Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

Cinema Sweetheart's Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Director: Drew Goddard
Starring: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Fran Kranz
Rated: R
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Runtime: 95 minutes

Five friends decide to spend the weekend at a cousin's cabin, but find far more than they bargained for when they discover they are all a part of a perverse and twisted ritual of death.  Before even a single night has passed, the group finds themselves spiraling into horror after horror as they try to uncover the secrets of their torment.

Now, I love horror films.  Not slasher films; horror films.  I can't stand the blood and the gore, but I LOVE to be scared.  Suspense is delightful; I just eat it up.  And this was a great film just for that reason.  While there was most definitely blood...and lots of it, there was such a perfect counterbalance of suspense and just plain freak-you-out horror that I almost didn't mind.  And that's really a first for me to say.

What I loved about this film was just how creative it was.  This is not your average bloody slasher film, or just scare-the-living-daylights out of someone horror flick; it was cleverly written out, cleverly acted, and even fairly amusing.  Perhaps the best part was just how metafictional it was.  This is not just a horror film: it is a horror film about horror films!  This is a horror film that gives the others purpose and meaning, and elevates them to something more than just blood, sex, and violence.  Sure, this film still has all those things, but it has a bit more that really gives it that "spark," and sets it aside from your average, run-of-the-mill zombie flick.

And of course, besides just a tantalizing plot, the characters themselves were wonderful.  Or, at least as wonderful as stock characters can possibly get.  The one that really stood out for me was the total pot-head, Marty (Kranz).  There's always something really funny about those kind of characters in the movies.

Sadly, there is not much more that I can say without giving away too much information.  So, that being said, I can only leave you with a strong suggestion that you check out this film.  It was honestly one of the best horror films I've seen in a long time.  If you enjoy horror films, zombies, ancient curses, or metafiction, then this film is a must-see for you :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Green Hornet (2011)

Cinema Sweetheart's Rating: 6 out of 10
Director: Michel Gondry
Starring: Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Christoph Waltz
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime
Run Time: 119 minutes

When Los Angeles playboy Britt Reid (Rogen), learns about the death of his father, he decides to react with a little friendly vandalism, by beheading his deceased parent’s newly dedicated memorial statue. While on this little misadventure with his estate’s mechanic Kato (Chou), the two witness and stop a mugging in progress, and Reid, hyped on adrenaline and alcohol, decides that he and Kato should become super heroes—but pose as villains in order to blend into the L.A. underworld. And so, after a series of inventions, tricked-out cars, and cool costumes, the vigilante Green Hornet is born. Unfortunately, things are not all sunshine and rainbows, as the Green Hornet’s activities catch the attention of supreme crime lord Chudnofsky, who will stop at nothing to keep this new name in crime from threatening his empire.

Now, I’m really a fan of superheroes, but before this movie, I didn’t know anything about the Green Hornet. Because of this, I’m really unable to connect this to the original series. I guess that means that my opinion of this film was fairly unbiased, at least on that front. My brother and dad, however, were fans of the show, and provided some interesting commentary in comparing the two pieces. For example, their biggest complaint stemmed from the personality of Britt, which they claimed was not very true to the original series.

Seth Rogen was distastefully crude. While in small amounts, sexual innuendo and swearing can be pretty funny, Rogen pushed it to a limit where it was no longer amusing. Instead of assisting the plot or furthering character development, it only made me wish that Britt would just shut the hell up. According to my dad and brother, Britt Reid is supposed to be a professional, collected character, something like a Bruce Wayne. While I would have been fine with a sort of goofy rich boy, I really feel that Rogen pushed it too far. And sadly, one can’t even say that Rogen was just working with what he was given, since he was the actually one of the screenwriters as well. This character is purely Rogen's creation, and I just didn’t like it. However, while there were too many times when you kind of just want to slap Britt, the character wasn’t ALL bad. In fact, there were times when he was actually really funny. But, these times become rarer and rarer as the film progresses.

Jay Chou, in contrast, played a very likeable character. While Britt Reid was something of a dunce, unable to do anything on his own, always cracking dirty jokes, and pretty much a vaguely likable foul-mouthed flop, Kato was talented, smart, and sweet. And he just had the coolest moves! In my humble opinion, one of the best parts of the film had to be watching Kato kick the tar out of the bad guys. No matter how many times I saw that, it was still cool!

Despite all this, Christoph Waltz stole the show. His someone limited role as the film’s villain was perfect in almost every regard. As this was an action comedy, there is a certain amount of humor to be leant to the role, and Waltz was undeniably perfect for the part. Chudnofsky is not a nice guy; he’s the incredibly unpredictable leader of crime empire in Los Angles, however, he’s incredibly funny. He asks for advice on how to be scary; he’s genuinely hurt when someone tells him his ideas are stupid. And then he says and does stupid things without realizing how it looks. He’s the perfect villain: threatening to the hero and funny for the audience; what more could a moviegoer ask for in an action comedy film? I think what I liked the best about this character had to be the unpredictability. After all, where’s the fun in a villain whose next move is always easy to guess? There is a certain tension that builds from this sort of character, especially when you never quite know what he’s thinking or what he’s going to do. Is he serious? Is he joking? Guess it’s time to thank your lucky stars that you’re not Britt Reid, and YOU don’t have to deal with him.

All in all, The Green Hornet was a decent movie. Not bad, but not great either. Just decent. Sometimes, that’s not a bad thing. Like when you’re just hanging out with people, or when you’re having a beer and movie night. It made for an interesting viewing session, but not something I would recommend or run out and buy on DVD. If you’re a fan of Seth Rogen and his sophomoric humor, then you might like this film. Christoph Waltz fans might enjoy his performance as well. For me personally, he was the highlight of the film.

Monday, April 9, 2012


I'm going to attempt to resurrect this blog one more time.  If I'm able to do it, expect an update on Thursday as always.  If not, I'm sorry; I just couldn't make it work.

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