Thursday, October 18, 2007

More "Gone Baby Gone"

Ben Affleck is obviously everywhere in this blog, but I figured anyone who reads this and is from the Boston area will appreciate this New York Times photo slide show on Ben Affleck and photos of places where he filmed Gone Baby Gone. Enjoy!

"Slaughter High", a Good Time for All!

The other night, my roommates and I were scanning through the On Demand movies on Comcast. There are an array of frightful films you can watch, including The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre starring none other than Academy award winning actress Renee Zellweger and hunky Matthew McConaughey. The movie came out in 1994, so at least they made it when neither of them were established yet. I will be viewing this film eventually.

Through our browsing, we came across a great little gem entitled Slaughter High. Under the FearNet category, there are numerous Halloween-esque films that make any Sunday night a time to get together with your apartment mates and scream and laugh over a literal “gut-busting” scene.

Of course, we read the description for the film, which described it as “Revenge of the Nerds” but for the nerd to get even, he kills all of the popular jocks. This was obviously a must see.

The film, made in 1986, chronicles Marty Rantzen, a nerd among nerds at an undisclosed high school. Fully equipped with thick glasses, an affinity for chemistry class and a thick geek accent, Marty follows the class hottie, Carol who brings him into the locker room where he thinks they are going to get it on in the shower.

It is April Fools day and the popular gang is playing a prank on poor Marty. They strip him down, start filming him, dunk his head in the toilet. It was actually very excruciating to watch. The horrible acting did not make it much better, but it was very painful to see these kids treat another human in this respect. The filmmakers did a good job of not making this funny at all.

They end up getting caught by the school gym teacher, who makes the popular kids work out for their punishment. To get Marty back, since of course it was his fault they got into trouble, they spike his chemistry project with different chemicals, which ultimately causes an explosion at the school. Marty leaves on a stretcher, with burns covering his entire body.

Fast forward five years later; the gang comes back into their quiet hometown for their supposed high school reunion, obviously held exactly five years later on the fateful April Fools Day! Cue the scary music...

The high school is their meeting point and it is suspiciously closed. The idiots they are, the break in to party hard like they used to. Little do they know what is waiting for them inside…

This movie was hilarious. I definitely jumped a few times and had to turn my head away, but an 80s low budget horror movie about a nerd getting revenge on his high school classmates had to be funny!

The acting was so bad, but it was bearable due to the hilarious death scenes. Marty always seemed to know where his victims were going to be in the school, taking them down one by one is strange and awkward ways. One of my favorite scenes was when one of the girls gets blood on her face after her friend drinks a beer and his stomach explodes. Instead of running way with the rest of the crew, she takes a bath! My roommates and I could not get over this. Obviously it was for the inevitable nudity that would come with the bath, but she meets her demise in there. Marty filters in acid, so her entire body disintegrates. It was special effects at its best.

Another part where we yelled at the TV because the characters are so stupid (although if they were smart, this wonderful film would not have been made) was when the character, Frank decides he needs to fix a lawnmower in order to get them out of the building. Sure…but the rest of the guys leave him alone to do so! Idiots! Of course, Frank gets chopped up by the device with Marty comes in and turns it on when he is under it.

Another part that I absolutely adored was when the group thought they would all be okay and Marty would stop chasing them the next day at noon. Their defense? Because when noon hit, April Fools day would be over. I'm sorry, but I thought days ended at midnight, not noon? Duhhhh!!!

The most creepy aspect about this film, according to IMDB, is that Simon Scuddamore, the young actor who portrayed Marty, committed suicide shortly after this film was released. That is very eerie.

All in all, this movie kept my roommates and I very entertained. I highly recommend it if you are into yelling at dumb people on your television, and enjoy fake blood and really bad acting. It is a fun Halloween movie for a night in.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Premiere of Gone Baby Gone

Last night the boys from across the river came back to their homestead for the Boston premiere of Gone Baby Gone.

Director Ben Affleck, brother and star, Casey Affleck and best bud, Matt Damon all attended the premiere held at the AMC on Boston Common last night.

According to the Inside Track in today's Boston Herald, the boys were worried that they would miss game 2 of the ALCS with their beloved Red Sox, who played the Cleveland Indians. (Unfortunately, they did not miss much since the great ole sox lost hardcore!)

