A good number of people have now seen Paranormal Activity 2. I agreed with the booers at my Thursday-night screening that the ending is too cryptic. And I disliked angry-douche-dad-with-glasses because he never faced the situation and spent all of his time denying or firing the maid or being elsewhere. I had no problem with the waiting-for-it. But why did they bring up the idea of a demon contract (i.e., sacrificing your first born as repayment) without hinting if angry-dad cut such a deal or not?
Levi Johnston is a nice-enough guy, but he’s coasting. And that’s one thing you really don’t want to do when you’re young. You need to struggle, suffer, test your limits, fail, search around, feel lonely and eat shit. That’s how you find out who you are. Coasting gets you nothing.
The King’s Speech is one of the best of the year, but it’s not as hot now (in late October) as it was pre-Toronto, and as lame as this sounds a little voice is telling me that Harvey and his team need to re-invigorate the hype. I don’t know what that means exactly. I just have this tingly sense that the sand is leaking out, granule by granule, and the Weinstein Co. needs to jazz it up on some level. Not now but next month, I’m thinking.
HE commenters who dissed Tony Scott yesterday need to do some back-up and re-think moves. A tough and respected critic saw Unstoppable a day or so ago and says it’s not only “a pretty good film” but one of Scott’s best, in part because there’s “no super-malevolent villain” this time (i.e., no Travolta-in-Pelham) and so that oh-fuck-here-we-go-again feeling is absent.
Unstoppable, he more or less said, is just a good, rock-solid, technical-challenge-for-Denzel Washington-and-Chris Pine flick with a loudmouth corporate jerkoff screwing things up and Rosario Dawson assigned to handle most of the exposition. (“When Scott realizes he’s gotta have somebody handle the exposition because somebody has to do it, his thinking is ‘okay, at least let’s have a really hot chick do it”) It’s just a good old “how do we fix this really bad-ass crazy choo-choo situation?” thing.
All Scott haters bow, scatter, or run for the hills. Or apologize right now — your call. And next time think first before shooting your mouth off.
Suffern’s Lafayette theatre is a heavenly haven for movie lovers. It’s a beautiful, single-screen, old-style theatre with delicious popcorn, first-rate projection and sound, a great-sounding Wurlitzer organ and all the 1920s ornamental trimmings lovingly restored. And it’s run by a pair of knowledgable, super-friendly guys — owner-operator Nelson Page and projectionist and print-wrangler Peter Aprussezze.
And believe it or not there was actually a long line of movie mavens shelling out for today’s 11:30 am showing of of the recently restored The Bridge on the River Kwai (’57). I was expecting maybe 10 or 15 people would show up. The tally was closer to 100.
The truth? Honestly? The digital projection was fine but the film itself (i.e., the digital master supervised by Sony’s Grover Crisp) looked dark. If what I saw represents what the forthcoming Kwai Bluray looks like, there’s going to be grumbling upon the 11.2 release.
I know this film very, very well, and too damn much of it looked shadowy and underlit this morning. I can already hear the loyalists saying “you don’t understand, Wells — this is how the actual film looked in 1957 when it played at the RKO Palace…it’s supposed to be dark in certain scenes.” I’ll tell you right now that explanation isn’t going to work. Certain values simply weren’t visible due to shadows, and that’s no good in my book. If the Bluray itself doesn’t look better — sharper, less contrasty, less noirish — than what I saw this morning, there’s going to be some dissent and pushback.
On top of which the Lafayette theatre wasn’t heated, and after a while I just couldn’t take it. Sorry, but it’s late October and the fall foliage is starting to show on all the trees, and on a day like this you have to heat places like theatres. I’m not trying to make trouble for anyone, but my leg muscles start to ache when the climate is too cool.
Glenn Kenny in front of Suffern’s Lafayette theatre — Saturday, 10.23, 11:05 am.
Owner-manager Nelson Page, projectionist Peter Aprussezze
It’s 9:50 am, and I’m writing this on a Secaucus-to-Suffern train. That’s Suffern, New York, where the old-timey Lafayette theatre is kicking off its 2010 rep season this morning with an 11:30 am showing of the recently restored The Bridge on the River Kwai. I’m attending at the invitation of Glenn Kenny, who’s friendly with Nelson Page, the owner and runner of the place, and Peter Aprussezze, who wrangles the prints and handles the projection. Call it a little get-out-of-town Saturday adventure.
After two brutal pans yesterday from Variety‘s Peter Debruge and the Hollywood Reporter‘s Kirk Honeycutt, Tyler Perry‘s For Colored Girls needs a champion — someone to step bright into the breach and say “hold up, they’re wrong…and here’s why.”
I nominate Movieline‘s Stu VanAirsdale, a self-admitted Perry fanboy who wrote an impassioned profile/defense of the Atlanta-based filmmaker in the September 2009 issue of Esquire (“Why Tyler Perry is the New Obama”). Calling him a “Dark Knight in a floral-print cape,” VanAirsdale wrote that “arguably no filmmaker working today has a better grasp of the zeitgeist than Perry does — and not just the black zeitgeist. Perry is doing some profoundly next-level theorizing about race in the United States. The films are also funny, well-acted and entertaining; a little earnest, sure, and kind of cornball.”
VanAirsdale also said that The Family That Preys, which he called Perry’s “best film….succeeds not only as a wildly pulpy Southern melodrama, but also as an engaging exploration of race, power, and class.”
Is this the guy to turn back the negative Colored Girls tide or what? And I’m not being snide. If the trades went after a filmmaker I admire and support, I’d sure as shit post a counter-view right away. I know that if I was a Lionsgate marketer I’d be on pins and needles this weekend waiting for VanAirsdale’s opening Colored Girls defense piece. I’d be preparing a quote-ad based entirely on what VanAirsdale may write. I mean, I’d have it ready to go first thing Monday morning. Seriously.
Wait…will Van Airsdale take the weekend off and post his defense Monday, or will he jump right in today while the impact-grenade effect from the Debruge/Honeycutt reviews is still ringing in the ears?