I find that I have more films to review and discuss than I have time for. It’s a sad fact, but one that I don’t intend to perpetuate any more. In an attempt to be more transparent about the films I’ve seen and my opinions on them, I’ve decided to tackle all of the films that cross my path in a new segment called Film Shots. Named in honor of the alcoholic measurement that gets people shit-faced in an expedited manner, Film Shots will provide succinct accounts of films that I don’t feel compelled to write a detailed review about.So, let’s kick back some film.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (4/5)
Even though this horror film is a remake of a vaunted 70’s miniseries, it distinctively has the imagination and edge of Guillermo del Toro, its screenwriter and producer. Despite its graphic bloodshed, Don’t… is undoubtedly a throwback to the horror films that littered the 40’s. Featuring fantastic visuals and an arresting atmosphere that is built on disembodied whispers and a cool breeze, Don’t… is a film that induces more gasps than sighs. The core of the film’s success, aside from the moody atmosphere, resides in the unflinching performance of Bailee Madison. Most child actors don’t even come near the level of expressiveness and honest wonder that she possesses in this film. One caveat that Don’t… owns would be its underwritten ending and the hasty revelation of the monsters that haunt our protagonists. But even these miscalculations don’t put this film in the same category of the lifeless drivel that makes up most modern horror films. Don’t… is a worthwhile film if you’re in the mood for a horrific treat that manipulates the senses.
Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop (4/5)
After his much publicized ousting from the Tonight Show, Conan O’Brien was prohibited from appearing on TV for a collection of months. From this corporate imposed prison cell came a comedy tour and subsequently, the documentation of such a hounding road trip. Can’t Stop attempts to follow Conan, from valley to peak, as he aims to entertain his fans and regain some form of the comedic gusto he lost at the hands of NBC. Surprisingly, Can’t Stop provides us with an intimate look at Conan’s emotional state once his reign of Tonight Show host ended and his dedication to his fans. The latter is quite stirring as Conan faces a level of dissonance between entertaining his fans on stage and trying to mitigate the exhausting nature of meet and greets with them after his shows. Even though Can’t Stop misses an opportunity to showcase O’Brien’s show a bit more and explore his family in-depth (and how his public war of words with NBC affected them), it never fails to frame the laughs and applause that revitalized a sad clown.