Tuesday, March 08, 2005

  • Dawn of the Dead (Universal, 2004). Fanboy horseshit. An ugly, vicious remake of a spurious "classic" that at least had the sense enough to be superficially moralistic in its thinly satiric jab at consumerism, a concept merely appropriated for the current version sans advancement or ingenuity. A soulless, indefensible money-grubber that ironically becomes what its predecessor intended to excoriate.
  • Shock Corridor (Allied Artists, 1963). Samuel Fuller morality jumble with Peter Breck a rapacious journalist gone undercover to investigate murder in a psychiatric hospital. Flagrant, phony, and often more compelling for it -- a feral ballet choreographed to the teeth. But what does Fuller mean by condemning to madness a trio of history's unfortunates: the emotionally stunted soldier unhinged by Communist brainwashing, the pioneering black student who takes on the mantle of his vicious oppressors (Hari Rhodes, in the film's most dedicated performance), the nuclear physicist infantilized by the unethical nature of Man. While significant as expose, the subtext is muddy, though it's likely that this is precisely the intent. No points for guessing the conclusion.
  • Teresa Wright has died. MSN News has appropriately eulogized her as "willowy" -- to which I might loquaciously add, "eminently palatable." Her self-effacing temperament prevented Wright from pursuing (or landing, for the most part) "glamour" roles, but her stalwart, and more importantly, sincere support in any number of significant dramas throughout her carefully navigated career resulted in two Oscar nominations, one win (heartbreaking in Mrs. Miniver) and a raft of memorable performances that ached with honesty. Peace be with her. (Recommendations: The Little Foxes, Mrs. Miniver, Shadow of a Doubt, and even the soppy Somewhere in Time -- if "Come back to me..." doesn't get you just a little, better check your pulse.)

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