Posts Tagged ‘Christopher Mintz-Plasse’

Humor, horror put bite in ‘Fright Night’

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011
Colin Farrell and Anton Yelchin in "Fright Night" Jerry the vampire (Colin Farrell) teaches Charley the teenager (Anton Yelchin) a lesson about crucifixes in the horror remake “Fright Night.”

Craig Gillespie’s “Fright Night” isn’t just a clever and entertaining remake; it takes the nuts and lightning bolts of Tom Holland’s 1985 comically scary horror film and tweaks them into something fresh and bold.

Holland, who directed and wrote the original film — starring the late Roddy McDowall and Chris Sarandon — refurbished the storyline himself.

This, no doubt, is why the update works so well. (Holland also wrote the respectable sequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s classic “Psycho,” so the guy knows the genre.)

Plus, Gillespie has just the right off-kilter sensibility to pull off this remake, as evidenced by his quirky 2007 romance “Lars and the Real Girl,” in which Ryan Gosling takes up romance with a mannequin.

A third and major reason “Fright Night” is so watchable: Colin Farrell’s ingeniously engaging performance as Jerry the neighborhood vampire.

Chris Sarandon played the original Jerry (he has a cameo as Jay Dee here) with cool, GQ aplomb.

Farrell’s Jerry becomes a merry prankster who’s so amused by teenage Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin, replacing William Ragsdale) and his pathetic attempts to stop him, he taunts and toys with the poor guy for a while.

Then things get nasty. (Read more…)

Old dog ‘Marmaduke’ needs a few new tricks

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010
Marmaduke and Carlos from "Marmaduke" “Marmaduke” (voiced by Owen Wilson) and Carlos the cat (voiced by George Lopez) head to California for stupid pet tricks.

“Wait for it,” the Great Dane tells us. “Wait – for – it!”

Then he passes doggy gas on his human owners, who cough and choke on his bodily discharge.

“Marmaduke” begins this way, and ends the same way with the Great Dane letting his wind rip on his hapless humans again.

“It never gets old!” the dog chuckles.

Sorry, Marmaduke, but it was even old back when Shrek did it in the mud puddle.

“Marmaduke” is the kind of family entertainment that gives family entertainment a bad name.

Its dumbed-down script, woefully shallow story, ridiculous action sequences and cheap bathroom humor might be diverting for extremely young children, but why would most parents want to expose their kids to a movie written way beneath their level?

Marmaduke, of course, is the beloved giant canine from the popular comic strip. In this movie, Owen Wilson provides the dog with his affable, cornpone personality, forced not only to incessantly narrate every detail of the film’s opening scenes, but to deliver moldy, obvious jokes such as “I’m all ears. Literally!”

Apparently, there’s not enough trouble for a dog to get into while living in Kansas, so the screenplay moves Marmaduke’s family, the Winslows, to Los Angeles where Phil the dad (Lee Pace) gets a job with the Bark organic food company run by William H. Macy, who can barely utter his pandering dialogue without wincing with embarrassment. (Read more…)

This comic book action movie merits its title

Friday, April 16th, 2010
Chloe Grace Moretz in "Kick-Ass" Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) clobbers a villain in the horrifically violent. graphic novel-inspired action thriller.

The title doesn’t lie.

Here comes one Red Bull of an action film that doesn’t play nice.

It combines the fantastic underpinnings of a superhero costume adventure with the excessively gory violence of a cheap martial arts exploitation film.

“Kick-Ass” may upset some viewers, especially during the scenes when an 11-year-old female superhero named Hit Girl energetically wipes out a room full of thugs with sharp and scary blades, resulting in geysers of blood and lots of screaming.

If that doesn’t do it, the scenes where the story’s chief villain holds little Hit Girl down and pounds her with his fists certainly will.

Forget your granddad’s cartoony superhero movies.

Matthew Vaughn’s sensationalized story stays true to the darker heart of its source – the comic book series by Mark Millar and John S. Romita Jr. – and proves to be unforgiving of a society that stands idly by while witnessing crime and violence. (Read more…)