Halloween. What a day. There’s something for everyone. Free candy for the kids (though I wouldn’t mind some free candy now), skimpy costumes for the hormonal ages, and free candy for the adults (your kids won’t be able to eat all those treats). It is a fun day. A scary day. An alternatingly fun and scary day. And it used to be my favorite holiday.
We’re bearing the end of Oct-horror-ber (pretty good, right?) and I have gotten in a lot of horror movies. A lot. Way more than I ever really expected to. Time hasn’t run out yet, however, so why not help wind down the scariest month of all (after April) with the grand-daddy of slasher movies, John Carpenter’s Halloween.
One cool thing about this blog project has been watching my tastes change over the course of the year. For instance, if I were to re-do my top 10 list of 2013 movies today, it would probably look a little different. Similarly, if I were to take another look at my recent review of traffic, I might change my tune just a little since the delay was apparently understandably due to a water main break. And remember when I wrote that glowing review of naps? What was I thinking? A full night of sleep is clearly superior.
Podcasting is a medium that still hasn’t taken off to the extent that it ought to. It is a (mostly) free form of entertainment generated by many, many talented people (speaking of talented people – give Two Guys, a Girl and a PizzaCast a listen). The latest “it” show is one that everyone ought to listen to. It’s called “Serial,” and it just may solve a 15-year-old murder mystery.
I consider myself to be a pretty reasonable person. I have well thought-out opinions and sophisticated beliefs. I like to think that I handle stress well – although the truth may be that I handle stress in a way that does not betray to the public how stressed I actually am. Today however, something really got under my skin and it took a lot to get out from under the anger it caused. That something? Traffic.
Jason Schwartzman has made a career of playing pompous narcissists. From his earliest role in Wes Anderson’s Rushmore to his self-congratulatory comedian from Funny People to his distracted private investigator on HBO’s Bored to Death, Schwartzman is so good at playing this type that no one could be blamed for assuming it represents his true personality. It’s not for me to say how self-obsessed the actor may or may not be (though I did see him in real life with my own eyes last night – he seemed nice enough), but I can say that his work in Alex Ross Perry’s Listen Up Philip feels like the culmination of everything he has done with this basic archetype. Seriously, I cannot imagine anyone more pompous or more narcissistic than Philip Lewis Friedman. Frankly, I don’t want to.
When my primary movie-going companion and I decided to commit to two all-night movie marathons a month ago, we were not really sure what to expect. But after last weekend’s mostly-successful All-Night Horror Show, I was pretty sure I could get through the “All-Nighter on Elm Street” – consecutive screenings of the first seven entries in the saga of famed Springwood Slayer Freddy Krueger (played exclusively by Robert Englund in these films) – without too much trouble.
Keanu Reeves was a staple of American cinema through the 80’s, 90’s, and early 2000’s. Seriously, he was everywhere; from The Matrix to Bill & Ted to Point Break to Sweet November, you couldn’t spit without hitting a Reeves flick (though you shouldn’t be spitting all willy-nilly in the first place). His omnipresence is what made it so weird when he practically disappeared after 2009’s poorly received remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still. The former movie star seems to be back with a vengeance though in John Wick, a movie about a retired killer brought back into the life after a series of tragic events.
My Alejandro González Iñárritu retrospective did not go as planned; I only made it halfway through his filmography before Birdman was released. I have resolved not to make the same miscalculation with Paul Thomas Anderson before his latest film, Inherent Vice, hits theaters. So despite the fact that that movie doesn’t come out until mid-December, my new review series starts tonight, with one of the two Anderson films I had not seen: 1996’s Hard Eight.
If you say the word “nightcrawler” to anyone invested in geek or nerd culture, the first image that will come to their mind is the smiling, furry blue face of the teleporting X-Man also known as Kurt Wagner. The more oligochaetological types mighty flash on earthworms, and some might even think of the Judas Priest song, but the protagonist in Dan Gilroy’s directorial debut Nightcrawler may just be more interesting than all of them. Yes, even more than the swashbuckling, elf-like mutant. I know! It’s hard to believe.