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David Poland

By David Poland

BYOB Friday The 13th

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85 Responses to “BYOB Friday The 13th”

  1. LexG says:

    What was the point of promoting that Besty chick to film critic in L.A. when NEITHER ONE OF THEIR TWO REGULAR MAIN CRITICS are willing to review what will probably be the weekend’s number one film?
    I realize Sir Turan fancies himself “above” certain things and a “Friday the 13th” movie certainly qualifies there.
    BUT when you guys bemoan all these poor hard-working film critics getting the axe, what can you think about a SNOBBISH CONDESCENDING TOOLBAG like Turan who has the #1 FILM CRITIC JOB IN TOWN and yet REFUSES TO SEE OR WRITE ABOUT CERTAIN FILMS?
    EBERT doesn’t just review one or two movies a week that are up to his “lofty” standards. He reviews just about everything.
    The Times has to farm out seemingly 3/4 of its reviews to part-timers and AP reviews; Isn’t seeing that shit kinda OLD FUCK TURAN’S JOB?
    For those of you know who him personally, is he as big of a JOYLESS TOOL in the real as he is in print and in those HILARIOUSLY PAINED AND STITLED YouTube videos he now makes?
    Worse than Lyons. Worse than Medved.

  2. I’m still shaking my head over the sheer disbelief that some critics are attacking “The Reader,” claiming that it portrays a sympathetic light on SS/Nazi guards from the Holocaust, and that the movie will supposedly give a wrong, inaccurate portrayal of history for young audience viewers.

  3. The Pope says:

    I hear you DeafBrown.
    While I don’t think The Reader is all that great, neither do I think that it is tha Nazi-apologia so many are claiming it to be. Instead, I think it tries to understand how we justify our actions to ourselves and therefore how we deny moral responsibility. So, young Michael is treated kindly by Hannah. He goes back to say thanks and ends up in bed with her. He goes home and when asked by his family where he was, he is either ashamed or embarrassed by what he has done, so he lies.
    And that is he beginning of his adulthood. He lies from that moment forth and the more he becomes comfortable with the lies, the more he decieves himself. Until the point where he, a student of the law, cannot find it within himself to step forward and say the TRUTH. And that truth is irrespective of whether Hannah was a Nazi or not.
    I wish people would look beyond the clich

  4. a_loco says:

    I agree with you too, Deaf. I found The Reader to be very mediocre, but all this moral grandstanding from some of its critics is just stupid and idiotic.

  5. Triple Option says:

    I’m not really much on awards show but I did manage to catch Jennifer Hudson sing a tribute to Muhammed Ali on the Image Awards last night…Whoa! So that’s what they mean by “send chills.”
    Looks like a good w/e in LA to stay in and watch movies. Right about now I’m wishing I had Netflix. Really, I wish I had friends w/Academy screeners. I’m thinking The Reader, Rev Rd and Rachel Married can be just as easily enjoyed from the sofa and not lose too much on the theater going experience.

  6. LexG says:

    “Stay in”? Fuck that. Get out there and see FRIDAY THE 13TH. Movie event of the season.
    Then go see Isla Fisher being CHARMING in Confessions/Shopaholic.
    Or The International. (Though even I’ll concede that’s the working definition of a “dutifully clocking in” movie where you might catch a matinee cuz you sort of like the stars, sort of enjoy it in that low-stakes way, then never watch it or think about it again.)

  7. Hopscotch says:

    Wierd, I literally just got back from The Reader.
    I agree, the movie is about guilt. It’s not about reading.
    I’m not sure what to make of it. I didn’t hate the movie, I respected some of it. But the “big reveal” at the courtroom where Michael puts the pieces together… I was thinking to myself, “what, the dumb SOB hasn’t thought of that yet?” my friend totally disagreed and liked it alot.
    But…yeah, I didn’t feel strongly either way. Unlike say, Benjamin button, where I strongly DISliked once I left.

  8. adorian says:

    I’ve been trolling various entries on IMDb, and here are some 2009 (I think) performances that I hope we will be praising next awards season:
    The Last Station — Mirren and Giamotti
    1939 — Maggie Smith
    Mandela — Morgan Freeman
    Cheri–Michelle Pfeiffer
    Broken Embraces — Cruz
    The Tree of Life — Pitt and Penn
    Bright Star — Cornish
    Young Victoria — Blount, Broadbent and Richardson
    Julia — Tilda Swinton
    Push: Sapphire — Mo’Nique and Sidibie
    Biutiful — Bardem
    The Road — Viggo, Charlize, Kodie and Duvall
    I’m not too thrilled at the thought of Hilary Swank as Amelia Earhart or Meryl Streep as Julia Child.

