Encapsulated Cinema: 1911, Fright Night, and Boy Wonder

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1911 (2011)
Am I wrong in saying that I had hoped for something a little stronger from Jackie Chan’s 100th movie? “1911″ feels like cheap Chinese propaganda, a motion picture specifically designed to sing the country’s infinite praises. It’s entertaining to a point, but then you start to feel as though the filmmakers were far more interested in lecturing than entertaining. Adding insult to injury is the fact that Jackie Chan’s time on-screen is extremely limited, and what we do get isn’t anything overly spectacular. There’s one throwaway fight scene, and the unexpected sequence sticks out like a sore thumb. “1911″ is for hardcore Jackie Chan fans only. My disappointment couldn’t be more palpable.

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Fright Night (2011) Movie PosterFright Night (2011)
When the “Fright Night” remake was first announced, I was skeptical. After the picture’s capable cast was paraded around the ‘net, I softened to the idea. Having finally seen the movie, I should have listened to my gut instinct. Director Craig Gillespie strips away everything that made the original so memorable and leaves us with erratic pacing, terrible CGI, and an entirely unimpressive performance from Colin Farrell. And while I love David Tennant to death, he’s certainly no Roddy McDowall. His version of Peter Vincent is obnoxious, overblown, and it only makes you wish he’d make himself disappear. “Fright Night” is everything that’s wrong with big-budget Hollywood horror. Pretend it doesn’t exist.

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Boy Wonder (2010)
I’ve been interested in writer/director Michael Morrissey’s “Boy Wonder” since reading Brent’s fantastic review of the flick earlier this year. The film is a deftly-scripted, superbly-acted revenge flick that wades through the darker waters of the superhero genre. Morrissey and crew do a fantastic job of balancing brutal fight sequences with scenes of delicate emotion, which, as you well know, is not an easy feat to accomplish. Star Caleb Steinmeyer does an incredible job of making you root for his character despite the fact he is both grossly unstable and totally unhinged. If you’re looking for a non-traditional superhero flick that doesn’t subscribe to genre conventions, “Boy Wonder” is the way to go.

Author: Todd Rigney

Todd was raised on a steady diet of Hollywood blockbusters, late-night Cinemax programming, and USA’s “Up All Night,” which may explain why his taste in movies is more than a little questionable. When he isn’t providing news and reviews for Beyond Hollywood, he can be found lounging lazily on his couch, perched in front of his television, or dwelling in places where direct sunlight can be easily avoided. He's happily married, in his 30's, and totally badass. If you'd like to reach Todd, you can follow him on Twitter or send him email/scoops to todd (at) beyondhollywood.com.
  • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

    Heard about Boy Wonder but missed the screening at Comic Con. I will be seeing it soon I hope.

  • http://twitter.com/BrentMMcKnight Brent McKnight

    BOY WONDER is one of my favorite movies of this past year. Also, I’m glad I’m not the only one who hated FRIGHT NIGHT. I thought I was alone on that front for a while.

    • http://www.beyondhollywood.com Todd

      BOY WONDER was a huge surprise, and I hope people start discovering it. FRIGHT NIGHT, on the other hand, was terrible. People actually liked this thing? Depressing.