29 October 2010

A new Halloween classic: Michael Dougherty's 'Trick 'r Treat'

The character Sam is shown in a scene from "Trick 'r Treat."
Halloween creates a natural setting for horror movies. It even gave John Carpenter's classic 1978 slasher and its many sequels and remake its title. But Michael Myers could kill teenagers on any day of the year and his story wouldn't change.

As popular as Halloween has become, there never had been a film specifically about the holiday itself until 2009, when "Trick 'r Treat," an anthology along the lines of "Creepshow" (1982), fought and scraped its way onto DVD and Blu-ray.

That realization drove writer-director Michael Dougherty, whose Oct. 28 birthday helped inspire his lifelong interest in Halloween, to make "Trick 'r Treat."

"Having grown up obsessed with the holiday, I really knew about a lot of the traditions and a lot of the back stories and origins of these traditions why we carve jack-o-lanterns and why we dress up and hand out candy," Dougherty said from Los Angeles in a phone interview.

01 October 2010

The Social Network

Jesse Eisenberg, left, and Joseph Mazzello are shown in a scene from "The Social Network."
I have heard people discuss "The Social Network," laughing it off as "the Facebook movie." But here's the thing: It isn't really about Facebook.

Directed by David Fincher and written for the screen by Aaron Sorkin (based on the 2009 book "The Accidental Billionaires" by Ben Mezrich), "The Social Network" tells a classic American story of capitalism and greed, friendship and betrayal, fueled by envy and lost innocence, presenting Facebook co-founder/CEO Mark Zuckerberg as Charles Foster Kane for the new millennium. He might even have a Rosebud or two of his own.

The great irony of the film is that Facebook, a sprawling online community of 500 million users based on acquiring "friends" and sharing, in some cases, the most minute details of your personal life with these people, is created from the ashes of bitterness and resentment, by a young man whose only true friend later sues him for millions.