Commentary on Movies and TV by Brian Holcomb

Sunday, October 14, 2012

V/H/S "FILM" Review

by Brian Holcomb

"New Wave" Horror anthology is way too long, tiring and for some-nausea inducing-to watch on the big screen. Forget all the complaints of The Blair Witch Project being too shaky to handle, this film assaults the senses like Clockwork Orange's Ludovico Treatment.

The Filmmakers should've been made to consult one another regarding their content-one more segment with a group of A-HOLES carrying on like the cast of JACKASS and my head may have exploded. It isn't surprising that the two best segments feature characters who are at least vaguely likable. Ti West's segment "Second Honeymoon" is most effective in this regard. West merely knods to the "found footage" concept while making sure that his story is as effectively told as a more conventionally shot movie. It works both because and despite the fact it is supposed to be someone's home video. It also contains the single most frightening and tense moment in the entire 2 hours of horror movie sound and fury-a scene that is also as quiet as a whisper.

Five stories and a wraparound is the classic anthology structure but so much is repetitive here due to the "found footage" concept. There are only so many ways to toss a camera into the action and keep it running plausibly. As it stands- I would rate them like this-Ti West's is the best, followed by Radio Silence and Joe Swanberg's in a statistical tie. The other two could've really just been erased.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012


By Brian Holcomb

PROMETHEUS is only vaguely related to the Alien franchise being more or less a remake of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. It's also co-written by Damon Lindelof of Lost fame and like that program, Prometheus devours cool ideas as fast as it ignores or contradicts them. That said, the film is not bad. I don't know if I would say it's any good but there were moments of suspense, moments of shock and grue, and moments of laughter. Not many of those laughs were intentional but leave it be that Guy Pearce provides quite a few of them doing his impersonation of "Keir Dullea" in 2010: The Year We Did Not Really Make Contact. Ridley Scott does his impersonation of "Ridley Scott" circa 1979 and this is a good thing. It's been a long while since he trusted his ability to actually frame a shot and leave it alone.

Still there are enough good things in the film to recommend it. The cast is uniformly good-with Michael Fassbender in particular doing some fine work as an android.

NOTE: Fassbender's penis does not make a cameo in this film.

Finally, I don't know if I like the idea of man's creators being "roided up" versions of ourselves. Imagine going to a planet at the far end of the universe only to find out that we are really the descendants of the cast of "Jersey Shore". I mean, why bother?