Going deeper into ‘The Cabin in the Woods’
Kristen Connolly stars in “The Cabin in the Woods.”
- New films
Director: Joss Whedon.
Starring: Robert Downey J., Chris Evans.
The plot: Nick Fury of SHIELD brings together a team of super humans to form The Avengers.
Genre: Action, adventure.
Rating: Not yet rated.
‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’
Director: John Madden.
Starring: Judi Dench, Bill Nighty.
The plot: British retirees travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel.
Genre: Comedy, drama.
- Film roundup
“THE CABIN IN THE WOODS”
★★★★ (out of four)
“The Cabin in the Woods” practices what it preaches, effectively turning the entire genre inside-out by providing not only a point of reference for literally every supernaturally based horror film ever made, but also a complete deconstruction — and, in the end, destruction — of that same filmic universe. (Ultimately, the audience itself is cast in the role of an angry evil god who destroys that which does not adhere to its rigid standards of quality entertainment.
Expectations were surpassed when it became clear that the film wasn’t merely a vehicle for raunchy humor (though it certainly was that as well), but also a surprisingly touching and emotionally mature teen love story that wore its heart on its sleeve. The movie was a tremendous success, launching a franchise that thus far has produced three sequels and four direct-to-DVD spin-offs. More importantly, it was instrumental in setting the standard for character-driven gross-out comedies in the decade that followed, and it is almost inconceivable that filmmakers like Judd Apatow and Todd Phillips would be successful today without the template provided by “American Pie.”
“THE HUNGER GAMES”
I enjoy exploitation as much as the next red-blooded American, but if I’m gonna wallow, I gotta wallow in style. Unfortunately, “The Hunger Games” is devoid of such style, with Ross preferring constant and inexplicable close-up shots, even in the most inappropriate moments. The action scenes (which come at a brisk clip once the maddeningly detailed expository scenes are through) are incoherent blurs of motion — somewhat understandable, given the difficulty inherent to depicting 12-year-olds being wantonly butchered, but still presumably avoidable with a competent artist in the director’s chair.
Posted: Friday, April 27, 2012 7:36 am
Updated: 8:44 am, Fri Apr 27, 2012.
We’ve hit the two-week pre-summer doldrums I’ve been lamenting about lately, and frankly I think we both have better things to do with our time and efforts than read and write about “Think Like a Man” or “The Lucky One” or “The Three Stooges” or whatever other nonsense that opened last week. (However, in the interest of keeping reviews current and filling my quota of family titles, I will bow to pressure and take a look at “Pirates! Band of Misfits” next time. “The Avengers,” of course, will follow.)
Far better, I think, to take the opportunity to delve more deeply into “The Cabin in the Woods” and touch on some points that I didn’t get to fully explore last time.
Friday, April 27, 2012 7:36 am.
Updated: 8:44 am.