Monday, November 30, 2009

The Decade That Was!

It’s the end of the decade! At least that’s what every periodical and newspaper wants you to think. Of course if you know how to do math or read a calendar you know the new decade doesn’t start until 2011 (Just like the new decade, millennium, etc. didn’t start until 2001) but I’m in too much pain and on too many drugs to care so I figure why not take this opportunity to delve into the decade that was. Originally I was going to try to name the top 10 films of the decade but I have enough trouble doing that with the films of any given year. As such I figured I’d break down the major trends, people, etc. that I think years from now people will look back on as being the defining elements of the film world at the start of the 21st century. Please keep in mind these are in no particular order.

MUSICALS: The musical was dead, then in 2001 a little film called MOULIN ROUGE hit the big screen and changed all that. While we will most likely never return to the days when a new musical was practically coming out every month, with films like DREAMGIRLS, HAIRSPRAY, RENT, CHICAGO, ONCE, SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER AND UNCUT and a whole slew of others this decade proved the musical is alive and well, you just need artists with the guts to make them.

M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Look, say what you will about THE VILLAGE AND THE HAPPENING but UNBREAKABLE is one of my favorite films of all time, SIGNS is one of the best movies Spielberg never made and while I know most people hate it I adore LADY IN THE WATER and wish more people would have given it a chance. In my not so humble opinion I think this decade proved despite his massive ego and hubris Shymalan was more than a one hit wonder and that the SIXTH SENSE wasn’t a fluke. Now here’s just hoping he can recapture that magic.


RIAN JOHNSON: I know the guy’s only made two movies but both of them have been so remarkably brilliant I can’t help but feel that we are in the middle of witnessing the birth of perhaps one of the all time greats, a talent that people will be talking about for years to come. The past few years have seen him explode onto the scene with BRICK and THE BROTHERS BLOOM and I, like many others can’t wait to see what he does next.

PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON: THERE WILL BE BLOOD is easily one of the best films of the last decade and PUNCH DRUNK LOVE is no joke either. So far Paul Thomas Anderson has shown a truly scary amount of talent and one can’t help but think he’s just getting started.

JOHNNY DEPP: No matter how you slice it the past 10 years have belonged to a handful of actors. I don’t think anyone with enough brain cells to form a coherent thought will argue that one of those actors was Johnny Depp. For fans of the actor’s eclectic but always brilliant choice of roles it was immensely satisfying to see the rest of the world jump on the bandwagon with films like the PIRATES OF CARIBBEAN trilogy, ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO and pretty much any film made by Tim Burton.

GEORGE CLOONEY: Speaking of actors, after brilliant turns in OUT OF SIGHT and THREE KINGS towards the end of the 20th century Clooney proved that not only is he perhaps the premiere actor of the new millennium but also one of the single coolest human beings to ever walk the face of the planet. The fact that he’s proven he can direct with the best of them just makes me even more awed and intimidated by him.

ROBERT DOWNEY JR.: Let’s wrap up the actor portion of this ordeal with perhaps one of the greatest comebacks in the history of Hollywood. I like many others have loved Robert Downey Jr. for years and in the past few years our faith and love has been rewarded with the likes of KISS KISS BANG BANG, TROPIC THUNDER and hopefully the new SHERLOCK HOLMES. Many of us have known for a while that Downey is one of the all time greats and he’s finally proving that to the world.

FOREIGN FILMS: I’m not saying there hasn’t been a massive array of the brilliant foreign films in the past but can they compare with the likes of CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, PAN’S LABYRINTH, THE LIVES OF OTHERS, NINE QUEENS, LET THE RIGHT ONE and too many others to name?

MARTIN SCORSESE: Not only did he make GANGS OF NEW YORK, THE AVIATOR and SHINE A LIGHT but he finally won a MUCH deserved Oscar for THE DEPARTED. Well played sir!

J.J. ABRAMS: Even if you exclude ALIAS and LOST, perhaps two of the greatest TV shows ever made and just focus on MISSION IMPOSSIBLE III and STAR TREK it’s impossible to overlook the ludicrous amounts of talent this man has. I’ve heard more than a few people call him the next Spielberg, while I don’t know if I’d go quite that far I’m not sure how far off they are.

