Posts Tagged ‘gordon

02
Nov
08

Stuck directed by Stuart Gordon

I've had some shitty days, but I've never found myself stuck in the windshield of a car.

I've had some shitty days, but never have yet to be stuck in the windshield of a car.

Brandi Boski’s (played the criminally underrated Mena Suvari) life is headed in the right direction.  She has a job at a nursing home that she is extremely good at.  So good in fact, she is being promoted.  She has a cool drug dealer boyfriend Rashid (played by Russell Hornsby) who not only appears to be a good bf, but also a good source of ecstasy ( or X for those in the know.)

Thomas Bardo (played by Stepen Rae), on the other hand, is falling apart at the seams.  Laid off from his job and searching for a new one, he is evicted on the spot by his dickhead landlord, and is now homeless.

Brandi decides to celebrate at a club, and after getting drunk and high on X, she drives home, and in typical drugged up girl fashion, pays more attention to her shitty phone than the road.  Thomas is crossing a street, with his newly acquired shopping cart for his belongings, and is hit by Brandi, which sends him into her windshield.  She manages to get home with Thomas still stuck in her windshield.  The rest you’ll have to see for yourself.

Stuck, directed by genre legend Stuart Gordon, who’s claim to fame is his many film adaptations of some of H.P. Lovecrafts greatest works like From Beyond and Dagon, leads us down a path of moral ambiguity and conundrum.  His camera is educated, but never too flashy.  The reason being is he has an embarrassingly strong cast to drive his movie forward, with the likes of Mena Suvari (again, criminally underrated), Stephen Rea of V for Vendetta fame (among tons of other movies he’s done), and Russell Hornsby, who’s one of those actors that when you see him, you will point to the screen and so “Look, it’s THAT guy.  He’s in a ton of shit and is always really good!”

And boy oh boy, is it a good thing that the actors are strong, because this isn’t a special effects laden piece, as one could come to expect from Stuart Gordon.  There’s no demons at play, no mad scientists who create zombies or monsters, no portals to other worlds or other craziness going on.  There is just the dilemma at hand, and the will (and lack there of) to do the right thing.

Stuck isn’t completely devoid of violence, and in typical Gordon style, when it hits, he leaves nothing to the imagination.  Gorehounds and creature-feature fans will be sorely disappointed by the lack of killing and splatter, but one thing you have to realize before watching this flick is it’s not about that.  This is horror of the mind and the conscious.  This is something bad happening to someone by virtue of their own actions they thought would never come back to haunt them or hurt others.  To me, this type of genre film can be very effective, by not only reminding us of our own mortality and fragility, but also instilling the idea of luck just fucking us over once in a while.

The last thing I’ll comment on is the ending.  As any dedicated Midnight Showing reader will probably know, I often complain that even movies I like, just seem to slap on some sequel ready ending, or just let the thing fall apart until they feel its time to roll the credits, which is usually about 90 minutes in.  Not the case with Stuck.  It had a definitive, definite ending that is just as tense, satisfying, and refreshing as the first 80 minutes are.

Stuck gets my highest recommendation, as it not only breathes some new life into Stuart Gordon’s directing career by showing another, more reserved, side of his talent, but also into the “What would YOU do” “horror” sub-genre.  It’s fast paced, twisty enough to keep your interest, and Mena Suvari gets naked.  So there’s always that to entice you into watching.

Get “Stuck” sometime soon.

29
Oct
08

Saw V – Spoiler Free Review

Saw V

Saw V

Readers of this blog will know that I am a self-confessed Saw fanboy. So I was eager to see how the Saw franchise would move forward with the death of it’s leading character.

Fear not dear reader, this review will be spoiler free, I will not be giving away any new plot details, I promise!

Saw V begins with a quick review of what we found out at the end of Saw IV, that Jigsaw is dead, Strahm is trapped in a room and the other players from IV are also dead. The only survivor is Hoffman.

Saw V starts with the pendulum trap that we saw in one of the first clips released. V spends half of its time jumping back and forth between the past explaining stuff (‘stuff’ that I shan’t expand upon), and the present, with five new players in a trap. This is the ‘five will become one’ clip that was circulating before the release of V.

A lot of questions are answered in Saw V, but – true to the series – more questions arise as the movie trundles along. Speaking of which, I found the first twenty or so minutes quite slow, but – true to form – picked up pace. This is definitely more of a story Saw, than a gore Saw.

You won’t believe how it ends‘ say all the posters. Well, I obviously won’t give away the ending, but it’s hardly earth shattering – still a nice twist though.

I breath a sigh of relief and say: I like Saw V, I’m still a fan. And well done Mr Hackl too, his first full film as a Director, and it looks good… has the continuity of Saw I – IV (hardly surprising since Hackl practically is Jigsaw!), it’s dark, nicely lit and gory when it needs to be.

I just worry that there’s an outsider lined up to Direct Saw VI. Oh well, won’t be long now ’til Oct ’09…