The Uncanny Function of Photographs in Film… The Shining, Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Blade Runner

About the only law that I think relates to the genre 
is that you should not try to explain, to find neat 
explanations for what happens, and that the object of
the thing is to produce a sense of the uncanny. Freud 
in his essay on the uncanny wrote that the sense of 
the uncanny is the only emotion which is more powerfully 
expressed in art than in life, which I found very
illuminating; it didn't help writing the screen-play, 
but I think it's an interesting insight into the genre. 

And I read an essay by the great master H.P. Lovecraft 
where he said that you should never attempt to explain
what happens, as long as what happens stimulates people's
imagination, their sense of the uncanny, their sense of
anxiety and fear. And as long as it doesn't, within itself,
have any obvious inner contradictions, it is just a matter
of, as it were, building on the imagination (imaginary 
ideas, surprises, etc.), working in this area of feeling. 

Stanley Kubrick, "El Pais Artes" (1980)

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Gramps: Our Man Flint More Like Our Oldman Flint

Our Man Flint is a tough flick to discuss after viewing the Austin Powers franchise, as there is a massive age gap between my generation (not that I’m a big fan of my generation) and that of oldman Flint that makes it appear dated. Flint is a spoof of the Bond series, no way around that; there is even a moment in the film when the beautiful villain tosses aside a book called “Adventures of 008,” claims that it’s foolish to print such nonesnse. Thus, throughout the film I caught myself reliving other spy spoof films (and, of course, Roger Moore’s ridiculous 007), which took away from Flint’s wild and, at the time of release, original sets, wacky gagets, and terribly choreographed kung-fu (karate chop!). Continue reading

Gramps Asks Who Wore It Best? Chen Zhen Showdown!

The legend of Chen Zhen has been a mainstay in Chinese martial arts films for the past 40 years, ever since Bruce Lee exploded on the screen. There have been many incarnations of the folklore hero, who fights off the Japanese’s claim that the Chinese are the “sick men of Asia” during World War II through espienage, political rebellion and, of course, kung fu madness! It never gets old, however, as watching the ‘main men’ Lee, Li, and Yen (see the rhyme there?), brings with it a distinctive style and storyline for each man. Thus, the highlights of Fist of Fury, Fist of Legend, and Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen are vastly different. The question is: who wore it better? Continue reading

Beardface Reviews: Bridesmaids You’d Most Definitely Want To Hook Up With… The Movie That Is… Pervert.

Whoever said (whomever said… who… pretty sure whoever) that girls (yes, I know I used girls and not women, it was a conscious choice) aren’t funny has not yet seen Bridesmaids. But don’t get me wrong, as much as the film is a ‘female’ comedy, it’s not only female comedy… it’s just a comedy and a pretty damn funny one at that.

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Gramps Mourns: Fernando Di Leo We Hardly Knew Thee

If you’re a cinemahead and sometimes your friends or peers give you an odd look when you almost climax over simply hearing the name of your favorite film or actor, we feel your pain. However, when it comes right down to it, sometimes we do damn near explode with ecstasy; this is the beauty of film, no? It’s our first love and, excluding the pre-nup, I presume our relationship will still be hot ‘n’ heavy decades down the road. Case in point: Fernando Di Leo. I consider myself a massive fawkin’ fan of Italian genre cinema–not an expert, but a stalkerish fan. I’m reading some articles on Lucio Fulci after re-watching his City of the Living Dead or Gates of Hell or any of the other 2o names it has, and like a bitch-slap from Andy Dick I see the name–for the first time–of Fernando Di Leo.   Continue reading

Beardface Reviews: THOR Dethrones Iron Man As Marvel’s Best Film… Yes, I Was Also Surprised.

As much as I worried about this one (let’s face it, the marketing was not good… too much comic relief, not enough Asgard) it delivers, big time. Besides the absolutely pointless addition of 3D, everything works so surprisingly well that I left the theater wanting a lot more of Thor’s hammer… wait, that came out wrong.

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Beardface Reviews: Fast Five is The Fastest and Most Furious of All…

This was a huge surprise for me… Fast Five is not only the BEST Fast and Furious movie in the racing series BUT it’s also probably going to contend for best blockbuster of the summer. Why? Because it knows exactly what it is and doesn’t try to be anything more than well shot and choreographed action with a few laughs and a surprisingly big heart.

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Gramps: Requiem a Criminally Overlooked Heavyweight Champion

Boxing movies. What are you thinking right now? Yes, yes, the Rocky Franchise; perhaps the recent success of The Fighter? For me, with unabashed passion and extreme stubbornness, it is and always will be Raging Bull (a heavyweight contender for Grampenstein’s favorite film). Enter Requiem For a Heavyweight… almost 50 years ago! Talk about “where have you been all my life?” Watch out Rocko and Ward, because “Mountain” Rivera could give Jake La Motta all 12 rounds on any given sunday. Continue reading

Meek’s Cutoff: When and Where Will it Land?

I’ve been following Meek’s Cutoff for at least 6 months now, and it’s just as exciting as ever. However, this whole limited release bullshit is driving me mad. April 8th? Yes, in LA and New York. What about the backwoods of Kanada?  Continue reading

Relativity Media Eats Crow

Hey! Some good news for a change. It’s possible that we’ll not have to see Bradley Cooper in black and white face paint pretending he knows how to fight. Like ’em or lump ’em, the Weinsteins are fighting back, so says Movie Line.