Tag Archives: guest post

Tim over at Not Now I’m Watching a Movie and Drinking a Beer is running a Jack Black showcase, A Week at Bernie’s, of which I am a part of with my look back at School of Rock and why I love it. He’s also offering the chance to win Black’s Bernie on DVD. Head on over and check it out.

Beermovie.net

School of Rock was the film that first put Jack Black on the radar of many people (myself included). In this guest post, Chris from the fantastic Terry Malloy’s Pigeon Coop sees how it holds up.

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Say what you want about Jack Black but when he finds a role that fits, he can give some pretty entertaining performances. School of Rock (2003) doesn’t just fit with him; it’s the perfect fit. When it came out in 2003, Black was at the height of his Tenacious D fame and so the combination of film and over the top music was a match made in heaven.

Granted, if you really can’t stand Jack Black then this film is probably not the one that’s going to change your mind. Black is his usual brash, in-your-face self which many (including myself if not in moderation) can find grating. Yet here it all seems appropriate.

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Guest Post – The Magnificent Andersons: Paul Thomas vs Wes

Let’s be honest: 2012 has not been that good of a year for the movies.  True, the year isn’t over yet, and the end of the calendar year is typically littered with the films that studios are looking to win Oscars with.  But as of now, the year has been terribly underwhelming.  Sure The Avengers was a lot of fun, but it honestly wasn’t much better than any other Marvel Comics film.  Beasts of the Southern Wild is a solid Sundance film that got far too much hype out of that festival.  Ridley Scott’s Prometheus was good, but it was also little more than a retread of his own film from thirty years ago, Alien.  Even one of my favorite films of the year so far, The Dark Knight Rises, simply pales in comparison to its predecessor.  However, there are two films that have been released this year that stand tall among the rest.  Both were made by innovative auteurs.  Both of those auteurs made their breakthrough in the 90s.  Both auteurs have been praised for their droll sense of humor.  Both auteurs have been praised for their utilization of popular music in their films.  And oddly enough, both auteurs have the same last name.  Those auteurs are Paul Thomas Anderson and Wes Anderson, and their films are The Master and Moonrise Kingdom, respectively.

While those films may not be the absolute best films of either director’s career, they serve as reminders that the Andersons are at the forefront of American cinema.  The Master picks up where PTA left off with his 2007 masterpiece There Will Be Blood.  It’s a gorgeously filmed and expertly performed epic about the American relationship between commerce and religion.  Moonrise Kingdom is a return to live action for Wes, after his hilarious venture into Claymation with his loving adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox.  Whereas PTA’s recent films have been bleak, Moonrise Kingdom is a touching love story about two runaway kids that highlights his eccentric humor and his stylistic quirks.

Frankly, the two directors are very far apart, at least when it comes to visual style.  And while PTA is known for injecting humor into his films, they are unmistakably dramas that touch on subjects ranging from human avarice to drug addiction (Punch-Drunk Love aside).  Wes Anderson’s films are tragicomedies, films that maintain a morose sense of humor, typically set against the backdrop of a neurotic/broken family.  So while their films are largely different, the two men have some striking similarities apart from their surname.

In 1996, both Paul Thomas and Wes released their debut features, Hard Eight and Bottle Rocket, respectively.  For Hard Eight, PTA expanded on a subplot he used in his 1993 short film Cigarettes & Coffee.  He was allowed to do this after that short became a Sundance sensation, and investors at the Sundance lab gave him enough to make a feature.  In 1994, Wes Anderson directed a short named Bottle Rocket.  Academy Award winning director James L. Brooks saw it, and found Anderson the financing to expand his short.  Both Hard Eight and Bottle Rocket were met with positive, if unspectacular reviews.  It wasn’t until their second films, Boogie Nights and Rushmore, that the filmmakers received the acclaim they are now used to.

Since then, both directors have received Academy Award nominations (although PTA has three more).  They also have both been called the next Martin Scorsese by a man that would have some authority on the matter: Martin Scorsese.  Both Paul Thomas and Wes would be the first men to admit the influence that the great Scorsese has had on them.  Boogie Nights at times feels like the collaborative film Robert Altman and Scorsese never made, while Wes frequently employs the use of Rolling Stones songs in his films (sound familiar?).  Paul Thomas is well known for his use of music in film as well.  In fact, PTA and Wes mailed each other back and forth on ideas for songs that could be used in Wes Anderson’s most iconic film The Royal Tenenbaums.  This is the only time the two are known to have collaborated.

As far as American directors are concerned, Scorsese had quite a few extraordinary directors that he could have picked from as a standard bearer for the new generation of American auteurs.  Darren Aronofsky, Alexander Payne and Quentin Tarantino would all certainly qualify.  But for many film enthusiasts, the Andersons represent the cream of the crop.

About the author: Zack Mandell is a movie enthusiast and owner of www.movieroomreviews.com and writer of movie reviews. He writes extensively about the movie industry for sites such as Gossip Center, Yahoo, NowPublic, and Helium.

If anyone would like to be featured as a Guest Post, just give me a yell!

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Guest Post: Headinavice.com Interviews….. Norbert Caoili

This guest post, kindly lent to me by Tyson from Head in a Vice, is a little different, coming in the form of an interview with Norbert Caoili, co-director of Frayed. Tyson posted this not too long ago on his site, so you may have already read it, but in case you haven’t, do take the time to give it a read before checking out his site if you’re one of the few who already hasn’t.

I am proud to share with you today an interview with Norbert Caoili. Norbert co-directed the movie Frayed (which I loved and you can see my review here) as well as being one of the writers and producers.

