Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It is a sad and beautiful world

A friend found this on her windshield when she returned to her car after shopping. Along with the candy were two packages of hot chocolate. Feel free to pass it on.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Can movies kill?

It’s easy to dismiss NRA vice-president Wayne LaPierre as a moral imbecile – because, well, you know, he is a moral imbecile – but unlike many of my colleagues, I can’t blithely disregard his claim that psychos might be inspired by movie mayhem.

Of course, I find it more than a little ironic that LaPierre specifically referenced American Psycho as an example of Hollywood product capable of bringing out the worst in copycats. Because… Well, here’s something I wrote a few years back in my currently out-of-print book:

The cause-and-effect debate over movie violence has continued unabated since Taxi Driver was linked to a real-life would-be assassin. Mary Harron addressed the controversy – and admitted her ambivalent attitude -- in a New York Times essay she wrote prior to the release of her American Psycho (2000): 

 “Once you accept the idea that the representation of violence is in itself harmful to society, much of the finest world cinema could be banned, from Eisenstein to Kurosawa to Kubrick and Polanski to Coppola and Scorsese. Most genre films would have to go too: film noir, horror, gangster films, Westerns. This form of censorship, taken to its logical conclusion, clearly means the end of art.

“However, it does have a point, because no matter how moral or ironic or satirical a filmmaker might think a work is, he or she can have no control over how a member of the audience will receive it. No sane person could watch Taxi Driver and decide it was a good idea to shoot the President — but an insane person did.

“And who is to say that your audience will always consist of the sane?”

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Flash: Django Unchained screening tickets giveaway

If you want to see Django Unchained this Friday at 6 p.m. in Houston text VENGEANCE to 43KIX (43549) and your zip code. (Example: VENGEANCE 77027) There is no charge to text 43KIX. Message and data rates from your wireless carrier may apply. Rules here.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Me on TV: You Better Watch Out!

No, that's not Santa talking movies with Deborah Duncan. It's... well, me. This is 40 and Les Miserables are a couple of the holiday season releases that loom large in our conversation.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Review: Silent Night

For those of you who have always wanted to see a psycho Santa Claus apply an electric cattle prod to a bratty little girl – and you know who you are, so don’t try to be coy about it – there is Silent Night, a kinda-sorta remake of the notorious 1984 slasher movie Silent Night, Deadly Night. You can read my Variety review here. But be forewarned: You know a slasher movie is in trouble when even the psycho killer gets tired of his murder spree, and simply dispatches a victim by beating him to death.