Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Hopefully you guys have been checking out my reviews for the flud watches website in addition to this blog (links for recent flud reviews are on the right, or click the "flud reviews tag" on the right as well). The content from the old flud website is gone, but thankfully i saved everything, so here's the third installment of older reviews that aren't up anymore. And make sure to check out the new flud site if you haven't already...

‘Let Me In’ is not as bad as everyone wants it to be. Trust me, I was one of the people that wanted this movie to be bad so I could say; “told you so”, but just like; ‘Solaris’, ‘The Beat My Heart Skipped’ (a remake of James Toback’s ‘Fingers’) and a small handful of others, I cant deny how solid the remake of ‘Let The Right One In’ is. Although ‘Let Me In’ may not be as good as the first one, it still retains the spirit of the original version: The story of a lonely boy that becomes friends with a mysterious vampire girl and the “complicated” relationship between her and her ‘father’. The American remake is more of a horror movie, whereas the original Swedish version is pretty much an art house drama with a few isolated scenes of gore & violence here & there. The American remake has more of a traditional horror movie soundtrack (tense, dramatic strings that build up to an obvious vampire attack), way more blood, and (like most remakes) there are some parts of the original that were left out in the remake. The biggest contrast between the original and the remake is how its shot. Specifically the lighting of each film. Because the remake is made to be more of a traditional horror movie, the look of the movie is very dark. It seemed like most of the scenes took place at night. This is a HUGE contrast to the original which is very bright and makes great use of the snowy landscape. The bright white look of the original accentuates the bloody scenes. No matter what, this is not only the best movie playing in regular movie theaters at the moment, its one of the best American horror movies I’ve seen in a while. ‘Let Me In’ is WAY better than anything ‘Paranormal Activity’ or ‘SAW’ could ever be. Not only am I surprised this remake turned out good, but this movie came from the director as that headache of a movie; ‘Cloverfield’. As you can tell from the trailer of ‘Let Me In’, the style of film making is almost night and day from ‘Cloverfield’. Bottom line, this movie has everything. Horror, good acting (especially on the part of Chloe Morentz as the vampire), and most importantly it actually has style which makes the movie stand out from a lot of American Horror movies of today. And still, even you see ‘Let Me In’ first, I highly suggest checking out the original Swedish version.

The Kids Are Alright is another one of the few American dramadies that doesn’t totally steal from Todd Solondz (a director who’s genius everyone is going to realize long after hes dead) and his more popular films like; Welcome To The Dollhouse and Happiness. I haven’t been a fan of Director: Lisa Cholodenk. In fact, I thought her highly praised directorial debut; High Art was pretty awful. I think she’s finally come around with her third film. In The Kids Are Alright, a brother and sister raised by two lesbians, played by Annette Benning and Julianne Moore (who are currently having some typical marital problems), look to find their biological father. After tracking him down, not only do they hit it off, but they even form somewhat of a bond. However, the new addition of the children’s biological father in to their lives doesn't sit well with one of the mothers. Eventually, the marital problems that Moore and Benning are having come to major head-on collision and their relationship is put to the test. This is one of the few American films with 2 gay characters where the homosexuality isn’t “the issue” of the film (something German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder was doing decades ago). In fact, Gus Van Sant is the only active American director I can think of that does this. This movie has a perfect blend of humor, tolerable quirkiness and drama reminiscent of early 90’s sundance films like Tom Noonan’sWhat Happened Was…, The Opposite of Sex and Hal Hartley’s Trust (3 movies worth seeing if you haven’t). For an American film centered around a family, this is a pretty progressive film. The few films that portray gay couples raising kids is usually something to be poked fun at. I think choosing a gay female couple was the best thing to do. I don’t think most audiences would be able to take this movie serious with 2 men as the main characters. Benning and Moore are two of the best American actresses out right now, and were perfectly cast. I couldn’t see the leads played by anyone else (well, maybe Katherine Keener and Jennifer Jason Leigh). This may be the year that Annette Benning finally wins an academy award.


We have a new cult movie on our hands in the form of “Black Dynamite”. Not only does this movie follow in the footsteps of “Im Gonna Get You, Sucka”, but it even gives it a run for its money. Micahel Jai White plays a collage of Jim Kelly from “enter the dragon” mixed with Fred Williamson and Jim Brown, mixed with Richard Roundtree from “Shaft” in a parody on blaxploitation movies. Finally Quentin Tarantinto’s influence rubs of in a POSITIVE way, and not in a Guy Richie kinda way. Lets be honest, ever since Pulp Fiction came out, aren't you tired of the endless remakes ranging from 2 days in the Valley and Lock, Stock… to Amores Perros and Smokin Aces? My one and only criticism is something that i didn't even realize but was brought to my attention from a friend i saw the movie with. There could have been two movies made out of Black Dynamite, but they crammed a lot in to one film. Based off of what i saw in the first half of the movie alone, i would've signed up to see a sequel right away. In Black Dynamite, the title character tries to avenge his brothers death, deal with the drug problem that's infecting the youth in the community and solve a crime that involves malt liquor that carries a secret ingredient. Not only does he battle the local pimps in his neighborhood, but his adventures take him to “kung-fu island” and eventually all the way to the white house to battle Richard Nixon in a numchuck battle. The best thing about “Black Dynamite” is that you don't have to be familiar with blaxploitation films at all to enjoy the movie.
Now...that doesn't mean you don't have to get familiar with the genre. Sure there's a lot of silly shit in the realm of blaxploitation (which is an element that black dynamite pokes fun at), but there''s also some very entertaining movies in the genre too. Furthermore, blaxploitation has produced some of the most iconic poster designs and scores/soundtracks, which you can clearly see all through Black Dynamite.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...