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Case 39 (2010)

“This little girl heard her parents say that they were going to send her to hell.” — Emily Jenkins, Case 39

So begins Case 39 , a horror-thriller vehicle for Renee Zellweger that’s sat on a shelf for 4 years. Wikipedia says , that the film was completed in “late 2006″ and rescheduled three more times before landing on American screens, this Friday, October 1.

Case 39 is not a bad movie, but it is a movie we’ve seen many times before (see Orphan (2009) and  Joshua (2007)). RZ plays the hard-working, well-maening social worker, Emily Jenkins who prevails upon her to add one more child protective case to her already-overburdened caseload. Vocation turns into affection and Jenkins adopts the child and brings her into her home, and then… things start to go wrong. [Read more →]

‘The Notorious Bettie Page’ (2005)

 The Notorious Bettie Page' (2005) The Notorious Bettie Page is  good in an intellectually satisfying way, bringing order to the typically messy subject of art, pornography and when, where and how one crosses  into the other. Typically, a film like this would be done as a straight biopic, but what Mary Harron and Guinivere Turner have crafted here is no less complicated than Rashamon (1950). No, seriously.

Listen up — Turner and Harron have carefully constructed a four-dimensional portrait of a woman who was, initially, a rather innocent studio model. She was good at what she did, attractive and at ease with her body in a way that made nudity easy. She was many things to many people, even as those fantasies and figments overlapped and contradicted on another.The modelling was so easy, that distortions such as S&M, Fetishism and role-playing were a bit of a joke to her, even as she posed for pictures by the notorious Irving and Paula Klaw . [Read more →]

John Byrne’s ‘Next Men’ (1991)

Re-reading this right now. My memory could be awful or I could have missed an issue or two back in ’91-’93 (me:DC-Chicago-DC-Paris). But, WOW! Byrne’s been keeping me guessing here, down to the last 2 chapters: I have a notion about where it’ll end up, but things are proceeding in a good, unpredictable pace.

The series is only about 35 issues long (#0-#30, plus the graphic novel 2112 ), but Byrne does a very good job of turning it from a Clonus Horror tribute comic into a story that eats time-travel, holodeck incidents and alternate-reality tropes alive. In fact, it’s elegant in a way that I wish ‘Inception’ (2010) had been. [Read more →]