Wednesday, November 07, 2012

What I Watched In October

October was a very busy month (as usual) and I was only able to get out to the theater twice. Luckily each trip was to see a very good film. LOOPER is the latest effort from writer/director Rian Johnson and although I feel it is the least of his three movies to date, it is still well worth seeing. This is Johnson’s first science fiction film and he has brought the same smart writing and clever storytelling to bear on this as he did with BRICK and THE BROTHERS BLOOM. The characters are well conceived, identifiable and compelling even when they are committing less than admirable actions onscreen. The acting is as good as you would expect with the surprise for me being the dark turn by Jeff Daniels. Not that I don’t expect him to be able to handle serious roles but the character he plays here is something I’d never seen from him and I was impressed. The film’s downbeat but optimistic slant of an ending strikes the perfect note in my opinion making this a dystopian future I will look forward to revisiting over the years.

 I’m not sure how closely ARGO strictly adheres to the facts of the events it dramatizes but as a movie it plays very well. I’m not the first to comment that Ben Affleck is turning into one of the directors you can trust every single time and I won’t be the last. He displays a firm control over his story and appears to have the kind of rapport with actors that only another actor can have. The movie is note perfect in its depiction of the time and place while being realistically exciting. The fact that the script never dumbs down the characters or their situation makes the escalating tension believable and all the more stomach tightening. Even knowing the historic outcome of this attempt to rescue this group from revolutionary Iran didn’t make the final scenes less fascinating. I truly can’t wait to see what subject Affleck tackles next.

GRAVE ENCOUNTERS (2010) - 7 (well done but stumbles in the last reel)
FRIGHT (1971)- 6 (tense 'stalking the babysitter' tale)
THE NIGHT OF THE WEREWOLF (1981)- 8 (rewatch)
THE INNKEEPERS (2011)- 7 (slow-burn, moody ghost story)
THE DEVIL'S WEDDING NIGHT (1973)- 7 (rewatch)
THE SHRINE (2010)- 6 (not bad horror tale)
THE FOG (1980) - 9 (rewatch)
WAKE WOOD (2009)- 8 (rewatch)
HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1945)- 7 (rewatch)
LOOPER (2012)- 8
FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2 (1981)- 6 (rewatch)
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984)- 8 (rewatch)
RITUAL (2002)- 5 (sometimes dull remake of I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE)
THE HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW (1982)- 6 (solid slasher with a mad doctor twist)
ABSENTIA (2011)- 7 (well done low budget horror)
INTRUDER (1989)- 7 (fun & clever slasher)
ARGO (2012)- 8
EVENT HORIZON (1997)- 5 (rewatch)
THE BLACK CAT (1934)-8 (rewatch)
THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935)- 9 (rewatch)
THE WASP WOMAN (1959)- 5 (rewatch)
THE HOWLING REBORN (2011) - 3 (a failed reboot)
THE PUPPET MASTER (1989)- 5 (not bad low budget shocker) 

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