Entries Tagged as 'Thriller'

Rope (1948)

I’m watching Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope (1943)  this morning, and it’s odd how the lense of time has turned a lighthearted society thriller into an unlikely, Gay sitcom.

Rope is, of course based upon the Leopold and Loeb case in Chicago, during the ’20s of the last century. Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb were two precocious University of Chicago undergrads (both 19 y.o.), who had taken Nietzsche too close to heart, and decided that the best way to exercise their new, Randian philosophy was to murder a 14 y.o. neighbor-boy, Bobby Franks, if only to determine if they could get away with it.

Though the Loeb case took place in Chicago in 1924, Hitchcock relocated his story to New York City, presumably in the late ’40s. The shocking thing here is how Gay the Leopold and Loeb characters appear by 21st c. standards. The villains in Rope are less monstrous than the real Leopold and Loeb because the two teenagers killed a younger boy; all of the characters in the Hitchcock film were adults. [Read more →]

‘Appropriate Adult’ (2011)

'Appropriate Adult' 2011 Appropriate Adult (2011) is a two-part dramatization of the life of  Fred West (1941–1995) a rural. British serial killer that operated in the British Midlands for over 30 years.

The twist is that the filmmakers concentrate upon the relationship between West and his Social Worker, Janet Leach, when he she is brought in to assist West in the mid-90s.

In the UK, the term ‘Appropriate Adult’ has been given to the advocates of mentally deficient citizens and children, much like a Social Worker.

Fred West was a piece of work — blue collar, illiterate and mentally impaired. West had been brought up in an abusive household where he was likely the victim of the sexual predations of both his parents. West also suffered numerous non-fatal head injuries that may have contributed to his disposition. [Read more →]

‘The Thing’ (2011)

Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.’s ‘The Thing’ (2011) is nominally a prequel to the 1982 film of the same name by John Carpenter. Carpenter’s film was a remake of remake of Howard Hawks’ ‘ The Thing from Another World ‘ (1952), itself an adaptation of John w. Campbell’s novella, “ Who Goes There? ” (1938).

Despite the fact that 30 years separate both Heijningen’s prequel and Carpenter’s remake, that intervening 30 years was not enough time for Universal to figure out what made the first 2 films into the classics that they are. [Read more →]

Tentpole Genre Releases 2011

graves over at Nerd Blerp has put together a list of 2001 releases to anticipate and avoid.

The titles that stand out are as follow:

‘The Rite’ (January 28)
‘Captain America’ (July 22)
‘The Adjustment Bureau’ (March 4)
‘Thor’ (May 6)
‘X-Men: First Class’ (June 3)
‘Green Lantern’ (June 17)
‘Cowboys and Aliens’ (July 29)
‘Immortals’ (November 11)

Trailers are available on the Nerd Blerp site .

5 Upcoming Genre Features, 2010-12

via Squidoo.com

Captain America: The First Avenger ‘ (2011) • IMDb l ink Captain America:The First Avenger

This one’s a bit contentious — Joe Johnston, who directed The Rocketeer way, way back in 1991 should have been a good choice to direct a period piece about Marvel’s Captain America set during WWII. But then, Johnston turned in the pointless and unnecessary Wolfman remake this past year, and then cast Chris Evans ( Fantastic Four ‘s Johnny Storm) as Steve Rogers, rather than  Mark Valley , (‘Human Target’) an actor born for the role.

Understandably, Marvel and Disney are reaching for a younger actor for the role, but I really dobt that those 18-49 women should be the marketing department’s target. Rather, the target audience ought to be 4 generations of American men aged 7 to 70 that Marvel ought to be aiming for. That, and the fact that 25 year-old Evans will have to go up against 46 year old Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Hemsworth and Samuel Jackson in ‘ The Avengers ‘ (2012) and make it somehow appear that they are peers. [Read more →]

‘The Fifth Patient’ (2007)

While I watched The Fifth Patient , I couldn’t help but think that the gamesmanship of writer/director Amir Mann resembled that of  Memento (Christopher Nolan , 2000).  Both films use amnesia as a plot-point and in both films there’s a point at which overthinking gets in the way of understanding the movie.

Nick Chinlund is John Reilly (a ‘ Reilly, Ace of Spies ‘ reference?) involved in some double-agentry that the audience hasn’t been informed of, and the character goes through several changes about what he knows and what he may or may not know. Malheuresement , I feel that Amir Mann hasn’t done enough to win my sympathy for Reilly and his predicament.

Why has Mann chosen Africa as the site of Reilly’s imprisonment? The Middle East would have been a more timely place for the story to occur,  with the subtext of extraordinary rendition. Mann gave away currency and revelence when he chose to site his drama in Africa. [Read more →]

Short Cuts:’The Honeymoon Killers’ (1969)

Freaky. They refer to Albany N.Y. as ‘the big city’ here.

If you aren’t aware of the plot, it’s a late, experimental variation on noir , about 2 grifters in the Hustler-Older Woman game. For reasons that seem to make no amount of sense, real life con-artists/lovers Martha Beck and Raymond Fernandez posed as brother and sister during their scams, their schemes allowing the 200-lb. Beck to accompany Hernandez and their target on ‘dates’ as a chaperone up to and after the ‘wedding’.

It’s an odd film, with primitive camera movements, clumsy direction and stilted dialogue. Conversation and character interaction seem to be second-thought here — almost every line is exposition. describing things that are going on off-screen. [Read more →]

Top Ten Lists: 2000-2010 – Sci-Fi

Just this past week, I stated seeing ‘Best of’ lists all over the place, specifically, the ‘Best’ science-fiction of the last decade. Typically, such all of the lists I found looked something like this:

1. ‘Children of Men’
2. ‘Moon’
3. ‘District 9′ [Read more →]

‘Predators’ (2010)

I saw it and I was impressed. And I say that as someone who falls squarely on the Alien side of the fence when it comes to ’80s high-concept horror.

The problem with both previous Predator flicks were that there was very little high-concept. In both preceding entries ( Predator and Predator 2 ), the Predators and the humans were on Earth.

In the first film, the Predators interrupted Arnold Schwarzenegger’s hunt for something or other, and in the sequel, they appeared in a very hot L.A. summer, getting in the way of a police investigation of some sort. In each, it is strictly humans vs. Predators. [Read more →]

‘Shutter Island’ (2010)

[ WARNING :Uncharacteristically, this review is all SPOILERS, but this film is so well put together that you should consider my spoilers a feature, rather than a bug.]

Operation Paperclip Nazis working in criminal sanitariums off the coast of Washington State? Mind control? A WWII veteran and widower with PTSD? Visuals by David Lynch.

It’s 1951 in this film and the most unfortunate thing about Shutter Island is that Scorcese and writers Stephen Knight and Laeta Kalogridis decided that it’s okay not to make sense. They decide to just let go. Film is a visual experience and flourishes are flourishes, so why the fuck not? If your local cinemat can affor to spend $750k on a new 3D projection kit, you can sit and watch Martin Scorcese orchestrate some crazy in 2D. On Shutter Island, the Eater Eggs and Red Herrings run thick, wild and free. So wild, that you may want to pause and consider throwing a few back, before deciding which ones you want to take home to eat. [Read more →]