Happy Cinco de Mayo, which this year falls on a Thursday — or, appropriately for this week, let’s call it Thor’s Day (why “Thor” is not officially opening a day early, I don’t understand). Actually, maybe it’s not so appropriate since the Spanish word for this day is jueves, which means Jupiter’s Day. So maybe watch “The Hills Have Eyes” today and “Thor” tomorrow.
I have a friend who went to see “Catfish” thinking it was a horror flick. I guess that is how it was marketed. Meanwhile, scores of people went into “Paranormal Activity” thinking it was real. That’s definitely how it was marketed. I don’t mean to call any of these moviegoers out for being easily fooled so much as point out how the films are reciprocally aligned in playing with expectations for what documentaries and narrative films look like. And what they’re supposed to do. It should therefore make sense, as a further bridging of modes, that “Catfish” directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman are said to be helming “Paranormal Activity 3.”
Yet the news frustrates me more than any problems I had with their doc (which I am admittedly a fan of, having named it one of the top 10 docs of last year) or the “Paranormal” franchise. It just seems like too obvious a move for these guys and if there are any documentarians I’m most wishing won’t jump ship and go to fiction it’s Joost and Schulman. Not necessarily because I think they did a phenomenal job with very tough decisions on their breakthrough film, but because few others agree they did such. They technically shouldn’t need to prove anything to anyone, but I would love for them to. For my sake, I guess. They ought to deliver a follow-up documentary that shows they’re great non-fiction storytellers rather than manipulators of reality — of course, there’s nothing wrong with the latter being done for the former, in my opinion, but I don’t think they did that as much as people think.
The only way I can get behind this gig is if they use it for some semi-meta commentary on “Catfish” by focusing it on a doc crew who aren’t believed to be genuine, as a way of filling in for the reflexive doc about the troubling aftermath of making “Catfish” that Joost says had been discussed. And then they could put both works behind them a bit and move on to documenting the next culturally encapsulating mystery.
More notes, links and things up for discussion after the jump.
– I think this video of a guy dressed as Thor singing Sweet’s “Action” and showing how well he controls wind by blowing up a hot water bottle is better than the entirety of the “Thor” movie coming out tomorrow. But that doesn’t necessarily put down the Marvel film. It’s just that this is really awesome:
– Know what would have been great for “Thor”? A fitting plot song from MC Hammer, of course. Well, at least the rapper reviews the movie and makes many references to “Hammer Time” in a video for NextMovie.
– Speaking of “Thor,” Erik Davis at Movies.com is continuing his praise for that film’s baddie by calling this season The Summer of the Villain, a trend he notes could be inspired by “The Dark Knight” and kicks off with this weekend’s season opener:
Legder exploded on screen, delivering one of the most memorable villainous performances we’ve ever seen. Thus, this opened up some eyes around Hollywood, with studio peeps beginning to think differently when casting villains in their big blockbuster movies. Perhaps the recipe for success was to find smaller actors coughing up buzz on the festival and independent scene instead of going straight to the popular, expected choice.
Well now we’re beginning to see those decisions play out across the 2011 summer movie season beginning with a tremendous performance from Tom Hiddleston as Loki in Thor. A smaller actor known more for his TV work across the pond, Hiddleston absolutely shines as Thor’s slimy brother with identity issues. Not only does he take the entire film up one level with his performance, but he also helps get you excited for next year’s Avengers movie, which also features Loki as one of the main villains.
– Want to join the evil dudes Davis spotlights? Check out this instructional infographic titled The Black Hat Guide, which shows how to be a villain.
– In a post antithetically related to my query about whether or not people like about liking films (especially for the sake of a relationship), Matt Patches lists 8 Movies My Past Girlfriends Forced Me to Watch That Made Me Who I Am Today at Film School Rejects. I don’t know why he’s not still dating the smart girl who introduced him to “My Neighbor Totoro,” unless “high school girlfriend” means something less okay than it sounds in the context. Anyway, from his very relateable intro:
I’ve been the “movie buff” in many a relationship, but this weekend’s line-up reminded me of the many discoveries I’ve made thanks to the differing opinions and interests of past significant others. For every sappy mother/daughter road trip drama (Anywhere But Here), fairy tale relationship come true (The Prince and Me), or by-the-books rom-com with a song for a title (Sweet Home Alabama), my girlfriends took me to a movie that — gasp — continues to resonate in my memory, challenge the way I watch films and remind me that I should get over myself once in awhile.
Pretty impressive. I hope one of them felt that way when I sat them down to watch Jet Li’s The One.
I’ll try to share any personal equivalents in the comments section over there, if I can think of any movies a girlfriend turned me on to (a girl I wasn’t dating intro’d me to “Totoro” at least, and it’s one of the reasons we’re still friends). You should do the same.
– Have kids and want them to grow up into good cinephiles? Or, are you young at heart? TCM unveiled their schedule for this summer’s Essentials Jr. series, full of Marx Brothers, Capra, Keaton and more greats. And Bill Hader will be hosting, which should be fun.
– Also for the kids: want to live in the “Home Alone” house? It’s currently on the market for $2.4 million. I hear the old owners forgot some things left behind in the attic, such as a young boy you can employ in lieu of a security system.
– I didn’t get a chance to review it during Sundance, but like many others I recommend the cult escapee drama “Martha Marcy May Marlene.” Not sure about the Oscar buzz, but it’s pretty good. Here’s the trailer:
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