The Hurt Locker (R) 130 min. Directed by:Kathryn Bigelow. Written by:Mark Boal. Starring:Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Guy Pearce, Ralph Feinnes, David Morse, Evangeline Lily. Cinematography:Barry Akroyd. Original music by:Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders.
Despite the glut of films centered around it over the past few years, the Iraq War has not exactly made for compelling cinema. Tangled in extreme political stance or statement, or designed around a general cluelessness about the way the actual battle itself is being fought, previous pics like The Valley of Elah, Lions for Lambs and Redacted were dead on arrival. Now, Kathryn Bigelow, director of Point Break and Near Dark, enters the Iraq conflict with The Hurt Locker;an expertly crafted thriller that leaves behind politics and posturing and brings the viewer onto the grimy, narrow streets of downtown Baghdad. With a singularity of vision and a documentarian’s eye for extreme and seemingly inconsequential detail, Bigelow transcends not only her own previous films but typical action cliches to deliver one of the most suspenseful and intense cinema experiences I’ve ever had. Continue reading
Morning all. How’s it going? I just put up a review of the new Wolfman and have a few more treats coming up today, including a top ten, a Retro review and The Weekly Creepy. However, in an effort to give you a look see into a few more of the new films opening today, I’m putting up links to my work over at Atomic Popcorn where I take a look at Percy Jackson, Adam Green’s Frozen, and Valentine’s Day. I’ll post a link and the trailers for each below, complete with the matching Cinematropolis rating.
Check them out! Continue reading
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
Monday February 1st, 2010–
Ok, there’s not alot of real news to this one, but thats just fine as it allows more conjecture on our part here. After being ousted from that giant Spidey snafu (which is probably just as well for him), Raimi is a director in the midst of several projects, and he’s been linked up to produce this one over at Paramount since 2007. With a script by Slavash Farahani, it is now being rumored that Raimi himself might direct this latest incarnation of the 1930’s pulp hero. Will this happen before or after World of Warcraft? Continue reading
January 29th, 2009–
The best thing that can be said for Martin Campbell’s new thriller of Edge of Darkness is that it’s a gritty and welcome return for the fallen Mel Gibson who stars as Detective John Craven. That’s not a back-handed compliment either. Even before events in his private life shattered his rep, Gibson hadn’t exactly been lighting up the cinema with his onscreen presence. His ability was never in question but his choice of films often felt like paychecks to help finance his own personal directorial visions. He’s a gifted and canny director, but I haven’t really bought one of his performances since 1999’s Payback.
Now, in a variation on that role—add in a heaping helping of Liam Neeson’s grim, determined father from Taken—Gibson comes back to the acting fold with a character that walks the line between justice and vengeance so erratically one feels compelled to check the credits and make sure his name isn’t Max Rockatansky. Continue reading
Sad news today folks.
Actress Zelda Rubinstein, best known for her role as the clairvoyant Tangina in 1982’s Poltergeist, has passed on at the age of 76. She had been hospitalized in Los Angeles since December after experiencing the failure of 2 major organs. She died yesterday of natural causes at the Barlow Respitory Hospital in Los Angeles.
My thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends. Continue reading
Chaw (NR) Running Time: 121 min. Directed by: Jeong-Won Shin Starring: Tae-Woong Eom, Yoon Jae-Moon, Yu-mi Jeong, Earl Wayne Ording Cinematography: Barry Stone
Before launching into Jeong-Won Shin’s B-movie bonanza Chaw, I believe a word of caution is in order. For those expecting a schlocky horror film like Razorback or possibly a suspenseful creature feature like The Host, temper your expectations now. And for anyone who only observes star ratings, you might want to really read the review before deciding on this one.
Because, on the level, Chaw is an amazingly buffoonish piece of work. Continue reading