Tag Archives: literature

Cinema Bites #2: The Tell-Tale Heart

7 Oct

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Oct 7th, 2009–

Today is the 200th anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s death  and what kind of Baltimorean would I be if I didn’t give the man credit? Well, I was hoping–prior to my illness here–to do something a bit more in-depth. I may yet. But for now, check out this short film that really does phenomenal job of bringing to life one of Poe’s finest short stories: The Tell Tale Heart.

All these years later, and this animation is still  haunting. The narration by the always great James Mason is perfect and can nearly drive you mad just by listening to it. This is easily one of my all time favorite short films and it’s based off of a classic story by one of the greatest authors to ever pick up the pen. Enjoy!

AMAD-Horror Edition: Sauna

6 Oct

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Oct 6th, 2009–

cinemagrade b A.J. Anila’s Sauna is an odd and challenging  film. The Finnish horror feature is the second for its director and like his first, Jade Warrior, it’s a melding of genres; supernatural horror, historical drama and existential mystery.  A grim, cold and foreboding movie, Sauna is really about the price of sin and the nature of guilt. I’ve watched it twice now over the past few days, and I’m still not quite sure what to make of it. Continue reading

Movie Review: ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ Proves Faithful

1 Sep

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cinemagrade b Robert Schwentke’s adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger’s sci-fi drama The Time Traveler’s Wife both improves and dillutes its source material in almost equal measure. The result is a good movie–probably working better for starry-eyed romantics than logic-based sci-fi fans–that eludes greatness by playing it just a little too safe. However, navigating Niffenegger’s tangled and thought-provoking melodrama couldn’t have been easy and I’m grateful that the German director drew from it this sweet, sensitive and occassionally beautiful little movie. Continue reading

Trailer for Peter Jackson’s ‘The Lovely Bones’ finally arrives

5 Aug

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August 5th, 2009–

I read Alice Sebold’s odd and oddly touching novel The Lovely Bones a few years ago, while making daily trips on the Light Rail. It was an interesting and at times haunting read; simple, elegant prose and compelling imagery layered onto a human story. I enjoyed it very much but never quite understood the desire to make it a film. Peter Jackson is a great filmmaker and can bring some amazing visuals to the big screen (I even love King Kong) but he seemed like a far too literal minded director for this material.

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The trailer here suggests that I was wrong and that Jackson has found a way to take Sebold’s words and visualize them in his own way. Check out the otherworldly splendor and earthly heartache deep down in The Lovely Bones.

Maurice Sendak talks Wild Things, Spike Jonze, and the new movie!

28 Jul

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July 28th, 2009–

This is really cool. I’ve been a big fan of Maurice Sendak and his work ever since pulling that battered, old-glue smelling copy of Where The Wild Things Are off the school library shelf some 25 years ago.  Over the years, I’ve attempted to keep track of the man and what he’s been up to, but it’s neat to see him here reflecting passionately on his now 40 year old book. It’s also a good sign, and a vote of confidence, that Maurice seems to be just as excited and encouraged by what Spike Jonze has done with the movie. If you are a Wild Things fan, a Sendak or Jonze fan, or just love seeing people discuss their art then this will be a bright spot in your day.

If nothing else, you get to see some Wild Things clips and some great talking head stuff by Sendak.

Check it out HERE.

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Movie Review: ‘The Half Blood Prince’ is a worthy succesor

23 Jul

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (PG) 153 min.

 

cinemagrade A-Okay, I’ve been sitting on this one awhile. Being incredibly busy and having a ton of films to write-up, I haven’t gotten much chance to post lately and wanted to be able to hit several at once. So, consider this the first of a flood of new reviews rolling out over the course of today and tomorrow. And there is no better place to start than with David Yates’ newest inclusion in the Harry Potter series.

I saw HP6 last Thursday and it took me a few days to parse exactly how I felt about it. Admittedly, it took me a little while to warm up to this new Harry. I have enjoyed all of the Potter movies, including the two that jump-started the series, and I’ve read all of the books. In particular, I remember devouring Half-Blood Prince shortly after returning from my honeymoon; sitting curled up next to my wife in our small but cozy apartment, caught up in this tale of the ‘Boy Who Lived’ and his growing battle with ‘He Who Must Not Be Named’. Continue reading

Will ‘Rashomon’ be the Curtain Closer for The Senator Theater?

17 Jul

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July 17th, 2009–

It’s kind of an interesting thing that this gets to be the 100th post of Cinematropolis, considering that the Senator had just closed it’s doors as I was setting up this blog, and now after three months of showing revivals, concerts and hosting mini-film fests that long dreaded auction date for the theater has finally arrived. Next week, the auction will occur, on July 21nst, and after that we wait and see whether or not The Senator will ever likely show films again. Is this the last flick to ever play the Senator? Obviously, no one knows that. I’m not even sure if this is even the last one that Kiefauber and company plan on showing. Continue reading

Fantasia 09 Review: Clive Barker’s ‘Book’ is a Yawn of the Dead

14 Jul

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 Clive Barker’s Book of Blood (R) 108 min. Directed by:  John Harrison Written by: John Harrison, adapted from the Clive Barker stories Book of Blood and On Jerusalem Street. Starring: Jonas Armstrong, Sophie Ward, Doug Bradley, Simon Bamford, Paul Blair. Cinematography:Philip Robertson   Original music by: Guy Farley.

 

The dead have highways…running through the wasteland behind our lives, bearing an endless traffic of departed souls. They can be heard in the broken places of our world, through cracks made by acts of cruelty, violence and depravity. They have signposts, these highways–and crossroads and intersections. And it is at these intersections that the dead mingle and spill over into our world…The dead have highways….only the living are lost…

cinemagrade c-The above is the entire thematic gist of Book of Blood, the newest film adaptation of the work of horror maestro Clive Barker. In fact, that little bit of exposition is repeated no less than five seperate times in Book of Blood, as if the filmmakers want to constantly remind the audience that their film is about the nature of storytelling and mortality. After the third time, I wanted to shout at the screen “stop telling us and show us already”. This was to no avail. Dabbling in the darker corners of dark fantasy(and this is far more a resident of that genre than straight horror), television director John Harrison brings the framing stories of Barker’s Books of Blood anthology faithfully to the screen but he doesn’t seem to understand that all he brought along was the binding. The pages here are empty. What he fills them with ends up amounting to one of the most notoriously boring thrillers in recent memory.   Continue reading

Vatican no longer troubled by ‘Harry’?

14 Jul

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Usually I’d be ignoring bits like this, as they don’t really matter much in regards to things. People will still see the new Harry Potter film, just as they saw all the others and those who did not because of a potentially negative or occult influence aren’t probably racing to reconsider the actual detriment or effect of a series they banished based upon the word of others. No, the only reason I’m actually linking to this story, which is little more than the Vatican acknowledging the actual value of the story that Rowling took the space of seven books to tell, is that it does show a refreshing sign of actual thought and open mindedness. At least as far as the topic of Harry Potter and Christianity is concerned. Continue reading

Richard Kelly makes us a chilling offer with ‘The Box’ trailer

25 Jun

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 June 25th,2009–

While the current summer pickings might be slim, this year is turning out to be a great one for the return of talented directors. After sitting it out on the bench or doing lackluster work, some of my faves have roared back into the game with  really strong entries; Alex Proyas’ Knowing and Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker are two of the best movies of the year, Coppola’s Tetro is getting positive reviews, and Mann’s Public Enemies, which I’m seeing tonight, is hotly anticipated.  Later this year we are getting new films from Terry Gilliam, Martin Scorsese and  James Cameron…and Richard Kelly. Continue reading