  9. movieman says:

    …caught up with “Friday the 13th” at a matinee today and had a pleasant afternoon nap.
    While I thought Nispel’s “Chainsaw” remake was utterly redundant (why remake something that was already damn near perfect?), I was still able to discern that it was decently crafted and moderately stylish.
    My hope was that Nispel would bring those same gifts to bear on a movie that was hardly a classic the first time out. Instead, he’s made a reboot that’s every bit as ho-hum and depressingly mediocre as the 1980 template.
    And was it so hard to find at least moderately good-looking young actors willing to be sliced and diced in a major studio release produced by Michael Bay? Seriously. Except for the very pretty Padalecki (who will always be Rory Gilmore’s ineffable Dean to me), this is one homely group of (barely adequate) young thespians.
    This boring new “Friday” doesn’t hold a candle to the recent “My Bloody Valentine” remake which was skillfully done and a huge improvement over its (equally) shitty original…and I saw “MBV” minus the 3-D effects so I’m judging them on the same level playing field.
    “Shopaholic” is good fun, however. The delicious Isla Fisher deserves to become a major star, and it was great seeing P.J. Hogan back at work again on another pop-savvy, candy-colored rom-com (he is, after all, the man who single-handedly spearheaded the Abba revival that would eventually give birth to “Mamma Mia!”). I sure hope this fares better than Fisher’s 2008 Valentine’s Day release (the seriously undervalued “Definitely Maybe”).

  10. LexG says:

    Isla Fisher = C H A R M I N G.
    movieman, that is a bummer, and I’m getting worried because I keep reading that in reviews: That F13 is strangely tame and not nearly as stylish as Nispel’s TCM or even Pathfinder. The guy has a strong eye and palpable sense of production design usually.
    Can’t speak to the guys, but as for hot chicks, Amanda Righetti was on North Shore and was kind of hot; Danielle Panaker is minor-league ownage.
    I see failed early 00s popstar Willa Ford is in the mix? Damn, “born 1981,” per IMDB???? I thought she was like 37.

  11. Wrecktum says:

    We’re looking at a VERY strong $40+ million weekend for Friday the 13th. Expect many, many more crappy horror reboots in the future.
    Bride Wars weekend grosses are in store for the superior-in-every-way Shopaholic.
    The International better hope for boffo international numbers, because its domestic haul will be enemic.

  12. Krazy Eyes says:

    Expect many, many more crappy horror reboots in the future
    Like Bay’s threatened remake of A Nightmare On Elm Street?

  13. LexG says:

    BAY FUCKING RULES. Let him remake them ALL.
    The Last House remake also looks awesome as hell.

  14. movieman says:

    Lex- I didn’t think any of the chicks–save the token “good girl- with-asshole-bf”–were even moderately “cute,” but totally agree with you about Nispel (previously) having an eye and a flair for mise-en-scene. Since both are conspicuously absent this time out, I guess you could say that the new “13th” is faithful in spirit to the sub-mediocre glut of “dead teenager” flicks spawned by John Carpenter’s brilliant “Halloween.”
    Yeah, this thing is gonna open huge and–yawn–launch a brand-new “13th” franchise. Whoopee for us!!!
    I hope you’re right about “Shopaholic” opening (at least) as well as the dismal “Bride Wars,” Wreck. And yes, it’s a vastly superior chick-flick….as was last weekend’s “Into You.”
    Re: “Int’l.” I said pretty much the same thing last weekend.
    It’s foreign numbers are going to clobber its domestic cume. If it does anything at all stateside, it’s gonna strictly be opening weekend biz….before the “wtf was that all about???” w.o.m. begins filtering out.

  15. LYT says:

    Friday the 13th has the best sex scene I’ve seen in a long time, because it actually goes from beginning to end, and doesn’t fade out or get really interrupted (though there are cut-aways).
    Total Bonage.

  16. christian says:

    “he is, after all, the man who single-handedly spearheaded the Abba revival that would eventually give birth to “Mamma Mia!”
    You say that like it’s a good thing…

  17. movieman says:

    I’m not the world’s biggest “Mamma Mia!” fan, Christian (my taste in jukebox musicals leans more towards “Jersey Boys”), but Hogan surely deserves props for using Abba as the soundtrack for his sublime “Muriel’s Wedding.” Nuff said.
    What’s the group consensus on the red-band trailer for “Serve and Protect”? I think it has the potential to be edgy-subversive like “Bad Santa” (and the Rogen-Faris pairing certainly looks inspired).
    The “all-ages-friendly” version of the trailer mostly falls flat, though: it looks a bit like a (very early) sequel to “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” (a movie I didn’t hate btw).
    Loathed the “Transformers 2” trailer, tho…and that’s coming from someone who (surprisingly) enjoyed the original.

  18. JohnBritt says:

    I enjoyed Confessions of a Shopaholic. Plan to see Friday 13th tomorrow. Confessions was packed. Those that had been predicting 10 million is going to be way below the estimate. This should be 20 mil or so. Charming for sure and fun time.

