On The Couch #37: 28 Weeks Later Oct28

On The Couch #37: 28 Weeks Later...

28 Days Later is my favorite (non-comedic) horror film. After years of reluctantly seeing horror movies with friends, finally there was one I really got into. When I first saw it, it was like a breath of fresh air. I loved the feeling of isolation and desolation brought on by Cillian Murphy waking up alone in an empty hospital, emerging onto empty streets, looking for someone, anyone else. On a side note, this ended up being borrowed pretty heavily in the beginning of The Walking Dead comic. I wonder if they’ll keep that part in the TV show. I guess we’ll find that out soon enough (Walking Dead premieres on AMC in 3 days at the time of this writing). I still like saying to no one in particular “Hellllllllooooooo…” after every time I watch 28 Days Later. But what I really liked about 28 Days Later was the fast moving zombie. The zombies in the movie were no joke. They weren’t slow moving shamblers; they were the exact opposite. They were rage fueled beasts that really wanted to take a bite out of you. If I had to pick which zombie movie world I’d be stuck in, I would definitely pick slow and hard to kill over insanely fast and slightly less less hard to kill. If the fast moving zombies of 28 Days Later were in the mall of the original Dawn of the Dead, it wouldn’t be the Zach Snyder Dawn of the Dead remake; it would be a two minute long movie! Roger and company wouldn’t even make it into Penney’s. Do you remember how many times the four main characters in Romero’s Dawn of the Dead used run and push moves out of a John Madden video game to get...

On the Couch #36: Dawn of the Dead Oct27

On the Couch #36: Dawn of the Dead...

It’s kind of funny how fascinated I am by zombies considering how few zombie movies I’ve actually seen. I love the prospect of new zombie movies, but I rarely watch them. When I was traveling in London a few years ago, I was immediately enthralled by posters for the then upcoming “Shaun of the Dead,” and was upset that we were leaving London the day before its release, especially after finding out I’d have to wait months for its US release. But why would I be excited for a movie parodying Romero’s zombie movies? At that point, the only George Romero zombie movie I ever saw was the original Night of the Living Dead. I hadn’t even seen the movie whose title Shaun of the Dead was parodying. But I was seriously excited for Shaun of the Dead. I even dressed up like Shaun for Halloween that year (total people at the party who knew who I was, excluding me: Julie). Julie pointed out recently that I don’t really love zombie movies, just zombie comedies. She makes a good point. If you asked me to name my two favorite zombie movies, they’d be Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland. Those are both comedies. I think this comes from that I was never really into horror movies. This is because I’m basically a giant wuss. I’m the guy that horror movies affect a little too much, the one who is watching my back after leaving the theater or turning on all the lights in the apartment and checking behind every door and the shower curtain after leaving the couch. The one who is formulating plans for surviving the zombiepocalypse. The one who doesn’t sleep for the next couple of nights. Name a great comedy. I’ve...

On The Couch #35: Shutter Island Oct19

On The Couch #35: Shutter Island...

In honor of Halloween, all of October’s On The Couch movies are going be creepy, kooky and all-together spooky. This is going to be hard work for me, as I’ve never really been a fan of horror movies; I’ll take a good comedy over a good horror movie any time, mainly because comedies don’t give me nightmares. But a theme’s a theme, so away we go… Shutter Island isn’t a horror movie, but it has a lot of the traits of a modern horror movie (creepy children, unsteady camera work) while avoiding the most common pitfall among modern horror movies (bad screenwriting). Shutter Island is written very well, and like The Usual Suspects, benefits from multiple viewings (or in my case, the two featurettes included on the Blu-Ray that serve the same purpose as watching the movie again, but for a quarter of the time required). If we didn’t finish watching Shutter Island at 1 AM, I would have been very tempted to immediately start it up again from the beginning, and really, what’s a better compliment than that? Back to creepy children for a minute. Is there any horror movie cliché that still manages to frighten more than a ghost-like child who says something ominous is a high pitched voice? I don’t care how much this horror film trope has been overused, creepy children still freak me out. I saw a very pale kid with blue lips asleep on his mother’s lap on the subway a few weeks ago and I was convinced he was either going to a.) dart straight up and say something ominous right before plunging our subway car into the depths of hell or b.) try to eat the other passengers, zombie-style. Either way, I was scared. Mothers of...

At The Theater #33: The Social Network Oct18

At The Theater #33: The Social Network...

