Thursday, March 12, 2009

Can Sam Raimi "Drag Me to Hell"? Hell yeah

Judging from the trailer that came out yesterday, I'd say Sam Raimi is finally and thankfully having fun making movies again, but first a short word or two about Jay Baruchel.

Know who he is? Even if you don't think so, you probably do. He played Sandusky in "Tropic Thunder" and Norah's ex in "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist," and had his best big-screen part to date as that Zeppelin-obsessed fan in "Almost Famous." And even though Fox only felt fit to air about 15 episodes of it, he was also great as the lead in Judd Apatow's second TV series, "Undeclared," which while never quite as good as "Freaks and Geeks" was still just a damn fine series (and one I have on DVD.)

And now it seems Mr. Baruchel is finally gonna get to carry a movie by himself, and one he had a hand in creating at that, too. Based on a character that Baruchel came up with, "Johnny Klutz" will be about a lovable loser who is impervious to pain. The comedy possibilities are already spinning in my mind. With Ben Stiller involved as a producer, I'd imagine there has to be a pretty good chance this will all come together.

Now, before we get into all the horror goodness from Raimi, there's more news out there that just might impact the future of my favorite current TV drama by far, "Friday Night Lights."

Former cheerleader-turned-Jesus-freak-turned-Tim-Riggins'-girlfriend-once-again Lyla Garrity, a k a Minka Kelly, has signed on to play the lead in something called "Body Politic" for the CW, where she joins co-star Jason Dohring, also known as Logan Echolls on my beloved "Veronica Mars."

On the new show, which according to Variety takes a look at "Washington politics through the eyes of optimistic, up-and-coming staffers," Minka plays Hope, who leaves Michigan after the death of her mother to join the staff of her father, who has just been appointed attorney general. Logan will play a Washington Post reporter. (Just as an aside, I was once an "optimistic, up-and-coming" Washington staffer as an intern for Maryland's great but quick-tempered Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski, and once saw her throw a telephone receiver at someone's head. That was about enough for me.)

I'm not expecting the second coming of "The West Wing" here, but assuming this is also not just completely stupid it will be yet another CW show I'll tune in for despite the fact that I'm way too old to do so without shame.

But what does that mean for "Friday Night Lights"? Well, word is that negotiations are still ongoing between NBC and DirecTV for a fourth season, and insiders are "optimistic" about it happening. Here's hoping, because season three has easily been the best yet. And take note: If not this week's, an episode to come very soon will be all about the future of Lyla and Tim, so definitely stay tuned.

OK, finally, it's down to the horror, and like I said, from this brief glimpse it seems like Sam Raimi has really cooked up something fun with "Drag Me to Hell," which is set to come out May 29.

My first thought watching it was it's just too bad that young Ellen Page dropped out of the lead role, because seeing her as a scream queen would just be a blast. As you can see, Alison Lohman has stepped into her shoes, and I'm betting she'll do just fine.

We're almost there, but if you'll indulge me, here are my three ingredients for horror movie success:

1. Remember people, this should be about suspense rather than simply gore. I'll never understand the entertainment value in watching someone get meticulously tortured.
2. No matter how familiar your idea is, at least have one. I'm almost certain I have yet to see any kind of horror movie remake, and intend to stubbornly hold to that rule from here on out.
3. Keep it simple. You don't need an elaborate curse to unleash all the evil, so just get to it. Raimi certainly seems to have that down here since, as you'll see from the trailer (in just a sec, really), here an old woman turned down for a mortgage extension curses our heroine to hell. Nothing but cool there.

OK, here it finally is. Enjoy the trailer, and have a perfectly pleasant Thursday. Peace out.


Mercurie said...

The more I hear about Drag Me To Hell, the more I look forward to it. Sam Raimi doing horror again is a must see!

jeremy said...

Drag Me to Hell looks good . . . except for Justin Long. I don't know what it is about that guy, but there's just a lack of believability to him.
He reminds me of that dude in Dollhouse (you still watching? painful isn't it?). He was also in the dreadful The TV Set. Fran Kranz. If he and Justin just never make another movie, I'll be happy.
(P.S. episode 6, if it makes it that far, is supposedly the first real Joss episode.)
(P.S.S. keeping up with Buffy season 8 at all?)

Reel Fanatic said...

I have to admit that I've fallen behind on the "Buffy" continuation, Jeremy, but I have tried to keep up with "Dollhouse" .. Unfortunately I can't disagree with your assessment of the show, but I thought the art heist episode was at least tolerable, but still nothing that looked or sounded even remotely like it sprang from the mind of Joss Whedon

Cal said...

This looks insane! Kind of like The Reaping but much more fun. I like.

And how is it that Alison Lohman still looks about 17? She must have either good genes or good skin products.

Reel Fanatic said...

Or just amazing camera tricks .. what ever it is, I'd have to say it's rather unnecessary .. If she's a mortgate company employee up for assistant manager, that would have to make her at least 25 or so, right? Oh well ... if that's the only thing that leaves me scratching my head about this one I'll be happy