08-22-2014Steak (2007)http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0889665/
Flat beat Mr Oizo (or Quentin Dupieux, as his real name is) has directed a couple of odd yet hilarious comedies. Wrong (2012), about a man whose dog got kidnapped by some mysterious creatures, is my favorite, featuring a whole lot of bizarre and surrealistic scenes. Steak is his debut feature film, which is just as weird but sadly not as funny as his other movies. It stars popular French comedy duo Éric and Ramzy.
Blaise (Éric Judor) and Georges (Ramzy Bedia) are two young misfits who only have each other as friends. When Georges finds a gun in the middle of the street, he shoots the three kids that are always nagging him at school. Georges runs into Blaise after the shooting, who takes his gun from him and starts to goof around with it. The police arrive and arrest Blaise, who has to spend seven years in jail. After his release, his best friend Georges isn’t the same anymore.
The opening scene is promising. An official looking military man drives on a deserted road and loses his toupet, all in great deadpan fashion. It is a scene one familiar with Dupieux’ movies would recognize as a typically strange scene, funny but weird, shot by a steady camera and under the electronic music one can expect from Mr Oizo and his friends Sébastien Tellier and SebastiAn. However, Dupieux’ plot fails to give himself more opportunities to create the weird situations he likes to create. Steak is missing the sharp edge that made Wrong or Wrong Cops (2013) so good, is comes across as rather silly as a result. Still Dupieux comical talent shines through, especially his great sense of timing and static directing makes that deadpan feeling even stronger.
6

08-22-2014
Steak (2007)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0889665/

Flat beat Mr Oizo (or Quentin Dupieux, as his real name is) has directed a couple of odd yet hilarious comedies. Wrong (2012), about a man whose dog got kidnapped by some mysterious creatures, is my favorite, featuring a whole lot of bizarre and surrealistic scenes. Steak is his debut feature film, which is just as weird but sadly not as funny as his other movies. It stars popular French comedy duo Éric and Ramzy.

Blaise (Éric Judor) and Georges (Ramzy Bedia) are two young misfits who only have each other as friends. When Georges finds a gun in the middle of the street, he shoots the three kids that are always nagging him at school. Georges runs into Blaise after the shooting, who takes his gun from him and starts to goof around with it. The police arrive and arrest Blaise, who has to spend seven years in jail. After his release, his best friend Georges isn’t the same anymore.

The opening scene is promising. An official looking military man drives on a deserted road and loses his toupet, all in great deadpan fashion. It is a scene one familiar with Dupieux’ movies would recognize as a typically strange scene, funny but weird, shot by a steady camera and under the electronic music one can expect from Mr Oizo and his friends Sébastien Tellier and SebastiAn. However, Dupieux’ plot fails to give himself more opportunities to create the weird situations he likes to create. Steak is missing the sharp edge that made Wrong or Wrong Cops (2013) so good, is comes across as rather silly as a result. Still Dupieux comical talent shines through, especially his great sense of timing and static directing makes that deadpan feeling even stronger.

6

@6 hours ago
#mr oizo #mr. oizo #quentin dupieux #wrong #éric judor #eric judor #ramzy bedia #sébastien tellier #sebastien tellier #sebastian #wrong cops 
08-20-2014The Producers (1968)http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063462/
To produce a sure-fire Broadway flop to make a lot of money. That’s what theatrical producer Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel) and accountant Leo Bloom (Gene Wilder) plan to do in Mel Brooks’ feature film debut.
Max is running short on money when he gets a visit from Leo, who has to sort out Max’ books. Leo, nervous and hysterical, a fantastic role by Wilder, comes up with the brilliant idea to produce a play so bad that he can use his creative accounting to make them a whole lot of money: apparently, they can make a lot more money creating a flop than a win. Max finds the perfect play, Springtime For Hitler: A Gay Romp With Adolf And Eva At Berchtesgaden, written by crazy German guy Franz Liebkind (Kenneth Mars). Liebkind’s story is a love letter to Hitler, in which he celebrates Nazi Germany invading Europe. Max sees how disastrous, catastrophical and outrageous the play is, and produces the play.
Call it bad taste or great satire, The Produces is a hysterical comedy, in which Brooks delivers some broad and fine ethnic humour. Brooks, who is a jew and thought it quite funny to make money on a risque project as this, manages to create an environment that makes the audience feel it’s quite alright to laugh at the often tactless and sometimes even crude jokes. These jokes come at you in rapid and wild fire and more than just a few are flat out vulgar, but they are delivered by a cast performing at maximum capacity. Mostel (famous for his acting at Broadway) rants, screams and sings for the entirety of the movie, creating a character it’s hard to resist. His nervous companion gives him the opportunity to shine even more.
8

