Posts by Brendan Foley

Fate, Up Against Your Will: The Horror of HALLOWEEN (CINE-WEEN)

  I like to believe that I’m an even-tempered film fan, one who understands that not everyone watches movies with the same obsessive bent that I can (and often do) tend to bring to things. Sure, I’m all too happy to get riled up by petty disagreements in the ol’ discourse, but always all in fun. It has to be. If you can’t have fun with the stuff you love, then what fun is there in being in love? But sometimes, you have to draw a line. And there’s one snarky comment that comes up every so often, especially around
Read More

Cine-Ween: OVER THE GARDEN WALL and Embracing the Unknown

Being a fan and supporter of animation goes hand in hand with being frustrated with the seeming paucity of mainstream productions doing something interesting with the format. Which is not too dissimilar from being a horror fan, actually. Being a horror fan means sitting and sifting through an awful lot of junk in the hopes of stumbling over something interesting, whether that’s an under seen gem or just an individual scene or performance that elevates an otherwise lousy movie. If you’re someone with kids or younger relations, you’ll likely find yourself sitting through an inordinate amount of animated fare, and
Read More

CINE-WEEN: Confessions of a Former Fraidy Cat

The house I lived in during senior year of college was a two-story joint, and one day my buddy Pete leaned over the balcony and said, his voice aghast, “What are you watching?” Actually, thinking back on it, it was more like, “What are you watching?” The answer was Peter Jackson’s seminal gore-tastic Dead Alive (aka Braindead), and the scene in particular was that film’s infamous climax which finds Lionel (Tim Balme) our schmucky protagonist strapping a lawnmower to his chest and wading into a cramped parlor filled with zombies. Limbs fly and blood pours by the gallons, at one
Read More

CINE-WEEN: You’ll Never Escape From the DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW

When you’re a horror fan, you have to approach the genre with a Ratatouille-like mindset: not every horror film is going to be great, but a great horror film could come from anywhere. Dark Night of the Scarecrow does not seem like it could be a good horror film. For God’s sake, this thing is a TV movie pumped out in 17 days for CBS. Sure, there’s a long history of high quality made-for-TV movies, but one look at the credits for Scarecrow reveals no luminaries behind the scenes, no name brands like Serling or Spielberg or Chayefsky that might
Read More

CINE-WEEN: An Invitation to the Dance

It was not a Market Basket bag; of that I am certain. Most every other specific detail has flown out of my memory, but I remember specifically that the bag my big sister handed to me was not one of the ubiquitous ones from Market Basket. It was bigger, deeper, and as such held many more books than a Market Basket bag would have. “I don’t want any of these,” she said. “Do you want any of them?” The bag of paperbacks was a gift from the parents of one of my sister’s friends. They’ve long known that both my
Read More

Legacy of Fear: What A QUIET PLACE Says About Raising Children in a World of Terror

Spoilers below. I worry about the world. There’s nothing especially noteworthy about that. The world is a big. Life is scary, and the only definite fact about it is that it will end. There’s plenty to worry about just on a day to day basis. But those general anxieties have only been amplified in the time since people around me, my friends and family members, began starting their families. Bringing children into the world. I have two nieces who I love more than anything in this life, and yet for all the delirious joy that goes into seeing them grow
Read More

LADY BIRD in the Time of Chaos

At first glance, the decision to set Lady Bird in 2002-2003 seems like little more than an autobiographical flourish on the part of writer-director Greta Gerwig. Gerwig herself came of age during the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, so it makes perfect sense that this would be her frame of reference in depicting the coming of age of Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) as she makes her way through her senior year of high school. As Boyhood depicted with its 12 year stretch through a similar time period, fashion and culture have not especially changed in this decade, with
Read More

Hail mother!, Full of Grace

  “Blessed art thou among women/ And blessed is the fruit of thy womb,/ Jesus.” -Hail Mary “The whole book’s gender biased…Read that book again sometime. Women are painted as bigger antagonists than the Egyptians and Romans combined. It stinks.” -Salma Hayek, Dogma Spoilers to follow As of this writing, there are as many theories as to what mother! is about as there are viewers of Darren Aronofsky’s mother!. Everyone seems to agree that the film is a naked and heavy-handed allegory, but no one can seem to agree on what exactly the movie is saying with such a heavy-hand. Depending
Read More