Friday, October 31, 2008

Extra Spooky Blog Post

Since I feel like getting into the Halloween spirit at the moment (as opposed to tonight, when I will get into the "drunken stupor" spirit and later the "beat up children and steal their candy" spirit) I think I will regale you with a list of the planned horror releases we have no choice but to look forward to over the upcoming months. Enjoy wearing a novel costume (perhaps celebrating some abstract subject, or possibly as a "sexy" version of a common profession) while celebrating this ancient harvest festival in the traditional manner, i.e. throwing the bones of slaughtered animals into a bonfire and pouring ale into the ocean as a libation for the sea gods.

Now for our horror movie goodness:

November 7 brings us "House," which is fortunately not a remake of the 1980s non-classic, but makes up for this failing with one of its own, in that it's a fairly generic serial killer thriller that focuses on the battle between good and evil with what some are calling a Christian bent. Golly, wonder which side will win? Has some Michael Madsen crazy goodness, so there is that at least.

I would be remiss in not mentioning the November 21 release of "Twilight," which isn't a horror film per say, but does have vampires. It's based on a wildly popular series of young adult novels, which is really all I need to know to know that I have next to no interest in it. This has a built in screaming-teenage-girl fan base, so I don't think my support will be missed. I have a general equation I live by, which is that if you want to make something completely mediocre, just add vampires to it. Cop shows, superhero comics, romantic comedies and basically any horror film made since 1980. I'm fucking sick of vampires, and you should all be ashamed of yourself.

There are no major horror releases in December (to be expected during the award season rush) but January 9 brings us a ripe slice of shit in the "Hellraiser" remake. This will probably be pushed back again as a new director, Frenchman Pascal Laugier, was just announced a couple of days ago and there has been no announced cast. Ideally, it never happens. Realistically, the best you can hope for is mediocrity.

January is a common dumping ground for studio leftovers and embarrassments, which brings us to "My Bloody Valentine 3-D," which opens on January 16. From the preview, it seems the primary reason for this remake to exist is so pick-axes can be thrown at the screen. The hopeful could take it as a sign that the horror movie remake cycle is coming to an end, since they wouldn't be trying to spice up these blandfests with 3-D gimmicks otherwise. I'm not hopeful, and the rest of this list should explain why.

January 23 brings us the exciting third film in the "Underworld" series, "Rise of the Lycans," in which... Kate Beckinsale isn't in it? Fuuuuuck. Her tight leather pants were the only thing that made the first two films bearable (if slightly frustrating).

On January 30, we get a treat of another bland J-horror-inspired (not a remake, fortunately) film about creepy ghost children. "The Uninvited" stars some people doing some things and this will be forgotten before the second reel starts.

February 13 brings us the reason that the "My Bloody Valentine" remake didn't open closer to Valentine's Day in the "Friday the 13th" remake/reimagining thing. Fanboys will shit their pants over this right up until it opens. From what I've seen so far, looks fairly generic, but apparently I hate everything .

Skipping ahead to April 3, we get "The Wolf Man" remake as part of Hollywood's continuing effort to shit on my fond childhood memories. The cast is solid (Benicio Del Toro stars, with Anthony Hopkins as his father) but the director is Joe Johnston. He's one of these hack directing automatons you hire when you want something to be moderately successful and as mediocre as possible (try to envision these films in your mind: "Jumanji," "Jurassic Park III" and "Hildalgo.") If you like weepy sentimentality in your horror films, this will be the one for you.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Divorce, Pestilence and Fashionistas

Their Pain is Funny
Gweneth Paltrow has stated publicly that she is offering her support to Madonna, who is going through a divorce with husband Guy Ritchie. Because nothing soothes the pain caused by a painful break-up like the support of your skeletal, talent-atrophied friends.

The State of the Nation
Vice-Presidential candidate and Brit Hume fan club member Sarah Palin recently courted some controversy in the press by referring to small towns as "the real America" and as being "the pro-America" parts of this country. The irony of her being married to a secessionist aside, I'm really sick of the trumping of "small town values" over all others. Small towns are where you live when you don't have the ambition or drive to try for something better, or where you move to once you've earned enough money to be able to afford to never have to actually deal with the problems with living in one. They're not inherently nicer or better than urban areas. The dimwit-to-normal-intelligence ratio is about the same in each setting (that is, staggeringly skewed to the former). Mrs. Palin's husband, Todd, also had a great little quip along the same lines recently, referring to "hunting and fishing" as American values. We'll let Mr. Palin's confusion over the difference between "values" and "activities" slide for a moment. Along these lines of thought, in terms of time spent engaged in them, some more accurate American values would seem to include "meth production" and "complaining about Mexicans."

