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Raggedy Adams is an alien dwelling in Birmingham, living vicariously through the flickering of a projector on a white screen. He's drank the Kool-Aid of modern cinema. Will you?

Monday, 26 March 2012

Sweating Out the Demons – Part I

Sweating Out the Demons – Part I
Ugh. Okay, here’s the thing. I haven’t not been writing this blog on purpose. I haven’t even not been writing it because there’s been nothing going on worth blogging about. If anything there’s been too much going on. But since my usually hectic schedule became even more hectic, and my commitment to watching the entirety of Twin Peaks spiralled out of control, I’ve found my backlog of reviews getting bigger and bigger. So, since I haven’t got the time to provide my usual level of detail about why a film is good, I’m going to review every film I’ve watched over the last three months or so, and I’m going to do it in no more than 100 words per film, with a view of this becoming my regular format for all my reviews. So here goes.

Network – The closest thing to a definitive movie about the corrupting power of the media on any kind of intellectual dialogue or sense of individuality. Aging anchor-man Howard Beale (the late Peter Finch in an Oscar winning role) is fired from his network for having low ratings, only to be re-embraced as a “mad prophet of the airwaves” when he threatens to kill himself on camera and his rants become an overnight wet dream for the atavistic board of directors. William Holden, Faye Dunaway and Robert Duvall co-star, with masterful direction by Sidney Lumet and caustically funny scripting from Paddy Chayefsky.

Wow. That was easy enough. Let’s run with this a little.

Tucker and Dale vs Evil – One of the best horror comedies I’ve seen, and that includes Shaun of the Dead and Evil Dead II. In the logical reverse of Deliverance, Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine play two well-meaning but naïve hillbillies vacationing at their rundown cabin in the woods, and whose innocently intended words and actions are mistaken by a group of imbecilic college kid sterotypes for those of the stereotypically murderous and rapacious variety, resulting in the group being killed off in increasingly bizarre manners. This is what Scary Movie would be like if it was written by someone clever.

Hobo With a Shotgun – Umm, well, it’s got Rutger Hauer in it. He plays a hobo. With a shotgun. Okay, fine, it’s not the most complex movie on my list, but I happened to find it fun as a no-holds-barred Troma-esque splatterfest. But save for one very powerful scene involving Hauer soliloquising as only he can to a ward of newborn babies, this is Exact What It Says On The Tin territory: schlocky fun if you’re into gloriously over-the-top violence, not a lot for those who aren’t. Still, not bad for something that started out as a fake trailer.

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