Review: Death at a Funeral

death_at_a_funeral_ver4Frank Oz is a funny man. He’s also a very smart man. In his latest directorial effort, the man who brought us films like Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and In & Out, combines these two traits and brings us Death at a Funeral.

Death at a Funeral, which covers the afternoon funeral of the family patriarch at his English home, is a light, laugh-filled film which never strays too far from the general concept that funny should not be diluted with a deep message. Not to say Oz and writer Dean Craig don’t have an agenda or a point of view, they do, but they understand what makes those points of view funny. Mostly, Oz just lets the film breathe. He doesn’t rush the moments, instead, letting them build on their own energy until his audience finds the humor. True, sometimes that humor comes from uncomfortable places, but hey this is a film about dead people. Continue reading “Review: Death at a Funeral”

Review: Rob Zombie’s Halloween

To paraphrase an old car commercial: This ain’t your father’s Halloween. No indeed. Where John Carpenter’s 1978 film was a modern fairy-tale about the dangers of pre-marital sex, Rob Zombie’s version eliminates the moralizing over-tones and brings in a back story which tries to define, once and for all, how an American psychopath is made.

And it works. Mostly. Continue reading “Review: Rob Zombie’s Halloween”

Review: Death Sentence

When I go see a Kevin Bacon film, I have come to expect a certain level of quality. Like anything else, most people have expectations when they walk into a film. You’ve seen the trailers and noted the actors and based on those things, there is a certain implied contract between the film and the audience. This is why Adam Sandler or Mike Myers rarely work when cast in a serious film. So when I went to see the new revenge thriller Death Sentence, I expected a thought provoking film, one which ruminated on the topics of death and revenge. And for the first 30 minutes or so, that’s exactly what I got. Continue reading “Review: Death Sentence”