The Masters of Horror collection is a wonderful idea fronted by Mick Garris that, in a way, pits the best horror directors currently working today (most of them, anyway) against each other in a battle to make the most effective one hour horror gem. I realize that the initial purpose may not have been competition, but having this much talent in the same association means that even if the directors aren't taking this endeavor as a competition, then horror fans certainly are.
There are few authors who have contributed as much to the world of horror literature as H.P. Lovecraft. Stuart Gordon has proven that no other filmmaker shares his appreciation for the work of Lovecraft. His career essentially began with Re-Animator, he has crafted some fine adaptations since, and I'm certain he'll choose to cap it off with yet another adaptation. I personally would have it no other way, as there would be no more suiting a way to bookmark a fine career.
No film-maker has had a greater influence on my approach to film and film-making than Dario Argento. I'd grown up a horror-fiend (still am, actually), yet the American outputs of the 80's had little or no discernible style. Argento introduced me to the fact that style can certainly increase the effect of the substance of a film, regardless of genre. Also, it can be, simply put, pretty to look at. I think more visual moments from Argento films are ingrained in my mind than any other director. It is here that my love for foreign films, horror and otherwise, began.
With recent films like "Middle of the World" and "City of God", Brazil is making a name for itself on the international film market. Most of these pictures focus on the society of Brazil itself (most notably its criminals), and the challenges that its people face on a daily basis as a result. "The Man of the Year" is no exception to this theme, but it chooses to handle its material in a more American mainstream cinematic way.
Sofia Coppola's previous efforts, "The Virgin Suicides" and "Lost in Translation" did not go unheralded by most critics. I have always maintained that the enthusiasm towards both of these films was highly exaggerated. While both were solid efforts to be sure, neither was particularly noteworthy.
An enthusiasm in the opposite direction has been directed at Coppola's "Marie Antoinette". According to rumors, the film was booed at the public screening at the Cannes Film Festival, and most articles written about it have agreed that it is a step backwards for the promising filmmaker.
While I haven't seen the 'Upright Citizens Brigade', I am certain after seeing "Martin & Orloff", that they belong to the bizarre situational group of comedians. That is to say, the film drifts from sequence to sequence, along the tracks of an incredibly simple plotline. These sequences exist to amuse the viewer through their examples of absurdity. Sometimes they're funny, sometimes not, there's no denying, however, that the world needs more films like "Martin & Orloff". I know I'm certainly tired of seeing films like "Little Black Book" and "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days", released every two weeks. While I will be the first to admit that the Romantic Comedy genre certainly has a place in American, and worldwide cinema, and even I enjoy a good romantic comedy from time to time, but we are definitely in need of more variety in our comedy. I applaud films like "Martin & Orloff" for their desire to defy convention, and create something truly original amongst a relatively contrived group of comedies currently being released.
Seeing this movie again, I am reminded of the first time I watched it. I must have been nine or ten years old, and it was free weekend of Super Channel, the pay television movie network of my younger days. I was a big fan of 'He-Man' at that time, and I couldn't fathom that they had made a movie based on these characters. Even while watching it, I feel skeptical as the movie takes place mainly on Earth with characters that I feel unfamiliar with. Of course, at this point in my life, I really don't care. Any glimpse of He-Man's sword, or Skeletor, and I was satiated; satisfied that this was an adaptation of a cartoon that I watched religiously.
Whenever I recommend a Woody Allen movie, people hum and ha, and tell me about how much they “really don't like Woody Allen.” This is completely unfair, not only because most of these people have never seen a Woody Allen picture, but because Allen puts so much effort into making creative and unique films. "Interiors" was his (overly artsy) homage to Ingmar Bergman, "Hollywood Ending" was self-satire, and his latest (before "Match Point") "Melinda and Melinda" was a cinematic experiment of comedy and tragedy. Allen doesn't always hit every key correctly in these attempts at originality, but to say that you don't like his films, is to say that they all share the same aesthetic quality, which I assure you, they do not.
Why is it that I find it so much more difficult to write a positive review than I do a negative one? Is it just easier to bitch? That's probably part of it. Mostly however, I have to think that I don't find the content of a lousy film to be as sacred as the content of a great one, and that severely limits the amount of conversation I can create about the latter. "Midnight Meat Train" is one of those great films, and I don't use the phrase lightly. I wish I could leave it at that, and have you trust me enough to do whatever you can to see it.
If you do trust me enough, then leave it at that. Read no further. If you need some convincing or have seen it already and perhaps don't see in it what I do, then feel free to muscle on. I shan't be wordy.
VI write this article fresh on the heels of my review of "Freaked", which openly slammed into the use of excessive CGI in modern cinema. It may sound contradictory to now champion a movie that openly uses this method, but it is not. "MirrorMask" is the first family film to use this technique to its creative advantage, so after a dozen or so years of mindless trash, finally we get something beautiful.