Sunday, November 14, 2010

25th Hour (2002)

I'm a big fan of Spike Lee and Edward Norton. Ever since "Inside Man" and "American History X" , I was in awe of this two wonderful talents to bless the art of cinema with their capacity to evoke emotions in us that speak a thousand words. David Benioff, of the X-Men Origins fame, penned the script adapting from his own book, about the last 24 hours of a drug dealer, who is about to be sent off to prison for 7 years. The Movie explores the emotional tensions while the protagonist goes about his last hours of freedom, meeting with his family and friends, throwing a farewell party. His two best friends, one a stock broker at Wall Street and the other a school teacher reflects on what went wrong with their friend and how did he end up so fucked up. Even though he faithfully loves his girlfriend, he suspects her of ratting him out to the DEA, who successfully confiscates drugs from under his Sofa, which was known only to his wife and his Ukrainian partner. The Film also has a subplot involving Philip Seymour Hoffman's Teacher character and Anna Paquin's Punk 17 year old. The Prominent theme of the movie is how the protagonist's incarceration affects the people around him and himself. He is scared inside, confused and lost while his father urges him to run off and live anonymously in the country side away from New York instead of ruining his life in prison. It's a tragic tale and it strongly tugs at your heart as you feel sorry for the ill fated protagonist. The "Fuck" monologue in the bathroom at the beginning of the movie is such a powerful scene primarily for the reason that's exactly the kind of emotion that surfaces when you only have nothing and the rest of the world have every thing to look forward to in their lives. In the climax, the Father tells him to run instead of submitting and describes the possibilities of the life he could have in the countryside hiding from the authorities as they head for the prison is so touching that you would feel it's sting even after the credits roll. The Scenes , the performances by the actors, the haunting background score by Spike Lee regular Terrance Blanchard are spectacular. No wonder this movie made A.O.Scott's and Roger Ebert lists of great movies of the last decade.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Trick 'r Treat (2007)

During my search for the best modern horror movies, this particular title kept showing up. But at that point of time, I was more inclined to New wave of French horror movies like "Inside", "Martyrs", "Ils","Frontiers" etc. and shunned this title. When I finally exhausted that resource,i decided to give this one a shot.And i have to say this is one helluva film that was criminally withheld by the Studios depriving it a proper Theatrical Release.
Michael Dougherty, the writer of Blockbusters like X-Men, Superman Returns etc takes the Director's chair in this one, with co-writer Dan Harris and director Bryan Singer helming the project.Based on the traditions of Halloween, with enough twists and turns, and really good scares,it's a good deal if you have a craving for Horror today.
The Movie is an anthology of four stories united by the ominous presence of "Sam",a kid in a Halloween costume.Stories are filled with menacing characters including werewolves,psychopaths and children. The reason i think that this movie was denied a theatrical release was it's depictions of violence involving children. May be the production companies didn't want to get itself caught in a furore with child welfare organisations.The Four stories that encompass the movie itself represents different genre of horror movies.The First story being a creature feature, the second one being about werewolves, the third one about Psychopaths, the fourth one being about ghosts.It all goes down in the town of Warren in Ohio.All of them stories has their fair share of scary moments but sometimes they are a bit slapstick reminding you of comedy horror like the cult "Evil Dead". But it doesn't back out on really gory sequences either that characterize modern day horror movies.
All in all, this movie was real fun to watch even if you are not a horror fan. There is a real slump in horror movie nowadays with fewer and fewer horror movies being made. There was a time when Theaters were scary places that took you to strange and horrific places, told you creepy tales about the dead and made you so scared you couldn't even go to the bathroom alone. Those days are long gone and replaced with loads of blood and guts. There is still hope left ,or at least that's what "Trick r Treat" has to offer.