It’s two steps forward and one step back for the custodians of the Marvel Universe. If THE AVENGERS took a rudimentary storyline — bad guy wants to rule the universe — and created something fleet, exciting, and witty, THOR: THE DARK WORLD takes the same outline — with Chris Hemsworth as the hammer swinging god going up against a universe-destroying Christopher Eccleston – and pretty much stops there. With some nice production design, good special effects, and Tom Hiddleston once again giving the proceedings a much-needed shot in the arm as the sardonic Loki, the film is a serviceable example of the superhero movie, but not much more.
Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French and Dan Persons sit down to discuss the film, spotlighting the stuff that makes it stand out, for good or ill. Then, Dan gives his capsule thoughts on the Lynchian, dark coming-of-age fantasy, ANIMALS, and Steve talks about the career-spanning documentary, RAY HARRYHAUSEN: SPECIAL EFFECTS TITAN. Plus: What’s coming to theaters this weekend.
[REC] 3: GENESIS, the third installment of the Spanish zombie franchise, distinguishes itself in several ways: It’s the first to move the location away from the building of the first two films, cleverly choosing a wedding reception as the site for its carnage; the narrative takes a decisively more humorous tone; and the director, Paco Plaza, has decided after the opening few minutes to abandon the found-footage format that was the primary calling-card for the series. It also distinguishes itself by being close to indistinguishable, an enjoyable-but-not-particularly-groundbreaking exercise in walking dead chills for fans of the genre. Which leads to a bit of a problem for the Cinefantastique Online crew, whose mandate to analyze what makes a film unique gets sorely tested.
So after Steve Biodrowski and Dan Persons make quick work of [REC] 3, Dan weighs in on the definitely unique indie found-footage horror film, V/H/S, and Lawrence French gives his opinion of the upcoming documentary, RAY HARRYHAUSEN: SPECIAL EFFECTS TITAN. Plus: What’s coming to theaters and Southern California Halloween haunts.