THE DEVIL MADE HIM DO IT: Horns and St. Vincent


First, a word from our sponsors. Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay? Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r

 

Warning: SPOILERS
hornsHorns, the new supernatural, fantasy, horror, neo-noir written by Keith Bunin and directed by Alexandre Aja, has a clever, if not neat, little concept.
A young man, Ig Perrish, universally hated in the small town he lives in (for good reason, in many ways, since he’s accused of killing his long time girlfriend Merrin), grows a pair of devil’s horns which causes everyone he meets to confess their deepest desires and even fulfill them, no matter how awful they may be, if the young man gives them permission.
And there are some clever scenes here and there as these normal on the outside, white picket fence, Sunday go to meeting citizens suddenly revel in their cravings to carry out their secret, if often perverse, yearnings.
But in the end, the movie never really comes together and gets bogged down in what may seem an extraneous through line concerning the rape and murder of said girlfriend.
I’m not sure why everyone felt the need to make the story a murder mystery. It’s that way in the novel by Joe Hill (son of Stephen King), so I can’t really blame Bunin and Aja. But this aspect of the story only seems to get in the way of what really works here, this look into the hearts of darkness of people you originally thought were just a few steps up from pod people. Continue reading
Advertisements

WILD JACKS, DRAMA QUEENS and KING OF KINGS: Guardians of the Galaxy, The Dog and Calvary


First, a word from our sponsors. Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay? Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r

Warning: SPOILERS
guardians-of-the-galaxy-hed-2014Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them
               Malvolio in Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare
Well, I’m not sure I want to go over to actor Chris Pratt’s house for the holidays. After starring in both Guardians of the Galaxy and The Lego Movie, I strongly suspect there’s going to be no living with him.
Guardians of the Galaxy is the latest in the summer blockbusters the studios tend to set upon us now that it is, well…summer, I guess. The main difference is that GOT Galaxy (as I call it, or just started calling it cause it sounds kind of neat) has it’s tongue far more firmly planted in its cheek than in most summer blockbusters—and that’s saying a lot if you take Iron Man into consideration.
How good is it? Well, on a scale of one to ten, it’s not as good as The Lego Movie or X-Men: Days of Future Past, but it’s better than Edge of Tomorrow (or Live Die Repeat as the Cruise control movie seems to be called now that it’s being released on home video). Continue reading

TEENANGSTERS AND DOPPLEANGSTERS: Palo Alto and The Double


Palo-AltoPalo Alto is about teenage angst and existential ennui, just like the Twilight series, but without the werewolves and vampires, though almost as painful to get through (sorry, but it’s true).
The story revolves around three teens: April (Emma Roberts), Teddy (Jack Kilmer) and Fred (Nat Wolf) who are going through the throes of finding themselves. Unfortunately, the throes they are going through are pretty much the same throes that millions of other movie teens have pretty much gone through in millions of other movies before this and dramatized in pretty much the same way as those millions of others that came before as well. Continue reading