The new movie Date Night, in which Steve Carell and Tina Fey star as a suburban couple haplessly stuck in the middle of some sort of crime spree for an evening's time, is the latest installment in the grand tradition of "up-all-night" movies. To commemorate the occasion, I've pulled together my favorite cult classics of the underappreciated genre and listed them here. Feel free to peruse and then promptly tell me all of the ones I forgot.
It's not really fair to compare Monsters to Cloverfield. True, both follow young people as they travel through a war zone to reunite with loved ones, while a battle is being fought between the military and a giant monster who remains largely unseen until halfway through the movie. But that's where the comparisons end. While Cloverfield is captured on shaky, hand-held cameras in one of the biggest cities in the world, Monsters is a mostly uneventful trip through the jungles of Mexico, and the main character, a photographer, is more interested in the quiet moments than in seeing any action. While not without its action scenes, the movie is actually mostly quiet moments, and the depiction of a country ravaged by these creatures is more important than the creatures themselves.
There are a lot of terrible movie titles out there, and everyone has their list, but most of these titles are attached to terrible films! It's when bad titles are attached to good movies that there starts to be a problem. For instance, this week, The Men Who Stare at Goats hits theaters, and we thought it was a lot of fun, but that title is a real snoozer. Who's going to go see this movie with that title? Yes, they stare at goats, but they stare at them to make their hearts stop beating! Why not call the movie Goat Killers? Or Heartstoppers? Or The Men Who Kill Goats With Their Minds? We looked at the last decade and found a bunch of film titles we think misrepresent or detract from the films they're attached to, for various reasons.
Having sat at (and eventually under) this very desk just over two weeks ago when the 5.4 Chino Hills earthquake trembled its way through my fair city, my first reaction upon hearing that J.J. Abrams would be making an earthquake disaster movie was: "Ugh, no thanks." Seeing the lights above you sway violently while you're enveloped in an unnatural rumble that's loud and quiet at the same time kind of kills any desire whatsoever to experience it in THX or Dolby. Then again, the memory of the quake is still pretty raw; my stomach still flips whenever a big truck rumbles past our building. Maybe months down the road when the film is in theaters and my nerves have settled, I'll want to flock into a crowded L.A. theater with two puny exits (that it takes ten minutes to get through even when you're not panic stricken) to find out what the creative minds of our time believe will happen when the Big One actually hits. Ugh. Maybe not.
You may recall several months ago when we at The Moviefile reported on the upcoming X-Files film and noted that writer/director Chris Carter was keeping plot details from the film so tight that crew members were only allowed to read the script in a video-monitored room. Now Carter seems to be delving even deeper into life as a secret squirrel: he's keeping the fact that he's directing a new film entirely under wraps. The Hollywood Reporter broke the story today that Carter is already halfway through directing Fencewalker, a dark drama starring Natalie Dormer, Katie Cassidy (David Cassidy's daughter!) and Xzibit. The film, currently shooting in L.A., is rumored to be a coming-of-age, semi-autobiographical (the longest word I've typed in five years) character piece. THR also points out that the film has no supernatural elements, unless you count the director's paranoia. What it is he has to be paranoid about, I'm not sure.
Ah, there's nothing quite like the scent of a sequel on the morning breeze. Like the lingering aroma of yesterday's leftovers, mixed with the heady perfume of a flower about to open. Depending on the sequel, there might also be a whiff of something coming from the bottom of your shoe. Today, at least, it looks (and smells) like the crap is pretty minimal. There's been a lot of news in the last day or so about follow-up movies (Alvin & the Chipmunks 2, anyone?), but let's start with the most obvious and go from there.