STEVEN SPIELBERG: Forget about the insane amount of movies the man has produced over the past decade the turn of the century saw Spielberg take the helm of films like AI, MINORITY REPORT, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, WAR OF THE WORLDS and in my opinion his very best movie (Not my favorite, but I think his most mature and accomplished film) MUNICH. In the midst of the brilliant new voices the past ten years haves given us Spielberg has proven he’s an old dog with more than a few new tricks still up his sleeve.

QUENTIN TARANTINO: I love Quentin Tarantino, always have, always will and I think this new millennium has given us my two favorite films of his, KILL BILL VOL. 1 & 2 and INGLORIOUS BASTERDS and while I know it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea I loved DEATH PROOF as well. As if he really needed to Tarantino has used the last decade to prove he is one of the greatest voices in the history of cinema.


JASON BOURNE: THE BOURNE IDENTITY introduced an action hero for a post 9/11 world and its two sequels showed how an action movie should be made and that it might not be the worst idea in the world to have Paul Greengrass helm every single one of them. This trilogy changed the way action films are made and that was not a bad thing.

JAMES BOND: What happens when an upstart, newcomer arrives on the scene and shows you up at your own game? You return to your roots and make perhaps the two best films of your very long, storied franchise. In 2006 James Bond proved with CASINO ROYALE that he would not be outdone and in doing so one of my favorite movies of the decade, if not of all time was made.

LORD OF THE RINGS: I highly doubt we’ll ever see anything like it again in our lifetime. Peter Jackson pretty much did the impossible and in doing so he created a series of films for the ages. Over 9 something hours of brilliant filmmaking he brought J.R.R. Tolkien’s unfilmable series to life and with a host of Oscar winners brought legitimacy to a genre that even the biggest geek never thought would be acknowledged by the world at large. While I don’t know if these are the best or even my favorite films of this decade (Although they come close) it’s hard to argue that they might not be its greatest feat and accomplishment.

COMIC BOOK MOVIES: I’ve been a geek since the moment I could form conscious thought and if this new century has done anything it’s finally legitimized the stuff I used to always get my ass kicked for in high school. Comic books have changed the landscape of cinema and thank God for that. For years the faithful have been shouting from the rooftops that there were great stories to be told from the paneled walls of the 2-D world and someone finally listened. IRON MAN and SPIDER-MAN 2 mark two of the best films of the decade as do films like THE INCREDIBLES and UNBREAKBALE, stories who owe their very existence to the world of comic books.

PIXAR: What does perfection and brilliance look like? Pretty much anything that starts out with that jumping lamp logo. MONSTERS INC., FINDING NEMO, THE INCREDIBLES, CARS, RATATOUILLE, WALL-E, UP, there’s not a dud in the bunch.

CHRISTOPHER NOLAN: And then there’s this guy. Pound for pound Nolan is at least tied, if not a nose ahead of Spielberg as the single best director working in the industry today. The man burst onto the scene at the beginning of the decade with the brilliant MEMENTO and has been jacking them over the fence ever since with the likes of INSOMNIA, BATMAN BEGINS, THE PRESTIGE and of course THE DARK KNIGHT a film that after much consideration and deliberation I’ve decided is the very best film of the last decade. No ifs, ands or buts about it Nolan is one of the all time greats, a director who I honestly think will someday be held up there with the likes of Welles, Hitchcock, Lean, Coppola and Spielberg and up until this last decade no one even knew he existed. The last decade has brought us a great many gifts but I don’t know if any of them have been as awesome as Christopher Nolan.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Muppet Goodness

Those of us that adore the Muppets and are excited about Jason Segel's new Muppet Movie still have awhile to wait for it. However, this little internet goodie might be able to help a few of us endure the wait a little more.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

24/1 = :-)

Here in America, we take time out one day each November to give thanks for what we have been blessed with. Regardless of one's nationality, I think that the value of the concept of Thanksgiving is one that can be agreed upon almost universally. We here at the site would like to take the time to express our own gratitude for your continued support and for the precious gift that you give us: your time.

From a personal standpoint, first and foremost, I am thankful for the love, support, and good health of my family. Nothing else comes close.

Having made that clear, I am also grateful for the miracle that is the cinema. The past year or so has been one that's been rough for people all around the world. Stable jobs that seemed like keepers have evaporated into thin air, revenue streams have been altered beyond some of our wildest dreams, and we've all learned the true meaning of the word "frugality."

That said, I've found a real place of solace in the movies this past year. No matter what the challenges of the day have been, at about 8:30 PM a few nights out of the week, I get to sit down and watch a movie. Most of the time, it's just me sitting there in the dark, staring at the screen, waiting to see what wonderful thing I might discover that night.

