Friday, November 3, 2017

Favorite Trailer Friday! Nightcrawler

While this might be the shortest clip we've ever featured, I think it's more than worthy. In Nightcrawler, Jake Gyllenhaal plays Lou Bloom, a thief who develops a taste for late night freelance photojournalism.

Dan Norris via AMP

In this teaser alone, Gyllenhaal is fantastic. He manages to be charming, creepy, and frighteningly intense in less than a minute. If his character seems like a "hungry coyote", that's exactly what he was going for.

Obviously central to this teaser is his speech. Gyllenhaal apparently memorized the entire film like a play, which, I guess you'd have to if you've gotta say this particular spiel over and over again. The teaser itself is special - it's got footage of his speeches from the movie, but it also has some stuff shot just for the teaser. He never sits behind the news desk like that or talks directly into the camera. After seeing this teaser, you just have to wonder what the hell this movie is. It does a great job of hinting at the kind of demented tone but doesn't tell you too much.  Gyllenhaal would go on to win awards and nominations for his role and director and writer Dan Gilroy nabbed an Oscar nomination for the screenplay.

What's your favorite scene from Nightcrawler?

Friday, October 27, 2017

Favorite (Horror) Scene Friday! Drag Me To Hell: The Button

Drag Me To Hell holds a special place in my heart. I'm a pretty big fan of director Sam Raimi's body of work, including The Evil Dead and Spider-Man franchises, along with random stuff like Darkman. So Drag Me To Hell was a treat for me. I even remember seeing this and Up the same night. The film - which followed our heroine Christine (Alison Lohman) as she tried to fight off a gypsy curse - had solid scares and atmosphere and Raimi of course nailed it.


The scene below - which is literally the end of the film, so, spoilers - finds Christine having supposedly dealt with the gypsy curse that's plagued her throughout the film. She reunites with her boyfriend Clay (Justin Long) and it's here we see the bond between these two characters really shine through. Christine admits to Clay that her troubles throughout the film were maybe a little bit her fault, but Clay tells Christine that she's a good person. I should note here that I don't care much for Alison Lohman in this role. I think Christine maybe needed to be a little meaner to make what inevitably happens to her make sense. Justin Long, however, is fantastic as Clay. Long has a charm and an earnestness and genuineness. I had an idea for a sequel starring his character - Save Me From Hell. Pretty self explanatory: Clay figures out what happened to Christine and somehow goes down to hell to save her. Admit it - it would be pretty amazing to see Raimi's depiction of hell.

Anyway, with the fake happy ending over, Clay pulls out the cursed button (Christine was supposed to return it to the gypsy's grave to avoid hell but she accidentally left her with Clay's coin instead) and Christine, shocked, falls on the tracks. Not only is a train speeding towards her, but a hole appears under her and demons reach out, pulling her down to hell ("Holy shit, it's actually happening!" everyone watching the movie for the first time thought) as her body begins to decay and burn. Clay tries to save Christine, selflessly reaching down for her, but the train rolls over her. Justin Long completely nails the reaction of a man who just had to watch the love of his life get pulled down to hell. Tears streaming down his face, he glances one last time at what's got to be the most ominous button of all time. One can only hope he started planning his rescue mission right then and there.

What's your favorite scene from Drag Me To Hell?

Would you like to see a sequel?

Friday, October 13, 2017

Favorite Scene Friday! 28 Days Later: Flat Tire

Happy October! A recent rewatch of 28 Days Later confirms it's still a great film. It holds up. Even the sequel (28 Weeks Later) is pretty great. The cast of that one in particular is kind of a who's who of folks that made it big (Jeremy Renner, Rose Byrne, Idris Elba). Anyway, Days came out around that zombie resurgence a few years ago, along with Dawn of the Dead and Shaun of the Dead. In fact, now that I look, it appears that Days kicked this craze off, or at least lead the pack in the '00s (maybe Resident Evil helped?).

There's still talk of another film that would make the series a trilogy. And why not? Zombies are still popular, based off The Walking Dead alone.

Jana Heidersdorf via Alternative Movie Posters

Our scene this week might be the film's scariest. Our group of heroes (played by Brendan Gleeson, Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, and Megan Burns) must drive through a tunnel on their way to a supposed safe zone they've heard about in messages over the radio. After driving up and over a blockage in the tunnel they of course get a flat tire. While stopping to change it, a mysterious sound gives way to a flood of rats which are, you guessed it, fleeing from the infected.

I love the immediate dreadful atmosphere and tension after they stop to fix the car, along with the mysterious sound and then the awful image of rats crawling all over Hannah (Burns). But the best part is the nail-biting tension of the group changing the tire while zombies bear down on them. Car repair has never been so terrifying.

What's your favorite scene from 28 Days Later?

Would you like to see a third "28" film? What would the plot be?