For movie watchers, few things can be more frustrating than films that begin with a sequence of immense promise, only to show over the remainder that the emperor truly wears no clothes. Two new examples come from the horror realm.
Until now, Ethan Hawke was having a wonderful year. Before Midnight, the third leg of his trilogy with director Richard Linklater and actress Julie Delpy, brought waves of critical acclaim and talk of another Oscar nomination for their collaborative screenplay, while The Purge turned a meager investment into a highly profitable box-office take.
Neither a chain of spice stores nor a Food Network program, The Seasoning House is a bleak-as-nuclear-winter thriller set during the Balkan conflict of the 1990s. A deaf girl named Angel (Brit teen Rosie Day) is taken from her home by soldiers who shoot her mother dead.
Paul Schrader’s The Canyons opens and closes with a montage of abandoned movie theaters. For this film in particular, that choice strikes one as symbolic in several ways: not only as a comment on the state of the industry, but on the state of The Canyons itself. You’re unlikely to find many 2013 films this empty.
What's a director of classic musicals doing in science fiction? Making Saturn 3, one of the worst of the genre Hollywood made in the immediate post-Star Wars / Alien era. Stanley Donen (Singin' in the Rain) takes to it about as well as you'd expect; he's in over his head.
As part of its “King Week” activities in observance of Monday’s national Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, the University of Central Oklahoma has a unique screening planned: an episode of the Adult Swim animated series “The Boondocks.”
Based on the daily comic strip by Aaron McGruder, “The Boondocks” has proven both popular and highly controversial since beginning its run on Cartoon Network’s late-night block in 2005.
At 1:30 p.m. Jan. 19, you can see why. The first-season episode “Return of the King” will be shown in Room 300 of the Nigh University Center. Originally aired on King’s 77th birthday, the ep won a Peabody Award in 2006, but not without some serious feather-ruffling.
“Return” imagines that King wasn’t felled by his assassin’s bullet. Instead, he plunges into a three-decade coma, only to awaken to find he doesn’t like the African-American leaders who have emerged in his absence: “Is this it? This is what I got all those ass-whoopings for? ... I've seen what's over the horizon, and I promise you, you niggas have nothing to celebrate! And no, I won't get there with you.”
No stranger to complaining to the press, an offended Rev. Al Sharpton demanded an apology and that the episode be pulled. Instead, the network issued a statement that read in part, “We think Aaron McGruder came up with a thought-provoking way of not only showing Dr. King's bravery, but also of reminding us of what he stood and fought for.”
A discussion will following the screening, which is free and open to the public. For more information, call 974-3588. —Rod Lott