Friday, October 11, 2013

Weekend Movie Discussion: Captain Phillips, Zero Charisma, Romeo & Juliet, And more.

With this being October, naturally I've found myself involved in many a conversation about horror films. Yesterday a discussion about Scream (the first and good one) came up. For me it's a fun film but not a great one. A lot of horror films have been used to hold a mirror up to various issues about humanity, the same way science-fiction has done. Scream however was designed to poke at other horror films a bit, by holding a mirror up to them. The result is like holding a mirror up against a mirror, it may look like there's depth, but if you try to scratch the surface you'll find it's pretty shallow. 

The first Scream is still entertaining, thankfully because it has a story (silly as it is) so that it's not completely dwelling on the "rules" the entire time. Mind you the ending, which is meant more towards a dig at the news media and their aspersions cast on how horror films create violent natures in people, is overly absurd. Given the thematic exposition, in a way it's almost fourth wall breaking, and muddled. Still, as I said it is entertaining, with some good performances from Matthew Lillard, and Jamie Kennedy (remember when the film came out and he seemed like he was going to be the next funny geek character actor? Back before he preferred hiding under various rocks). 

Course then there are the horror movies that don't appear to have anything going for them at all (like me segue there?).

I haven't seen All The Boys Love Mandy Lane, so I can't say for certain it's as bad as it looks. Of those who have seen it, I haven't heard anyone say it was worth watching. Still it could be called the little horror movie that could. The film, getting a limited release this weekend, was touring film festivals back in 2006. The Weinstein Company was originally going to release the film in 2007, but ended up selling it to Senator Entertainment, which eventually went out of business and liquidated their stock. The Weinstein Company purchased the film back this year and here we are, some 7 years after it debuted at the Toronto Film Festival, it's getting a release in the states. The story of this film getting from point A to point B is to me, way more entertaining than I'm sure the film itself is.

One other film out this week in limited release (and VOD) is Zero Charisma, the story of a Game Master of role playing fantasy game, replacing a member of the group with a popular charismatic geek who shakes up his world. I've been waiting to see this film. It's had good word on it, especially in regards to how it depicts nerds, the positive and the negative. Those of us who consider ourselves geeks know that TV and movies rarely manage to convey what it actually is to be one. 

So... Romeo & Juliet, I have a good feeling about those two. SPOILER: They die. Stupidly.

I don't see the need for another Romeo & Juliet film. Wasn't it already masterfully handled with Jet Li's Romeo Must Die? Then there's the advertising... It's all Twilight lighting, and blaming William Shakespeare for starting the twee romance genre. Don't put that on him. That's not cool. 

I don't really need to speak on Machete Kills. It's pretty much a film that you know before the first advertisement if you're interested in seeing it or not. I've heard it's not so great, but feels like the kind of movie I'll one day land on watching when I'm laying in bed, tripping out of my mind on cold medicine.

Finally we have the main event, Captain Phillips, based on the true story of Tom Hanks getting marooned on an island with a volleyball that magically comes to life and helps him fight off a hoard of undead, swashbuckling pirates, or something like that. I love Paul Greengrass films, and this one has already gotten rave reviews. The term "nail biter" has been thrown around a lot. Though I suppose critics might just have an issue with their personal grooming rituals. Nail clippers cost like .99 so really there's no excuse for such a bad habit.

Man I'm long winded today. Oh well, plenty to discuss.

What are your plans this weekend? Off to fight pirates? Running with knives? Planning on faking your death, then after your love kills themselves over you, really taking your own life? SPOILER! Did you know that beavers have to keep chewing or their teeth would grow up through their skull, killing them?


  1. Sucks to be a beaver.
    We're supposed to go see Captain Phillips tonight, but my wife called with new plans. So not sure if we'll see it this weekend or not.
    Fortunately NetFlix sent me a really crappy horror film to watch...

  2. When I get long winded, I just start eating.... that explains the extra weight.
    Thanks for the SPOILER!

  3. I did know that about beavers. As for the movies this week, I'm not too stoked for them, so I'll wait till they hit video. They say "Captain Phillips" is a pack of lies and I laughed out loud at the Machete trailer, so I know I'll laugh at least once in that movie.

  4. Didn't Shakespeare say the purpose of comedy was to hold a mirror up to nature?
    What does that say about horror films?

  5. That Shakespeare was a masochist who laughed every time he killed someone off in a play. The man clearly had problems. I mean he died stuffing a chicken with snow for crying out loud.

    Yeah that's right, I'm calling out Bacon as Shakespeare. What up?

  6. Show me a film that's 100% true and I'll show you a documentary. Film makers do get away with rewriting history with that marvelous use of 'based on...'.

    It's not one I'd see in theaters at anyway. But it'll be a good rental. Still it'll be interesting to see if tops Gravity which hasn't really lost any traction this week.

  7. Hmm, I find the opposite happens in my case.

  8. So are you comparing movie critics to beavers? And they have to bite their nails to keep from dying?

    Also this line (or, these 2 lines) are great:

    Scream however was designed to poke at other horror films a bit, by holding a mirror up to them. The result is like holding a mirror up against a mirror, it may look like there's depth, but if you try to
    scratch the surface you'll find it's pretty shallow.


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