Said Damon:

“This is the biggest night of Ben’s career but we have our priorities straight. We’ll be sneaking out back as soon as the film starts. Are you kidding, we’re watching the game live.”
This is a film I have talked about quite a bit through the evolution of my posts and for a good reason. The film is getting rave reviews around the world (standing ovation in France of all places!) and it seems as though it is only just the beginning of the Oscar praise that Boston has been getting and will seemingly continue to receive in the coming years.

Ben, who arrived with this starlet wife, Jennifer Garner said something very poignant in today's Boston Globe:

"This is the only premiere that makes me nervous," he said. "This has an
audience that'll know if it's real or false."
The Boston Herald gave the film an A- in its review today, saying that Gone Baby Gone, "set beside Mystic River, and The Departed, completes an unholy trinity of Boston-based crime dramas."

One aspect that I love about this movie is how Ben Affleck casted it. He used many locals in the film and sometimes all it took was to ask him politely. Affleck, who shot the entire film in Boston, would sometimes have to knock on door to get more people onto the streets for certain scenes in the film. In an article in yesterday's Boston Herald, he said:

"One of the advantages of being a known actor is that people weren’t outraged
when you bang on their door. A lot of times they shrug and go, ‘OK, let me get
my coat.’ That was spectacular because they looked perfect. No makeup on, come
right down the street and be in the movie. People would just walk right out of
their life and right into the movie. You couldn’t ask for anything better.”
Needless to say, I will be seeing this film as soon as possible. It opens nationwide on Friday.

Monday, October 15, 2007

It's That Time of Year Again...

For Halloween movies! I'm a big fan of anything that makes me jump out of my seat and grab hold of the next person next to me. Because that usually ends with both of us laughing hysterically. This past weekend I got to see my first scary movie of the season!

I viewed 1408, starring John Cusack. The film is a psychological thriller based on a short story by none other than the horror legend, Stephen King.
Cusack plays horror writer, Mike Enslin, who for his job, visits supernatural landmarks and writes about them for books such as "The Top Ten Haunted Hotels." Enslin is quite the skeptic and claims that he has actually never seen a ghost, even though he owns all of the devices he needs to detect them.

After a successful book release, Enslin, who lives in Los Angeles, celebrates with a day out surfing and almost drowns.

After his near death experience,
he receives an anonymous post card from the Dolphin Hotel in New York City that says Do not enter room 1408. Seeing this as a challenge, he calls to book the room. The concierge tells him that that room is never and will never be available. He has to use legal action in order to spend a fateful night in room 1408. When he arrives for his one night there, the general manager, Gerald Olin, played by Samuel L. Jackson desperately tries to deter him from spending the night. He tells Enslin the tale of the 56 people who died in the room, some from mysterious “natural” causes and others from suicide. Being the skeptic that he is, Enslin refuses to back out and demands the room.

Once he goes in, he never comes out…

What amazed me most about this movie was John Cusack’s brilliant acting. He absolutely lit up the screen in no other way I’ve seen before. He is obviously by himself in the room when all sorts of unexpected and strange things begin to happen to him. To be able to act the way he did without having another person to bounce dialogue back and forth with is remarkable.

There are a handful of things that happen while Enslin is in room 1408 that made me jump. While in the room, the radio suddenly turns on and starts blaring The Carpenters. When Enslin quickly unplugs it, the clock starts a countdown for one hour, signifying his death in 60 minutes time. Trying to escape the tormented space, Enslin attempts to escape out the window, but soon realizes there is no where to go but down. He sees the apparitions of past tenants and also must confront his own past, watching scenes from his own life, including fights with his ex-wife, the death of his young daughter and his father, who is in a retirement facility.

Entertainment Weekly said in its review of the film “1408 doesn't pretend to be a seismic Stephen King movie, like Carrie or The Shining. It's more like the nifty King-on-film scare machines of the '80s, such as Christine or Cujo.” I disagree with this. I feel as though it was more like The Shining than anything because of the weird psychological aspect to it.

I always try to find a meaning in films and this was clear that Enslin had to deal with demons from his past, those that he had run away from and now had to no choice but to look directly at since he cannot escape the room which holds them. All in all, this movie kept me guessing and was entertaining to watch on a Saturday afternoon with friends in your PJs, which is exactly what I did.

Let's just say I cannot wait to watch more scary movies in the next few weeks!