Archive for the ‘Eric Raymer’ Category

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[Reviewed by: Eric Raymer]

Slashers didn’t always used to be predictable, watered-down, remakes targeted at teenagers. Okay, maybe that’s not entirely true. But when they’re at their best, they possess a manic energy and dark sense of humor that doesn’t have to resort to self-aware, tongue-in-cheek laughs (Scream franchise, I’m looking at you). Adam Green’s Hatchet was a throwback to the best slashers of the eighties, and it succeeded in capturing their spirit. However, sequels in this genre don’t usually turn out so well. Can Hatchet II pull it off? (more…)

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[Posted by: Eric Raymer]

One of the things that continually amazes me about zombie films is that whenever it seems they’ve been completely played out, an innovative director comes along and puts a new spin on the genre. Still, there’s lots of schlock out there, and most of the time I approach a new zombie film much like I would an actual zombie: cautiously. When news about a forthcoming Cuban zombie film called Juan de los Muertos (Juan of the Dead) broke in May, my skepticism-meter was reading pretty high. Fortunately, any doubts I had were erased when I saw the awesome teaser trailers for the film. I recently spoke with director Alejandro Brugués (who was kind enough to take a break from preparing to shoot the film to exchange some emails), and it’s clear that he’s a huge zombie fan who is really happy to be making this film. Keep reading for some exclusive information about the film as well as the teaser trailers. (more…)

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[Posted by: Eric Raymer]

October is probably my favorite month because it gives me an excuse to watch a lot of horror films to get in the mood for Halloween. (Not that I need that much of an excuse.) It also means there’s a slew of new horror films ready to be released in theaters. If you’re wondering which will be worth checking out this month and which will just be more of the same cheap scares, keep reading for a breakdown of all the horror coming your way in October. (more…)

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[Reviewed by: Eric Raymer]

Don’t listen to the marketing campaign – Catfish isn’t the movie they want you to think it is. The posters ominously warn you to not “let anyone tell you what it is,” and seem to suggest some sort of thriller or horror flick. It’s unfortunate that they resort to making you play guessing games in order to see this film. With a story that’s driven primarily by events occurring on the internet, and a plot that constantly has you questioning the truth from those in front of and behind the camera, Catfish captures life in 2010 in a way that few other movies do. I’ll try to avoid giving away any of the specifics in this review, but it’s impossible to discuss this film without changing the way you’ll perceive it. If you want to go in with no preconceptions at all, stop reading now. Otherwise, read on. (more…)

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Elephant / 2003 / “So foul and fair a day I have not seen.
Paranoid Park / 2007 / “I just feel like there’s something outside of normal life…

[Reviewed by: Eric Raymer]

It’s that time again – time for textbooks and school supplies, for bus rides and homework, for manslaughter and murder… Well, hopefully not those last two, although your odds aren’t great if you happen to be a character in a Gus Van Sant film. In Elephant and Paranoid Park, the kids are definitely not all right. Both films take place in high schools and focus on teenagers dealing with some problems that stretch a little further than your typical growing pains. (more…)

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[Posted by: Eric Raymer]

In an interview with the New York Times, actor/director Casey Affleck admitted that his new film, I’m Still Here, which chronicles actor Joaquin Phoenix‘s pursuit of a rap career and descent into depravity, was almost entirely staged. In other news, grass is green and water is wet. This whole thing reeked of being a stunt since Phoenix’s first bizarre appearance on the David Letterman show, and I have a hard time believing that Affleck “never intended to trick anybody.” The only truly remarkable thing is that Phoenix was willing to keep up the act for so long. This definitely takes away some of the appeal of the film for me, but in all fairness, it looks like Phoenix does a great job pulling off the role. While I never wanted Phoenix’s life to actually fall apart, knowing that it’s all a hoax makes it significantly less interesting.

UPDATE: The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that David Letterman was in on it too.

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[Posted by: Eric Raymer]

Matt Reeves’ vampire coming-of-age film Let Me In hits theaters October 1st – which means it’ll come out just a little shy of two years after the original Swedish version (Let the Right One In). There’s been somewhat of a backlash from fans of the original since the remake was announced, and accusations of the new film being dumbed-down for a U.S. audience are flying left and right. Reeves has defended his work, saying that the original itself was a remake of a novel, and that his film is just a “variation on a theme.” The marketing for the new film has done a pretty good job of distinguishing it from the Swedish film, but at the end of the day, it’s the same story. It’s not uncommon for major studios to “Americanize” foreign films by remaking them with well-known actors and without subtitles. Sometimes a larger budget can bring a little more flash to source material that couldn’t quite pull it off. Other times… Well, it’s usually best to try and forget about those. Some of the worst remakes occur when a director tries to remake something (foreign or otherwise) that succeeded in the first place. Regardless of Let Me In‘s eventual fate, it’s probably not going to be as bad as the following cinematic catastrophes. (more…)