This week’s new DVD releases make it easy to put a little Highbrow dark chocolate in your Lowbrow crunchy peanut butter and enjoy a satisfying double feature . Whether you’re in the mood for serious German cinema (that mixes in some genre tropes) or ass-kicking science fiction (flavored with pungent political satire), there’s plenty for all tastes this week. more »
I went to see Prometheus over the weekend, and like many of you, I was disappointed (to put it lightly). Although a technical achievement in every way, the narrative and characters left much to be desired. The mystery I wanted solved was not the black goo or the Engineers — it was how the creative team of Ridley Scott, Damon Lindelof, and Jon Spaihts could produce a movie with such rudimentary mistakes. There have been casts of Scream movies with more intelligence than this lineup of characters. The connective tissue between the film’s big set pieces felt as if plucked from a Random Idea Generator program online; even the mythology was mucked up as the film dissolved into a by-the-book sci-fi thriller by the end.
Twenty four-year-old Lyndsy Fonseca has been familiar to television fans since her days on The Young and the Restless (she also appeared on Boston Public, Big Love, Desperate Housewives, and as Ted Mosby's future daughter on How I Met Your Mother) but she made herself known in fierce fashion last fall as Maggie Q's cunning and loyal protégé, Alex, on The CW's lady spy series Nikita. This week Fonseca adds to her growing film slate with a turn in John Carpenter's The Ward, a '60s-set psychological horror tale also filled with complex female relationships, themes of survival, and endless twists and turns.
Ten years ago, after completing his 20th film in 27 years, filmmaking legend John Carpenter took a sabbatical from filmmaking. "I was tired," he explained to Movieline, pointing to a decades-long career spent filming one project after the next, including genre classics like Halloween, The Thing, Big Trouble in Little China, and They Live. "I had given up my personal life and given up my health -- given up a lot of things, because of my love of movies, and I'd stopped loving cinema."
To love grindhouse cinema is to forgive the limitations of low budgets, bad actors, and cheesy premises milked for their lowest common denominator thrills; to intentionally make grindhouse cinema is to welcome the laser scrutiny of the film geekerati, a much greater artistic gamble. Miss the mark with that audience and you get a box-office nightmare -- just ask Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. But hit the B-movie sweet spot just right, as Jason Eisener mostly does in his gleefully gory Hobo with a Shotgun, and you could find yourself living the dream.
Nobody wants to call it a "remake," but if it walks like the original source material and quacks like the original source material... Matt Reeves (Cloverfield), who handily re-imagined John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel Let the Right One In into the 2010 film Let Me In, is writing and will direct a script based on Ray Nelson's short story 8 O'Clock in the Morning, which was previously adapted into John Carpenter's 1988 horror comedy They Live. Reeves' version, it's noted, will not feature alien-spotting sunglasses and probably won't star "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. See, totally different! [Deadline]