Search Results for Barry Wurst

Fall Films- The Return of Great Filmmaking

Believe me, I’ve got nothing personally against Michael Bay, Gore Verbinski or Judd Upatow; these are all capable directors whose summer movies I’ve enjoyed and, in some cases (especially concerning Mr. Upatow) have all-out loved. On the other hand, we all know that summer movies are, for the most part, cinematic junk food intended to reach the widest (or dumbest) audience possible, with presentation and quality not nescessarily being even steven or factors of concern. Yes, “Braveheart”, “Do the Right Thing”, and “The Sixth Sense” were summer movies, but then, so were “Smokey and the Bandit”, “Judge Dredd”, “Hudson Hawk”, “Problem Child” parts one AND two, and all three movies with the words “Fast” and “Furious” in the title. Lets face it, with few exceptions, May through August is primetime for big, dumb movies that are better at creating cinematic carnival rides than an actual narrative. This can be fun, but really, how many times do you really want to go back to “Jurassic Park” (or, for that matter, watch Will Smith zap aliens or see Mike Myers say “Yeah, Baby!” for the 47th time)? Hollywood seems to think that the only important, worthwhile, award-winning, thoughtful, long-lasting, potential classics that they make are the ones that open between October 1st and January 1st. They’re usually right, by the way. Not since “Gladiator” has a summer movie won the Best Picture Oscar, and “The Silence of the Lambs” is still one of the few to open on Valentine’s Day, then win the top Academy Award in March…of the following YEAR (those Academy voters don’t seem to remember movies that opened before Halloween, for some reason)!
 
This year, the fall movie season (even moreso than the year before it) has such a thrilling line-up of directors who are the best in the world and many of them have been out of the spotlight for years, while one (who is rightfully considered one of the greatest American filmmakers of all time) is releasing his first movie in a decade! If you can’t wait for “Fred Claus”, “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and “Alien vs. Predator: Requiem”, then go back to the mall and set your headphones to Radio Disney- this article is not for you. For the rest of us, here’s a few reasons to be excited about the next couple of months at the local cinema.
 
(more…)

Share This:

An Open Letter to Warner Bros. RE: Sweeney Todd

Dear Warner Brothers,
There is a rumor circulating that you’re planning to trim your eagerly anticipated fall release, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”, so that it may recieve a PG-13 rating. As you plan to release this lavish, gothic musical around Thanksgiving and want to reach the widest audience possible, it is understandable that you plan to edit down some of the gorier moments of this Tim Burton-directed film.

Yet, it must be said that one of the reasons I and so many like myself can’t wait to see this film is because it is an R-rated, darkly funny and grisly adaptation of the beloved musical. Truly, there won’t be anything else out there like it this holiday season and something like this will not only stand out but find it’s distinct audience. Unlike, say, “Beowolf”, which will likely prove to be too scary for children and not an obvious draw for adults, “Sweeney Todd” already HAS an audience ready to embrace it! The same teens who made the violent “300” a $200 million dollar hit, the same adults who have followed Burton’s career since ’85, the same audience members who flocked to “Hairspray” and “Dreamgirls”, and Johnny Depp’s considerable fan base (not to mention attendees attracted by the curiosity factor alone) will all be there opening night and will likely return throughout the holiday season.

(more…)

Share This:

BODY SNATCHERS- “The Invasion”, Then and Now

by Barry Wurst

What I love and have always found seriously scary about every one of those Body Snatcher movies is that they tap into a fear that is both paranoid and hard to put into words.  In fact, the heroes of these movies usually have a hard time explaining exactly what is scaring them so much, but at the core of these films, a truly frightening premise that everyone alive can relate to is being exploited.  The notion that you may not truly know the people in your life, that they may different on the inside, changing in front of you, or entirely different from who you initially thought they were, is something anyone in a relationship or with long time friends can understand.  Yet, the overall premise of the Body Snatcher movies goes even deeper and is more expansive:  what if everyone in the world was the same, and you were the only one left with a difference of opinion? This is what scares me more than falling alseep and waking up as someone else.  Freedom of speech and expression of personal individuality are two of my favorite aspects about
life in general, and to take that away, in favor of being just like EVERYONE
ELSE…I find that frightening.

(more…)

Share This:

Inland Empire DVD Review

empire.jpg 

by Barry Wurst
Released by Rhino
Released on August 14, 2007

THE MOVIE:
As there are so few David Lynch films in his directorial cannon, it seems his fans grow fewer and fewer every year.  Sure, most have seen his mixed bag adaptation of “Dune”, and a few others are fans of his “softer” films, “The Straight Story” and “The Elephant Man”, but really, when you think of Lynch, you’re talking about “Blue Velvet”, “Wild at Heart”, “Eraserhead”, “Lost Highway”, “Twin Peaks- Fire Walk With Me” and “Mulholland Dr.”, the latter being the last film Lynch made, back in 2001.  His latest, “Inland Empire”, was filmed in secrecy and was an ongoing project that grew from a series of previously created shorts that blossomed into a full-blown feature film.  Filmed entirely in a digital format, most of the filming took place under the radar in Poland.  Like his most famous works, “Inland Empire” is flush with imagery both indescribably beautiful and unbearably nightmarish, with his skill at conveying the stunning and the grotesque in full force, sometimes during the same scene.  His earlier films, like “Blue Velvet”, have well developed plots, while his later, signature works are far more
surrealistic, ethreal and intriguingly bizarre.

(more…)

Share This: