Tuesday, February 18, 2014

It's almost time for Nevermore!

 Greetings, readers! It's been a little while, hasn't it? After a month straight of recapping 2013 and then a few reviews to follow that, the Cap'n took a little break to recharge the batteries and to focus on my other, regular job (it's nothing exciting and doesn't have anything to do with the Blogorium, which is why I don't mention it much). And then the Snowpocalypses happened and friends had kids and before you know it, I'm looking at two weeks of nothing new. But hopefully you had plenty to read in the meantime, and maybe now we've all had time to let news like Philip Seymour Hoffman's death to settle. It still sucks (it really sucks), but it is what it is.

 I'd like to have some more reviews up for you soon, and I'll try to, but  the past two weeks haven't been much more movie watching. The Cap'n did see The Bling Ring, and while I wrestled with whether I had anything to say about it, I'm landing on the side of "it didn't do much for me." I'm not convinced that Sofia Coppola really had any point to make about celebrity obsessed culture or that the movie accomplished much of anything at all. A gaggle of teenage miscreants break into the homes of people they idolize on superficial levels, steal their things, and attain a level of quasi-celebrity (the girl Emma Watson is based on had her own show on E!) and end up in jail. Well, some of them. And they betray each other because they're just as superficial... and that's the point. There's no insightful commentary or anything that really makes The Bling Ring stand out from the TV movie version that already existed, unless you count the fact that Coppola had access to Paris Hilton's house and also asked some of her friends to appear on camera, sometimes merely for seconds (seriously, how long is Kirsten Dunst on screen?). Maybe I'm missing something, but I sure didn't feel like I was while watching The Bling Ring.

 Grand Piano, on the other hand, is much better, but I don't want to review that yet because I'm going to watch it again this weekend and will be covering it for the annual Nevermore Film Festival roundup. This will be my third year attending the festival of things dark and macabre in Durham, and it looks to be a fun one. Their "retro" feature is William Castle's The Tingler with Vincent Price (actual title, don't bother fact checking me on that one) with Castle's original "Tingler" gimmick. If you don't know what that is, either look it up or show up to The Carolina Theatre in Durham on Saturday night to find out. It's going to be a fun time and will make it the first time I've seen The Tingler as it was meant to be experienced.

 I'll also be checking out Big Bad Wolves, Here Comes the Devil, The Shower, Open Grave (if I can fit in a showing), Last Days, Proxy, and the short film collections. In particular I enjoy the shorts because it takes me the rest of the year to find them online, and even then sometimes you just can't, meaning that Nevermore is the only time you'll see them. Some of my favorite bite-sized horror comes from the collections, and there's always a surprise or two that really works with an audience. On the features front, I'm looking forward to Here Comes the Devil and if I can squeeze it in, I'd really like to see The Returned, but right now it's not looking likely if I want to catch all four shorts compilations. Haunt is the same way, but with work as it is I can't make it there until Friday night, meaning that some of it's going to have to get left out. I'll see if I can get some of the other attendees to file reports on movies the Cap'n couldn't see.

 If you live within driving distance of Durham, you really should go to Nevermore this weekend - the atmosphere is great, they have three screens running all day with all sorts of different varieties of horror, science fiction, thrillers, and just bizarre stuff. Tickets are pretty reasonable, and there's always something to walk around and see in between - vintage posters, movies for sale, memorabilia. The audiences are always great, which is a major plus when seeing something new or being able to watch a classic like Dawn of the Dead in a completely different way. John Dies at the End also played very well with a large audience, something that most people didn't get to see as a result of its limited release. The Tingler is going to be a lot of fun with a crowd, and for five bucks you really should make the trip out to see it. And at this point I sound like I'm shilling for the fest so I'll stop. The point is that I got my passes yesterday and the Cap'n is rather excited. It's the one fest I don't run myself that I try to make it to every year.

 On the other side of that, there are a bunch of things I'd like to try doing beyond just reviewing movies, but I hate to set something up and then not get to it, so for now I'll leave it mysterious. I will say I've given some thought to revisiting movies that I reviewed a long time ago, both that I did and didn't like, if only because their original reviews are a) terrible, b) too short, c) both, or d) don't give a reader any real impression of the movie. I've gone back and read a few from years ago (particularly ones written in the middle of a Fest) that are too cursory and don't really seem fair to ask you to take at face value. So I might try to rectify that. The way I review films has changed a lot in the last ten years, and the Blogorium is more or less an archive of how that style evolved, but it means that old reviews really don't stand up, and there are a lot of movies in there I think deserve better consideration. Stay tuned on that one.

 I'll see you cats and kittens this weekend for Nevermore!

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