  19. leahnz says:

    hey movieman, did you mean ‘observe and report’, or does it have a different title down under, a la ‘road kill/joy ride’? i thought the red band trailer was hilarious, best trailer i’ve seen in ages (‘i think i need a mint or something’…’i accept you’, lmao) rogen looks in fine, fine form after his somewhat lackadaisical turn in ‘pineapple’ and anna faris is just flat-out classic, do the chicks proud, anna! (and great to see ray liotta, too, there’s always room for ray)

  20. yancyskancy says:

    Well, Amanda Righetti is on The Mentalist, and I think she’s very attractive (I love her kinda broken nose). Probably not enough to get me to see Friday the 13th though. We’re actually thinking of taking in My Bloody Valentine tomorrow, but Shopaholic may win out. And I’m still planning on squeezing in HJNTIY over the long weekend.
    The Observe and Report redband trailer was a bit hit and miss, but I’m optimistic. Glad to see it’s the flip side of Blart (which, like movieman, I didn’t hate — I just find Kevin James really likable). Faris is gold, and I’ve been a Rogen fan since Freaks and Geeks. Plus Jody Hill directed, co-wrote and co-starred in The Foot Fist Way, which I liked a lot.

  21. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    I’m not sure why so many predicted this weekend would see bad grosses for everything (and even low 20s for Ft13th). That remake especially seemed primed for a big debut.
    I want to see Shopaholic purely for Fischer and Holdon. Both of whom deserve to be bigger forces.
    I saw He’s Just Not That Into You last night (that’d be Friday, it only opened here this week) and it was very full. Lots of groups of gals beating the Saturday night couple fest, I imagine. I actually thought it was “good”. I especially liked the more dramatic aspects. The Aniston/Affleck storyline especially – Affleck hasn’t been that likable on screen… ever? – and the Jennifer Connelly side of her storyline (notsomuch the Johansson angle) even if I didn’t quite get what Connelly was doing half the time. Goodwyn is a charmer and Barrymore was pleasant in her brief role. “It’s exhausting.”
    That’s all.

  22. Spacesheik says:

    I am still shocked at how DEFIANCE is underperforming. I thought Bond’s Daniel Craig kicking Nazi ass by way of Director Ed Zwick (LAST SAMURAI, BLOOD DIAMOND) would have done much better.

  23. movieman says:

    That was just a lame attempty at a (very late night) joke, Leah….and nope, the title (“Observe and Report”) hasn’t been changed here. But seriously: how long before someone does use “Serve and Protect” as a film title? It certainly isn’t any more generic than “Pride and Glory” last fall, right?
    And I still love “Taken 2 Extremes” as the title for the inevitable “Taken” sequel (the one in which Jeff Fahey replaces Liam Neeson as vigilante dad”).
    Back to “O&R:” I love the fact that it looks kind of dangerous with its queasy mix of ribald, envelope-pushing comedy and violence…and Faris, of course, simply can do no wrong. Ever. (Yet?)
    Glad to hear that you liked “Into You,” Kam…has “Shopaholic” opened in Australia yet?

  24. movieman says:

    That was just a lame attempty at a (very late night) joke, Leah….and nope, the title (“Observe and Report”) hasn’t been changed here. But seriously: how long before someone does use “Serve and Protect” as a film title? It certainly isn’t any more generic than “Pride and Glory” last fall, right?
    And I still love “Taken 2 Extremes” as the title for the inevitable “Taken” sequel (the one in which Jeff Fahey replaces Liam Neeson as vigilante dad”).
    Back to “O&R:” I love the fact that it looks kind of dangerous with its queasy mix of ribald, envelope-pushing comedy and violence…and Faris, of course, simply can do no wrong. Ever. (Yet?)
    Glad to hear that you liked “Into You,” Kam…has “Shopaholic” opened in Australia yet?

  25. movieman says:

    Sorry for that double post, gang. (I guess it’s Key Pad’s idea of a V-D joke.)
    Has anyone else seen “Two Lovers”? Watched it last nite and was very pleasantly surprised. I haven’t been the biggest James Gray fan til now, but “Lovers” is really, really good. Maybe Gray should give genre fare a rest and concentrate on “people movies” more often. And I sure hope that Joaquin Phoenix isn’t serious about retiring from acting: this could be his best performance to date.
    It was also nice to see Gwyneth Paltrow return to her slinky, sexy “Flesh and Bone” roots…who knew she still had it in her?

  26. Movieman, it has not. It’s out in mid-March I believe. I guess they figured He’s Just Not That Into You had the romantic Valentine’s Day slot occupied. Plus they can probably get Isla down here for publicity then as opposed to now.
    And, yes, Friday the 13th is opening over NEXT months Friday the 13th weekend. Except on the 12th. Cause movies open on Thursday here. Ooh, Thursday the 12th! Absolutely terrifying!

