Thursday, January 26, 2012

Episode 44 - Town & Country or; Frown and Grumpy

This weeks episode is number 6 (or 7?) of our Biggest Box Office Bombs marathon.
What other movie has buried the careers of Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, Jenna Elfman AND Gary Shandling? None, except Town and Country....yuck.



Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cinemasochists Episode 43; Speed Racer

Our "Biggest Box Office Bombs" marathon continues with the Wachowski Sibings'
"Speed Racer" (2008)
Emile Hirsch heads a cast that includes John Goodman, Susan Sarandon and Christina Ricci in this re-imagining of the iconic Japanese cartoon series from the 1960's.




Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Innkeepers - A Cinemasochists Review

"The Innkeepers" - A Cinemasochists Review by Sean

When someone in a horror film says "Don't go in the basement", you should probably NOT go in the basement. But since we are talking horror films, rules need not apply. Horror is the one genre that somehow constantly breaks rules, but also follows them to almost annoying effects. "The Innkeepers" director, Ti West, is a director who likes to follow his own rules. This is his fourth film and the one that followed his very successful 2008 film, "House of The Devil" What remains from that film is a young female protagonist, consistently retro vibe, quiet creepiness and a weird old man.
"The Innkeepers" revolves around a haunted hotel called the Yankee Pedlar Inn and the two minimum wage employees who go on a ghost hunt during the last night of business before it closes down for good.
Claire (Sara Paxton), the bubbly and cute lead along with nerdy, amateur web designer, Luke (Pat Healy, who is quite good here), set out to make contact with a ghost who had been haunting the hotel for decades. Along the way, two final guests show up at the hotel; a retired TV actress turned psychic medium named Leanne (Kelly McGillis) and a strange old man (George Riddle) who insists on staying in a room that has already had it's furniture removed, and claims it's where his honeymoon was 50 years ago.
As Claire befriends LeAnne and the final night drags on, she and Luke (after a few beers) decide to conjure the spirit of the ghost who has supposedly been locked in the basement for years... This is where LeAnne tells Claire ''...Not to go in the basement." But as we know, this is a horror movie...
Director Ti West is a visual filmmaker and has got his own retro, muted color vibe that makes him films seem much older than they are. "House of the Devil" was a very 80's-centric affair while "The Innkeepers" has a more late 70's feel. I kept thinking of "The Shining" which I assume was an influence here with the long hallway pans, quiet tension and of course, haunted hotel theme.
The acting however, is not the saving grace of this film. Pat Healy pulls off a slightly creepy, socially awkward Luke pretty well and Sara Paxton is channeling a bit of Resse Witherspoon's character in "Election" at points, which didn't always work. However, both she and Healy had a lot of screen time together and their chemistry DID work. The first 40 minutes is those two talking and hanging around. The idea that the tension should build and that we should get comfortable with the characters is nice change of pace for a modern horror film, as they usually tend to rush to the blood and guts. Those pieces we're good in theory, but it didn't quite capture me until the very end, which is exactly what I felt after viewing West's "House of the Devil". I am told a second viewing of "House of The Devil" is mandatory. Perhaps my opinion will change after that, but for now I can safely say "The Innkeepers" is good, not great, and I'll be sure to put "House of The Devil" next on my Netflix queue.

Score (out of -10) :