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Video - Emma Stone And Edward Norton Arrive At Venice Film Festival 'Birdman' Premiere


'Birdman' stars Emma Stone and Edward Norton made their arrivals on the red carpet at the movie's premiere held at the 71st Venice Film Festival. The comedy drama is set for UK release in January 2015.

Continue: Video - Emma Stone And Edward Norton Arrive At Venice Film Festival 'Birdman' Premiere

The Eye (2008) Review


Unbearable
While it may be cliché to say it, the Asian horror phenomenon is officially dead -- and Jessica Alba killed it. Six years after Hong Kong's Pang brothers unleashed the original creepshow, those horror bottom feeders at Lionsgate have delivered The Eye, a mandated PG-13 retread. While it would be nice to say that the time spent in greenlight limbo aged the frightfest and it's slightly hackneyed organ transplant premise like fine wine, the truth is that all we end up with is overripe cheese.

Sydney Wells (Alba) is a famed concert violinist. At the age of five, a fireworks accident left her blind. She tried surgery at age 12, but it didn't work, so for the last 15 years, she's spent her life sightless. Now, big sister Helen (Parker Posey), who feels responsible for her condition, sets up another procedure. Sydney receives a set of donor corneas, and within weeks, she is seeing again. She's also having hallucinatory visions of burning people, suicidal school children, and a weird shadowy visage with a mouth full of ghost fangs. Seems the previous owner of these eyes died mysteriously and wants Sydney to experience the same visual hell she lived through -- and there is nothing our heroine, or her determined doctor (Alessandro Nivola) can do to stop it.

Continue reading: The Eye (2008) Review

The Eye (2002) Review


Grim
Of all the horror films that spring to mind while watching the Pang brothers' stylish if only sporadically frightening The Eye, none is more amusing than Body Parts. That moronic vehicle for B-movie heartthrob Jeff Fahey concerned a man whose decapitated arm is replaced by the appendage of a serial killer on death row, and which eventually turns out to still be controlled by said killer, who wants his arm back! It was one of the 1990s' most inane "it's so awful that it's come back around to being good again" guilty pleasures, and features a truly inspired performance by Fahey's arm, which flails about wildly under the possessed guidance of its original owner. Even in some quarters today, unexpectedly smacking someone next to you can easily be explained by the simple phrase, "Sorry, it was my serial killer arm."

But I digress. Like Fahey's insipidly entertaining film, The Eye is about transplanted body parts that can't seem to shake the influence of their former hosts. Mun (Angelica Lee) has been blind since the age of two, but a recent cornea transplant has miraculously given her the gift of sight. The only problem is that, along with sight, Mun seems to have gained a "second sight" as well: She can see sinewy, indistinct figures (apparently death's bureaucratic minions) taking people away right before they die, and even sees a mysterious stranger's face when she looks in the mirror. This prescience is confounding and terrifying for Mun, and she seeks the counsel of a psychotherapist named Dr. Wah (Lawrence Chou) to help her escape this terrible curse. In typical ghost story fashion, what both learn is that these spirits are hanging around their former haunts because they have unfinished business in the real world, and that it's up to Mun to help them complete their last earthly tasks and send them safely on their way to happy dead-person land.

Continue reading: The Eye (2002) Review

The Eye Review


Grim
Of all the horror films that spring to mind while watching the Pang brothers' stylish if only sporadically frightening The Eye, none is more amusing than Body Parts. That moronic vehicle for B-movie heartthrob Jeff Fahey concerned a man whose decapitated arm is replaced by the appendage of a serial killer on death row, and which eventually turns out to still be controlled by said killer, who wants his arm back! It was one of the 1990s' most inane "it's so awful that it's come back around to being good again" guilty pleasures, and features a truly inspired performance by Fahey's arm, which flails about wildly under the possessed guidance of its original owner. Even in some quarters today, unexpectedly smacking someone next to you can easily be explained by the simple phrase, "Sorry, it was my serial killer arm."

But I digress. Like Fahey's insipidly entertaining film, The Eye is about transplanted body parts that can't seem to shake the influence of their former hosts. Mun (Angelica Lee) has been blind since the age of two, but a recent cornea transplant has miraculously given her the gift of sight. The only problem is that, along with sight, Mun seems to have gained a "second sight" as well: She can see sinewy, indistinct figures (apparently death's bureaucratic minions) taking people away right before they die, and even sees a mysterious stranger's face when she looks in the mirror. This prescience is confounding and terrifying for Mun, and she seeks the counsel of a psychotherapist named Dr. Wah (Lawrence Chou) to help her escape this terrible curse. In typical ghost story fashion, what both learn is that these spirits are hanging around their former haunts because they have unfinished business in the real world, and that it's up to Mun to help them complete their last earthly tasks and send them safely on their way to happy dead-person land.

Continue reading: The Eye Review

Three... Extremes Review


Good
As anthologies invariably tend to be disappointingly lopsided ventures, it's a welcome surprise to find that unevenness is the strongest facet of Three... Extremes, a diverse and successfully chilling horror triptych that brings together the short works of acclaimed directors Fruit Chan (Durian Durian), Park Chanwook (Oldboy), and Takashi Miike (Audition). Unrelated save for a shared fascination with female ghoulishness, the three segments form something of a rough primer for Asian horror newbies, with Chan delivering a dose of macabre black wit, Chanwook providing his usual brand of self-consciously bloody moralizing, and Miike contributing otherworldly, irrational J-horror spookiness. And though none come close to approximating the bone-deep scares elicited by Kiyoshi Kurosawa's 2001 Pulse (which receives a long-overdue stateside release in early November), the trio of stories - alternately caustic, gruesome, and bafflingly opaque - prove a welcome relief from the CG-infatuated, subtext-barren supernatural thrillers currently being dumped on moviegoers by Hollywood this Halloween season.

Progressing from its strongest to its weakest chapters, Three... Extremes (a sequel to 2002's Three) starts with the Hong Kong-native Chan's sumptuous Dumplings, a satiric tale of female vanity-gone-awry that began as a feature-length film (also titled Dumplings) but was cut down by the director to a compact 40-odd minutes for this cinematic compilation. Having not seen it in its original form, I'm unqualified to discuss the pluses and minuses of this editing-room abbreviation, yet Chan's entry is nonetheless an amusingly grisly piece of social commentary in which former TV star-turned-neglected trophy wife Mrs. Li (Miriam Yeung) finds the fountain of youth (and the remedy to her negative self-image) via witchy chef Aunt Mei's (Bai Ling) unique brand of dumplings. Revealing the special ingredient that makes Mei's culinary treats so physically and emotionally rejuvenating would be in bad taste, but suffice to say that Chan - riffing on Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal with the help of Wong Kar-Wai regular Christopher Doyle's disquietingly ethereal cinematography - deliciously lays bare modern society's unhealthy preoccupation with physical female beauty via one crunchy bite and a terrifying, serpentine lick of the lips.

Continue reading: Three... Extremes Review

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