  27. movieman says:

    That’s mildly surprising, Kam. I would have figured that wjth the major Australian connection (director and star) “Shopaholic” might have been granted day-and-date status Down Under. At least it’s something pleasant to look forward to next month, I suppose.
    And Lex- I’m not as psyched as you are about the “Last House” remake. The ’72 original remains one of the most vile, flat-out despicable movies I’ve ever seen (despite Ebert inexplicably giving it a 4-star rating), but I’m willing to give this reboot half a chance. Certainly the presence of actors like Dillahunt and Goldwyn will (hopefully) elevate it a tad. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around Monica Potter playing the mom role…and the director (Goldwyn) of my beloved “A Walk on the Moon” starring in a “Last House” remake is pretty mind-boggling, too.
    Question: wasn’t this already remade a few years back as “Chaos”? That was pretty loathsome, too, but at least it was better directed than Craven’s version which had the rec room production values of an early-’70s porno. Plus, I seem to remember a bravura villainous turn by an actor named Kevin Gage as the lead psychopath.

  28. Hallick says:

    “Plus, I seem to remember a bravura villainous turn by an actor named Kevin Gage as the lead psychopath.”
    Who also played the psychopathic Waingro in “Heat”.

  29. movieman says:

    ….typecasting occasionally pays off, I suppose.
    Didn’t recognize him from “Heat” since he looked a tad different ten years later.

  30. leahnz says:

    ‘That was just a lame attempty at a (very late night) joke, Leah’
    well, i also suspected that might be the case, movieman, or that you were liquored up on red wine again 😉
    (lovers is getting a good report card, isn’t it? i’m looking forward to this very much now, whereas before i was only mildly curious because of joaquin and paltrow)
    ‘The ’72 original [last house] remains one of the most vile, flat-out despicable movies I’ve ever seen’
    i heard that (and i, too, love ‘a walk on the moon’, great little evocative ‘coming of age’ piece, tender and rather sexy)

  31. T. Holly says:

    I’m no Eric Kohn.
    now that they have the blue flares solved and the title up, things are settling in
    the escalade’s scary
    beer pop and wood shredder, cool
    guys liick magazines, yum
    travis reminds me of tom criuse
    no one has laughed in ten minutes, things are going downhill
    blue flares, reshoot this shit
    juliianna guill is welcome in my house
    miley cyrus has nothing on this movie
    love the rack focus
    i’m only scared when it’s human emotions like now

  32. movieman says:

    No red wine for me last night, Leah. It was just a piddling attempt at a (wee) joke as a result of intense sleep deprivation.
    (Maybe I would have had an easier time falling asleep if I hadn’t napped at “Friday the 13th.”)
    Glad to hear that you’re a fan of “A Walk on the Moon.” That actually made my 1999 10-best list. Only saw it once at the time of its original release, but can still remember its soulful, plaintive ache–particularly in Lane’s shoulda-been-Oscar-nommed perf.
    I think you’ll enjoy “Two Lovers:” it has a palpable sense of yearning for lost opportunities that should strike a chord with anyone who loves “Walk on the Moon” (it also looks fantastic in high-def). Although I’ve generally liked Phoenix Jr. in most everything he’s done (while still mourning the loss of his big brother), this is really his finest work to date. I truly hope Joaquin’s bedraggled rapper routine is strictly for brother-in-law Casey’s “Borat”-style mockumentary and not the real deal.
    Have you seen “Chaos,” Leah? It’s nearly as loathsome, sadistic and misogynistic as Craven’s “Last House,” but at least has the saving grace of being “professional-looking.” And that Gage honcho is actually pretty damn good (the less said about Sly’s Pillsburgv Doughboy kid Sage’s supporting turn the better).

  33. jeffmcm says:

    No fans here of Robin Wood or his praise of Craven’s Last House? Okay.
    But for the record, ‘professional-looking’ is a pretty dubious ‘saving grace’. Some of the worst movies I’ve ever seen were very competently shot.

