I bet you didn’t know that James Wan directed a Death Wish film did you?
Actually, that takes some explaining.
You see, there’s actually a sequel to the Death Wish book. The author, Brian Garfield, wasn’t entirely happy with the way the film turned out and wrote Death Sentance to rebut it and continue Paul’s story himself. 32 years later, there’s a film adaption (I know. I don’t get it either).
This is actually a pretty impressive cast. I mean Kevin Bacon is fine, and James Wan is always the mark of quality. Fun to see Aiesha Taylor from Who’s Line (Although, Man does she look a lot different than usual! That severe pullback hair doo…)but you show me John Goodman I am on board! Goodman is brilliant by the way, as the gang mentor – it’s a bizarre performance and totally unlike anything else I’ve seen him do before. I am consistently in awe of this man’s range.
Interesting, for the first time the main characters is accountant (Which was Paul’s profession in the novel, not architect) though he still hasn’t got the same name from the book.
We’re well into the movie when we get to our tragedy. Using the old flashing-headlights-initiation-killing urban legend is a really interesting way of updating for the 21 st century. I’m glad that we are going up against street thugs once again. After a few films of the vigilante going out to the mafia, I like that we’re going back to basics. Death Sentance has created a street gang with all the charisma and distinctive look from the first Death Wish films, well making them distinctly modern.
What’s interesting is Kevin Bacon succeeds everywhere that Bruce Willis failed for me. I completely buy his internal conflict, how difficult it is for him to begin his revenge. I totally accept his reluctance and clumsiness with his weapon (indeed, the early kills are almost accidental) and it makes sense because this is a revenge drama and not an action like the 2018 Death Wish was. It’s important to remember this because it doesn’t move fast like an action film does, or like a Death Wish film does. There is a great deal more attention paid to the family dynamics – with the family member who has been killed, and Bacon really sells it in one of the best performances I’ve ever seen from him. When we had a home invasion, I’d swear we’re at the end of the third act when in actuality it’s only the second and the third act is just beginning.
It’s that last 30 minutes, and I kind of wish that it had come earlier. But come back to the original premise – this really isn’t a action movie, it’s a revenge drama. Sure there are some action elements, but that’s not the thrust of the film.
It’s worth waiting for though, very much worthy of the Death Wish legacy. By the way, fans of The Crow are going to notice A great deal of influence from that here too. Someone needs to get James Wan on that reboot Because this film convinces me he’s the man for that job.
There is a greater sense of finality in this film, something that I never truly feel from the Death Wish movies. That may actually make it the most fitting way to end this marathon. I’m glad I saw it, I’m glad I saw all of them. It was long overdue.
Aw crap. What do you mean I didn’t see ALL of them? and why are you speaking in German? (*sigh* We’ll be back with more)
10 Cloverfield lane
I remember a couple of commercials for 10 Cloverfield Lane, and as well as getting some promotional swag for the film at Horror Relm last spring. It struck me as one of those kind of movies where I planned to wait and catch it on video – I wasn’t opposed to seeing it, but wasn’t in a hurry to catch in the theatre.
I liked Cloverfield back in the day, but haven’t seen it since its original run – even in the end scene, I could never quite make out the monster, and the ending made me sad – generally, I don’t revisit films that leave me feeling sad… Even good ones like this.
Sequels, on the other hand are always welcome .
I’m not sure what exactly I expected from 10 Cloverfield Lane… But this was pretty much exactly it– after a global catastrophe, A group of shady people hide together in a paranoid bunker that is about to reach the boiling point. Quite frankly, I don’t trust any of our characters and I wasn’t surprised by what was happening outside the bunker… it’s a good, high tension thriller, with a couple of really well done set pieces, a solid connection to the Cloverfield universe, and better than average performances.
I happen to love John Goodman. I think for most of his career he’s been one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood, and I’m pleased that rolls like this are finally getting him some attention from the movie industry – his range is really visible in films like the big Lebowski, and he was easily the most talented performer on Roseanne Barr show… That always felt like slumming it to me…
Our other male lead, he is forgettable done in fact I think that’s really what is entailed war was supposed to be… Is “the other guy “… There’s not a great deal of your development and it doesn’t need to be because the real focus here is on the girl. Y ou know, I realize she supposed to be the lead character, but I still don’t trust her any further then I can throw her… There was something about her that is just off-putting to me, and I spent the entire movie trying to figure out what it was. It didn’t become apparent to me until I checked her IMDB and discovered she had portrayed reminder flowers in Scott Pilgrim versus the world.
I enjoy both the Scott Pilgrim films and books, and I am adamant in my position that Ramona Flowers is a horrible personality who uses people in general, and Scott in particular. She is wholly undeserving of the love or devotion that he commits to her and that stigma clings to the actress a bit, bleeding over into her role in this film (I understand that neither fair nor logical – it’s purely a matter of emotion, and not unique to her situation… Ask me sometime about how I feel regarding the Denise Richards)
But I digress…
The reason it’s so easy to go off on a tangent when discussing this movie is because while it’s fun, I didn’t have any real connection to it – there is nothing particularly special about it other than being just another thriller
Or is there?
As I was perusing the IMDb page, I noticed a mention of someone who had laid out his explanation for these films – this intrigued me as I wasn’t aware of any explanation required. Both movies seemed to stand very well on their own. What I discovered intrigued me more than the features themselves… Apparently there is an entire world devoted to the Cloverfield online… Like an online scavenger hunt or puzzle, made up of websites, merchandising, clues and hints, videos and ultimately the films themselves – a group of gamers engaging in a passtime with all of the atmosphere of a conspiracy theory(but none of the lunacy). It’s the sort of expansion of the universe that we once relied upon movie novelisations to engage in – and a brilliant 21st century way of constructing it.
So here’s the deal – if you haven’t seen Cloverfield or 10 Cloverfield Lane, go watch them… Do it now. If you have seen these films, keep scrolling down and heading into the YouTube links below… Here the presenter lays out the case for these films, and connects them to the various and sundry components – websites, journalling, behind-the-scenes stuff. It’s completely worth your time and will bring a depth to the films you couldn’t have imagined existed.
As for me, I’m heading back down into my bunker– you can knock all you want, but don’t expect me to open the door.
Unless maybe you bring me pizza.