Stoker (Park Chan-wook) ***1/2 I'm actually NOT a fan of Oldboy, unlike most people. But I do think Park Chan-wook is an interesting filmmaker and I do want to see more of his work. I'm intrigued by the idea of him making an English-language Hollywood film (though I'm more interested in what Bong Joon-ho or Kim Ki-duk do with an English language project). The result? It's basically a Hitchcockian story with the fucked up elements of a David Lynch film. I like it. It's creepy, disturbing and at times borderline campy made with very heavy stylistic flourishes. It's not perfect but it didn't play safe and I do like films that swing for the fences like these.
Jack the Giant Slayer **1/2 - What is it with re-imaginings of fairy tales lately? Two Snow White movies last year and now it's Jack and the Beanstalk's
turn to get adapted as an expanded 3D (though I saw it in 2D)
fantasy-adventure. The result is something that I can only say is not
bad. It's fine, entertaining, fun but as generic and predictable as they
come. It doesn't help that the CGI of the giants isn't really all that
impressive. Nicholas Hoult further proves he can be an appealing leading
man but I hope he gets better scripts soon.
Night of the Demon (Jacques
Tourneur) ***1/2 - I'm currently trying to knock out a script involving
summoning demons so a friend of mine recommended I see this movie for
inspiration. Consider me inspired! (I think Sam Raimi was inspired by
this movie too) Of course, it's directed by Jacques Tourneur whose films
Cat People and I Walked With A Zombie
are some of my favorite classic horror films. This one is about a
demonic cult that summons a fire demon and skeptical scientist who
investigates. Again, atmosphere and character take center stage over
gore and special effects.
Oz The Great and Powerful (Sam Raimi) *** - Someone I know said this is like Army of Darkness
for kids. And it is. Sort of. At least I can see what they're talking
about. It's far from perfect but it's actually a very whimsical visually
spectacular love letter to the classic 1939 film version. They
advertise this as from the producers of Alice in Wonderland but it's a far better film than that. It's also probably the closest thing to Evil Dead-type playfulness from Sam Raimi in his foray to big-budget Hollywood productions including his Spider-Man movies. I'm surprised how much I liked this to be frank.