There are a couple of reasons that the sci-fi alien invasion flick has been on the wane while zombie movies have been on the rise. Unlike dealing with brain-dead swarms, part and parcel of full-scale invasion-of-Earth scenarios is a tacit acknowledgment of a comparable, if not higher, form of intelligent life. Until the invading force is defeated—if, indeed, it is defeated—the human audience watching the film is made to feel, well, a little stupid. And then there is the feel-bad factor. Horror movies, as many a die-hard fan will tell you, are meant to titillate. One wants to see Ripley defeating the intergalactic face-huggers of Aliens, not the South African arthropod apartheid of District 9.
The World’s End, out this Friday, shies away from neither of these things and goes a step further in suggesting that bad and stupid are perhaps humanity’s only unique qualities. Having already put their stamp on satirical zombie-ism with 2004’s British import Shaun of the Dead, it was probably only a matter of time before the trio of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and director Edgar Wright turned their attention skyward. Invoking the communist-next-door fear of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the film creatively rejiggers the formula for the smartphone set: It’s the nerd-dream technological singularity turned into a logistical nightmare, where free will is diametrically opposed to the next stage of our evolution.
You’d never know it, but Bill Paxton is becoming quite the nerd hero. He’s producing a graphic novel, Seven Holes for Air, which he hopes to have picked up by a studio so he can direct it. At Comic-Con this year, Tom Cruise pulled him up on stage during a panel for his new Read More
“I’ll find something to climb,” Tom Cruise told The Observer last night at the US premiere of his new film, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. “There’s always something.” He was talking about turning 50, a fact that means if insurance companies have anything to do with it, Mr. Cruise won’t be scaling buildings for much longer.
Monday: Big Love
Since you were busy watching the Oscars on Sunday night, chances are you missed Big Love. That’s okay; we miss the show a lot ourselves. Still, when we have watched it this season, Big Love has been fantastic. For all the press that the casts of Mad Men and Lost rightly Read More
Wednesday evening, Gawker Media hosted a party at Soho House in honor of the soon-to-be-released film version of How To Lose Friends and Alienate People, Toby Young’s memoir of his misadventures as a contributing editor at Vanity Fair in the late ’90s. Half of the crowd kept referring to the celebration as a book party, Read More
It’s been a decade since Rounders, the last (and perhaps only) good film dedicated exclusively to card-playing. And while this weekend’s box office winner, 21 (no. 1), doesn’t take over that mantle, it does raise the question why Hollywood hasn’t made this their bailiwick more often. Card-playing is always the bridesmaid, never the bride, good Read More
RUN, FAT BOY, RUN
Running Time 101 minutes
Written by Michael Ian Black
Directed by David Schwimmer
Starring Simon Pegg, Thandie Newton, Dylan Moran and Hank Azaria
Well, when you leave Friends, you gotta do something. Not one of the former members of that overrated sitcom has managed Read More