Archive for August, 2009

DRAG ME TO HELL, Sam Raimi 2009

Posted in Horror, Just Fun, Uncategorized with tags , , on August 13, 2009 by Toi Brownstone

drag

With Drag Me to Hell Sam Raimi is back into business he knows best, horror mixed with huge sense of humor, and he offers a great dose of both them very successfully for the pleasure of the audience. 

After giving in to Hollywood temptation for many years directing Spider-Man saga, which still continues, Raimi takes a break for returning to his roots, to classic horror, with the advantages of an established filmmaker, delivering this little masterpiece which probably will never receive the title of classic, but in years coming Drag Me to Hell will surely become a point of reference in horror genre. 

Christine (Alison Lohman) is a young woman living a good moment for she’s about to promote to assistant manager in the bank she works for, her relationship with Clay (Justin Long) seems to get even better, she’s overcome her teenage weight problems and has become a beautiful girl…but you know how fate works and in a minute everything is collapsing. 

First, a new guy at the branch, Stu, is also candidate for the position she most yearns for and he’s a tough opponent, more ambitious, aggressive, the perfect yes man any boss adores. Beside, she listens to a conversation between her boyfriend Clay and his mother, who thinks Christine is not good enough for her son for she’s a farm girl. 

For getting things worse at work, an old freak gypsy lady, Sylvia Ganush (Lorna Raver), requests and even begs for a third extension of her mortgage. His boss washes his hands leaving the decision up to Christine, thus she’s forced to deny the request in order to prove her boss she’s able to take tough decisions, but what she cannot imagine is the old gypsy’s reaction… 

Sweet old lady Mrs. Garnush

Sweet old lady Mrs. Ganush

In the evening at the parking lot Christine is violently attacked by Mrs. Ganush, and the shocking struggle  between the two women end up when the gypsy removes a button from Christine’s coat to curse it, and then returns it to the confused girl with an uneasy message saying the girl will turn to beg her for help. 

From that moment Christine starts feeling and seeing weird things, so on the way home, passing by a fortune teller store, she insists on her future to be read. Rham Jas discovers something evil is inside her, but Clay, as a man of reason, tries to persuade her from believing such stupidity. 

The scared fortune teller

The scared fortune teller

Several frightening episodes occur, but the easy explanation is that she’s suffering from post-traumatic shock which justify hallucinations , until Christine realizes something terrible is really going on and will get back to Rham Jas who will find out that  she’s got the Lamia inside, the devil in the shape of a black goat. From this moment Christine will try the hardest to get rid of the curse, for she only has 3 days before the devil drags her to burn in hell. 

The greatness of this movie is the ability of combining real frightening moments with funny situations, the “relationship” between Mrs. Ganush and Christine is hilarious sometimes, with outstanding moments. 

The way Mrs. Ganush character is portrayed is really interesting, sometimes in order to feel sorry for the poor woman but at the same time repulsive, and sometimes evil and scary, she’s so fuckin’ disgustin’ sometimes that makes you feel puke. 

The rhythm of the movie is very dynamic and tension is in crescendo up to the point the end is remarkable, you can foresee something is going to happen but don’t know exactly how until you find out. 

Raimi should forget about Spiderman and start writing scripts for more horror stuff instead. I’ve heard, he’s producing a remake of Evil Dead, but we all know it won’t be the same if Bruce Campbell is not there. How is this possible? Saaaam, focus, maaaan, a classic is a classic, you don’t need to do this. I’m becoming against remakes and seems plenty of them are to be released next year. Lack of ideas? Some of us could deliver good stuff  at bargain price, hahaha! 

Anyway, if you want to enjoy a really cool horror movie, Drag Me to Hell is the best option nowadays, I’d recommend it to anyone, and positive you will not be disappointed.

TRON, Joseph Kosinski 1982

Posted in Animated, Thriller with tags , , , , , on August 12, 2009 by Toi Brownstone

 

tron movie

Few time ago I heard of a new version of  Tron scheduled to be released in 2010. Finally it’s been confirmed Tron Legacy is not a remake but a sequel, with both Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner being part of the cast. Two weeks ago I watched trailer and was so appealing to me, I decided to buy original Tron on DVD and the experience of reviewing it was awesome. 