08-20-2014
The Producers (1968)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063462/

To produce a sure-fire Broadway flop to make a lot of money. That’s what theatrical producer Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel) and accountant Leo Bloom (Gene Wilder) plan to do in Mel Brooks’ feature film debut.

Max is running short on money when he gets a visit from Leo, who has to sort out Max’ books. Leo, nervous and hysterical, a fantastic role by Wilder, comes up with the brilliant idea to produce a play so bad that he can use his creative accounting to make them a whole lot of money: apparently, they can make a lot more money creating a flop than a win. Max finds the perfect play, Springtime For Hitler: A Gay Romp With Adolf And Eva At Berchtesgaden, written by crazy German guy Franz Liebkind (Kenneth Mars). Liebkind’s story is a love letter to Hitler, in which he celebrates Nazi Germany invading Europe. Max sees how disastrous, catastrophical and outrageous the play is, and produces the play.

Call it bad taste or great satire, The Produces is a hysterical comedy, in which Brooks delivers some broad and fine ethnic humour. Brooks, who is a jew and thought it quite funny to make money on a risque project as this, manages to create an environment that makes the audience feel it’s quite alright to laugh at the often tactless and sometimes even crude jokes. These jokes come at you in rapid and wild fire and more than just a few are flat out vulgar, but they are delivered by a cast performing at maximum capacity. Mostel (famous for his acting at Broadway) rants, screams and sings for the entirety of the movie, creating a character it’s hard to resist. His nervous companion gives him the opportunity to shine even more.

8

@1 day ago
#max bialystock #zero mostel #gene wilder #mel brooks #the producers #springtime for hitler #springtime for hitler: a gay romp with adolf and eva at berchtesgaden #kenneth mars #dick shawn #lee meredith #christopher hewitt #estelle winwood 
08-18-2014The Age Of Innocence (1993)http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106226/
Back in 1993, Martin Scorsese was mostly known for his successful and tough films like Raging Bull (1980) and Goodfellas (1990). His choice to direct the costume drama The Age Of Innocence, based on a novel of the same name by Edith Wharton, might have come to a surprise to most, but once the audience notices how elegantly Scorsese directs the emotional conversations and gossips and increasing tensions between his protagonists his choice appears all the more logic. Underneath the surface, the characters in The Age Of Innocence are just as dirty and crooked as Travis Bickle, Jake La Motta or Henry Hill.
In the upper class part of New York City of the 1870s, Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis) is engaged to the good-natured yet very conventional May Welland (Winona Ryder). The upcoming marriage is celebrated by everyone that is close to the two families: it is marriage that just makes perfect sense. Newland loves May, but after meeting May’s cousin Ellen Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer), who has a more free-of-mind and rebellious mindset, Newland starts to fall in love with her. Especially Day-Lewis delivers a fantastic performance as a strong right hand, an upright upper class and noble man.
It is fascinating to see how subtle Scorsese directs the sweet story of tragic love. A subtle change in lighting or sound is often what Scorsese needs to bring the poignant story to life, next to the grand production design and beautiful costume design. There are dull moments, but I can’t keep myself from thinking that upper class life back then was pretty dull anyway. It is a shame that most of the action takes place inside instead of outside. New York City, the city Scorsese loves, would have looked beautiful if he had taken the trouble to show it, as he did later in Gangs Of New York (2002). It’s not entirely fair to compare a 1993 movie to one released almost a decade later, but still.
7

