The Wolfman (R) 103 min. Directed by: Joe Johnston Written by: Andrew Kevin Walker & David Self Starring: Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, Hugo Weaving Cinematography: Original Score: Danny Elfman
There is a scene in the new Wolfman where Emily Blunt runs through the foggy night forest, pursued by Del Toro’s slobbering beast. She runs as far as she can, and finds herself balanced precariously at the edge of a treacherous cliff that overlooks a roaring waterfall. Behind her, the monster comes loping and snarling through the underbrush. She has nowhere to go, so she turns pleadingly to face the attacker, her hands concealing the weapon behind her back.
I love moments like this, and the beautifully lush cinematography, Elfman’s shrieking gothic score, as well as Blunt’s wide, staring eyes make it a thing of haunting beauty. When I was a kid, this was the stuff of my dreams and nightmares. In fact, that’s the biggest problem with all of Joe Johnston’s The Wolfman. Less a rendition of the original 1940’s classic and more a high-gloss version of a geeky fan-boy’s interior fantasy life, this Wolf is a total howler. It’s still fun but the odd subtext trumps the dark tragedy of its predecessor. Continue reading
Ok, so I definitely miss those gorgeous painted movie posters of days gone by–one for this would have been outstanding–but in the world of haphazard photo-shop rush jobs, these two at least have some style.
Joe Johnston’s Wolfman is a film I’ve been anticipating and dreading for awhile. The original is one of the all time great creature features and it’s still the most powerful and engrossing werewolf film ever made. Once the trailers started showing up, I became more intrigued than put-off. Aside from some unfortunate CGI, this one looks pretty good.
Here now are two posters(the one at the left was originally posted over at Aint it Cool News and the one below was scooped by Cinematical) for the film that help build that victorian gothic atmosphere that seems to be an integral part of Johnston’s vision. Continue reading
Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are is a strange and wonderful creation, like the book that inspired it. I can understand, however, if many are disappointed by it or don’t care for it at all. Jonze and scriptwriter Dave Eggers have taken the 9 page, 9 sentence Maurice Sendak book about a little boy who retreats into his imagination and transformed it into a 90 minute film about the complex emotions and erratic feelings that drive our early childhood. Continue reading
“Never stray from the path, never eat a windfall apple, and never trust a man whose eyebrows meet.”
The Company of Wolves is either a child’s nightmarish fever dream, or a lurid fairy tale about the dark, shiny promise of adulthood. I’ve just finished watching the film for the first time in years, and I’m not honestly sure which it is. Both readings are possible, but I think that each viewer will choose for themselves one over the other. Continue reading
Chances are you might have heard of Larry Fessenden, and if you have, most of his buzz is probably coming off of this 2001 movie. Larry directed a creepy and sometimes off-putting vampire film called Habit early in his indie career and followed that movie up with this one. And after making Wendigo, he apparently became obsessed with the titular mystical beastie since both of his following efforts would feature the dark forest spirit prominently. The Last Winter was an eco-thriller with a ghost story wrapped around it, and his episode of Fear Itself, written by AICN’s Drew McWeeny and Scott Swan, was a grotesque little tale with Doug Jones as a most hideous wendigo.
But for my money, it’s this little feature here that works the best. Wendigo isn’t solely about some monster in the woods, though. It’s really about the ways in which children see the world as they grow up and tells the story of a little boy coming to grips with the difference between the phantoms of his imagination and the harsher dangers of the real world. It’s an odd spooky trip and whole chunks of it play like The Shining done documentary style. Continue reading
Oct 10th, 2009–
Infestation–2009 (R) 93 min. Written & Directed by: Kyle Rankin Starring: Diane Gaeta, Chris Marquette, Ray Wise, Brooke Nevin.
Kyle Rankin’s Infestation has a peculiar but refreshing distinction despite being little more than a low-budget creature feature distraction. It’s the best Sy-Fy Saturday night monster pic the network has ever debuted. That is of course faint praise indeed, but Infestation looms large over its fellow candidates in this category. It’s everything those movies aspire to and never quite arrive at: a silly, schlocky good time with characters we like and creatures that actually creep us out. Continue reading
Oct 9th, 2009–
Television movies were a far different beast in the 1970s than they are now. In fact, you don’t see the major networks wasting their time with them much anymore. Regular weekly programming has become far more popular and with so much content, there doesn’t even seem to be room in the network landscape. But some 30 years ago, that was quite different. There were larger spaces to fill, not as many shows being created, and the medium of the television movie was relatively new. So, filmmakers and producers were creating low budget fare–many times they were either human interest dramas or thrillers–for the t.v. screen. Continue reading