  34. scooterzz says:

    mcmahon — i’m with wood and ebert in appreciation for craven’s ‘last house…’ as the guilty pleasure it is…yes, it’s about as coarse and exploitive as it could be but i’ve certainly seen more ‘vile’ and ‘despicable’ since….
    back in ’72, my (then) wife and i, along with another couple saw it opening week-end and after, the four of us went out for drinks and spent hours discussing the film and this new guy, craven…

  35. movieman says:

    McM: I’ve enjoyed reading Wood in the past–especially his defense of Larry Cohen and (very) early discovery of Cronenberg–but I definitely part company when it comes to the Craven “Last House.” Ebert’s praise of the film is ultimately meaningless to me considering how schizophrenic–and notoriously unreliable–a critical voice he’s been over the past forty-odd years.
    I ultimately became a Craven fan (it may have been “Swamp Thing” that did the trick), but “Last House” still remains cinematic poison to me…despite myriad attempts to give it a second, third, even fourth try. Besides my inability to overlook its aesthetic failings (poverty row production values, shitty lighting/camera work, amateurish performances, et al), there’s just something so unspeakably repellent about its sadistic depiction of the torture/murder of those two young hippie chicks that I can’t even bring myself to defend it as grindhouse esoterica. Maybe that’s a mark of its primitive “genius,” I’m not sure. But you won’t see me making that argument now or ever.
    Re: “Chaos.”
    “Professional-looking” might have been the wrong choice of words. “Competently directed” is possibly more apt: i.e., the director at least seemed to understand the basics of cinematic grammar (how to move the camera, cut between shot, etc.) and how to elicit genuine performances from his cast.

  36. I think Last House on the Left is a good movie in the sense that the product is exactly what I imagine Wes Craven wanted to show: a horrific, stomach-churning el-cheapo sort of a monster. The slapstick comedy is bizarre though.
    The remake, however, as much as I adore Garret Dillahunt… ugh. The daughter survives? Craven’s original isn’t a revenge story like the remake seems to be positioning itself. It’s a downright brutal experiment in terror.

  37. The Big Perm says:

    I don’t think Last House is a guilty pleasure. It’s a good movie. And I think the asthetic failings make it more effective. Choas looks like the work of poseurs, but what makes Last House or Texas Chainsaw effective is that they seem like a bunch of genuine maniacs decided to make a movie, possibly based on their own lives. Slickness works against these movies.
    I also don’t know if we can give the wrestler who directed Chaos any credit for getting good performances though…hey, maybe so, but the guy seems like a mook. The felow who played Chaos had a big role in Heat as well as many other movies so he was a pro to begin with. Chaos is one silly-ass movie, while Last House is still effective and the scene of the girl walking into the water is as well directed as anything.
    But yeah, I have no idea what Craven was thinking with the slapstick cops.

  38. LexG says:

    LAST HOUSE ’72 is one of my favorite movies OF ALL TIME; It’s easily Craven’s best and those sub-porn production values, kazoo music, banjo songs about the killers, and cake-baking montages are chief among the reasons WHY it’s so unsettling. And I’d take issue with saying the acting is so bad; David Hess is chilling as Krug, the hippie girls are very likable, and the dad’s sideburns rule.
    CHAOS, on the other hand, is truly despicable, despite the AWESOME Kevin Gage. I don’t know what you guys are talking about with regards to filmmaking, because PRO WRESTLER David De Falco has no eye whatsoever, the dialogue was terrible (and racist), the pacing laughably clunky; It takes all the subtle, political, unsettling brilliance of Craven’s original out, and contains some of the most hateful acts of violence imaginable, which would be more shocking if it weren’t so incompetently made. (Though the scene where Choas bites off a piece of a woman’s anatomy is extremely revolting and unwatchable.)

  39. movieman says:

    …or a mindless exercise in sadism for those less charitably inclined, Kam.
    I’ve really, really tried giving “Last House” a fair shake over the years, but always end up repulsed, depressed and angry at myself for squandering an additional 90 minutes of my life on a film that I’ve loathed since first seeing it as a high school freshman in 1972.
    Agree with you about Dillahunt tho. I’ve been a fan since “discovering” him on HBO’s “Deadwood.”

  40. LexG says:

    Oh, and some fun trivia: Kevin “Waingro” Gage was once married to Kelly Preston. He’s also completely fucking awesome and I wish they’d stop arresting the guy for weed (he’s done actual time, apparently) so he could be in more movies.

  41. movieman says:

    ….in that earlier post, an “s” was accidentally left off of the comment, “cut between shot(s).”
    And I’m not (really) defending “Chaos:” I just mentioned it in passing while discussing the “authorized” “Last House” reboot due March 13th since it definitely seemed like an unofficial remake to me. The best thing about “Chaos” remains Gage’s performance.
    The weird thing about my intense dislike of Craven’s movie is that I’ve been an ardent (and early) defender of similarly outre films that many people consider “immoral” or artistically irredemable:
    early John Waters, “El Topo,” Cronenberg’s “They Came from Within,” Hooper’s “Chainsaw Massacre,” Aldrich’s “The Choirboys,” Pasolin’s “Salo,” Ferrara’s “Ms. .45,”
    even–heaven help me–“Hostel 1.”

  42. LexG says:

    Ms. 45 is ABSOLUT OWNAGE.
    And The Choirboys ought to be celebrated everywhere. It has both Vic Tayback AND Burt Young. Awesome, awesome movie.

