22 Jump Street

Despite a dull opening set piece that’s in contest with that of Lethal Weapon 3’s for least enthusiastic start to a cop movie the jokes work themselves out of the rut that’s dominated sequels of this sort for decades. Really, about ten jokes are made at the movie’s own expense on how the sequel is never as good as the first and it’s this challenge the film acknowledges and sets out to disprove to mostly successful results.

Hill and Tatum are still excellent together even if it’s all too obvious who’s pulling the strings. As both co-writer and co-star, Hill’s stamp is all over this and the charming stylings of Phil Lord and Chris Miller are just icing on the cake. Tatum does his best action hero doofus once more are earns some marks for his physical “wow” moments.

What works best here is the believable conflict between the two. While on a surface level it IS a mere role reversal, this one hits closer to reality than 21 did and works up a sour taste of fear for our heroes relationship. Bromance may be an appropriate word here, but it shouldn’t be used to dilute the empathy and value shared on screen for a good friendship.

All around a good summer comedy and a quality sequel.

Fatal Attraction

I’ve been reading books on screenwriting lately and Fatal Attraction was exampled and recommended. It’s one of those films that’s become embedded in pop culture to the point where even millennials feel as though they’ve seen it. Trust me, you haven’t.

This is a terrific thriller (or horror movie?) with stylish direction and camera work that while entertaining never can match the excellent script. There are no throw away lines here, the bait is set and we-and Michael Douglas-bite. It’s beautiful how balanced the film is, subtly vilifying Douglas as he breaks the rules, ignores the signs, and sets himself up for everything he gets. It’s true! If you only watched the first 40 minutes of the movies you’d think he was the bad guy, and that’s not entirely untrue by the end.

Glenn Close has the showy part, but resists chewing the scenery (gasp!) and tugs at you like she does Douglas’s sleeve to stay with her. Sure by the end she’s the home wrecker, but you never feel her actions are absurd. Well, except maybe murder, but I’ll let that pass!

In closing, I loved this film and wholly recommend it to every thriller, horror, Hitchcock, Adrian Lyne, and good story fans everywhere. Also, I want to try doing it in an elevator now.

Finished Hannibal seasons 1 & 2

Dear God, I just finished the season 2 finale and feel like I need a week’s break from this pesky sense of reason I have. The appeal of this show is entirely on the surface and much like heralded slasher icons (Jason Voorhees) serial killers are depicted as superheroes or at least as something “other”. 

My mind melts as I trace the plotting that led us to this bloody finale and I cannot discover at which point the tears it begs of you is earned or how these terribly written characters found themselves in the same house for a cliffhanger to a tale I do not care to continue. Oh, was that a run on sentence? Well Hannibal has a case of run on poetry diarrhea.

Hannibal: “When the fox hears the rabbit scream he comes running, but not for help.”

It’s awful and I need to compose my thoughts into a journal entry to better understand what the hell is going on in this show.  Till next time.

lifeascaty

I remember in a screenwriting class we read the Grey’s Anatomy pilot and people were giggling aloud. Then I got to the part about a woman biting off a man’s anatomy. 

A week later and I started watching the show on Netflix with my gay roommate. We (and sometimes with others) watched all the way up to about season 5 before I felt like my head was gonna crack from Heigl’s never ending whining. 

whatsanapocalae

whatsanapocalae:

Okay this is super important as I’m trying to send this to Hollywood agents to make my script into a television show. I need as many of you as possible to tell me what I need to do to make you want to watch this show. Here is my log line, my tag line, my one sentence to sell this concept:

Simplify, it’s a mouthful. Maybe: “A reporter meets a monster sympathizing paranormal investigator who secretly plays both sides of a supernatural conflict.” That any help? 

Under the Skin

John Glazer (of Sexy Beast fame) starts his “Art” with a capital A film with a bellowing foghorn of an opening. 2001-like abstract imagery of light and circular-possibly alien-objects floating in some ill defined space let us know right away despite being based on a book this is going to be a slow meditative burn.

The film diverges greatly in plot from the book so don’t worry about it. The only real barrier to you’re pleasure is how you do with movies that show you every needless detail of a character’s mission to complete the ordinary: walking up the beach, walking down a hall, shopping, dressing. The same direction is applied to conversation which while in the beginning is tense with mystery and intrigue, but later falls into long silences interrupted by occasional half whispered lines. If, that is IF you can stomach these headache inducing particulars, which recall the works of Nicholas Roeg and Wim Wenders, you can enjoy a uniquely bizarre soul searching road film.

I’m still making up my mind what I should take away from it. I’ve heard there is heavy symbolism in the very explicit and surprising ending which ties up an overall theme of objectifying women, while others saw it as a very splashy approach for a admittedly cheap thrills inherent B movie plot. None of that seems misguided in my head, there’s always room for new ideas even in the crowded genre’s Under the Skin invokes. There’s a not so subtle and rather sentimental transition from apathy to empathy in the film’s halfway point and what it’s going for is petty low hanging fruit (the unfailing walk of men on a well worn path for the mere promise of sex and his reduction of the female to that reward ignorant to…what’s under the skin!), but it’s something we as a global community should consider gravely. In light of recent outrages like the military’s report of sexual assaults that go unpunished, the rape/murders of women in India, the abduction of women from around the world and sold into sex slavery in the U.S. this is pretty good timing for such a movie.

However, the deliberately polarizing direction seems at odds with it’s intentions and it’s therefore not a film I can recommend widely. Best suited for liberal arts majors, those interested in feminism, and fans of Candid Camera. 

Summer is coming…

One of my new year resolutions was to make a short this year. This would be the first film I’ve made since school and the first made outside of a class assignment since I was a little kid. I have a few ideas including, but it largely hinges on location and budget (doesn’t it always?) and I haven’t set a firm date outside of…summer. I work now at a production lighting company and as awesome as it is it also kills me having direct access to the quotes for rentals. Wanna 1x1 bi-color lite panel? That’ll be roughly $170…a day…plus insurance. 

I have the people and some of the know how, but I’ll be keeping this blog updated on where this whole mess is going. Until then May the 4th be with us all. 

The full movie!!!

From the director of Basket Case…nuff said.

Really, that film should be your intro to Frank Henenlotter’s sick/wonderful mind. Brain Damage counts as his lesser effort, economic horror with little drama, padding, or much else. The film is so basic that in a intentionally hilarious expository scene the ENTIRE history of the monster is laid out in one breath. Like we care! It’s a slug that eats brains!

There’s little to recommend this flick outside of fans of Henenlotter, but it does boast some trippy gross-out moments that most can appreciate. Still, I’m happy I gave it the 80 minutes it lasts even if brain cell not as much. 

2/5