I saw a couple of great movies over the weekend, a nice break in the everyday rushing of deadlines for homework and writing assignments, or other work commitments.

The first movie was The Wolfman (2010) - this is mostly a homage to old Universal Studios wolf movies. It takes itself too seriously for the campyness I perceived. Take the warewolf's face makeup for example, it's so old school. I much rather preferred An American Werewolf in London's or even the Underworld ones! Or the liver eating shot that was so...Hannibal Lecter. Although the scenery is dark most of the time, it's quite gorgeous and I wish I could take another look at the movie, ignoring the plot and acting, and just focus on the scenery and design. I guess this movie is to Anthony Hopkins what Wolf (1994) was for Jack Nicholson. This may have been my third viewing of  Benicio del Toro's work, I haven't really been seeing him much (Pee-Wee's, License to Kill).

Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964) - adorable little sci-fi that's completely factually inacurate and still draws you in to the plight of the characters and their developing bond. A lovely classic campy scifi gem. Funny in its impossibility, and a couple of notches below Forbidden Planet (1956).

The Midnight Meat Train (2009) - I was intrigued when I first heard that the Clive Barker short story was being converted into a movie. I read the short story around late November or early December 2009. It is gritty and shows the darker side of the dark side of New York. Very creative and in-your-face gruesome spin on ordinary events and sights as you go on your day's business...as most of Barker's excellent work typically is. I like how this movie balanced nicely the horror and gruesomeness with what I consider to be a crime-suspense approach, because it could have very easily delved right into torture porn. Vinnie Jones can be utterly terrifying and loomingly large one second and then switch suddenly to convey a range of emotion with just his eyes. I wish I could speak as highly of the protagonist, played by Bradley Cooper. But I found very little to like about his character, or the actor's range.