What movie was that...?

08 June 2010

Near Dark

directed by Kathryn Bigelow

I am still so happy that Kathryn Bigelow got her vindication and the credit she deserves for being one of the finest American filmmakers. And I am still even happier that she trounced James Cameron’s overblown turd, Avatar, and took home Best Picture (even if she did have to take it away from the colossally underappreciated A Serious Man). It’s no secret how much I enjoy the surf action masterpiece, Point Break, but even before that Bigelow was kicking ass and taking names (in the filmic sense, of course). Her first solo feature is a ball buster of modern western meets neo horror vampire awesomeness that rocks just as much as it rolls. Somehow inheriting much of the iconic cast from Cameron’s amazing film Aliens (yes, I will concede that there are a few awesome James Cameron films out there), Bigelow makes them even more iconic as an effed up nuclear family of blood sucking nomads crisscrossing the moonlit American west in search of their next meal. Bill Paxton is smarm incarnate as Severen, loose cannon and general psycho of the bunch, and Jenette Goldstein is sweet as the trash glam wife to Jesse Hooker, a terrifyingly badass Lance Henricksen. And long before he was a Hero on a prime example of a near perfect miniseries mutating into a painful and illogical mess of a series, Adrian Pasdar was perfect as the naive country Casanova who bit off more than he could chew. Or, should I say, had more bitten off of him than he could chew- nevermind. What endures here is the artful and stylish reimaging of a gothic icon (vampires), as well as a uber-grotesque vision of the Romantic landscape we all love (the West). Near Dark and Joel Schumacher’s The Lost Boys represented a modern stance on a much used concept, but the only difference is that, while Bigelow can boast of various other filmic achievements as Point Break, Strange Days, K-19 and The Hurt Locker, poor Schumacher has only The Lost Boys. And maybe Flatliners. And Falling Down (well, maybe just the first half of the film, before it gets too friggin ridiculous). And the latter are by no means classic, just guilty pleasures in which I indulge like a guilt-addled addict. I need help.

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