We got talking after he found my review, and very kindly agreed to answer a few questions about the film. He was very generous with the answers he gave, and as this was my first ever interview, I cannot thank him enough for being so patient and answering more and more questions as I thought of new ones. This was an absolute honour to do, first and foremost because I am a huge fan of the film but also because of how cool and friendly Norbert is. There are even some exclusive details and a trailer for a potential sequel, as well as an excellent behind the scenes making of video. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did, and please be sure to check out all the videos and links shown here, as well as the movie obviously!

Frayed:

A small town sheriff’s worst nightmare comes true when his homicidal son escapes from a psychiatric hospital. A security guard tries to stop him, only to find himself relentlessly hunted. The sheriff launches an intense manhunt to save the town and his family from his son’s violent psychosis. Their fates and the dark secret behind his son’s evil past are revealed in this stylish and suspenseful film that will leave you shocked and disturbed.

Tyson – Hi Norbert, thank you so much for giving up your time to do this. First things first, how did the title Frayed come about? It is certainly a unique name!

Norbert – That’s a great question. My co-writer & co-director, Rob Portmann actually came up with that title. For the longest time, the working title for our movie was “Alone”. In the behind the scenes shots, you can actually see us wearing “Alone” shirts and hats. Right after we were accepted to Screamfest for our premiere, we learned of a foreign horror movie called “Alone” also premiering at the festival. We decided at that point to officially change the title to our alternate title, “Frayed”. “Frayed” turned out to be a much more original title and better connected with the theme of the movie – to come apart at the edges – much like Kurt’s mind.

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Guest Post – Drag Me To Hell

This guest post comes courtesy of Fernando from Committed to Celluloid and covers the bizarre, scary, creepy, funny Drag Me To Hell. Thank you very much to Fernando for letting me use his review. Don’t forget to pop on over to his excellent blog. There’s still time to submit stuff to Horror Movie Month if you so wish. Anything old or new is greatly appreciated! Simply email me on chris1039@hotmail.com.

Drag Me To Hell*Quick note: if you’re a native Spanish speaker, ignore the first scene. It lacks most of the impact it should have because the actors’ accents and pronunciation are so weird they’re distracting. The movie would’ve done very well without it, since it’s unnecessary exposition.

Drag me to Hell kicks things off with a marvelous, eerie opening credit sequence, unmistakably influenced by director Sam Raimi’s experience with movies based on comic books (he helmed the Spider-Man trilogy, with varying levels of success).  I watched this movie when it hit theaters almost three years ago and it’s the last horror film I’ve truly liked. All the glowing praise that The Cabin in the Woods has received inspired me to give it another spin.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie that weaves horror and comedy together so seamlessly (for the most part, anyway; that goat scene was pushing it) especially when the devices to get laughs or chills are so extremely over the top. An ominous score by Christopher Young, gross-out visuals and ghastly visual effects add to the fun and give it a nostalgic vibe. Alison Lohman makes for a very good scream queen, while Justin Long is pretty decent, playing against type. Like I said, this is a very humorous chiller, but psychics Rham Jas (Dileep Rao; Inception)and Shaun San Dena (Adriana Barraza) are dead serious. Rao is suitably mysterious and Barraza, who really should get a new agent, is great in her first half-decent role after being Oscar-nominated in 2006 for Babel. The Raimi brothers (Ivan co-wrote) close the show with one of the best endings I can remember; somewhat predictable but not any less shocking because of that.

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Guest Post – From Dusk Till Dawn

Mark from Marked Movies is the author of the latest Guest Post for Horror Movie Month. He takes a look at Tarantino-Clooney vampire flick From Dusk Till Dawn. A huge thank you to Mark for letting me use his review; go check out his site, it’s a belter. If you want to have something featured in Horror Movie Month, email me on chris1039@hotmail.com.

From Dusk Till DawnDirector: Robert Rodriguez.
Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino.
Starring: George Clooney, Harvey Keitel, Quentin Tarantino, Juliette Lewis, Ernest Liu, Salma Hayek, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo, Tom Savini, Fred Williamson, Michael Parks, John Saxon, Kelly Preston, John Hawkes.

Before their collaboration on the “Grindhouse” double-bill, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez joined up to do this crime/horror picture. Both Tarantino and Rodriguez’s choice actors also join the show, with the inclusion of a pre-stardom George Clooney.

Seth and Richie Gecko (George Clooney & Quentin Tarantino) are two murderous bank robbers on the run and fleeing for safety to a nightclub in Mexico called the “Titty Twister” which is reportedly a safe haven for criminals. To get there they kidnap preacher Jacob Fuller (Harvey Keitel) and his kids Kate (Juliette Lewis) and Scott (Ernest Liu) who are travelling in their motor home. Once they reach the club though, they soon realise that when the sun goes down, they have more to deal with at the hands (and teeth) of bloodthirtsy vampires.

If this sounds rediculous or over-the-top then thats because it is. The film starts in true Tarantino fashion with the two criminal brothers dressed in black suits similiar to “Pulp Fiction” and “Reservoir Dogs” and spouting equally impressive dialogue. This however, changes abruptly about half way in and becomes nothing more than a horror B-movie – obviously the work of Rodriguez. As much as this is quite fun, it jars with the cool and dialogue laden beggining. It’s a transition that’s not a very smooth one and feels like two different films cut and pasted together. This a shame really, because the first half of the film is up there with Tarantino’s best stuff. I would have much preffered it if he had just completed the film in that similiar style. What I was most impressed with was the effortless performance of a cool-headed but dangerous killer from George Clooney, who at this time in his career was just fresh from his “E.R.” scrubs. He is absolutely brilliant and this was just the beginning of several fitting performances from Clooney in the future.

There’s no denying that is an enjoyable gore fest with wonderful dialogue but I couldn’t help but wonder what might have been.

* * * 1/2

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