
But there’s always chance for redemption in The Royal Tenenbaums.
I recently purchased The Criterion Collection DVD of the film, thanks to a super sale at Barnes and Noble, and needed to revisit it as research for an upcoming costume-related holiday.
Research purposes or not, this is one of my favorite movies to watch.
It’s individualistic and quirky mixed in with a dose of sad and happy. I especially enjoy that it’s a film where the actors play roles you’ve never seen them in before and never will again. Especially Gene Hackman, who plays the self-described asshole Royal Tenenbaum. (If you haven’t seen it, don’t worry, he grows on you).
“You know who I am, I’m Royal. Have you heard of me?”
Royal visits his family for the first time in 17 years to share the news that he is sick with stomach cancer. While of course that doesn’t go well, eventually his presence brings peace to the Tenenbaums and he makes up for his past mistakes, which is what he set out to do in the first place.
Usually I don’t watch the special features with any DVD, but with the opportunity to have more of a glimpse into Wes Anderson’s mind, I just might. He wrote in an enclosure with the DVD that The Royal Tenenbaums contains more unnecessary visual detail than his other films combined and even includes a map of all the elements to look out for.

That’s what makes this film. The story is deep and dynamic enough that meaning after meaning can be taken away from it during each viewing and on top of that there is fun stuff to look at in the background. Like the game closet, for example. Add in one of my favorite movie soundtracks ever, and all is right in the world.
Happy weekend!

Beginners

Here’s the Top 5 reasons why Beginners is the tops. 
1. Arthur the dog

2. Writer/director Mike Mills’ use of flashbacks to portray a series of beginnings in the characters lives (and that it’s an original script)
3. 1993 Chicken McNuggets (you’ll know what I’m talking about when you see it, and yes I said when, not if)

4. Stealing roller skates

5. I like Ewan McGregor now, and Melanie Laurent even more.