Sunday, May 31, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
I have three words for you: "Ho Lee Crap!" Sam Raimi (and co-writer, brother Ivan) is at the pinnacle of his game with his triumphant return to horror, Drag Me to Hell. I kid you not when I say Drag Me to Hell is certainly the best horror movie of the last 20 years, and quite possibly the best since The Exorcist. And all of it without a single profanity or exposed nipple.
In case you haven't already read anything about it, Alison Lohman (Big Fish) plays Christine Brown, a sweet, farm-raised gal working as a loan officer in a big city bank. Looking to win a promotion - against an egotistic tool named Stu (Star Trek's Reggie Lee) - Christine decides that playing hardball is the way to go and denies a mortgage extension to a creepy old gypsy woman (wide-ranged character actress Lorna Raver). The inevitable curse ensues and Christine has three days before she is dragged away to eternal damnation by a goatish demon named Lamia. Apple commercials' cutie Justin Long (Jeepers Creepers; Live Free, Die Hard) is Clay, Christine's skeptical, albeit adoring and supportive boyfriend, who thinks she's suffering from post-traumatic stress. Newcomer Dileep Rao plays the seer Christine consults for help and Spanish Language TV veteran Adrianna Barraza plays the medium who has faced the demon before, and lost.
Within the first five minutes of the film, Raimi grabs you by the balls and never lets go. Loaded with Raimi's eye-popping visuals, extreme gross-outs and cartoonish violence, Drag Me to Hell is what Evil Dead II would have been with a Hollywood budget. Raimi's infamous and fantastically weird tracking shots and trademark outlandish physical effects (Christine takes as bad a beating as Ash ever got) all help make Drag Me... quite possibly a perfect horror movie. Hilariously funny, exceptionally gross and over-loaded with shocks which, even though you know they are coming, are still really shocking; Drag Me to Hell is the work of a master artist, rediscovering what made him love what he does in the first place. Raimi's eye for detail and ability to build tension have never been on better display, and his cast of mostly unknowns are more than willing to go along for an amazing rollercoaster dark-ride. The score by Christopher Young (Hellraiser) is brilliantly deceptive and adds tension in unexpected places. The effects are top notch and I was pleased to see a small homage to Poltergeist, near the end (hint: "The swimming pool! The swimming pool!!!!").
I saw it with my my cast, all of whom loved it as much as I did. We screamed, cringed, laughed and carried on the way every good horror movie should make it's audience do. I think it is important to note that like every terrific movie, no matter what the genre, Drag Me to Hell is meant to be seen on a big screen with a great sound system and an audience filled with screamers, cringers and laughers. Do NOT wait for Blu-ray. Get your butt (and a load of your friends' butts) down to the local Cineplex and see this movie! See it now! See it, see it, see it! And take someone you want to jump into your arms. They will! The most fun I've had at the movies in a ages. This is the movie Horror fans have been waiting for, for a very long time. Thank you, Mr. Raimi, for finally giving it to us. The only thing I missed? The obligatory cameo from the legendary Bruce Campbell (unless some slyer fox than I caught a glimpse of him, somewhere).
***** (Five Stars). Rated PG-13 for 'Intense Horror.'
Friday, May 29, 2009
We'll be going for drinks and carousing afterwards, I'm sure. But I will post my review as soon as I get home.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Thank you for reading. I love that you do. Comment away.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
While I may not be an actual comic book fan, I am a fan of comic book movies. And I have to say, I'd be first in line to see this version of Green Lantern.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
It's one of the many reasons I love the performances in Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain. Not once did I question Heath Ledger's or Jake Gyllenhaal's sexuality. Especially in the scene where they meet at Ledger's apartment complex and kiss passionately in the shadows, hoping no one can see (we'll talk about Michelle Williams' stunning performance in this scene some other time).
The two actors playing Adam and Steve in my production of The Most Fabulous Story... are both straight. They are both terrific, personable and talented young men, and very good friends. One is even the Godfather to (and namesake of) the other's baby. And both of them trust me enough to go to the same places that Ledger and Gyllenhaal apparently went.
In preparation for the show, I have been conducting intimacy sessions with both of them, getting them used to touching and kissing each other and being sexually intimate together (without the actual sex, of course). And while they were both nervous and skeptical at first, they both have acknowledged that the sessions have helped them deal with and explore their sexualities in ways they might never have done. In addition, the sessions have helped establish their characters' relationship as something beyond sexual and will go a long way into making our audience believe that they share a very real, very strong love.
It is always a privilege to direct a JTMF show. It is made especially sweet by having two actors who are willing to set aside their own concepts of their sexuality in an effort to honestly portray a real and loving same-sex relationship.It is because of their unwavering trust in me and my vision for the show, that I nominate both of them as "The Bravest Actors in the World." And this is just my way of crowing about them. If I could marry both of them, I would.
Tickets for The JTMF production of Paul Rudnick's The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told are available by visiting http://www.jtmf.org/ or calling the Kelsey Theatre box-office at 609-570-3333. 100% of our ticket sales benefit The Open Arms Foundation, which provides support and services for NJ residents living with HIV/AIDS and the James Tolin Memorial Scholarship at Mercer County Community College, which provides financial support for deserving Performance Arts majors at MCCC.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Kill Bill, Vol. 1
A Clockwork Orange
Gone with the Wind
And my second favorite: Titanic
And my very favorite and most hilarious: The Exorcist
Do you have a favorite Inappropriate Movie Score? Let me know.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Of course, my sweet, innocent looking Maddie (who was also in my production of "The Skin of Our Teeth") once again proved herself to be the dirtiest young lady I know. At one point, the discussion turned to "Wolverine" and Hugh Jackman in particular. From the baby-faced mouth of sweet Madelaine came what may well be the filthiest (albeit funniest) comment I have ever heard: "Hugh Jackman gives me a wide-on."
Could you die?
But to be honest...
Monday, May 11, 2009
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
I watched part of a documentary on the Discovery channel the other day, which said that Hitler was working on creating "flying saucers" because the allies were bombing German runways into extinction and he wanted to develop vertical lift aircraft which didn't require runways. The program seemed to imply that the rash of UFO sightings (starting with the 1946 incident at Roswell and continuing to today), were the result of US Military tests, led by defected Nazi scientists who went on to develop aircraft for the U.S. Of course, this just made me think of my post on the film Iron Sky, in which Nazi's who've spent the last 70 years on the Moon, return to Earth in another attempt to take over the world.
Fun, fun, fun. I love this kind of stuff.
And how about you, dear readers? Have you ever seen a UFO? Been abducted? Been probed? Do you have weird metal implants in the back of your neck? Has a "Grey" spoken to you using only his (its) mind? Does Christopher Walken visit you at night?
Your comments are always welcome. Just know that comments to this post won't be moderated until I get back from vacation on May 11th.