thriller

Grand Piano's Pulpy Love of High & Low

In Eugenio Mira’s “Grand Piano” renowned concert pianist Tom Selznick (Elijah Wood) reemerges from early retirement after he chokes during a concert attempting to play the “Unplayable Piece” by his mentor Patrick Godureaux. Following Patrick’s death, Tom is convinced by his star actress wife Emma (Kerry Bishé) to return to the stage playing Patrick’s piano in his remembrance. Hesitant to bring shame to his mentor, Tom experiences intense anxiety made more pressing by media inquires and some hazing from the orchestra. (They call him Failznick!

Prisoners (REVIEW)

As with any horror sub-genre type, the more films that we consume the more we become aware of the rules and possibilities. The slasher genre had its deep cuts during the early to late 1980’s but eventually their impact became that of a paper cut due to their paper thin plots and supposed ending twists. Even the thriller genre isn’t free from fizzling down to a pile of ash. The number of mystery films released with a solid misdirecting plot has become so dismal that any sign of a new iteration is exhausting.

The Factory (REVIEW)

Hollywood always attempts to make the planets align when it comes to horror movies. Taking every successful film from the past and morphing all of those ideas into one film has to work! Right? Sadly, no, that’s not how it works. At least that didn’t work for Warner Bros. crime thriller with a splash of horror mojo, “The Factory”. Take one part “Silence of the Lambs”, a little “Manhunter”, and add every Ashley Judd crime thriller available and “The Factory” is born. While it may be a distorted love child of the past, it has a strong cast, great photography, and a surprisingly twisted twist.

Twixt (REVIEW)

“Twixt” surprised me more than I could have expected. I went into this film blindly, and by the end I chocked it all up to a valiant effort from a first time director. There were some intriguing concepts strewn here and there but overall it felt like an introductory mess. Needless to say when I saw the director and writer of the film I was floored. Francis Ford Coppola, director of iconic films such as “The Godfather” trilogy and “Apocalypse Now”, had taken a stab at the horror genre. The whole feeling of the film changed with that knowledge.

Aftershock (REVIEW)

When I watched “Aftershock” by Nicolas Lopez I knew immediately after watching it how I felt. Much like the recent “Evil Dead” remake I went back and forth during the movie but once I left the theater it hit me like a residual aftershock: that was dumb. Pardon my lame and immature word, but it’s the first thought that came to my mind. In big boy words, “Aftershock” suffered from a genre identity crisis and ultimately created a pointless story full of empty character development.

Resolution (REVIEW)

I have rituals in my mind that I like to perform while I’m watching a film. First, I clear my mind of any preconceived notions or assumptions of what I’m about to watch. Second, I try to lay out the flow of each act to see, in the end, if the plot points throughout pay off. And the last thing I do is put myself in the position to ask: if I was given the first half of the script, how would I finish this movie? The first two rituals are to aid in my understanding of the technical side of the filming, but the last part is purely a test on the predictability of the movie.

Sophisticult Cinema Episode 19: "Side Effects"

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Rooney, Channing, Soderbergh. Sophisticult Cinema!

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Horror Headlines: Wednesday October 24th, 2010

Here's some good news. Some jackass thought it would be a good idea to make a full length film based on the video for Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and now there's a bidding war going on. I hope this starts a trend, because I always wanted to see what happened to the couple in the "Take On Me" video. I hope those crazy kids got married.

Here's some hot new details on the story line for the next season of "True Blood". Cage fighters, crappy palm readers and me still feeling like less and less of a man with each passing episode.

Darren Aronofsky has set "Machine Man" as his next project. The movie will focus on a man with a talent for robotics who finds a way to upgrade his own body, with sexy results. Alright I don't know about that last part but if I was writing the script that's how it would go.

Karen Black, Sid Haig, Bai Ling and Traci Lords are set to star in a new horror flick titled "Go Straight to Hell". The movie will focus on the four strangers who have to confess the one sin they didn't repent for while on earth or be sent to hell. I'm just guessing Ling's has something to do with rolling around like a sex doll on TV and Lords' will most likely have to repent for that while underage porn thing.

In Real People News: 

A short clip from a 1928 Charlie Chaplin film has got the internerds all a buzz because there appears to be a women on a cell phone in one shot. Some say the women could actually be a time traveler while I'm just amazed people are still watching silent films. Hasn't anyone seen what awesome full color movies we have now days? With actual words?

I have no idea why you would set out to eat the same thing for two months but a man in Washington is already regretting his 60 day goal of eating nothing but potatoes after the first month. He should have chosen chicken McNuggets, I could eat those things for 4 months straight. They're so good!

On this day in history: 

1967 - Catholic priest Philip Berrigan and others of the Baltimore Four protest the Vietnam War by pouring blood on Selective Service records.

The Horseman (REVIEW)

A warrior who follows his singular task to its end, forsaking future and fulfilling his pledge with absolute abandon. Absent any context this might well be a hero’s credo; one that most people would deem admirable and worthy of commendation. Christian Forteski, the central character in “The Horseman” has many of the qualities that are reserved for a larger than life archetypal hero. He possesses a strong sense of purpose, unwavering loyalty and a devotion to his goal that makes failure seem a most unlikely outcome.

Triangle (REVIEW)

Cherished Hong Kong filmmakers Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam, and Johnnie To struggle to pool their creative resources in the 2007 heist-gone-awry thriller "Triangle," a feat which is, if nothing else, ambitious. Considering the quality of talent operating behind the camera, you'd expect this sort of movie to pop and sizzle on-screen, regardless of how complicated or contrived its script may be.

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