Hamish Mcalpine

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Funny Games (2008) Review


Unbearable
Have we grown this cynical? Is the world in 2008 so devoid of intellectual pursuits that the story of a couple of slap happy serial killers demands attention as revisionist art? That's the bottom line you have to believe if you read the reviews of Michael Haneke's 1997 effort Funny Games. Called everything from a taut little thriller to a complete deconstruction of the taut little thriller genre, this Austrian Desperate Hours caused some decent art house buzz a decade ago. Now, George Sluzier style, Haneke has taken his Cache cred and cashed in with a Hollywood remake. The results -- a beat for beat remake of Games, this time with an English-speaking cast. A decade has done little to change the story, or the incredibly repugnant way it is told.

Anna (Naomi Watts), George (Tim Roth), and their young son Georgie leave the big city and head up to a secluded, snooty, Hamptons like lakeside. They plan a fun vacation of sailing, golfing, and grilling. Into their life walks Paul (Michael Pitt) and Peter (Brady Corbet), two effete young men who claim to be staying with the next door neighbors. When a tiff over some eggs goes pear-shaped, the family soon finds themselves the subject of inhuman torture -- both physical (golf club to the shin) and psychological (threats, force, manipulation). Seems our lads in white are really full-blown whack jobs, traveling around the exclusive area picking off the residents. To them it's all one big sarcastic game, and the family is going to play... or else.

Continue reading: Funny Games (2008) Review

Ted Bundy Review


Good
Ted Bundy murdered anywhere from 35 to hundreds of women throughout the 1970s (and in cities across the country), escaped from custody twice, and stands as one of the most frightening psychopaths the world has ever produced. Ted Bundy the movie is a faithful retelling of Bundy's years as America's most prolific serial killer and his eventual demise. Tim Daly lookalike Michael Reilly Burke is chilling in the lead role. I know I'd cross to the other side of the street if I saw him coming toward me today. Nice work with what has become a somewhat hackneyed genre.
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