08-18-2014
The Age Of Innocence (1993)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106226/

Back in 1993, Martin Scorsese was mostly known for his successful and tough films like Raging Bull (1980) and Goodfellas (1990). His choice to direct the costume drama The Age Of Innocence, based on a novel of the same name by Edith Wharton, might have come to a surprise to most, but once the audience notices how elegantly Scorsese directs the emotional conversations and gossips and increasing tensions between his protagonists his choice appears all the more logic. Underneath the surface, the characters in The Age Of Innocence are just as dirty and crooked as Travis Bickle, Jake La Motta or Henry Hill.

In the upper class part of New York City of the 1870s, Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis) is engaged to the good-natured yet very conventional May Welland (Winona Ryder). The upcoming marriage is celebrated by everyone that is close to the two families: it is marriage that just makes perfect sense. Newland loves May, but after meeting May’s cousin Ellen Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer), who has a more free-of-mind and rebellious mindset, Newland starts to fall in love with her. Especially Day-Lewis delivers a fantastic performance as a strong right hand, an upright upper class and noble man.

It is fascinating to see how subtle Scorsese directs the sweet story of tragic love. A subtle change in lighting or sound is often what Scorsese needs to bring the poignant story to life, next to the grand production design and beautiful costume design. There are dull moments, but I can’t keep myself from thinking that upper class life back then was pretty dull anyway. It is a shame that most of the action takes place inside instead of outside. New York City, the city Scorsese loves, would have looked beautiful if he had taken the trouble to show it, as he did later in Gangs Of New York (2002). It’s not entirely fair to compare a 1993 movie to one released almost a decade later, but still.

7

@2 days ago
#the age of innocence #raging bulls #goodfellas #martin scorsese #edith wharton #daniel day-lewis #winona ryder #michelle pfeiffer #gangs of new york #richard e. grant #alec mccowen #geraldine chaplin #mary beth hurt #stuart wilson 
08-15-2014Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)www.imdb.com/title/tt0093748/
John Hughes was going through some rough personal times during the making of Planes, Trains & Automobiles. At no point however does his grumpy mood shine through this good-natured and feel good movie though, which, undoubtedly due to Hughes’ professionality, is also partly due to the chemistry between stars Steve Martin and John Candy.
Neal Page (Steve Martin) has to return to Chicago after having been on a business trip to New York City. Thanksgiving is in two days and he has to make his 6:00 pm airplane, but gets to leave work quite late. He tries frantically to get a cab in rush hour, only to have it stolen in front of his eyes by the unknowing Del Griffith (John Candy), who also has to go to Chicago. It is the start of a horrific journey for the two, in which nothing goes as planned.
Where initially one might grow tired of Candy’s character soon, just like Martin’s character does in the movie, he starts to get really funny after a while. Once that point is reached, jokes come at you at a frantic pace, some of them easy to forget, some of them hilarious (the scenes in the car). The plot is incredibly narrow and the jokes are basically all genre conventions, but interesting is that Planes has more to offer than just the average buddy-movie. It is a portrait of madness, of how much a trapped man can take and how far he is willing to go. Steve Martin’s deadpan expressions are priceless.
6

08-15-2014
Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)
www.imdb.com/title/tt0093748/

John Hughes was going through some rough personal times during the making of Planes, Trains & Automobiles. At no point however does his grumpy mood shine through this good-natured and feel good movie though, which, undoubtedly due to Hughes’ professionality, is also partly due to the chemistry between stars Steve Martin and John Candy.

