Layers of real life and movie history combine cleverly in this postmodern horror film, which just might be too knowing for its own good. But at least it's an unusual approach to the genre, offering a twisted retelling of a legend while aiming for some emotional resonance along with the usual violent nastiness. It's also directed with an unusually artful eye by first-time filmmaker Alfonso Gomez-Rejon.
It was a series of unsolved murders in a small town on the Texas-Arkansas border in 1946 that inspired the 1976 movie of the same name, which screens here annually on Halloween. But this year, the screening is accompanied by a copycat murder, which escalates into a full-on rampage. Everything seems to centre around Jami (Addison Timlin), a teenager whose boyfriend was the first victim. After her parents died, she was raised by her straight-talking grandmother (Veronica Cartwright), who continually urges her to take charge of her life. So with the local cops unable to solve the case, Jami teams up with the local library archive clerk Nick (Travis Tope) to get the whole history of these past events. Meanwhile, a Texas Ranger (Anthony Anderson) arrives to head up the official investigation.
Screenwriter Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa gleefully blends fact, fiction and the movies together into a heady mixture of horror movie cliches and shockingly realistic grisliness. In other words, this is both a fictional sequel and a playful true-life drama at the same time, which makes it feel eerily like the Scream franchise. Although this film never becomes a pastiche, and the characters are so likeable that we genuinely root for them to survive the killing spree. Timlin brings the right amount of plucky stubbornness to her role, even if it's unlikely that a witness-victim would be quite so gung-ho about doing her own police work. And there are nice turns from veterans like Cartwright, Ed Lautner (as a stubborn cop) and the late Edward Herrmann (as a nutty preacher) to add some weight.
Continue reading: The Town That Dreaded Sundown Review
Edward Herrmann has sadly passed away at the age of 71.
Perhaps best known for his role in cult vamp flick 'The Lost Boys' as well as noughties TV show 'Gilmore Girls', veteran star Edward Herrmann has died in hospital aged 71 following a battle with brain cancer.
Tributes roll in for veteran actor Edward Herrmann
The star, whose most memorable feature was his towering 6 foot 5 inch frame, was confined to intensive care in a New York hospital for almost a month due to complications with brain cancer, but his family were eventually forced to switch off his respirator when it became clear that his health was rapidly deteriorating on December 31st 2014 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Hospital.
Continue reading: 'The Lost Boys' Actor Edward Herrmann Dies Following Cancer Battle
Steve Dallas may have a high-flying career as a TV weather man, but it hasn't affected his feelings for his distinctly less successful best buddy Ben Baker. The pair have been joined at the hip since their childhood, despite their vast personal differences, so when Ben attempts to barge into the studio to speak to Steve, the latter is by his side immediately. Ben's father has passed away and thus needs someone around who understands him and who can pull him through one of the toughest times of his life. Things get complicated though when Mr Baker Sr.'s last will and testament requests Ben be the receiver of his house, business and estate. Unfortunately, though, Ben is less than up to the task of taking on the family business and so Steve helps him find a way to get him back on his feet emotionally.
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Here's the setup: Hopeless romantic/loser Anderson (Jason Biggs, playing his usual persona yet again) proposes to his girlfriend so elaborately that she has a heart attack and dies on the spot. He mopes endlessly until his best friend (Michael Weston) goads him into getting back in the game. Anderson misunderstands... and proposes to the next girl he sees, Katie (Isla Fisher), the waitress at the diner where they're eating. It just so happens that Katie was proposed to the very day before all this happens; she doesn't want to marry that guy, so she agrees to marry Anderson on the spot. Who'd a thunk?
Continue reading: Wedding Daze Review
The guy is vicious onstage, marching back and forth as he stares down his crowd. Rock usually grips the microphone like he's afraid someone's going to take it away before he's finished spitting hard truths about relationships, money, and celebrities. Even his television work is solid, from a memorable run on Saturday Night Live to the ongoing sitcom Everybody Hates Chris, which brings nostalgic sentiment to a textbook underdog story.
Continue reading: I Think I Love My Wife Review
A lecture in 1912 brought together Jack Reed (Warren Beatty) and Louise Bryant (Diane Keaton) and that was beginning of a beau... well, actually, the relationship was more turbulent than beautiful. Though Bryant was married and Reed was a full-time politico, their relationship grew through ebb-and-flow from the days after their meeting till the Red Scare of the late 1910s and early 1920s. The relationship even survives Louise's romance with famed playwright Eugene O'Neill (Jack Nicholson) and Reed's rigorous commitment to the Communist revolution in Russia and in America.