And the Academy Award for Most Over-Hyped Movie of the Year goes to…The Social Network. Forgive my snark. The Social Network was great and I think that Aaron Sorkin is very deserving of a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination. Sorkin accomplished the double-impossible by making legal depositions and emails sound fascinating. But this movie is seriously over-hyped right now. Is it a good movie? Definitely. Is it “the Citizen Kane of this generation?” Not in my opinion. The greatest thing to come out of The Social Network is Jesse Eisenberg stepping out of Michael Cera’s shadow. For some time now, he’s seemed like the poor man’s Michael Cera. But he really holds his own in this movie, and didn’t remind me of Michael Cera once. Was Sean Parker involved in the casting for The Social Network? That’s the only explanation I can come up with for Justin Timberlake being cast in the role of Parker. Don’t misunderstand me, Justin Timberlake’s acting in this movie gave me yet another reason to be jealous of him, but Sean Parker is no Justin Timberlake. If anything, Parker looks more like Jesse Eisenberg…or maybe Carrot Top. Admit it. You’re not sure if this is a picture of Sean Parker or Carrot Top. The casting decision that took me out of the movie the most was that of Brenda Song as Facebook co-founder Eduardo’s girlfriend, Christy. After her second scene, I turned to Julie and said “Is that the girl from Zack and Cody?” One: Yes, it is. Two: Yes, I’ve watched The Suite Life of Zack of Cody on more than one occasion. Three: No, I don’t have any children that I can blame this one on. Yes, I’ve also seen The Suite Life on Deck. If you haven’t seen...

At The Theater #32: It’s Kind of a Funny Story Oct14

At The Theater #32: It’s Kind of a Funny Story...

The good, free movie streak continues! Julie and I had the chance to catch a free advance screening of It’s Kind of a Funny Story, a coming of age movie set in a mental hospital. Zach Galifianakis is great in It’s Kind of a Funny Story. He brings a lot of heart to his role as the mentor of the main character/troubled teen Craig. While writing this blog entry, I realized that I’ve liked every movie I’ve ever seen that had Zach Galifianakis in it. Maybe this is because I’ve never seen What Happens in Vegas. ATTENTION ALL LOST FANS: Jeremy Davies is in this movie and he’s as charming as hospital staffer Smitty as he was playing Dr. Faraday on Lost. He’s also much more coherent here and in my opinion, gets the best line of the movie when he overhears some of the patients questioning the hospital’s point system. Jeremy Davies makes me want to wear more silly hats. Emma Roberts is very cute in this movie. Am I the only one who confuses Emma Roberts and Emma Watson? When I saw that Emma Roberts was in this movie, I expected Hermione Granger to come on screen. When she didn’t, I kept trying to figure out why Emma Roberts looked familiar. Right, the Nancy Drew trailer. Never saw it. Will this be #52? I don’t want to spoil what I thought was the best part of It’s Kind of a Funny Story, but it is the back story of Solomon, a Hasidic patient in the hospital. I’ll spare you the details, but days later, I’m still laughing to myself about that scene. Should you see It’s Kind of a Funny Story? I think it is a very cute movie. It reminded me a lot...

At The Theater #31: The Town Oct11

At The Theater #31: The Town...

I flied solo for the first time during this movie watching project when I caught The Town on a rainy afternoon at Brooklyn Heights Cinemas. This is the first time I went to see a movie by myself since I saw A Hard Day’s Night at Film Forum about 10 years ago. Before that, I don’t think I had been to the movie by myself since I was in junior high school, when I saw movies alone regularly in the summer 1990 (the last being either Problem Child or Total Recall) at the two small movie theaters in Pearl River, NY. On a side note, I was hugely popular in junior high (Liar!). On another side note, how sad is it that both of those Pearl River theaters are now gone? Any readers of this blog remember those theaters? Okay, one wasn’t that great, but the nicer one had such a classic old-style movie theater vibe that’s hard to find in these days of multi-story megaplexes. On a third side note, what’s with me going to the movie theater alone only during years that start new decades? I know people who refuse to go to the movies alone, just as I know people who refuse to go to a restaurant alone. While I would much rather see a movie or dine with a companion, I recommend doing either alone both from time to time. There are definite advantages to seeing a movie by yourself: there’s no compromising on what movie to see (The Town), the show time only has to work for one person (me), and you get to pick out whatever snacks you want (small popcorn with butter and a regular Dr. Pepper, please) . But while this is freeing, there are definite...