This year, I've been blessed with so many fine moments and great films. No matter where our allegiances lie as cinephiles, be we devotees of Bergman or Bay, lovers of summer blockbusters or foreign films, cynics or optimists, let's take a moment. In that moment, let's be grateful for those marvelous moments in the shadows when we are transported into new worlds where possibilities abound and life can seem to start anew.

Now on to a fantastic weekend with family, food, and . . . you guessed it . . . some great movies.

Monday, November 16, 2009

If you don't have anything nice to say about someone or something... say it in a blog!

I am not a happy man. While normally I like to consider myself a pretty optimistic, glass is half full type guy, at the moment I am filled with rage, pure unadulterated rage because for all intents and purposes Satan is raping theatres.

First we have 2012 and it’s $65.2 million opening weekend haul. Anyone and everyone that saw a trailer, a TV spot or even a poster for the film knew it was going to be big budget, special effects heavy, cinematic excrement and they still turned out in droves to see Roland Emmerich’s latest effort at not trying. Say what you will about Michael Bay, TRANSFORMERS 2 or pretty much any other mindless special effects film to come out this year or the previous ones, at least for the most part they TRIED to blow things up in new and unique ways! Emmerich gave up on that sometime around the 2nd act of INDEPENDENCE DAY!

As if that weren’t bad enough this coming weekend brings maybe the single worst weekend in the history of all cinema. I mean for the love of all that is good and pure what kind of world do we live in where NEW MOON and THE BLIND SIDE get released in the same weekend?!? Worse yet what kind of world do we live in where I would rather have my head repeatedly slammed in a car door all while watching 2012 and THE BLIND SIDE on a continuous loop than so much as HEAR a single second of NEW MOON!!!

I’m going to state this right now and no amount of prodding, cajoling, begging, pleading or anything else will ever get me to take this back. If you are one of the mindless, overly hormonal, lemming like drones that goes to see NEW MOON you are NEVER EVER EVER allowed to complain about the state of cinema and the lack of quality in modern film again!!! Here’s the thing, no matter how much I hope and pray I know that NEW MOON is going to make more money than even most good movies deserve to make, I’ve resigned myself to that and I’ll admit the pure anger it’s raises in me is probably taking a few years off of my life but so be it. The one and ONLY good thing I can take out of it is the fact that after this anyone who goes to see it from this point forward pretty much has their opinion on movies rendered moot. The next time anyone complains about this movie being stupid or that movie being poorly made I’ll ask them if they saw NEW MOON, if they did then that will end the conversation right there because in every possible way they will be largely responsible for HORRIBLE, CRAPPY, UNWATCHABLE movies getting made because make no mistake that is EXACTLY what NEW MOON is and then some.

I have seen footage, the trailer and the TV spots for NEW MOON multiple times now and I just don’t get it. Anyone who doesn’t think that NEW MOON looks like barely disguised, barely legal, male objectifying, Mormon porn with production values and special effects that make ANY straight to DVD, Hallmark or TV movie look like the next James Cameron film in comparison has their vision clouded by too many underage, shirtless teenage boys to notice. NEW MOON doesn’t just look bad, it looks unwatchable, a complete abortion of cinematic proportions vomited on the screen with absolutely no regard for even TRYING to make anything that even remotely resembles a good movie. In short the people that made it AND the people that see it should be ashamed of themselves for allowing ANYONE to get away with something a so obviously half-assed, rushed and unforgivably uncared for.

Look, I’ll admit the TWILIGHT phenomenon sure as heck isn’t my thing. Especially when truly great vampire fiction exists in the forms of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, ANGEL, TRUE BLOOD and SO many others! My problem though ultimately lies with the fact that not only does TWILIGHT not come even remotely close to deserving the nearly religious type following it has, but that no one has even thought about making a good movie, much less TRIED to make one. If one really put some effort into it, if one cast some actors that are nothing but vacuous stares and high cheekbones and found writers and directors that get and care about the stories they may have something semi-watchable on their hands. Instead they have a series that I absolutely guarantee you will be forgotten in less than a decade. In fact having seen what I’ve seen of these first two films and hearing about what’s down the pike for the next ones I’m fairly certain most audiences will wise up right around the 2nd or 3rd act of ECLIPSE. When that happens I’ll be sitting there laughing and pointing, telling everyone “I told you so” as they try to permanently cleanse perhaps the two greatest cinematic atrocities of all time from their mind.

