Monthly Archives: April 2012

The Cabin in the Woods

It looks like I waited more than a week to see The Cabin in the Woods, which simply isn’t true. (It also looks like I haven’t read a book in more than a month, which, well, yeah, that’s true. What is wrong with my life?) It’s just that I had other stuff I needed to write about first, and on top of that I have of course remained incredibly busy with my new job. But this review marks me as all caught up again, which is on the one hand relieving and on the other tragic. I’ve only seen two movies in quite a bit more than a month, obviously no video game time to speak of, I’m drowning in books I want to read (not that the one I’m reading is bad, it’s just way too long)… I fear I am not type-A-driven enough for this number of hours per week.

That or I watch too much TV. Of course, if I didn’t, I may not have been sufficiently obsessed by Joss Whedon to run out and watch his horror movie on opening day, nor to hope but ultimately fail to watch it again prior to the review. Because, there’s a lot to watch. I fooled myself into thinking the previews unfairly gave away plot details, but it’s not true. The opening scene of the movie reveals just how much of a rabbit hole you’ve stumbled into, and all but dares you to figure it out before you hit the bottom. In case you need more of a plot summary than the none I’ve given so far, I’ll just mention that five college friends plan to spend a weekend at a cabin in the, um, woods, after which horror ensues. But I bet you already knew that? And yeah, everything else is wildly spoilerful and goes beyond a cut.

Well, except this: if you like like horror as a genre, and especially if that’s the kind of thing you’d say out loud? You must see this movie. (If you don’t / wouldn’t, it’s still pretty worthwhile. The only reason not to go see it is if you can’t stand to see on-screen gory violence, because, yes, that’s gonna happen.)

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John Carter

I have been… well, I have been just incredibly busy lately. I mean, like wow. Significant overtime every week since I started my new job, significant percentage of time spent working (instead of “other”) even during the normal 40 hours, no time to finish a single book, nor to even play at a single video game, nor to watch a single movie. Well, sadly that’s untrue, I had time to watch one movie. But I had time to watch it weeks ago and did not have time to review it, which is the actually sad part of that story.

Because, yeah, watching John Carter? There was nothing sad about that at all! Except for how little I remember, of course. There’s this rich Civil War vet who has recently died, and he provides the stories of his adventures to his nephew and heir, none of which would be all that meaningful in the scheme of things except for how the journal in the bequeathment tells of an unexpected journey to a distant land full of flying airships, tall, green insectoid warriors, a particularly awesome canine companion, and of course a princess[1] in search of a savior for her people. It’s all very mythic and heroic, and I think it could have been the next big storytelling event, except that apparently it was just horrifically marketed to anyone who didn’t have fond memories of the century-old books on which it is based.

This is for me a huge disappointment, because I don’t care if everyone in Hollywood has already cannibalized the set pieces and the themes and if the purported audience did not understand what the point of the preview was. Because this is a damn fine story, no matter how stolen and how miscomprehended today, and if people would just walk into the theater and watch it, they’d be all “yay, that was good, make more of them for me now please!” And I know this will not happen, and that even if my review had not been too late, it still would have been far too little. Nevertheless, I will continue to wish[2] and to be willing to go see it again if anyone has interest and a more-flexible-than-mine schedule.

Maybe I’ll grab the books on Kindle if I can find a sufficient overlap of “cheap” and “moderately edited” in the reviews, and then be horrified by just how sexist they are in print! If I do, you will be the second or so to know. I promise.

[1] Spoiler alert: …of Mars!
[2] I mean, still bring back Firefly first, if we’re talking about screen wishes in my arsenal. Obviously. But still.