Thursday, November 1, 2012

Silent Hill

This is another movie that I loved that everyone else seemed to hate.  Part of that was because the movie deviated so far from the storyline of the game upon which is was based, but I think that's kind of silly.  I don't even care if movies based on books deviate a lot, as long as the resulting movie is a good one they can change whatever they want.  It's when they change a bunch of stuff and then the movie sucks that I get pissed.  I don't think this movie sucks.  It's a little weird and out there, and there's that long, 20 minute sequence when a character walks into a room filled with white light and all forward motion and action stops so a narrator can go back and explain what happened in the past that led to the current horrific situation (come on screenwriters, you couldn't come up with a better way of doing this than that?) but otherwise, this movie was enjoyable and has been every time I've watched it.

The story is about a little girl who is adopted by a man and his wife who love the girl like their own child even though they adopted her later in her life, when she was eight, and even though the little girl has a lot of problems.  she has terrible nightmares and sleepwalks in the night, putting herself in danger, and screaming of a place called "Silent Hill."  The mother decides to travel to this place(because if my kid had screaming nightmares of a place, the first thing I'd want to do is visit there) so she sets off with her daughter to find this town that isn't on any map for some reason.  She gets into a minor accident and her daughter runs off into the town, and once she gets there something isn't right.  Ashes swirl in the air and soot covers the town and something dark and evil is there, something that wants to kill everything it touches.

There are a lot of creepy evil things in this movie.  People have complained about the BAD CGI effects, but they don't bother me.  I think everything looks good enough that it doesn't take me out of the story like bad effects can sometimes do.  I like the acting, too.  Rhada Mitchell is great, and Jodelle Ferland is a great little actress with such expressive eyes and face that it's hard not to be mesmerized whenever she's onscreen.  Sean Bean is always good, and everyone else does great in their roles as well.  I like the story of how evil can corrupt even the most innocent souls, how the damned in hell might not accept their fate and might lie to themselves, how the desire for vengeance can poison a heart, how children often see their mothers as the ultimate expression of good and protection and love, and mostly how a mother can love a child even if the child isn't biologically hers.  I love it when Rose said "from the moment I saw her, I knew I was her mother." I just love most everything about this movie, and what I love makes up for whatever I might not like to make this movie worth watching again and again.

I Know Who Killed Me

I saw this movie a few years ago, and even though a lot of people seemed to hate it, I really liked it.  I worried that it wouldn't hold up to repeated viewings, but I enjoyed it this time around as much as I did the first time I saw it.  I also noticed more this time around, which is always fun for me.  I think a lot of blowback against this movie is because Lindsay Lohan is in it, and people seem to love to hate on her and dump on her these days.  Here's my take on that.  first of all, I love Lindsay Lohan.  I've loved her since she was a little kid appearing in movies, and I still love her now.  Yeah, she's done a lot of stupid shit, but so did I in my 20s, and I've seen a lot of drug abuse and alcoholism and such firsthand and seen them tear people apart, so I'll always be sitting on the sidelines, quietly rooting for Lindsay to make it.  I may not know her personally, but I think she's a talented actress, and I've known so many people who have gone through a lot of the things she''s gone through, and it's possible to get your act together and have a life and a career and move on.  I'll always be hoping she does that.  So no, I'm not going to hate on this movie because she was in it, even if she's done some bad things in her life and in her career.  I think she does a good job here with her character (or rather characterS) and it enhances the viewing experience for me seeing her in it, because the movie is so much of art imitating life, as the old Lindsay Lohan (the good girl everyone loved) is contrasted with the new Lindsay Lohan, the bad girl who does everything wrong and lets drugs and alcohol and sex ruin her life.  Rings true, now doesn't it?

The movie is about Aubrey, a perfect young college student who has the world at her feet and all the opportunities in the world.  One night Aubrey disappears, as many young girls in the area have disappeared, later to be found tortured and dismembered and dead.  Aubrey's parents are devastated, until one night Aubrey is found, battered and bloody and missing some body parts, but alive.  except she doesn't remember her parents or anything from her life, and she insists she is a stripper named Dakota who has no idea who Aubrey is.  The movie follows the FBI and police and Aubrey/Dakota as they try to piece together what the hell is going on.  The police are sure she's lying, and Dakota doesn't know what to think since she remembers her life and she sure as hell doesn't remember having all the money and opportunities Aubrey had.  Meanwhile, we see flashes of Aubrey being tortured and dismembered, and we wonder what the hell is going on too.

The twist ending is kind of farfetched, sure, but it's something I've seen done to an extent in other movies, something I've also heard happened in a few cases in real life, so it doesn't ring as false as it might otherwise for me, and Lohan's performance manages to keep me engrossed in the movie and wanting to find out what happens next.  I enjoy this movie.  yeah, some of it is silly.  I mean, Lohan plays a stripper who doesn't take her top off (or anything else...those poor guys at the bar aren't even getting their cover charge worth!) and she even leaves her bra on for the sex scene!  Come on, it looks silly here, folks.  but whatever.  The caveats don't keep me from enjoying the movie.  It's worth watching, and worth watching again, even.

MST3K: Warrior of the Lost World

This movie, bad as it was, reminded me a lot of "Mad Max."  Of course, I saw "Mad Max" when I was a kid, so it's possible that it wasn't any better than "Warrior of the Lost world" and I'm only remembering it as better because I saw it when I was 10 and everything was cooler when I was 10.  I even liked "Jason Takes Manhattan" back then, whereas now I realize it's a big pile of crap.  So this movie, about a futuristic world where normal folks work like drones and obey every order sent down from a super controlling government, is dismantled by the "warrior of the lost world" who is a guy on a motor cycle who hates authority, so he rides around defying the government with no purpose until he meets these people who want to dismantle the government and start a "New Way," so they enlist him as their hero because their prophecy says he's the savior...yeah, it's stupid, but the commentary provided by the robots and the human Joel is actually pretty funny.  I had fun with it, at least.  I also liked watching poor Donald Pleasance cashing a paycheck as the leader of the evil government, and he was way too classy and put way too much effort into his role in this cruddy movie.


Here's the thing about this movie.  It's always advertised as a comedy, you know, a laugh riot, but I didn't laugh much with it.  Not that it didn't have its funny moments, but mostly for me this movie was like the Agatha Christie mysteries I loved so much as a kid, with demented people bumping off other demented people in a big mess of psychotic motivations and drama.  I loved it.  Also, this had the added fun of being a mystery where the remaining characters are all trying to solve the murders together, instead of one person (like Miss Marple) having to do all the work because even the cops are too damn stupid to figure out what's going on.  there's also a real sense of menace here, at least for me, because these people are actually being bumped off.  there's actual lives on the line, so for me this movie is a lot like "House on Haunted Hill," which I enjoyed a lot as a kid (there are shades of "Ten Little Indians" here as well).

this movie is about a group of eccentric people arriving at a dinner party at a creepy mansion on a dark and stormy night.  they learn that they've all been summoned by a mysterious invitation that assigns them a phony name to give the other guests, and they are promised a financial reward for going through with the festivities.  Later they learn that they are all being blackmailed by someone because they each are hiding some secret, and the invitation they received to the strange dinner party hints that the blackmailing will stop if they attend the party.  Soon murder ensues, and they can't leave the house because the doors are all locked, and they are forced to figure out who among them is murderous enough to kill to protect their secret.

I really enjoyed this movie.  It's everything I loved about the old mystery/horror/noir flicks I watched with my mom when I was a kid (the only kinds of horror she would let me watch were movies like "House on Hsaunted Hill") so the nostalgic look back was a lot of fun for me.