Writer/director Rian Johnson’s 2005 film “Brick” was a unique, inventive take on both hardboiled detective stories and teen drama. With his latest film, “Looper”, he takes on time travel, balancing numerous timelines, entwining stories from different eras, and even spinning a single character into multiple different personalities. This all sounds confusing, like it could easily become a jumbled mess of big ideas that wind up muddy and unclear. Lucky for you Johnson has an excellent sense for storytelling, and weaves all of the strands together into a clear narrative.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Director Pen-Ek Ratanaruang’s (“Last Life in the Universe”) “Headshot” begins in a quiet moment, with a man seated at a desk, gently keying a letter on a typewriter. Nice, right? Only the man has a gnarly neck scar, and the letter is an assassination order. The film that follows this inauspicious, though ominous opening is not so much an action movie as it is a badass character study. A sprawling, twisted crime story that bounces around in time, “Headshot” has cops, robbers, guns, and gangsters. Jarring bursts of violence set the stage to play with themes of identity, selfhood, spirituality, and the very nature of good and evil. All in all, this is fertile ground for a crime movie to dig into.
Friday, September 7, 2012
One of the most iconic images in the horror genre is a beautiful woman, sometimes covered in blood, often topless, screaming in terror. These actresses became widely known as “scream queens”, and hold a special place in hearts of fanatics. By and large they began their careers as eye candy that existed on the periphery to add a little T&A, and to get killed off eventually. Over time, as they developed their own cult followings, these women became stars in their own right, carrying the films they appeared in rather than serving as window dressing. “Screaming in High Heels: the Rise and Fall of the Scream Queen Era”, a new documentary now on DVD, takes an in depth look at this strange and specific slice of popular culture.
Monday, September 3, 2012
An established commercial director in his own right, Luke Scott is stepping into the realm long-roamed by his famous father, Ridley Scott. That realm happens to be science fiction film, and from the look and feel of his short genre thriller, Loom, Luke has inherited a certain aesthetic sensibility and acumen from dear old dad.