Review of “The Babadook”

thebabadook

Most horror films today tend to rely on their own literality as the source of their horror. Slasher films like Halloween are good films in their own right, and they do have something to say beyond their main plot, but they always struck me as taking themselves too seriously when it came to the monster.

I didn’t know it, but I wanted something more; a monster that meant something. Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook gave me that something. What, at face value, seems like a simplistic storybook horror tale turns out to be an incredibly refreshing and elegant use of the horror genre to deal with deeply human issues.

SPOILERS AHEAD

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Dear Hollywood, Please Don’t “Cumberbatch” Chris Pratt

Everyone loves Chris Pratt. How could you not? You have to. I’m pretty sure it’s in the Constitution. He has brought a lovable energy to the character of Andy Dwyer on Parks & Recreation, and he blew away all expectations with his performance as Peter “Star Lord” Quill in last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Dude’s riding high, and he deserves it.

However. Now he’s ramping up his operation. He’s in the new Jurassic Park, which I found surprising. I mean, I was surprised at first. It took a whole 3 seconds before the cynical part of me thought, “well sure, Guardians just did really well.” He’s also signed on to a movie adaptation of Cowboy Ninja Viking. There is talk of him joining the cast of a new Magnificent Seven film. And now, and this is the kicker, Disney is eyeing Mr. Pratt for the lead role in an Indiana Jones reboot.

Chris Pratt Jurassic Park Reboot

Did you forget that Disney owns Lucasfilm now? We all did. We all want to forget.

Point is: as awesome as Chris Pratt is, he is now in danger of slowly becoming our Benedict Cumberbatch. (By the way, yeah, that’s a name you know. Think about that the next time you can’t remember why we fought the American Revolution.) You know, he’s the guy you were really impressed by three and a half years ago. It all started with Sherlock. And don’t get me started on Sherlock. Now he’s everywhere. Peter Jackson just paid him a jillion dollars to roll around on the floor in spandex pretending he was a dragon. Twice.

I don’t mean to decry Mr. Cumberbatch’s talents or abilities. I merely wish to use him as an example of an actor I used to like quite a bit, but have since grown tired of. Seeing his face and hearing his name now produce a repulsive effect in my brain. I don’t want that for Chris Pratt. I love Chris Pratt.

So please, Hollywood, take your eyes off of easy cash grabs for a moment…wait. That’s a lost cause.

Mr. Pratt! Chris! If you’re reading this, please PLEASE open your eyes. Don’t let them Cumberbatch you. Be picky with your projects. Don’t constantly stick with us like the gum we swallowed in high school. Grow with us over time. Age your talent and time in the spotlight well. Like a fine cheese. Or Meryl Streep.

That said, if anyone offered me the chance to be Indy, I’d take it in a heartbeat. So, what the hell! If you want it, go for it!

(Why am I still speaking to Chris Pratt? He’s not reading.)

(Also welcome back, readers! First post of the semester! If I seem rusty, it’s because I am.)

— Mike Egan, Film Blogger

Marvel’s Intense Future Planning

Me, being an excited child
Me, being an excited child

So I know this topic seems like a pretty surface-level thing to cover, which doesn’t really fit with the whole “Depth of Field” thing I’m going for here. And it would be! But I’m not just rehashing everything you’ve already read about Marvel’s latest timeline announcement, so just…rest assured, pal.

Okay. So Marvel.

If you haven’t heard about Marvel’s crazy five-year timeline of films announcement due to that coma you must have been in, here’s what’s up:

  • Captain America: Civil War (May 6, 2016)
  • Doctor Strange (Nov. 4, 2016)
  • Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 (May 5, 2017)
  • Thor: Ragnarok (July 28, 2017)
  • Black Panther (Nov. 3, 2017)
  • Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 (May, 2018)
  • Captain Marvel (July 6, 2018)
  • Inhumans (Nov. 2, 2018)
  • Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 (May 3, 2019)

Yeah. Kind of a lot to announce. And so far in advance!

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Documentaries are Not Boring, You Stop That.

Photo from static.videomaker.com
Photo from static.videomaker.com

You probably think documentaries are boring. Even if you actually really like documentaries, this understood fact of society is probably always in the back of your head. If you watch a documentary, you feel like a boring person. If you suggest a documentary to friends for movie night, they tell you to go back to the Library of Congress. But, I mean, who doesn’t want to hang at the Library of Congress?

Maybe these things aren’t true for you! Maybe you have super cool friends who don’t mock your taste in media. But the cultural representation of documentaries is that they are dry, dull, boring pieces of media made for old people who don’t know they’re boring.

These are dirty lies, and I want to talk about why.

This stigma operates primarily on the assumption that facts are boring, that history is boring. Which is ridiculous. Improbably fascinating things happen everyday, and we love to hear about them. But a documentary is about more than presenting facts and history. A documentary is still a film, after all, and therefore a piece of art. A documentary takes facts and history and creates art. A film has the incredible privilege of being able to tell a story at the precise pace that an artist wants, revealing new information only when the artist feels it creates the most meaning for the audience, and for the film as a whole.

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