« Deep thought | Main | Tales from the Warner Archives #1: "Bye Bye Braverman" (Lumet, 1968) »

May 28, 2009

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Tony Dayoub

Glenn, I ported over my comments I made over at the Auteurs to generate some discussion at your site:

Though I thought the film had one humdinger of a finale, I felt like I had to seriously adjust to the Raimi aesthetic to get into this movie. I was surprised because I am a fan of his since the Evil Dead days. But something about the movie made it feel like a throwback, and not in a good way.

Reading other reviews like yours, I definitely seem to be in the minority. In a weird way, I’m disappointed with myself for not liking it. Especially after praising Terminator Salvation so heartily

Dave McDougall

having not seen it, are these spoilers the kind that actually spoil the film? I'd like to read the review if they're not. I'm fond enough of Ms. Lohman as an actress to see this, so if the answer's yes I'll wait to read your thoughts.

[Funny that I feel obligated to to say "as an actress" when commenting on a woman's work. A bit sexist either way, I guess.]

Glenn Kenny

@ Dave: I try to be reasonably subtle, but I don't know that I can accept responsibility for assessing whether just what I give away won't interfere with your viewing pleasure. As Lohman showcases go, "Hell" is a good one—she brings a necessary unironic commitment to the character and still manages to have fun with it—so count that as a motivation to check out the film first, maybe...

bill

I will see this. It'll be the first horror film I've actually bothered to see in the theater in a very long time. Which is strange, because I'm not even big on Raimi's horror films. I like "Evil Dead II" well enough, but he didn't make a film I really connected to until "A Simple Plan".

giles edwards

It *almost* shouldn't work -- it's shamelessly generic any way you look at it. But (and it's a massive but) it's very, very smart at setting up all the horror tropes we've come to know and love and screw with them just a little bit. Or at least make them fresh and enticing. And of course, it's made by someone who has been there since 1981 before most of this brand of fun kicked off. This is Sam Raimi showing his real control over the process of setting up a thriller.

It's unnerving, though, rather than actually scary and it delights in reveling in the genre rather than reinventing it to any great degree. It's as if Raimi is saying to any filmmaker who wants to make (or has made) and picture for his Ghosthouse label: "*this* is how you do it, *this* is your benchmark, now go out there and make something that works as well as this!"

It's a very refreshing, wonderfully grotesque ride. Really quite mean spirited too. Which is another bonus.

***MILD SPOILER***

It's pretty much "Evil Dead 4" as well -- the Seer's assistant doing his best 'Henrietta' from "Evil Dead 2" at one point -- so perhaps all those requests can stop?

***END MILD SPOILER***

Alison Lohman certainly gets as much abuse as Campbell got, so a great sport. And Justin-Long-as-Ted-Raimi (even though Ted Raimi is actually in it as well) was great.

Matthias Galvin

This has nothing to do with the topic, but I wanted to say it:

So I was visiting my local thrift store yesterday, and I see this STACK of DVDs. Above said stack is a sign that reads "$2 for a movie." I start looking through them: Bug, Dr. T and the Women, etc... And as I'm sifting through these semi-weird titles, I realized: They're the runoff from the bankruptcy of Lion's Gate. Anyway, I'm looking through it, and I find this one movie, Eulogy. And whose blurb is on it but yours, of course, from your tenure at Premiere. I end up buying only on your recommendation (it's only $2). But I just wanted you to know, if your words have betrayed me, I might just visit New York, and I might just find a "Glenn Kenny", and I might just come to your doorstep, gun drawn, ready to give you the pleasure of explaining what was so good about the movie.

...or I might just give it to a friend, I don't know.

Glenn Kenny

@MG: I dunno what to tell you. I saw the picture at Sundance, packed house at its biggest theater, and everybody, myself included, was laughing his or her ass off. Must have been the altitude or something, because since then I've only met one other person who'd admit to liking the thing. Weird.

Matthias Galvin

Well Glenn, I gotta tell you... Despite some real dragging at times, it actually was surprisingly funny.

So if I do visit New York, and find a "Glenn Kenny" and come to your doorstep... Hopefully, you'll have time for some drinks.

Max

Glenn...something about the matter-of-fact and borderline sociopathic way he described holding you to gunpoint about a review he disagreed with makes me think that you shouldn't open your liquor cabinet to this guy. Just saying.

larry aydlette

I'm sure somebody has already made this point, but "Drag Me To Hell," which I thoroughly enjoyed, reminds me a lot of a Brian De Palma film. It would make a great double bill with "The Fury."

DUH

@Larry Aydlette: Yes, the comparison with "The Fury" is very apt. Both "The Fury" and "Drag Me To Hell" are enjoyable genre exercises with some nice gonzo flourishes that left me feeling like they could have been even better than they actually were. I was a bit worried that the PG-13 could hamper Raimi, but it was never an issue, given the general cartoonishness. Justin Long, on the other hand, I can't stand...

Glenn, I'm curious: you note how well the film establishes Christine's self-denial and her status as "a former fatty," as you put, but I gotta say, given how hard the film hit those notes, I didn't feel that they added up to much. They felt more a loose thread to me than an integral part of the movie's weave. Did you feel like this did more than establish general sympathy for the character?

Glenn Kenny

@DUH:Not to get too postmodern or anything, but I thought they elicited the audience's sympathy with the express purpose of refusing to reward it at the end, which struck me as pretty funny.

DUH

Glenn: I definitely get that and enjoyed the ending (though I wish Justin Long had faced a gruesome end as well). Picking up on the cartoonish elements you identified in the movie, though, I thought Christine's comeuppance might play *specifically* on those establishing character details.

While she might arguably be said to absolve herself of that self-denial by buying herself a new coat, that didn't really play into her end. I almost half-expected a sequence after the credits of her in hell, back on the farm and fat, tormented by demons or something, you know? But maybe that's a me. After all, I'm also still wondering why an Asian-American character was named Stu Rubin (though I thought that was kind of hilarious).

Zack Handlen

I loved this one right up until the ending--SPOILERS

Lohman was just so likable in the lead, and the final scene was so dark, that it ruined the fun of the rest of the picture. Made all those repeated bits that Raimi's hit before (hey look, a Deadite!) a little more obvious, and the plotting was just irritatingly lazy. And I'm still irked by the damn (heh) thing because now I don't think I'll be able to enjoy the rest of the movie much at all, knowing that Raimi just shrugs off the conclusion. The character, and the audience, deserved better.

/SPOILERS

Although if we did get a sequel, I'd change my mind real fast...

The comments to this entry are closed.

Tip Jar

Tip Jar
Blog powered by Typepad

Categories