Monday, August 22, 2011

PCP in Theaters - Fright Night

Ok so for only the 2nd time this summer, I finally had a chance to actually go and see a movie in theaters.  So, here is my review of the latest movie I’ve seen, Fright Night, with a bonus short review of an older film at the end of the post, as well as my thoughts on the trailers featured on Fright Night.  Thanks for dropping by for another hit of PCP!

Fright Night.  2011, Rated R.  106 minutes.  Starring Colin Farrell, Anton Yelchin, Toni Collette, David Tennant, Imogen Poots, & Christopher Mintz-Plasse.  My rating:  8 out of 10.  Note – I saw this in 2D not 3D.

Going into this film, I didn’t know what to expect.  The ad campaign left me feeling a little underwhelmed, and with all the vampire stuff everywhere else in pop culture lately, I was staring to feel a little burnt out on vampires.  Even my wife, who got me hooked on Buffy, Angel, & the Vampire Diaries and is a Twilight fan, wasn’t particularly in the mood to see this.  However, it was the only movie that fit into our time slot of when we could go see a film that the friends we were seeing it with hadn’t already seen, so that sort of made the choice for us.  I was a cautiously optimistic after reading some reviews of the film on Friday, but I still wasn’t sure if it would be good or if it would suck.  Thankfully, I did not come away disappointed at all.

Read the rest after the jump!

First off, the script for this film was great.  The dialogue was witty and funny.  I didn’t know it until the end credits, but Buffy and Angel writer Marti Noxon wrote the screenplay, and it definitely shows in the film, with the script feeling like a Buffy episode with different characters.  They even manage to throw in a Buffy reference when David Tennant says he doesn’t want to join Anton Yelchin & Imogen Poots’ “Scooby Gang.”  I was disappointed though that they missed an easy Dr. Who shout-out when they showed Tennant’s honorary degree from a Nevada college, they could have made it a doctorate and had his girlfriend say “he just likes to be called Doctor” or something but they missed that opportunity.

Speaking of David Tennant, he was a riot in this film.  He absolutely steals every scene that he is in, playing a Criss Angel type illusionist that incorporates vampire mythology into his magic show in Vegas.  Also hilarious is Christopher Mintz-Plasse, playing the nerd that he always plays, but he’s still a laugh riot with his great lines.  I also really enjoyed Colin Farrell playing a villain for a change, as I’m so used to seeing him as a hero.  He was great here as the vampire living next door to Anton Yelchin and Toni Collette, just oozing malevolence in every scene.  There are a couple of times in the movie where you get the feeling that he is like a large predatory cat, just toying with his prey before moving in for the kill.  It’s great to watch.  Yelchin is actually having a pretty darn good career so far, starring in this, Terminator Salvation as the young Kyle Reese, and the Star Trek reboot as Chekov, and he’s only 21.  He’s a pretty good actor and we’re gonna be seeing a lot more of him I’m sure.  The uniquely named Imogen Poots stars as his love interest, and she does a good job of balancing the damsel in distress and self-rescuing heroine at the same time.

The film is shot well, although there were a number of shots that were obviously made for the benefit of those watching in 3D, but still, it was pretty well made.  I enjoyed the opening establishing shots of the desolate suburban Las Vegas neighborhood, with foreclosures up and down the block in a development kind of out in the middle of nowhere.  That desolation and isolation sets up the film quite well in the opening overhead shots.  All in all, Fright Night managed to exceed my expectations.  It is a pretty good horror/comedy film, and it is something I can actually see myself watching more than once.  I’ll be looking for this on sale on Black Friday later this year, I’ll definitely be adding it to my extensive DVD collection.

Part 1 – my thoughts on the trailers on Fright Night:

John Carter.  What the heck is this movie?  It looks epic in scale, and apparently it’s based on a book and it’s the first live-action film that Pixar is involved in.  I’m intrigued, but its either going to be really good or really terrible.  Plus as much as I loved Taylor Kitsch in Friday Night Lights, I’m not 100% sold yet on whether or not he can carry a movie of this magnitude.
The Thing.  A remake/reboot/prequel to the classic original starring Kurt Russell?  I think I’d rather see this around Halloween than Paranormal Activity 3, but I don’t know if this is going to be any good or not, but it looks promising.  I think I’ll have to go rewatch the original first though.
The Woman in Black.  Daniel Radcliffe’s first post-Potter movie looks like The Others or Darkness Falls in terms of creepiness.  Question is whether or not it will be any good.  The trailer definitely gives off a weird vibe, so who knows, maybe it will be good.
Underworld: Awakening.  Kate Beckinsale is back in the leather corset she wore in the first 2 Underworld movies, this time in the middle of an all out war between vamps, werewolves, and humans?  Yeah, I’m seeing this.
Apollo 18.  Blair Witch Project meets space.  I’ll pass.  Besides, if there are only 2 or 3 astronauts up there, just how high of a body count can this movie have?
Real Steel.  Rock ‘em sock ‘em robots plus Rocky.  I’m calling this movie Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Rocky from now on.  This movie looks awful.  If I want to watch robots beat the crap out of each other, I’ll go watch the 1st Transformers again.  If I want to watch a boxing movie, I’ll go watch Rocky or the Fighter again.  You’d have to pay me to get me to see this.
In Time.  Very interesting concept in a dystopian future.  I’m intrigued, I always like sci-fi.  Plus it’s got a good cast, so I’ll probably check this out.
A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas.  This looks insanely over the top and so wrong on so many levels that it’s probably a laugh riot. 

Bonus part 2:  short review of an older film I caught on DVD recently.
White on Rice.  2009, rated PG-13.  83 minutes.  My rating:  5 out of 10. 
A very quirky indie film.  Very very very quirky.  If you like oddball indie films, check this out, especially if you or someone you are close to is Asian.  Otherwise, take a pass.

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