  43. scooterzz says:

    i’m fully aware that there will always be disputes re: the merits of ‘last house…’….but i have a hard time accepting anything by craven, so far, as ‘a mindless excersize’….

  44. christian says:

    My major problem with LHONTL, of which I approve since I don’t believe Craven is getting his rocks off, is the truncated ending with its The Parents Are As Bad As The Killers ending. No, they’re not and you’re rooting to watch them destroy Krug and Co.
    And CHAOS is pure posing.

  45. scooterzz says:

    um…exercise (now, THAT was mindless)

  46. movieman says:

    …how about: “a debased exercise in sadism”?
    (And have you forgotten “Vampire in Brooklyn,” Scooter?)

  47. leahnz says:

    i’ve not seen ‘chaos’, not sure i’ll bother.
    re: ‘last house’, it’s a despicable, repulsive little piece of work but that’s exactly what it’s supposed to be, so it succeeds spectacularly! kudos to craven for achieving pure wretchedness, and i mean that in a nice way (good point about the ending, christian)

  48. scooterzz says:

    yes, i had completely forgotten ‘vampire’…and, yep…pretty mindless….

  49. scooterzz says:

    although i could argue that he was just a ‘gun for hire’, brought in by murphy to work with murphy’s abysmal script and didn’t do anything but direct….but, i won’t…..

  50. jeffmcm says:

    Christian, the ‘parents are as bad as the killers’ ending is one of the major hooks in Robin Wood’s defense of the movie; that, and his opinion that the movie is utterly in sympathy in sympathy and alignment with the two girls as they go through their torments, and not just cheap thrills. He also tosses in some jazz about the movie being an expose of patriarchy yadda yadda which is par for the course for Wood.
    Movieman, your list up above shows that you have excellent taste (although I’m not familiar with The Choirboys – I’ll put it on my list).

  51. christian says:

    I’ve always though that line of thought was too simple and obvious, an intellectual need to justify the previous carnage (it’s still being used today in THE DARK KNIGHT.) Craven’s film doesn’t earn that kind of insight after making us watch two sweet girls get brutalized.
    I think Craven’s later films show him more sympathetic to the victims, as in THE HILLS HAVE EYES and NOES where you are invited to revel in the revenge.

  52. jeffmcm says:

    Christian, are you calling Hills and Nightmare a moral advance over Last House because we get to enjoy revenge?
    And I thought you were anti-Dirty Harry…?

  53. christian says:

    To a degree, yes, but not so moral. I’ve always thought Craven the master of revenge films. He induces a raw tension that he catharsizes through some primal ass-whoppin’. I just don’t think LAST HOUSE carries that level of thematic depth to make the parents somehow “just as guilty.” With THE VIRGIN SPRING, yes, but does anybody really feel that the parents at the end of LHOTL are no better than Krug?
    If you watch HILLS or even SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW in a theater, audiences cheer when the tables are turned. I love Craven, I just think LHOTL is more raw and single-minded than the academic POV. And I can’t watch the film again.

  54. LYT says:

    Chaos is one “horror” movie even I won’t defend. There’s no catharsis or tension whatsoever…never is there any chance that the bad guys will meet a deserving fate or that the victims will escape or prevail. The fact that the filmmakers tack on a disclaimer that this film is somehow educational is pathetically hollow.
    Last House, on the other hand, is quite interesting as a time capsule. Its oddly incongruous attempts at humor (via the sheriff’s deputies), as well as the carefully edited scenes of violence that make you think you’re seeing more than you are, plus the fact that its villains are somewhat banal and pathetic, just like real-life psychos tend to be…all these aspects elevate it for me.
    I didn’t care much for The Virgin Spring, though. I know I should, but it just didn’t do much for me.

  55. If we’re talking about Craven being mindless then we shouldn’t (or, better yet, lets) forget about that dreadful Cursed movie. Just terrible and a career nadir for Wes, a director I have a special attachment to.

  56. LexG says:

    HEY I saw that Seth Rogan-ANNA FARIS movie trailer mentioned upthread today before FRIDAY.
    WTF @ FARIS not even getting above the title billing????? The trailer’s all, SETH ROGAN! Then they show some more footage, and I wait and wait for the ANNA FARIS! title card, and it never comes.
    House Bunny was a big hit and the SCARY MOVIE franchies has made a zillion dollars; Can’t she get some goddamn top billing? Faris is CHARMING beyond belief and even though I may run some bullshit about women never being funny, Anna Faris manages to be fun, sexy, funny and SUPER engaging all at once. I’d for sure go see THE NEW ANNA FARIS MOVIE over THE NEW SETH ROGAN MOVIE, so someone needs to fix this shit, stat.

