The movie, The Green Mile, is one of the best movies based on a Stephen King novel. Paul McGuire Grimes, the creator of Paul’s Trip to the Movies, chats with one of the stars of the film as the movie is being re-released with a 4K upgrade this week. He gives us his take on some other movies released in theaters as well.
STUDIO 666 (in theaters)
Dave Grohl and his band Foo Fighters have been rocking out to sold out arenas for decades. Now, they’re side stepping in a new direction by starring in the horror comedy, Studio 666. Dave, Nate, Pat, Rami, Chris, and Taylor all play themselves in this movie which finds the Foo Fighters looking to rent a house in order to record their tenth album. They want to record somewhere different, somewhere unique. They’ve found a house when a realtor convinces them to rent out a haunted murder house by mentioning it has rock and roll pedigree. Dave instantly feels some weird energy, but they move forward and set up a temporary recording space. On top of suffering some writer’s block, eerie things start happening and a dark spirit inhabits Dave.
Foo Fighters made the wise choice by making the movie about them. It allows them to play exaggerated versions of themselves, as they know they’re not thespians taking on intricate characters.
There’s a campy, amateur quality to it, and I don’t mean that in a bad way as I think the style works well for the overall effect.
The band’s natural chemistry and camaraderie is on full display and plenty of the film’s humor comes from their interactions and their inevitable “freak out” sessions once the story goes haywire. It’s fun to see a goofy new side to Dave Grohl as he really lets himself play around enjoying the genre and descent of his character.
I wouldn’t call this movie a spoof as there is a strong balance between the laughs and the frightening elements. There are just enough blood and guts to make you squirm, but I’d say it’s over the top in an Evil Dead kind of way.
Studio 666 is the kind of horror comedy where everyone involved knows exactly the kind of movie they’re making and never stretches outside their range.
RATING: 3.5 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
CYRANO (in theaters)
There have been many adaptations of the classic play Cyrano de Bergerac from straight forward period pieces to the contemporary Roxanne. Cyrano is the classic love triangle with one man thinking he’s undeserving of love. Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage plays our title character who knows how to make his presence known. As he states, “I am living proof that God has a sick sense of humor.” He’s used to being mocked and teased for his height. Traditional productions of Cyrano de Bergerac find him with an overly enlarged nose, but that’s not at the center of this adaptation. He’s madly in love with Roxanne and at first believes she loves him back. That’s not the case as her heart is set on Christian. Cyrano tells Christian that Roxanne is in love with him and agrees to help him win over Roxanne.
A love story can look and sound pretty, but you have to fall for the romance. Wright easily brings that out of his actors. I instantly felt empathetic for Peter Dinklage’s Cyrano. There’s a softer, more vulnerable side to him. Audiences will see him in a very different light if they only know him from Game of Thrones.
Haley Bennett brings a bright effervescence to Roxanne which is felt immediately when we see her on screen. She never makes her a damsel in distress either which then boosts the strength she gives to the character. The third in this triangle is Kelvin Harrison Jr as Christian. He has a youthful energy full of charisma and charm. He lights up the screen.
Cyrano takes a look at the fear of being ourselves and the silly games we play during courtship. There’s boundless joy here with the bumbling comedy of getting caught professing your love and the balcony scene is well done here too. Don’t skip out on this one.
RATING: 4 out of 5 TICKET STUBS