Monday, August 31, 2009
An Autumn Little Shop of Horrors
If you can, get a glimpse of USA Today’s “Life” section for Friday, August 28. The bulk of the section deals with upcoming flicks for the fall season, headlined by a lead with Rob Zombie, the director of the upcoming “Halloween II.” It’s the first of at least 14 “scary” films coming in the autumn (note: the lead section of the paper teases the “Life” section by noting the “gore” coming soon). The photo of Rob Zombie is pretty scary as it is.
As you page through this, you’ll see something that might shock fans of the “Spy Kids” movies. The article about the new Robin Williams flick, “World’s Greatest Dad,” says “it’s distasteful, and uneven, but it’s human." It goes on to describe young Daryl Sabara’s character (he was the little redhead in Spy Kids) as “startlingly good at tapping into his inner brat. Deep in the throes of a miserable adolescence, he is a mightily unpleasant teenager, with non-stop attitude and a foul mouth. He is also obsessed with sex in the crudest of ways.” Oh, joy. I’ll bet his Spy Kids fans can’t wait to see that! The review goes on to say, “At its worst, it’s exploitative and shocking in its treatment of an essentially taboo subject and its tragic aftermath.” Even more “oh, joy.”
On page 3D, you’ll see a clip about the Ang Lee film, “Taking Woodstock.” The photo used for the story gives a mild hint about the characters played by Demetri Martin and Paul Dano.
On page 4D, you’ll see a little clip for “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant.” I’ll let the clip speak for itself . . . “A young boy (Chris Massoglia) meets a mysterious man at a freak show who turns out to be a vampire. After spending time with the man, the boy realizes he’ll have to decide whether to live a normal life or join the Cirque du Freak — and become a bloodsucker.”
There’s much, much more here. I think you get the idea. The horror stuff makes 1931’s “Dracula,” starring Bela Lugosi look like Disneyland. The other, non-horror stuff is yet another example of the continuing debasement of the culture.
I find it especially sad that promising, talented young actors and actresses buy into the lie that you have to be crass, profane, vulgar, even blasphemous (excuse me, I mean “edgy”) to have an entertainment career. I’d love to be surprised someday by someone young standing up for wholesomeness and giving whoever didn’t like it a big razzberry.
Addendum 9/1/09: Now, USA Today is highlighting the fall television season. Featured prominently in the "Life" section today is ABC's "Modern Family," which features "two gay men and a baby."