  57. christian says:

    Welcome to LAST HOUSE ON THE LEX. Keep telling yourself, “It’s only a blog…it’s only a blog…”

  58. scooterzz says:


  59. IOIOIOI says:

    Ana really does not get the respect she deserves. I love Rogen, but Faris could pretty much out funny and act him under a table. So here’s to her getting some respect one of these days.

  60. LexG says:

    Plus it featured CRAIG KILBORN (AKA GOD), and that parking garage/elevator scene where Mya gets chased by the creature does a lot toward making the clunky elements and the presence of that DOUCHE Ashton Holmes Cera Yeltsin Eisenberg (whichever the fuck one it was, nobody cares) tolerable.

  61. leahnz says:

    what scoot said, christian
    ‘the serpent and the rainbow’! (that’s all, really, i love that movie. zombies based on the actual documented caribbean zombie phenomenon, how refreshing. my fave craven, plus bill pullman is a spunk in it)

  62. jeffmcm says:

    Cursed at least had that amazing moment where the werewolf flipped his pursuers off, which was totally stupid and ridiculous, but also amazingly awesome, so I can’t call it Craven’s worst.
    LYT, I agree with what you said.

  63. The Big Perm says:

    I forgot that they actually tried to sell Chaos as a learning experience! I’d have thought they were being funny if there was indication that they were trying to be.
    Is it wrong that I picture Lex as David DeFalco, running around a morgue in a cape and undies?

  64. IOIOIOI says:

    Watchmen and the Daytona 500. Do you hear that? That’s the sound of David Poland getting P0WNED!

  65. Hallick says:

    “Watchmen and the Daytona 500. Do you hear that? That’s the sound of David Poland getting P0WNED!”
    What’s the connection to Poland here?

  66. IOIOIOI says:

    Hal: you must have missed the fight a couple weeks back. Poland knows. He knows it.

  67. Hallick says:

    “Hal: you must have missed the fight a couple weeks back. Poland knows. He knows it.”
    What was the gist of the fight? An arguement over the movie’s appeal to “NASCAR dads”?

  68. IOIOIOI says:

    Apparently it only has an appeal to geeks. Who are the scum of the earth, smell bad, and will guarantee Watchmen only make a 1.15 opening weekend.

  69. jeffmcm says:

    It’s true, they do smell bad.

  70. scooterzz says:

    it’s that cheeto/red-bull diet….

  71. IOIOIOI says:

    Stop it the both of you! Geeks smell like Irish Spring. This is explained by their love of those old commercials.

  72. LexG says:

    HOLY SHIT! Since I doubt a single person who reads this blog also watches ANY reality TV:
    OMG MIKE WHITE– YES, THAT MIKE WHITE– is a contestant on the new AMAZING RACE that started tonite!

  73. LexG says:

    HEY 73 POSTS ON, and not one of you L.A. PUSSIES manned up to take my lead and CALL OUT THAT GRAVY-BEARDED BITCH KEN TURAN, worst fucking film critic on the planet.
    TURAN IS A FUCKING DOUCHE BITCH, his voice sounds like he gargles gravy, his taste in movies BLOWS, he’s a condescending prick, his reviews are fucking clueless and out of date.
    TURAN FUCKING SUCKS almost as bad as that douche ELVIS MITCHELL.
    Send both these FUCKING HACKS PACKING and promote me to their positions.

  74. The Big Perm says:

    Uh oh, someone’s been drinking!
    Lex, everyone keeps saying it, why don’t you put this stuff on Youtube and try to make a name for yourself? I know why, because you’re a pussy who’s afraid of failure.

  75. yancyskancy says:

    I don’t think Lex is afraid of failure. He would probably say that’s like a fish being afraid of water. I suspect he fears success. Because if half his dreams came true, he’d probably burn out and die within six months. With a smile on his face, no doubt, but still…

  76. Cadavra says:

    Lex, no one takes your lead on Turan because no one agrees with you. It’s not our fault if he uses words too big for you to grasp.

  77. jeffmcm says:

    I don’t understand why Lex would want Kenneth Turan to review a Friday the 13th movie – he and we already know what Turan would say about it, it would be a waste of time to write the review or for anybody to read it…
    Unless you’re a guy looking for something fresh to whine about.

