So you might not think that the movies Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho have anything in common, but that’s where you are wrong, my friend. One film has a chocolate river, and the other has Hershey’s hemoglobin. Um…say what now?
In the unforgettable shower scene of 1960’s Psycho, chocolate syrup was used to simulate Marion Crane’s blood, making for some very sweet sanguinity. Maybe Norman Bates’ motives weren’t actually all that bad; maybe he was just looking to top off his sundae? Next time you watch the film, I bet you’ll crave ice cream.
PAN The Roommate – A psychological thriller directed by Christian E. Christiansen and starring Leighton Meester and Linka Kelly which tells the story of a deranged college student named Rebecca who develops a bloodthirsty obsession with her roommate, Sarah. The film also swanks sub-plots featuring a super creepy professor, a persistent ex-boyfriend, and an Adonis bed buddy.
Well, first thing’s first; when it comes to originality, The Roommate scores a big, fat goose egg because guess what Mr. Christiansen? Single White Female just called, and she wants her plot back. Plus, the film is just downright boring. Sitting in the theater, you find yourself almost wishing for someone’s cell phone to go off just to break up the film’s monotony. The most hair-raising scene involves a belly-button. And trust me, the umbilical unease won’t have you anywhere near the edge of your seat.
“What’s most memorable about this plodding thriller are the copious amounts of foundation and lip gloss.” ~ John P. McCarthy
PICK Kaboom – A sci-fi film directed by Gregg Araki and starring Haley Bennett and Thomas Dekker which tells the jaw-dropping tale of a group of polysexual youths whose amorous escapades run rampant on a college campus where the sexual orientations are as undecided as the majors. The cinematic cocktail of this film is one part softcore porn, one part serial killer thriller, and one part apocalyptic meltdown – shaken, not stirred. Has your head exploded yet?
In typical Araki fashion, Kaboom takes the lid off the Id and lets the libido run wild. It’s the kind of film that you’re bound to either love or loathe. But either way, Kaboom is sure to get you talking. And isn’t that what film is all about? Go see for yourself.
“Kaboom is an erotic blast of sinful flesh, fun and fantasy that you don’t want to stop.” ~Peter Travers
PICK Black Swan – A psychological thriller directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, and Mila Kunis which delves deep into the psyche of a tortured New York City ballerina who believes herself to be caught in a game of cat and mouse with a rival dancer. Black Swan is, at times, painful to watch, but the exhilarating passion and melodrama duly compensates for its flaws.
“A stylish, inventive thriller that cements Aronofsky’s place as one of our great modern filmmakers. Natalie Portman delivers a staggeringly accomplished performance.” ~Wesley Lovell
Trailer Review: From director Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan is a psychological thriller in which a New York City ballerina, driven for perfection, becomes ensnared in a network of backstage intrigue with a rival member of her company. The concept of monomania is nothing new for Aronofsky, who previously dealt with the subject matter in 2009’s The Wrestler. However, the obsession and artistic communion that is portrayed in Black Swan is far more unholy and disturbing than the agonizing dedication that is evidenced in The Wrestler, whose title character, one could argue, represents a Christ figure. Black Swan stars Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, and Mila Kunis.
Set in the high-strung world of Big Apple ballet, Black Swan delves into the psyche of featured dancer Nina Sayers (Portman), who has just been cast in the duplicitous role of the swan queen in the company’s production of Swan Lake. Nina, who is more tightly wound than her coiled chignon hairdo, is given the part with some reluctance on the part of Artistic Director, Thomas Leroy (Cassel), who feels that Nina perfectly embodies the delicate temperament of the white swan but is far too reserved to capture the guile and sensuality of her black counterpart. As the trailer progresses, the initial reverie is turned into something much more nightmarish, and Nina finds herself haunted by the seductive persecution of her rival, Lilly (Kunis), or could it be her own paranoid imagination? Either way, it is through Nina’s attempts both to summon and to harness her inner black swan that the stage is set for the delusional horror that ensues in this menacingly twisted fairy tale.
In the trailer for Black Swan, the thematic language and imagery deal heavily with contrasting motifs and the idea of tragic duality. The most apparent of which, white versus black, is evidenced by the two versions of the swans. Then there are the ideas of frigidity versus seduction and control versus release. Nina’s constipated demeanor, which the trailer communicates with her frequent staccato gasps of air, is a sharp contrast to Lilly’s alluring playfulness, which makes a marked impression on the director, who tells Nina, “She’s not faking it.”
The trailer for Black Swan adeptly chronicles Nina’s intense character transformation, which appears to be its principle objective. The opening scene spotlights a graceful soloist dressed all in white: “I had the craziest dream last night. About a girl who was turned into a swan. But her prince falls for the wrong girl, and…she kills herself,” Natalie Portman says ominously. From there, the tension crescendos and the scenes become increasingly sexually charged and terrorizing, all the while begging the question, is Lilly really after Nina or is it all in Nina’s head? From what is evidenced, Natalie Portman gives a raw and impressive performance, ably shouldering each stage of Nina’s arc; from delicate and determined to teetering on the brink of madness. Also, with the final scene in which Natalie Portman plucks a black feather from her skin, her eyes glowing red, one last surge of intrigue is pumped into the trailer alerting the viewer to expect the unexpected with Black Swan.
Check out the trailer for Black Swan below. What do you think?