Ain't It Cool News (www.aintitcool.com)
Movie News

AICN-Downunder: PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, UP IN THE AIR, and another piece of HOBBIT news

I'm like my mother: I stereotype. It's faster.

AICN-DOWNUNDER

It's fair to say the Indonesian Government gets pretty well torn-asunder in Robert Connolly's masterpiece BALIBO. The Australian Government doesn't fare much better, but I'm proud to say that we, at least, did not censor it. The Indonesian Government called on the LSF (their censorship board) to ban the film, as the film contradicts the official Indonesian line: that the Balibo Five were killed accidentally in crossfire. The LSF complied, and the film has been prevented from playing at the Jakarta International Film Festival, where it was scheduled to screen in the coming weeks.

The Jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club, however, defied the ban, and the film screened this past Thursday night. "You may think of this as our way of protesting the government ban," said Nezar Patria, the chair of the Alliance of Independent Journalists. "This is not a public screening, just for a group of people in a theatre with a limited number of seats. We think the movie is a valuable lesson."

There's been no fallout yet from the screening, but it's hardly over yet. Ezki Suyanto, a member of the AJI, announced that further screenings are planned, with the Alliance's twenty-six branches all given access to the film.

As banning a film has traditionally been the best way to ensure a lot of people will see it, I hope that Indonesia's banning is one hundred per cent effective.

NEWS

AICN-Downunder: your one-stop shop for HOBBIT casting news. There's nothing like breaking the (admittedly-unconfirmed) news about Brian Cox getting all dwarf-like to bring your old sources out of the woodwork. Another trusted anonymous name from way back -- who, I might add, had heard the Brian Cox rumours before I published them -- has another name to add to the pile: Tom Waits. As much as I'd like to say he's a lock, I'm told he's simply someone the production is talking about -- but they seem to be talking about him pretty seriously. But how inspired is this? So very left field, yet oddly perfect. And here I was thinking Cox was the coolest guy they could hand an axe to.

Given this info has been out for a while, this piece qualifies less as news and more as pub conversation. Brian Trenchard-Smith, the director who finally got the recognition he deserved after Quentin Tarantino outed himself as a big fan in his presence in Mark Hartley's NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD, is in the midst of a new film! Unless Screen Australia's website is out of date (and, to be honest, I already found one erroneous director attribution), he is currently in production on ARCTIC BLAST, about a massive ice fog that emerges from the South Pole and heads north, destroying everything in its path. Fuck 2012, right?

AWARDS, FESTIVALS AND SCREENINGS

2010 Sundance Film Festival

I haven't asked him about it or anything, but it's a safe bet that David Michod is having a pretty good week. His directorial debut ANIMAL KINGDOM, starring Guy Pearce, Luke Ford, Ben Mendelsohn and Joel Edgerton. Also accepted into the festival was HESHER, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Natalie Portman, which Michod co-wrote. Also accepted is New Zealand film BOY, Aussie 3D film CANE TOADS: THE CONQUEST, and musical comedy BRAN NUE DAE.

BOX OFFICE

A friend of mine works at an indie cinema in Melbourne, and tells me that before each screening of Duncan Jones's MOON, someone announces to the audience that what they're about to watch is not NEW MOON, just in case they've bought the wrong ticket. That's either the funniest or saddest story I've heard in months. I'm not sure yet.

Australia

1. THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON
2. 2012
3. CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS
4.
THE INVENTION OF LYING
5. A CHRISTMAS CAROL

New Zealand

1. THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON
2. 2012
3. CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS
4. THE INVENTION OF LYING
5. THIS IS IT

RELEASED THIS PAST WEEK

Kirsten Stewart joins Team Aaron Stanford, Steven Soderbergh re-coolifies Scott Bakula, the "IN" is accidentally dropped from the middle of the title, it's the remake everybody wanted, I dream longingly of a time before I sat through this, the wait was so very worth it, and Jesse Eisenberg reaches the middle stage of his Land Suffix Trilogy.

THE CAKE EATERS (NZ)
THE INFORMANT! (AUS/NZ)
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY (AUS)
THE STEPFATHER (NZ)
THE TIME-TRAVELER'S WIFE (NZ)
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE (AUS/NZ)
ZOMBIELAND (AUS/NZ)

REVIEWS

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY

Australian release: December 3 // NZ release: January 7

What am I, like the last person to review this? Actually, this is a review that sort-of hinges on coming in on the tail-end of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY's hysteria. I've heard all about how it's the most profitable film of all time, and how its success can be attributed to a grass-roots movement that wasn't actually a grass-roots movement at all, and everyone's saying it's the scariest film of all time... but it's refreshing to peel all of that away and uncover the most overhyped film of 2009.

