Archive for anna paquin

Screened In Sundays: Trick r’ Treat

Posted in Comedy, Horror, Screened In Sundays with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2012 by judsonw

One underseen gem every Sunday.

I can count on my hand the number of legitimately great horror movies that were released in the past decade. When it comes to great Halloween horror movies, there’s not a huge library to choose from.  Trick r’ Treat is not only a great horror-comedy on its own, it’s also without a doubt the best Halloween movie ever made. Sure, Halloween is set on the famous holiday, but that movie isn’t really about the title’s namesake. Trick r’ Treat captures everything I love about Halloween – the spooks, legends, decorations, costumes, and the desire in people to be something they’re not.

The anthology is divided into four interwoven stories: an everyday high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer; a college virgin might have just met the one guy for her; a group of teenagers pull a mean prank; a woman who loathes the night has to contend with her holiday-obsessed husband (thanks IMDB!). All the stories are somehow connected and they are all told out of chronological order. This makes for a fun viewing experience – when you spot something unusual you just know it’s going to come back in a big way to explain itself.

The movie’s cast is a fun bunch – led by a younger Anna Paquin and a hilarious Dylan Baker. Trick r’ Treat had a terrible journey to DVD/Blu-Ray and was completely left out of theaters because of behind-the-scenes squabbles. It’s a shame – moviegoers missed out on a truly unique Halloween experience.

Screened In Sundays: Margaret

Posted in Drama, Screened In Sundays with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2012 by judsonw

One underseen gem every Sunday.

Director Kenneth Lonergan’s film has taken a long, arduous road to get into viewers’ homes, but it’s now finally available to the public. Shot back in 2005, the studios and filmmakers squabbled over god knows what, which prevented the film from ever getting a wide release. This is surprising because of its star studded cast. Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, Matthew Broderick, Allison Janney, Mark Ruffalo, Kieran Culkin.

A pre-True Blood Anna Paquin plays the lead character of Lisa. Seemingly just an innocent bystander, Lisa witnesses a bus accident that ends a woman’s life. The movie goes down many different paths after the accident, but the story mainly focuses on Lisa’s struggle to make things right after she feels responsible for causing the accident. The biggest problem with this? Lisa is annoying as hell. And spoiled. And whiny. And self righteous. And just – ugh. She comes across as very unsympathetic as she makes everything that happens throughout the film about her.

While most movies could not survive such a grating protagonist, Margaret somehow manages to be interesting in every scene. This is kind of remarkable considering the movie is a 2 1/2 hour tale about a teenage girl’s struggles with her past, her family, her friends, and herself. The editing is often peculiar – scenes cut back and forth with no real rhythm or cohesion – which screams studio interference. Apparently, Lonergan originally wanted a 3 hour cut so I’m sure many characters’ arcs were either cut down or cut out completely (e.g. Broderick’s).

While Margaret is by no means a perfect film and is actually quite flawed, I couldn’t help but be sucked into every scene. The acting is superb on every level and the articulate dialogue kept my attention. A film that makes you question your personal views on life and death is always worth a watch.