Neal Page (Steve Martin) has to return to Chicago after having been on a business trip to New York City. Thanksgiving is in two days and he has to make his 6:00 pm airplane, but gets to leave work quite late. He tries frantically to get a cab in rush hour, only to have it stolen in front of his eyes by the unknowing Del Griffith (John Candy), who also has to go to Chicago. It is the start of a horrific journey for the two, in which nothing goes as planned.

Where initially one might grow tired of Candy’s character soon, just like Martin’s character does in the movie, he starts to get really funny after a while. Once that point is reached, jokes come at you at a frantic pace, some of them easy to forget, some of them hilarious (the scenes in the car). The plot is incredibly narrow and the jokes are basically all genre conventions, but interesting is that Planes has more to offer than just the average buddy-movie. It is a portrait of madness, of how much a trapped man can take and how far he is willing to go. Steve Martin’s deadpan expressions are priceless.

6

@3 days ago
#planes trains & automobiles #planes trains and automobiles #john hughes #steve martin #john candy #laila robins #michael mckean #dylan baker #carol bruce #edie mcclurg 
08-22-2014Nashville (1975)http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073440/
Robert Altman directed movie after movie in the 70s, including popular classics as MASH (1970), The Long Goodbye (1973), 3 Women (1977) and probably the most ambitious of those all, Nashville, in which Altman uses the country and western setting of the city to explore political, sexual and sociological themes of his America.
Over the course of a couple of days, Altman follows the lives of 24 main characters that are interconnected to each other in a smaller or bigger ways. Most screentime is reserved for country singers Haven Hamilton (Henry Gibson), Tom Frank (Keith Carradine) and Barbara Jean (Ronee Blakley), who all have to face their personal struggles as the presidential campaign lands in Nashville. It is a multi-star and multi-plotted adventure, an ambitious project Altman did again 18 years later with Short Cuts (1993).
What is most striking of this movie is that Altman manages to balance the different storylines to such an extent that it never becomes dull or hard to follow, despite its 159-minute running time. He juggles around emotions, motives and just general reason to stay alive of his characters, all of whom performing greatly and delivering this highly specific grassroots appeal. The timeless political statements that are echoing through the movie regarding economic depressions and health issues are the cause that this movie is still as relevant now as it was in the 70s.
Nashville might be hard to endure for those who aren’t into country and western music, since over an hour of the movie are musical performances. But granted, I am not into that type of music myself, but found myself entertained throughout.
8

08-22-2014
Nashville (1975)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073440/

Robert Altman directed movie after movie in the 70s, including popular classics as MASH (1970), The Long Goodbye (1973), 3 Women (1977) and probably the most ambitious of those all, Nashville, in which Altman uses the country and western setting of the city to explore political, sexual and sociological themes of his America.

Over the course of a couple of days, Altman follows the lives of 24 main characters that are interconnected to each other in a smaller or bigger ways. Most screentime is reserved for country singers Haven Hamilton (Henry Gibson), Tom Frank (Keith Carradine) and Barbara Jean (Ronee Blakley), who all have to face their personal struggles as the presidential campaign lands in Nashville. It is a multi-star and multi-plotted adventure, an ambitious project Altman did again 18 years later with Short Cuts (1993).

What is most striking of this movie is that Altman manages to balance the different storylines to such an extent that it never becomes dull or hard to follow, despite its 159-minute running time. He juggles around emotions, motives and just general reason to stay alive of his characters, all of whom performing greatly and delivering this highly specific grassroots appeal. The timeless political statements that are echoing through the movie regarding economic depressions and health issues are the cause that this movie is still as relevant now as it was in the 70s.

Nashville might be hard to endure for those who aren’t into country and western music, since over an hour of the movie are musical performances. But granted, I am not into that type of music myself, but found myself entertained throughout.

