Michael Jackson’s This Is It
While I am a fan of MJ’s music and do think he was the greatest solo artist of all time, I am in somewhat of a quandry with this release. While I could easily watch him perform rehearsals on a constant loop for the rest of time, I have to question the morals of this documentary. The man was a great performer, but mentally and physically unwell for a long time before his death and had been accused of quite a large number of horrific acts. Also, a lot of people came out of this film on release saying how it showed how MJ was manipulated by those around him – surely buying this DVD would just fund these people? I think a different type of documentary would have still raised the same concerns but surely a more appropriate documentary could have been created with a little more insight into the man? This is still going to shift a massive stack of DVDs, because a lot of people idolised the man and some of the songs are phenomenal.
Listen to Episode 45 for more on this film. I have to say NOTHING could get me to see this movie. I really dislike Diablo Cody and my disdain for Megan Fox (less an actress, more of a prop) knows no bounds and the two of them together sounds like my idea of hell.
Really enjoyable but very flawed ‘stitchpunk’ movie which while being entertaining, is never challenging Pixar or Disney. The visuals are fantastic and the voice cast is a nice mix of well known actors , but the story is a little disjointed and it tries to appeal to the masses a little too much. It ends up being a little too creepy for small children and too childish in plot to fully work for adults. So while it is more than watchable, you can’t shake off the feeling that it could have been a lot better.
Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever
I thought the original Cabin Fever wasn’t a bad little horror/thriller. It was a mix of traditional and teen horror and was well received after being made for only $1.5 million, and a great example of how to use a low budget well. Which is why it is such a shame that this terrible film shares it’s name. I think it was made for at least the same amount of money as the original, but boy, does it show! There were rumours that the Director Ti West (the director of the fantastic House of the Devil) disowned the film after claiming that the film was edited in such a way as to dwell on the gory elements of the film. Although without seeing his original version, I couldn’t tell whether studio intervention hurt the film, the fact that House of the Devil was so good does make me question it.
The Crazies (1973)
The George Romero original set in Evan’s City, Pennsylvania where a biological virus turns the townfolk insane. This is a classic, but under appreciated horror which hopefully will become more popular with the soon-to-be released remake starring Timothy Olyphant (which looks like it could also be very good, if the trailer is anything to go by)
Also out this week: Shinjuku Incident – The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard – Katalin Varga
By now, all and sundry will have seen the trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s much delayed, heavily anticipated new film, Inglourious Basterds. A very loose remake of a late-70s warploitation picture directed by Enzo Castellari, this has been circulating for some time now but has really kicked into gear in the past six months, first garnering much attention for its idiosyncratic casting and now starting to attract mixed-anticipation from forever apologists on his work and some scorn for certain aspects of what we can see.
Most of the problem I would have with the film is the casting of Brad Pitt in that lead role. Pitt recently won a deeply undeserved Oscar nomination for his performance in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and seems to have been elevated to a sort of untouchable status in Hollywood where his performances are never really watched with any critical eye by audiences. He seems able to walk into the most coveted roles in the industry without having to display anything beyond basic human charisma. He is a very watchable actor but, as brutally evidenced in this trailer, this is not the film for him. He has to play a grizzled veteran, a man entirely at home with violence and a skewed sense of patriotism. What we get here sounds more like Ben Button getting cranky.
Outside of that, the casting itself seems entirely strange, not only because he cast the hideous, execrable, annoying, talentless Eli Roth in a prominent acting role, but he has also hired the likes of BJ Novak (Ryan on the US version of The Office) and Samm Levine (Freaks & Geeks) to make up the assembled team of Nazi killers. To the Tarantino mega-fan, this will seem like another of his casting masterstrokes, but to me this reeks of constructed eccentricity. There can be nothing worse than creative decisions which seem to have been designed specifically to hit the quirk buttons and this seems very much that way.
Whether this film will be good or not, I cannot tell you at this point, but this looks like another of Tarantino’s films which will veer too far into over-clever pastiche in a way that Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction never did. I’m beginning to strongly desire just a straight film, nothing that recalls or pastiches anything from the past, nothing that’s a generic piece from a genre which only the hipster snoberati will regail in. Please, Quentin, just make something that showcases your talent rather than your ability to recall your past of watching movies all day and night.
Inglourious Basterds Trailer