Sunday, August 29, 2010

My "The Last Exorcism" Review.

The latest entry in the pseudo-documentary horror film sweepstakes, “The Last Exorcism” has its terrifying moments and its silly ones.
Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian) is an evangelist who has been barnstorming since he was a kid. (He appears to have been modeled somewhat on Marjoe Gortner, who was the subject of the 1972 documentary “Marjoe.”) He’s also a con man. Intending to blow the lid off his charlatanism, he brings along a camera crew to a rural Louisiana home to document how he fakes the exorcism of the stricken daughter (Ashley Bell, suitably high-strung) of a fundamentalist farmer (Louis Herthum). Cotton, of course, ends up confronting more than he anticipated.
The director, Daniel Stamm, and writers Andrew Gurland and Huck Botko are trying for more than a run-of-the-mill horror cheapie – the rural atmosphere is well wrought and so is the depiction of phony evangelism – but it all devolves into the usual heebie-jeebies by the end. Grade: B- (Rated PG-13 for disturbing violent content and terror, some sexual references, and thematic material.) 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

How do you like YOUR toast?

We love our toast. We like toast with jam, a drizzle of honey, smeared with Nutella, maybe just a smidgen of butter melting into oblivion. We also like it with cheese, with apricot preserves, for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner, and for a midnight snack. But our question to you is, how well-done do you like your toast? Do you like it pale, maybe with the slightest hint of gold, or sunburnt to a deep caramel finish?

What's your favorite type of popcorn?

Next up for SE taste tests: microwavable popcorn! What are your favorite brands and styles? Extra buttery and as close to movie theater style as it gets? Or maybe your sweet-salty tooth wants the kettle corn? And do you usually reach for Orville Redenbacher, Act II, Newman's Own, or some other brand?

My thoughts of Avatar

With “Avatar” James Cameron has turned one man’s dream of the movies into a trippy joy ride about the end of life — our moviegoing life included — as we know it. Several decades in the dreaming and more than four years in the actual making, the movie is a song to the natural world that was largely produced with software, an Emersonian exploration of the invisible world of the spirit filled with Cameronian rock ’em, sock ’em pulpy action. Created to conquer hearts, minds, history books and box-office records, the movie — one of the most expensive in history, the jungle drums thump — is glorious and goofy and blissfully deranged.
The story behind the story, including a production budget estimated to top $230 million, and Mr. Cameron’s future-shock ambitions for the medium have already begun to settle into myth (a process partly driven by the publicity, certainly). Every filmmaker is something of a visionary, just by virtue of the medium. But Mr. Cameron, who directed the megamelodrama“Titanic” and, more notably, several of the most influential science-fiction films of the past few decades (“The Terminator,” “Aliens” and “The Abyss”), is a filmmaker whose ambitions transcend a single movie or mere stories to embrace cinema as an art, as a social experience and a shamanistic ritual, one still capable of producing the big WOW.

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