Key components missing in horror sequel ‘Paranormal Activity 2’
“Paranormal Activity 2” is now in theaters.
- ‘Paranormal Activity 2’
★★ (out of four)
2010, Tod Williams, U.S., R
- New films
The following movies start Friday, Nov. 5:
Director: Tom McGrath.
Star: Will Ferrell, Jonah Hill.
The plot: Megamind is the most brilliant super-villain the world
has ever known, though after several unsuccessful attempts to
conquer Metro City, a new foe sees him attempt — for the first time
in his life — to use his powers for good.
Genre: Animation, comedy.
Director: Todd Phillips.
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galiflanakis.
The plot: High-strung father-to-be Peter Highman is forced to
hitch a ride with aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay on a road trip in
order to make it to his child’s birth on time.
Director: Danny Boyle.
Stars: James Franco, Amber Tamblyn.
The plot: Mountain climber Aron Ralston becomes trapped under a
boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah and resorts to
desperate measures in order to survive.
Genre: Adventure, biography.
- Film Roundup
★★★ (out of four)
When I say that “Red” represents a cast in search of a movie,
you may take it as a harsh criticism. And, certainly, it is an
issue when the power of your cast absolutely dwarfs anything your
film could possibly have to offer in terms of plot or dialogue or
visual appeal. However, in the rare case of a movie like “Red,”
such shortcomings take on less significance. See, “Red” is almost
exclusively concerned with how its characters — and, by extension,
the stars themselves — interact with one another. More pointedly,
it’s all about the feel-good vibe of cooperation and camaraderie
that steadily builds between this cast of characters, even if most
of them do happen to be retired assassins.
“The Social Network”
Were it not for the involvement of David Fincher, I would have
had little interest in “The Social Network,” the new film about the
founding of Facebook. ’Cause here’s the thing: I hate Facebook. I
hate the manner in which it was conceived, I hate its effect on the
online community, the banality of its users’ content and its
needlessly confusing interface. Most of all, I hate everyone always
asking me if I’m on Facebook, and when I tell them that I have no
intention of ever starting a page, seeing them look at me as if I
just asked where the Internets are. Facebook is a bunch of crap
(helpful hint: I don’t care if you went out today to buy shoelaces
and a can of Pringles, and I certainly don’t want to see a
photographic record of this adventure), and resistance to its
influence can only make you a better, stronger person.
“The Town” is no “Gone Baby Gone” — the material isn’t as
potent, for one thing, and it’s missing the provocative, layered
mystery that helped make Affleck’s first film such a treasure. As a
straight-up character-based thriller, though, it’s hard to find
fault with “The Town.” The story, involving a network of bank
robbers operating out of the Boston neighborhood of Charlestown, is
compelling, and the heists are executed with verve and intensity.
And as in his first film, writer/director Affleck displays a
peerless knack for capturing the shifting rhythms and moods of a
city. He’s been compared to a young Martin Scorsese in this regard,
and in terms of handling an old-fashioned narrative with the steady
confidence of a veteran, Affleck is also racking up favorable
comparisons to Clint Eastwood. They may smack of hyperbole, but
these praises are apt and richly deserved.
Posted: Friday, October 29, 2010 8:30 am
Time has flown by so fast these past few weeks that I’ve barely
had time to savor the build-up to Halloween. No matter: This week
I’m making up for lost time with a look at “Paranormal Activity 2,”
along with a short run-down on some random horror flicks I’ve seen
in the past week or so. (The old “Film Log” feature is returning,
thanks to Battle Royale, so be on the lookout as I attempt to log
mini-reviews for every movie I watch. I usually average about four
or five a week. Also, please see the sidebar for a brief update on
the blog goings-on.)
Next time, expect a review of Clint Eastwood’s latest piece of
Oscar bait, “Hereafter,” followed by “Due Date” and then either
“Skyline” or “Unstoppable,” depending on word of mouth. Seems like
slim pickin’s for awards season, but perhaps things will pick up
Friday, October 29, 2010 8:30 am.