8

@10 hours ago
#robert altman #mash #m*a*s*h #the long goodbye #3 women #nashville #henry gibson #keith carradine #ronee blakley #short cuts #david arkin #ned beatty #karen black #geraldine chaplin #robert doqui #shelley duvall #allen garfield #scott glenn #jeff goldblum #barbara harris #david hayward #michael murphy #cristina raines #lily tomlin #keenan wynn #elliott gould #julie christie 
08-18-2014A Million Ways To Die In The West (2014)www.imdb.com/title/tt2557490/
A Million Ways To Die In The West is funny guy Seth MacFarlane’s second feature film as director. Ted (2012) was a funny movie, almost on par with some of the better episodes of MacFarlane’s Family Guy show. The wild and often tactless humour of that tv show proved to be able to work out on the big screen too, so why not have wild expectations for A Million Ways To Die In The West? A sensational wild west comedy? Sadly though, western movies take issue if they have to share their genre with pretty much any other genre. Some western-comedies have proven to be successful, like the Bud Spencer/Terence Hill movies or Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles (1974) (of which MacFarlane generously borrowed the opening credit design), but quite a lot of them just didn’t turn out to be funny. A Million Ways To Die In The West is not very funny either.
The overlong story, written by MacFarlane and Family Guy writers/producers Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild centres around an offbeat western antihero called Albert (MacFarlane), whose wife Louise (Amanda Seyfried) has just left him after he kind of chickened out of a duel. To impress his wife again, he challenges her new boyfriend Foy (Neil Patrick Harris) to a duel, and with the help of Anna (Charlize Theron), the wife of outlaw gunslinger Clinch (Liam Neeson), he is destined to win.
MacFarlane fails to craft a really good joke, resorting to jokes like heads getting smashed in suddenly. It’s not really a good sign that these jokes are the funniest, it might work in the animated world of 22-minute-episodes, but they get quite boring in 116-minute-feature film. MacFarlane and friends make almost a million of those, but only a couple of them really stick out. It doesn’t really help that MacFarlane cast himself as the lead, since he’s just not as funny in real life as he is as an animated or CGI-realised figure. He doesn’t look like a western antihero at all.
A Million Ways is an ambitious effort and nowhere does it get really annoying to watch, but it does disappoint. Not in a million ways, but just a few. Hopefully Ted 2 is going to be funnier.
5

08-18-2014
A Million Ways To Die In The West (2014)
www.imdb.com/title/tt2557490/

A Million Ways To Die In The West is funny guy Seth MacFarlane’s second feature film as director. Ted (2012) was a funny movie, almost on par with some of the better episodes of MacFarlane’s Family Guy show. The wild and often tactless humour of that tv show proved to be able to work out on the big screen too, so why not have wild expectations for A Million Ways To Die In The West? A sensational wild west comedy? Sadly though, western movies take issue if they have to share their genre with pretty much any other genre. Some western-comedies have proven to be successful, like the Bud Spencer/Terence Hill movies or Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles (1974) (of which MacFarlane generously borrowed the opening credit design), but quite a lot of them just didn’t turn out to be funny. A Million Ways To Die In The West is not very funny either.

The overlong story, written by MacFarlane and Family Guy writers/producers Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild centres around an offbeat western antihero called Albert (MacFarlane), whose wife Louise (Amanda Seyfried) has just left him after he kind of chickened out of a duel. To impress his wife again, he challenges her new boyfriend Foy (Neil Patrick Harris) to a duel, and with the help of Anna (Charlize Theron), the wife of outlaw gunslinger Clinch (Liam Neeson), he is destined to win.

MacFarlane fails to craft a really good joke, resorting to jokes like heads getting smashed in suddenly. It’s not really a good sign that these jokes are the funniest, it might work in the animated world of 22-minute-episodes, but they get quite boring in 116-minute-feature film. MacFarlane and friends make almost a million of those, but only a couple of them really stick out. It doesn’t really help that MacFarlane cast himself as the lead, since he’s just not as funny in real life as he is as an animated or CGI-realised figure. He doesn’t look like a western antihero at all.

