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Fright Night (2011)
A Fun and Retro teen flick.
The inevitability of comparisons with Hollands 1985 original juxtaposed with the current pandemic convulsion towards remakes put Fright Night at an immediate disadvantage. However a polished script coupled with a killer soundtrack and eccentric cast makes this a remake worth watching.
Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) is a dweeb riding his luck having scored the high school babe after ditching his geeky childhood friend "Evil" Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) of course his face clearing up helped. His stereotypical teenage Idaho is threatened, however, when Ed insists his roughish (supposed lotharios) new neighbour (Colin Farrell) is in fact a night-working, blood-sucking vampire. This teen paradise is set asunder only after Ed goes missing and Charley goes snooping. Discovering sinister footage of a wheel-burrow pushing itself along, in the twilight, on his friends computer Charley surrenders to the absurd truth. His neighbour is a vampire.
Here the action kicks off with a majestic start as Charley, hopelessly, seeks the help of famed Vegas illusionist and 'vampire slaying expert' Peter Vincent (David Tennant).This of course is before Jerry blows up his house, via a natural gas leak (he doesn't need an invitation if there's no house).
Fright Night soars and this is largely owed to Director Craig Gillespie and Script-writer Marti Noxon's loyalty to the franchises 80's origins. Noxons
script in particular expertly balances the dark humour, bloody plot, and teen angst trademark of such 80's classics as Heathers, and The Lost Boys. David Tennant and Colin Farrell give much needed gravitation to an otherwise weak young cast. Tennants elaborate costumes and appropriately camp performance further retains the nostalgic atmosphere around which the film is built. It is Farrells subtle performance as Charming, vicious vampire Jerry, however, that shines through the duration of the film. A stand-out moment being Jerry lingering on Charleys doorstop, nose twitching in anticipation as he cranes his neck inside, enticing Charley to invite him into
Fright Night is a cleverly crafted teen-movie and ironically a breath of fresh air after the exerting outpour of formulaic and underwhelming additions to the genre so far this year.
Excellent and thorough.
Martin Scorsese has put together a beautiful documentary tracing the life of the most underrated member of the Beatle's, George Harrison. With a run time of over three and half hours, Scorsese is able to explore the various layers that went towards forming Harrison's absolute identity. Through the use of personal letters, pictures, home-videos, and never-before-seen interviews, the viewer is given the rare opportunity of discovering Harrison beyond The Beatles.
The documentary is essentially divided into two parts, the first of which follows the formation and success of The Beatles. Whilst the second focuses on Harrisons spiritual journey to find meaning beyond the capitalist world he found himself trapped in.
Through the careful selection and juxtaposition of archival footage and documents, Scorsese emphasises the bittersweet realities of The Beatles rise to fame. Unfolding the story of four naïve British lads torn between childish excitement at their growing success, and apprehension towards the zealous fan-base it gained them. This clash of ideals is exemplified by Harrison in a letter to his parents: "Dear Mum and Dad The shows have been going great with everyone going potty everywhere we go we have about 20 police on motorbikes escorting us".
The fervent behaviour of the fans escalated to the point that all four Beatles decided it was best to avoid any public outings. Frustrated by the confinement fame had enforced on him, Harrison became disillusioned by the material world, and seemed to experience a displacement of the self. In an interview he stated: "you see yourself in the paper but don't actually realise it's you".
This displacement of identity led Harrison to pursue a spiritual path in the hopes of attaining the meaning of life through philosophy. Under Guru Ravi Shankar, Harrison learned to use Indian spiritual music to become one with a greater philosophical being. His friendship with Ravi also led Harrison to fund and organise the first ever benefit concert: The Concert for Bangladesh, which raised funds for refugees from East Pakistan following the 1970 Bhola Cyclone.
Scorsese also uses the documentary as a medium through which Harrisons song writing credentials can be measured against the Lennon/McCartney partnership. "George was a loner and had to work on his own" states George Martin (Producer of four of The Beatles original five albums).It was therefore inevitable that Harrison would get lost in the shadows of the superpower that was the Lenon/McCartney writing team. Scorsese traces the anatomy of Harrisons body of (solo) work, highlighting in particular their spiritual origins. Whilst Lennon/McCartney's work exemplified masterful popular music, Harrison's engaged with his spirituality, and search for meaning in life. Scorsese incorporation of Harrison's solo work in the documentary illustrates the importance it holds to understanding his psyche.
Scorsese's documentary excels in exposing hidden dimensions of Harrisons life and personality; from his love triangle with Pattie Boyd, and Eric Clapton, to his financial funding of Monty Python. Bringing together a multitude of Harrisons professional and personal acquaintances (including Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, Terry Gilliam, and Eric Idle), and artifacts from his personal archive, Scorsese creates a colourful mosaic capturing the diversity that constructed George Harrisons life, and personality.