by Belinda Cai
at 12:02 PM | Permalink
It is impossible for fans of
the classic horror film Carrie, such as myself, to not compare Kimberly Peirce’s new remake to its 1976 predecessor.Brian De Palma made the
original Carrie into a timeless,
blood-filled revenge fantasy with his fresh and inspired take on the
best-selling Stephen King novel. It is an iconic movie that explores the perils
of religious fanaticism, the wonder of supernatural powers and the pain of high
school cruelty. The original Carrie
is just as heartbreaking as it is it horrifying, garnering the audience’s
sympathy for the mistreated protagonist. Sissy Spacek made a damn good Carrie
with her natural gaucheness and always frightened, wide-eyed gaze.
Chloe Grace Moretz, on the
other hand, is — let’s face it — too cute and self-assured to be anywhere near
convincing as the new Carrie. While talented, she lacks the believably awkward
touch that Spacek brought to the character with both her appearance and superb
acting. Additionally, one of Moretz’s most notable roles as the deadly Hit Girl
from Kick Ass made it difficult for
me to see her as a vulnerable victim (although it made her violent use of
telekinetic powers more fitting). I continually questioned why the Carrie
portrayed by Moretz was so outcasted, as she seemed normal albeit a little shy.
The portrayals of Carrie’s
high school peers also fall flat. Chris (Portia Doubleday) is an underwhelming
ringleader of bullies, not nearly as mean-spirited and malicious as in the
original. In fact, her boyfriend Billy (Alex Russell) ends up running the show
on tormenting Carrie come prom night, further weakening Chris’ role as a true
antagonist. Sue (Gabriella Wilde) is Chris’ remorseful sidekick who has a
change of heart and convinces her boyfriend, Tommy (Ansel Elgort), to take
Carrie to prom.
She does this to make up for
what happens in the infamous shower scene, during which Carrie starts her
period without being aware of what is happening, fears that she is dying and
gets teased by all of the other girls who throw feminine products at her and
chant, “Plug it up.” The gym teacher, Miss Desjardin (Judy Greer), later lets
the girls know just how rotten they are for what they did. Despite this, it is
confusing as to why Sue would turn her back on Chris and forgo prom, something
so important to her, due to the film not delving far enough into Sue’s
personality or guilt.Julianne Moore gives the
only redeeming performance as Carrie’s mother, Margaret. With her unkempt hair
and self-inflicted harm, she portrays a compelling religious zealot, tortured
by her misguided ideology. Her abuse toward Carrie — slapping her and repeatedly
forcing her into the prayer closet — is effectively disturbing. The added opening
scene (Spoiler Alert) with her giving birth to Carrie and attempting to murder the newborn
provides the audience with more of a background on her character than does the
original. She cogently delivers the well-known and heartbreaking line, “They’re
all gonna laugh at you,” foreshadowing the soon-to-be telekinetic massacre at
I might have liked Carrie had I not seen the original, as
the story stays true to the previous film and is still a haunting tale of abuse
and its consequences. The movie is filled with clever religious imagery and is
visually pleasing, especially during the massacre scene. However, the
ill-fitted cast and lack of ingenuity on the director’s part ultimately
disappointed me. While the new Carrie may
seem like a fun and appropriate movie to watch with Halloween around the
corner, it’s hardly worth the ten dollars it costs to see in theaters. Plus,
the 1976 version is currently available on Netflix so there really is no excuse
to miss out on the sheer brilliance of the original. Grade: C-
by Jac Kern
Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings
Tina Fey and Amy
Poehler hosted the 70th annual Golden Globe Awards Sunday, making
the three-hour event pretty much bearable! Some awards were pretty predictable
(Les Mis) while others were surprising (Girls) but T&A — I’m coining their
celebrity couple name — kept the show fun by teasing Hollywood greats and each other.
The first awards
of the night went to Christoph Waltz, Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture, Drama
for Django Unchained; Maggie Smith,
Best Supporting Actress – TV for Downton Abbey;
and Julianne Moore, Best Actress – Miniseries/TV Movie for Game Change, which also was awarded Best Miniseries/TV Movie. Now,
I think we can all lay to rest the Sarah Palin impersonation. May we never seek
its comedic relief again.
on their toes, T&A randomly planted themselves, in disguises, in the
audience as the camera panned to nominees:
Next up, Homeland started to sweep
the evening, nabbing Best TV Series – Drama, Best Actor
(Damian Lewis) and Best Actress (Claire Danes) in the category. Danes thanked her recently born son, with whom she was pregnant while filming some of this season's craziest scenes. Cute, but she really
should have named that kid Saul, right?
As Michael Bloomberg said, white
people love them some Homeland.
Mychael Danna was awarded with Best Original Score
for Life of Pi and Adele, finally out
of maternal hiding, won a much-deserved Globe for Best Original Score for the
eponymous hit from Skyfall.