I don’t understand Tron be a Disney production either sold as a movie for kids. In fact, considering the huge investment, 17mill usd, it was considered a moderate success, if not a commercial failure, however videogames and other merchandising followed with positive income.

It was fun to discover Adidas Tron shoes a couple of years ago in Manhattan. They were colorful and kitsch, and now I regret not buying them. 

Adidas Tron

Adidas Tron

Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) has now become an outlaw in ENCOM, the software company he used to work for. Former colleague, Ed Dillinger (David Warner), has taken leadership in the company with his program Master Control Program by illegally appropriating software, in fact Flynn is constantly trying to hack into system to recover his successful videogames and find evidence to unmask Dillinger

Due to suspicions falling on Flynn, Dillinger and MCP decide to deny access to a sector for security reasons, leaving Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner) about to release his new security program, Tron, able to monitorize any program and communication, even Master Control Program

Tron must be destroyed as it can discover MCP’s new ambitious  plan of breaking into Pentagon system and eventually control all countries security systems, something Dillinger didn’t ever dream of. At this point MCP is so powerful as to defy his creator’s commands and trace plans for its own convenience even if they mean international conflicts. 

Thus, Alan’s girlfriend, Lora, also working in  ENCOM,  specialized in laser lab for molecule transportation, suggests him to pay a visit to Flynn, her former boyfriend, to his arcade games play center to check what’s going on and if he’s the actual threat capable of causing MCP to block certain sectors access to system due to security inconsistencies. Together they  set a plan to break into ENCOM system and attack MCP directly for is still vulnerable. What they cannot foresee is that Master Control Program will discover Flynn and will abduct him into the ENCOM mainframe as part of the digital world. 

He will discover digital world even more oppressive as the real one, being treated as a Roman slave, trained to become MCP’s next victim for its games. Imprisoned, he will meet Ram and Tron, Alan’s security program, whose main target is to fight against MCP for restoring freedom in the global system, allowing all programs to coexist and work without being blocked nor controlled. 

Is he the Dude?

Is he the Dude?

The three of them will be able to escape riding light cycles by a gap in the system, starting a long run for freedom, by establishing communication with Alan in the real world, and eventually fighting to destroy MCP.   

Super cool Light Cycles

Super cool Light Cycles

It’s funny to remember watching Tron when I was a kid and being fascinated with the special effects, the light cycles, the memory discs and all the stuff without understanding anything at all. It’s not a movie for kids, especially in that time, when concepts such as program, hacker and software sounded Greek to everybody. 

I consider the plot very genuine and original, it’s kind of Fantastic Voyage (1966) but in a super modern and advanced setup, with some critic message against corporations and  monopolies, so real and present in society. 

And of course, the constant possibility of machines uprising against humans as soon as they can think and have enough power to operate for themselves. This menace is a constant device in sci-fi movies such as in Terminator saga, the doubt is whether it could become true as we rely so much information and responsibility on computers someday their help could reverse against us. Don’t think we’ll ever see that but…you never know. 

Regarding special effects, after more than 25 years, I reckon they still keep in shape, specially the light cycles part, but in general seems that they were advance for its time which helps to enjoy the story at its most. I read somewhere creator of vehicles design, light cycles, tanks…named Syd Mead, had also worked for Blade Runner. It’s weird Disney supported Tron, but is also true the company was able to invest such money on special effects and this was a starting point to which Disney has become nowadays, more focused on movies for kids but with the latest technology tools to still be innovative. 

What can we expect from Tron Legacy? To be honest I have no clue, apparently Flynn’s son is abducted into a more advanced, aggressive and dangerous digital world, where both father and son will have to fight for survival. It’s not a remake but seems the plot is identical with amazing special effects and more action. Anyway, trailer is enough for me to be waiting for the release of the movie anxiously.

Check the trailer out