A few quickie reviews…
Please take all my reviews with a grain of salt, as I have to watch most things with one eye on a toddler and may miss neat stuff.
1.) Prometheus. I liked it. It was flawed but fun. If you enjoy Sci-Fi spectacles with a creeping sense of dread and a scrappy, Ripley-esque heroine, you’ll enjoy this. It does, indeed, answer some questions, as the trailer promises, but it asks a lot more. That made the movie a teeny bit frustrating for me. If they don’t answer them in the sequel –which I’m assuming is in production– I may have to reevaluate the film.
2.) Rock of Ages. I imagine this musical is great fun on the stage. And Tom Cruise looks like he’s having a ball in this, chewing the scenery like a cow chews cud, as he plays hard-drinking jaded rock star/sex symbol Stacey Jaxx…but on film, the musical comes off very, very, very flat. It’s like, you sense you should be singing along and having fun and getting swept up…but you just never do. Grease it ain’t.
3.) American Horror Story: Asylum. Some people say that when you create a piece of art, there should be a place on the canvas where the eye can rest. A pleasing spot of nothing, negative space. If I have one complaint about American Horror Story–and I’m not sure I do, even–it’s that the series is almost completely devoid of negative space. But what may be its only flaw, may also be the thing that makes it brilliant. Because you are never given a chance to rest when watching. Ever. Every scene that is not creepy in the sense that most horror films are, is creepy in the way intense psychological dramas are. Like Stephen King, the writers of AHS want us to know that while there may be ghosts and demons and aliens milling about, the scariest thing on earth is the human mind. AHS seems to want to push boundaries and invite calls of “Campy!” by cramming exorcisms, demons, aliens, serial killers, cannibals, mean nuns and torturing doctors into one show, but so far, they are pulling it off. I don’t know how they do it. It may because they balance the border-pushing horror and raunchiness with exemplary acting and terrific writing. AHS is nothing less than must-watch for me. One important caveat: I would not recommend letting anyone under 17 watch it. I just wouldn’t. Mature audiences only, please.