Continue reading: Reds Review
It's the mid-1970s at a proper boys' prep school in DC, and Kline's Hundert encounters his first splash in the face with the cold water of life outside revered academia when he meets the father of a mischievous underachieving student. The stern dad, a brash U.S. senator, scolds Hundert: "You will not mold my son, I will mold my son". With a dose more sympathy for the kid, Hundert befriends him and watches him turn into a studying machine.
Continue reading: The Emperor's Club Review
Most film directors dream about making their "Citizen Kane," and while few would have the audacity to try to equal Orson Welles' cinematic masterpiece, Peter Bogdanovich has found a way to do the next best thing.
Where Welles borrowed famously from the life of William Randolph Hearst -- his ego, his powerful publishing empire and his scandals -- in creating the fictional Charles Foster Kane, Bogdanovich has commandeered an incessant rumor about an infamous and mysterious death aboard Hearst's yacht in 1924 and turned it into a foxy and spirited historical showbiz anecdote that lingers in your mind for weeks after seeing it.
"The Cat's Meow" is an ensemble piece packed with the best work of some under-appreciated actors including Edward Herrmann ("The Lost Boys," "Gilmore Girls") as an amusingly gruff Hearst whose paranoia has gotten the better of his nerves; Joanna Lumley ("Absolutely Fabulous") as sardonic novelist and socialite Elinor Glyn; Jennifer Tilly ("Bound") as sycophantic but opportunistic gossip columnist Louella Parsons; Cary Elwes ("The Princess Bride") as once legendary, now down on his luck movie producer Thomas Ince; and a delightfully devilish yet wisely understated Eddie Izzard ("Shadow of the Vampire") as Charlie Chaplin. All these famous names were among the billionaire's onboard guests that fateful weekend.
Continue reading: The Cat's Meow Review
Like a bride who marries a man with bad habits thinking she'll be able to change him, in "Intolerable Cruelty," the eccentric writing-directing brothers Joel and Ethan Coen have married themselves to someone else's original script and the union hasn't turned out as happy as they'd hoped.
Aspiring to the snappy banter and chemistry of a Howard Hawks comedy, the unconventional brains behind "Raising Arizona," "Fargo" and "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" cast George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones as L.A.'s slickest divorce lawyer and the indomitably alluring serial gold-digger who ironically sets his heart aquiver.
The brothers rewrote the screenplay with distinctively Coen quirks, like Clooney's menacing, 87-year-old prune of a senior partner, who spends his fish-eye-lensed scenes attached to a life-support machine in a forebodingly dark, wood-paneled office. But between the picture's high-gloss big-studio sheen (something the brothers aren't accustom to) and its sometimes pedestrian high-camp conventions, "Intolerable Cruelty" seems to have lost both the underlying savvy that gives Coen Brothers comedies their soul and the evenly matched gender rivalries that gave Hawks' romances their heart.
Continue reading: Intolerable Cruelty Review
A routine aerial shot swoops down over the grounds of an architecturally classic boarding school while a buoyant, sanguine score bleats with insistently lyrical French horns in the opening moments of "The Emperor's Club." And that's all most moviegoers will need to divine everything there is to know about the picture's musty, fond-memory-styled milieu of plucky, Puckish schoolboys and the dedicated, kindly educator who inspires them.
It's a movie that seems motivated more by a desire to match mortarboards with "Dead Poets Society" and "Good Will Hunting" than by its own story. It's a movie of highly telegraphed archetypes slogging their way through clichés (the off-limits girls' school is just across the lake) and only-in-the-movies moments, like the climactic scholarly trivia contest in which the three smartest boys in school don togas and answer questions on stage about the minutiae of Roman history.
These settings, these characters and this narrative arc -- about a contentious teacher-student relationship -- are so familiar that while the movie is not inept or boring, it never feels real enough to inspire much more than a shrug in response.
Continue reading: The Emperor's Club Review
Date of birth
21st July, 1943
Date of death
31st December, 2014
Layers of real life and movie history combine cleverly in this postmodern horror film, which...
Steve Dallas may have a high-flying career as a TV weather man, but it hasn't...
Let's admit up front that Chris Rock can be very funny.The guy is vicious onstage,...
How can you not love the Coen brothers? The sibling creators of some of cinema's...
There's an old cheap saying that goes "those who can, do; those who can't, teach"....
The mythology of Howard Hughes is quite possibly bigger than the man could ever live...