Saturday, October 13, 2012

"Oh, Sinister, you so crazy!"

SINISTER: Let me start off with that is was most excellent to see Fred Dalton Thompson in this film as a local sheriff. That guy's been around so long that he possesses a quiet calmness that reeks of strength and good will. Look him up. He's a classic character actor. Now, into the movie. I had a good idea that I would be startled and spooked when seeing this. I mean, that's why we go to scary movies, right? I like the thrill, the anticipation building that something is going to make me jump. This movie, for me, took all that to a new level. I've seen a lot of horror movies, not a million or anything crazy like that. I'm not into the heavy gore/torture-porn stuff. I do like a good creep factor, and yes sometimes with that comes a gross-out factor. Done right, I'm sitting pretty (more or less). From the opening scene to the final scare, I was immersed in something fascinating and new. Sure, you think you've got a typical haunted house, kids are creepy movie. It's a lie. You've been duped, but in the most impressive and, if I may be so bold, sinister way. The film's pacing is steady with a performance from Ethan Hawke that makes me so proud to be a fan of his since, well hell, I'll say it. Explorers. There! His ability to make me feel anger and empathy towards his character is really the best part of this, as he walks through the hallways of his home, in the middle of the night, searching for the origin of that sound. That goddamn thud or knock, I've done that too. Yes, I've stood in the blackness of my kitchen, head tilted, trying to figure that out. Outside? Inside? WHAT THE FUCK! Hawke portrays Ellison Oswalt, a true crime novelist working on what he hopes to be his next number one best seller. Nothing spoilery here, that he moves his family into the home of a recent murder of a family of four. His wife is supportive, yet regretful and at times uncertain of why she's supporting him. Their kids, a 13 year old son and a 10 year daughter, have adapted to these changes their father's profession brings them. Deputy So and So is a local cop, a huge fan, and willing to be a part of Ellison's acknowledgements in the new book, lends a sensibility and humor that is natural, and needed, yet no goofy or out of context. Past horrors unfold to the audience as they do to Ellison. His scares are our scares. His moments of jumping back are our moments of jumping back. I have never left a theatre disturbed and slightly shaken. Well, not until now. I urge you not to see any trailers, or view any more trailers. Let the movie speak for itself. I had a few notions, with one panning out, but that didn't ruin anything for me. I actually, at one, blurted out a sound sort of like BAAAAAAAAH! and turned away from the screen, which provided 20 or so embarrassed minutes of muffled and suppressed nervous giggles from me and McKenzie.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

What do you call people you hang out with but don't want to have sex with? Men.

Often throughtout my high school years, and my early adult years I was mistaken for being gay. Or maybe not mistaken, just rudely associated with being gay. I don't think being gay is wrong or bad. I think some people treating me different because they think I'm gay is rude and wrong. Let me clarify. I'm not gay. I've kissed a couple girls in my life time thus far, and even went so far to have a sexual experience with a girl that completely confirmed to me that I was indeed not gay. Much to that girl's chagrin. And my relief. I say my relief, because when you're confused about your sexuality, having the confusion being resolved is really quite freeing and liberating. I like boys. A lot. They are annoying, gross, sexy, handsome, smell good, smell bad, know-it-all, funny, clever, and nerdy things put on this world to vex those of us who are deeply interested in them. I didn't lose my virginity until I was 22, mostly due to the fact that someone seeing me naked would kill any urge they might have in wanting to have sex with me. I never had a boyfriend in school, and I was never asked out. Turns out, I like sex and I'm pretty good at it. Sometimes the other person isn't so great at it, but I can usually let that slide as long as they have both our interests at heart, which they never did. Once I finally did have sex, I realized that even bad sex isn't as bad as I was thinking it could be. I was exploring my sexual prowess long after many had done their own exploring so putting up with a 20-something woman trying to figure out if you should be down lower or more to the right wasn't as appealing as it sounds. I mean, it was to me, but yeah, not to the guy trying to figure me out. I'm 40 now, and married to a really amazing man who has awesome facial hair and a wonderful ass. Everything else in between is masculine and sexy to me. Sometimes I feel like a giant, horny spaz when I see him and all I want to do is grab his ass and fondle his cock. Of course, he doesn't mind as long as I don't hurt his junk, which when one uses the word "spaz" tends to happen. I've gotten better though. My husband is my best friend, and I am his. We were friends long before we starting dating and having sex. Those elements seemed so natural as our relationship progressed into romance that I never felt awkward or uncomfortable. I've always been very comfortable having male friends. In fact, at times it seemed more natural to me to have more guy friends. Even today, I would feel more comfortable talking about the Mars Curiosity landing with guys then i would with women. I choose to talk about this with my husband, because the conversation will ultimately come around to sex. And that's okay too.

"Get your ass to Mars!"

I really enjoy movies. But as much as I enjoy movies I'm very particular about how I want to spend my movie going time. I'm not big on dramas or real-life heart-wrenching spectacles. "Based On True Life Events" does not get my ass into a movie theatre seat. I live among the real life bullshit. Please take me away from it, if only for two hours. I saw Len Wiseman's TOTAL RECALL over the weekend, and I have to admit I enjoyed it far more than I did Paul Verhoeven's version back in 1990. I am a big Arnold Schwarzenegger fan. I saw Conan when I was a teen and was completely mesmerized by his outstanding awful acting and massive muscles. I even have a soft spot in my heart for Raw Deal. I really, really teeny tiny soft spot. But there's a level of camp in Verhoeven's that gets annoying upon several viewings. I know this because I use to watch it quite a lot when it came out on VHS. All that aside, I still find it to be a fun romp for Arnold to get his forehead vein all worked up for. However, the TOTAL RECALL version that I viewed starring Colin Farrell and Kate Beckinsale worked better for me as far as post-apocalyptic third world living goes. Everything seemed far grittier and realistic that yes, even if a fuck ton of people had to all live in Australia, then building places for all these people to live would look a lot like what we saw in Len Wiseman's re-telling of Philip K. Dick's story. The action is fairly non-stop and looks amazing. The chemistry between actors seems more coherent, and though lacking all the fun one-off surprises from Verhoeven's, it possesses a conciseness totally missing from the 1990 cut. I found the dry, curt humor appropriate for the time depicted, and the behavior of Quaid fighting to not be bothered by dreams, that seem so real, relatable. Sure, his wife is uber hot, but sometimes there's more to life than tiny, white boy-cut shorts. I said, sometimes. Bryan Cranston as Cohaagen, is wonderfully bad without being comic-booky evil. He even gets to kick Quaid's ass a bit. Bill Nighy's appearance as Matthias is too small of a role for an acting giant such as Nighy, but that's only because I've become quite the fan of his in the last several years. I first saw him in an episode of the BBC miniseries titled The Canterbury Tales. I was hooked. Then, when I saw him again in LOVE ACTUALLY and UNDERWORLD, I was sure that this is the kind of actor I want to see more of. So of course his small role in TOTAL RECALL was both good and bad. Good that he was amazing as usual and he does a really great American accent. Bad in that he's screen time probably only totaled 6 or so minutes. I understand that many are suddenly coming out in favor of Verhoeven's TOTAL RECALL over Wiseman's for a lot of the cheesy, overblown sci-fi factors that does work well in Verhoeven's movie. It amuses me that when it original came out in 1990, a lot of people were slamming it for the same reasons they seem to be liking it now. Whatever. I knew then that it was crazy good fun, and it still is. Wiseman's is also crazy good fun that gives the female leads more to do and looks and feels more sci-fi. I'm looking forward to the additional 17 minutes that will be added to the DVD release later this year.