F.I.L.M. of the Week (March 12, 2010)

12 03 2010

The “F.I.L.M. of the Week” is Kathryn Bigelow’s “Near Dark.”  Rather than present a conventional review, I simply want to leave you with a “top 10 list” as to why you should watch this movie.

  1. For any of you who cheered on Kathryn Bigelow to Oscar gold a few days ago but had no idea what she had directed other than “The Hurt Locker,” you need to see “Near Dark.”  This is one of her earliest movies, and it’s a totally different experience than her most recent directorial effort.  Nevertheless, it showcases her excellent directorial prowess.
  2. Tired of the “Twilight” vampires and Stephenie Meyer’s romanticization of the blood-sucking creatures who haunt the night, also known as vampires?  “Near Dark” is the antidote to your woes.  It bears a few plot similarities (and I can unfortunately say this from experience because I read the book – DO NOT JUDGE ME), but you won’t see any tender moments in the fields here.  Bigelow makes the vampires fearsome creatures who burn in the sunlight and look disheveled and dirty.  Forget Team Edward, I’m on Team Bigelow.
  3. But for those of you that like “Twilight,” you should know that a remake of this movie was planned yet cancelled in the wake of the release of the vampire juggernaut.
  4. Bigelow superimposes the vampire story over the backdrop of a western town, and she mingles the two genres in ingenious ways.
  5. Need someone with better acting chops than Robert Pattinson playing your vampire?  Does Bill Paxton suffice?  He is the most recognizable actor that “Near Dark” has to offer, but each of the other vampires are equally as terrifying.
  6. If you want something that will capture your attention, just wait until the vampires go hunting for some food in a biker bar.  Bigelow builds the tension beautifully just like she did in “The Hurt Locker.”
  7. It was made in 1987, so it’s got some awesome 80isms about it.  Just  that generally awesome vibe that an 80s movie has is the best thing “Near Dark” has going for it.
  8. Almost the whole movie features the score of a German synth pop band.  It’s a serious movie, so try not to let it distract you too much.  But enjoy it, even laugh at it if you feel so compelled.
  9. And while we are on the subject of the ’80s, enjoy some of the special effects towards the end.  They match the quality of “Avatar” at their most brilliant moments (did you pick up on my sarcasm?)
  10. If you are just looking for an enjoyable moviegoing experience that offers you thrills, chills, drama, and maybe some comedy at the expense of the movie itself, then “Near Dark” is a pick that will suit you.  It veers toward the predictable at times, but who really cares?  It’s from the 80’s!!