Monday, October 26, 2009

Scary Movie Month - Week 4

Another week, another humiliating Bears loss. I could have been watching movies!

Not the best SMM week either, although it got better at the end. We started by watching The Hunger, which I had seen and enjoyed in college, and while it held up perfectly fine on second viewing, it still couldn't keep The Dude awake during what turned out to be his round with the cold Buddy brought home two weeks ago. Then a couple of nights later we tried to watch the original Dracula with Bela Lugosi, and I just couldn't get into it. Background music might have helped, but watching an old slow-moving movie with a plot already known to me, punctuated only with dramatic shots of Bela Lugosi's eyes, just couldn't compete with the possibility of going to bed early.

We did notice that in both this version of Dracula, and Francis Ford Coppola's, by far the most compelling figure to watch was Renfield.

I was uninterested in trying to finish either of these movies on a later night, which led to the first argument we've had this year about SMM. What emerged from this exchange was the realization that we have different expectations for our viewing experiences during this month. (Big surprise, I know.) For The Dude, it is in part about seeing as many horror movies as is physically possible in a month. For me, it is about having a special evening with The Dude, in which we get to make popcorn, watch an interesting/funny/moving movie that happens to fall into the "scary" category (or is a spoof thereof), and then talk about it. Without exactly making this explicit, my view appears to have prevailed, probably because The Dude really does want to share these movies with me, and he knows I am perfectly content to let him watch them by himself while I go curl up with a book in the bedroom.

With that settled, we then had a great viewing of the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers with Donald Sutherland, Leonard Nimoy, and Jeff Goldblum (we'd seen the original 1956 version last year). Very satisfying. Interesting, clever, scary without being too terrifying, moving. One of the best I've seen this year.

And then yesterday we watched Monsters Vs. Aliens which was entertaining though not as good as we thought it could have been. Lots of references to other movies that felt more like rip-offs rather than homages. And, I'm sorry, but I can't have been the only one who thought that the B.O.B. character (a gelatinous blue blob), voiced by Seth Rogan, most of the time most looked like a rather squat penis. It was a bit disconcerting to watch a kids' movie featuring what seemed to be a talking dildo in one of the main roles.

We've coming to the end of our SMM, with only a few possible viewing times left to us. The Dude has proposed we do a double-feature one night, but I have a race in less than a week that I am quite serious about, so I'm afraid the "late-night double-feature picture-show" won't be happening this year. But we have some good movies lined up and apparently on route, so I think we will still end this year's movie watching on a good note.

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