Fuck small towns.

Death of a Professional Prick
Richard Blackwell, a fashion critic famous for his annual "Worst Dressed Women" lists, died on Sunday of complications from an intestinal infection. I guess that's what happens when you spend your career pulling opinions out of your ass. I know I should probably be more sensitive to the passing of an old man, but I honestly see anyone involved in the fashion industry as being the scum of our planet. It's a massive, useless scam perpetuated by the vainest, most self-possessed people imaginable and supported by the simpering, suckling need for status and conformity. But I digress.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Top Ten at the Box Office

1. "Beverly Hills Chihuahua." Just watching the preview for this film is like having a physically incarnated form of pure evil violently fuck your eye sockets.

2. "Eagle Eye." Two people find that their every move is being watched by a mysterious person with sinister intents. The film makes no sense though, in that one of the people is Shia LaBeouf, and no one is interested in what Shia LaBeouf is doing, ever, anywhere, for any reason.

3. "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist." Movies about the trials of teen relationships stopped being interesting to me the moment I was no longer a teenager. After that moment it just became a bunch of self-obsessed brats who think they know what real suffering feels like.

4. "Nights of Rodanthe." This title + Richard Gere tells you everything you need to know about this film. It will magically cease to exist the minute no one is paying attention to it any longer.

5. "Appaloosa." Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen star as lawmen in a Western. I think that the only reason this film exists is because it's such an obvious idea that the universe simply brought it forth from the ether to fill the necessary gap.

6. "Lakeview Terrace." I wish that Hollywood directors would just stop pretending they have something interesting to say about race relations in America. Because they really do not.

7. "Burn After Reading." Brad Pitt plays a blithering idiot pretty-boy.

8. "Fireproof." A married couple, who are also fire fighters, try to save their marriage with a blatant, simpering metaphor.

9. "An American Carol." This is part of the reason public discourse in America has sunken so low.

10. "Religulous." This is the other part.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Blithering Idiocy

Just Plain Folks

The vice-presidential debate became the most watched inconsequential event on television last night. The big surprise was that Sara Palin surpassed everyone's expectations during the debate. This really isn't too much of a shock if you think about it, since the bar was set so low for her, the simple fact that she did not shit her pants right there on stage was considered a minor personal victory. You know that when we consider the fact that a politician can construct a semi-coherent sentence one of their positive points, then we have taken a significant turn as a culture.

Opening Today

For some reason, Hollywood has collectively decided to release every single film currently in production into theaters today, so this is a bit of a doozy.

"Beverly Hills Chihuahua." This film's existence makes no sense in a rational universe.

"Nick and Norha's Infinite Playlist." Michael Cera slowly begins to corner the market on teenage awkwardness, right on his way to becoming his generation's John Cusack. He'll be making vaguely liberal political parables within a decade or so.

"Blindness." The advance word on the street is that this kind of sucks. Who would have thought an adaptation of an unfilmable novel would have such trouble getting off the ground with critics?

"Religulous." A snarky atheist goes around and mocks other people's beliefs. Whoop de fuckin' do. Has it occurred to anyone else in the world that Bill Maher is kind of a fuckin' idiot and he ought to be dumped on the same liberal trash-heap as Michael Moore?

"How to Lose Friends and Alienate People." My Saturday nights, brought to a theater near you.

"The Express." Motherfuckin' football movies. I can't name two football movies off the top of my head that I actually give more than a shit about (I stall out after the original "The Longest Yard"). I doubt this is going to make the list.

"Flash of Genius." Based on a true story about a man who finds that his copywrited invention is being used without his permission by an auto manufacturer and takes his case to court. The judge throws it out when it is revealed that the inventor is played by Greg Kinnear.

"An American Carol." A conservative spoof of Michael Moore directed by David Zucker about a filmmaker trying to cancel Independence Day. In other words, the man who directed "BASEketball" thinks he has something relevant to add to the grand American political discussion. This just sounds plain retarded. Honestly, is Michael Moore even worth spoofing? Is this really the best conservative filmmakers can do? "Ha ha, Michael Moore is fat and hates America!"? You all suck so hard.

One of these days we may have a filmmaker who knows how to express his politics in a way that's elequent and convincing. A modern Preston Sturges or an updated Milos Forman. And what will happen? That director will be ignored and never be able to get a film into production, because our political landscape insists on nothing more than cheer leading for one's own side and sneers at the other side.

This is the sound of me giving my own country the middle finger. Suck it, America.