I heard a lot of negative stuff about The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey before I saw it, and so I lowered my expectations pretty significantly before we arrived at the theater.
It was probably overlong, from what I’d heard, and stupidly pandering to 3-D and gimmickiness with its heightened frame rate of 48 frames-per-second. I would see it that way, as Peter Jackson intended, but I would be bored throughout. But I loved The Lord of the Rings, so I would give it a chance, even if I couldn’t manage to give it the benefit of the doubt.
However, I found the weaknesses of The Hobbit to be greatly exaggerated. In fact, despite the movie clocking in at just under three hours, I had a great time and found myself riveted throughout.
A few weeks back, I checked out Sinister, a horror film with Ethan Hawke that inevitably is a member of the “creepy children” genre that’s become especially popular lately, but has always been popular on the greater horror landscape.
While the movie itself is intriguing without ever being especially captivating — I kind of tire of horror movies in which there seems to be no real danger, other than drawing the attention of spooky entities — it does some very cool things with sound throughout. It’s that use of sound more than anything else that drives both the surreal nature of the story and presentation, and the oppressive atmosphere of the movie.
I finally got around to checking out Cabin in the Woods, a horror film about which I’d heard some great things, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out those things were mostly right.
Through the course of working on So You Created a Wormhole, I created a lot of content that eventually got cut from the book. A number of these were excerpts with a more narrative bent, which were meant to illustrate a number of time travel scenarios and concepts by telling goofy little fictional stories.
One such narrative piece was one that I never finished was one based on the cult film Army of Darkness. Fans of the film will recognize it for a time-travel epic, stemming from the closing events of Evil Dead 2, in which main character Ash (Bruce Campbell) is swept back in time by evil demons known as Deadites. Army finds Ash in Medieval Europe, fighting the Deadites alongside knights as they defend a castle from the undead hordes.
I’ll admit that I have a soft stop for the Paranormal Activity movies, and really, anything that includes demons and demonic possession. You might argue that, four movies in, all of the Paranormal Activity movies have been basically the same, and you’d be right — but underneath is something of a progression in a story about a demon and the hell it has unleashed on a family, in slow stages, to reach its goals.
Except, that is, in Paranormal Activity 4. I was able to give a pass to, and even fully enjoy, the earlier three movies because they move along the greater demonic storyline, if slowly. But the fourth movie feels more cash-in than ever before, and lacks almost completely anything that pushes the story forward. It leaves more questions than answers, there are some gaping holes in the fabric of the underlying plot, and it sort of feels like it’s time to bring the whole thing to a halt.
So You Created a Wormhole co-writer best friend Nick and I headed out to the movies on Friday to catch Looper, because apparently no one has ever made a Bruce Willis time travel movie before, and it has lit up the Internet with time travel buzz.
Coming out a few hours later, we discussed what we liked about Looper — and we did like it — and how it fails with time travel because it’s a patchwork of logical incongruities and plot holes. Such is the fate of the time travel movie, and the reason we wrote the book in teh first place; we thought originally that we would explain why time travel movies suck at time travel so often and how to do one properly, but as we got into the project we realized that most movies cut so many corners because time travel is so incredibly complex. Plot holes are to be expected. They’re a fact of the genre.
I try to do lists on Tuesdays, and I haven’t been doing much lately but watching movies and playing horror video games for the various projects I’m doing at Game Front. But I have caught a number of cool time travel films since the last time I did a list about time travel movies, so I figured I’d throw a few more your way.
I’m a little bummed that I’ve kind of reached the saturation point on my ability to consume zombie fiction. I’ve jumped from “I love zombies!” to “I hate your zombies; your zombies are not pure enough for my discerning zombie tastes.”
So that sucks.
It’s been a really busy week in terms of freelance and other obligations, along with preparations for various projects and this weekend’s panel at Stan Lee’s Comikaze 2012. We’re excited. There’s a lot to do.
Meantime, this was a week of notable things. Apple finally unveiled its new iPhone and the fifth film in the Resident Evil series hits theaters today, about both of which I have a professional curiosity.
I watched John Carpenter’s The Thing again yesterday, and I honestly think I could watch that film maybe once a week for the rest of my life.
Of course, I then started to think about what makes it so effective, and what I like so much about it, because I can’t enjoy a horror movie (or any kind of movie) without then analyzing why it works.
So why does The Thing work? Why does it work so brilliantly?