Before I get accused of being influenced by all the hype surrounding the film, let me say this: yes. I am influenced by all the hype surrounding the film. It would be idiotic to suggest otherwise. But as nearly everyone in Australia has also been influenced by that hype, this isn't the most disingenuous way to approach it.

The reputation of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT has dropped pretty steadily over the last few years, due to a lot of factors: the comically unwatchable sequel, the fact that the directors of the original failed to make good on the promise many saw, and the fact that once you know the ending, the impact of the whole film sort of dissipates retroactively. Also, a lot of people genuinely didn't like the film, so there's that as well. But if you look at the BLAIR WITCH in the context of its time, it was something pretty remarkable. The general public wasn't used to seeing mockumentary horrors, as the style of the time favoured the self-aware SCREAM and its stylistic copycats. BLAIR WITCH was a shock to the system, and despite the respectful debt it owed its predecessors (notably CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST), it was something new.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY is nothing new. In fact, there is not one moment or scare that doesn't feel incredibly familiar, and I'm hardly the world's biggest horror buff. To the film's credit, it executes these moments quite well, even though I didn't jump once, and, historically, I'm a great big scaredy-cat.

The film's problems outweigh its well-performed moments. For a start, the two leads are wholly unlikable. They pretty much take turns in playing skeptic/believer. In one moment, the guy has captured proof on his camera and thinks he can trap this ghost thing that's haunting them, but the girl isn't interested and just wants to work on her English essay. In the next moment, the girl is begging the help of a psychic whilst the guy quietly mocks him for reasons that are never made clear. The reason, incidentally, is because characters need conflict, and if you can't create it organically, it's much easier to have characters betray everything they were doing in the previous scene. If you've ever seen teenagers try to improvise serious scenes, you'll have seen one of them yell out "Fuck!" at a random moment, mostly because he doesn't know what else to do; the hope is that this sudden exclamation will imply that tension has actually been building all this time. This amateurish trick is actually used here. I almost burst out laughing.

Aside from their complete lack of empathy, the other problem with them is the fact that they are young, rich, white, good-looking twenty-somethings. Ah ha, that's right, I'm pulling out The CLOVERFIELD Maneuver! That seemingly-nonsensical argument that films like these are somehow less believable because the main characters are pretty and rich. Well, it's actually not a nonsensical argument. Both CLOVERFIELD and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY are trying to convince us, through the use of "found footage", that what we're watching is real. The cast immediately undercuts this, as they look exactly like the pretty teen casts we see in every single other non-mockumentary horror film! I get why your typical slasher films do this: you need pretty faces for a poster. But if mockumentaries really want to convince us that what we're watching is real -- and, let's be honest, that's half the point of the mockumentary -- then they should try showing us a broader cross-section of the community. How about an ethnic minority? How about overweight people? How about the elderly? How about -- and I know I'm stretching here -- the ugly? When films like CLOVERFIELD and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY essentially transport the casts of "The OC" and "Glee" ("Glee" is a thing, right?), it instantly destroys its key advantages.

Annoying and inconsistent though they are, the characters are tolerable. What's more annoying is the repetitiveness of the format. They go to bed. Scary shit happens. Repeat ad nauseam. Again, the things that actually happen are done well, but there's no variation. No real alteration to the format. It's one note hit over and over again, and whilst I love the score to EYES WIDE SHOT, repetitive notes do not for an interesting film make.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY is not a terrible film, and it certainly didn't irritate me as much as the mockumentary horror HOME MOVIE did earlier this year. But its reputation is doing it no favours. It's not the scariest film of the year (for my money: DRAG ME TO HELL). Hell, it's not even the scariest mockumentary film of the year (can you imagine what would have happened if the far-superior LAKE MUNGO had received this sort of studio distribution?). It's a mildly unoriginal, curiously un-frightening horror film that will pass the time well for teens who haven't seen a horror film that doesn't have "SAW" in the title. The rest of us, however, should know better.

UP IN THE AIR

Australian release: January 7 // New Zealand release: January 14

The number of ways in which Brett Ratner's FAMILY MAN fails could fill a phone book several times over, but the key one for me was always the depiction of Nicolas Cage's lifestyle. (Spoilers will follow, but let's be honest: the only way you could truly be spoiled is if you actually watched the film.) When the film starts, Nic Cage is single, rich, family-less, and very happy. When the anti-IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE transition occurs and he suddenly finds himself with a family, he becomes miserable. Naturally, the film ends with Cage trying to get back to this family life he clearly found less fulfilling than his rich prick life. What's the message? Forget what works best for you: the nuclear family is still the norm, and if you don't want that, you're wrong.