Sorry guys but at this point I don’t think there has ever been ANYTHING in the history of pop culture that has pissed me off more than this crap. I’m going to shut up and stop ranting now because I’ve already granted this drek, this pap, this utter garbage more time and thought that it’s ever deserved. And don’t even get me started on THIS IS IT… is it time for SHERLOCK HOLMES or AVATAR yet?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It's about time!!!

There is justice in the world. In dire times like these when madmen, zealots and radicals seem to be sending this planet to hell in a hand basket faster than we can blink it’s nice to know that through it all something good, something truly honorable and noble can happen. Roger Corman is receiving a Lifetime Achievement Oscar! It would take far too long for me to explain why this is such a momentous and MUCH deserved cause to celebrate. If you don’t know who Roger Corman is then I pity you and may feel the need to question your standing as a movie nerd. Make no bones about it, Roger Corman has never made a great film, a timeless classic that will last through the ages, heck I’m not sure the guy’s ever even made a GOOD movie, but dear Lord has he made a lot of them and without the hundreds of films to his credit Hollywood wouldn’t be what it is today or what it’s been for the past several decades. Don’t believe me; take a look at this list of just SOME of the people that go their start in the industry because of Roger Corman.

Robert Deniro
Charles Bronson
Sylvester Stallone
James Cameron
Francis Ford Coppola
Ron Howard
William Shatner
Jack Nicholson
Jonathan Demme
Joe Dante
Peter Bogdonavich
John Sayles

Need I go on? I haven’t even touched on the fact that his company was responsible for the American releases of some of the greatest works by some of the greatest foreign auteurs this world has ever seen, guys like Truffaut, Fellini, Bergman and Kurosawa. Corman is a legend and outright movie god and I for one am extremely bummed that this is now one of the awards that they don’t give out at the main Oscar ceremony. Instead this will be given out the Saturday before and it’s a real shame because I guarantee you the place will be packed with more star power than a galaxy of supernovas, a veritable who’s who of the Hollywood A-list that owe their careers to the “Orson Welles of the Z-movie”.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Thank you Sheldon Dorf!

Hello all. I’m just chiming in real quick with a short but sad announcement. Sheldon Dorf died last Tuesday. I know this name probably doesn’t mean a lot to most of you and that’s okay because until I read more about him it didn’t mean a lot to me either. Sheldon Dorf was a freelance artist and comic-book letterer but more importantly he was the man that founded Comic-Con some 40 years ago. If you don’t understand why this bears mentioning or the gigantic impact this man’s creation has had on the world of movies and entertainment then you’ve most likely been living in a cave for the past decade or so. This man created one of my favorite things in the whole world, a thing that has had a lasting, unmistakable impact on the popular arts. Here’s hoping they do something fitting to remember him at this year’s Con.

America! F Yeah!

Two decades ago today it got a lot harder to make action movies. On November 9th, 1989 the Berlin Wall came crumbling down in essence marking the ends of Communism in Europe and the Cold War. While this may not seem like that big of a deal to many of us that were too young to remember the Cold War at the height of its fervor, if you know anything about history what-so-ever you know 20 years ago today marked one of the most significant events of the modern age. And I in no way want to lessen the cultural impact these events had on the entire world. I’m sure one could argue whether or not these events made for a better world or not and in any other venue I’d love to do so but this blog is about movies and I’m sure many of you might be wondering why I would bring up such a momentous, yet seemingly unrelated event here. Well, I bring it up because just like the events of 9/11, the fall of Communism and the Berlin Wall changed the way we made movies.

As soon as the cold war ended we lost the second best villains in the history of cinema (The first being the Nazis obviously). Once we started being all buddy buddy with our formerly Pinko-Commie enemies THE mother of all fall-back villains went right out the window. Since the end of WWII and especially during the height of Ronald Regan’s presidency if you wanted your all-American good guy to fight some sort of dastardly evil but you couldn’t come up with anything too original or unique you just threw a bunch of Russian terrorists at him. Like Nazis no one would do anything but cheer as Arnold, Sly or Bruce mowed their way through legions of hammer and sickle saluting slime! It was perfect because especially towards the end of the Cold War no one in America was really frightened by any of the fascist fiends they were just kind of annoyed by them. They could watch with moral indifference as these rotten Ruskies were treated like cockroaches. They thrilled to watching them get squashed and never had to give a second thought to anything but the satisfyingly gory end they met.