A Million Ways is an ambitious effort and nowhere does it get really annoying to watch, but it does disappoint. Not in a million ways, but just a few. Hopefully Ted 2 is going to be funnier.

5

@1 day ago
#a million ways to die in the west #seth macfarlane #ted #family guy #bud spencer #terence hill #mel brooks #blazing saddles #alec sulkin #wellesley wild #amanda seyfried #neil patrick harris #charlize theron #liam neeson #giovanni ribisi #sarah silverman #christopher hagen #evan jones #alex borstein 
08-17-2014The Canyons (2013)http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2292959/
Paul Schrader is not excited about the direction film is going in. He claims there has been ‘’a total systematic change in the definition of a motion picture.’’ It’s a statement that is in accordance with the opening still pictures of his latest movie The Canyons, written by Bret Easton Ellis. It shows empty and shut down movie theatres in desolated areas, a real bleak and interesting start of the movie. Sadly though, the rest of the movie isn’t interesting at all. Could it all be his grand point?
Ellis’ story centres on three young professionals living in bright Hollywood who want to make it in the movie business. Christian (James Deen, who took a break from his work in the pornographic industry) and Tara (Lindsay Lohan) have a complicated relationship: Christian likes to be free and every once in a while invites a good looking man to have sex with Tara, an act he films. He suspects Tara to have an affair with actor Ryan (Nolan Gerard Funk) and gets mad at her for doing things he is doing as well. It is a typical Ellis story, who once again explores the lives of people from Los Angeles trying to figure out themselves. What’s different though, is that his characters in The Canyons are more one-dimensional than ever.
The director tries to create some sort of melancholic atmosphere, juxtaposed to sunny and warm Hollywood with its grand mansions and canyons. It fails miserably though, since Brendan Canning’s score is dull and the cinematography by John DeFazio is not getting the most out of the city. What’s worse is that Schrader can’t fall back on the plot, dialogues (all of which are slow, rigid and devoid of interesting content) or acting (often painfully bad). And then what can Schrader do? Rely a lot on sexual content and hip features. The former works alright (Schrader has always had a fascination for naked bodies), but the latter gets on your nerves soon: constantly are the characters on their phones or tablets.
The Canyons disappoints in many ways. It certainly had potential, but maybe Schrader and Ellis have more luck with their upcoming project called Bait. It is a project which is going to have an interesting pre-production phase at least: Schrader and Ellis have some shit to figure out since Ellis was extremely disappointed with The Canyons.
4

08-17-2014
The Canyons (2013)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2292959/

Paul Schrader is not excited about the direction film is going in. He claims there has been ‘’a total systematic change in the definition of a motion picture.’’ It’s a statement that is in accordance with the opening still pictures of his latest movie The Canyons, written by Bret Easton Ellis. It shows empty and shut down movie theatres in desolated areas, a real bleak and interesting start of the movie. Sadly though, the rest of the movie isn’t interesting at all. Could it all be his grand point?

Ellis’ story centres on three young professionals living in bright Hollywood who want to make it in the movie business. Christian (James Deen, who took a break from his work in the pornographic industry) and Tara (Lindsay Lohan) have a complicated relationship: Christian likes to be free and every once in a while invites a good looking man to have sex with Tara, an act he films. He suspects Tara to have an affair with actor Ryan (Nolan Gerard Funk) and gets mad at her for doing things he is doing as well. It is a typical Ellis story, who once again explores the lives of people from Los Angeles trying to figure out themselves. What’s different though, is that his characters in The Canyons are more one-dimensional than ever.

The director tries to create some sort of melancholic atmosphere, juxtaposed to sunny and warm Hollywood with its grand mansions and canyons. It fails miserably though, since Brendan Canning’s score is dull and the cinematography by John DeFazio is not getting the most out of the city. What’s worse is that Schrader can’t fall back on the plot, dialogues (all of which are slow, rigid and devoid of interesting content) or acting (often painfully bad). And then what can Schrader do? Rely a lot on sexual content and hip features. The former works alright (Schrader has always had a fascination for naked bodies), but the latter gets on your nerves soon: constantly are the characters on their phones or tablets.