UP IN THE AIR starts with a similar premise: George Clooney's character loves his jetsetting, single lifestyle, and wouldn't give it up for anything. Does he grow? Does he change? Will his beliefs be turned on their head? If you don't know the answer to that, you've probably never seen a movie before. The good news is that UP IN THE AIR handles this question with a lot more grace than FAMILY MAN did, refusing to indict or judge the man's life whilst still pointing out its low points. It doesn't stop there, though: the supposed acceptable norm of what happiness is also gets a subtle ringing, suggesting that nobody really has it right.

It's a message I have a lot of time for, especially as it will likely subvert the expectations that films of this ilk usually arouse. Nobody's going to come out of this film depressed, but nor will they be handed the pat, satisfactory ending that they're hoping for. It seems to be the modus operandi of Jason Reitman; his films look like they're heading towards something predictable and soul-placating, but veer off slightly to a place of mild ambiguity.

George Clooney makes great use of his baggage (unintentional pun, sorry about that), showing up the sadness that comes with being a middle-aged playboy, as well as the obvious benefits. His charms and style look quite different when reflected upon people who aren't operating in a world of charm (his small-town sisters, for example, seem immune and exhausted by this side of him). The film takes advantage of Clooney's style whilst simultaneously shining a light on it.

The supporting cast is one of the best things about the film. Vera Farmiga almost steals the film from under Clooney, with one of the most charismatic performances of the year. Anna Kendrick, Jason Bateman, Melanie Lynskey, and, well, everyone who turns up does solid, superb work. I have remained completely dumbfounded by the popularity of Danny McBride in the past, but he's really good here, showing that (for my money) he might be best served with understated drama than broad comedy.

If you're keeping score, Jason Reitman is now three-for-three; although I prefer THANK YOU FOR SMOKING and JUNO, UP IN THE AIR is a more-than-respectable entry in the man's filmography. The film still lacks that important x-factor that would turn it into a work of greatness, but it sits comfortably as being very, very good.

NEXT WEEK

- THE KARATE KID gets yet another remake, with Steven Segal playing mentor to Kodi Smit-McPhee in THE SHOOTING PEOPLE A LOT KID

- Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock will play Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun (respectively) in new Third Reich/pregnancy comedy NEIN MONTHS

- Steven Spielberg promises the next JURASSIC PARK sequel will be a lot cheaper, as Martin Lawrence dons a fat suit for BIG MAMMAL'S HOUSE

Peace out,

Latauro
AICNDownunder@hotmail.com



Twitter me on Follow!



Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Dec. 4, 2009, 7:45 a.m. CST

    first

    by bobaswart

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 7:45 a.m. CST

    first

    by bobaswart

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 7:46 a.m. CST

    second

    by bobaswart

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 7:46 a.m. CST

    second

    by bobaswart

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 7:48 a.m. CST

    Tom Smaug Waits?!!!!!!!

    by pipergates

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 7:51 a.m. CST

    Tom Waits . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    . . . would be GREAT voice casting for Smaug!

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 7:53 a.m. CST

    FIRST

    by Reverend_Werewolf

    .... suck it. Ha ha. Suckers.

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 7:53 a.m. CST

    fifth?

    by Warcraft

    let's start a another twilight thread.

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 7:54 a.m. CST

    new moon was awesome.

    by Warcraft

    fuck the haters.

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 7:54 a.m. CST

    Drag me to Hell better than Paranormal Activity???

    by Seth Brundle

    DMTH was the least scary movie ive seen in a long time, IT WAS A FUCKIN COMEDY FOR FUCK'S SAKE!!!!!

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 8:17 a.m. CST

    Tom Waits?

    by Skyway Moaters

    For what role? The voice of "Smaug" could turn out to be an inspired choice. But other than that, I can't think of another role where he wouldn't be a distraction. Any ideas anyone? Balin? The Gaffer? Someone in "the bridge movie"? Bombadil?!

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 8:17 a.m. CST

    Tom Waits?

    by Skyway Moaters

    For what role? The voice of "Smaug" could turn out to be an inspired choice. But other than that, I can't think of another role where he wouldn't be a distraction. Any ideas anyone? Balin? The Gaffer? Someone in "the bridge movie"? Bombadil?!

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 8:19 a.m. CST

    Sorry for the double..

    by Skyway Moaters

    @*$#!& smartphone...

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 8:48 a.m. CST

    Tom's waiting for what?

    by RICHARD_GERE_RAPED_MY_GERBIL

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 8:55 a.m. CST

    ANTarctic Blast, surely?

    by johnnylawless2

    or maybe it is deliberately dumb as shit, I need more info.