Taylor Swift was
JLo showed up looking like a slutty Queen
Frostine in a what appeared to be a body paint ensemble
to award Best Actor – Miniseries/TV Movie (Hatfields
& McCoys) to a very boring
Kevin Costner. So what do you do when half the crowd is drunk and the show
starts getting boring? Bring out Bill Clinton!
Willie bit his
lip, thumbs upped a few times and introduced Lincoln (once everyone stopped throwing their panties onstage at
him). Not missing a beat, Poehler came out, awestruck, and proclaimed, “That
was Hillary Clinton’s husband!” Sa-woon.
Then out come Will
Ferrell and Kristin Wiig (looking foine as ever),
giggling like a couple stoned teenagers, pretending to not have seen a single
film in their category (Best Actress – Motion Picture, Comedy/Musical).
JLaw got the prize
for her role in Silver Linings Playbook,
wearing what may become a major spring 2013 fashion trend: boob origami.
Lawrence seems like a real human, and funny to boot. She'll be hosting Saturday Night Live this weekend.
Ed Harris won
Best Support Actor – TV for his role as John McCain in Game Change. Anne Hathaway dreamed a dream about winning Best Supporting
Actress – Motion Picture…and it came true (Sorry, that was pretty bad). Though
I did not care for her 1994 mother of the bride look. Best Screenplay went to Quentin “Don’t ask me about violence” Tarantino
for Django Unchained. In a pretty
surprising turn, Don Cheadle, who is awesome, won Best Actor – TV,
Comedy/Musical for House of Lies,
which is really not that awesome. Louie C.K. was robbed.
Everyone took a
little nap as Best Foreign Language Film was announced (Amour) because ENGLISH. And Brave
won Best Animated Feature Film (Side note: Go watch that shit with your mom and
be prepared for sobbing and family bonding).
The Best Actress –
TV, Comedy/Musical category was full of badass ladies, including the two hosts.
Tina awaited the
results with new BFF Jennifer Lopez
While Amy cozied
up with her new beau. Eat it, Will Arnett!
But — Surprise! — it was Lena
Dunham who napped the award for her role in Girls. T&A promptly
poked fun at Dunham’s speech, gave a losers toast, and called out a very drunk
Glenn Close. Then, things turn a turn for the…weird. Jodie Foster was honored
with the Cecil B. DeMille Award, presented by Robert Downey, Jr. In her speech (the one that they actually could have cut off but didn't), Foster hopped
back and forth between trying to make jokes and some genuine, serious points,
making the whole thing a little hard to follow.
On one hand, I can
understand why some people are confused as to why, if she was going to address
her personal life anyway, she wouldn’t just come out with a declarative
statement about being gay. It’s important for people to see strong, positive
public figures who happen to be homosexual, especially children who feel
different, ostracized or unloved because of who they are. I get that. But Miss
Jodie had some points in that cloudy ramble of a speech. As a celebrity who
works hard to keep her life off-screen private, why should she be pressed to make
some kind of grand statement, especially since she has already come out to
those who know her personally? “Coming outs” can certainly be positive these
days, but they’re also an invitation for attention and publicity, which she
personally does not want. In her own words “I am not Honey Boo Boo Child.”
For the final
awards of the night, Ben Affleck won Best Director for Argo; Girls won Best TV
Series – Comedy/Musical; Hugh Jackman nabbed Best Actor for Les Miserables, the same film awarded for Best
Comedy/Musical; Jessica Chastain, who’s appeared in 10 films since 2011, won
Best Actress for Zero Dark Thirty;
Daniel “Human Chameleon” Day-Lewis shocked no one when he won Best Actor for Lincoln; and Best Film in the Drama
category went to Argo.
Whew. That was a
lot to take in, wasn’t it, Mel?
An unconventional family grows up in Lisa Cholodenko's latest indie gem
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 28, 2010
For a film about family, Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right effectively twists the dynamics in ways both obvious and subtle. As a long-together lesbian couple, Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (Julianne Moore) have achieved a degree of domestic perfection that defies convention by being utterly conventional in its own way. Grade A.
Atom Egoyan's sex thriller falls flat
0 Comments · Friday, March 26, 2010
You couldn't hope for a higher caliber sexploitation movie than Chloe, even if the sex thriller falls flatter than a day-old quiche. Atom Egoyan rekindles his lurking soft-core desires with a tawdry script by Eric Cressida Wilson, whose 2002 film 'Secretary' transcended a cultural movement of sexual identity. Audiences will have no such luck with this formulaic suspense picture about sexual deception. Grade: C-plus.
Colin Firth anchors Tom Ford's impressive filmmaking debut
0 Comments · Thursday, January 14, 2010
Tom Ford arrives on the filmmaking scene fully formed, no doubt the product of a man who has been cultivating and manipulating images for nearly two decades as a bigwig fashion designer. His adaptation of Christopher Isherwood's 1964 novel benefits from strong performances, evocative, detail-rich production design and an effectively melancholy mood that only occasionally drifts into slick stylization. Grade: A-.