Saturday, May 29, 2010

"Cold Prey" - More Scandinavian Terror

Netflix has given me the chance to indulge in foreign films of all sorts. While packing my queue with classic arthouse flicks by Bertolucci and Fellini, I decided to follow the solid buzz around this Norwegian movie. Watching too much of anything can become a problem, and so we come to "Cold Prey" (2006)...

An opening montage shows us a scared child with an odd birthmark on his face. He's running through snow, terrified. Suddenly, something jumps out at him. Newspapers show a photo of the child and his parents, exclaiming the tragedy of a missing kid. After the credits, we're introduced to one of the most standard scenes in horror: a group of young people in a car. They're promiscuous, they're adventurous, and most of them are photogenic. They're on a skiing holiday, and all the talk is about sex. There also a ton tension between the couple in the front.

Soon, our young people have decided to hit some slopes before they reach the resort. Someone injures their leg (horror films are built on leg injuries, aren't they?), and our crew decide to seek shelter at a nearby lodge. The place is abandoned (of course!) but no signs are posted, and they'll be safe for the night. Being marginally smart, they explore most of the resort. They find food, liquor, a burned room, and a glass case missing its axe. And, naturally, they ignore those last two points; they set themselves up with drinks and get on about their business without a care in the world. Tragedy ensues.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

And today, I ate crow twice: "Dead Reckoning" review

I couldn't resist a classic Humphrey Bogart film - particularly one with a good rep. I was in the mood, so "Dead Reckoning" jumped to the top of my queue, hard on the heels of a Bogey-and-Bacall-athon.

The film begins with a man on the street (Bogart's "Rip" Murdock). He's wounded and skulking about; avoiding the police, he tries to stay in the shadows. Soon, he enters a church, and finds a someone to speak to. This is Bogey's attempt to pass along what he knows, in case he dies soon. He explains how he came to this town, Gulf City...

Murdock and his wry voice served in World War II. He was wounded along with his friend, Johnny Drake (played by William Prince). The pair are suddenly taken from their European hospital and flown to New York City; they're rushed to Penn Station, with a police escort. Rip is uneasy, as he knows they must be involved in something big. Since Bogart had already cultivated the image of the reckless-but-crafty tough, it's fitting that Rip Murdock searches a superior officer's coat for information: Murdock is going to receive a silver star, and Johnny will get a Congressional Medal of Honor.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Another Day or Two

Will tell the tale. Hell, I may be able to make multiple posts in that time. Still, there's so much going on, I only have time to half-write some articles.
Nor would I like to do another remake/reboot/franchise-establishing link roundup.
So patience, please - it'll be soon. You can always comment or start a conversation here, if you want...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Thoughts on remakes, part 1 (an anti-anti-establishment argument)

I should address this, since my posted links often describe some absurd remake or reboot. Well, "Alice in Wonderland" had at least 9 film versions before Tim Burton got his hands on it. There are, actually, many times when a remake should be received with minimal cynicism and sarcasm. It's one thing to be annoyed by a petty attempt to wring some dollars out of the market. It's quite different to be annoyed every time a movie is "filmed again," though.

By the time I was in college, 9 "Friday the 13th" flicks and 7 "Freddy Kreuger" pictures were released in theaters. I saw 13 of those at least twice (blame my sophomore roommate), and 4 on a movie screen. I even found things to genuinely enjoy in some of the poorer entries. Does this mean I'm a jerk for deriding "Toy Story 4," "Analyze That," or "Clash of the Titans 2: This Time It's Personal?"

Certain public artworks have been been remade many times. I must point out that the bickering over a redone piece (like a song or movie) is often associated with a love for some long-gone "golden age" in which things were "better." If not, then the impulse is usually drawn to an older period in which, again, things are believed to be "better." Nostalgia, a sense of loyalty, or an unwillingness to accept change are frequently the culprits.