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 9:25 a.m. CST

    Paranormal Activity

    by Geomancer21

    "In one moment, the guy has captured proof on his camera and thinks he can trap this ghost thing that's haunting them, but the girl isn't interested and just wants to work on her English essay. In the next moment, the girl is begging the help of a psychic whilst the guy quietly mocks him for reasons that are never made clear."<BR><BR>Umm.... The thing with the psychic (and the essay) happened before he caught anything. At that point in the film all that happened was they heard a few sounds (And she had yet to tell him about her past with the ghost, or at least in any real detail). He was skeptical, he didn't believe it. so ofcourse he would mock the guy. Nothing happened until like 30 minutes into it when the door moved. The first night shot nothing happened at all.<BR><BR>"What's more annoying is the repetitiveness of the format. They go to bed. Scary shit happens. Repeat ad nauseam. Again, the things that actually happen are done well, but there's no variation."<BR><BR>There is variation. its not the same shit each time. and there is build up. things get progressively worse with each night shot that happens. And it adds tension. Because of the repetition you know that once they go to that static shot something is gonna happen. You just don't know what. It puts you on edge, it trains you to be aware. you start looking around and trying to spot things. plus, its the premise, its the point. the guy is setting up the camera at night to capture activity.<BR><BR>As for the pretty teens comment, well, thats subjective. The girl in particular was cute, but not exactly someone you'd think of in a 90210 type deal.

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 10:18 a.m. CST

    paranormal activity review

    by heartsandminds

    Gotta agree with Geomancer21; awful review of Paranormal Activity. Your arguements have absolutely no sustance; have you even watched the film? I liked it; did not love it, but i think you need to watch it before leaving an awful review like that. Slightly pathetic?

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 10:33 a.m. CST

    It's gotta be Smaug's voice.

    by Nice Marmot

    Can't think of any other character Waits could actually play. The Goblin leader maybe?

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 10:39 a.m. CST

    Tom Waits as Smaug would be fucking awesome

    by IAmLegolas

    But more likely they are looking at him for one of the Dwarves. Shit they should have him do the End Credits song, "The greatest adventure... is what lies ahead...."

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Arctic Blast ???

    by ChocolateJesusMan

    who new the end of humanity would be brought about by a taco bell drink

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 11:18 a.m. CST

    re: ANTARCTIC BLAST

    by Ray Gamma

    yes, i was going to make that same point; perhaps the filmmakers need to do another whole 5 minutes of research before the cameras roll.

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 11:25 a.m. CST

    Well the Aussies get it...

    by Sin_Happens

    Paranormal was a huge piece of jizz covered, corn filled baby shit.

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Dwarves that sing...

    by boogel

    I'm reading the hobbit to my daughter right now. I had forgotten how much the dwarves sing in the book. Casting someone like Waits might be absolutely necessary if they plan on keeping that part of the story in the movie.

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 11:43 a.m. CST

    Boogel

    by Sin_Happens

    Seeing how PJ didn't do it with Gimli, I wouldn't expect them to do it a whole lot (maybe 1 song in the whole movie) with the dwarves in Hobbit.

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 12:17 p.m. CST

    TOM WAITS AS BILBO

    by Mullah Omar

    Smaug makes a lot of sense. Waits' voice is not completely of this earth.

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Brian Blessed MUST be a Dwarf

    by pumaman

    He just has to be.

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 12:28 p.m. CST

    It's probably Thomas Waites...

    by Stegman84

    ...who spends most of his time as a stage and broadway actor, but who was notably in The Warriors as Fox, and John Carpenter's The Thing as Windows back in the day, and a bit more recently was in Oz as Harry Stanton (named in honor of a certain awesome cult actor).

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 12:30 p.m. CST

    Then again...

    by Stegman84

    Tom Waits acts too, well, he usually plays a version of Tom Waits, but that's not the point, so I guess it could concievably go either way.

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 12:58 p.m. CST

    Sin Happens...maybe it is DT's lil' tweak

    by THEoverfiend

    maybe something to help differentiate from PJ's ? just a thought. Tom Waits as a singing dwarf would be just about the coolest way to pull that off

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 1 p.m. CST

    So what would be better ? Smaug

    by THEoverfiend

    or a main character dwarf ? Been days since i have read but are there several substantial dwarf parts?

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Paranormal Activity

    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    Couldn't agree more. Of course there are some here that are crying into their silk hankerchiefs at the idea that PA wasn't bone-chillingly scary.

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 2:18 p.m. CST

    I wonder if Australia's just getting techno?

    by lockesbrokenleg

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 2:22 p.m. CST

    Is anyone else...

    by arizonahotrock

    ...as disappointed as I am that there is no "The Shooting People A Lot Kid" movie. That sounds f'n awesome.

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 3:29 p.m. CST

    You cant really argue that Paranormal

    by ufoclub1977

    is not scary in a general statement since I witnessed two screenings that left the packed-to the-limit audience whimpering with fear at the key moments, and leaving the theatre all smiles and perfectly scared and entertained. You could argue that you specifically didn't get into it and were not scared.

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 3:48 p.m. CST

    I wonder why these savvy PA teens

    by lockesbrokenleg

    didn't leave the house the next day and take their fucking footage to Fox News like everyone else would have?

