Thursday, May 19, 2011

Weekly Wish List UPDATE....Apocalypse...NOW!

With the world coming to an end this Saturday I decided to provide you all with an update on the films from my Weekly Wish List

Vanishing on 7th St. - Dir. Brad Anderson

This is so eerily fitting for this weekend that its scary. This is an amazing exercise in great directing and poor casting choices. Brad Anderson is an amazing talent and he knows how to build suspense. The plot revolves around the majority of the world disappearing after a black out in Detroit, there seems to be a few people left in the world and four of them converge at a bar to escape the darkness. Right away it seems to be the rapture coming for everyone as we see the remaining people evaporate before our eyes as the "souls" of the darkness take them away.

Anderson does what M. Night could not do with The Happening and he makes "nothing" scary. In the happening they were essentially running from wind and in similar fashion they run from darkness. In the hands of a lesser director this could've been amazingly cheesy, but he really pulls it off and creates 90 minutes of tension that really never lets up. His cinematographer did some amazing work with creating a character out of the darkness and "sculpting the light" so that we see just how close these few survivors are to danger. Anderson has a scene in Session 9 where someone is running from darkness as lights begin to go out...he repeats that same scene here to similar effect. I loved it in Session 9 and I still love it here even if it is cannibalizing his own style.

.....sigh....not quite Hayden.

Up until the end he manages to keep you interested with the way the darkness begins to play with the minds of our heros. So like I like I said a very tense and atmospheric film, but he really made some poor casting decisions. John Lequizamo was the best part about The Happening, and he definitely is the best part about this film as well. Hayden Christensen can't act. I know your Anakin, but damnit yelling is not the same as emoting. He really pulls you out of the film and it's sad because this would come out with a very strong recommendation if it wasn't for him and Thandie Newton. Thandie Newton is not the same as Hayden she is just kind of boring with a very simple "bring me back my baby" storyline.

So if you're looking for something to do in our final hours on this plane of existence give this film a try, despite their best efforts Hayden and Thandie do not ruin the film, rather they keep it up from reaching the heights of Anderson's other works. The end result is a well made thriller with some genuine tension by one of our most talented young directors, who happens to have had a lapse in judgment during casting.


One last thought - please do not assume I would actually suggest spending your last few moments on earth watching this's just an would be much better watching 400 Blows...that film is BRILLIANT.

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