Friday, November 14, 2008

Then She Found Me and From Beyond

Then She Found Me was directed and adapted by Helen Hunt from a novel by Elinor Lipman and is about a 40 year old woman who, in the course of a month, loses her husband to his immaturity and her adoptive mother to time, her biological mother finds her and tries to strike up a relationship based on half-truths and lies, meets the man of her dreams, and discovers that she's pregnant with the child of her childish husband.

It sounds convoluted and it is, but it's backed up by some brilliant performances from the top notch cast of Bette Midler as the biological mother, matthew Broderick as the childish husband, Colin Firth as the forthright and emotionally antsy man of her dreams, and Hunt herself as the woman in the middle of the turmoil. You find yourself enjoying the performances more than the script, at least I did. I love me some Matthew Broderick. As such, it was nice to see Broderick and Hunt together again after Project X.

Overall, it was cute. I probably wouldn't watch it again, but I'm glad to have finally seen it (we had it at the most recent Sarasota Film Festival and I didn't get a chance to see it then.)


From Beyond was based on the short story by H.P. Lovecraft, which was adapted by Stuart Gordon, Dennis Paoli, and Brian Yuzna and directed by Gordon. It's the tale of a mad scientist's experiments with ultraviolet frequencies that ends up unleashing something from the next dimension over.

Gordon and company like to take license with Lovecraft's work, adding lots of sex to the mix. At least there's a little science behind the movie's use of the pineal gland that Lovecraft may or may not have had access to in the 1920s. If they'd taken out the darker aspects of the good Doctor's appetites, the movie would have only been an hour and Gordon and company would have no reason to get Barbara Crampton semi-naked and dressed like a dominatrix. That said, however, I think that it sticks pretty close to the tone and imagery of a Lovecraft story (as far as my imagination is concerned, anyway.) For that, and in spite of the cheese factor, this is an ace flick. Plus, it's always good to see Ken Foree*.

The score, by Richard Band (this was a pre-Full Moon Charles Band produced movie so of course his brother's doing the score), was pitch perfect and blended into the background while accentuating the action. 

The effects were...okay. That's where most of the cheese comes in. Re-Animator was made for about 3 million less and I remember the effects looking better. The wormy things in the basement looked like sandworm rejects...

Overall, it was enjoyable. Seeing this does make me wonder about the remake that is on the horizon and it also makes me hope that Guillermo del Toro gets to make At the Mountains of Madness very soon.

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