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 5:20 p.m. CST

    I usually

    by KnoxHarringtonsCleftAsshole

    write off Latauros column as the ramblings of a douche, but his Paranormal Activity review is spot on, except for the bit about the couple being good looking. Sure, she had some heavy bangin' tits, but they woulda been saggers, plus she also had chunky thighs and an annoying voice. And she had baggage, man. I dunno about you, but i would've dumped the bitch as soon as our 6am morning glory sessions were preceded by visits from a demon force. I'm pretty fussy man, and i've dumped chicks for the way they eat potato chips, let alone some chick who's haunted by a demon that fucks with my chandelier in the middle of the night.

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 5:44 p.m. CST

    Ha-ha, Tom Waits...

    by morGoth

    ...will be the lead twinkle fairie. Y'know, the ones who're singing and flitting around in the pine trees as Bilbo and Dwarves arrive at Rivendell. He'll be Elrond's speeshul twinkly elf friend...on a string, of course.<p>Actually, the voice of Smaug would fit nicely or even the Great Goblin if he's to have a speaking role. Wait...Beorn maybe? He does sort of growl when he talks and sings.

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 5:59 p.m. CST

    I absolutely love Tom Waits music

    by brobdingnag

    but he shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the Hobbit. I would rather watch another shitty, wooden performance by Viggo Mortensen than put up with inside joke casting like that.

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 6:12 p.m. CST

    "'Glee' is a thing, right?"

    by holden_oz

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAAA!!!<P> Love it.

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 6:15 p.m. CST

    Also...

    by holden_oz

    ...agree about Lake Mungo... if only it had... well, ANY publicity.

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 6:48 p.m. CST

    I can argue...

    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    That the only people scared by Paranormal Activity were tween girls and fags......because it's true.

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 7:22 p.m. CST

    kudos Latauros

    by mr. smith

    fine entry. maybe i want to see up in the air after all.

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 7:54 p.m. CST

    I want James Cosmo, Hamish's dad from BRAVEHEART...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...as one of the Dwarves.<P>Spread the word.

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 8:06 p.m. CST

    ...in fact he should have been Gimli.

    by FlickaPoo

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 11:18 p.m. CST

    Whothe fuck is Tom Waits?

    by lockesbrokenleg

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 11:37 p.m. CST

    Lat & co. Paranormal Activity was 'scary' in the same way as

    by white_vader

    you don't call classic/oldschool horror scary, you call it creepy. And fun. <p> I admit that I saw this reasonably fresh at the Sydney Film Festival earlier on the year, and the only hype that motivated me to see it was what I read on AICN (not DU) about it languishing for a couple of years and the studios being too gutless to release it. So my only baggage going in was mild curiosity about it's history. And that my mate's first doco played directly before it. <p> Sure I think it's hard to extricate the expectation and hype from the thing itself, but Lat if that girl was so OC or whatever she'd be 40 pounds lighter for one, so relative to the starving starlet world of Hollywood your 'fat people' mocking doesn't really hold water (big girly injoke there from me), and you must admit that the surprising 'racial minority' option wasn't really thought through. It's probably the only thing more kneejerk and unthinkingly offensive than going with rich white people! Anyway not to get on your back too much because mostly I'm in agreement with all your stuff. I just think you viewed this with post-coloured glasses to the point where the review is sort of redundant. <p> And I actually liked the character of the guy BECAUSE he was a believable dick. It seemed pretty straightforward to me that he was being dickishly territorial and your average bonehead guy being threatened and taking offence at someone else coming into his home thinking they knew better and having a little tanty that his girl didn't believe in him unquestioningly.We all know that guy! And being the dick we all know (and some of us are) that breaks out the electronics to show off his knowledge and how impressive he is. Finally, not even a nod to the fantastic plot mechanic of it NOT being a Poltergeist but being attached to her so that no, they can't just get the fuck out of there as so many have whinged. The film may not be greater than the sum of it's parts, but that was a pretty good one. So Lat, we disagree. <p> Mostly though what annoys me is everyone in the TBs ragging on the FILM ITSELF for not being the scariest movie ever made. It's pretty plain to see that's the MARKETING CAMPAIGN's fault, not the film. The film is completely in the tradition of 50s horror, but also uses the old Texas Chainsaw 'real story' starter. However I don't recall it ever stating within the film itself "this is the scariest movie evarrr". <p> And you know, I can't even fault the marketing too much. They had a film that had sat on the shelf for a couple of years. A studio with no confidence in it. So they first of all put all the responsibility onto the punters themselves (we'll release it wide if YOU DEMAND IT!). Then they kicked in the SCARIEST MOVIE EVARRR!!! shtick, which come on, is the most base, transparent, and strangely ironic/appropriately WIlliam Castle-esque tactic known to Hollywood to generate sales/hype. And it worked! <p> And most of you straight BELIEVED the marketeers were serious about that shit, and confused it with the filmmakers/film itself! An outrageous tagline on a bloody poster! Yet everyone seems to be aware when they post some obscure rave from a two bit journo that something's dodgy. Why this one actually was given credence to the point where nearly everyone here is pissed that the film didn't deliver on something patently over-the-top and ridiculous that they (the filmmakers) had no idea about (having made it years before), is so ludicrous I don't understand why no-one seems to see the joke of it all. Talk about being a victim of your own (despite the odds) success!

