Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Horror of Horror

I know may people like scary movies but most are so bad you cant even laugh at them. This is the weakest of the genres. It isn't that I can't enjoy one of theses film, I loved The Exorcist. But the volume of crap that passes as a movie usually come from the slasher flick.

Am I being harsh? Yes. But please people don't go see these movies. Do we need Saw 6 or Jason vs Freddie 2 or Friday the 13th 13: (This time it's personal)? Com'on!

These series ruin the good movies that came before and not want me take a chance on anything "new" coming out. So, this Halloween curl up with a classic. You can't go wrong with Psycho. Oh wait, it has a great plot and characters that have depth, you can't have that. I'm sure you can rent House on Hunted Hill and it's in color.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Is Televison Better Then Movies?

We are back in the swing of a new television season. Normally, I hate TV. I don't even get cable or even rabbit ears on my set. I turn it on and I get snow. That is not an oversight by me, I just don't want it in my home. It is a huge time suck. So, why am I about to sing it's praises?

I like what TV can be. Not what it is, but where it can go. You can keep your "reality TV." LC can suck a conch. In fact you can blow up MTV they don't even play music videos. Throw out the game shows. I would rather watch a blank wall for an hour then watch indecisive people labor over picking a box. It's a F*&%ing Case, It don't matter what you pick. But, there are the few shows that get it right.

Part of the reason I like films is because they have a "bigger" story. They go beyond the typical 22 minutes of formula you get on TV and get to something deeper more unique. Check out Synecdoche, New York (Which I am still thinking about five days later, see this movie). But with series like Heroes, 24, and Lost, people are seeing large scale, plot driven stories that rival the big screen alternative. I am also a fan of 30 Rock and the Office which drive story forward without sacrificing the funny. Now if we can just get rid of those ads.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

What Is Next?

You Tube. Blu-Ray. On-Demand lifestyle.

You don't know what you want. But, you can get it anytime.

Is too much choice a bad thing or is it what makes us consumers? Why is it that we need Blu-Ray and 1080i broadcast to see a 1926 Buster Keaton flick? Will quality bow to convenience? Instant gratification is what everyone wants. Or is it?

What ever happened to anticipation. The build up. The excitement that surrounded media. People use to go to the theatre to see a movie that only played three times a day. Now that same movie is in a warehouse theatre playing every fifteen minutes. Am I nostalgic? Maybe. Would I give up DVR tech. Not on your life.

I like that modern times allows me more freedom in my media life. This also means I don't have to schedule anything. I can record everything or at least find it on the Internet soon after. I miss that "specialness." That surrounds your entertainment of choice.
Do I need to see my local news in High Def? No. But I won't watch it any other way.
So, what am I getting at? High def, on-demand, instantaneous is great. You can watch the TV Show online the next day (or later that same night. But, you will lose your anticipation, that only an "event" can bring. Something that happens at one time and if you miss it, it's gone. You need to make a conscious choice to view or not view. Life is going way of the afterthought and last minute prep.
So, what is next? They are already starting to release movies at the same time on DVD, On-Demand, and Theatre. Ala "Bubble." So how much are you willing to "Lose?" I don't need to drop 40 bucks on two tickets, popcorn and a soda, when I can see the same presentation on my 46 LCD with 5.1 surround. For the comfort and price it is just a better choice.
So say so-long to the traditional date night.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Leave Rififi Alone

The other night I just watched a great noir classic Rififi. I have been told for years to see this film. I was unable to find the film until I got Netflix and let me tell you it was worth the wait. This 1955 french crime thriller keeps you on the edge of your seat and the most intense moments of the film came from the 32 minutes of silence.

If you haven't got it by now, I liked this film. People should see this film. So why, when lighting is captured, do they have to remake the film with less capable people 54 years later?

Do I think that Al Pacino is a bad actor? No. Would I be surprised if they get Paul Greengrass to direct? Absolutely not. I know some of you are thinking, Cool I like shaky -cam. Just stop.

I do like that style of shooting when appropriate. But why would you do that to such a great story where stillness and understatement builds the tension? Before I get ahead of myself on projected style. Let me recap some of the past re-makes.

Point of No Return - La Femme Nikita was better
Psycho - Hitchcock beats Van Saint
The Getaway - McQueen over Alec Baldwin (Stick with 30Rock)
Mr. Deeds - Let me think. Frank Capra or Adam Sandler?
Last Man Standing - Give me Kurosawa's Yojimbo.
The Longest Yard - Please Adam stop.
You've got Mail - Shop Around the Corner had more heart.

And that's from the top of my head. But the remakes keep coming

The Seven Samurai - 2009
Short Circuit - 2010 (Like we need this)
A Nightmare on Elm Street - 2010
The Day the Earth Stood Still - 2008
Escape from New York - 2009
Magnum PI - 2009 (Not really a remake but I thought I should mention It)
Dirty Dozen - 2010

I'll stop now. I think my point was made. So please, don't settle for a studios watered down, half-assed second effort. Stick with the original. Remember Coke 2?