Saturday, 23 October 2010

Summerhood (2008)

So I must admit partial defeat on this one, as I haven't seen it and am unlikely to anytime soon. I'm saying only partial defeat though because this film hasn't actually had a proper release and has only shown at film festivals. Also, he's the uncredited narrator, so not actually appearing in it.

I wil endeavor to watch it though if it ever gets a proper release. Here's the trailer:

Martian Child (2007)

Tagline: Some fathers and sons grow up together.
Cusack Plays: Science fiction writer David Gordon

Yet another dead wife scenario, as widower writer David decides to adopt a child. That child turns out to be Dennis, a weird little guy who sits in a box all day, claims to be from Mars and wears a belt of batteries to ensure he doesn't float away. Yes its a PG family film all about 'belonging' and 'finding your place'.

I wasn't really rushing to watch this one and had the dvd sitting out for a while. Its all very tame stuff, but putting my cynicism aside it made for an bearable Saturday afternoon watch while doing some ironing. The Cusack siblings team up again to play brother and sister, in a story based on a novel, itself based on a real experience. Although in real life it was a gay writer adopting a son - changing the character's sexuality apparantly caused a bit of bother.

The kid is ok, despite being one of the annoying ones from Must Love Dogs, and whispering all the time. In fact a lot of this film is softly spoken.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

1408 (2007)

Tagline: No one lasts more than an hour.
Cusack plays: Writer Mike Enslin

Since The Shining, hotel rooms have been really creepy places, which Cusack's character acknowledges in this reasonable, but not terrifying horror, based on a Stephen King short story (Cusack's second King adaptation, after Stand by Me).

Mike Enslin is a writer, who has made a career of visiting haunted hotels and inns and rating them on a scary skull scale, despite the fact that he doesn't believe in the paranormal. He receives a postcard warning him not to check into room 1408 ("=13, cute") at New York's Dolphin Hotel. Despite the protests of manager Samuel L Jackson ("It's an evil fucking room!") he checks in and almost immediately the horror begins, with the clock counting down one hour, and the Carpenters 'We've only just begun' blasting out.

Largely Cusack's film to carry (with some flashbacks and minor creepy characters) he does a pretty decent job as a desperate and haunted (dead daughter in his past) man, but while the shocks and jumps work well in a dark cinema they just don't have the same effect watching at home on a sunny day. Depending on which dvd version you have, there are different endings, the orginal one having been reshot for theatrical release, and I had the original one. Reading the description of the other, I think I probably preferred the one I was given. Don't recall which one it was when I first saw it at the cinema...