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 11:46 p.m. CST

    Hey Lockes,

    by white_vader

    I know you're joking around because while you may not know the release dates for movies are sorta fucked up down here, you must know that we got techno and grunge 10 years before America (even if techno technically started in Detroit) and punk a good 20 years earlier than most of the US! Oz is more English in that way than America. The revisionist history that goes on in American film these days trying to convince us that the filmmakers were much more hip and listened to the Pommie stuff in the early 80s rather than the American is pretty funny to me. Trying to make disingenuous films about being cool by being uncool, whatever... <p> Like I say I know you're just messing around but jeez man!

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 11:49 p.m. CST

    Why can't Waits be BOTH?

    by white_vader

    Considering Gimli and Treebeard were the same fella... <p> Right. really should do some work...

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 11:50 p.m. CST

    Oh and Brendon Gleeson for another Dwarf

    by white_vader

    Back to work. I mean it this time!

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 1:12 a.m. CST

    Lol, I get called out for everything on here. It never fails

    by lockesbrokenleg

    Jeez, get a sense of humor, already.

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 7:22 a.m. CST

    Wow, so now there are three...

    by morGoth

    ...people on the planet who thought Viggo gave a bad performance in LotR. Let's see, there's the Maytag repairman...

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 8:18 a.m. CST

    locke, I was wondering why he didn't post to YouTube.

    by Geomancer21

    meh, I agree with white_vader. Though I think it can be agreed what they did wouldn't have been as bad as if they had gone full Blair Witch and tried to pass it off as being real.

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 9:17 a.m. CST

    You're a moron.

    by Keitj

    The chick was chunky you stupid fuck.

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 10:41 a.m. CST

    brian blessed, brian cox, brendon gleeson, ray winstone

    by Warcraft

    should all be cast as dwarves!

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 1:33 p.m. CST

    Our friend Latauro is too harsh on Paranormal Activity

    by AsimovLives

    Not being subjected to the movie's hype, i watched the mvoie without much pre-conceived notions. But evne in the context of the hype, Latauro is too harsh on the movie. As for his complains about "anoying pretty people in horror movies" as protagonists, i have to say that in the pretty scale, the protagonists are not that high up. sorry for them, and while they are better looking then most people, thay are hardly the model type that we saw in cloverfield, for instance. They are believable, ordinary everyday pretty people. In fact, just in a 400metters radius, there lives people, specially women who are far, far more pretty then the movie's female protagonist. As for them being unlikable, well, no more then the average joe is.<br><br>Latauro's treatment of the movie is unexpectably harsh. I ssupect he's reacting more agaisnt the hype then the movie proper, and he's just wanting to find any reason to go for it. and i sympathise with that, because truly hype is destryong movies this days. Seems this days Hollywood can only advertize movies through hype and nothing else. And unfortunatly, everybody, inclusing AICN, are too conivent to this wrongness.

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 3:01 p.m. CST

    Brian Cox as Thorin

    by mortsleam

    Is brilliant actually.

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 3:47 p.m. CST

    Geomancer21

    by lockesbrokenleg

    I'd like to see a ghost story movie, where the guy catches a ghost, and then posts his story on the net, but the net people think he's nuts, so he sets up a webcam in is room, and we see more shit happen. I think that's a cool idea.

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 4:36 p.m. CST

    In what world are the PA stars that attractive?

    by liesandpicturesofalsolies

    Oh yeah, Australia, lol. Seriously, though, I didn't really understand that PA review.

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 4:48 p.m. CST

    I have barely been subjected to any hype.

    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    <p>I don't watch TV, well barely any TV. What I do watch is DVR'ed so I fast-forward commercials anyway.</p><p>The only thing I knew about Paranormal Activity before I saw it was that it was making money and it was fairly well reviewed, but I didn't even know the particulars.</p><p> My "What a total Piece of shit only an 8 year old girl would think was remotely scary" doesn't really have anything to do with whatever marketing campaign the movie received because I didn't see any of it. It's based solely on the FACT that it's a stupid POS movie that not only doesn't make a lick of sense, but doesn't even achieve what every horror movie is supposed to be striving for, a couple of scares. I LAUGHED at this piece of garbage and find it amazing that everyone else didn't do the same. That's why I say anyone scared by this film must piss their pants when someone says "BOO!" to them because this film isn't much more than that.

