Ah, yes, another Halloweeen and another Shriekfest Horror/SciFi Film Festival! I look forward to it every year, and this year was no different. And there were some particular stand-outs in the features this year, and even a few in the Shorts.
Comedy Film Nerds sends Dean Haglund to talk to Tom Hanks and Halle Berry about Cloud Atlas, conventions, action figures, Mazes and Monsters, and reincarnation.
Remember in college when you got super high and you said shit like, “We are totally connected so whatever I do now affects the future and what I did in past affects me now AND the past, present, and future exists right now so as infinite as the universe is outward we are inward, dude.” And then you tried to write it down but next morning the only thing the paper said was “the window is open?” Luckily, someone had Dragon-Voice recognition software and got a 1,500 page novel out of that experience and that has been made into a movie called Cloud Atlas. It’s a kind of awesome mind-fuck action flick multi-space/time love story that you can enjoy on the surface or get all trippy with on a date afterwards and she’ll think your deep or an asshole (I’ve experienced both!)
I always think writer/director Martin McDonagh has made more films than just two features. His first film, In Bruges, was pretty wondeful. You should see it. And now, with his second film, Seven Psycopaths, he managaes to create some really great characters, played by an excellent cast.
Ok, everybody is going to have a different opinion of this film because it has time travel elements to it. Fine, I get it. Time travel complicates things script-wise and most of the time people get it wrong or they just don’t even bother trying to make it work properly in their own story. But I think writer/director Rian Johnson does a fine job of it in his latest film, Looper. And I’ll tell you why.
There are three monster movies out right now. It’s October so, “No duh.” (That’s 80’s speak for, “It’s completely logical that the studios would release monster-themed movies the same month as Halloween.”) How did I choose to take my boys to see this one? Easy. It’s the only one of the three whose trailer didn’t make them run screaming from the room with their eyes covered yelling, “Aaaahhh! Creepy dead dog!….TURN IT OFF, MOMMY, TURN IT OFF!” Hotel Transylvania’s trailer made them laugh, “Mommy, Dracula made the grown-up man suck his thumb and put him in a time out!” That’s high comedy in Kidsville. In fact, we’ve been watching the “Mini-movies” as they like to call them, for a month before the movie’s release. My boys had entire scenes memorized before they ever saw the movie.
The Master is incredibly acted. It’s visually impressive. But, it’s overall a comatose-inducing film.
I’m just going to come right out and say it: I didn’t get it.
There. That’s my secret shame about movies like this. When a movie seems smart and there’s clearly a lot of talent that went into it, I just know that it’s me. I grew up in a small suburb in Texas. I’m state school educated. Maybe I’m dumb. Because I didn’t get it.
Liberal Arts is inspiring. It makes you feel like you, too, could make a movie. It makes it look not all that hard. When I watched The Avengers, I was like, “I could never do that. I wouldn’t even know where to start!” But when I watched Liberal Arts, I was like, “I feel like I could pretty much make something comparable on my drive home.”
90% of the time a completed movie sits on a shelf or can’t get distribution because it is terrible and no one would want to see it. Eventually it gets dumped to DVD or theatrically released in February, and some of the money gets recouped that the investors have already declared as a loss. However, 10% of the time, everyone involved in getting a film to market is stupid, and good movies do not get the attention they deserve. Solomon Kane falls strongly in that 10%.