Sunday, September 28, 2008

Horror Marathon 2008 Lineup

October will upon us within the week, and soon enough will come this year's Horror Marathon at the Drexel Theatre. As always, I'm planning to go this year, although unlike previous years I may not be going alone. Of course, her interest in going will depend on her reaction to the following recently-announced lineup. Let's see what awaits us:

We'll start off with the classics, beginning with this old-school Wes Craven movie that I've yet to see. I imagine many of the Marathoners will have caught this numerous times, so it might not have the proper effect on me, what with the MST3K-ing and peanut gallery contributions. Still, should be a good time.

I was recently telling some buds that I've only seen one Mario Bava film, and since that movie is Planet of the Vampires, I'm not sure it really counts. But this movie should help me start boning up on my non-Argento giallo.

Now, this one I HAVE seen, and while it's not exactly my favorite Carpenter, I do enjoy the way he basically manufactured a horror movie out of little more than a smoke machine and some creepily-attired extras.

This one might be the deal breaker for Angela, given its brutal rep. I don't usually go for really violent exploitation stuff either, so we might duck out on it depending on where it's positioned on the program.

Another one I've seen, and while I'm not sure it belongs on a horror program, it should be fun to watch with this crowd. I can only imagine Angela's expression when I start singing along to the "Sodomy" number.

Finally, the two area premieres, both of which are pretty well-regarded, especially compared to some of the premieres they've screened in the past. Mandy Lane has become something of a cause celebre among horror buffs, given how it's been postponed and buried by its distributor. However, I'm even more curious about Let the Right One In, which is allegedly being remade by Hollywood in the near future. Then again, so was The Grudge, and that didn't exactly stop that one from sucking.

The Fifth Annual Incredible Two-Headed Marathon will be held from Saturday, October 18 until Sunday, October 19 at the Drexel East. Tickets are now on sale.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Son of Gratuitous Coen Brothers Argument Starter

Following the lead of my buds Ryan and Victor, here's my ranked list of Coen Brothers films:

1. Barton Fink
2. No Country for Old Men

3. The Man Who Wasn’t There
4. Fargo
5. Blood Simple

6. The Big Lebowski
7. Miller’s Crossing
8. Burn After Reading

Pretty darn good:
9. The Hudsucker Proxy
10. O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Not too shabby:
11. Raising Arizona
12. Intolerable Cruelty

13. The Ladykillers

Need to see:
Henry Kissinger: Man on the Go

I've seen precious few lists thusfar that have placed Fink at or even near the top. Yet for some reason it's the Coen brothers film I've returned to most over the years, and the one that I've grown closest to in that time. Why is this? Perhaps it's the way the Coens approach the film's central message- that most artists are basically full of crap. At a time when the Coens surely must've had studios coming after them (the rollicking Raising Arizona surely must've garnered them plenty of offers to make brain-dead big-budget comedies), they rebelled by portraying Hollywood as a place where creativity goes to die, and did it with such style and wit that their barbs really sting, rather than feeling like the self-congratulatory insider soft-pedaling- more suited to a celebrity roast- that typically passes for industry satire. And so many wonderful character creations, especially in W.P. Mayhew and Karl Mundt, a pair of unforgettable mentors from hell (one literally, the other figuratively). If you haven't seen this lately, you really ought to check it out again.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Criterion Watch, September 2008 Edition

Whew... finally. Took long enough, but the power is now back on in my apartment following the great Columbus blackout of '08. And just in time for this month's edition of Criterion Watch too! Not many new titles were announced today, but they're a couple of intriguing ones.

This has been in the pipeline for a while now, so this isn't a surprise, but it'll be nice to finally see if its warrants its reputation(s). Plus, Fuller, I mean, duh.
This is one that LVT fans have eagerly awaited for a while. And for good reason- I don't think it's one of Von Trier's best movies by any means, but it's a treat nonetheless. If I'm not mistaken, it's only been available on pan and scan video for some time, and take it from someone who knows- this is one of those movies that needs to be seen in widescreen. Oh... and does this mean it'll take another half-dozen years for Criterion to release Epidemic?
Finally, this clue was one of the easier ones for me, yet it stumped a lot of astute moviegoers I know. See if you can guess (click the image for the answer).

Since it's coming out in February, it should make a good birthday present. Hint, hint.

Friday, September 12, 2008

"Appearances can be deceptive."

One of the trademarks of practically all great comedies is that they hold up a funhouse mirror to human folly. And while I wouldn’t call Burn After Reading a masterpiece, it definitely fits in this tradition. To really appreciate the movie, one must recognize how self-absorbed nearly every single major character in the film is, and realize how well the Coens use the heightened drama required by an espionage plot to explode this all-around self-absorption. These people are so blinkered by their own egos that they can’t look around and see the shit storm they’ve stirred up.

Click here for read the rest of the review.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Great Performances: 2007

Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There

Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood

Tommy Lee Jones, In the Valley of Elah

Ashley Judd, Bug

Nicole Kidman, Margot at the Wedding

Sam Rockwell, Joshua

Mark Ruffalo, Zodiac

Kurt Russell, Grindhouse

Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone

Carice Van Houten, Black Book

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Great Performances: 2006

Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

Michael Caine, The Prestige

Laura Dern, Inland Empire

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Brick

Sandra Hüller, Requiem

Mia Kershner, The Black Dahlia

Gretchen Mol, The Notorious Bettie Page

Nick Nolte, Clean

Clive Owen, Children of Men

Ray Winstone, The Proposition

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Great Performances: 2005

Maria Bello, A History of Violence

Jeff Daniels, The Squid and the Whale

Emmanuelle Devos, Gilles’ Wife

Robert Downey Jr., Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Isla Fisher, Wedding Crashers

Bruno Ganz, Downfall

Sibel Kekilli, Head-On

Q’Orianka Kilcher, The New World

Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain

Damian Lewis, Keane

Friday, September 05, 2008

Great Performances: 2004

Paul Bettany, Dogville

Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Red Lights

Julie Delpy, Before Sunset

Gael Garcia Bernal, Bad Education

Esther Gorinton, Since Otar Left

Bryce Dallas Howard, The Village

Maia Morgenstern, The Passion of the Christ

Michael Parks, Kill Bill: vol. 2

Coralie Revel, Secret Things

Mark Wahlberg, I <3>