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 5:09 p.m. CST

    Latauro is RIGHT one one hand and an IDIOT on the other

    by DVader

    Paranormal Activity sucks- yes it does. But to call those two leads pretty faces straight off a CW soap? That's just wrong and dumb. Neither of them have the looks needed to be on a show like that. This is where the movie actually succeeds- they DO look normal. The girl is kind of chunky, Lat.

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 5:49 p.m. CST

    Chunky?!

    by Wookie_Weed

    If Katie Featherstone weighed any less, she'd be Posh Spice.

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 6:06 p.m. CST

    Compared to CW actresses, YES, chunky

    by DVader

    Close to Posh Spice? You need your eyesight checked.

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 6:06 p.m. CST

    Her boobs alone weigh more than Posh Spice.

    by DVader

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 7:23 p.m. CST

    Locke's

    by white_vader

    Erm, I did say I knew you were kidding around... and remember I gave you your due back when you lightened up and stopped ripping the throat out of absolutely everything on these TBs. I just couldn't let the techno thing go without some truth for those who've been brainwashed (or are just too young) into thinking techno grunge and punk were 90s things in America. Mr Rollins would be annoyed too. So we're cool dude.

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 7:28 p.m. CST

    Oh and Locke's

    by white_vader

    Your name is a Lost thing, right? I missed that show at the start and never got around to it. Still haven't seen Sopranos (God I hope they actually pronounce it properly in the show itself - aren't they supposed to be Italian?) or Galactica either. I'm very behind on my telly...

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 7:29 p.m. CST

    Haven't seen Sopranos either, but Half Vader...

    by DVader

    I mean, White Vader, head over to Hulu and educate yourself on LOST. The entire series, except for S5 (only the second half is up there I think) is on Hulu. My brother and college roommate both watched the show there and are now hooked and ready for the final season when it starts in Feb. <p> Get to it fellow Sith!

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 7:32 p.m. CST

    Hesidic Dwarves

    by boogel

    All this talk about casting dwarves got me thinking. For some reason (I'm guessing it's because they are jewelers) I've always imagined the dwarves as short axe wielding hesidic jews. So I think PJ should cast them that way. As if he were filming a really violent Fiddler on the Roof.

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 7:46 p.m. CST

    ...boogel...I'm lauging...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...I myself have been declared an honorary Jew for reasons I won't bore you with here...I never thought about the gold and jewels angle.<P>I'm still laughing...

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 7:53 p.m. CST

    ...from now on whenever a Tolkien Dwarf sings while...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...working or in battle it's always going to be..."if I were a rich Dwarf...duby duby duby duby duby duby duby du!"<P>Shit.

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 8:01 p.m. CST

    DVader!

    by white_vader

    Thanks man, but I've been wanting to get to it for a while, and have actually bought the first 3 seasons cheap on Blu-ray, so I'm ready for an unrelenting extravaganza! I've got Sopranos S1, Conchords S2 and BSG sitting here mocking me too! It's not for want of enthusiasm, just 3 kids and lack of sittin' around time! Shit, there's the whole run of The Wire to think about too!

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 8:07 p.m. CST

    Tom Waits as Smaug would be the SHIT...

    by ScaryWaitress

    ...and that comes from someone who is in the decidedly-not-a-fan camp. I get how he's unique and interesting and all, but a lot of his stuff is a bit precious for me... all that aside though, his voice is singular. That would be amazing. <P> He won't do it, of course.

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 9:54 p.m. CST

    The Hobbit could almost be a musical.

    by lockesbrokenleg

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 10:07 p.m. CST

    If Tom Waits and Ron Perlman are in the same movie

    by oisin5199

    I think my head will explode.

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 10:38 p.m. CST

    oisin5199

    by lockesbrokenleg

    Could the screen handle that much crap acting?

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 11:09 p.m. CST

    ...oisin5199, good point....

    by FlickaPoo

    ...it's like crossing the streams, or going back in time and having sex with yourself...the space/time fabric of the universe can't take it...

  • Dec. 6, 2009, 12:43 a.m. CST

    ScaryWaitress..i like your take on T.Waits

    by THEoverfiend

    what kinda music do you tend to listen to the most? sounds like you may have a great appreciation for all kinds.

  • Dec. 6, 2009, 2:27 a.m. CST

    Time Travel and Parkour

    by Asunder

    There's a new fruit being released to Australia this summer, Achacha, and there's a pretty sweet viral video promoting it involving time travel, parkour and crazy stunts, and Spanish Conquistadors - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbwDH70Mhok

  • Dec. 6, 2009, 6:42 a.m. CST

    Well howdy there mortsleam!

    by Skyway Moaters

    How's it hangin' Mr. walrus critter? Folks have been inquiring after you over t' "The Club". You ought to drop in to say hi sometime if you've mind. Same URL, but with a .org domain these days. <p> Namarie Mellon an' Trubba Not(!)

