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Let The Freaky Social Case In

Sure, let all the freaks in.  Open the door for the social misfits and borderline threats to public safety.  We’ll have a party where everyone is welcome.  It’ll either turn out to be a thunderdome approach to Darwinism or we’ll share phone numbers, pictures, and create the ultimate super-inclusive Utopian version of The Social Network (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).
“History as we know it is still unfurling, and The Social Network is that rare film that has something — not yet definitive, but certainly provocative — to say about it.” Kimberly Jones Austin Chronicle

For the unprovocative: It’s a modern film about now.

“The Social Network is the movie of the year. But Fincher and Sorkin triumph by taking it further. Lacing their scathing wit with an aching sadness, they define the dark irony of the past decade.” Peter Travers Rolling Stone

Keen observation or dark irony?

“As socially significant to this generation as films like Network, All The President’s Men and The Graduate were in their own time.” Pete Hammond Boxoffice Magazine

“A riveting cinematic triumph that can be fairly described as the Citizen Kane of the 21st Century.” Scott A. MantzAccess Hollywood

“The Social Network is the movie of the year. If Coppola were into computers, this would be The Godfather.” Fred Topel Screen Junkies

But before we get lost in the ocean of praise, we should hear from the lonely haters who dug deep to dislike.  Ladies and gentlemen, if you are a regular reader then you don’t need a preamble to know whose poison pen is next.

“Like one of those fake-smart, middlebrow TV shows, the speciousness of The Social Network is disguised by topicality. It’s really a movie excusing Hollywood ruthlessness.” Armond White New York Press

And he’s really a man in need of some happy pills

“Mr. Fincher and Mr. Sorkin offer up a creation story for the digital age and something of a morality tale, one driven by desire, marked by triumph, tainted by betrayal and inspired by the new gospel: the geek shall inherit the earth.” Manohla Dargis New York Times

And when the great and glorious geeks of our generation go to great beyond, I hope Gabriel asks them a germane password like “Who shot first?” (FYI: don’t guess Greedo).  After all, in nerd nirvana, we must leave the uninitiated at the gates screaming Let Me In (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic)!
“This unsettling, effective American remake really gets under the skin as one of the year’s most powerful thrillers.” Michael Rechtshaffen Hollywood Reporter

Compared to most fall movie releases, it’s unsettling for two of the year’s best movies to open on the same October weekend.

“A smart horror film that exploits a deep-seated fear in America: subtitle-phobia.” Liam Lacey Globe and Mail

Boo!

“So far superior to the usual run of Hollywood horror films that one can easily forgive the fact that it doesn’t quite match its Swedish model.” Frank Swietek One Guy’s Opinion

Hollywood’s Vampire models

“Ultimately, if the Swedish version is near perfection, Matt Reeves’s version achieves complete supremacy. Masterpiece is an overused word, but it’s hard to think of another so powerful. Let Me In is the new standard for vampire movies.” Brad Miska Bloody Disgusting

When you see this sign, does that mean you’re the one?

“Reeves has Americanized a very good foreign film without defanging it.” Orlando Sentinel Roger Moore

Our next film seeks to Movieize a very good book without defenestrating it. Like a poor stockbroker whose sanity crashed along with the market, such is the manic money misfortune of Freakonomics (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).
“Swift and easily digestible. None of it will likely provoke discussion, though … doesn’t seem to be anything more substantial than interesting yet trivial data.” Christopher Campbell Cinematical

The plastic things on the end of shoelaces are called aglets.
An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain.
Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite.

“At the center is the quietly exciting notion that numbers can be used to both mask the truth and reveal it, depending on the character of who’s holding the calculator.” Matt Pais Metromix.com

The best way to do addition, depending on the flavor preferences of who’s eating the calculator.

“By the end, don’t be surprised if you are still asking yourself what, exactly, the definition of freakonomics is.” Dustin Putman DustinPutman.com

Definition of freakonomics: the title of the movie/book – Freakonomics.

“Blame producer Chad Troutwine for bringing together an array of talented documentary filmmakers to try to coax life into material certainly not suited to the medium of film.” Ed Gonzalez Slant Magazine

Perhaps a fortune cookie would have been better?

Woah. The cookie called it.

“A quartet of uneven TV pilots posing as a full-length documentary.” Village Voice Dan Kois

If ten quartets of pilots posed with briefcases and Captain Penultimate had the winning swagger, he’d be holding Case 39 (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).
“Case 39 has been forlornly gathering cobwebs in the proverbial filing cabinet for over a year. Understandably so – it’s terrible. We’d be embarrassed too.” Film4

I’m embarrassed of that last title segue.

“If I’m to understand the movie as it is presented, demons do not enjoy passive aggression, it only enrages them further, and to avoid a demon, it’s best if you’re neither a nice nor smart person, because then the demon has nothing to work with.” Adam Lippe Examiner.com

To avoid a demon, we should be neutral, banal, and trivial.  Speaking of which, did you know 14% of all facts and statistics are made up, but only 27% of people know that fact?

“It’s all been done before, of course, and Case 39 is let down by too many of those jolting boo! moments, ropey special effects – check out a badly-animated hornet attack – plus a plot even casual horror fans can predict.” David Edwards Daily Mirror [UK]

A badly-animated boo! for casual horror fans

“This ramshackle movie features a preposterous plot, dodgy direction and clunky editing, and yet it’s great fun to watch the actors squirm with fear.” Rich Cline Shadows on the Wall

There was a subtle current of spookiness running through this week’s roundup, starting with scary good then good and scary.  Then there was the frighteningly trivial and now stupid and squirmy.  It’s as though Halloween’s eerie presence looms on the calendar’s horizon; offering a chilly greeting before a stretch of holidays.  Or maybe I’m just looking forward to a day when everyone is encouraged to be weird.

“Case 39 is too bland, with scares that are so polite they almost take their shoes off to avoid dirtying the hallway carpet of your mind.” Jon Hamblin SFX Magazine

King Sheep has no idea if the hallway carpet of his mind is clean

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2 Responses

  1. Can you tell me if you enjoy the Social Network, Pat? I’m really resistant to seeing it, but, damn, the reviews are outstanding.

  2. Nine-year-old Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment) always seems disturbed, frightened… and his mother cannot figure out why. He finally confesses to psychiatrist Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) that it’s because he sees dead people – everywhere… and they’re not always pleasant to look at. Director M. Night Shyamalan is leading the way in bringing back good old-fashioned scary movies in the “Twilight Zone” tradition, without an over-reliance on special effects. The film is cleverly constructed and provides a truly surprising twist at the end. Creepiest scene: Cole has built his own protective tent in his room, but as he approaches it, he knows there might be the ghost of a young girl in there.

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