Obviously all that has changed. With the rise of pot smoking, tree hugging, hemp wearing, peace loving, anti-animal testing, politically correct, Hippy-Liberalism we’re supposed to feel bad about our heroes killing anyone but drug lords or racially indefinable terrorists. We’re being attacked left and right by the Muslim world but if Jason Bourne or James Bond so much as throws someone in a turban a sideways glance the ACLU, NAACP and a bunch of other acronyms all jump out of the woodwork screaming bloody murder because by killing one genocidal extremists you’re declaring open war on the beliefs of every non-WASP (White Angle Saxon Protestant) in the world.

One could argue that the times have changed and have perhaps gotten better with said changes. I’m not going to weigh in on that, but one can’t help but admit things aren’t nearly as simple as they used to be. I long for the days when writers like myself could stereotype and murderously judge anything with an accent. Sadly though those days are gone and my only hope for that good old red, white and blue retribution is a WWII movie… or something directed by Michael Bay.

2 trailers sometimes really are better than 1

Ah, brothers and sisters, the passing of time brings many changes. The second Avatar trailer has finally been released, and I'm happy to report that it looks infinitely more interesting than the teaser did. As you might remember, I took some flak for pointing out that the big blue guys just didn't look so realistic. Fortunately, while they still don't resemble the finest CGI these eyes have ever seen as Cameron may have hoped, they look pretty good.

The story seems to have legs too. Although seeming somewhat cliched (Star Trek: Insurrection, anyone?), Avatar seems to have a fairly compelling narrative conflict. This wasn't evident from the get go, and I know that Megan and I both expressed our concerns that the film would be all gimmick and no guts. However, that's kind of an inherent problem with teaser trailers in general. Unless the visuals are flat-out incredible/trippy/weirdly compelling, the teaser doesn't necessarily accomplish its main goal, which is namely to get your butt in a seat in the theater, preferably on opening weekend.

That said, I still have a few questions.

1. How does the blue girl know English? Pretty convenient, huh? Maybe they'll explain it with one of those "Oh, the avatar software comes with a universal translator so that you'll be able to talk to the natives."

2. Why don't the bad guys just unplug the machine Jake's hooked up to so that he can't control his avatar? That said, this'll probably be handled in one of two ways. Either he'll get the machine off the ship (Sigourney Weaver would probably help with this) or it'll turn into a subplot as the bad guys race to disconnect the machine. Or what about this: Sigourney Weaver might lock them out of the area of the ship where the machines are and it becomes a race-against-the-clock as they try to break through before he can lead the natives to victory on the planet surface.

All jokes aside, I just hope this movie is close to being as good as it wants to be. I'll be there opening weekend for sure. Cameron, if you're reading, please please PLEASE make it worth my while.

Oh, and keep your eye on a movie called An Education come Oscar time. Good stuff. The star, Carey Mulligan, is going to get a Best Actress nomination. Yep, that's my first Oscar prediction. We'll see how THAT goes.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

2 are better than 1? We'll see...

The Oscars should be quite interesting this year and for better or worse quite different as well. First comes the wise announcement that they are expanding the Best Picture category to 10 nominees and now comes word that there will be 2 hosts for the awards ceremony. Within the last hour the news broke that both Steve Martin AND Alec Baldwin will be hosting this year’s Oscar telecast. I love Steve Martin and he’s proven he can do a bang-up job both times he’s hosted and Alec Baldwin has proven over the last ten years and in at least a dozen times hosting SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE that he’s a far better comedic actor than a dramatic one. I am slightly bummed Hugh Jackman won’t be back after knocking it out of the park last year and they probably shouldn’t be telling people that their first choice was to have Ben Stiller and Robert Downey Jr. co-host it together (I’m sorry but that may have made for the single greatest Oscars EVER) but Martin and Baldwin should still bring all kinds of funny. If you don’t believe me check out their countless interactions on SNL, in fact I’m hoping they bring that same sort of playfully contentious attitude towards each other to this hosting gig.

Regardless of what you think of all the changes and tweaks the Academy is making to this years show, you can’t help but admit its sure going to be unique. Two hosts, twice as many nominees and we’re in November and no clear cut choices for ANY category have really presented themselves yet. This should be fun.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Things That Could've Gone Bump In The Night.

