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Articles tagged with: Brutality

Cinema and Television, July 2009 »

[16 Jul 2009 | One Comment | 2,613 Views]
Open Your Mouth and Scream “Ahhh!”: <i>Drag Me to Hell</i>‘s Oral Fixation

Beyond the excess of his fright scenes (ghosts appearing at a seance, a catfight in a tool shed, a fake-wake from a bad dream), this is one of Raimi’s most tightly constructed films — predictable and thematically consistent, if repellent. Aesop didn’t need to resort to supernaturally fetishistic vignettes of domestic abuse and carjacking to make his points; Raimi’s aspirations to be a contemporary fabulist are undercut by both his moral rigidity and blinders toward his own neurotic obsessions. If he had a firmer grip on the nuance required of good moralists and ethicists, perhaps he would have succeeded.

Cinema and Television, June 2009 »

[13 Jun 2009 | One Comment | 1,227 Views]
Action as Easy as <i>1 2 3</i>

Remakes (or in this case, second remakes) are handicapped from the get-go.  Playtime compatriot Daniel Swensen has already outlined the pitfalls of modern updates, and the new Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 falls in line on its tracks like the titular subway train. One can see the infinitely tense possibilities of the skeletal scenario of Morton Freedgood’s (alias John Godey’s) 1973 novel on which each movie has been based: four men hijack a NYC subway car and hold its passengers hostage; the head criminal has found a way to …

Cinema and Television, March 2009 »

A Dark Tale of Heroic Deeds, Presented in Glorious SNYDERVISION™
[12 Mar 2009 | No Comment | 1,656 Views]
A Dark Tale of Heroic Deeds, Presented in Glorious SNYDERVISION™

A surprisingly sturdy, mildly provocative 105 minute movie is hiding somewhere in Watchmen’s gangly two and three-quarter hours running time. Dense with shockingly unnecessary exposition, this story about the nature of heroism and identity indulges in a great deal of introspective character study between bouts of flamboyant brutality and fleeting moments where director Zack Snyder’s technical prowess and filmmaking ambition coincide. As a messy, sprawling adaptation, the product of marketing, focus-testing, and the instincts of a young would-be visionary still learning his craft, the inchoate professionalism of the production serves the film’s gargantuan ambitions and readymade stature, rather than completely defeating it. From the perspective of the film’s own history, it is a miracle that it got made at all.

Art, Literature, Oct/Nov 2008, World Affairs »

[30 Oct 2008 | 2 Comments | 32,649 Views]
Sex and Superheroes in “The Boys” (NSFW)

The latest opus from Garth Ennis (author of Preacher, Hellblazer, The Punisher) is a brutal satire entitled The Boys.  It charts the exploits of a group of thugs clandestinely employed by the CIA.  Their task is to control, by any means necessary, various teams of high profile superheroes, whose carelessness, stupidity, arrogance and selfishness cause far more damage to society than the antics of the supervillains they oppose.  Controversially, the comic mixes harsh brutality with its uncompromising anti-superhero polemic, with graphically violent illustrations from DC illustrator, Darick Robertson.  Famously, Ennis …