Monday, December 14, 2009


So after braving wind, sleet, and the vortex known as LAX I finally made it BNAT 1138! After a great night at Highball, and some swag pick up (I read the whole of Nineteen Seventy Four on the plane ride back it was amazing!) the madness began!

After the folk dancing and ritual destruction of Teen Wolf the day got off to a kickass start with a screening of Faust, with live organist accompaniment that blew me right the fuck away! The film was exquisite (Man they really knew how to make people suffer in Silent Movies), the print was beautiful, the accompaniment was flawless. I started thinking “Oh man Harry you blew your load.” How could you follow this up?

With The Rape Killer. I don’t know if anyone’s mentioned this yet, but if you ever want to know what the sound of two hundred plus film geek’s jaws hitting the floor sounds like, play the trailer for The Rape Killer. It was quite possibly the wrongest thing that played that night, and that’s saying quite a lot.

Then appropriately enough The Lovely Bones played. I’d say this got the most mixed reaction at BNAT, with half loving it and half just not falling for it. Personally I enjoyed it quite a lot. It’s a flawed movie and there are some parts (Like Tucci’s over the top horror movie death) that don’t work, I can certainly see how someone wouldn’t like it. Personally though I was just gutted. The message (That it’s the terrible things in life that are truly impermanent not the other way around) and the images, and the performances brought me to tears several times. Bravo.

Next in an attempt to cause a schizophrenic break, Harry played Girl Talk, a Judy Garland Mickey Rooney musical. It was a lot of fun, the audience got really caught up in it, all the jokes hit, and the music numbers are still eye popping. Highly recommended, and it kept the audience from slitting their wrists after the emotional devastating one two combo of Faust and Lovely Bones.

Then The Red Shoes started. Its one of my favorite movies, and I never thought I’d have a chance to see it on the big screen. I was utterly hypnotized, and two and something hours flew by in about five minutes. After I came out of my daze I was wondering what the hell could follow that up, and I got my answer, when Shutter Island began.

I’m still digesting this one, but suffice to say I loved it. I’m a huge Scorsese Geek, and the sound I made when I found out it was playing was something very close to SQUEE! My only regret was that I’d read the book first, not because the movie doesn’t live up to it. Indeed it improves on it in one very significant way, its just that I would have done anything not to know the film’s twists and turns. After the one two punch of Scorsese’s latest and his favorite I told Harry I’d never felt so privileged to be at the movies. I meant it.

After an amazing Maniac Cop 2 trailer that sent that movie flying to the top of my Netflix Que, Le Magnifique started. This was a great treat I’ve wanted to see it since The Z Channel. The film was a lot of fun, telling the story of a pulp writer whose daily pressures start warping the manuscript he’s working on. It stars Jean Belemondo and cuts inbetween the Matt Helm like fantasy of the book he’s working on and the drama of everyday life. Very Funny and oddly touching. But I can’t help but think I would have liked it more had my mind not been screaming (OMG SHUTTER ISLAND).

Then their was MicMacs, the latest from Jeunet about a group of Circus Freaks who live in a Junk Yard who take on a weapons manufacturer. I’m sorry guys, I must have fell asleep in this one, because there’s no way the movie I dreamed of, which involved contortionists living in fridges, Robot Police, and The return of the Saw music from Delicatessen, actually exists. My bad.

I woke up for Frozen though which ended up being the most pleasant surprise of the night. When it was announced that the film playing next was from the director of Hatchet I groaned. I hated Hatchet, hated hated hated it. I went in with a real “Show me what you’ve got” chip on my shoulder. And then the movie bitch slapped me. I won’t spoil the movie’s concept, I’ll only say that as I mentioned to the director the title should be changed to “Oh Shit… It just got worse!” It’ll have even the craziest Horror veteran watching through their fingers. Its really strong character based horror, and ended up being a whole lot of fun.

Centipide Horror was a lesser Shaw Brother’s film set in “SE ASIA!” It moved a bit slowly but it did feature the exorcism of a vagina. Which gives me the Oppurtunity to do this...

So It’s got that going for it.

Next was The Candy Snatchers, which if you haven’t seen it is one of the wrongest movies ever made. We’re talking about a movie that begins with a cheery folk song and ends with a retarded child shooting his mother. What’s in between isn’t a whole lot better. It includes the line “At least she didn’t die a virgin.” And briefly turns into The Apple Dumpling Gang. As Scott Weinberg mused “We need more folk musical comedies based around child rape!”

Next was Kickass, and I’m surprised the theater didn’t end up burning down. The energy was so high, and the spontaneous clap along was simply electrifying. It’s a great film, the funnest English Language movie since Kill Bill Vol. 1. From the great opening gag to the kickass final shot (“Wait until they get a load of me”) Kickass not only lived up to Mark Millar’s insane source material, in many ways it improved and surpassed it (The one exception would be Vaughn’s treatment of Dave’s father, but I’m more then willing to give a mulligan on this one). Nicholas Cage gave a fantastic old school performance, the kind I haven’t seen him give since pre The Rock. As much as I loved Bad Lieutenant, to me it’s the epitome of “Bad Crazy” Nic Cage. This is the “Good Crazy” Nic Cage, the one whose crazy not because he’s twitching and flailing, and shrieking about bees, but because you genuinely have no idea what he’ll say or do next. Wait until you hear the way he says, “Child”,

Avatar followed, and I have to admit I’ve got mixed feelings about it. As a visual achievement its amazing (though I kept looking at the human’s like they where Computer Effects) and it certainly has its moments. On the whole though, the movie never really worked for me. Everyone is giving it their all, but it just had this weird 90’s vibe for me, almost a kind of a Fifth Element Vibe. Still I’m not sorry I saw it, and I’ll definitely be going again just to see the way that Cameron uses 3D not as a gimmick but as a truly new plane of composition. I may not be sure just what I saw on Pandora, but it was certainly something.

Thank you Harry for inviting me, It was everything I dreamed it’d be. Truly film geek Heaven.

1 comment:

Elwood Jones said...

Sorry to post this here, but couldn't find your e-mail.
Okay so I thought I'd drop you a quick message, to see if you wanted to take part in some cross blogging promotion, as I'm shooting off this e-mail to several of Blogs that I personally enjoy reading, asking thier various writers if they want to submit thier thoughts on thier essential Christmas Day movie. The film that you usually pop in, after putting yourself in a food induced coma.
I was hoping that you would like to take part, by posting the article on your blog, which I could then link to (and if your nice include a link to my blog) and hopfully with a submissions from the other bloggers, form a nice little collection.

Let me know what you think anyways.