As I’m sure most of you are aware there’s a little flick called PARNORMAL ACTIVITY that’s making a pretty big splash in the world of cinema at the moment. I just got back from seeing said flick and I feel it’s my duty to report on this little mini-phenomenon that’s tearing through the multiplexes. The less you know about this movie going in the better so I’m going to do everything I can to keep this short and sweet. As such if you choose to not read any further my feelings won’t be hurt in the least. In short know that I think Oren Peli has made a very well done independent film that is ultimately hamstrung by the way the studio is handling it’s release. So there, if that’s all you want to know, take that knowledge, don’t read anything else and be gone with you.

For those of you still with me, first and foremost I would like to state that PARANORMAL ACTIVITY is a very well done, independent creepfest. My hat is off to Oren Peli because with almost no money and resources he has made a genuine horror movie, one that is refreshing in the fact that it relies on actual scares not gore and guts to the get the audience’s pulse pounding.
While no one would accuse the characters in this film of being very deep you grow to like them pretty fast just because they seem like normal, every day people. There’s nothing spectacular about them other than the weirdness that seems to have followed Katie (Played VERY well by Katie Featherston) most of her life. The movie is incredibly good at the slow burn. At first everything that happens seems innocuous and fairly harmless but as the film progresses you begin to grow just as uneasy as the characters do. While I’ll admit I’m not the kind of audience that a horror film plays to everyone else in the theatre kept getting more and more panicky the further the movie went along. It finally got to the point towards the end of the movie that every time the “night time” footage would start you could sense the audience holding its breath. For the most part the movie had almost everyone in the theatre eating out of the palm of its hand. At the same time I spent the majority of the movie kicking myself for not having come up with such a simple, but effective idea first.

None of the above is meant as a backhanded complement in any way shape or form. A very good, creepy, independent horror film was made. Everything about it is effective and well done. Having said that though, this is no THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. Of course, that’s not the really the movies fault. No I think the fault for this film not being nearly as effective as it could be falls squarely on Paramount’s shoulders.

Now I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I love Paramount Pictures. Pound for pound I think they and Warner Brothers are hands down the two best movie studios in the world at the moment. They take chances, and display gigantic cajones when almost every other studio seems to be running away from anything that could be perceived as original or groundbreaking. No, I think what we have here is indicative not so much of Paramount but Hollywood as a whole at the moment.

You see IF Paramount Vantage (Paramount Picture’s independent film arm) still existed this film would have been released like THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. It would have been slow, it would have been subtle, it would have been quiet and best of all it would have been handled in a way to make everyone think that what you were seeing on that screen, for those 90 minutes was one hundred percent real!

Do you remember when THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT first came out? It was 10 years ago so I know it may be a little hard but just try to recall back that far if you can. For the first month or so, if not longer, as the movie slowly rolled out everyone thought it was real. The whole way Lion’s Gate handled it made it sound like it was an actual news story and that this “found footage” was part of it. As such even once the word started to spread that it was all just an ingenious independent film no matter how hard you tried, every so often you couldn’t help but wonder if what you were watching was real. This simple marketing strategy caused THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT to be one of the single scariest phenomenons of my life time.

The same exact thing was needed for PARANORMAL ACTIVITY but sadly it just didn’t get it. Sure Paramount did this whole thing where your city had to demand to see it and so on but never once did they try to convince anyone that it wasn’t a movie. As such the moment you walk in the theatre, unlike THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT you know everything you are watching is completely fake, sure it’s a well done fake but it’s still fake and as such it has almost no power. Part of the reason the movie got as far as it did in festivals and made it into the hands of guys like Steven Spielberg is because the film maker wanted everyone to believe it was real. He did a pretty good job of it too but I’m afraid most of those efforts have been ruined by the studio.

Sadly PARANORMAL ACTIVITY is a victim of a Hollywood system that is quickly losing touch with the world of independent cinema. It is a system that no longer knows how to find, acquire or handle anything made outside of its big budget hierarchy. This system has forced many of the independent branches of studios -those entities that were created specifically to handle movies like PARANORMAL ACTIVITY – to shut down and great opportunities for great independent cinema are getting lost in the shuffle.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY isn’t Shakespeare and it was never going to be the kind of thing that would win all sort of awards but it’s a fun, quite effective little horror film that would’ve been so much more effective had it been handled like anything other than a big studio release. It’s making money and I’m sure it will continue to make money. Hopefully great things lie ahead for all involved but Paramount had the chance to truly scare the living crap out a lot of people and they dropped the ball. That seems to be par for the course in today’s world of independent cinema.