Tag Archives: October

Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree

31 Oct

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Happy Halloween everyone! Here in Baltimore it’s a foggy, overcast morning. Here’s hoping the sun comes and we can see some of those brilliant autumn leaves illuminated properly. Hard to believe the end of October is here already.  In keeping with the holiday, I’ve dug up the Cartoon Network adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree. A wonderful and childlike animation that offers the cultural and historical context for the holiday wrapped up in a story of young friends venturing out to save one of their own.

Bradbury has been evoking smoky autumn evenings and golden, leaf-strewn afternoons for years in his work and his affection for this particular holiday is evident. He doesn’t skimp on the ghouls here but it isn’t scary and it offers some educational details about the traditions and heritage that lurk underneath the candy-giving and costume-wearing.

As it isn’t available on DVD, I’ve put the entire thing up right here. If you get the opportunity, check it out. And keep your ears peeled for Leonard Nimoy as Moundshroud, the foreboding old man who owns the Halloween Tree. Continue reading

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‘The Epics’ come to the BSO this weekend!

8 Oct

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Oct 8th, 2009–

This weekend, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, lead by conductor Jack Everly, will kick off the BSO SuperPops season with ‘Hollywood: The Epics”. Continue reading

Trick ‘R’ Treat will be making the rounds this October–DVD/Bluray art to prove it!

17 Jul

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July 17th, 2009–

You know how there are those movies you feel like you have been waiting forever for? Like Avatar, which Cameron has been talking up for the better part of 12 years now, ever since Titanic docked at the box office. For me, Michael Dougherty’s Trick ‘R’ Treat is one of those movies. Not to be confused with the Gene Simmons, Ozzie Osbourne horror flick from the late 80s, this one (for those who don’t already know) is an anthology flick following several interconnected stories taking place on Halloween night and starring the likes of Anna Paquin, Dylan Baker, Leslie Bibb. The little character portrayed in the posters is apparently featured in all of the stories, particularly in a segment where terrorizes Brian Cox’s old grizzled Halloween-hating recluse. Theres a nine minute clip online that can be found HERE that gives you a flavor for that scene. Continue reading

First review for The Road pops up over at Esquire

13 May

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“When it was light enough to use the binoculars he glassed the valley below. Everything paling away into the murk. The soft ash blowing in loose swirls over the blacktop. He studied what he could see. The segments of road down there among the dead trees. Looking for anything of color. Any movement. Any trace of standing smoke. He lowered the glasses and pulled down the cotton mask from his face and wiped his nose on the back of his wrist and then glassed the country again. Then he just sat there holding the binoculars and watching the ashen daylight congeal over the land. He knew only that the child was his warrant. He said: If he is not the word of God God never spoke.”

— an excerpt from Cormac McCarthy’s The Road

At long last, the film version of  The Road has a new release date and the first review has popped up online. And so far, the word is good. Very good. Great even.

That’s a relief. I’m a big McCarthy fan and I consider The Road to be easily the best thing the man has ever written. In fact, it might just be one of the best American novels I’ve ever read.  Telling the story of one man and his son making their way across a bruised, battered post-apocalyptic America, The Road was both a smaller novel and a more straightforward narrative than most of McCarthy’s other works. But it hit like a sledgehammer to the stomach.

Grueling, grim and sometimes breathtakingly bleak, the novel also featured the first real hints of hope and optimism from McCarthy. Through the darkest and most dire trials the questing duo face, the father soldiers on for the sake of his young son. Despite it’s vision of a nation and a planet struggling through what could be their final days, the book is ultimately a testament to unconditional love and familial strength.

It was so amazing, I didn’t want to see a film version muck it up. The casting of Viggo Mortensen was a plus, and the addition of australian director John Hillcoat (The Proposition) ensured that the film would mirror the book’s bleakness. But then the film’s release date kept getting pushed back–originally from November 2008–and any hopes I had became clouded by suspicions that the film might be floundering. Now, we have a solid date for the film, October 18th, and the first actual review has surfaced.

So, what have they done with it? Well, according to Esquire, it’s “the most important movie of the year”. Go here to read the review:

http://www.esquire.com/features/movies/the-road-movie-review-0609