Monday, April 03, 2006

Movie Mon. - I Have to Say, I Prefer "Splatstick" to "Slapstick"

Going to be pretty brief this time around; as the folks in my Sunday School class yesterday morning could tell you, my brain no want worky puttin' words together. But, me do me darndest

A Sound of Thunder
: I do not currently have the cognitive capacity to dissect this the way that it deserves, so I shall reserve for bile for another time. For right now, suffice it to say that I hated this movie very, very much.

2001 Maniacs: Remake/sequel to the 1960s gorefest 2000 Maniacs. Basic plot remains the same (group of modern-day Yankees stumble into a town of crazy Southerners still looking for revenge for Civil War atrocities), but the characters and death sequences have been updated for the 21st century. The director refers to this sort of tongue-in-cheek horror film "splatstick," saying that it's kind of like slapstick, only instead of a pie in the face you get a severed head. The film is totally over the top in everything it does, which both works for it and against it, depending on your tastes. Personally, I enjoyed the film's over-the-top nature, especially the performances of Robert "Freddy Krueger" Englund and Lin "The Gross Old Woman From Kingpin and There's Something About Mary" Shaye as the Pleasant Valley's elder maniacs.

I Love Your Work: Indie drama starring Giovanni Ribisi as a movie star starting to crack under the strains of his celebrity status. A lot of likeable actors in this one; in addition to Ribisi, who's become one of my favorite actors in the last few years, we also have Nicky Katt, Jason Lee, Joshua Jackson, Christina Ricci, and Judy Greer. Now, if only the film could have lived up to its cast. Not a bad film (especially not when viewed the same week I saw Sound of Thunder), but its meandering plot lost my interest about half-way through. Good performances (especially Ribisi as the loony actor and Jason Lee as his maybe-stalker), but the script just fell short in the end.

Daddy's Dyin' . . . Who's Got the Will?
: Movie based on the stage play starring Beau Bridges, Judge Reinhold, and Olivia D'Angelo. Actually a pretty faithful adaptation of the play, just with much more grounded performances. For some the grounding worked (Tess Harper's turn as Sara Lee) while others kind of suffered from it (Judge Reinhold's hippie Harmony was nowhere near as entertaining). The only change that really bothered me (outside of a totally different pronunciation of Evalita's name) was the fact that Evalita, who was portrayed as a constant screw-up in the play, turned out to be a really talented singer and performer in the film; while I enjoyed Olivia D'Angelo's performances, taking away the idea that Evalita was just deluding herself puts a whole different spin on things.

Slither: Horror-comedy homage to the alien invasion films of the 50s and 60s centering around a small town overrun by alien parasites. I don't want to say too much about the aliens, other than to say that those who swear this is a rip-off of Night of the Creeps need to actually watch the film to see that there's a world of differences here. This is a horror-comedy more in the vein of Lake Placid than Shaun of the Dead. Don't want to give anything away, so I'll just say that it was definitely worth the price of admission.