Hmm, it's Thanksgiving and I'm talking about two horror movies and one pseudo-horror film. And a revisionist western. I guess I really should have released these yesterday. Oh well, happy Thanksgiving everyone! I'm thankful for hulu, Netflix, the Los Angeles County Public Library, and the dollar theater who have combined to make these entries possible.
Phantom of the Opera (1998)
Horror director Dario Argento takes the classic story and gives it the full-on horror treatment. While there were some interesting visuals, the whole thing comes across as silly and grotesque and not very scary, and the opening sequence is a complete ripoff of Batman Returns (1992).
The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
This is a pretty good revisionist western, and while Clint Eastwood is not quite in top form, it is still quite entertaining.
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)
The visuals are stunning (what else would you expect from Terry Gilliam?) and Christopher Plummer puts in a heart-tugging performance as Doctor Parnassus, the world-weary leader of a four-person traveling sideshow. While the rules of the world don't always make sense, it is a feast for the eyes that is well worth it. (Insert obligatory comment about this being Heath Ledger's final performance here.)
The Wicker Man (1973)
This is a bizarre little horror film that almost masquerades as a musical in the first half. Things start out unsettling and get progressively creepier as a policeman tries to track down the disappearance of a little girl on a remote island populated solely by unnerving cult members. This film is recommended for people who enjoy quirky horror films.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)
Having seen all seven seasons of the television show, I was interested to see "the one that started it all" (sort of). I went in knowing that it would be a far cry from the television show, but even knowing that I was still let down. The comedy fell flat, the drama was unengaging, the villain was yawn-inducing, and to top it all off, Kristy Swanson was completely unconvincing as any kind of superhero and gave me absolutely no reason to care about her as a person.
Coming up next: some more dour fare. I wasn't intentionally watching all these types of movies at the same time but the do seem to want to clump together.