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Review: “Billy Madison”

June 26, 2013 2 comments
Billy MadisonDirected by: Tamra Davis
Produced by: Robert Simonds
Written by: Adam Sandler, Tim Herlihy
Edited by: John Gilroy, Jeffrey Wolf
Cinematography by: Victor Hammer
Music by: Randy Edelman
Starring: Adam Sandler, Bradley Whitford, Bridgette Wilson, Josh Mostel, Darren McGavin, Norm Macdonald, Mark Beltzman, Larry Hankin, Theresa Merritt, Dina Platias, Chris Farley, Steve Buscemi
Year: 1995

 

As a kid, I had several friends who were massive Adam Sandler fans. I liked him well enough, I guess, being a 90s kid who actually watched Saturday Night Live quite often for someone my age, but I never liked him nearly as much as I did Jim Carrey, who, in my grade school mind, was seen as some sort of rival to Sandler – the Nintendo to Sandler’s Sega. The movies I saw Sandler in were just nowhere near as funny as Carrey’s to me, and it’s a sentiment I still hold to this day. But with every passing comedy that he made, Adam Sandler grated on my nerves more and more, even if I hadn’t seen the films in question – the trailers were pretty much all I needed. The few films I actually did get around to watching only made me dislike him more by association. His most recent output pales in comparison to even Jim Carrey’s worst films. I’d much rather watch the dull Yes Man three times over a single second more from Grown Ups, Bedtime Stories, or, even worse, the horrendous Jack and Jill. Read more…

Review: “The Cabin in the Woods”

October 1, 2012 6 comments
Directed by: Drew Goddard
Produced by: Joss Whedon,
Written by: Drew Goddard, Joss Whedon
Cinematography by: Peter Deming
Music by: David Julyan
Starring: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Brian White, Amy Acker
Year: 2012

 

I don’t claim to be an expert on horror films. Last year, when I did my first Scary Movie Month, I ended up getting schooled by a group of Nightmare on Elm Street fans, who took me to task for not getting the point of the first film. Throughout that month, I struggled to gain a greater appreciation for the horror genre, particularly through the classic slasher films — Halloween, Friday the 13th, The Last House on the Left and its remake… Aside from just providing me with an opportunity to list all those films and link to my reviews, my point is that I’m not particularly fond of these types of films, aside from Halloween, which surprised me with its elegance, and the two Nightmare sequels I reviewed, Dream Warriors and New Nightmare, which ended up being more fun than I anticipated.

I do, however, like Scream and even its three sequels, which were fun, self-aware tributes to the slasher sub-genre while also being fairly well constructed horror thrillers in their own right, to varying degrees. But after this? It’s kind of hard to really think of that many subversive horror films that manage to capture that same sense of fun, creativity, and terror without reiterating everything that’s been said before. Lucky for me, then, that Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard knew exactly how take that formula and turn it on its head, yet again, and with The Cabin in the Woods, they not only send up the horror genre in a loving manner, but also lament the lack of creativity that has pervaded the genre in the past few years and all the factors that led to the genre’s stagnation. Read more…

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