Tuesday, March 20, 2007

"Let's All Go to the Lobby"

There's so many different things going on this week, I don't even know what to write a blog about, so I'm going to write about two awesome movies I've seen.

Things are moving well with Women's Studies. Some may say the good vibes are due to the official greenlight and the big casting announcement we made last week. Me? I think it's because I've gotten back to the movie theatre. I've seen two movies in the theatre in as many weeks.

There was time in my life when I hit the movie theatre every weekend. It didn't matter what was playing, I went to see something. Double features were more the norm than not. A Saturday triple feature while it didn't happen often, happened quite a lot. Then a couple years ago, something changed. I stopped going to the cinema. You could chalk it up to getting married or turning thirty. I think part of it was that I started making movies myself which is a pretty time consuming process.

Another part of it was the movies. Where I live, the multiplex is all I really got. If I want to get to the art theatres showing the groovy independent and foreign stuff, I have to drive thirty miles. So, if I want the theatre experience, I have to take what the studios give me, and for a couple of years there, the studio offerings got to be pretty bad. Last fall, they started to get better and I found myself wishing I had a little more time to get to the theatre. (I'm trying to catch up with stuff on DVD. Hollywoodland, The Prestige, and The Departed are all currently on my short list.)

Anyway, the last two movies I've seen in the theater have been absolutely fantastic, and it's making want to pick back up my old movie theatre habit. Those films were 300 and Behind the Mask, The Rise of Leslie Vernon.

300, in case you've been off the planet, is the tale of three hundred Spartans who hold off what seems to be millions of of Persian soldiers. It's supposedly based off a real event, but forget about historical accuracy. This film is pure fantasy, and to me, it's the best part of it. It's a ride form beginning to end, visually stunning, action packed, and totally viscerally engaging. I think some critics were put off by the fact that the filmmakers made it look a lot like the Frank Miler graphic novel it's based on, but I think that was the point. All I know is that I had an absolute blast. I walked away from that movie wanting to learn to swordfight and do three trillion crunches.

The other movie I saw was Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, and maybe I only loved it because in my youth, I was obsessed with 80s slasher films. Long story short, a documentary filmmaker follows a killer in the mold of Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers as he prepares for his slaughter. It's hilarious as the killer talks about his exercise program, his methodology, and basically deconstructs the elements of the slasher film. Then in the film's final third as the killer's rampage begins, the filmmakers become characters in the film. At that point, the film switches visual formats and becomes a true slasher film. I might add it's a damned scary one at that. Somebody called the Behind the Mask "a gift to horror fans" and it is. Boy is it.

Okay, that's all. Back to work.

No comments: