Number 17 is a prototype of a kind of film Hitchcock would go on to master much later. The film takes place almost entirely on a set of stairs in an apartment building. While it’s probably a holdover from the stage (the film was adapted from Joseph Jefferson Farjeon’s play), Hitchcock would use this idea of locating a film in one place to make films like Lifeboat, Rope and Rear Window. Continue reading
SPOILER ALERT: The entire film is discussed at length. Part of the enjoyment of the film is discovering the mysteries.
As ‘80s horror movies go, Hellraiser is a bit more ambiguous and complicated than titles like Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street. The film sustains its thrills more on fragmented, disjointed glimpses of horrors one does not quite understand and less on the killing, although that does come. And the film becomes even more compelling and interesting once the mystery is revealed. Continue reading
Unlike its predecessor, Star Trek Into Darkness is more deliberate about being about something. Or rather somethings. While Star Trek (2009) skirted past addressing socio-political issues, Into Darkness tackles several but never gets around to wrestling any of them down. Terrorism, Nietzsche’s Superman and the modern industrial military complex are all subjects the film introduces, but never dedicate itself to fully explore. Continue reading
One of the words that often orbits around conversations concerning J. J. Abrams take on Star Trek is “relevant.” Specifically, people talk about how Abrams and crew took something that seemed out of touch and stagnant with modern conceptions of sci-fi and made it relevant again. This bugs me, because my question is what did he make it relevant to? I enjoyed the movie, it has satisfying character arcs, a great ensemble cast, slick production and is a great way to effortlessly pass two hours, but that doesn’t make a film relevant. It makes it entertaining. And there’s nothing wrong with that…unless you want a “Star Trek” film. Continue reading
It’s astounding the number of problems Iron Man 3 has at the screenwriting level. Basic issues of character motivation, logical consistency, pacing and delivery of information plague this third installment. To the film’s credit, it avoids the tendency of piling on too many villains and subplots, but instead replaces it with a film that doesn’t end up taking the characters to any new place. The film simply maintains the status quo. Continue reading