  78. LexG says:

    “It’s not our fault if he uses words too big for you to grasp.”
    Cadavra, one of my THREE college degrees is in English Literature, son. And somewhere along the way I picked up a JOURNALISM minor, as well.
    And it’d be pretty hard for Ken Turan to stump me at this point anyway, since he re-uses the exact same words, beats, intro, summary style, actor-ass-kissing, snide humor, complaint about violence, complaint about indulgent directing, and conclusion in EVERY. SINGLE. REVIEW.
    He couldn’t be any lazier without using White-Out to erase the names from one review to the next.
    But as Tavis Smiley would say, “I want to take this more general”: At this point, in 2009, most film critics have been in the business their entire adult lifetimes. Someone like Leonard Maltin or Kenneth Turan or Poland sees hundreds of movies a year. They more than anyone understand the workings of film and the techniques filmmakers use to manipulate an audience.
    So, why is ANY film critic still squeamish about content? It’s just Karo syrup and rubber knives and fancy editing on a big screen. How can you possibly be offended by onscreen violence? Especially when you’ve seen everything under the sun in your 20, 30, 50 years of being a critic and seeing every movie that comes down the pike?
    With Turan it’s especially perplexing, because like I mentioned, it’s not like he reviews Saw or Hostel (which are pretty innocuous anyway), or even Chaos… He’ll do his anti-violence crusading in the context of a review of GONE BABY GONE, blabbing about “how it takes us to some dark places we don’t want to see.”
    Every Turan review should be just five words:
    “I am a giant pussy.”

  79. Cadavra says:

    Lex, I don’t think the issue is violence per se, but the context in which it’s presented. If a slasher film is designed to make you root for the killer rather than the victims, that’s wrong. If a film depicts the bad guys killing innocent people without the least justification (e.g., shooting a convenience store clerk AFTER he’s handed over the money), that’s wrong. It sends a discreet signal that the value of human life is essentially zero. I have no problem with graphic violence when it’s justified, or when the victims are bad guys or even people such as soldiers or cops, since they have willingly put their lives on the line to begin with. I think this is the distinction Turan makes: movies that have no point other than to revel in the graphic slaughter of people who don’t deserve to die are, in most cases, garbage.

  80. leahnz says:

    ‘I don’t think the issue is violence per se, but the context in which it’s presented. If a slasher film is designed to make you root for the killer rather than the victims, that’s wrong.’
    i get what you’re saying, cadavra, i really do, but while it may be unseemly and we may not like the way violence is portrayed at times, isn’t film the ideal art-form in which to legitimately explore the context and boundaries of violence? to challenge us, confront our notions of right and wrong, elicit emotion, visualise death, juxtapose beauty, etc., all in a myriad of forms from drama through to comedy and satire (a la ‘natural born killers’, where the viewer may not exactly be ‘rooting’ for the killers but we are on their journey and privy/sympathetic to their mindset)?
    i’m a huge fan of skillfully portrayed film violence and gore, it taps into our most base, primal self like no other. why do people gawk at a fight or rubberneck at an accident scene? why must our ancestors have gathered around the unfortunate soul whose innards were ripped out by a sabre-tooth tiger? in that deep, still-reptilian part of the human brain, seeing violence triggers a visceral reaction in us like no other, so it can be used to tremendous effect on film, really an art-form in and of itself. (i do have a pet peeve, however, about the lack of distinction between ‘violence’ and ‘gore’. some great movies are described as terribly ‘violent’, such as ‘se7en for example, when in fact there is very little violence in that film at all, it’s the gory aftermath people find shocking.)

  81. jeffmcm says:

    I think that often, when graphic violence is justified, as in ‘when the victims are bad guys’, it’s the most insidious and problematic, because then we’re given an excuse to enjoy somebody else’s misery in a guilt-free manner.

  82. LexG says:

    Jeff, so you seriously have no visceral appreciation of “vengeance”?
    “Bad guys” getting owned = FUCKING AWESOME. And I feel NO moral qualms about Clint or Bronson or Bacon or Jodie Foster or Denzel beating, torturing or shooting some scumbag who’s guilty of something, somewhere.
    Not to harp on you in particular, but since you kinda went there, that’s kinda my complaint: Mainstream film critics (usually liberal) are VERY squeamish about notions of VENGEANCE and REVENGE. And I don’t think the public at large is that much of a pussy about it. I find it hard to believe that EVERYBODY doesn’t get off on seeing some PIECE OF SHIT get fucking OWNED.

  83. jeffmcm says:

    Depends on the movie. I think when it’s good, like in Kill Bill or Mr. Majestyk or Point Blank (to name three movies in my DVD collection) it can be quite fun.
    But when it’s bad, I think it can be the worst kind of filmmaking around.
    ‘Revenge’ per se, on it’s own, without style or context or dramatic weight, is pretty much the cheapest thrill in movies after those Cinerama roller coaster movies from the ’50s.

  84. LexG says:

    WHAT THE FUCK? Did McDouche just NAME-CHECK “Mr. Majestyk”? THAT MOVIE FUCKING RULES, especially when the bad guys MOW DOWN BRONSON’S WATERMELON COLLECTION, that is a one-of-a-kind scene. And Al Lettieri commands that movie.
    But in general, everybody’s a liberal and everybody scoffs at “revenge”… until someone steals THEIR car stereo. Then HOSTEL treatment isn’t enough for the perpetrator.

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon