It can be very hard to get the right balance for a likable super hero. You need him to be somehow able to stand up to amazing odds and thrill with magnificent feats of daring. At the same time, they have to be relatable. They have to have some way that they could lose, so that the fighting means something. Henry Rollins’s character, Jack, strikes that balance perfectly in the new film He Never Died. (That’s right, there are new films out that are not Episode VII.) This movie is dark and gritty, but once again, it has a great sense of balance. There are likable characters that make you happy to see them and concerned about their situation. It feels like early Quentin Tarantino with a supernatural twist.
Now before I go on, I will get into information that is revealed in the trailer, but seems like a spoiler to me. I’ll say, if you like cool guys, being awesome, and over-the-top characters with over-the-top violence played with a respect that brings inevitability to the whole thing, then you should just stop here and check out this film.
If you want more information (and there is a lot of research to say that spoilers do not take away enjoyment, but who knows) I will go on with actual analysis of the film. Jack lives alone in a crappy apartment. He sleeps a lot, but is haunted by sounds of terror. He finds refuge in a local church by playing a very focused game of Bingo. Continue reading
When I went to see The Martian, I had no idea what to expect. I’ve heard wonderful things about the novel, and it’s been on my to-read list for a very long time. (It’s a long list that gets very little time, and I’m a slow reader.) But, this was the movie. And it was the opening weekend, so Facebook and Twitter hadn’t yet given away the entire plot, which I will attempt to not do as well.
I saw the trailer once, so I knew I was going to see a story about Mark Watney (Matt Damon), an astronaut left behind on Mars when the mission goes FUBAR. I also knew from the trailer that at some point, the crew that left him behind would be heading back to rescue him. What I didn’t know was if he would survive, and if so, how. Once I decided I was going to see it, I ignored everything about it, and even missed the fact that it was directed by Ridley Scott. And I’m glad I didn’t know, because even knowing that would have given me some expectations, and I often find those to be toxic to my enjoyment of a movie.
I got to the theater a half hour early, got a prime spot in one of the theater’s new recliners, and chowed down on a hotdog. When the movie started after twenty minutes of trailers, I was eager to get started, but I wasn’t prepared for it.
a review of M. Night Shymalan’s The Visit
By Christopher Ouellette
I want to just start off by acknowledging my estranged relationship with Mr. Shyamalan. I saw Signs not knowing anything about it. (This was before Mel had melted down and long before I knew how to pronounce Jacqueline or Shyamalan.) I had not seen the previews, so I was not among the throngs who thought they were going to a wall-to-wall alien invasion horror film. So as the Family Drama in a haunted house vibe rolled out, I was on board, and I was hooked.
Of course, where do you go after that? IMDB tells you that this is the same guy who gave you The Sixth Sense, and you now have to rent Unbreakable (from a ma and pa video store). Do you remember that time period? People were getting all hyperbolic on him: ‘The second coming of Hitchcock!’ ‘The next Spielberg!’ (This was two years before War of the Worlds, so that was still a compliment.)