Scary Movie Season

10/26/2009

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Halloween is in six days, and this year I’m fairly worn out on typical horror movies.  Like I said before, slasher and gore, torture and mutilation, these things don’t work on a 42-yr-old man, but there are some movies that can scare me, and i still haven’t seen Paranormal Activity, so I can’t say for sure it will.

For years, I would faithfully trot out my pet Halloween movie as the main course for friends and family to scream and shudder to: Richard Donner’s The Omen (1976).  THRILL as Damien’s nanny hangs herself!  CRINGE as the photographer’s head is sliced off by a pane of glass! Good stuff, to be sure.  But it’s gotten old, so this year I’m adopting a new favorite; a movie I didn’t think I was going to like, mostly due to the odd title.

18924__mothman_lThe Mothman Prophecies is a well-told, chilling tale of the psychological bent, that creeps into the realm of truth and fact in a jarring climax straight out of Hitchcock’s wet dreams.  Based on a novel by John A. Keel, the fantastic world of cryptozoology sprung clean and new from the Richard Gere vehicle.  It’s a testament to weird beliefs that spread easily, just because someone wrote them in some book.  But now I’ve come full circle to The Omen, again.

Anyways, I can’t wait to screen this new scary favorite this week for friends and family, and hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween.



My Favorite Coen Brothers Movie

10/15/2009

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Wow, what an absolutely tough question.  If you had to pick one Coen Bros. movie and call it their best, or your favorite, which would you choose?  That’s what Salon asked of directors, critics, and other insiders recently.  Here’s the article.

The submitters all make good explanations for their ultimate choices, but it’s apparent that they arrived at those choices after a lot of excruciating deliberation.

I myself am torn in 4 different directions, and I haven’t even seen A Serious Man, which looks delicious.  But.  Although each and every one of their films wins thoroughly in the acting, writing, and art direction departments, one stands just a couple of inches above the rest.  So while my heart will always leap with joy whenever I catch Miller’s Crossing, Barton Fink, or Raising Arizona (or any others, for that matter) playing somewhere, my brain just can’t get enough of No Country For Old Men.

I absolutely love the static, dialog-free segments, the weight of the darkness, the endless progression of motels and hotels.  Even though they snubbed the hitchhiker part from the excellent book by Cormac McCarthy, they also added their own cinemagic that towers over the whole story.  Absolutely brilliant casting in every role, and although I initially frowned on the strange way it ended, I read the book and decided it was always going to end that way.  Kudos.

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