Friday, September 30, 2011

Celluloid #129

In Theaters

Restless (2011) Van Sant - Harold and Maude-type boy falls for an Annie Hall-styled manic pixie girl. Annabelle has terminal cancer and only three months to live. Enoch is death-obsessed, as evidenced by his hobby of attending strangers' funerals and chatting with the ghost of a kamikaze. This movie is just off. The pacing is wrong. The outfits are too precious. The soundtrack is too twee. Even the montage of them getting to know each other is too disgustingly cute, and the dialogue too awkward. The only thing I really liked about this movie was the way it looked, and seeing Portland settings. 3/5

In Home

An American Werewolf in London (1981) Landis - David and his friend Jack are backpacking around England. In a northern town, they stop into a pub only to be greeted by strange, unfriendly people. After getting kicked out, they are attacked by a werewolf. Jack dies, but David survives in a coma for a few weeks. Unfortunately, his injuries mean that he will turn into a werewolf himself at the next full moon. The Ghost of Jack informs David that the only way to prevent this catastrophe is to kill himself. A young nurse takes David in, where they have a pretty sexy time, only making it harder for David to accept his fate. This film has actually dated pretty well. 4/5

Bad Teacher (2011) Kasdan - Cameron Diaz takes a turn as the crass female lead. After Elizabeth gets dumped by her rich fiancee, she is forced to return to her teaching job in order to pay for a boob job. Totally unsympathetic and never really manages to redeem herself. Her new co-worker (Justin Timberlake) comes from some old money - setting off a rivalry between Elizabeth and Ms. Squirrel for his affection. Nevermind that he is a huge dry-humping dork. Jason Segel is the secret love interest, but even he deserves better. Just not very funny or all that scandalous, but not exactly the worst. 2.5/5

Foxes (1980) Lyne - Not a lot happens, but instead we get a feel for late 1970s L.A. Drugs, parties, sex through the perspective of four teenage friends. One friend, Annie, has a particularly difficult time dealing with her abusive father, and making poor decisions that make her vulnerable to other men. Janie tries to look out for her other friends, and is the most responsible, probably because her major problems stem from a strained relationship with her single mother. All in all a pretty bleak portrait of life and options for ladies at that time. 3/5

Gremlins (1984) Dante - An inventor comes across a cute creature at a store in Chinatown and decides to get it as a Christmas present for his son. The rules are that it can't get wet and can't eat after midnight. Of course, these rules get broken, causing scary gremlins to take over the town. Most of the film after the set-up and gremlin incubation, is just the gremlins goofing around. They break things, get drunk, skateboard, etc. Maybe that's the appeal for kids, but it gets a little boring. 3/5

Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) Craven - Introduced the world to Freddy Krueger - a child-killer who was burned to death and now attacks young people through their dreams. This film has pretty cool special effects. It also introduced young Johnny Depp as a pretty chill boyfriend to our protagonist Nancy. No one believes her, so she is forced to take matters into her own hands by bringing Freddy out of her nightmare and into the present reality. 4/5

Poison Ivy (1992) Ruben - Drew Barrymore plays a bad girl who befriends a rich but awkward girl. Ivy essentially ends up moving in. The mother is dying of cancer and the father is a creepy alcoholic who finds lvy attractive. What started out as a rebellious friendship, soon morphs into a competition between the girls for the affection of the parents, with deadly results. Really great if you are in the mood for 90s-style erotic thrillers. 3.5/5


Tycoon said...

Great reviews man I want to re-watch American Werewolf in London and A Nightmare on Elm Street. Both frightened the hell out of me when I was a young boy. I'd like to see my reaction to them now. I still find It really scary.

Roman said...

Cameron Diaz also did that lead role in The Sweetest Thing, a rom-com that was basically their version of Dumb and Dumber. Jason Bateman plays the drunk best friend. It's not bad.