Saw “28 Weeks Later” this weekend. It’s only eh. That’s my capsule review of it: “eh.” The first ten minutes are brilliant. I won’t give anything away other than that there’s a zombie attack. Then it seems like it’s going to get very interesting but there’s some plot problems which irritated me. Particularly that the main character’s zombie seems to have intelligence which is breaking the golden rule of zombies which is that they aren’t allowed to have intelligence. Zombies with intelligence aren’t zombies. Zombies with intelligence are stalkers like Freddy Kruger or Jason from “Friday the 13th.” Those dudes are zombies with intelligence. They have a game plan. Real zombies just want to kill anything that comes in their path. So, supposedly, the main character’s zombie in “28 Weeks Later” is, like, hunting for specific people which I find insulting to all zombie purists. There’s another big plot problem which i won’t get into other than to say that the whole movie hinges on something that didn’t make sense so about 3/4 of the way through the movie I realized that it was never to make sense and I realized that I was bored and left the theater with ten minutes still left and went to the bathroom and got paranoid that a zombie might attack me while i was taking a pee.
This movie didn’t make me believe in ghosts but it did make me believe in movie reviews (unless they’re negative towards me.) The NYT said: “An American Haunting” is scary all right, but not for anyone in the audience. That’s not what you wanna hear about a horror film. Because of the period aspect of it and the cast it seemed like it could be a good movie, maybe sort of a “Wisconsin Death Trip” kind of thing. But no. It’s bad right from the start. Donald Sutherland has a cheesy haircut that brings to mind Eric Clapton’s “Forever Man” phase. The hilarity begins in earnest when the teenage daughter is literally bitch slapped repeatedly by the invisible poltergeist, she screams blood murder, is totally, understandably freaked out, Sissy Spacek runs in to her bedroom, hugs, touches her hair and immediately offers this nugget of wisdom, “Ssh. It’s okay. Go back to sleep.” The daughters response should have been, “What the fuck are you talking about woman!? Go back to sleep?!?! I just got bitch slapped by a ghost!” But instead, she…goes back to sleep. It only gets worse…or better…depending on your mood. The next amazing moment of stupidity comes a few scenes after the ghost has attacked again. This time, the ghost lifts the girl off the floor by her hair, bitch slaps her some more, all of this in front of Sissy Spacek, Donald Sutherland, the brother, and their family friend. I repeat: They all watch her getting beaten up by the ghost. Next day, the go to the “level headed” school teacher. He’s disbelieving. He says, “Ghosts don’t exist.” They’re like, “But we saw it!” He’s like, “But did you really see? Maybe there was someone hiding in the rafters holding her up!” They’re like, “Hm. Maybe.” He’s like, “And the slapping…that’s an old school boy trick…pea shooter!” What??????? They’re like, “Hm. Yeah.” They’re like, “What about the fact that it took three of us to get the door open?” He’s like, “You said it was raining. Maybe the wood got bloated.” They’re like, “He’s got a point.” Bloated? Their daughter was getting her butt kicked by a ghost. It’s all down hill from there. Bad acting, Clapton hair, excessive bitch slapping poltergeist. Overall grade: A + (for extreme shittiness)
This is a great documentary directed by Alexandra Shiva (Bombay Eunuch) that tells the story of five campers in one session at Stagedoor Manor the theater camp in the Catskill mountains. The film really captures the love that these kids have for musical theater and performing. It’s funny and endearing and really entertaining. Highlights are the scene in which an incensed camper complains that the costume designer for Fiddler On The Roof has made them wear Amish looking hats; also, a British Master Class Acting teacher that is so absurd and over the top he seems like a Ricky Gervais character. Go read about the film at www.stagedoor-movie.com Go see it and tell all your friends!
Saw “Jonestown” documentary today at the Tribeca Film Festival with old college buddies Phil and Matt. Movie is very good. Doesn’t shed any major new light on it but it definitely goes far more in depth than anything else I’ve seen. Starts in Indiana, moves to California, then ends in Jonestown. Some amazing footage of his sermons in San Francisco. His followers swaying, singing, you could feel the energy. Things descend rapidly. The entire Jonestown section was really disturbing. The filmmakers did some really good interviews with survivors of the tragedy. There’s a lot of speculation as to how Jim Jones died. At the end, of the movie they say he died of a gunshot wound but don’t say whether or not it was self-inflicted. Stayed for a Q&A. Most interesting thing at Q&A was filmmaker’s revelation that he’d lost many relatives in the massacre. Sad. (Fyi, ran into Judah Friedlander at the screening. He and I were sitting next to each other and raising our hands enthusiastically at the Q &A but didn’t get called on. After the Q&A we both went up to the filmmakers and asked our questions. Mine was, “How long did it take to make the film?” They said, “One year.” Judah’s was, “How much money does Jim Jones have stashed away?” Their answer was “Alot.”) Some photos attached: Judah on the escalator; the poster for the film, coincidence that it was being screened in theater #13?