Month: October 2011

The Thing

In case there are some who may be a little confused about the originals and re- makes of  The Thing, I will attempt to clarify somewhat. In the first place, the quintes- sential  1951 original “The Thing (from another world)”, which is celebrating it’s 60th anniversary this year, is the foundation on which directors John Carpenter’s and  Matthijs Hejningen’s versions firmly stem from. Both are based on John Campbell’s short story, “Who Goes There.” In fact, if you watch the sci-fi classic first, you’ll realize that the pre- sent version is an updated remake as well as a prequel to Carpenter’s 1982 film. That being said, with three movies from different social and political eras having the exact same title, renaming them Thing one, Thing two and Thing three would have sounded like a Dr. Seuss epic rather than a sci-fi horror thriller. Would anyone have tak- en it seriously? Probably not until they actually saw the movies. Whether it was because Kurt Russell was the alpha male in the last “Thing”, and it was a woman’s turn this time, or because women have played prominent figures in sci- fi for years now(I prefer the latter), the idea of bringing in a female protagonist this go round was excellent. Indeed, before Ridley Scott made that radical gender change for the Alien franchise, there wasn’t  many a championess in the...

Read More

Camille (2007)

I believe it to be impossible to review Camille without discussing spoilers. Considering that most of the plot is driven by an event, and that the characters don’t fully realize its implications until halfway through, I feel the need to mention that I will have to mention spoilers in this review. If you want to avoid them completely, then you should just go watch the film because if you’re dead-set about avoiding spoilers, you’ve probably already decided you’ll see it at some point. The film begins with a wedding. There’s a rebellious young man named Silas (James Franco), who is a troublemaker trying to clean up his act. He still smokes and steals though, and he’s currently on parole, but for some reason, his wife-to-be, Camille (Sienna Miller) loves him anyway. They wed, although after the reception, we hear him remark that he wants to punch her in the face whenever she talks. Not exactly true love on his part. Their goal is to travel by way of road to Niagara Falls for their honeymoon. I should mention at this point that they’re on the American side of Niagara Falls, because that becomes a plot point of mild importance later on. There’s a snag in this plan though: The pair get into an accident and Camille dies. This gives the police a reason to chase them across multiple states...

Read More

I’m a Cyborg, but that’s OK (2006)

I’m a Cyborg, but that’s OK (Original Korean title: Ssaibogeujiman gwaenchanha) (2006) Director:  Park Chan-wook Writers: Park Chan-wook & Seo-Gyeong Jeong I’m abandoning my robotic format of analyzing movies on a film review about a girl who thinks she’s a cyborg. I believe the right hemisphere of the brain is just as important as the left. At least I know I’m human. Before I start, I should mention that I absolutely loathe romantic comedies because they are often the least creative genre to be had. Having said this you should definitely know that romantic comedies are far from this particular director’s track record. Not vengeful anymore good sir? Park Chan-wook sure loves his revenge, as much as making up a justifiable excuse for his protagonists to exact the sickest and bloodiest kind. You would know this if you were aware of his 3 revenge movies that are regarded as a trilogy. His most famous of the three is Oldboy, which starts off like the story of The count of Monty Cristo, by imprisoning a man for 15 years. It was the middle film of the trilogy which featured a startling ending plot twist much like the The Empire Strikes Back, but way more sick and deranged. I’m a cyborg, but that’s OK is the director’s first departure from years of focusing on nastily unforgiving revenge. He looks to obscure and then construe romantic comedies. You should of course...

Read More

Movie Review of ‘Paranormal Activity 3’ (2011)

With the Saw franchise having at long last ended in 2010, the Paranormal Activity series is now moving in to claim Saw‘s former Halloween release timeslot. But Saw and Paranormal Activity are different types of horror movies – while the Saw pictures relied on gratuitous violence and gore to generate thrills, the Paranormal Activity series is more reliant on psychological terror, nail-biting tension and proper suspense. Both franchises do share something in common, though: each instalment can be made on a tiny budget and is guaranteed to pull in enormous box office profits, meaning that artistic integrity is a lesser concern. While Paranormal Activity 2 was a worthwhile follow-up that satisfactorily expanded upon the franchise’s mythology, 2011’s Paranormal Activity 3 is a lazier effort from a script standpoint. Nevertheless, it’s well made – the filmmakers did just enough to keep the formula from becoming stale thanks to the prequel angle and the adept efforts of directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman. Set in 1988, 8-year-old Katie (Csengery) and her 5-year-old sister Kristi (Brown) live with mother Julie (Bittner) and her wedding videographer boyfriend Dennis (Smith). Due to his passion for photography, Dennis begins documenting their daily lives with his camera equipment. However, he soon begins to capture mysterious supernatural occurrences on-camera. Intrigued, Dennis sets up a few cameras around the house to record nightly activity and potentially capture evidence of a paranormal intruder. Unexplainable occurrences continue to intensify as the days elapse, so Dennis decides to...

Read More

Piranha 3D (2010)

Piranha 3D is the type of film where you can watch the trailer and pretty much figure out whether or not you’re going to enjoy watching it. It’s a cheesy b-movie horror-comedy, and if you like that kind of film, you’ll have a good time with it. If you aren’t already in favor of these kind of intentionally trashy films, Piranha 3D isn’t going to change your mind. Me? I was laughing during the first scene. Said first scene shows us a man out on his boat fishing, drinking beer and singing some sort of sea shanty song. He drops his beer bottle into the lake, and we watch it — after it has magically been turned into awful CGI — float to the bottom. An earthquake is triggered, and man-eating piranha decide that they’re going to ruin this man’s day. Because this is a horror movie, that man isn’t going to play any part in the rest of the film, although his death establishes our primary enemy — even though that threat is given to us in the title. I laughed because of the terrible CGI that was used on the beer bottle, but I actually thought the piranha were rendered quite nicely; it’s not hard to tell where most of the budget was spent. It becomes spring break, and because we’re on a beach, it’s party time....

Read More


Critics Login

Subscribe to MFR

Review Archive