  • Dec. 6, 2009, 7:27 a.m. CST

    Tom Waits Is Actually Ron Perlman Without Steroids....

    by PoppaRotzi

    ....it's true, I tell ya!

  • Dec. 6, 2009, 7:39 a.m. CST

    Tom Waits for the voice of the one

    by Dingbatty

    of the wargs, or an orc.

  • Dec. 6, 2009, 9:08 a.m. CST

    Tom Waits, Ron Perlman. There's only one missing

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    Gary Busey!

  • Dec. 6, 2009, 9:18 a.m. CST

    THEoverfiend...

    by ScaryWaitress

    I honestly listen to all kinds of music. At home, in the background, I usually have classical playing... sometimes bebop, or New Orleans jazz... but then, in the car, I'll listen to all kinds of stuff, Silversun Pickups are a current fave; also liking the Kings of Leon CD, Passion Pit, Grizzly Bear, Feist, the TinTins, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs... a lot of the time I just leave my radio on the indie-music station. I have also, on occasion, been caught actually enjoying a Britney Spears song... I admit it... but then, I'm not a snob. <P> I think that's one of the things that bugs me about Tom Waits fans, a lot of them are total snobs. I work in the wine business, so my snob radar is pretty sensitive... it's a pet peeve.

  • Dec. 6, 2009, 12:11 p.m. CST

    Cool

    by Cobbio

    Thanks, Latauro! It's always great to hear what's brewing in Australian film circles. I hadn't heard about "Balibo," but I'm most assuredly going to see it now. Any film that gets banned for "political reasons" is a film I want to see and then tell my friends about. Unpopular viewpoints are glorious, often species-sustaining things that need to be expressed. Fuck censorship.<p> As for Tom Waits and Brian Cox as dwarves, hell yes! I like this casting. Both men have rugged, lived-in faces that should look great in dwarf armor. Hope it happens.<p> Next, maybe Del Toro will hire Keith Richards to play a dwarf? Ooh.<p> Lastly, might I just express that I hate the preamble "The Twilight Saga." The dictionary.com definition of saga: any narrative or legend of heroic exploits. "Twilight" contains no heroic exploits, just a bunch of male models glowering with B-movie wooden-ness. It's embarrassing, actually. And it's not a saga. It's douchebag fantasy.<p> Can't wait to start hearing news from "The Hobbit."

  • Dec. 6, 2009, 4:43 p.m. CST

    ah ScaryWaitress...little bit of irony there, huh?

    by THEoverfiend

    working in a business that just screams pretentiousness yet clearly being able to distance yourself from that air of..snobberey? snobbishness?? not sure what the hell it'd be called..thanks for some suggestions. i've dug a few of your posts so i'll give some of those bands a shot. if nothin' else my tastes could be called "varied"...Leonard Cohen is kinda in the same territory as Tom Waits is in my mind. i enjoy the fucked up lyrics and the music is usually good for quick doses of "somethin' different"...looking for something a little different try The Company Band...obviously try to find a sample so you don't waste good hard earned money on something you may not be into. kind of a heavy blues and good fun driving music. if you drive a lot in your job, something fun like Dread Zeppelin might be cool. Led Zeppelin Songs sung by Elvis impersonator with reggae vibe. with the bands you mentioned, look up an Oregon band called Floater. excellent music with the BEST lyric writing this side of The Doors. they travel through my hometown a lot so i have caught many shows. one of them featured Last Temptation of Christ playing on a white sheet during show. one cd samples that flick one samples some Apocalypse Now another Naked Lunch. music is very modern Floyd or even Door-ish.

  • Dec. 6, 2009, 10:09 p.m. CST

    Every movie, EVERY MOVIE, is "SHIT" on this "site".

    by A G

  • Dec. 7, 2009, 2:19 a.m. CST

    Paranormal

    by Kaitain

    The actions taken by the two characters were consistently absurd. (No interest in taking the ouija board footage to the media? Well, hey, how about leaving the house and taking shelter in a church? How about LOCKING THE FUCKING BEDROOM DOOR?) <p> BUT... <p> I thought that some of the scenes were just terrific, and lingered in my mind for many days afterwards. <p> Indeed, I was surprised to find that this was the first film I'd seen in 25 years that actually - literally - gave me nightmares. That alone is a pretty impressive achievement.

  • Dec. 7, 2009, 4:21 p.m. CST

    I saw Tom Waits in concert last year.

    by eric haislar

    It was infuckingcredible. The Man is a musical genius and a hell of a show man.