The Canyons disappoints in many ways. It certainly had potential, but maybe Schrader and Ellis have more luck with their upcoming project called Bait. It is a project which is going to have an interesting pre-production phase at least: Schrader and Ellis have some shit to figure out since Ellis was extremely disappointed with The Canyons.

4

@2 days ago with 6 notes
#paul schrader #the canyons #bret easton ellis #james deen #lindsay lohan #nolan gerard funk #brendan canning #bait #amanda brooks #tenille houston #gus van sant #jarod einsohn 
08-15-2014Apt Pupil (1998)http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118636/
To follow up The Usual Suspects (1995), an artistically fantastic movie, must have been hard for director Bryan Singer. His first project after The Usual Suspects turned out to be Apt Pupil, an adaptation of a Stephen King novella. At no point does Singer manage to reach the creative level he reached with The Usual Suspects.
High school student Todd (Brad Renfro, who gives a dull and annoying performance) finds out that his neighbour mr. Denker (Ian McKellen, who gives quite the wonderful performance) isn’t actually mr. Denker, but Nazi war criminal Kurt Dussander, who is personally responsible for thousands of deaths in World War II and is officially a fugitive hiding from justice. Todd blackmails Kurt into telling him the stories so gruesome that history books wouldn’t write about them. An interesting psychological game between the two ensues.
Apt Pupil features many aspects one would expect from a Stephen King story: interesting characters, a far-fetched plot, an extravagant ending and some provocative and disturbing images. These disturbing images however are not as prominently present as one might have expected after reading King’s story, which features a lot more scary and horrific parts. Singer chooses to spend more time elaborating the psychological tension between his protagonists, a brave move considering the source material, but it only stays interesting for so long. His focus on some homoeroticism and homophobia could have been the movie’s major saviour, but is sadly underexposed. It makes that Apt Pupil comes across as a very safe adaptation, not as scary as it might have been. McKellen’s great performance (57 years old at the time but playing a 75-year-old) lifts the movie to a slightly higher level.
6

08-15-2014
Apt Pupil (1998)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118636/

To follow up The Usual Suspects (1995), an artistically fantastic movie, must have been hard for director Bryan Singer. His first project after The Usual Suspects turned out to be Apt Pupil, an adaptation of a Stephen King novella. At no point does Singer manage to reach the creative level he reached with The Usual Suspects.

High school student Todd (Brad Renfro, who gives a dull and annoying performance) finds out that his neighbour mr. Denker (Ian McKellen, who gives quite the wonderful performance) isn’t actually mr. Denker, but Nazi war criminal Kurt Dussander, who is personally responsible for thousands of deaths in World War II and is officially a fugitive hiding from justice. Todd blackmails Kurt into telling him the stories so gruesome that history books wouldn’t write about them. An interesting psychological game between the two ensues.

Apt Pupil features many aspects one would expect from a Stephen King story: interesting characters, a far-fetched plot, an extravagant ending and some provocative and disturbing images. These disturbing images however are not as prominently present as one might have expected after reading King’s story, which features a lot more scary and horrific parts. Singer chooses to spend more time elaborating the psychological tension between his protagonists, a brave move considering the source material, but it only stays interesting for so long. His focus on some homoeroticism and homophobia could have been the movie’s major saviour, but is sadly underexposed. It makes that Apt Pupil comes across as a very safe adaptation, not as scary as it might have been. McKellen’s great performance (57 years old at the time but playing a 75-year-old) lifts the movie to a slightly higher level.

6

@3 days ago with 1 note
#the usual suspects #bryan singer #apt pupil #stephen king #brad renfro #ian mckellen #heather mccomb #david schwimmer